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believing it to be a waste spot, but I now find I must palace—a stone edifice of two storeys in height, very become the tenant of your surviving parent. What | large and dirty, built in a square, with a court in the does she expect for it?'
middle, and galleries all round the sides. On the • That,' said Edward, she is satisfied to leave to your left, as we entered, was a large hall, like the salles lordship. We are confident that the chief lawgiver of in France and Belgium, with great heavy blinds at our country will do what is just and right.'
one end that admitted air, but no light; and at the • You shall not be disappointed, young man,' replied other end an open staircase, inlaid with some kind of the chancellor. “I was offered a site for my palace, yellow wood, ading to offices and bedrooms. The ball equally eligible, at a yearly rent of four hundred pounds. was full of men, short, mahogany-coloured, and with That sum I will pay your mother, and have it properly faces half-buried in hair, with here and there a naval or secured to her heirs for ever.'
military uniform among them, seated in groups at little Edward thanked his lordship, and respectfully with round tables, smoking, gaming, and drinking wine and drew.
lemonade. We took some wine, and went to bed, being Before a week had elapsed, his mother was estab- very tired, where we managed finally to sleep in spite lished in a neat and comfortable dwelling in one of the of the noise, which seemed to go on just the same all suburbs; and ere two had gone by, sweet Lucy (no through the night. longer Gray) might be seen in the sunny little garden Cagliari, like most Mediterranean towns, is striking filling a basket with the fruit of a golden pippin-tree, without, and infamous within. An amphitheatre of which the old lady pronounced to be almost as fine as houses sweeps round the bay, tier rising over tier about the apples which his gracious majesty King George II. two-thirds up the sides of a conical hill
, four hundred was wont to select from her stall at Ilyde Park Corner. feet high, very glorious to the eye, but very tiring to
And thus it came to pass that the stately mansion of climb. Within, the streets are narrow and mean, paved England's warrior-duke is subject, at the present day, with small pitching stones, set obliquely with the points to a ground rent of four hundred pounds a-year, payable turned upwards; at every third or fourth house a to the representatives of the old applewoman.
clothes-line dangles with linen hung out to dry, the
only sign of washing observable during our stay, for RECOLLECTIONS OF SARDINIA,
the dirt is universal, and surpasses language to describe.
A traveller fresh from home is struck with the comIn the year 1847, the Mediterranean is covered with pletely Italian look of the place: the houses lofty, and steamboats: the united genii of steam and wind hurry with colonnades, the shops full of garlic, sausages, and forward the traveller for business or pleasure with little figures of saints. There are several remarkably absolute certainty to his destination, and without his handsome churches, crammed full of votive offerings. being obliged by the way to dispense with either a There is a spacious cathedral, with a façade composed good dinner or a clean bed. But ten years ago, men of solid slabs of white marble; and another, nearly as and things in the south still went on in their old large, having a multitude of side chapels, one of them way. Steamboats were then confined to the line be- illustrious in the island for a giant picture of Antitween Marseilles, Malta, and Constantinople ; and the christ and his followers, represented in the various communication between the outlying ports and islands shapes of dogs, wolves, and bears, among whom Luther, was still kept up principally by small half-decked Beza, and Calvin figure conspicuously. But these sailing-boats, lateen-rigged, and from thirty to forty stately edifices add little to the general effect, being tons burden, the passengers by which found their own built up with the meanest class of shops reared against provisions, and for bed and accommodation got on their sides; nor are they such as would attract much as they could—that is to say, very badly. The vari- notice among the like kind of structures on the conti. able winds of the Mediterranean often made this mode nent. The real interest of a city like this lies in its men of transit a great trial of patience; but it was the and women. very best way to see and study the magnificent coast In Sardinia, every one wears a different dress, accordscenery. From the exceeding depth and transparency ing to his district. The people of Cagliari dress differ. of the atmosphere, the mountain back-grounds in the ently from those of Sassari ; the natives of the highlands interior, at the distance of very many miles, stand from those of the lowlands; the peasantry of one parish out startingly near and distinct to the eye, forming, from those of the next. Compared with our own sober. with the infinite sea, the framework to a landscape vested population, among whom every male above the which every change of the bark, as it creeps by the rank of a labourer wears a frock-coat and round hat, a shore, constantly varies and renews, while it gives time town like this looks like a tulip bed. Some of the men enough for each characteristic curve and blending of wear a large hat, with a party-coloured handkerchief the sea and land to impress itself unchangeably on the bound tight round the head, the corner hanging down memory. The steamboat traveller goes straight to his behind, and a close waistcoat of tanned leather folding point; but he sees nothing of this. Comfort and ex on the breast, and reaching nearly to the knee. That pedition are his object, and he obtains them; but it huge swarthy fellow, with his bare neck burnt almost is at the expense of all the essential beauty of the to a brick-dust hue with the sun, in a jacket of goatvoyage.
skin, and a highlander's bonnet covering his matted We embarked at Bastia in the felucca Giustina, on hair, has just come down from the mountains a dozen the second day of July, and it was the ninth before we miles off, to sell his winter's store of wild-boars' hams reached Cagliari in Sardinia, a distance of three hundred in the metropolis, and is chaffering with a citizen in a miles; for during half the time the air was motionless, flaming red bonnet, and black kilt falling gracefully and we lay roasting on the smooth swell of the Medi- over his scanty under-garments, and fastened at the terranean under an almost vertical sun. Every after- collar with silver buttons. They have commenced aminoon, about four o'clock, it lightened, but without cably; but at each interchange their voices are getting thunder; and from this the horizon was in a blaze an octave higher, and the highlander's hand is clutching till sunset, when short interrupted squalls came on with mechanically at his knife. Standing in a group by rain, and lasted till midnight. On the evening of the themselves are a number of sturdy, thick-legged, mahoseventh day, we brought to in the magnificent bay of gany-coloured mountain-women, loaded with fruit and Cagliari, among a fleet of fishing-boats. It is worth a vegetables : as they glance at the cloaked and hooded week's confinement on board to feel the rapture of excittadini, what a pride they evidently feel in the conchanging the eternal pitching and rocking of a small trast presented by their flaming scarlet stockings, and vessel for the motionless earth, especially when one bright yellow cloth caps with scarlet borders, and im. has been living in the midst of dirt indescribable, on measurably full petticoats starting forth with a swirl hard pears, indigestible fowls, garlic, and ship's biscuit. from the hips, like the pictures of our grandmothers Our hotel, when we reached it, was anything but a | when hoops were the fashion. The ladies dress in caps
and bonnets here as elsewhere; but the citizens' wives goes, slowly sailing out of sight. For the next five hours still remain faithful to the ancient white Greek veil, we were trotting doggedly forward under a sickening thrown gracefully over the head and shoulders, con- heat, over an endless level of plantation and desert. trasting admirably with the deep, dark flashing eyes, Rich fields of olives and sugar-canes, with palm-trees and pencilled classical lineaments, which strongly mark thirty feet high, and other tropical productions, met us their Grecian origin. Many of these women are perfect here and there; but the greater part of the ground lay models in face and figure, and would be fascinating, but uncultivated, though capable of anything. Everything for those unnameable coarsenesses too common to the was still, through the intensity of the heat; the very women of the south, but revolting to an Englishman, lizards were silent; and twice only we passed a solitary
It is not at every hour of the day, however, that such peasant. Once we came upon running water ; a luxury groups are to be seen. From sunset till sunrise the indeed; and once we passed, at a short distance from the place is as a city of the dead, all who can do so keeping country-seat of some absentee noble, a huge building within doors, with closed windows; or if compelled to like a manufactory, with the ground cut up in plots to go out, muffling themselves carefully up with a bandage the very door, and the cow-pens placed right under the drawn completely over the mouth, for fear of the mala- bedroom windows. ria, which is worse here even than in the lowlands of The country still bore a very solitary aspect, until we Rome, and has been known to prove fatal within twenty- turned sharply to the left, at the foot of a conical limefour hours. At mid-day, in like manner, the streets are stone bluff, and began to ascend by a paved road, cut in empty, the colps di sole, or sun-stroke, being almost as a zig-zag direction up the face of the hill. The specmuch dreaded as the malaria. Early morning, before tacle from the top, stretching far and wide over the the sun has come on, is the time for disposing of the immense level we had just quitted, must ordinarily be little necessary business; and in the afternoon, by six very fine; but now, before us, and on either side, the o'clock, when the intense heat is in a great measure gone vast plain of the Campidano lay literally steaming with off, all the world is out to enjoy the short glorious twi- heat, the mist floating palpably up into the transparent light which accompanies the setting sun. The streets are blue sky, and confusing everything to the distant Medifull of people thronging to the shore ; one fine one, espe- terranean, which was momentarily distinguishable by cially, running along the head of the bay, along which the flashes of sunlight reflected from its waves. As we the evening breeze is fast stealing up, as is evident from looked, we could almost see the heat in the bottom, but the shifting of the distant sails, and the broken glitter now every step took us into a different country; and of the sunbeams where they strike upon the crisping after half an hour's continuous mounting, we rode forth and undulating waters. Groups of singers, with guitars upon an upland plateau, with the short crisp turf under and screaming flageolets,* drawl out interminable love our feet, and heath flowers perfuming the fresh pure air ditties ; criers proclaim the last day's assassination ; of the hills. The vegetation here utterly changed; no children bawl and romp; men smoke, swear, talk poli- more sugar-canes, plantains, and agavés, but plants of tics, and abuse their fellow-subjects across the water; the north, beeches, ash, and evergreen oaks, with wild women, stepping daintily to and fro, scream recognition olive and cork-trees, sheltering & profusion of wild to their acquaintances at the tops of their voices; the flowers and berries, especially a gorgeous strawberry passionate southern temperament is at its full swing of of a deep orange colour. The peasantry, too, seemed vitality and enjoyment, when the boom of the evening altered for the better; blue eyes and fresh skins met us gun is heard sullenly over all. In ten minutes the here and there, while down in the plains the men were streets are once more full of gesticulating groups, trot- short and thick-set, with large mouths and thick lips, ting hurriedly homeward; and in ten minutes more black hair and eyes, and complexions like wash leather. their only occupants are here and there the solitary | The dress, too, was once more different. A peasant sentinels, to whose lot it has fallen to face the fatal walking by my side-a gaunt, sinewy fellow, as upright whisperings of the night breeze, which brings death as a dart, clad in dark brown, with a sort of spiral cloth upon its wings.
cap on his head-asked me if I did not admire a little A week was quite enough to give to Cagliari during girl, who was trotting before us, returning from some the malaria season, when everybody that could do so village fête, or more probably from confession. She was away and in the mountains. We paid our bill, was the daughter of some small farmer, and had on after first having to resist and overcome the custo- her best clothes--a complete suit of scarlet over a mary Italian propensity to overcharge; and after a white petticoat flounced up to the knees, with long similar conflict, succeeded in settling upon reasonable sleeves of scarlet cloth, down the sides of which were terms for the hire of three mules and a guide to take us a double row of silver buttons, each as big as a across to Palmas, where our boat was sent round to crown piece : on her head she wore a triangular piece meet us.
of scarlet cloth, tied down by a broad flame-coloured Accordingly, the next morning we were all prepared ribbon, and altogether looked like a bonfire. In this to set off. It was about four A. M.; we had packed up; attire, without either shoes or stockings, she was dancthe horses were all ready at the door, when the guide ing a-head at a great rate, occasionally turning round to absolutely refused either to start himself, or to allow his laugh at us with her wondering large eyes, as we plodded horses to start: first, because it was Friday; and, se on through stones and brambles fetlock deep in mud. cond, because his dog had howled through the night! During the rest of the day we rode through an open
This was too bad, when he had received the whole sum valley, enclosed by high lands; a sheet of the most gloagreed upon on the night before: but he was immov- rious vegetation, but the beauty of which was made terable for the time; and when, by threats and an addi- rible by the multitude of short wooden crosses at every tional carolinus, he was obliged to give in, an hour was turn and nook, marking the scene of some deed of blood already lost. The morning was dark, damp, and dreary, committed or attempted. At the close of the evening and a thick mist, full of all kinds of fever and malaria we entered a dark tree-shaded ravine, with a brawling no doubt, hung over everything. The road first wound brook rushing down the bottom, up which we threaded along the margin of the bay, and then diverged inland, our way by a narrow road scarped out of the red earth running along the top of a causeway, between two great of the hill-side ; and presently emerging at the upper stagnant ponds, half mud, half water, steaming with end, came out at once into the main street of Teulada, malaria vapour. Gradually, the sun came out, and where we were to sleep for the night. roused up an army of waterfowl, which passed us with Teulada is a little out-of-the-way place, on a hill-side; a loud plash, and after them a band of scarlet flamin- but man’s evil passions follow him everywhere, and even
here, at the street end, was a freshly-constructed cross, * In Sardinia, called the launedda. It is made of three short commemorating, as we were afterwards told, a deed of pieces of wood, of unequal length, and for harshness surpasses any peculiar atrocity. Two farmers of the neighbourhood, bagpipe.
by names Alberto and Jacomino (literally, Little Jack),
had long been on bad terms, when they met by chance telling us he did so to avert the Evil Eye, which the at a country wake, quarrelled, fought, and were ulti- praise might otherwise bring upon it. Again, on remately reconciled with difficulty by the priest. Jaco-tiring for the night, we were obliged to kiss all round, mino soon after left the country. Thirteen years after- or great offence would have been taken. The family wards, when both were verging on old age, some unlucky slept on the floor; but we were allowed, out of special words persuaded Alberto that his honour called imperi- favour, to mount by a ladder into a wretched loft
, ously for revenge. He traced his enemy from Cagliari swarming with fleas, musquitos, and worse, and full of to Sassari, from Sassari to Marseilles, from Marseilles broken furniture and earthenware, pans, pots, and sacks back again to Sassari, and finally shot him from an of Indian corn; in one corner of which stood a huge ambush on the present spot. The victim died at once, antiquated kind of packing - case, big enough for a two balls having passed completely through his body; dozen, and stuffed with leaves of Indian corn. This was and the murderer was seized and executed, most justly, the bed. About midnight it blew a tremendous storm within a month afterwards, glorying in the spirit with of wind, with thunder and lightning, the hailstones, as which he had worked out his revenge, and regarded by big as eggs, battering on the roof like grape-shot; and his countrymen as a kind of martyr. This horrid spirit when this was over, the cocks took up the tune, and of revenge is the curse of Sardinia. No education, vio- crowed perseveringly till daybreak. lent natural passions, a bad religion, and the worst pos As it was quite evident there was to be no sleep, sible laws, with the greatest one-sidedness and venality we got up before dawn, and dressed the best way we in executing them, have here created a state of things could. Some wine and eggs were soon despatched, and which can only be realised by imagining the state of the in ten minutes more we were trotting out of the town, Highlands under the Jameses reproduced, with the added along a path so narrow, that the boughs met over our inflammation of an almost African sun. Throughout saddle-bows, through a grand ravine of crags and dells
, the island, the cittadini or inhabitants of walled towns studded with woods of ilex, beech, cork, and wild olives, hold the contadini or villagers in utter contempt, which and seemingly swarming with game. Hares by dozens the latter very cordially return: the highlanders look ran across our path ; quails and partridges swarmed in on the lowlanders as utterly degenerate, and beneath the bushes, with many gaily-painted natives of the themselves in being ; besides which, the people of Cag. south, of which we did not even know the names. Preliari and Sassari have a standing hatred to each other. sently we came upon a huge old boar, lying meditating Many communes have been at feud with each other for by himself at the foot of a cork-tree; but we had barely centuries, and have entirely forgotten the original cause, a glimpse of him, as he rose and trotted off through the if there ever was one. Every one goes armed to the jungle. The path continued to mount, holding more teeth, and in consequence, in one year (1827) there were to the southward over the hills, with the clear blue sea eight hundred and seventy-two assassinations in a po- at a little distance on our left, and grew narrower and pulation of four hundred thousand. The murderers narrower, till at length it was barely possible for the generally fly to the mountains, and there become ban- mules to keep their feet. We persevered, however, ditti-malviventi they are called—and in their turn, having no alternative, and were enabled, before the sun when the time comes, are hunted down like dogs by had reached the meridian, to look down upon the Bay the regular troops. Lately, a disarming act has been of Palmas, where our little bark lay waiting our arrival
, passed, which may do something; but the evil lies deep a solitary speck upon the waters of this magnificent in the misgovernment of centuries, which only centuries haven, which is capable of sheltering all the navies of can repair.
Europe in its bosom. When we came into the town, we found it in terrible confusion. A great hunt was to take place in the neighbourhood on the following day, and the people for THE ARISTOCRACY OF NAMES. miles round had poured in, and were squabbling for Our readers are aware that the strange thesis has been quarters in the streets.
Our lodging, when we got one, maintained before now, that 'private vices are public was in the worst style a specimen of the wretched wine benefits ;' and some may have wondered at the despeshops which it is the wanderer's lot to lodge in all over the south. The ground-floor consisted of one long room, rate ingenuity which could work evil into good by the serving for everything. In the centre of the room there simple rule of multiplication. But we live in a world of was a square hole in the clay floor, in which was the seeming anomalies ; and however difficult their reconfire, but the smoke had no outlet except through the ciliation may be, there is no doubt that the errors of door. The floor was of clay; the walls of mud, with a individuals are overmastered in their collective tendency, stone bench along one side; in the one corner was a and that we all, good, bad, wise, and foolish alike, colarge hand-mill for grinding corn; on the floor stood musingly an ass, a calf, and two pigs; and on the afore- operate, unconsciously, in the great work of human said bench sat the family—the host, his wife, and a little
progress. boy-with sundry cocks and hens. The landlord and
As a familiar illustration of what we mean—the phiourselves supped out of the same bowl; the hostess sat losopher smiles at the enthusiasm of the vulgar in their apart, women never being allowed to eat with the men aspirations after an undefined and undefinable good they in Sardinia. We had food enough, substantial, though call the Genteel ; but the philosopher may mile on, for coarse-fish, flesh, fried pigeons, olives, artichokes, and the wisdom of the learned Theban is foolishness. Such a platter of small white snails stewed, a dainty in this aspirations are the beginning of all refinement. They island—with plenty of strong country wine.
The host himself was a good specimen of a Sardinian lead, it is true, to the perpetration of innumerable cari. peasant-rough, but kind, shrewd, and especially inqui- catures ; but these in time correct themselves, or are sitive. England he had heard of from a Highland officer corrected by collision, till every day some individuals, of the Malta garrison, who had strayed into this secluded rising gradually above the mass, ascend into the region corner the autumn before for the sake of the shooting of true taste-or what is taken for such by the present He recollected his father speaking of Lord Nelson's generation. And what is true of individuals, is true of fleet when it came to water in the Bay of Palmas; and nations, and of society at large. The history of man. he had some vague notion of our steam-vessels and rail ners and costume, or, so to speak, Fashion, is the bis
: ways ; but nothing would convince him that Tughitterra tory of virtue and intelligence. How many revolutions (England) was not the capital of London. Some specimens of manners I recollect we had in the evening, have we passed through, before reaching our present more peculiar than pleasant. One of us praised the simplicity of attire! And how many horrors have we child, which was really very pretty: the father imme- encountered, before subsiding into our present condition diately spat in its face, and crossed himself devoutly, of comparative charity and peace! Our contemporaries
are better, as well as better dressed, than their ances- their merits remain an impenetrable mystery. We were tors; and our posterity will be better, and better dressed, in the music shop when he was closing the publishing than ourselves. Already our women have more ele- transaction, and he had occasion to sign his name-we gance, and less bustle ; and already our men have grown fear not to a receipt. The publisher stared at the docuashamed of their pig-tailed coats, not a thread of which ment, in which the signature was given at full length, will survive for their heirs-at-law. Already, in like and then at him. manner, do we begin to pick up little thieves and beg ‘R. A.!' cried he. “Why, your name is Ralph Abergars from the streets, to imprison them in schools, in- cromby!' stead of contaminating them in jails; to turn them to . You may say that. Wasn't it after the gineral I knowledge and industry, instead of confirming them was christened ? in ignorance and crime; and to lead them on to public 'Goodness gracious! Ralph Abercromby! Why usefulness, rather than the hulks and the gallows. Con- did you not mention this before? And are you really demn not, therefore, the vulgar-genteel any more than off now—with a fortune in that name?' our ancestors, for, like the latter, they are pilgrims on 'Sure it's time to be off, when I have paid the fare, the road, and their very errors are paths that lead to and forgotten the rint? Bad luck to the name! If the truth.
initials brought us to this, wouldn't the rest of it have But there is one thing in the general bearing and starved us entirely?' tendency of the present age towards the Genteel which • The man is an ass!' mused the publisher aloud, as is a little puzzling-not that we think the thing un our friend flung out of the shop. “But Ralph Abernatural or improper in itself, but we cannot well see in cromby R-! that name would have carried him what way the result is to benefit society. Gaudy or through, if he had brayed worse than a donkey!' ill-matched colours betray a mental struggle, which Sometimes it is considered advantageous to give one's may end in advancing the individual in the path to name a foreign air ; as if we were valuable exotics taste; and a control, however rude, of the language naturalised in the country, but still looking brown and and movements of the body, may in like manner re- yellow, as it were, in honour of our origin. Thus plain sult in an approach towards politeness. But of what Miller is homely and sturdy (though not overly honest), utility in our social progress is the present chronic re- till it is improved into Muller ; but when this again volution in Proper Names ? Suppose, for instance, the becomes Mühler, it is quite a molendinary curiosity. whole race of Smiths get on to writing their name We fancy Mr Mühler was some centuries ago Herr Smyth, or even reach the ne plus ultra Smythe, cui bono? | Mühler, and we long to ask him, When did you come Smythe is not intrinsically better than Smith; it is only over ? This expression, by the way, come over, is very more uncommon: and every advance the multitudinous captivation. Some came over with the Saxons, some tribe makes in this direction defeats its own object. If with the Normans—it matters little which : the thing Smythe were a good, or a beauty in itself-if it were the is to get back one's origin till it is lost in the morning beau ideal of Smith-that would be another thing; but twilight of history; and the breadth of the ocean counts it does not even make the name a dissyllable-it leaves to our imagination like an additional space of time. A it the same short, squat, ruturier word as ever. No- foreign miller, besides, is a more poetical personage than thing, in fact, can be done for Smith but giving it an an English miller. In England, gentry of this profesamiable prename, or, better still, a title. Sir Sidney sion may be thieves (as it used to be the fashion to Smith, for instance, has a decidedly aristocratic sound; represent them), but abroad they are banditti; and in and this has no dependence upon its personal associa- Germany, some of the wildest scenes that followed the tions, otherwise Adam Smith would be recognised as Thirty Years' War were enacted in a mill. Most people, the legitimate chief of the clan. Without a prename in fact, have a strong objection to names that are assoat all, Count Smith and Baron Smith, so common on ciated with the vulgarities of a common trade. An the continent, are highly respectable; and if a sugges- aspiring Mason, by simply doubling the s, so as to make tion had been adopted, which was kindly and happily himself Masson, laughs at detection ; although a Tailor made, on the occasion of the marriage of an Irish beauty has less facility of escape—and more need of it. He of the name with a scion of Italian royalty, Smith would tries Taylor, and probably shakes his head; then the have become one of the most distinguished patronymics other syllable, Tailour; and if still appalled by the horin the kingdom. The match alluded to was reckoned rors of the name, he makes it, as a last resource, Taila mesalliance on the part of the lover, who was accord- your. ingly threatened to be discarded by his family; and he But there are other associations still more frightful, was therefore advised to confer upon the name of his as in the Scotch name Boag, which is identical, at least lovely bride his own title, and call himself Prince in sound, with that of the insect called by the English Smith.
bug. The desperate efforts made here by the hereditary But even a prename alone may be of great advantage. victims are truly alarming. Some write the word Bogie; There is one of the novels of Miss Edgeworth-we but finding that they have thus got into the spiritual forget which-in which a gentleman of the name of world, they rush madly into Bogue, and sometimes Harvey figures as the hero. Harvey! Only fancy John, Boog. When a name, on the other hand, has a meaning Peter, or even William Harvey as the hero of a novel complimentary to its possessor, the grand desideratum But Miss Edgeworth was too well acquainted with the is, to make it as plain as possible. Thus Archibald is philosophy of names to commit such a blunder : she somewhat equivocal as it stands; and it is neatly and made the individual Clarence Harvey; and the name decisively modernised into Archbold. Frequently the has never to this day been objected to even among the only fault complained of is the want of euphony--as in female teens. Our own attention was first attracted to Mucklewham. Somebody says, in the Waverley novels, the importance of names by the case of an adventurer in that he could not think Venus beautiful if announced in London whom we knew personally. He was a country- | a drawing-room as Miss Mac-Jupiter. What would he man of the Princess Smith alluded to, and had come up think, then, if presented for a quadrille to Miss Muckleto push bis fortune in the musical line. Being really a wham? But thanks to the taste of the times, the name person of fair abilities, he obtained a few pupils, and is nearly obsolete, and our fair partner is now Miss had even a couple of little songs published by the music- Meikleham. sellers: but it would not do. He did not make enough A familiar object, even when its associations are to keep his family (for he had brought his wife and good, is not approved of for a name. Burn (a stream) child with him), and when want began to stare them in was sought to be made a little grander, by being given the face—and pinch too, as well as stare—he at length in the plural, Burns; but personal associations, as we made up his mind, though with many bitter regrets, to have already observed, having no effect in this species of go back to Connaught. What could he do? Nobody mania, some diverged into Burnes; while others, detercared about songs by R. A. R ; and to this day | mining to sever definitively all connection with poetical
THE OAK AND THE SOW.
immortality, called themselves Burness. Mill, in like virtue. After all, we believe the most frequent revolumanner, was made Mills, and was then sunk entirely in tions in names have been the result of mere accident, Milne; and Home became Hume, and Hume, Hulme. such as the ignorance of the parties of the mystery of John, on the same principle, is pluralised Johns, and orthography, and the disregard in which such' niceties this made into Johnes, and Jones.
were held before the language had attained its present But personal associations are only ineffective when fixed and regular form. modern. It is considered a great attainment to get back Cumming to its probable origin, Comyng; and those who are not satisfied with elongating Graham
Column for Young People. into Grahame, rest with delighted pride upon the Celtic Graeme. The colours, we need hardly add, are always on the skirts of an extensive forest there grew, in daye sought to be washed out. White becomes Whyte, and gone by, a huge, magnificent, wide-spreading oak, whose is then entirely obliterated in Wight; and Brown, after ponderous branches, gnarled, angular, and knotty, and passing through the intermediate Browne, relinquishes each the size of a respectable tree, stretched over a space its identity in Broun.
of ground so large, that I am afraid to say how much, lest In all these transformations the aim is the sameI should be suspected of exaggeration. From these vast distinction. We wish to divorce ourselves from things branches he shot up a thousand arms, ten thousand hands, common and vulgar, and fancy-oddly enough that and hundreds of thousands of tiny fingers, into the change we in some measure accomplish this by misspelling the ful sky, and waved his crumpled and scolloped leaves in name we have received from our parents. We once
the balmy spring-time air, or spread them 'neath the hot knew an instance, and rather an instructive one, in and luxurious herds who came to revel and ruminate in
summer sun-a myriad of quivering parasols for the lazy which this nominal distinction was carried progressively his quiet shadow. As you stood beside his monstrous on with the advance of the fortunes of the individual. trunk in the hot swelter of July, and looked upwards, you His original name was Cuningham; and he was born might search long in vain for a single glimpse of the blue in a station in which people think very little, and fre- overhead: yet all was gay and beautiful, far more beautiful quently know very little, about their patronymics. He than I can tell you, and rich with a thousand tints of green, was an errand-lad and porter in a draper's shop in one and 'red, and gold, and fluttering light: and there, in an of the larger towns on the west coast of Scotland, and endless suite of bowery halls, the squirrel kept joyful holibeing a smart fellow, was on some occasion promoted day; and tribes of feathered vagrants chirped, and sung, to a station behind the counter. This was a great ad- and made merry; and wood-doves cooed and crowed at vancement for the errand-lad, and he became all on a livelong day together; and the little gray tomtits darted
eventide ; and the woodpecker tapped and tapped half the sudden prodigiously genteel. What first put it into his up and down like mad, and said their say with the best of head, it is hard to say ; but certain it is, that a little them; and the chaffinch played his one bar of music fifty twirl at the end of his written name subsided gradually times over, and then flew down saucily to see how the into an e, and at last, to all intents and purposes, he world was going on outside, but soon came back again was Mr Cuninghame. In two years after this con with a worm or a grub for his private eating. It was the summation, he was left very unexpectedly the sum of very place for the birds, was that famous oak; and large L.200 by a distant relation; and Mr Cuninghame de- enough, I am sure, for a new Parliament House for all the termined to retire from his employer's counter, and tribes that ever flew, supposing them to be satisfied with take one of his own. While looking out for a proper
a reasonable number of representatives. place for his intended establishment, a new change winter, when all his garniture of leaves was gone, and he
A very different affair, I reckon, was the great oak in occurred in his name, corresponding with the expansion stood naked to the stormy winds ; but he didn't care, no, of his ideas in other respects; and he became now, to not an acorn, for them: he was sound in trunk, and whole the great surprise of his acquaintance, Mr Coyning in every limb; and though he had often squared his arms hame. But it so happened that, before he had quite so boldly against the thunder-clouds, the forky lightning fixed upon a site for his ' warehouse,' he was quite fixed had never touched him yet, and he wasn't a bit afraid, not himself in admiration of a young lady, the heiress of a he. Then, when the snow storms came, he grasped the tallow-chandler; and as she was much struck with his flying flakes with every finger, and dressed himself in a ! person, and the uncommon gentility of his name, he new white robe, and was prouder, if possible, of such a abandoned his present pursuit, and laid siege to her dainty surplice, than of his mantle of Lincoln green. Both as the more promising speculation of the two. In the in winter and summer he was a noble and magnificent course of his courtship a new change occurred in his spectacle ; and everybody that passed by, or sat and rested name, and he was now Mr Coynynghame. It is sup- their heads again and again as they went away to look at
on his gnarled and twisted roots, said as much, and turned posed that this was in homage to the taste of the him in new points of view. And many came from great heiress; and the supposition receives some colour from distances to see him, for his renown had spread through the fact, that after she proved faithless, he knocked out all the country round about; and artists had painted his indignantly the additional y. It was not so easy, how- picture, ay, many a time; and poets had written sonnets ever, to place himself in other respects in statu quo. His in liis praise. And pic-nic parties would come on sunny capital was by this time nearly all gone; and after a days, and spread their table-cloth under his broad shadow; dreadful struggle with his pride, he was compelled to and then the voice of mirth, and laughter, and song rang step behind a counter once more as the shopman of through his green chambers all the festive hours tiil sulanother. With a stern philosophy, he signalised his down. Then, sometimes on the short dry sward beneath fall by the sacrifice of the remaining y: but the Furies reeled in the riotous dance, to the music of their own
his boughs, troops of village lads and lasses tripped and were not yet appeased. The great monetary crisis took merry voices, and tloundered about, if the truth must be place at this time, which reduced most of the establish- told, in a manner that would have driven a dancing-master ments in the town, and among a multitude of others, to destruction. And often in the quiet evening, when the threw Mr Cuninghame out of work. His remaining fiery-red sun seemed cutting a notch in the gray distant funds were quickly exhausted. What was to be done? hill behind which he was fast sinking to rest, a pair of He had the good sensu to take a porter's employment whispering lovers would come and sit beneath his darkenagain, and became once more plain John Cuningham, ing roof, and gaze up into the peaceful sky, till the pale
In this history we see movement without progress. stars came out to their night-watch, and twinkled through The mistake was to suppose that a change of position the trembling foliage, among which the night-wind sighed rendered a change in the name an advantage, or that fine great oak had stood there in his beauty and glory. any additional dignity could be derived from spelling it The oldest man in the village two miles off could see with one letter instead of another. It was very proper little or no difference in him, though he had known him for for the porter to abandon his jacket in favour of a coat more than threescore years; and declared, moreover, that when he became the shopman; but a name is no indi- his father, ay, and grandfather too, had never, in his recolcation of rank, any more than rank is an indication of lection, mentioned the tree by any other name than that of