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lochs, as in rivers, fish rise best that I intended to spare the hatchwhen a heavy flood begins to sub- ing eagle, she would be pretty sure side gradually. But white trout, to meet with an untimely end by grilse, and salmon never do well if some foul play. Early next day, the loch falls in rapidly, as most therefore, I started with him for anglers know is the case in river- the eyrie in the Corbie's Rock. It floods. Fish colour very soon in was little more than an hour's many of the island lochs, from the climb before we found ourselves mossy streams which feed them. at the opposite side of the chasm, So in most of the northern rivers, where we hoped the eagle was from the same cause. As river-fish securely sitting. The non-appear. seek out the deep pools before ance of her mate was rather a bad spawning-time, so the loch-salmon omen. John had seen him fly keep off banks, points, and shal- across the glen like lightning lows, getting into deeper water pre- about a week before, as if jealous of paratory to choosing their spawn- intrusion. Still, however, we deing-beds in the river. Soon after termined to act with caution. Sitthis they creep down the streams, ting down, we took off our brogues, look out their pools, then return to uncased the heavy gun, relieved the loch till it is time to take final ourselves of deer-glass and every possession. Both in lochs and other incumbrance, and then picked rivers, fish are capital barometers. our way noiselessly along the cliffs, They are very sulky before rain, till we stood right under the eyrie. and won't rise till it falls. There I now made a sign to John to rouse are certain times when fish rise the bird. His summons grew louder freely in some pool of the river, or and louder, but there was no rush particular point of rock in the loch, from the nest, no heavy flap in the refusing the most tempting lures air. It was evident the eyrie was on the rest of the water. In these tenantless. We soon gained the small lochs it is best to fish with a summit of the crag, but neither bob-fly as well as a trail. The bob eaglet nor egg was in the nest. As often attracts fish to rise at the a shepherd who knew of the eagles trail that would not otherwise rise had been complaining of their deat all. If the flies are small, or the predations, we suppose that he had waves high, the bob is the more scared them before the eggs were necessary. With decided waves, laid. however, fish are apt to miss the I have seen many an eyrie, but fly.
never so fitting a home for an eagle. On the Dalmally fishings of the It lay upon the only ledge of a perUrchy, only one small salmon had pendicular boulder, opposite to a been caught during the last ten corresponding mass of granite, and days ; it was, therefore, with no surrounded by jagged rocks and piscatorial longings we left Dal caverns, habitations of the badger, mally Inn, and pursued our home- whose recent marks were visible all ward course through the braes of round. The marten-cat also used Breadalbane to Glen Falloch. My to shelter here (pity that it does not keeper met us within a short dis- still !); and John informed me that tance of the gate, with tidings that a venerable goat from Balquhidder a golden eagle had built on our made this cairn his refuge from the northern hill. Having already a winter storms. “He was as wild as fine specimen in my collection, I a deer,” said he, “and I wondered would fain have left her to hatch to see how clane and sure-footed he in peace. True to the game, how- wad sprung from rock to rock when ever, John expostulated, not only the terriers were for after him.” that we should be held responsible The chasm is known as the Corfor every dead lamb on the hills, bie's Rock, from a pair of ravens but that, as soon as it was known having built there for many a year, VOL. XCII.NO. DLXII,
and this is the first season, within Scotland owes the recovery of the memory of the shepherds, of an Tetruoan king. The famous cock eagle having taken possession of of the wood has now wandered so the Raven's Fort. The former ten- far from its nursery of Drummond ants often attempted to make their Hill, that it is constantly flushed in nest on the eagle's shelf, but the the fir and larch woods for many wind was always too strong for miles round. At a capercailzie them and swept their fabric away. battue last winter, on the confines They were therefore forced to choose of Perthshire, several full-feathered a more accessible and less exposed cocks were the trophies of the day ; recess, while the royal bird fearlessly no doubt these introductions are made its home in the blast.
foreigners of distinction, and as Far from chagrin, my feeling was, such we receive them. It is not, on the contrary, pleasure, that these however, the decrease of game, either noble catterans still range Glen winged or footed, that I fear; the Falloch mountains, and take their danger rather is, that by over-preshare of the spoil. Although game- serving they will multiply so fast keepers, both Saxon and Sassenach, as to become dwarfed or die off by may be excused for pluming them- epidemic disease. selves on their wholesale extermina The case is very different with tion, a true Celt will always take our Scottish rivers ; their monarch pride in the higher class of carni- is fast declining both in size and vora, and point to them as among number. We have the prospect, the grandest ornaments of his hills. indeed, that a Salmon Bill, by givThat magnificent game-birds have ing some check to these murderbeen lately introduced is no doubt ous bag-nets, may in time raise his deeply interesting to the naturalist; scale in the waters. But what but somehow he associates them favour can we expect for those outwith the countries from whence laws and their marauding chief, to they came, and feels inclined to whom Nature has given a dominion regard them as exiles. The gobble in our mountains and glens, yet of the wild turkey-cock among the against whom every hand is raised ? remote copses and tangled coverts It is not, of course, for the pilferers, of Rossdhu, does away for a moment thriving everywhere and destroying with the broad Atlantic, and trans- whole nestfuls of eggs, that I would ports the listener to the American intercede—only for those mighty backwoods. These beautiful birds, plunderers associated from boyhood nearly the size of a Norfolk turkey, with our wilder sports. We should are of a rich bronze colour, shining lament their extinction, and feel like gold in the sun ; when dis- that the poetry of their presence turbed they run into thick wood, was as necessary to complete the or fly for refuge into trees.
savage grandeur of the scene as that It is to Lord Breadalbane that of the Red Indian on his prairie.
A SERIES OF ESSAYS ON LIFE, LITERATURE, AND MANNERS.
By the Author of "The Caxton Family.'
NO. X. -ON THE MORAL EFFECT OF WRITERS.
GODWIN has somewhere remarked were created by their artists is anon the essential distinction between nulled, but their effect is existent the moral object and the moral and imperishable. It may indeed tendency of a work. A writer may be said that the refinement or even present to you, at the end of his the elevation of the intellect is not book, some unexceptionable dogma necessarily an improvement to the which parents would cordially ad- moral being; and unquestionably mit into the copy-book ethics of it must be owned that an inditheir children, yet, in the process vidual, nay sometimes a generation, of arriving at his harmless aphor- may combine exquisite refinement ism, he may have led the mind as of taste with profound corruption much astray into mischief as it is of manners—just as it is possible in his power to do. On the other that an individual or a generation hand, a writer may seek to work may unite a sincere devotion to the out a proposition, from the moral mild Christian faith with the savage truth of which there would be a fanaticism of a follower of Omar ; very general dissent, and yet be but the salutary effect of Art, as either harmless, or often instructive that of Christianity, must be sought and elevating, from the reasonings not in an individual nor in a generawhich he employs, or even from tion, but in the concrete masses of the mere art which embellishes his society, and in the progressive hiscomposition, and supersedes, in the tory of the human race. In Art the mind of tlie reader, the purpose to salutary effect may not be directly which the art was applied. For Art and immediately derived from the itself is essentially ethical ; because original standards, models, and every true work of Art must have types of Beauty ; more often it is a beauty or grandeur of some kind, to be indirectly and remotely traced, and beauty and grandeur cannot be in countless succession, through an comprehended by the beholder ex- intricate variety of minds, to which cept through the moral sentiment. the originals have suggested new The eye is only a witness ; it is not forms of Art, new presentations of a judge. The mind judges what Beauty. In the heathen temples the eye reports to it; therefore, of the East originated the outlines whatever elevates the moral sen of the Gothic architecture now so timent to the contemplation of essentially Christian. beauty and grandeur is in itself Art, in fact, is the effort of man ethical. Though no Christian can to express the ideas which Nature approve the idolatrous worship to suggests to him of a power above which the Parthenon was devoted, Nature, whether that power be or which the Apollo Belvidere re within the recesses of his own presented, few Christians nowadays being, or in the Great First Cause would deny that the human intel- of which Nature, like himself, is lect has been refined and exalted but the effect. by the study of those masterpieces Art employs itself in the study of Art. The object for which they of Nature, for the purpose of imply
ing, though but by a hint or a there is not some creation which symbol, the supernatural. By the external Nature never produced ; word supernatural I mean, not that in which there are not appeals to which is against Nature but, that sympathies, affections, aspirations which is above Nature. Man him- —which would be the same in the self, in this sense of the word (the innermost shrine of man's being, if only sense in which Philosophy can external Nature were annihilated, employ it), is supernatural. And and man left a spirit in a world of hence Jacobi, justly termed by Sir spirit. William Hamilton" the pious and As, in the art of masonry, sculpprofound,” says, with felicitous ture, or colour, the effect of true boldness, that it is the supernatural art is ethical, whatever the oriin man which reveals to him the ginal intention or object of the God whom Nature conceals. Mere artist-so it is in the art of lanNature does not reveal a Deity to guage.
All Genius comprehends such of her children as cannot con Art as its necessity : where there is ceive the supernatural. She does no art, there can be no genius in a not reveal Him to the cedar and book, any more than without art the rose, to the elephant and the there can be genius in a picture or moth. Man alone, from his own a statue. Every book of first-rate supernatural—that is, his own spirit- genius is and must be a work of ual-attribute, conceives at once, first-rate art; though it may be a even in his most savage state, even kind of art so opposed to the fashion in his earliest infancy, the idea of of the day that the common critithe Supernatural which Nature, cism of the day, nay even the finest without such attribute in man him- taste of the day, may not detect self, could not reveal to him; and and appreciate it. Neither Ben out of that conception is born Art, Jonson nor even Milton comprewhich we not only degrade, but hended the sovereign Mastership of altogether mistake and falsify, if Art in Shakespeare. But Shakewe call it the imitation of Nature. speare himself could not have been
The acanthus leaf may suggest conscious of his own art. And no the form of a capital to a column; writer, whatever his moral object, a vista through the forest stems can foresee what in the course of may suggest a peristyle or ages may be the moral effect of aisle. But a temple, whether in his performance. Assyria, in Greece, in China, in The satirical design in ‘Gulliver's England, is no imitation of Nature Travels' is certainly not that which -it is a selection from Nature of philanthropists would commend to certain details arranged into a the approval of youth. It seeks to whole, to which no whole in Nature mock away all by which man's has resemblance, and intended to original nature is refined, softened, convey ideas of a something which exalted, and adorned; it directs the man conjectures or divines to be edge of its ridicule at the very supernatural by reason of the su roots of those interests and motives pernatural within himself.
by which society has called cities It is thus with art in sculpture, from the quarry, and gardens from in masonry, in colour; it is so with the wild ; and closes all its assaults the nobler art which finds sculpture, upon the framework of civilised masonry, and colour in man's most communities with the most ruthless primitive expression of thought, libel upon man himself that ever Language.
gave the venom of Hate to the There is no work of true Art in stingings of Wit. Yet the book language existent, nor can there itself, in spite of its design, has no ever be one, in which there is not immoral, no misanthropical influexpressed the idea of a power be- ence: we place it without scruple yond external Nature; in which in the hands of our children : the
lampoon upon humanity is the fa- of the journey left on the mind devourite fairy tale of the nursery. pends on the features of the counAnd I doubt if any man can say try traversed, and the companions that he was ever the worse for all one has had by the way. It is not that was meant to make him scorn rendered alike in both the traveland detest his species in The Voy- lers because they meet at last under age to Laputa or the description of the same sign, and conclude their the Yahoos ; while the art of the adventures with a chop off the same book is so wonderful in rendering mutton. lifelike the creations of a fancy It is the property of true genius, only second to Shakespeare's in its in proportion as time acts upon its power of “ imagining new worlds,” works, to lose its deleterious parthat, age after age, it will contri- ticles, and retain only those which bute to the adornment and im- are innocuous or salutary. The inprovement of the human race, by terests of mankind never concede perpetual suggestions to the in- lasting popularity to works that ventive genius by which, from age would seriously injure them. Some to age, the human race is adorned works, it is true, of an order infeor improved. None of us can fore- rior to that which is assigned to the see what great discoveries, even in masterpieces of genius, may be depractical science, may have their cidedly wicked in their effect if infirst germ in the stimulus given to discriminately read; but look for a child's imaginative ideas by the them a few generations after their perusal of a work in which genius first appearance, and you will never has made fiction truthlike, and the find them amongst the current litermarvellous natural. “Wonder," says ature of a people—they will have Aristotle, “is the first cause of shrunk out of sight in the obscure philosophy.” This is quite as true corners of learned libraries, referred in the progress of the individual as to only by scholars or historians as in that of the concrete mind ; and illustrations of manners in a bythe constant aim of philosophy is gone age, and read by them with to destroy its parent. In vain. the same cold scientific eye that a Where wonder is ejected from one physician casts upon specimens of form it reappears in another morbid anatomy. The works that transmutable always—destructible remain incorporated in the world's never.
literature all serve to contribute to But, to return to the distinction the world's improvement. Passages, betwen the object and the tendency indeed, here and there, as in the of an author's work. No one would classic poets, are extremely censurthink it necessary to vindicate the able ; but they sink into insignifimorality of Johnson's Rasselas,' few cance compared with the general would extol the morality in Vol- excellence of the pervading wholes taire's 'Candide,'yet there is so much —as, in mortal life, human impersimilarity in the moral object of the fections and blemishes little affect two stories, that Voltaire congratu- the good derivable from the large lated himself on having published example of a saint's or a hero's 'Candide' before ‘Rasselas' appear- character. From Nature herself ed, otherwise, he said, “I should we may select partial evil. If we have been accused of plagiarising choose, out of all her products, to the philosopbical conception of the take the nightshade for our nutridistinguished Englishman." ment, though, beside the hedge in
In fact, as two travellers may ar which it lurks, the prodigal corn rive at the same inn by different glitters ripe in the sun, we may cerroads and in different company, so tainly harm ourselves, and lay the two writers can arrive at the same fault upon Nature ; but Nature is moral conclusion through very dif- not to blame if we devour the ferent paths; and the impression nightshade and eschew the corn.