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rants, he was for committing to prison every drunken fellow who might abuse the church, or d-n the King over his porter, and encouraging, if not cheering, the loyal mobs that were pulling down the houses of republicans and dis
This strange combination * of retrospective patriotism, and actual servility, furnished Sayers with abundant satire at the expense of the alder
In allusion to the hour, which this worthy devoted in each day to his studies, he remarked, that Mr. Alderman B was right as far had read; but his intellect had gone down at that point, and like a watch that had stopped, became right only once in twenty-four hours.
Amongst other eccentric frequenters of the
* Burke, in one of his early tracts, seems to have had in view this sort of character. “ We are very uncorrupt and tolerably enlightened judges of past ages, where no passions deceive, and the whole train of circumstances, from the trifling cause to the tragical event, is set before
Few are the partisans of departed tyranny; and to be a Wbig on the business of an hundred years ago, is very consistent with every advantage of present servility."--Thoughts on the Present Discontents, 1768.
Hole-in-the-Wall, was Ozias Linley, a minor canon of the cathedral, and Sheridan's brotherin-law. He was subject, beyond any one living, to fits of absence. He out-Parson-Adamized Parson Adams. He was a travesti of the Cambridge George Harvest, of whom Jortin has so many good anecdotes. One Sunday morning, as he was riding through the Close, on his way to serve his curacy, his horse threw off a shoe. A lady, whom he had just passed, having remarked it, called out to him, Sir, your horse has just cast one of his shoes." " Thank you, Madam,” returned Ozias, “will you then be kind enough to put it on ?" In preaching, he often turned over two or three pages at once of his sermon; and, when an universal titter and stare convinced him of the transition, he observed coolly—“I find I have omitted a considerable part of my sermon, but it is not worth going back for," and then went on to the conclusion.
Upon another occasion, having dismounted in the course of his journey, for the purpose of exercise, he hung his horse's bridle on his arm, concluding that he would follow; but the bridle had been put on carelessly, and the animal having disengaged it from his head, began to brouze very comfortably, and at his leisure. In the meanwhile, Linley walked on, the bridle still on his arm, to a turnpike-gate, where he offered the usual payment for his horse. The man seeing no horse, but only a bridle, began staring at the poor canon, whom he took for a maniac; and it was several minutes, before Linley would suffer himself to be convinced, that it was only a bridle that he had in his hand, and that his horse was not following
In his more vernal days, Hudson Gurney* was wont to solace himself in the snug Club-Room of the Hole-in-the-Wall, and to bask in the sunshine of Sayers's festive conversation. His own heart, too, at that time, beat high with frolic and hilarity. Hudson's was, from his earliest prime, a clear, distinguishing intellect. He was an elegantly-read man; and his poetry, no fragment of which is in print, except his admirable translation of the Cupid and Psyche of Apuleius
* M. P. for Newport, Isle of Wight.
into English verse, was by no means of a secondary kind. Nursed from childhood in the lap of Fortune, nothing has ever been more foreign from his nature than the usual capriciousness, and waywardness, peculiar to her spoiled children. His wealth is chiefly expended upon the luxuries of the heart; in raising the fallen; in comforting the afflicted : and never was one sullen or fitful vapour of spleen or unkindness observed to shadow, even for a moment, the shining, unyaried disk of his benevolence. But I must stop. There is not space here for the anthology of his virtues.
There, too, William Taylor smoked his evening pipe, and lost himself in the cloudier fumes of German metaphysics, and German philology. Taylor's translation of Bürger's Leonora will, probably, survive the original. His reading was unlimited; but it principally consisted of books that were not readable. His most amusing quality, however, (and it was that which kept an undying grin upon the laughter-loving face of Sayers) was his everlasting love of hypothesis ; and it was impossible to withstand the impertur. bable gravity with which he put forth his wild German paradoxes, fresh from the mint of Weimar and Leipsig.
How he made the Club stare, as he proved to them that Stonehenge, on Salisbury Plain, consisted of immense hail-stones, that fell there in a storm 2000 years ago, and became petrified by · long exposure to the air ! How gravely, and as if from the purest conviction, did he assert that Norgate's mind (a gentleman who had taken a house in the Close), by the certain laws of mental pathology, had become enlarged from the time that he had lived near the cathedral, and expanded from habitual contemplation of the massy pile within his view! How sincerely and unaffectedly—(not as a sophist, or a paradox-monger, who draws a complacency from his own ingenuity in defending his own absurdities, but in right earnest) - did he prove to the thorough dissatisfaction of those who knew not how to confute him, and to the unspeakable amusement of those who thought it not worth their while,--and that too, by a chemical analysis of colours, and the processes by which animal heat and organic structure affect them,-that the first race of