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Saxon and Norman colonization, from the east and south | lands and Islands, as will be evident to those who of Scotland.

choose to consult Rymer's Fædera Angliæ, the Rotuli That the occupation of the Hebrides for centuries, by Scotiæ, and Robertson's Index of Charters by the Kings an enterprising and warlike race like the Norwegians, of Scotland. From the latter work, and other authori.. should have led to no mixture of blood between them and ties, it would be no difficult task to prove the complete the aboriginal Celts, or whatever other people the Scandi-establishment of the feudal system in the Higblandsnavian conquerors found in these islands, is a supposition as far as regards the holding of lands-prior to the reign not only too absurd to call for lengthened refutation, but, of Robert III. The Lords of the Isles, it is well known, besides, directly contrary to known facts. The M‘Leods granted charters to their different relations and vassals, have long boasted their Norwegian descent; and if the sometimes limited to heirs of a particular marriage great Sumerled was not himself sprung from the same sometimes without limitation : at one time to be held of race, as has been frequently asserted, he certainly mar- themselves—at another to be held of the crown. These ried a Scandinavian princess, (through whom, indeed, retainers generally got their charters confirmed by the came his claim to the Isles ;) consequently his undoubted crown; and on the forfeiture of the family of the Isles, such descendants, and they form the most numerous tribe the of them as did not previously hold of the crown, received, Highlands ever saw, are, to say the least, not unmired with few exceptions, after the annexation of the lordCelts. The effects of the colonization from the south and ship, new charters from the king as Lord of the Isles. east of Scotland, if less direct, must still have been sen- In every district of the Highlands and Isles, there were sibly felt; and, although without going so far as some royal bailies and chamberlains for the collection of the who would not leave us one family of Celtic descent in king's rents, feu-duties, and feudal casualties; and the the Highlands, we may safely affirm that the establish- Highland chiefs were well acquainted with the value of ment of such families as the Comyns in early, and the certain documents called Gifts of Ward an:) Marriage Gordons and Menzieses (or Mapperses) in more recent of Nonentries—and of Escheat; which they used in many times, must have been followed by a corresponding mix. cases for the purpose of extending their family influence. ture between them and the Celtic race.

The great object of the chiefs was to have the superiority, The prevalence of the Gaelic language is no sound or freeholding of all the lands occupied by their respective argument that a mixture has not taken place. It only clans,—and thus to ensure the dependence upon them of goes to show that the mass of the lower classes continued the chieftains or elders of the tribes. The latter, on the to use their old language, in preference to that of foreign other hand, were naturally desirous of becoming themconquerors or settlers; and that the same thing happened selves freeholders, and domestic feuds were not unfrein the Highlands of Scotland to the Norse and Saxon quently the consequence of their being successful. tongues, as in England to the language of the Norman All these facts, which admit of easy proof, show that conquerors, or in Ireland to that of the numerous and the feudal system was, not only in name, but in fart, powerful descendants of such English settlers as esta- introduced among the Highland tribes much earlier than blished themselves by marriage or otherwise without the is generally supposed. What then were the effects of pale.

this system upon the inbabitants? One great effect was, But to what purpose do so many Scottish Highlanders as we have already noticed—and as a very slight inspecassert, in the face of facts like these, the purity of their tion of any of the controversial works published by HighCeltic blood—and deny their descent from Scandinavian land chiefs will show—that the chiefship gradually ancestors ? Were these Scandinavians then so ignoble—so became, in: almost every instance, a territorial honour. little distinguished-so inferior to the Celts—that to be This at least appears to have been the general rule. descended from them is accounted dishonourable ? On There were, no doubt, frequent exceptions to this rule, the contrary, it ought to be the proudest boast of every arising from the Celtic manners of the mass of the people, Highlander, that he belongs to a people who have on in which led them to prefer their ancient law of tanistry to numerable occasions vindicated their claim to a descent the feudal law, and, upon important occasions, to indulge from the most enterprising and gallant race that the world that preference by choosing their chief from the nearest has seen since the decline of the Roman empire-those of kiu to the feudal heir, when the latter happened not heroes who, issuing from the coasts of Norway and the to be agreeable to the clan. Upon such occasions, illeshores of the Baltic, established thrones for themselves in gitimacy was no bar to the object of their choice attaining every corner of Europe! Nor is an Anglo-Saxon or Anglo- the station of chief, as might be illustrated by numerous Norman ancestry less honourable or less distinguished. instances; but it should be noticed, that as most of the

We come now to consider the introduction of the feu- alleged cases of illegitimacy occur during the period imdal system into the Highlands, and its effects on the mediately preceding the Reformation, they may bave people. Several charters are extant, granted by King arisen from obstacles thrown in the way of marriage by Alexander III., of lands in the Highlands; and in the the ecclesiastics, at a time when the abuses of the Church reign of this prince, in 1263, mention is made by the of Rome had reached their height, and may have been Norwegian author of the account of Haco's expedition, only considered disqualifications under the canon, not -of one of the great lords of the Hebrides holding lands under the civil law. It would be somewhat difficult both of Alexander and Haco, and offering to resign those otherwise to account for some facts wbich appear in he held of the latter, as he could not serve both kings, several Highland genealogies, unless we were to suppose and had chosen to stand or fall with the Scottish monarch. - which is hardly admissible that marriage was very This fact shows the establishment of the feudal system lightly regarded among the Highlanders. in the Hebrides, and adjacent Highlands even at that Whatever the case may be in regard to illegitimacy, early period, and many more from the same, or equally it is at least certain that, in feudal times, the best and good, authority might be adduced. In the public docu- only real title to the chiefship of a clan, was possession, ments regarding the disputes between Baliol and Bruce in whatever way acquired, if recognised by the body of -in those of the reign of Baliol—but more particularly the clan. Thus, if the clan so pleased, an heiress might in those of the reign of Bruce, we have ample proof carry the honour to her husband's family, as in the ense of the prevalence of the feudal system in the High.. of the Clanchattan; or several sons might be disinherited,

and a distant relation called to the succession, as happened * Another cause of mixture may be here alluded to, one very in the same tribe at a later period. familiar to the Irish antiquaries, and which must have affected the Dalriadic Scots before their settlement in Argyle; viz. that

Having come to this conclusion, we are naturally arising from the early colonization of Ireland by the Belgą, or tempted to enquire what was so peculiarly Celtic in the Firbolys, as they are styled by the Irish annalists a people whose Highland system of clanship? Certainly not the succesremains are hy many considered as proving them incontestably to have been a branch of the great Gothic or Teutonic race. sion of the chiefs, for the principal rule, as we have seen, was derived from the feudal system. The truth is, little does any thing we know of himself chain us down clanship, in its modern acceptation, was nearly as preva- to an individual author, that we feel, in reading them, lent in the Lowlands as in the Highlands. We frequently they may be viewed as spontaneous growths, as well as read in the acts of Parliament, of the Border clans, and, the merest “primrose by the river's brim.” There is with the exception of the occasional appearance of the law something mythological and pleasing in the thought; and of tanistry among the Highlanders, and of certain Celtic the identity of the dramas with nature harmonizes with predilections, which led every man dwelling under a it. In other plays, however natural and skilful the Highland chief to call himself by the surname of his plot, however true the passion, there is something in their landlord, thereby increasing the apparent numbers of the cut-and-dry arrangement, and in the vague universality blood-relations of the chief, the Johnstones and Arm of their imnagery, that reminds us their home and dwellstrongs seem to differ from the M.Donalds and M‘Leans, ing-place is in the pasteboard and canvass world of the chiefly in name, dress, and language. Deadly feuds stage. But Shakspeare's plays, although firmly knit and were alike prevalent among them; and the slaughter frained, containing nothing that does not tend to the of a chief, or even of a clansman, was equally consider- denouement, seem to the unobservant eye to ramble on in ed as calling upon the whole clan for revenge.-It does an easy gossiping way to the close ; and they are redolent Dot, indeed, appear, that the custom of keeping bards, of meadows and woods. They ought to be performed as or that of fosterage, ever prevailed in the Lowlands Miltou's Comus was, on the greensward, before some generally, in modern times. These were decidedly Celtic tangled grove. The reality of their poetry is so strong, customs; but there can be no doubt that, like the that the make-shifts of the stage show poorly off beside taking of Calps, they prevailed in Galloway and Car-it. rick,* (where Gaelic was spoken in the reign of Queen The question bas been started, whether Shakspeare was Mary.) to a comparatively recent period : and we may conscious of his own powers. A certain knot of critics therefore presume, that they obtained all over Scotland will have it, that he was something like bis own Touchbefore the Anglo-Saxon colonization, and could only have stone, that he could not “ be 'ware of his wit till he broke become obsolete by degrees.

his shins over it," and that this accident never betel him. It is a singular fact, and one well worthy of notice in They argue, that he was well on in the years of manhood considering the subject of clanship, that in most, if not before he betook him to the rhyming trade; that he threw all, of the Highland genealogies, the founder of the family out his good things as want forced him; that he was a -the individual from whom all the clan boast to be de- jolly fellow and fond of company; that he retired, long scended— flourished since the introduction of the feudal before he could be called an old man, to his native place, system, and, in many cases, centuries after that event. In abandoning literary labour, and leaving his works to take these circumstances, the clans, thus gradually arising, care of themselves. All this is very ingeniously noted could not fail to be affected by the feudal laws and cus- but let us bear Shakspeare himselt. toms; and it may thus be a question, whether clanship, He was not insensible to the arrogance with which as it existed in the Highlands in later times, and also in persons engaged in the active business of life were apt to the Lowlands, as we have seen, was not as much a conse- look down upon those whose business it was to mimic quence of the feudal system as derived from Celtic customs. their strut and pretensions. It appears from his hundred On the whole, it would appear that, from the mixture and eleventh sonnet, that he felt deeply the unjust cons of races, and the introductiou of the feudal system, the tempt with which actors were regarded in his time. inhabitants of the Highlands, although speaking a Celtic

“O for my sake, do thou with fortune chide, dialect, have gradually departed more and more from

The guilty goddess of my harmful deeils, the pure Celtie inodel, and consequently cannot be looked

That did not better for my life provide, upon in the same light as the Irish tribes, among many

Than public means, which public manners breeds ; of whom the law of tanistry, gavelkind, and other Celtic

Thence comes it that my name receives a brand, customs-untouched by the feudal system-prevailed to

And almost thence my nature is subdued a comparatively recent period.

To what it works in, like the dyer's hand."

But he seems also to have felt that his jovial and merSHAKSPEARE'S BIRTHDAY.

curial disposition exposed him to the censure of the sourer For a month proverbially consecrated to folly, April sort nearly as much as his profession. Witness the fol has been strangely fertile in great men. They grow in lowing sonnet: clusters like nuts. Thus, the 22d is the birthday of

" "Tis better to be vile, than vile esteemid, Henry Fielding, the 23d, of Shakspeare, and the 24th, of

When not to be, receives reproach of being. Oliver Cromwell. What an association! The Hogarth

And the just pleasure lost, which is so deern'd of authors beside him who combined the varied excel. Not by our feeling, but by others' seeiny. lencies of all bis tribe ; and both beside him who wrote For why should others' false, adulterate eyes his stern thoughts with sword-blows.

Give salutation io my sportive bloodl? Shakspeare is the greatest riddle that the world has Or on my frailties why are frailer spies, known. People think they know the author of the

Which in their wills count bad what I think good ?

No,-I am that I am; and they that level plays that bear his name, because a name, and nothing

At my abuses, reckon up their own : more, is attacbed to them; and they thought that they

I may be straight, though they themselves be bevel; did not know the author of the Waverley Novels, because By their rank thoughts my deeds must not be shown; Sir Walter Scott would not confess to them—it is strange Unless this general evil they maintain,to wbat a degree we are the slaves of words. What All men are bad, and in their badness reign.” have we of Shakspeare but the name, and two or three

One so sensitive to public opinion was not likely to anecdotes, the one half of which gives us no idea of the man, and the other is of doubtful authority. Shakspeare's

come so frequently before its tribunal in the character of

a dramatic authór, without seeking to scan his own plays are the voice of nature, that every one feels and so

merits. No one who reads Shakspeare will accuse him * Complaints were made to Parliament, in the year 1489, by the of want of variety ; but we find uniform!y that those lieges dwelling in Galloway and Carrick, against certain gentle. least apt to repeat themselves, are also the least easily meu, “ Heddis of Kyn,” for taking of “Cawpis ;” and measures

satisfied with their own efforts. In one of his sonnets were taken to put a stop to this exaction. The Calp was an acknowledgment of chiefship, and equivalent to the Heriot. It con- we find him taxing himself with monotony of style and tinued to be raised by many of the Highland chiefs in the begin. thought, and seeking to obviate the objection by what ning of the last century; and there are instances of it in Wales to has rather the air of a forced conceit: this day.

“Why is my verse so barren of new pride ?

entitled Miscellaneous Literature. The regular business So far from variation or quick change?

being concluded, Lord Meadowbank recounted to the meetWhy, with the time, do I not glance aside

ing the circumstances connected with a late discovery in To new-found methods and to compounds strange? Fair Isle, Shetland, of a number of Anglo-Saxon coins, Why write I still all one ever the same,

found almost under the same circumstances as the pose of And keep invention in a noted weed,

“ Baby Yellowley,"mentioned in the Pirate, ( vol. iii. p. 54,) That every word doth almost tell my name,

and near the spot assigned in the novel for that lady's babiShowing their birth, and where they did proceed ? tation. As this treasure was discovered considerably beO know, sweet love, I always write of you,

neath the present surface of the ground, and as no Shetland And you and love are still my argument ;

annals give any account of its being deposited, the coincidence So all my best is dressing old words new,

certainly implicates Sir Walter in a connexion with unSpending again what is already spent :

cannie means of receiving inforination. It is well for him For as the sun is daily new and old,

that witchcraft is no longer penal. There was a thoughtSo is my love still telling what is told.”

ful expression in Lord Meadow bank's eye wbile telling his

story, which seemed expressive of a regret that the circuinBut the most desponding appreciation of his own stances could not now be expiscated in a court of justice. poetry to which we find him giving vent, is in his thirtysecond sonnet. “ If thou survive my well-contented day,

EDINBURGH DRAMA. When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover, We know not what we can well say of Young in addiAnd shalt by fortune once more re-survey

tion to our previous criticisms, except that his last appearThese poor rude lines of thy deceased lover, Compare them with the bettering of the time;

ance was his best. “ Nought on the stage so much became And though they he outstripp'd by every pen,

him as the leaving of it." We speak both of his powerful Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme,

performance in Hamlet, and of his manly and sensible Exceeded by the height of happier men.

leave-taking speech. In lieu of all remark, therefore, we O then vouchsafe me but this loving thought!

this week present our readers with a fly-leaf, containing Had my friend's muse grown with this growing age, three heads of Young-in Hamlet, Brutus, and Macbeth A dearer birth than this his love had brought, To march in ranks of better equipage :

-drawn by a young artist of some promise, and lithoBut since he died, and poets better prove,

graphed by our own Forrester--the unequalled in this Theirs for their style I'll read, his for his love."

department of art. We offer this trifle as a pledge of our

desire to exert ourselves to the utmost, and as a reThe uniform gentleness of Shakspeare's muse, and his spectful tribute to an amiable man, and an accomplished apparent carelessness of the world's opinion, do not, actor. therefore, prove that he was without his anxieties on the score of his reputation. They only show that he had the sense and strength of will to conceal them. This is all the difference between manly endurance and whining

ORIGINAL POETRY. complaint. Not to be sensible to the want of success, is not to be a man, but weakly to bewail it, is to be “ the baby of a girl."

THE GUESTS OF NIGHT.

By John Malcolm.

The dreams that darkness brings-
LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES OF
EDINBURGH,

Upon the morning's wings

Depart, and leave no traces in the light ;
SOCIETY OF ANTIQUARIES.

And waking ones by day,

Delusive oft as they,
Monday, 11th April.

And evanescent, fade into the night.
Sir Henry JARDINE in the Chair,
Present, The Hon. Lord Mendowbank; Drs Carson,

Amidst the illumined ball
Alison, Borthwick, Keith, Huie; Messrs J. T. Gibson- Of song and festival,
Craig, Sivright, W. Allan, Maidment, Laing, Stevenson, This hour, I see fair faces round me ranged;
Macdonald; Rev. Mr Chapman, and many others.

The next, by paler gleams, SEVERAL donations having been announced by the curator,

Amid the land of dreams, the secretary read some extracts from a letter addressed to I look around, and lo! the guests are changed. him by Lieut.-General Ainslie, F.S.A., Scot. from Paris, mentioning that several of the corresponding members of And who are they that pass, the Society had received gold medals, and other prizes, from As o'er the wizard's glass, the Institute of France, for essays on subjects of antiqua

Before my spirit's gaze, with noiseless tread ? rian research. A communication from the Rev. W. J. D. Waddilove,

The earth-departed forms, of Bracon-Grange, was read, which contained some re

The undisturb'd by storms marks suggested by the perusal of Dr Hibbert's Essay on On sea or shore—the cold and silent dead. the Lawtings of Orkney and Shetland, printed in the Society's Transactions, vol. iji. To this succeeded some With faces fix'd and wan, notices from the Public Records regarding James Monteith, That memory loves to scan; the manufacturer of the brass gun, dated Edinburgh, 1642, Now trooping on my trance, in long array, which was taken at the last siege of Bhurtpore, and now lies in the Society's Museum-communicated by Mr Mac

From their eternal home donald. The Secretary next drew the attention of the

The shrouded sleepers come, meeting to an address read before the Royal Irish Academy, Then, mute as moonlight shadows, shrink away. hy John D'Alton, Esq. of Dublin, “On the Necessity of publishing the Ancient Annals, &c. of Ireland," and stated The playmate there I see, that Mr D’Alton was anxious to have the opinions of all With whom I chased the bee, those who take an interest in the history of Ireland, on the best mode of carrying this desirable object into effect.

When we together revell’d through the bowers, The same gentleman then read his remarks on the clan

Till in the twilight dim ship of the Highlands. Our readers will find this able We sung our evening hymn, and important paper in the department of to-day's Journal And droop'd in slumber, twined like twinborn flowers

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SPRING-LADIES' DRESSES_“CAULLER OYSTERS” enough to make him proud of the relationship, alternately -BATHING.

teasing and caressing him. For one in this last stage of,

life, Spring hath a beauty not its own. It is the season In youth we love the darksome lawn,

of hope. Brush'd by the owlet's wing ;

In the prime of life alone is man capable of duly apThen, twilight is preferr'd to dawn,

preciating beauty. The first impetuous thrill of passion And autumn to the spring.

is over, and he can look calmly upon external objects. Sad fancies do we then affect,

But in the fulness of his strength he rests upon himself In luxury of disrespect,

for happiness—he feels no dependence upon foreign To our own prodigal excess

aid. Neither attributing to external sources the bliss, Of too familiar happiness.

of his own passionate imagination, nor needing to prop up his imbecility upon the bending and broken reeds of

a perishable world, he is more likely to estimate every, But something whispers to my heart,

thing at its true rate. He sees nature neither in the That, as we downward tend,

indistinct haze of dawn nor twilight, but in the broad Lycoris ! life requires an art

light of noon. To which our souls must bend ;

Viewed thus, independently of fanciful and arbitrary A skill-to balance and supply;

associations, spring, though differing in character from And, ere the flowing fount be dry,

autumn, has charms noways inferior. There can be As soon it must, a sense to sip,

no more beautiful object in nature than a wood presents Or drink, with no fastidious lip.

at this moment of our writing. The leaves are suffiFrank greeting then, to that blithe guest,

ciently disclosed to form, when viewed at a distance, Diffusing smiles o'er land and sea,

broad continuous masses of the most delicate green; and To aid the vernal deity,

these appear set in circlets of rich brown, formed by the Whose home is in the breast !

stems and yet unclothed branches of the trees. The grass May pensive autumn ne'er present

is of the most vivid emerald. The fallow fields of a rich, A claim to her disparagement !

brown, glossy where the share has lately passed. The While blossoms and the budding spray

crows are hovering on the branches, lightly, restlessly, Inspire us in our own decay,

with their incessant and not unmusical note; or they Still as we nearer draw to life's dark goal, are hopping behind the ploughman, their glossy plumage Be hopeful spring the favourite of the soul ! glancing in the sun. “ The voice of the birds is heard

in the land.” The murmuring of waters is pleasant to There is profound knowledge of human nature in the ear, as their rippled surface, glancing back the sunthese beautiful lines. In youth we rather attribute our beams, is a music to the eye. In the genial feeling of own feelings to external nature, than receive impressions unwonted warmth, we can almost fancy ourselves growfrom it. There is a fulness in all our sensations and ing with the trees, and expanding with the flowers. feelings, the overflow of which constitutes our sufficient But the “ signs of the times” are not confined to the happiness. This we see strongly exemplified in children country,—they have penetrated even into the stony heart -the boy makes a gallant steed of papa's staff, the girl, of the town. In these balmy days, the wbole of our fair already foreboding her true sphere, lavishes a mother's population are, like so many butterflies, out and upon the care and tenderness upon a boot-jack--they constitute to wing. Amidst occasional sober-coloured cloth-pelisses, themselves that happiness for which, in after life, they and remnants of fur, the light and variegated muslins of must be beholden to others. The same thing holds in spring are beginning to show themselves. It is a season youth. It is not the green wood, or the dreamy stream, of transition; and, as in the woods, so in the city, some that pleases the stripling between boy and man-he of our ornaments are later of donning their summer athaunts the one or the other because there he can indulge tire than others. How delightful it is to change, with in the reverie of passion most secure from interruption. the season, from one species of beauty to another! It

But if youth be incapable of justly appreciating the were no easy matter to determine which is more fascinacomparative merits of different seasons and objects, be- ting ;-a fair face sparkling out from the snug enclosure cause it is too apt to see a beauty reflected from the glow- of its owner's somewhat cumbrous winter habiliments, ing tints of its own happiness in every thing; advanced or the sylph-like grace of a figure draped in robes pure age is an equally fallible judge, for a very different rea- and light as the wearer's heart. We wonder what is to son. As the shrivelled frame and decreasing vital heat be the fashion of bonnets this summer, for much depends render it pleasant to bask in some sunny nook, so does upon a tasteful selection of that important article of dress. the drying up of natural affection force man to have re- Rose-coloured bonnets are good, they reflect a richer tint course to extra excitement. The ready kindness does upon the young cheek. Nor are those straw fabrics, not gush forth spontaneously as in younger days—it needs framed like lattice-work with vacant interstices, to be deto be conjured up by some fair child, reminding the old spised. They diffuse “shadows and sunny glimmerings” man of wbat he once was, perhaps recalling the half- over the speaking features, as the spray of the hawthorn extinguished remembrance of his first love, beautiful does over the singing bird, quivering to its own ecstatic

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melody. Feathers, which add grace and dignity to a selves headlong ; away we go downwards, downwards winter costume, ought now to be laid aside as too cum- long fathoms, till we reach the sandy plain, and see by brous for summer. Artificial flowers, most grateful in the dull green light, alternate brightness and shadow winter, are as inappropriate at this season, as rouge on the flickering on it as the tiny ripples at the surface rise and cheeks of sixteen.

subside. Remaining bere till our lungs are strained with There is another sign of approaching summer weather, inaction, we give ourselves way, and up we shoot like which strikes the ruder and more robust portion of the an arrow to the surface, and emerge again to the view of community-the men-monsters, we mean. But before the spectators, dashing back the dripping bair from our we name it, we must beseech our fair readers to give forehead, rubbing our eyes, and inhaling long draughts this part of our story a fair hearing before they call us of the fresh breeze. Or we allow ourselves to be swayed vulgar. Its commencement is, we acknowledge, rather hither and thither by the huge undulations of the waves startling, but we are not altogether without hopes of re- when the breeze blows strong from the seaward. Or we conciling them to it by the time we have finished. endeavour to breast the force of the mountain torrent,

One feels at this season a sort of lingering reluctance now borne along with its whirling waters, now stemto shut one's self up in the theatre, however decided a ming them for a while, and forcing a slanting path to baunter of that place of amusement during the winter the opposite brink. There is a sensation of pride and months. The skies are so bright, the air so pleasant, that power in riding buoyantly upon the broad back of this it seems madness to imprison one's self beside the red and huge monster, which howls and creeps incessantly around bloated light of the gas lamps in an unnaturally close and the firm land, and struggling with him in his fiercest over-heated atmosphere. And—now for the plunge into moods, which the taine spirits who have never essayed the bathos—as we walk loiteringly along Prince's Stree to swim caunot even dream of. approaching Shakspeare Square with an uncertain, hesi- We have heard of teachers of swimming—Day, we tating gait, the cries of the oyster-women fall less fre- have witnessed their operations. But a more ridiculous quent and full upon the ear.

assumption we cannot conceive. Teach a man to swim! The

cry of these Naiads forms by no means one of the teach bin to walk, breathe, or exercise any other natural least marked distinctive features of the two seasons which and inevitable function. Man is a swimming animal as immediately succeed the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. much as a duck or a Newfoundland dog. Toss him into Towards the close of September, as one walks homewards the water, he floats naturally, and needs only a little rein the evening beneath the murky sky, the streets in a collection and self-possession to enable him to progress. blaze with the united brilliancy of the lamps and the shop- We learn to swim insensibly by emulating our compawindows, and thronged with passengers, this cry swells nions a little older tian ourselves, as we learn every thing upon the ear full-toned and liquid. Musical in itself, which is of use to us in life, except Latin, Mathematics, it speaks to us of frequent merry meetings during the long and a few other scraps and fag-ends of knowledge. Who nights of winter, in those taverns specially devoted to this ever heard of a teacher of the art of shooting grouse and dainty—those sole remaining specimens of the genuine partridges? We have seen some of these swimming schools old Edinburgh tavern—the only link that now binds us in our day, as we remarked above, and precious exhibitions to the festivities of Pleydell, or even the more modern they are. A grown gentleman comes to a platform beand less apocryphal revels of Sydney Smith. But inside a muddy pool, and announces himself as a student. spring it rises feebly above the din of the streets. The As soon as he is prepared for immersion, a broad belt is months are nearly expired which have in their names the fastened round his waist, to which is attached a strong mystic R. The time of oysters is fleeting away; and cord tied to a stout pole. The pupil is next directed to their shrill heralds breathe the name in a tremulous crawl down a flight of steps, and commit himself to the whisper, like faithful servants fearful of disturbing by stagnant and fetid water. The "mighty master" takes obstreperous clamour the deathbed of a beloved master, his stand on the aforesaid platform, holding out his pole or like ministering spirits of the element, about to resolve with the unhappy pupil dangling at the end of the cord themselves into the air of which they are a part.

attached to it-no unapt representation of a giant sitting From oysters to the sea is a natural transition, and on a rock, bobbing for whale. The scholar is now told leads us to one of those pleasures which now beckon us to extend himself along the surface of the water, and to haste into summer. We entertain rather a contemptu- strike with his legs and arms like a frog. He obeys, and ous feeling towards that sort of pseudo-bathing, which in an instant his head is under the water. The pole consists of wading into the water till it rises breast high, has been placed meanwhile upon a rest, so that it may then giving three breathless dips of the head beneath it, act as a lever, and no sooner is the accident noted, than and rushing eagerly back to the shore. This is the spe- with a jerk of the master's wrist bis disciple is sprawling cies delighted in by fat elderly gentlemen, cockneys, and in the air, displaying his ungainly length in strange the tribe of shopkeepers and annuitants in small towns, writhings and contortions. This interchange is repeated, who annually hire a cart or coach, (as their fashion may till, between the alternate operations of drowning and demand,) which they freight with all kinds of lumber, strangulation, the patient is black in the face. He is then and drive to some straggling village by the sea-side, dismissed, with the assurance that, after he bas received where, stowed, man, wife, and six children, in a confined a few additional lessons, he will make an excellent swimroom, with a clay floor, set round with beds, and serving the purposes of kitchen, parlour, and sleeping apartment of the whole family, they spend the dog-days for the benefit of their health. They may be rendered more

LITERARY CRITICISM. wholesome by the dipping operation we have attempted to describe, but they have no more idea of bathing, than the poor consumptive wretch, who for the first time in Family Library of French Classics. Vols. I. and II. his life has a few drops of generous wine administered to

(Oeuvres de Molière, Tomes I. et II.) Paris and

London. him as a cordial, has of the genial delight of quaffing

Treuttel and Würtz. 1831. Nectarean bumpers amid a circle of merry friends.

The Library system has been overdone to a fearful The true enjoyment of bathing is only felt when extent. We know, indeed, that more publishers than above the deep caves of ocean we are making our easy one, who have lately ein barked jo these speculations, are winding path,” or tumbling about in fantastic gambols, struggling anxiously to extricate themselves with a good “like leviathans afloat on the brine." The variety of grace. And yet here is a new “ Library," which has our wbich this amusement is susceptible is incalculable. most sincere good wishes, and for which we also believe From the face of the perpendicular rock we throw our- that there is ample rcom-a pretty voluminous, discri

mer.

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