A TALE OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY—NOT OF FICTION.
BT THE ACTHOBESS OF “TUB BACKWOODS OF CANADA.”
Lore is not love
Which altereth when it alteration flndeth.
Or bends with the remover to remove,
Oh, no! it is an ever fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken
“Axois it possible, my dear Catherine, tbat you have never bad the good fortune to be introduced to my friend, the ‘Baron?’ You must become acquainted. I never saw two people more calculated to be pleased with each other. “It will be a match; yes, I see it all. You and the Baron were meant for each other, and I shall be the Bridesmaid. The Bridesmaid, par excellence, and hold the bouquet and gloves. I am delighted with the very idea of the thing.”
Thus rattled on one of the giddiest girls of my acquaintance, as seated at my feet on an ottoman, she vainly puffed away at an obstinate coal fire, which the housemaid had provokingly left to light itself in my friend Harriette’s dressing-room, a little sanctum which she termed her boudoir. But though she blew away most indefatigably at the dull coals, with one of the most delicate pairs of Chinese bellows that had ever adorned the fire-place of an East India captain’s cabin, not one spark could she elicit.
“And do yon really expect the Baron to visit you?” I asked with some natural degree of cariosity.
“Expect him! my dear child; he is here—in this very house—in the adjoining room, at his toilette.”
“Speak lower then, or he will hear every word we are saying—that is, if he understands English well.”
Harriette laughed in ecstacy.
“Never fear, he will not hear as. You will, however, be astonished at the Baron’s fluency of speech. Do you know, he is all impatience to see you. I am sure he is desperately smitten.”
“Why, he never saw me—nor I him.”
“You are mistaken; he saw you at church both morning and evening, last Sunday. The Baron never misses both services,—ho is a devout man; he has raved about you ever since.”
I laughed outright.
“Well! it’s a fact—and I have actually given him leave to come in and see you here, lest he should astonish mamma, by his rapture before all the big-wigs below.”
“It is a pity you are engaged, Harriette.”
“Me! Yes! Ah! well, it can’t be helped. I might have been Baroness Joliffe. It sounds well. But, after all, Catherine, I am not dignified enough for a title, and then the Baron would not have suited me—he is too refined, too sentimental, too elegant. In short, I shall be only too happy if I see you united to this charming Adonis.”
“And his probable age ?” asked I, beginning, in spite of myself, to take an indescribable interest in the mysterious Baron.
“Something older than yourself, my dear! at least I judge so by the gravity of his demeanor. But really one cannot take such liberties as to ask a Baron his actual age. The thing is impossible,—besides I do not think he would like it. He is very particular.”
“Well, then, describe his appearance. His eyes?”
“Blae eyes, large and languishing.”
“I hate languishing blue eyes in a man.”
“But yon have not seen the Baron’s .eyes. Item. A straight nose, white ivory teeth—and then his hair, hyacinthine locks—a perfect wig of ourls.”
“A wig of curls! What do you mean, Miss Harriette, by making game of my head of hair— a wig of curls, forsooth! Fie, fie, upon you—you ill-mannered little pug.”
The exclamation above was uttered in the open door way, in a half serious, half comic voice.
I raised my head, and the Baron stood before me.
Harriette hid her head in my lap, in convulsions of laughter, and I—for my part, I was dumb from astonishment, and sat gazing on the apparition before me, in speechless confusion, as the Baron advanced, held out his hand and addressed me. But before I repeat one word of what passed, permit me, patient reader, to introduce you to the Baron, as he really was.
Picture to yourself, then, a tall, straight, thin, attenuated figure of an elderly gentleman, whose age might vary from sixty to sixty-five, large, light, faded-looking, benevolent blueeyes, a long, very long bony nose, white teeth, but alas 1 the ivory had evidently not long since been roaming the jungles of Asia or deserts of Africa. The ambrosial curls were indeed, and in fact, a wig of curls. The Baron was clad in a superfine suit of black, cut in the latest fashion of George the Third; silver buckles in his shoes, gold chased ones at his knees, his long neck enveloped in the ample folds of a lawn stock, fastened with a roarcasitc buckle; the bosom of his shirt displayed a fine broach, cambric plaited frill, his thin veiny hands covered with black kid,—such was the Baron. What a contrast to the sentimental, Byronical young gentleman, with whose portrait my mind had been busily occupied, up to the moment of the preceding interview.
The I! mm was the soul of order and etiquette; he was shocked at the informality of our meeting, and succeeded at last in rousing up the mischievous authoress of all this confusion, to some sense of the duties of her situation, and effected a regular introduction at last, though she prefaced it witli a passage from the marriage ceremony, which overset the gravity of the Baron himself, who called her an incorrigible puss, and bade her reduce her ringlets into order, whilst he drew a seat to the now cheerful fire, and proceeded to apologise for the wild kittenish behaviour of Madcap Hal. In half an hour’s time we became excellent friends, and I ventured at length to ask if his title of Baron Joliffe was also imaginary.
“It is part of my name,” lie said, “and and no title ; but it became confirmed through a little circumstance connected with reading the memoirs of Baron Trenck. I was deeply interested in the perusal of that work, and kept the volumes somewhat beyond the time allowed by the librarian of our reading room. I had promised them to a friend who had been appointed to call for them, but being induced to walk out and take the book in my pocket, I wrote on a piece of paper, ‘The Baron will be at home at four.” From this trifling circumstance, I gained the soubriquet of ‘The Baron,’ which has never left me, and even letters from India and the Continent, now reach me so addressed. I am no longer Charles B. Joliffe, Esquire—but The Baron.”
Time wore on ; the longer I became acquainted
with the Baron the more I was interested in the character of the good but eccentric old man ; we became excellent friends; and I used often to be angry with my giddy friend Harriette, for the unfeeling way in which she quizzed the Baron’s peculiarities of dress and manner. To me hi> oddities were sacred.
One day in particular, we set off to visit som» ancient ruins in the neighbourhood. The day was mild and dry, and being tired, we all three sat down on a bank to rest—our subjects of conversation had been full of grave reflections, and at last both the Baron and myself became silent. This was enough tor Miss Harriette, who never could be silent for five minutes. She n«w rallied us on our gravity, and ended with declaring^ that the Baron hod made her his confidante, and: being unable to speak out himself had desired her to break his passion for me. For some time he bore with her nonsence with as much good humour as he could, but at last a chord was touched, which vibrated to agony..
“Young lady,” he said, turning on her a look of touching earnestness; “what is sport to you. is even death to me. Desist from this ill-timed levity.”
The voice of the old man. became agitated ;. even Harriette was moved, ag. he eontinaed in a quieter tone:
“You have teazed me, my dear, about my bochelorhabits and life. I am indeed a dull rusty: old bachelor, and such as I am, such shall I remain, till I lay my head beneath the turf in the village church-yard.
“It is now forty-two years ago- since I became the ardent, devoted lover of a young and beautiful girl. I was then a youth of nineteen,, well to look upon,—not the object of ridicule that I now am to young ladies. Emily Beresfurd was eighteen,—lovely, amiable, accomplished,— but she was an only child, the htiress of great wealth, her father wa> a rich merchant, and I one of thejunior clerks in bis house,—no mate for his peerless daughter. Yet I dared to love, and Emily soon gave me reason to believe that I was not indifferent to her. I will not dwell npon our dream of love. I found my master’s jealous fears were awakened; his eye was ever on us. At last our opportunities of communicating our t hough tsand wishes became more difficult every day, and I gladly, perhaps madly, grasped at an offer made to me by Mr. Beresford, to accept th» situation of confidential clerk in an establishment he had on the coast of Africa. The salary wa& a tempting one, and othur encouragement held out for realizing a fortune. The climate was a deadly one, but I was resolved to make myself a Ctting mate fur Emily Berosford, or perish.
I knew we both guessed the object in view when the offer was made to me. It was David sending Uriah into the heat of the battle—but what will not love hope, what dangers will not love dare? I left Emily, hoping, trusting, confiding in her woman’s love. I could not change; I feared no change in the being I so blindly idolized. Emily vowed no one should supplant me in her affections,—and I believed her!
“Five years were t j be the trial of our constancy ; for the first three, our correspondence, carried on through a faithful friend, was my only consolation ; that friend I lost, and soon my letters remained unanswered. I became dejected, unhappy, ill; the expiration of the five years, impatiently waited for, at length arrived, and I threw myself into the first vessel that left Sierra Leomi for London I had acquired almost riches with great experience, but my health was a wreck, and my spirits worse.
“I hastened to the counting-house in Broadstreet, for I knew I should there see my old master, und hear of his family ; nothing could be more natural than my desire to ask after the health of old friends. I was admitted to the private apartments of Mr. B., who received me not only with courtesy, but kindness; I asked as composedly as I could for his family,—for Miss Beresford, the last.
“My daughter was well when the last packet reached.”
“‘Is she abroad?’ I asked, with tremulous Toice.
«•’ In India—Colonel Harper is with the Regiment in the interior. Of course you heard of Emily’s marriage eighteen months ago—splendid alliance.’
“I heard no more—a death-like paleness overspread my face—a mist swam before my eyes—• my ill-concealed agitation betrayed my state of mind, and the painful interest I took in the communication ; I believe the old man was grieved, but he made no remark to me then—he suw I could not bear it.
“My life was now, for years, a blank—nay, worse. I cherished a fiend in my bosom that threatened to destroy me; I became a* sour, hateful misanthrope. For my false love’s sake I shunned the society of women, but her image I could not chase away from my mind ; she was my thought by day, my dream hy night; sometimes a stern sort of hatred steeled my heart against her; sometimes I wept like a little child when I thought upon her. Years passed away —fifteen years; I was now a rich merchant myself; I could have maintained a wife in splendor, and mothers courted me that hud marriageable daughters, but tho remembrance of the lost
loved one haunted me still; I vowed never to marry ; my habits had become those of a confirmed old bachelor. At the period to which I allude, an early maiden cousin, my only living relative, kept house for me, and we were a pair of quiet hermit-like folks; order, like clock-work, ruled our house, and neither of us liked to b» put out of our way, when an event occurred that caused a complete revolution in our domestic economy and my habits, as you shall hear. Nay, you tormenting little puss, none of your insinuations; the hermit did not fall in love again.
“A letter bearing thelndia post-mark wasplpced on my table among many others. I opened itThere was an enclosure in a handwriting only too well known. I hesitated- Shall I read itr shall I cast it unread into the flame? Curiosity, that affection that had never died in my heart, overcame my feelings. It was the last dying will and testament of the widow of Colonel Harper, addressed to the beloved friend of her youth, leaving to me .”
“All her fortune, as a reparation for the injury she had done you?”
“No, Miss Harriet! Shehnew too well thecharacter of the man, who had loved her so devotedly, to insult him by bequeathing gold as a legacy toheal a broken heart, made desolate by her desertion. She left mo the sole guardianship of four1 orphan children—the eldest a fine lad of fourteen, the youngest a fair, helpless babe of eleven months,—her mother’s living image.
“The letter, penned by her dying, trembling hand, was to this effect :—’ Charles, I am at the point of death. Refuse not the earnest request of a dying woman, who loved you tenderly, but not faithfully. Deeply have I repented the woe I caused, forgive me, and if you loved Emily, as truly, as devotedly, as I now believe you did, refuse not the charge I now entreat you to accept,—th» guardianship of my four children. Be to them a parent,—love,cherish,bear with them, for the love you once bore to their dying mother.
“And did you accede to ber request ?” we both asked.
“I did—the struggle was strong, but the fond recollection of early love was stronger. Her fickleness was forgotten, my own years of blighted love were disregarded, and my tears fell fast over the words traced by the expiring hand of the only being I had ever loved. ‘Emily!’ I exclaimed, as I solemnly folded the paper to my heart, ‘if it be allowed thee to know of that which is passing in the world thou. has left, thy spirit shall >•!••! satisfied. To my care you have committed your children. Thuy shall not want for : father or a friend whilst I liv«. Your children
thall be henceforth my children, and my life shall! be devoted to their happiness.”
“So confident hud Mrs. Harper felt of my ac- j ceding to her last wishes, that she had given all; the necessary orders for the embarkation of her . children, as soon as circumstances would permit of’ their leaving Bombay. At the time I received . this letter, my adopted family were on their way to Liverpool. Ample funds had been left for the maintenance of the children, the whole of which had been placed under my entire control, so great had been the confidence reposed in my honor by their poor mother. And I did not abuse my power, or neglect my trust.
“I hurriedly imparted to my cousin Martha my determination of receiving my adopted family under my own roof; and bade her at the same time lose no time in making the necessary preparations for their future comfort.
“I shull never forget the nir of consternation that sat upon the rigid face of my poor old relative. At last she sunk into a chair, and folding her bony fingers together, gasped forth:
“Charles Joliffe! Cousin Charles! are ye mad, doting? Kou fill your quiet house with a pack of noisy, wayward brats! If ye mean what ye say, ye are indeed preparing a bitter rod for your own back. Think what the world will say. Nay! bat it is a scandal, Charles, that such a fool’s scheme should have passed through your head.’
“I bade her be silent, and leave me to commune with my own heart, but I found no change there. | The die was cast, and my selfish regrets were | all to be sacrificed on the holy altar of buried love.”
“It was a noble resolution.and worthy of you,'” I warmly exclaimed; “and I trust you were well rewarded by the grateful affection of the children for whom you sacrificed so much.”
“In the end I was; but, my dear young lady ask yourself how could young children appreciate motives of action they could not have com • prehended, even had I condescended to explain •why I had undertaken the irksome task of guardianship over them. At first every restraint imposed upon them,every task enjoined, was regarded by these high spirited children as an infringement upon the unrestrained liberty they had hitherto enjoyed. For my part, I considered that authority and unlimited obedience were the first objects to be attained. A stranger to the ways of children, I reasoned and argued, and reasoned and argued wrong; perpetual warfare was going on in my formerly peaceful dwelling, and sometimes my courage was well nigh failing me, but for a certain bump of obstinacy which some folks call determinativeness. I should have con
tented myself with sending my troublesome family out to suitable schools, and the baby to nurse, and then have restored quiet and order to my house.”
“And cousin Martha,—how did she bear the noise and worry of the children?”
“Wonderfully well; there is a spirit of patient conformity to circumstances, which belongs peculiarly to females. Cousin Martha grumbled a little at first, and then yielded without further remonstrance to her fate—but more than this, a deep mine of hitherto unawakened tenderness was opened in her woman’s heart.
“Cousin Martha had lived a life of celibacy, not from choice, but from circumstances. Women, naturally seek some object on which to lavish that affection, which, I believe, is born with them—and belongs to their characters as wives and mothers. The female child dotes upon its imaginary baby in the form of a doll,—the old maid lavishes her unappreciated love upon some creature, as lap-dog, cat, parrot, or monkey—it is well if it take the more natural bent of nephews and nieces,—but such my poor relative had not— for, as I said, we two were companionless and alone, saving each other, till the arrival of these children. It was the sight of the delicate, helpless, lovely little Blanche Harper, that was destined to make a revolution in the feelings of cousin Martha. She took the orphan babe to her heart, and shielded her there from every storm that could assail her infant state, with more than even a mother’s love.
“But it was not the addition to my household in the way of ray four wards, that alone perplexed me, I was still more puzzled, what to do with their attendants, which consisted of two Bongalese bovs, of twelve and fifteen, a little Hindoo nurse, a great blue macaw, and a large ape. Now the native servants were perfectly intolerable,—servile and obsequious to a degree, but j cunning and revengeful,—acting upon the passions ! and prejudices of the two younger boys, and in! stigating them to every species of mischief that j could possibly serve to annoy and irritate me. , Nor were the tricks of the ape, or the screams of | the macaw, likely to add to my peace of mind.— j However, these last torments I speedily got rid 1 of, by sending them to a distant relation of the i children’s, and hearing of a gentleman about to i send his sons to India as cadets, I managed to j rid myself of Messrs. Hassan and Padck, at the I trifling cost of paying their passage out; glad indeed to see them depart: but not so, Edward, Charles and Henry, and for some days after the departure of their allies, a sullen silence was observed, interrupted only by some haughty obser
rations, indicative of the indignation excited in the breast of the eldest boys by this last crowning act of tjTanny.
“It was, indeed, a severe trial to me; I had looked for troubles, and the breaking up of my quiet enjoyment of home for a short time, but I had fondly cheated myself into the belief that I should be more than recompensed by the consciousness of having done my duty, and more than my duty. I fancied Emily’s children most love me—I forgot that I was in their eyes only a stranger and a task-master.
“In the proud flashing dark eye of Edward Harper, I read only defiance and dislike. Yet, that eye would melt with tenderness, and fill •with tears, when they rested upon the sweet face of little Blanche, as she lay softly nestled on the breast of my cousin. Strange as it may seem, it is not less strange than true, that while my wards shunned me—and withdrew from every attempt made by me to conciliate their affections, they one and all attached themselves to my cousin, and old Mrs. Spicer, our antiquated housekeeper, to whom they confided alt their sorrows and troubles, real or imaginary.
“‘Three or four months had passed in this manTier, Kttle to my comfort or satisfaction, as you may suppose. I had, after mature deliberation resolved on sending Charles and Henry, as weekly boarders, to my friend the curate of Hadletgh, and after breakfast one day, I made known my intentions. The boys looked at each other, then at Edward, but the latter bit his lip, cast down Ins full dark eyes, and made no remark.
•” * This arrangement, my children,’ I observed, •• will, I trust, bo to your advantage in every way. You win find a kind, clever, judicious master, and if you conduct yourselves well, an affectionate and sincere friend.’
“•And may I ask why I am to be excluded from enjoying the same privilege, and wherefore am I to be parted from my brothers, sir!” asked my eldest ward.
“•Because, Edward, I have other views for j[ou, which I will take an early opportunity of •explaining—”
“‘ You rob me of my servants, and now separate me from my brothers,’ he replied, starting up-, and, easting a glance of passionate rnge upon me, dashed out of the room, through the open •window, and I watched him pacing the lawn, •with rapid and impetuous steps. I was hurt and grieved, and soon retired to my own little study, which opened upon the breakfast room; I will not be ashamed to avow my feelings at that moment were sad and even bitter. What had I not suffered for their mother’s sake, and is il come to
this? ‘Oh, Emily! Emily! is it thus my low to you and yours is to be rewarded?” I saak on my knees—I buried my face between my hands, and wept, and prayed for strength to support me and keep me firm to my vow of being a friend and father to the fatherless. At that moment, my ear caught the passionate tones of Edward’s voice in the breakfast room; he was speaking to some one in the room. I detest the character of a listener, I felt the crisis was approaching. I presented myself in the door-way, as ho exclaimed:
“‘He is a hard-hearted, detestable tyrant, and I hate him.”
“The stream of light from the open door caused the youth to look up ; pale, agitated, almost, I might say, agonized, I stood before him—I could only gasp out;
“‘ Oh, Kdward ! how have I deserved this ?• You have cut me to the very heart.”
“I sobbed like a child, and I sank into a chair; Edward’s heart was touched at my distress—he gazed upon me, with an anxious, troubled eye. I marked the change—but I could not give utterance to a word. I held out my arms to him; the noble boy impulsively rushed forward, and cast himself upon my breast. Years cannot efface the feelings of that moment; we spoke not, but wept upon each other’s necks. ‘The stony rock was smitten, and the waters gushed forth freely.’
“I cannot dwell upon what followed jitis enough to say, I now treated Edward as a friend, as a dear son. He became acquainted with the peculiar circumstances which had brought us together— and young as he was, he seemed to understand my motives, to enter at once into my feelings— love, gratitude, esteem, filled his heart. Never was friendship more enthusiastic—love more devoted. That day which had begun so darkly, was in the end, the brightest of my life; every thing was changed within onr dwelling; light hearts, happy faces now beamed about me—I almost regretted the absence of Hassan and Sadek, and the blue macaw, and the ape, that they too might have shared in our household happiness. As it was, we had only the Hindoo girl, Blanche’s nurse; but she was a gentle creature and had shared in the maternal care of cousin Martha, who considered her as her peculiar protege, and had moreover, had her baptized by her own name of Martha—which the little damsel herself called Matta.
“But I see Miss Harriette is beginning to grow weary of my long story.”
Harriette was yawning at the moment, and rubbing her eyes, as if half asleep.
“Indeed, my dear Baron! I have been greatly «dified, I assure you, only I am surprised that you should have parted with that beautiful mncaw, and that darling of an ape. I am resolved that my Captain shall procure me just such sweet pets, when he returns from his next voyage; and those interesting native boys!—Why did not you dress them in white muslin tunics and turbans, and blue silk trowsers, to wait at table?”
This sally made the Baron laugh—and we commenced our walk once more I wished to ask some further questions about the Baron’s family, but the thread of the story was broken, and I only gleaned a few particulars as to their subsequent lots in life. Edward became a clergyman, and at the early age of three and twenty fell a victim to consumption, hurried on by his devotion to his clerical duties; he died in the arms of his adopted father. Charles studied medicine, and Henry entered the East India service as an officer in the Bengal artillery; Blanche—the loved and cherished Blanche—married well and happily, to the infinite satisfaction of cousin Martha and the faithful Hindoo girl.
Such, gentle reader, was the story of faithful love told me by my friend the Baron.
Romantic n this story may appear, It tastricHy true; to the honor of human nature, I can say, the Baron is no •creature of the imagination. This episode in my life . is no fiction.
MR. JEFFERIES OF HYDE HOUSE.
BY MISS PARDOE.
Nor a sonl for twenty miles round our neighbourhood but is acquainted, at least by eight, with Mr. John Jefferies of Hyde House. He is what the members of the ” Select Club,” holden at the flying Horse, call an oddfsh; that is to say, a plain, good-humoured, comfort-loving, easy description of man, who is ever ready to enjoy himself, and willing to promote enjoyment among his friends; who sells his corn, instead of hoarding it in his barns against “better times,” and who goes to the post-town on Saturdays for sis -pence in the baker’s light cart.
The late Sir. Jefferies was a great landholder and a staunch Tory: his son is as noted a squire and as violent a Whig. He purchases all the cheap publications, and reads every Radical journal upon which he can lay his hands; holds forth for an hour together against charity-schools and public hospitals; and concludes by making a larger donation both to the one and the other than any other in the parish, though he declares all the tune that he is acting against his own conviction. He is said to have endeavoured in his youth to tempt one or two of the present
matrons of the village to become the mistresses of Hyde House without success, and he now revenges himself on them by cramming their children with gingerbread, taking the boys out shooting, and buying the girls dolls. He has twice scandalized the congregation by snoring during the sermon on a dark Sunday, and since that time pays the beadle fourpence a week to rouse him as he passes his pew. Our church is indebted to him for its green window-blinds and crimson pulpit cover, which he presented to tho parish, during the time that a third vestry-meeting was holding to decide on the expediency of purchasing them; aud for this reason, his somnolent lapses have been overlooked by the good curate: in truth, he is the most public-spirited man in the neighbourhood.
There is an old maiden lady still resident in the village, to whom he is said to have been more devoted in his youth than to any of her rivals, but who refused him for a more modish lover, and got jilted for her pains. It is worth a year’s purchase to sec them together! The repentant fair one ogles, and sighs, and seenis even now to forget how many years have elapsed since she frowned denial on his suit, and he shook off her chains. She laughs at his jests, espouses his politics, and smiles at his oddities; while he, on his part, attends to every wish which she expresses or implies, surfers her to shir over her rani accounts when she loses, and pays scrupulously when she is a gainer—lets her quietly mark too many holes at cribbage, revoke at whist as often as she pleases, and count honours when she docs not hold them; in short, plays off the lover in everything save coming to the point a second time; and appears perfectly satisfied, when lie escorts her to church under his umbrella on a wet Sunday, and carries her pattens up the aisle, to lead her to her pew instead of the altar.
He has selected the exact spot where he wishes to be interred, and has negotiated with the uudertakcr the expenses of his funeral; nevertheless, he docs not suffer the idea of dying to interfere in the slightest degree with his enjoyment of existence, but smokes his pipe and drinks his punch as merrily in the chimney nook, on a winter’s evening, as though churchyard or gravestone had never entered his head.
His parlour sideboard is on great occasions covered with silver cups and taukurds, obtained for fatted oxen and prize sheep; and his mantelpiece is decorated with a stuft’ed squirrel aud tho brush of a fox. The housekeeper, who is so fat that she can with difficulty preserve her equilibrium on recovering from a courtesy, makes tho best syllabubs and short cakes in the parish, and consequently never lacks guests ; she i& free of every thing in the house, from Mr. Jefferies’ i strong box to his best bin, and she makes a worthy use of his confidence. No beggar is ever turned hungry from his door; no sick labourer ever wants his bowl of soup or his draught of wine, if he applies at Squire Jefferies’; no stray sheep or pig ever gets pounded for intruding on his land ; nor did the rosy lass who carols merrily of a morning as she dusts out the best parlour, ever look for another place after she had offered herself at the Squire’s!
The old house is like the old housekeeper, unwieldy and overgrown in appearance, bearing tokens of having become so gradually, and really J seeming more consequential from its increased ^ size; here a smoking room, and there a summer jKii’li >ur, have been added in the whim of the mo-! ment, until the smooth green before-the house has almost disappeared. In like manner has the gouvernante of Air. Jefferies increased and expanded during her residence under his roof ; and ft is a good-natured boast of the old gentleman’s, that, with half the labour, and half the money expended on some neighbouring farms and families, every thing thrives at Hyde House. Assuredly, in no establishment in the county does the true old English hospitality shine more conspicuously, or is the good old English comfort more apparent; every thing is in its proper place, and put to its proper use; there is a profusion of every necessary of life without a waste of any -, you are not annoyed by a crowd of over-dressed lounging servants, seeming as though they almost held in scorn the master whose livery they wear; but many a hat is withdrawn, and many a smiling bow greets you as you pass among the honest well-fed labourers who throng the servants’ hall, to reach the Squire’s snug back room.
Mr. Jefferies’ greatest, indeed his only anxiety, is about his nephew, the heir apparent to his property: the lad is a fine, high-spirited fellow, but as extravagant as though he had the national purse to fly to for supplies. He comes down every eollege vacation to visit his uncle, who has determined during the previous half year to read him a severe lecture, and to refuse to pay his debts; but anger is forgotten as soon as Harry Somerton springs from the back of Jesse, the black mare, to embrace his uncle; his large blue eyes flashing with affectionate delight, and his fine, manly brow flushed with exercise—and then, so grown, so improved, so spirited a boy! so exactly what Mr. Jeflbries could wish in his successor, that it becomes impossible to lecture him. The old housekeeper love» him as if he were ber own child, though many a chiding does he get for mending fishing nets and cleaning fowling-piecei in the Squire’s sitting room ; but the
mad-cap knows that he is forgiven at the very moment when she leaves the apartment, stroking down her nice white apron, though she strives to frown as she goes out, so that altogether, I fear. Master Harry Somerton stands a very fair chanceof being spoiled at the great house.
Such is our neighbour, Mr. Jefferies, and longmay he continue to live among us! for he is a public benefit to the parish—a sincere and liberal friend—a good landlord and a kind master.
UNIVERSAL ATTEIBUTES OF WOMEN.
I Have observed among all nations that womenornament themselves more than men; that wherever found they are the same kind, civil, obliging, humane, tender beings; that they are ever inclined to be gay and cheerful, timorous and modest; not haughty nor arrogant nor supercilious, but full of courtesy, and fond of society; industrious, economical, ingenuous ; more liable in general to err than man, but in general, also, more virtuous, and performing more good actions than he. I never addressed myself, in the language of decency and friendship, to a woman, whether civilised or savage, without receiving a decent and friendly answer. With man it has often been otherwise. In wandering oven the barren plainsof inhospitable Denmark, through honest Sweden, frozen Lapland, rude and churlish Finland, unprincipled Russia, and the wide-spread regions of the wandering Tartar, if hungry, dry, cold, wet, or sick, woman has ever been friendly to me, and uniformly so; and to add to this virtue, so worthy of the appellation of benevolence, these actions have been performed in so free and kind a manner, that, if I was dry, I drank the sweet draught, and if hungry, ate the coarse meal, with a double relish.—Ledyarfa Siberian Journal.
VANITY A FOE TO AGREEMENT.
Foe Pope’s exquisite good sense, take the following, which is a master-piece :—” Nothing hinders the constant agreement of people who live together, but mere vanity; a secret insisting upon what they think their dignity or merit, and inward expectation of such an over-measure of deference and regard, as answers to their extravagantly false scale, and which no body can pay, because none but themselves can tell readily what pitch it amounts to.” Thousands of houses would be happy to-morrow, if this passage were written in letters of gold over the mantel-piece, and the offenders could have the courage to apply it to themselves,—Monthly Chronicle.