Page images
PDF
EPUB

SELF-KNOWLEDGE.

assembly perambulates the town on Sunday, and on the following Tuesday (Mardi gras) pays its homage to

THE PORTRAIT. the king and to the ministers, by whom a handsome

OH SHE WAS FAIR! This is enough-and much : donation is annually made, after which the procession For these are magic words, where lies a spell returns to the abattoir. Then, alas! the animal.god, That utters more than eloquence can tell ; despoiled of his rich and splendid accoutrements, is

And by its power, with many a fairy touch, ruthlessly immolated by those very devotees who but a The limner Memory on the heart doth fling moment before seemed ready to sacrifice to his honour. Those traits of beauty, that in other years The expense of this ceremony was formerly borne by

Long past, seemed born for ever there to cling, the butchers, who dedicated the sums they received Now dim with time, or blotted out with tears; from the public and their patrons to the desirable con

And youthful fancy, that hath ne'er been lit summation of a ball and a banquet. But now the di.

By woman's smile, hath a dim consciousness rectors of the abattoirs receive everything, even the

Of beauty near, like shadowy dreams that flit

Around our haunted slumbers, from above, sums given by the king and the ministers, and defray all expenses. To them is due the invention of the

Mute and mysterious; and idolatrous love

Falls down and worships in his wilfulness mythological car. Such is one of the annual festivals—

The form himself hath on the altar set.
or, we might more properly say, follies—of the Parisian
populace.

Her hair, what colour? In most artful thrall
Confined a coronet wreath its graceful flow?

Or showered it, streaming o'er her breast of snow,
HONG-KONG.

Love's net, to catch men's willing hearts withal ?

Enough—'twas beautiful! And straight each heart Hong-Kong, our recently-acquired possession in China,

Beholds a portrait of its own, than art is one of the largest islands near the mouth of the Can

Could paint more lovely and more glowing, where ton river. Its length from east to west is about eight Tresses confined or flowing, black or fair, miles, and its greatest breadth not more than six. Its

Orbs bright or melting, dark or heavenly blue, outline is extremely irregular, here jutting out into abrupt Cheeks softly pale, or of love's proper hue,' promontories, and there receding into narrow creeks or Are all unlike, although when gazing there, bays, which often reduce its breadth to little more than

Each seems divine adoring eyes declare, three miles. Imagine, then, an island considerably longer And the soul's echo sighs-Oh she was fair! than it is broad, perfectly mountainous, and sloping in a

L. R. rugged manner to the water's edge, having here and there deep ravines almost at equal distances along the coast, which extend from the tops of the mountains down to the sea, deepening and widening in their course. There are immense blocks of granite in these ravines, which have either

To know one's-self, one would think, would be no very been bared by the rapid currents of water in its descent difficult lesson; for who, you will say, can be truly ignorant during the rain, or which have tumbled from the moun

of himself and the true disposition of his own heart? If a tain-sides at some former period. The water in these man thinks at all, he cannot be a stranger to what passes ravines is abundant and excellent; hence the poetical there; he must be conscious of his own thoughts; he must name which the Chinese have given the island, Hong-Kong, remember his past pursuits, and the true springs and moor, more properly, Heang-Keang- The Island of Fragrant tives which in general have directed the actions of his life: Streams. There is very little fat ground on the island he may hang out false colours and deceive the world, but capable of being brought under cultivation ; indeed the how can a man deceive himself? That a man can, is evionly tract of any extent is the “Wangnai-Chung,' or, as dent, because he daily does so. Though man is the only the English call it, “The Happy Valley,' about two miles creature endowed with reflection, and consequently qualieast from the town; and even that is not more than fied to know the most of himself, yet so it happens that he twenty or thirty acres in extent. There are several small generally knows the least. Of all the many revengeful, plots of ground near the bottom of the hills, and some few covetous, false, and ill-natured persons whom we complain terraced patches among them, but the whole is of a very of in the world, though we all join in the cry against them, trifling extent. From this description, it will be seen that what man amongst us singles out himself as a criminal, or our settlement of Hong-Kong is entirely dependent on the ever once takes it into his head that he adds to the numdominion of his Celestial majesty for supplies, which he of ber? What other man speaks so often and so vehemently course can cut off when he pleases.Fortune's Wanderings against the vice of pride, sets the weakness of it in a more in China.

odious light, or is more hurt with it in another, than the

proud man himself ? It is the same with the passionate, THE LATE MR TOPPING OF THE NORTHERN CIRCUIT. the designing, the ambitious, and some other common We have received rather an interesting note, from one

characters in life. Most of us are aware of, and pretend to of the family, on the subject of the humorous anecdotes of detest, the barefaced instances of that hypocrisy by which Mr Topping we gave in No. 165, from the Law Review.” It men deceive others; but few of us are upon our guard, or seems that Mrs Topping, to whom he addressed such irrit

see that more fatal hypocrisy by which we deceive and able letters every day, was ' enthusiastic and imaginative, overreach our own hearts.—Manuscript Sermons. and warmly attached to him, so that her replies (daily also), full of sympathy, fanned the flame, if there was any cause for irritation. The following lines, addressed by Mr Top

The mode of drinking tea, as practised by the ladies of ping to his wife, will be read as the evidence of a warm Chiloe, in South America, is at once unique and original. and kindly heart:

Their favourite beverage, according to Dr Von Tschudi, is * ON RECEIVING A PURSE FROM MY DEAR MARGARET,

maté, or Paraguay tea, of which they partake at all hours

of the day. The mode of preparing and drinking it is as Thy much-loved gift I'll freely take,

follows:-A portion of the herb is put into a sort of cup And wear it for the donor's sake: If gold increase, this magic charm

made from a gourd, and boiling water is poured over it. Will all its baneful power disarm.

The mistress of the house then takes a reed or pipe, to one Of wealth, of friendship, love, possessed,

end of which a strainer is affixed, and putting it into the His lot in life is surely blessed,

decoction, she sucks up a mouthful of the liquid. She Who thus with pious truth can own

then hands the apparatus to the person next her, who parHis grateful heart is thine alone.'

takes of it in the same manner, and so it goes round. The

mistress of the house and all her guests suck the aromatic A CONSOLATORY PRECEDENT.

liquid through the same pipe or bombilla. All degrees of nations begin with living in pigsties. The king or the priest first gets out of them, then the noble, Published by W. & R. Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh. Also then the pauper, in proportion as each class becomes more and more opulent. Better tastes arise from better circum

sold by D. CHAMBERS, 98 Miller Street, Glasgow; W. S. ORR,

147 Strand, and Amen Corner, London; and J. M'GLASHAX, stances, and the luxury of one period is the wretchedness 21 D'Olier Street, Dublin.-Printed by W. and R. CHAN BERS, and poverty of another.---The late Sidney Smith.

Edinburgh

TEA-DRINKING IN CUILOE.

EDINBURG

JOURNAL

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS, EDITORS OF CHAMBERS'S INFORMATION FOR

THE PEOPLE,' CHAMBERS'S EDUCATIONAL COURSE,' &c.

No. 177. NEW SERIES.

SATURDAY, MAY 22, 1847.

Price 14d.

that has submerged a city; and this a well-known poet FIRESIDE MYTHS.

alludes to AMONGST simple popular tales, there are many which

‘On Lough Neagh's bank, as the fisherman strays, are met with in application to more places than one. I

When the clear cold eve's declining, shall endeavour to recall the class by a few examples.

He sees the round towers of other days Visit almost any first-rate Gothic church of the

In the wave beneath him shining.' middle ages, and you are sure to be regaled with a The lake of Grand-Lieu, in Brittany, is another of these story of an apprentice who built an extraordinary pillar. ravenous waters, and is supposed to disgorge to this The master architect wished to make one pillar of sur-day fragments of carved wood, the relics of a city subpassing beauty. He travelled to obtain ideas for the merged in the first centuries of our era.* purpose. Meanwhile the apprentice, out of his own The popular account of the building of Stonehenge genius, executed the pillar, which the master no sooner is a capital example of these fireside tales. To quote a saw on his return, than he fell upon the ambitious local reporter :- The prophet Merlin, desirous of hav. youth and killed him. The story must be true, for see, ing a parcel of stones which grew in an odd sort of form there is in one corner the rueful face of the slain lad in a back-yard belonging to an old woman in Ireland, with a gash on the brow; and there, in another, is his transported thence to Salisbury Plain, employed the mother weeping for him! Among many places where devil upon the work, who, the night after, dressing this story is localised, is Roslin chapel, a singularly himself like a gentleman, and taking a large bag of beautiful though small specimen of the florid Gothic, money in his hand, presented himself before the good near Edinburgh.

woman as she was sitting at her table, and acquainted In a lonely vale lies a beautiful lake of almost un- her of the purchase he was come to make; the fiend at known depth. Such a lake is that of Wensley Dale in the same time pouring out his money on the board beYorkshire, which, however, the country people believe fore her, and offering her as much for the stones as she to have once been only a small mountain rill called Sim- could reckon while he should be taking them away. mer-water. In those days there stood upon the banks | The money was all in odd sorts of coins-such as fourof the rivulet a great city. One day a wayfarer, barely penny - halfpenny pieces, ninepenny pieces, thirteenclothed, hungry, and penniless, but yet of noble and en- penny-halfpenny pieces, and the like—but nevertheless gaging aspect, came thither soliciting alms and shelter. He sought in vain, and then turned eastward down the * The Zuyder Zee in Holland, in like manner, stagnates over the vale. Now, fast without the bounds of the city there city of Stavoren, drowned in consequence of the impiety of a female lived an aged couple, too poor and mean to be allowed dise, was so much disappointed on receiving instead merely a cargo

merchant. This lady, expecting the arrival of precious merchanto take up their residence within the precincts of this of corn, that in her rage she commanded it to be thrown overboard proud and inhospitable town. Into their dwelling the into the harbour. In vain the starving poor supplicated a portionstranger betook himself, and ere he had told his tale of bag after bag, the grain sunk into the bitter waters: and the same wo, they placed before him the best their house afforded night the sea rose over the city, which disappeared for ever. The

site of its harbour, however, is still designated by long reedy grass --namely, a little bowl of milk, some cheese, and an oaten (for corn, it may be supposed, degenerates in salt water) waving cake. Having satisfied his hunger, he bestowed upon above the surface, and the name it retains to this day of Frauen's them his blessing both in basket and in store. Beneath Sand, or the Lady's Bank. their roof was his dormitory for the night. On the

lake of Laach, near the Rhine, occupies a cavity resembling morrow he repeated his benison, which was attended the crater of an extinct volcano. The water is disagreeable to the

taste, of a blue colour, and deadly cold, though it never freezes; with the effect of making his hosts increase from that and in consequence of some ancient malediction--if we are to beday in worldly wealth. Being then ready to depart, he lieve tradition against the testimony of our senses,no bird can fly turned his face to the west, and uttered this maledicover its surface and live. The key to the story is a pit on the tion

eastern bank, which exhales carbonic acid gas in considerable

quantities. * Simmer-water rise, Simmer-water sink,

Sometimes, however, instead of lakes being formed, existing And swallow all the town but this little house,

waters disappear. A plain between Heidelberg and Darmstadt, Where they gave me bread and cheese, and summat to drink.' dotted with small hills, which rise up like islands, and surrounded Immediately the earth made a hissing noise, the stream by the steep sides of the mountains, which look as if they were

intended to form a breast work against the waves, was formerly, overflowed its bounds, and the city was buried in a

it seems, the bed of a lake. A necromancer, who had kept the deep flood. If you are incredulous of the tale, take

country in terror, was seized by the prince and hung up in the air boat and sail over the lake on a calm day, and you will in an iron cage, so as to render his charms unavailing: in which see (with some little assistance from those having faith) predicament he proposed, by way of ransom, to dry up the lako, the tops of the houses and spires of the churches, which and convert the spot into a fertile plain. The terms were accepted;

and hence the sandy flat near Darmstadt, where the waters disapstill stand after a lapse of more than a thousand years. peared, and the celebrated whirlpool at Bingen, called Bingerloch, Lough Neagh in Ulster is a similar example of a pool where they rose up again to mingle with the current of the Rhine.

[ocr errors]

the devil's proposals seemed so very advantageous, that, that this vale may have been once occupied by towns notwithstanding the difficulty there would be in reckon- also. From dreaming this to setting it forth as a fact, ing the money, the old woman could not avoid comply- | is but a step. A natural tendency to exaggeration ing with it, as she imagined the removal of the stones makes the town a large one-a city, with towers and by a single man would be a work of almost infinite spires. A reason for its submersion is easily imagined : time, and that she should be able to tell as much money persons in humble life having a tendency to believe while it should be about as would make her as rich themselves exclusive possessors of the virtues, nothing as a princess. But the bargain was no sooner made, is more natural than to suppose the event to have been and she had no sooner laid her fingers on a four- owing to the selfish wickedness of these proud citizens. penny-halfpenny coin, than the devil, with an audible Behold furbished forth a myth! So also as to the Prenvoice, cried out, “Hold!” and “The stones are gone!" | tice's Pillar. It had been a whimsical practice of the The old woman, disregarding what he said, however, mediæval architects to have one column excessively peeped out into her back-yard, and, to her great amaze- decorated. In after-times, the same disposition to ment, it was even so as Satan had spoken; for the attribute great qualities where they are least to be common deceiver of mankind in an instant took down expected, suggested that this was the work of an apthe stones, bound them up in a withe, and conveyed prentice. The killing of the youth is but a naturally them to Salisbury Plain. But just before he got to supposable result of such an insult to the master. Mount Ambre the withe slackened, and as he was cross- Against this reading of the tale, it is no obstruction ing the river Avon at Bulford, one of the stones dropped that perhaps, in such late instances as Roslin, where down into the water, where it lies to this very hour; the prentice and his mother are sculptured, the pillar the rest were immediately reared up on the spot of was owing to the already existing legend. Stonehenge, ground destined by Merlin for them: and the devil, in like manner, suggests the fictitious account of its pleased with the accomplishment of his work, declared, structure. A stray boulder in the bed of the Avon upon fixing the last stone, that nobody should be ever lends corroboration, if it did not help to the making of able to tell how the fabric, or any of the parts of which the story. As to old buildings in general, their origin it is composed, came there. A friar, who had lain all is beyond the ken of the common people; seeing how night concealed near the building, hearing the devil's much they exceed the powers of the thin population declaration, replied to it by saying, " That is more than now living at the spot, the idea of a different aborithee canst tell;" which put Satan into such a passion, ginal people as their constructors unavoidably arises. that he snatched up a pillar and hurled it at the friar, And so a tale of Pechts, Gobhans, or Cyclops takes its with an intention to bruise him to dirt; but he running ground. Even an unexpected situation for a building is for his life, the stone in its fall only reached his heel, obviously qualified to start some similar supposition as and struck him on it; the mark of which appears in to its cause, and thus to raise a legend on the subject. that pillar even unto this day, and is called The Friar's All natural objects of a singular nature have their Heel.'*

explanations from the popular imagination before they There are similar stories to this regarding the build-fall under the regard of science. The scattered Celts of ing of many other great structures. In Scotland, Dum- the northern glens, seeing one or two of those recesses barton Castle was reared by a witch, who compelled marked with broad flat terraces, which stretch for miles the devil to bring the stones to her from Ireland: he along the hill-sides-a grand and mysterious-looking dropped one by the way, and behold it in the Firth of object--speedily have it settled amongst themselves Clyde to this day, in the goodly form of Ailsa Craig! that those terraces were roads made for hunting by Most old buildings of magnitude in our northern land their early hero Fingal, himself a mythic personage. are ascribed to a people called the Pechts, of stature It required a careful examination from minds instructed short, but genius bright,' as Burns says of Captain in such knowledge, to ascertain that they were the Grose, and who handed forward the stones from one to margins of a lake which had sunk through a succesanother between the quarry and the masonry. In Ire- sion of levels, according as its boundaries were reduced.* land, such structures are believed to have been the Even to the present day, the Celt is by no means overwork of certain wandering masons of gigantic stature, pleased to abandon his own dream for this conclusion. called the Gobhans. Perhaps the Cyclops of the Greeks The channel of Sapey brook in Herefordshire conwere to them what the Pechts are to the Scotch and sists of a long stripe of old red sandstone, enclosed the Gobhans to the Irish. There is also in Scotland between high banks, and along the surface of the stone a very peculiar class of stories about old buildings. are a series of marks, resembling the footsteps of a When the situation of the edifice is at all peculiar, as horse and colt, and those of a person walking on pattens. in a bog, we are sure to hear that it was first designed There can be no doubt with geologists that these are to be somewhere else; but, as the walls rose, everythivg the traces of fossils or concretions which formerly exthat was done during the day was by supernaturalisted in the surface of the rock; but very different from agency undone at night, till at length a voice gave di- this is the account given of them by the common people rections for the structure being commenced in another thereabouts. By a process the most intelligible imaplace-which order being obeyed, there was no longer ginable, they have got up a story of a St Catherine, any difficulty. I have had occasion to trace this story who lived at Burton, having had a horse and foal stolen in Lanarkshire, Fifeshire, Forfarshire, and even in places from her by a girl wearing a pair of pattens, by whom still more remote from one another.

the two animals were conducted along the channel of Till very lately, these fireside prattlings were disre- the brook for concealment. Discovering the loss of her garded; but now it is seen that there are principles in property, the saint prayed that the feet of the thief, the them reflecting some light upon great investigations. horse, and colt, might leave indelible marks wherever They take their place among those myths to which they went. Accordingly, the rock in the channel of the learned writers have latterly directed no small degree of brook became impressed with the three sets of footsteps. attention.t A myth may be described as a history of a person or thing which has not originated in facts, but

* This was the conclusion at which Sir Thomas Dick Lauder in suggestions which the person or thing was calculated arrived in an excellent paper on the Parallel Roads of Glenroy, in to awaken in unenlightened minds. Thus, such a mind the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The ingecontemplating a lake which fills a valley, and seeing has since obtained a temporary predominance for a theory which

nious Mr Darwin, so distinguished by his South American Travels, other valleys occupied by hamlets and towns, imagines represents the terraces as produced by the sea, in the course of an

uprise of the land from that element. The present writer is now * A Description of Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain. Pp. 3-5. satisfied, from personal examination of the country, that the latter Salisbury, 1809.

idea is untenable, and that incontrovertible evidence exists for + See Müller's Introduction to a Scientific System of Mythology. | establishing the explanation of Sir Thomas Dick Lauder. Of this Translated from the German by John Leitch. London : 1844. Also evidence an able view has lately been brought before the Royal Grote's History of Greece, vol. 1.

Society of Edinburgh by Mr David Milne, advocate.

was.

Here the process of the fabrication of the story is pal In the records of heraldry might be found many pable, and the girl and her act, as well as the two ani- examples of such reflective creations. From the Scotmals concerned, are merely ideas excited by the appear- tish genealogist, we have the family of Lesly originating ances, since transformed, in perfect good faith, into a in a person who, history,

* Between the less lee and the mair, The truth is, that might be unavoidably leads to is or

Slew the knight, and left him there;' Let any appearance be presented to us in a striking manner, and it speedily becomes alive with the and that of Douglas, from a dark-gray man [dhu glas vagrant notions of our brains, first set forth perhaps as being Gaelic for dark-gray); the simple fact being, that fancies, but soon petrified into realities. Cumberland both names arose in the usual manner from the places tells us in his 'Lives of the Spanish Painters,' of a where the first man of the family lived. A singular beautiful Virgin Mary painted by a distinguished artist mistake,' says Mr Lower, in his Curiosities of Heraldry, upon the ceiling of a church. The Catholic believes prevails among the vulgar respecting the bloody hand that the Virgin performs miracles to this hour. He borne in the arms of baronets.

I have been very also knows that a painting on a ceiling has to be done seriously and confidentially told that murders had been by the artist lying on his back, in somewhat dangerous committed by the ancestors of such and such families, circumstances, upon a scaffold. Accordingly, it is not and that the descendants were compelled to bear this wonderful that visitors to the church are told of a won- dreadful emblem in consequence. According to the derful deliverance for which the painter was indebted same sapient authorities, it can only be got rid of by to the creature of his pencil. He had nearly completed the bearer's submitting, either in his own person, or by his work; he was surveying it in mute and pious rap- proxy, to pass seven years in a cave, without either speakture ; totally forgetting himself, he slipped from his ing or cutting his nails and beard for that length of time! proper place, and was about to be dashed on the floor The intelligent reader need not be informed that this below, when the Virgin put out her arm and upheld supposed badge of infamy is really a mark of honour, him! It is a simple result of a law of the mind with derived from the province of Ulster in Ireland, the deregard to the circumstances, that this story should have fence and colonisation of which was the specious plea been conceived, and told, and believed.

upon which the order of baronets was created by James Most superstitions and mythologies have probably I.' This is a particularly valuable example, as it shows had no other source than in the suggestions of actual us the popular fancy working out its tale in a definite circumstances and events. It has been remarked that time, and that by no means of great extent. the Greeks of Asia Minor, seeing the sun set in glory It is humbly conceived that there may be some profit upon the mountains beyond the sea to the west, might from such an examination of the mental processes by very naturally conceive the idea of an Olympus which which fireside myths are produced. It may be to many was the residence of the gods. Ætna and its subter- a first lesson in the important business of truth-seeking. raneous noises were equally calculated to engender the The world is yet full of actualised abstractions handed idea of Vulcan and his occupations. Müller has pointed down from infant mankind. They form a portion of out how, among those divine-minded Greeks, abstrac- every history, and of almost every philosophical system. tions were continually being crystallised into persons. Nor does there pass a day even now, which does not Not long since, an author endeavoured, in a very witness the process of fabricating history, biography, plausible manner, to show how, among heathen nations, and common anecdote, out of the suggestions connected the sea-stratified sand, found at great elevations in so with the respective subjects. It is well to be put on many places, was quite sufficient to suggest the notion our guard against such things, for they are the very of a universal flood, which is found almost everywhere thorns and brambles which beset the path of truth. I prevalent amongst them. The fairies are a wide-spread contemplate, however, a superior advantage in merely superstition; but can anything be more natural than leading the minds of my readers to follow a line of to suppose a kind of ideal forms, more beautiful than inquiry by which error may be detected. Every thought those of common mortals, pursuing an obscure noctur we give to an earnest effort for the discrimination of nal existence, and occasionally traversing the course of truth and delusion, must carry with it an increase to human destiny? We only do not know the real history the power of the mind, as well as some improvement to of these things, because the transition from the pos- its conscientiousness. I therefore hope that, even in sible to the actual is performed so quickly in the po- this slight paper, there may be the elements of a mental pular mind, and at so early a period in its growth, discipline which will advance not a few in the scale of as to escape enlightened observation. Even the gross thinking beings. superstition of witchcraft is only an idea of the malignity which occasionally besets the human heart, made tangible, and carried out into its contemplated effects.

CONSTANCY. Simple man loves the kind greetings and the parting There is a tale of old St Monan's harp, that when good wishes of his friends: he attaches consequence to the pilgrim minstrel was no more, it uttered but one these things, as if they could have an influence over sound whoever touched it; however gay, however glad his fortunes. It is equally natural for him to dread evil or lightsome, was the tune that any other finger tried wishes and denunciations. Hence his horror of misan- to play, a long, long sigh was all the sound that came.' thropic old women-hence witchcraft.

Some super

What an exquisite idea! How beautiful-how full stitious stories, which are told in many places with of poetical feeling!' exclaimed Elizabeth Monro, as, little variation besides that of persons, may be traced closing her book with a responsive sigh, she leant back to the same metaphysical origin. There is one which in her easy-chair, and surrendered herself to the fancies represents a young man as selling his soul to Satan, for awakened by these words. Her mother, who had been the sake of some too-much desired object-as learning, silently working at the other side of the fireplace while or a mistress, or gold—and being afterwards with diffi- Elizabeth read, now looked up, smiling at the mournful culty saved by means of a pious clergyman, who tricks cadence with which the little sentence had been uttered; the enemy out of his pledge. Who can fail to see but her smile faded into seriousness as she met the here the mere supposable creating the actual? Another abstracted look of her young daughter, and recognised represents a hare wounded by a shot in passing across the workings of a too vivid and romantic imagination a field. The animal mysteriously disappears; but that in her varying cheek and dreamy eyes. Happily she forenoon, a noted Sycorax of the neighbourhood is was aware those symptoms resulted from imagination obliged to send for a surgeon to heal a broken limb. alone; and though the anxious expression lingered on This story is told everywhere in our country, with her countenance, it lent no gravity to her tone as she slightly varying circumstances. It is of course only a answered, 'I should say, most fanciful, most poetical, supposition converted into reality.

or even beautiful, if you will; but, dearest Elizabeth,

in what consists its mournful truth, or where are we to was to have made her his. I knew that, long ago, some find its parallel ?'

such story had been spoken, but hardly thought it could With half indignant eagerness Elizabeth raised her- have survived its little day, outlived her blameless, adself from her indolent position, and impetuously ex- mirable life, to find at last a resting-place in the bosom claimed, “Oh, mamma! how can you ask? Surely its of one of her descendants.' She paused abruptly, while echo is found in every loving, constant heart?'

Elizabeth, surprised and grieved at this unusual reMrs Monro's smile returned as she asked, “The echo proof, hastened, with words full of gentleness and affecof what, Elizabeth ?—of the long, long sigh? Alas fortion, to apologise for her involuntary fault. the loving, constant heart, were that to be its only Conquering her momentary emotion, Mrs Monro more occupation and reward !'

calmly continued—You remember that dear parent, But it was with a still more earnest look Elizabeth Elizabeth, and with a memory full of reverence and replied to her mother's half-bantering tone and words. love ; of that I am convinced, even though you thus

Mamma, I do think there is something mournful in lightly spoke. But had you known her as I did - had the idea of constancy: does not its very existence imply you been honoured with her confidence—had you been somewhat of delay and disappointment, and hope de- of an age to appreciate her rare and noble heart before ferred—a strain upon the heart till hope is over, and that heart was stilled-you would not wonder that it then a grief incurable, irremediable, till life itself is was with a feeling akin to some sudden bodily pain I past?'

saw her memory wronged by a child of mine-of hers. The tears that shaded Elizabeth's soft eyes bespoke And now, to remove that impression for ever, listen to her full conviction of the truth of this description, and me. I need not, perhaps, tell you of her earliest years, checked the smile that still was lingering on her mo how she lost her mother before she knew her, and was ther's lip. For a moment Mrs Monro paused, and then brought up entirely beneath a father's eye. I do believe with gentle seriousness she answered — Not so, my he must have been such a father as those harsher times child ; not such is the meaning that I would attach to rarely exhibited, for he sacrificed ambition, and every constancy. On how differently the word strikes upon former predilection, to devote himself to his little helpmy ear, upon my heart! You look upon it as a senti- less child. Descended from an ancient family, and the ment; you confine it to one passion ; you make it the last of his line, and hitherto most desirous of an heir, he handmaid of weak hearts, paralysing even their puny resisted every temptation to a second marriage, fearing strength; while I regard it as a principle existing in to place a stepmother over his darling, and reconciled noble minds; prompting to noble deeds; imparting for himself to the disappointment of not having a son, by titude, endurance, perseverance, instead of passively feeling that there was no child in Christendom for supporting a morbid state of feeling, or encouraging an whom he would exchange his daughter. Thus he loved obstinate resistance to circumstances—an opposition to her, while she, unacquainted with any other experience, the judgment of wiser and more experienced heads.' accepted his deep affection as the usual expression of

As Mrs Monro spoke, her eyes involuntarily rested parental love, and imagined that every child in the on an old portrait which hung upon the opposite wall, world was as fortunate as herself. Thus in happy ignoand following the look, with an arch smile Elizabeth rance she passed through her nursery, her school-room exclaimed, “If there be truth in tradition, we have at days; their period abridged by her lonely father's least no example of constancy there!'

anxiety to have her seated beside him in his library, Her mother turned on her a look of pained inquiry while he directed even her childish studies himself. as she asked, “Elizabeth, where did you learn that? I • One day he was unusually grave, and answered her was just going to select the original of that portrait as remarks and questions absently, while now and then he affording beyond all, or any I had ever known, the best would lay down his book, and re-peruse a letter which exemplification of my opinion; the best proof that even lay beside him on the table, cach time apparently less in the quiet circle of domestic life, the constant heart satisfied with the contents. At last he said abruptly, may become a refuge of strength, not only for its own Cicely, I expect a visitor to-day. Your cousin, Georgy support, but for the happiness of all within its sphere. Hume, is very ill, and is coming here for change of Look attentively for a moment at that countenance, air.” and tell me even had you never been acquainted with • Cicely's heart bounded with joy at the thought of her it represents, never heard or known aught of her that unknown luxury—a young companion ; but the life or character—what would be the impression those next moment checked its gladness with the recollection features would convey ?'

of his being ill; and, full of sympathy, she inquired the With a deprecating gesture, as if the study were in circumstances from her father. Drawing her towards deed superfluous, Elizabeth rose in obedience to her him, in grave and half-reluctant tones he proceeded to mother's wish, and perused more closely those linea- inform her that Georgy was not only ill, but very ments, so well known and well beloved. It was the por- unhappy too, and that it was as much for his mind's trait of a lady, matronly, but not advanced in life; an air health as for that of his body that he was sent to those of serene thoughtfulness seemed to add more years than who would take care of him and love him well. time had reckoned, and gave intelligence and decision • Cicely’s glistening eyes had promised for her ; but to features cast in nature's gentlest and most feminine she quickly inquired, “What makes Georgy unhappy?" mould. Elizabeth looked long and thoughtfully at that and looking up in her father's face, she added very sweet face; and even after she had returned to her seat, softly, “ Has he lost his own papa?” still fascinated, bent her gaze upon it, until a question • The eyes she was gazing at became clouded with from her mother reminded her that she had not given the emotion, and even a tear fell upon her cheek with the desired opinion yet. Starting, she hurriedly exclaimed, kiss that was imprinted there at once; but the answer Oh, mamma! who could read aught but truth and was very different from the one she apprehended, “ Oh honour on that clear, expressive brow; or detect one no, my child; but he has got a new mamma!” fickle wavering line in the whole of that earnest face? A new mamma!” interrupted the little girl. Oh,

She paused, apparently unwilling to papa, is not that a happy thing? Why did you never qualify her testimony, but gave her mother an appeal- get me a new mamma?” ing look, as if she too must be aware that something in • It was now the father's turn to speak impetuously; the experience or history of that individual contradicted and, surprised out of his self-possession, he replied, the fair promise pictured there.

* Because I loved you too dearly, my own heart's treaMrs Monro took up the unfinished sentence. “And sure. Nothing was ever to supply your place to me, or yet-you have possibly heard, that, fickle and untrue mine to you. Georgy's new mamma has been unkind, to her earliest attachment, she wedded another for the and his heart, they say, is breaking; and if he was not sake of house and lands, while he that loved her first sent away, he would soon be in his grave." was far away, winning in other lands the gold which * This little scene has been described to me by her

And yet

« PreviousContinue »