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The early part of the year 1841 was productive of some well - written papers.

The Foreign Quarterly Review' for January contained an account of the 'Memoirs of Varnhagen von Ense,' and its April number introduced Ludwig Uhland and his followers, grouped as “Suabian Poets,” to the reading public.

· Blackwood's Magazine' for February contained a review of the Memoirs of Baron Strombeck,' whose account of King Jerome Buonaparte's dramatic

appearance in Westphalia, as its satrap for Napoleon, was full of interest for the world of fifty years ago.

In August, John Blackie also contributed to ‘Maga' a notable article on the “ Traits and Tendencies of German Literature,”



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enlarging with point on the influence of the State upon the national mind.

For . Tait's Magazine' he continued the popular “Burschen Melodies," and wrote an article on

Protestantism, Puseyism, and Catholicism,” contributing to the Poet's Corner “The Emigrant's Song,” “To a Caged Eagle,” and “My Lady's Picture."

The routine of this year's spring was varied by an episode, sudden, tumultuous, and fleeting, which can scarcely be ignored. He fell violently in love with a lady whose identity the fragmentary indications of flashing eyes and imperious temper, with the solitary information that her name was Mary, cannot help us to discover. He met her once without speaking to her, a second time with five minutes' ordinary talk, and after, dreamt of her for two months together. Then came a fortunate Wednesday evening, when he was permitted to escort her home from a party, and when she graciously gave himn leave to call. This he was prompt to do, and his passion growing peremptory, he rashly proposed and was refused. In the deep dejection which followed he asked advice from his cousin Eliza Wyld. She gave him the best counsel that a girl could give, veiling her surprise in sympathetic interest. She pointed out to him that so sudden an offer


would startle and repel any woman whose affection was worth winning, and that he must give her time to become accustomed to his wooing. John was grateful for this advice, and adventured further addresses with more deliberation, finding in Mary's mother a friendly advocate of his suit. But late in July, when his Chair was won, and when his proposal was backed with professorial dignity, he returned to the charge in vain. Mary cared not for him, and for a day he was steeped in misery. Then he called at the house in Royal Terrace, where the Wylds were living, and found Eliza in the drawing-room arranging flowers. Her quick glance fathomed his condition, and she sat down beside him to listen to his story. Her sympathy for his disappointment was very genuine, although she was woman enough at once to resent Mary's coquetry, and to be glad that she had failed to recognise the worth of what she had refused. She said, “I feel so much for you, I feel all your sorrow.” John Blackie rose, took her hand, kissed it, and went away. But the memory of that consoling kiss pursued him. He went away healed of his grievous hurt. The soft hand of his gentle cousin had salved the wound and wiped away its remembrance. The infatuation, which had absorbed him for four months, lifted and left him free, with “a new song in his mouth.”



There can be no doubt that the upwelling of her heart in such full-flowing sympathy, neither stinted by petty reserves nor discoloured by resentment, filled his mind with the vision of her great womanliness, strong to purify and to heal. He left suddenly because the revulsion overwhelmed him; but the enchantress was cast out, and in her place was throned the image of the noble woman whom he set himself to win for his wife. He had made up his mind upon what grounds a man should marry. In a letter of this year, the subject being urgent, he wrote :

A pair of wise hands to keep your house in order ? no doubt; but I despise a man who will marry a woman merely or mainly to keep his house. I have made up my mind to marry for love and spiritual sympathy, or not at all.

The month of July came to a close with this episode. The squares and terraces of Edinburgh were emptying fast, and Mr and Mrs Wyld were on the eve of their departure for Gilston. John sent his cousin a gift of Wordsworth's Poems in six beautiful volumes. She was not to share the family removal, but had accepted an invitation to spend the month of August at Innerleithen with relatives who had both insight and sympathy. John Blackie was one of their favourites, and when he came to the manse at Innerleithen on an improvised visit to the minister there,—an old comrade, on whose hospitality he could rely,-they made him welcome to join the family diversions. But a great awe fell upon

him as he drew into closer companionship with Eliza Wyld. How could he hope that this stately creature, from whom his allegiance had swerved for a space, and who had withdrawn into the bastioned reserve where women guard their hearts, should condescend to him? In the humility of a great and reverent love he sought a woman's counsel. She bade him hope, and promised him an opportunity. One evening when he called he found Eliza at home alone, beguiling her solitude with a song, -for a melodious voice was one of her many gifts,—and without hazarding a commonplace greeting, which might dull the edge of his daring, he entreated her at once to be his wife.

Next day John Blackie wrote to Mr Wyld to ask him for his daughter, and the letter produced consternation at Gilston. The gift was curtly denied, and Eliza was bidden return to her family. She found father, mother, and brothers in arms against her engagement, and all September she bore much upbraiding. But she had given her heart and her promise both, and it did not occur to her that it was possible to recall her gifts. Her lover wrote to her constantly, and in a

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