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tomed to scatter their pernicious contraries. But twentieth year. I had lived from the period of when a man has commenced sut
leaving school to that time pretty much in soliO pause, thou sturdy moralist, thou person of tude. My companions were chiefly books, or at stout nerves and a strong head, whose liver is most, one or two living ones of my own bookhappily untouched, and ere thy gorge riseth at loving and sober stamp. I rose early, went to the name which I have written, first learn what bed betimes, and the faculties which God had the thing is; how much of compassion, how given me, I have reason to think, did not rust in much of human allowance, thou may'st virtu- me unused. ously mingle with thy disapprobation. Trample About that time I fell in with some companions not on the ruins of a man. Exact not, under so of a different order. They were men of boisterterrible a penalty as infamy, a resuscitation from ous spirits, sitters up a-nights, disputants, drunka state of death almost as real as that from which en ; yet seemed to have something noble about Lazarus rose not but by a miracle.
them. We dealt about the wit, or what passed Begin a reformation, and custom will make it for it after midnight, jovially. Of the quality easy. But what if the beginning be dreadful, the called fancy, I certainly possessed a larger share first steps not like climbing a mountain but going than my companions. Encouraged by their apthrough fire? what if the whole system must plause, I set up for a profest joker ! I, who of undergo a change violent as that which we con- all men am least fitted for such an occupation, ceive of the mutation of form in some insects ? having, in addition to the greatest difficulty which what is a process comparable to flaying alive be I experienced at all times of finding words to exto be gone through ? is the weakness that sinks
press my meaning, a natural nervous impediment under such struggles to be confounded with the in
my speech! pertinacity which clings to other vịces, which Reader, if you are gifted with nerves like have induced no constitutional necessity, no en- mine, aspire to any character but that of a wit. gagement of the whole victim, body and soul ? When
you find a tickling relish upon your tongue I have known one in that state, when he disposing you to that sort of conversation, espehas tried to abstain but for one evening,—though cially if you find a preternatural flow of ideas setthe poisonous potion had long ceased to bring ting in upon you at the sight of a bottle and fresh back its first enchantments, though he was sure it glasses, avoid giving way to it, as you would fly would rather deepen his gloom than brighten it, your greatest destruction. If you cannot crush -in the violence of the struggle, and the neces- the power of fancy, or that within you which you sity he has felt of getting rid of the present sen- mistake for such, divert it, give it some other play. sation at any rate, I have known him to scream Write an essay, pen a character or description,out, to cry aloud, for the anguish and pain of the but not, as I do now, with tears trickling down strife within him.
Why should I hesitate to declare, that the man To be an object of compassion to friends, of of whom I speak is myself? I have no puling derision to foes; to be suspected by strangers, apology to make to mankind. I see them all in stared at by fools; to be esteemed dull when you one way or another deviating from the pure rea- cannot be witty, to be applauded for witty when son. It is to my own nature alone I am account- you know that you have been dull; to be called able for the woe that I have brought upon it. upon for the extemporaneous exercise of that fa
I believe that there are constitutions, robust culty which no premeditation can give; to be. heads and iron insides, whom scarce any excesses spurred on to efforts which end in contempt; to can hurt; whom brandy, (I have seen them drink
be set on
provoke mirth, which procures the it like wine,) at all events, whom wine, taken in procurer hatred; to give pleasure, and be paid ever so plentiful measure, can do no worse injury with squinting malice ; to swallow draughts of to than just to muddle their faculties, perhaps life-destroying wine, which are to be distilled never very pellucid. On them this discourse is
into airy breath to tickle vain auditors; to inortwasted. They would but laugh at a weak brother, gage miserable morrows for nights of madness; who, trying his strength with them, and coming to waste whole seas of time upon those who pay off foiled from the contest, would fain persuade it back in little inconsiderable drops of grudging them that such agonistic exercises are dangerous. applause,
,--are the wages of buffoonery and death. It is to a very different description of persons I Time, which has a sure stroke at dissolving all speak. It is to the weak, the nervous ; to those connexions which have no solider fastening than who feel the want of some artificial aid to raise this liquid cement, more kind to me than my own their spirits in society to what is no more than taste or penetration, at length opened my eyes to the ordinary pitch of all around them without it. the supposed qualities of my first friends. No This is the secret of our drinking. Such must trace of them is left but in the vices which they fly the convivial board in the first instance, if introduced, and the habits they infixed. In them they do not mean to sell themselves for term of my friends survive still, and exercise ample retrilife.
bution for any supposed infidelity that I may have
My next more immediate companions were Persons not accustomed to examine the moand are persons of such intrinsic and felt worth, tives of their actions, to reckon up the countless that though accidentally their acquaintance has nails that rivet the chains of habit, or perhaps proved pernicious to me, I do not know that if being bound by none so obdurate as those I have the thing were to do over again, I should have confessed to, may recoil from this as from an the courage to eschew the mischief, at the price overcharged picture. But what short of such a of forfeiting the benefit. I came to them reeking bondage is it, which in spite of protesting friends, from the steams of my late over-heated notions a weeping wife, and a reprobating world, chains of companionship; and the slightest fuel hich wn many a poor fellow, of no original indispothey unconsciously afforded, was sufficient to feed sition to goodness, to his pipe and his pot ? my old fires into a propensity.
I have seen a print after Corregio in which They were no drinkers, but, one from profes- three female figures are ministering to a man sional habits, and another from a custom derived who sits fast bound at the root of a tree. Sensufrom his father, smoked tobacco. The devil could ality is soothing him, Evil Habit is nailing him not have devised a more subtle trap to re-take a to a branch, and Repugnance at the same instant backsliding penitent. The transition, from gulp- of time is applying a snake to his side. In his ing down draughts of liquid fire to puffing out face is teeble delight, the recollection of past, rainnocuous blasts of dry smoke, was so like cheat- ther than perception of present pleasures, languid ing him. But he is too hard for us when we hope enjoyment of evil with utter imbecility to good, to commute. He beats us at barter ; and when a Sybaritic effeminacy, a submission to bondage, we think to set off a new failing against an old the springs of the will gone down like a broken infirmity, 'tis odds but he puts the trick upon us clock, the sin and the suffering co-instantaneous, of two for one. That, (comparatively,) white or the latter forerunning the former, remorse devil of tobacco brought with him in the end seven preceding action-all this represented in one point worse than himself.
of time. When I saw this, I admired the wonIt were impertinent to carry the reader through derful skill of the painter. But when I went all the processes by which, from smoking at first away, I wept, because I thought of my own conwith malt liquor, I took my degrees through thin dition. wines, through stronger wine and water, through Of that there is no hope that it should ever small punch, to those juggling compositions, change. The waters have gone over me. But which, under the name of mixed liquors, slur a out of the black depths, could I be heard, I would great deal of brandy or other poison under less cry out to all those who have but set a foot in the and less water continually, until they come next perilous flood. Could the youth to whom the to none, and so to none at all. But it is hateful flavour of his first wine is delicious as the opento disclose the secrets of my Tartarus.
ing scenes of life, or the entering upon some I should repel my readers, from a mere incapa- | newly discovered paradise, look into my desolacity of believing me, were I to tell them what tion, and be made to understand what a dreary tobacco has been to me, the drudging service thing it is when a man shall feel himself going which I have paid, the slavery which I have down a precipice with open eyes and a passive vowed to it. How, when I have resolved to quit will—to see his destruction, and have no power ít, a feeling, as of ingratitude, has started up; to stop it, and yet to feel it all the way emanating how it has put on personal claims and made the from himself; to perceive all goodness emptied demands of a friend upon me. How the reading out of him, and yet not to be able to forget a time of it casually in a book, as where Adams takes when it was otherwise, to bear about the piteous his whiff in the chimney-corner of some inn in spectacle of his own self-ruins :-could he see my Joseph Andrews, or Piscator in the Complete fevered eye, feverish with last night's drinking, Angler breaks his fast upon a morning pipe in and feverishly looking for this night's repetition that delicate room Piscatoribus Sacrum, has in a of the folly ; could he feel the body of the death moment broken down the resistance of weeks. out of which I cry hourly with feebler and feebler How a pipe was ever in my midnight path before outcry to be delivered--it were enough to make me, till the vision forced me to realize it,-how him dash the sparkling beverage to the earth in then its ascending vapours curled, its fragrance all the pride of its mantling temptation; to make lulled, and the thousand delicious ministerings him clasp his teeth, conversant about it, employing every faculty ex
and not undo 'em tracted the sense of pain. How from illuminat
To suffer WET DAMNATION to run thro' 'em. ing it came to darken, from a quick solace it turned to a negative relief, thence to a restlessnese Yea, but, (methinks I hear somebody object) and dissatisfaction, thence to a positive misery. if sobriety be that fine thing you would have us to How, even now, when the whole secret stands understand, if the comforts of a cool brain are to be confessed in all its dreadful truth before me, I preferred to that state of heated excitement which feel myself linked to it beyond the power of re
you describe and deplore, what hinders in your
bits from which you would induce others never to swerve ? if the blessing be worth preserving, is it not worth recovering.
Recovering !-0 if a wish could transport me back to those days of youth, when a draught from the next clear spring could slake any heats which summer suns and youthful exercise had power to stir up in the blood, how gladly would I return to thee, pure element, the drink of children, and of child-like holy hermit. In my dreams I can sometimes fancy thy cool refreshment purling over my burning tongue. But my waking stomach rejects it. That which refreshes innocence, only makes me sick and faint.
But is there no middle way betwixt total abstinence and the excess which kills you ?For your sake, reader, and that you may never attain to my experience, with pain I must utter the dreadful truth, that there is none, none that I can find. In my stage of habit, (I speak not of habits less confirmed for some of them I believe the advice to be most prudential,) in the stage which I have reached, to stop short of that measure which is sufficient to draw on torpor and sleep, the benumbing apoplectic sleep of the drunkard, is to have taken none at all. The pain of the selfdenial is all one. And what that is, I had rather the reader should believe on my credit, than know from his own trial. He will come to know it, whenever he shall arrive at that state, in which, paradoxical as it may appear, reason shall only visit him through intoxication : for it is a fearful truth, that the intellectual faculties by repeated acts of intemperance may be driven from their orderly sphere of action, their clear day-light ministeries, until they shall be brought at last to depend, for the faint manifestation of their departing energies, upon the returning periods of the fatal madness to which they owe their devastation. The drinking man is never less himself than during his sober intervals. Evil is so far his good.*
Behold me then, in the robust period of life, reduced to imbecility and decay. Hear me coun my gains, and the profits which I have derived from the midnight cup.
Twelve years ago I was possessed of a healthy frame of mind and body. I was never strong, but I think my constitution, (for a weak one,) was as happily exempt from the tendency to any malady as it was possible to be. I scarce knew what it was to ail any thing. Now, except when I am losing myself in a sea of drink, I am never free from those uneasy sensations in head and sto
mach, which are so much worse to bear than any definite pains or aches.
At that time I was seldom in bed after six in the morning, summer and winter. I awoke refreshed, and seldom without some merry thoughts in my head, or some piece of a song to welcome the new-born day. Now, the first feeling which besets me, after stretching out the hours of recumbence to their last possible extent, is a forecast of the wearisome day that lies before me, with a secret wish that I could have lain on still, or never awaked.
Life itself, my waking life, has much of the confusion, the trouble, and obscure perplexity of an ill dream. In the day-time I stumble upon dark mountains.
Business, which, though never particularly adapted to my nature, yet as something of necessity to be gone through, and therefore best undertaken with cheerfulness, I used to enter upon with some degree of alacrity, now wearies, affrights, perplexes me. I fancy all sorts of discouragements, and am ready to give up an occupation which gives me bread, from a harassing conceit of incapacity. The slightest commission given me by a friend, or any small duty which I have to perform for myself, as giving orders to a tradesman, &c. haunts me as a labour impossible to be got through. So much the springs of action are broken.
The same cowardice attends me in all my intercourse with mankind. I dare not promise that a friend's honour, or his cause would be safe in my keeping, if I were put to the expense of any manly resolution in defending it. So much the springs of moral action are deadened within me.
My favourite occupations in times past, now cease to entertain. I can do nothing readily. Application for ever so short a time kills me. This poor abstract of my condition was penned at long intervals, with scarcely any attempt at connexion of thought, which is now difficult to
The noble passages which formerly delighte me in history or poetic fiction, now only draw a few weak tears, allied to dotage. My broken and dispirited nature seems to sink before any thing great and admirable.
I perpetually catch myself in tears, for any cause, or none. It is inexpressible how much this infirmity adds to a sense of shame, and a general feeling of deterioration.
These are some of the instances, concerning which I can say with truth, that it was not always so with me.
Shall I lift up the veil of my weakness any further? or is this disclosure sufficient?
I am a poor nameless egotist, who have no vanity to consult by these confessions. I know not whether I shall be laughed at, or heard seriously. Such as they are, I commend them to the
* When poor M-painted his last picture, with a pencil in one trembling hand, and a glass of brandy and water in the other, his fingers owed the comparative steadiness with which they were enabled to go through their task in an imperfect manner, to a temporary firmness derived from a repetition of practices, the general effect of which had shaken boch them and
way touched. I have told him what I am come but which, in her better days, must have competto. Let him stop in time.
od with the silver tones of Barry himself, so enchanting in decay do I remember it-of all her lady parts exceeding herself in the Lady Quakeress, (there earth touched heaven,) of O'Keefe,
when she played it to the “merry cousin” of Lew. THE OLD ACTORS.
is--and Mrs. Mattocks, the sensiblest of viragos
-and Miss Pope, a gentlewoman ever, to the I do not know a more mortifying thing than to
verge of ungentility, with Churchill's complibe conscious of a foregonè delight, with a total ment still burnishing upon her gay honeycomb oblivion of the person and manner which conveyed lips. There are the two Bannisters, and Sedgit. In dreams I often stretch and strain after the
wick, and Kelly, and Dignum, (Diggy,) and the countenance of Edwin, whom I once saw in Peep
by-gone features of Mrs. Ward, natchless in ing Tom. I cannot catch a feature of him. He
Lady Loverule; and the collective majesty of is no more to me than Nokes or Pinkethman.
the whole Kemble family, and (Shakspeare's woParsons, and still more Dodd, were near being man,) Dora Jordan ; and, by her, two Antics, lost to me, till I was refreshed with their por- who, in former and in latter days have chiefly be traits, (fine treat,) the other day at Mr. Mathews's
guiled us of our griefs; whose portraits we shall gallery at Highgate; which, with the exception strive to recall, for the sympathy of those who may of the Hogarth pictures, a few years since exhi- not have had the benefit of viewing the matchless bited in Pall Mall, was the most delightful col- Highgate collection. lection I ever gained admission to. There hang the players, in their single persons, and in grouped O for a “slip-shod muse," to celebrate in numscenes, from the Restoration-Bettertons, Booths,
bers, loose and shambling as himself, the merits Garricks, justifying the prejudices which we enter- and the person of Mr. Richard Suett, comedian! tain for them—the Bracegirdles, the Mountforts, Richard, or rather Dicky Suett—for so in his and the Oldfields, fresh as Cibber has described lifetime he was best pleased to be called, and time them—the Woffington, (a true Hogarth,) upon a hath ratified the appellation-lieth buried on the couch, dallying and dangerous—the Screen Scene north side of the cemetry of Holy Paul, to whose in Brinsley's famous comedy, with Smith and service his nonage and tender years were set apart Mrs. Abingdon, whom I have not seen, and the and dedicated. There are who do yet remember rest, whom having seen, I see still there. There
him at that period—his pipe clear and harmoniis Henderson, unrivalled in Comus, whom I saw at ous. He would often speak of his chorister days, second hand in the elder Harley-Harley, the rival when he was "Cherub Dicky.” of Holman, in Horatio-Holman, with the bright What clipped his wings, or made it expedient glittering teeth in Lothario, and the deep paviour's that he should exchange the holy for the profane sighs in Romeo—the jolliest person, (“our son is state ; whether he had lost his good voice, (his fat,”) of any Hamlet I have yet seen, with the best recommendation to that office,) like Sir John, most laudable attempts, (for a personable man,) 6 with hallooing and singing of anthems ;" or at looking melancholy--and Pope, the abdicated whether he was adjudged to lack something, even monarch of tragedy and comedy, in Harry the in those early years, of the gravity indispensable Eighth and Lord Townley. There hang the two to an occupation which professeth to Aickins, brethren in mediocrity-Wroughton, who with the skies”-I could never rightly learn; in Kitely, seemed to have forgotten that in proud- but we find him, after the probation of a twelveer days he had personated Alexander--the spe- month or so, reverting to a secular condition, and cious form of John Palmer, with the special ef- become one of us. frontery of Bobby-Bensley with the trumpet- I think he was not altogether of thạt timber, out tongue, and little Quick, (the retired Dioclesian of which cathedral seats and sounding boards are of Islington,) with his squeak like a Bartlemew hewed. But if a glad heart--kind and therefore fiddle. There are fixed, cold as in life, the im- glad-be any part of sanctity, then might the moveable features of Moody, who, afraid of o'er- robe of Motley, with which he invested himself stepping nature, sometimes stopped short of her- with so much humility after his deprivation, and and the restless fidgetiness of Lewis, who, with no which he wore so long with so much blameless such fears, not seldom leaped o' the other side. satisfaction to himself and to the public, be acThere hang Farren and Whitfield, and Burton cepted for a surplice-his white stole, and albe. and Phillimore, names of small account in those The first fruits of his secularization was an entimes, but which, remembered now, or casually gagement upon the boards of Old Drury, at which recalled by the sight of an old play bill, with theatre he commenced, as I have been told, with their associated recordations, can“ drown an eye adopting the manner of Parsons in old men's unused to flow." There too hangs, (not far remov- characters. At the period in which most of us ed from them in death,) the graceful plainness of knew him, he was no more an imitator than ho
He was the Robin Good-Fellow of the stage. and when we retired to our pillow, his whimsical He came in to trouble all things with a welcome image still stuck by us, in a manner as to threaten perplexity, himself no whit troubled for the mat- sleep. In vain we tried to divest ourselves of it ter. He was known, like Puck, by his note by conjuring up the most opposite associations. Ha! Ha! Ha! sometimes deepening to Ho ! Ho! We resolved to be serious. We raised up the Ho! with an irresistible accession, derived per- gravest topics of life; private misery, public ca haps remotely from his ecclesiastical education, lamity. All would not do. foreign to his prototype, of,0 La! Thousands
-Thore the antic sate of hearts yet respond to the chuckling 0 La! of
Mocking our stateDicky Suett, brought back to their remembrance his queer visnomy--his bewildering costumeby the faithful transcript of his friend Mathews's all the strange things which he had raked togemimicry. The “ force of nature could no further ther—his serpentine rod swagging about in his go." He drolled upon the stock of these two syl- pocket-Cleopatra's tear, and the rest of his relables richer than the cuckoo.
lics--O'Keefe's wild farce, and his wilder comCare, that troubles all the world, was forgot- mentary—till the passion of laughter, like grief ten in his composition. Had he had but two in excess, relieved itself by its own weight, invitgrains, (nay, half a grain,) of it, he could never ing the sleep which in the first instance it had have supported himself upon those two spiders' strings, which served him, (in the latter part of But we were not to escape so easily. No his unmixed existence,) as legs. A doubt or a sooner did we fall into slumbers, than the same scruple must have made him totter, a sigh have image, only more perplexing, assailed us in the puffed him down; the weight of a frown had shape of dreams. Not one Munden, bat five staggered him, a wrinkle made him lose his ba- hundred, were dancing before us, like the faces lance. But on he went, scrambling upon those which, whether you will or no, come when you airy stilts of his, with Robin Good-Fellow, have been taking opium--all the strange combina“through brake, through briar,” reckless of a tions, which this strangest of all strange mortals scratched face or a torn double.
ever shot his proper countenance into, from the Shakspeare foresaw him, when he framed his day he came commissioned to dry up the tears of fools and jesters. They have all the true Suett the town for the loss of the now almost forgotten stamp, a loose gait, a slippery tongue, this last Edwin. O for the power of the pencil to have the ready midwife to without-pain-delivered fixed them when we awoke! A season or two jest; in words light as air, venting truths deep as since there was exhibited a Hogarth gallery. We the centre; with idlest rhymes tagging conceit do not see why there should not be a Munden when busiest, singing with Lear in the tempest, gallery. In richness and variety the latter would or Sir Toby at the buttery hatch.
not fall far short of the former. Jack Bannister, and he had the fortune to be There is one face of Farley, one face of Knight, more of personal favourites with the town than one face, (but what a one it is !) of Liston ; but any actors before or after. The difference, I take Munden has none that you can properly pin down, it, was this :--Jack was more beloved for his and call his. When you think he has exhausted sweet, good-natured, moral, pretensions. Dicky his battery of looks in unaccountable warfare was more liked for his sweet, good-natured, no with your gravity, suddenly he sprouts out an en. pretensions at all. Your whole conscience stir- tirely new set of features, like Hydra. He is not red with Bannister's performance of Walter in one, but legion. Not so much a comedian, as a the Children in the Wood--how dearly beautiful company. If his name could be multiplied like it was !--but Dicky seemed like a thing, as Shak- his countenance, it might fill a play-bill. He, and speare says of Love, too young to know what he alone, literally makes faces : applied to any conscience is. He put us into Vesta's days. Evil other person, the phrase is a mere figure, denoting fled before him—not as from Jack, as from an certain modifications of the human countenance. antagonist-but because it could not touch him, Out of some invisible wardrobe he dips for faces, any more than a cannon-ball a fly. He was de- as his friend Suett used for wigs, and fetches them livered from the burthen of that death; and, when out as easily. We should not be surprised to see death came himself, not in metaphor, to fetch him some day put out the head of a river horse; Dicky, it is recorded of him by Robert Palmer, or come forth a pewit, or lapwing, some feather. who kindly watched his exit, that he received the ed metamorphosis. last stroke, neither varying his accustomed tran- We have seen this gifted actor in Sir Christoquillity, nor tune, with the simple exclamation, pher Curry-in Old Dornton—diffuse a glow of worthy to have been recorded in his epitaph-0 sentiment which has made the pulse of a crowded La !- La! Bobby !
theatre beat like that of one man; when he has
come in aid of the pulpit, doing good to the moral MR. MUNDEN.
heart of a people. We have seen some faint apNot many nights ago we had come home from proaches to this sort of excellence in other players.