« AnteriorContinuar »
This was our cafe exactly, and if it had continued more than twenty four hours, the ship was in such a condition, she could not live; but the winds and seas abated the second day, and we had a gale such as we could wish, that brought us in a few days within fight of the western islands. We . steered for St. Kilda, and intended to go from thence to Borera, which lies within three leagues of it, and at last pay our visit to Mr. West. But in a fog we mist them both, and came full upon a fine little country, called the Green Islands which lies ten leagues to the north-west of St. Kilda.
Uprais'd from its deep seat by th' adverse blast
Mountains of water rise,
And fall with their own weight: on the high surge
Now for my part, I declare, that to my thinking, And experiences in many storms I have been in at sea, Lucm is the best painter; inserior tho his Pbarsa
lia sept. io. Here we landed the 20th of September. All 174' Mr. Martin fays of this land is, that he believes he saw it at a distance once, and a captain of a ship told him he had been on it. A descrip- The Green Island is three miles long, and Greenthc tnoTC *^&n two Droacl- The surface is beautifully unequal, and in every point of view quite charming. The ground is covered with trefoil, and flowery plants of the aromatic kind. There are a hundred little beautiful woods upon the hills, and the sweetest streams come murmuring down their sides.
It was six o'clock in the afternoon when we went on shore, and could fee no sign of any inhabitants on this land. We therefore ordered the tents to be struck up, and in a delightfull valley, between two woody hills, by the side of a water-fall, we resolved to pass some days. Here supper was to be served up, and as the evening was glorious, the scene solemn and fine, we thought ourselves prodigious happy in so agreeable a change. It was agreed, while our repast Wa9 preparing, to have a concert, and the instruments were immediately brought; but before we
lia be to the Æneid of Maro: and if he had not been cut off at fix and twenty by Ner»y but had been allowed to finish his design, and to correct his poem as many years as Virgil did his, perhaps it would not have fallen very short of the Æneid; different as the language was between Augustus and Nero. ,
could vre could begin, we heared some music, as of many hands, divinely played. This struck us all with astonishment, as there was not a house, or a soul to be seen. Our captain swore he had at last discovered the inchanted island. The wisest of us could not tell what to fay to it; and the weakest, some sailors, natives of the Western Islands, assured us very seriously, that it was the great men ; so they call spirits, which reside, as these islanders think, in the beautiful vallies of these isles: They affirmed, that in Benbeculay there was the finest glen in the world, which was full of these beings, and that only once in a year the inhabitants presumed to enter it, to gather what cattle was there* after invoking the permission and favor of the great men j who were frequently seen there, and often performed in a musical manner, as we had heared. And what do you mean, I asked, by the great men? They answered, the souls of the kings and champions, who lived and ruled in those islands, in former times, when they were as populous and flourishing countrys as any in the world.
Be they great men or great women, hoblins, or goblins, Jairys or genii of whatever station, (captain Scarlet replyed) I will soon give you a good account of them, ladys, and immediately went up the winding vale; crossed the water, and proceeded to a charming grove on the side of an easy hill, from whence the harmony in floods was poured. He softly entered among the trees, and had not got very far before he came to the fofs of a garden of many acres, that was beyond everything he had seen most delightfully fine: In the center of this beautiful spot, he saw a vm, that seemed to him of wood, and consisted of ground-rooms. Many open little summer-houses, various in charms, were scattered up and down, by banks of flowers, and on the margins of streams, and in one of them, that was grandly lighted by a lustre that hung, were twenty ladys sitting round a table. Most of them had their instruments in their 'hands, and others joyned their heavenly voices, in performing the oratorio you have heared by the echo of the hills so plane. They are all divinely fair, (captain Scarlet continued) and look like favorite Seraphs performing a musical religious act: He added, that he was within twenty yards of them, or thereabout, exclusive of the soft, but dared not to discover himself, for fear he should shock them, or offend.
This account amazed us as much as if he had told us he had seen the great men, and for some time we were at a loss how to proceed: but determined at last to go on with our music, and fee what effect that would produce. We began the delightful symphony ny in the opera of Rowland, and eccho very quickly conveyed it to the place we designed: The consequence was, the arrival of a black in a rich running dress, in a very little time, 'who came from his lady, Mrs. Harcourt, to know who we were, and then immediately returned: but had not been much more than a quarter of an hour away before he came back with her compliments, and an invitation to rest that night at her house. We immediately proceeded, and were with the greatest politeness and goodness received. All the ladys met us at a distance from the house, and seemed very greatly pleased at our arrival in that country. Our music had astonished them even more than theirs had surprized us; and when they were told that the performers were ladys sitting, by the cascade, they could hardly credit the relater. A few gentlemen in a passing ship .might come on shore with their fiddles, they thought j though that, they fayed, never happened there, as the istand is walled round with the most tremendous cliffs, and has only one small, scarce visible bay for a vessel to put in to, that is full of perils to a stranger that enters: but that so many ladys should be safely- seated by the water-fall, and so happy as to think of forming a concert there; this seemed to them wonderful indeed. Nor did their wondering lessen, when I had related Y 2 our