Obrázky na stránke

On Living to One's-Self. What I mean by living to one's-self, is living in thic world, as in it, not of it: it is as if no one knew there was such a person, and you wished no one to know it: it is to be a silent spectator of the mighty scene of things, not an object of attention or curiosity in it; to take a thoughtful, anxious interest in what is passing in the world, but not to feel the slightest inclination to make or meddle with it. It is such a life as a pure spirit might be supposed to lead, and such an interest as it might take in the affairs of men -calm, contemplative, passive, distant, touched with pity for their sorrows, smiling at their follies without bitterness, sharing their affections, but not troubled by their passions, not seeking their notice, nor once dreamed of by them. He who lives wisely to himself and to his own heart, looks at the busy world through the loop-holes of retreat, and does not want to mingle in the fray. He hears the tumult, and is still.” He is not able to mend it, nor willing to mar it. He sees enough in the universe to interest him, without putting himself forward to try what he can do to fix the eyes of the universe upon him. Vain the attempt! He reads the clouds, he looks at the stars, he watches the return of the seasons-..

the falling leaves of autumn, the perfumed breath of spring-starts with delight at the note of a thrush in a copse near him, sits by the fire, listens to the moaning of the wind, pores upon a book, or discourses the freezing hours away, or melts down lours to minutes in pleasing thought. All this while, he is taken up with other ihings, forgetting himself. He relishes an author's style, without thinking of turning author. He is fond of looking at a print from an old picture in the room, without teasing himself to copy it. He does not fret himself to death with trying to be what he is not, or to do what he cannot. He hardly knows what he is capable of, and is not in the least concerned, whether he shall ever make a figure in the world. Ile feels the truth of the lines

“The man whose eye is ever on himself,

Doth look on one, the least of nature's works:
One who might inove the wise man to that scorn

Which wisdom holds unlawful ever." He looks out of himself at the wide extended prospect of nature, and takes an interest beyond his narrow pretensions in general humanity. He is free as air, and independent as the wind. Wo be to him when he first begins to think what others say of him. While a man is connected with himself and his own resources, all is well When he undertakes to play a part on the stage, and to persuade the world to think more about him than they do about themselves; he is got into a track where he will find nothing but briars and thorns, vexation and disappointment.


Comal and Galvina. ‘MOURNFUL is thy tale, son of the car,” said Carril of other times.-“ It sends my soul back to the ages of old, and to the days of other years.--Often have I heard of Comal, who slew the friend he loved; yet victory attended his steel; and the battle was consumed in his presence.

“Comal was the son of Albion; the chief of an hundred hills.-His deer drank of a thousand streams.-A thousand rocks replied to the voice of his dogs.-His face was the mildness of youth.--His hand the death of heroes. -One was his love, and fair was she! the daughter of mighty Conloch.-She appeared like a sun-beam among women. Her hair was like the wing of the raven.—Her dogs were taught to the chase. Her bow-string sounded on the winds of the forest.-Her soul was fixed on Comal. -Often met their eyes of love.-Their course in the chase was one - Happy were their words in secret.—But Gormal loved the maid, the dark chief of the gloomy Ardven. -He watched her lone steps in the heath; the foe of unhappy Comal!

e One day, tired of the chase, when the mist had concealed their friends, Comal and the daughter of Conloch met, in the cave of Ronan.-It was the wonted haunt of Comal.-Its sides were hung with his arms. -A hundred shields of thongs were there; a hundred helms of sounding steel.—'Rest here,' he said, 'my love, Galvina; thou light of the cave of Ronan !-A deer appears on Mora's brow.I go; but I will soon return.'— I fear,' she said, “dark Gormal my foe; he haunts the cave of Ronan !- I will rest among the arms; but soon return, my love.'

“ He went to the deer of Mora.—The daughter of Conloch would try his love. She clothed her white sides with his armour, and strode from the cave of Ronan !-He


thought it was his foe.—His heart beat high.-His colour changed, and darkness dimmed his eyes.—He drew the bow.-The arrow few.-Galvina fell in blood !-He ran with wildness in his steps, and called the daughter of Conloch.—No answer in the lonely rock.- Where art thou, O my love?' He saw, at length, her heaving heait beating around the feathered arrow.-'o Conloch's daughter, is it thou ?' He sunk upon her breast.

The hunters found the hapless pair.—He afterwards walked the hill—but many and silent were his steps round the dark dwelling of his love.—The fleet of the ocean came. -He fought; the strangers fled.—He searched for death along the field.—But who could slay the mighty Comal ! -He threw


his dark-brown shield.-An arrow found his manly breast. He sleeps with his loved Galvina, at the noise of the sounding surge!—Their green tombs are seen by the mariner, when he bounds o'er the waves of the north.”


On the Psalms. Besides the figure, supplied by the history of Israel, and by the law; there is another set of images often employed in the Psalms, to describe the blessings of redemption. These are borrowed from the natural world, the manner of its original production, and the operations continually carried on in it. The visible works of God are formed to lead us, under the direction of his word, to a knowledge of those which are invisible; they give us ideas, by analogy, of a new creation rising gradually, like the old one, out of darkness and deformity, until at length it arrives at the perfection of glory and beauty: so that while we praise the Lord for all the wonders of his power, wisdom, and love, displayed in a system which is to wax old and perish, we may therein contemplate, as in a glass, those new heavens, and that new earth, of whose duration there shall be no end *. The sun, that fountain of life, and heart of the world, that bright leader of the armies of heaven, enthroned in glorious majesty; the moon shining with a

• Read nature; nature is a friend to truth;

Nature is Christian, preaches to mankind;
And bids dead matter aid us in our creed.

lustre borrowed from his beams; the stars glittering by night in the clear firmament; the air giving breath to all things that live and move; the interchanges of light and darkness; the course of the year, and the sweet vicissitude of seasons; the rain and the dew descending from above, and the fruitfulness of the earth caused by them; the bow bent by the hands of the Most High, which compasseth the heavens about with a glorious circle; the awful voice of thunder, and the piercing power of lightning; the instincts of animals, and the qualities of vegetables and minerals; the great and wide sea, with its unnumbered inhabitants—all these are ready to instruct us in the mysteries of faith, and the duties of morality.

“ They speak their Maker as they can,

But want and ask the tongue of man.” The advantages of Messiah's reign are represented in some of the Psalms, under images of this kind. We behold a renovation of all things; and the world, as it were, new created, breaks forth into singing. The earth is clothed with sudden verdure and fertility: the field is joyful, and all that is in it; the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord; the floods clap their hands in concert, and ocean fills up the mighty chorus, to celebrate the advent of the great King.


Anningait and Ajut. In one of the large caves to which the families of Greenland retire together, to pass the cold months, and which may be termed their villages or cities; a youth and maid, who came from different parts of the country, were so much distinguished for their beauty, that they were called by the rest of the inhabitants Anningait and Ajut, from a supposed resemblance to their ancestors of the same names, who had been transformed of old into the sun and moon.

Anningait, for some time, heard the praises of Ajut with little emotion; but, at last, by frequent interviews, became sensible of her charms, and first made a discovery of his affection, by inviting her, with her parent, to a feast, where he placed before Ajut the tail of a whale. Ajut seemed not much delighted by this gallantry; yet, however, from that time, was observed rarely to appear, but in a vest made of the skin of a white deer; she used frequently to renew the black dye upon her hands and forehead, to adorn her sleeves with coral shells, and to braid her hair with great exactness.

The elegance of her dress, and the judicious disposition of her ornaments, had such an effect upon Anningait, that he could no longer be restrained from a declaration of his love. He therefore composed a poem in her praise, in which, among other heroic and tender sentiments, he protested, that " she was beautiful as the vernal willow, and fragrant as thyme upon the mountains; that her fingers were white as the teeth of the morse, and her smile grateful as the dissolution of the ice; that he would pursue her, though she should pass the snows of the midland cliffs, or seek shelter in the caves of the eastern cannibals; that he would tear her from the embraces of the genius of the rocks, snatch her from the paws of Amarock,

and rescue her from the ravin of Hafgufa.” He concluded with a wish, that “whoever should attempt to hinder his union with Ajut, might be buried without his bow; and that, in the land of souls, his scull might serve for no other use than to catch the droppings of the starry lamps."

This ode being universally applauded, it was expected that Ajut would soon yield to such fervour and accomplishments; but Ajut, with the natural haughtiness of beauty, expected all the forms of courtship; and before she would confess herself conquered, the sun returned, the ice broke, and the season of labour called all to their employments.

Anningait and Ajut, for a time, always went out in the same boat, and divided whatever was caught. Anningait, in the sight of his mistress, lost no opportunity of signalizing his courage: he attacked the sea-horses on the ice; pursued the seals into the water; and leapt upon the back of the whale, while he was yet struggling with the remains of life. Nor was his diligence less to accumulate all that could be necessary to make winter comfortable: he dried the roe of fishes, and the flesh of seals; he entrapped deer and foxes, and dressed their skins to adorn his bride; he feasted her with eggs from the rocks, and strewed her tent with flowers.

It happened that a tempest drove the fish to a distant part of the coast, before Anningait had completed bis store; he therefore entreated Ajut, that she would at last grant him her hand, and accompany him to that part of

« PredošláPokračovať »