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mould of an ill-made pair of stiff stays, he followed her so close in the fashion of his coat, that it was doubted if he did not wear them ; because he had a protuberant wen just under his poll, he wore a wig that did not cover above half his head. His eyes were protruded like the eyes of the lobster, who wears them at the end of his feelers ; and yet there was room between ove of these and his nose for another wen, that added nothing to his beauty. Yet I heard this good man very innocently remark, when Gibbon published his history, that he wondered anybody so ugly could write a book.

“ Such was the exterior of a man who was the charm of the circle, and gave a zest to every company he came into. His pleasantry was of a sort peculiar to himself; it harmonized with everything; it was like the bread to your dinner-you did not, perhaps, make it the whole or principal part of your meal, but it was an admirable and whole ome auxiliary to your other viands. Soame Jenyns told you no long stories, engrossed not much of your attention, and was not angry with those who did. His thoughts were original, and were apt to have a very whimsical affinity to the paradox in them. There was a terseness in his repartees that had a play of words as well as of thought; as, when speaking of the difference of laying out money upon land, or purchasing into the funds, he said, “One was principal without interest, and the other interest without principal.'”

Although the serious part of “The Wheel of Fortune"that is to say, the whole character of Penruddock—is admirably conceived and admirably written (the recollection of John Kemble in that play can never be erased), Mr. Cumberland's power seemed to desert him whenever he attempted tragedy or verse of any sort. His lines on “ Affectation,” which have great merit, form the only exception that I remember to this assertion : certainly his epic of “Calvary” does not ; peither does his share in the “ Richard Cæur de Lion” of Sir James Bland Burgess.

AFFECTATION.
Why, Affectation, why this mock grimace ?
Go, silly thing, and hide that simpering face !
Thy lisping prattle, and thy mincing gait,
All thy false mimic fuoleries I hate;
For those are Folly's counterfeit, and she
Who is right foolish, hath the better plea :

Nature's true idiot I prefer to thee.
Why that sofi, languish? Why that drawling tone!
Art sick ? art sleepy ?-Get thee hence : begone !
I laugh at all those pretty baby tears,
Those flutterings, faintings, and unreal fears.
Can they deceive us ? Can such mummeries move,
Touch us with pity, or inspire with love ?
No, Affectation, vain is all thy art,
Those eyes may wander over every part,

They'll never find their passage to the heart. A great part of Mr. Cumberland's amusing work is taken up by an account of his disastrous mission in Spain, which, undefined in its object, and unsuccessful in its result, brought nothing but disappointment to the Government or the negotiator. After his return from Madrid, he fell back upon literature, and closed a long and varied life, in an advanced age, at Tunbridge Wells.

XXII.

FEMALE POETS.

MRS. CLIVE, MRS. ACTON TINDAL, MISS DAY, MRS. ROBERT DERING. THERE never was a more remarkable contrast between the temperament of the poetess and the temperament of the woman, than that which exists between the thoughtful gravity, the almost gloomy melancholy that characterise the writings of that celebrated initial letter, the “V” of “Blackwood's Magazine," and the charming, cheerful, light-hearted lady, known as Mrs. Clive. This discrepancy has been acknowledged before now to exist between the tastes and the tempers of nations. The French, in their old day, before this last revolution, perhaps before any of their revolutions, the French of our old traditions and our old travellers, the Sternes and the Goldsmiths, with their Watteau pageantries, their dances in the open air, and their patient love of the deepest and most unmingled tragedy, afforded a notable instance of this contrast. But that which is observable in Mrs. Clive's case is still more striking. I have never known any creature half so cheerful. Happy sister, happy mother, happy wife, she even bears the burden of a large fortune and a great house without the slightest diminution of the delightful animal spirits, which

always seem to me to be of her many gifts the choicest. Moreover, enjoyment seems to be her mode of thankfulness; as, not content with being happy herself, she has a trick of making everybody happy that comes near her. I do not know how she contrives it, but such is the effect. There is no resisting the contagious laughter of those dancing eyes.

As, however, everybody that thinks deeply, as she does, must have some moments of sadness, she is content to put them into her writings : sometimes in prose, for her “Story of the Great Drought” has an intensity of tragic power, a realisation of impossible horrors, such as gave their fascination to the best works of Godwin; sometimes in verse, where the depth of thought and fearless originality of treatment, frequently redeem the commonest subject from anything like commonplace. Here is an example :

THE GRAVE.
I stood within the grave's o'ershadowing vault;

Gloomy and damp, it stretched its vast domain;
Shades were its boundary; for my strained eye sought

For other limits to its width in vain.
Faint from the entrance came a daylight ray,

And distant sound of living men and things;
This, in the encountering darkness passed away,

That, took the tone in which a mourner sings.
I lit a torch at a sepulchral lamp,

Which shot a thread of light amid the gloom ;
And feebly burning 'gainst the rolling damp,

I bore it through the regions of the tomb.
Around me stretched the slumbers of the dead,

Whereof the silence ached upon mine ear;
More and more noiseless did I note my tread,

And yet is echoes chilled my heart with fear,
The former men of every age and place,

From all their wanderings, gathered round me lay;
The dust of withered empires did I trace,

And stood mid generations passed away.
I saw whole cities, that in flood or fire,

Or famine, or the plague, gave up their breath;
Whole armies, whom a day beheld expire,

Swept by ten thousands to the arms of death.
I saw the Old World's white and wave-swept bones,

A giant heap of creatures that had been ;
Far and confused the broken skeletons

Lay strewn beyond mine eyes' remotest ken.

Death's various shrines—the urn, the stone, the lamp

Were scattered round confused amid the dead;
Symbols and types were mouldering in the damp,

Their shapes were wanting and their meaning filed.
Unspoken tongues, perchance in praise or woe,

Were chronicled on tablets Time had swept;
And deep were half their letters hid below

The thick, small dust of those they once had wept.
No hand was here to wipe the dust away ;

No reader of the writing traced beneath;
No spirit sitting by its form of clay;

No sigh nor sound from all the heaps of death.
One place alone had ceased to hold its prey ;

A form had pressed it and was there no more;
The garments of the grave beside it lay,

Where once they wrapped Him on the rocky floor.
He only with returning footsteps broke

The eternal calm with which the tomb was bound;
Among the sleeping dead alone HE woke

And blessed with outstretched hands the host around.
Well is it that such blessing hovers here,

To soothe each sad survivor of the throng
Who haunt the portals of the solemn sphere,

And pour their woe the loaded air along.
They to the verge have followed what they love,

And on the insuperable threshold stand;
With cherished names its speechless calm reprove,

And stretch in the abyss their ungrasped hand.
But vainly there they seek their soul's relief,

And of the obdurate Grave its prey implore ;
Till death himself shall medicine their grief,

Closing their eyes by those they met before.
All that have died, the earth's whole race, repose

Where Death collects his treasures, heap on heap;
O’er each one's busy day the nightshades close;

Its actors, sufferers, schools, kings, armies-sleep.

It would be difficult to frame a better wish for the writer and the woman, than that both may remain unchanged—that the shadow may still cast its deep and thoughtful veil over the poetry and the sunshine, and the blessing rest upon the life !

The exact reverse of Mrs. Clive may be found in Mrs. Acton Tindal, whose verse, so free, so buoyant, so firm and so graceful, derives most of its charms from its resemblance to the sweet and lovely creature by whom it was written. There is a sparkling vividness in her style which has the life and colour of painting. The very choice of her subjects is picturesque. With an extent and variety of reading, remarkable even now in one of the youngest of our female writers, she instinctively fixes upon some theme of processional grace and beauty, and throws all the truth and tenderness of her sentiment around figures already interesting by historical association. “The Infant Bridal” might be transferred to canvas without altering a word.

“Richard Duke of York, second son of Edward IV., was married to Anne Mowbray, Duchess of Norfolk in her own right. The bridegroom was not five years old, and the bride scarcely three. The ceremony was performed in St. Stephen's Chapel, A. D. 1477.

The sunbeams of the early day

Streamed through the lattice grim,
And up the dark aisle's pillared way

Swelled loud the nuptial hymn ;
And passed along a gorgeous band

Of courtly dames and fair,
Of belted barons of the land

The bravest best were there.

But slowly moved the bright array,

For gently at its head
Two blooming children led the way

With short and doubtful tread :
The fair boy-bridegroom and the bride

(Like Cupid's train in eld),
Meekly and loving, side by side,

Each other's hands they held.

Half pleased and half surprised they seemed,

For in each kindred eye
Love mixed with pity fondly gleamed,

And mournful gravity.
A fear, for them who knew no fear,

On each heart darkly fell ;
They view life's future through a tear

Who know the past too well.

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