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most amusing of Irishmen turned up, the in which he undertook to show that his appresent Chief Justice Whiteside, then at preciation of the beauties of our immortal the Bar, observed that there was not a man bard surpassed that of any of our own critin the upper ranks of Dublin life for twenty ics, living or dead, and that his acquaintyears before who had any pretensions to ance with the niceties of the English lanwit, humour, professional or artistic talent, guage was superior to that of the natives. who had not been a guest at Brophy's hospit- Lover's best recitation was his celebrated able table. Whenever the Marquis of Ang-"New Potatoes," a dialogue between a lesey, who was a martyr to tic doloreux, was poor vegetable woman from Ormond Marmore than ordinarily afflicted, he sent for ket going along the quay with a female comPat, who, attending very little to the imme- panion, to whom she tells the story of her diate seat of the malady, addressed himself domestic grievances, interrupting it every to the noble patient's imagination. After moment with the cry of "New Potatoes" treating him to a merry quart d'heure with most ludicrously. This clever sketch of Zosimus, or some other eminent Dublin Irish character had been published in his character, the King of the Carmen, or the first volume, with an illustration from his Queen of the Pill Lane poissardes, he left own pencil, and his very clever manner of his Excellency as free from pain and as reciting it was the means of more than ready for dinner as he ever was in the course doubling the sale of the book. of his life. Pat's attitude or look, like Liston's or Buckstone's, was enough, without a word from him, to throw a Quaker into convulsions.
It was amongst such pleasant scenes and companions that Lover's comic genius was nurtured and developed. He studied the character, conversation, manner of thinkButler's "Paganini" was a wonderful touring, and habits of his humble countrymen de force; for although it exhibited vis comica most industriously, until, excepting Carleof a high order as a conception, yet from the ton, no man living knew them more intiway he scraped and stamped and rolled his mately. head and eyes, and worked his body and arms, it was physical force with a vengeance! Without any more preparation than stepping into a corner of the room for a moment, buttoning his coat up to his chin, and smoothing down those dark elf locks of his over his face, he jumped into position upon a chair or table, and you had the weird Italian before you in all his glory. Then he used to give us the " Gondolier of Venice," or the " Witches under the Walnut Tree," whichever we chose to call for, on the one string. The performer's voice, coming through a pin-hole formed by the tips of his lips, imitated most faithfully the tones of the devil's cremona, by which name the magic instrument went, whilst his arms and fingers aided to heighten the illusion most vigorously. Indeed they seemed really dealing with a material instead of a shadowy fiddle and bow, even to the featherbowing and pitzzicato tricks for which Paganini was so famous.
Jones was a most versatile genius of this school. Song speech, lecture, or recitation was all the same to him. His chef d'œuvre was, however, the famous Irish soldier's song of "Love, farewell!" rendered additionally famous by its appearance in one of the Irish Whiskey Drinker's papers, with additional verses and a Latin metrical translation in "Bentley's Miscellany," about twenty years ago. His next best performance was a Frenchman's lecture (in broken English, of course) on our own Shakespeare,
This is not, perhaps, the place to dwell seriously, or at any great length, upon a passage of Lover's life and career, for which, whilst one portion, and that the vast majority, of his countrymen would glorify his departed spirit, the very small minority would send it in a very different direction. I only venture to mention it in a few words, as it proves, at all events, the extraordinary talents he possessed as a caricaturist, and suggests the probability of his being now remembered as a humourist of a different. and a higher stamp, the legitimate satirist of folly, hypocrisy, and wrong in our public places and institutions, had he arrived in London a few years later, or that "Punch" had started a few years earlier.
The battle of English church rates, now happily, after so many years of bitter contest about to be made a drawn one with the consent of all parties in and out of Parliament, was not half so old or bitter as the battle of the Irish tithes. This long and bitter battle, although not thoroughly and satisfactorily decided as yet, was more than half won about thirty years ago, when Lord Stanley (the present Lord Derby), then Whig secretary for Ireland, carried his measure through both Houses of Parliament, which converted the tithe system, so obnoxious for ages to the Roman Catholics and Dissenters of Ireland, into a rent-charge upon the land: and the sanguinary scenes which had been constantly enacted at the collection of this portion of the law churches'
dues at the point of the bayonet, were for | berus (proh nefas!) took down and bagged ever put an end to, although they are not even as yet forgotten.
Oh for a forty parson power, to chaunt Thy praise, hypocrisy!"
the episcopal game! Since Hogarth sketched Churchill as a bear in canonicals, with a pot of porter in one hand and a clay pipe in the other, there never was such audacious caricaturing of the Lord's anointed. I forgot how many editions of the "Horn-book” were published, but the first went up to several thousands, at five shillings a copy. Lover's secret was confided to a few who kept it well for him, otherwise his business as a miniature painter, which he followed exclusively at the time, would have been seriously injured. In after years, as he mixed in the bustle and crowds of London life, this early political escapade of his was seldom spoken of, if not altogether forgotten.
Mr. Disraeli was called to account, most ungenerously and most unwisely, by a political opponent for having put some poor and penniless old Orange poetaster of the North on the Pension List. I do not think that any gentleman, on the Conservative side of either House of Parliament, would have had the bad taste and judgment to find fault with Lover's political patrons for providing for his declining years somewhat more liberally. Mr. Disraeli's literary instincts, as well as his educating power over the wildest of his followers, would have prevented such a Boeotian outrage as that.
Such was the epigraph from Byron, which appeared in the year 1831 on the title-page of The Irish Horn-book," the letterpress of which, in prose and verse, was contributed to and edited by a Wesleyan miller and farmer from the Queen's County, named Tom Browne, whose nom de plume was Jonathan Buckthorn, and who went also by the name of the Irish Cobbett, aided by a few young barristers, commencing literateurs, and I might add junior members of Parliament, and other young men who filled a brilliant career in after life. Some of these were subjected to the pains, and penalties of the crown prosecutors of the day, who, the more they persecuted the popular champions, the more martyrs they found ready to fill the gaps made by the imprisonment of the willing victims, until at last the foolish and unnatural persecution had to be given up, and Lord Stanley's Act, abolishing the Irish tithe system, did away with the sentimental part of the chief grievances of the Irish millions, leaving the material portion of it to be settled by time; and as we all know, it is shortly to be settled. The Irish Roman Catholic and dissenting generation of thirty years ago cried out and fought against paying tithes directly to the ministers of a Church from whom they derived no spiritual advantage; the sons of that generation object to pay the same impost indirectly to their landlords in the shape of an increase to the rent (this is the way the cards have been shuffled), which increase the landlords hand over to the Church, whose ministers are thus indemnified. This most extraordinary book, which had a greater circulation than any work that was published in Ireland before or after it, and which created a greater sensation in that country than was experienced since the days of Swift, was illustrated with copperplate etchings of the finest and most ex- A more ridiculous assertion was never quisitely humourous character, by Samuel ventured upon than that which appears in Lover. Various were the contributors to the biographical notice of Lover's name in the literature of the volume, Tom Browne the "Men of Our Time," to the effect that being the chief; but Lover did the pictorial the success which attended his Irish Enterportion of it-alone he did it! What tainments was only second to that achieved feasts-Balshazzar feasts of the loaves and by Albert Smith's Ascent of Mont Blanc, fishes! What fishing in the Sea of Seas! which realised the enormous sum, for such What steeple-chases for the Mitre Cup! an undertaking, of thirty thousand pounds. What Satanic Shooting Excursions (the I doubt if Lover realised as many pence in metrical portions modelled on Porson's and the affair I speak of. I remember Albert Coleridge's Devil's Walk), in which the telling me one night at supper about that Great Enemy of mankind, with his dog Cer-time, that he had just been to the Soho, where
It may not be inappropriate at this moment, whilst speaking of the Irish tithe war of 1831, to state that by-and-by, when the great event comes off, and religious equality becomes a great fact in the sister country, every one of the veterans alive who fleshed their boyish weapons in the war against religious ascendancy in 1831, may be glad and proud at length to tell the tale; and they will be pointed out as the pioneers of the mighty change which has been brought about by its own bitterest enemies as much as by its natural and consistent friends. And the mighty change will be followed by still mightier changes after it. Thus it will shortly, very shortly, be; and the whirligigs of time will bring about their revenges.
he witnessed the most comic exhibition he ever was present at in his life; namely, a confidential little duet between Sam Lover and the pianoforte, in which the very small audience present took a painful interest, and could not for the life of them see any joke in it whatever.
Had Lover never written anything more than his first sketches of Irish character, his dozen or score of first-rate Irish songs, and his successful Irish drama, which last mentioned Power's illustration of the principal character was enough to immortalise; had he stuck to his palette and easel even in the inferior rank of art as a portraitpainter, or had he been fortunate enough to obtain a snug berth in one of the public offices, like Crofton Croker, another popular illustrator of Irish peasant life, and successful editor of Irish song literature, and been satisfied, like him, to rest under the shade of his early laurels, his rank as a literary man would have been higher than that which he occupies.
DREADFUL is the picture, Mr. de Quincey has forcibly declared, which in books we sometimes find of children discussing the doctrines of Christianity, and even teaching their seniors the boundaries and distinctions between doctrine and doctrine. He confesses that often it had struck him with amazement that the two things which God made most beautiful among his works, viz., infancy and pure religion, should, by the folly of man (in yoking them together on erroneous principles), neutralize each other's beauty, or even form a combination positively hateful. "The religion becomes nonsense, and the child becomes a hypocrite. The religion is transfigured into cant, and the innocent child into a dissembling liar."*
Not that the writer just now quoted, nor any other of thought and feeling, would be insensible to the charm of such a picture as that, for instance, of Richard Hooker in early childhood, for which we have Izaak Walton to thank. But people of an observant and thoughtful turn will, for the most part, acquiesce in Mr. Henry Taylor's view, that, as continual attention to making a child happy will not produce happiness, neither will continual attention to making
Suspiria de Profundis,' Part I.
him good produce goodness; for if the child feels that there is some one incessantly occupied with his happiness and goodness, he will come to be incessantly occupied with himself. Something, Mr. Taylor contends, must be left in a spirit of faith and hope to nature and God's Providence. "Parents are to be the instruments, but they are not to be all in all." The conscience of a child, he warns them, may easily be worn out, both by too much pressure, and by over-stimulation. he refers to a child he had known to have a conscience of such extraordinary and premature sensibility, that at seven years of age she would be made ill by remorse for a small fault. She was brought up, he says, by persons of excellent understanding, with infinite care and affection, and yet, by the time she was twenty years of age, she had next to no conscience and a hard heart. A person who had some experience of precocious consciences once observed to me, in respect to those children who are said to be too good and too clever to live, that it was very desirable they should not."* Wise is the mother, exclaims a refined critic of Wordsworth's poetry, who knows how to aid, without superseding natural influences and instinctive tendencies-to let the child grow at its natural pace not to raise it much wiser, he reflects, would the manhood upon stilts, or straighten it in stays. How of many of us be if our childhood had been to bend to the whims, systems, or caprices more joyous and less trammelled, less made of the elderly pedants about us! "We of course know that children are not diminutive angels, and need both instruction and mother in the three kingdoms will go with correction; but we believe every sensible us in an avowal of a decided preference for troublesome, ill-behaved children over the good little boys and girls who know the elements of all the ologies, and can define many of the isms, who never dirty their pinafores, and decline eating their dinners till grace has been said." Mr. Thackeray pictured one of his dislikes in little Cecilia fervent precocity; declared that she would Lovel, who repeated Watts's Hymns with fantine sermons to her brother and maid marry none but a clergyman; preached inried me, if the truth must be told, by the about worldliness; "and sometimes weaintense self-respect with which she regarded
her own virtues."
It has been said that if anybody can get a pretty little girl to die prattling to her
*Notes from Life,' pp. 124, et seq.
brothers and sisters, and quoting texts of Scripture with appropriate gasps, dashes, and broken sentences, he may send half the woman in London, with tears in their eyes, to Mr. Mudie's or Mr. Booth's. The accomplished author of "The Children's Bower"the lessons of which are mainly drawn from the loss of two children, Mr. Kenelm Digby's was sincerely praised for his avoidance of the morbid sentimentalism popular on such topics. What dismal twaddle, one of his reviewers exclaimed, would such a subject become in the hands of a Puritan biographer-how little Ebenezer's coughs and colds, his teething and nettle-rash and measles, his devout resignation to physic, and his sublime superiority to lollipops and marbles, would be dwelt upon in a strain "provoking our disgust against canting parents and bookmakers, and almost against their poor little victim himself!" It being desirable that the virtues of obedience, kindness, and patience should be taught as early as possible, a well meaning lady is cited as conceiving the idea of writing" The Life of a Baby," who, during a lifetime of three years and three months, exhibited these qualities in a remarkable degree. A caustic reviewer points out how, at the age of one year, the subject of the memoir showed her piety by rebuking her father for going to breakfast without reading family prayers first, and also by the severity of his behaviour to a relative who, though a grown-up man," sad to say, did wrong now and then- -on which occasion "she would not go to him, and afterwards would tell him earnestly her feelings about what he had done." "Her heart was so full of love and obedience," we are told, "that she seemed to find out the absence of those virtues directly, and persons deficient in them she looked at with a distant, reproving look." As an instance of her kindness is cited her conduct in reference to a bunch of grapes which she administered to her father; and the angelic way in which she took her medicine is offered as an example of her patience. "At the close of each chapter the biographress brings a heavy battery of questions to bear upon the poor little reader. Are you like this baby?" "Are you an obedient child?" "Do you love to give to others?" And the volume is described as concluding with a smart shower of text, the Congreve rockets of religious strategy. And then we learn that the wide circulation which this baby obtained, as well as the incredulity of certain good men "who doubt whether such things could be," led to the publication of the Life of Another Baby," which other baby, like "Paradise Regained,"
Gay's "Polly,", and sequels generally, is pronounced inferior to its precursor, though the resemblance is sufficiently strong for the purposes of corrorboration. Our reviewer, for his part, does not doubt the truth of either narrative, believing indeed that the rarity of three-year-old angels in common life is more apparent than real, owing to a tendency which they have, if they grow up, to subside into mere good children, and become eventually very ordinary men and women. His scepticism is confined to a mistrust of the moral influences likely to be exercised by such a mode of inspiring the infant mind with virtue. "Unfortunately, there is no lesson more readily learned by children than hypocrisy; and if a child finds out that tendering a grape represents self-denial (we once saw a practical lady accept an offer of this sort, and a roar was the consequence)
that being detected in reading the Bible produces praise or some more tangible result-that singing hymns is looked upon with more favour than blowing an asthmatically musical peal-the tempation to make stock of the discovery will not always be resisted."* There is a suggestive significance in the entreaty of Caroline Perthes to her husband, "If you love me, take care that, in the event of my death, my children, especially my little children, are entrusted to the care of those who will teach them to love God, without knowing that they are learning it." The country parson, who has made a name by his Recreations, declares that no sadder sight can there be than that of a little child prematurely subdued and "quiet," and threatens the pump, or even tarring and feathering, to "any drab-coated humbug" who should impress sombre notions of life on a child of his.
A Saturday Reviewer, writing in favour of public schools, takes occasion to discuss the use of religious language on the part of the young. Nothing, he observes, is more alien to the feeling of men trained at a public school than that boys should use religious language, whereas to weak mammas nothing is more delightful; the weak mammas being in ecstasy with the graces and gifts and heavenly-mindedness of their sons, while public schoolmen would look on them as little horrors. "There is a phrase current at missionary meetings which sums up exactly all that is admired on one side and detested on the other. The regulation speakers at these meetings are in the habit of saying of those precocious little Christians whose lives
Saturday Review,' vi. 157; cf. ibid. v. 450, 475. ↑ Life of Frederic Perthes,' ch. xv. See First Series, p. 141.
and deaths they record, that they expressed becomes one of the leaders or admirers of themselves very nicely about Jesus. Now the tribe of popular preachers."*
a boy who expressed himself very nicely about Jesus would be the admiration of many mammas, while the toes of a public schoolman would tingle to kick him." And yet, this writer allows that, if the two were to argue the point, the lady might have the best of it; for she would urge that it was everything to get her boy to think rightly about religious subjects, and to be interested in them, and to have courage to speak boldly of them; and supposing he were sent to a place where he learnt cricket rather better than he could learn it at home, but where he left off religious feelings and religious language, the question occurs, Would the gain equal the loss?
To which question the writer knows of but one answer the answer of experience. Practically, it is found that boys brought up to use religious language very generally turn out badly; that the sons of clergymen are, as a rule, the most troublesome, wrongheaded, and unprincipled boys at school; and that boys educated at home escape few temptations in the long run, and, even if they are well conducted, are mostly nerveless, priggish, bigoted creatures. Experience teaches men this, and the public schoolman builds on a rock of experience from which nothing can shake him.*
Another essayist on the same theme, after deploring the preposterous precociousness of young England's curled and crinolined darlings, and the exceeding rarity of a little girl who is meek and ignorant and full of fun, and the encouragement modern parents give their small people to discuss their family affairs and the affairs of all their neighbours, pronounces the secular to be eclipsed, after all, by the religious children; there being hundreds of unfortunates under twelve in England who are equal to writing tracts -real live published tracts with pink covers, all out of their own memory of other tracts, and who have had startling experiences and consolations, and can critcise sermons, and even detect heresy. "A philosopher may endure one of the misses in crinoline, and even attain an intimacy which will warrant him in proposing that she shall some day put on an old cotton frock, and have a good feast of bread and jam with him. But the religious child is utterly irreclaimable, and must be suffered to grow up in its lost state until it sinks into the abyss, and
"But the lady, not having the experience, cannot be argued into reasoning from it; and it must be owned that, if it were not known that public schools did good, many theoretical reasons might be found to show they would do harm."— Saturday Review,' xvi, 326.
The author of "John Halifax," without wishing to blame a very well-meaning class of educators, considers it may fairly be questioned how far it is wholesome to paint children going about converting their fathers and mothers, and "youthful saints of three and a half prating confidently about things which, we are told, the angels desire to look into,' yet cannot, or dare not. We honestly confess that we should very much prefer Jack the Giant-Killer.'"+ Precocious children, observes a masterly essayist on social subjects, now and then talk of themselves, especially if forced and excited by a certain sort of religious teaching. Then they can be heard to enlarge with a horrible glibness on their feelings, their convictions of sin, their schemes for setting the world to rights;" but this is mostly, the essayist ‡ thinks, a sign of an overtasked brain, accompanied sometimes by an exceptional, grotesque form of naughtiness, and sure to pass off as the health improves and the cleverness vanishes
The little hero of Freytag's Sollen und Haben is introduced in earliest childhood as so rarely naughty, that many of the ladies of Ostrau, who were disposed to take a gloomy view of life, doubted whether such a child could live; which fear was, however, at last dispelled by Anthony one day giving a sound thrashing to the son of the Landrath; a misdeed that " removed his prospect of heaven to a conveinent distance." § Be it as it may with mature ladies, girls we are assured by Mr. Archibald Boyd, detest well-behaved boys. The young gentlemen who never tear their clothes, or wet their stockings, or break windows, or are too late for meals, may be the delight of adoring mammas, he says, but are held in supreme contempt by the little damsels of their own age, who lavish their affections upon ragged urchins who are ever risking their necks after birds' nests, or breaking into orchards, or getting black eyes and vari-coloured noses from the fists of their fellows. It has been made a special merit of the late William Collins, that in painting children he portrayed no infant cherubs, "fitted with speckless frocks," and "leering ravishingly at the spectator, under a sky wreathed inconceivably with clouds of red curtain, and before a background spotted profusely with Elysian flowers." ¶ &c. &c. ; but that under Essay on Modern Children.' The Age of Gold.' 'On Talking of Self.'
Debit and Credit,' ch. i.
The Cardinal,' ch. xxxi.
'Life of W. Collins, R.A., i. 234.