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other shelter before nightfall being prob- the place from which we originally start. lematical to a degree. A more unfre- ed. quented and a more unbefriended region is perhaps hardly to be found in her Majesty's dominions than that same stretch of country between Cashla and Roundstone Bay. Life there is indeed reduced to the very elements. A few villages exist, thinly scattered over its surface, but hardly any roads connecting them none certainly over which vehicles with springs could travel. Everywhere, too, the land is invaded by long arms of sea, still further increasing the difficulties of communication. For instance, as the crow flies, the distance between this point and Roundstone is barely twenty miles; whereas, if the coast-line were followed, it would probably be found to extend to fully five times that length. The variety of seaboard, too, is extraordinary; many of the islands being separated from the mainland by the merest streak of sea, the promontories, on the other hand, being in several instances connected by strips of land so low that a depression of a few feet would result in the setting free of a fresh crop of islands. The best, indeed the only, way of exploring this, the wildest bit of all Iar-Connaught, is to take boat, and to sail from headland to headland, and in and out of the archipelagoes of islands, which choke up every bay, and lie scattered in a thick fringe along the coast. There are several landing-places, but the most convenient probably will be found to be Roundstone, where the harbor is good, and a pier, built when dreams of an Atlantic packet station were in the air, stands ready for us to moor up our yacht or hooker. Here, too, is an hotel, and here, if the traveller is a naturalist, he can hardly do better than spend a few days, for not only is the shore itself unusually rich in zoology, but in the bay below he will find perhaps the best dredging-ground to be met with along the entire line of coast. From Roundstone the road lies direct to Clifden, which claims, and fairly claims I suppose, to be the capital of our mountain region. Thence, turning northward, we bowl along the wide coaching road, through the refreshingly clean little village of Letterfrack; through the valley of Kylemore, where the towering crest of the Diamond stands a glittering sentry over our heads; under steep wooded banks; past more lakes and glens, and across a valley floored with bog, until we suddenly find that we have come full circle, and are back again at the foot of the Twelve Pins,
Two more remarks before I end. First as to the question of popularity, or rather lack of popularity. It is undeniable that few regions equally come-at-able, and equally admittedly striking and picturesque, find so few admirers, not to say lovers, as Connemara. People come and go, drive along its roads, fish in its lakes, and even praise it after a fashion, but grudgingly; they break into no raptures, as for instance over Killarney, and, what is still more significant, they seldom show any particular desire to return to it again. Now this probably may be set down to a combination of causes. Its hotels, for one thing, are not (with one or two exceptions) by any means equal to the demands of modern sophistication; and this, deny it who will, is a very important factor in the matter. When a man's cogitations are secretly turning upon the badness of his breakfast, and the yet more doubtful prospect which awaits him at dinner, he is seldom, it must be owned, in the mood for very warmly appreciating scenery especially when that scenery is admittedly somewhat of the bleak and hungry kind. Then, again, there is another and a very serious matter-the weather! Without going into the vexed and oft-disputed question as to whether this part of Ireland or the west of Scotland is the worst and the wettest, it may be admitted at once, and without further question, that it is bad-very bad indeed. Even while in the very act of abusing it, however, it is only fair to add that to this very badness, fractiousness, what you will, of the climate the scenery owes a share, and to my mind a by no means inconsiderable share, of its charm. The actual landscape doubtless is fine, but the actual landscape is nothing, literally nothing, until you have seen it under a dozen different moods: now grey and sullen; now fierce and passionate; now, when you least expect it, flashing out smile after smile, as only an Irish landscape can smile when the sun suddenly catches it after a spell of rain. At all events I can personally vouch for the fact of long-continued dry weather being anything but becoming to the scenery. Wanting the moisture which lends them atmosphere and distance, the mountains lose their aërial tints, become dull and grey, oppressed as it were with their own nakedness. I remember (the statement, by the way, is not perhaps a particularly credible one) — nevertheless as a matter of fact I do remember a sum
mer in the west of Ireland, when for weeks together not a shower fell. The loughs sank low in their beds of rock; the bogs, seamed with cracks, showed as dry as so many high-roads; the grass turned brown; the flowers withered; the mountains, hard as iron, stood out with every muscle in their stony anatomy brought into the strongest possible relief; now and then a wind got up, but no rain fell; every atom of moisture seemed to have vanished out of the atmosphere, and from morning till night the sun shone down with the same broad, unwinking persistency. It was exactly what every body had always been wishing and sighing for, but somehow when it came no one appeared particularly gratified, and I can recall no very genuine expression of regret when at last one morning we got up to find that the sky had lost its brazen look, and that the greys had once more resumed their dominion. Nowhere, perhaps, in the world are there such greys as here pale greys, dark greys, greys tinted with blue, and with green, and with rose-color; greys merging and melting into one another, and into every other tint imaginable. Yet nowhere, on the other hand, is the coloring more gorgeous when now and then the sky does take a coloring fit. See it at the coming on of rain ! A minute, perhaps, ago sky and sea were cloudless; suddenly as you look again the clouds have gathered, struck against the cold sides of the mountains, and begun to descend in rain, which goes sweeping like a pall along the whole length of the valley, brushing against the flanks of the mountains, and passing away eastward, to be followed by a rapid burst of sunshine, bringing out the colors of the wet grass and smoking rocks; in its turn passing on, reappearing for an instant in fantastic patches of light upon the distant slopes, and then again being swallowed up in the wide-spreading darkness of another sudden storm. The brilliancy and swift chromatic changes of these alternate sun-bursts and rain-squalls are indescribable, and, when seen from a height where they can be followed across a wide stretch of mountain and sea, they constitute a never-failing panorama a drama the incidents of which are perpetually varying. One is in fact tempted to dwell far too much upon these transitory effects, because in a climate so capricious it is they rather than the permanent features which create the most vivid and lasting impressions. Looking back into that private picture-gallery which most of us,
consciously or unconsciously, carry about with us, two scenes at this moment start into my memory, and both, as will be seen, owe the fact of their being remembered at all not certainly to anything in the actual scenery, but wholly and solely to the disposition of the lights and atmosphere.
The first was an effect of early morning seen from a window overlooking a wide tract of comparatively low-lying land, sodden with recent rain, where small pools caught the eye, leading it on to a large fresh-water lough which lay beyond. Across this tract lay the arch of a rainbow, stretching from the grey of the water to the pale green of the hillsides above. Not a rainbow which came and vanished, but a rainbow which hovered and lingered; now fading until it was all but invisible, now unexpectedly flaring into sudden splendor again. And behind, the nearest hills were vague and dim with mist, while the distant ones were wholly hidden under a vast and capacious cloudcanopy, through which a pale sun shone upon the lough, so that it gleamed like a tarnished shield. All the greens and blues had vanished out of the landscape, but the yellows seemed brighter than ever; the highest note of all being struck where the foam, driven in a long, sinuous line across the lough, was washed in a broad, palpitating drift against the yellow sand.
The second- an effect of a very different kind-occurred at the end of one of those utterly hopeless days when the weather, after holding out some slight promise in the morning, settles down to rain with a dull and dogged self-satisfaction, as if it never had rained before. For an hour or more we had been tramping homeward, knee-deep in drenching heather, and had just reached the crest of a ridge, overlooking the bay and the dull grey flanks of the opposite hills; already the sun had set behind fourfold walls of cloud without showing itself, and without a moment's intermission of the pelting rain. Suddenly, when we least expected it, an arrow of red light was seen to shoot across the leaden-colored sky. Another and another followed. Layer after layer of clouds caught the glow, until the whole heavily laden floor of heaven was burning with an intense and terrible conflagration, out of the very midst of which bars of molten metal appeared to rise, writhing and melting as in a furnace. Across all this swept a few lighter clouds, driven by the wind, each tipped with an edge of
light, too intensely luminous to be looked | ception that the necessary work cannot be at. A rush of color, caught from the sky, overtaken. A despotic sovereign ought spread itself over the dull face of the to be overworked, for he ought to be bay, the very stream at our feet being prime minister, first judge, commandertinged with the pale, opal-colored tints. in-chief, and sovereign, all in one; and Nor was this all; for the clouds, which the mere business of those many offices, had been rolling over-head, began sud- if properly done, would crush any single denly to descend; not in wisps and scrolls, person. We do not find, however, and nor in a thin, impalpable veil, but alto- we have read many memoirs, that except gether, in a vast and apparently solid in very rare cases, the most remarkable body; rolling, pouring, gathering on the being that of Frederick the Great, the tops of the hills, and streaming down sovereign is so overwhelmed. Frederick through the passes. It was a regular tried to be rid of sleep, and to the end cloud avalanche; and, despite our knowl- could only read a haphazard selection of edge that we were too near home to run the letters he had ordered to be written in any risk by being enveloped in its folds, his own name. Men do not like labor, as there was something curiously alarming a rule, and kings have this immense adin the sight of these huge summits rolling vantage, or disadvantage, over other men, down-hill, and approaching momently that as their labor is the exercise of power, nearer. On and on they came, until sud- those around them are only too delighted denly, just as they were within about a to take it off their hands. The less the hundred yards of us, their course was king worries about a department, the arrested by a fresh conflicting current of more the minister is pleased; and as this air. Here, then, the vanguard stood still, is true down to the smallest secretary, the and began slowly melting, passing away king who desires to shift off actual work in thin shreds and rags of vapor; but the can always do it. We fancy that he rearguard still continued to pour in fresh usually does do it, and that a sovereign reinforcements from behind; which, ac- usually finds nearly as much leisure for cumulating faster than they could be dis- reading, music, the theatre, conversation, sipated, reared themselves up in vast, and eating, as any one of the wealthy dome-like masses, towering thousands of classes not professionally idle. His sig feet in air, and gradually slipping down- nature must, no doubt, be a burden to wards until they had enveloped not only him. Sovereigns in all countries must us, but the whole valley in their folds. An have endless masses of papers to sign, hour later the overcharged atmosphere commissions, orders, and above all, letters relieved itself by a couple of violent which cannot be operative without their thunder-claps following one another in autographs or initials. They retain much quick succession; after which the night of their power by the use of this check, grew calm and clear, and the next morn-just as the head of a great firm does when ing was glorious; but, alas! before the he keeps the bank-book; and even in day ended the dull, persistent, pitiless constitutional countries, the burden is drizzle had again set in. sometimes severe. Our own queen either is or was much tried in this way; and in England the number of commissions is insignificant, compared with that in many Continental countries. Reviews, too, take up time, and cannot be exactly delightful; while ceremonials of all sorts never end, and must be, if the sovereign is constructed like other human beings, utterly detestable. Imagine "receiving for nearly seven hours, as the king of Prussia sometimes does in the White Hall, according to the rules of an etiquette which varies with each person who advances. The president of the United States is pitied on reception days, but at least every person who approaches him, not being minister of a foreign power, expects to be treated in the same way, and cannot be dishonored by an accidental
From The Spectator. THE "BURDEN OF SOVEREIGNTY."
THE necessity which sovereigns plead for recreation is not unreal, though it is not often produced by the causes which the public suppose. We very much doubt if any sovereign in Europe is "overworked," as ordinary professionals, or even ministers, are over-worked; if any king or queen labors steadily for eight hours a day, during six days a week; or hurries his or her meals, or goes without regular exercise, or even falls into that condition of fluster which with most men and all women follows upon a clear per
mistake. Still, signatures, reviews, and ceremonials notwithstanding, the kings usually find time for amusement, for conversation or cards, the theatre or music, not to mention feasting, and in a large majority of cases, a very considerable amount of flirtation and gossip. The burden on them is not exactly work, which is got rid of at stated times, and through trusted delegates, but is a kind of mental pressure, to which hardly any other man with a profession can be posed.
every kind of event must make a distinct impact on a real sovereign, and affect even a constitutional one. The latter ought not to feel responsible, but the tradition of a mystical relation between the king and the country is very strong even our queen, for example, in her very motherly and kindly letter to her people, thanking them for their recent display of loyalty, writes as if she felt that their honor and glory depended in a great deex-gree on her individual effort and no sovereign probably is quite clear that the Hardly any one, except a chief minister, right to take advice is distinct from the can be so incessantly affected in mind by right to command, when it is given. The all that occurs as a decent king, who, sovereign must feel everything in some whether actually or in theory, guides the way, must move through an atmosphere administration. Events occur every day, heavy with that consciousness of a naevery event affects the central power tional self which the late Mr. Sanford, in more or less, and after every event a his account of the English kings, said working king must either feel responsible, differentiated hereditary rulers from other or consider what responsibility is likely men; and if genuinely good, must feel to arise. He may have done nothing in hourly the kind of sympathy or anger felt the matter, yet be instantly aware of much by a philanthropist when anything, good that will arise compelling him to act. An or bad, happens to the object of his care. earthquake in Agram is to the Austrian Clarkson was not responsible for all military secretary only an earthquake, a slaves, nor is Mr. Colam for all animals; calamity, that is, possibly a great calamity, but Clarkson felt every new slave law as but still a calamity allowed by God, or if he were a slave, and Mr. Colam, we evoked by some internal convulsion of dare say, feels as keenly when a prosecunatural forces. To the emperor, it is all tion he has ordered breaks down, because that, and this more, that people in the law does not cover its particular obwhom it is his duty to be interested are ject. That universality of interest, that suffering, that he must act or see that thinness, so to speak, of mental skin, others do, must send messages, must must be an equivalent in mental fatigue sympathize, must, if it be possible, help for actual work, and it is increased by anto encourage, to soothe, and to repair. other peculiarity of the position. The The earthquake, from the moment it oc- sovereign's profession is for life. Most curred, is part of his business, he must, other men -all other professional men, at the very least, know all about it. It is, except bishops — look forward to a period in some sort, a disaster to himself, some- of ease, when they shall have done with thing which comes home to him in pain, their daily labors, and may, as they think, as it can hardly come to any other person enjoy themselves, or at least be rid of the not personally involved in the ruin. A sense of responsibility for the weather. personal concern in disasters of any mag. The king has no such hope, except in nitude is always expressed by a Conti- death, which he does not look forward to nental ruler, and is often, we imagine, any more pleasurably or exultantly than very keenly felt. The emperor Nicholas other people. On the contrary, he has thought himself bound to be present at been taught through his whole life to all great fires; the emperor Napoleon III. think, with Tennyson's Northern Farmer, held that floods, like revolutions, "in- how immense his loss will be to other volved his honor," and once, at least, per-people. There are those 'cows to sonally ordered the repairs; and only calve,' say the Hungarian deficit to be three months ago, the emperor of Austria filled up, and Thornaby waäste to plow,' was so moved by the burning of the Ring Bosnia to be reduced to civilization, as I Theatre, that he made his personal dis- comprehend it." What the king is doing pleasure felt in the most unmistakable this year he must do in all years to come, way, censuring this great man, dismissing without cessation or respite, while life and that, and ordering the very severe prose- strength shall last, regencies being, even cutions now going on. We have selected to men of great age, like the German emdisasters, because they are so visible; but peror, or to weary men, like Alexander II.,
From The Spectator.
MIDNIGHT tea is not tea taken on the very stroke of twelve, it is tea taken in the dead waste and middle of the night, that is to say, our modern night; somewhere early in the small hours. And we speak of an institution, not of a solitary instance, much less of a rival to fiveo'clock tea. An inquiring mind may ask,
practical impossibilities, if only because all the men and women whom he has worked with, and who have helped or consoled him, want him to be king, and not that other. Abdications are so few, that they stand out landmarks in history; and if we read the narratives aright, neither Diocletian nor Charles V. felt rest. Diocletian asked for his sceptre back at least once, and Charles V. drove couriers and his son distracted by inces-"Why should I drink tea at the hour sant letters of advice and demands for information. The regal work lasts forever, and that idea of itself carries with it the possibility of fatigue. At seventy, as at thirty, there may be next week a ministerial crisis, an invasion, or a grand ceremony to be performed, the latter being the worst. The lady who told George III. she had seen everything but a coro nation, and now wanted to see that, has lived in anecdotal history as the exemplar of uncourtly naïveté; but we have never felt quite sure that George III., who loved mutton, did not chuckle to himself over the thought that he, at least, could never be wearied with that ceremonial again.
So far from wondering that a queen should wander abroad, our wonder is that kings are not always gadding. It must be such a luxury to be rid for a few moments of that responsible relation to the very soil, even if it be wholly imaginary to be among things and people which have no closer relation to yourself than to any other spectator. The traveller may have been a fool who, when warned that the ship was on fire, replied, "I am only a passenger," but was certainly a philosopher, who understood the true sources of mental ease. A king outside his own hereditary dominions must feel very like him, must fancy the air lighter, and read the local news with a much deeper feeling, if not of content, at least of placidity. Nowhere except abroad can the atmosphere of responsibility be lifted, in his own imagination, from his brain; nowhere else can he feel that most recuperative of feelings, the sense which Tennyson described as the sense of afternoon, and somebody else, Theodore Hook, we believe, as "after-dinnerishness," when "you have nothing to do, and be hanged if you'll do it." There is no reason to grudge sovereigns their holidays, or the restfulness that should seem to them embodied, not in "being abroad as other professionals put it, but in the infinite and reinvigorating luxury of not being at home.
when hot-blood suggested itself to Hamlet?" and it is a reasonable question. Of course, the scholar might do it to keep himself awake over his books, but the student is usually thinking of shutting up when the small hours have dropped down the chimney once or twice, and the toper is seldom far behind him. Midnight tea is neither a labor, nor a vulgar indulgence, nor a fashionable institution, nor a sheer necessity. It is a genial outgrowth or development from ungenial circumstances, in the midst of which there is a root of geniality.
There are maladies, there are lists of maladies, there are groups of maladies, forms of illness which keep each other company, whose pride and joy it is to make the small hours hideous, and eat the sweet kernel out of sleep. Two, three, four in the morning, which is really night, is the time when these dolorous companions hold high-jinks around the bed or the "Judy" chair of the sufferer. No device cheats them; they know the time like a chronometer, and their forbearance is as incalculable as their severities. But, after a time where the patient is not lonely (which God forbid, as a rule), and where the case to be dealt with is not (we will say) that of the wildest paroxysms of gout, or anything so red-hot of immediate torture - after a time, the periodical accessions of these not "jolly hours" may very well tend, and do, in fact, tend, to start a new rhythm in the life of, say, two friends, or a man and wife, or a mother and daughter, who pass the night together, in order that one of the two who suffers may receive unfailing help, such as only one hand can give. Here there is an opening for much sentiment, but this we will neglect. What happens is something like this, perhaps. There is a pause in the immediate suffering of the hour. "Come, that is good. He is over for the night, and let us hope we shall see neither of his friends nor allies." Then springs up a sudden thought, out of the very bosom of domestic peace, "Let's have a cup of tea!" It can be managed there