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Evanescent as vanishing spray;
Or a leaf from its stem fall'n away;
What though beauty appear in its plumage of gold,
And dazzle with glittering sheen;
And the Iris no longer is seen,
To withstand the all-with'ring decay;
Then passes for ever away;
A. M. M.
On the 17th of May, 18 —, chance gave me the particulars of the following memoir, and the cognomen of the occupier of a spacious attic in Westminster, its title. EugeniuS STRUGGLE, at once the sport and child of misfortune, for twelve months on that very day, had manfully endured the whips and scorns of time. At an early period of his existence, he had discovered flashes of a genius in his mind, which at the age of fourteen, blazing forth in five lines, acrostically inscribed to the fair object of his ardent affection, rooted the conviction in his breast, that he was not of an age, but for all time.' Unhappily for Eugenius, neither his relations nor friends were as quick-sighted as himself; and despite his assurances, that his talents were of too high a class to be wasted on the attainment of the arts and mysteries of trade, his father, deaf to the voice of genius, and blind to its incipient sparks, apprenticed him to a cabinet-maker. Chisels are keen-edged tools, and saws have many teeth ; but dull is the incision of the sharpest chisel — feeble the stroke of the longest
compared with the acute cut to the pride, and laceration of the feelings, that this step occasioned Eugenius. Nevertheless, though the spirit was any thing but willing, the flesh was by no means weak; and he whose ideas soared to the achievement of laurels that should wreath his fame, when his material and mortal parts had returned to dust, was obliged to take time by the forelock, and reverse the position of affairs, by turning his hand to work, and his mind to saw-dust. Still, where there's a will, there's away; and as Eugenius was the only child of a man who, although possessed of none of the refined genius of his son, was not without a considerable share of what is very aptly called this world's goods,
our hero resolved to keep alive the half-strangled infant of his brain, so that, when arrived at man's estate, and the end of his time, he might follow the bent of his destiny; not doubting that though it would be much against the will of his father while living, he should be independent by his will at his death, which nevertheless Eugenius was the last in the world to desire, sooner than a good old age should lead to, and for two plain reasons : in the first place, because he loved his father as dearly as a son could, and secondly, because, after all, the property to which he was beir would at best be but a slight augmentation to the wealth of which, of course, he would have possessed himself, by his literary labors, long ere his father was gathered to his fathers.
Up at five, to breakfast at seven, to work again till dinner time at one, and from two till six, when labor ceased for half an hour, to afford time for what Eugenius, (as he wished it to be understood,) sarcastically called the common sacrifice to the Chinese nymph of tears; who, however, being originally intended to represent green tea, was not quite as aptly named as truth would have dictated, or our poet desired. However, granting that the tea was not green, for which, except by the faintness of the color of its decoction, it could never have been mistaken, it was the welcome Lethe in which he lost the fatigues of the day, and which tranquillized and prepared his mind for the wasting of the midnight oil, or rather, I should say, the nocturnal rushlight, by whose rays he prepared leaves that should one day, and thence for ever, compose a wreath that, coupled with the name of Eugenius Struggle, should hang high in the temple of the trumpet-goddess. There, in all the elysium of literary lumber, which was made to adorn his chamber by the strewing about of sonnets, odes, tragedies, comedies, tales, anecdotes, and a hundred other miscellanies, which, in whole or extracts, had drawn tears and roars of laughter from many a reader of the Casket,' the ‘Mirror,' and the · Penny Magazine,' there was his wont to sit,' to fame a martyr, to his muse a slave,' as he said of himself in the 'Sentimental Songster,' till daylight warned him that he had often not more than an hour in which to subdue by sleep the
high-flown workings of his lofty mind, ere the fifth stroke of St. Giles's clock, or his master's cane, would rouse him to the labor, not that love delights in,' or 'that physics pain,' but which, notwithstanding its nauseousness, was a dose that once a day he was obliged to take, and which generally took him all day long.
But before we quit the scene of his temporary happiness for that where he and sorrow sat, that curiosity being probably felt by my readers, which in me was insatiable with less than a perusal of his lucubrations, I will transcribe for their edification some of those of his pieces which I read so much to my own.
I have already remarked, that Eugenius's first poem was inscribed to her who was for a twelve month after, the only heroine of his brain. No name but hers would rhyme in his imagination ; and for the versification of his tragics, it had indeed been blank, if • Nancy' had not graced his every page. Now I trust it will not be thought that our hero was vain, because he not only professed that he could do, but actually did, what the immortal Charles Dibdin had
not done, although he had written more about Nancy than any other known author, up to that time, which was, to rhyme with that name with as much if not more facility than with any other; while his predecessor, in several hundred songs, in fact in all he had written of the name, which was that of his wife, (with only one exception, which occurs in his song called 'Nancy's the Name,' in which he versifies with the word pansy, at the same time confessing his inability to find another, and the difficulty he experienced in racking his brains for that,) was put to his non plus. In vindication of Eugenius, I insert the verse on which he hinges his triumph. It runs thus :
'I once of my mind box'd the compass around,
For a rhyme to the name of my love,
That notion of sounds would approve.
There's a flower, and they call it a pansy,
'Tis the best rhyme that can be for Nancy.' Now with what justice Eugenius contended that even that second rhyme was a make-shift, a lame adoption of an exploded name for the real word, I shall leave my readers to decide, and lay before them the selections I made from his works, the first of which is the acrostic referred to in the commencement of my narrative. Certain it is, that even the quotation I am about to make, is a plain evidence that our young friend did not arrogate more than he substantiated. But to the proof :
Y ou exquisite angel, my Nancy!' Such is the first dash into poetry, the first ebullition of incipient genius, from the pen of one whose reputation I would not have hazarded by publishing for the first time the unrestrained effort of an ardent boy's imagination, were I not satisfied that my readers would sooner patronize, than harshly criticize, a young beginner. Those who are unwilling or incapable of deciding upon peculiar talent, may perhaps blame Eugenius for the conclusion he came to, relative to his, considering the displeasure it occasioned his father, but then that father was one of the very class of people I have named; and again, it so happened, that his son was a fatalist; and with the prejudices of such an one, would he argue upon the rectitude of the opinion he had espoused and cherished, with regard to the course toward which he should apply his mind; and the conviction he entertained of his fitness for the pursuit he had adopted, is plainly discernible in the following passage from one of his early tragedies, entitled, • The Flinty Heart; or • None so Blind as Those who Wont See.' The reader may clearly trace in the character of Pauloni, an evident portraiture of the author himself; while that of Lady Nancy admits of no question, as to whom it is indebted for its original. The scene is described as a rocky cave, at the end of a subterraneous passage ;
Pauloni discovered, enveloped in a large cloak. He takes his watch from his pocket:
'Tis five and twenty minutes past the time,
LADY Nancy, in the passage:
Propitious deities, a lover's thanks!
Enter LADY NANCY.
PAULONI. 'Tis che !
( They rush into each other's arms. Oh why so long, my dearest !
Dearest, 'tis five and twenty minutes past
Oh better late, ten thousand times, than never !
That magic name!
My oracle has spoken, and Pauloni's dumb.
Rash hot-blood, hold !
You ar' n't a father! Some obscurity in the mss., which is a very cramped piece of penmanship,' precludes farther extracts.
A NATIONAL SONG OF DENMARK.BY JOHANNES EVALD.
TRANSLATED FROM THE DANISH.
King Christian stood by the lofty mast,
In mist and smoke :
In mist and smoke.
Nils Juel* gave heed to the tempest's roar,
* Now is the hour!'
Now is the hour!'
Thy murky sky!
Thy murky sky!
* Name of a Danish Admiral, pronounced Yuel.