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"When first my youthful intellects were running all to waste,
So I got a taste for politics, and to secure the pelf,
But, alas! the reading public have neither sense nor taste,
With my flocci, nauci, &c.
" Then I march'd up to my publisher in Paternoster-Row,
"In a rage, then, from the public I demanded restitution,
"My next book turn'd on politics, so constant and so true,
And placed me in his pillory, egad! and fixed me there.
"Then loud the laugh against me turn'd, and deeper, deeper still,'
A kind of winged animal- -a genus of the goose.
With my flocci, nauci, &c.
"But I lash'd him for his impudence and gross vituperation,
"Then curse, for aye, the Edinburgh and Quarterly Reviews,
"But now, with Mr ******** leave, I'll end my comic song,
With my flocci, nauci, &c.
"It reminds me of that image which no modern can surpass,
With my flocci, nauci," &c.
To be sure, these Cockneys are in- life they have left to the incredibility corrigible fellows; they owe the little of their impudence. As no one reads
them, no one can believe them guilty of the crying sins of impudence imputed to them. Seven-eighths of the reading public, I'm confident, do not credit Leigh Hunt of the Examiner's having the effrontery to preface a pamphlet of his with dear Byron'-but that's nothing. In his sketch of Byron, signed with his own, in a late number of his paper, he speaks thus of his lordship:
"For the drama, whatever good passages such a writer will always put forth, we hold that he has no more qualifications than we have."*
What a we for his Cockannic Majesty. He proceeds to state the cause of his friend Byron's affectation of reserve and seclusion: he speaks from personal knowledge, that it is all owing to his lordship's being such a ninnyhammer and a nonentity, that he could not help being swayed and lorded over by any one, whom he admit
ted to an intimacy with him. This is a Cockney's idea of Childe Harold.
Now, the fact is, Leigh is most horribly annoyed at not being either praised or abused in Don Juan; as the Queen's will says of Alderman Wood, it knows so such person extant. We must allow this to be very mortifying to a great man; but then how mean thus to half-beg, half-provoke mention. I hope, however, his Satannic Majesty will not stoop to know his Cockannic brother, nor extend his vituperative laurel, with which he has crowned the first names of the age, to one, who may, perhaps, merit the name of friend from him, but who, without a pretence, has the impudence to aspire to the superior honour of being his foe. "I'm tired." Mr North, believe me, your faithful gossip,
ALEXANDER SYDNEY TRott.
*We purpose taking notice some day next week of the only dramatic sketch Leigh ever published. 'Tis in his Indicator; and such nonsense, Good Heavens !
MR SNAPFLINT'S VISIT TO THE MINISTER OF GLENLONELY-TROUT, DURING THE SHOOTING SEASON.
HAVING agreed with my friend, Mr Snapflint, to accompany him in a walk up into the moors, through which he meant to shoot, in going to visit the minister of Glenlonely-trout, we rose early enough to breakfast at eight o'clock. In the country I neither shoot nor do any thing else but only walk, eat, breathe, and lead a contemplative life. Therefore, while my friend Mr Snapflint was engaged below, in getting out his dog from the barn, and preparing his gun, I looked out from the window to judge of the weather. The wind was sweeping over an undulating field of corn, and bearing, across it, the broken shadows of a few light clouds; but these were no more than a transient interruption of the sunshine. Mrs Snapflint, who was in the room, observing this, said, we should have a pleasant walk, and began to fill out the tea. Our breakfast consisted of eggs, beef-ham, and toasted bread, for they were not near enough any town to get rolls.
When our breakfast was over, we went to take the road, accompanied by Flora, a one-eyed pointer, who, on some occasion, had suffered from small
shot, but still made good use of her remaining eye. When walking, I dislike conversation, and rather wish to be permitted to fall into a lethargy of mind, submitting entirely to the influences of nature and of the atmosphere. Therefore, little conversation passed between us; and we soon got off the public road, into the moors, following here and there the track of carts.
The aspect of moorland grounds pleases the mind in a certain way, by not presenting particular objects to draw the attention or disturb the mind's equilibrium. One ascent of heather stretches away behind another; and the atmosphere shifts and changes its clouds impartially over them all. The wind of marshy moors has a kind of rankness which subdues the mind to the spirit of the place. The soil breathes forth its sad sentiments, and we feel them through our nostrils. The water, also, in any little brook, shews by its brownness, that it was forced to receive the flavour of the moss. This flavour has no charms for me, for it speaks of some of the dampest, and saddest of nature's stuff; a
flavour, however, which many a one likes in peat-reek whiskey. Moors cherish and retain a peculiar atmosphere of their own, which is never altogether dispersed and conquered by the power of the sun.
The inhabitants of such places seem to like best whatever is well seasoned with their own air; and they look upon strangers, without pleasure at the novelty of the sight, but rather view them as intruders, breaking in upon the common tenor of their thoughts. We saw a little girl sitting on a hillock tending cattle, and wrapping round herself a piece of old blanket to defend her from the wind and rain.
Mr Snapflint made many a long circuit with his dog, while I continued walking forward towards such points as he, from time to time, directed me. We saw that there was a shower coming on, and we turned our course to a cottage that was within sight. I was glad at the thought of going in there awhile; for, on elevated grounds the perpetual sounding of the blast in one's ears overpowers the senses. On going down into a small hollow where the house stood, I felt as if an immense orchestra had suddenly stopped, so great was the change to comparative silence and tranquillity.
We knocked at the door of the house, but it was fastened, and there seemed to be no person within. In the meantime, down came the plump of rain, ringing upon an unscraped porridgepot, that stood against the wall, and lashing heartily, with might and main, upon a large dunghill, till the water came leaping from off it in every direction. We therefore went into a byre which was open, and found there a single cow, ruminating over some cut
Being by this time a good deal fatigued, I sat down on a wheel-barrow, very well pleased, for the breath of cows fills with wholesome odour the place where they are; and, Lord Justice-Clerk Macqueen, in a law-plea concerning a byre which was complained of as a nuisance in a country town, said on the bench, to the other judges, "Od, I like the smell of cow-dung very weel mysel." This remark shewed the sagacity of his lordship's nostrils, which acknowledged due respect for an animal that has been the object of idolatry among so many different
nations; and, if he had died on the banks of the Ganges, he would, according to Voltaire's notion, without any reluctance, have died with a cow's tail in his hand; but not with an intention to mock at religion, by mimicking the forms of superstition; for Macqueen was no infidel.
While these thoughts were passing through my mind, the rain had diminished, and a little child came peeping to the door, saying, "Eh, des à man.' Presently a woman, with a weatherbeaten countenance, looked in, and said, "Weel, freends, what are ye about here?" We told her that we had come there only for shelter, and she asked us into the house. After some hints from us about eating, she produced from a black pot that hung over the fire, some trouts that had been frying in the bottom of it. These, with some hot potatoes, served to allay our hunger in the meantime; and though she rejected our offered money good naturedly with a violent bounce, we put it into the hands of the little child. Mr Snapflint did not leave any of the game at the house, for the money was better to them, and he meant to make another use of his moorfowl. We therefore returned to our walk.
Ascending still farther up the heights, we separated for a while, Mr Snapflint shaping his course round the borders of a wet place, and I pursuing my way along the side of a hill, and sometimes taking a rest on large grey pieces of rock, that shot up through the soil. I saw the sportsman at a distance occasionally sending forth from his gun puffs of smoke, which hung in the air for a moment and then disappeared.
When we had walked a while, Mr Snapflint beckoned to me to come to the point of an eminence, from whence he shewed me the minister's house, about a mile off. I saw that his game-bag was not empty. We agreed that he should desist from using his gun any more, and proceed straight on, for it was now near dinner-time. The country before us sloped down towards a more cultivated region, in which was situated the manse of Glenlonely-trout, beside a small valley.
We soon reached the road that led to the house. It was a path overhung with plum-trees, which had dropped, here and there, some of their purple
coloured fruit among the grass. On approaching to the house, we saw Mr Gilmourton himself, going in at his barn-door, carrying a sheaf of barley under each arm, for he was getting in a small crop from a neighbouring field, and some other of his people followed bearing as many sheaves as they could, each in the manner that he found easiest for his sinews. Mr Gilmourton, though in an old suit of clothes, was dressed clerically to a certain extent, that is to say, he was in a black coat, a black waistcoat, and black breeches, but from these there was a harsh transition to white worsted stockings. He was not long in depositing his sheaves, and coming to meet us, shewing that he was glad to see either strangers or friends.
cock and a snipe stood on a side table; and a wasp's byke was hung at one of the windows. There were also some curious pease, a potatoe of a wonderful shape, and an uncommonly long stalk of corn. Over the fire-place, Mr Gilmourton had fixed a print, representing a sederunt of the fifteen Lords of Session, in their places, on the bench, all portraits. This was an ob ject of great interest to him, who lived far from Edinburgh, and who, at the same time, wished to know what was going on in the courts of law, and every change that occurred there. When he heard of the death of any of the Lords, he was very curious to ascertain who should come into his place; and, to assist his memory, he generally marked off the portrait of the deceased judge with a stroke of a lead pencil.
His wife and he lived on their glebe in great ease, for they had no children. As Mr Gilmourton was deficient in talents for the pulpit, and rather dilatory in making up his sermons, he rejoiced when any young clergyman came to visit him on a Saturday, and staid to preach next day. And he told us there was one, at that time, up stairs with his wife. "On Wednesday last," said Mr Gilmourton, "she entered her sixtieth year, and she is as stout and hale as ever; and I'm not at all ailing my self. Its a lang while, Mr Snapflint, since I hae gotten fou; but I hae seen the day" Here his wife cried out from an upper window, "Toot, ye hae seen the day, and ye hae seen the dayWouldna it be better, instead of standing clavering there, to bring up the twa gentlemen to get something after their walk? How are you, Mr Snapflint? You're welcome here. A sight o' you is gude for sair een.' Accordingly, having been led up to the parlour, we found Mrs Gilmourton sitting on one side of the fire-place, and on the other the clergyman, a serious youth, with a large greasy round face, by name Mr Glebersmouth. He was examining some pieces of petrified moss, which he took from the chimney-piece; but he did not seem likely to take a bite of them, for his lips had a buttery softness that was evidently waiting for dinner-time.
In the meantime, we got some currant wine, as being the fittest thing for the forenoon. Looking round the minister's dwelling, I found it was a snug and comfortable place, though the ornaments were few. A stuffed black
He then mentioned a butcher, one of the inhabitants of a neighbouring town, who had been unfortunate, and who had gone to Edinburgh to get a general discharge of his debts, after surrendering all his property. was as well for me," said Mr Gilmourton," that he did not buy the twelve rows of potatoes which he bid for at my roup last harvest." Mr Glebersmouth asked, "What would you have got for them?”—“ Deʼil a stiver!" replied Mr Gilmourton, sweeping his hand along a table.—" De'il a stiver!" repeated Mrs Gilmourton; "What's the man saying? We shouldna hear that frae you.' She was always cutting her husband short, not from ill nature, but from a desire to keep him right in his sayings; and this last observation of her's raised a loud laugh from the jocular Mr Snapflint and me, at the minister's expence.
As our hostess began to question Mr Snapflint minutely about his wife and children, I took that opportunity of walking out alone, to observe the situation of the place. I went down into Glenlonely-trout, which was a small valley, with some natural wood in it; but the rivulet in the middle was often shewn quite uncovered. The sun shone straight through its pellucid waters upon the gravelly bottom, so that, if any trouts had been stirring, they might have been seen at a considerable distance. The rocks here and there sent forth clumps of hazel; the bramble also spreading out its thorny
arms, with their black and shining fruit, was intermingled with the long broom, whose dry pods were heard cracking and opening of their own accord, under the heat. The humming of insects pervaded the air, and whereever the soil was without verdure, it appeared baked and yellow. But where there was grass, the wild bee was seen clambering heavily upon some solitary head of small white clover. It is in places like these that the local inspiration of Scottish poetry seems to work, and mother Earth there assails and importunes the heart for some acknowledgment of natural affection. I would not willingly long submit to such influences; but, while one must yield a little to them on the spot, I thought of the poet Burns, as a person educated entirely under the spell. The spirit of such places took him up, and animated him; and this, mingled with the passion of love, filled him with poe@tical feeling. For awhile he was en=tranced with kissings among the scented birches; but, at last, the whole ended in bad whisky. Such, I thought, are the ways of the world. And then returning along the same path by which I had descended, I saw, at a -distance, a person beckoning to me, and found it was a summons to come in to dinner.
On reaching the door, another huge, red-haired servant lass appeared, panting with haste; for she had been seeking me over the fields in an opposite direction. And when I came again into the parlour, Mr Gilmourton said, "You are lucky to have arrived in gude time." Dinner was soon placed on the table, and we drew round. Mrs Gilmourton said, "Wheesht ! Maister Glebersmouth is gunta gie us a grace. The young clergyman immediately shut his eyes, and twisting open his mouth, said grace. We then sat down to dinner, which was soup, and a leg of roasted mutton, with a boiled fowl and ham; and afterwards a brace of muir-fowl was brought in; and Mrs Gilmourton said, "Here is what Mr Snapflint handed into our pantry." On which Mr Snapflint observed, "We have had an excellent dinner already, and you should have kept the birds till another day for yourselves, or other visitors."-" Na, troth, no we," replied Mrs Gilmourton, "what's in our wame is no in our testament, and we'll soon be getting mair." While this conver
sation was passing, the servant-maid, who has been already mentioned, was struggling with a bottle of porter between her knees, and Mr Gilmourton, seeing that the cork resisted all her strength, desired her to give it to Mr Glebersmouth, and let him try to draw it. He accordingly did so, and succeeded; but the bottle had been placed near the fire, and when it was opened, went off like a cannon. There being no vessel ready on the table, Mr Glebersmouth rose to give it to the servantmaid, and drove her, covered with suds and froth, from the room. Only a small quantity was left for us to drink; and, as Mr Gilmourton liked allusions to the law, I could not help saying, this was like a Cessio Bonorum, after prodigality, and that we, like the creditors, must be contented with what remained unspent.
Mr Gilmourton then called for a dram, which, he said, he liked always to see after dinner. Three kinds were produced, gin, brandy, and Highland whisky, besides a smoother liqueur, which had been composed by Mrs Gilmourton for her female visitors. There being no ladies present, she wished me to taste the sweet dram. "Na, na," said Mr Gilmourton, "gie him the gin."- -"Toot, gie him a fiddlestick," replied Mrs Gilmourton; "mind your ain end o' the table, and let him judge for himsel.”
After dinner, Mr Snapflint asked, what was the reason that the Laird of * * * * * * was cutting down the fir planting that used to shelter his parks? Mr Gilmourton answered, that the laird had many pecuniary claimants to satisfy, and that he was glad, in the first place, to resort to any expedient for paying off some persons, who were threatening him with personal diligence.-" Ay, trowth," said Mrs Gilmourton, "he maun scart first whar he finds the bitin' yuckiest, as they say.'
After some more conversation, this outspoken old lady rose, and left us to our punch; and the evening passed pleasantly, till we saw from the window that the sun was approaching towards the horizon, and the longer shadows falling from the mountains. The minister insisted, that before our departure we should take tea, which was to be prepared immediately. Till then, he said, Mr Glebersmouth and I might go down and take a turn in