« ForrigeFortsæt »
agonizing pain. What a deep sympathy voted to his wife with the tenderest in his sufferings does this information affection. Home was the scene of his awaken, and what a profound respect best enjoyments, and in domestic life for his fortitude and resignation! espe- he was most endearing. He hated all cially when it is remembered, that the display; and though well acquainted languor and pensiveness so often appa- with every branch of literature, and rent, which his friends usually ascribed qualified for intercourse with the first to nervous sensibility, was the effect of of the learned and the wise, yet the a mortal disease. He had long been sen mild affability of his manners sible of a temporary pause in the beat- couraged the humblest effusions of the ing of his pulse and the throbbing of unaffected and unassuming. He poshis heart, which is understood to have sessed a native frankness that banishproceeded from the same cause. ed restraint. He had a keen relish of
He left two sons and a daughter- wit in others, and sometimes displayed most promising children. There was no common degree of it himself: It no part of his character more imprese did not dart upon his associates with sive than the paternal ; for, mingled the flash of the meteor, to dazzle and with a sensitive anxiety for their safe astonish, but was like the enlivening ty, he paid minute attention to the rays of the setting sun, reflected from earliest movements of their minds, the rippling waves of a pure, and and delighted in observing the impres- transparent lake.
He looked upon sions of which they were susceptible, conversation as'a pastime in which all and sharing like a play-mate in their were entitled to engage, and joined in innocent gambols; but his feelings are common topics with an easy gayety ; best expressed in his own affecting but when subjects of importance were lines on his son's birth-day.
discussed, or his indignation roused, “O! sportive looks of love, devoid of guile, by acts of injustice or oppression, his I prize you more than beauty's magic feelings burst forth with all the unresmile ;
strained splendour of a generous and Yes, in that face, unconscious of its charm, lofty mind, overwhelming his oppoI gaze with bliss, unmingled with alarm. Ah, no! full oft a boding horror flies
nents with a torrent of unexpected eloAthwart my fancy, uttering fateful cries.
quence. Almighty Power! his harmless life defend,
Piety was interwoven with every And it we part, 'gainsi me the mandate emotion of his heart, and he constantsend.
ly felt the power of the Deity in all his And yet a wish will rise,Would I might works. The study of Nature was his
live, Till added years his memory firmness give! best in her most simple dress: and
supreme delight; but he loved her For, 0 ! it would a joy in death impart,
the wild flower that sprung on the To think I still survived within his heart : To think he'll cast, midway the vale of banks of a lonely streain, pleased him years,
more than the gayest of the cultivated A retrospective look, bedimmed with tears ; garden. And tell, regretful, how I looked and spoke; He loved the poor, and knew the What walks I loved, where grew my fa. best parts of their nature; discovered vourite oak ;
their virtuous propensities through the How gently I would lead him by the hand ; rude garb that covered them; and How gently use the accent of command ; What lore I taught him, roaming wood and their limited attainments, drew forth
while he adapted his conversation to wild, And how the man descended to the child ;
the latent sparks of intelligence with How well I loved with him, on Sabbath which they were endowed. He justly morn,
and emphatically styles himself * the To hear the anthem of the vocal horn : poor man's bard.” In the Georgics To teach religion, unallied to strife, this is particularly obvious—a poem And trace to him the way, the truth, the which, with all its faults, can never life."
be indifferent to those who possess a These dear children have also had relish for beautiful description and the misfortune to lose their excellent genuine feeling. mother, and are now under the care of His aspect to strangers appeared seher father and an amiable sister, at date even to seriousness; but this vanAnnan.
ished on a nearer approach, and the Grahame would have been ill able smile that occasionally illumined his to bear this affiiction, for he was de- countenance, was like a beam of sun
shine breaking through the light clouds bitious of scattering a few wild flowers that sometimes overshadow the bright- over the grave of departed virtue, but ness of a summer's day. In music he who leaves to a more skilful hand had the highest enjoyment, and sung the task of rearing a monument worhimself with fine taste and touching pa- thy of his genius. Many images beam thos. Scotch tunes were his favourites; upon the writer's mind, to which no indeed he loved every thing Scotch; and language can give expression; much he left his native country with the ut- is purposely omitted; but what has most regret, when his connection with been written, is from the fulness of a the English church called him away heart overflowing with grateful recolfrom it. His partiality to old things, lections.
Y. is expressed with his usual simplicity in the following extract of a letter from Sedgefield :
THE PROGRESS OF INCONSTANCY ; OR, “ October
THE SCOTS TUTOR; A MORAL TALE. “ You will now be beginning to cour round the fire at night; and * Sweet, tender sex! with snares encomthough looking back with regret on passed round, the long summer days, still you have on others hang thy comforts and thy rest." before you the joys of a bleezing ingle
Hogg. in Auli Reekie, wi' Scotch cracks and Scotch sangs. What would I give to NATURE has made woman weak, that be able to draw in my chair
she might receive with gratitude the among
Yet how often you ! I believe I was too old to trans- protection of man. plant, and I doubt if I ever shall be
is this appointment perverted ! "How able to take root here."
often does her protector become her These feelings are still more affect- oppressor! Even custom seems leagued ingly exemplified in the following lines against her: Born with the tenderest from the Georgics :
feelings, her whole life is commonly a “ How pleasant came thy rushing, silver struggle to suppress them. Placed in Tweed,
the most favourable circumstances, Upon my ear, when, after roaming long
her choice is confined to a few objects; in Southern plains, I've reached thy lovely and unless where singularly fortunate, banks!
her fondest partialities are only a moHow bright, renowned Sark, thy little stream, dification of gratitude. She may reLike ray of columned light chasing a shower, ject, but cannot invite ; may tell what Would cross my homeward path! How
would make her wretched, but dare sweet the sounds When I, to hear the Doric tongue's reply,
not even whisper what would make Would ask thy well-known name !
her happy ; and, in a word, exercises And must I leave, merely a negative upon the most imDear land, thy bonny þraes, thy dales, portant event of her life. 'Man has Each haunted by its wizard-stream, o'erhung leisure to look around him, and may With all the varied cliarms of bush and tree; Thy towering hills, the lineaments sublime, alvantage ; but woman must improve
marry at any age, with almost equal Unchanged, of Nature's face, which wont
the fleeting moment, and determine to fill The eye of Wallace
, as he musing planned quickly, at the hazard of determining The grand emprise of setting Scotland free? rashly. The spring-time of her beauAnd must I leave the friends of youthfulty will not last; its wane will be the years,
signal for the flight of her lovers; and And mould my heart anew to take the stamp if the present opportunity is neglectOf foreign friendships in a foreign land ? ed, she may be left to experience Yes, I may love the music of strange tongues, the only species of misfortune for And mould my heart anew to take the stamp which the world evinccs no sympathy. Of foreign friendships in a foreign land :
How cruel, then, to increase the miBut to my parched mouth's roof cleave this
sery of her natural dependence! How tongue, My fancy fade into the yellow leaf,
to add treachery to And this oft pausing heart forget to throb,
strength, and deceive or disappoint If, Scotland, thee and thine I e'er forget.”
those whose highest ambition is our
favour, and whose only safety, is our This little memoir is offered with honesty! some hesitation, by one who was hon William Arbuthnot was born in a reoured with his friendship, and is am mote county of Scotland, where his faVOL. I.
ther rented a few acres of land, which ful day for the family of Belhervie, his own industry had reclaimed from for that was the name of the residence the greatest wildness to a state of con- of Mr Arbuthnot. The father was siderable fertility. Having given, even as profuse of his admonitions as the in his first attempts at learning, those mother was of her tears, and had a indications of a retentive memory, stranger beheld the afflicted group,
he which the partiality of a parent easily would have naturally imagined that construes into a proof of genius, he they were bewailing some signal cas was early destined for the Scottishlamity, in place of welcoming an event Church, and regarded as a philosopher to which they had long looked forward before he had emerged from the rur with pleasure. But the feelings of sery. While his father pleased him- affectionate regret, occasioned by this self with the prospect of seeing his separation, were most seasonably susname associated with the future great- pended by the receipt of a letter from ness of his son, his mother, whose Mr Coventry, a respectable farmer in ambition took a narrower range, the neighbourhood, in which that thought she could die contented if gentleman offered to engage their son she should see him seated in the for a few years, as a companion and pulpit of his native church ; and, pere tutor to his children.
This was haps from a pardonable piece of van an offer which his parents were too ity, speculated as frequently upon the prudent to reject, particularly as it effect his appearance would have up- might prove the means of future on the hearts of the neighbouring patronage as well as of present emoldaughters, as his discourses upon the ument.
therefore immeminds of their mothers. This prac. diately agreed upon, that William tice, so common among the poorer should himself be the bearer of classes in Scotland, of making one of their letter of acceptance, and protheir children a scholar, to the preju- ceed forthwith to his new residence. dice, as is alleged, of the rest, has On this occasion he was admonished been often remarked, and sometimes anew; but the advices were different severely censured. But probably the from those formerly given, and were objections that have been urged against delivered by a different person. His it, derive their chief force from the mother was now the principal speaker ; exaggerations upon which they are and instead of warning him against the commonly founded. It is not in gen snares that are laid for youth in a great eral true; that parents, by bestowing city, she furnished him with some rude the rudiments of a liberal education lessons on the principles of good-breedupon one of the family, materially in- ing, descending to a number of partijure the condition or prospects of the culars too minute to be enumeratec rest. For it must be remembered, here. William listened to her hathat the Plebeian student is soon left rangue with becoming reverence and to trust to his own exertions for sup- attention, and on the following mornport, and, like the monitor of a Lan- ing, for the first time, bade farewell to castrian seminary, unites the charac- his affectionate parents. ters of pupil and master, and teaches On the afternoon of the same day, and is taught by turns.
he arrived at Daisybank, where he But to proceed with our little nar was welcomed with the greatest corrative-The parish schoolmaster hav- diality. His appearance was genteel ing intimated to the parents of his and prepossessing, and it was not long pupil, that the period was at hand before his new friends discovered, that when he should be sent to prosecute the slight degree of awkwardness his studies at the university, the usual which at first clung to his manners, preparations were made for his jour- proceeded more from bashfulness and ney, and his departure was fixed for embarrassment than natural rusticity, the following day, when he was to But as he began to feel himself at proceed to Edinburgh under escort of home, this embarrassment of manner the village carrier and his black dog gradually gave place to an easy but Cæsar, two of the oldest and most ina unobtrusive politeness. Indeed it timate of his acquaintance.
Gold- would not have been easy for a youth smith's poetical maxim, that little of similar views, at his first onset in things are great to little men, is uni- life, to have fallen into more desirable versally true; and this was an event company. Mr and Mrs Coventry were
proverbial among their neighbours for ed ungrateful and even presumptuous. the simplicity and purity of their man But this was waging war with nature, ners, and they had laboured, not un a task which he soon found to be successfully, to stamp a similar char- above his strength. He had now, acter upon the minds of their children. therefore, to abandon the hope of vic*Their family consisted of two sons and tory for the safety of retreat, and contwo daughters, the former of whom tent himself with concealing those senwere confided to the care of William. timents he found it impossible to sub
Mary, the eldest of the four, now due. Yet so deceitful is love, that in her sixteenth or seventeenth year, even this modest hope was followed was in every respect the most inter- with disappointment.“ One fine evenesting object at Daisybank. To a ing in June, when he was about to unmind highly cultivated for her years, bend from the duties of the day, and she united many of those personal retire to muse upon the amiable Mary, graces and attractions, which command he encountered the fair wanderer herlittle homage in the crowd, but open self, who was probably returning from upon us in the shade of retirement, a similar errand. He accosted her in and lend to the domestic circle its most evident confusion, and without being irresistible charms, In stature she conscious of what he said, invited her scarcely reached the middle size. To to join him in a walk to a neighbourthe beauty derived from form and ing height. His request was complied colour she had few pretensions ; yet with in the same spirit it had been when her fine blue eyes moistened made, for embarrassment is often conwith a tear at a tale of distress, or tagious, particularly the embarrassment beamed an unaffected welcome to the arising from love. On this occasion stranger or the friend, he must have he intended to summon up all his been more or less than man who felt powers of conversation, and yet his not for her a sentiment superior to ad- companion had never found him so miration. Her's, in a word, was the silent. Some common-place complibeauty of expression-the beauty of ments to the beauty of the evening a mind reflected, in which the dullest were almost the only observations disciple of Lavater could not for a mo which escaped his lips, and these he ment have mistaken her real char-' uttered more in the manner of a sleep
Her education had been prin- walker than a lover. They soon reachcipally conducted under the eye of hered the limit of their walk, and rested parents, and might be termed domes- upon an eminence that commanded tic rather than fashionable. Not that the prospect of an extensive valley beshe was entirely a stranger to those low. Day was fast declining to that acquirements which are deemed in- point which is termed twilight, when dispensible in modern education. She the whole irrational creation seem prehad visited occasionally a great metro- paring for rest, and only man dares to polis, though, owing to the prudent. intrude upon the silence of nature. solicitude of her parents, her residence Miss Coventry beheld the approach of there had been comparatively short, night with some uneasiness, and dreadyet probably long enough to acquire ing to be seen with William alone, all its useful or elegant accomplish- she began to rally him upon his apments, without any admixture of its parent absence and confusion, and profashionable frivolities.
posed that they should immediately From this hasty portraiture of Miss return to the house. At mention of Coventry, it will easily be believed this, William started as from a dream, that it was next to impossible for a and being unable longer to command youth nearly of the same age, and not his feelings, he candidly confessed to dissimilar in his dispositions, to re her the cause of his absence and demain long insensible to charms that jection. He dwelt with much emowere gradually maturing before his tion upon his own demerit, and voleyes, and becoming every day more untarily accused himself for the preremarkable. Fortunately, however, sumption of a hope which he never the idea of dependance attached to his meant to have revealed until the nearsituation, and a temper naturally diffi er accomplishment of his views' had dent, determined hiin to renounce for rendered it less imprudent and roever a hope which he feared in his mantic. He declared, that he would present circumstances would be cleem sooner submit to any hardship than
incur the displeasure of her excellent snugness and comfort that reignel parents, and intreated, that whatever within made him forget the storm were her sentiments with regard to that pelted without, for the most de : the suit he was so presumptuous as to licious paradise an eastern imagination prefer, that she might assist him in ever painted. concealing from them a circumstance It will thus readily be imagined, that which he feared would be attended the saddest day of our tutor's life was with that consequence. To this ten- that on which he parted from this amider and affectionate appeal, the gentle able family. He had here, he believed, Mary could only answer with her sighs spent the happiest moments of his exand blushes. She often indeed at- istence, and instead of rejoicing that tempted to speak, but the words as of- he had passed through one stage of his ten died upon her lips, and they had apprenticeship, he dwelt upon the past nearly reached home before she could with pleasure, and looked forward to even whisper an answer to the reite- the future with pain. rated question of her lover. Bụt she Fortune, however, presented an in- , did answer at last ; and never was a superable obstacle to his spending his monarch more proud of his conquest, days in the inaction of private study; or the homage of tributary princes, and he knew that he could neither than William was of the simple fealty gain, nor deserved to gain, the object of the heart of Mary,
of his affection, without establishing In the bosom of this happy family, himself in life, by pursuing the course William now found his hours glide which had been originally chalked out away so agreeably, that he looked for- to him. After, therefore, “ pledging ward with real regret to the termina, oft to meet again," he bade adieu to tion of his engagement. His condi- Daisybank, loaded with the blessings tion was perhaps one of those in which of the best of parents, and followed : the nearest approach is made to per- with the prayers of the best of daughfect happiness; when the youthful ters, He now paid a farewell visit to mind, unseduced by the blandishments his parents; and after remaining with of ambition, confines its regards to a them a few days, he proceeded to few favourite objects, and dreads a Edinburgh, and for a short period felt separation from them as the greatest his melancholy relieved, by the thouof evils. The contrast between the sand novelties that attract the notice patriarchal simplicity of his father's of a stranger in a great city. But this fireside, and the comparative elegance was only a temporary relief, and as he of Mr Coventry's parlour, for a season had no friend in whom he could con : dazzled him with its novelty; while fide, he soon felt himself solitary in the ripening graces of Mary threw the midst of thousands. Often, when in around him a fascination which older the Professor was expatiating upon the and more unsusceptible minds than force of the Greek particles, his imahis might have found it difficult to re- gination was hovering over the abotles sist. In his domestic establishment, he had forsaken ; and frequently it Mr Coventry aimed at nothing beyond would have been more difficult for him comfort and gentility. William was to have given an account of the lectures therefore treated in every respect as an he had been attending, than to have equal, and was never banished from calculated the probability of what was his patron's table to make room for a passing at an hundred miles distance. more important guest, or condemned But this absence and dejection at last to hold lent over a solitary meal, while wore off, and as he possessed good natthe family were celebrating a holiday. ural talents, and had been an indus
All our ideas are relative, and we trious student formerly, he soon dis. ». estimate every thing by comparison. tinguished himself in his classes; and Upon this principle, William Thought before the usual period, was engaged no female so lovely or amiable as Miss as a tutor in one of the best families Coventry, and no residence so delight, in Scotland. ful as Daisybank. And he would not This event formed another importhave exchanged his feelings, while ant era in his life. His prospects were seated on a winter evenivg amidst his now flattering, and as vanity did not favourite circle, scannivg, for their a- fail to exaggerate them, he soon dropmusement, a page of history, or the ped a considerable portion of his hucolumns of a newspaper, while the inility, and began to regard himself as