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Cras amet qui nunquam amavit, quique amavit | whose very hum seems to catch some in
termediate sense more felt than heard ?
Still I was undismayed; whether the moThe sunlit waves came to me with a mentary sensation was to be renewed startling and happy message that the hereafter, or to remain forever alone in outer world was fair, whether I saw it memory, I could doubt my life or love or no; but the sweetbriar among the more easily than the certain fact that, prickles challenged me to own a spiritual once and again, I had been drunk with truth – the world was lovable, whether I ineffable odors in this sunny island combc. saw why or no, and whether its sweetness I was strong now for a new departure, was beloved -as by me to-day, or left but the wind was still high upon the unseen, undreamt of, through the lonely downs, and my thoughts reverted to a years. My brain was tired and the wide path leading to the shore, the upper thoughts wandered wildly; snatches of end of which lay not far back. I had old hymns mixed with the “Pervigilium wondered as I passed to what the path Veneris,” and my last thought was a could lead, for there was neither beach dreamy wonder, whether the love of God nor anchorage below. The path was was something like my love of earth just plain and easy, and landed me upon a now? A wave of love sweeps over us slightly sloping surface of solid rock; just when we feel the one thing needed massive iron rings were fixed in it here given, and the love that seeks its object and there, and rusty iron bars between will own none but the imagined giver, and them were twisted like wire into uncouth to the imagined object of our love we shapes by the fury of the waves. give a name — our God, kind earth, or side the edge of the rocky slab sank sheer mother nature — and such naming is in into the water, and there was a deep, naritself a prayer, a blessing, and a thanks-row passage where a boat might run giving for the good God's gift. Thoughts alongside to land its cargo; clearly it was like these rose questioningly, and pleased here that the sailors used to land their with asking, ere the question pressed for boat-loads of seaweed, to be carried up answer I was asleep con dio.
the path to spread upon the fields of the Noon was past and the south sun had nearest farmstead as manure. The landtravelled two hand-breadths towards the ing-place was one that could only be used right before I woke, rested, hopeful, and in the fairest weather, and the station refreshed. The sound that woke me was was deserted now; the coast was rough the tinkle of a sheep-bell, following an and broken, rocky pinnacles, tiny islets, old crone, who was tethering the family and sharp, sunken rocks in masses, large cow to graze on the common just above. and small, strewed the coast, and the I called to her, and though our friendly fresh wind was dashing great waves speech was mutually unintelligible, like against them all with deafening roar. two children of nature we arranged And when the sea was breaking I could friendly terms of barter, and she brought do no other than draw near to watch it me a cup of creamy milk and a stale crust break. The old spell drew me on to the of home-baked bread. I rose invigor- furthest accessible point of rocky projecated, and before leaving my warm lair tion; by clambering beyond the broad, bent for one more draught of the mixed, level slab, along a kind of promontory, sweet scent. Alas! the island is enchant- covered at high water by the sea, but now ed! the gorse was sweet and so was the dry save for a few pools in the spray-worn briar, with their several known and pleas-hollows, and bare of all maritime life beant sweetness, but the unearthly fragrance cause of the violence of the waves, one of those two moments came back to me reached a secure, low pinnacle, round
It may be that, as slight sounds which the waves were breaking in all are distressing to a feeble brain that their glory. The noise was deafening, would pass unnoticed else, so a more than the sea a clear sea-green, the sky and normal keenness of the other senses goes sunlight bright and clear. Chance fixed with moments of excited feebleness. my eye at once upon a certain rock over Basking in the sunshine I had felt a dim which each wave broke, burying the sumintuition of ancient kinship with the mit beneath a flood of foam; then as the many-colored zoophytes of the shallow wave retreated and the rock rose from its
Here on the thymy heights what immersion, still waterfalls fell as if from more natural than to remember some some secret reservoir, from ledge to ledge hints of fellowship with the insect hosts, l of the rock, into the still seething, surg
ing surf below, and ere one could dis- | as the silvery glitter of the gull's white cover whence these little cataracts pro- wings differs from the dazzling whiteness ceeded, another wave submerged the of the sunlit foam. The sea-gulls were whole bed of rocks, and again retired, swooping through the air and skimming leaving unaccountable waterworks to play for a moment the surface of the waves, for a moment and vanish again. It was but one seemed to have made her nest a giddy sight, like watching the revolu- upon the very rim of the boiling cauldron tions of a water-wheel, and that, too, in of Charybdis, and it was only on a closer doubt as to what the designers of the look that I saw at moments just a speck of machinery had meant to compass by its black rock showing momentarily through motions. A great wave broke, and a the surf. The sea-bird was perched upon shower of spray rose up against the sky, the rock, and the waves washed round it, where the fickle wind caught it and sent and the silver wings shone like moon. a cool handful lightly in my face. I was beams, like the moon resting on a cushion dazzled for a moment, and as I recovered of snowy moonlit clouds. And again and sight my eyes were bent a yard or two again, as I looked from the swirling wafurther out to sea, upon the right. ters to the still fight of the circling gulls,
Here, when the wave had burst, the the two spirits of brightness would meet sea was level with thick, white, smooth for a joyous moment as the sea-bird nesfoam, but as the waters rushed back, tled among the foam. sucked down as if by a great passion of The cheerful voice of our host roused remorse; then, instead of black rocks me at length from reveries in which it showing sharp teeth above the surf, the seemed possible that a world should be waves, as they sank back, disclosed a with only differences between one and deepening, widening, whirling abyss, with another right, between the new creations walls of whirling foam, a funnel-shaped of wisely loving souls and the different vortex, boring down as it revolves into glories of consistent truths. I followed deeper and deeper recesses of the sea, him, silently thinking too that it made a with foaming sides, seeming to recede change in the memory of sad and gloomy from the intent gaze. The snowy white hours to think that through them all the ness of the whirling billows, the seeming gulls had lovered in still circles over the softness of the sea all foam, have a strange unchanging sea. But that evening, as I fascination for the giddy senses; there read a Frenchman's letters, I took to are clouds on which one would choose to heart what he says to a friend of such rest if they were in reach, and no cloud walks as these of mine with the island could promise a softer, cooler, sweeter spirits : “ La mémoire de ces promenades resting-place than the very heart of this est à la fois un plaisir et une douleur. foaming whirlpool. Wave upon wave C'est pour moi une sensation qu'il faut spent itself, and I could not cease from renouveler sans cesse pour qu'elle ne dewatching the returning, ever-varying face vienne pas triste." This is partly true of of the whirling hollow, down which creamy all pleasures, and wholly true of the pleascataracts poured over the shifting watery ures of love. I was in love with these walls. The sun shone upon the foam, it sweet spirits, and love grows sad without glittered like snow, and one might have daily renewal of the one joy of meeting said there was no purer whiteness in the the beloved. I had felt this already, and world than this, when all at once there knowing life could not be spent in the in. floated across the foam another bright- cessant renewal of solitary delights, henceness, of white, glancing, sunlit wings. I forward I sought the company of my remembered as a child having wondered fellows, and went cliffing, shooting, boathow in heaven we should know one angeling, swimming, with my host and the isl. from another if they all wore the same and fishers. white robes, and bad wings of just one It was not till the last evening of my shape; it would have strengthened my stay that I ventured upon a solitary fareyoung faith much if they had shown and well stroll. The impression had been told me that one white radiance might gaining strength in my mind that my first differ from another as far as blue and thoughts of despair had been premature crimson. And still to this day one hears and exaggerated. If the Arctic expedithe shallow saying, a thing is either tion had started without me, that might right or wrong - it must be black or be a loss, but the other misfortune was white; whereas the glory of one rightness the less irreparable in consequence; I may differ from the radiance of another might see the -s in less than two
years ; nay, I was beginning to think that was silenced: no thought of God or man, it would be possible, without indiscretion, angel or faery magic, crossed my mind. to let Mrs. - know that it was not by The view was of pure, sober, lovely carth, choice I had failed in attentive, nay, as and the eyes were glad to rest unthinksiduous, respect. I did not know their ad. ingly on its stillness. From the grass dress, but they were going to be at Venice | bank on which I leaned the land sloped in June, and the English banker there gradually to the seaward. There was not was an old school friend of mine, to whom much difference in the level, but enough I could easily entrust a circumstantial to show far round on either side a narrow message, with a hint that he should de- strip of dark blue glittering sea: in front, liver it in the hearing of both ladies at and as far round as the eye readily saw at
I was thinking of these things, once, between me and the sea, there and not looking where I went, when sud- showed a low thin belt of firs; and as I denly I was brought up against one of had seen the sky through the branches of the rough stone walls, crowned with a the one fir-tree by the farm, so now the stubby hedge, which served to divide the blue sea showed through the wood befarms of different proprietors on the isl. tween the tree stems, and the dark green and. I had been landed before in a sim- foliage against the blue stood out in sharp ilar impasse. A path led into the field for relief, and the sky above the deep blue its owner's use, but none led through, as sea was blue, dim with a rising haze. the farmers did not trespass on each There was nothing to be thought or said, other's land. I had no such scruple, and and yet weariness was impossible; the scaled the wall, walking along the top of vision was of embodied rest; the still uniit to find a gap in the hedge, where I verse seemed a temple of the Most High, could drop down on the other side. At and I fed my soul by looking. the convenient spot I sat down for a mo- It was the memory of this long look inent to rest in sight of a still blue patch that came back to me first, forty-eight of sea; the curving down framed it as in hours afterwards, when I leaned out of a a hollow, and on the left, where the land third-floor bedroom in Bloomsbury to rose above the horizon, in clear relief seize a glimpse of the sunset sky. On against the pale blue sky, stood out one rare evenings, when the clouds have solitary fir-tree; one saw the sky between melted, there was a little patch of pearly
branches, and the upper outline grey between the houses, shading into against the sky was clear and dark. It beryl-like transparency, and the topmost was resting to look upon. My enjoyment twigs of an old elm-tree make a feathery of the island beauties had grown danger- fringe of green against the sky; here too ously strenuous, because I could not is stillness, beauty, and unreasoning break the trick of trying to find a mean- peace; and down below a neighbor has ing everywhere. This tree against the trained a jessamine against his bit of garsky proved nothing, and all the more for den wall. I saw the feathery green of that, its mere contemplation was fraught the new year's young rich shoots, and the with inexplicable pleasure.
white flowers that shine like stars upon a I went on my way breathing a blessing moonless night, against their dark cool on the good householder who had tended bed. The light grew paler and paler, a the fir-tree in its youth ; and, though I shortlived flush of pink came and went, don't know that my prayers had anything and then the pale grey deepened into to do with the result, I was as much night, still, calm, and sweet, and the starry pleased as if they had, when I heard that Jessamine still glimmered through the the good wife's son came back the next shade. Night fell, and then I wrote to weck from a three years' voyage, with all Venice. his pay in hand, enough to buy the ten That was five years ago. The dutiful shares in the market-boat which old little note of answer that Marian wrote to neighbor Nicolas had left to provide a me in her mother's name had one word portion for his only daughter. But I did more of kind regard in it than strict civilnot know this then, so my prayers were ity required, and on the faith of that word only for unspecified good luck.
I'worked and hoped and waited, and as After re-entering the castle lands, I the years went on I never ceased to rewandered through the first pine wood, member in dark hours that to every change bending inland by degrees, and just as I of joy and sorrow in the mixed web of neared the public way, I turned back, human life there is a far-away accompanie leaning on a grassy bank. This time I ment of unchanging beauty, peace, and calım delight, for the gulls swoop as ever sky was overhead. I saw visions and through the sunlit air and alight upon the dreamed dreams, but rash mortals fare ill breaking waves, and the starry jessamine who would woo the very gods; the island shines at sunset through the London imps teased me, they bid when my heart smoke.
was aching; but I think, darling, they
meant it kindly, for after every trick they Marian asks why I never told her all played me, came back the memory of a this before. Are you jealous, sweetheart, sweet fair face, with grave brown eyes of my amours with the spirits of the that could not tease or trifle; and if I was waves and flowers? And besides, what ever faithless, this was my sin, and you was there to tell? It is a long story, and must forgive it to the fairies of the shore: yet it comes to very little. I was ill and but for their mischievous bright magic I went to the seaside, and the waves broke, bad despaired at once of life and love, and sweet wild flowers grew, and the changing | – Marian – you.
DECLINE OF THE ITALIAN RACE. One of the health, comfort, and content of the people? the reasons for the deformed, rickety, dirty, The further lesson also requires to be learned, wretched, thievish inhabitants of Italy is the namely, that where the mass of the people are total absence of proper sanitary arrangements allowed to grovel in filth and misery, there can in Italian towns and villages, from the palace be no true security for property. A whiff of to the hovel and room-tenement. Italy—the grape-shot will not cure such disease. land of sunshine, art, and song - is a land of
Builder. filth and vermin. There are marble palaces, art galleries, and blue skies, but neither sewe ers, drains, nor adequate scavenging. Hence, strangers who are tempted to visit the world- LONDON FOGS IN 1660. — The newspapers renowned cities pay a fearful penalty in risks and journals are full of the great question of from fever and certainty of mosquito stings, as purifying London by the abolition of smoke. also of punishment from other domestic tor. The question arises how far this is a modern
There is not one Italian city properly evil, and the antiquary has something to say sewered, drained, and scavenged. The best on this. As long as London has been London hotels use cesspools, out of which pass foul it has been subject to fogs owing to its neargases and putrid Auids, to contaminate both ness to the river, and the old city was by no air and water. Proper scavenging implies means_smokeless. One day Charles II. and daily cleansing, not only of public streets and John Evelyn were conversing together in the places, but of all back streets, lanes, alleys, private garden at Whitehall, when a cloud of yards, and tenement houses, with a removal of smoke was observed by both of them issu. excreta and refuse at short intervals, never ex- ing from tall chimneys near Northumberland ceeding one week. As to proper sanitary House. The king, who had lately returned works, a full supply of pure water is necessary, from the pure air of the Continent, commanded not merely for display in public fountains, but Evelyn to consult with the law officers of the laid on by appropriate services to every occu- crown, and to draft a bill for the abolition of pied dwelling, however humble. The regula- the nuisance. The result was the famous tions of a Common Lodging House Act should “Fumifugium; or the inconvenience of the aer be enforced in every slum and wretched room- and smoak of London dissipated, together tenement, and all the places unfit for human with some remedies proposed by J. E, Esq., habitation should be sternly closed, and proper to His Sacred Majesty and to the Parliament accommodation provided. When the improve. now assembled, in 1660,” but no action was ments herein suggested have been adopted and ever taken by the indolent king. In a previous are continuously carried out, there may be work, “Character of England,” 1659, Evelyn hope for the regeneration of Italy. Ironclads had specially referred to the “pestilent smoke with a hundred-ton guns, Royal Cuirassiers, leaving a soot on all things that it lights," Royal Carabinieri, customs officers, excisemen, and wrote, “I have been in a spacious church police, municipal guards, and Jesuits will avail where I could not discern the ininister for the İtaly nothing in removing the fearful causes of smoke, or hear him for the people's barking.” disease and human distortion. When will The denseness of the air must have been great statesmen learn that the greatness and strength when the author could write, “If there be a of a nation are not alone in magnificent cities, resemblance of hell upon earth it is in this palaces, ironclads, and standing armies, but in volcano on a foggy day.”
Fifth Series, Volame XXXV.
No. 1937.- July 30, 1881.
Fraser's Magazine, IV. THE FRERES. By Mrs. Alexander, author of “The Wooing O’t.” Part XIV.,
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