Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

and desolate spot ; how often, under a sweltering summer sun, I laboured and toiled up the entrenchments, with which the caution of our ancient enemies had fortified the natural steepness. However, such an excursion as this was some relief; and I generally contemplated with increased horror, on my return, the grim bars, the narrow courts, and the closing gates, of - School. The very servants partook of the character of the place, and were the most unaccommodating, surly, old beings that can possibly be imagined. In fact, I led a sort of mechanical existence, being compelled to take exercise, as it were by a physician's preseription, to enable me to perform what was required from my mental faculties. Any brought up as I have described myself, agreeably to the most rigid maxims of scholastic discipline, will have many scruples to overcome, many old prejudices to vanquish, before they can bring themselves to allow, that the superior liberty, which Eton grants to her children, can be compatible with the necessary studies of such an institution. What indignation would have ruffled the angry wrinkled visage of my ancient pedagogue, had any of the wretched victims committed to his care ventured to inform him, that there is a place where boys comparatively do as they will, where they are tacitly allowed to commit the unheard-of sin of passing their bounds,--and where, in fact, the measure of their labours is in a great degree under the control of their own discretion. When, however, we see in good earnest the first charaeters in the Bar, the Senate, and the Church, boasting Eton as their common parent,—when we review the illustrious names in former times, whose glory she considers as her own, it really becomes time to account for the effects of this magical education. I myself cannot pretend to any accurate investigation; but, merely as a speculative and casual observer, I should ascribe its influence to that hatred of immoderate restriction which generous talents naturally entertain, and the elevation and expansion which they feel on being principally left to their spontaneous exertions, and experiencing gentle direction rather than positive and harsh control. The spirit of encouragement and emulation cherished by this system is more likely, than any fear of punishment, to stimulate a young and ardent mind to extraordinary efforts. Where much is required, to do that well is, of course, considered sufficient; but where comparatively little is required, and much, on the contrary, expected, true abilities will perceive their own strength, and will labour to obtain praise, which is the more valuable as it is given to labours and acquirements in a great measure voluntary. I have heard from very good authority, that few leave Eton without feeling real sorrow at their departure. It is the fashion, too, at that versifying establishment to compose a poetical farewell, to testify at once their grief and their gratitude. Some of these I have seen; and nature seems really to have a considerable share in their composition. It is lucky for me that this custom did not exist at the school of which I was an unwilling member; or I am afraid that my Vale, as they call it, would have been highly indecorous, since the overflowing joy of my heart would have effectually negatived all expressions of woe. By the bye, this brings me to myself again, and reminds me that my reverie on paper has been much too long and too reasoning already. I shall therefore leave every one to form his own conjecture and opinion, and only wish for myself, that I could glory in the name of_" an Etonian.”

K. S.

TO

In many a strain of grief and joy,

My youthful spirit sung to thee;
But I am now no more a boy,

And there's a gulph 'twixt thee and me.
Time on my brow has set his seal.

I start to find myself a man,
And know that I no more shall feel

As only boyhood's spirit can.
And now I bid a long adieu

To thoughts that held my heart in thrall,
To cherish'd dreams of brightest hue,
And thee-the brightest dream of all.

My footsteps rove not where they rov'd,

My home is chang'd, and, one by one, The “old, familiar” forms I lov'd

Are faded from my path—and gone. I launch into life's stormy main,

And 'tis with tears—but not of sorrow, That, pouring thus my parting strain,

I bid thee, as a Bride, good-morrow. Full well thou know'st I envy not

The heart it is thy choice to share ; My soul dwells on thee, as a thought

With which no earthly wishes are. I love thee as I love the star,

The gentle star that smiles at Even, That melts into my heart from far,

And leads my wandering thoughts to Heaven. 'Twould break my soul's divinest dream

With meaner love to mingle thee; 'Twould dim the most unearthly beam

Thy form sheds o'er my memory. It is my joy, it is my pride

To picture thee in bliss divine ; A happy and an honour'd bride,

Blest by a fonder love than mine.
Be thou to one a holy spell,

A bliss by day—a dream by night,-
A thought on which his soul shall dwell,

A cheering and a guiding light.
His be thy heart,—but while no other

Disturbs his image at its core,
Still think of me as of a brother,

I'd not be lov’d, nor love thee, more. For thee each feeling of my breast

So holy—80 serene shall be, That when thy heart to his is prest,

"Twill be no crime to think of me.

I shall not wander forth at night,

To breathe thy name-as lovers would ;
Thy form, in visions of delight,

Not oft shall break my solitude.
But when my bosom-friends are near,

And happy faces round me press,
The goblet to my lips I'll rear,

And drain it to thy happiness.
And when, at morn or midnight hour,

I commune with my God, alone,
Before the throne of Peace and Power

I'll blend thy welfare with my own.
And if, with pure and fervent sighs,

I bend before some lov'd one's shrine,
When gazing on her gentle eyes,

I shall not blush to think of thine.
Thou, when thou meet’st thy love's caress,

And when thy children climb thy knee,
In thy calm hour of happiness,

Then sometimes--sometimes think of me.
In pain or health-in grief or mirth,

Oh! may it to my prayer be given
That we may sometimes meet on earth,

-And meet, to part no more, in Heaven.

M.

Sept. 18, 1820.

ON YOUTHPUL FRIENDSHIP.

“ Hæc olim meminisse juvabit."-VIRG.

From the little world, for whose amusement we collect the productions of our leisure moments, and for whose advantage we offer the results of our more contemplative hours, the consideration of subjects which most affect its habits, and are nearest allied to its interests, is, we conceive, best calculated to attract attention and engage respect. And since, in this design, we embrace the good of our whole community, we indulge a hope that no individual will consider his own peculiar circumstances overlooked in the general nature of our remarks; or allege the insignificancy and unimportance of singular and isolated error as an apology for his disregard, or an extenuation of his neglect. To remove, however, the alarm which, as self-constituted censors, we might possibly create among our fellow-citizens, we pledge ourselves to the strict observance of a rule already proposed the unreserved rejection of personal invective, and the total absence of satirical malignity. Still we openly profess little delicacy or mercy towards vices and follies, as they successively gain the ascendent in our day; and we hope that those who shall acknowledge the correspondence of our admonitions with their imperfections, will, in justice to their own candour, and in obedience to their own conscience, encourage the application, and receive the impression, of advice. With such austere subjects we propose to blend topics of a more agreeable nature; and occasionally to show the brighter and the fairer side of things,-to point out the advantages which assist us in the performance of the offices of life,--to direct to proper objects the noblest passions and most beneficial propensities of our nature,—to awaken the legitimate affections of the human heart, and to soften the cares, the discontents, and animosities, which the envy of the world has engendered, and the emulation of society has increased.

In our first introduction, to appear in the most fascinating character, and display to the best of our means and abilities our inclination and power to please, is a natural and laudable desire. We therefore propose to consider the advantages of youthful friendship, and the manner by which the intimacies of our early days may be cultivated for more lasting profit than the colder connexions of riper years.

Youth, the season of unsuspecting openness and disinterested zeal, of buoyant hope and cheerful confidence, présents to us the happiest division in the life of man. Ambition has, as yet, exercised but little influence, and pride sustained but few disappoint

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »