« ForrigeFortsett »
Oh, walk with God, and thou shalt go
Hath reach'd to Zion's height!
Going into Christ Church Meadows, in company with several gownsmen, we soon joined a crowd of under-graduates, and others who were seeking the banks of the Isis. The rival boats were still far up the stream; but here we found their flags displayed upon a staff, one above the other, in the order of their respective merit at the last rowing-match. The flag of Wadham waved triumphant, and the brilliant colors of Balliol, Christ Church, Exeter, &c. fluttered scarce less proudly underneath. What an animated scene those walks and banks exhibited, as the numbers thickened, and the flaunting robes of the young academics began to be seen in dingy contrast with the gayer silks and streamers of the fair! Even town, as well as gown, had sent forth its representatives, and you would have said some mighty issue was about to be decided, had you heard their interchange of breathless query and reply. A distant gun announced that the boats had started, and crowds began to gather about a bridge in the neighboring fields, where it was certain they would soon be seen, in all the speed and spirit of the contest. Crossing the little river in a punt, and yielding to the enthusiasm which now filled the hearts and faces of all spectators, away I flew towards the bridge, and had scarcely gained it when the boats appeared,-Wadham still ahead, but hotly pressed by Balliol, which in turn was closely followed by the crews of divers other colleges, all pulling for dear life, while their friends, on either bank, ran at their side, shouting the most inspiriting outcries! The boats were of the sharpest and narrowest possible build, with out-rigged thole-pins for the oars. The rowers, in proper boat-dress, or rather undress, (closefitting flannel shirt and drawers,) were lashing the water with inimitable strokes, and "putting their back" into their sport, as if every man was indeed determined to do his duty. "Now, Wadham!" "Now, Balliol!" "Well pulled, Christ Church!" with deafening hurrahs and occasional peals of laughter, made the welkin ring again. I found myself running and shouting with the merriest of them. Several boats were but a few feet apart, and, stroke after stroke, not one gained upon another perceptibly. Where there was the least gain, it was astonishing to see the
pluck with which both winner and loser seemed to start afresh; while redoubled cries of "Now for it, Merton !" "Well done, Corpus!" and even "Go it, again!"-which I had supposed an Americanism,-were vociferated from the banks. All at once"a bump!" and the defeated boat fell aside, while the victors pressed on amid roars of applause. The chief interest, however, was, of course, concentrated about "Wadham," the leader, now evidently gained upon by "Balliol." It was indeed most exciting to watch the half-inch losses which the former was experiencing at every stroke. The goal was near; but the plucky Balliol crew was not to be distanced. A stroke or two of fresh animation and energy sends their bow an arm's-length forward. "Hurrah, Balliol!"—"Once more !"-" A bump !”—“ Hurrah-ah-ah !"—and a general cheer from all lungs, with hands waving and caps tossing, and every thing betokening the wildest excitement of spirits, closed the contest; while amid the uproar the string of flags came down from the tall staff, and soon went up again, with several transpositions of the showy colors,-Wadham's little streamer now fluttering paulo-post, but victorious Balliol flaunting proudly over all. It was growing dark; and it was surprising how speedily the crowd dispersed, and how soon all that frenzy of excitement had vanished like the bubbles on the river.
Impressions of England.
JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.
THIS distinguished poet and essayist, the son of Rev. Charles Lowell, D.D., for nearly fifty years pastor of the West Church, Boston, was born at Cambridge, Massachusetts, on the 22d of February, 1819. He was graduated at Harvard College in 1838, and, after studying law, opened an office in Boston. But he soon found the profession not congenial to his tastes; and, as he was not compelled by necessity to pursue it as a means of living, he returned to his books and trees at his father's residence, Elmwood, near Mount Auburn, determined on making literature his reliance for fame and fortune.
In 1841 appeared a collection of his poems, entitled A Year's Life, which gave great promise of future excellence. In 1843, in conjunction with his friend Robert Carter, he commenced the publication of a monthly magazine, called "The Pioneer;" but only three numbers were published. Soon after this, he was married to Miss Maria White, of Watertown,-a lady of a highly-cultivated mind, of congenial literary tastes, and adorned with every womanly grace and accomplishment. In 1844 appeared the Legend of Brittany, Prometheus, and Miscellaneous Poems and Sonnets, which secured the general consent to his admission into the company of men of genius. In 1845, he published his Conversations on some of the Old Poets; and in 1848, another volume of Poems; The Vision of Sir Launfal; and that unique and remarkable book, A Fable for Critics, containing por