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taking upon him, that these comparisons are no hyperboles; but that the best things in nature do, in a lover's eye, fall short of those excellences which he adores in her.

"What pearls, what rubies can Seem so lovely fair to man,

As her lips whom he doth love,
When in sweet discourse they move,
Or her lovelier teeth, the while
She doth bless him with a smile?
Stars indeed fair creatures be;
Yet amongst us where is he
Joys not more the whilst he lies
Sunning in his mistress' eyes,
Than in all the glimmering light
Of a starry winter's night?
Note the beauty of an eye-
An if aught you praise it by
Leave such passion in your mind,
Let my reason's eye be blind.
Mark if ever red or white
Any where gave such delight,
As when they have taken place
In a worthy woman's face.

·

I must praise her as I may,
Which I do mine own rude way,
Sometimes setting forth her glories
By unheard of allegories "-&c.

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To the measure in which these lines are written the wits of Queen Anne's days contemptuously gave the name of Namby Pamby, in ridicule of Ambrose Philips, who has used it in some instances, as in the lines

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LETTERS,

UNDER ASSUMED SIGNATURES, PUBLISHED IN "THE REFLECTOR."

THE LONDONER.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE REFLECTOR."

"C

MR. REFLECTOR,—I was born under the shadow of St. Dunstan's steeple, just where the conflux of the eastern and western inhabitants of this two-fold city meet and justle in friendly opposition at Temple-bar. The same day which gave me to the world, saw London happy in the celebration of her great annual feast. This I cannot help looking upon as a lively omen of the future great good-will which I was destined to bear toward the city, resembling in kind that solicitude which every Chief Magistrate is supposed to feel for whatever concerns her interests and well-being. Indeed I consider myself in some sort a speculative Lord Mayor of London: for though circumstances unhappily preclude me from the hope of ever arriving at the dignity of a gold chain and Spital Sermon, yet thus much will I say of myself in truth, that Whittington with his Cat (just emblem of vigilance and a furred gown) never went beyond me in affection which I bear to the citizens.

enough with rural objects to understand tolerably well ever after the poets, when they declaim in such passionate terms in favour of a country life.

For my own part, now the fit is past, I have no hesitation in declaring, that a mob of happy faces crowding up at the pit door of Drury-lane Theatre, just at the hour of six, gives me ten thousand sincerer pleasures, than I could ever receive from all the flocks of silly sheep that ever whitened the plains of Arcadia or Epsom Downs.

This passion for crowds is nowhere feasted so full as in London. The man must have a rare recipe for melancholy who can be dull in Fleet-street. I am naturally inclined to hypochondria, but in London it vanishes, like all other ills. Often, when I have felt a weariness or distaste at home, have I rushed out into her crowded Strand, and fed my humour, till tears have wetted my cheek for unutterable sympathies with the multitudinous moving picture, which she never fails to present at all hours, like the scenes of a shifting pantomime.

I was born, as you have heard, in a crowd. This has begot in me an entire affection for that way of life, amounting to an almost The very deformities of London, which insurmountable aversion from solitude and give distaste to others, from habit do not rural scenes. This aversion was never in- displease me. The endless succession of terrupted or suspended, except for a few shops where Fancy miscalled Folly is supyears in the younger part of my life, during plied with perpetual gauds and toys, excite a period in which I had set my affections in me no puritanical aversion. I gladly beupon a charming young woman. Every man, hold every appetite supplied with its proper while the passion is upon him, is for a time food. The obliging customer, and the obliged at least addicted to groves and meadows and tradesman-things which live by bowing, purling streams. During this short period and things which exist but for homage-do of my existence, I contracted just familiarity not affect me with disgust; from habit I

perceive nothing but urbanity, where other men, more refined, discover meanness: I love the very smoke of London, because it has been the medium most familiar to my vision. I see grand principles of honour at work in the dirty ring which encompasses two combatants with fists, and principles of no less eternal justice in the detection of a pickpocket. The salutary astonishment with which an execution is surveyed, convinces me more forcibly than a hundred volumes of abstract polity, that the universal instinct of man in all ages has leaned to order and good government.

Thus an art of extracting morality from the commonest incidents of a town life is

attained by the same well-natured alchymy with which the Foresters of Arden, in a beautiful country,

MR. REFLECTOR,-I was amused the other day with having the following notice thrust into my hand by a man who gives out bills at the corner of Fleet-market. Whether he saw any prognostics about me, that made him judge such notice seasonable, I cannot say; I might perhaps carry in a countenance (naturally not very florid) traces of a fever which had not long left me. Those fellows have a good instinctive way of guessing at the sort of people that are likeliest to pay attention to their papers.

"Found tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in everything."

ON BURIAL SOCIETIES; AND THE CHARACTER OF AN UNDERTAKER

Where has spleen her food but in London!
Humour, Interest, Curiosity, suck at her
measureless breasts without a possibility of
being satiated. Nursed amid her noise, her
crowds, her beloved smoke, what have I been
doing all my life, if I have not lent out my
heart with usury to such scenes!

I am, Sir, your faithful servant
A LONDONER.

1

((
TO THE EDITOR OF THE REFLECTOR."

"BURIAL SOCIETY.

handles, with wrought gripes; the coffin to be well pitched, lined, and ruffled with fine crape; a handsome crape shroud, cap, and pillow. For use, a handsome velvet pall, three gentlemen's cloaks, three crape hatbands, three hoods and scarfs, and six pair of gloves; two porters equipped to attend the funeral, a man to attend the same with band and gloves; also, the burial fees paid, if not exceeding one guinea."

"Man," says Sir Thomas Browne, "is a noble animal, splendid in ashes, and pompous in the grave." Whoever drew up this little advertisement certainly understood this appetite in the species, and has made abun“A favourable opportunity now offers to dant provision for it. It really almost inany person, of either sex, who would wish to duces a tædium vitæ upon one to read it. be buried in a genteel manner, by paying Methinks I could be willing to die, in death one shilling entrance, and two-pence per to be so attended. The two rows all round week for the benefit of the stock. Members close-drove best black japanned nails,—how to be free in six months. The money to be feelingly do they invite, and almost irrepaid at Mr. Middleton's, at the sign of the sistibly persuade us to come and be fastened First and the Last, Stonecutter's-street, Fleet- down! what aching head can resist the market. The deceased to be furnished as temptation to repose, which the crape shroud, follows:-A strong elm coffin, covered with the cap, and the pillow present; what sting superfine black, and furnished with two rows, is there in death, which the handles with all round, close drove, best japanned nails, wrought gripes are not calculated to pluck and adorned with ornamental drops, a hand- away? what victory in the grave, which the some plate of inscription, Angel above, and drops and the velvet pall do not render at Flower beneath, and four pair of handsome least extremely disputable but above all,

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the pretty emblematic plate with the Angel above and the Flower beneath, takes me mightily.

The notice goes on to inform us, that though the society has been established but a very few years, upwards of eleven hundred persons have put down their names. It is really an affecting consideration to think of so many poor people, of the industrious and hard-working class (for none but such would be possessed of such a generous forethought) clubbing their twopences to save the reproach of a parish funeral. Many a poor fellow, I dare swear, has that Angel and Flower kept from the Angel and Punchbowl, while, to provide himself a bier, he has curtailed himself of beer. Many a savoury morsel has the living body been deprived of, that the lifeless one might be served up in a richer state to the worms. And sure, if the body could understand the actions of the soul, and entertain generous notions of things, it would thank its provident partner, that she had been more solicitous to defend it from dishonours at its dissolution, than careful to pamper it with good things in the time of its union. If Cæsar were chiefly anxious at his death how he might die most decently, every Burial Society may be considered as a club of Cæsars.

issued from Mr. Middleton's, Stonecutter'sstreet, which pleases me less than the rest, it is to find that the six pair of gloves are to be returned, that they are only lent, or, as the bill expresses it, for use, on the occasion. The hood, scarfs, and hat-bands, may properly enough be given up after the solemnity; the cloaks no gentlemen would think of keeping; but a pair of gloves, once fitted on, ought not in courtesy to be re-demanded. The wearer should certainly have the fee-simple of them. The cost would be but trifling, and they would be a proper memorial of the day. This part of the Proposal wants reconsidering. It is not conceived in the same liberal way of thinking as the rest. I am also a little doubtful whether the limit, within which the burial-fee is made payable, should not be extended to thirty shillings.

Nothing tends to keep up, in the imaginations of the poorer sort of people, a generous horror of the workhouse more than the manner in which pauper funerals are conducted in this metropolis. Th coffin nothing but a few naked planks coarsely put together, -the want of a pall (that decent and wellimagined veil, which, hiding the coffin that hides the body, keeps that which would shock us at two removes from us), the coloured coats of the men that are hired, at cheap rates, to carry the body,-altogether, give the notion of the deceased having been some person of an ill life and conversation, some one who may not claim the entire rites of Christian burial,-one by whom some parts of the sacred ceremony would be desecrated if they should be bestowed upon him. I meet these meagre processions some- Proposals purport to be issued. From the times in the street. They are sure to make me out of humour and melancholy all the day after. They have a harsh and ominous aspect.

Some provision too ought undoubtedly to be made in favour of those well-intentioned persons and well-wishers to the fund, who, having all along paid their subscriptions regularly, are so unfortunate as to die before the six months, which would entitle them to their freedom, are quite completed. One can hardly imagine a more distressing case than that of a poor fellow lingering on in a consumption till the period of his freedom is almost in sight, and then finding himself going with a velocity which makes it doubtful whether he shall be entitled to his funeral honours: his quota to which he nevertheless squeezes out, to the diminution of the comforts which sickness demands. I think, in such cases, some of the contribution money ought to revert. With some such modifications, which might easily be introduced, I see nothing in these Proposals of Mr. Middleton which is not strictly fair and genteel; and heartily recommend them to all persons of moderate incomes, in either sex, who are willing that this perishable part of them should quit the scene of its mortal activities with as handsome circumstances as possible.

Before I quit the subject, I must guard my readers against a scandal, which they may be apt to take at the place whence these

sign of the First and the Last, they may conclude that Mr. Middleton is some publican, who, in assembling a club of this description at his house, may have a sinister

If there is anything in the prospectus end of his own, altogether foreign to the

solemn purpose for which the club is pretended to be instituted. I must set them right by informing them that the issuer of these Proposals is no publican, though he hangs out a sign, but an honest superintendant of funerals, who, by the device of a Cradle and a Coffin, connecting both ends of human existence together, has most ingeniously contrived to insinuate, that the framers fessor. of these first and last receptacles of mankind divide this our life betwixt them, and that all that passes from the midwife to the undertaker may, in strict propriety, go for nothing: an awful and instructive lesson to human vanity.

Looking over some papers lately that fell into my hands by chance, and appear to have been written about the beginning of the last century, I stumbled, among the rest, upon the following short Essay, which the writer calls, "The Character of an Undertaker." It is written with some stiffness and peculiarities of style, but some parts of it, I think, not unaptly characterise the profession to which Mr. Middleton has the honour to belong. The writer doubtless had in his mind the entertaining character of Sable, in Steele's excellent comedy of The Funeral.

nothing to do. He leaves the friends of the dead man to form their own conjectures as to the place to which the departed spirit is gone. His care is only about the exuviæ. He concerns not himself even about the body as it is a structure of parts internal, and a wonderful microcosm. He leaves such curious speculations to the anatomy pro

Or, if anything, he is averse to such wanton inquiries, as delighting rather that the parts which he has care of should be returned to their kindred dust in as handsome and unmutilated condition as possible; that the grave should have its full and unimpaired tribute,-a complete and just carcass. Nor is he only careful to provide for the body's entireness, but for its accommodation and ornament. He orders the fashion of its clothes, and designs the symmetry of its dwelling. Its vanity has an innocent survival in him. He is bed-maker to the dead. The pillows which he lays never rumple. The day of interment is the theatre in which he displays the mysteries of his art. It is hard to describe what he is, or rather to tell what he is not, on that day: / for, being neither kinsman, servant, nor friend, he is all in turns; a transcendant, running through all those relations. His office is to supply the place of self-agency in the family, who are presumed incapable of it through grief. He is eyes, and ears, and hands, to the whole household. A draught of wine cannot go round to the mourners, but he must minister it. A chair may hardly be restored to its place by a less solemn hand than his. He takes upon himself all functions, and is a sort of ephemeral major-domo! He distributes his attentions among the company assembled according to the degree of affliction, which he calculates from the degree of kin to the deceased; and marshals them accordingly in the procession. He himself is of a sad and tristful countenance; yet such as well examined) is not without some show of patience and resignation at bottom; prefiguring, as it were, to the friends of the deceased, what their grief shall be when the hand of Time shall have softened and taken down the bitterness of their first anguish; so handsomely can he fore-shape and anticipate the work of Time. Lastly, with his wand, as with another divining rod, he calculates the depth of earth

CHARACTER OF AN UNDERTAKER.

"He is master of the ceremonies at burials and mourning assemblies, grand marshal at funeral processions, the only true yeoman of the body, over which he exercises a dictatorial authority from the moment that the breath has taken leave to that of its final commitment to the earth. His ministry begins where the physician's, the lawyer's, and the divine's, end. Or if some part of the functions of the latter run parallel with his, it is only in ordine ad spiritualia. His temporalities remain unquestioned. He is arbitrator of all questions of honour which may concern the defunct; and upon slight inspection will pronounce how long he may remain in this upper world with credit to himself, and when it will be prudent for his reputation that he should retire. His determination in these points is peremptory and without appeal. Yet, with a modesty peculiar to his profession, he meddles not out of his own sphere. With the good or bad actions of the deceased in his life-time he has

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