Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 3
Part 7 out of 11
adaptation, not by creation or foundation; something having been created
to satisfy an extreme want, it is used to satisfy less pressing wants or
to supply additional conveniences. On this account, political
government, the oldest institution in the world, has been the hardest
worked: at the beginning of history, we find it doing everything which
society wants done and forbidding everything which society does _not_
wish done. In trade, at present, the first commerce in a new place is a
general shop, which, beginning with articles of real necessity, comes
shortly to supply the oddest accumulation of petty comforts. And the
history of banking has been the same: the first banks were not founded
for our system of deposit banking, or for anything like it; they were
founded for much more pressing reasons, and having been founded, they or
copies from them were applied to our modern uses.
[Gives a sketch of banks started as finance companies to make or float
government loans, and to give good coin; and sketches their function of
These are all uses other than those of deposit banking, which banks
supplied that afterwards became in our English sense deposit banks: by
supplying these uses, they gained the credit that afterwards enabled
them to gain a living as deposit banks; being trusted for one purpose,
they came to be trusted for a purpose quite different,--ultimately far
more important, though at first less keenly pressing. But these wants
only affect a few persons, and therefore bring the bank under the notice
of a few only. The real introductory function which deposit banks at
first perform is much more popular; and it is only when they can perform
this most popular kind of business that deposit banking ever spreads
quickly and extensively.
This function is the supply of the paper circulation to the country; and
it will be observed that I am not about to overstep my limits and
discuss this as a question of currency. In what form the best paper
currency can be supplied to a country is a question of economical theory
with which I do not meddle here: I am only narrating unquestionable
history, not dealing with an argument where every step is disputed; and
part of this certain history is, that the best way to diffuse banking in
a community is to allow the banker to issue bank notes of small amount
that can supersede the metal currency. This amounts to a subsidy to each
banker to enable him to keep open a bank till depositors choose to
come to it....
The reason why the use of bank paper commonly precedes the habit of
making deposits in banks is very plain: it is a far easier habit to
establish. In the issue of notes the banker, the person to be most
benefited, can do something,--he can pay away his own "promises" in
loans, in wages, or in payment of debts,--but in the getting of deposits
he is passive; his issues depend on himself, his deposits on the favor
of others. And to the public the change is far easier too: to collect a
great mass of deposits with the same banker, a great number of persons
must agree to do something; but to establish a note circulation, a large
number of persons need only _do nothing_,--they receive the banker's
notes in the common course of their business, and they have only _not_
to take those notes to the banker for payment. If the public refrain
from taking trouble, a paper circulation is immediately in existence. A
paper circulation is begun by the banker, and requires no effort on the
part of the public,--on the contrary, it needs an effort of the public
to be rid of notes once issued; but deposit banking cannot be begun by
the banker, and requires a spontaneous and consistent effort in the
community: and therefore paper issue is the natural prelude to
Jens Baggesen was born in the little Danish town Korsoer in 1764, and
died in exile in the year 1826. Thus he belonged to two centuries and to
two literary periods. He had reached manhood when the French Revolution
broke out; he witnessed Napoleon's rise, his victories, and his fall. He
was a full contemporary of Goethe, who survived him only six years; he
saw English literature glory in men like Byron and Moore, and lived to
hear of Byron's death in Greece. In his first works he stood a true
representative of the culture and literature of the eighteenth century,
and was hailed as its exponent by the Danish poet Herman Wessel; towards
the end of the century he was acknowledged to be the greatest of living
Danish poets. Then with the new age came the Norwegian, Henrik Steffens,
with his enthusiastic lectures on German romanticism, calling out the
genius of Oehlenschlaeger, and the eighteenth century was doomed;
Baggesen nevertheless greeted Oehlenschlaeger with sincere admiration,
and when the 'Aladdin' of that poet appeared, Baggesen sent him his
rhymed letter 'From Nureddin-Baggesen to Aladdin-Oehlenschlaeger.'
[Illustration: Jens Baggesen.]
Baggesen was the son of poor people, and strangers helped him to his
scientific education. When his first works were recognized he became the
friend and protege of the Duke of Augustenborg, who provided him with
the means for an extended journey through the Continent, during which he
met the greatest men of his time. The Duke of Augustenborg meanwhile
secured him several positions, which could not hold him for any length
of time, nor keep him at home in Denmark. He went abroad a second time
to study pedagogics, literature, and philosophy, came home again,
wandered forth once more, returned a widower, was for some time director
of the National Theatre in Copenhagen; but found no rest, married again,
and in 1800 went to France to live. Eleven years later he was professor
in Kiel, returning thence to Copenhagen, where meanwhile his fame had
been eclipsed by the genius of Oehlenschlaeger. Secure in the knowledge
of his powers, Oehlenschlaeger had carelessly published two or three
dramatic poems not worthy of his pen, and Baggesen entered on a violent
controversy with him in which he stood practically by himself against
the entire reading public, whose sympathies were with Oehlenschlaeger.
Alone and misunderstood, restless and unhappy, he left Denmark in 1820,
never to return. Six years later he died, longing to see his country
again, but unable to reach it.
His first poetry was published in 1785, a volume of 'Comic Tales,' which
made its mark at once. The following year appeared in quick succession
satires, rhymed epistles, and elegies, which, adding to his fame, added
also to the purposeless ferment and unrest which had taken possession of
him. He considered tragedy his proper field, yet had allowed himself to
appear as humorist and satirist.
When the great historic events of the time took place, and over-threw
all existing conditions, this inner restlessness drove him to and fro
without purpose or will. One day he was enthusiastic over Voss's idyls,
the next he was carried away by Robespierre's wildest speeches. One year
he adopted Kant's Christian name Immanuel in transport over his works,
the next he called the great philosopher "an empty nut, and moreover
hard to crack." The romanticism in Denmark as well as in Germany reduced
him to a state of utter confusion; but in spite of this he continued a
child of the old order, which was already doomed. And with all his
unrest and discord he remained nevertheless the champion of "form," "the
poet of the graces," as he has been called.
This gift of form has given him his literary importance. He built a
bridge from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century; and when the new
romantic school overstepped its privileges, it was he who called it to
order. The most conspicuous act of his literary life was the controversy
with Oehlenschlaeger, and the wittiest product of his pen is the reckless
criticism of Oehlenschlaeger's opera 'Ludlam's Cave.' Johann Ludvig
Heiberg, the greatest analytical critic of whom Denmark can boast,
remained Baggesen's ardent admirer; and Heiberg's influential although
not always just criticism of Oehlenschlaeger as a poet was no doubt
called forth by Baggesen's attack. Some years later Henrik Hertz made
Baggesen his subject. In 1830 appeared 'Letters from Ghosts,' poetic
epistles from Paradise. Nobody knew that Hertz was the author. It was
Baggesen's voice from beyond the grave, Baggesen's criticism upon the
literature of 1830. It was one of the wittiest, and in versification one
of the best, books in Danish literature.
Baggesen's most important prose work is 'The Labyrinth,' afterwards
called 'The Wanderings of a Poet.' It is a poetic description of his
journeys, unique in its way, rich in impressions and full of striking
remarks, written in a piquant, graceful, and easy style.
As long as Danish literature remains, Baggesen's name will be known;
though his writings are not now widely read, and are important chiefly
because of their influence on the literary spirit of his own time. His
familiar poem 'There was a time when I was very little,' during the
controversy with Oehlenschlaeger, was seized upon by Paul Moeller,
parodied, and changed into 'There was a time when Jens was much bigger.'
Equally well known is his 'Ode to My Country,' with the
"Alas, in no place is the thorn as tiny,
Alas, in no place blooms as red a rose,
Alas, in no place is there couch as downy
As where we little children found repose."
From 'The Labyrinth'
Forster, a little nervous, alert, and piquant man, with gravity written
on his forehead, perspicacity in his eye, and love around his lips,
conquered me completely. I spoke to him of everything except his
journeys; but the traveler showed himself full of unmistakable humanity.
He seemed to me the cosmopolitan spirit personified. It was as if the
world were present when I was alone with him.
We talked about his friend Jacobi, about the late King of Prussia, about
the literature of Germany, and about the present Pole-high standard of
taste. I was much pleased to find in him the art critic I sought. He
said that we must admire everything which is good and beautiful, whether
it originates West, East, South, or North. The taste of the bee is the
true one. Difference in language and climate, difference of nationality,
must not affect my interest in fair and noble things. The unknown repels
the animal, but should not repel the human creature. Suppose you say
that Voltaire is animal in comparison with Shakespeare or Klopstock, or
that they are animal in comparison with him: it is a blunder to demand
pears of an apple-tree, as it is ridiculous to throw away the apple
because it is not a pear. The entire world of nature teaches us this
aesthetic tolerance, and yet we have as little acquired it as we have
freedom of conscience. We plant white and red roses in the same bed, but
who puts the 'Messiah' and the 'Henriade' on the same shelf? He only
who reads neither the one nor the other. True religion worships God;
true taste worships the beautiful without regard of person or nation.
German? French? Italian? or English? All the same! But nothing mediocre.
I was flushed with pleasure; I gave him my hand. "That may be said of
other things than poetry!" I said.--"Of all art!" he answered.--"Of all
that is human!" we both concluded.
Deplorable indolence which clothes our mind in the first heavy cloak
ready to hand, so that all the sunbeams of the world cannot persuade us
to throw it off, much less to assume another! The man who is exclusively
a nationalist is a snail forever chained to his house. Psyche had wings
given her for a never-ending, eternal flight. We may not imprison her,
be the cage ever so large.
He considered that Lessing had wronged the great representative of the
French language; and the remark of Claudius, "Voltaire says he weeps,
and Shakespeare does weep," appeared to him like the saying, "Much that
is new and beautiful has M. Arouet said; but it is a pity that the
beautiful is not new and the new not beautiful,"--more witty than true.
The English think that Shakespeare, as the Germans think that Lessing,
really weeps; the French think the same of Voltaire. But the first weeps
for the whole world, it is said, the last only for his own people. What
the French call "Le Nord" is, to be sure, rather a large territory, but
not the entire world! France calls "whimpering" in one case and
"blubbering" in another what we call weeping. The general mistake is
that we do not understand the nature of the people and the language, in
which and for whom the weeping is done.
We must be English when we read Shakespeare, German when we read
Klopstock, French when we read Voltaire. The man whose soul cannot shed
its national costume and don that of other nations ought not to read,
much less to judge, their masterpieces. He will be looking at the moon
by day and at the sun by night, and see the first without lustre and the
last not at all.
PHILOSOPHY ON THE HEATH
From 'The Labyrinth'
Caillard was a man of experience, taste, and knowledge. He told me the
story of his life from beginning to end, he confided to me his
principles and his affairs, and I took him to be the happiest man in the
world. "I have everything," he said, "all that I have wished for or can
wish for: health, riches, domestic peace (being unmarried), a tolerably
good conscience, books--and as much sense as I need to enjoy them. I
experience only one single want, lack only one single pleasure in this
world; but that one is enough to embitter my life and class me with
I could not guess what might yet be wanting to such a man under such
conditions, "It cannot be liberty," I said, "for how can a rich merchant
in a free town lack this?"
"No! Heaven save me--I neither would nor could live one single day
"You do not happen to be in love with some cruel or unhappy princess?"
"That is still less the case."
"Ah!--now I have it, no doubt--your soul is consumed with a thirst for
truth, for a satisfactory answer to the many questions which are but
philosophic riddles. You are seeking what so many brave men from
Anaxagoras to Spinoza have sought in vain--the corner-stone of
philosophy, the foundation of the structure of our ideas."
He assured me that in this respect he was quite at ease. "Then, in spite
of your good health, you must be subject to that miserable thing, a cold
in the head?" I said.
"Uno minor--Jove, dives
Liber, honoratus, pulcher rex denique regum,
Praecipue sanus--nisi cum pituita molesta est."
When he denied this too, I gave up trying to solve the meaning of his
O happiness! of all earthly chimeras thou art the most chimerical! I
would rather seek dry figs on the bottom of the sea and fresh ones on
this heath,--I would rather seek liberty, or truth itself, or the
philosopher's stone, than to run after thee, most deceitful of lights,
will-o'-the-wisp of our human life!
I thought that at last I had found a perfectly happy, an enviable man;
and now--behold! though I have not the ten-thousandth part of his
wealth, though I have not the tenth part of his health, though I may not
have a third of his intellect, although I have all the wants which he
has not and the one want under which he suffers, yet I would not change
places with him!
From this moment he was the object of my sincerest pity. But what did
this awful curse prove to be? Listen and tremble!
"Of what use is it all to me?" he said: "coffee, which I love more than
all the wines of this earth and more than all the women of this earth,
coffee which I love madly--coffee is forbidden me!"
Laugh who lists! Inasmuch as everything in this world, viewed in a
certain light, is tragic, it would be excusable to weep: but inasmuch as
everything viewed in another light is comic, a little laughter could not
be taken amiss; only beware of laughing at the sigh with which my happy
man pronounced these words, for it might be that in laughing at
him you laugh at yourself, your father, your grandfather, your
great-grandfather, your great-great-grandfather, and so on, including
your entire family as far back as Adam.
If, in laughing at such discontent, you laugh in advance at your son,
your son's son's son, and so forth to the last descendant of your entire
family, this is a matter which I do not decide. It will depend upon the
road humanity chooses to take. If it continues as it is going, some
coffee-want or other will forever strew it with thorns.
Had he said, "Chocolate is forbidden me," or tea, or English ale, or
madeira, or strawberries, you would have found his misery
The great Alexander is said to have wept because he found no more worlds
to conquer. The man who bemoans the loss of a world and the man who
bemoans the loss of coffee are to my mind equally unbalanced and equally
in need of forgiveness. The desire for a cup of coffee and the desire
for a crown, the hankering after the flavor or even the fragrance of the
drink and the hankering after fame, are equally mad and equally--human.
If history is to be believed, Adam possessed all the advantages and
comforts, all the necessities and luxuries a first man could reasonably
demand.... Lord of all living things, and sharing his dominion with his
beloved, what did he lack?
Among ten thousand pleasures, the fruit of one single tree was forbidden
him. Good-by content and peace! Good-by forever all his bliss!
I acknowledge that I should have yielded to the same temptation; and he
who does not see that this fate would have overtaken his entire family,
past and to come, may have studied all things from the Milky Way in the
sky to the milky way in his kitchen, may have studied all stones,
plants, and animals, and all folios and quartos dealing therewith, but
never himself or man.
As we do not know the nature of the fruit which Adam could not do
without, it may as well have been coffee as any other. That it was
pleasant to the eyes means no more than that it was forbidden. Every
forbidden thing is pleasant to the eyes.
"Of what use is it all to me?" said Adam, looking around him in Eden, at
the rising sun, the blushing hills, the light-green forest, the glorious
waterfall, the laden fruit-trees, and, most beautiful of all, the
smiling woman--"of what use is it all to me, when I dare not taste
"And of what use is it all to me?" said Mr. Caillard, and looked around
him on the Lueneburg heath: "coffee is forbidden me; one single cup of
coffee would kill me."
"If it will be any comfort to you," I said, "I may tell you that I am in
the same case." "And you do not despair at times?"--"No," I replied,
"for it is not my only want. If like you I had everything else in life,
I also might despair."
THERE WAS A TIME WHEN I WAS VERY LITTLE
There was a time, when I, an urchin slender,
Could hardly boast of having any height.
Oft I recall those days with feelings tender;
With smiles, and yet the tear-drops dim my sight.
Within my tender mother's arms I sported,
I played at horse upon my grandsire's knee;
Sorrow and care and anger, ill-reported,
As little known as gold or Greek, to me.
The world was little to my childish thinking,
And innocent of sin and sinful things;
I saw the stars above me flashing, winking--
To fly and catch them, how I longed for wings!
I saw the moon behind the hills declining,
And thought, O were I on yon lofty ground,
I'd learn the truth; for here there's no divining
How large it is, how beautiful, how round!
In wonder, too, I saw God's sun pursuing
His westward course, to ocean's lap of gold;
And yet at morn the East he was renewing
With wide-spread, rosy tints, this artist old.
Then turned my thoughts to God the Father gracious,
Who fashioned me and that great orb on high,
And the night's jewels, decking heaven spacious;
From pole to pole its arch to glorify.
With childish piety my lips repeated
The prayer learned at my pious mother's knee:
Help me remember, Jesus, I entreated,
That I must grow up good and true to Thee!
Then for the household did I make petition,
For kindred, friends, and for the town's folk, last;
The unknown King, the outcast, whose condition
Darkened my childish joy, as he slunk past.
All lost, all vanished, childhood's days so eager!
My peace, my joy with them have fled away;
I've only memory left: possession meagre;
Oh, never may that leave me, Lord, I pray.
PHILIP JAMES BAILEY
In Bailey we have a striking instance of the man whose reputation is
made suddenly by a single work, which obtains an amazing popularity, and
which is presently almost forgotten except as a name. When in 1839 the
long poem 'Festus' appeared, its author was an unknown youth, who had
hardly reached his majority. Within a few months he was a celebrity.
That so dignified and suggestive a performance should have come from so
young a poet was considered a marvel of precocity by the literary world,
both English and American.
The author of 'Festus' was born at Basford, Nottinghamshire, England,
April 22nd, 1816. Educated at the public schools of Nottingham, and at
Glasgow University, he studied law, and at nineteen entered Lincoln's
Inn. In 1840 he was admitted to the bar. But his vocation in life
appears to have been metaphysical and spiritual rather than legal.
His 'Festus: a Poem,' containing fifty-five episodes or successive
scenes,--some thirty-five thousand lines,--was begun in his twentieth
year. Three years later it was in the hands of the English reading
public. Like Goethe's 'Faust' in pursuing the course of a human soul
through influences emanating from the Supreme Good and the Supreme Evil;
in having Heaven and the World as its scene; in its inclusion of God and
the Devil, the Archangels and Angels, the Powers of Perdition, and
withal many earthly types in its action,--it is by no means a mere
imitation of the great German. Its plan is wider. It incorporates even
more impressive spiritual material than 'Faust' offers. Not only is its
mortal hero, Festus, conducted through an amazing pilgrimage, spiritual
and redeemed by divine Love, but we have in the poem a conception of
close association with Christianity, profound ethical suggestions, a
flood of theology and philosophy, metaphysics and science, picturing
Good and Evil, love and hate, peace and war, the past, the present, and
the future, earth, heaven, and hell, heights and depths, dominions,
principalities, and powers, God and man, the whole of being and of
not-being,--all in an effort to unmask the last and greatest secrets of
Infinity. And more than all this, 'Festus' strives to portray the
sufficiency of Divine Love and of the Divine Atonement to dissipate,
even to annihilate, Evil. For even Lucifer and the hosts of darkness are
restored to purity and to peace among the Sons of God, the Children of
Light! The Love of God is set forth as limitless. We have before us the
birth of matter at the Almighty's fiat; and we close the work with the
salvation and ecstasy--described as decreed from the Beginning--of
whatever creature hath been given a spiritual existence, and made a
spiritual subject and agency. There is in the doctrine of 'Festus' no
such thing as the "Son of Perdition" who shall be an ultimate castaway.
Few English poems have attracted more general notice from all
intelligent classes of readers than did 'Festus' on its advent.
Orthodoxy was not a little aghast at its theologic suggestions.
Criticism of it as a literary production was hampered not a little by
religious sensitiveness. The London Literary Gazette said of it:--"It is
an extraordinary production, out-Heroding Kant in some of its
philosophy, and out-Goetheing Goethe in the introduction of the Three
Persons of the Trinity as interlocutors in its wild plot. Most
objectionable as it is on this account, it yet contains so many
exquisite passages of genuine poetry, that our admiration of the
author's genius overpowers the feeling of mortification at its being
misapplied, and meddling with such dangerous topics." The advance of
liberal ideas within the churches has diminished such criticism, but the
work is still a stumbling-block to the less speculative of sectaries.
The poem is far too long, and its scope too vast for even a genius of
much higher and riper gifts than Bailey's. It is turgid, untechnical in
verse, wordy, and involved. Had Bailey written at fifty instead of at
twenty, it might have shown a necessary balance and felicity of style.
But, with all these shortcomings, it is not to be relegated to the
library of things not worth the time to know, to the list of bulky
poetic failures. Its author blossomed and fruited marvelously early; so
early and with such unlooked-for fruit that the unthinking world, which
first received him with exaggerated honor, presently assailed him with
undue dispraise. 'Festus' is not mere solemn and verbose commonplace.
Here and there it has passages of great force and even of high beauty.
The author's whole heart and brain were poured into it, and neither was
a common one. With all its ill-based daring and manifest crudities, it
was such a _tour de force_ for a lad of twenty as the world seldom sees.
Its sluggish current bears along remarkable knowledge, great reflection,
and the imagination of a fertile as well as a precocious brain. It is a
stream which carries with it things new and old, and serves to stir the
mind of the onlooker with unwonted thoughts. Were it but one fourth as
long, it would still remain a favorite poem. Even now it has passed
through numerous editions, and been but lately republished in sumptuous
form after fifty years of life; and in the catalogue of higher
metaphysico-religious poetry it will long maintain an honorable place.
It is cited here among the books whose fame rather than whose importance
_Festus_-- Men's callings all
Are mean and vain; their wishes more so: oft
The man is bettered by his part or place.
How slight a chance may raise or sink a soul!
_Lucifer_--What men call accident is God's own part.
He lets ye work your will--it is his own:
But that ye mean not, know not, do not, he doth.
_Festus_--What is life worth without a heart to feel
The great and lovely harmonies which time
And nature change responsive, all writ out
By preconcertive hand which swells the strain
To divine fulness; feel the poetry,
The soothing rhythm of life's fore-ordered lay;
The sacredness of things?--for all things are
Sacred so far,--the worst of them, as seen
By the eye of God, they in the aspect bide
Of holiness: nor shall outlaw sin be slain,
Though rebel banned, within the sceptre's length;
But privileged even for service. Oh! to stand
Soul-raptured, on some lofty mountain-thought,
And feel the spirit expand into a view
Millennial, life-exalting, of a day
When earth shall have all leisure for high ends
Of social culture; ends a liberal law
And common peace of nations, blent with charge
Divine, shall win for man, were joy indeed:
Nor greatly less, to know what might be now,
Worked will for good with power, for one brief hour.
But look at these, these individual souls:
How sadly men show out of joint with man!
There are millions never think a noble thought;
But with brute hate of brightness bay a mind
Which drives the darkness out of them, like hounds.
Throw but a false glare round them, and in shoals
They rush upon perdition: that's the race.
What charm is in this world-scene to such minds?
Blinded by dust? What can they do in heaven,
A state of spiritual means and ends?
Thus must I doubt--perpetually doubt.
_Lucifer_--Who never doubted never half believed.
Where doubt, there truth is--'tis her shadow. I
Declare unto thee that the past is not.
I have looked over all life, yet never seen
The age that had been. Why then fear or dream
About the future? Nothing but what is, is;
Else God were not the Maker that he seems,
As constant in creating as in being.
Embrace the present. Let the future pass.
Plague not thyself about a future. That
Only which comes direct from God, his spirit,
Is deathless. Nature gravitates without
Effort; and so all mortal natures fall
Deathwards. All aspiration is a toil;
But inspiration cometh from above,
And is no labor. The earth's inborn strength
Could never lift her up to yon stars, whence
She fell; nor human soul, by native worth,
Claim heaven as birthright, more than man may call
Cloudland his home. The soul's inheritance,
Its birth-place, and its death-place, is of earth;
Until God maketh earth and soul anew;
The one like heaven, the other like himself.
So shall the new creation come at once;
Sin, the dead branch upon the tree of life
Shall be cut off forever; and all souls
Concluded in God's boundless amnesty.
_Festus_--Thou windest and unwindest faith at will.
What am I to believe?
_Lucifer_-- Thou mayest believe
But that thou art forced to.
_Festus_-- Then I feel, perforce,
That instinct of immortal life in me,
Which prompts me to provide for it.
_Festus_--Man hath a knowledge of a time to come--
His most important knowledge: the weight lies
Nearest the short end; and the world depends
Upon what is to be. I would deny
The present, if the future. Oh! there is
A life to come, or all's a dream.
May be a dream. Thou seest in thine, men, deeds,
Clear, moving, full of speech and order; then
Why may not all this world be but a dream
Of God's? Fear not! Some morning God may waken.
_Festus_--I would it were. This life's a mystery.
The value of a thought cannot be told;
But it is clearly worth a thousand lives
Like many men's. And yet men love to live
As if mere life were worth their living for.
What but perdition will it be to most?
Life's more than breath and the quick round of blood;
It is a great spirit and a busy heart.
The coward and the small in soul scarce do live.
One generous feeling--one great thought--one deed
Of good, ere night, would make life longer seem
Than if each year might number a thousand days,
Spent as is this by nations of mankind.
We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
Who thinks most--feels the noblest--acts the best.
Life's but a means unto an end--that end
Beginning, mean, and end to all things--God.
The dead have all the glory of the world.
Why will we live and not be glorious?
We never can be deathless till we die.
It is the dead win battles. And the breath
Of those who through the world drive like a wedge,
Tearing earth's empires up, nears Death so close
It dims his well-worn scythe. But no! the brave
Die never. Being deathless, they but change
Their country's arms for more--their country's heart.
Give then the dead their due: it is they who saved us.
The rapid and the deep--the fall, the gulph,
Have likenesses in feeling and in life.
And life, so varied, hath more loveliness
In one day than a creeping century
Of sameness. But youth loves and lives on change,
Till the soul sighs for sameness; which at last
Becomes variety, and takes its place.
Yet some will last to die out, thought by thought,
And power by power, and limb of mind by limb,
Like lamps upon a gay device of glass,
Till all of soul that's left be dry and dark;
Till even the burden of some ninety years
Hath crashed into them like a rock; shattered
Their system as if ninety suns had rushed
To ruin earth--or heaven had rained its stars;
Till they become like scrolls, unreadable,
Through dust and mold. Can they be cleaned and read?
Do human spirits wax and wane like moons?
_Lucifer_--The eye dims, and the heart gets old and slow;
The lithe limbs stiffen, and the sun-hued locks
Thin themselves off, or whitely wither; still,
Ages not spirit, even in one point,
Immeasurably small; from orb to orb,
Rising in radiance ever like the sun
Shining upon the thousand lands of earth.
Clara--True prophet mayst thou be. But list: that sound
The passing-bell the spirit should solemnize;
For, while on its emancipate path, the soul
Still waves its upward wings, and we still hear
The warning sound, it is known, we well may pray.
_Festus_--But pray for whom?
_Clara_--It means not. Pray for all.
Pray for the good man's soul:
He is leaving earth for heaven,
And it soothes us to feel that the best
May be forgiven.
_Festus_--Pray for the sinful soul:
It fleeth, we know not where;
But wherever it be let us hope;
For God is there.
_Clara_--Pray for the rich man's soul:
Not all be unjust, nor vain;
The wise he consoled; and he saved
The poor from pain.
_Festus_--Pray for the poor man's soul:
The death of this life of ours
He hath shook from his feet; he is one
Of the heavenly powers.
Pray for the old man's soul:
He hath labored long; through life
It was battle or march. He hath ceased,
Serene, from strife.
_Clara_--Pray for the infant's soul:
With its spirit crown unsoiled,
He hath won, without war, a realm;
Gained all, nor toiled.
_Festus_--Pray for the struggling soul:
The mists of the straits of death
Clear off; in some bright star-isle
Pray for the soul assured:
Though it wrought in a gloomy mine,
Yet the gems it earned were its own,
That soul's divine.
_Clara_--Pray for the simple soul:
For it loved, and therein was wise;
Though itself knew not, but with heaven
Confused the skies.
_Festus_--Pray for the sage's soul:
'Neath his welkin wide of mind
Lay the central thought of God,
Pray for the souls of all
To our God, that all may be
With forgiveness crowned, and joy
_Clara_--Hush! for the bell hath ceased;
And the spirit's fate is sealed;
To the angels known; to man
FESTUS--Well, farewell, Mr. Student. May you never
Regret those hours which make the mind, if they
Unmake the body; for the sooner we
Are fit to be all mind, the better. Blessed
Is he whose heart is the home of the great dead,
And their great thoughts. Who can mistake great thoughts
They seize upon the mind; arrest and search,
And shake it; bow the tall soul as by wind;
Rush over it like a river over reeds,
Which quaver in the current; turn us cold,
And pale, and voiceless; leaving in the brain
A rocking and a ringing; glorious,
But momentary, madness might it last,
And close the soul with heaven as with a seal!
In lieu of all these things whose loss thou mournest,
If earnestly or not I know not, use
The great and good and true which ever live;
And are all common to pure eyes and true.
Upon the summit of each mountain-thought
Worship thou God, with heaven-uplifted head
And arms horizon-stretched; for deity is seen
From every elevation of the soul.
Study the light; attempt the high; seek out
The soul's bright path; and since the soul is fire,
Of heat intelligential, turn it aye
To the all-Fatherly source of light and life;
Piety purifies the soul to see
Visions, perpetually, of grace and power,
Which, to their sight who in ignorant sin abide,
Are now as e'er incognizable. Obey
Thy genius, for a minister it is
Unto the throne of Fate. Draw towards thy soul,
And centralize, the rays which are around
Of the divinity. Keep thy spirit pure
From worldly taint, by the repellent strength
Of virtue. Think on noble thoughts and deeds,
Ever. Count o'er the rosary of truth;
And practice precepts which are proven wise,
It matters not then what thou fearest. Walk
Boldly and wisely in that light thou hast;--
There is a hand above will help thee on.
I am an omnist, and believe in all
Religions; fragments of one golden world
To be relit yet, and take its place in heaven,
Where is the whole, sole truth, in deity.
Meanwhile, his word, his law, writ soulwise here,
Study; its truths love; practice its behests--
They will be with thee when all else have gone.
Mind, body, passion all wear out; not faith
Nor truth. Keep thy heart cool, or rule its heat
To fixed ends; waste it not upon itself.
Not all the agony maybe of the damned
Fused in one pang, vies with that earthquake throb
Which wakens soul from life-waste, to let see
The world rolled by for aye, and we must wait
For our next chance the nigh eternity;
Whether it be in heaven, or elsewhere.
FESTUS--The dead of night: earth seems but seeming;
The soul seems but a something dreaming.
The bird is dreaming in its nest,
Of song, and sky, and loved one's breast;
The lap-dog dreams, as round he lies,
In moonshine, of his mistress's eyes;
The steed is dreaming, in his stall,
Of one long breathless leap and fall;
The hawk hath dreamed him thrice of wings
Wide as the skies he may not cleave;
But waking, feels them clipped, and clings
Mad to the perch 'twere mad to leave:
The child is dreaming of its toys;
The murderer, of calm home joys;
The weak are dreaming endless fears;
The proud of how their pride appears;
The poor enthusiast who dies,
Of his life-dreams the sacrifice,
Sees, as enthusiast only can,
The truth that made him more than man;
And hears once more, in visioned trance,
That voice commanding to advance,
Where wealth is gained--love, wisdom won,
Or deeds of danger dared and done.
The mother dreameth of her child;
The maid of him who hath beguiled;
The youth of her he loves too well;
The good of God; the ill of hell;
Who live of death; of life who die;
The dead of immortality.
The earth is dreaming back her youth;
Hell never dreams, for woe is truth;
And heaven is dreaming o'er her prime,
Long ere the morning stars of time;
And dream of heaven alone can I,
My lovely one, when thou art nigh.
CHORUS OF THE SAVED
From the Conclusion
Father of goodness,
Son of love,
Spirit of comfort,
Be with us!
God who hast made us,
God who hast saved,
God who hast judged us,
Thee we praise.
Heaven our spirits,
Hallow our hearts;
Let us have God-light
Ours is the wide world,
Heaven on heaven;
What have we done, Lord,
Oh! we have loved thee;
Maketh our glory,
Oh! we have loved thee!
Love we will
Ever, and every
Soul of us.
God of the saved,
God of the tried,
God of the lost ones,
Be with all!
Let us be near thee
Ever and aye;
Oh! let us love thee
Joanna Baillie's early childhood was passed at Bothwell, Scotland, where
she was born in 1762. Of this time she drew a picture in her well-known
birthday lines to her sister:--
"Dear Agnes, gleamed with joy, and dashed with tears, O'er us
have glided almost sixty years Since we on Bothwell's bonny
braes were seen, By those whose eyes long closed in death
have been: Two tiny imps, who scarcely stooped to gather The
slender harebell, or the purple heather; No taller than the
foxglove's spiky stem, That dew of morning studs with silvery
gem. Then every butterfly that crossed our view With joyful
shout was greeted as it flew, And moth and lady-bird and
beetle bright In sheeny gold were each a wondrous sight. Then
as we paddled barefoot, side by side, Among the sunny
shallows of the Clyde, Minnows or spotted par with twinkling
fin, Swimming in mazy rings the pool within, A thrill of
gladness through our bosoms sent Seen in the power of early
[Illustration: JOANNA BAILLIE]
When Joanna was six her father was appointed to the charge of the kirk
at Hamilton. Her early growth went on, not in books, but in the
fearlessness with which she ran upon the top of walls and parapets of
bridges and in all daring. "Look at Miss Jack," said a farmer, as she
dashed by: "she sits her horse as if it were a bit of herself." At
eleven she could not read well. "'Twas thou," she said in lines to
"'Twas thou who woo'dst me first to look
Upon the page of printed book,
That thing by me abhorred, and with address
Didst win me from my thoughtless idleness,
When all too old become with bootless haste
In fitful sports the precious time to waste.
Thy love of tale and story was the stroke
At which my dormant fancy first awoke,
And ghosts and witches in my busy brain
Arose in sombre show, a motley train."
In 1776 Dr. James Baillie was made Professor of Divinity at Glasgow
University. During the two years the family lived in the college
atmosphere, Joanna first read 'Comus,' and, led by the delight it
awakened, the great epic of Milton. It was here that her vigor and
disputatious turn of mind "cast an awe" over her companions. After her
father's death she settled, in 1784, with her mother and brother and
sister in London.
She had made herself familiar with English literature, and above all she
had studied Shakespeare with enthusiasm. Circumscribed now by the brick
and mortar of London streets, in exchange for the fair views and
liberties of her native fruitlands, Joanna found her first expression in
a volume of 'Fugitive Verses,' published in 1790. The book caused so
little comment that the words of but one friendly hand are preserved:
that the poems were "truly unsophisticated representations of nature."
Joanna's walk was along calm and unhurried ways. She could have had a
considerable place in society and the world of "lions" if she had cared.
The wife of her uncle and name-father, the anatomist Dr. John Hunter,
was no other than the famous Mrs. Anne Hunter, a songwright of genius;
her poem 'The Son of Alknomook Shall Never Complain' is one of the
classics of English song, and the best rendering of the Indian spirit
ever condensed into so small a space. She was also a woman of grace and
dignity, a power in London drawing-rooms, and Haydn set songs of hers to
music. But the reserved Joanna was tempted to no light triumphs. Eight
years later was published her first volume of 'Plays on the Passions.'
It contained 'Basil,' a tragedy on love; 'The Trial,' a comedy on the
same subject; and 'De Montfort,' a tragedy on hatred.
The thought of essaying dramatic composition had burst upon the author
one summer afternoon as she sat sewing with her mother. She had a high
moral purpose in her plan of composition, she said in her preface,--that
purpose being the ultimate utterance of the drama. Plot and incident she
set little value upon, and she rejected the presentation of the most
splendid event if it did not appertain to the development of the
passion. In other words, what is and was commonly of secondary
consideration in the swift passage of dramatic action became in her
hands the stated and paramount object. Feeling and passion are _not_
precipitated by incident in her drama as in real life. The play 'De
Montfort' was presented at Drury Lane Theatre in 1800; but in spite of
every effort and the acting of John Kemble and Mrs. Siddons, it had a
run of but eleven nights.
In 1802 Miss Baillie published her second volume of 'Plays on the
Passions.' It contained a comedy on hatred; 'Ethwald,' a tragedy on
ambition; and a comedy on ambition. Her adherence to her old plan
brought upon her an attack from Jeffrey in the Edinburgh Review. He
claimed that the complexity of the moral nature of man made Joanna's
theory false and absurd, that a play was too narrow to show the complete
growth of a passion, and that the end of the drama is the entertainment
of the audience. He asserted that she imitated and plagiarized
Shakespeare; while he admitted her insight into human nature, her grasp
of character, and her devotion to her work.
About the time of the appearance of this volume, Joanna fixed her
residence with her mother and sister, among the lanes and fields of
Hampstead, where they continued throughout their lives. The first volume
of 'Miscellaneous Plays' came out in 1804. In the preface she stated
that her opinions set forth in her first preface were unchanged. But the
plays had a freer construction. "Miss Baillie," wrote Jeffrey in his
review, "cannot possibly write a tragedy, or an act of a tragedy,
without showing genius and exemplifying a more dramatic conception and
expression than any of her modern competitor" 'Constantine Palaeologus,'
which the volume contained, had the liveliest commendation and
popularity, and was several times put upon the stage with
In the year of the publication of Joanna's 'Miscellaneous Plays,' Sir
Walter Scott came to London, and seeking an introduction through a
common friend, made the way for a lifelong friendship between the two,
He had just brought out 'The Lay of the Last Minstrel.' Miss Baillie was
already a famous writer, with fast friends in Lucy Aikin, Mary Berry,
Mrs. Siddons, and other workers in art and literature; but the hearty
commendation of her countryman, which she is said to have come upon
unexpectedly when reading 'Marmion' to a group of friends, she valued
beyond other praise. The legend is that she read through the passage
firmly to the close, and only lost self-control in her sympathy with the
emotion of a friend:--
"--The wild harp that silent hung
By silver Avon's holy shore
Till twice one hundred years rolled o'er,
When she the bold enchantress came,
From the pale willow snatched the treasure,
With fearless hand and heart in flame,
And swept it with a kindred measure;
Till Avon's swans, while rung the grove
With Montfort's hate and Basil's love,
Awakening at the inspired strain,
Deemed their own Shakespeare lived again."
The year 1810 saw 'The Family Legend,' a play founded on a tragic
history of the Campbell clan. Scott wrote a prologue and brought out the
play in the Edinburgh Theatre. "You have only to imagine," he told the
author, "all that you could wish to give success to a play, and your
conceptions will still fall short of the complete and decided triumph of
'The Family Legend.'"
The attacks which Jeffrey had made upon her verse were continued when
she published, in 1812, her third volume of 'Plays on the Passions.' His
voice, however, did not diminish the admiration for the
character-drawing with which the book was greeted, or for the lyric
outbursts occurring now and then in the dramas.
Joanna's quiet Hampstead life was broken in 1813 by a genial meeting in
London with the ambitious Madame de Stael, and again with the vivacious
little Irishwoman, Maria Edgeworth. She was keeping her promise of not
writing more; but during a visit to Sir Walter in 1820 her imagination
was touched by Scotch tales, and she published 'Metrical Legends' the
following year. In this vast Abbotsford she finally consented to meet
Jeffrey. The plucky little writer and the unshrinking critic at once
became friends, and thenceforward Jeffrey never went to London without
visiting her in Hampstead.
Her moral courage throughout life recalls the physical courage which
characterized her youth. She never concealed her religious convictions,
and in 1831 she published her ideas in 'A View of the General Tenor of
the New Testament Regarding the Nature and Dignity of Jesus Christ.' In
1836, having finally given up the long hope of seeing her plays become
popular upon the stage, she prepared a complete edition of her dramas
with the addition of three plays never before made public,--'Romiero,' a
tragedy, 'The Alienated Manor,' a comedy on jealousy, and 'Henriquez,' a
tragedy on remorse. The Edinburgh Review immediately put forth a
eulogistic notice of the collected edition, and at last admitted that
the reviewer had changed his judgment, and esteemed the author as a
dramatist above Byron and Scott.
"May God support both you and me, and give us comfort and consolation
when it is most wanted," wrote Miss Baillie to Mary Berry in 1837. "As
for myself, I do not wish to be one year younger than I am; and have no
desire, were it possible, to begin life again, even under the most
honorable circumstances. I have great cause for humble thankfulness, and
I am thankful."
In 1840 Jeffrey wrote:--"I have been twice out to Hampstead, and found
Joanna Baillie as fresh, natural, and amiable as ever, and as little
like a tragic muse." And again in 1842:--"She is marvelous in health and
spirit; not a bit deaf, blind, or torpid." About this time she published
her last book, a volume of 'Fugitive Verses.'
"A sweeter picture of old age was never seen," wrote Harriet Martineau.
"Her figure was small, light, and active; her countenance, in its
expression of serenity, harmonized wonderfully with her gay conversation
and her cheerful voice. Her eyes were beautiful, dark, bright, and
penetrating, with the full innocent gaze of childhood. Her face was
altogether comely, and her dress did justice to it. She wore her own
silvery hair and a mob cap, with its delicate lace border fitting close
around her face. She was well dressed, in handsome dark silks, and her
lace caps and collars looked always new. No Quaker was ever neater,
while she kept up with the times in her dress as in her habit of mind,
as far as became her years. In her whole appearance there was always
something for even the passing stranger to admire, and never anything
for the most familiar friend to wish otherwise." She died, "without
suffering, in the full possession of her faculties," in her ninetieth
Her dramatic and poetical works are collected in one volume (1843). Her
Life, with selections from her songs, may be found in 'The Songstress of
Scotland,' by Sarah Tytler and J.L. Watson (1871).
WOO'D AND MARRIED AND A'
The bride she is winsome and bonny,
Her hair it is snooded sae sleek,
And faithfu' and kind is her Johnny,
Yet fast fa' the tears on her cheek.
New pearlins are cause of her sorrow,
New pearlins and plenishing too:
The bride that has a' to borrow.
Has e'en right mickle ado.
Woo'd and married and a'!
Woo'd and married and a'!
Isna she very weel aff
To be woo'd and married at a'?
Her mither then hastily spak:--
"The lassie is glaikit wi' pride;
In my pouch I had never a plack
On the day when I was a bride.
E'en tak' to your wheel and be clever,
And draw out your thread in the sun;
The gear that is gifted, it never
Will last like the gear that is won.
Woo'd and married and a'!
Wi' havins and tocher sae sma'!
I think ye are very weel aff
To be woo'd and married at a'!"
"Toot, toot!" quo' her gray-headed faither,
"She's less o' a bride than a bairn;
She's ta'en like a cout frae the heather,
Wi' sense and discretion to learn.
Half husband, I trow, and half daddy,
As humor inconstantly leans,
The chiel maun be patient and steady
That yokes wi' a mate in her teens.
A kerchief sae douce and sae neat,
O'er her locks that the wind used to blaw!
I'm baith like to laugh and to greet
When I think o' her married at a'."
Then out spak' the wily bridegroom,
Weel waled were his wordies I ween:--
"I'm rich, though my coffer be toom,
Wi' the blinks o' your bonny blue e'en.
I'm prouder o' thee by my side,
Though thy ruffles or ribbons be few,
Than if Kate o' the Croft were my bride,
Wi' purfles and pearlins enow.
Dear and dearest of ony!
Ye're woo'd and buiket and a'!
And do ye think scorn o' your Johnny,
And grieve to be married at a'?"
She turn'd, and she blush'd, and she smil'd,
And she looket sae bashfully down;
The pride o' her heart was beguil'd,
And she played wi' the sleeves o' her gown;
She twirlet the tag o' her lace,
And she nippet her bodice sae blue,
Syne blinket sae sweet in his face,
And aff like a maukin she flew.
Woo'd and married and a'!
Wi' Johnny to roose her and a'!
She thinks hersel' very weel aff
To be woo'd and married at a'!
IT WAS ON A MORN WHEN WE WERE THRANG
It was on a morn when we were thrang,
The kirn it croon'd, the cheese was making,
And bannocks on the girdle baking,
When ane at the door chapp't loud and lang.
Yet the auld gudewife, and her mays sae tight,
Of a' this bauld din took sma' notice I ween;
For a chap at the door in braid daylight
Is no like a chap that's heard at e'en.
But the docksy auld laird of the Warlock glen,
Wha waited without, half blate, half cheery,
And langed for a sight o' his winsome deary,
Raised up the latch and cam' crousely ben.
His coat it was new, and his o'erlay was white,
His mittens and hose were cozie and bien;
But a wooer that comes in braid daylight
Is no like a wooer that comes at e'en.
He greeted the carline and lasses sae braw,
And his bare lyart pow sae smoothly he straikit,
And he looket about, like a body half glaikit,
On bonny sweet Nanny, the youngest of a'.
"Ha, laird!" quo' the carline, "and look ye that way?
Fye, let na' sie fancies bewilder you clean:
An elderlin man, in the noon o' the day,
Should be wiser than youngsters that come at e'en.
"Na, na," quo' the pawky auld wife, "I trow
You'll no fash your head wi' a youthfu' gilly,
As wild and as skeig as a muirland filly:
Black Madge is far better and fitter for you."
He hem'd and he haw'd, and he drew in his mouth,
And he squeezed the blue bannet his twa hands between;
For a wooer that comes when the sun's i' the south
Is mair landward than wooers that come at e'en.
"Black Madge is sae carefu'"--"What's that to me?"
"She's sober and cydent, has sense in her noodle;
She's douce and respeckit"--"I carena a bodle:
Love winna be guided, and fancy's free."
Madge toss'd back her head wi' a saucy slight,
And Nanny, loud laughing, ran out to the green;
For a wooer that comes when the sun shines bright
Is no like a wooer that comes at e'en.
Then away flung the laird, and loud mutter'd he,
"A' the daughters of Eve, between Orkney and Tweed O!
Black or fair, young or auld, dame or damsel or widow,
May gang in their pride to the de'il for me!"
But the auld gudewife, and her mays sae tight,
Cared little for a' his stour banning, I ween;
For a wooer that comes in braid daylight
Is no like a wooer that comes at e'en.
FY, LET US A' TO THE WEDDING
(An Auld Sang, New Buskit)
Fy, let us a' to the wedding,
For they will be lilting there;
For Jock's to be married to Maggy,
The lass wi' the gowden hair.
And there will be jibing and jeering,
And glancing of bonny dark een,
Loud laughing and smooth-gabbit speering
O' questions baith pawky and keen.
And there will be Bessy the beauty,
Wha raises her cockup sae hie,
And giggles at preachings and duty,--
Guid grant that she gang na' ajee!
And there will be auld Geordie Taunner,
Wha coft a young wife wi' his gowd;
She'll flaunt wi' a silk gown upon her,
But wow! he looks dowie and cow'd.
And brown Tibbey Fouler the Heiress
Will perk at the tap o' the ha',
Encircled wi' suitors, wha's care is
To catch up her gloves when they fa',--
Repeat a' her jokes as they're cleckit,
And haver and glower in her face,
When tocherless mays are negleckit,--
A crying and scandalous case.
And Mysie, wha's clavering aunty
Wud match her wi' Laurie the Laird,
And learns the young fule to be vaunty,
But neither to spin nor to caird.
And Andrew, wha's granny is yearning
To see him a clerical blade,
Was sent to the college for learning,
And cam' back a coof as he gaed.
And there will be auld Widow Martin,
That ca's hersel thritty and twa!
And thraw-gabbit Madge, wha for certain
Was jilted by Hab o' the Shaw.
And Elspy the sewster sae genty,
A pattern of havens and sense.
Will straik on her mittens sae dainty,
And crack wi' Mess John i' the spence.
And Angus, the seer o' ferlies,
That sits on the stane at his door,
And tells about bogles, and mair lies
Than tongue ever utter'd before.
And there will be Bauldy the boaster
Sae ready wi' hands and wi' tongue;
Proud Paty and silly Sam Foster,
Wha quarrel wi' auld and wi' young:
And Hugh the town-writer, I'm thinking,
That trades in his lawerly skill,
Will egg on the fighting and drinking
To bring after-grist to his mill;
And Maggy--na, na! we'll be civil,
And let the wee bridie a-be;
A vilipend tongue is the devil,
And ne'er was encouraged by me.
Then fy, let us a' to the wedding,
For they will be lilting there
Frae mony a far-distant ha'ding,
The fun and the feasting to share.
For they will get sheep's head, and haggis,
And browst o' the barley-mow;
E'en he that comes latest, and lag is,
May feast upon dainties enow.
Veal florentines in the o'en baken,
Weel plenish'd wi' raisins and fat;
Beef, mutton, and chuckies, a' taken
Het reeking frae spit and frae pat:
And glasses (I trow 'tis na' said ill),
To drink the young couple good luck,
Weel fill'd wi' a braw beechen ladle
Frae punch-bowl as big as Dumbuck.
And then will come dancing and daffing,
And reelin' and crossin' o' hans,
Till even auld Lucky is laughing,
As back by the aumry she stans.
Sic bobbing and flinging and whirling,
While fiddlers are making their din;
And pipers are droning and skirling
As loud as the roar o' the lin.
Then fy, let us a' to the wedding,
For they will be lilting there,
For Jock's to be married to Maggy,
The lass wi' the gowden hair.
THE WEARY PUND O' TOW
A young gudewife is in my house
And thrifty means to be,
But aye she's runnin' to the town
Some ferlie there to see.
The weary pund, the weary pund, the weary pund o' tow,
I soothly think, ere it be spun, I'll wear a lyart pow.
And when she sets her to her wheel
To draw her threads wi' care,
In comes the chapman wi' his gear,
And she can spin nae mair.
The weary pund, etc.
And she, like ony merry may,
At fairs maun still be seen,
At kirkyard preachings near the tent,
At dances on the green.
The weary pund, etc.
Her dainty ear a fiddle charms,
A bagpipe's her delight,
But for the crooning o' her wheel
She disna care a mite.
The weary pund, etc.
You spake, my Kate, of snaw-white webs,
Made o' your linkum twine,
But, ah! I fear our bonny burn
Will ne'er lave web o' thine.
The weary pund, etc.
Nay, smile again, my winsome mate;
Sic jeering means nae ill;
Should I gae sarkless to my grave,
I'll lo'e and bless thee still.
The weary pund, etc.
FROM 'DE MONTFORT': A TRAGEDY
ACT V--SCENE III
_Moonlight. A wild path in a wood, shaded with trees. Enter _De Montfort_,
with a strong expression of disquiet, mixed with fear, upon his
face, looking behind him, and bending his ear to the ground, as if
he listened to something._
De Montfort--How hollow groans the earth beneath my tread:
Is there an echo here? Methinks it sounds
As though some heavy footsteps followed me.
I will advance no farther.
Deep settled shadows rest across the path,
And thickly-tangled boughs o'erhang this spot.
O that a tenfold gloom did cover it,
That 'mid the murky darkness I might strike!
As in the wild confusion of a dream,
Things horrid, bloody, terrible do pass,
As though they passed not; nor impress the mind
With the fixed clearness of reality.
[_An owl is heard screaming near him._]
[_Starting._] What sound is that?
[_Listens, and the owl cries again._]
It is the screech-owl's cry.
Foul bird of night! What spirit guides thee here?
Art thou instinctive drawn to scenes of horror?
I've heard of this.
[_Pauses and listens._]
How those fallen leaves so rustle on the path,
With whispering noise, as though the earth around me
Did utter secret things.
The distant river, too, bears to mine ear
A dismal wailing. O mysterious night!
Thou art not silent; many tongues hast thou.
A distant gathering blast sounds through the wood,
And dark clouds fleetly hasten o'er the sky;
Oh that a storm would rise, a raging storm;
Amidst the roar of warring elements
I'd lift my hand and strike! but this pale light,
The calm distinctness of each stilly thing,
Is terrible.--[_Starting._] Footsteps, and near me, too!
He comes! he comes! I'll watch him farther on--
I cannot do it here.
_Enter_ Rezenvelt, _and continues his way slowly from the bottom of the
stage; as he advances to the front, the owl screams, he stops and
listens, and the owl screams again._
_Rezenvelt_--Ha! does the night-bird greet me on my way?
How much his hooting is in harmony
With such a scene as this! I like it well.
Oft when a boy, at the still twilight hour,
I've leant my back against some knotted oak,
And loudly mimicked him, till to my call
He answer would return, and through the gloom
We friendly converse held.
Between me and the star-bespangled sky,
Those aged oaks their crossing branches wave,
And through them looks the pale and placid moon.
How like a crocodile, or winged snake,
Yon sailing cloud bears on its dusky length!
And now transformed by the passing wind,
Methinks it seems a flying Pegasus.
Ay, but a shapeless band of blacker hue
Comes swiftly after.--
A hollow murm'ring wind sounds through the trees;
I hear it from afar; this bodes a storm.
I must not linger here--
[_A bell heard at some distance._] The convent bell.
'Tis distant still: it tells their hour of prayer.
It sends a solemn sound upon the breeze,
That, to a fearful, superstitious mind,
In such a scene, would like a death-knell come.
TO MRS. SIDDONS
Gifted of heaven! who hast, in days gone by,
Moved every heart, delighted every eye;
While age and youth, of high and low degree,
In sympathy were joined, beholding thee,
As in the Drama's ever-changing scene
Thou heldst thy splendid state, our tragic queen!
No barriers there thy fair domains confined,
Thy sovereign sway was o'er the human mind;
And in the triumph of that witching hour,
Thy lofty bearing well became thy power.
The impassioned changes of thy beauteous face,
Thy stately form, and high imperial grace;
Thine arms impetuous tossed, thy robe's wide flow,
And the dark tempest gathered on thy brow;
What time thy flashing eye and lip of scorn
Down to the dust thy mimic foes have borne;
Remorseful musings, sunk to deep dejection,
The fixed and yearning looks of strong affection;
The active turmoil a wrought bosom rending,
When pity, love, and honor, are contending;--
They who beheld all this, right well, I ween,
A lovely, grand, and wondrous sight have seen.
Thy varied accents, rapid, fitful, slow,
Loud rage, and fear's snatched whisper, quick and low;
The burst of stifled love, the wail of grief,
And tones of high command, full, solemn, brief;
The change of voice, and emphasis that threw
Light on obscurity, and brought to view
Distinctions nice, when grave or comic mood,
Or mingled humors, terse and new, elude
Common perception, as earth's smallest things
To size and form the vesting hoar-frost brings,
That seemed as if some secret voice, to clear
The raveled meaning, whispered in thine ear,
And thou hadst e'en with him communion kept,
Who hath so long in Stratford's chancel slept;
Whose lines, where nature's brightest traces shine,
Alone were worthy deemed of powers like thine;--
They who have heard all this, have proved full well
Of soul-exciting sound the mightiest spell.
But though time's lengthened shadows o'er thee glide,
And pomp of regal state is cast aside,
Think not the glory of thy course is spent,
There's moonlight radiance to thy evening lent,
That to the mental world can never fade,
Till all who saw thee, in the grave are laid.
Thy graceful form still moves in nightly dreams,
And what thou wast, to the lulled sleeper seems;
While feverish fancy oft doth fondly trace
Within her curtained couch thy wondrous face.
Yea; and to many a wight, bereft and lone,
In musing hours, though all to thee unknown,
Soothing his earthly course of good and ill,
With all thy potent charm, thou actest still.
And now in crowded room or rich saloon,
Thy stately presence recognized, how soon
On thee the glance of many an eye is cast,
In grateful memory of pleasures past!
Pleased to behold thee, with becoming grace,
Take, as befits thee well, an honored place;
Where blest by many a heart, long mayst thou stand,
Among the virtuous matrons of our land!
A SCOTCH SONG
The gowan glitters on the sward,
The lavrock's in the sky,
And collie on my plaid keeps ward,
And time is passing by.
Oh no! sad and slow
And lengthened on the ground,
The shadow of our trysting bush
It wears so slowly round!
My sheep-bell tinkles frae the west,
My lambs are bleating near,
But still the sound that I lo'e best,
Alack! I canna' hear.
Oh no! sad and slow,
The shadow lingers still,
And like a lanely ghaist I stand
And croon upon the hill.
I hear below the water roar,
The mill wi' clacking din,
And Lucky scolding frae her door,
To ca' the bairnies in.
Oh no! sad and slow,
These are na' sounds for me,
The shadow of our trysting bush,
It creeps so drearily!
I coft yestreen, frae Chapman Tarn,
A snood of bonny blue,
And promised when our trysting cam',
To tie it round her brow.
Oh no! sad and slow,
The mark it winna' pass;
The shadow of that weary thorn
Is tethered on the grass.
Oh, now I see her on the way,
She's past the witch's knowe,
She's climbing up the Browny's brae,
My heart is in a lowe!
Oh no! 'tis no' so,
'Tis glam'rie I have seen;
The shadow of that hawthorn bush
Will move na' mair till e'en.
My book o' grace I'll try to read,
Though conn'd wi' little skill,
When collie barks I'll raise my head,
And find her on the hill.
Oh no! sad and slow,
The time will ne'er be gane,
The shadow of the trysting bush
Is fixed like ony stane.
SONG, 'POVERTY PARTS GOOD COMPANY'
For an old Scotch Air
When my o'erlay was white as the foam o' the lin,
And siller was chinkin my pouches within,
When my lambkins were bleatin on meadow and brae,
As I went to my love in new cleeding sae gay,
Kind was she, and my friends were free,
But poverty parts good company.
How swift passed the minutes and hours of delight,
When piper played cheerly, and crusie burned bright,
And linked in my hand was the maiden sae dear,
As she footed the floor in her holyday gear!
Woe is me; and can it then be,
That poverty parts sic company?
We met at the fair, and we met at the kirk,
We met i' the sunshine, we met i' the mirk;
And the sound o' her voice, and the blinks o' her een,
The cheerin and life of my bosom hae been.
Leaves frae the tree at Martinmass flee,
And poverty parts sweet company.
At bridal and infare I braced me wi' pride,
The broose I hae won, and a kiss o' the bride;
And loud was the laughter good fellows among,
As I uttered my banter or chorused my song;
Dowie and dree are jestin and glee,
When poverty spoils good company.
Wherever I gaed, kindly lasses looked sweet,
And mithers and aunties were unco discreet;
While kebbuck and bicker were set on the board:
But now they pass by me, and never a word!
Sae let it be, for the worldly and slee
Wi' poverty keep nae company.
But the hope of my love is a cure for its smart,
And the spae-wife has tauld me to keep up my heart;
For, wi' my last saxpence, her loof I hae crost,
And the bliss that is fated can never be lost,
Though cruelly we may ilka day see
How poverty parts dear company.
Wanton droll, whose harmless play
Beguiles the rustic's closing day,
When, drawn the evening fire about,
Sit aged crone and thoughtless lout,
And child upon his three-foot stool,
Waiting until his supper cool,
And maid whose cheek outblooms the rose,
As bright the blazing fagot glows,
Who, bending to the friendly light,
Plies her task with busy sleight,
Come, show thy tricks and sportive graces,
Thus circled round with merry faces:
Backward coiled and crouching low,
With glaring eyeballs watch thy foe,
The housewife's spindle whirling round,
Or thread or straw that on the ground
Its shadow throws, by urchin sly
Held out to lure thy roving eye;
Then stealing onward, fiercely spring
Upon the tempting, faithless thing.
Now, wheeling round with bootless skill,
Thy bo-peep tail provokes thee still,
As still beyond thy curving side
Its jetty tip is seen to glide;
Till from thy centre starting far,
Thou sidelong veer'st with rump in air
Erected stiff, and gait awry,
Like madam in her tantrums high;
Though ne'er a madam of them all,
Whose silken kirtle sweeps the hall,
More varied trick and whim displays
To catch the admiring stranger's gaze.
Doth power in measured verses dwell,
All thy vagaries wild to tell?
Ah, no! the start, the jet, the bound,
The giddy scamper round and round,
With leap and toss and high curvet,
And many a whirling somerset,
(Permitted by the modern muse
Expression technical to use)--These
mock the deftest rhymester's skill,
But poor in art, though rich in will.
The featest tumbler, stage bedight,
To thee is but a clumsy wight,
Who every limb and sinew strains
To do what costs thee little pains;
For which, I trow, the gaping crowd
Requite him oft with plaudits loud.
But, stopped the while thy wanton play,
Applauses too thy pains repay:
For then, beneath some urchin's hand
With modest pride thou takest thy stand,
While many a stroke of kindness glides
Along thy back and tabby sides.
Dilated swells thy glossy fur,
And loudly croons thy busy purr,
As, timing well the equal sound,
Thy clutching feet bepat the ground,
And all their harmless claws disclose
Like prickles of an early rose,
While softly from thy whiskered cheek
Thy half-closed eyes peer, mild and meek.
But not alone by cottage fire
Do rustics rude thy feats admire.
The learned sage, whose thoughts explore
The widest range of human lore,
Or with unfettered fancy fly
Through airy heights of poesy,
Pausing smiles with altered air
To see thee climb his elbow-chair,
Or, struggling on the mat below,
Hold warfare with his slippered toe.
The widowed dame or lonely maid,
Who, in the still but cheerless shade
Of home unsocial, spends her age,
And rarely turns a lettered page,
Upon her hearth for thee lets fall
The rounded cork or paper ball,
Nor chides thee on thy wicked watch,
The ends of raveled skein to catch,
But lets thee have thy wayward will,
Perplexing oft her better skill.
E'en he whose mind, of gloomy bent,
In lonely tower or prison pent,
Reviews the coil of former days,
And loathes the world and all its ways,
What time the lamp's unsteady gleam
Hath roused him from his moody dream,
Feels, as thou gambol'st round his seat,
His heart of pride less fiercely beat,
And smiles, a link in thee to find
That joins it still to living kind.
Whence hast thou then, thou witless puss!
The magic power to charm us thus?
Is it that in thy glaring eye
And rapid movements we descry--
Whilst we at ease, secure from ill,
The chimney corner snugly fill--
A lion darting on his prey,
A tiger at his ruthless play?
Or is it that in thee we trace,
With all thy varied wanton grace,
An emblem, viewed with kindred eye
Of tricky, restless infancy?
Ah! many a lightly sportive child,
Who hath like thee our wits beguiled,
To dull and sober manhood grown,
With strange recoil our hearts disown.
And so, poor kit! must thou endure,
When thou becom'st a cat demure,
Full many a cuff and angry word,
Chased roughly from the tempting board.
But yet, for that thou hast, I ween,
So oft our favored playmate been,
Soft be the change which thou shalt prove!
When time hath spoiled thee of our love,
Still be thou deemed by housewife fat
A comely, careful, mousing cat,
Whose dish is, for the public good,
Replenished oft with savory food,
Nor, when thy span of life is past,
Be thou to pond or dung-hill cast,
But, gently borne on goodman's spade,
Beneath the decent sod be laid;
And children show with glistening eyes
The place where poor old pussy lies.
HENRY MARTYN BAIRD
That stirring period of the history of France which in certain of its
features has been made so familiar by Dumas through the 'Three
Musketeers' series and others of his fascinating novels, is that which
has been the theme of Dr. Baird in the substantial work to which so many
years of his life have been devoted. It is to the elucidation of one
portion only of the history of this period that he has given himself;
but although in this, the story of the Huguenots, nominally only a
matter of religious belief was involved, it in fact embraced almost the
entire internal politics of the nation, and the struggles for supremacy
of its ambitious families, as well as the effort to achieve
[Illustration: HENRY M. BAIRD]
In these separate but related works the incidents of the whole
Protestant movement have been treated. The first of these, 'The History
of the Rise of the Huguenots in France' (1879), carries the story to the
time of Henry of Valois (1574), covering the massacre of St.
Bartholomew; the second, 'The Huguenots and Henry of Navarre' (1886),
covers the Protestant ascendancy and the Edict of Nantes, and ends with
the assassination of Henry in 1610; and the third, 'The Huguenots and
the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes' (1895), completes the main story,
and indeed brings the narrative down to a date much later than the title
seems to imply.
It may be said, perhaps, that Dr. Baird holds a brief for the plaintiff
in the case; but his work does not produce the impression of being that
of a violently prejudiced, although an interested, writer. He is cool
and careful, writing with precision, and avoiding even the effects which
the historian may reasonably feel himself entitled to produce, and of
which the period naturally offers so many.
Henry Martyn Baird was born in Philadelphia, January 17th, 1832, and was
educated at the University of the City of New York and the University of
Athens, and at Union and Princeton Theological Seminaries. In 1855 he
became a tutor at Princeton; and in the following year he published an
interesting volume on 'Modern Greece, a Narrative of Residence and
Travel.' In 1859 he was appointed to the chair of Greek Language and
Literature in the University of the City of New York.
In addition to the works heretofore named, he is the author of a
biography of his father, Robert Baird, D.D.
THE BATTLE OF IVRY
From 'The Huguenots and Henry of Navarre': Charles Scribner's Sons.
The battle began with a furious cannonade from the King's artillery, so
prompt that nine rounds of shot had been fired before the enemy were
ready to reply, so well directed that great havoc was made in the
opposing lines. Next, the light horse of M. de Rosne, upon the extreme
right of the Leaguers, made a dash upon Marshal d'Aumont, but were
valiantly received. Their example was followed by the German reiters,
who threw themselves upon the defenders of the King's artillery and upon
the light horse of Aumont, who came to their relief; then, after their
customary fashion, wheeled around, expecting to pass easily through the
gaps between the friendly corps of Mayenne and Egmont, and to reload
their firearms at their leisure in the rear, by way of preparation for a
Owing to the blunder of Tavannes, however, they met a serried line of
horse where they looked for an open field; and the Walloon cavalry found
themselves compelled to set their lances in threatening position to ward
off the dangerous onset of their retreating allies. Another charge, made
by a squadron of the Walloon lancers themselves, was bravely met by
Baron Biron. His example was imitated by the Duke of Montpensier farther
down the field. Although the one leader was twice wounded, and the other
had his horse killed under him, both ultimately succeeded in repulsing
It was about this time that the main body of Henry's horse became
engaged with the gallant array of cavalry in their front. Mayenne had
placed upon the left of his squadron a body of four hundred mounted
carabineers. These, advancing first, rode rapidly toward the King's
line, took aim, and discharged their weapons with deadly effect within
twenty-five paces. Immediately afterward the main force of eighteen
hundred lancers presented themselves. The King had fastened a great
white plume to his helmet, and had adorned his horse's head with
another, equally conspicuous. "Comrades!" he now exclaimed to those
about him, "Comrades! God is for us! There are his enemies and ours! If
you lose sight of your standards, rally to my white plume; you will find
it on the road to victory and to honor." The Huguenots had knelt after
their fashion; again Gabriel d'Amours had offered for them a prayer to
the God of battles: but no Joyeuse dreamed of suspecting that they were
meditating surrender or flight. The King, with the brave Huguenot
minister's prediction of victory still ringing in his ears, plunged into
the thickest of the fight, two horses' length ahead of his companions.
That moment he forgot that he was King of France and general-in-chief,
both in one, and fought as if he were a private soldier. It was indeed a
bold venture. True, the enemy, partly because of the confusion induced
by the reiters, partly from the rapidity of the King's movements, had
lost in some measure the advantage they should have derived from their
lances, and were compelled to rely mainly upon their swords, as against
the firearms of their opponents. Still, they outnumbered the knights of
the King's squadron more than as two to one. No wonder that some of the
latter flinched and actually turned back; especially when the
standard-bearer of the King, receiving a deadly wound in the face, lost
control of his horse, and went riding aimlessly about the field, still
grasping the banner in grim desperation. But the greater number emulated
the courage of their leader. The white plume kept them in the road to
victory and to honor. Yet even this beacon seemed at one moment to fail
them. Another cavalier, who had ostentatiously decorated his helmet much
after the same fashion as the King, was slain in the hand-to-hand
conflict, and some, both of the Huguenots and of their enemies, for a
time supposed the great Protestant champion himself to have fallen.
But although fiercely contested, the conflict was not long. The troopers
of Mayenne wavered, and finally fled. Henry of Navarre emerged from the
confusion, to the great relief of his anxious followers, safe and sound,
covered with dust and blood not his own. More than once he had been in
great personal peril. On his return from the melee, he halted, with a
handful of companions, under the pear-trees indicated beforehand as a
rallying-point, when he was descried and attacked by three bands of
Walloon horse that had not yet engaged in the fight. Only his own valor
and the timely arrival of some of his troops saved the imprudent monarch
from death or captivity.
The rout of Mayenne's principal corps was quickly followed by the
disintegration of his entire army. The Swiss auxiliaries of the League,
though compelled to surrender their flags, were, as ancient allies of
the crown, admitted to honorable terms of capitulation. To the French,
who fell into the King's hands, he was equally clement. Indeed, he
spared no efforts to save their lives. But it was otherwise with the
German lansquenets. Their treachery at Arques, where they had pretended
to come over to the royal side only to turn upon those who had believed
their protestations and welcomed them to their ranks, was yet fresh in
the memory of all. They received no mercy at the King's hands.
Gathering his available forces together, and strengthened by the
accession of old Marshal Biron, who had been compelled, much against his
will, to remain a passive spectator while others fought, Henry pursued
the remnants of the army of the League many a mile to Mantes and the
banks of the Seine. If their defeat by a greatly inferior force had been
little to the credit of either the generals or the troops of the League,
their precipitate flight was still less decorous. The much-vaunted
Flemish lancers distinguished themselves, it was said, by not pausing
until they found safety beyond the borders of France; and Mayenne, never
renowned for courage, emulated or surpassed them in the eagerness he
displayed, on reaching the little town from which the battle took its
name, to put as many leagues as possible between himself and his
pursuers. "The enemy thus ran away," says the Englishman William Lyly,
who was an eye-witness of the battle; "Mayenne to Ivry, where the
Walloons and reiters followed so fast that there standing, hasting to
draw breath, and not able to speak, he was constrained to draw his sword
to strike the flyers to make place for his own flight."
The battle had been a short one. Between ten and eleven o'clock the
first attack was made; in less than an hour the army of the League was
routed. It had been a glorious action for the King and his old
Huguenots, and not less for the loyal Roman Catholics who clung to him.
None seemed discontented but old Marshal Biron, who, when he met the
King coming out of the fray with battered armor and blunted sword, could
not help contrasting the opportunity his Majesty had enjoyed to
distinguish himself with his own enforced inactivity, and exclaimed,
"Sire, this is not right! You have to-day done what Biron ought to have
done, and he has done what the King should have done." But even Biron
was unable to deny that the success of the royal arms surpassed all
expectation, and deserved to rank among the wonders of history. The
preponderance of the enemy in numbers had been great. There was no
question that the impetuous attacks of their cavalry upon the left wing
of the King were for a time almost successful. The official accounts
might conveniently be silent upon the point, but the truth could not be
disguised that at the moment Henry plunged into battle a part of his
line was grievously shaken, a part was in full retreat, and the prospect
was dark enough. Some of his immediate followers, indeed, at this time
turned countenance and were disposed to flee, whereupon he recalled them
to their duty with the words, "Look this way, in order that if you will
not fight, at least you may see me die." But the steady and determined
courage of the King, well seconded by soldiers not less brave, turned
the tide of battle. "The enemy took flight," says the devout Duplessis
Mornay, "terrified rather by God than by men; for it is certain that the
one side was not less shaken than the other." And with the flight of the
cavalry, Mayenne's infantry, constituting, as has been seen,
three-fourths of his entire army, gave up the day as lost, without
striking a blow for the cause they had come to support. How many men the
army of the League lost in killed and wounded it is difficult to say.
The Prince of Parma reported to his master the loss of two hundred and
seventy of the Flemish lancers, together with their commander, the Count
of Egmont. The historian De Thou estimates the entire number of deaths
on the side of the League, including the combatants that fell in the
battle and the fugitives drowned at the crossing of the river Eure, by
Ivry, at eight hundred. The official account, on the other hand, agrees
with Marshal Biron, in stating that of the cavalry alone more than
fifteen hundred died, and adds that four hundred were taken prisoners;
while Davila swells the total of the slain to the incredible sum of
upward of six thousand men.
SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
The Northwest Passage, the Pole itself, and the sources of the Nile--how
many have struggled through ice and snow, or burned themselves with
tropic heat, in the effort to penetrate these secrets of the earth! And
how many have left their bones to whiten on the desert or lie hidden
beneath icebergs at the end of the search!
Of the fortunate ones who escaped after many perils, Baker was one of
the most fortunate. He explored the Blue and the White Nile, discovered
at least one of the reservoirs from which flows the great river of
Egypt, and lived to tell the tale and to receive due honor, being
knighted by the Queen therefor, feted by learned societies, and sent
subsequently by the Khedive at the head of a large force with commission
to destroy the slave trade. In this he appears to have been successful
for a time, but for a time only.
[Illustration: SIR SAMUEL BAKER]
Baker was born in London, June 8th, 1821, and died December 30th, 1893.
With his brother he established, in 1847, a settlement in the mountains
of Ceylon, where he spent several years. His experiences in the far East
appear in books entitled 'The Rifle and Hound in Ceylon' and 'Eight
Years Wandering in Ceylon.' In 1861, accompanied by his young wife and
an escort, he started up the Nile, and three years later, on the 14th of
March, 1864, at length reached the cliffs overlooking the Albert Nyanza,
being the first European to behold its waters. Like most Englishmen, he
was an enthusiastic sportsman, and his manner of life afforded him a
great variety of unusual experiences. He visited Cyprus in 1879, after
the execution of the convention between England and Turkey, and
subsequently he traveled to Syria, India, Japan, and America. He kept
voluminous notes of his various journeys, which he utilized in the
preparation of numerous volumes:--'The Albert Nyanza'; 'The Nile
Tributaries of Abyssinia'; 'Ismaeilia,' a narrative of the expedition
under the auspices of the Khedive; 'Cyprus as I Saw It in 1879';
together with 'Wild Beasts and Their Ways,' 'True Tales for My
Grandsons,' and a story entitled 'Cast Up by the Sea,' which was for
many years a great favorite with the boys of England and America. They
are all full of life and incident. One of the most delightful memories
of them which readers retain is the figure of his lovely wife, so full
of courage, loyalty, buoyancy, and charm. He had that rarest of
possibilities, spirit-stirring adventure and home companionship at once.
HUNTING IN ABYSSINIA
From 'The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia'
On arrival at the camp, I resolved to fire the entire country on the
following day, and to push still farther up the course of the Settite to
the foot of the mountains, and to return to this camp in about a
fortnight, by which time the animals that had been scared away by the
fire would have returned. Accordingly, on the following morning,
accompanied by a few of the aggageers, I started upon the south bank of
the river, and rode for some distance into the interior, to the ground
that was entirely covered with high withered grass. We were passing
through a mass of kittar thorn bush, almost hidden by the immensely high
grass, when, as I was ahead of the party, I came suddenly upon the
tracks of rhinoceros; these were so unmistakably recent that I felt sure
we were not far from the animals themselves. As I had wished to fire the
grass, I was accompanied by my Tokrooris, and my horse-keeper, Mahomet
No. 2. It was difficult ground for the men, and still more unfavorable
for the horses, as large disjointed masses of stone were concealed in
the high grass.
Back to Full Books