Page images
PDF
EPUB

looked superb in the boxes. The last day of the Carnival is the most spirited; and as soon as it is dark commences its funeral, previous to the sombre season of Lent. The funeral is ideal; but every person in the street, and at the windows, holds one or more lighted tapers in their hands; some have a great many bundled together. It happened to be a very favourable night-dark, still, and clear, and from the purity of the atmosphere the lights are much more brilliant than

The scene was highly curious. Even the people driving about in their carriages, hold lights. The joke is to put out your neighbours’ lights, and keep in your own; but it lasted sadly too long, and it was impossible to get away without being covered with wax, as many were. At length darkness resumed her reign, and so ended the silly delight of the degenerate conquerors of the world.

with us.

June 12th.

The country is beginning to lose its youthful beauty. We find Florence so very pleasant now, that we have kept prolonging our stay. The hot weather suits me amazingly, and what with baths, ices, riding in the shade, temperance, and some pleasant people, I have passed the last ten days para_ disiacally ; but those, who do not know how to manage themselves, suffer much. Our thermometer is generally near eighty all night, in a north room to the river. To return to where I left off. During Lent there are no amusements at Rome, public or private; but it is the best time for seeing the place. At the end of Lent comes Holy Week, in the ceremonies of which I took no interest. The music is fine; but I saw none of the effects said to be produced by it, such as tears, &c. The illumination of the exterior of the dome of St. Peter's, which is effected almost instantaneously, is very striking, and the fireworks are more magnificent than any I ever saw, but I was dreadfully tired of the whole business. The simplicity of our service, performed every Sunday in three small rooms in a private house to a congregation of remarkable propriety of appearance and behaviour, was much more to

my
taste than

any of the ceremonies in St. Peter's. There are fewer unpleasant objects, or circumstances at Florence, than in any city I have been in, the towns in England not excepted, Naples is just the reverse, but very fascinating at first. I prefer Rome to both, on account of its interest. If I might have my choice of one statue, it should be the Venus, whose attraction ever heightens by contemplation. Of all the paintings I have seen, I should prefer to possess Raphael's Madonna della Seggiola in the Grand Duke's palace. It is a representation of the Virgin ; and the painter has made her of that merit, which is above all modes and fashions, and which would equally become a palace or a cottage. Existence here, under the most favourable circumstances, is certainly much superior to existence with us. The climate throws a charm round every thing, which is quite indescribable. I can only give you some idea of the brilliancy of the atmosphere, by saying that it is inore different from ours than the light from wax is from that from tallow. The sensations too approach much nearer to something exquisite; or as Moore expresses it,

“ And simply to feel that we breathe, that we live,

Is worth the best joys life elsewhere can give.”

Virgil attributes the same superiority of atmosphere to Elysium, that Italy seems to me to have over England; and a charm, indeed, it is, that almost compensates for the many advantages, which, in other respects, we enjoy.

Published also monthly with the Periodicals, stitched in a wrapper.

I BOTSON AND PALMER, PRINTERS, SAVOY STREET, STRAND.

BY THOM AS WALKER, M.A.

TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.

BARRISTER AT LAW, AND ONE OF THE POLICE MAGISTRATES OF THE METROPOLIS

PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AT 12 O'CLOCK BY H. RENSHAW,

356, STRAND, NEARLY OPPOSITE WELLINGTON STREET.

No. XIII.] WEDNESDAY, AUG. 12, 1835. [Price 3d

Contents :

Aristology, or the Art of Dining.
Preferment to Place.
Poverty and Pauperism.

Temper.
Letters from the Continent.
Sayings.

ARISTOLOGY, OR THE ART OF DINING.

ACCORDING to the Lexicons, the Greek for dinner is Ariston, and therefore, for the convenience of the terms, and without entering into any inquiry, critical or antiquarian, I call the art of dining Aristology, and those who study it, Aristologists. The maxim that practice makes perfect, does not apply to our daily habits; for, so far as they are concerned, we are ordinarily content with the standard of mediocrity, or something rather below. Where study is not absolutely necessary, it is by most people altogether dispensed with; but it is only by an union of study and practice, that we can attain any thing like perfection. Anybody can dine, but very few know how to dine, so as to ensure the greatest quantity of health and enjoyment–indeed many people contrive to destroy their health ; and as to enjoyment, I shudder when I think how often I have been doomed to only a solemn mockery of it;

how often I have sat in durance stately, to go through the ceremony of dinner, the essence of which is to be without ceremony, and how often in this land of liberty I have felt myself a slave!

There are three kinds of dinners-solitary dinners, everyday social dinners, and set dinners; all three involving the consideration of cheer, and the last two of society also. Solitary dinners, I think, ought to be avoided as much as possible, because solitude tends to produce thought, and thought tends to the suspension of the digestive powers. When, however, dining alone is necessary, the mind should be disposed to cheerfulness by a previous interval of relaxation from whatever has seriously occupied the attention, and by directing it to some agreeable object. As contentment ought to be an accompaniment to every meal, punctuality is essential, and the diner and the dinner should be ready at the same time. A chief maxim in dining with comfort is, to have what you want, when you want it. It is ruinous to have to wait for first one thing and then another, and to have the little additions brought, when what they belong to is half or entirely finished. To avoid this a little foresight is good, and, by way of instance, it is sound practical philosophy to have mustard upon the table before the arrival of toasted cheese. This very omission has caused as many small vexations in the world, as would by this time make a mountain of misery. Indeed I recommend an habitual consideration of what adjuncts will be required to the main matters; and I think an attention to this on the part of females, might often be preventive of sour looks and cross words, and their anti-conjugal consequences. There are not only the usual adjuncts, but to those who have any thing of a genius for dinners, little additions will sometimes suggest themselves, which give a sort of poetry to a repast, and please the palate, to the promotion of health. As our senses were made for our enjoyment, and as the vast variety of good things in the world were designed for the same end, it seems a sort of impiety not to put them to their best uses, provided it does not cause us to neglect higher considerations. The different products of the different seasons, and of the different parts of the earth, afford endless proofs of bounty, which it is as unreasonable to reject, as it is to abuse. It has happened, that those who have made the gratification of the appetite a study, have generally done so to excess, and to the exclusion of nobler pursuits; whilst, on the other hand, such study has been held to be incompatible with moral refinement and elevation. But there is a happy mean, and as upon the due regulation of the appetite assuredly depends our physical well-being, and upon that, in a great measure, our mental energies, it seems to me that the subject is worthy of attention, for reasons of more importance than is ordinarily supposed. I shall continue this article in my next number.

PREFERMENT TO PLACE.

I have often wondered, both in reading history, and in observing my own times, that there are so few examples of the worthy employment of patronage. It might be supposed the glory and the influence that would result from it to men in high place, would have made that the rule, which unfortunately for mankind is but the exception. “He that seeketh to be eminent amongst able men,” says Lord Bacon, “ bath a great task; but that is ever good for the public. But he that plots to be the only figure amongst cyphers, is the decay of a whole age.” Of all the talents that could be possessed by men in power, surely that would be the noblest and most useful, which would enable them to avail themselves of the talents of others. It is marvellous that the feeling of responsibility, that the consciousness of the destiny of millions being in their hands, that the love of the approbation of the wise

« PreviousContinue »