Oldalképek
PDF
ePub
[graphic]

a

a

with a golden gauze-like haze, yet preserving seemed to me very insecure, but the family their tent-like outlines against the darkening chiefly inhabited an offshoot which was sky. As the sun went down, the moon rosc much later erection. I spent a delightful and shone out brightly over Killiney hills. month here ; Harry was as enthusiastic and I certainly never raw such a beautiful sight, as vehement as ever, and a truly active and or such a grouping of the points of diversified efficient parish minister. Here was a large landscape. Our packet, dashing through the body of well conditioned Protestant yeomanry, deep clear water, passed many a loitering farmers and cottiers, and the country was yacht with snowy sail; many racing boats studded with the handsome seats of an eduflew by us as we rounded the white pier of cated, well born, and very wealthy gentry. Kingstown; the harbor was crowded with Truly I was amazed, for I always considered gay crafts, among which loomed a large war that Justice Shallow's observation was pecuship. The whole population seemed to be on liarly applicable to Ireland and her sons, the long flat pier; there was music on thc · Beggars all—beggars all.” water, and the many lights on the shore But I must hasten my tale, or the new reflected from the harbor looked like trem- year will anticipate its conclusion. In the bling pillars of gold standing in the water. following December was again summoned I felt my prejudices against the Irish soil a to Dublin, and I spent my Christmas at Earllittle abated ; and a month's sojourn in the soke; they were to leave it in March for good society of Dublin nearly converted me their new house, which stood higher up in into a Philo-Hibernian. Here I found learn the valley, and less exposed to the prevailing ing without pedantry, humor without effort, western gales. The old tree, almost denuded, piety without priggism, enthusiasm for the yet with a few pale brown leaves clinging to arts without exclusiveness, much love of liter- its vast arms and distorted branches, looked ature, a growing taste for the mechanical and the rery type of gaunt and worn senility ; agricultural sciences, and thoroughly gentle yet the children dearly loved this ancient manlike hospitality; indeed, they thought servitor, regarding it I believe next to their they could never make enough of the Dean parents, and spent most of their play hours of Pimlico. So on a fine July day I went climbing amidst its branches, or racing around down to my nephew, by the Cork and Limerick its stem, or sitting in its hollow. The river express train, appointed and worked fully as ran deep, turbid, and strong. The weather well as our Great Western ; and the same was mild as the year died away, and we had evening found me sitting under a gigantic a "green, Christmas," yet the place w oak which stood almost opposite the queerest, healthy, and no deaths, thus falsifying an old oddest, and most antique of parsonages, proverb. rudely Elizabethan in its architecture, with On the last day of the year the season was low walls, lofty chimneys, mullioned windows, so sultry that the fire went out of its own and small arched door-a most unique yet accord, and no one thought of renewing it; tumble down concern. . Dear Harry was here, the sky was of a hazy blue; the air dazzling radiant with joy at seeing me; his wife hand- and trying to the eyes, and the light brassy. somer than ever, much improved and very A' nervous man would have complained of the self-possessed. The children, especially my weather, for the atmosphere seemed pregnant godson, whom they called the young Dean of with electricity. We spent the whole day Pimlico, healthy bright animals. We had wanderiny amidst the glades of the earl's tea and strawberries under the king!y tree, deer park; and the sun went down in a burnwhose hollowed stem I measured next morning fluish of bright crimson liaze, the sky all "ing, and found it to be twenty-four feet in dotted and flecked with pink clouds and girth. In the little dark parlor was a wooden copper colored lines. I never knew so still scutcheon over the mantle piece, and on it an evening. After prayers were over, we was rudely carved in the Irish or Celtic lan-walked out before the hall door, to watch the guage an inscription which Harry translated effect of the moonliglit streaming on the for me in the following fashion, “This is the great tree. The air was even sultry. It was great Earl of Desmond's hunting lodge, a splendid night, and almost as light as day; 1570." All the old portion of the house the wind rising in light gusts, and voices as

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

66

it were seeming to come from the old woods, and on the slates of the unceiled house in as it fell away into calm again. Suddenly which we were sheltered. I was pow sorry I Harry spoke,

had come, for the prospect of our home ride “ Uncle, do you not hear the galloping of a was, any thing but agreeable, and I would horse just near the bridge? Who can it beology" to its kindred winds, to be once more

willingly have given my." Treatise on Anemat this hour?"

safely under Earl Desmond's onk, or enWe all listened, and suspicion became cer- sconced in an arm chair at Mary Font's bright tainty as in about five minutes a man rode fireside. The sick man too was much better; through tlıc avenue gate, slamming it violently, it was a false alarm; he had fainted, aná and cantered up to the hall door.

they imagined it to be approaching death. " It is young Ashcroft, the earl's game- but admire Harry's great tact and adaptation

In the midst of my perplexity I could not keeper from Acton Wood; his brother John of himself, as well as his tenderness and care must be dying. IIe has had consumption for with these poor people; he seemed quite to the last year. Well, Ashcroft, what's the forget self, to be deaf to the storm and blind matter? "

to the lightning, while he read the Scriptures, “O, sir, you are wanted immediately; poor and prayed ferrently and simply, and was John has had a sudden attack, and is sinking indeed among them, like his Divine Master,

as one that serveth ; " and I confess I was rapidly." In ten minutes Harry was in the saddle; when I compared it with his disinterestedness

reproved and felt ashamed of my selfishness, and I, strange to say, loth to lose his com- and devotion. pany, and delighting in the beauty of the It was now just midnight, and it seemed as night, determined to accompany him. I was if the old year at that dread hour was batat that time writing a Treatise on Anemology, tling fiercely for his right, as amidst conand I was curious to observe from actual ob- tending elements-the storm, the lightning, servation how the wind acted on the trees the thunder, and the rain—he abdicated his and their branches, and the sound produced sovereignty, and withdrew in sullen subjecthereby: llarry mounted me on his bay cob, lion to the fated orb of Time. The clock in a steady animal that had never carried a

the keeper's kitchen had struck twelve; the Dean before; and we set out, after a most sick man had fallen asleep; we sat on, and ultra-vehernent parting between Ilarry and still on, listening to the storm, and watching the little wile, as affectionate and as protracted and praying for a change. And now the as if he were about to start for Central Africa, clock struck one, and was answered by a or depart on the Patagonian mission. He peal of thunder that shook the house and

the spoke about her on our ride, and told me very heavens;

the rain flashing against what a treasure of goodness and love she the windows, and the wind whooping, and was to him. I told him how much I really screaming, and raging out among the dense admired her, and said I had perceived how old woods with a noise and din at once horfinely and sweetly tempered her spirit had rible and confounding. Harry was urgent ecome, and finished by quoting to him, old

on me to lie down; he was dreadfully pale ; bachelor as I was, some fine lines from Mar- yet it could not be from fear, for he had twice low which run thus :

ventured out of the house, that he might

report on the probable cessation of the storm. “ The treasures of the deep are not so great Truth to speak, I was thoroughly weary, and As the concealed comforts of a man

the keeper's bed being bright, and sweet, and Locked up in woman's love.”

the sheets like snow, I.undressed, and soon We had a brilliant ride through the woods, slept soundly, and did not wake for many over the old bridge, and past the castle, hours, when I thought there appeared a faint which was all shut up, the family being in dawn; but Harry who came into the room London. But the niglit was evidently chang- with a candle, said, “no, it is the moonlight ing, and gathering for rain, and large dull still; but the storm, thank God is subsiding.' masses of cloud were sailing across the moon's He was pale as a corpse, and his clothes apface and obscuring her light. In an hour we peared to be thoroughly soaked. I quickly had reached the ranger's house, embosomed rose, and as I was dressing, he told me that, in trees, and we were scarcely, in shelter fearing for his wife and family, he had made when the storm came on most violently, the an effort to reach home shortly after two thunder rattling and pealing, the lightning o'clock. John Ashcroft had accompanied flashing every minute with a brilliancy almost him, and they had ridden swiftly through the blivding, deluging the whole air with fire, woods, keeping to the more open glades, for and the rain falling in pailfulls; the wind the boughs were falling and flying; but on driving it furiously against the window-panes, reaching the Holmes they found them all flooded, and the bridge entirely swept away ; But there was no response to that passion" and so," said Harry, "we came back to ate pleading, as his feet paused at her chamwait till dawn. Now, dear uncle, the rain is ber door. over, and your horse is ready, and let us start Yet no ruin, no destruction had been here, in God's name, for I have passed a miserable and the first flush of hope rose faintly to his night; for O, uncle, the walls and the roof brow as he turned the handle and we entered. of my house never could have stood beneath A watch light burning on the talıle, and a last night's storm; and where is my wife, Bible open at the 91st Psalm by its side, and and where are my helpless children? O! I the young wife asleep in a large arm chair am undone unless God has taken them under looking, as I thought, never more lovely his special protection, and wrought some He did not speak, or wake her, but kneeling miracle on their behalf;" his voice faltered down at her bedside he buried his face in as he spoke, and he turned his head aside. the pillows, and I knew by the strong heavI was indeed greatly affected, and shared his ings of his shoulders, that weeping, and fears, remembering well the bulging walls of thanksgiving, and the roice of adoration for the old house, and the toppling mass of heavy great goodness, and servent supplication chimney work which beetled over the roof, were all ascending together to heaven, from beneath which these poor doves had made a heart which was greatly but sweetly overtheir nest.

[graphic]

tried with sudden joy. Ile then arose, and We rode very fast, getting out on the turning to me, he cried, " uncle," and clasped high road, which was a long circuit, but safe me in his arms: and then again kneeling and smooth, passing over the river by a high down, gently, and reverently, and with a look stone bridge which the flood could not reach and a smile of unspeakable love he took his or injure. Harry scarcely spoke ; he ap- wife's fair little hand which hung over the peared to be engaged in mental prayer. We arm of the chair, and kissing it most tenpassed a farm house, with its haggard and derly, she awoke—and in a moment they Onthouses all wrecked and desolated, and its were fast locked in each other's arms. strong roof torn up. Harry shuddered, and “ Dearest Harry, God has preserved us said,

wonderfully; the old oak was split by the * If my merciful Saviour spares me this lightning early in the night, and afterwards dreadful cup, I will—I will indeed ”

fell with a frightful crash : I thought at first Here tears choked his utterance: I soothed that the house was falling, but only a few him as best I could, but he spoke no more, windows and slates were dislodged. The but kept urging his horse into a steady gal- tree fell clear of us, through God's mercy, lop, so that we soon reached the turn to the and has lain before the house all the night, valley in whose gorge the old lodge stood stretched in front, and shielding us from the half way up the hill. The moon had now storm. Dear old friend! faithful even in sunk, and it was grey dawn, I should thiuk death; and we were as secure behind its about seven o'clock, but too dark to see more mass of stem and branches as than a perch or so before us. Presently we sheltered in a castle of steel. At first I was were at the lawn gate. O! heavens,' the dreadfully alarmed, but my children were all great oak was down, lying like a huge mon- asleep, and knew nothing either of danger ater on the little lawn—not a vestige of the or of dread; and as the night wore on, and house to be seen.

I sat here working, and reading, and waiting Alas, alas! dear Harry, they are crushed for your return, I grew perfectly calm, knowto death_God's will be done.

ing that God would take care of me and He spoke not for a moment; then he mine; and so I scarcely heard the storm, stood straight up in his stirrups, and drop- and my only anxiety was about my absent ping the bridle, and clapping his hands to- husband and our good uncle here." gether, he uttered a cry so loud, so deep, so “ And mine!he said, with fervent soskrill in its heart-bursting agony that it lemnity of manner; “I will not speak of it haunted me for months after. Then leaping now, for indeed something more than the from his horse, he rushed to a little path heaviness of death was with me all the night, pluich brought us to the back of the newer in the thoughts of losing you, Mary; but I part of the dwelling, and bursting through a am well content that it should have been so lower door he ran along the passage which now, since such joy has come in the morning; led into the old rooms. As he ran, he cried but see,” said he, going to a little oriel winwith a piercing and troubled voice- dow which faced the east, “there is the first

"Mary! Mary! where are you? My wife, sunbeam over the Galtees, and I greet it my own Mary, my best wise, speak to me for from my heart; for it will not shine on a God's sake if you are alive. O, dearest, happier being under the whole wide hearspeak to me-speak to me—my wise, my ens than I am on this blessed New Year's we!”

Morning."

[graphic]

:

we were

14

[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]

66

[ocr errors]

1. Dr. Livingstone's Travels in South Africa, Spectator,

1 2. A New Life of Pope, by Mr. Carruthers, New Quarterly Reviero,

.8 3. Anatomy of a Literary Forgery,

Chambers' Journal, 4. Charles Reade and the French Originals, Athenæum,

17 5. The Demons of Pimlico,

Punch,

20 6. The Lost Envoy,

Chambers' Journal,

21 7. Crimean Tombs,

Spectator,

25 8. Recollections of a Lifetime-Mr. Goodrich, Athenæum,

26 9. Middlesex Hospital Report on Cancer,

Spectator,

30 10. The Spanish Court,

Saturday Review,

33 11. The Marriage of Fellows,

34 12. The Last of the Moguls,

Economist,

36 13. The Prussian Regency,

Saturday Review,

39 14. The Renewed Paris Conference,

Spectator,

40 15. The Schleswig-Holstein Question,

42 16. The Money Crisis,

Saturday Review,

44 17. Sepoy Proclamations and Letters,

Spectator,

46 18. “Free African” Trade,

48 19. The Smuggler's Revenge-A Sea-Side Yarn, - Tait's Magazine,

50 20. A Story for the New Year,

Dublin University Magazine, 57 POETRY.–The Demons of Pimlico, 20. A Basket of Violets in Wax, 32. Vision of the Great Eastern, 32. Panic Poetry, 32.

SHORT ARTICLES. -Summary Removal of a Native Nuisance, 7. [This little scrap may suggest to the reader much thought unimagined by the writer, upon the relations between the two races.] Russian Cure for Improvidence, 13. Indian Letters of Introduction, 13. Etiquette in Africa, 16. Hammond's Wild Northern Scenes, 29. African Risks from Travel, 29. Stanhope Prize Essay on the Character of Wickliffe, 31.

[ocr errors]

a

LITTELL’S LIVING AGE.

A .

WASAINGTON, 27 Dec., 1845. Of all the Periodical Journals devoted to literature and science which abound in Europe, and in this country, this has appeared to me the most useful. It contains indeed the exposition only of the current literature of the English Larguage; but this, by its immense extent and comprehension, includes a portraiture of the human mind, in the utmost expansion of the present age.

J. Q. ADAMS. This work is made up of the elaborate and stately essays of the Edinburgh, Quarterly, Vestminster, North Brit. ish, British Quarterly, New Quarterly, London Quarterly, Christian Remembrancer, and other Reviews; and Blackwood's noble criticisms on Poetry, his keen political Commentaries, highly wrought Tales, and vivid descriptions of rural and mountain Scenery; and contributions to Literature, History and Common Life, by the sagacious Spectator, the sparkling Eraminer, tbe judicious Athenæum, the busy and industrious literary Gazette, the learned and sedate Saturday Review, the studious and practical Economist, the keen tory Press, the sober and respectable Christian Observer : these are intermixed with the Military and Naval reminiscences of the United Service, and with the best articles of the Dublin University, New Monthly, Fraser's, Tail's, Ainsworth's, Hood's and Sporting Magazines, and of Chambers' admirable Journal, and Dickens' Household Words. We do not consider it beveath our dignity to borrow wit ard wisdom from Punch ; and, when we think it good enough, make use of the thunder of The Times. We shall increase our variety by importations from the continent of Europe, and from the new growth of the British colonies.

Published every Saturday, by LITTELL, SON & COMPANY, Boston. Price 12 cents a number, or six dollars. a year. Remittances for any period will be thankfully received and promptly attended to.

We will send the Living Age, postage freo, to all subscribers within the United Stêtes, who romit in advance, directly to the office of publication, the sum of six dollars; thus placing our distant subscribers on the samo footing as those nearer to us, and making the whole country our neighborhood.

Complete sets, hardsonnely boudd, packed in neat boxes, and delivered in all the principal cities, free of expense of freight, are for sale at two dolars a volume.

ANY VOLUME may be had separately, at twó dollars, bound, or a dollar and a half in pumbers.

ANY NUMBER may be bad for 12 cents; and it may be worth while for subscribers or purchasers to complete any broken volumes they may have, and thus greatly enbance their value.

[graphic]

LITTELL'S LIVING AGE.-No. 711.–9 JANUARY, 1858.

From Edinburgh Essays. men were soldiers as well as minstrels, and SCOTTISH BALLADS.*

were cunning with the sword as with the A GREEK girl traced the shadow of, her harp-string. On the morning of Hastings, lover's face on a sunny wall. That, says Taillefer asked and obtained permission from the legend, was the birth of painting. The William to lead the onset." He sang in a death of one of the lions of the early loud voice the “Song of Roland” in the world may have given birth to the twin arts front of the Norman army, then striking of poetry and music. The barbarian return-spurs into his horse, he rode forward still ing to his village laden with the spoils of the singing, and dashed his life out in an ecstacy chase, or driving before him a crowd of cap on the Saxon spears. After the Conquest, tives, must have a poet to rehearse his tri- the English kings were great patrons of umphs, to celebrate the strength of his arm poets and minstrels, and some of them were and the terror of his unconquerable spear. no mean brethren of the craft, and could To some such rude source we may trace back touch the harp themselves. Richard I. was the sacred streams of poetry and music which an accomplished musician, and composed have flowed down to us out of unknown verses. The story how one of the king's time. From his power of conferring a new minstrels, Blondell by name, rescued his masdistinction on warlike achievements, the bard ter from captivity is familiar to most readers. or singer has ever been held in respect. It was known in England that Richard had His songs are a kind of rude fame. He is returned from Palestine, but no one could the depositary of the traditions of his tribe. tell in what country he was detained. BlonHis memory is the archives of his people, dell travelled through many lands in search and therein are preserved their rolls of glory. of the king, till his wanderings led him one We find the singer in every ancient nation, day to a strong castle. On inquiry. he by the rainy shores of the Baltic, in the vast learned that the fortress belonged to the Germanic forests ; and everywhere he is re- Duke of Austria, and that it contained a sin garded as one possessing surpassing knowl-gle prisoner; but no one could tell him his edge, who has mysterious kindred with the name. The minstrel took up his place beelements, and who in solitary places bears neath one of the grated windows, and began the messages of the gods. He passes from to sing a song in French, which he and the land to land, walks into the heart of hostile king had at one time composed together. camps, and sits down at the very carousals of Richard started when the familiar tones fell his foes. He finds a welcome in the den of upon his ear, and recognized Blondell's voice. the robber, and in the rush-strewn hall of He immediately took up the strain, and sang the prince. When at rich and solemn feast the remaining half

. By that token Blondell the monarch is seated on the dais surrounded knew it was the king, and returning to Engby his earls, there is also the minstrel and land discovered to the barons where their his harp. What were a banquet without master was imprisoned. In the reign of song and the recital of the deeds of heroes ? Richard II. a court of minstrels was estabThe wild boar's flesh is tasteless, the mead is lished, which obtained a charter, had power ditch-water, it cannot fire the blood, nor tin- to evact laws, and every year elected a king gle to the brain. In course of time chivalry to preside over them. By the time of Elizbrought the Troubadour, a more courtly and abeth the craft had fallen into disrepute, the splendid personage than his predecessor, minstrel was profanely classed with“ rogues, who knew another god than Odin, believed vagabonds, and sturdy beggars," and seems in quite a different Valhalla, and relished to have been better acquainted with the staff softer pleasures than drinking ale out of the of the constable, than with the tables of the skulls of departed warriors. Some of these rich or the favor of princes. Although more

[* By the poet Alexander Smith; Secretary to emphatically the home of minstrelsy than the University.)

DCCXI. LIVING AGE. VOL. IX. 5

[graphic]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]
« ElőzőTovább »