Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

his purchase from a well-known dealer, been used as a hunter, and had actually whose final closure of the business once belonged to Mr. Murray of Wantonmight have involved some social re- Walls. It was a precarious and delicate freshment, making Andrew more than subject as yet, at Kirkhill Manse, to ordinarily triumphant, candid, and well speak of that person. And no hint of nigh loquacious on the subject. Still, this could have pointed those coinciif he knew the fact, he did not then let dences of dreams, to which the mere it out, by the faintest allusion, that changings of horses might have led. “Rutherford” had some time or other

To be continued.

PRIAM AND HEÇUBA.

ILIAD. BOOK XXII.

[The scene preceding the death of Hector is, perhaps, the most pathetic picture in the whole

range of poetry. Achilles bas defeated the Trojans and driven them into the city, but has been prevented from following them close by Apollo, who, in the shape of Agenor, has lured him away in another direction.]

Thus, flying wild like deer, to their city hurried the Trojans; There from their sweat they cool'd, and assuaged the rage of their hot thirst, Leaning against the crest of the wall; and on the Achaians Nearer came, with their shoulders join'd, close locking their bucklers. But outside to remain, his malign fate, Hector ensnared, There in front of the Ilian wall and the Skaïan portals. And thus then to Pelides outspake Phoebus Apollo :

“ Why, O Peleus' son, in rapid pursuit dost thou urge me,-
Me, an immortal, a mortal thou ?-nor, blindly, discernest
That I deity wear, and that thy anger is futile.
Carest thou not to distress thy Trojan foes, who have fled thee
Into the city safe, while thou rushest devious hither,
Seeking me to kill whose life is appointed immortal ?”

Him, in wrath profound, thus addressed swift-footed Achilles : .
“Ill with me hast thou dealt, malignant most of the godheads,
Luring me thus from the wall ; else, sure full many a foeman
Earth had bit in his fall ere he reacht the Ilian ramparts.
Now from me thou hast snatcht my glory, and them thou hast savèd ;
Small is the cost to thee, nor hadst thou fear of requital.
Swift should my vengeance be, if vengeance on thee were allow'd me.”

Thus spake he, and in ire majestic toward the City
Bent his rapid career, like some victorious racer
When to the goal he his chariot whirls, swift scouring the champain;
Agile so in his limbs and his feet, advanced Achilles.

Him then aged Priam saw, first marking his motion,
Blazing like to a star in the sky, as he travers'd the champain-
Like the autumnal star, that, brightest of all in the heaven,
Shines in the stillness of night ʼmid a crowd of scantier splendours,
Him whom, to mark him forth, they call the Dog of Orion ;
Brightest of all the stars is he, but his sway is malignant;

Fever he brings and disease to the dwellings of mortals unhappy :
So did the brazen arms of Achilles shine as he moved.
Then did the old man wail, and smote his head with his two hands,
Holding his arms aloft ; and groan’d with pitiful accent
Uttering pray’rs to his son : but he in front of the portals
Stood, insatiate longing to join in fight with Achilles.
Him the old man, with hands stretcht forth, thus piteous urgèd :

“Hector! my son beloved ! wait not thus alone, I implore thee,
That dread man's approach, lest fate precipitate whelm thee,
Smit by Pelides' might; for alas ! far mightier he is.
Creature abhorred and feared! O were he to the Immortals
Only as dear as to me! Then soon would the dogs and the vultures
Tear him, stretcht on the plain, and my sore breast would be easèd.
Many a fair son now do I mourn, all reft and bereaved,
Slain by him, or sold to distant isles as a captive;
And e'en now there are two, Lycaon and eke Polydorus,
Whom I cannot discern ʼmid those who have 'scaped to the city,
My dear sons and sons of Leucothea, fairest of women.
But if they live in the Grecian host we will ransom them, surely,
Paying ransom in brass and in gold, for of such we have treasure ;
And great store of these gave Altes along with his daughter :
But if, already dead, they dwell in the mansion of Hades,
Great is the grief to me and to her, their mother unhappy;
But on the rest of Troy that grief will lightlier press if
Thou too, my son, fall not, smit down by the spear of Achilles.
Nay but, O son, return to the wall, that yet thou mayest save the
Sons and daughters of Troy, nor feed the glory and pride of
Him, Pelides, and so may'st escape the omen'd disaster.
Yea, and on me most wretched have pity, while I can feel it;
Me, ill-fated, whom Zeus severe in my desolate age shall
Dash to the earth, and fill the measure of woe he has sent me,
While my sons he has slain and dragged my daughters to bondage,
And has widow'd the wives, and seized the innocent infants,
And has dasht on the stones in the pitiless fury of warfare,
Naked dragg’d from their beds by the ruthless hands of the Grecians.
And me last, the ravenous dogs at the door of my mansion
Limb from limb shall tear, when some foe with murderous steel shall,
Stabbing or flinging the dart, dislodge my soul from my bosom,-
Dogs that I fed in my house, that ate the crumbs of my table,-
They shall lap my blood and wrangle over my body,
As it lies at the door. In the youth, even death has its graces,
When, fresh fallen in fight and markt with wounds on his bosom,
On the field he lies; then all is beauty and glory.
But when the silver beard and the hoary head of the agèd
Dogs obscene devour, as it lies cast forth and dishonour'd,
That is the last of woes in the wretched fortune of mortals."

So the old man spoke, and his silvery locks in his hands full, Tore from his head; yet still unmov'd was the spirit of Hector.

And on the other side his mother wept and lamented, Baring her bosom and showing her breasts on this and on that side, And with a flood of tears thus in wingèd accents besought him :

“Hector! O look on this, my child, and pity thy mother:
Yea, if ever from these white founts I nourisht thy childhood,
Pity me now, and shun to meet this terrible warrior
Down in the plain : remain in the walls, nor rashly expose thee,
Wretched. For if he slay thee, ne'er shall thy funeral pallet
Flow with the tears of me, the tender mother who bore thee,
Nor of thy loving wife : but far away from our wailings
There at the Grecian ships shall the dogs unclean devour thee.”

Thus with weeping words did the parents plead with their son, and
Earnestly prayed; but yet not so was Hector persuaded,
But still waited the mighty Achilles as near he approached.

W. W.

NEW BOOKS OF SPORT AND NATURAL HISTORY: A GOSSIP

FOR SEPTEMBER.

BY HENRY KINGSLEY.

ARe any of our readers in town still ? Corrib, B on Loch Awe, C at Tal-y-llyn, Not many, we hope, this droughty Sep- D in the Njordenfels, and E trying to tember day. We would rather wish break his precious neck, and those of that they may be scattered to the four the fathers of five large Swiss families, winds, after the manner of Englishmen, by scrambling into places where there is to meet again at the end of jolly Octo- nothing worth seeing compared to what ber to compare notes about what they he may see in perfect safety from below; have seen : nay, we are pretty sure that yet still I think there are some few the large majority are away, and conse- readers left to go on parade. We still quently we have visions of this present hear of marchings out from headNumber, in its elegant puce-coloured quarters ; the theatres are open; we wrapper, being read in all sorts of queer believe some few of the clergy are left places. We cannot help wondering in town, and are preaching to respectwhat its own brother, the May Number, able and attentive congregations; in would say if he had to go through the short, there must be a few thousand or experiences of this one. May (lucky so of reading people in town, who will rogue !) was in town at the very height be pleased to get a taste of the woods, of the season. He lay about on drawing fields, and mountains, were it only done room tables, and was cut with the most by deputy. With this view, therefore, beautiful paper-knives ever you saw, and we have three or four books to introduce altogether lived a rose-coloured exist- to our readers' attention, whose authors ence. This fellow will have a very we can recommend as trustworthy guides different time of it. After being kicked on this aërial expedition. about through country post-offices for a We begin by presenting Mr. Cornwall day or so, and surreptitiously read on Simeon.Away go streets, hot pavehis way by people with dirty fingers, ments, crowds, omnibuses, and dull who get deep into “Tom Brown," and care ; we take his hand, and are off

re driven mad by finding the leaves with him a-fishing. Down to the mileuncut just at the critical place—after all long meadows, where noble old Father this, I say, he will probably have his Thames pours his brimming green flood leaves cut with a fishing-rod spike, and over thundering lashers; where the be dropped into the bottom of a ferry i Stray Notes on Fishing and Natural His. boat to take his chance.

tory. With Illustrations. By Cornwall Simeon. But although A may be on Loch Macmillan & Co.

bemor

lofty downs heave up above stately and are no longer capable of viewing groups of poplar, elm, and willow; where the matter under observation without a “On either side the river lie

bias. As an instance -- the elderly Long fields of barley and of rye,

labourers in a village we are well acThat clothe the wold and meet the sky,

quainted with believe that a trouble· Down by towered Camelot."

some disease to which cows are subject Hither, and to many other pleasant in the udder proceeds from the bite of a places, both on salt and fresh water, you viper. It was no use my representing may wander with him, gathering as you to them that in cases of cattle and go both pleasure and profit from the horses being bitten by snakes (a not unstores of an acute and experienced common accident in Australia), they observer.

were invariably bitten in the nose, and And this is the place to say that the that the disease in question was natural. book before us possesses in an eminent Nothing upset their theory or shook degree an excellence which is, alas ! but their faith, until a new old man came in too rarely possessed by books on natural and attributed the whole affair to the history. I mean that the facts are hedgehogs. This staggered them. They thoroughly trustworthy. We have here seemed to think that there was some no second or third-hand evidence, or degree of probability in this. At all any of that reckless want of correct events, it was better than our reckless observation which would not be allowed and subversive theory of its being canfor an instant in any science but natural cer or some such ailment. Thereon, history, but which (in spite of the hearing our especial favourites, the example Humboldt has given us, of hedgehogs (we wouldn't like to trust trusting almost entirely to his own the rogues too near pheasants' eggs, observation, and receiving with great mind you), so grossly libelled, we left caution the facts of others) prevails to them in disgust. a very great extent. Some men seem The first two or three chapters of to think that if they have got the evi- Mr. Simeon's book ought to be read by dence of a gamekeeper, they have settled all anglers, and, what is more, remem. the question. “Why, good gracious !” bered. He is evidently a master of the say such men, "surely he must know; craft, and writes for masters, or those a man who has spent his life in watch - who aspire to be so. These chapters ing animals !” A gamekeeper is the consist principally of fishing "wrinkles," worst evidence in the world. He walks most pleasantly put together, and interthe world with a jaundiced mind. He spersed with amusing anecdotes, and has one idea-game, game, game. The might be read, we should think, even whole world is in conspiracy against by a German, who is not usually an him, from the young fellow who meets appreciator of the noble art. By-the-bye, his sweetheart in the wood, whom he what odd notions that intellectual naaccuses of poaching, down to the water tion have about fishing! We tried once rat that he accuses of eating his trout. to make some Germans understand what He is an invaluable fellow, and one who the spike on our fishing-rod was in will risk life and limb in the just defence tended for, by repeatedly sticking it in of his master's game, but he is not the the ground, and illustrating what an man to go to for facts in natural history. advantage it was to have one's rod His evidence and that of all other un- stand upright instead of laying it down; educated persons should be taken with but they left us under the full impres: extreme caution. This class of people ha- sion that, in case of the fish making off bitually generalise from an insufficient with a fly, we used the spike. as a harnumber of facts, often from one solitary poon, and bodily hurled our rod, tackle fact, often from a merely supposititious and all, at the retreating “trout." The fact, and, once having erected a theory, other day, in the “Fliegende Blätter," will cling to it with astonishing obstinacy, or “Kladderblatsch,!'. we forget which, there was a series of cuts illustrating a would prefer "going in” for the perch rake's progress. The young man has a and tench part of the business-either fortune left him. He takes to evil of which fish, properly dressed, is a dish courses. He goes down the course of for a king. Before leaving the subject ruin and dissipation, lower and lower of fishing we must call attention to hints each time, through twenty-one capitally given on sea fishing, which, though executed vignettes. In the twenty- only too short, were very much wanted. second he is represented as a desperate, There is plenty of room for a good long ruined, drunken gambler. In the book on this same subject, on which, as twenty-third he is depicted fishing with far as we are aware, though the works a float. The measure of his crimes is and brochures on freshwater fishing now full. It is time to draw the cur- would take a summer's day to count, we tain over the humiliating spectacle. In have not a single reliable treatise. the twenty-fourth and last he dies The second part of the book before miserably in jail.

us is given up to Stray Notes on Natural But to return to Mr. Simeon. His History. Here, as we said before, we account of Mr. Maltby's fish-ponds near have the experience of a close and conBrussels, and the method of breeding scientious observer, pleasantly told, with and rearing carp and tench pursued by a great deal of humour. To those who that gentleman, are exceedingly valuable retain the capacity of unextinguishable and curious, not more to the angler or laughter, we should recommend the scientific man than to the country gentle story of the Parrot Show, at page 163 ; man or farmer.

though “we are free to confess," as · Mr. Maltby is our Vice-Consul at they say in the House, and nowhere Brussels, and has given his attention else, that we think that Mr. Simeon's very much to the farming of fish-ponds. own story, at page 162, about the parrot Out of a pond rented by him near who was naughty at prayers, and how Brussels, carp of no less than thirty- he was carried out by the butler, and three pounds have been taken. The what he said when he was going out at largest carp mentioned by Yarrell is the door, is perhaps the best of the two. nineteen pounds; the largest which has A s a specimen of Mr. Simeon's way come under our own cognisance, was of telling his anecdotes, we give the caught in the buck stage on the Loddon, following. The subject is that of “Wart at Swallowfield, Wiltshire, which turned Charming," a rather out-of-the-way the scale at eighteen pounds. These are one :of a very exceptional size for England ;

"I myself knew an instance in which the but Mr. Maltby, in the February of last cure was so rapid and perfect, that any doctor year, took from his ponds twenty carp, might have pointed to it with pride as a con. weighing from twenty to twenty-five

vincing proof of the efficacy of his treatment. pounds each! We must not, however,

It was a case of warts; the patient being a

little girl of about seven or eight years old, be surprised at this. England is not

the daughter of a servant in our family. She the home of the carp. The carp is a came up one day to the house for some work, continental fish, and in his own waters and, when the lady who was giving it to her, may be expected to range much larger.

remarking that her hands were covered with

bad warts, noticed the fact to her, she said, These extraordinary large fish seem to

* Yes, ma'am, but I'ın going to have them be from about fifteen to twenty years charmed away in a day or two.' Very well,' old.

answered the lady, glad to have an opportunity We confess we have never partici

of convincing the child that the whole thing

was a delusion; 'when they are charmed away pated in a successful effort to make carp

come and show me your hands. But about a fit article for human consumption, six weeks had elapsed after this had taken having always, on these occasions, been place, when she was again told that the girl left with the impression of having eaten

wished to see her. She was accordingly shown

up, when she said, 'If you please, ma'am, you a pumpkin-pie, into which a box of

told me to come and show you my hands when mixed pins had accidentally fallen. We the warts were charmed away, and you see,

« AnteriorContinuar »