Зображення сторінки

remembered what he was thirty-five were enlarged to the full extent of years before ; for it was just that its new sphere. This extraordinary period since his forlorn condition quality, whose existence could nehad awakened the sympathy of Mrs. ver have been known, except by Saville, whose memory was idolized the circumstances which actually in his recollection. He never for- disclosed it, (although its secret got that condition. The “neat influence was the hidden spring of silken purse,” which contained the all his actions, as it ever must be of first twenty guineas that had ever all men who build themselves a called him master, was religiously name,) created so much astonishpreserved ; and he would often fan- ment in one of his colleagues, that cifully compare it to a little rivulet he observed, “If Sir Charles Cowelling forth from the side of some ventry were to become King of lofty mountain, which, augmented England, everybody would say he in its course by many tributary was born to wear a crown ; for he streams, becomes at last a mighty always seems to have been intended river, pouring its ample waters in a by nature for the precise station he majestic tide to the green ocean. occupies.” A profound mystery of

One of those political emergen- the world was solved in this halfcies, arising from the jealousies of jocular, half-petulant remark. It is rival statesmen, which have fre- those, and those only, “intended quently lifted into power men who by nature for the precise station had been all their lives vainly striv- they occupy,” who rule the world, ing to bring about such a consum- from the Macedonian conqueror mation of their hopes, operated pro- down to the village oracle ; and pitiously for Sir Charles Coventry. many a heart which has the noble It is true he had sown the seeds ; quality, lives and dies in ignorance but it is no less true, that without of its presence, because occasion such a concurrence of circum- has not called it forth. stances, in all probability he would Sir Charles Coventry exercised never have reaped the harvest. the high function of a Cabinet MiMatured, however, as his experi- nister for eleven years ; and during ence now was, and unabated as was the last three, that of Prime Ministhat ardor of character which had ter. But he had now passed his distinguished him from his cradle, a grand climacteric ; and though free transient misgiving of himself crept from any of the more enfeebling over his mind when the prize lay symptoms of age, began to feel a fairly within his reach, and he was desire for repose. He had lived invited to stretch forth his hand. long enough for others, and for But the misgiving was only tran- worldly objects. He wished to find sient. A noble enthusiasm succeed- a quiet interval, this side the grave, ed; the more certain to conduct for the peaceful enjoyment of himhim prosperously through his trial, self. Such, however, is the fascibecause it had been ushered in by nation of power, (next to life, the a wise diffidence, He accepted hardest thing, perhaps, to part with the seals of office ; took his seat voluntarily,) that the desire lanat the council-table as a Cabinet guished two years before he could Minister; and saw himself honored, resolve to intimate it to his Royal in a preeminent degree, by the per- Master. When he did, permission sonal and constitutional confidence was granted, but with many flatterof his sovereign. As on the other ing expressions of regret, and the occasions of his life, he at once filled still more flattering declaration of a the space in which he inoved. The wish that the memory of his eminent energies of his nature developed services should be perpetuated by themselves with increased ampli- the honors of the peerage. A few tude ; the dimensions of his intellect weeks after, the Minister resigned

the seals of office as Viscount bodies through magnificent telesGLENCRAIG!

copes, it never appeared that anyHere terminated his public life ; thing came of her star-gazing. but it was the dispensation of Pro Jt was delightful to see bim, with vidence that he should live to a ripe unimpaired faculties of mind, and old age in the serene luxury of a few infirmities of body, wearing out gradual unfelt decay, surrounded by the remnant of a life that had been an affectionate family, beloved by so full of busy incidents. Some many friends, and honored in the branches of his family were always world's esteem. Lady Glencraig, with him, and once in each year it who had been his companion in was his custom to have them all climbing the dazzling heights of assembled at his table, children, rank and power, shared with him, a grand-children, and great-grandshort time, the tranquil retirement children, even down to the nursling that followed ; but she set out be- of six months old, or younger, if fore him on the great journey of there chanced, at such a time, to be eternity. The separation was ten- a fresh arrival. Oh ! the flow of der, not agonizing; for no earthly sublime and holy feeling that would happiness is blighted, no fondly- seem to gush from the old man's cherished hopes of years to come heart at those moments, as he looked are destroyed, when, trembling on round and saw the living images of the verge of eighty, hearts are his Maker, in whose veins ran unlinked by death, which have kindred blood! How, like a patri-, throbbed in unison through all their arch of the chosen land, he would foregone days. “ Tarry yet a little discourse wisdom with the elders, space, and we will go together," mingling the maxims of this world may speak the natural wish of the with the piety of the next! And survivor ; but the soul breathes this then, he had cheerful thoughts, and consolation, “ to-day is appointed a lightsome spirit, to call up mirth for thee-and for me a to-morrow and laughter on the unclouded brow which is at hand.” The venerable of youth ; while infancy itself, seatGlencraig felt this, as he bent over ed on his knee, would chuckle and the aged form of her, on whose pale clap its dimpled hands, as he danced and wrinkled face there beamed the before its sparkling eyes the glitterplacid smile which told of blameless ing watch-chain, or radiant diamond joy that she was summoned first ; that adorned the shriveled shaking yet, not till parting was like the cur- hand. All were happy ; but he, of rent of a quiet stream, whose waters, all, the happiest ; for his share of separated by some dark and rocký happiness was swelled to overflowfragment, flow in a divided course ing by the addition of theirs. round its base, but meet again to " Julia, how old are you?” said be forever joined.

the venerable peer at one of these Two sons and four daughters of annual heart-greetings, addressing Lord Glencraig were married, and the daughter of his eldest son. the parents of a numerous offspring. “ Seventeen,” was the reply. The elder of the former, who was “ Stand by me :~And you, Mr. heir to the title, had distinguished Freds rick, with your fearless hawk's himself in several foreign missions eye, what is your age ?” of great delicacy. Two other sons, "Eleven, grandfather." and one daughter, remained unmar “Come you here too.”—Then, ried, the last probably because she casting his looks round, he fixed was devoted to a science which upon another, and another, and withdrew all her thoughts from another, till he had gathered eight earth. She was an astronomer ; of his children's children about him. but beyond looking at the heavenly - I want another yet,” he conti

nued, and it must be that little cherub-face of Harriet Beauchamp, Miss who is so busy with her doll, who had answered with a pretty in a corner by herself.”

lisp she was eight years old,) " and The child was brought. The make up eighty-five without you. laughing, rosy group stood wonder But this was his LAST BIRTHDAY. ing at what was to follow.

Never again did that happy circle * By this living multiplication gather round him: for when the table,” said he, with a gay, good-time came that so they would have bumored air, “ I reckon my age.

done, Charles Corentry, Viscount Then he began counting them: Glencraig, was made partaker of seventeen eleven fourteen that awful secret whose mystery twelve-ten—six -eight-four

stretches not beyond the grave. two-EIGHTY-FOUR.

His end was peaceful. He laid Heigho !” he exclaimed ; "to down life, as a man who had tasted think that I have had for my single of its sweetness even to satiety; sbare of life, as much as has yet and he put on immortality-for fallen to the lot of this whole clus- eternity dawns upon the soul before ter ! Well — next year you will this world fades from its glimmersteal a march upon me, and make ing consciousness forever—as one a terrible stride, so that I must who had humble hope in having drop you, Madam,” (patting the done well.


This is unquestionably the age of temporary neglect to unenviable antithesis. The poets of the day notoriety : and at the head of these have ranged themselves under two praiseworthy devotees, was the illusdistinctiy opposite banners-those trious Wordsworth. of quiet repose, and passionate ex A disciple of this great master, citement ; and, according to the and one imbued with a strong con-. fluctuations of ever-varying taste viction of the sterling truth of his and fashion, has each been alter- poetical canons, Mr. Wilson made nately magnified and extolled. A his debut in the literary world, few short years ago, nothing went whilst yet a very young man, by the down with the reading public but publication of his “ Isle of Palms ;'' Sir Walter Scott's battle scenes a work of amazing wealth in imahis gathering of the clans of the gery-ever flowing with all that is fiery cross-his gorgeous caval- bright, graceful, and gorgeous in cades, and all the pride, pomp, and conception ; but somewhat deficient circumstance of glorious war : or in that condensation of idea and of Lord Byron's semi-demoniacal bar- language, which is one of the chabarians, contrasted with woman, racteristics of poetry of the more sublimated to almost angelic loveli- exalted order. It was, however, ness. At this period, the public impossible not to discover, from this appetite was stimulated to a craving first exhibition of his powers, that, for intense emotion, not unlike that whatever might be his faults, poverof the pampered gourmand for de- ty of intellect, and obtuseness in viled turkey : the charities of the the perception of the beautiful and heart were regarded as common- the grand, were not of the number ; places; and whoever peppered the and that all that was required to highest, was surest to please. Dur- enable him to produce a work of ing the prevalence of this singular more permanent interest, was the perversion of taste, there was a application of a bridle to his singuclass of writers who nobly keptlarly wild and excursive imaginaaloof from the contagion, preferring tion. To the current productions

of the era at which it appeared, the She lisicth up her stately head Isle of Palms furnished a remarka

And saileth joyfully.

A lovely path before her lies, ble contrast. The rage was then A lovely path behind; almost exclusively for romances in She sails amid the loveliness rhyme ; and, provided the story was

Like a thing with heart and mind.

Fit pilgrim through a scene so fair, suficiently bizarre and appalling, Slowly she beareth on ; the quality of the poetry which was A glorious phantom of the deep, its vehicle was of subordinate in- Risen up to meet the Moon.

The Moon bids her tenderest radiance fail portance. In the Isle of Palms, On her wavy streamer and snow-while wing, Mr. Wilson has woven, on a slen- And the quiet voice of the rocking sea der thread of narrative, four long

To chcer ihe gliding vision sivgs. cantos of exuberant versification ; In such a holy sleep,

Oh! ne'er did sky and water blend and, instead of savage anger, insa- Or bathe in brighter quietude tiable revenge, or unnatural ha- A roamer of the deep. tred

So far the peaceful soul of Hearen

Hath settled on the sea, “ Guns, trumpets, blunderbusses, drums, and It seems as if this weight of calm thunder; ”

Were from eternity,

( World of Waters! the steadfast earth we are presented with the calm, Ne'er lay entranced like thee ! quiet, secluded beauty of nature :

Is she a vision wild and bright, green trees and dewy flowers, That sails amid the still moon-light bright sunshine, and cerulean skics, Al the dreaming soul's command ?

A vessel borne by magic gales, and sinless tears, and affectionate

All rigg'd with gossamery sails, tenderness, and pious aspirations And bound for Fairy-land? after the bliss of a more refined Ai, no !- an earthly freight she bears, state of existence ; in short, with all of jays and sorrows, hopes and fears;

And lonely as she seems to be, those brighter shades of human

Thus left by herself on the moonlight 83 feeling, which adorn and dignify In loneliness that rolls, our nature. The machinery of this She hath a constant company,

In sleep, or waking revelry, beautiful and truly original poem, Five hundred hunian souls ! is extremely simple. The story is Since first she sail'd from fair England, briefly this :- Two betrothed lovers Three moons her path have cheer'd ; are wrecked together upon a de- Since the Cape hath disappear’d.

And another lights her lovelier lamp sart, but lovely island in the Indian For an Indian isle she shapes her way sea ; where they are discovered with constant mind both night and day :

She seems to hold her home in view, seven years afterwards by the crew

And sails, as if the path she knew; of an English vessel. They return So calm and stately is her motion to England, to the great joy of the Across th’unfathom’d trackless ocean. heroine's mother ; who, having gi In the above glorious picture, ven her up for dead, at length de

our readers will recognise the germ termines to take up her abode in of the various poetical descriptions the town from the port of which her of a ship, which have appeared daughter originally sailed, with the since its publication ; especially remote hope of hearing some tidings Lord Byron's well-known and justof her fate. The following lines, ly-admired coupletfrom the first canto of the Isle of Palms, are not surpassed in beauty

“ She walks the waters like a thing of life;

And seems to dare the elements to strife." by any passage with which we are acquainted, in the whole range of Nor is the next quotation less powmodern poetry :

erful in its kind, although of a dif

ferent stamp:

And lo! upon the murmuring waves
A glorious Shape appearing!

But list ! a low and moaning sound
A broad-wing’d Vessel, through the shower At distance heard, like a spirit's song,
Of glimmering lustre steering !

And now it reigns above, around,
As if the beauteous ship enjoy'd

As if it call'd the ship along. The beauty of the sea,

The Moon is sunk; and a clouded grey

Declares that her course is run,

or raise the thund'rous cheer, And like a God who brings the day,

While, from on board the ship of war,
Up mounts the glorious Sun.

The music bands both near and far,
Soon as his lighi has warm'd the seas, Are playing, faint or clear.
From the parting cloud fresh blows the breeze; The bells ring quick a joyous peal,
And that is the spirit whose well-known song Till the very spires appear to feel
Makes the vessel to sail in joy along.

The joy that stirs throughout their tapering No fears hath she ;-her giant-form

height: O'er wrathful surge, through blackening storm, Ten thousand Aags and pendants Ay Majestically calm, would go

Abroad, like meteors in the sky,
'Mid the deep darkness white as snow ! So beautiful and bright.
But gently now the small waves glide

And, while the storm of pleasure raves
Like playful lambs o'er a mountain's side. Through each tumultuous street,
So stately her bearing, so proud her array,

Still strikes the ear one darling tune, 'The main she will traverse forever and aye. Sung hoarse, or warbled sweet; Many ports will exult at the gleam of her Well doth it suit the First of June, mast!

“ Britannia rules the waves!” -Hush ! hush! thou vain dreamer ! this hour is her last.

What ship is she that rises slow Five hundred souls in one instant of dread

Above the horizon ?-White as snow, Are hurried o'er the deck ;

And cover'd as she sails And fast the miserable ship

By the bright sunshine, fondly woo'd Becomes a lifeless wreck.

In her calm beauty, and pursued Her keel hash struck on a hidden rock,

By all the Ocean gales ? Her planks are torn asunder,

Well doth she know this glorious morn, And down come her masts with a reeling And by her subject waves is borne, shock,

As in triumphal pride : And a hideous crash like thunder.

And now the gazing crowd descry, Her sails are draggied in the brine

Distinctly foating on the sky, That gladden'u late the skies,

Her pendants long and wide. And her pendant that kiss'd the fair moonshine

Phe outward forts she now hath pass'd; Down many a fathorn lies.

Loftier and loftier towers her mast; Her beauteous sides, whose rainbow hues

You almost hear the sound Gleam'd softly from below,

of the billows rushing past hér sides, And flung a warm and sunny fiush

As giant-like she calmly glides O’er the wreaths ot' inurinuring snow,

Through the dwindled ships around. To the coral rocks are hurrying down.

Saluting thunders rend the main ! To sleep amid colors as bright as their own.

Short silence !--and they roar again,

And veil her in a cloud : Oh! many a dream was in the ship

Then up leap all her fearless crew,
An hour before her death;

And cheer till shore, and city too,
And sights of home with sighs disturbid With echoes answer loud.
The sleepers' long-drawn breath.

In peace and friendship doth she come,
Instead of the murmur of the sea

Rejoicing to approach her home, The sailor heard the humming tree

After absence long and far ; Alive through all its leaves,

Yet with like calmness would she go, 'The huin of the spreading sycamore

Exulting to behold the foe,
That grows before his cottage-door,

And break the line of war.
And the swallow's song in the caves.
His arms inclosed a blooming boy,

Although no one was hardy
Who listen'd with tears of sorrow and joy
To the dangers his father hail pass'd;

enough to deny the merit of a poeni And his wife-by turns she wept and smiled, abounding with passages as exquiAs she look'd on the father of her child

sitely beautiful as these, yet, as Return'd to her heart at last.

was to have been expected from the -He wakes at the vessel's sudden roll, And the rush of waters is in his soul.

vitiated taste which prevailed when Astounded the reeling deck he paces, the Isle of Palms was first publishMid hurrying forms and ghastly faces ;

ed, Mr. Wilson shared for some The whole ship's crew are there. Wailings around and overhead,

years the neglect, we had almost Brave spirits stupified or dead,

said obscurity, of his preceptor ; Aud madness and despair.

and although fervently admired by Another sample is all that we can a select and discriminating few, afford to give of this beautiful poem; was on the whole little read and but it will be found no less charac- still less frequently purchased. teristic of its author's genius than Among those who paid him the those already furnished. It is well-merited tribute of their praise,

at this early stage of his career, we THE RETURN TO PORT. The pier-head, with a restless crowd,

are happy to mention Mr. Jeffrey, Seems all alive; there, voices loud

(although his previous abuse-his 46 ATHENEUM, VOL. 5, 3d series.

« НазадПродовжити »