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"sublime of farce,” Munden stands out as single ices are kept, whereinto she descendeth when Siand unaccompanied as Hogarth. Hogarth, strange rius rageth. She dates from a hot Thursday-to tell, had no followers. The school of Munden some twenty-five years ago. Her apartment in began, and must end, with himself.
summer is pervious to the four winds. Two doors, Can any man wonder, like him ? can any man in north and south direction, and two windows, see ghosts, like him? or fight with his own shadow fronting the rising and the setting sun, never closmessa—as he does in that strangely-neglected ed, from every cardinal point, catch the contributhing, the Cobler of Preston--where his alterna- tory breezes. She loves to enjoy what she calls tions from the Cobler to the Magnifico, and from a quadruple draught. That must be a shrewd the Magnifico to the Cobler, keep the brain of zephyr, that can escape her. I owe a painful facethe spectator in as wild a ferment, as if some Ara- ache, which oppresses me at this moment, to a bian Night were being acted before him, or as if cold caught, sitting by her, one day in last July, at Thalaba were no tale! Who like him can throw, this receipt of coolness. Her fan, in ordinary reor ever attempted to throw, a supernatural interest sembleth a banner spread, which she keepeth conover the commonest daily-life objects ? A table, tinually on the alert to detect the least breeze. She or a joint stool, in his conception, rises into a diga possesseth an active and gadding mind, totally innity equivalent to Cassiopeia's chair. It is invest- commensurate with her person. No one delighted with constellatory importance. You could not eth more than herself in country exercises and speak of it with more deference, if it were mounted pastimes. I have passed many an agreeable holyinto the firmament. A beggar in the hands of day with her in her favourite park at Woodstock. Michael Angelo, says Fuseli, rose the Patriarch of She performs her part in these delightful ambulaPoverty. So the gusto of Munden antiquates tory excursions by the aid of a portable garden and ennobles what it touches. His pots and his chair. She setteth out with you at a fair foot galladles are as grand and primal as the seething. lop, which she keepeth up till you are both well pots and hooks seen in old prophetic vision. A breathed, and then she reposeth for a few seconds. tub of butter, contemplated by him, amounts to a Then she is up again for a hundred paces or so, Platonic idea. He understands a leg of mutton in and again resteth—her movement, on these its quiddity. He stands wondering, amid the sprightly occasions, being something between common-place materials of life, like primæval walking and flying. Her great weight seemeth man, with the sun and stars about him.
to propel her forward, ostrich-fashion. In this kind of relieved marching I have traversed with her many scores of acres on those well-wooded and
well-watered domains. Her delight at Oxford is THE GENTLE GIANTESS.
in the public walks and gardens, where, when the
weather is not too oppressive, she passeth much of The widow Blacket, of Oxford, is the largest her valuable time. There is a bench at Maudlin, or female I ever had the pleasure of beholding. rather, situated between the frontiers of that and Theren
may be her parallel upon the earth, but ******'s college-some litigation, latterly, about surely I never saw it. I take her to be lineally repairs, has vested the property of it finally in descended from the maid's aunt of Brainford, who ******'g—where at the hour of noon she is ordicaused Master Ford such uneasiness. She hath narily to be found sitting-so she calls it by courAtlantean shoulders; and, as she stoopeth in her tesy—but in fact, pressing and breaking of it down gait—with as few offences to answer for in her with her enormous settlement; as both those founown particular as any of Eve's daughters-her dations, who, however, are good natured enough back seems broad enough to bear the blame of all to wink at it, have found, I believe, to their cost. the peccadillos that have been committed since Here she taketh the fresh air, principally at vacaAdam. She girdeth her waist—or what she is tion times, when the walks are freest from interpleased to esteem as such-nearly up to her shoul- ruption of the younger fry of students. Here she ders, from beneath which, that huge dorsal ex- passeth her idle hours, not idly, but generally ac panse, in mountainous declivity, emergeth. Re- companied with a book-blest if she can but interspect for her alone preventeth the idle boys, who cept some resident Fellow, (as usually there are follow her about in shoals, whenever she cometh some of that brood left behind at these periods ;) abroad, from getting up and riding.–But her pre- or stray Master of Arts, (to most of whom she is sence infallibly commands a reverence. She is better known than their dinner bell ;) with whom indeed, as the Americans would express it, some- she may conser upon any curious topic of literature. thing awful. Her person is a burthen to herself, I have seen these shy gownsmen, who truly set no less than to the ground which bears her. To but a very slight value upon female conversation, her mighty bone, she hath a pinguitude withal, cast a hawk's eye upon her from the length of which makes the depth of winter to her the most Maudlin grove, and warily glide off into another desirable season. Her distress in the warmer sol- walk-true monks as they are, and ungently nego stice is pitiable. During the months of July and lecting the delicacies of her polished converse, for
ness! Within doors her principal diversion is music, vocal and instrumental, in both which she is no mean professor. Her voice is wonderfully
but till I got used to it, I confess it staggered me. It is for all the world like that of a piping bulfinch; while from her size and stature you would expect notes to drown the deep organ. The shake, which most fine singers reserve for the close or cadence, by some unaccountable flexibility, or tremulousness of pipe, she carrieth quite through the composition; so that her time, to a common air or ballad, keeps double motion, like the earth -running the primary circuit of the tune, and still revolving upon its own axis. The effect, as I said before, when you are used to it, is as agreeable as it is altogether new and surprising. The spacious apartment of her outward frame lodgeth a soul in all respects disproportionate. Of more than mortal make, she evinceth withal a trembling sensibility, a yielding infirmity of purpose, a quick susceptibility to reproach, and all the train of diffident and blushing virtues, which for their habitation usually seek out a feeble frame, an attenuated and meagre constitution. With more than man's bulk, her humours and occupations are eminently feminine. She sighs--being six foot high. She languisheth--being two feet wide. She worketh slender sprigs upon the delicate muslin--her fingers being capable of moulding a Colossus. She sippeth her wine out of her glass daintily-- her capacity being that of a tun of Heidelburg. She goeth mincingly with those feet hers—whose solidity need not fear the black ox's pressure. Softest, and largest of thy sex, adieu! by what parting attribute
I salute thee--last and best of the Titanesses--Ogress, fed with milk instead of blood—not least, or least handsome, among Oxford's stately structures--Oxford, who, in its deadest time of vacation, can never properly be said to be empty, having thee to fill it.
The gentle Pr, in a whisper, signified his intention of devoting an Elegy; and Allan Cnobly forgetful of his countrymen's wrongs, vowed a memoir to his manes full and friendly as a Tale of Lyddalcross.
To say truth, it is time he were gone. The humour of the thing, if there was ever much in it, was pretty well exhausted ; and a two year's and a half existence has been a tolerable duration for a phantom.
I am now at liberty to confess, that much which I have heard objected to my late friend's writings was well-founded. Crude they are, I grant youa sort of unlicked, incondite things-villanously pranked in an affected array of antique modes and phrases. They had not been his, if they had been other than such ; and better it is, that a writer should be natural in a self-pleasing quaintness, than to affect a naturalness, (so called,) that should be strange to him. Egotistical they have been pronounced by some who did not know, that what he tells us, as of himself, was often true, only, (historically,) of another; as in his Fourth Essay, (to save many instances,)--where under the first person, (his favourite figure,) he shadows forth the forlorn estate of a country-boy placed at a London school, far from his friends and connections in direct opposition to his own early history.-If it be egotism to imply and twine with his own identity the griefs and affections of another --making himself many, or reducing many unto himself-then is the skilful novelist, who along brings in his hero, or heroine, speaking of themselves, the greatest egotist of all; who yet has never, therefore, been accused of that narrowness. And how shall the intenser dramatist escape being faulty, who doubtless, under cover of passion uttered by another, oftentimes gives blameless vent to his most inward feelings, and expresses his own story modestly?
My late friend was in many respects a singular character. Those who did not like him, hated him ; and some, who once liked him, afterwards became his bitterest haters. The truth is, he gave himself too little concern what he uttered, and in whose presence.
He observed neither time nor place, and would e'en out with what came uppermost. With the severe religionist he would pass for a free-thinker ; while the other faction set him down for a bigot, or persuaded themselves that he belied his sentiments. Few understood him ; and I am not certain that at all times he quite understood himself. He too much affected that dangerous figure-irony. He sowed doubtful speeches, and reaped plain, unequivocal hatred. He would interrupt the gravest discussion with some light jest; and yet, perhaps, not quite irrelevant in ears that could understand it. Your long and much talkers hated him. The informal habit of his mind, joined to an inveterate impediment of speech, forbade him to be an orator ; and he
A CHARACTER OF
THE LATE ELIA.
BY A FRIEND.
This gentleman, who for some months past had been in a declining way, hath at length paid his final tribute to nature. He just lived long enough, (it was what he wished,) to see his papers collected into a volume. The pages of the LONDON MAGAZINE will henceforth know him no more.
Exactly at twelve last night his queer spirit departed, and the bells of Saint Bride's rang him out with the old year. The mournful vibrations were caught in the dining room of his friends T. and H.; and the company, assembled there to welcome in another First of January, checked their carou
that part when he was present. He was petit and ordinary in his person and appearance. I have seen him sometimes in what is called good company, but where he has been a stranger, sit silent, and be suspected for an odd fellow; till some unlucky occasion provoking it, he would stutter out some senseless pun, (not altogether senseless perhaps, if rightly taken,) which has stamped his character for the evening. It was hit or miss with him; but nine times out of ten, he contrived by this device to send away a whole company of his enemies. His conceptions rose kindlier than his utterance, and his happiest impromptus had the appearance of effort. He has been accused of trying to be witty, when in truth he was but struggling to give his poor thoughts articulation. He chose his companions for some individuality of character which they manifested. Hence, not many persons of science, and few professed literati, were of his councils. They were, for the most part, persons of an uncertain fortune; and as to such people commonly nothing is more obnoxious than a gentleman of settled, (though moderate,) income, he passed with most of them for a great miser. To my knowledge this was a mistake. His intimados, to confess a truth, were in the world's eye a ragged regiment. He found them floating on the surface of society; and the colour, or something else, in the weed pleased him. The burrs stuck to him-but they were good and loving burrs for all that. He never greatly cared for the society of what are called good people. If any of these were scandalised, (and offences were sure to arise,) he could not help it. When he has been remonstrated with for not making more concessions to the feelings of good people, he would retort by asking, what one point did these good people ever concede to him? He was temperate in his meals and diversions, but always kept a little on this side of abstemiousness. Only in the use of the Indian weed he might be thought a little excessive. He took it, he would say, as a solvent of speech. Marry-as the friendly vapour ascended, how his prattle would curl up sometimes with it! the ligaments, which tongue-tied him, were loosened, and the stammerer proceeded a statist!
I do not know whether I ought to bemoan or rejoice that my old friend is departed. His jests were beginning to grow obsolete, and his stories to be found out. He felt the approaches of age; and while he pretended to cling to life, you saw how slender were the ties left to bind him. Discoursing with him latterly on this subject, he expressed himself with a pettishness, which I thought unworthy of him. In our walks about his suburban retreat, (as he called it,) at Shacklewell, some children belonging to a school of industry had met us, and bowed and curtseyed, as he thought, in an especial manner to him. "They take me for a visiting governor," he muttered earnestly.
looking like any thing important and parochial. He thought that he approached nearer to that stamp daily. He had a general aversion from being treated like a grave or respectable character, and kept a wary eye upon the advances of age that should so entitle him. He herded always, while it was possible, with people younger than himself. He did not conform to the march of time, but was dragged along in the procession. His manners lagged behind his years. He was too much of the boy-man. The toga virilis never sate gracefully on his shoulders. The impressions of infancy had burnt into him, and he resented the impertinence of manhood. These were weaknessbut such as they were, they are a key to explicate some of his writings.
He left little property behind him. Of course the little that is left, (chiefly in India bonds,) devolves upon his cousin Bridget. A few critical dissertations were found in his escrutoire, which have been handed over to the editor of this Magazine, in which it is to be hoped they will shortly appear, retaining his accustomed signature.
He has himself not obscurely hinted that his employment lay in a public office. The gentlemen in the Export department of the East India House will forgive me, if I acknowledge the readiness with which they assisted me in the retrieval of his few manuscripts. They pointed out in a most obliging manner the desk, at which he had been planted for forty years; showed me ponderous tomes of figures, in his own remarkably neat hand, which, more properly than his few printed tracts, might be called his "Works." They seemed affectionate to his memory, and universally commended his expertness in book-keeping. It seems he was the inventor of some ledger, which should combine the precision and certainty of the Italian double entry, (I think they called it,) with the brevity and facility of some newer German system—but I am not able to appreciate the worth of the discovery. I have often heard him express a warm regard for his associates in office, and how fortunate he considered himself in having his lot thrown in amongst them. There is more sense, more discourse, more shrewdness, and even talent, among these clerks, (he would say,) than in twice the number of authors by profession that I have conversed with. He would brighten up sometimes upon the "old days of the India House," when he consorted with Woodroffe, and Wissett, and Peter Corbet, (a descendant and worthy representative, bating the point of sanctity, of old facetious bishop Corbet,) and Hoole who translated Tasso, and Bartlemy Brown whose father (God assoil him therefore,) modernized Walton—and sly warm-hearted old Jack Cole, (King Cole they called him in those days,) and Campe, and Fombelle-and a world of choice spirits, more that I can remember to name, who associated in those days with Jack Burrell, (the bon vivant
to be a fac simile of Pope he was a miniature of or did in their lifetime, a few glittering words only! a gentleman,) that was cashier under him, and His essays found some favourers, as they appearDan Voight of the Custom House that left the ed separately; they shuffled their way in the famous library.
crowd singly; how they will read, now they are Well, Elia is gone-for aught I know, to be brought together, is a question for the publishers, reunited with them—and these poor traces of his who have thus ventured to draw out into one pen are all we have to show for it. How little sur- piece his “weaved-up follies.” vives of the wordiest authors! Of all they said