Page images

continue the same.-Consequently, the chair of instruction; to assume the evidence we have for these events the office of rectifying the reason and is inferior to demonstration." modelling the understanding of In order to give their objection to others." They therefore, we may this passage a greater air of plausibi- presume, cannot be unwilling to lity, the reviewers represent the pre- bring their opinions to the test of exmises as referring to the future, and amination; nor can they be reasonthe conclusion to the past. "Are ably displeased at the freedom with we not certain of a past fact," say which I have treated their remarks. they, "because we cannot pronounce Intreating your pardon for having upon the future? Are our senses less detained you so long, I remain, Sir, to be trusted with the truths arising Maidstone, Yours, &c. qut of the known and visible laws of March 6, 1807. Rd. ALLCHIN. nature, because for aught that we can It may be proper to mention here, tell it may possibly please infinite wis- that the author of Moral Evidence' is dom at some period or other to alter the Rev. Mr. Gambier, of Langley, or suspend them? &c. &c." But do in Kent; and that the 2d number of not the words which they quote, "he the Oxford Review, in which the may have been willing, &c." clearly work was noticed, was published the refer to the past? And are they not first day of February last. These part of the premises? If the Al- circumstances are mentioned lest the mighty may have been willing to sus- references at the bottom of the first pend the laws of nature on certain page should not be sufficient. occasions, how can we have evidence

equal to demonstration for events THE COFFEE-ROOM.-No. II. which depend on those laws? In- Oh, blindness to the future! kindly giv'n, deed, if that were the case, unbe- That each may fill the circle mark'd by lievers might demonstrate the false- Heav'n. hood of christianity, for it is founded on a series of events which could


ITHOUT controverting the celebrated maxim of the au

never have happened according to thor, from whose writings I have sethe regular course of nature. lected my motto, namely, that what,

If the laws of nature depend ever is is right,' it must be acknow upon the will of God," and if "we ledged, that many of those principles cannot be certain that it is his will by which Heaven usually directs the that they should always continue the events of the world, can be reconciled same," I would refer it to the deci- to our ideas of justice only by consi sion of any one who understands the dering them as parts of the large and meaning of the terms, whether the complicated moral machine which reevidence which we have for these gulates the universe. Immediate and events must not necessarily be in particular effect is not, in this view of ferior to demonstration? Yet the re- the subject, so much to be considered viewers affirm, that they have not as remote and general tendency: and often witnessed a grosser instance of consequently, until man acquires a false induction;" and that this rea- sufficient comprehension of faculty to soning "involves in it an error understand the enlarged whole, it is which tends to confound and perplex rashness for him to venture the centhe first truths of moral science!" sure of any component part.


No circumstance of life more imperiously demands the support of this consoling recollection, than the me

They conclude their account of this work, by observing very justly, that "to bring his opinions to the test of examination is the duty of every one lancholy truth that of those who in who puts in his claim to sense and various ways have wrought most pubreason; but it is a duty more imme- lic good, few have had their labours diately incumbent on him who seats rewarded by individual advantage. himself in the chair of instruction, Columbus who in discovering a world and assumes to rectify the reason and shared with Heaven the glory of creat model the understanding of others." ing it, and Gallileo who liberated na Reviewers may, in a peculiar man- ture from shackles forged by the ips per, be said to "seat themselves in dixit of pedants, were recompensed;

the navigator by the supercilious dis- the depravity of the human race, or pleasure of a court, the philosopher the uncertainty of event, can be made in the silent dungeons of the inquisi- to bear the blame, each in his turn tion. Were the trouble and anxiety becomes a moral philosopher, or as previously necessary, and the invi- the elegant Beattie expresses it, dious calúmnies subsequently attached Thinks as a sage, while he feels as a to the successful accomplishment of man.' As I dare not venture to deenterprise, foreseen by youthful aspi- scribe myself as belonging to that enrers to fame, exertion would doubt- viable class of authors who remark on less be palsied by their dread of fail- human frailty without participating in ure, or disgust at ingratitude. Fortu- it; and who discuss the effects of pasnately, however, where Certainty is sion or habit with the calmness of an wanting, her place in this world insulated naturalist making experiis ever supplied by Hope, and we ments on electricity; I scruple not seldom open our eyes on calamity frankly to confess, that those reflectill we feel the pressure of her hand. tions on the general unworthy treatMan, debarred from prying into futu- ment of aspiring merit with which I rity with the telescope of prediction, have ushered in the second number of contentedly amuses himself with the the "Coffee-Room," originate solely magical lanthorn of fancy; and, al- in the censure occasioned by the pub though the images presented by the lication of the first. If they but aflatter are unreal and delusive, yet ford as much instruction to others as they stimulate effort by raising desire, they have bestowed consolation on while the former, disclosing a gloomy myself, my readers can have no reaperspective of misfortune, would only son to urge the objection of their depress. It is to this want of fore- springing from disappointment. It is sight, then, by so many thoughtlessly not that I have as yet to complain of arraigned, that we owe those various any peculiar severity from the world improvements which the inspirations at large. The extreme youth, and of genius, or the labours of assiduity perhaps the insignificance of my unhave from time to time brought a- dertaking have hitherto shielded it bout. And thus it is that we con- from general criticism. But, alas! tinue to suck the delicious sweetness my hopes have failed in their very of the honey, while the industrious foundation; and the spot I had antistorer of the hive lies crushed at our cipated as the chief scene of my feet. triumph has become the centre of my Mankind are seldom or never so disgrace. After having experienced much inclined to moralize as when the almost unanimous disapprobation smarting under a recent disappoint- of the members of the Coffee-Room, ment. A lusty gentleman who had, I feel public applause or blame a matwith great labour, almost mastered ter of minor importance. And this the acclivity of a steep eminence, was, confession ought to be taken rather by the effects of a false step, rolled as a mark of candour than of disreheadlong to the bottom. Bruised and spect. The circle in which our torn by the rudeness of the descent, hopes, fears, wishes, and disappointhe seated himself on a stone at the ments move, with a fluctuating and foot of the height to which he had irregular revolution, is far less eccenaspired, and, looking wishfully up- tric than many are willing to acknowward, as he wiped the dirt and sweat ledge. Universal fame and unbounded from his forehead, exclaimed, "Ah! glory are doubtless high sounding this is all owing to the law of gravita- words, and have ever been adopted tion." His own unwieldy clumsi- as themes of panegyric, and held out ness, and imprudence in attempting as prospects to excite. But those such an unsuitable enterprise, never who appear most anxious in their occurred to his mind as the true pursuit regard them as means rather causes of his misfortune. Thus it is than ends of attainment. It is bewith men in general, if they can cause importance is acquired at home trace the failure of their expectations by the possession of influence abroad, to any source rather than their own that this latter is so eagerly sought misconduct; if the laws of nature, after; and the applause of the mung


is only prized as securing the esteem disposal of honours. And when I of the few. Nature, to cement that felt inclined to shrink from the maggeneral union in which she takes so nitude of the responsibility I had inmuch delight, has inseparably con- curred in throwing my associates on nected public and private estimation; the public without having obtained but in the bosoms of individuals it is their previous sanction of such a step, that man deposits his happiness. and I recovered my courage by reflecting it is their opinion alone that affects that a secretary of state frequently ventures on unauthorised measures, By converting the social metings of trusting to the patriotism of his mothe Coffee-Room into the basis of a tives for future indemnity, and that periodical publication, I had, to be there exists no good reason why the sure, stolen a march on my associates; secretary of a Coffee-Room should but then I had conferred on them an not be equally daring. importance which I supposed would My readers will readily perceive by afford the more satisfaction, as it was the above account, that our club was unexpectedly bestowed. Regarding the place where, as Othello says, "I myself as the founder of the celebrity had treasured up my soul." As there our society was about to acquire, I are peculiar parts of the body enfreely indulged in the wildest reve- dowed with more acute sensation and ries of sanguine anticipation. Nay, exquisite irritability than others, so I had the temerity to cherish a hope of the mind indulges particular feelings being promoted from the office of secre- and desires, the gratification or distary to that of president of our meet- appointment of which occasion supeing! The extravagance of this latter rior degrees of pleasure or of pain. speculation can only be excused by The fancied importance attached to considering that the greatest difficul- these wishes is but seldom proporties are in idea the soonest mastered: tioned to their actual merits. Like reason, as it were, bounds over im- our paper currency, their value is too possibilities, while lesser impedi- often merely nominal, and founded ments she patiently sets about ob- more on general custom than intrinviating. I must at the same time sic worth. Of all others, none is confess, that I also occasionally had more destitute of real and solid momy fears; for hope and fear, like ment than an itch (if I may so term man and wife, though ever at va- it) for precedence: yet, I appeal to riance, are in this world inseparably my readers, male as well as female, connected. I was conscious that my if their experience does not prove it promotion to the rank of president both general and importunate. For would violate one of the fundamental my own part, I must confess that I ordinances of the society, which strict- furnish no exception to the common ly prohibits all posts, offices, or em- rule; but, on the contrary, am trembployments whatsoever, save and ex- lingly sensible of every fluctuation in cept that of secretary. But this ob- the scale of friendly opinion. Being jection was easily answered on the thus constituted, the decided disapprinciples held by our modern and probation which the first number of most approved reformers; who in- the Coffee-Room met with from its culcate, that the body establishing a members, naturally occasioned me constitution must ever retain the right much and severe uneasiness. I not of altering and violating it, or in other only lost in some degree the esteem I words, that it is the makers who may formerly possessed, but I had the adwith the greatest propriety become ditional mortification of incurring cen the breakers of a law. When the sure through the very means by which superior talents of Mr. Courtland I had hoped to gain an encrease of seemed to point him out as the person respect. Such a total discomfiture of most likely to be benefitted by any my hopes must doubtless attract gedeviation from our rules in the above neral sympathy. That this feeling respect, recollection speedily quieted may not be absorbed by emotions of me on this head, by bringing forward personal regret, I hasten to declare many living examples of the little at- that the displeasure of my associates tention paid to degrees of merit in the has not gone the length of interdict

[blocks in formation]

it been

submitted to the public, in a separate form, we feel considerable pleasure on being authorised to present the following poem to our readers. Previous to its publication, we had been favoured with a private recitation of it; and, from various circumstances, we are induced to consider it as the legitimate production of the author of Ulm and Trafalgar.' In our next number it is intended to insert the poem of Uti Possidetis and Status Quo,' which is reported to come from the pen of the writer of Elijah's Mantle,' who, if runour be correct, now holds a very ostensible situation in his Majesty's Councils. WHEN by th'Almighty's dread command, Elijah, call'd from Israel's land,

Rose in the sacred flame,
His Mantle good Elisha caught,
And, with the Prophet's spirit fraught,
Her second hope became.

In Pitt our Israel saw combin'd
The Patriot's heart-the Prophet's mind,
Elijah's spirit here;

Now, sad reverse

that spirit reft,

No confidence, no hope is left;

For no El sha's near.

Is there among the greedy band,
Who've seiz'd on Power with harpy-hand,
And Patriot worth assume,
One on whom public faith can rest→→→→
One fit to wear Elijah's vest,

And cheer the Nation's gloom?
Grenville, to aid thy Treasury-fame,
A portion of his Mantle claim,

Pitt's generous ardour feel;
'Bove sordid self resolve to soar,
Amidst Exchequer gold be poor,
Thy wealth-the public weal.

Fox,-if on thee some remnant fall,
The shred may to thy mind recall

Those hours of loud debate
When thy unhallow'd lips oft prais'd
"The glorious fabric" traitors rais'
On Bourbon's fallen state-
Thy soul let Pitt's example fire,
With Patriot zeal thy tongue inspire,
Spite of thy Gallic leaven;
And teach thee in thy la est day,
His form of prayer, (if thou canst pray)
"O save my Country, leaven!"
Windham,-if e'er thy sorrows flow
For private loss, or public woe,

Thy rigid brow unbend:
Tears, over Cæsar, Brutus shed,
His hatred warr'd not with the dead-
And Pitt was once thy friend.

[ocr errors]

to mourn?

Hold then his mantle up to scorn,
His well-earn'd Fame assail;
Of funeral honours rob his corse,
And at his virtues, till thou'rt hoarse,

Like curst Thersites rail.

But know that these ungenerous deeds,
As long as age to age succeeds,

Shall prove thy glory's bane;
That noxious as the vernal blast,
Shall on thy blighted memory cast
An everlasting stain.
Mustrious Roscius of the State,
New breech'd and harness'd for debate,

Thou wonder of thy age!!!
Petty or Betty art thou hight,
By Granta sent to strut thy night

On Stephen's bustling stage?
Pitt's 'Chequer robe will Petty wear?
Take of his Mantle then a share,

'Twill aid thy Ways and Means;
And should Fat Jack, and his Cabal,
Cry "rob us the Exchequer, Hal!"
"Twill charm away those fiends.
Sage Palinurus of the realm!
By Vincent call'd to take the helm,
And play a proxy's part;
Dost thou a star, or compass know,
Canst reef aloft or steer below?

Hast conn'd the seaman's chart?
No! from Pitt's Mantle tear a rag,
Enough to serve thee for a flag,

And hoist it on thy mast:
Beneath that sign (our prosperous star)
Shall future Nelsons rush to war,
And rival victories past.

Sidmouth, though low his head be laid'
Who call'd thee from thy native shade,
And gave thee second birth;-
Gave thee the sweets of Power and Place,
The tufted robe-the gilded mace,

And rear'd thy puny worth:

Think how his mantle wrapp'd thee round:
Is one of equal virtues found

Among thy new compeers?
Or can thy cloak of Amiens stuff,
Once laugh'd to scorn by Blue and Buff,
Screen thee from Windham's jeers?
When faction threaten'd Britain's land,
Thy new-made friends-a desperate band,
Like Ahab-stood reprov'd:
Pitt's powerful tongue their rage could

His counsel sav'd midst general wreck,
The Israel that he lov'd.

Yes, honour'd shade! whilst near thy grave
The letter'd sage, and chieftain brave,

The votive marble claim;

O'er thy cold corse-the public tear
Congeal'd a chrystal shrine shall rear
Unsullied-as thy fame!!!

Frank's knowledge and connec tions amongst traps, (police-officers) pick-pockets, scamps, gamblers, procuresses, tumblers, and showmen, field-preachers, and tabernacle saints, were as extensive as any man of his day could boast; he was nevertheless habit as it was possible a man could honest by nature, and as much so by be, to whom the stars (who ought at least to have been more propitious to one of his family) had allotted such a perilous walk in life. He was a philosopher, and had a real regard for truth: as a proof of it, he repeatedly told the late Lord Littleton, myself, and others, that he would never survive his independence, or live to want: in conformity, he first hung himself in the skin-market, Leadenhall, and most handsomely basted a girl, with whom he cohabited, for cutting him down; to avoid which inconvenience, be afterwards took care to hang himself for good, in a lodging room in St. Giles's, where happened to be no officious intruders, and in that parish he was buried. He moreover assured me, and I have no reason to doubt the fact, which was beside confirmed to me by another eye-witness, that he had seen a certain reverend doctor, whose fervid eloquence in the pulpit, used to draw floods of tears from the eyes of the ungodly, sitting at the parlour fire of a certain noted house of accommodation in Goodman'sfields, with a brace of cherubs on his lap, little thinking of his latter end.

Moore's anecdote of the thief was as follows:-A miserable lad of fifteen years of age laid in the new gaol, in the Borough, whither he had been committed for some petty theft, with scarcely a rag to cover him, half devoured by vermin, and perishing with the ague. So repulsive are poverty and wretchedness, that no soul (not even a pal, or his flash-girl) would come near him, but a humane police

respect to the extent of circulation and quantity of impression, since three hundred thousand is a usual `number for an edition, and the work annually reprinted.

Singular Instance of Gratitude in a Thief, with Ana from low, midling, and high Life. TH THE late accounts in the newspapers, of the familiar chumming-conversation between Mackay, the veteran pickpocket, and Townsend the Bow-street officer, brought to my recollection the anecdote which I am about to relate; it also brought into my mind, reflections by no means of the most pleasing kind, or such as served to reconcile me to things as they are, and on which, if my life be spared, the public shall, at some future period, hear from me.

Some thirty years since, a fine athletic fellow, with only one leg, of the name of Francis Moore, used to entertain the good citizens of London and Westminster, in the streets, with jumping, assisted by a crutch, over a horse, the head of which was held up to the utmost height. A certain noble Duke (and indeed many persons of rank) were much entertained with the performances of this man, who was a very singular character; and they often made him handsome presents. This man was my author, and I quote him, because I have seen within these two or three years, a biographical sketch of him, in some one of the magazines, where it is asserted, that he was the great grandson of the noted Francis Moore, M. D. Almanac-maker and Soothsayer, in officer-an humane officer !—who, the reigns of Anne and Geo. I; an au- by his charitable attentions and assistthor, one of whose inmortal works ance, no doubt, saved the wretch's may put to shame the whole world of life. This made an impression upon authors, ancient or modern, with the boy too deep ever to be effaced.

« PreviousContinue »