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Jeffrey is the extreme despondency, excited period, but it was of brief rising into terror, with which he looks duration. He was promoted to the at the political horizon. With or Bench; and, as is customary with the without a Reform Bill, the future Judges of the highest court of Scotprospects of England are to him ex- land, took the title of Lord Jeffreyceedingly gloomy. From this mea choosing rather to associate the title sure he bopes little positive benefit : with his own name than with a terits great utility is to appease the ritorial appellation. It is said that tumults, and avert, if possible, the he not only became an excellent coming storm. His correspondence judge, but a remarkably patient one: throughout this agitating period is he was never wearied of listening to marked by as deep a despondency as the pleadings of either party ; he that of the most decided opponent of would indeed take a more active part the measure could have been.
than is usual in a judge, performing His success in Parliament was not some of the functions of the counsel equal to what his friends had antici as well as his own; but as long as pated. This is partly attributed to a there was anything more to be said weakness in the throat, which em by either party, he was always willing barrassed his exertions, and, in some to listen. He seems, from Lord measure, prevented him from being Cockburn's account, to have disliked heard. Neither in those negotiations the spoiling of a good controversy by which took place out of Parliament coming to a decision. those private discussions with members of his own party, which, as
“ Though not exactly denying the
necessity of rules for ending discussion, Lord-Advocate, he had to sustain on
he scarcely liked them, and half pitied a the details and remodelling of the
party whose desire to say still more on measure-does he seem to have given his own matter, which was everything to uniform satisfaction. Lord Cock him, was resisted for the convenience of burn was Solicitor-General at the other matters, for which he cared nothing. same period. He speaks of his friend He bas been known to say, that if there in the following enigmatical manner. was only one cause in the world it would Is it here that we are to look for never end; and why should it? What whatever explanation is given of that
are other causes to a man who has not dark sentence in the Preface, where we
done with his own ?" read of “public matters" connected On the 26th January 1850 this with "severe condemnation?" Jef most amiable and versatile and intel.frey has been defending himself ligent man closed his career: he died against the accusation of some mem in his seventy-seventh year. The bers of his party who had blamed summary which Lord Cockburn gives him for indecision, and for conceding of his public and private life, of his too much to artful opponents : moral character, of his person, of his “Notwithstanding all this,” says the
conversation, we should, so far as the biographer, “the scold was not ill de
substance of it is concerned. quote served. His own constant sincerity and with approbation. We regret that reasonableness made him always incre the literary style of the biographer is dulous of the opposite qualities in others; not equal to his judgment, his shrewdand hence his having more charity for ness and sagacity. If it had been, cunning enemies than toleration for honest he would have written a very excelfriends, was an infirmity that too often lent book. Unfortunately the Engbeset him."
lish language has, on most occasions, Why his constant sincerity and proved so intractable in bis hands, reasonableness should operate only in that he can rarely deliver his judgfavour of his enemies one does not ments simply and clearly, rarely withsee; but through this haze of lan out mingling something odd and guage one gathers that the speculative grotesque in the composition. But politician of the Edinburgh Review the critical opinion he passes on the did not prove the warm decided par- eloquence of Jeffrey, and on the chatisan that was required.
racter of his conversation, appears to His political life did not last long : us to be perfectly correct. Of the his official career occurred at a very last, especially, he has given what we
should think a most faithful descrip “ It may appear an odd thing to say, tion:
but it is true, that the listener's pleasure
was enhanced by the personal littleness “ He was certainly a first-rate talker. of the speaker. A large man could But he was not an avowed sayer of good scarcely have thrown of Jeffrey's conversathings; nor did he deal, but very spar- tional flowers, without exposing himself ingly, in anecdote, or in personalities, or to ridicule. But the liveliness of the deep in repartee; and he very seldom told a
thoughts, and the flow of the bright story, or quoted; and never lectured; and, expressions, that animated his talk, though perpetually discussing, almost
seemed so natural and appropriate to the never disputed, and, though joyous, was
figure that uttered them, that they were no great laugher. What then did he heard with something of the delight with do? He did this-His mind was in which the slenderness of the trembling stantly full of excellent matter; his throat, and the quivering of the wings, spirit was always lively; and his heart make us enjoy the strength and clearness was never wrong; and the effusion of of the notes of a little bird." * these produced the charm. He had no exclusive topics. All subjects were wel As to the literary position of Jefcome; and all found him ready, if not in frey, bis rank and qualities as a knowledge, at least in fancy."
writer and a critic, we reserve these Jeffrey was small in stature, and for further and separate discussion in in allusion to this he adds—
a subsequent paper.
* This personal littleness," is made the turning point of a rather curious anecdote. Jeffrey, the most fluent and copious of speakers, was, it seems, on one occasion, and that after he had been in full oratorical practice, reduced to the lamentable necessity which has attended so many a first attempt—he lost his presence of mind, and was compelled to sit down in sudden and involuntary silence. In Lord Cockburn's happier phrase "he stuck a speech," or "stuck in a speech," for we apprehend that the printer must be here at fault : the former phrase is, at least to our ear, quite novel. Lord Cockburn shall relate the anecdote
“ In February 1818 he did what he never did before or since. He stuck a speech. John Kemble had taken his leave of our stage, and, before quitting Edinburgh, about sixty or seventy of his admirers gave him a dinner and a snuff-box. Jeffrey was put into the chair, and had to make the address previous to the presentation. He began very promisingly, but got confused, and amazed both himself and everybody else by actually sitting down, and leaving the speech unfinished; and, until reminded of that part of his duty, not even thrusting the box into the hand of the intended receiver. He afterwards told me the reason of this. He had not premeditated the scene, and thought he had nothing to do, except in the name of the company to give the box. But as soon as he rose to do this, Kemble, who was beside him, rose also, and with most formidable dignity. This forced Jeffrey to look up to his man, when he found himself annihilated by the tall tragic god, who sank him to the earth at every compliment, by obeisances of overwhelming grace and stateliness. If the chairman had anticipated his position, or recovered from his first confusion, his mind and words could easily have subdued even Kemble.”-(P. 254.)
THREE weeks! Three misty en- rolling vapours can obscure Overchanted weeks, with only words, and head there is a great cloud, stooping looks, and broken reveries in them, upon the country as black as night; and all the common life diverted into but lighter are those misty tissues another channel, like the mill-burn. sweeping down pendant from it upon True it is, that all day long Katie sits the bills, which the melancholy wind. strangely dim and silent, spinning curls and waves about like so many yarn for her mother, dreamily hearing, streamers upon the mystic threatening dreamily answering-her heart and sky. There has been a great fall of her thoughts waging a perpetual war rain, and the sandy country roads are fare; for always there comes the damp, though not positively wet; mystic evening, the ruddy firelight, but that great black cloud, say the the attendant circle behind, and rural sages, to whom the atmosphere Katie's valour steals away, and is a much-studied philosophy, will not Katie's thoughts whirl, and reel, and dissolve to-day. find no standing ground. Alas! for Dark is the Firth, tossing yonder the poor little pride, which now its white-foam crest on the rocks ; tremblingly, with all its allies gone, dark the far-away cone of North has to fight its battle single-handed, Berwick Law, over whose head you and begins to feel like a culprit thus see a long retreating range of cloudy deserted; for the climax hour is near mountains, piled high and black into at hand.
the heavens ;-and there before us, Lady Anne has returned to Kellic. the little steeple of this church of Only two or three days longer can Pittenweem thrusts itself fearlessly Katie have at the mill-only one day into the sky; while under it cluster longer has Willie Morison ; for the the low-roofed houses, looking like so little Levant schooner has received her many frightened fugitive children cargo, and lies in Leith Roads, wait- clinging to the knees of some brave ing for a wind, and her lingering mate boy, whose simplicity knows no fear. must join her to-morrow.
And drawing her mother's crimson The last day! But Katie must go plaid over her slight silken mantle, to Kilbrachmont to see Isabell. The Katie Stewart turns her face to Kellie little imperious mother will perceive Law, along this still and solitary no reluctance ; the little proud road, while the damp wind sighs daughter bites her lip, and with among the trees above her, and, tears trembling in her eyes-indig- detaching one by one these fluttering nant, burning tears for her own leaves, drops them in the path at weakness will not show it; so Katie her feet. Never before has Katie again threw on the black-laced mantle, known what it was to have a "sair again arranged her gloves under her heart.” Now there is a secret pang in cambric rufles, and with her heart that young breast of bers—a sadness beating loud and painfully, and the which none must guess, which she tears only restrained by force under herself denies to herself with angry her downcast eyelids, set out towards blushes and bitter tears; for "she kindly Kellie Law yonder, to see doesna care"-no, not if she should her sister.
never see Willie Morison more It is late in October now, and the 66 she doesna care!" skies are looking as they never look Some one on the road behind purexcept at this time. Dark, pale, sues the little hurrying figure, with colourless, revealing everything that its fluttering crimson plaid and laced projects upon them, with a bold sharp apron, with great impatient strides. outline, which scarcely those black She does not hear the foot, the road
VOL. LXXII.-NO. CCCCXLIII.
is so carpeted with wet leaves; but at were the last time, with haughty every step he gains upon her.
pride, into his face, and ask, with And now, little Katie, pause. Now that constrained voice of yours, what with a violent cffort send back these brings him here. tears to their fountain, and look once “ I'm to sail the morn," answered more with dignity-once more, if it Willie Morison.
The clouds have withdrawn from door, a great luxuriant rosebush the kindly brow of Kellie Law. Over stands sentinel on either side ; and him, this strange pale sky reveals the wall of the house is covered with itself, with only one floating streak the bare network of an immense pearof black gauzy vapour on it, like the tree, in spring as white with blossoms stolen scarf of some weird lady, for as the grass is with crowding daisies. whom this forlorn wind pines in From the windows you have a far-off secret. And at the foot of the hill lie glimpse of the Firth; and close at great fields of rich dark land, new hand, a little humble church and ploughed ; and, ascending by this schoolhouse look out from among pathway, by and by you will come their trees; and the green slopes of to a house sheltered in that cluster Kellie Law shelter the house behind. of trees. In the corner of the park, The door is open, and you enter a here, stands a round tower-not very low-roofed earthen-floored kitchen, high, indeed, but massy and strong; with an immense fireplace, within and just now a flock of timid inha- which, on those warm stone benches bitants have alighted upon it and which project round its ruddy cavern, entered by the narrow doors; for it is sits a beggar-woman, with a couple not anything warlike, but only the of children, who are roasting their peaceful erection which marks an poor little feet before the great fire independent lairdship-the dovecot of in the standing grate, till the heat these lands of Kilbrachmont.
becomes almost as painful as the cold High rises the grassy bank on the was an hour ago. The woman has other side of the lane, opposite a basin in her lap, half full of the Doocot Park;” but just now you only comfortable broth which has been tosee mosses and fallen leaves, where day, and is always, the principal dish in early summer primroses are rife; at dinner in those homely, frugal, and now these grey ash trees make plentiful houses; and leisurely, with themselves visible, a stately brother- that great horn spoon, is taking the hood, each with an individual char warm and grateful provision, and acter in its far-stretching boughs and contemplating the children at her mossy trunk; and under them is the feet, who have already devoured house of Kilbrachmont.
their supply. It is the kindly fashion Not a very great house, though the of charity, common at the time. neighbouring cottars think it so. A One stout woman-servant stands at substantial square building, of two a table baking, and the girdle, susstories, built of rough grey stone, and pended on the crook, hangs over the thatched. Nor is there anything bright fire; while near the fireside remarkable in its immediate vicinity, another is spinning wool on “the though, “ to please Isabell," the most muckle wheel.” In summer these effectual of arguments with the young wholesome ruddy country girls do Laird, some pains, not very great, not scorn to do “out work ;" in yet more than usual, have been winter, one of them almost constantly bestowed upon this piece of ground spins. in front of the house. Soft closely Several doors open off this cosy shorn turf, green and smooth as kitchen. One of them is a little ajar, velvet, stretches from the door to the and from it now and then comes a outer paling, warmly clothing with fragment of song, and an accompany. its rich verdure the roots of the great ing hum as of another wbeel. It is ash trees, and some few simple the south room, the sitting room of howers are in the borders. At the the young "guidwife."
And she sits there by her bright it no mesalliance—did not feel that hearth, spinning fine yarn, and sing- the little beauty had disgraced hering to herself as those sing whose self. It dried the tears of Katie hearts are at rest. Opposite the Stewart. fire hangs a little round glass, which But Ranger did not yet quite reflects the warm light, and the understand what was the matter, and graceful figure prettily, making a became very solicitous and affectionminiature picture of them on the wall. ate; helping by his over-anxiety, A large fine sagacious dog sits on the good fellow, to remove the embarrassother side of the hearth, looking up ment of his young favourite. into her face, and listening with So Katie rose, with a dawning evident relish to her song. You can smile_upon her face, and stooping - see that its sweet pathetic music over Ranger, caressed and explained even moves him a little, the good to him, while Isabell with kindly fellow, though the warm bright fire hands disembarrassed her of the makes his eyes wink drowsily now crimson plaid which still hung over and then, and overcomes him with her shoulders. The well-preserved, temptation to stretch himself down precious crimson plaid - if Mrs Stewbefore it for his afternoon's sleep. art had only seen that faint print of
Spinning and singing—at home, in Ranger's paw upon it! But it makes this sweet warm atmosphere, with no a sheen in the little glass, to which dread or evil Dear her-and so sits Katie turns to arrange the bright Isabell.
curls which the wind has cast into A hasty step becomes audible in such disorder. The tears are all the kitchen. Bell at the wheel by dried now, and as her little fingers, the hearth cries aloud, “Eh, Miss still red with cold, though now they Katie, is this you ?" And Ranger are glowing hot,' twist about the pricks up his ears; while Isabell's golden hair on her cheek, her face hand rests on her wheel for a moment, resumes its brightness; but it is not and she looks towards the door. now the sunny fearless light of the
The door is hastily flung open-as morning. Not any longer do these hastily closed-and little Katie, with blue eyes of hers meet you bravely, the crimson plaid over her bright frankly, with open anembarrassed hair, and traces of tears on her cheek, looks ;-drooping, glimmering under rushes in, and throwing herself at the downcast eyelashes, darting up Isabell's feet, puts her arm round her now and then a shy, softened, almost waist, and buries her head in the lap deprecating glance, while themselves of her astonished sister.
shine so, that you cannot but fancy " Katie, what ails ye?" exclaimed there is always the bright medium of Lady Kilbrachmont; and Ranger, a tear to see them through. alarmed and sympathetic, draws near “And where is he, then, Katie? to lick the little gloved hands, and Did ye get it a' owre coming up the fingers red with cold, which lie on his road? Where is Willie now?" said mistress's knee.
Isabell. “Katie, what ails ye? Speak to me, " We met Kilbrachmont at the bairn." But Isabell is not so much Doocot Park," said Katie, seating alarmed as Ranger, for “exceeding herself by the fireside, and casting peace has made" her “bold."
down her eyes as she twisted the “Oh, Isabell," sighed little Katie, long ears of Ranger through her lifting from her sister's lap a face fingers; "and I ran away, Isabell, which does not, after all, look so very for Kilbrachmont saw that something sorrowful, and which Ranger would was wrang." fain salute too_" oh, Isabell! it's a' “There's naething wrang, Katie. Willie Morison."
He's a wiselike lad, and a weel-doing “ Weel, weel, Katie, my woman, lad—if you werena such a proud what needs ye greet about it?" said thing yoursel. But, woman, do you the matron sister, with kindly com think you could ever have been so prehension. “I saw it a' a week happy as ye will be, if Willie Morisince. I kent it would be so."
son was some grand lord or ither, And Leddy Kilbrachmont thought instead of what he is ?”