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ney---but I do not value him a handful of turf. I am more annoyed at the news which I see in last night's paper, that Blarney Castle is going to the hammer, and that the breach old Noll made in its battlements, will be nothing to the gutting it will receive in consequence of the assault of the auctioneer. This is an unkind cut indeed, but I hope the new purchaser will be a man of soul. On the 27th, I seized my gun-buckled on my shot-pouch and powder-horn, whistled to my dogs, . (I back Sheelah against any pointer in the county,) and set forward to look for a covey of partridges. I found itshot seven-but made a better hit on my return-for I met the hospitable Lord of Barley-hill-o -one of the fairest fellows in the West-country. I dined. with him-slept at his house-and next morning had a fine dash at a fox, with his famous pack. We found in high style, and he led us a chase of about sixteen miles. I cannot say that I came in for the brush, being, through some accident, thrown out rather early. I attributed this to my late illness, for Donnelly was in prime order. But though not distinguished at the hunt, I flatter myself I distinguished myself after dinner, by putting every man under the table, and retiring with head unhurt, at three next morning.
the 29th, I shifted my flag to Myro's Wood, where I still continue. The house is full of company, and we are all as gay as larks. I wrote my last canto in half an hour before dinner, in a room full of people, which is not to be done by your every-day bards. I read it in the course of the evening, and it was voted to be a singularly wild original and beautiful poem," as Lord Byron says of Christabel. Lord Bantry was quite flattered that the scene of so fine a lay should be placed on his estate, and invited me to spend a month with him. I am beginning to think the Leg of Mutton School of Poetry is the only one which is worth the attention of a true poet. Its principles are really invariable. I shall consult Aristotle to see what he says about it, for I have a great mind to join the corps. On the 30th, we enjoyed a fine cruize in the Lord Exmouth, a noble yacht, and fitted up in great style. My noble host is a prime seaman, and handles the rudder well; he cruized round the harbour till dinner time, and took a few fish on our way-returned at six, just in ripe order for the venison.This is the last entry in my Journal; for these last two days I have been too busy to write any thing; and, besides, I hear the dinner bell.
*We must interpose onr authority to prevent this dispute between our contributors going any farther. There should be peace and good will between our men.-C. N.
The yellow leaf has fall'n,
THE YELLOW LEAF.
And the stubble braes are brown, The mountain burns are roaring,
And the swallows a' are flown ; The school-boy with his fellows,
Cowers in aneath the lea,
And wide and wild o'er the bleak dry land,
Flies the grey gull frae the sea.
But its no that summer's fled the bower,
Nor for the hill-burns roaring,
But a' because I see no more,
The foreign turf in a far far land,
Grows o'er my brother's tomb, My sister dear that lov'd me best,
Sits in a foreign home.
And low beneath yon lone grave stone
LETTER FROM MR SHUFFLEBOTHAM,
On Cheese, Civilization, North Country Ballads, &c.
[We had, as Hamlet says, after our usual custom in the afternoon, seated ourselves, as majestically as our gout would permit, in our arm chair of state, to ruminate upon a little article, which we intend shall be cayenne to the palate of the public. Somehow or other, we were a little misty, and the struggle to screw our ideas “to the sticking place” ended, as such attempts sometimes do after dinner, in that state of quiescent pleasure, beyond the reach of opium, during which we read an almanack, or a newspaper nine days old, always returning to the top of the page, to save the troublesome duty of turning over the leaf. Our quiescence, however, was suddenly interrupted by one of those itenerant bands of musicians who play, after dusk, about the streets of our own "good town." As it happened, they struck up, within twenty yards of our window, a little simple air, which, deep as we are in Scottish and Irish melody, was entirely new to us. It struck through us with a thrill like the discovery of a new sense. We hobbled to the window, laid our ear to the pane, although a sharp current of air blew into our neck through a crevice in the sash, and drank until the liquid eloquence of the melody was drained to the last drop. We had hobbled back again to our fire-side, with a strong feeling of enthusiasm, and a chilliness about the small of our back, and had just swallowed a bumper of claret, by way of corrective, when the following letter was handed in. We have a good deal of respect at bottom, for old Shufflebotham, though he is sometimes given to prosing, and we were just in the humour for him. Indeed, the old fellow never writes so passably as when he is not, as he calls it, upon his Ps and Qs," a state which inevitably renders him marvellously absurd and formal. We accordingly made up our mind to keep our little Crystal of Merum Sal, as a gem for the concluding number of this volume, and to insert the old boy's letter just as it was, " in puris naturalibus ;" and we hereby give warning, that no one need read it unless he be as we were, in what philosophers call "a state of negative electricity." C. N.
TO CHRISTOPHER NORTH, ESQ.
DEAR AND HONOURED SIR, I dare say you'll be thinking that old Shufflebotham has fairly forgotten you; but I've only been out a brace of weeks, from a bout of my old complaint, at which-as we've had our turn for the muggy weather-you'll not wonder. I reckon, that on the rheumatic score, you and I are much of a muchness. I did not like very well to write neither, till I had the ewemilk cheese to send; and if you have been thinking it long in coming, the fault is neither mine, nor Dinah's, nor Ralph Hepple's, who says he left it for Dickinson three weeks ago. It's to be hoped you'll think we are improving in the manufacture; and, doubtless, the improvement of all sorts of cheese is a proof of the agricultural progress of a countryside, as it were, just as ballads are of the mental. It requires a handing down, as I may say, from father to son, to esta◄
blish a well-charactered cheese, and this, when done, not only betokens the improvement of the dairy, but likewise of the taste of the country round about, which encourages it. As for the ballads, Dinah says you only encourage me in my whims and nonsense; but nobody shall persuade me that they are not a barometer of the refined part of the manners of a district, just as the stocks in London are of the wealth that's passing from one to another. I've heard you say that yourself. There's nobody knows, Mr North, but people who have a natural feeling for these sort of things, what a hold some of them take of the imaginations of us country-folk, who have never been debauched by living in the smoke, and bustle, and finery of towns, as these conceited Londoners do, that ye're so hard upon, though, after all, some of them are clever chiels too; but that's neither here nor there; you your
self would hardly believe, on a time, what pleasure a body like me takes in looking over an old thumbed "Ballantbook." Roger sometimes brings one in from some of the hind-folk; and what a pleasant sensation the very sight of the poor awkward-looking cuts, and the worse doggrel, which minds one of young days, can afford. The view of the "King and the Cobler," the "Young Man's Garland," or "Robin Hood," with their queer ́scrawls of men in odd hats, and broad tailed coats, upon chequered pavements, or amongst scrubby trees, brings up many a sweet dreamy recollection.
But we are wonderfully improved since these times. Burns and Bewick, as I sometimes say, have been the great reformers, the Luther and Calvin both of the souls and bodies of the "ballants." If you give a halfpenny to the lads now, they'll bring you in a neat leaf, with may be one of Burns's best songs, or some other, marvellously smoothed down, since the " sixteenth of May" used to be a crack song in every ale-house. And for cuts, may be a gay decent imitation of one of Bewick's best tail-pieces, with the beasts and birds looking something like Christians; for before his time one never knew what they were. But you'll wonder what has put all this balladsinging into my head; and I should have told you before-however, I must begin at the beginning.-I went the other day to bring my nephew Roger home from school, which he was obligated to leave on account of a fever that had got among them; and a speat of rain coming down the river, we stopped at 0- to give the beasts
a feed till the wet was over. The land1.
Though I must go to a foreign land,
lady had left the door ajar, as she was righting the table and setting me down a warm glass of rum and water, and Roger a sup of ale, when a callant in the kitchen began that song I've heard ye admire, Mr North, at least when your cherry-cheeked favourite, as ye used to call her, poor little Thomasine Charlton sang it," He's far ayont the hills the night, but he'll be here for a' that." The lad lilted well, and there's a charm even in the worst of these simple ballads, when sung with feeling and a clear voice. I know that most of the tunes I hear about our onstead, are far behind your real Scottish airs-for Scotland and Ireland after all are the lands of song; but still they have a swatch of feeling about them, poor ditties though they be, and you may call them, if you like, a sort of half way house between your soul-stirring melodies and the fond modern things one gets deaved with, when one's fool enough to patronize, as they call it, the players at a race or assize time. However, as I was saying, the lad sung gaily-" Whisht," says I to Roger, "set the door open, shut thy mouth, and cock thy lugs, for the life of thee-here's something to stop a gap with ;" and accordingly they soon gave us another specimen. Both words and tune were new to me—and the last appeared to be Irish; but to my judgment, though I'm what your scientifical folk would call no judge at all, I've heard worse stuff. Not that I would name it in the same day with your friend Mr Hogg, or Mr Cunningham, or Dr Scott, or Mr Jennings; but still, what with the fine feeling of the ditty, and what with the simplicity of the ballad, it went down.
I've been in many a foreign land,
Her William will come home in time;
When he ended, some observations seemed to be making, probably of the sentimental sort, in their homely fashion; but you would have been pleased with the bold way in which the singer, who had really a fine manageable voice, broke in with an air that I has been familiar to me ever since I was penny-can-high," as the saying is, but of which I never was aware of the merit till now. I have forgot what we used to call it, but it goes now by the title of "My Love is newly listed." It is just one of those ditties which Gay would have put into the Beggar's Opera, -monotonous, yet original,-full of
mannerism, yet with a vein of unexpected feeling. It embodies, in a faint degree, that mixture of passions, which is the top of what you call musical expression, and which is so wonderful in your Scottish air of "Dinna think,” where bitterness and love, grief and contempt, mix and get the better of one another, as the colours do on a bit of shot-silk. The lad gave the emphatic places a touch of sarcasm half plaintive, half playful, particularly at the conclusion, and seemed to feel the intention of the tune in a way that pleased me mightily.
O, the snow it melts the soonest when the winds begin to sing;
The snow it melts the soonest when the wind begins to sing;
O, the snow it melts the soonest when the wind begins to sing
O, never say me farewell here-no farewell I'll receive,
For you shall set me to the stile, and kiss and take your leave;
But I'll stay here till the woodcock comes, and the martlet takes his wing, Since the snow aye melts the soonest, lass, when the wind begins to sing.
The next was an even-down ballad both in words and music; and, in its noble contempt of mood, tense, person, and propriety in general, might almost vie with the verse I have known you quote, Mr North, from the old ditty of Lord Derwentwater.
"Macintosh was a gallant soldier,
He carried his musket on his shoulder ;-
Still, to my silly old notion, there was something redeeming about it.
O, I'll cut off my yellow hair,
A musket give to me,
And wheresoe'er thou goest, there,
And when our foes we must engage
But when the battle's over,
What will my Nancy say?
Thou hast my heart, so take my hand
My hand I give to thee,
And not again be sure that hand
And should my lovely Nancy share
The battle by my side,
The Power above that hears our prayer,
Would shield the soldier's bride.
Here the landlady made such a clatter with plates and dishes, that for a minute or two I could hear nothing. When the noise and dirdum had slackened a little, I could just hear a weak voice lilting carelessly a little air that, under many varieties, is common in Northumberland
Your spinsters and your knitters in the sun,
And those free maids that weave their thread with bones,
Do use to chaunt it-it is silly, sooth.
Like most ballads, however, its vulgarity has a touch of the plaintive. I could only make out
O! the weary cutters-they've ta'en my laddie frae me,
O! the weary cutters-they've ta'en my laddie frae me ;
They've press'd him far away foreign, with Nelson ayont the salt sea.
You may think I was contented with this specimen, and as the noise continued, Roger made an errand into the kitchen to try to procure me some copies of the songs. Meanwhile a sprightly voice struck up, and in an interval I discovered that a fishing song was the order of the day. I could not collect the first stanza-the second ran thus:
Nae mair we'll fish the coolly Tyne,
Nae mair the oozy Team,
Nae mair we'll try the sedgy Pont,
Or Derwent's woody stream;
But we'll away to Coquetside,
For Coquet bangs them a',
Whose winding streams sae sweetly glide,
In the next stanza that I heard, the spirit of the song had changed.
At Weldon brigg there's wale o' wine,
If ye hae coin in pocket;
If ye can thraw a heckle fine,
There's wale o' trouts in Coquet. And we will quaff the red-blood wine, Till Weldon's wa's shall reel,— We'll drink success to hook and line, And a' wha bear the creel.
And O! in all their angling bouts,
By Till, or Coquet, Tyne, or Reed,
In sunshine, or in rain,
May fisher ne'er put foot in stream,
Then luck be to the angler lads,
Luck to the rod and line;
Wi' morn's first beam, we'll wade the stream,
The night we'll wet with wine.
The chorus at the end of the third stanza seemed to be more noisy than the rest. When Roger came in, he told me that when he went in he found a palefaced lad, in a blue jacket, blue stockings, and red garters, trolling the simple chant I mentioned. The fishing song, Roger said, was sung by a "betterly looking" young man, in a shooting dress. He willingly shewed Roger a copy of the song, but would not part with it. It was printed in better taste than ordinary, with a tail-piece of Bewick's at the top, and the initials of the author of the "Reed Water Minstrel" at the bottom. The sentimental now seemed to have given way to the comic; but by this time the day had cleared up, so we only heard a fellow with an Irish twang and a portion of sly humour, sing a verse or two to the tune of "The Pretty Maid of Derby, O," which you say