網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

For days well spent, and years not given in vain.
Her charity was there, with dove-like eye,-
And Faith stood light, with eyes and arms upraised,
And wings outspread,-to mount amid the skies.

eep

Her grave was made,-for her, as for the worst!
We past away, and left her to her God.
Wrapt in the bosom of the silent earth,
She sleeps; and, if athwart that saintly
A dream can flash,-'twill be a dream of joy;
Beaming present'ment of eternal joy!
Is life a blank? Has death's intruding step
Startled the inward peace, without whose song
Of never-ending mild security,

Our lives were tortures? No! I look around,
And all the bright world shines as heretofore;
Only its turbid noise hath roll'd away,
Farther than ever, from an ear averse.
I hear the melody of early days,

Pure as if hymn'd by angels! still 'tis sweet,
And my lone bosom echoes back its tones,
As a cave murmureth to a quiet sea.

Hold on thy course, irrevocable fate!
Thou stayless action of the world, hold on!
Empires, and thrones, tribes, customs, and the world,
Tremble before thee! From thy chariot wheels
Man's institutions, creeds, conventions, sects,
Are scatter'd far and wide, like summer dust.
Successive ages, at thy stormy breath,
Tower up like mists,-glide on like flying rain
Along th' Autumnal hills, and disappear
In the void skies! Their millions without strife
Obey thy voice; and shall a lonely one
Appeal from thee,-spurning what gifts thou giv'st,
In bootless grief o'er what has been withheld-
The only victim of a general woe!

Hold on the sternest doom thy power inflicts,
Will ne'er deprive me of a dearer blessing.
She walk'd on earth beside me like the morn,
Cheering the early traveller.

Now unboundMy love no longer chains me; and in part, My heart is harden'd for that intercourse With stern or selfish natures, which requires Resolve, high hopes, and patience; and though oft A lingering look I yield, where once abode The household idols of my early love,— Yet onward, seems a path to nobler ends; And thither, beckoning me, thy spirit leadsThither, where Fancy paints upon the clouds Her fond chimeras, fading while we gaze.— In youth we build majestic piles of hope,— Mighty, though vain-the toil of precious days, And mockery for all future time. Each pile Stands in thy wastes, O Mem'ry! dark and lone, The monument of feelings ne'er express'd, And thoughts sublime but shadowy; and we gaze Back on it, as the wandering Arab looks On Egypt's solemn tombs, while dimly grand They glimmer through the dusk; and oft the voice Of mournful winds, in fitful tones comes down From where it sweeps along each ledge of stone, And sings the requiem of departed kings.

E. O. B.

LINES

ON MR LAURENCE MACDONALD'S STATUE OF THE GIRL AND

THE CARRIER PIGEON.

By J. S. Knowles.

THE maiden holds a letter to her breast

Would'st con its secrets ?-Read them in her face!
It is the proper glowing page of Love!
It voucheth for a heart beneath that breast,

And in that heart the virgin's tender wish
She veileth with a blush, which, like a veil,
Emblazons but the thing 'tis ta'en to hide!
A dove, you see, her other hand doth perch-
How meet a perch for such a gentle bird!
I warrant that's her answer 'neath its wing.
'Tis Love's own messenger, that does Love's wish
With speed, and seems to know it serveth Love,
So eager to be gone-'twill fly-'tis stone!
Back to the face again, and mark the lips!
Methinks I hear a sigh upon those lips!-
So lovers' lips do part that breathe a sigh-
"I knew not that fine chisel could cut air!"
But there it is!

SONNET TO THE MEMORY OF GRAY.

By the late Alexander Balfour.

SWEET Bard! who sung "the rosy-bosom'd hours;"
Who loved thy retrospective eye to fling

O'er classic Eton's "spires and antique towers,"
While former days "waved fresh their gladsome wing;"
Who sung
"Adversity, resistless power!”

Poetic "thoughts that breathe, and words that burn;" Whose "Bard" sublime could "life indignant spurn," And "Cambria's curse" hurl in the "arrowy shower." But chief, "who, mindful of the unhonour'd dead," Could pensively thy twilight vigils keep;

And musing sigh above the "lowly bed," Where "rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep ;" Thy name shall live, on Fame's broad pinions borne, And on thy grave shall smile the "incense-breathing morn."

TO MEDORA.

By Laurence Macdonald.

MILD as young zephyrs in their gentlest hour, Commission'd forth by Spring from Flora's bower, To clothe the earth with garlands, and infuse Into each flower the spirit of its hues,

Art thou, Medora! faultless as thou'rt fair, Divine as music's soul, and pure as childhood's prayer!

'Tis sweet to watch the day-blush burst on high, Chasing the darkness both from earth and skyTo view the blending tints of night and day, Softening and hallowing all things with their ray, But sweeter far, to watch Medora's smile— The soul!—the heaven!—that brightens o'er that fat the while.

It is as if the waves on ocean's breast Were by some spirit soothed-not quite to rest, But, to that state, which is nor rest, nor motion, That state, when bosoms feel some soft emotion Mantling the blood, as if an angel's breath Pass'd o'er the summer waters, else all still as death.

THE TORWOOD OAK.

By W. M. Hetherington.

THE Torwood Oak! How like a spell
By potent wizard breathed, that name
Bids every Scottish bosom swell,

And burn with all a patriot's flame!
The past before the rapt eye brings-
Forth stalk the phantom shades of kings,
And loud the warrior's bugle rings
O'er gory fields of blood!

I see the Roman eagle whet

Its hungry beak, I see it soar; It stoops, I see its pinions wet,

Ruffled and wet with its own gore:

I see the Danish Raven sweep O'er the dark bosom of the deep,—

Its scatter'd plumage strews the steep Of rugged Albin's shore.

Lo! England's Edward comes!—the plain
Groans where his marshall'd thousands wheel,
Grim Havoc stalks o'er heaps of slain,

Gaunt Famine, prowling, dogs his heel!
Ah! woe for Scotland! blood and woe!
Fierce and relentless is the foe,
And treason points the murderous blow,
Edges the ruthless steel!

But who is he with dauntless brow, And dragon crest, and eagle eye, Whose proud form never knew to bow Its lofty port and bearing high? Around him close a glorious bandFew-but the chosen of the land; Beneath the Torwood Tree they stand, Freedom to gain, or die!

'Tis he, the bravest of the brave!

Champion of Scotland's liberty, Whose mighty arm and dreadful glaive His mother-land could thrice set free! That hero-patriot, whose great name Justly the foremost rank may claim Of all that grace the rolls of fameWALLACE OF ELDERSLIE!

Yes, oft the Torwood Oak has bent
Its broad boughs o'er his noble head;
Oft, in his hour of peril, lent

The shelter of its friendly shade;
And though rude Time and stern Decay
Its moulder'd stem have swept away,
The Hero's name there dwells for aye-
A name that cannot fade!

MARY'S EYES.

By J. W. Ord.

Wild as the gazelle'sNow brightly bold-now beautifully shyWin as they wander-dazzle where they dwell. THERE are who doubt that Jove doth live at all, Or that he made this many-peopled ball. They gaze upon the rose's golden rim, And look into its heart, and list the hymn Of Tellus' myriad birds, and view the flight Of the far eagle to the realms of light; They walk into the woods, and see the trees Put on their summer robe, and hear the breeze Sing sweetly, night and day, like one in love, And still deny great Jove doth dwell above. Approach, vain sophists! and behold the brow Of heaven all diadem'd with stars; and now, Holding your breath so that it touch her not, Come nearer to this sweet secluded spot, Where I with Mary sit, and view her eyes, If that ye can; and if there do not rise Purer and higher thoughts within your breast, Like gentle winds, that slumber in the west, No kindling soul have ye-no high and far behest.

[blocks in formation]

LITERARY CHIT-CHAT AND VARIETIES.

BOURRIENNE'S MEMOIRS OF BONAPARTE.-A translation of this interesting work, by James S. Memes, LL.D., is preparing for Constable's Miscellany. The Memoirs of Bourrienne are to be regarded as the most authentic and impartial documents yet given to the world on the subject of Napoleon. This preference is claimed on the grounds of the opportunities of information enjoyed, and of the qualifications, literary as well as moral, exhibited by the writer. For six-and-twenty years, commencing with the eighth year of Bonaparte's age, Bourrienne possessed the unlimited confidence of that extraordinary personage, and this during the most eventful period of his career. From all beside, the mask of ambition first, of policy afterwards, concealed entirely the man, and, in a great degree, the ruler also. To the writer of these Memoirs alone were bared the genuine features of his mind and conduct. At school, Bourrienne was the chosen companion-the sympathising comforter of the youthful and melancholy Corsican. At Paris, amid poverty and disappointment, he continued the sole confident of the hopes, fears, and schemes of the young officer of artillery, sharing the contents of his own scantily furnished purse with him who was to sway the destinies of Europe. He witnessed the various turns, or was informed of them by letter, which raised his former comrade to general, and finally commander-in-chief in Italy. No sooner had Bonaparte obtained this elevation, than he invited Bourrienne to come to him and share his prosperity. Henceforth, in the capacity of secretary and confidential friend, in Italy, in France, at sea, in Egypt, in Syria, during the struggles and triumphs of the Consulate, he was constantly by Bonaparte's side in public-ever a party to his private thoughts and plans. From the closet of Napoleon, where his secretary and himself alone laboured, proceeded, from the dictation of the former, and in the handwriting of the latter, those documents, which, now forming a portion of history, then awed or astonished Europe. In the last volume of the work, even when Bourrienne, from being too unbending in principle, had ceased to be secretary, he was often employed, and sustained offices of importance. He was also employed under Louis. Here some of his narrative is peculiarly interesting. In every case of moment he refers to original documents, very frequently autographs in his own possession. These he was enabled to preserve by a singular display of courage and address, by which he foiled first Fouché, and even Bonaparte himself; subsequently the Bourbons, who, in succession, sought to deprive him of his treasure. He now enjoys powerful protection in the Netherlands, where he has drawn up his Memoirs, or rather transcribed his journals; for seeing from the beginning that history was making, he wrote down the transactions as they occurred. To these advantages of situation and opportunity, such as no other writer on this subject ever enjoyed, Bourrienne adds excellent talents, great good sense, and, above all, a most reverential regard for truth. This he searches out, and displays at all hazards. Prejudices he has, but they are of the right kind, in favour of humanity and liberty. Even these sentiments, however honourable their excesses might be esBut with all these adteemed, are never allowed to oppose truth. vantages, the work, to be valuable at once, and interesting to the general reader, will require care in the translation. The style is light and elegant, but very loose, diffuse, and full of repetitions. These give great room for condensing, and indeed require it. From following the order of time, too, the facts are often perplexingly intermixed and repeated. This clogs the narrative. These superfluities must be lopped off, the diffuseness condensed, and the facts arranged, in a translation; and it is evident that this cannot be ventured upon except with the utmost care, and by a responsible translator. We look, however, with confidence to Dr Memes. Besides his well-known talents and discrimination, he visited most of the scenes of Bonaparte's operations in Europe, in Italy, Germany, and Holland, coll cting information on the spot, with views, long since laid aside, of doing something on the same subject. Under his superintendence, the work can hardly fail to be well executed.

A History of the Western Highlands and Hebrides, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, by Donald Gregory, Esq. Assistant Secretary to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, is preparing for publication. This work is meant to be one of more research than any that has hitherto appeared on the subject of the Highlands; and, from what we know of the talents of the author, we are inclined to augur very favourably of its contents.

An interesting Memoir of the Rev. Thomas Bradbury, author of the Mystery of Godliness, &c. by the Rev. John Brown of Whitburn, is in the press.

Obedience, a Tale, by Mrs Sherwood, is announced.

Our able friend and contributor, William Kennedy, who has already displayed so much poetical genius in his "Fitful Fancies," and other works, has a new volume in the press, to be entitled, The Arrow and the Rose, and other Poems. Mr Kennedy is also engaged with a prose work for one of the Family Libraries.

Our readers will be glad to learn that Mr Tennant is about to pub

lish, in a separate pamphlet, all the articles upon the Psalms which have appeared in the Literary Journal, with some additions, which may probably yet be made through the medium of our pages. The pamphlet will be ready previous to the meeting of the General Assembly.

A disquisition on the Geography of Herodotus, with a Map; and Researches on the History of the Scythians, Getæ, and Sarmatians, from the German of Niebuhr, is in the press.

Colonel Bory de St Vincent has been appointed by the French Minister of the Interior to prepare a work on Greece; and, having directed the first expedition to the Morea, he will probably be able to furnish many interesting particulars relative to that country.

A Second Voyage round the World, translated from the German of Otto von Kotzebue, is in the press.

We understand that the new work now in preparation, by the author of "The Confessions of an English Opium-Eater," (Thomas De Quincey, Esq.) will not be published before next winter.

MR TAYLOR'S CONCERT.-This concert, which took place in the Hopetoun Rooms on Thursday evening, was crowdedly attended. Mr Taylor, of course, distinguished himself as the first harp-player in Edinburgh. Miss Louisa Jarman sang two songs, "Elena oh tu," and "My own Blue Bell." We never heard this young lady to greater advantage. In the last song she was honoured with an unanimous encore. Miss E. Paton and Miss Inverarity were also encored in their respective songs; and the audience generally seemed to be well satisfied with the entertainment which Mr Taylor had prepared for them.

magistrate before whom they were taken had the wit or imperti. nence to quote to them the well-known couplet,—

PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY'S FOURTH CONCERT.-The fourth and last Concert given by the Society this season, took place in the Assembly Rooms, on Friday, the 16th inst. It was respectably, but not crowdedly, attended. The instrumental music was, as usual, very good; and among the vocalists, Miss E. Paton especially distinguished herself, her "Ah, compir" being one of the most brilliant efforts she has made this season. Our readers will find some able remarks pon this concert in the Weekly Journal of Wednesday last. We do not always agree with the musical criticism in that paper; but on the present occasion it has our sincere approbation.

Madame Vestris has been applying to Sir Richard Birnie for assist ance because she was hissed the other evening at Drury Lane, when she made her appearance in the part of Captain Macheath. If Madame Vestris had been hissed a little more frequently in the course of her career, it would have been better for her. From the last published statement of the number of students at the English Universi ties, it appears that Cambridge has now a majority over Oxford, having increased by 118 students in the last year. The present total of the members of Cambridge is 5263, while that of Oxford is 5259. Theatrical Gossip.-The Easter melodrame at Drury Lane is call. ed the "Dragon's Gift, or the Scarf of Flight and the Mirror of Light:" it is very splendid, and was completely succes-ful. That at Covent Garden is called the "Wigwam," and is founded on Cooper's novel the "Pioneers." Astley's has re-opened with "an equestrian romantic tale," entitled "The Spectre Monarch and his Phantom Steed." It gives Ducrow an opportunity of exhibiting his unrival led skill.-At the Surrey, they have made a melodrame of young Burke's exhibitions.-The Cobourg rejoices in Monsieur Gouffe, the man-monkey, and a piece of spectacle bearing the captivating title of after the model of "Tom and Jerry."-The stupid old twaddler "Charles the Terrible."-Sadler's Wells has brought out something Colman has just given a new specimen of the manner in which he MR MURRAY'S CONCERT.-This Concert took place in the Hope- exercises the functions of Dramatic Licenser. In the English vertoun Rooms last Tuesday evening, and was well attended. We have sion of the opera of "Cinderella," brought out a few nights since at seldom heard at a benefit concert a more pleasing selection of music. Covent Garden Theatre, the following dialogue originally occurred: The orchestra, though not full, was well selected and admirably" Dandini. Pray, Master Alidoro, help me, for I am a great man drilled; and Murray's solos on the violin, especially that in which now, and can do nothing!-Alidoro. How, sirrah! is that one of our he introduced the Scotch air, "Here's a health to ane that's awa," privileges?-Dandini. Certainly; what do the great do but live by were in themselves a treat of no mean order. Miss Inverarity sang the labours of the little?" Mr Colman struck out the whole of Denher chef d'œuvre, the Scena composed for her by Murray from "Il dini's last answer. Surely Mr Colman must be a goose, or an old Sacraficio d' Abramo," and her efforts were, as they deserved, rapwoman in disguise.-Lalande has made her debut at the King's turously applauded. Miss E. Paton was no less successful in an exTheatre, and been well received.—Mrs Waylett leaves the Tottenquisite piece of music by Niedermeyer, never before performed in ham-street Theatre shortly: she is engaged at Vauxhall-Miss Foote this country, but which we hope to hear her frequently sing again. will shortly make her appearance at Covent Garden.-Fawcett and Her fair sister, Miss I. Paton, sang her favourite song, "In infancy Mrs Davenport take their farewell benefits this season.-T. P. Cooks our hopes and fears," very beautifully. Mr Wilson was unfortu- commences a three months' engagement at the Surrey, at Whitsunnately so hoarse, that it was difficult to say what sort of music he tide, at L.30 a-week, and three clear benefits.-Mr Goldsmid canes sang. The principal novelty of the evening was the debut of Miss out as Monsieur Morbleu.-Braham and Miss Paton are engaged for Orme, as a pianist. She performed variations on a favourite theme both the Liverpool and Norwich festivals.-Macready, who visited from the opera of Semiramide, and a fantasia of Czerny's from the the Giant's Causeway during the Easter Holidays, has been playing Siege of Corinth. We question whether more difficult and chroma- for a few evenings in Belfast.—The benefits will commence here tic music could have been selected ; but Miss Orme's articulation and on the termination of T. P. Cooke's engagement.—Miss Jarman has touch are both excellent,-her style is full of expression and feeling, been exciting great admiration in Glasgow. She has played there —and she certainly bids fair to be a distinguished ornament to the the part of Aloyse, with much success.-Mackay goes to Glasgow musical circles of Edinburgh. If her object be to teach the piano- for a few evenings next week.-During the Glasgow sacrament a forte, we know of no young lady to whose care we would sooner en- tolerable company performed at Doune. trust any pupils in whose progress we took an interest. Two MS. songs by Murray, and one by John Thomson, were also produced at this concert, and were all well received.

CHIT-CHAT FROM LONDON.-There is a good article in the last number of the Literary Gazette, exposing what the editor calls "the cut and dry system of criticism," or what he might have termed, "the art of reviewing books without reading them." It has of late become customary for publishers to pick out a score or so of what they consider the most striking passages of any new book, and to print them on a loose separate sheet of paper, which they forthwith transmit to all the journals and newspapers, in order to save reviewers the trouble of making their own extracts. The consequence is, that we see the same extracts in all the papers, and run a great chance of being nauseated with the new work before we have cut up the leaves. In common with our contemporary, we protest against such scissor work, and are confident that no such helps will ever be resorted to by the conductors of the Literary Journal.-It is said that Moore does not intend to take any notice of Campbell's late attack, his friends being of opinion that it does not deserve the compliment.-Colburn and Bentley continue to publish with great spirit, but the other booksellers are not doing much at present.-Mr Charles Nicholson, the celebrated flute-player, challenged a few days ago Mr James, the editor of "The Flutist's Magazine," in consequence of an article which appeared in the last number of that periodical, entitled "Death of Charles Tootle Too, Esq." Both gentlemen, however, were apprehended, and bound over to keep the peace. The

"Strange that such difference there should be
'Twixt Tweedledum and Tweedledee."

SAT.

MON.
TUES.

WEEKLY LIST OF PERFORMANCES.
April 17-23.

Paul Pry, & Deaf as a Post.

Black-eyed Susan, Monsieur Tonson, & Gilderoy.
Do., Luke the Labourer, & Cramond Brig.
WED.
Do., & The Pilot.
THURS. Do., & Presumption.
FRI.
Do., & The Pilot.

TO OUR CORRESPONDENTS.

We are reluctantly obliged to postpone "The Apology, Part III." till next Saturday.

THE EDITOR IN HIS SLIPPERS, No. VII, in our next. "The Beauties of the Tay and its Tributaries" shall have a place as soon as possible.-"T. B. J." shall hear something about himself next Saturday. We are not aware whether the Prospectus of the "Medical Provident Institution of Scotland" is meant as an adver tisement or not. It could not conveniently appear in the Literary Journal in any other shape.-The Letters of "Presbyter" and of "J. N. B." of Dundee, shall be forwarded to Mr Tennant.

"Our fair correspondent, "Amelia B." will, no doubt, be shocked to hear that we still remain inexorable.-We shall endeavour to find room for the verses by "Alpha;" if he has any better, he may send them to us in the meantime.-There is promise of future improveSerenade" by " P." come up to our standard. ment in the lines by "Juvenis."-Neither the "Song" nor the

Antiquaries, for " M. D. Greville," read "M. De Gerville"
ERRATUM.-In our last report of the proceedings of the Society of

[ocr errors]

EDINBURGH LITERARY JOURNAL;

No. 77.

WEEKLY REGISTER OF CRITICISM AND BELLES LETTRES.

THE EDITOR IN HIS SLIPPERS;

OR,

THE

SATURDAY, MAY 1, 1830.

A PEEP BEHIND THE SCENES.

No. VII.

"Stulta, jocosa, canenda, dolentia, seria, sacra, En posita ante oculos, Lector amice, tuos; Quisquis es, hic aliquid quod delectabit habebis; Tristior an levior, selige quicquid amas."

OR,

"Come, ye SLIPPERS, fair and free, In Heaven worn by Euphrosyne,-"

FRIENDS, readers, and contributors! May has come once more! the "merry month of May !"-smiling in the blue skies, and on the feathery clouds, sparkling on the broad breast of the placid sea, and greatly rejoicing the hearts of all the fishes in brook, stream, lake, and river. Many a pair of slippers that formed the solace of the winter fire-side, are now stowed away far back under a huge chest of drawers, or behind a great trunk, or in a rarely-frequented closet, covered with dust, neglected and forgotten! Such is the world's gratitude. It is attentive to its friends as long as they can be of any service, but its attachment ends with the chance of some reciprocal advantages arising out of the connexion. Fie on't! Such is not our mode of treating the companions of bygone days ;

come once more unto our willing feet, and albeit the grate sparkles in the brightness of its own well-tempered metal, unconscious of a fire,-albeit our easy-chair, into which we sink as into a bed of eider-down, be now for a time discarded, albeit the air is soft and balmy, and when we throw open the casement of our suburban retreat, the perfume of a thousand flowers hurries the sense into Elysium, still we are prepared to address our SLIPFERS in the language of Goldsmith, and say,

"Eternal blessings crown our earliest friend!”

In the long, frosty, blue, coal-consuming nights of winter, how often have they met us smilingly after the fatigues of the day, and, with the gentle pressure of mute affection, a pressure like unto that of a maiden's soft and thrilling hand,—how often have they restored our wounded spirit to the conviction that some small portion of peace and happiness was still left for us in the world!

It was in such moments as these that the better portions of our nature awoke within us, and all the scorpions of our heart laid themselves down to sleep. The petty cares, the contemptible jealousies, the perpetual squabbles, which agitate the literary world, and in the vortex of which even we are sometimes involved, faded away like the mist of morning upon a mountain brow, and we felt prepared to love and to be beloved by all mankind. Then came tripping forth, like fairies in the moonlight, our affections and gentler feelings;-a single stanza of divine poesy,—a tone or two of pensive music, perchance one of our old accustomed melodies, loved from childhood, and loved now a thousand times more because those whom we love, love them too,—the glance of a kind eye,—the sound of a familiar voice,-each or all

PRICE 6d.

of these has wellnigh brought our mother's weakness to our eyes, and we blessed God, that though inured in all the cold and artificial habits of the common earth, we were still capable of casting the stiff mantle of manhood away, and recalling to ourselves the nature of a boy who lies among the heather on a bright hill-side, and dreams of the crystal world he is about to enter. And what is man, or the life of man, worth, if he cannot continue to throw, at intervals, a rainbow light over the dulness of reality? Woe unto him who scoffs at the existence, and ridicules the enjoyment, of all pure and lovely emotions! We speak not of the boisterous mirth of nocturnal conviviality, though even that hath its redeeming points;-we speak not with the view of painting a fabled Utopia, which hath no being in the nature of things. All that we stand up for, (and now that our SLIPPERS are on, we do not stand so high by a full inch as we did before)-all that we stand up for is, that no poet has ever exaggerated the value and the might of friendship, or the glory and the rapture of woman's love. Poets, with all their inspiration, have but limited powers. They can describe but what they see, and what they feel. They may express feelings, which, in the particular case alluded to, did not belong to them, but which other circumstances either have called or will call forth. Hence all the privileges they enjoy ;-friendship is with them a passion, and a glad delirium ;-love, a transport and a splendour. Let it be granted that the friendship dies out, and that the love may in time grow cold. It matters not; better to be loved by them for a day, than by all the rest of mankind for a hundred years! We speak no rash and hasty paradox. What is friendship? What is love? It is a succession of feelings towards another, existing within the recesses of our own nature. To a certain extent, these feelings may be expressed by outward signs, and made palpable to the object beloved, but only to a certain ex tent, and in noble natures to a wretchedly limited extent. By far the higher part of the mystery remains unseen. The movement of the outward wheels may be discovered, but the delicate mechanism of the interior, productive of the acutest nicety of perception, is hid from the vulgar eye-is for ever incapable of being communicated even to the object on which all our regard is lavished. But the mechanism, or, to use a higher and a better word, the soul, with its concomitant emotions, exists, though the weakness of the material senses cannot discover them to others. They exist, and for ever hallow to the mind of the poet the subject by which such emotions are called forth. Is this a matter of little moment? Is it a small thing to be a poet's friend,-a poet's love?-not for what he writes or says about his friendship or his love, but for what he feels, and what he could not ever attempt either to write or say? Words are but feeble types of thoughts. They are not thoughts itself, they are but symbols of it. Can a symbol ever be so good as an original? Think you that the language of a book, or even the syllables which drop from the tongue, are equally fervent and expressive as the throbbings of the unseen heart? or as those lights and shades of feeling, which cause neither a thrilling nor a throbbing, which pass like a sun-blink, or the reflection

of a cloud upon the water, but which stamp the character and elevate the individual into something far different from the multitude? O ye men of genius! wear SLIPPERS, and commune with your own hearts, and be still.

*

*

*

Not having read over the above paragraphs, we shall not be too positive, but we are certainly inclined to think A set of they contain some very splendid writing. Nay, dolts will assert that it is vain in us to say so. it has even reached our ears, that the EDITOR IN HIS SLIPPERS is thought at times rather conceited and egotistical! Good God! (as Mr Brougham says in the House of Commons when he wants to be very eloquent,) what an idea is this to enter into the mind of a rational human being! Because we sometimes make our own popularity the subject of a good-humoured joke, must we be therefore classed with the petty coxcombs of this and former ages? By Jupiter Ammon! and likewise by Jupiter Tonans, and also by the Capitoline Jove! the day will come when we shall shake that notion out of the minds of our worst foes! Proud of being the Editor of What is it, the Edinburgh Literary Journal, forsooth! after all, but a mere sixpenny periodical, very neatly printed, to be sure, by Ballantyne, and in very universal circulation and esteem, but still only a weekly Gazette of sixteen pages? Heaven and earth! who is it fancies that periodical writing of any kind would satisfy our ambition? Look at the editors of all the periodicals, they are mere nobodies, unless they have done something distinct and apart from contributing anonymous articles to Does LockReviews, Magazines, or Literary Journals. hart owe his reputation to that most respectable and heavy concern the Quarterly Review? What has Jeffrey made by the Edinburgh, except that he fretted his hour upon the stage, and then departed? Who ever thinks of Campbell as the editor of the New Monthly, with its Cockney sketches and little bits of unreadable trash of poetry? Will not a single page of the "Isle of Palms," or the "City of the Plague," or "Lights and Shadows," or something he will yet write, do more to perpetuate the name of John Wilson than all Blackwood's Magazine put together? Is Dr Bowring better known as a poetical translator from the modern languages, or as the conductor As of that able and suspicious review the Westminster? for the scribblers in Frazer's Magazine, the Monthly, and others, which nobody ever sees or hears of, unless through the medium of a newspaper advertisement, their very names are unknown; and though they were, they would not live one week longer than their own periodicals, which will be short enough. The Edinburgh Literary Journal ranks, we believe, higher than any other weekly miscel.. lany now in existence; but what kind of satisfaction is it to know this, when we also know that we could, if we chose, rise to as great a height above the Journal, as the Journal is above Cobbett's Register, or the Cork Quarterly Magazine? Vanity, indeed! We shall see, before five years elapse, whether the EDITOR IN HIS SLIPPERS is a person to be sneezed at in this way. The Edinburgh Literary Journal, like a rock rolled from the top of a mountain, shall go on to prosper with increased celerity and quickly accumulating influence, but it shall be confessed, So ere long, to be only the smallest gem in our coronet. much for egotism. Let the small fry sneer and snarl if they will. WE have said it.

whatever you have been doing, we have a regard for thee.
But if thou art a man, then, O man! away with thee to
the country for as long a period as thou canst a day, a
week, or a month. Thou knowest not how fresh and
Couldst thou but get
lovely it looks at this moment.
one glimpse of the blossoms upon the cherry-trees, we
Thou smilest with
should have a greater respect for thee.

a grave serenity, and thinkest to thyself—“ I am a lawyer,
and lo! I wear a wig; what have I to do with the blossoms
on the cherry-trees?" But again, we say unto thee, O man!
fling thy wig to the four winds of heaven, take unto thyself
the feelings of a boy-a rosy blossom newly shaken from
the tree of life—and away with thee to the blessed gren
We should have rejoiced to have taken thee with
fields.
us to Roseneath, that fairest peninsula in the Firth of
Clyde, which we visited but a few short days ago. We
should have rejoiced to point out to thee the beauties of
Helensburgh, and the loveliness of the Gair Loch, with
its towering amphitheatre of hills in the background; nor
should we have asked thee to have thrown thyself after
us, when we were foolish enough to tumble out of the
steam-boat into the water, for well we know that it is
only the ignoble and the undistinguished who die the
death of a blind puppy,-therefore we smiled in the water
with a calm smile, and, after a brief space, regained the
boat.

Revert we once more to the pleasant fact, that this is the first morning of May. Where hast thou been, dear reader?-away up on the mountain side, gathering the sweetest and the brightest dew of all the year, or down by the stream, catching a score of the biggest trout it boasts, or lying in bed, amidst a profusion of shattered dreams dancing round thee like motes in the sunbeam, till the breakfast bell rang for the last time, and you knew that all the rest would be in the parlour before you, and that the eggs would be cold, and the Literary Journal half read before you got down? Well, never mind;

Reader! perchance thou art a lady! If so, Heaven bless thee! Art thou fond of flowers? Thou art perhaps the lady who wrote the lines in the style of Miss Landon on a tuft of early violets, which are as follows:

"The first that grew this season!

I have been miles for them! How many miles?—
Just two!"

Well, it must have been a pleasant walk, whether short or long. Have you a passion for primroses? Here they are in living groups,—most lovely and gentle things! Do you like cowslips, whose perfume is like the beautiful thought of an innocent girl? If so, there is a bank all golden with them. But are not all flowers alike? They are nature's eternal jewels, and their odour oppresses the heart with a joy that weighs it down almost as if it were a sorrow. We hate a lady who looks coldly upon flowers; we love her best who is affected by them even unto sad

ness.

Come, sit thee down beneath this pleasant tree, whose tender and feathery leaves quiver in the passing zephyr, and we shall furnish thee with an hour's reading that will make thee remember with delight the EDITOR IN HIS SLIPPERS all the rest of thy days. Here is a scrap, in the first place, which we shrewdly suspect was written by ourselves as we walked in the garden yesternight, and had our attention attracted by the melancholy object which forms the subject of our poem.

TO A WITHERED CURRANT BUSH.

What is the reason, thou currant bush,
That there is not a leaf upon thee,
Although there are leaves on the gooseberry bushes,
And leaves on the old apple-tree?

Art thou asleep in thy winter sleep,
Or art thou a stubborn thing
That will not be woo'd by the April sun,
Nor the breath of the gentle spring?

The heart's-ease looks up, with a smile, in thy face,
And the primrose is silent with joy,
And the butterfly flutters from flower to flower,
Like a happy, but truant boy.

The blackbird is singing among the boughs,
And the lark 'neath the rainbow's zone;
All nature is full of the spirit of joy,
But thou art dejected alone!

« 上一頁繼續 »