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of some skilful artist of the country. The following curious fact renders it highly probable that there did exist a considerable time back, in the North of Europe, a smith of the name of Veland. As late as the sixteenth century the possessors of the lordship of Voetland in Scania bore in their coat of arms a hammer and a pair of pincers
But it is by no means an easy task to discover the original source of a tradition. The people of every country, particularly in the early stages of civilization, have acted like children, who eagerly listen to novel or wondrous tales, and then arrange them after their own manner and propagate them in their turn. The antiquary who should wish to arrive at the true source of this tradition of the smith Velant or Wayland, would find the task not an easy one ; for in the island of Ceylon in the Indian seas the artists and artisans are called Vælundes f. Thus after a long search and a circuitous route, we are brought back at length to the common country of the greater number of most ancient traditions—to India, which may be regarded as the cradle of truths and fables.
ODE TO MAHOMET,
THE BRIGHTON SHAMPOOER.
Nunc opus est succis : per quos, renovata senectus
O thou dark sage, whose vapour-bath
Limbs erst relax'd and limber :
Convert to stout knee timber :
Thy cures his deaths outnumber:
Immortal, ne'er shalt slumber.
And choak his well of Zemzem ;
To Lethe's Gulf condemns 'em.
Rebloom in adolescence,
Its circuses and crescents.
The spade her haunts unearthing,
From Routingdean to Worthing. * Bring's Monumenta Scanensia, 1598.
f Asiatic Researches, t. viii.
Wash'd by thy #sculapian stream,
Renew the joys of kissing,
Fly, donkey-cart, and pillion :
O’ertop the King's Pavilion.
For me, I'd perish sooner :
I dub a base lampooner.
Again in song be glorious,
And Incledon “Rude Boreas."
Unbought “ repôstum manet."
Three heavy tomes to gain it.
And brace the singer's weazon :
Whence others jump like Æson?
And myrrh with wolfesbane tosses:
Is wanting to the process.
Thy poet now rehearses :
The lameness of his verses !
The Cynosure of neighb'ring eyes. L'Allegro. In these beautiful lines Milton has accurately drawn the outline and character of English Landscape, or at least those striking features of it which may be styled national. He has given a most appropriate finish to the description, by introducing a supposed beauty dwelling in the midst of the embowered scene, thus heightening its interest and attaching the heart to his picture. The whole is the most happy general description of the same nature ever put together. The character of English rural scenery is different from that of other countries, and this forcibly occurs to the mind of the traveller absent from England, when he is contrasting the view before him in a distant land with the * trees and the towers” of his native island. This peculiar character, that Englishmen are accustomed to from infancy, is the standard by which they try all rural objects abroad, and creates a disposition in them to undervalue foreign scenery, when it may be far superior to their own in the eye of taste. Something, nevertheless, must be allowed for that tendency of mind which always leads us to disparage present objects, compared with those which we hold in remembrance. The
memory, if it be sometimes deficient in calling up the exact detail of absent images, never deprives them of their colouring, but adds to their brilliancy and effect. The portrait of an absent mistress in the mind of her lover is always more beautiful than she ever appeared to him in the life. A thousand tender associations, too, crowd thickly after one another, and confer upon things out of sight the same kind of superiority, that the pictures of "Auld Lang Syne" always possess over those which are before us at the moment.
But there is a charm in English scenery as much its characteristic as the features, dress, and air of an Englishman are peculiar to himself. There is a snugness, a comfort, an agreeable circumscription in the look of the country dwellings of the gentry, and all but the very lowest class, which has something attractive and endearing in it, like that which is implied in the epithet “ little *,” when used in kindness. Close high-fenced fields surrounded by trees, houses buried in shrubberies and groves, beautiful cattle feeding among rich pasturages, and all in the smallest space, so that the eye can command them together, take a hold on the affections that an uninclosed country, large forests, and immense buildings, can never attain. We may admire the latter, but we cannot love them. The idea of comfort which they afford is an addi
* Burke. Sublime and Beautiful, p. 126.
tional tie to our regard, while the smiling fertility every where visible, arising from the depth of colour in the verdure, kept fresh and fragrant, even during the height of summer, by frequent showers, and the endless variety of green in the foliage, is nowhere surpassed : masses of tufted trees rising amid an ocean of luxuriant vegetation ; vast oaks stretching out their knotty arms in the most picturesque forms; parks and plantations made without an appearance of art; an absence of rocks and precipices and those objects which Nature always intermingles in her most beautiful landscapes, making a marked difference between her own and English landscape of the kind I am describing. For though the latter may have little show of art, yet it possesses a distinct and definite character. To picturesque scenery, strictly speaking, I make no allusion, but confine myself to the social or highly cultivated. The perpetual green of England is the charm of her natural beauty, like a smiling expression upon the face of female loveliness. Englishmen, from missing this grateful hue in the South of Exrope under its intense summer sun, are always complaining of the arid appearance of the country, forgetting that spring, under those genial skies, answers to our summer, and that even winter is a season of mildness and beauty of which we have no notion in England.
The sober, snug appearance of English retirements in the country is favourable to the developement of the qualities of the beart; it is congenial to thought and reflection, it tends to concentrate our ideas, and to throw us back upon ourselves. It is painful to see the love of rural life losing ground among the better class of society, for we owed, and yet owe, much of the steadiness and simplicity of the English character to its influence. A secluded house and garden, buried in trees, having a circumscribed field of view, and producing an idea of recluseness, is also the best situation for study. Let the individual who would think deeply place himself on the summit of a high hill, commanding an extensive and varied prospect, a prodigality of luxuriant scenery being extended beneath him, and let bim think intently, if he can, particularly in fine weather, even though he be a mathematician. A dissipation of thought must take hold of him in spite of himself, and his ideas will require all his exertion to keep them to their object. But how favourable to meditation are our sequestered plantations and fields. The high green hedges, well lined with timber, and almost peculiar to our island, divide the face of the country in a very unpicturesque manner, but they inclose many natural gardens, many delicious spots isolated each from the other, carpetted with the softest vegetation, and seeming to be made for study and gentle exercise at the same time. From these the eye cannot stray away to diverting objects all round the horizon, but may closely repose upon wild flowers and cool verdure, while the " thoughts are wandering through eternity." of the most comprehensive souls and commanding talents, those who have dazzled the world by the splendour of their military achievements, delighted it by immortal song, or instructed it by science, have preferred circumscribed residences and silent retreats. The excursions of the mind have no sympathy with the arbitrary limits which confine the body, for they always expatiate over the largest space while the body is inert; and this is a strong argument against materialism. Men of the most sublime conceptions have preferred small dwellings, for the body may be housed with ease and comfort in a little space; but what human hands can erect a dwelling commensurate with the unlimited conceptions of genius? Men of contracted minds, therefore, prefer large habitations ; but those who are occupied with views truly great, are contented with giving the body all that is reasonable. No schemes of ambition were more vast, and few minds were ever formed on a scale more capacious, than that of Bonaparte; yet he preferred his small abode at Malmaison to the Thuilleries or Versailles : the latter, indeed, he never deigned to inhabit. Just before his return from Egypt, he wrote to his brother Joseph-—"Secure me a small house in the country, near Paris, or in Burgundy, where I hope to pass the winter.” The rooms at Malmaison, his favourite residence, were little, and bore no proportion to the gigantic intellect of its inhabitant; and yet he, no doubt, planned in them the most daring of his schemes of future aggrandisement. Rousseau was remarkable for his love of secluded scenery in the country, his eloquent and delusive writings were generally composed in such situations.--But a thousand sueh examples might be cited from among the sons of Genius.
There is a tranquillity and a feeling of security aboạt some spots in England which no native ever feels abroad. In such plaees, thought seems to multiply thought, and all the stores of intellect appear to come forth at our command. There is no crossing and jostling among our ideas, but they arrange themselves spontaneously. What is so delightful as the room that opens into a garden inclosed with dense foliage, from which nothing of artificial life can be seen, save the grey smoke rising perpendicularly from some concealed cottage chimney English rural scenery is not artificial, as the term was once understood ; we do not crop our yew hedges into fantastical figures, or shape our box trees into dragons, at least in modern days, and yet it commonly owes its most delightful charm to the hand of the planter. The infinite variety of irregular images constantly before us, prevents our being fatigued by the sameness of our secluded views, while the dark
green water, deep and cool, refreshes and braces the mind, for green is the most exhilarating of colours. English landscape, in the rich and cultivated parts of the island, to which I now more particularly allude, consists of little more than a succession of green fields and embowered habitations ; yet the variety of these is endless, and though the picture may possess no strong features, and be of its usual confined character, it always breathes a beautiful tranquillity, and the sensation of a comfortable home, in a way understood in no country but this.
One of the most delicious retreats of the foregoing description that I have ever seen, is Guy's Cliff, the residence of Mr. Greatheed. The house is old, and has been built at different times ; but it appears to harmonize so well with the wood and water around, that they all seem to have been created at the same moment. It has the most perfect character of peace and retirement—of the “ lodge in some vast wilder
rumour of oppression and deceit" can never reach us. There are, it is true, some circumstances connected with it, which enhance its interest. Tradition makes it the residence of the famous Sir Guy of Warwick, and he is said to have been buried in a cave near the house. It was at Guy's Cliff that, after having left his beautiful Phyllis to seek “ hair-breadth 'scapes in th' imminent deadly breach"-after