« 上一頁繼續 »
ence was the very opposite. I found them my company, in the important "circus" which thoroughly alive to a good bargain, but by no had occurred—by which that esteemed lady means over-reaching. There was one old mer- meant crisis—I must say that I felt extremely chant whom I had special pleasure in doing happy. business with, Mr. Lewis Smith, and as he has Having finished my matutinal meal, I recently gone over to the “great majority," I bethought myself of the other communication may, without reservation, put a few notes down which lay unopened beside my plate, and which regarding him. He was between 70 and 80 years I suspected would be the reverse of pleasant. of age
when I first knew him, and was about the Upon opening the envelope, the following oldest merchant in our trade in Aberdeen. I was written upon a sheet of paper :remember him telling me how he waited for
Messrs. Tooth and Claw, Mr. John Brown,
Victoria Hotel, believe, the agent; it was in the year 1832,
Aberdeen. and the first attempt at popular readable litera
Our Mr. Thick will be in Aberdeen to-day, and, as you ture was looked for with great expectancy. It
are such an amateur traveller, he purposes to give you a
lesson in your various duties. He is a man of ripe came, and the Aberdeen public passed a favour- experience
, and we trust you will profit by his suggestions. able verdict upon it: after passing through Mr. Thick has our full confidence, and goes north to see such a severe ordeal, its success, of course,
you from motives of pure benevolence. was secured and established. Mr. Smith was
This intimation set me fluttering. I ran to an agent for Messrs. Pirie and Sons, the cele- my show room and gave it an extra dusting, brated paper-makers, and did a large trade for and tidied it up as I am sure it has never been them. I think, taking him all in all, he was
dusted and arranged before or since, as I had as perfect a traveller as ever existed. En reason to dread Mr. Thick, with his ripe experidowed with a pleasant countenance, a fine car
ence and pure benevolence. riage, a kind and persuasive manner,
combined I saw some customers in the morning, and with varied and lengthened experience, united booked a few odd lines, and then went to the to the highest integrity, he possessed, over a
train to meet the gentleman. I was just in time. long period of years, the entire confidence of all The engine came dashing in, and I found my his brethren in the trade, and when, through friend seated in a third-class carriage. As I got failing health, on the verge of 80 years, his up to him, he was hiding the end of a twopenny periodical visits were discontinued, the loss cigar. I found the deputy from the firm was not was felt most keenly, and regarded as the wrongly named. He was a small man, but removal of an ancient landmark, and as
with a paunch of enormous dimensions; his the passing away of an “old standard." visual organs were small, keen, penetrating,
Another merchant in the neighbourhood of and suspicious; his nasal protuberance beamed Queen Street inconvenienced himself to give me
with a ruddiness which told of many potations, an order. Although I was a perfect stranger to
while his thick lips and coarse cheeks comhim I know that he made up a considerable line pleted the "human face divine.” I approached out of sympathy to me personally, for which I him respectfully. He knew me at once, and in returned him at the time, as I do now, my
a magnificent manner extended one finger for most hearty thanks.
me to shake hands with ; from that moment I
I would have On Monday morning I received two letters, instinctively hated Mr. Thick. one on business and the other from home. preferred if the fellow had only bowed. I lay Of course I read the latter first, which was
it down as a fixed rule that the man who only from my esteemed mother-in-law, Mrs. gives you one finger is a fool, and is very likely McCrachen, and ran as follows :
to be a knave. We went to the hotel and
had dinner. "Dear John,
I am glad to say that “ given birth to a son. Both mother and baby are doing went in for a second serving of everything.
Mary, my daughter, and your wife, has this morning Thick” was quite at home at the meal; he well. His name we have decided shall be John.
When dinner was over we retired to the show Yours respectfully,
JANE MOCRACHEN. room, which he found fault with for being too P.S.-You need not come home, you are better away neat. “You cannot keep your room so tidy at this circus."
as it is, and do a good trade; give me a little I gave a silent hip, hip, hurrah, and went on untidiness and roughness, and samples somewith my breakfast, feeling quite proud and what disarranged, and then I know a man is quite paternal. I laid in an extra slice of working." I answered him never a word, but salmon, and finished an additional cup of tea, allowed him to go on with his fault-finding for in honour of the young gentleman. Notwith fully an hour. He was like the man I once standing the curt intimation of my excellent remember of reading about, who was beard mother-in-law, that my absence was better than saying to himself, as he went home, "If the
cow is in it will be a fault, and if the cow is forget, and if I gave him an extra squeeze in out it will be a fault, and if there is not a putting him out, I am sure my readers will say fault, I will make a fault.” After this he asked that he fully deserved it. I afterwards learnt me to give him a specimen of my style of wait- that the impertinent fellow had represented a ing upon customers; he said, “We will suppose house for three days, but the head of the firm that I am the shopkeeper and you are the had to withdraw him somewhat suddenly, as traveller." At once I put on my hat, left the his ability displayed itself so markedly that apartment, and returning in a few minutes, went another few days would have completely ruined through my general programme in calling upon the establishment. customers. I am sorry to say that the man of After Mr. Thick had gone away I saw a few “ripe experience and pure benevolence” was more customers, and did a fair amount of businot at all satistied; every detail of my proceed- ness. I wrote out my orders, which I sent away ings displeased him. Swelling with importance, by the evening's post, and was quite finished he remarked, “No wonder, sir, that you get so before nine o'clock. I then gave myself up to few orders; no wonder, sir, that your orders my own enjoyment for the rest of the evening. are small; no wonder, sir, that your returns are Many a happy night have I spent in the Comso much less than we are entitled to expect from mercial Room. With all its disadvantages the you.” He waxed quite eloquent, and volunteered Commercial Room is pleasant, especially after to show me how I ought to do. Rising from his a hard day's work; there you meet all kinds chair he said, “You will remain here, sir, as of people—the good, the bad, and the inmaster, and I will act as the traveller, and then different—but I must acknowledge that the you will see the proper manner and style to good always predominates. There you receive adopt.” This language irritated me beyond sympathy in your varied trials. Advice and measure, so I determined, whatever the con- kindly counsel are given without stint or reservasequences, I would repeat the treatment I had tion, and there you find, if you only look rightly received from a party I had visited some days for them, experience which is invaluable, and before, and which I had not previously men- examples of excellence which can never be surtioned. Mr. Thick marched out in magnificent passed. It is a mirror for mankind; it is a style, and I seated myself at the desk. In a place of many thoughts and many minds, and few moments he returned, stated that he had when jaded and worn out physically and the pleasure of waiting upon me from Messrs. mentally, nothing is so reviving, nothing is so Tooth and Claw, wholesale stationers, Glasgow, strengthening, as an hour or two spent in the and that he had several lines which he thought Commercial Room. We are far from home, were exactly in my way. They were of perhaps in a country town, and the weather excellent quality, and much below the price cold and uninviting; inside there is a bright, of those supplied by any other house. I roaring fire, teas are in the distance and bed listened indifferently, and appeared to go on time is not quite near, so chairs are gathered with my usual work. He talked eloquently, round the fire, pipes are brought out, and the descanting on the good quality and low price of lemonade (1) brought in; then conversation the articles he had for sale, until he was quite begins, the weather first, current politics, out of breath. I allowed him to proceed for or abstract subjects, then comes argument and about five minutes, and then, in the most in- expressions of different opinions, then song different tone possible, remarked, “I beg pardon, and story, and story and song, and thus the sir, who did you say you came from ?"
long evening is whiled away. Some travellers “From Tooth and Claw, of Glasgow, sir." are veteran story tellers, and many are accom
“ From Tooth and Claw, of Glasgow !” I plished musicians and scholars. I remember exclaimed indignantly. “Do you mean to say, spending a delightful evening in a north sir, you represent those rascals ?” and jumping country town, and among those present was a down from my seat, I took him by the collar, most amiable gentleman, who had a whole and turned him out of the room. When I was budget of stories, and brought forth from his at the door he called out “Hold, hold ! Police, treasure house for our delectation (I use it not police ! Don't kill me outright. What do you irreverently, but because the expression is mean by treating me in this way ?” “Oh," I apt) “things new and old." He told his said, “ that is the way I am treated when I stories so quietly, and with not a little dramatic call
upon booksellers and stationers for Tooth power, and imitated the dialects of the country and Claw."
districts to perfection. The following is one of Mr. Thick went home that night and reported Mr. Stokes's anecdotes, and he vouched for me most unfavourably to my employers. "I was its truth, as it was told him by the gentleman sorry to have treated him roughly, but his im- himself. pudence raised my temper, so I determined to A Mr. David, from Edinburgh, in the read him a lesson which he would not soon nursery and seedsman line, paid a visit once in
BY A MINNESINGER.
Is he any
five years to a nobleman's estate in the far
ADJECTIVES. north, for the purpose of getting orders for the replanting of the fir trees, which the rough
YERE I to open a new volume of poems, blasts of the previous winters had destroyed. Upon the occasion in question the land steward,
and to find it well studded with exor grieve, was a man called Alexander Mackin- pressions like “balmy breezes,” “fleecy clouds," tosh; he was a quiet, inoffensive, and singularly "smiling fields," " warbling songsters," "painreticent individual, and the utmost Mr. David ted flowers," " whimpling streams,” and many could extract from him were the monosyllablic
more of a similar character, I should be justianswers “yes” and “no,” as the case might be. fied in concluding that the author was no real As usual, when the bargain was completed, the
poet, or he would not have been contented with nurseryman asked the land steward to clinch the bargain with, of course, a glass of whisky: Wesley, in the preface to his hymns, says very
epithets so stale and common-place. John Mackintosh never spoke, and even the electri
; truly that “ by labour a man may become a fying influence of the “ usquebaugh” availed tolerable imitator of Spenser, Shakespeare, or not, his lips seemed hermetically sealed. Milton, and may heap together pretty compound Turning over in his mind some subject to get epithets as pale-eyed," meek-eyed,' and the the silent Highlandman to speak upon, he said: like, but unless he be born a poet he will
“Oh! by the bye, Mr. Mackintosh, I saw in never attain the genuine spirit of poetry.” the Scotsman the other day that a young man from this district had passed his examination position simply by the adjectives used in it, for
I do not say that it is possible to judge a comas Master of Arts of the University of Edin
many excellent poems, more particularly of a burgh. I saw it was the same name as your
subjective and dramatic nature, contain very own, Alexander Mackintosh.
few to judge by; but I do say that a great relation of yours ?"
poet will rarely use a weak adjective, and a My son.
small poet a notable one. “ Your son!” exclaimed Mr. David. “Why, What distinguishes a great poet is his power he must be a clever chiel: the examination is by to condense- to express, by a few masterly no means easy, it requires preparation, study, touches, what an imitator would take hundreds and, above all, indomitable perseverance. of vapid lines to do. Why, you must be proud of your son ?”
In the following example, for instance, " Yes, yes,” said the Highlander, and then Tennyson, by a few epithets, presents us with relapsed into silence.
the character of a man as clear, distinct, and "Well, I only wish I had a son who could pass comprehensive as could be gained from a with such honours,” remarked the Edinburgh wearisome biography, gentleman.
“Modred's narrow foxy face, “Yes, yes,” nodded the grieve, and added, “I Heart-hiding smile, and grey, persistent eye.” am very proud of Alexander, but it is my other Again, just look at the amount of meaning son I think most of.”
there is in Mrs. Browning's phrase, “sentient What, have
another son ? ” asked Mr. silence.” The poetess is standing at the Casa David ; “and what may he be ?”
Guidi windows, and sees the Austrians silently "Oh, yes! I have another son; and he is a filing past on an expedition which portends physician at Liverpool, in England, where he disaster and misery to a nation. Silence prehas a large practice; not among poor people, vails, but it is the silence of intense fear and but in the most aristocratic part of the town. emotion; no shrieks and lamentations; no He makes much money, and is not old yet.' curses and threatenings : it is a “sentient
“Well, I never !" continued Mr. David. silence." “You have two sons—one of them a physician In Milton you find every page strewn with and the other a Master of Arts. Why, you must felicitous epithets. His magnificent genius be proud of them ?"
could imagine grandly, and execute perfectly. “Oh, yes ! Oh, yes !” returned the ground Take the following examples:—“Parsimonious officer.
emmet.” (Does not the adjective "parsimoni“And your excellent wife, Margaret; she ous convey to our minds more of the character will be very proud also?”
of the emmet than any other ?)—“Smooth"Oh, yes, she is, poor body ; but, if I had shaven green," " chequered shade," "tanned known,” he remarked in rising to leave," that haycock," busy, hum of men,
'busy hum of men,” “civil-suited my family would have attained such eminence, morn," " dim religious light," &c. and have become so distinguished, I would have Just notice the variety of adjectives he has married a lady, and had another mother for at his command for describing the winds, each them.”
one appropriate to the sense of the passage, (To be Continued.)
Parching wind,” “ gadding wind," "felon
wind,” “frolic wind,” “rocking wind," " whis- deliberate steps of the grave cows, as they pering wind.” A desert wind may aptly be wended homeward at the close of day, must characterised as “parching,” but not as “rock- have been observed by all lovers of nature. ing” or “whispering,” and herein we see the In oratory the condensation 80 essential in great genius of Milton, that he can fit so poetry is perhaps a defect. An idea must be exquisitely the parts to the whole. An adjective well diluted by the orator, or it may be too is not simply to pad out a lean line or complete strong for the minds of the hearers. the rhythm of a sentence, but to add fresh In the case of the “circling hare" the poet light and strength to the thought.
simply describes, by the use of one epithet, a What an insight into the nature of a thing remarkable characteristic of the hare. An orator John Keats possessed. He knew how to select would go into particulars and explain this fact an adjective which more peculiarly qualified one of natural history. An inferior poet will do object rather than another. We are told that, the same. What Pope does in a word, Goldwhilst reading Spencer's “Faery Queen," he smith takes two lines to dofairly shouted when he came across such a grand " And as a hare, when hounds and horns pursue, phrase as "sea-shouldering whales." What he
Pants to the place from whence at first she flew."
An orator, as I stated before, must attenuato admired so much in others, he exhibited himself. How fine are the following :-“Winnowing if it had been condensed, it might probably
an idea so that it may be understood, whereas winds,” “ silver snarling trumpets," "spiral have passed unnoticed. What in a poet is foxglove," quavering thunder," "insulting bombast in an orator is eloquence. It rarely light,"—what a bold term to apply to the light, the free, irresistible light, penetrating into the happens, therefore, that a great orator is a great den of the fallen Titans. Insulting! yes, as
poet. it flashes from the jutting crags and reveals
There is a currency of expression used by in all their mighty woe the prostrate forms public speakers and others that would not be of the huge Titans, we can well call it that.
tolerated in poetry. Adjectives attached to The reader cannot fail to see the “rightness" certain nouns by poets of old time have become
80 wedded that to recall the noun is to recall of the following adjectives as applied to the
the adjective. What newspaper reporter, dethings they qualify :-"creeping mist” (Tennyson); "hissing snake” (Spenser); "the spotted scribing a fire does not speak of the “lurid panther and the tusked boar, the pardale swift glare?”. What fair miss, writing to her friend, and the tigre cruell” (Spenser); “ blood- does not send her “ kind regards” to sundry
other friends? thirsty blade” (Spenser); “ mountain-loving eagle
Readers of Byron's life will remember how Cornwall); “high-elbowed careful he was in revising his poems, how grigs” (Tennyson); “circling hare” (Pope); assiduous he was in substituting a strong " patient fisher” (Pope); " shuddering morn (Marston); “lolling lilies” (Poe). “Lolling,"
epithet for a weak one, often giving three or in this last case, is not merely apposite, but four, and asking his publisher to select the produces a rich' alliterative effect, which is aptest. I should surmise that Mr. Tennyson extremely pleasant to the ear.
bestows even more care in improving his comWith Mr. Swinburne and his school the positions. A poet who does not spend much main object is not to condense the largest why? Because commonplace thoughts rise first,
labour on his
poems is never worth much, and amount of meaning into a poem, but to produce and have to be discarded before the original the richest luxuriance of sound. Adjectives, we feel, are often chosen more for the sake of thought will appear. In thinking of thunder,
“ dreadful ”
such epithets as “rolling" and onomatopeia and alliteration, than for fitness. Notice, however, a few selections from Mr. might first suggest themselves to the poet's Swinburne--" torrent-tongued ravine," " lily: mind, but Wordsworth passes over these and lovely feet," "yellow and distempered foam," uses the splendid epithet "instantaneous,” to
attach to it. "fin-twinkling fish," "slant-sided share.” How
The more "sweet” can be applied to the sea, as it is done
we know of the technique of so often by this great poet, I cannot explain. poetry the more we shall value the masterMany small adjectives are employed in his pieces of our language ; each epithet reprepoems, which seem to have no other duty than
sents so much toil, so much judgment, and to add to the music of the lines.
so much insight of a lofty mind. How preWhen Mr. Buchanan writes of “the squa- to us and to all ages!
cious then should be the poems bequeathed dron'd pines," and Mr. Allingham of the “ deliberate-stepping cows,"
we feel that two All matter for insertion in “THE ENGLISH HOUSEHOLD accurate descriptions of nature have been made.
MAGAZINE" must be sent in to the Office, 50, Grey Street,
Newcastle-on-Tyne, not later than the 14th of every month The order of the pines on the hill-side, prim and and written on one side only. regular as a troop of soldiers; the slow,
Printed for the Proprietors by M. & M. W. LAMBERT, 50, Grey
INSTRUCTIVE AND ENTERTAINING
LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.
Author of “Stories of Irish Life," " Arnold Percival Montaigne,” &c., dc.
robe of amber light, such as he had seen it "I stand upon my native hills again,
many a time put on, in happy days gone bye Broad, round, and green, that in the summer sky With garniture of waving grass and grain,
-Could it be for ever ?
After pausing for a little to take in the rich TEXT morning, after breakfast, as a matter and radiant scene, one that never fails to imcourse,
press those who, under similar atmospheric his host and hostess for the generous and oppor-conditions, gaze upon it, he commenced his tune reception they had given him, but the descent in order to reach the river, which, in Flynns professed to be insulted at the offer. the distance, skirted the northern bounds of "Oh! purshuin' to the bit, Mr. Garrett; take Carberry Grange. yir money back," said Micky, "if ye don't
With a progress hastened by the intensity of want to incinse us; shure the havin' a Rowan which has been mentioned early in our narra
his feelings, he soon arrived at the bridge, undher our humble roof is paymint tin times tive, and leaning over its parapet, he fondly over.”
looked, lost to all beside, at the old family Aye, glory be to God, that it is,” chimed in dwelling, smiling in the sunshine right before Betty.
“I'll be the proudher misthress o' this him. After some minutes of silent vision, his house from this day forward, Mr. Garrett; the deepest emotions all awake, he spoke in supQueen's palace wouldn't a' been too good fur pressed tones, though from his earnestness
audibly, the words we have before given— ye. Shure, the remimbrince o yir father's Dear home of my early childhood—of a father's name and openhearted ways, sur, hasn't yit care and a mother's love-before Heaven I vow died out on the Sliev-na-Man mountain." never to bate one jot of heart or hope, and never
Garrett, by forcing a trifling personal orna- to refuse task or effort, until I win thee back, ment or two upon his entertainers, compounded by means fair or-God help me—foul, as the for his bill ; and, with mutual expressions of rightful possession of my kindred.” regard and good wishes, he left them, to carry with eyes dim from gathering tears, he
Still continuing to gaze, though sometimes, out his purpose of the previous night. remained, resting his arms upon the bridge
The storm had spent itself during the hours wall remained until he was aroused by of darkness; and a calm, bright, almost cloud- shrieks coming from the road to his right, but less day, attended our traveller upon his at some distance from where he stood, and journey. With vigour, renewed by a good from some person concealed by trees and a night's rest, he rapidly breasted the ascent
curve of the highway.
The piercing cries of distress which startled before him, and it was not long until he looked him, he could tell were those of a woman.
He " the Golden Vale," clad in a lost not a moment in hastening towards the