case of an impressionable boy. A little truth, and, as he himself has said, there later, when he passed from the educa- can be no other virtue without truth. tional care of his mother to that of a tu. Fortunately for him, by the wise sanction tor, his relations to literature changed, as his mother had given to his perusal of the following passage from his autobiog- imaginative writings, she had robbed raphy will show: “My tutor thought it them of a mystery unhealthy in itself; almost a sin to open a profane play or and he came through these stolen read. poem; and my mother had no longer the ings substantially unharmed, because he opportunity to hear me read poetry as knew that his fault was only the lighter formerly. I found, however, in her dress one of sitting up when he was supposed ing-room, where I slept at one time, some to be lying down. odd volumes of Shakespeare; nor can I Luckily this tutor's stern rule did not easily forget the rapture with which I last long; and when a severe illness atsate up in my shirt reading them by the tacked the youth (then advanced to be light of a fire in her apartment, until the a student at Edinburgh College) and bustle of the family rising from supper brought him under his mother's charge warned me that it was time to creep back once more, the bed on which he lay was to my bed, where I was supposed to have piled with a constant succession of works been safely deposited since nine o'clock.” of imagination, and he was allowed to This is a suggestive, as well as a frank, find consolation in poetry and romance, story. Supposing for a moment that those fountains which Aow forever for instead of Shakespeare, the room had the ardent and the young. It was in recontained some of the volumes of verse lation to Mrs. Scott's control of her son's and romance which, though denying alike reading that he wrote with gratitude late the natural and the supernatural virtues, in life, “ My mother had good natural are to be found in many a Christian taste and great feeling.” And, after her home, how easily might he have suffered death, in a letter to a friend, he paid her a contamination of mind! It has been this tribute: “She had a mind peculiarly proudly said of Sir Walter as an author well stored. If I have been able to do that he never forgot the sanctities of anything in the way of painting the past domestic love and social duty in all that times, it is very much from the studies he wrote ; and considering how much he with which she presented me. did write, and how vast has been the in- a strict economist, which, she said, enfluence of his work on mankind, we can abled her to be liberal; out of her little hardly over-estimate the importance of income of about £300 a year she be. the fact. Yet it might have been all stowed at least a third in charities; yet I wrecked by one little parental impru- could never prevail on her to accept of dence in this matter of books. And what any assistance.” Her charity, as well as excuse is there, after all, for running the her love for genealogy and her aptitude terrible risk? Authors who are not fit to for story-telling was transmitted to her be read by the sons and daughters are son. It found expression in him, not rarely read without injury by the fathers only in material gifts to the poor, but in and mothers; and it would be better by a conscientious care and consideration far, Savonarola-like, to make a bonfire of for the feelings of others. This trait is all the literature of folly, wickedness, and beautifully exhibited by many of the facts infidelity, than run the risk of injuring a recorded by Lockhart in his famous me. child simply for the sake of having a few moir, and also by a little incident, not volumes more on one's shelves. In the included there, which I have heard Sir balance of heaven there is no parity be. Henry Taylor tell, and which, besides tween a complete library and a lost soul. illustrating the subject, deserves for its But this story has another lesson. It own sake a place in print. The great and indicates once more the injury which may now venerable author of “ Philip Van be done to character by undue limitations. Artevelde dined at Abbotsford only a Under the ill-considered restrictions of year or two before the close of its owner's his tutor, which ran counter to the good life. Sir Walter had then lost his old sense of his mother, whose wisdom was vivacity, though not his simple dignity; justified by the event, Walter Scott might but for one moment during the course of easily have fallen into tricks of conceal- the evening, he rose into animation, and ment and forfeited his candor — that can it happened thus. There was a talk dor which developed into the noble among the party of an excursion which probity which marked his conduct to the was to be made on the following day, and last. Without candor there cannot be during the discussion of the plans Miss

She was

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Scott mentioned that two elderly maiden | and the import of the sacred volume were ladies living in the neighborhood were still in his recollection, as were also some to be of the number, and hinted that their of the hymns of his childhood, which his company would be a bore. The chival. grandson, aged six years, repeated to him. rous kindliness of her father's heart was Lockhart," he said to his son-in-law, “ I instantly aroused. "I cannot call that have but a minute to speak to you. My good breeding,” he said in an earnest and dear, be a good man, be virtuous, be reli. dignified tone a rebuke which echoed gious, be a good man. Nothing else will the old-fashioned teaching on the duties give you any comfort when you come to of true politeness he had heard from his lie here." mother half a century before.

So passed the great author of “ WaverWe would gladly know more than we ley away.

And when, in due course, do of Mrs. Scott's attitude towards her bis executors came to search for his tesson when first his penchant for author-tament, and lifted up his desk, “We ship was shown. That she smiled on his found,” says one of them, “arranged in early evidences of talent, and fostered careful order a series of little objects, them, we may well imagine; and the ten. which had obviously been so placed there derness with which she regarded his early that his eye might rest on them every compositions is indicated by the fact that morning before he began his tasks." a copy of verses, written in a boyish There were the old-fashioned boxes that scrawl, was carefully preserved by her, had garnished his mother's toilet-table and found, after her death, folded in a when he, a sickly child, slept in her dresspaper on which was inscribed, "My Wal. ing-room; the silver taper-stand which ter's first lines, 1782.” That she gloried the young advocate bought for her with in his successes when they came we his first fee; a row of small packets ingather; for when speaking late in life to scribed by her hand, and containing the Dr. Davy about his brother Sir Hum- hair of such of her children as had died phry's distinction, Sir Walter, doubtless before her; and more odds and ends of a drawing on his own home memories, re- like sort - pathetic tokens of a love marked, “I hope, Dr. Davy, that your which bound together for a little while mother lived to see it; there must have here on earth, and binds together forbeen great pleasure in that to her.” But evermore in heaven, Christian mother with whatever zeal Mrs. Scott may have and son.

JOHN OLDCASTLE. unfolded Sir Walter's mind by her training, by her praise, by her motherly enthusiasm, it is certain that, from first to last, she loved his soul and sought its interest, in and above all. Her final pres

From Macmillan's Magazine. ent to him before she died was not a

Shakespeare or a Milton, but an old
Bible the book she loved best, and for

[See “ Plutarch's Lives."']
her sake Sir Walter loved it too.
Happy was Mrs. Scott in having a son Timoleon, leader of a noble band,

The night before he sailed for Sicily, who in all things

ciprocated the affec. tion of his mother. With the first five. These words, or words not all unlike to these.

Did to the partners of his toil address guinea fee he earned at the bar he bought a present for her — a silver taper-stand,

“Friends, fellows with me in one grand emwhich stood on her mantel-piece many a

prise, year; when he became enamored of Miss Who wait but for the early light, prepared Carpenter he filially wrote to consult his Soon as the pale east glimmers into gold, mother about the attachment, and to beg Boldly to launch into the open sea; her blessing upon it; when, in 1819, she Friends, who shall not the temper of your died at an advanced age, he was in at- souls tendance at her side, and, full of occupa- One jot abate, till Sicily once more tions though he was, we find him busying Is nurse of beauteous arts, of kindly men, himself to obtain for her body a beauti. And haunt once more of presences divine;

Some pages fully situated grave. Thirteen years

in the story of my life later

To he also rested from his labors. During

you are known ; 'twere well you shouid

know all. the last hours of his lingering life he de. The sun.god with his crown of light and robes sired to be read to from the New Testa- of rosy red is yet far off, and gives ment, and when his memory for secular No signals of his coming ; hearken then; poetry had entirely failed him, the words | The story may do more than cheat the time.

and torn,

“My brother, - he was known to some of Dear to the goddess of the foodful earth, you;

Dear to the pale queen of the underworld ; By some, I think, was loved. I loved him well ; Which now, as daughter unto mother fleeing, And bear upon my body to this hour

Bemoaned her sad fate, wrecked and shorn The print of Argive spears, which, meant for him,

Scorched and consumed in Moloch's furnace Prone lying, headlong from his saddle thrown, fires, I took for mine on one disastrous day.

A solitude of hate, till now the grass Well pleased I saw him step by step advance Grew rank in her untrodden streets, and worse From high to higher, till our coinmon weal Than wild beasts harbored in her marble halls. Owned none that owned a greater name than his.

"You know the rest, — what pity filled all But ab ! the pang, when to be great among us

hearts Seemed not to him enough: he must be all; When the sad story of her wrongs was heard, And so, misusing power too lightly lent,

That now is Cynosure of all our eyes ; He changed our laws at will, and citizens And yet withal how hard it proved to choose Sent uncondemned, untried, to bloody dooms. A captain of the liberating host; In vain I warned him there was wrath abroad, And some cried one, and some another name, That this proud city of the double sea

While this man doubted of himself, and that Had never unto tyrants bowed the neck, Was doubted of by others; till at last And would not now; and more than this I did. One from the concourse cried 'Timoleon,' Two taking with me of our chief of men, Name strange to lips of men for twice ten A suppliant at his feet I knelt, I fell;

years. Only to find, too often found before,

Some say it was a voice from heaven, and some Derision and a fierce resolve that bad

The word of a plain simple countryman. Should grow to worse.

In the end I stood | I know not. It perchance was both in one. aside,

But this or that, all hailed it as the thought And in my mantle, weeping, hid my face, And inspiration of the holy gods : While the dread deed that should make Corinth And one whose word went far, bespake me thus: free

*Do well, and we shall count thee tyrant-slayer: Was acted. When the rumor of it spread, Do ill, and name we name not shall be thine.' Some said it was well done, and some said ill; Some called me fratricide, and some were fain “The end proves all; and that is still to To honor, as men honor saviour gods.

corne ; I could have borne the praise, or borne the And yet sometimes I nigh persuade myself blame,

I have drunk out the bitter of my life; And lived my own life, little heeding either ; And if I only keep the truth, you few, But presently thick darkness fell on me, My few, shall scatter Africk's alien hordes, When she that bare, and once had loved us Chase worse than wild beasts from their both,

treacherous lairs; Stern mother, took the part of her dead son The stars shall in their courses fight for us; Against the living; me saw never more, And all the elements shall work for us; Refused to look upon my face again,

And the sweet gods of Hellas, by the shrieks And, granting no forgiveness, lived and died. Of immolated children scared away,

These, girt already for their glad return, “I meanwhile, laden with a mother's curse, Shall show how easy all things prove for them By those avenging goddesses pursued,

That have immortal helpers on their side. That fright the doers of strange deeds of blood, And there shall wait on me, on me who seemed In solitary places far astray,

Estranged forever from the tenderness On the wild hills, beside the lone seashore, Of human hearts, from all things good and Wandered, a man forbidden and forlorn :

fair, The glory and the gladness of my youth, The golden tribute of a people's love. Its unreturning opportunities,

And when my work is ended, multitudes All gone ; how then I hated streets and schools, Apparelled all in white, and crowned with And all the faces that one met in them;

flowers, And hated most of all myself, until

As on a great day of high festival, It little lacked but that with hands profane Shall with large tears of sorrow and of joy I had laid waste the temple of my life,

Bear me, a victor, to my funeral pyre: And ended ail.

So limns itself the future to my sight. “ While thus it fared with me, “But lo! enough. The day is breaking fast, 'The slow years dragging on their sullen length, And we are called. Hyperion's eager steeds A cry of anguish travelled o'er the deep Are straining up the slope of eastern heaven, From that fair island of the western wave, And from their fiery nostrils blow the morn.


[ocr errors]

Fifth Series, Volume XXXV.


No. 1938.- August 6, 1881.

From Beginning,

Vol. CL.


[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


Fortnightly Review, II, IN TRUST. A Story of a Lady and her Lover, Fraser's Magazine, III. HOME AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS,

Fortnightly Review, IV. THE FRERES. By Mrs. Alexander, author of “The Wooing O't.” Part XV.,



Contemporary Review, . VII. STRAY LEAVES OF HISTORY,.

Temple Bar, VIII. THE LATE ANDREW Wilson,

Blackwood's Magazine,

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION. For Eight DOLLARS, remitted directly to the Publishers, the LIVING Age will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of postage.

Remittances should be made by bank draft or check, or by post-office money-order, if possible. If neither of these can be procured, the money should be sent in a registered letter. All postmasters are obliged to register letters when requested to do so. Drafts, checks and money-orders should be made payable to the order of LITTELL & Co.

Single Numbers of THE LIVING AGR, 18 cents.

came :


She whispers through the hours, Earth hides her secrets deep

“I will enfold again Down where the small seed lies,

Life's being; love and pain. Hid from the air and skies

Back to the mother breast Where first it sank to sleep.

Fall as the falling dew, To grow, to blossom, and to die

Once more to pass anew
Ah, who shall know her hidden alchemy?

Into the dreamless rest."
Macmillan's Magazine.

M. B.
Quick stirs the inner strife,
Strong grow the powers of life,
Forth from earth's mother breast,
From her dark homes of rest,
Forth as an essence rare

Eager to meet the air,
Growth's very being, seen

Scene : Top of a drag at the 'Varsity Match. Here, in this tenderest green.

“Well, dear, this is charming; so glad that I Drawn by the light above,

So kind of Lord Ernest to give me a seat. Upward the life must move;

We couldn't be better for seeing the game, Touched by the outward life Kindles anew the strife,

And watching a match is to me such a treat!

Let's see - it is Oxford that wears the light Light seeks the dark's domain,

blue? Draws thence with quickening pain New store of substance rare,

I'm awfully Oxford. What! Cambridge is

light? Back through each tingling vein Thrusts the new life again

Well, then, I am Cambridge, Look, there's

Mr. Pugh! Beauty unfolds in air.

I met him at Lady MacGillies' last night. So grows earth's changeling child,

Do give me a card, for I must keep the score. By light and air beguiled

O, thank you so much, you're quite awfully Out of her dreamless rest

nice! Safe in the mother breast,

And now, if you won't think me too great a Impulses come to her,

bore, New hopes without a name

You'll show me the way I'm to keep it. An Touch every leaf, and stir

ice ? Colorless sap to flame;

Well, really, I think I should like one, you Quick through her pulses run

know. Love's hidden mystic powers,

O dear! what's the matter? Some poor felShe wakes in golden flowers

low out? Trembling to greet the sun.

What shall I put down? Do just look at them

throw What means this being new,

The ball to each other. What are they Sweet pain she never knew

about? Down in the quiet earth

Another man in, and it's "over." O dear! Ere hope had come to birth?

The game can't be finished ? Ah, just so, I Golden he shines above,

see ; Love wakes, and born of love

I haven't been keeping the score right, I fear. All her sweet flowers unfold,

My card and the telegraph board don't In rays of burning gold.

agree; Life then means nought but this

I'll keep it no more, it is getting too hot, Trembling to wait his kiss,

And watching the people is much better fun. Wake to emotion?

O, thank you, Lord Ernest, just one apricot; There where he glows she turns

No, really, Lord Ernest, I mean it- just All her gold flowers and burns

one. With her devotion.

I will take a little champagne. Look at that Ah, but when day is done?

Young Noel and Ethel, he's clearly épris; When he is gone, her sun,

And there goes Frank Gascoyne, he's got a King of her world and lover?

new hat. Low droops the faithful head

Poor fellow! I wish he had more to s. d. Where the brown earth is spread

But as he is now, I could never afford Waiting once more to cover

To think of What, really, the match Dead hopes and blossoms over.

is quite done!

I must say I haven't been very much bored, Earthborn to earth must pass

And O! by the by, tell me which side has Spirits of leaf and grass Touched by the sun and air Break into colors rare,

She cannot distinguish a bat from a wicket, Blossom in love and flowers.

And that is the lady's idea of cricket. Theirs are the golden fruits

SOMERVILLE GIBNEY. Earth clings around the roots,

Tinsley's Magazine.


« VorigeDoorgaan »