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meal. He then gives a curious classification of birds according to their digestibility, giving the chief place to the partridge, "whiche is a restoratyue meate, and dothe comforte the brayne and the stomache." A woodcock, on the contrary, is " a meate of good temperaunce." But of wild fowl in general he makes a remark which is of much wider application: "All these be noyfull, except they be well orderyd and dressyd ;" as he says elsewhere, "the cook is more than half a physicia n."
Mixed with his dietetics are all sorts of queer jottings from his experiences abroad. Thus he had seen in "Hygh Alman" what any one who travels there or in Hungary may see nowadays, "swyne kept clene." The Germans, he says, make them swim once or twice a day in their great rivers. The English let theirs lie about in filth and feed on "stercorus matter ;" and the Spaniards he found worse in this respect than the English.
I am happy to find that brawn and all such strange meats Boorde pronounces bad. Of two of them he says: "Yf a man eate nether of them bothe, it shall neuer do hym harme."
Hares he would have hunted: "it makyth a gentylman good pastyme;" but he would leave it to the dogs to eat. "Conys flesshe (on the contrary) is good, but rabettes flesshe is best of all wylde beestes, for all thynges the whiche dothe sucke is nutrytyue." Here Boorde helps us to distinguish synonyms—a rabbit in his day was a sucking cony. Beer, again, as we saw, he marks off from the ale with which it is so often confounded.
Further on he treats of vegetables, and proves that either the story of Queen Elizabeth sending to Holland for a salad is apocryphal, or else gardening must have died out in the troubles of the reign of Edward VI.; for here we have radish, lettuce, sorrel, endive, besides rocket, alexanders, and other plants which our modern English cuisine superciliously neglects.
Boorde next arranges a diet for the sanguine, melancholy, phlegmatic, and choleric man, and also for patients suffering from moral diseases; recommending fresh air, cleanliness, care against infection, and a reference to "my Breuyary," just as if he was a nineteenth century physician. Better advice than this could
not be given: "No one can be a better physician for you than your own self can be, if you will consider what does you good and refrain from what harms you. .... Let euery one beware of sorrow, care, thought, and inward anger. Sleep well and go to bed with a mery heart . . . . Wherefore let euery man be mery; and yf he can not, let hym resorte to mery company to breke of his perplexatyues." Further, wash your hands often, and comb your head, and keep chest and stomach warm and head cool; and if you are seriously ill, make your will, and have two or three good nurses, "not slepysshe, sloudgysshe, sluttysshe," and have sweet flowers kept in your room, and no babbling women about.
Of human nature Boorde was at least as good a judge as he was of the diagnosis of diseases; his estimate of the female character, for instance, is that of the Arthusian Romance: "Women desire sovereignty." The man, he says, who would be at peace must "please his wyfe, and beate her nat, but let her haue her owne wyl, for that she wyll haue, who so euer say nay." As a prison reformer he was centuries before his day. But after speaking, as Howard might, about the filth and bad air in prisons, he quietly adds: "The chefe remedy is for man to so lyue and so to do that he deserue not to be brought into no prison." Before his time, too, are his views on demoniacal possession: incubus and succubus, he says, are of "a vaperous humour or fumositie rysinge out and frome the stomake to the brayne."
Parents grumbled then as they do now at the idleness of the rising generation; "the feuer horden," Boorde calls it, and recommends ungueniiim inculinum as the remedy. Care, too, must be taken that they "put no Lubberworte into their potage."
In fact, there is a world of quaintness and good sense in Boorde; and Mr. Furnivall has only tantalized us by giving us extracts from books which make us anxious for more. How such a man could be taken as the type of what we mean by Merry Andrew it is hard to say: he is always recommending mirth, and he owns to his love of good cheer; but it is not at all merry-andrewish to sum up advice in this honest, earnest way: "Fyrste lyue out of syn, and folowe Christes doctrine, and then vse honest myrth and honest
company, and vse to eate good meate the most interesting books to people in and to drynk moderately." general that the Early English Text So
Enough about Boorde: this is one of ciety has yet given us.
I Have often thought that life is long or short, according as we choose to make it —that is, according as it is full or empty, which greatly depends upon ourselves. Given a certain number of months, weeks, hours, the question is, how much can be put into them? Not merely of work— we cannot always be working; nor even of moral improvement or intellectual development—we cannot always be improving and developing; but of that wholesome idleness which is to the tired brain like rest to the body. Only it should be rest, not torpor; leisure, not inanity. Eye and heart should lie open to chance interests or impressions, as inherently and pleasurably as a fallow field to sunshine; and if so, into that blessed, healthful sleep, "what dreams may come?" innocent, happy dreams, which make life, as I said, full, not empty, however idle it may be. Careless thoughts, harmless fancies, passing observations of men and things— worth no more, perhaps, than the white clouds that float over our heads, or the fragments of birds' song that reach our ears, as we lie on our back in that glorious summer laziness—but still they hive filled up the hour; it has been neither useless nor dull.
And I cite the Twenty-six Hours, which give a title to this paper, as an instance of how much may be put into the most ordinary " pleasuring," when the pleasureseekers are disposed to find it; wherever it chances to lie, without going particularly in search of it. Twenty-six hours, evolving none of those deep tragedies, or exciting interests, which sometimes compress a year into a day, but just an ordinary day, and two hours over—let us be nothing if not accurate—in which I have set down, accurately and literally, without gloss or ornament, all that happened. A mere slice of common existence, remarkable for nothing, and from which nothing resulted: yet it is such days which make up the sum of all our lives.
We had been living in a sort of Happy Valley—not in Abyssinia, but Scotland—a New Series.—Vol. XIV., No. 1.
shooting-lodge in a far-away glen, deep-set among mountains. Unlike Rasselas, however, we did not want to get out of our Happy Valley. We kept putting off from day to day an excursion, long planned, which we had at first meant should occupy some days, but at last cut down to hours. Indeed, but for a certain feeling of "honor bound," and a certain fear of looking foolish in having come thus far and never seen the great "show" of the neighborhood, I doubt if we should have gone at all: it seemed really nonsense, we were so content here. But, after putting off the expedition to the last available day, and discovering the shortest possible time that we could do it in, we decided that we would really go and see Glencoe.
Of course everybody knows about the Massacre of Glencoe, at least we supposed so then. If not, everybody can read about it in Macaulay. So I have no intention now, nor had we any then, of going over the place with historical acumen, or entering upon the rights and wrongs of the question—politically or poetically. The slayers and the slain alike sleep now : God give them good rest!
It was about 4 P.m. when we started, on the loveliest of September afternoons. All forenoon we had been wandering over the hill-side, or floating lazily on the loch, casting tempting flies before the very noses of unappreciative trout, and sighing hopelessly over the big salmon that lay at the bottom, some of them with our very hooks in their mouths. At this moment, after the long calm, a most tantalizing breeze sprang up, curling the loch into slight ripples, and exciting in us a wild hope, a piteous fear, that there might be some salmon-fishing to-night, and we away! Once we actually thought of turning back, and putting off Glencoe to a more convenient season, but shame forbade. Having made up our minds, we scorned to unmake them, and off we drove.
As we wound through the long glen, we wondered if anything we were going to see would be more beautiful than what we left
behind—most beautiful indeed everything was. The soft gray haze, which day after day had covered the hills—those lovely, mild, still days, so fatal to salmon fishing —gradually warmed into color, and the western outlet of the glen, which, at our end of it, we could not see, became slowly visible, letting in a glimpse of ocean, into which the sun was setting, a round ball of fire. Our little fresh-water loch was left behind, and the loch alongside of which we drove had a salt smell and a tidal beach; it was, in fact, one of those countless arms of the sea which in this region of highlands and islands stretch inland often for many miles. But it was narrow, and it lay as still as our own baby loch. Now and then a water-hen flew across it, or a heron stood on the shore, shining large in the lessening light, and startling us with the sudden flap-flap of its big wings as it departed to some more solitary haunt, if such could be. Here and there a boat, pulled up high and dry on the beach, indicated that sometimes human beings came there, but otherwise the road was altogether lonely—as lonely as that most lonely churchyard I ever saw, which, just about here, our driver pointed out to us. It was half-way up the mountain-side ; so high that how the silent burdens were ever carried up there, or there was found earth deep enough to bury them, passes comprehension now; yet a churchyard it certainly was, fenced in by a circle of hollytrees. Tradition says it was placed there from a vague fancy that from it might be visible the sacred islandof Iona.
We half wished we were going to Staffa and Iona instead of to Glencoe, but the still weather which had lasted so long might at any time burst into equinoctial gales, making such an expedition anything but a pleasure-party. So we held firm to our first intention, to meet the Chevalier steamer at Port Appin, and go on board her to Balachulish, returning by the Pioneer next day. Of course in these far regions, where communication is rare and difficult, every boat, her sailing qualities, her outside looks, her dates of coming and going, are as important as if she were a human being. The arrival of the Chevalier was doubtless the event of the day at Appin. Appin, our only link with civilization, our key to the outside world. Thence, as we knew well, came all our food that did not come out of the loch or from the hill-side.
There was actually an inn, and a shop, and a pier; nay, even a castle, which nowappeared, standing out sharp against the sunset, perched on a little island at the mouth of the loch, very picturesque and charmingly "tumble-down." Little now remains of it but a portion of a low tower, but it is said long to have been the residence of the chieftains of Appin; and, surrounded as it is by sea, was no doubt a very safe, if a rather damp and uncomfortable one; but probably its inhabitants did not care. Even now, is the word " comfort" in the Gaelic tongue at all?
Never mind, what business have we to criticize our fellow-creatures? 1 dare say they are perfectly happy in their miserable huts, which gradually thicken as we approach Appin—mere thatched hovels with a hole at side or roof, through which the peat-smoke can escape. Some have actually a window—two or three glazed panes, of course never opened and never meant to open. None have a yard of garden-ground, or any attempt at a fence, to keep in the pigs, chickens, calves, or children, that roam about at will. There is a family likeness between them all, especially between those shaggy calves, with such sensible human faces, and the little human beings, bare-headed, bare-footed, with the smallest amount of clothes that can possibly hold together, who stand and stare as the carriage passes, and then begin jabbering in their unknown, but sweet sounding Gaelic, and laughing as only children can laugh. Not a bit afraid are they of the beasts among which they are brought up, not even of the big paternal bull—one of Rosa Bonheur's bulls to the life—who is generally seen feeding among his affectionate family, or else standing meditative, filling up the whole roadway with his huge bulk, when he justs lifts up his yellow mane and shakes it wildly at you; then, finding you do not budge, but that he must, he marches soberly off. He is quite harmless, and peaceful-minded, as you gradually find out, but one of the most alarming animals to look at, or to meet in a solitary walk! However, as we had met him, or his brother, or his cousin, each bigger than the last, every day we went out, we had grown used to him. It does not do to be too particular in the Highlands.
More huts or cottages, lengthening into a street, a one-sided street, the other side of which was the shore of the loch, now widening out into sea—that is, the narrow, island-dotted sea of these parts, which is so curious and so beautiful. A traveller who had lately sailed through the Greek Archipelago, told us it was nothing to compare with the Scottish coast between Oban and Fort William. And as we neared Port Appin, we strained our eyes to catch a glimpse of the grand outline of Mull, which, when we arrived here a fortnight before, had stood gray and giant-like against the sun-set sky. But neither it nor the endless array of hilly islands which stud this wonderful northern sea, was visible. A few cloud-like, uncertain shapes glimmered through the haze, like Ossian's ghosts—we were in the very home of Ossian—and that was all.
So we looked at the human features of the scene, and of course they all looked at us, coming to their cottage-doors as we passed, and interchanging lively Gaelic greetings with our driver. They seemed idle rather—Highlanders have an unlimited capacity for idling—but, to be sure, their day was nearly over; the sun was just setting, and the boats and nets were pulled up on shore. About the hotel door and the one shop—the grand emporium of commerce of the neighborhood — there hung a little knot of folk, men, women, and children, chattering away in that highpitched Gaelic which sounds such a very foreign tongue to us ignorant Sassenachs. Odder still, because whenever we asked a question it was generally answered in the best of English, not the Doric Scotch at all, but "high" English, as it is taught in all the parish-schools. It tells well for the brains of these wild Highlanders — boys and girls alike, running about like young savages, with their bare legs brown and lithe as monkeys, and their bright eyes gleaming under tangled masses of black or dark-red hair—that, rough as they look, almost every one of them can speak, and not a few read and write, two languages.
At 6 P.m. the Chevalier was due at Appin pier; but when we arrived there a few minutes before the hour, no boat was in sight- However, as we had long found out that time was a thing of no consequence whatever in the Highlands, we settled ourselves cheerfully to wait a little, and watch the thin crescent of the moon, slowly brightening over the expanse
of gray sea and gray sky. All gray—not a touch of color anywhere, even in the west; not a ripple on the glassy water; not a sound, except a Gaelic word or two exchanged between the pier-master and a boy who was fishing off the pier-head. By-and-by there came up two more expectant passengers and a few more boys, who, in default of other amusement, began jumping about to a monotonous reel, or strathspey, played by one of their number on a Jew's-harp, which is a very favorite musical instrument in these parts. Gradually the twilight darkened and the moon brightened—nay, began to throw her light upon the waters, and make for herself there that basin of gleaming refulgence— that magic bridge across the waves — which, however many years one may have watched it, always gives one back a little of the dreams of one's youth—
We long to tread that golden path of rays,
And think 'twould lead to some bright isle of rest.
Very dream-like the whole scene became, for there was still no sign of the Chevalier. "You'll hear her long before you see her," said the pier-man, consolingly, and retired to his house at the pier-end; so did the scampering boys; so did the two other hopeless passengers. Soon there was nothing to be heard but the faint lap-lap of the water against the pier—nothing to be seen but the bright image of the moon: a double image, equally bright in the sky and the sea: and that passing phosphorescent light so constantly seen after dusk in these northern waters, which is one of the eeriest and loveliest sights I know.
We had now waited nearly two hours,, and there seemed a fair likelihood of our waiting a third, for we learnt that, a few days before, there having been a fog on the Clyde which detained the lona, the' Chevalier, which meets her, had notreached Appin till after 9 P.m., nor Balachulish till 10. The same thing might happen now. For a moment we considered whether we would not give up alL hope, and retire for the night to the Appin Hotel, where, according to advertisements, in the Oban Times, there was "the best of accommodation" and "plenty of sealfishing ;" but, not being seal-fishers, wewere disinclined to risk it. Besides, matters might have been much worse with us. It was a perfectly calm night, mild andi warm as midsummer; the stars were.creeping out overhead, the Great Bear wonderfully bright, and then the moon! I sat down, nestled snugly under the "haps" with which we had luckily provided ourselves, to watch that pretty crescent gradually dip into the sea, half smiling over a tune that would keep coming and going, and "beat time to nothing in my brain," —how
'Twas on a Monday morning,
And a' the folk cam' rinning out
as certainly we folk at Appin would have done upon the smallest chance. But there was none. Vainly we strained our eyes to see her lights, and our ears to catch the sound of her paddles; all was total silence, and that soft gloom which never is entire darkness, at least by the sea. At length sight and hearing faded out in a delicious oblivion. I am afraid I fell fast asleep! and while I slept, the moon set. I woke up to a sky vacant of everything but stars, and a sea which was a blank of impenetrable haze. The poor Chevalier / Where was she? would she ever arrive? should we sleep at Balachulish that night? or anywhere, except under those bright but inhospitable stars?
The pier-master, evidently pitying us, came up for a little more conversation. It taxed his powers somewhat. He spoke English like a foreigner, slowly, in carefully arranged sentences, and with words slightly misplaced or oddly used, and I think he understood us very imperfectly; still we talked—about the boat and the pier, and his life there, which must be in winter such an exceedingly solitary one, when this splendid Hutcheson line of tourist steamers leave, and only luggageboats pass at rare intervals and according to weather, stopping at any hour of day or night. Often, he said, some luckless traveller had had to wait from morning to evening, or even all through the night, to catch the chance of being carried out of this far-away nook of the world into civilization.
He went away,—this civil, friendly old fellow, who had the inherent politeness of the Celtic race. Highlanders, Irish, and French, all possess it; and oh, what a blessing it is, especially in travelling. Once more there falls down upon us solitude and silence; until, hark! I fancy I
hear beating through the intense stillness of the sea something like a pulse. Can it be? Listen again. Yes, something is coming, and it must be the Chevalier. No other boat can it possibly be; which is one comfort. For five minutes, at least, we hearken to that faint throb of sound through the darkness, and then a glowworm light is seen to steal along the pier. It is the pier-master bringing his lantern. He hangs it up prominently, with its white light on one side and its red on the other. There can be no doubt now—the boat is coming. It is nearly nine o'clock. For three full hours have we been waiting for her: but what matter? she is come at last. Hungry, weary, sleepy, cold, we cross her gangway, and stagger down into her warm, dry, bright saloon, blessing D. Hutcheson and Co. with all our grateful hearts.
Oh, the meal which followed! Everything so clean, and wholesome, and pretty. There was capital sea-trout, and ham and eggs, for those whose appetites led them so far; for us and others, excellent tea, bread, butter, and marmalade, in unlimited supply. Out of the shilling they charged for it, I fear the providers of the feast must have made but a very small profit, that night at least. Equally welcome it seemed to the two other occupants of the table—a gentleman and his wife, who was one of the most beautiful persons I had seen for many a long day.
She was such a pleasure to look at, that it was not till tea was quite ended that I went upon deck to watch a sight always rather mysterious to land-lubbers—the steering of a vessel by night straight on through the darkness of an unknown sea. In these narrow channels, full of rocks and islands, navigation must in winter be difficult, probably dangerous ; only there could be no fear of collisions: our boat was the only thing moving upon that solitary sea. And when once the captain sung out, "A light ahead !" there was quite an excitement among the few passengers. "It's only Corran," persisted the man at the wheel, for once breaking his prescribed silence. "No," said the captain, "it's the Staff a: I see her two lights. Port your helm; that'll do, Jack!" And so the double stars went glimmering past, a long way off, and we were again alone with the night, the sea, and the almost invisible mountains. There was a fascination about