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partiality for, than on such as he has conceived an accidental prejud against. Milton wrote Sonnets, and was a king-hater; and it was congenial perhaps to sacrifice a courtier to a patriot.
But I was unwilling to lose a fine idea from my mind. The noble images, passions, sentiments, and poetical delicacies of character, scattered all over the Arcadia (spite of some stiffness and encumberment), justify to me the character which his contemporaries have left us of the writer. I cannot think with the Critic, that Sir Philip Sidney was that opprobrious thing which a foolish nobleman in his insolent hostility chose to term him. I call to mind the epitaph made on him, to guide me to juster thoughts of him; and I repose upon the beautiful lines in the “Friend's Passion for his Astrophel,” printed with the Elegies of Spenser and others.
You knew-who knew not Astrophel ?
Of him you know his merit such,
I cannot say-you hear- too much.
That taught him sing, to write, and say.
To hear him speak, and sweetly smile,
Or let any one read the deeper sorrows (grief running into rage) in the Poem,—the last in the collection accompanying the above,-which from internal testimony I believe to be Lord Brooke's, -beginning with “ Silence augmenteth grief,” and then seriously ask himself, whether the subject of such absorbing and confounding regrets could have been that thing which Lord Oxford termed him.
AN STUART once told us, that he did
not remember that he ever deliberately walked into the Exhibition at Somerset
House in his life. He might occasionally have escorted a party of ladies across the way that were going in ; but he never went in of his own head. Yet the office of the Morning Post newspaper stood then just where it does now-we are carrying you back, Reader, some thirty years or more—with its gilt-globe-topt front facing that emporium of our artists' grand Annual Exposure. We sometimes wish, that we had observed the same abstinence with Daniel.
A word or two of D. S. He ever appeared to us one of the finest tempered of Editors. Perry, of the Morning Chronicle, was equally pleasant, with a dash, no slight one either, of the courtier. S. was frank, plain, and English all over. We have worked for both these gentlemen.
It is soothing to contemplate the head of the
Ganges ; to trace the first little bubblings of a mighty river ;
With holy reverence to approach the rocks,
Fired with a perusal of the Abyssinian Pilgrim's exploratory ramblings after the cradle of the infant Nilus, we well remember on one fine summer holyday (a “whole day's leave” we called it at Christ's Hospital) sallying forth at rise of sun, not very well provisioned either for such an undertaking, to trace the current of the New River—Middletonian stream !- to its scaturient source, as we had read, in meadows by fair Amwell. Gallantly did we commence our solitary quest—for it was essential to the dignity of a DISCOVERY, that no eye of schoolboy, save our own, should beam on the detection. By flowery spots, and verdant lanes skirting Hornsey, Hope trained us on in many a baffling turn; endless, hopeless meanders, as it seemed; or as if the jealous waters had dodged us, reluctant to have the humble spot of their nativity revealed ; till spent, and nigh famished, before set of the same sun, we sate down somewhere by Bowes Farm, near Tottenham, with a tithe of our proposed labours only yet accomplished ; sorely convinced in spirit, that that Brucian enterprise was as yet too arduous for our young shoulders.
Not more refreshing to the thirsty curiosity of the traveller is the tracing of some mighty waters up to their shallow fontlet, than it is to a pleased and candid reader to go back to the inexperienced essays, the first callow flights in authorship, of
some established name in literature; from the Gnat which preluded the neid, to the Duck which Samuel Johnson trod on.
In those days every Morning Paper, as an essential retainer to its establishment, kept an author, who was bound to furnish daily a quantum of witty paragraphs. Sixpence a joke—and it was thought pretty high too-was Dan Stuart's settled remuneration in these cases. The chat of the day, scandal, but, above all, dress, furnished the material. The length of no paragraph was to exceed seven lines. Shorter they might be, but they must be poignant.
A fashion of flesh, or rather pink-coloured hose for the ladies, luckily coming up at the juncture, when we were on our probation for the place of Chief Jester to S.'s Paper, established our reputation in that line. We were pronounced a “capital hand.” O the conceits which we varied upon red in all its prismatic differences ! from the trite and obvious flower of Cytherea, to the flaming costume of the lady that has her sitting upon “many waters.” Then there was the collateral topic of ankles. What an occasion to a truly chaste writer, like ourself, of touching that nice brink, and yet never tumbling over it, of a seemingly ever approximating something “not quite proper;" while, like a skilful posture-master, balancing betwixt decorums and their opposites, he keeps the line, from which an hair's-breadth deviation is destruction; hovering in the confines of light and darkness, or where “ both seem either ;” a hazy uncertain delicacy ; Autolycus-like in the Play, still putting