BIOGRAPHY OF PROFESSOR and beyond them rise ridges of romantic WILSON.

and rugged mountains. No poet in

Europe has so noble and agreeable a (Abridged from the memoir prefixed to the residence. Lord of his domain, with French edition of his works.) every comfort and convenience of life,

a spacious habitation and literary leisure, John Wilson, the distinguished poet few writers have ever had finer opporand scholar, was born in the month of tunities for courting the Muses, or have May, 1789, in Paisley, North Britain. lived so little unvexed by the inquietudes He was chiefly educated at the residence caused by our ordinary existence. At of a clergyman of the established church one period of his life, full of buoyant of Scotland, within a few miles of his spirit and high excitement, the poet native town. Having inherited a good established a sailing club on the lake of fortune, he, at an early age, entered the Winandermere. He lavished large sums University of Oxford as a gentleman of money upon the scheme, and would commoner, after going through a pre- not be out-done in the splendour of his paratory course of tuition under Dr. Jar- vessels by men of larger fortunes. He dine, of Glasgow University. At both sent for shipwrights from the nearest seaplaces he exhibited specimens of his ports to construct his little vessels, of talents, far outshining his compeers ; at which he had a number on the lake at Oxford gaining Sir Roger Newdigate's one time; one of these, his largest, cost prize for English poetry, in the teeth of him five hundred pounds. He also kept three thousand competitors. Magdalen a number of seamen to man them, and was the college at which he entered him- lavished his money profusely on his deself, and to which he belonged for nearly pendents. At one place he had an estafour years, or until he left the university blishment for his boatmen; at another, in 1807. At this college he pursued a one for his servants, and a third for him. life of study and boisterous relaxation self. These expenses, continued for a intermingled. He had his intimates considerable time, together with the among all classes, from the doctor in pecuniary loss above alluded to, impaired divinity to the stable-boy. He was fond his fortune, and are supposed to have led of exhibiting his skill in pugilism, and him ultimately to be a successful candiever ready to exercise his talents in that date for the chair of moral philosophy in "refined” art with any one who would the University of Edinburgh, which he engage with him, noble or ignoble, gen. obtained in 1820. tle or simple. Strong and active in In early lite he was active in mind as frame, and fond of gymnastic exercises, in body. About eighteen years of age, he gave his inclination for such sports he had an idea of penetrating to Timthe fullest range.

buctoo, without any just notions of the Of the sum left him by his father, danger and hazard of such an exterprise, amounting to forty thousand pounds but simply from the excitement the adsterling, a great part was lost, through venture created in his mind, and the dethe failure of a mercantile concern in sire to attempt something striking and which it was embarked. Being warned important. The certain death that of the danger he hastened to withdraw awaited one of his temperament, which his funds, but arrived in Glasgow three is irritable and febrile, never entered into hours too late. Soon after quitting the his head. Naturally careless of his university he purchased a beautiful health, he would from the first have exestate, called Elleray, a few miles from posed himself needlessly, and been added Ambleside, on the noble lake of Winan- one of the speediest victims to the horridermere in Cumberland, one of the finest ble African climate that its melancholy and most picturesque sites in England. list can shew. This scheme he ultiThe house, which stands on a sort of mately dropped. We have heard that mountain terrace, high over one side of when young he left his friends, and, the lake, is a most commodious one in from mere love of adventure, for he was every respect, and was planned by him without fixed aim in most of his eccenself and erected under his own super- tricities, served at sea as a ship-boy. intendence. It is backed by deep woods, However trying for his family, this shielding it from the storms to which its youthful frolic may have contributed one lofty situation exposes it; while the view of the brightest gems to the poet's crown, from the front is very rarely surpassed since to it we must be indebted for many for magnificence and beauty. In front of the beauties in his description of a below, the lake expands its noble waters, shipwreck, beginning:

“ So stately her bearing, so proud her array, and wormwood, the ferocious Tory zeal, The main she will traverse for ever and aye ;

the severe castigations, and the goodMany ports will exult at the gleam of her mast,

nature, the strong truth, and the leniert Hush ! hash! thon vain dreamer! this hour or biting criticism, flow in the same is her last!”

breath and from the same source. They He also formed the idea of visiting the have all the variety of Wilson's conversaSpanish provinces, the islands of the tion and the force and vigour of his Mediterranean, Turkey, Syria, and thoughts impressed upon them ; and Egypt ; but the occupation of Spain by many of his own articles furnish an exNapoleon, put an end to this project. traordinary contrast to those which preHe subsequently confined himself to his ceded them, as if they could never in the estate of Elleray, occupying himself with nature of things have proceeded from the the various pleasures a country-life same pen, running one so counter to atfords, until 1810, when he married another. If Campbell, in the conduct Miss Penny (whose sister is married to of the “ New Monthly Magazine,” was his brother), a Westmoreland lady of too timidly correct, so as to paralyze the beauty and considerable accomplish- pens of his contributors, no such fault ments, having, moreover, a dower of can be attached to Wilson. He suffers ten thousand pounds. His marriage them to run wild, and seems to enjoy has been a most fortunate one, and has the exuberance of fancy which is thus produced two sons and three daughters. constantly developing itself. Wilson's Peace and comfort have shed happiness known animosity to those opposed to him over his domestic retirement, and thus in the field of politics, is more editorial (the fate of few literary men) even love than personal. There was even a time has blessed him.

when his political principles leaned the On the death of Dr. Thomas Brown, other way, and the last man to champion the successor of Dugald Stuart in the the cause of high church and ultrachair of moral philosophy in the Univer- toryism that could be named, would sity of Edinburgh, Wilson became the have been Professor Wilson. Time candidate to fill the vacant office. His works marvellous changes, and the levity election was violently opposed. The of his physiognomy, such as it frequently rival candidate, too, was unfortunately assumes, and the versatility of his talents, his early friend, but a man of honour, a to have extended themselves to scholar, and a gentleman. The partisans principles. Wilson is a highly-gifted man, of the two candidates were alone intem- and had he devoted himself steadily to perate, for the latter were, speedily after one pursuit, such as law or divinity, he the election, as warm friends as ever. would have arisen to the highest summit It suffices to say that Wilson succeeded of professional honour. He appears to in obtaining the chair after a warm con- have, at one time, turned his attention test; and the manner in which he fills to the Scottish bar, but abandoned that it fully justifies the partiality of his career at the time of his marriage. friends. His bearing towards his pupils In addition to his high reputation as is most engaging ; his lectures, always a poet, professor Wilson enjoys that of talented, are often splendid, and not successful authorship in another departunfrequently adorned by bursts of im- ment of literature. To his pen are passioned eloquence.

generally attributed the prose tales enThe conduct of “ Blackwood's Maga- titled “Lights and Shadows of Scottish zine” is generally understood to be in Life,” “The Trials of Margaret Lindsay," the hands of Wilson. This publication and “ The Foresters." owes its success (barring party principles) Thé residence of Professor Wilson is to the playful, cutting, and acute arti. now principally in Edinburgh, where hc cles of Wilson. In other literary pub- mingles much in a society which his lications there is too much of the lamp, talents are well calculated to adorn. the toil of the student, and cold, correct Neither he nor his family, however, apcaution observed. In « Blackwood” pear to join with much zest in the gaiethe articles come out warmly and fuently ties of the fashionable circles of the Scotas they would be spoken, with irregu- tish metropolis. Led by circumstances larity, whim, sportiveness, satire, and to give up the freedom of a country life what not, currente calamo ; all perfectly for the drudgery of a professorship, he after nature. This is the secret of its makes the best of the evil, and finds a success, and originates in the style and substitute in the free interchange of manner of Wilson himself. It is in this thought with friends, for the rural liberty respect his very counterpart. The gall of which he was ever so fond, and from



which it could never have been supposed, to gratify their ambition, as well as to at one time of his life, that anything but create a party in their favour. No place absolute force could have disunited him. could be obtained but by their interest,

Though his works have not met a very and those who had occasion to solicit extensive circulation, his poetical pro- anything at court, paid homage to them; ductions display great power and origi. they were constantly surrounded by a nality, and justly entitle him to the gang of intriguers, who buzzed about praises that have been bestowed on talents them like a swarm of wasps ready to so rich and so varied.

assault a hive, to plunder it of its sweets.

The ladies, too, received them every A DUEL IN THE TIME OF where with smiles and caresses ; for HENRY III. :

they were the king's favourites, and all benefices and courtly distinctions de.

pended upon their good will. Their For some time past King Henry the arrogance and luxury exceeded all that Third had neglected his puppies, his had yet been seen even at the court of monkeys, and paroquets. He was no Catherine de Medicis. Discontents and longer seen to hurry through the streets murmurs were daily excited by their of Paris, and running from convent to insolence and audacity, while the ranks convent to deprive the nuns of their of the Guises were swelled by the mallapdogs, poodles, and other pets whose contents. heauty or tricks had attracted his notice. An affair of gallantry, in whish MarThe true friends of the house of Valois, guerite, the queen of Navarre, had in their gratification at witnessing such figured, embroiled Caylus with a spark an alteration in his habits, were loud in named D’Entraguet, one of the boldest their exultation, and declared that the of the youthful adherents of Lorraine. king was ashamed of his former follies, King Henry had exerted all his influence and would yet restore to the throne of to prevent the feud from breaking into France its old majesty, and reinstate it open violence, and he frequently repeated in the integrity of its power.


to his courtiers“If I do not get rid of partizans of Guise, on the contrary, were my sister, I shall have a civil war even dispirited and anxious, as they were in my closet.” apprehensive that Henry would recall to Notwithstanding the earnest instances mind the promise of his youth, and his of Queen Marguerite's brother, the two glorious victories at Jarnac and Moncon- amorous rivals bated each other with the tour. They were both, however, quickly utmost cordiality, and no opportunity undeceived; his friends in their hopes, was omitted of a mutual interchange of and his enemies in their forebodings; injury and mischief. as the festivities and masquerades of the It happened on the 27th of April, carnival had only temporarily suppressed 1578, that D'Entraguet was on duty at the monarch's regard for his old friends, the Louvre, and amused himself in the the dogs, monkeys, and paroquets; and palace court at the noble game of prito this absurdity were superadded other' mero, in which he had an opportunity attachments, both pernicious to the state of profitably applying the lessons he had and discreditable to the king.

learned therein from Madame De MontDuring the tumultuous and extrava- pensier, at the Hotel de Guise. gant revelry of the last days of the car- each deal of the cards, he swept the nival, and that unrestrained license with board of the stakes, and quickly emptied which the penances, fasting, and mortifi- the purses of the rival players. cation of Lent are ushered in, the king By St. Marguerite !” exclaimed had occupied his time in running at the Caylus, throwing a handful of gold ring, sallying out at night to assault and crowns on the table, “it shall never be inaltreat the citizens of his good city of said that the Guises win gentlemen's Paris, and committing all manner of money, to pay their rebel shopkeepers disorders in its streets and alleys, in with, and he challenged D’Entraguet company with his four minions, the

to another game. Seigneurs Livarot, Caylus, Maugiron, “ By St. Marguerite !” rejoined the and Saint Megrin, disguised as nymphs lucky D'Entraguet with a sneer ; "you

have recourse, my dear fellow, to an The king took no pleasure in any unpropitious patroness. Surely you society but that of these gentlemen, who forget that you have never yet gotten boasted everywhere of their extraordi- anything from that quarter." nary influence over their master, in order This observation, and the ironical tone

and satyrs.

with which it was uttered, made all the kill you. These devilish Leaguers will bystanders laugh. Caylus's cheek be- drive me mad!” came deadly pale, but as he had been The king covered his face with both ridiculously' jilted in his intrigue with hands, and stamping furiously on the Marguerite, he was reluctant to make ground, entered his oratory to pray God use of this pretext to quarrel with his to deliver him from his enemies. successful rival. He therefore sup- On his side D'Entraguet hastened to pressed his resentment, and sat down at the Hotel de Guise to take advice, and the table with as indifferent an air as he to find friends to act as his seconds. He could assume. The contest, however, made the duke acquainted with his did not continue long, and in two throws wishes respecting the disposition of his Caylus lost all the money he had in his estates and family. Having made his purse.

preparations for the combat, he presented “ Confusion !” exclaimed Caylus, himself to the duke to bid him farewell, flinging his glove in D'Entraguet's face; when the latter stopped him, saying“there is roguery or witchcraft bere ! ” “ You surely cannot intend to go to

The other responded to this with an the field in this manner why, you awful malediction, and instantly precipi- would be massacred like a child, for tated himself upon his enemy poignard what resistance could you possibly make in hand. In an instant the table, with such a sligbt weapon as that by benches, stools, and money were upset, your side? It is but a mere paradewhile the two opponents, whom their sword, only fit to hunt the heretic dogs. friends bad seized and held fast, made D'Entraguet, I lend you this good and vain attempts to get at each other. trusty rapier; its blade is strong and

“ Bastard of Št. Barabbas,” foamed well tempered ; and remember, young out Caylus, “I proclaim you for a man, it is the weapon I used under the heretic, a scoundrel, and a traitor!' walls of Chateau Thierry."

“ You are a wretch, and unworthy of Henri of Guise unbuckled his sword the name of man!” was D'Entraguet's from his belt, and handed it to his friend, reply.

who received it respectfully, and kissing “ I shall expect you at the Tournelles, the hilt which was worked into the shape in two hours,” shouted Caylus, “with of the cross, he left the hotel, attended sword and dagger, to fight to extremity, by Schomberg and De Riberac. The without mercy, and while the heart duke hastened after them, and stationed beats, and the hand can hold the himself at a window in a house which weapon.”

overlooked the place of combat. “Yes, crawling reptile, I will wait you The clock of St. Paul struck four, there until death, and I promise you when Schomberg, D'Entraguet, and De before the sun sets I will have your body Riberac made their appearance on the thrown to the crows of the slaughter. Tournelles. Three minutes afterward houses.”

Caylus, Maugiron, and Livarot arrived Caylus was on the point of replying in a royal carriage. Having taken their to this injury, when Henry the Third position, the two combatants bowed to appeared on the balcony, over which he each other, while the others formed a ring idly leaned, accompanied by Livarot and around them. De Maugiron. Not to alarm his master, “I only invoke my lady and my king," Caylus resumed his calmness, and left said Caylus, putting himself on his guard, the spot to look for his seconds.

then gracefully lifting his lefthand to his “ Who are these groups,” demanded lips, he blew a kiss to a lady who stood Henry ; “have the Leaguers taken at a window of the Hotel Boisy, covered arms, and do they come to besiege my from head to foot with a white veil. palace of the Louvre?”

“I,” said D’Entraguet, “call upon “ Sire,” said St. Megrin, “ they are heaven, and my true heart." the impertinent Guises, who have dared - If I recoil one inch, or overstep to come bere and insult


friends." this limit,” observed Caylus, fixing his “My cousins of Guise are always scabbard in the sand, may

I be ever troubling me,” exclaimed the king, de- hereafter looked upon as a poltroon.” spairingly. “They harass me night and D’Entraguet did the same, and their day! Who will free me from this ac- swords crossed. cursed kindred?

The contest was fearful and protract“ That will my liege,” answered ed; strength and agility had alternately the young St. Megrin promptly. the advantage. Caylus was the more

“ You, my dear child—they would practised and skiful, but the other was

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the robuster; and thrusts and ripostes, killed on the spot. Livarot received a lunges and cuts were parried as quickly as cut on the head, which opened his skull, they were delivered. Sparks of fire and Riberac, pierced through and followed the clashing of their swords; through, gave up the ghost when the and the two antagonists kept their word sword was drawn out of the wound. faithfully, for neither receded an inch, The fight ceased only for lack of comcovering themselves adroitly with the batants; and the two factions, their guard of the sword and the poignard's hilt. passions somewhat moderated by this The Leaguer, perceiving that his adver- dreadful slaugliter, carried off their killed sary sustained the combat less vigorously and wounded ; and tears of sorrow sucthan at first, pressed him with increased ceeded their shouts of maddened rage. fury and vivacity. Caylus had already The last thrust had been scarcely received several wounds, when Maugi- made, when the anxious monarch, adver. ron, seeing his friend covered with blood, tised too late of what was going on, endeavoured to part the combatants. hurried to the scene of death. He had

“ Fall back," screamed Caylus, fall so repeatedly inquired for his minions, back !- we have promised to fight to ex- that his attendants were under the tremity, without pity or mercy.' Say- necessity of communicating to him what ing this, he made a desperate lunge, and had transpired in the court of the Louvre. grazing D’Entraguet's arm, could not As his carriage turned the corner of the recover his guard in time enough to Boulevard, he was stopped by those who parry the latter's thrust, which he re- bore De Maugiron's corpse. The prince ceived in the breast, the point passing put his head out of the window, and clean through his body.

recognizing his friend's body, flung him“ Heaven is with us,” cried M. de self out of the carriage, and rushed like Guise, impatiently drawing aside the a madman to the litter, upsetting all curtain behind which he had viewed the who were in his way. Perceiving the fight—"yes, gentlemen, heaven bas pre. blood-stained dress, and pale features of served one of the bravest champions of Maugiron, he burst into such a fit of its catholic army.” The duke then re- tears, and uttered such cries, that the verentially crossed himself, and those by-standers were confused and ashamed ; who stood around, followed his example. and, keeping a mournful silence, they The veiled lady who had been observed entered the Hotel Boisy together. at the Hotel Boisy, shrieked and fell as Twe king rushed headlong to the room Caylus rolled in the dust, and was not where Caylus was lying; who, on seeing seen again. The hapless minion was the king, said, “ You, at least, will not almost expiring, when he was raised, abandon me.” and carried into the hotel.

The only The monarch would have clasped him injury suffered by D'Entraguet, was a to his heart, but the surgeon interfered. slight scratch in the arm.

6 Take care, sire; have a care ;" said The quarrel was supposed to be settled, Master Ambrose Paré; “nineteen and the surviving parties prepared to wounds are not so easy to close up." leave the ground, when De Maugiror. “ Nineteen wounds!” murmured stepped forward, and almost inarticulate Henry, with a deep sigh, and almost with rage, said, “No, no, gentlemen, fainting. we cannot allow this pretty business to Master Paré exerted all his skill, and go off so. Before we bid you good used the cabalistical terms of his surgical morning, I must measure swords with vocabulary to prove to his king, that the De Riberac."

wounds were not essentially or necessa“ I am not the man to balk you,” rily mortal. answered the latter, putting his hand on “Ah! repeat again those blessed the hilt of his sword.

words of comfort, Master Ambrose “ As for this little Schomberg,” ob- save my friend-save him doctor-and I served Livarot, “I had intended to let will give you a hundred thousand livres. him off after I had pulled his ears; but And for you, my dear Caylus, when now, blood calls for blood.”

you recover, I have a hundred thousand In an instant, the four gentlemen's crowns ready.” These words the king weapons flashed in the air. No en constantly repeated, as well as his sighs treaty, no remonstrance, availed to pre- would allow him. vent the fight. The minions and their The minion lay in this state three-andadversaries flung themselves upon each thirty days; during which time the king other furiously; and, at the very first scarcely quitted his pillow. He admionset, Maugiron and Schomberg were nistered his drink with his own hand,


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