صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

though I trust they are not shallow: I ought to have been better-I know also that others have been as blamable; and I have rather a cheerful reliance upon mercy than an abject fear of justice. Or were it otherwise, I have a much greater fear of suffering than of death.

I had almost made up my mind to bestow a citizen to France, and I am mortified at finding any drag upon the intention--yet a drag there is. I have no doubt that the revolution has thrown that country a century back, yet she has qualities that might have hoped a better destiny. It has been suggested to me, that a winter in Paris might answer better.

I just now return from a long conversation with the truly royal personage (the D. of Sussex ) who saves you the postage of this. A few days must, I think, take me across.-I think of meeting some persons at Cheltenham.

As to waters, I suspect they are seldom of use. I am quite decided against them, till Charon pledges me on the Styx. Yours, very truly,

J. P. CURRAN,

MRS. BRUNTON TO HER MOTHER.

Nov. 21, 1809. FROM Carlisle we took a different route to the lakes from that which I formerly went with you. We drove, through a country as flat as the floor, to a little village called Wigton; and from thence to Keswick by a tremendous road; but leading at last through the vale of Bassenthwaite, one of the sweetest of all prairies riantes. VOL, VI.

3 A

The day which we spent at Keswick was the finest possible—not a breath of wind, and scarcely a cloud on the sky. We sailed and wandered about till it was quite dark. Great was my desire to take up our rest there for a fortnight; for in “ The Grange," the sweet little hamlet at the mouth of Borodale, there were a parlour and bedchamber to be let furnished.-Dread Lowdore is the most picturesque waterfall I ever saw ; but no more to be compared with Moness in magnificence than a little coquette, tricked out in gause and gumflowers, with the simple majesty of Milton's Eve.

We went, as formerly, by Ambleside to Kendal. The lakes are truly lovely, though not quite so unparalleled as when I last saw them; for I have since seen Loch Lomond ; nor do I think they can once be compared in sublimity with the approach to Loch Katrine.

Did you ever see Kirkby Lonsdale ? It is the most rural, pretty, interesting place imaginable. It is a true English village-English in its neatness-English in the handsomeness of its houses (Scotch handsome houses are seldom built in villages)—and English, above all, in its churchyard-smooth as velvet-green as emeraldsclean, even to the exclusion of a fallen leaf from one of the tall trees that surround it. From this churchyard, situate on a high bank overhanging the river Lone, you command a fine view of Lonsdale, rising here and there into gentle swells— gay with woods and villas. The river is not very English ; but it is a rapid, lively, transparent stream --- not creeping sluggishly through rich meadows, but dancing gaily to the sun, or dash

ing against tiny rocks into Lilliputian waves.

* * * *

on

Nous voilà at Harrowgate ;'and I believe there is no place in Britain to which you would not sooner accompany us. One hundred and forty people dine with us daily—all dressed as fine as Punch's wife in the puppet-show. Do but imagine the noise of so many tongues— the bouncing, banging, and driving of eighty waiting men-the smell of meat sufficient for a hundred and forty cormorants—and all this in the dog-days !! * Harrowgate itself is a straggling village, built

an ugly, sandy common, surrounded with stunted black Scotch firs—the only thing in shape of tree or shrub that never can be an ornament to any possible place. From a hill above Harrowgate, there is a view of prodigious extent, over the richest and largest plain which I have ever seen.-York, wbich is twenty-two miles distant, seems nearer than the middle of the landscape. Mrs. I., who is an Englishwoman, was in ecstasies. For my part, I must confess, that I think a little rising ground, or even a mountain, no bad feature in a landscape. A scene without a hill seems to me to be about as interesting as a face without a nose !

[ocr errors]

MRS. BRUNTON TO MRS. IZETT.

April 10, 1810. It is even so! You are sixty miles distant from Edinburgh, and I have lost what probably no time will restore to me; that “ medicine of life,” which it is promised that they shall find who have received a title to yet higher rewards. Since you left me I have a hundred times determined to write. I need not assure you that forgetfulness has had no sbare in my silence. Levity itself would not forget a friend (if levity could have a friend) in one month," one little month !” I am reminded of you by all my business and all my pleasures; for which of all my pleasures did not you heighten--and in what branch of duty did not you stimulate me? But all that is over! and I can only repent that I did not better use what might have been so eminently useful.

I thank you heartily for your account of your rambles at Kinnaird—would that I were the companion of them! In return, you shall learn my methodical routine. I write part of every forenoon, and walk for an hour or two before dinner. I lounge over the fire with a book, or I sew and chat all the evening.

Your friend Laura proceeds with a slow but regular pace; a short step every day-no more! She has advanced sixty paces, alias pages, since you left her. She is at present very comfortably situate, if the foolish thing had the sense to think so; she is on a visit to Norwood, there she is to remain for a few days; and a very snug old fashioned place it is! Though it should never be laid open to the public at large, you shall see the interior of it one day or other.

Last Thursday I paid a visit to a very different habitation-our chateau at St. Leonard's; though nothing has as yet the least tinge of green, it did not look very ill. It is as gay as ten thousand purple crocuses, and twice as many yellow ones can make it. I shall soon grow impatient to take possession, and, if we can manage it, I

believe we shall revert to our old plan of going there early ; if not, I must console myself with my friend Laura in Edinburgh. I wish I saw the end of her; but“ wilds immeasurably spread seem lengthening as I go."

If ever I undertake another lady, I will manage her in a very different manner. Laura is so decently kerchiefed, like our grandmothers, that to dress her is a work of time and pains. Her younger sister, if she ever have one, shall wear loose, floating, easy robes, that will slip on in a minute. * * *

As for 's new production, I believe I shall never have any personal acquaintance with it. It is an “ Historical Romance”-a sort of composition to which I have a strong dislike. Fiction disguises the simplicity, and destroys the usefulness of the true history; and the recollection of the true history deprives me of all history in the fiction. Besides, the foundation of -'s tale is a history as well known as that of the deluge; and she professes to adhere closely to truth, only dramatizing a little. Now, this “ dramatizing” is an undertaking too arduous for mortals. Shakspeare himself has, in some degree, failed in it; historical plays are, indeed, the most amusing of histories ; perhaps, as far as mere character is concerned, the most faithful. But he is sadly encumbered with the facts ; and no part whatever of the interest of these plays arises from the plot; so, at least, it appears to me. Now and all other misses, must pardon me, if I think that ladies are more likely to make their works interesting by well imagined incident than by masterly delineation of character. Ladies have,

« السابقةمتابعة »