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London at Night.
the first time, can hardly believe that this is the mighty river. which bathes the feet of London. He asks perhaps the coachman, what stream that is; and the coachman answers with a stare of wonder and pity, 'The Tems, sir.' Pleasure boats are gliding back and forth, and stately swans float, like water-lilies, on its bosom. On its banks are villages, and church towers, beneath which, among the patriarchs of the hamlet, lie many gifted sons of song,
"In sepulchres unhearsed and green."
In and below London the whole scene is changed. Let us view it by night. Lamps are gleaming along shore, and on the bridges, and a full moon rising over the borough of Southwark. The moonbeams silver the rippling, yellow tide, wherein also flare the shore lamps, with a lambent, flickering gleam. Barges and wherries move to and fro; and heavy-laden luggers are sweeping up stream with the rising tide, swinging sideways, with loose, flapping sails. Both sides of the river are crowded with sea and river craft, whose black hulks lie in shadow, and whose tapering masts rise up into the moonlight like a leafless forest. A distant sound of music floats on the air; a harp, and a flute, and a horn. It has an unearthly sound; and lo! like a shooting star, a light comes gliding on. It is the signal lamp at the mast-head of a steam-vessel, that flits by like a cloud, above which glides a star. And from all this scene goes up a sound of human voices-curses, laughter, and singing—mingled with the monotonous roar of the city, 'the clashing and careering streams of life, hurrying to lose themselves in the impervious gloom of eternity.' And now the midnight is past, and amid the general silence the clock strikesone, two. Far distant, from some belfry in the suburbs, comes the first sound, so indistinct as hardly to be distinguished from the crowing of a cock. Then close at hand the great bell of St. Paul's, with a heavy, solemn sqund-one, two. It is answered from
Southwark, then at a distance like an echo; and then all around you, with various and intermingling clang, like a chime of bells, the clocks from a hundred belfries strike the hour. But the moon is already sinking, large and fiery, through the vapors of morning. It is just in the range of the chimneys and house-tops, and seems to follow you with speed, as you float down the river between unbroken ranks of ships. Day is dawning in the east, not with a pale streak in the horizon, but with a silver light spread through the sky, almost to the zenith. It is the mingling of moonlight and daylight. The water is tinged with a green hue, melting into purple and gold, like the brilliant scales of a fish. The air grows cool. It comes fresh from the eastern sea, toward which we are swiftly gliding; and dimly seen in the uncertain twilight, behind you rises
"A mighty mass of brick, and smoke, and shipping,
Can reach; with here and there a sail just skipping
Of masts; a wilderness of steeples peeping
DON JUAN, Canto X.
VISIT TO SCOTLAND.
York Minster-Melrose Abbey-Abbotsford-Dryburgh.
YORK MINSTER.-I did not repent varying my route a little to see the ancient city of York, and its noble cathe dral, unquestionably the finest gothic structure in Great Britain, if not in the world. This grand edifice is five hundred and twenty-four feet in length, and, of course, exceeds St. Paul's on this score; but in other respects, they can scarcely be compared, as the style of architecture is entirely different. It stands in bold relief above all the rest of the town, albeit not on a rising ground. To use the words of the book, it is like 'a mountain starting out of a plain,* and thus attracting all the attention of the spectator. The petty, humble dwellings of men appear to crouch at its feet, while its own vastness and beauty impress the observer with awe and sublimity.' It dates its origin as far back as A.D.642 ;† but the present walls seem to have been erected in the thirteenth or fourteenth century. The screen and the choir particularly are elaborate and exquisite specimens of the Gothic style. It seems strange
* Rather more like an elephant in the midst of a flock of sheep. + In the crypt I was shown the elephant's tusk on which the first deed of the land was inscribed.
to us, who make the most of our room, that they should only use so small a portion of these cathedrals for what one would suppose was their chief purpose-divine worship. Service can only be held in what is called the choir,' an inclosure near the centre of the church, which has seats for perhaps from one hundred to two hundred persons. I went in, during the evening prayers, and had an opportu. nity of hearing the gigantic organ, accompanied by the choir, in some fine anthems. The whole of the east wing of the cathedral was fired in 1829, by Martin, a lunatic, who secreted himself behind the organ during service, and so thoroughly effected his purpose, that the whole interior, including the choir, was destroyed. The great painted glass window, seventy-five feet by thirty-two, (capable of admitting a large three-story house,) was saved as if by a miracle. It is remarkable, that the whole of this wing has been restored, so precisely in the original form, as scarcely to be suspected for a modern work. The architect was Robert Smirke, Esq. It is asserted by the knowing ones, that a work of equal magnitude to York Cathedral could not be performed at the present day, for ten millions of dollars, nor in less time than fifty or even a hundred years.
MELROSE, June 6, 1836.-In the sanded parlor of The George,' where lodged in days of yore that industrious and worthy antiquary, Captain Clutterbuck, I now date my first epistle from the land o' cakes.'
The ride from Newcastle to the border,' over barren moors and the Cheviot Hills, passing the scenes of 'Chevy
Chace,' was cold and dreary. But, arrived in Teviotdale, a change came over the face of things, and for three or four miles near Jedburgh, there is a series of lovely pastoral landscapes. Swiss scenery may be more wild and majestic, but it cannot surpass in quiet beauty this charming region about the Tweed-rendered so interesting, too, by its classical associations,' as some tourist sagely said of Rome. Here, within the space of fifteen miles, are Melrose, Dryburgh, and Jedburgh Abbeys, Abbottsford, the Eildon Hills, the scenes of the Monastery, the Lay of the Last Minstrel, and of songs and romances innumer able.
Melrose is situated in a delightful vale of the Tweed, environed on three sides by verdant hills, and flanked by the gloomy, heath-covered peaks of the Eildon, which seem to rise directly in the rear of the village; but I had to walk nearly two miles to the base of them, and the ascent was an afternoon's work. The wind was so strong at the top, that I really feared being blown off. On the summit are the remains of a fortification, chronicled in the books as a Roman prætorium, and I saw no Edie Ochil tree to exclaim, 'I mind the bigging of it.' The view from the top is worth the ascent. It extends twenty or thirty miles on each side, and takes in the cream of the region so familiar to Scott and his readers. The path is across a rocky glen, where a 'stream is gently laving,' and through a grove to 'the mountain's brow,' where the sheep are gently grazing!