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themselves for life. An easy chair and a brocade petticoat were heir-looms : possessions little less solemn than such cimelia as plate, jewels, &c. Hence—no disrespect to our ancestors—arose an almost niggardly cherishing of their possessions, restricting the use and comfort to be derived therefrom to high days and holidays ; hence—what was yet worse, with all their scrubbings and scourings, their layings-by and their lockings-up--an inevitable frowsiness. Need it be pointed, that by club-law all such statutes are abrogated ? Very minute or punctilious carefulness is impossible—would, if enforced, become a grievance. There are certain items, then, in furnishing which it is better should be owned to be perishable, than chosen with an eye to posterity. While wood-work cannot be too strong, or too thoroughly seasoned—while Committees are hereby solemnly warned to avoid those showy advertising tempters, who invite the thinker, the smoker, the reader, or the debater, to a comfortable and trusting session in the depths of his easy chair; and, at the least convenient moment, drop the worthy victim into the midst of a heap of mahogany dust, of broken legs, and rotten moreenwhile the Cheap Cabinet-maker is especially to be avoided in a cheap club,—there are other articles, three of which would be more acceptable than one at treble the price, and lasting three times as long ;—all, for instance, involving fabrics in which odours harbour, or through which dust can penetrate ; such as curtains, carpets, and the like. Let everything, for economy's sake, be the best of its kind ; but let not the kind be of that original costliness which precludes the possibility of its being replaced.
While, however, it is self-evident that freshness and simplicity are the utmost graces, in their house-furniture, which the members of a cheap club should expect, it by no means follows that their walls should go bare, and their windows dingy for lack of adornment—if they please. Give them a pride in their house: and things are more impossible than that some should take pleasure in its garniture. Many a young Artist will not object to lend his pictures to hang in a place where they can be heartily admired : nay, to give his Club that dear unsaleable dream, which every Tinto must one time or the other relieve his mind by painting, ere he becomes sane and marketable. And though out of this, neither a second Louvre nor Garrick Gallery will grow, no one that has watched the progress of a collection,
will doubt the possibility of its increase, and the chance of gradual improvement, let once interest and
emulation be engendered. Some other enterprising and liberal soul (and, thank God! “enterprise and liberality are not determined either by leisure or fortune”) will, haply, bestow a frame on the picture : a third devote a few odd half hours to the decoration of the chimney-piece, or the garniture of the niche in the Hall or Library—where the statue of the Lord Mayor and his Cat will of course, one day, find itself. And, female ingenuity might take its part in the genial scheme, of beautifying the Home of much comfort. Think of the curious handiworks, which loyal ladies, from the depths of the country, have, of their unassisted selves, sent up to Queens, Heirs-apparent, Princesses-royal-ever since Lady Lisle was anxious to coax Anne Boleyn into favour by her present of dotterels! Think of the huge pieces of tapestry, extorted out of their yawning parlour and day-boarders by the Miss Cranes, resolute to advertise their seminaries by “ tokens of affection,” contributed by their pupils, as sincere as the circulars sent home before the holidays!" Think of the flags, which dashing Britomarts were wont to embroider for the gallant sons of Mars,” with the prospect of delivering the same over a balcony, in the presence of ten companies of the —th, with “a Captain Clifford" at their head! Think of the astounding finger-industry of German wife and maid, to whom nothing comes amiss—be it a pair of braces, or a dalmatique—the last scenes of “ The Last Days of Pompeii” wrought on six cushions, or the last piece of tea-board sanctimoniousness which has been commanded from the Munich Saint-Factory, for what Mrs. Glover calls a pray
do!” Think, once again, of the Fababo fancy-fairs for Mission Houses ! —of righteous raffles, to raise up sisterly aid for the Reverend Israel Ben Israel, or to put money in Mr. Open's purse!-and say, whether a tithe of the like energy and ingenuity might not find its graceful and becoming occupation at Home! It is to this sort of voluntary contribution, and to the heart put into the same, that we owe some of the most interesting specimens of ancient art and decoration. The principle of individual endowment and benefaction, decked the cathedrals as we see them. Why should it not -in humbler form—under a discreet and sweet-tempered Clerk of the Needle Works—be again called forth to meet the spirit of the time? What I have said lightly, I mean earnestly. The beautification of a resting-place for the weary—of a refuge for those of narrow fortunes-of a haunt to which the lonely resort for cheerful associations, and those gifted with tastes, for pleasure
and enlightenment, would be no selfish nor frivolous occupation for Woman's leisure. The House, whether for one or many, is never perfectly habitable till, in some form or other, her hand has passed over it!
There are, of course, many worthy souls belonging to such a large company, who will call my fancies “ finical,” and set their faces against “ trumpery” — content if they get the paper they love to grumble over, or the strong book they choose to feed
upon ; and caring little if Library, Parlour, or Refectory, be dingy and bald as a consistent Quaker's chamber, or bright and welcoming on the heaviest day of suicidical November. And such should be neither taxed nor teazed, albeit not humoured in their preference of what is ugly and uninviting. There is small fear of Sybaritism among those who have themselves to produce the luxuries they are to enjoy. But how precious are the objects thus produced ! Sir Walter Scott thought more of the willow arch in front of his cottage at Lasswade, which he tied together with his own hands, than of the Abbotsford, which his money but the workmen of Blore, Atkinson, and Bullock, builded,
Again, there ought to be small trouble, and not great expense, in forming a useful and extensive library for the use of the members of the Cheap Club. Whatever befall the race of Authorsand whether or not days are coming when we shall have to scour the town, bribing the satiated public to listen to us, as some doleful persons profess to fear-certain is it that Readers were never so liberally provided for as now. What has become of the heavy, magnificent, four-guinea quarto? A four and sixpenny volume, readable by the weakest or tenderest eyes, maketh answer ; if even we reject, with a view to comfort, the vast library of standard works, printed in double columns: or, grown a trifle luxurious in point of paper and print, we decline Mr. Barker's Library-with its nine-penny volumes of “ bark and steel” for the mind, in the shape of politics and of controversies—as a little too humble in its garb for a public institution. Here, again, will be a wide field for individual courtesy and generosity. There is hardly one member of the Whittington Club, who may not, if it so please him, add some book worth having to its shelves, in the course of
There is hardly one Author, who hath ever laboured for the comfort and delectation of the People, that may not, in some form or other, without any Quixotic liberality, be permanently represented among, be perpetually conversing with, those
whom he would fain influence or entertain. Let it be once understood that the Library is used, and not abused, and I firmly believe that the outcry against popular cultivation, which is oddly enough kept up by certain authors who are always trying hard for clients, will not stand in the way of the bestowal of one standard book. Trash there will of course be, by the ton ; a depressing weight of presentation copies—Poems without a breath of Poetry-Plays which are, indeed, lugubrious and the like. But let those who desire healthier fare, be pleased to recollect that it rests, in some measure, with themselves, how much room shall be left for the harbourage of Folly, Inanity, Evil teaching and unwholesome Doetrine. I have a strong trust in their taste, discernment, effort—and consequent success.
It will be obvious in the above, that I have taken for granted that a better spirit will generally prevail than merely that hard determination to get the utmost penny's worth for a Member's penny, which makes some of our more august Club-establishments, in spite of all their bravery, disgusting to such who enter them, as can think of something besides eating and drinking—to wit, the deluge after dinner! Save, indeed, we had some such conviction, who that loves his kind, and that wishes to expand and not to shut up its sympathies, would make a sign upon paper to bring the affair to pass ? A mere place of cheap eating and soft sitting, with obsequious servants, and the run of “the periodicals," however desirable - is something widely different from the Resort of those, who, having little leisure, should be, as much as possible, helped to make the most thereof. There is no fancy, in all this, of keeping school ; of compelling grown men, whether they will or not, to be unselfish, mutually considerate, and to make moral progress from day by day, even while following the small routine of daily life. Mine is no Utopian idea of perfectibility. But if a Cheap Club for the Many is to mean anything—nay, I will
say, if it is to be kept together on any terms whatsoever-it must be by a certain measure of care for All on the part of Each. In proportion as the money to be spent is less, must “ the love be more. And this I shall have yet more urgent reason to impress and to illustrate, when I come to the second clause of my Homily—namely, when I attempt to offer some crotchets with regard to the Company.
THE LAMENT OF JOANNA OF SPAIN.
Joanna was the only surviving child of Ferdinand the Catholic, and the great Isabella of Castille. She married Philip, the handsome son of the Emperor Maximilian ; and after a few years of married life, rendered very miserable by his neglect and her jealousy, at his death she became mad. His remains were interred in the Monastery of Santa Clara, adjoining the Palace at Tordesillas; and she sat at the windows that overlooked the sepulchre, mourning and keeping watch, for seven-and-forty years, never leaving the walls of her habitation, or taking any part in the government of her vast possessions, to which her son, the Emperor Charles V., succeeded. Music was her sole delight and recreation.
My life is weariness to me;
I dread the rising of the sun;
I wish the hours of darkness done.
Nature mocks not my grief-ploughed face ;
And I seem in some kindred place :
With ashes on iny heart and head,
A grave for me and for my dead.