« PreviousContinue »
got above that chimney. Just as this happy certainty has with you risen above the disgusts of the day. .
A. She looks surprised as well as complacent.
L. She looks surprised to find me still here. I must say good night. My friend, good night.
A. Good night, and farewell.
A. That rests with you. You will generally find me bere, and always I think like-minded, if not of the same mind.
An ancient sage had all things deeply tried,
“O friends, there are no friends." And to this day
Giving us love which love must take away.
Knowing when changeful moons withdraw their light,
New loves, new lives to patient hopes assure,
RHYMES AND RECOLLECTIONS OF A HAND-LOOM WEAVER.
By William Thom, OF IVERURY.
“An' syne whan nichts grew cauld an' lang,
Second Edition, with Additions. London, 1845.
We cannot give a notion of the plan and contents of this little volume better than by copying some passages from the Preface :
“The narrative portion of these pages," says Thom, "is a record of scenes and circumstances interwoven with my experience--with my destiny. * * The feelings and fancies, the pleasure and the pain that hovered about my aimless existence were all my own--my property. These aerial investments I held and fashioned into measured verse. * * The self-portraiture herein attempted is not altogether Egotism neither, inasmuch as the main lineaments of the sketch are to be found in the separate histories of a thousand families in Scotland within these last ten years. That fact, however, being contemplated in mass, and in reference to its bulk only, acts more on the wonder than on the pity of mankind, as if human sympathies, like the human eye, could not compass an object exceedingly large, and, at the same time, exceedingly near. It is no small share in the end and aim of the present little work, to impart to one portion of the community a glimpse of what is sometimes going on in another; and even if only that is accomplished, some good service will be done. I have long had a notion that many of the heart-burnings that run through the Social. Whole spring not so much from the distinctiveness of classes as their mutual ignorance of each other. The miserably rich look upon the miserably poor with distrust and dread, scarcely giving them credit for sensibility sufficient to feel their own sorrows. That is ignorance with its gilded side. The poor, in
turn foster a hatred of the wealthy as a sole inheritance-look on grandeur as their natural enemy, and bend to the rich man's rule in gall and bleeding scorn. Shallows on the one side and Demagogues on the other, are the portions that come oftenest into contact. These are the luckless things that skirt the great divisions, exchanging all that is offensive therein. “MAN KNOW THYSELF, should be written on the right hand; on the left, ' Men, know EACH OTHER.'»
In this book, the recollections are introduced for the sake of the “ Rhymes,” and in the same relationship as parent and child, one the offspring of the other; and in that association alone can they be interesting. “I write no more in either than what I knew—and not all of that—so Feeling has left Fancy little to do in the matter.”
There are two ways of considering Poems, or the products of literature in general. We may tolerate only what is excellent, and demand that whatever is consigned to print for the benefit of the human race should exhibit fruits perfect in shape, colour, and flavour, enclosing kernels of permanent value.
Those who demand this will be content only with the Iliads and Odysseys of the mind's endeavour.— They can feed no where but at rich men's tables ; in the wildest recess of nature roots and berries will not content them. They say, “ If you can thus satiate your appetite it is degrading ; we, the highly refined in taste and the tissue of the mind, can nowhere be appeased, unless by golden apples, served up on silver dishes.”
But, on the other hand, literature may be regarded as the great mutual system of interpretation between all kinds and classes of men. It is an epistolary correspondence between brethren of one farnily, subject to many and wide separations, and anxious to remain in spiritual presence one of another. These letters may be written by the prisoner in soot and water, illustrated by rude sketches in charcoal ;—by nature's nobleman, free to use his in. heritance, in letters of gold, with the fair margin filled with exquisite miniatures ;-to the true man each will have value, first,