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THE DOMESTIC LIFE OF POETS. It would be worth while to consider the domestic lives of all the greater Poets of modern times, for the ancients lacked those refinements and enjoyments of which we speak-Shakespeare, Dante, Milton-all of whom have come next the human heart, but found no object in life to satiate the restless yearnings of their hearts, and appease at the same time the fastidious cravings of their imaginations. Dissatisfaction is the lot of the Poet, if it be that of any being; and therefore, these gushings of the spirit, these pourings out of their innermost soul on imaginary topics, because there was no altar in their home worthy of the libation.
AN OPINION ON LOVE AND LOVERS. A LADY writer, who may be considered competent to speak on the subject, says—" There is generally speaking, so much in a man's nature that is incomprehensible to a woman, that it is always a daring task for her to weigh his actions, or to attempt the definition of his feelings. His love is seldom her love--his faith is not her faith-his life is not her life. Only in a moment of existence which shines out briefly and brighily in the dark expanse of memory, like stars on the purple firmament, does it seem that love and sympathy can raise the curtain and let one soul perceive the other. For is woman knows not man's heart, he cannot, except in rarest instances, regulate the spring of her faults, or discover the fountain of her virtues.” There are lovers who dissent from some part of this lady's opinion.
ASTRONOMICAL WIT. A PERSON lately remarking the brightness of a moonlight night with the usual observations of_“How bright the moon shines to night," was answered, by a Punster, with—“I should wonder if it didn't.” “Why ?” said the other—“Because,” said he “That's the same moon that a month ago took all the shine out of the sun.”
MONEY. To make money plenty and cheap has been the study of statesmen for the last ten centuries, and yet when a counterfeit steps in and shews them how it is done, he is bundled off to prison for a dozen years or more. What an ungrateful world !
FRENCH LANGUAGE. It is good sense for a young lady, to urge as an excuse for not learning French, that one tongue is sufficient for any woinan.
A PEEP AT AN EMIGRANT SHIP. She is bound for New York, with forty cabin passengers, and two hundred steerage ditto. Sixteen guineas are demanded for the after passage, the sum of two pounds ten is the ticket for the steerage multitude. And such a multitude ! Three-fifths Irish; one-fifth Germans; and a timid, irresolute, sacred, woe-begone fifth of English, who look as if they had gone to sleep in Liverpool, and had been knocked up in the Tower of Babel. A confusion of tongues-a confusion of tubs-a confusion of boxes- a flux of barbarous words-a tangle of children settling on bulk-heads and ladder rounds like locusts—and an odour ! ugh ! let us go on deck wither all the passengers follow us; for the muster roll is being called, and as the authorities verify the name and passage money receipt of each einigrant, the Government Emigration agent ascertains that there are no cases of infectious disease among the passengers; no lame, no halt, and blind; no paralytics and no bed-ridden dotards. Andy O Scullabogue, of Ballyshandy, County Cork, is turned back for having a trifle of five children ill with putrid fever. Judith Murphy can by no means be passed, for she is appallingly crippled. Florence M. Shane is sent on shore, because she is blind; and Terrence Rooney because his mother has only one leg.
SAINT MARK'S EVE.
A TALE OF THE OLDEN TIME. “ The Devil choke thee with un !"-as Master Giles, the yeoman, said this, he banged down a band, the size and colour like a ham, on the old fashioned oak table ;-“I do say the Devil choke thee with un !"
The Dame made no reply :she was choking with passion and a fowl's liver-the original cause of the dispute. A great deal has been said and sung of the advantage of congenial tastes amongst married people, but true as it is, the variances of our Kentish couple arose from this very coincidence in gusto. They were both fond of the little delicacy in question, but the Dame had managed to secure the morsel for herself, and this was sufficient to cause a storm of very high words, which properly understood, signifies very low language. Their meal times seldom passed over without some contention of the sort—as sure as the knives and forks clashed, so did they — being in fact equally greedy and disagreeable- and when they did pick a quarrel they picked it to the bone.
It was reported, that on some occasions they had not even contented themselves with hard speeches, but that they had come to scuffling—he taking to boxing, and she to pinching, though in a far less amicable manner than is practised by the takers of snuff. On the present difference, however, they were satisfied with “ wishing each other dead with all their hearts,”—and there seemed
little doubt of the sincerity of the aspiration, on looking at their malignant faces,-for they made a horrible picture in this frame of mind. Now it happened that this quarrel took place on the morning of St. Mark, a Saint who was supposed on that Festival to favour his votaries with a peep into the Book of Fate, for it was the popular belief in those days, that if a person should keep watch towards midnight, beside the Church, the apparition of all those of the parish who were to be taken by death before the next anniversary, would be seen entering the porch. The Yeoman, like his neighbours, believed most devoutly in this superstition ; and, in the very moment that he breathed the unseemly aspiration aforesaid, it occurred to him that the even was at hand, when, by observing the rite of St. Mark, he might know to a certainty whether this unchristian wish was to be one of those that bear fruit. Accordingly, a little before midnight, he stole quietly out of the house, and in something like a sexton-like spirit, set forth on his way to the Church.
In the mean time, the Dame called to mind the same ceremonial; and having the like motive for curiosity with her husband, she also put on her cloak and calash, and set out, though by a different path, on the same errand.
The night of the Saint was as dark and chill as the mysteries he was supposed to reveal, the moon throwing but a short occasional glance, as the sluggish masses of cloud were driven slowly across her face. Thus it fell out that our two adventurers were quite unconscious of being in company, till a sudden glimpse of moonlight shewed them to each other, only a few yards apart; both through a natural panic, as pale as ghosts; and both making eagerly towards the Church porch. Much as they had just wished for this vision, they could not help quaking and stopping on the spot, as if turned to a pair of tombstones, and in this position the dark again threw a sudden curtain over them, and they disappeared from each other.
It will be supposed the two came only to one conclusion, each conceiving that Saint Mark had marked the other to himself. With this comfortable knowledge, the widow and the widower elect hied home again by the roads they came; and as their custom was to sit apart after a quarrel, they repaired, each ignorant of the other's excursion, to separate chambers. By and by, being called to supper, instead of sulking as aforetime, they came down together, each being secretly in the best humour, though mutually suspected of the worst; and amongst other things on the table, there was a calf's sweetbread, being one of those very dainties that had often set them together by the ears. The Dame looked and longed, but she refrained from its appropriation, thinking within herself that she could give up sweetbreads for one year, and the Farmer made a similar reflection. After pushing the dish to and fro for several times, by a common impulse they divided the treat ; and
then having supped, they retired amicably to rest, whereas until then, they had never gone to bed without falling out. The truth was, each looked upon the other, as being already in the churchyard, mould, or quite “ moulded to their wish."
On the morrow, which happened to be the Dame's birth-day, the Farmer was the first to wake, and “ knowing what he knew," and having besides but just roused himself out of a dream strictly confirmatory of the late vigil, he did not scruple to salute his wife, and wish her many happy returns of the day. The wife “ who knew as much as he," very readily wished him the same, having in truth but just rubbed out of her eyes, the pattern of a widow's bonnet, that had been submitted to her in her sleep. She took care, however, to give the fowl's liver, at dinner, to the doomed man, considering that when he was dead and gone, she could have them, if she pleased, seven days in the week; and the Farmer, on his part, took care to help her to many tit-bits. Their feeling towards each other was that of an impatient host with regard to an unwelcome guest, showing scarcely a bare civility while in expectation of his stay, but over-loading him with hospitality, when made certain of his departure.
In this manner they went on for some six months, and though without any addition of love between them, and as much selfishness as ever, yet living in a subservience to the comforts and inclinations of each other, sometimes not to be found even amongst couples of sincere affections, there were as many causes for quarrel as ever; but every day it became less worth while to quarrel, so letting by-gones be by-gones, they were indifferent to the present, and thought only of the future, considering each other (to adopt a common phrase) “ as good as dead.”
Ten months wore away, and the Fariner's birth-day arrived in its turn. The Dame, wbo had passed an uncomfortable night, having dreamt, in truth, that she did not much like herself in the morning, saluted him as soon as the day dawned, and with a sigh wished him many happy years to come. The Farmer repaid her in kind, the sigh included; his own visions having been of the fanciful sort, for he had dreamt of having a headache, from wearing a black hatband, and the inalady still cling to him when awake. The whole morning was spent in silent meditation, and melancholy on both sides; when the dinner came, although the most favorite dishes were upon the table, they could not eat. The Farmer, resting his elbows upon the board with his face between his hands, gazed wishfully on his wife, scooping her eyes, as it were, out of their sockets, stripping the flesh off her cheeks, and in fancy converting her whole head into a mere caput-mortuum. The Dame leaning back in her high arm-chair, regarded the Yeoman quite as ruefully by the same process of imagination, picking his sturdy bones, and bleaching his ruddy visage to the complexion of a plaster cast. Their minds travelling in the same direction, and at an equal rate, arrived
together at the same reflection, but the Farmer was the first to give it utterance.
« Thee'd be missed, Dame, if thee were to die !" The Dame started. Although she had nothing but death at that moment before her eyes, she was far from dreaming of her own exit, and at this rebound of her thoughts against herself, she felt as if an extra cold coffin plate had been suddenly nailed on her chest : recovering, however, from the first shock, her thoughts flowed into their old channel, and she retorted in the same spirit-" I wish, master, thee may live so long as I !"
The Farmer, in his own mind, wished to live rather longer; for at the utmost, he considered that his wife's bill of mortality had but two months to run. The calculation made him sorrowful ; during the last few months she had consulted his appetite, bent to his humour, and dove-tailed her own inclinations unto his, in a manner that could never be supplied ; and he thought of her, if not the language, at least in the spirit of the Lady in Lalla Rookh :
“ I never taught a bright Gazelle
To watch me with its dark black eye,
And love me, it was sure to die !” His wife, from being at first useful to him, had become agreeable, and at last dear; and as he contemplated her approaching fate, he could not help thinking out andibly “ that he should be a lonesome man when she was gone!” The Dame, this time, heard the survivorship foreboded without starting ; but she marvelled much at what she thought the infatuation of a doomed man. So perfect was her faith in the infallibility of St. Mark, that she had even seen the symptoms of inortal disease, as palpable as plague spots, on the devoted Yeoman. Giving his body up, therefore, for lost, a strong sense of duty persuaded her, that it was imperative on her, as a Christian, to warn the unsuspecting Farmer of his dissolution. Accordingly, with a solemnity adapted to the subject, a tenderness of recent growth, and a memento inori face, she broached the matter in the following question—“Master, how bee'st ?”
“ As hearty, Damne, as a buck.” The Dame shook her head“ and I wish thee life," at which he shook his head himself. A dead silence ensued. There is a great fancy for breaking the truth by dropping it gently, an experiment which has never answered any more than with ironstone china. The Dame felt this, and thinking it better to throw the news at her husband at once, she told him in as many words that he was a dead man.
It was now the Yeoman's turn to be staggered. By a parallel course of reasoning, he had just wrought himself up to a similar disclosure, and the Dame's death warrant was just ready upon his tongue, when he met with his own despatch, signed, sealed and delivered. Conscience instantly pointed out the oracle from which she had derived the omen, and he turned as pale as “the pale of