Personal Sketches of His Own Times, Volume 2 (Google Books)

THE LAST OF THE GERALDINES.

In the early part of my life the system of domestic government and family organisation was totally different from that at present in vogue. The patriarchal authority was then frequently exercised with a rigour which, in days of degenerate relaxation, has been converted into a fruitful subject for even dramatic ridicule. In Ireland the “rule of the patriarchs” has become nearly extinguished. New lights have shone Upon the rising generation; the “rights of women” have become a statute law of society; and the old wholesome Word obedience, by which all wives and children were formerly influenced, has been reversed, by prefacing it with the monosyllable dis.

“Everybody is acquainted,” said an intimate friend of mine to his wife in my presence, “with the ruinous state of obstinacy and contradiction raging in modern times among the subordinate members of families throughout the United Kingdom; as if the word united were applied to the empire only to satirise the disunited habits, manners, politics, religion, and morality of its population. There are,” continued he, “certain functions that must be exercised every day (two or three times a-day if possible) by persons of all descriptions, who do not wish to leave this world within a week at the very latest; but, unless on the absolute necessity of mastication for purposes of self-support, I am not aware of any other subject respecting which unanimity of opinion is even affected among the individuals of any family throughout the country.”

The wife nodded assent, but spake not; first, because she hated all controversy; and second, because though, on the subject of domestic supremacy, she was always sure of getting the worst of the argument, she contented herself with having, beyond doubt, the best of the practice.*

My friend’s observations were, I think, just. In my time the change has been excessive; and to enable my readers to form a better judgment of the matter, I will lay before them a few authentic anecdotes of rather antique dates.

In voL L I mentioned the illustrious exploits of my greataunt, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, of Moret Castle, and the heroic firmness wherewith she bore the afflicting view of my great-uncle Stephen, her husband, “dancing upon nothing” (as the Irish phrase it) at the castle-gate, immediately under the battlements; and though it is possible there may exist some modern ladies who might have sufficient self-possession to look on a similar object without evincing those signs of inconsolability natural to be expected on such an occasion, yet I will venture to say few are to be found who, like my aunt Elizabeth, would risk their lives and property rather than accept of a second husband. Nor do I believe that, since the patriarchal government has been revolutionised by the unnatural rebellion of wives and children, there has existed one lady—young, old, or middle-aged—in the three kingdoms, who could be persuaded to imitate the virtuous Gentoos, and voluntarily undergo conflagration with her departed lord and master.

My great-uncle had a son borne unto him by his magnanimous spouse, who was very young and in the castle at the time his father was corded {Hibemice). Elizabeth led him to the castletop, and showing him his dangling parent, cried, “See there!

* Mrs. Mary Morton of Ballyroan, a Very worthy domestic woman, told me many years since that she had but one way of ruling her husband, which, as it is rather a novel way, and may be of some use to my fair readers, I will mention in her own words.

“You know,” said Mrs. Morton, “that Tom is most horribly nice in his eating, and fancies that both abundant and good food is essential to his health. Now, when he has been out of temper with me, he is sure of having a very bad dinner; if he grumbles, 1 tell him that whenever he puts me into a twitter by his tantrums, I always forget to give the cook proper directions. This is sure,” added she, “of keeping him in good humour for a week at least!”

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you were born a Geraldine; the blood of that noble race is in you, my boy! See—see the sufferings of your own father! Never did a true Geraldine forgive an enemy! I perceive your little face gets flushed; you tremble; ay, ay, ’tis for revenge! Shall a Cahill live?”

“No, mother, no! when I’m able, I’ll kill them all! I’ll kill all the Cahills myself!” cried the lad, worked on by the fury of his respectable mother.

“That’s my dear boy!” said Elizabeth, kissing him fervently. “Shall one live?”

“No, mother, not one,” replied the youngster.

“Man, woman, or child?” pursued the heroine.

“Neither man, woman, nor child,” echoed her precocious son.

“You are a Geraldine,” repeated Elizabeth. “Call the priest,” added she, turning to a warder.

“He made a little too free, my lady mistress,” said the warder, “and is not very fitting for duty, saving your presence; but he’ll soon sleep it off.”

“Bring him up, nevertheless,” cried Elizabeth; “I command you to bring up his reverence.”

The priest was accordingly produced by Keeran Karry. “Father,” said the lady, “where’s your manual?”

“Where should it be,” answered the priest (rather sobered), “but where it always is, lady?” pulling, as he spake, a book out of a pocket in the waistband of his breeches, where (diminished and under the name of a. fob) more modern clergymen carry their watches.

“Now, your reverence,” said Elizabeth, “we’ll swear the young squire to revenge my poor Stephen, his father, on the Cahills, root and branch, as soon as he comes to manhood. Swear him!—swear him thrice!” exclaimed she.

The boy was duly sworn, and the manual reposited in the priest’s smallclothes.

“Now, take the boy down and duck him, head over heels, in the horse-pond!” cried his mother.

Young Fitzgerald roared lustily, but was nevertheless well soused, to make him remember his oath the better. This oath he repeated upon the same spot, while his mother lived, on every anniversary of his father’s murder; and it was said by the old tenants that “young Stephen,” though flourishing in more civilised times, religiously kept the vow as far as he could; and that, so soon as he came into possession of Moret, four of the ablest of the Cahills (by way of a beginning) were missed from the neighbourhood of Timahoe in one night, nobody ever discovering what had become of them,—indeed, the fewest words were considered far the safest.

The skeletons of four lusty fellows, however, were afterwards found in clearing out a pit in the Donane Colliery, and many persons said they had belonged to the four Cahills from Timahoe; but, as the colliers very sapiently observed, there being no particular marks whereby to distinguish the bones of a Cahill from those of any other “boy,” no one could properly identify them.

A bystander, who had been inspecting the relics, protested, on hearing this remark made, that he could swear to one of the skulls at least (which appeared to have been fractured and trepanned); and he gave a very good reason for this assertion— namely, that it was himself who had “cracked the skull of Ned Cahill at the fair of Dysart, with a walloper, and he knew the said skull ever after. It was between jest and earnest,” continued Jemmy Corcoran, “that I broke his head—all about a game-cock, and be d—d to it! and by the same token, I stood by in great grief at Maryborough, while Doctor Stapleton was twisting a round piece out of Ned Cahill’s skull, and laying a two-and-eight-penny-halfpenny* (beaten quite thin on the smith’s forge) over the hole, to cover his brains anyway. The devil a brain in his sconce but I could see plainly; and the said twoand-eight-penny-halfpenny stayed fast under his wig for many a year, till Ned pulled it off (bad luck to it!) to pay for drink

* An Irish silver half-crown piece, the difference of English and Irish currency.

VOL. n. 2 E

with myself at Timahoe. They said he was ever after a little cracked when in his liquor; and I’m right sorry for having art or part in that same fracture, for Ned was a good hoy, so he was, and nobody would strike him a stroke on the head at any rate after the two-and-cight-penny-halj”penny was pledged off his skull.”

Though Mr. Jemmy Corcoran was so confident as to the skull he had fractured, his testimony was not sufficient legally to identify a Cahill, and the four sets of bones heing quietly buried at Clapook, plenty of masses, etc., were said for an entire year by Father Cahill of Stradbally to get their souls clean out of purgatory; that is, if they were in it, which there was not a clergy in the place would lake on to say he was “sartain

en *

sure ot.

This Stephen Fitzgerald—who had killed the Cahills, sure enough, as became the time son and heir of the aforesaid Stephen, who was hanged—lived, as report went, plentifully and regularly at Moret. No better geutleman existed, the old people said, in the quiet way, after once he had put the four CahilLs into the coal-pit, as he promised his worthy mother Elizabeth, “the likes of whom Moret never saw before nor since, nor ever will while time is time, and longer too!”

Stephen had one son only, who is the principal subject of my present observations; and as he and his family (two lovely boys and two splendid girls) were not exactly the same sort of people commonly seen now-a-days, it may not be uninteresting to give my readers a picture of them.

* I recollect (at an interval of more than fifty years) Father Doran of Culrnaghbog, an excellent man, full of humour ami well informed, putting the tovl in the most comprehensible state of personification possible. He said the icvMi could not understand what the soul was by the old explanations.

“I tell you all, my flock,” said Father Doran, “there’s not a man, woman, or child among you that has not his soul this present minute shut up in lii^ body, waiting for the last judgment, according to his faith and actions. 1 tell you fairly, that if flesh could be seen through, like a glass window, you might see every one’s soul at the inside of his body peeping out through the rihs liki,’ the prisoners at the jail of Maryborough through their iron bars; anJ the moment the breath is out of a man or woman, the soul escapes and makes of I” be dealt with as it deserves, and that’s the truth: so say your beads and renumber your clergy ! “—(Aulltor’s note.)

Stephen, the son of Elizabeth, had been persuaded by Mr. John Lodge, an attorney of Bull Alley, in the city of Dublin (who married a maid-servant of my grandfather’s at Cullenagh), that the two-mile race-course of the Great Heath in Queen’s County, which King George pretended was ids property because it had been formerly taken from a papist Geraldine, now reverted to my great-uncle’s family, in consequence of their being Protestants; and Mr. Lodge added, that if Squire Stephen would make his son a counsellor, no doubt he would more aptly trace pedigrees, rights, titles, and attainders, and, in fine, get possession of several miles of the Great Heath, or of the race-course at any rate.

The advice was adopted, and Stephen the son was sent to the Temple in London to study law; and while there, was poisoned at a cook’s shop by the cook’s daughter because he would not marry her. This poisoning (though it was not fatal), he always said, stopped his growth like witchcraft.

The father died in his bed; and my uncle, Stephen the counsellor, became a double relative from marrying Catherine Byrne, daughter of Sir John Byrne, Bart., of Timahoe Castle, and sister to my grandmother, heretofore mentioned. After he had studied Bracton, Fleta, Littleton, the Year Books, the three Cokes, and in short the marrow of the English law, he used to say that he got on very well with the first book, not so well with the second, worse with the third; and at length found that the more he read, the more he was puzzled, knowing less when he left off than when he began—as all the law-books contradicted each other like the lawyers themselves: thus, after two years’ hard work, he gave up all further attempts to expound what he swore ‘fore God was utterly inexplicable. He also relinquished his father’s squabble with King George as to the race-course on the Great Heath; and, concentrating his search after knowledge upon one learned book, the Justice of Quorum’s PocIect Companion, commenced magistrate. He was likewise a horse-racer, country gourmand, tippler, and farmer. His wife, my aunt, was as .ordinary a gentlewoman “as may be seen of a summer’s day;” but then, she was worthy in proportion.

As to my uncle’s figure, nothing resembling it having ever been seen, at least by me, I cannot pretend to give any idea of it, save by an especial description. He was short (which he said was the effect of the poison), and as broad as long—appearing to grow the wrong way. He observed, touching this subject, that where there are materials for growth, if anything does not advance in height, it spreads out like a fir-tree* when the top shoot is broken off and it fills wide at the bottom. He was not actually fat, nor particularly bony: I think his bulk consisted of solid, substantial flesh. His face was neither extravagantly ugly, nor disproportioned to his body; but a double, or rather treble chin descended in layers very nearly to the pit of his stomach, whence his paunch abruptly stretched out, as if placed by Nature as a shelf for the chin to rest upon. His limbs each gained jn thickness what it wanted in length; so that it would seem impossible for him to be thrown down, or if he were, he would roll about like a ball His hands (as if Nature exhibited the contrast for amusement’s sake) were thin, white, and ladylike—so much so, indeed, that did he fall, they could not help him up again. “Each particular hair” was almost of the thickness of a goose-quill; his locks were queued behind, and combed about once or twice a-month. His nostrils were always crammed with snuff (now and then discharged, as from a mortar, by sneezing), and his chins were so well dusted and caked with that material, that the whole visage at times appeared as if it were a magazine thereof.

My uncle’s dress exactly matched his style of person: he

always wore a s/iw^coloured coat and breeches, with a scarlet waistcoat that had been once bound with lace (the strings whereof remained, like ruins in a landscape); blue worsted stockings, and immense silver shoe and knee buckles. His hat was very large, with a blunt cock in front. It had also once been fully laced; but no button had been seen on it since the year succeeding his nuptials.

* This idea was a standing joke with him for some time, till old Kit Julian, the retired exciseman (heretofore mentioned), made a hit at my uncle, which put his comparison to an end. “By my troth, then, Counsellor,” said Kit, “if you arc like a fir, it is not a ‘spruce fir’ anyhow.” This sarcasm cut my uncle in the raw; and it was said that he had an additional shaving-day and clean crmt every week afterward.— (Author’s note.)

The fruits of my uncle’s marriage were, as I have said, two boys and two girls. The eldest of these Geraldines, Tom, took to what ignorant doctors call poison—but country gentlemen, potation. My uncle declared he knew from his own experience that a “little learning was a dangerous thing;” and therefore thought it better that Tom should have none at all! Tom therefore studied nothing but “Cardan’s receipt for drinking!” The art of writing his own name came pretty readily; but his penmanship went no further. At twenty-six he quarrelled with a vicious horse, which was easily offended. The animal, on his master’s striking him with a whip, returned the blow with his hoof; and on Tom being taken to his chamber and examined, it was found that he had left the greater part of his brains in the stable.

Jack, his brother, was now heir-apparent. His figure was nearly as grotesque, but only half the size of his father’s; his eyes were of the most cautious description, one closely watching his nose, the other glancing quite outward, to see that no enemy approached. He loved liquor as well as Tom, but could not get down so much of it. Nevertheless, after a pretty long life, he was concluded by rather extravagant and too frequent doses of port and potteen.

I have already given some account of the castle of Moret as it formerly appeared. When I last saw it, some dozen of years back, it presented nothing remarkable save its ivy covering. The dwelling-house, which, as it stood in my uncle’s time, would have been worth detailing (had not every country gentleman’s mansion been of a similar genus), had declined into an ordinary residence. In Squire Stephen’s day it was low, long, dilapidated, dirty, old, and ugly—and had defied paint, plaster, and whitewash, for at least the better half of a century. The ham, court, dunghill, pigeon-house, horse-pond, piggery, and slaughter-house, formed, as usual, the chief prospects from the parlour-windows; and on hot days the effluvia were so exquisite, that one might clearly distinguish each several perfume.

My uncle never could contrive to stick on horseback, and therefore considered riding as a dangerous exercise for any gentleman. He used to say it was indeed one of his standing jokes, that jockeys and vulgar persons, being themselves leasts, might stick by virtue of mutual attraction upon their own species; but that ladies and gentlemen were, as a matter of course, always subject to tumble off. He bred and kept, notwithstanding, four or five race-horses, which he got regularly trained; and at every running upon the heath or curragh he entered such of them as were qualified by weight, etc.; yet, singularly enough, though the animals were well bred and well trained, not one, during the whole of the five-and-twenty years that he kept them, ever won a plate, prize, or race of any description; for .ill that he would never sell either for any price; and when they got too old to run any more, they were turned out to end their days unmolested in a marsh and the straw-yard. It was said by those competent to judge that some of these animals were excellent, but that Squire Fitzgerald’s old groom used to give trials, and to physic the horses, and that (through his people) they were bought off when there was a probability of their winning. However, my uncle, so that none of them were distanced, was just as well pleased, exhibiting not the least uneasiness at their failure. Indeed, he never attended any of the races personally, or betted a shilling upon the event of one—circumstances which remind me of a certain judge, who was always sufficiently gratified by a simple conviction and by passing sentence on a culprit, eventually saving more lives by pardon than any two of his colleagues.

I was very young when taken to my uncle’s for a stay of some months by my grandmother, but at an age when strong impressions are sometimes made upon the memory. I was a gTe.it

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Personal Sketches of His Own Times, Volume 2
By Sir Jonah Barrington

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favourite, and indulged in everything, even by my uncle; and very frequently afterward, while my aunt lived at Moret in her widowhood, I visited there, every visit reminding me of former times, and recalling persons and things that might otherwise have been lost to my juvenile recollection. This hitter was the period when, having nobody of my own age in the house to chatter to, I took delight in hearing the old people about Moret tell their long traditionary stories, which, as I observed in my first sketch (voL i.) descended from generation to generation with hereditary exactness; and, to the present day, I retain a fondness for hearing old occurrences detailed.

My eldest female cousin, Miss Dolly Fitzgerald, was at least twelve years older than I when I was first taken to Moret by my grandmother; the second, Miss Fanny, ten. Never, sure, did two sisters present such a contrast. Dolly was as like her father as rather more height and an uncommonly fair skin would permit; her tongue was too large for the mouth, and consequently thickened her pronunciation; her hair was yellow; her feet were like brackets, and her hands resembled milkwhite shoulders of mutton. Her features were good, but her nostrils and upper lip displayed considerable love of the favourite comforter of her father. She was very good natured, but ignorance personified.

Her sister was as thin as the handle of a sweeping-brash, and had dark eyes twinkling like stars on a vapoury evening, with yellow skin, black hair, a mouth literally stretching across the face (like a foss to protect her chin), very red lips, and much more vivacity than comprehension. There were few sound teeth in the whole family, and none that a dentist would think worth the expense of dressing.

For these two amiable young ladies it was the principal object of my aunt to procure husbands, if possible, in the neighbourhood . But the squires were shy of matching into the family of so great an oddity as my uncle. They preferred getting wives among people who went on the jog-trot of the world like themselves.

On this point my uncle and aunt entirely differed; and during the discussions as to their differences, time ran on, nothing was done for the ladies, and Miss Dolly was in her sixand-twentieth year before she was fully emancipated from the discipline of the nursery and suffered to dine at papa’s table. When that important period arrived, it was considered as a great epoch at Moret Castle; all the neighbours were invited, and Dolly’s majority was formally announced. She was then given to understand she might thereafter dine at the great table, speak to any gentleman she pleased, and, in short, have full liberty to act entirely as she thought proper, provided she always previously consulted her father’s will, and obeyed it without “questions asked.” She was likewise enjoined to take especial care not to forget her pastry*

On these free and happy terms, Dolly was to have the chariot for a day, and to set the world on fire. The old carriage was accordingly cleared for action from the dust accumulated upon it, the horses’ tails were trimmed, and the young lady was to go to the church of Portarlington the ensuing Sunday— “where,” said my uncle to his spouse, “‘fore Gad, Kate, our Dolly will catch some young fellow after the service is over, either in the aisle or the churchyard. She’ll have some proposals; but, ‘fore Gad, it’s not everybody I’d give her to.”

“Don’t be too sure, Stephen,” rejoined my aunt. “You keep your daughters as if they were haunches of vension. It’s not everybody who has a taste for meat that has been hung a fortnight in the larder to give it a flavour. The men, I tell you, like fresh and fresh, Stephen; and be assured you have kept Dolly too long to suit every man’s palate. I have always been telling you so, but you are perpetually saying you’ll be the head of your own family; so now you’ll see the end of it1”

* The Irish Indies in the country at that period were always taught the art of pie and dumpling making, as a necessary accomplishment; and a husband who bleed a good table always preferred a housekeeper to a gadder. Tanpom mulantur !—(Author’s note.)

The ladies seem to have vexed our author. There are no gadders now; the work of life keeps their noses to the grinding-stone.

“Why, Kate, you were a good while in the larder yourself at Timahoe before you got a husband,” replied my uncle.

“I may thank the smallpox for that, Stephen,” retorted my aunt: “only for that enemy I should never have been mistress of Moret Castle, Counsellor Stephen being governor of it!”

“Well, you’ll see that I am right,” said my uncle. “I tell you, men who look out for wives like a seasoned, obedient woman at the head of their families, and not your tittering, giddy young creatures that have not had time to settle their brains or mature their understandings. No girl should be away from the eye of her natural guardian till she arrives at the full extent of her twenty-sixth year, like Dolly. “You’ll see now she’ll do some mischief at the church or churchyard of Portarlington!”

“Stephen,” said my aunt (who, by-the-by, had her nose nearly stopped by the smallpox, which made her somewhat snuffle, and gave a peculiar emphasis to her vowels) ’tis too late! Dolly knows nothing of the world. It would take a full year at the church and balls at Portarlington, the races of the Great Heath and green of Maryborough, the hurlings at the fort of Dunnally, and a month or two on a visit to our nephew, Jack Barrington, at Blandsfort, before she would learn enough to be able to converse with mankind on any subject—except darning your stockings, or turning off a kitchen-maid.”

My uncle started as much as his form would admit; cocked his eyebrows, and stared with all his might. “Tore Gad, Kate, I believe you are out of your wits! Did you say Jack Barrington’s of Blandsfort? Jack Barrington’s! Why, you know very well, Kate, as everybody knows, that there’s nothing going on at that house but hunting and feasting; dancing all night, and rattling about all day like mad people; and coshering with raking pots of tea, hot cakes, syllabubs, pipers, and the devil knows what! No, no. If Dolly were to get one month among her cousins at Blandsfort, I should never see a day’s comfort after; topsy-turvy would go Moret! I’d never be master of my own house half-an-hour after Dolly had received a course of instruction at Jack Barrington’s. I don’t wish her to know too much of the world. No, no. Tore Gad, Kate, Dolly never puts her foot, while she is a spinster, into Jack Barrington’s house at Blandsfort.”

Folks generally become mulish as their years advance, and my uncle enjoyed that quality in its greatest perfection. The Misses Dolly and Fanny Fitzgerald were commanded, under the pain of displeasure, by their patriarchal father, Stephen, to abjure and give up all thoughts of the festivities of Blandsfort.

“‘Fore Gad, Kate!” said my uncle to their more conceding mother—” ‘Fore Gad, Kate, you had better send the girls a visiting to the antipodes than be turning them upside down at Blandsfort. No rational man would have anything to do with them afterwards. There it is only pull-haul and tear, and the devil take the hindmost!—eh?”

“And for Heaven’s sake, Stephen,” replied my aunt (who was no cosmographer), “what family are these antipodes whom you would send our daughters to visit in preference to their nearest relations ?—I never heard of them: they must be upstarts, Stephen. I thought I knew every family in the county.”

“‘Fore Gad, Kate!” rejoined my uncle, laughing heartily, “your father, old Sir John, ought to be tied to the cart’s tail for so neglecting your education. Why, Kate, the antipodes are at this moment standing on their heads immediately under you— upside down, just as you see a fly on the ceiling, without the danger of falling down from it.”

“And for Heaven’s sake, Stephen,” said my puzzled aunt, “how do the ladies keep down their petticoats in that position?”

“Ask Sir Isaac Newton that,” said my uncle, who was not prepared for that interrogation. “But let me hear no more of the topsy-turvy of their cousins at Blandsfort. I’ll send my daughters to church at Portarlington, Kate, where they cannot fail of being seen and much noticed.”

“And that may not be much in their favour at present, Stephen,” replied my aunt, who was not blind to her progeny— “at least until they are a little better rigged out than in their present nursery dresses, Stephen.”

“Rig away, rig away, Kate!” said my uncle, “rig away; you may make them as tawdry as jackdaws, so as you don’t turn their heads at Jack Barrington’s.”

In fine, they were made sufficiently glaring, and, accompanied by aunt in the resuscitated postchaise, made their first debut at the church of Portarlington. Of course they attracted universal notice. The ladies congratulated my aunt on her showy girls; the parson on their coming of age; and the innkeeper declared they were the most genteelest of all the new subscribers to his ball and supper at the market-house.

The ladies returned to Moret highly delighted with their cordial reception in the churchyard, and Mrs. Gregory, the head mantua-maker of the county, was immediately set to work to fit out the ladies in the newest taste of Dublin fashions, preparatory to the next ball.

Now, Portarlington had been a very small village in the Queen’s County until the French Protestant emigrants, on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, made a settlement there (it was said from the enormous quantity of fine frogs generated in that neighbourhood), and there they commenced schoolmasters and mistresses, with a good reputation, which they ceased not to keep up, until in time it became an established seminary. Here the numerous schools and academies were always ready to pour out their hobbledehoys and misses in their teens to the dances and assemblies; but very few mature gentlemen assisted at these coteries, and it was the customary prayer of all the young ladies going to those balls—” If I cannot get a man for a partner, 0 Heaven, in thy mercy, send me a big boy!”

Suffice it to say that my cousins, at the first ball, outglared all the females in the room put together; my aunt’s old rings and hereditary paraphernalia had been brought fully into requisition. But, unfortunately, Providence sent them that night neither a grown man-partner nor a big boy in the shape of a man-partner, and, after having sat as full-blown wall-flowers

the whole night, they returned to Moret highly discouraged that their rose-colour satin and family Dresdens, which cut all the other girls out of feather, had no better result than the going home again—my philosophical aunt telling them all the way home, “that balls were no places to catch husbands at, there was so much variety; and I assure you, Dolly,” said my aunt, “men, now-a-days, look more at a girl’s purse than her flounces, and you’ll have nothing very showy in that way whilst your father and mother are alive, Dolly.”

My poor cousin Dolly’s feet also, after three balls more (dead failures), got so crimped and cramped by tight shoes, to restrain her fat brackets within reasonable boundaries, that corns, bunions, callosities, etc., showed a plentiful harvest the ensuing summer, and, conspiring with her winter chilblains, and tortures to match, put my poor cousin’s jigging out of the question for the remainder of her existence.

My cousin Fanny, whose feet were only bone and gristle, made numerous exhibitions both in the minuet and rigadoon, and for the same purpose. But no wooers for the Miss Fitzgeralds of Moret Castle made their advances; not a sigh was exploded for either of the demoiselles, though the church, the balls, the races at the Great Heath, and hurlings at the fort of Dunnally, were all assiduously attended for the laudable purpose aforesaid. All in vain. And after a two years’ vigorous chase the game was entirely given over, and my cousins slunk back into cover, where, in all human probability, they would have remained during their hives, had not heaven sent down a putrid fever to bring my uncle Stephen up to it, as all the old ladies asserted, to please the widow, although old Julian, the exciseman, ungratefully remarked, that “there must have been a great number of vacancies in Heaven when they called up the counsellor there.” However, before her weeds got rusty, my aunt, shaking a loose leg, after having been forty years handcuffed and linked to Counsellor Stephen, set out with the entire family for the great city of Dublin, where, no doubt, the merits if not the beauty of my cousins, with a more proximate reversion, would be duly appreciated.

However, neither their merit nor beauty, nor the reversion, could exorcise the spirit of celibacy, which still pursued them from Moret. Jack, their brother, married a mantua-maker; and my poor uncle, not being a Mahomedan, and, of course, not having any houri in the clouds to solace his leisure hours, and finding himself lonesome without his old Kate, Providence again showed its kindness towards him, and sent down a pulmonary consumption to Dublin to carry my aunt up to her well-beloved Stephen. My unfortunate cousins were now left orphans, of only forty and forty-one years of age, to buffet with the cares of the world, and accept the brevet-rank of old maidens, which they certainly did with as much good-humour and as little chagrin as are generally exhibited on those occasions. Their incomes were ample for all their purposes, and they got on to the end of their career very comfortably. Dolly chose three lap-dogs and a parrot for her favourites, and Fanny adopted a squirrel and four tom-cats to chase away her ennui But those animals having a natural antipathy to each other, got into an eternal state of altercation and hostility, the parrot eternally screeching to make peace between them. So a maidservant, who understood the humour of poodles, cats, etc. etc., was hired to superintend and keep them in peace and proper order.

This maid of natural history got great ascendency; and, as she was what is termed in Ireland a swaddler, in England a canter or psalm-singer, she soon convinced my cousins that there was no certain road to salvation, save through the preachers and love-feasts of those societies. Of course a plate was laid ready for some lank pulpiteer at dinner, every day, and my cousins became thorough-paced swaddlers (singing excepted). But, as years would still roll on, and they could not be always swaddling, and saving their souls, some extra comfort was, as customary, found necessary for their languid hours. The maid of natural history therefore suggested that, as solid food and weak Bordeaux were not of the best efficacy for feeble appetites, which her mistresses were beginning to show symptoms of, a glass of cordial, now and then, in the morning, might restore the tone of their stomachs. Of consequence, a couple of liqueurbottles were prepared, and always properly replenished; the ladies found their liquid appetites daily increase: the preacher got the whole bottle of wine to himself; Lundyfoot’s most pungent was well crammed into my cousin’s nostrils, as an interlude, till snuffling was effected; and the matter went on as cheerily as possible between the dogs and cats, the preacher, snuff, and the cordial comforts, till an ill-natured dropsy, with tappings to match, sent my cousin Dolly to my uncle Stephen; and some other disorder having transmitted cousin Fanny the same journey to her mother, I anticipated very great satisfaction in opening the last will and testament of the survivor; whereupon, all things being regularly prepared, with an audible voice I read the first legacy, bequeathing ” her body to the dust, and her soul to God,” in most pious and pathetic expressions, and of considerable longitude. The second legacy ran: “Item—to my dear cousin, Jonah Barrington, I bequeath my mother’s wedding-ring and my father’s gold sleeve-buttons, as family keepsakes; also all my father’s books and papers of every description, except bonds, or any securities for money, or contracts ;” and so far looked favourable, till, casting my eye over the third legacy, to the wonder of the company I stopped short, and handing it cautiously to the swaddling preacher (who was present), begged he would be so kind as to read it himself. This office he coyly accepted, and performed it in a drawling whine, and with heavy sighs, that made everybody laugh, except myself. In fine, cousin Fanny, after her ” soul to God, and her body to the dust” (the latter of which legacies she could not possibly avoid), as to all her worldly substance, etc., bequeathed it ” to such charitaUc purposes as her maid Mary might think proper, by and with the spiritual advice and assistance of that holy man, Mr. Clarke. This pious philosopher never changed a muscle at his good fortune. The will, indeed, could be no surprise either to him or Mrs. Mary. With the aid of the orator’s brother, who was an attorney (and got snacks), they had prepared it according to their

own satisfaction; and cousin Fanny executed it one evening, after her cordial and prayers had their full operation ; and, in a few days more, her disorder put a conclusive termination to any possibility of revoking it.

This affair had its sequel exactly as any rational person might have anticipated. The preacher and Mrs. Mary, after a decent mourning, united their spiritual and temporal concerns, and became flesh of the flesh and bone of the bone; in which happy state of husband and wife (which happy state they had been in many months before the ceremony was thought necessary) they remained nearly two years, when his reverence, happening to light on a younger and handsomer swaddler and legatee, after beating Mrs. Mary almost to a jelly, embarked with his new proselyte for America, where, changing his name, curling his hair, colouring his eyebrows, etc. etc., he turned Quaker, and is at this moment, I have learned, in good repute at meeting, and solvency as a trader, in the city of Philadelphia.

The entire of my uncle Stephen’s library and manuscripts, with the exception of the year-books, Newcastle on the Manege, seven farriery and several cookery books, I gave to my friend, old Lundyfoot, to envelop his powder in; and most of my books being well impregnated, or rather populously inhabited, by divers minute and nearly impalpable maggots, probably added some poignancy to the sneezing qualities of his celebrated preparation.

I recollect a whimsical expression used by Davy Lander, an Irish counsellor, whom I brought with me to hear the will read. “By my soul, Barrington,” said Lander, “she was right enough in bequeathing her soul to God, out of hand, or the devil would certainly have taken it as heir-at-law! But I hope he has the reversion.”

That branch of the Geraldines is now entirely extinct, having ended with my cousin Fanny, the swaddler; and nothing now remains but the old castle, its celebrated ivy tree, St. Bridget’s stone, and my legends, to preserve even the recollection of Morct.

HANGING AN ATTORNEY BY ACCIDENT.

A Hanging-match of a very curious nature occurred a few days after the breaking out of the same rebellion in Dublin, and its relation will form an excellent companion to that of Lieutenant H ‘s mode of execution.

The attorney’s corps of yeomanry, horse and foot, were at that period little less than 800 or 900 strong; and I really believe it might, in an enemy’s country (or even in a remote district of its own), have passed for as fine a “pulk of Cossacks” as ever came from the banks of the Don or the Danube.

In Ireland, everything has its alias denomination; in the regular army, certain regiments are honoured by the titles of the “King’s own,” the “Queen’s own,” or the “Prince’s own,” etc. Many of the Irish yeomanry corps, in 1798, were indulged with similar distinctions; not indeed by the King himself, but by his majesty’s sovereign mob of Dublin. For example, the attorney’s regiment was christened, collectively, the “Devil’s own;” the infantry part of it, the Rifle Brigade; and the cavalry, the Chargers; the custom-house corps, Ccesar’s {scizer’s) army, etc etc. etc. The pre-eminent titles thus given to the attorneys, who are gentlemen by act of parliament, were devised by one Mr. Murry, a cheese and oilman in Great George Street, whose premises (as he deponed) were stormed one night by a patrol of that legal corps, and divers articles of the first quality—food and luxury, cheeses, hams, tongues, anchovies, Burton ale, and bottled porter, etc., were abstracted against his will therefrom, and feloniously conveyed into, and concealed in, the bodies, bowels, and intestines, of divers ravenous and thirsty attorneys, solicitors, and scriveners; and thereby conveyed beyond the reach or jurisdiction of any search-warrants, replevins, or other

favourite, and indulged in everything, even by my uncle; and very frequently afterward, while my aunt lived at Moret in her widowhood, I visited there, every visit reminding me of former times, and recalling persons and things that might otherwise have been lost to my juvenile recollection. This hitter was the period when, having nobody of my own age in the house to chatter to, I took delight in hearing the old people about Moret tell their long traditionary stories, which, as I observed in my first sketch (voL i.) descended from generation to generation with hereditary exactness; and, to the present day, I retain a fondness for hearing old occurrences detailed.

My eldest female cousin, Miss Dolly Fitzgerald, was at least twelve years older than I when I was first taken to Moret by my grandmother; the second, Miss Fanny, ten. Never, sure, did two sisters present such a contrast. Dolly was as like her father as rather more height and an uncommonly fair skin would permit; her tongue was too large for the mouth, and consequently thickened her pronunciation; her hair was yellow; her feet were like brackets, and her hands resembled milkwhite shoulders of mutton. Her features were good, but her nostrils and upper lip displayed considerable love of the favourite comforter of her father. She was very good natured, but ignorance personified.

Her sister was as thin as the handle of a sweeping-brash, and had dark eyes twinkling like stars on a vapoury evening, with yellow skin, black hair, a mouth literally stretching across the face (like a foss to protect her chin), very red lips, and much more vivacity than comprehension. There were few sound teeth in the whole family, and none that a dentist would think worth the expense of dressing.

For these two amiable young ladies it was the principal object of my aunt to procure husbands, if possible, in the neighbourhood . But the squires were shy of matching into the family of so great an oddity as my uncle. They preferred getting wives among people who went on the jog-trot of the world like themselves.

On this point my uncle and aunt entirely differed; and during the discussions as to their differences, time ran on, nothing was done for the ladies, and Miss Dolly was in her sixand-twentieth year before she was fully emancipated from the discipline of the nursery and suffered to dine at papa’s table. When that important period arrived, it was considered as a great epoch at Moret Castle; all the neighbours were invited, and Dolly’s majority was formally announced. She was then given to understand she might thereafter dine at the great table, speak to any gentleman she pleased, and, in short, have full liberty to act entirely as she thought proper, provided she always previously consulted her father’s will, and obeyed it without “questions asked.” She was likewise enjoined to take especial care not to forget her pastry*

On these free and happy terms, Dolly was to have the chariot for a day, and to set the world on fire. The old carriage was accordingly cleared for action from the dust accumulated upon it, the horses’ tails were trimmed, and the young lady was to go to the church of Portarlington the ensuing Sunday— “where,” said my uncle to his spouse, “‘fore Gad, Kate, our Dolly will catch some young fellow after the service is over, either in the aisle or the churchyard. She’ll have some proposals; but, ‘fore Gad, it’s not everybody I’d give her to.”

“Don’t be too sure, Stephen,” rejoined my aunt. “You keep your daughters as if they were haunches of vension. It’s not everybody who has a taste for meat that has been hung a fortnight in the larder to give it a flavour. The men, I tell you, like fresh and fresh, Stephen; and be assured you have kept Dolly too long to suit every man’s palate. I have always been telling you so, but you are perpetually saying you’ll be the head of your own family; so now you’ll see the end of it1”

* The Irish Indies in the country at that period were always taught the art of pie and dumpling making, as a necessary accomplishment; and a husband who bleed a good table always preferred a housekeeper to a gadder. Tanpom mulantur !—(Author’s note.)

The ladies seem to have vexed our author. There are no gadders now; the work of life keeps their noses to the grinding-stone.

“Why, Kate, you were a good while in the larder yourself at Timahoe before you got a husband,” replied my uncle.

“I may thank the smallpox for that, Stephen,” retorted my aunt: “only for that enemy I should never have been mistress of Moret Castle, Counsellor Stephen being governor of it!”

“Well, you’ll see that I am right,” said my uncle. “I tell you, men who look out for wives like a seasoned, obedient woman at the head of their families, and not your tittering, giddy young creatures that have not had time to settle their brains or mature their understandings. No girl should be away from the eye of her natural guardian till she arrives at the full extent of her twenty-sixth year, like Dolly. “You’ll see now she’ll do some mischief at the church or churchyard of Portarlington!”

“Stephen,” said my aunt (who, by-the-by, had her nose nearly stopped by the smallpox, which made her somewhat snuffle, and gave a peculiar emphasis to her vowels) ’tis too late! Dolly knows nothing of the world. It would take a full year at the church and balls at Portarlington, the races of the Great Heath and green of Maryborough, the hurlings at the fort of Dunnally, and a month or two on a visit to our nephew, Jack Barrington, at Blandsfort, before she would learn enough to be able to converse with mankind on any subject—except darning your stockings, or turning off a kitchen-maid.”

My uncle started as much as his form would admit; cocked his eyebrows, and stared with all his might. “Tore Gad, Kate, I believe you are out of your wits! Did you say Jack Barrington’s of Blandsfort? Jack Barrington’s! Why, you know very well, Kate, as everybody knows, that there’s nothing going on at that house but hunting and feasting; dancing all night, and rattling about all day like mad people; and coshering with raking pots of tea, hot cakes, syllabubs, pipers, and the devil knows what! No, no. If Dolly were to get one month among her cousins at Blandsfort, I should never see a day’s comfort after; topsy-turvy would go Moret! I’d never be master of my own house half-an-hour after Dolly had received a course of instruction at Jack Barrington’s. I don’t wish her to know too much of the world. No, no. Tore Gad, Kate, Dolly never puts her foot, while she is a spinster, into Jack Barrington’s house at Blandsfort.”

Folks generally become mulish as their years advance, and my uncle enjoyed that quality in its greatest perfection. The Misses Dolly and Fanny Fitzgerald were commanded, under the pain of displeasure, by their patriarchal father, Stephen, to abjure and give up all thoughts of the festivities of Blandsfort.

“‘Fore Gad, Kate!” said my uncle to their more conceding mother—” ‘Fore Gad, Kate, you had better send the girls a visiting to the antipodes than be turning them upside down at Blandsfort. No rational man would have anything to do with them afterwards. There it is only pull-haul and tear, and the devil take the hindmost!—eh?”

“And for Heaven’s sake, Stephen,” replied my aunt (who was no cosmographer), “what family are these antipodes whom you would send our daughters to visit in preference to their nearest relations ?—I never heard of them: they must be upstarts, Stephen. I thought I knew every family in the county.”

“‘Fore Gad, Kate!” rejoined my uncle, laughing heartily, “your father, old Sir John, ought to be tied to the cart’s tail for so neglecting your education. Why, Kate, the antipodes are at this moment standing on their heads immediately under you— upside down, just as you see a fly on the ceiling, without the danger of falling down from it.”

“And for Heaven’s sake, Stephen,” said my puzzled aunt, “how do the ladies keep down their petticoats in that position?”

“Ask Sir Isaac Newton that,” said my uncle, who was not prepared for that interrogation. “But let me hear no more of the topsy-turvy of their cousins at Blandsfort. I’ll send my daughters to church at Portarlington, Kate, where they cannot fail of being seen and much noticed.”

“And that may not be much in their favour at present, Stephen,” replied my aunt, who was not blind to her progeny— “at least until they are a little better rigged out than in their present nursery dresses, Stephen.”

“Rig away, rig away, Kate!” said my uncle, “rig away; you may make them as tawdry as jackdaws, so as you don’t turn their heads at Jack Barrington’s.”

In fine, they were made sufficiently glaring, and, accompanied by aunt in the resuscitated postchaise, made their first debut at the church of Portarlington. Of course they attracted universal notice. The ladies congratulated my aunt on her showy girls; the parson on their coming of age; and the innkeeper declared they were the most genteelest of all the new subscribers to his ball and supper at the market-house.

The ladies returned to Moret highly delighted with their cordial reception in the churchyard, and Mrs. Gregory, the head mantua-maker of the county, was immediately set to work to fit out the ladies in the newest taste of Dublin fashions, preparatory to the next ball.

Now, Portarlington had been a very small village in the Queen’s County until the French Protestant emigrants, on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, made a settlement there (it was said from the enormous quantity of fine frogs generated in that neighbourhood), and there they commenced schoolmasters and mistresses, with a good reputation, which they ceased not to keep up, until in time it became an established seminary. Here the numerous schools and academies were always ready to pour out their hobbledehoys and misses in their teens to the dances and assemblies; but very few mature gentlemen assisted at these coteries, and it was the customary prayer of all the young ladies going to those balls—” If I cannot get a man for a partner, 0 Heaven, in thy mercy, send me a big boy!”

Suffice it to say that my cousins, at the first ball, outglared all the females in the room put together; my aunt’s old rings and hereditary paraphernalia had been brought fully into requisition. But, unfortunately, Providence sent them that night neither a grown man-partner nor a big boy in the shape of a man-partner, and, after having sat as full-blown wall-flowers

the whole night, they returned to Moret highly discouraged that their rose-colour satin and family Dresdens, which cut all the other girls out of feather, had no better result than the going home again—my philosophical aunt telling them all the way home, “that balls were no places to catch husbands at, there was so much variety; and I assure you, Dolly,” said my aunt, “men, now-a-days, look more at a girl’s purse than her flounces, and you’ll have nothing very showy in that way whilst your father and mother are alive, Dolly.”

My poor cousin Dolly’s feet also, after three balls more (dead failures), got so crimped and cramped by tight shoes, to restrain her fat brackets within reasonable boundaries, that corns, bunions, callosities, etc., showed a plentiful harvest the ensuing summer, and, conspiring with her winter chilblains, and tortures to match, put my poor cousin’s jigging out of the question for the remainder of her existence.

My cousin Fanny, whose feet were only bone and gristle, made numerous exhibitions both in the minuet and rigadoon, and for the same purpose. But no wooers for the Miss Fitzgeralds of Moret Castle made their advances; not a sigh was exploded for either of the demoiselles, though the church, the balls, the races at the Great Heath, and hurlings at the fort of Dunnally, were all assiduously attended for the laudable purpose aforesaid. All in vain. And after a two years’ vigorous chase the game was entirely given over, and my cousins slunk back into cover, where, in all human probability, they would have remained during their hives, had not heaven sent down a putrid fever to bring my uncle Stephen up to it, as all the old ladies asserted, to please the widow, although old Julian, the exciseman, ungratefully remarked, that “there must have been a great number of vacancies in Heaven when they called up the counsellor there.” However, before her weeds got rusty, my aunt, shaking a loose leg, after having been forty years handcuffed and linked to Counsellor Stephen, set out with the entire family for the great city of Dublin, where, no doubt, the merits if not the beauty of my cousins, with a more proximate reversion, would be duly appreciated.

However, neither their merit nor beauty, nor the reversion, could exorcise the spirit of celibacy, which still pursued them from Moret. Jack, their brother, married a mantua-maker; and my poor uncle, not being a Mahomedan, and, of course, not having any houri in the clouds to solace his leisure hours, and finding himself lonesome without his old Kate, Providence again showed its kindness towards him, and sent down a pulmonary consumption to Dublin to carry my aunt up to her well-beloved Stephen. My unfortunate cousins were now left orphans, of only forty and forty-one years of age, to buffet with the cares of the world, and accept the brevet-rank of old maidens, which they certainly did with as much good-humour and as little chagrin as are generally exhibited on those occasions. Their incomes were ample for all their purposes, and they got on to the end of their career very comfortably. Dolly chose three lap-dogs and a parrot for her favourites, and Fanny adopted a squirrel and four tom-cats to chase away her ennui But those animals having a natural antipathy to each other, got into an eternal state of altercation and hostility, the parrot eternally screeching to make peace between them. So a maidservant, who understood the humour of poodles, cats, etc. etc., was hired to superintend and keep them in peace and proper order.

This maid of natural history got great ascendency; and, as she was what is termed in Ireland a swaddler, in England a canter or psalm-singer, she soon convinced my cousins that there was no certain road to salvation, save through the preachers and love-feasts of those societies. Of course a plate was laid ready for some lank pulpiteer at dinner, every day, and my cousins became thorough-paced swaddlers (singing excepted). But, as years would still roll on, and they could not be always swaddling, and saving their souls, some extra comfort was, as customary, found necessary for their languid hours. The maid of natural history therefore suggested that, as solid food and weak Bordeaux were not of the best efficacy for feeble appetites, which her mistresses were beginning to show symptoms of, a glass of cordial, now and then, in the morning, might restore the tone of their stomachs. Of consequence, a couple of liqueurbottles were prepared, and always properly replenished; the ladies found their liquid appetites daily increase: the preacher got the whole bottle of wine to himself; Lundyfoot’s most pungent was well crammed into my cousin’s nostrils, as an interlude, till snuffling was effected; and the matter went on as cheerily as possible between the dogs and cats, the preacher, snuff, and the cordial comforts, till an ill-natured dropsy, with tappings to match, sent my cousin Dolly to my uncle Stephen; and some other disorder having transmitted cousin Fanny the same journey to her mother, I anticipated very great satisfaction in opening the last will and testament of the survivor; whereupon, all things being regularly prepared, with an audible voice I read the first legacy, bequeathing ” her body to the dust, and her soul to God,” in most pious and pathetic expressions, and of considerable longitude. The second legacy ran: “Item—to my dear cousin, Jonah Barrington, I bequeath my mother’s wedding-ring and my father’s gold sleeve-buttons, as family keepsakes; also all my father’s books and papers of every description, except bonds, or any securities for money, or contracts ;” and so far looked favourable, till, casting my eye over the third legacy, to the wonder of the company I stopped short, and handing it cautiously to the swaddling preacher (who was present), begged he would be so kind as to read it himself. This office he coyly accepted, and performed it in a drawling whine, and with heavy sighs, that made everybody laugh, except myself. In fine, cousin Fanny, after her ” soul to God, and her body to the dust” (the latter of which legacies she could not possibly avoid), as to all her worldly substance, etc., bequeathed it ” to such charitaUc purposes as her maid Mary might think proper, by and with the spiritual advice and assistance of that holy man, Mr. Clarke. This pious philosopher never changed a muscle at his good fortune. The will, indeed, could be no surprise either to him or Mrs. Mary. With the aid of the orator’s brother, who was an attorney (and got snacks), they had prepared it according to their

own satisfaction; and cousin Fanny executed it one evening, after her cordial and prayers had their full operation ; and, in a few days more, her disorder put a conclusive termination to any possibility of revoking it.

This affair had its sequel exactly as any rational person might have anticipated. The preacher and Mrs. Mary, after a decent mourning, united their spiritual and temporal concerns, and became flesh of the flesh and bone of the bone; in which happy state of husband and wife (which happy state they had been in many months before the ceremony was thought necessary) they remained nearly two years, when his reverence, happening to light on a younger and handsomer swaddler and legatee, after beating Mrs. Mary almost to a jelly, embarked with his new proselyte for America, where, changing his name, curling his hair, colouring his eyebrows, etc. etc., he turned Quaker, and is at this moment, I have learned, in good repute at meeting, and solvency as a trader, in the city of Philadelphia.

The entire of my uncle Stephen’s library and manuscripts, with the exception of the year-books, Newcastle on the Manege, seven farriery and several cookery books, I gave to my friend, old Lundyfoot, to envelop his powder in; and most of my books being well impregnated, or rather populously inhabited, by divers minute and nearly impalpable maggots, probably added some poignancy to the sneezing qualities of his celebrated preparation.

I recollect a whimsical expression used by Davy Lander, an Irish counsellor, whom I brought with me to hear the will read. “By my soul, Barrington,” said Lander, “she was right enough in bequeathing her soul to God, out of hand, or the devil would certainly have taken it as heir-at-law! But I hope he has the reversion.”

That branch of the Geraldines is now entirely extinct, having ended with my cousin Fanny, the swaddler; and nothing now remains but the old castle, its celebrated ivy tree, St. Bridget’s stone, and my legends, to preserve even the recollection of Morct.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harper’s Magazine, Volume 37 (Google Books)

THE WOMAN’S KINGDOM:

A LOVE STORY. BY THE AUTHOR OF “JOHN HALIFAX, GENTLEMAN.”

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CHAPTER XXIV.

MAMMA, only lis “Please do, n

isten.

, mammy darling!” “Lovey! we’ll be so good.” “Children, will yon hold your tongues, und not speak more than three at a time? The dear old mother is perfectly deafened with you.”

Mrs. Stedman smiled at her eldest son—her “right hand,” as she often called him—her grave, kind, helpful Julius; but it being, as he said, quite impossible for her to hear herself speak just then, she only shook her head with a Burleigh-like solemnity, and waited till the outburst subsided.

She had all her young flock at home for the holidays, which, especially in winter, most mothers will recognize as a position not the easiest

in the world. Yet Edna was well fitted to be the mother of boys. Within her tiny feminine body lurked a spirit unconquerable even by the husband who adored her, and the sons who inherited their own from her. Bright, brave, active, decided, she had learned to hold her own in the midst of the most tumultuous stale of things, as she did this day. And however gently she might utter it, all knew and recognized that her yea was yea, und her nay nayNo one ever attempted to gainsay or dispute either.

There arc bad women—God have mercy on them! fallen angels, worse than any men—BJ whom lovers, husbands, sons, are led on to destruction: but almost worse than these arc wenk women, who have sufficient good in them t o make them half loved while they are wholly despised, by the men belonging to them. No*, whether Mrs. Sted man’s sons loved her or not, it was at once seen that they respected her; respected her as gentle, wise firmness is ever respected; and relied on her, as upon quiet strength, whether of man or woman, children always learn to rely.

Silence being restored, she said—

“No, boys; I am very sorry for you, but you can not go skating to-day. The ice is not thick enongh.”

“But, mamma, I saw ever so many on it when Bob and I took Coesar down to the Serpentine after breakfast.”

“You did not go on it yourselves?”

“Of course not. We promised, you know,” said Will, with an injured air, at which his mother patted him on the shoulder tenderly.

“That’s my good boy—my good boys, whom I can always rely on. It is hard for you, I allow that; and many harum-scarum fool-hardy lads may tell you your mother is a great coward—”

“No, no, no!” cried all the lads in chorus, and declared she was the “pluckiest” little mother that ever lived.

“Very well,” she answered, langhing; “I am glad you think so.” And then seriously, “No, boys, I hope I can bear inevitable risks, nor do I shrink from lawful dangers. Julius will have one of these days to take his turn at the fever hospital; Will may go in for a Civil Service examination, and be off to India; and Robert turn sheep farmer in Australia, as soon as his schooling is done. I’ll hinder none of you from risking life in doing your duty; but I will hinder you, so long as you are in my care, from throwing away your lives in any reckless mauner. A pleasant thing for papa and me if you went out this forenoon, and were bronght home at diuner-time—drowned!”

“Ju says I’m born to be hanged, and so I shall never be drowned,” observed Bob, dryly.

“Drowned,” repeated Will, meditatively. Will was the clever one of the family; always striking out new and brilliant ideas. “It would be a curious thing to try what drowning is like. People say it is the easiest death that any one can die—quite pleasant indeed. Mamma, did you ever know any body who was drowned?”

“Hush!” said the eldest brother, quick to notice the slightest shadow in his mother’s face. “You forget Uncle Julius was drowned.”

No more questions were asked. Thongh the children knew no particulars, they were well aware that over the life and death of this unknown uncle, their father’s only brother, hung a tender sad mystery, which made their mother grave whenever his name was mentioned; and their father sometimes looked at Will, who was thonght to resemble him—looked, and turned away with a sigh. And when sometimes, being deluded, as fathers delight to be, into telling tales of his own boyhood to his boys, these adventures chanced to include Uncle Julius, he would break off abruptly, and his hearty merriment changed into the saddest silence. Also ,

I the elders noticed that, except concerning those j boyish days, their father never spoke much of Uncle Julius. Whether the latter had done something “nanghty,” thongh nobody ever hinted at such a thing, or whether he had been very unhappy or very unfortunate, the lads could none of them satisfactorily decide, though they often held long arguments with one another on the subject. But one thing was quite clear— Uncle Julius must have been a remarkable person, and very deeply loved by both their parents.

So, being boys trained from babyhood in the sweet tact which springs from lovingness, they let Will’s malapropos remark pass by without comment, and hung round their mother caressingly till they bronght her back to her own bright self again.

“Yes,” she said, langhing, “you are very good boys, I own, thongh you do worry mamma pretty well sometimes.”

“Do we, darling? We’ll never do so anymore.”

“Oh no, not till the next time. There, there, you babies.”

And she resigned her little fur-slippered foot for the twins to cuddle—the rosy, fat, goodtempered twins, rolling about like Newfoundland puppies on the heurth-rng—laid one hand on Bob’s light curls, suffered Will to seize, the other, and leaned her head against the tall shoulder of her eldest son, who petted his mother just as if she had been a beautiful young lady. Thus “subdivided,” as she called it, Edna stood among her five sons; and any stranger observing her might have thonght she had never had a care. But such a perfect life is impossible; and the long gap of years that there was between Robert and the twins, together with one little curl—that, wrapped in silver paper, lay always at the bottom of the mother’s housekeeping purse—could have told a different tale.

However, this was her own secret, hidden in her heart. When with her children, she was as merry as any one of them all.

“Come now,” said she, “since you are such good boys, and give up cheerfully your pleasures, not because mother wishes it, but because it is right—:”

“And also because mother wishes it,” lovingly remarked Julius.

“Well, well, I accept it as such; and in return I’ll make you all a handsome present—of my whole afternoon.”

Here uprose a shout of delight, for every one knew that the most valuable gift their mother could bestow on them was her time, always so well’ filled up, and her bright, blithe, pleasant company.

“It is settled then, boys. Now decide. Where will you take me to? Only it should be soma nice warm place. Mother can not stand the cold quite as you boys do. You must remember she is not so yoting as she used to be.”

“She is—she is!” cried the sons in indignant love; and the eldest pressed her to his warm young breast almost with the tears in his eyes. That deep affection—almost a passion— which sometimes exists between an eldest son and his mother, was evidently very strong here.

“I know what place mamma would like best —next best to a run into the country, where, of course, we can’t go now—I propose the National Gallery.”

Which was rather good of Bob, who, of himself, did not care two-pence for pictures; and when the others seconded the motion, and it was carried unanimously, his mother smiled a special “Thank you” to him, which raised the lad’s spirits exceedingly.

It was a lively walk throngh the Christmas streets, bright with holly and evergreens, and resplendent with every luxury that the shops could offer to Christmas purchasers. But Edna’s boys bonght nothing, and asked for nothing. They and she looked at all these treasures with delighted but unenvious eyes. They had been bronght up as a poor man’s children, even as she was a poor man’s wife— educated from boyhood in that noble self-denial which scorns to crave for any thing which it can not justly have. There was less need for carefulness now, and every time the mother looked at them—the five jewels of her matron crown—she thanked God that they would never be dropped into the dust of poverty; that, humanly speaking, there would be enongh forthcoming, both money and influence, all of their father’s own righteous earning, to set them fairly afloat in the world—before William and she laid down their heads together in the quiet sleep after toil—of which she began to think perhaps a little more than she used to do, years ago.

Yet when the boys would stop her before tempting jewelers’ or linen-drapers’ shops, making her say what she liked best, Edna would answer to each boy’s questions as to what he should give her “when he got rich—”

“Nothing, my darling, nothing. I think your father and I are the richest people in all this world.”

And when she got into the National Gallery, and more than one person turned to look after her—the little mother with such a lot of tall boys—Mrs. Stedman carried her head more erect than usual, and a Cornelia-like conceitedness dimpled round her mouth. Then, she being slightly fatigued—she was not the very strongest little woman in the world—Julius settled her carefully in the most comfortable seat he could find, and left her there in the midst of the pre-Raphaelite saints and martyrs, and medieval Holy Families, to spend some quiet minutes in pleasures which thronghout her busy life had been so rare. For many of Edna’s special tastes, as well as her husband’s, had been of necessity smothered down. In the long uphill strnggle of their early married life luxuries had been impossible. During all the years when her little ones were young she had

read few books, scarcely seen a picture, and confined her country pleasures to watching the leaves bud and grow green and fall, jn Hyde Park or Kensington Gardens. It was rarely that the busy mother got even a few minutes’ rest like this to go back to the day-dreams of her youth—now fading away in the realities, sad or sweet, of her inaturer days.

She almost felt like a girl again, as after a brief rest she rose, and took leisurely the circuit of the room, where many an old familinr picture looked at her with ghostly eyes—pictures fixed on her memory during the days when Letty and Julius, she and William, used to haunt this place. The years between seemed to collapse into nothing, and for a moment or two she felt almost as she felt then—at the ontset of her life, in the tender dawn of her love: her heart full of hope that colored every thing rose-hue, and faith in God and man that never knew a cloud.

Well, that time had gone by for them all four. She and William were middle-aged parents now; Letty and Julius—poor Letty! poor Julius!—she hardly knew which to grieve over most, the living or the dead.

So had passed all these passing shows of mortal life, fleet as a shadow that departeth; and still the fair Saint Catherine stood beside her wheel, smiling her martyr’s smile, and Del Piombo’s ghostly Lazarus arose out of the dark sepulchre, and the numberless Madounas who used to thrill Edna’s heart with an exquisite foreboding of what mother-bliss must be, sat, calm as ever, holding their Divine children in their arms—always children, who never grew up, never died. And Edna thonght of her own little lost baby—her one girl-baby of three months old—and tried to fancy how she looked now, perhaps not unlike these. Continually, among all her living children—her perpetual daily blessings—came the memory of this one, a blessing too, as our dead should always be to us, more and more perhaps the older we grow, since they bridge over the gulf between us and the world unseen. Edna was not the less a happy and a cheerful mother, that besides all these breathing, langhing, loving children, she had still another child—a little silent angel, waiting for her in the celestial land.

While she was thinking of these things in her own peaceful way, and enjoying the old delicious atmosphere of beauty and grace, which had been the fairy-land of her youth, her boy Robert, after romping about, tormenting alternately his two elders and the twins, came back to her.

” Mamma,” said he, in a loud whisper,” there’s a very grand lady staring at yon, and has been for ever so long. She looks as if she wanted to speak to you, but couldn’t make up her mind. Do you know her?”

Edna looked round. No mistaking the stately figure, the sweeping satin robes.

“Yes, I know her,” blushing while she spoke, and startled at the difficulty of explaining to

her boy that it was her own flesh and blood sister, as near to her as Julius or Will to him, who thus met her, looked, and—would she pass by? “I know her, Robert, but do not let us turn that way. She has seen me; she can come and speak to me if she chooses. It is your aunt, Mrs. Vanderdecken.”

“Oh!” said Bob, with difficulty repressing a whistle. “What a stuuning woman she is! But why doesn’t she come and speak to you, mamma—”

“Hush, she is coming.”

She came, slow and stately, and held out her hand with a patronizing air.

“You here, Edna? I thonght you never went any where.”

“Oh yes, I do sometimes, when my children carry me off with them. And you—who would have expected to find you here?”

“I came with my little girl. She is learning drawing under a celebrated artist—a lady artist of course, who Brings her here once a week or so to study the old masters. I leave them to go round together while I sit still. I don’t care for pictures.” Edna was silent.

“Besides, I am rather glad to give the child something to amuse her, for she has been rather mopy of late.”

“Not ill, I hope?”

“Oh no, only cross. Do your children never take sullen or obstinate fits, Edna? and how do you contrive to manage them? I wish you could teach me how to manage mine,” and Mrs. Vanderdecken sighed.

While speaking her distantly polite mauner had changed into a sort of querulous appeal— Letty’s old helplessness and habit of leaning upon every body, especially her sister. She made room for Mrs. Stedman beside her with something of a sisterly air.

Now Edna and her husband, without much speaking, had tacitly made up their minds on the subject of the Vanderdeckens. They both felt that ties of blood, so far as the duty of showing kindness goes, are never abrogated— but intimacy is a different thing. To keep up a show of respect where none exists—of love when it has been long killed dead—is the merest folly, or worst, falsehood. The doctor’s wife had not an atom of pride in her, and the condescending airs of her magnificent sister fell upon her perfectly harmless, almost uuperceived, but Letty’s total ignoring of the past, and meeting her, both on the two former occasions and to-day, as indifferently as if she were a common acquaintance, was such a mockery of kinship that she who had believed in flesh and blood ties with the passionate fervor of all loving hearts—until they are forced into disbelief—drew back within herself, utterly repelled and wounded—until she heard that sigh. Then she said, kindly—

“Letty, if I can help or advise you I would gladly do it. I have been a mother so many years now.”

“Ah, yes. How many children have you? I quite forget. But they are all boys. Now, I do think one girl is more trouble than half a dozen boys; at least, if she is such a self-willed little puss as mine. I often tell Gertrude I wish when she was a baby I had broken that obstinate will of hers.”

“Don’t say so,” replied Edna, earnestly. “I like my children to have a will of their own. I would never break it—only guide it.”

“But do they obey you? Are they at all afraid of you? Gertrude is not one bit afraid of me.”

“Children that obey from fear mostly turn out cither hypocrites or cowards. We rule ours by the pure sense of right. God’s will, which we try to teach them, is the real will to be obeyed, far beyond either their father’s or mine.”

“Ah, I can’t understand you—I never could. But Edna”—falling into the confidential tone of old days—” what would you do if one of your children had formed an acquaintance which you objected to, thongh you could not absolutely forbid it, and let you argue as you might with them they wouldn’t give it up?”

“Robert,” whispered his mother, “run back and stay with your brothers for a little. I want to talk to your aunt.”

And Robert, thongh dying with curiosity, obeyed.

“There, your boy obeys you in a minute, Edna. Now I might reason with my girl for an hour on the subject of that horrid old soldier. But I will just tell you the whole matter.”

She drew closer to Mrs. Stedman, and in vexed and injured tones explained, in her own lengthy and contradictory fashion, how Gertrude had made acquaintance with some poor invalided soldier who lived in the village, had taken a great fancy to him, and now that he was laid up ill at his lodgings wanted to go and see him. When refused, she had sulked and fretted till she made herself quite ill.

“The child must have a tender heart,” remarked Edna.

“Of course she has, and I’m sure I encourage it as much as possible. In her position she will have to be very charitable, so I always take her with me on district visiting, and put her name down below my own in subscription lists. But this is quite another matter. I told her I would give the poor man money, or send him his diuner every day, but as to her going to see him, it was quite impossible. Why, he lodges at a small public house.”

“Is he a bad man, or a man of low character?”

“How can I say? soldiers often are. But to tell the plain truth”—the plain truth generally came out at the tail end of Mrs. Vanderdecken’s confidences—”I don’t like to say too much against him, for he certainly once saved the child’s life—pulled her from under a railway train; and thongh I must own he has taken no advantage of this as yet, I mean in extorting money, still he might do so, and that would make Mr. Vanderdecken so angry.” “Indeed! but you, I should have thought—” “Ah, Edna, one isn’t always a rich woman because one is married to a rich man. I have every thing I want—can run up bills to any amount, but—would you believe it?—I rarely have a sovereign in my pocket to do what I like with. Not that I think Mr. Vanderdecken means to be unkind; it’s just his way; the way of all men, I suppose.”

[graphic][merged small]
“Not all,” said Edna, and thought of her own open-handed Will, who trusted her with every thing; who, like herself, never wantonly wasted a penny, and therefore had always an honest pound to spare for those that needed. And she looked with actual pity at her sister— so wealthy, yet so helplessly poor. “Yes, I can see yours is not an easy position. But does the child still fret? What does her father say?”

“Oh, he knows nothing at all about it. We never tell papa any thing. At least,” noticing Edna’s intense surprise, “we are obliged

to be very careful what we tell him. You see, Edna, my marriage is not exactly like yours. I being so very much younger than Mr. Vanderdecken, and perhaps—well, perhaps a little more taking in my appearance,” she smiled complacently, “he is apt to be just a bit jealous. He can not bear the least reference to my old ties, which accounts for my not seeing as much of you, dear, as I might do.”

“1 understand,” replied Edna, gravely.

“And to tell the whole truth,” it was dropping out bit by bit, “if I were to say to him that that poor soldier came from Calcutta. as Gertrude informs me he did, my husband, who has never forgotten the—the rather peculiar circumstances of my marriage, would be quite furious. It’s natural perhaps, but,” with a martyr-like sigh, “of course it is a little awkward for me.”

“A little awkward!” Edna Stedman turned upon her sister full, steady, indignant eyes. “A little awkward!” she repeated, and stopped.

And this was all that remained of the past; the terrible tragedy which even yet she and her husband could hardly bear to speak of; the agony of suspense which had darkened their life for months and years, until it was ended by receiving chance evidence which convinced them that Julius was not lost, but dead. His story was brief enough. On coming down to meet his betrothed at the ship, and finding her gone—she having quitted it at the Cape of Good Hope to be married to Mr. Vauderdecken—he had suddenly disappeared.

Disappeared totally, leaving his lodgings just as they were—and lying on the table, in an envelope addressed to Messrs. Marchmont and Co., a brief holograph will, bequeathing every thing he had to his brother, adding, “that he would never be heard of more.”

He never was. At first it was thought he might have committed suicide—gone voluntarily to face his Maker nnd ask Him the neveranswered question of so many miserable lives; but when the news was communicated to Dr. Stedman, ho refused to believe this. He thought rather that a fit of frantic despair had induced his brother to run away, so as to lose himself and his own identity for the time. So he instituted wide inquiries, and inserted advertisements in newspapers half over the world. But in vain.

At last Julius’s Indian servant brought to the office of Marchmont and Co. an old coat of his master’s, and a pocket-book, in which was written “Julius Stedman.” Both these he said he had got from an English sailor, who took them from a drowned “body,” quite uurecognizable, that had floated past his boat, down the Hoogly, three years before. How far the story was true could never be proved, but, in default of all other evidence, it was at last accepted and believed.

So that was the end. After another year’s clinging to desperate hope, the will was proved, the family put on mourning; and now for more than twelve years Julius Stedman had been numbered among the dead.

How much of all this Letty knew, Edna could not say. She herself having told her only the final fact in a letter which was never answered. Yet when she looked at her sister and remembered Julius, whom she had so often watched sauntering about these very rooms with his beloved on his arm, Mrs. Stedman thought, had Letty forgotten? Was it possible she could forget?

“Gertrude, you stupid child, don’t you see how you are trampling on my dress?”

The peevish tone, the entire absorption in this small annoyance of her little girl’s rough but affectionate ways—yes, Letty had forgotten! All that fearful history of a ruined life— ruined, by whose doing ?—was regarded by her ns “a little awkward,” nothing more.

But it was useless to speak, or to feel, in the matter; indeed Edna was incapable of a word. She only drew her little niece to her side and caressed her, in that lingering loving way with which she always looked at little girls now. And then lifting up her eyes, she saw entering

| the room, and glancing eagerly round in search of her, her husband.

“I had actually a spare hour this afternoon, Edna, so I thought I would follow you. Nurse told me where you were gone. ‘ I found the boys at once. Now lads, off with you home, for it is growing dark. Mamma and I will just idle about for a little and drive home together.”

And Dr. Stedman sat down beside his Edna with the air of n man who, after neorly a score of married years, still enjoys a stolen half hour of his wife’s company, and thinks her society the pleasantest in the world. The lady sitting on her other side he never noticed at all. « Now Edna knew her husband well; his strong, faithful, tender heart, which yet, under all its tenderness, had a keen sense of right and wrong, honor and dishonor, that no warmth of friendship or nearness of blood could ever set aside. She was well aware how he felt regarding Letty, and dreaded, with a kind of sick dismay, any meeting between them. But there was no alternative; it must take place.

“William,” she said, touching his hand, “this is my sister. You did not recognize her, I see.”

The blood rushed all over Dr. Stedman’s face, and he stepped back a moment with uncontrollable repugnance. Then he seemed to remember that at least they were a man and a woman—a gentleman and a ladv. He bowed, courteously, and when Letty offered him her hand he did not refuse it.

“I hope your husband is well? Is this your daughter?”

“Yes. Gertrude, shake hands with Dr. Stedman. She is a little like Edna, is she not?”

“Oh no,” he replied, hastily; “oh no!”

And this was all that passed.

For a minute or two more the three stood together, as they had stood so often on this very floor;—with a fourth, who was now— where? They must have thought of him, they could not but have done so, yet none of them gave the least sign. Alas, if we were all to speak out loud concerning these ghostly memories that rise up at many a festive board, or walk beside us with soundless feet down many a noisy street, what good would it be? Better keep a decent silence, and go on patiently between the two awful companies, which are ever surrounding us—the seen and the unseen—the living and the dead.

Though all preserved their composure, the position was so painful that even Mrs. Vanderdecken perceived she had better end it.

“I must go now,” she said. “Dr. Stedman, would you allow one of your boys to call up my carriage?”

“I will see you myself to it, Mrs. Vanderdecken.”

Coldly but courteonsly he offered her his arm, and they went descending the staircase together.

Edna, hardly knowing what she was about, so like a dream did it all seem, wandered mechanically on, looking at the mute pictures round her, chiefly portraits of dead men and women, on whose faces were strange histories —the equal histories of living men and women now.

Preoccupied as she was, she involuntarilystopped at one—Andrea Del Sarto’s portrait of himself. Robert Browning must have had it in his mind when he painted that wonderful word-picture of Del Sarto and his wife, “his beautiful Lucrezia, whom he loved.” All that sad story is plainly foreshadowed in the face —full of a man’s passion and a woman’s sensitiveness, perhaps also a woman’s weakness, which looks out from the centuries-old canvas; a face, typical of the artist-nature, in all ages :* often, too, foreboding the artist’s fate.

While looking, and moralizing over it, Edna suddenly recognized why the portrait had struck her with a strange familiarity. It was almost as like him as if it had been painted from him —poor lost Julius!

She stood absorbed, for it seemed to speak to her with its sad soft eyes, out of the depths of years, when she felt a hand on her shoulder, and turned round to her husband.

“Edna, what were you looking at?”

“That head. Don’t you see the strong resemblance?”

Dr. Stedman, less imaginative than his wife, might have passed it by, but the emotion in her countenance guided him at once. He too saw, as if it had risen up out of the grave, not Del Sarto’s face, but his dead brother’s, full of genius, life, and hope, whereon was no possible foreboding of the fate to come—a fate from which neither brother nor sister could save him.

Cain’s appeal, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” thongh uttered by a murderer, is not wholly untrue or unjust. Beyond a certain point no human being can help or save another. We think we can; we are strong and fearless, till tanght in many a bitter and humbling way that we are poor and blind, weak and miserable, and that in God’s hands alone are the spirits of all flesh, their guidance and their destinies.

But this is a hard lesson to learn. Edna saw, as she had seen many a time before daring those heavy years when her husband went mourning for his brother—ay, at times even amidst the happiness of his most happy home —the sharp pain amounting almost to self-reproach, as if surely something had been left undone, or done unwisely, by him, or Julius’s career would never have ended thus, in a grief the mystery of which was ten times worse than that of ordinary death.

She answered, as she sometimes ventured to do, the unspoken thonghts which by long experience she had learned to trace in William’s mind, almost as accurately as if they were in her own.

“Nay, dearest, you must not grieve. You could not help it—nor I. It was not our doing, and he is at rest now.”

“Yes, he is at rest. But—she?”

Will spoke beneath his breath—fiercely too—

so that his wife knew well enongh how much, for her sake, he had suppressed during the last half hour. Nor could she deny the truth— which he felt, thongh he did not utter it—that if ever a man’s life was wasted and destroyed, it was that of poor Julius; and it had been Letty’s doing. And yet—and yet—oh, if God reckoned up against us, not only the evil that we meant to do, but that which we have been either carelessly or foolishly instrumental in doing, where should any of us stand?

“Forgive her!” implored Edna, as some such thought as this passed throngh her mind —she, the mother of five children, who had all these young hearts in her hand, as it were, and knew not how in the unseen years to come they might be siuned against or siuning—needing from others the pity or pardon which their mother was not there to show. “Husband—forgive her! I think even Julius would do it, now.”

“I’ll try.”

Dr. Stedman pressed his wife’s arm close to him and abruptly turned away.

For a little while longer they wandered about the rooms, talking of indifferent topies, for Edna knew that there are some things too sore to be spoken much about, even between husband and wife: until the rare comfort of an idle hour together soothed them both, and made them feel, as married people do—that all trouble is bearable so long as each is left to the other. Perhaps even after then—for such love is not a mortal but an immortal possession.

Then they descended, arm in arm, to where, in the chilly dark of Trafalgar Square, the doctor’s comfortable brongham was waiting.

“I am glad I have a warm cozy carriage to put my darling into now,” said William, as he wrapped her well up, and stepping in beside her, took her hand with lover-like tenderness.

Edna langhed—almost the langh of her girlhood—to hide the fact of two big tears which came now as quickly to her eyes as they used to do then.

“Will, you are so conceited;” and then leaning against his shoulder—creeping as close to him as the propriety of Pall Mall allowed, she whispered, “Oh, how happy we are—what a blessed life has been given to us—God make us thankful for it all!”

CHAPTER XXV.

Gertrude missed and fretted after her friend the soldier for many days. He and his stories had taken firm hold of her imagination, and his feebleness and sickliness, together with the fact of his having saved her life, had made a strong impression upon her fond little heart.

Being questioned, she had told her mother, as she always did when catechised, every thing she was asked: so Mrs. Vanderdecken now knew all particulars regarding John Stone that were known to Gertrude herself. But this

roused in her shallow and self-absorbed mind no suspicion beyond an uneasy feeling that her daughter’s propensity for “low” society—gardeners, keepers, and the common people generally—must be stopped, and that this was a good opportunity for doing it. So having ascertained, in a roundabout way, that Stone was still lying ill at the “Goat and Compasses”—though not dying, or likely immediately to die—she communicated these facts to Gertrude, and promised, in the half-and-half way in which the weak mother often pacified the strong-willed child, to send and inquire for him every day—in return exacting a promise that Gertrude would on no account demean herself by going personally to see him.

This precaution taken, the lady left the whole matter to chance, and troubled herself no more about it: Letitia Vanderdecken being, like Letty Kenderdine, one of the many people who never shut the stable-door until the steed is stolen.

But one luckless day, when she rolled away in her splendid carriage for a three hours’ drive, her little daughter having contrived to get rid of Nurse, went roaming the park in weary longing for something to do, somebody to play with —a permanent want with the rich man’s daughter. At last, in a sort of despair, poor little Miss Vanderdecken was driven to perch herself, like any common child, on the stile which divided Holywell Park from the furzy moor, where she could watch, and envy not a little, the groups of common children who, just turned out of the school-house, were disporting themselves there.

It was one of those soft days, mild as spring, which had followed the breaking up of the frost, and the January sunshine, pale but sweet, slanted across the moorland like a sick man’s smile. Crawling along like a fly upon a wall, and like herself, idly watching the school children, Gertrude perceived her friend John Stone.

Now, her mother had forbidden her to go and see him, and Gertrude always literally kept to her promises; but she had never promised not to speak to him if she met him; Mrs. Vanderdecken, who had heard, not without a vague sense of relief, that the sick man was not likely soon to get better, having never thought of providing against such a possibility. Consequently, the first thing the little maid did was to jump down from her stile and greet him in an eestasy of delight, at which Stone was much bewildered.

He must have been very ill, so ill as almost to confuse his mind, for he regarded the little red-cloaked elf as if he had never seen her before.

“I don’t remember you. What do you want?”

Gertrude was a quick child, and possessed by instinct that precocious motherliness which some little girls show to all sick people whom they have to do with. She said, gently—

“Oh, I dare say you have forgotten me, you

have been so ill. I am Gertrude Vanderdecken, the little girl you used to tell stories to, and I have missed you so much.”

“Missed me? Is there any body in the world who would have missed me?”

“Oh yes, and I would have come and seen you had I been allowed, but mamma said—”

“Who is your mamma?” Then, as if memory came back in a sudden flash, overwhelming him and changing his dull apathy into that fierce half insane look which always made the child shrink, though she was too ignorant to be mnch afraid. “Oh yes, I know, I remember. Go away, I want to get rid of you, of all belonging to you. Leave me; let me die quietly— quietly.”

He stopped, and fell into such a paroxysm of coughing that it left him quite exhausted. He found himself sitting on the stile, with the little girl holding his hand.

“You have not left me, child? I told yon to go.”

“But I did not wish to go,” said Gertrude, who had been slowly making up her mind to a proceeding, daring indeed, and worthy of the tender romance which lay deep in her nature. She determined, henceforward, to take this poor sick man underherimmediate protection, though in what way she did not quite know; and the first step was to get over her mother’s violent prejudice against him. She thought if they could once meet, if her mamma could but talk with him quietly, his poor worn sickly face and shrunken figure, and above all the air of refinement, which made him so different from the “common people,”asMrs. Vanderdecken called them, would make her as much interested in him as Gertrude was herself.

So she concocted a plan for a sudden and unexpected interview between the two—her mother and the poor soldier—which did her little brain considerable credit, and was almost as romantic as the stories she read, or those she was in the habit of making “out of her own head.”

“This is far too cold a place for you to sit in,” said she, demurely. “Come with me, and I’ll take you to our winter garden, where you’ll find it so warm; almost like being in India.”

“Oh!” said Stone, shivering, “if I could only get warm. I feel as if I should never be warm again;” and the impulse of physical suffering, which seemed uppermost in him now, added to that state of weakness in which a sick person can be persuaded by any body to any thing, made him submit to Gertrude’s guidance, almost in spite of himself. She took him by the hand and led him across the park; but when they came in sight of the white, stonefronted, handsome house, she stopped.

“Is your mother there?”

“I think not: she is out driving—at least she was out.”

“No prevarication; no weak deceptions; you’ll learn them soon enough. Where is your mother?”

“I don’t know,”said the child, boldly, “and if I did I wouldn’t tell yon, for you look as if you meant to be rude to her, and you onght not, for she has never done you any harm, and would be very kind to you if she knew you—I am sure she would. She is exceedingly charitable to”—poor people, Gertrude was going to say, but stopped.

“Exceedingly charitable! A most amiable generous lady—quite a Lady Bountiful! And that is the house she lives in; whence she would kindly throw a crumb or two to a poor wretched fellow like me, or if I laid me down at her gate she would send her lap-dog out to lick my sores. Excellent—excellent!”

Gertrude was no coward, or she might have been frightened at the way the man talked and looked. But when she set her mind upon doing a thing, she rarely let it slip undone.

“Come,” she said, taking firm hold of his hand again, “don’t talk, talking is bad for you. Just come with me into the winter garden.” And he came.

It was one of those floral palaces, originated by Sir Joseph Paxton, and now often to be seen in the domains of our merchant princes, who, like Mr. Vanderdecken, seldom enjoy or appreciate, but only pay for them. Under a high circular glass dome grew fresh, as if in their native clime, all sorts of tropical bulbs—palms, bananas, and so on—while ranged round in that exquisite art which knows its best skill is to imitate nature, were a mass of flowering plants, which burst upon the eye in such a glory of form and color as to transform January into June.

When, the instant Gertrude opened the door, the moist, warm, perfumed atmosphere greeted Stone’s delicate senses, he drank it in with a deep breath of delight.

“Truly this feels like what Mrs. Fox would call’another and a better world,’ which a week since I was supposed to be going to. I wish I were there now.”

“Where?” asked Gertrude, iunocently.

“In heaven, if there be such a place. Do you think there is, child?”

She looked puzzled, half shocked, and answered, a little primly, ” Mamma says we onght not to talk about those sort of things except on Sundays.”

“Ha, ha! Of course not. What should she know about heaven any more than I? But tell her, when she gets there, as no doubt she will, being such a very benevolent lady—tell her to look over the gates of it at me, frying slowly, down in the other place.”

Here, catching Gertrude’s horrified look, Stone paused, struck by the same vague compunction which makes the proffigate hold his tongue before an iunocent girl, or the drunkard snatch from the young boy’s hand the accursed glass.

“Never mind me, I was talking nonsense. I often do. My head is not quite right. I wish somebody would put it right.” And he

sighed, in that sad helplessness which went to the very bottom of the little maiden’s heart.

She plauned, with the quickness of lightning, the rest of her scheme.

“I know somebody who would cure yon at once. Did you, ever go to see him, as you said you would—Aunt Edna’s husband, Dr. Stedman?”

Stone sprang up from the easy garden chair where the child had placed him, and glared round him with the eye of a hunted animal.

“Don’t speak about him, don’t remind me of him, or tell him of me. Let me go! I am a poor lost miserable man, that only wants to lay him down and die, in any quiet corner, out of every body’s reach. I have changed my mind now—I’ll promise to harm nobody, punish nobody, only let me die.”

“But I don’t want you to die,” said Gertrude, upon whose childish ignorance two-thirds of his wild talk fell quite harmlessly—considered, as he said, to be mere ” nonsense.” “If you went to Dr. Stedman he would make yon well. I am certain he would, for I have seen him myself now, and he looks so clever and so kind. I would go and tell him or Aunt Edna all about you, only something happened last week.”

“What happened? Anv of them dead?” “Oh no!”

“That’s right. They must live and be happy. Nobody onght to die except me. And I can not. Oh that I could! I am so tired, so tired.”

He looked up at the child, as she stood over him, in her precocious womanly protectingness. Her little firm face trembled, but only with pity. She was not one bit irresolute or afraid.

“It is great nonsense talking about dying,” said the little maid, imperatively. “You are not nearly Bo old as papa, and I won’t let him die for many years yet, for I love him dearly, and he is very good to me, even thongh he was cross at that thing which happened.”

“What was it?”

“Perhaps 1 onght not to tell you. Mamma said I had better not talk about it, it was not respectable to have coolness between relations; but one day when we were in London we met the Stedmans—Aunt Edna, and her husband, and all the boys—and when I told papa, for he asked me, as he always does, where I had been and who I had seen, and, of course, I was obliged to speak the truth—wasn’t I now? —he was so excessively angry, and told mamma he would not let his little girl have any thing to do with them, for he hated the very name of Stedman.”

“Why? Did he say why?”

“I think, because of that uncle I told yon about, the poor man who was drowned. He must have known about him, and disliked hiin, for he began speaking of him to mamma, abusing him very much, called him a peuniless worthless fellow, and that every body must have been glad when he died.”

“Every body glad when he died!” repeated Stone beneath his breath.

“Papa said it, and mamma seemed to think so too; but then she never dares contradict papa when he is in one of his passions. Still, for all that,” continued Gertrude, chattering, and as if glad to have out in words what she seemed to have been deeply thinking about, “I can’t get the poor man out of my head. I feel sorry for him. He might not have been a very bad man, or would have grown better if he had had any body to be kind to him. But away from his brother and Aunt Edna, living out there in India quite alone, with nobody to take care of him or be fond of him, what could he do?”

“Children and fools speak truth,” cried Stone, violently. “But I’ve heard enough. What does it matter? He is dead now—dead and forgotten. What’s the use of prating about him?”

Gertrude turned upon the soldier the wondering reproach which nature—no, Heaven— often puts into the innocence of children’s eyes:—”Why, do not you, too, feel sorry for the poor man?”

“Sorry? Not I. There is a saying, ‘As yon make your bed, you must lie upon it.’ He did. But no! he did not make it: it was made for him—full of briers and thorns and stinging serpents. A wicked woman did it all!”

Gertrude opened her eyes in the utmost astonishment.

“Should you like to hear about her, child? It would be a pretty tale—a very pretty tale— as interesting as any you ever heard. And you could tell it to your mother afterward. Ay, tell her — tell her. That is a grand idea! I wonder I never thought of it before.”

Stone’s whole frame quivered with excitement as he spoke; but Gertrude’s own curiosity was too eager for her to notice his agitation much.

“Oh, do tell me—I should so like to know! But how did you come to know about him— this Julius Stedmnn—was not that his name?”

“Yes,” answered Stone, slowly. “Julius Sledman—that was his name. He was the friend—of a friend of mine.”

“And what was he like? Did you ever see him ?—with your very own eyes?”

Stone paused again ere he answered, with a queer sort of smile, “No, I never met him.”

Then, regaining forcibly his self-possession, he began, and in his old fashion—he had in a remarkable degree the artist faculty of graphic narration — he told, as vividly as any of his other stories, the story of the young painter and the beautiful lady with whom he was so passionately in love.

Nature stirs in a child’s heart often sooner than we think: there are very few little maidens of twelve who can not understand and appreciate a love story. Gertrude listened, intensely interested.

“And was she very beautiful? As beautiful as”—the child stopped for a comparison— “as mamma?”

Stone luughed.

“You may langh!” said Gertrude, rather angrily, “but mamma was once very beautiful. Every body says so; and she has lots of portraits of herself, done when she was young —only she keeps them locked up in n drawer, for papa can not beur the sight of them. But they are so lovely, you don’t know! Mamma must have been quite ns handsome as that lady —what was her name?”

“What is your mamma’s name?”

“Letitia; but I heard Aunt Edna call her Letty.”

The soldier dropped his head within his hands. Some ghostly memory, sweet as the hyacinth-breaths beside him, which every spring comes freshly telling us of many a spring departed—dead, and yet for ever undying—must have swept over him, annihilating every thing but the delusive, never-to-be-forgotten dream of passionate love; for he said to the child—the child so utterly unlike her mother that her flesh-and-blood presence affected him less than this accidental word—

“Not Letty. No, we’ll not call her Letty. It was such a pretty name—such a sweet, dear namel And she was a wicked woman, as I said. She murdered him!”

Gertrude drew back, horrified.

“I don’t mean that she killed him bodily— with a pistol or dagger. But there are other ways of murdering a man besides these. I’ll tell you how she did it. And you’ll not forget, child?—you’ll tell it, word for word, to your mother, some day?”

“Oh yes,” said Gertrude, and again bent all her mind to listen.

It was a touching story, even to a child. How, far away in India, the young man had worked—at work he did not care for—to make a home for his betrothed bride: how he had strained his means to the utmost, that she should have therein every luxury she could care for (“She liked luxuries—pretty clothes, handsome jewelry,” said Stone, in parenthesis); and how, almost beside himself with happiness, he had gone down to the ship to meet her—his all but wife—his very, very own.

“And she came?” cried Gertrude, breathless with emotion.

“The ship came,” said Stone, in a cold, hard voice. “She was not there.”

Gertrude almost sobbed. “Was she—was she dead?”

“Oh no! only married.”

And then he related, in a few sharp, biting words—for his breath seemed almost gone— how, on the voyage, a rich man had fallen in love with her (“She was so very beautiful, you know!”), and she had landed at a port half-way, where his estate was, and married him.

“What a wicked, wicked woman! I hate her.” And as she said this Gertrude clenched her little hand. Tears—those holy childish tears which burst out irrepressiblv at any story of cruelty or wrong—fell thick and fast; and her whole frame was trembling with more than sorrow—indignation. “I hate her!”

Stone had said revenge was sweet. He tasted it fully now. But the taste could not have been quite so sweet as he expected; for, instead of exulting over it, he rather drew back.

“Hush, child—don’t say you hate her!”

“But she was wicked—you told me so.”

“If I did, you need not say it. Children can not understand these things.”

And a strange remorse came over him—the childless man—for having put into any daughter’s hand a weapon that might pierce her mother to the heart. He had not thought of this at first: he had thought only of revenge—revenge, no matter how, or by what means—but now, when he heard the child’s words, and saw her little face glowing with righteous wrath, he shrank back from the fire his own hands had kindled.

“Stop a minute,” he said. “The world might not judge her so harshly. Many people would say she had only made a prudent marriage: and that the man—her lover—if he had any manhood in him, ought to have got over it, lived an honest life, and died beloved and respected.”

“But he did die: he was drowned, I know. Where was it?—how?”

Stone could not answer. Even a hardened liar might have been staggered by the accusing

earnestness of the child’s eyes. And this man, once so gentle—who, however often sinning, never sinned without repenting—he knew not what to do; until, whether for good or ill, fate interposed.

Fate, sweeping along in the purple silken robes and white ermine mantle of Mrs. Vanderdecken herself.

“Gertrude! Bless me! My dear Gertrude!”

No wonder, perhaps, at the reproving sharpness of the lady’s tone. It was a trial. To see —sitting in her beautiful conservatory, and beside her very own daughter—a man, not merely one of the “lower orders,” as she termed them, but the very man for whom, from being indebted to him for an uupaid kindness (weak people so shrink from the burden of gratitude!) she had conceived as much repugnance as her easy nature was capable of feeling. The more, as he paid her none of the almost servile respect which Mrs. Vanderdeckenwas accustomed to receive from her inferiors; made no attempt to rise or bow, did not even take off his hat, but sat doggedly there, staring at her. Once, as her voice and the rustle of her dress reached his ears, he shivered. It might have been a blast of cold air from the opened door, or else —who knows?—some breath that the still beautiful woman had brought with her from the rose-gardens of his passionate youth—those lost love-roses, of which, though form and color have been obliterated in dusty death, the perfume never wholly dies.

As to Mrs. Vauderdecken, all she beheld was a shabby-looking, bearded man, with a pair of gleaming eyes, which looked as if they would burn her up—devouring all her grace and quiet grandeur, though without—and she felt this, dull as she was—without having the slightest awe of either.

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“Gertrude,” she said, uneasily, “who is this —this person?”

“Mamma, don’t you remember him? Mr. Stone—whom Bran bit—who was so good to me. He has been very, very ill, and I brought him in here because it is so nice and warm. He likes warmth—he has just come from India, you know.”

“Oh,indeed,”said Mrs. Vanderdecken, carelessly.

Gertrude whispered in earnest entreaty, “Mamma, please speak to him — be a little kind to him.”

“I am sure, my dear, I am always ready to show kindness to any poor people who need it, and especially to poor people in whom you are interested. But, really, you sometimes choose such extraordinary sort of folk to make friends with, and show your charity in such an unsuitable way! In this instance”—and«her cold eye wandered carelessly over the shabby soldier, and she spoke with the tone of dignified rebuke which she was in the habit of using to the drunkards and slatterns of her district—” you must perceive, my good man, that for you to meet Miss Vanderdecken in this way, and let her bring yon into our own private domains, is quite uupardonable. In fact”—growing more angry under the absolute silence of her hearer—” I consider it a most impertinent intrusion, and desire that it may never occur again.”

“Mamma—oh, mamma!” pleaded Gertrude, but Stone took no notice whatever. He sat, as if in a dream, staring blankly at Mrs. Vanderdecken.

The lady at last grew a little uncomfortable, so fixed was the gaze, so impassive the attitude of this strange fellow, who seemed to exercise over Gertrude a perfect fascination.

“Come in, child—tea has been waiting this half hour, and I have to dress. You forget we have a dinner-party to-night. For you,” turning to Stone, “as my daughter says you are an invalid, I will overlook your rudeness—for once; and since she is kind enough to take an interest in you, I shall be glad to assist you—with soup tickets, or out of my village clothing fund, if you will give me your name and address, also —I always exact this—a certificate of character.”

“No,” thundered out the broken-down man confronting the elegant rich woman. “I’ll give you nothing—I’ll accept nothing from you. Let me go.”

He rose, and staggered past her, then turned, and seeing her left hand hanging down—white, glittering with many rings—he seized it, regarded it a minute, crushed it in his own with a fierce pressure, and flung it away.

Mrs. Vanderdecken gave a little scream, but

the conservatory door had closed, and he was gone. Then her indignation, not unmixed with fear, burst out.

“Gertrude, this protigt of yours is the rudest fellow I ever saw—a perfect. boor. A thief, too! for I am certain he meant to rob me. Didn’t you see him make a snatch at my rings? I wonder if they are safe—one, two, three—yes, all right. What a mercy! Only think, if he had stolen these beautiful diamonds.”

“Mamma!” cried Gertrude, half in reproach, half in entreaty, for she did not know what to say. Undoubtedly the poor soldier had been very rude, and yet she could not believe him to be a thief. But all her little plan had fallen to the ground. She saw her mother was seriously displeased, and her common-sense told her it was not without cause. The poor child thought she would never try romantic schemes for doing people good again.

Perplexed and miserable, she walked by her mother’s side into the house, where she received her cup of tea, and the severe scolding which accompanied it, with a sad humility, and then waited beside Mrs. Vanderdecken while she dressed for a dinner-party. The little plain child had an ardent admiration for her mamma’s beauty, and while she was meditatively watching the maid comb out those masses of long light hair, in which there was scarcely a gray thread visible, Mrs. Vanderdecken, chancing to turn round, saw her little girl’s earnest looks, and smiled, mollified.

“Come, my dear,” said she, holding out her hand, “I’ll not scold you any more. We will be the best of friends, if only you promise to have nothing more to do with that ruffianly soldier.”

“But I can’t promise; and he isn’t a ruffian, indeed,” said Gertrude, piteously, yet very decidedly. She was an obstinate little thing, and had a trick of always holding fastest to her friends when they happened to be down in the world. “You would not say so, mamma, if you once heard him talk as be talks to me—as he had been talking all this afternoon.”

“All the afternoon!” cried the mother, in dismay; “a young lady like you to be talking a whole afternoon with a low fellow like him! It’s dreadful to think of. I am perfectly ashamed of yon. What on earth were you talking about? Tell me every word. I command you!”

Here Gertrude became much perplexed. Somehow or other, whenever she spoke of the Stedmans, she had always got into trouble with cither father or mother, or both; and so she had resolved in that strong reserved little heart of hers to shut them up tight there, and never refer to any of them again. She had kept this resolution so well that, in spite of the charming excitement of this afternoon’s discovery concerning poor Uncle Julius, for the last half hour she had borne her mamma’s reproaches in perfect silence, nor let herself be betrayed into the slightest allusion to the story which had interested her so much. Now, being plainly questioned, she was obliged to speak out.

“I’ll tell you any thing you choose, mamma,” said she, sullenly, “but I know it will only make you cross. I was hearing a long story about a person whom neither you nor papa like, and whom you told me never to speak about, and I wouldn’t speak, if you didn’t ask me.”

” What nonsense, child! Who was it?”

“Uncle Stedman’s brother—Julius.”

Had a ghost risen up before her Mrs. Vanderdecken could not have been more startled. Her very lips whitened as she said,

“There must be some mistake. Gertrude, how could you possibly know—”

“Of course I know, mamma. Didn’t I hear you and papa talking about him? and didn’t you yourself tell me who he was, and that he was drowned? I know all about him now,” added the child, with childish ‘conceit. “Mr. Stone told me his whole story.”

“His whole story?”

“Yes, mamma, about his being an artist when he was young, and his falling in love with a beautiful lady, and his giving up painting and going to India to make a fortune for her sake; how she promised to come out to him and marry him; how—”

“Stop, child,” interrupted Mrs. Vanderdecken, with a subdued and even frightened air; “please don’t go chattering on so fast. I can’t attend to you. Wait till I am dressed. Take your book and be quiet for a little.”

Gertrude obeyed, yet still cast furtive glances at her mother, who arranged her dress and clasped her ornaments in a hurried, absent mauner, quite unusual for one who was generally so particular about these things.

“Mamma, what is the matter with you? Are you ill? You look so white.”

“Nonsense, child.”

No more passed until the maid was dismissed, and the lady sat down on the sofa by the fire, her toilet complete—and an especially resplendent toilet it was; but, for once, it proved no consolation to her.

Mrs. Vanderdecken was very nervous; nervous was the word—not startled, or shocked, or grieved, but merely frightened. A vague apprehension seized her of something going to happen. Was it because, after this long safe blank of many years, somebody had turned up who knew something of her past life, or merely because of the surprise of hearing from her little danghter’s lips that once familiar name? True, it was only a name. Julius Stedman was dead, and could not harm her. Living he might, or she fancied so, being a coward in her heart, and knowing well her husband’s jealous temper, nurtured by that faint fear similar to the one which Brabantio first puts into the mind of Othello:

“Look to her, Moor; have n quick eye to see: She has deceived her father, and may thee.”

For—such is human nature, and so surely does fate take its revenge—it had been one of the

troubles in Mrs. Vanderdecken’s married life to be not seldom taunted for her broken pledge by the very man for whom she had broken it Mr. Vanderdecken, of course, had known all about Julius Stedman at the time, but, being passionately in love, he had seen in her falseness to one man no obstacle to her marriage with another, since that other happened to be himself. Afterward, when the desperation of love had cooled down into the indifference that was sure, at best, to be the outcome of such a marriage, he despised his wife, and took care to let her see that he did, for doing that which he himself had persuaded her to do. It was natural, perhaps, and still, poor woman! it was rather hard.

“Gertrude,” she said, turning with a helpless appeal to her child, who, thinking still that she was not well, had stolen up to her and taken her hand. “Gertrude, you must not vex your poor mother, who has nobody to be a comfort to her but you. You must make her your chief companion, and tell her every thing, instead of taking queer fancies for old soldiers and such like.”

“But, mamma, I never take any fancies that make me forget yon,” said the little girl, earnestly. “And that story, it was no secret. He said I might tell it you whenever I liked.”

“Did he? Who is he? Oh, you mean the man John Stone? Didn’t you tell me that was his name? Did he ever know that—that person?”

“Uncle Stedman’s brother, whom you dislike so? No; he told me he had never seen him in his life.” ,

Mrs. Vanderdecken breathed freer. Struck with a vague apprehension, she had been beating about the bush, afraid, and yet most anxious to find out how much her danghter knew; but now she ventured to say, carelessly, taking out her watch:

“I have just ten minutes left. You may tell me the story if you like, and if it amuses you.”

“It wasn’t at all amusing, mamma. I think it was the saddest story I ever heard. Just listen.” ■

And then with the vividness with which Stone’s words had impressed it on her mind, and with a childish simplicity that added to its touchingness, she repeated, almost literally, what she had just heard.

Her mother listened, too much startled—nay, terrified—to interrupt her by a word. The whole history was accurate down to the remotest particulars, facts so trifling that it seemed impossible for any stranger to have heard them—nay, they had escaped her own memory, till revived like invisible writing, by being thus bronght to light in such an unforeseen and overwhelming mauner. It seemed as if an accusing angel spoke to her from the lips of her own child; as if, after all this lapse of years and change of circumstances, the sins of her youth, which she had glossed over and palliated, and almost believed to be no sin at all, because no punish

ment had ever followed them, rose up and confronted her. Also, her condemnation came from the one creature in the world whom she loved dearly, purely, and unselfishly—her only child.

“Was she not a wicked woman, mamma?” said Gertrude, lifting up her glowing face and looking straight into her mother’s. “After she had made him miserable so long, first pretending she liked him, then to change her mind and refuse him? When she had at last faithfully promised to marry him, and he was expecting her, and was so happy, to break her word and go and marry another man!”

“Who was the man?” asked the mother, in an agony of dread. ” Did—did he tell you the name?”

“No; only that he was rich and Mr. Stedman was poor. That was why she did it. Wasn’t it a wicked, cruel thing? Oh, mamma,” cried Gertrude, in a burst of indignation, “if ever, when I grow up, I were to meet that lady I should hate her. I know I should. I couldn’t help it.”

Mrs. Vanderdecken shivered. All through her fineries—her silks, and laces, and jewels, she shivered; and clutched the hand of her little daughter as if she were drowning—like that poor, drowned Julius—and her child’s affection were the only plank to which she clung.

But soon every other feeling was absorbed in apprehension—the overpowering, irrational terror which seizes upon all weak natures when brought face to face with a difficulty the extent of which their cowardice momentarily exaggerates. Therefore, site did what such folks generally do, she adopted the line of pacification and deprecation.

“Gertrude, my dear, I am glad you have told me this story. It is exceedingly interesting, and it was kind of you to be so sorry for the poor man. Perhaps he never meant to rob me, only just to look at my diamonds. I wonder how he came to know these facts, if they are facts. Did he tell you any thing moro?”

“No, mamma.”

“I should almost like to speak to him myself. He might have heard particulars which the family would be glad to know.”

“Oh, mamma, if only you would see him! May I go to him and tell him you will?”

“No, no!” said Mrs. Vanderdecken, hastily. “Not upon any account, my dear. Don’t go near him, and if you meet him promise me— hark! isn’t that your father?”

And the sound of heavy boots coming up stairs made her not wince and look annoyed, as was her wont, but actually tremble.

“Gertrude,” she cried, in an agony, “promise me that you will not breathe a word to your father of all this?”

Very well, mamma,” said Gertrude, greatly puzzled and a little vexed; but she was used to her mother’s feeblenesses and inconsistencies, and had learned to regard them with a patience .not wholly unallied to contempt.

Yet she was fond of her, and when, ere her dismissal, she got a warmer kiss than usual, Gertrude went away quite happy.

Not so Mrs. Vanderdecken. Out of the smooth surface of her dull, easy life had risen up a great fear. Avenging Fate, whipping her with the cruelest scourge by which wrong-doing is ever punished, had humiliated her before, and caused her to stand in actual dread of, lier own child.

THE MOONSTONE MASS.

THERE was a certain weakness possessed by my ancestors, though in nowise peculiar to them, and of which, in common with other more or less undesirable traits, I have come into the inheritance.

It was the fear of dying in poverty. That, too, in the face of a goodly share of pelf stored in stocks, and lands, and copper-bottomed clippers, or what stood for copper-bottomed clippers, or rather sailed for them, in the clumsy commerce of their times.

There was one old fellow in particular—his portrait is hanging over the hall stove to-day, leaning forward, somewhat blistered by the profuse heat und wasted fuel there, and as if as long as such an outrageous expenditure of ailoric was going on he meant to have the full benefit of it—who is said to have frequently shed tears over the probable price of his dinner, and on the next day to have sent home a silver dish to eat it from at a hundred times the cost. I find the inconsistencies of this individual constantly cropping out in myself; and although I could by no possibility be called a niggard, yet I confess that even now my prodigalities make me shiver.

Some years ago I was the proprietor of the old family estate, unencumbered by any thing except timber, that is worth its weight in gold yet, as you might say; alone in the world, save for an unloved relative; and with a sufficiently comfortable income, as I have since discovered, to meet all reasonable wants. I had, moreover, promised me in marriage the hand of a woman without a peer, and which, I believe now, might have been mine on any day when I saw fit to claim it.

That I loved Eleanor tenderly and truly you can not doubt; that I desired to bring her home, to see her flitting here and there in my dark old house, illuminating it with her youth and beauty, sitting at the head of my table that sparkled with its gold and silver heir-looms, making my days and nights like one delightful dream, was just as true.

And yet I hesitated. I looked over my bankbook—I cast up my accounts. I have enough for one, I said; I am not sure that it is enough for two. Eleanor, daintily nurtured, requires as dainty care for all time to come; moreover, it is not two alone to be considered, for should children come, there is their education, their maintenance, their future provision and portion to be found. All this would impoverish us, and unless we ended by becoming mere dependents, we had, to my excited vision, only the cold charity of the world and the work-house to which to look forward. I do not believe that Eleanor thonght me right in so much of the matter as I saw fit to explain, but in maiden pride her lips perforce were sealed. She langhed thongh, when I confessed my work-house fear, and said that for her part she was thankful there was such a refnge at all, standing as it did on its knoll in the midst of green fields, and shaded by broad-limbed oaks—she had always envied the old women sitting there by their evening fireside, and mumbling over their small affairs to one another. But all her words seemed merely idle badinage—so I delayed. I said— when this ship sails in, when that dividend is declared, when I seo how this speculation turns out—the days were long that added “up the count of years, the nights were dreary; but I believed that I was actuated by principle, and took pride to myself for my strength and selfdenial.

Moreover, old Paul, my great-uncle on my mother’s side, and the millionaire of the family, was a bitter misogynist, and regarded women and marriage and household cares as the three remediless mistakes of an overruling Providence. He knew of my engagement to, Eleanor, but so long as it remained in that stage he had nothing to say. Let me once marry, and my share of his million would be best represented by a cipher. However, he was not a man to adore, and he could not live forever.

Still, with all my own effort, I amassed wealth but slowly, according to my standard; my various ventures had various luck; and one day my old Uncle Paul, always intensely interested in the subject, both scientifically and from a commercial point of view, too old and feeble to go himself, but fain to send a proxy, and desirous of money in the family, made me an offer of that portion of his wealth on my return which would be mine on his demise, funded safely subject to my order, provided I made one of those who songht the discovery of the Northwest Passage.

I went to town, canvassed the matter with the experts — I had always an adventurous streak, as old Paul well knew—and having given many hours to the pursuit of the smaller sciences, had a turn for danger and discovery as well. And when the Albatross sailed—in spite of Eleanor’s shivering remonstrance and prayers and tears, in spite of the grave looks of my friends—I was one of those that clustered on her deck, prepared for either fate. They— my companions—it is true, were led by nobler lights; but as for me, it was much as I told Eleanor—my affairs were so regulated that they would go on uninterruptedly in my absence; I should be no worse off for going, and if I returned, letting alone the renown of the thing, my Uncle Paul’s donation was to be appropriated; every thing then was assured, and

we stood possessed of lucky lives. If I had any keen or eager desire of search, any purpose to aid the growth of the world or to penetrate the secrets of its formation, as indeed I think I must have had, I did not at that time know any thing about it. But I was to learn that death and stillness have no kingdom on this globe, and that even in the extremes! bitterness of cold and ice perpetual interchange and motion is taking place. So we went, all sails set on favorable winds, bounding over blue sea, skirting frowning coasts, and ever pushing our way up into the dark mystery of the North.

I shall not delay here to tell of Danish posts and the hospitality of summer settlements in their long afternoon of arctic daylight; nor will I weary you with any description of the succulence of the radishes that grew under the panes of glass in the Governor’s scrap of moss and soil, scarcely of more size than a lady’s parlor fernery, and which seemed to our dry mouths full of all the earth’s cool juices—but advance, as we ourselves hastened to do, while that chill and crystalline sun shone, up into the ice-cased dens and caverns of the Pole. By the time that the long, blue twilight fell, when the rough and rasping cold sheathed all the atmosphere, and the great stars pricked themselves out on the heavens like spears’ points, the Albatross was hauled up for winter-quarters, banked and boarded, heaved high on fields of ice; and all her inmates, during the wintry dark, led the life that prepared them for further exploits in higher latitudes the coming year, learning the dialects of the Esquimaux, the tricks of the seal and walrus, making long explorations with the dogs and Glipuu, their master, breaking ourselves in for business that had no play about it.

Then, at last, the Angust suns set us free again; inlets of tumultuous water traversed the great ice-floes; the Albatross, refitted, ruffled all her plumage and spread her wings once more for the North—for the secret that sat there domineering all its substance.

It was a year since we had heard from home; but who staid to think of that while our keel spurned into foam the sheets of steely seas, and day by day bronght us nearer to the hidden things we songht? For myself I confess that, now so close to the end as it seemed, curiosity and research absorbed every other faculty; Eleanor might be mouldering back to the parent earth—I could not stay to meditate on such a possibility; my Uncle Paul’s donation might enrich itself with gold-dust instead of the gathered dust of idle days—it was nothing to me. I had but one thonght, one ambition, one desire in those days—the discovery of the clear seas and open passage. I endured all our hardships as if they had been luxuries: I made light of scurvy, banqueted off train-oil, and met that cold for which there is no language framed, and which might be a new element; or which, rather, had seemed in that long night like the vast void of ether beyond the uttermost star, where was neither air nor light nor heat, but only bitter negation and emptiness. I was hardly conscious of my body; I was only a concentrated search in myself.

The recent explorers had aunounced here, in the neighborhood of where our third summer at last found us, the existence of an immense space of clear water. One even declared that he had seen it.

My Uncle Paul had pronounced the declaration false, and the sight an impossibility. The North he believed to be the breeder of icebergs, an ever-welling fountain of cold; the great glaciers there forever form, forever fall; the ice-packs line the gorges from year to year unchanging; peaks of volcanic rock drop their frozen mantles like a scale only to display the fresher one beneath. Tho whole region, said he, is Plutonic^ blasted by a primordial convulsion of the great forces of creation; and thongh it may be a few miles nearer to the central fires of the earth, allowing that there are such things, yet that would not in itself detract from the frigid power of its sunless solitudes, the more especially when it is remembered that the spinning of the earth, while in its first plastic material, which gave it greater circumference and thinness of shell at its equator, must have thickened the shell correspondingly at the poles; and the character of all the waste and wilderness there only signifies the impenetrable wall between its surface and centre, throngh which wall no heat could enter or escape. The great rivers, like tho White and the Mackeuzie, emptying to the north of the continents, so far from being enongh in themselves to form any body of ever fresh and flowing water, can only pierce the opposing ice-fields in narrow streams and bays and inlets as they seek the Atlantic and the Pacific seas. And as for the theory of the currents of water heated in the tropies and carried by the rotary motion of the planet to the Pole, where they rise and melt the ice-floes into this great supposititious sea, it is simply an absurdity on the face of it, he argued, when you remember that warm water being in its nature specifically lighter than cold it would have risen to the surface long before it reached there. No, thonght my Uncle Paul, who took nothing for granted; it is as I said, an absurdity on the face of it; my nephew shall prove it, and I stake half the earnings of my life upon it.

To tell the truth, I thonght much the same as he did; and now that such a mere trifle of distance intervened between me and the proof, I was full of a feverish impatience that almost amounted to insanity.

We had proceeded but a few days, coasting the crushing capes of rock that every where seemed to run out in a diablerie of tusks and horns to drive us from the region that they warded, now cruising throngh a runlet of blue water just wide enongh for our keel, with silver reaches of frost stretching away into a ghastly horizon—now plunging upon tossing seas, tho sun wheeling round and round, and never sinkVol. XXXVII.—No. 221.—Tt

ing from the strange, weird sky above us, when again to our look-out a glimmer in the low horizon told its awful tale—a sort of smoky lustre like that which might ascend from an army of spirits—the fierce and fatal spirits tented on the terrible field of the ice-floe.

We were alone, our single little ship speeding ever upward in the midst of that untraveled desolation. We spoke seldom to one another, oppressed with the sense of our situation. It was a loneliness that seemed more than a death in life, a solitude that was supernatural. Here and now it was clear water; ten hours later and we wero canght in the teeth of the cold, wedged in the ice that had advanced upon us and surrounded us, fettered by another winter in latitudes where human life had never before been supported.

Wo found, before the hands of the dial had tanght us the lapse of a week, that this would be something not to be endured. The sun sank lower every day behind the crags and silvery horns; tho heavens grew to wear a hue of violet, almost black, and yet unbearably dazzling; as tho notes of our voices fell upon the atmosphere they assumed a metallic tone, as if the air itself had become frozen from the begiuning of the world and they tinkled against it; our sufferings had mounted in their intensity till they were too great to be resisted.

It was decided at length—when the one long day had given place to its answering night, and in the jet-black heavens the stars, like knobs of silver, sparkled so large and close upon us that we might have grasped them in our hands— that I should take a sledge with Glipuu and his dogs, and see if there were any path to the westward by which, if the Albatross were forsaken, those of her crew that remained might follow it, and find an escape to safety. Our path was on a frozen sea; if we discovered land we did not know that the foot of man had ever trodden it; we could hope to find no cacht of snow-buried food — neither fish nor game lived in this desert of ice that was so devoid of life in any shape as to seem dead itself. But, well provisioned, furred to the eyes, and essaying to nurse some hopefulness of heart, we set out on our ‘way throngh this Valley of Death, relieving one another, and traveling day and night.

Still night and day to the west rose the black coast, one interminable height; to the east extended the sheets of unbroken ice; sometimes a hnge glacier hung pendulous from the precipice; once wo saw, by the starlight, a white, foaming, rushing river arrested and transformed to ice in its flight down that steep. A south wind began to blow behind us; we traveled on the ice; three days, perhaps, as days are measured among men, had passed, when we found that we made double progress, for the ice traveled too; the whole field, carried by some northward-bearing current, was afloat; it began to be crossed and cut by a thousand crevasses; the cakes, an acre each, tilted up and down, and made wide waves with their ponderous plashing in the black body of the sea; we could hear them grinding distantly in the clear dark against the coast, against each other. There was no retreat—there was no advance; we were on the ice, and the ice was breaking up. Suddenly we rounded a tongue of the primeval rock, and recoiled before a narrow gulf—one sharp shadow, as deep as despair, as full of aguish fears. It was just wide enongh for the sledge to span. Glipnu made the dogs leap; we could be no worse off if they drowned. They touched the opposite block; it careened; it went under; the sledge went with it; I was left alone where I had stood. Two dogs broke loose, and scrambled up beside me; Glipuu and the others I never saw again. I sank upon the ice; the dogs crouched beside me; sometimes I think they saved my brain from total ruin, for without them I could not have withstood the enormity of that loneliness, a loneliness that it was impossible should be broken—floating on and on with that vast journeying company of spectral ice. I had food enongh to support life for several days to come, in the pouch at my belt; the dogs and I shared it—for, last as long as it would, when it should be gone there was only death before us—no reprieve—sooner or later that; as well sooner as later—the living terrors of this icy hell were all about us, and death could be no worse.

Still the south wind blew, the rapid current carried us, the dark skies grew deep and darker, the lanes and avenues between the stars were crowded with forebodings — for the air seemed full of a new power, a strange and invisible influence, as if a king of unknown terrors here held his awful state. Sometimes the dogs stood up and growled and bristled their shaggy hides; I, prostrate on the ice, in all my frame was stung with a universal tingle. I was no longer myself. At this moment my blood seemed to sing and bubble in my veins; I grew giddy with a sort of delirious and inexplicable eestasy; with another moment unutterable horror seized me; I was plunged and weighed down with a black and suffocating load, while evil things seemed to flap their wings in my face, to breathe in my mouth, to draw my soul out of my body and carry it careering throngh the frozen realm of that murky heaven, to restore it with a shock of agony. Once as I lay there, still floating, floating northward, out of the dim dark rim of the water-world, a lance of piercing light shot up the zenith; it divided the heavens like a knife; they opened out in one blaze, and the fire fell sheetingly down before my face—cold fire, curdingly cold—light robbed of heat, and set free in a preternatural anarchy of the elements; its fringes swung to and fro before my face, pricked it with flaming spicule, dissolving in a thousand colors that spread even’ where over the low field, flashing, flickering, creeping, reflecting, gathering again in one long serpentine line of glory that wavered in

‘slow convolutions across the cuts and crevasses of the ice, wreathed ever nearer, and, lifting its head at last, became nothing in the darkness hut two great eyes like glowing coals, with which it stared me to a stound, till I threw myself fave down to hide me in the ice; and the whining, bristling dogs cowered backwurd, and were dead.

I should have supposed myself to be in the region of the magnetic pole of the sphere, if I did not know that I had long since left it behind me. My pocket-compass had become entirely useless, and every scrap of metal that I had about me had become a loadstone. The very ice, as if it were congealed from water that held large quantities of iron in solution; iron escaping from whatever solid land there was beneath or around, the Plutonic rock that such a region could have alone veined and seamed with metal. The very ice appeared to have a magnetic quality; it held me so that I changed my position upon it with difficulty, and, as if it established a battery by the aid of the singular atmosphere above it, frequently sent thrills quivering throngh and through me till my flesh seemed about to resolve into all the jarring atoms of its original constitution; and again soothed me, with a velvet touch, into a state which, if it were not sleep, was at least haunted by visions that I dare not believe to have been realities, and from which I always awoke with a start to find myself still floating, floating. My watch had long since ceased to beat. I felt an odd persuasion that I had died when that stood still, and only this slavery of the magnet, of the cold, this power that locked every thing in invisible fetters and let nothing loose again, held my soul still in the bonds of my body. Another idea, also, took possession of me, for my mind was open to whatever visitant chose to enter, since utter despair of safety or release had left it vacant of a hope or fear. These enormous days and nights, swinging in their arc six months long, were the pendulum that dealt time in another measure than that dealt by the sunlight of lower zones; they told the time of what interminable years, the years of what vast generations far beyond the span that covered the ago of the primeval men of Scripture—they measured time on this gigantic and enduring scale for what wonderful and mighty beings, old as the everlasting hills,»» destitute as they of mortal sympathy, cold and inscrutable, handling the two-edged javelins of frost and magnetism, and served by all the unknown polar agencies. I fancied that I saw their far-reuching cohorts, marshaling and manoenvring at times in the field of an horizon that was boundless, the glitter of their spears and casques, the sheen of their white banners; and again, sitting in fearful circle with their phantasmagoria they shut and hemmed me in and watched me writhe like a worm before them.

I had a fancy that the perpetual play °* magnetic impulses here gradually disintegrated the expanse of ice, as sunbeams might have done. If it succeeded in unseating me from my cold station I should drown, and there would be an end of me; it would be all one; for though I clung to life I did not cling to suffering. Somethmg of the wild beast seemed to spring up in my nature; that ignorance of any moment but the present. I felt a certain kinship to the bear in her comfortable snowinesswhom I had left in the parallels far below this uureal tract of horrors. I remembered traditions of such metempsychoses; the thought gave me a pang that none of these fierce and subtle elements had known how to give before. But all the time my groaning, cracking ice was moving with me, splitting now through all its leagues of length along the darkness, with an explosion like a cannon’s shot, that echoed again and again in every gap and chasm of its depth, and seemed to be caught up and repeated by a thousand airy sprites, and snatched on from one to another till it fell dead through the frozen thickness of the air.

It was at about this time that I noticed another species of motion than that which had hitherto governed it seizing this journeying ice. It bent and bent, as a glacier does in its viscous flow between mountains; it crowded, and loosened, and rent apart, and at last it broke in every direction, and every fragment was crushed and jammed together again; and the whole mass was following, as I divined, the curve of some enormous whirlpool that swept it from beneath. It might have been a day and night, it might have been an hour, that we traveled on this vast curve—I had no more means of knowing than if I had veritably done with time. We were one expanse of shadow; not a star above us, only a sky of impenetrable gloom received the shimmering that now and again the circling ice cast off. It was a strange slow motion, yet with such a steadiness and strength about it that it had the effect of swiftness. It was long since any water, or the suspicion of any, had been visible; we might have been grinding through some gigantic hollow for all I could have told; snow had never fallen here; the mass moved you knew as if you felt the prodigious hand that grasped and impelled it tVom beneath. Whither was it tending, in the eddy of what huge stream that went, with the smoke of its fall hovering on the brink, to plunge a tremendous cataract over the limits of the earth into the unknown abyss of space? Far in advance there was a faint glimmering, a sort of powdery light glancing here and there. As we approached it—the ice and I—it grew fainter, and was, by-and-by, lost in a vast twilight that surrounded us on all sides; at the same time it became evident that we had passed under a roof, an immense and vaulted roof. As crowding, stretching, rending, we passed on, uncanny gleams were playing distantly above ns and around us, now and then overlaying all things with a sheeted illumination as deathly as a grave-light, now and then shoot

ing up in spires of blood-red radiance that disclosed the terrible aurora. I was in a cavern of ice, as wide and as high as the heavens; these flashes of glory, alternated with equal flashes of darkness, as you might say, taught me to perceive. Perhaps tremendous tide after tide had hollowed it with all its fantastic recesses; or had that Titanic race of the interminable years built it as a palace for their monarch, a temple for their deity, with its domes that sprung far up immeasurable heights and hung palely shining like mock heavens of hazy stars; its aisles that stretched away down colonnades of crystal columns into unguessed darkness; its high-heaved arches, its pierced and open sides? Now an aurora burned up like a blue-light, and went skimming under all the vaults far off into far and farther hollows, revealing, as it went, still loftier heights and colder answering radiances. Then these great arches glowed like blocks of beryl. Wondrous tracery of delicate vines and leaves, greener than the greenest moss, wandered over them, wreathed the great pillars, and spread round them in capitals of flowers; roses crimson as a carbuncle; hyacinths like bedded cubes of amethyst; violets bluer than sapphires—all as if the flowers had been turned to flame, yet all so cruelly cold, as if the power that wrought such wonders could simulate a sparkle beyond even the lustre of light, but could not give it heat, that principle of life, that fountain of first being. Yonder a stalactite of clustered ruby—that kept the aurora and glinted faintly, and more faintly, till the thing came aguin, when it grasped a whole body-full of splendor—hung downward and dropped a thread-like stem and a blossom of palest pink, like a transfigured Linna;a, to meet the snow-drop in its sheath of green that shot up from a spire of aqua marine below. Here living rainbows flew from buttress to buttress and frolicked in the domes—the only things that dared to live and sport where beauty was frozen into horror. It seemed as if that shifting death-light of the aurora photographed all these things upon my memory, for I noted none of them at the time. I only wondered idly whither we were tending as we drove in deeper and deeper under that ice-roof, and curved more and more circlingly upon our course while the silent flashes sped on overhead. Now we were in the dark again crashing onward: now a cold blue radiance burst from every icicle, from every crevice, and I saw that the whole enormous mass of our motion bent and swept around a single point—a dark yet glittering form that sat as if upon the apex of the world. Was it one of those mightier than the Anakim, more than the sons of God, to whom all the currents of this frozen world converged? Sooth I know not—for presently I imagined that my vision made only an exaggeration of some brown Esquimaux sealed up and left in his snow-house to die. A thin sheathing of ice appeared to clothe him and give the glister to his duskiness. Insensible as I had thought

myself to any further fear, I cowered beneath the stare of those dead and icy eyes. Slowly we rounded, and ever rounded; the inside, on which my place was, moving less slowly than the outer circle of the sheeted mass in its viscid flow; and as we moved, by some fate my eye was caught by the substance on which this figure sat. It was no figure at all now, but a bare jag of rock rising in the centre of this solid whirlpool, and carrying on its summit something which held a light that not one of these icy freaks, pranking in the dress of gems and flowers, had found it possible to assume. It was a thing so real, so genuine, my breath became suspended; my heart ceased to beat; my brain, that had been a lump of ice, seemed to move in its skull; hope, that had deserted me, suddenly sprung up like a second life within me; the old passion was not dead, if I was. It rose stronger than life or death or than myself. If I could but snatch that mass of moonstone, that inestimable wealth! It was nothing deceptive, I declared to myself. What more natural home could it have than this region, thrown up here by the old Plutonic powers of the planet, as the same substance in smaller shape was thrown up on the peaks of the Mount St. Gothard, when the Alpine aiguilles first sprang into the day? There it rested, limpid with its milky pearl, casting out flakes of flame and azure, of red and leaf-green light, and holding yet a sparkle of silver in the reflections and refractions of its inner axis— the splendid Turk’s-eyo of the lapidaries, the cousin of the water-opal and the girasole, the precious essence of feldspar. Could I break it, I would find clusters of great hemitrope crystals. Could I obtain it, I should have a jewel in that mass of moonstone such as the world never saw! The throne of Jemschid could not cast a shadow beside it.

Then the bitterness of my fate overwhelmed me. Here, with this treasure of a kingdom, this jewel that could not be priced, this wealth beyond an Emperor’s—and here only to die! My stolid apathy vanished, old thoughts dominated once more, old habits, old desires. I thought of Eleanor then in her warm, sunny home, the blossoms that bloomed around her, the birds that sang, the cheerful evening fires, the longing thoughts for one who never came, who never was to come. But I would! I cried, where human voice had never cried before. I would return! I would take this treasure with me! I would not be defrauded! Should not I, a man, conquer this inanimate blind matter? I reached out my hands to seize it. Slowly it receded—slowly, and less slowly; or was the motion of the ice still carrying me onward? Had we encircled this apex? and were we driving out into the open and uncovered North, and so down the seas and out to the open main of black water again? If so — if I could live through it—I must have this thing!

I rose, and as well as I could, with my cramped and stiffened limbs, I moved to go back for it.

It was useless; the current that carried us was growing invincible, the gaping gulfs of the outer seas were sucking us toward them. I fell; I scrambled to my feet; I would still have gone back, but, as I attempted it, the ice whereon I was inclined over so slightly, tipped more boldly, gave way, and rose in a billow, broke, and piled over on another mass beneath. Then the cavern was behind us, and I comprehended that this ice-stream, having doubled its central point, now in its outward movement encountered the still incoming body, and was to pile above and pass over it, the whole expanse bending, cracking, breaking, crowding, and compressing, till its rearing tumult made bergs more mountainous than the offshot glaciers of the Greenland continent, that should ride safely down to crumble in the surging seas below. As block after block of the rent ice rose in the air, lighted by the blue and bristling aurora-points, toppled and mounted higher, it seemed to me that now indeed I was battling with those elemental agencies in the dreadful fight I had desired—one man against the might ofsmattcr. I sprang from that block to another; I gained my balance on a third, climbing, shouldering, leaping, struggling, holding with my hands, catching with my feet, crawling, stumbling, tottering, rising high and higher with the mountain ever making underneath; a power unknown to my foes coming to my aid, a blessed rushing warmth that glowed on all the surface of my skin, that set the blood to racing iu my veins, that made my heart beat with newer hope, sink with newer despair, rise buoyant with new determination. Except when the shaft of light pierced the shivering sky I could not see or guess, the height that I had gained. I was vaguely aware of chasms that were bottomless, of precipices that opened on them, of pinnacles rising round me in aerial spires, when suddenly the shelf, on which I must have stood, yielded, as if it were pushed by great hands, swept down a steep iucline like an avalanche, stopped halfway, but sent me flying on, sliding, glancing, like a shooting-star, down, down the slippery side, breathless, dizzy, smitten with blistering pain by awful winds that whistled by me, far out upon the level ice below that tilted up and down again with the great resonant plash of open water, and conscious for n moment that I lay at last upon a fragment that the mass behind urged on, I knew and I remembered nothing more.

Faces were bending over me when I opened my eyes again, rough, uncouth, and bearded faces, but no monsters of the pole. Whalemen rather, smelling richly of train-oil, but I could recall nothing in all my life one fraction so beautiful as they; the angels on whom I hope to open my eyes when Death has really taken me will scarcely seem sights more blest than did I those rude whalers of the North Pacific Sea. The North Pacific Sea—for it was there that I was found, explain it how you may—whether the Albatross had pierced farther to the west than her sailing-master knew, and had lost her reckoning with a disordered compass-needle under new stars—or whether I had really been the sport of the demoniac beings of the ice, tossed by them from zone to zone in a dozen hours. The whalers, real creatures enough, had discovered me on a block of ice, they said; nor could I, in their opinion, have been mamdays undergoing my dreadful experience, for there was still food in my wallet when they opened it. They would never believe a word of my story, and so far from regarding me as one who had proved the Northwest Passage in my own person, they considered me a mere idle maniac, as uncomfortable a thing to have on shipboard as a ghost or a dead body, wrecked and unable to account for myself, and gladly transferred me to a homeward-bound Russian man-of-war, whose officers afforded me more polite but quite as decided skepticism. I have never to this day found any one who believed my story when I told it—so you can take it for what it is worth. Even my Uncle Paul flouted it, and absolutely refused to surrender the sum on whose expectation I had taken ship; while my old ancestor, who hung peeling over the hall fire, dropped from his frame in disgust at the idea of one of his hard-cash descendants turning romancer. But all I know is that the A Ibatross never sailed into port again, and that if I open my knife to-day and lay it on the table it will wheel about till the tip of its blade points full at the North Star.

I have never found any one to believe me, did I say? Yes, there is one—Eleanor never doubted a word of my narration, never asked me if cold and suffering had not shaken my reason. But then, after the first recital, she has never been willing to hear another word about it, and if I ever allude to my lost treasure or the possibility of instituting search for it, she asks me if I need more lessons to be content with the treasure that I have, and gathers up her work and gently leaves the room. So that, now I speak of it so seldom, if I had not told the thing to you it might come to pass that I should forget altogether the existence of my mass of moonstone. My mass of moonshine, old Paul calls it. I let him have his say; he can not have that nor any thing else much longer; but when all is done I recall Galileo and I mutter to myself, “Per si muove—it was a mass of moonstone! With these eyes I saw it, with these hands I touched it, with this heart I longed for it, with this will I mean to have it yet!”

The Metropolitan Magazine, Volume 49 (Google Books)

J. M. W.

SIR MONK MOYLE.*

BY J. LUMLEY SHAFTO.

CHAPTER VII.

“Jack, ever jovial, ever gay,

To appetite a slave,
Still games and drinks his life away,

And laughs to see me grave:
‘Tis thus that we two disagree;

So different is our whim,
My brother gaily laughs at me,

While I could weep for him.”

“That Fanny Moyle is a devilish fine girl \” said Captain Digby, as he sat smoking a cigar after dinner, to his brother, Sir Carrol; “don’t you think so?”

“There is no doubt about that, Jack: and I think her sister a very charming creature.”

“Yes, she’s very well; but the other’s the girl for my money.”

“The girl for your money, eh ?—don’t you rather mean that you are the man for her’s?”

“Ah! perhaps that’s rather nearer the mark, Carrol. But as for the money, the young lady will have enough, both for herself and her husband; and so long as they have it between them, it does not matter, you know, on which side it comes. She and her sister are the co-heiresses, I believe, of their grandfather, Sir Monk Moyle; and they will likewise divide the estate here in Ireland, which adjoins your own. It would be very pleasant for me to settle myself down in that way, close beside you. That would be taking fortune by storm,—no bad move, I think, for a soldier like me, with nothing to depend upon, but his captain’s pay. What do you think of it?”

“Why, I think you are a little too fast in this, as you are in

* Continued from p. 212.

most things. Before you could storm either Dame Fortune, or the lady’s fortune, which I am very much afraid, Jack, divides your admiration with her; you forget that you would have to lay a regular siege to the young lady herself: and it is not every siege, either military or matrimonial, that ends at last in a capitulation.”

“Well, we’ll drop both the siege and the storm then, and everything warlike; but ‘happy’s the wooing that’s not long a-doing.’ Seriously, though, I should like to canvass for Fanny Moyle, as the M.P.’s say.”

“The would-be M.P.’s, you mean, Jack. It is only the candidates that canvass, and they very often fail to get in.”

“Ah! there you are again! You don’t give a poor devil much encouragement, at any rate, to try to mend his fortune.”

“But suppose you should have a rival, Jack, in your friend, O’Sullivan. I don’t know whether you observed anything particular, when we met them yesterday, coming from Conciliation Hall, and he introduced us to the young ladies.”

“Egad! now that you mention it, Carrol, I certainly did remark, that he uttered the words, ‘My cousin, Miss Moyle,’ in the regular off-hand way; but when he turned to the younger, and said, ‘Miss Fanny Moyle,’ it was sotto voce, and with a sort of dropping of the eyelids; and whenever a man drops his eyelids in a case like that, I always conclude that he’s casting a sheep’s eye under them.”

“Ah! you judge of others by yourself, Jack. That’s very natural, though not always quite correct. I really did not remark all these little minutiae, which fell under your critical observation; but I drew my inference from a certain undefinable something in O’Sullivan’s manner to the younger sister, as we walked with them to the door of their hotel.”

“Well, even if it be as you suppose, that won’t signify much, if that be all. We know nothing yet about the reciprocity. As my friend, O’Sullivan, is an Irishman, like myself, that may be all on one side. I don’t see that I need despair just yet.”

“Certainly not,” said Sir Carrol, smiling good-humouredly; “more particularly as the young lady was never blessed with a sight of your sweet person before yesterday.”

“Faith, Carrol! you may joke as you please about it, but that won’t deter me. She’s a devilish fine girl, I repeat it; and even if O’Sullivan be after her himself, that’s no reason why I should not start for the same prize: ‘a fair field, and no favour/ is my motto; and let him that wins her, wear her. I really think I shall propose for her; that is, after a proper interval, and a due degree of attention, and all that.”

“Well, you’ve impudence enough for the trial, any way, Jack.”

“Egad! that’s a younger brother’s only portion. Well, ‘faint heart never won fair lady.’ Mine’s never faint, but when the cash runs low, and I don’t know in what quarter to look for the reviving cordial.”

“Ah, Jack! that sort of faintness comes upon you now so frequently, that the application of the stimulus you require becomes both expensive and difficult.”

“It all arises from inanition, pure inanition, Carrol; that’s my disorder. I really can see no remedy for it, but one—no permanent cure, I mean,—and that is, a handsome girl, like Fanny Moyle, with a handsome fortune. All the rest are mere palliatives.”

“The remedy you propose is agreeable enough, certainly. It is not every disease that can be cured by such a pleasant medicine. You’ll make no wry faces in swallowing that.”

“Why, when a man prescribes for himself, he would be a fool to swallow anything nauseous. And don’t you see, Carrol, that the medicine is not a whit more pleasant than efficacious. That’s the beauty of it.”

“Yes, it certainly combines both points. The miscuit utile dulci is not always either easy, or even practicable. If you can accomplish this in other cases, I think you ought to take out your diploma from the Royal College.”

“I’m glad, at any rate, that you give me credit for both understanding my own case, and the pleasantest as well as the most effectual mode of cure. My medicine will be quite a placebo to the palate, as our regimental doctor designates a mighty agreeable sort of draught, which he tells me he sometimes concocts for mere fanciful patients, who must and vnll have something, and really require nothing; but unlike that, as my disorder is anything but fanciful, it will carry health and vigor instantaneously, as it were, through my whole system.”

“Ah! through your financial system, Jack, acting upon the pocket, instead of the stomach.”

“Precisely so, for that’s the seat of my disease: and let me tell you, Carrol, that the symptoms become every day more and more painful and alarming. It won’t do to tamper with them any longer, I feel that.”

“Well, if your case be urgent, you have not been slow in hitting upon a very delightful remedy; that is, if it prove attainable. It would almost tempt a man to get sick, for the mere pleasure of getting well again.”

“Oh, I know what I’m about, depend upon it. I am not going to sacrifice myself for mere mercenary considerations. That won’t do for me at all. Now, there was poor Tom Halloran, a devilish good fellow, and all that; but very much afflicted with my disorder, as most good fellows are; and what did the simpleton do, but marry an old woman! She had thirty thousand pounds, it’s true, but with it she had (as the old song says),

‘A gimlet eye and a mouth awry,
And was cursedly warp’d in the back.'”

“A complete symbol, then,” said Sir Carrol, laughing, “of what you just now called ‘Irish reciprocitya something all on one side.”

“No, not that, either; for her eye turned one way, her mouth twisted the other, and her back (the most impartial point about her, but too ambitious withal), inclined to neither side, but went right up, above her shoulders. By heavens! I never was so astonished in my life, as when Tom introduced me to his bride. I was obliged to look first at the ground, then at the ceiling, and then at the ground again. I was divided, in fact, between a painful inclination both to laugh and cry.”

“Well, I admire your self-control, Jack, if you contrived to avoid both.”

“Why, you know, brother, though I’m a wild, rattling fellow, and too fast by half (I acknowledge it), I cannot bear, any more than yourself, to mock at the blemishes or defects of any one. In the first place, though I don’t pretend to much religion, I think it a downright affront to the Creator, who has fashioned us all as he thought fit; and next, it always appears to me to be not merely selfish and unfeeling, but unmanly,—all qualities which I thoroughly despise and detest, as the devil hates holy water.”

“More than that, I hope, Jack; for I very much doubt whether the devil does hate holy water. According to our views of religion, and the grand essentials which the Scriptures point out, for our preservation here, and our salvation hereafter, he has no reason at all to hate it. Rather the contrary, perhaps.”

“How so, Carrol?”

“Why, if a thief, watching us at night, should see us put sticks or straws across the door, instead of drawing out the iron bolt, I should think that such vain precautions would please him not a little.”

“But I suppose that our Roman Catholic friends would say that they resort to the iron bolt as well.”

“That is just the question. But even granting it to be so, then why not trust to the bolt? Why add mere sticks or straws? That can hardly make ‘assurance doubly sure.’ But a truce to the subject, brother. It is one not to be entered upon lightly, nor settled in an hour.”

“I’m not very partial to it, I confess: it’s quite out of my line. I have frequently remarked, though, that it seldom leads to any good, and very often to the contrary. But to return to the point we were discussing. I hope you understand me, Carrol. I am not selfish enough, nor yet weak enough, to sacrifice myself in the matrimonial way for mere money.”

“No, I hope not, Jack. A man may recover himself after many slips, but a false step of that kind cannot easily be repaired.”

“I think not, indeed. Believe me, brother, I would not marry a woman that I could not both love and respect, if she had the wealth of the Indies. And as to Fanny Moyle, unless both her face and her manners very much belie her, I think I could do both. No, no; poor as I am—”

“She is really a sweet creature, I admit itinterrupted Sir Carrol, eagerly. “But go on, Jack,” (clapping his hand on his brother’s shoulder) “you speak like your father’s son.”

“By all that’s sacred, then,” continued the captain with increasing energy: “poor as 1 am, I would sooner strip this embroidered coat from my back, and take to honest labour, than marry any woman, to make both her and myself miserable. He must be a mean despicable fellow, that can do that for money.”

“Ah, Jack!” said Sir Carrol, taking his brother’s hand, and pressing it cordially; “your heart’s in the right place, I know: and it will always give me pleasure to prove to you, that so is mine. But there are one or two points which, for your own sake, I should like to see altered. I should wish to see your character shine out in its true light; in short, that you should do yourself justice.”

“I know all that, Carrol, right well; for you have not only often said it, but proved it. But you are not to understand what I just now said, as applying exactly to poor Tom Halloran. I dont mean that. Tom’s a good fellow in his way; but, entre nous, he’s not very bright, that’s certain. I could safely warrant him, as the jockey did the blind horse: ‘It’s not his fault, at all, at all: it’s his misfortune.'”

“Ah! that makes a great difference, of course. And perhaps your friend Tom may not exactly possess your personal advantages, eh? The man that aspires to youth, beauty, and fortune, certainly ought to have something to offer in exchange.”

“Why, as to personal advantages, I don’t know much about that:” and the captain’s eye, although, (handsome as he unquestionably was,) he was by no means a vain man, glanced at an opposite mirror, and his hand went involuntarily up to his chin, which he stroked two or three times very complacently. “Tom is by no means an ill-looking fellow, though; and he might have done much better for himself. But there is certainly a little corner of his cranium, which approximates closely to that phenomenon in nature, that some deny altogether, a perfect vacuum.”

“I think that’s likely enough, Jack. But no one would look for such a corner as that in yours.”

“No, no; I’m wide awake, as you may suppose, by my turning my thoughts to such a girl as Fanny Moyle. That does not imply any thing of a vacuum, I should think. Egad! Carrol! if I should carry my point with her, it will be mighty pleasant to become both a landed proprietor, and your next neighbour at Castle Digby.”

“Very pleasant, indeed; but carry the point first.”

“Oh, of course! that’s understood. And then how delightful, to hand her, after the interesting ceremony, into a handsome chariot and four, jump in after her, and whisk her off somewhere, to spend the honey-moon!”

“Extremely delightful!” said Sir Carrol, smiling; “but there is a good deal to be done before it comes to that. You are giving the reins to fancy, quite in the style of the ‘Arabian Nights/ and she seems to be running away with you at full gallop. Why, Jack, you seem quite to forget that you had not even seen the young lady, four and twenty hours ago.”

“No, that’s very true: but I shall endeavour to make up for lost time, by working all the harder, now that I have seen her. Let me see,” added the captain, rattling on, in spite of his brother’s hint; “I think Paris must be our first destination. I should like uncommonly to visit Paris again. It’s a splendid place to—”

“Paris!” interrupted Sir Carrol, quickly, as some painful recollections arose to his mind, of a former visit which his brother had paid to it, and some youthful follies into which he had fallen. “But I should suppose the lady would be consulted in such a case, and possibly some other place might be more agreeable to her. Remember, Jack, that whenever you marry, there will be another to be considered, beside yourself.”

“Oh, of course! I am quite aware of all that. But Paris is a delightful place though to reside in, at least for a few weeks.”

“Why should you go there again?” continued the baronet, surveying his brother with a mournful seriousness; “to spend your money at rouge et noir?”

“Well! rouge et noir is better than bonnet rouge, at any rate. It’s the safer game of the two, is it not?”

“Yes, there’s no doubt about that: better lose your money than your head, but far better still to hazard neither.” . -“Pooh! heads are not so easily lost now-a-days. A man may stand up for liberty, and keep his head safe upon- his shoulders.”

‘Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
Those who would seek for pearls must dive below.'”

“Let me only be sure of the pearls,” said the incorrigible captain, “and down I’ll dive instanter. But I tell you what, brother!” throwing away the remnant of his cigar, and resting his folded arms upon the table: “I tell you what: when a man wants money, the thermometer of his patriotism runs down to the freezing point. The bountiful smiles of Dame Fortune have a magical effect in making a man love his country. But when he owes nothing to her but his poverty—”

“But suppose a different case,” interrupted Sir Carrol, seriously. “Suppose a man’s poverty the effect of his own folly and extravagance.”

“How sir !” said the captain, sharply. “Am I to be called foolish and extravagant, because I have a mind above my fortune? Think of the figure a man cuts in a dragoon regiment, without money. How can a young fellow of any spirit bear to be thought either mean, or as poor as a church mouse ?—almost afraid to put his hand in his pocket, to give a sous to a beggar.”

“A hard case indeed, Jack! I grant it,” said the baronet, in a conciliating tone.

“Well, brother,” continued the captain, starting up, and pacing the room with rapid strides: “it’s all very well to talk of a man’s extravagance, who has nothing but his pay to look to; but trust me, it drives a man to do what he would not, when he sees himself obliged to play Jerry Sneak, running away from society like a dog with his tail between his legs, because he cannot live in it like a gentleman.”

“You should never want the means, while I have them, Jack, of living like a gentleman: that is precisely how I should wish to see you live. But let me ask you,—not impertinently, but as a friend, a brother, an elder brother, — do you, when you have money, spend it like a gentleman? Dont be offended, Jack: but do you live as our father would have wished to see a son of his live?”

Captain Digby sighed, and remained silent.

“Are gaming, drinking, and other vices of this luxurious and licentious age, gentlemanly habits? Can you hope to win such a prize as Fanny Moyle, with no better credentials to her hand than these? Oh, my dear brother! be wise in time: listen to the voice of a true friend. Change but your dangerous habits of life; discard your dissipated associates; and my purse, like my heart, shall be open to all your wants.”

Captain Digby’s heart was touched. The mention of his father had carried him back at once to a time, when he felt that his moral nature was better than it was now. The magic of that name had called up a crowd of early images, still dear to memory; and a host of good resolutions, all too much neglected: and the last words of his brother caused an involuntary tear to start to his eye, as he said in a voice trembling with emotion:

“Ah Carrol! my dear fellow! I know that you are my only real friend: I know that well. I feel that your advice is perfectly correct; and what is more, I intend to try hard whether I cannot follow it.”

“Do that, dear Jack; only do that,” said Sir Carrol, with an affectionate earnestness in his tone and manner; “and you will make me one of the happiest men living. I have no uneasiness, no anxiety in the world at present, thank God! about any thing but yourself. But your prospects and your welfare are very, very dear to me.”

While he was yet speaking, the baronet drew a sheet of paper from the portfolio, which lay upon the table, and commenced writing a few lines. When he had finished, he rose, approached his brother, who was still pacing the room with agitated steps; and taking his hand, placed in it a cheque upon his banker’s, for two hundred pounds, at the same time saying: — ” There, my dear fellow! let that remove your difficulties for the present; and be assured of the real delight I feel, in having it in my power to remove them.”

The captain’s arms rose involuntarily to his brother’s neck, his head drooped and rested upon his shoulder, and the gay, bold, dashing, dragoon officer, sobbed there audibly for the space of half a minute, before he had the power to check himself. When nature had thus had her way, Sir Carrol took his brother’s hand, and after pressing it warmly, drew him a step in the direction of the seat which he had just before occupied, and then quietly resumed his own.

After a brief pause, the baronet said, “you dine with your friend O’Reilly to morrow, don’t you, Jack?”

“Yes, I engaged myself to meet O’Sullivan, on his return to Ireland, and a few other friends. I think you promised him your company, too, Carrol; did you not?”

“Why yes, I did partly promise; but I hardly know what to say about it. Who is likely to be there, have you any idea? I don’t suppose that I know any of them; and I am not fond of forming new acquaintances indiscriminately, as you are aware.”

“Well, but / shall be there, and you know me: and you know O’Reilly, of course, the founder of the feast. He’s a real good fellow: one, I mean, that you yourself think so. And then there will be O’Sullivan, and he is a man after your own heart. I am very anxious that you should know more of him; more particularly as he will be a good deal down at Castle Cormack; and it’s pleasant, you know, to be neighbourly in the country, especially where neighbours are few.”

“You are right, Jack. Independently of the last consideration, Captain O’Sullivan, from all that I have heard of him, is a man that I should like to know. I’ll make up my mind at once, to join the party. If you will look in here on your way to-morrow at five o’clock, I shall be ready to go with you. Do you think Sir Monk Moyle will be there V”

“No, I don’t suppose he will. It’s not exactly the sort of thing for him.”

“How, Jack? If that be so, I’m afraid it’s hardly the sort of thing for me.”

“Oh! that’s quite another question, Carrol. I only mean that the party will be chiefly young men, like ourselves, and almost entirely military. Sir Monk was in the army in his younger days; but he quitted it early, to reside upon his family estate, and he is now quite the old country gentleman. From all that I have heard O’Sullivan say, he would not like to be put out of his regular quiet habits.”

“I have heard a good deal about Sir Monk, myself, from his connection with Castle Cormack, in our own immediate neighbourhood: and report speaks most favourably of him. Many fine traits of character have travelled from Wales to Ireland, by agents and others, who have come over from time to time on matters of business.”

“But you should hear my friend O’Sullivan talk about the old baronet, if you would know more about his real character. I don’t think that O’Sullivan could love and respect him more, if he were his own father.”

“That’s very delightful! were it not for Sir Monk’s own sake, I could almost wish that he had had no Welsh estate, that so he might have been constantly resident at Castle Cormack. Poor Ireland has much more need of such a man, than Wales. The pleasure and advantage of having a neighbour like Sir Monk, though great, are with me a secondary because a purely personal consideration. He would have been carrying out projects for the real and permanent benefit of the tenants and dependants on that estate; and far more efficiently, I dare say, than I have been able to do on mine. What an advantage I should have had, in arranging my plans in conjunction with Sir Monk, and in profiting by his experience.”

“I know that’s your hobby, Carrol; and I wish with all my heart, that every landed proprietor was like you. Poor old Ireland would be a very different country, I believe, from what she now is. I don’t pretend to be much either of a political economist, or a philosopher: that’s out of my line. But I do happen to know that two and two make four: and I think that a great many happy and prosperous portions of a country, only add and multiply them often enough, would go far to make up one happy and prosperous whole. That’s how / spell it out.”

“And you spell uncommonly well, Jack, for a beginner:” rejoined Sir Carrol, his eye sparkling with pleasure. “If your lot had not been cast in the army, I believe you would have become an accomplished scholar in my line. The fact is, that by far the greater part of what is called political economy is a pack of heartless humbug and mystification, calculated only to make wise men laugh, and good men weep. It is founded, like state policy, far too much on what is, or rather what is blunderingly thought to be, expedient, and far too little on what is right or just. The just and the expedient, contrary to the maxims of our modern philosophers and politicians, ought always to be considered as convertible terms. Truth in all her relations and bearings, public as well as private, is a much more simple thing than such sophists as these are disposed to admit: and what is only temporarily expedient, without being permanently right and just, is never true.”

“Ah Carrol! I know that you have studied all these things wall, which, of course, I don’t pretend to: and what is more, you are carrying them out upon your own estate, to a practical result, which seems to have promoted the comfort and happiness of scores of poor families. I was surprised and delighted, at the change I saw, when I went round amongst them, the last time I visited you. But how is it, can you tell me, Carrol, that the Castle Cormack estate belongs to the Misses Movie, and not to my friend O’Sullivan?”

“Oh! it was in this way: did you never hear the story?”

“I have heard some strange romance about it,” said the captain, “but I never could rightly understand it.”

“Well, it was in this way:” continued the baronet. “The castle belonged many years ago, before our time, to an old maiden lady, Miss Cormack, an aunt of the half-blood to Major O’Sullivan, the captain’s father. She took offence, as rich old maiden ladies are apt to do, at something the major said, or did, once, when he was on a visit to her. By the bye, I think he happened to tread upon a pet lap-dog, or a tom-cat, I forget which; and on being rather sharply reproved by the old lady, for his carelessness, he failed to express sufficient contrition. The consequence was, that she sent for her lawyer that very day, and altered her will.”

“Then it seems that in kicking the tom-cat, the major kicked down his own fortune in a moment, without being aware of it.”

“He did indeed: for she left the estate to the major’s sister, who married Mr. Moyle, Sir Monk’s only son; and a legacy of five July, 1847. Vol. Xlix.—No. exev. A A

thousand pounds, which she had originally intended for Mrs. Moyle, was all she bequeathed to the major.”

“That was a hard blow for him, any how.”

“So hard, that it was said he never thoroughly recovered his spirits afterwards. But the strangest part of the story remains to be told. After Miss Cormack died, no will at all could be found, and it was thought the estate would escheat to the crown, for want of heirs, as the half-blood could not inherit. The lawyer declared that he had drawn a new, will up, at the time the old one was destroyed; and at last it was found in a rather remarkable way. An elderly woman, Katty Shea, who lived close to the castle, and had been a good deal employed there during the old lady’s last illness, said that she had dreamed a dream, and she thought she could throw some light upon the mystery of its disappearance. No attention was paid to her at first, till she declared that she had dreamt the same dream a second and a third time. This coming to the major’s ears, he questioned her upon the subject. She told him as much as she thought fit; and then stipulated that if her dream should prove correct, so as to be the means of discovering the will, she should have a certain sum of money, I think it was a hundred pounds.”

“Well, and what was the result? Did she find the will?”

“You shall hear. Katty went to the castle on the following morning, and all its inmates were on the tiptoe of expectation. Accompanied by the major, and one of the men-servants, she went up a winding staircase, along two or three remote galleries, and at last stopped at the door of a room which had been shut up for years. That, she said, was the place she had dreamed of: and as no key could be found, and there was no locksmith at hand, the major put his shoulder to the door, and burst it in. The chamber, on entering it, appeared to be quite empty; but in a sort of dressing room which communicated with it, in a deep recess under the window, they found an antique oak chest; on lifting up the lid of which, a few old useless parchments were discovered, and under these the missing will. The wonder was, how it had come there, as this was a room of which the key had been lost for many years, that part of the building having been long uninhabited, and neither Miss Cormack, nor any one else, was ever known to enter the chamber.”

“It’s an odd kind of story, Carrol: I don’t know what to make of it. The old woman’s dream must have been, of course, all nonsense; and yet, how could she point out the room where the will was? and how the devil did it get there?”

“Ah! that’s the question. Some of the ignorant peasantry said she was a witch, and had conveyed it there herself through the key-hole. But others, more learned in diablerie, alleged that

“Ah, Jack! that sort of liberty that you are so fond of eulogising is nothing better than a showy, well-dressed courtezan, and generally woos her lovers to their ultimate ruin. I do, wish, brother, that you could tame your volatile spirits, and allow your mind to look a little deeper than the mere surface of things:

‘Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
Those who would seek for pearls must dive below.'”

“Let me only be sure of the pearls,” said the incorrigible captain, “and down I’ll dive instanter. But I tell you what, brother!” throwing away the remnant of his cigar, and resting his folded arms upon the table: “I tell you what: when a man wants money, the thermometer of his patriotism runs down to the freezing point. The bountiful smiles of Dame Fortune have a magical effect in making a man love his country. But when he owes nothing to her but his poverty—”

“But suppose a different case,” interrupted Sir Carrol, seriously. “Suppose a man’s poverty the effect of his own folly and extravagance.”

“How sir !” said the captain, sharply. “Am I to be called foolish and extravagant, because I have a mind above my fortune? Think of the figure a man cuts in a dragoon regiment, without money. How can a young fellow of any spirit bear to be thought either mean, or as poor as a church mouse ?—almost afraid to put his hand in his pocket, to give a sous to a beggar.”

“A hard case indeed, Jack! I grant it,” said the baronet, in a conciliating tone.

“Well, brother,” continued the captain, starting up, and pacing the room with rapid strides: “it’s all very well to talk of a man’s extravagance, who has nothing but his pay to look to; but trust me, it drives a man to do what he would not, when he sees himself obliged to play Jerry Sneak, running away from society like a dog with his tail between his legs, because he cannot live in it like a gentleman.”

“You should never want the means, while I have them, Jack, of living like a gentleman: that is precisely how I should wish to see you live. But let me ask you,—not impertinently, but as a friend, a brother, an elder brother, — do you, when you have money, spend it like a gentleman? Dont be offended, Jack: but do you live as our father would have wished to see a son of his live?”

Captain Digby sighed, and remained silent.

“Are gaming, drinking, and other vices of this luxurious and licentious age, gentlemanly habits? Can you hope to win such a prize as Fanny Moyle, with no better credentials to her hand than these? Oh, my dear brother! be wise in time: listen to the voice of a true friend. Change but your dangerous habits of life; discard your dissipated associates; and my purse, like my heart, shall be open to all your wants.”

Captain Digby’s heart was touched. The mention of his father had carried him back at once to a time, when he felt that his moral nature was better than it was now. The magic of that name had called up a crowd of early images, still dear to memory; and a host of good resolutions, all too much neglected: and the last words of his brother caused an involuntary tear to start to his eye, as he said in a voice trembling with emotion:

“Ah Carrol! my dear fellow! I know that you are my only real friend: I know that well. I feel that your advice is perfectly correct; and what is more, I intend to try hard whether I cannot follow it.”

“Do that, dear Jack; only do that,” said Sir Carrol, with an affectionate earnestness in his tone and manner; “and you will make me one of the happiest men living. I have no uneasiness, no anxiety in the world at present, thank God! about any thing but yourself. But your prospects and your welfare are very, very dear to me.”

While he was yet speaking, the baronet drew a sheet of paper from the portfolio, which lay upon the table, and commenced writing a few lines. When he had finished, he rose, approached his brother, who was still pacing the room with agitated steps; and taking his hand, placed in it a cheque upon his banker’s, for two hundred pounds, at the same time saying: — ” There, my dear fellow! let that remove your difficulties for the present; and be assured of the real delight I feel, in having it in my power to remove them.”

The captain’s arms rose involuntarily to his brother’s neck, his head drooped and rested upon his shoulder, and the gay, bold, dashing, dragoon officer, sobbed there audibly for the space of half a minute, before he had the power to check himself. When nature had thus had her way, Sir Carrol took his brother’s hand, and after pressing it warmly, drew him a step in the direction of the seat which he had just before occupied, and then quietly resumed his own.

After a brief pause, the baronet said, “you dine with your friend O’Reilly to morrow, don’t you, Jack?”

“Yes, I engaged myself to meet O’Sullivan, on his return to Ireland, and a few other friends. I think you promised him your company, too, Carrol; did you not?”

“Why yes, I did partly promise; but I hardly know what to say about it. Who is likely to be there, have you any idea? I don’t suppose that I know any of them; and I am not fond of forming new acquaintances indiscriminately, as you are aware.”

“Well, but / shall be there, and you know me: and you know O’Reilly, of course, the founder of the feast. He’s a real good fellow: one, I mean, that you yourself think so. And then there will be O’Sullivan, and he is a man after your own heart. I am very anxious that you should know more of him; more particularly as he will be a good deal down at Castle Cormack; and it’s pleasant, you know, to be neighbourly in the country, especially where neighbours are few.”

“You are right, Jack. Independently of the last consideration, Captain O’Sullivan, from all that I have heard of him, is a man that I should like to know. I’ll make up my mind at once, to join the party. If you will look in here on your way to-morrow at five o’clock, I shall be ready to go with you. Do you think Sir Monk Moyle will be there V”

“No, I don’t suppose he will. It’s not exactly the sort of thing for him.”

“How, Jack? If that be so, I’m afraid it’s hardly the sort of thing for me.”

“Oh! that’s quite another question, Carrol. I only mean that the party will be chiefly young men, like ourselves, and almost entirely military. Sir Monk was in the army in his younger days; but he quitted it early, to reside upon his family estate, and he is now quite the old country gentleman. From all that I have heard O’Sullivan say, he would not like to be put out of his regular quiet habits.”

“I have heard a good deal about Sir Monk, myself, from his connection with Castle Cormack, in our own immediate neighbourhood: and report speaks most favourably of him. Many fine traits of character have travelled from Wales to Ireland, by agents and others, who have come over from time to time on matters of business.”

“But you should hear my friend O’Sullivan talk about the old baronet, if you would know more about his real character. I don’t think that O’Sullivan could love and respect him more, if he were his own father.”

“That’s very delightful! were it not for Sir Monk’s own sake, I could almost wish that he had had no Welsh estate, that so he might have been constantly resident at Castle Cormack. Poor Ireland has much more need of such a man, than Wales. The pleasure and advantage of having a neighbour like Sir Monk, though great, are with me a secondary because a purely personal consideration. He would have been carrying out projects for the real and permanent benefit of the tenants and dependants on that estate; and far more efficiently, I dare say, than I have been able to do on mine. What an advantage I should have had, in arranging my plans in conjunction with Sir Monk, and in profiting by his experience.”

“I know that’s your hobby, Carrol; and I wish with all my heart, that every landed proprietor was like you. Poor old Ireland would be a very different country, I believe, from what she now is. I don’t pretend to be much either of a political economist, or a philosopher: that’s out of my line. But I do happen to know that two and two make four: and I think that a great many happy and prosperous portions of a country, only add and multiply them often enough, would go far to make up one happy and prosperous whole. That’s how / spell it out.”

“And you spell uncommonly well, Jack, for a beginner:” rejoined Sir Carrol, his eye sparkling with pleasure. “If your lot had not been cast in the army, I believe you would have become an accomplished scholar in my line. The fact is, that by far the greater part of what is called political economy is a pack of heartless humbug and mystification, calculated only to make wise men laugh, and good men weep. It is founded, like state policy, far too much on what is, or rather what is blunderingly thought to be, expedient, and far too little on what is right or just. The just and the expedient, contrary to the maxims of our modern philosophers and politicians, ought always to be considered as convertible terms. Truth in all her relations and bearings, public as well as private, is a much more simple thing than such sophists as these are disposed to admit: and what is only temporarily expedient, without being permanently right and just, is never true.”

“Ah Carrol! I know that you have studied all these things wall, which, of course, I don’t pretend to: and what is more, you are carrying them out upon your own estate, to a practical result, which seems to have promoted the comfort and happiness of scores of poor families. I was surprised and delighted, at the change I saw, when I went round amongst them, the last time I visited you. But how is it, can you tell me, Carrol, that the Castle Cormack estate belongs to the Misses Movie, and not to my friend O’Sullivan?”

“Oh! it was in this way: did you never hear the story?”

“I have heard some strange romance about it,” said the captain, “but I never could rightly understand it.”

“Well, it was in this way:” continued the baronet. “The castle belonged many years ago, before our time, to an old maiden lady, Miss Cormack, an aunt of the half-blood to Major O’Sullivan, the captain’s father. She took offence, as rich old maiden ladies are apt to do, at something the major said, or did, once, when he was on a visit to her. By the bye, I think he happened to tread upon a pet lap-dog, or a tom-cat, I forget which; and on being rather sharply reproved by the old lady, for his carelessness, he failed to express sufficient contrition. The consequence was, that she sent for her lawyer that very day, and altered her will.”

“Then it seems that in kicking the tom-cat, the major kicked down his own fortune in a moment, without being aware of it.”

“He did indeed: for she left the estate to the major’s sister, who married Mr. Moyle, Sir Monk’s only son; and a legacy of five July, 1847. Vol. Xlix.—No. exev. A A

thousand pounds, which she had originally intended for Mrs. Moyle, was all she bequeathed to the major.”

“That was a hard blow for him, any how.”

“So hard, that it was said he never thoroughly recovered his spirits afterwards. But the strangest part of the story remains to be told. After Miss Cormack died, no will at all could be found, and it was thought the estate would escheat to the crown, for want of heirs, as the half-blood could not inherit. The lawyer declared that he had drawn a new, will up, at the time the old one was destroyed; and at last it was found in a rather remarkable way. An elderly woman, Katty Shea, who lived close to the castle, and had been a good deal employed there during the old lady’s last illness, said that she had dreamed a dream, and she thought she could throw some light upon the mystery of its disappearance. No attention was paid to her at first, till she declared that she had dreamt the same dream a second and a third time. This coming to the major’s ears, he questioned her upon the subject. She told him as much as she thought fit; and then stipulated that if her dream should prove correct, so as to be the means of discovering the will, she should have a certain sum of money, I think it was a hundred pounds.”

“Well, and what was the result? Did she find the will?”

“You shall hear. Katty went to the castle on the following morning, and all its inmates were on the tiptoe of expectation. Accompanied by the major, and one of the men-servants, she went up a winding staircase, along two or three remote galleries, and at last stopped at the door of a room which had been shut up for years. That, she said, was the place she had dreamed of: and as no key could be found, and there was no locksmith at hand, the major put his shoulder to the door, and burst it in. The chamber, on entering it, appeared to be quite empty; but in a sort of dressing room which communicated with it, in a deep recess under the window, they found an antique oak chest; on lifting up the lid of which, a few old useless parchments were discovered, and under these the missing will. The wonder was, how it had come there, as this was a room of which the key had been lost for many years, that part of the building having been long uninhabited, and neither Miss Cormack, nor any one else, was ever known to enter the chamber.”

“It’s an odd kind of story, Carrol: I don’t know what to make of it. The old woman’s dream must have been, of course, all nonsense; and yet, how could she point out the room where the will was? and how the devil did it get there?”

“Ah! that’s the question. Some of the ignorant peasantry said she was a witch, and had conveyed it there herself through the key-hole. But others, more learned in diablerie, alleged that

if a witch could pass through a key-hole, (which they did not at all dispute,) a will could not. These, therefore, like all hair splitters, and drawers of fine distinctions, instead of arriving at any solution, natural or super-natural, only ended by rendering the mystery more profound.”

“And pray, what was the upshot of it all? ” inquired Captain Digby.

“Why, briefly, this. Mrs. Moyle got the estate, and Major O’Sullivan the five thousand pounds: and as for Katty Shea, she got her hundred pounds, and was ducked by her neighbours the same night, in a horse-pond.”

“Which was a gratuitous, though not a very agreeable addition,” said the captain, “to what she had bargained for.”

“It was so;” rejoined Sir Carrol: “but she took the bad with the good, and made the best she could of the two. She is now a very old woman, upwards of eighty, and lives entirely alone. The country people in general regard her as a witch, and avoid meeting her, if they can, particularly about nightfall.”

“Poor soul!” the hundred pounds has been a hard bargain for her then, in the long run.”

“Very hard indeed, Jack! she would have been a thousand times better without it. But that is the way in which Castle Cormack passed from old Major O’Sullivan.”

“Well, good night, Carrol!” said Captain Digby, rising, and putting on his helmet. “I shall be sure to call for you to-morrow at five.”

“Do, Jack! and so good bye for the present, and God bless you \” and here the two brothers shook each other cordially by the hand, and parted,

That night, Captain Digby, on retiring to rest, and putting away the cheque, which relieved him, at once, from a load of difficulties and anxieties, said the first prayer that had passed his Hps for several weeks, and solemnly vowed to act worthy of such a brother’s love. Whether he repeated the prayer, and kept the vow, remains to be seen in the sequel.

The Warning: a Narrative of Facts, Addressed to Wives and Mothers (Google Books)

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T H E WA R N I N G:
A TALE OF MARRIED LIFE.

H—

CHAPTER I.

” The men who con-secretes his hours
By vig’rous effort and an honest aim.
At once he draws the sting of life, and dea‘h,
He walks with Wisdom, and her paths are peace.”
Yours.

MOST affectionate, attentive, and thoughtful husband was Robert Cuthbertson, the industrious, thriving, intol— ligent young wheelwright, whose large premises and pleasant house occupied the corner of the Highstreet in the bustling town of Hurtleborougb. If an improving business, a good reputation, a young and frugal wife, and that very important personage—a son and heir,

in the first twelve months of his undisputed sway as

sole baby of the establishment: if all these desirable n

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acquisitions can confer happiness, Robert Cuthbertson was a happy man. _

Constant employment, it is Well known, is a complete antidote to a morbid sensitiveness of disposition; and industry, with its firm supporter, temperance, shed their cheering influence over the serene and happy temper of the young husband. Still, no man who has many sources of happiness of a tender and domestic character, can avoid feeling that in exact proportion to his joys may be his sorrows. Apprehension is ever the shadow that attends love. In fact, the truth of the

philosopher’s remark, that the man who has a wife and ‘

children has “given hostages to fortune,” is more or

less felt by all whose love hovers with tender solicitude ‘

over earthly treasures. The deeper his regard, the more he “ rejoices with fear and trembling.” Slight clouds will gather over the fair expanse of the truest affection—and though but fleeting visitants, that a breath almost serves to dispel, they are shadowy warnings, bidding the exulting heart receive its temporal blessings with equal humility and gratitude. In this subdued and trusting frame of mind did

Robert Cuthbcrtson receive the manifold blessings

whieh a bounteous Providence had bestowed on him: and knowing that personal habits are often a great security for personal and relative happiness and

prosperity, it had been his aim, from earliest youth, ‘

to circumscribe his artificial wants—t0 be “ diligent in ‘

business and fervent in spirit,” and by Divine grace he

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had been favoured to perceive the real meaning of that passage. The fervour of his devotion towards God was the spring of his activity and cheerfulness in his daily duties. From that source flowed the peace that made him work with a willing mind in that station of life in which Providence had placed him, and enabled him to secure, with laudable energy, a fair proportion of this world’s goods,

“Not for to hi’le it in a hedge,
Not for a. train attendant,
But for the glorious privilege
Of being independent.”

A character uniting so much prudence with gene— rosity, and gentleness with firmness, could not of course be expected to be without a few counterbalancing faults, either real or ascribed. Robert Cuthbertson’s friends (and how soon do our most particular friends make similar discoveries?) used to shake their heads knowingly, and whisper, among themselves—“ Ah, Cuthbertson is an excellent young man, I a very excellent young man, but (oh, word of fear) so very eccentric.” If‘any stranger, curious to ascertain, asked in what way this peculiar quality displayed itself –“Oh,” they would reply, “he is an inveterate water-drinker—has been from boyhood—a downright, headstrong, water-drinker—hopelessly obstinate on that point; here all the banter of the wittiest young fellows in the town without fiinching; and though full of spirits (natural, they might have added) and a. very entertaining companion, actually, un

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ceremoniously, neglected every convivial meeting because he “would not countenance ”—yes, that was the word—“he would not countenance such debasing pursuits.” People expect strength of body in youth, but they are sometimes inclined to ridicule or dislike strength of principle.

Most people were satisfied with this explanation of the charge ofeccentricity. As applied to Cuthbertson, it ‘

was a clear case, an undisputed position; and when, in addition to this, they were told by the jovial landlord of the “Clutchem Arms,” who never wearicd of relating the story, what a great loser the obstinate young

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wheelwright had been by his water-drinking, they a

were doubly confirmed in their opinion.

The anecdote in question was a standing jest of Boniface’s; he considered it a warning to all sober men, and never failed to relate it to every fledgeling

drunkard that old decoy-birds brought into his snug ‘

trap of a parlour. His story, in this instance, had another merit besides its moral—it excited interest : for even drunkards were quite curious to know how a man could possibly ruin very good prospects by being a water- drinker. Had his story related similar results of

‘ an opposite description of character, not a single

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he boasted of his temperance), he would rub his hands, chuckle, and say “Ah, Sirs, when that obstinate fellow, Cuthbertson, was a lad, tall and slender as a. champagne bottle, and brisk as my best ale, he had a maiden aunt who was worth a good comfortable sum of money; she had lived in the family cf Sir Frederick Clutchem, the patron of this house, from a child; first, as a sort of

plaything for the Lady, Sir Frederick’s mother, who, ;

after her favourite lap-dog went mad, took to children as less dangerous. When she was grown up, and proved a. shrewd bustling woman, the young lady, the baronet’s wife, came home, and Cuthbertson’s aunt then became housekeeper and favourite; and what with a handsome annuity left her by the old lady, and legacies both from the first and second wives of the baronet, with many years of enormous savings in so wealthy and profuse an establishment, the old girl was not to be sneercd at. She was mortal proud, to be sure! loftier a great deal than either one of the ladies. \Vell, Robert was her only nephew, and a mighty deal of pains his parents took with him to train him up in awe of her, for she liked homage. The boy was always a queer chap; he never learnt well the coaxing ways they taught him, but that was passed over; he grew up a good-looking fellow, and his old aunt was as fond of him, almost, as of her large black parrot; and but for his unlucky water-drinking propensity he might have come into all she was worth.

“The old girl had a great name all over the country

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for making a famous damson wine, and she doctored it so cleverly with alum and logwood, they said it was , equal to the best rough-flavoured port. ’Twas shocking i unwholesome stuff, mind ye, as all them home made wines are—a kind of preserved cholera, or bottled-up doctor’s purveyor; but people praised and tasted. ,lVell, we all like fame. The old lady was prouder/ of her wine than of her high breeding, which is saying a igreat deal; and for any one to drink ‘it and pretend ‘he felt sure . it must he port, was a certain passport to her good graces. I need not tell you, my boys, how her wine had many admirers, and her strong box made many volunteer a colic. But her headstrong nephew always con

, trived to be absent on gala days. At last she retired ‘ from her situation, to the great joy of the servants at the large house, and set up housekeeping on her own account. Her love of money made her give up many things she could well allord, but the famous wine was duly treasured.

“ At her house-warming, Cuthbertson (who had lost his parents, and succeeded to his father’s business) was obliged to be present, and he gave great ofience by refusing to taste the wine. He, however, expressed no particular opinion on its merits, and after a short coolness he was forgiven. Shortly after the reconciliation, he spent the day with the old lady. An old brandy nosed, broken-down, half-pay officer (we called him “Captain in our town), one of the greatest admirers of the spinster’s \‘inous skill, happened to be there. Well,

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77‘

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after dinner the captain tossed off his glass of damson wine, and, with a grave face, made for the occasion, (kclared he had never tasted such port in England before. Then the flattered old woman began to tell him, for the hundredth time, the story of her , wine and its virtues. Only think of that simpleton, the nephew, refusing still to drink it! and worse than that, getting rather warm under the jeers of the captain, saying, in the heat of conversation, it was poison, or it contained poison—J don’t know which. The captain defied him to prove it; and the simple fellow,

with some domestic apparatus, must needs extract the , spirit, and burn a small part of it, showing them at the ‘

same time the sickly-looking refuse. Oh, poor fool! the spirit of his aunt’s love burnt as blue as the spirit of wine, I promise ye, and went out quite as soon, leaving a black residue of anger. Well, as ill luck would have it,’the parrot’s food stood on a. side—table, ready to put in the cage, and the captain, I’ve reason to think, unperceived, put the remainder of the spirit which had not been burnt, into the parrot’s trough. The anger of the old lady at her nephew’s conduct was so great that she forgot to give Poll her dinner at the usual time, but observing the captain looking at the food, she recollected the omission, and put the trough in the cage. her hands trembling with rage. The bird, hungry with the unusual delay, began to eat voraciously; and Cuthbertson, thinking it best to go, as his aunt looked so much displeased, turned his back upon

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‘ dear cold water for his comfort.

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the house, having done as pretty a day’s work for himself as possible. He had not been gone long before the favourite black parrot, after fluttering wildly on her swing, croaking dismally, fell down to the bottom of the cage, and died. All was tumult, and crying, and running to and fro, in the house. But the old lady’s anger cured her grief when the captain called her attention to the parrot’s food, and she discovered by the residue that the spirit had been put into it. She never for a moment doubted that her nephew had wilfully poisoned the bird. Mind, friends, I think it was because it was spirit extracted out of home-made wine that caused it to be so poisonous: my wines are all good and wholesome.

“Well, from that day to her death, which happened only six months afterwards, she never saw her nephew, or would have him mentioned in her presence.

“And who do you think she left her money to? \Vhy, the captain. Ha! ha! he was a keen fellow! poor Cuthbertson chips away at his wheels with his What d’ye think of that now ? —ha’nt he been a loser by sobriety ?”

The loud laughter of the landlord was generally so infections that his guests forgot, in their merriment, to ask any more questions; and if they had, it is ten to one that he would have told them (fund as he was of telling a story) that within a twelvemonth of the winemaking spinster’s death, most of her dearly-beloved money found its way into the till of “The Clutchem

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.TWA”

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Arms,” whose resources being thus wondrously replenished, her savings added another storey, an orna— mental stuccoed front, and a. huge brilliant lamp to the house; and had also supplied a fit of apoplexy—a coroner’s inquest—a deep grave—and a fine tombstone to the captain! So far the world could see consequences; but the unseen, who could unveil that? or . follow the shuddering soul into “ the blackness of j darknesss for ever and ever ?”

It is no wonder that. with such a story told of him, the good folks of Hurtleborough were fully and finally convinced of Cuthbertson’s eccentricity; and a sorry life he would have led, if it had not been that there was a certain something about him which forbade a person idly jesting with him; the wits therefore were obliged to content themselves with jesting at him, which, if it afl’orded them any amusement, certainly did not in the least annoy the sturdy wheelwright.

Meanwhile great changes were at that time in agitation among the industrious classes. A cry had gone forth, “Because of drunkenness the land mourneth.” A practical remedy was devised for the fatal disease, and in England and America Temperance Societies had been formed to arrest the deadly foe—a voice had sounded over the foamy billows of the broap Atlantic—and many honest English hearts had leapt up at the soundl—myriads of manly voices, “strong in their pure intent,” had echoed back the mighty sound with even redoubled vigour!

soul

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he boasted of his temperance), he would rub his hands, chuckle, and say “Ah, Sirs, when that obstinate fellow, Cuthbertson, was a lad, tall and slender as a. champagne bottle, and brisk as my best ale, he had a maiden aunt who was worth a good comfortable sum of money; she had lived in the family cf Sir Frederick Clutchem, the patron of this house, from a child; first, as a sort of

plaything for the Lady, Sir Frederick’s mother, who, ;

after her favourite lap-dog went mad, took to children as less dangerous. When she was grown up, and proved a. shrewd bustling woman, the young lady, the baronet’s wife, came home, and Cuthbertson’s aunt then became housekeeper and favourite; and what with a handsome annuity left her by the old lady, and legacies both from the first and second wives of the baronet, with many years of enormous savings in so wealthy and profuse an establishment, the old girl was not to be sneercd at. She was mortal proud, to be sure! loftier a great deal than either one of the ladies. \Vell, Robert was her only nephew, and a mighty deal of pains his parents took with him to train him up in awe of her, for she liked homage. The boy was always a queer chap; he never learnt well the coaxing ways they taught him, but that was passed over; he grew up a good-looking fellow, and his old aunt was as fond of him, almost, as of her large black parrot; and but for his unlucky water-drinking propensity he might have come into all she was worth.

“The old girl had a great name all over the country

[graphic]
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[graphic][graphic]
[graphic][graphic]
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for making a famous damson wine, and she doctored it so cleverly with alum and logwood, they said it was , equal to the best rough-flavoured port. ’Twas shocking i unwholesome stuff, mind ye, as all them home made wines are—a kind of preserved cholera, or bottled-up doctor’s purveyor; but people praised and tasted. ,lVell, we all like fame. The old lady was prouder/ of her wine than of her high breeding, which is saying a igreat deal; and for any one to drink ‘it and pretend ‘he felt sure . it must he port, was a certain passport to her good graces. I need not tell you, my boys, how her wine had many admirers, and her strong box made many volunteer a colic. But her headstrong nephew always con

, trived to be absent on gala days. At last she retired ‘ from her situation, to the great joy of the servants at the large house, and set up housekeeping on her own account. Her love of money made her give up many things she could well allord, but the famous wine was duly treasured.

“ At her house-warming, Cuthbertson (who had lost his parents, and succeeded to his father’s business) was obliged to be present, and he gave great ofience by refusing to taste the wine. He, however, expressed no particular opinion on its merits, and after a short coolness he was forgiven. Shortly after the reconciliation, he spent the day with the old lady. An old brandy nosed, broken-down, half-pay officer (we called him “Captain in our town), one of the greatest admirers of the spinster’s \‘inous skill, happened to be there. Well,

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77‘

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after dinner the captain tossed off his glass of damson wine, and, with a grave face, made for the occasion, (kclared he had never tasted such port in England before. Then the flattered old woman began to tell him, for the hundredth time, the story of her , wine and its virtues. Only think of that simpleton, the nephew, refusing still to drink it! and worse than that, getting rather warm under the jeers of the captain, saying, in the heat of conversation, it was poison, or it contained poison—J don’t know which. The captain defied him to prove it; and the simple fellow,

with some domestic apparatus, must needs extract the , spirit, and burn a small part of it, showing them at the ‘

same time the sickly-looking refuse. Oh, poor fool! the spirit of his aunt’s love burnt as blue as the spirit of wine, I promise ye, and went out quite as soon, leaving a black residue of anger. Well, as ill luck would have it,’the parrot’s food stood on a. side—table, ready to put in the cage, and the captain, I’ve reason to think, unperceived, put the remainder of the spirit which had not been burnt, into the parrot’s trough. The anger of the old lady at her nephew’s conduct was so great that she forgot to give Poll her dinner at the usual time, but observing the captain looking at the food, she recollected the omission, and put the trough in the cage. her hands trembling with rage. The bird, hungry with the unusual delay, began to eat voraciously; and Cuthbertson, thinking it best to go, as his aunt looked so much displeased, turned his back upon

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‘ dear cold water for his comfort.

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the house, having done as pretty a day’s work for himself as possible. He had not been gone long before the favourite black parrot, after fluttering wildly on her swing, croaking dismally, fell down to the bottom of the cage, and died. All was tumult, and crying, and running to and fro, in the house. But the old lady’s anger cured her grief when the captain called her attention to the parrot’s food, and she discovered by the residue that the spirit had been put into it. She never for a moment doubted that her nephew had wilfully poisoned the bird. Mind, friends, I think it was because it was spirit extracted out of home-made wine that caused it to be so poisonous: my wines are all good and wholesome.

“Well, from that day to her death, which happened only six months afterwards, she never saw her nephew, or would have him mentioned in her presence.

“And who do you think she left her money to? \Vhy, the captain. Ha! ha! he was a keen fellow! poor Cuthbertson chips away at his wheels with his What d’ye think of that now ? —ha’nt he been a loser by sobriety ?”

The loud laughter of the landlord was generally so infections that his guests forgot, in their merriment, to ask any more questions; and if they had, it is ten to one that he would have told them (fund as he was of telling a story) that within a twelvemonth of the winemaking spinster’s death, most of her dearly-beloved money found its way into the till of “The Clutchem

[graphic]
.TWA”

[graphic]
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[graphic]
[graphic]
Arms,” whose resources being thus wondrously replenished, her savings added another storey, an orna— mental stuccoed front, and a. huge brilliant lamp to the house; and had also supplied a fit of apoplexy—a coroner’s inquest—a deep grave—and a fine tombstone to the captain! So far the world could see consequences; but the unseen, who could unveil that? or . follow the shuddering soul into “ the blackness of j darknesss for ever and ever ?”

It is no wonder that. with such a story told of him, the good folks of Hurtleborough were fully and finally convinced of Cuthbertson’s eccentricity; and a sorry life he would have led, if it had not been that there was a certain something about him which forbade a person idly jesting with him; the wits therefore were obliged to content themselves with jesting at him, which, if it afl’orded them any amusement, certainly did not in the least annoy the sturdy wheelwright.

Meanwhile great changes were at that time in agitation among the industrious classes. A cry had gone forth, “Because of drunkenness the land mourneth.” A practical remedy was devised for the fatal disease, and in England and America Temperance Societies had been formed to arrest the deadly foe—a voice had sounded over the foamy billows of the broap Atlantic—and many honest English hearts had leapt up at the soundl—myriads of manly voices, “strong in their pure intent,” had echoed back the mighty sound with even redoubled vigour!

of them would have listened ; for they knew very well that shame and ruin had been written on the brow of the drunkard ever since the flood. However, the cosy host was quite as willing to gratit’ y as .to excite curiosity, and sipping his weak negus (For B 2

 

The Unitarian Register, Volume 99

The Unitarian Register, Volume 99

Merry Christmas to every boy and girl I We haven’t Santa Claus’s magic bulging with gifts — would we had I we who bring you stories have a Magic Inkwell I We who dip our pens into the magic ink have had such good times that we want you to share in them. Does something dance inside your head about which you have always wanted to hear a story? We’re pretty sure we know that very story. Write a little letter to the Editor of The Home and give the name of your story-to-be. This will

happen: Pop into the Magic Inkwell will go all the names. We will dip our pens, and out will come the stories, — some of them, if not all.

Why not all? To make stories that will drip off pen-points of their own accord, — and those are the only stories worth having, — the titles must mix with the magic ink. Who can tell which stories- to-be will come out of the Magic Ink well as full-fledged stories? Do your best and the Inkwell will do its best If your story-to-be shouldn’t turn into a

THE EDITOR OP THE HOME

story-that-is you’ll know it didn’t hap pen to be just right to mix with the magic ink.

Another thing. Of course you will not expect all your stories-to-be to turn into stories within one week or two. Ail real magic takes time! Aren’t secrets at Christmas as good as gifts? It makes us happy to share with you all the secret of our Magic Inkwell, and we hope it makes you happy, too.

Merry Christmas, and many of them, to every boy and girl!

pack

but

ing Santa Claus will get in this house somehow and leave me two stockings full of gifts and things for poor children lie- sides. Now I am going to cover up my ears and sleep ho I ran wake up early in the morning. flood-night, grandpa dear. Merry Christmas !”

After the man went back to the Are she railed again in shrill glad tours. “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, grandpa, to all the world, and to every one in our family — good night.” After that there was no more hoard from Priscilla until grandpa awakened her In the Christmas dawn.

Meantime perhaps another hour passed and the Ik-11 rang again! No one was there : there were no tracks in the snow. Another interval of time, the tx*ll rang again ! No one. there ; no tracks in the snow.

At last grandfather began to think seri ously of Santa Claus, and suddenly he realized how blind they had all been be cause of the shadow hanging over their Christmas Eve. Hut a child must not suffer too, not if he could help It. No child In grandfather’s .house had ever be fore faced a cheerless Christmas morning. When grandfather had come fully to his senses, he walked to the telephone and talked with two leading merchants of that town and told them to send to the side entrance of his house the finest gifts and books in their shops suitable for a seven- year-old girl, and a general assortment of toys for “poor children” — and “never mind the expense” !

All night at intervals that front-doorbell kept ringing, fainter and fainter at last, until in the early hours of Christmas morning it was bnt a tinkle; still there were no tracks in the snow.

At dawn, though, the latch-key turned In the door and a hasty step sounded in the hall, flrandpa sprang to his feet, and there stood his own son, Priscilla’s father. His face was beaming with Joy.

“Merry Christmas !” was his greeting. “The best of news !” Priscilla’s father ex claimed. “She is living, she will live! The operation was successful — there is every chance for her recovery ! But father, we forgot all about our poor little tad’s Christmas stockings, and” —

“Old Santa Claus didn’t,” flrandpn in terrupted, and waved his hand toward the fireplace, when- two stockings bulged with mysteries, and gifts were piled high up on the floor. “No, sir, Santa Claus didn’t forget — you may distend on that old fellow

every time! No, you mustn’t go for that baby, your clothes are too cold ! I^et me !”

And he went, skipping. “Merry Christ mas, Priscilla!” he called, as he snatched her, blankets and all, from ber bed, to carry her, wiuking and blinking and ruh I ling her eyes, into the warm, bright liv ing-room.

“Oh. Merry Christmas to all the world 1” she shouted when she aaw those stock ings. “He came, he came! I knew he’d come! Is mother getting well this lovely Christmas morning?” she asked her father, before she touched a gift.

“Mother is getting well!” father an swered, and then he danced around the living-room, and behaved the way Tommy Perkins did when his side beat at a ball- game! Oh, but those three had a gay time! The housekeeper could scarcely be lieve her eyes and her ears when she came in to got breakfast

After breakfast, Priscilla’s father and grandfather made a secret examination of the front-doorbell. They found that a huge spider had spun a thick web, for reasons of her own they could not understand, around and around the Inside of that old- fashioned doorbell. It was the kind of bell that worked by the turning of a knob. When the spider stepjied on the slender spring of the boll, down it went with the weight of her heavy body ; when she stepped off, “Ding!” said the bell. The two men had a merry laugh, but they didn’t tell Priscilla Just then what amused them so much.

And at the hospital that day a radiant child said to her mother in the minute in which she was allowed to say any thing :—

“Oh, mother dear, Santa Claus played a big Joke on grandpa ! And you ought to see my presents! We have brought a bushel-basket full to give to children in the hospital! I never had so many to divide liefore In my life! Merry Christmas to everybody in the world ; and most of all to mothers and children In hospitals !”

And that’s all for now.

The Lap-dog’s Christmas Overcoat

ROSE BROOKS

‘ Extra ! Extra ! All about the big Are!” shouted Jimsy, — a small newsboy at a sub way entrance on Boston Common.

“Herald! Globe! HeraldT Yes, sir!” shouted Bill, a newsboy of equal size and alertness not three feet away. The hands of the clock on the brick church on the

corner said five o’clock, the hour when business was briskest for Jimsy and Bill.

“Hope It stops snowing, and freezes to night,” said Jimsy to his brother-in-trade during a momentary lull.

“Me, too,” said Bill, in perfect under standing. “Soaks through your soles — Herald! Qlobc! Here you are, sir,” and two more pennies slid Into his pocket.

“Whew ! Fool that warm gust of air that blew up the stairs Just then?” asked Jimsy, darting back to Bill’s side after making half a dozen sales. “S’pose some of these people find warm houses every night when they got home. Extra I All about the big fire !” he sang out cheerily. “Sounds warm, anyway,” he added, chuck ling, and pulling a dingy cap as far as pos sible over his blue ears. “Herald, sir? Sold out Here, Bill! Herald!”

The hands of the clock on the brick church on the corner said six o’clock. “Sold out?” asked Bill. “Just two more? There you are. Now come on, let’s go down to that window we’ve Iieen looking in every night and do our Christmas shopping.”

“What do you s’pose I saw to-day?” de manded Jimsy, two cold hands thrust deep in his pockets. “I was outside Martin’s — you know that big shop where all the automobiles wait outside, — and up rolls a dark blue one, and out steps a lady all dressed up in furs, — you’ve soon ’em, — and under her arm sticks out the head of one of those brown snub-nosed lap-dogs, — Pom- something-or-other, you call ‘cm. And I’d Just sold my last paper and I followed her In.”

“You didn’t!” said Bill.

“I don’t look so bad,” said Jimsy, de fensively, “not before my clothes get soaked through.”

“But what’d you do It for?” asked Bill.

“That’s it,” said Jimsy, chuckling de lightedly. “Wouldn’t you have followed anybody that said to a dog: ‘Well, did it shiver ! Well, we’ll buy it a sweater, yes, we will !* ”

“Crazy?” asked Bill.

“Just what I thought,” said Jimsy, “so I followed her. And we all step in an elevator, me with my cap off, and up we shoot. ‘Dogs’ goods,’ says the lady, and if the elevator girl didn’t say after her, ‘Dogs’ goods, ninth floor.’ ” The two little newsboys scurrying through the white storm burst into joyous laughter.

“Out we get at nine,” went on Jimsy, “nobody stopping me ’cause I acted as if I knew where I was going, and the lady

1252 (16) [Dbchmbbe 23 1920 The Christian Register

headed for a big glass case, and what do you guess was inside it?”

“Collars, yellow leather, with shiny knobs on ’em,” hazarded Bill.

“Collars!” scoffed Jimsy. “Well, there might have been some, but I didn’t notice ’em, and neither would you if you’d seen sweaters and hoods and goggles and shoes and” —

“I don’t believe it,” said Bill, decidedly, “not for dogs.”

“That’s what I’m telling you,” said Jimsy, “for dogs. And the girl behind the counter was the pleasantest you ever saw, and she asked me, — sort of one side, — did I want anything, and” —

“And you had to go?” asked Bill, regret in his voice.

“No, I didn’t,” said Jimsy. ” ’cause I said right out — sort of one side — that I’d never seen any dog-things before and could I just look at ’em a minute, and she smiled and said she’d never seen any either till a few weeks before, and yes, I could.”

Bill sighed enviously. “Well, and the lady,” he prompted. “What’d she buy?”

“Just what I was going to tell you,” said Jimsy. “She stood that little silky, snub- nosed dog up on the counter and said, ‘He felt the cold so in the car that I want him fitted to a nice warm sweater or an overcoat. Now what color would you advise?’ ”

Bill’s laugh rang out at Jimsy’s mincing imitation. “What’d the girl say?”

“She said : ‘Sweaters are cheaper than overcoats. Here’s a green one. would you like that?’ And she said (the lady in the fur coat, I mean), ‘Oh, I don’t care about it being cheaper, — I’m sure an overcoat must be better !’ ”

“Overcoat !” mocked Bill, his shoulders hunched almost to his ears, against the driving storm.

“Yes. sir, an overcoat,” went on Jimsy. “And she said it was her own pet’s Christ mas present, and it had two little pockets in it.”

“It didn’t!” expostulated Bill. “What for?”

“It did,” repeated Jimsy, “and it cost twelve dollars, — I saw her put down the bills.”

“Whew!” was Bill’s whistling com ment.

“And then she said,” continued Jimsy, joyously, “she said : ‘Why, you have moc casins for dogs, haven’t you ! I never saw any before. Tiddle-de-Winks must have a pair! Have you his size? You see. his feet are very small !’ ”

“I s’pose she bought him golf stockings, too,’^ commented Bill, with scorn.

“The girl didn’t have his size, so he didn’t get his moccasins,” gurgled Jimsy. ” ‘They’re for bunting-dogs,’ says the girl, ‘to wear if their feet get sore hunting in the stubble-fields. Other dogs don’t need ’em, not ever,’ says the girl, as if she was disgusted. And the lady says : ‘But why shouldn’t other dogs wear them? How much are they? Couldn’t I have a pair made to order?’ And the girl says, ‘They’re six dollars a sot.’ and that she couldn’t have any made to order. And then she says, smiling at me as if we were old chums. ‘There are lots of boys you can buy shoes for, though.’ You don’t think she saw how bad mine were, do you, Bill?

They don’t look so bad in the morning, when they’re shined a little.”

“What’d she say?” asked Bill.

“I just told you what she said,” an swered Jimsy. “She was the pleasantest girl I”—

“Oh, I mean the lady with Tiddle-de- Winks,” said Bill. “What’d she say?”

“She said she wished she could have got the moccasins too, ’cause she didn’t think just an overcoat was much of a Christmas present, and then she put the green over coat on her dear brown pet, and he growled at her when the hair under his chin got caught in the buckle, and she tucked him under her arm and they went down in the elevator.”

“And you, too,” said Bill.

“No, I didn’t,” went on Jimsy, ” ’cause the girl smiled at me, and told me — sort of one side — to wait a minute, so I waited, and when the lady in the furs and Tiddle- de-Winks-dear got in the elevator, the girl’s cheeks got pink all of a sudden, and what do you think she said? Well, I don’t know why she did, but she said, sort of fierce, as if she meant it hard : ‘Glad you’re gone! Glad you’re gone! I wish they’d never put me in this department !’ I know, it was funny, wasn’t it? But any way, that’s what she said, and then she laughed at me and her cheeks got pinker still, and she said, ‘Guess I’m not any older than you are,’ and I don’t know what she meant by that, either, and she showed me all the tilings I told you ’bout in the glass case, and she said : ‘We wouldn’t treat dogs so and make them ridiculous, if we could, would we? But boys’ “—

“What did she mean by that?” asked Bill.

“I don’t know what she meant — much — by anything she said,” admitted Jimsy. “Only she was so pleasant you felt like chums. And then we talked about the storm and Christmas, and she asked, if I had the price of a dog’s overcoat, what would I buy” —

“What’d you say? How could you spend twelve dollars for Christmas?”

“Easy,” said Jimsy, loftily. “Maybe you don’t know kiddie-cars cost four dollars and ninety-seven cents. Why shouldn’t our baby like one? Yours would, too, you know it. Just because they can’t have ’em is no reason they wouldn’t like ’em, is it? And my mother’s always wanted a red geranium in the kitchen window, — you know that window where the sun comes in a little while. She’s wanted it over since I can remember. Wouldn’t It s’prise her to get one ! Red’s for Christ mas, too. But I was telling you ’bout the girl. She said she’d ask all her friends in that big store to buy papers of me if I’d stand outside mornings, and then she said if I wore a little lap-dog maybe somebody would bring me to her counter and get me a warm sweater and moccasins, and ‘course we both laughed at that; and then she found out somehow that we were go ing to do our Christmas shopping to night, — guess I must have told her, — and she asked, kind of funny, did I have much saved up? and I told her forty-nine pen nies, and she said that was fine, and thou she said she didn’t have any baby sister, — like you and me, — didn’t know any baby at

all that would be hanging up its stockings ; and then what do you think she did? What do you think she did, Bill?” laughed Jimsy, diving deep into a pocket used only for special occasions.

“You know I can’t guess,” said Bill.

Jimsy jingled something in his pocket and under the street-light displayed to Bill’s unbelieving eyes two fifty-cent pieces. “I didn’t want to take ’em,” he said, “but she made me — said it would seem a lot more like Christmas to her if there was a baby’s stocking. And of course when she put it that way” —

“Now can’t you get that red geranium for your mother?” asked Bill, brightly.

“Just what I was thinking,” said Jimsy. “Does one cost more’n fifty cents, you s’pose?”

“Fifty cents?” queried Bill. “Why, you’ve got two fifty cents. You’ve got a dollar.”

“Why, one’s for you !” said Jimsy, blankly. “What’d you s’pose I was telling you all that story for?”

“No,” said Bill, doggedly. “You said yourself you could spend twelve dollars — easy. Now you’ve got one anyway.”

“Haven’t you got a mother and a baby sister yourself?” demanded Jimsy, indig nantly. “And aren’t you the man of the family, same’s me? Anyway, think of that girl, and she was the pleasantest girl you ever saw, Bill. Guess it would seem more Christmasy to her yet with two babies’ stockings, wouldn’t it? Come on, here’s our window ! Let’s decide — sure, this time — before we go in.”

“Well,” Bill gave way reluctantly. “Well, if you put it that way. But let’s go to a flower place first, Jimsy, and ask how much red geraniums cost. Let’s both get ’em for our mothers if they don’t cost more’n fifty cents !”

“Boo !” shivered Jimsy. “Cold, the min ute you stand still,’ isn’t it? Never mind, mother’s-pet-of-a-Tiddle-de-Winks has a nice new green overcoat with pockets in it, so he has !”

And again two shouts of boyish laughter rang out on the winter air as two shabby little newsboys with shining eyes raced for a brightly lighted window in whose warmth bloomed white flowers and pink flowers and yellow flowers, and — yes — in the very back row, small pots of red geraniums !

The Children’s Mission to Children

Instituted 1849. Incorporated 1804.

Tlie Unitarian Children’s Charity.

Children in every form of need are given practical help by experts in child welfare, both in their owa homes and in specially chosen foster homes.

Those within forty miles of Boston who can open their homes to children, without charge or at moderate prices, are urged to communicate with the office.

The Sunday-schools give generously, but contributjosss and bequests from adults are much needed.

The Cosmopolitan, Volume 64

The Cosmopolitan, Volume 64

ered. In Hotel Fre donia, Hals, Rem

brandt, and Whistler, who painted adora tion into the tired, – wide bosom of maternity and the wrinkles of old age with a reverence that made old flesh holy, would have found pause. Here sixty walked on heels that six teen feared to tread. In the lobby, of eve nings, the massaged, marcelled mothers deluxe of a non-housekeeping era exchanged lap-dog pedigrees, almond creams, and tired husbands. Very presently, Mrs. uoth would emerge from the pink kimono and facial cream down into that lobby, a back-to-back version of a daughter whose pollen of skin no massage could emulate. “Sadie, you look beautiful! You’re a fashion-plate!” Miss Loth held up a languid cheek to be kissed.

“I guess it will be late when I get back. Cass is catching that eleven-twenty Detroit special.” “Let him blow you in an auto out to Grandview for sup per. Mr. Shelburne says it’s all the rage out there this season.” – “It’s not where you go makes an evening grand or not; it’s who you go with.” Mrs. Loth enclosed her daughter’s small face in the vise of her two hands. “Sadie, would mamma want anything that wasn’t for her girl’s good? Do I want to see my daughter a happy girl for the rest of her days with a man that can support her in style, or a drudge for some poor devil? Is mamma making every sacrifice, and is she willing to set back and do almost anything to see her girl happy? It ain’t only for myself, Sadie. If it was just to get rid of you, wouldn’t I have en couraged you to run with Charley Cooper that time, and then have had you both on my hands to support? I know more about life than you do, Sadie. The way you’ve been raised, even when we lived up in the flat, you ain’t the wife for a poor man.” “I never wanted this “Oh, yes; you think maybe you’d be satisfied the way we used to live when your poor father was alive, way up on Washington Heights where the dogs wouldn’t bark at us, but I know better. Your father was a good man, Sadie, but he held us down. There never was a fuss in that little flat up there that wasn’t over money. He couldn’t give up. There wasn’t a spending bone in his body. I know what it is to be held down, Sadie. Don’t turn up your nose at a fellow like Cass Howard. You hear, Sadie; it’s your mother talking to

**

you-your own mother that’s willing to make every sacri

fice. Don’t! You hear?” Miss Loth lifted her mother’s arms from her shoulders and turned to open the door. “Yes, mother; I hear,” she said, and went out, down the turkey-red aisle of hall carpet, a quarter of a mile of it, then toward the elevator—slowly. In a lower lobby of marble Corinthian columns with gold leaf acanthus leaves; red velvet, gold-fringed foyer-chairs; Circassian-walnut registration desk; a row of palm-itching bell-hops in converging lines of brass buttons; a bronze blind Nydia holding a fern-basket, Mr. Cass Howard rose from the extreme and cigarette-hazy depths of one of the red-velvet foyer-chairs, hitched a very elevated trouser-leg down over the newest of clocking in silk hose, tossed the just-lighted cigarette into the fern-basket, and strolled toward the bronze elevator, Miss Loth emerging. “Good-morning, Glory!” She clicked her very tall, very slim heels together and threw him a salute off the side of the fur turban. * * Hi!” He took her arm, moving with her into a small, deserted, red-and-gold anteroom. “How are you, beh-beh?” he said, his fingers closing ever so slightly into her arm. She withdrew, frowning, seating herself in a spacious chair that looked out upon the dusky wintry flow of upper Broadway. – “Haven’t I asked you a dozen times, Cass, not to call me that?” – “What?” “Whatever it is you call me.” “Beh-beh? Well, ain’t you my beh-beh doll?” “No, I’m not.” “What’s the matter with beh-beh? There’s not many girls I’d call that.” “I don’t like it. It sounds horrid.” He half sat on the generously upholstered arm of her chair, looking down into her face, flecking an imaginary something off the ermine-faced coat collar. “Touchy, ain’t you?” he said, his gaze from under half closed lids seeking to rivet hers. “Freshy’” she said, letting her gaze be captured. Then

The Freeman Perfume o. Dept. 99. Cincinnati, Ohio

Virtuous Wives (Continued from page 31)

passing. They ended amid a clapping of hands, and, flushed with pleasure and ex citement, she hastened to present Tody to her husband. “How do, Mr. Forrester?” said that self sufficient youngster. “I shake hands, but I really ought to knife you for carrying off Amy.” | “Ah were you interested?” “I?” said Dawson, flushing. “Why, didn’t you know I organized the Society of the Mitten?” “Indeed?” said Forrester, in his deep bass, looking at the product of the modern generation as a mastiff endures the antics of a lap-dog. Dawson’s soda-water wit bubbled out completely. He stood shifting from foot to foot, seeking a chance to escape. Brack en took pity on him. “I acknowledge the superiority of your legs, Dawson,” he said, with a shade of sar casm,..” but dance the tango as it really is danced.” “I say—do you know it?” said Dawson eagerly, as though before a great discovery. “By George, I wish you’d show us!” “Very glad to, if Mrs. Forrester will give me her assistance.” He turned to Andrew. “That won’t be asking too much of your wife, will it?” Forrester gave the implied permission with a nod of his head. Bracken passed to the piano, where he indicated to Laracy a slower rhythm and certain definite ac cents, and returning, bowed to Amy. “Will you do me the honor to dance it with me, Mrs. Forrester? There are cer tain steps you’ll pick up at once. We’ll dance it with very little movement of the body, slow, rather languid, quite stately.” In a few moments they were dancing in unison, in graceful, undulating rhythm. IIe held her well apart from 1 him, guiding her only with a slight pressure of the left hand, yet she was aware of his nearness. And, as she danced, she felt gloriously, triumphantly young. The brown vaulted hall and the staring strangers swam away. He paid her no compliment, except for an occasional nod of satisfaction, but in the gentleness of his voice, in the slight smile with which he watched her moving rhyth mically about him, she knew that he, too, had the same sense of spontaneous con geniality. “I am sorry we have to stop,” he said at last, with a sigh of regret. “I, too,” she answered, in the sa…me tone. They looked at each other a short mo ment and smiled with pleasure. Then they returned to the others and the general conversation. She knew that she would see him again soon. She looked forward eagerly to the moment when he would really talk to her, sure that they would find instant sympathy. Yet the agreeable impression he had thrown about her was so impersonal that, in their rooms, dressing for dinner, she said to Andrew: “Oh, I like Mr. Bracken! He seems really worth while.” “Bracken is a real man,” said Andrew heartily. “Which means that some of the others aren’t,” she said, laughing. “Poor Tody and Jap!” – “I don’t think I understand that speci

WOMEN OF NEW YORK

WOMEN OF NEW YORK

ANGELIM PLUMP:
Til LiF BO^’S MOTH

Leave her to heaven,
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,
To prick and sting her !

(J’^itoi^^^E- Pliinip keeps his carriage, and
li^E-M^ Mrs. Plump rides in it. Mr. Plump
^^ SM^^ ^: owns a magnificent dwelling, and
“^” Mrs. Plump resides therein. Mr.
Plump has purchased chairs, tables, sofas, beds,
and carpets, of the most splendid kind and qual-
ity, and Mrs. Plump sits upon, eats bfF of, lolls
over, sleeps in, and walks over said articles. It
is a man^s duty to provide such luxuries for his
wife, and it is the province of a woman to en-
joy them. Mrs. Plump cannot imagine that
she has another earthly obligation. At the
altar she promised to love, honor, and obey
Mr. Plump, with the idea that the vow signi-
fied only her willingness to dwell in his mansion,
eat off his china and silver, and allow him to
pay her milliner^s bills. And in her daily con-

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44 Women of New York.

versation, she alludes to herself, not as the
wife of Mr. Plump, or the parent of their only
child, but she styles herself “Fido^s Ma.”
Pido is a little dog, white, curly, red-eyed, and
spiteful. He is washed every day, combed
and curled as regularly as a dandy’s moustache,
and embellished with a blue ribbon and gold
buckle in summer, and by a little crimson
blanket in winter. Mrs. Plump always takes
Pido out with her when she drives down
Broadway to Lord & Taylor’s, and her maid
goes along to carry the sweet animal behind
his mistress when she alights. Mrs. Plump
often electrifies the pedestrians by screaming
in sentimental tones, whenever her favorite
whines aloud —

“Bless its little heart, — did Pido want to
come to his ma?”

Meanwhile, the lady’s own child is leaning
from the nursery window, or pleads in vain
with the lazy nurse, for a walk in the garden*,
or to the square. . Poor child I ” Pido’s Ma”
would not be seen with an infant on her knee
for Queen Victoria’s crown and scepter ; and
she sometimes passes whole days without even
visiting her little son in the nursery.

” Jones !” Mrs. Plump will remark to nurse ;
” Jones, is your young master dressed in his
claret colored velvet ?”

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The Lap Dog’s Mother. 45

” Yes, ma’am,” replies the girl, whose chris-
tian name is Ann, but who is always spoken
to as * Jones,’ because great people in Eng-
land sometimes address their servants in this
wise, and Mrs. Plump apes the manners of the
foreign nobility, “Yes, ma’am, and his little
gold armlets.”

” “Well, and you’r sure his hair looks nicely,
Jones r’ continues her mistress.

” Yes, ma’am. I fixed it with my own two
hands I”

*-Then, Jones, if Miss Wilcox calls, let him
come into the parlor for five minutes ; but
otherwise don’t allow him to disturb me, for
my nerves won’t stand his noise, and poor, dear
Fido is not well to-day.”

Nurse courtesies and retires, and little Charley
is ” not allowed to disturb his mamma” that day
nor the next, while Mr. Plump, immersed in
speculation, seldom remembers that he has a
son, and the servants, as selfish as their superi-
ors, are always too busy or too cross, to humor
the child’s innocent wishes.

Mrs. Plump calls, and shops, and receives
visits, and attends parties and balls, and goes
to the opera. Her spouse spends his mornings
among the speculators of Wall-street, and finish-
es his day anywhere rather than at home, for
his wife is only ” Fido’s ma,” and neither wishes

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46 Women of New York.

for nor misses his society. Now and then they
give a grand party, and the lady and gentleman
are both present. The tables are spread with
costly delicacies, and the rooms are full of rich
and fashionable people. Music and ill-natured
remarks, dancing and scandal, cards and envy,
pass away the night, and the guests compliment
the host and hostess, and go away to whisper
— that ” this can^t last long, and that there will
be a failure one of these days.” And these
gatherings are the sum total of the domestic
comfort or hospitality with which this fashion-
able mansion is acquainted. There seems to
be no link between the hearts of its selfish oc-
cupants. The husband ‘fills his establishment
with costly furniture, and clothes his wife in
velvet and diamonds, as though he were pay-
ing a debt of long standing, incurred for some-
thing he had never valued. The wife enjoys
her luxuries, because they were her object in
marrying. The child is dressed to match the
other appointments of the household, and fed,
because it is fashionable to feed one^s children.
He was christened more to exhibit his costly
embroidered robe than for any higher purpose,
and will in a few years be sent to boarding-
school to get him out of the way. How the boy
will grow up, or what kind of a man he will be-
come, it is impossible to imagine. Certainly

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The Lap Dog’s Mother. 47

he will never feel the holy restraint of a happy
home and loving parents, when he is tempted to
wickedness or folly. He can never remember
a father’s counsel, nor a mother’s kisses. He
was cared for by servants in his infancy ; and
in his manhood, will scarcely turn to seek those
who were almost strangers to him when a child.
In all probability he will be wild and heartless,
and will anticipate, with unnatural joy, the hour
which shall make him sole possessor of his fa-
ther’s wealth, while for his mother he will en-
tertain neither reverence nor love. How could
he love his mother, when throughout his boy-
hood he cannot remember her as his friend and
counselor, nor as the one who smiled upon his
worthy acts, and wept when he did wrong, nor
as the tender guardian in whom most boys find
their safeguard from temptation, but only as a
heartless, brainless doll, a piece of rouged and.
ringletted affectation, calling itself with a sim-
per — ” Fido’s ma.” How could he love such a
mother ?

If the census taker had been permitted to
return us the names of all the Mrs. Plumps who
live in the city, no doubt we should have raised
our hands in wonder to know how many/as/iiow-
able mothers, prefer petting lap dogs, to bestow-
ing natural love and duty upon their own off-
spring. We feel safe in saying that there are

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48 Women of New York.

at this moment thousands of innocent little
Harries, Johnies, and Charlies, and Jennies,
Carries and Lizzies, between the ages of three
months and ten years, and of rich parents,
weeping and crying under the cold, hired atten-
tion of nurses who come to New York from
Great Britain, on purpose to take care of chil-
dren ; and we can conclude with equal certainty
that the parents of these hapless children are
absent somewhere in gay pursuit of their per-
sonal pleasure, and w^ould not pause to answer
the imploring cry of ” pa,” or ” ma.” One
would infer that it must be unnatural for a
mother to love her child, when she hides it
away and employs a stranger to perform her
duty for her, w^hile she adopts a sickly, sore-
eyed poodle, to nurse and carry about, instead.
We have frequently sighed in compassion, for
the ragged children of destitution and want as
they pass us shivering, in the thoroughfares,
and have sometimes felt more than half like
crying to think what will become of them ; but
upon sober reflection we feel more doubtful
concerning the destiny of the child of the rich
lady who glories in calling herself a Zap doge’s
Tmther.

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WOMEN OF NEW YORK
By MARIE LOUSE HANKINS

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wise, when there is such a total lack of care or concern, on the part of the operative females, towards the interest of their employers. They work only for their wages, and anxiously watch the clock for the hour to quit. They submit to it spitefully, and only for the time being, expecting, of course, to drop it to-morrow or next week, and fly into some harbor of rest,—some haven of repose, where their wants must be provided for, and where luxuries shall be showered about them. And such is the feeling of shop girls generally. No wonder then, that their employers can not pay them more. It would be unreasonable to reward their assistants for inattention and neglect. Maggie Brewer is an exception to the masses, and consequently she receives a fair compensation. Some get even higher wages, but they are still more competent and useful, and increase the profit of their employers, where others would carelessly let in waste and destruction. If shop girls acted upon the same principle that men are obliged to, they would be worth far more to their employers, and feel a thousand times happier themselves.

[graphic][merged small]
ANGELINA PLUMP: Til MP DOTS lOTHEIL

Leave her to heaven,
And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,
To prick and sting her!

E. Plump keeps his carriage, and

[graphic]
owns a magnificent dwelling, and w Mrs. Plump resides therein. Mr. Plump has purchased chairs, tables, sofas, beds, and carpets, of the most splendid kind and quality, and Mrs. Plump sits upon, eats bff of, lolls over, sleeps in, and walks over said articles. It is a man’s duty to provide such luxuries for his wife, and it is the province of a woman to enjoy them. Mrs. Plump cannot imagine that she has another earthly obligation. At the altar she promised to love, honor, and obey Mr. Plump, with the idea that the vow signified only her willingness to dwell in his mansion, eat off his china and silver, and allow him to pay her milliner’s bills. And in her daily conversation, she alludes to herself, not as the wife of Mr. Plump, or the parent of their only child, but she styles herself “Fido’s Ma.” Fido is a little dog, white, curly, red-eyed, and spiteful. He is washed every day, combed and curled as regularly as a dandy’s moustache, and embellished with a blue ribbon and gold buckle in summer, and by a little crimson blanket in winter. Mrs. Plump always takes Fido out with her when she drives down Broadway to Lord & Taylor’s, and her maid goes along to carry the sweet animal behind his mistress when she alights. Mrs. Plump often electrifies the pedestrians by screaming in sentimental tones, whenever her favorite whines aloud—

“Bless its little heart,—did Fido want to come to his ma?”

Meanwhile, the lady’s own child is leaning from the nursery window, or pleads in vain with the lazy nurse, for a walk in the garden*, or to the square. . Poor child !” Fido’s Ma” would not be seen with an infant on her knee for Queen Victoria’s crown and scepter ; and she sometimes passes whole days without even visiting her little son in the nursery.

“Jones!” Mrs. Plump will remark to nurse; “Jones, is your young master dressed in his claret colored velvet?”

“Yes, ma’am,” replies the girl, whose christian name is Ann, but who is always spoken to as l Jones,’ because great people in England sometimes address their servants in this wise, and Mrs. Plump apes the manners of the foreign nobility, “Yes, ma’am, and his little gold armlets.”

“”Well, and you’r sure his hair looks nicely, Jones !”• continues her mistress.

“Yes, ma’am. I fixed it with my own two hands!”

“Then, Jones, if Miss Wilcox calls, let him come into the parlor for five minutes; but otherwise don’t allow him to disturb me, for my nerves won’t stand his noise, and poor, dear Fido is not well to-day.”

Nurse courtesies and retires, and little Charley is “not allowed to disturb his mamma” that day nor the next, while Mr. Plump, immersed in speculation, seldom remembers that he has a son, and the servants, as selfish as their superiors, are always too busy or too cross, to humor the child’s innocent wishes.

Mrs. Plump calls, and shops, and receives visits, and attends parties and balls, and goes to the opera. Her spouse spends his mornings among the speculators of Wall-street, and finishes his day anywhere rather than at home, for his wife is only “Fido’s ma,” and neither wishes for nor misses his society. Now and then they give a grand party, and the lady and gentleman are both present. The tables are spread with costly delicacies, and the rooms are full of rich and fashionable people. Music and ill-natured remarks, dancing and scandal, cards and envy, pass away the night, and the guests compliment the host and hostess, and go away to whisper —that ” this can’t last long, and that there will be a failure one of these days.” And these gatherings are the sum total of the domestic comfort or hospitality with which this fashionable mansion is acquainted. There seems to be no link between the hearts of its selfish occupants. The husband ‘fills his establishment with costly furniture, and clothes his wife in velvet and diamonds, as though he were paying a debt of long standing, incurred for something he had never valued. The wife enjoys her luxuries, because they were her object in marrying. The child is dressed to match the other appointments of the household, and fed, because it is fashionable to feed one’s children. He was christened more to exhibit his costly embroidered robe than for any higher purpose, and will in a few years be sent to boarding* school to get him out of the way. How the boy will grow up, or what kind of a man he will become, it is impossible to imagine. Certainly he will never feel the holy restraint of a happy home and loving parents, when he is tempted to wickedness or folly. He can never remember a father’s counsel, nor a mother’s kisses. He was cared for by servants in his infancy; and in his manhood, will scarcely turn to seek those who were almost strangers to him when a child. In all probability he will be wild and heartless, and will anticipate, with unnatural joy, the hour which shall make him sole possessor of his father’s wealth, while for his mother he will entertain neither reverence nor love. How could he love his mother, when throughout his boyhood he cannot remember her as his friend and counselor, nor as the one who smiled upon his worthy acts, and wept when he did wrong, nor as the tender guardian in whom most boys find their safeguard from temptation, but only as a heartless, brainless doll, a piece of rouged and, ringletted affectation, calling itself with a simper—” Pido’s ma.” How could he love such a mother?

If the census taker had been permitted to return us the names of all the Mrs. Plumps who live in the city, no doubt we should have raised our hands in wonder to know how m&ny fashionable mothers, prefer petting lap dogs, to bestowing natural love and duty upon their own offspring. We feel safe in saying that there are at this moment thousands of innocent little Harries, Johnies, and Charlies, and Jennies, Carries and Lizzies, between the ages of three months and ten years, and of rich parents, weeping and crying under the cold, hired attention of nurses who come to New York from Great Britain, on purpose to take care of children; and we can conclude with equal certainty that the parents of these hapless children are absent somewhere in gay pursuit of their personal pleasure, and wTould not pause to answer the imploring cry of “pa,” or “ma.” One would infer that it must be unnatural for a mother to love her child, when she hides it away and employs a stranger to perform her duty for her, wThile she adopts a sickly, soreeyed poodle, to nurse and carry about, instead. We have frequently sighed in compassion, for the ragged children of destitution and want as they pass us shivering, in the thoroughfares, and have sometimes felt more than half like crying to think what will become of them; but upon sober reflection we feel more doubtful concerning the destiny of the child of the rich lady who glories in calling herself a lap dog’s mother.