Obrázky stránek
[ocr errors]

there is no occasion for any more for a long while to Mr Malcolm is not one of those writers who take the come. Because the hills and the plains were covered last mind by storm, or who wrap the feelings as in a whirl. summer with a thousand flowers, shall we welcome less wind. All that he pretends to is that gentle influence joyfully the return of the sunny spring “ with her kir. over the heart which steals upon it imperceptibly, and tle of lilies around her glancing,”-shall we hold in less which, like the light of evening, is loved the more, estimation the unbought treasures of green and gold she simply because it wants the brilliancy of noon–because scatters over the glorious earth ? The affections of the it is more feeble, and therefore the sooner likely to pass heart, the delights of the senses, the perception of the away. Mr Malcolm's is peculiarly the poetry of senti. beautiful, must cease, -human nature must be changed, ment, in opposition to that of conception. There is a -the soul must be taken out, and the body left to walk great deal of sentiment in the poetry of Mrs Hemans, on without it, before that species of composition but there is also a great deal of flowery embellishment; which appeals to the feelings and the fancy, to the in- her rich Italian fancy enables her to wreathe garlands tellect and the judgment, will become uninteresting, and round the feelings, and while she thus adds to their of little value. True, prose is the great staple commo- beauty, she perhaps detracts a little from their sincerity dity of life; and without prose, libraries would dwindle There are inpumerable small imitators of Mrs Hemans, down into very small dimensions, and periodical works whose lines are made up of “ gleams of golden hair," be comprised in a very few leaves. True also, the mind“ gushing streams," “ the dead, the dead,” “ the bold may be wearied out with poetry, and for a time may turn and free, " " they have gone in silence down,” and such away from it, like the bee from the blossom, satiated little pieces of floridness, but who, wanting the fine mo. with sweets. But not on these accounts will one of the sical ear, and delicate taste of their prototype, are mere purest pleasures left to fallen humanity be resigned— tinsel and emptiness from beginning to end. Mr Mal. the pleasure which the Peri experiences at the gates of colm is no imitator ; he goes straight forward to his paradise, --catching glimpses of a brighter state of ex- purpose, and expresses natural feelings in natural and istence, and with the aid of imagination gradually in- simple language. The smooth and pleasant flow of his ducing forgetfulness of personal exclusion.

heroic verse reminds us a good deal of Goldsmith and In all seasons, times, and places, we take up a vo- Rogers. The first and longest poem in the present volume of poetry with pleasure_nay, though it be only a lume is in this measure. It is entitled “ The Campaign,” volume of rhyme, it is apt to soften down the asperity and describes very touchingly and unaffectedly some of of our nature, and make us feel less of the critic and the scenes of the Peninsular war. A good number of more of the man. When we condemn a volume of prose, the minor poems have already appeared in the “ Litewe are subjected to far fewer compunctious visitings than rary Souvenir” and other periodicals. Some of them when we see it necessary to treat severely the fledgling of we like extremely; others are a little commonplace. a bashful muse. There is something sturdy and sub- Our chief favourites are “ The Soldier's Funeral," stantial about prose-something that smacks of world. “ The North-Wester," “ The Vesper Bell," " My ly wisdom and the tear and wear of everyday life, and Birth-Day,” and “ The Poet's Death-Bed."' of one which seems to fit it well for encountering the buffétings or two of these our readers shall judge for themselves. of fortune, and the whips and scorns of criticism. But not so with poetry. Timid as a virgin on her bridal

MY BIRTH-DAY. morn, it comes forth to meet the gaze of those who wait without, and like her, too, its charms are often veiled at

Time shakes his glass, and swiftly run first from the vulgar eye. They shrink into concealment

Life's sands, still ebbing grain by grain ; from the rude touch of doubt or curiosity ; but the soft

For weary, wan, autumnal sun voice of encouragement, and the gentle hand of affection,

Brings round my birthday once again ; may soon succeed in withdrawing the filmy covering, And lights me, like the fading bloom and beauty stands revealed in its noonday blaze. Never, Of pale October, to the tomb. while you live, breathe with harshness a poet's name. If he has awakened one deeper feeling, one finer emo- My birth-day!-Each revolving year tion, one nobler aspiration, he has not written in vain. It seems to me a darker day; Far distant he may shine, on the very verge of the hori. Whose dying flowers and leatlets sere zon; but so did the sun itself when it first broke on the With solemn warning seem to say, gloom of night. Let the pseudo-pretender to the name That all on earth like shadows fly; of minstrel be whipt back into his original obscurity ; That nought abideth 'neath the sky. but if in his bosom there lurk one spark of the diviner essence, cherish it as the fire of an altar which may yet My birth-day!-Where, when life was young, kindle into a broad and purifying flame.

Is now each promise which it gave? The mightiest lyres have for a time been unstrung or Hope's early wreaths have long been bung, silent, but others have been wooing the public ear not

Pale faded garlands,-o'er its grave, unsuccessfully. Three of these have sent forth their

Where Memory waters with her tears, voices from Scotland,-Pollok, Kennedy, and Malcolm.

Those relics of departed years. Though frequently too verbose and tautological in dic. tion, and in conception too unvaried and almost tedious,

My birth-day !_Where the loved ones now, 6. The Course of Time" is a very wonderful production

On whom in happier times it dawn'd?

Each beamning eye and sunny brow for so young a man as the author was when he wrote it;

Low in the dark and dreamless land and though we are not quite sure that Pollok would Now sleep-where I shall slumber soon, ever have risen to any thing much beyond it, there is Like all beneath the sun and moon. every cause to regret that his untimely death should have deprived both himself and his country of the ho

My birth-day !_Once I loved to bear nours they promised mutually to confer on each other. These words by friendship echoed round; The author of “ Fitful Fancies" is alive, and in all the But now they fall upon mine ear freshness and vigour of manhood. Of some new and yet With thoughts too mournful and profound, more sustained effort of his genius, we hope soon to be Fraught with a sad and solemn spell, called on to express a more than merely laudatory opi. And startling as a wailing knell. nion. At present, it is Malcolm who has come before us, and his style is very different from that of either of Not less soft and beautiful, and, on the whole, more the two we have already mentioned.

original and striking, is

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

for aye.


being“ lone spirits,” they are particularly jovial spirits, Oh, alas, and alas !

and are observed to be fondest of playing in the immeGreen grows the grass !

diate vicinity of whisky shops, as it is natural that Like the waves we coine, like the winds we pass.

“ spirits" should. So far from their ever “ sighing

Ye tell me 'tis the evening hour ;-then, ere the day be tish ear with such airs as “ Duncan Gray,”. “ Jenny's

anthems," they are commonly found soothing the Scot-
The casement ope, that I may see my last of suns go Fife.” They may possibly be " beneath the midnight


,” “ Aiken Drum,” and “ The East Neuk o' down. With beams as beautiful he'll rise to gladden earth again, moon,” though it is much more likely that they are beAnd wake the world with life and light,—but shine for neath a gas lamp. But it is ever thus that prose~cold, me in vain.

calculating, heartless prose-attempts to disenchant the

creations of poesy.-Out on the foul fiend !
Yes of the azure sky above, and the green earth below, We trust that Mr Malcolm will long continue to write,
I yet would take a last farewell to cheer me ere I go; as he has been doing, strains which must ever please "the
And I will deem the light that glows along the verge of gentle and the good,” and that, in our literary progress,

And plays upon my faded cheek, the smile of opening of sweet and bitter fancies.”

we shall meet with him again anon, “ chewing the cud heaven. And let my fainting heart inhale sweet Nature's fragrant breath,

Diversions of Hollycot ; or, The Mother's Art of That wafts a message from the bowers to soothe the bed

Thinking. By the Author of “ Clan-Albin,” and of death;

“ Elizabeth de Bruce.” Oliver and Boyd, EdinThat bears a whisper from the woods, a farewell from the spring

burgh, 1828. Pp. 350. (Published this day.) A tale of opening leaf and bud—while I am withering. This is one of those books whose numbers cannot be

too much multiplied. It is intended for the rising geAnd let me hear the small birds sing among the garden neration, and is full of that useful knowledge, conveyed

bowers Their evening hymn, that wont to bless my solitary tainment at once a duty and a pleasure. We are not

in that easy and familiar manner, which makes its at. hours: That choral anthem, warbled wild upon the leafy spray, among those who approve of the entire exclusion of all Will glad this ear, that to the strain must soon be deal imaginative writing from the nursery ; nor are we dis

posed greatly to commend those dry catalogues and catechisms, those abstract questions and answersy

, which are And blame me not, that, called away unto a land of bliss, in many cases more apt to burden the memory than to I fondly linger on the shores of such a world as this; store the mind. Besides, they make children little ar. And better love than aught I know of bright immortal tificial things, who reply to you by rote, and who have spheres,

no ideas, and very few feelings, of their own. All the This earth, so lovely in her woe, so beautiful in tears.

gentler humanities of their nature ought to be cultiva.

ted as carefully as their intellectual faculties; for with Ye say that songs of triumph swell, and flowers eternal out the

former, the latter will be of little avail towards wave,

the securing of happiness. Along the streams of life that flow'mid scenes beyond the

A lady of Mrs Johnstone's varied reading, and so. grave; But shall I love the fadeless blooms and songs of endless lid and extensive acquirements, seems peculiarly adapted joy,

for rescuing her juvenile friends at once from the ener. Like strains that make it bliss to weep, and flowers that vating and prejudicial effects of mere fiction, and the bloom to die!

uninteresting barrenness of plain hard statements of

fact. In the “ Diversions of Hollycot,” (a title scarcely And now I give the parting kiss, and wave the parting explicit enough,) she has presented us with the first of hand,

a series of works intended exclusively for the improve. My passing spirit's on the wing to seek the distant land, - ment of the young. Hollycot is a cottage in England, Ye loved ones of my heart, with whom I may no longer inhabited by Mrs Herbert, a widow lady, with her

dwell, | And thou green earth, with all thy streams, woods, three sons and two daughters

, of whom the oldest is thirteen and the youngest seven.

Mrs Herbert supersongs, and flowers,-farewell !

intends the education of her children ; and her judicious " The Wake” is a very sweet poem, and is one of instructions are for the most part conveyed under the those, moreover, which show how poetical minds can form of family conversations, and are interspersed with turn into gold all they couch. After describing the de- various little incidents and anecdotes calculated to win lights of " The Wake," and the exquisite pleasure de- the attention of youth. On the whole, the plan is pretty rived from music heard in the silence of the night, the similar to that of Miss Edgeworth's “ Harry and Lucy," author's imagination carries him a little further, and he and executed with nearly as much ability. The titles

of the chapters are as follows:-I. “ introduction.” “ Now, through the silence deep and wide,

11. “ Quizzing—The Boast of Knowledge-Rational The soft aérial accents swoon,

Reading—The Nutting Excursion.” III. “ Saturday Like some lone spirit's anthem sigh'd

Night at Hollycot-Memoir of Grisell Baillie.” IV. Beneath the midnight moon.

« Sunday at Hollycot." V.“ Lights and Shadows of

Juvenile Life.” VI. “ Style and Vulgarity-Courage We suspect the English reader will be a little puzzled to and Humanity.” VII. “The Ship Launch.” VII. discover what kind of music is meant by this description ; “ True Charity-Instinct of Birds." IX.“ Punctual. and it is indeed melancholy to perceive the difference ity-Visit to a Cottage.” X. “ The Juvenile Debate which there is in this instance, as in so many others, - Beauty or Utility.” XI. “ Infirmity of Purpose between poetry and reality. The “ wake,” be it under Philosophy of Daily Life.” XII. “ The Geysersstood, consists commonly of a couple of hautboys, and a The Cuttle-fish-Knowledge is Power—Young Casa bassoon, played by three blind musicians in the dark even - Bianca_Christmas A Home-Holydays.” ings, for six weeks or so before the new year, in the hope of In one of these chapters we are introduced to a species obtaining someliale perquisite for their pains. So far from of mental exercise, called “ Rational Readings,” which,


we observe, are to form a subsequent volume by them- that this mode of instruction has only to be tried, in selves. This exercise consists in making it compulsory order to be very extensively adopted. We find that she on the pupil to read with the understanding, by obli. disclaims the merit of originality in the discovery, menging him to fill up all the blank words or phrases which tioning that she saw it accidentally “ in a single printare intentionally left in any piece of composition select- cd sheet, published some time since hy Dr Borthwick ed to form the Reading. Whilst the mind, as well as Gilchrist, the well-known Oriental scholar ;" but, neverthe memory and the eye, is thus brought into action, a theless, praise scarcely inferior to that of originality is lesson in grammar, and in the exact signification and due to the person who perceives so distinctly the merit application of words and synonymes, is taught at the of a suggestion made by another, that the very first opsame time. The blanks are marked regularly by figures, portunity is taken to revive and enforce it, and make it and the teacher keeps a key with corresponding figures, generally known. to which the words or phrases omitted are affixed. We wish Mrs Johnstone all success in this new branch 66 Sometimes, when in doubt about a word, the children of literature which she has taken under her care. The were gratified to find that they had hit upon the right only fault we can find with the “ Diversions of Holyone, the true sense and exact meaning of the author : cot,” is an occasional disposition to snappisbness, and sometimes their mother said they had found even a bet- perhaps a little vulgarity on the part of the young peo. ter word than the original one.” An example of this ple, which we should have been glad to have seen avoidsort of Reading will make the matter more distinct : ed. Mrs Johnstone's good sense will easily enable her

to correct a defect of this kind; and, with her abilities, BRITISH INTREPIDITY AND HUMANITY. we are aware of no reason why she should not ere long “A small French vessel, the Leonora of L'Orient, be regarded as the Miss Edgeworth of Scotland. with a (l) of seven men, and a (2) of grain, was, in April 1817, attacked by a violent gale, and in (3) to get into the (4) of Calais, was overpowered by the force of Knight's and Rumley's Crests of the Nobility and Gentry the (5) and currents, and waves, and driven on the rocks of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. to the east of the port, where she struck. The danger Designed principally for the use of Artists. London, soon became (6), and the wrecks thrown on shore, an. Sherwood and Co.; Edinburgh, A. Stewart. nounced the certain (7) of the (8) mariners. Numerous Knight's Heraldic Illustrations of Supporters, Shields, (9) of this scene of desolation, lamented that they could

Ornaments, Brackets, Ciphers, fc. Drawn and En. afford no (10). At this (11) momerit, there was seen (12)

graved by the first Heraldic Artists. To be completed with force of oars, a pinnace-boat sent from the British

in five Parts, published every two months. London, Yacht, the Royal Sovereign. The boat, commanded by

T. Griffiths ; Edinburgh, A. Stewart. Lieutenant Charles Moore, who had under him eight (13), advanced with (14) in spite of the dangers by which Knight's Modern and Antique Gens. London, T. it was (15). Captain Owen, the commander of the yacht,

Griffiths ; Edinburgh, A. Stewart. stood on the extremity of the pi:r of (16), covered with These very beautiful heraldic works, executed in a the dashing (17), to cheer and direct the brave lieuten- style of elegance and taste seldom surpassed, are as yet ant and his (18) crew. Four of the (19) men on the hardly known in Scotland. We have much pleasure wreck had, by this time, disappeared ; but at last Lieu- in recommending them to the attention of our readers, tenant Moore got within a little (20) of it, and by means

whether as illustrations of heraldry and chivalry, or as of a rope which they threw (21) saved two of the (22) specimens of art which reflect the highest credit on the men. Not being able lorger to keep their position, they publishers.

The crests of the nobility and gentry, attempted to land these two on the pier, when Captain comprised in one large quarto volume, and of which Wilkinson, commander of a Dover packet, threw him- several hundreds are given, must be interesting to the self into the boat to assist this manceuvre at the risk of antiquarian, from the nature of the subject, and the his own (22). All was (23) accomplished, but there was aid they will afford him in his researches regarding still a poor man who had (24) himself to the mast with that honourable emblem of distinction, which, being the a rope, that he might not be (25) overboard. Lieute- uppermost part of an armoury, frequently characterised nant Moore and his brave (26) returned to face anew a

the bearer as much as his arms, was often constituted by danger they already knew to be so great, and had near- royal grant, and was almost always borne by monarchs ly (27) the (28), when the gallant lieutenant, standing themselves, as witness the lions of Richard II. of Eng. up to direct the rowers, was swept into the water by a land, and of James I. of Scotland. To herald-painters, (29) wave, that (30) over the pinnace. He instantly dis- engravers, and chasers, the work, in a professional point appeared ! A feeling of horror and consternation struck of view, must also be exceedingly valuable, as exhibitthe (31) spectators on the shore.

ing a specimen of a much correcter style of drawing in The lieutenant, after passing under the boat in that this department of art, and entirely doing away with the frightful sea, recovered himself, and rose to the surface, rudeness and the inaccuracy of the mottos, inscriptions, where he was immediately taken up by the (32), and re

and sculptures of former times.-The Illustrations of placed in the (33). The courage of this generous man supporters, shields, and other ornaments, is an underwas not (34) hy this narrow escape from death; he re- taking of equal merit, but only the first part has yet turned with (35) perseverance to the perishing (36), for been published. whose safety he (37) his own.

The work on “ Modern and Antique Gems," which The Kcy. “ (1) crew; (2) cargo ; (3) endeavour

contains a very numerous and curious collection, though ing; (4) harbour; (5) wind; (6) imminent; (7) fate; originally designed principally for the use of seal-en(8) wretched ; (9) spectators ; (10) help ; (11) perilous ; gravers, may justly be entitled, as suggested in the pre(12) advancing ; (13) men ;(14) rapidity ; (15) surround" face, “A Fancy Scrap-Book.” There is in it something ed; (16) Calais ; (17) spray; (18) daring ; (19) unfor. The admirer of the fine arts will have his taste gratified

to afford a study or an amusement to almost everybody: tunate ; (20) distance ; (21) out; (22) unfortunate; (22) by a minute examination of many of the subjects ; the life ; (23) happily ; (24) lashed; (25) washed ; (26) scholar will find antiques from the Elgin marbles, some crew ; (27) reached ; (28) wreck ; (29) tremendous ; fine Grecian heads, and several plates of hieroglyphics ; (30) broke ; (31) anxious; (32) sailors ; (33) boat; the young lady will be delighted with the multiplicity (34) shaken; (35) unabated ; (36) seamen ; (37) risk of designs which bear a reference to the tender passion; ed."

the sportsman will be entertained with dogs, horses, and We heartily agree with Mrs Johnstone, in thinking birds innumerable ; the man of general literature will

[ocr errors]

find mythology, sentiment, satire, humour, all at his " I pretend to offer no opinion upon the value of the command; and, with these claims upon attention, we work in respect to art-my opinion on that subject is lie think the “ Modern and Antique Gems," or The Funcy terally worth nothing in addition to that of the numerScrap-Book, should be plentifully sprinkled through ous judges of paramount authority which have already libraries and drawing-rooms.

admitted its high merits. But I may presume to say, that this valuable and extended series of the portraits of

the illustrious dead affords to every private gentleman, Lodge's Series of Fortraits of Illustrious Personages of at a moderate expense, the interest attached to a large

Great Britain, with Historical Memoirs. London, gallery of British portraits, on a plan more extensive Harding and Lepard ; Edinburgh, W. Tait.

than any collection which exists, and, at the same time, This is a new edition of one of the most interesting the essence of a curious library of historical, bibliograworks in this department of the fine arts which England phical, and antiquarian works. It is a work which, in has produced. Under the superintendence of Mr Lodge, regard to England, might deserve the noble motto ren. one hundred and eighty portraits of the illustrious dead dered with such dignity by Dryden : of this country were engraved by the most celebrated ar. From hence the line of Alban fathers come, tists, from original and authentic portraits in the posses. And the long glories of majestic Rome.' sion of the nobility and gentry. These were accompanied " I will enlarge no more on the topic, because I am with biographical and historical memoirs, written with certain that it requires not the voice of an obscure indimuch clearness and ability. Two sets of this work were vidual to point out to the British public the merits of a published,-a large one, which sold at an immense price, collection which at once satisfies the imagination and the and a smaller one, which has proved so successful that understanding, showing us by the pencil how the most the plates were all worn out. The portraits have been distinguished of our ancestors looked, moved, and dressnow re-engraved, and are to be published a third time, ed ; and informs us by the pen how they thought, acted, in monthly numbers, each number containing three, lived, and died. I should, in any other case, have de. with biographical memoirs attached to each, and to be clined expressing an opinion in this public, and almost sold at the moderate price of seven shillings and six-intrusive manner ; but I feel that, when called upon to pence. The specimen number is now on our table, con. bear evidence in such a cause, it would be unmanly to taining portraits of James Graham, Marquis of Mon- decline appearing in court, although expressing an opi. trose ; Mary Stewart; and Lord Darnley. In other co- nion to which, however just, my name can add but little pies Cardinal Beaton is substituted for Montrose. All weight. these are beautifully executed, especially the first. A “ Abbotsford, 25th March, 1828.” letter from Sir Walter Scott to the publishers has been printed along with them, which, altogether independent of its remarks upon this work, is valuable as a piece of Art and Nature. A Talc. Edinburgh. Alex. Mackay. literary composition, and shall therefore be transferred to

1828. Pp. 32. our pages :

This is a production of some seven hundred lines, in

which a considerable facility of rhyming is discovered ; SIR WALTER SCOTT TO MR HARDING,

but what they mean, or for what purpose they were writBOOKSELLER, LONDON.

ten or publishad, is quite past our comprehension. The “SIR,_I am obliged by your letter, requesting that I preface, too, which one generally expects will explain would express to you my sentiments respecting Mr something, is as bad as the rest. The author, “ in tra. Lodge's splendid work, consisting of the portraits of the velling to London, chanced to see in a window a Prench most celebrated persons of English history, accompa- print,” and this print brought to mind a very beautiful nied with memoirs of their lives. I was at first disposed and fascinating lady of his acquaintance. But “ the to decline offering any opinion on the subject; not be inferiority of the print (however graceful and interestcause I had the slightest doubt in my own mind con- ing,) was at least as striking as its resemblance to the cerning the high value of the work, but because in ex.

fair object of his agreeable reminiscences; and this in. pressing sentiments I might be exposed to censure, as if cident gave rise to a series of rhymes, which neither are attaching to my own judgment more importance than it entitled, nor aspire, to the dignity of a poem.” Now, could deserve. Mr Lodge's work is, however, one of though one does not exactly see what occasion there was such vast consequence, that a person attached, as I have

to found " a series of rhymes” on this " incident" at been for many years, to the study of history and anti- all, yet one naturally expects that the rhymes which quities, may, I think, in a case of this rare and peculiar were founded on it will turn out to have some connexkind, be jusly blamed for refusing his opinion, if re

ion with it. But they have no more connexion with quired, concerning a publication of such value and im- the said " incident” than they seem to have with any portance

thing else, human or divine, under or above the sun. “ Mr Lodge's talents as a historian and antiquary arc

Nevertheless, there is some cleverness in them, though well known to the

public by his admirable collection of it is difficult to say of what sort. ancient letters and documents, entitled Illustrations of British History, a book which I have very frequently consulted; and have almost always succeeded in finding on the Knowledge of Christ Crucified, and other Divine not only the information required, but collected a great Contemplations. By Sir Matthew Hale, Knt., Lord deal more as I went in search of it. The preseut work Chief Justice of King's Bench, England. With an presents the same talents and industry ; the same pa- Introductory Essay, by the Rev. David Young, Perth. tient powers of collecting information from the most ob. Glasgow : William Collins. 1828. Pp. 404. scure and hidden sources, and the same talent for se. lecting the facts which are the rarest and most interest- Sir Matthew Hale's religious works, with a spirited in

This is a reprint of some of the best of the celebrated ing, and presenting them to the general reader in a lu- troductory essay by the Rev. David Young of Perth, minous and concise manner.

pointing out the impropriety of allowing mere temporal “ It is impossible for me to conceive a work which knowledge to be so much diffused as it is in the present ought to be more interesting to the present age than that day, without an equal accompanying knowledge of Chriswhich exhibits before our eyes our fathers as they lived,' accompanied with such memorials of their lives tianity, and its various blessings. The publication forms,

we observe, the fortieth volume of a series of select Chrisand Characters as enable us to compare their persons and tian authors, printed uniformly, with introductory essays countenances with their sentiments and actions.

to each.




Heads of Plane Geometry. By Robert Hutton. 1828. who had been apprehended, remained in the mean time

in chains. This very evening there was to have been a A USEFUL and very well-arranged school-book, with meeting at the place of dispute. The Paper-maker had this objection, that the figures, instead of being intro- said, on the morning of the day on which he died, being duced into the body of the work, each in juxta-position then in sound health, that he would attend the meetwith the theorem or problem it illustrates, are collected ing, but it might be late, as he had business of consetogether in separate plates, which makes the reference quence to transact

. Shortly afterwards, he was taken not so easy

suddenly and violently ill ; but, notwithstanding his excruciating pains, he remembered his rancour against the

Bailiff; and just an hour before his death, whilst wri. MISCELLANEOUS LITERATURE. thing in agony, he said, that if a million of devils held

him down on his bed, he would nevertheless appear at THE PAPER-MAKER'S COFFIN.

the place of dispute, and confront the Bailiff.

My horse, which was to carry me in a few minutes From the German of Clawren.

over the spot in question, was now saddled, and waiting It was an evening like the present; the snow fell thick for me at the door. I took leave, and my good steed and heavy; the sky was gloomy and cloudy; we sat darted off with me like lightning. I willingly gave him round the warm fire and talked. Our conversation be- the rein ; he prariced on through the deep snow, and came interesting. The death of our neighbour, the Pa- went snorting across the dreary flat, till we entered the per-maker, which had taken place only the day before, fir plantation. There the road was narrower, the snow occasioned many remarks. The old warder of the forest deeper, and my horse became more impatient. He was called the Paper-maker a beggarly rascal ; not so much dashing impetuously along, when he stopped so suddenon account of his trade, as from the badness of his cha- ly, that I was nearly thrown over his head by the jerk.

“ Such a fellow," he said, “ could have no I kept on my saddle, however, tightened the rein, and peace in his grave. He oppressed every one within his spurred him forward, but the animal was immovable ; power, and was a severe, cruel man all his life.” he pawed with his fore feet, reared up, pricked his ears,

“ Be quiet, husband,” said his wife." He is gone, and snorted. and we should never speak ill of the dead. The pall " What if the Paper-maker"_the idea only passed which is thrown over the coffin at the interment, should half through my mind ; yet I stood on the spot where be the mantle of Christian love ; it covers the deceased the poor old woman had breathed out her soul in the with all his errors and sins. •Judge not, that ye may struggle with the murderer. “ Coward !” said I to mynot be judged.'”

self, and again had recourse to the spur; but the horse “Neither do I judge,” replied the old man, holding only made a spring sideways. I now tried to coax him ; out his hand affectionately to his wife ; “ I only think, I patted his neck with a trembling hand; but nothing that if all the tears lay npon my heart which that villain could induce him to advance a step. I began to feel conmade to flow, I should never sink peaceably to my eter- vinced that something either stood or lay in his way ; nal rest. The fellow died frightfully, and no wonder ; but, though it had ceased snowing, I could not see five -pain had distorted all his limbs; and his last word steps before me. I have tolerable nerve ; but people was a tremendous oath. In the morning he had decla. may say as they will—I felt a very uncomfortable sort red that he would go that night to the fir plantation, and of sensation creeping over me ; I alighted, led my horse show the bailiff the boundary ; but when he said so, he with my left land, and held my switch before me with little suspected he was standing on the brink of the the right. The horse followed a few steps trembling; grave. Three hours afterwards he was a corpse." he then suddenly stopped, and again snorted loudly from

“Dear father,” said Mina, half playfully, half in his wide.extended nostrils. I looked steadily before me carnest, and casting a look full of meaning at me,—“dear -my eye fell on a black coffin which stood in the midfather, do not talk about the fir plantation ; for there is ale of the way. I had courage enough to strike it with one here who must go through it to-night.”

my switch ; but the stroke sounded dreadfully hollow, “ Oh, never mind that, Mina. Should ten Paper- and, as the horse at the same moment darted still farther makers stand in my way, I and my black horse would off, 'my heart failed me. I recollected there was a footgallop by them or over them. What is the history about path which led through the plantation. I remounted, the boundary ?

and rode back till I reached its commencement, and then “ Do you really mean to go home in this weather ?” turned into it. It ran parallel with the road, and at no said the old lady. “ It is so dark, that one cannot see great distance from it. When I got again to the neighone's hand. The country is covered with snow; you bourhood of the coffin, the horse resumed his symptoms will not be able to find the road, and the night is no of uneasiness ; but no sooner had he passed the spot, man's friend.”

than he dashed forward at full speed, as if for life and I could not consent to stay. I was only a short league death. For my own part, I was so cold and frozen, that from home; and whilst my horse was getting ready, I every limb shook. Ny brother had not gone to bed, and learned the following particulars :

I related to him my adventures. He laughed at me ; About a year ago, an old woman was murdered in the but I protested, on my honour, the truth of what I had fir plantation. The assassin had dragged her several seen and heard. steps away from the spot where he committed the deed, “ Then I will prove the whole a piece of rodomonand concealed her behind a hillock. The spot where she tade," said he. “My two land bailiffs shall go with was murdered was very evident from the marks in the you to the spot. If you find the coffin, I will pay each sand, and the quantity of blood. The infamous act was of them a dollar for his trouble : if you do not find it, it committed behind a bush close to the road-side. The is but right that you should reward them.” bush lay in the demesne of the Prince, but the mound I had no objections to the conditions, and ordered in which the woman was found buried was, according to my horse to be brought out again. The bailiffs accomthe assertion of the Justice, on the property of the Pa- panied me, and we drew near the plantation. My horse per-maker. The latter, however, affirmed that his pro- went on quietly-we reached the spot of terror—the cof. perty began only at the back of the hillock. The ques. fin had vanished—I was two dollars poorer-and when tion had not yet been decided who should bear the ex. I got back they all laughed most unmercifully. I re. penses of the prosecution, whether the proprietor of the mained, however, perfectly convinced that my senses had post where the murder was committed, or of the spot not deceived me. I scarcely slept an hour all nightwhere the murdered person was found. The assassin, the black coffin was continually before me- I heard the

[ocr errors]


« PředchozíPokračovat »