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We were all - Julia, her aunt, and my- Julia never appeared half so beautiful self, seated at a comfortable fire on a December evening. The night was “ But pleasures are like poppies spread; dark, starless, and rainy, while the You seizo the flower, its bloom is shed." drops pattered upon the windows, and So saith Robert Burns; and, truth the wind howled at intervals along the to speak, his distich was never more house-tops. In a word, it was as effectually verified than at this integloomy a night as one would wish to resting moment. A servant bouncing see in this, the most dismal season of by accident into a room where a galthe year. Strictly speaking, I should lant is on his knees before his mishave been at home, for it was Sunday; tress, and in the act of “popping the and my own habitation was at too question,” is vexatious. An ass thrustgreat a distance to justify a visit of ing its head through the broken winwere ceremony on so sacred a day, dow of a country church, and braying and amid such stormy weather. The aloud while the congregation are busily truth is, I sallied out to see Julia. chanting “Old Hundred,” or some
I verily believe I could write a other equally devout melody, is vexawhole volume about her. She came tious. An elderly gentleman losing from the north country, and was at this his hat and wig on a windy day, is time on a visit to her aunt, in whose vexatious. A young gentleman athouse she resided ; and in whose din- tempting to spring over a stile by way ing-room, at the period of my story, of showing his agility to a bevy of apwe were all seated round a comforta- proaching ladies, and coming plump ble fire. Though a prodigious admirer down upon the broadest part of his of beauty, I am a bad hand at describ- body, is vexatious. All these things ing it. To do Julia justice, however, are plagues and annoyances sufficient I must make the attempt. She was to render life a perfect nuisance, and rather under the middle size, (not fill the world with innumerable heartmuch,) blue-eyed, auburn-haired, fair- breakings and felo-de-sees. But bad complexioned, and her shape was of as they are, they are nothing to the uncommon elegance and proportion. intolerable vexation experienced by Neck, bosom, waist, ankles, feet, me, and I believe by Julia too,) on hands, &c., all were perfect, while ber hearing a slow, loud, solemn stroke of nose was beautifully Grecian, her the knocker upon the outer door. It mouth sweetness itself, and her teeth was repeated once-twice-thrice. We as white and sparkling as pearls. In a heard it simultaneously—we ceased word, I don't believe that wide Scot- speaking simultaneously—we (to wit, land could boast of a prettier girl—to Julia and I) ceased ogling each other say nothing of merry England and the simultaneously. The whole of us susIsle of Saints.
pended our conversation in a moment It was at this time about eight-looked to the door of the roomo'clock; tea had just been over, the breathed hard, and wondered what it tray removed, and the table put to could be. The reader will perhaps rights. The star of my attraction was marvel how such an impression could seated at one side of the fire, niyself be produced by so very trivial a cirat the opposite, the lady of the house cumstance; but if he himself had in the centre. We were all in excel- heard the sound, he would cease to lent humor, and Julia and I eyed each wonder at the strangeness of our feel. other in the most persevering style ings. The knocks were the most eximaginable. Her aunt indeed rallied traordinary ever heard. They were us upon the occasion ; and I thought not those petty, sharp, brisk, soda
19 ATHENEUM, vol. 2, 3d series.
water knocks, given by little, bustling, seemned to stand aghast at such a stucommon-place men. On the contrary, pendous substitute, and its yawning they were slow, sonorous, and deter- aperture shrunk with apprehension lest minate. What was still more remarka- its jaws should be torn asunder by the ble, they were three in number, nei- entrance of so great a mass of animatther more nor less. There was some- ed materials. thing awe-inspiring in this recondite Onward, clothed in black, came the number; and the strokes themselves moving mountain, and a very pleasing were sufficiently striking and solemn monster he was. A neck like that of to excite attention, had they been even a rhinoceros sat piled between his more or less numerous than they were.
“ Atlantean shoulders,” and bore upon I should think that between each there its lower-like and sturdy stem, a counmust have been a pause of at least tenance prepossessing from its goodseven seconds and a half; and they humor, and amazing for its plumpness were given with a firmness which be- and rubicundity. His cheeks were tokened no ordinary strength of hand. swollen out into billows of fat-his The knocker, besides, I knew to be eyes overbung with turgid and most extremely stiff, so much so that on my majestic lids, and his chin double, entrance I could not make it move on triple, ay quadruple. As for his its hinges, and was obliged to make mouthmy presence known by striking the " It was enough to win a lady's heart door with my knuckles. All circum With its bewitching smile." stances considered, I think we were Onward came the moving mountain justified in being a good deal fluttered --shaking the floor beneath his tread, by the majestic KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK, filling a tithe of the room with his occurring as it did on a Sunday even- bulk, and blackening every object ing—a time when all good people are, with his portentous shadow. or ought to be, at their devotions, in I was amazed I was confounded stead of strolling out, as was my case, I was horrified. Not so Julia and her to the great scandal of religion, and aunt, who, far from participating in danger of their own souls.
my perturbed emotions, got up from Scarcely had our surprise time to their seats, siniled with a welcoming subside, than we heard the outer door nod, and requested him to sit down. opened by the servant—then it closed “Glad to see you, Mr. Tims," said -then heavy footsteps, one, two, and Julia. three, were audible in the lobby—then “Glad to see you, Mr. Tims,” said the dining-room door was opened ; her aunt. and a forni which filled the whole of « Mr. Tims !” Gracious heavens ! its ample aperture, froin top to bot- and was this the name of the mighty tom, from right to left, made its ap- entrant ? Tims! Tims ! Tims!-the pearance. It was the figure of a man, thing was impossible. A man with but language would sink under his im- such a name should be able to go into mensity. Never in heaven, or earth, a nut-shell; and here was one that or air, or ocean, was such a man seen. the womb of a mountain could scarceHe was hugeness itself-bulk personi- ly contain ! Had he been called Sir fied—the beau ideal of amplitude. When Bullion O’Dunder, Sir Theodosius the dining room door was first opened, M‘Turk, Sir Rugantino Magnificus, the glare of the well-lighted lobby Sir Blunderbuss Blarney, or some gleamed in upon us, illuminating our other high-sounding name, I should whole apartment with increase of lus- have been perfectly satisfied. But to tre; but no sooner did he set his foot be called Tims ! Upon my honor, I upon the threshold, than the lobby was shocked to hear it. The very first light behind him was shut out. He principles of unity were outraged, and filled the whole gorge of the door like the most atrocious discord substituted an enormous shade. The door itself in their place.
Mr. Tims sat him down upon the What was to be done! With the great elbow-chair, for he was a friend, ladies, it was plain, I could do noit seems, of the family—a weighty one thing ; with Mr. Tims, it was equally assuredly; but one whose acquaint- plain, I ought to do nothing—seeing anceship they were all glad to court. that, however much he was the cause The ladies, in truth, seemed rouch of my uneasiness, he was at least the taken with his society. They put fifty innocent cause, and therefore neithet questions to him about the play-the morally nor judicially amenable to assembly-the sermon marriages – punishment. His offence was unpredeaths-christenings, and what not; meditated; the reverse of what lawthe whole of which he answered with yers call malice prepense, and consesurprising volubility. His tongue was quently not a penal one. It is all the only active part about him, going very well, however, to talk of moralias glibly as if he were ten stones, in- ty and legality. When a man's passtead of thirty, and as if he were a sions are up, his sense of justice is T'ims in person as well as in 'name. asleep, and all idea of rectitude bidIn a short time I found myself total- den in the blinded impulse of indigly neglected. Julia ceased to eye me, nation. From respecting Mr. Tims I her aunt to address me, so completely came to hate him; and I vowed inwere their thoughts occupied with the ternally, that, rather than be annihiMan-Mountain.
lated by this enlarged edition of DaIn about half an hour I began to niel Lambert, I would pitch him over feel confoundedly uncomfortable. I the window. Had I been a giant, I was a mere cipher in the room; and am sure I would have done it on the what with the appalling bulk of Mr. spot. The giants of old, it is well Tims, the attention the ladies be- known, raised Pelion upon Ossa, in stowed upon him, and the neglect their efforts to scale the throne of with which they treated me, I sunk heaven; and tossed enormous mounconsiderably in my own estimation. tains at the godhead of Jupiter himIn proportion as this feeling took pos- self. Unfortunately for me, Mr. Tims session of me, I experienced an invo was a mountain, and I was no giant. luntary respect for the stranger. I Under these circumstances, there admired his intimate knowledge of was no help for me but to march off, balls, dresses, faux pas, marriages, and take myself away from such a and gossip of all sorts-and still more scene of annoyance. It was plain, I I admired his bulk. I have an in- was no longer the “lion" of the night, stinctive feeling of reverence towards but a feeble star dwindled into shade “ Stout Gentlemen;" and, while con before the presence of a more glorious trasting my own puny form with his, luminary-the ladies ceased to worI labored under a deep consciousness ship at my deserted shrine. I acof personal insignificance. From be- cordingly got up, and, pretending it ing five feet eight, I seemed to shrink was necessary that I should see some to five feet one ; from weighing ten person in the next street, abruptly stones, I suddenly fell to seven and a left the room. Julia-I did not exhalf; while my portly rival sat oppo- pect it-saw me to the door, shook site to me, measuring at least a foot hands with me, and said she hoped Í taller than myself, and weighing good would return to supper when my thirty stones, jockey weight. If any business was finished. Sweet girl! little fellow like me thinks of stand- was it possible she could prefer the ing well with his mistress, let bim Man-Mountain to me? never appear in her presence with Away I went into the open air. I such a gentleman as Mr. Tims. She had no business whatever to perform; will despise him to a certainty; nor, it was mere fudge; and I resolved to though his soul be as large as Atlas or go home as fast as I could. Teneriffe, will it compensate for the But I did not go home. On the paltry dirnensions of his body. contrary, I kept strolling about from
street to street, sometimes thinking limest hymn ever sung, save by the upon Julia, sometimes upon Mr. Tims. inspired bards of Israel. I was carThe night was of the most melancholy ried away to the far off South sea, description—a cold, cloudy, windy, where, at sunset, the Peak of Tenerainy December night. Not a soul riffe blackens the ocean for fifteen was upon the streets excepting a soli- miles with his majestic shadow dilated tary straggler, returning hither and upon the waves.
Then the snowy thither from an evening sermon, or Chimborazo cleaving the sky with his an occasional watchman gliding past wedge-like shoulders, arose before with his lantern, like an incarnation me; and the exalted summit of volof the Will-o'-wisp. I strolled up canic Cotopaxi-both glooming the and down for half an hour, wrapped Andes with shade. Then Ida, and in an olive great coat, and having a Pindus, and Olympus, were made rigreen silk umbrella over my head. It sible to my spirit. I beheld the fauns was well I chanced to be so well for- and satyrs bounding and dancing in the tified against the weather; for had it shadows of these classic mountains, been otherwise, I must have been while the Grecian maids walked in drenched to the skin. Where I went, beauty along their sides, singing to I know not, so deeply was iny mind their full-toned lyres, and perchance wound up in its various melancholy discoursing of love, screened from the cogitations. This, however, I do know, noontide sun. Then I few away to that, after striking against sundry the vales of Scotland—to Corrichoich, lamp-posts, and overturning a few old cooled by the black shade of Morven; women in my fits of absence, I found to the GREAT GLEN, where, at sunset myself precisely at the point froin and sunrise, the image of Bennevis which I set out, viz., at the door of lies reflected many a rood upon its Julia's aunt's husband's house. surface, and the Lochy murmurs un
I paused for a moment, uncertain der a canopy of mountain cloud. whether to enter, and, in the mean I paused at the door for some time, time, turned my eyes to the window, uncertain whether to enter; at last where, upon the white blind, I beheld my mind was made up, and I knocked, the enormous shadow of a human be- resolved to encounter the Man-Mouning. My flesh crept with horror on tain a second time, and, if possible, witnessing this apparition, for I knew recover the lost glances of Julia. On it to be the shadow of the Man- entering the dining-room, I found an Mountain—the dim reflection of Mr. accession to the company in the perTims. No other human being could son of our landlord, who sat opposite cast such a shade. Its proportions to Mr. Tims, listening to some facewere magnificent, and filled up the tious story which the latter gentleman whole breadth of the window-screen ; seemed in the act of relating. He nay, the shoulders shot away latterly had come home during my absence, beyond its utmost limits, and were and, like his wife and her niece, aplost in space, having apparently no- peared to be fascinated by the elothing whereon to cast their mighty im- quence and humor of his stout friend. age. On beholding this vast shade, At least, so I judged, for he merely my mind was filled with a thousand recognised my presence by a slight exalted thoughts. I was carried away bow, and devoted the whole of his atin imagination to the mountain soli- tention to the owner of the mighty tudes of the earth. I saw Mont shadow. Julia and her aunt were siBlanc lifting his white, bald head, in- milarly occupied, and I was to cold immensity, and flinging the neglected than ever. gloom of his gigantic presence over I felt horribly annoyed. There the whole sweep of the vale of Cha- was a palpable injustice in the whole mouni---that vale in which the master case, wbich to me was utterly unenmind of Coleridge composed the sub- durable ; and my wrath boiled over in
fierce but bootless vehemence. The table. I had beheld his person and subjects on which the company con- his shadow with equal admiration, and versed were various, but the staple I doubted not that his powers of eattheme was love. Mr. Tims related ing were on the same great scale as some of his own love adventures, his other qualifications. They were which were, doubtless, sufficiently indeed. Zounds, how he did eat! amusing, if we may judge by the Milo of Grotona, who could kill an shouts of laughter they elicited from ox with the blow of his fist, and deall the party-myself only excepted. vour it afterwards, was nothing to him;
Perhaps the reader may think that I felt as if he could consume a whole there was something ludicrous in the flock of oxen. He was a Cyclops, a idea of such a man being in love. Pantagruel, a Gargantua : bis stomach Not at all the notion was sublime; resembled the sieve of the hoinicidal almost as sublime as his shadow-al- daughters of Danaus; it was insatiamost as overwhelming as his person. ble. Cold veal, eggs, bacon-ham, and Conceive the Man-Mountain playing Welsh rabbit disappeared “like the the amiable with a delicate young baseless fabric of a vision, and left not creature like Julia. Conceive him a wreck behind;" so thoroughly had falling on his knees before her-press- nine-tenths of them taken up their ing her delicate hand, and “popping abode in the bread basket (vide John the question,” while his large round Bee) of the Man-Mountain ; the reeyes shed tears of affection and sus- maining tenth sufficed for the rest of pense, and his huge side shook with the company, viz. Julia, her aunt, her emotion! Conceive him enduring all aunt's husband, and myself. the pangs of love-sickness-never Liquor was brought in, to wit, wine, telling his love ; “ concealment, like a brandy, whisky, and rum. I felt an worm in the bud, preying upon his intense curiosity to see on which of damask cheek," while his hard-hearted the four Mr. Tims would fix bis mistress stood disdainfully by, “like choice. He fixed upon brandy, and pity on a monument, smiling at grief.” made a capacious tumbler of hot todAbove all, conceive him taking the dy. I did the same, and asked Julia lover's leap-say from Dunnet or Dun- to join me in taking a single glass-I capsby-head, where the rocks tower was forestalled by the Man-Mountain. four hundred feet above the Pentland I then asked the lady of the house the Firth, and foundering in the waters same thing, but was forestalled by her like an enormous whale; the herring husband. These repeated disapshoals burrying away from his un- pointments overwhelmed me with rage wieldy gambols, as from the presence and despair ; and to add to my other of the real sea-born leviathan. Ca- pangs, the fiend of Jealousy, wreathed cus in love was not more grand, or the with snakes like the Fury Tisiphone, gigantic Polyphemus, sighing at the appeared before me-for I noticed Juseet of Galatea, or infernal Pluto lia and Mr. Tims interchanging mutulooking amiable beside his ravished al glances, and blushing deeply when queen. Have you seen an elephant in detected. The Man-Mountain was, love? If you have, you may conceive after all, a person of sensibility-a what Mr. Tims would be in that in- man of fine feelings—a reader doubtteresting situation.
less of the Sketch Book-subject to Supper was brought in. It con fits of melancholy, and very sentimensisted of eggs, cold veal, bacon-ham, tal. and a Welsh rabbit. I must confess, Meanwhile, the evening wearing on, that, perplexed as I was by all the the ladies retired, and Mr. Tims, the previous events of the evening, I felt landlord, and myself, were left to a gratification at the present moment, ourselves. This was the signal for a in the anxiety to see how the Man- fresh assault upon the brandy-bottle. Mountain would comport himself at Another tumbler was made-ihen an