Sir Herbert Maxwell
Release Date: 01 October 2007
Format: Paperback / softback
MEMORIES OF THE MONTHS - second series -- PREFACE -- IT is probably a mere philological accident, devoid of moral significance, that, in the whole of the English version of the Old and New Testaments, there is not a single instance of the use of the substantives enjoyment and happiness. Frequent mention of joy and pleasure, but the first seems to verge too closely upon the boisterous, or at least the exuberant, and the other to have become tainted too grossly in human handling to express precisely the sensation stirred by weather fair or foul, by noble landscape, by the everyday operations of nature, and by communion, oral or literary, with higher intellects than our own. One derives pleasure from, and feels joy in, all such things, but they inspire something incapable of interpretation by either of these terms something which the French denote by bonheur, and me, in defiance of obvious etymology, by happiness. This mood of happiness is not to be separated from a sense of gratitude towards an object Inore or less definite, yet is so fleeting withal, that the mood and the sense are prone to pass away together and leave no trace upon memory. Not upon conscious memory, at least for it is believed that every experience sets an impression, indelible except by disease, upon the almost incalculably delicate machinery of reminiscence, and that such impression may be revived at will, provided the intelligence has not lost record of the precise tissue or ganglion in which it is stored. Some memories we constantly recall without conscious effort, familiarity rendering them easy of access others, deeply overlaid by later experience, have to be painfully sought for, or lie dormant till some chance-asentence spoken or a passage read--drives the blood along the delicate capillaries about their hiding-place. Curious that I never remembered that till now, you ejaculate, as some long forgotten scene or passage leaps to light, its outlines, even its details, scarcely dimmed by long immurement. Impressions of happiness or enjoyment seem to be more transient than those of distress or suffering. Few spirits are of such fibre that they can bear the legend of the sundial-HOTUS non a u h r o nisi serenus yet many a weary or anxious mind would derive refreshment from reflection upon the moments when it was agreeably employed upon small matters, did it but possess an easy clue through the labyrinth of retrospect. There is no such simple clue as written notes, not in the hazardous form of a regular journal-that is a far different affair-but more in that of a commonplacebook. Even that has the disadvantage of getting too bulky, not to mention the unhandiness of manuscript for reference. Therefore, a few years ago, I printed some pages from the notebooks of several seasons which met with a very indulgent reception from the public, notwithstanding that some of them had appeared already in newspapers. So many persons, both in this country and America, wrote to me in reference to Memories of the Months, that I am encouraged to hope that others, besides myself, may derive some recreation from a second series. HERBERT MAXWELL. MONREITH Se, ptember 1900. CONTENTS I. IS ANIMAL LIFE SACRED . 11. WILLIAM SCROPE . 111. SCIEKCE IN WANT OF A COMMON LANGUAGE . IV. PROTECTIVE COLORBTION . V. A NEW EAGLE . VI. THE SNOWDROP VII. GORSE AND GROMWELL . VIII. FROSTED HEATHER IX. THE BADGER . . .. X. MERCY IN FIELDSPORTS . XI. WINTEE NOTES . XII...
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