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river; and, more than all, to the confusion of our senses in heing thus hurriedly and fearfully aroused from our slumbers. Had any one retained self-possession sufficient to have quietly noticed our looks on this occasion, I suspect he would have seen a laughable array of pale or startled visages. The reader who has only heard the roar of the lion at the Zoological Gardens, can have but a faint conception of the same animal's voice in his state of freedom and uncontrolled power, Novelty in our case, no doubt, gave it double effect on our thus hearing it for the first time in the heart of the wilderness. However, we resolved to give the enemy a warm reception; and having fired several volleys in all directions round our encampment, we roused up the half-extinguished fire to a roaring blaze, and then flung the flaming brands among the surrounding trees and bushes. And this unwonted display probably daunted our grim visiter, for he gave us no further disturbance that night.”—pp. 158, 159.
The party, being mostly composed of expert and sturdy sheepfarmers, were well qualified for encountering the difficulties of their new position. At first they were sorely annoyed by the wild beasts, and still more so by the predatory visits of Caffres and Bushmen; but brave hearts and strenuous hands eventually triumphed over these and all other enemies. As for Thomas Pringle himself, he was the schoolmaster, the account-keeper, the lay-chaplain,—and moreover he was the chief carpenter and upholsterer of Glen-Lynden.
'I found employments to occupy my leisure time agreeably. I had brought out a little assortment of carpenter's tools, the use of which, when a boy, had been one of my favourite amusements. I was there. fore not altogether unprepared to act the Robinson Crusoe in a small way; and, besides commodiously furnishing my own cabin, I succeeded in manufacturing a rustic arm-chair and table for my father-an achievement of which I was not a little proud. But my chef d’æurre at this time was the construction of an oven-which I contrived to scoop out of a huge ant-hill, that happened to stand under an old mimosa-tree at the head of my garden. After being properly plastered and paved within, it proved an excellent oven, and served all the hamlet to bake their household bread in for a couple of years, pp. 167.
He again alludes to this oven in some pleasing verses, entitled « The Emigrant's Cabin,' which present us with a by no means un savoury bill of fare:-
• First, here's our broad-tail'd mutton, small and fine,
The dish on which nine days in ten we dine ;
Kid carbonadjes, à-la-Hottentot,
In laughing mood, to call it Cape Sauterne.' Pringle, in a word, was the chief man of the settlement--and, whenever there was no particular pressure of business, he could mount his horse, and give still more pleasure than he received by making a progress among his hospitable British neighbours, missionaries, and others, of this picturesque frontier ; and his accounts, both of his life at home, and his frequent excursions, convey the impression, throughout several chapters, of a mind variously stimulated, active, and happy. Thus occupied and amused, thus esteemed and honoured, why might not this amiable man have continued all his earthly days at Glen-Lynden? But no all these things, after a season, lost their relish once more Pringle became discontented and ready for any change. Persons born and reared in a humble class of society, who attract any notice beyond that sphere by their literary attainments, may be easily excused if they come to take rather too bigh an estimate of their own importance. Acquirements and performances which, however meritorious, would not in a higher circle of life excite anything like astonishment, are in their case regarded at home, and by all the immediate personal observers, as things almost out of the usual course of nature. The fatal word "genius' is rung about the village, and the clearest head and the humblest heart run a great risk of being dazzled and inflated. Such had been the fate of Pringle in his Roxburghshire valley, and such
was once more his misfortune among the simple hinds and rude boors of his Cafferland exile. He grew weary of the pastoral life, and primitive society, which his own pages have so sweetly described, and quitted · Glen-Lynden' in the hope of finding a sphere more worthy of his talents in the capital of the colony.
The Governor, Lord Charles Somerset, to whom at his first coming Mr. Pringle had been warmly recommended by Sir Walter Scott, and who had consequently favoured him and his friends very bountifully as respected their location,' was now well disposed to remember that introduction-and his lordship, when Pringle reached Cape Town, gave him the appointment of librarian to the public library, and moreover promised to patronize him strenuously in the school which he had resolved to set up. Pringle accepted the librarianship, of which the duties were light, and the emoluments not inconsiderable, and his school, under such protection, throve and prospered for a season. He was again, and for the third time, in possession of that chance which mostly comes but once to any man in our busy and bustling age; but once more poor Pringle was visited by the demon of restless ambition, and once more he threw the chance away. He set up first a magazine and then a newspaper, in which, by degrees, his well-meant but narrow-minded views of colonial policy began to show themselves, so as to displease and even alarm the local government. He attacked the slave-system of the Cape, which wanted indeed improvement, but which the circumstances of the colony rendered extremely unfit to be the weekly and monthly theme of such discussion on the spot; nay, these journals began to develope views of a far niore dangerous description still, hinting perpetually, if not openly announcing the belief, that no real good need be looked for at the Cape until the population should be represented fairly in a free South-African parliament. Any man who from a distance contemplates the past history of that colony, the recent date of its acquisition by us, and the utter want of all sympathy and cohesion down to this hour between the various classes of its population, aboriginal, Dutch, and English, will smile at such a scheme; he will consider it as only less wild and ridiculous than that which has since been put into agitation for a free parliament (an upper house, we suppose, included) at Botany Bay. But Mi. Pringle had eyes for none of these difficulties; or rather, we suspect, certain cunning local intriguers, whose views went far beyond his, were able to blind him by Aattery. He persisted; lost his librarianship ; found his school dwindle to nothing; grew more bitter, and infused hourly increasing rancour into his newspaper, until that was at length summarily suppressed. He then, considering himself as the pure
martyr martyr of philanthropy and freedom, returned to this country, and claimed compensation from the Colonial Office for what he called the tyrannical injustice of Lord Charles Somerset's proceedings. He alleged that the breaking up of his paper had stripped him of property worth 1000l.
The late Lord Bathurst, then Colonial Secretary, appears to have dealt kindly by Mr. Pringle. He understood well the views and tempers of colonial adventurers of all classes; and respecting the intentions of the man, was little disposed to think harshly of his imprudences. He did as much for Pringle as he could have done without actual injustice to the much-calumniated Governor, who would sain have continued to be Pringle's benefactor. In a word, the Earl very intelligibly signified, that if he chose to return to the Cape, resume his position at Glen-Lynden, and remain there quietly for a time, the government at home would keep him in mind, and embrace some early opportunity of serving bim. But this did not satisfy Pringle: he remained in London piled memorial on memorial, all in vain-and at length found an establishment in the city as Secretary to one of the Anti-Slavery Societies. Devoted to the duties of this new office, it was only in connexion with them that for some years he had ever been heard of, until shortly before his death these • Sketches' were published. We presume their appearance followed immediately the dissolution of the Anti-Slavery Society, which again threw him on his literature for daily support. But he was, by this time, less than ever qualified for the anxious existence of a mere literary adventurer in a great capital. His health, never strong, began to give way; he sickened and died—we believe in about the forty-fifth year of his age-early in the spring of this year; and it is at once sad and pleasing to have to relate that his long illness was relieved of much misery that must otherwise have overclouded it, by the ever-ready bountifulness of that admirable institution, The Literary Fund of London. A gentler or kinder heart has not often been stilled. His history abounds in matter of encouragement for persons of his original class, but not less surely in matter of warning.
He wrote many verses while in Africa,-avd by these he will be, at all events, remembered among the colonists; but he little deserves to be forgotten elsewhere. What strikes us as most remarkable in Pringle's poetry is its almost constant elegance. Nothing could be more remote from the image of conventional elegance than the appearance, the manners, the spoken language even, of the man himself: yet there is rarely in his prose, and almost never in his verse, anything with which the most fastidious reader can have the smallest right to be offended. We think the following lines in their style almost faultless :VOL. LV. NO. CIX.
"The sultry summer-noon is past;
"But soon, amidst our Libyan vale,
But where the Vale winds deep below,
And now, along the grassy meads,
My wonted seat receives me now -
Cave, (His fortress once, and now his grave,)
Where the grim satyr-faced baboon
‘Spread out below in sun and shade,
rock. But the swoln water's wasteful sway, Like tyrant's rage, hath passed away; And left the rayage of its course Memorial of its frantic force. -Now o'er its shrunk and slimy bed Rank weeds and withered wrack are
spread, With the faint rill just oozing through, And vanishing again from view; Save where the guana's glassy pool Holds to some cliff its mirror cool, Girt by the palmite's leafy screen, Or graceful rock-ash, tall and green, Whose slender sprays above the flood Suspend the loxia's callow brood In cradle-nests, with porch below, Secure from winged or creeping foeWeasel or hawk, or writhing snake; Light swinging, as the breezes wake, Like the ripe fruit we love to see Upon the rich pomegranate-tree.
‘But lo, the sun's descending car Sinks o’er Mount-Dunion's peaks afar; And now along the dusky vale The homeward herds and flocks I bail, Returning from their pastures dry Amid the stony uplands high. First, the brown Herder with his flock Comes winding round my hermit-rock; His mien angait and vesture tell, No shepherd he from Scottish fell; For crook the guardian gun he bears, For plaid the sheep-skin mantle wears; Sauntering languidly along, Nor flute has he, nor merry song, Nor book. nor tale, nor rustic lay, To cheer him through his listless day. His look is dull, his soul is dark; He feels not hope's electric spark; But, born the White Man's servile thrall, Knows that he cannot lower fall.
Next the stont Neat-herd passes by, With bolder step and blither eye;