Imágenes de páginas

ed to the close—the last line being great as tur fossa. No pretense—no display-no the first—and all between accordant, and phraseology—the nakedest, but quite effectall true to nature. Without rain and wind, ual statement of the fact—which the farmer what would be a thunder-storm ? The - I love that word farmer-has witnessed “densissimus imber" obeys the laws—and as often as he has ever seen the Comingso do the ingeminanting Austri—and the the Ditches that were dry ran full to the shaken woods and the stricken shores. brim. The homely rustic fact, strong and

BULLER. Well done, Virgil—well done, impressive to the husbandman, cannot be North.

dealt with by poetry otherwise than by setNORTH. I cannot rest, Buller–I can ting it down in its bald simplicity. Seek to have no peace of mind but in a successful de- raise—to dress—to disguise—and you

make fense of these Ditches. Why is a Ditch to be it ridiculous. The Mantuan knew betterdespised ? Because it is dug? So is a grave. he says what must be said—and goes onIs the Ditch-wet or dry—that must be Buller. He goes on—so do you, sirpassed by the Volunteers of the Fighting you both get on. Division before the Fort can be stormed, too North. And now again begins Magnifilow a word for a Poet to use ? Alas! on cation, such an occasion well might he say, as he

“ Et cava flumina crescunt looked after the assault and saw the floating Cum sonitu." tartans—implentur fossa—the Ditch is filled!

BULLER. “Ay, Mr. North, in that case the The “hollow-bedded rivers" grow, swell, word Ditch—and the thing—would be dig- visibly wax mighty and turbulent.

You nified by danger, daring, and death. But imagine that you stand on the bank and see here

the river that had shrunk into a thread getNorth. The case is the same—with a ting broad enough to fill the capacity of its difference, for there is all the Danger-all whole hollow bed. The rushing of arduous the Daring—all the Death—that the inci- ether would not of itself have proved suffident or event admits of—and they are not cient. Therefore glory to the Italian Ditches small. Think for a moment. The rain falls and glory to the Dumfriesshire Drains, which over the whole broad heart of the tilled I have seen, in an hour, change the white earth-from the face of the fields it runs murmuring Esk into a red rolling river, with as into the Ditches—the first unavoidable re- sweeping sway as ever attended the Arno ceptacles—these pour into the rivers—the on its way to inundate Florence. rivers into the river mouths—and then you BULLER. Glory to the Ditches of the are in the Sea.

Vale of Arno-glory to the Drains of DumBULLER. Go on, sir, go on.

friesshire. Draw breath, sir. Now go on, NORTH. I am amazed—I am indignant, sir, Buller. Ruit arduus æther. The steep or

NORTH. “ Cum sonitu.” Not as Father high ether rushes down ! as we saw it rush Thames rises-silentlytill the flow lapse down a few minutes ago. What happens ?

What happens ? over lateral meadow-grounds for a mile on either side. But

cum sonitu,” with a "Et pluviâ ingenti sata læta, boumque labores

voice—with a roar—a mischievous roar-a Diluit?"

roar of—ten thousand Ditches.

BULLER. And then the “ flumina" Alas! for the hopeful—hopeless husband- va” no more—will be as clear as mud. man now What a multiplied and magni- North. You have hit it. They will be fied expression have we here for the arable —for the Arno in flood is like liquid mudlands. All the glad seed-time vain—vain by no means enamoring, perhaps not even all industry of man and oxen—there you sublime—but showing you that it comes off have the true agricultural pathos—washed the fields and along the Ditches—that you away-set in a swim-deluged! Well has see swillings of the “sata læta boumque the Poet—in one great line-spoke the great- labores.” ness of a great matter. Sudden affliction- BULLER. Agricultural Produce! visible desolation-imagined dearth.

NORTH. For a moment—a single moBULLER. Don't stop, sir, you speak to ment—leave out the Ditches, and say merely, the President of our Agricultural Society- “ The rain falls over the fields—the rivers go on, sir, go on.

swell roaring.” No picture at all. You North. Now drop in—in its veriest place, must have the fall over the surface-the and in two words, the necessitated Implen- | gathering in the narrower artificial-the de


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livery into the wider natural channels—the | ing the mountain tops—which, as I take it, fight of spate and surge at river mouth- is here the prominent affair—and, as I said,

the true meaning of “ dejicit"-is mere pasFervetque fretis spirantibus æquor." time—as if Jupiter Tonans were disporting

himself on a boliday. The Ditches are indispensable in nature and BULLER. Oh! sir, you have exhausted the in Virgil.

subject—if not yourself—and us; I beseech BULLER. Put this glass of water to your you sit down ;-see, Swing solicits you—and lips, sir—not that I would recommend wa- oh! sir, you—we—all of us will find in a ter to a man in a fit of eloquence—but I few minutes' silence a great relief after all know you are abstinent–infatuated in your that thunder. abjuration of wine. Go on-half-minute North. You remember Lucretius ? time.

BULLER. No, I don't. To you I am not North. I swear to defend—at the pen's ashamed to confess that I read him with point-against all Comers—the position that some difficulty. With ease, sir, do you? the line

NORTH. I never knew a man who did but “ Diluit: implentur fossæ, cava flumina crescunt bued with the spirit of the great Epicurean,

Bobus Smith ; and so thoroughly was he imCum sonitu".

that Landor-himself the best Latinist liv. is, where it stands—and looking before and ing—equals him with Lucretius. The faafter-a perfect line; and that to strike out mous Thunder passage is very fine, but I “implentur fossa" would be an outrage on cannot recollect every word ; and the man it-just equal, Buller, to my knocking out, who, in recitation, haggles and boggles at a without hesitation, your brains—for your great strain of a great poet deserves death brains do not contribute more to the flow of without benefit of clergy. I do remember, our conversation—than do the Ditches to however, that he does not descend from his that other spate.

elevation with such ease and grace as would Buller. That will do-you may stop.

have satisfied Henry Home and Hugh North. I ask no man's permission—I Blair—for he has so little notion of true digobey no man's mandate—to stop. Now Vir- nity as to mention rain, as Virgil afterwards gil takes wing—now he blazes and soars. did, in immediate connection with thunder. Now comes the power and spirit of the Storm gathered in the Person of the Sire-of "Quo de concussu sequitur gravis imber et uber, him who wields the thunderbolt into which

Omnis utei videatur in imbrem vortier æther, the Cyclops have forged storms of all

Atque ita præcipitans ad diluviem revocare. sorts—wind and rain together—" Tres imbri BULLER. What think you of the thunder torli radios !" &c. You remember the mag- in Thomson's Seasons ? nificent mixture. And there we have VIR- North. What all the world thinks—that GILIUS versus HOMERUM.

it is our very best British Thunder. He BULLER. You may sit down, sir.

gives the Gathering, the General engageNorth. I did not know I had stood up. ment, and the Retreat. In the Gathering Beg pardon.

there are touches and strokes that make all BULLER. I am putting Swing to rights for mankind shudder—the foreboding—the omi

nous !

And the terror, when it comes, agNorth. Methinks Jupiter is twice appa- grandizes the premonitory symptoms. “Folrent—the first time, as the President of the lows the loosened aggravated roar” is a line Storm, which is agreeable to the dictates of of power to bring the voice of thunder upon reason and necessity ;-the second—to my your soul on the most peaceable day; He, fancy-as delighting himself in the conscious too--prevailing poet-feels the grandeur of exertion of power. What is he splintering the Rain. For instant on the words, Athos, or Rhodope, or the Acroceraunians vulsing heaven and earth," ensue, for? The divine use of the Fulmen is to quell Titans, and to kill that mad fellow who

“Down comes a deluge of sonorous hail,

Or prone-descending rain." was running up the ladder at Thebes, Capaneus. Let the Great Gods find out their Thomson had been in the heart of thunderenemies now—find out and finish them-and storms many a time before he left Scotland; enemies they must have not a few among and what always impresses me is the want those prostrate crowds—“per gentes humilis of method—the confusion, I might almost stravit pavor.” But shattering and shiver-say--in his description. Nothing contradic

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you, sir.


God bless you,

tory in the proceedings of the storm; they | the very attitude or postures in which the all go on obediently to what we know of na- lightning found or left them; but the final ture's laws. But the effects of their agency verses waft us away from all that terror and on man and nature are given—not according pity—the geographical takes place of the pato any scheme—but as they happen to come thetic—a visionary panorama of material obbefore the poet's imagination, as they hap-jects supersedes the heart-throbbing region pened in reality. The pine is struck first of the spiritual—for a mournful song, inthen the cattle and the sheep below-and stinct with the humanities, an ambitious brathen the castled cliff—and then the

vura displaying the power and pride of the

musician, now thinking not at all of us, and "Gloomy woods

following the thunder

only as affording him Start at the flash, and from their deep recess Wide-flaming out, their trembling inmates shake.”

an opportunity for the display of his own

art. No regular ascending—or descending scale

Buller. Are they good—or are they bad ? here, but wherever the lightning chooses to

I am dubious. go, there it goes—the blind agent of indis

North. Thunder-storms travel fast and criminating destruction.

far—but here they seem simultaneous ; Buller. Capricious Zig-zag.

Thule is more vociferous than the whole of Nortu. Jemmy was overmuch given to Wales together—yet perhaps the sound itmouthing in the seasons; and in this de- self of the verses is the loudest of all—and scription--matchless though it be-he some

we cease to hear the thunder in the din that times out-mouths the big-mouthed thunder describes it. at his own bombast. Perhaps that is inevi

Buller. Severe—but just. table--you must, in confabulating with that

North. Ha ! thou comest in such a quesMeteor, either imitate him, to keep him and tionable shapeyourself in countenance, or be, if not mute as

Entrant. That I will speak to thee. How a mouse, as thin-piped as a fly. In youth I

as a fly. In youth 1 do you do, my dear sir ? used to go sounding to myself among the how do you do? mountains the concluding lines of the Re

North. Art thou a spirit of health or gobtreat:

lin damned ?

ENTRANT. A spirit of health. “ Amid Carnarvon's mountains rages loud

North. It is—it is the voice of TalBOYS. The repercussive roar; with mighty crush, Don't move an inch. Stand still for ten secInto the flashing deep, from the rude rocks

onds-on the very same site, that I may Of Penmanmaur heaped hideous to the sky, Tumble the smitten cliffs, and Snowdon's peak have one steady look at you, to make assuDissolving, instant yields his wintry load; rance doubly sure- and then let us meet Far seen, the heights of heathy Cheviot blaze, each other half-way in a Cornish hug. And Thule bellows through her utmost isles.” Talboys. Are we going to wrestle al

ready, Mr. North? Are they good-or are they bad ? I fear- NORTH. Stand still ten seconds more. He not good. But I am dubious. The previous is he—You are you-gentlemen—H. G. picture has been of one locality—a wide Talboys—Seward, my crutch-Buller, your one—but within the visible horizon-enlarged somewhat by the imagination, which, Talboys. Wonderful feat of agility! Feet as the schoolmen said, inflows into every act up to the ceilingof the senses—and powerfully, no doubt, North. Don't say ceiling. into the senses engaged in witnessing a thun- Talboys. Why not? ceiling-cælum. Feet der-storm. Many of the effects so faithfully, up to heaven. and some of them so tenderly painted, inter- North. An involuntary feat—the fault of est us by their picturesque particularity : Swing-sole fault_but I always forget it

when agitated“ Here the soft flocks, with that same harmless BULLER. Some time or other, sir, you will

look They wore alive, and ruminating still

fly backwards and fracture your skull. In fancy's eye; and there the frowning bull,

NORTH. There, we have recovered our And ox half-raised."

equilibrium-now we are in grips, don't fear

a fall—I hope you are not displeased with We are here in a confined world-close to us your reception. and near; and our sym thies with its in- Talboys. I wrote last night, sir, to say I habitants—human or brute-comprehend I was coming—but there being no speedier


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have on your

hour ago

conveyance-I put the letter in my pocket, the full force of the words—"Fortunate and there it is

Isles.” The Bens were magnificent. At North.

Tarbert-just as I was disembarking—who (On reading Dies Boreales.- No. 1.") should be embarking but our friends Outram, A friend returned ! spring bursting forth again !

M.Culloch, Macnee The song of other years! which, when we roam,

North. And why are they not here? Brings up all sweet and common things of home, TALBOYS. And I was induced—I could And sinks into the thirsty heart like rain !

not resist them--to take a trip on the InSuch the strong influence of the thrilling strain

We returned to Tarbert and had
By human love made sad and musical,
Yet full of high philosophy withal,

a glorious afternoon till two this morningPoured from thy wizard harp o'er land and main! thought I might lie down for an hour or two

A thousand hearts will waken at its call, -but, after undressing, it occurred to me And breathe the prayer they breathed in earlier that it was advisable to redress--and be off

youthMay o'er thy brow no envious shadow fall i

instanter--so, wheeling round the head of Blaze in thine eye the eloquence of truth!

Loch Long—never beheld the day so lovely Thy righteous wrath the soul of guilt appal, --I glided up the gentle slope of Glencroe As lion's streaming hair or dragon's fiery tooth! and sat down on “ Rest and be thankful"

TALBoys. I blush to think I have given to hold a minute's colloquy with a hawk-or you the wrong paper,

some sort of eagle or another, who seemed North. It is the right one. But may I to think nobody at that hour had a right to ask what you head?

be there but himself-covered him to a nicety TALBOYS. A hat. At least it was so an with


rod—and had it been a gun, he was

a dead bird. Down the other that is, this North. It never will be a hat again. side of the glen, which, so far from being

Talboys. A patent hat—a waterproof precipitous, is known to be a descent but by hat—it was swimming, when I purchased it the pretty little.cataractettes playing at leapyesterday, in a pail-warranted against Lam frog-from your description I knew that mas floods

must be Loch Fine—and that St. CatheNorth. And in an hour it has come to rine's. Shall I drop down and signalize the this! Why, it has no more shape than a Inverary Steamer ? I have not time-s0 coal-heaver's.

through the woods of Ardkinglass—surely Talboys. Oh! then it can be little the the most beautiful in this world--to Cairnworse; for that is its natural artificial shape.dow. Looked at my watch-had forgot to It is constructed on that principle—and the wind her up-set her by the sun-and on patentee prides himself on its affording equal nearing the inn door an unaccountable improtection to head, shoulders, and back-hel- pulse landed me in the parlor to the right. met at once and shield.

Breakfast on the table for somebody up North. But you must immediately put on stairs—whom nobody-so the girl said dry clothes

could awaken—ate it—and the ten miles Talboys. The clothes I have on are as were but one to that celebrated Circuit dry as if they had been taking horse-exercise Town. Saluted Dun-nu-quech for your sake all morning before a laundry-fire. I am wa- --and the Castle for the Duke's—and could terproof all over—and I had need to be so- have lingered all June among


gorgeous for between Inverary and Cladich there was groves. much moisture in the atmosphere.

North. Do-do-go and put on dry North. Do-do-go and put on dry clothes. clothes. Why the spot you stand on is ab- Talboys. Hitherto it had been coolsolutely swimming

shady_breezy—the very day for such a Talboys. My sporting-jacket, sir, is a new saunter-when all at once it was an oven. invention-an invention of my own-to the I had occasion to note that fine line of the sight silk--to the feel feathers--and of feathers Poet's—“Where not a lime-leaf moves,” as is the texture—but that is a secret, don't blab I passed under a tree of that species, with it and to rain I am impervious as a plover. an umbrage some hundred feet in circum

North. Do-do-go and put on dry clothes. ference, and a presentiment of what was

Talboys. Intended to have been here last coming whispered “Stop here”—but the night-left Glasgow yesterday morning, and Fates tempted me on—and if I am rather had a most delightful forenoon of it in the wet, sir, there is some excuse for it-for steamer to Tarbert. Loch Lomond fairly there was thunder and lightning, and a great outshone herself—never before bad I felt I tempest,

NORTH. Not to-day? Here all has been all fiery green in the gloom-sat down-as hush,

composedly as you would yourself, sir-on a Talboys. It came at once from all points knoll, in another region-engirdled with of the compass-and they all met—all the young birch-groves—as beautiful a restingstorms—every mother's son of them-at a place, I must acknowledge, as, after a lyricentral point—where I happened to be. Of cal flight, could have been selected for recourse, no house. Look for a house on an

pose by Mr. Wordsworth. emergency, and if once in a million times you North. I know it-Arash-alaba-chalinsee one—the door is locked, and the people ora-begota-la-chona-hurie. Archy will go gone to Australia.

for it in the evening--all safe. But do go NORTH. I insist on you putting on dry and put on dry clothes. What now, Billy ? clothes. Don't try my temper.

Billy BALMER. Here are Mr. Talboy trunk, TALBoys. By-and-by I began to have my sir. suspicions that I had been distracted from North. Who brought it? the road-and was in the Channel of the Billy. Nea, Maister-I dan't kņa'-I Airey. But on looking down I saw the 'spose Carrier. I ken’t reet weel—ance at Airey in his own channel-almost as drumly Windermere-watter. as the mire-burn-vulgarly called road-I NORTH. Swiss Giantess—Billy. was plashing up. Altogether the scene was Billy. Ay—ay—sir. most animating and in a moment of intense North. You will find the Swiss Giantess exhilaration—not to weather-fend, but in de- as complete a dormitory as man can desire, fiance-I unfurled my Umbrella.

Talboys. I reserve it for myself in event of North. What, a Plover with a Parapluie ? rheumatism. Though lined with velvet, it

TalBoys. I use it, sir, but as a Parasol. is always cool-ventilated on a new princiNever but on this one occasion had it affront- ple—of which I took merely a hint from the ed rain.

Punka. My cot hangs in what used to be North. The same we sat under, that dog- the Exhibition-foom-and her Retreat is now day, at Dunoon?

a commodious Dressing-room. Billy, show TALBOYS. The same. Whew! Up into Mr. Talboys to the Swiss Giantess. the sky like the incarnation of a whirlwind ! Billy. Ay-ay, sir. This way Mr. TalNo turning outside in—too strong-ribbed for boy—this way, sir. inversion-before the wind he few-like a Talboys. What is your dinner-hour, Mr. creature of the element—and gracefully ac- North? complished the descent on an eminence about North. Sharp seven-seven sharp. a mile off.

Talboys. And now 'tis but half-past two. NORTH. Near Orain-imali-chauan-mala- Four hours for work. The Cladich—or chuilish ?

whatever you call him—is rumbling disorderTalboys. I eyed him where he lay-not ly in the wood; and I noted, as I crossed without anger. It had manifestly been a the bridge, that he was proud as a piper of wilful act--he had torn himself from my being in Spate—but he looks more rational grasp—and now he kept looking at me-at down in yonder meadow-and -HEAVEN safe distance as he thought—like a wild ani- HAVE MERCY ON ME! THERE's Loch AWE!! mal suddenly undomesticated-and escaped NORTH. I thought it queer that you never into his native liberty. If he had sailed be- looked at it. fore the wind-why might not I? No need Talboys. Looked at it? How could I to stálk him—so I went at him right in front look at it? I don't believe it was there. If —but such another flounder! Then, sir, I it was—from the hill-top I had eyes

but first knew fatigue.

for the Camp—the Tents and the Trees NORTH.

and “Thee, the spirit of them all !” Let me “So eagerly The FIEND have another eye-full-another soul-full of O'er bog, or steep, through strait, rough, dense, the Loch. But 'twill never do to be losing or rare,

time in this With head, hands, wings, or feet pursues

way. Where's my creel—where's

his And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps or flies.”

creel ? my

North. On your shouldersTalBoys. Finally I reached him-closed Talboys. And my Book? Lost-loston him—when Eolus, or Eurus, or Notus, or lost! Not in any one of all my pockets. I Favonius—for all the heathen wind-gods shall go mad. were abroad—inflated him, and away he

flew North. Not far to go. Why your Book's -rustling like a dragon fly—and zig-zagging in your hand.


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