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“I have seen her. The figure I beheld is, and is not my Charlotte-my thirty years' companion. There is the same symmetry of form—but that yellow mask, with pinched features, which seem to mock life rather than emulate it, can it be thé face that was ever so full of lively expression? I will not look on it again.
“May 18.-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; and earth must have ber 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.
"I do not experience those paroxysms of grief which others do on the same occasion. I can exert myself and speak more cheerfully with the poor girls. But alone, or if any thing touches me—the choking sensation! I have been to her room; there was no voice in it—no stirring; the pressure of the coffin was visible on the bed, but it had been removed elsewhere; all was neat, as she loved it, but all was calm-calm as death. I remembered the last sight of her; she raised herself in bed, and tried to turn her eyes after me, and said, with a sort of smile, 'You all have such melancholy faces. These were the last words I ever heard her utter, and I hurried away, for she did not seem quite conscious of what she said—when I returned, immediately departing, she was in a deep sleep. It is deeper now.
They are arranging the chamber of death. They are treading fast and thick, For weeks you could have heard a foot-fall Oh my God!"
Here is a tragedy-deeper—deeper than that of Amy Robsart, or the Bride of Lammermoor! But let us drop the curtain over the keenness of his grief—the poignant, gnawing misery of his heart!
And what has the great and good Sir Walter done for the world? Where has fallen his influence? Where has he reaped his reward? In befriending with the munificent hand of a king, made full by his own toil, the poor unknown aspirant for literary fame? In bringing up the Ettrick Shepherd from his cotter's dale, and throwing around him by his influence and friendship, a portion of his wide spread fame? Is it in meeting with his buoyant heart, and with his warm feelings, the cutting blasts of fortunein smiling when the soul sank, and left but the shadow of a life in that beaming countenance ?—when the silvered hairs upon that fevered brow stood thick, clotted with the sweat of his agonizing labor ?—when lying upon his couch, he dictated, amid the shrieks of piercing pain, that unrivalled story of the Disinherited ? Has his influence fallen in his generous condescension-in pouring the light of his dark eye in pity on suffering—in indignation on tyranny-in love on all? Has he received his reward in giving up his life-blood, slowly, sufferingly, to the avaricious grasp of his creditors ? Heaven forbid! His influence is as wide as the range of letters;—his reward, the gratitude of the literary world.
He tore Romance from its darkness and impurity-gave it elegance and chastity. He refined and modified fiction from an idle tale, to the genius of his works. He turned in the crucible of his mind, the remnants of savage fancy to the brightness of a new creation.
The radiant sunlight of truth stole in upon his romance, and blazoned it with new and unseen beauties! He redeemed Scottish literature from its ebbing state, and made it the admiration, if not the model of the world. And if he has not the perfection of rhetoric, it is because his genius admitted of no reflection upon forms; he poured out the resources of his mind in its own free, natural, unbiassed current.
Thousands in the haunts of dissipation, stirred by the pathos of his stories, were lured away, if not to greater goodness—to less badness. Each character teaches its own moral, and sinks in the heart by its melting tenderness. The stern moralist was startled by the power of the new teacher; vice was terrified at its own ugliness, and shrunk into obscurity! Woman saw herself in the proud Lady Ashton-saw herself in the lowly maid of Mid Lothian; she chose between the two! Never before had she seen so clearly as in the portraiture of Jeanie Deans, that virtue was elegance, and fell like a robe of gold about the humblest cottage lass.
But not only this: Scott unfolded to the admiring gaze of the world his own dear land. Scotland was known but as the wild home of the wilder mountaineer; her heaths and her “wee modest' daisy had found only the short-lived Burns to weave them in fragmentary verse. Her legends-legends of her character, lay hid—and might have lain for years, but the sun of his genius threw a light amid her dells and mountain caverns that blazoned them to the world. Knowledge of her scenery begat admirationadmiration drew throngs of visitors to dwell about the enrapturing scenes. Civilization, with slow and steady pace, crept in amid the highlands of Loch Lomond. Slowly yet surely did he draw aside the dark folds which curtained Scotia's land, and revealed there in the richness of his creative portraiture, her forgotten customs-her lingering spirit—her chivalrous aspect; and again the pibroch pealed, as of old, amid those ancient hills—again filed down the plaid-clad Highlander from his fir-fringed glensagain marched on the Lowland border-man, with bonnet blue, and white plume floating high-to victory!
Our bosoms felt the thrill, and our life-blood pulsated with the high heart of clan-divided Scotland. The home of Burns became our neighbor; we walked on hills which Loch Leven glassed upon her bosom; we trod where Fergus McIvor marshalled his eager clans; we strode in courts where · Marmion's haughty crest threw back the glance of day;' we wept with Merrilies on Ellangowan's height. Scenes of Dalgetty's prowess with lance and at the board, were before us; again, within the kirk yard,
_.“ with white locks flowing free, The pious sculptor of the grave, stood Old Mortality!" We saw the richness of Nithsdale spread in beauty around us ;
.“ We look'd o'er hill and dale,
Here it is, in giving national features of scenery-in abetting the knowledge of history, Scott is and must ever be unrivalled, as he is in tenderness and sublimity. Compare him with the most popular imaginative author of to-day, and we find Scott as much above Master Humphrey, as he is above ordinary story-tellers. What scenes has Dickens endeared to us? What ground has he made holy? What associations has he called up, pleasant and lasting? What national features see we mirrored forth clearly and elegantly in his tales ? We are not insensible to his merits; he possesses a singular combination of wit and pathos that we have rarely seen equalled ; and it is to the latter of these he trusts for the interest of his tales, and the continuance of his reputation.
But we are protracting our article beyond reasonable limits; and we must leave poor Scott-leave him in his home at Dryburgh! And yet when we take up his books, we can hardly realize that he does not live and speak. And even now, with but a faint effort of the imagination, we can see him at his old home, again the cheerful, ready host.
The splendid hall of Abbotsford is again lit, as in its days of glory; again the kingly board groans under true Scottish viands. The rich apartment is hung around with trophies of Southron spoil, and of Highland prowess. The famed border horn hangs yonder above the Gothic window-bow; the Wallace chair is drawn carefully to the head of the rich board. Sir Humphrey Davy, Wollaston, Mackenzie, and many a laird of Raeburn, and of the house of Ferguson-Laidlaw, with his shrewd Scotch countenance, even the portly Constable, and the leering visage of poor Johnnie Ballantyne—all are there. Lady Scott and Anne, and many a maiden of neighbor mansion, are now seated at the
Shirra's' table. But more than all, yonder with silver locks just fringing his cheerful open countenance, and eyes beaming with benevolence, in his green hunting dress, sits the laird of the mansion—the Great Unknown! The joke and gibe flies gaily round; the true heart's laugh breaks from the lips of Sir Walter, in chorus to the tale of yeoman service; and now in turn, with a snatch of border minstrelsy, he enters upon a new story of enchantment. The silver tones, with the half smile-half Scottish accent, fall upon the ear like music! Every eye is open every heart is enchained, and the tale speeds on. But, to quote from a beautiful poem,
_" the vision and the voice are o'er; their influence waned away,
These words in measure wildly sung, The Spanish arms in moonlight gleamLoud through Grenada's streets
Their banners o'er their white tents Unheeded in that midnight hour,
streaming, Save where from out an ancient tower Now, can they look on this and say, A light e'en then was faintly gleaming, Enough for us to live to-day ?' Like the last star at day-break beaming. Then see where yonder birds were hovUp starting as from troubled sleep, ering, Osmail no more could silence keep: Their dusky wings our warriors covering, “Fools, fools, to tread life's narrow round The only pall Grenada gave Within its dusky circle bound,
To those who died her all to save. Content its dreams of joy to chase, See now who tread among those slain ? Content its phantoms to embrace, Friends ? though the aid of friends were Willing the soul's immortal light
And rescue from a living grave
The proud, the noble, and the brave. Which Allah's glories scarce amaze?
O Allah! thanks that I
look But now! O God, this day's sad story Farther within thy secret book How has it quenched the crescent’s glory! Than each revolving day unfolds, Now, when upon our leaguered walls
And read what fate the future holds." The Spanish cross in shadow falls,
Then turned he, and the taper's ray With meteor brightness fiercely glowed, Fell not on locks now thin and gray ; Scarce Osmail's eye could brook the sight And though the lines of thought were of the dread future clothed in light. traced,
To black despair that heart was given Age on his brow no signet placed; Which long in agony had striven; In his full veins the tide was rushing For Osmail saw the coming woes From a strong heart in fullness gushing; In deepest night round Moslem close. And Osmail's form a model seemed Ho saw Grenada's dreaded fall, of what the ancient sculptors dreamed. The cross upon her bloody wall, No prouder name than his was placed Then came long years of pain and an'Mid those who chivalry had graced, guish, His lance the foremost in the field, When reft of hope the faithful languish, His banner last the ground to yield. Slaves on the self-same holy soil In peace no gentler look was bent
Their sires had won with blood and toil. On those whose breasts misfortune rent, O God ! now gleams the baleful fire And the dark eyes of ladies fair Lit up by priests' accursed ire, In glances said " is Osmail there ?" Grenada's sons to dungeons driven, Yet oft apart from all he drew,
No more behold the light of heaven, And none his cause of absence knew, Her daughters weep their kindred's fall, None deemed that he, the young, the Yet wish it were the lot of all. gay,
The feeble remnants that remain, The wand of power could freely sway; Hunted from every verdant plain, That he from glance of maiden's eye Find in the mountain's deepest caves To this lone tower would gladly hie, Destruction's banner o'er them waves. And read the cabalistic lore
They're past—no more in silver light That erst such wondrous influence bore. Shall crescent gleam on Vega bright,
His last sad glance the Moor has taken, One shuddering glance toward the plain The dearest spot on earth forsaken. Where lay in heaps the unburied slain, Still Osmail looked with burning hate One look upon the bannered host Gathered from every Christian coast,
For vengeance which on Spain should Then with full heart he turned his
gaze Where the bright heavens their glories
But wider yet her banner flew ;
A new world bursts upon her view, raise; “O Allah! earth reveals the fate
Where bleeding hearts in millions told That must full soon on all await;
The Spaniard's cruel thirst of gold.
Cortez he saw with scornful pride,
Pizarro in a lordly hall,
While at his feet its princes fall;
The And read in yonder starry heaven
meanest, vilest Christian slave Events to future ages given.”
Higher than those who sceptres wave.
Fortune seemed bound to Spain's behest, Upward was fixed his anxious view,
Gonsalvo's arms with glory crowned, And long he mystic traces drew,
And vict'ry to his chariot bound, Then-glared from hell such burning Till Spain the highest place had gained, light,
Before scarce 'mid the nations named. Or beamed it from some spirit bright? O blanched was Osmail's lip of pride, That page the flickering lamp scarce Gone was that firm and haughty stride, showed,
E’en in despair with hatred burning,