« 上一頁繼續 »
Edinburgh Literary Journal.
NEW-YEAR'S-DAY. Ah! my dear JOURNAL, I was sure that you would receive me with a smiling face. There are many persons who look suspiciously on me, and when I offer to shake hands with them, they hold out the tips of their forefingers in a way so cold and repulsive, that they wound my feelings deeply; for I have feelings, however little I may look like it.
EDIN. LIT. JOUR. "The cold in clime are cold in blood;" but we are not so. We were so intimately acquainted with your elder brother, 1830, that we should consider ourselves acting very strangely indeed, were we to refuse to acknowledge any member of his family. Poor 1830! he was one of the best fellows we ever knew, passionate, to be sure, and with an immense bump of destructiveness, as witness several dynasties which he broke up, as a child breaks up its toys; but in his domestic and social moods, and with his own friends --and we held one of the first places in his regard-he was full of gentle feelings, pleasant fancies, and quaint devices.
NEW-YEAR'S-DAY (much affected, and pulling out a cambric handkerchief.) Your praise of my brother touches me the more that I never saw him. He went forth into the world before I remember any thing, and, until his recent death, my relations insisted on my living a very retired and solitary life. One word of praise from you is worth a thousand homilies.
EDIN. LIT. JOUR. We are certainly not much given to flatter; and when we say that we and 1830 enjoyed many a delightful day together, you may believe that we are sincere. It was at the period when he was in the summer of his life that our friendship was drawn together by the closest links. Many a time and oft did we spend long hours together among the woods and streams; and to some of these hours we look back with emotions that can never be altogether obliterated from our heart. It is, indeed, melancholy to think that they should have fled so fast, and that he to whom we were mainly indebted for their enjoyment, should now lie buried in the tomb of all the Capulets. Peace to his ashes! It is possible that we may never look upon his like again.
NEW-YEAR'S-DAY (wiping his eyes.) It is needless to indulge in unavailing grief. I am a scion of a noble and an ancient house; and the more my predecessors have distinguished themselves, the more does it become me to exert myself also.
EDIN. LIT. JOUR. You say right; and if, as Lord Chesterfield has remarked, a pleasant countenance be as good as a letter of introduction, we are happy to inform you that yours has prepossessed us in your favour. Though your features have still somewhat of a boyish look, and are not yet quite so fully developed as they will
be, there is dignity and power in them. Many meanings lurk in the depths of your expressive eyes, and on your ample forehead a phrenologist would gaze with rapture; for he would there discover organ towering above organ, like Pelion heaped on Ossa.
NEW-YEAR'S-DAY (blushing.) Indeed, indeed, you compliment my personal appearance more than it deserves.
EDIN. LIT. JOUR. Not a jot; and you will not long have mingled in society, before that ingenuous blush at the sound of your own praises will cease to mantle on your cheek.
NEW-YEAR'S-DAY. Pardon me, but I hope not. I am resolved to avoid, if possible, the contamination arising from the indulgence in the fashionable vices of the day; and I have thus early visited you, of whom I had often heard even in my seclusion, to request, that in all matters connected with morals, and the attendant handmaids of Virtue-Literature, Science, and the Arts, you will act as my Mentor, my adviser, my guide. I know of no one in whose judgment I place greater confidence, or to whose opinions I shall ever be disposed to listen with greater deference. The nucleus, as you are, that draws towards one common centre a host of the most eminent persons that Scotland and England can produce, your society must always be valuable, your conversation always varied and delightful.
EDIN. LIT. JOUR. Pleased as we are with the favourable sentiments you entertain for us, it would be folly to affect to deny, that we certainly enjoy opportunities of bringing together as pleasant literary assemblies as are to be met with anywhere. It was but a short time before your brother's death, on last Christmas Day, that we took occasion to ask a few friends to meet with him, and he declared when he left us, which was not till a very late hour, that he had never enjoyed so admirable a party before. And no wonder, for among the ladies we had Mrs S. C. Hall, with her warm heart and pleasant humour, ever fresh and new; Miss Landon, with her deep feeling and beautiful fancy; the authoresses of the "Odd Volume," with their lively and natural imaginations; and though last not least, Gertrude, with her fine genius, every day springing out into riper luxuriance ;-then among the men, we had the Ettrick Shepherd-the only Ettrick Shepherd in the world; Allan Cunningham, one of the most universally esteemed of all the Scottish writers of the day; Tennant, the bard of "Anster Fair," in his own departments of classical literature and grotesque Scottish humour unequalled; Sir John Sinclair, the venerable baronet who has done more for statistics and agriculture—two of the most important subjects to which the intellect can be directed-than all his contemporaries put together; Malcolm, the poet-soldier, he who has dreamt fair dreams upon the tented fields of Spain; Macdonald, the poet-sculptor, who carves out of marble, thoughts that would be but dimly seen through the haze of words; Knowles, with his original and enthusiastic mind; Carne, and Chambers, and S. C. Hall, and Kennedy, and Thomson, and Weir, and Atkinsonall good men and true; we had these, and how could they fail to make the hours fly past on wings of enchantment?
NEW-YEAR'S DAY? Would that I too had been with you on Christmas! but my hard fates prevented me. When shah I ever behold such a party as that which you have described!
EDIN. LIT. JOUR. This very day.
NEW-YEAR'S-DAY. How! Is it possible!
EDIN. LIT. JOUR. We were determined that on your first visit to us you should have a specimen of the society which our dear deceased 1830 loved so much; and, if we have not formed very erroneous conclusions, you also will become no less attached to it.
NEW-YEAR'S-DAY. You overwhelm me with joy. Shall I be introduced to all the persons you have mentioned?
EDIN. LIT. JOUR. To many of them, and also to some others, no less interesting, whose presence will give a new feature to our entertainment to-day, and will show you that our resources are nearly as inexhaustible as they are valuable. We may indeed as well take this opportunity of telling you, that, in anticipation of your coming, and in consideration of the friendly footing on which we have always been with the other members of your family, we have made arrangements by which we shall secure for you, during the whole period of your existence, a weekly treat of a similar kind to that which you shall this day receive, similar, yet continually varied, and as far removed as can be from the dulness of monotony.
NEW-YEAR'S-DAY. My gratitude knows no bounds. Much as I was prepared to love you, I find that the reality far exceeds my expectations. There can be only one such being in the world.
EDIN. LIT. JOUR. There is only one. But our friends have already assembled; let us join them.
NEW-YEAR'S-DAY. Where shall we find them?
The EDINBURGH LITERARY JOURNAL points to No.
By Mary Howitt.*
I SAW his home ere it had seen a change,
I knew the haunts in which his youth was spent ;
Sought him, nor friends would meet when he was absent found.
His father show'd the trees that he had set, Deeming his very hand had bless'd the earth; And when at eve the friendly circle met, Kind, genial spirits, round a social hearth, Stern age grew warm before his cordial mirth; And his proud mother, proud she well might be! Did bless the happy hour that gave him birth; And his deep love, and wit like lightning free, Tamed proud hearts to his will, clasp'd kind ones tenderly.
For foreign travel I had left my home;
And home returning, after three years' space,
We have much pleasure in adding to the list of our contributors, one of whose genius we have more than once taken occasion to speak with the praise due to it. The above beautiful poem was transmitted to us by the authoress, with a politeness the more valued that it was nnlooked for and unasked.
His hair was white, and solemn his embrace;
I met his mother, but some heavy woe
Had bow'd her stately age-its cause I did not know.
The house was silent, and no more the same
I saw that change was there, but whence it came
To old renowned lands-alas! no more
To bless us with his sight, and his home's light restore ! 66 Strange was it-in his vigorous, youthful might, And in the pleasant land of Italy,
A swift decay came o'er him, and his light
"O, desolate the home from which the pride,
We wait all future change, with loosen'd hold on earth!"
A LAST LOOK.
By J. S. Memes, LL.D. Author of the "Life of
O ciechi, il tanto affaticar che giova ?
Ir was evening:-such a day-close as sinks to rest on the bosom of fair Italy. A lonely traveller had gained a summit of the everlasting adamant which girdles this country of the soul-this garden of the world. He had sojourned for a space amid its intellectual treasures-its all but holy reminiscences; and the steps of his pilgrimage were now homewards to his own loved northern land. A few paces even beyond that overhanging rock, He and the scene will shut from his sight for ever. turned to look again, as men do at what they love, and yet must leave.
From his resting-place on an Alpine cliff, Italy lay far as eye could reach, around and beneath, bathed in the splendour of her own indescribable sunset,
"Lost and obscured in flood of golden light." It was an hour and place wherein might seem exposed the whole wealth of Nature's tranquil beauty and magnificence. At hand was grandeur of the sternest character; but radiance and shade-foliage, form, and hue, and distance, like hope mid the harsh realities of life, had modulated into harmony the stupendous elements of the Not a sound, save at intervals, as the breathing air came gratefully over the sense, the booming of the secret waterfall, struck faintly on the ear, recalling the A sky remote fountain of some classic stream of yore. -such as Claude delights to paint—of intensest sweetest blue overhead, fell upon the distance and midland in a shower of amber light. Amid the transparent glow, as if pencilled in gold, was traced the far-off Apennines ;nearer, the champaign Lombardy showed, on its purpled