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stirring specimen, in any tongue, of times a sullen eye in our head-and the Moral and Physical Sublime. The we are aware of our infirmity-a sooner, too, that J. G. P. R. James, hereditary predisposition with dif(whynot the whole alphabet at once?) ficulty to be distinguished from inthe author of the History of Chivalry, stinct-for instinct, too, is mutable and of those admirable romances, Ri- and precarious—to tossing. Bellchelieu, Darnley, De L'Orme, and ing the Cat is easier than bellPhilip Augustus, lets us hear his trum- ing the Bull-which is beyond the pet the better-sounding its points of power even of a Douglas—and he war-a reveille to the « Command- who should try it, would be as infaers” now sleeping in the dust--all tuated a quack as the Great Glasgow their brows, before imagination's Gander. Once on a time an awkward eyes, crowned and shadowed with squad of Whigs, consisting of some unwithering laurels. Of Worthies scampish scores, under the excitein general, civil and military, we have ment of a paltry Peter the Hermit, neither space nor time, business nor attempted a crusade against Mount leisure, now to say one half of what Taurus; it being their intention to they deserve—so we hand them over saw off the points of his horns, affix -and from him they will receive the a board to his forehead, and perhaps best treatment—to Patrick Tytler, to perpetrate even greater enormities Esq., the ingenious, learned, and elo- -more disloyal lése majestie against quent historian of Scotland, a coun- the Sovereign Lord of Herds, majestry which contains, we verily believe, tically but peacefully lowing in the more Worthies than all the rest of verdant pastures. One growl-an the world.
earth-shaking lion's was comparative The gentle reader must be pleased silence-produced unmentionable to observe, that having announced our effects on the ragged and rascal Rashintention to shew that Naturalists are ness that took to flight in a shower the only people who deserve having of vermin'd tatters. Ever since, the their lives taken, we have been be- sun has lingered in the same signtrayed by the benignity of our nature or alternated with one other leadinto an animated panegyric on all ing his shining life equally divided other mortal men, This is so like between Taurus, Christopher North, Us. We assume the appearance of and Virgo, which is but the classical the satirical—and instantly relapse and celestial name of-Maga-name into the reality of the eulogistic. We figurative too--for is it not recorded exchange an attitude which threatens in the Book of the Chaldees, by war and annihilation, for a posture the pen of the Inspired Shepherd pregnant with praise and perpetual
" That her number is as the number life; just as if Jem Warde or Simon of a virgin when the days of her virByrne, while extending his maulies ginity have expired ?”. in a flourish apparently prelusive of Having thus arrived by short and a knock-down, were suddenly to pat easy stages to the end-we beg your you on the cheek as gently as if he pardon-to the beginning of our day's were making love to a modest Hi- journey, let us introduce you to a bernian maiden in a booth at Donny- brace of Naturalists, whom we are brook Fair. Yet, to balance this ca- confident you will take to at once most price on the other side, the obser- kindly, and thank us for giving you vant reader cannot well have failed the opportunity of cultivating their to remark, during his fifteen years' friendship- Alexander Wilson and assiduous study of the Star of the John James Audubon.-Ah! gentleNorth, that sometimes while, accord- men, so you are already acquainted ? ing to all reasonable expectation, Well--away with us to the woods ! founded on all reasonable grounds, Wilson was a weaver-a Paisley we seem about to pat, as if with a weaver-an useful occupation, and velvet cat’s-paw, the cheek of our a pleasant place, for which we endear, we smite him on the os frontis tertain great regard. He was likeas with an iron 'gauntlet. Like a wise a pedlar-and the hero of many bull in a china shop, or even on a an Excursion. But the plains and heather mountain, there is no de- braes of Renfrewshire were not to pendence to be placed on our temper. him prolific-and in prime of life, We have always a sharp- but some after many difficulties and disap VOL. XXX. NO, CLXXXIII.
pointments, he purchased with his that could lend one cheerful thought, & sair-won penny-fee” a passage to are hung solemn white; and there, America. We say after many diffi- stretched pale and lifeless, lies the culties and disappointments, some of awful corpse; while a few weeping which he owed to his own impru- friends sit, black and solitary, near dence, for it was not till the ruling the breathless clay. In this other passion of his genius found food ever place, the fearless sons of Bacchus fresh and fair in Ornithology, that his extend their brazen throats, in shouts moral and intellectual character set- like bursting thunder, to the praise tled down into firm formation. In a of their gorgeous chief. Opening Journal which he kept of an excur- this door, the lonely matron exsion made in 1789 along the east plores, for consolation, her Bible: coast of Scotland with his miscella- and, in this house, the wife brawls, neous pack on his shoulders, the children shriek, and the poor hus
band bids me depart, lest bis termaA vagrant merchant, bent beneath bis load,"
gant's fury should vent itself on me.
In short, such an inconceivable va. and a prospectus of a volume of riety daily occurs to my observation poems in his pocket, we find these in real life, that would, were they sentences. « 1 have this day, I moralized upon, convey more maxbelieve, measured the height of an ims of wisdom, and give a juster hundred stairs, and explored the re- knowledge of mankind, than whole cesses of twice that number of mi- volumes of Lives and Adventures, serable habitations; and what have that perhaps never had a being, exI gained by it?-only two shillings cept in the prolific brains of their of worldly pelf! but an invaluable fantastic authors.” treasure of observation. In this The writer of an excellent meelegant dome, wrapt up in glitter- moir of Wilson in Constable's Mising silks, and stretched on the downy cellany (Mr Hetherington, author of sofa, recline the fair daughters of a poetical volume of much meritwealth and indolence-the ample Dramatic Scenes-characteristic of mirror, flowery floor, and magni- Scottish pastoral life and manners) ficent couch, their surrounding at- justly observes," that this, it must tendants; while, suspended in his be acknowledged, is a somewhat wiry habitation above, the shrill- prolix and overstrained summing up piped canary warbles to enchant. of his observations : but it proves ing echoes. Within the confines of Wilson to have been, at the early age that sickly hovel, bung round with of twenty-three, a man of great pesquadrons of his brother artists, the netration, and strong native seuse; pale-faced weaver plies the resound- and shews that his mental culture ing lay, or launches the melancholy had been much greater than might murmuring shuttle. Lifting this bave been expected from his limited simple latch, and stooping for en. opportunities.” At a subsequent petrance to the miserable hut, there riod, he retraced bis steps, taking sits poverty and ever-moaning dis- with him copies of his poems to disease, clothed in dunghill rags, and tribute among subscribers, and enever shivering over the fireless chim- deavour to promote a more extenney. Ascending this stair, the voice sive circulation. Of this excursion of joy bursts on my ear,—the bride- also he has given an account in his groom and bride, surrounded by journal, from which it appears that their jocund companions, circle the his success was far from encouraging. sparkling glass and humorous joke, Among amusing incidents, sketches or join in the raptures of the noisy of character, occasional sound and dance-the squeaking fiddle breaking intelligent remarks upon the manthrough the general uproar in sud- ners and prospects of the common den intervals, while the sounding classes of society into which he found floor groans beneath its unruly load. bis way, there are not a few severe Leaving these happy mortals, and expressions indicative of deep disapushering into this silent mansion, a pointment, and some that merely bemore solemn-a striking object pre- speak the keener pangs of wounded sents itself to my view. The win- pride founded on conscious merit. dows, the furniture, and every thing You,” says he, on one occasice,
"whose souls are susceptible of the hand and heart of a still wiser manfinest feelings, who are elevated to though his wisdom has been gatherrapture with the least dawnings of ed from less immediate contact with hope, and sunk into despondency the coarse garments and clay-floors with the slightest thwartings of of the labouring poor. Thus speaks your expectations-think what I Wordsworth_* At the risk of giving felt!” Wilson himself attributed his a shock to the prejudices of artificial ill fortune, in bis attempts to gain society, I have ever been ready to the humble patronage of the poor pay homage to the Aristocracy of for his poetical pursuits, to his occu. Nature; under a conviction that vi. pation. A packman is a character gorous human-heartedness is the which none esteems, and almost constituent principle of true taste. every one despiseš. The idea that It may still, however, be satisfactory people of all ranks entertain of them to have prose-testimony, how far a is, that they are mean-spirited lo- character, employed for purposes of quacious liars, cunning and illiterate, imagination, (he alludes to the Pedwatching every opportunity, and lar in his noble poem the Excurusing every mean art within their sion,) is founded upon general fact. power to cheat.” This is a sad ac- I therefore subjoin an extract from count of the estimation in which a an author who had opportunities of trade was then held in Scotland, being well acquainted with class which the greatest of our living poets of men from whom my own personhas attributed to the chief character al knowledge emboldened me to in a poem comprehensive of philoso- draw this portrait.” Wordsworth phical discussions on all the highest quotes a passage from Heron's Tour interests of humanity. But both Wil. in Scotland-in which there are these son and Wordsworth are in the right; impressive sentences. both saw and have spoken truth. * It is farther to be observed, for Most small packmen must be, in the credit of this most useful class of some measure, what Wilson says men, that they commonly contribute, they were generally esteemed to be by their personal manners, no less -peddling pilferers, and insignificant than by the sale of their wares, to the swindlers. Poverty sent them swarm. refinement of the people among ing over bank and brae, and the whom they travel. Their dealings “sma' kintra touns”-and for a plack form them to great quickness of wit people will forget principle who and acuteness of judgment. Having have-as we say in Scotland-miss- constant occasion to recommend ed the world. Wilson knew that to themselves and their goods, they aca man like himself there was de- quire habits of the most obliging atgradation in such a calling—and he tention, and the most insinuating adlatterly vented his contemptuous dress. As in their peregrinations sense of it, exaggerating the base they have opportunity of contemplaness of the name and nature of pack- ting the manners of various men and
But suppose such a man as various cities, they become eminentWilson to have been one of but a ly skilled in the knowledge of the few packmen travelling regularly world. As they wander, each alone, for years over the same country, through thinly-inhabited districts, they each with his own district or do- form habits of reflection and of sumain—and there can be no doubt blime contemplation. With all these that he would have been an object qualifications, no wonder that they both of interest and of respect-bis should often be, in remote parts of opportunities of seeing the very best the country, the best mirrors of faand the very happiest of humble life shion, and censors of manners; and -in itself very various—would have should contribute much to polish been very great; and with his origi- the roughness, and soften the rustinal genius, he would have become, city of our peasantry. It is not more like Wordsworth’s Pedlar, a good than twenty or thirty years, since a Moral Philosopher.
young man going from any part of Without, therefore, denying the Scotland to England, of purpose to truth of his picture of packmanship, carry the pack, was considered as we may believe the truth of a pic- going to lead the life, and acquire ture entirely the reverse, from the the fortune, of a gentleman, When,
after twenty years' absence, in that and such have been Wordsworth's honourable line of employment, he wanderings among all the solitary returned with his acquisitions to his beauties and sublimities of nature. native country, he was regarded as Yet the inspiration he“ derived even a gentleman to all intents and pure from the light of setting sung," was poses.”
not so sacred as that which often It is pleasant to hear Wordsworth kindled within his spirit all the divi. speak of his own “personal know- nity of Christian man, when converledge” of packmen or pedlars. We sing charitably with his brother-man, cannot say of him in the words of a wayfarer on the dusty high-road, Burns, “ the fient a pride nae pride or among the green lanes and alleys had he;" for pride and power are of merry England. Thence came brothers on earth, whatever they the Creation—both bright and somay prove to be in heaven. But his lemn-of the Sage, humble but high, prime pride is in his poetry; and he of the finest of Philosophical Poems had not now been“ sole king of rocky-with soul" capacious and serene,” Cumberland,” had he not studied the Sage at whom-oh! ninny of the characters of his subjects—in ninnies, we have been assured that “ huts where poor men lie”—had he you have sneered, to the capricious not “stooped his anointed head” be- beck of Mr Jeffrey, himself a man, neath the doors of such huts, as will in his wiser moods, to honour most, ingly as he ever raised it aloft, with as Wordsworth always does, “ the all its glorious laurels, in the palaces Aristocracy of Nature,” which you, of nobles and princes. Burns has presumptuous simpleton, must needs said, too,
despise; and would—if you knew “ The Muse, nae poet ever fand her, how to set about it-perhaps ekeTill by himsell be loved to wander,
Reform ! Now we shall shut and Adown some trotting burn's meander," seal your mouth in perpetual dumb&c.
ness, with a magical spell,
“ In days of yore how fortunately fared
COf these our unimaginative days ;
-*!!! - bda T) 31 411 " What wonder, then, if I, whose favourite School ???, gia ()
1156 14. I Bilb" Look'd on this Guide with reverential love? Hath' been the fields, the roads, and rural lanes,
*pihlid I 574 e os Each with the other pleased, we now pursued 2014 as kiai IT
Our journey--beneath favourable skies.
Unfailing : not a hámlet could we pass, dimi i Rarely a house, that did not yield to him bilo 4,1
Remembrances; or from his tongue call forth
And sweet humanity, he was, himself, till to
To the degree that he desired, beloved.
The welcome of an Inmate come from far. 1981
-Nor was he loath to enter ragged huts,
Heard as the voice of an experienced friend.
With his own mind, unable to subdue
Who, on perusing that passage, and Wilson, on the breaking out of the meditating thereon, but will exclaim flames of the French Revolution, like with us, in the words of the same many other ardent spirits, thought bard-applying to himself the fulfill they were fires kindled by a light ed prophecy-but trusting that the from heaven. He associated himself event in the last line will be far with the Friends of the Peopleaway,
most of whom soon proved them“ Blessings be with them and eternal selves to be the Enemies of the Hupraise !
man Race. His biographer in ConThe Poets who on earth have made us stable's Miscellany-unlike one or heirs
two others elsewhere-saw Wilson's of truth and pure delight by heavenly conduct, in all things connected with lays—
“this passage in his life,” in its true O mnight my name be number'd among light. That gentleman does not catheirs !
lumniate the respectable townsmen Then gladly would I end my mortal days." of the misguided Poet-and a Poet This is an episodes
he was- for bringing him to legal