« PředchozíPokračovat »
hidden, there discovered itself round the moon a luminous ring, about a digit, or per. haps a tenth part of the moon's diameter in breadth. It was of a pale whiteness, or rather pearl colour, seeming to me a little tinged with the colours of the iris, and to be concentric with the moon, whence I judged it was the moon's atmosphere. But whatever it was, this ring appeared much whiter and brighter near the body of the moon than at a distance from it; and its outward circumference, which was ill defined, seemed terminated only by the extreme rarity of the matter it was composed of; and in all respects resembled the appearance of an enlighted atmosphere viewed from afar: but whether it belonged to the sun or the moou I cannot undertake to decide.
that one might have expected to have seen more stars than were seen in London; the planets Jupiter, Mercury, and Venus, were all that were seen by the gentlemen of the society, from the top of their house, where they had a clear horizon; and I did not hear that any one in town saw more than Capella aud Aldebaran, of the fixed stars. Nor was the light of the ring round the moon capable of effacing the lustre of the stars, for it was vastly inferior to that of the full moon, and so weak that I did not observe it cast a shade. But the under parts of the hemisphere, particularly in the south-east, under the sun, had a crepuscular brightness; and all round us, so much of the, segment of our atmosphere as was above the horizon, and was without the cone of the moon's shadow, was more or less enlightened by the sun's beams; and its reflection gave a diffused. light, which made the air seem hazy, and hindered the appearance of the stars. And that this was the real cause thereof, is manifest by the darkness of the night being more perfect in those places near which the centre of the shadow passed, where many more stars were seen, and in some not less than twenty, though the light of the ring was to all alike.
"During the whole time of the total eclipse I kept my telescope constantly fixed on the moon, in order to observe what might occur in this uncommon appearance, and I saw perpetual flashes or coruscations of light, which seemed for a moment to dart out from behind, now here, now there, on all sides, but espe cially on the western side, a little before the immersion; and about two or three seconds before it, on the same western side, where the sun was just coming out, a long and very narrow streak of dusky, but strong red light, seemed to colour the dark edge of the moon, though nothing like it had been seen imme-sible, and equally judges; or the concern which diately after the immersion. But this instant ly vanished on the first appearance of the sun, as did also the aforesaid luminous ring.
"I forbear to mention the chill and damp with which the darkness of this eclipse was attended, of which most spectators were sen
appeared in all sorts of animals, beasts, birds, and fishes, upon the extinction of the sun, since ourselves could not behold it without some sense of horror."
"As to the degree of darkness, it was such
A LOVER ENTANGLED BY HIMSELF.
THE Rev. Jeremiah White, one of Oliver | meaning of that proceeding. Master White, Cromwell's domestic chaplains, and one of with great presence of mind, said, "May it the chief wits of the court, was so ambiti- please your Highness, I have a long while ous as to pay his addresses to the Lady courted that young gentlewoman there, my Frances, Oliver's youngest daughter. The lady's attendant, and cannot prevail; I was lady did not discourage him; but in so reli- therefore humbly praying her ladyship to ingious a court this gallantry could not be tercede for me." The Protector, turning to carried on without being taken notice of. The the young woman, cried, "What is the meanProtector was told of it, and was much dis- ing of this, hussy? why do you refuse the hopleased: he ordered the informer to keep a nour Mr. White would do you? he is my strict watch, promising to reward him if he friend, and I expect you would treat him as could prove his assertions. In a short time the such." My lady's woman, who desired nospy dogged his reverence to the lady's chamber, thing more, replied, with a very low courtesy, and ran directly to the Protector, to acquaint || "If Mr.White intends me that honour, I shall him that they were together. Oliver hastened not be against him."-" Sayest thou so, my to the chamber, and suddenly entering, caught|| lass," cried Cromwell; "call Godwyn, this the gentleman on his knees, kissing the lady's business shall be done presently, before I go band. Oliver, in a rage, asked what was the out of the room." Mr. White was gone too
far to go back: his brother parson came: what she had saved before, made Mr. White
ONE of its brightest ornaments has been as long as the Royal Family continued to fre-
Her high success tempted forward her facile
She was born in 1743, at Tiverton, Devon, where her father, Mr. Parkhouse, who partook of the enthusiasin which existed in his youth, in favour of the wits and poets, and of literature in general, cultivated her rising mind; his education and mental powers well qualified him for the task. In her dedication to him of The Maid of Arragon, she says:-
"You gave my youthful fancy wings to soar,
It was his favourite boast that her letters would have obtained insertion in the Spectator.
Mrs Cowley was married in January 1771. Her husband, Captain Cowley, of the Hon. East India Company's service, died about ten years ago. Her mind reverting to her native place, having always wished to close her days amidst its rural beauties, and amongst her ́early friends, she lately retired thither, and died there on the 11th of last March, aged sixty six.
Neither before or after her first composing for
The Belle's Stratagem alone, eventually produced twelve hundred guineas. It was dedicated, by permission, to the Queen, before whom it was performed once in every season
A peculiarity strikes the reader after some acquaintance with her style. It is the extreme precision with which she uses her words, in only their mere direct meaning; she seems
unable to wander from the root of a word, This becomes even a fault; she has no circumspective view of the bye, figurative, indirect, or perverted sense in which the word has come to be used. Sometimes her language, therefore, has the character of not conveying her meaning. This springs from a fondness she had in early life for etymology, as she could discover it in dictionaries, &c. which attachment will frequently be mischievous, except there has been an education more generally classical than is bestowed on a lady.
May not this error be frequently discovered in the works of female authors? Where it is not so, it has probably been because their works have been submitted to the correction of a man of the world.
Latterly, tired of the drama, and of continuing any longer to pourtray the manners of the various scenes of life, sometimes for the sake of variety, necessarily low-bred and vul
Binds those who in each other's bosom reign; 'Tis where two minds form one ecstatic whole, [soul: "One sweetly blended wish, one sense, one
"This was the gift the exil'd Seraph curst, *When from Hell's blazing continent he burst; "Eden's fair charms he saw without a [throne; "Tho' Nature there had fix'd her gorgeous "Its rich ananas, and its aloes high, "Whose formus pyramidal approach the sky; "Its tow'ring pines with luscious clusters crown'd, [round, "Its skies whose perfume fill'd the region "Its streams pellucid, and its bowers of shade, "Its flow'rs that knew to bloom, but not to fade; "Its orb which nurs'd the new-created day, "Its bow which joy'd the night with tender ray; "Its fields of wavy gold, its slopes of green, "By the fell Fiend, without a pang, were seen: “—'Twas then, fierce rancour seiz'd the Demon's breast, [were blest." “When, in the married pair, he felt mankind
In the poems which twenty years ago she threw into the newspapers, a peculiar feature still remained, from her former habit of dramatic composition, which is, that they are also dramatic; that is, they are written in some other person's character, never in her own; it is no more descriptive of her own feeling, than is the language of the characters in her plays. She would amuse herself by assuming the signature of a man, and write as a lover; or expecting never to be discovered, even by
the editors, under a fictitious name as a wo• unknown, whom she knew not, or ever exman, write answers to one to whom she was pected to hear the name of. When collections were published, in which some of her poems were, she used to amuse herself with laughing at the critical gravity with which the structure of inere " newspaper poetry" was reviewed. Poems by which their date frequently shewed that they were written within twentyfour hours after the event which gave rise to them.
Her style in poetry was certainly unequal; amongst the richest and most musical flow, and rapid energy of new created thought, there are found indeed of necessity, insterstitial lines, lame and prosaic, as though the over exerted faculties had sunk into repose; such portions of her works are the Settings, to the sparkling beauties they contain. The mechanism of literature she was little given to, the file therefore was seldom used for polish, more tedious to a writer than of substantial use to the reader; her lines retain nearly the forma in which they were at once cast.
A thorough proof of the flow of mind in which Mrs. Cowley composed is, that more than once, with the change of subject in the course of a poem, her measure changed, and returned not until the close of the new sub. ject, neither the change or return being discovered by herself until afterwards. Was this a fault or poetic inspiration?
A great many years have elapsed since any thing has been published by her; several of her works are out of print. Literary fame was never in her estimation an essential ingredient of happiness; her heart was in domestic life, where as daughter, wife, and mother, she was indeed perceived to shine.
That Mrs. Cowley looked from the path of fame to the domestic circle, is proved by the dedications of her works; having previously shewn, by a dedication, her gratitude for the patronage of the Queen, and by another, her sense of the honour bestowed upon her by the friendship of Lord Harrowby, a third work is dedicated to her father, a fourth to her busband, and the dedication of the fifth is a tribute to the regard shewn her by his brother the merchant.
Though Mrs. Cowley had all the brilliant imagination, sensibility of mind, and liveliness of manners, which belong to genius, yet there was no assumption in her behaviour. Pride accompanies learning, the growth of a sense of some sort of merit, which feeling is in the mind, from a consciousness of the arduous labour by which the man of learning made his
acquisitions; he thinks he grants, in his conversation, a portion of acquired riches. The powers of genius, being natural, appear not surprising or meritorious to the possessor, who, conscious of no effort, is not always conscious of superiority, and therefore in behaviour insists not on it. Who in Mrs. Cowley's company, ever fancied themselves with one who piqued herself on literary genius, and amongst the ladies who have felt some little mental tremor, perhaps in the commencement of epistolary correspondence with her, with whom did it continue? Yet perhaps the familiar ease and simplicity of her letters, whilst they soothed the sense of inferiority in a correspondent, rendered them not the least perfect of her compositions.
She disliked mere literary correspondence ; if she found herself accidentally entangled in it, she soon tired. The constant reference to, and examination of, what had been done, was to her a disagreeable retrograde mental operation. Those in particular who employed themselves in framing common-place books, seemed to her capable only of collecting mental food for themselves, not of creating any for others. Native thought always pressed upon her; invention was the natural habit of her mind, it was almost inexhaustible; her memory was slight.
In declining literary connections, Mrs. Cowley was left without any share in that fund of mutual praise, and literary protection in periodical works, in which many authors think it prudent to be concerned.
Mrs. Cowley penned, in the last seven years, two or three slight poems, in friendship with the families of Lady Carew, Lady Duntre, Mrs. Wood, and other ladies in her neighbour. hood. She has left but two MS. Poems; the one, of some length, professes to pass by The Death of Nelson, &c. &c. or any topic in' adopting which a poet would follow, instead of
She has shewn herself however cheerfully
the Braganza family, then on its voyage to the
"A Scottish Seward shall demand the prize; "She from whose pensive and mellifluous throat;
What a combination of justice, discrimina tion, and taste, is her criticisur on Miss Burney, in the same poem :—
In the poem at large, the destruction of rural felicity, by the introduction of manufactures, and a trading population, in a village in Scotland, is opposed by an enumeration of the advantages of busy literary and cultivated life, ensuing from the acquisition of riches.
"What pen but Burney's then can soothe the
"Who draw from Nature with a skill so true?
"For powers peculiar all her portraits fill,
"When lines are bold and strong, a vulgar pen
"Burney detects, drags it to open day;.
"Who to themselves appear of equal sort,
"And sure 'tis this, is keen eyed Burney's.
"Where'er misfortune scowls her cheerless eyes,
"Her foud complaint rings through the
"Touch'd by her spear, they sudden spring to
"But not new form'd-she shews them as
"She moulds no character; but gives the light,
Of late years she declined all evening parties, nor did she see any company except ladies, and that only at her own house. One morning in the week, Mrs, Cowley was at home to her female friends, and was visited by a crowd; it was a morning rout, if that term be applicable to an assemblage without card playing.
Her life was closed with the utmost de gree of religious cheerfulness.
A perfect edition of her works has never yet been published, but will now appear; and by the public will be well received. Where, in a publication of the same extent, will a reader find more entertainment?
SPORTS AND PASTIMES USED IN TIMES OF OLD IN LONDON. [Continued from Page 86.]
Or triumphant shews made by the citizeus of London, ye may read in 1236, in the reign of Henry the Third, Andrew Bockell then being mayor, how Eleanor daughter to Raymond Earl of Provence, riding through the city towards Westminster, there to be crowned Queen of England, the city was adorned with silks, and in the night with lamps, cressets, and other lights without number, besides many pageants and strange devices there presented; the citizens also rode to meet the King and Queen clothed in long garments esbroidered about with gold, and silks of divers colours,|| their horses gallantly trapped to the number of three hundred and six, every man bearing a cup of gold or silver in his hand, and the King's trumpeters before them. These citizens did minister wine as butlers, which is their service at the coronation.
"In the year 1998, for victory obtained by Edward I. against the Scots, every company,, according to their several trade, made their several shew; but especially the Fishmongers, which in a solemn procession passed through the city, having, amongst other pageants and showes, four sturgeons gilt, carried on four horses, and then four salmonds on silver, on four horses; and after them five-and-forty armed knights riding on horses made like luces of the sea, and then one representing Saint Magnes, because it was Saint Magnes' day, with a thousand horsemen.
him, at some distance, one stately attired like
"Another shew, in the year 1377, made by the citizens for disport of the young Prince Richard, son to the Black Prince, on the feast of Christmas, and in this manner:-On the Sunday before Candlemas, in the night, one hundred and thirty citizens, disguised and well mounted in a mummery, with sound of trumpets, sackbuts, cornets, shalmes and other minstrels, and innumerable torch lights, rode from Newgate through Cheape, over the bridge, through Southwark, and so on to Kennington beside Lambeth, where the young Prince remained with his mother, and the Duke of Lancaster his uncle, with divers other lords.
"In the first rank did ride forty-eight in the likeness of esquires, two and two together, clothed in red coats and gowns of say or tindall, with comely visors on their faces; after them came riding forty-eight knights, in the same livery of colour and stuff; then followed || one richly arrayed like an Emperor, and after
Lord of Misrule at Christmas-Tempest of thunder and lightning.-Twisted trees in the week before Easter.-May games.-Robin Hood and his men shoot before the King.
"Thus much for sportful shews in triumphs may suffice; now for sports and pastimes yearly used. First, on the feast of Christmas there was in the king's house, wheresoever ke lodged, a lord of misrule, or master of merry disports, and the like had they in the house of every nobleman, gentleman, or man of godly worship, were he spiritual or temporal; amongst which was the mayor of London, and the sheriffs also had their lords of misrule. Ever contending, without quarrel or offence, who should make the rarest pastimes to delight the beholders. These lords beginning their rule on Allhallow's eve, continued the same till the morrow after the feast of the Parification, commonly called Candlemas day. In all which space there were many subtile disguises, masks, and mummeries, with playing at cards for counters, more for pastime than for gain.
"Against the feast of Christmas every manse house, as also their parish churches, were decked with holm, ivy, bays, and whatsoever the season of the year afforded to be green; the conduits and standards in the streets were