« ПредишнаНапред »
salutary which connects us with the tude of its pinnacles. I would un: past, and teaches us to fuel that we derstand it, feel it, gaze upon it, even do not stand isolated in the waste as I do now. The abbey, I believe, of time. It is good for us to: con- belonged to the Cistercians, and the template our kind as connected horses of Cromwell's dragoons were through all its epochs, and knit into afterwards stabled in its cloisters. unity ; and there is no better state These skeleton windows were proof mind than that which revives and bably once filled with gorgeous tints, · 1 cherishes within us those generous with grotesque fiends, and hoary and charitable, or serene, meditative martyrs. These aisles resounded ins of sentiment, which carry, with the pealings of white-robed
i all the centuries of history, choirs. Here was the solemn and
ortin a ane golden thread, one burly abbot, and the dark files of f
agle beam of happy cowled monks; and a vassal pea
willingly persuade santry crowded together, at awful
thecae is no touch of natural distance from their holy superiors; affective staindly reverence with and here too, perhaps, some neighwhich ws .. sitteko handy work or bouring baron would resort, to atone,
pulchres, of pre- by occasional ten-fold devotion, for ceding gene. Aions; and I have far habitual contempt of friars, and viomore charity for Jew, Turk, or lation of ecclesiastical canons. Pagan, than for him who would make some high festival, how would all me an enemy to the past, by proving these be lighted up and harmonised that it is inimical to me. The per. by a blaze of tapers, under the shason who would really destroy our dow of lofty and gloomy arches, into veneration for the annals and lega. a rich perspective of brilliant and socies of our fathers, is he who attempts lemn colours, venerable forms and to make their wisdom a warrant for awful symbols; while the deep tones our folly; and who turns our respect of spiritual exhortation, and the ex- i and sympathy for the monuments of ulting or imploring melodies of devoburied ages into gall and bitterness, tion gave a purport, and meaning, by forcing us to dwell, like the ma- and heaven-ward application to the niacs, in the tombs. Such men bring whole. Then came the age when the ancient days from the natural children loitered and clambered distance at which mankind are will- among the ruins of the monastery, ing to worship them, and mix them and sheep fed quietly round broken up with the business and interests of images, and the defaced carved work the present. Our ancestors thought, of the sanctuary; and so generations planned, struggled, and conquered passed. Aud again, with what a for themselves, and with reference to confident joy must the decay of this the circumstances of their era; and noble fabric have been surveyed by oftentimes they did so nobly and wise- the stern soldiers of the Common ly. But would that there were none wealth, while some highly-gified and of us who make the insignia of their many-scarred trooper placed himself free and sublime spirits to be collars on a mass of the ruini, and holding of iron round our necks, and chains the Bible on one hand, while he leanupon our hands. We are ready to ed with the other on his dinted honour their trophies, but why should broad-sword, expounded the advan, we bear them like burthens on our tages of those mansions of the hea- :
wherefore should the venly Jerusalem which the elect were crowns they won be turned into destined to inherit over these earıhly foolscaps for their children? tabernacles of autichrist; till, warmiug
I love a ruin wisely, but not too with the beloved theme, anid the well. There are those who manifest shattered buttresses and roufless the excess of their affection by mea- aisles, he would lead the voices of suring its area, and taking the alti- the grim enthusiasts in a hynt of
backs ; or
thanksgiving and triumph, for the is the carved work of the templey fall of Babylon the great, and the there must necessarily dwell the glow overthrow of the high places of idol- ry of the Shechinah, Netley was long atry; and, perhaps, at last, fling off ago desecrated by the silencing of its cloak, belt, and cuirass, and toil at choir, the rending of its arches, the the lever and the mine to promote overtlırow of its altar. But, if we the work of desolation.
koow and feel that there are places 1. Scarcely a trace now remains, even of worship besides the church land to the gaze of fancy, by which we the closet, and other perches for med may guess at the details of those ditation than the cushion of a pulpit, means which gradually destroyed the then we shall find, among these bro* fabrie. All is now softened and ken remains, a soul still living under made beautiful, and inspired with the ribs of death, perhaps as powers one consistent character and soul, byful and as 'religious as that which the overgrowih of luxariant creepers. once inhabited their full-bluwo pomp. The green foliage of many soaring What finer moral breathes among trees waves its dappled shadow over the discourses spoken
often 10 the walls and the weed-matted area ; careless ears, and the prayers that so and the abbey, with its broken co many millions of times have been utlumns and crumbled ornaments, seems tered by mechanical lips, than those to have become a portion of univer- thoughts which meet and detain us, sal nature, a graceful feature of a glo- and make around us a voiceless merious countenance, an original mem- lody, in these dim and breezy courts? ber of the landscape in which it What more exquisite harmony be. stands; burn of the same mother tween the deeds of God and of man and by the same generation, as than those graceful and almost invi. the ivy which crowus the trees sible blendings of art and nature, which overshadow, and the blue where the architecture, said to have. bright sky and eternal sun which il- been originally copied from the forest luminate and smile upon it. The paths, is now again assimilated to grey massy stones look as if they had them, and mingled with and raised grown up, like the hills and woods, to the fresh and living beauty of its by some internal energy, from the prototype ? What more just and centre, and expanded themselves, easy gradation from man 10 Gud, amid the co-operating elements, intó than in the cemented lump of stone a pile of silent loveliness, a place of on which we sit, the wild flower solemn and lonely meditation, fit for which springs from it, the bush by the quiet reveries of the idly active, which it is clasped and shaded, and or the high and various fancies of a the tall 'ash which, rising above the poet.
columned butiresses, upswells to and This it may be to any one whose waves amid the skies ?. These walls, mind is capable of seeing more in a methinks, are as the incomplete and beautiful ruin than in a curious ma- perishable circuit of those peculiar chine, or a pretty toy,-anything forins and sectarian modes of religion more than an object to be looked at which we are all placed in during for half an hour, thought of for a childhood, and to which we comminute, and talked about for a day. monly cling through life with a fond, But, to those whose conceptions and and unreasoning, and, sometimes, a feelings mount higher even than poe- jealous and angry affection. The try or speculation, Netley Abbey is verdure, and foliage, and clinging a still more happy retreat; one fibres, and lofty stems, image out that abounding in 'wealthier secrets, and universal and inward fanh," which ivstinct with more grateful and gives to these their purport and beatha healthy contemplations. To him iy, life, power, and saving spirit. who thinks that there is a peculiar šown by no haman band, springing religion in temples, and that where up by the law of their own being,
watered and fostered only by the no employment but the offices of skies, they clothe and crown these prayer and praise ; and yet that, when dead and mouldering works of man's ibis perfection was overthrown and contrivance, surround them with all decayed, there remained the seeds loneliness, and fill them with strength of feeling, so pure, and aspiring, and and vitality, make them a shrive, not spiritual, as may enable us to rise. alone for Benedictine or Cistercian, higher and nearer towards the source for Roman Catholic or Protestant, and centre of love, than the poiutat but for the unselfish and pious, heart which we stood in the freshness of
of all races, ages, sects, and circum our race ? The work of purification poslances ; and show that, let artificial may leave the gold more precious
faves and marble, aliars remain or than if it never had been debased by
perish as they will, that influence of the worthless alloys of its ore. But, per te ihe creative son, that energy of the Now dewy twilight o'er these shattered walls Ms. Lugos, which made, and moves, and Breathes from the closing eyelids of the blesses the universe and the soul of skies,
The blessed night, with starry influence, falls man, will always open in the wilder
O’er carv'd remains and boughs, that heaa fountain whereat we may venward rise ; e quench our thirst, and rear op, amid The healing gentleness of evening sighs se the ruins, a temple holier than that
From arch to arch, and thrills the slumbering
trees; Ed es made with hands. Is it noi, indeed, And, like the memory of dead centuries, una possible, that these relics are an en
The shadows stride before the lingering breeze. blems of that fallen nature which built
The pinions of the heavens, with flechered
gloom, the structure? May it not be, that, Infold the world, and the adoring earth 74** 1.ke it, man, once was an upright and To all religion : here there is no tomb, 1991? goodly, being, applied only to those
But holy promise of that second birth
When o'er man's ruin beauty shall relurn, aims for which he was framed and
And perfect Love shall light his funeral urn. consecrated, admitting tu his heart
Chiffoniers in Paris, of all ages soiled paper, or the discarded rags and both sexes ; but, ia order to be which peradventure covered" looped thoronghly understood, I must first and windowed poverty.” Now he describe what sort of being a Chif- reaches the goal with “ hope elate,?. fonjer really is. Do you see that and plies his forked wand which eler very old decrepit person in the dis-, vates those “i waifs and estrays” into tance, with a wicker basket op his his busket; the refuse of all the back, and a long stick with a crook world, but which are dear to him at the end of it in his hand ? That from their very worthlessness. See is a Chiffonier. At all hours and at how he scrutinises the heap before all seasons he plies his avocations. that. Epicier's shop, how he shitis At the dead of night, you may behold and shoots the rubbish from one side: him with the aid of a Lampion rak- to the other and extracts some soul ing amidst beaps of congenial filth at of goodness from things evil,” he the corners, and in the midule, of is your true philosopher, and has streets, lanes, and allies. Nor does found the long souglit stone ; for bis the morning close his labours. Be wand turns all it touches, if not to hold him at " peep o' dawn," gliding gold, at least to paper, and what along with furtive glance, now direct. more than paper is a billet de banque? ed to the coté gauche, now averted to Yet a moment, and he is gone. Ung the coté droit. Observe how his eye like the bee who flies from lower to glistens, and how his quickened pace flower, the Chiffonier only flies from
filth to filth: but with the industry of ten; but then it would require almost the native of the hive, he extracts the observation of a life to underfrom that on which he works all that stand their habits and peculiarities. is valuable to him. Old rags, old Mr. Underwood, a gentleman who paper, white, brown, yellow, or blue, has long resided in the French capiare all the same to him, so as it be tal, and who is already advantageogspaper_po matter how soiled, no ly known by several articles in the matter how torn, he drags it from the “ Edinburgh Review," had such a heap and commits it to the basket work in contemplation, and it is to behind his back. No matter of what be hoped he has not abandoned the importance the paper may be : though idea of it. It would be one of the it contain a song or a sermon, a let- greatest literary and moral curiosities ter of love, or a letter of state, it is ever presented to the public. all the same to him, to the basket it I have spoken of the depot, where goes; and after having entered there the Chiffonier deposits his store. all hope is abandoned, for out of that Here are the accumulated gatherings receptacle, there is no redemption of the tribe, which are sorted out and till it be full.
parcelled, before they undergo the When this fulness is achieved, off process necessary to the making of the Chiffonier posts to the depot, and new paper. This depot is kept by there deposits his burden, for which one of the richest men in Paris, who he has an acknowledgment; and then in early life had been himself a Chifto work again “ with what appetite funier, then a Cantopnier, or worker he may.” Thus bis life passes on, on the roads, then a strolling player, from“ night to morn, from morn tó then a keeper of a gambling house, dewy eve,” midst filth, and offal, and and lastly a manufacturer and operubbish, ihe “cankers of a calm rator in the funds. This man has world,” and “the rankest compound acquired immense wealth ; his house of villainous smells,” that ever as- is a perfect palace, stored with obsaulted the organs of a Christian. jects of art and vertu ; but midst all But it is a life, notwithstanding, full the curiosities which he can present of rivalry, and strangely mixed with to“ a wondering world,” there are the web of a mingled yarn, containing none to vie with the thousands of good and ill together. To-day midst Chiffoniers, old, young, and middlehis peregrinations he may find a gold aged, whom he has under his control, brooch, or a diamond ring, while to- and in his employ, and who, from the morrow he may ply hiss weary way” 6 wreck of matter,” and the sweepand not be rewarded by a moth-eaten ings of household life, bring forth the cheeseparing or a withered crust; germ and seminal principle of new yet is it the rivalry that sustains the matter-of papier coleur de rost, paChiffonier in his or her strange occu- pier doré, et papiero doré,
which pation. Go into what street he may, pretty fingers pour forth the inspirahe is sure to find one of his own tion of feeling and loving hearts. craft, and he who extracts most from It is to be observed, that the filth the loathings and leavings of all oth of Paris, the narrowness of its streets, er men, comes off victor, and pricks and the inadequate supply of water, his ear,
and wags his tail, like a are all favourable to the trade of the dog who has choused his fellow of Chiffonier. In London " the occuthe tit-bit of the shambles.
pation” of such a being would be A history of this strange set of be “gone ;" for its admirable sewers ings, and of the noble purposes to and mighty river bear away the which their labours are turned by mounds of refuse matter midst which chemical process, would be one of the Chiffugier revels and wallows in the most interesting works ever writ- all the luxuriancy of blissful being.
THE object of Constable’s Mis- !o.come among them, as a plaything
cellany--that of furnishing the that they could“ lift and let be seen;" public with good books at a cheap but finding him too heavy to be liftrate is very praiseworthy; and ed, and too dazzling to look at, they those who love to see human genius neglected him, or rather, shrank bounding over every obstacle, and away from him as fast as they could. taking firm hold of immortality, even Whether Burns was the burly boy, when the mortal casket, s strong by shoeless and bonnetless, driving the patare, strengthened more by toil,” cattle to the pasture, or studying nain which it is contained, is dissolving ture in the woodlands,-whether he in the agonies of poverty and neg- was the bold youth, turning the furlect, the most illiberal jealousy, and row or swinging the flail, whether the most black-hearted ingratitude, he was agonizing as a lover, or makwill be thankful that, of those neat ing the placo of rustic carousal rock and cheap volumes, one is devoted to the echoes of his glee, whether, to the Bard of Coila.
solitary, amid the desolation of the We are inclined to think that Ro. storm, he mused upon the misery of bert Burns is the solitary individual man, or, turning his keen glance upon of his genas, with no model going the crowd, he made folly and hypocbefore, and no imitator coming after. risy to run howling to their hiding That many men should write verses places, - whether, to the booming of lines that join in chorus at the end, the wind and the rush of the water, and in which there is a modulation he poured the whole witchery of of music—we do not at all dispute, song-humorous, gay, gloomy, terrieven though they should not have fic and sublime-into “ Tam o' Shanformally got what is called “ an in- ter," or, laid upon the straw, with tellectual education ;" because a per
upon ception of the modulation of sounds bright star of eve," poured out his is not the highest, and certainly not own soul " to Mary in heaven,"the most intellectual of human ac- whether, toiling wearily along in the quirements. But the singular part tempestuous night, he concentrated of the matter is that, with every dis- the whole volume of patriotic and advantage to struggle with, both from noble daring into the wildness of the without and from within, Burbs was, Bruce,-or whether, in gratitude for for practical purposes, the best edu- the wisdom and virtue which his cated man of his day,—had his mind pious parent had implanted in his in the most perfect and constant dis- mind, he made the mortal muse cipline,-had not only a much more mount up to the very threshold of keen and perfect perception of those the “golden gates," and by one ansubjects that came more immediately gelic touch turned this world into a within his range, than the profession- paradise, al literati of his time, but could actu- When kneeling down, to Heaven's Eternal ally, and at once beat them with King, their own weapons. It was to this, the saint, the father, and the husband praya ; we fear, more than to any thing else, in every turn of life,
touch that Burns owed his want of success of time, under every shade of cirin life. The literati and leading men cumstances, the mind of Burns was of Edinburgh, at no time very much a machine that never stood still, no famed for their liberality, and not darkness could come from it—no obalways for the depth and transparen- scurity could hide,what was seen cy of their perceptions, invited Burns was known, what was koowy was
* The Life of Robert Burns. By J. G. Lockhart, LL.B. Constable’s Miscellany, Vol. 23, 35 ATHENEUM, vol. 9, 2d series.