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through hay-fields by chance ; and the latter say, “Ha’ done then, William ;” and the overseer in the next field calls out to “ let thic thear hay thear bide ;” and the girls persist, merely to plague “such a frumpish old fellow.”
Now, in town, gossips talk more than ever to one another in rooms, in door-ways, and out of window, always beginning the conversation with saying that the heat is overpowering. Now blinds are let down, and ors thrown open, and flannel waistcoats left off, and cold meat preferred to hot, and wonder expressed why tea continues so refreshing ; and people delight to sliver lettuces into bowls, and apprentices water door-ways with tin canisters, that lay several atoms of dust. Now the water-cart, jumbling along the middle of the street, and jolting the showers out of its box of water, really does something. Now boys delight to have a water-pipe let out, and see it bubbling away in a tall and frothy volume. Now fruiterers' shops and dairies look pleasant, and ices are the only things to those who can get them. Now ladies loiter in baths ; and people make presents of flowers; and wine is put into ice; and the afterdinner lounger recreates his head with applications of perfumed water out of long-necked bottles. Now the lounger, who cannot resist riding his new horse, feels his boots burn him. Now buck-skins are not the lawn of Cos. Now jockies, walking in great-coats to lose flesh, curse inwardly. Now five fat people in a stage coach hate the sixth fat one who is coming in, and think he has no right to be so large. Now clerks in offices do nothing but drink soda-water and spruce-beer, and read the newspaper. Now the old clothes-man drops his solitary cry more deeply into the areas on the hot and forsaken side of the street ; and bakers look vicious ; and cooks are aggravated; and the steam of a tavern kitchen catches hold of one like the breath of Tartarus. Now delicate skins are-beset with gnats; and boys make their sleeping companion start up, with playing a burning-glass on his hand; and blacksmiths are super-carbonated ; and cobblers in their stalls almost feel a wish to be
transplanted; and butter is too easy to spread; and the dragoons wonder whether the Romans liked their helmets; and old ladies, with their lappets unpinned, walk along in a state of dilapidation; and the servant-maids are afraid they look vulgarly hot ; and the author, who has a plate of strawberries brought him, finds that he has come to the end of his writing.
We cannot conclude this article, however, without returning thanks, both on our own account and on that of our numerous predecessors who have left so large a debt of gratitude unpaid, to this very useful and ready monsyllable—“Now." We are sure that there is not a didactic poet, ancient or modern, who, if he possessed a decent share of candour, would not be happy to own his acknowledgments to that masterly conjunction, which possesses the very essence of wit, for it has the talent of bringing the most remote things together. And its generosity is in due proportion to its talent, for it always is most profuse of its aid where it is most wanted.
We must enjoy a pleasant passage with the reader on the subject of this “eternal Now” in Beaumont and Fletcher's play of the “Woman-hater.” Upon turning to it, we perceive that our illustrious particle does not make quite so great a figure as we imagined; but the whole passage is in so analogous a taste, and affords such an agreeable specimen of the wit and humour with which fine poets could rally the commonplaces of their art, that we cannot help proceeding with it. Lazarillo, a foolish table-hunter, has requested an introduction to the Duke of Milan, who has had a fine lamprey presented him. Before the introduction takes place, he finds that the Duke has given the fish away ; so that his wish to be known to him goes with it; and part of the drollery of the passage arises from his uneasiness at being detained by the consequences of his own request, and his fear lest he should be too late for the lamprey elsewhere.
“ Count. [Aside to the Duke.]
To know a gentleman, to whom yourself
Is much beholden. He hath made the sport
For your whole court these eight years, on my knowledge. “ Duke. His name? 6 Count. Lazarillo. “ Duke. I heard of him this morning. Which is he?
“ Count. (A side to LAZ.] Lazarillo, pluck up thy spirits. Thy fortunes are now rising. The Duke calls for thee, and thou shalt be acquainted with him.
“ Laz. He's going away, and I must of necessity stay here upon business.
“ Count. 'Tis all one ; thou shalt know him first.
Laz. Stay a little. If he should offer to take me with him, and by that means I should lose that I seek for! But if he should, I will not go with him.
“Count. Lazarillo, the Duke stays. Wilt thou lose this opportunity ?
“ Laz. How must I speak to him ?
“ Count. 'Twas well thought of. You must not talk to him as you do to an ordinary man, honest plain sense ; but you must wind about him. For example, if he should ask you what o'clock it is, you must not say, 'If it please your Grace, 'tis nine;' but thus 'Thrice three o'clock, so please my Sovereign;' or thus
'Look how many Muses there doth dwell
And just so many strokes the clock hath struck;'-) and so forth. And you must now and then enter into a description.
“ Laz. I hope I shall do it.
“ Count. Come !--May it please your Grace to take note of a gentleman, well seen, deeply read, and thoroughly grounded, in the hidden knowledge of all sallets and pot-herbs whatsocver ? “Duke. I shall desire to know him more inwardly.
Laz. I kiss the ox-hide of your Grace's foot.
“ Count. [Aside to LAZ.] Very well. Will your Grace question him a little ?
" Duke. How old are you?
Have been compiléd, all for several years,
Run out his yearly course, since
“ Duke. You are eight-and-twenty years old ? What time of the day do you hold it to be? “ Laz. About the time that mortals whet their knives
On thresholds, on their shoe-soles, and on stairs.
Hath much to do now. now the tables all-
[Note.—Keats was much pleased with this paper, and, being with Leigh Hunt at the time he was writing it, contributed one or two of the passages. (See the “Autobiography," chap. XVI.) One would like to know which were Keats's “bits.” But the whole article is full of the finest and most vivid word-painting, the most picturesque and concentrated description, and the finest humour. We feel the heat upon our faces as we read, and see the golden glow of the sunlight.-E. 0.]
CCORDING to the opinion commonly entertained re
specting an author's want of ready money, it may be
allowed us to say that we retain from childhood a considerable notion of “a ride in a coach.” Nor do we hesitate to confess, that by coach we especially mean a hired one, from the equivocal rank of the post-chaise down to that despised old castaway, the hackney.
It is true that the carriage, as it is indifferently called (as if nothing less genteel could carry any one), is a more decided thing than the chaise; it may be swifter even than the mail, leaves the stage at a still greater distance in every respect, and (forgetting what it may come to itself) darts by the poor old lumbering hackney with immeasurable contempt. It rolls with a prouder ease than any other vehicle. It is full of cushions and comfort: elegantly coloured inside and out; rich, yet neat ; light and rapid, yet substantial. The horses seem proud to draw it. The fat and fair-wigged coachman “lends his sounding lash,” his arm only in action, and that little, his body well-set with its own weight. The footman, in the pride of his nonchalance, holding by the straps behind, and glancing down sideways betwixt his cocked-hat and neckcloth, stands swinging from east to west upon his springy toes. The horses rush along amidst their glancing harness. Spotted dogs leap about them, barking with a princely superfluity of noise. The hammercloth trembles