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old hall, with bis broken fortunes and blighted | and superficially a kind of kinder Caliban to her hopes, did he calmly sit down to conquer despair he was so soon to love. O, mighty charm of by toil. He had an excellent library, and as manner! O, subtle might of externals ! With society at and near Ravenscliffe was limited to a you, a man may be a selfish worldling, an opinion. few families, and those some four or five miles ated coxcomb--if he have but tact to veil the apart (with one exception), he had few temptations egotist--and get the “lion" of a drawing-room, a to idleness. He read eight hours a day; yet there prince of good fellows, an indispensable adjunct to was hanging over him, marring the work of the a dinner party, an envied “ diner out,” liked by brave-hearted young man, the old desultory spirit all, perhaps esteemed by a few-—nay more, perhaps still. There was in him as yet a want of motive even devotedly loved by one ; while, without you, for action, and this was soon to be supplied. a man is for ever doomed to be that dreariest of
human misconceptions, a man ridiculed while mis
understood, a "quiz" for men, a laughing-stock in Save Mr. Eversley, the rector of Ravenscliffe, private for women. Misunderstood by all, his is and his wife, Egerton visited no one now. One that dumbness of the heart which can see all, feel morning, as he was sitting with Mrs. Eversley, in all keenly, without even the power of enforcing came the old rector, with a letter in his hand, respect, of winning love, or retaining it if won. saying that a Miss Dalton, his wife's niece, was These observations, in a degree, apply to Egerton coming to take up her abode at Ravenscliffe with yet. Miss Dalton erred with the rest. Egerton her uncle--for she was an orphan, and Mr. Eversley saw it, and became more awkward in due proportion had been, by her lost father, appointed her guardian. to his efforts to be more agreeable. I suppose I Egerton had heard much of this Miss Dalton from must attempt a pen-and-ink sketch of my hero. his old friends at the rectory, and though he had His face was about as attractive as his manners. never seen her, he already, with a truthful presenti. Without being plain, he was anything but wbat is ment, began to feel a newly-awakened interest in commonly called “ good looking"-a fact he was her advent. In a few days she arrived at the perfectly aware of, unluckily. He was a tall man, rectory, and, in a few days after, he called. Though with long, black hair, dark, dreamy eyes, broad the "two young people," as Mrs. Eversley uncere forehead, and a nose just regular enough to redeem moniously called them, were strangers to each it from ugliness, with a small, compressed mouth, other, they had, nevertheless, heard enough of each and bard lines about it, by no means amiable in other to fill a quarto volume long before their first their expression. Such was Egerton then. You meeting in the rector's drawing-room. Some people see there is nothing at all savouring of three volume arow that "first impressions are everything ;" I novel romance in this. am not one of that school. Miss Dalton's first Alice Dalton was a very pretty girl-one whose impressions of Egerton were anything but favour beauty, nevertheless, lay almost entirely in expresable to that strange young man.
And this was sion. She bad, what is unusual with English but natural, after all. Mr. Eversley had been ladies, with dark blue eyes a profusion of long, Egerton's first tutor; he it was who was doomed, waving hair, dark as a raven’s wing-eyes in whose more than all others, to mourn over Egerton's folly clear depth lay that pure expression of gentle as, week after week, from an old Oxford friend of truthfulness we so seldom see but in the very the rector, came down fresh accounts of the cen- young, and features classic in their regularity withsure-defying eccentricities and headstrong irregu- out being cold in their contour. With the vigorous larities of Mr. Eversley's old pupil. Nevertheless, intellect of man, she combined the keener percephe had faith in Egerton's future; he hoped that tion of woman, clever without coarseness, witty mid-day would redeem the promise of the morning, without a tinge of sarcasm in her composition, and, in spite of sad stories of debt and duns, idle self-relying without (as is common to such patures ness and dissipation, aimless dreams and wasted generally) inordinate self-esteem, quiet without energies, the good old man loved the noble-hearted, coldness, reserved without hauteur, she was one of wayward youth still. And Alice Dalton had heard those women one sees so seldom and remembers so all these things long ago—had formed her estimate long. of him before they met—and her opinion, once formed, was difficult to change. Poor Arthur was at no time a man calculated to appear better than, As a reverist, a poor chronicler of broken meif even as good as, he was. He had many pecu- mories, I think I have a right to be abrupt when liarities—the same which had made him disliked it saves your time and patience, or suits my at school, and openly ridiculed at the university, purpose. With this lame apology, I trust you will by men with a poor title of his brains. He was, excuse my cutting short the events of a year, and in fact, like a rough diamond in a rougher setting. informing you briefly that, in less than that time, A gentleman in his every idea, he nevertheless Arthur Egerton had fallen in love—not madly, lacked ease and polish, and so was a man univer- foolishly, or with what Mr. Thackeray is pleased sally misunderstood by his mere acquaintances, to term, “call's head love”—with Alice Dalton. half loved, half tolerated by his friends, with a He made her an offer and this was gently, kindly, self-complacent, compassionateshrug of the shoulder, firmly rejected by the aforesaid young lady. It is
bitter, when a man has cast his all of affection would therefore speak from the heart of the heart ; and truth upon a die, to see the chance against he did so speak, and the result rewarded him him, and himself a beggar, dowered with nothing beyond his iondest hopes. His books were but his own great love, and poor in all beside. But widely circulated ; other hearts gave back the Egerton, knowing all this, with the knowledge echo of his own; he had won a name. And stinging him to the quick, was no fool and no Alice saw those books, and in a short time, to the coward. He did not walk back to Ravenscliffe surprise of the incredulous rector and his wife, Hall
, to tear his hair for half an hour, write a had seen through the thin veil of his nom de plume, lugubrious farewell to Alice, and cut his throat in the rejected lover, the once reckless roué she that approved melodramatic style common to trans- bad at first imagined, the quondam aimless pontine theatres. No such thing—he loved Alice dreamer, now the earnest worker in the good far too well to have made a fool of himself in that cause of truth, Arthur Egerton. Then, at last, or any similar way, even though he had been, she owned to her quiet heart that she had judged which he was not, as sickly-sentimental as harshly of the man in her crude estimate of bim, “Göethe's” own Werther; besides, he was too | based on externals. She rejoiced in his success; true, too clever a man to be romantic, in the but, more than all, she rejoiced that he had concirculating library acceptation of the term, at any quered his coarser nature, with that compassionate time. I have heard that he came home very pale, joy with which we can conceive angels rejoicing but very calm--deep sorrow, after its first burst, in heaven “over the sinner that repenteth.” She is very calm--shut himself up all night in his saw in his books the evidences of the man's true, library, and spent the evening-in writing poetry ? loving heart, and she forgot the roughness of his
- no such thing-in smoking and reading the last form, face, and manner. The man Egerton spoke political pamphlet !
through those books, not the constrained, unreal He felt at last that he was not worthy of her mockery of the man she bad seen in his uncouth love-for in true love the proudest hearts are attempts at drawing-room agrémens. In an author's humble ; he felt that, perhaps, but for his own books you ever see his purer mind, his real self; wilfulness in days past, he might have been. He in spite of the common sneer that authors in their determined, even if he should never be blessed lives and in their books present two sadly differwith love like hers, he would at least deserve it. ent aspects. Shackled by conventionalities is the He shut himself up in that library and read hard freest thinker in his daily life; in his books the for six months with an iron will and a definite worldling is forgotten, and the true man stands purpose he had ever lacked till now. At the end out in pure simplicity of soul. A blush cannot of that six months he determined to leave be transferred to paper ; but there is always in Ravenscliffe for London---to lay aside the aimless common conversation an under-current, a je ne sais dreamer, and take up bis place, however humble, quoi, which keeps back something. In a book the in the battle of life. Literature had ever pos. author is alone with his subject—he does not fear sessed more attractions for him than any other (for the time being, at least,) the half-incredulous profession; so he became a disappointed man, a smile, or contemptuous
smile, or contemptuous shrug of the shoulder, of rejected contributor, a roughly-handled poet, a listening friends. Egerton in his daily life might snubbed “poor author"-like most other men who seem rough, coarse, and cold, but in bis books that have ever climbed painfully up life's rough stairs to incubus, a fear of others' misconception, which fame. But he was patient, calm in the knowledge ever crushed him in society, for a while left his of his strength. He knew that, even as a runner efforts free. must toil long, and practise much self-denial, ere It was fortunate for him that he had thus he gain a prize, so he must work long, and bear early snatched the boon, success, from the world's many things ere he brought his boyhood's dreams miserly hands; for his property having now, through to a fair realisation. Let no one think that he fraud and mismanagement, become almost hopesimply aspired to be a mere author; he had far lessly encumbered, he was solely dependent on his nobler aspirations. He felt that a true man, brain and grey goose quill for the means of subspeaking from his own heart fearlessly, would sistence. carry weight—so, taking for his motto the words “Misfortunes never come singly;" Egerton of Sir Philip Sydney (and Longfellow after him,) was now to prove the truth of the adage in all its " look into thine own heart and write,” that pale bitterness. He had been taxing nature too heavily student from his dingy chambers in Gray's Inn, by his restless labours, and blindness came at last sent forth to the outer world many brave words of as nature's Nemesis. I will not tell you in concise good cheer-earnest, truth-vindicating words, narration, how, day by day, week by week, he subtle dissections, from personal knowledge, of the found his strength and spirits failing, his efforts human heart, withering denunciations of the less and less happy, and his sight weaken, till the social heresies, the heart-rending moral anomalies, eclipse of that sun of the mind, sight, fell upon the fair, false myths that lead so many truth him. I give you only the hard, bitter fact, and seeking hearts astray to misery, and warp us " from straightway proceed to work out its result from the living truth." His own short life had been memory. He was compelled to leave London, the pregnant with feeling, if scanty of action-he scene of bis lonely labours and early success, for
Ravenscliffe. The old Hall had long ago been let another, should you ever speak to the world again, by Egerton to a strange tenant; so the blind man as of old.” took up his abode at the rectory, and there once “ Alice," replied Egerton sadly, "in that book more he met Alice Dalton. That young lady was I was speaking of my own life and rejected love. still in a state of single blessedness, with no appa- I wished to show to other hearts that love might rent wish to exchange it for a chance in the lottery be unselfish, loving on even without hope ; I of matrimony. Sad indeed, was their first wished to show to you that my appreciation of your meeting-painful to both beyond expression ; yet character was in no wise changed or lessened by in a short time poor Egerton rejoiced that he had your rejection of my suit. Little girl, you see still in his great affliction a wingless angel to I have learned through much sorrow to speak minister to his sorrow—even though she had calmly of these things now. I have therein shown rejected his proffered troth in "lang syne.” A to the worldlings that women are something better year passed away, and he was blind and helpless than mere puppets with strings to be pulled at the still, and Alice the same gentle, thoughtful friend discretion of any “lord of the creation" who she had ever been since his blindness. It was thinks it worth while to waste an hour on such their custom now to spend a few hours of each pastime. In that book I imagined a loving heart day in the rector's well-stored library ; it was lonely in the world, like mine, like me, the author Alice's proposal originally that she should read to of that history, the envied Egerton, the poor blind Egerton daily, if so she could while his heart from its dreariness-and of this labour of love she “ Arthur,” said Alice, earnestly, "you wrong never tired. Day after day might have been seen yourself ; you wrong me; you wound me; you are poor, blind Egerton, and that compassionate not lonely, dear Arthur, you have nobly redeemed woman, sitting in the library--he listening with the promise of your youth, and I”rapt attention as she read with her clear, musical This self-relying, reserved Alice Dalton, was, you voice some well-remembered lay of
see, dear reader, a woman, after all, a loving, Some humble poet,
gentle little woman now, as any of Eve's daughters Whose songs gushed from his heart,
who have ever vindicated their own true hearts, As showers from the clouds of summer,
and violated cold conventionalities simultaneously. Or tears from the eyelids start.
Alice strove to complete the sentence--love Who, tlırough long days of labour,
could not. The blind man gently wound his arm And nights devoid of ease,
round her little waist--she suffered it to stay Still lieard in his soul the music
there unresistingly, as she murmured forth these Of wonderful melodies.
words of Ruth—“Where thou goest, I will go ; Such songs have power to quiet
where thou diest I will die, and there will I be The restless pulse of care
buried.” And come like the benediction
He thanked God silently, and owned that he That follows after prayer.
was at last rewarded—that his literary success But never, since the day she rejected his offer, was as nothing--his fame a cold shadow, compared had he spoken of love to her again. If, thought with Alice Dalton's love. But he was not selfish he, he had no right to her love then, the poor, in his gratitude to God, and love of her. He, blind man, broken in health as in fortune, could the blind man, to whom, to-day, unasked, this fair have none
Yet his love was great as girl he had deemed so proud and cold had tenever—too great, too pure for selfishness now. dered her loving heart, loved her far too dearly to
wish to link young beauty to blind decrepitude.
There was a fierce struggle waging in his heart, One summer day, when the birds were singing as the blushing girl could see from the workings merrily as though there were no such things as of his hard, stern features, ere he spoke once more, sin, sorrow, or death on God's lovely earth, and slowly, very sadly, yet with quiet determination every living thing seemed joying in the sense of giving emphasis to every syllable--"My little wingmere existence--cvery thing gay but poor Egerton less angel, this can never be. You must not wed at Ravenscliffe—Alice and he were sitting in the a helpless, blind man—you must not wed blindness library, and their conversation turned on the events and poverty in one. Love me-as I love-will of his past life. Speaking of his first book-a ever love you--but let me alone bear the thoughtful, heart-history-she expressed surprise bitter burden our all-wise God has laid upon me that one so young, and once so wild, should have and love you evermore for your wish to lighten it. ever had so exalted an idea of female character You must not be the blind man's wife!" $0 pure a conception of love's best attributes, and Tears stood in his sightless eyes as he spoke should finally mar all by the tone of quiet hope- with quivering lips these bitter, loving words. If lessness, as regarded its author, pervading the Alice had never loved Egerton of old-she loved whole book.
the blind man now. "Arthur," said she, “if in that book
you were writing your own life-history, you have wronged The good old rector and his wife were fast yourself, your own heart; beware how you belie growing old and feeble; Alice and Arthur both
TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS OF A COSMOPOLITE'S LIFE
felt they would soon be alone in the world. She | bable, that Egerton would, in time, under skilful made use of this as love's plea against Egerton's self- hands, recover his sight. An operation crowned denying resolution—she would be alone in the their hopes with success in the fourth year of their world—she could not bear to leave him to the care marriage, and Egerton can now see his wife and a of strangers, as she must at the death of her un- smiling miniature of her in a baby Alice. I cle and aunt. Little more remains to be told. spent a week with them last summer-I read Alice Dalton married Arthur Egerton, the helpless, that first book of Egerton's, which had wou Alice's blind man. The old rector gave her away-I heart, over again and I remarked to him that the was Egerton's " best friend" on that cccasion, and life-bistory was indeed a sadly imperfect tale with. can certify that, among the feminine congregation, out that best episode of love and compassionate there was not a dry eye as I led him, helpless as a devotion, wherein dear Alice Dalton became the child, to the altar. They lived at the rectory for two wife of my old friend. years after their marriage until the rector and bis My fire is fast failing-my lamp is well nigh wife were laid side by side in the church-yard at Ra- out—my tobacco jar is empty, the ashes in my venscliffe. Alice had some property of her own meerschaum glow no more, and perchance you are in a neighbouring county, and since her marriage weary of an evening spent with a lone man and an eminent lawyer, a college friend of Egerton, his memories. had told them that, by operation of law, there was Moralists are apt to grow prosy ; so I will point a prospect of speedily clearing off many of the a prosy moral with the poetry of that flower of encumbrances on the Ravenscliffe property, so as chivalry, the high-souled Sir Philip Sydney to leave them a good income still. This done, they
Believe me, man, there is no greater blisse removed to the Hall. Alice resumed her daily
Than is the quiet joye of lovinge wife, readings, in Egerton's library this time, and what Which, whoso wants, half of himselfe doth misse, is, perhaps, more worthy of record, Egerton still Friend withont change, playfellow without strise, calls her his “wingless angel,” as of old. And
Food without surseit, counsel without pride, God in his own good time sent more blessings to
Is this sweet doubling of our single life ! that happy home. A celebrated London physician, And nowsome six months after their marriage, had told
To each and all a fair good night, them that, in his opinion, it was possible, nay, pro
With rosy dreams and slumbers light.
TWENTY-SE VEN YEARS OF A COSMOPOLITE'S
PAGES OF ADVENTURE AND TRAVEL.
home in India, the Straits of Malacca, Siam, Some people are said to be born with silver spoons China, Sumatra, Australia, Southern Africa, South in their mouthis, their natural inheritance are acres America, England, Frauce, Belgium, Syria, Egypt, of Tom Tiddler's ground, and the only trouble Asia Minor, Asiatic and European Turkey. I they experience through life (apart from human have resided for months and for years in all these ailments) the effort of stooping down to pick up countries, and fixing upon a central home, dethe golden guineas with wbich their pathway is scribed greater or smaller circles round it in profusely strewn. Others, including not a few of jaunts and pleasure parties ; so that I visited an the above lucky class, are born and continue all immense extent of country-acquired a prodigious their lives "spoons," morally and physically. I number of languages-associated with all castes certainly cannot lay claim to the privileges of the and classes-gained a thorough insight into cusfirst; and, I hope, may be excluded from the last. toms and habits—endured many hardships, But if ever a child was born with a pilgrim's staff roughed it by sea and land—had a multitude of in its hand, and a roving commission in its heart, adventures and hair breadth escapes-quaffed the that child am I- the writer of these pages. Of glittering bowl of joy, and sipped up the very this fact the reader shall be thoroughly convinced dregs of the cup of bitterness—tried every imaginwho has the moral courage to wade through my able profession and calling-and, as a retrospecadventures, from the first to the last chapter tive summary, have much cause to be thankful for indited.
the manifest and marvellous mercies of Providence, Looking back up the long, but clearly lighted, which have bedged me in, or buoyed me up, street of twenty-seven years' experience, I find throughout an adventurous career. that I am entitled to rank as a traveller and a Whilst yet an infant, I was carried out to cosmopolite. From 1830 to 1857 I have been Madras, where my father and uncle were respecalmost perpetually on the move, constituting a tively in the civil and military service of the
BEING PAGES OF ADVENTURE AND TRAVEL.
East India Company. The latter, who commanded and, storing my mind with the goose-step and the 1st Madras Cavalry, was killed in action at minor manœuvres, collected under my standard a the head of his regiment; and before I had at.rabble of black boys, mostly the children of our tained my eighth year, both my parents had fallen numerous servants, who, for a few pice, volun. victims to the climate, leaving me to the entire teered as soldiers, and were subjected to a percharge of my sister Ellen, then the young widow petual drill under the shady mango-trees in our of a colonel, who had been recently killed at the compound. Whenever I was detected playing storming of Rangoon. India, indeed, has proved soldiers in the sun, I suffered ignominiously in the the grave of my family. As far back as I can sight of all my recruits, who were dispersed by my recollect I was always clothed in mourning; and sister's orders, whilst I myself was led in by one long before 1830—the year from which I date my ear, and subjected to durance vile. Nothing, first roving commission-I had lost my sister however, could subdue my ardour, till my dear Caroline, who had been married to the judge of guardian, at her wit's end lest I should succumb Bellary, and my brothers, Henry and George-the to some coup de soleil, hit upon the happy expeformer an officer in the 50th Native Infantry. About dient of making me swallow castor oil every time this time my two younger sisters, Harriet and I broke my parole. This threw a damper over Jessie, came out from England, where they had my energies. After at various periods having swalbeen left to complete their education ; and soon lowed some gallons or so of odious olio de Ricino, afterwards the marriage of the younger, to an my troops were disbanded without gratuity, and I officer of the artillery, caused the first move on myself reduced to the unpleasant necessity of the chess-board of my adventures. The family study, and the still more terrible conviction that I went to live at St. Thomas Mount, then the head was only eight years old, and must double that age quarters of the artillery, and a considerable mili- before I could hope to escape from the thraldom tary cantonment.
of grammars, geographies, et hoc genus omne. By this time death had been so busy amongst Though young in years, I was exceedingly precoour once numerous members, that we were re- cious in ideas. My new brother-in-law (how duced to a comparatively small family-three sisters bitterly I hated him then!) had a disagreeable and myself (two brothers being educated in Eng- habit of what he facetiously termed, tweaking my land), and my grandmother, the widow of a nose—a painful and ignominious process. Often British officer. The old lady had travelled all repeated during task-hours; but never when my over the world in her time-had a child shot in dear guardian was in sight, or within hearing. I her arms at the Irish Rebellion—had outlived her have no doubt now that if he had punched my husband and fourteen children (all save one daugh. head I should have richly merited it; but I ter who had married and settled at Bombay)— thought differently then, and I had many powerful and had finally emigrated to India to join her advocates in grandmamma and my sisters to defend grandchildren, and finish her days peacefully my cause; so that F— gave up my schooling amongst them.
in despair, and contented himself, for the future, My sister Jessie's wedding was a very gay affair by accidentally(?) sticking his spurs into me, like indeed. It was my first introductiou to the splen- a pugnacious game cock, whenever a sly opportudour and luxury with which such things were nity occurred. accomplished in India. The artillery mess sup- If I was no great genius at my books, I evinced plied the breakfast; the artillery band played a passionate taste for the fine arts. There was “ Haste to the Wedding ;” and upwards of a hun. not an officer in the cantonment whose portrait I dred officers, with their wives and families, sat did not, after my own fashion, accomplish in waterdown to the table. Never had I gazed upon so colours-not a favourite horse or pony, curricle much gold, and scarlet, and blue, such over- or tandem, but what I had a fac simile of, cut out in powering whiskers and moustaches. That morn- paste-board, and painted. I was the marvel of all ing I mentally determined my future career in the native servants; the plague of the old tonnylife. I would join the Horse Artillery, as soon as cutchee (sweep), who, poor woman, had often I was old enough, and in the interval amused recourse to her broom to sweep up the litter I myself, sadly to the detriment of my wedding suit, used to create. Yet, with all these resources, I by pasting gilt paper where there should have was a lonely, solitary boy, without a single combeen gold lace, and painting fabulous portraits of panion of my own age with whom I could mingle, a lieutenant in full-dress costume, meant to repre-or to whom I could impart any of those childish sent my fature self arrived at maturer years of ideas and sentiments which sprang up and strandiscretion. Of course my newly married sister gled themselves even at their very birth. The Fent to live with her husband of course I min- servants, children, and the orderly boys, were my gled with and made friends of all the officers in only companions, and that on stolen occasions, the cantonment; and, as a natural result, my when, profiting by the afternoon siesta, and, military ardour never flagged. I was a great despite the threat hanging in terrorem over me, favourite with all hands, from the brigadier down I crept out under the mango-trees, and constructed to the latest joined second lieutenant. I attended fabulous batteries, which we charged and took parades and drill as punctually as the adjutant ; ' with great uproar and much dust, with the slaugh