« AnteriorContinuar »
a literal transcript of their sentiments and expressions. If, therefore, a inember was guilty of uttering thoughts too full of wisdom to satisfy his constituents, his crime was registered, and he must counteract the evil impression which his philosophy had created against him, by putting on a more antic habit than it would be pleasant to wear until the dissolution of parliament rendered it indispensable.
It may be objected to this interpretation, that no such allegories, as those of which I make mention, have been devised with reference to the British House of Commons, and that what has not taken place here, was not likely to occur in Greece. To this objection I have three answers to give, which, it they do not satisfy my reader, have at least the merit of satisfying and gratilying myself. First---The senators of ancient times may have been of different characters from those which it is our glory to contemplate; and may have been more likely to awaken feelings of reverence in which they would be regarded as beings of a superior order. Secondly,---the nature of the assemblies is of a different kind now, from what it was when the legislators of old time assembled on Olympus--- The meetings were then held with closed doors, and there was no immediate and visible demand for any thing, but good sense, and good language---Now, in our House, no member knows that his constituents are not within hearing, and, therefore, every man feels himself called upon to sustain that character in virtue of which he holds his scat, and its attendant advantages. And in the third place ---if a member now, whose calling does not allow of wisdom or eloquence, happens, for a moment, to forget himself, the injury he suffers is of only a temporary nature, tor our reporters rectify the mistake--- They make the speech pass through proper strainers, and communicate to the public, nothing, but what suits the character which the speecher is bound to sustain as the representative of the intellect of his constituents.
This third difference between the assemblies of ancient and modern times would be sufficieut, if there were no other reason, to explain why an allegory, invented to describe the senate of ancient Greece, might not be applicable to the British House of Commons. The reporters for our House apply themselves to the sentiments expressed, rather than to the form of language in which they are delivered, and they deal out, through the press, so much as suits their own purposes, and as the public taste requires. This is a controul over members of parliament very gratifying to the popular spirit; the member has his hour at night; he may strut and fret in the assembly where he is excited, and before the spectators in the gallery towards whom
may for the time, seem to feel indifference; but the reporter's turn comes in the morning, and as he weighs the speaker in his balance, so the pub. Jic form their estimate. He sits during the night most unostentatiously on his obscure tribunal in all the consciousness of power, though without the e signs of authority, and exercises over every creature, which it pleases him to honor win a local habition and a name, a right of shaping and transformning, from which, in general, there is no appeal. Wiih respect 10 many speakers, he is as the manufacturer to him who furnishes the raw material; with respect to others, he is a fashioner, who softens down all such attributes, as might separate the orator too far from the people, and revive again those allegories of the older time; and for the whole House, he is a wise interpreter who renders it unnecessary for any member to be more accomodating to the follies of his constituents at the approach of a dissolution, than be has been during the sitting of parliamcat.
The followiny verses were occasioned by u recent and awful event at Clonmell.
The timid deer shall ponder,
Nor of tby waters drink, And doubting, fear to wander
Beside thy treacherous brink.
Two fond and beauteous lovers
Tby sloping margin grace ; The moon's soft beams discovers
Each mark'd and lovely face.
That witness in the heaven,
They choose to hear their vow, And plight each promise given
Beneath her crescent brow.
She witnessed well their meeting,
And lit their guileless way; Aud shone upon their greeting --
And then she pass'd away.
300 like a friend long cherish'd,
That fails in Lour of need; In beams and brightness nourished,
Can want nor sorrow heed.
Who now shall wake that beauty,
That floats along the tide, Or rouse to love or duty
That soldier by her side ?
0! who shall still the bearing
That bursts a mother's heart,
And one glad ray impart!
No voice is heard consoling.-
Her child, she rainly cries;
One weeping drop denies.
And laughter wild is mocking
That anguish'd parent's breast,
She lulls her dear to rest.
and settles oft the pillow --
Then sings her fancied strain,.--
Her child shall come again.--
With graceful flowers entwining,
She wreathes the willow bough,
To deck her idol's brow.
That brow Deeds no adorning--
The lily's leaf is there ;
But O! more cold and fair!
KILLARNEY DURING THE RACES,
Thursday, 29th June. Killarney, as a town, possesses nothing attractive to the eyes of a stranger;—nothing that would suggest to his mind, its vicinity to the most picturesqe and varied scenery that Nature in her most prodigal moments ever united in one circle. There are no large and spacious hotels, that would remind the English visitor it was the occasional resort of the wealthier inhabitants of his more fortunate Isle. There are no professional ciceroni that would tell the Continental stranger, he was near some favoured spot, where eloquent practitioners traded on the curiosity of others. appears to have been built in its present site, not in consequence of the scenery which surrounds it, -not in contemplation of deriving, like Cheltenham, Harrowgate, &c.; support from exorbitant contributions on summer visitors. All the houses appear to have been erected solely for the convenience of its permanent inhabitants, who, with the exception of a few jolly blades that quaff constantly their “ mountain dew" under the shade of the Arbutas, never but at Fashion's call, enjoy the beauties of their incomparable Lake. The higher class, are however, a cultivated and hospitable people, particularly attentive to the stranger, who will find no difficulty in being introduced to the coteries of the New-Street &c; provided he interferes not with the little private teatable talk which divides and distracts themselves ;-provided he patronizes not one club in preference to the other; is courteous to all, and is a “Liberal” in Irish politics ;---there is no town in Europe where he can more completely enjoy otium cum dignitate, in the true sense of that classic phrase.- Were I allowed to indulge a hope of being enabled at some future period, to quit the toils and retire from the anxieties of a thankless profession, which, while it offers no prospect of eminence and wealth, totally absorbs at once my attention and my time, I would turn to Killarney and seek for seclusion in the bosom of its mountains.—T'he lakes of Scotland, with all the romance in which they are enveloped by the magic wand of the northern Ariosto,—Como and Lago Maggiore, embosomed in Alpine heights, in a favoured clime and in classic land, -Cumberland lakes, in the midst of a rich, prosperous and frequented country,-Leman, with Mont Blanc in view, and Byron for its bard ;-none, none possess the attractions of Erin's boast, sweet LoughLeane.- Were it transplanted to any other corner of Europe, even amidst intolerant Turks;-were it surrounded by any recollections but those which Irish lore has shed around it,-it would be visited by pilgrims from every quarter, and we should have our own Moore abusing in rich satiric rhyme,
“ Those cursed round English faces" to be met at its borders, unsuiting the wild and romantic irregularity of its appearance; we should have the fine imagination of Byron sojourning amidst its Isles, and the luxuriant fancy of Erin's bard fleeting o'er its waters.—But alas ! it is one of the sad anomalies of Ireland, that here Nature too, is disregarded, and, though she is presented in her most beauteous forms, and is glowing in her brightest radiance, man does not exhibit towards her that profound and rapturous worship she so abundantly receives elsewhere :---Oh man! man! thou creature of impulse, and victim of caprice, thoa machine that's guided by any band bold enough to touch thee,--- I could, like the Grecian philosopher, weep for thy follies, I shall not, like Heraclitus, sneer at thy absurdities.
Even at the present moment when there are so many new and peculiar excitements connected with the favoured spot---when independant of those lovely attractions in which nature is robed, ---there exist other inducements more likely to bring together the lovers of the turf, and to summon from all parts the rambling votaries of pleasure ;---when, in short, the Killarney Races are about to commence for the first time, got up on a scale of splendour and liberality worthy of the noble patrons who have come forward in their support, and truly characteristic of those spirited individuals who have been active in their promotion ; even at such a moment we do not observe in the town all that busy stir, and bustling preparation, apparently so aimless, Het really so indicative of purpose, and containing in itself so much substantial enjoyment.--a scene which is so obvious and familiar elsewhere.
Many an honest landlady who had fitted up her lodgings for the reception of those fashionables, who, in her delusive dreams, she foresaw were to honour Killarney at the races, now sighs over the expenses she has incurred, and sinks under the destruction of those hopes of emolument with which she had fed her imagination.---The melancholy notification, “ apartments to be let”, still figures at many a window, and though the first day of this eventsul meeting is to be ushered in by to-morrow's sun, yet, Killarney does not seem so crowded as I had fondly anticipated.---Limerick has not sent her lovely daughters--- nor the Curragh many sporting friends ;--England no fashionables ---and Cork, but a few idlers. "What is the cause of this disappointment? Is it that the world is determined to offer no encouragement to any exertion directed to promote the amusements or improve the condition of our neglected people? Is it that fashion has not yet impressed its stamp on the infant gaieties and venerable attractions of Killarney to give them current repute amongst those submissive adherents, who at her command would patronise the wilds of Yorkshire, or dissipate their wealth in the monotonous quiet of southern France ? No; I would fain think another and a stronger reason is to be found, in the unpropitious period at which the dissolution of the late Parliament took place; which by directing the attention of every country, shire, town and borough, in the Empire, each to its particular interests, and, by turning the stream of men's ideas into the sea of politics, has removed for the moment every consideration of amusement, and the whole energies of the mind are concentrated in the exciting focus of contested elections.---Kerry, too, by the disastrous occurrence that took place last sunday in Tralee, is in a state of alarming ferment, and all the unhappy results of a desperate struggle, are palpably and distinctly in prospect, when the election re-commences. Under those concurring circumstances, it is not perhaps altogether surprising, that the Races should not be by any means so well attended as I had expected. However, from the preparations that have been made to meet the convenience of all---from the agreeable society which exists amongst the respectable circles in and near Killarney, and from the determination evinced to be gay and good humoured, I do hope to spend a few days of rational enjoyment.
Friday, 30th June.----Long before I had shaken off the dominion of the drowsy god, the morning sun already scattered those clouds which the preceding evening, with awful threatening, had thrown o'er the mountains, and Nature appeared to welcome the approaching meeting with gladdened smiles and auspicious animation. O'Donoghue seemed also pleased at an undertaking which added to the enchanting beauties of his demesnes---for all around was tranquil and serene. A stream of the friezed population was observed at an early hour flowing towards the Course, and, before twelve, all the greased axles and antiattrition-wheels in Killarney were in full operation.
The Course iş most delightfully situated about two miles on the Donloe road on the borders of the Lake; and surrounded by an amphitheatre of hills, which, by their irregularity of formation-to the south and west, terminating in elevated peaks, and presenting to the view a very marked and serrated outline in the north, rounded off like a Titan's grave, and to the east, sloping in wooded declivities; create a pleasing bewilderment in the mind. Directly before us, the Lake displays its silvery bosom in wide expanse, giving an extensive prospect of its isles, its cottages and its wood