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Amid the softly sighing breeze,
Amid the tempest's roar,
Its melody to pour.
'Tis heard when on the burning earth
The sun shines from the sky ;
The moon rides silently.
From mossy bank, from shady brake,
From tree and bubbling spring,
In gentle whispering.
Nor hymns his Maker's praise,
A WORD WITH OUR COMIC CORRE
It is a hard task setting sensibly to work to find fault with what provokes us not-except to laughter. It is hard to assume the frown, while the smile, spite of our stern intentions, lingers about the corners of our mouth. Hard or not, however, the task must be accomplished; we must hold our handkerchief before before the latter organ, and proceed :
Frown the first, then, will be directed against a wretch who, under cover of an envelope and of the pen of a comic writer, (which style seems in these days to be a sort of pass-word to any amount of scurrility) has ventured to address the Editor of the Eton School MAGAZINE,“ entirely the production,” &c. (see title-page,) by the flattering appellation of “ Driver of a certain Bus :" thereby implying a likeness to exist between the said enlightened publication, and a vulgar, rattling, heterogeneous, four-wheeled, three-lettered (for he uses the abbreviated form) twohorsed conveyance. Does he intend the contributors for horses then ? If so, let the Editor harness himself on for a week or so, and, procuring a new lash for his whip: see if this self-created horse cannot contri. bute in some degree, by constant work and whipping, to the wear and tear of the vehicle, of which his own brain is the coach-maker. But we had better allow our readers to form their own opinion of the atrocity of this unprovoked attack, by laying before them the weapon by which it was effected.
To the Editor of the Eton MAGAZINE.
Sir, As I understand you to be the driver of a certain “ Bus" called the “ETON MAGAZINE,” which went confessedly rather slow on its last journey, chiefly I presume through the driver not having put on any of his own staunch horses to go up the hills (which it is hoped will not happen again,) I send you an article, which I hope, if it is booked, will not, at any rate, cause it to travel heavier ; understanding that you are also licensed to carry foreign contributions. As you must be a far better judge than I, as to what weight of luggage your conveyance will take safely and comfortably, I will say no more about it, except that, although I hope it will not be easily smashed like glass, it would be as well to prop it up tolerably, as it may
be a little top-heavy. Understanding also that you like to know whose Articles you are carrying, I have enclosed my name, which I trust you will not in any case make public, as the sort of vases you take charge of, being of a more delicate workmanship than the common matter-offact hardware of the present day, are apt to be too roughly handled. Should you condescend to deliver this parcel for me safely, I may perhaps be induced to intrust another to your careful convoy upon some future opportunity.
Our friend has omitted among the directions as to the conveyance of his goods, the usual one of “To be kept dry ;" perhaps he had discernment enough to perceive that it was needless.
But the mention of the word brings to our mind another letter, the exact reverse of dry, being evidently addressed to the Editor from one of the aquatic fraternity ; indeed the very ink runs with the dampness communicated to the paper by the matter impressed upon it. It runs thus
Dear Sir, I have ventured to write to you, as being the steerer of a certain crew entitled the ETON MAGAZINE, which by your own excellent coaching, and by the assistance of a capital boat, and favourable stream, has now acquired a tolerable pace and style, although several crabs have been cut by various members of it, and especially in your second time of practising, which, owing to the absence of the stroke, was decidedly a lame performance. If at any time you should be in want of any one to take an oar, and if you think I can keep stroke, pray put me somewhere in the bows, and I will not shuffle.
υπηρέτης. . P.S. I do not mind which side I row.
We were extremely glad to receive this letter, insomuch as it proved to us that the Aquatics are not so utterly incapacitated for all literary pursuits as we supposed they would be, in consequence of the late prevailing epidemic, which has so disastrously attacked them. In case any one should be so blind to passing events, as to be ignorant of the disease to which we have been alluding, we think it our duty to make a sort of exposition of it. And why should not the plague of Eton have its Thucydides, as well as that of Athens ?
Wise men have differed considerably as to the origin of this disorder ; but, setting aside the rest, we will confine ourselves to the two opinions which appear to us the most plausible. The first is, then, that the infection was caught from a swarm of flies, which frequent the town of Windsor, and by which the Aquatics were at one time very much taken ; which fancy led vice versá to their being very much taken by the aquatics : but whether we are to understand the word flies as insects, or vehicles, is another point of dispute, into which we have no present intention of entering. The second and more probable opinion, according to some, is, that the pestilence arose from a malaria left by the late floods ; and this seems more satisfactorily to account for the limited nature of the malady, insomuch as it has only attacked those from whose element it proceeded.
But whatever may be the causes, the effects are almost too evident to require explanation, The disease in all cases made its chief seat in the coats of its victims, which soon began to grow languid and seedy under its influence. Nor could any other remedy be found, except the extreme measure of amputating the slow and diseased part; after which a rapid recovery and a fresh gloss of health succeeded, the whole being accomplished in the fastest manner possible. From the circumstance of the amputation, those coats which passed the disorder are, we believe, called “cut-aways."
Such then are the general facts relating to this pest, which has had such a rapid effect in giving a new turn to so many of the coats of this place. How much further its ravages may extend, it is impossible to say : but it is evident that it is not yet wholly exterminated, and that its seeds are still lingering about the angles of more than one coat in the School.