Immagini della pagina

arrive at what was deemed the most propitious moment, it was placed in the poet's hands just as the company were assembled round the tea-table after dinner.

Great curiosity was expressed by the party as the splendid little volume gradually escaped from its folds, and displayed itself to the astonished eyes of the author, who, for the first time, saw himself in print, and who, all unconscious of the glories which awaited him, had possibly never dreamed of appearing in such a dress.2

Concealment was out of the question, and he was called upon by the unanimous acclamation of the party to read the poem, of which, as it happened, none of them had ever heard even the name.

Those who have enjoyed the surpassing delight_of hearing Sir Walter Scott read poetry will easily understand the effect which this recitation of his own earliest printed work, under the excitement of such a moment, must have produced. - CAPTAIN BASIL HALL, Schlosz Hainfeld.



At noon we were in lat. 60° 31′ S, long. 162° 9′ E.,5 and again in clear water; but it soon after fell quite calm,6 and the heavy easterly swell was driving us down again upon the pack,' in which were counted from the mast



1 Expressed, say an den Tag gelegt; party society. 2 Dress, here Gewand. 3 Concealment, Verheimlichung; out of the question impossible. 4 Turn here poetry by poems.' 5 The above geographical signs are given in German in the following manner: 60° 31' fütl. Br.

(i.e. südlicher Breite), 162° 9′ öftl. 2. (i.e. östlicher Länge.)

6 Fell quite calm, wurde...ganz windstill; the-swell, die heftige östliche Deinung.

7 Pack, denoting a large body of separate masses of ice, is rendered by Eisfeld. Berg stands in the above extract for iceberg.

head eighty-four large bergs, between S. and N.N.W., and some hundreds of smaller dimensions.

We found we were fast closing1 this chain of bergs, so closely packed together that we could distinguish no opening through which the ships could pass, the waves breaking violently against them, dashing huge masses of pack-ice2 against the precipitous faces of the bergs; now lifting them nearly to their summit, then forcing them again far beneath their water-line, and sometimes rending them into a multitude of brilliant fragments against their projecting points.

Sublime and magnificent as such a scene must have appeared under different circumstances, to us it was awful, if not appalling. For eight hours we had been gradually drifting towards what to human eyes appeared inevitable destruction; the high waves and deep rolling3 of our ships rendered towing with the boats impossible, and our situation the more painful and embarrassing from our inability to make any effort to avoid the dreadful calamity that seemed to await us. ***


We were now within half a mile of the range of bergs. The roar of the surf, which extended each way as far as we could see, and the crashing of the ice fell upon the ear with fearful distinctness, whilst the frequently averted eye as immediately returned to contemplate the awful destruction that threatened in one short hour to close the world and all its hopes, and joys, and sorrows upon us for ever. In this our deep distress "we called upon the Lord: and He heard our voices out of His temple, and our cry came before Him."

A gentle air of wind filled our sails: hope again revived, and the greatest activity prevailed to make the best use of

1 We-closing, daß wir uns rasch... näherten.

2 Huge-pack-ice, eine Menge großer Eisflumpen; faces, here Flächen. 3 Rolling (the nautical term), Schlenkern or Schlingern.


Each way on each side. Fell upon, here traf.

Blick, eben so rasch sich wieder zurückwandte.

6 To-us, uns der Welt mit all ihren Hoffnungen, Freuden und Leiden... zu entrücken.

7 Cf. Psalm XVIII. 6.

8 Air of wind, Lufthauch. Render filled by schwellte, and revived by

5 Averted returned, abgelenkte erwachte.

the feeble breeze. As it gradually freshened, our heavy ship began to feel its influence, slowly at first, but more rapidly afterwards; and before dark we found ourselves far removed from every danger.-CAPTAIN SIR J. C. Ross, A Voyage in the Southern and Antarctic Regions.



It seems to be odd, at first sight, that there should be any such men as these; but their name and number is legion. If we were to deduct from the hunting-crowd2 farmers and others who hunt because hunting is brought to their door, of the remainder we should find that the "men who don't like it" have the preponderance. It is pretty much the same, I think, with all amusements. How many men go to balls, to races, to the theatre-how many women to concerts and races-simply because it is the thing to do 13 They have, perhaps, a vague idea that they may ultimately find some joy in the pastime; but, though they do the thing constantly, they never like it. Of all such men, the hunting men are perhaps the most to be pitied.5

5* * *

At the first fence, as he is steadying himself," a butcher passes him roughly in the jump, and nearly takes away the side of his top-boot. He is knocked7 half out of his

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

saddle, and in that condition scrambles through. When he has regained his equilibrium, he sees the happy butcher going into the field beyond. He means to curse the butcher when he catches him; but the butcher is safe. A field and a half before him2 he still sees the tail hounds,3 and renews his effort. He has meant to like it to-day, and he will. So he rides at the next fence boldly, where the butcher has left his mark, and does it pretty wellwith a slight struggle. Why is it that he can never get over a ditch without some struggle in his saddle, some scramble with his horse? Why does he curse the poor animal so constantly-unless it be that he cannot catch the butcher?

Now he rushes at a gate which others have opened for him, but rushes too late and catches his leg. Mad with pain, he nearly gives it up; but the spark of pluck is still there, and with throbbing knee he perseveres. How he hates it! It is all detestable now. He cannot hold his horse because of his gloves, and he cannot get them off. The sympathetic beast knows that his master is unhappy, and makes himself unhappy and troublesome in consequence.



Our friend is still going, riding wildly, but still keeping a grain of caution for his fences. He has not been down yet, 10 but has barely saved himself more than once. The ploughs 11 arc very deep, and his horse, though still boring at him, pants heavily. Oh, that there might come a check, or that the brute 12 of a fox might happily go to ground! But no! The ruck 13 of the hunt is far away

1 To mean, sich vornehmen; to curse, mit Flüchen zu beladen; safe = in safety.

2 A field-him, anderthalb Felter weit vor sich.

3 The tail hounds, den Nachtrab der Meute.

Supply es auch. Mark = trace. 5 Why is it: whence does it come. Does...curse is to be renaered by flucht.....auf.

To catch, here einklemmen; mad with, rasend vor.


7 Pluck = courage; throbbing, schmerzend; all quite. 8 Unhappy, here elend; troublesome = disagreeable.

9 Is still going, hält noch immer aus.

10 Has-yet, ist eigentlich noch nicht gestürzt; barely, here nur noch eben. 11 Ploughs, say Furchen; stillhim, es noch den Kopf tief hängen läßt. 12 The brute, say das dumme Thier; go to ground, erlegt würde.

13 Ruck, say das Getümmel.

from him in front, and the game is running steadily straight for some well-known though still distant protection. But the man who doesn't like it still sees a red coat1 before him, and perseveres in chasing the wearer of it. The solitary red coat becomes distant, and still more distant, from him;2 but he goes on while he can yet keep the line in which that red coat has ridden. He must hurry himself, however, or he will be lost to humanity, and will be alone. He must hurry himself, but his horse now desires to hurry no more. So he puts his spurs to the brute savagely, and then at some little fence, some ignoble ditch, they come down together in the mud, and the question of any further effort is saved for the rider. When he arises the red coat is out of sight, and his own horse is half across the field before him. In such a position is it possible that a man should like it?—ANTHONY TROLLOPE, Hunting Sketches.




The decay of moral principles which hastened the disintegration of Roman society was compensated by no new discoveries in material cultivation. The idea of civilization common to the Greeks and Romans was the highest development of the bodily faculties, together with the imagination; but in exploring the agencies of the natural

1 Form a compound term of red and coat by simply joining them together without inflecting the adjective.

2 Becomes-him, entfernt sich im mer mehr von ihm.

Savagely, here wüthend; ignoble,


[blocks in formation]
« IndietroContinua »