On the Knee of the Church. Female training in Romish convents and schools … (Google Books)

CHAPTER V.

The Servants of Mary by Abbe Rabille—History of Women in their Confinements, for the Instruction of Pious Young Girls—A book that ought to be burnt—Two words on Ecclesiastical Celibacy.

Since we have just been speaking of the employment during the vacations, it is a proper time to say a word on the books to be read, and the books that are given as prizes in the religious schools.

One has been pointed out to me as being widely circulated. It is called The Servants of Mary.f

I find in the life of St. Bonaventura, which begins the volume, that at the birth of this saint all the bells began to ring of their own accord; that at the age of four years the child fell dangerously ill, the mother recommended him to the Pope, who instantly cured him; and seeing this, the Pontiff exclaimed, “Bonne aventure!” which name was borne by the child ever after. This is added quite seriously by the author (p. 12). He had afterwards another illness, which furnished the saint with an occasion for a very different prodigy. But we will let the author, the Abbe Rabille, speak for himself.

“The seraphic doctor was in bed, and being subject to fre quent retching, he could not receive the Holy Eucharist; which afflicted him very much. After having sighed for a long time,

* See the part of a letter quoted in the second letter to M. Dupanloup, p. 7. f The Servants of Mary, by the Abbe Rabille, 1 vol. in 8vo. Published by F. F. Ardant, Brothers; Paris and Limoges.

he caused the Holy Pyx to be brought into his room. His ardent wish could not be satisfied by seeing it; he took the Holy Vase, and applied it to his side. But oh! prodigy of grace and love! an orifice was opened by the side of the heart of Saint Bonaventure, and the host came forth of itself from the blessed Pyx, and entered the wound in the chest of the sick man, who was transported with joy.”—p. 24.

All these Servants of Mary have been announced beforehand by prodigies of the same special nature, in the dreams or visions of their mothers.

“Alice de Montbar, just before the birth of St. Bernard,” so says the Abbe Rabille, “dreamt she saw in her bosom a little white dog, with a little red on the back, and barking violently. She went to consult a man of God, who was suddenly possessed of the prophetic spirit which had in former times animated David. He answered, ‘ Do not fear, you will be the mother of a child who, like a faithful dog, will guard the house of the Lord, and bark with power against those enemies of the faith who would enter therein.’ “—p. 38.

The mother of St. Dominick also had a dream just before her child was born.

“She dreamt that she had given birth to a little dog carrying a torch, with which he set the whole world on fire. Such a vision would have alarmed any other woman; but this Christian mother saw in it nothing incomprehensible. She understood that she should give birth … to a mystic dog who by his barking would put all wolves to flight . . . that is to say, that he would hunt out all heretics by his preaching.”—p. 87.

Let us add to all this an anecdote, showing the severity with which St. Bernard “watched over his own heart,” as we are told by the Abbe Rabille.

“One day he had stopped, and with unreflecting curiosity fixed his eyes upon a woman: he was instantly alarmed at the effects which this imprudence might produce on the purity of his thoughts. He ran away, and as a punishment for this great fault, he threw himself into a pond which was deep and almost frozen over. He remained there for a long time, even till his blood had ceased to circulate in his benumbed members. But he had extinguished within himself all pernicious feelings.”—p. 42.

Oh, M. Rabille, this is indeed overstrained. What! for one look at a woman, occasioned by unreflecting curiosity, to throw yourself into a frozen pond?

Does it not give people occasion to say of you as Dorine said to Tartuffe—”You are very sensitive to temptation “?

The preceding quotations are only silly and ridiculous, though there is a little too much of a subject not suitable for the meditation of young girls.

But what follows approximates to the odious, for in order to establish the truth of the belief of the Immaculate Conception, the Abbe Rabille enters into physiological dissertations of a most extraordinary character.

For example: “Saint Bonaventure says that Mary was conceived in original sin. But we ought, with Saint Anselm and Saint Bernard, to consider the original sin as referring to her having had the same kind of parentage as other people, and not to the quickening of the body of the infant.”—p. 33.*

What a very useful distinction! I do not doubt that it catches the attention of young people.

I should say the same of the following passage on the Annunciation in which the subject is treated with equal delicacy.

“Mary, says Saint Bernard, possessed every virtue. ‘How shall this be/ said she to the angel, ‘seeing I know not a man ?’….

“What unshaken determination to keep her vows of virginity! Even the promise of the son which the angel announced to her, could not make her hesitate in her resolution; ‘Sow shall this be?’ It cannot be as with other women, because I know not a man, and because I have neither the hope nor the wish to bring a son into the world, etc.”—p. 65.

JN’ow let us pass at once to Saint Bridget, a princess.

This saint was also a little prodigy from her earliest days; she loved to dream like any other young girl, and easily and willingly gave way to the habit. But to dream too much is sometimes dangerous; and careful mothers watch this inclination which girls fall into

* This translation is as near the original as delicacy will permit. The exact Words put into the hands of }roung girls by the priests and nuns of France are too gross to be rendered literally into English.—Ed.

imperceptibly, and so the aunt of Saint Bridget did. Well! You will soon see she was wrong:—

“Her aunt fearing that she devoted too much time to contemplation, gave her every day something to[do. One day, looking to see what the young princess was about, she saw her, needle in hand, her work lying upon her knee, her eyes turned up to heaven, immoveable, and weeping. At the same moment she saw standing close to her a young girl of extraordinary beauty, who was working at the princess’s work, while she was adoring God”

This history does not appear to me likely to induce young persons either to work or to be obedient, and therefore I do not see why they are to study it.

But here again we fall back on the subject of the birth of children—

“When Saint Bridget’s first child was about to be born, she

suffered frightfully, her life being in danger And then was

seen a lady of divine beauty dressed in a white robe. She approached Saint Bridget, and her assistance was so marvellous, that

she gave birth to her firstborn without difficulty or pain”

—p. 133.

The author soon after adds—” When Bridget saw a sufficient number of children around her to support the name of her family, she persuaded her husband from henceforth to live with her as brother with sister for the rest of their days.”—p. 134.

The saint’s influence was so great at length, that she induced her husband to withdraw by degrees from the court of Sweden, where he held a very high position. “She communicated to him her religious and devotional spirit,” says the Abbe Rabille, “and regulated all his exercises of piety, among which she made him observe inviolably the reciting the little office to the holy virgin. She also induced him to allow her to place poor persons in an hospital which she had herself founded,” etc.

You see we are no longer acting on the prescribed rule of a wife’s absolute obedience. But Bridget’s motives were so good! In short, she sent her husband on a pilgrimage to Saint James in Galicia, and on his return he found himself so disgusted with the world, that he entered a convent—the Abb6 most carefully informs us that he did so, “with the consent of his wife.”

Having become entirely free and disengaged from all the ties which had hitherto restrained her, Bridget gave herself up to devotion, and began to perform miracles. One Christmas night she felt as if she was herself about to become the mother of the Man-God. She made the indications of this palpable to her confessor and then to her friends. Afterwards Jesus took her as his wife!

Let us throw a veil over these unhealthy inventions.

The history of St. Bridget is followed by that of Madame de Chantal, the foundress of the “Visitation.”

“Madame de Chantal, wishing to seal with her blood the promise she had made to consecrate herself to God, branded on her heart the name of Jesus with a hot iron,—a sublime and admirable trait of devotion which, without doubt, it is not necessary to imitate, (the Abbe Rabille judiciously observes) but which is a proof of the ardour of her mind.”

“”When she wished to retire into a convent, her departure was very sorrowful; her father almost died of grief.”

“The young Chantal, her son, threw himself on her neck, and refused to leave her, hoping that she might be touched by his tears, and thus be detained. But not succeeding in this, he then threw himself down across the doorway, saying, ‘Mother, I am too weak to prevent you, but at least it shall be said that you passed over the body of your only son in order to desert him.'”

“Madame de Chantal was touched, and wept bitterly in passing over the body of her darling son; but the next moment fearing that her sorrow should be mistaken for a change in her determination, she turned to the company with a calm and serene countenance, and said ‘You must forgive my weakness; I am leaving my father and my son for ever; but God will be with me everywhere.'”—p. 170.

Decidedly, I advise all parents who see that book, “The Servants of Mary,” in the hands of their daughters, to take i+ from them, and throw it into the fire instantly.

I may also quote the account, contained in it, of the “Life of th Pious Shepherdess Benoite Rencurel.” This shepherdess ha the following conversation with the Virgin Mary :—” Fair Lady, what are you doing up there? Are you coming to buy plaster? I have a little bread; it is very hard, but it is good: we will steep it in the fountain.” She smiled, but made no answer.

“Beautiful lady,” contined Benoite, “will you please to give me that child, which would make us all so happy?”

The lady smiled again, and still she did not answer.

This conversation lasted till night-fall, and was repeated every day. The shepherdess related it in the village. Many persons treated her as a visionary, but some said, “Perhaps it is the Holy Virgin that she has seen.”

“This opinion became general, in consequence of two facts. A peasant of St. Etienne going to burn lime in a kiln which he had close to the rock, where the apparition appeared, said, in his patois:—’ I am going to bake Benoite’s Lady.’ This joke cost him dear; for he burnt ten times more wood than was necessary, without being able to burn his lime. The more he heaped up the wood, the harder grew the lime. Seeing this,” says the author who has bequeathed to us the history of this curious fact, “he prayed for pity to God and his Holy Mother; and was forced to abandon his lime-kiln in that state.”—p. 224.

And this also is related in the ” exemplary life” of the blessed Benoite Rencurel:—

“She used the discipline every day from her fifteenth year until she was forty-five. She wore haircloth fifteen years, and iron bracelets armed with sharp points during twelve years, and iron garters four years, and a corset of tin pierced inside like a rasp for five years. No one excepting her confessor knew the secret of all these penances,”—p. 238.

“We think the whole morality of the Church is comprised in the following particulars:—Fear of hell, self-scourging, torturing the body in order to shake the reasoning faculties, walking blindly under the direction of a confessor who ought to be an angel in virtue, and at least a genius in intelligence a,nd prudence.

Aye, but they are not such beings. To puzzle and stupefy the mind in order to enslave the soul, and raise a dominating influence of their own over the ruins of intellect, is always their aim —these despots have no other system. But, to corrupt according to their wishes; to excite fleshly inclinations in young imaginations, too young to feel them naturally; under the pretence of chastity

and purity, to write dissertations for the use of young girls about obscene subjects, in which they are very frequently treated with less reserve than in medical works—this is a CRIME, a crime unheard of and unpardonable. It can only be accounted for by the unnatural condition of the author of this book, by that enforced celibacy which causes so many enormities.

Now, Reverend Bishop, I call upon you (since you are so zealously anxious for the healthy education and salvation of our daughters) to induce this author to withdraw his book from the hands of his publisher, and to burn all the copies: and then make this priest marry, that he may become virtuous and leave off such writing.

The Cloister and the Hearth: A Tale of the Middle Ages, Volume 3 (Google Books)

‘So he to the “rotboss,” and I to a decent inn, and sketched the landlord’s daughter by candle-light, and started at morn batzen three the richer, but could not find my master, so loitered slowly on, and presently met him coming west for me, and cursing the quiens. Why so? Because he could blind the culls but not the quiens. At last I prevailed on him to leave cursing and canting, and tell me his adventure. Said he, “I sat outside the gate of yon monastery, full of sores, which I showed the passers-by. Oh, Bon Bec, beautifuller sores you never saw; and it rained coppers in my hat. Presently the monks came home from some procession, and the convent dogs ran out to meet them, curse the quiens!” “What! did they fall on thee and bite thee, poor soul?” “Worse, worse, dear Bon Bec. Had they bitten me, I had earned silver. But the great idiots, being, as I think, puppies, or little better, fell on me where I sat, downed me, and fell a-licking my sores among them; as thou, false knave, didst swear the whelps in heaven licked the sores of Lazybones, a beggar of old.” “Nay, nay,” said I, “I said no such thing. But tell me, since they bit thee not, but sportfully licked thee, what harm?” “What harm, noodle? Why, the sores came off.” “How could that be?” “How could aught else be, and them just fresh put on? Did I think he was so weak as bite holes in his flesh with ratsbane? Nay, he was an artist, — a painter like his servant, — and had put on sores made of pig’s blood, rye meal, and glue. So when the folk saw my sores go on tongues of puppies, they laughed; and I saw cord or sack before me. So up I jumped, and shouted, ‘. A miracle! a miracle! The very dogs of this holy convent be holy, and have cured me. Good fathers,’ cried I, ‘ whose day is this ? * ‘Saint Isidore’s,’ said one. ‘Saint Isidore!’ cried I, in a sort of rapture. ‘Why, Saint Isidore is my patron saint, so that accounts.’ And the simple folk swallowed my miracle as those accursed quiens my wounds. But the monks took me inside and shut the gate, and put their heads together. But I have a quick ear, and one did say, ‘ Caret miraculo monasterium,’ which is Greek patter, I trow, — leastways it is no beggar’s cant. Finally they bade the lay brethren give me a hiding, and take me out a back way and put me on the road, and threatened me did I come back to the town to hand me to the magistrate and have me drowned for a plain impostor. ‘Profit now by the Church’s grace,’ said they, ‘and mend thy ways.’ So forward, Bon Bec, for my life is not sure nigh hand this town.” As we went he worked his shoulders: “Wow! but the brethren laid on. And what means yon piece of monk’s cant, I wonder?” So I told him the words meant, ” The monastery is in want of a miracle,” but the application thereof was dark to me. “Dark,” cried he, “dark as noon! Why, it means they are going to work the miracle, my miracle, and gather all the grain I sowed. Therefore these blows on their benefactor’s shoulders; therefore is he that wrought their scurvy miracle driven forth with stripes and threats. Oh, cozening knaves!” Said I, ” Becomes you to complain of guile.” “Alas! Bon Bec,” said he, “I but outwit the simple; but these monks would pluck Lucifer of his wing feathers.” And went a league bemoaning himself that he was not convent-bred like his servant, — “he would put it to more profit,” — and railing on quiens. “And as for those monks, there was One above.” “Certes,” said I, ” there is One above. What then?” “Who will call those shavelings to compt, one day,” quoth he. “And all deceitful men,” said I.

The Christian Remembrancer, Volume 18 (Google Books)

“After many vain entreaties, Clara had at length to descend and seize the wild bird by the wing—I mean thereby the arm—and carry her off to the castle. The young men would have followed, but they were engaged to attend his highness on a fishing excursion that afternoon, and were obliged to see after their nets and tackle. So the two maidens walked up and down the corridor undisturbed; and Clara asked if she had yet learnt the Catechism.

“Illa.-‘‘No ; I have no wish to learn it.” Haec.—“But if the priest has to reprimand you publicly from the pulpit?” Illa.-“I counsel him not to do it.” Haec.—“Why, what would you do to him 7” Illa.-” He will find that out.” ”

Clara here goes on to remonstrate with the bold freedom of her manner, concluding with a warning on the evident designs she entertained upon the young duke, Ernest.

“Can you think that our gracious prince, a son of Pomerania, will make thee his duchess 2 Thou who art only a common nobleman’s daughter.” ‘Illa.—“A common nobleman’s daughter!—that is good from the peasant girl. You are common enough, and low enough, I warrant; but my blood is as old as that of the Dukes of Pomerania; and besides, I am a castle and land-dowered maiden. But who are you? Who are you? Your forefathers were hunted out of Mecklenburg, and only got footing here in Pomerania out of charity.” “Hac.—“Do not be angry, dear lady; you say true; yet I must add that my forefathers were once Counts of Mecklenburg, and from their loyalty to the Dukes of Pomerania, were given possessions here in Daber, where they have been lords of castles and lands for 250 years. Yet I will confess that your race is nobler than mine; but dear child, I make no boast of my ancestry, nor is it fitting for either of us to do so. The right royal Prince, who is given as an example and model to us all—who is Lord not over castle and land, but of the heavens and the earth—the Saviour Jesus Christ—he took no account of his arms or his ancestry, though the whole starry universe was his banner. He was as humble towards the little child as to the learned doctors in the temple—to the chiefs among the people as to the trembling sinner, and the blind beggar Bartimeus. Let us take, then, this Prince for an example, and mind our life long what he says, “Come unto me, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart.’ Will you not learn of him, dear lady? I will, if God give me grace.” ‘And she extended her hand to Sidonia, who dashed it away crying, “Stuff! nonsense ! you have learned all this twaddle from the priest, who I know is nephew to the shoemaker in Daber, and therefore hates any one who is above him in rank.” ‘Clara was about to reply mildly, but they happened now to be standing close to the public flight of steps; and a peasant girl ran up when she saw them, and flung herself at Clara’s feet, entreating the young lady to save her, for she had run away from Daber, where they were going to burn her as a witch. The pious Clara recoiled in horror, and desiring her to rise, said, “Art thou Anne Wolde, some time keeper of the swine for my father? How fares it with my dearest father and mother?” “They were well when she ran away, but she had been wandering now for fourteen days on the road, living upon roots and wild berries, or what the herds gave her out of their knapsacks for charity. ‘IIaec.—“What crime wast thou suspected of, girl, to be condemned to so terrible a death 2″ “Illa.—“She had a lover named Albert, who followed her every where; but as she would not listen to him, he hated her, and pretended that she had given him a love-drink.” “There Sidonia laughed aloud, and asked if she knew how to brew the love-drink 2 “Illa.-‘‘Yes; she learned from her elder sister how to make it, but had never tried it upon any one, and was perfectly innocent of all they charged her with.” ‘Here Clara shook her head, and wished to get rid of the witch girl; for she thought truly, if Sidonia learns the brewing secret, she will poison and destroy the whole castle full, and we shall have the devil bodily with us in earnest. So she pushed away the girl, who still clung to her, weeping and lamenting. Thereupon Sidonia grew quite grave and pious all of a sudden, and said: “See the hypocrite she is . She first sets before me the example of Christ, and then treats this poor sinner with nothing but cross thorns ! Has not Christ said, ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy 2′ but only see how this bigot can have Christ on her tongue, but not in her heart 1″ “The pious Clara grew quite ashamed of such talk, and raising up the wretch, who had again fallen upon her knees, said, “Well, thou mayest remain; so get thee to my maid, and she will give thee food. I shall also write to my father for thy pardon, and meanwhile, ask leave from her Grace, to allow thee to remain here until it arrives; but if thou art guilty, I cannot promise thee my protection any longer, and thou wilt be burned here in place of at Daber.” So the witch-girl was content, and importuned them no further.’

Sidonia, it will be readily supposed, loses no time in obtaining the unlawful secret from the witch-girl, and trying its effects on the young Prince Ernest, who however scarcely needed any additional charm, so completely was he already fascinated by her natural arts and great beauty. However, under the influence of the potion, things came to a desperate pass. The Duchess having been persuaded, on the occasion of a visit from one of her sons, to give a great entertainment, resolves to punish Sidonia for her contumacy about the Catechism, by forbidding her attendance, and to secure conformity to her commands, locks her up in her own room. In vain Sidonia sends the most urgent and moving entreaties—in vain, she dresses herself in all her splendour, and stands weeping at her window, in order to excite the compassion of the passers by—in vain the whole court pleads for her—the Duchess is inexorable; and finally, the Prince Ernest by force breaks open her door, and brings her into the hall just as his stately mother had concluded dancing a measure with the old chamberlain of her castle. A scene of uproar and bloodshed is the consequence; and Sidonia is that same night secretly hurried off from the castle, and before morning is miles away. But now the philtre begins to work; and the young Prince is pronounced dying. It is soon found that nothing can save his life but Sidonia’s presence. And the poor Duchess, who had sent her away with contumely, is obliged now to entreat her return, and to endure all the airs she gives herself in consequence. In the end, the young Prince concerts a private marriage with Sidonia, which is on the eve of its accomplishment, when a low intrigue is discovered, which opens the Prince’s eyes, though he falls again into a dying state from the despair caused by the discovery, the love potion being still at work within him. He is recovered from this state by counter magic. A prisoner confined for sorcery offers to cure him for the reward of his life. The scene is given with naiveté.

‘This was agreed to ; and when he was brought to the chamber of the Prince, he laid his ear down upon his breast to listen if it were witchcraft that ailed him. Then he spoke.

“Yes, the heart beats quite unnaturally—the sound was like the whimpering of a fly caught in a spider’s web; their lordships might listen for themselves.” Whereupon all present, one after the other, laid their ear upon the breast of the Prince, and heard really as he had described. * * * * * And the carl gave him a red syrup, which he had no sooner swallowed, than all care for Sidonia seemed to have vanished from his mind. Even before the goat’s milk came, he exclaimed,

* “Now that I think over it, what a great blessing that we have got rid of Sidonial ‘’’

After this disgrace, Sidonia goes through many abject and degrading adventures, detailed with a very wearisome minuteness; becomes associated with gypsies and robbers; is disinherited by her father, who himself comes to great disgrace, and destroys himself in consequence, and out of grief for Sidonia’s fall. At length she is taken pity on by her old friend Clara, who believes her penitent, and persuades her husband to admit her as a temporary guest in their castle. Thither she goes, with her familiar in the form of a cat, of whom she has lately become possessed; and to reward Clara’s hospitality, she presently contrives a horrible death for her in revenge for Clara’s having been the means of discovering her intrigue with Appelmann and exposing her real character to the Prince.

After this, for thirty years, we see nothing of Sidonia, her biographer not being able to trace her course during this long period. But revenge against the princely house which had rejected and disgraced her was still the foremost desire of her heart; and she now enters upon the indulgence of it.

The following is her first meeting with her quondam lover duke Ernest after his disenchantment. Such meetings there have sometimes been out of the regions of sorcery and magic.

‘Summa-On the 1st of May, 1592, when the witches gather in the bracken to hold their Walpurgis night, and the princely castle of Wolgast was well guarded from the evil one by white and black crosses placed on every door, an old wrinkled hag was seen about eight o’clock of the morning, (just the time she had returned from the Blocksberg, according to my thinking,) walking slowly up and down the corridor of the princely castle. And Providence so willed it, that at the moment the young and beautiful Princess Elizabeth Magdalena (who had been betrothed to the Duke Frederic of Courland), opened her chamber door and stepped forth to pay her morning greetings to her illustrious father Duke Ernest, and his spouse, the Lady Sophia Hedwig of Brunswick, who sat together drinking their warm beer, and had sent for her.

“So the hag advanced with much friendship, and cried out, “Hey, what a beautiful damsel! but her lord papa was called ‘the handsome ‘ in his time; and wasn’t she as like him as one egg to another. Might she take her ladyship’s little hand and kiss it?” . Now as the hag was bold in her bearing and the young princess a timid thing, she feared to refuse, so she reached forth her hand, alas ! to the witch, who first three times blew on it, murmuring some words before she kissed it; then as the young princess asked her who she was and what she wanted, the evil hag answered: “I would speak with your gracious father, for I have known him well. Ask his princely Grace to come to me, for I have somewhat to say to him.” Now the princess in her simplicity omitted to ask the hag’s name, whereby much evil came to pass; for had she told her gracious father that SidoNIA wished to speak to him, assuredly he never would have come forth, and that fatal and malignant glance of the witch would not have fallen upon him.

‘However, his Serene Grace, . a mild Christian nature, stepped out into the corridor at the request of his dear daughter, and asked the hag who she was and what she wanted. Upon this she fixed her eyes on him in silence for a long while, so that he shuddered, and his blood seemed to turn to ice in his veins. At last she spake. “It is a strange thing, truly, that your Grace should no longer remember the maiden to whom you once promised marriage.” At this His Grace recoiled in horror, and exclaimed, “Ha! Sidonial but how you are changed ‘ ” “Ah!” she answered with a scornful laugh, “you may well triumph now that my cheek is hollow and my beauty gone; and that I have come to you for justice against my own brother in Stramahl, who denies me even i. means of subsistence; you, who brought me to this pass.”

She proceeds to ask him to procure for her a procbenda in the Convent of Marienfliess. After the Reformation, some of these institutions were retained for the daughters of the nobility, though of course without the old vows. The Prince promises her anything she asks, to get rid of her. But the mischief is done: the young princess is soon seized with convulsions, and her possession continues, till the Rev. Professor Dr. Joel, great in white magic, disenchants her; though in the contest he suffers a curious humiliation, for the sight of the poor princess so shocked him, that without taking much heed of his Latin, he exclaimed : “J)eus misereatur peccatoris, upon which the fiend, with a deep bass voice, corrected him, crying, ‘Dic pec‘ catricis, dic peccatricis.’ At length, however, the demon was exorcised. The unhappy father had fallen, meanwhile, into a sickness, which not even the fine Falernian wine of Italy, to which he had always recourse, could cure, and died two months after his encounter with Sidonia. This was the first of the five brothers whom she had doomed to destruction. After this the witch disappeared for a couple of years, when she arrived one day at the §. of Marienfliess, and struck terror into the abbess, by announcing that she was come to take up her residence there. She comported herself with her usual pride and audacity, till the abbess, to her great relief, found she had no credentials, and dismissed her. The abbess then flew to the reigning Duke, brother to the last, and secured a promise from him, that Sidonia should never be admitted into her convent; he pledged himself that she never should in his lifetime; a promise which resulted in his death by the same means. But we cannot stop to recount all the deaths in the royal family, which follow one another in quick succession. She at length obtains the desired praebenda, and Sidonia once more drives into the court of the convent in her one-horse waggon and scanty equipments, but with her full measure of pride and insolence, accompanied by her maid, the old witch Anne Wolde, and her familiar Chim, and takes possession in grand style. What terror she spreads amongst its peaceful inhabitants may be easily imagined. Nor is it, we think, against nature, that while the innocent were daily tortured and burned for witches, the real witch, supposing the existence of such, should escape. She had such ready means of avenging every insult and threatened attack, that for a long time she carried all before her: dispensing gout and rheumatism, possession and death, at her pleasure. There is a certain grotesqueness in the delineation of Sidonia at this stage, which answers more to our notions of the probable, than a more dignified impersonation would have done. The union of supernatural powers with a merely human nature, must disturb the balance of faculties which produce consistent and reasonable conduct; as we often see precocious children eccentric and unreasonable, from not having judgment to control their own powers. Sidonia is reckless, desperate, cruel, greedy, luxurious; she has a sense of the ludicrous, and appreciates what is absurd. Alternately hypocrite and blasphemer; now fawning, now storming with passion; sometimes acting the pious abbess, with an unction which almost forces belief in her sincerity; and then, when such display is most against her interest, singing wild rhymes and dancing in triumph with her cat and her maid,

before the whole shuddering convent. Sometimes praying a prince to death, then fighting with the nuns for the o piece of salmon; alternately brewing philtres and good beer, and equally proud of both accomplishments.

We none of us know how much what is called reasonable conduct—that prudent line of action which guides the world at large—is really caused, not by reason, but by our inability to do otherwise. Our life runs in a groove; we are hedged in at every corner; we are powerless to do otherwise, or to throw aside these most useful trammels. Butlet any of us be endowed suddenly with unaccustomed powers, whether it be wealth, or newly-acquired rank, or release from restraint, and it will need more than the usual retenue and ballast to escape doing something absurd. A man’s circumstances cannot alter, and himself remain precisely the same. If we have experience of this in mundane affairs, what must be the change in a human being becoming possessed of superhuman powers! And when these are of an evil nature, we can suppose any amount of whim and grotesqueness being the consequence; i.e. supposing these monstrous stories of witchcraft possible, we should expect, on natural grounds, a witch to be a wild unreasonable creature, using her powers capriciously and in a short-sighted manner, to her own injury as well as for the destruction of others; because the natural care we have for ourselves would be loosened by a sense of superior independence of action.

When Sidonia, who was as fond of good fare as if she had no other passion, is angry with the sheriff for having sent her a small share of honey, instead of a simple remonstrance, which would have done all she wished, she terrifies the poor man with a vision of bee-hives and swarming bees, and stands at her window amusing herself with his terror; and when a grand consistory assembles to collect charges of witchcraft against her, instead of denying the accusation, as was her wont, or using her powers for her own ultimate safety, she gives them one of the most flagrant specimens of her art, contenting herself with simply dispersing her enemies for the time. For just as the assemblage, with the aid of receipts from Albertus Magnus, Paracelsus, &c., , are preparing to seize upon her, and encouraged by each other, are in a state of bold excitement, she, as it were, unable to resist the amusement of testing their courage, and witnessing the success of some of her own glamouries, presents herself before them. The state prosecutor valiantly exclaims:

* “Well, then, let them rush in, bind the dragon, clap the pitch-plaster upon her mouth, and she is ours in spite of all the fiends.” * “Right, all right,” cried the doctor; “never fear, but I will pay her for

her designs upon me.” “And he began to prepare the plaster with some pitch he had got from the cobbler; when, suddenly, the state prosecutor screamed out: “Merciful heaven! See there ! Look at the shadow of a toad creeping over my paper, whereon I move my hand 1’’ “He springs up—wipes, wipes, wipes—but in vain. The unclean shadow is there still, and crawls over the paper, though never a toad is to be seen. ‘What a commotion of horror this Satan’s work caused among the bystanders, can be easily imagined. All stood up and looked at the toad shadow; when the abbess screamed out, “Merciful heaven’ look there ! look there ! the whole floor is covered with toad shadows.” “Thereupon, all the woman-folk ran screaming from the room, but screamed yet louder when they reached the door, and met there Sidonia and her cat face to face. Round they all wheeled again—rushed to the back door—out into the yard—over the pond—and into the oak wood— without daring once to look behind them. But the men remained, for the doctor said bravely: “Wait now, good friends, patience, she can do us no harm; ” and he murmured some words. But just as they all made the sign of the cross, and silently put up a prayer to God, and gathered up their legs on the benches, so that the unclean shadows might not crawl upon their boots, the horrible hag appeared at the window, and her cat in his little red hose clambered up on the sill, mewing and crying. * * * Summa. — She laid one hand upon the window, the better to look in, and clenching the other, shook it at them crying out, “Wait, ye peasant boors; I too will judge ye for your sins !” # * * And as she began to murmur some words, and spat out before them all, the state prosecutor jumped up after the women, and Sheriff Sparling rushed out after him, and they never stopped or stayed till both reached the oak wood.’

Always confident, always self-possessed and fearless, Sidonia continues more than a match for her accusers. Having ‘prayed the abbess to death,” she gets the nuns to elect her in her stead; and on the then reigning Duke visiting the convent, impudently advances at the head of the whole body of nuns, to receive him in state.

‘Now his Highness was a meek man and seldom angry, but his brow grew black with wrath, when Sidonia, stepping up to the coach, bowed low, and in her cat’s tippet—herself a cat in cunning and deceit—threw up her eyes hypocritically to heaven. “How now!” cried his Grace; “who hath suffered you, Sidonia, to play the abbess over these virgins 7″ To which my hag replied, “Gracious Prince, ask these virgins here if they have not selected me to be their abbess of their own free will; and they are now come to entreat your Highness to confirm the choice of their hearts.” “Marry,” quoth the Duke, “I have heard enough of your doings from the neighbouring nobles and others. I know well how you have made the poor Abbess Magdalena bite the dust. Item, how you forced these poor virgins to elect you abbess through mortal and deadly fear. Speak, dear sisters, fear nothing; I your prince command you. . Have you not elected this piece of sin and vanity to be your abbess, simply through fear of your lives?”

“But the virgins looked down upon the ground—were silent and trembled, while my sheriff [the head authority in the district] plunged his hand into his wide boots for the kerchief to wipe his face, for he saw well how it would end. A second time his Grace asked, “Was it from fear?” When at last one answered, named Agnest Kleist.

* “In truth, gracious prince, it was from pure bodily fear alone that we elected Sidonia as our abbess.””

In reward for her courage in making this confession he elects Agnest abbess, and solemly warns and threatens Sidonia, giving the sheriff directions if she leaves the convent to use the harshest measures in punishment.

“So the new abbess answered—“Your Highness shall be obeyed:”— “But my sheriff could not utter a word from horror, and seemed stifling with a thick husky cough in his throat. But when Sidonia crept up close to him, and menaced him privately with her dry clenched hand, he forgot himself entirely, and made a spring that brought him clean over the churchyard wall, while his sword clattered after him, and his plumed beaver dropt from his head to the ground. All the lacqueys laughed loud at the sight, even his Grace laughed. But my sheriff makes the best of it, and calls out— “Ah, see, my Lord Duke, how the little boys have stolen the flowers that I myself planted on the grave of the blessed abbess. I’ll make them pay for it, the thieving brats | ” Thereat his Grace asked why the abbess was not buried within the church, but in the graveyard. And they answered, she had so commanded. Whereupon, he answered mildly, “The good mother is worthy of a prayer; I shall go and say a paternoster upon her grave, and see if the youngsters have left me a flower to carry away for memory.” * So he alighted, made Eggert show him the grave, removed his hat and prayed, while all his suite in the six coaches uncovered their heads likewise. Lastly, he made the sign of the cross, and bent over the grave to pluck a flower. But just then a warm, heavy wind blew across the graves, and all the flowers drooped, faded, and turned yellow as it passed. Yea,

even a yellow stripe seemed to mark its passage straight across all the

graves over the court, and .# to the spot where the thrice accursed witch stood upon the convent wall; and people afterwards remarked, that all plants, grass, flowers, and shrubs, within that same stripe, turned pale and faded; only some poison plants, as hemlock, nightshade, and the like, stood up green and stiff along that livid line. When the Duke observed this, he shook his head, but made no remark, stepped hastily, however, into his carriage, after again earnestly admonishing Sidonia.’

Not long after this scene, and when all were looking for some harm to come from it—

“Anna Apenborg went to the brewhouse which lay inside the convent walls, (it was one of Sidonia’s praying days,) and there she saw a strange apparition of a three-legged hare. She runs and calls the other sisters; whereupon they all scamper out of their cells, and down the steps to see the miracle; and behold §. sits the three-legged hare; but when Agnest Kleist took off her slipper and threw it at the É. sprite, my hare is off, and never a trace of him could be found again in the whole brewhouse or the whole convent court. Thereat the nuns shuddered; and each virgin has her opinion in the matter, but speaks it not; for just then comes Sidonia forth, with old Wolde and the cat, and the three begin their devil’s dance, while the cat squalls and wails, and the old witch-hag screams her hell psalm :—

“Also kleien und also kratzen,
Meine Hunde und meine Katzen.”

“Next day, however, the poor virgins heard to their deep sorrow what NO. LXVI.-N.S. C C

the three-legged hare betokened, even as they had suspected; for the cry came to the convent, that his Grace good Duke Philip was dead, and the tidings ran like a signal fire through the people, that this kind, wise, just prince had been bewitched to death.’ It is no departure again from the truth of nature that this sorceress, even if the real Sidonia had been the wretch M. Meinbold chooses to represent her, was suffered to exist so long; there are instances enough in all ages, and especially where life is least regarded, of persons universally odious living on to a protracted old age, while each little private caprice or grudge revenges itself on the instant by the death of its victim. Murder, fearless for its own ends, seldom rouses itself to act for the community—to avenge the general wrong, and the temptation to it arises most commonly from some creeping inadequate private end. In accordance with this view, Sidonia lives on the centre of all evil and misfortune, in the midst of enemies, and their feeble judicial efforts against her, till her 84th year: when history records her trial and death. The reigning prince is now the fourth brother, Duke Francis, who having been impatient of his brother’s lenity, commences a furious crusade against witches, with a view it would seem to keep Sidonia in order; for no one dares to touch her in the ordinary course of law. Here we make more formal acquaintance with the same Dr. Joel whose latinity was called in question, and who is deeply learned in all the writers on magic, and so well able, as it proves, to contend with the sorceress, that the wonder is, he had not volunteered his interference before ; however he waits till he is asked by Duke Francis if there were no spiritual agency to break the powers of this witch; for as to human, it was out of the question, since no one could be found to lay his hands on her. Whereupon we are enlightened by “my magister’ on many cabalistic secrets. He has ascertained that the only means of encountering Sidonia’s familiar is, through one out of two forms of conjuration: either through the Sun-angel, who may by certain difficult ceremonies be invoked, or the Schem Hamphorasch, or seventy names of the Most High. M. Meinhold speaks with such unction, that it is difficult to believe his own disclaimer of Dr. Joel’s exegesis in a note. We are tempted to quote the exegesis to our readers, as an example of the ingenuity with which any absurdity may be supported. We believe there is still in the world a great tendency to such speculations.

: “Wherefore is it that the great God does not appear to men now, as he

did in times long past? . I answer, because we no longer know his name. This name Adam knew in Paradise, and therefore spake with God as well as with all animals and plants. Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elias, Elijah, &c. all knew this name, and performed their wonders by it alone. But when the beastly and idolatrous Jews gave themselves over to covetousness and all uncleanliness, they forgot this holy name; so, as a punishment, they endured a year of slavery for each of the seventy names which they had forgotten; and we find them, therefore, serving seventy years in Babylonish bonds. After this, they never learnt it again, and all miracles and wonders ceased from among them, until the ever-blessed God sent his Son into the world to teach them once more the Schem Hamphorasch; and to all who believed on him he freely imparted this name, by which also they worked wonders; and that it might be fixed for ever in their hearts, he taught them the blessed Pater Noster, in which they were bid each day to repeat the words “Hallowed be thy name.’ Yea, even in that last glorious highpriestly prayer of his—in face of the bitter anguish and death that was awaiting him, he says, “Father, keep them in thy name !” or, as Luther translates it, “Keep them above thy name !’ For how easily that name is lost, we learn from David, who says, that he spelt it over in §: night, so that it might not pass from his mind. (Ps. cxix. 55.) Item, after the resurrection he gave command to go and baptize all nations—not in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, as Luther has falsely rendered the passage, but for, or by the name—that such might always be kept before their eyes, and never more pass away from the knowledge of mankind. And the holy apostles faithfully kept it, and St. Paul made it known to the Heathen, as we learn Acts ix. 15. And all miracles that they performed were by this name. Now the knowledge remained also with the early Christians, and each person was baptized by this name; and he who knew it by heart could work miracles likewise, as we know by Justin Martyr and others, who have written of the power and miraculous gifts of the early church. But when the pure doctrine became corrupted, and the Christian church (like the Jewish of former times) gave itself up to idolatry, masses, imageworship, and the like, the knowledge of the mystic name was withdrawn, and all miracles have ceased in the church from that up to this day.” “

The Literary Garland, and British North American Magazine: A Monthly … (Google Books)

THE BARON.

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

Bhuupuh*.

“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.

“•E. Harper.'”

“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.

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“QAY, isn’t it a little dear, Aunt Torrey ! Only see its lovely eyes of heaven’s own blue ; the tiny dimples in its little cheeks; I tell you, Aunt Torrey, that there is nothing, to my mind, so Sweet as this dear child; now I know what it is to love.” “Just the way with all you foolish girls,” said Aunt Torrey, as she gathered the folds of her elegant brocade still closer to herself, as if fearing the little babe might touch it. “Yes, you are all foolish alike. Now what is there about that fussy child to love 7 But I suppose it is natural enough for you to love it a little while.” “For a little while !” exclaimed the young mother in utter astonishment—“Why, I will always love Byron.” “Byron just like all the rest of the foolish, romantic, novel reading, poetry-mad girls! yes, he is named Byron ; why didn’t you name him some. thing sensible—James, or John, or even Bill, rather than Byron ” “Oh, they are entirely too common; I do hate those kind of names.” “Yes, I suppose you do,” said Aunt Torrey, as she gave little Bruno (her lap dog) an affectionate pat upon the head. “Oh! do listen how sweetly little Byron is talking. He is the dearest child in the world,” Said its mother. “So every other young and foolish mother would think; I don’t see anything so wonderful about him; I only hope he will have better sense than his mother has ; but I think it likely he will, for, as a general thing, men have more sense.” “Why, Aunt Torrey, his father makes just as much fuss over him as I do. You ought to see him some times.” “Well, as for my part, I cannot see any beauty in babies; they are so troublesome; all the time squalling and making such a noise. If they take * notion to have the moon, all creation could not persuade them they couldn’t have it. To me children are nothing but nuisances, some people make themselves perfectly ridiculous about them, and cannot pass a baby withuot kissing it.” “Ah! Aunt Torrey, that plainly shows that they are fond of children, and know full well how to apPreciate them. Bless their dear little hearts it. seems to me that the world would be a perfect blank without them.” “A blank indeed. I wish there were no children in the world. Once or twice every week I am persecuted; the children upset my work-box; my knitting needles are taken out of the stockings I am so intent upon knitting. Toys, and the dear

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knows what, all strewn over the floor by those troublesome little vixens, my nieces and nephews. I only wish sister would not bring them when she comes to spend the day; if I was mistress of that establishment she should not. But as I am only a boarder, I must bear it patiently. The nursery is the most proper place for children.” “You have much to learn yet, Aunt Torrey; life can have no charms for you if you do not love children.” “Well, I do not imagine it possible for me ever to love them now, as I never have all this time.” “Aunt Torrey, you remember how much the Savior loved little children. There is something truly interesting and lovely about the little creatures. They are like sweet flowers springing up in our pathway. Only think what the world would be without them ’’ “It would be a great sight better off. I tell you there would be less vexation and trouble. You might talk to me till Dooms-day, and then never get me to think as you do. No, no, I am much older than you, and know too well the folly of such things.” (Clara wonders to herself how Aunt Torrey knows anything about it). “Do look, do look, Aunt Torrey! Byron has fallen asleep; oh, can anything be more lovely 7” Lovely did the cherub-like child look as it lay nestled in its mother’s arms; the very picture of innocency and happiness—a smile lingered ’round its ruby lips, or nestled in the dimples of its rosy cheeks. The bright eyes of blue were gently closen by some unseen hand; oh, what a pride and joy did the young mother feel as she gazed upon a picture drawn by the Creator’s own hand. It held converse with angels during its slumbering hours; for what seraph would not court the smiles of one so lovely and fair 7 Yes, Aunt Torrey, that was a picture upon which you might gaze with admiring eyes, and say, in your heart—earth hath some who are innocent.

“I must go, Clara, for I want to finish that silk bed quilt. It does seem to me it will never be finished. I love to do patch-work; I think, Clara, if you had something like that to employ your time, it would be better for you.” “Little Byron takes up all my time.” “So I suppose. What good is there then of your having a nurse 2 But I quite forgot; it is fashionable, you know, to have a nurse—a piece of ex

“I cannot see how you can lavish so much affection on a lap dog.” “No, I suppose not. But a dog is no trouble; I only have to have his food cut up, water given him, washed once a day in the winter, twice in the snmmer, take him out for a little stroll once or twice a day. That is all, you see. But a child is so much trouble;” (Clara could not help smiling to herself while Aunt Torrey enumerated the owly trouble a pet spoiled lap dog was.) “Well, good-morning, Clara; come and spend the day with me; but dont bring Byron.” “Oh, I could not leave him for the world.” “I suppose not. Good morning.”

Aunt Torrey was one of those persons whom the world calls an old maid, She had her own peculiar notions about everything, and one had as well try to call the wind as to turn her opinion. Children were her abhorence, and she often said she could tolerate anything excepting a child. One great consideration with her was, when they came near her, she thought of some serious detriment they might do her diess, or else get her collar awry, or get one strand of her hair out of the right place, where she had been so careful to put it. Her affections were lavished upon lap dogs! Only think! a lady to prefer something incapable of speech, to that to whom God hath given a soul and breathed in it His own image But Aunt Torrey had her own views about such matters. Ah! “Bruno” knew too well the meaning when she raised one of her managing digits; he knew just how far he could go by a single glance of her catlike eye But children now are not so easily governed, and are apt to do pretty much as they may fancy. Aunt Torrey was sadly deficient in one particular; she was inconsistent, too; for she seemed to think that little children—the very sunbeams of the world—ought never to have anything except what was of the plainest and cheapest kind. She pronounced all mothers foolish if they lavished nothing more than the ordinary caresses upon their little gems. There was indeed a dark film over the eyes of Aunt Torrey, through which she could not see. Her heart had not been educated in the right school, or else she might soon have discovered how and why it was young mothers make so much of

travagance, that is all. If it takes up all your time to tend to him, you had better discharge Bridget.”

lovely mornings?” “Oh, I forgot he had to be taken out for a show, once in a While.” “No, no, Aunt Torrey, not for that. He must have the fresh air. Flowers cannot thrive without it : neither could little Byron.” “Yes, I suppose they would, too.” “Aunt Torrey, the nurse is not the proper instructor for children, either.” “I suppose not. But what can such a child as you teach him It is just like the “blind leading the blind.” “I confess I am not a very good instructor; but still, for all that, I can learn him to talk.” “Can’t Bridget do that?” “Oh, yes, but 72 “But what? just nothing at all; only you want to be dangling him all the time, just as a child does a mere toy; and, after awhile, get tired of it. He will be spoiled child, I tell you” “It is most likely he will, Aunt Torrey.” “You had better try to find something better to occupy your time than nursing children.” “But there are its little clothes to make.” “It is your place to do that: I suppose you do make them. But such a quantity of useless stuff as you do put on them—edgings, and fixings, and the dear knows what.” “That is all right, though. Women need some employment to keep themselves out of mischief. Why, sure as I am alive, he has a gold chain.”

“Well, Aunt Torry, that was a gift from his papa.”

“I suppose it was. I tell you that you are going to bring that child up to be entirely too extravagant.

“Let me ask you some questions, Aunt Torrey; there is Bruno, your pet dog, with a gold collar around his neck; now, do you call that extravagance 7”

“Lor bless you, child, no why, that chain will last him his life-time.”

“But that is the second one he has had since my knowledge.”

“The other was stolen.”

“That stands the same chance. And, Aunt Torrey, just look at the jewelry you purchase; the elegant dresses you wear at your time of life.”

“At my time of life!” exclaimdd Aunt Torrey o “P more erect; “I hope you do not call me OICl.

“Oh, no,” said Clara, perceiving she had touched a weak point. “I only thought you lectured me

“Who could take him out, then, during these

their children She had never loved anything
apart from a lap dog, or she might have looked
with more admiring eyes upon what she so much
disliked. Instead of looking frowningly upon
children, she might have had a smile or a kind
Word.
Depend upon it, Aunt Torrey, all is not right
with you. Perhaps if you had not resigned your-
self to a life of single blessedness, you would love
the little creatures, too, and think with Clara,
that life would be a desert without them. Bless
the sweet little creatures—may you ever find some
one to notice your innocent prattle, and have a
kind word of encouragement to cheer you on.
There are some in the world who do not look upon
yon as a nuisance or trouble; but rather take a
delight in catering to your every wish.

Eissing three Girls.

YOUNG man who boarded at a house in the

country, where were several coy damsels who seemed to imagine that men were terrible crea. tures, whom it was an unpardonable sin to look at, was one forenoon accosted by an acquaintance, and asked what he thought of the young ladies with whom he boarded ? He replied that they were very shy and reserved.

“So they are,” returned the other, “and so much so, that no gentleman could get near enough to tell the color of their eyes” “That may be,” said the boarder quickly, “but I will stake a million that I can kiss them all three, without any trouble;” “That you cannot do—it is an achievement which neither you nor any other man can accomplish.” The other was positive, and invited his friend to the house to witness his triump. They entered the room together, and the three girls were all at home, sitting beside the mother, and they all looked as prim and demure as John Rogers at the stake. Our hero assumed a very grave aspect, even to dejection ; and having look edwistful at the clock, baeathed a sigh as deep as algebra, and as long as a female parting dialogue at the street door. His singular deportment now, of course, attracted the attention of the girls, who cast their slow opening eyes upward to his countenance. Perceiving the impression he had made, he turned to his companion and said in a doleful voice— “It wants three minutes of the time ! “Do you speak of dinner!” said the old lady, laying down her sewing work. “Dinner!” said he, with a bewildered aspect, and pointing, as if unconsciously, with curled fore. finger at the clock.

too severely about Byron.” “Well, that is a different matter altogether; a baby is a baby, no matter what you put on it.”

A silence ensued, during which the female part of the household glared at the young man with ir| repressable curiosity.

“You will see me decently interred,” he said, turning towards his friend. His friend was as much puzzled as anybody present, and his embarrassment added to the intended effect, but the old lady being able no longer to contain herself, cried— “Mr. C–, pray what do you speak of ?” “Nothing,” answered he in a lugubrious tone, “but that last night a spirit appeared to me!” Hero the girls all rose to their feet and drew near. “And the spirits gave me warning that I should die exactly at twelve o’clock to-day; and you see it wants but half a minute of the time !” The girls turned pale, and their hidden sympathies were at once awakened for the doomed and departing one. They stood chained to the spot, looking alternately at the clock and the unfortutunate youth. He then walked up to the oldest of the girls, and taking her by the hand, bade her a solemn farewell. He also imprinted a kiss upon her trembling lips, which she did not attempt to resist. He then bade the second and third farewell in the same tender and aflectionate manner. His object was achieved, and that momnnt the clock 3truck twelve. Hereupon he looked around surprised, and ejaculated— “Who would have believed that an apparition would tell such a lie! It was probably the ghost of Annanias or Sapphira ” It was some time before the sober maidens understood the joke; and when they did, they evinced no resentment. The first kiss broke the ice, and thanks to the “ghost,” they discovered that there was some pleasure in a bearded cheek.

What Appetite Means.

SKING-for,” that is the meaning. Who asks 7 Nature ; in other words, the law of our being, the instinct of self-preservation, wisely and benevolently implanted in every living thing, whether animal, worm or weed. Yielding to this appetite is the preservation of all life and health below man; he alone exceeds it, and in consequence, sickens and dies thereby, long before his prime, in countless instances. The fact is not recognized as generally as it ought to be, that a proper attention to the “askings ’’ of nature not only maintains health, but is one of the safest, surest and most permanent methods of curing disease. It is eating without an appetite which, in many instances, is the last pound which breaks the camel’s back : nature had taken away the appetite, had closed the house for necessary repairs, but, in spite of her, we “forced down soma food,” and days, and weeks, and months of illness followed, if not cholera, cramp, cholic, and sudden death. In disease, there are few who cannot recall instances where a person was supposed to be in a dying condition, and in the delirum of fever, or otherwise, had arisen and gone to the pail or pitcher and drank an enormous quantity of water, or have goue to the pantry and eaten largely of some unusual food,and forth with began to recover. We frequently speak of persons getting well having the strongest kind of appetite, the indulgence of which, reason and science would say, would be fatal. We found out many years ago, when engaged in the general practice of medicine, that when the patient was convalesing the best general rule was, eat not an atom you do not relish; eat anything in moderation which your appetite craves, from a pickle down to shoe leather. Nature is like a perfect housekeeper; she knows better what is wanting in her house than anybody else can tell her. The body in disease craves that kind of food which contains the elements it needs. This is one of the most important facts in human hygiene ; and yet we do not recollect to have ever seen it embodied in so many words. We have done so to make it practical; and to make it remembered we state a fact of recent occurrence: Some three years ago a daughter of James Damon, of Chesterfield, fell down a flight of stairs, bringing on an illness from which it was feared she would not recover. She did, however, recover, except the loss of hearing and sight. Her appetite for some weeks called for nothing but raisins and candy, and since last fall nothing but apples were eaten. A few weeks ago she commenced eating maple buds, since which time she has nearly regained her former health and activity, and her sight and hearing are now restored.

We all, perhaps have observed that cats and other animals, when apparently ill, go and crop a particular grass or weed, In applying these facts, let us remember to indulge this “asking for” of Nature, in sickness especially, in moderation, feeling our way along by gradually increasing amounts, thus keeping on the safe side. We made this one of our earliest and most inflexible rules

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of practice –Journal of Health.

–q-p“Though lost to sight,to memory dear,” as the maiden said to her lover, when his face was buried in beard and whiskers.

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Originai.
I WATCHED FOR THEE.

WATCIIED for thee last night,
When the moon was beaming,
From the dim twilight
At the star’s first gleaming;
Till midnight’s stilly shade,
Till the moon departed,
I watched, I wept, I prayed;
At each footfall started—
Whilst my heartbeat madly,
Thinking still to see thee,
13ut it drooped, how sadly,
When I found it not to be thee—
I watched, I wept, I wondered
At thy long delaying,
And I silent pondered,
Where could thou be straying?

I watched for thee till morn,
Till the stars ceased shining,
When over tree and lawn,
Dewy wreaths were twining—
IIope with sleep was vieing—
Still I watched on longer—
Sleep his utmost trying—
Ah! sweet Hope and stronger—
Sleep said, (wooing weary,)
“Wait until the morrow,”
IIope kept whispering cheery,
“Give away thy sorrow,
He will come, believe me;
Heed, I pray, my warning,
I would not deceive thee “–
Thus I watched till morning.

I watched all yesterday;
I hied me to the shore,
I saw the breaker’s spray,
The sandy beach dashed o’er;
I welcomed every wave,
Each to me was dearer;
They sweet assurance gave
Thou wert coming nearer.
I watched each snowy sail,
Swiftly by me gliding,
I played no treacherous gale
Near thee was abiding;
And thus, I, weary, stayed,
Singing, hopin , y arming,
And watched, and wept, and prayed,
IPrayed for thy returning.
I. F. BRUNE.

FACETIOUS IIDLE-TALK.

. . . . . . . . THE DOCTOR Non PLUSSED —While the
dessert was under consideration, the doctor turned
to Gertrude, who sat nearest him, and, in a hon-
eyed accent, and with a gracious smile, said, “I
hold some opinions which are not at this time in
good odor among certain circles.” Gertrude bow-
ed in token of her attractiveness. “It is general-
ly believed that this world had a beginning,”
glancing his eye upon Annie, who bowed her as-
sent. “That it had a Creator,” looking at Oliver;
“and that,” looking at Frank, “it bears marks of
design.”
Frank bowed: and the old doctor here paused
with an air of self-complacency, and drew up him-
self big with the explosion he was about to make,
“his utterance ’’ (to use the parlance of the Brun-
neus)—and all around were on tip-toe for what
was coming.
“Now, then, I hold, and can demonstrate, that
the world never was made, and never had a be-
ginning !”
* Granted ‘ ‘.’ cried Annie.
Doctor Thornton looked up inquiringly, as if
astonished.
“Granted ‘ ‘ cried Annie, with a lurking smile
upon her beautiful face; “and what then * *
It was a happy hit. The old man flushed in his
face, rose, and left; while the listeners at that end
of the table burst into irrepressible laughter

. . . . . . . . Evasion –Previous to the establish-
ment of steam packets and regular liners, to sail
on stated days “full or not full,” considerable
competition existed between the masters of Sundry
trading sloops between New York and an Eastern
port. A person residing some distance from town,
and wishing a quantity of goods transported by
the first conveyance, called on the master of one
of the above named vessels, and inquired when he
was to sail.
“Sir,” said he, “I shall go to-morrow, if the
wind is ahead ”
His goods were accordingly shipped and he left
town; but, to his surprise, he found, a week after-
wards, that she had not sailed. He called on the
captain, and charged him with deception.
“Indeed, sir,” replied he, “thcre was no decep-
tion in the case; I told you I should go the next
day if the wind was ahead, and so I should have
done; but as it was as fair as could blow, I felt
under no obligation to sail.”

. . . . . . . . MORE TRUTH THAN POETRY —Whether a man leads a sober life or not, depends altogether on the temper of his wife. No man will listen all night to a scold, who knows where “a good warm sling” may be bought for a sixpence. At Cocktail’s the other night, we found no less than thirteen married men, who spend six evenings a week in squirting tobacco juice on a coal stove. We thought we would find out who they were. On inquiring, we learned that eleven of them were

blessed with wives who “jaw” from Monday
morning till Saturday night, while the other two
wedded a couple of she missionaries—ladies so
constantly engaged in the “welfare of Central Af-
rica” that they have no time to keep their hus:
|bands’ shirts whole.

. . . . . . . . FILIAL OBEDIENCE – “How old are you ?” said Major Garver to a dwarfish young Inan.

“Twenty”

“I wonder you ain’t right down ashamed of being no bigger; you look a boy of ten.”

“All comes of being a dutiful child.”

“ HOW S0.”

“When I was ten, father put his hand on my head and said, ‘stop there !” and he then ran away. I’ve never seen him since, and didn’t think it right in me to go on growing without his leave!”

. . . . . . . . A PROTESTANT P1G —An Irish woman
in Bristol, a few days since, missed her pig, and,
after dilligent inquiry, learned that it was in pos-
session of a highly respectable citizen of the town.
She straightway called upon him, when he inform-
ed her that her pig had broken through a window
into the Episcopal church, were his pigship was
found, and if she would pay five dollars damages
she could have the pig. She replied: –

“The pig and the church may go to the devil —
I’ll pay no five dollars for him if he has turned
Protestant.”

THE PROPER USE OF TEIE EYES.

Certain, the eyes are not to see with—
No more than wives were made to be with,
Or milk was sent us to drink tea with ;
Some sages hint they’re formed to weep with,
Others to cast a look like sheep with ;
Its my belief they’re meant—to sleep with.

Harper’s Young People, Volume 12 (Google Books)

The Atlantic Monthly – Volume 108 – Page 451
https://books.google.com.ph › books

1911 – ‎Snippet view – ‎More editions
Nobody meant to blame the rich woman for being childless, because it was well known in Polotzk that Hode the Russian, as she … My mother, on her visits, was thrown a great deal into this boy’s society; but she liked him less than the poodle.
The Atlantic – Volume 108 – Page 451
https://books.google.com.ph › books

1911 – ‎Snippet view – ‎More editions
Nobody meant to blame the rich woman for being childless, because it was well known in Polotzk that Hode the Russian, as she … My mother, on her visits, was thrown a great deal into this boy’s society; but she liked him less than the poodle.
The New Statesman – Page 366
https://books.google.com.ph › books

1914 – ‎Snippet view – ‎More editions
For a married woman to set limits to her family was felt to be less shameful than for an unmarried woman to acknowledge the slightest desire for a child. … common herd scoffed at it in such perverted forms as the fondling of poodles by old maids ; and the women who could have … The meekness with which they married without conditions, or remained childless because unmarried, is departing from them.

Search Results
The Pacific Reporter – Volume 226 – Page 87
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1924 – ‎Snippet view – ‎More editions
It is common observation that a woman with a small child cannot find many places open to her for “common labor”; she must take … Witness the childless woman who cuddles the poodle dog for Its lick and worship or Maltese cat for its purr and ..

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IV., or Henry of Navārre as he was generally called, was King in his stead. That is, he was nominally King, but in reality he had to win his way to the throne by hard fighting; because, while he was a Huguenot, or Protestant, the majority of the French people, especially those who lived in Paris, were Catholics, and unwilling to acknowledge as King one holding a different religious belief from themselves. To oppose him they formed what they called a Holy League, elected a King of their own in the person of an old Cardinal, to whom was given the title of Charles X., and raised a great army, which they sent out to destroy the Huguenot King and his followers. Now all this did not trouble the gallant Henry of Navarre in the least; for he was at any time as ready for a fight as he was for a dance, a hunt, a frolic, or a dinner; and at all of these he was the bravest, the wittiest, and the gayest of those who took part. It is said that at his birth his other sang a merry song, that her child might thereby be blessed with a cheerful disposition. As soon as he was born, his grandfather brushed his baby lips with a clove of garlic and wet them with rich Gascon wine, so that he should be brave and generous. The boy thus started in life grew up to be all of these things, besides being possessed of a handsome suntanned face from which looked a pair of clear blue eyes, and of a close-knit graceful figure. When this light – hearted Prince finally became the rightful King of France, he found himself at once involved in war, and realized that with but four thousand followers he must meet the thirty thousand troops sent by the League to destroy him. At this he did not hesitate for a moment, but cheerfully led his little army into battle at a place called Arques. Here, with the odds against them of nearly eight to one, they completely routed their enemies, and Henry of Navarre gained his first decisive victory. Again the League sent a great army against him, and again with a much smaller force, on the plains of Ivry, he defeated it. It was here that the King wore a snowwhite plume on his helmet, which he bade his soldiers follow in case their banners should fall, and they could by no other means distinguish their leaders. Of this famous battle a stirring poem has been written, in which occur the lines: “And if my standard-bearer fall, as fall full well he may, For never saw I promise yet of such a bloody fray, Press where ye see my white plume shine amid the ranks of war, And be your oritlamme to-day the helmet of Navarre.” Having won the battle of Ivry, King Henry marched on to Paris, but with his small force and inadequate supply of artillery he could make no impression upon the massive walls, nor could he force the ponderous city gates that were closed in his face. There was nothing left to do but to encamp about the city, cut off all its supplies, and attempt to starve it into submission. The brave and tender-hearted King hated to resort to such measures, for he loved the people shut up in the city, who, though they were rebels and had sought to kill him, were, after all, his own people, whose loyalty he hoped some time to win. He would rather have fought a dozen battles with them and forgiven them afterwards, than cause them the terrible sufferings they were about to undergo from starvation. At this time the old house standing at the upper end of the Place de M was occupied by a Duchesse who had for many years been a prominent sigure at court. She was a childless woman, and much of her affection was bestowed upon pets, of which she had a number, and of which the chief was a white poodle named Bimbo. He was not a good-tempered dog, and he made himself very disagreeable to almost everybody, except his mistress and a poor little slip of a kitchen-maid about twelve years old, named Ninon.

She was a waif from the streets, who had been picked up by the cook a year or so before the time at which this story opens, and set to turning a spit. Since then, although given enough to eat and a roof to cover her, Ninon had led a cheerless existence, made up of the hardest kind of work from morning to night, mixed in with beatings and scoldings. In all the great house, with its multitude of guests and servants, her only friend was Bimbo, the poodle, who had from the first taken an immense fancy to the unhappy little girl, and would growl and show his teeth whenever he thought anybody was about to abuse her. They were not often thrown together, because the little scullion never dared approach that part of the house in which the Duchesse lived, and Bimbo arely visited the kitchen. Sometimes he would make his way at night up into Ninon’s little attic room. Here, in company with several other kitchen-maids, she slept on a truss of straw, with scanty covering and without a pillow, save upon the rare occasions when her curly head rested on Bimbo’s shaggy side. Ninon generally cried at such times, not because she was sorry to see her little friend, but because he was the only creature in all the world that seemed to care for, or to sympathize with, her, and she felt happier after she had tearfully whispered ali her trials into his ear, and he had comforted her by licking her face.

About now, I suppose, you are asking, “What does all this about a wretched little kitchen-maid and a poodle have to do with the brave King of the first part of the story?”

Why, don’t you see, the King was at this time outside of Paris wishing he could get in, while Ninon and Bimbo were inside the city walls wishing they could get Out.

Why were they wishing to get out? Because they Were very hungry, and they knew—or at least Ninon did —that there was plenty of food outside of the city, and almost none on their side of its gates.

BY, this time the siege, which was begun in March, had lasted nearly all summer, and almost everything edible in Paris had been eaten. Only a few of the very rich people had any store of provisions left. The meat the bread, and the wine were all gone. The horses, the dogs the cats, and even the rats and mice of the city Were be. ing ravenously devoured, and the poor people, who had snatched from the gutters every scrap of anything that could be eaten, were dying by thousands. The susferings in the city were terrible beyond anything we can dream of, and the heart of the brave King outside the gates ached when he heard of them. But still the cit would not surrender. y

With such awful want and starvation throughout Paris, even the inmates of a Duchesse’s house could not escape from their share of it. Here, as well as in poorer places, provisions were becoming Very scarce. Poor Ninon had for several weeks lived upon two very small portions of bean porridge a day, and had become aimo. is fount and fleshless as a little skeleton. Ev., Birnbo had been fed better than she’; but then he was being reserved to be eaten himself. One by one the o”. monkeys and the other pet dogs had been boiled or roasted or fricasseed, and served on the table of the * until they were all gone, and only Bimbo was (*I t.

.” My poor sweet Bimbo,” exclaimed the Duchesse to him. one day, as she tenderly fondled him * thou art *N joy and delight; but even for thee I cannot starve I cannot feed thee longer, and so thou must feed me … –

Then she kissed his little white nose, shed a few tears *d, gave her waiting-maid orders to tal. him to the ‘o. and !”. him served on the table two days in: When some of the lords and ladies — — y ing to dine with her. adies of the court w ere corn

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The maid rejoiced at this, for she hated Bimbo, and in spite of his cries and struggles, she gladly carried him off to the kitchen, where he was shut up in a closet, to be kept until it should be time for him to be killed. This was a sad day for poor Ninon. She could hear the cries of her only friend, and knew of the fate in store for him, but apparently she could do nothing to help him. She went about her work so blinded by tears that she could hardly see what she was doing, and many a blow from the cook’s heavy hand fell to her share that day because of her negligence. That night, as she lay on her truss of straw in the little attic room trying to stifle her sobs, she overheard one of the other scullions say that the beast of a dog was to be killed first thing in the morning, and she, for her part, was glad of it. Then Ninon made up her mind to do a bold thing. She would try to save Bimbo even at the risk of her own life. Waiting patiently until the other occupants of the room were sound asleep, she arose, and wrapping the ragged coverlet of her bed about her, stole softly—oh, so softly —out of the room, and began to grope her way down the black stairways towards the kitchen. She stopped so frequently to listen, and so often lost her way in the darkness, that it took her nearly an hour to reach the closet, to which she was finally guided by a faint moaning from poor Bimbo. Her first movement, after opening the door and finding the dog, was to cover his head with the ragged quilt to prevent him from barking. Then, with him in her arms, she made her way into the dark porte cochère, and at length out from beneath its black arch into the open air of the Place. Now came the most dangerous part of her undertaking: for every night all the streets of the city were closed by heavy chains that were stretched across them, and only guards of soldiers were allowed abroad after dark. The order was given that any other person found in the streets before daylight should be put to death, unless he could give some very good reason for being there. Crouching in the darkest shadows, and stealing softly along, fearing every moment lest she should meet with some of the cruel soldiers, the child at length reached what she considered a safe distance from the Duchesse’s house. Then she crept into an arch way, and, utterly exhausted by her efforts, sank down upon the hard pavement, and, with her arms around Bimbo, fell fast asleep. A few hours later she was awakened by a great noise, and starting up, saw surging past her one of the most remarkable processions that ever occupied the streets of a great city. It was a procession of skeletons-—the ragged, starved, dying people of Paris hastening to accept the generous offer of King Henry, and leave it. His heart had been so moved by the reports of the sufferings of his enemies that he had issued a proclamation to the effect that such of the starving inhabitants as chose to depart peaceably from the city should be allowed to do so, and that he would furnish food for them. Thousands accepted the offer, and staggering with weakness, some carrying others who could not walk, they were now on their way to the gate that was to be opened for them. Ninon would have known nothing of all this but for a woman who, hurrying past with a puny babe in her arms, saw her, and bade her come along. Trembling from weakness and excitement at what the woman told her, the little maid, tightly hugging Bimbo, still wrapped in the old coverlet, joined the sorrowful procession, and with it made her way out of Paris to the open fields beyond its walls, in which the besieging army was encamped. Just outside his camp, King Henry, seated upon a great black charger, and surrounded by a group of knights in

splendid armor, gazed pityingly upon this throng of wretched people as they moved slowly past him. As he gazed, one of them, a child, fell to the ground exhausted. At the same moment a white poodle struggled from her arms and licked her face. He was a tempting morsel for the starving wretches around him, and a dozen of them attempted to seize him, but he escaped from their clutches: and, wild with terror, darted directly towards the group surrounding the King, where he sought refuge among the horses’ feet. A golden collar about his neck attracted the King’s attention, and he commanded a page to capture the animal and bring it to him. This was done, and as Bimbo was held up to him by the page, the King examined curiously a coat of arms engraved on the collar, which he recognized as that borne by the family of the Duchesse de M–, Bimbo’s mistress. At this moment Ninon, given new strength by her loss, reached the spot, and in a bewildered way, not realizing in whose presence she stood, tried to recover the dog from the page who held him.

It hardly seems possible that an incident of this kind should affect the fate of a nation, but it did. The King’s interest was so aroused by it that he ordered Ninon to be ared for and her story learned. When this had been done, and it was reported to him that the distress in the city was so great that even the noble Duchesse de M– was driven to the sacrifice of her pet dog in order to furnish her table with food, he was greatly moved. As a result, he permitted a great store of provisions to be smuggled in over the walls, and upon these the garrison subsisted until such strong re-enforcements came to their relief that King Henry was obliged to abandon the siege, and retire from before the city without having conquered it.

 

The Bankers’ Magazine, Volume 30 (Google Books)

Mas. Bsssm FLOCKTON mm mm Baornas. Cnaaus.

“O! bido ye, yet, 0! bide ye, yet;

Ye little know what may bctidc ye, yet.”-—Scotch Ballad, WHEN the establishment in the Isle of \Vight was broken up it was necessary, of course, to discharge the several servants, all of whom, with the exception of two or three of the younger ones, had been in the family for many years. All were sorry to leave, and there was more than one among them desirous to remain, and to follow their old master and youthful mistress to London. Among these latter the most pertinacious was Mrs. Flockton, or Mrs. Bessie as she was usually styled—although she had no legal claim to the title of “ Mistress ”—who for many years had

‘occupied the position of housekeeper at the Hall, and had, at

the same time, enacted the joint parts of lady’s maid and humble companion to its young mistress. On the decease of Mrs. Harlingford, at a period when her daughter was too young fully to realise the irreparable loss she had sustained, Mrs. Bessie had taken the sole charge of the little motherless child, for whom she had conceived almost a parent’s love. She had taught the little girl her letters, and had been her earliest instructress in the rudiments, until—Mrs. Bessie having imparted to her little pupil all she was capable of teach

ing—Miss Caroline was sent to a. boarding-school on the island, not many miles distant from the Hall. When the young lady returned home to spend the vacations, and frequently for a day or two at other times, it was to Mrs. Bessie that she looked for all the trifling pleasures and indulgences that her mother, had she been living, would have been eager to bestow upon her, and thus, as we have intimated, the old housekeeper came to be regarded by her young mistress rather in the light of a humble companion than a servant, while the afl’ection that the child had naturally conceived for the being who had been as a second mother to her in her tender years continued to exist as she grew towards womanhood.

Yet Mrs. Bessie Flockton was not calculated, by her appearance, to attract the love of a child. At the date at which this story opens she had already passed her fiftieth year, although she was still as hale and active as she had been twenty years before. She was tall, thin and angular in frame, with sharp, regular features, keen grey eyes, and thin, tightly-compressed lips, which imparted an expression of rigid firmness to a countenance which might have been preposessing in her youth; and which, even now, was not ill-favoured. She was accustomed to wear a false front of flaxen hair, with rows of small, tight curls, which still further increased the rigidity of her aspect, and was usually attired in a black bombazine gown, with a white or yellow shawl folded with methodical precision across her bosom. Stern and imperative in disposition she was the dread of any unlucky individuals among the inferior domestics who were guilty of carelessness, or who neglected their duties, although she was prompt to encourage the orderly and industrious.

Stern and harsh, however, as she sometimes was to others, she had always been gentle and loving, and even submissive, in her deportment towards her young mistress, and the idea that she must now part from her whose infancy she had watched over, and whom she had seen grow up from a pretty, engaging child to a beautiful and gentle woman, was tenible to her.

The idea of separation was almost equally painful to Miss Harlingford. Still, she felt that it was necessary that she and her old and faithful friend and attendant should part, at least for a time, for she knew not what would be the arrangements her father might make for the future; and although one servant, at least, would be necessary to them, she was well aware that however well-meaning were Mrs. Bessie’s intentions, and however willing she might be to perform the menial service she offered to perform, if only she was permitted to remain, she was quite unfitted, alike by her antecedents, her disposition, and her advanced years, to fill the place of a maid-of-all-work ; neither could she (Miss Harlingford) have been content to have seen her reduced to so lowly a condition.

From long association with her young mistress, and also from natural inclination, Mrs. Bessie Flockton had acquired habits, manners and tastes above those of an ordinary servant, even of the upper class. Had she been really well educated, she would, in all probability, have enrolled herself a member of that worthy sisterhood vulgarly yclep’d “ blue-stockings,” for which position she was adapted by nature and disposition. As it was, she had read a great deal, and was partial to making a display of her erudition by means of quotations, or, more frequently, mis-quotations from her favourite authors ——especially from Shakespeare—not always aptly chosen, although at times (unwittingly to herself) they came forth so pat to the purpose that a stranger might have regarded her as one of those most disagreeable of all created beings—a female wit. Moreover, she kept a voluminous diary, wherein, notwithstanding the severity of her aspect, and the brusquerie of her manner, the records were sentimental in the extreme.

Such a person was, Miss Harlingford very justly thought, hardly adapted to clean a doorstep, brush boots and shoes, or peel potatoes for dinner; so, sorely against the inclination both of herself and her young mistress, poor Mrs. Bessie was discharged with the other servants of the household.

By Mrs. Bessie Flockton the parting was, of course, most severely felt. Possessed of very many good qualities, she had not always been the harsh, unyielding creature she now appeared to most of her fellow creatures with whom she came in contact. Had she married in early life, she would have been a true and faithful wife and a gentle and loving mother. – When about thirty years of age, she was betrothed to a young man whom she loved with all the passionate devotion natural to a woman of strong feelings. By this young man she had been cruelly and most basely deserted, only a. few days before the time appointed for her marriage, and after every preparation had been made, on her’ part, and on the part of her friends, for the ceremony.

This cowardly desertion had almost proved fatal to her. She sank beneath it, and fell ill, and lay for some time almost at the point of

death, and when at length she recovered her health and strength, she was a changed woman. Her disposition had become soured; she inveighed against the baseness and ingratitude of mankind, and took upon herself a vow of celibacy. Still, a_ woman must have something upon which to lavish her affections. It is impossible to the sex to exist without loving, and happily for Mrs. Bessie Flockton (it was at this period that she assumed tl1e title of Mrs.), she found in the motherless infant daughter of Mr. Harlingford that something to love and cherish that her heart craved for.

Miss Harlingford, however, did not possess Mrs. Bessie’s undivided affection. Her father, after he had grown into years and long after the death of her mother, had married a woman much younger than himself, who died shortly after she had given birth to a male child. She filled the place of a mother to this young brother-—nearly twenty years younger than herself—during his infancy, and her brother Charlie shared with her young mistress, all the affection she had to bestow upon her fellow creatures. Charles Flockton was unworthy of his sister’s love. He was wild, dissipated and ungrateful; and still, in Mrs. Bessie’s partial eyes, he was endowed with every manly talent and virtue. While a mere youth he was inveigled into making an imhappy marriage, and his fond and admiring sister, who found excuses for all his evil doings, charged most of them to this cause. It served a double purpose. It enabled her to inveigh against the folly and evil of matrimony, and to find constant excuses for her brother’s failings. Poor Mrs. Bessie ! She had been wiser, had this portion of her affections been more worthily bestowed; still, it were better that she gave a share of her love even to a. worthless and unthankful brother, than had she followed the example of certain of the maiden sisterhood and lavished all the a.fi’ections of her woman’s heart upon a tortoiseshell cat or an ugly and vicious poodle.

It was to her brother’s house that Mrs. Bessie Flockton went when she quitted Harlingford Hall.

She was welcome, for she had saved money during her long years of faithful service ; and Charles Flockton knew full well that, so long as he had his sister near him to call upon, his own pockets need never be empty.

Charles Flockton resided in the vicinity of Bowbridge, in the county of Essex, in the same house with his ‘intimate friend, Reginald Baflin, a marine-store keeper in a somewhat extensive way of business. At this present time Charles Flockton was out of regular em

ployment, although he occasionally assisted his friend Reginald, when both were sometimes absent from home for days together. He looked upon himself as an ill-used, unfortunate man. He had been a clerk in a. bank, and in an insurance office ; had been dismissed from both these situations for no fault (according to his own assertions) ; had then obtained a place as a. messenger in a public ofiice, from which he had likewise been discharged ; and had finally obtained the situation of town traveller for a mercantile house in the City, from which, as he stated, he had discharged himself, as he found himself unsuited for the duties he had to perform. It was, however, whispered that he had been obliged to quit this service, and to borrow money at the same time from his sister, to make good certain deficits, and save himself from an investigation that might have led to unpleasant results. This, however, might have been a mere piece of scandal. At all events he had latterly grown very low-spirited, and he consequently received his sister’s visit with unusual satisfaction, inasmuch as it promised to afford some change from the weary monotony of his present mode of life.

It was the end of the first week after Mrs. Bessie’s arrival at Bow. Her brother, who had been absent from home two days and nights on some mysterious business with his friend Reginald Bafiin, was seated opposite to her in the parlour, his elbows resting on the table, his head resting in his hands. He had been home but a few hours, and had not been to bed. His clothes were dusty, his boots covered with dry mud, his eyes were heavy, and his face pale, dirty, and unshaven. He looked as though he had not undressed himself nor sought a bed since he had quitted home two days before, and he occasionally yawned fearfully. Mrs. Flockton, Charles’s wife, was upstairs lying on the bed reading a cheap periodical. It was almost the first time since her arrival that Mrs. Bessie had found herself alone with her brother. She sat watching him, with a compassionate look, for some minutes ,’ at length she said,

“ My dear Charlie, you look thoroughly worn out ; why don’t you go and lie down awhile, or shall I make you a cup of tea ‘2 and then, perhaps, if you have a. good wash, you’ll feel somewhat refreshed.”

“ I’d rather have a drop of brandy than your slip-slop tea,” replied Charlie, looking up and gaping widely. “ As to going to lie down, how can I, when that woman ‘s in the bed reading some confounded novelette. That’s the way she spends her time from morn till night. No comfort in the house, and no enjoyment out of it. Could you get me a drop of brandy, Bessie l”

“ Is there any in the house, dear l”

“ Any in the house ‘I If there’d been a gallon when I went away, there’d be none left. That woman upstairs would have made away with it—she and her friends together. No ; there’s none inthe house, and I haven’t a penny to buy any.”

“Wouldn’t a cup of hot tea do you more good, Charlie, dear 1″

replied Mrs. Bessie.

“ No ; I tell you, Bessie. I need something to cheer me up a. bit. You know I never care for tea at any time. However, I suppose I must go without.”

“ N 0, Charlie, I’ll get it for .you if you really need it, my dear. Where’s the bottle 2’’

Charlie pointed towards the cupboard, and Mrs. Bessie took the bottle from the shelf and went to a neighbouring public-house for the spirits.

When she returned she had the change of a sovereign in her hand, which she began to recount before she put it in her purse.

“ Bessie,” said her brother, casting a covetous glance at the silver, “if you have no especial need for that change to-day, you might lend it to me. Not a rap have I got in my pocket”

“I lent you a sovereign the morning you went away, Charlie,” replied his sister.

“ Oh, keep the money if you fear to trust me,” said Charlie.

“Charlie, dear, you know that I do not ,- you know that you’re welcome to anything I have to give or lend you; but I thought — that is, do not you get paid for your labour, whatever it is, when you go away from home as you did on Thursday ‘1’’

“Of course : but not immediately. Women don’t know anything of men’s work.”

Mrs. Bessie handed the silver to her brother, who put it carelessly into his pocket, saying,

“ Thank you, Bessie. I’ll return you the whole amount together, when I get paid for my last job.”

Mrs. Bessie now placed the bottle, a tumbler, and some water, on the table. Her brother mixed himself a stiff tumbler of brandy and water, and then, observing that he was somewhat better, arose as if about to go abroad.

“ Dear Charlie,” said Mrs. Bessie, “ if you don’t mind, I wish

you’d sit and talk to me a bit. I’ve hardly been able to speak with you alone since I came.”

Charlie hesitated, and then reseating himself, said,

“ Well; if you have anything to say, say it ; only make haste. I want to see Reggie Bafiin on business.”

“ I only wanted to say, dear Charlie,” said Mrs. Bessie, timidly, as if she were afraid bf hurting her brother’s feelings, “ that it pains me to the heart to see you in your present condition; you, that with your talents, and appearance—when you choose to make yourself look like a gentleman—ougbt to command almost any situation. ])on’t be angry, Charlie. I know all that you have to contend against, and I feel for you as a sister ought to feel. But don’t you think, if you had a little help, just to set you up again, that you might do better than you are doing now 2″

“Where’s the help to come from I” her brother surlily rcplied. “ And if I got it, what could I do with that wife of mine upstairs tied to me, and weighing me down like a stone 7″

“ As to the help, my dear brother,” Mrs. Bessie went on, “ I might find that, and perhaps, if we talk matters over, we might decide upon some plan that would, at least temporarily, free you from the trouble of which you complain. The other day I heard you talking about emigrating. Now, Charlie dear, though I should be sorry to see you go far away from me, still it might be for your own good to emigrate for a few years. I’ve heard say that fortunes are soon made abroad. Others have made fortunes in a short time, and surely you can do what others without half your abilities have done. Then you might return a rich man, and get a comfortable home of your own, and I might come and live with you Charlie. How happy we might be, especially if I lived anywhere near my darling Miss Carrie.”

“ But the wife—-the wife, sister Bessie !” said Charles. “ You seem to have forgotten her T’

“ No, dear, I haven’t. I’d thought about her. If you were away —I don’t mean to advise you to leave her altogether, Charlie ; since you have made such a mistake as to marry her, why you’re in duty bound to support her. But, as 1 was saying, if you were away —say in America-—she’d have to do something to help to support herself, till you rcturned—and why shouldn’t she 1 She was but a lady’s maid when you married her, and if she were compelled to work she might come round and learn to conduct herself better in the future. Think over what I’ve said, Charlie, and if you think Well of it, why, I’ll go and ask old Mr. Hm-lingford’s advice.”

Charles Flockton was about to reply, when the room-door was opened suddenly, and Reginald Bafiin, the marine-store keeper, made his appearance, evidently much agitated or annoyed about something that had occurred.

He was a short, thick-set man, with a. face deeply pitted with pockmarks, and with but one eye,—the other being covered with a black patch. His features were coarse, and his bushy grey whiskers met under his chin. He was dressed in adirty fustian jacket and corduroy trousers, and his head was covered with a ragged sealskin cap. Altogether he presented a most repulsive appearance, and well might Mrs. Bessie wonder, as she had done, how her brother, who, when he chose, really did look like a gentleman, could select such a man for his friend and companion.

Reginald Bafiin, however, was reputed to be it man of considerable wealth. He had large warehouses filled with all sorts of apparently valueless, though really valuable, goods ; and, though many people wondered how hehad made his money, they tolerated him and even respected him for his wealth.

“ Here boy—come in——you,” he said, with an oath ; and a boy of small stature, but who might have been anyiage between ten and fifteen, so far as one could judge from his features (which, though they were those of a. mere child, wore an expression of precoeity that stamped them with a look of age), entered with a bag upon his shoulders so weighty that he bent beneath it.

“There, toss it down!” cried his master, and the lad threw the bag on the floor.

The marine-store keeper then addressed Charles Flocktcn.

“ Here’s been a pretty go,” he cried. “ Somebody’s been and split, that’s sartin, and if I on’y know’d who it was, cuss ’em, they wouldn’t do it a second time. Howsomever, it’s no use talkin’. I’ve got part of the things in my rooms upstairs, and here’s t’other part. You must stow that sornewheres out 0’ sight. Tho’ they won’t be coming here to sarch, I reckon ; and they may sareh the shop and ware’us as long as they please. Bless me ! ’t’ud be a. hundred pound fine if it were found out.”

Charles Flockton turned paler than he had been before. He, however, rose from his seat, and concealed the bag in the cupboard.

“ How did you make the discovery, Reggie T’ he inquired.

“ I see the boat it comin’ up the river,” answered the lad ; “ and I see the hoflicers landin’, and I went up to the wharf to meet ’em.”

“ ‘ Hey, boy !’ says one on ’em, as was the chief, ‘ whereabouts is Baffin’s war-e’us’s ‘4’ says he.

“I guessed somat was up, and I sent up to the creek, and as soon as I seen ‘em fair started, I cuts home and tells the guv’ner. My eye! won’t they swear when they gets there and finds as they’ve been gammon’d.”

“ Well, I must go back to the ware’us, Charlie,” said Bafiin. “ I must go and play the hinnercent. ‘Look round, genelmen. Lots 0’ cooriosities from furren parts and the rest 0’ the world besides. Choose what yer likes so long as yer pays for it,’ ” and he ended by bursting into a hearty laugh.

“ I reckon it’s all right this time,” he presently went on ; “ but it was a narrow touch, and we must be awake for the futur, Charlie boy.”

With this, Reginald and the lad returned to the store, the former nodding with a knowing look to Charles Flockton as he quitted the room.

Mrs. Bessie had looked on and heard all that passed, at first with astonishment, then with horror. It appeared bad enough to her to find her brother Charlie on terms of friendship with such a man as Baflin; but to make the discovery that both were united in some unlawful business, that had brought down upon them the ofiicers of the law, was terrible to tl1ink of; and all the more terrible to her, in consequence of the mystery in which the matter appeared to be involved.

“ O ! Charlie, Charlie, my dear brother Charlie, what is this ‘1″ she cried, appealing to her brother with clasped hands and tearful eyes, as soon as his repulsive-looking visitors had taken their departure. “Tell me, for pity’s sake, dear Charlie, is there any danger to you ‘l Hide nothing from me, whatever guilt you may have been led into by that wicked man. Remember that I am your sister!”

“ \Vhat ails you, Bessie ‘I What are you afraid of T’ replied Charles. “ There is nothing the matter. It’s a mere trifle at least, that’s all. I’ll explain it allto you by-and-by. There’s no harm done to anybody, and nothing to fear, though perhaps I may as well be out of the way in case of a call. If any one asks for me, say that I’ve gone up to town ;” and, locking the cupboard in which he had placed the bag, he put the key in his pocket, and quitted the house, leaving his sister –in spite of his endeavours to pass matters off lightly—in a condition of mind bordering upon distraction.