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“ Come, let us stray Where Chance or Fancy leads our roving walk."
SIR WALTER SCOTT.
GOLDSMITH'S POETRY. We really wish that Sir Walter Scott We may judge of the value of some would not devote his great genius to contemporary criticism, by the opithe furtherance of the belief in ghosts, nions of the most popular of Goldwitches, and persons with supernatural smith's poems, when first published. power. There is scarcely any one of Dr. Kenrick, for example, pronounced his glorious series of novels which has “ The Traveller” to be “ flimsy ;' not in it some blemish of this kind,- and he sneeringly said of the “ Desome prognostic verified, or some bonâ serted Village,” that it was “ pretty,' fide ghost at once. Even in Waver- but deficient in « fancy, dignity, geley, in which probably there are fewer nius, and fire." faults than in any, there is the Bodach Glas—while Guy Mannering is wholly founded upon a 'gipsy's prophecy,' The wreath which many a melting which is the alias its dramatizer has congregation has bound round the appended to the title. But now, he brows of an admired pulpit orator, has written a regular apology, if not has often been untwined by the hand defence, of the belief. The annual of his own printer. entitled the Keepsake, for 1829, opens with an absolute argument in favor of the possibility of human beings pos Uladislaus, King of Poland, ran sessing supernatural power, from his away at the sight of apples ; Henry most influential pen. Now Sir Wal- III., of France, could not endure a ter really should recollect that all this cat; the celebrated Scaliger was goes far beyond a joke. If his lucu- thrown into convulsions at the sight brations were confined to the buyers of cresses; Erasmus could not taste of a guinea-book, probably the extent fish without falling into a fever; an of the evil would be the making a few Englishman (name unknown) is said young ladies rather timorous at twi- to have died from reading the fiftylight, or perhaps breaking the rest of third chapter of Isaiah; Cardinal some antiquated lady of quality. But Henry de Cardonne swooned at the these things are copied into newspa- smell of a rose ; Tycho Brahe, the pers, and read by the mass of man celebrated Danish astronomer, tremand womankind, and, in those minds bled at the sight of a hare or a fox; in which the relics of these hateful Cardan, the famous philosopher, could superstitions are still lingering, we not bear eggs; the poet Ariosto abspeak quite seriously when we say horred baths; Crassus had an insuthat we doubt not they have the most perable dislike to bread; Cæsar de pernicious effect. If matters were Lascalle could not endure the sound left alone, we cannot but think that in of cymbals. these days this sort of thing would quietly fade away; but, at all events, The clergy of Lisbon (if I recolthe progress of education would crush lect right, it is an exclusive grant to it effectually. Why, then, should Sir
one convent, all the members of which Walter strive to pamper up these su are, and must be, of noble families) perstitions in their old age, and to claim every tenth fish that is brought give them renewed influence and to market; and no fisherman dares vigor.
sell a single fish from his boat, before
A NICE DISTINCTION.
he has brought them to market and sion, and hasten to write down the do-
enemy of his came running out of an
ambush, and inflicted a severe wound “ Before I begin to drink, my busi upon hinn before any of the bystanders ness is over for the day.”_" My bu- could interfere. The eldest son pursiness is over for the day, when I be- sued the assassin, the second bound gin to drink.”
up his father's wound, and the third
Which of the sons
loved his father best? Till very lately, the Chinese, in their maps of the earth, set down the When Demetrius conquered the Celestial Empire in the middle of a city of Magara, and everything had large square, and dotted round it the been plundered by his soldiers, he other kingdoms of the world, supposed ordered the philosopher Stilpon to be to be 72 in number, assigning to the called before hiin, and asked him latter ridiculous contemptuous whether he had not lost his property
One of these, for example, in this confusion? “No,” replied Stilwas Siao-gin-que, or the Kingdom of pon, “ as all I possess is in my head." Dwarfs, whose inhabitants they imagined to be so small as to be under the The forthcoming Novel, entitled necessity of tying themselves together the Castilian, written by the Author of in bunches, to prevent their being car Gomez Arias, is said to relate to that ried away by the kites. In 1668, the interesting period in the annals of Viceroy of Canton, in a memorial to Spain, when Don Pedro and his brothe Emperor, on the subject of the ther, the Count of Trastamara, conPortuguese embassy, says, “ we find tended for the sovereignty of Castile. very plainly that Europe is only It is likewise understood to embrace two little islands in the middle of the that romantic era in English history, sea.”
With such ideas of other na- when the Black Prince and his knights tions, it is not wonderful that they perforined such prodigies of valor, should consider the embassies and pre- though opposed to the united chivalry sents sent to them as marks of submis- of France and Spain.
As the simple and primitive inhabi- else falls within the wide and varied tants of the Highlands of Scotland, scope of the parochial superintendence unchanged in their manners for cen- of a Scottish country parson. This turies, and having a literature and a Reverend Gentleman was, as history of their own, blended with the would say, almost self-made; or, at singular but sublime superstition of least, it was difficult to say whence the Northmen, from whom they had came the means by which he received received their chiefs ; as they melted the rudiments of his education. His away from their mother country, and father was a poor shepherd, wholly were lost in the wastes of other lands, illiterate bimself, and, as one would a something which it would have been think, without any possibility of havnew and delightful for us to know, ing that ambition of bestowing instrucand of which we can now procure no tion upon his son which is so general knowledge, vanished along with them. among the cottagers in the southern That the change is or is not for the parts of Scotland. It is difficult inbetter, as far as physical wealth and deed to imagine how, in those times, comfort are concerned, is a question any notion at all of education could for others to settle; it is for us to exist in the glen. It lies upon a regret that many pages have thereby branch of a river in the very fastness been torn from the natural history of of the mountains, inaccessible on three man; and it is with the lost pages of sides, and can be entered only by two that history, as with a lost recollection narrow passes at the sides of a rocky in our train of thought, how triling island which divides the stream at the soever it may be in reality, we prize fourth, and near the confluence of the it more than all that we remember. Donhuil with the larger river of which Regret is of no avail, however. It it is a branch. The rebellion had just were better, just as the antiquaries of closed, too, and the landing and final the present time do with the ruins of retreat of Prince Charles were tales those edifices which would yet have only of yesterday. Nay, the country been entire but for the labor of their was in an absolute state of hostility : own ancestors, to put together and the M-Kenzie, the great lord of these preserve the fragments in the best parts, had gone into exile ; and the manner we are able.
halls of Elan Donan were mouldering Of these fragments one was the in their decay; but the hearts of the Reverend Donald M-Cra, who, for clan Cuinich were true, and not one more than half a century, had ruled shilling of the rents ever found its and directed the inhabitants of Inver- way into the Exchequer, or a civil donbuil in all matters of faith, and officer or soldier dared come to distrain morals, and gossip, and whatsoever them. The moment that a party ap
51 ATHENEUM, vol. 1, 3d series.