Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

his love to set her forth and deck her out, and you shall put it to the proof indeed. So change his station in the world, that he shall see those young things who climb about his face, not records of his wealth and name, but little wrestlers with him for his daily bread; in lieu of the endearments of childhood in its sweetest aspect, heap upon him all its pains and wants, its sicknesses and ills, its fretfulness, caprice, and querulous endurance ; let its prattle be, not of engaging infant fancies, but of cold, and thirst, and hunger: and, if his fatherly affection outlive all this, and he be patient, watchful, tender, careful of his children's lives, and mindful always of their joys and sorrows, then send him back to the upper ranks of society; and, when he hears fine talk of the depravity of those who live from hand to mouth, and labour hard to do it, let him

speak up as one who knows, and tell those holders forth, that they, by parallel with such a class, should be high angels in their daily lives, and lay but hum-, ble siege to heaven at last.'

Looking round upon these people (emigrants), far from home, houseless, indigent, wandering, weary with travel and hard living; and seeing how patiently they nursed and tended their young

young children, how they consulted ever their wants first, then half supplied their own; what gentle ministers of hope and faith the women were; how the men profited by their example; and how very, very seldom even

i Charles Dickens (Notes on America, ii. 204.).

a moment's petulance or harsh complaint broke out

"

among them.

Love is not love,
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove;
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark
Whose worth's unknown, altho' his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out, e’en to the edge of doom.2

And ne'er did Grecian chisel trace
A finer form, a lovelier face.
What though the form, with ardent frown,
Had slightly tinged her cheek with brown,
The sportive toil, which, short and light,
Had dyed her glowing hue so bright,
Served, too, in hastier gwell to show
Short glimpses of a breast of snow:
A foot more light, a step more true,
Ne'er from the heath-flower dash'd the dew;
E'en the slight harebell raised its head,
Elastic from her airy tread.
What, though upon her speech there hung
The accent of the mountain tongue,
Those silver sounds, so soft, so clear,
The list'ner held his breath to hear.3

i Charles Dickens (Notes on America).
2 Shakspeare (Sonnet 116.).
3 Scott (Lady of the Lake).

So sweetly sang her joys the clouds along,

Through the soft silence of the listning night." To see him and love him were the same, he is so noble in his ways, and yet so affable and mild.?

His form accorded with a mind,

Lively and ardent, — frank and kind.3 Women, in all countries, are civil, obliging, tender, and humane : they are ever inclined to be gay and cheerful, timorous and prudent, and they do not hesitate, like men, to perform a generous action ; more liable, perhaps, to err than men, but, in general, more disinterested, more virtuous, and performing more good actions than men. I never addressed myself, in the language of kindness, to a woman, whether civilised or savage, without receiving a kind and friendly answer. In my extensive wanderings in foreign climes, if hungry, thirsty, wet, cold, or sick, woman has ever been friendly to me, most uniformly so."

O WOMAN! in ordinary cases so mere a mortal, how, in the great and rare events of life, dost thou swell into an angel!

That dear woman, who forms his happiness, and embellishes his life.6

When I approach
Her loveliness, so absolute she seems,
And in herself complete; so well to know
Her own, that what she wills to do or say
Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best.7

1 Milton (from the Circumcision). 2 Tancred and Sigismunda. 3 Scott. 4 Ledyard.

5 Bulwer. 6 Garrick (Corr.).

7 Par. Lost.

CHAP. XV.

DESCRIPTIONS.

I LOVE the bell that calls to prayer, and the village church opening its doors to the devout, the innocent, and the aged: I love to see the great of this world seeking the quiet altar, and kneeling at it with the lowly.

Un rayon de l'amour divin descendoit sur moi pendant la solemnité tranquille du dimanche. Le bourdonnement sourd de la cloche remplissoit mon âme du pressentiment de l'avenir, et ma prière étoit une jouissance ardente.?

He (Scott) desired to be wheeled through his rooms, and we moved him leisurely for an hour or more up and down the hall and the great library. “I have seen much,” he kept saying, “but nothing like my ain house: give me one turn more.” He was gentle as an infant, and allowed himself to be put to bed again, the moment we told him that we thought he had enough for one day.... He expressed a wish that I should read to him; and when I asked from what book, he said,

- Need

I Sketches in the Pyrenees. 2 Madame de Staël (Translation of Faust). See L'Allemagne.

[ocr errors]

you ask ? there is but one.” I chose the 14th chapter of St. John's Gospel.

Scott on his death-bed. — “ Lockhart, I may have but a minute to speak to you: my dear, be a good man, be virtuous, be religious, be a good man. Nothing else will give you comfort when you come to lie here.He paused, and I said, Shall I send for Sophia and Anne? No," said he; “don't disturb them. Poor souls ! I know they were up all night - God bless you all ;” with this he sank into a very tranquil sleep..

. About half past one P. M. on the 21st of September (1832), Sir Walter breathed his last, in the presence of all his children. It was a beautiful day, so warm, that

every

window was wide open, and so perfectly still, that the sound, of all others, most delicious to his ear, the gentle ripple of the Tweed over its pebbles, was distinctly audible as we knelt around the bed, and his eldest son kissed and closed his eyes.'

Another day, and a bright one to the external world, again opens on us: the air soft, and the flowers smiling, and the leaves glittering. They cannot refresh her to whom mild weather was a natural enjoyment. Cerements of lead and of wood already hold her; cold earth must have her soon. But it is not my Charlotte, it is not the bride of my youth, the mother of my children, that will be laid among the ruins of Dryburgh, which we have so often visited in gaiety and pastime. No! no! She

1 Scott (Life by Lockhart, vii. 394.).

« PredošláPokračovať »