Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

man.

In this paper

[ocr errors]

very superior force has of course stimulated therefore, that the following additional facts the desire to possess vessels like her. Another, may not be unacceptable. the Smirch, has been already sent from this On the north-east coast of Ireland lies country to Russia, and more than one of our Newry, a sea-port of some importance, and private yards are building similar or larger my own native place. One of my father's vessels on the same plan for one or other of most intimate friends in that town was a the foreign powers which may some day use Doctor Stuart, pretty generally known in that them against ourselves.

quarter of Ireland at least) as the author of a That Captain Coles's plan did not at first History of the City of Armagh,” and more find favour with the present Board of Admiralty widely, as the writer of “The Protestant Layis so notorious, and the step which has been

At the time of my father's acquaintunexpectedly taken, since this article was com- ance with this gentleman, he (Doctor Stuart) menced, of removing the Royal Sovereign into was the editor of the Newry Commercial Telethe steam reserve, seems so strange, that many, graph, a newspaper then published three times and especially naval men, have inferred from a week, and still in existence. it that the complete success achieved by this the beautiful “ Ode on the Burial of Sir John ship in all the trials that she has as yet had Moore" was first published. I had this from the opportunity of making, has only strength- my father's lips ; but afterwards, in looking ened the disinclination of the Board to allow through the Penny Cyclopædia under the name that success to be more fully established by a of “Charles Wolfe," I found his words fully continuance of her experiments, lest they should confirmed. at last be compelled to give the plan the still And now occurs a curious matter in confurther trial of allowing Captain Coles to build nection with these celebrated verses. My a ship wholly in accordance with his own views, father told me that once when in company without theinterference of any civil constructor. with Doctor Stuart and some other gentlemen, But such a course would be so shameful that, shortly after the publication of Wolfe's ode, it cannot, we are convinced, be truly imputed the conversation naturally turned on the noble to any part of a British Ministry. It is pro- lines that had just appeared in the Telegraph. bable rather that, looking on the justice of The doctor on that occasion stated that he Captain Coles's views to be as completely estab- found the verses in the street of the tourn. I lished as it was possible for a vessel of the have repeatedly heard my father say that he limited capabilities of the Royal Sovereign to did not credit this statement, nor, I fancy, did establish them, and remembering that the any one who heard it made. It was generally fact of those capabilities being limited is felt that the doctor had some motive for conowing not to any imperfection in Captain cealing the source whence the lines came into Coles's plan, but to the circumstance of others his possession. having been admitted to interfere with and The ode appeared in the Telegraph anonyvary the details of that plan, the Board now mously, and was then claimed by a Scotchconsiders that Captain Coles is entitled, -it Stuart, in an article, sharply rebuked would be more correct to say, that the coun- the pretender, who did not dare to reply. try is entitled,—to have these views tested From this arises the presumption—perhaps imore completely in a sea-going vessel, and not sufficiently just—that the editor knew the that therefore they are about to entrust him author's name, or at least something of the with the construction of such a ship, as the real author ; that the lines had been sent to only method of finally deciding the question Stuart by some friend of Wolfe after their at issue between guns in turrets and guns in rejection by “the periodical” to which Mr. broadsides: a question which in the present Gibson has alluded, and that the sto

of the critical state of Europe admits of no postpone- finding in the street was a way of avoiding ment, and of which it would be neither credit further questioning about a writer who preable nor safe for us to leave the solution to ferred remaining incognito. other nations, perhaps at our own expense.

About three or four years ago I happened

to be in Dublin with some fellow-students, CHARLES WOLFE.

and among other places of interest we visited ONCE A WEEK.

St. Patrick's Cathedral : there my eye fell on SIR,—I have no doubt that the readers of a plain marble tablet, inscribed with these your journal have been as much interested as words, which I copied at the time :I have been in perusing your recent notice* of the Rev. Charles Wolfe, and I have thought,

THE REV. CHARLES WOLFE,

LATE CURATE OF DONOUGHMORE, CO. TIRONE, * See p. 501.

Whose earthly course closed Feb. 21, 1823.

man.

TO THE EDITOR OF

[ocr errors]

IN REMEMBRANCE OF

Rich in the treasures of Science and Literature, Of happiness desired and reached. So I
Endowed with the noblest poetic powers,

From earliest dawn till sunset strove to gain
Blessed with the love and admiration of all, The full perfection nestled in my breast;
More blessed in the successful devotion of those high gifts And as I saw the beauty come and go
To the Service of

In fitful flashes as the sunlight stole
Him who gave them.

Athwart my little room, I seized it there
“For if we believe that Jesus died,

And bade it burn and burn for evermore
And rose again,

To satisfy my gloating, ardent eyes.
Even so them also who sleep in Jesus
Will God bring with him."

It was my comfort day by day; therein
1 Thess. iv. 14. I found some consolation when my soul

Grew dark with thinking of my sunny youth, Captain Medwin, alluding to Lord Byron's | And when the evening light stóle down the sky reading of the “Ode on the Burial of Sir John

And reddened poplar stems, or touched the wall

With faint approach of crimson-when I dreamed Moore,” says (as has already been noticed by

Of summer twilights buried long ago Mr. Gibson), “ The feeling with which he Within the pale vaults of the past, until recited these admirable stanzas I shall never My heart grew sick and weary of my life, forget.” And it is the remembrance of the

And there uprose a vision of my home

Afar amid the blue Calabrian hills-expressive beauty with which a loved parent

Of one there, also, whose angelic face -now no more-used to clothe these "ad

Was far too pure for earth-and of the nights mirable stanzas," as he read them in the midst Made musical by beating of twin heartsof us when we were children, that has given

Bah! wherefore should I rave ? I turned and looked

Upon my picture, called myself a fool, them a place in my heart of hearts, fondly

And wondered if in all my moon-struck days endeared to me the name of Charles Wolfe, I could have done or dreamed this glorious work. and chiefly induced me to trouble you with this letter.

At length 'twas finished, and they came to see :

Spoke vily comments frona beneath their cowls, I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

And veiled their ignorance in soft applause. T. H. M. Scott, M.A. The prior said 'twas this and that-admired Mount Pleasant, Wolverhampton,

The bandling and the colour consonance;

Was somewhat critical, and spoke of forms
Oct. 31, 1864.

That gained distinctness by a vague outline.

He praised the work, but said it might have been RUBENS IN THE CLOISTER.

Some other thing-he scarcely knew well what;

And shut an eye, and raised a finger so, From pallid morn until the drowsy noon

To see if such a line were truly straight. I worked with burning fever in my heart,

I turned from them ; they knew not me nor mine : That I might show my fellows with what skill

Saw in all beauty earth ward sent by God God had imbued my fingers and my brain

A merely pleasant thing that touched the eye, That I might wear a nobler crown than they,

Or, with a graceful figure, hue, or tint,
And win me fame within our convent walls.

Rendered a sensual delight more sweet.
But as I worked, and worked, and hovered o'er
The tell-tale canvas, as a mother seeks

Then strangers came : the prior was polite-
Faint recognition in her young one's eyes,

Would bring them hither and with pride display A sense of shame and disappointment stole

My picture as a marvel of the place; Upon me, for I knew my heart contained

Whereat they looked, and smiled, and said 'twas fine, Serener love, a beauty nobler far

'Twas wondrous fine, the convent should be famed ! Than this weak hand could clasp. So one grey morn I heard them all, yet heeded none.

To me A passion seized me, and I wildly swore

My picture offered calm content, and I And trampled in the dust my summer's toil,

Was fain to spend my life in solitude, Then threw myself upon my little couch

My poor and shattered life-- a worthless thingand wept in vague remorse and throbbing pain. A sunset drowned in rainy mist of tears. I did sore penance all that weary day And through the night; the while with tears I prayed

Among the rest one day an artist came, -That God would pardon all my foolish pride,

He said he was an artist--this I knew And teach me so to work in reverent love,

In that he spoke not hurriedly, nor deemed With perfect gentleness of will and aim,

It quite sufficient for a painter's ear That men should look upon my art and feel

To hear that he had met with fair success. Themselves thereby a little nearer Heaven.

At length he broke the silence with a stream

Of phrases admirably turned, and then This did I purpose: then with secret care

I thought him just like others, nor did care I sought the shadow of my lonely cell,

To thank bim for his praise. He said that I Where but one gleam of clear and crystal light

Should make the nations ring with clamorous joy, Fell from the sky above. There laboured I

And should bequeath unto all coming time What time my brother monks stood in the sun

The strength that God had given ; that he would With idle gossip in the garden-square ;

Obtain a dispensation from tbe Pope And when the mournful bell swung to and fro

To yield me time for study and for work, And called us forth to penance or to prayer,

I said, “The world has many painters; I There went with me a dream of loveliness

Have but one soul ; wherefore would I remain A strange white presence that before my eyes

Within these walls." Whereat he looked amazed, Floated like vapour o'er a summer sea

Then glanced upon my picture once again. And at my heart I felt sweet consciousness

“I swear that thou art greater than myself !

[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

And waft thine honour over all the land,

it out, and like it well enough to return to, T'o rival those whose names are evermore

prefer its quiet to any philanthropical views Set high upon the eternal arch of fame ! ”

toward the rest of mankind, and hold their This might be mine! O God! but it was hard To steel my soul against it ; for I thought

tongue as to its advantages. It has hitherto Of those within that deep Calabrian vale,

escaped notice, and is just the kind of place to Who tore me from the dear embrace of her

remain in this sort of twilight, as there are no Whom I did gaze upon as doth the sea

resident influential gentry, no fishing trade, or Stretch forth his eager arms unto the moon, Receiving such faint recompense of light

indeed trade of any description ; but now this As smooths his turbid bosom into rest,

is to be changed. A company are about to And wakes a plaintive music in his waves.

build an hotel, where good and cheap accomSo gained I sweetness from her angel face.

modation will supply a want long and often She, looking on me as a stately queen,

felt. Entranced me with effulgency of light; Then, breaking from her throne in perfect love,

The village of Pendine lies about midway She drowned me with her kisses and her tears.

along Carmarthen bay, ten miles from Tenby, They stole her from me-look you, I was poor ! and six from a railway station : thus escapAnd would have married her to some rich fool, But she, poor thing, did one day strangely die,

ing the tourist tide, it has remained in the And somehow cheated them of their design.

hands of the country folks, and retained more

of the original characteristic courtesy and Now what a rare and sweet revenge were this ! To make their sordid hearts grow sick to think

friendliness, peculiarly Cymric, than any place What might have been bad they but left my flower

I have met with. Pendine does not kuow Unto myself! Alas, the time was gone :

itself in print ; once I had occasion to mention Revenge is for the young ; my wrath had cooled.

it in writing of the famous earth-stopper and “ You pause !” he said, amazed.

Well may I pause.

bard of Morvybachen, and once it is menToo late the summons comes : the world no more

tioned in Mason’s “ Tenby Guide,” not, howEnticeth me with subtlety as when

ever, in any compliment to its own charms, It taught my hand and heart and soul to seek

but simply in connection with the “Green With perfect consonance one eager wish. You will not go ?”

Bridge of Wales," which, being one of the sights Again that fearful chill ! appropriated by Tenby, necessitates a visit to I thought of her-my darling now in Heaven

the Inn at Pendine as a resting-place for the And said I would not. Then he sighed and left. the horses. Few, however, of the fashionables But in the night, what time the silent moon

of Tenby go as far as the “Green Bridge," and Gleamed like a spirit on my window pane,

consequently to Pendine, a circumstance which, I rose and seized my brushes, palette, all

in my opinion, is not a little to its advantage, That came 'twixt me and placid thoughts of her,

inasmuch as the true lover of Nature can here And with a sudden power I broke them there, And cast them forth into the darkness. Then

enjoy some of her most perfect handiwork withI knelt and prayed to God for soft content ;

out the apprehension of running against the That I might end my days without regret,

crinolined divinities of a watering-place, or hearAnd wait with hope the coming of the dawn.

WILLIAM BLACK.

ing modern young-lady slang profane caverns

where old Neptune has been chanting his BEYOND GOWER'S LAND.

hymns for ages ; of this I speak feelingly, as

full many a scene have I felt utterly marred A wet day at the sea-side is never a plea- by an ill-timed comparison or remark. sant thing, especially when you happen to be First impressions are always the most lasting, at a place where there is neither a public room, and carry with them a greater influence upon a library, nor a gossiping friend ; yet, iu spite the memory in after days. My first impresof these wants, rain will come, and to-day sion of Pendine was favourable, and, I am we have it in good earnest, a grey, lowering happy to say, nothing has ever clouded it. I sky, mists like billows creeping across the arrived here one October afternoon, just as the " borrows" or “ bents,” and a seething sea sun was dropping down behind Tenby, whose tossing its white mane, wreathed with dark terraced cliffs, tower, and ruins stood out in weeds brought up froin the deep water by last strong relief against the western sky, all night's storm. It is an old and true saying flooded as it was with warm blushing light. that “it's an ill wind that blows nobody The hill-side near me, upon which stand several good.” In the present case this wind, in pretty cottages, was already buried in dark blowing up the rain, gave me time to put some shades of night; but the beautiful beach, of my Welsh gatherings into a readable form, fringed with coarse bent grass, wore a palo so, with my sketch-book before

I sit down golden hue, upon which the retreating tide for a day's work.

me,

was breaking in long rollers, every one of which Pendine is one of the quietest little places was mirrored forth again in the wet sand. upon the Welsh coast : those who have found After a long look, I went back to my lodgings

a

[ocr errors]

a solid

20

to attend to my home duties, and by the time nation of some passing voice, or, as now, the
our little ones were fed, bathed, and asleep, throb of the restless ocean touches the key-note
the full moon was sailing on her quiet way of memory, bringing back with startling vitality,
across the dark-blue sky, shedding her sweet voices, scenes, and joys that earth can never
bright smile earth wards, and lighting up the give us back.-
sea and shore with a calm radiance more like

Up from the shadowy past, twilight than moonlight. To the south-west

Come visions of joy and light; shone the Caldy light-house, throwing a long The tender clasp of bands long cold, red line of reflection upon the sands and across

The voice that of love so sweetly told,

Make heaven still ours by night. the bay; taking this as a beacon, I walked on, until, turning, I found I had reached the shore No place in the United Kingdom could be more teyond the high cliffs; the point hid the village, completely adapted than Pendine by those 1100 a human habitation or sign of life was to natural advantages generally considered indisbe seen or heard, and verily I stood entranced pensable at a bathing place, and that, too, not and overpowered by the solemn grandeur of only in summer, but likewise as a sheltered and the scene.

healthy place of retreat from the east and north Before me lay the sands, sparkling as if winds which afflict our land in spring. At strewn with diamonds, stretching away to the present, accommodation is scanty ; but land, foot of the bold beetling cliffs, at the base of labour, and material are cheap, and the sides which lay great boulders, armoured with acorn of the hills and dells are filled with tempting shells. On one side the cliff's rose

sites for cottages. perpendicular wall, several hundreds of feet The first attraction of the place is the great high; on the other side they were broken in extent of dry, hard, and clean sand left bare upon by numerous caverns of every fantastic by every tide ; these sands are nearly eight shape imaginable; when I saw them their miles in length, and at the neap tides two or mysterious depths were filled with weird-like more in width, and are as deeply interesting to shadows, and it required but small effort of the conchologist as the pleasure-seeker; indeed, the imagination to convert the bleached, water- as a proof of what they do offer, I may say worn columus into those spectral forms known that the collection I have here made comprises in all parts of Wales as " White Ladies." almost every variety of shell found upon the While the refrain of the distant tide went South Coast, and a few rarely-seen specimens echoing through the dim recesses like spirit into the bargain. songs, as my ear became accustomed to the A semicircle of high grassy hills partially harmonious medley it began to distinguish the encloses the flat plain ; the sea-board side of silvery bell-like note of a dripping well and which is composed of sand-hills, upon which the gush of a waterfall, and there was some- the bent grows, and gives occupation in making thing so strangely sweet in the tone of the very elegant and useful kind of baskets; these last that I could not but seek it out. Ac- “ borrows," as they are called, are inhabited cordingly, after much scrambling and scratch- by hundreds of rabbits, whose gambols it is ing upon the acorn shells, I discovered the amusing to watch. Beyond the borrows and secret to be a deep chasm, in which a stream mouth of the Towey is Ferryside ; then a of water gleamed in the moonbeams, as it flat shore, enlivened by the smoke of the coal poured down some forty feet from a rent in and copper works at Kidwelly, Llanelly, and the dark rock, So enrapt was I that I ran Pembray ; then comes a long reach of sandy a narrow chance of passing the night among flat; then Gower's Land, terminating in the the ghostly caves. The first warning I perceived Worm's Head, which stands like a natural of the rising tide was the rippling of the water fortress at the mouth of the bay. round the rock upon which I was sitting, and West of Pendine the coast assumes a wild the first wave just kissed the point as I hurried and grand character. Beyond the Beacon Hill past. A couple of hours later, when I looked is a pretty little harbour opening into Morvy.

1 out of my bed-room window, the tide was fully bachen Bay, and upon the other side of this up, breaking within twenty yards of me, and basin the cliffs rise again, and, with the exradiant with phosphorescent light. I sat watch- . ception of a hill or so at Amroth, continue the ing the flashes until my eyes grew dim, and I same precipitous wall-like defence as far as was fain to seek my rest; but even then the Tenby Castle rock. musical rhythm of the waves filled my dreams Wales has long been famous among the with scenes of other days. Madame de Staël artist fraternity, not only for the picturesque says, “C'était le parfum que toujours portait combinations of mountain, wood, and water Corinne ;" true as this is, sound has a still there to be found in a comparatively small greater power, and an old melody, the into- compass, but also for the exquisite variety of

a

« AnteriorContinuar »