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Did you admire my lamp, quoth he,
The songster heard his short oration,
That brother should not war with brother,
Those Christians best deserve the name,
A most interesting volume of Poems has been recently published, by John Clare, a peasant of Northamptonshire. We may occasionally give a few specimens of these meritorious compositions;-but we confine ourselves at present to a brief notice of Clare's humble life, abridged from the Quarterly Review :
Johm Clare was born at Helpstone, a village situated where the easternmost point of Northamptonshire indents the Lincolnshire fens. His father and mother are parish-paupers; the former, from constant exposure to the inclemency of the seasons, being prematurely de. crepit; the latter, his cheerful companion in youth, has become, as they totter down the hill of life, his natural and constant nurse. Our author, who is the elder of twins, was born in July, 1793;-the sister, who died immediately after the birth, was, to use his mother's figure of speech, a bouncing girl, while John might have gone into a pint pot ;" indicating a delicacy of frame under which he has always laboured. His education necessarily squared with the limited means of his parents. As soon, however, as he was able to lead the forehorse of the harvest team, he was set to work, and returning one evening from the field thus occupied, had the misfortune of seeing
the loader fall from the waggon, and break his neck: this fatal accident threw him into fits, from which he did not recover till after a considerable lapse of time, nor without much anxiety and expense to his parents even at this day he is not wholly free from apprehensions of their return. At the age of twelve, he assisted in the laborious employment of thrashing; the boy, in his father's own words, was weak but willing, and the good old man made a flail for him somewhat suitable to his strength. When his share of the day's toil was over, he eagerly ran to the village school under the belfry, and in this desultory and casual manner gathered his imperfect knowledge of language, and skill in writing. At the early period of which we are speaking, Clare felt the desire to write verses.
For the boisterous sports and amusements which form the usual delight of village youth, Clare had neither strength nor relish; his mother found it necessary to drive him from the chimney corner to - exercise and to play, whence he quickly returned, contemplative and silent. His parents were apprehensive for his mind as well as his health; not knowing how to interpret, or to what cause to refer these habits so opposite to those of other boys of his condition; and when, a few years later, they found him hourly employed in writing, and writing verses too," the gear was not mended" in their estimation. "When he was fourteen or fifteen," says Dame Clare, "he would shew me a piece of paper, printed sometimes on one side, and scrawled all over on the other, and he would say, Mother, this is worth so much; and I used to say to him, Aye, boy, it looks as if it warr!-but I thought he was wasting his time." Clare's history, for a few succeeding years, is composed in two words, spare diet and hard labour, cheered by visions of fancy which promised him happier days.
66 Though need make many poets," it was not need that excited Clare to write poetry, though its importunity finally drove him "to I trust his little bark to the waves." Without a shilling in his pocket, with a father and mother aged and decrepit at home, who rather required his aid than contributed to alleviate his condition, with a frame so feeble by nature, as to sink under the toil to which he had all his life submitted, he at length-and on the impulse of the moment-bethought himself of endeavouring to obtain some small advantage from those mental labours which had at various seasons so deeply engaged his mind. "I was working alone in the lime-pits, at Ryhall, in the dead of winter, 1818," these are his own words, "when knowing it impossible for me to pay a shoemaker's bill of more than three pounds, having only eighteen-pence to receive at night, I resolved upon publishing proposals for printing a little volume of poems by subscription; and at dinner-time I wrote a prospectus, with a pencil, and walked over to Stamford at night, to send it by the post to Mr. Hanson, a printer at Market Deeping."
The poems have been handsomely printed. They have produced profit to the author; and have raised him out of his humble station to receive the public encouragement. This little volume offers
abundant proofs of the author's possessing a cheerful disposition, a mind delighting in the charms of natural scenery, and a heart not to be subdued by the frowns of fortune; though the advantages which he might have derived from these endowments have been checked by the sad realities which hourly reminded him of his unpromising condition. It appears that Clare is rather the creature of feeling than of fancy. He looks abroad with the eye of a poet, and with the minuteness of a naturalist, but the intelligence which he gains is always referred to the heart: it is thus that the falling leaves become admonishers and friends, the idlest weed has its resemblance in his own lowly lot, and the opening primrose of spring suggests the promise that his own long winter of neglect and obscurity will yet be succeeded by a summer's sun of happier fortune. The volume, we believe, scarcely contains a poem in which this process is not adopted; nor one in which imagination is excited without some corresponding tone of tenderness or morality. When the discouraging circumstances under which the bulk of it was composed are considered, it is really astonishing that so few examples should be found of querulousness and impatience, none of envy or despair.
EFFECTS OF NEGLIGENCE.
A celebrated French writer on political economy, M. Say, has this story:- "Being in the country, I had an example of one of those small losses which a family is exposed to through negligence. For the want of a latchet of small value, the wicket of a barn-yard, looking to the fields, was often left open; every one who went through drew the door to; but having no means to fasten it, it remained flapping; the poultry escaped, and were lost. One day a fine pig got out, and ran into the woods; immediately all the world was after it; the gardener, the cook, the dairy-maid, all ran to recover the swine. The gardener got sight of him first, and, jumping over a ditch to stop him, he sprained his ancle, and was I confined a fortnight to the house. The cook, on her return, found all the linen she had left to dry by the fire burned; and the dairymaid having run off before she had tied up the cows, one of them broke the leg of a colt in the same stable. The gardener's lost time was worth twenty crowns, valuing his pain at nothing; the linen burned, and the colt spoiled, were worth as much more. Here is a loss of forty crowns, and much pain, trouble, vexation, and inconvenience, for the want of a latch which would not cost threepence."
THE SHEPHERD BOY.
The rain was pattering o'er the low thatch'd shed!
Cover'd his sturdy loins, while his rude legs
We noticed in our last publication that the two Houses of Parliament met on Friday, the 21st of April. The necessary ceremonies of swearing in the Members, and of electing a Speaker of the House of Commons, being completed, on Thursday the 27th his Majesty opened his first Parliament, with the following most gracious speech from the Throne::
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
"I have taken the earliest occasion of assembling you here, after having recurred to the sense of my people.
"In meeting you personally for the first time since the death of my beloved father, I am anxious to assure you that I shall always continue to imitate his great example in unceasing attention to the public interests, and in paternal solicitude for the welfare and happiness of all classes of my subjects.
"I have received from Foreign Powers renewed assurances of their friendly disposition, and of their earnest desire to cultivate with me the relations of peace and amity.
"Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
"The estimates for the present year will be laid before you. "They have been framed upon principles, of strict economy; but it is to me matter of the deepest regret that the state of the country has not allowed me to dispense with those additions to our military force which I announced at the commencement of the last Session of Parliament.
"The first object to which your attention will be directed is the provision to be made for the support of the Civil Government, and of the honour and dignity of the Crown.
"I leave entirely at your disposal my interest in the hereditary revenues; and I cannot deny myself the gratification of declaring, that so far from desiring any arrangement which might lead to the imposition of new burdens upon my people, or even might diminish, on my account, the amount of the reductions incident to my accession to the Throne, I can have no wish, under circumstances like the present, that any addition whatever should be made to the settlement adopted by Parliament in the year 1816.
"My Lords and Gentlemen,
66 Deeply as I regret that the machinations and designs of the disaffected should have led, in some parts of the country, to acts of open violence and insurrection, I cannot but express my satisfaction at the promptitude with which those attempts have been suppressed by