Page images
PDF
EPUB

THOR, M. F.

“ Very soft and white his cheeks,

Your teeth are whiter than the snow, His hair is red, and gray his breeks ;

You are a great buck, you are a great beau;
His tooth is like the daisy fair,

Your eyes are of so nice a shape,
His only fault is in his hair."

More like a Christian's than an ape ;

Your cheek is like the rose's blume, This is a higher flight :

Your hair is like the raven's plume ;

His nose's cast is of the Roman, “ DEDICATED TO MRS. H. CRAWFORD BY THE AU

He is a very pretty woman.

I could not get a rhyme for Roman, “ Three turkeys fair their last have breathed,

So was obliged to call him woman."
And now this world for ever leaved ;
Their father, and their mother too,

This last joke is good. She repeats it when They sigh and weep.as well as you ;

writing of James the Second being killed at Indeed, the rats their bones have crunched, Roxburgh Into eternity theire laanched.

“ He was killed by a cannon splinter, A direful death indeed they had, As wad put any parent mad;

Quite in the middle of the winter ; But she was more than usual calm,

Perhaps it was not at that time,

But I can get no other rhyme!” She did not give a single dam.”

Here is one of her last letters, dated KirkThis last word is saved from all sin by its caldy, 12th October, 1811. You can see how tender age, not to speak of the want of the n. her nature is deepening and enriching :We fear" she" is the abandoned mother, in

“ MY DEAR MOTHER,--You will think that spite of her previous sighs and tears.

I entirely forget you but I assure you that

I think of you “Isabella says when we pray we should you are greatly mistaken. pray fervently, and not rattel over a prayer always and often sigh to think of the dis--for that we are kneeling at the footstool of tance between us two loving creatures of na

ture. our Lord and Creator, who saves us from

We have regular hours for all our eternal damnation, and from unquestionable occupations first at 7 o'clock we go the danfire and brimston."

cing and come home at 8 we then read our

Bible and get our repeating and then play till She has a long poem on Mary Queen of ten then we get our music till 11 when we Scots :

get our writing and accounts we sew from 12

to 1 after which I get my gramer and then “ Queen Mary was much loved by all,

work till five. At 7 we come and knit till 8 Both by the great and by the small,

when we dont go to the dancing. This is an But hark! her soul to heaven doth rise !

exact description. I must take a hasty fareAnd I suppose she has gained a prize-

well to her whom I love, reverence and doat For I do think she would not go Into the awful place below ;

on and who I hope thinks the same of

“ MARJORY FLEMING. There is a thing that I must tell, Elizabeth went to fire and hell ;

"P.S.-An old pack of cards (!) would He who would teach her to be civil,

be very exeptible.” It must be her great friend the divil !”

This other is a month earlier ;She hits off Darnley well :

“ MY DEAR LITTLE MAMA,-I was truly “ A noble's son, a handsome lad,

happy to hear that you were all well. We By some queer way or other, had are surrounded with measles at present on Got quite the better of her heart, every side, for the ilerons got it and Isabella With him she always talked apart; Heron was near Death's Door, and one night Silly he was, but very fair,

her father lifted her out of bed, and she fell A greater buck was not found there." down as they thought lifeless. Mr. Heron said, " By some queer way or other ;” is not this She then threw up a big worm nine inches and

• That lassie's deed noo'— I'm no deed yet.' the general case and the mystery, young a half long.. I have begun dancing, but am not ladies and gentlemen? Goethe's doctrine of very fond of it, for the boys strikes and mocks “ elective affinities" discovered by our Pet me.--I have been another night at the dancMaidie.

ing ; I like it better. I will write to you as

often as I can ; but I am afraid not every " SONNET TO A MONKEY.

week. I long for you with the longings of a “ O lively, O most charming pug

child to embrace you-to fold you in my arms. Thy graceful air, and heavenly mug ; I respect you with all the respect due to a mother. The beauties of his mind do shine, You dont know how I love you. So I remain, And every bit is shaped and fine. your loving childM. FLEMING."

What rich involution of love in the words " O thou great Governor of all below, marked! Here are some lines to her beloved If I might dare a lifted eye to thee, Isabella, in July, 1811 :

Thy nod can make the tempest cease to blow,

And still the tumult of the raging sea ; “ There is a thing that I do want,

With that controlling power assist even me With you these beauteous walks to haunt,

Those headstrong furious passions to confine, We would be happy if you would

For all unfit I feel my powers to be Try to come over if you could.

To rule their torrent in the allowed line ; Then I would all quite happy be

O aid me with thy help, OMNIPOTENCE DIVINE.” Now and for all eternity.

It is more affecting than we care to say to My mother is so very sweet, And checks my appetite to eat ;

read her mother's and Isabella Keith's letters My father shows us what to do ;

written immediately after her death. Old But 0 I'm sure that I want you.

and withered, tattered and pale they are now; I have no more of poetry :

but when you read them, how quick, how O Isa do remember me, And try to love your Marjory.”

throbbing with life and love ! how rich in

that language of affection which only women In a letter from "Isa" to

and Shakspeare and Luther can use — that " Miss Muff Maidie Marjory Fleming, power of detaining the soul over the beloved favored by Rare Rear-Admiral Fleming,'

object and its loss.

K. Philip to Constance she says: “I long much to see you, and

You are as fond of grief as of your child. talk over all our old stories together, and to hear you read and repeat. I am pining for Const.-Grief fills the room up of my absent

child, my old friend Cesario, and poor Lear, and

Lies in his bed, walks up and down wicked Richard. How is the dear Multipli

with me ; cation table going on? are you still as much Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his attached to 9 times 9 as you used to be?

words, But this dainty, bright thing is about to

Remembers me of all his gracious parts,

Stuffs out his vacant garments with his flee-to come “ quick to confusion.” The

form. measles she writes of seized her, and she

Then I have reason to be fond of grief" died on the 19th of December, 1811. The day before her death, Sunday, she sat up in

What variations cannot love play on this one bed, worn and thin, her eye gleaming as with string!

In her first letter to Miss Keith, Mrs. Flemthe light of a coming world, and with a tremulous, old voice repeated the following lines ing says of her dead Maidie :by Burns-heavy with the shadow of death, “Never did I behold so beautiful an object. and lit with the fantasy of the judgment. It resembled the finest wax-work. There was seat—the publican's prayer in paraphrase :

in the countenance an expression of sweetness

and serenity which seemed to indicate that “ Why am I loth to leave this earthly scene? the pure spirit had anticipated the joys of

Have I so found it full of pleasing charms? heaven ere it quitted the mortal frame. To Some drops of joy, with draughts of ill be- tell you what your Maidie said of you would tween,

fill volumes; for you was the constant theme Some gleams of sunshine mid renewing of her discourse, the subject of her thoughts,

and ruler of her actions. The last time she Is it departing pangs my soul alarms?

mentioned you was a few hours before all Or death's unlovely, dreary, dark abode? For guilt, for guilt my terrors are in arms; when she said to Dr. Johnstone, * If you will

sense save that of suffering was suspended, I tremble to approach an angry God, And justly smart beneath his sin-avenging rod.

let me out at the New Year, I will be quite

contented.' I asked what made her so anx“ Fain would I say, forgive my foul offence, ious to get out then ? • I want to purchase

Fain promise never more to disobey ; a New Year's gift for Isa Keith with the sixBut should my Author health again dispense, pence you gave me for being patient in the

Again I might forsake fa'r virtue's way, mcasles ; and I would like to choose it my

Again in folly's path might go astray, self.' I do not remember her speaking afterAgain exalt the brute and sink the man.

wards, except to complain of her head, till Then how should I for heavenly mercy pray, just before she expired, when she articulated, Who act so counter heavenly mercy's plan,

O mother! mother!'" Who sin so oft have mourned, yet to tempation ran?

Do we make too much of this little child,

storms.

who has been in her grave in Abbotshall | niece to Mrs. Keith, residing in No 1 North Kirkyard these fifty and more years? We Charlotte Street, who was not Mrs. Murray may of her cleverness—not of her affection- Keith, although very intimately acquainted ateness, her nature. What a picture the with that old lady. My aunt was a daughanimosa infans gives us of herself, her vivac- ter of Mr. James Rae, surgeon, and married ity, her passionateness, her precocious love- the youngest son of old Keith of Ravelstone. making, her passion for nature, for swine, for Corstorphine Hill belonged to my aunt's husall living things, her reading, her turn for hand; and his eldest son, Sir Alexander expression, her satire, her frankness, her Keith, succeeded bis uncle to both Ravelstone little sins and rages, her great repentances! and Dunnottar. The Keiths were not conWe don't wonder Walter Scott carried her nected by relationship with the Howisons of off in the neuk of his plaid, and played him- Braehead, but my grandfather and grandself with her for hours.

mother (who was), a daughter of Cant of The year before she died, when in Edin- Thurston and Giles-Grange, were on the most burgh, she was at a Twelfth Night supper at intimate footing with our Mrs. Keith's grandScott's, in Castle Street. The company had father and grandmother; and so it has been all come-all but Marjorie. Scott's familiars, for three generations, and the friendship conwhom we all know, were there—all were come summated by my cousin, William Keith, marbut jIarjorie ; and all were dull because Scott rying Isabella Čraufurd. was dell.

66 Where's that bairn? what can “ As to my aunt and Scott, they were on have come over her? I'll go myself and see. a very intimate footing. He asked my aunt And he was getting up, and would have gone; to be godmother to his eldest daughter Sophia when the bell rang, and in came Duncan Roy Charlotte. I had a copy of Miss Edgeworth’s and his henchman Tougald, with the sedan-· Rosamond, and Harry and Luoy' for long, chair, which was brought right into the which was “a gift to Marjorie from Walter lobby, and its top raised And there, in its Scott,' probably the first edition of that atdarkness and dingy old cloth sat Maidie in tractive series, for it wanted • Frank,' which white, her eyes gleaming, and Scott bending is always now published as part of the series, over her in ecstasy—“ hung over her enam- under the title of • Early Lessons.' I regret ored.” “Sit ye there, my dautie, till they to say these little volumes have disappeared. all see you ; ” and forthwith he brought them “ Sir Walter was no relation of Marjorie's, all. You can fancy the scene. And he lifted but of the Keiths, through the Swintons ; her up, and marched to his seat with her on and, like Marjorie, he stayed much at Ravelhis stout shoulder, and set her down beside stone in his early days, with his grandaunt him ; and then began the night, and such a Mrs. Keith ; and it was while seeing him night! Those who knew Scott best said, there as a boy, that another aunt of mine that night was never equalled ; Maidie and composed, when he was about fourteen, the he were the stars : and she gave them Con- lines prognosticating his future fame that stance's speeches and Helvellyn, the ballad Lockhart ascribes in his Life to Mrs. Cockthen much in vogue-and all her répertoire burn, authoress of The Flowers of the -Scott showing her off, and being ofttimes Forest :' rebuked by her for his intentional blunders.

“o Go on, dear youth, the glorious path pursue

Which bounteous Nature kindly smooths for you ; We are indebted for the following—and Go bid the seeds her hands have sown arise, our readers will be not unwilling to share our By timely culture, to their native skies ;

Go, and employ the poet's heavenly art, obligations—to her sister :

Not merely to delight, but mend the heart.' “ Her birth was 15th January, 1803 ; her death 19th December, 1811. I take this Mrs. Keir was my aunt's name, another of from her Bibles.* I believe she was a child Dr. Rae's daughters.' We cannot better of robust health, of much vigor of body, and end than in words from this same pen : “I beautifully-formed arms, and, until her last have to ask you to forgive my anxiety in gathillness, never was an hour in bed. She was ering up the fragments of Marjorie's last * ** Her Bible is before me ; a pair, as then called; all that pertains to her. You are quite cor

days, but I have an almost sacred feeling to the faded marks are just as she placed them. There is one at David's lament over Jonathan."

rect in stating that measles were the cause

Good care,

yes ! if

of her death. My mother was struck by the «« Isa, pain did visit me, patient quietness manifested by Marjorie dur- I was at the last extremity ;

How often did I think of you, ing this illness, unlike her ardent, impulsive

I wished your graceful form to view, nature ; but love and poetic feeling were un

To clasp you in my weak embrace, quenched. When Dr. Johnstone rewarded Indeed I thought I'd run my race : her submissiveness with a sixpence, the re

I'm sure, was of me taken,

But still indeed I was much shaken, quest speedily followed that she might get

At last I daily strength did gain, out ere New Year's day came. When asked

And oh ! at last, away went pain ; why she was so desirous of getting out, she At length the doctor thought I might immediately rejoined, . Oh, I am so anxious Stay in the parlor all the night ; to buy something with my sixpence for my

I now continue so to do, dear Isa Keith.' Again, when lying very

Farewell to Nancy and to you.' still, ber mother asked her if there was any. She went to bed apparently well, awoke in thing she wished : Oh,

you
would

the middle of the night with the old cry of just leave the room door open a wee bit, and

woe to a mother's heart, My head, my play " The Land o' the Leal,” and I will lie head!' Three days of the dire malady, and think, and enjoy myself' (this is just as stated to me by her mother and mine). Well, water in the head,' followed, and the end

came." the happy day came, alike to parents and child, when Marjorie was allowed to come “ Soft, silken primrose, fading timelessly.” forth from the nursery to the parlor. It was sabbath evening, and after tea. My father, It is needless, it is impossible, to add anywho idolized this child, and never afterwards thing to this: the fervor, the sweetness, the in my hearing mentioned her name, took her flush of poetic ecstasy, the lovely and glowin his arms; and while walking her up and ing eye, the perfect nature of that bright and down the room, she said, “ Father, I will re- warm intelligence, that darling child, Lady peat something to you; what would you like?' Nairne's words, and the old tune, stealing up He said, “Just choose yourself, Maidie." from the depths of the human heart, deep She hesitated for a moment between the par- calling unto deep, gentle and strong like the aphrase, · Few are thy days, and full of woe,' waves of the great sea hushing themselves to and the lines of Burns already quoted, but sleep in the dark; the words of Burns, touchdecided on the latter, a remarkable choice for ing the kindred chord, her last numbers a child. The repeating these lines seemed to wildly sweet ” traced, with thin and eager stir up the depths of feeling in her soul. fingers, already touched by the last enemy She asked to be allowed to write a poem; and friend,-moriens canit,--and that love there was a doubt whether it would be right which is so soon to be her everlasting light, to allow her, in case of hurting her eyes. is her song's burden to the end, She pleaded earnestly, · Just this once; ' the

“ She set as sets the morning star, which goes point was yielded, her slate was given her, Not down behind the darkened west, nor hides and with great rapidity she wrote an address Obscured among the tempests of the sky, of fourteen lines, . to her loved cousin on the But melts away into the light of heaven.' author's recovery,' her last work on earth :

[ocr errors]

COLONEL FREEMANTLE's articles on the South- ligion, par le Vic. de Sarcus ; ” “ Des Idées ern States, which appear from time to time in morales dans la Tragédie," by Paul Stupfer ; Blackwood's Magazine, have made the public “ Typographes et Gens de Lettres,” by Décemsomewhat eager for “ Three Months in the South- bre Allonnier ; “ Cours oral de Franc-Maconerie ern States, from April to July, 1863, by Lieuten- symbolique en douze séances,” par H. Cauchois ; ant-Colonel Freemantle,” which Messrs. Black- “ Voie Romaine en Limonsin: Fixation de la wood and Sons have on the eve of publication. Station de Prætorium,” par E. Buisson de Ma

vergnier,-are among the recent miscellaneous QUELQUES Mọts sur la Philosophie de la Re- French publications.

From The Spectator, 7 Nov. its happy chances," and who, then speaking THE EMPEROR'S SPEECH.

" in the name of France," that is, of almost The hush of strained expectation with irresistible military power, summons all Euwhich Europe listens for the annual speech rope to Congress to furnish the solution which of the Emperor of the French has this year" at the North as well as at the South”been amply rewarded. There is no living in Scandinavia as in Rome and Turkeysovereign, there is perhaps but one in history, "powerful interests” demand. It is not the who may compete as an orator with Napoleon status of Poland, or Italy, or Servia, or SchlesIII., and he has delivered no speech to be wig, or even of Germany, but of Europe, compared with this. Couched in that tone which a new Congress of Vienna is summoned of apparent frankness which is the specialty to Paris to decide. One immense but peaceof Bonaparte oratory, which was as marked able re-arrangement, to be based on the wishes on the 18th Brumaire as in the apology of the nations, and to disarm the“ subversive for Villafranca, or Prince Jerome's plea for parties” by surrendering “ narrow calculaevacuating Rome, almost colloquial in its tions,” to be enforced by irresistible power, references to the living facts of the hour, and and therefore without the sabre, and followed studded with the epigrammatic sentences by a general disarmament, this is the which royalty always avoids, it is full to re- splendid dream with which the Emperor of pletion of the imperial force which belongs the French summons the world to council. It only to great ideas uttered from a throne. is a dream, too, deep in his heart, for under Acknowledging with the faintest suspicion of his counsel may be heard an undertone of a mental shrug the result of the elections, menace. 6. Those who refuse he will suspect sketching slightly, but ably, the pleasanter of secret projects which shun the light of features of his own régime for the year,—the day.” There “ are but two paths open ; the budget which provides for conquest without one conducts to progress by civilization and a deficit, the immense additions to trade, the peace, the other, sooner or later, leads fatally five millions of children present in the pri- to war by the obstinate maintenance of a past mary schools, the expansion of French influ- which is crumbling away." ence on the American and Asiatic continents, There is something so striking in such a --the emperor proceeds to develop his plan proposal coming from such a sovereignfor the re-organization of Europe. And what something so utterly unlike anything which a plan!. Affairs like the insurrection in Po-ordinary diplomatists, or emperors, or preland, which may replace an old nationality, miers say, or even think, that the mind, bequestions like that of Schleswig Holstein, wildered by its magnitude, refuses at first to which may cover Central Europe with blood, arrive at any defined conclusion. The facts, even difficulties like the occupation of Rome, too, are, at first sight, in favor of the imperial the settlement of which may evolve a new era plan. Every man who knows Europe knows of religious organization, shrink for the mo- also that Napoleon speaks the truth when he ment into insignificance before this imperial says that the questions afoot must be solved, dream. It is difficult, as we read, not to for- and solved finally, or Europe will, sooner or get that the speaker directs the most warlike later,-and sooner rather than later,—be innation in Europe, not to imagine that we are volved in a general war. All diplomatists listening to some politician of the study in- know that he is stating the simplest fact in stead of the master of fifty legions. It is all the tersest language, when he says " the real, however, and it is an emperor of the treaties of 1815 have ceased to exist. GerFrench, whose words are themselves events, many agitates to change them, England has who declares that Europe is “everywhere generously modified them by the cession of agitated by the elements of dissolution,” that the Ionian Islands, Russia tramples them “ the jealousies of the great powers hinder under foot at Warsaw," and France, we may the march of civilization,” and that the “ day add, in Prince Jerome's words, “ tore them has arrived to reconstruct on a new basis the up at the point of the sword ” at Magenta and edifice ruined by time and destroyed piece by Solferino. They have ceased to exist. Eupiece by revolutions ;” who asks whether rope does want a new “ fundamental pact.” as we shall eternally maintain a state which is There is the gravest reason to fear that we neither peace with its security, nor war with shall establish one only after a war to which

« PreviousContinue »