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at the brilliant masque at Kenilworth, to listen i
"A thing of beanty is a joy for ever,
Who can read here the names so familiar to us from childhood, so associated in our minds with all that is great and beautiful, without feeling a flood of old thoughts and fancies pouring in upon him, pictures of the days that are gone for ever, of the days when we first learnt Gray's "Elegy," or "The Deserted Village," ere yet we understood their beauties; or, of that evening when a mother's voice read to our childish ears some marvellous knightly tale of faery mystery from Spenser, or some grand episode, not of earth, from Milton! The first four poets who found a resting-place within the Abbey were Chaucer, the father of English poetry, the courtier of Edward III.'s time, who discourses so pleasantly about the goodly company who started -from the old Tabard Inn at Soiuhwsrk, and told some merry stories on the
road to Canteibury: the Knight, the Monk the Wife of Bath, and the Miller, of whom the poet says —
"The miller was a stout carl for the nones,
It was at his own particular wish that Spenser was laid side by side with Geoffrey Chaucer; and they are fit company. We may think of Spenser, in his ruined castle of Kilcolman, surrounded by the most beautiful and romantic scenery. Richly wooded hills, a wide, sparkling lake, and the light waters of the river Mulla which flowed by the poet's grounds; all these objects of natural beauty furnished many of the descriptions which are so peculiar to the poetry of Spenser. It is pleasant to picture him as he describes himself in " Colin Clouts come home again," keeping bis flock under the shadows of the mountain Mole, among " the coolly shade of green alders" by the shore of Mulla.
Alas for the breath of fame! The nation which was justly proud of Spenser, which lauded his poems in the ears of Elizabeth, suffered the poet to die starving and brokenhearted. The rebellion of Tyrone, in Ireland, drove Spenser to London, in 1598, heartbroken at the loss of his house and an infant child who was burnt in tte castle by the rebels; and so, in the bleak January snows of 1599, in an obscure street in London, perished miserably one of the greatest poets and most amiable men .that the world has ever seen. Doubtless the great and gifted men of that highly-favoured age stood sadly by the tomb of Spenser as he was laid to Bleep under the shadow of Chaucer's tomb; but, in truth, it is easier to weep at a man's burial than to give him a crumb while living. A certain writer has said (some affirm unjustly) that Sterne, who could weep over a dead donkey, left a living mother to starve. Do we, I wonder, never ignore the virtues of the good till they are gone from U9, and " their place knows them no more f"
A little further on we see the brief, but alleloquent epitaph of the author of " Sejaeuus," "O rare Ben Jonson!" though all his plays are now unknown on the stage except " Every man in his humour." The man who could raise himself from the drudgery of bricklaying to the post of poet-laureate deserves the praise of his epitaph. Drummond gives a character of the "rare" dramatist which we, who are charitable, will hope may not be true: "He was a great lover and praiser of himself; a contemner and scoffer of others; rather given to lose a friend than a jest; jealous of every word and action of those about him, especially after drink, which was one of the elements in which he lived; a dissembler Of the parts which reign in him, a braggcr of soi»e others that ho wanted, thinking nothing well done but what he himself or some of his friends had said or done." A pleasant biographer worthy Master Drummond must bare been—what if he had written of some of us! There is Cowley's monument, raised by George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham —what a medley of scenes and fancies his name calls up! He it was whom Dryden immortalized as
"A man so various, that he scem'd to be
The Duke had "glorious John" cudgelled for another lampoon which he never wrote, but which that graceless wit, Wilmot Earl of Rochester, perpetrated. Close by Cowley's monument is that of Dryden himself, and the tomh of Thomas Shadwell, once the rival of glorious John, and satirized by him as Mac Flecknor.
Let us pause a moment by the tomb of Dr. Johnson, and pay a tribute to the manes of him who was once a Jove among the literati of his age. Personally, I confess, I do not like the great Samuel. That he was a learned man, and a great man, and a kindly-natured man I am ready to admit; but this does not excuse him, in my humble opinion, from being a rude man, a coarse msn, a conceited man, and altogether! an unpleasant man in a decent drawing-room, j Can you not see him, sitting in his snuffcoloured coat and ill-kept wig, writing his letter to Lord Chesterfield, administering to his lord- | ship what the great Dick Swiveller aptly styled "a clincher," and smiling grimly to himself the while? How little reeks either of them now of praise or censure! Of a verity
"Imperial Ctcsar, dead and turned to clay,
Hard by Johnson and the witty and accomplished Sheridan—who is 6aid to have written j the best farce and the best comedy, and to have made the best speech in our language—rests Sir John Denham, the courtly poet of Charles the First's time, though his grave is unmarked i by name or date. The poem which has given; Denham all his fame is that called "Cooper's Hill," and the subject is well worthy of his muse. The hill stands about midway ^between Staines and Windsor, and commands a glorious prospect of flood and field. The rich pastures round Windsor, and Datchet—where Sir John Falstaff endured the indignities of the clothesbasket—the royal towers of the Castle in the distance, and the calm, smooth Thames rolling among its little green islets, make a scene which may well excuse the most prosy man of our essentially prosy age for feeling romantic.
There are yet a few monuments to be noticed ere we quit the Abbey, and they are raised to
well-known writers, whose bodies rest in other and less magnificent tombs than those of Westminster. Some, perhaps, who come to do homage at the monument of Shakespeare, forget that the poet lies far away in the quiet church at Stralford-on-Avon, among the scenes of his boyhood and dawning genius, where he wandered along the green margin of Avon, and never dreamed that his name should be one day immortal. Milton is buried in St. Giles's Church, Cripplegate, and not where his young fancy seemed to delight, as he tells us in "II Penseroso":
"l!ut let my due feet never fail
It was thus that he wrote before the stern aspects of the times had contracted his great intellect into the narrow mould of puritanism; before he had " fallen upon evil days, and evil tongues," and, as a sightless old man, was meditating on " Paradise Lost," or listening to the readings of Friend Ellwood, the Quaker.
Hear what the poet Waller said, in 1667, of Milton's mighty epic: "The old blind schoolmaster, John Milton, hath published a tedious poem on the Fall of Man. If its length be not considered a merit, it has no other." For all thy sneers, worthy Master Waller, the blind schoolmaster's poem will live when all thine are forgotten, though the first edition did but bring five pounds.
Samuel Butler, the witty author of "IIudibras," is interred in St. Paul's, Covent Garden; while one of the sweetest of our poets rests far removed from the noise and dust of London, among the sweet Buckinghamshire meadows in the green church-yard of StokePogis:
"Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, Each iu his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep!"
And with them Bleeps the scholar-poet who has left us so goodly a monument of his genius.
Not far from the Abbey, in the quiet, unfrequented precincts of the Temple, the careless wanderer may strike his foot against a plain stone which marks the last resting-place of Oliver Goldsmith. Dear, good-hearted,generous, foolish Goldsmith I how fondly we think of his life! not too bright, and yet always burning with his own high spirits and joyous recklessness! This was the man whose daily life was seldom unmarked by some kind deed, and as often by some outrageous act of absurdity; this same Oliver, who was universally loved by his friends, yet wrote his "Traveller" and "Vicar of Wakefield" in a miserable lodging in Green Arbour Court, by the Old Bailey (how long ago the greenery and the arbour have vanished!); was vain of his "bloom-coloured" coat, and wanted to buy apples for his former pupil when, years after, he met him walking with his wife. It seems a pity that he who sang so sweetly of the country should rest his bones at last within the sound of St. Dustan's bells. The most pleasing tomb for him would have been near
"The never-failing brook; the busy mill;
And yet there is a calm and tranquillity about the Temple not altogether unsuited for the resting-place of him whose life was often sad and stormy and careworn. The still secluded nooks, the fresh green grass under the old frowning walls, the company of dead-and-gone knights, and the cool splash of the fountain, make no bad asylum for poor Oliver's remains. But we have been long enough dreaming among the things that are not; let us home as fast as we may, for our ramble is ended.
DICK ONSLO W'S GOLDEN SECRET.
A NEW PHASE OF CROQUET.
"Take it coolly r How the deuce is a man to take it coolly when he's pestered with duns as I amt" roared Dick Onslow, vehemently, dropping and smashing simultaneously a small jet-black clay pipe, his pet and pride.
"There," said I, aggravatingly; "you see, my i rritable friend, the results of being in a passion.'
Dick looked savagely at me, gnawed his moustache, and finally opened a bottle of sodawater, which he drank with a sigh of relief.
Dick Onslow's rage arose from the fact of his father having sent him a letter declining to ay (for & fourth time) his debts, and washing is hands of further responsibility. Dick was of good family, but the old Yorkshire Hall was entailed on his elder brother, and his sisters' dowries had to be looked to. So Master Dick, having had his patrimony expended in liquidating his heterogeneous liabilities, was forced to face the world on his own account.
He was a genial and clever fellow, and aufait at field sports and billiards. He had been called to the bar, and his name stood in the law list as attached to the Northern Circuit, but his legal appetite for work was not a keen one. He wrote a little, chiefly reports of flower-shows and the like, which were taken and paid for by the favour of his old friend at Oxford (where Master Dick had not taken his degree), Reginald Blager the great leader-writer on the Daily Rocket.
"Aint I in a mess? I've about twenty sovereigns in my desk, and, those gone, where on earth am I to get more r" said Dick, disconsolately.
"There's your profession," said I, mildly.
"Profession, you ass!" said Dick, brutally. "Don't stand there in your white waistcoat and lemon kids, doing the Foreign Office swell, and maunder about my profession. What do
red-tape butterflies like you know about it? Get away to yout titled friends."
I certainly had dressed carefully as I was going to one of the pleasantest Richmond Villas to a lawn party, but there was no reason for Onslow's attack on my appearance. However, he was always impetuous.
"Profession," continued he, sullenly, "as if I knew enough for any attorney to trust me with a common action for a tradesman's bill. I was only called because the governor thought his cousin, the Indian Judge, would have given me a berth, and he didn't. Profession, indeed!"
Here Dick commenced examining a file of unpaid bills, with much disgust on his goodlooking face.
"I shall emigrate, or borrow money and start a tobacconist's divan," said he. "That's about my metier."
"Stuff," said I. "Surely you might try to pick up briefs."
"Pick up briefs," said Dick, with great disdain. "Where from—a billiard table i"
"Well," said I, "since all my suggestions appear unpalatable, I'll leave you to your own devices. I've promised to go to Lady Aspenell's croquet party."
"Croquet i" growled Dick—(the reader must remember this was some years back). "What's that? Oh I know that idiotic game with hoops and sticks."
"Idiotic game?" said I warmly. "It's as scientific as billiards any day."
"Bosh!" said Dick, with a volume of scorn compresed into a monosyllable, and I left his rooms to the melody of a shower of uncomplimentary epithets.
Ere long I was landed from a railway carriage about half-a-mile from Lady Aspenell's charming cottage. Everything that could make a little place perfect was there. A velvet lawn, rare flowers, effects of light and shade, cool rooms, exquisite wines, and a bevy of radiantly pretty girls were always at dear Lady Aspenell's. She was the widow of a Foreign Secretary and a very great lady indeed in the world of fashion, where she reigned by virtue of her own fascinations. Her son, a subaltern in a crack Hussar regiment, had been a friend of mine of long standing, and it was to him—for magna est Veritas—I was indebted for the entree to Aspenell Cottage, where as a rule, no lower rank than a rich county squire was admitted.
What a change as by harlequin's wand it was from poor Dick Onslow's rooms—handsome and airy, and overlooking the famed chrysanthemums, as they were, to the fairy scene I was in the midst of! An hour back I was in a room littered with books, bills, papers, hats, coats, a gridiron, a tankard, sundry pipes, and tenanted by a moustached shirt-sleeved individual, who swore and sneered by turns, and grinned horribly at his empty purse. And now I was on a geranium-belted lawn, with a vision of gauzy dresses, shadowy bonnets, and fluttering ribbons surrounding lovely faces, while the ring of laughter, the pop of champagne corks, and the clatter of the croquet mallets resounded on all sides. Certainly I flirted desperately, and employed myself as recklessly as though I had been a millionaire instead of a Foreign Office clerk, and it seemed an extraordinary revulsion when I found myself deposited at the door of Dick Onslow's chambers, where I had promised to spend the evening.
His laundress met me with a letter, and, as I opened it, I saw through the half-opened door a melange of litters, all of which betokened a speedy flight, which was further elucidated by Dick's hurried note.
"Off. Duns en masse. To Cousin in North. Then New Zealand. R. 0."
I looked at the old woman, stared at the note, shook my head, and drove down to the Polyanthus, the club to which Dick and I belonged, one or two men had - met him at the Eustonsquare Station, and had witnessed his speedy flight.
"Sewed up," said Verwood of the Guards, "always knew he would be, poor fellow—s'pose he's gone to Baden. Roulette sometimes recoups one."
I heard no more of Dick. He had I knew a farmer-cousin in Cumberland who was in his way both a wealthy and good-natured man. There I supposed Dick to be learning agriculture, unless he had done as Verwood surmised.
A year passed, and Dick's name had faded in the Temple and at the brilliant Polyanthus. Society's waters soon close over the bead of a drowning man, and his case was no exception to the rule.
I received one June day an invitation from young Aspenell to another croquet party at Richmond. Vivid recollections of the last thronged on me as I dressed for this one. I
compared the fairy-scene I was going to form a part of, with the Cumberland wilds where Onslow was probably directing, habited in cords, and boots reeking with wet earth, the draining of his cousin's yards, and I smiled half sorrowfully as 1 thought of poor Dick's useless taste for still Moselle and ('Ins Vougeot.
Arrived at Richmond, I found "a brilliant galaxy of beauty" as the Post put it, assembled. Having paid my respects to the gracious Lady Aspenell, I turned and surveyed the broad lawn, where were erected several sets of hoops.
At one of these a party, including a Duke, two Earls, and an Ambassador, were standing kept in countenance by the reigning beauties of the season. They seemed waiting. Never deficient in assurance, I asked my neighbour, a county baronet, and member great in his own sphere, but here only in the second rank, the cause of our vis a vis delay.
"Don't you know f" said he pityingly. "They're waiting for the Captain."
I was as ignorant as before, and, not wishing to shew my deficiency in the freemasonry of fashion, I held my tongue.
A slight murmur from our aristocratic neighbours shewed a new arrival, a man who advanced with an easy air of aplomb, and a dash of dignified importance. The Duke alluded to shook his hand warmly, and the new comer seemed very much accustomed to deferential treatment. He was dressed very fashionably and wore a heavy twisted moustache and imperial, while his cheeks, in the French fashion, were clean-shaved.
He took his place with the prettiest clusters of girls circulating round him, and watching the artistic style in which he begun to play. The group appeared silent as if studying some noted work of art; while the Duke got red in the face, and loose as to necktie, in his earnest endeavours to imitate the Crichtonian Captain.
Presently, as the game ended, Lady Aspenell herself came up with the same smile and empressement as she would have Bhewn towards the best parti of the year, and took the Captain's arm to the refreshment beauffet.
*' Shall you be at Lord Averley's next week?" she said, while trifling with her ice.
"Yes," said the Captain, drinking his iced champagne slowly. "Yes, Lady Aspenell, one of the Austrian Archdukes is to be there to meet me."
My eyes opened. Who was this prodigy whose voice sounded curiously familiar?
"Oh, Captain Onslow," said Lady Aspenell: "I believe a good many of the best set will be there."
Captain Onslow! This would be Dick's soldier-cousin then. I had heard of his gallantry at Delhi, but I never knew how world-wide his fame was—so much so that a Prince of the House of Hapsburg was staying at a great Marquis's to meet him.
The extraordinary deference with which he was treated, and something about the beak which seemed familiar to me, made me ask young Asl>enell whether he could secure mean invitation. He did secure it by his mother's influential assistance.
Arrived at the Marquis's I soon found three or four men whom I knew, and, save at the grand dinner at eight, the bulk of the visitors rarely met together. We found different circles, the centre of the highest being His Imperial Highness. The wonderful CaptaiD, who reminded me of one of Dumas' Musketeers, did not make his appearance for a day or two.
One afternoon, however, a troop of servants came ouf on the lawns, and set np various croquet sets. The centre one was reserved for the creme de la cre'me, and the Archduke listened attentively to the Marquis's explanation.
"It's quite a national game, your Highness, but Captain Onslow can explain its difficulties best."
"Aha!" said the Arch-duke, turning and greeting the Captain, who was imperturbable as usual.
"You weel tell,—abec Sie konnen, Deutich spiechen ?" he added, gliding with relief into his own language.
The Captain bowed assent, and began in accurate Viennese-German an explanation of the wonderful game.
The Imperial learner then took his station at a hoop under the Captain's guidance, while the aristocratic surrounders looked on in equal awe of teacher and pupil.
"By jove," said I, half aloud, "Dick should get his swell cousin to give him a lift."
Even though some distance off, my words seemed partly heard by Capt. Onslow, who glanced for a moment at me, thereby making me look rather confused.
I soon however forgot this incident in the play necessary for my own circle, and I saw no more of the Captain till we all assembled in the smoking room. Here the Captain was regarded as an oracle, and his judicial utterances on horses, play, politics, and croquet, were eagerly listened to by his aristocratic admirers—peers, commoners, and M.F's.
He outstayed them all till he and I were left alone. The wreaths of smoke curled gracefully round our heads, and under their soothing influence I plucked up courage to address the great man.
"Have you a relation, Captain Onslow, at the bar?"
"Oh, Dick!" said he, puffing out an enormous volume of smoke, "yes; he's a bad lot, very fast, and can't pay his debts."
"Well," said I, rather nettled, " I don't suppose he's the first man who's outrun the constable."
"Don't you?" said the Captain, drily.
"Dick Onslow," said I, warmly, "was a very good fellow; what's become of him I don't know; but I never hit a man when he's down."
"You?re singularly unlike the world then, old boy," said the Captain, speaking in his full voice and shaking my hand, "and Dick Onslow must thank you!"
Yes! it teas Dick tn peoprid persond; his foreign moustache and military dress had disguised him well; but now I looked at him, and marvelled that my stupidity had prevented my discovering him before.
'* But how are you such a swell, Dick? How a Captain? Why such an authority in croquet?" said I, bewildered.
"In the wilds of Cumberland," said Dick solemnly, "I learned croquet of the Hector's daughters, whose health 1 drink in this soda and brandy. A good stroke at billiards, I soon 1 became a crack croquet player. Seeing the > fashion, an idea struck me that a professor of I croquet might pay, and it has!" "But your rank as Captain?" "In a regiment of Volunteers!" "Your German?"
"Remains of my Bonn education. I trained j my moustache, and let a certain trail of foreign ] soldiering hang about me as it were—roih tout!"
"I may add, old fellow," said Dick, leisurely, i "that Carry Hastings, the heiress, was so devoted to croquet at Lady Aspenell's as to become ! a little devoted to its Professor. And we're duly engaged."
"You're a fortunate fellow," I said: and my 'open mouth testified my bewilderment.
"Yes," said Dick, calmly. *' You see I disi covered a Golden Secret!"
The Tulits In Hyde Park.—One of the most interesting sights in London hns been the beautiful beds of tulips in Hyde Park, during the months of April and the early part of May. The beds extended the whole length of Park-lane, from Stanhope Gate to the Marble Arch, and at their prime were one blaM
of magnificent colours. These were all planted uDdcr the direction of Mr. Mann, the Superintendent of the Parks. The priucipal sorts grown here, and which succeeded so well, are-—Trmrnesol, double, scarlet and yellow; Rex Rnbrornm, double, scarlet; La Candmr, double, white; Yellow Prince, single, yellow; and
White Potlebakcr, single, white. In the selection of these, great care is required; and much credit is doe to Messrs. George Gibbs and Co., 25 and 26, Downstreet, near Hyde Park Corner, who, we are informed, supplied the tulips, hyacinths, and crocuses for the Parks. It is worthy of record, as gratifying evidence of the love of floral display that especially belongs to the London " people," no damage has been sustained to the beds of flowers by the large gatherings of the working classes, who entered the Park from all quarters to take p.-u-t in the recent " demonstrations.