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slight imaginable would stay the bright pored over my Latin and Greek gramcurrent of delicious thought, and roll mar hour after hour; and when I it back on my heart in black and tur. came to recitation, I could hardly rebid fury. Will it be believed that member a tenth part, and that I did such revulsions of temper gave me not understand. Other boys would the most exquisite pleasure-agonis- say their lessons in triumph-while I ing, yet exquisite in its very agony, was considered a dunce. I had even and pleasurable from the mere violence then a most thorough contempt for of the emotions ? Such, however, is my master, who beat me unmercifully ; the truth ; but let it be remembered for I felt myself not only superior to that these attachments were entirely the whole school, but to himself parof the imagination, and were almost ticularly. I never could learn any wholly unrequited. I never told my thing which I did not understand: love. You may, perhaps, smile at and when I have asked my instructor this. But it was the germ of a prin- (heaven save the mark) for a reason ciple all-important and all-operating why a rule was so and so, he was in in the subsequent stages of my the habit of telling me,
" that it was existence.
not necessary for me to understand it; I have spoken of my childhood. my duty was to learn it.” I used to One thing, however, I had omitted suspect the fellow's ignorance. The to mention. My mind was naturally unavoidable effect of my education contemplative. I was accustomed, was to give me a strong sense of infrom a spirit of emulation, and not justice done toward myself. I was from any pleasure I took in them, to ambitious of excelling, but my master join in the sports of my school-fel. did not know how to bring my mind lows ; and though I entered into them out. The consequence was, I used with seeming alacrity, I was always to play all sorts of pranks, and became glad when I could be alone, that I the leader in all schemes for making might wander away amid the undis- the stove smoke, altering the clock, turbed recesses of nature, and torment tripping up the master's heels, and all myself with the most indescribable the nameless follies of ungovernable feelings. My imagination was active, youth. For these exploits, I always and I possessed the keenest relish for got a severe trouncing; but this I ennatural scenery; but my reveries als joyed, as it gave me opportunities of ways turned from the admiration of showing my fortitude: and here I had external things to the self-brooding the satisfaction of surpassing all the contemplation of metaphysical abstrac- other boys. I was never known to tions. At the early age of eleven, the shed a tear on being whipped; butą realising of my existence was the most cutting rebuke made a baby of me painful of all my sufferings. I could instantly. In this manner passed my not help constantly viewing myself as school-days; when I entered the unisomething apart from the whole world; versity with that kind of knowledge, and how to comprehend the miracle which I picked up from hearing les. preyed so upon my mind, that I am sons ding-donged over several thousand confident I was bordering on insanity. times; for study I did not, having The mind, at so early an age, is too long before given that up in despair, feeble to endure the attrition of this To tell the truth, I went to college, action ; and the consequence was, a
because I knew I could there be as state of such nervous irritability fol. idle as I pleased ; and nothing I loved lowed, that even to this day, hardened so much as this. I ought rather to as I am in crime, I have moods, in say that I loved indolence: idle ! which the rush in a whirl of leaves could not be. It will not be expected would jar on my system like the that I made much of a figure at a uni. vibration of the air when it thunders. versity. Here I acted over again my
The picture of my childhood is that school tricks on a larger scale ; but my of my youth. At school I was at the mind had somewhat opened at the age same time the smartest and the dull of seventeen, and I had a great repuest boy. My cleverness could never tation among the scholars for genius, reach my tasks. I have many a time and a greater reputation among the
professors for dulness. If I had pre- the waters with a green arcade! It viously formed habits of study, I was here that a new scene opened to should have taken the lead in my me. was here that the fire of my class ; but it was too late to apply nature, which had heretofore only myself then. I had too much lee-way smouldered in secrecy, burst out with to bring up, if I had attempted it; but the fury of a volcano. Must I revert I used to take a secret satisfaction in to these hours ? must I call back the helping some of the best scholars in lights and shadows of the past? must my class, and in seeing them shine I revive the million rainbow-hues of through me in recitation, while I was fancy, only to shroud them again in passed by, as a regular “dead set.”' the horrors of a hopeless, rayless in
I graduated at the fag-end of my sanity? must I call back, in imaginaclass, after having delivered an oration tion, the pure and guileless Margaret? before them at their request, which Well, be it so. The bitterness of death astonished the faculty who were pre- is already past: the worm that dieth sent as well as the students. The not must have his banquet, and my college government thought I stole it. heart and mind are spread out for its They could not understand how one, eternal festival. who could not “dash” in recitation, Why should I speak of the parent. could do anything clever. Here was age of Margaret Percival? Let it another lesson of injustice.
pass. It is enough that she was the I had now graduated at the univer- glory and the freshness of a dream. sity, and the next step to be taken was Her image haunts me with such vivid to fix on some occupation in life. On reality that I am deterred from porthis subject I thought long and deeply. traying its exceeding beauty. I saw At one time I had half resolved to pre- her, and loved! I visited her often, pare for the ministry; at another, but I never whispered my passion. I medicine appeared to present peculiar knew that my love was not wholly un. attractions : at length, however, very requited, yet I could not tell her that much to the satisfaction of my friends, I loved her. I have walked with her I fixed on the law, as the profession arm in arm, when the river was studbest suited to my talents and tempera- ded with stars, and when the music ment.
With the determination of of the groves was loudest. Once, as devoting myself to this great object, we leaned together on a rude fence I retired to the country, and put my- to watch the gambols of a few innoself under the superintendence of an cent lambs, a robin perched close by able lawyer, whose practice was very us on the blossom-covered limb of an extensive in the neighbouring coun- apple-tree, and, as he showered down ties, and whose library was quite suf- the snowy petals, poured forth such a ficient for my purpose. With what flood of music that our hearts melted pleasure do I look back on those together. It was a moment which days! Then, for the first time in my could never happen again and I suflife, I realised the pure and deeply-felt fered it to pass unimproved. My enjoyment of study. For the first misery dates from that hour. time my mind seemed to inhale its proper atmosphere—my spirits, always I returned after an absence of three buoyant, gained an elasticity which I months—and Margaret was married ! had never before experienced. With What had I done to deserve such what gladness I used to bound among treatment? What had I left undone, the hills of that delightful town, and that a man of spirit and honour should drink in the wholesome gales that have done in my case? The imbecility made the green leaves rush together of my nature had finally done its worst. in wild mirth, and make music among I had thrown away a pearl “richer the branches ! With what subdued than all his tribe.” I had lost the and heartfelt pleasure I used to wan girl I loved through utter infirmity of der on the banks of that beautiful purpose. Shall I say that hope exriver, where the sycamore and elm pired in my bosom, that despair rioted vied in luxuriant garniture, and bowed in the usurped sanctuary of the holiest their branches together so as to span affection ? it were idle breath. I was
scorched with a fever that would not whenever an importunate stable-keeper consume—the same fire that even now has presented my“ governor” with a rushes through my veins and makes long bill to be liquidated. When the me border on madness without reach- worthy old gentleman, with tears in ing it. Oh, the hell of mind, when his eyes, remonstrated with me for the twilight of reason remains after going to a horse-race, I answered, with its sun is set, and the darkness is seen great dignity—“Sir, Philip, king of gathering thicker and deeper, and Macedon, the father of Alexander the madness becomes tangible and known! Great, was a patron of the turf : his I wandered in the woods, and subsisted horse, Phrenicus, was a winner of for days I know not how-my canopy sweepstakes, and the poet Pindar cethe skies, my couch the wet grass. lebrated the triumph.” My guardian Physical and moral torture contended said nothing, but he turned very red for the mastery.
Often I made a in the face, and walked away. weak effort to fix my mind long Of all the heroes of antiquity, Alexenough to direct my steps homeward; ander the Great was most famous for but it seemed as if volition had been his jockeyship. His breaking Bucebroken down-I could not will for a phalus, according to a celebrated hisminute. I was half mad, and I knew torian, was the action which first init. A new feeling suddenly seized me. spired hopes of a brilliant career, and I ought to kill the man who has rifled which gave Philip a glimpse, as it were, of me of my heart's treasure.
those noble and heroic exploits, which ment this thought crossed my seared eventually crowned his son with glory. brain, it possessed it. That will, which Some have thought that too much praise before could not remain constant for has been lavished upon the youthful a moment, was now fixed as the lode. hero for his earliest exploit; but this star. I laughed long and loud, starting is far from being our opinion. Bucephaand shuddering at the unnatural lus was sent to Philip as a present; and, sounds I had made—knowing myself undoubtedly, an animal which was to be delirious, with a feeling allied thought worthy of being offered to so to that we have in dreams, but fully renowned a king and conqueror, who bent on my purpose and utterly reck- owned the winner of the Olympic plate, less of all consequences. I sought and always calculated to drive a pretty the habitation of the man I hated. good team, must have been a jewel of Screened by a hedge, I watched for à steed. He was not warranted, in him hour after hour, every moment classical language, “gentle to ride and of which seemed a day to my agonised drive, and good in any kind of harconception. Time to me was no more ness ;' but, on the contrary, he was -it was eternity. At last I saw him acknowledged fierce and untamable walking by-he stopped at the very as a tiger. Alexander thought he spot where I was concealed—the could break him. Philip tried to dishedge was of sweet-briar-he took his suade his son from the attempt, but knife from his pocket and cut a slip in vain, and finally exclaimed from the bush. This in remem- “ Mount him, then, like an obstinate brance of you, dear Ma ret !” he fool; and I hope to Jupiter he'll sighed. Could I bear that ?
break your neck.” His son approach
ed the fiery horse. Now it must be I threw the body within the hedge , borne in mind, that Alexander had no and retired to the woods. I had com- saddle and stirrups, which were of lamitted murder.
ter invention; consequently he rode bare-back. Neither had he that great consolation to a gentleman who rides a
hard-going nag-a pair of buckskin A FEW WORDS ABOUT RIDING. unwhisperables. Yet he leaped on
the horse and brought him to subjecFrom a boy upward I have been a tion. Philip was delighted. “My lover of that noble animal, the horse; son," said he,“ discover America, and I have often justified my ardour for the known world is too small for by a reference to esteemed authorities, you to conquer."
Alexander was very fond of this It must surely be very unpleasant to horse, and built a city in his honour. be stopped upon a lonely road, and In fact he petted him almost as much have one's purse demanded, at the peas Caligula did his favorite steed Jaci. ril of one's life; but that is a very tatus, which was regaled with gilded different affair from sitting in the stage. oats, served from a costly table, inha- box and listening to the honied accents bited a kind of palace, and only died of Macheath, or lounging at home upon too early for his fame, since his royal a sofa and reading of Dick Turpin. Long master had determined to elevate him before it was fashionable to admire to the consulship. Though a horse burglars and highwaymen, long before has never arrived at any official digni- housebreaking was thought romantic, ty, yet he was the means of investing and swindling rendered poetical, I reDarius with the purple. The anec. member to have read with avidity the dote is too trite to be repeated. life of Richard Turpin-Esquire. I
One of the hardest-riding horsemen suppose I admired him for his horseupon record, is Mazeppa ; though the manship. What, then, was my defact that the condemned page was an light when I found him “worked up" involuntary rider, detracts from the into Ainsworth's romance of Rookinterest. The ingenious O'Dogherty wood, and made a hero in thought and has drawn a somewhat curious paral. deed? Whatever be the defects of lel between Mazeppa and John Gilpin, Rookwood, literary and moral, the defrom which we are to conclude that scription of Turpin's mare, Black Bess, the critic imagines Lord Byron to have and her death-ride from London to pilfered the idea of his tale from the York in a single night, are certainly immortal poem of poor Cowper. Un- bighly beautiful and poetical, and evidoubtedly, Gilpin's ride was the most dently written with enthusiasm. If desperate. Mazeppa was bound to the following is not poetry, what is it? his steed, while John must have found it very difficult to keep his seat. Then * Let the lover his mistress's beauty Mazeppa was not annoyed by
And laud her attractions in languishing "These troublesome disguises that we
Be it mine, in rude strains, but with He rode in buff, while Gilpin had hat, truth, to confess cloak, and wig to care for. Mazeppa, The love that I bear to my bonny with the exception of that ugly wood Black Bess. he threaded, had before him an open course, while Gilpin ran the risk of From the West was her dam, from the encountering some vehicle upon the East was her sire; road as a tax-cart, vis-à-vis, landau, From the one came her swiftness, the carriage, barouche, sulkey, jarvey, other her fire; buggy, whiskey, fly, stanhope, or post- No peer of the realm better blood can chaise. But it is encroaching on the
possess, province of O'Dogherty to pursue the Than flows in the veins of my bonny parallel further.
Black Bess. If there be a romance of the turf and a romance of the field, there is Look, look! how that eye-ball grows surely a romance of the road. The
bright as a brand ! knights of the pad have had their That neck proudly arches, those noschroniclers, and the history of the high- trils expand ! way its Herodotus. It is very diffi. Mark that wide-flowing mane, of cult not to sympathise with the daring which each silky tress equestrian feats of the heroes of Might adorn prouder beauties, but Hounslow, particularly in these days, none like Black Bess. when such romances as Paul Clifford have invested highwaymen with pecu. Mark that hide, sleek as velvet, and liar interest, and thrown around the dusky as night, memory of Du Val and his compeers With its jet undisfigured by one lock the soft light of poetry and feeling.
That throat branched with veins- Row and win all hearts in your quiet
prompt to charge and caress- career ; gallop along the country roads, Now is she not beautiful, bonny Black and thus delight yourselves ; so may Bess?
health, beauty and love, attend you ! Over highway and by-way, in rough
and smooth weather, Some thousands of miles we have jour.
COMMONPLACES. nied together ; Our couch the same straw, and our
THERE is one enjoyment allotted to meal the same mess;
men, which I do not remember ever No couple more constant than I and
to have seen enumerated in a catalogue Black Bess.
of those blessings for which man is
beholden to his Creator; I mean the By moonlight, in darkness, by night great men that have been among us ;and by day,
poets, to expand the soul and raise Her headlong career there is nothing and hallow its aspirations, to soothe the can stay;
heart to virtue, or fire it with a noble She cares not for distance, she knows flame of holy passion ;-moralists, to not distress :
shape and show to feeble men the road Can you show me a courser can match
to truth, and historians to illustrate with Black Bess ?”.
their precepts ;-philosophers to show
us our own souls, and divines to teach An Irishman, Jerry Sullivan, had
us how to save them. the faculty of taming horses by a whisper, which, for aught I know,
One who has spent, and, he would belongs exclusively to Irishmen. As hope, not altogether unprofitably, soon as Jerry approached a horse, he many a busy day and many a shorten. would fix his gaze steadily upon him, ing night, in the company of such ; and then, getting near the animal, who has sought from them—and he
has found it-relief from those sorrows bring his lips in contact with his ear, and, apparently, whisper some caba
that do aye spring up in the fullest listic words. The horse would shud. fountains of the world's sweetest joys, der violently, and then follow and and those, not less bitter because im. obey Sullivan with all the docility of aginary and self-raised, disquietudes a dog. Probably the power of Sulli
of the soul, may perhaps give to this van consisted as much in his look as
a magnitude not to be allowed by all ; his voice : but perhaps, after all, it yet, if asked whither he looks for the was courage that did it. Jerry once happiness he hopes below, he would tamed a refractory race-horse on the point, with Cowley, to his books. Curragh of Kildare, in the presence of If I have no palaces of cedar, heaped thousands of spectators.
with jewels and refulgent with gold, But I have already transgressed yet have I temples for the soul, shinthe limits I proposed to myself, and ing with pure altars and vocal with fear that the patience of my readers heavenly music : temples, with which must be wearied. I have but one Solomon's, in its brightest glory, may word to say to the ladies, and then, not be compared. If the voice of addio! Do not, lovely and gentle eastern singers and the heart-piercing creatures, do not give up the exercise melody of lute and tabret come not to of riding. Relinquish every other my ear, yet are my walls, else dumb amusement in preference to that. If and silent, alive with a chorus of far you knew how beautiful you look, sweeter sounds; and, in the intervals managing your spirited nags, with your of self-speaking reflection, I listen to light veils floating on the wind, and a rich symphony of soul-harmony. If your fine countenances lit up with ani. for me no vaults cover from the eye of mation, and glowing with exercise, you grasping theft, diamonds and splendid would never enter a carriage. Do not, rubies, yet I have all around me I beseech ye, suffer riding to become “mental monuments,” that like the unfashionable. Pace along Rotten tombs of eastern princes, are heaped