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ingenious expedient to supply the want of shoes, knowing that Mr. Birkin, who loves humour, would himself relish the joke upon a little recollection. Cropdale literally lives by his wit, which he has exercised upon all his friends in their turns. He once borrowed my pony for five or six days to go to Salisbury, and sold him in Smithfield at his return. This was a joke of such a serious nature, that, in the first transports of my passion, I had some thoughts of prosecuting him for horse-stealing; and, even when my resentment had, in some measure subsided, as he industriously avoided me, I vowed I would take satisfaction on his ribs with the first opportunity. One day, seeing him at some distance in the street, coming towards me, I began to prepare my cane for action, and walked in the shadow of a porter, that he might not perceive me soon enough to make his escape; but, in the very instant I had lifted up the instrument of correction, I found Tim Cropdale metamorphosed into a miserable blind wretch, feeling his way with a long stick from post to post, and rolling about two bald unlighted orbs, instead of eyes. I was exceedingly shocked at having so narrowly escaped the concern and disgrace that would have attended such a misapplication of vengeance; but next day Tim prevailed upon a friend of mine to come and solicit my forgiveness, and offer his note, payable in six weeks, for the price of the pony. This gentleman gave me to understand, that the blind man was no other than Cropdale, who, having seen me advancing, and guessing my intent, had immediately converted himself into the object aforesaid. I was so diverted at the ingenuity of the evasion, that I agreed to pardon the offence, refusing his note, however, that I might keep a prosecution for felony hanging over his head, as a security for his future good behaviour; but Timothy would by no means trust himself in my hands till the note was accepted. Then he made his appearance at my door as a blind beggar, and imposed in such a manner upon my man, who had been his old acquaintance and pot-companion, that the fellow threw the door in his face, and even threatened to give him the bastinado. Hearing a noise in the hall, I went thither, and, immediately recollecting the figure I had passed in the street, accosted him by his own name, to the unspeakable astonishment of the footman."

Birkin declared he loved a joke as well as another; but asked if any of the company could tell where Mr. Cropdale lodged, that he might send him a proposal about restitution, before the boots should be made away with. "I would willingly give him a pair of new shoes," said he, " and half a guinea into the bargain, for the boots, which fitted me like a glove, and I shan't be able to get the fellows of them till the good weather for riding is over." The stuttering wit declared, that the only secret which Cropdale ever kept was the place of his lodgings; but he believed that, during the heats of summer, he commonly took his repose upon a bulk. "Confound him;" cried the bookseller, "he might as well have taken my whip and spurs: in that case, he might have been tempted to steal another horse, and then he would have rid to the devil of course."

After coffee, I took my leave of Mr. S- with proper acknowledgments of his civility, and was extremely well pleased with the entertainment of the day, though not yet satisfied with respect to the nature of this connexion betwixt a man of character in the literary world and a parcel of authorlings, who, in all probability, would never be able to acquire any degree of reputation by their labours. On this head, I interrogated my conductor, Dick Ivy, who answered me to this effect: "One would imagine S - had some view to his own interest, in giving countenance and assistance to those people whom he knows to be bad men as well as bad writers; but, if he has any such view, he will find himself disappointed, for, if he is so vain as to imagine he can make them subservient to his schemes of profit or ambition, they

are cunning enough to make him their property in the meantime. There is not one of the company you have seen to-day (myself excepted) who does not owe him particular obligations. One of them he bailed out of a spunging-house and afterwards paid the debt-another he translated into his family and clothed, when he was turned out half-naked from gaol, in consequence of an act for the relief of insolvent debtors—a third, who was reduced to a woollen nightcap, and lived upon sheep's trotters, up three pair of stairs backward, in Butcher Row, he took into present pay and free quarters, and enabled him to appear as a gentleman, without having the fear of sheriff's officers before his eyes. Those who are in distress he supplies with money when he has it, and with his credit when he is out of cash. When they want business, he either finds employment for them in his own service, or recommends them to booksellers, to execute some project he has formed for their subsistence. They are always welcome to his table (which, though plain, is plentiful), and to his good offices as far as they will go; and, when they see occasion, they make use of his name with the most petulant familiarity, nay, they do not even scruple to arrogate to themselves the merit of some of his performances, and have been known to sell their own lucubrations as the produce of his brain. The Scotchman you saw at dinner once personated him at an ale house in West Smithfield, and, in the character of S- had his head broke by a cow-keeper, for having spoke disrespectfully of the Christian religion; but he took the law of him in his own person, and the assailant was fain to give him ten pounds to withdraw his action."

I have dwelt so long upon authors, that you will perhaps suspect I intend to enrol myself among the fraternity; but, if I were actually qualified for the profession, it is at best but a desperate resource against starving, as it affords no provision for old age and infirmity. Salmon, at the age of fourscore, is now in a garret, compiling matter at a guinea a sheet for a modern historian, who, in point of age, might be his grandchild; and Psalmanazar, after having drudged half a century in the literary world, in all the simplicity and abstinence of an Asiatic, subsists upon the charity of a few booksellers, just sufficient to keep him from the parish. I think Guy, who was himself a bookseller, ought to have appropriated one wing or ward of his hospital to the use of decayed authors; though, indeed, there is neither hospital, college, or workhouse, within the bills of mortality, large enough to contain the poor of this society, composed, as it is, from the refuse of every other profession.


THE cuckoo,—“ the plain-song cuckoo" of Bottom the weaver,—the "blithe new-comer,” the "darling of the spring," the "blessed bird" of Wordsworth,-the "beauteous stranger of the grove," the "messenger of spring" of Logan, the cuckoo coming hither from distant lands to insinuate its egg into the sparrow's nest, and to fly away again with its fledged ones after their cheating nursing-time is over, little knows what a favourite is her note with schoolboys and poets. Wordsworth's lines to the cuckoo

"O blithe new-comer! I have heard,

I hear thee and rejoice-"

are familiar to all. The charming little poem of Logan, which preceded Wordsworth's, is not so well known:

"Hail, beauteous stranger of the grove!

Thou messenger of spring!
Now Heaven repairs thy rural seat,
And woods thy welcome sing.
What time the daisy decks the green,
Thy certain voice we hear;

Hast thou a star to guide thy path,
Or mark the rolling year?
Delightful visitant! with thee
I hail the time of flowers,
And hear the sound of music sweet
From birds among the bowers,

The school-boy wandering through the wood Sweet bird! thy bower is ever green, To pull the primrose gay,

Starts the new voice of spring to hear,

And imitates thy lay.

What time the pea puts on the bloom

Thou flyest thy vocal vale,

An annual guest in other lands,

Another spring to hail.

Thy sky is ever clear;
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song,

No winter in thy year!

Oh, could I fly, I'd fly with thee!
We'd make, with joyful wing,
Our annual visit o'er the globe,
Companions of the spring." LOGAN.

The Swallow has been another favourite of the poets, even from the days of the Greek Anacreon:

"Once in each revolving year,

Gentle bird! we find thee here;
When Nature wears her summer vest,
Thou com'st to weave thy simple nest;
But, when the chilling winter lowers,
Again thou seek'st the genial bowers

Of Memphis, or the shores of Nile,
Where sunny hours of verdure smile.
And thus thy wing of freedom roves,
Alas! unlike the plumed loves
That linger in this helpless breast,
And never, never change their nest!”

But "the bird of all birds" is the Nightingale. never heard the "jug-jug" in his northern clime, of songsters:

ANACREON, translated by MOORE, Drummond of Hawthornden, though he has left a beautiful tribute to this noblest

"Sweet bird, that sing'st away the early hours
Of winters past or coming, void of care,
Well pleased with delights which present are,
Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet-smelling flow'rs:
To rocks, to springs, to rills, from leafy bow'rs,
Thou thy Creator's goodness dost declare,
And what dear gifts on thee he did not spare:
A stain to human sense in sin that low'rs.
What soul can be so sick, which by thy songs
(Attired in sweetness) sweetly is not driven
Quite to forget earth's turmoils, spites, and wrongs,
And lift a reverend eye and thought to heaven.
Sweet artless songster, thou my mind dost raise
To airs of spheres, yes, and to angels' lays.

Milton came after Drummond, with his sonnet to the nightingale :

"O Nightingale, that on yon bloomy spray
Warblest at eve, when all the woods are still,
Thou with fresh hope the lover's heart dost fill,
While the jolly hours lead on propitious May!"


In the 'Il Penseroso,' the poet, dramatically speaking, addresses the nightingale :— "Sweet bird, that shunn'st the noise of folly,

Most musical, most melancholy!"

The general propriety of the epithet has been controverted in one of the most delightful pieces of blank verse in our language :—

"No cloud, no relique of the sunken day
Distinguishes the West, no long thin slip
Of sullen light, no obscure trembling hues.
Come, we will rest on this old mossy bridge.
You see the glimmer of the stream beneath,
But hear no murmuring: it flows silently

O'er its soft bed of verdure. All is still:
A balmy night! and though the stars be dim,
Yet let us think upon the vernal showers
That gladden the green earth, and we shall find
A pleasure in the dimness of the stars.
And hark! the Nightingale begins its song,
'Most musical, most melancholy' bird!
A melancholy bird! Oh, idle thought!

In nature there is nothing melancholy.

But some night-wandering man, whose heart was pierced With the remembrance of a grievous wrong,

Or slow distemper, or neglected love,

(And so, poor wretch! filled all things with himself, And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale

Of his own sorrow)-he, and such as he,

First named these notes a melancholy strain.

And many a poet echoes the conceit;

Poet who hath been building up the rhyme

When he had better far have stretched his limbs
Beside a brook in mossy forest-dell,

By sun or moonlight, to the influxes

Of shapes and sounds and shifting elements
Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song
And of his fame forgetful! so his fame
Should share in Nature's immortality,
A venerable thing! and so his song
Should make all Nature lovelier, and itself
Be loved like Nature! But 'twill not be so;
And youths and maidens most poetical,
Who lose the deepening twilights of the spring
In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still
Full of meek sympathy must heave their sighs
O'er Philomela's pity-pleading strains.

My Friend, and thou, our Sister! we have learnt
A different lore: we may not thus profane
Nature's sweet voices, always full of love
And joyance! 'Tis the merry Nightingale
That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates
With fast thick warble his delicious notes,
As he were fearful that an April night
Would be too short for him to utter forth
His love-chant, and disburthen his full soul
Of all its music!

And I know a grove
Of large extent, hard by a castle huge,
Which the great lord inhabits not; and so
This grove is wild with tangling underwood,
And the trim walks are broken up, and grass,
Thin grass, and king-cups, grow within the paths.
But never elsewhere in one place I knew
So many nightingales; and far and near,
In wood and thicket, over the wide grove,

They answer and provoke each other's songs
With skirmish and capricious passagings,
And murmurs musical and swift jug-jug,

And one low piping sound more sweet than all-
Stirring the air with such a harmony,

That should you close your eyes, you might almost
Forget it was not day! On moon-lit bushes,
Whose dewy leaflets are but half disclosed,

You may perchance behold them on the twigs,
Their bright, bright eyes, their eyes both bright and full,
Glistening, while many a glow-worm in the shade
Lights up her love-torch.

A most gentle Maid,

Who dwelleth in her hospitable home
Hard by the castle, and at latest eve
(Even like a lady vowed and dedicate

To something more than Nature in the grove)

Glides through the pathways; she knows all their notes,
That gentle Maid! and oft a moment's space,
What time the moon was lost behind a cloud,
Hath heard a pause of silence, till the moon,
Emerging, hath awakened earth and sky
With one sensation, and these wakeful birds
Have all burst forth in choral minstrelsy,
As if some sudden gale had swept at once
A hundred airy harps! And she hath watched
Many a nightingale perched giddily

On blossomy twig still swinging from the breeze,

And to that motion tune his wanton song

Like tipsy joy that reels with tossing head.”


But the chorus of birds, the full harmony of the grove, is the great charm of a sunny spring time. Old Drayton has made his rough verse musical with the ever-varied songs of the leafy Arden:

"When Phoebus lifts his head out of the winter's wave,
No sooner does the earth her flowery bosom brave,
At such time as the year brings on the pleasant spring,
But 'hunt's-up' to the morn the feath'red sylvans sing:
And in the lower grove, as on the rising knole,
Upon the highest spray of every mounting pole
Those quiristers are perch'd, with many a speckled breast.
Then from her burnish'd gate the goodly glitt'ring East
Gilds every lofty top, which late the humorous night
Bespangled had with pearl to please the morning's sight.
On which the mirthful quires, with their clear open throats,
Unto the joyful morn so strain their warbling notes,
That hills and valleys ring, and even the echoing air
Seems all composed of sounds, about them every where.
The throstle, with shrill sharps; as purposely he song
T' awake the lustless sun; or chiding that so long
He was in coming forth, that should the thickets thrill
The woosel near at hand, that hath a golden bill;
As nature him had markt of purpose to let see

That from all other birds his tunes should different be,


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