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What facts, what species of excuse,
My brother Bore'um will produce,
What case he'll make, and how maintain
His plea of son assault demesne.
Wise as he looks, you may rely on't,
He knows no more than his own client.
'Tis for you, gentlemen, to say
What damage Jolm-a-Gull shall pay;
'Tis in your wisdom, gentlemen, to pull
So wide the purse-strings of this factious Gull,
That he no more may triumph and parade
The streets of Cambridge in a blue cockade," &c. <fcc.
Here follows a grand and solemn peroration, such as may often be heard in a court of justice, and read in the " Times."
Then comes a most graphic and dramatic examination of witnesses. Simon Trout, dissenting minister and schoolmaster, is examined by Mr. Bother'um, and cross-examined by Mr. Bore'um. At first Mr. Trout will speak according to hearsay, what Chubb told him, and Tench; there is no keeping him to what he himself heard and saw, and Bother'um and Bore'um wrangle over him accordingly. At last, in the middle of much rambling, he swears point blank to the assault committed by Gull, and then Bother'um, feeling him to be a dangerous witness, says:—
Both. Come, Sir, we won't detain you. Gull,
You're sure, smote Gudgeon on the skull t
You say you saw Gull bruise and maul him 1
To feast with publicans and sinners!What! was the bludgeon pretty thick 1
Trend. I can not say I saw the stick. Bore. Stay, Sir, I think that you're a teacher!
and so forth; and, in a dextrous cross-examination, he extorts the admission that there had been some provocation, and that it merged into a regular fight. Then we have the medical witness, Dr. Tench, surgeon and apothecary, admirably technical, translating the commonest word into Latin :—
"The fauces in a sad condition,
(The result of the two tweaks)
"But both so joined into conjunction,
The Doctor is dismissed, and Farmer Chubb appears, at first a stolid, stupid witness, from whom it is difficult to extort a word, and who has a mind to break away :—
"My lord, I wishes to be going,
(Lent assizes, I presume !)
Both.. Stay, Mr. Chubb; speak out, Sir, do 1
Did Gull beat Gudgeon 1 Is that true!
I never see'd a prettier fight,
So full of malice like, and spite.
A fair set-to—a boxing bout"!
And then it appears that the schoolmaster had done all he could to promote the affray, and had endeavored to persuade Chubb to act as bottle-holder to one of the parties. Chubb is dismissed, and Bore'um makes a most characteristic defense—cites half-adozen books—upon which Bother'um cites somewhere about a score; they hurl argument against argument, case against case, and get into a prodigious fury. Bore'um vows—
"If all that I've advanced this day Be not good law, my lord, and sound As e'er was broached on legal ground, Soon as to chambers I return All my black-letter books I'll burn.''—
"Hold, hold," (quoth Bother'um) " 'twould be cruel To turn your fixtures into fuel, Those precious tomes with cobwebs spread, Which sleep so peaceful o'er your head;
Ere yet that sentence is decreed 'em,
After which piece of malice both parties suddenly cool down.
Both lovingly agreed at once to draw
Although I am copying from the sixth edition, this pleasant poem is now so scarce, that after a long search in London, I fairly gave up all hopes of succeeding, and only obtained the volume at Bath, the birth-place of the author, who was the son of Christopher Anstey, the well-known writer of the Bath Guide.
The law of this book is said to be excellent. It is recorded of I know not what great legal luminary, that the only poem he ever read in the course of his life was "The Pleader's Guide," and that he had the triumph and satisfaction of discovering a flaw therein.
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.
The representatives of the Anglo-Saxon race across the Atlantic—our cousins I do not know how many degrees removed—have in no way better proved their kindred than by the growing pith and substance of their literature. Of such prose writers as Channing, Norton, Prescott, Ware, Cooper, and Washington Irving, together with the many who, where there are such leaders, are sure to press close upon their footsteps, any country might be proud. But one want they had; and although not particularly fond of pleading guilty to deficiencies of any sort, they confessed it themselves: the want of a great poet. Of elegant versifiers there was no lack. I doubt if, for the fifty years that preceded the'first French revolution, England herself had been better off in the way of smooth and polished rhyme. But they are an ambitious race, these transatlantic kinsmen of ours, commonly called Americans; they like to have the best that can be obtained in every department, and they do not dislike to vaunt of their possessions; and now that their great literary want is supplied in the person of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, they may glorify themselves to their heart's content, certain that every lover of poetry, whether born under the red-cross banner of Queen Victoria, or the stripes and stars of the States, will join the general All Hail!
I do not know a more enviable reputation than Professor Longfellow has won for himself in this country—won too with a rapidity seldom experienced'by our own native poets. The terseness of diction and force of thought delight the old; the grace and melody enchant the young; the unaffected and all-pervading piety satisfy the serious; and a certain slight touch of mysticism carries the imaginative reader fairly off his feet. For my own part, I confess, not only to the being captivated by all these qualities (mysticism excepted), but to the farther fact of yielding to the charm of certain lines, I cannot very well tell why, and walking about the house repeating to myself such figments as this:
"I give the first watch of the night
as if I were still eighteen. I am not sure that this is not as great a proof of the power of the poet as can be given.
In speaking of Professor Longfellow's popularity in England, I refer chiefly to the smaller pieces, which form, however, the larger portion of his collected works. The "Spanish Student," although beautifully written, is too little dramatic, and above all, too Spanish for our national taste; and "Evangeline," with its experiments in English versification, and its strange union of a semi-ideal passion with the most real and positive of all Dutch painting, must be regarded as still upon its trial.
The shorter poems are enough. I would fain have enriched my pages with the "Excelsior" and the "Psalm of Life," but they have been long enough printed to have found their way to many hearths and hearts. I prefer, therefore, quoting from the later volumes, which have only recently become known in England, although I could not resist the temptation of inserting the noble tribute to the painter and the bard, which makes the glory of the stirring lyric on Nuremberg.
In the valley of the Pegnitz, where across broad meadow-lands
Memories of the Middle Ages, when the emperors, rough and bold,
And thy brave and thrifty burghers boasted, in their uncouth rhyme,
In the court-yard of the castle, bound with many an iron band,