Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Of a

with trepidation. The traveller smiles. They robes about their heads upon occasion,-after all move their legs, but know nothing of it; the fashion of the hoods of the middle ages, till the market-woman exclaims,“ Deary me! and of the cloth head dresses which we see in Well-lord, only think ! A hat is it, Sir ? the portraits of Dante and Petrarch. Why I do believe,—but I'm sure I never similar mode are the draperies on the heads of thought o' such a thing more than the child our old Plantagenet kings and of Chaucer. unborn,—that it must be a hat then which I The velvet cap which succeeded, appears to took for a pan I've been a buying ; and so I've have come from Italy, as seen in the portraits had my warm foot in it, Lord help us, ever of Raphael and Titian ; and it would probably since five o'clock this blessed morning !” have continued till the French times of Charles

It is but fair to add, that we happen to have the Second, for our ancestors up to that period an educated antipathy to the hat. At our were great admirers of Italy, had not Philip school no hats were worn, and the cap is too the Second of Spain come over to marry our small to be a substitute. Its only use is to Queen Mary. The extreme heats of Spain astonish the old ladies in the street, who wonder had forced the natives upon taking to that inhow so small a thing can be kept on; and to genious compound of the hat and umbrella, this end, we used to rub it into the back or still known by the name of the Spanish hat. side of the head, where it hung like a worsted We know not whether Philip himself wore it. wonder. It is after the fashion of Catharine's His father, Charles the Fifth, who was at the cap in the play: it seems as if

top of the world, is represented as delighting Moulded on a porringer;

in a little humble-looking cap. But we con

ceive it was either from Philip, or some genWhy, 'tis a cockle, or a walnut-shell, A knack, a toy, a trick, a baby's cap;

tleman in his train, that the hat and feather A custard coffin, a bauble.

succeeded among us to the cap and jewels of

Henry the Eighth. The ascendancy of Spain But we may not add

in those times carried it into other parts of I love thee well, in that thou likest it not ;

Europe. The French, not requiring so much

shade from the sun, and always playing with Ill befall us, if we ever dislike anything about and altering their dress, as a child does his thee, old nurse of our childhood ! How inde- | toy, first covered the brim with feathers, then pendent of the weather used we to feel in our gave them a pinch in front ; then came pinches old friar's dress, our thick shoes, yellow up at the side ; and at last appeared the fierce worsted stockings, and coarse long coat or and triple-daring cocked hat. This disappeared gown! Our cap was oftener in our hand than in our childhood, or only survived among the on our head, let the weather be what it would military, the old, and the reverend, who could We felt a pride as well as pleasure, when every not willingly part with their habitual dignity. body else was hurrying through the streets, in An old beau or so would also retain it, in receiving the full summer showers with un- memory of its victories when young. We covered poll, sleeking our glad hair like the remember its going away from the heads of feathers of a bird.

the foot-guards. The heavy dragoons retained It must be said for hats in general, that they it till lately. It is now almost sunk into the are a very ancient part of dress, perhaps the mock-heroic, and confined, as we before obmost ancient ; for a negro, who has nothing served, to beadles and coachmen, &c. The else upon him, sometimes finds it necessary to modern clerical beaver, agreeably to the deliguard off the sun with a hat of leaves or straw. beration with which our establishments depart The Chinese, who carry their records farther from all custom, is a cocked hat with the front back than any other people, are a batted race, flap let down, and only a slight pinch remaining both narrow-brimmed and broad. We are apt behind. This is worn also by the judges, the to think of the Greeks as a bare-headed people; lawyers being of clerical extraction. Still and they liked to be so; but they had hats however the true cocked-hat lingers here and for journeying in, such as may be seen on the there with a solitary old gentleman ; and statues of Mercury, who was the god of tra- wherever it appears in such company, begets vellers. They were large and flapped, and a certain retrospective reverence. There was were sometimes fastened round under the chin a something in its connexion with the highlike a lady's bonnet. The Eastern nations bred drawing-room times of the seventeenth generally wore turbans, and do still, with the century; in the gallant though quaint ardour exception of the Persians, who have exchanged of its look; and in its being lifted up in saluthem for large conical caps of felt. The tations with that deliberate loftiness, the arm Romans copied the Greeks in their dress, as in arching up in front and the hand slowly raising everything else ; but the poorer orders wore a it by the front angle with finger and thumb,cap like their boasted Phrygian ancestors, that could not easily die. We remember, resembling the one which the reader may when our steward at school, remarkable for see about the streets upon the bust of Ca- his inflexible air of precision and dignity, pova's Paris, The others would put their left off his cocked-hat for a round one ; thero was, undoubtedly, though we dared only half confess it to our minds, a sort of diminished

XXIX.-SEAMEN ON SHORE. majesty about him. His infinite self-possession began to look remotely finite. His Crown The sole business of a seaman on shore, who Imperial was a little blighted. It was like has to go to sea again, is to take as much divesting a column of its capital. But the pleasure as he can. The moment he sets his native stateliness was there, informing the foot on dry ground, he turns his back on all new hat. He

salt beef and other salt-water restrictions.

His long absence, and the impossibility of getHad not yet lost Au his original beaver ; nor appeared

ting land pleasures at sea, put him upon a sort Less than arch-steward ruined, and the excess of desperate appetite. He lands, like a conof glory obscured.

queror taking possession. He has been debarred

so long, that he is resolved to have that matter The late Emperor Paul had conceived such

out with the inhabitants. They must render a sense of the dignity of the cocked hat, aggra- an account to him of their treasures, their vated by its having been deposed by the round

women, their victualling-stores, their enterone of the French republicans, that he ordered

tain ments, their everything; and in return he all persons in his dominions never to dare be will behave like a gentleman, and scatter his seen in public with round hats, upon pain of gold. being knouted and sent to Siberia.

His first sensation on landing, is the strange Hats being the easiest part of the European firmness of the earth, which he goes treading dress to be taken off, are doffed among us out in a sort of heavy light way, half waggoner and of reverence. The Orientals, on the same

half dancing-master, his shoulders rolling, and account, put off their slippers instead of tur

his feet touching and going ; the same way, in bans, which is the reason why the Jews still short, in which he keeps himself prepared for all keep their heads covered during worship. The the chances of the vessel, when on deck. There Spanish grandees have the privilege of wearing is always this appearance of lightness of foot their hats in the royal presence, probably in and heavy strength of upper works, in a sailor. commemoration of the free spirit in which the And he feels it himself.lle lets his jacket fly Cortes used to crown the sovereign ; telling open, and his shoulders slouch, and his hair him (we suppose in their corporate capacity) grow long, to be gathered into a heavy pigtail ; that they were better men than he, but chose but when full dressed, he prides himself on a him of their own free will for their master.

certain gentility of toe, on a white stocking The grandees only claim to be as good men, and a natty shoe, issuing lightly out of the flowunless their families are older. There is a well- ing blue trowser. His arms are neutral, hangknown story of a picture, in which the Virgin ing and swinging in a curve aloof; his hands Mary is represented with a label coming out of half open, as if they had just been handling her mouth, saying to a Spanish gentleman who

ropes, and had no object in life but to handle has politely taken off his hat, “Cousin, be

them again. He is proud of appearing in a new covered.” But the most interesting anecdote hat and slops, with a Belcher handkerchief flowconnected with a hat beiongs to the family of ing loosely round his neck, and the corner of the De Courcys, Lord Kinsale. One of their another out of his pocket. Thus equipped, with ancestors, at an old period of our history, pinchbeck buckles in his shoes(which he bought having overthrown a huge and insolent cham- for gold), he puts some tobacco in his mouth, pion, who had challenged the whole court, was not as if he were going to use it directly, but as if desired by the king to ask him some favour. he stuffed it in a pouch on one side, as a peliHe requested that his descendants should have

can does fish, to employ it hereafter; and so, the privilege of keeping their heads covered in with Bet Monson at his side, and perhaps a the royal presence, and they do so to this day.

cane or whanghee twisted under his other arm, The new lord, we believe, always comes to court

sallies forth to take possession of all Lubberon purpose to vindicate his right. Wehave heard, land. He buys everything that he comes that on the last occasion, probably after a long athwart-nuts, gingerbread, apples, shoe-strings, interval, some of the courtiers thought it might beer, brandy, gin, buckles, knives, a watch as well have been dispensed with ; which was

(two, if he has money enough), gowns and a foolish as well as a jealous thing, for these handkerchiefs for Bet and his mother and sisters, exceptions only prove the royal rule. The

dozens of “ Superfine Best Men's Cotton StockSpunish grandees originally took their privi- ings," dozens of “Superfine Best Women's lege instead of receiving it ; but when the

Cotton Ditto," best good Check for Shirts spirit of it had gone, their covered heads were

(though he has too much already), infinite only so many intense recognitions of the king's needles and thread (to sew his trowsers with dignity, which it was thought such a mighty

some day), a footman's laced hat, Bear's Grease, thing to resemble. A Quaker's hat is a more

to make his hair grow (by way of joke), several formidable thing than a grandee's.

sticks, all sorts of Jew articles, a fute (which he can't play, and never intends), a leg of mutton, which he carries somewhere to roast, The moment he lands, he buys quantities of and for a piece of which the landlord of the jewellery and other valuables, for all the Ship makes him pay twice what he gave for the females of his acquaintance; and is taken in whole; in short, all that money can be spent for every article. He sends in a cart-load of upon, which is everything but medicine gratis, fresh meat to the ship, though he is going to and this he would insist on paying for. He town next day ; and calling in at a chandler's would buy all the painted parrots on an Italian’s for some candles, is persuaded to buy a dozen head, on purpose to break them, rather than of green wax, with which he lights up the ship not spend his money. He has fiddles and a at evening; regretting that the fine moonlight dance at the Ship, with oceans of flip and grog; hinders the effect of the colour. A man, with and gives the blind fiddler tobacco for sweet- a bundle beneath his arm, accosts him in meats, and half-a-crown for treading on his toe. an under-tone ; and, with a look in which He asks the landlady, with a sigh, after her respect for his knowledge is mixed with daughter Nanse, who first fired his heart with an avowed zeal for his own interest, asks if her silk stockings ; and finding that she is his Honour will just step under the gangway married and in trouble, leaves five crowns for here, and inspect some real India shawls. The her, which the old lady appropriates as part gallant Lieutenant says to himself, “ This felpayment for a shilling in advance. He goes to low knows what's what, by his face ;” and so the Port playhouse with Bet Monson, and a he proves it, by being taken in on the spot. great red handkerchief full of apples, ginger. When he brings the shawls home, he says to bread nuts, and fresh beef; calls out for the his sister with an air of triumph,“ There, Poll, fiddlers and Rule Britannia; pelts Tom Sikes there's something for you ; only cost me twelve, in the pit; and compares Othello to the black and is worth twenty if it 's worth a dollar." ship’s cook in his white nightcap. When he She turns pale “ Twenty what, my dear comes to London, he and some messmates take George! Why, you haven't given twelve dola hackney-coach, full of Bet Monsons and lars for it, I hope ?” “Not I, by the Lord.”— tobacco-pipes, and go through the streets “That's lucky; because you see, my dear, smoking and lolling out of window. He has George, that all together is not worth more ever been cautious of venturing on horseback, | than fourteen or fifteen shillings “ Fourteen and among his other sights in foreign parts, or fifteen what! Why its real India, en't it? relates with unfeigned astonishment how he | Why the fellow told me so; or I'm sure I'd as has seen the Turks ride : "Only,” says he, soon ”—(here he tries to hide his blushes with guarding against the hearer's incredulity,“ they a bluster)— I'd as soon have given him twelve have saddle-boxes to hold 'em in, fore and douses on the chaps as twelve guineas."aft, and shovels like for stirrups.” He will tell “ Twelve guincas !” exclaims the sister; and you how the Chinese drink, and the Negurs then drawling forth, “Why - my - dear – dance, and the monkeys pelt you with cocoa- George,” is proceeding to show him what the nuts; and how King Domy would have built articles would have cost at Condell's, when he nim a mud hut and made him a peer of the interrupts her by requesting her to go and realm, if he would have stopped with him, and choose for herself a tea-table service. He then taught him to make trowsers. He has a sister makes his escape to some messmates at a coffeeat a “School for Young Ladies," who blushes house, and drowns his recollection of the shawls with a mixture of pleasure and shame at his in the best wine, and a discussion on the comappearance ; and whose confusion he completes parative merits of the English and West-Indian by slipping fourpence into her hand, and say- beauties and tables. At the theatre afterwards, ing out loud that he has “ no more copper” where he has never been before, he takes a about him. His mother and elder sisters at lady at the back of one of the boxes for a home doat on all he says and does ; telling him woman of quality ; and when, after returning however, that he is a great sea fellow, and was his long respectful gaze with a smile, she turns always wild ever since he was a hop-o'-my- aside and puts her handkerchief to her mouth, thumb, no higher than the window locker. He he thinks it is in derision, till his friend undetells his mother that she would be a duchess ceives him. He is introduced to the lady ; and in Paranaboo ; at which the good old portly ever afterwards, at first sight of a womau of dame laughs and looks proud. When his sisters quality (without any disparagement either to complain of his romping, he says that they are those charming personages), expects her to give only sorry it is not the baker. He frightens him a smile. He thinks the other ladies much them with a mask made after the New Zealand better creatures than they are taken for ; and fashion, and is forgiven for his learning. Their for their parts, they tell him, that if all men mantel-piece is filled by him with shells and were like himself, they would trust the sex shark's teeth ; and when he goes to sea again, again :—which, for aught we know, is the truth. there is no end of tears, and “God bless you's!” He has, indeed, what he thinks a very liberal and home-made gingerbread.

opinion of ladies in general ; judging them all, His Officer on shore does much of all this, in a manner, with the eye of a seaman's ex. only, generally speaking, in a higher taste. perience. Yet he will believe nevertheless in

the "true-love ” of any given damsel whom books of voyages, and is immortal with all he seeks in the way of marriage, let him roam who know him for having been round the world, as much, or remain as long at a distance, as or seen the transit of Venus, or had one of his he may. It is not that he wants feeling ; but fingers carried off by a New Zealand hatchet, that he has read of it, time out of mind, in or a present of feathers from an Otaheitan songs; and he looks upon constancy as a sort beauty. If not elevated by his acquirements of exploit, answering to those which he per: above some of his humbler tastes, he delights forms at sea. He is nice in his watches and in a corner-cupboard holding his cocoa-nuts linen. He makes you presents of cornelians, and punch-bowl ; has his summer-house casantique seals, cocoa-nuts set in silver, and other tellated and planted with wooden cannon ; and valuables. When he shakes hands with you, sets up the figure of his old ship, the Britannia it is like being caught in a windlass. He would or the Lovely Nancy, for a statue in the garnot swagger about the streets in his uniform, den ; where it stares eternally with red cheeks for the world. He is generally modest in com- and round black eyes, as if in astonishment pany, though liable to be irritated by what he at its situation. thinks ungentlemanly behaviour. He is also Chaucer, who wrote his Canterbury Tales liable to be rendered irritable by sickness ; about four hundred and thirty years ago, has partly because has been used to command | among his other characters in that work a others, and to be served with all possible de- SHIPMAN, who is exactly of the same cast as ference and alacrity; and partly, because the the modern sailor, – the same robustness, idea of suffering pain, without any honour or courage, and rough-drawn virtue, doing its profit to get by it, is unprofessional, and he is duty, without being very nice in helping itself not accustomed to it. He treats talents unlike to its recreations. There is the very dirk, the his own with great respect. He often per complexion, the jollity, the experience, and the ceives his own so little felt, that it teaches him bad horsemanship. The plain unaffected endthis feeling for that of others. Besides, he ing of the description has the air of a sailor's admires the quantity of information which own speech ; while the line about the beard is people can get, without travelling like himself; exceedingly picturesque, poetical, and compreespecially when he sees how interesting his own hensive. In copying it out, we shall merely becomes, to them as well as to everybody else. alter the old spelling, where the words are When he tells a story, particularly if full of still modern. wonders, he takes care to maintain his charac

A shipman was there, wonned far by west; ter for truth and simplicity, by qualifying it

For aught I wot, he was of Dartëmouth. with all possible reservations, concessions, and He rode opon a rouncie, as he couth, anticipations of objection ; such as, “ in case, All in a gown of falding to the knee. at such times as, so to speak, as it were, at

A dagger hanging by a lace had he,

About his neck, under his arm adown: least, at any rate.” He seldom uses sea-terms

The hot summer had made his hew all brown: but when jocosely provoked by something con- And certainly he was a gnod felaw. trary to his habits of life; as for instance, if Full many a draught of wine he hadde draw he is always meeting you on horseback, he From Bourdeaux ward, while that the chapman slep.

Of nice conscience took he no keep. asks if you never mean to walk the deck again;

If that he fought and had the higher hand, or if he finds you studying day after day, he

By water he sent 'em home to every land. says you are always overhauling your log-book. But of his craft, to reckon well his tides, He makes more new acquaintances, and forgets His streaměs and his strandës him besides, his old ones less, than any other man in the

His harborough, his moon, and his lode manage,

There was not such from Hull unto Carthage. busy world ; for he is so compelled to make

Hardy he was, and wise, I undertake ; his home everywhere, remembers his native

With many a tempest had his beard been shake. one as such a place of enjoyment, has all his He knew well all the havens, as they were, friendly recollections so fixed upon his mind From Gothland to the Cape de l'inisterre, at sea, and has so much to tell and to hear

And every creek in Briton and in Spain.

His barge yeleped was the Magdelain. when he returns, that change and separation lose with him the most heartless part of their When about to tell his Tale, he tells his fellownature. He also sees such a variety of cus- travellers that he shall clink them so merry a toms and manners, that he becomes charitable bell, in his opinions altogether; and charity, while

That it shall waken all this company: it diffuses the affections, cannot let the old ones But it shall not be of philosophy, go. Half the secret of human intercourse is Nor of physick, nor of terms quaint of law; to make allowance for each other.

There is but little Latin in my maw. When the Officer is superannuated or retires,

The story he tells is a well-known one in the he becomes, if intelligent and inquiring, one of the most agreeable old men in the world, Italian novels, of a monk who made love to a equally welcome to the silent for his card- francs of the husband to give her. She accord

merchant's wife, and borrowed a hundred playing, and to the conversational for his recollections. He is fond of astronomy and * He rode upon a hack-horse, as well as he could.

ingly admits his addresses during the absence is contact itself, and why does it affect us? of her good man on a journey. When the There is no one cause more mysterious than latter returns, he applies to the cunning monk another, if we look into it. for repayment, and is referred to the lady ; Nor does the question concern us like moral who thus finds her mercenary behaviour out- causes. We may be content to know the earth witted.

by its fruits ; but how to increase and improve thein is a more attractive study. If instead of saying that the causes which moved in us this

or that pain or pleasure were imaginary, people XXX.--ON THE REALITIES OF IMAGI.

were to say that the causes themselves were NATION.'

removeable, they would be nearer the truth. THERE is not a more unthinking way of When a stone trips us up, we do not fall to talking, than to say such and such pains and disputing its existence: we put it out of the pleasures are only imaginary, and therefore to

way. In like manner, when we suffer from be got rid of or undervalued accordingly. what is called an imaginary pain, our business There is nothing imaginary, in the common is not to canvass the reality of it. Whether acceptation of the word. The logic of Moses there is any cause or not in that or any other in the Vicar of Wakefield is good argument perception, or whether everything consist not here:-“ Whatever is, is.” Whatever touches in what is called effect, it is sufficient for us us, whatever moves us, does touch and does that the effect is real. Our sole business is to move us. We recognise the reality of it, as remove those second causes, which always we do that of a hand in the dark. We might accompany the original idea. As in deliriums, as well say that a sight which makes us laugh, for instance, it would be idle to go about peror a blow which brings tears into our eyes, is suading the patient that he did not behold the imaginary, as that anything else is imaginary figures he says he does. He might reasonably which makes us laugh or weep. We can only ask us, if he could, how we know anything judge of things by their effects. Our percep- about the matter ; or how we can be sure, that tion constantly deceives us, in things with in the infinite wonders of the universe, certain which we suppose ourselves perfectly conver- realities may not become apparent to certain sant; but our reception of their effect is a eyes, whether diseased or not. Our business different matter. Whether we are materials would be to put him into that state of health, ists or immaterialists, whether things be about in which human beings are not diverted from us or within us, whether we think the sun is their offices and comforts by a liability to such a substance, or only the image of a divine imaginations. The best reply to his question thought, an idea, a thing imaginary, we are would be, that such a morbidity is clearly no equally agreed as to the notion of its warmth. more a fit state for a human being, than a But on the other hand, as this warmth is felt disarranged or incomplete state of works is for differently by different temperaments, so what a watch; and that seeing the general tendency we call imaginary things affect different minds. of nature to this completeness or state of comWhat we have to do is not to deny their effect, fort, we naturally conclude, that the imagibecause we do not feel in the same proportion, nations in question, whether substantial or or whether we even feel it at all ; but to see not, are at least not of the same lasting or whether our neighbours may not be moved. prevailing description. If they are, there is, to all intents and purposes, We do not profess metaphysics. We are a moving cause. But we do not see it ? No; indeed so little conversant with the masters of -neither perhaps do they. They only feel it ; that art, that we are never sure whether we are they are only sentient,-a word which implies using even its proper terms. All that we may the sight given to the imagination by the feel. know on the subject comes to us from some ings. But what do you mean, we may ask in reflection and some experience; and this all return, by seeing? Some rays of light come may be so little as to make a metaphysician in contact with the eye ; they bring a sensa- smile; which, if he be a true one, he will do tion to it; in a word, they touch it; and the good-naturedly. The pretender will take ocimpression left by this touch we call sight.casion, from our very confession, to say that How far does this differ in effect from the we know nothing. Our faculty, such as it is, impression left by any other touch, however is rather instinctive than reasoning; rather mysterious ? An ox knocked down by a physical than metaphysical ; rather sentient butcher, and a man knocked down by a fit of because it loves much, than because it knows apoplexy, equally feel themselves compelled to much ; rather calculated by a certain retention drop. The tickling of a straw and of a comedy, of boyhood, and by its wanderings in the green equally move the muscles about the mouth. places of thought, to light upon a piece of the The look of a beloved eye will so thrill the old golden world, than to tire ourselves, and frame, that old philosophers have had recourse conclude it unattainable, by too wide and to a doctrine of beams avd radiant particles scientifio a search. We pretend to see farther flying from one sight to another. In fine, what than none but the worldly and the malignant.

« ZurückWeiter »