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home, though on many farms it is succeeded by a later and more general feast. Now, the first part of the ceremony is omitted, and the feast and merriment, with a handful of corn in the room, and decorations of grain and flowers, still recall the older and more picturesque custom. There is, too, the hunting of the wren on St. Stephen's Day, which has become simply the carrying round from house to house of a little dead bird decked in ribbons, and the singing of Manx songs. Formerly, there was the
chase and capture of the bird, before the procession. The origin of this singular custom has not yet been satisfactorily discovered by Manx antiquarians.
It appears, then, that when we have succeeded in landing in the Isle of Man - for the arrangements for disembarking are scandalously bad and have escaped from the rough holiday-makers, we shall find many novel social habits well worth study among the Manx, as well as much bold and characteristic scenery.
TRIBUNALS OF BIRDS. - In the leading | the more select number. Some crime or other journal of Geneva a well-known Alpine tourist had evidently been committed against rookpublishes an entertaining account of the pro- law. Scouts, too, were hovering in all direcceedings of a raven-tribunal, accidentally wit- tions, but so absorbed were they that my nessed by him during a recent excursion in the vicinity was unheeded. After a very few minSwiss mountains. Descending from the re- utes the manner of the criminal suddenly and gion of glaciers, he came upon a small secluded wholly changed. He bent his head, cawed glen, surrounded by thick cover, concealed in weakly, as it were imploringly, and drooped which he was enabled to contemplate a strange his wings, as if pleading for mercy. It was spectacle. From sixty to seventy ravens had useless. The select circle went in at once, formed a circle round one of their fellows, and, picking him to pieces, left a mangled obviously a misdemeanant, whose alleged de- carcass in less time than I write of it. Then linquencies they were eagerly engaged in dis- they and all the rest, scouts as well, set up a cussing with infinite clatter of croaking and sort of exulting screaming, and flew away, wing-flapping. Every now and then they in- some to their neighboring home, and others — terrupted their debates for a brief space to the greater number I may say - across the listen to the energetic representations of the fields. On picking up the remains I found a prisoner, who conducted his own defence with shapeless mass, but was able to discern that it amazing fervor, the judges breaking out into a was a male bird." deafening chorus of comments and refutations after his every statement. Presently, having arrived at the unanimous conclusion that the arraigned bird had failed to exculpate itself, they suddenly flew upon him from all sides, and tore him to pieces with their powerful beaks. Having thus summarily executed their own sentence, they dispersed, leaving the remains of the dead offender bestrewing the very seat of justice, as a dread warning to all immorally-disposed ravens. A correspondent writing to the Daily Telegraph on the same subject says: "On a sultry summer afternoon I was riding leisurely on horseback along a quiet road in Norfolk-not_many miles distant from Norwich-when I was startled by hearing an unusual commotion, within a short distance, amongst the dwellers of an adjacent rookery. Quietly tying up my horse to a gate, I crawled some hundred feet or more to a gap in the hedge of a grass-field, where a rook 'trial by jury' was going on. The criminal -as undoubtedly he was at first appeared very perky and jaunty, although encircled by about forty or fifty of an evidently indignant sable fraternity, and assailed by the incessantly vehement cawing of an outer ring, consisting of many hundreds, each and all showing even greater indignation than was manifested by|
NATURAL SPREAD OF THE APPLE-TREE IN SOUTH AMERICA.—It is surprising how quickly the vegetation of many countries settled by Europeans has been modified. A writer in Petermann's Mittheilungen on the flora of Chili south of the Valdivia River, states that the scenery between the Rio Bueno and its winding affluents reminds one very much of home. In the park-like prairies, associated with Fagus obliqua, a deciduous beech, are numerous scattered apple-trees, originally introduced from Europe. The apple-tree has spread from Valdivia to Osorno, and even crossed the Andes into north-western Patagonia, and thence eastward. Indeed, it has become so widely spread, and so general, that the Indians from the distant regions of the Argentine rivers Rio Negro and Rio Colorado, are called Manzaneros, or Apple Indians. As a matter of fact, they and their kin in the provinces of Valdivia and Osorno live far more on the fruit of the apple-tree than any European people, for it affords them both food and wine.
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ONE DAISY AND TWO VIOLETS.
Wither'd, stands in summer air,
SENT FROM THE GRAVE OF KEATS, ROME, 1880. With one leaf growing here and there.
ONE daisy and two violets
Mix and mingle their faint sweets, For they grew like soft regrets
On the grave of English Keats, In that Rome in which the past Folds dusky wings and sleeps at last.
Two violets and one daisy here
Meet me with their tender look, And my lost youth grows all clear, Like a pool in summer brook, When the sunshine manifold Turns all the pebbles into gold.
In that time a spirit bright
Came and took me by the hand, In his eyes was all the light
Of that wondrous pagan land
One light finger touch'd my heart,
As those melodies so sweet
There were forms of half-seen things,
Such as those love who will reap Dim fields of the past, but leave Behind them aught that tends to grieve.
Glimpses into high abodes
Where the winds have never sound, Profiles of the idle gods
Lying half asleep, and crown'd
Naiads by the streams I saw,
To young hearts-was mine. Lapp'd in songs this spirit sung; I had nought to do with day, And the night was lit with beams And splendors from his golden dreams. Strange these simple flowers should bring Back that lost time unto me; Touch my dull day with the spring Of what was, as when a tree,
From Temple Bar.
"IN society I have met Sheridan frequently; he was superb!" So said Byron, who had met him often and heard him quiz De Staël and snub Coleman, and who said that "Sheridan could soften even an attorney." "Whatever Sheridan has done or chosen to do," says Byron, "has been par excellence, always the best of its kind. He has written the best comedy (School for Scandal'), the best drama ... the best farce and the best address (monologue on Garrick), and to crown all, delivered the very best oration (the famous Begum speech) ever conceived or heard in this country."
A wit rather than a humorist, an orator more than a statesman, a brilliant writer of comedy and farce, Sheridan was equally at home in the salons of the great, in the repartee of the clubs, in the badinage and persiflage of the green-room, or in the debates and conflicts of the House of Commons.
was carried, with the consent of the nation, to that Abbey to lie wherein is the secret hope of all our great men.
Richard Brinsley Sheridan was born in Dublin in 1751; his grandfather was a scholar and the friend of Swift; his father was an actor of some celebrity in his day, a rival of Garrick, a teacher of elocution, and the author of a well-known pronouncing dictionary; his mother was the authoress of several plays, novels, and other works now wholly forgotten. At nine years of age Brinsley was brought over to England and placed at Harrow, where Moore tells us that "he was remarkable only as a very idle, careless boy, who contrived to win the affections and even admiration of the whole school, both masters and pupils, by the mere charm of his frank, genial manners, and by the occasional gleams of superior intellect which broke through all the indolence and indifference of his character." At Harrow his scholastic education may be said to have commenced and ended, for his father's circumstances were not sufficiently flourishing to admit of his being sent to a university, and in his twentieth year we find him an idler in Bath society
Born of a mother of whom Dr. Parr said, "I once or twice met his mother, she was quite celestial," and of a father who was a man of letters, the instructor of Wedderburne, and the manager of a thea--in which city his father was acting at tre, he yet started in life without means or powerful friends, and rose to be - alas for him!—the friend of princes, in whom he put his trust, and more fortunately the support of Fox and the Whig party, and their finest orator. He lived to give to the stage a comedy so bright and witty, so graceful and mirthful, that it keeps its popularity to this day, and he added the weight of his genius to the persecution of Warren Hastings in a speech which worked an assembly, already excited by the eloquent imagery of Burke, into a frenzy of enthusiasm.
This man, with all his genius, wit, eloquence, and fascinating manners, with inherited and acquired abilities, who had overcome all obstacles, and stood in the first rank in society and in the House of Commons, died poor, worn out by debauchery, and with bailiffs about him. Nevertheless, in recognition of the purity of his political life, in admiration of his splendid talents, when he passed away he
the time-writing, in conjunction with a
Some of the poems,.
Every one knows what the Bath of that day was like; it was the resort of valetudinarian reputations as well as of impaired constitutions, of gamblers, adventurers, fortune-hunters, scandal-mongers and much worse. It was not a healthy atmosphere for a good-looking, fascinating, clever young fellow of twenty, who,
his mother being dead, and his father | Having every confidence in his honor she being continually engaged in professional consented, and, while her father and duties, was left to do very much as he brother were engaged at a concert, she liked; and one of the least reprehensible and her lover, accompanied by a maid, things he did was to fall in love with the were dashing along the London road in a most beautiful and accomplished woman postchaise. Upon arriving in the mehe met. This was the daughter of the tropolis he took her to a friend of his well-known composer, Elizabeth Linley, family's, who was no other than Charles the famous singer - called by some the Lamb's uncle, the tallow-chandler and fair maid of Bath, by others St. Cecilia- theatre-goer, whom Elia has immortalized with whom every man was in love, in- in one of his delightful essays, and who cluding Brinsley's friend Halked, his own offered the runaways a passage on board brother Charles, rich Mr. Long, Sir | one of his own ships that was just about Thomas Clarges, and one Captain Mat- to sail for Dunkirk. Soon after they thews, a fashionable roué, a married man, arrived in France, Miss Linley became who had known her from her childhood. Mrs. Sheridan. The latter, a man of fortune and intellect, was a welcome and respected visitor at her father's house, and took advantage of his position to endeavor to entangle her affections. But young Sheridan won the victory over all his rivals, and to him Miss Linley told the story of Captain Matthews's persecutions - how he had sworn to destroy himself upon her refusing to see him; how, terrified by these threats, her resolution had given way; how, as soon as he entered the room where she was, he had drawn a pistol from his pocket and, after locking the door, threatened to shoot himself before her eyes if she did not bind herself to see him again upon his return from London; and how, when he found her inexorable to his base proposals, he had vowed to destroy her reputation. Brinsley, who knew the man well, instead of playing the part of a chivalric lover, insinuated himself into Matthews's confidence, in order to obtain proofs of his true designs for Miss Linley, womanlike, was too apt to believe in the sincerity of his ravings. On the very evening that he brought her certain letters which placed the roué's villainous intentions beyond a doubt, he found her dangerously ill from a dose of poison which she had swallowed while in a state of distraction.
In the mean time Brinsley had received a copy of the Bath Chronicle, in which there was a furious attack upon himself by Matthews, and a threat to inflict public chastisement upon him the first time they met. No man of honor could live under such an insult in those days, and our young Benedick at once returned to England, challenged his calumniator, and a meeting was arranged in Hyde Park. The weapons were to be swords; the hour arranged was six in the evening; the spot the Ring, the Rotten Row of that time. Upon arriving there, however, Matthews objected to certain persons who were loitering about, and it was mutually agreed that the combatants should proceed to a coffee-house. After being refused accommodation at the Bedford they adjourned to a private room of the Castle Tavern, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden. In a letter to Captain Knight, Matthews's second, Sheridan thus describes what followed: "Almost immediately on entering the room we engaged. I struck Mr. Matthews's point so much out of the line, that I stepped up and caught hold of his wrist, or the hilt of his sword, while the point of mine was at his breast. You ran in and caught hold of my arm exclaiming, 'Don't kill him.' I struggled hard to disengage my arm, and said his Antidotes being promptly applied, the sword was in my power. Mr. Matthews young lady recovered, but so great was called out twice or thrice, 'I beg my life.' her mortification that she protested she We were parted. Mr. Matthews then would not remain in Bath another day, hinted that I was rather obliged to your and Sheridan offered to escort her to interposition for the advantage; you deFrance, and there place her in a convent.clared that 'before you did so, both the