Obrazy na stronie

sea, like cattle on a summer's day. The sound of those dreadful

There they stand, for all the world breakers goes through all the exlike their neighbours ashore: only citing narrative that follows; and the salt water sobbing between them their mirth, “a portentous jovialinstead of the quiet earth, and dots of sea-pinks blooming on their sides ity, as when savage men' have instead of heather. °On calm days drunk away reason, and discarding you can go wandering between them speech, bawl together in their in a boat for hours, echoes following madness by the hour," seems to you about the labyrinth; but when echo in the reader's ears as he the sea is up, heaven help the man hears them out of the lonely seathat hears that caldron boiling! Off the south-west end of Aros these girdled house, with its mystery blocks are very many, and much and misery, “shouting by Aros in greater in size. Indeed they must

the night.” grow monstrously bigger out to sea,

Mr Stevenson has taken the opfor there must be ten sea miles of portunity afforded by this volume open water sown with them as thick of reprinting the very curious as a country place with houses, some sketch called “Will of the Mill,” standing thirty feet above the tides, some covered, but all perilous to tions if we are not mistaken—a

one of the earliest of his producships. So that on a clear westerlyblowing day I have counted from the singular performance done in neutop of Aros the great rollers breaking tral tones, and of the kind which white and heavy over as many as six- certainly is caviare to the general, and-forty buried reefs. Bút it is whatever impression it may make nearer in-shore that the danger is upon better qualified judges. The worst; for the tide here, running like quietism with which he began, and a mill-race, makes a long belt of the strain after effects too fine, and broken water-a Roost we call it-e at the tail of the land. I have often sentiments too ethereal for ordibeen out there in a dead calm at the nary humanity, which were the slack of the tide ; and a strange place highest fashion at that time, comes it is, with the sea swirling and creep- strangely upon us with a sense of ing up and boiling like the caldrons antiquity, not at all justified by of a linn, and now and again a little the mere tale of years. Mr Stevendancing mutter of sound, as though son himself, however, has travelled the Roost was talking to itself. But when the tide begins to run again, so very far from these early exand above all in heavy weather, there periments that we need not hesiis no man could take a boat within tate to remark upon the extraorhalf a mile of it, nor a ship afloat that dinary effect of remoteness and could either steer or live in such a fictitious antiquity which is in place. You can hear the roaring of this curious and tentative piece of it six miles away. At the seaward work, in which the artist's hand end there comes the strongest of the shows like that of Corotor of bubble; and it's here that these big breakers dance together-the dance Mason, in twilight effects and of death it may be called—that have dim, far-stretching distances, with got the name in these parts of the nothing defined in the landscape Merry Men. I have heard it said or comprehensible in the morale, that they run fifty feet high, but that which, notwithstanding, is full of must be the green water only, for the delicate and bewildering suggesspray runs iwice as high as that. tions. The dim and doubtful picWhether they got their name from their movements, which are swift and ture becomes more bewildering antic, or from the shouting they make than ever when we think of it about the turn of the tide, so that as executed by the same hand all Aros shakes with it, is more than which has since then produced the I can tell."



amazing history of · Dr Jekyll and to be found in a mild form among Mr Hyde,' besides many other more the mere sojourners in towns and legitimate and as thrilling dramas. cities; but it apparently rises to Even at this advanced period of acute mania among those who be. time, Mr Stevenson does not quite long to what Mrs Main calls seem to know what he is going “climbing circles.” We should permanently to be at. "The stories be very sorry that the world in in this book are curiously mixed : general should not have the opporthey belong to all his styles, and tunity of reading such books as they are interesting to the critic Mr Whymper's “Scrambles among as the somewhat fantastic patterns the Alps ’; but we think an enlightand “swatches” of a very inde- ened censorship of the press, which pendent literary hand always are would restrict this class of litera—with the one exception, how- ture (as indeed many other classes) ever, of “ Olalla,” which has all to so many volumes a-year, would · Mr Stevenson's faults with very confer a benefit upon society. Perfew of his merits, and is not at all haps it was some such thought worthy either of him or of his which induced Mrs Main to veil reputation.

But once

more we her purpose of relating her Alpine must enter our protest against experiences under an incomprethese baskets of fragments. Let hensible title. • High Life; or, the feast be over at least before Towers of Silence,' may be taken these scraps of a banquet are put to mean anything under the sun forth upon the literary table, as if or above it; our first thoughts, they were the freshest and most indeed, were of an essay on the nourishing fare.

House of Lords. We think it is M. Alphonse Mrs Main complains that the Karr who says somewhere that a uninitiated reader of Alpine books lady who writes commits a double delights chiefly in accidents. If fault, in increasing the number of so, he will not be interested in books and diminishing the number the wanderings of our author, who, of women. We are not aware what in most cases, comes off successeffect Mrs Main's literary efforts fully, or at any rate with safety may have upon herself or upon her to life or limb. Indeed we consex taken as a whole, but we certain- fess to feeling that something is ly pronounce her guilty of having wanting in a book where not a wilfully added to the already too guide, not even a porter, is in any great number of books without way injured. There is, it is true, adequate cause or justification. It an English gentleman who nearly seems to be now the accepted the- faints on a glacier under trying ory that many persons venturing out circumstances in the dead of night, of her Majesty's dominions, even and we freely admit that this is without extending their travels to something, but as Mr Boffin would the very moderate distance which say, “ It ain't much." Otherwise, forms the standard of the Travel- beyond some harmless avalanches, lers' Club, is entitled to inflict upon we have nothing more serious than the public a detailed account of his the loss of a guide's ice axe. Mrs or her experiences. This craze for Main, to be sure, does not always communicating personal details is succeed in her scrambles : but

1 High Life; or, Towers of Silence. By the author of The High Alps in Winter; or, Mountaineering in Search of Health.' London: Sampson Low.


futile attempts at ascents do not do with politics, but much with appeal to our feelings; it seems those practical questions on which to us that we could fail to go up the prosperity of nations and ina mountain ourselves. At the dividuals chiefly depend. Everysame time, heaven forbid that we thing in Ireland, unfortunately, should not acknowledge the gen- has given way to politics; and she uineness of the dangers so boldly is perhaps the one country remainfaced by Mrs Main ; rather would ing in the world in which people we jump three of Mr Rider Hag- not altogether devoid of reason gard's chasms than follow that in- are still capable of persuading trepid lady up the Dent du Géant. themselves that revolution means One of the most interesting of wellbeing, and that prosperity is these tales of peril is her attempt to be attained through the action to cross the Stelvio in a time of of Parliament. Notwithstandheavy snow, which leads to some ing all the injustice towards it amusing and some thrilling inci- with which we are credited, the. dents; but the stories of her great qualities of the Irish race various adventures are somewhat have always had recognition at lengthy. Nor can we find very least in literature.

That great much amusement in the sketches gift of purity which is its admirof English and American travellers able distinction has been dwelt with which the book is filled up. upon by alien tongues and pens Some of the Swiss-English, how- more than by those native to the ever, is amusing; and we have a country; and nobody has been deep respect for the porter who, able to ignore the proverbial wit being questioned in his examina- and fun and fancy, probably much tion as to how he would treat a greater in the report than in reality, traveller who wanted to rest on a which for the last hundred years glacier when cold and tired, and at least English writers have vied would not listen to advice, an- with each other in celebrating. swered succinctly that he would beat him. Mrs Main appears to “ For sun, and frolic, and all that,

In the wide world was not the match be well up in Alpine literature,

of Pat.” and brings in little commendatory notices of other people's works says Sir Walter in the Search for with some skill; but surely there Happiness which his melancholy must be some mistake when she Sultan set forth upon in the beginspeaks of Dr Emile Zsigmondy's ning of the century. It seems Les dangers des Montaignes.' only just, however, to recognise We only know of one Montaigne, at the same time those other whom we have never found danger- qualities which are as characterous, but rather soothing. Perhaps, istic of the race. Hatred, violence, however, there are others of a and contention did not come into fiercer kind.

the Island of Saints with the At a moment when the very Saxon invader and his detested name of Ireland is explosive, and rule. Count de Montalembert, the difficulties of her management, whose sympathies were all with which have gone on growing for Ireland, though his French clearso many centuries, seem to have sightedness would not allow him come at last to a climax, it is to delude himself as to his discurious to light upon a book on appointment in O'Connell and this subject which has nothing to conviction that the Liberator was

more or less a humbug, gives in first thing to be done towards the his · Monks of the West' an un- extirpation of a disease is the diagwilling testimony to the character- nosis of it, and recognition of its istic vices, as well as to the char- character. In this point of view acteristic virtues, of the race. He it would be a good thing that this finds the Irish from the beginning national characteristic should be pure (thanks to St Bridget) but understood. The bad quality is murderous—moral but bloody, their like the good, inherent. Engearly story when they were undis- lishmen and Scotsmen are less turbed by strangers nothing but a moral, but they are also less cruel. succession of mutual struggle and They have more pleasure in vice, massacre. It is not a new feature, but less in blooil. If we acknowbut the characteristic of the race. ledge the one, which no one has

“An Englishman," says the pro- ever attempted to deny, it is right verb, “ is never content but when that we should acknowledge the he's grumbling; a Scotsman is other also. ;

Perhaps in no other never at home. but when he's country could such spotless relaabroad; an Irishman is never at tions between man and woman exist peace but when he's fighting.” as those which Miss Lawless depicts We all gave a very genial inter- in the wretched cabin where her pretation to that fighting in former noble peasant, in the full force of days, when it was associated with his life, lives side by side with the Donnybrook and the shillelagh. tender visionary girl, the predesIt has grown into a darker vision tined saint, Ally, without thought now, with a love of blood and or dream of harm; but at the torture which perhaps always same time it must be allowed that was inherent in the gloomier de- in no other country called civilised velopments of the national char- could it be so natural a thing, so acter more than any looker-on was simple, almost laudable, to take willing to acknowledge, but which vengeance on your enemy. Even native perception has embodied in in Corsica a vendetta is a horror some of those darker tales which we and wild dramatic excitement. owe to the once well-known O'Hara But in Clare it is the course of family, to Carleton, and other everyday. The Irish mother trigenuine romancers of the race. umphs in the fact that her son has The extraordinary and powerful had the courage to rise superior to picture lately added to these by prejudice and kill his foe, as if she the author of Hurrish,' I brings had been the mother of a Sioux a fresher insight into that long- brave. And even Hurrish himstanding wonder — the phenome- self, the good-natured and mild, non of a people, the last in the has no sense of pain or regret, world to retain, through all the no haunting consciousness of that efforts of civilisation, that primitive first great remorse of humanity, development, the absolute indiffer- “ I have slain a man to my woundence to human life, the love of ing.” Nothing can be more curiblood, and pleasure in the sight of ous than this survival, certainly suffering, which philosophers hope not of the fittest, of primitive inbelong to savage races only. The clinations, which is as real and

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i Hurrish : A Study. By the Hon. Emily Lawless, Author of A Chelsea Householder,' "A Millionaire's Cousin.' Third Edition. William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh and London.



characteristic as are the finer uni- that is necessary to make her versal qualities of the race.

“the source of employment and It is not to this tragic particu- comfort to her own people," he larity, however, but to other char- says. Mr Dennis does not even acteristics equally real, and almost tell us that she is over-popuequally serious, that atten- lated. He says of the Irish that tion is called by the book before they are “a starving people in a us. Mr Dennis's little work is land of plenty." A country, of the calmest, both in subject he tells us, “ capable of producing and treatment. It has nothing in abundance every necessary of to do with politics. It does not life for a population as dense as even inquire into that fertile ques- that of Belgium, fails in point of tion whether English misgovern- fact to support a population less ment is the occasion of all Irish dense by 280 persons per square ills. It takes the Irish ills as ex- mile." It is not, then, even overistent, not the criminal part of population that does it—not too them, but the economic and prac- many mouths to feed, not an imtical, and suggests the remedy- possible problem such as we have a remedy not far to seek, having been made to believe could only nothing to do with rivalries of be solved by emigration. But perrace, or conflicts for ascendancy. haps emigration itself, with all its His very plain statement is that difficulties, would be an easy cure Irish industry is dying, as Irish in comparison with the simple comfort has died, if it ever in- remedy which Mr Dennis proposes, deed existed, not from political which is in so many words that causes, but from the extraordi- the Irish nation, that much-disnary carelessness and indifference cussed, much-described, little-unof the Irish nation. The indict- derstood entity, should get up like ment is very broad and general, a man and work out its own salvaand it is not of an agreeable char- tion by honest act and deed, by acter. Lynch - law might easily, no new expedients but the use of we should think, lay hold of the means which lie ready at his hand; man who thus ventures to charge by simple care and pains, and a a quarrelsome race with neglect fair day's work, and the sweat of of its best interests and a delib- its brow. This is a very tremendous erate throwing away of all its ad- prescription—it is almost as hard vantages. Mr Dennis does not do as that which Bishop Berkeley, a this, however, with any heat or sanguine Irishman, proposed to indignation. He pours forth no his people in his day—which was lamentations nor even very much only to be good and honest and blame. It is rather to the world, true, no more. Mr Dennis does and the bystanders who look on not trouble himself about the goodat the lamentable spectacle of a ness of the people he discusses. It whole country sinking into idle- is as a practical man of business ness and want, that he states the that he regards them and their case with the seriousness which

He speaks the language of it der nds, than as making any proverbs, but without their terseassault upon the culprits them- ness. He says, in other words, selves. Ireland hss everyzhing a Waste not, want not; he says, If country wants for prosperity-all a man will not work, it stands to


1 Industrial Ireland. By Robert Dennis.

London : John Murray.

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