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stirring specimen, in any tongue, of the Moral and Physical Sublime. The sooner, too, that J. G. P. R. James, (whynot the whole alphabet at once?) the author of the History of Chivalry, and of those admirable romances, Richelieu, Darnley, De L'Orme, and Philip Augustus, lets us hear his trumpet the better-sounding its points of war-a reveille to the Commanders" now sleeping in the dust-all their brows, before imagination's eyes, crowned and shadowed with unwithering laurels. Of Worthies in general, civil and military, we have neither space nor time, business nor leisure, now to say one half of what they deserve-so we hand them over -and from him they will receive the best treatment-to Patrick Tytler, Esq., the ingenious, learned, and eloquent historian of Scotland, a country which contains, we verily believe, more Worthies than all the rest of the world.
times a sullen eye in our head-and we are aware of our infirmity-a hereditary predisposition-with dif ficulty to be distinguished from instinct-for instinct, too, is mutable and precarious-to tossing. Belling the Cat is easier than belling the Bull-which is beyond the power even of a Douglas-and he who should try it, would be as infatuated a quack as the Great Glasgow Gander. Once on a time an awkward squad of Whigs, consisting of some scampish scores, under the excitement of a paltry Peter the Hermit, attempted a crusade against Mount Taurus; it being their intention to saw off the points of his horns, affix a board to his forehead, and perhaps to perpetrate even greater enormities -more disloyal lése majestie against the Sovereign Lord of Herds, majestically but peacefully lowing in the verdant pastures. One growl-an earth-shaking lion's was comparative silence-produced unmentionable effects on the ragged and rascal Rashness that took to flight in a shower of vermin'd tatters. Ever since, the sun has lingered in the same signor alternated with one other-leading his shining life equally divided between Taurus, Christopher North, and Virgo, which is but the classical and celestial name of-Maga-name figurative too-for is it not recorded in the Book of the Chaldees, by the pen of the Inspired Shepherd"That her number is as the number of a virgin when the days of her virginity have expired ?"
The gentle reader must be pleased to observe, that having announced our intention to shew that Naturalists are the only people who deserve having their lives taken, we have been betrayed by the benignity of our nature into an animated panegyric on all other mortal men. This is so like Us. We assume the appearance of the satirical-and instantly relapse into the reality of the eulogistic. We exchange an attitude which threatens war and annihilation, for a posture pregnant with praise and perpetual life; just as if Jem Warde or Simon Byrne, while extending his maulies in a flourish apparently prelusive of a knock-down, were suddenly to pat you on the cheek as gently as if he were making love to a modest Hibernian maiden in a booth at Donnybrook Fair. Yet, to balance this caprice on the other side, the observant reader cannot well have failed to remark, during his fifteen years' assiduous study of the Star of the North, that sometimes while, according to all reasonable expectation, founded on all reasonable grounds, we seem about to pat, as if with a velvet cat's-paw, the cheek of our dear, we smite him on the os frontis as with an iron gauntlet. Like a bull in a china shop, or even on a heather mountain, there is no dependence to be placed on our temper. We have always a sharp-but some
VOL. XXX. NO. CLXXXIII.
Having thus arrived by short and easy stages to the end-we beg your pardon to the beginning of our day's journey, let us introduce you to a brace of Naturalists, whom we are confident you will take to at once most kindly, and thank us for giving you the opportunity of cultivating their friendship-Alexander Wilson and John James Audubon.-Ah! gentlemen, so you are already acquainted? Well-away with us to the woods!
Wilson was a weaver-a Paisley weaver-an useful occupation, and a pleasant place, for which we entertain great regard. He was likewise a pedlar-and the hero of many an Excursion. But the plains and braes of Renfrewshire were not to him prolific-and in prime of life, after many difficulties and disap
pointments, he purchased with his sair-won penny-fee" a passage to America. We say after many difficulties and disappointments, some of which he owed to his own imprudence, for it was not till the ruling passion of his genius found food ever fresh and fair in Ornithology, that his moral and intellectual character settled down into firm formation. In a Journal which he kept of an excursion made in 1789 along the east coast of Scotland with his miscellaneous pack on his shoulders,
that could lend one cheerful thought, are hung in solemn white; and there, stretched pale and lifeless, lies the awful corpse; while a few weeping friends sit, black and solitary, near the breathless clay. In this other place, the fearless sons of Bacchus extend their brazen throats, in shouts like bursting thunder, to the praise of their gorgeous chief. Opening this door, the lonely matron explores, for consolation, her Bible: and, in this house, the wife brawls, the children shriek, and the poor husband bids me depart, lest his termagant's fury should vent itself on me. In short, such an inconceivable variety daily occurs to my observation in real life, that would, were they moralized upon, convey more maxims of wisdom, and give a juster knowledge of mankind, than whole volumes of Lives and Adventures, that perhaps never had a being, except in the prolific brains of their fantastic authors."
The writer of an excellent memoir of Wilson in Constable's Miscellany (Mr Hetherington, author of a poetical volume of much meritDramatic Scenes-characteristic of Scottish pastoral life and manners) justly observes, "that this, it must be acknowledged, is a somewhat prolix and overstrained summing up of his observations: but it proves Wilson to have been, at the early age of twenty-three, a man of great penetration, and strong native sense; and shews that his mental culture had been much greater than might have been expected from his limited opportunities." At a subsequent period, he retraced his steps, taking with him copies of his poems to distribute among subscribers, and endeavour to promote a more extensive circulation. Of this excursion also he has given an account in his journal, from which it appears that his success was far from encouraging. Among amusing incidents, sketches of character, occasional sound and intelligent remarks upon the manners and prospects of the common classes of society into which he found his way, there are not a few severe expressions indicative of deep disappointment, and some that merely bespeak the keener pangs of wounded pride founded on conscious merit. You," says he, on one occasion,
“A vagrant merchant, bent beneath his
and a prospectus of a volume of poems in his pocket, we find these sentences. "I have this day, I believe, measured the height of an hundred stairs, and explored the recesses of twice that number of miserable habitations; and what have I gained by it?-only two shillings of worldly pelf! but an invaluable treasure of observation. In this elegant dome, wrapt up in glittering silks, and stretched on the downy sofa, recline the fair daughters of wealth and indolence-the ample mirror, flowery floor, and magnificent couch, their surrounding at tendants; while, suspended in his wiry habitation above, the shrillpiped canary warbles to enchant ing echoes. Within the confines of that sickly hovel, bung round with squadrons of his brother artists, the pale-faced weaver plies the resounding lay, or launches the melancholy murmuring shuttle. Lifting this simple latch, and stooping for entrance to the miserable hut, there sits poverty and ever-moaning disease, clothed in dunghill rags, and ever shivering over the fireless chimney. Ascending this stair, the voice of joy bursts on my ear,-the bridegroom and bride, surrounded by their jocund companions, circle the sparkling glass and humorous joke, or join in the raptures of the noisy dance the squeaking fiddle breaking through the general uproar in sudden intervals, while the sounding floor groans beneath its unruly load. Leaving these happy mortals, and ushering into this silent mansion, more solemn a striking object presents itself to my view. The windows, the furniture, and every thing
"whose souls are susceptible of the finest feelings, who are elevated to rapture with the least dawnings of hope, and sunk into despondency with the slightest thwartings of your expectations-think what I felt!" Wilson himself attributed his ill fortune, in his attempts to gain the humble patronage of the poor for his poetical pursuits, to his occupation. "A packman is a character which none esteems, and almost every one despises. The idea that people of all ranks entertain of them is, that they are mean-spirited loquacious liars, cunning and illiterate, watching every opportunity, and using every mean art within their power to cheat." This is a sad account of the estimation in which a trade was then held in Scotland, which the greatest of our living poets has attributed to the chief character
in a poem comprehensive of philosophical discussions on all the highest interests of humanity. But both Wilson and Wordsworth are in the right; both saw and have spoken truth. Most small packmen must be, in some measure, what Wilson says they were generally esteemed to be -peddling pilferers, and insignificant swindlers. Poverty sent them swarming over bank and brae, and the sma' kintra touns"-and for a plack people will forget principle who have-as we say in Scotland-missed the world. Wilson knew that to a man like himself there was degradation in such a calling-and he latterly vented his contemptuous sense of it, exaggerating the baseness of the name and nature of packman. But suppose such a man as Wilson to have been one of but a few packmen travelling regularly for years over the same country, each with his own district or domain-and there can be no doubt that he would have been an object both of interest and of respect-his opportunities of seeing the very best and the very happiest of humble life -in itself very various-would have been very great; and with his original genius, he would have become, like Wordsworth's Pedlar, a good Moral Philosopher.
Without, therefore, denying the truth of his picture of packmanship, we may believe the truth of a picture entirely the reverse, from the
hand and heart of a still wiser manthough his wisdom has been gather ed from less immediate contact with the coarse garments and clay-floors of the labouring poor. Thus speaks Wordsworth-" At the risk of giving a shock to the prejudices of artificial society, I have ever been ready to pay homage to the Aristocracy of Nature; under a conviction that vigorous human-heartedness is the constituent principle of true taste. It may still, however, be satisfactory to have prose-testimony, how far a character, employed for purposes of imagination, [he alludes to the Pedlar in his noble poem the Excursion,] is founded upon general fact. I therefore subjoin an extract from an author who had opportunities of being well acquainted with a class of men from whom my own personal knowledge emboldened me to draw this portrait." Wordsworth quotes a passage from Heron's Tour in Scotland-in which there are these impressive sentences.
"It is farther to be observed, for the credit of this most useful class of men, that they commonly contribute, by their personal manners, no less than by the sale of their wares, to the refinement of the people among whom they travel. Their dealings form them to great quickness of wit and acuteness of judgment. Having constant occasion to recommend themselves and their goods, they acquire habits of the most obliging attention, and the most insinuating address. As in their peregrinations they have opportunity of contemplating the manners of various men and various cities, they become eminently skilled in the knowledge of the world. As they wander, each alone, through thinly-inhabited districts, they form habits of reflection and of sublime contemplation. With all these qualifications, no wonder that they should often be, in remote parts of the country, the best mirrors of fashion, and censors of manners; and should contribute much to polish the roughness, and soften the rusticity of our peasantry. It is not more than twenty or thirty years, since a young man going from any part of Scotland to England, of purpose to carry the pack, was considered as going to lead the life, and acquire the fortune, of a gentleman, When,
after twenty years' absence, in that honourable line of employment, he returned with his acquisitions to his native country, he was regarded as a gentleman to all intents and purposes."
It is pleasant to hear Wordsworth speak of his own personal knowledge" of packmen or pedlars. We cannot say of him in the words of Burns," the fient a pride nae pride had he;" for pride and power are brothers on earth, whatever they may prove to be in heaven. But his prime pride is in his poetry; and he had not now been "sole king of rocky Cumberland," had he not studied the characters of his subjects-in "huts where poor men lie"-had he not" stooped his anointed head" beneath the doors of such huts, as willingly as he ever raised it aloft, with all its glorious laurels, in the palaces of nobles and princes. Burns has said, too,
"The Muse, nae poet ever fand her,
and such have been Wordsworth's wanderings among all the solitary beauties and sublimițies of nature. Yet the inspiration he " derived even from the light of setting suns," was not so sacred as that which often kindled within his spirit all the divinity of Christian man, when conversing charitably with his brother-man, a wayfarer on the dusty high-road, or among the green lanes and alleys of merry England. Thence came the Creation-both bright and solemn of the Sage, humble but high, of the finest of Philosophical Poems
with soul" capacious and serene," the Sage at whom-oh! ninny of ninnies, we have been assured that you have sneered, to the capricious beck of Mr Jeffrey, himself a man, in his wiser moods, to honour most, as Wordsworth always does, "the Aristocracy of Nature," which you, presumptuous simpleton, must needs despise; and would-if you knew how to set about it-perhaps eke— Reform! Now we shall shut and seal your mouth in perpetual dumbness, with a magical spell,
"In days of yore how fortunately fared
Or with some merry Outlaws of the wood;
per To gather, ranging through the tamer ground
Both while he trode the earth in humblest guise,
And now, when free to move with lighter pace. g bài đùnt 16
"What wonder, then, if T, whose favourite School (median O 96 9ldHath been the fields, the roads, and rural lanes, *aci & bus—]}
Look'd on this Guide with reverential love? * I quem gibsiz ond'I legal et ild anEach with the other pleased, we now pursued oergy as ai ei.IT Our journey-beneath favourable skies.
Turn wheresoe'er we would, he was a light
Unfailing: not a hamlet could we pass, A
e dronzeh, 77 Rarely a house, that did not yield to him
Remembrances; or from his tongue call forth
His overflowing spirit. Birds and beasts,
Impatience, through inaptness to perceive
Who, on perusing that passage, and meditating thereon, but will exclaim with us, in the words of the same bard-applying to himself the fulfill ed prophecy-but trusting that the event in the last line will be far
Wilson, on the breaking out of the flames of the French Revolution, like many other ardent spirits, thought they were fires kindled by a light from heaven. He associated himself with the Friends of the Peoplemost of whom soon proved them
away,Blessings be with them and eternal selves to be the Enemies of the Hu
man Race. His biographer in Constable's Miscellany-unlike one or two others elsewhere-saw Wilson's conduct, in all things connected with "this passage in his life," in its true light. That gentleman does not calumniate the respectable townsmen of the misguided Poet-and a Poet he was for bringing him to legal