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itself again when it hears the voice of streams. Magnificent army of mists, whose array encompasses islands of the sea, and who still, as thy glorious vanguard keeps deploying among the glens, rollest on in silence more sublime than the trampling of the feet of horses, or the sound of the wheels of chariots, to the heath-covered mountains of Scotland, we bid thee hail! Lo! sunbeams are thy banners! And as they are unfurled over the seas, Ben Nevis blows his solitary trumpet, and a thousand echoes welcome the invasion !
Away, then, to the Highlands—away with us, gentle reader—away!-One week-one fortnight's flight, will add years to your pilgrimage here below; and your funeral, long long hence, will be attended by at least one hundred and fifty-seven children, grandchildren, greatgrandchildren, and children, whose descent from your body will seem absolutely lost in the darkness of antiquity.
" What! must we leave the beautiful lakes and mountains of England, which we were just beginning to understand and to enjoy ? and is it thus, Christopher, you cheat us out of our • Hints for the Holidays'?" Oh! gentle reader, hast thou only now begun to discover the character of the capricious old man ?
Modo me Thebis modo ponit Athenis.
At every twinge at our toe our will undergoes a revolution-and yet you complain of us for not being in the same mood for two months at a time! Heaven preserve us! in the same mood for sixty-two days and sixty-two nights! That is more than you are entitled to expect from a bottle of hock a hundred years old. Although the ancient gentleman's mouth is corked, his spirit is at work in the bin : and his character has continued to change for a century, from Sabbath to Sabbath. Of all our excellencies as an editor, we doubt if there be one more valuable than our total disregard of truth. What promises have we not broken! How many solitary number ones have we not brought forward, full of hope as founders of a dynasty of articles, and then left thein to stand disconsolate by themselves, unfollowed by the rest of the series!
Yet in all these, and our manifold other enormities, a man of discernment sees our profound knowledge of character, not only of individuals, but of human nature at large. It is gratifying to many principles in our mortal frame, to see a fine, showy vapouring article, with all the rashness of youth, rush into the magazine in glittering arms, offensive and defensive, challenging the whole periodicals of the age in which he flourishes, one after another, to mortal combat, and then sinking a No. I. into everlasting oblivion, before he has been permitted by fate even so much as to spit a Cockney. What reminiscence can be more solemn than that of the first part of an essay on tragedy, left incomplete, perhaps, by the death of the author, or some mismanagement of the clerk of the Balaam! How affecting to the subscriber of sensibility, a tour on the continent, terminating with the death of the ingenious author a few stages beyond Calais ! To be continued,” is never half so pathetic at the close of a communication, as when you are asterwards informed in the obituary, that it cannot be on this side of the grave. For our own parts, when we see an Epithalamiuin taking the place of No. II. of a promised series of elegies, although we feel as if the funeral baked-meats do coldly furnish up the marriage tables, yet such is the charm of variety, that while there is a tear on our cheek there is a smile in our eye, and we are willing to forget the unrejoicing dead for the sake of the happy couple setting off on the honey-moon. In short, on taking up a new number of Ebony, are you not often delighted to find, that there is not in it one single article that you had been led to expect ? Fairest of readers—you are at first a little angry or so, and pout so prettily that we wish we were by to kiss those sullen lips relaxing into a sunny smile. Tossing your scorn away with one glitter of your head, with all the fickleness of your sex you suffer your affections to be won by number for September (CXVII.), and forgetting Windermere, and Grassmere, and Rydal, as entirely as if they were air-woven waters of the sky, set off with Christopher North to the land of cakes and chieftains.
And how shall we travel? In a BALLOON? No, no. After all the boasted science of the age, what is a balloon but a bubble like that of the South Sea ? Why does not Davy or Leslie invent a rudder for the sky-ship? But the course of the currents above is all unknown, and in those regions we are ignorant of the nature of the trade. winds.
Do you long for wings, and envy the dove or the eagle? Not if you be wise. Alas! such is human nature, that in one year's time the novelty of pinions would be over, and you would skim undelighted the edges of the clouds. Why do we think it a glorious thing to fly from the summit of some inland mountain a way to distant isles ? Because our feet are bound to the dust. We enjoy the eagle's fight far more than the eagle himself, driving headlong before the storm. For imagination dallies with the unknown power, and the wings that are denied to our bodies are expanded in our souls. Sublime are the circles the sun-staring creature traces in the heaven, to us who lie stretched among the heather-bloom. Could we do the sanie, we should still be longing to pierce through the atmosphere to some other planet; and an elevation of leagues above the snows of Chimbarazo, would not satisfy our aspirations. But we can calculate the distance of the stars, and are happy as Galileo in his dungeon.
Well, then-shall we content ourselves with a stEAMBOAT ?
With the fairy floating palace the United King. dom? No. The sound of her enginery is like that of a horse whose wind is broken, or the director-general's haggis, that was a roarer. Give us one of the wooden coursers of the true old English breed, that trace their descent from the reign of Alfred, and that have braved for a thousand years the battle and the breeze, What though she must obey the blast-it is like a servant, not a slave. Gloriously she carries her motion, éven by a side wind; and when Eolus and Neptune clear the course, hurra! to the foaming thunder that rolls away from before her triumphant prows! In the blue sky how beautiful her cloud of sail! Nor desire we any other meteors than her streaming flags. No smoke accompanies her walk on the waters, unless when she rejoices, in peace or war, saluting the star of some “tall admiral,"
or commanding the foe of the Isle to haul down his country's ensign, and fall under the dominion of her wake.
Or shall we journey in a BAROUCHE ? Pleasantest of landcarriages, whether horsed with chestnuts or bays. Tree and tower go swimmingly by, and whole fields of cornsheaves seem of themselves to be hurrying to harvesthome. The whole world is a peristrephic panorama, and turnpike gates seem placed not to impede motion, but to promote. Village follows village quickly, even in a thinly inhabited country, so rapid is the imperceptible progress of the sixteen hoofs; and we drive through towns and cities from sun to sun.
Or what think you of a gig? Why, for bob-nobbing not so very much amiss. Yet where is the male or female human being by whose side you would wish to sit for five hundred or a thousand miles? When the steed stumbles, and down upon his nose- - where then are you, and where the wife of your bosom? Playing on the gravel at all-fours, a pastime unbecoming at your time of lives, and always accompanied with danger. Or if deluge-cloud attends you from stage to stage, slackening or quickening its pace by your example, what avails an umbrella, but to frighten the only animal on whom your salvation depends ? For surely you would not be so lost to all sense of the becoming as to hoist a hood to your shandry, and in such bideous vehicle drive through the hootings of a Christian population, however scant, and limited to a few wayside schools? Then, at rural inns, not an ostler in a thousand can harness a gig within many buckles of the right thing. You find a rein drawn through below the breeching, and the breeching itself unmercifully imprisoning the hams of honest Dobbin, who, at the first hill, presses his hurdies against the splash-board, (what a word !) and, in fear so undistinguishably blended with anger, that it would puzzle the acutest metaphysician to analyze the complex emotion, begins bobbling, and careering, and larking, and kicking, and funking, till you begin to apprehend that the short tour of the Highlands will be short indeed, and to curse the hour in which you read the “ Hints for the Holidays," that set you a-gig.
Perhaps you prefer HORSEBACK. If so, you must be a very young man, and can have seen very little of this world. In three days, the saddle has worn off a handbreadth of skin from your nag's back, and not much less than a hand-breadth from that part of your body most connected with the said saddle. The insides of your knees also, if narrowly inspected, will be found to be considerably inflamed ; and you begin to fear that you must have got the rheumatism in your shoulders, and eke a slight twinge of the lumbago. Thenceforth all is misery. Gentlemen's and noblemen's seats may all glide by, but the only seat you e'er think of is your own seat in the saddle; and you try it in every possible posture without permanent relief. Plasters are of no avail; they crunkle up, and if they fail, no posterior application can be expected to prove successful. It is fortunate when your nag has cast a couple of shoes ; for then it occurs to you, for the first time, to get off and walk. Finding it troublesome to lead the animal, you give a boy a shilling to take him to the nearest smithy. The urchin is no sooner out of sight than he sets off at full gallop, having provided himself with a switch, in the shape of a thistle or bunweed ; and, on your turning up to the abode of the village Vulcan, you find your forty-guinea roadster dead lame with bleeding pasterns; and the boy, the son of a poor widow with ten children, under the hands of the apothecary, with a fracture in his skull the size of a half-crown. Your purse alone can pacify the mother ; and you have to remain three days, viewing the stunted scenery about a clachan, whose name you in vain search for in your travelling-map, and that does not afford any edifice worth seeing except an old lime-kiln, perhaps, that is passed off for something built by the Romans.
But if in lad or manhood, and accustomed to use the limbs which nature has given you, why not be a PEDESTRIAN? Yes—delights there indeed are, which none but pedestrians know, and that come now softened to our memory through the mists of years. Much-all depends on the character of the wanderer; he must have known what it is to commune with his own thoughts and feelings, and be satisfied even as with the converse of a chosen