Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

so sometimes, old maid though I be), I consider whether founders, glassmakers, potters, jewellers, &c. the 'Artit would be wiser to go and enjoy myself very much, Union' will therefore prove a valuable counsellor and but at the risk of late hours, heated rooms, cold currents welcome visitor. Already we see evidences of the of air, the temptations of dancing, ices, and so on; or to prodigious advance which has taken place in nearly all stay quietly at home, read, work, or chat, content with branches of art to which the ornamental can be applied ; my biscuit and glass of negus, and go to bed at ten as and we would only hint to young men, that they must usual? In the same manner I reduce everything to this now look to something more than mere imitation for question-Which is the wiser? Not from any great love a name, or even moderate success in their career. for life, but from a desire to preserve my independence In an article on the ‘Prospects of British Art' in the as long as possible. It is, indeed, a duty incumbent on number for January, the following passages occur :every member of society to preserve his health in the In the whole history of the species, we doubt whether best possible state, for an unhealthy member is a bur- there has been anything comparable to the improvement den instead of a support to the community. Think of of England within the last century-so many admirable this when a little spice of vanity prompts you to wear inventions, so many applications of these inventions, a pair of pretty thin shoes in dubious weather, instead such a progress of general cultivation, such an intellecof less sightly but more substantial old friends. “If I tual estimate of its individual advantages and of its do catch cold,” whispers vanity, “that will hurt nobody moral power! We do not, however, say that this has but myself.” But vanity would mislead you, as she not been accompanied with great evils. A large amount generally does those who listen to her; and pass over of capital has been employed, with increased ingenuity, in silence the trouble which an illness would entail upon to minister to the wants of increased refinement: this, your family. You would be nursed and petted, while which has ever a tendency to crowd men together in not one other person in the house would be exempt cities, has not hitherto had a beneficial effect. The arts from care and anxiety on your account.'

have been separated from design ; men have worked as * Thank you, dear Lucy. I have often sinned in that machines; the pattern was imported and pirated by respect quite thoughtlessly, but I will take care to do competition. The truth is, men have laboured without 80 no more.'

instruction, amid a caste without education. This is, * If you act up to that resolution, Margaret, I shall happily, now undergoing a gradual change. Education, see that my warning tale has not been given in vain. adopted upon a good system, will soon, we trust, induce But come, the sun has just set, and I must not wait habits of foresight and self-control, restrain the improfor the night dews; thereby, like too many teachers, vidence and profligacy of the idle hour of the artisan, spoiling a good precept with a bad example.'

raise him in his own respect, and make those arts which are mostly dependent upon intellectual and moral re

finement the chief source of his pleasures.' As to the THE ART.UNION JOURNAL.

immediate prospects of art, 'Government has openly AMONG the various periodicals which are now en- and liberally admitted its claim to public support. This deavouring to carry out objects of social improvement, concession is made, too, at a time when the education we know of none likely to be more useful than the of the people is held binding as a public duty. Thus * Art-Union Monthly Journal,'* a work devoted to the education and the arts will act and react, refine and elepromotion of taste in the arts, and consequently to the vate each other; it signifies but little how intellectual refinement of the feelings. Too long has Great Britain beauty is perceived (moral truth is only another form hung back in morbid indifference to the beautiful, of this); once communicated, it must inspire aversion whether as directed to the eye or ear; and her suitable for everything vile and specious, which becomes thus a reward she has found in a people more sunk in sensual social guarantee, almost as effective as well-considered gratification than those of any other country in Europe. principles. As knowledge also enables us to see things But all this, we are glad to think, is now in course of in their causes and their consequences, so does genius, amendment. A taste for the elegant in art is no longer whether in literature or art, by operating upon these as presumed to be incompatible with either religion or a spiritual sense, enhance, vary, and gracefully combine morals, but is known to be a powerful auxiliary to both: them, until they become the silent monitors of the conit is at least felt that a man is not the worse for sur science and of the will. That, also, which genius disrounding himself with objects of refinement, instead of covers, is a possession for ever; for great truths, once those that have no association with the higher senti- admitted, remain the inheritance of generations. Thus ments.

permanency is added to principle. Of this, moreover, While we are in a transition state from semi-bargovernments may be assured, that to develop, enbarous to cultivated feelings, the 'Art-Union Journal courage, and employ the talent of a nation, is the best appropriately makes its appearance, and aspires to act guarantee not only for public morals, but political as a monitor and guide. We do not presume to say good.' that so noble an enterprise might not have been under Stepping down from this heroic altitude, our next taken by persons more competent than Mr S.C. Hall; but extract will be from an article in the August number, we are certain that none could have entered on it with on the adornment of houses with works of art. a more enthusiastic love of art, or a stronger desire to present, there is much incongruity in domestic ornafulfil, in truth and honesty, the professed purposes of the ment, which the writer hopes to dispel. • It is only work. Assisted by his gifted lady, who throws over the natural to consider that, on entering a mansion, the first pages of the “ Art-Union' the charm of her agreeable appearance should be one of simplicity, gradually leadfictions, Mr Hall has been fortunate in being the first ing the eye with increasing delight through the inferior to carry out to a successful issue a periodical production apartments and staircases to the drawing-room, where purely artistic in character ; nor has this success been the principal luxuries of art and ornamentation should undeserved. We have before us a work literally over- be assembled. flowing with embellishment-engravings of some of the • Thus a principle becomes established ; and so it apfinest modern pictures, and highly-finished cuts in wood pears to be pretty generally carried out in our noblest of things the most novel and tasteful in the useful arts ; abodes, unless interfered with by the architectural ar. the whole designed to educate the eye, and lead to rangements of the interior. It is upon such examples higher aspirations after physical and moral beauty. In that it is safest to found some rules for our guidance in the letterpress, a variety of observations occur calculated houses of lesser pretensions ; and purely in the hope to rouse attention to subjects connected with art, and that the subject may engage the attention of others, in particular to improve the forms of numerous articles who will communicate their views to the public, the few of manufacture: to cabinetmakers, ornamental iron- following remarks are thrown out for consideration.

* In the entrance-hall statues are appropriate, or busts * London : Chapman and Hall. In monthly numbers, quarto. upon consoles. If pictures are added, they ought to be

adapted to the sizes of the spaces left unoccupied by ing street, forest, castle, and interior. Occasionally, doorways, and if inserted in the panelling, would form in the principal theatres, new scenes are painted, but a continuation of architectural divisions ; besides, they are only sufficient to excite a desire for greater liberality give an appearance of greater space than if hung in in this department of art. Hear what is done in Italy frames. In town-houses, allegorical or mythological and France. • In Italy, the scenery of an opera or figure- subjects are the most suitable. For country. ballet is of equal importance to the composition. It is houses, hunting pieces, fruit and game subjects, or always new to the new pieces: if the opera or ballet whole - length portraits. Religious compositions are fail, the scenery is totally obliterated. By these means wholly out of place in entrance-halls.

a succession of original subjects analogous to the piece • The dining-room, being dedicated to festivity, should are constantly presented, and contribute to the general have analogous subjects : bright landscapes, of good efficiency by boldness of design, and a close approach dimensions, are cheering. A superb example of this to the enchanting luxuries of the beau ideal. In execu. taste exists at Bowood, the seat of the Marquis of tion, they differ materially from the careful finish of the Lansdowne, where the panels are filled by large Italian Parisian stage, being as strongly imbued with poetic landscapes, painted by C. Stanfield, R. A. The cheer- invention as their ancient school of painting, and exeing, joyous effect of this decoration must be seen to be cuted with the same grandeur and massive idea. At appreciated. There is another class of pictures which, the theatre of La Scala alone, upwards of one hunwith refined taste and love of literature, becomes appro- dred and twenty new scenes are painted annually; and priate—as the portraits of distinguished persons, either of such interest are these decorations in that classic sovereigns, warriors, or men distinguished for acquire- land of art, that as regularly as a new operatic perments which reflect honour on themselves or their formance succeeds on the stage, so does a series of country. To dine in the imposing presence of great engravings appear contemporaneously with the publi"celebrities,” is not without its influence on the grateful cation of the music, delineating the scenery which has repast: it is adding the luxuries of mind to the lower contributed to the triumph and embellishment of the gratifications of the table. The dining-parlour at North- musical composition. These prints, which are scarcely wick Park, the seat of Lord Northwick, is an example known in England, comprise designs of the highest that may be cited for the superb Vandykes by which magnificence, without the slightest violation of the it is decorated.

grammar of practical art. Thus the twin sisters of Staircases are not generally suitable for pictures ; music and painting are linked together, and the names but sculpture, bronzes, bassi relievi, and vases, may orna of Perego, Sanquirico, and Tranquillo, who have car. ment with propriety this common channel of commu- ried the scenery of the lyric drama to the extreme nication. If pictures are there placed, they have the limits of artistic quality, are as much honoured and appearance of being discarded from the apartments, or caressed in their native climes as any of the illustrious thrust out of the way.

composers of the chosen land of song. • The library, being occupied by books, offers little The scenery of the French stage is of a completely accommodation for the fine arts; but portraits of lite- opposite character to that of Italy, being most elaborary persons or divines appear suitable, and miniatures rately worked and studied in the minutest details. may be here disposed with advantage, as well as small Authentic authorities are investigated, to insure the and elaborate pictures or drawings of high quality. truth of the most unimportant adjunct; and in com

• The next portion of an abode is that of the greatest pletion, the scenes of the French stage are so many consequence-being the drawing-room.

orthodox works, seldom soaring into the ideal, but It is generally considered that here profusion may be forming perfect pictures of the subjects displayed. The tolerated in articles which pass under the denomination visitors to the French metropolis will find plenty of of vertu. The elegances of rare porcelain, chasings, artistic instruction in admiring the scenes painted by enamels, and objects adorned with gems, carvings in Ciceri, Cambon, and Zarra: those of the newly-erected ivory, sculptures in alabaster, are all admissible accord- | Théâtre de Montpensier are by the latter. On the past ing to the present received ideas. Pictures, too, so long incongruities and anachronisms of our own stage it rejected, are now considered as suitably placed in draw. were superfluous to dilate: the past may be forgotten, ing-rooms. The subjects here appropriate are of two hoping the future is pregnant with better things for a classes either works of the highest character, or those higher object. That it is capable of becoming the facile of subjects only which are of elegant and chaste design. medium of instruction to a race thirsting for knowledge, In the first class are, however, included the low genre cannot be doubted, or of imparting sound information subjects of the old Dutch school—the occupations of on the theories and capabilities of art; thus supplying peasants, sometimes vulgar, or cattle pieces in farm- the stepping-stone to a just, true, and wholesome unyards, and similar scenes-such as persons of refinement derstanding of its value.' do not seek to witness as living realities. The wonder The · Art-Union' is acknowledged to have done some ful talent with which the great masters invested these good service by exposing on divers occasions the tricks ordinary transcripts of common nature, makes them of picture-dealers, who have lost all sense of decency in coveted as drawing-room distinctions. Of the other palming off, at high prices, trashy productions as the class, where this great attainment of skill has no exist- works of the great masters. We observe that the editor ence, the admissible subjects for drawing-room decora- keeps up a shockingly uncomfortable series of exposures tion are the classic, the elegant, the poetic, the sylvan, of these worthies, and that they no longer find it an and the pastoral. Fine prints, framed, may advanta- easy matter to get up sales of their wares. Driven in a geously contribute to the cheerfulness of bedrooms and great measure from public auctions, and having even dressing-rooms.

little chance with shop-windows, the picture-riggers, as The writer recommends that the mechanism for they are called, have had the impudence to try to find hanging pictures should not be seen. This we would purchasers in the trustees of the National Gallery. This improve upon, by greatly altering the mode of pic- comes out in a late report laid before parliament. ture-framing. A mass of gold frame is oppressive to There are many curious features in the report, not the eye, and in bad taste. Pictures of a fine kind might the least amusing of which will be found to be the vast advantageously be let into panels in the walls ; but this number of pictures offered to the trustees for purchase infers structural alteration in the dwellings. We merely by persons of no condition in life, but mere jobbers and offer the suggestion for consideration.

brokers in the species of picture-ware we have so often In the number for May, we observe a smart article denounced as vamped-up trash, for the unworthy puron the scenery of the stage. This is a good subject. poses of deception. Mr Eastlake must have had a very

The greater number of theatres in England do not sickening task to view and report on this mass of rubtrouble themselves very much about new scenery. In bish, and perhaps, but for his judgment and unflinching twenty different pieces may be seen the same everlast. | integrity, the fine works we already possess would have

been grossly contaminated by bad neighbours on the He has known men whose dispositions have, from untowalls. We may congratulate ourselves on escaping ward circumstances, been of a wavering character, as from these numerous traps with only a mock “Hol.

between honesty and dishonesty, by being permitted to bein ;” and although it is certainly not a “ Holbein,” it mingle with those above them in point of wealth and has many points to recommend it as a good work of station, become fixed in the former. , Surely, then, the the early period it represents: this has never yet been clergyman who adopts such a course as shall lead to the questioned; it is only the pecuniary value which has form one portion of the duty of his sacred calling? Teach

accomplishment of these objects, does no more than perbeen impugned-600 guineas. We intend to give an

a man, however uneducated, by association, example, and analysis of some of the individuals who have been thus kindness, what is expected of him, and what his real daties ardent in thrusting their pictures on the trustees; and are ; let him mix with men of education on a proper footsome curious anecdotes of these “ gems of art” will ing—and the association in a national game like cricket amuse the reader who is not behind the scene. We is one of the first-and his natural perception will very know of one picture offered by a man, a foreigner, which quickly point out to him what those duties are.—Danisoa's has since found its way to the stores of a pawnbroker Crickcter's Companion. for ten shillings; and another has, on the pressure of the disappointment, been offered for two sovereigns and an old coat.'

LA BOUR:

BY CAROLINE FORNE.

Ho! ye who at the anvil toil,
INTERMENTS IN LONDON.

And strike the sounding blow,
Ifrom a statement made by Mr G. A. Walker, well

Where from the burning iron's breast known for his writings on intermural burials, we gather

The sparks fly to and fro,

While answering to the hammer's ring, the following particulars :—“There are 182 parochial grave

And fire's intenser glowyards in London ; of these only 48 were confined to the

Oh! while ye feel 'tis hard to toil proper limit of 136 bodies to the acre; the rest exhibited

And sweat the long day through, various degrees of saturation, from 200 to 3000 bodies to

Remember it is harder still the acre annually. In St Andrew's Undershaft, the average

To have no work to do. per acre was 1278; Portugal Street burying-ground, 102); St Dunstan's, Fleet Street, 1182 ; St Dunstan's-in-the-East,

Ho! ye who till the stubborn soil, 1210; St John's, Clerkenwell, 3073 ; St Mary-at-Hill, 1159;

Whose hard hands guide the plough,

Who bend beneath the summer sun, St Olave, Tooley Street, 1257; St Swithin's, Tooley Street,

With burning cheek and brow1760. Turning from parish ground to dissenting burial

Ye deem the curse still clings to earth places, the following were the results:-Wickliffe Chapel,

From olden time till nowStepney, 1210; Enon Chapel, Woolwich, 1080; Parker,

But while ye feel 'tis hard to toil Dockhead, Woolwich, 1613; Moorfields, 1210; Cannon

And labour all day through, Street Road, 1109; and lastly, New Bunhillfields was distin

Remember it is harder still guished by an average of 2323. It was humiliating to think

To have no work to do. that a parish ground-St John's, Clerkenwell-stood at the

Ho! ye who plough the sea's blue fieldhead of these unchristian nuisances, pestiferous in every

Who ride the restless wave, respect, because, when a proportion of 3073 were annually

Beneath whose gallant vessel's keel interred on an acre of land, it followed that the bodies

There lies a yawning grave, could only remain in the ground five months instead of

Around whose bark the wintry winds ten years. Hence the stacking of cottins in deep pits, the

Like fiends of fury rave brutal dismemberment of bodies, the consumption of

Oh! while ye feel 'tis hard to toil

And labour long hours through, coffin wood in many localities, the danger to mourners

Remember it is harder still from attending such places; the insidious infection which,

To have no work to do. especially in the warm season, poisons the atmosphere, and by undermining health, or begetting disease, hurried

Ho! ye upon whose fevered cheeks thousands to an untimely end, again become the sub

The hectic glow is bright, jects of fresh indignities, the centre of infection to sur

Whose mental toil wears out the day vivors, and the distributors of pestilential emanations.'

And half the weary night,

Who labour for the souls of men, What admirable reasons for leaving the metropolis out of

Champions of truth and rightthe late Health of Towns Bill!

Although ye feel your toil is hard,

Even with this glorious view,
HEALTHINESS OF CRICKET.

Remember it is harder still
Within the last two years, it has been in the knowledge

To have no work to do. of the author that there are many clergymen in different parts of the kingdom who have been endeavouring to cul

Ho! all who labour-all who strivetivate cricket in their respective localities, from a convic

Ye wield a lofty power : tion, in common with himself, that a vast moral good is

Do with your might, do with your strength,

Fill every golden hour! to be achieved by a general introduction of the game

The glorious privilege to do amongst all classes. It prevents any addiction to intoxica

Is man's most noble dower. tion, because those who wish to excel, must, to a certain

Oh! to your birthright and yourselves, extent, if not entirely, eschew excess. Its characteristics,

To your own souls be true! too, are the cultivation of a fine healthy and athletic exer

A weary, wretched life is theirs cise in the open air ; a commingling, as he has often

Who have no work to do. before stated, of all grades, the one with the other ; combined also with the knowledge, that if a man desires to

A DESIRABLE NEIGHBOUR. stand well either as an operator in the game or with his superiors, his habits must be regular and steady, and his Mother wants to know if you wont please to lend her s conduct and demeanour respectful and proper. There is preserving kettle, 'cause as how she wants to preserve?" nothing so good as to let a man discover, by mixing with We would with pleasure, boy; but the truth is, the last his betters in the common pastimes of his country, with time we loaned it to your mother, she preserved it so effeethose to whom he ought to look up, that course of conduct tually, that we have never seen it since. Well, you needn't which it is best for him to pursue. The author has known be so sarsy about your old kettle. Guess it was full of many instances where the dissolute have, by being allowed holes when we borrowed it; and mother wouldn't a to meet their pastor and the gentlemen of their neighbours troubled you again, only we see'd you bringing home a new hood at cricket, become excellent members of society. one !'- American paper. He has known those who, instead of attending to religious worship, have, on the contrary, spent most, if not the

Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, High Street, Edinburgb. Also whole of a Sunday, in a public-house, turn from their ways,

sold by D. CHAMBERS, 98 Miller Street, Glasgow; W. S. ORR, and become regular recipients of religious instruction by

147 Strand, London; and J. M'GLASHAN, 21 D'Olier Street, a constant occupation of a seat in their parish church. Dublin.-Printed by W. and R. CHAMBERS, Edinburgh.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

EDINBURG://

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS, EDITORS OF CHAMBERS'S INFORMATION FOR

THE PEOPLE,' 'CHAMBERS'S EDUCATIONAL COURSE,' &c.

No. 198. New. SERIES.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16, 1847.

Price 11d.

BY THE AUTHOR OF MY YATHER THE LAIRD.'

inherited, a wadset of a hundred acres, on the extensive A HIGHLANDER OF THE LAST AGE.

estates of a noble chief whose distant relation he then

married. On this humble portion of a barren soil he In a small house near one of the numerous pretty vil-established himself while yet in the prime of life, conlages scattered along the sea-shore on the coast of De- tent with the quiet happiness the cultivation of his vonshire, there had lived for many years back a retired land insured to him. His wife, in addition to her gentle general officer, of some note in his profession. He had blood, brought him a fair portion in a large green chest, served from very early youth almost by the side of our which it took nearly half-a-dozen sturdy Highlanders to Great Captain-beginning his career in India, fighting lift from the dray it had been carried on. She had herthrough the battles of the Peninsula, and resting with self helped to fill it; for having had this marriage for the army of occupation before Cambrai. He had passed some years in contemplation, her wheel in the long a lifetime in the field. He had gained laurels, medals, winter evenings had not been idle; and the result of orders, a knighthood, and a pension-a moderate pen- her labours, added to her mother's thrift, had provided sion for several severe wounds—which addition to his her with a far from contemptible plenishing. She had half-pay enabled him to pass the decline of his bachelor passed the season of giddy youth, and both bride and days in the tranquillity which suited his disposition. bridegroom being of active habits, well acquainted with Time glided quietly on with him towards the end he the business of a farm, as it was understood in their appeared neither to wish for nor to dread. He had a times, the lieutenant and his wife began the world tosmall society of brother officers within his reach, which gether with very comfortable feelings, backed by the he mixed with occasionally. He paid a yearly visit to regular arrival of his half-pay. Their house was rather London in the spring, enjoyed a few weeks of his club, a good one for the age: it had an attic storey, which, showed himself at a levée, and returned to his country though low in the roof, gave four decent bedrooms to life all the cheerfuller for this short intercourse with people of such simple manners. They themselves occuthe busy world. He had the look of a happy man, pied a room upon the ground floor, to the right hand of although his habits were solitary. He lived much the passage on entering the house. To the left was the alone, rode or walked alone, often spending hours on kitchen, and behind, on either side the staircase, was the sea-shore alone, pacing up and down some unfre- the best parlour and the strangers' room. To judge of quented stretch of sands in a sort of reverie, or stand- the attics from the appearance of the more carefullying quite erect to gaze upon the waves, with his hands, furnished ground-floor, they must have been little inin one of which he held a stick, crossed behind him. cumbered with movables. The best bedroom contained His manner was invariably self-possessed, calm, and not only a four - post wagon - roofed bedstead, with red ungraceful, though his speech betrayed at times the checked curtains, a home-made rug by its side, a deal peculiarity of accent never thoroughly got rid of by the table, a wash-hand stand, two mahogany chairs, the Celtic tongue, and which appeared always more re seats covered with horse hair, and a print of the Counmarkable as he became animated in conversation. He tess of Coventry, whom the lieutenant had somewhere seemed to have no relations, and no friends but his mili- seen in the course of his military experience, and been tary companions. He never alluded to any but his cam so struck with, as to possess himself of this portrait of paigning days; nor would trace of his childhood's the beauty of his day. The print had hung in his own home have ever been recovered, had not a small bundle room during his bachelor life, but his wife disapproved of letters, left, with other papers, to the discretion of of its situation, and removed it to a higher sphere.' his executors, been found after his death in a curious The best parlour had a carpet reaching to the front old wooden box, that had evidently seen/ much travel. legs of the closely-set chairs, ranged round the walls, His extreme reserve on the subject of his early life two of which had stepped out of the ranks to accommakes it probable that he had forgotten these notices modate the best bedroom. A long mahogany table of it, or had intended to destroy them; but as they was placed under the window; a square mahogany contained nothing discreditable to the fame of any con- table stood in the middle of the room; and there was a cerned in their production, the following memoir has cupboard, with glass doors to the upper shelves of it, been compiled from them, as an interesting reminis revealing how rich they were in glass and china. In cence of a class of our countrymen now passed away.' their own room, as they principally lived there, there

Lieutenant-general Sir Hector Macneil, we will call was a box bed, closed during the day. The few books him, was the eldest of a fine family of children, born they had were ranged upon a hanging shelf; two and bred on a small farm in the Highlands. His father, swords were crossed over the fireplace; the green chest who had served with distinction in the German wars, stood against the wall; a small bureau near the winthough a Glasgow merchant's son, quitted the army, dow sufficed for the keeping of the goodman's accounts; when only a lieutenant, to settle on a property he had I while a great display of clews of yarn, fixed on nails

over the green chest, a small table with her knitting, fasted with the servants in the kitchen, though at a and a little wheel in the corner, proved the industry of separate table; and often was the authoritative voice the goodwife. In this room was served the neat tea of Mrs Macneil heard of a morning, before she began breakfast, of which they alone partook. Here was laid the preparations for her own tea breakfast, calling out the slight supper, followed by the tumbler,' out of to her maid to put on the porridge for the pigs and which the lieutenant spared his wife a wine glass, after the bairns.' At the noontide dinner she herself preall the house had gone to rest. Here the children sided, as she always partook of the meal served at that read their chapter,' and received their lectures for time. In winter, it was almost invariably broth or kail, misconduct; and here sometimes, when their mother's or beef brose the day after a bit of corned meat had heart was soft, they were regaled with a treat beyond been boiled, with potatoes. In summer, sowens, curds, the common from the large closet adjoining the box mashed potatoes with milk, or oaten bread and cheese, bed.

were preferred to stronger food, particularly as the The kitchen, where the family lived, where the meals goodman never came home at this hour. With a banwere prepared and eaten, and where all the various nock in his pocket, he remained abroad till evening, works were done, had a door almost in every side of it when at the family supper time-a meal which was a -one opening into a large dairy, another into a sort of sort of second or slighter edition of the dinner-the best scullery or back kitchen, another into the yard. There the house afforded was prepared for him, and served was a wide hanging chimney, from within which de- to him in the family room. In his homespun, homepended a set of strong pot-hooks, and where a bright dyed suit of dingy blue, Mr Macneil braved all weathers. peat fire blazed the whole year round. The room con- The small cocked bonnet feared no showers, the gray tained a well-filled dresser, a meal girnel, a large and a ribbed worsted stockings, of his wife's good knitting, small table, pots and pans, and tubs and cogs, a reel, rendered him indifferent to the wet his ill-dressed a muckle wheel, several small wheels, a bread tray, a brogues hardly protected his feet from. In summer, be girdle, forms, creepies, a chair or two, and, fastened often wore the little kilt, with bright scarlet hose, against the wall, numberless articles required in the fa- bound below the knee by a smart fringed garter; the mily business, or the result of the family industry. The plaid was flung across his shoulders at all seasons, extwo servant-maids, and one old trustworthy man, had cept when made quite a wrap of during the severity of their assigned places in this general rendezvous; the the winter. He often put his hand to his own work, other out-of-door servants lived with the ploughman in though his busy wife sometimes reproved him for the a divot hut near at hand, among the rest of the offices, gentlemanly indolence of his management. She showed which were set down here and there, as if by chance, no lady-like feelings of this nature herself, being eterwithout any regard to the economy of time or space, or nally employed in directing all around her. She had the any attention to the keeping of them in the background children and the servants up betimes. She kept the Underneath his own window Mr Macneil had laid out servants as busy as herself, and the children all fully a flower-plot, which he had pleasure in attending to occupied till it was time to start them for the school. himself. He had a good vegetable garden close by, On their return home, she still found plenty to set through a corner of which ran a rapid burn, overhung them about; and for her maids, in the intervals of their by weeping birch. The ground being unequal, and a more active labours there were the wheels at hand, so few rocky stones checking the stream just as it left the that not an idle moment passed; and the work was garden, he had managed to carry part of the water never done, for every season had its appointed task. In through a long spout projecting over the highest of the winter, the spinning and the knitting went briskly on; these, and thus formed a natural douche bath, beneath a certain quantity, about the utmost that active hands which he every morning placed himself, to alleviate the could do, being required by her from her maids and her pain of a rheumatic shoulder, the consequence of wet daughters weekly. In the spring, the yarn was dyed: bivouacs. The little burn, wandering lazily on, as if there were mixings, and boilings, and rinsings, and drywearied by this fretful interruption, expanded as it left ings, one effect of which was, to keep the goodman long the garden into a wide but shallow pool, beneath an a-field superintending the ploughmen, for he seldom alder tree; which change in its habits the goodwife had lingered much in the house during the progress of these taken advantage of, there to erect the posts where chemical mysteries. Then came the blanket-washing, swung her copper, gipsy fashion, for her washing. A when such piles of comfort issued from beds and chests, row of beehives faced the south, at the upper end of as covered nearly a quarter of a mile of paling when they the garden, the profits of which--not small, under such were hung out to dry. In summer, she had the yearly careful management--they let accumulate, to form the clearing of her napery-no small stock, for it was ever fund from whence their boys were to be outfitted. The added to, and very carefully hained. The sheep-shear. situation of the house had been curiously chosen-so ing, calf-rearing, butter and cheese-making, the bleachnear a wild mountain river, as to be within reach of its ing of the linen webs returned from the weaver, kept sudden overflow, an accident that happened frequently, the household busy till the harvest-time, after which and gave an air of desolation to the few acres immedi- the labours of the year began again. The goodwife set ately around, as the stones, and sand, and other wrack a bright example to her family; for she did not spare brought down by the water lay scattered over the herself. She managed the dairy entirely, creaming the ground in unsightly profusion. But the little stream cogs, and making the butter, and breaking the curd for itself was picturesque in its windings, the high banks the cheese with her own hands. She also clear-starched opposite were richly wooded, and the cultivated plain, her own high caps, ironed the shirts, and put the finish. which stretched far away behind the farm-steading, to- ing strokes to almost all that every one else began. She wards the distant amphitheatre of fantastically-shaped moved slowly about the house in a linsey-woolsey gown gray mountains, contrasted agreeably with the rougher of her own spinning, shot with two bright colours of her foreground.

own dying ; a shawl pinned over her handkerchief, a The habits of the family were simple even for the full white apron, and a large bunch of big bright kers period. They rose early, laboured hard all day, and fastened to her side. The close mutch over her braided retired early to rest. All without was supposed to be hair in the mornings, was replaced towards noon by a under the direction of the goodman, while the goodwife high-crowned muslin cap covering a thicker, and bereigned supreme within, keeping every key, and not tween them she wore a gay ribbon bound about the only directing all the various works, but assisting in head just above the lace-border. She was reckoned a their execution, and occasionally extending her watch- good wife, and mother, and mistress, and to keep a full ful eye beyond her own particular limits, to where and hospitable house—the large closet in the useful room matters not especially under her control might not never being found empty. Cakes of oatmeal, scones of have gone on quite so prosperously without her. The flour or barley-meal, good cheese, good butter, and some children, of whom there were a round half-dozen, break- | simple preserved fruits, were never wanting in it, with

« НазадПродовжити »