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But on the question of retrench ment, it seems to be overlooked, that the call for reform necessarily arises from those out of office. The machines of official routine cannot detect the effects of their own movements, and it is a factious misrepresentation to say, because ministers hesitate and pause, to consider what may be the result of that revulsion which any proposed change may produce upon the general system, that they are, therefore, averse to improvement. This obloquy, however, they share in common with all the possessors of public trusts. What, for example, can be more ungrateful than the manner in which it is heaped upon the magistrates of towns, whose time and talents are gratuitously given to the public service, and who, of all men, have the strongest motives to be found clear in their office and trust, at the expiry of their temporary authority. But the spirit of the age is against all in stituted power, and it is only to be appeased by a sedulous endeavour on the part of those in authority to anticipate complaints. This spirit has arisen out of our embarrassments, and it can never be effectually laid but by a resolution as universal as the circumstances which have called it forth. The nation is pining under the dif. ficulties which have resulted from the profusion of the war, and seeks alleviation to individual suffering, in an abridgment of the expence of the public establishments. It seems, however, to be forgotten, that every man discharged from the public service is a new member added to the number of the needy, and that every diminution of salary substracts so much from the expenditure among the tradesmen where the placeman is located, while the amount of the reduction scarcely produces any palpable effect in the public treasury. It may, therefore, I suspect, be almost said that the reductions of the national establishments have a tendency to engender dissatisfaction; and indeed, if they are not met by a determination on the part of the people to return to their old frugality, there can be no effectual cure applied to the disease with which the state is afflicted.

curtailing every unnecessary expenditure. But still we must bear in mind, that the quantity of the circulating medium would be in consequence reduced, and that labour, already too cheap, would become still more so in the market-that the good which would result from any reduction of the taxes, to those particular classes who have fixed incomes, would be balanced by as much evil to those who depend on the interchanges of the circulating medium. The satisfaction, therefore, to be obtained from retrenchment on the part of government, and of a stricter fiscal administration in towns and corporate bodies, together with a return to greater temperance in domestic economy, will not consist in possessing greater means of enjoyment, but in that moral pleasure which is derived from the contemplation of integrity and rectitude in public trusts. This, however, is not the result that the reformers in general look for. They thirst for more luxury, and consider the expences of public institutions as so much substracted from their means of procuring enjoyment-forgetting that profits are derived from prodigality, and that labour, to be lucrative, must be in request.

It is astonishing to think of the effects that may be produced, of the alleviation that might be extended to many families, were the corporations of towns to act upon a principle of

It may perhaps be said, that this view of the subject is calculated to be construed into a defence of existing abuses; inasmuch as it would imply, that no effectual remedy can be applied to our privations. No doubt it may be so construed; public abuses have always been private advantages; but it does not therefore follow, that they are not great evils, although I do contend, that the removal of all the abuses in the administration of the country, cannot have the effect of restoring the affluence which flowed in upon the kingdom during the late war. truth, the utmost that can be said of the call for retrenchment is, that it is founded in an abhorrence of an unwarrantable dissipation of the public wealth, and that, with the reflecting portion of the people, it is not expected that any perceptible advantage will be experienced in private life, from all the reductions in the power of any administration to propose, in the present state of the world, and the order of things in this country.


Before concluding, it was my intention to have said something to those who seem to expect manna and quails from what is called a Reform in Par

liament, but the subject will furnish materials for another letter; not that I think it likely any thing I have to say can be found either new or interesting, but only because it bears upon the topic which first induced me to address you-namely, the absurdity of encouraging a spirit of alarm, while in

fact the government in every part of the country is so obviously, by the reduction of the military, demonstrating its confidence in the good sense and loyalty of the people.

HENRY LASCELLES. London, Gloucester Place, 3d October, 1821.


A Dramatic Tale.

Scene on the Banks of a River-Time, Evening.
Walter alone.

THIS is the bank on which my childhood slept,
And this the silver stream, whose gentle tones
Lull'd those unhaunted slumbers. This the Willow
That now (as then) doth hang his loving arms
Around his pale-faced bride, the gentle stream-
There stands the proud old Elm, with parent care
Shading the infant blossoms of the gay

And delicate Laburnum. On the air
Comes the soft perfume of the Violet-where
Art thou, sweet blue-ey'd flower!-cover'd quite
By the mad Bind-weed that doth clasp thy breast,
In hope to steal thy sweetness?-Scented Broom
Yields here his richness-sun-dyed Marigolds,
And the blue Hare-bell, flowers, which in my youth
I weaved in crowns to deck the maiden's brow,
My young eye thought the fairest-In the air
I hear the Black-cap* chaunting his sweet tale,
Mocking the Nightingale, who, grieving thus
To be outdone, steals into covert shades,
And sings alone by night!-Thou silver Moon,
How dost thou soften this delicious scene!
And with thy gentle, tender glance, art wooing
The proud Narcissus, who doth turn his head
From thy soft smile, to gaze upon the stream
And watch it weeping!-Days of boyhood, here
I do retrace ye with a transport new

To this toil-harden'd frame. I have return'd
From scenes of war and plunder, with a purse
Stored with this world's loved treasure-Other lands
My foot hath traversed, and mine eye survey'd,
But none so sweet as this-If they were fairer

I saw it not, for my soul's eye was fix'd

On the dear bank, where my gay childhood play'd,
And her who sat beside me. Now I am

Upon that very bank, and she is still,

Still sitting there, and constant, lovelier too,

Than when, some ten years since, I roam'd away,

And left my youthful love to weep the parting.

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Enter Cecily.

Cecily. Now, Wanderer, I shall chide thee! wherefore thus

Steal from my side to court the Moon, and say

The black-cap

Mocking the nightingale.

In Norfolk, the blackbird, from the sweetness of his song, is called the mocknightingale.

Thy flatteries to the flowers! I should be
Jealous, but that I know thy favourite Rose
Is in her childhood yet, and not deserving
Of thy enraptured love!-but thou art grown
So clerkly and so grave, thou dost despise
Companionship with Cecily.



The flowers

I love for thy dear sake-for they all sing
The same sweet song of thee-thou art their queen,
And they do worship thee, and win my love

By such true, graceful homage.

Where hast thou

Learned all this gallantry?-not in the camp
Of haughty Margaret, nor in the court
Of heaven-wearying Harry! hadst thou been
A soldier of the gay young king, who wins
A city with a kiss, I had not wonder'd.

But now


Nay, then it is my turn for jealous fit.

What knows my Cecily of England's King,

Whose favours are so valued? When, dear maid,
Didst thou behold young Edward ?


To tax the duty of our city, York,

When he came

Our maidens went to meet him at the gates,
And strew'd the way unto the castle's halls
With garlands, and with flowers-he did pay
Our citizens with oaths-the maids with kisses,
All that he thought most worthy-when it came
Unto my turn to touch his laughing lips,
One of his lords, upon a pointed spear,
Thrust straight between us a pale griesly head
Still streaming blood-a venerable face

Tranquil-but the white locks were clotted. I

Drew back, and shriek'd-but Edward laugh'd, and bade

Them wash the soiled face, and trim the beard,

And send it to his lady! then he turn'd

Gaily to kiss my redder lip, he said—

But found that red lip pale!



The savage!


He is our master now!-I thought at first

He was a lovely youth; but from my thought
The trace went of his features, and I saw
Nought but the gory head-the old gray Man!
That rises oft, and when I try to call

The image of the monarch, it still comes
Between my face and his.-But this is sad.
Come, tell me of thy journies, and the sights,

Thou must perforce have seen. They tell us here
The Saracen doth kill his prisoners,

Unless they turn to Mahound, and become
Liegemen unto the fiend! and then they are
Endow'd with wondrous powers, and fly in air,
And walk on water, and exchange their shapes
With animals and birds!

Not so-the Moor
Is knightly to the captive; but when last
I was in Grenada, (before the Queen
Recall'd all wand'rers from Castilian wars,
To try their valour on the fatal field

Of Tewksbury,) most wond'rous things I saw

Achiev'd by one, an old Toledan he,
By magic's fearful power. He did use
To mock the Moorish squadrons, with a sight
Of armies ready to engage, and threw

Before their path a bridge of yielding air,

To tempt their passage; and when they would risk
Over the phantom path, it stood until

Its shadowy sides were crowded-then it sunk,
And with it sunk the Saracens-and so

The unbelievers died!


Most terrible!

And strange!-but didst thou see with thine own eyes
These wonders, gentle Walter? did he ere
Shew spirits to thy senses?


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Sooth he did-
And I, (as thou makest question,) truly saw
The Moorish knights fall, horse and man, into
The fiercely foaming river! but that man!
He was the king of wonders. Oftentimes
In my lone mood I wander'd to his haunts;-
A deep, dark wood it was, and in a cave
Embosom'd in the shade of ancient trees
The stern magician dwelt. There as I stood,
Listening the heavy groans of the swung boughs,
And far off roarings of the coming storm,
I have thought other voices mingled there,
More hollow and more awful. It may be
The gloom did cheat my senses, but I thought
I have seen forms within that dreary wood,
That were unfit for gayer dwelling-place-
Strange things, that swept before me like a sheet
Of dazzling snow, driven by the Winter's blast-
Then suddenly they grew more form'd, and then
I saw wild eyes that flash'd, and lips that grinn'd
And gibber'd with uncouthly utterings.

I met no danger; but once, as I stay'd
Beyond my time, until the maiden Moon
Had modestly retired, that the fiends
Might do their orgies unmolested by
The brightness of her brow, the Master came,
And saw me lingering there! he sternly chid
My idle wanderings-bade me, as I loved
My own life's safety, not to seek his bowers.
Cecily. If thou lovest spirits, and hast not a fear
To seek them in their haunts, in happy time
Art thou return'd unto thy parent roof.

Thou know'st this is the fourth month of the year,
The childish April, who, 'mid tears and smiles,
Hath pass'd full four-and-twenty days of age;
But ere he die, and yield his grassy throne
To his young sister, lily-sceptred May,
One of his days we yearly celebrate.
This is St Mark, and this-this is the night;-
Now then, if any in the porch shall watch
Of the old church, alone at midnight hour,
They will, within the church-yard stalking, sce
The shades of those who 'neath its surface lie,
Mingling in wildest dance with forms of those
Who living yet, but ere the year expire,
Shall join the shadowy group for ever, and
Sleep in the grave with them!

Walter. Ah, I will watch

To-night! I will be there. Dear Cecily,
Of this instruct me further.-I do love
This high mysterious feeling!-let us go-
Long hours it is since rung the Curfew bell-
I pray thee, let me go!


Not danger-fraught This quest, I trust, dear Walter-But I will Not mar thy wishes-Come.


Scene, the Churchyard-Walter sitting in the Porch. Walter. How beautiful is Night when vested thus! With what a soft solemnity she glides

Onward unto her death !—And when she dies,
What will the hours bring !—O, they will come
Laughing and jocund Mirth, with his gay train
Will join them, ushering in my bridal morn-
The crowned day of the poor Wanderer's life-
The day that shall behold the Wanderer bless'd,
And gathering to his bosom the one flower
His boyish hand had cherish'd-I am happy,
And yet I weep!—but this is luxury,
My heart is full, too full, and would relieve
By tears, its agony of happiness—
I love this hour!-the spirits are abroad,
Sporting upon the air, or on the waves
Dancing fantastic measures-riding on,

With antic tricks, the clouds, which when we see
Distorted to strange shapes of foul and fair,
As monsters, demons, rocks or palaces,
Or armed men, or angels with bright wings,
We may assure our wits they are the spirits
Appearing to our eyes in those quaint forms.-
But I am here to meet more awful shades-
The spectres of the gone!-the human race;
But now no longer human-and the shapes
Of the death-summoned; but living now,
Though yet condemned to the silent grave,
Before the year depart!-Ah! am I wise
To seek this fearful knowledge !—What if I,
Among the shades, behold the face of one
My heart hath fondly loved! Sweet Mary! thou
Avert that evil!-but, O Lady dear,

Wilt thou accept my prayer! I have thrown off,
For this wild gest, the image of thy Son,

Which from my childhood round my neck I wore,
And from my bosom rent the amulet,

The Agnus Dei, which my mother's hand
Bound on my breast, and bade it guard her son
From storm and tempest, and which still hath been,
Till now, my loved companion.-Well, I have
Companions here will tell me graver tales.
Here are the records of a hundred lives
The busy history of many years—
The proclamation of bold active deeds→→→
Summ'd up in the "hic jacet," and the hope
"Requiescunt in pace"-And although
In life the cause was various, as the hues
Of summer and of spring, and many tongues
Rung the different tale, now 'tis the same,

And one phrase serves for all!-But, hark! what sound

Like distant music swells upon the wind,

And sweeps around the porch!-A mist hath risen

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