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THE LION'S HEAD.
THE following letter from Jerry Sneak (which we suppose is the English for Horrida Bella) appears to put an end to the correspondence, though not to the matter in dispute ;-the former of which, in truth, is all we care for. We ourselves are indifferent, whether the ghosts are light as a consumptive guinea, or fit to "go to scale" with the Swiss Giantess. The size and substance of a ghost might, perhaps, be expected to depend on its founder-surely the step of Falstaff "after death" would be an ounce heavier than that of Romeo's Apothecary. We beg, however, to be understood as expressing no decided opinion on the subject; though we own we should be glad to know that Shakspeare's spirits, like Mr. Polito's lions, had their "feeding time.”
To the Editor of the London Magazine.
RESPECTED SIR,-I regret to see by your last Number, that the Author of the Ghost-player's Guide is extremely angry with me for the letter I ventured to address to you on Shakspeare's lusty ghosts. I should be sorry to irritate so sensible a critic, from an apprehension that he might make a subject of me, and I therefore would rather, if he insisted on it, "give up the ghost" in his favour. I so dread also lest your readers should be weary of our "intestine war," and hiss us both off the stage-that I would consent rather that the poor things should be spirits and water, as your Guide insists on their being, than full-proof spirits that are good against the morning air, as Shakspeare intended them. Let them keep nine feet from the lamps, by four and a half from the wings, if your critic" will have it so." I have six-and-twenty beautiful extracts from Shakspeare, all adding to the bowels of the Etherials, and to the forwardness of their visits,-but I fear you will not pay for them in my article, and I like, in selling my meat, to have the bone weighed in. Your correspondent and my antagonist is hard upon my want of brain, and principle, and wit, and so forth; and rails in singular set terms on my naughty inconstancy of argument. I can only say I regret he has not taken my view of the subject in that serious light in which I intended it. I wished to speak solidly on the thickribbed spirits-and if he, like his own ghosts, has no bowels-for fair reasoning and strong proof,-it is my misfortune and his fault. I do not like to be obstinate, and therefore shall myself be silent,-but would you ask your friend what sort of a ghost Falstaff makes?-Is there a falling off in him? Does he no longer tallow in the spiritual kidney? Apologizing for again molesting you and yours, and with the best wishes for your able and sensitive critic's fatness in this world and thinness in the world to come, I am yours, very kindly, for HORRIDA BELLA,
What will Echo say to the insertion of the following stanzas, which appear to have caught her babbling ladyship in a talkative mood ?-Does she ever reply to print ?-She does,-we suppose, occasionally,-when she meets with a worthy temptation.-Is not a second edition something like her voice? In the following address the questions are well put and quaintly
answered ;-only, here and there, Echo catches a syllable, which does not occur to our ears as one that should be replied to:-Echo however may be particular.
AN ADDRESS TO THE ECHO.
If I address the Echo yonder,
O wondrous Echo tell me, bless'e,
If then to win the maid I try,
Echo-A proper tye!
If neither being grave nor funny
If I should try to gain her heart,
She mayn't love dress, and I again then
To please her most, perhaps 'tis best
Then if to marry me I teaze her,
What will she say if that should please her?
When cross and good words can't appease her,
When wed she'll change, for Love's no sticker,
To leave me then I can't compel her,
The doubting youth to Echo turn'd again, Sir,
The youthful writer of the verses "Farewell" and "On the Death of Clara," must not think of publishing. He may take our word (whatever his good-natured friends may say to the contrary) that at present he merely rhymes.
We do not "want a Correspondent in H. W. B.'s way." His verse is not poetry-his language is not grammatical:
Then take up the lyre which has long been forsaken,
Its chords are not broke, though so silent it lays."
Among the communications we are obliged to reject, are the following:My first gray Hair.-D.'s Lines.-Letter on the Drama.-Stanzas on Beauty. The Likeness.-Meditations on a Marrow Bone.
ROBERT BURNS AND LORD BYRON.
I HAVE seen Robert Burns laid in his grave, and I have seen George Gordon Byron borne to his; of both I wish to speak, and my words shall be spoken with honesty and freedom. They were great though not equal heirs of fame; the fortunes of their birth were widely dissimilar; yet in their passions and in their genius they approached to a closer resemblance; their careers were short and glorious, and they both perished in the sum mer of life, and in all the splendour of a reputation more likely to increase than diminish. One was a peasant, and the other was a peer; but Nature is a great leveller, and makes amends for the injuries of fortune by the richness of her benefactions; the genius of Burns raised him to a level with the nobles of the land; by nature if not by birth, he was the peer of Byron. I knew one, and I have seen both; I have hearkened to words from their lips, and admired the labours of their pens, and I am now, and likely to remain, under the influence of their magic songs. They rose by the force of their genius, and they fell by the strength of their passions; one wrote from a love, and the other from a scorn, of mankind; and they both sang of the emotions of their own hearts with a vehemence and an originality which few have equalled, and none surely have surpassed. But it is less my wish to draw the characters of those extraordinary men than to write what I remember of them; and I will say nothing that I know not to be true, and little but what I saw myself.
The first time I ever saw Burns was in Nithsdale. I was then a child, but his looks and his voice cannot well be forgotten; and while I write this I behold him as distinctly as I did when I stood at my father's knee, and heard the bard repeat his Tam O'Shanter. He was tall and of a manly make, his brow broad and high, and his voice varied with the character of his inimitable tale; yet through all its variations it was melody itself. He was of great personal strength, and proud too of displaying it; and I have seen him lift a load with ease, which few ordinary men would have willingly undertaken.
The first time I ever saw Byron was in the House of Lords, soon after the publication of Childe Harold. He stood up in his place on the opposition side, and made a speech on the subject of Catholic freedom. His voice was low, and I heard him but by fits, and when I say he was witty and sarcastic, I judge as much from the involuntary mirth of the benches as from what I heard with my own ears.
His voice had not the full and manly melody of the voice of Burns; nor had he equal vigour of frame, nor the same open expanse of forehead. But his face was finely formed, and was impressed with a more delicate vigour than that of the peasant poet. He had a singular conformation of ear, the lower lobe, instead of being pendulous, grew down and united itself to the cheek and resembled no other ear I ever saw, save that of the Duke of Wel