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STRATHBOGIE.

CHAPTER I.

* This is mere madness, and thus awhile the fit will work on

him: anon, as patient as the female dove, ere that her golden couplets are disclosed, his silence will sit drooping."

THE

grey hour of twilight had thrown a deeper gloom through the impervious woods of Glenmorris, when poor crazy Robin issued from his subterraneous retreat, to emit the noisome damps there inhaled, and breathe the purer breezes of a setting sun. Wandering amidst this leafy labyrinth, whose shade but faintly typified his gloomy mind, his features, as they were wont, suddenly relaxed into a sarcastic smile, as the world's fancied joys

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VOL. I.

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broke on his imperfect meditation. “How impotently vain and unsubstantial are you, light, airy nothings of a giddy fancy! Yes, I felt your influence once. Robin was wont to mingle, step with step, amidst thy motley delusive throng !” exclaimed he, whilst walking with a slow and steady pace. Then, as if replying to some dubious thought, or with embodied air contending, kicking the fallen foliage which strewed the narrow path, he continued

Nay, I will prove it-fear me not: does not the opening blossom, which to-day expands, think as it breathes its infant sweets, to-morrow's sun will, to its rich perfume, give all those varied tints nature designed it in its full maturity, when, lo! some boisterous hand, regardless of its immature perfections, snaps it from off its vegetating branch, and on the bosom of theearth throws it neglectful, whose nightly dews and vaporous fumes of morn, with speed, resolve it to its native dust? Beauty too fades before reflection's eye, howe'er so potent its attraction may be. Even fair fame, the worldling's primary blessing, is blighted by the benumbing breath of Envy, who curls her hissing locks till each entwined hair parts, and bursts forth a viperous head to sting the spotless mind. How, like a sneaking cur, Deception steals beneath your hospitable roof, in many an unknown shape, cringing and fawning, till he win your favour, when, on a sudden, he ejects his sharp, till now inverted, claws, and piecemeal tears the mental man! Oh pernicious world, in which man dreams, in sad security, his precious hours away! now could I laugh at thee, but that my nerves are parched and dry; it sets my brain amadding—thought drinks life's current up—I'll think no more.”

He paused, went a few paces onward, then stopped, raised his sunken eyes, sighed and shook his reverend head, that spoke a care-crossed mind.

Resuming his speech-" The loftiest pine that tops yon wood-crowned height towers not higher than humbled Robin has been; when he first began to vegetate, a furious north-west blast lopped off his crested head and tender branches, leaving his defenceless trunk to wither naked

amidst the derisive storm. Maddening re. flection! Rise--oh, quickly rise, each wild, tempestuous fiend ! blow ye a hurricane set whirlwinds on the wing to work revenge-spout cataracts, and from the hea, vens burst forth red lightnings, that, into air, like bubbles on the placid bosom of the lake, man—the noxious weed called man, may, with all his subtle ratiocinations, be blown to nought; that this fair garden, meant for his repose, be robbed no longer of its native rights, sweet peace and innocence; then will you, poor affrighted songsters, with the wild race of numerous name and nature, deploring in their fierceness man's ingratitude, be to your primitive gentleness restored, and

lost Robin once more dwell in peace. Ha! ha! ha! it would be fit sport to charm the gods with; all would look curious down to see contending elements warring against man. Cease-ah, in pity cease! I feel his sharp tooth gnaw and burn within me. Be calm, poor soul! it is but spite-pitiful spite they cannot harm thee more; Malice, and her colleague Ambition, have done their worst."

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