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Now, with every fragrant leaf,
Like the green and curling vine,
Him to whom thy heart was given ;
This is a good specimen of the octosyllabycs. The purchasers of the Pocket-book, and they ought not to be few, will find a dozen bang-up sonnets on the months of the year; and, no doubt, if the year had continued two dozen of months, the ingenious Sonnetteer could have had no difficulty in clapping a label round each of their throats. We have been at some pains
to take a census of the Sonnets now in
London and the suburbs, and we find them to amount to the unprecedented number of 27,695,780. Last year the births and the deaths were about equal. So that almost all the Sonnets now surviving, must have been born since the 1st of January 1821, and we offer a bet of a rump and dozen, that before the 1st of January 1822, of the 27,695,780 returned by the late cen
Now votive garlands,
sus, not more than five or six thousand Above her peers as queen where Love is
will be above ground. Of that number, however, may perhaps be the six following, for they are good strong, rough, rumbling Sonnets enough, and
have a spirit of life in them that may
perhaps carry them through the winter.
king, And, in the midst of lusty youths a ring, Largess of smiles and blushful praises
And virgins pure and young as thy white
(To passionate fretting of fast-finger'd
And pipy reeds that pastorally play,
on the floor
Of primrose plots of green, dance fast
On looking with a steady and spectacled eye on these six Sonnets, now that they are transferred into the pages of immortality, we suspect that in bidding them thus live for ever, we have been merciful rather than just. We suddenly discern that our old friend Cornelius Webbe is the man. We have been credibly informed, that we most irreverently laughed at this gentleman some years ago,-calling him Corney and Cockney, and other naughty names. As some satisfaction to his injured feelings, we have now printed his Christian name at full length-Cornelius. Did he ever read in Pierce Egan of one Whitaker, a pugilist, whose cognomen was the Jaw-breaker? Now Cornelius Webbe is a Jaw-breaker. Let any man who desires to have his ivory dislodged, read the above Sonnet to March. shall we call Cornelius, the Grinder? After reading aloud these 14 lines, we called in our Odontist, and he found loosened, and a slight fracture in the that every tooth in our head was jaw. "My dearest Christopher,” said the Odontist, in his wonted fine classical spirit," beware the Ides of March." So saying, he bounced up in our faces, and disappeared.
We have a proposal to make to the Olliers. Let them earnestly, but respectfully, request us to compose their next little red Literary Pocket-Book. We engage to make it out of all sight better than it has yet been. In our hands it will become a merry and gladsome companion; and, a young lady will know when she has it in her pocket, by the same sort of feeling 4 D
that tells her," that her bosom's lord sits lightly on his throne"-We say boldly, in her pocket, for if she has not hitherto worn pockets, she will get one made on purpose for our Pocketbook. It is too big to secrete like a love letter, within the folds that conceal her balmy bosom. So a pocketbook she must get for our sakes, and then she can never be without a true friend at her side. We shall not publicly notice the plan of our projected Pocket-book, for unless we were previously to obtain a patent, no doubt there would be a general piracy all over the kingdom.
To conclude. Mr Leigh Hunt deserves considerable credit for the idea, which, we believe, originated with him, of this little Affair. There is an
ingenuity of mind and a warmth of heart about Mr Hunt very much to our liking. And as he has shewn decided symptoms of both, in his various contributions to the Red Book, with less than their usual alloy of vulgarity and impertinence, or something worse, we have been lavish of our praise to him on the present and similar occa sions, and hope that he will not prove ungrateful. Whenever he behaves prettily, we give him a sugar-plum,often as he is a bad boy, we apply the rod. And we can lay our hands upon our hearts, and declare in the face of the world, that, much rather would we visit the shop of the confectioner, than that of the dealer in brooms. Ergo, venator benevole, euge et vale.
SINGULAR RECOVERY FROM DEATH.
I AM about to detail the circumstances of an event which some years ago plunged me into unutterable horror, and of which I cannot even now think without a shudder. Unfortunately I do not possess those mental powers that might present to others a clear picture of the agonies I then endured; but there is often felt to be in the simple truth a power of awakening emotion beyond what belongs to the most skilful fiction,-and therefore it is that I shall attempt to describe some of my sufferings during that fearful and nearly fatal day, of which no portion can ever be obliterated from my memory. The incidents which I shall now narrate, are well known to the kind and sympathizing friends of my own small circle, but have never, I believe, been made public. Nor should I now obtrude upon the world any narration of an event in the life of an individual so perfectly obscure as I am, unless there belonged to it that which rarely belongs to stories of that kind,-a solemn and momentous moral.
It was on the afternoon of the 14th of August, 1811, that two friends called upon me whom I had not seen for several years. One was a clergyman, alike distinguished for his genius, learning, and talents, just returned from India, after an absence of seven years from his native country; and the other was an officer, who had
served with distinguished reputation in Spain, and who was now forced to return home in consequence of a severe wound that wholly disabled him for actual service. I had scarcely recovered from a fever, which had some weeks before nearly brought me to the grave, and the effects of which were still felt by me, not only in extreme lassitude of body, but also ir. a certain weakness and wandering of mind. The least noise thrilled through me like the sound of a gong, and I would fre quently burst into tears in cases of the most trifling emotion. But I was convalescent; and day by day was sensible of an improvement in the health both of my bodily and mental frame. Indeed, an acquaintance, who had not heard of my illness, would probably not have observed any thing about me more than ordinary, except a diminu tion of my usual energy, and a slight querulousness foreign to my previous habits, and, I believe I may with truth. say, foreign to the original conforma tion of my character.
The sight of two dear friends, whom I had not embraced for years, operated upon me like a charm. We discoursed of a few important matters, and of ten thousand trifles; and though two or three times during dinner, and in the course of the afternoon, I painfully felt a sudden confusion amon thoughts a moment before distinct, and a total forgetfulness of incidents and transactions of which my friends
spoke, as not only familiarly known but interesting to me; yet, on the whole, I was well and happy, and the evening imperceptibly wore away in mirth, friendship, and affection.
There had been some conversation about the Comet that so long glorified the evening sky during that summer, and to decide a disputed question respecting its relative position to a particular star, I went into the little garden before my house, and then, for the first time, felt an indescribable emotion of perplexity, and I might say, almost of terror. The whole heavens seemed on fire-as if the stars were hurrying back and forwards a thwart the sky, with long trains of flashing and sparkling light, fiercely illuminating the sable background of a troubled firmament. The moon - seemed rolling on with prodigious swiftness, dashing all the stars aside, as a vessel dashes away the waves, and yet never disappearing,-as if a boundless space were before me,-driven through by an object in incessant motion. It was one undistinguishable tumult of sound, colour, and form; while ever and anon the great Castle cliff, and all the lofty edifices of the City, seemed lifted up among the reeling clouds, and the fiery stars, and that red rushing moon, as if earth and heaven were commingled. I shut my eyes in consternation, with a hope that it was but a momentary distraction of the senses, arising from the effects of my late fever, and instinctively returned into the room where my friends were sitting, but aghast and speechless, and seemingly, as they have since informed me, struck by some sudden and mortal blow. I heard their voices; and, making a convulsive effort to speak, I at last joined my voice to theirs; but I heard its hollow and imperfect sound with a hideous conviction that it was the voice of death, and that I was hurrying into utter insensibility, struck, as I felt, with apoplexy.
I fell down, and suddenly one horrid image possessed my whole spirit,— that of a demon, partly human and partly bestial in its shape, that leapt upon me, and seemed to crush and grind me in its enormous arms. It fixed its fangs into my heart, with miserable pain, while a deep growl, as of thunder, accompanied the mangling and maceration of flesh and spirit. A mor
tal sickness came over me.-I felt myself becoming pale as ashes ;-the blood seemed ebbing back upon my heart, each drop becoming stagnant there, while a deep convulsion rended my inmost frame asunder, and filled my being with one continued pang of unabating pain. My ears did not ring, that is a word altogether inadequate to express the rushing, wavering, sighing sound that oppressed my brain. It was like the fluctuating sound of trees in a storm. All the time a ghastly giddiness whirled me round and round, and then would leave me sinking slowly down a shelving rock, that seemed to lead down into a fathomless abyss, or suddenly falling over a precipice, from which horrid imaginations, strong as realities, I ever and anon awoke only to undergo an endless and incessant repetition of the same dreadful punishment.
In this hideous condition I still dimly knew where I was, and strove to shriek to my family and friends to hold me from falling over that yawning abyss. But all their faces and forms seemed involved in a ghastly and glaring gloom,-and then we would, as it were, all sink together, in one wild shriek, down into that gulph of destruction. Then there arose in me a thought that I had expired, and that this was the world of spirits. There was no speech there— no smiles-no tears-no care for one another-no power of thought, or of motion-no feeling that the soul, though still a soul, belonged to an ordered world, in which it was fitted to dwell; but the countenances seen there but for a moment, and then shifting, scowled on each other like miserable things sent from a vast distance to meet in hatred and fear,-language that was not words, was heard, forced unintelligibly from blue and livid lips,—our eyes glared upon each other, why we knew not, except that our Evil Creator had made them so to glare; and as we were all borne against our wills violently up and down this silent and glimmering hell, I felt that our accursed existence was all bound together by some fiendish fiat, against which we were still all tempted to rebel, and which drove us to curse at once our own hateful selves, and our more hateful Tormentor.
In all this dreadful imagery there was a constant alternation of horrors.
Now, the fiery firmament, with its blood-red moon driving along through the lurid stars, was all that I beheld, -all that tormented me with terror ;then, that single image of the demon, with eyes and aspect like a tiger, leaping from a jungle;-then the interminable sinking down, down into the depth of nothingness;-then the headlong fall over a precipice upon a shore of pointed crags ;-then the wild rotatory motion, as if the earth were but one little spot, spinning round with invisible motion; then that long-drawn, uncertain, wavering forest-roar;-then the pale, silent, glaring countenances; -then the hideous fiendish gabble of curses, execration, and blasphemy ;then the wild, hopeless, convulsive struggling against some unconceivable doom-These and a thousand other horrors alternately prevailed over me, leaving sometimes dull and deathlike instants of consciousness, in which I felt my own human existence, and from which I was hurried away into new regions of preternatural agony, and fear, and horror. All these hi deous trials at last gave way to one. A vast fire, crackling and glimmering with intensity of hell-heat, suddenly burst forth, and drew my very being into its devouring entrails. I felt as if scorched into a cinder, though still in life, the fiends, unscathed by the flames, kept dancing around me, pouring fiercer heat upon my shrivelled bones, and yelling out in mockery, "A salamander!-A salamander! Give him fresh fire !-A salamander! -A salamander!" In a moment all the fiends stood still and silent,-glaring on me, as if waiting for a signal, and then, rushing on me, all at once I was driven out by the fiends, and the great door of the furnace closed. I was half restored to my senses, and knew for a moment the faces of my wife, my children, and my friends. Oh! that this long, lingering, convulsive, stifling death were but at an end! thought I, in my speechlessness, as the ghastly visions of my burning brain again came for ward in a fierce procession to meet the familiar realities around me! I strove to collect my soul, that the coming horror might be repelled from it, as from a rock; but a horrid sympathy seized my dying spirit, and it longed at last to join that troop in their tor
ments, and to mix itself with all that it dreaded and abhorred.
And now my heart was tried with a new agony. All that rueful spectacle disappeared, and I had no part in it. It seemed that my suffering was at an end; and that, after these clouds of matter had blown away, my spirit was to be released in peace. I knew where I was, and who were near me in their affection, and their grief. But, on opening my wearied eyelids, ghastly, indeed, was the change that struck my affrighted soul. They whom I had loved, and who once would gladly have died for my sake, stood around me with wrathful countenance, and eyes flashing fire through the dark stains of blood. I knew the features of my children, in the grinning faces of the fiends that leered upon me with the young cruelty of demons enjoying the yet novel transport of their lust of guilt; and the dear image of her whom I knew to be their mother, stood over me like Sin, beautiful, but terrible, and pierced my heart with words of wrath, scorn, and blasphemy, while the mingled passion streamed like lava from her coal-black eyes. Curses and execrations at one moment, delivered in scowls of black and sullen malignity, and, at another, in peals of fierce and furious laughter, like the gabble of an insane Fury, smote me to the heart, while, through the whole of these denunciations seemed to run dark charges of an unintelligible crime committed by me, of which, innocent though I knew myself to be, I yet felt the shame, and the confusion, and remorse of some loathsome and inexpi able guilt. Before the pale glare of this merciless phantom, the images of my friends seemed, at first, to stand shrunken and transfixed, till, obeying some fell sign, they advanced towards me, and changing into violent but shrouded shapes, bore me down, as I thought, unto a chill floor of ice, and bound me to it with fetters, against which all my agonizing convulsions were in vain. They clutched me round the throat with long boney fingers while my eyeballs started from their sockets, and my tongue forced through my jaws, now locked in the last struggle of life, was felt to cover my corpse with foam and blood. I had seen peopie in convulsions, on the wet pave ment of the street, falling down as if