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dently feeling that she had taken quite to herself rather than to any one else, and enough notice of Miss Dunlop, she turned then quickly recovering she looked round to her niece.
and apologized. “It is so long,” she said, “My dear Florence," she said, “I think “and I forget." Mr. Wimple is charming. He has one of She began softly some variations on " I the most expressive countenances I ever know a bank,” and played them through beheld."
to the end. When they were finished she “Oh, Mrs. Baines, do you really think rose and, with a little old-fashioned bow so?” Ethel Dunlop exclaimed.
to the piano, turned to Florence, and say. “ Certainly I do.” And Mrs. Baines ing, with a sweet and curious dignity, turned her back. “ Florence, are not you " Thank you, my dear, and your friends of my opinion?"
too for listening to me," went back to her “Well, Aunt Anne, I hardly know -" seat. and happily the entrance of the men pre- Mr. Wimple was near her chair, he bent vented any further discussion. Somehow down to her. conversation flagged a little, and silence "You gave us a great treat," he said, as threatened to fall on the party. Florence if he were stating a scientific fact. felt uneasy.
Mrs. Baines listened to his words “Are we to have some music?” Walter gravely, she seemed to revolve them in asked presently. In these days music her mind for a moment before she looked after dinner, unless it is very excellent or up. there is some special reason for introduc- “I am sure you are musical, Mr. Wiming it, is generally a flag of distress, a sign ple,” she said, “ I can see it on your face." that dulness is near. Florence knew it, • Aunt Anne," Walter said, passing her, and looking at Ethel tried to cover it by “should you mind my opening this winasking for a song,
dow ? " “ Ethel sings German songs delight. “No, my darling, I sbould like it," she fully, Aunt Anne," she said ; " I think you answered ienderly. would enjoy listening to her.”
Mr. Wimple gave a long sigh. " I should enjoy listening to any friend “Lucky beggar he is; you are very food of yours," the old lady answered. But of him? Miss Dunlop pleaded hoarseness and did “Oh yes,” she answered, “he is like not stir.
my own son," and she nodded at Walter, Mr. Wimple roused himself a little. “I who was carrying on a laughing conversaam sure Mrs. Baines plays," he said, tion with Ethel Dunlop, while his wife standing before her. Aunt Anne gave a was having what seemed to be a serious lorg sigh.
one with Mr. Fisher. She looked round "My playing days are over," she an. the room, her gaze rested on the open swered.
window. "I think the carriage must be "Oh no, Aunt Anne," laughed Walter, waiting," she said, almost to herself. “we cannot allow you to make that ex- "I will tell you," and Mr. Wimple went cuse."
on to the balcony. “It is a lovely night, In a moment she had rised.
Mrs. Baines,” he said, and turning back “I never make excuses, Walter,” she he fastened his strange eyes upon her. said proudly; “if it is your wish — if it Without a word she rose and followed will give you pleasure I will touch the him. keys again, though it is long since I “ Aunt Anne,” Florence said, “you will brought myself even to sit down before an catch your death of cold ; you mustn't go instrument."
out. Walter, dear, get my thick white She took her place at the piano; she shawl for Aunt Anne.' pulled out her handkerchief, not one of “Oh no, my love, pray continue your the black-bordered ones that Florence had conversation; I have always made a point sent her a week ago, but a dainty one of of looking up at the sky before I retire to lawn and lace, and held it for a moment rest, therefore it is not likely to do me to her forehead, then suddenly, with a harm.” strange, vibrating touch that almost star. “ I wouldn't let it do you harm for the tled her listeners, she began to play " Oft world,” Mr. Wimple whispered. in the stilly night.” Only for a moment She heard him; but she seemed to did the fire last, her fingers grew feeble, digest his words slowly, for she nodded to they missed the notes, she shook her head herself before, with the manner and smiie dreamily.
that were so entirely her own, she an. “ I forget - I forget them all," she said | swered ;
" Pray don't distress yourself, Mr. Wim- | voice that would have jarred horribly on ple, I am accustomed to stand before the more sensitive nerves — "in reality I am elements at all seasons of the year, and older than you, for I have found the world this air is not likely to be detrimental to so much colder than you can have done.” me; besides,” she added, with a gentle He said it with deliberation, as if each laugh, “perhaps though I boasted of my word were weighed, or had been learnt age just now I am not so old as I look. beforehand. “Ï wish you would teach Oh, dear Walter, you are too good to me me to live out of the abundance of youth
dear boy," and she turned and let him that will always be yours." wrap the thick white shawl about her. She listened to him attentively; she He lingered for a moment, but there fell turned and looked towards her left, far the dead silence that sometimes seems to ahead, away into the distance, as if puzchase away a third person, so that feeling zled and fascinated by it, almost as if she that he was not wanted, he went back to were afraid of the darkness to which the Ethel Dunlop. It was a good thing Aunt distance reached. Then she gave a little Anne liked Alfred, he thought. He had nod, as if she had remembered that it was been afraid the latter would not wholly only the trees of the Regent's Park that enjoy his evening, but the old lady seemed made the blackness. to be making up for Florence's rather If you would teach me to live out of scanty attentions.
the abundance of youth that will always “It is impossible to you to be old,” Mr. be yours," he said again, as if on considWimple said, still speaking almost in a eration he were well satisfied with the whisper.
sentence, and thought it merited a worthy The old lady appeared not to hear him, reply. her hands were holding the white shawl She listened attentively for the second close round her neck, her eyes were fol- time, and looked half puzzled :lowing the long row of street lamps on the "I should esteem myself most fortunate, right. The horses, waiting with the car- if I could be of use to any friend of Walriage before the house, moved restlessly, ter's,” she answered, with sad but almost and made their harness clink in the still. sweet formality. ness. Far off, a cornet was playing as “ You have so many who love you cornets love to do, “ Then you'll remem. The voice was still hard and grating. ber me." Beside her stood the young “No," she said, “oh no man, watching. Behind in the drawing- “ There is Sir William Rammage." He room, dimly lighted by the shaded lamp spoke slowly. and candles, the others were talking, for- “Ah!” she said sadly, “be forgets. getful of everything but the subject that And old association has no effect upon interested them. Cheap, sentimental sur- him.” rounding enough, but they all told on the “Has he any brothers and sisters ? ” he old lady standing out on the balcony. asked. It was a curious question. The stars looking down on her lighted up " They are gone. They all died years the soft white about her throat, and the and years ago.' outline of the shawl-wrapped shoulders, • It is remarkable that he never maralmost youthful in their slenderness. Mr. ried." Wimple went a little closer, the tears “I suppose his inclinatioos did not came into her eyes, they trickled down prompt him to do so." her withered cheeks, but he did not know “ He seems to have no one belonging it.
to him.” “It is like years ago," she wiispered, “ There are hardly any leit,” she an" those dear children and all — all — it swered, with a sigh, "and unhappily he carries me back to forty - more, eight- does not appreciate the companionship of and-forty years ago, when I was a girl, those and now I am old, I am old, it is the end “ Aunt Anne, dear Aunt Anne,” Flor. of the world for me."
eoce said, “ do come in, you will catch He stooped and picked up the handker- your death of cold.” cbief with the lace border.
“My love, the carriage is waiting and "No," he said, “ don't say that. Not you must excuse me; it is growing late. the end, age is not counted by years, it is It has been delightful to be with you, and counted by other things,” and he coughed to meet your friends.". uneasily and waited as if to watch the She shook hands with Mr. Fisher, and effect of his speech before continuing: bowed to Ethel Dunlop; then she went “In reality,” he went on, in the hard slowly out of the room on Walter's arm,
the long train of Madame Celestine's scaurs, where of old the red-deer herded; dress sweeping behind her.
but from the outflow of the Yarrow from “ Good-night, Mrs. Hibbert,” Mr. Wim- the Loch they are gently sloping heights ple said, and, shaking hands quickly with of some fifteen hundred to eighteen hun. the air of a man who has many engage- dred feet, green and wavy in outline. The ments and suddenly remembered one that valley has thus no Highland cliffs to show, must be instantly kept, he too was gone. no great height of mountain, no striking
He was just in time to reach the car grandeur of peak or summit; it has nothriage door.
ing by which it can appeal with sudden " Mrs. Baines,” he said, " I think you and intense impression to the eye or the said you were going to South Kensington sensuous imagination. Yet it has a charm, - could you take me as far as Queen's has had a charm through many ages. Gate ?"
People, even at first sight, look and won. “I wonder where he is going,” Walter der, are stirred and brood over the scene said to himself as he went up-stairs again; - over the lonely river, as it passes on “I don't believe he knows a soul in amid those green, soft-sloping, wavy hills ; Queen's Gate.”
the placid monotone of its bare, treeless scenery; the deep pastoral stillness of its braes and billsides, broken only it may be by a fitful sway and sough of the water, or
the bleating of the sheep that, white and From Blackwood's Magazine. motionless, dot the knowes. Aod if you THE YARROW OF WORDSWORTH AND stay there for some days, in summer or SCOTT.
autumn, you will find that the stream and Nearly in the centre of the Borderland valley know well the mists and the sunof Scotland, - through the heart of the shine, the rapid change of grey darkening mountainous district known of old as the cloud and bright gleaming sun-glimpses Middle March and The Forest, – there through the mottled heavens, that touch flows, from the south-west to the north the heart to pathos and then to joy; it has, east, a stream much spoken of for the in a word, its “dowie deos" and its “bonlast ninety years, and famous in story, nie houms," reflected it would seem in its song, and romantic ballad. This is "the sad and joyous song. Yarrow," - literally, perhaps, "the rough Around this stream, - this valley with stream." It is a broken water certainly, its bills, its ruined towers, its storied but a rough stream it is not in any proper names, — there has grown, through the sense of the word. From the point where last three centuries at least, a fulness of it leaps from the Loch of St. Mary, full- stirring associations and of imaginative born, to where it is fused with its brother feeling, a wealth of romantic ballad and water, the Ettrick, not far below the battle- pathetic song, such as is not paralleled in field of Philiphaugh and the grey ruins of Scotland; such as is only matched in Newark, it is usually bright and sparkling, some respects by the lyrics that rose in passing from rapid stream to calm, reflec- the time of Burns to life and beauty on tive pool, but for the most part rippling, the banks of the Lugar and the Doon. restless — rushing down amid the smooth The Yarrow we see is thus not the Yarrow rounded stones of its softly musical strand. we feel. The bare stream has been upTo the ear which listens and broods over lifted to the heaven of imagination; to the its flow, there seems to be a suggestion of dreamland of poetry and pathos. That that cadence of the ballad measure, which quiet Border stream has flowed for many is so appropriate to the pathos of its story. ages throughout the heart of the land of The valley of the Yarrow – which may old romance; and it will flow in the time be taken as beginning above the Loch of to come with a quickening power and thrill the Lowes, and running north-eastward for all souls capable of being touched by for some twenty-five miles — has hills on the simplicity, the strength, the tragedy either side of the rounded, massive kiod, of our old.world life, and of love faithful that flow down to the stream in a consent to death. It belongs now to the realm of ing parallelism and harmony. Those in the ideal, and this encircles us as the the upper reaches of the valley, especially heavens, and changes not, “whate'er be. if we take in the tributary Meggat Water, tide.” But its ancient story and ballad I have a marked impressiveness and gran-cannot here touch in detail. I wish now deur, rising with massive fronts to more only to look for a short time at a certain than twenty-six hundred feet, their sides modern outcome of the older minstrels' cut and cloven into deep grey heughs and lays, and try to realize that mysterious charm which the Vale of Yarrow has ex: | mode of locomotion truly; but we may be ercised over the spirits of two men of thankful it was so, and the tour so leisvaried genius - men who were able to urely done. There was much keen obexpress in the melody of accomplished servation and rich meditation — much fine song what many have been able only to emotion by the way, many stirrings of feel -I mean William Wordsworth and heart and fancy, which are now immortal. Walter Scott.
Compare this way of travelling and its It is now eighty-nine years since Words- results with the boasted modern method worth passed down the vale of the Tweed, of being shot through the air like live lugand first linked his name to the long line gage, at the rate of fifty or sixty miles an of the miostrels whose hearts the Yarrow hour, and think of the fine poetic fancies has stirred to song: This visit to Tweed- which usually are inspired in the railway side and the Borderland recalls strange carriage! Ours is the day of the maximum and thrilling memories of a time long of locomotion; is it not also the day of gone. It takes us back to the rich and the minimum of reflection ? After jour. glorious dawn of our modern poetry and neying through the Highlands, Words. romance; and we seem to see moving in worth and his sister on their return home it the young and eager faces of some of visited Scott and his wife at Lasswade on the men who were destined to fill all Brit- the 17th September, 1803 - the memoraain, even all Europe, with the thrill of ble day on which the two greatest men of their rhythm and the power of their song. the time first clasped each other's hand. These men have done their work; they Wordsworth and his sister parted with have now passed away; and we have but Scott at Lasswade, under an engagement their writings and their graves. Walter to meet again in two days at Melrose. Scott, then but thirty-two, was haunting The two travellers made their way to Tweedside and the glens of the Borders Peebles and the Tweed. Just before this in search of old legend and romance, and time the fine old wood at Neidpath had the Ettrick Shepherd was herding on the been cut down by its owner — the Duke hills of Leithen Water. As yet neither of Queensberry - to spite his heir of en. had made his mark in literature, but Hogg tail. It was on a Sunday that Wordsworth was seeing ecstatic visions on the hillside, visited Neidpath Castle, and on his return and Scott was going about restlessly from it he was accosted and taken aside crooning to himself the stanzas of the as in Peebles by some one in authority, and yet unpublished "Lay of the Last Min. required to give an account of himself strel ;" and the young century had the the poet being probably, and not unnatu. promise of one of the richest summers of rally, by the municipal mind considered a literature the world has known. When sort of vagrant or tramp! He seems to Wordsworth and Scott met for the first have escaped with an admonition; they time at Lasswade, and afterwards con- did not put him in jail. The result of ferred together on Tweedside, at Melrose that day's visit to Neidpath was the fa. and Jedburgh, who, looking to that day mous sonnet on the destruction of the and comparing it with the present, will wood there. He commemorates the outventure to give us words adequate to rage, but has an eye for nature's remedy estimate the wealth of ideas, of purifying, of its own wrongs - man's outrage, naennobling emotion, of ideals that lift us ture's healing :above self and pelf and the down-dragging
Many hearts deplored world, which has been added by these The fate of those old trees; and oft with pain two men alone to the treasury, the spiritual The traveller at this day will stop and gaze treasury of mankind ?
On wrongs, which Nature scarcely seems to Wordsworth, looking from any one of
heed : the mountains of Cumberland, which he For sheltered places, bosoms, nooks, and was accustomed to climb, might have seen
bays, in a clear day the shadowy forms of the And the pure mountains, and the gentle
Tweed, Cheviots and other Border hills; but if he and the green silent pastures, yet remain. had been in Scotland before, it was only to cross the border. In August, 1803, he, Leaving Peebles, Wordsworth and his his sister Dorothy, one of the noblest, sister went down the valley of the Tweed. most richly endowed, and most self-sacri. Ionerleithen, Traquair, Elibank, Ashies. ficing of women, and Coleridge, their tiel, each had its share of notice. At friend, left Keswick for a tour in Scot- length they reached Clovenford. The land. The travelling equipage, was an question now was, Shall we turn aside to Irish car and one borse - a slow-going | Yarrow - that is, down by Yair away to
the junction of the Ettrick with the Tweed, the youth dead in his prime of love and and so up the Vale of Yarrow? There promise in the cleaving of the crag. And was something of a debate between the the poet feared to undo the image, to con. poet and his sister on this point. The front his ideal with the real. Here is the sister was obviously eager to go and see true reason of “ Yarrow Unvisited :". the stream that flowed through the heart
Be Yarrow stream unseen, unknown! of old romance. The poet himself seems
It must, or we shall rue it: to have been in a curious and for him un. We have a vision of our own; wonted mood. For some reason, conven- Ah! why should we undo it? ience or other, he was not disposed to go. The treasured dreams of times long past, They did not at least visit Yarrow on this We'll keep them, winsome marrow! occasion, and we have the colloquy be. For when we're there, although 'tis fair, tween brother and sister in " Yarrow 'Twill be another Yarrow! Unvisited.” The poet at first says almost Scott was afterwards to work on the lightly :
old life, story, and legend in his own man“ There's Gala Water, Leader Haughs, ner of re-creation, idealizing, and picturing Both lying right before us;
for the senses, - the harshness, even the And Dryborough, where with chiming Tweed coarseness, softened in the mellow light The lintwhites sing in chorus;
of memory, - so that we not only feel There's pleasant Teviotdale, a land
this curiously mixed past to be real, but Made blithe with plough and harrow; even rejoice in its strength and tenderWhy throw away a needful day
Wordsworth, as his ballads on To go in search of Yarrow?
Yarrow show, was to take up the same " What's Yarrow but a river bare
material, deal with it in his own fashion That glides the dark hills under ?
that is, pass it through the flow of his There are a thousand such elsewhere, meditative fancy - and link it to emotions, As worthy of your wonder.”
which, wbile peculiarly and intensely the Strange words they seemed of slight and property of the poet himself
, — the seer, scorn; My true-love sighed for sorrow;
– are so real, deep, and fitting that every And looked me in the fac
true man afterwards feels them, and is
to think I thus could speak of Yarrow!
enriched by the clear consciousness of
spiritual possession. Sometimes an accident of arrangement Eleven years pass away, and Wordsstays us from doing what we most desire. worth is once more in Scotland, and in the Perhaps there was something of that sort Borderland (1814). He lodged, he tells here. ' But later stanzas reveal a deeper us, the night at Traquair, where Hogg feeling in the heart of the poet. It was joined him, coming across from Eltrive, not that he slighted the stream that he and also Dr. Anderson, the editor of the would apparently pass it by: Rather, it “ British Poets," who was on a visit at the was almost too sacred for him to see, to manse. It is probable, I think, from look at, at least, in a hurried way. It was Wordsworth's own statement,* that he to him already an ideal of beauty, grace, slept at some small hostelry, or public
He “had a vision -a Yarrow house, in the village of Traquair, not at - of his own.” And this ideal vision of the manse, where I wish he had lodged. the Yarrow must have been founded At this time the minister was the Rev. mainly on the ballads and songs referring James Nicol, one of Scotland's true singto it, which had been given in the “Miners, though he has not left us very strelsy of the Border," in 1802 and 1803: much of song. One of his best lyrics is Hamilton of Bangour's "Braes of Yarrow" Where Quair rins sweet amang the was clearly also familiar to him. “ The flowers." Mr. Nicol, however, was from Lay of the Last Minstrel " - the first of home. Mrs. Nicol seems to have enterScott's great creations — though written, tained the stranger in the evening, sending was not published until 1805. But obvi. for Willaim Laidlaw, – Scott's friend, and ously Wordsworth had already eagerly the author afterwards of " Lucy's Flittin'," assimilated, and made part of himself the — who was living not far off, then tenant Yarrow of the “ Mmstrelsy.” Here he in Traquair Knowe, to meet him. Next found the Yarrow, no doubt, of the faded morning the party, including, I think, forest, of the Dowie Dens, of the Black- Hogg, William Laidlaw, Dr. Anderson, house tragedy, of the wan maiden awak- and Wordsworth, walked up by Newhall ing to life in St. Mary's Kirk at the touch on to Glenlude and the watershed there, of her lover's hand, of the sweet flower of Drybope wedded to the rough reiver, of
* Works, vi. 41 (Knight's edition).