Imágenes de páginas

picture to you another gentleman, — remarkable among the sons of men-also among their daugh


There, off at the edge of the vale, at the foot of a branching tree, stands one who is no bad idea of the famous knight of La Mancha, if you would only suppose the immortal Don to have been not quite so raw-boned as history has recorded him. This gentleman is somewhat tall, and of a loose and dangling aspect, in keeping with the somewhat careless ease of his character. To look at him now, as he stands, you would suppose him in the act of propitiating the god of the wilderness with votive offerings; for he has just finished hanging up on the lowermost branches of that beautiful and fairest tree all the saddles and bridles, and other horseequipments, rowelled spurs and whips, &c.; and with his large and lustrous eye ("heaven-eyed creature," as Wordsworth calls Coleridge) resting in pleasure upon the picturesque grouping he has effected of them, you easily imagine him some deep enthusiast of the forest, hanging his votive offerings upon the wilderness-god's shrine. Lingering he stops, absorbed in what he has done; then turns slowly away, and having reached the party in the middle of the dale, he exclaims earnestly, "Well, gentlemen, I don't think the wild beasts can eat up our saddles and bridles, spurs and whips, any how -no matter what they may accomplish upon our

horses!" This gentleman is Mr. Guy Philips-the County Guy-the Prior-but more properly the Master of St. Philips, for St. Philips is the name of his hold, where he keeps the world at bay. He is somewhat tall and delicate of form, of a high visage and a lofty carriage-and, as we have said, taking away the idea of the gaunt appearance of Don Quixotte, is not very unlike that immortal champion of the right and redresser of the wrong. The Master is a man of middle life, and has seen something of both man and woman in his time, both high and low. In many a gay and glittering scene of revelry has he wasted the golden days of his exuberant youth his heart swelling to the sounding minstrelsey, and his soul entranced by love and beauty. And also, like the good Lord Clifford, he has been

In huts where poor men lie❞—

and there learned a wiser lore than life could otherwise teach him. The Master has long since learned much sound knowledge in his time-that pleasure is of the things that perish in the using-that woman's looks teach but folly-that there is a great deal of good sense in the Proverbs of Solomon, and wisdom in the Ecclesiastes, &c., &c.; in fact, he has begun to know that Solomon was a very wise man: and, arriving at this distant glimpse of truth, he has taken to the woods and rills, and has learned how to be reasonably happy. But what would she,


[ocr errors]

the beautiful Mary Dale, think of him could she see him now-he who erewhile basked in the sunshine of

"Her eyes' blue languish, and her golden hair!"

could she see him now, his whole countenance shedding rays of joy in every direction, like a golden aureola on an angel's brow, as he puts his hand to his mouth and sounds a loud and prolonged buglecall from out the midst of this lovely dale, while all the mountains round cry out responsive with their thousand voices! 66 Alas, poor Guy!" she would say, "I little thought when surrounded by mirrors that multiplied our image, in rooms gorgeously festooned with hangings of burnished gold and silver, and reclining on couches softer than the bed of roses the emperor Verus dreamed himself away on-I little thought that you, then stealthily playing with the tangles of my hair, and openly fettered by my eye, would ever come to such wild destiny as this!"

The reader may now picture to himself our two guides, the hunters Powell and Conway, and he has the party complete-Powell a thin, sinewy, and yet muscular man, with long, straight locks falling down from his head like strands of rope; with a pillow-case thrown over his shoulders, in which was our provision: and Conway a short, wiry, stringy, thick-set little structure of whipcord, equipped in

like manner as Powell-each with his rifle and pouch.

But we are dallying too long here in the dalewe must up and away! Let us begin the march, however, in another chapter.



POWELL is in the lead followed by Conway, and we all start with a shout upon our walk-jumping the baby Potomac with a bound, and falling into a line of single file-winding through the long grass by a track made by the deer coming down into the dale to drink. The Signor waved his frying-pan aloft, and shouted out gayly the burden of some old hurrah song. The Master doubled up his hand and blew upon it for a buglet. Peter capered along

« AnteriorContinuar »