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Oh, sad, marvellous picture of courage, of honesty, of patient endurance, of duty struggling against pain! How noble Peel's figure is standing by that sick-bed ! how generous his words, how dignified and sincere his compassion! And the poor dying man, with a heart full of natural gratitude towards his noble benefactor, must turn to him and say - If it be well to be remembered by a Minister, it is better still not to be forgotten by him in a • burly Burleigh!”” Can you laugh? Is not the joke horribly pathetic from the poor dying lips? As dying Robin Hood must fire a last shot with his bow

as one reads of Catholics on their death-beds putting on a Capuchin dress to go out of the world - here is poor Hood at his last hour putting on his ghastly motley, and uttering one joke more.

He dies, however, in dearest love and peace with his children, wife, friends; to the former especially his whole life had been devoted, and every day showed his fidelity', simplicity, and affection. In going through the record of his most pure, modest, honorable life, and living along with him, you come to trust him thoroughly, and feel that here is a most loyal, affectionate, and upright soul, with whom you have been brought into communion. Can we say as much of the lives of all men of letters? Here is one at least without guile, without pretension, without scheming, of a pure life, to his family and little modest circle of friends tenderly devoted.

And what a hard work, and what a slender reward! In the little domestic details with which the book abounds, what a simple life is shown to us! The most simple little pleasures and amusements delight and occupy him. You have revels on shrimps; the good wife making the pie ; details about the maid, and criticisms on her conduct; wonderful tricks played with the plum-pudding — all the pleasures centring round the little humble horne. One of the first men of his time, he is appointed editor of a Magazine at a salary of 3001. per annum, signs himself exultingly “Ed. N. M. M.," and the family rejoice over the income as over a fortune.

He

goes

to a Greenwich dinner what a feast and a rejoicing afterwards !

“Well, we drank 'the Boz' with a delectable clatter, which drew from him a good warm-hearted speech. He looked very well, and had a younger brother along with him. Then we had songs. Barham chanted à Robin Hood ballad, and Cruikshank sang a burlesque ballad of Lord —; and somebody, unknown to me, gave a capital imitation of a French showman. Then we toasted Mrs. Boz, and the Chairman, and Vice, and the Traditional Priest sang the Deep deep sea,' in his deep deep voice; and then we drank to Procter, who wrote the said song; also Sir J. Wilson's good health, and Cruikshank's, and Ainsworth's: and a Man

chester friend of the latter sang a Manchester ditty, so full of trading stuff, that it really seemed to have been not composed, but manufactured. Jer. dan, as Jerdanish as usual on such occasions — you know how paradoxically he is quite at home in dining out. As to myself, I had to make my serond maiden speech, for Mr. Monckton Milnes proposed my health in terms my modesty might allow me to repeat to you, but my memory won't. However, I ascribed the toast to my notoriously, bad health, and assured them that their wishes had already improved it- that I felt a brisker circulation - a

- a more genial warmth about the heart, and explained that a certain trembling of my hand was not from palsy, or my old ague, but an inclination in my hand to shake itself with every one present. Whereupon Iliad to go through the friendly vereniony with as many of the company as were within reach, besides a few more who came express from the other end of the table. Very gratifying, wasn't it? Though I cannot go quite so far as Jane, who wants me to have that hand chopped off, bottled, and preserved in spirits. She was sitting up for me, very anxiously, as usual when I go out, because I am so domestic and steady, and was down at the door before I could ring at the gate, to which Boz kindly sent me in his own carriage. Poor girl! what would she do if she had a wild husband instead of a tame one?

And the poor anxious wife is sitting up, and fondles the hand which has been shaken by so many illustrious men! The little feast dates back only eighteen years, and yet somehow it seems as distant as a dinner at Mr. Thrale's, or a meeting at Will's.

Poor little gleam of sunshine! very little good cheer enlivens that sad simple life. We have the triumph of the Magazine : then a new Magazine projected and produced : then illness and the last scene, and the kind Peel by the dying man's bedside speaking noble words of respect and sympathy, and soothing the last throbs of the tender honest heart.

I like, I say, Hood's life even better than his books, and I wish, with all my heart, Monsieur et cher confrère, the same could be said for both of us, when the inkstream of our life hath ceased to run. Yes: if I drop first, dear Baggs, I trust you may find reason to modify some of the unfavorable views of my character, which you are freely imparting to our mutual friends. What ought to be the literary man's point of honor now-a-days? Suppose, friendly reader, you are one of the craft, what legacy would you like to leave to your children? First of all (and' by heaven's gracious help) you would pray and strive to give them such an endowment of love, as should last certainly for all their lives, and perhaps be transmiited to their children. You would (by the same aid and blessing) keep your honor pure, and transmit a name ustained to those who have a right to bear it. You would, though this faculty of giving is one of the easiest of the literary man's qualities –

you would, nut of your earnings, small or great, be able to help à poor brother in need, to dress his wounds, and, if it were but twopence, to give him succor. Is the money which the noble Macaulay gave to the poor lost to his family? God forbid. To the loving hearts of his kindred is it not rather the most precious part of their inheritance? It was invested in love and righteous doing, and it bears interest in heaven. You will, if letters be your vocation, find saving harder than giving and spending. To save be your endeavor, too, against the night's coming when no man may work; when the arm is weary with the long day's labor; when the brain perhaps grows dark ; when the old, who can labor no more, want warmth and rest, and the young ones call for supper.

I copied the little galley-slave who is made to figure in the initial letter of this paper, from a quaint old silver spoon which we purchased in a curiosity-shop at the Hague.* It is one of the gift spoons so common in Holland, and which have multiplied so astonishingly of late years at our dealers’ in old silverware. Along the stem of the spoon are written the words: “ Anno 1609, Bin ick aldus ghekledt gheghaen” –“In the year 1609 I went thus clad.” The good Dutchman was released from his Algerine captivity (I imagine his figure looks like that of a slave amongst the Moors), and in his thank-offering to some godchild at home, he thus piously records his escape.

Was not poor Cervantes also a captive amongst the Moors? Did not Fielding, and Goldsmith, and Smollett, too, die at the chain as well as poor Hood? Think of Fielding going on board his wretched ship in the Thames, with scarce a hand to bid him farewell; of brave Tobias Smollett, and his life, how hard, and how poorly rewarded ; of Goldsmith, and the physician whispering, “ Have you something on your mind?” and the wild dring eyes answering, “ Yes.” Notice how Boswell speaks of Goldsmith, and the splendid contempt with which he regards him. Read Hawkins on Fielding, and the scorn with which Dandy Walpole and Bishop Hurd speak of him. Galley-slaves doomed to tug the oar and wear the chain, whilst my lords and dandies take their pleasure, and hear fine music and disport with fine ladies in the cabin !

* This refers to an illustrated edition of the work.

But stay. Was there any cause for this scorn? Had some of these great men weaknesses which gave inferiors advantage over thein?

Men of letters cannot lay their hands on their hearts, and say, "No, the fault was fortune's, and the indifferent world's, not Goldsmith's nor Fielding's.” There was no reason why Oliver should always be thriftless; why Fielding and Steele should sponge upon their friends; why Sterne should make love to his neighbors' wives. Swift, for a long time, was as poor as any wag that ever laughed: but he owed no penny to his neighbors : Addison, when he wore his most threadbare coat, could hold his head up, and maintain his dignity: and, I dare vouch, neither of those gentlemen, when they were ever so poor, asked

any man alive to pity their condition, and have a regard to the weaknesses incidental to the literary profession. Galley-slave, forsooth! If you are sent to prison for some error for which the law awards that sort of laborious seclusion, so much the more shame for you. If you are chained to the oar a prisoner of war, like Cervantes, you have the pain, but not the shame, and the friendly compassion of mankind to reward you. Galley-slaves, indeed ! What man has not his oar to pull? There is that wonderful old stroke-oar in the Queen's galley. How many years has he pulled? Day and night, in rough water or smooth, with what invincible vigor and surprising gayety he plies bis arms. There is in the same Galère Capitaine, that well-known, trim figure, the bow-oar; how he tugs, and with what a will ! Ilow both of them have been abused in their time! Take the Lawyer's galley, and that dauntless octogenarian in command; when has he ever complained or repined about his slavery? There is the Priest's galley - black and lawn sails -- do any mariners out of Thames work harder? When lawyer, and statesman, and divine, and writer are smug in bed, there is a ring at the poor Doctor's bell. Forthi he must go, in rheumatism or snow; a galley-slave bearing his galley-pots to quench the flames of fever, to succor mothers and young children in their hour of peril, and, as gently and soothingly as may be, to carry the hopeless patient over to the silent shore. And have we not just read of the actions of the Queen's galleys and their brave crews in the Chinese waters?

Men not more worthy of human renown and honor to-day in their victory, than last year in their glorious hour of disaster. So with stout hearts may we ply the oar, messmates all, till the voyage is over, and the Harbor of Rest is found.

ROUND ABOUT THE CHRISTMAS TREE.

The kindly Christmas tree, from which I trust every gentle reader has pulled a bonbon or two, is yet all aflame whilst I am writing, and sparkles with the sweet fruits of its season. You young ladies, may you have plucked pretty giftlings from it ; and out of the cracker sugarplum which you have split with the captain or the sweet young curate may you have read one of those delicious conundrums which the confectioners introduce into the sweetmeats, and which apply to the cunning passion of love. Those riddles are to be read at your age, when I dare say they are amusing. As for Dolly, Merry, and Bell, who are standing at the tree, they don't care about the love-riddle part, but understand the sweet-alm nd portion very well. They are four, five, six years old. Patience, little people! A dozen merry Christmases more, and you will be reading those wonderful love-conundrums, too. As for us elderly folks, we watch the babies at their sport, and the young people pulling at the branches: and instead of finding bonbons or sweeties in the packets which we pluck off the boughs, we find enclosed Mr. Carnifex's review of the quarter's meat; Mr. Sartor's compliments, and little statement for self and the young gentlemen ; and Madame de Sainte-Crinoline's respects to the young ladies, who encloses her account, and will send on Saturday, please ; or we stretch our hand out to the educational branch of the Christmas tree, and there find a lively and amusing article from the Rev. Henry Holyshade, containing our dear Tommy's exceedingly moderate account for the last term's school expenses.

The tree yet sparkles, I say. I am writing on the day before Twelfth Day, if you must know; but already ever so many of the fruits have been pulled, and the Christmas lights have gone out. Bobby Miseltow, who has been staying with us for a preek (and who has been sleeping mysteriously in the bathroom), comes to say he is going away to spend the rest of the holidays with his grandmother - and I brush away the manly tear of regret as I part with the dear child. " Well, Bob, good-by, since you will go. Compliments to grandmamma. Thank' her for the turkey. Here's -” (A slight pecuniary transaction takes place at this juncture, and Bob nods and winks, and puts his hand in his waistcoat pocket.) “You have had a pleasant week?"

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