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in number almost infinite, and infinite had never been invented, day after the varieties of human character, pray day, week after week, month after what is there at all surprising in your month, in mute, deep, earnest, passionbeing madly fond of shooting-and ate, heart-mind-and-soul-engrossing your brother Tom just as foolish about hope of some time or other catching a fishing and cousin Jack perfectly in minnow or a beardie! A tugma tug! sane on fox-hunting-while the old with face ten times flushed and pale gentleman your father, in spite of by turns ere you could count ten, he wind and weather, perennial gout and at last has strength, in the agitation annual apoplexy, goes a-coursing of of his fear and joy, to pull away at the white-hipped hare on the bleak the monster--and there he lies in Yorkshire wolds--and uncle Ben, as his beauty among the gowans on the if just escaped from Bedlam or St greensward, for he has whapped him Luke's, with Dr Haslam at his heels, right over his head and far away, a or with a few hundred yards' start of fish a quarter of an ounce in weight, Dr Warburton, is seen galloping, in a and, at the very least, two inches long! Welsh wig and strange apparel, in the Off he flies, on wings of wind, to his rear of a pack of Lilliputian beagles, father, mother, and sisters, and broa all barking as if they were as mad as thers, and cousins, and all the neightheir master, supposed to be in chase bourhood, holding the fish aloft in of an invisible animal that keeps eter- both hands, still fearful of its escape, nally doubling in field and forest- and, like a
enuine child of corruption, “ still hoped for, never seen,” and well his eyes brighten at the first blush of christened by the name of Escape ? cold blood on his small fishy-fumy
Phrenology sets the question for fingers. He carries about with him, ever at rest. All people have thirty- up stairs and down stairs, his prey three faculties. Now there are but upon a plate; he will not wash his twenty-four letters in the alphabet- bands before dinner, for he exults in yet how many languages-some six the silver scales adhering to the thumbthousand we believe, each of which is nail that scooped the pin out of the susceptible of many dialects! No baggy's maw-and at night, “ cabin'd, wonder then that you might as well cribb’d, confined,” he is overheard try to count all the sands on the sea murmuring in his sleep, a thief, a shore as all the species of sportsmen. robber, and a murderer, in his yet in
There is, therefore, nothing to pre- fant dreams! vent any man with a large and sound From that hour Angling is no more developement from excelling, at once, a mere delightful day-dream, haunted in rat-catching and deer-stalking by the dim hopes of imaginary minfrom being in short a universal genius nows, but a reality-an art-a science in sports and pastimes. Heaven has -of which the flaxen-headed school. made us such a man.
boy feels himself to be master--a Yet there seems to be a natural mystery in which he has been initiacourse or progress in pastimes. We ted; and off he goes now, all alone, do not speak now of marbles or in the power of successful passion, to knuckling down at taw-or trundling the distant brook-brook à mile off a hoop-or pall-lall- or pitch and toss --with fields, and hedges, and single
or any other of the games of the trees, and little groves, and a huge school play-ground. We restrict our- forest of six acres, between and the selves to what, somewhat inaccurately house in which he is boarded or was perhaps, are called field-sports. Thus born! There flows on the slender Angling seems the earliest of them all music of the shadowy shallows—there in the order of nature. There the pours the deeper din of the birchnew-breeched urchin stands on the tree'd waterfall. The scared waterlow bridge of the little bit burnie! pyet flits away from stone to stone, and with crooked pin, baited with one and dipping, disappears among the unwrithing ring of a dead worm, and airy bubbles, to him a new sight of attached to a yarn-thread, for he has joy and wonder. And oh! how sweet not yet got into hair, and is years off the scent of the broom or furze, yelgut,' his rod of the mere willow or lowing along the braes, where leap the hazel wand, there will he stand during lambs, less happy than he, on the all his play-hours, as forgetful of his knolls of sunshine ! His grandfather primer as if the weary art of printing has given him a half-crown rod in two
pieces-yes, his line is of hair twist- No hazel or willow wand, no half. ed-platted by his own soon-instructe crown rod of ash framed by village ed little fingers. By heavens, he is wright, is now in his practised hands, fishing with the fly! and the Fates,who, of which the very left is dexterous; grim and grisly as they are painted but a twenty-feet rod of Phin’s, all to be by full-grown, ungrateful, lying ring-rustling, and a-glitter with the poets, smile like angels upon the paid preserving varnish, limber as the ato ler in the brook, winnowing the air `tenuating line itself, and lithe to its with their wings into western breezes, topmost tenuity as the elephant's prowhile at the very first throw the yel boscis-the hiccory and the horn withlow trout forsakes his fastness beneath out twist, knot, or flaw, from butt to the bog-wood, and with a lazy wallop, fly, a faultless taper, “fine by degrees and then a sudden plunge, and then and beautifully less,” the beau ideal a race like lightning, changes at once of a rod by the skill of a cunning the child into the boy, and shoots craftsman to the senses materialised! through his thrilling and aching heart A Fish-fat, fair, and forty! “She is the ecstasy of a new life expanding in a salmon, therefore to be woo'd-she that glorious pastime, even as a rain, is a salmon, therefore to be won”—but bow on a sudden brightens up the sky. 'shy, timid, capricious, headstrong, now Fortuna fuvet fortibus --and with one wrathful and now full of fear, like any long pull and strong pull, and pull all other female whom the cruel artist has together, Johnny lands a twelve-inch- hooked by lip or heart, and, in spite er on the soft, smooth, silvery sand of of all her struggling, will bring to the only bay in all the burn where the gasp at last; and then with calm such an exploit was possible, and eyes behold her lying in the shade dashing upon him like an Osprey, dead or worse than dead, fast-fading soars up with him in his talons to the and to be reillumined no more the bank, breaking his line as he hurries lustre of her beauty, insensible to sun off to a spot of safety twenty yards or shower, even the most perishable from the pool, and then flinging him of all perishable things in a world of down on a heath-surrounded plat of perishing!-But the salmon has grown sheep-nibbled verdure, lets him bounce sulky, and must be made to spring to about till he is tired, and lies gasping the plunging stone. There, suddenwith unfrequent and feeble motions, ly, instinct rith new passion, she bright and beautiful, and glorious with shoots out of the foam, like a bar of all his yellow light, and crimson silver bullion; and, relapsing into the lustre, spotted, speckled, and starred flood, is in another moment at the in his scaly splendour, beneath a sun very head of the waterfall ! Give her that never shone before so dazzlingly; the butt-give her the butt-or she is but now the radiance of the captive gone for ever with the thunder into creature is dimmer and obscured, for ten fathom deep! Now comes the trial the eye of day winks and seems al- of your tackle—and when was Phin most shut behind that slow-sailing ever known to fail at the edge of cliff mass of clouds, composed in equal or cataract ? Her snout is southwards parts of air, rain, and sunshine. -right up the middle of the main
Springs, summers, autumns, win- current of the hill-born river, as if ters,-each within itself longer, by she would seek its very course where many times longer than the whole she was spawned! She still swims year of grown-up life that slips at swift, and strong, and deep-and the last through one's fingers like a knot- line goes, steady, boys, steady-stiff less thread,-pass over the curled dare and steady as a Tory in the roar of ling's brow; and look at him now, a Opposition. There is yet an hour's straight and strengthy stripling, in the play in her dorsal fin-danger in the savage spirit of sport, springing over flap of her tail and yet may her silrock-ledge after rock-ledge, nor heed- ver shoulder shatter the gut against a ing aught as he plashes knee-deep, or rock. Why, the river was yesterday waistband-high, through river-feedin spate, and she is fresh run from the ing torrents, to the glorious music of sea. All the lesser waterfalls are now his running and ringing reel, after a level with the flood, and she meets tongue-hooked salmon, insanely secke with no impediment or obstruction ing with the ebb of tide, but all in the course is clear-no tree-roots here vain, the white breakers of the sea. -no floating branches--for during the
night they have all been swept down -fair as the shoulder of our own beto the salt loch-in medio tutissimus loved--and lies at last in all her gloibis-ay, now you feel she begins to rious length and breadth of beaming fail-the butt tells now every time beauty, fit prey for giant or demigod you deliver your right. What! an- angling before the Flood ! other mad leap! yet another sullen 66 The child is father of the man, plunge! She seems absolutely to have And I would wish my days to be discovered, or rather to be an imper- Bound each to each by natural piety !” sonation of, the Perpetual Motion. So much for the Angler. The Stand back out of the way, you son of Shooter, again, he begins with his pop a sea-cook-you in the tattered blue or pipe-gun, formed of the last year's breeches, with the tail of your shirt growth of a branch of the plane-tree hanging out. Who the devil sent the beautiful dark-green-leaved you all here, ye vagabonds ?--Ha! and fragrant-flowered plane-tree, that Watty Ritchie, my man, is that you ? stands straight in stem and round God bless your honest laughing phiz! in head, visible and audible too from What, Watty, would you think of a afar the bee-resounding umbrage, alike Fish like that about Peebles? Tam
on stormy sea-coast and in sheltered Grieve never gruppit sae heavy a ane inland vale, still loving the roof of the since first he belanged to the Council. fisherman's or peasant’s cottage. -Curse that colley! Ay! well done Then comes, perhaps, the city popWatty! Stone him to Stobbo. Cone gun, in shape like a very musket, such found these stirks-if that white one, as soldiers bear-a Christmas present with caving horns, kicking heels, and from parent, once a Colonel of volunstraight-up tail, come bellowing by teers-nor feeble to discharge the peaa between me and the river, then,"
Ma- bullet or barley-shot, formidable to dam ! all is lost, except honour !" If face and eyes; nor yet unfelt, at six we lose this Fish at six o'clock, then paces, by hinder-end of playmate, suicide at seven. Our will is made scornfully yet fearfully exposed. But ten thousand to the Foundling-ditto the shooter soon tires of such ineffecto the Thames Tunnel-ha-ha tual trigger-and his soul, as well as my Beauty! Methinks we could fain his hair, is set on fire by that extraand fond kiss thy silver side, languid- ordinary compound-Gunpowder. He
ly lying afloat on the foam, as if all begins with burning off his eyebrows farther resistance now were vain, and on the King's birth-day-squibs and gracefully thou wert surrendering thy- crackers follow and all the pleasures self to death! No faith in female of the pluff. But he soon longs to let she trusts to the last trial of her tail
off a gun—" and follows to the field -sweetly workest thou, O Reel of some warlike lord”-in hopes of beReels! and on thy smooth axle spin- ing allowed to discharge one of the ning sleep'st, even, as Milton describes double-barrels, after Ponto has made her, like our own worthy planet. his last point, and the half-hidden Scrope-Bainbridge—Maule-princes chimneys of home are again seen smoamong Anglers-oh! that you were king among the trees. This is his first here! Where the devil is Sir Hum practice in fire-arms, and from that phrey? At his retort ? By mysterious hour he is a Shooter. sympathy-far off at his own Trows, Then there is in most rural parishes the Kerss feels that we are killing and of rural parishes alone do we the noblest Fish, whose back ever condescend to speak—a pistol, a horse rippled the surface of deep or shallow one, with a bit of silver on the buttin the Tweed. Tom Purdy stands perhaps one that originally served in like a seer, entranced in glorious vi- the Scots Greys. It is bought, or borsion, beside turreted Abbotsford. rowed, by the young shooter, who beShade of Sandy Givan! Alas! alas! gins firing, first at barn-doors, then Poor Sandy--why on thy pale face at trees, and then at living things-a that melancholy smile ! - Peter! The strange cur, who, from his lolling Gaff! The Gaff! Into the eddy she tongue, may be supposed to have the sails, sick and slow, and almost with hydrophobia—a cat that has purred a swirl-whitening as she nears the herself asleep on the sunny churchsand—there she has it-struck right yard wall, or is watching mice at their into the shoulder, fairer than that hole-mouths among the graves of Juno, Diana, Minerva, or Venus water-rat in the mill-leador weasel
that, running to his retreat in the wall, cation-for in Scotland college winters always turns round to look at you- tread close-too close-on the heels of a goose wandered from his common in academies—has a Gun-a Gun in a disappointed love or brown duck, case-a double-barrel too_of his own easily mistaken by the unscrupulous -and is provided with a license for a wild one, in pond remote from probably without any other qualificahuman dwelling, or on meadow by the tion than that of hit or miss. On some river side, away
from the clack of the portentous morning he effulges with muter-mill. The corby-crow, too, the sun in velveteen jacket and breeches shouted out of his nest on some tree of the same-many-buttoned gaiters, lower than usual, is a good flying and an unkerchiefed throat. 'Tis the mark to the more advanced class; or fourteenth of September, and lo! a morning magpie, a-chatter at skreigh pointer at his heels-Ponto of course of day close to the cottage door among -a game-bag like a beggar's wallet the chickens; or a flock of pigeons by his side-destined to be at eve as wheeling overhead on the stubblefield, full of charity-and all the parapheror sitting so thick together that every nalia of an accomplished sportsman. stook is blue with tempting plum- Proud, were she to see the sight, age.
would be the mother that bore But the pistol is discharged for a him;" the heart of that old sportsman, fowling-piece-brown and rusty, with his daddy, would sing for joy! The a slight crack probably in the muzzle, chained mastiff in the yard yowls his and a lock out of all proportion to thé admiration; the servant-lassies uplift barrel. Then the young shooter as- the pane of their garret, and, with pires at halfpennies thrown up into suddenly withdrawn blushes, titter the air and generally hit, for there is their delight in their rich paper curls never wanting an apparent dent in and pure night-clothes. Rab Roger, copper metal; and thence he mounts who has been cleaning out the barn, to the glancing and skimming swallow, comes forth to partake of the caulker; a household bird, and therefore to be and away go the footsteps of the old held sacred, but shot at on the ex- poacher and his pupil through the cuse of its being next to impossible to autumnal rime, off to the uplands, hit him, an opinion strengthened into where-for it is one of the earliest of belief by several summers' practice. harvests—there is scarcely a single But the small brown and white marten acre of standing corn.
The turnips wheeling through below the bridge, or fields are bright-green with hope and along the many-holed red-sand bank, expectation--and coveys are couching is admitted by all boys to be fair game on lazy beds beneath the potatoe-shaw.
and still more, the long-winged leg. Every high hedge, ditch-guarded on less black devilet, that, if it falls to either side, shelters its own brood the ground, cannot rise again, and imagination hears the whirr shaking therefore screams wheeling round the the dew-drops from the broom on the corners and battlements of towers brae—and first one bird and then anoand castles, or far out even of can- ther, and then the remaining number, non-shot, gambols in companies of in itself no contemptible covey, seems hundreds, and regiments of a thou- to fancy's ear to spring single, or in sand, aloft in the evening ether, with clouds, from the coppice-brushwood, in the orbit of the eagle's flight. It with here and there an intercepting seems to boyish eyes, that the crea- standard tree. tures near the earth, when but little Poor Ponto is much to be pitied. blue sky is seen between the specks Either having a cold in his nose, or haand the wallflowers growing on the ving ante-breakfasted by stealth on a coign of vantage- the signal is given red-herring, he can scent nothing short to fire, but the devilets are too high in of a badger, and, every other field, he heaven to smell the sulphur. The starts in horror, shame, and amazestarling whips with a shrill cry into ment, to hear himself, without having
, his nest, and nothing falls to the attended to his points, inclosed in a ground but a tiny bit of mossy mortar, whirring covey. "He is still duly tainhabited by a spider !
ken between those inexorable knees; But the Day of Days arrives at last, out comes the speck-and-span new when the school-boy-or rather the dog-whip heavy enough for a horse ; college-boy returning to his rural va- and the yowl of the patient is heard
into the water as high as his middle, in scepticisin and discontent-sickness of the the hope of catching a fish which he sees mind-are often the results of devouring rise, though he already has a pannier it. full !”
“Hal. Surely you cannot have a more There is another pretty good pase lation than that of Scotland
religious, moral, or more improved popu. sage in “ Ninth Day"--Scene-the
“ POIET.-Precisely so. In Scotland, Fall of the Traun, Upper Austria. education is not forced upon the people “ POIET. I admire in this country not
it is sought for, and it is connected with only the mode of preserving, carrying, and
their forms of faith, acquired in the bodressing fish, but I am delighted, general sued with a distinct object of prudence or
soms of their families, and generally purly, with the habits of life of the peasants,
interest: nor is that kind of education and with their manners.
It is a country wanting in this country; in which I should like to live; the scenery
6. Phys. Where a book is rarely seen, is so beautiful, the people so amiable and
a newspaper never. good-natured, and their attention to stran.
66 POIET.--Pardon me there is not a gers so marked by courtesy and disinterestedness.
cottage without a Prayer-book ; and I am
not sorry that these innocent and happy “ Phys.--They appear to me very ami.
men are not made active and tumultuous able and good ; but all classes seem little instructed.
subjects of King Press, whom I consider 66 POIET.-There are few philosophers
as the most capricious, depraved, and unamongst them, certainly ; but they appear land. Depraved-for it is to be bought
principled tyrant that ever existed in Eng. very happy, and
by great wealth; capricious_because it Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise.'
sometimes follows, and sometimes forms, We have neither seen nor heard of any in. the voice of the lowest mob; and unprin. stances of crime since we have been here. cipled--because, when its interests are They fear their God, love their sovereign, concerned, it sets at defiance private feel. are obedient to the laws, and seem perfect ing and private character, and neither rely contented. I know you would contrast gards their virtue, dignity, or purity. them with the active and educated pea- " Hal. My friends, you are growing santry of the manufacturing districts of
I know you differ essentially on England ; but I believe they are much
this subject ; but surely you will allow happier, and I am sure they are generally that the full liberty of the press, even better.
though it sometimes degenerates into li. “ Phys.-I oubt this : the sphere of centiousness, and though it may sometimes enjoyment, as well as of benevolence, is
be improperly used by the influence of enlarged by education.
wealth, power, or private favour, is yet " POIET.-I am sorry to say I think highly advantageous, and even essential the system carried too far in England. to the existence of a free country ; and, God forbid that any useful light should be useful as it may be to the population, it is extinguished ! Let persons who wish for still more useful to the government, to education receive it; but it appears to me whom, as expressing the voice of the peothat, in the great cities in England, it is, ple, though not always vox Dei, it may be as it were, forced upon the population ; regarded as oracular or prophetic.-But and that sciences, which the lower classes let us change our conversation, which is can only very superficially acquire, are pre neither in time nor place." sented to them; in consequence of which they often become idle and conceited, and
We have a million more remarks to above their usual laborious occupations. make. But, Brethren of the Angle, The unripe fruit of the tree of knowledge farewell till next month, when we me is, I believe, always bitter or sour; and ditate having A DOUBLE NUMBER.
PAUL'S WORK, CANONGATE,