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was now a matter of intense interest, and with the speed only equalled by the restless anxiety that propelled me forward.
I reached a second time the brink of the little valley; but here, as yet, no sound, save the early warblings of the feathered tribe, and the distant murmur of the falls, broke the serenity of the spot. The dew was untracked, the goat had not yet quitted its hiding place, and the morning dews still hung suspended from many a perfumed shrub. The valley itself, surrounded on each side by thick foliage, was about six feet below the spot on which I stood; one end winding romantically up the mountain, the other terminating in a cluster of thick pines, the sudden declivity of whose tops, proved they had taken root in one of the rocky descents so dangerous to the unwary traveller.
" It is, then, too early even for thy fairy steps, if fairy indeed I am to believe the gentle Lilla, yet would I rather my existance were forfeited, than forego the pleasure of finding thee, mortal.”
I scarcely had ejaculated these words, ere a whoop and hallow, were succeeded by the appearance of a boy, bounding with quick steps towards the extremity of the valley. Young as he was, for he could not be said to have attained more than five years, it seemed as if the arch rogue was delighting himself with the thought of a chase, as, whilst his young feet bore him along with all the velocity he was master of, he occasionally looked back, whooped, clapped his little hands, and then again made for the clusters of tall pines, beneath which he as quickly disappeared.
“ Is this likewise to prove unreal ?" I unconsciously exclaimed. “Reason forbids it.” * And reason soon cut short the superstitions of my Swiss entertainers, in the person of one of the most lovely girls my eyes had ever beheld; who, advancing from behind the projection of a rock, stood for a moment irresolute, as if marking the progress of her youthful companion, whose steps she followed with a fleetness attainable only by those accustomed to mountain scenery:
Never in my life had I seen anything so transcendently beautiful: her slender figure, around which was thrown a scarf of the lightest texture; her bright locks falling in natural luxuriance, now floating on the wind, now shading a neck, which might have shamed the purest alabaster; whilst her face but how is it possible to do justice to the expression of a countenance, beaming in all the glow of youth and innocence? Reader, if a love of female beauty has ever been implanted in your mind, picture to yourself the fairest and rarest of nature's productions, and believe such loveliness has Lilla of Lauterbrunnen. But she was gone. That mountain boy and Lilla had disappeared down the declivity of the dark pines; and I, unable to resist the impulse their sudden appearance had occasioned, leaped from the point on which I stood to the moss clad valley, and was in an instant at the rocky defile. To descend, however, was far more difficult. The gloom ofthe dusky pines, the thickly clustering lichens, hiding the sharp projections of roots and rocks, rendered it next to impossible for a stranger to find footing, neither did there appear the slightest vestige of those I thus madly pursued; and after a long time spent in catching alternately from brier to brushwood, now descending with the slippery earth that gave way beneath my feet, now striking against the ponderous masses which on every side impeded my progress, I at length reached the base of the mountain, beneath which the little valley was situate. But it is impossible to forget the scene that now presented itself. The mighty Staubbach, in all its glistening grandeur, was before me; whilst Lilla and her young companion, apparently encircled by rainbows, appeared seated beside it, as if enjoying the cool breeze that arose from the diverted foam. To those who have visited this part of Switzerland at morning light, there will be no need to account for the extraordinary power of refraction that takes place at the base of the Staubbach, neither is it possible to do justice to the splendour of the waters as they dash with restless fury against the tremendous rock, and thence breaking into millions of shining particles, descend in noiseless vapours to the earth.
(To be continued.)
ON AULD LANG SYNE.
Sweet Avon, on thy silent streams I gaze
Oft on thy well-known banks I've strayed,
Oft there in careless mirth have played.
Alas ! one joy alone is minem
Oft did I come to woo the morning's air,
'Twas there I breath'd my vows of truth
To one who beam'd with health and youth.
Alas! one joy alone is mine-
OUR RANDOM CLUB NIGHTS.
BY DANDY DUMBY, ESQ. M.R.C.
When men are knit together by the love of society, and congregate for the purposes of social intercourse as well as relaxation from toil and study, there will be always something useful and amusing in such associations, whether they be conventional or fortuitous. Man is a gregarious animal, and loves to bare bis powers in a crowd, where most men best display them; for in the human aggregate authors claim but a small proportion. Pride urges each of us to exhibit his little scrip of acquirement: fellowship brings out the sparkling wit and eloquent flow; confidence unties the tongue of timidity, and the mellow glass exhilirates the dormant soul and invigorates dulness' self.
To catch the desultory conversation of such meetings, where regularity is despised, and talking, not listening, the aim of all
, and to render in reciprocation of word and jest a continued sprightliness and variety of pleasing entertainment, is no easy task of effecting. However true or striking the discussions may appear, or the humour preponderate, the characters being strange, afford little interest to the reader, nor cannot, till after better acquaintance, be supposed to claim any lively regard.
Before we admit the reader to “our attic nights of refection,” as Curran would say, it is proper to delineate in faint outline the leading traits of four or five of our choicest members, as briefly as
This, besides bringing the reader to an immediate acquaintance with their several peculiarities, will release us from any future breaks and stoppages, and thenceforward allow, with the least practicable interruption, each of our dramatis persone to speak in his own behalf. If
you draw a right line from the bear's den in the Zoologicalgardens, Regent's-park, to the prompt side stage box of the Victoria theatre, and another at right angles from the south-west corner of Belgrave-square to the Angel at Islington, the point of intersection will give you a most definite idea, within a mile or two, of that part of the street, square, place, terrace, alley, court, or mews, wherein lies situate the domicile beneath whose roof the · Random Club' holds its immethodical associations. We beg leave to omit the name of the mansion, as also the mentioning
whether the said house be a hostel, tavern, coffee-house, or other particular home of entertainment. The reasons, we fancy, are obvious; but we shall keep them to ourselves if they be not. We meet in the parlour. It is an apartment something of the moderate-sized. It is sufficiently furnished. It boasts a handsome chimney glass over the fire-place, surmounted by an eight day clock. There are seven chairs in the room, four tables and forms covered with carpet cloth, fastened all round against the walls. Besides these, we may notice a two-globed gas chandelier, three brass bell pulls, and a large map of Yorkshire, which complete the furniture, barring fixtures.
The landlord is a short, thin-set man, of a mercurial turn of mind. His face, in shape and colour, resembles the sun in a November fog; and from its redness he hath derived the cognomen of Bardolph, by which he shall be recognised throughout these papers. Being of a jovial nature and sociable disposition, he is a welcome addition to our circle, which he fails not to join at every meeting; for mine host is fond-very fond of his glass, and smokes his pipe or cigar with all the gout of a Bohemian baron. He is eternally laughing and everlastingly speaking; and though his wit is feeble and scarce, he makes ample amends by the comicality of his physiognomy, which, to use a piquant saying of our worthy forefathers, would conduce to canine cachination. With all his passion to discourse Bardolph's conversation asserts but small claim to the splendid or brilliant style; nor doth it display any extravagant depth of research or profundity of thought. Poor mine host at times is sadly astray in lexicographical accuracies, especially when he ventures beyond the beaten track of dissyllables; yet, such is the landlord's perseverance, so praiseworthy his presence of mind, and so lofty the ambition of the man, that when he becomes lost for some large word full of meaning, or when he is at fault for some particular term to give force to his eloquence, sooner than yield to the common frailty of oblivious thoughts, he would nobly fling in the first sonorous word that met his memory, heedless alike of its meaning or analogy.
Burnchurch is our oldest member. He is an out-and-out Radical; a man of some reading; a confounded quoter of Latin phrases and an indefatigable arguer. Some say he looks much older than he really is, and others again insist that he is much older than he really looks; but since neither side know any thing whatsoever of his years, the argument strikes me as none of the wisest. He is an amazing admirer of ladies and church organs, both of which he patronizes in theory as well as practice. He hath an unaccountable aversion to the Duke of Wellington and Macready's acting. He knows the Bible and all the Latin authors by rote; and plays draughts and backgammon like a Chinese sailor. His disposition is peculiar: when he is vexed, he is calm and smooth as a stall-fed boa, but in his merry mood, as wanton as
a three-year-old whale. If you add to this that he takes snuff like Napoleon, and contradiction like Lord Stanley, you have the chief angles and juttings of the rock of old Burnchurch's character.
Next appears Bluff Burly. In personal appearance he is an amalgamation of Dugald Dalgetty, Thwackum, and Shaw the Life Guardsman. His tread is as a war-horse, and his voice “ like a monarch's bidding.” He is a perambulating edition of Shakspeare bound in extra bull: he demands a glass of water in the tone the King in Hamlet calls for the cups, or answers a salvedictory question," in good set terms." All the jaggs and ends, "shreds and patches," odd phrases and quaint words of old Will hath he got stowed away in his brain. He hath a sententious mode of delivery, more serious than theatrical; and if his words convey no weight, it is not through want of forcible expression or earnestness of vociferation. Shakspeare is his idol-his god. In moments calm or unruffled, in stages of sobriety or vinous jocundity, in hours of difference or agreement, it is his oracle-his mouth-piece-his referee and his tribunal. And as the night thickens and the tankards muster, the mania increases the dream expands, till at the last, it is “thunder, nothing but thunder”-Shakspeare, nothing but Shakspeare.
Bantam is an inestimable mimic, and delights us many an hour with close resemblances of some of the stylish buffoons of the modern stage. No man of recent invention hath shadowed forth with so much fancy, that happy tact that Bantam exhibits in the felicitous forging of a really downright, thundering, exquisite bit of harmless fabrication. Doubtless he is a great liar; but so are all great
To speak truth is a task of no moment; but to invent, to form, to conceive, to forge and create, are the divine stirrings-the etherial spiritings of true heaven-soaring, castle-building, Cervantesian genius.
Who comes here? My jolly friend Bonitas, or I do forget myself. A strange fellow is Bonitas, and one that hath seen much of the world. A traveller he was, as you may gather from his discourse, and an observer he is, as you ought to recognise in his remarks. He is a young man, but his front bears the battery of midnight encounters. He is certainly the most amicable man alive; without one harsh feeling in his composition or one word ungenerous in his conversation. Where be jollity and good fellowship, there be his true home. All that incites to mirth—all that tends to joyousness and hearty pleasure--all that conduces to excitement and happy forgetfulness, he presses on as if he were the sun that dispensed light and cheer and gladness around him. He is avidously fond of a good song, and nothing makes him more contented than listening to what is either grotesquely comic or sweetly pleasing. He is a promoter of all sorts of fun; the propagator of merriment; the fountain of humour, and an everlasting stream of jocosity. These be his large delights. In other matters he