Page images


THERE is a slight frost in the air, in the sky, on the lake, and midday is as still as midnight. But, though still, it is cheerful; for close at hand Robin Red-breast, God bless him, is warbling on the cope-stone of that old barn gabel; and though Millar-Ground Bay is half a mile off, how distinct the clank of the two oars, like one, accompanying that large wood-boat on its slow voyage from Ambleside to Bowness, the metropolitan port of the Queen of the Lakes. The water has lost, you see, its summer sunniness, yet it is as transparent as ever it was in summer; and how close together seem, with their almost meeting shadows, the two opposite shores! But we wish you to look at BELLE ISLE, though we ourselves are almost afraid to do so, so transcendantly glorious is the sight that we know will disturb us with an emotion too deep to be endured. Could you not think that a splendid sunset had fallen down in fragments on the Isle called Beautiful, and set it all a-blaze! The woods are on fire, yet they burn not; beauty subdues while it fosters the flame; and there, as in a manytented tabernacle, has Color pitched his royal residence, and reigns in glory beyond that of any Oriental king. What are all the canopies, and balconies, and galleries of human state, all hung with the richest drapery that ever the skill of Art, that Wizard, drew forth in gorgeous folds from his enchanted loom, if ideally suspended in the air of imagination, beside the sun-and-stormstained furniture of these palaces of Autumn, framed by the Spirit of the Season, of her own living umbrage, for his own last delight, ere he move in annual migration, with all his Court, to some foreign clime, far beyond the seas! No names of trees are remembered-a glorious

confusion comprehends in one the whole leafy race-orange, and purple, and scarlet, and crimson, are all seen to be there, and interfused through the silent splendor is aye felt the presence of that terrestrial green, native and unextinguishable in earth's bosom, as that celestial blue is in that of the sky. That trance goes by, and the spirit, gradually filled with a stiller delight, takes down all those tents into pieces, and contemplates the encampment with less of imagination, and with more of love. It knows and blesses each one of those many glorious groves, each becoming, as it gazes, less and less glorious, more and more beautiful; till memory revives all the happiest and holiest hours of the Summer and the Spring, and repeoples the melancholy umbrage with a thousand visions of joy, that may return never more! Images, it may be, of forms and faces now mouldering in the dust! For all human hearts have feltand all human lips have declaredmelancholy making poets of us all

aye, even prophets, till the pensive air of Autumn has been filled with the music of elegiac and foreboding hymns-that, as is the Race of Leaves-now old Homer speaks -so is the Race of Men! Nor, till time shall have an end, insensate will be any soul endowed "with discourse of reason" to those mysterious misgivings, alternating with triumphant aspirations more mysterious still, when the Religion of Nature leans in awe on the Religion of God, and we hear the voice of both in such strains as thesethe earthly, in its sadness, momentarily deadening the divine :

[blocks in formation]


PEOPLE are proud of talking of solitude. It redounds, they opine, to the honor of their great-mindedness, to be thought capable of living, for an hour or two, by themselves, at a considerable distance from knots or skeins of their fellow-creatures. Byron, again, thought he showed his superiority, by swearing as solemnly as a man can do in the Spenserian stanza, that

"To sit alone, and muse o'er flood and fell," has nothing whatever to do with solitude-and that if you wish know and feel what solitude really is, you must go to Almack's.


"This-this is solitude-this is to be alone!"' His Lordship's opinions were often peculiar but the passage has been much admired, therefore we are willing to believe, that what is called the Great Desart is, in point of loneliness, unable to stand a philosophical, much less a poetical comparison, with a well-frequented Fancy-ball. But we shrewdly suspect that the statement of Byron is not borne out by facts. Zoology is against it more especially those two of its most interesting branches, Entomology and Ornithology, while they are equally at variance with the natural history of man.

Go to the desart and clap your back against a cliff. Do you think yourself alone? What a ninny! Your great clumsy splay feet are bruising to death a batch of beetles. See that spider whom you have widowed, running up and down your elegant leg, in distraction and despair, bewailing the loss of a husband, who, however savage to the ephemerals, had always smiled sweetly upon her! Meanwhile your shoulders have crushed a colony of small red ants settled in a moss city beautifully roofed with lichens -and that accounts for the sharp tickling behind your ear, which you keep scratching, no Solomon, in

shameful ignorance of the cause of that effect. Should you sit downyou extinguish a fearful amount of animal life-creation may be said to groan under you; and insect as you are yourself, you are defrauding millions of insects of their little day. All the while you are supposing yourself alone! Now, are you not, as we hinted, a prodigious ninny For the whole wilderness -as you choose to call it-is crawling with various life. London, with its million and a half of inhabitants-including of course the suburbs-is, compared with it, an empty joke. Die-and you will soon be picked to the bones. The air swarms with sharpers-and an insurrection of radicals will attack your corpse from the worm-holes of the earth. Corbies, ravens, hawks, eagles, all the feathered furies of beak and bill, will come flying ere sunset,to anticipate the maggots, and carry your remains-if you will allow us to call them so-over the whole of Argylshire in many living sepulchres. We confess ourselves unable to see the solitude of thisand begin to agree with Byron, that a man is less crowded at a masquerade.

But the same subject may be illustrated less tragically, and even with some slight comic effect. A man among mountains is often surrounded on all sides with mice and moles. What cozy nests do the former construct at the roots of heather, among tufts of grass in the rashes, and the moss on the greensward! As for the latter, though you think you know a mountain from a molehill, you are much mistaken; for what is a mountain, in many cases, but a collection of molehills-and of fairy knolls? which again introduce a new element into the composition, and show, in still more glaring colors, your absurdity in supposing yourself to be in soli

tude. The "Silent People" are around you at every step. You may not see them-for they are dressed in invisible green; but they see you, and that unaccountable whispering and buzzing sound one often hears in what we call the wilderness, what is it, or what can it

be, but the fairies making merry at your expense, pointing out to each other the extreme silliness of your meditative countenance, and laughing like to split at your fond conceit of being alone among a multitude of creatures far wiser than yourself?


Explanation of the Print of the Fashions.


A GOWN of emerald green gros de Naples: the corsage, made nearly but not quite up to the throat, is plain behind, and arranged in drapery across the upper part of the front. A narrow lace tucker stands up round the top of the bust. The sleeve is en gigot; the hem not quite so deep as usual, and finished at top with two satin rouleaus to correspond with the dress. The mantle is of Cachemire it is striped lavender and white; the latter stripes are printed in a tea-green pattern; it is lined with ruby peluche, is made with a high standing collar, and a pelerine that reaches nearly to the knee; the collar, pelerine, and front of the mantle, are bordered with peluche. Black velvet capote, trimmed both inside of the brim and round the crown with coques of rose-colored gauze ribbon. Bottines to correspond with the dress.


A low dress composed of velvet. The color is violet d'évêque. The lower part of the corsage is tight to the shape; the upper part arranged in horizontal folds before and behind. Béret sleeve, very short and moderately full. A superb Marino Faliero sleeve of white blond lace partially covers the velvet one it is drawn up in the drapery style, on the shoulder, by a satin bow to correspond with the dress. A fall of blond lace

is arranged in the tunic style down the fronts and round the bottom of the hem. It is attached to the dress by a satin rouleau. The head-dress is a black velvet chapeau de Rosine ; the crown very low; the brim, divided in the centre, has one side larger than the other. Knots of rose-colored gauze ribbons adorn the inside of the brim; a bandeau of the same, with knots on one side and behind, goes round the crown; and a bouquet of rose-colored ostrich feathers falling in different directions is placed on one side.


A redingote à la Louise, of canary-colored gros de Naples. The corsage sits close to the shape; and it turns back in the shawl style, so as to form a point on each shoulder, and one in the centre of the back. It comes up to the throat behind, but displays the upper part of the chemisette in front. The sleeve is à la Médicis. Four rouleaus of blue satin, placed near each other, adorn the border of the corsage ; and a fall of blond lace, set on rather full, is attached to the edge. Two satin rouleaus are placed close to each other, above the hem; and one marks each side of the front, leaving a small plain space in the centre. The hat is of gros de Naples to correspond, trimmed with very pale pink gauze ribbon, and small fancy flowers of the same color. Chemisette of English tulle, finished round the top with a triple frill of the same.


"Little things have their value."

The Sensibility of the Ear-It is well known that when a sonorous body put in motion, makes fewer than thirty-two vibrations in a second, it gives no perceptible sound. In proportion also as the number of vibrations increases, the sound be comes sharper and sharper, until a moment arrives at which it ceases to be perceptible. Natural philosophers have not yet agreed as to the number of vibrations correspondent with this higher limitation. Some have supposed eight thousand in a second, some twelve. M. Savart, of the French Academy, has been making experiments to discover the fact. He attributes the uncertainty which has hitherto prevailed on the subject to the use of an apparatus which has necessarily diminished the intensity of the sound in proportion to the increase in the number of vibrations; and, having found the means of remedying this inconvenience, and at the same time of ascertaining with great accuracy the number of vibrations, he has obtained perceptible sounds resulting from forty-eight thousand vibrations in a second!

Philological Puzzle.-Seventy-two different words may be made from the word strange; the following are fifty-eight of the number :-Art, anger, are, agent, age, ate, ant, at, an, as, ear, eat, east, great, gate, gnat, get, gear, grate, grant, garnet, gas, agnes, net, nest, near, neat, nag, range, rest, ran, rag, rate, rat, rent, rage, sage, sane, sent, sea, star, set, sat, seat, stage, sear, stag, stern, snag, snare, stare, tare, tear, tan, ten, tar, tea, tag.

Hypochondraism. - Every practitioner must have seen or heard of persons fancying themselves made of glass; I once had occasion, says Mr. Wadd, to visit an earthen-ware patient. A fat gentleman sent for me, having met with an accident, not very serious in its nature, but very painful. Lotions' bandages, and plaisters, were applied, secundem artem, and the case went on most prosperously-but in proportion as he got on surgically he fell off physically, and, instead of being pleased and thankful, he became querulous and morose. Remembering Bouvart's Scale for Convalescence, and, that "Good morning, Mr. Bouvart," was the announcement of a perfect cure, I guessed this was my patient's case. I did not, however, perfectly comprehend all its bearings till his valet, a very shrewd fellow, said, "Bless you, Sir! you must not mind him,-he's only coming back to his old ways. "Old ways?"-"Yes, Sir, he's going to be a tea pot!"-"A what?""A tea pot!!"-This may seem very ludicrous, but it is very serious, and must be treated seriously, when it occurs. These hypo

chondriacs are like Molière's sick man, they always fly into a passion when credit is not given to their complaints-you may easier call them scoundrel, than tell them they look well; and, as Montaigne very justly remarks, they will allow themselves to be blistered and bled, "for evils which they feel only in their conversation."Many ingenious contrivances have been resorted to in these cases. We read in ancient history, that Philotimus cured a patrician, who fancied he had lost his head, by putting a heavy iron helmet on his skull, the weight of which successfully

convinced him that he had still a head upon his shoulders.-A worthy, fat, hypochondriacal bachelor sent for me one day, to tell me that he was dying; that he had left directions I should open him for the benefit of mankind; and that, if it was important, it might be done immediately after the breath was out of his body, only taking care to pierce him through the heart, to prevent resuscitation. This scena was repeated at least once a year for twenty years; at last he died, with as good viscera as any gentleman of seventy-nine years of age was ever blessed with. He was one of those who studied the art of self-tormenting, a comfort which, unfortunately for those about him, he dispensed with a liberal hand. Pity seemed the pabulum of his life; and to exact commiseration for imaginary ills,

«Which real ills, and they alone could cure,"

was the great object of his existence. He
ate well, drank well, slept well :-but what
of that? He had "weak stomach and
giddy head; flying gout, wind in his veins,
and water in his skin, with constant crack-
ings and burnings." His business seemed,
seeking for new causes to make himself
miserable. "Your pulse is very good,
Sir." "Ay, so you say; everybody says
so that pulse will be the death of me;
my pulse deceives everybody, and my
complaints are neglected because I happen
"Your tongue,
to have a good pulse!'
Sir, is clean." Ay, there it is again;
you should have seen it in the morning-
as white as a sheet of paper."

A Rat Story" The cunning of rats is surprising," said a gentleman, in company, "for having missed upwards of a hundred weight of potatoes from my cellar, in one night, and being at a loss to find out the thief, I thought of going to a back shed, where, perhaps, they might be hid previous to their final removal, when I discovered the whole of the potatoes, which had been carried there by the rats, and they were feasting on their plunder.' remember it perfectly well, gentlemen,"


said one of the party," for I went with my friend in search of the stolen property, when on entering the place of rendezvous, (whither we were attracted by smoke issuing through the door,) we discovered a number of rats boiling the potatoes in a large iron pot; some were stirring the fire, and the rest eating them with salt, out of a salt-cellar, which some of the rats had been seen to carry, a short time before, out of the kitchen."

Health. When nature feels the flow of its blood pure and unimpeded, what unutterable gladness bathes the spirit in that one feeling of-health! Then the mere conciousness of existence is like that emo

tion which Milton speaks of as breathed from the bowers of Paradise

"Vernal delight and joy, able to drive

All sadness but despair!"

It does more for despair itself cannot prevail against it. What a dawn of bliss rises upon the soul with the dawn of light, when the soul is healthful as the sun! Then

"It feels that it is greater than it knows." God created the earth and the air beautiful through the senses; and at the uplifting of a little lid, a whole flood of imagery is let in upon the spirit, all of which becomes part of its very self, as if the enjoying and the enjoyed were one. Health flies away like an angel, and her absence disenchants the earth. What shadows then pass over the ethereal surface of the spirit, from the breath of disordered matter!-from the first scarcely-felt breath of despondency, to the last scowling blackness of despair! Often men know not what power placed the fetters upon them-they see even that a link may be open, and that one effort might fling off the bondage; but their souls are in slavery, and will not be free. Till something like a fresh wind, or a sudden sunbeam comes across them, and in a moment their whole existence is changed, and they see the very vanishing of their most dismal and desperate dream.

The Disappointed Angler.-During the attack on the Hotel de Ville, when the banks of the Seine echoed with discharges of cannon and musketry, an elderly humorist was seen with great tranquillity fishing near the baths of Vigier. On being advised to relinquish his sport for that day at least, he coolly remarked: "They are uaking such a cursed noise yonder that the fish are frightened: I have not had a bite these two hours!

[ocr errors]

A Scottish Easterly Harr.-Earth and heaven are not only not worth looking at in an Easterly Harr, but the Visible is absolute wretchedness, and people wonder why they were born. The visitation begins with a sort of characterless haze, waxing more and more wetly obscure, till you know not whether it be rain, snow, or sleet,


that drenches your clothes in dampiness, till you feel it in your skin, then in your flesh, then in your bones, then in your marrow, and then in your mind. Your blinking eyes have it too-and so, shut it as you will, has your gaping mouth. the streets, though looking blue, are not puddled, and the dead eat lies dry in the gutter. There is no eavesdropping-no gushing of water-spouts. To say it rained would be no breach of veracity, but a mere misstatement of a melancholy fact. The truth is, that the weather cannot rain, but keeps spit, spit, spitting, in a style sufficient to irritate Socrates-or even Moses himself; and yet true, veritable, sincere, genuine, and authentic Rain could not-or if he could would not-so thoroughly soak you and your whole wardrobe, were you to allow him a day to do it, as that shabby imitation of a tenth-rate shower, in about the time of a usual-sized sermon. So much cold and so much wet, with so little to show for it, is a disgrace to the atmosphere, which it will take weeks of the sunniest which the weather can afford to wipe off. But the stores of sunniness, which it is in the power of Winter in this northern latitude to accumulate, cannot be immense, and, therefore, we verily believe that it would be too much to expect that it ever can make amends for the hideous horrors of this Easterly Harr. O the Cut-throat!

At a dinner of the African Institution, one of the toasts intended to be given was "the health of King Henry of Hayti," which the person who was to announce it to the company, and who had never heard of such a personage, converted into "The health of Henry the Eighth."

Come in Time." I never come late to a friend's dinner," says Boileau, “for I have observed, that when a company is waiting for a man, they make use of that time to load him with abuse."

Lord Byron tells us, that the most beautiful women he ever beheld (and he had some experience), he saw leveling the road broken down by the torrents of Delvinachi and Libochabo, in Albania.

The Book of the Seasons," the joint production of William and Mary Howi may be shortly expected. It is spoken of as likely to interest, in an extraordinary degree, the genuine admirers of nature. Vignette embellishments, from designs by Mr. Bagg, will accompany the work.

Mr. Carne's new work, "The exiles of Palestine," a tale of the Holy Land, will, we understand, be ready for publication early in the ensuing month. From the author's intimate acquaintance with the scenery and peculiarities of the Holy Land, this will doubtless prove a work of unusual interest. It is, we believe, the first of the kind describing those interesting regions that has been written from actual observation.

« PreviousContinue »