« PreviousContinue »
Where shall the maiden meek,
Whose beauty would not die,
Upon the Painter's grave.
There is a winding footpath be- rest in colour,-for, doubtless, Remhind the Valley of Rocks Inn, that brandt would have worked here in leads down to the little Quay; but
It was now we preferred returning to Lynmouth nearly high water; immediately beby the carriage road. We had nearly fore us the tide was coming in with reached the bottom of the hill, when a fine swell over the large masses of we met the females of our party, stone that, at low water, are seen who were proceeding to the water- dark, covered with sea-weed, scatside by a path that commenced a tered everywhere about. Not that little way up the hill, in preference there was a very great sea here ; but to what, in its improved state, may the coming in of the tide is everyalmost be called the street of Lyn- where grand, from the huge swell, mouth. This walk was chosen, be- and driving wave, to the rush over cause, as the sun was now setting in the pebbles up to your very feet, and great magnificence, it presented a backward play, whirling about the more striking view of the effects of looser stones, as it were tossing the glorious luminary over the world them and frying them (for such was which he was blessing at his depar- their noise) for old Triton's supper, ture. This path was a little above with the white flakes and bubbles the buildings and the Quay, and of the fat and froth commingled as commanded them in agreeable per- they retire, to be again slushed forspective: the broad Channel and the ward by the break of the incoming Welsh mountains bounded the view. transparent green swell. Pictor callThe little river was both seen and ed us to the little Quay, whose pier heard, as in tints of pinkish grey it juts out some little way, making calm brawled in its restless and earnest the little harbour within it. We speed to the great bosom of its rest. mounted the steps that joined and To the left, the rich bank of the belonged to a little look-out house. hill rose, covered with foliage, and The termination of the pier was just was terminated by high and spread- below us, of no great length, and not ing, trees, between whose leafage yet covered, but the waves would and branches the golden light was
every now and then send a partial streaming. As we proceeded nearer wash over it; every repeated attack the Quay, the path was in deep was with a greater body and force; shade, darkened by the high wooded sometimes it was doubtful if the bank on one side, and high trees water thrown on it should recede or rising out of broken ground on the go over into the little bay on the other, that shot out their branches other side ; sometimes there was a over the termination of the little separation, part receding and part street below. These trees are bold washing over. and fine, and I never saw this passage Pictor. This is beautiful; here by any light that it did not exbibit sight and sound uniting, fill the mind considerable beauty both of form with awe of the element that can be and colour. boat, with its keel so great, so powerful in its very play, upwards, was lying on one side the leaving thereby the power of its path at the bottom of the rocky bank, wrath to imagination. A few minear which was a dark, narrow way nutes ago you would have been that led upwards to Linton. A little delighted to have stepped down on lower down were some rude steps, the stones of the pier, to have watchand the upper part of an old house, ed the pouring in; and now it is a which had an entrance here as well foot under water, and the resistance as below, where the path reached it offers below sends the waves clear the Quay. There are some good and transparent over its top with a studies about this passage, but they rush, that would take you off your are for various uses, not for views, footing in a moment, and send you except to those who would make into the deep water like a bob or the sentiment of their picture to bottle of sea-weed, as a reproof for
your impertinent scrutiny. There ing her more extended general picis something much more noticeable tures to draw away from the search in the waters in this state, than in those whom she less favours. their greater fury.
Descending from the steps, and Sketcher. Yes, because the idea of leaning over the wall of the little your having recently desired the Quay, we for some time watched the footing, from which you are now cut coming-in sea from that point. We off, brings yourself into connexion saw a black mass of stone, with its with the element; it has made you head just above water, that looked for a moment its playmate, and you like an object of sport for the waves, are feelingly convinced of the that would at some distance slowly strength of the monster's paw. But approach, and swell, and threaten, had you seen him at once put out and curl darkening under their bis whole power in one great dash brows, then with a rush pounce upon of foam and fury, you would not the black object, and washing over have felt the smallest inclination to it, steal aside and retreat in compasubject yourself to his wrath; the rative quiet, again to repeat the sport. idea would not have crossed your Pictor. How like tigers at play! mind, and you would have seen the and see, within our view what vadisplay comparatively unmoved. riety there is ! Here it is sport;Whatever is more powerful than here again a succession of waves ourselves, and has life and action, is come on like pawing foaming horses. always grand to us; and the more There again, at a little distance to we can bring ourselves in imagina- our left, the element steals like an tion within its reach or vortex, the insidious serpent, licking the pebbles more grand it becomes. There is that shine at the feet of that half-faslittle sublimity where there is no cinated daughter of Eve, who is cosense of our own inferiority, no quetting with its approach, now flyfear, no sense of danger.
ing and now returning, and allowing Pictor. Water generally conveys
her delicate feet to be wetted by its to my mind a feeling of terror, or deceitful tongue. Small regard has something akin to it. Even a small he, the villain, for her beauty, and cascade overpowers me—but that would willingly bear her away with may be with its sound; but a deep, a hiss, to gorge his monstrous ravenstill, dark pool in a mountain stream ous brood, all waiting, lurking out amid the solitary woods, fills me of sight in the blue deep, for their with horror. And even a shallow, daily meals. creeping, insinuating, almost silent Sketcher. Watch that broken plank, stream, with a few white bubbles on part perhaps of some heretofore fair the transparent surface, that by their bark, that has proudly and triumpassage just shew the motion and phantly buffeted the stormy main, progress over a dark-brown bed, all and visited the “ vex'd Bermustealing its designing way through das.” See how the waves seem to dark shade, has often chilled me, as stretch out for it, as it lies on the by the presence of a hydra gifted very edge; and now they have reachwith fascination. I have so often men- ed it; they bave washed over it, tioned this feeling, and have met but they have moved it; and now they with ridicule for my imaginary by- rush in with greater force and condrophobia, that I must suppose it to fidence. They have it; and see how be a peculiar weakness-a supersti. they bear it back with them into the tion.
mass of foam, where is the conflict Sketcher. Painters and poets have of the inpouring and the receding. keen eyes and ears, and see and hear Who would venture to the rescue? sights and sounds, that would be Go, bid the fair one read the lesson, audible and visible to many others, and draw a moral from it. if they would walk abroad to study Pictor. How forcibly does it rethese things as you do. But they mind us of the prophetic vision of look mostly to general views; in Isaiah : which, by the by, nature is most de- “Their roaring shall be like a lion, ficient, scattering about her poetry they shall roar like young lions; yea, in her materials and in parts, offer. they shall roar and lay hold of their prey, and shall carry it away safe, row; and I was expatiating with and none shall deliver it. And in much delight upon the beauty of the that day they shall roar against them valleys we were to visit, when Pictor like the roaring of the sea.”
remarked, that there was something The sun had now set; we left the not quite pleasing, especially under pier to join our party, who had wan- the influence of this fading light and dered down among the rocks. We scene, in descriptions of sunny and found them deeply sheltered in a re- green spots, endeared too by many recess, among large fragments of stone, collections. “Were we,” said he, “ far with the high cliff at their backs. removed from them, we might think The water was scarcely heard here. upon them as regions that the blessed We were directed to them by the orb of day might be still looking sound of the guitar, whose tones, so upon, (for we are not over particupeculiarly vibrating and adapted to lar in measurement of degrees.) To the open air, blended with the voice, . be out of instant reach may be enough stole upon the ear with great tender- for the imaginative; but now that they
Ariel might have listened to are so near us, and we know them to it, and mermaids have dropped their be under the deep veil of an almost sea-shells. It is music draws the awful solitude, buried in nature's true magic circle. It influences all sleep, so like death, the fancy passes animate things, and characterises instantly from the brightness to the inanimate. For here the very rocks darkness. The transition is sudden seemed to arch themselves to hear it; and painful. The more vivid the the air seemed in stillness to receive description or the recollection, the it; the waters to glide in more gen- deeper the gloom in contrast. It is tly, and fall to its cadence; it brought the sunniest, the brightest object, out the stars; and their winking throws the darker shadow." There spake plainly, “ Softly tread :” so was a pause; to break which, the for a while we stood still. There is guitar was placed in Pictor's hands. a picture. At the conclusion of the He bent his head to the instrument a song we joined the fair musicians ; few seconds, as in deep thought; of whom and whose converse I am touched a few chords; and feelingly, not here permitted to speak. We with subdued voice, sang the folwere forming our plans for the mor- lowing
O, lay me not by the clear fountain's brink,
To dream of bliss.
Lay me not under where the green trees grow,
Where all breathes love.
O, lay me not where the sea's rippling wave
Where Echo dwells.
Trees fragrant, and soft sounds, and gentle airs,
To peaceful resto
To me they seem like a forsaken feast,
The garland wears. « We must break this spell,” said I. It was a little harbour of. peace and *Pictor has been visiting the Painter's rest; we could just hear at intervals, Grave, and ruminating 'sweet and and much softened, the break of the bitter melancholy. Let us return. waves without. Presently there was We have yet one social pleasure that a plash in the water below us as of will dissipate all gloom; when the a rope thrown in, then the noise as clear transparent pure white China of a chain in a boat. It was not long cups shall throw up their perfumedere we could indistinctly see it, incense to the Good Genius,' we quietly, but with a little stir of the shall be cheerful again.” We rose, water, that made the illumination of and moved homewards. As Pictor a few flakes of light from the reflectwas desirous of seeing the effect of ed sky to break across the deeper the low light over the scene from the shadows, make its way to one of the little pier, we walked aside to the little vessels, on board of which a steps of the look-out house. Since lantern was soon visible on its deck, we had left it, a great change had and when brought near the stern, taken place. The high hill, on which was seen again a bright and wavy Linton stands, had now lost the red in the water, beautifully conmarks of all petty divisions, and ap- trasted with the colder tints in the peared one wooded dark mass, yet dark mirror. There were lights in varying in depth of shade and tone one or two windows, but not near; of colour, as it was nearer to, or re- they went and came. Above Linton ceded from the eye. At the foot of was a bright star, shining, as Pictor this hill lay the little street; the remarked, upon the Painter's grave, whitewashed walls sufficiently mark- Thescene was extremely fascinating; ed it, but as all was in the repose of and whoever may be pleased by deep shade, not obtrusively so. The daylight with the lines of this view, very high rocky hill, that rose above let him be careful to visit it at such the little valley of the West Lyn, was a light. It gave a perfect idea of separated from the other by its lighter secure rest-repose, upon the contone. The one being woody, the fines of the most dangerous element. other grey rock, gave them distinc- Every house was a nest of security, tion of colour. Yet they were hap- and the blessed balm and influence pily blended, and the outlines of se- of sleep might be within, and paration so soft, as scarcely to obtain Heaven's ample protecting curtain notice. The pier on which we stood, over all. Pictor would have remainmeeting the line of the street nearly ed here hours, but it was time to reat right angles, gave the charm of tire, and we were soon in our simple enclosure to the little harbour. The rustic Gothic cottage room. All water was very dark with the reflec- was now bright and cheerful within; tion of the bills. Immediately under our tea refreshed us, and we yet our eyes were a few small vessels, passed an hour or two delightfully. whose masts and cordage were re- To shew the change in his feelings, lieved against the darkness, though Pictor offered us another song. He not too nicely seen. All was stillness. in his turn took the guitar.
O, who would sit in the moonlight pale,
Mock'd by the hooting owl ?
-There, let the winds go howl.
And large our shadows fall
On the flowery beds all green and bright,
That paint our parlour wall ;
to the evening star,
That sings to the light guitar.
O, we will the happy listeners be,
When songs and tales begin;
How the rose it is peeping in,
Where sweet affection smiles,
In Beauty's thousand isles ?
Within four bright walls and a cheerful mind! We retired to rest, I trust not Another day's proceedings must be unthankful for the enjoyment of the for another paper. day, as for many other blessings.
NOTE. - Knowledge is power-commonly meant scientific, and only scientific, to the exclusion of religious acquirement. With what consummate skill has Milton arranged all the delusive arguments upon this subject, and put them into the mouth of the great Tempter ! The promise of that knowledge was to teach our first parents to be regardless of their Maker, to set themselves up in a power equal to his. Power though it may be, it is nowhere pronounced to be Virtue or Happiness the wisdom to be derived from a far other fountain than that “ scientific sap;" and thus are described the intoxicating deleterious effects of that “ mortal taste."
« Soon as the force of that fallacious fruit,
Then, again, Adam's conviction
“ In evil hour didst thou give ear