صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]



was constantly fixed on the ceiling, and the low thick mut- on his breeches, and proceed in all other respects stark tering of his lips had been incessant during the night. At naked to the basin. Arrived at the basin, Hortator thus four o'clock, he bounced out of bed, escaped unnoticed, passspeaketh,—“ Dip the face two or three times in a basin ed the outer door of the hospital, and ran, naked as he was,

of cold water. sereral yards in the direction of his home; but here he was

The eyes may be either open on immer. overtaken by the people of the pesthouse; he had just sunk sion, or, as it may be easier on beginning, while under the down quite exhausted. The strength of death, which had

water. After this, water should be squirted briskly into carried bim thus far, was now gone; and with the help the eyes by a syringe. On the first trials they may be of two Arabs, he was borne back to his dungeon. (for it closed, and opened immediately after the dash; but they deserved no better name,) trailing his feet, and his head will soon be able to bear the shock when open. Water sank on his bosom. I saw him two hours after this: the should then be squirted against each ear. You must bubo was the size of a small orange, the two livid spots bad become large carbuncles, his eyes were glazed, yet unpatu

next, with the hands, and using soap, wash well the armrally brilliant, and his fingers were playing with the bed. pits," &c. &c. Is it not plain from this, that the poor clothes

. At dusk the rattling in the throat was accompanied squirting wretch must have bleared and bloodshot eyes, with spasms of the muscles of the neck; these went off, filled with rheum, hairs, straws, spiders' webs, and all and after a couple of bours, without any apparent suffering, manner of unclean things? Imagine a beautiful girl at he died."-Vol. I. p. 233-6.

her morning toilet, presenting one of this dirty old booby's We recommend Mr Madden's work to our readers as squirts at her clear blue laughing eyes ! - Washing under one full of interesting information; and, on the whole, the armpits, too! Faugh! But the washing business is considering that the author is a young man, as wonder- not yet over :-“ In some time after, say about half an fully free of faults.

hour, the eyes should be bathed with warm water. The

simplest way to do this is with a soft linen rag, kept for Simplicity of Health. Exemplified by Hortator. Second

the purpose. The eyes should then be well dried with a Edition, greatly enlarged. London. Effingham Wil. clean towel.”. All this, we are persuaded, would not 1829.

keep Hortator's eyes clean for one quarter of an hour ;

there is a natural foulness about them, which the “ mulAn immense qnantity of drivel has found its way into titudinous seas” could not wash away. books professing to give an account of the best mode of Passing over, with great regret, the exquisite chapter preserving health ; but of all the drivel it has ever been on Shaving, we come to something touching the proper our lot to peruse, that contained in this work, entitled the treatment of the feet, which we cannot omit. Upon the

Simplicity of Health,” is the most pre-eminent. The question relating to boots or shoes, quoth Hortator, author, who, by his own confession, does not belong to the were my opinion asked, I should be in favour of boots, medical profession, is evidently a weak, hypochondriacal, and would recoinmend them to all who can bear the exmiddle-aged, unmarried man, living in some obscure way pense. They may save one from hurts in the ankles and in the heart of London, a clerk probably in some public shins, from scalds, and from that most direful of all accidents, office, and an old wife in every thing but external forma- the horrible effects of the bite of a mad dog!They may tion. This poor, white, dying-looking object, chooses to indeed, and this is the reason why Hortator wears them. christen himself “ Hortator,” and has the insolence to Yet even in boots, “ walking should not be carried to suppose that he can give instructions to “ much better excess, or it may be injurious.”—“ Persons have somemen” on the proper mode of regulating their stomach and times suffered seriously by going out on long pedestrious bowels. The subject is a nasty one at the best, and none excursions with others of superior powers. Some can but a “ lily-livered knave” would voluntarily undertake walk very fast, even four miles an hour (!) and continue it . However, if Hortator had gone a single step beyond it for the day ; while there are many who could not, the old advice, that we should not eat or drink too much, without much labour, go at a greater rate than two for and that we should take neither too much nor too little several hours" (!)-“ A man who cannot, without disexercise, we could have forgiven him ; but the pompous tressing exertion, walk more than fifteen or twenty miles, blockhead has only broken down this old maxim into fifty should not go out with those who think little of thirty or thousand little bits, and his way of administering each forty. If, contrary to a previous understanding,” (for little bit is to us worse than a dose of ipecacuanha. We Heaven's sake, attend to the wisdom of this advice,) " he shall give our readers a specimen or two, and we shall find them determined to go farther than may suit his endeavour to select the most ridiculous, rather than the strength, he should turn back in time.” We wonder how most disgusting, for this is the only alternative.

many miles Hortator could walk; and we should like to After a conceited and egotistical Introduction, in which see the creature, whose notion is that four miles an hour the body has inserted Mr Abernethy's “ character of bis is “ very fast ;"—he must be descended from a long line work by permission,” and which character is just as slight- of tailors, who have bred in and in, till the imbecile race ly laudatory as it could well be, we come to the chapter has ended in the scarecrow who has spawned the “ Simwhich contains Hortator's first rules for the preservation plicity of Health.” After a walk of a mile and a half, of health. It is a chapter on Washing. Hortator, at Hortator has doubtless blisters on his feet, and he is the outset, like a bilious Cockney as he is, lays it down therefore able to talk with peculiar unction on that imas “a safe position,” that “ every ailment, however trif- portant subject. He openeth his mouth and saith—“ For ling, even a toothach or a corn on the toe,” (and of blisters on the feet, from walking, there are numerous course the prick of a pin) “ contributes its share in remedies recorded,” (by our best historians, we presume.) abridging life.” This “safe position” being first esta- By improper treatment, they are often long in healing. blished, it necessarily follows, that the most momentary Old soldiers (!) ought to be able to give good information disagreeable sensation should be scrupulously avoided. on the subject ; yet we are still without any certain preHence one of the ninny's first rules is, —“No one should ventive or cure. I can only recommend my own practice, rise immediately on awakening ; if one be determined or which is, to let the water out with a needle on stepping into obliged then to get up, he should remain two or three bed, and rub the part with tallow-candle grease." This is minutes until he be perfectly collected. He should next a splendid discovery, and how vivid the picture it presents throw off the quilt, or some of the outside covering, so to the mind! We have the whole scene before us. We that he may cool gradually, and remain a minute or two see Hortator “ stepping into bed" with a needle in one longer.” Was there ever such a hen? Instead of spring. hand, the seat of honour of a tallow candle in the other, ing up light and rosy into the air of morning, the shiver and an immense yellow-looking blister on his heel ;-we ing spoony lies " gradually cooling,” and gathering to- see the needle pierce the cuticle, the gush of water, the gether all his courage for the mighty effort he is about to instant application of the tallow candle, and the clean and make. But suppose him up at last. He is then to pull comfortable air with which Hortator then wraps himself

up in the blankets, resigning himself to his nightly snore.

The History of Scotland, from the Earliest Period to the Perhaps, however, instead of the foot being blistered, it is

Middle of the Ninth Century. By the Reverend Alexonly a toe that has become tender. In that case, listen to

ander Low, A.M., Clatt, Aberdeenshire, Correspondour oracle :-" Whenever a toe becomes tender, roll with

ing Member of the Society of Scottish Antiquaries. out delay a strip of clean old” (why old ?) “ linen round

Edinburgh. Bell & Bradfute. 1826. it, and there let it lie,” (how long ?) “ for a corn is often the consequence, but this will prevent it.” So much for The author of this work is evidently a man of good the feet ; and now for a few miscellaneous specimens of sense in what regards the business of life; he is possessed Hortator's wisdom.

of a large stock of candour, and we have no doubt is a Upon the subject of exercise we have the following in- respectable and useful preacher. Noticing his work, as imitable passages :—“ There is another exercise particu- we do, because it has hitherto been almost unnoticed, and Jarly well suited for those contined to the house, or who because our attention has been particularly requested to may be in prison-going up and down stairs (!!) I can it, we wish to be as lenient with it as is consistent with indeed hardly point out any thing better."--" To gentle- the impartial discharge of our critical duty. men who wish for a regular in-door exercise before We must remark, however, that the subject Mr Low breakfast, I recommend that they polish their boots and has chosen is not fit for a history. It is better adaptshoes, after being hard-brushed by the servant.(!) There ed for an essay—the form which his work first assuis nothing like a kind of task, and they would find this med. All history should be founded on the narratives serviceable to the chest and arms, to expectoration, and of eye-witnesses of the events which took place during to general warmth."_“ Ladies of rank or independence the period described. But it remains to be proved, that may be said to take no exercise at all save dancing. Now one such narrative exists for the use of him who seeks to I promise them that their health would be improved by compose a history of Scotland previous to the eleventh smart walking, going up and down stairs, and by standing century. His only materials are, first, accidental notices occasionally.When was there ever an idiot who enter- of contemporary foreigners; and, second, traditionary tales tained such ideas concerning exercise as these? The man committed to writing in long subsequent ages. We shall ought to have his head shaved. If more evidence is ne- endeavour to appreciate, in as few words as possible, the cessary to show that he is stark-mad, read the following value of both as historical evidence. detached sentences :-“ Angling in fresh water is, of all With regard to the first—the notices of the Scottish sports, the most injurious to the health.” [The smoke- nation by contemporary foreigners—the authors, in whose dried Cockney!) “ Curtains to beds are injurious, as ex- writings these are found, were either Romans or Greeks, cluding the free circulation of air ;-in the married state, or—at a later period—priests who had come in contact they are, however, become, I may say, indispensable, from with the Scottish clergy. Now, the two former, let it be the decorum necessary to be preserved in the better walks of observed, looked with a sovereign contempt on all other civilized life; but they might surely not be closed until nations, and rarely deemed their manners and customs morning, when the domestics or any of the family may worthy of more than the most cursory examination. have occasion to enter, which would answer every purpose Moreover, it does not appear that they were acquainted of delicacy or appearance.” (What does the last of the with the language of the Scots; or that they ever kept up tailors mean by this? Is it a curtain-lecture that the any lengthened amicable intercourse with them. Finalcreature is afraid of, or what?] “ Cold feet are a serious ly, the greater number of them give us merely such ininconvenience, and may be reckoned amongst our ills, as formation as they themselves obtained at second-hand ; their annoyance, being chietly felt in bed, prevents our and, if we consider how even the best modern traveller, natural rest; and though I have known stout old men despite of all his intelligence and that community of subject to them, I do not think that they ought to be thought and feeling now possessed by all civilised nations, treated lightly, for they must have their share in abridging misapprehends both what he sees and hears, we shall oblife.” [We daresay Hortator altogether is a cold, thin tain a pretty accurate notion of the value of statements anatomy, with a blue nose, and fingers like a bunch of made by persons labouring under the disadvantages to chicken bones.) “As for Lord Byron, I have no he- which these ancient writers were subjected. With resitation in saying, that strong coffee caused his death.(!) gard to Nennius and venerable Bede, in whose writings [Impudent old wife that he is, to pretend to breathe the notices of Scottish affairs now and then occur, the former name of Lord Byron in his whole book!] “ Toasted cheese was a Romanised Briton, and to him may almost be apmay be eaten repeatedly with safety, yet still there is al- plied what we have said of his masters, the latter knew ways danger. I knew an instance of a man who generally little of Scotland but its priesthood. Then, in the sesupped on it for many years. I think it probable that he cond place, as to the traditionary tales which have been might have taken it two thousand times—yet, after such | arrested at an earlier or later period of their progress, long habitude, it curdled in his stomach one evening, and and have received the unalterable impress of written exthe most powerful medicines being unable to reduce the pression, it is evident that but slight authority can be atcoagulation, death ensued.” [The moral of this is, that tached to them. When a man tells us what he has himafter eating cheese two thousand times, we ought to be self witnessed, the correctness of the statement is materivery cautious about eating it the two thousandth and first ally affected, even in this simple and direct transmission time.] “ The neatness of rooms, and the progress of po- of knowledge, by the accuracy of his perceptive powers, lished manners, prohibit us from spitting, but it is inju- the vividness of his imagination, the strength of his merious to swallow a spit when it is clearly a natural effort, mory, and the precision of his language. But still faraccompanied or thrown up by a gentle cough.” [The ther, when a man tells us what he has heard from anonasty beast!)

ther, the degree of correctness with which his previous We shall insult the good sense of our readers with no knowledge of similar facts enables him to image to himmore of this doting nonsense. The “ Simplicity of self the story of the other, influences materially even the Health " is now in the second edition ; how the first hap- absolute truth of the statement he makes to us. Every pened to sell we do not know, but we are persuaded it additional intermediate person modifies more or less the was bought by none but old women above seventy, and all circumstances of the story; and hence it comes, that trathat they could learn from it was, that cold feet, or a ditions, however much they may have their origin in truth, twinge of rheumatism, would infallibly shorten their days. never can be looked upon in any other light but as pleaWe have no patience with a piece of humbug like this; sing and occasionally profitable food for the imagination. and the only satisfaction it affords us is, the satisfaction of An apt illustration of their value occurs to us at this moapplying to its posteriors the nippiest part of our critical ment. The Castle of Threave, in Galloway, was the

property of the Douglasses, and was taken by the royal


forces about the time of the overthrow of the last Earl of Mocking birds think they obtain, by each copy, that house. Contemporary history sufficiently establishes

Paradise plumes for the parodied lay :the abuses of the feudal prerogative perpetrated in Gal

Ladder of fame! if man can't reach the top, he loway by the house of Douglas; but if we listen to the

Is right to sing just as high up as he may ;

I'd be a parody, made by a puppy, tradition of the peasantry, the tale runs thus :-" The

Who makes of such parodies two pair a-day.” castle was formerly inhabited by robbers ; it was long impregnable, but at last Mons Meg was sent from Edin

An engraving accompanies each number of this Magaburgh to take it. She was placed on that hill which you zine, and two of these we have already noticed in the see to the right. At the first shot, the ball passed through most favourable terms. The embellishment of No. III. is the room where the robbers were sitting at breakfast

: It is ably executed, but not quite so interesting as its pre

“ The Streamlet,” from a painting by Thomas Stothard. and knocked the cup and saucer out of the captain's hand; whereupon they all ran up to the top of the castle and decessors. We understand that Allan Cunningham has surrendered.” Few traditions, we believe, have been so

now little or no connexion with this Magazine, his time ludicrously distorted by the changed customs of a country being almost exclusively engrossed by other avocations. . as this; but the vital truth of all that have survived so long has equally, though less perceptibly, suffered. Such, then, is the evidence upon wbich all that we

The Anthology ; Midsummer, 1829. An Annual Reward know of the affairs of Scotland, previous to the introduc

Book for Youth ; consisting of Amusing and Instructive tion of the Saxon dynasty, rests. A history, construct

Selections from the best Authors. By the Rev. J. D. ed out of such materials, must necessarily stand in the

Parry, M.A., of St Peter's College, Cambridge. 12mo. same relation to an authentic history, that the mock-sun,

Pp. 275. London. Whittaker and Co. begot by reflection on a cloud, bears to the orb of day. This is a very suitable present to put into the hands But even these materials—and the industry of our anti- of young people when they come home from school for quaries has already amassed a large quantity of them— the summer vacation. It does not certainly present the have never yet been used as they might be. He who is attractions of our winter Annuals ;—it has not the gorable properly to arrange, classify, and appreciate them, geous mezzotinto-the dazzling line-engraving—the crimwill construct out of them a preliminary chapter to the son silk cover—or the fanciful case ; but the Anthology history of Scotland—a prelude to that wild symphony :- is well printed, neat, though not gaudy; and, on opening more they cannot yield.

it, we espy a very pretty wreath of roses, hyacinths, tulips, On Mr Low, we are willing to bestow the praise due carnations, and other flowers, in the centre of which may to much industrious research, and a considerable display be inscribed the name of the beloved daughter or son, of learning and ingenuity; and we are somewhat sur- niece or nephew, to whom the book is to be presented. prised that his work should not be better known.

It is a book of selections, made with taste and discrimination. Its contents are-Curiosities in Zoology, Botany,

and Natural History-Tales, “ grave and gay”—ApoSharpe's London Magazine. No. III. For September. logues and Anecdotes— Extracts from interesting Voyages 1929.

and Travels—Moral, Eloquent, and Miscellaneous Pieces This is the fairest to the eye of all our Magazines; forms us, that if the present attempt succeed, the series

-and a judicious proportion of Poetry. The Preface inneither is it, like some things which are fair to the eye,

will be continued. bitter to the taste.

We hope it may succeed. Its literary merits are always respectable ; for, in addition to its editors, several writers of acknowledged eminence contribute regularly to its pages.

MISCELLANEOUS LITERATURE. In the present number, the article which pleases us most is a humorous sketch, called “ Sighmon Dumps," which

WAT THE PROPHET. we suppose to be from the pen either of Theodore Hooke,

By the Ettrick Shepherd. or one of the Smiths, that is, Horace or James. There is also a tolerable article by Mudford, though somewhat

ABOUT sixty years ago there departed this life an old coarse, as is usual with him, entitled “ Confessions of a

man, who for sixty years previous to that was known Suicide.” The tale with which the number opens, called only by the name of Wat the Prophet. I am even un* The Betrothed,” and the review of Lady Morgan's certain what his real surname was, though he was fa"Book of the Boudoir," are also good.

Then for poetry,

miliarly known to the most of my relatives of that day, We have, among other things, some very sweet stanzas by and I was intimately acquainted with his nephew and Mrs Hemans, and a clever jeu-d'esprit by Thomas Haynes heir, whose name was Paterson,—vet I hardly think that Bayley, which we shall extract. It is a travestie of bis

was the prophet's surname, but that the man I knew was own popular song, “ I'd be a butterfly:"

a maternal nephew. So far I am shortcoming at the

very outset of my tale, for in truth I never heard him “I'D BE A PARODY.

distinguished by any other name than Wat the Prophet. “ I'd be a parody, made by a ninny,

He must have been a very singular person in every reOn some little song with a popular tune,

spect. In his youth he was so much more clever and Not worth a balfpenny, sold for a guinea,

acute than his fellows, that he was viewed as a sort of And sung in the Strand by the light of the moon. phenomenon, or rather“ a kind of being that had mair I'd never sigh for the sense of a Pliny,

airt than his ain.” It was no matter what Wat tried, for (Who cares for sense at St James's in June?) either at mental or manual exertion, he excelled; and his I'd be a parody made by a ninny,

gifts were so miscellaneous, that it was no wonder his And sung in the Strand by the light of the moon.

most intimate acquaintances rather stood in awe of him. “Oh, could I pick up a thought or a stanza,

At the sports of the field, at the exposition of any part I'd take a flight on another bard's wings,

of Scripture, at prayer, and at mathematics, he was altoTurning his rhymes into extravaganza,

gether unequalled. By this, I mean in the sphere of his Laugh at his harp, and then pilter its strings ! acquaintance in the circle in which he moved, for he was When a poll-parrot can croak the cadenza

the son of a respectable farmer who had a small property. A nightingale loves, he supposes he sings !

In the last-mentioned art his comprehension is said to
Oh, never mind, I will pick up a stanza,
Laugh at his harp, and then pilter its strings !

have been truly wonderful. He seemed to have an in

tuitive knowledge of the science of figures from beginning “What though you tell me each metrical puppy

to end, and needed but a glance at the rules to outgo his Might make of such parodies two pair a-day; masters.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

But this was not all. In all the labours of the field bis God is in beaven, and we are upon the earth, and it is progress was equally unaccountable. He could with per- not given to mortal man to scale the heavenly regions, or fect ease have mown as much hay as two of the best men, come into the presence of the Almighty.' And he said, sown as much, reaped as much, shorn as many sheep, • Has thy learning and thy knowledge carried thee no highand smeared as many, and with as little extra exertion er than this ? Knowest thou not that God is present in could have equalled the efforts of three ordinary men at this wild glen, the same as in the palaces of light and any time. As for ploughing, or any work with horses, glory,--that his presence surrounds us at this moment,he would never put a hand to it, for he then said he had and that he sees all our actions, hears our words, and not the power of the labour himself. However unaccount- knows the inmost thoughts of our hearts ?' able all this may be, it is no fabrication; I have myself " And I said, 'Yes, I know it.' heard several men tell, who were wont to shear and smear "• Then, are you ready and willing at this moment,' sheep with him, when he was a much older man than said he, “to step into his presence, and avow the sentithey, that even though he would have been engaged in ments which you have of late been cherishing ?' some fervent demonstration, in spite of all they could do “ And I said, “I would rather have time to think the “ he was aye popping off twa sheep, or maybe three, for matter over again.' their ane.”

“ • Alack ! poor man !' said he; so you have never I could multiply anecdotes of this kind without number, been considering that you have all this while been in his but these were mere atoms of the prophet's character-a immediate presence, and have even been uttering thy sort of excrescences, which were nevertheless in keeping blasphemous sentiments aloud to his face, when there was with the rest, being matchless of their kind. He was none to hear but He and thyself.' intended by his parents for the church-that is, the church “ And I said, " Sir, a man cannot force his belief.' of the covenant, to which they belonged. I know not if “ And he said, “Thou sayest truly; but I will enWat had consented thereto, but his education tended that deavour to convince thee.'” Here a long colloquy enway. However, as he said himself, he was born for a sued about the external and internal evidences of the higher destiny, which was, to reveal the future will of God Christian religion, which took Wat nearly half a day to to mankind for ever and ever. I have been told that he relate ; but he still maintained his point. He asked his committed many of his prophecies to writing; and I be visitant twice who he was, but he declined telling him, lieve it, for he was a scholar, and a man of rather super- saying, he wanted his reason convinced, and not to take natural abilities ; but I have never been able to find any his word for any thing. of them, though I still have hopes of recovering a part. Their conversation ended, by this mysterious sage leadI have often heard fragments of them, but they were re ing Wat away by a path which he did not know, which cited by ignorant country people, who, never having un- was all covered with a cloud of exceeding brightness. At derstood them themselves, could not make them compre- length they came to a house like a common pavilion, which hensible to others. But the history of his call to the pro- they entered, but all was solemn silence, and they beard phecy I have so often heard, that I think I can state the nobody moving in it, and Wat asked his guide where particulars, although a little confused in my recollection they were now. “ This is the. place where heavenly of them.

gifts are distributed to humanity,” said the reverend This event occurred about this time one hundred years, apostle ; “ but they are now no more required, being of on an evening in spring, as Wat was going down a wild no repute. No one asks for them, nor will they accept glen, which I know full well. “ I was in a contempla- of them when offered, for worldly wisdom is all and all tive mood,” (he said, for he told it to any that asked him,) with the men of this age. Their preaching is a mere " and was meditating on the mysteries of redemption, and farce; an ostentatious parade to show off great and shidoubting, grievously doubting, the merits of an atonernent ning earthly qualifications, one-third of the professors not by blood; when, to my astonishment in such a place, believing one word of what they assert. The gift of prothere was one spoke to me close behind, saying, in the phecy is denied and laughed at ; and all revelation made Greek language, • Is it indeed so ? Is thy faith no better to man by dreams or visions utterly disclaimed, as if the Tooted ?

Almighty's power of communicating with his creatures “ I looked behind me, but, perceiving no one, my hairs were not only shortened, but cut off for ever. This founstood all on end, for I thought it was a voice from hea- tain of inspiration, once so crowded, is now, you set, a ven; and, after gazing into the firmament, and all around dreary solitude.” me, I said fearfully, in the same language, . Who art thou “ It was, in truth, a dismal-looking place, for in every that speakest ?' And the voice answered me again, Ichamber, as we passed along, there were benches and seats am one who laid down my life, witnessing for the glorious of judgment, but none to occupy them; the green grass salvation which thou art about to deny ; turn, and behold was peeping through the seams of the flooring and cbinks me!'

of the wall, and never was there a more appalling picture “ And I turned about, for the voice seemed still be- of desolation. hind me, turn as I would, and at length I perceived dimly “At length, in the very innermost chamber, we came to the figure of an old man, of singular aspect and dimen- three men sitting in a row, the middle one elevated above sions, close by me. His form was exceedingly large and the others; but they were all sleeping at their posts, and broad, and his face shone with benignity ; his beard hung looked as if they had slept there for a thousand years,

for down to his girdle, and he had sandals on his feet, which their garments were mouldy, and their faces ghastly and covered his ankles. His right arm and his breast were withered. I did not know what to do or say, for I bare, but he had a crimson mantle over his right shoulder, looked at my guide, and he seemed overcome with sorpart of which covered his head, and came round his waist. row; but thinking it was ill manners for an intruder not Having never seen such a figure, or dress, or countenance to speak, I said, • Sirs, I think you are drowsily inclined?' before, I took him for an angel, sent from above to re- but none of them moved. At length my guide said, in a buke me; so I fell at his feet to worship him, or rather loud voice, Awake, ye servants of the Most High! Or to entreat forgiveness for a sin which I had not power to is your sleep to be everlasting ?" withstand. But he answered me in these words : Rise * Op that they all opened their eyes at once, and stared up, and bow not to me, for I am thy fellow-servant, and at me, but their eyes were like the eyes of dead men, and a messenger from Him whom thou hast in thy heart de- no one of them moved a muscle, save the middlemost, nied. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him who pointed with a pale haggard hand to three small only shalt thou serve. Come, I am commissioned to take books, or scrolls, that lay on the bench before them. thee into the presence of thy Maker and Redeemer.' “ Then my guide said, “ Put forth thine hand, and “ And I said, “Sir, how speakest tbou in this wise choose one from these.

They are all divine gifts, and in

[ocr errors]

these latter days rarely granted to any of the human race.' often subsisting on bread and water, and sometimes for One was red as blood, the other pale, and the third green; days together on water alone, from some motive known the latter was farthest from me, and my guide said, only to himself. He had a small black pony on which • Ponder well before you make your choice. It is a sa- he rode many years, and which he kept always plump ered mystery, and from the choice you make, your destiny and fat. This little animal waited upon him in all his is fixed through time and eternity.' I then stretched out fastings and prayings, with unwearied patience and afmy hand, and took the one farthest from me, and he fection. There is a well, situated on the south side of a said, “ It is the will of the Lord ; so let it be! That burn, called the Earny Cleuch, on the very boundary bewhich you have choson is the gift of the spirit of pro- tween the shires of Dumfries and Selkirk. It is situa. phecy. From henceforth you must live a life of suffer- / ted in a most sequestered and lonely place, and is called ance and tribulation, but your life shall be given you for to this day the Prophet's Well, from the many pilgrima proof, in order that you may reveal to mankind all that ages that be made to it; for it had been revealed to is to befall them in the latter days.' And I opened the him in one of his visions that this water had some divine book, and it was all written in mystic characters, which virtue, partaking of the nature of the water of life. At I could not decipher nor comprehend ; and he said, one time he lay beside this well for nine days and nights, * Put up the book in thy bosom, and preserve it as thou the pony feeding beside him all that time, and though wouldst do the heart within thy breast ; for as long as thou there is little doubt that he had some food with him, no keepest that book, shall thy natural life remain, and the body knew of any that he had ; and it was believed that spirit of God remain with thee, and whatsoever thou he fasted all that time, or at least subsisted on the water sayest in the spirit, shall come to pass. But beware that of that divine well. thou deceive not thyself; for, if thou endeavour to pass Some men with whom he was familiar-for indeed he off studied speeches, and words of the flesh for those of was respected and liked by every body, the whole tenor the spirit, woe be unto thee! It had been better for thee of his life having been so inoffensive; — some of his that thou never hadst been born. Put up the book; friends, I say, tried to reason him into a belief of his thou canst not understand it now, but it shall be given mortality, and that he would taste of death like other thee to understand it, for it is an oracle of the most high men; but that he treated as altogether chimerical, and not God, and its words and signs fail not. Go thy ways, worth answering ; when he did answer, it was by assuand return to the house of thy fathers and thy kinsfolk.' ring them, that as long as he kept his mystic scroll, and

“ And I said, “Sir, I know not where to go, for I could drink of his well, his body was proof against all cannot tell by what path you brought me hither.' And the thousand shafts of death. His unearthly monitor he took me by the hand, and led me out by a back-door appeared to him very frequently, and revealed many seof the pavilion ; and we entered a great valley, which crets to him, and at length disclosed to him that he was was all in utter darkness, and I could perceive through Stephen, the first martyr for the Gospel of Christ. Our the gloom that many people were passing the same way prophet, in the course of time, grew so familiar with him, with ourselves; and I said, “Sir, this is dreadful! What that he called him by the friendly name of Auld Steenie, place is this?' And he said, “This is the Valley of the and told his friends when he had seen him, and part of Shadow of Death. Many of those you see will grope on what he had told him, but never the whole. here for ever, and never get over, for they know not When not in his visionary and prophetic moods, he whither they go, or what is before them. But see'st thou sometimes indulged in a little relaxation, such as draftnothing beside ?

playing and fishing; but in these, like other things, he “ And I said, “ I see a bright and shining light beyond, quite excelled all compeers. He was particularly noted whose rays reach even to this place.'– That,' said he, for killing salmon, by throwing the spear at a great dis' is the light of the everlasting Gospel; and to those to tance. He gave all his fish away to poor people, or such whom it is given to perceive that beacon of divine love, as he favoured that were nearest to him at the time; so the passage over this valley is easy. I have shown it to that either for his prophetic gifts, or natural bounty, the you; but if you keep that intrusted to your care, you prophet was always a welcome guest, whether to poor or shall never enter this valley again, but live and reveal the rich. will of God to man till mortality shall no more remain. He prophesied for the space of forty years, foretelling You shall renew your age like the eagles, and be refresh- many things that came to pass in his lifetime, and many ed with the dews of renovation from the presence of the which have come to pass since his death. I have heard Lord. Sleep on now, and take your rest, for I must leave of a parable of his, to which I can do no justice, of a ceryou again in this world of sin and sorrow. Be you tain woman who had four sons, three of whom were lestrong, and overcome it, for men will hold you up to re- gitimate, and the other not. The latter being rather unproach and ridicule, and speak all manner of evil of you; cultivated in his manners, and not so well educated as but see that you join them not in their voluptuousness his brethren, his mother took for him ample possessions and iniquity, and the Lord be with you!'”

at a great distance from the rest of the family. The There is no doubt that this is a confused account of young blade succeeded in his farming speculations ama. the prophet's sublime vision, it being from second hands zingly, and was grateful to his parent, and friendly with that I had it; and, for one thing, I know that one-half his brethren in all their interchanges of visits. But when of his relation is not contained in it. For the consequen- the mother perceived his success, she sent and demanded tes I can avouch. From that time forth he announced a tenth from him of all he possessed. This rather astoundhis mission, and began a-prophesying to such families as ed the young man, and he hesitated about compliance in

But I forgot to mention a very extra- parting with so much, at any rate. But the parent inordinary fact, that this vision of his actually lasted nine sisted on her right to demand that, or any sum which she days and nine nights, and at the end of that time he chose, and the teind she would have. The lad, not wishfound himself on the very individual spot in the glen ing to break with his parent and benefactor, bade her say where the voice first spoke to him, and so much were his no more about it, and he would give her the full value of looks changed, that, when he went in, none of the family that she demanded as of his own accord; but she would

have it in no other way than as her own proper right. He mixed no more with the men of the world, but on this the headstrong and powerful knave took the law wandered about in wilds and solitudes, and when in the on his mother ; won, and ruined her; so that she and spirit, he prophesied with a sublimity and grandeur never her three remaining sons were reduced to beggary, Wat equalled. He had plenty of money, and some property then continued : “ And now it is to yourselves I speak to boot, which his father left him; but these he never re- this, ye children of my people, for this evil is nigh you, garded, but held on his course of severe abstemiousness, even at your doors. There are some here who will not

[ocr errors]

he was sent to.

knew him.

« السابقةمتابعة »