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serve the dramatic consistency of the Unworthy what I see, though my dust is; persons. He has made no attempt to Spirit! let me expire, or see them nearer. imitate Milton's plastic power ;-that The region of the phantoms thus power by which our great poet has
appears to Cain:made his Heaven and Hell, and the
Cain. What are these mighty phan. very regions of space, sublime reali
toms which I see ties, palpable to the imagination, Floating around me?-they wear not the and has traced the lineaments of his
form angelic messengers with the preci- Of the intelligences I have seen sion of a sculptor. The Lucifer of Round our regretted and unenter'd Eden, “ Cain," is a mere bodyless abstrac- Nor wear the form of man as I have tion,--the shadow of a dogma; and
view'd it all the scenery over which he pre- Nor in my sister-bride's, nor in my chil
In Adam's, and in Abel's, and in mine, sides is dim, vague, and seen only in faint outline. There is, no doubt,
dren's : a very uncommon power displayed,
And yet they have an aspect, which, though
Nor form of mightiest brute, nor aught that is
Now breathing; mighty yet and beautiful
As the most beautiful and mighty which
Live, and yet so unlike them, that I scaree
We are far from imputing intenAir, where ye roll along, as I have seen
tional impiety to Lord Byron for this The leaves along the limpid streams of mystery;"nor, though its language Eden ?
sometimes shocks us, do we appre-
pable of meditating; it is equally felt How beautiful ye are! how beautiful
in every system, except absolute Your works, or accidents, or whatsoe'er
Atheism; and, if it is reverently They may be! Let me die, as atoms die,
pursued, serves, while it baffles our (If that they die) or know ye in your might scrutiny, to make us feel all the high And knowledge! My thoughts are not in capabilities, and intense yearnings, this hour
of our own immortal nature.
ODE OF CASIMIR
TO HIS LYRE.
Thou child of the boxtree, that flexile combined
Thy string’d frame sonorous, my lute! hang thou high
Its lightly twitch'd leaves, while all blue laughs the sky.
O'er thy quivering chords as it murm'ringly skims;
And stretch on this bank's mossy verdure my limbs.
How dreary the echo! the crashing of rains !
LETTERS FROM LONDON TO A FRIEND IN EDINBURGH.
THE LEITH SMACK.
MY DEAR FRANK,I recollect (unknown to each other), a player, reading, about four years ago, a little and his wife and four children, the book written by J. Jamieson, called, renowned P-, and his wife and I think, “ A Voyage to London, in a family, a Cockney traveller,-a leaBerwick Smack," and a very amus- ther merchant, and a boot-maker, ing little book it was: whether the who, for their own good reasons, pairauthor actually encountered the ad- ed in the voyage, –a writer's clerk, ventures of which he gives so in- from Forfarshire, and a being of teresting a narrative, or coined them whom to this hour none of us could in a journey round his study table, learn either name, character, or buI cannot pretend to decide; the effect siness, but who of common consent of them is equally good on his readers was called, nobody knew why, the either way. My adventures, how. Doctor.- We only wanted an Irishever, in a voyage to London in a man and a parson to make a party Berwick Smack, will not be liable to for a novel ; and mentioning the any doubts on the score of authen- word brings to my recollection a ticity ; and when you see Jamieson, little prim sentimentalist of a female, you may give him my compliments, who, from the same faculty that conand say, that if I possessed his ferred the diploma on the Doctor, repowers of description, I would pub- 'ceived exclusively the honorary apIish a second voyage, which, I have pellation of “ Miss.” little doubt, would drive its elder bro We made a most agreeable comther clean out of the field; and, whiat pany after dinner; L. (the player) is more, I would head my work with a and his wife, are as well-bred peo“ challenge to the whole world” to ple as I ever met ; Mr. and Mrs. P. question the truth of my narrative, are equally so: one of the French
To make sure of being perfectly men, M. Rotte, played the violin and safe in the latter particular, I shall sang; the other abounded in juggling, avoid all mention of dates and legerdemain, and diablerie: Holmes, numbers, and confine myself to the Cockney, was a would-be wit; facts, persons, and circumstances; the leather-merchant was a fool; the a precaution of which I am sure writer, a man of humour; the bootmy readers will perceive the pru- maker, a simpleton; and the Doctor, dence, and appreciate the motive. · a compound of them all. These quaYou cannot, I suppose, controvert lities, or qualifications, of my com. the fact of my embarkation in the panions, were, as you may suppose,
Smack, Capt. So, with some elicited generally from their behavitwenty or thirty people; and still our during the whole voyage; but less, if possible, can you controvert the commencement of my observamy having sailed with her for Lon- tion of them was on an occasion of don. Of the persons, I believe, you which you will readily admit the fithad a rough glance at the pier head; ness, namely, during the conversabut they will be sketched more am tion, or rather the debate, for such ply to you, along with the circum- it often became, after dinner. Our stances with which they were all topics were, at first, of that ordinary more or less connected.
common-place class that naturally We had got fairly into the German arise out of the indefinite sort of talk ocean before our acquaintance was which the appearance of the decanof that social description which al- ters, and the disappearance of the lows of unreserved communication of ladies and children, always produce sentiments on any subject ; and had politics, wines, ladies, battles, books, reached Holy Island before any of &c. till the boot-maker, tanner, us ventured more than a thought French conjuror, and others, dropped at the character of his fellow. The off, and left Mr. Coram the writer, third morning, however, discovered and the Frenchman, in a keen disus to ourselves, and one of us found pute about the Scottish church worthat his fellow passengers consisted, ship; P. and I being at that time inter alios, of two French officers listeners.---Now, what were the sides
that these doughty polemics adopted describable structure; a cracked upon the question, “ Whether the clarionet, a half-penny whistle, and public worship of the kirk of Scot a trombone, present themselves as land is consonant with its belief in possibly able to give you an idea of the Divinity and Omnipotence of the the sound ; but to complete it, I object of its adoration?"". The quill- think, you must add the rattling of a driver, you suppose, maintained lus- bullet in a copper-kettle, for the tily the affirmative, and the French- Doctor was a Northumbrian. As not man bah'd and mondicu'd the idea of one of his hearers was prepared for this the term worship being at all applied salute, and not one could tell wheto our service. Quite the reverse! ther it was meant assentingly, ironi. The quill-driver had been reading cally, or disputaciously, the conseGay's “good Lord of Bolingbroke, quence was, that after an awkward and consequently had imbibed the pause of staring hesitation we burst principles, without fully comprehend, unanimously into a loud laugh! The ing the arguments, of that learned Doctor, however, was not to be nobleman: the Frenchman had fallen driven from his point by such a rein love with the daughter of a clergy- buff; for after we had coufirmed him man, and had regularly squired her in the belief that the laugh was at to the parish church on Sundays; him by our eagerness to lay it upon and thus the scribbler's reason, as he other matters, he took up the cudo thought it, had overcome his pre- gels on the side of the Frenchman, judice,--and the Frenchman's preju- with such an apparent zeal, that i dice had overcome his reason; for began to think, either that he was at bottom he was clearly a free one of that respectable body at thinker. The kirk was most uncere whom Coram had levelled his jeers, moniously handled by Coram. Your or, at least, that he was earnest and stickler to one fixed form of worship, in conscientious in the side which he preference to another, can be argued adopted. “ The question seems, with; but a denouncer of all public said he, after some previous debate, worship is like a declaimer against all “ to be, whether a church that has sorts of medicine--you leave him made herself what she is by the to die without pity, and though I determined spirit of her founders, believe M. Rotte's sincerity in his and maintained her principles by the praise of our establishment was to zeal and piety of her clergy, in der the full as questionable as his adver- fiance of the persecutions of all her sary's irreverence was unbecoming, enemies; whether, ye see, this church yet the latter had almost my ab- has framed a mode of public worship horrence, while the former had bare- worthy of its Almighty object. A poet ly my contempt. The debate was of your country, Sir, (to Coram) has about closing with a “ weel a called religious pride, in all the pomp weel, Mr. Rotte, ye'll gang your of method and of art, poor in com way to heaven, and I'll gang mine; parison with the simple devotions of and gin we meet o' the road, I'se à cotter and his family by their warrant we'll no cast out about the own fireside ; what shall we call it in means we took to come tillit;" when comparison with an assemblage of the theme was taken up by that Christians who have no fire to warm strange creature the Doctor. He them but the flame of their own had sat silent and unobserved, and bosoms ?--hem !-the inference is irreally by me unseen, since the re- refragable.” – Now, what did he moval of the cloth; and the effect of mean, Frank ?-whatever he meant, his now poking in his lank sallow the effect of what he said was again face among us was like that of a loud laugh from his auditors; the a knuckle of veal after a sirloin of face, the voice, above all the conbeef; one is surprised at its ap- catenation of rs in his sentence, fairly pearance, vexed at not being able to upset our gravity, and drove the partake of it, yet unwilling to let it Frenchman bursting out of the cago away without being tasted. M. bin. Coram was on his way after Rotte had just assented to Coram's him, and a general move was taking summing up, when" So the end is place at table, when a smart black gained n'importent the means, Mon- whiskered fellow of a footman ene sieur," issued from a voice of an in- tered, and, in broken English, prer
sented Colonel St. Etienne's compli- plunge into the water, at the stern ments, and requested the favour of of the vessel, and simultaneously a our company to a ball upon deck. scream of horror. There is always a An interruption of a much less agree- second or two of dead silence, a moable kind would have been most wel- mentary stupor of a terrible nature, come; you may guess whether that before people fly to discover the cause of Colonel St. Etienne's valet was so of an alarm ; in that moment all possia or not.-It was received by the Doc- ble circumstances, and chiefly those tor, however, with a most ungraci- of an aggravated nature, suggest ous pish, and, instead of accepting themselves to the mind; but rarely the invitation, he skulked away to his does the true cause of dread occur to birth, with a Tacitus and a raw any one. The sailors were the first turnip, on both of which he seemed to shout, “ a man overboard,” while to feed with some avidity.
the Captain and Mate 'ordered and A very elegant little parterre ap, assisted in the lowering of the boat.peared upon deck, where we found She was afloat in an instant, manned the rest of the company assembled. by the Captain, three sailors, M. The master of the ceremonies, Colo- Rotte, and Mr. P.-The scene I witnel St. Etienne, welcomed us like a nessed upon deck was really patheFrenchman; (you recollect Handel's tic: it is wonderful how strongly one “ like a prince,") that is, he bowed is affected by a plain, simple, unus along with assurances of his thanks brought-about incident, a genuine for the honour, &c. while he laughed burst of nature, unaided by situation, in his sleeve at our bêtise in believing surprise, or previous excitement.him. He then requested Mr. Li's Mrs. L. had been sitting nearest the permission to ask Mrs. L. to com- part of the vessel whence the sound mence the ball, by walking a waltz proceeded, and having lost sight of with him, which being granted much her youngest girl for some little time, more readily than I had imagined, the thought of her child being the the Colonel proceeded to avail him- sufferer had struck her, as she afterself of it, and in an instant appeared wards expressed it, like a flash' of upon the floor with Mrs. L. who, lightning, and elicited from her the however, had demurred to a waltz, scream, which, more than any thing but consented, as we were informed, else, had horrified us. During the to a minuet. They walked it beauti- interval of lowering the boat, all fully;anden passunt, I beg to ask,whe- hands appeared above, Doctor inther there is any comparison between cluded, yet little Susan L. was not the very best dance of the very best among them; her father could hardmodern school, and the elegance of ly support himself, and her mother the old court minuet. A country was just sinking, as I thought, into dance of seven couples followed. a swoon, when the little cherub apWhere the women came from, or peared from the boat which stands who they were, I know not ; but they upon deck, and, unconscious of the appeared quite genteel, and prece- uneasiness she had caused, cried, dence was strictly attended to. Mr.
66 Mamma!”-I will not attempt to P. and Mrs. L. led off; the other describe what followed, Frank, becouples seemed well enough matched, cause I am sure I should bombast it; the fourth being, by the master's the circumstance of parents finding a express arrangement, your humble child, which both had given up
for servant and Miss. We had kept it lost, makes a very pretty tale in up till near nine o'clock, when an many a pretty book; but I question occurrence of a very painful nature, if any of them ever had more effect while it lasted, spoiled our enjoyment on their hearers than this simple infor the rest of the evening. The cident had upon our company. The musicians (by-the-bye I have not child was a most fascinating creatold you that we mustered two vio- ture, and indeed the whole family lins and a harp)-the musicians had were remarked for their peculiarly just given that nondescript kind of engaging manners. twirl which announces the dance at We were again in the dark then as an end, when, before the consequent to the person who had gone overbuz of conversation could come board, for no one doubted that some mence, we distinctly heard a heavy one had so gone ; and we now recol
lected a stupid pert little girl of nine company and him for a long time or ten years old, who had been re- after, in spite of his droll sayings: peatedly checked in climbing about we forgave the fellow, however, for the cables, seats, &c. She was in his impudence ; and when we had the care of no one, though the stew- told the boat-party of our alarm, we ard seemed to have adopted her as found them rather of his way of his protegée during the voyage; and thinking, that we had made fools of she it was who was now doomed to ourselves. “ Come, cook,” said the the waves. Holmes (the cockney) captain,“ hang up the haunch," was the first to name her, and he was “Ay,” said Holmes, “hang him up seconded by all the sailors, one of -he must have some more capers bewhom did not scruple to say that fore he goes to pot ;” and many such “ he seed the bit lassie hinging at saucy remarks. The event served the starn-post.” Our anxiety was us for supper talk; but we parted for extreme about her—the boat had the night rather displeased with each made no discovery, and we
other. giving up the poor little girl for lost, The next morning, however, seem when a remark of Holmes's (a dry- ed to dawn favourably for a renewal witted odd sort of fellow, by the way) of our sociality; and the day passed confirmed me in a suspicion, that he without a gloom. My time was prinknew the whole cause of the alarm, cipally taken up by P. and L. whose if he was not the framer of it ; he conversation was really most attrachad been more than usually silent tive. The former is a thorough man during the stir, and the coldness of of the world, in as far as being above his observations must have struck the liability of being imposed upon every body. The boat was still seen by its arts can give right to that title. in the gloom, about 100 yards off; The latter is a gentleman, complete and was, as we thought, on her re- in all but purse. You have seen his turn to the vessel; the girl was still works, and you have seen the powers unfound, as Holmes said, and we all of his mind in those masterly perconcluded that she was lost for ever. sonifications of dramatic character But at that instant we heard a loud which were the admiration of our laugh from those in the boat, and the city for two winters. P. is not at all captain calling out that they had of a literary turn, but good society found the body, begged a warm bed has given him knowledge enough neto be prepared for it. Holmes de ver to appear ignorant to the degree sired him not to be uneasy, for he which puts one in pain ; and his suwas a member of the Humane So- perior acquaintance with real life ciety, and would undertake to revive renders him not only a fit but a dea drowned body, though as dead as sirable companion for most ranks of mutton. Before we could discern respectable people. I have received what they had found, we saw the general invitations to visit both of living body which we had lost these gentlemen in London, of which making her way out from among I shall most certainly avail myself. some cables, sails, &c. where she had We had a little joviality at night been lying fast asleep for the last (being Saturday), and more than one hour. The poor girl was most un of us fell sacrifices to the rosy God. mercifully rated, and very unjustly, I wonder if the proverb “ drunkenwhen one thinks of it; Holmes, in ness reveals what soberness conparticular, was ludicrously severe ceals," be as correct as proverbs geupon her for being only asleep when nerally are ; if it be, we are a sad set they all thought her dead. As the of dissemblers, because almost every boat neared, he congratulated them man's natyre undergoes a thorough upon having found the lost sheep, and change under the influence of drink; assisted the sailors in handing up the taciturn become talkative, the what? -a side of mutton which had peaceable uproarious, the dull lively. I dropped, or been cut from the vow I suspect the proverb a little in stern, where, with many other mat- particulars; but in the main it is ters, it had been hung for air !! Mr. right, else proverb it had never been. and Mrs. L. grew very grave, and If I recollect Jamieson's book Holmesgrew very facetious; but there aright, he had a parson on board was a coldness between the whole with him, by whose and Jamieson's