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And like the stricken deer, with sickly eye,
Shall see them pass. Breathe calm my spirit 's torn; Ye holy thoughts, lift up my soul on high!—
Ye hopes of things unseen, the far-off world bring nigh.
And when I grieve, O, rather let it be
That I-whom Nature taught to sit with her
Should leave, and go with Care, and passions fierce and wild!
How suddenly that straight and glittering shaft
Be called my chamber, PEACE, when ends the day; And let me with the dawn, like PILGRIM, sing and pray!
Alpine Flowers.-MRS. SIGOURNEY.
MEEK dwellers mid yon terror-stricken cliffs!
To the cold cradle of eternal snows?
Or, breathing on the callous icicles,
-Tree nor shrub
Dare that drear atmosphere; no polar pine
And looking up with brilliant eyes to Him,
O'er slippery steeps, or, trembling, treads the verge
And marks ye in your placid loveliness—
Story of Grant and Macpherson.-ANONYMOUS.
A DEADLY feud subsisted, almost from time immemorial, between the families of Macpherson of Bendearg, and Grant of Cairn, and was handed down unimpaired even to the close of the last century. In earlier times the warlike chiefs of these names found frequent opportunities of testifying their mutual animosity; and few inheritors of the fatal quarrel left the world, without having moistened it with the blood of some of their hereditary enemies.
But, in our own day, the progress of civilization, which had reached even these wild countries, the heart of the North Highlands, although it could not extinguish entirely the transmitted spirit of revenge, at least kept it within safe bounds; and the feud of Macpherson and Grant threatened, in the course of another generation, to die entirely away, or, at least, to exist only in some vexatious lawsuit, fostered by the petty jealousies of two men of hostile tempers and contiguous property.
It was not, however, without some ebullitions of ancient fierceness, that the flame, which had burned for so many centuries, seemed about to expire. Once, at a meeting of the country gentlemen, on a question of privilege arising, Bendearg took occasion to throw out some taunts, aimed at
his hereditary foe, which the fiery Grant immediately received as the signal of defiance, and a challenge was the consequence.
The sheriff of the county, however, having got intimation of the affair, put both parties under arrest; till at length, by the persuasions of their friends,-not friends by blood,—and the representations of the magistrate, they shook hands, and each pledged his honor to forget-at least never again to remember in speech or action—the ancient feud of his family.
This occurrence, at the time, was the object of much interest in the country-side; the rather that it seemed to give the lie to the prophecies, of which every Highland family has an ample stock in its traditionary chronicles, and which expressly predicted, that the enmity of Cairn and Bendearg should not be quenched but in blood; and on this seemingly cross-grained circumstance, some of the young men, who had begun already to be tainted with the heresies of the Lowlands, were seen to shake their heads, as they reflected on the tales and the faith of their ancestors; but the grayheaded seers shook theirs still more wisely, and answered with the motto of a noble house,-'I bide my time.'
There is a narrow pass between the mountains, in the neighborhood of Bendearg, well known to the traveller who adventures into these wilds in quest of the savage sublimities of nature. At a little distance it has the appearance of an immense artificial bridge thrown over a tremendous chasm, but, on nearer approach, is seen to be a wall of nature's own masonry, formed of vast and rugged bodies of solid rock, piled on each other as if in the giant sport of the architect. Its sides are in some places covered with trees of a considerable size; and the passenger, who has a head steady enough to look down the precipice, may see the eyries of birds of prey beneath his feet.
The path across is so narrow, that it cannot admit of two persons passing alongside; and, indeed, none but natives, accustomed to the scene from infancy, would attempt the dangerous route at all, though it saves a circuit of three miles. Yet it sometimes happens, that two travellers meet in the middle, owing to the curve formed by the pass preventing a view across from either side; and, when this is the case, one is obliged to lie down, while the other crawls over his body.
One day, shortly after the incident we have mentioned, a highlander was walking fearlessly along the pass; some
times bending over to watch the flight of the wild birds that built below, and sometimes detaching a fragment from the top to see it dashed against the uneven sides, and bounding from rock to rock, its rebound echoing the while like a human voice, and dying in faint and hollow murmurs at the bottom.
When he had gained the highest part of the arch, he observed another coming leisurely up on the opposite side, and, being himself of the patrician order, called out to him to halt and lie down; the person, however, disregarded the command, and the highlanders met face to face on the summit. They were Cairn and Bendearg! the two hereditary enemies, who would have gloried and rejoiced in mortal strife with each other on a hill-side. They turned deadly pale at this fatal rencontre. 'I was first at the top,' said Bendearg, and called out first, 'Lie down, that I may pass over in peace.'
'When the Grant prostrates himself before Macpherson,' answered the other, it must be with a sword driven through his body.' Turn back, then,' said Bendearg, 'and repass as you came. Go back yourself, if you like it,' replied Grant; 'I will not be the first of my name to turn before the Macpherson.'
This was their short conference, and the result exactly as each had anticipated;-they then threw their bonnets over the precipice, and advanced, with a slow and cautious pace, closer to each other; they were both unarmed; and, stretching their limbs like men preparing for a desperate struggle, they planted their feet firmly on the ground, compressed their lips, knit their dark brows, and, fixing fierce and watchful eyes on each other, stood there prepared for the
They both grappled at the same moment; but, being of equal strength, were unable for some time to shift each other's position,-standing fixed on a rock with suppressed breath, and muscles strained to the 'top of their heart,' like statues carved out of the solid stone. At length Macpherson, suddenly removing his right foot, so as to give him greater purchase, stooped his body, and bent his enemy down with him by main strength, till they both leaned over the precipice, looking downward into the terrible abyss.
The contest was as yet doubtful, for Grant had placed his foot firmly on an elevation at the brink, and had equal command of his enemy,—but at this moment Macpherson
sunk slowly and firmly on his knee, and, while Grant suddenly started back, stooping to take the supposed advantage, whirled him over his head into the gulf. Macpherson himself fell backwards, his body hanging partly over the rock; a fragment gave way beneath him, and he sunk farther, till, catching with a desperate effort at the solid stone above, he regained his footing.
There was a pause of death-like stillness, and the bold heart of Macpherson felt sick and faint. At length, as if compelled unwillingly by some mysterious feeling, he looked down over the precipice. Grant had caught with a deathgripe by the rugged point of a rock-his enemy was almost within his reach!—his face was turned upwards, and there was in it horror and despair,—but he uttered no word or cry. The next moment he loosed his hold,—and the next his brains were dashed out before the eyes of his hereditary foe! The mangled body disappeared among the trees, and its last heavy and hollow sound arose from the bottom. Macpherson returned home an altered man. He purchased a commission in the army, and fell in the wars of the Peninsula.
Adversity and Prosperity-An Allegory.-MOORE.
PROSPERITY and Adversity, the daughters of Providence, were sent to the house of a rich Phœnician merchant, named Velasco, whose residence was at Tyre, the capital city in that kingdom.
Prosperity, the eldest, was beautiful as the morning, and cheerful as the spring; but Adversity was sorrowful and illfavored.
Velasco had two sons, Felix and Uranio. They were both bred to commerce, though liberally educated, and had lived together from their infancy in the strictest harmony and friendship. But love, before whom all the affections of the soul are as the traces of a ship upon the ocean, which remain only for a moment, threatened in an evil hour to set them at variance; for both became enamoured with the beauties of Prosperity. The nymph, like one of the daughters of men, gave encouragement to each by turns; but to avoid a particular declaration, she avowed a resolution never to