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power of that Sycamore Grove connects them with our Encampment.

TALBOYS. Are you sure, sir, they are not clouds?

NORTH. If clouds, so much the better. If mountains, they deserve to be clouds; and if clouds, they deserve to be mountains. SEWARD. The long broad shadow of the Grove tames the white of the Tents-tones it-reduces it into harmony with the surrounding color-into keeping with the brown huts of the villagers, clustering on bank and brae on both sides of the hollow river.

NORTH. The Cozey Inn itself from its position is picturesque.

TALBOYS. The Swiss Giantess looks imposing

BULLER. So does the Van. But Deeside is the Pandemonium

TALBOYS. Well translated by Paterson in his Notes on Milton, "All-Devil's-Hall."

NORTH. Hush. And how lovely the foreground! Sloping upland-with single trees standing one by one, at distances wide enough to allow to each its own little grassy domain -with its circle of bracken or broom-or its own golden gorse grove-divided by the sylvan course of the hidden river itself, visible only when it glimpses into the LochHere, friends, we seem to see the united occupations of pastoral, agricultural-and

BULLER. Pardon me, sir, I have a proposition to make.

NORTH. You might have waited a moment till

BULLER. Not a moment. We all Four see the background-and the middle-ground and the foreground-and all the ground round and about-and all the islands and their shadows-and all the mountains and theirs and, towering high above all, that Cruachan of yours, who, I firmly believe, is behind us though 'twould twist my neck now to get a vizzy of him. No use then in describing all that lies within the visible horizon-there it is-let us enjoy it and be thankful-and let us talk this evening of whatever may happen to come into our respective heads-and I beg leave to add, sir, with all reverence, let's have fair play-let no single man-young or old-take more than his own lawful share

NORTH. Sir?

BULLER. And let the subject of angling be tabooed-and all its endless botheration about baskets and rods, and reels and tackle-salmon, sea-trout, yellow-fin, perch, pike, and the Ferox and no drivel about Deer and Eagles

NORTH. Sir? What's the meaning of all this-Seward, say-tell, Talboys.

BULLER. And let each man on opening his mouth be timed-and let it be two-minute time-and let me be time-keeper-but, in consideration of your years and habits, and presidency, let time to you, sir, be extended to two minutes and thirty seconds-and let us all talk time about-and let no man seek to nullify the law by talking at railway rate— and let no man who waives his right of turn, however often, think to make up for the loss by claiming quarter of an hour afterwardsand that, too, perhaps at the smartest of the soirée and let there be no contradiction, either round, flat, or angular-and let no man speak about what he understandsthat is, has long studied and made himself master of for that would be giving him an unfair--I had almost said-would be taking a mean advantage-and let no man

NORTH. Why, the mutiny at the Nore was nothing to this!

BULLER. Lord High Admiral though you be, sir, you must obey the laws of the service

NORTH. I see how it is.

BULLER. How is it?

NORTH. But it will soon wear off-that's the saving virtue of Champagne.

BULLER. Champagne indeed! Small Beer, smaller than the smallest size. You have not the heart, sir, to give Champagne.

NORTH. We had better put about, gentlemen, and go ashore.

BULLER. My ever-honored, long-revered sir! I have got intoxicated on our Teetotal debauchery. The fumes of the water have gone to my head-and I need but a few drops of brandy to set me all right. Billythe flask. There-I am as sober as a Judge.

NORTH. Ay, 'tis thus, Buller, you wise wag, that you would let the "old man garrulous" into the secret of his own tendencies -too often unconscious he of the powers that have set so many asleep. I accept the law-but let it-do let it be three-minute time.

BULLER. Five-ten-twenty-" with thee conversing I forget all time.'

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NORTH. Strike medium-Ten. BULLER. My dear sir, for a moment let me have that Spy-glass.

NORTH. I must lay it down-for a Bevy of Fair Women are on the Mount-and are brought so near that I hear them laughing— especially the Prima Donna, whose glass is in dangerous proximity with my nose. BULLER. Fling her a kiss, sir.

1849.]

CHRISTOPHER UNDER CANVASS.

NORTH. There-and how prettily she returns it!

BULLER. Happy old man! Go where you will

TALBOYS. Ulysses and the Syrens. Had he my air-girdle, he would swim ashore. NORTH. "Oh, mihi præteritos referat si Jupiter annos!"

TALBOYS. The words are regretful-but there is no regret in the voice that syllables them-it is clear as a bell, and as gladsome. NORTH. Talking of kissing, I hear one of the most melodious songs that ever flowed from lady's lip

"The current that with gentle motion glides, Thou knowest, being stopped, impatiently doth

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and you will find this one of the most natural of them all. Pilgrimage, in Shakspeare's day, had dropt, in the speech of our Poets, from its early religious propriety, of seeking a holy place under a vow, into a roving of the region. See his "Passionate Pilgrim. If Shakspeare found the word so far generalized, then "wanderer through the woods," or plains, or through anything else, is the suggestion of the beholding. The river is more, indeed; being like the pilgrim, on his way to a term, and an obliged way-" the wild ocean."

SEWARD. The "faint belief of voluntary motion"-Mr. Alison's fine phrase-is one, and possibly the grounding incentive to impersonating the "current" here; but other elements enter in; liquidity-transparencywhich suggest a spiritual nature, and Beauty which moves Love.

NORTH. Ay, and the Poets of that age, in the fresher alacrity of their fancy, had a justification of comparisons, which do not occur as promptly to us, nor, when presented to us, delight so much as they would, were our fancy as alive as theirs. You might suspect à priori Ovid, Cowley, and Dryden, as likely to be led by indulgence of their ingenuity into passionless similitudes-and you may misdoubt even that Shakspeare was in danger of being so run away with. But let us have clear and unequivocal instances. This one assuredly is not of the number. It is exquisite.

TALBOYS. Mr. Alison, I presume to think, sir, should either have quoted the whole speech, or kept the whole in view, when animadverting on those two lines about the kissing Pilgrim. Julia, a lady of Verona, beloved by Proteus, is only half-done-and now she comes-to herself.

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"Then let me go, and hinder not my course;
I'll be as patient as a gentle stream,
And make a pastime of each weary step,
Till the last step have brought me to my love;
And there I'll rest, as, after much turmoil,
A blessed soul doth in Elysium."

The language of Shakspeare's Ladies is not the language we hear in real life. I wish it were. Real life would then be delightful indeed. Julia is privileged to be poetical far beyond the usage of the very best circles-far beyond that of any mortal creatures. For the God Shakspeare has made her and all her kin poetical-and if you object to any of the lines, you must object to them all. Eminently beautiful, sir, they are; and their

beauty lies in the passionate, imaginative | the castles and abbeys-and all the hills and spirit that pervades the whole, and sustains mountains-and all the clouds and boats and the Similitude throughout, without a mo- men,-double, did I say-triple-quadrument's flagging of the fancy, without a mo- ple, we are here, and there, and everyment's departure from the truthfulness of the where, and nowhere, all at the same moment. heart. Inishail, I have you-no-Gutta Percha slides over you, and you have no material existence. Very well.

NORTH. Talboys, I thank you-you are at the root.

SEWARD. A wonderful thing-altogether -is Impersonation.

NORTH. It is indeed. If we would know the magnitude of the dominion which the disposition constraining us to impersonate has exercised over the human mind, we should have to go back unto those ages of the world when it exerted itself, uncontrolled by philosophy, and in obedience to religious impulses when Impersonations of Natural Objects and Powers, of Moral Powers and of Notions entertained by the Understanding, filled the Temples of the Nations with visiple Deities, and were worshipped with altars and incense, hymns and sacrifices.

BULLER. Was ever before such disquisition begotten by-an imaginary kiss among the Sedges!

NORTH. Hold your tongue, Buller. But if you would see how hard this dominion is to eradicate, look to the most civilized and enlightened times, when severe Truth has to the utmost cleansed the Understanding of illusion-and observe how tenaciously these imaginary Beings, endowed with imaginary life, hold their place in our Sculpture, Painting, and Poetry, and Eloquence-nay, in our common and quiet speech.

SEWARD. It is all full of them. The most prosaic of prosers uses poetical language without knowing it-and Poets without knowing to what extent and degree.

NORTH. Ay, Seward, and were we to expatiate in the walks of the profounder emotions, we should sometimes be startled by the sudden apparitions of boldly impersonated Thoughts, upon occasions that did not. seem to promise them-where you might have thought that interests of overwhelming moment would have effectually banished the play of imagination.

TALBOYS. Shakspeare is justified, thenand the Lady Julia spoke like a lady in love with all nature--and with Proteus. BULLER. A most beautiful day is this indeed-but it is a Puzzler.

SEWARD. Is there no house on Inishail? NORTH. Not one- -but the house appointed for all living. A Burial-place. I see itbut not one of you-for it is little noticeable, and seldom used-on an average, one funeral in the year. Forty years ago I stepped into a small snuff-shop in the Saltmarket, Glasgow, to replenish my shell-and found my friend was from Lochawe-side. I asked him if he often revisited his native shore, and he answered--seldom, and had not for a long time-but that though his lot did not allow him to live there, he hoped to be buried in Inishail. We struck up a friendship-his snuff was good, and so was his whiskey, for it was unexcised. A few years ago, trolling for Feroces, I met a boat with a coffin, and in it the body of the old tobacconist.

SEWARD. "The Churchyard among the Mountains," in Wordsworth's Excursion, is alone sufficient for his immortality on earth.

NORTH. It is. So for Gray's is his Elegy. But some hundred and forty lines in all-no more--yet how comprehensive-how complete! "In a Country Churchyard!" Every generation there buries the whole hamlet --which is much the same as burying the whole world-or a whole world. SEWARD.

"The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep!"

All Peasants-diers and mourners! Utmost simplicity of all belonging to life-utmost simplicity of all belonging to death. Therefore, universally affecting.

NORTH. Then the-Grayishness.
BULLER. The what, sir?

NORTH. The Grayishness. The exquisite scholarship, and the high artifice of the words and music-yet all in perfect adaptation to the scene and its essential character. Is there not in that union and communion of the solemn-profound, and the delicate-exquisite, something Cathedral-like? Which has the awe and infinitude of Deity and Eternity, and the prostrations and aspirations of adoration for its basis-expressed in the general structure and forms; and all this meeting and blent into the minute and fine elaboration of But here all the islands float double-and all the ornaments? Like the odors that steal

"The Swan on still St. Mary's Lake Floats double, Swan and Shadow;"

1849.]

CHRISTOPHER UNDER CANVASS.

and creep on the soft, moist, evening air, whilst the dim hush of the Universal Temple dilates and elates. The least and the greatest in one. Why not? Is not that spiritual-angelical-divine! The least is not too exiguous for, apprehension-the amplest exceeds not comprehension-and their united power is felt when not understood. I speak, Seward, of that which might be suggested for a primary fault in the Elegy-the contrast of the most artful, scholarly style, and the simple, rude, lowly, homely matter. But you shall see that every fancy seizes, and every memory holds especially those verses and wordings which bring out this contrast that richest line

is the recognized most intense expression, from the natural world, of worth-inestimable priceless price-dependent on rarity and beauty. The Flower is a like intense expression, from the same world, of the power to call forth love. The first image is felt by every reader to be high, and exalting its object; the second to be tender, and openly pathetic. Of course it moves more, and of course it comes last. The Poet has just before spoken of Milton and Cromwell-of bards and kings-and history with all her wealth. Is the transition violent from these objects to Gems? He is moved by, but he is not bound to, the scene and time. His own thoughts emancipate. Brown seems utterly to have forgotten that the Poet himself is the Dramatic person of the Monologue. Shall he be restricted from using the richness

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SEWARD. A person moralizing! He forgot that person was Thomas Gray. And he never knew what you have told us now.

NORTH. Why, my dear Seward, the Gem

"The paths of glory lead but to the grave!"

Methinks I could read you a homily on that text.

BULLER. To-morrow, sir, if you please. To-morrow is Sunday-and you may read it to us as we glide to Divine Service at Dal-mally-two of us to the Established, and two of us to the Free Kirk.

NORTH. Be it so. But you will not be displeased with me for quoting now, from heartmemory, a single sentence on the great line, from Beattie, and from Adam Fergusson. "It presents to the imagination a wide plain, where several roads appear, crowded with glittering multitudes, and issuing from different quarters, but drawing nearer and nearer as they advance, till they terminate in the dark and narrow house, where all their glories enter in succession, and disappear forever."

SEWARD. Thank you, sir. That is Beattie ? NORTH. It is. Fergusson's memorable words are-" If from this we are disposed to collect any inference adverse to the pursuits of glory, it may be asked whither do the paths of ignominy lead? If to the grave also, then our choice of a life remains to be made on the grounds of its intrinsic value, without regard to an end which is common to every station of life we can lead, whether illustrious or obscure."

SEWARD. Very fine. Who says it? Fergusson-who was he?

are

Do

NORTH. The best of you Englishers intolerably ignorant about Scotland. you know the Rev. John Mitford? SEWARD. I do and have for him the greatest respect.

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knew. And in the second place, when does the Evening Bell give tongue ?—for hang me if I am much better informed as to his motions. Yet I should know something of the family of the Bells. Say-eight o'clock. Well. It is summer-time, I suppose; for you cannot believe that so dainty a person in health and habits, as the Poet Gray, would write an Elegy in a Country churchyard in winter, and well on towards night. True, that is a way of speaking; he did not write

NORTH. So have I. He is one of our best editors—as Pickering is one of our best Publishers of the Poets. But I am somewhat doubtful of the truthfulness of his remarks on the opening of the Elegy, in the Appen-it with his crow-quill, in his neat hand, on dix to his excellent Life of Gray. "The Curfew toll' is not the appropriate word it was not a slow bell tolling for the dead." SEWARD. True enough, not for the deadbut Gray then felt as if it were for the dying-and chose to say so the parting day. Was it quick and " merry as a marriage bell?" I can't think it nor did Milton, "swinging slow with sullen roar." Gray was II Penseroso. Prospero calls it the "solemn curfew." Toll is right.

NORTH. But, says my friend Mitford, "there is another error, a confusion of time. The curfew tolls, and the ploughman returns from work. Now the ploughman returns two or three hours before the curfew rings; and the glimmering landscape' has long ceased to fade' before the curfew. The 'parting day' is also incorrect; the day had long finished. But if the word Curfew is taken simply for the Evening Bell,' then also is the time incorrect-and a knell is not tolled for the parting, but for the parted' and leaves the world to darkness and to me. Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight.' Here the incidents, instead of being progressive, fall back, and make the picture confused and inharmonious; especially as it appears soon after that it was not dark. For the moping owl does to the

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his neat vellum, on the only horizontal tombstone. But in the Churchyard he assumes to sit-probably under a Plane-tree, for sake of the congenial Gloom. Season of the year ascertained-Summer-time of Curfew -eight-then I can find no fault with the Ploughman. He comes in well-either as an image or a man. He must have been an honest, hard-working fellow, and worth the highest wages going between the years 1745 and 1750. At what hour do ploughmen leave the stilts in Cambridgeshire? We must not say at six. Different hours in different counties, Buller.

BULLER. Go on-all's right, Talboys.

TALBOYS. It is not too much to believe that Hodge did not grudge, occasionally, a half hour over, to a good master. Then he had to stable his horses-Star and Smilerrub them down-bed them-fill rack and manger-water them-make sure their noses were in the oats-lock the stable before the nags were stolen-and then, and not till then,

"The Ploughman homeward plods his weary way.'

For he does not sleep on the Farm-he has a wife and small family-that is, a large family of smallish children-in the Hamlet, at least two miles off-and he does not walk for a wager of a flitch of bacon and barrel of beer-but for his accustomed rasher and a jug-and such endearments as will restore his weariness up to the proper pitch for a sound night's sleep. God bless him!

BULLER. Shorn of your beams, Mr. North, eclipsed.

TALBOYS. The ploughman, then, does not return "two or three hours before the curfew rings." Nor has "the glimmering landscape long ceased to fade before the curfew." Nor is the parting day incorrect." Nor "has the day long finished." Nor, when it may have finished, or may finish, can any man in the hamlet, during all that gradual

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