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neither of a setting sun nor a round of beef-two of the very best things in their own way, in heaven or on earth.

But about the “very middle and waist” of April, we order a search through our wardrobe for trousers, striped and spotted waistcoats, jackets, foraging-caps, and thick-soled shoes, called by our housekeeper, Clampers. Then we venture to open our eyes and look a little abroad over the suburban gardens and nurseries. We had doggedly determined, indeed, not to take any notice of Spring symptoms before that time, for fear of pining away for the green fields. Accordingly, we wore our great-coat as faithfully as if it were part of ourselves, even during the soft days that now and then came balmy over the city gardens during the somewhat surly month of March. We rather kept our eyes on the ground in passing by rows of poplars, which we knew from the sweet scent were more than budding in the sunshine. When a bee hummed past us about the suburbs, we pretended not to hear her; and as to the sparrows, why, they twitter all the year through, almost as heartily as if they were inditing valentines, and their chatter never disturbs us. In short, we wish to enjoy the first gentle embrace of Spring in some solitary spot, where nothing will impede the mutal flow of our spirits, but where," the world forgetting, by the world forgot," we may wander away together into the ideal lands of the Imagination, nor care if we ever more return to this weary and distracted life.

Perhaps you may be a little surprised at first, when we tell you that we do not like, on our first vernal visit to the country, to go to Buchanan Lodge. We hate having anything to do with a Flitting. These lazy, lubberly porters, pretending that their backs bend under half a load for an ordinary Girzie, try all patience; and there is no standing a whole forenoon's sight of a great blue-railed waggon, with a horse seventeen hands high in the shafts, sound asleep. A Flitting “is a thing to dream of, not to see.” The servants engaged in one have a strange, wild, hurried, flustered, raised look, very alarming to a Sexagenarian: more especially the cook, armed with spit and gridiron, as with spear and shield, like Britomart. The natural impetuosity of the culinary character is exasperated into effervescence; and if she meet us hobbling down or up the front steps, she thinks no more than “Jenny dang the


weaver" of upsetting, or at least sorely jostling, her unoffending master. The chambermaids have on Flitting-day an incomprehensible giggle, through which they seem to be communicating to one another thick-coming secrets-heaven only knows about what—and “my butler" assumes a more portly and pompous air, in the consciousness of being about to act round about the Lodge as a summer land-agent. Then all within, what a dusty desolation! Only one chair, and that in the lobby, for so many wearied bottoms“ Cupboards vast, and presses

idle !" To-morrow will be a fast-day to the mice —and before the week-end, dozens will have paid the forfeit of their lives to the offended laws of their country ; for, next door, there is a maiden lady curious in traps, and inexorably cruel in the executive. You ring the bell by way of a dreary experiment, and a ghostlike echo answers from cellar and garret. For six months, and that is a long time for such an organ, that tongue will be mute. One dead plant is left behind in the lobby-window, close to the front door, for all the other windows in the house are closed up with shutters. No fear of the poor unhappy embers on the kitchen hearth setting fire to the tenement. Bang goes the street-door, like one of those melancholy peals of thunder followed by no other on some unsettled day that wants spirit for a storm-clunk plays the bolt to the strong-wrenched key in the hand of the porter—there is motion visible in the waggon, and the perceptive faculty finally admits that there is a Flitting.

All the miseries above has it frequently been our lot to witness and partake; but of late years it has been too much for us, and we have left the Flitting in the hands of Providence. Besides, how pleasant, on a stated day and hour, to walk into Buchanan Lodge, an expected Head of a House! All the domestics delighted to behold their beloved master hobbling towards the porch. Every window so clear, that you know not there is glass—the oil-skin on the lobby-floor glancing undimmed-nestlings in a twitter over all the clustering verandas; but all this is subject for a future leading article, whereas the title of the present is-Streams.

And first a few words in praise of running streams, and let us panegyrise them in SPATES. Then the rill-pretty pigmy no longer-springs up in an hour to stream's estate. Like a stripling who has been unexpectedly left a fortune by an old



uncle, he gives his home, in a hollow of the broomy braes, the slip, and away off, in full cry and gallop, to "poos his fortune" in the world, down in the “ laigh kintra.” Many a tumble he gets over waterfalls, and often do you hear him shouting before he gets out of the wood. He sings although it be Sunday, and hurries past the kirk during the time of divine service, yet not without joining for a moment in the psalm. As the young lassies are returning from kirk to cottage, he behaves rudely to them, while, high-kilted, they are crossing the fords; and ere their giggle-blended shrieks subside, continues his career, as Dr Jamieson says, in his spirited ballad on the Water-kelpie, “ loud nechering in a lauch.” And now he is all a-foam in his fury, like a chestnut horse. The sheep and lambs stare at himn in astonishment; and Mr Wordsworth’s Old Ram, who is so poetically described in the Excursion as admiring his horns and beard, face and figure, in one of the clear pools of the Brathay, the Pride of Windermere, were he now on a visit to Scotland, would die of disappointed self-love, a heart-broken Narcissus. On he goes—the rill-rivulet“neither to haud nor to bin'”—a most uproarious hobbletehoy.

. He is just at that time of life—say about seventeen-when the passions are at their worst or their best—'tis hard to say which

at their newest, certainly, and perhaps at their strongest, and when they listen to no voice but their own, which then seems to fill heaven and earth with music. But what noise is this? Thunder? No—a Corra-Linn, or a Stonebyres of a waterfall. Lo ! yonder a great river sweeping along the strath. The rillrivulet, with one shiver and shudder-for now 'tis too late to turn back, and onwards he is driven by his own weight, which is only another name for his own destiny-leaps with a sudden plunge into the red-roaring Spate, and in an instant loses his name and nature, and disappears for ever. Just so is it with the young human prodigal, lost in the Swollen River of Life thundering over the world's precipices.

Turn for a moment to the Grampians. You are all alonequite by yourself-no object seems alive in existence—for the eagle is mute—the antlers of the red-deer, though near, invisible—not one small moorland bird is astir among the brackens -no ground bee is at work on the sullen heather—and the aspect of the earth is grim as that of heaven. Hark! From what airt moans the thunder?—'Tis like an earthquake. Now,



it growls. Yonder cloud, a minute ago, deep-blue, is now black as pitch. All the mountains seem to have gathered themselves together under it—and see—see how it flashes with fire! Ay, that is thunder—one peal split into a hundred—a cannonade worthy the battle of the gods and giants, when the Sons of Terra strove to storm the gates of Uranus. Would that Dan Virgil were here—or Lord Byron ! O Dr Blair! Dr Blair ! why didst thou object to the close of that glorious description

DENSISSIMUS IMBER ?” Jupiter Pluvius has smitten the Grampians with a rod of lightning, and in a moment they are all tumbling with cataracts. Now every great glen has its own glorious river—some red as blood, some white as snow, and some yet blue in their portentous beauty as that one thin slip of sky, that, as we are looking, is sucked into the clouds. Each rill, each torrent, each river, has its own peculiar voice; and methinks we distinguish one music from another, as we dream ourselves away into the heart of that choral anthem. Woe to the “ wee bouracks o' houses,” bigged on the holmlands! Bridges ! that have felt the ice-flaws of a thousand winters rebounding from your abutments, as from cliff to cliff you spanned the racing thunder, this night will be your last! Your key-stones shall be loosened, and your arches, as at the springing of a mine, heaved up into the air by the resistless waters. There is no shrieking of kelpies. That was but a passionless superstition. But there is shrieking—of widows and of orphans—and of love strong as death, stifled and strangled in the flood that all night long is sweeping corpses and carcasses to the sea.

Well, then, Streams! The unpardonable thing about Edinburgh is, that she wants a river. Two great straddling bridges without one drop of water! The stranger looks over the battlements of the one, and in the abyss sees our metropolitan markets—through the iron railing of the other, and lol carts laden with old furniture, and a blind fiddler and his wife roaring ballads to a group of tatterdemalions. What a glory would it be were a great red river to come suddenly down in flood, and sweep away Mound and Bridge to the sea! Alas ! for old Holyrood! What new life would be poured into the Gude auld Town, thus freshened at its foundations ! And how beautiful to see the dwindled ship gliding under cloud of sail by the base of our castled cliff! Oh! for the sweet sea

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murmur, when torrent retreats before tide, and the birds of ocean come floating into the inland woods! Oh! that, “like Horeb's rock beneath the Prophet's hand," yonder steep would let escape into light the living waters ! But this wish is a mere whim of the moment; and therefore it is our delight to escape for a week to the brooks of Peebles, or Innerleithen, or Clovenford, or Kelso.

Wherever we go to escape the Flitting, a stream or river there must be-our ears are useless without its murmurseyes we might as well have none, without its wimpling glitter. Early in life we fell in love with a Naiad, whom we beheld in a dream, sitting, with her long dishevelled hair veiling her pearly person, by a waterfall; and her every Spring have we in vain been seeking, and still hope to find, although she hide from our embrace in a pool far away among the hills that overshadow the lonely source of the Ettrick, or, embowered in the beautiful Beauly, delight in the solitude of the Dreme.

Once, and once only, have we been a few miles above Ettrick Manse, and memory plays us false whenever we strive to retrace the solitude. It was a misty day, and we heard without seeing the bleating lambs. Each new reach of the Ettrick, 'there little more than a burn, murmured in the vapours, almost like a new stream to our eyes, whenever we chanced to lose sight of it, by having gone round knoll or brae.

Just as we came down upon the Kirk and Manse, the rain was over and gone, and while mist-wreaths rolled up, seemingly without any.wind, to the hill-top, a strong sun brightened the vale, and bathed a grove of tall trees in a rich steady lustre. Happy residence! thought our heart, as the modest Manse partook of the sudden sunshine, and smiled upon another pleasant dwelling across the vale, yet a little gloomy in the shadow. And a happy residence it had been for upwards of half a century to the pastor, who, about a year before, had dropped the body, and gone to his reward. No record—no annals of his peaceful, inoffensive, and useful life! Death had never once visited the manse during all those quiet years,-neither sin nor sorrow had sat by the fireside and there had been no whisperings of conscience to disturb the midnight sleep. The widow had to leave the long-hallowed hearth at her husband's death; but there is to right-thinking minds little hardship in such necessity, long calmly contemplated in foresight as a thing


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