« НазадПродовжити »
my demon will be with me during the whole day-I order dinner at nineshut myself up within triple doors and as I look at the inner one in its greenbaized brass-knobbedness, there comes upon me an inspiring sense of security from all interruption, nay, from all connexion or even remembrance of the outer world. The silver salver-you know it, James-with a few rusks, and half a pint of Madeira-a moderation which Sir Humphry must approve-stands within a few inches of my writing hand. No desk! an inclined planeexcept in bed—is my abhorrence. All glorious articles must be written on a dead flat.
No if you use the sclate.
At two o'clock, from September to March-true to a minute - Robin Redes breast comes hopping in through one unglazed diamond of my low latticeMousey peers with his black eyes and whiskered nose out of his hole, and the two contend in pretty gambols about the crumbs.
What a pictur o' Innocence! Oh, my dear, dear Mr North, I've aften thocht you were ower gude-ower tender o' natur-ower simple for this wicked, hard, cunnin' warld.
Mousey, after feeding and fun, glides into his hole behind the wainscot, and Robin flits, with a smali sweet song, into the shrubbery-and then I at it again tooth and nail
SHEPHERD. Sacrifeecin', perhaps, the peace not only o'individuals but o' families by making them, and a' that's connecket wi' them, meeserable in life, and sae odious and infamous after death, that the son gies up his father's name a'thegither ; if the surname be ane o' ae syllable, the better to obliterate a remembrance o't even in his ain mind, adoptin' ane o' four or five and changin' the Christian name, too, into something heathenish, as, for example, Tam into Heliogabawlus.
NORTH. Just as the gloaming begins to deepen on the wire-wove paper, so that there is felt a slight strain on the optic nerve, and pots and hooks assume a hieroglyphical character-inaudibly doth door after door open like a dreamand Helen, with a wax candle in either pretty small hand, between which are seen shining her large blue eyes, soft in their brightness, in a moment is at my side, and my manuscripts are at once illuminated.
SHEPHERD. She's a bonny lassie. I saw a pictur very like her the day in Mr Galli's exhibition on the Mound
NORTH. An exhibition which all people should visit. It contains many excellent, and some splendid pictures.
Oh! but the Auld Masters, sir, had a deep sense o' the beautifu'
No soup-but first a sole, then a beef-steak, and then a chicken with a finish of a few tartlets, and a saucer of parmesan-judiciously interspersed with an occasional sip of old hock ending in a gulp-a caulker, of courseand then at the MSS. again, over a Scotch pint of claret. By midnight
“ Ae wee short hour agont the twal ;". and lo! ready for the devil a sheet of Maga !
5 And, like the murmur of a dream,
NORTH. There is smeddum yonder, James. The pen of one first-rate writer may be weekly traced in its leading articles, and occasionally elsewhere and some of his coadjutors are apparently men of power and principle. It has—though young-a good circulation, and is sure to succeed.' A true Tory.
What's the real bonny feedy state o' the case, sir, the noo, wi' what's ca'd the Question o' Catholic Emancipawtion ?
TICKLER (yawning out of a profound sleep). Hallo! where am I? Who are you, gentlemen, intruding on a sober citizen's privacy at this hour of the night? I say, who are you?
SHEPHERD. He thinks himsell at hame.— I really had nae notion, sir, that Mr Tickler was sae soon made fou ?
TICKLER. Made fou ? -Heavens, at Ambrose's !
SHEPHERD. At Awmrose's sure aneuch. You've been sleepin' this twa hours, sir, wi' your mouth wide open-and it required great forbearance no to put a halflemon into your mouth. I would hae dune't, had ye snored—but as ye did na snore nane
TICKLER I have awoke to all my
SHEPHERD. When you gang hame, let me recommend you to get a flannen-petticoat frae ane o' the servant lasses, and wrap it roun' your chowks.
NORTH Unquestionably, James, there is a belief among certain circles, that think themselves well informed, with respect to authentic rumours of intended measures of Government, that something is to be done for the Catholics in next Session of Parliament. One cannot dine out without having much sickening stuff of the sort dinned into his ears. But the nation has the Duke of Wels lington's word for it—that nothing will be done for the Catholics in the next Session of Parliament.
SHEPHERD. Has it?
NORTH Yes, the Duke of Wellington said, in his simple strong style, in the House, that “ if they kept quiet, perhaps something might be done for them;" but they have not kept quiet ; and, therefore, certainly nothing will be done for them next Parliament.
SHEPHERD. Quiet, indeed! ay-ay-there's different kinds o' quiet, as the Duke, nae doot, keus as weel as either you or me, Mr North.
NORTH. True, James. The French Marshals in Spain used to keep quiet-sometimes for weeks and months at a time-but the great Lord, for all that, lay asleep in his position like a lion with his eyes open,--and on an alarm, in half an hour the whole British army had been in order of battle.
A toon coof, comin' intil the kintra, and kennin' o' coorse naething at a' about the symptoms o' the atmosphere, having contented himsell a' his life wi' noticin' the quick silver in his glass, and in spite o' a' its daily deceits keepit still payin' the maist shamefu' deference to its authority,-a toon coof, I say, sir, comin' intil the Forest, cocks his ee up to the heavens, without attendin to what airt the wind blaws frae, and prophesying a fine, clear, dry, breezy day,
whustles out Ponto, and awa to the hill after the groose. The lift looked, he' thocht, sae cawm, the weather sae settied ! There was a cawm in heaven, nae doot-a dead cawm. But then far aff on the weather-gleam, there was a froonin', threatenin', sullen, sulky, dark, dismal, dour expression o' face in the sky-no the less fearsome 'cause o' the noo and then glimmerin' out o' something like a grim ghastly smile, as if it were stiffled lichtenin'-ahint the cloud that noo lies black and dense on the towerin' mountain, is heard first a sigh-then a groan-then a growl-then a clap-and then a rattle o' thunder, till earth shakes wi' a' her quiverin' woods, and the lochs are seen tumbling a foam on the levin !-a deluge droons the misty hills—and doon come the hay-rucks, or the corn-stooks, wi' aiblins a human dwelling or twa-sailing alang the meadows, in which the main course o' the Tweed is lost as in a sea, -sae sudden, sae red and sae roaring is the spate, that sweeps the vale o' half its harvest, and leaves farmer, hind, and shepherd, in ruin.
Strong as your imagery is, James, and vivid-most vivid your picture-it is neither overcharged—nor in one point inapplicable.
SHEPHERD. I'm sure it's no, sir. Then let nae man tell me that seven million o' Eerishe men,--for if there were sax million at the last Noctes, they'll be seven noo, will ever keep a cawm sugh-unless when they're brooin' mischief. I would despise them if they did, frae the bottom o' my heart--and I'm far frae despisin' the Eerish, wha, but for priests and priestcraft, would be, certes, a glorious people.
TICKLER. Why, according to that rule of judgment, James, you suspect them alike, whether they are tame or tumultuous.
SHEPHERD. Ye maunna argue wi' me, Mr Tickler ; fa' asleep-for, wi' a' your poors o' reasonin', I'll set ye doon, and nail your coat tails to the chair, so as, you'll no be able to get up again, wi' the strong haun'o'plain, gude, common sense. A' Eerland's under the thoombs o'the Agitawtors. Thoombs doon, and a's cawm ; -thoombs up, and rebellion wud wade the bogs breast-deep in blood.
I repeat what I have said to you, James, a hundred times within these last four years, that the Government of this country has much to answer for to civil and religious liberty on account of its shameful supineness-must I say of a British Government-its cowardice?
TICKLER. Well, then, pray is this state of things to be eternal ? Let me answer that, Mr North.—It will last, Mr Tickler, as lang as the Bible is a sealed book. Break the seal— let the leeves flutter free—and Superstition, blinded by the licht o' heaven, will dwine and die. She will dwine for mony years afore she dies; but, during a' that time, knowledge will be gainin' head o' ignorance-Eerishmen will be becomin' mair and mair like Scotchmen and Englishmen in their character and condition and when the similitude grows strong and secure,—for naebody wants perfect identity,then, and not till then,“ something perhaps may be done for the Catholics ;" —and feenally, -for you maunna talk nonsense about eternity,the Roman religion will be undermined and fall, and then there will indeed be a glorious Emancipawtion.
NORTH. Meanwhile, good heavens! what might not the Irish landlords- Protestant and Roman Catholic alike-do for their beautiful country! There are many difficulties to contend against ; but I, for one, never could see any mystery in the evils that afflict Ireland. She wants an enlightened system of education ; —she wants an enlightened system of employment:-she wants an enlightened system of poor-laws;—she wants an enlightened, generous, patriotic, fatherland-loving resident gentry-lords and commoners ;-and with these, Erin would indeed be the Emerald Gem of the Sea!
SHEPHERD. What blesses ae kintra, blesses anither; and o' a' blessin's, what's mair Vol. XXIV.
blessed than a resident gentry ? - that ugly sumph! that first daured to write doon in the English langage that a kintra was the better o' Absenteeism ! A paltry paradox, that stunk in the nostrils before it was a day old.
SHEPHERD. O the ugly sumph! The doctrine was an outrage on human nature, and an insult to Divine Providence !-Would a kintra be the better if a' its clergy were non-resident in it,-absentees abroad, -and their duties discharged universally by proxy curates? Likewise a' its Judges ? Likewise if a' partners in mercantile concerns were to leave them to the foreman, and gang ower to Boulogne to play billiards ? And, to crown a', would the sumph say, that it wad be better for The Magazine, if its Editor,--even yoursell, sir, Christo. pher North, God bless you !-were an absentee ? -Na, na ! that you'll never be. Easier wad it be to root up an auld oak tree.
A blind, base blunder it was indeed, James ; and how the owl did hoot in the sunshine, staring and winking most absurdly, with eyes made only for the twilight! What books could the sumph, as you call him, have read With what manner of men held converse ?-that his ear had not got accustomed, in some measure, to the expression of those natural feelings and affections, that bind the human heart to the natale solum,-feelings and affections so inevitable, that he is probably the first, and will be the last man, that ever avowed himself born without them,-insensible to their influence, or, rather, unaware of their existence !
SHEPHERD. Better for a kintra that a' the gentry should leeve abroad! O the sumph ! But, eh sir! is na't cheerin' to see and hear how suddenly a sumph's put down in Great Britain, when, wi' open jaws and lung-labouring sides, he sticks out his lang-lugged pericranium, and reckless o’ breakin' the wund o' the puir harmless echoes, brays out insupportable nonsense, a' the while never dootin' himsell to be ane o' the greater prophets, lifting up a warning, as in an angelic voice, unto some foolish people determined to perish in their pride were the ass to bray on till Domesday?
NORTH. Yes, James, the British nation are not, in the long run, by any means easily humbugged. They have their temporary follies-why not? The proprietor,
of the wonderful duck," may make money for a month or so, asserting that she sings like a nightingale; but people will not pay sixpence twice to hear what, if their ears" are to be in aught believed,” is neither more nor less, in tone or articulation, than-quack-quack-quack! Then, what a disgrace-what a degradation to Ireland—the land of eloquence and Burke, to have produced, in these latter days, no better demagogues than Sheil and O'Connell !-Scrape O'Connell's tongue of blackguardism, and Sheil's of blarney, and they will be as dry as that of an old parrot.
I'm sure that Sheil's nae orator. Puttin' politics, and the peace o' Ireland, and the cause o' civil and religious liberty a'ower the world, a'thegither aside and ane can easily do that at a Noctes With all the ease in the world, James.
SHEPHERD. I mysell am an agitawtor! And not only can I mak a' allowance for them, but as ae human being wi' ither human beings, I can sympatheeze, sir, frae the very bottom oʻmy sowl, wi' agitawtors.
NORTH And so can I.
SHEPHERD. Dear me, Mr Tickler ! are you no asleep ?-Bat, pity me the day! when I tak up a speech o' Sheil's, houpin' to get my heart made to loup like a cod in a ereel; to be stung by his sharp swarming syllables into rebellion against the
state, like a colley attacked by bees, and in the madness o' pain bitin' his master; or rather, like a bull stung by a hornet in the flank, or a red-rag in the ee, plungin' after the herds and hinds, wha aʼrin helter-skelter into the woods -or, like a teeger, or a lion, that has lain peaceably licking his paws till a man, in a hairy fur-cap, stirs him up with a long pole, and gars him roar as if about to carry aff in his mouth the son o' Sir George Monro across his shoother-or like an elephant that Stop, James-stop, for Heaven's sake, stop!
SHEPHERD. Or like a whale that
Stop, James--stop, for Heaven's sake, stop!
Weel, then, I will stop. When, instead o’ony thing o' that sort, ae pert, pratin' fribble o' a coxcoinb o' a Cockney o' a paragraph follows after anither, a' as like's they can smirk or stare, brither on brither o’the same conceited family, wi' faces and voices no to be distinguished, were it no that ane seems to be greetin' and ane to be lauchin', and ane to be troubled wi' a sair cough, and ane to hae the cholic, and ane to be dressed as for a bridal, and ane for å funeral-ane wi'a sodger’s green coat, and ane apparelled in brown like a Quaker-yet a' the hail set equally cauldrife, formal, pedantical, and praga matic,—and what's waurst than a', and damnation to the soul o'oratory, when I see hypocrisy, meanness, truckling insincerity, cruelty, and wbat's akin to cruelty, political cowardice, staining all the pairts o' speech--so that when a’ the paragraphs have passed aff and awa, and the orawtion is closed, you know by a feeling no to be mistaken nor mistrusted, that Sheil is after a' only a playactor, sir, who has taken to the stage by chance, idleness, or impidence, but whom Natur has barely fitted to perform even the maist inferior and subordinate characters, either in farce or tragedy; although on the total eclipse of that sort of dramatic talent amang the Roman Catholics o' Eerland, he plays Captain Rock himself, even as in the submarine warld, in the dearth o’ theatrical talent among the cetawceous tribe, ane might imagine a shrimp, to the astonishment of all other fishes, acting a whale, “ wallowing unwieldy enormous in his gait," from a quarter to half an inch long.
Charles Phillips was worth a gross of Sheils. There were frequent flashes of fine imagination, and strains of genuine feeling in his speeches, that shewed Nature intended him for an orator. In the midst of his most tedious and tasteless exaggerations, you still felt that Charles Phillips had a heart ; that he was a fine, bold, open, generous Irishman, in whom, more especially in youth and early manhood, you are delighted with a strong dash of folly—and who is entitled, in seasons of real or pretended passion, to avail himself of the privilege of his birth, to the very verge of madness, without being thought in the least insane-while in his more felicitous efforts, he rose fairly into the region of eloquence, and remained there on unwearied wing, either like a Glead on poise, or a Peregrine in pursuit, sufficiently long and light to prove the strength of his pinion, and the purity of his breed.
SHEPHERD. What's become o' Chairley Phullups ?
In good practice at the English bar, James--and at the Old Bailey, making a fair strussle even with Adolphus, who is one of the cleverest and acutest men I ever heard conduct a cross-examination, or address a jury,
SHEPHERD. I'm glad o' that, sir. The lad was rather flowery; but he pu’d the flowers for himsell, frae the spots where natur bade them grow-and oh! but they tell me Eerland's a flowery flowery kintra-and didna buy them in shops like Sheil, out o' green wicker baskets set in the shade, or glass bottles wi' some water in them to enable the pinks and puppies for a few hours to struggle up their droopin' heads, while to the ee oʻa florist they are visibly faded frae the very first-faded, sir, and fusionless, alike destituie o' bloom and bawm, and to a' intents and purposes, either o'utility or ornament, worthless as weede.