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grave and thoughtful student, abstracted from all around, building up his day-dream of fame, fortune, and beauty, and then in love with the cunning coinage of his own brain; and the rich old merchant, not in love with any thing but still in raptures, for cotton has risen an eighth. On they pass, the whiskered Don, the sallow Italian, the bulky Englishman, and the spare Frenchman, all as eager (as a professed moralist might say,) in the pursuit of business and pleasure, as if enjoyment were perpetual and life eternal: and all this where, but a little while ago, the wolf made his lair, and the savage his dwelling-place. Verily, as a profound German philosopher acutely though cautiously observed "let a man live long enough, and it is probable he will see many changes,"
I had a dream, which was not all a dream.-Byron.
Modern philosophy, anon,
I HAVE a bilious friend, who is a great admirer and imitator of Lord Byron; that is, he affects misanthropy, masticates tobacco, has his shirts made without collars, calls himself a miserable man, and writes poetry with a glass of gin-and-water before him. His gin, though far from first-rate, is better than his poetry; the latter, indeed, being worse than that of many authors of the present day, and scarcely fit even for an album ; however, he does not think so, and makes a great quantity. At his lodgings, a few evenings ago, among other morbid productions, he read me one entitled “Steam," written in very
blank verse, and evidently modelled after the noble poet's
" Darkness," in which he takes a bird's-eye view of the world two or three centuries hence, describes things in general, and comes to a conclusion with,
Steam was the universe !" Whether it was the fumes arising from this piece of “written” vapor, or whether I had unconsciously imbibed more hollands than my temperate habits allow of, I cannot say, but I certainly retired to bed like Othello, "perplexed in the extreme." There was no "dreamless sleep" for me that night, and Queen Mab drove full gallop through every nook and cranny
my brain. Strange and fantastical visions floated before me, till at length came one with all the force and clearness of reality.
I thought I stood upon a gentle swell of ground, and looked down on the scene beneath me. a pleasant sight, and yet a stranger might have passed it by unheeded; but to me it was as the green spot in the desert, for there I recognised the haunts of my boyhood. There was the wild common on which I had so often scampered “frae mornin sun till dine," skirted by the old wood, through which the burn stole tinkling to the neighboring river. There was the little ivy-covered church with its modest spire and immoveable weathercock, and clustering around lay the village that I knew contained so many kind and loving hearts. All looked
just as it did on the summer morning when I left it, and went wandering over this weary world. To me the very trees possessed an individuality; the branches of the old oak (there was but one) seemed to nod familiarly towards me, the music of the rippling water fell pleasantly on my ear, and the passing breeze murmured of "home, sweet home.” The balmy air was laden with the hum of unseen insects, and filled with the fragrance of a thousand common herbs and flowers; and to my eyes the place looked prettier and pleasanter than any they have since rested on. As I gazed, the "womanish moisture" made dim my sight, and I felt that yearning of the heart which every man who has a soul feels let him go where he will, or reason how he will-on once more beholding the spot where the only pure, unsullied part of his existence passed away.-Suddenly the scene changed. The quiet, smiling village vanished, and a busy, crowded city occupied its place. The wood was gone, the brook dried up, and the common cut to pieces and covered with a kind of iron gangways. I looked upon the surrounding country, it could be called, where vegetable nature had ceased to exist. The neat, trim gardens, the verdant lawns and swelling uplands, the sweet-scented meadows and waving corn-fields were all swept
away, and fruit, and flowers, and herbage, appeared to be things uncared for and unknown. Houses and factories, and turnpikes and railroads, were scattered all around, and along the latter, as if propelled by some unseen, infernal power, monstrous machines flew with inconceivable swiftness. People were crowding and jostling each other on all sides. I mingled with them, but they were not like those I had formerly known-they walked, talked, and transacted business of all kinds with astonishing celerity. Every thing was done in a hurry; they eat, drank, and slept in a hurry; they danced, sung, and made love in a hurry; they married, died, and were buried in a hurry, and resurrection-men had them out of their graves before they well knew they were in them. Whatever was done, was done upon the high-pressure principle. No person stopped to speak to another in the street; but as they moved rapidly on their way, the men talked faster than the women do now, and the women talked twice as fast as ever. Many were bald, and on asking the reason, I was given to understand they had been great travelers, and that the rapidity of modern conveyances literally scalped those who journeyed much in them, sweeping whiskers, eye-brows, eye-lashes, in fact, every thing in any way moveable, from their faces. Animal life