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Lawson and Daniel Wilson might be added | In the train of the senator follow other to this category.
members of the College of Justice—ProIn a recent number of the Wilness we no fessor Ayton, with his “ Lays of the Cavaticed a flourish of trumpets, apropos of St. liers,” and Theodore Martin, or, as he is Bernard's Crescent and its origin. It stated better known, Bon Gualtier, another balladthat the avenue of elms, which Wilkie had ist, who give a fruitful promise of the tribe. rendered illustrious by admiring, and Rae- Bon Gualtier's ballads are far more of the burn by encasing in a palisado of stone troubadour cast than those of his brother columns, had renewed its glory by having bard, who nevertheless is alleged to have become the abode of literary genius-no less borrowed from him “The Great Glenmutchillustrious a personage than Mr. Leitch kin,” a story of the Railway Mania, which, Ritchie, author of · Schinderhannes, the in its day, was a lucky hit ; but the author Robber of the Rhine," having dignified it has not yet gone and done the like again. with his local habitation and his name; Ayton's ballads are eminently descriptive of whilst Miss Rigby, whose particular literary the passing events and sensations of a point distinctions we lamentably forget at this of history, wound up with a piece of moralmoment, and Colonel Mitchell, the translator izing, generally of a transcendental character, of “Wallenstein,” conspired, along with the and, like a rocket or a comet, leaving the aforesaid author of the “ Magician,” to form trail of poetic light mostly in the tail, or a literary coruscation on the banks of the (technically) “the tag” of the piece. Not Water of Leith. There is somehow a literary so Martin; his ballads are of a uniform Will o' the Wisp atmosphere about the equability throughout, and betray the hand morass of St. Bernard's Crescent. Many of an adept in the joyous science; although others of the minor literati live about the destroyed by a levity which might do for spot-in Carlton street, Danube street, and Punch, and which, from other efforts of the Ann street, and may be seen imbibing inspi- author's extant, we are persuaded has less ration at the Temple of Health, in the ad- affinity to his true poetic vein than Ayton's joining valley by daylight any of these holi- pathos has to his style. day mornings, along with the cream of the This class of writers most fitly ushers in morning papers. It is no disparagement to the ladies, and we are glad to place them “the party” we have just mentioned, that under the escort of the cavaliers. Mrs. it is led off by a lord. Yet we must own Johnstone, Mrs. Crowe, Mrs. J. R. Stoddart, that the facility of the honorable author of Miss Catherine Sinclair, and Miss Frances “ Leaves from a Journal,” and “ Gleams of Brown, represent the Edinburgh galaxy of Thought,” is more fatal than that of octo female talent at this moment. Not but there syllabic verse with which every one is fami are others who might be named, though liar. Lord Robertson is no longer “a some, we suspect, had rather not; and indouble-barrelled gun-one barrel charged deed their writing anonymously is sufficient with law and another charged with fun—" cause for not directing the eyes of inquirers for one of his barrels is now charged with their way. The fame of Mrs. Johnstone is matter far more explosive. How his lord- long and well established. No female author ship, with Judge Blackmore's “ Farewell to of the present day has earned a high literary the Muse” before his eyes, has adventured reputation so well, yet borne it so unobtruup the rugged steep of Parnassus, is more sively. At present she is not resident in than we can tell. His lordship is a poet of Edinburgh. Mrs. Crowe aspires to be the “larger growth," and has essayed a sort of leader of literary coteries; and unquestionagricultural explanation of the phenome. ably succeeds. The habitues of the Queen
Street Hall attend her; she has all the lions
of the den growling round her in their varied Myself I dire not call a poet sown By Nature's hand; or if there be a germ
and interesting styles. But the authoress of of poetry within my soul, 'twas cast
“Susan Hopley," " Lilly Dawson," and, last On stony ground, or wisely choked by weeds,
not least, " The Nightside of Nature," queens And withered as it vainly struggled forth. it admirably over the zoological group. Sir In other culture early youth was passed, Walter Scott, we think it is, who avers that And thoughts, amid the whirl of busy life,
all the good ghost stories are unfounded, and Unfitted for its growth, my mind engross'd;
the stupid ones only genuine. So far, then, And thus the soil neglected lay. But if, Since years have scattered silver o'er my head,
Mrs. Crowe's chance of teaching that “there The dews have fallen, and by reflection's showers
are more things in heaven and earth than The seed has sprung to life, 'tis by the warmth are dreamt of in our philosophy," was but Of southern sun the leaf has budded forth."
a poor one. She has, however, contrived to
tell all the good ghost stories she could, and person whom I thought likely to inform me—a to sink the stupid ones; so that she has left habit which was probably troublesome enough to
the friends and acquaintances of my childhood : truth completely at the bottom of the well. No matter--ghost stories are all the better stock of words ; and when further advanced in
but by this method I soon acquired a considerable for being a little incredible; and Mrs. Crowe life, enlarged it still more by listening attentively would have but spoiled her book by improving to my young brothers and sisters reading over the their veracity. Mrs. J. R. Stoddart, the lady tasks required at the village school. They were of the W. S., has a literary reputation on the generally obliged to commit to memory a certain strength of a translation—“ the Life of Albert portion of the dictionary and English grammar Durer"--an artist's love tale, and a fiction each day; and by hearing them read it aloud, of more power than purpose. As for Miss
frequently for that purpose, as my memory was
betier than theirs, (perhaps rendered so by necesCatherine Sinclair, we really think this lady
sity,) I learned the task much sooner than they, a most sensible, sedate, and sober genius. and frequently heard them repeat it... My No one else could contrive to throw so much first acquaintance with books was necessarily brilliant commonplace into a conversation, or formed amongst those which are most common in to exhibit the fashions and frivolities of life country villages. 'Susan Gray,' • The Negro in Edinburgh in a more faithful form. The Servant,? • The Gentle Shepherd,'' Mungo Park's
Travels,' and, of course, · Robinson Crusoe,' were “serious world,” to which she professes
among the first of my literary friends; for I often more especially to belong, is most unmerci
heard them read by my relatives, and remember fully shown up in more ways than one; but to have taken a strange delight in them, when I chiefly, unconsciously, in the original remarks am sure they were not half understood. Books and observations that stud the pages of have been always scarce in our remote neighbor“Modern Accomplishments,". “ Modern So hocd, and were much more so in my childhood; ciety," “ The Journey of Life,” &c., &c. Of but the craving for knowledge which then como
menced grew with my growth; and as I had no all her productions we like the descriptive
books of my own in those days, my only resource ones the best, as “ Hill and Valley,” “Scot
was borrowing from the acquaintances I had to land and the Scotch,” “Shetland and the
some of whom I owe obligations of the kind that Shetlanders ;” and although we know not will never be forgotten. what Miss Sinclair had to do with the “Lives “ In this way I obtained the reading of many of the Cæsars,” we believe that a high rank
valuable works, though generally old ones; but in the order of merit must be assigned, with
it was a great day for me when the first of Sir
Walter Scott's works fell into my hands. It was all her faults and absurdities, to a lady who
The Heart of Mid-Lotbian,' and was lent me by has written so well, and published so much.
a friend whose family were rather better provided Miss Frances Brown has not resided long in with books than most in our neighborhood. Edinburgh. Her story, from its peculiarity, “My delight in the work was very great, even is best told in her own words :
then ; and I contrived, by means of borrowing,
to get acquainted in a very short time with the “ I was born," she says, “ on the 16th of Janu
greater part of the books of its illustrious author ; ary, 1816, at Stranorlar, a small village in the
for works of fiction, about this time, occupied all county of Donegal. My father was then, and
my thoughts. I had a curious mode of impressing still continues to be, the postmaster of the village. awake in the silence of the night, and repeating it
on my memory what had been read, namely, lying I was the seventh child in a family of twelve;
all over to myself. To that habit I probably owe and my infancy was, I believe, as promising as
the extreme tenacity of memory
now possess. that of most people. But at the age of eighteen months, not having received the benefit of Jenner's
But, like all other good things, it had its attendant
evil, for I have often thought it curious that, discovery, I had the misfortune to lose my sight by the small-pox, which was then prevalent in our
whilst I never forgot any scrap of knowledge colneighborhood. This, however, I do not remem
Jected, however small, yet the common events of ber, and indeed recollect very little of my infant daily life slip from my memory so quickly that I years. I never received any regular education,
can scarcely find anything again which I have
once laid aside. But this misfortune has been but very early felt the want of it; and the first time I remember to have experienced this feeling
useful to me in teaching ine habits of order." strongly, was about the beginning of my seventh Commencing with “ Baines' History of the year, when I heard our pastor (my parents being French Wars," advancing through " Hume's members of the Presbyterian Church) preach for History of England,” and the “Universal the first time. On the occasion alluded to, I was History,” Miss Brown dates her historical particularly struck by many words in the sermon, information from her thirteenth year. This which, though in common use, I did not then understand ; and from that time adopted a plan for
was succeeded by geography, in regard to acquiring information on this subject. When a
which she says: word unintelligible to me happened to reach my “ In order to acquire a more perfect knowledge ear, I was careful to ask its meaning from any of the relative situations of distant places, I some
times requested a friend who could trace maps, to ments that appertain to these genuine naplace my fingers upon some well-known spot, the tional volumes ; albeit, the name of Mr. Balsituation of which I had exactly ascertained, and lantyne is more likely to descend to posterity then conduct the finger of the other hand from in connection with another order of art, since the points thus marked to any place on the map he is the principal decorator in stained glass whose position I wished to know, at the same time mentioning the places through which my of the magnificent Houses of Parliament now fingers passed. By this plan, having previously in progress of erection at Westminster. Both known how the cardinal points were placed, I was the “Wallet” and the “ Miller” contain enabled to form a tolerably correct idea, not only healthy scraps of poetry, with many of of the boundaries and magnitude of various coun which the public is otherwise familiar, in tries, but also of the course of rivers and moun
“Whistle Binkie” and “ Nursery Rhymes ;' tain chains."
but we question if in pure chrysolite beauty Poetry, and attempts at original composi- any gem of the Ballantyne diadem, “We tions--imitations of everything she knew- ragged laddie” inclusive, equals the author's from the Psalms to Gray's Elegy, followed, latest and most exquisite effusion, published until she first made acquaintance with the with the music, Iliad, through the medium of Pope. The perusal of this work induced her to burn her “ Ilka blade o' grass keps its ain drap o' dew." first MSS.; and Childe Harold, when she afterwards met with it, induced her to resolve Gilfllan (not “the gifted,” but Robert Gilagainst making verses for the future. Soon fillan of Leith) still toys felicitously with the afterwards, however, she wrote the little the social muse; Mr. Vedder, the admirable story of La Perouse, contained in her first lyrist; and Captain Charles Gray, the dispublished volume; and from contributing to ciple and imitator of Burns, still occasionally the Irish Penny Journal, aspired to the Lon- appear on the literary horizon. But the hope don Athenæum. Her published volumes are of Edinburgh poetry centres in Mr. Robert “The Star of Alteghei," published in Lon. Jamieson, a writer to the signet, and author don, by Moxon, in 1844, and " Lyrics and of a highly dramatic poem-not, however, Miscellaneous Poems," in Edinburgh, in 1847, conceived in a dramatic form—"Nimrod.” by Sutherland and Knox. The latter collec- We always thought there was fervor about tion is immeasurably superior to the former. Mr. Jamieson, but hardly suspected it to be Miss Brown is a psychological phenomenon; poetic, till “Nimrod” revealed it. This and the remarkable perseverance and inge- work is after an exalted order of poetry; nuity by which she has triumphed over one and, with many subtle refinements, which it of the most severe privations of life, require requires no mean power to depict and preto be known in order to comprehend the serve throughout the shadowings and fore strange feeling that pervades her poems. shadowings of a theme half prophetic of
The summary of Edinburgh Literary So- man's unfolding nature and final destiny, a ciety around this Christmas Log cannot bet- little more decision, and a little more strength, ter be summed up than by a phalanx of poets; would have stamped “ Nimrod” as the poem in whom our ranks are at this time preëmi- of the age. As it is, Mr. Jamieson, when he nently rich. Amongst them we have James tries again, will equal Browning, and eclipse Ballantyne, the fine doric author of "The Tennyson, for he is disfigured with the manGaberlunzie's Wallet” and • The Miller of nerism of neither. Deanhaugh," and all the songs and senti
From the Metropolitan.
THE “FRIEDHOF,” OR COURT OF PEACE.*
“ Sweet sister, come, and let us roam away o'er the fine arched bridge,
“ No," said the little girl with the golden hair,
“Come, come, let us hie to the free broad road--the folks are all passing that way,
“No," said the girl with the golden hair,
“ There are whispering leaves down this green lane amid the old crofts and trees ;
“So,” said the girl with the golden hair,
This brother and sister were parted wide; but when fleeting years rolled by,
“ For,” said the girl with the golden hair,
Home of the prodigal ! rest for the weary! the path of the just below
“ Thus,” said the girl with the golden hair,
* Or" burial-place," in German.
From Hogg's Instructor.
THE LATE REV. ARCHIBALD ALISON, LL.B.
BY GEORGE GILFILLAX.
This late distinguished divine has left two “Oh lady, we receive but what we give ! separate claims to reputation-first, as a speculator on the beautiful, and, secondly, as Ours is the wedding-garment–ours the shroud.” a writer of sermons. In the former field, that he is entirely original no one can believe As to Wordsworth, association is the grand who remembers Akenside's exclamation-- key to much of his poetry, which without this “ 'Tis mind alone, bear witness earth and
were a spring shut up and a fountain sealed. heaven ;” an exclamation containing in it the Many of the objects which he presents to essence of his theory, that beauty, namely, view are such as are generally called beauticonsists in trains of thought and feeling sug- ful; but how much, through this fine pringested more or less directly and vividly by ciple, has he added to their effect! He has external objects. It seems now, too, to be | poured out the riches of his mind upon the generally admitted, that from the kindling scenery of the “Lakes,” till Windermere has love of his own views he has carried them kindled into new lustre under the poet's too far, and left too little room for those steadfast look, like a red western heaven quick instinctive perceptions of the beautiful glorifying its waters, till Helvellyn has which arise so early, and break forth so sud- echoed his solemn voice, and Skiddaw stood denly, as hardly to come within the strict
more sublimely in the majesty of his mind, limits of bis theory. Let us grant, too, that and the Brathay murmured more musically Lord Jeffrey, if not so minute and copious, in his verse, and Grassmere grown more rohas been more eloquent, and more distinct, mantic under the still pressure of his broodguarded, succinct, and memorable in his ex- ! ing eye, and the Duddon in all its windings position of the view. But to Alison be the felt the witchery of a poet's presence and praise of first announcing, in a popular form, the consecrating influence of a poet's song; the astonishing conceptions, which had passed and the tarns of a hundred wildernesses been before for the reveries of half-insane poets surrounded with golden circles of glory, and philosophers, that the universe is a great which can never fade or die away! To the mirror to the mind of man--that the star waste and seemingly meaningless parts of must, stooping, increase its lustre at the soul creation he has given a voice, an intelligence, —that the sun is but half-lit till the human and a beauty. Crabbe has written much on eye mirror it, and the human spirit breathe the same principle, with this difference, that on it—and that, in contemplating the fairest the objects selected by Wordsworth are those scenes, we are ourselves half-creating their of nature, while the others are generally of loveliness.
art, or of the humbler and coarser of creaTo the first broaching of such views of the tion's works. In some measure has he thus, beautiful we owe not merely the illustrations even more than the great Laker, substanthey have received from the pens of the tiated the power of association, and illusprose philosophers, who have explained, trated the doctrines of Alison. Byron, too, modified, or defended them—the Dugald knew this secret well; and “Childe Harold,” Stewarts, Browns, and Jeffreys—but also the in some points his noblest work, is glorified, account to which they have been turned by not so much by its brief and burning picthe poets. Who has forgotten the fine let tures of natural scenery, nor by its sweet and ter addressed by Burns to Alison ? Cole- | mighty eloquence, nor by its bursts of lawridge has wrought the leading thought of the less passion, nor by the mournful solemnity system into the well-known lines
which shadows all its confessional pages, nor