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TALBOYS. The same. Whew! Up into the sky like the incarnation of a whirlwind ! No turning outside in—too strong-ribbed for inversion-before the wind he flew-like a creature of the element-and gracefully accomplished the descent on an eminence about a mile off.
NORTH. Near Orain-imali-chauan-mala-chuilish ?
TALBOYS. I eyed him where he lay-not without anger. It had manifestly been a wilful act—he had torn himself from my grasp-and now he kept looking at me-at safe distance as he thought-like a wild animal suddenly undomesticated-and escaped into his native liberty. If he had sailed before the wind-why might not I? No need to stalk him—so I went at him right in front—but such another flounder! Then, sir, I first knew fatigue.
“ So eagerly The FIEND
TALBOYS. Finally I reached him-closed on him—when Eolus, or Eurus, or Notus, or Favonius-for all the heathen wind-gods were abroad-inflated him, and away he flew-rustling like a dragon-fly-and zig-zagging all fiery-green in the gloom-sat down-as composedly as you would yourself, sir-on a knoll, in another region-engirdled with young birch-groves—as beautiful a restingplace, I must acknowledge as, after a lyrical flight, could have been selected for repose by Mr Wordsworth.
NORTH. I know it-Arash-alaba-chalin-ora-begota-la-chona-hurie. Archy will go for it in the evening-all safe. But do go and put on dry clothes. What now, Billy?
BILLY BALMER. Here are Mr Talboy trunk, sir.
NORTH, Who brought it?
BILLY. Nea, Maister—I dan't kna'—I 'spose Carrier. I ken’t reet weell--- ance at Windermere-watter.
NORTH. Swiss Giantess -Billy.. .
NORTH. You will find the Swiss Giantess as complete a dormitory as man can desire, Talboys. I reserve it for myself, in event of rheumatism. Though lined with velvet, it is always cool-ventilated on a new principle-of which I took merely a hint from the Punka. My cot hangs in what used to be the Exhibition-room—and her Retreat is now a commodious Dressing-room. Billy, show Mr Talboys to the Swiss Giantess.
NORTH. Sharp seven-seven sharp.
TALBOYS. And now 'tis but half-past two. Four hours for work. The Cladich-or whatever you call him-is rumbling disorderly in the wood; and I noted, as I crossed the bridge, that he was proud as a piper of being in Spate—but he looks more rational down in yonder meadows-and- HEAVEN HAVE MERCY ON ME! THERE's Loch Awe!!
TALBOYS. Looked at it? How could I look at it? I don't believe it was there. If it was- from the hill-top I had eyes but for the Camp-the Tents and the Trees --and "Thee the spirit of them all!" Let me have another eye-full-another sonl-full of the Loch. But 'twill never do to be losing time in this way. Where's my creel-where's my creel?
NORTH. On your shoulders
TALBOYS. And my Book? Lost-lost-lost! Not in any one of all my pockets. I shall go mad.
NORTH. Seven. Archy, follow him-In that state of excitement he will be walking with his spectacles on over some precipice. Keep your eye on him, Archy
NORTH. There's a specimen of a Scottish Lawyer, gentlemen. What do you think of him?
BULLER. That he is without exception the most agreeable fellow, at first sight, I ever met in my life.
NORTH. And so you would continue to think him, were you to see him twice a-week for twenty years. But he is far more than that—though, as the world goes, that is much : bis mind is steel to the back-bone-his heart is sound as his lungs-his talents great-in literature, had he liked it, he might have excelled ; but he has wisely chosen a better Profession-and his character now stands high as a Lawyer and a Judge. Yonder he goes! As fresh as a kitten after a score and three quarter miles at the least.
BULLER. Seward-let's after him. Billy—the minnows.
BILLY. Here's the Can, sirs.
NORTH. Seward, face Buller. Talboys, face North. Fall too, gentlemen; to-day we dispense with regular service. Each man has his own distinct dinner before him, or in the immediate vicinity-soup, fish, flesh, fowl—and with all necessary accompaniments and sequences. How do you like the arrangement of the table, Talboys?
TALBOYS. The principle shows a profound knowledge of human nature, sir. In theory, self-love and social are the same—but in practice, self-love looks to your own plate-social to your neighbours. By this felicitous multiplication of dinners —this One in Four—this Four in One—the harmony of the moral system is preserved—and all works together for the general good. Looked at artistically, we have here what the Germans and others say is essential to the beautiful and the sublime-Unity.
NORTH. I believe the Four Dinners—if weighed separately-would be found not to differ by a pound. This man's fish might prove in the scale a few ounces heavier than that man's—but in such case, his fowl would be found just so many ounces lighter. And so on. The Puddings are cast in the same mould —and things equal to the same thing, are equal to one another.
TALBOYS. The weight of each repast ?
NORTH. Calculated at twenty-five pounds.
TALBOYS. Grand total, one hundred. The golden mean.
NORTH. From these general views, to descend to particulars. Soup (turtle) two pounds-Hotch, ditto-Fish (Trout) two pounds-Flesh, (Jigot-black face five-year-old,) sis pounds-Fowl (Howtowdie boiled) five pounds-Duck (wild) three pounds-Tart (gooseberry) one pound-Pud (Variorum Edition) two pounds.
BULLER. That is but twenty-three, sir! I have taken down the gentleman's words.
NORTH. Polite-and grateful. But you have omitted sauces and creams, breads and cheeses. Did you ever know me incorrect in my figures, in any affirmation or denial, private or public?
BULLER. Never. Beg pardon.
NORTH. Now that the soups and fishes seem disposed of, I boldly ask you, one and all, gentlemen, if you ever beheld Four more tempting Jigots?
TALBOYS. I am still at my Fish. No fish so sweet as of one's own catching-so I have the advantage of you all. This one here the one I am eating at this blessed moment I killed in what the man with the Landing-net called the Birk Pool. I know him by his peculiar physiognomy-an odd cast in his eye —which has not left him on the gridiron. That Trout of my killing on your plate, Mr Seward, made the fatal plunge at the tail of the stream so overhung with Alders that you can take it successfully only by the tail—and I know him by his colour, almost as silvery as a whitling. Yours, Mr Buller, was the third I killed-just where the river-for a river he is to-day, whatever he may be to-morrow-goes whirling into the Loch-and I can swear to him from his leopard spots. Illustrious sir, of him whom you have now disposed of-the finest of the Four- I remember saying inwardly, as with difficulty I encreeled him-for his shoulders were like a hog's—this for the King.
NORTH. Your perfect Pounder, Talboys, is the beau-ideal of a Scottish Trout. How he cuts up! If much heavier-you are frustrated in your attempts to eat him thoroughly-have to search-probably in vain-for what in a perfect Pounder lies patent to the day-he is to back-bone comeatable--from gill to fork. Seward, you are an artist. Good creel?
SEWARD. I gave Mr Talboys the first of the water, and followed him-a mere caprice - with the Archimedean Minnow. I had a run-but just as the monster opened his jaws to absorb-he suddenly eschewed the scentless phenomenon, and with a sullen plunge, sunk into the deep.
BULLER. I tried the natural minnow after Seward-but I wished Archimedes at Syracuse—for the Screw had spread a panic—and in a panic the scaly people lose all power of discrimination, and fear to touch a minnow, lest it turn up a bit of tin or some other precious metal.
NORTH. I have often been lost in conjecturing how you always manage to fill your creel, Talboys; for the truth is—and it must be spoken—you are no angler.
TALBOYS. I can afford to smile! I was no angler, sir, ten years ago—now I am. But how did I become one? By attending you, sir—for seven seasons-along the Tweed and the Yarrow, the Clyde and the Daer, the Tay and the Tummel, the Don and the Dee—and treasuring up lessons from the Great Master of the Art.
NORTH. You surprise me! Why, you never put a single question to me about the art-always declined taking rod in hand-seemed reading some book or other, held close to your eyes--or lying on banks a-dose or poetising—or facetious with the Old Man-or with the Old Man serious—and sometimes more than serious, as, sauntering along our winding way, we conversed of man, of nature, and of human life.
TALBOYS. I never lost a single word you said, sir, during those days, breathing in every sense “ vernal delight and joy,” yet all the while I was taking lessons in the art. The flexure of your shoulder-the sweep of your arm-the twist of your wrist-your Delivery, and your Recover-that union of grace and power--the utmost delicacy, with the most perfect precision-All these qualities of a heaven-born Angler, by which you might be known from all other men on the banks of the Whittadder on a Fast-day —
NORTH. I never angled on a Fast-day.
TALBOYS. A lapsus lingue-From a hundred anglers on the Daer, on the Queen's Birth-day
KORTU. My dear Friend, you ex .
TALBOYS. All those qualities of a heaven-born Angler I learned first to admire-then to understand-and then to imitate. For three years I practised on the carpet-for three I essayed on a pond-for three I strove by the running waters -and still the Image of Christopher North was before me—till emboldened by conscious acquisition and constant success, I came forth and took my place among the Anglers of my country.
BULLER. To-day I saw you fast in a tree.
TALBOYS. You mean my Fly.
BULLER. First your Fly, and then, I think, yourself.
TALBOYS. I have seen Il Maestro himself in Timber, and in brushwood too. From him I learned to disentangle knots, intricate and perplexed far beyond the Gordian—"with frizzled hair implicit"-round twig, branch, or bole. Not more than half-a-dozen times of the forty that I may have been fast aloft-I speak mainly of my noviciate—have I had to effect liberation by sacrifice.
SEWARD. Pardon me, Mr Talboys, for hinting that you smacked off your tail-fly to-day-I knew it by the sound.
TALBOYS. The sound! No trusting to an uncertain sound, Mr Seward. Oh! I did so once—but intentionally-the hook had lost the barb-not a fish would it hold -So I whipped it off, and on with a Professor.
TALBOYS. I did-that metal minnow of yours came with a splash within an inch of his nose--and no wonder he broke me-nay, I believe it was the minnow that broke me-and yet you can speak of my losing a good fish in rather an awkward manner!
NORTH. It is melancholy to think that I have taught Young Scotland to excel myself in all the Arts that adorn and dignify life. Till I rose, Scotland was a barbarous country
TALBOYS. Do say, my dear sir, semi-civilised.
NORTH. Oh, Talboys-National Ingratitude! They are fast forgetting the man who made them what they are-in a few fleeting centuries the name of Christopher North will be in oblivion! Would you believe it possible, gentlemen, that even now, there are Scotsmen who never heard of the Fly that bears the name of me, its Inventor-Killing Kit!
BULLER. In Cornwall it is a household word.
SEWARD. Sir, be comforted—you are under a delusion-Britain is ringing with your name.
TALBOYS. My dear sir, what would you have ?
Where was the Art of Criticism? Where Prose? Young Scotland owes all her Composition to me—buries me in the earth-and then claims inspiration from heaven. “How sharper than a Serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless