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the one ;
man rails, we set it to the account of his disappointment; when innocence complains, we pity the singularity of her case; when the misanthrope scorns, we regret his bile, and think our author very consistent; but the world, the world escapes. Far otherwise is it with the disinterested remark of the ‘fool,' who is privileged to speak, and paid for speaking; whose own comfort is augmented by his severity upon others, and who, like a razor, is valued only as he is sharp.
The banishment of the Duke brings Jaques into his native element. His melancholy is a passion, for no man is happier. He is a thinker. He revels about the woods,
'Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing;' weeps with the poor deer,' scolds about the Duke for his encroachments upon natural liberty, and is as wild in all his actions, and as wise in all he says, as any •fool' could be.
To select Shakspeare's favorite, where all are so favored, is almost presumption ; but we cannot help this conclusion. The most showy characters are not always the greatest favorites with their authors. The most popular productions by no means bear a corresponding interest in their minds, over other, lesser famed, works of the poet and the painter. A little poem, perhaps unnoticed by the great world, shall register the cherished thoughts and private feelings of
a small picture, that the casual observer deems insignificant, shall be a view of the spot where the other first loved —' of the cot where he was born' – by chance, it may be a green mound, with a stone at its head, and trees, and a simple enclosure; there he has spent his whole art, and it is to him more than all the gorgeous drapery and speaking features of his lauded efforts. What the world the most admires, the individual rarely loves, and takes home to his soul, to foster with his secret sympathies, and deify by his private devotions. The mother loves most fondly her deformed child, not because it is deformed or maimed, but not having the world's admiration, shut out from common paths by its hapless lot, it grows faster in those inner qualities, those higher sympathies that bind the souls of men.
The child thus situated has associations, and is happy in interchanges of thoughts and affections with its mother, which the • fair in form' do not know.
From our view of Jaques, we attach great importance to all he says; and if for no other reason, we should do so from his having committed to him the uttering of that little book, multum in parvo, of which we will now quote the introduction :
"All the world's a stage,
His acts being seven ages.' In the conclusion, of our introduction, we would say, that we mean to read this book with curious and attentive eyes; for in its leaf seems to be written the history of man.
* At first, the infant, Muling and puking in the nurse's arms.'
, Thus begins and closes the first chapter of man's history. Why say more, in a book which was to be immortal in its conciseness ? Every mother and father can fill up the outline. It is enough for our author to say, that infancy is a season of helplessness and sickness, of danger and of pain. To get foothold in the world is hard ; to maintain it is labor; and when time has cemented our feet to the rocky soil, to tear asunder the habit of living, is harder still. The infant dies, as it first lived, by a single gasp. The playful boy asks for his hoop and ball, and weeps, as he languishes on his last couch, when he hears the merry shout of his play-fellows beneath his window. He asks to see the sunshine, and longs for the green pastures and the running streams. At some still hour of morning, when the day has settled into soberness, he asks his mother to raise him upon his pillow, that he may lean his head upon her bosom; and so be dies. But there is no illusion, when the man enters the dark valley of the shadow of death. All is real solemnity – an awe that forbids open and violent resistance; but his arms are fastened like a vice around his wife and his children, or his eyes are rivetted upon a lofty goal he had almost reached. But a giant hand unlocks his embrace, and an iron film covers his eyes, and silently and shudderingly he passes,
At its first breath, the infant utters a cry, by which the mother knows she has given birth to a living child. How true a token that it is boru to trouble as the sparks fly upward! Wise Providence, who hast for thy own best purpose appointed sorrow to man while on earth, how kind and beneficent art thou, in beginning this immortal training at the first! The little 'muling' thing! A puke is thy first dose, or was; physic may have improved. This is not all
. Thou art submitted to no gentle rubbing, no questionable bath. Taken from the tender cradle of a mother's care, who has moved in all her ways mindful of her precious burden, and who has already learned to love thee by the pain thou causedst, as she will hereafter delight in thy tiny scratches, and no careful handlings of ber cap and lace, thou art each morn immersed in water from the pump. This will teach thee to bear the cold glances of thy friends, when fortune frowns and they shall look askance at thee; and thou must learn to look calm amid estrangement; to be passive under wrong; to be forgiving of injury. All early suffering is for thy good. The fires of affliction purify; the chills of adversity strengthen.
Escaping from this rough' introduction to our world, happy art thou if permitted to cuddle to thy mother's breast. Perchance no such blissful lot awaits thee. Thy mother, darling, may be one whom, with all a mother's tenderness ready to glow and flourish around her heart, cruel fashion and her kindest friends have persuaded, that to nurse thee, to let thee slake thy longing lips at the true fountain, is a sin against the ton. Oh miserable state! Thy tender limbs clad in garments the curious work of six long months, with cap
made elegantly rough with dot and eyelet-hole, like a huge nutmeg. grater, thou art condemned to some old nurse, whose eager eyes, meanwhile she dandles, rocks, and trots, shall be engaged to look for some strange mark of leg of bacon, strawberry or peach, or read thy fortune in her grounds of tea. And worse than this, must ever and anon feed her huge nostrils with a pound of snuff, to help her incantations damned and dire. Who can depict the horror that must swell thy breast, when that lean, spectacled face fills the virgin retina of thine eye! If there be a standard of beauty, we pity thee.
But oh! most blessed by comparison, though .cabined, cribbed, confined,' if thy mother be an honest craftsman's wife, who cannot spare to buy thee foreign milk! Then shalt thou repose thy cheek upon a couch made soft by love and ‘sleepless tenderness;' then shalt thou bite to please thyself, and ease thy sprouting gums, while she, ‘fond creature,' shall be happy even in her pain. And happy still art thou, if born in some low, humble thatch, where decent poverty joined with pious trust shall make a little heaven for thy new eyes, with flowers and clambering vines, and all the thousand ingenious contrivances which taste prompts, and nature supplies materials for executing, where there is love, and virtue, and humility. Then too shall the arms of a father, made strong by toil, lift thee as if thou wert a feather, till thy tiny arms shall flap, and thy new-found voice shall crow, with joy at such a parentage.
But where can we find tears enough to weep thy lonely fate, if brought a 'sinless child of sin’ into this world, with none to own thy coming? Some cold evening in December, perhaps a wealthy merchant, warm from his coal fire, shall stumble over thee, encased in a band-box, in which thou hast been for hours upon his door-stone. Think not thy stay will be long in his abode. Thou wilt be handled tenderly, and wonen there may weep for a few moments ; and they will look if thou bearest any mark of lover or acquaintance. But, curiosity satisfied, and the longing of some maiden aunt repressed, to adopt thee as a gift of heaven to her unappropriated existence, thou shalt be trundled to the Foundling Hospital. There babies are no novelty — turned off like a morning baking of biscuits. We hope in mercy thou wilt die; not for thy body's sake, but for thy soul's. Not all the pleasing incidents of Japhet' in his “Search? may chance to thee; but thou mayest bear all his pain, and more; and if heaven have given thee a sensitive mind, thou wilt live with a heavy sense of wrong rankling in thy bosom, and seek crime, and recklessly steep thy name in guilt, to wound thy cruel father's heart.
Dear infancy! whether born in palaces or hovels; whether thy birth be welcomed by the sound of bells, or namelessly thou art laid upon the stranger's door-stone ; thou art doomed to have untold wishes, unexpressed desires, pains thou canst never tell, and to shed tears, of course.
Here is the greatest reason for sympathy with the infant's 'age.' Often no ingenuity can interpret its moan. An opiate may lull it, but it will wake to moan again. How
many die in agony! What writhings of the limbs! A pin is now sticking deep in its tender flesh! It has no tongue to tell its intense suffering.
Its pains end not with the nurse's arms.' What thumps and tum
bles, wbat bumps and bruises, does it get in learning to walk? How bitterer than the drunkard's agony its thirst, when first denied the breast! It counts it all to cruelty and neglect. No sooner does it make an effort to talk, than it suffers perpetual disappointment in being misconceived, and in having its most earnest expressions slighted.
But though humanity is thus fulfilling its destiny from its earliest breath, still infancy has its mission to the world. It has been called most beautifully the Perpetual Messiah. The morality of childhood begins in the nurse's arms. Infancy binds us to home. The mother burries from the theatre, the ball, sick of heartless mirth, to find real pleasure by her infant's side. Side-walks are less crowded in prolific years. The merchant pauses amid desperate speculations and the hazard of his fortune, for his little ones at home; the drunkard pushes aside the bowl; the gambler leaves his dice; and thoughtless youth, become a mother or a father, grows circumspect and grave. We do not talk much of this influence; perhaps are not fully aware of its extent; but it operates silently upon us all
. Even the dying gladiator, ‘ butchered to make a Roman holiday,' heeded not the inhuman shout which hailed the wretch who won.'
There were his young barbarians all at play.'
J. N. B.
CHILDREN AT PL AY.
Up in the morning, “as soon as the lark,'
For I am an old man, and age looketh on
Say to the flower thou hast plucked, bloom on,
Bloom on, sweet rose!
Again be sweet and bright,
And grace that brow another night;
"Sad heart, be glad!' Montreal, December, 1837.
A. A. M.
THE DICTATOR'S TRIUMPH.
A SCENE FROM AN UNPUBLISHED NOVEL, BY THE AUTHOR OF 'THE BROTHERS.'
It was a glorious morning in the latter part of June, and at an hour so early, that the heavy dews of summer were yet hanging unexhaled on wold and woodland, although the sun had lifted his broad disc above the horizon, when the two armies came in view on Winsley field, near Horncastle. It was a gallant and a graceful spectacle as ever met the eye of man. The scene a broad and waving tract of moorish meadow land, checkered with many a patch of feathery coppice - birch, ash, and alder — tufts of furze, full of its golden bloom, and waving fern — and here and there a bare gray rock peering above the soil, or a clear pool of water reflecting the white clouds that hung aloft, all motionless in the blue firmament; and over this romantic champaign a magnificent array of horse, four thousand at the least in numbers, contracting or extending their bright squadrons, now falling into column, and now deploying into line, as best they might among the obstacles of this their battleground — their polished armor and their many-colored scarfs now flashing out superbly as the sunshine kissed their masses with its golden light, now sobered into mellower hues, as some great cloud would flit across the sky and cast its sweeping shadow over them ; their trumpets ever and anon waking the echoes of the woodlands that surrounded them on every side with their exulting notes, and their gay standards fluttering in the breeze
their gallant chargers, arching their necks against the curb, bounding and curvetting along, as if they panted for the onset while toward the eastern limits of the plain, upon a gentle elevation, flanked on the one side by the gully of a deep and stony brook, and on the other by a coppice, tangled with ancient thorns, and matted with wild rose briers, which protected likewise the whole rear of his position, Cromwell had formed his line. Nor, though inferior far in numbers, and lacking all that chivalrous and splendid decoration which their floating plumes and gorgeous dresses lent to the cavaliers, could his dark VOL. XI.