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tunate lakers in the world for we are about to be treated -with a THUNDERSTORM !
In two minutes it seems two hours nearer night. Go to the door, and say if you ever saw a sabler sky than that of the growling west. A big, warm rain-drop plashes on your face as you gaze upwards, and a sultry smell comes from the dusty road and fields, hard in a long drought. Nothing stirs. The bive is without a bee even on the front board, and the swallow sits with her white breast mute in her nest below the slate-eaves. The dog has gone whining into a dark corner-and chanticleer crows not. The growl, as of a lion prowling here and there through a forest, comes and goes, yet forsaking not the dark sky-bounds that now emit afar off forked fire. But a cloud right over-head, that has been slowly sailing thither apparently without wind, flashes, and in a moment, as if the cope of heaven were of metal, it rattles with sharp, fierce, and long-continued thunder, bounding up and down, and giving way to a crash of echoes that with awful pauses roll circling along the tops of the mountains, and die away, one would almost think, into another world. A deluge drenches the only part of the vale now visible that near you. Showers are seen falling in floods, each a broad broken streak in the grim atmosphere at the hidden head of the vale, and in a few minutes, hundreds of white torrents are leaping through the mist, and the main vale-stream quickening its pace, and raising its voice, flows on covered with foam-bells, and ere nightfall will be in flood.
Nothing can be more absurd that to be angry with any man, woman, or child, who may be frightened out of his or her wits-end at thunder. The horrible closeness of the grim air oppresses the heart: and the soul sinks in the disturbance of the senses. In such cases it is cruel to scold. You might as well lose your temper with your wife for being drowned or suffocated. Neither is the danger by any means despicable. Out of a townsfull of people, thirty thousand strong, as many are killed and wounded in a pitched thunderstorm, as of the same number of Spaniards during almost any one pitched battle in position with our army-in the Peninsula—that is to
say-four or five. Each individual, too, feels himself in the brunt of the action; and all kinds of accursed conductors are at his ear and elbow. Every person who has behaved himself gallantly in fisty great decisive pitched thunderstorms, ought to wear a medal—and belong to the order of Electricity.
The rain is over and gone, and the white mists are wreathing themselves into a thousand forms all along the sides of the mountains, while all the vale is visible with its freshened verdure of meadows, trees, and groves. More and more of the glittering rocky heights are gradually revealed. Now one hill-top and now another rears its known character aloft out of the disparting shroud; and the two giants stretch themselves up, as it would seem, to enjoy the only blue region in heaven. A low, thick, awakening warble of joy is in the woods—the cattle again begin to feed—the lambs renew their gambols on the braes—and within the house smiles are returning to solemn, and somewhat pale faces; a more cheerful strain of conversation arises, and hark, one of the moun. tain-maidens without doors lilting, like a linnet, broken snatches of a song!
To the worthy family of Millbeck we bid a cheerful farewell; and unconsciously elated by the purity of the air inspiring as that gas of Paradise, which made Sir Humphry Davy dance, such is the power of our imagination that not an object in nature can help being beautiful. Poets and poetesses are we, one and all of us, that is certain, and perfectly willing to exclaim with Mr. Wordsworth,
“Oh! many are the poets that are sown
Yet wanting the accomplishment of verse!" The want of the accomplishment of verse imposes a necessity on us in writing in prose—but it does not prevent us from speaking in poetry-as will be admitted by all who have ever enjoyed the delight of our conversation. Down the glittering valley we straggle in ones and twos and for a mile together walk mute in the crowd of our own bright or shadowy imaginings. Silence is a thing indeed truly divine, and often do we wish for a world without tongues. Worldless ideas are alone worthy of spiritual essence; and not even a single monosyllable drops in upon the stillness of living thought. So speechless are we all-as clouds or ghosts,-as we turn our eyes well pleased towards the small serene Langdale chapel, from which fancy hears the sound of the Sabbath-psalm—the wild beauty of Elter-water is passed without encomium, its moorish meadows and wilderness of woods—the Brathay, without any accompaniment from our voices, is suffered to trill his jocund song, and in silence we bid the first far-off reappearing gleam of Windermere hail !—First a whisper, and then a word, and then an imperfect sentence, as single houses become more frequent, and the clustered hamlets enliven the cultivated hill-side-till collecting our scattered forces into one group on Rothay bridge, we salute beautiful Ambleside almost with a cheer, and see from the dimness that shrouds her church-tower, that twilight is closing on A DAY AMONG
MODES OF TRAVELLING.
(Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, 1826.)
Among the innumerable characteristics of Maga, no one is more surprising than that brought to light by the heat of the bygone summer. She is a salamander. While all the other monthlies panted, purpled, and perspired, Maga drew her breath serenely as on the cool mountain-top; the colour of her countenance was unchanged, except that its pinks and carnations glowed like a bouquet of prizeflowers, and the dew upon her forehead glistened but as that on the queen-tree of the forest.
Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, all in one, she came unscathed out of the very heat that set the snow on fire on Lochnagair; and she now dishevels to the winds of autumn the unsinged beauty of her flowing tresses. The other monthlies are as mummies, laid on their backs, with ape-like faces, sorely shrivelled in their yellow hue, shrouded in mouldly cerements, emitting a grave-smell-melancholy images of the wisdom of the Egyptians. Maga—the divine Maga-flourishes in immortal youth; her frowns are yet as death, her smiles as life, and when with ambrosial kisses she bathes his eyes, what author is not in Elysium !
Yet that all the other periodicals should have nearly perished, is a matter rather for pity than reproach. They could not help it. The drought was excessive. The drop in a thousand pens was dried up; and even Mr. Coleridge's patent inkstand itself stood liquidless as a sand-bottle. You missed the cottage girl with her pitcher at the well in the brae, for the spring scarcely trickled, and the water-cresses were yellow before their time. Many a dancing hill-stream was dead-only here and there one stronger than her sisters attempted a pas-seul over the shelving rocks; but all choral movements and melodies forsook the mountains, still and silent as so much painted canvass. Waterfalls first tamed their thunder, then listened alarmed to their own echoes, wailed themselves away into diminutive murmurs, gasped for life, died, and were buried at the feet of the green slippery precipices. Tarns sank into moors; and there was the voice of weeping heard and low lament among the water lilies. Ay, millions of pretty flowerets died in their infancy, even on their mothers' breasts; the bee fainted in the desert for want of the honey-dew, and the ground-cells of industry were hushed below the heather. Cattle lay lean on the brownness of a hundred hills, and the hoof of the red-deer lost its fleetness. Along the shores of lochs great stones appeared, within what for centuries had been the lowest water mark; and whole bays, once bright and beautiful with reed-pointed wavelets, became swamps, cracked and seamed, or rustling in the aridity, with a useless crop, to the sugh of the passing wind. On the shore of the great sea alone, you beheld no change. The tides ebbed and flowed as before-the small billow racing over the silver sands to the same goal of shells, or climbing up to the saine wild flowers that bathe the foundation of yonder old castle belonging to the ocean.
That in such a state of things, the London Magazines should have shrivelled themselves up, or, if the use of the active mood be too bold, and the passive more appropriate, should have been shrivelled up in the manner above alluded to, is, we repeat it, subject matter rather of pity than reproach. But the snow fires on Lochnagair have been extinguished, and Foyers, like a giant refreshed with mountain dew after the late rains, but with no intention of suicide, has flung himself over his cliff in a voice of thunder. The autumnal woods are fresher than those of
The mild harvest moon will yet repair the evil done by the ou eous sun; and, in the gracious after. growth, the green earth far and wide rejoices as in spring. Like people that have hidden themselves in caves when their native land was oppressed, out gush the torrents and descend with songs to the plain. The hill-country is