Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

pretence of gratitude to that deceased friend.-O Sophia,' were the be-all and the end-all here,' the Almighty Maker of the universe could not be just. But reason renders audible the solemn word Retribution, in every sigh which she breathes over human baseness. The sacred voice of Revelation is not necessary to inform us of that truth, however useful and consoling in the confirmation. Nature's hand has impressed the consciousness on every bosom.

“ I wonder not at the indignation you express at Johnson's injustice to your darling Gray. It is generous, it is grateful, and due to the delight you have taken in his compositions. Why does Mr Mason suffer this Fe Fa Fum of literature, that snuffs afar the fame of his brother-authors, and thirsts for its destruction, to peer and gallop unmolested over the fields of criticism ? A few pebbles from the well-springs of truth and eloquence, slung by a strong and agile arm, would soon bring the might of his envy low. To fancy's eye the injured shade of Gray rises sternly before Mason,

“ And calls for vengeance from his tardy hand.”

“ You will be surprised to hear that we staid only a fortnight at * Eyam. We were received

A village in the high peak of Derbyshire, of which Mr Seward was rector, and where his daughter was born.-S.

by our old friends and neighbours, with such warm and affectionate welcome, as made me wish to have tarried one month, at least, among my. native rocks; besides, I had the additional pleasure of dear Miss Rogers' society. She came to me before breakfast, for she had flown, on her light steed, over the mountains which separate Dronfield from Eyam, on the wings of the dawn;

nor did she leave me till my father determined we should set our faces to the south. A buck from Lord Donegall was the magnet which drew my beloved back to Lichfield, in spite of mine, and Miss R.'s, and all our neighbour's intreaties for a longer residence. I left Eyam with the more regret, from a melancholy presentiment that the advanced age of its pastor, and the dangerous seizures to which he is subject, would make it his * last visit.

The dear little muse was very sprightly and happy. The fair prospect of a union, which mutual love, congenial talents, and genteel competency conspire to gild, may well give to her eyes the glow of placid smiles, to her spirits the dance of joy. She often persuaded me to ex

* It proved the last, though Mr S. survived that visit seven years, but in a state too feeble to leave his home at Lichfield.-S.

plore, with her, the heights of those near mountains, which, high as it stands itself, yet tower above our village, and shew us from their summits, beyond the lesser hills, the rich vale of Chastyworth, and immediately look upon the more romantic beauties of Stoke. I was astonished at my own strength and courage in these ascending and descending enterprises. Frequently and fervently did we wish for you. How Sophia would be charmed!' was an exclamation for ever on our lips.

Doctor Browne of Sheffield, who lives to promote the good, and the pleasures of others, brought us for one day the two younger, and twinsisters of Miss Rogers. What a wonderful resemblance of face and form between all the three! there is not a straw's difference in their height; all of them little, slender, and agile. The sight of so many partners of our late interesting tour, through this sublime county, recalled, in vivid traits, all its enchantment. By that association of ideas, which their persons, and the similarity of scenes produced, I found myself perpetually impelled to turn my head, and look for the rest of the party ;—but ah! there was much embittering regret in the consciousness, with which the succeeding instant dashed back upon my heart that involuntary expectation. They for whom I looked were far away, nor did the ascending hill present the graceful form of Sophia, or the rocks echo the matchless songs of * Giovanni.

“ You have heard me speak of a steep, narrow, romantic and grassy dell, whose brow the middle part of our village borders. A ridge of curtained rocks rises opposite, thrusting their bare grey points here and there through the foliage. One of them is excavated, and forms a gallery, which may be descended into from the upper heights of the village, whence the cliffs and fields, which stretch over the summits of those rocks, are of easy access. It was in this rocky gallery that Mr Mompessan, the rival in virtue of Marseilles' good bishop, preached to his parishioners of this populous and large village, when it was visited by the plague in the year 1666; rationally concluding, that assembling in a close church would be likely to increase the infection. The descent into this dell, from the centre of the village, is a smooth steep turf, scattered with single pine and ashtrees. The level turf at the bottom scarce exceeds six yards in breadth. After winding to the right, about, a quarter of a mile, it terminates in the celebrated Middleton-dale, or as it ought to be called, as belonging to Eyam parish, Eyam

* Mr Saville,

dale :that scene where the awful and terrible Graces only dwell;—though the barren rocks and desert cliffs, their residence, are picturesque and grand, from their stupendous height, and variety of forms; broken and ravaged as too many of them have been, and continue to be, by the force of gunpowder, destroying them for the purpose of mending the roads with their materials. The burning lime-kilns, of which there are several in the dale, deform it in the day-time with their smouldering fires, but are fine in the night, shewing glimpses of the savage scene by the light of their volcanic flames;—but I have strayed from the verdant glen without intending it, just as I purposed to tell you, that the three smart little sisters and myself, escorted by Doctor Browne, and our friend Mr Longston of Eyam, descended. into this glen beneath the soft beams of a golden evening. Long ere my slow steps, supported on each side by the two gentleman, had gained the midway descent, the three sister-nymphs had bounded to the bottom. The little muse's imagination instantly conceived the magic effect which their tiny, light, and airy forms, so similar, and so nimble, would have to us, whose sight dropt from an eminence which yet more diminished them. They instantly began dancing the hays with much swiftness in the grassy bottom. Their habits exactly

« AnteriorContinuar »