Abbildungen der Seite

of the youth like an invisible spell by cuali youth, shall take up their abode with his agonized master, surprising as they me! Time shall generate in me 'no decay, are, arise from causes so natural and só shall not add a wrinkle to my brow, or conadequate, that the imagination at oncé vert a hair of my head to grey! This body owns them as authentic. The mild was formed to die ; this edifice to erumble beauty of Falkland's natural character, mortality are mixed up in every atom of my

into dust; the principles of corruption and contrasted with the guilt he has incur- frame. "But for me the laws of nature are red, and his severe purpose to lead a long suspended, the eternal wheels of the unilife of agony and crime, that his fame verse roll backward; I am destined to be may be preserved spotless, is affecting triumphant over Fate and Time! Moriths, almost without example. There is a rude years, cycles, centuries! To me these are grandeur even in the gigantic oppressor but as indivisible moments. I shall never Tyrel, which all his disgusting enor become old; I shall always be, as it were, mities cannot destroy. Independently in the porch and infancy of existence ; no of the master-spring of interest, there lapse of years shall subtract any thing from are in this novel individual passages Louis the Twelfth; the life of Francis the

I was born under which can never be forgotten. Such are the fearful flight of Emily with her will be gathered to his fathers, and Henry his

First now threatens a speedy termination ; be ravisher--the escape of Caleb Williams

son will succeed him. But what are princes, from prison, and his enthusiastic sensa

and kings, and generations of men to me? tions on the recovery of his freedom, I shall become familiar with the rise and fall though wounded and almost dying of empires; in a little while the very name without help-and the scenes of his of France, my country, will perish from off peril among the robbers. Perhaps this the face of the earth, and men will dispute work is the grandest ever constructed about the situation of Paris, as they dispute out of the simple elements of humanity, about the site of ancient Nineveh, and Bawithout


extrinsic aid from imagi- bylon, and Troy. Yet I shall still be young. gination, wit, or memory.

I shall take my most distant posterity by the In “St. Leon,” Mr. Godwin has sought

hand; I shall accompany them in their the stores of the supernatural ;—but the exhausted, shall shut up the tomb over

career ; and, when they are worn out and " metaphysical aid” which he has con

them, and set forward," descended to accept is not adapted to carry him farther from nature, but to

This is a strange tale, but it tells like ensure a more intimate and wide com

a true one! When we first read it, it muvion with its mysteries. His hero seemed as though it had itself the power does not acquire the philosopher's stone

of alchemy to steal into our veins, and and the elixir of immortality to furnish render us capable of resisting death and out for himself a dainty solitude, where all time seemed opened to our personal

For a short-too short! a space, he may dwell soothed with the music view—we felt no longer as of yesterday ; of his own undying thoughts, and rejoicing in his severance from his frail

but the grandest parts of our knowledge and transitory fellows. Apart from those

of the past seemed mightiest recollec

tions of a far-off childhood: among whom he moves, his yearnings for sympathy become more intense as

“The wars we too remembered of King Nine,

And old Assaracus, and Ibycus divine." it eludes him, and his perceptions of the mortal lot of his species become more

This was the happy extravagance of vivid and more fond, as he looks on it

an hour ; but it is ever the peculiar from an intellectual eminence which is power of Mr. Godwin to inake us feel alike unassailable to death and to joy. that there is something within us which Even in this work, where the author cannot perish! has to conduct a perpetual miracle, his

• Fleetwood” has less of our author's exceeding earnestness makes it difficult characteristic energy than any other of to believe him a fabulist. Listen to his his works. The earlier parts of it, hero, as he expatiates in the first con- indeed, where the formation of the sciousness of his high prerogatives :

hero's character, in free rovings amidst " I surveyed my limbs, all the joints and have a deep beauty which reininds us of

the wildest of nature's scenery, is traced, articulations of my frame, with curiosity and astonishment. « What!" exclaimed 1,

some of the holiest imaginations of “ these limbs, this complicated but brittle Wordsworth. But when the author frame shall last for ever! No disease shall would follow him into the world attack it ; no pain shall seize it; death shall through the frolics of college, the dissipawithhold from it for ever his abhorred grasp! tions of Paris, and the petty disquietudes Perpetual vigour, perpetual activity, perpe- of matrimonial life we feel that he has

[ocr errors]

condescended pannot work in these thought, subdued and sweetened by

far. He is no grace “on Sepulchres.” Here his philosophic frail and low materials. There is, how the contemplation of mortality, is breathever, tone scene in this novel most wild ed forth in the gentlest tone. His" Po. and fearful. This is where Fleetwood, litical Justice," with all the extravagance who has long brooded in anguish over of its first edition, or with all the inconthe idea of his wife's falsehood, keeps sistencies of its last, is a noble work, restrange festival on his wedding-day- plete with lofty principle and thought, when, having procured a waxen image and often leading to the most striking of her whom he believes perfidious, and results by a process of the severest dressed a frightful figure in a uniform to reasoning. Man, indeed, cannot and represent her imagined paramour, he ought not to act universally on its leadlocks himself in an apartment with ing doctrine that we should in all these horrid counterfeits, a supper things seek only the greatest amount of of cold meats, and a barrel-organ, on good without favour or affection, but it which he plays the tunes often heard is at least better than the low selfishness from the pair he believes guilty, till his of the world. It breathes also a mild silent agony gives place to delirium, he and cheerful faith in the progressive adgazes around with glassy, eyes, sees vances and the final perfection of the strange sights and dallies with frightful species. It was not this good hope for mockeries, and at last tears the dreadful humanity which excited Mr. Malthus to spectacle to atoms, and is seized with affirm, that there is in the constitution furious madness. We do not remember, of man's nature a perpetual barrier to even in the works of our old dramatists, any grand or extensive imprórement in any thing of its kind comparable to his earthly condition. After long inthis voluptuous fantasy of despair. terval, Mr. Godwin has announced a 2. "Mandeville" has all the power ofits reply to this popular system—a system srauthor's earliest writings; but its main which reduces man to an animal, go

subjects the developement of an engross- verned by blind instinct, and destitute of bringi cand maddening hatred—is not one reason, sentiment, imagination and hope,

which can excite human sympathy. whose most mysterious instincts are There is, however, a bright relief to the matter of calculation to be estimated by gloom of the picture, in the sweet and rules of geometrical series! Most 1 angelic disposition of Clifford, and the earnestly do we desire to witness his 1' sparkling loveliness of Henrietta, who success. To our minds, indeed, he

appears" full of life, and splendour and sufficiently proves the falsehood of his 1 iyoy:"", All Mr. Godwin's chief female adversary's doctrines by his own intellec

characters have a certain airiness and tual character. His works are, in themradiance-a light, visionary grace, pe- selves, evidences that there is power and teuliar to them, which may at first sur- energy in man which have never yet

prise by their contrast to the robustness been fully brought into action, and of his masculine creations.' But it will which were not given to the species in perhaps be found that the more deeply vain. He has lived himself in the soft -man is conversant with the energies and mild light of those pure and un

and the stern grandeur of his own heart, stained years, which he believes shall " the more will he seek for opposite hereafter' bless the world, when force * qualities in woman.

and selfishness shall disappear, and Of all Mr. Godwin's writings the love and joy shall be the unerring 's choicest in point of style is a little essay lights of the species.

T. D.



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Admiring Nature in her wildest grace,
These Northern scenes with weary feet I trace;
O'er many a winding dale and painful steep,
'Th' abodes of covey'd grouse and timid sheep,

My savage journey, curious I pursue -Burns.". 1 SET out on my journey at the most Atlantic Ocean, are, 'during the greater favourable season for visiting the High- portion of the year, visited by continual lands of Scotland, namely, the latter rains and fogs, and it is only in the sum

erid of July. The Highlands, particu- ' mer season that a traveller can truly .:larly, those parts which border on the 'enjoy the sublime scenery of the north NEw Monthly Mag.–No. 78. 139 VOL. XIV.


of Scotland. During the five weeks than in Italy*. In Scotland, on the which I spent on this interesting tour, contrary, nothing of the kind need be I had the good fortune to be enabled to apprehended; in the month of August, journey at the rate of beiween twenty- hundreds of students from Edinburgh five and thirty-four miles every day. But and Glasgow set out to visit the unineven in this favourable season, a visit to habited regions of the Highlands, prothe Highlands is attended by some in- vided with no other weapons of defence conveniences; for instance, à traveller than their umbrellas. may expect to be enveloped in what is Steam-boats sail daily from Edincalled a Scotch mist at least twenty times burgh to the different towns on the a-day, to be frequently obliged to wade Firth of Forth. On the 29th of July I through bogs and rivulets, or to travel engaged a passage on board one of these upwards of fifteen miles without the boats, to proceed to Alloa. In elegance possibility of procuring any better re- and convenience this boat was vastly freshment than a glass of whiskey and a superior to those which I had seen on piece of oat-cake. During the last twenty the Thames. Besides the general cabin, years, however, many excellent roads there was an apartment for the ladies, have been made in various parts of Scot- and another for the gentlemen ; the land, and the English, who were com- table was covered with the latest newspelled by the war to limit their excur- papers, and the passengers were allowed sions to the boundaries of their own the use of a small library. There was island, have done so much for the secu- a large party on board, and from the rity of comfort, even in these northern number of portmanteaus I could perregions, that the difficulties now atten- ceive that many besides myself were dant on a visit to the Highlands are prepared for the Highland tour. In trifling in comparison with what they about four hours we reached Alloa, the were at a former period. But these im- favourable state of the tide having conprovements, of course, tend, in some mea- tributed to the swiftness of our passage. sure, to banish the poetic associations To sail along the Firth of Forth is the naturally excited by such a journey :- most interesting thing imaginable ; the good inns are now to be met with in shore on either side presents an endabundance, and the traveller has seldom less variety of beautiful and luxuriant occasion to trust to the hospitality of the scenery t, while the majestic chain of Highlander in his hut, where light and the Grampian Hills, forming, as it were, air are admitted through the same aper- the bulwark of the Highlands, graduture which serves for a chimney. The ally appears in view. I proceeded from English language is almost universally Alloa to Stirling, a fortress celebrated understood, and the period is probably in Scottish history. The situation of not very distant when the Scottish High- the town, with the castle overlooking landers will lose those peculiar charac-it, presents, in some measure, a miniateristics which their language and na- ture of Edinburgh. According to potional pride have enabled them to pre- pular opinion, the real Scottish thistle serve longer than any other European grows wild only on the three fortresses people. The task which Macpherson of Edinburgh, Stirling, and Dumbarexecuted forty-five years ago, in compil- ton; and it is presumed to be as imposing Ossian from detached and chiefly sible to root it out from its favourite soil incorrect fragments, would not be easily as to destroy the laurel on Virgil's tomb. effected at the present day, so rapidly is I should imagine this to be a rare the Gaelic language falling into disuse, species of thistle, for I sought for it in and the English gaining ground. vain among the basalt rocks on my way

I very much wished to have travelled to the Highland town of Callander. on foot through England; but in my During the first day of my journey I little excursions from London to Wind- had an opportunity of becoming acsor, Richmond, Epsom, &c., I had ex- quainted with the peculiar changeable perienced so much rude staring and de- Climate of the Highlands. Immense risive laughter from the people,, and such insolence on the part of the tavern- * Among the other cruelties which the keepers, that nothing could have tempt- Doctor suffered from the English savages, it ed me to endure such treatment for the is plain that he underwent the operation space of several weeks. Add to this, a called a hoax. Ed. pedestrian traveller incurs a greater risk + A sovereign has compared the coast of of being robbed or murdered in England Fife to a mantle edged with gold fringe.


veils of thick fog descend from the naked scenery is as pecnliar to the country as hills, and fill the valleys with vapour the language and manners of its inhaand obscurity; and no sooner are these bitants. In Scotland, the peculiarities fogs dispersed by the rays of the sun, than of nature consist not only in the singuthey are succeeded by others. Pursu- lar concours of the hills, whose naked ing my course through a most romantic summits are hidden amidst the descenddistrict, I arrived in the evening at Cal- ing clouds, or in the contracted glens, lander. This little town is, for three interspersed with lakes, but also in the months of the year, the rendezvous of continual variation of the atmosphere, thousands of travellers, who throng to and the sudden transitions from sunthis part of Scotland to visit Loch Ka- shine to rain. This is not, I believe, trine, to which Walter Scott's poem, the case in any other country, and conthe “ Lady of the Lake,” has given sequently, it is only in Scotland that the such extraordinary celebrity. In the spirit of the Ossianic poetry can be truly little inn at Callander I found copies of understood; for nowhere else do the all Scott's poems, maps of those dis- clouds produce such phamtom-like aptricts which the bard has rendered clas- pearances, or the penetrating rays of the sic ground, and a little description of sun such magical effects

. When Ossian the scenery about Loch Katrine, pre- compares a beautiful virgin to a sunpared by the landlord of the inn, and beam, his real meaning can only be unwhich consisted of quotations from the derstood in the native country of the “ Lady of the Lake." I soon made ac- bard; and such is the case with nearly all quaintance with a young student from his comparisons. Edinburgh, in company with whom I The distance from Callander to the promised to visit the Lake on the fol- Trossachs is about 10 miles, and the lowing day. When I informed him how road runs in the direction of two beautifar I had walked in the course of one ful lakes. The Trossachs are a cluster afternoon, he remarked that I did not of low conical hills, covered with heath travel after the fashion of the students of and thickets---they present a most cuOxford and Camlridge. As we rious picture to the eye of the geoloabout to sit down to supper, we were gist. Behind them lies Loch Katrine, much amused by the entrance of two which in a great measure owes its celeOxford men, who had just returned from brity to Walter Scott's poem, the “ Lady the Lake. The distance they had walk- of the Lake.” Never has any poetic proed could not exceed twenty miles, yet duction, in modern times, excited such the signs of extreme fatigue which they enthusiasm in the inhabitants of the evinced were truly ludicrous. On enter- country in which it was written. Traing the room, the first thing they did vellers are seen wandering about Loch was to throw off their shoes, which, as Katrine and referring to the poem, as it we afterwards discovered, were stuffed is customary to visit Lake Averno in with wool.

company with Virgil: whenever a perThere are days in human life in which son is seen strolling up and down with the abundance of novel intellectual plea- a book in his hand, one may be pretty sures produces the same exhaustion on certain that he is perusing the “ Lady of the mind as physical enjoyments occa- the Lake;" as a king of Spain observed, sion to the body. During the moment, on seeing a man walking about with the operation of the one as well as of his eyes fixed on a book and laughing the other almost perishes ; but through- heartily, that he must either be mad, or out life, the fancy retains the happy reading Don Quixote. Boats are kept power of reproducing their images, at in readiness to row visitors across to the least to ourselves, though perhaps not little island which Scott has made the satisfactorily to others by the aid of refuge of his Ellen. Those events which mere words. All who have visited Na- had no reality, save in the imagination ples must have experienced such days; of the Poet, are here almost regarded as and the vertigo of the first day spent in historical facts, for the people point out the Gulf of Baiæ, or of the morning the spot in the valley where James V. when a traveller first ascends Vesuvius, lost his gallant grey, the point at which or visits Pompeii, cannot fail to creaté he approached the lake, the old oak belasting impressions. For my own part, neath which Ellen concealed her boat, I shall ever number among these happy and the point where she landed to condays the first which I spent in the High- duct the stray hunter to the island. lands of Scotland, where the natural Werner says, " what is in the mind,

has been;" and the people of Scotland those who do 'not prefer the wildness of have converted into reality that which is Loch Katrine will probably consider it merely poetic. This little island, which the most beautiful. My journey along is scarcely 200 feet from the shore, was the eastern bank was extremely fatiguonce, however, the scene of an extraor: ing: for the distance of 10 miles I was dinary act of female heroisın. The obliged to leap from one stone to anocountry people had placed their wives' ther, or to wade through rivulets and children on 'this island for security,' swollen by heavy rains. But for this at the time when Cromwell's troops I was amply recompensed by the noble were pouring in upon this part of Scot- prospect presented by the lake and its land. A party of soldiers resolved to islands ; 'of the latter there are thirty,' plunder the island, to carry off the wo and the largest is about two miles in men, and murder the children. They circumference. It is a well known had no boats with them, and the bold- fact that Loch Lomond was violently est of the party swam across the little agitated during the earthquake at Lislake to secure a wherry which was lying bon. in an inlet of the island. The soldier I passed the night at Rowardennam, a had already reached some shelvy rocks little town at the foot of Ben Lomond.* adjoining the island, when one of the This mountain, like a king, overlooks women, who had concealed herself for the surrounding country, and though the purpose, suddenly sprang up behind in eig it is inferior to some hills him, and with one stroke of a sword, of the Highlands, yet the prospect from severed his head from his body; in the its summit is universally acknowledged view of his companions, on the opposite to be finer than any other. Ben Nevis shore. The rest of the party imme is the loftiest hill in Great Britain and diately relinquished their design, and Ireland; it is said to be 4283 feet, but retreated; the great grandson of this according to other calculations 4370 heroic woman still resides in the neigh- feet above the level of the sea : the bourhood of the lake.

height of Ben Lomond is calculated at I spent the whole of the day on this 3240 feet. I know of nothing in Switromantic spot, and at sunset ascended zerland or Tyrol at all comparable to the mountain called Benvenue. How- the grandeur of the prospect from the ever, after all the trouble and fatigue top of Ben Lomond : while a countless I had endured in wading over bogs, I number of lakes glisten like mirrors on was disappointed of the prospect I ex every side, the view is bounded by the pected to enjoy on reaching the sum. Atlantic ocean on the west, and I could mit, for every object around me was plainly discern the hills on the islands obscured by fog.

of Bute and Arran. But still more imI wished on the following morning, posing is the prospect on the north, to have had a view of Loch Katrine in its where lofty clusters of hills tower one full extent, by taking the most interest- above another in the most astonishing ing, though certainly not the easiest way, partly in light, and partly shaded by road to Loch Lomond. This is a course huge clouds, and in the background not generally pursued by travellers, for Ben-Nevis rears his head above the besides the necessity of wading through whole. I sat for a whole hour on the rivulets and bogs, there is not any thing top of Ben Lomond admiring the surlike an inn for the space of 25 miles, rounding scene, when at length I was and consequently one must be content joined by four young men, residents of with a breakfast at the Trossachs, and the neighbouring country, who had a supper in Rowardennam. The distance been induced, by the unusual fineness to the western extremity of the lake is of the morning, io take their breakfast about 10 miles, and the district has the on the hill. Even before the basket of appearance of a perfect desert, with the provisions and the whiskey bottle had exception of a few stone huts. The arrived, I was invited with hearty greetboatman who rowed me over to Port- ings to partake of their meal. They nellen on the opposite side, at my re told me the names of the principal hills ; quest sang me a Gaelic song, which was and where the ocean mingled with the the first I had heard. The road from horizon, pointed out as the coast of hence to Loch Lomond leads over a Ireland what I had previously mistaken lofty hill covered merely with hea- for a line of mist. We descended the ther. The first view of Loch Lomond is uncommonly grand and imposing; it * Ben is the Gaelic word for Mountain, as is the largest of the Scottish lakes, and Loch is for Lake.

« ZurückWeiter »