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which the Latin poet discovered in such situation, for the whole room was full of “socios malorum” of both sexes, indulging in a general growl at the weather. The return home was much safer, for the bells of hundreds of sheep, which clamber perpetually over the rocks, guided the traveller. But we are inclined to believe that in nine cases out of ten the ascent of Snowdon is accompanied by similar difficulties. Pleasanter was the trip to the Lakes, on which M. Rodenberg found a congenial companion in a young Englishman who had studied for a length of time at Munich, and disturbed his poetic musings by carolling the most audacious student songs. At Capel Curig our author came once again on the spoor of the Birmingham bagmen—not in person, but in the strangers' book. One of them had evinced his satifaction at the treatment they had met with, in rhyme, and certainly must have passed a night on the black stone of Arda, which possesses the quality of rendering the sleeper a poet or a madman. The valley of Nant Frankon-that is, the Beaver Valley—is so called because formerly it was filled with those interesting animals, but now-a-days the only trace of them to be found there is on the heads of the peasant girls. After a cursory visit to the Benglog Falls, spoiled by the prevailing mist, our tourists returned to Capel Curig. Here all was merriment. In the small lakes gentlemen and ladies stood on rocks, drawing; on the banks were tall, thin boys in red-plaid trousers and coats and tall green caps, busily engaged in fishing. But as there was no particular novelty in this, the party went on singing students' songs, in which an Englishman, who accompanied them, and spoke in English, was enabled to join, by their teaching him Longfellow's capital translation of “ Was Kommt dort von der Höhe ?” Thus cheered on their road, they soon reached the Rhaiadr y Wennol, or Swallow Fall, and discovered one of the plagues of Wales.
We had to descend through a beech” wood, and at the entrance were accosted by a very respectably dressed woman, with a bonnet and green silk parasol. She made a curtsey, we replied by a bow. She pointed out a path with the politeness of a lady who was quite at home and doing the honours to her guests. We thanked her. She made another curtsey, we another bow. “What does she want-is she mad ?" the two Englishmen asked, as they looked round after her. The waterfall was before us in all the brilliancy of the setting sun : as compared with the Benglog Falls, we fancied ourselves wandering in a park, for the rocks had disappeared, and the scenery is very attractive, in spite of its comparative tameness. The contrast of the dancing water, over which the setting sun threw a ruddy halo, with the dark masses collected in the pools beneath, was an agreeable surprise to the eye. On emerging from the wood again, the lady with the bonnet and green parasol was awaiting us. “Sir, you will remember me,” she said ; "you won't forget me.” "No," I said, “I will not forget you. I will keep you in my memory. But that was not what the lady meant-she wanted money. “But why po I naturally asked ; a man likes to know why. "For showing you the waterfall, sir." * And who let it out to you, then?” But it was all of no use, and we had to give her money at last. “The mad woman!” said one Englishman. “The impudent creature !" said the other. But I did not regard the matter in that light: if the kings of the middle ages could enclose forests and dam up streams, why should not a poor Welshwoman hit on the idea of making the natural beauties of her country tributary?
After quitting the rocky pass of Snowdonia, the tourist finds the most surprising yet pleasing contrast in the Vale of Llangollen, which has justly
been christened the “Happy Valley.” But it is a scene for the artist and not for the poet. It satisfies and soothes, but does not in any way excite the mind. Long celebrated as the dwelling-place of sweet Jenny Jones, it eventually obtained increased renown by Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Ponsonby selecting it as the scene of their hermitage. But it is really time for us to attend at Sarah's wedding, or the young lady will grow impatient at the delay. The day for the important ceremony had been made known to the guests by the agency of the village blacksmith, who, after a day of toiling, rejoicing, moiling, put on his Sunday suit, and performed his functions with due solemnity. The blacksmith of Aber is the best inviter far and near. He is a clever fellow, and can talk all day without growing tired. He knows the family history of all the farmers for miles round, and manages to pay them first-rate compliments. When he undertakes the duty the young couple may be quite certain that no invitation will be refused, and that presents will be given in profusion.
On the morning for the ceremony the farm was in utter confusion, and Sarah's body-guard were erecting artful barricades in all directions to prevent the entrance of the bridegroom and his friends. In the centre of the wicket gate a species of quintain was erected, also for the same purpose. Suddenly, a shrill whistle was heard, and the hostilities commenced. The enemy numbered about fifty, all mounted on small Welsh ponies; at the head rode the piper, his horse being almost hidden by trappings and feathers. On reaching the quintain, a halt was called. “Will you let us in or no ?” asked the piper. “No; we will not let you in,” six of Sarah’s body-guard replied. The attack then commenced with great vigour, and although there were many hair-breadth escapes, the attacking party succeeded in effecting a lodgment, and marched on the stone barricades, which seemed to offer a more serious resistance; but the little ponies bounded over them, and the assailants drew up in front of the house, the door of which was securely fastened. Now it is the fashion in Wales that this last attack should be made-not with crowbars and hammers, as might be expected-but with verses. The two parties carry on a rhyming contest, until the besieged can no longer give a reply, and the fortress is compelled to yield. The party managed to get the door opened, and in a few minutes, Griffith, the leader of the assailants, came out of the house, bearing Sarah in one arm, and waving his hat triumphantly. Sarah shrieked, and defended herself with hands and feet, but the lucky bridegroom came to the rescue, took her in his arms, and, after placing her in the saddle before him, galloped off at break-neck speed. But the bridal-guard had soon mounted their ponies, and pursued the ravishers at full speed over hedges and ditches, along the Conway-road. Beneath the Penmenmawr the robbers were caught up, and a regular battle ensued. Blows of the fist and stick were exchanged in the most admirable manner, but poor Sarah was most to be pitied. Her bodyguard tried to drag her down by the legs and arms, and set to work with more freedom than a lady would endure, who might have less powerful muscles and more prudery than a Welsh girl. At length the bridegroom's party, with their numerical superiority, succeeded in disarming the others and gaining an entire victory. The horsemen then proceeded
to a tent, which had been put up at Gorddunoc Farm, and were followed by a large number of marriage guests, who had collected on the high road to see the fun. The entire farm looked as if an auction were going to be held. The yard was crowded with marriage presents, furniture, kettles, baskets, pots, and pans. Now and then a rider came trooping in, bearing a chair or a clock on the saddle-bow. The procession then started for Llanfairfechan, where it arrived about noon. and Sarah were soon made man and wife, and the day's sports began. At the entrance to the tent sat the blacksmith of Aber, and on a tub near him stood a box. Every person that entered threw in a trifle—"a shilling for the food, a shilling for the drink, sir, and anything more will be accepted. And when the christening comes, we shall have another day's jollity." At the other end of the tent sat the harper and piper on a slight elevation. There were, probably, some three hundred guests assembled, old and young, boys and girls. Immediately after dinner the tables were removed and the dancing began. The blacksmith of Aber was continually walking about among the couples, and carrying on the cigar trade with considerable profit. The Welsh are not passionately fond of dancing, but they make up for it by their love for singing. There is not a dance, or a merry-making, where they do not eventually congregate round the harp, and commence their pennillions to the variations of the harper. They sing on without interruption, one after the other, and each a different strophe from the preceding one. As a general rule, a merry contest is carried on; each singer tries to contradict his foreman through his pennill, in which process the cleverer persons often extemporise in the most astonishing way. The majority of them, however, have hundreds of pennillions in their heads, which they have ready for any occasion. The tune selected is usually the “ Ar hyd y Nôs," better known to Saxon ears under the name of “Poor Mary Anne !"
With the marriage, M. Rodenberg concluded his pleasant stay in Wales; and when he reached London, and found himself surrounded by a suicidal fog, he could hardly believe that two such extremes of climate could exist in one country. He, therefore, made his way hurriedly across the Channel, and soon found himself once more snugly ensconced by the side of the huge Kachelofen, when he busied himself with arranging the rich experiences he had collected during his." Autumn in Wales." He promised Sarah, however, most faithfully, that he would return, and, as a gentleman, will doubtless keep his word. We may, therefore, have an opportunity hereafter of imparting some further details of the young lady's family history to our readers.
Mingle-Jangle by Monkshood.
VII.-ST. EVREMOND. A LONG-LIVED author, of no great importance in himself, sometimes becomes important, simply on the score of his long life, as a connecting link, or corresponding medium, between two epochs in his country's literature. Mr. De Quincey has comically compared the two great systems or separate clusters of Greek literature to a dumb-bell: the two globes are the said systems or clusters, while the cylinder which connects them is the long man that ran into each system, binding the two togetherthat long man being Isocrates, the actual and original “old man eloquent” of Milton's sonnet, whom the battle of Chæronea, “fatal to liberty, killed with report. Great his critic declines in conscience to call him ; and therefore, by way of compromise, he calls him long, for Isocrates went great lengths in the article of longevity, living through four-and-twenty Olympiads, of four solar years each.
“He narrowly escaped being a hundred years old; and though that did not carry him
from centre to centre, yet, as each system might be supposed to protend a radius each way of twenty years, he had, in fact, a full personal cognisance (and pretty equally) of the two systems, remote as they were, which composed the total world of Grecian genius.” Had he been long, the opium-eater proceeds to remark,* in any other situation than just in that dreary desert between the oasis of Pericles and the oasis of Alexander, what good would that have done us? “A wounded snake," or an Alexandrine verse, would have been as useful. But he, feeling himself wanted, laid his length down like a railroad, exactly where he could be useful-with his positive pole towards Pericles, and his negative pole towards Alexander. Even Gibbon-even the frosty Gibbon-condescends to be pleased with this seasonable application of his two termini. “Our sense,” says he, in his fortieth chapter, “of the dignity of human Dature is exalted by the simple recollection, that Isocrates was the companion of Plato and Xenophon ; that he assisted, perhaps with the historian Thucydides, at the first representation of the Edipus of Sophocles and the Iphigenia of Euripides." So far in relation to the upper terminus of the long man; next, with reference to the lower terminus, Gibbon goes on:
“ And that his pupils Æschines and Demosthenes contended for the crown of patriotism in the presence of Aristotle, the master of Theophrastus, who taught at Athens with the founders of the Stoic and Epicurean sects.”+
Some such longitude we may assign, without much latitude, to the once famous and highly fashionable Monsieur de St. Evremond. Not that he otherwise resembled Isocrates, any more than Monmouth did Macedon, in honest Fluellen's comparison ; but he too numbered his
* See De Quincey's Eseay on Style, Part III., Blackwood, 1840.
+ Gibbon's Roman Empire, ch. xl.
ninety years and a fraction over, and he too forms a chronological link between two ages of belles-lettres. When St. Evremond was born, Henry the Fourth had not been three years in his bloody grave; Richelies, at eight-and-twenty, was as yet in the shade ; even the Constable de Laynes had his future still before him ; De Retz was not so much as an infant of days, muling and puking in his nurse's arms ; Mazarin was bat a whining schoolboy (if ever, which is probable, he did whine), with shining morning face (if ever, which is just possible, his face did shine); Voiture was only in his teens, but doubtless already played the lover, sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad made to his mistress's eyebrow, whoever was the dapper little gentleman's mistress at that time of day, when he was not yet free from the fumes of the wine-merchant's shop, and free of the circle at the Rambouillet Hotel. Agrippa d'Aubigné, the Maintenon's grandsire, might stand for the soldier, bearded like the pard, jealous of honour, sudden and quick of quarrel ; and Pasquier for the justice, with eyes severe and beard of formal cut ; but that both of them, the old soldier and the old judge, were rather in the advanced stage of the lean and slippered pantaloon, and indeed Pasquier (then fourscore and upwards) in the last stage of all
, that ends this strange eventful bistory of Shakspeare's Seven Ages. Shakspeare himself, at this period, was in the second year of his retirement at Stratford. Cervantes, in his grand climacteric, was at length settled quietly in Madrid. Corneille was blundering heavily over his alphabet. Mademoiselle de Scudéry was a brisk little miss of six. Calprenède was in long-clothes. Balzac was a showy lad of nineteen, and Descartes two years younger. Mathurin Réguier was dying or dead, and Brantôme was to die next year.
Patru was just beginning to speak plain, and so was that Little Pickle, Master Paul Scarron. Among the names of contemporary genius in England, of those who should be great hereafter, there were George Herbert and Izaak Walton, each in his twentieth year; Herrick in his twenty-second; Davenant and Waller and Browne in their eighth ; Milton and Clarendon, and Suckling and Fuller, only in their fifth.
So much for the time when St. Evremond was born. That was in the year of grace 1613. When he died, in 1703, three successive generations had run out their course. The grandson of Henri Quatre was fretting in querulous old age over the straits and reverses his insatiate ambition had at last encountered. Twice had the Stuarts been ousted from the British throne; the house of Nassau had effected a temporary lodgment there ; and now again a Stuart reigned alone-herself under petticoat government of a rather tight-laced sort. In that interval of thrice thirty years, Racine and Molière had found ample time to be born, compose their plays, die, get buried, and leave a good surplus margin of blank years at each end of their life-histories. Pascal's troubled spirit had been, these forty years past, where troubling has ceased and the weary are at rest. La Bruyère and La Fontaine had come and had gone, and so had La Rochefoucault and Bussy Rabutin, Quinault and Perrault, Louvois and Turenne. Come and gone were Fouquet and Colbert-out, quite out, the brief candle of their life-their labours long since ended, and other men, and still others, entered into their labours. Come and gone were La Grande Mademoiselle, and the amiable La Fayette, and the too fascinating Longueville, and the doting Sévigné,