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PHYS. You are severe on Cockney fishermen, and, I suppose, would apply to them only the observation of Dr Johnson, which on a former occasion you would not allow to be just: "Angling is an amusement with a stick and a string; a worm at one end, and a fool at the other." And to yourself you would apply it with this change: "a fly at one end, and a philosopher at the other." Yet the pleasure of the Cockney Angler appears to me of much the same kind, and perhaps more continuous than yours; and he has the happiness of constant occupation and perpetual pursuit in as high a degree as you have; and if we were to look at the real foundations of your pleasure, we should find them like most of the foundations of human happiness-vanity or folly. I shall never forget the impression made upon me some years ago, when I was standing on the pier at Donegal, watching the flowing of the tide. I saw a lame boy of fourteen or fifteen years old, very slightly clad, that some persons were attempting to stop in his progress along the pier; but he resisted them with his crutches, and halting along, threw himself from an elevation of five or six feet, with his crutches, and a little parcel of wooden boats that he carried under his arm, on the sand of the beach. He had to scramble or halt at least 100 yards, over hard rocks, before he reached the water, and he several times fell down and cut his naked limbs on the bare stones. Being in the water he seemed in an ecstasy, and immediately put his boats in sailing order, and was perfectly inattentive to the counsel and warning of the spectators, who shouted to him that he would be drowned. His whole attention was absorbed by his boats. He had formed an idea that one should outsail the others, and when this boat was foremost he was in delight; when any one of the others got beyond it, he howled with grief; and once I saw him throw his crutch at one of the unfavoured boats. The tide came in rapidly-he lost his crutches, and would have been drowned but for the care of some of the spectators: but he was wholly inattentive to anything save his boats. He is said to be quite insane and perfectly ungovernable, and will not live in a house, nor wear any clothes, and his whole life is spent in this one business-making and managing a fleet of wooden boats, of which he is sole admiral. How near this mad youth is to a genius, a hero, or to an angler, who injures his health and risks his life by going into the water as high as his middle, in the hope of catching a fish which he sees rise, though he already has a pannier full!
There is another pretty good passage in "Ninth Day"Scene-the Fall of the Traun, Upper Austria.
POIET.-I admire in this country not only the mode of preserving, carrying, and dressing fish, but I am delighted, generally, with the habits of life of the peasants, and with their manners. It is a country in which I should like to live; the scenery is so beautiful, the people so amiable and good-natured, and their attention to strangers so marked by courtesy and disinterestedness.
PHYS. They appear to me very amiable and good; but all classes seem little instructed.
POIET.-There are few philosophers amongst them, certainly; but they appear very happy, and
"Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise."
We have neither seen nor heard of any instances of crime since we have been here. They fear their God, love their sovereign, are obedient to the laws, and seem perfectly contented. I know you would contrast them with the active and educated peasantry of the manufacturing districts of England; but I believe they are much happier, and I am sure they are generally better.
PHYS.-I doubt this: the sphere of enjoyment, as well as of benevolence, is enlarged by education.
POIET.-I am sorry to say I think the system carried too far in England. God forbid that any useful light should be extinguished! Let persons who wish for education receive it; but it appears to me that, in the great cities in England, it is, as it were, forced upon the population, and that sciences, which the lower classes can only very superficially acquire, are presented to them; in consequence of which they often become idle and conceited, and above their usual laborious occupations. The unripe fruit of the tree of knowledge is, I believe, always bitter or sour; and scepticism and discontent-sickness of the mind-are often the results of devouring it.
HAL. Surely you cannot have a more religious, moral, or more improved population than that of Scotland?
POIET.-Precisely so. In Scotland, education is not forced upon the people it is sought for, and it is connected with their forms of faith, acquired in the bosoms of their families, and generally pursued with a distinct object of prudence or interest: nor is that kind of education wanting in this country.
PHYS.-Where a book is rarely seen, a newspaper never.
POIET.-Pardon me-there is not a cottage without a Prayer-Book; and I am not sorry that these innocent and happy men are not made active and tumultuous subjects of King Press, whom I consider as the most capricious, depraved, and unprincipled tyrant that ever existed in England. Depraved-for it is to be bought by great wealth; capricious -because it sometimes follows, and sometimes forms, the voice of the lowest mob; and unprincipled-because, when its interests are concerned, it sets at defiance private feeling and private character, and neither regards their virtue, dignity, or purity.
HAL-My friends, you are growing warm. I know you differ essentially on this subject; but surely you will allow that the full liberty of the press, even though it sometimes degenerates into licentiousness, and though it may sometimes be improperly used by the influence of wealth, power, or private favour, is yet highly advantageous, and even essential to the existence of a free country; and useful as it may be to
the population, it is still more useful to the government, to whom, as expressing the voice of the people, though not always vox Dei, it may be regarded as oracular or prophetic.-But let us change our conversation, which is neither in time nor place.
We have a million more remarks to make. But, Brethren of the Angle, farewell till next month, when we meditate having A DOUBLE Number.
CAST SECOND-TWADDLE ON TWEEDSIDE.
FAREWELL, O winter! gentlemanly Old Man; and hail, O Spring! most ladylike of Young Women! Frequent flirtation had there been for a month or two between Greybeard and Green Mantle, and at one time we thought it would have been a match. But mine ancient's heart failed on the very evening of the Sabbath, after publication of banns; he disappeared like "snaw aff a dyke," and 'tis rumoured that he has gone with Captain Back to the frozen regions, perhaps of the Pole. Lovely Spring, noways cast down, seemed to feel that she had made a narrow escape from hirpling Eld; and, if we do not greatly mistake the matter, she will, ere long, be leaning her ear "in many a secret place," to the soft solicitations of Summer, and yielding herself up with the usual sort of struggles to his blameless embraces. The marriage, we predict, will be celebrated on the first of June, for in Scotland 'tis reckoned unlucky to wed in May; and we, as Poet-Laureate of Cupid and Hymen, shall with our Flamingo write their Epithalamium.
Let us, for love of heaven and earth, get out of Edinburgh. Here, ever since November, have we been harbouring among houses, till we have almost hardened into stone and lime,into the part of Wall. Our system has got smokified; and, a queer fish at all times, you might take us now for a dried haddock. Our circulation, unlike that of Maga, is low and slow; was there ever such a pulse? one in the minute. Our eyes that have been likened to eagles' are more like oysters'; the roses on our lips are lilies; and our cheeks out-ochre a sick
dandelion. We shall not say whatever we may think-that our shanks are shrivelled; but we confess we do not relish these wrinkles in our hose; and it is not unalarming to observe that these shorts, always easy, are now wide, and assuming the appearance of petticoats. "This will never do." Let us, for love of heaven and earth, get out of Edinburgh.
Ha! we hear the phaeton. No dawn yet-but Peter is regular as clockwork-and at four-'tis striking in the lobby -the Set-out is at the door. Let us take a calker. Curse your coffee-at the best 'tis but birstled beans. But bruised barleycorn is Glenlivet. A few mouthfuls of bap-and-ham -never mind the steps-the crutch is our leaping-pole-all's right, Peter-canny on the causeway-but at the macadam let go the Tits-we give you four hours to do the distancethirty miles and a trifle—you may pull up for a minute to wet their mouth at Torsonce-and now for-CLOVENFORD.
The mornings are chill yet-and there is nothing like a close carriage. There is something exceedingly snug in this clever contrivance of a head. No phaeton had ever a more magnificent development. He is fit to be president of the phrenologists. These windows of his are eyes—and we are the spirit that looks through them-CHRISTOPHER THE FAR
There is surely snow. Smoothly as in a sleigh are we gliding along one way, and the trees another. If they keep on at that rate, they will be at the Tron Church before we are at Fushie Bridge. Dim is Dalkeith in the dawn; but the houses are beginning to bestir themselves, and by-and-by the old church-tower will be audibly counting his beads to the number of five, and looking out for the light from the sea. There is Arniston gate, with its elephants. One might imagine himself in India, about to beat up the quarters of some native Nabob.
We suspected as much. Ay, we have been taking a snooze -and 'tis broad morning. What is there to "prate of our whereabouts?" We have given the go-by to our excellent friend Mitchelson's beautiful woods of Middleton; and the mists are leaving Lammermoor. That hare ought ere now to have been at home on the hill-but you may bark and brastle as you choose, my worthy collie; pussie is but playing with you, and, carelessly altering her lazy limp into an easy gallop,