Imágenes de páginas

Long time this sconce a helmet wore,-
But sickness smites the conscience sore ;
He broke his sword, and hither bore

His gear and plunder,
Took to the cowl,—then raved and swore

At his damn'd blunder !
This lily-colour'd skull, with all
The teeth complete, so white and small,
Belong’d to one whose early pall

A lover shaded ;
He died ere superstition's gail

His heart invaded. Ha! here is “undivulged crime!” Despair forbad his soul to climb Beyond this world, this mortal time

Of sever'd sadness,
Until their monkish pantomime

Dazzled his madness.
A younger brother this,-a man
Aspiring as a Tartar Khan,
But, curb’d and based, he began

The trade of frightening ;
It smack'd of power!—and here he ran

To deal Heaven's lightning.
This idiot-skull belong’d to one,
A buried miser's only son,
Who penitent, ere he 'd begun

To taste of pleasure,
And hoping Heaven's dread wrath to shun,

Gave Hell his treasure.
Here is the forehead of an ape,
A robber's mark, -and near the nape
That bone, fie on 't! bears just the shape

Of carnal passion ;
Ah! he was one for thest and rape,

In monkish fashion.
This was the porter! he could sing,
Or dance, or play, do any thing,
And what the friars bade him bring

They ne'er were balk'd of,
Matters not worth remembering,

And seldom talk'd of.
Enough! why need I farther pore?
This corner holds at least a score,
And yonder twice as many more

Of reverend brothers : "Tis the same story o’er and o'er,

They ’re like the others.

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« Nlum omnis tectis agrisque effusa juventus
Turbaque miratur matrum, et prospectat cuntem

Attonitis inhians animis." There appears to be no reason drawn from either physiology or analogy, why the most astonishing powers of intellect, the soundest sense, the most luxuriant imagination, should not take


their abode in those abridgments of human nature, called Dwarfs. Even were we so unhappy as to yield our assent to the startling and humiliating propositions," that medullary substance is capable of sensation and thought," " that the phenomena of mind result entirely from bodily structure," and " that Shakspeare's and Newton's superiority consisted only in having an extra inch of brain in the right place,” we might still stand up in support of the mental capabilities of the pigmy race. Messrs. Lawrence, Spurzheim, &c. must confess, that the brain of a Dwarf bears, at least, the same proportion to the weight of his whole body as that of a full-grown man, and, in many instances, a much larger, if we were permitted to judge from the size of the casket which contains it. Large heads, however, are almost proverbially indicative of small brains; and those little beings whose Lilliputian character has been stamped, not by injury prior or subsequent to birth, but by the finger of Nature herself, are often beautifully proportioned in every respect, perfect and pleasing miniatures of the human animal. If, from speculating on the possibility of having dwarf statesmen, philosophers, and poets, we proceed to inquire into the results of actual experience, we shall indeed find less reason to expect a Locke thirty inches high, or an epic poem written by fingers no thicker than a goose-quill. Among all those human toys that have at different times amused Romans and children, carried knights' shields, and ladies' loveletters, told monarchs unpalatable truths, and danced hornpipes upon tables, we cannot remember one distinguished by higher mental powers than were sufficient to produce a timely jest or smart repartee, while numbers of the dwarfish tribe have ranked yet lower in the scale of intellect. Genius, indeed, would be no compensation for tiny stature; on the contrary, it would considerably aggravate the misfortune of personal singularity. That acute sensibility, that proud consciousness of superiority, which usually accompany strong mental powers, would for ever torment and distress the tenant of a ridiculously small body: he would be angered by the coaxing tone of familiarity which it is scarcely possible to avoid when addressing a little creature of childish proportions, he would indignantly spurn the privileges to which diminutive size could alone entitle him, and perhaps reject the proffered kiss of rank and beauty, which would not be offered were he three feet taller, and which, if three feet taller, he would consider worth an age of homage and exertion,-a guerdon, “ Tal che nel fuoco faria l'uom felice."

The pointing finger of vulgar astonishment would outweigh the applause of the learned, and wreaths of bay and laurel would not console him for the impossibility of walking through a town without a troop of rude gazers at his heels.) Better, happier is it for Dwarfs,



that instead of being wise, they are vain; that they are generally great admirers of their own curious little figures, amused by dressing and decorating them, and inclined, like a conceited woman, preposterously attired, to mistake the stare of astonishment for that of admiration. On the score of intellect they feel equally comfortable: every thing they say is listened to with attention, and its merit, by an almost unavoidable mistake, magnified by the smallness of their stature. Compliments, witticisms, and remarks, which would be considered very commonplace if they issued from a mouth five feet from the ground, are highly applauded when they proceed from one at half the distance.

Indeed, in our opinion, there is a set of very short men who are more pitiable and unhappy than the race of undoubted Dwarfs, who possess almost all the inconveniencies without the advantages of real pigmies; who are stared at and quizzed, without being fondled and Aattered ; who are too short for the army or navy, the pulpit or the bar, and yet too tall to be shewn for sights, or pensioned by monarchs ; who are a foot too low to obtain kisses of affection, and a foot too high for those of compassion.

The Count Boruwlaski, of whom every one has heard, has given his memoirs to the world, a singular specimen of pigmy auto-biography, from which considerable entertainment might be expected. They are preceded by an eulogy from the pen of one of his friends, who affirms that “ Nature has endowed the Count with a mind superior to the generality of men,” and that having "seen much of mankind in various stations of life, though considered more as a plaything than a companion, he had omitted no opportunity of making remarks.” On perusing the book, we confess ourselves unable to discover any proof of either of these assertions : we see no glimpses of superior mind, we find no traces of a habit of observation. No one would be disposed to judge harshly the composition of a Dwarf and a foreigner, whose education was neglected, and who reprints and continues his memoirs (for we believe they have been previously published abroad) at a very advanced age; but the question of his superior intellect is one of peculiar interest, it would form an isolated and curious fact in the history of man, and will now be decided by the test by which authors are tried, a test tolerably accurate, their own writings. The Count Boruwlaski was a great traveller, he visited nearly the whole of Europe, and a considerable part of Asia ; his pecuniary circumstances opened the middle and lower classes to his inspection, while his size admitted him into palaces, and introduced him to the most distinguished characters; yet we hear nothing new or entertaining of either persons or places, and the compliments and repartees which gained him rings and caresses, appear to lose all their merit when transferred to paper. Neither have we any particulars as to the workings of his own mind under the circumstances of his very peculiar fate; and over the most interesting relations of his life, he has thrown a veil of pride, of prudence, or of delicacy, at once tantalizing and impolitic, which provokes the curiosity it refuses to gratify, and occasions suspicions and conjectures for which there may possibly be no foundation.

His days appear to have glided on, if not in a very happy, in a very similar manner, without any of the fatal celebrity which attended Jef

fery Hudson, the Dwarf of whom England makes her boast. This curious little creature was born in 1619 at Oakham, in Rutlandshire, as a compliment, we suppose, to the size of the county. At seven years old he was eighteen inches high, and continued in all the preeminence of this extraordinary elevation till the age of thirty, when he shot up to the comparatively gigantic stature of three feet nine inches. By his fair mistress, Henrietta Maria, this progressive increase must have been watched with unmixed vexation; while Jeffery himself was perhaps divided between his love of consequence and his dislike of ridicule, between his desire of escaping the jests and insults of the courtiers and attendants, and his fear of losing the perquisites and privileges of Dwarf to the Queen. He stopped, however, far below the height where wonder ends and insignificance begins, revelled in former favour, and fretted under former scoffs. His introduction to her Majesty was curiously managed. He was served up in a cold pie at an entertainment given by the Duke of Buckingham to Charles I. and his Queen soon after their marriage, and presented to Henrietta Maria by the Duchess, his former Mistress. Royal favour and caresses gave him high notions of his own importance, and thus, increasing the natural waspishness of his disposition, rendered him little able to bear with patience the inevitable consequences of his pigmy stature; and he was once so provoked by a young gentleman named Crofts, that he immediately sent him a challenge. His antagonist, in contemptuous wantonness, came to the appointment armed with a squirt, which so angered the Lilliputian that a duel absolutely ensued. It has been said, in defence of that honourable system of deliberate murder called duelling, that it is the only security men of inferior stature possess from the insolence of brutal strength; and that it may fully answer this purpose was fatally proved by the event of this extraordinary contest. The parties met on horseback, and armed with pistols, in order to equalize, as much as possible, their advantages. The Dwarf fired, and Mr. Crofts fell dead at his feet. Nor was this the only important ad. venture of Jeffery's life. He was once taken prisoner by the Dunkirkers on his return from France, whither he had been to fetch a midwife for the Queen; and again, on another occasion, he became the captive of a Turkish pirate. He followed his mistress when she took refuge in France, and returned with her at the Restoration; and at length, in 1682, being suspected of a concern in the Popish plot, was imprisoned in the Gatehouse, Westminster, where he died soon afterwards, in the 63d year of his age.

Count Boruwlaski, both from his own memoirs, and from common report, appears in a much more advantageous light than his English rival; and, while we doubt the superiority of his intellect, we readily credit all that has been said of the kindliness of his disposition, of his gratitude, his vivacity, and we can ourselves speak to the gentlemanly, the courtly polish of his manners.

He was born in Polish Russia, the son of a gentleman of respectability, who, dying early in life, left his widow and family in straitened circumstances. The Count's parents were both of middle height, and had six children alternately tail and short, three shooting into manly proportions, while the rest kept each other in countenance as Dwarfs. One of the Count's brothers, six feet four in height, was of a very delicate constitution, while the little gentleman himself, born at the almost invisible size of eight inches, and taking thirty years to accomplish his ultimate elevation of three feet three, and his eldest brother, who was only three inches taller, enjoyed robust health, and in infancy gave their mother no greater trouble than, one may suppose, must always be occasioned by children of the Tom Thumb species, who may be drowned in a basin of milk, trodden to death by a cat, concealed in the folds of a rumpled pocket-handkerchief, lost in a bed of spinage, and carried away in a lady's reticule. We may remark, en passant, that dwarfs are, in general, superior to giants, both in health and longevity, which appears to overthrow the hypothesis of Adam's having exceeded the present race of men in stature, as in age. Surely, as man approached nearer to those dimensions which belonged to him in the energy and freshness of recent creation, his physical powers would be more likely to improve than to deteriorate, and his life to approximate more closely to antediluvian length.

The Count was taken from his mother by her friend, the Starostin de Caorlix, and, on that lady's second marriage, passed into the favour of the Countess Humiecka, of distinguished family, rank, and beauty. With her he travelled through a considerable part of Europe, his size every where procuring him much attention and many privileges. Even the jealousy of a Turkish Pasha found no food for suspicion in his diminutive person, and Joujou (as the Count was then called) was admitted into the innermost apartments of a seraglio. He was clasped in the arms, and seated on the lap of Maria Theresa, who placed on his tiny finger a ring drawn from the hand of the unfortunate Marie Antoinette, then only six years old. At Luneville he was honoured by the notice of Stanislaus, the titular King of Poland, at whose court he was introduced to one of his fraternity, in the person of the renowned Bebe, dwarf to that monarch. Joujou, however, on being measured with his rival, had the proud satisfaction of finding himself three inches the superior in littleness, but in mental stature he far surpassed Bebe, whose understanding was little beyond the intelligence of a well-taught pointer. At Paris Joujou was most kindly received. M. Bouret, the farmer-general, gave him an entertainment, at which all the plates, knives, forks, &c. were proportioned to the size of his guest, and the eatables were ortolans, beccaficos, and other dainties of Lilliputian dimensions. It was this Bouret who, having invited some person of distinction to dine with him early in the spring, treated him with peas at a guinea a quart. The following year, at the same season, the visitor received a second invitation, and begged M. Bouret not to purchase peas again at this exorbitant price, as he could make a very good dinner without them. His host bowed in acquiescence, and the first thing his guest saw on entering M. Bouret's grounds, was a red cow feasting on a pailfull of the dainty vegetables he had refused.

From Paris the Countess Humiecka repaired to Holland, while Joujou sequitur-non passibus æquis," and from thence to Warsaw, the capital of their native country.

Here the Count Boruwlaski, by his own con

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