Page images

"A man in vogue cannot afford to be ill. Society is a medley, and whoever leaves his place but for a moment, is sure to lose it."

“But cannot I regain my former position ?" Duvert shook his head doubtfully. “ Your person

and name are known; your talent has no longer the charm of novelty; you can Dever again excite that curious interest which in the world takes the place of admiration. You are already spoken of as one dead."

" This is dreadful,” cried Herman. * One short year has deprived me "Of what one short year had given you,” interrupted Duvert.

But what is to become of me?" "Try something else. Become a poet, a painter, or an actor; it will be a transformation; and perhaps fortune will again

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

favour you."

Herman quitted the journalist with the impression that he had greatly exaggerated his position; but he found that he had said no more than the truth. After enjoying the intoxication of triumph, he found that he must descend to the painful solicitation of a beginner, and submit to be ofttimes repulsed with harshness and contempt. He struggled a while with his altered circumstances; but they proved too strong for him. He felt that he could no longer maintain the contest, and prepared to abandon a position for which he confessed himself to be unfitted. The great fortunes which had been alluringly held out as a bait, he now saw were not, for the most part, obtained without undergoing vast labour, submitting to many contumelies, and resorting to numerous underhand practices, at which his courage and integrity alike revolted. “My poor mother was right,” thought he; “I did not know the cares which beset an ambitious career. I now know what these are. I am not fitted to shine in this dissolute capital. I will return to the forest.” Having made this resolution, he hastened to his studio, sent for a dealer, to whom he disposed of his effects; and after paying his debts, he took down his staff from the mantelpiece, where he had suspended it as a memorial, and quitted Paris by the same gate that he had entered it four years previously. But in what a different frame of mind!. He had entered it with youth, health, and glowing anticipations; he quitted it despairing, enfeebled, and heart-stricken!


HIGH SOAR, GREAT FALL. Dorothy's joy was great at the receipt of the letter which announced her son's return; but when, a short time afterwards, he arrived, she was struck with dismay at his altered appearance, and felt that his return was less owing to filial affection than to disappointment and despair. She, however, asked him no questions for he had said to her on entering the cottage,“ Here I am, mother; I shall never leave you again”—but busied her



self in doing everything she thought would make him comfortable, and restore his tranquillity of mind.

With the ingenious tenderness of a woman and a mother, she surrounded him with all the loved and familiar objects of his earlier days: a small chamber was prepared for his sole use, and furnished with every comfort within her means; and she requested all his old friends to visit him frequently. In the evening she often assembled the young girls of the hamlet around her hearth, hoping that their songs and merry chat would rouse him from his profound melancholy. It was all in vain; the simple pleasures of the mountaineers had lost their charms for

his thoughts ever turned towards the gay tumult of Parisian life, and those brilliant assemblies in which his name had so often resounded; and he compared the momentary splendour he had enjoyed whilst his fame was at its zenith, with the obscurity to which he had returned. His mind had lost its simplicity as well as its peace; and though undeceived with regard to the false pleasures of the world, he could not return to the innocent enjoyments of home.

Dorothy, perceiving that his melancholy and weakness increased, and that he was sinking so fast as to be no longer able to leave the cottage, requested the pastor to visit him. He came next day, as if to order some piece of sculpture; but the young man smiled sadly, for he knew that he was dying, and that his visitor was also aware of it. He opened his heart to him, and told the story of his disappointments, as we have related' it. The pastor endeavoured to console him, but Herman interrupted him. “My grief is cured, sir,” he said with emotion.

“ At the point of death, truth has unveiled herself to me. I wished to exchange the pure enjoyments of art for the temporary advantages of fortune and the vanity of fame. I sacrificed my happiness and my affections to ambition, and sooner or later, I must have felt the consequences of my folly. May my fate be a warning to others ! When you see a young man, tempted by empty promises and allurements, about to quit our hills and valleys for the city, tell him my story ; tell him what success costs; tell him to cultivate his mind and talents from a sense of duty, but not for gain; for happiness belongs only to the simple-hearted."


HE following pieces have been selected, with some degree of care, from the various poetical works of Sir Walter Scott, with the view of placing in the hands of the less opulent classes a pleasing specimen of productions once so deservedly popular, and still highly esteemed for their beauty of language and sentiment. The works principally selected from

are the LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL, MARMION, and the LADY OF THE LAKE, which were originally published between the years 1805 and 1810. The leading quality of these productions, as may be observed from our extracts, is fidelity in describing objects and appearances in nature and rural imagery, along with a charming softness of versification. Some of the lyrical pieces are also much admired.



BREATHES there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,

This is my own, my native land !
Whose heart hath'ne’er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned,

From wandering on a foreign strand !
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentered all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fạir renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung!

Oh Caledonia! stern and wild,
Meet nurse for a poetic child !
Land of brown heath and shaggy wood,

Land of the mountain and the flood,

Land of my sires ! what mortal hand
Can e'er untie the filial band
That knits me to thy rugged strand !
Still, as I view each well-known scene,
Think what is now, and what hath been,
Seems as, to me, of all bereft,
Sole friends thy woods and streams were left;
And thus I love them better still,
Even in extremity of ill.
By Yarrow's stream still let me stray,
Though none should guide my feeble way;
Still feel the breeze down Ettrick break,
Although it chill my withered cheek;
Still lay my head by Teviot stone,
Though there, forgotten and aloné,
The Bard may draw his parting groan.

HYMN OF THE HEBREW MAID. WHEN Israel, of the Lord beloved,

Out from the land of bondage came, Her father's God before her moved,

An awful guide in smoke and flame. By day, along the astonished lands

The cloudy pillar glided slow; By night, Arabia's crimsoned sands

Returned the fiery column's glow. There rose the choral hymn of praise,

And trump and timbrel answered keen; And Zion's daughters poured their lays,

Wi priest's and warrior's voice between. No portents now our foes amaze

Forsaken Israel wanders lone;
Our fathers would not know Thy ways,

And Thou hast left them to their own,
But, present still, though now unseen!

When brightly shines the prosperous day, Be thoughts of Thee a cloudy screen,

To temper the deceitful ray:
And oh, when stoops on Judah's path

In shade and storm the frequent night,
Be Thou, long-suffering, slow to wrath,

A burning and a shining light! Our harps we left by Babel's streams,

The tyrant's jest, the Gentile's scorn: No censer round our altar beams,

And mute are timbrel, trump, and horn.


But Thou hast said, The blood of goat,

The flesh of rams, I will not prize; A contrite heart, a humble thought,

Are mine accepted sacrifice.


If thou would'st view fair Melrose aright,
Go visit it by the pale moonlight;
For the gay beams of lightsome day
Gild, but to flout, the ruins gray:
When the broken arches are black in night,
And each shafted oriel glimmers white;
When the cold light's uncertain shower
Streams on the ruined central tower;
When buttress and buttress, alternately,
Seem framed of ebon and ivory;
When silver edges the imagery,
And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die;
When distant Tweed is heard to rave,
And the owlet to hoot o'er the dead man's grave;


alone the while
Then view St David's ruined pile;
And, home returning, soothly swear,
Was never scene so sad and fair!

[ocr errors]


[From “ The Antiquary."] Why sitt’st thou by that ruined hall,

Thou aged carle so stern and gray? Dost thou its former pride recall

, Or ponder how it passed away? “ Knowest thou not me?" the Deep Voice cried,

“So long enjoyed, so oft misused Alternate, in thy fickle pride,

Desired, neglected, and accused ? Before my breath, like blazing flax,

Man and his marvels pass away ; And changing empires wane and wax,

Are founded, flourish, and decay. Redeem mine hours—the space is brief

While in my glass the sand-grains shiver, And measureless thy joy or grief,

When Time and thou shall part for ever!”.


« PreviousContinue »