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CHRISTOPHER ON COLONSAY.
FYTTE I, In our younger days we were mark, it was understood the gift more famous for our pedestrian than might be returned without offencefor our equestrian feats; liker Pollux though, to spare the giver mortificathan Castor. Yet were we no mean tion, we used to ride the animal for horseman; riding upwards of thir- a few days, that the circumstance teen stone, we seldom mounted the might be mentioned when he was silk jacket, yet we have won matches sent to market; nor need we say that -and eyewitnesses are yet alive of a word in our hand-writing to that our victory over old Q- on the effect entitled the laying on of ten last occasion he ever went to scale- pounds in the twenty on his price. after as pretty a run home-80 said We bad an innate inclination tothe best judges—as was ever seen at wards iron-greys-on that was inNewmarket. Had you beheld us a grafted an acquired taste for hoge half-century ago in a steeple.chase, manes—and on that again was super. you would have sworn we were induced a desire for crop-ears_till either the Gentleman in Black, or erelong all these qualifications were about to enter the Church. Then esteemed essential to the character we used to stick close to the tail of of a roadster, and within a circle of the pack, to prevent raw, rash lads a hundred miles, you met with none from riding over the hounds_and but iron-grey, hog.maned, crop'dwhat a tale could we tell of the day eared, fourteen-band-and-an-inch thou didst die—thou grey, musty, cobs—even in carts, shandry dans, moth-eaten Fox-face ! now almost gigs, post-chaises, and coaches—nay, mouldered away on the wall—there the mail. -below the antlers of the Deer. But though our usual pace was king of Braemar, who, as the lead the jog-trot, think not that we did struck his heart, leaped twenty feet pot occasionally employ the trot par up in the air, before his fall was excellence-and eke the walk. No proclaimed by all the echoes of the cob would have been suffered standforest. We hear them now in the ing-room for a single day in our sixsilence of the wilderness. Pleasant stalled stable who could not walk but mournful to the soul is the five miles an hour, and trot fourteen; memory of joys that are past, saith and 'twas a spectacle good for sore old Ossian—and from the cavern of eyes, all the six slap-banging it at old North's breast issueth solemnly that rate, while a sheet might have the same oracular response! For covered them, each bowled along by many a joyous crew—are they not his own light lad, by way of air and ghosts!
exercise, when the road was dusty Gout and rheumatism were ours a rattling whirlwind that startled the -we sold our stud, and took to cobs. birds in the green summer-woods. In the field AUT CÆSAR AUT NULLUS For almost all the low roads in our had been our motto-and when no county were silvan-those along the more able to ride up to it-in a mountains treeless altogether, and wise spirit we were contented with shaded here and there by superinthe high-ways and by-ways--and cumbent cliffs. Flying Kit, ere he had passed his At the first big drop of blue ruin grand climacteric-sic transit gloria from a thunder-cloud-so well had mundi—became celebrated for his they all come to know their master's jog-trot.
ailment, that it mattered not which Thus for many years we pure of the six he bestrode-our friend chased nothing above fourteen hands below us, laying back the stools of and an inch-and that of course be- his ears, and putting out his pose came the standard of the universal with a shake of his head, while his horse-flesh in the country-nobody hog.mane bristled electric in the dreaming of riding the high horse in gloomy light, in ten yards was the neighbourhood of Christopher at the top of his speed, up-bill North. If at any time any thing was down-dale-without regard to turnsent to us by a friend above that pikes, all paid for at so much per
annum-while children ceased their lonious intent, have laid hand on his play before cottage-doors, and boys shoulder. Looking at him you could on school-house greens clapped their not help thinking of the days “when hands, and waved their caps, to the wild 'mid rocks the noble savage thrice-repeated cry of “ There he ran;" while you felt the idea of goes !, Hurra for old Christopher breaking him to be as impracticable North.” For even then we had an as impious—such specimen seemed old look-it was so gash—though he, as he stood before you, of stubhovering but on three-score-and bornness and freedom-wbile in his our hair, it too was of the iron-grey eye was concentrated the stern light
-" but more through toil than age" of an indomitable self-will amount--Dothing grizzling the knowledge- ing to the sublime. box so surely, though slowly, as To give even a slight sketch of the the ceaseless clink-clauk of that mys- character of Colonsay would far terious machinery-with its wheels transcend the powers of the pen now within
wheels--instinct with spirit employed on these pages-for than --the Brain. Oh! if it would but lie Pope's Duke Wharton he was a more still—for one day in the seven-in incomprehensible antithesis. Attimes Sabbath rest! Then too might that the summer cloud not more calm other perpetual miracle and mobile than he-the summer cloud, moving -the Heart-hush its tumult-and with one equable motion, all by mortal man might know the nature itself, high up along a level line that as well as the name of peace! is invisible to the half-shut eyes of
Among the many equine gifts made the poet lying on his back, miles beus, in those days, by our friends on low among earth-flowers, till the heamainland and isle, was one of great venly creature, surely life-imbued, powers and extraordinary genius, hath passed from horizon to horizon, whom, for sake of the giver, we va- away like a dubious dream! Then lued above all the rest—and whom all at once-we are now speaking of we christened by the euphonious Colonsay-off like a storm-tost vaname of his birth-place among the pour along the cliffs, capriciously waves—Colonsay. A cob let us call careering across cataracted chasms, him, though he was not a cob—for and then, whew! whirling in a mohe shewed blood of a higher, a Nep- ment over the mountain tops! With tunian strain; an iron-grey let us no kind of confidence could youcall him, though he was not an iron. if sober-count upon him for half a grey-for his shoulders, and flanks, mile. Yet we have known him keep and rump, were dappled even as if he the not noiseless tenor of his way, had been a cloud steed of the Isle at the jog-trot, for many miles, as if of Sky; a hog-mane let us call him, to beguile you into a belief that all though he was not a hog-mane, for danger of your losing your seat was wild above rule or art, that high- over for that day, and that true wisridged arch disdained the shears, dom, dismissing present fears, might and in spite of them shewed at once be forming schemes for the safety of in picturesque union boarish bristle to-morrow's ride. Yet, ere sunset, and leonine hair; a crop-ear let us pride had its fall. Pretending to call him, though he was not a crop- hear something a-rustle in the bedge, ear, for over one only of those or- or something a.crawl in the ditch, gans had the aurist achieved an im- or something a-flow across the road perfect triumph, wbile the other, un- below the stones, with a multitudishorn of all its beams, was indeed a nous stamp, and a multifarious start, flapper, so that had you seen or as if he had been transformed from a heard it in the obscure twilight, you quadruped at the most, into a centiwould have crouched before the pede at the very least, he has wheelcoming of an elephant. His precise ed round on a most perilous pivot, height is not known on earth even within his own length, and with the unto this day, for he abhorred being bit in his teeth, off due east, at that measured, and after the style in nameless pace far beyond the gal. which he repelled various artful at- lop, at which a mile-long avenue of tempts to take his altitude by timber trees seems one green flash of lightor tape, no man who valued his life ning, and space and time annihilated! at a tester would, with any such fe- You have lost your stirrups and
your wits-yet instinct takes the were on bis back, abated nothing of place of reason-and more than his vagaries, but, on the contrary, demi-corpsed, wholly incorporated only made them more vehement; and entirely absorbed in the mane while on such occasions--and they enthe hair and bristle of the boar- were not unfrequent or can we mane-leonine-you become part and account for the phenomenon on any parcel of the very cause of your own other theory than the one we have being hurried beyond the bounds now propounded-bis neighing outof this visible diurnal sphere--and did that of his own sire-a terrific exist but in an obscure idea of an mixture of snuffing, sporting, blowimpersonation of an ultra-marine mo- ing, squeaking, grunting, groaning, tion, which, in the miserable penury roaring, bellowing, shrieking and of artificial language, men are neces- yelling, that indeed “gave the world sitated to call a gallop.
assurance of a horse," and murdered An absent man is a more disgust- silence—for the echoes dared not ing, but not so dangerous an animal, answer-nor, indeed, could they be as an absent horse. Now, of all the expected to understand-or if they horses we ever knew, the most ab- understood—to speak a language so sent was Colonsay. Into what pro- portentously preternatural, and befound reveries have we not seen him yond the powers of utterancefall-while“ his drooped head sunk though great--of blind cliff or widegradually low," till bis long upper- mouthed cavern. lip almost touched the road, as if he He was a miraculous jumper-of had been about to browze on dust or wooden gates and stone-walls. He dirt, yet nothing was farther from cleared six feet like winking; and his mind than any such intention as to paling, or hedges, or any thing for his eyes were shut-and there of that sort, he pressed upon them he was jog-trotting in the sunshine in a sidelong sort of way peculiar to sound asleep! We knew better than himself, now with shoulder and now to ride him with spurs--and he with rump, and then butting with bis knew better than to care for the bull-like forehead, marched through cuddy-heels of a gouty sexagenarian. the breach as coolly as a Gurwood His dappled coat was sleek and or a Mackie at the head of a forbright as if burnished with Day and lorn-hope at Ciudad Rodrigo or Martin's patent greying-had those Badajos. To a ba-ha he cried great practical chemists then flou- "ha-ha!” and up or down in red. rished, and confined their genius deer fashion through clover-field exclusively to the elucidation of or flowering shrubbery-all one to that colour. But his hide was hard Colonsay. În a four-acre pasture, as that of a rhinoceros, and callous twenty men, halter in hand, might to a whip that would have cụt a in vain combine to catch him; and Cockney to the liver. The leather as for the old stale trick that rarely was never tanned that could have fails to entrap the rest of his raceestablished a raw on those hips. Ply corn tossed a la tambourine-he the thong till your right hand hung would give bis forelock a shake, idle as if palsied by your side-the and, wheeling right shoulder for pace was the same-and milestone wards, break through the cordon after milestone shewed their nume- like a clap of thunder. Now all this rals, each at the appointed second. was very excusable—nay, perhaps But “a change came o'er the spirit praiseworthy-while he was bareof his dream"-and from imagining backed and unbestridden; but if, on himself drawing peats along a flat passing an enclosure of an inviting in Dream-land, he all at once fell aspect, whether of grass or oats, he into the delusion that he was let chose to be either gluttonously or Joose from his day's darg into the epicurishly inclined, the accident of pleasant meadows of Idlesso, and up your being on the saddle, and on your with his heels in a style of funking way along the high-road to town or more splendid in design and finished village where you had business to in execution than any exhibition of transact, or to pay a visit, was then the kind it has ever been our lot to a trifle with him unworthy of a see out of Stony Arabia. The dis- moment's consideration ; and then, covery soon made by him that we without a moment's warning, he
either jumped like a cat over the chasing the cows, ever and anon wall, with his heels pushing down a turning up bis lip in the air as if he few yards of coping, or if a good, were laughing at the lumbering gait stout, thickset thorn-hedge stood in of the great, big, fat, unwieldy ani. the way of the gratification of his mals straddling out of bis way, with appetite, he demolished it in like their swollen udders, while the Dammanner as we had seen bim demo- sel of the Dairy few shouting and Jish a hundred, and bore us through waving her apron to be rescue, the enemies' bayonets across the fearing that the hoped-for quey.calf counterscarp, over the glacis, up to of the teeming Alderney might, in the crest of the position where per- her mother's fright, be untimeously haps a tree stood by way of stand-born-nor besitating to aver that it ard, and then setting himself to was manifestly that wicked Colonserious eating, no man could have say's intent to bring about such pulled his nose from the ground, lamentable catastrophe.
But we under a Briareus.
are assured that he had no idea Such conduct was at least intellic of Madame Francaise being
as lagible ; but that is more than we dies wish to be who love their could ever bring ourselves to think lords ;” for though the most incomof some of his other acts—such, for prehensible of God's creatures, poor example, as changing his mind, Colonsay had not an atom of cruelty without any assignable reason, when in his whole composition; and, exto all appearance jog-trotting along, cept when he took it for a clegg, perfectly well pleased with his jour- would not have hurt a fly. ney,and by means of an easy roundish His strength was even more surturn, without any bustle or symptom prising than his agility, and we should of impatience whatever, changing have had no fears for the result in his direction, and with imperturbable backing him for five pulls at an oak gravity mildly taking us home again, root, against a First-prize Suffolk as if we were of our own accord Punch. True that his nerves were jogging back for our purse or pocket- delicate, like those of almost all other book. Such must have been one of people of genius; but the nervous the many suppositions at many times system, a subject, by the by, that ventured upon by roadside stone. seems less and less understood every breakers, once more bowing their day, is one thing, and the muscular heads to us, so soon after our decli- system another—and the osseous sysnation behind the bill unexpectedly tem is a third, and sinews are a reappearing with our face to the fourth ; in these three he excelled all orient. The servants began to sus. mare-born, and was in good truth pect that these returns were made the Nag of the Age. If you had purposely by us that we might catch but seen him in the plough! Single them caterwauling; and the house on the stiffest soil, with his nose alkeeper herself, we thought, some- most touching his counter, and his times looked sulky when our hem mighty forehand working far more brought her to the door; but on di- magnificently than any steam-engine, vulging to ber the secret, we were for there you saw power and heard restored to our former place in her it not, how he tore his unimpeded esteem. The lintel of the stable- progress through the glebe fast door was rather low, and on two oc- falling over in six-inch deep furcasions our friend walked into his rows, over which Ceres rejoiced to stall with us lying extended on his see the sheeted sower, careless of back, with our hatless head over his rooks, scatter golden in the sunshine neck, the only position in which we the glancing seed! Then behind his could have evited death-a knee-pan heels how hopped the harrows! Clods each time looking blue on its escape were soon turned to tufts, and tufts from dislocation. Yet no sooner triturated into soil, and soil so pulwas the seemingly stable-sick steed verized, that the whole four-and. tied up in his stall, but with a Jack- twenty acres, so laid down, smiled Shepherd touch, he jerked his head smooth as a garden, and might have out of the collar, and jumping over been sown with flowers! Ploughing an old cairn-looking wall, began and harrowing may truly be said to
have been his darling amusements, and conduct on most of the great af. illustrations of “labor ipse voluptas." fairs of life. To illustrate this conSo engaged, he played his capricious geniality would require more time pranks no more-he was an agri- and space than we can now affordculturist indeed-for one look of suffice it to say for the present, in Colonsay at that work, it would have half a sentence, Christopher and been well
worth the while of the Colonsay dearly loved-each his own ghost of Triptolemus to have be- wild will and his own wild way; seeched Pluto for an hour's furlough and though in following them out, on earth—but sorely he would have they were often found to run counwept after such sight to return to the ter, yet we generally were at one in untilled world of shadows.
the end. Rough-shod, we should But he was dangerous-very-in not have feared to ride bim across a gig. On one occasion, “under the Frozen Ocean-shoeless, in spite the opening eye-lids of the morn”- of the simoom through the Sandy Dewe remember it as if it had been sert. Where there was danger, man yesterday-just as a sleepy man in and horse were a Centaur. Bear a yellow shirt and a red night-cap witness, with a voice muttering was fumbling at the lock_impatient through vapours, ye cliffs of Scafell! of the dilatory nudity, Colonsay,care. In your sunless depths, O Bowscale less or forgetful of the gig behind Tarn, have not the two Undying Fish him, towering higher than the toll- seen our heads reflected at noonhouse, rising up like the most potent day among the pallid images of the of his progenitors, prepared himself stars? for a standing-leap, and cleared the Aye, when he chose he was, in good pike at a spang! Many truths, says truth, the devil togo! Then the instant Aristotle, are more incredible than he saw the horn of a side-saddle fictions, and this one may be brought he was as gentle as a lamb. Soon as to the illustration of his Poetick. the blue gleam of that riding habit We carried away none of our tackle met his eye, he whinnied softly as a -not a strap started—not a buckle silly foal, and sunk on his knees on lost its tongue. The wheels—though the turf, to let the loveliest lady in great spokesmen – said nothing; the land ascend her throne like a --and the body of the gig“ on its queen, and then changed by joy into smooth axle spinning slept without one of the bright coursers of the Sun, being awakened—yet 'twas no gla- away bore he at a celestial canter mour gate-a real red six-barred that Light Divine, more beautiful than two-posted heart-of.oak gate, that Aurora cloud-carried through the the week before had turned a run- gates of the dawn-"a new sun risen away post-chay into the lake, and on midday.” O God of heaven! shivered—in neither case without how blaek — deep-insatiate - the some loss of life-a delirious shan- maw of the ever-hungry Grare! drydan into atoms!
But we come now to our RecollecWe think we see him nowmandour- tions of the Trotting. match, whereof SELVES on his back—a green branch all Eogland rang from side to side waving on his head, to keep the buz- —and shall not delay you loog by an zers from settling round his eyes, account of the circumstances under our head bare then but the beaver which it was made, though of them -now shadowed with undying lau. we must say something, and likewise rels. That we should have persisted something of our celebrated antafor years in riding the animal, of gonists. whose character we have now given Sam Sitwell was well known in you a very few traits, must seem to his day as one of the best in all Eng. all who do not know him and us, land. He had long had it all his very like infatuation; but we are not own way in the South, but comashamed to confess, that there had ing on the wrong side of Kendal, grown up between us a strong mu. he found we were too far North tual attachment, under the secret, for him, and caught a Tartar. His and, perhaps, at the time by both favourite prad too was a grey, a parties unsuspected influence of mare, standing fifteen hands and a similarity of sentiment and opinion half, and the story ran she had done