« PreviousContinue »
counts of him, it appears that for a great part of his life he was a merry layman, was a great falconer, feaster, and patron, as well as man of business ; and he wore all characters with such unaffected pleasantness to all ranks, that he was called the Delight of the Western World.
All on a sudden, to every body's surprise, Henry the Second, from chancellor made him archbishop; and with equal suddenness, though retaining his affability, the new head of the English church put off all his worldly graces and pleasures (save and except a rich gown over his sackcloth);—and in the midst of a gay court, became the most mortified of ascetics. Instead of hunting and hawking, he paced a solitary cloister ; instead of his wine, he drank fennel-water; and in lieu of soft clothing, he indulged his back in stripes.
This phenomenon has divided the opinions of the moral critics. Some insist that Becket was religiously in earnest, and think the change natural to a man of the world whose heart had been struck with reflection. Others see in it nothing but ambition. We certainly think that three parts of the truth are with the latter ; and that Becket, suddenly enabled to dispute a kind of sovereignty with his prince and friend, gave way to the new temptation, just as he had done to his falconry, and fine living. But the complete alteration of his way of life, -the enthusiasm which enabled him to set up so different a greatness against his former one,shews, that his character partook at least of as much sincerity, as would enable him to delude himself in good
In proportion as his very egotism was concerned, it was likely that such a man would exalt the gravity and importance of his new calling. He had flourished at an earthly court; he now wished to be as great a man in the eyes of another; and worldly power, which was at once to be enjoyed and despised by virtue of his religious office, had a zest given to its possession, of which the incredulousness of mere insincerity could know nothing.
Thomas a Becket may have inherited his portion of the romantic from his mother, whose story is a singular one. His father, Gil. bert Becket, who was afterwards a flourishing citizen, was in his youth a soldier in the crusades ; and being taken prisoner, became slave to an Emir or Saracen prince. By degrees he obtained the confidence of his master, and was admitted to bis company, where he met a personage who became more attached to him. This was the Emir's daughter. Whether by her means or not does not appear, but after some time he contrived to escape. The lady, with her loving heart, followed him. She knew, they say, but two words of his language, London and Gilbert; and by repeating the former, she obtained a passage in a vessel, arrived in England, and found her trusting way to the metropolis. She then took to her other talisman, and went from street to street, pronouncing Gilbert. A crowd collected about her wherever she went, asking of course a thousand questions, and to all she had but one answer-Gilbert! Gilbert! She found her faith in it sufficient. Chance, or her determination to go through every street, brought her at last to the one in which he who had won her heart in slavery, was living in prosperous condition. The crowd drew the fa.
mily to the window ; his servant recognised her : and Gilbert Becket took to his arms and his bridal bed, his far-come princess, with her solitary fond word.
These are histories than the quarrels of kings and archbishops.
From Moore's 66 Sacred Songs, Duets, and Trios."
THE turf shall be my fragrant shrine,
I'll seek, by day, some glade unknown,
Thy Heaven, on which 'tis bliss to look,
I'll read thy anger in the rack
There's nothing bright, above, below,
There's nothing dark, below, above,
THE CACIQUE OF ONTARIO.
« O LEAVE THE LILY ON ITS STEM." ADDRESS TO THE MUMMY. EVALINE. ADDRESS TO A WILD DEER.
THE PROGRESS OF INCONSTANCY.
THE TOO-EARLY OPENING FLOWER.
HELL'S BRIDGE. THE FIRST OF MARCH. THE WIFE.
ELEGY. MAN. LETTER.
THE FALLS OF OHIOPYLE.
THE TROPICAL NIGHT.
What piles of wealth hath he accumulated
JOHN AITKEN, ST. ANTHONY'S PLACE.
The tale pointed out by N.O. will speedily appear ; but unfortunately it will occupy a whole Number :—this, we trust, our readers will excuse, it being our determination that no article shall be continued from one Number to another.
Numerous Original Pieces of distinguished merit have been sent to us ; but THE CABINET being wholly a work of selection, we regret, that, consistent with our plan, they cannot be inserted.
We have still to apologize to many highly valued Correspondents, to whom we tender our hearty thanks for the interest they have taken in our little Miscellany ; by and bye they will perceive that their communications have not been neglected : meanwhile they must not relax in their kind exertions.
Each weekly Number of the CABINET contains Sixteen Pages, closely and beautifully printed on Crown Octavo; and its object being to select and combine all the scattered excellence of our Literature, every Number contains an interesting Tale, and other pieces in PROSE and VERSE of decided merit.
A Title and general Index will be given with the last Number of each volume, when the titles of the different Parts may be cancelled.
CACIQUE OF ONTARIO:
An Indian Cale.
From Adams' “ Elegant T'ales."
MARANO, amiable in her sorrow, sat alone by a shelving rock. She sought in solitude to indulge the anguish of her soul. She leaned on her snowy arm. Her tresses flowed careless to the gale. The blooming beauty of her complexion was flushed with weeping. Her blue eyes were full of tender anxiety; and her bosom heaved with repeated sighs.
“ When will he return !” she said ; " my beloved Oneyo! the husband of my affections ! How I long to behold him! Ye waves of Ontario, convey him to his native shore ; restore him to his friends ; restore him to my tender embrace. O when shall I behold him ? When will the swift canoe come bounding over the lake, and waft the hero to his gladsome isle ! Yes, thou happy isle; thy rocks, thy resounding glades and thy forests shall then rejoice. Gladness shall be in the village. The elders shall come forth to receive him. The festival shall be prepared. Ah me! peradventure he hath perished ! Or now expires in some bloody field ! Impetuous in his valour, and eager in the ardour of youth, perchance he rushes on the foe, and falls !” While Marano thus indulged her inquietude, the venerable Ononthio was drawing nigh to console her. He had perceived the uneasiness of her soul, and had followed her un. observed from the village. He was the father of Oneyo, one of the elders of the nation, revered for his wisdom, and beloved for his hu. manity. Temperate in his youth, and active in his old age, he was vigorous and cheerful. The furrows on his brow were not those of anxiety, but of time. His gait was stately, and his aspect gracious. He loved Marano with the affection of a father. 6. Be comforted,” he said ; “ give not thy soul to despondency. The Great Spirit who rides in the whirlwind, and speaks from the passing thunder, the father and governor of all things, will protect thee. But to merit his favour, be resigned to his will. It is impious to anticipate misery, and render ourselves unhappy before we are actually afflicted. Yet capricious, iz