Imágenes de páginas

Shepheril. Nae wonder, nae wonder-that under sic circumstances death shou'd ensue; but what is a' this about, and whare will it endthis world or the neist ?

Opium-Eater. And as our feeling, Mr. Ilogg, is by bursts, and uncertain, so the manifestations of power in such scenes are to us looking with imagination, by bursts and unceriain. When we view the universe intellectually, all is seen equably, steadily by intellect :-Power appears all-pervading and uniforin, as it did to Sir Isaac Newton.

Shepherd. Mr. North, what for dinna you speak? What wi’ Mr. De Quinshy's monotonous vice, and Mr. Tickler's monotonous snore, my een's beginnin' to steek.

North. When I read Lear, all my fleshly nature, in such sublimity, is smitten down by fear and pain, but my spirit survives, conquering and indestructible. As to beauty again, James, the most marked thing in it is the feeling of love towards the object made beautiful by that feeling of love. Love, if ye can, the sublime object which shivers and grinds to dust your earthly powers, and then you overspread sublimity with beauty-like a merciful smile breaking suddenly from the face of some dreadful giant. · Opium-Eater. A very large—or very small animal becomes imagipative --as· Shepherd. What do you mean, sir? I jpsist on your tellin' me what you mean, Mr. De Quinshy.

Opium-Eater. As an eagle, or a humming-bird. In the first there is expansion in the second contraction; but in both a going of intellect out of the accustomed habit-fixed measure. There is an intellectual terdency from or out of ; namely, from or out of ourselves, but ourselves peculiarly conditioned—namely, as we exist in the world. For if ourself were high and fair, sublime and spiritual, there would be something gained, perhaps, by going out of the I or me. But we have accumulated a narrow, petty, deadly, earth-thickened self; and every departure from this may be gain. Shepherd, (bawling down his ear.) Awmrose! a nichtcap !

(Enter MR. AMBROSE with a nightcap.) Thank you-ye needna tie the strings—now wheel in the soffa-and Jet's hae a nap. (SHEPHERD lies down on the Tiroclinium.)

North. Thou Brownie!

Shepherd. N00–I can defy your havers—for I'm aff to the Land of Nod. Gude nicht. Wanken me at sax o'clock, in time for the Fly.

(Sleeps.) Opium-Eater. In the brightest beauty there is perfect composure and calm.

Shepherd, (turning on his side.) Are you speakin' about me
Opium-Later. The understanding sces distinctly, and the heart

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rests, and yet there is conscious imagination. And why dcth the soul thus rejoice in a repose in which it has no participation !

Shepherd. You may participate, if you like. There's room aneuch on the soffa for twa.

Opium-Euter. Whence this sympathy with an unsouled, inanimate world! Because the human soul is perpetually making all things external and circumstant a mirror to itself of itself, filling all existence with emblems, symbols,-every where seeing and reaching them, and in gazing outwardly, still wrapt in self-study,-or rather intuitive self-knowledge. The soul desires, loves, longs for peace in itself: it is almost its conception's deepest bliss. Wherever, therefore, it discovers it, it rejoices in the image whereof it seeks the reality. Thus, the calm human countenance, the wide waters sleeping in the moonlight, the stainless marble depth of the immeasurable heavens, reflect to it that tranquillity which it imagines within itself-represents that which it desires. The pictured shadow is grateful to it, wanting the substance. It loves to look on what it loves, though it cannot possess it:

and hence the feeling of the soul, in contemplating such a calm, is not of simple repose, but desire stirs in it, as if it would fain blend itself more deeply with the quiet which it beholds. All the while, it is Beauty that creates the desire : and never is there the feeling of Beauty-no, never— without the transfer on the object, or the transfusion, by the mind, of some quality or character not in the object. In most, and in all great instances, there is apprehension, dim and faint, or more distinct, of pervasion of a spirit throughout that which we conceive to be beautiful. Stars, the moon, the deep-bright ether, waters, the rainbow, a fair lovely flower,-none of them ever appear to us, or are believed by us, to be mere physical, unconscious, dead aggregate of atoms.

Shepherd. I'm only pretendin' to be sleepin', sir; and noo you're really speakin' like yoursell—at ance poet and philosopher. Do yo ken, sir, that I aye understaun' every thing best when I'm lyin' a' my length on my side-or my back—which I attribute to my early shepherd-life amang the hills Walkin? or standin', or even sittin', I'in sometimes gaely stupid-bui lyin', never! Thochts come croodin' like eemages, and feelings croonin' like music, and the baill mortal warld swims in licht, or a soft vapoury haze, through which a' things appear divinely beautiful. I learnt the secret, without seekin' for't, just by lyin' upon the braes in my plaid amang the sheep.

North. I remember translating a poem of Schiller's, in which is a verse to this effect

All lived to me,the tree-the flower-
To me the murmuring fountain sung;
What feels not, félt, so strong a power

Of life, my life o'er all lad Aung.
Vol. IV.-4

Shephe: d. A’us fuwre, sirs, hae been made what we are-ower and aboon the happy, natural, coustitutional temper o' our speerit by ha'en been born and bred in a mountainous kintra. Some signal exceptions there are undoubtedly,—though I forget them just the noo

but folk in general are a' flat-souled as weel's flat-soled, in a flat kintra. God bless our ain native spaw-white-headed, emerald-breested native region o’the storms.

(Starting up and seizing the Dolphin.) North. IIow purely imaginary the line that separates the two countries !* Yei love delights in the distinction, as it hovers over the Tweed-and to the ear of the native of each land,—what a mystery in the murmurs of the kingdom-cleaving river! Sweet bold music! worthy of distinguishing—without dividing--England from Scotland

-a patriotic poetry flowing in the imaginations of their heart-united sons.

Shepherd. Aye—the great glory o' ould Scotland ance was, that she could fecht England without ever haen been ance totally subdued. Yet if that incarnate fiend the first Edward hadna been stricken deed, chains micht bae been heard clinkin' through a' her forests. God swoopit him aff-his son fled affore the Bruce—and auld Scotland thenceforth was free. Now—we fecht England in ither guise ;—peace hath “her victories as well as war," and if we maun yield the pawm to England, wi’ a gracefu' and majestic smile she returns it to her sister, as much as to say—“Let us wear it alternately on our fore. heads."

Opium-Eater. There are, as I imagine, Mr. Hogg, numerous, and complicated associations with the natural sounds peculiar to any region of the world, that would have to be taken into account in estimating those many and often unapparent causes which concur, in the great simplicity of natural life, to form even the national spirit of a people.

Shepherd. Nae doot, nae doot, sir; nae doot ava.

North. Yes, James, in a mountainous country like our Highlands, for example, where the hearts of the people are strongly bound to their native soil, the many and wild characteristic sounds which are continually pouring on their ears, are like a language in which the spirit of their own wild region calls to them from the heart of the clouds or the hills. The torrent's continuous roar, the howling of blasts on the mountain-side, among the clefts of rocks, or over their cabins in lonely midnight, sounds issuing from caverns, the dashing roll of a heavy sea on the open or inland shore, wild birds screaming in the air- the eagle or the raven- the lowing of cattle on a thousand

• John Home had previously said, in his tragedy of “ Douglas,"

A river here, there an ideal line,
Divides the sister countries -M.



hills,--all these, and innumerable other sounds from living and inanimate things, which are around them evermore, mix in their heart with the very conception of the land in which they dwell, and blend with life itself.

Opium-Eater. An hour ago, Mr. Tickler, you challenged Mr. North to a main at chess. Will you suffer me to be your antagonist for a single game?

Tickler. For love and glory. (They retire to the niche.)

Shepherd. I want to bear your opinion, Mr. North, about this Lord and Leddy Byron bizziness?

North. I see no need of bad blood between such men as Moore and Campbell, about such a man as Byron. Time—that is, a month, must have soothed and sweetened the peccant humors

Shepherd. Mr. Cammel, I'm thinkin', was the maist peccant--for after pattin' and pettin' Mr. Muir on the back, he suddenly up, I hear, with his fists, and tries to floor him afore he can say Jack Robinson.* Us poets are queer chiels—that's the only key to the mystery-and it'll open ony door.

North. As to Mr. Campbell's having admitted into the New Monthly a short critical notice of Mr. Moore's Life of Byron, without having read the volume, and as to his having scored out some objurgatory sentence or two in the said critique about the biographer, it is silly or insincere to say a single syllable against that; for an editor would needs be in a condition most melancholy and forlorn, who, on the one hand, could not repose any confidence in any of his contributors, and on the other, did not hold possession of the natural right to expunge or modify, at his will and pleasure, whatever he feared might

* In Moore's Life of Byron, statements had appeared, in which openly, as well as hy implication, Lady Byron was blamed for having picked a quarrel with her husband, at the instigation of her parents, leading to the unhappy breach which lost her a husband and drove him from England to the enforced exile which ended in his early but not inglorious death. In the New Monthly Magazine, then edited by Thomas Campbell, there appeared a critique upon Moore's Byron, in which the book was praised. Lady Byron subsequently wrote a long letter, tu defend her parents (she said), and Cainpbell, who published this in his Magazine, became her Ladyship's warm champion, assailing Moore and his biography, and avowing That the previous favornble notice had not been written by himself, though he had corrected it-the perusal of the book Itself not having been undertaken by him when he adopted the critique. Lady Byron's narrative need not be further referred to here, as it is familiar to the reading rublic, but it evidently does not justify the manner in which she deserted her husband. She quilted hum apparently or good terms ; on the road to her father's seat she wrote him a foolishly fond letter, commencing, * My dear Duck," and entreating him to rejoin her immedia'tly; and the biext letier Byron received was from his father-in-law, Sir Ralph Milbanke Noel, coldly requiring a formal sep.iration from his wife. On what grounds? it may be asked. Lady Byron said, because she believed him mad. But, up to the time of reaching her father's, it is clear she had not expressed any fear, or opinion of the kind! The plain truth seems to be-Byrup was in distressed circumstances; execution after execution came upon his property and into his house. Few women can bear up against annoyances of such a painful and degradig nature. Lady Byron was a cold blooded, selfish woman--the deep passion, love, which suffers all things lur the beloved, was not ini ber mature. She was glad to find a peaceful haven away from delts and creditors, m her childhood's home, and had little difficulty in finding or niaking an excuse io justify her before the world. Her published justification (after death had rendered a reply to it impossible) went 10 show that Byron was guilty of some monstrous, if not to be unnamed crime; and not the severest Puritan will now believe that of Byron. In the jalogue between North and the Shepherd, surely the latter, taking the humaner view, has the best of it.-M.

be painful to the feelings, or injurious to the reputation, of a friend. Truth is sacred-and being so, allows a latitude to her sincere worshippers, at which the false would stare in astonishment.

Shepherd. Nae need for an editor to be a Drawco. Neither does an editor become responsible—in foro conscientiæfor ilka word his work may contain ; it be did, there would soon be a period pitten till the periodicals, for sameness and stupidity are twa deadly sins, and on that principle o conduct, Maga herself would be sune flattened doon into stale and stationary unsaleability-in cellars stinkin' o'stock.

North. God forbid I should wound the feelings of Lady Byron, of whose character—known to me but by the high estimation in which it is held by all who enjoy her friendship—I have always spoken with respect--as I have always shown my sympathy with her singular sufferings and sacrifices. But may I without harshness or indelicacy say, here among ourselves privately, my dear James, in this our own family circle, that by marrying Byron, she took upon her, with eyes wide open, and conscience clearly convinced, duties very different indeed from those of which, even in common cases, the presaging foresight shadows with a pensive but pleasant sadness—the light of the first nuptial moon ?

Shepherd. She did that, sir. By ma troth, she did that.

North. Byron's character was a mystery then—as it is now—but its dark qualities were perhaps the most prominent—at least they were so to the public view, and in the public judgment. Miss Milbank knew that he was reckoned a rake and a loué; and although his genius wiped off, by impassioned eloquence in love-letters that were felt to be irresistible, or hid the worst stain of that reproach, still Miss Milbank must have believed it a perilous thing to be the wife of Lord Byron. Blinded, we can well believe her to have been in the blaze of his fame ---and she is also entitled to the privilege of pride. But still, by joining her life to his in marriage, she pledged her troth, and her faith, and her love, under probabilities of severe, disturbing, perhaps fearful trials in the future, from which, during the few bright days of love, she must have felt that it would be her duty never, under any possible circumstances, to resile.

Shepherd. Weel, weel, sir. Puir things ! they a' dream theirsells awa into a clear, dim, delightfu' delirium, that sae brightens up, and at the same time sae saftens doon, the grim precipices and black abysms o' danger in the light o' love and imagination, that a bairn, sae it seems, micht fa' asleep, or walk blindfauld alang the edges o'the rocks, and even were it to fa', would sink doon doon on wings, and rest at the cliff-foot on a bed osnaw, or say rather o’ lilies and roses, and a' silken and scented flowerage!

North. I would not press this point hardly or harshly, so as to hurt her heart; but now that the debate, or rather the conjectural surmises

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