« السابقةمتابعة »
it, which he did with a twinkling in his eye, and a working, as of deep grief, in the muscles of his face; but in a minute he violently crushed the letter, put it in his pocket, and, turning anew to his foe with glaring eyes of anger, told him that all was ready. And now we shall only state generally, that, within an hour from the first provocation of the evening, this mortal and irregular duel was settled, and left Robson shot through the body by his antagonist. No sooner did Hawkins see him fall, than horror and remorse for his deed rushed upon him; he ran to the prostrate youth, attempted to raise him up, but dared not offer pity or ask forgiveness, for which his soul yet panted. The wounded man rejected his assistance, waved him off, and thus faintly but fearfully spoke :"Now, mine enemy! I will tell you, that you may sooner know the curse of God, which shall for ever cling and warp itself round all the red cords of your heart-That letter from my mother, which you saw me read, told me of the death of that sister Emily whom I so loved; whom you-oh, God!—who never recovered from your villainy. And my father, too!-Off, fiend, nor mock me!—you shall not so triumph,—you shall not see me die!" So saying, the wounded youth, who was lying on his back, with his pale writhen features upturned, and dimly seen in the twilight, with a convulsive effort now threw himself round, with his face upon the grass. In a fearful agony stood Hawkins, twisting his hands, not knowing whether again to attempt raising his victim, or to run to the city for a surgeon. The former he at length did, and found no resistance; for, alas! the unhappy youth was dead. The appearance of two or three individuals now making towards the bloody spot, which was near the suburbs of the town, and to which, in all probability, they had been drawn by the report of the pistols, roused Hawkins, for the first time, to a sense of his own danger. He quickly left the ground, dashed through the fields, and, without distinctly calculating his route, instinctively turned towards his native district.
As he proceeded onwards, he began to consider the bearings of his difficult situation, and at last resolved to hasten on through the country, to lay his case before his excellent friend Frank Dillon, who was the only son of a gentleman in the western parts of Galloway, and who, he knew, was at present residing with his father. Full of the most riotous glee, and nimble-witted as Mercutio, Frank, he was aware, could be no less gravely wise as an adviser in a difficult emergency, and he determined, in the present case, to be wholly ruled by his opinion. Invigorated, from thus having settled for himself a definite course, he walked swiftly forward through the night, which shone with the finest beauty of the moon. Yet what peace to the murderer-whose red title not the fairest duellist, who has slain a human being, can to his own conscience reduce? The cold glittering leaves on the trees, struck with a quick, momentary gust, made him start as he passed; and the shadowy foot and figure of the lover coming round from the back window of the lone cottage, was to his startled apprehension the avenger of blood at hand. As he looked afar along the glittering road, the black fir-trees upon the edge of the moor seemed men coming running down to meet him; and the long howl of some houseless cur, and the distant hoof of the traveller, which struck his listening ear with two or three batings, seemed all in the track of pursuit and vengeance. Morning came, and to the weary fugitive was agreeably cloudy; but the sun arose upon him in the forenoon, shining from between the glassy, glistering clouds, with far greater heat than he does from a pure blue sky. Hawkins had now crossed many a broad acre of the weary moorlands, fatigued and thirsty, his heart beating in his ears, and not a drop of water that he could see to sprinkle the dry pulses of his bosom, when he came to a long morass, which barred his straightforward path. His first business was to quench his thirst from a dull stank, overgrown with paddowpipe, and black with myriads
of tadpoles; there, finding himself so faint from fatigue that he could not brook the idea of going round by the end of the moss, and being far less able to make his way through the middle of it, by leaping from hagg to hagg, he threw himself down on the sunny side of some long reeds, and fell fast asleep.
He was waked by the screaming of lapwings, and the noise of a neighbouring bittern, to a feeling of violent throbbing, headach, and nausea, which were probably owing to the sun's having beat upon him whilst he lay asleep, aggravated by the reflection from the reeds. He arose; but, finding himself quite unable to pursue his journey, again threw himself down on a small airy brow of land, to get what breeze might be stirring abroad. There were several companies of people at work digging peats in the moss, and one party now sat down very near him to their dinner. One of them, a young woman, had passed so near him, as to be able to guess, from his countenance, that he was unwell; and in a few minutes, with the fine charity of womanhood, she came to him with some food, of which, to satisfy her kindness, rather than his own hunger, he ate a little. The air changed in the afternoon, and streaming clouds of hail crossed over that wild country; yet he lay still. Party after party left the moss, and yet he was there. He made, indeed, a show of leaving the place at a quick rate, to disappoint the fears of the people who had seen him at noon, and who, as they again came near to gather up their supernumerary clothes, were evidently perplexed on his account, which they showed, by looking first towards him, and then at each other. It was all he could do to get quite out of their sight beyond a little eminence; and there, once more, he lay down in utter prostration of mind and body.
Twilight began to darken upon the pools of that desolate place. The wild birds were gone to their heathy nests; all, save the curlew, whose bravura was still sung over the fells, and borne far away into the dim and silent night. At length a tall, powerful-looking man came stepping through the moss, and as he passed near the poor youth, asked, in slow speech, who he was. In the reaction of nature, Hawkins was, in a moment, anxious about his situation, and replied to him that he had fallen sick on his way, and was unable to go in quest of a resting-place for the night. Approaching and turning himself round to the youth as he arose, the Genius of the place had him on his back in a moment, and went off with him carelessly and in silence over the heath. In about half an hour they came to a lonely cottage, which the kind animal entered; and, setting the young man down, without the least appearance of fatigue on his part, "Here, gudewife," said he," is a bairn t'ye, that I hae foun' i' the moss: now, let us see ye be gude to him." Either this injunction was very effective, or it was not at all necessary; for, had the youth been her own son, come from a far country to see her, this hostess of the cottage could not have treated him more kindly. From his little conversation during the evening, her husband, like most very bulky men, appeared to be of dull intellect; but there was a third personage in the composition of his household, a younger brother, a very little man-the flower of the flock-who made ample amends for his senior brother's deficiencies as a talker. A smattering of church-history had filled his soul with a thousand stories of persecution and martyrdom; and, from some old history of America, he had gained a little knowledge of Upper Canada, for which, Hawkins was during the night repeatedly given to understand, he was once on the very point of setting out, an abiding embryo of bold travel, which, in his own eye, seemed to invest him with all the honours and privileges of bona fide voyagers. His guest had a thousand questions put to him on these interesting topics, less for his answers, it was evident, than for an opportunity to the little man of setting forth his own information. All this was tolerably fair; but it was truly
disgusting, when the little oracle took the Bible after supper, and, in place of his elder brother, who was otherwise also the head of the family, performed the religious services of the evening, presuming to add a comment to the chapter which he read; to enforce which, his elbow was drawn back to the sharpest angle of edification, from which, ever and anon unslinging itself like a shifting rhomboid, it forced forward the stiff information in many a pompous instalment. The pertinacious forefinger was at work too; and before it trembled the mystic Babylon, which, in a side argument, that digit was uplifted to denounce. Moreover, the whole lecture was given in a screaking, pragmatic voice, which sounded like the sharping of thatchers' knives.
and with knees knocking against each other, he stumbled out of the house, and making his way by chance to an idle quarry, overgrown with weeds, he there threw himself down, with his face on the ground. In this situation he lay the whole night and all next forenoon; and in the afternoon-for he had occasionally risen to look for the assembling of the funeral train-he joined the small group who carried his Emily to the churchyard, and saw her young body laid in the grave. Oh! who can cast away carelessly, like a useless thing, the finely-moulded ' clay, perfumed with the lingering beauty of warm motions, sweet graces, and young charities! But had not the young man, think ye, tenfold reason to weep for her whom he now saw laid down within the dark shadow of the grave?
In the evening, he found his way to Frank Dillon's; met his friend by chance at a little distance from his father's house, and told him at once his unhappy situation. "My father," replied Frank, "cannot be an adviser here, because he is a justice of the peace. But he has been at London for some time, and I do not expect him home till to-morrow. So you can go with me to our house for this night, where we shall deliberate what next must be done in this truly sad affair of yours. Come on."
It is unnecessary for us to explain at length the circumstances which frustrated the friendly intentions of Dillon, and which enabled the officers of justice to trace Hawkins to his place of concealment. They arrived that very evening; and, notwithstanding the efforts of Frank to save his friend, secured the unhappy duellist; who, within two days afterwards, found himself in Edinburgh, securely lodged in jail.
Next morning the duellist renewed his journey, hoping against eveningtide to reach Dillon's house, which he guessed could not now be more than forty miles distant. About mid-afternoon, as he was going through a small hamlet of five or six cottages, he stepped into one of them, and requested a little water to drink. There was a hushed solemnity, he could see in a moment, throughout the little apartment into which, rather too unceremoniously, he had entered; and a kind-looking matron, in a dark robe, whispered in his ear, as she gave him a porringer of sweet water, with a little oatmeal sprinkled upon it, that an only daughter of the house, a fine young woman, was lying "a corpse." Without noticing his presence, and indeed with her face hid, sat the mother doubtless of the maiden, heedless of the whispered consolations of two or three officious matrons, and racking in that full and intense sorrow with which strangers cannot intermeddle. The sloping beams of the declining sun shone beautifully in through a small lattice, illumining a The issue of Hawkins's trial was, that he was conhalf-decayed nosegay of flowers which stood on the sunny demned to death as a murderer. This severe sentence of whitewashed sill-emblem of a more sorrowful decay! the law was, however, commuted into that of banishment and after traversing the middle of the apartment, with a for seven years. But he never again returned to his nathin deep bar of light, peopled by a maze of dancing tive country. And it must be told of him also, that no motes, struck into the white bed, where lay something happiness ever shone upon this after-life of his. covered up and awfully indistinct, like sanctified thingpendent of his first crime, which brought a beautiful not to be gazed at, which the fugitive's fascinated eye young woman prematurely to the grave, he had broken yet tried to shape into the elegant body of the maiden as rashly "into the bloody house of life," and, in the lanshe lay below her virgin sheets purer than they, with the guage of Holy writ, "slain a young man to his hurt." salt above her still and unvexed bosom. The restricted O for that still and quiet conscience-those third din of boys at play-for that buoyant age is yet truly re-heavens within a man, wherein he can soar within himverential, and feels most deeply the solemn occasion of self and be at peace, where the image of God shines down, death-was heard faint and aloof from the house of mourn- never dislimned nor long hid by those wild racks and ing. This, and the lonely chirrup of a single sparrow deep continents of gloom which come over the soul of the from the thatch; the soft purring of the cat at the sunny blood-guilty man! pane; the muffled tread of the mourners over the threshold; and the audible grief of that poor mother, seemed, instead of interruption, rather parts of the solemn still
As Hawkins was going out, after lingering a minute in this sacred interior, he met, in the narrow passage which led to the door, a man with the coffin, on the lid of which he read, as it was pushed up to his very face, "Emily Robson, aged 22." The heart of the murderer -the seducer-was in a moment as if steeped in the benumbing waters of petrifaction: he was horrified: he would fain have passed, but could not for want of room; and as the coffin was not to be withdrawn in accommodation to him, he was pushed again into the interior of the cottage to encounter a look of piercing recognition from Emily's afflicted mother, who had started up on hearing the hollow grating of the coffin as it struck occasionally on the walls of the narrow entrance. "Take him away-take him away-take him away!" she screamed, when she saw Hawkins, and pressed her face down on the white bed of death. As for the youth, who was fearfully conscious of another bloody woe which had not yet reached her heart, and of which he was still the author, and who saw, moreover, that this poor mother was now come to poverty, probably from his own first injury against the peace of her family, he needed not to be told to depart. With conscience, that truest conducting-rod, flashing its moral electricities of shame and fear,
MR M'DONALD'S STATUES.
THE exhibition of these fine works of art opened on Thursday. It was a glad day for Scotland. She has distinguished herself in literature and science ;-in painting and architecture she has of late years rapidly advanced; and now sculpture, the most lofty perhaps, because the most severe, of the arts, assumes her hitherto vacant station by the side of her sisters. Independently altogether of the high merits of the statues, it is delightful to observe the perseverance and devotion to his art exhibited by Mr M'Donald in undertaking, and in the course of a few months completing, such a colossal work as that we are about to notice-the more particularly as he commenced his enterprise almost entirely unsupported by the sympathizing expectations of friends, or any prospect of patronage. Nor should we omit to allude, in passing, to the prompt and liberal manner in which the Directors of the Royal Institution have met his exertions. And these things being premised, let us turn to the work itself, which is of a kind that can stand the most severe criticism.
The subject of this piece of statuary is the story of Ajax rescuing the body of Patroclus. It is expressed by a group of three colossal figures. The centre figure is Ajax, bearing on his left arm the body of Patroclus; the right is raised in act to strike, the body is inclined forward as if advancing, and slightly swayed to the right side, to enable him to deal the heavier blow. To the right of Ajax, and rather crossing his onward path, is a fallen Trojan warrior. He stems himself up on his right arm, interposing the left, from which the shield has been beaten, in a last despairing attempt to ward off the descending blow of his enemy. The long reclining posture of this figure, the forward bend of Ajax, the relaxed and pensile body of Patroclus, bring the whole group within a condensed and graceful outline, while their individual lines flow with the utmost harmony into each other. At the same time, the appearance of onward motion given by the direction of the different lines to the group, communicates a simplicity and impetuosity of expression, carrying at once to the heart the fierce poetry of the story. We have never seen any thing in sculpture, where the seemingly incompatible requisites of in- | tense power of expression, and harmonious beauty of arrangement, were more happily blended, and that so easily and unconstrainedly as to appear the consequence of a happy inspiration.
On proceeding to examine the work in detail, we find everywhere individual traits which excite our admiration. We have noticed how happily the artist has solved the difficult problem of uniting the two extreme requisites of art. We have now to advert to his mastery of a scarcely minor difficulty, namely, the successful adherence to the truth of nature, in forms to which he has imparted an ideal strength and perfection of contour. A distinguished anatomist of this city remarked, that he could read a lecture on the muscles from the figure of the fallen warrior, so correct is its anatomy. In addition to this, it seems to us that Mr M'Donald has succeeded in imparting to the surface of his statues, that apparent sensibility which characterises the surface of the human body. He has also marked, with a delicacy and truth we have never seen surpassed, the universal relaxation in the pendent body of the dead man, and the quiet of death in his features. The repose of Patroclus' countenance is finely contrasted with the stern, calculating look of Ajax, concentrating his forces for the blow, seeking the best spot to plant it, and measuring his distance; as also with the look of unsubdued defiance turned up to him by his prostrate foe, while the arm upon which the Trojan bears himself up from the earth, appears to the eye strained by the incumbent weight.-We are unwilling, with a work of such decided genius, to descend to petty cavils: nor, indeed, does it afford much room for them. The only thing we desiderate is, that Mr M'Donald would give a greater appearance of massiveness to the sword of Ajax. Its present size scarcely corresponds with the colossal character of the piece.
These imperfect remarks are all that we have had time to throw together on this interesting subject; to which, however, we may perhaps return. In the meantime, we hesitate not to predict, that this production will form an era in the history of British statuary; and we feel proud that it has been achieved by another of the long list of Scottish peasants, (a noble breed of men,) the power of whose genius has been able to surmount all the disadvantages of their station.
NEWS OF OUR EDINBURGH ARTISTS.-Mr M'Donald has been induced to exhibit the work we have just described, at this empty season, by the offer of the Directors of the Institution to let him have their room gratis, until they require it for their own purposes. The statues will, by this arrangement, be seen by those strangers of distinction who visit Edinburgh during the autumn; and the exhibition will remain open a sufficient length of
time to admit of its being visited by the natives on their return. What may be its success, it is not easy to preM'Donald, although he has raised himself in life by his own talents alone, is, unfortunately, a regular artist, and the crowd are generally attracted only by what is done by any one out of his own profession. A lawyer preaching a sermon, a Quaker performing Charles Surface, or drawings executed by a man without hands, collect a mob at any time. Besides, sculpture is of all the arts the most abstracted and severe; that which the most requires, for its due appreciation, a long and intimate acquaintance with its productions. Still we hope that M'Donald's merits may meet with the encouragement they deserve.-Allan has gone to France and Italy for a couple of years. He travels for the benefit of his health, and the condition of an invalid is not favourable for study. But whoever knows Allan, knows that no moment in which he is capable of exertion will be lost. May he come back to us with established health, and as willing and able as ever to make glad our evenings by the genial flow of his wit!-We shall take an early opportunity of noticing the highly-interesting collection of casts belonging to this body, and of mentioning Allan's successor as master of the Trustees' Academy.—Lauder has lately executed two or three landscape sketches, which evince an exquisite feeling of the beautiful in this branch of the art. He is also concocting a large historical piece, and we are glad to perceive that he has a high aim in his professional exertions.-Watson Gordon has just finished some very noble portraits, among which are Lord Dalhousie and his lady, and Mrs Deans, in her splendid Lalla Rookh dress, in which she appeared at our last fancy ball. This latter picture, which is full-length, is among the very finest efforts of Watson Gordon's genius.-Duncan is busy on "Last May a braw wooer cam down the lang glen." In expression and felicitous colouring, it far surpasses any of his former exertions.-Angus Fletcher is engaged on a monumental design, which promises well. We have not yet seen any work of this young artist which we could exactly say evinces great power; but he has a correct taste, fine perception of the beautiful, and great happiness in catching likenesses.-Most of our other artists are scattered through the country-some north, some south --some, like bees, to return home with honied treasuresome painting old dowagers, and reaping the golden fruits of their labours.-Gibb, a promising young painter, has been in Westmoreland, taking many delightful views, under the direction of Professor Wilson, who means to have a selection of them engraved for his forthcoming work, illustrative of the "lights and shadows" of the Lake scenery. We have already paid a compliment to the Directors of the Institution, and they will not take it amiss if we now venture to ask them, in a tone of remonstrance, what use they intend to make of the works of art which they are gradually amassing? It is well, that by affording the artists opportunities of coming be fore the public, and by occasionally purchasing a work of merit, they give a stimulus to art. But it would be better if they paid a little attention to the lodging and arrangement of their acquisitions. At present they lie or hang scattered around the octagon and the long room, a manner that gives these apartments much the appearance of a lumber-garret. Yet there are among them some pictures of considerable pretensions. There is also a collection of casts from the Elgin marbles, presented to the Institution by the noble importer, which, from the excellency of their execution, are scarcely less valuable to the artist and student than the originals. These might easily be so arranged as to give to the seemingly dismantled rooms an elegant appearance; and, what is of far greater importance, were they thus arranged, and made patent at intervals to the public, they might have a most beneficial influence in improving the national taste.
EDINA! desert of forsaken stone!
(Yet fair in all thy summer emptiness,) Why should I wander through thy streets alone,Among the tombs a ghost companionless? There's not a lawyer's clerk but has gone off, Like an ill-loaded gun, straight to some_moor; There's not a tailor, to escape the scoff
Of brother tailors, but now takes a tour. One cow would dine the people who remain
For a whole week ;-one baker bake too much :
I hold him, therefore, perfectly insane,
Or lazier than the laziest of the Dutch,
II. SCOTCH TOWNS.
Accept a catalogue of the Scottish towns
III. ON CROSSING THE BORDER.
Bright, merry England! mountainless and green,
Thy tidy damsels, and thy bluff John Bulls; Welcome thy cities, from Carlisle to York,
Thy hamlet spires, and busy village schools'; And welcome, O! more welcome than all these, Thy ale delicious and thy Stilton cheese!
Were I to choose a country town to live in,
That soothes me like the page of Holy Writ:
When I first enter'd it, and the glad sun threw,
In the deep thoughts that fill'd my bosom here!
V. COUNTRY TOWNS.
But, God forbid that ever I should dwell,
In all men's necks, in hopes to find out hairs;
Haggling with butchers, quarrelling with bakers, Without a friend but some psalm-singing sniveller, Whose family is like a bunch of undertakers :Rather than suffer such a life as this,
I'd, squib-like, leave the world with one small crack and hiss.
Away-away into the land of lakes!
Away into the depths of mountain scenery!
And Grandeur learns to moralise his lot.
Mocks with resistless satire life's vain state; Let pomp fall prostrate on the mountain sod, And feel the presence of the unseen God.
Afloat! afloat! on sunny Windermere,
It throbs it bounds! am again a boy!
VII. ELLERAY. *
A poet's home! and worthy so to be!Such as is seen by Arno's classic stream, The seat of Professor Wilson.