Imágenes de páginas

secure to him a moderate independence. that state where every outward distincHis delight at thus terminating wander- tion will cease, where those who were ings and labours now so unsuited to his here “ curtailed of this fair proportion, years, his new and happy sensations of cheated of stature by dissembling Naease and security, his sincere and lively ture,” will as amply fill the glorious gratitude, are simply but strongly ex- robes of light and immortality, as if pressed; he settled himself at Durham they had been Earth's fierce issue, the near some of his friends and there he “immania Monstra Gigantes." still resides, waiting his summons to




TE are too hasty when we set no reason for disbelieving one attested

down our ancestors in the gross for story of this nature more than another fools, for the monstrous inconsistencies on the score of absurdity. There is no (as they seem to us) involved in their law to judge of the lawless, or canon by creed of witchcraft. In the relations of which a dream may be criticised. this visible world we find them to have I have sometimes thought that I could been as rational, and shrewd to detect not have existed in days of received an historic anomaly as ourselves. But witchcraft ; that I could not have slept when once the invisible world was sup- in a village where one of those reputed posed to be opened, and the lawless hags dwelt. Our ancestors were boldagency of bad spirits assumed, whater or more obtuse. Amidst the univermeasures of probability, of decency, of sal belief that these wretches were in fitness, or proportion of that which league with the author of all evil, holddistinguishes the likely from the palpa- ing hell tributary to their muttering, no ble absurd—could they have to guide simple Justice of the Peace seems to them in the rejection or admission of have scrupled issuing, or silly Fleadboany particular testimony ?- That maid- rough serving, a warrant upon themens pined away, wasting inwardly as as if they should subpæna Satan! their waxen images consumed before a Prospero in his boat, with his books and fire—that corn was lodged, and cattle wand about him, suffers himself to be lamed—that whirlwins uptore in dia- conveyed away at the mercy of his enbolical revelry the oaks of the forest- emies to an unknown island. He might or that spits and kettles only danced a have raised a storm or two, we think

on fearful-innocent vagary about some rus- the passage. His acquiescence is in tic's kitchen when no wind was stirring exact analogy to the non-resistance of —were all equally probable where no witches to the constituted of agency was understood. That What stops the Fiend in Spenser from the prince of the powers of darkness, tearing Guyon to pieces—or who had passing by the flower and pomp of the made it a condition of his prey, that earth, should lay preposterous siege to Guyon must take assay of the glorious the weak fantasy of indigent eld—has bait- we have no guess. We do not neither likelihood nor unlikelihood a know the laws of that country. priori to us, who have no measure to From my childhood I was extremely guess at his policy, or standard to esti- inquisitive about witches and witch stomate what rate those anile souls may ries. My maid, and more legendary fetch in the devil's market. Nor, when aunt, supplied me with good store. But the wicked are expressly symbolized I shall mention the accident which diby a goat, was it to be wondered at so rected my curiosity originally into this much, that he should come sometimes in channel. In my father's book-closet, that body, and assert his metaphor.- the History of the Bible, by Stackhouse, That the intercourse was opened at all occupied a distinguished station. The between both worlds was perhaps the pictures with which it abounds--one of mistake-but that once assumed, I see the ark, in particular, and another of

Solomon's temple, delineated with all a terrible shaking it is to their poor the fidelity of occular admeasurement, nerves! The keeping them up till as if the artist had been upon the spot midnight, through candle-light and the -attracted my childish attention. unwholesome hours, as they are called, There was a picture too, of the Witch - would, I am satisfied in a medical raising up Samuel, which I wish that I point of view, prove the better caution. had never seen. Stackhouse is in two —That detestable picture, as I bave huge tomes and there was a pleasure said, gave the fashion to my dreamsin removing folios of that magnitude, if dreams they were—for the scene of which, with infinite straining, was as them was invariably the room in which much as I could manage, from the situ- I lay. Had I never met with the pication which they occupied upon an up- ture, the fears would have come self-picper shelf. Turning over the picture tured in some shape or otherof the ark with too much haste, I unhappily made a breach in its ingenious

Headless bear, black-man, or apefabric-driving my inconsiderate fin- but, as it was, my imagination took gers right through the two larger quad- that form. It is not book, or picture, rupeds—the elephant, and the camel — or the stories of foolish servants, which that stare (as well they might) out of create these terrors in children. They the two last windows next the steerage can at most but give them a direction. in that unique piece of naval architec- Dear little T. H. who of all children ture. Stackhouse was henceforth lock- has been brought up with the most scrued up, and became an interdicted treas- pulous exclusion of every taint of suure. But there was one impression perstition, who was never allowed to which I had imbibed from Stackhouse, hear of a goblin or apparition, or scarcewhich no lock or bar could shut out, ly to be told of bad men, or to read or and which was destined to try my child- to hear of any distressing story-finds ish nerves rather more seriously. That all this world of fear, from which he detestable picture!

has been so rigidly excluded ab extra, I was dreadfully alive to nervous in his own a thick-coming fancies ;) terrors. The night-time solitude, and and from his little midnight pillow, this the dark, were my hell. The suffer- nurse-child of optimism will start at ings I endured in this nature would jus- shapes, unborrowed of tradition, in tify the expression. I never laid my sweats to wbich the reveries of the cellhead on my pillow, I suppose, from the damned murderer are tranquillity. fourth to the seventh year of my life Gorgons, and Hydras and Chimæso far as memory serves in things so ras dire-stories of Celæno and the long ago—without an assurance, which Harpies—may reproduce themselves realized its own prophecy, by seeing in the brain of superstition—but they some frightful spectre. Be old Stack- were there before. They are tranhouse then acquitted in part, if I say scripts, types, the archetypes are in us, that in his picture of the Witch raising and eternal. How else should the reup Samuel I owe-not my midnight cital of that, which we know in a wakterrors, the hell of my infancy-but the ing sense, to be false, come to affect us shape and manner of their visitation. at all?--or • It was he who d:essed up for me a hag that nightly sate upon my pillow-a

Names, whose sense we see not, true bed-fellow when my aunt or my

Fray us with things that be not ! maid was far from me. All day long, Is it that we naturally conceive terror while the book was permitted me, I from such objects, considered in their dreamed waking over his delineation, capacity of being able to inflict upon us and at night (if I may use so bold an bodily injury? -0, least of all! These expression) awoke into sleep, and found terrors are of older standing. They the vision true. The feeling about for date beyond body—or, without the a friendly arm—the hoping for a famil- body they would have been the same. iar voice, when children wake screaming All the cruel, tormenting, defined deand find none to soothe them-what vils in Dante-tearing, mangling, chok

ing, stifling, scorching demons—are for Kubla Khan and Abyssinian maids, they one half so fearful to the spirit of and songs of Abara, and caverns, a man, as the simple idea of a spirit un

Where Alph, the sacred river, runs, embodied following him—

to solace his night solitudes—when I Like one that on a lonesome road Doth walk in fear and dread,

cannot muster a fiddle. Barry CornAnd having once turn'd round, walks on,

wall has his tritons and his nerieds And torps no more his head;

gamboling before him in nocturnal visBecause he knows a frightful fiend ions, and proclaiming sons born to NepDoth close behind him tread."

tune—when my stretch of imaginative That the kind of fear here treated of activity can hardly, in the night season, is purely spiritual—that it is strong in raise up the ghost of a fish-wife. To proportion as it is objectless upon earth set my failures in somewhat a mortify

-that it predominates in the period of ing light—it was after reading the nosinless infancy_are difficulties, the so- ble Dream of this poet, that my fancy lution of which might afford some pro- ran strong upon these marine spectra ; bable insight into our ante-mundane and the poor plastic power, such as it condition, and a peep at least into the is, within me set to work, to humour shadow-land of pre-existence.

my folly in a sort of dream that very My night-fancies have long ceased night. Methought I was upon the to be afflictive. I confess an occasion- ocean billows at some sea nuptials, ridal night-mare; but I do not, as in ear- ing and mounted high, with the cus. ly youth, keep a stud of them. Fiend- tomary train sounding their conchs beish faces, with the extinguished taper, fore me, (I myself, you may be sure, will come and look at me, but I know the leading god,) and jollily we went. them for mockeries, even while I can- careering over the main, till just where not elude their presence, and I fight Ino Leucothea should have greeted me and grapple with them. For the credit (I think it was Ino) with a white emof my imagination, I am almost asham- brace, the billows gradually subsiding, ed to say how

tame and prosaic dreams fell from a sea-roughness to a sea-calm, are grown. They are never romantic, and thence to a river-motion, and that -seldom even rural. They are of ar« river (as happens in the familiarization chitecture and of buildings-cities of dreams) was no other than the gentle abroad, which I have never seen, and Thames, which landed me, in the wafhardly have hope to see. I have tra- ture of a placid wave or two, safe and versed, for the seeming length of a nat- inglorious somewhere at the foot of ural day, Rome, Amsterdam, Paris, Lambeth palace. Lisbon their churches, palaces, The desire of the soul's creativeness squares, market-places, shops, suburbs, in sleep might furnish no whimsical ruins, with an inexpressible sense of de- criterion of the quantum of poetical light—a map-like distinctness of trace faculty resident in the same soul wak-and a day-light vividness of vision, ing. An old gentleman, a friend of that was all but being awake. I have mine, and a humourist, used to carry travelled amongst the Westmoreland this notion so far, that when he saw fells-my highest Alps,-but they were any stripling of his acquaintance ambiobjects too mighty for the grasp of my tious of becoming a poet, his first quesdreaming recognition; and I have again tion would be, "Young man, what sort and again awoke with ineffectual strug- of dreams have you ?” I have so much gles of the inner eye,” to make out a faith in my old friend's theory, that shape in any way whatever, of Helvel- when I feel that idle vein returning lyn. Methought I was in that country, upon me, i presently subside into my but the mountains were gone. The proper element of prose, remembering poverty of my dreams mortify me. those eluding nereids, and that iuauspi

There is C-, at his will can con- cious inland landing. jure up icy domes, and pleasure-houses

* Mr. Coleridge's Adrient Mariner. 5 ATHENEUM VOL. 11.


NO. I.

Even now where Alpine solitudes ascend,
I sit me down a pensive hour to spend.

WE arrived at Orbe, from Dijon, republic. The drive by Balaigne and

by way of Salins and Pontarlier Montcharand to Orbe is one of the most -a road full of beauty, and a worthy lovely that can be conceived. Here it introduction to this lovely Pays de is that you first command a Swiss prosVaud. A few leagues from Dijon, pect, with all its luxuriant variety of about Auxonne, as we drove along the mountain, forest, orchards, valleys, plains, near the Saone, we first saw the lakes, alps, and snows. The Lake of bold blue outlines of the Jura ; and at Geneva was obscured by the mists of Salins we entered into one of its deep the evening, but the lake of Neufchatel valleys, with all the picturesque ac- lay bright and glittering below companiments of fir forests and im- Orbe, though not a pretty town in itpending mountains. We had now self, is one of the most pleasing that I fairly turned our backs on the tame me know. The character of the neighdiocrity of French landscape, and bouring scenery has a smiling lovelithough the post-book told us we were ness, and a teeming fertility, which I in the Departement du Jura, the for- never saw equalled. The neatness of ests, the mountains, the glens, the the villages, the cleanly respectability streams, the pastoral cottages, assured of the people, their large well-built cotus we were on the verge of Switzer- tages and farms, the beautiful pastures, land. Nothing can be finer than the vineyards, orchards, that slope down to drive from Pontarlier to Orbe. Pon- the romantic river Orbe, which altertarlier is situated in a rich plain of pas- nately roars in cascades through rocks, ture watered by the Doubs. The and meanders through an expanse of wooded barrier of the Jura rises majes- meadow, the town with its steeples and tically above the town, and the high old Roman towers on a vine-covered road runs through a pass between per- eminence above the river, the upland pendicular rocks so narrow as to have pastures of the Jura covered with Hock been formerly shut in by gates, the of cows and goats and studded with posts of which still remain. On the white chalets--add to this scene of cliff on one side is perched the fortress beauty the black fir-clad ridge of the of Joux beetling over the road. Here Jura above, the glittering lakes in the Toussaint L'Ouverture was confined by plains below, and the white broken maNapoleon, and died of cold, hunger, jestic Alps glittering in the far horizon; and grief. The rock is almost inac- and, perhaps, Nature can hardly supcessible, and adniirably adapted for the ply a more enchanting scene of beauty site of a frontier fortress. Nothing but and all-varied grace and luxuriance. A a refinement in oppressive cruelty could tone of retired peace and primitive reselect the fortress for a state prison. A pose reigns throughout the place. The soft green valley, sunk deep between old Swiss warrior of the 13th century, mountains rising abruptly and richly who stands on the fountain in the little clothed with the deep green of the fir, market-place, looks as if he had lifted now afforded us a passage through the his stone sword without molestation for chain of the Jura. At the village of centuries. A fine beech-tree luxuriates Balaigne we passed the frontier. An on the walls of the gate of entrance, and inspection of our passports by one of the cascade formed by the Orbe, under the Gendarmerie Vaudoise, with a sa- the picturesque stone bridge, murmurs bre by his side, and Liberte et Patrie, in harmony with the beauties of nature the motto of the Canton, glittering on and the tranquil spirit of the place. his helmet, somewhat disturbed the ro We drove the other day to Val Orbe, mantic illusions of the scene, and the three leagues from Orbe. No travelassociations connected with a pastoral ler who visits this part of Switzerland

should neglect seeing this beautiful vil- began to wonder whence the stream lage, and the singular and lovely could issue, till we at last found its source of the Orbe in its neighbourhood. source, and beheld it, with delight and In our way we visited a cascade formed astonishment, gliding forth in all its by the river Orbe, near the village of pellucid beauty, from a lofty wall of Ballaigne. The exquisite limpidness rock amidst the shade of these sylvan of the water, the grandeur of the rocks recesses. The stream is seventeen feet fringed and tufted with luxuriant brush- in width, and four or five in depth at wood and beech-saplings, the seques. ils issuing from the rocks. It flows tered shades which embosom the foam- forth from the rock without a ripple, ing torrent, render this one of the most and at first glides and waves over the interesting waterfalls I have seen. At most green and graceful moss, till Ballaigne, we left the carriage, and put masses of rock, detached from the ourselves under the guidance of a stur- heights above, interrupt its course, and dy Swiss peasant to conduct us to the break its waters into murmuring eddies cascade. The man was dressed in a and cascades. It is impossible to congreasy plush jerkin, a large straw hat, ceive any thing more romantic than the Loose trowsers, no stockings, and shoes whole scene; and no one that has visnot weather-tight. He appeared civil ited it can wonder that poets should and intelligent ; and a Swiss gentle have peopled the fountains and streams man, who accompanied us, seemed to of the woods with Naiads and Undines, pay him some deference. On return- Saussure prefers the source to that of ing from the cascade, and wishing him Vaucluse, for beauty and interest. Its good morning, I begged him to take singularity is not less remarkable than three francs for his trouble, which he its beauty. The water is furnished by declined with a civil and dignified bow. the small Lakes of Joux and Rousses, I soon learned my mistake, when our which are situated above the rocks of Swiss friend informed us that our Cice- Val Orbe at an elevation of 680 feet rone was no less a personage than a above the source. These lakes dismember of the Grand Council of the charge themselves through tunnels beCanton de Vaud-a modern Cincinna- tween the vertical couches of rock, and tus, who mingles the labours of the penetrate through the mountain down field with the dignified functions of the to the source. senate. We had forgotten that we The drive from Orbe to Lausanne, were now under a pastoral govern- by La Sarra and Cossonay, is a conment. How far the crook and the fo- tinued scene of fertility and graceful rensic toga consort advantageously to- beauty. The haziness of a sultry atgether, may perhaps be a question. mosphere cleared up as we approach

The village of Val Orbe, with its ed Lausanne, and opened to us the maneat and well-roofed cottages, its pic- jestic chain of the rugged and purple turesque spire embosomed in poplars Alps, with their white heads capped by and orchards, stands by the Jura. The the clouds, or glittering in the sun for a Orbe has its singular source a mile continuous length of above thirty higher in the valley. Leaving the vil- leagues. Lausanne itself is one of the lage, we followed the windings of the ugliest and most inconvenient towns on stream through the richest meadows, the Continent. The bills and slopes in the valley gradually narrowing, the ma- the town render it almost impossible to jestic fir-clad mountains on each side drive in a carriage with safety. The growing bolder and more perpendicu- cathedral is a venerable Gothic struclar, and finally enclosing, with their ture, in a fine situation, commanding gloomy wooded barrier, the lovely glen the lake and the mountains. The town through which the stream flows and presents scarcely any objects of intermurmurs. Dark funereal pines and est; but it is surprising how little they delicate larches shade the rocky preci- are missed. Nature in Switzerland is pices, and overhang the stream. The all in all. She has here built her pescene is wild, sequestered, and filled rennial throne, and reigns unquestioned with a solitary and shady stillness. We mistress of all our sympathies and sen

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