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divested of glass, and the others soot as nearly to have lost every trace nearly so, that I could ascertain the of its original colour, was scarcely door I would have to call at.
the size of a common time-piece; I was told that a number of dogs her mouth, from the loss of teeth, which they keep were always on the (or perhaps it was naturally so,) alert to discover strangers, and never was fallen in like the empty windfailed to give timely notice of their bag of a pair of bellows, over which approach; so that such of the inmates her nose and chin almost embraced as were not in a condition to be seen, ach other; and her little hollow had an opportunity of ensconcing eyes, peeping from beneath her droopthemselves, or of putting their clothes ing eye-brows, like candles on the in order for an interview ; and that point of expiring, gave her, upon when this was the case, visitors, by the whole, the most wizard-like phynever finding them in their natural siognomy I had ever witnessed. I state, were always disappointed. De had not much time, however, to contermined to shun this, and take her template so singular a face with the ladyship by surprise if possible, I expression it then wore, for her surstole softly towards the door, and prise was not long in subsiding. had the good fortune to reach it, and Though evidently chagrined at having so far elude the vigilance of her ca- been caught in so unprepared a state, nine guardians as to meet the whole she immediately assumed a smile, posse just at the threshold. Cerbe- dropt a curtsey, and invited me to rus himself, with all the echoes in his walk in. I walked in accordingly, with rear to help him, could not have my head uncovered, and was politely caused so prodigious an uproar as desired to sit down upon a chair, their mingled bow-wows and snar- (the only one I saw in the house,) lingsproduced when they rushed from which, after a number of bows and the fire-side, and were immediately diffident excuses, which I saw pleasstopt in their career by the sudden- ed her extremely, I complied with. ness of my appearance. The sybil, When I had told her my errand, and starting at the noise, and fancying, the reason of my calling upon her, no doubt, that the person who cause she assured me I was extremely ed it was yet at a distance, came run- welcome to a dish, and lowering ning out behind them with the dish- down a little tankard, usually called clout in her hand. The emphatical a tin, from where it hung by a nail words, “choo, dogs!" which had on what might be denominated their already half escaped her, suddenly dresser, she immediately began cleanstuck within her throat on perceiva ing it with the dishclout, and putting ing my head poked forward into the it in its best trim for my reception. door ; her hand partially relaxed its During this operation, which susgrasp, from which a fold or two of pended for a while our mutual civithe dishclout disengaged itself, and lities, I had an opportunity of lookdropped to her knees, while her fixed ing round me, and surveying the eyes and motionless attitude remind- inside of the mansion. ed me of the picture I had often A bed-stead, which scarcely de mentally drawn of Endor’s hag, when served the name, with folding-leaves the shade of Samuel rose up before upon it, fronted the door, before her, and she discovered her visitor which an old press stood, in so awkto be the monarch of Israel. Her ward a position as hardly to leave appearance had in it something so room for a person to crawl out and striking and unearthly, that, had I in; another bed, upon the left hand believed in witches, I would certain- on entering, run in a straight line ly have taken her for one. To de- across the house, and formed a parscribe her dress would only be to re- tition between the passage and the capitulate what I have said of the kitchen, so that you had to pass the others, with this exception, that it end of the one on your left hand, was infinitely more dirty; but that and alongside the other on your circumstance was not what consti- right, in advancing to the fire. The tuted her chief peculiarity. Her face, fire-place was in the middle of the which was literally ploughed with floor; a large resting-chair run along wrinkles, and so begrimmed with the front-wall of the house, in which was a small window, with only two end of the southern range of hills panes of unbroken glass, and the rest that there terminated, and the high all stopt with rags, or old hats, mountain, which run almost entirely which only served to make “ dark across the glen. A beaten foot-path, ness visible” in those parts that de leading through desolate, uncultivapended solely on it for illumination. ted fields, and over-fallen and ruined Another window in the gable, entirely stone inclosures, soon brought me to destitute of glass, or any kind of the brink of the long rocky chasm, stoppage, gave the only light which, at the bottom of which the well was excepting that admitted at the door, situated. This was near the foot of they might be said to enjoy. Their the mountain ; and the brows of the dresser, their pots, and a few other chasm on either side were, of course, homely articles, were ranged along low in proportion, so that I descendo the back-wall; and a number of ed without any difficulty. From that stools (for, as I mentioned before, I place the channel of the burn was saw only one chair) standing here almost level for about two hundred and there around the fire, made up paces farther up, so that the brows the sum-total of their kitchen furni- continued to deepen with the inture. Of course, I did not see into creasing altitude of the hills, and at the parlour, but on going past that last became so lofty, as to 'require a end of the house, and perceiving it considerable effort of the eye to trace to be quite destitute of glass in the them to their summits. They were gable window, I thought I had seen thickly studded with trees of various sufficient to convince me that, with kinds, some of them on places where out a fire, it must exhibit a more their roots, by striking deep into the wretched appearance than even the earth, had attained a size which askitchen. And this, thought I, is the tonished me, in so bleak and barren house in which the Laird of Glen- a part of the country ; while others, howan is contented to live ; a man of smaller dimensions, clung like bats who could afford to erect for himself, to the crevices in the rocks, where if not a splendid, at least a handsome scarcely a sprinkling of earth was and comfortable mansion !
visible, to supply them with nourishMine hostess had now finished her ment, and waved their tiny branches operation upon the tin, which, by the above me with a faint and feeble use of her spittle and the dishclout, rustling, as I leaped from stone to she had burnished as bright as when stone, along the course of the current it was new; and coming forward from beneath them, or sometimes halted the dresser, she delivered it to me to look upward, and admire their with a low curtsey, at the same time fantastic appearance. In many parts requesting I would take a piece of the rocky walls of my almost suboatmeal cake along with me, to eat terranean path were indented with at the well. From the appearance huge gaps, the farthest extremities which both she and the house exhi- of which were overhung with the bited, I felt little inclination to con- gloom of the superincumbent moun. cede to this request, and excused tains, and frowned as if dark and myself in the best manner I could unfathomable, like an unknown fubut in vain. She averred, that it turity; while other parts projected was not sonsy to drink
of the well forward nearly into the middle of without something to eat at the same the stream, and a short way in time; and opening her cupboard, she advance seemed to deny the possithrust, almost perforce, a large piece bility of all farther passage. My of cake into my hand, wbich, as I ears had for some time been saluted could not have refused it without with a sullen plunging noise, as of a rudeness, I accepted, and put into cataract ; and on turning one of those my pocket. Thus provided, I sal. acute angles, a spectacle burst sudlied out from the mansion-house of denly upon me, which I had been Glenhowan, and proceeded towards very far from anticipating in such a the linn.
place, although, had my mind at It lay at the distance of about the time been less under the influhalf a mile to the westward, and ence of that enthusiasm which the formed a deep ravine between the scene inspired, I would certainly have been led to conclude, that the beside it in abundance. At about course of the stream, by running in the height of three feet from the a level so far into the deepening hills, bottom of the burn, a small cleft must somewhere have an abrupt and appeared in the rock, through which precipitous termination. From the the water oozed slowly, and almost edge of a vast rock, which rose abruptly imperceptibly, and dropt into a little to the height of about thirty feet, the basin hollowed out by its own action, burn was rushing in a sheet of foam immediately beneath where it issued; that resembled a pillar of crystal, whence it again trickled over the till, dashed to atoms against the bot- edge of the rock, and fell into the tom of the pool, it threw up around burn. The grass I found to be by it a cloud of spray, which, as I stood no means peculiar to the place, as beside the boiling gulph, soon edged had been affirmed by my credulous the borders of my hat and neckcloth informants. I had seen it frequently with that beautiful silvery tinsel in in similar situations, and used it, too, which I have often proudly seen upon similar occasions; and as I myself, assuming the colour of the therefore knew very well how to apclouds, while running like a deer ply it, I drew forth mine hostess's among the morning mists of my na- tin, which, notwithstanding the tive mountains. On every side, the cleansing she had given it, I rinsed black weather-beaten rocks, dripping tightly in the burn; and forming a with the misty shower that inces- spout with one of the blades of the santly moistened them, rose to a grass which was nearest me, I soon height that set all human efforts to gratified myself with a hearty draught advance at defiance; there was no of the cooling beverage. It was by egress from this gloomy dungeon no means delicious; and as I apprebut by retracing my steps, and while hended that mine hostess's bread standing beside the cataract, even might be equally so, I ventured, that seemed impracticable. The deep maugre its unsonsiness, to break her passage the struggling burn had injunction with respect to eating a worn for itself, during the lapse of so piece of it; and as no calamity aftermany ages, by suddenly bending to wards befel me which could be atthe northward, at a short distance tributed to this cause, I had no reafrom the point of observation, gave son to repent of my disobedience. it the appearance of being entirely I had now accomplished the object closed, and impressed me with a of my journey, and pocketing my kind of dreary feeling, as if Nature, tin, and casting another lingering since my entrance, had acted the part look over the sublime features of the of a turnkey, and shut me out from savage scene, I turned my back upon the world a prisoner for ever. The the foaming of the waterfall, the maeye followed the burn from where its jestic cliffs over which it was precipibroken and foaming waters poured tated, the boiling cauldron at its base, themselves forth of the basin in the giant and rocky walls of the linn which they had been boiling, in hopes that frowned above and around me, by that clue to trace an opening,
and the little well at which I was but in vain. As it rolled onward, it standing, -and directed my steps togradually assumed a darker hue, wards the place at which I had enand a more placid motion, winding tered. As I withdrew from the calike a serpent round every obstacle taract, its thunders gradually died that opposed its progress; and at last, upon my ear, while the wild and soas if by magic, or a miracle, the re- lemn voice of the gusty winds, that verse of that of Moses at the rock of careered along the summits of the Meribah, it entirely disappeared be- hills, or shrilly whistled on the brows neath the vast and seemingly-united of the linn, grew louder in propormasses that hung over it.
tion; and, while sometimes scramAt a short distance I discovered bling up the sides of the rocks to the well, from the quantity of fer- pluck the strawberries that grew in ruginous slime it had deposited in iheir crevices, I looked down from its escape from beneath the moun- my elevation upon the burn that tain, together with the sacred grass, rolled beneath, and upwards to the of which I had been told, growing clouds that still retained their dark
and rainy appearance, and spread est the door upon the only chair in their tattered skirts upon the wind in his possession. On my first entering, a thousand fantastic forms, and heard smoke appeared to be the only tenant still more audibly the voice of the of their dreary dwelling; it was so rapid current that bore them, I dense and dark, as for some time to could not help fancying my situation baffle my utmost efforts to perceive somewhat similar to that of Elijah any thing, (how my lungs must have on the Mount of Horeb, when the throbbed under the gross weight of Almighty passed by him, and “ it, I leave the reader to judge ;) and great and strong wind rent the moun- it was not till after the lapse of a few tains, and brake in pieces the rocks;" seconds that the blaze of the fire beand when “ there came a voice unto gan gradually to become apparent, of him, and said, What dost thou here, a colour resembling the bloody redElijah ?" I quitted the scene with ness of the sun when rising or setregret! It was one which entirely ting amid the thick watery haze that coincided with my feelings,-one so often, both at morning and evenwhich so completely took possession ing, envelopes the horizon. So close of my soul, that, at the moment, I and incumbent was the smoke, that would gladly have relinquished so- the flame actually seemed to be live ciety, to dwell amid its rocks, its tore ing upon it; and I would, in all rents, and its tempests, mingle my probability, have quickly retreated, voice with the wild music of its to enjoy the pure breezes of heaven winds, and admire it for ever! outside the door, fully satisfied of
Darkness was deepening in the the absence of every member of the glen, and twilight had almost taken family, had I not at the moment its flight from the tops of the hills, heard a voice from the midst of the where its last faint traces yet con- gloom exclaiming, in a friendly and tinued to linger, like the memory of familiar tone, “Come away, Sir!" happiness after its enjoyment is past: My eyes, though pumping forth tore the moon had not arisen ; the stars rents of bitter brine, became in a were entirely veiled from sight by short time so far familiarized with the deep curtain of clouds that was the Glenhowan household medium of spread out before them; and all was vision, that the whiteness of the dark, silent, and lonely, by the time ladies' mutches became at length I again reached the house of Glen- perceptible,-peering at first like the howan.
faint and distant waftures of some The whole family had deserted the sheeted ghost at the depth of midhay bog, and assembled within doors night, and gradually emerging into around a large fire in the middle of greater distinctness, like Satan unthe floor, above which hung a huge folding himself to the view of his pot full of potatoes, intended for astonished associates, after his first their supper. The fire was newly return to Pandemonium, till at last put on; and the smoke, which oozed the rigid weather-beaten features of through the walls, and rolled in deep the Laird, and the hag-like visage of and almost tangible volumes out at old Miss Meg, the housekeeper, who the doors and windows, told me on happened to be nearest me, became my approach how difficult it must be perfectly visible. On stepping up to to enter and retain breath enough to the fireside, and catching now and thank them for the loan of the tin then a glimpse of the whole group, and the directions they had given me. by the help of its lurid gleams, the In I ventured, however, and found scene forcibly reminded me of the the ladies, in expectation of my re- pictures my fancy had often drawn turn, decked out in clean mutches of a party of the dark-complexioned and bed-gowns, (the old housekeeper Aborigines of America, squatted upon had even gone so far as to wash her the ground in a circle, and gazing face and hands,) and grouped in a upon each other through the smoke line around the fire, which occupied of their night fire, blazing in the fully one half of the house ; while the midst of them. male sex, in an opposite line, occu- The Laird was on his shanks long pied the other half, with the Laird before I could approach him; and planted in patriarchal dignity neare setting forward the chair for my accommodation, and at the same time night to the family of Glenhowan, I resting his hand still upon the back hastened to the door, not without of it, to counteract the gravitating tears in my eyes, and many a suptendency of the upper storey of his pressed cough struggling for vent long, gaunt, and recumbent person, within my bosom. he requested me, in as kindly terms After the open air had brought me as he was master of, to be seated. I a little round again, the first thing did sit down for a minute or two, which occupied my mind was a senmerely for the purpose of discover timent of surprise at the total indifing, if it were possible, some new ference of the whole family to a subject of amusement, but the smoke nuisance which, in a few minutes was too much for me. As the Laird, more, would have sent me to sleep while I occupied his seat, had no with my fathers. It was become like other, his being obliged to stand their natural element, however, so furnished me with an excuse for not that they felt no inconvenience from sitting longer, and the increasing it; and I turned from the mansionlateness of the night furnished an house of Glenhowan, indebted to the equally good excuse for not staying group I had left for the confirmasupper with them, as they desired tion, if not the first conviction, of mę. I therefore delivered the tin to this general truth, that evils, of whatmíne old hostess, accompanied with ever kind, soon become partial, and, as many thanks and bows as I had in effect almost harmless, to those patience to give under the torture I who are so situated as to be conwas suffering; and bidding good- stantly under their influence.
Which Wisdom can smile at, and Virtue despise ;
say not that Glory, like light’ning's red flame,
The visions of bliss that have floated before me,
Like the bright clouds of evening, stole silently o'er me.
Embalm’d by the fame of the mighty of old-
For the rights of their country, the free and the bold-
The light of eternity over the dying,
Through the mists of the present the future descrying !
Through labour, and perils, and slaughter, and war-
And the flame of thy sceptre bright glancing afar !
Thy heart with the pride of dominion is glowing ;
The breezes of heaven around thee are blowing !
Which Wisdom can smile at, and Virtue despise ;
H. G. B.