Political Victims

Thousands and hundreds of thousands of pounds are annually lavished upon titled paupers and on foreign beggar-princes and mendicant-princesses. Yes – and enormous pensions are annually paid to the Richmond, the Grafton and the St. Albans families because they happen to be descended from certain filthy strumpets who sold their persons to Charles the second.

Death and Eternity

By Susannah Frances Reynolds Hast ever mark’d the fading spirit fly- The parting of the body and the soul? There is a kind of metal agony, As it would seem, that often thrills the whole Of the decaying frame, as to its goal The vital breath is ebbing sure and fast: - Perchance a secret … Continue reading Death and Eternity

Intemperance in Women

Let us call to mind the mysterious Esmerelda, in Victor Hugo’s celebrated Notre Dame de Paris, that interesting and friendless girl, for whom the eye can shed tears, as if her sad destinies were those of no fabulous being.  We know of no heroine of humble life that ever created so deep an interest in our mind as Esmerelda.  The narratives of queens, and the biographies of great ladies teem with incidents which excite our imaginations: but none produces that soft and calm melancholy which seizes upon the mind, during a perusal of Esmerelda’s woes.  Again, there is a charm in the character and sorrows of Lucy of Lammermoor, in Sir Walter Scott’s beautiful romance, - a charm which enlists all the sympathies of the reader in the hapless loves and tragical fate of that truly poetic creation of genius.  Elizabeth, in the Exiles of Siberia, is somewhat too masculine a character to produce the same effect upon the mind; and, in Paul and Virginia, the interest is no sooner created in favour of the heroine, than the denouement puts an end to all suspense, the tale being so short.

Time

By Mrs. Reynolds             Time, the magician ‘neath whose hand             The strongest totter as they stand, -             E’en as they stand, a heap of clay,             Rife with an animating ray.             Time beckons, and they fall away!             Under the influence of his smile,             Youth flourishes serene awhile,             As the … Continue reading Time

A Glance at Continental Europe

Society was for a long while, in its intellectual progress, like a traveller, who, - fixing his eye on the point of his departure,- keeps steadily in view all its features while he can- reproduces in his imagination such as he can no longer see- and has neither concern nor attention for the objects which surround him, save as by some accidental resemblance recal the objects he has left. The pure, clear landscape of the present, with its broad masses of fertility, its virgin soil that asked but the slightest tillage, was contemned as an unfruitful waste- while the future seemed but as the prolongation of the desert which the exile must pass in his eternal pilgrimage from home. But the scene has changed: our long vigil at the tomb of antiquity is broken – and forever! The spirit song of the past may still float melodiously around some few: but to the many it is a music fraught with barbarism and breathing the notes of slavery, – so that they joyously welcome to their ears a louder, a nearer, and a dearer strain – the paean of an enfranchised intellect!

Noctes Pickwickianae (no. 4)

            Old Weller. – I’ll tell ‘ee wot it is, Samivel, I’ve bin a ruminatin’ a good deal about that there pledge-book vich you’ve signed, an’ I raly think it’s a good thing.  But if I wos for to sign it, wot ‘ud become o’ that there genivine breed o’ English coachmen as now does honour to the country?  You would look in wain for those fellers as used to get so precious lushy that they couldn’t sit on their boxes!  Wot a loss they ‘ud be to this wery civilized nation!