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Such was my Chloris' bonnie face,
Like harmony her motion,
Let others love the city,
SHENSTONE, who plumed himself as a song writer, has nothing comparable to the following:
Here is the glen, and here the bower,
what can stay my lovely maid.
'Tis not Maria's whispering call,
It is Maria's voice I hear,
And art thou come, and art thou true,
Of the real condition of a sufferer's mind, we cannot form a correct judgment from an erect and smiling air. CRABBE has finely expressed this opinion:
'Tis not for us to tell, Though the head droops not, that the heart is well.
AN IDEA IN THE NIGHT FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
In my desultory rambles throughout the streets and lanes, the alleys and courts of this charming city, I do not proceed with the plodding pace of a plowman, gazing on the ground. Neither do I indulge myself in such fits of abstraction as totally to prevent the attentive survey of surrounding objects. I stare at signs, with all a clown's curiosity; and at the windows of a print shop, with the eagerness of an amateur.
Instead of mu
sing, as is my habit in my study and bedchamber, I have, in the language of Deborah Primrose, all my eyes about me when I am abroad. Nothing escapes my regard, from Dolly the chambermaid, twirling her mop, to orator Bubble, haranguing the million. I pay the fees most willingly to the master of a puppet show, and generally make one at a party of dancing bears. I seldom
pass Peale’s museum without giving his curiosities a call. Wertmuller's Danz I chastely contemplate in all her glory, and even those sons of fictitious harmony, who so ingeniously contrive to grind music for our gratification, frequently beguile me of the last piece of silver in my purse.
With all this humour, which seems to partake with the character of an idler, a man of pleasure, or a man of the world, rather than with that of a man of letters, I am still studious and contemplative. The process of Thought, is like the furnace of Alchymy. It is in the most intense blaze. My mental mill like suspected and injured Desdemona, turns and turns anı still gors 02. In the public strects, I collect many of my materials for private meditation. I catch a hint from a hawker and derive a theine from tlie theatres. The rapid rotation of the Circus does not, I hope, make me giddy, but wise. I derive sometimes my light from the drowsy watchman's lantern, and a glance at a jeweller's brilliant shelves reminds me full often of Arabian magnificence, the glittering of a fairy palacc, and John Bunyan's Vanity Fair.
Ten midsummer's ago, when I wandered from the country to the town, I remember that one day my attention was arrested by a caricature conceived by the Hogarthian bumour of Gilray. This ludicrous print was suspended under the sign of my perfumer; and was appropriately, entitled “ an idea in the night.” A care worn author, in his nocturnal habiliments, night gown and slippers, and nightcap awry, has summoned his reluctant and sleepy servant from the land of Drowsyhead, that an idea in the night may not be lost in the morning. After my mirth had subsided at the expense of this vigilant retainer of the
yawning boy, who seemed to wish all muses and all authors, at the devil, I could not, for my life, refrain from reflecting upon the utility of this practice of recording by the aid of the faithful pen, whatever of witty or wise, whatever of the shining, or the solid
muses, and his
may occur to fancy, and judgment, during the darkling hours. I thought of the example of Erasmus, I thought of the practice of Pope. Ever since this period, it has been my constant habit whenever, in the phrase of Dr. Johnson, I find myself wakefully disturbed, to rise with alacrity from the sleepless bed, to trim the lamp of midnight, and take up the thread of speculation. My favourite friend, Bob, the rover, who thoroughly understands my humour, has given me a genuine CLASSICAL LAMP, which he assures me, upon the veracity of a tourist, he actually dug out, of the ruins of the last earthquake at Messina. I believe Bob so implicitly that even if the dog lies, I would not be robbed of the delusion to be the first magistrate of my country. The lamp, which I illume by his bounty, is certainly a most brilliant one; and when in a sort of rapture, I survey its steady splendours, I cannot help thinking that, perhaps by the assistance of its blessed light, some Roman student has explored the imperishable page of Tully, or scanned a Seneca's morals, and that it has lighted up many a scene in Terence and brightened the wit of Martial.
Having of late furnished myself with divers jars of the purest oil, having burnished my lamp to a glitter not inferior to Mambrino's helmet, having, moreover, been careful with the pious -author of Tristam Shandy, to see that a sufficient wick ve standing out, I propose, at least once a month, to communicate to the public, Ideas in the night, which, though rapidly conceived may not be willingly forgotten.
ORIGINAL POETRY-FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
A COMPLIMENT TO TIME.
The Christmas wreath so late in bloom,
What, though twelve months have glided by,
Shall we not hail, with lib’ral cheer,
Though grave and gray: on him attend,
Oft when a feeling thrills the breast,
Then, many a scene of pleasures flown,
More constant than the solar ray
When transports fire-or raptures glide Tumultuous, through each throbbing vein