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Against the glooming of the west
The grey hawk-ruins darken,
And hand in hand, half breast to breast,
Two lovers gaze and hearken.


FROM his sixth year, my brother Davie
manifested undeniable symptoms of the
divine afflatus, but it was not until fifteen
that he commenced his immortal poem, " The
Vengeance of Bernardo Caspiato." He was
a delicate, pretty, fair boy, with a spiritual
countenance, a noble brow, and abundance of
silky brown hair; quite the poet to look at,
and very like my dear mother, as we all
daily observed. It was expected that he
would cover the name of Cleverboots with a
halo of glory: unlike some families, we were
the first to believe in our hero, and the most
constant in our faith in his splendid future.
At the epoch referred to, Davie began to tie
his collar with a black ribbon, to wear his
white throat exposed, and his beautiful hair
very long; his appetite did not fail him in
private, but at our little réunions he always
partook of dry toast and strong green tea;
was very silent, abstracted, and averse to
men's society: the women petted him, and
called him " all soul." He was very kind-
hearted and sweet-tempered, and rather vain,
which was nothing more than natural, considering
how he was flattered.

He had a little room at the top of the
house which looked over the town to
Milverston mere, where the immortal poem was
commenced. I remember he began it on a
wet evening, and it opened dismally, with a
storm; he had me up there with my plain
sewing to listen to the first stanzas; and he
consulted me about one or two difficult
rhymes: lie was not sure whether " horror"
and " morrow " were correct. I thought not;
and, his birthday falling three days after, I
presented him with a rhyming dictionary.
Subsequently, the poem made rapid progress.

Cousin John had just gone up to London
to study law, and my father wished Davie to
be articled to Mr. Briggs, the solicitor at
Milverston. This did not chime in with his
taste at all; he stated that it was his wish to
follow the profession of letters. We did not
quite understand this at the time. Cousin
Jack said it meant that he wanted to be the
idle gentleman. I had my doubts on the
matter. Davie brought my mother over to
his way of thinking. " I shall be very poor,
but very happy, mother," he used to say ;
" if you put me to anything else, I shall be
miserable and do no good." So Davie got
his own way ; and, as a preparation for his
profession of letters, he stayed at home and
finished " Bernardo Caspiato." It was a
splendid work. I have wept over it often.
The heroine having been executed for witchcraft,
her lover, Bernardo, devotes his life to
avenge her ; and, after committing a
catalogue of murders, ends by disappearing
mysteriously in a flash of blue lightning to rejoin
her in heaven. My mother objected to the
morality of the conclusion; but she acknowledged
herself, at the same time, ignorant of
the laws and licence of poetry.

With this great work, and some minor
pieces of equal if not superior merit, my
brother Davie went up to London on foot,
with ten pounds in his pocket, and seventeen
years of experience on his head. Cousin Jack
had taken comfortable lodgings for him at a
small baker's shop, kept by a widow woman
with a daughter named Lucy. The dear lad
wrote us word that he was quite suited, and
that, after a few days to look about him, he
should carry his immortal poem to a
publisher. His hopes were sanguine; his visions
of fame magnificent.

To our surprise and grief, Bernardo
Caspiato was declined with thanks.
Nobody was inclined to publish it unless the
author would bear all the expenses.
Davie would not suffer my father to do
thishe would earn money for himself.
We wondered how he could do it; but Cousin
Jack lent him a hand, and somebody who
had something to do with a newspaper bought
his minor pieces. He lived, at all events, by
his own exertions. At this time, Lucy began
to figure in letters to me marked " private."
It would be impossible to give the whole
story as therein developed, but I will epitomise
it as afterwards heard from his own lips.

He fell enthusiastically in love with Lucy,
whose beauty he raved about as ethereal,
heavenly, unsophisticated: before I heard of
her at all he was evidently far gone in the
tender passion; and Lucy had listened so
often, and with such a graceful interest, to
his literary struggles, that he fancied he had
every reason to believe that his affection was
returned. One morning, however, all these
sunny hopes were rudely dispelled. He had
seen once or twice a young man of rustic
appearance in the shop, he had also known
him to take tea in the back parlour with
Mrs. Lawley and her daughter, without
attaching any significance to his visits. As
Davie sat at breakfast on this particular day,
this individual drove to the door in a gig, and
was pleasantly received by the landlady. He
wore quite a festal appearance, and for the
first time a suspicion entered Davie's mind
which changed quickly to a certainty. After
speaking to Mrs. Lawley for a minute or
two, the young man ran out to stop the
driver of a waggon loaded with sacks of
grain, and, while holding him in talk, the
poor poet from the up-stairs window took an
inventory, as it were, of his rival's personal
graces. He was of a very tall, straight, and
robust figure, with a broad, comely face,
ruddy complexion, and curly brown hair.
His voice was like the roll of an organ, and
his laugh the very heartiest of guffaws
altogether, a very proper man, as Davie, but

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