« PoprzedniaDalej »
(Rises and pulls the worsted rope, till it snaps in twain.)
NORTH. But then the moorfowl! The brown-game! The delicious mullattoes! The dear pepper-backs! Savouriness that might be sucked without satiety by saint and sinner for three quarters of an hour ! Oh! James, that old cock!
THE SHEPHERD. He was as gude a beast as I ever pree'd ; but I did nae mair than pree him ; for frae neb to doup did our Editor devour him, as he had been a bit snipe He crunched his very banes, Mr Tickler; and the very marrow o' the cretur's spine trinkled down his chin frae ilk corner o' his mouth, and gied him, for the while being, a most terrible and truculent feesionomy.
Enter Mr AMBROSE.
• TICKLER. Bring in the cold round, a welch-rabbit, and a devil. (Exit AMBROSE.
NORTH. My dear Shepherd, you will be dubbing me of the Gormandizing School of Oratory.
THE SHEPHERD. Oratory! Gude faith, ye never uttered a syllable till the cloth was drawn. To be sure, you were gran' company at the cheek o' the fire, out ower our toddy. I never heard you mair pleasant and satirical. You seemed to hate everybody, and like everybody, and abuse everybody, and plaud everybody ; and yet, through a' your deevilry there ran sic a vein o' unendurable funniness, that, had you been the foul Fiend himsel, I maun hae made you welcome to everything in the house. Watty Bryden has had a stitch in his side ever sin' syne; and Fahope swears you're the queerest auld tyke that ever girned by an ingle.
NORTH. Read that aloud, James. It is an article Ebony put into my hand this af. ternoon. Let us hear if it will do for next Number.
ON THE GORMANDIZING SCHOOL OF ORATORY.
No. II.- Lawless.
We were informed by an observing Whig friend, who sat within two or three of Mr Lawless's right or left hand at “ The Glasgow Dinner," that never in his life did he see such a knife-and-fork played as by the IRISHMAN. No sooner had Professor Mylne said grace, than Mr Lawless began munching bread, till the table-cloth before him was all over crumbs. After demolishing his own roll, nothing would satisfy him but to clutch his neighbour's; in which act of aggression, (to our minds, as unjustifiable as the partition of Poland,) he was resisted by the patriotic and empty-stomached constitutionalist, to whom, by the law of nature and nations, the staff of life did, beyond all controversy, belong. At this critical juncture, a waiter clapped down before the IRISHMAN a profound platter of warm soup, and the vermicelli in a moment disappeared from the face of the earth. As good luck would have it, another waiter covered the emptied trencher, with one of hotch-potch; and our informant expresses his conviction, that Mr Lawless, while gobbling up the mess, retained not the most distant recollection of his own prior performance. A cut of salmon then went the way of all flesh. The fish was instantly pursued," without stop or stay, down the narrow way,” by the spawl of a turkey. It appeared to our astonished informant, that the IRISHMAN had swallowed the shank ; but in that, he had afterwards reason to believe himself mistaken. True it was, however, that a cold tongue, half as long as his own, but with a different
twang, went down the throat of the distinguished stranger from the sister kingdom. A dumpling, like a beetle, followed instanter ; an apple-tart, about eight inches square, barely turned the corner before a custard, and our last fat friend was speedily overtaken by six sprightly syllabubs. At this stage of proceedings, our excellent Whig thought it high time to look after himself; and hence he was unable to keep an eye on Orator Lawless. But he distinctly remembers seeing him at his cheese. Paddy had manifestly exchanged his own plate, for one coming down the table with a full cargo ; while ever and anon a gulp of Bell's Beer swept millions of mites into the great receptacle ; and finally, a long delighted “pech,” from the bottom of his stomach and his soul, told that No. II. of the Gormandizing School of Oratory, would ere long discharge a-Speech.
In this proud state of repletion did Mr Lawless sit for about three hours, more or less, digesting his dinner and his harangue. The IRISHMAN, like most of his countrymen, has rather a pleasant appearance; and now, with his brow bedewed, his cheeks greased, his eyes staring in his head, and his stomach, God bless him ! tight as a drum, HE AROSE. You might have heard the faintest eructation, so dead was the silence of the Assembly-Room. Except that he seemed rather a little pot-bellied-as well he might-his figure shew. ed to no disadvantage after that of Mr Brougham. Yes! « After Mr Brougham had concluded, Mr LAWLESS, proprietor of the Irishman, of Belfast, rose and addressed the Assembly in a most impressive and animated man
Conscious of his own great acquirements, which our readers have seen were great, the eloquent gormandizer exclaimed,
“ I hope that I do not presume too much when I say, that I am proprietor of a press which has some claims to independence. I am an IrisHMAN; and in my native country I have the conducting of a press, which, to the inhabitants of that part of Ireland, Is ITS GREATEST GUARDIAN AND CONSOLATION !!"
Here Mr Lawless put his hand to his stomach, and the room rang with applause. Well might he have said, “ I feel it here, gentlemen.” Soon afterwards he spoke of “a starving population," having himself, in one single half hour, devoured victuals that would have kept ten cabins in animal food from Mullingar to Michaelmas. But hear the glutton after deglutition and digestion!
“ What is the situation of the Irish peasant? Goaded to madness by the law, he appeals for refuge to public opinion. That opinion is to be found in the press—IT IS FOUND IN THIS ROOM: it is found in the proverbial generosity of Englishmen ; it is discoverable in the CHARITIES OF THE HUMAN HEART !” So the Irish peasant is, first of all, to read in Mr Lawless's Belfast newspaper what is public opinion, as it exists in the Assembly-Room of Glasgow, and what are the charities of the human heart as they breathe from the well-lined stomach of this most unconscionable gormandizer; and then he is to set fire to “ haggards,” far and wide over a blazing country, and murder families, father, mother, and son, in cold blood.
But now the dumpling begins to work, and the custard cries within him.
“ Your illustrious guest has eloquently spoken of the wonders which he has witnessed in his tour through Scotland, this LAND OF CHIVALRY AND BEAUTY; but he has not touched upon a much greater wonder than this, nor has it yet been mentioned, namely, an Irishman addressing a Scotch assembly, in defence of the civil and religious freedom of his native land, and that Scotch assembly, not only listening to him with the utmost toleration, but actually cheering him in his progress.”
Now, Pat, you are indeed an Irishman. How the devil could Harry Brougham call the attention of the company to the miraculous fact of a speech from Mr Lawless, before you had opened your great bawling mouth? “ It had not yet been mentioned,” you say; and again I ask you, how the devil it could ? But where is the wonder in an Irishman spouting before Scotch Whigs, upon the miseries of his country? Both O'Connors have done so a hundred times, and many other traitors, now hanged or expatriated. Did you expect to be hissed for your rhodomontade, after praising the “ Chivalry and Beauty” of Glasgow ?' And was your oratory a “ greater wonder than these?" Thou art a most ungrammatical gormandizer, Mr Lawless, proprietor of the Irishman of Belfast; and yet so delightedly unconscious is the Devourer of
Dumplings of the bulls and blunders that have come roaring out of his jaws, that he winds up his sage exordium thus; and then we have no doubt, after cracking and creaking, lollopping and labouring, stood still for a short space of time, like an ill-appointed jack, that seems to get rusty as the weight is wound up, and then all at once recommences operations, as if a brownie had got into the wheel, and was making a fool of the machinery.
“Here, GentLEMEN, IS THE TRIUMPH OF THE Press, AND OF REASON AND LIBERALITY.”
Our gormandizer then goes to Paisley, and by way of a little variety, he dines instead of sups. At Paisley, however, he is a much greater character; for he is the Brougham of the Saracen Head. The Scotsman tells us, “ that the band and the spirits were excellent.” So, we know, from the best authority, were the tripes, the black puddings, the hot cockles, and the red herrings, a Dutch importation of the 1821. Mr Lawless then made his expected speech -the sum and substance of which was this, in his own words—«. What more does a radical reformer want than what Professor Mylne of Glasgow, in his own modest, softened phraseology, was pleased to call a substantial reform, at the late splendid dinner to Mr Brougham ? I have been long an advocate for radical reform, understanding the term radical cxactly in the sense of Professor Mylne; and what then does radical mean? It means this, that every honest man, of sound mind, should have the right to choose his representative.The election should be frequent, and that to secure the honesty of the constituent, and the independence of the representative, the suffrage should be unie versal.” Such, according to the Scotsman, is the opinion of the Reverend James Mylne, Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Glasgow, as expounded by his gormandizing commentator, Mr Lawless, of Belfast. We can no more.
At the request of the President, Mr Stewart, a friend and companion of Mr Lawless, addressed the meeting thus: “ Mr Chairman, I am a Catholic. Here do I stand before you, with manacles on my hands, and chains on my legs !” He ought to have been re-committed on a new warrant.
THE SHEPHERD. I haé read just aneuch o't. It will do for Balaam, and that fule Lawless for the ass.
James-James-you are getting personal.
TICKLER. Why, this red-hot potato supposes itself something above common. Only think of his bouncing up after Brougham, and claiming both kindred and equality with that bird of passage. Brougham is not a phænix, in my opinion; but as for this braying, bragging, bawling, bullying, brazen-faced blockhead, with his blundering blarney from Belfast, a greater goose never gabbled on a green, nor groaned on a gridiron, since the first introduction of that absurdest of all feathered fowls into the island of Great Britain.
THE SHEPHERD. Stop Tickler as weel's me, Mr North.
TICKLER. What brought the hound, with his Irish howl, into the Lanarkshire pack ?
THE SHEPHERD. What a confusion o' metaphors! First, this Mr Lawless is a potawto--then a guse, syne a jowler-and, forgie me, I mysel ca'd him an ass. What, what'll he be neist ?
TICKLER. What think ye, North, of the fellow's insolence in making free with Professor Mylne's name in that way.
NORTH. It would be more interesting and instructive to know what Professor Mylne thinks of it, and also how he relishes it. Horrible degradation, indeed, to a man of genius, learning, and virtue! But if Pat would drag the Professor into the Saracen's Head, how could the Professor help it?
TICKLER. He might have helped it by holding his tongue at the Glasgow dinner, and by being satisfied with saying grace, or, better still, by staying away. But this is not the first time the worthy Professor has been misrepresented ; and let us
. believe that Pat's report of his speech is as incorrect as (in days of old) Barbara's note of his prayer, and commentary on his selection of Scriptural paraphrases.
THE SHEPHERD. That's a' utter darkness to me--some local allusion, I suppose-like so many jokes in your Magazine that nobody kens onything about, but some three or four o' yoursells; and yet the Magazine is read over all the world! I sometimes get sae angry at that, that I think you a' a set o'stupid sumphs thegither. I ken the English folk canna thole't. Gin Mr Joyous werena sleeping, he wad tell you sae.
NORTH. I acknowledge the justice of your reproof; and to shew you that I mean to profit by it, there goes into the fire a long article of fourteen pages, and a good one, too, written by myself on the Glasgow dinner. Tickler's fragment is enough.
THE SHEPHERD. Eh! what a bleeze. It's maist a pity to see the low. Nae doubt, you geed them an awfu' dressing ; but far far better to prent in its place yon gran' article on Wallenstein, (Is that right pronounced ?) or even that ane on my own Perils; for I have observed, that let the Whigs do or dine, or drivel as they choose, none but themsells recollect onything about it, aboon a week at the farthest ; and therefore that article, now black in the awse, might, for ony novelty the public could hae seen in't, as weel been a description of Alexander's or Belshazzar's Feast.
Who, think ye, Tickler, is to be the new editor of the Quarterly ? Coleridge?
TICKLER. Not so fast. The contest lies, I understand, between him and ODoherty, That is the reason the Adjutant has not been with us to-night. He is up canvassing.
THE OPIUM-EATER. Mr Coleridge is the last man in Europe to conduct a periodical work. His genius none will dispute ; but I have traced him through German literature, poetry, and philosophy; and he is, sir, not only a plagiary, but, sir, a thief, a bonâ fide most unconscientious thief. I mean no disrespect to a man of surpassing talents. Strip him of his stolen goods, and you will find good clothes of his own below. Yet, except as a poet, he is not original; and if he ever become Editor of the Quarterly, (which I repeat is impossible,) then will I examine his pretensions, and shew him up as impostor. Of Shakespeare it has been said, in a very good song, that " the thief of all thiefs was a Warwickshire thief;" but Shakespeare stole from Nature, and she forbore to prosecute. Coleridge has stolen from a whole host of his fellow-creatures, most of them poorer than himself; and I pledge myself I am bound over to appear against him. If he plead to the indictment, he is a dead man-if he stand mute, I will press him to death, under three hundred and fifty pound weight of German metaphysics.
THE OPIUM-EATER. Perhaps. Mr North, I was most happy to see you let ODoherty do something like justice to Don Juan. Why will you let political animosities prevent your Magazine being a real reflection of the literature of the Tories ? I never saw poetry criticised except in Blackwood. The Edinburgh Reviewers know nothing about it. The Quarterly are hide-bound. The rest, with the exception of a stray writer or two, are both ignorant and hide-bound. Your criticisms on Shelly, in particular, did you immortal honour. Everybody of liberality and feeling thanked you. Why not be always thus? Cut up the Whigs and Whiglings, (God knows, they are vulnerable enough,) and the Radicals and Republicans, (God knows, they are prostrate enough,) to your soul's contentment. Only, don't mix politics with literature ; nor “ To party give up what was meant for mankind.”
NORTH. We have got back to the old story. What, my dear sir, do you think of our personality ?
THE OPIUM-EATER. It is the only charge I have for a long time past heard urged against you. To me it seems a very trifling matter, and necessarily unconnected with the chief merits or demerits of a work so various and profound as your Magazine. Coarse attacks, if you bave any such, and you know better than I do, fail in their effect, excepting upon animals too low for gentlemen's game. As a mere affair of taste, I should say, “ use the dissecting-knife rather than the cleaver, and leave the downright butchering business of literature to those to whom the perquisite of the offal may be of consequence.” As a general rule, I would say,
fight a gentleman with a Damascus blade, tempered with perfume; with a blackguard, why, order your footman to knock him down ; but if you want exercise, and now and then choose to turn to yourself, and drub him in his own way, where is the objection, I should like to know? This is my personality creed.
TICKLER. · And a clear creed it is, thou most orthodox Opium-Eater. One thing all must acknowledge, that people cannot help judging of personality according to their amiable prejudices. A Whig reads a libel on a Tory, and chuckles over it as a most midriff-moving jeu d'esprit worthy of Moore himself, or Pirie's Chronicle, while the pluckless Tory shews it to his friends, who tell him not to trouble his head about it, as it is evidently a piece of low blackguardism from some hungry hack of The Old Times. A Tory reads a libel on a Whig, and instantly, in the joy of his heart, gets it off by heart, perhaps, sets it to music, and sings it at Ambrose's; while the enraged Whig consults counsel, car. ries the Tory before a jury of his country, and bites his nails over farthing damages. All this is very perplexing to a simple man like Timothy Tickler.
NORTH. In that perplexity I humbly beg leave to join. There is good Mr Jeffrey, of whom I shall never speak but in terms of the highest respect, who calls Copplestone, the Provost of Oriel, a great, awkward, clumsy barn-door fowl, foolishly flapping himself into an unavailing effort at flight. He even changes the Provost's sex, makes him a hen, swears he saw him lay an egg, and heard him cackle. There, on the other hand, is good Mr Jeffrey, as fierce as a fiend upon me in a court of justice, because Dr Olinthus Petre thought he perceived some resemblance, either in face, person, dress, habits, or conversation, between a friend of his and a parrot. What am I to make of all this? Is a parrot an animal that ranks lower in the scale of creation than a pullet? Again, the same lively, and most exceedingly candid and consistent Mr Jeffrey, calls Mr Davison, a clergyman, (also once of Oriel,) a rat in a gutter, and all the fellows of the same College, cats, or retromingent creatures, which Mr Jeffrey will confess is a most incredible accusation, if he will only try to qualify himself for admission into that society. Now, for anything that I care, Copplestone may be a barn-door fowl, Davison a rat, and Plumer a cat; but if so you see the consequence logical.
TICKLER Clearly, most noble Festus. I have long observed that you never speak of Mr Jeffrey but in terms of the highest respect. So do I. For example, Baron Lawerwinkel was somewhat severe on the late Professor Playfair, insinuating, or asserting, I forget which, that he had ceased to be true to his early profession of faith. Up jumps Jeff., and sallies forth, cap-a-pie, against the Baron, like Jack the Giant-Killer ; but thinking better about it, he doffs his armour, buckles his enormous two-edged sword, half as long as himself, and betakes himself to railing as bitterly as a north-east wind on a sleety morning. But soft, who comes here? Not a grenadier, but Jeff. himself, calling out upon Mr Southey, “ apostate," " renegade,' and every other most opprobrious epithet. The Baron eyes him for a while with increased, but calm contempt, and then, like a noble-minded mastiff, lifts him up gently by the nape of the neck, and drops him into a pool, out of which he scrambles with ludicrous alacrity, and, shaking his small sides, barks out, “ Personality.” Now, Mr North, ye may talk in high terms of respect of whomsoever you think proper to flatter; but of this priggish person, for this particular piece of priggery, I, Timothy Tickler, have chosen to speak in still higher terms of pity and contempt.