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commodores. Unquestionably there never before was such a week seen at Largs, the bead-quarters of the Yacht Club. Had the weatber been at all tolerable, the whole must have had quite a Carnival aspect; but on the very first day, the sea ran so high, that many a fair heart palpitated on the beach, as each alternate wave hid the amateur rowers from their gazing friends; and there were as many moist eyes as wet jackets for a'time. The ball in the evening was well attended, and took place in the Bath hall. I need not say that the music was good, when I tell you that Cunningham's band was there.
The style of the dress and dancing was, as might be expected, nautical in the extreme. Another, and an unpremeditated ball took place on Friday night. It was so extempore, that, at . ten o'clock, they were sending out for ladies, and imploring their presence, sans ceremonie. To their credit with me-if not with you, Mary-they came even at the tenth hour : and, to reward their alacrity, the gentlemen got up some more rowing matches for their amusement on the Saturday- and sat pretty late in the evening for their own. I do not know whether it was also gratitude that led them to procure such a treat as a sea-sermon for their edification, but if so, the bustle occasioned by some one fainting, seemed to be seized upon by the fair part of the auditory, with even more alacrity than the invitation to the ball, to effect their escape. This was particularly the case with those who had “ gone aloft,” as we were then told our souls should, if we “ steered our course on a right tack." As for Glasgow, on my return I found it as stupid as can be conceived. Miss Noel, that simple and delightful actress and singer, is, however, arrived, and we shall have “ M'Gregor's Gathering,” and “ Bonny Braid Scotland ” from her. She has made them exceedingly popular in Edinburgh, and if they are worth rolling up, look for copies of them. Little Bland, who sung sweetly-he who played the Fairy King in “ Oberon,” when I saw it brought out, and pleased even Weber in the part-- is here also, and, appropriately enough, sings " My wee, wee Wife.” They bring as good houses as the fine weather--the Regatta being over, it is fine now-will admit of. - To-day is particularly beautiful, and it is as well for me to tell you of it as to allow another-I am going to the Promenade in the Botanic Garden, so soon as I leave the dinner and dessert table of the Horticultural Society. Their display of “ Giant” gooseberries, and other fruit, this forenoon, was splendid. But the fine flowers, of which there were some splendid bouquets, pleased me most. The judges had very provokingly left magnificent peaches cut in balves, that seemed to say in every gash, “ Who will eat me?” While upon your favourite topic, flowers and gardening, I have to tell you that the celebrated Dr. Hooker leaves us, never to return. London
has drawn him away—and there were more of our professors who were nothing loathe to keep hits company,but that's under a rose leaf. But be of good cheer, already there are candidates for the honour of teaching young ladies the Linnæan System. A very promising young gentleman, whose name you know, and opinions in bread baking my aunt highly approves of, and you and me have shown a similarity of taste when eating toast prepared on his plan,) is turning bis powerful mind into the study of botany, with a view to the chair. He has intellectual stamina for any thing. Another exceedingly juvenile candidate, I know nothing off. Your mother and my aunt was heartily welcome to the copy of the new edition of Meg Dodds. I entirely agree with her, you may say, in regarding it as indispensable to a good kitchen, as a well tinned stewpan, or a good kail-pot. I should like of all things to dine with its real authoress : the good cheer at dinner, and the originality and humour after it, of which her volume gives assurance, would be at once a culinary and intellectual treat. Your little friend, the arbiter of fashion, is off to its seat and centre, Yes, is in Paris, and already writes me, and requests that I tell you that bonnets are made, if possible, still larger, and that the prevailing colour is a curious shade of yellow, called after the other stranger in that metropolis, I mean the camel-leopardalis,-Giraffe-coloured : Walter Scott patterns are all the rage in Germany. On his return, I shall, I trust, dearest, be found not to have been neglectful “ in the commission line.”—Thine, faithfully,
P. S.-By favour, I am able to send, along with your 20th “ Ant," a copy of a very extraordinary little work which appears here on Saturday. Its title is a startling one—“ The Confessions of an Unexecuted femicide,”—but if you are not frightened by that from its perusal, you will find, especially at the beginning, for it pitches on too high a key to be sustained easily, some very powerful language, clothing fearful and towering thoughts. It is, however, an odd enough present to a lady, but you are so blue, that you would not forgive a neglect that would shelter itself under some quibble of excessive nicety.
TO CORRESPONDENTS. - In A clever Epigram, ending with
“And o'er the 'Sofa' spreads the wing of Eagle and of Heron,” is only too complimentary.
Printed by James Curll, 55, Bell-Street, and sold by all Booksellers.
No. XXII.-SATURDAY, 18th AUGUST, 1827.
BLIND ANGUS. To have “heard the chimes at midnight,” was the social boast of one of Shakspeare's happy heroes, when recalling to the memory of his boon companions the hours of conviviality which they had spent together. We, too, have listened to “ Tweedside," “ Nancy's to the greenwood gane," " The banks of Ayr,” and “ Roslin Castle," as their notes pealed forth in the solitude of “ night's deep noon,” as we have paced homewards that weary way which often lies betwixt the scene of festivity and the place of repose; and we have blessed the maker of the bells, and muttered something deservedly laudatory of our old musical preceptor, Mr. Weir, who supervises their “ chimes," as we felt the instep that was wearied with dancing do its office in a freer style, while our pace kept time to the measure of these midnight notes, solemn although they were. But our homeward progress from festal merriment has been lightened by other sounds and sights of captivating interest. The One-Legged Bookbinder has, by the light of his look, and the music of his stump, equally charmed our ear and our eye in these hours of else uncheered solitude;
“ Blessings be on him and perpetual peace," as Wordsworth says. But we must not forget another ministrant to our pleasure, when we almost fancy that we have seen its last twinkle die away in the socket. Never did we turn our homeward step past the statue of the saviour of our constitution-if it was not later than twelve o'clockbut we have heard, coming along the silent streets, near or remote, the lonely music of blind Angus's whistle! Minstrel of midnight! melancholy man! what brooding inspiration seats itself upon thy darkened vision, bidding thee, with stealthy, but yet undeviating pace, wander along the streets, which, but for that, would echo only the half-hour grunt of the watchman, or the fitful voice of evil doers? In summer or winter-moonshine or
mirk-calm or storm-heat or cold-still, constant as night itself, is whistling Angus to be found perambulating the streets, and whiffling out, so lowly, yet so distinctly, the wild and straggling notes of a music which he composes as he paces along, yet which has, even in its irregularity, so much of character as to speak of pibrochs, laments, or love-lays, from the hills of which his spirit seems still a denizen.
Let me picture him forth. Just at the foot of NelsonStreet, and immediately beneath the light from the Police lamp, you may perceive-for it is half-past eleven—the point of a stick projecting slowly, as if, like the Irishman's fowling-piece, it were made to turn round corners. It is Angus's; and in a minute and a half you will see himself follow up the discovery its tip has just been making; namely, that the path is “ all before him where to choose.” Hear the indescribable churm and chirrup of his everlasting whistle; and now, behold the man! Beneath the true Skye or Moidart bonnet of the aboriginal shape-(blue, and without a cheque in it—the modern innovation of some Stirling tartan weaver, and having that slope outwards and upwards from the brow, till it forms, with its abrupt descent to the slit and ribbon at the nape of the neck, an angular head covering, which curiously sets off the small and sharp features of the native Celt--you will see a set of features that indicate uncommon placidity, with no little shrewdness. The eyeballs are deep sunk and lustreless; but is there one can tell how they became so ? For my part, I never had the heart to fathom the mystery which, in my apprehension, has ever clung around this Homer of the nineteenth century. You will remark that Angus is substantially and comfortably attired in the blue plaiding which, more than holiday tartan, is the material of Highland costume, let the Celtic Society do what they will. Yet Angus is a mendicant ;-I cannot bring myself to say beggar, for though he will intermit his whistle if you place a penny in his palm, there lives not the man who ever was asked for alms by this Æolian wanderer. He feels that the appeal of his plaintive breath is all that is required, and is conscious that if he has received from the midnight passengers sums that have enabled him to hoard up a little reserve to meet asthma or other calamities, he has furnished them with an equivalent in recalling to the Highlander the music and the associations dependent upon it of his native glens and mountains; to the civic Lowlander, the recollection of nights when he before has heard him in his lonely rounds, which, with light hearts and heads, loaded stomachs, and fascinating companions, can never return; and to the Student of Character, and the Hermit of Society, a picture unique if not bold, curious if not unparalleled..
There is something in the simplicity of Angus's character and demeanour which protects him from insult. Those who give him nothing at least pass him by with commisseration. The harum-scarum bon vivant, whether he be as debonair as was Peter M‘Naughton, that Toby Tosspot of our first bibbing recollections, or as riotous as whatever wit he may think lurks in breaking the lantern or cracking the crown of a watchman, never suspects that it would be a good joke to capsize old Angus. Even the drunken cotton-spinner or bedaised carter, the lushy butcher and rolled up baker, seem to regard him as decidedly not a belligerent, but entitled to all the privileges of a neutral, and having a right to pilot his way through the streets, however they may deem their breadth insufficient for others besides themselves, and think that they alone should “ keep the cantle o' the causey”-when half-seas over.-" Eh !-ho! aye,-de-deevil tak’ me, Geordy, if there's no Angus, wh-whi-whifflin' awa' as weel as if his breath wou'd ne'er gang dune! Ha'e ye sic a thing as a penny left to gi'e the body ? 'Od mmaun-(d- n the gutter!)-I min' o' him whiffling the night ye were married, an' that's no yestreen. Here, Angus; gi'e us · Todlin' but and todlin' b-be-ben.'"
One may often listen to an oration like this addressed to Angus long before he can hear it himself; but as for the concluding request, he can only give one of his quiet smiles in reply to it, for regular tune or repetition of precisely what he had before whistled, is out of the question with Angus. It is from inspiration, not from memory, that he blows, and in this he is honourably distinguished from the herd of ballad-singers and street fiddlers. An historical investigation into his musings would be a contribution to the science of mind; a series of his reminiscences, a collection of street anecdotes and convivial sketches of unrivalled interest. Has he not whistled when Prince's-Street was the centre of good eating and drinking, and perambulated when Jemmy Hamilton of Garthamlock" limped his laughing way through streets made vocal by his tipsy cheers ? Ah! could he tell the fortunes and the fate of the hundreds