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Young ladies, like most other classes of the com
munity, may be broadly divided into two classesthe imaginative and the common-place. We all number good specimens of each order among our friends and acquaintances, and, if we are liberal-minded, find something to admire in each. It is a fact which we must recognize, that common-place people, who have little or none of the fine instinct and ambition which we recognize as imagination, are of very great value in the world. The cool, clear heads which seldom look out of the windows while travelling on the great railroad of life, but keep their eyes on the time-table, know where the refreshment stations are, and never lose sight of their ultimate destination, are the most likely to make a comfortable journey. True, they know nothing and care nothing for the wayside flowers, the flashing panorama of hill and vale, woodland and wold, sunshine and shadow, amid which the journey is performed; but they are safe and cautious, have certainly made no mistakes as to tickets, luggage, and stopping stations, and are quite satisfied if they reach the terminus of life in fair average condition, and without accident. What a vast amount of dull, routine, necessary common-place work there is to be done in the world! And it may almost be considered as providential that there are people fitted to do it well and cheerfully, taking pleasure in it, and priding themselves on their life's labours. To revert to our railroad simile,
it would be a bad thing for us if the engine-driver were to be composing sonnets when he should be looking out for signals, and the guard to be speculating too curiously about “the harmony that is in immortal souls," when he should be taking care of the luggage.
If we estimate the value of anything by the use it is to the world, the simple, honest, common-place nature is very little inferior, if inferior at all, to the more highly gifted. The parable of the talents is exceedingly practical in its application, and involves no theological or metaphysical dogmas. The best person is the one who uses to the best advantage the gifts and opportunities he or she possesses. Very imaginative, ambitious natures fill a great place in history; but the king who rules wisely even a very little kingdom is of infinitely greater value to the world than the Alexander who overran Egypt and Persia, and sighed for more worlds to conquer—that is, to devastate. A good garden contains cabbages as well as bright flowers, and each have their uses, but very appreciably distinct. That is a homely illustration, but there is sense in it. Were we all vegetarians, we should starve if cabbages and other edible vegetables failed, and die miserably among the “roses, and lilies, and daffydown-dillies," which make the garden beautiful, and which poets sing about ; and we should starve mentally and morally if the kindly, homely natures whose range of vision is not very extended, but who see with wonderful
clearness within their limits, and keep straight on un- gations with the as yet unknown will help him better to waveringly in the path of duty, doing heartily whatever appreciate the nature and the uses of the facts he is their right hand finds to do, were to disappear from the already acquainted with. Greater knowledge will not earth. Iago, a base, ungenerous cynic, sneered cruelly sweep away that which already exists, but extend it while at the “chroniclers of small beer;" but if it is necessary- . strengthening it. The value of the imagination is, that it and it is—that small beer should be chronicled, it is a really strengthens the intellect, and widens our percep. good thing that there are people to do the work properly. tions of the real value and capabilities of our daily life. . It is the common-place young lady generally who We do not want to fly away to the sun and stars, but the makes home so comfortable for father, mother, brothers, sunshine and the beauty of the stars to come to us. and sisters, and who develops into the kind, useful aunt, Imaginative and poetical literature is good : works of or the cozy grandmother. Of course, we presuppose art, which collect into a focus wandering and subtle beaugood temper and amiable qualities, without which com- ties, are good; music, that inexplicable but potent mover mon-place folks and great geniuses are alike intensely of the soul, is good; but good only as they strengthen and disagreeable—the only difference being that the dull person raise in our hearts a great contentment with the possiis likely to be mean and spiteful, while the greater vigour bilities of our nature, not a dissatisfaction that we cannot of a more active intellect prompts violent outbursts. But live for ever in a dream. for the present, we leave questions of temper out of the The mere mock and spurious imitation of this high argument. It does not require much cleverness to know imaginativeness is what we often hear called “ sentimentalthat we ought not to be either spiteful or violent : the ism.” We are always very much disposed to keep the duty of self-control and the beauty of good temper are “sentimental young lady” at a good arm's length. She quite as well known to quiet, common.place Elizabeth, as is plated, not real gold; Bristol paste, not true diamond; to showy, clever, poetical Edith. But we do wish to im- machine-made lace, not old Flemish point. Let her weep press upon Edith that she is not necessarily superior to if she will in a corner over the sorrows of some Arathe other because she has a more vivid imagination, greater minta of fiction, or gush about a robin redbreast ; but she susceptibility to impressions, or more eager aspirations. is not likely to do so, for the sentimental young lady likes Undoubtedly she is the heiress to greater riches, a wider to show her sympathies in public, so as to impress the domain is spread before her eyes, she feasts on the intele common world of crockery with an acute appreciation of lectual viands prepared by the great spirits of all ages, she her fine old china nature. She may gush into nonsense sees visions of glorious gold-paved cities, she hears the in her correspondence, be ecstatic about stars and moonfaint murmurs of immortal harmonies; but those rich in light, domestically sentimental about the straw hats of earthly wealth are not always happier or better than those childhood, and the old kitchen poker of the household, who are of poorer estate, who live on humble fare, and rave about broken hearts, and strew flowers on dead kitsleep on hard couches. Happiness is marvellously inde- tens; but she is only sickly sentimental, not imaginative. pendent of external conditions in the worldly life, and, The truly imaginative young lady is a being with intellectually, a single ray of light may give more bright brains. She reads much, because she takes pleasure in ness and strength to the nature than the dazzling, blind becoming familiar with a wider experience of life than ing glory of a whole empyrean of suns. Dull Elizabeth her own surroundings afford, because she enjoys to may be as happy and as good in her parlour, over her strengthen her own nature by mental communion with needlework, or in her kitchen making mince-pies, read the wise, the good, and the sensitive. Poets, historians, ing her simple stories, or listening to the Old Hun- musicians, painters, strike a note to which she feels she dredth by the village choir, as ardent Edith, her brain can find in her own nature a harmonious if feeble chord. a-fire with poetry.
What we have been arguing throughout this essay is Recognizing fully and candidly the claims of each, let this, that a right exercise of the imaginative faculty gives us now give a few thoughts to the value and nature of the the most exalted pleasure, but that we may fall into the imaginative faculty. It is a glorious gift, to be used error of mistaking for it a silly sentimentalism which is wisely and well. Happy the girl who can reach out into only an intellectual weakness; that imagination, like the wide field of thought, and gather flowers; happier wealth, has its duties and responsibilities; that the ideal still if she can wear them in her bosom, beautifying her is only valuable to us as we can strengthen ourselves by heart. Imagination should not lift us beyond the world, the effort of reaching after it; and that common-place but strengthen us in the world. An eminent philosopher girls, if they are good-tempered, affectionate, and faithful of the present day has written a treatise on the use of to their lights, are very essential to the well-being and imagination in science. He tells us that the true philo- happiness of the world. The world, like a well-made sopher not only accumulates and records observations of clock, has a compensation balance to rectify possible errors facts, but exercises his imagination to suggest probable in other parts of the machinery. Imagination may run new relations of the facts he has noted, and to suggest wild, and do mischief, but common-place people come to o:her lines of research ; and therein he experiences one of the rescue, and keep the world moving as it should move. the highest of human pleasures. He hopes that investi
HOLDEN WITH THE CORDS.
THE 'HE new comer opened his eyes wide at sight of
Doctor Remy, and the table littered with writing materials; and looked with evident curiosity at the closelywritten sheets of the will, the character of which he seemed at once to discover or divine.
"I see," said he, sententiously, nodding his head, "Our last garment is made without pockets.'"
Major Bergan shivered as if he had felt a chill breath from the mouth of a tomb. It was hard to be so often reminded that he and his possessions must soon part, with small prospect of meeting again.
"If you must quote proverbs, Dick," he exclaimed, peevishly, “ pray don't quote such cold-blooded ones as that ! ”
“ How could I help it, when 'it came to my hand like the bow o' a pint stoup?'” answered Dick Causton coolly, with his eyes fixed hungrily on the Major's brandy bottle.
The hint was successful. Bottle and glass were immediately placed within his reach, and he made haste to warm and quicken his age-frosted blood with a deep draught of the potent liquor. It was both strange and sad to see how his eye brightened, his face grew more animated, his figure became more erect, his whole frame seemed to gather vigour and energy, under its influence, while his air became, if possible, more mean and slouching than before. It was as if he felt conscious himself, and knew that any beholder would be sure to discover, that his proper strength and manhood had long since died out of him, and he was now drawing unworthy breath and life from a source of which he was thoroughly ashamed, though unable to do without it.
Major Bergan, meanwhile, briefly explained why he had sent for him, adding, in a tone that was meant to be courteous, but narrowly escaped condescension :
“I knew that you would be glad to do a favour to an old friend like me, Dick.”
“ Certainly,” replied Richard Causton, heartily; pecially as I suspect that I shall also be doing a favour to my young friend, Mr. Arling. 'He that loves the tree, loves the branch, you know.”
Major Bergan frowned. “I don't see what my nephew has to do with it," said he, scrlily. .. Dick Causton gave him a look of surprise. prucht z'alt niet ver van den stam,'
,!” said he, shaking his head. “That is to say, “The fruit falls near the stems.' It isn't nature for a man to leave his property away from his own blood. It isn't right, either, in my opinion."
"I am not going to leave mine away from my blood,"
replied Major Bergan, austerely; "though, if I were, I do not see that it is anybody's affair but my own.”
“Nor I either," rejoined Dick Causton, coolly," unless your dead ancestors should imagine it to be theirs. demos á os suyos quieren,' «The devils are fond of their own’-and so, doubtless, are the saints, if any such are to be found in your pedigree. It is reasonable to suppose that they would all prefer to see their earthly possessions go down in the channel marked out by nature. Anyway, I'm right glad to know that Mr. Arling is to have his rights, some day, fine fellow that he is! I've always had a kindness for him, ever since I first gave him a lift on his way to you."
Major Bergan looked very grim. “Yes, Mr. Arling will have his rights." said he, with stern emphasis “ I've seen to that."
Dick Causton glanced from the Major's face to the will, with an instinctive feeling that all was not right, but could make nothing of either. The one was dark and impenetrable; the other was upside down, from his point of view. Apparently, nothing invited attack but the brandy bottle. That, he was glad to see, was not yet empty.
“I am wasting words," said he, shrugging his shoulders.. "* A chose faite conseil pris,' 'Advice after action is like medicine after death'-or brandy after one has ceased to be thirsty.”
“Take another glass," said Major Bergan.
Dick obeyed with alacrity. The dram was scarcely swallowed, ere a tap at the door announced the arrival of the overseer from “ Number Two”-a tall, lank, taciturn Texan, whom the Major had recently taken into his employ, as a short cut to that avoidance of the rice fields which Doctor Remy had recommended.
The ceremonies of signing and sealing the will immediately followed. Dick Causton was greatly disappointed that the document was not read in his hearing, at he had expected.
“Never buy a pig in a poke, nor sign a paper without reading it," said he, as he took the pen into his hand. “How am I to tell what will I really signed, if I know nothing of the contents? However, it's your risk, not mine," he added, hastily, seeing that Major Bergan was beginning to look impatient. And, forth with, he bent his energies to the task of writing his name in a large, angular, and very tremulous hand; and then shook his head dubiously over th: result.
“It looks like nothing that ever I wrote before," he remarked, as he lay down the pen. “But ‘Hund er hund
om han er aldrig saa broget,' 'A dog is a dog whatever be his colour,' and so, a signature must be a signature though it wriggle across the paper like a tipsy eel. Perhaps I shall know it by that token, when I see it again. But I can't promise."
“ I shall know mine," observed the overseer, confidently, as he lifted the pen.
Doctor Remy leaned forward with sudden interest. The name was written in commonplace fashion enough, but it was finished with an odd, complicated flourish.
“Do you always sign your name in that way?” he asked.
“ It looks very difficult; yet you seemed to do it with much ease. Let me see the process again.” And he pushed a piece of paper over to the man, who, gratified to find his skill so heartily appreciated, scrawled it all over with his sign-manual, in wearisome repetition. The paper was then passed from one to another, for a brief examination, and was finally left in the hands of Doctor Remy, who first began absently to roll it round his fingers, and ended by tearing it in three or four pieces, in a fit of apparent abstraction. Nobody noticed that one of these found its way into his pocket as a thing of possible utility, in the future.
He then rose. “I am sorry to be obliged to go so soon,” said he, courteously, “but a physician's time is not his own. Good evening, Major Bergan, I am always at your service, and in any capacity. Good evening, Mr. Causton, doubtless, we shall meet again.”
Dick glanced at the brandy bottle, and, seeing that it was empty, was taken with a sudden fancy for the doctor's society.
“I'll walk along with you, Doctor, at least as far as our road is one," said he, rising. “Good company makes short miles.”
“I came in the saddle," answered Doctor Remy, “but we can be companions as far as the gate, if you like."
Nevertheless, the pair did not separate at the gate. Their conversation had become too interesting, apparently, to both; and Dick Causton continued to walk on by the side of the Doctor's horse.
It was late when he reached his cabin, that night. Very suggestively, too, he reeled across the threshold, and, missing the bed, deposited himself heavily on the floor.
“Tidt meder man ei did som man vil skyde,'' A man does not always aim at what he means to hit ; '" he muttered, resignedly, merely changing his position for a more comfortable one, and dozing off to sleep.
Somewhere, on the way—or out of it-apparently, he had found a supplementary brandy bottle, and had not left it until it was as empty as the Major's.
It was late, too, when Doctor Remy laid his head on his pillow, that night. And, perhaps, in all Berganton, there was no wearier nor sadder man than he. One
apparently well-constructed plan had just gone to pieces in his hands, without note of warning. Another was now to be built up out of the fragments, pitilessly rejecting whatever had been an element of weakness in the first. Already, its outline had begun to shape itself dimly against his mental horizon. Yet he did not allow himself to linger upon it to-night. With the rigid self-control which he habitually exercised, he put aside disappointment, care, and hope, and soon slept as soundly as if no anxiety rested on his mind, no stain on his conscience.
He was early astir. With the morning light came quickness and clearness of thought. His scheme began to look more distinct and feasible. By way of getting it in hand at once, he tapped lightly at the door of Astra's studio.
He was somewhat surprised to find her before an easel, palette and brushes in hand. She smiled and blushed at his approach.
“I know what you would say,” she began, apologetically ; “ A Jack at all trades, et cætera,' but I really wanted colour for this subject.” She pointed to her canvas. “Do you recognize it?".
"I can see that those are Miss Bergan's eyes," replied Doctor Remy; "all else is delightfully vague and suggestive."
"And what eyes they are !” exclaimed Astra, admiringly, not without a pleasant perception, too, that she had succeeded wonderfully well in putting them on canvas.
Doctor Remy did not answer immediately. He was regarding the portrait with a gravity that Astra could not understand ; unless, indeed, his thoughts were elsewhere. Nevertheless, when he spoke, it was sufficiently to the point.
“Yes, they are very fine eyes,” said he. “And Miss Bergan is altogether very pretty-in an uncommon style, too. It is surprising that she has remained heartfree so long."
Astra looked at him with soft, smiling, amused eyes. “Heartfree! As much as I.am," said she.
Doctor Remy gave her a questioning look.
“I am not going to tell you anything about it," said she, laughingly. “Use your eyes, sometimes, in watching your neighbours, as I do.”
“Who is my neighbour?” asked Doctor Remy, smiling.
“The proper question !” laughed Astra. “In this case, you need not journey beyond this roof, to find him."
Doctor Remy's eyes lit with a sudden, strange gleam. “Do you know it is so?” he asked, quickly.
“No, I cannot quite say that ; I doubt if she knows it herself yet. But I believe it, all the same."
Doctor Remy watched her absently for some moments, then made a few curt, critical remarks about her work, bade her a cool good morning, and withdrew.
Astra looked after him, with a troubled, wondering expression.
“ What has come over him?" she asked herself.
“How have I offended him? Or was it only my fancy, of my loving commentary-produce the desired effect. that he seemed so cold and strange?”
Astra must be gotten out of the way, for the present, at
least. So must Arling ; last night's business convinced Before Doctor Remy began his professional rounds me that he is more dangerous than I imagined. The that morning, he had sketched in outline the main features Major deceives himself, but he does not deceive me ; his of a new plan for the acquisition of Bergan Hall. The bitterness towards his nephew is nothing more than minor details he wisely left to the suggestions of time and piqued and smothered affection--affection undergoing circumstances.
fermentation, as it were, and certain to work itself clear One of these proved to be very close at hand. As he and sweet in time. If Arling remains in the neighbourdrove mechanically through the principal street of Bergan hood, the Major will soon be seizing upon some pretext ton, revolving various probabilities and possibilities in his for a reconciliation. Failing of that, Miss Carice is cermind, and trying to make some provision for each, he tain to inherit his estate ; just because he wooed-and espied Miss Ferrars coming up the sidewalk ; easily re did not win-her mother, some twenty-five or thirty cognizable, at almost any distance, by her peculiarly years ago! No doubt, a marriage between the two mincing and swaying gait. In all similar encounters with would suit him exactly, if he once got hold of the idea. the slightly faded maiden—whom he shrewdly suspected Yes, Arling must be gotten rid of. But how?”. of designs upon his bachelor liberty—it had been his He bent his brows moodily. Some expedient, appawont to slide swiftly past, with a low and deprecatory bow, rently, soon suggested itself to him, and was immediately suggestive of his deep regret that the urgency of his haste rejected with a shake of the head. . denied him the pleasure of stopping to inquire after her “No, not that way,” he muttered. “I'm determined health. On this occasion, therefore, she was agreeably against actual, point-blank crime, so called-except as a surprised to see him rein his horse up to the sidewalk, last resource. Besides, it is not necessary; I only want with the obvious intention of speaking to her. Perhaps to get rid of him until the Major is dead, and Miss Carice her heart beat a little more quickly, as she stopped to is my wife. There must be some way to dispose of him listen.
by lawful means, if I could only hit upon it! Really, if Apparently, however, he had nothing of more import there were a Devil, as some people believe, he would ance to communicate than a commonplace enough obser strain a point now in my favour! At all events, I think vation about the heat of the weather, and a friendly I see my way clear with Astra.” caution not to walk far in so fervid a sunshine as was He was silent for an instant; his brow grew sombre flooding the town with its golden waves. Then, he with unwonted regret. gathered up his reins, as if to signify that his say was “Poor Astra !” he murmured, as he drove into the said, and he was ready to proceed. Nevertheless, he cathedral-like gloom of the far-stretching pine barren, “ I lingered a moment longer, to add, carelessly
am really loath to give her up! But her chance of the “By the way, I ought to acknowledge that you were Hall, I see now, is not worth a picayane; and it won't right and I was wrong, the other day. It is not the first do to trust to the possibility of substituting a manutime that man's reason has had to admit the superior factured will for the real one, as long as I cannot find out correctness, as well as quickness, of woman's intuition.” where the latter is deposited. The Major was very
Miss Ferrars looked both pleased and puzzled. “It is close mouthed about that matter. No, Miss Carice is my very good of you to say so,” she answered, simpering; safest resort. Yet Astra would suit me much better on “but really, I can't think what you allude to."
the whole.” And once again, looking absently up the “When you called at my office, a few days ago," long, columned vista of the narrow road, he murmured explained the Doctor,“ you did me the honour to confide regretfully, “ Poor Astra !” to me your impressions with regard to my friends, Miss Lyte and Mr. Arling. I thought you were mistaken, and told you so. It turns out, however, that the mistake was on my part, not yours. I was really blind-not wilfully so, as you had the charity to suppose. I mention the matter the more readily because it must soon be patent
PARTINGS. to everybody. Good morning.”
The next day was Sunday. Bergan and Doctor Remy And without waiting for a reply, Doctor Remy cour walked home from the church, as they had gone thither, teously lifted his hat, and went his way, with a curious side by side; yet, for a considerable time, neither spoke. smile on his lips.
If not altogether congenial spirits, they were on suffi“That last intimation ensures speed,” said he to him- ciently easy and familiar terms, in virtue of their almost self. “Miss Ferrars will do her best to be beforehand daily association, to allow each to pursue his own train of with the news. Before to-morrow morning, it will be thought, on occasion, without reference to the other. known throughout the town. Then, I can easily manage “Have you ever had the yellow fever, Arling?” said so that it shall reach the Major's ears, and-by the help Remy, suddenly breaking the silence.