Page images
PDF
EPUB

was

efforts at effect are considered by Alas ! these were either totally all good judges as immeasurably neglected, or at the best mere apinferior to the noble simplicity of pearances were kept up; to effect Nature, and to whom the finishing which many clever shifts were had stroke of the wayward Frederick recourse to; these, however, oftenwas consigned To have done times failed of success, avd the with the metaphor_This youth sure consequence

severe was a compound of good qualities, punishment and loss of character. talent and extravaganza; but the Yet he still persisted, in spite of two former were frequently so far his resolutions of amendment, obscured by the intervention of which, in his calmer hours, were the latter, that their very existence sometimes excited by the still has been often unjustly questioned. small voice of conscience, and A year or two back, at the time parental correspondence; for Frewhen the character of a schoolboy derick had a good heart, naturally is on the point of deciding itself open to conviction, but one in for life, Golightly was considered which, unfortunately, momentary one of the best whips in the school : impressions were effaced. the bang-up style in which he used This thoughtless career continued to dash along theUxbridge road was for some time. In vain did his the theme of praise, even among true friends lament the neglect and his seniors. He was consulted abuse of talents with which he on the subject of all badger-hunts was gifted. Mournful experience and bull-baits which happened is the only cure for youthful imto be going forward, and the prudence, and it succeeded in this ingenuity which he displayed in Our dashing Oppidan beevading all inquiries which might came at length so involved in pebe made after him, when absenting cuniary difficulties, from his extrahimself from school business, under vagance, and the expenses which pretence of indisposition, while in his favourite pursuits brought upon fact he was enjoying his favourite him, that he was betrayed into ocpursuits, rendered him the oracle casional meannesses of behaviour, of all those who preferred hard which the low state of his finances, riding to hard reading. The week his income not answering the calls of Ascot Races was the most im- made on it, induced him to comportant period of the year with mit; however revolting they might our young Blood. His room was be to the innate nobleness of his literally the betting-stand, where disposition. His duns rendered all the juvenile amateurs of the his life miserable : it was quite imturf met to forestall their allowance possible for him to walk up town till the next vacation. At this without being accosted with am time you might often observe “Sir, you promised—.” “Oh, I Frederick in the centre of the was coming down to you, Mr. Go. school-yard, attended by his levee, lightly." 66 The smallest trifle with a list of the high-bred cattle would be a consideration.” Pressed in his hand, which he was discuss- on all sides, he was obliged at last ing, to the great edification of his to throw himself on the affection of audience. It may easily be ima- his father, who consented to pay gined that these numerous pur- off his debts on observing a thorough suits could not possibly harmonize repentance. Gratitude for this with much progress in his studies. treatment sunk deep in the mind

soon

case.

of the son, and effected as entire luminaries of the Eton hemisphere a change as the frailty of human na- of fashion borrow all their lustre. ture would allow. His haunts of But, indeed, one almost forgets the idleness and extravagance were absurdity of his conduct in the abandoned, and an end put to all amusement which his sprightly Connexion with those characters, sallies of humour and endless who, under pretence of ministering vivacity always afford his comto their amusement, prey upon the panions. Woe to the dandified purses of inexperienced Etonians. cit, who has just escaped from the But habits of indolence, which foggy atmosphere of Cheapside, have long grown inveterate, are in his hired gig, with his smiling not shaken off in a moment. Having sweetheart at his side, to visit naturally an admirable memory, Vindsor, and act the gentleman which retains every thing that is on the Terrace, if he encounters submitted to it, by the application the scrutinizing stare of Freof the slightest attention, Fre- derick's glass. And as for his criderick soon made up for his defi- tiques on the ladies, the Hermit in ciency in the studies of the part of London would be proud to draw the school to which he belonged; on them for an additional volume bat by this time the strong impulse of his entertaining work. · His saby which his repentance was ac- gacity ofobservation on the affected tuated, has subsided. He is now modesty and demure countenances more admired for the flashy bril- of those, who just put on an ap-. liance of his talents than for the pearance of innocence and purity steady bright flame of learning, as a masquerade dress, or from the which deep reading and consistency true spirit of female contradiction; of study are alone capable of light-, and the acuteness of his remarks ing up and nourishing; and these on the flippancy, pertness, and are not characteristics of the indivi- forward address of others, whose dual I am describing. In spite of giddy heads have been turned by the re-action which took place on the admiration which is paid them his amendment, periodical fits of in- by the gay, unmeaning danglers at dolence will often occur. There their side ; his exact discrimination remain also traces of the past in between diamonds and paste; the the indulgence he gives way to, neat elegance of the lady of rank, in a fashionable folly, which is at and the gaudy trappings of the present too prevalent in the school tradesman's wife ; and between the

—that of lounging up and down rose of health and its artificial subthe town, dressed to the very acme stitute ;-are the very nectar and of Bond-street ton; or, if I may so ambrosia of satirical entertainment. express myself, even in the highest It is ludicrous to see the enraptured height a higher height of ab- attitudes in which our amateur stusurdity is aimed at by the Etonian diously composes himself, when he votaries of dress. «. To see and surrenders his feelings to the overbe seen,” is the professed object of powering influence of melody, and these unwearied vicambulists. But is wafted from a consciousness of I wrong them perhaps ; to have an surrounding objects on the dying object in view does away with the strain of one of those beautiful very, quintessence of lounging. pieces, which the band are in the Frederick has long been considered habit of playing : till his comthe Sun, from whence the minor panion gives him an abrupt inti

mation that one of the Masters is be tired of his amusement, and to at hand, and arouses him from that sigh for novelty. To sum him up dreamy ideality, which is so often in a few words-he is a compound, talked of by some of the poets of a very essence of sporting, satithe present day, to a sense of the rical, and dramatic ingredients ; necessity of his disappearance from each of which rises uppermost, the observation of the Guardian (much on the principles of chemisof school discipline. A propen- try, which sets the lightest body sity for dramatic representation afloat,) in obedience to the caprice was formerly a striking feature in of the present moment. his character. He had contrived ALLEN LE BLANC is the absoto enrol a corps, of which he was lute reverse of Golightly. His constituted the head; and the sur- very figure bears testimony to the prising versatility with which he eccentricity of his mind. He is of could assume and support the most a diminutive round stature; his opposite characters, as also the able limbs are well compacted and manner in which he discharged the clean made: in short, he is a neat arduous office of manager, has sel- little miniature. He has small grey dom, if ever, been equalled at twinkling eyes, snubbed nose, dea school ; his skill in drilling an cided lines of thought prematurely awkward squad, in overawing furrowed on his brow; and, as he presumption, in encouraging diffi- bears his blushing honours thiek dence, and (the most difficult of all upon him, one would shrewdly tasks) in reconciling the preten- guess he was by no means 'desions of each individual with his ficient in paying his devoirs to capacity for fulfilling them;—these Bacchus. He has read deeply, and many other suitable qualities, though his course of study has confirmed him in a station, which, been perverted, and thought still without them, could not have been more deeply: but not having sufsupported by the most shining ficiently founded his principles on abilities as an actor. While this the rock of morality and revealed mania was upon him, it monopo- religion, either owing to inad. lized his entire attention. He was vertency, or a too great confidence perpetually studying some new in the unassisted powers of the theatrical attitude, and he scarcely human understanding, he has often ever opened his mouth, except to been led away by strange theories give you a pithy sentence from and speculations, which happened some play. By the way, he had for the moment to fix his attenalways been notorious for his quo- tion, and which he pursues through tations at all times, and in all all the intricacies of metaphysical places, a propensity which smacks argument, till he has lost himself strongly of pedantry. But now in the labyrinth of his own ideas. he was doubly armed, and there Naturally of a strong mind, and was no end of the continual volleys imbued with a taste for the abwhich he sent forth from his ma-' struse, he turned with supercigazine of farces and comedies. Atliousness from the Epic and Lyric last the theatre was knocked up

Poets. The natural simplicity of from the failure of the funds, and Homer, the more polished beauGolightly's growing cold in the ties of Virgil, and the sportive discharge of his duties ; for, with gaiety of Horace, with the exhis usual inconstancy, he began to ception of a few isolated passages, were tatally uninteresting to our plaster of Paris; on the skull of young philosopher. He flew with which are marked the different eagerness to the dark speculations organs, according to the doctrines of Lucretius, and the sneering in- of Gall and Spurzheim. For be it fidelity of Lucan; or examined known, our universal philosopher into the opinions of the Academy, has lately been inquiring into the and joined in the disputations at ingenious, but visionary study, of the Tusculan Villa. His chief pur- craniology; and has paid more suits have been the study of astro- attention than they deserve to the nomy and history; an examination various importations of German into the main spring and con- absurdities which have inundated nexion of events; the rise and fall us of late years.

In this sanctum of nations, as exemplifying the sanctorum he pores over his fagreat doctrine of the instability of vourite authors with spectacles all human institutions. His studies on sapient nose, taking no notice then took a more profitable turn; of his candle (though, with its imhe penetrated with avidity into mense snuff, it only renders darkmodern discoveries, from the Prin- ness visible) till it has become cipia of Newton, to the metaphy- finally extinguished in the socket; sics of Coleridge, and the moral when, on arising to retire, he finds philosophy of Paley. From hence that the door of his study has been the transition was easy to an eager blockaded with bedsteads by some investigation into theological sub- evil-disposed person or persons ; jects; but here he was unluckily and, having no remedy, he calmly entangled among controversial ties his pocket bandkerchief round points; and the spirit of religion his head, and contentedly passes was overlooked through a too ar- the remainder of the hours usually dent desire of coming to the un- dedicated to repose in his arm derstanding of the letter by the chair.

One would naturally supaid merely of human acquire- pose that his exercises would be ments. It may be hoped, how- imbued with a strong tinge of his ever, that a more attentive con- pursuits. However light or sportive sideration of the nature of this the subject may be that is prostudy has, by this time, removed posed for his theme, you must that film from the intellectual eye. have but a slight idea of Allen's His manners and actions ardour for abstruse disquisition; equally singular with his line of did you not expect to find some study; indeed so much so that metaphysical hints and observathey often incur the charge of tions dispersed throughout. Never affectation, though they mostly is he in greater glory than when result from an absence of mind, engaged in a laborious treatise on and inattention to outward ap- the lunar influences, or the propearances. Though his library is perties of matter, in rough unfull, and his choice of books good, polished hexameters, after the you will find his study a very Lucretian model; or an investichaos. In the centre of one shelf gation into the principles of the a duodecimo gilt Horace stands human mind, in a long copy of along side of a ponderous black iambics, in which the stabile sponbacked quarto, on theology: in dees have their full weight. I am front of you, as you enter, by the not, however, prepared to assert, window, is a great staring head in that although the harshness of

are

rhythm has been overlooked, the duty might be safely delayed till sense of the ideas intended to be the last moment, aud then slurred embodied therein, has been, on over as a disagreeable task. Hence that account, more distinctly con- also, not being accustomed to veyed. In company Allen is si- find any difficulties in the mere lent and reserved, unless when school business which was required exhilarated by copious draughts of him, he determined not to seek from the mantling bowl, which for them of his own accord, in the certainly in his case succeeds in more arduous pursuits of knowunfolding the contractæ seria ledge, which demand effort and frontis. :

application. In his course of readThe next member of the club who ing, he skimmed with volatile offers himself to our notice is the eagerness along the gayer and Hon. GERARD MONTGOMERY, the more pleasing paths of literature : son of a rich Warwickshire Peer, he flew from author to author, as whose bodily habits have been ren- the bee sips the sweets from every dered weak and effeminate, owing flower, without troubling herself to the over-abundant attentions be- with inquiries into the nature and stowed on him in the nursery, by properties of each one that she, his maiden aunt, Lady Deborah visits. By these means MontgoMildmay. This character, with re- mery amassed an extensive stock ference to the former two, forms of information on almost every the same connecting link which branch of the belles lettres; but twilight does between the opposite in spite of the ability with which extremes of day and night. His he would discuss a question, and genius is a brilliant of the first support his share of conversation water, but his talents have been among the members of the Club, suffered to run wild, owing to he has often been found to be their very luxuriance. Gifted with but superficially acquainted with wonderful quickness and reten- the subject which he has been tiveness of memory, and an ardent adorning with all the beauties of imagination, always on the wing a fluent and persuasive eloquence. in search of variety, his progress Eton, however, cannot boast of in classical attainments was the possessing another youth of whom theme of universal admiration, and it may be as truly averred, that he his instructors augured highly of has quaffed copious draughts of the future reputation of their pupil. the genuine Hippocrene. His naBut the success which he met with tural talent for poetical composiin his studies was the means of tion has been greatly improved preventing him from ever becom- and strengthened by his acquainting a solid scholar. The facility ance with the mighty masterwith which he was able to master spirits of the old time of Greece all his tasks engendered presump- and Rome. His sense of pleasing tion, and an unbounded confidence emotions was so refined, and his in his own powers, than which perception of the beautiful and nothing can be more detrimental pathetic so acute, that a tear has to the cause of learning. Hence been observed glistening in his Gerard indulged in habits of pro- eyes, while contemplating the crastination, because he could parting of the Trojan hero with write his verses off-hand, and his Andromache, or while tracing therefore the performance of his the agonizing feelings of the im

« PreviousContinue »