Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][graphic]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Power to do good is the true and lawful end of aspiring : for good thoughts (though God accept them), yet, towards men, are little better than good dreams, except they be put in act ; and that cannot be without power and place, as the vantage and commanding ground.

BACON,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

IN THREE VOLUMES.

VOL. III.

THIRD EDITION.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

SHACKELL AND BAYLIS, JOHNSON'S-COURT.

DE VER E.

CHAPTER I.

EXILE.

And sighed my English breath in foreign clouds,
Eating the bitter bread of banishment;
Whilst you have fed upon my Signories,
Dispark'd my parks, ard fell'd my forest woods,
Raz'd out my impress, leaving me no sign,
Save men's opinions, and my living blood,
To shew the world I am a gentleman.

SHAKSPEARE.

we

Had the intercourse between France and England been as easy and as frequent in the time of Elizabeth as it is now, Shakspeare would probably have revelled in the description of an embarkation; and among the numerous touches feed

upon

in his account of human life, we should possibly have to dwell upon the various emotions of that multitude of characters who hurry to the shores of their country, in order to leave it. The boat of Charon itself could hardly exhibit a more motley picture of our wayward

[blocks in formation]

nature; it could hardly contain more fears, or regrets, or hopes, tender or bitter recolleetions, or joyful expectations, curiosity, or moroseness, or avarice, or the spirit of intrigue, love, honour, or ambition, than the boat that wafts the restless Englishman to the opposite shore.

With this in view, we will not merely say a misanthrope, but a rational observer of mankind, would do well, for a while, to take a position on the pier of any port of embarkation. The faney of a Jaques would run riot in it.

But we must not stop to inquire into the thousand exhibitions of the human character which Dover afforded to our travellers, as they seated themselves in the packet. Here an emaciated devotee of the world, in whose service he had destroyed his health, was flying to the sweet south for strength to enjoy it a little longer; there his heir, accompanying him, and secretly wondering (we will not say wishing the contrary) whether he would ever come back. Here an eme bezzler, with the portfolio of his master, fearing an officer in every man that looked at him. There a wife, in tears and agitation, and already repentant at having fled from a husband with a lover not to be compared to him. Now they saw a young heir, big with all hope, the world at his feet; and now a man driven from society for infamy, envying the commonest sailor boy that scrubbed dirt from the deck. Here was a faded ennuyé, flying from himself in London, to he still more tired of the same person in Paris; there

« PoprzedniaDalej »