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THE NATIVE MELODY.
Stanzas, supposed to be repeated by an Ezile.
And wake that wild impassion'd strain ;
Flash from my heart through every vein
And conjures up, with viewless wand,
My early days, my native land !
Upon a far and foreign strand,
Fondly to press once more his hand;
And talk, with heart-felt ecstasy,
Upon the hours of years gone by!
Remembrance of thy carrols wild,
By whom thy glory is reviled ;
To live, to die, to pass away
And mix with earth's neglected clay!
These native accents, breathing joy,
I sate, and listed, when a boy;
Ah! ne'er from inspiration fell
Tones hymn'd so sweet, or loved so well!
Afar from all that blessed me, when
No! dear they are to me as then:
And more melodious far when sung
Written after the Invasion of Russia by the French. The day-star was retiring in the south Behind a ridge of clouds, as twilight fell Upon the banks of Moskwa. Silence reign'd Throughout the desolate city; save, by fits, As rose the crackling flames, or sunk the roofs, The ponderous roofs of buildings undermined; Or the stayless element found its way To nether domes encaved, the magazines Of nitrous grain explosive, corn, and wine ; Or when the prison'd watch-dog madly howld, As near and nearer raged the swelling flame, Gnawing its chain in savage agony, Amid the torments of a lingering death,
Laden with darkness, now, the wings of night
The dusky groupes that clothed the narrow lanes,
LETTER FROM DAVID HUME, ESQUIRE.
47, George-Street, 1st October, 1821. In your Magazine for February, 1818, ing to the Faculty of Advocates for (p. 495,) a correspondent of yours, redress. He found, however, thathe was who subscribes D. I., has contradict- not to expect the support of the Dean ed, as utterly destitute of founda- of Faculty, and some other leading tion," an anecdote related in Hardy's members of that body. “I saw it Memoirs of Lord Charlemont, respect- then," says he, in this letter to Adam ing the generosity of David Hume, Smith, " impossible to succeed, and the historian, to' Dr Blacklock, the accordingly retracted my application: blind poet, in communicating to him but being equally unwilling to lose the the benefit of an office held by him use of the books, and to bear an indig(Mr Hume) under the University of nity, I retain the office, but have given Èdinburgh.
Blacklock, our blind poet, a bond of anIt is true, Lord Charlemont is inac- nuity for the salary. I have now put it curate in some of the particulars. The out of the power of those gentlemen to office in question was that of Librarian offer me any indignity, while my moto the Faculty of Advocates; and Mr tives for remaining in the office are so Hume neither did, nor could transfer apparent. I should be glad that you the office itself to Dr Blacklock, but approve of my conduct. I own that I the salary only, which was L.40 a-year. am satisfied with myself.” Lord Charlemont had also been mis- In Mr Hume's account of his own informed in regard to the rapid, and life, he says, “ In 1752, the Faculty somewhat romantic way, in which the of Advocates chose me their librarian, favour is related as having been con- an office from which I received little or ferred by Mr Hume. But the sub- no emolument, but which gave me the stance of the story-that Mr Hume did command of a large library.' He had receive this salary to the use of Dr wished to conceal, under these general Blacklock, and not to his own, I know expressions, the liberal way in which for certain to be true; for I had often he disposed of the emoluments of the heard it mentioned by Mr Hume's in- office. Allow me to add, that, in 1754, timate friends, Dr Blair, John Home, Mr Hume was by no means in affluent and Adam Smith. Though sure of circumstances; for he had then recentthe fact, I did not, however, wish ly published the first volume only of publicly to contradict your correspond- his history; and he held no appointdent's statement, in reliance on my ment, public or private, but this of liown recollection purely, though quite brarian to the Faculty of Advocates. distinct, of what those excellent per- I am persuaded, Sir, that you will sons had related to me. But t'other have satisfaction in correcting your corday, in the course of looking into some respondent's unintentional mis-stateletters of Mr Hume's, I hit upon evi- ment. It does not, indeed, relate to a dence of the fact, in Mr Hume's own matter of much importance; but the hand, in a letter to Adam Smith, da- anecdote serves toillustrate Mr Hume's ted, Edinburgh, 17th December, 1754. temper and dispositions; and, in that
Mr Hume, it appears, had a contro- view, it may be not entirely without versy at that time with the curators of interest. Besides, the public attention the Advocates' Library, respecting cere has already been called to the incident, tain books which he had bought for both in Lord Charlemont's Memoirs, the library, and which the curators and in your Magazine; and it will, had ordered to be expunged from the therefore, be as well that the circumcatalogue, and removed from the stances should be stated correctly. shelves, as licentious, and unworthy I am, Sir, of a place in the library of so grave and
obedient so learned a body. It also appears,
And most faithful servant, that Mr Hume had considered himself
DAVID HUME. as not very handsomely treated by the curators on that occasion; and that The Editor of Blackwood's Magazine. he had entertained a purpose of apply
THE VOYAGES AND TRAVELS OF COLUMBUS SECUNDUS.
GOD SAVE THE KING !
Vox Populi. The King's Birth-Dayin Edinburgh to celebrate the royal birth in the was one of unusual festivity. Every undisturbed retirement of a publicschool had the play on this momentous house, the termination of which celeday; and long before the 4th of June, bration often ends in a commitment the mimic cannon were put in order, to the Police-Office-Bridewell—the ammunition laid in, and storeof squibs, loss of character-and confirmed decrackers, sky-rockets, Roman candles, pravity. and fire-wheels, were prepared for the Those who were fathers twenty-five joyous demonstration of boyish loyal- years ago, will recollect the joy which ty. For weeks before, the only talk beamed in the eyes of the boys relieved among the boys was of powder and from the tasks of the school for the powder-horns; and the chief occupa- momentous day, and the delighted tion preparing match-paper, and are preparations that were made to ceranging the details of the bonfire, lebrate this happy anniversary; the and
the dress of Johnny Wilkes, which demand for money to replenish the personage has had the honour of being powder-horn; the array of cannon; hung and burnt in effigy once a-year and the anxious request to be awain Edinburgh, ever since I remember, kened “exactly at one o'clock.” When Boughs of trees and flowers were also the day was within a few hours, their provided on the preceding day, in spite little eyes sparkled with gladness at of the annual proclamation of the ma, the idea of pleasure to come, and it gistrates, and the care of the proprie- seemed an age till the moment arrived tors of shrubberies in the vicinity; when it was necessary to light the fire, and birch and laurel were in particular and usher in the day with the mimic demand to busk the wall, at the bot- thunder of their little artillery:tom of which was the delightful fire. “Mamma ! will Betty give us a backet
The King's Birth-days to which I of coals ?"-"Jenny, mind waken me allude, it is necessary to mention, were first !"-" Papa, I winna set aff the those which were celebrated previous crackers till you are up ;" and a thouto the city of Edinburgh having, or sand demands and expressions of a requiring to have, a regular police. similar nature, made even the old Since the period of that establishment, participate in what gave so much pleathe officers of which make little or no sure to the young. I myself recollect distinction between merriment and of making the fruitless request to be mischief, bonfires are not allowed, and allowed to sit up; have gone to bed the firing of squibs and cannon is for three hours to toss and tumble prohibited ; joy and gladness are re- in feverish anxiety, till the dawn of duced to mere sentiment; and, how- day shewed it was time to light the ever hopeless the experiment, it is fire, and decorate my cap with laurels; attempted, by these worthy protectors and I have known others go to bed at of the public peace, to pit auld heads an earlier hour, not to deprive nature on young shouthers, in spite of nature, of her accustomed rest, with the inefand to make youthful limbs move with fectual wish to shorten the intervening the tottering regularity of fourscore. period in the forgetfulness of sleep. That this has hitherto never fully But to the excited imagination, nothing succeeded, I am not sorry; and
when short of enjoyment can bring again the takinga walk in a modern King's Birth- calm of ordinary and every-day life; day morning, I do regret the paucity and the night preceding the King's of the fires, and their stinted orna- Birth-day was generally a sleepless one ments and in the evening to meet so to most of the schoolboys of Edinmany idle apprentices, whom this sys- burgh. Days of my boyhood !- I look tem has driven from the cheerful fire, back to your enjoyments with comand the enlivening noise of cannon, placency, and almost with regret ! The time that has intervened has not the mouths of a dozen importunate yet obliterated the remembrance of urchins, with cap in hand, on the early pleasures ; and I recur to the approach of any person near the halrecollections of the past with the gra- lowed fire; and I have oftentimes titude of one who enjoys with relish been fairly obliged to give a penny, the beauty of the flowerets which Be- though predetermined not to give any neficence has strewed along the path thing, to get rid of the obstinate suitof life.
ors, who would follow one the length Among the higher rank of boys, of a street, -Johnny Wilkes at the bonfires, and the firing of cannon, same time, in grotesque habiliments, squibs and crackers, formed the morn- stuffed with straw, and with hat in ing's amusement ; and rockets and hand, looking down from his station fire-wheels were exhibited at night; on the wall above the fire, so beseechwhile, among their inferiors in point ingly, that, in nine cases out of ten, of wealth, the funds to procure powder one felt that it was necessary to keep were chiefly solicited from the passers- up the spirit of nationality, which still by. “Eh, mind the banefire !Mind continues to revenge itself upon the Johnny Wilkes !” was echoed from author of the North Briton.*
John Wilkes, whom his violent opposition to the ministry of the Earl of Bute, and his illiberal attacks upon the country of the premier, in a paper called the “ North Briton," have “ damn'd to everlasting fame” in Scotland, was, for the libels of which this paper was the vehicle, dismissed from his command of the Buckinghamshire Militia, committed to the Tower, and No. 45 of this obnoxious publication, containing severe remarks upon the King's speech, was ordered by both Houses of Parliament to be burnt by the hands of the common hangman, at the Royal Exchange in London, on the 3d of December 1763. Previous to this, Mr Wilkes being in Paris in August of the same year, was recognized by Captain Forbes, an officer in the French service, from his having seen a likeness of Wilkes in a print by Hogarth, when Captain Forbes, after getting his acknowledgment that he was the person he supposed, challenged him, as the author of the reflections upon his country. Mr Wilkes, however, after a number of evasions, contrived to escape fighting, by putting himself under the protection of the police.
It is curious, at this distance of time, to read the attacks upon the Scottish people which gave rise to the burning in effigy of their author, which has continued to the present day; and I quote two paragraphs from the Scots Magazine of June 1763, to shew that Mr Wilkes at different times entertained very opposite opinions of Scotland and its inhabitants. The first is an extract of a letter to a friend in England, dated in 1758, which runs thus : “ I shall certainly do myself the pleasure of spending great part of this summer in Scotland. I love the people for their hospitality and friendship, as much as I admire them for their strong manly sense, erudition, and excellent taste. I never was happier than when in Scotland last ; and I shall never be so deficient in gratitude, not to have the greatest respect for the people and country.
The second is from the North Briton, No. 50, June 1763 : “ When we speak of national prejudices, we never confine our ideas to place, or have any further objects in our view than people. Hence, though in the whole circuit of creation, no country, so desperately wild, or inconceivably miserable as Scotland, can be discovered, yet I will suppose, what never was supposed fore, that it contains every thing the Mahometan paradise can produce, and that, in the language of Mr Pope,
Descending gods could find Elysium there.' For which reason my arguments shall have no relation to the wretched spot itself ; the propriety of my prejudice being sufficiently supported in the slightest consideration of the inhabitants.”_If any man can shew me a Scot who was not always the most insolent being in office, or the most scandalously cringing of reptiles out of place, I shall readily retract my assertions, and set him down the rara avis in terris, nigroque simillima cygno."
Black swans, I am happy to remark, are discovered to be quite common, (where indeed one should have naturally looked for them) at Botany Bay, in New Holland, and the thousands of Englishmen who annually visit our romantic country can attest, that, even in the wildest Highland glens, something better can be found for their roast-beef stomachs, than sheep's-heads, haggises, and oat-meal cakes. I do not doubt, notwithstanding, that there may yet exist some Cockneys, who think our country more barbarous than their own; and from the tirades of Wilkes, and the poetry of Churchill, draw their conclusions regarding Scottish worth and genius :
“ How can the rogues pretend to sense ?