Page images

Divine service was not held till the next evening, and in the cuddy (large dining cabin)-I could not personally attend, but, by leaving the door ajar, I could hear, and never could the celebration of Divine Service, whether in rustic church, crowded chapel, or gorgeous cathedral, come home so much to my heart and understanding.. Doubtless there were personal reasons why the voice of "the white-robed priest" should affect me peculiarly, but there was much to solemnize and affect of a more general nature. Floating over the waters, severed from all communion with our fellow beings on land, we were yet, by the words we uttered, the feelings we experienced, the blessings we prayed for, and many of the evils we asked deliverance from, one with every christian assembly and church in the world.

I have been thinking much of various poetical descriptions of the sea, and in most I am struck with what, for want of a better term, I must be allowed to call fresh-water-ism. Now that I am really out at sea, I try in vain to realize those fancies which make it the abode of mermaids and men; of rocks strewed with pearls ; caves abounding with

Jasper, and agate, and almondine, fretted roofs, sparry pillars, golden thrones, and ten thousand other items illustrative of a palace, a jeweller's shop, a fancy ball, and a bazaar. The sea, even when calm and shining, strikes me as too grand, too stern, too real, to be connected with anything that is pretty. We know almost as little of the depths of the occan as we do of the depths of eternity-of which it is a great and awful emblem. It is singular, because the Jews could have only a limited acquaintance with it, that some of the scriptural expressions concerning the sea, have a truth, force, and majesty alone worthy of the object. An expression in Jeremiah is wonderfully precise :

Thongh the waves thereof toss themselves"—thus describing that separate and individual motion of each billow, which they have from the greatest to the least. The continuous rolling is the result of all this individual tossing," and so independent are the movements, that one might fancy every particular wave to have a particular will. The heuning is of the mass beneath, and comes in voluminous rolls as of hills in motion; on the surface of these are the waves, that, far as the eye can reach, take a sharp, angular, spiral form, till the whole resembles an army of spear-heads in motion. The phrase used in the Prophet Jonah, “The sea wrought and was very tempestuous,” may seem naked to those not on the element, but to any in the condition of Jonah's shipmaster, there will be a power surpassing hyperbole, in the graphic simplicity of the expression, “the sea wrought." In the forty-sixth, or, as it is often called, in Luther's Psalm, there is a beautiful touch concerning the ocean, which never struck me when on land. After declaring that “ we will not be moved though the waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains be carried into the midst of the


mea ; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof"—the writer suddenly takes comfort from a thought couched in the form of simile, which has a beautiful connection with the preceding description“ There is a river, the streams thereof shall make glad the city of our God.” He must have been tossed, stunned, wearied, if not endangered on the deep, before he could have imagined this exquisite transition to the peace, the refreshing, and the stability of an inland river, “wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby."

- With all my salt-water babble, I have said nothing of the mode in which a day slips from one-I dare not say the mode of employing a day, for, in truth, the instances are few, of persons

achieving much on shipboard. If you worked the ship, there would be oc. cupation and interest : as a mere passenger, the business of the vessel goes on before your eyes, like a cabalistic process; and if danger really arose, you would have to lie still, listening to every species of noise, command, and effort, with the comfortable conviction, that if you go to the bottom, you will hardly understand the how or the why. “ But how do you pass your time?" inquires some one. Why, those who have canaries air and feed them; those who have legs, sea legs, I mean, use them by the hour; those who have cigars, smoke them by legions; those who have appointments in the service, compare them; those who have not been in India, ask questions, which those who have been there, answer; those who have books, borrow and lend, oftener than read them ; those who have appetites, (and happy are they,) eat; those who have the power, (and they are yet happier,) sleep; those who have minds, (and they are happiest of all,) think, and are the better for it. Ladies have many advantages in this cooped up life. They have, even here, chests of drawers to arrange, disarrange, and re-arrange; they have muslin to hem, caps to quill, their outfits to discuss, and new tunes to play till they become old. They have been trained to sit still, or to walk in a style that resembles sitting still in motion. Moreover, they are not required to shave, and in a rolling sea.

Off Madeira. Strange that a spot wherein none of us has a single acquaintance, should be looked to as a perfect land of Ca

"When we get to Madeira,” has either begun or ended every body's third sentence for the last two days, coupled

of course with some appropriate scheme.

“ Lots of grapes”

-“ The Nunnery”—“A long ride on mules”—“ Clothes washed”.

'-" Wine” "Parties”—&c. &c. Now, when I get to Madeira, I will be put in a garden so thickly planted, that everything shall be shut out, particularly Capt. Basil Hall's “ element of which one never

tires;" I will rejoice in being once more on the solid, solid earth; · I will endeavour to get to some place so still, so retired, so per- , fectly free from sights, that I might say with uth

A Convent, ev'n a hermit's cell
Would break the silence of this dell.


[ocr errors]


After that, the sea again, with fresh spirits, renewed energy, and revived health. Meanwhile, nearly a calm tries the patience and wastes time;—yet is the moonlit sea like a vast plain studded with glow-worms; and the noonday sea like lapis lazuli, flecked with silver.


" The defeated Knight."
I cannot seek my lady's bower,

I dare not meet her glance,
For fortune, unpropitious, sheds

No glory on my lance.
Frowns from that one, I love so well,

My hopes, my joys will blight;
And frowns alone the meed can be,

Of a defeated Knight.

The rayen tress that graced my helm,

The snowy scarf she wove-
All stained with shame they now return,

Those tokens of her love !
Then bid me not to seek her bowers,

I dare not meet her sight,
For Beauty's eye can never smile

On a defeated Knight.


My loved Guitar."
My loved guitar, when sorrow flings

Her darksome shadow on my heart,
I turn to thee and touch thy strings,

For thou alone canst joy impart.
Oh! softly sweet thy numbers fall,

Like dew upon the thirsty ground;
And should a gloom my soul enthrall,

They spread a cheering light around !
Tho' disappointment dims my youth,

I heed it not if thou art by;
For thou art aye the friend to soothe

Each anguish with thy minstrelsy.
Thy songs recal the joyous hours,

Shared with the loved ones now afar ;
And e'en the brow of grief with flowers

Is wreathed by thee, my loved guitar!

* Remember me no more."
Remember me no more!

I would not be a shade,
To haunt thy bowers of happiness,

My well beloved maid.
But as our hours of mutual joy,

And all their dreams are o'er,
"Twere better I were never named,-

Remember me no more!

We loved in happier hours

Beneath misfortune's frown,
The summer beauty of our lives

In darkness hath gone down.
And hope hath fled before the fears

Of ills for us in store,
While all that memory ings are tears,--

Remember me no more!

Oh pray for Lethe's stream,

To banish from thy heart
The recollections of those days

In which I bore a part.
And seek, by mingling with the gay,

If pleasure can restore
The lost gem of thy bosom, peace-

Remember me no more !



Sir Reginald Owen, Rob's legitimate brother, was a proud, choleric Welshman; and, as we have said, wealthy, and of some rank. In Wales—where a baronet's title is commonly the highest in the county, the prefix ofSir” possesses all the influence which enjoyed by a much higher rank in other parts of the country: and thus it was, in this instance. Sir Reginald Owen was the “ great man," and his residence, Maengwyn,* the great house of the district.The Baronet's family, at the time we are speaking of, consisted of himself, his daughter Elizabeth, his son Reginald, and his maiden sister Margaret-Lady Owen having been long since gathered to her fathers, and safely deposited in the family vault, in the parish church of the neighbouring town of The readers will be better acquainted with these “ladies and gen



tlemen," if I introduce him (or her) at once into their company, than if I occupied half-a-dozen pages with “a full, true, and particular account” of their“ birth, parentage, and education.”

Let me transport the reader, therefore, into the interior of Maengwyn-into that old-fashioned oak parlour, where I have long since played many a game at marbles, hung round with “ the portraits of mine ancestors,” half of it, in winter, divided by a screen, embellished with some of Mistress Margery's handy-work in the way of embroidery,--the other half being appropriated to the gambols of Mistress Margery's cat, and some half-dozen fat spaniels, only, and that was Elizabeth's pet-being allowed the envied privilege of coming within the screen.

Let me premise, that Maengwyn was a large, and ancient mansion, composed of various buildings, each added according to the whim or fancied wants of its successive proprietors. Its situation was picturesque and convenient. It stood on the summit of a wooded mountain, at the foot of which brawled a rapid river, between banks of fertile pasturage. The approach to it was a continued ascent of nearly a mile in extent, the road leading through a winding avenue of oak and sycamore, which vied almost in antiquity with the rocks, that were interspersed amongst them. A noble lawn fronted the mansion-while a large artificial lake, well stocked with fish and water-fowl, wild and tame-filled up the

In summer it was cool and shaded-in winter snug and sheltered.

It was in November, and the night was cold, raw, and gusty. The screen had been drawn more than usually close, and an additional log of cord-wood * had been cast upon the fire-Mistress Margery was at her favourite occupation of spinning, and the steady, regular thrum of her wheel was not an unpleasant accompaniment to the crackling of the fire, and the swift rushing sound of its red flame. The Baronet was reading “ The London Mer. cury,a newspaper, which found its way into this part of Wales not quite three weeks after its publication by Jonathan Herring in London; while Elizabeth was painting some velvet for a covering for Mistress Margery's holiday-footstool.

A small antique-looking timepiece fixed over the fire-place, struck eight, and interrupted the Baronet's lucubrations. “Why, how now ?” said he, “Reginald has not come in yet; I wonder what keeps the lad so late.

“ He is flirting, I dare say, with Janet Meredith,” said Mistress Margery,—as she continued her spinning, apparently unmoved at Reginald's tarrying.

" He is doing no such thing, I hope,” said Elizabeth, haughtily. “ Janet Meredith is not at all a proper person for my brother to notice with his attentions ;" and a frown darkened the handsome


* The smaller branches of trees, which, with turf, are the common fuel of the country.

« PreviousContinue »