Page images
PDF
EPUB

LITTELL'S LIVING AGE.- No. 470.-21 MAY, 1853.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

[ocr errors]

9. Miss M'Intosh's Letter,.

10. Lord John Russell's Memoirs of Thomas Moore, 11. Posthumous Supremacy of Rome, POETRY: Love, 449; How to Write a Sweet Poem, 501; Jane Markland, a Tale, 509; I Wait for Thee, 512.

LOVE.

FOND mother, who dost gaze with joy upon
That darling little baby, all thine own;
Thinking how much of loveliness and grace
Are centred in its little form and face;
Loving, with all thy heart and soul and mind,
The child whose helplessness thy soul doth bind ;
Oh! let not all thy love be chained to one,
A mortal like thyself- to God alone
Thy soul with highest, strongest love should soar,
Loving him first, him last, him best, forevermore.
For know, the human heart, e'en on this earth,

Quarterly Review, 451
Bentley's Miscellany, 469
Chambers' Repository, 473
Chambers' Journal,

482

485

486

489

493

502

507

. 508

[ocr errors]

SHORT ARTICLES: James Thomson, 449; Sir Robert Peel's Speeches, 481; German ComPrinciples and Effects not Patentable, 484; M. De Buch, 488; A Second Solomon -Spring is Coming, 492.

merce

NEW BOOKS: 488.

Spectator,
Examiner,

Chambers' Journal,

Tait's Magazine,

N. Y. Observer,
Examiner,

Spectator,

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

Is capable of greater love and higher, Than any being of mere mortal birth,

However sweet or lovely, can inspire.

Young maiden, hearing first those mystic words,
Which thrill thy heart to its most secret chords,
And bind thy soul, by the sweet chain of love,
To one whose truth thy future life must prove;
Thou thinkest that he, 'mid all of mortal race,
Has the most noble heart, the most of manly

grace;

And thou may'st trust him, for he loves thee well,
With a deep devotion words would fail to tell;
Yet first, would'st thou be blest, love Him above,
Whose love surpasses far all human love;
He whom thou canst love, e'en on this earth,

With a devotion deeper, purer, higher,
Than any being of mere mortal birth,

However great or noble, can inspire.

Thou aged traveller, who art passing now
Through the late evening of thy life on earth;
I see thee turn with calm and loving brow,
To the dear partner of thy home and hearth;
29

CCCCLXX.

LIVING AGE.

VOL. I.

From the Gentleman's Magazine.

JAMES THOMSON.

THE poetry of the early volumes of the Gentleman's Magazine deserves more attention than it has yet received, containing, as it does, some of the earliest verse of Johnson, Akenside, and Collins, and some pieces of great merit and curiosity not to be found elsewhere. In proof of this I would call attention to the following poem, printed p. 256 of the Gentleman's Magazine for May, 1740:

A WINTER'S DAY.

WRITTEN BY A SCOTCH CLERGYMAN.

Corrected by an Eminent Hand.

Now, gloomy soul! look out- -now comes thy
turn;

With thee, behold all ravaged nature mourn :
Hail the dim empire of thy darling night,
That spreads, slow-shadowing o'er the vanquished

light.

Look out, with joy; the ruler of the day, Faint, as thy hopes, emits a glimm'ring ray: Already exiled to the utmost sky, Hither, oblique, he turns his clouded eye. Lo! from the limits of the wintry pole, Mountainous clouds in rude confusion roll; In dismal pomp, now hov'ring on their way, To a sick twilight they reduce the day. And hark! imprisoned winds, broke loose, arise, And roar their haughty triumph through the

skies.

While the driv'n clouds, o'ercharged with floods of rain,

And mingled lightning, burst upon the plain. Now see sad earth-like thine, her altered state, Like thee, she mourns her sad reverse of fate! Her smiles, her wanton looks — where are they

' now?

Faded her face! and wrapped in clouds her brow!
No more th' ungrateful verdure of the plain;
No more the wealth-crowned labors of the swain;
These scenes of bliss, no more upbraid my fate,
Torture my pining thought and rouse my hate.
The leaf-clad forest, and the tufted grove,
Erewhile the safe retreats of happy love,
Stript of their honors, naked now appear;
This is, my soul! the Winter of their year!
The little noisy songsters of the wing,
All shiv'ring on the bough, forget to sing.
Hail, rev'rend silence, with thy awful brow!
Be music's voice forever mute-as now;
Let no intrusive voice my dead repose
Disturb no pleasure disconcert my woes.
In this moss-covered cavern, hopeless laid,
On the cold cliff I'll lean my aching head,
And, pleased with winter's waste, unpitying, see
All nature in an agony with me!
Rough rugged rocks, wet marshes, ruined towers,
Bare trees, brown brakes, bleak heaths, and
rushy moors,

Dread floods, huge cataracts, to my pleased eyes
(Now, I can smile!) in wild disorder rise.
And now, the various dreadfulness combined,
Black melancholy comes to doze my mind.
See! night's wished shades, spreading through
the air,

And the lone, hollow gloom, for me prepare!
Hail! solitary ruler of the grave!
Parent of terrors! from thy dreary cave!
Let thy dumb silence midnight all the ground,
And spread a welcome horror all around.
But hark!-
- a sudden howl invades my ear!
The phantoms of the dreadful hour are near.
Shadows, from each dark cavern, now combine
And stalk around, and mix their yells with mine.
Stop, flying Time! repose thy restless wing;
Fix here- nor hasten to restore the Spring.
Fixed my ill fate, so fixed let Winter be,
Let never wanton season laugh at me!

Now, beyond its undoubted merit and its many fine strokes of careful observation, this Winter's Day possesses an interest of an unusual kind. It was the original, I conceive, of Thomson's" Winter;"though actually printed in Savage's Miscellany, 1726, as the production of the author of "William and Margaret," meaning David Mallet. The Scotch

clergyman was the Rev. Robert Riccaltoun, assistant to the minister of Bowden, near Melrose, and afterwards (1728) minister of Hobkirk, near Edman, where the author of "The Seasons" was born, and the Eminent Hand was, as I suspect, not Mallet, but no less a person than Thomson himself.

In a letter from Thomson, written from Barnet about September, 1725, is the following passage: - Nature delights me in every form; I am just now painting her in her most lugubrious dress for my own amusement, describing Winter as it presents itself. Mr. Riccalton's poem on Winter, which I still have, first put the design into my head. In it are some masterly strokes that awakened me." from the author of The Seasons" Cave most Thomson was a friend of Cave's, and likely received this poem. I place little reliance on the testimony of Savage's Miscellany when it appears against the evidence of the Gentleman's Magazine, which, in 1740, might in some respects be called a Second Savage's Miscellany.

Of Riccaltoun, who assisted the studies of Thomson, too little is known. "The Rev. Mr. Riccarton," says Murdock, the bosom friend and biographer of Thomson, " a man of uncommon penetration and good taste, had very early discovered through the rudeness of young Thomson's puerile essays a fund of genius well deserving culture and encouragefather's approbation, the chief direction of his ment. He undertook therefore, with the studies, furnished him with the proper books, corrected his performances, and was daily rewarded with the pleasure of seeing his labor so happily employed." Nor was Thomson unmindful of his kindness. "It will be a great pleasure to me," he writes from London, "to hear of Mr. Riccalton's welfare, who deserves encouragement as much as any preacher in Scotland."

In the year 1836-for so long ago I commenced my collections for a life of Thomson

66

minister of Southdean (the manse of the poet's I wrote to the Rev. John Richmond, the father), for some particulars about Riccaltoun. All I could learn from him in reply was this that he was "said to have composed" a poem on Ruberslaw," a high hill near Southdean: that it was descriptive of a storm gathering round the hill, and that he had heard of fifty copies" being printed off, "none of which are now to be found." By another memorandum I find that Riccaltoun was buried in Rule church-yard; his works (his poetry excepted) were edited by the Rev. Robert Walker, in 3 vols. 8vo. 1771. berslaw," I may add, is commemorated in "The Lay of the Last Minstrel”

"Ru

[ocr errors]

Already on dark Ruberslaw,
The Douglas holds his weapon-schaw.

[ocr errors]

rall

From the Quarterly Review. who have explored the North American coast, 1. Narrative of an Expedition to the Shores all that we yet know of him is, that he passed

of the Arctic Sea, in 1846 and 1847. By his first winter in a secure harbor at the

JOHN RAE. 1850. 2. Arctic Searching Expedition : Journal of a when released from the ice in 1846, he ad

entrance of Wellington Channel. Whether, Boat Voyage. By Sir John RICHARDSON. 2 vols. 1851,

vanced or receded, is not certainly known. 3. Stray Leaves from an Arctic Journal. By In the absence of decisive evidence, the best Lieut. S. Osborn. 1852.

authorities are at fault. One witness stated 4. Journal of a Voyage in 1850–1, performed before the last Arctic committee, it was by the Lady Franklin and Sophia, under

guess-work."

The travelling parties, who the command of Mr. Wm. Penny, By P. from Beechey Island surveyed every coast for C. SUTHERLAND, M. D. 2 vols. 1852.

hundreds of miles, found not a cairn or post 5. Papers and Despatches relating to the Arc

Since tic Searching Expeditions of 1850-1-2. erected by the missing expedition.

Collected by James MANGLES, R. N. 1852. Franklin entered Lancaster Sound, not one of 6. Second Voyage of the Prince Albert, in the cylinders which he was directed to throw

Search of Sir John Franklin. By Wy. overboard has been recovered, nor has a fragKENNEDY. 1853.

ment of his equipment been found on any 7. Parliamentary Papers. 1848–53.

shore. It has hence been inferred that he 8. Chart of Discoveries in the Arctic Sea. must have left the harbor with the full intenBy Joun ARROWSMITH.

tion of proceeding homewards.

Captain THESE books and papers comprise most of Austin believes that the ships did not go bethe discoveries made in Arctic regions since yond Beechey Island, but were lost in the we noticed Sir John Barrow's volume of Voy- ice, either by being beset when leaving winages in 1846. -Franklin had sailed in the ter quarters, or when attempting their return previous year, and in saying that we should to England. Commander Phillips is of the wait his reäppearance with the anxiety of same opinion. the princess for the diver, we much rather But if Franklin did resolve to return thus anticipated that we should soon have to wel- early, what could have become of the ships come him with the goblet of gold, than that and men ? That both vessels should be a seventh year should find us deploring his totally lost is contrary to all experience and continued absence, with no better clue to his probability, and that not a man should arrive fate than dismal conjecture could supply. is more unlikely still. One of the most expeThere was nothing in the nature of his enter- rienced Arctic seamen living, who went six prise to excite much fear for its results. The voyages in whalers before he sailed with Parseveral Arctic expeditions sent out since 1818 ry, and has since been in the expeditions of had returned in safety. Their records are the two Rosses, states that though it is posfull of peril, but full also of the resources of sible — and he admits the supposition as but skill and courage by which peril may be over- a possibility — the ships may have been come. When this voyage was proposed by " walked over by the ice in Baffin's Bay,” Barrow to the Royal Society, he urged that yet that “the men on such occasions are " there could be no objection with regard to always saved,” by jumping on the ice and any apprehension of the loss of ships or making their way to the land or to the next men,” as it was "remarkable that neither ship.* The harborage chosen for the ships sickness nor death had occurred in most of the was so secure, that it is unlikely they could voyages made into the Arctic regions, north have been carried out from the Straits at the or south.” Franklin was well experienced mercy of the ice, as were the ships of Sir in the navigation of frozen seas ; his officers James Ross in 1849, and of the American and crews were picked men; and the strength expedition in 1850. Franklin did not take of his ships -the Erebus and Terror — had up his winter quarters in haste, or from nebeen thoroughly tested — the first in the Ex- cessity. He must have dropped anchor while pedition of Sir James Ross to the South Pole the sea was comparatively open, and why the second in the voyage of Back to Repulse

* In a recent Dundee newspaper we observe as 1 Bay. He sailed, full of confidence in the success account of a whale-ship, employed in the Greena of his mission, on the 19th of May, 1845, and land fishery for the last sixty-nine years. Sho was though nearly thirty vessels have since been lost at last, not by the ice of the northern seas,

but by being stranded on a reef near her portal despatched in search of him, besides parties when returning with a full cargo.

winter there at all if he meant to return as any person to dishearten you on the length of soon as the open season again came round?

our absence, but look forward with bope, that We know that he contemplated the proba- safely to you.

Providence will at length of time restore us bility of an absence prolonged even beyond two winters. His last letter to Sabine from An anecdote is related of Franklin in BarWhale Fish Islands entreats him to relieve row's volume, which shows how superior he the anxiety of Lady Franklin and his daugh- held the claims of duty to those of personal ter, should he not return at the time they feeling or convenience. When about to leave expected, as —

England, in 1825, on his second expedition to You know well that, even after the second explore the North American coast, his first winter without success in our object, we should wife was sinking under a fatal malady. She wish to try some other channel, if the state of urged his departure on the day appointed, our provisions and the health of the crews jus- and he denied himself the sad satisfaction of tify it.

waiting to close her eyes. She had employed Is it likely that the man who wrote thus some of the tedious hours of sickness in makto his nearest friend, would have returned ing for him a union flag, only to be unfurled after one winter, without effecting or at- when he reached the Polar Sea. This flag tempting more than a passage to Barrow's was hoisted when from the summit of Garry Strait ?

Island the sea, stretching free and unincumLieutenant Griffith, announcing his depart- bered to the north, appeared in all its majure from the ships with his transport, July, esty. His companions hailed the outspread 1845, wrote

banner with joyful excitement, and Franklin, All are in the highest possible spirits, and who had learned that his wife died the day determined to succeed, if success be possible

. A after his departure, repressed all sign of painset of more undaunted fellows never were got ful emotion that he might not cloud their together, or officers better selected. I am indeed triumph at having planted the British colors certain that, if the icy barriers will be sufficiently on this island of the Polar Sea. Was this penetrable to give them but half the length of their ships to force themselves through, they the man to turn back after one winter spent will do so at all risks and hazards.

at the entrance of the strait where his enterCommander Fitzjames, who sailed in the prise did but commenco ?

It has indeed been much the fashion of late Erebus with Franklin, speaks repeatedly, in the lively letters and journal he forwarded to complain of the employment of naval to his friends at home, of the determination commanders in a too advanced stage of life, which prevailed in both ships “ to go a-head,” and remarks of this nature have been made and jestingly begs that, if nothing is heard on the ultimate commission of Franklin. We of him by next June, letters may be forward- saw him often, however, on the eve of his ed to him viớê Kamtschatka.

start, and assuredly, though well up in years, much sail and do,” he notes in his journal. either in muscular fibre or animal spirits. We

“We can carry there was no sign whatever of any falling off “I can scarcely manage to get Sir John to shorten sail at all.” So well was it understood may add that his government at Van Diethat the ships would push forward through flattering circumstances, and, according to

men's Land had not ended under altogether any open channel which might present itself, that the ice-master of the Terror, writing to our information, few of his friends doubted his wife from Disco Island, July 12, 1845,

that in embracing this new task he was not warned her of the probability that they

uninfluenced by a yearning to recover whatmight be out much longer than was antic- ever of prestige he might have supposed him

self to have lost as a civil administrator, by ipated : :

another and a crowning display of tact and We are all in good health and spirits, one energy in the department of his original and all appearing to be of the same determina

distinction, tion, that is, to persevere in making a passage to the north-west. Should we not be at home in the

It is by no means certain that because no fall of 1848, or early in the spring of 1849 [this record of him has been discovered beyond allowed for a four years' absence), you may antic- Beechey Island, none was left. Mr. Kenipate that we have made the passage, or are likely to do so ; and if so, it may be from five nedy, when he explored Cape Walker last to six years — it might be into the seventh spring - ignorant that he had been preceded we return ; and should it be so, do not allow | by Captain Austin's parties — mistook the

[ocr errors]

ere

large cairn they had erected for a part of the listhmus, joined the party he had left at Recliff, and actually walked over a smaller one pulse Bay, and determined to leave any deeply covered with snow, without for a mo- further survey until the spring, employing the ment suspecting that the spot had been pre- remainder of the open season in making the viously visited. This fact has come out on best provision he could for the winter. Capt. Ommaney and Mr. Kennedy's com- His stores had been calculated for four paring notes of their respective journeys. months' consumption only; he was entirely Sir Edward Belcher, in his recent despatches, destitute of fuel ; he could obtain no promise states that the cairns erected by the well-or- of supplies of any kind from the natives; the ganized expedition of his predecessors have in resources of the country were unknown to some cases been destroyed, and in others can him; and the head of the bay had the charwith difficulty be recognized. For example, acter of being one of the most dreary and inhe says on August 14:

hospitable of polar coasts. But Rae was We have not been able, even with this very

inured to hardships, and, a first-rate sportsopen season, to trace the large supplies left at man, he had confidence in his own exertions. Navy Board Inlet by the North Star, and no

He selected a sheltered site for his winter beucon marks their whereabout.

dwelling, near the river, on the northern shore At Cape Warrender he found the cairn and leading to the lakes, and here established his post erected by Captain Austin's expedition, fishing-stations. Collecting his men, some but no document :

were sent out to bring in stones for building a

house, others to set nets, to hunt deer, and to The tally having written on it Pull out Rec- gather fuel. The walls were built two feet ord was found beside the cairn, deeply impressed thick, the stones being cemented with mud with the teeth of some small animal.

and clay. Squares of glass were fixed in three In the opinion of this experienced officer, small apertures. As timber was unknown in there could have been no hurry in removing this bleak region, he used the cars and masts from Beechey Island, as everything bore the of his boats for rafters, stretching over them stamp of order and regularity. This is ut- oilcloth and skins for roofing. "Deer-skins, terly opposed to the notion that Franklin had nailed over a framework of wood, made been forced away by the ice.

a weather-tight door. The interior of this In the distressful uncertainty which clouds house, to serve for twelve persons through his fate it is our only consolation to reflect eight winter months, was twenty feet long by that government has shown all along the fourteen wide; seven and a half feet high in heartiest concern for its gallant servants. front, sloping down to five and a half feet With other dispositions, indeed, better results behind. Yet in these narrow dimensions Rae might have been looked for. It is the mis- found room for a great part of his stores, and, fortune of the Admiralty Instructions, we by a partition of oilcloth, secured separate think, that they have said too much to leave quarters for himself, where he worked his the commanders of the expeditions entirely observations and kept his journal. to their own discretion, and not enough to His fishing and hunting proved successful. ensure a regular and systematic series of oper- His sporting-book for September showed a ations. Discovery, however, has not lan- total of 63 deer, 5 bares, 172 partridges, and guished since Franklin's departure, and a 116 salmon and trout.

In the following sketch of what has been effected within the month 69 deer were shot, but the nets propolar circle for the last six years will conven- duced only 22 fish. He was most at a loss iently exhibit the efforts måde for his relief, for fuel. His men brought in a scanty supply and show the lines of coast which have of withered moss, heather, and the like, and already been fruitlessly searched.

this, being dried in the house, was piled into When he sailed it was a disputed question stacks. As the season advanced he built two whether an opening into that sea which observatories of snow, one for a dip circle, the washes the shores of North America might other for an horizontally suspended needle, to not exist in some part of Boothia Gulf. Mr. test the action of the aurora. Snow-houses Rae has set that question at rest.

His
expe-

were also built for the dogs, for stores, &c. ; dition is a fine example of how much may be and all were connected together by passages accomplished with very limited means.

He cut under the frozen snow. started from Fort Churchill, on the west side

Early in January the thermometer sank 79° of Hudson's Bay, with twelve men and two below the freezing point ;' and even indoors it boats, on the 5th of July, 1846. On arriving was commonly below zero. at the head of Repulse Bay he crossed the isthmus which separated him from Boothia pleasant where there was a fire to warm the

This, says Rae, “would not have been unGulf, a distance of 40 miles, and in six days hands and feet, or even room to move about ; reached the sea. But it was now the first but where there was neither the one nor the week in August, heavy rains set in, and, find other, some few degrees more heat would have ing progress impossible, he recrossed the been preferable.”

« PreviousContinue »