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Hood's WHIMS AND ODDITIES. * For three years past have we been to us a shocking aggravation of guilt, pining away for the appearance of a in a person with the surname of Hood. new Cockney. There cannot be a On mutton instead of deer must greater mistake in legislation than to Thomas Hood feed ; and we swore to scout the employment of machinery immolate him to the offended majesty in inflicting torture on a criminal. of the shade of the glorious outlaw of Torture inflicted previous to convic, merry Sherwood. tion, and with a view to confession, But what a bitter disappointment! with or without any complicated ma Thomas Hood, so far from deserving chinery, is in all cases, even Cockney to be knouted to death, or sent with ones, indefensible, alike on the ground his stripes into Siberian silence, turns of expediency, justice, and mercy, out to be a most admirable fellowBut the torture inflicted after convic, quite of theright kidney–with a warm tion, and without any view, either heart—a sound head—a humour quaint prospective or retrospective, to confes. and original-adisposition amiable and sion,-in all cases, especially Cockney facetious-a boon companion, worthy ones, is, with or without any complic to be carried by proclamation or cated machinery, detensible, alike on storm-an honorary member of the the ground of expediency, justice, and Nox-Ambrosial club. mercy. The knout! What a mul It is a sad irial to an old friend to titude of associations are comprehend- return the knout to its peg, innocent ed in that formidable monosyllable! of Cockney blood, on an occasion when To spare the pity of the Public, we delusive hope had whispered into our gag the culprit in his agony, so that ear assurance of its immediate gyrahe may not groan at the expense of tions. Never was a knout in a more flouother people's humanity. The sight rishing condition. The handle is speckof the bare bleeding back, striped and-span new-its thong strengthand starred like the American ensign, ened in the few places where it had shoeks the sensibility of the spectator, been corroded with gore-and the edgand he asks, what has been the cul es (the flat is sufficiently sharp), raprit's crime? Cockneyism-aggravated ther thinnish through attrition, have by being habit and repute a Cockney undergone a thorough repair. Three -is the answer—and the benevolent stripes to a Hunt-four to a Hazlitt! querist is satisfied that the wounds the Cockney is not who could sustain should be healed by the sharpish ap a dozen and live. plication of searing and salt. The We do not deny, therefore, that we punishment is meted to the crime felt, at first, strongly tempted to knout and as reformation, which is but one Mr Hood, in spite of his manifest manof the ends of punishment, is in such hood; but Christopher himself, who a case nearly hopeless, it does not seem was smoking a cigar at the time in the to the said benevolent spectator a mat- Sanctum, called out lustily to us to ter of much consequence whether the lay aside our Whims and Oddities with knouted live or die. Better, perhaps, forty original designs, and welcome, on the whole, both for himself and the with a hearty sbake of the hand, the publie, that he die. There is then Londoner to Edinburgh. one Cockney fewer in the country Such is our excessive ignorance, that and it is possible that his place may to know it would itself be a very conbe supplied by a man.
siderable stock of knowledge. Its exOur hearts leaped within us at the tent, we confess, is owing partly to our name Thomas Hood, lauded as we natural incapacity, and partly to our saw it by many whose laus is shame. local habitation, and partly, perhaps, to Our eyes waxed red with wrath, and
our very name.
Of our natural incawe laid our hand on the knout, as it pacity, it would be unfeeling and independed with blood-stained thong delicate in us to say much; but of our from a peg on the rack of the Sanctuin. local habitation and our name, the Thomas, too, instead of Robin, seemed inore that is said the better. The
* Whims and Odditics. by Thomas Hood. Lupton Relle, London, 1826.
truth is, that this Scotland of ours is by the Globe and Traveller,“ an amu. a most outlandish place. You might sing caricature, in which most of the almost as well be the Man in the Moon watch-words of different sects and paratonce, as live in Edinburgh. Devil the ties are personified with much effect one thing that may be going on in the and great impartiality. Occasionally literary or beau-monde world, can you there is something of hardness and hear or see in this Metropolis, till stiffness in the execution; but in ferall the rest of mankind have got sick tility, variety, and ingenuity of invenof it, and it is as old as a thousand tion, it reminds one (and it is the hills. We are too far North. How the highest praise that can be bestowed on Magazine continues to conduct itself, such a work) of Hogarth.” Now, alin the very midst of the universal ig though the Globe and Traveller be a norance of its editor and contributors, Whig print, and therefore, doubtless, is an enigma which would have turn full of all hatred and uncharitableness ed the tables on the Sphinx, and for towards our dear Maga, she, sweetced her to have recourse in despair to tempered Tory, regards with a kind a solution of arsenic. Hundreds eye the Globe and Traveller, and thousands tens of thousands of books, wishes him a still wider circulation. well worthy, as we have been assured His occasional criticisms are clever and by competent judges in the southern acute—and what is better, just—as in regions of this island, of being read this case we believe they are—so, pray, through and through-have been pub- Mr Hood, let us have the Progress of lished in London during the last so Cant in our next monthly parcel. lar year—the very titles of which are Mr Hood bas taste, feeling, and geno more known to us than the titles nius. That being the case, we shall of the Ashantee aristocracy. The henceforth hold ourselves entitled to pastry-cooks, and the trunk-makers of abuse him as often as we choose. NoEngland, are happy in their genera- thing so affronting to a grown-up man tion. In Scotland, their demand is as the flummery of continual panegygreater than the supply-for Mr M' ric. What more absurd spectacle than Culloch's works alone, multiplied that of a man standing in the first or though they be by four, five, or ten, even second position, with his hands do not suffice, and so far from occa in his breeches pockets, while one crisioning a glut, there is still, we un tical chum claws him on the back, derstand, a demand for them in the and another chucks into his gaping Tart and Trunk markets; and the mouth a pound of fresh, or perhaps Economist has undertaken to furnish salted butter? Yet such is a common a supply of some thousand reams in spectacle now-a-days in the literary the shape of a Dictionary of Political world. Each puny and petty author Economy, and of an edition of the let is seen flying about from hedge-row works of Adam Smith. The Edin to hedge-row, in weak and wavering burgh Economist is worse than the flight, surrounded and followed by a landed gentlemen. He will have crowd of silly editors, like a gowk by the monopoly of the rag-trade--and his titlings. They cram him with will oppose, tooth and nail, any at praise, till sometimes he absolutely is tempt, on the part of the legislature, seen to puke; yet still the glutton to admit into Scotland so much as a holds up his insatiate orifice for more, single ream of the commodity, even till, finally, swallowing something on a high protecting duty. In this poisonous—insect or berryhe gets his opposition to the principles and very very sick indeed—is seized with practice of Free Trade, who would be a violent purging-saw ye ever such a lieve that Mr M'Culloch is prime spectre—dies, is laid out, buried, and aider and abettor of the Monopo- forgotten. One of his palls writes per lists? Yet such is the fact—so that haps an epitaph which gets into Alhe absolutely occasions to the consu bums, where, from the vagueness of mers of rag the loss of a large sum, the expression pervading it, it is someannually “ destroyed en pure perte.” times supposed to be a dirge on that
Among other works deserving peru. interesting domestic, the ass, or a desal, there is, we have been told, one by scription of the Bonassus. this very self-same precise and identi Maga has done more to curb the cal Mr Thomas Hood, entitled, The pride and vanity of authors, without Progress of Cant. It is, we are told depressing or extinguishing those very
useful principles in their nature, thanı mon topics, such as Greece, Shaks. all the other periodicals, from Weste' peare, the Corn Laws, Free Trade, minster to Inverness. Poets, especial. Grimaldi, Buonaparte at St Helena, ly, find the greatest difficulty in know Steam, Rail-Roads, Joint-stock Coming what to think of themselves—for panies, Lord Byron, and Blackwood, one month they are represented as yet whenever you have pressed them drinking no other liquid but hippo up into a corner, and stuck them to crene, and another as getting sorely the point, their almost total want of fuddled on small-beer. They are not understanding has instantly been exsuffered to come to any permanent be posed, and they have not had so much lief on the nature of their own inspi as a single word to throw to a dog. ration. On the first of December, a Let no man, woman, or child, there bard, with Maga in his hand, looks fore, hope to have his, her, or its name, into his glass, and lo! the fine figure handed down to " posteriority," withand bright face of an Apollo. On the out the aid of some pretty considerfirst of January, why the witch has able quantity of brains. The phrenotransformed him into Punchinello! logers do now and then utter more What manner of man he really and nonsense than ought to fall to the bona fide is, it is not possible for him share of their sect; but in taking the to conclude from such very inconsiste brain as the basis of their systern, they ent and contradictory reflections, and act judiciously; nor can we conceive he walks accordingly about the pre- . how any metaphysical creed can be mises in much mental disquietude. either formed or supported but by that Yet, in the long run, he cannot help organ. Mr Jeffrey is one of the last feeling that he has found his own le men in the world from whom we vel, and that, after all his manifold should have expected an attack on the metamorphoses, Maga has kindly suf public and private character of the fered him to subside into his own na Brain-for to what else, pray, has he tural dimensions, be it of poet or poet owed his rise in life? But such is, aster.
ever has been, and always will be, Mr Hood's preface is one of the few man's ingratitude ! good prefaces we have seen during the But here is Mr Hoodi's preface. present century. It is illustrated by
“ In presenting his Whims and Oddia a very ingenious design-his own ca ties to the public, the author desires to put in a mortar, with a pestle stuck say a few words, which he hopes will not into the skull, somewhat after the swell into a Memoir, fashion of Jack Thurtell's pistol into “ It happens to most persons, in octhe skull of Wear. He is beating his 'casional lively moments, to have their litown brains for subject matter ; and tle chirping fancies and brain-crotchets, the placid expression of his eyes shows that skip out of the ordinary meadows the confidence he reposes in the result. land of the mind. The author has cauglit Mr Jeffrey is seriously of opinion that his, and clapped them up in paper and people do not think through the in print, like grasshoppers in a cage. The strumentality of physical organs, so
judicious reader will look upon the tri. that whatever may be the use of brains,
Aling creatures accordingly, and not ex. they do not enable lady or gentleman
pect from them the flights of poetical to write an article for Maga or the winged horses. Edinburgh Review. Mr Jeffrey is
“ At a future time, the press may be thus pleased to assert, that in putting troubled with some things of a more setogether his Observations on Phreno
rious tone, and purpose, which the
author has resolved upon publishing, in logy, his brains took no active part-an assertion which we daresay Mr Combe despite of the advice of certain critical
friends. His forte, they are pleased to would admit may be true, without ab
say, is decidedly humorous ; but a gensolutely overturning the science. Many tleman cannot always be breathing his well-authenticated stories have we read comịc vein. of people performing their parts in life
“ It will be seen, from the illustrations with considerable reputation and suc of the present work, that the Inventor cess, after having been trepanned, and is no artist ;-in fact, he was never robbed of a portion of brain, that went • meant to draw'- any more than the to enrich some College Museum. But tape-tjed curtains mentioned by Mr Pope, although it be true that people have Those who look at his designs, with talked plausibly enough on the com Ovid's Love of Art, will therefore be
disappointed ;-his sketches are as rude heeding her guests, who think her and artless to other sketches, as Ing- outré, or even downright ill-bred. But ram's rustic manufacture to the polished over a tumbler of twist, and in the chair. The designer is quite aware of shades of the cigarium, who, at a twotheir defects : but when Raphael has handed crack, is more eloquent than bestowed seven odd legs upon four Despair ? No long, involved, circumApostles, and Fuseli has stuck in a great locutory sentences, in which the lisgoggle head without an owner ;-when tener gets giddy, as in a round-about Michael Angelo has set on a foot the at a fair. Every word, every tone, wrong way, and Hogarth has painted in every motion, every look, every gesdefiance of all the laws of nature and
ture tells. The most intensely inteperspective; he does hope that his own resting night we ever passed, was with little enormities may be forgiven—that his sketches may look interesting, like Lord Mc Cotton, the ordinary, looked in,
a friend in a cell in Newgate. When Byron's Sleeper,— with all their errors.'
“ Such as they are, the author resigns by appointment, about six o'clock, his pen-and-ink fancies to the public
A. M., we both started, my friend and eye. He has more designs in the wood; I, to find that it was only two hours and if the present sample should be re
to the usual time of execution. We lished, he will cut more, and come again, have met with many able men since according to the proverb, with a new se
that night,-great conversationists, ries.”
Coleridge, Macintosh, Jeffrey, Sydney
Smith, Odoherty, and other table-talk Mr Hood's love for Miss Tree is, men of the first magnitude; but they well known; and he celebrates his are mere ciphers to him of that cell. fruitless passion for that delightful Their heavy wordiness,-laborious redryad in some pretty verses, and an petitions, their hemming, and hawingenious wood-cut. As long as hope ing, and hammering,-heavens! what is alive, the heart of a man is oppress- a contrast to the conciseness, the vied with care; but when hope is dead gour, the terrible nakedness of a pasand buried, then may the lover again sion scorning every word that was not be happy at bed and board. There even Shakspearean. True, that that cannot be a greater mistake than in felon had well studied the elder dratalking tragically of despair. Despair matists,-for he was a friend of our is far from being a heart-wringing, friend, Charles Lambe, who published hair-tearing passion. Despair sits down the Specimens --but his talk, during in an easy-chair, when such a luxury the whole night before his execution, is at hand, and with swelling cushion's had a raciness about it all, that would beneath and around the sitting part, have hindered the most critical of crifixes on the ceiling, or it may be on tics from accusing it of imitation of the grate, a pair of eyes remarkable Ford or Webster. But we return to for nothing but a composure almost Mr Hood's wood-cut of Miss Tree. bordering on stupidity of expression. A woodman has been cutting away Despair sees everything in its real light, at the trunk of a Tree, when suddenly and what is so valuable as truth? it branches out into the figure of its Hope, it is allowed on all hands, is living namesuke, in the very attitude the greatest liar on the face of the in which she has conquered so many earth; but despair is no bouncer— hearts, — when, with all her mild, spius no long yarn-draws no long meek, and modest charms, she upliftbow-sticks to matter-of-fact—while ed her wreathy arms in obedience to any little embellishments or ornaments, the oft-repeated cry,-Encore !-enin which she may choose to decorate core !-encore! Away flies the biting her discourse, are ever chaste and sim- axe, that has been inflicting such cruel ple, and accordant with the spirit by wounds on the tender bark of her which she herself is animated. De- slight, slim, slender ships! The woodspair makes no great figure at the head cutter flings himself into a posture of of her own table, when the dinner- loving admiration of the matchless party is large and miscellaneous; for Tree! and too blest would he be to she does not excel in small talk-herslumber all night long, and on, on, laughter is often ill-timed—and she on, into meridian sunshine, beneath will occasionally devour the dish that the fragrant and flowering branches happens to be before her, without all dropping with the honey-dew!
What the wood-cut means to be an the delight of worshipping a shoe-tie emblem of, we cannot exactly tell; or a tucker. Such persons must have nor do the accompanying verses throw nothing to do with the Whims and Odmuch light on the matter; but there dities of Mr Hood. is a charm in obscurity, especially “ Love," quoth the Ettrick Shepherd, when love is the theme; and all such “ Love is like a dizziness, compositions, to be felt fully, must on That wunna let a poor body no account be clearly understood. Any Gang about his buzziness." reader is at liberty to put what con And Mr Hood breathes, in different struction he pleases on a copy of love strain, the same complaint. There is verses, or a love wood-cut; and he much of that pleasant pathos in the who asks an explanation from a friend following verses, that a man who has whom he supposes to be a better in been often in love, and with various formed man than himself, of any dif- success, cannot choose but throw into ficulty occurring in an amatory effue any complaint, be it serious or playsion, either printed or engraved, is a ful, against “ la belle passion." ninny, and never can have experienced
O LOVE! what art thou, Love? the ace of hearts,
Trumping earth's kings and queens, and all its suits ;
In life's odd carnival ;-a boy that shoots,
A gardener, pulling heart's-ease up by the roots;
O Love! what art thou, Love? a wicked thing,
Making green misses spoil their work at school;
Grave ripe-fac'd wisdom made an April fool ?
A sinner, sitting on a cuttie stool ?
O Love ! what art thou, Love? one that is bad
With palpitations of the heart—like mine-
A necklace of her garters—fell design!
Ending his sonnets with a hempen line?
Mr Hood has touched off a sea the stomach. Mr Hood is such an artscene very cleverly, both in prose and istmas witness the following lines :verse-and also in wood. Nothing so easy to a vulgar mind as a description
“ Cables entangling her, of sea-sickness. In almost every book
Shipspars for mangling her, of voyage or travel, a chapter is dedi
Ropes sure of strangling her, cated to vomiting-a chapter that
Blocks over-dangling her ; makes the reader as sick as if he had
Tiller to batter her, actually had the misfortune of being
Topmast to shatter her, in the birth below that of the writer
Tobacco to spatter her ; in the cabin of a steamer. But the Boreas blustering, artist of genius, without slurring over Boatswain quite flustering, any of the peculiar and characteristic Thunder clouds mustering miseries of such a place and time, ap To blast her with sulphurpeals to the imagination rather than If the deep don't engulf her; VOL. XXI.