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""Tis past the hour-the gates are closed,
"I'm wet," cried Harry, "to the skin;
Humph!" growl'd the greedy old curmudgeon, Half overjoy'd and half in dudgeon,
"Now you may pass; but make no fuss, On tiptoe walk, and hold your prate.". "Look on the stones, old Cerberus,"
Cried Harry as he pass'd the gate, "I've dropp'd a shilling-take the light, You'll find it just outside---good night."
Behold the porter in his shirt,
Cursing the rain which never stopp'd,
Groping and raking in the dirt,
And all without success; but that
Is hardly to be wonder❜d at,
Because no shilling had been dropp'd;
So he gave o'er the search at last,
With sundry oaths, and growls, and groans,
He rang once twice-and thrice; and then,
"Who's there?-'Tis really a disgrace
"Psha! Mr. Dashington: remember, This is the middle of November,
I'm stripp'd;---'tis raining cats and dogs.” "Hush, hush!" quoth Hal; "I'm fast asleep ;" And then he snored as loud and deep
As a whole company of hogs:
But, harkye, Ben, I'll grant admittance
Nay, master, leave me half the pittance,"
"No: all, or none a full acquittance:
I won't take less ;-I can't afford it."
So, finding all his haggling vain,
Ben, with an oath and groan of pain,
Drew out the guinea, and restored it.
"Surely you'll give me," growl'd th' outwitted Porter, when again admitted,
"Something, now you've done your joking, For all this trouble, time, and soaking."
"Oh, surely-surely," Harry said;
“Since, as you urge, I broke your rest,
And you're half drown'd, and quite undress'd, leave to go to bed."
I'll give you
-O qui me gelidis in vallibus Hæmi
Sistat, et ingenti ramorum protegat umbrâ!
O WHAT picturesque, what romantic associations did I connect with this spot! A hermitage in the midst of woods is abstractedly scenic and piquant to the fancy; but when I recollected the glowing and pastoral beauties with which this morbid enthusiast had invested it in his Confessions-when I called to mind that he had here composed some of his most touching effusions, and had attributed their fervour to the inspiration of these sylvan and sequestered haunts, my imagination was disposed to run riot in the luxuriance of its rural shadowings. I had determined, however, that the Hermitage itself was a kind of Swiss cottage, somewhat like those in the gardens of the little Trianon, the trellis-work of whose latticed windows was nearly hidden by clusters of roses, jessamin, and honeysuckle; while acacias, mountain-ash, laburnum, and other flowering trees, gracefully threw their varicoloured foliage over the roof, contrasting finely with the gigantic boughs and impenetrable shade of the forest in which the whole was embowered. Alas! this inauspicious day was but a tissue of disappointments. After toiling up the hill of Montmorency, I looked around me, and if its valley be in reality what it is generally stated to be,-one of the most picturesque and romantic spots in France,-I can only say, So much the worse for France. I agree with the
Parisian, who pronounced that the view from Richmond Hill would be no great matter, if you took away the wood and water, for here they are both wanting, and the prospect is precisely as he states-no great matter. The town itself is small and shabby, and would be little known but from its vicinity to the Hermitage, and the influx of pilgrims to visit it, for whose accommodation a large and well-appointed establishment of donkeys is in perpetual readiness. Not choosing to avail ourselves of this conveyance, we walked along a winding road, which led to the point of attraction, and Kere we did encounter the prettiest and most pastoral scene imaginable. A sudden dip of the path left some high and broken ground on our left, thickly planted with the finest walnut-trees we had yet seen. The sound of music induced us to elimb this ascent, and upon the summit, under the shade of outspreading boughs, was a group of peasant girls dancing quadrilles, all attired alike in their Sunday costume, (for it was the Sabbath-day,) consisting of crimson cotton gowns, black aprons, and elegantlyworked caps; while the band had converted a grassy bank into an orchestra, and the parents, seated on benches, or reclining upon the ground, encircled the whole assemblage. Nothing could be more melodramatic than the dresses, scenery, dancing, and tout-ensemble of this picturesque little company; and yet nothing could be more unaffected, simple, and modest, than the air of the performers. It seemed a spontaneous effusion of tranquil enjoyment; and was rendered doubly attractive to us, whatever it might be to
the parties concerned, by the absence of men, who in this country are in woeful discordance with all pastoral associations. Unwillingly quitting this primitive scene, we bent our steps to the Hermitage, which we found to be a common-place, square, vulgar house, in the court-yard of which stood a carriage, no very hermitlike appendage. Passing through some shabby rooms, we were ushered into the far-famed garden, a small, formal, square enclosure, surrounded by walls, in one corner of which was a poor bust of Jean-Jacques, with some lines by his quondam patroness; in another was a bust of Gretry, the musician, who tenanted the house after Rousseau; and at the extremity was a miserable miniature attempt at rusticity, consisting of a cork-screw walk, a gutter with a large stone or two, meant to imitate a cascade and rock, and that indispensable article in all French gardening, a little basin with a jet d'eau. "O what a falling off was here!" Disappointed and dejected, I left this paltry cabbagegarden, resolved to plunge for consolation into the woods of Montmorency; but these have long since gone to warm ragouts and fricandeaus for the epicures of Paris, and nothing now exists but some mathematical rows of poplars, and straggling plantations of young trees and underwood. Yet this dry chalky valley, glaring with white houses-this forest of twigs and young poplars this cockney hermitage, worthy of Mile End or Homerton, the Parisians consider as the beau idéal of all that is wild, sylvan, and romantic; proudly adducing them as irrefragable proofs of the superiority of their own environs, whenever a Lon