We must now draw the spectator from the above-mentioned objects to a little piscatorial sportsman, who, apart from them, and in the retirement of his own thoughts upon worms, ground-bait, and catgut, lends his aid, together with a lively little amateur waterman, paddling about in a little boat, selfishly built to hold none other than himself—a hill rising in the middle ground, and two or three minor editions of the same towards the distance, carefully dotted with trees, after the fashion of a ready-made portable park from the toy depot in the Lowther Arcade—two bee-hives, a water-mill, some majestic smoke, something that looks like a skein of thread thrown over a mountain, and the memorable chiaro-scuro, form the interesting episodes of this glorious essay in the epic pastoral.
* * * * *
Observations on the Epic
Poem of Giles Scroggins and Molly
The fatal operation of the unavoidable, ever-impending, ruthless shears of the stern controller of human destiny, and curtailer of human life—the action by which
“Fate’s scissors cut Giles Scroggins’ thread,”
or rather the thread of Giles Scroggins’ life, at once and most completely establishes the wholesome moral as to the fearful uncertainty of all sublunary anticipations, and stands forth a beautiful beacon to warn the over-weaning “worldly wisemen” from their often too-fondly-cherished dreams of realising, by their own means and appliances, the darling projects of their ambitious hopes!
The immediate effect of the operation performed by Fate’s scissors, or rather by Fate herself—as she was the great and absolute disposer—to whom the implement employed was but a matter of fancy; for had Fate so chosen, a bucket, a bowie-knife, a brick-bat, a black cap, or a box of patent pills, might, as well as her destructive shears, have made a tenant for a yawning grave of doomed Giles Scroggins. We say, the immediate effect arising from this cutting cause was one in which both parties—the living bride and defunct bridegroom—were equally concerned, their lover’s co-partnership rendering each liable for the acts or accidents of the other; therefore as may be (and we think is) clearly established, under these circumstances,