Зображення сторінки


Aha, Jane! my pretty little rosy- in which people are buried. For it is cheeked, dark-eyed, curly-pated Jane only to the bad that dreadful ghosts -can you control no longer the im- appear, sometimes, it is said, driving patience, which, for this last half hour, 'them mad by glaring on them with you have not attempted to conceal ? their eyes, and pointing to wounds, And are you there unbeckoned upon all streaming with blood, in their side my knee, and, with uplifted frock, or breast; but the ghosts that glide ready to receive into your lap your before the eyes of the good, whether destined Prize? There, thou imp— they are shut in sleep, or open in what thou elf—thou fairy—there is a Christ- we call a waking dream, are the genmas-Box for thee, on which thou wilt tlest beings that ever walked beneath stare out thine eyes—having first filled the light of the moon and stars and them many times and oft-now with it would make your heart to sing sighing, and now with laughing tears. within you, were your eyes to fall on You remember that I gave you last their faces-pale though they might year the nicest of all little books, about be--as upon the faces of angels, who the strangest and most curious pranky were once Christians on earth, sent, to little beings that ever were born- bless the slumbers of little pious chilFairy Legends of the South of Ire- dren, from Heaven. After “ Little

and do you know that the Willie Bell,” thou must read “ The Christmas-Box is from the same gen- Fairy and the Peach Tree," written tleman-you know his name-T. by Mr Ainsworth himself—and you Crofton Croker ; and that it is pube will know from it—what you were lished by that Mr Ainsworth, now a too young and too much in love with bookseller in London, who carried him that long-ago summer to knowyou in his arms into the boat, you that he is a truly good man, and, I will remember, and kept you there all the add, Jane, a writer of fine fancy and time we were sailing about on the true feeling.– What, off and away to lake? but he is a faithless man, and the window without a single kiss-to cannot be your husband, as he said he hold up the pretty pictures, one after would, for he has married a beautiful another in the sunshine ! wife of his own; and-only think of Caroline Graham! Nay-Caroline, his impudence !-sent you this Christ- no far-off flirtation behind backs with mas-Box to purchase your forgiveness. such an old Quiz as Christopher I assure you it is the nicest book for North. There you are-bounding a child like you that ever was; for, stately up from your affectedly-humdo you know, that you are in your ble bending down, like a tall Hareteens now, and, for a young child, are bell, that, depressed more than seemed getting quite an old woman. Only natural with a weight of dew, among look at that picture (the book you whose sweets the bees are murmuring, will find is full of delightful pictures) all of a sudden lifts itself up from the of the Enchanted Ass ! Saw you ever greensward, and, to the passing zephyr, anything so funny? Read the story shakes its blue blossoms in the sunabout it, and you will die of laughing. shine. What ! a basket-shall I call it But, fond as thou art of laughter, and or rather a net of dense hair-of your fun and noise-yet art thou, too, my own elegant handy-work no doubt, most merry mad-cap, at times, like lined with what would seem to be all the happiest, not disinclined to either delicate light-blue satin or gentle weeping-therefore, read the woven dew-to receive-what think story of “ Little Willie Bell,”and ye? Why, all the Souvenirs-There then lay it down and think upon it, they go, one after anotherlike so and weep and wonder if the “ pale many birds of soft or bright plumage, boy with the long curled hair," was not unwillingly dancing into the cage. indeed a ghost? Whether, child, There goes the “ Forget me Not,”there be any ghosts or no, it is not for one of the fairest flutterers of them all, me-old man as I am-to say ; but if a bird of beautiful plumage and sweet there be, they visit us not unpermite song. Why so intent your eyes, my ted, and you, my innocent, need not Caroline, on the very first page of your be afraid, were something you thought first Christmas Present ? Ha! Stea ghost to draw the curtains of your phanoff's Picture of the Bridal Mornlittle bed at night, and look in upon ing! There she sits, surveying in her you, with a pale pale face, and all mirror, which cannot well flatter, what dressed in white, even like the clothes is so finely framed--that figure, vith



[ocr errors]


bashful pride, which one about to res- genial with the truth, and simplicity, cue her to himself from an adoring and the force of nature. Here, my world will gaze upon, and scarcely Caroline-into the magic web it gois dare to embrace, with the trembling -bound in violet-for that is a coecstasy of devoted passion. But hush, lour that is felt to be beautiful, whehush! Thy cheek, alternately rosy-red ther“ by mossy stone half hidden to and lily-pale, each flower alike “ love's the eye,” or on the open and sunny proper hue,” warns me to respect—to bank,-all by its single self—or easily venerate the unconcealable secretof in- distinguishable, unpresuming though nocent nature-So-so! Not a word, it be, amid the brightest bouquet that not a look more, bright Caroline! of the e'er bloomed on the bosom of Beauty. “ Forget me Not” '-or of the “ Bri

Love and Friendship are sisters, and dal Morning,” except that—now you there is their Joint 6 Offering,”-alhave recovered from the confusion though Love, as usual, is shamewhich some youth or other might un- faced, and conceals her name. The derstand perfectly, but of which the Editor, I have heard, is Mr Charles old man knows nothing-except that Knight,-and I believe it; taste, Mr Frederic Shoberl, the editor, is and sensibility, and genius, have a pleasant gentleman, and Mr Acker- been brought to the work. It bears mann, the publisher, a producer of dreamy perusal well—and is like a colmany amiable elegancies many tri- lection of musical pieces, in which, fles that touch the heart, and not a by a certain rare felicity, the compofew more serious, though haply not sitions of harmonists, comparatively more salutary works, --for strong nou- little known to fame, successfully rival rishment can be distilled from flowers; the strains of the most famous. Thus, and there is a spirit with which Southey's Grand Funeral Song for the many of his literary friends are im- Princess Charlotte of Wales does not bued, reminding one of these lines of disincline us, at its close, to open our Wordsworth

ears to the pathetic elegies of MoulThe device

trie,-Pringle and Praed touch the To each and all might well belong;

harp with a careless, but no unmasIt is the Spirit of Paradise

terly hand-and there is one song at That prompts such works; a Spirit strong,

least by Hervey,That gives to all the self-same bent, When Life is wise and innocent.

“Come touch the harp, my gentle one,” A Large Paper Copy of the “ Literary Souvenir,” a Perfect Gem, Caro- “beautiful exceedingly,"-atleast so it line, and set, after my own fancy, in would be, my Caroline, if sung by silver and gold. Look at the “ Duke thy voice when the fire was low, and and Duchess reading Don Quixote”- this Study of mine, visited occasionan imagination of that fine genius, the ally, even as at present it is visited, by American Leslie ! Let but a few ri. the best and fairest, “ now in glimpening suns roll on, and thou thyself, mer, and now in gloom," echoed to The Grahame, wilt be as rich, as rare, that voice which some have compared, as royal, as Queenlike a beauty, as she in the variety of its thick-gushing richwho, unconsciously obeying the judg, ness, to that of the nightingale--but ments, the feelings, and the fancies, of which I do then most dearly love to her lofty and heroic Lord, is there seen listen to, when, in its clear-singing dreaming with a smile of the doughty and unornamented risings and falls, deeds of that Inimitable Crazed whom without one single intermediate grace, Cervantes created.-1, for one, know shake, or quaver, it doth, to my ears, not whether to raise up or run down still ready to catch the tones that the Spirit of Romance and Chivalry. awaken ancient memories, most of all

Mr Alaric Watts it was who first resemble the song of Scotia's darling, called upon the other Fine Arts to the Linty, as, by the edge of some birkaid Poetry in beautifying all the Sou- en shaw, it hymns onwards, beginning venirs—the happy name of his own at the hour of twilight,-its melody “ bright consummate” Annual Flower becoming still softer and sweeter, as if -being, to our ear, the best expres- beneath themellowing dews-and then, sion of the aim and meaning of them as if the bird wished to escape the eye of all. Himself an elegant writer-Ele- the Star of Eve, soon about to rise, all gance is the peculiar characteristic of of a sudden hushed and the songster his Souvenirs ; but an elegance con- itself dropt into the hroomy brake, or

his own

[ocr errors]


fitted away into the low edge-trees of dreams of feminine firmness and force the forest There-letine gently of character, that affects the shade, place the “ Amulet" in a hand fair without shunning the sunshine, and even as that of the Lady of Ilkdale- by its composure in the calm, tells

a phantom of delight,” that will how bravely it would stand the storm. look upon you, Caroline, almost like There is Sir Walter and his family, your own image in a mirror, if you all characteristically figured in rustic but allow the " Amulet” to open of its guise by the genius of Wilkie. And own accord-for often and long have the letter which gives the key to the I gazed upon that matchless elegance picture, you will delight in, as a perif indeed elegance be not too feeble a fect model of manly simplicity, -of word for one so captivating in her that dignified reserve with which a conscious accomplishments of art, so great and good man speaks of himself, far more captivating in her unconsci. and those most near and dear to him, ous graces of nature. Maiden like before the world. You will find there, thyself is she-thine elder sister, Ca- too, that fragment of Coleridge's which roline-though thou artan cnly child- you have more than once heard me but the “Morning Walk" displays the recite to you from memory-would easy dignity of the high-born matron that you could hear it murmured in the

the happy mother teaching, it may music of his own most poetical voice, be, her first-born son-the heir of an -" The Wanderings of Cain," Yet ancient and noble houseto brush why should his divine genius deal so away, with his gladsome footsteps, the frequently in fragments? The Muse dews from the flowers and grass of visits his slumbers nightly, but seems

illustrious father's wide- to forsake him during unfinished spread demesnes !

dreams. In “Christabelle,” “that sinA fine genius hast thou, Caroline, gularly wild and original poem,” as for painting; and who of all the old Byron rightly called it, mystery is permasters, whose works line that long haps essential; and there is a wonder gallery in the Castle, surpasses in artor that ought never to be broken-a dim nature the works of our own Law- uncertain light, that is “ darkness virence, pride of his nation and of his sible," and should neither be farther age? The gayest heart, my Caroline, brightened nor obscureil. But in the when its gaiety is that of innocence, Wanderings of Cain,” the subject is likewise often, when need is, the being scriptural, and most ruefully most grave; and that such a heart is and fatally true, the heart demands thine, I saw that night, with solemn that its emotions shall be set at rest, emotions, when, by thy mother's and everything told, how dreadful sosick-bed, thy head was bowed down ever it may be, that the poet foresaw in low sobbing prayers

therefore in the agonies of his inspiration. I will the" Amulet" be not the less, nay, fear Coleridge knows that he cannot far the more, pleasant in thy privacy, conclude “ The Wanderings of Cain” because the word “ Christian” is on according to the meaning of the Bible, its fair title-page, a sacred word, not and, therefore, verily his lips are misapplied, for a meek and unobtrue mute. But then, what exquisite dicsive religion breathes over its leaves tion! The imagery how simple,-yet in undying fragrance ; so that the Oriental all,--and placing us, as it “ Amulet”


lie on the couch of the were, on the deserts bordering on Paroom where friends meet in health radise, at whose gates now flamed the and cheerfulness,-below the pillow of fiery sword of the Cherubim ! the room where sickness lies afar from And now, Fairest, thou art resorrow, and the patient feels that leased from that attitude in which no medicine is better for the weak- thou hast so long been standing, obeness of the body than that which dient to a garrulous old man-nor yet soothes and tranquillizes the soul. “ thinking his prattle to be tedious,"

Last of all there is the bright- for too thoroughly good art thou, my bound, beautiful“ Bijou,”--so brightly Caroline, to be wiaried with any atbound, that by pressing it to thy bo- tention which thy high but humble som, it will impart very warmth, like heart willingly pays to one who bears a gently-burning fire. You have been on his forehead the authority of grey at Abbotsford, Caroline ? Indeed I hairs. have a notion that your image has been Who now advances with the pink flitting before our great Romancer's sash so broad--yet not too broadeyes, during more than one of his with timid though not downcast eyes,

[ocr errors]

and with footsteps as soft, as noiseless about the country in which you youras their own shadows? Thy sirname selves, and your father and mother, and is of no moment now—but thy Chris, their father and mother, were born. tian name is Mary-to my ear the Dearly do your young eyes love to pore mildest and most musical and most over the pages of history, and your melancholy of all. Thy poetical lic young ears to hear the darker passages brary is already well stored and so explained by one who knows everyis thy poetical memory--for the music thing, because he is old. Now, who do of sweet verse never enters there but you think is the Grandfather that tells to abide always-meeting with melo- those Tales -and who is Hugh Litdies within, perpetually inspired by a tlejohn to whom they are told ? Sir thoughtful spirit heeding all things Walter Scott, Mary, is the grandfain silent wonder and love. Yes, ther – and Hugh Littlejohn is no Mary, the old man loves to hear thy other than dear, sweet, clever Johnny low sweet voice repeating some pure Lockhart, whose health you and I, and plaintive strain of Heinans, whose and all of us, shall drink by and by in finest verse is steeped in sound so ex- a glass of cowslip wine. Men are often quisite, that it sinks with new and desperately wicked-as you who read deeper meanings into the heart-or your Bible know-and that which is some feeling and fanciful effusion of commonly called history, is but a tale the rich-minded Landon, wandering after all of tears and blood and the at eve, with sighs and tears, amidst tale-teller too often cares little whethe scents of the orange-bloom, and ther he is talking about the good or the moonlight glimmer that taines the the bad, vices or virtues,-nay, he too myrtle-bowers. But at present-I often takes part with the bad against address thee as a small Historian-and the good, and seems no niore to hate lo! here are “ 'The Tales of a Grand- sin because it triumphs. But Sir father, being Stories taken from Scot- Walter is too good too wise a man tish History, humbly inscribed to to do so—and as the people of ScotHugh Littlejohn !"

land have, for many hundred years Hugh Littlejohn is about thine own been, on the whole, an excellent peoage, Mary-and pleased should I be ple, you will far ottener be glad than to see you and him reposing together on sorry in reading their history as is this sofa, reading off one and the same told here-and when you have finishbook !-one of those three pretty little el all the volumes and come to Finis, volumes ! Great, long, broad quara you will think-ånd there will be no tos and folios, are not for little, short, harm in thinking that you would ranarrow readers, like Mary and Hugh. ther be-what you are-a little ScotWere one of them, in an attempt to tish girl, than even an English one push it out of its place on the shelf, although, now that the two kingdoms to tumble upon your heads, you have so long been united into one, would all three fall down, with the Scottish and English girls are all sisfloor, into the parlour below. But three ters; and so on, indeed, up to the such tiny volumes as these you may very oldest old women. carry in your bosom out to the green Never, never ought the time to knolls, when spring returns, and read come when one's own country is less them on your knee in the sunshine. beloved than any other land. Neither Only you would have to remember not you, Mary, nor Hugh, must ever be to leave them lying there all night; for citizens of the world. William on your return to look for them in the Tell, you have heard, was a glomorning, you would lift up your rious Swiss peasant, who made all hands to see that they had been sto- his countrymen free, and procured len by the fairies, after their dance for them liberty to live as they liked, had ceased on those yellow rings. without a great king, who cared Children though you be-you, Mary little about them, having it in his and Hugh-yet it is natural for you power to plague and humble them in to wish to know something about the their beautiful little cottages up among great grown-up people of the world- the mountains. Love always and hohow they behave and employ them- nour his memory—but love and hoselves in different countries-all en- nour still more the memory of Sir lightened, as you know, however dis. William Wallace, because he did the tant from one another, by the same same and more for Scotland. I de

But inore especially you love clare--John with the Lunch-Tray! because you are children to be told all



No. III.

The Bachelor's Christmas.

CHRISTMAS is come and gone, and I ceased fruitlessly to struggle in the I am again alone! That it is not good race of life, with those who had still for man to be so, is a truth which bright eyes to cheer them during the eleven years of absolute solitude have contest, and a prize before them at taught me too often to feel, though it the goal. The world called my retreat is chiefly at this precise period that a pusillanimous and absurd. I deemed sense of utter loneliness finds vent in it providential, when I found, that thought, if not in words. It is not in slender as were my resources, and spring, when the woods are vocal, and humble as my home, both would the fields instinct with lite;- it is not contribute materially to soothe the in summer, when a contemplative decline of my mother. Even selfishmind finds tongues in running ness might have found its account in brooks, sermons in stones, and good the compact-for who can bind up in everything;"-still less amid the the immedicable wounds of the heart sober stillness of autumn-the year's with the skill or the tenderness of a gray twilight, when man holds com- mother?-one, too, gifted, far beyond munings with his spirit, too deep and the generality of her sex, with almost awful to be shared with his nearest masculine strength of mind, tempered and dearest,—that the burden of so- by more than feminine gentleness of litude becomes oppressive. No! it is disposition. She had seen enough to when, after partaking in the refined, be an amusing companion, and sufferthe social, or the domestic joys of ed enough to be an edifying one. those, among whose firesides custom There was a sunshine of conscious and consanguinity have divided my integrity and benevolence about her, holidays, I return to the cheerless which no despondence could resist; meal and silent vigil of my own ba- and a vigour of principle and intellect chelor home.

before which selfishness and inutility And yet it is a beloved home,- shrunk abashed. If her increasing hallowed by fond recollections, and infirinities forbade her literally “ gorich in present enjoyınents; endeared ing about doing good,” there emana_ by the shelter it afforded to the green ted from her humble abode, as from loveliness of a mother's old age, which some stationary beacon, a ray of Chrishad nothing of age save its sanctity; tian charity precious to the safety and hallowed, as the scene of a transition welfare of hundreds. She had wisdom which had nothing of death but the to advise, and influence to promote, name ; adorned by her own exquisite and experience to warnı, many a young taste, and my solicitude for her com- adventurer on the voyage of life; and fort, with a thousand litile refine- a purse, that, like the widow's cruise, ments which few bachelor homes can seemed replenished by the miraculous boast. It is not that I would give the blessing of Heaven. I never knew any roof that sheltered her (humble though one whose tastes and enjoyments were it be) for the stateliest halls of the so delightfully perennial-—" age could revellers I have left,

,—nor the garden not wither them, nor custom stale she planted for a wilderness” of their infinite variety.” She loved her exotics,-nor the little library origin friends with the singleness and warmth vally selected for my Emma, and per- of a novice in the world. She looked . used with my mother, for the trea- on nature with a relish as exquisite, sures of the Vatican or Escurial,- as one who, having been born blind, but simply, that man has gregarious was revelling in the luxury of vision ; and social propensities, which, when and she bad for literature the enthuawakened by human intercourse, siasın of fifteen, with the tact arising leave a painful void behind.

from fifty years'cultivation of a powerIt is nearly twenty years since, with ful mind! blighted hopes and paralysed energies, What did I not owe lier, when, bro

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

« НазадПродовжити »