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Whose affections were fresh as a stream of spring, When birds in the vernal branches sing
They were filled with love that passed with them,
"I remember a brow whose serene repose
"Alas for the clod that is resting now,
On those slumbering eyes-on that faded brow
"Yet the joy of grief it is mine to bear:]
I hear thy voice in the twilight air;
Thy smile of sweetness untold I see,
When the visions of evening are borne to me;
Thy kiss on my dreaming lip is warm,
My arm embraceth thy yielding form;
Then I wake in a world that is sad and drear,
"Oh, once the summer to me was bright→→ The day, like thine eyes, wore a holy light
There was bliss in existence when thou wert nigh
There was balm in the evening's rosy sigh:
Then earth was an Eden and thou its guest;]
A sabbath of blessings was in my breast: A
My heart was full of sense of love,
"Now thou art laid in that voiceless hall,
Where the earth lies damp on the sinless breast;
All that was lovely to me is there-
THE PEDLAR'S STORIES.
NO. III. THE ORDEAL.
A FEW miles, after losing sight of the Trysting Tree, and having gained the summit of a hill of very considerable pretensions in the way of magnitude and elevation, the pedlar said, "I never arrive at this spot,"-pointing to the ledge of a mass of granite that jutted out upon the margin of the road, and offered an inviting seat to the wayfarer,-" provided the weather be kindly, without making a halt, giving my nag a rest, and allowing my own eyes to feast themselves upon the varieties around far and wide." The hill in question may be said to form one of the outposts of the Highlands, or a halfway station between the bleak and towering mountains to the north and westward, and the rich, highly cultivated, and comparatively champaign country to the east and southward,―till the scenes fade into dimness and indefinite forms in the vicinity of the capital of Caledonia, and in the districts which thence stretch in a western and southern direction. Indeed in the subjacent expanse, the points and elements constitute one of the finest imaginable panoramas, scattered and crowded with the profusion of Omnipotence, as well as with innumerable tokens of the handiwork and beautyloving fancy of man; while in the opposite line of vision the grandest of backgrounds is provided by means of Alpine formations, whose vast shoulders seem to press upon each other in the distant perspective with a prodigious rivalry, and whose blue and peaked turrets seem as if to strive which shall have the honour of most truly piercing the skies and nearing the vaults of heaven. But the fillings up-the details, the thousand things, each but minor in the scale of boundless magnificence to the entire picture! Soan with something like deliberation the most prominent particulars within the eye's range on the Lowland side; and then the links of the Forth and the widening Frith,—the castellated town and swarming village,—the field of Bannockburn, and many a battle-field of romantic story, arrest the gaze
with multitudes of subordinate subjects, all rife with interest and endlessly suggestive. Nor deem you, when the look is turned to what present themselves on the other hand, that there is any lack of theme or the springtides for thought. In the cloudcaps and the mists that hover on the bosom of yonder pinnacled mountain, you imagine of the lovely lakes that sleep below, or the givings out of the ever-heaving ocean, which, were you planted on the peak, would seem to roll at your feet, and to be almost within the reach of a giant's leap. And oh! the souls that are bred in these Alpine regions, who hear voices in the mist, and who interpret the roar of the deep! Far from the turmoil, din, and dust of the trafficking city,-dwelling in the sequestered valley, or the crevices of the majestic rock, or poised in the thunder's gateway, dream you that no marvellous things are evoked and transacted there'; or that, familiar with the most sudden variations of sunshine and gloom, of cataract and storm, that there are no inbred mysteries of mind,—no romance of life,-no outgoings significant of a primitive people, worthy to be regarded? Yes, the poetry of the landscape, however variegated and noble, is but a feeble and dull emanation when compared with the moral and the actual in human experience, with the vicissitudes and destinies of the immortal and ever-living. No matter how even may have been the tenour of the man's path,-how insignificant his name and station in the world's reckoning, the history of but one of his days' longing, doing, and answerable account, immeasurably transcends the importance and the contrasts of the choicest scenery that ever occupied the picturing of pen and pencil. Such are the sentimentalities, in a paraphrased shape, which preceded the Pedlar's Story of "The Ordeal."
"Look yonder," said Simon, "where the glancing sun is answered by the glitter and sparkle of windows, not to be matched by the brilliancy of diamonds except in respect of continuance; in that house, which with its garden and lawn,-its clumps of trees,-its tidy walks and neat fences, pitched as the whole are on the lowest slope of the very hill we stand on, dwelleth a man, whose character, taste, and comforts are such as might almost have tempted me to exchange, ay, in every matter, my lot and con dition from first to last with him. One may shrewdly judge of the individua from what is seen about his dwelling; it is such a spot as would raise the wish just to be dropped in its midst. And yet, mayhap, you would not like to face all the trials and dangers he has gone through. But I'll endeavour to make you acquainted with the nature of some of them.
"A pair of young men, of nearly the same age, natives of the same parish in a neighbouring shire, and bosom friends, took it into their heads, that they would try their fortune in some line or other which might seem more
promising than that of tillers of the ground, to which, as the sons of small farmers, they were brought up. This is going back better than seventy years. They were blameless young men, with a common parochial education, but, as you may suppose, of somewhat aspiring notions. Yet their fancies or fates had different courses; for, just about the date that Frederick Farquhar enlisted for a soldier, Jamie Sinclair started on a voyage to India, in a ship whereof an uncle of his was second mate. It may be as well to add, that Jamie was a dumpy, bandy-legged, yet active creature; while Fred was as handsome and strapping a fellow as you would wish to see, or likely to meet in a day's march.
"Well, Fred Farquhar went a soldiering, did good service on the Continent, in the colonies, was steady, and a clever penman, rising before he left the service, to the rank of a captain in the infantry; having a family of two daughters, and one son, his youngest, whom he named after himself. But if Fredie's rise was so progessive and respectable, what might not Jamie Sinclair's be, seeing that he returned not with his uncle, but remained in India, on account of a clever thing he had done to the advantage of the Company, and this seventy years back? Why, he first found a very subordinate post in the civil department, where he was gradually promoted, but all the while dabbling in trade and various speculations, which, without an exception, turned out fortunately for him. In short, he became opulent, and had even the repute of being richer than he was. Nay, he took unto himself for wife the daughter of a still more wealthy Anglo-Indian, who soon afterwards found herself to be the heiress of all her father's hoarding. Upon this Mr. Sinclair determined on returning to his native country; but had hardly set foot on Scottish soil, when Captain Farquhar's quitting the army also took place. Happy, you may be sure, was the meeting of the two, and most cordial it continued to be. If Sinclair was, however, the richer, Farquhar was the more accomplished man. But there was no jealousy between them; their natural good sense, and large experience, were too much for allowing the harbouring of that. I must not omit to tell you that Mr. Sinclair returned with an only child, a son, who, in accordance with the christian name of his mother's father, was christened Lancelot.
"Now Lancelot and the younger Frederick were boys in their twelfth years, when the fathers, men still but of a middle age, planted themselves permanently in Perthshire. They planted, or were planted, and it was in this way;-Mr. Sinclair purchased a noble estate, while the captain was offered one of its handsomest farms, at any rent he himself might set on it,the pride of the soldier dictating a reasonable price. Accordingly, while Mr. Sinclair took up his residence at Drummond Hall, the retired officer
farmed Drummond Mains, situate in the close vicinity of the lordly mausion. And to the end of their joint days they lived on the most friendly and companionable terms. It might rather be designated a high-seasoned cordiality; for there were certain such debated points between them, not only of a political nature, but as to views taken of life, men, and manners, as that theirs was not a mere milk-and-water intercourse,-a feast in which nothing but insipid sweetnesses met, but one of opposite qualities, which, when properly understood, produce the most exquisite relish. Their united society was courted by many, young as well as old, on account of its rationally entertaining character; and what was still more gratifying, each one of them was constantly in the habit, when the other was absent, of citing his opinions with unbounded respect, and paying deference to his authority. If such was the manly sort of unity which existed between the fathers, it was not very likely, seeing the similarity by descent of each son to his own'parent, that the boys would give the elder comrades pain by jealousies and quarrels, or by any differences incompatible with the strongest possible youthful cement. Other circumstances concurred to lend force and refinement to the bonds that at an early age yielded such sweet promise of permanent fixity. They were educated for years under the same domestic tutor, whose residence was at Drummond Hall, and in exactly the same course of studies, until indeed they were pronounced to be prepared for entering upon a college course. Now it was that some amount of severance first took place; for while Lancelot Sinclair was sent to Oxford, accompanied by the tutor, Frederick Farquhar was located in the close vicinity of the University of Edinburgh. The elder Sinclair was much grieved at this, and generously insisted on being at all the expense of the other's training at the grand aristocratic seat. However, besides the considerations of a becoming independence, it was quite in accordance with the captain's general views of the world, that his son should now learn earn to lean upon himself, and in the matter of study to have no resource, except what the college itself afforded, but his own talent, industry, and diligence. "Besides," said the soldier," I shall have frequent opportunities of paying him a visit, and of discovering of what sort of stuff he is made. He has his fortune to shape and make; your Launcelot, Sinclair, has a splendid fortune already prepared for him. Then as to companionship, they shall have the vacation-seasons for its invigorated enjoyment; and I rather like the idea of the one lad profiting by what the other has most distinguished himself in, during those summer months of home-abiding a wholesome rivalship, I hope, will be the result, and a higher individual improvement." Had the captain fully spoken out, it would have been confessed that his great admiration of presbytery and the Kirk of Scotland, over episcopacy and the