« AnteriorContinuar »
Rememb'ring him who gave it, from their sins
He spake, and at his bidding Michael From out the heav'nly orders, where he stood Succinct for flight, advanc'd ; and first, as wont The ministers of heav'n, ere on their high Commissions they set forth, before the throne In sign of acquiescence bow'd, then spread His starry wings, and through the pure white air Of Heav'n pursu'd his flight; him all the host Follow'd with acclamation, and sweet sound Of praises to their God; till at the gates
Arriv'd, the crystal gates, self-op'ning gave
After sad thought) lay stretch'd ; amidst them lay
vengeance for his violated fane
* The concluding lines bear marks of interpolation,
PERIBH the Coxcomb who united first
Of Scottish story hath embalmed so well.
THERE is a MYSTERY about this, the Fifth Number of our invaluable Work, which must invest it with an immense interest (if any interest were wanting to mark those æras in literature which are created by our periodical appearance)-an interest which has excited the reading world to a greater extent than any circumstance whatever since the suppression of the celebrated 66 Book."
We cannot, at this moment, presume to solve this mystery: but we may venture to affirm, that the circumstances which have delayed the publication of this Number, will have conferred upon mankind the benefit of reading the narrative we are about to write, of one of the most singularly agreeable and important meetings that has ever been held in this age of public dinners, with the exception of the anniversaries of the Literary Fund, and of the worshipful society of the Licensed Victuallers.
There are none living but those enlightened few, who possess not only the soul of an Editor, but his thews and șinews,—his powers of enduring both exhaustion and repletion—his capacity to struggle against a foul proof and a fair invitation-his ability to grapple with a burning thought and a cool tankard—there are none but these who can understand the joy of reading the last revise of a work so elaborate and so varied as the Quarterly Magazine. We must, however, in justice to our worthy contributors, state that our labours are very much lightened by the excellence of their calligraphy. With one exception, that shall be nameless, each writes
"A fair hand
Fit for a secretary." We know that there is a ridiculous opinion afloat in the world, that all men of genius are execrable scribblers. This is just as absurd a notion as that all men of genius are of irregular habits. For the refutation of the one theory we have only to look at the types of Burke and Porson, and of the other at the lives of Milton and Cowper—but this is supererogation. We never find it necessary to enforce any position illustrative of the characteristics of genius, other than by a reference to our own beloved associates. Who can write ac learer hand, -as clear as Pica itself,—than Mr. Vyvyan Joyeuse, Mr. Edward Haselfoot, or Mr. Hamilton Murray ? Who can be more exemplary in their lives and conversation, and hold themselves more unspotted from the world, than Mr. Gerard Montgomery or Mr. Martin Danvers Heaviside? We are so satisfied of the fact that clever men write legible hands, that if a stray contribution arrive-(thanks to our inflexibility the quantity of this ballast amazingly diminishes,) and the superscription should not be so plain that it might have been decyphered by a postman in Cornwall
, before the invention of national schools, we return it to the unhappy writer forthwith, though he may have learnt his running hand under Mr. Carstairs. In this matter we quite agree with Cobbett, who very properly boasted how much time he had saved through life by burning all letters that he found the slightest difficulty in reading. We hate the fops who practice their free hands on gilt wire-wove; we dismiss them with a very brief audience, in spite of their embossed and scented name-cards. Wretched wights!
“ Think not your verses sterling,
Though with a ruby pen you scrawl.” This is digressive.
We were saying that no combination of mind and matter but that which makes the soul and body of a real Editor, (we do not mean the Editor of such a kickshaw as
66 The European Review, or Mind, and its productions in Britain, France, Italy, Germany, 8-c.”) but a real spick and span Editor of the new school, (not a scissors-and-paste fellow of the old leaven)-We were saying, that none but such a true brother can imagine the almost extra-mundane bliss of reading the last revise. It is possible to conceive of the joy of Baron Trenck, when he breathed the free air, after twenty years vegetation in the donjon-keep of Magdeburgh; or of a toad when he escapes to light, after being enclosed in a chalk-pit since the deluge—but it is not possible to conceive the elasticity, the light-heartedness, the bounding gaiety which we feel, when, for a month at least, our mountain of care is once fairly shoved off. It is the awful responsibility of our station which weighs us down. That is the night-mare which even the morning freshness and the noon-tide glare cannot dissipate: but let us once fairly cast off our load, and not even the Chancellor, when he exchanges his robe and seals for his shooting-jacket and shot-belt, and bags his ten brace instead of “ taking home the papers," can leap hedges, or swim rivers, or get sixty notches, or drink half pints of Champaign, or do any thing, in short, that shews the exuberance of youth and lustihood, half so ardently as ourselves. In such a mood it is a matter of indifference to us whether we shoot London Bridge, or our Aunt Bridget's monkey, or ascend with Mr. Graham into a cloud when the thermometer stands ten degrees below zero, or with Mr. Joyeuse into the brightest heaven of invention,” when the marines stand ten bottles above prudence. In such a mood (alas it only comes once a quarter) “ the world is all before us where to choose," and