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the wide prospects, and, above all, the simple inhabitants!
We delight to think of the people of mountainous regions; we please our imaginations with their picturesque and quiet abodes; with their peaceful secluded lives, striking and unvarying costumes, and primitive manners. We involuntarily give to the mountaineer heroic and elevated qualities. He lives amongst noble objects, and must imbibe some of their nobility; he lives amongst the elements of poetry, and must be poetical; he lives where his fellow-beings are far, far separated from their kind, and surrounded by the sternness and the perils of savage nature; his social affections must therefore be proportionably concentrated, his home-ties lively and strong; but, more than all, he lives within the barriers, the strongholds, the very last refuge which Nature herself has reared to preserve alive liberty in the earth, to preserve to man his highest hopes, his noblest emotions, his dearest treasures, his faith, his freedom, his hearth, and his home. How glorious do those mountain-ridges appear when we look upon them as the unconquerable abodes of free hearts; as the stern, heaven-built walls from which the few, the feeble, the persecuted, the despised, the helpless child, the delicate woman, have from age to age, in their last perils, in all their weaknesses and emergencies, when power and cruelty were ready to swallow them up, looked down and beheld the million waves of despotism break at their feet; have seen the rage of murderous armies, and tyrants, the blasting spirit of ambition, fanaticism, and crushing domination recoil from their bases in despair. ‘Thanks be to God for mountains!’ is often the exclamation of my heart as I trace the history of the world. From age to age they have been the last friends of man. In a thousand extremities they have saved him. What great hearts have throbbed in their defiles from the days of Leonidas to those of Andreas Hofer ! What lofty souls, what tender hearts, what poor and persecuted creatures have they sheltered in their stony bosoms from the weapons and tortures of their fellow-men |
Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints, whose bones Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold!
was the burning exclamation of Milton's agonised and indignant spirit, as he beheld those sacred bulwarks of freedom for once violated by the disturbing demons of the earth; and the sound of his fiery and lamenting appeal to Heaven will be echoed in every generous soul to the end of time. Thanks be to God for mountains! The variety which they impart to the glorious bosom of our planet were no small advantage; the beauty which they spread out to our vision in their woods and waters, their crags and slopes, their clouds and atmospheric hues, were a splendid gift; the sublimity which they pour into our deepest souls from their majestic aspects; the poetry which breathes from their streams, and dells, and airy heights, from the sweet abodes, the garbs and manners of their inhabitants, the songs and legends which have awoke in them, were a proud heritage to imaginative minds; but what are all these when the thought comes, that without mountains the spirit of man must have bowed to the brutal and the base, and probably have sunk to the monotonous level of the unvaried plain. When I turn my eyes upon the map of the world, and behold how wonderfully the countries where our faith was nurtured, where our liberties were generated, where our philosophy and literature, the fountains of our intellectual grace and beauty, sprang up, were as distinctly walled out by God's hand with mountain ramparts from the eruptions and interruptions of barbarism, as if at the especial prayer of the early fathers of man's destinies, I am lost in an exulting admiration. Look at the bold barriers of Palestine! See ': the infant liberties of Greece were sheltered
from the vast tribes of the uncivilised North by the heights of Haemus and Rhodope! behold how the Alps describe their magnificent crescent, inclining their opposite extremities to the Adriatic and Tyrrhene Seas, locking up Italy from the Gallic and Teutonic hordes till the power and spirit of Rome had reached their maturity, and she had opened the wide forest of Europe to the light, spread far her laws and language, and planted the seeds of many mighty nations ! Thanks to God for mountains! Their colossal firmness seems almost to break the current of time itself; the geologist in them searches for traces of the earlier world; and it is there, too, that man, resisting the revolutions of lower regions, retains through innumerable years his habits and his rights. While a multitude of changes has remoulded the people of Europe, while languages, and laws, and dynasties, and creeds, have passed over it like shadows over the landscape, the children of the Celt and the Goth, who fled to the mountains a thousand years ago, are found there now, and shew us in face and figure, in language and garb, what their fathers were; shew us a fine contrast with the modern tribes dwelling below and around them; and shew us, moreover, how adverse is the spirit of the mountain to mutability, and that there the fiery heart of freedom is found for ever.
The dramatic works of MR Douglas JERROLD have already been noticed. His miscellaneous writings consist of tales and sketches of character, in which humour, fancy, and satire are blended. The most popular of these were contributed to Punch, or the London Charivari, which was commenced July 17, 1841. Jerrold was born in London in January 1803. His father was an actor, lessee of the Sheerness theatre, and the early years of Douglas were spent in Sheerness. But before he had completed his tenth year, he was transferred to the guard-ship Namur, then lying at the mouth of the river—“a first-class volunteer in his majesty's service, and not a little proud of his uniform. Two years were spent at sea, after which Douglas, with his parents, removed to London. He became apprentice to a printer-worked diligently during the usual business hours—and seized upon every spare moment for solitary self-instruction. The little, eager, intellectual boy was sure to rise in the world. He had, however, a sharp novitiate. His great friend at this time was MR LAMAN BLANCHARD (1803–1845),
who was engaged in periodical literature, and author
of numerous tales and essays, collected after his premature death, and published with a memoir of the author by Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton. Douglas Jerrold took early to dramatic writing, and in his eighteenth year he was engaged at a salary of ‘a few pounds weekly’ to write pieces for the Coburg theatre. About 1831 he became a contributor to the magazines, and in 1840 he was editor of a series of sketches illustrated by Kenny Meadows, to which Thackeray, R. H. Horne, Laman Blanchard, Peake, and others contributed, and which bore the title of Heads of the People. Some of the best of Jerrold's essays appeared in this periodical. Afterwards Punch absorbed the greater part of his time, though he still continued to write occasionally for the stage. Henceforward his life was that of a professional littérateur, steadily rising in public estimation and in worldly prosperity—famous for his sarcasm, his witty sayings, and general conversational brilliancy -famous also for his genuine kindliness and benevolence of heart. In 1852 a large addition was made to his income-e1000 per annum—by his becoming editor of Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper. He was a zealous advocate of social reform; a passionate hater of all cant, pretence, and affectation; and though on some grave questions he wrote without sufficient consideration, his career was that of an honest journalist and lover of truth. Of his personal generosity of character many memorials remain. Mr Dickens relates one instance: ‘There had been an estrangement between us—not on any personal subject, and not involving an angry word—and a good many months had passed without my even seeing him in the street, when it fell out that we dined each with his own separate party in the strangers' room of a club. Our chairs were almost back to back, and I took mine after he was seated, and at dinner. I said not a word—I am sorry to remember—and did not look that way. Before we had sat so long, he openly wheeled his chair round, stretched out both his hands, and said aloud, with a bright and loving face that I can see as I write to you: “For God's sake, let us be friends again! A life’s not long enough for this.”” Another friend, Mr Hannay, writes: ‘He was getting up in years, but still there seemed many to be hoped for him yet. Though not so active in schemes as formerly, he still talked of works to be done, and at “Our Club,” and such-like friendly little associations, the wit was all himself, and came to our stated meetings as punctually as a star to its place in the sky. He had suffered severely from illness, especially from rheumatism, at various periods of life, and he had lived freely and joyously, as was natural to a man of his peculiar gifts. But, death! We never thought of the brilliant radiant Douglas in connection with the black river. He would have sunk Charon's boat with a shower of epigrams, one would have fancied, if the old fellow, with his squalid beard, had dared to ask him into the stern-sheets. He died, after a short illness, on the 8th of June 1857, and was interred in Norwood Cemetery—followed to the grave by all his literary confrères, who nobly raised a memorial fund of £2000 for the benefit of his family. The collected miscellaneous writings of Douglas Jerrold fill six duodecimo volumes. The longest is a story of town-life, St Giles and St James, by no means his happiest production. He was best in short satirical and descriptive sketches-spontaneous bursts of fancy or feeling. His Caudle Lectures, Story of a Feather, Men of Character, and Sketches of the English were highly popular. The style is concise and pungent-too much, perhaps, in the manner of dramatic dialogue, but lightened up by poetic feeling and imagery. His satire was always winged with fancy. Some brilliant or pointed saying carried home his argument or sentiment, and fixed it firmly in the mind. Like Charles Lamb and most humorists, he had tenderness and pathos. “After all, he said, ‘life has something serious in it—it cannot be all a comic history of humanity. Hence, amidst all the quips and turns of his fancy, the real mingles with the ideal, and shrewd, kindly observation, and active sympathy are at the bottom of his picturesque sketches and portraits. When his indignation is fairly roused, his short sentences have the force and scorching fire of thunderbolts. Such flashes were momentary, but the desire to benefit his fellow-men was permanent. He was often wrong, often one-sided– an ardent, impulsive man-but high-principled, sincere, and generous. In witty repartee he was unequalled among his contemporaries.
• The Life and Remains of Douglas Jerrold, by his Son, Blanchard Jerrold, 1859. Mr Blanchard Jerrold succeeded his father as editor of Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, and is author of Imperial Paris, The Disgrace of the Family, &c.
[Winter in London.]
The streets were empty. Pitiless cold had driven all who had the shelter of a roof to their homes; and the north-east blast seemed to howl in triumph above the untrodden snow. Winter was at the heart of all things. The wretched, dumb with excessive misery, suffered, in stupid resignation, the tyranny of the season. Human blood stagnated in the breast of want; and death in that despairing hour, losing its terrors, looked in the eyes of many a wretch a sweet deliverer. It was a time when the very poor, barred from the commonest things of earth, take strange counsel with themselves, and, in the deep humility of destitution, believe they are the burden and the offal of the world.
It was a time when the easy, comfortable man, touched with finest sense of human suffering, gives from his abundance; and, whilst bestowing, feels almost ashamed that, with such wide-spread misery circled round him, he has all things fitting; all things grateful. The smitten spirit asks wherefore he is not of the multitude of wretchedness; demands to know for what especial excellence he is promoted above the thousand, thousand starving creatures: in his very tenderness for misery, tests his privilege of exemption from a woe that
withers manhood in man, bowing him downward to the
brute. And so questioned, this man gives in modesty of spirit—in very thankfulness of soul. His alms are not cold, formal charities; but reverent sacrifices to his suffering brother. It was a time when selfishness hugs itself in its own warmth; with no other thoughts than of its pleasant possessions; all made pleasanter, sweeter, by the desolation around. When the mere worldling rejoices the more in his warm chamber, because it is so bitter cold without; when he eats and drinks with whetted appetite, because he hears of destitution, prowling like a wolf around his wellbarred house; when, in fine, he bears his every comfort about him with the pride of a conqueror. A time when such a man sees in the misery of his fellow-beings nothing save his own victory of fortune—his own successes in a suffering world. To such a man, the poor are but the tattered slaves that grace his triumph. It was a time, too, when human nature often shews its true divinity, and with misery like a garment clinging to it, forgets its wretchedness in sympathy with suffering. A time, when in the cellars and garrets of the poor are acted scenes which make the noblest heroism of life; which prove the immortal texture of the human heart, not wholly seared by the brandingiron of the torturing hours. A time when in want, in anguish, in throes of mortal agony, some seed is sown that bears a flower in heaven.
[The Emigrant Ship.]
Some dozen folks, with gay, dull, earnest, careless, hopeful, wearied looks, spy about the ship, their future abiding-place upon the deep for many a day. Some dozen, with different feelings, shewn in different emotions, enter cabins, dip below, emerge on deck, and weave their way among packages and casks, merchandise and food, lying in labyrinth about. The ship is in most seemly confusion. The landsman thinks it impossible she can be all taut upon the wave in a week. Her yards are all so up and down, and her rigging in such a tangle, such disorder, like a wench's locks after a mad game at romps. Nevertheless, Captain Goodbody's word is as true as oak. On the appointed day, the skies permitting, the frigate-built Halcyon, with her white wings spread, will drop down the Thames-down to the illimitable sea.
She carries a glorious freightage to the antipodesEnglish hearts and English sinews—hope and strength to conquer and control the waste, turning it to usefulness and beauty. She carries in her the :* of English cities, with English laws to crown them free. She carries with her the strong, deep, earnest music of the English tongue—a music soon to be universal as the winds of heaven. What should fancy do in a London dock? All is so hard, material, positive. Yet there, amid the tangled ropes, fancy will beholdclustered like birds—poets and philosophers, historymen and story-men, annalists and legalists—English all-bound for the other side of the world, to rejoice it with their voices. Put fancy to the task, and fancy will detect Milton in the shrouds, and Shakspeare looking sweetly seriously down, pedestaled upon yon main-block. Spenser, like one of his own fairies, swings on a brace; and Bacon, as if in philosophic chair, sits soberly upon a yard. Poetic heads of every generation, from the half-cowled brow of Chaucer to the periwigged pate of Dryden, from bonneted Pope to night-capped Cowper—fancy sees them all—all; ay, from the longdead day of Edward to the living hour of Victoria; sees them all gathered aloft, and with fine ear lists the rustling of their bays.
A mere high title at the head of a dedication is a piece of pompous lumber. In the shallowness of our judgment, we bestow a humiliating pity on the forlorn savage who lays his offering of fruits and flowers before his wooden idol with a formidable name—an idol certainly with gold-rings in its nose and ears, and perhaps an uncut diamond in its forehead; but, nevertheless, an insensible block. The fruits shrivel and rot —the flowers die a death of profitless sweetness; for the idol has no gustatory sense, no expanding nostril. I say, we pity the poor darkened fool who may have risked his limbs for cocoa-nuts, who may have tempted the whole family of mortal snakes, groping his way through woods, scrambling up ravines to gather flowers, and only to lay the hard winnings of his toil before a stock, a stone, that cannot even so much as wink a thankfulness for such desperate duty done. And what shall we say of the author who, choosing a patron merely for his titles—for the gold-rings in his nose and ears, and certainly not for the diamond in his head—lays before him a book for which the poor creature has not the slightest relish?
[Puns and Sayings of Jerrold.]
Dogmatism is the maturity of puppyism. Unremitting Kindness.—“Call that a kind man, said an actor, speaking of an absent acquaintance; “a man who is away from his family, and never sends them a farthing ! Call that kindness!’ ‘Yes, unremitting kindness, Jerrold replied. The Retort Direct.—Some member of “Our Club,' hearing an air mentioned, exclaimed: “That always carries me away when I hear it. ‘Can nobody whistle it?’ exclaimed Jerrold. Australia.—Earth is so kindly there that, tickle her with a hoe, and she laughs with a harvest. The Sharp Attorney.—A friend of an unfortunate lawyer met Jerrold, and said: ‘Have you heard about poor R—? His business is going to the devil.” Jerrold: ‘That's all right: then he is sure to get it back again.' The Reason Why.—One evening at the Museum Club a member very ostentatiously said in a loud voice: ‘Isn’t it strange; we had no fish at the marquis's last night? That has happened twice lately—I can't account for it. “Nor I, replied Jerrold, ‘unless they ate it all up stairs.' Ostentatious Grief—Reading the pompous andfulsome inscription which Soyer the cook put on his wife's tomb in Kensal Green Cemetery, Jerrold shook his head and said: ‘Mock turtle.’ A. #ial Smile.—In a railway-carriage one day, a
gentleman expatiated on the beauty of nature. Cows were grazing in the fields. “In reading in the fields, said he, “sometimes a cow comes and bends its head over me. I look up benignantly at it. “With a filial smile, rejoined Jerrold. The Anglo-French Alliance.—A Frenchman said he was proud to see the English and French such good friends at last. Jerrold: “Tut! the best thing I know between France and England is—the sea.’
THOMAS MILLER-W. HON E-MISS COSTELLO.
Among the littérateurs inspired—perhaps equally —by the love of nature and admiration of the writings of Miss Mitford and the Howitts, is THOMAS MILLER, one of the humble, happy, industrious self-taught sons of genius. He was brought up to the trade of a basket-maker, and while thus obscurely labouring ‘to consort with the muse and support a family, he attracted attention, first by his poetical effusions, and subsequently by a series of prose narratives and fictions remarkable for the freshness of their descriptions of rural life and English scenery. Through the kindness of Mr Rogers, our author was placed in the more congenial situation of a bookseller, and has had the gratification of publishing and selling his own writings. Mr Miller is author of various works: A Day in the Woods, Royston Gower, Fair Rosamond, Lady Jane Grey, and other novels. Several volumes of rural descriptions and poetical effusions have also proceeded from his pen. All afford evidence, as one of Mr Miller's critics remarks, ‘that creative power is like the air and the sunshine—visiting alike the cottage and the mansion, the basketmaker's shop and the literary gentleman's sanctum.” The correct taste and feeling of Mr Miller are, however, more remarkable than his creative power.
The Every-day Book, Table Book, and Year Book, by WILLIAM HoNE (1779–1842), published in 1833, in four large volumes, with above five hundred wood-cut illustrations, form a calendar of popular English amusements, sports, pastimes, ceremonies, manners, customs, and events incident to every day in the year. Mr Southey has said of these works: ‘I may take the opportunity of recommending the Every-day Book and Table Book to those who are interested in the preservation of our national and local customs: by these very curious publications their compiler has rendered good service in an important department of literature. Charles Lamb was no less eulogistic. Some political parodies written by Hone led to his prosecution by the government of the day; he was acquitted and became popular; the parodies are now forgotten, but the above works will preserve his name.
A number of interesting narratives of foreign travel have been published by Miss Louis A STUART CosTELLo, who commenced her literary career in 1835 with Specimens of the Early Poetry of France. Her principal works are—A Summer among the Bocages and Vines, 1840; A Pilgrimage to Auvergne, from Picardy to Le Velay, Bearn and the Pyrenees, 1844; The Falls, Lakes, and Mountains of North Wales, 1845; A Tour to and from Venice by the Vaudois and the Tyrol, 1846; &c. Miss Costello is also one of the band of lady-novelists, having written The Queen Mother, Clara Fane, &c.; and in 1840 she published a series of Memoirs of Emiment Englishwomen, commencing with the reign of Elizabeth.
T. C. HALIBU RTON.
THOMAS CHANDLER HALIBURTON, long a judge in Nova Scotia, is author of a series of amusing works
been inserted as letters in a Nova Scotia paperappeared in a collected form under the title of The Clockmaker, or the Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick of Slickville. A second series was published in 1838, and a third in 1840. ‘Sam Slick’ was a universal favourite, and in 1843 the author conceived the idea of bringing him to England. The Attaché, or Sam Slick in England, gives an account of the sayings and doings of the clockmaker when elevated to the dignity of the ‘Honourable Mr Slick, Attaché of the American Legation to the court of St James's. There is the same quaint humour, acute observation, and laughable exaggeration in these volumes as in the former, but, on the whole, Sam is most amusing on the other side of the Atlantic. Mr Haliburton has also written an Account of Nova Scotia, 1828; Bubbles of Canada, 1839; The Old Judge, or Life in a Colony, and Letterbag of the Great Western, 1839; Rule and Misrule of the English in America, 1851; Yankee Stories, and Traits of American Humour, 1852; Nature and Human Nature, 1855. We must do our publishers the justice to say, that the first periodical in Great Britain which noticed Mr Haliburton's works was Chambers's Journal.
[Soft Sawder and Human Natur.]
In the course of a journey which Mr Slick performs in company with the reporter of his humours, the latter asks him how, in a country so poor as Nova Scotia he contrives to sell so many clocks. ‘Mr Slick paused, continues the author, “as if considering the propriety of answering the question, and looking me in the face, said, in a confidential tone: “Why, I don't care if I do tell you, for the market is glutted, and I shall quit this circuit. It is done by a knowledge of soft sawder and human natur. But here is Deacon Fin' said he; “I luave but one clock left, and I guess
I will sell it to him.” At the gate of a most comfortable-looking farmhouse stood Deacon Flint, a respectable old man, who had understood the value of time better than most of his neighbours, if one might judge from the appearance of everything about him. After the usual salutation, an invitation to alight was accepted by Mr Slick, who said “he wished to take leave of Mrs Flint before he left Colchester.” We had hardly entered the house, before the Clockmaker pointed to the view from the window, and, addressing himself to me, said: “If I was to tell them in Connecticut there was such a farm as this away down east here in Nova Scotia, they wouldn't believe me—why, there ain't such a location in all New England. The deacon has a hundred acres of dike”*— “Seventy,” said the deacon—“only seventy.” “Well, seventy; but then there is your fine deep bottom; why, I could run a ramrod into it. Then there is that water-privilege, worth three or four thousand dollars, twice as good as what Governor Cass paid fifteen thousand for. I wonder, deacon, you don't put up a carding-mill on it: the same works would carry a turning-lathe, a shingle machine, a circular saw, grind bark, and ”— “Too old,” said the deacon— “too old for all those speculations.” “Old !” repeated the Clockmaker—“not you; why, you are worth half a dozen of the young men we see now-a-days.” The deacon was pleased. “Your beasts, dear me, your beasts must be put in and have a feed;” saying which, he went out to order them to be taken to the stable. As the old gentleman closed the door after him, Mr Slick drew near to me, and said in an under-tone: “That is what I call soft sawder. An Englishman would pass that man as a sheep passes a hog in a pasture—without looking at him. Now I find”— Here his lecture on soft sawder was cut short by the entrance of Mrs Flint. “Jist come to say good-bye, Mrs Flint.” “What! have you sold all your clocks?” “Yes, and very low, too, for money is scarce, and I wished to close the consarn; no, I am wrong in saying all, for I have just one left. Neighbour Steel's wife asked to have the refusal of it, but I guess I won't sell it. I had but two of them, this one and the feller of it, that I sold Governor Lincoln. General Green, secretary of state for Maine, said he'd give me fifty dollars for this here one—it has composition wheels and patent axles; it is a beautiful article— a real first chop—no mistake, genuine superfine; but I guess I'll take it back; and, beside, Squire Hawk might think it hard that I did not give him the offer.” “Dear me,” said Mrs Flint, “I should like to see it; where is it?” “It is in a chest of mine over the way, at Tom Tape's store; I guess he can ship it on to Eastport.” “That’s a good man,” said Mrs Flint, “jist let’s look at it.” Mr Slick, willing to oblige, yielded to these entreaties, and soon produced the clock—a gaudy, highly varnished, trumpery-looking affair. He placed it on the chimney-piece, where its beauties were pointed out and duly appreciated by Mrs Flint, whose admiration was about ending in a proposal, when Mr Flint returned from giving his directions about the care of the horses. The deacon praised the clock; he, too, thought it a handsome one; but the deacon was a prudent man: he had a watch, he was sorry, but he had no occasion for a clock. “I guess you're in the wrong furrow this time, deacon; it an’t for sale,” said Mr Slick; “and if it was, I reckon neighbour Steel's wife would have it, for she gives me no peace about it.” Mrs Flint said that Mr Steel had enough to do, poor man, to pay his interest, without buying clocks for his wife. “It’s no consarn of mine,” said Mr Slick, “as long as he pays me, what he has to do; but I guess I don't want to sell it; and, beside, it comes too high; that clock can't be made at Rhode Island under forty dollars. Why, it an’t possible!” said the Clockmaker, in apparent surprise, looking at his watch ; “why, as I’m alive, it is four o'clock, and if I haven't been two hours here—how on airth shall I reach River Philip to-night? I'll tell you what, Mrs Flint: I’ll leave the clock in your care till I return on my way to the States—I’ll set it agoing, and put it to the right time.” As soon as this operation was performed, he delivered the key to the deacon with a sort of seriocomic injunction to wind up the clock every Saturday night, which Mrs Flint said she would take care should be done, and promised to remind her husband of it, in case he should chance to forget it. . “That,” said the Clockmaker, as soon as we were mounted, “that I call human natur/ Now, that clock is sold for forty dollars—it cost me just six dollars and fifty cents. Mrs Flint will never let Mrs Steel have the refusal—nor will the deacon learn until I call for the clock, that having once indulged in the use of a superfluity, it is difficult to give it up. We can do without any article of luxury we have never had, but when once obtained, it is, not in human natur to surrender it voluntarily. Of fifteen thousand sold by myself and partners in this province, twelve thousand were left in this manner, and only ten clocks were ever returnedwhen we called for them, they invariably bought them. We trust to soft sawder to get them into the house, and to human natur that they never come out of it.””
* Flat rich land diked in from the sea.
This gentleman (born at Comrie, in Perthshire, in 1813) is author of a number of works, critical and biographical. The best known of these is his Gallery of Literary Portraits, the first portion published in 1845, a second in 1849, and a third in 1855. In the interval between the successive appearance of these volumes, Mr Gilfillan published The Bards of the Bible, 1850; The Book of British Poesy, 1851; The Martyrs, Heroes, and Bards of the Scottish Covenant, 1852; &c. In 1856 he published The History of a Man—a singular melange of fancy sketches and biographical facts; and in the following year, Christianity and our Era. Mr Gilfillan has also been a large contributor to periodical works, and is engaged on an edition of the British Poets. At the same time he discharges the duties of a pastor of the United Presbyterian Church in Dundee. The industry of Mr Gilfillan is a remarkable and honourable feature in his character; and his writings, though too often disfigured by rash judgments and a gaudy rhetorical style, have an honest warmth and glow of expression which attest the writer's sincerity, while they occasionally present striking and happy illustrations. From his very unequal pages, many felicitous images and metaphors might be selected.
[Lochnagar and Byron.]
We remember a pilgrimage we made some years ago to Lochnagar. As we ascended, a mist came down over the hill, like a veil dropped by some jealous beauty over her own fair face. At length the summit was reached, though the prospect was denied us. It was a proud and thrilling moment. What though darkness was all around? It was the very atmosphere that suited the scene. It was “dark Lochnagar. And only think how fine it was to climb up and clasp its cairn— to lift a stone from it, to be in after-time a memorial of our journey—to sing the song which made it terrible and dear, in its own proud drawing-room, with those great fog-curtains floating around—to pass along the brink of its precipices—to snatch a fearful joy, as we leaned over, and hung down, and saw from beneath the gleam of eternal snow shining up from its hollows, and columns, or rather perpendicular seas of mist, streaming up ": the wind
Like foam from the roused ocean of deep hell, Where every wave breaks on a living shore, Heaped with the damned, like pebbles—
tinged, too, here and there, on their tops, by gleams of sunshine, the farewell beams of the dying day. It was the grandest moment in our lives. We had stood upon many hills—in sunshine and in shade, in mist and in thunder—but never had before, nor hope to have again, such a feeling of the grandeur of this lower universe— such a sense of horrible sublimity. Nay, we question if there be a mountain in the empire, which, though seen in similar circumstances, could awaken the same emotions in our minds. It is not its loftiness, though that be great-nor its bold outline, nor its savage loneliness, nor its mist-loving precipices, but the associations which crown its crags with a ‘peculiar diadem; its identification with the image of a poet, who, amid all his fearful errors, had perhaps more than any of the age's bards the power of investing all his career—yea, to every corner which his fierce foot ever touched, or which his genius ever sung—with profound and melancholy interest. We saw the name Byron written in the cloud-characters above us. We saw his genius sadly smiling in those gleams of stray sunshine which gilded the darkness they could not dispel. We found an emblem of his poetry in that flying rack, and of his character in those lowering precipices. We seemed to hear the wail of his restless spirit in the wild sob of the wind, fainting and struggling up under its burden of darkness. Nay, we could fancy that this hill was designed as an eternal monument to his name, and to inlage all those peculiarities which make that name for ever illustrious. Not the loftiest of his country's poets, he is the most sharply and terribly defined. In magnitude and round completeness, he yields to many—in jagged, abrupt, and passionate projection of his own shadow, over the world of literature, to none. The genius of convulsion, a dire attraction, dwells around him, which leads many to hang over, and some to leap down his precipices. Wolcanic as he is, the coldness of wintry selfishness too often collects in the hollows of his verse. He loves, too, the cloud and the thick darkness, and comes “veiling all the lightnings of his song in sorrow. So, like Byron beside Scott and Wordsworth, does Lochnagar stand in the presence of his neighbour giants, Ben-macDhui, and Ben-y-boord, less lofty, but more fiercely eloquent in its jagged outline, reminding us of the via of the forked lightning, which it seems dumbly to mimic, projecting its cliffs like quenched batteries against earth and heaven, with the cold of snow in its heart, and with a coronet of mist round its gloomy brow. No poet since Homer and Ida has thus, everlastingly, shot his genius into the heart of one great mountain, identifying himself and his song with it. Not Horace with Soracte—not Wordsworth with Helvellyn—not Coleridge with Mount Blanc—not Wilson with the Black Mount—not even Scott with the Eildons—all these are still common property, but Lochnagar is Byron's own—no poet will ever venture to sing it again. In its dread circle none durst walk but he. His allusions to it are not numerous, but its peaks stood often before his eye: a recollection of its grandeur served more to colour his line than the glaciers of the Alps, the cliffs of Jura, or the thunder hills of fear, which he heard in Chimari; even from the mountains of Greece he was carried back to Morven and
Lochnagar, with Ida, looked o'er Troy.
On subjects of art and taste, and generally in what may be termed elegant literature, the writings of MRs ANNA JAMEsoN occupy a prominent place. They are very numerous, including-The Diary of