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garet on the other tack. A deevil's your bisness, zur, oo mony zarks I 'ae!” and with that she flounced out of the kirk.

At the village of Ferryden, on the south side of the Esk, opposite Montrose, there is a colony of these fishers; and the women are in the habit of daily carrying the fish to Montrose for sale. The first mile of the road lies along the bank of the river, and then it returns by a long wooden bridge to Montrose. The first part of the road is on the top of a sunk fence, within which there is an extensive field belonging to the farm of Higham. Some years ago that field was under grass ; and among the cattle there was a large white-faced, or as the Scotch call it, hawkit bull, of formidable appearance, and far from the most gentle disposition. As the fish-women marched along the top of the fence outside, this bull used to march along the bottoin, on the in, and serenade them all the way by incessant bellowing (locally termed creuning). The fence was impregnable, but the enemy was formidable, and if they ventured to stop he used to employ both horns and hoofs in cannonading them with turf from the opposite bank of the ditch. Thus (under the name of “ 'Igham's 'awkit ox,") he became the general subject of terror; and the young children were stilled, the elder ones kept from mischief, and the whole place, in short, held in awe, little inferior to that of a military despotism, by the “sound and fury" of the white-faced bull,—for of actual mischief done by him, up to this period of his history, not a syllable is recorded.

Even Janet Tyrie, who was alike renowned for her strength and her valour, and who was in these respects the very Thalestris of Ferryden fish-women, quailed and lowered her high spirit at the name, and yet more at the sight and the sound of “ 'Igham's 'awkit ox.” Many were her inward maledictions as she trudged along the fence with her wellfilled creel (basket) of fish, or when she returned in ballast,—for the fish-women there are accustomed to so ponderous a load on their crupper, that rather than return with the creel empty, they put a great stone into it, “to steady their quarters,"

themselves say. Often did she wish that the butcher would “ mak' mutton o'the vilthy brute, an' zell 'im vor vish an' sauce to the bairns' porritch ;" but still the formidable ox kept the field; and as the season got hot his wrath became more alarming than ever. Even Sunday was no sabbath-day to Janet

Tyrie and her associates ; for on that day the warlike demonstrations of the ox were doubled and doubled again ;-they had to pass two sides of the field in going to their parish kirk (Craig), and as they went there twice, they had their double serenade four times over. One Sunday Janet was a little behind her companions, and in passing along the fence she kept blessing herself that no “ 'Igham's 'awkit ox” was there, as no sight or sound of him was perceived. Soon, however, was her joy changed for sorrow deeper than ever ; for, upon turning the corner of the fence, the enemy stood before her in the middle of the road, bellowing and pawing in high chafe, and not above forty yards distant! Janet lost not a moment in deliberation, but sped on for the bridge of Montrose, with the bull in full pursuit. But fear for once made two feet better than four, and Janet entered the toll-gate on the bridge in time for its being

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closed against the enemy. But that enemy kept his post, and return to Craig or to Ferryden there was none.

What did Janet Tyrie do? a religious woman-she could not remain a whole Sunday from the kirk; but there was more than a lion in the way-she could not profit by the instructions of her parish-minister. Her resolution was soon taken: she had often served the ministers of Montrose with fish, and why should not they for once serve her with sermons ? No reason appeared to the contrary, and off she went. As some time had been lost, she found, on arriving in the town, that the stream of kirkward people set but in one direction; into that stream she threw herself, and did not stop till she had sat down on the step below the altar in the English Chapel. It is the custom there to chaunt the versicles; the organ began to breathe,-up sprang

Janet: * Goad keep me! gin there binna 'Igham's 'awkit ox comin' agen, creun--creunin !" and with that she vanished from the chapel,

THE DRAMAS OF EURIPIDES :

THE HECUBA.

The music of his name
Has gone into my very being. Kears.

EURIPIDES is with me as one of the graven names in our old Harrow Hall,-one of those sweet and sunny memories to which my heart returns, as a village child to the green nest it hath marked long ago in its roamings, hoping to find the quiet music that used to dwell there, I attribute much of the charm which the poetry of the Greeks has ever possessed over my mind to the power of association. From the day I was able to understand a Greek play I studied it for itself alone, blending, as I proceeded, all my boyish hopes and feelings, all my thoughts and affections, until the sweet breathing recollections of Sophocles and Euripides were bound up in the sheaf of all that is bright and beautiful in my heart, of all that is pure and hallowed in my imagination. The Hecuba was the first Greek play I read. My memory goes back to that time with a joy it rarely feels in returning to those days—days not sorrowful, indeed, but of so lonely a character, that the remembrance of them is a

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among many tears.” There never was a literature so spiritual as that of the Greeks. Perhaps, 1 ought to make a conditional exception in favour of the Hebrews, but their dramas and lyrics, exquisite as they are, never constituted a literature. The literature of Greece was the pure and fervent breathing of high-souled men, spreading itself, like the smoke of the incense flame, over the prayers, and hopes, and lives of the people. The child was cradled in beautiful remembrances, the mantle of light and holiness was thrown from father to son, unimpaired in its

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colours, and uninjured in its powers. It was a literature created from the imaginings of times past, the aspirations of things to come ;-the Adam of the human intellect, earthly in its birth, it became spiritual ; mortal in its essence, it put on immortality. Horner, Æschylus, and Sophocles, Euripides and Pindar, the Eternal Words of poetry were embodied in glorious and imperishable visions, and dwelt in the bosoms of the people. In the cottage of the vine-dresser, and the temple of the deity, their influence was alike prevailing; no heart was so stubborn as not to be softened by their supplication, and no soul so agitated as not to be calmed by their soothing. They taught power to kneel at the footstool of genius. The whisper of their name was a watch-word of mercy*. The early annals of a nation are its songs and ballads. History, therefore, long continued to be

" dream upon the borders of poetry.” But in process of time the spirits of men took a higher and grander tone; Plato had struck the dry and stony places with the wand of his heavenly philosophy, and the waters gushed forth; Socrates too had breathed the breath of his peace over the minds of men, and built up a tabernacle in man's heart for wisdom, and virtue, and holiness. History rose, like Eve, from the beautifully moulded form of the olden poetry, enchanting in her nakedness, touching in her simplicity. She walked hand in hand with poetry in sweet companionship, and the laugh of joy upon the cheek of the one has somewhat darkened with thought on the Hebe-like face of the other. I will not attempt to deny that Euripides has been assigned by many an inferior place among the elder dramatists,-let us take a momentary glance at the state of mind in Greece in the time of Euripides.

It was, as the unfortunate Neele has so felicitously described the age of Elizabeth,—the carnival of the imagination. Æschylus had rolled the stone from the tomb of poetry, and the radiant phantom walked forth over the earth, the soul of buried music, every head was bowed, and every knee was bent; it looked upon the faces of men, and they paled before it; the rushing of its wings was heard over every hill and stream and valley throughout Greece; it was an almighty' and overshadowing presence. The warrior beheld its glory on his shield, the shepherd child felt an awe in his heart, it was an unseen and abiding mystery. Every word of Æschylus was woven into a wild and fearful legend,-a waif of light and darkness passing from man to man, and from nation to nation, like the flying scroll of Ezekiel, entering into the house of every man.”

Sophocles broke from the gloom of his solitary rival, like a lark in the misty dawn; the shadows rolled into light before his feet, the clouds waxed bright with the shining of his countenance, the eye rested upon him, not as on Æschylus in fear and trembling, but as the widow looked upon Job, with a joy that made her heart to sing within her. · His voice came gently into the heart, like a song in the night. Æschylus was the dark and rolling cloud; Sophocles the peace that smiled it away.

The feelings of the people, at this period, were, perhaps, more akin * It will be remembered that the Greeks who had accompanied Nicias in his expedition against Syracuse were freed from slavery by repeating some linės from Euripides.

to those of the Italians, when painting was in its zenith, than any thing among the moderns to which I may liken them. Poetry was to the Greek what painting was to the Italian, ---a child's book. He was a sojourner among all that was glorious in form, or ideal in lovelinessthe images of surpassing beauty reflecting their faces upon the laurelfountains and the dark blue streams; the rich and dewy harmonies which breathed a glow of bloom-like music over the visions of the theatre, and the glory of the palæstra—the sweet and picturesque visionings chasing each other like gleams over an angel's face; the sound of Dian's bow as it rocked to and fro on the forest trees; the phantom-countenance, which, like a summer phantasy, looked up from the peacefulness of the waters. Thoughts such as these were the birth-right of the humbiest peasant,-a birth-right he scorned to sell, as many of a later age and other lands have done—for a mess of pottage!

The creation of genius wrought the same effect upon the Greek as Raphael's celebrated drawing of God the Father does upon the Christian-it was a spell of worship, and of prayer! accustomed to behold the workings of the Deity in the visible types of nature. More frequently still in the “diin religious light" of his own spirit, the mingled mystery of memory and imagination, he looked on the fashionings of poetry as the embodied essence of a bright and all-radiant substance-every sweet rosied thought was a pleasant song to his dreaming, a shrined sanctity unto his mind. The streams were rippled by the breath of their hymns. Castaly. was not then, as now, a despised and slandered word, but a light upon the hearts of men. It was the Jordan of Greece, the waters in which souls were baptized into the communion of gladsome thoughts, the fellowship of poetry and music. “The bulk of a people,” says a very shrewd writer on Italy,

can never be poetical.” It may be so with us of the nineteenth century, it was not so in Greece at the time of Euripides. It is amusing to listen to observations on poetry. I heard a gentleman remark, the other day, while praising one of Byron's sacred melodies, that Job might be converted into very good poetry! The unfortunates! they have no idea that poetry is but a name for every bright picturing, and every noble deed, whether it be the dream of Praxiteles embodied in marble, or the prayer of Raphael struck into glory, or the burning thought of Pindar mantled in the cloudiness of a word. Phidias was as mighty a poet as Homer, with this difference, the one spoke in words, the other in marble. When Canova was entreated Napoleon to forsake Rome, and take up his residence at Paris, the sculptor replied, “ Sans son atelier, sans ses amis, sans son bon ciel, sans sa Rome," ---his genius would become torpid. He signified that Italy was the Madonna of his inspiration. So it was with the Greek. Take him from his legendary fountains and his fabled vallies, and goda inhabited temples, the associations of religion, the remembrances of his childhood-take him from“ his Greece,” and he became a darkened and a lonely being.

It was neither Æschylus, nor Sophocles nor Euripides, individually or collectively, who gave the tone to the mind of Greece. There are other spirits radiant in blessedness, making a faint but brightening sunshine in the dark and “ shady places," unthought of tabrets, whose

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sweet and unheeded melodies were ever dying away, like the sighsof Endymion, into the breezes and moonlight of Thessaly. There were men who, like Burns, exercised an influence over the minds of their neighbours and associates, and in a great degree purified, by the alchemy of their intellect, the feelings of their own class. But they lifted not their eyes beyond the boundaries of the hamlet; they asked no higher reward. That man has not wept over the life of Burns who shall say, they were not happier in so doing.

Let me return to Euripides. A nation individually musical and poetical will be wont to express their sentiments in both indiscriminately. The gentlest touch of a cittern will draw forth a sound of melancholy and wake a feeling of grief in the hearer—but not so with languageit requires happily selected and felicitous words to produce a correspondent effect. The fame of Euripides has suffered from this circumstance. He knew that one plaintive note called up innumerable associations of tenderness, and he naturally concluded one exquisite thought would do so likewise. But Euripides lived in an age of poetry of thought,--we vegetate in a time of poetry of diction. These remarks will perhaps in some way account for the inanity of our poet, -his indistinctness I consider a merit.

The soul that sits dreaming like a nightingale in the gloominess of sweet and lulling symphonies, its thoughts darkening and brightening like orange-leaves in the moonlight, will carry forth with it something of mystery and vagueness. It may be an erroneous conception, but I define the characteristic charm of the imagination in its purity to be indistinctness. When its creations flit by us like a bird in the evening, whose soft passing breath we feel upon our face, although we cannot discern the form or likeness of it, the more pure and unearthly our imaginings are, the less palpable they will be to the understanding of ordinary men. Every one pretends to admire the “ Midsummer Night's Dream ;" it requires something more spiritual than education or even cleverness, to appreciate its beauty, to feel its imagination.

The practice so frequent with Euripides of throwing in brief morals of conduct wherever he finds an opportunity, has given cause of offence to many

“ His observations are so simple and obvious,” say they “Love thy neighbour as thyself,” is very simple in its meaning-I wonder why the obviousness of the injunction does not ensure a more universal performance.

The bitter rivalry which always existed between Sophocles and Euripides, is well known. The imagination of Sophocles appears to have been the most powerful,—that of Euripides the most delicate. They stood in the same relationship to each other as Canova to Bernini ; the same spirit was in both, but the workings of that spirit were more vivid in the one than in the other. Poetry was in the mind of Euripides, what the Edinburgh Review so well defines it to have been in Keats, “an extreme sensibility, and a certain pervading tunefulness of nature."

One word at parting—my readers will pause before they speak lightly of dramas which had the approval and revision of Socrates; or

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