Page images

fine brooch. I have a particular reason for this, of quizzing the guests. which I will tell you half a year hence."

Isabella fixed her blue eyes on her friend's countenance, with a look of mild inquiry, but nothing was to be seen but a kind of suppressed archness. However, the young girl hastened to obey, and while she was still up-stairs, another rat-tat-tat sounded at the hall-door. The bride glanced uneasily at her husband, but her half-formed fears were quickly dispelled by the announcement of Mr. M'Farlane.

And now Isabella came down in all her classic loveliness, and dinner was on the point of being annonnced. But there was a delay unaccountable to the majority of the company. Conversation flagged, and a kind of pause of expectation prevailed. Mr. and Mrs. Sellers, too, appeared fidgetty, and cast uneasy glances towards the door. At length, there was another summons upon the knocker, a slight bustle on the stairs. Jane and Caroline looked at each other with surprised inquiry; the rest of the guests turned their heads eagerly, to see who the new arrivals might be; and the bride and her husband moved hastily towards the door.

Again, we must call upon the reader's imagination to fill the place which we resign, in humble confession of our inadequacy to describe the sensation caused by the entrance of Mr. and Mrs. Drummond. The tearful delight of Isabella, albeit restrained by the presence of so many strange witnesses; the bewildered astonishment of Carry and Jane; the agitation of poor little Mary; and the sympathy of our benevolent Martha, with the extreme delight of her husband, whose heart's portals, once expanded, seemed in no danger of ever closing again—all formed a scene never to be forgotten by the parties


"But where is Mr. Fairlegh?" asked the bride, when they had time to think of any one out of the immediate family circle.

Isabella started, and then pretended not to listen for the reply; which, however, she heard distinctly.

"He begged me to present his kindest regards, and said that unavoidable business prevented him from accepting your invitation to dinner, but that he would be with you shortly afterwards."

Martha looked towards Isabella, and their eyes met. There was an archness in the glance of the bride that made the latter blush, in spite of herself; but she thought, "My new mamma is no witch, after all; what can she know ?" So, when the huge original made his appearance, just as the dessert was set upon the table-for what with the youngsters who were lost in astonishment at the handsome set-out, and the zest with which their elders enjoyed the occasion, the dinner lasted to quite an unusual period-the only thing observable in Isabella's manner was a kind of friendly empressement, which completed her beauty, by adding to it animation.

It was now getting dark, and as soon as a movement had been effected into the drawing-room, Martha and Isabella spoke low together, and the latter left the room for several minutes.

"What can this mystery be between Mrs. Sellers and Isabella?" whispered Jane to Caroline, as they sat apart employed in the amiable occupation

"How beautiful!" exclaimed some of the company. "What is it?" "What does it mean?" asked others, who had never heard of this beautiful and pleasing German custom. The little children danced and clapped their hands; the twins held out their arms, and crowed; and the servants, who had been ordered to assemble in the drawing-room, crowded around the door, to see what was going forwards.

"This is a Christmas-tree," said Mr. Sellers, "first invented by our neighbours, the Garmans. The proper time for its exhibition is Christmas-eve, but we took the liberty of postponing it to this day, to celebrate the happy occasion of welcoming back a much-loved daughter and her esteemed husband; and of renewing our acquaintance with many kind friends, too long neglected. And now, Mrs. Sellers will perform her part of the evening's solemni


"The little boudoir has been kept locked all day. I tried to get in when they were there this morning, but Isabella came to the door, and told me I should know all about it this evening. Look! Mrs. Sellers has taken the "Oh! sir," said one of the servants, coming key from her pocket, and now Isabella is going in breathlessly from the window, where she had been with a light. She was too quick for us to see any-looking out, "such a number of people on the lawn! thing through the door, though." It can't be the Chartists, sure."

In about the space of ten minutes, Isabella returned, leaving the mysterious portal open behind her. Mr. Sellers gave his arm to Mrs. Tom, who nervously accepted the honour, and desired the rest to follow. All, impelled by curiosity, immediately obeyed; and the little apartment was speedily filled to overflowing. Their eyes turned in surprise to the centre of the boudoir; for there, beneath a canopy of holly and mistletoe, stood a fine Christmas-tree.

For the benefit of those of our readers who are not acquainted with the beautiful descriptions of the Chritmas-tree in Mary Howitt's and other modern works and translations, we will just say, that the one in question was a young fir-tree, placed in a large tub, gaily painted for the occasion. Its branches were hung with tiny tapers, cut paper, oranges, apples, bunches of raisins, figs, bonbons, and other showy and delicate trifles, besides more solid ornaments, in the shape of pretty and suitable presents for the children, young people, and servants.

"Isabella," said Mr. Sellers, as the distribution of the presents began. But Isabella was not forthcoming.

"I saw her a moment ago," said Jane, "talking to Mr. Fairlegh under the lamp."

"And here she is still," said honest Andrew, bravely handing Isabella out of the corner which had attracted the couple to its snug recess. "Here she is, ready to dance Sir Roger De Coverley, or anything else that may be required of her."

"Oh! a dance by all means," vociferated John M'Farlane "a dance under the mistletoe. I can cut a fignre in that dance myself," and the little man hopped about on one leg, until every one was glad to get out of his way.


‘Be sober, man," said Mr. Sellers. “My bride has a meerschaum for you, which she begs you to accept, for her sweet sake."

"And a doll for me !"'—“And a drum for me!"

"Hush, children," said buxom Mrs. Tom. Just then, a dull, dread tramp, as of a number of people marching up the carriage-drive, sounded from the garden outside.

"Martha," said Mr. Sellers, "postpone the proceedings a moment. I will go and see what it means."

A few moments of suspense ensued, and some of the ladies and children began to look half-frightened. Mrs. Tom pressed closer to her husband, and Mary hastened across the room to Henry's side.

"It is only," said Mr. Sellers, returning, "a parcel of people who fancy that my little Martha here has done them good service this hard frost. They insist upon seeing her at one of the windows, that they may cheer her."

The green damask curtains were thrown back, the shutters of the principal window opened, and by the blaze of light in the room behind, Martha's figure was plainly seen by those on the lawn below. Then arose a shout from men, women and children. Andrew Farleigh stepped out on the balcony, and taking off his hat, notwithstanding the cold of the night, signed to them to be quiet.

"Listen to me, my friends," he said, "this is Christman time, as you well know. Your benefactress is yet a bride. Lift up, then, your hands and hats, and your honest hearts along with them, and join with me and our friends within, in three times three for the Christmas Bride."

And those without and those within heartily responded to the cheer; while Martha, her meek head drooping, and her dark eyes filled with tears, would willingly have retreated from the public homage thus offered to private and most Christian worth. For what had she done, but carry into practice, as much as in her lay, the golden rule for human morality through all time-"Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." It would certainly cost us some trouble, some ridicule, possibly loss of worldly friends, and distribution of worldly goods, but what large-hearted man or woman, looking at the present in the light of the future, would not wish to go and do likewise?

[blocks in formation]


HE Night, and Darkness with it, like a bride That steals in lampless beauty to her bed: The Night, and wintry Coldness, that hath shed A sheet of snow-drift on the mountain's side; The Night, and Sickness with it, that doth glide With throbbing pulses and an aching head; The Night and I, Darkness and Suffering, spread In chill folds all about me, crushing pride Of life beneath their weight! Now do I steal To shut the Old Year out-a sorry guest! Now, dull and sad, enter the mist that floats About the New Year-nursing in my breast A shadowy terror-such as all men feel Who lonelily have battled with stern thoughts!


night before her departure, she was seated in her

Author of "Stanfield Hall," "Minnie Grey," etc.

QUEENS OF ENGLAND. withdrawing-room-still known by the name of the
King's Lodging "-with Cecil--the latter wearing
his robes as Chancellor of the University.
"I think it will do, Master Cecil!" said the
queen, glancing at an open paper which she held in
her hand. "God's wot! but we shall have some
trouble in committing it to memory-albeit, we have
a familiar knowledge of the Latin tongue!"

(Continued from page 336.)

The reign of Elizabeth, more than any other, was marked by royal progresses or visitations. The one The paper to which the speaker alluded, was the to Cambridge--with the exception of her visit to famous Latin oration which Cecil had secretly got Leicester, at Kenilworth Castle-was the most mag-written for her, and which her majesty, after great nificent she ever made, and certainly has been the entreaty, was to be persuaded to speak on the folbest described. A description of the dress in which lowing day, when she promised to attend a second she entered the town, we trust will prove accepta- disputation in the Church of St. Mary's.

ble to our female readers.

"You will perceive, madam," said the minister, "that the orator merely alludes to a royal foundation in Cambridge-nothing definite."

During her stay, the queen resided at King's College; and, on the Sunday following her arrival, attended Divine service in great state, four doctors of divinity bearing the canopy over her head.

We fear that we shall very much shock many of the orthodox admirers of the great Protestant queen, when we inform them that, during her visit to Cambridge, Elizabeth commanded a species of theatre to be erected in the magnificent chapel of King's College, where, on the evening of the Sabbath, the Aulularia of Plautus was enacted before her.

[ocr errors]

That same evening, she heard a second play, called Dido, acted in the church. The young student who represented the heroine, so pleased Elizabeth-he being a handsome, ready-witted youth— that she bestowed on him a purse of twenty pounds per annum; the only benefaction which marked her gratification at the reception she had received.

The last day of her progress in Cambridge she received a pair of gloves from the master and fellows of Christ's College, in memory of her great grandmother, Margaret, mother of Henry VII.

Elizabeth was, perhaps, the most consummate actress of her time. She had an admirable knowledge of stage effect-most of her points told. The

Elizabeth smiled. She perfectly approved of the

She was attired in a large gown of black velvet,
pinked or cut according to the fashion of the day:
the sleeves made monstrously large at the top, and
The "this my unlaboured oration" is most ex-
slashed, to show the lining of cloth of silver, passe-prudent foresight of her adviser. It cost nothing quisite, and says no less for the nerve of the royal
mentures, and puffings. Her majesty wore a cowl beyond a few words to raise the hopes of the Uni-actress, than the control over the risible muscles of
upon her head, set with pearls and precious stones, versity-but it would take money to gratify them: their countenances exercised by the auditors-
and over that a high-crowned hat, spangled with and money was one of those things which the amongst whom, in all probability, was the poor
gold, and a huge plume of different-colored feathers. queen liked least to part with.
scholar who had written and prepared it; neither
Only imagine a queen of England at the present
is the concluding sentence less amusing:
day appearing in public in such a costume! The
people would take her for a mad woman or a rope-
dancer; but in the reign of Elizabeth it was con-
sidered, no doubt, both as becoming and proper.

"Good, Cecil-good!" she replied; "our great
grandam's benefaction hath surely been sufficient!
but we will consider of the matter, and bide our
time." With this, Elizabeth dismissed him; and,
during the two following hours, remained seated at
the lamp, conning her oration for the following day.

At an early hour, the Church of St. Mary was filled with the heads of colleges, doctors of divinity, wearing their scarlet hoods, masters of art, and bachelors, impatiently awaiting the arrival of the queen, to commence the disputation, which lasted, like the former one, several hours-to the great delight of the assistants: the long theological disputes which, for three preceding reigns, had divided the kingdom, having created a taste for such displays.

"No-no!" I cannot!" simpered Elizabeth;

"my shamefacedness would betray me! Do not
ask it!"

So many distinguished and noble personages at last joined in the request that her majesty was fain to yield, and made a long-set oration in excellent Latin. The commencement and conclusion of her speech we translate for our readers, in order to give them an idea of the sincerity of royal speakers in those days; but perhaps, after all, they are not much different at the present. The first paragraph of the speech commenced thus :


'Although womanly shamefacedness, most celebrated university, might well determine me from delivering this my unlaboured oration before so great an assembly of the learned, yet the intercession of my nobles, and my own good will towards the university, impel me to say somewhat."

"It is time, then, that your ears, which have been so detained by this barbarous sort of an oration, should now be released from the pain of it."

At the conclusion of the speech, there was a marvellous shout of applause, and loud cries of "Vivat Regina!"


There is a tide in the affairs of men,

A Pagan play-and that not the most decent which has been handed down to us-in a Christian church; the stage lighted by the torches held in

At the conclusion, Elizabeth rose from her seat, and was about to quit the Church, when the Duke of Norfolk and her favourite, Lord Dudley, threw

the hands of the guards, who were drawn up on themselves at her feet; and, having previously ELIZ

either side of the platform!

rehearsed their parts, entreated her majesty to
address the assembly in Latin.

Dr Caius, the founder of the college of that name, immortalised by Shakspeare, had the honour of disputing before her majesty, in St. Mary's Church. The subject was, whether monarchy or a republic were best. Elizabeth, who took great pleasure in such discussions, repeatedly called out to the disputants, "Loquimini altius!" and even left her seat under the canopy of state, the better to hear them.

"For shame, my lords!" exclaimed her majesty,
with well-acted surprise and confusion; "how
should I, who am a woman, and altogether an
unlearned person, take on me to speak before so
many scholars and divines, in one of the ancient
tongues? If I may speak my mind in English,"
she added, “I would not stick"-her own expression
-"at the matter
"Madam," said the Chancellor Cecil, bowing low,
"nothing may be said openly in English before the

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.
LIZABETH had not long returned to London,
before her pride and jealousy were alarmed
by the discovery that the Archduke Charles—one
of the most accomplished princes and generals in
Europe, who had formerly been a suitor for her
hand-was about to conclude a treaty of marriage
with the widowed Queen of Scots. Had Mary-the
still innocent and unsuspecting Mary—been per-
mitted to conclude this alliance, supported by such
a husband—a man whom she could at once have
esteemed and loved-how different would have been
her fate; but her evil genius, in the form of her
cousin, again interfered to mar her happiness.
Elizabeth not only wrote to her to say that she con-


"True, madam," answered the statesman; "but
I am not your Chancellor, I am only that of the

"Then do you speak for me? you are Chancel-sidered the alliance as every way unsuitable, but in-
lor-and a Chancellor, as you well know, Sir Wil- structed Cecil to write to the Duke of Wurtemburg,
liam, is a sovereign's mouth-piece!"
to hint to the emperor that his son might renew his
addresses for her own hand, with every prospect of
success. His imperial majesty, more clear-sighted
than Mary, was not, however, to be deceived. The
The Bishop of Ely, throwing himself upon his latter in an evil hour consented to break off the
knees, added his entreaties to those of the Duke of treaty rather than do anything to forfeit the affection
Norfolk and Lord Robert; adding, "that three of her dear sister, whom she at the same time
words from her august lips would be better than a requested to propose a match more agreeable to her
studied oration from any other person in the world!" views.

[merged small][ocr errors]

"I jesting at such a moment, or on such a sub-
ject!" replied Mistress Sands. "Had you not been
dazzled by the glittering prize, you must have seen
the triumph of the Cecils, the contentment of your
enemies, the confusion of your friends. The queen
has sent for you, my lord," she added "to try your
fidelity-the worth of your oft-repeated protesta-
tions. Her love is alarmed-her jealousy excited.
This very morning she demanded of her Chancellor
whether one of her nobles contracting, or attempt-
ing to contract, a marriage with a foreign sovereign,
would not be constructed into an act of treason."
"And his answer?"

To the astonishment and indignation of both countries, Elizabeth named her own favourite, the Earl of Leicester-who, with good reason, was suspected of being her lover for the distinguished honour of espousing the Queen Dowager of France, Queen Regnant of Scotland, and heiress of the English throne: a proposition which at once marks the treachery and insincerity of her charactersince her own attachment to that vain and heartless noble was too generally credited to lead any one to suppose that she was serious.

Dudley-the ambitious son of a yet more ambitious father-nearly ruined himself by partially falling into the snare. Whilst the affair was upon the tapis, his pride and insolence were remarked by all the court-particularly by his enemies the Cecils, who rejoiced at the opportunity of embroiling him with the queen, and probably of removing him from her presence for ever; for Elizabeth was not likely ever to forgive the man who preferred the hand of her rival to the uncertain tenure of her own capricious favour.

Leicester had been summoned to a private interview with his royal mistress, who for several days had been distracted with jealous doubts and mortification. Fortunately, he had a friend far more clearsighted than himself, who was continually near the presence of the queen which friend was no other than Mistress Sands, her bed-chamber woman--an avowed enemy of Mary Stuart-a sycophant and a heartless flatterer, but shrewd and quick at guessing at the humours of her mistress-whose restless air and dissatisfied looks she had noticed whenever the subject of the earl's marriage with the widowed queen was alluded to. It was her duty to conduct the favourite by the private stairs to the closet of the queen—and she resolved to avail herself of the occasion, to warn him of the perilous position in which he stood.

"So, my lord," she said, with a satirical smile, as Leicester made his appearance, "I have to congratulate you at last upon a royal marriage-albeit it is not the one we both once contemplated!"

[ocr errors]

"You, of all men," continued the speaker-who knew the character and temper of Elizabeth-"to have been so deceived! She hates her cousin, both as a sovereign and a woman. To pleasure her she would not part with a dog she valued-much less the man she loved. You are nearer to the tower than Holyrood-your head is more likely to become acquainted with the axe, my lord, than the crown matrimonial of Scotland!"


"The traitor!" muttered the favorite; "why, he hath spoken with me upon the subject a hundred times!"

"But not officially."

"You jest!" exclaimed the nobleman, whose confidence, however, in his rising fortune was considerably shaken.

With a step far less haughty and assured than when he had entered the palace, the favorite followed the speaker to the ante-room conducting to the royal closet.

Elizabeth was scated at a table, which was incumbered, rather than spread, with a mass of correspondence and state papers. She was in one of those soft yielding humors in which the woman triumphed over the sovereign. The fancied defection of Leicester had wounded her pride--we might almost add her affection; for there is little doubt that, at this period of her life, she was warmly attached to him.

upon a bell held between two enamelled figures in the centre of the table. It was one of those toys which the skill of Benvenuto Cellini had rendered so fashionable in the boudoirs of queens and princes. The hangings were drawn aside, and the Earl of Leicester-his face radiant with smiles, as if he felt the happiness of being admitted into her presence-knelt and kissed the hand which Elizabeth extended to him.

"Welcome, my lord," she said. "We are happy to see you wear a countenance so cheerful!" "Could it be otherwise, madam," replied the noble, once more pressing the hand which he retained in his with well-acted passion to his lips, "it would be a traitor to my heart-for it would ill express its feelings! Dew to the flowers, sunlight to the earth, is not more welcome than the sight of his adored queen to the eyes of poor Robert Dudley!"

"The queen herself proposed it to the council." "But never intended it !" answered the bedcham- "Flatterer!" replied Elizabeth, with secret ber woman and confidant of Elizabeth. "Her ma-pleasure. "You will persuade me next that it jesty has never proposed the marriage with her own would break your heart to exchange this court for lips to you?" that of Scotland-the friendship of your queen for the love of Mary?"

"Never," said the earl.

Leicester remained silent, with well-acted surprise.


Why do not you answer me?" continued the speaker, with a slight tone of harshness in her voice. "I said that it would content you, my good Lord of Leicester, to exchange this court for that of Scotland?"

"Then all may be repaired, and the fortunes of Robert Dudley rise higher than ever! Elizabeth expects you. It is her intention, I am sure, to sound you on the subject; for she is tired of the heart-ache it has caused her. Should she go so far as to propose the hand of the young Queen of Scots, positively reject it! Declare that you would prefer death-banishment-anything-to the thought of marrying one who is her enemy; of being banished from her presence. But why do I prate thus ?" she added. "The Earl of Leicester is a courtier, if not a lover, and knows better than my poor skill can teach him, how to touch the chords which make music or discord in a woman's heart! Follow me, my lord; the queen expects you!"

"Yes," replied the carl, with a self-satisfied air, "our gracious sovereign has proposed that I should marry her cousin the Queen of Scots. Her Majesty, no doubt, feels it necessary to have some devoted friend on whom she can rely to manage the affairs of that distracted kingdom: and who more fitting than the man whom she so long honoured with her friendship and “Love!” added the lady, concluding the sentence for him; "my lord! my lord! I blush for credulity!" "A crown!" she murmured bitterly to herself. The haughty noble looked surprised and dis-"And I am to help him to it! I would sooner see pleased. him dead-headless, like his father-than in the arms of Mary! The very thought of such a union adds to the hate I bear her!"


There was a slight knock at the door of the apartment.

The speaker rose from her seat, and, advancing
to one of the mirrors set in frames of filagree silver
-a present from the Venetian republic-carefully
arranged the jewels in her hair and person, and
forced her features to wear a smile; we say forced,
for it was no deeper than her lips.

Satisfied that all traces of her recent emotion,
had disappeared, she re-seated herself, and struck crown!"

"You did, madam!"

And my favour for that of Mary's! We have heard of some such project. You would not be the first subject who has obtained a crown by marriage."

[ocr errors]

"For pity's sake, inform me, madam," exclaimed the earl, throwing himself at her feet, "how I have offended you, that you speak thus cruelly-thus mockingly? If your council, for purposes of state, have debated such a subject, am I to blame for that? If you have permitted it, was it for me to question my sovereign's will ?”


You at least, my lord, should feel grateful!" "No, madam, I do not feel grateful!" exclaimed the earl, rising with affected anger; the members of the council are my enemies, who would gladly consent even to my marriage with the Queen of Scots, to remove me from your presence! They cannot attack my loyalty, so they strive to wound my heart!"

“Your heart, Leicester ?" repeated the queen, in a softened tone.

"Ay, my heart!" repeated the noble; "it has been presumptuous-mad! Sometimes, in my frenzy, Elizabeth, I would uncrown you, to bring you nearer to my level, that I might love with hope! I deserve your anger-death-anything but banishment from your presence: I have not deserved that!"

"The Queen of Scots "whispered the queen, "with her hand can confer a crown upon the man she weds!'

"But not the hand I loved!" said Leicester, raising Elizabeth's to his lips; "what heed I of a title which would be a mockery to my heart? No, Elizabeth-no! Poor Robert Dudiey, the creature of your bounty, only asks to live and die next to the idol of his dreams-he has no wish to wear a

[blocks in formation]

Away! It is not so:--the misty night

Would blossom into stars if thou wert here; A tremulous glow would overbrim the clouds, And heaven itself would swim, and hover near. I should feel little happy motionings,

Hand-clappings, looks of love, and tones of bliss, And tiny arms would be about my neck,

And ruddy lips would pout into a kiss.

Ah! 'tis but yesterday when thou didst come,

Dowered with all graces, from God's great right hand; Thou loveliness epitomised—thou stray

Wild ray of glory from the starry land! Thou wert attended by all blissful things:

White-winged smiles across thy face were drawn, Bright, holy, and divinely beautiful,

Like busy, gleaming memories of heaven!

Ah! 'tis but yesterday the living words
Leaped from thy lips as innocent as fawns ;
But yesterday thy rich and mellow laugh
Ran like a river o'er the sloping lawns;

But yesterday, along the garden walks,

Thy little feet went bounding in wild glee, And from behind the tree-boles thy young face Peeped, radiant as a star at night, for me ;But yesterday, and thou didst strive to hide Behind the tangled greenery of the flowers, But the gold tresses glimmer'd through the screen, And gave a richer sunlight to the flowers.

It was but yesterday, and thy sweet talk
Open'd rich wonders to my eager view,
Like ancient pictures with their golden mists,
And forms of shining angels shimmering through ;—”
But yesterday, and all this weary world

Was sanctified and lovely as a shrine.

For God was near me speaking through thy lips, And making my life beautiful through thine.

Oh, I remember thee, my child! my child!
All lovely things that beautify the globe,
Stars, flowers and rainbows, and the sunny heavens,
Gather'd about thee like a gorgeous robe,
Even the night with thee forgot her gloom,
And came out calm and holy as a priest,
And the rough storm exchanged his angry roar
For the glad gambols of a sportive beast!

But now! oh, now!-a little, empty chair
Casts its lank shadow on my cottage floor,
And a dark memory ever, ever broods,

Like a black mute, before my open door ;-
These, and this little grave, are all of thee
Which the world offers to my straining sight ;-
The world how poor !-but oh, the wealthy heaven
That holds this new-born angel in its light!



ORDSWORTH himself, with his grave and settled physiognomy, actually told another of his and Haydon's old friends, in my presence, the following story, which is so good that I feel an inclination to embalm it as nearly as possible in his own


"We had been dining out," he said, "with an old friend-a very dear old friend-and it being too late to find a cab when we quitted the house, we were compelled to walk home. He asked me to take a bed; but Haydon had determined to walk home, and it was necessary that I should accompany him."

"Why was it necessary?" asked Haydon. "Why? Do you ask why it was necessary?" inquired Wordsworth.

"Certainly I do."

"Because," replied Wordsworth, shaking his head, "you have taken a little too much wine— only a little too much."

"Well, go on," said his friend; "if our sins are to be cast up in our teeth in our old age, by an old friend, we can but grin and bear it."

"I had very great difficulty in keeping him straight. He was determined, it would seem, on walking in an extremely divergent manner; and when we at length turned into the Edgeware Road, a young gentleman who had been observing him, stepped up to us, and said, "You seem to


have some difficulty in walking home, gentlemen. I am going the same way. Might I beg of you to take my arm." Although not needing his assistance, I accepted it, in the hope of inducing Haydon to do the same. He did so, and we began to proceed along the pavement in a much more regular I imagined that this young individual might be pleased at knowing whom he was assisting to convey home thus inebriated. Consequently, I turned to him and observed, “Young man, it may gratify you to know whom you have upon this arm, -I pressed it as I spoke. "I am-Wordsworth." He answered nothing-when, what must Haydon do but halt."


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

"And whom do you think I am, young man?” he asked. "I am-Benjamin Robert Haydon, the historical painter!" For a moment the gentleman looked from one to the other, and then said, “I do not care who or what you are. But my belief is, that you are a couple of drunken lying old vagabonds." I was so thunderstruck that I at once let go his arm. He shook Haydon violently off the other. "Take care, as a reward for your lying so infernally, that you do not have to spend the rest of the night in the watchhouse." As he said this, he vanished up the street.

Haydon, his friend, and myself laughed immoderately. Wordsworth did not even chuckle. His face was as grave and tranquil as before. Singularly enough, this was the only time I ever met Wordsworth, and consequently he is enshrined in my memory in connection with a story, which is the last I should ever have dreamt of his being connected with. His quiet and reserved demeanour, especially to strangers, renders it very improbable that, had I ever met him on subsequent or previous occasions, I should have heard him utter anything which could have imprinted it so powerfully upon

my memory.



HEERFUL glows the festive chamber; In the circle pleasure smiles: Mounts the flame, like wreaths of amber: Bright as love, its warmth beguiles. Glad the heart with joy is lighted; Hand with hand, in faith, is plighted, As around the goblet flows. Fill-fill-fill, and quaff the liquid rose !

Bright it glows

Oh! how bright the bosom glows.

Pure as light, our social meeting:
Here no passion dares invade.
Joys we know, not light and fleeting:

Flowers we twine, that never fade.
Ours are links, not time can sever:
Brighter still they glow for ever-
Glow in yon eternal day.
No-no-no, ye will not pass away-

Ye will staySocial joys, for ever stay!




(From the German of Berthold Anerbach.)

took in nurse-children, was brought before the how these wet-nurses are humoured and spoiled. authorities on a frightful charge which was fully They are treated just like queens; must experience substantiated. This fellow subjected the babies, nothing disagreeable, and must have the best of when they cried, to military discipline; the poor everything. And what, after this, is to become of little recruits had, however, no court-martial to them? And how injurious must the effect of all which they might appeal. The man himself passed this be upon the other female servants! They must sentence and carried it into execution. He flogged not indulge themselves in any misconduct, and yet them till they were quiet. But the old red-jacket they must be submissive to these blameworthy and


ONE evening three friends were sitting in a com- did in reality no more than was done every day;

fortable, well-lighted room. The snow was falling without; but in the hearts of the three glowed the quiet fire of humanity.


They had been speaking of their fatherland; of its sufferings and its hopes. Their glasses stood unlifted before them, and their countenances were mournful. For some time no one spoke. At length something was said of the Society for the Suppression of Cruelty to Animals, on which one of them remarked that a liberal-minded, well-educated man would oppress an inferior animal: he would consider that every creature in the world has its rights, and that he, though gifted with superior powers, cannot, in justice, oppress any one of them, or cause them needless suffering, and that he cannot wantonly abuse any creature whatever. "But this is the thing," said he; "societies of this class are a sort of child's rattle in the hand, to make people forget or overlook other questions which demand their earnest attention."

"In one of the northern capitals," continued the surgeon, "where there were well supported institutions for the conversion of the Hottentots, and where delicate ladies employed themselves industriously in knitting stockings for half-clad savages, a man who had held a subaltern's place in the army, and who was the husband of one of those women who

giddy girls, and must indulge all their humours

he merely killed the babies instead of letting them and arrogance. It is very detrimental to morals
die. For what purpose were such poor little and very provoking!
wretches to live? They are merely a sort of some-
thing to run between the legs of fine folks when
they went out a-walking!"

"You are detestible with your cold-blooded
jests," remarked the youngest of the three to the
surgeon. "You are become as hard as a stone
against this misery which cries aloud to heaven!"
"I merely state what has happened, and happens
daily," said the surgeon, coolly. "But I can tell
you a story which describes the whole misery of the
thing, and the vengeance of a mind which became
wholly overturned in consequence of it. Have you
courage to hear it?"

"This lady was somewhat rudely corrected for her opinions by the mother, and was called an enthusiast. I had then to combat a prejudice of the husband's, who asserted that a woman preserved her beauty much longer who did not suckle her own child. I demonstrated to him how false and how contrary to nature such an opinion was.

"Courage? Tell us! tell us!" said the others. "Nothing ought to be too horrible to be listened to, if it throws light on the existing state of things." "Well, then," returned the surgeon, "you shall hear all. It is just about three years since I re"I know one of these other questions," said ceived an invitation, on a night like this, during another of the three, who was a surgeon; "the such a severe snow-storm that it was hardly poswhole of our civilized classes are bent upon a sys-sible to find the way along the gas-lighted streets. tem of organized murder." It was to the house of a rich merchant of the name "Do you mean capital punishment?" inquired of Friedenberg. He had made one of those many marriages which occur by thousands both in city and country, and which belong to that class in which a wife once said, 'If you were not my husband you would be nothing at all to me! But the husband was happy, and doubly so at this time, for his wife was soon to become a mother.

the others.

"Can that be true?"

"No; but a system which at birth condemns to death. This I know, for I have now been five years attached to the Lying-in Hospital. Thousands of unfortunate creatures here await the hour which will give life to another miserable being. The greater number of these mothers are engaged as "When I entered the handsome drawing-room wet-nurses in wealthy families, and their own off the family were just at tea. The party consisted spring are placed with women who take in what are only of the parents on both sides and a sister of the called "nurse-children;" for which they are paid a wife's. The whole suite of rooms was thrown open, small sum weekly. There are hard-hearted, thank-well warmed and lighted. In them the young wife less beings among these mothers, who are well took exercise, walking up and down through the pleased if their child soon dies; and in fact nine splendid apartments, the floors of which were covout of every ten of these so-called nurse-children ered with the richest carpets, of so thick and soft a die within the first four weeks." texture that the foot could not be heard passing over them. I joined the party around the tea-table. "I have purposely," continued the surgeon, The two mothers were engaged in making some "mentioned the lowest number; for, in fact, hardly article of baby-linen of the finest and most costly one in twenty survives. The women who under-material; and the sister was busied on a cradletake the charge of these children are mostly old, quilt of crochet-work in ornamental wool and in hard-hearted beings, who have often five or six or one corner stood the cradle, covered with a green more on their hands at once. At first they will silk curtain. provide suitable food for them; but later they are "Whenever the young wife, in accordance with lodging. I was obliged to turn again into the fed with whatever miserable diet may be found on the wishes of her mother, walked about in the ad- street. I meant to try my luck at another publictheir own tables. The infant stomach cannot bear joining rooms, they began to speak of the approach-house; but both my heart and my strength failed this; it rejects it; and the children waste away to ing event, which all seemed to anticipate with de- me; so I seated myself here, resolved to wait till mere skeletons, and in a few days they literally die light as well as anxiety. The thoughts and the God sent some good Christian to help me.' of hunger." hearts of all appeared occupied with the wish to "Horrible!" give the new little citizen of the world a warm and comfortable welcome into life. I was especially ordered to provide a good and healthy nurse.

"Thus spoke she, weeping bitterly, and shivering with cold. At length, the house-steward opened the door. I ordered one of the nurses to be called up, and bade her put the stranger in bed. All that was needful for her comfort was provided, and in an hour's time she slept soundly, excepting that a convulsive movement agitated the body.

"It was a long time before I could sleep. I was tormented by a question which I could not com

"The sister, a sensible and noble-minded young woman of good intellect though of weak health, remarked, 'I could never make up my mind to take a wet-nurse. I wished very much to dissuade Adele from doing so. It always provokes me when I see

"The young wife now re-entered the room, and in order that her mind might not be agitated, other subjects were introduced; songs were sung, and amusing stories were related. The young wife, who sat more silently, forgetful of self and only thoughtful of the future, resembled a saint; for a woman in such circumstances is a saint; even the rudest and the most untutored beings treat her with reverence.

"I left the house only late at night. As I descended the well-carpeted staircase I thought how fortunate would be this child; how many affectionate embraces and how many joyful, beaming glances awaited it.

"At length, after a combat against wind and snow, I reached my residence in the Lying-inHospital. As I was about to ascend the stone steps which led to the door, I felt something moving at my feet. A sensation of horror went through me.

"What is there?' I cried.

"Ah, my God!' the something replied, 'for the mercy of Heaven take pity on me! "Who are you?' I asked.

"A miserable, miserable wretch,' replied the voice, which was that of a woman; ‘and I must die--I and my child!'


"By the light of the lamp I now perceived that it was a young woman, over whose head was tied a large red shawl. She wiped the snow from her face. I pulled violently at the bell. The poor creature clasped my knees, and exclaimed, with sobs, Thank God! then, we shall not die. I have walked to-day eighteen miles, from I could not bear to stay there any longer and be made a laughing-stock of. Worn out with fatigue, I entered a public-house here; but they would not receive me. They would not give me a night's

« PreviousContinue »