Imagini ale paginilor

susceptible to music. Martial melody seems to impregnate them with the very spirit of evil. At the juncture in question, let their pugnacious propensities be roused by horns, bass drums, and such like soulstirring instruments. Let the audience hear the gathering storm of sound which impels the fighters onward, every note kindling their adventurous intentions, and sticking in their crops' with ominous energy. What an interesting picture is thus presented!

'See to their desks Apollo's sons repair-
Swift rides the rosin o'er the horse's hair;
In unison their various tones to tune,

Murmurs the hautboy, growls the hoarse bassoon;
In soft vibrations sighs the whispering lute-
Twang goes the harpsichord-too-too, the flute;
Brays the loud trumpet, squeaks the fiddle sharp,
Winds the French horn, and rings the tingling harp;
'Till like great Jove, the leader, figuring in,
Attunes to order the chaotic din.'

After the overture, let the fighting begin, to slow music. Let the fiddlers scrape out the gaff-time, and if the cocks do battle 'in silver,' let the music be made to imitate the jingling of that pleasant metal. As the combat deepens, the various instruments should express the growing discord; and when the unsuccessful cock begins to give in, let that peculiar burst of melody called a collywabble by the cockneys, which expresses something between a squeal and a wheeze, be extacised forth from the bowels of some ancient fiddle, cracked for the purpose. This would be truly interesting; and when the discomfitted fowl gave his final flutter, let his act of tumbling over be accompanied by that strain which has a dying fall.'

A full blast of fac-simile cock-crowing should then proceed from the orchestra, significant of victory. After this, a gush of soft, low airs should denote the end of the strife, and express in descriptive measures, the falling of the feathers that have been antagonistically educed from the combatants during the fray, and which will just then be floating naturally around. The finale could be selected with propriety from the variations of Jim Crow. Should an after-piece be required, a set-to between the feeders might come off, before the assembly.

This sketch is very imperfect-but it embodies a conception which I have long groaned withal, and of which I am proud-namely, the establishment of Cock-fighting by Music. The plan is stupendous, I know; and, like all great undertakings, will probably meet with opposition,-but the march of Taste will cause it to succeed. Humanity, decency, dignity, and other cabalistic words, of no particular import, may be employed against it; but this refined amusement must make its way, and float sweetly into favor, under the smiles of Euterpe. I am now in active correspondence with my worthy friend ADRIAN Q. JEBB, Esq., private cock-feeder to an English nobleman whose name I am not at liberty to disclose, and I am happy in believing that he will yet visit America, to instruct our aristocracy in the modus operandi of his profession.

I merely mention my plan at present, owing to the want of time, and shall perhaps make further disclosures to the public hereafter. In the meanwhile, I will merely remark, that subscription books for the Metropo


litan Cock-pit will soon be open, and the scrip ready for delivery. The opening address is being prepared by the celebrated author of The Antediluvians;' and the whole establishment will be well appointed, in all respects. I anticipate the co-operation of every fellow-citizen, whose veins contain any gentle blood, and who can trace his pedigree back to his grandfather without stumbling on an artizan. It is to such-fit audience though few-that I commend my enterprise. BRUMMAGEM.

[blocks in formation]

Go, and God's blessing on thee rest,
And every ill restrain:
May peace abide within thy breast,
A constant and delighted guest,-

And when life's lamp shall wane,
May heavenly pinions then be given,
To waft thy spirit on to Heaven!

Philadelphia, October 27th, 1834.



R. M.


It was the twelfth day of a new moon, that I put on my best black suit, and, looking as smooth as a country parson, hired a carriage and went to dine at Lord B-'s. There were twelve persons at table, and six servants in splendid livery to wait upon them. Having previously got a few glimpses of high life, I felt some confidence that I could support my part pretty well. The mistress of the feast sat at the head of the table, and at her right hand a young lady, a Miss C. I was placed on her right, while the eldest daughter of the family, a lovely girl of seventeen, sat on my right hand-thus placing me between the two. When I looked at the servants, with their powdered heads, and coats of scarlet-at the vessels of gold and vessels of silver'-at the jars of china and platters of glass-at the countesses, and the earls, and the duchesses at the apartment, whose seats, sofas, ottomans, and footstools outshone all that I had read of eastern luxury and splendor, and at the gas-lamps and chandeliers, which sent forth a blaze more brilliant than a London winter's sun,-I say, when I looked upon all these things, I thought it was rather going ahead' of any thing of the kind I had ever seen; and I was afraid that, in such a scene, I might commit some blunder. However, I was resolved to maintain my confidence, and 'make myself at home,' as did my worthy countryman, Sir Andrew Wylie, at the ball given by the Duchess of Dashingwell, in the very next square to that in which I was now a partaker of London hospitality. Miss C- was intelligent and social, and we were at home in five minutes. 'Miss,' said I, 'I have seen some fine parties since I have been in this country, but this surpasses them all. I am afraid I may go wrong. I am somewhat like the old woman in Scotland, who went to dine with the minister; and if I can't get along, you must help me.' 'I will,' she replied: but what of the old lady in 'It is a simple story,' I answered, but it is a true one. It happened in the parish where I was born, and in my father's time. I remember hearing him relate it fifty years ago—and it was only the last week that I heard him again repeat it, with the same heart-felt glee, as was his wont a half a century since.' • Does your father yet live?' inquired my fair com



panion. He does, Madam,' said I, at the age of ninety one, on the same spot on which I left him more than forty years ago.' 'You are a happy man,' was the reply. I could not be otherwise in such company,' said I, glancing at my right and left. The lady smiled, and added: 'But you are forgetting your story.' I went on:


MARGARET was the gude-wife of an honest farmer, living in the neighborbood of Edinburgh. She had sold her dead and live stock in Dalkeith market-only reserving two dozen fresh eggs, as a present for the minister's wife. Margaret knocked at the minister's house, and he opened the door himself. After the usual inquiries about the wives and the bairns, she began: I ha'e brought ye twa dozen o' callar (fresh) eggs, to help make the gude-wife's yule bannocks.' The eggs were gratefully received, and the donor kindly invited to take kail with the minister. • Na, na,' said Margaret, 'I dinna ken how to behave at great folks' tables? 'Oh, never fear,' replied the divine: 'just do, Margaret, as you see me do.' The simple-hearted woman consented, and sat down at the board. Now, the minister was old, and well stricken in years, and withal was afflicted with the palsy. To avoid spilling the soup in the journey of his trembling hand from the cup to the lip, it was his custom to fasten one end of the table-cloth with two stout pins to the top of his waistcoat, just under the chin. Margaret, who sat at the opposite corner of the table, watching his motions, immediately pinned the other end to a strong homespun shawl, directly under her chin. She was now all attention to every move. The minister deposited on the edge of his plate a spoonful of mustard. Not distinctly observing this movement, Margaret carried the spoon to her mouth. The pungent stuff began to operate upon her olfactory nerves. The poor woman thought she was bewitched. She had never tasted mustard before-for, eighty years ago, mustard did not grace the table of a Scotch farmer. She knew not what it all meant. She bore the pain to the last point of endurance: she could sit no longer-but at the moment that the servant girl came in with a supply of clean plates, she jumped up, and with one spring upset the girl, plates and all, sweeping the table of its entire contents. The crash gave speed to her flight-and the minister, pinned fast to the other corner, was compelled to follow as quick as his tottering limbs could move. Having reached the first flight of stairs, he caught by the banisters. Away slipped the pins, and down went the frightened Margaret; and to the day of her death, she never looked back on the clergyman's door again.'


THE Conversation turned upon the American character, their conceit, pride, etc. I observed: They have much to be proud of. What country can boast of more upright statesmen and honest politicians than Washington, Hamilton, Jay, Adams, and others?' A ready assent was yielded to my opinion: And with regard to ships,' I continued, 'none can build, sail, or fight like them.' Some believed, and some doubted.

[ocr errors]

Several remarks of Hall, Trolloppe, etc. were quoted, touching the ladies in America. 'Gentlemen,' said I, 'your Hamiltons', your Trolloppes,' and your Fiddlers', have the excessive modesty to prate about the manners of a people among whom they have not lived forty days; now, I have resided forty years in that country-and from all that I have heard or seen, I firmly believe that there is not a lady in America, who would not, sooner than expose her person at the operas, theatres, and pantheons, as your London women do, take a prayer-book in one hand and a wooden cross in the other, and walk into the flames of martyrdom.’ • Strong language,' says one I presume it is true,' added another.

The national character of the Scots was the next topic of conversation; their general industry, steady habits, enterprise, attachment to the bible, etc. As a case in point, a gentleman related the following anecdote, which is worth preserving:


THE witty Earl of Rochester was on a time in company with King Charles II., his Queen, chaplain, and several Ministers of State. While engaged in conversation of a business or other nature, the King suddenly exclaimed: Let our thoughts be unbended from the cares of state, and give us a glass of generous wine, that cheereth, as the Scripture saith, both God and man.' The Queen modestly observed, that she thought there could be no such text in the Scriptures, and that the idea was little less than blasphemy. The King made answer, that he was not prepared to turn to chapter and verse, but that he was sure he had met it in his Bible-reading. The chaplain was appealed to, and he coincided in opinion with the Queen. Rochester, who was no friend to the chaplain, suspected the King to be right; and stepped out of the room to inquire among the servants if any of them were conversant with the Bible? They named David, the Scotch cook, who always, they said, carried a Bible about with him. David was called; and he recollected the text, and the place where it was to be found. Rochester ordered him to be in waiting, and returned to the King. The text was still the topic of conversation; and Rochester moved to call in the cook, whom he had discovered, he observed, to be well acquainted with the sacred volume. David appeared, produced his Bible, and read the text from Judges Ix., 13th. The King smiled-the Queen asked pardon, and the chaplain blushed. Rochester then asked the reverend doctor if he could interpret the text-but he was mute. The Earl, therefore, applied to David for the exposition. The cook replied: How much wine cheereth man, your lordship best knows. As to its cheering God, I beg leave to say, that under the Old Testament dispensation, there were meat-offerings and drink-offerings. The latter consisted of wine, which was typical of the blood of the Mediator, which, by a metaphor, was said to cheer God, who was well pleased in the way of salvation he had appointed.' The King was not a little surprised at this evangelical exposition: Rochester applauded-and, after some severe reflections upon the divine, very gravely proposed, that His Majesty would be pleased to make the chaplain his cook, and the cook his chaplain !'


L. T.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »