A BOOK FOR THE YOUNG.
DEDICATED, BY PERMISSION, TO THE HON. MRS. MANNERS SUTTON.
By A LADY.
Saint John, N.B., Printed By J. & A. McMillan, Phoenix House, 78, Prince Wm. Street.
TO THE HON. MRS. MANNERS SUTTON.
With every feeling of deference and respect, do I beg to offer my grateful acknowledgments for your kindness in according me the honor of your influential name, in offering my Little Book to the public; and I can only regret my humble efforts are not more worthy your patronage.
I have the honour to be, Madam,
Your obliged and obedient servant,
In offering a second effort from her pen, the Writer begs, most humbly, to deprecate all criticism; for much of which, there will, doubtless, be found ample room.
This little book has been written in the hope that notwithstanding its many imperfections, it will not be altogether useless to those for whom it is especially intended,—the Young; and should the Authoress fail in effecting all the good she desires, she trusts, she may take refuge under the negative merit, of not having written one word that can do harm.
If it be objected to, that the Poetry is not original; it is, she would beg to say, not only good, but far better than that which, had it depended on her own efforts, could have been in its place. It will be seen that the Book was intended to have been brought out for Christmas and New Year's Days: this desirable end could not be accomplished, but as recommended to do, she has inserted the "Address to the Young."
An Address to the Young, The Dying Horse, Coquetry, Lines on seeing in a list of new Music "The Waterloo Waltz," The Boy of Egremont, Lines written on the Prospect of Death, An Embarkation Scene, The Execution of Montrose, A Ghost Story, Lord Byron, Self Reliance, Idle Words, The Maniac of Victory, God doeth all things well, How old art thou, Time, The Young Man's Prayer,
AN ADDRESS TO THE YOUNG.
A heartfelt greeting to you, my young friends; a merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you all. Of all the three hundred and sixty-five days none are fraught with the same interest—there is not one on which all mankind expect so great an amount of enjoyment, as those we now celebrate: for all now try not only to be happy themselves, but to make others so too. All consider themselves called on to endeavour to add to the aggregate of human happiness. Those who have been estranged, now forget their differences and hold out the hand of amity; even the wretched criminal and incarcerated are not forgotten.
Yes, to both the Christian and the worlding, it is equally the season for rejoicing. Oh yes! view them in any of their bearings, joyful are the days that mark the anniversary of the Redeemer's Nativity, and the commencement of the New Year. Fast as the last twelve months have sped their circling course, yet they have, brought changes to many. Numbers of those we so gaily greeted at their beginning, now sleep in the silent dust, and the places they filled know them no more! And we are spared, the monuments of God's mercy; and how have we improved that mercy, I would ask? or how do we purpose doing it? Have such of us as have enjoyed great and perhaps increased blessings, been taught by them to feel more gratitude to the Giver of all good. If the sun of prosperity has shone more brightly, has our desire to do good been in any way proportionate. Has God in his infinite wisdom seen fit to send us trials,—have they done their work, have they brought us nearer to Him, have they told us this is not our abiding place, have they shown us the instability of earthly happiness? Have you reflected for one moment, amidst your late rejoicings, of the hundreds whose hearths have been desolated by cruel but necessary war, and then with a full and grateful heart humbly thanked the God who has not only spared you these heavy inflictions, but preserved all near and dear to you.
Oh ye young and happy! have you looked around you and thought of all this, and then knelt in thankfulness for the blessings spared you? Remembering all this, have ye on bended knees prayed, and fervently, that this day may be the epoch on which to date your resolves to be and to do better. Oh, may the present period be eventful, greatly eventful, for time and eternity.
Let us pause awhile ere we commence another year, and take a retrospective glance at the past. Can we bear to do so, or will day after day, and hour after hour, rise up in judgment against us? Can we bear to bring them into debtor and creditor account,—what offsets can we make against those devoted to sin and frivolity?
Has every blessing and every mercy been taken as a matter of course, and every pleasure been enjoyed with a thankless forgetfulness of the hand from which it flowed? If such has been the case, let it be so no longer; but awake and rouse ye from your lethargic slumber, be true to yourselves, and remember that you are responsible beings, and will have to account for all the time and talents misspent and misapplied. Reflect seriously on the true end of existence and no longer fritter it away in vanity and folly. Think of all the good you might have done, not only by individual exertion, but by the influence of your example. Then reverse the picture and ask if much evil may not actually have occurred through these omissions in you.
To many of you too, life now presents a very different aspect to what it did in the commencement of the year. A most important day has dawned, and momentous duties devolved on you. The ties that bound you to the homes of your youth have been severed, and new ones formed, aye stronger ones than even to the mother that bare you. Yes, there is one who is now dearer than the parent who cherished, or the sister who grew up with you, and shared your father's hearth. Oh! could I now but impress upon your minds, how much, how very much of your happiness depends on the way you begin. If I could but make you sensible how greatly doing so might soften the trials of after life. Trials? I hear each of you exclaim in joyous doubt, What trials? I am united to the object of my dearest affections; friends all smile on, and approve my choice; plenty crowns our board: have I not made a league with sorrow that it should not come near our dwelling? I hope not; for it might lead you to forget the things that belong to your peace. I should tremble for you, could I fancy a life-long period without a trouble. You are mortal and could not bear it, with safety to your eternal well-being. This life being probationary, God has wisely ordained it a chequered one. Happy, thoroughly happy as you may be now, you are not invulnerable to the shafts of sorrow;—think how very many are the inlets through which trial may enter, and pray that whenever and however assailed, you may as a Christian, sanctify whatever befalls you to your future good.
But while prepared to meet those ills "the flesh is heir to" as becomes a Christian, it is well to remember that you may greatly diminish many of the troubles of life, by forbearance and self-command, for certain it is, that more than one half of mankind make a great deal of what they suffer, and which they might avoid. Yes, much of what they endure are actually self inflictions.
There is a general, and alas! too true an outcry, that trouble is the lot of all, and that "man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward;" but let me ask, Is there not a vast amount made by ourselves? and do we not often take it up in anticipation, too often indulge and give way to it, when by cheerful resignation, we might, if not wholly avert, yet greatly nullify its power to mar our peace. Mind, I now speak of self-created and minor troubles; not those coming immediately from God. Are we not guilty of ingratitude in acting thus; in throwing away, or as it were thrusting from us the blessings he has sent—merely by indulging in, or giving way to these minor trials. It may be said of these sort of troubles, as of difficulties, "Stare them in the face, and you conquer them; yield to, and they overcome you, and form unnecessary suffering."
If we could only consider a little when things annoy us, and reflect how much worse they might be, and how differently they would affect us even under less favourable circumstances than those in which we are placed; but instead of making the best of every thing, we only dwell on the annoyance, regardless of many extenuations that may attend it.
As one of the means to happiness, I would beg of you, my fair young Brides, not to fix too high a standard by which to measure either the perfections of your beloved partners or your own hopes of being happy. Bear in mind that those to whom you are united are subject to the same infirmities as yourself. Look well to what are your requirements as wives, and then prayerfully and steadily act up to them, and if your hopes are not built too high, you may, by acting rightly and rationally, find a well spring of peace and enjoyment that must increase. Think what very proud feelings will be yours, to find you are appreciated and esteemed for the good qualities of the heart and endowments of the mind, and to hear after months of trial, the wife pronounced dearer than the bride.
Look around at the many who have entered the pale of matrimony before you, equally buoyant with hope; with the same loving hearts and the same bright prospects as you had,—and yet the stern realities of life have sobered down that romance of feeling with which they started; yet they are perhaps more happy, though it is a quiet happiness, founded on esteem. Oh, you know not the extent to which the conduct I have urged you to pursue, may affect your well-being, and that of him to whom you are united.
And now with the same greeting I commenced with, will I take my leave—a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all, and may each succeeding return find you progressing in all that can give you peace and happiness, not only here but hereafter!
THE DYING HORSE.
Heaven! what enormous strength does death possess! How muscular the giant's arm must be To grasp that strong boned horse, and, spite of all His furious efforts, fix him to the earth! Yet, hold, he rises!—no—the struggle's vain; His strength avails him not. Beneath the gripe Of the remorseless monster, stretched at length He lies with neck extended; head hard pressed Upon the very turf where late he fed. His writhing fibres speak his inward pain! His smoking nostrils speak his inward fire! Oh! how he glares! and hark! methinks I hear His bubbling blood, which seems to burst the veins. Amazement! Horror! What a desperate plunge, See! where his ironed hoof has dashed a sod With the velocity of lightning. Ah!— He rises,—triumphs;—yes, the victory's his! No—the wrestler Death again has thrown him And—oh! with what a murdering dreadful fall! Soft!—he is quiet. Yet whence came that groan, Was't from his chest, or from the throat of death Exulting in his conquest! I know not, But if 'twas his, it surely was his last; For see, he scarcely stirs! Soft! Does he breathe? Ah no! he breathes no more. 'Tis very strange!
How still he's now! how fiery hot—how cold How terrible! How lifeless! all within A few brief moments!—My reason staggers! Philosophy, thy poor enlightened dotard, Who canst for every thing assign a cause, Here take thy stand beside me, and explain This hidden mystery. Bring with thee The head strong Atheist; who laughs at heaven And impiously ascribes events to chance, To help to solve this wonderful enigma! First, tell me, ye proud haughty reasoners, Where the vast strength this creature late possessed Has fled to? how the bright sparkling fire, Which flashed but now from those dim rayless eyes Has been extinguished? Oh—he's dead you say. I know it well:—but how, and by what means? Was it the arm of chance that struck him down, In height of vigor, and in pride of strength, To stiffen in the blast? Come, come, tell me: Nay shake not thus the head's that are enriched With eighty years of wisdom, gleaned from books, From nights of study, and the magazines Of knowledge, which your predecessors left. What! not a word!—I ask you, once again, How comes it that the wond'rous essence, Which gave such vigour to these strong nerved limbs Has leaped from its enclosure, and compelled This noble workmanship of nature, thus To sink Into a cold inactive clod? Nay sneak not off thus cowardly—poor fools Ye are as destitute of information As is the lifeless subject of my thoughts!
The subject of my thoughts? Yes—there he lies As free from life, as if he ne'er had lived. Where are his friends and where his old acquaintance Who borrowed from his strength, when in the yoke, With weary pace the steep ascent they climbed? Where are the gay companions of his prime, Who with him ambled o'er the flowery turf, And proudly snorting, passed the way worn hack, With haughty brow; and, on his ragged coat Looked with contemptuous scorn? Oh yonder see, Carelessly basking in the mid-day sun They lie, and heed him not;—little thinking While there they triumph in the blaze of noon. How soon the dread annihilating hour Will come, and death seal up their eyes, Like his, forever. Now moralizer Retire! yet first proclaim this sacred truth; Chance rules not over Death; but, when a fly Falls to the earth, 'tis Heaven that gives the blow.
It was in one of the most picturesque parts of South Wales, on the banks of the lovely Towy, that two ladies sat working at an open casement, which led into a veranda, covered with clematis and honey-suckle. The elder of the two might be about fifty, perhaps not so much, for her features bore traces of suffering and sadness, which plainly told, that sorrow had planted far deeper wrinkles there than time alone could have done. The younger, an interesting girl of nineteen, bore a strong resemblance to her mother; they were both dressed in deep mourning. The room which they occupied, though plainly and simply furnished, had yet an air of taste and elegance.
Mrs. Fortescue was the widow of an officer, who died of cholera in the East Indies, leaving her with one daughter, and no other means of support than a small annuity and her pension. An old servant of her own had married a corporal in the same regiment, who having purchased his discharge, now followed the trade of a carpenter, to which he had been brought up, previous to enlisting, and was settled in his native place, and the faithful Hannah, hearing of the Captain's death wrote to Mrs. Fortescue, telling her, not only of the beauty of the spot, but the cheapness of living in that part of the world, concluding by saying, a house was then vacant, and could be had on very reasonable terms. Mrs. Fortescue immediately wrote and engaged it. Though a common looking building, yet by putting a veranda round, and making a few alterations inside, it soon, with a little painting and papering, was transformed into a pretty cottage. The work required was an advantage to Mrs. Fortescue, inasmuch as it occupied her mind and thus prevented her dwelling on her recent affliction, in other respects too, she felt that a kind providence had directed her steps to the little village in which we find her—and the good she found to do, was the greatest balm her wounded spirit could receive: for though her means were so limited, still, a wide field of usefulness lay before her.
Mrs. Fortescue had a strong mind, and though her trial was hard, very hard to bear, she remembered from whom it came, and not a murmur escaped her. Devotedly attached to her husband, she deeply lamented her loss, still she sorrowed not as one without hope: she had the consolation of knowing few were better prepared for the change; and she strove to take comfort in reflecting how greatly her grief would have been augmented, were not such the case. But she felt that her shield had been taken from her; and knowing how precarious was her own health, she saw how desolate would be her child, should it please God to remove her also, but a true Christian cannot mourn long; and as the tears of agony would force themselves down her cheek, and her feelings almost overpower her, she flew to her bible and in its gracious promises to the afflicted, found that support and consolation, the mere worldling can neither judge of, nor taste. Some delay, though no actual doubt, as to ultimately obtaining her pension, had caused inconvenience, as all their ready money had been absorbed in the alterations of their house, though they had observed the utmost economy, and demands were made which they had not at the time funds to meet. Ethelind was miserable, but Mrs. Fortescue bore against all, trusting something would turn up,—and so it did; for while discussing the matter, a letter came, with an enclosure, from an old school fellow, begging them to procure her board and lodging in the village for a few months, intimating how much she would like it, if they could accommodate her themselves. The terms for the first quarter were highly remunerative and they gladly acceded to Miss Trevor's proposition, and the few requisite preparations being made, we will, if our reader pleases, go back to the evening when mother and daughter sat awaiting the arrival of their new inmate.
Mrs. Fortescue had never seen Beatrice Trevor, but Ethelind was loud in her praises. They sat in anxious expectation much beyond the usual time for the arrival of the stage, and were just giving her up for the night, when the rumbling of wheels was heard, and a post chaise drove up, out of which sprang a young lady who in another moment was clasped in Ethelind's arms, and introduced to her mother, who welcomed her most kindly.
"Oh what a little Paradise!" said Beatrice, looking round her, "how happy you must be here. Do Ethelind let me have one peep outside ere daylight is gone;" so saying, she darted through the French casement, on to the lawn, which sloped down to the water's edge. "Well I declare, this is a perfect Elysium, I am so glad I made up my mind to come here, instead of going with the Fultons to Cheltenham."
"I am indeed rejoiced that you are so pleased with our retreat, my dear Miss Trevor, it is indeed a lovely spot."
"No Miss Trevor, if you please, my dear madam: it must be plain Beatrice, and you must regard me as you do Ethelind, and be a mother to me; for I know I greatly need a monitress; for you will find me, I fear a sad giddy mad-cap."
Mrs. Fortescue smiling benignly promised acquiescence, and taking her hand, which she grasped affectionately; led her into the next room, where tea was waiting. After which, Ethelind took her up stairs, and showed her the little bedroom prepared for her. They remained here some time, chatting over their old school days, till summoned to prayers. On taking leave for the night, Mrs. Fortescue begged if at all heavy in the morning, that Beatrice would not hurry up. But she arose early, much refreshed and delighted with all she saw. Ethelind soon joined her, and offered to help her unpack, and arrange her things, while the only servant they had, prepared the breakfast.
Soon as the morning meal was over, and little necessary arrangements made, Ethelind proposed a ramble, which was gladly acceded to on the part of Beatrice. They passed through an orchard into a lane, and as they crossed a rustic bridge, the village church came in view. It was a small gothic structure, standing in the burial ground, and as they approached it, Beatrice was struck with admiration at the beds of flowers, then blooming in full perfection on the graves; this is a very beautiful, and, by no means, uncommon sight in South Wales; but she had never seen it before. "Well, I declare, this is lovely; really, Ethelind, to render the charm of romance complete, you ought to have a very interesting young curate, with pale features and dark hair and eyes."
"And so we have," said Ethelind, "and had he sat for his picture, you could not have drawn a more correct likeness; but I regret to say, Mr. Barclay's stay is not likely to be permanent, as one of Lord Eardly's sons is to have the living, soon as the family returns from the Continent, which we are all sorry for; as short as the time is, that Mr. Barclay has been among us, he is generally liked, and from his manner, we think the curacy, little as it is, an object to him; though even now, he does a great deal of good, and you would hardly believe all he has accomplished. I wish he were here, for I am sure you would like him."
"I think," said Beatrice, "it is well he is not, for I might fall in love with him, and then—"
"And then, what?" asked Ethelind.
"Why it must end in disappointment to both; for if he is poor and I am poor, it would be little use our coming together; but were I rich, as I expected to have been, then I might have set my cap at your young curate, and rewarded his merit."
"Oh!" said Ethelind, "he deserves to be rich, he would make such good use of wealth, for even now, he is very charitable."
"Charitable!" re-echoed Beatrice, "a curate, on perhaps less than a hundred a year, must have a deal to be charitable with. Absurd: I grant you he may have the heart, but certainly not the means."
"I know not," said Ethelind, "but I hear continually of the good he does, and his kindness to the poor, and doubt if the Honourable Frederic Eardly will do as much."
"Out upon these proud scions of nobility, I have not common patience with the younger members of the aristocracy, taking holy orders solely for the sake of aggrandizing the elder branches of the family; they are rarely actuated by pious motives."
"We had only one service a-day till Mr. Barclay came, and now he officiates morning and evening, besides managing to do duty, in the afternoon, for a sick clergyman, who lives five miles off, and has a large family, two of whom our worthy curate educates,—"
"No more," Ethelind, or my heart will be irrecoverably gone; but what large house is that I see among the trees?"
"That is Eardly House."
"And do the family ever reside there?"
"They have not, since we have been in this part of the world, but when in England, I am told, they spend part of every summer here."
"And if they come, they will spoil both our pleasure and our privacy; say what you will, great people are a nuisance in a small village."
"To those who are situated like us, I grant it is unpleasant, but they may do a great deal of good to their poor tenants. But, hark, it is striking two,—our dinner hour,—mamma will wonder what is become of us; there is a short cut through the Park, which we will take, it will save, at least, a quarter of a mile." So through the Park they went, and as they left it, to cross the road, a gentleman suddenly turned the corner, and Mr. Barclay stood full before them.
"Why, Mr. Barclay," exclaimed Ethelind, "where, in the name of wonder, did you come from? did you rise from the lake, or drop from the clouds? I thought you were many miles away."
"And so I expected to be," said he, shaking hands with her, and bowing to Beatrice, "but circumstances wholly unexpected, compelled me to return."
"And are you going to remain?"
"For some months, I believe."
"I am really glad to hear it, and so, I am sure, will mamma be; but in the agreeable surprise your unlooked for return gave, I forgot to introduce Miss Trevor." The conversation now took a general turn, and Mr. Barclay accompanied them to their door, where he only staid to shake hands with Mrs. Fortescue, and then took his leave, promising to return in the evening.
As may naturally be supposed, many weeks followed of delightful intercourse; Mr. Barclay, when ever it did not interfere with his duties, was the constant attendant of Ethelind, and Beatrice; he spent every evening at Mrs. Fortescue's cottage, affording much speculation to the village gossips, as to which of the two young ladies would ultimately become the curate's choice. With their aid he carried out his much cherished object of establishing a Sunday School, and everything was going on quietly, till, at length, an unusual bustle was observed in the village; artizans of every description were sent from London, and the news was soon spread, that after the necessary repairs and preparations were completed, the family might be expected.
This was anything but welcome intelligence to Ethelind and Beatrice, who feared all their enjoyment would be disturbed. When Mr. Barclay came in the evening, he confirmed the report and little else was talked of.
"It is really provoking," said Ethelind "I am quite of Beatrice's opinion, and think great folks anything but desirable in such a small place, at least, to people circumstanced as we are."
"I am of opinion," said Mr. Barclay, "you will find it quite the reverse."
"Shall you remain as curate," asked Mrs. Fortescue.
"Frederic Eardly purposes to make poor Bennet his curate."
"But if he is so ill he will not be able to do the duty," said Beatrice.
"It is not hard, and Eardly is well able to do it himself."
"But will he," said she, "I really feel curious, to see how this embryo bishop will get on, as I suppose nothing less is the object of his taking orders."
"Oh, Miss Trevor, judge not so harshly. Is it not possible that in singleness of heart, he may have gone into the Church, unmindful of all but the sacred calling? I do not pretend to judge, but I believe no worldly honour or pecuniary consideration influenced his choice, as I know his grandfather left him quite independent."
"Oh, don't tell me, Mr. Barclay, it is very unlikely; but it is natural that you should take his part because—"
"Because, what?" responded Mr. Barclay, "do you think money or interest would prompt me to say what I don't think or mean?"
"No," said Beatrice, "I think you the last person in the world to truckle to the great,—but no more of this; what kind of a being is this Frederic Eardly?"
"I am a poor judge of character, besides, you would hardly give me credit for being impartial. They say he is spoilt by his mother and sisters, by whom he is perfectly idolized and to whom he is, in return, devotedly attached."
"Come, that and helping poor Bennet, are certainly very redeeming traits; but will his giving him a preference be doing justice to you, who have done so much, and will it not—" here feeling she was going too far, she coloured.
Mr. Barclay too, was much confused; and Beatrice was greatly relieved when Mrs. Fortescue turned the conversation. She had long remarked to herself, there was a mystery about Mr. Barclay which she could not understand. There was, at times, a reserve she attributed to pride. If not well born, he was quite au fait in all the usages of well-bred society. He never spoke of his family, but Mrs. Fortescue once asked him if he had any sisters, when he replied, "Two, such as any brother might be proud of;" but, while he spoke, the blood mantled in his forehead, and fearing it might result from pride, she dropped the subject, and, for the future, avoided saying anything that might recall it, trusting that, in time, she might win his confidence.
Almost unconsciously to herself, was Ethelind, under the garb of friendship, indulging a preference from which her delicacy shrank. She could plainly see a growing attachment in Mr. Barclay to Beatrice, and could not, for a moment, suppose he could be insensible to her friend's fascinations, which certainly were very great. She was the more convinced that Mr. Barclay loved Beatrice, for his manners evidently changed, and, at times, he was absent and thoughtful, and she sometimes fancied unhappy. Once it struck her, his affections might be engaged elsewhere, and that Beatrice had shaken his faith to her to whom it was plighted. She observed Beatrice using all her efforts to attract and win Mr. Barclay, and yet she doubted if she were sincere. Many things in her conduct led to this conclusion, and showed no little coquetry in her disposition. Be it as it may, she met Mr. Barclay's attentions more than half way, and seemed never in such spirits as when with him; at any rate, poor Ethelind's delicacy took the alarm, and she resolved to crush her own growing attachment in the bud, and hide her feelings in reserve, and so great was her self-command, that her love for Mr. Barclay, was unsuspected by all save her mother.
As Beatrice and Ethelind were returning one evening from a long walk, and being very tired, they sat down on a bank facing the Towy to rest themselves, and watch the setting sun sink behind the undulating mountains that almost surrounded them. They were, for some minutes, so absorbed in the scene before them, that neither spoke; at last Beatrice exclaimed:—
"What a pity it is, Ethelind, that you and Mr. Barclay never took it into your heads to fall in love with each other; you would make such a capital clergyman's wife."
"Beatrice!" said Ethelind, "why talk thus; do you mean to say that you have been insensible to his attachment to you?"
"I do not mean to say that," replied she, "but I can assure you, that if there is such a feeling, it is only on his side."
"And yet, you have not only received, but met his attentions with such evident pleasure, and given him such decided encouragement."
"Now, Ethy, how could I resist a flirtation with such an interesting character?"
"Oh, Beatrice, did you never think of the pain you might inflict by leading him to suppose his affection was reciprocated."
"Never, my consciencious little Ethelind, he is too poor, nay, too good, for me to think seriously of becoming his wife."
"Oh, Beatrice! I thought you had a more noble heart than to trifle with the affections of such a man, particularly now there is a chance of recovering your property; you might be so happy, and make him so too."
"And do, you think, if I do recover it, I should throw myself away on a poor curate, and that I should like to lead such a quiet hum-drum life. No, my dear girl, I was never made to appreciate such goodness or imitate it either."
"Then, of course, you will alter your conduct, ere you go too far, and not render him wretched, perhaps for life."
"Of course, I shall do no such thing, his attentions are too pleasing; it does not appear he will be here long, so I must make the most of the time."
"Oh, Beatrice, think what havoc you may make in the happiness of a worthy man; look at his character; see his exemplary conduct; and could you, for the paltry gratification of your vanity, condemn him to the pangs of unrequited love. He has now, I fear, the ills of poverty to struggle against; did you notice his emotion when speaking of his mother and sisters? perhaps they are dependant on him,—you must not, shall not trifle with him thus."
"And why not, dearest Ethelind; I shall really begin to suspect you like him yourself; oh, that tell tale blush, how it becomes you."
"I think," said Ethelind, "any one would colour at such an accusation."
"Well then, to be honest, I have no heart to give."
"No heart to give! surely you are not engaged, and act thus?"
"I am, indeed."
"Cruel, heartless Beatrice," said Ethelind, "you cannot mean what you say."
"I do most solemnly affirm it; but I will tell you all bye and bye: now I cannot. I am smarting too much under you severe philippic, you shall indeed know all,—but," said the thoughtless girl, "let us go home, as your mother will be waiting tea, and Mr. Barclay with her."
"How can you face one you have so injured," said Ethelind, "I could not."
"When you see a little more of the world, you will call these little flirtations very venial errors."
"I hope," said Ethelind, "I shall never call wrong right, or right wrong; neither, I trust, shall I ever act as if I thought so."
They reached home, and found tea ready, but Mr. Barclay was not there, nor did he visit them that evening, but about eight o'clock Mrs. Fortescue received a note, begging her to excuse him, as he had so much to attend to, preparatory to the family coming to the Park.
They saw no more of him during the week. On Sunday, he looked, Ethelind thought, very pale. Coming out of church he spoke to her mother, and she thought there was a tremor in his voice as he spoke, as if concealing some internal emotion. They made many conjectures as to the cause of this extraordinary conduct, but both Mrs. Fortescue and Ethelind felt certain there must be some good reason, as caprice had, never since they had known him, formed any part of his conduct; they were, therefore, obliged to come to the conclusion, that if they knew it, they would find he had good reason for his conduct.
To Ethelind, when he met her alone, his manner was friendly as ever, but she fancied he had often avoided them, when she and Beatrice were together; sometimes she suspected he doubted Beatrice's sincerity. He sent books and fruit to Mrs. Fortescue, as usual, but rarely went to the cottage, and if he did, always timed his visits, so as to go when the younger ladies were out. He would however, saunter home with Ethelind, if alone, after the duties of the Sunday School, and consult her on many of his plans; in short, he daily became more like his former self.
The fact was, that the day on which Beatrice and Ethelind held the discussion, he had started to meet them, but feeling tired, sat down to rest on the very same bank they afterwards occupied: but the sun shining fully on it, he had retreated behind a large tree, and having fallen asleep, was awakened by their talking, and thus became an unintentional auditor of their conversation.
It was a thunderbolt to him, to hear Beatrice acknowledge herself positively engaged, and yet wilfully resolve to encourage his attentions, and thus trifle with his feelings. Before Beatrice came, he had been much pleased with the unaffected manner of Ethelind, whose character he highly respected; but her reserve made him conclude she was indifferent to him, but how did she rise in his estimation, as he heard the conversation. Not a word of her advice to Beatrice was lost on him, and he only wondered he had not done her more justice; how grateful he felt for the noble indignation she expressed at her friend's levity, and the honest warmth with which she took his part, and strove, as it were, to prevent his being betrayed by the heartless coquetry of Beatrice. He regarded all that had occurred as a special intervention of Providence to save him from future misery. His regard for Beatrice was daily increasing and believing her good and amiable, he desired to win the affection, which he fully thought was reciprocal; and how did the discovery of her treachery dash the cup of happiness from his lips; but as it was because he believed her truly amiable that he loved her, he thought, now the veil was drawn aside, he should soon get over his disappointment. But, unworthy as she was, she had so entwined herself in his heart, that it was no easy task to tear her image from it—however, he was strong-minded, and soon reflected that instead of grieving, he ought to be thankful for his escape. Ethelind saw he was wretched, and fancied Beatrice was, some how or other, the cause. She pitied him, and prayed for him, but it was all she could do; but she was not sorry to hear Beatrice say she had an invitation to Miss Fulton's wedding, which she was determined to accept. The night previous to her departure, Mr. Barclay, unasked, remained to tea, and when he took leave, he put a letter into the hand of Beatrice, which she slipped into her pocket, she thought, unseen by any one, but Ethelind saw it, though she took no notice, nor did Beatrice mention it Before retiring to rest, she read as follows:—
"MY DEAR MISS TREVOR,
"I should ill act up to that fearless line of duty my sacred calling prescribes, were I not, as a friend, to urge you to reflect on your present line of conduct, and ask you to pause on it, ere you wreck, not only the happiness of others but your own, at the shrine of inordinate vanity. Shall I honestly own, that mine has narrowly escaped being wrecked; and that, from your own lips, I learnt such was the case. Believing you good and amiable, as you seemed, I was fascinated, and allowed my feelings to outrun my judgment, and yet I can hardly say that such was the case, for I thought you all a woman should be. Let me warn and entreat you, on all future occasions, as you wish to be happy, to deal fairly and truly with him who may seek to win your affection. I was an unwilling listener to your conversation with Miss Fortescue, the other day, and there, from your own lips, learnt that while engaged to another, you scrupled not to receive and encourage my attentions; and more than that, you declared your resolution, of holding out hopes you never meant to realize. Had I known you were bound to another, whatever my feelings had been for you, I had never sought to win your love, but I fully believed you ingenuous as you seemed. Had you not met the advances so sincerely made by me, with such seeming pleasure, whatever the struggle might have cost me, it had passed in silence. I will candidly own, that while my respect is lessened, I cannot forget what my feelings towards you have been. Time alone can heal the peace of mind you have so recklessly wounded; but I again advise you to reflect seriously on the past, and be assured, that she who pursues such a line of conduct as you have done, will ever find it militate against her own happiness, as well as that of others; and I fear, it has done so in the present instance, for while smarting under the bitter feelings your behaviour called forth, I wrote to an intimate friend, and spoke of my disappointment, and the struggle I had to obtain such a mastery over myself, as would prevent it interfering with my duty. Unfortunately, that friend was the very man to whom you are engaged; which I did not know at the time, nor am I prepared to say if I had, how I should have acted. George Graham is an honourable fellow, who believed you as faithful as himself. Thus has your thoughtless, nay, I will go farther, and say highly culpable levity, sacrificed the happiness of two as honest hearts as ever beat in the human breast; I would say I pity you, but I can hardly expect your own peace to have suffered.
"Mine is a responsible and sacred calling; and feeling it to be such, I want, when I marry, a woman who will aid, not hinder me in my arduous duties; I have, as far as human infirmity permits, done with the world and its pleasures; but I am but mortal, and who knows to what frivolity, nay to what sin, but for the merciful interposition of God, you might have led me; and that, while bound to teach and guide others, I might, in my daily conduct, have contradicted the truths I was bound to enforce.
"On first coming to reside here, I was much pleased with Miss Fortescue, and I felt that with her, I could be happy, but her reserve made me fancy her indifferent to me, and I judged she could not return my love; and while her conduct increased my esteem, I resolved that I would not forfeit her friendship by persevering in attentions, I feared, she cared not for. You came: your beauty struck me; your fascinating manners made an impression I could not resist; your seeming pleasure in my attentions misled me, and my heart was enslaved ere my judgment could act. But no more! you have yourself, undrawn the veil, and humbly do I thank the merciful Providence that has thus over-ruled things, and interfered to save me from—, I hardly know what. You can scarcely wonder that I avoided you, after what I heard; and it was not till to-day I could sufficiently command my feelings, to stay at Mrs. Fortescue's, and see you; it is not that I still love you, for I cannot love the woman I no longer respect. I do not hate you; but I do sincerely pity you, and humbly, and fervently do I pray that you may, ere too late, see the errors of your conduct. You, by your own confession, deem coquetry a venial error; can that be such, from which come such cruel and mischievous results. But no more. I forgive you most freely, and shall ever fervently pray that you may see and feel how inimical to peace here, as well as hereafter, is such conduct as you have shown.
"Ever your sincere friend, F.B."
No words can do justice to the agony of Beatrice's feelings, as she read the foregoing letter. She was thunderstruck; here was a blow to her happiness, how completely was she caught in her own toils; she could but feel the retribution just. Of all men, she knew, George Graham to be one of the most fastidious, and that of all things he held the most despicable, she well knew, was a coquette. She loved him with passionate devotion, but knew, if the effort cost him his life, he would cast her from his affections. She was almost maddened with the thought. She did indeed feel that Mr. Barclay was amply revenged, and in feeling every hope of happiness was lost, she could judge to what she had nearly brought him; though she perhaps forgot that he had a support in the hour of trial to which she could not look, for she had wilfully erred. It had always been her practice to go daily to the village post office, consequently, no suspicions could arise on the part of Ethelind, as they would have done, had she seen the frequency of her friend's receiving letters. She rose early, and went the morning she was to leave. She started, as the well known writing met her eye on the address: her limbs trembled, and she feared to open the packet put into her hands. Her own letters were returned with the accompanying note:—
"FAITHLESS, BUT STILL DEAR BEATRICE,
"Farewell, and for ever! May you never know the bitter pangs you have inflicted! I may be too fastidious, but I could never unite my fate with yours; the woman I marry I must respect, or I can never be happy; and miserable as I shall be without you, I feel that I should be still more wretched did I unite my fate with yours. My whole heart was, and is yours only, and had your feelings been what they ought, you would have spurned the paltry gratification of winning the affection you could not return, I sail for India to-morrow; to have seen you would be worse than useless; as we can never now, be anything, to each other.—Once more, adieu!
"Your once devoted,
Beatrice's eyes were red with weeping when she returned from the village. She hesitated whether or not to show Ethelind the letters; but she well knew her disposition and that although she highly disapproved her conduct, still she would feel for her, and she needed consolation; accordingly, calling her into her bed room, she put both epistles into the hand of her friend, begging her to try and read them through before the carriage came that was to take her away. Ethelind was little less astonished than Beatrice had been, and truly did she feel for her mortification. Many and bitter were the tears she shed on reading Mr. Barclay's letter, for she well knew how strongly he must have felt. Most thankful, too, was she that, by striving to overcome her own attachment she had spared herself from having it even suspected. Without a remark she returned the letters to Beatrice, who could only beg to hear from her, and she promised to write, when the post chaise drove up, and after affectionately embracing Mrs. Fortescue and Ethelind, she was soon out of sight.
Mrs. Fortescue was, for some days, very poorly, and at length took to her bed. Mr. Barclay was daily in attendance, affording her all the religious consolation in his power, but he saw, although resigned, there was something on her mind; and was not mistaken. She felt her earthly race was well nigh run, and she was anxious as to Ethelind's future fate. She knew God had said, "leave thy fatherless children to me," and she felt she could do so, and she knew also, that it was written, "commit thy way unto the Lord, and he shall bring it to pass;" he had said, and would he not surely do it? She was one on whom sorrow had done a blessed work.
Mr. Barclay calling one morning, found Ethelind out. It was an opportunity he had long desired, and having read and prayed with Mrs. F., he told her he feared some anxiety was still pressing on her mind.
"Yes," said she, "though I feel it to be wrong, I cannot help wishing to be permitted to linger a little longer here, for Ethelind's sake, though I know that God is all sufficient, still it is the infirmity of human nature."
"Make your mind easy on that head, my dear Mrs. Fortescue, for if Ethelind will but trust her happiness with me, gladly will I become her protector."
"Oh, Mr. Barclay how thankfully would I trust my child in such keeping, but would your means support the incumbrance of a wife."
"Believe in my truth, at such a moment; I have sufficient for both."
"Almighty God, I thank thee!" exclaimed the invalid.
Mr. Barclay now insisted on her taking her medicine, which had such a soothing effect that she soon after fell into a peaceful slumber. He sat sometime musing, when Hannah, who had alone been helping Ethelind nurse her mother, came in, and Mr. Barclay rose to go.
He met Ethelind at the door, and finding she was going to her mother, told her she was asleep, and asked to speak with her in the parlour. Only requesting permission to be assured that he was not mistaken as to Mrs. Fortescue not being awake, she promised to join him immediately.
"Ethelind," said he with some emotion, "will you, dare you, trust your happiness with me? Can you be contented to share my lot, and help me in the discharge of my duties. Will the retired life I lead, be consonant with your tastes and wishes. Tell me honestly; you, I know, will not deceive me. Your mother, I fear, is seriously ill, and if, as I sometimes dare hope, you love me, let us give her the satisfaction of seeing us united ere she is called hence."
"Mr. Barclay," said Ethelind, soon as she could speak, "were I differently circumstanced, gladly would I unite my fate with yours, but with your present limited means, I should only be a burden. You have, perhaps, a mother and sisters dependent on you, with whose comfort I might interfere."
"They are," said he, "perfectly independent of me; but tell me if I have that interest in your affections that alone can make me happy, tell me the truth, I shall not respect you the less."
"Oh, Mr. Barclay, I shall be but too happy," said Ethelind, bursting into tears, "but can I really believe you."
"I was never more earnest, and I will add, more happy in my life; but my Ethelind," continued he, "your mother's health is so precarious that I must insist on your consulting her, and naming an early day to be mine."
"But I cannot, will not leave her; no, we must wait."
"You shall not, my sweet girl, leave your respected parent. No, while it pleases God to spare her life, you shall not be separated from her one hour; she shall live with us, But I shall write to my mother and sisters, who must witness my happiness;—but you are agitated, dearest, do you repent or desire to rescind?"
"Oh! no;" said Ethelind, "but this is so unexpected. Oh, let me go to my beloved mother, pray do, Mr. Barclay," said she, drawing away the hand he still strove to retain in his.
"Have done with Mr. Barclay, and call me Frederic." Waiting only till she assented to this, he took his leave; and Ethelind went, with a heart overcharged with joy, to her mother, who had just awakened from a tranquil slumber. It is needless to say how truly thankful Mrs. Fortescue was. Her child's happiness seemingly so well secured, she had only now to prepare for the solemn change that she felt was not far distant.
From this time, however, her health gradually amended, and the day was fixed for the union of Ethelind and Mr. Barclay. He settled that they should, for the present, reside at the Rectory. Ethelind's countenance brightened, for she fancied she had solved part of the mystery, and that Mr. Eardly was not yet coming, and till his arrival they would be permitted to reside there.
The evening before the ceremony was to take place, Mr. Barclay came in with two ladies. One, a benign but august looking personage; the other, a sylph-like, beautiful creature of eighteen, whom he introduced as his mother and younger sister. Ethelind timidly but gracefully received them. Their kind and easy manner soon removed the little restraint there was at first, but she was still bewildered, and could hardly fancy she was not dreaming; their appearance, too, increased rather than diminished her wonder, for they were most elegantly attired. After allowing a short time for conversation, she went out and fetched her mother, and all parties seemed delighted with each other. After sitting some time, Mr. Barclay, looking at his mother, rose, and taking Ethelind's hand, said, "now, my disinterested girl, allow me to introduce myself as Frederic Barclay Eardly!"
"Can it be possible!" exclaimed Mrs. Fortescue and Ethelind at once, and with the utmost surprise, while Lady Eardly and her daughter sat smiling and pleased spectators.
"Yes, my dear Ethelind; but the deception has been very unpremeditated on my part, as you shall hear. Arriving in England alone, I came down, merely intending to look round, having had some reason to be dissatisfied with Mr. Jones, the acting curate, by whom, when I got to the inn, I was supposed to be the new curate, and as such, I believe, received very differently to what I should have been as the rector; and anxious to know exactly the state of my parishioners, thought, in the humble capacity, they had taken me, I might better do this. In calling to see your mother, who, I thought, from her previous good deeds in the parish, was likely to be an efficient adviser, I was invited to tea, and from the conversation of both you and her, I found, that while as the curate I should have free intercourse at the cottage, as the Hon. Frederic Eardly the doors would be closed on me; added to this, was a lurking hope that I might, eventually, gain your affections, and know that you loved me for myself alone. Your reserve however, dispelled, for a time, that illusion. Beatrice Trevor came and threw out lures I could not resist, and I was fairly entrapped; however, I will not dwell on what has led to such happy results. Bennet, alone, knows my secret."
Lady Eardly now took an affectionate leave. She had brought a splendid wedding dress for Ethelind, but her son insisted on her wearing the plain white muslin she had herself prepared.
A union founded on such a basis, could not fail to bring as much real happiness as mortals, subject to the vicissitudes of life, could expect. Frederic Eardly passed many years of usefulness in his native place, aided, in many of his good works, by his amiable wife. But though blessed with many earthly comforts, they were not without their trials, they had a promising family, but two or three were early recalled; and in proportion to their affection for these interesting children, was their grief at the severed links in the chain of earthly love. The mother, perhaps, felt more keenly than the father, but both knew they were blessings only lent, and they bowed submissively.
Beatrice was not heard of for some time, though Ethelind wrote repeatedly, and named her second girl after her, and some eight or ten years afterwards a letter came, written by Beatrice as she lay on her death-bed, to be given to her little namesake on her seventeenth birth-day. She left her all her jewels and a sum of money, but the letter was the most valuable bequest, as it pointed out the errors into which she had fallen, and their sad results. She had, it would seem, accompanied the friend abroad to whose marriage she had gone, and had once more marred her own prospects of happiness by her folly, and once more had she injured the peace of others. Farther she might have gone on, had she not sickened with the small-pox, of a most virulent kind; she ultimately recovered; but her transcendent beauty was gone, and she had now time to reflect on the past. Her affliction was most salutary, and worked a thorough reformation, which, had her life been spared, would have shown itself in her conduct.
Although Ethelind needed it not, it was a lesson to her to be, if possible, more careful and anxious in the formation of her daughters' principles as they grew up, and more prayerful that her efforts to direct their steps aright, might be crowned with success. Her prayers were heard, and the family proved worthy the care of their excellent mother.
LINES, ON SEEING IN A LIST OF NEW MUSIC, "THE WATERLOO WALTZ."
BY A LADY.
A moment pause, ye British fair While pleasure's phantom ye pursue, And say, if sprightly dance or air, Suit with the name of Waterloo? Awful was the victory, Chastened should the triumph be; Midst the laurels she has won, Britain mourns for many a son.
Veiled in clouds the morning rose, Nature seemed to mourn the day, Which consigned before its close Thousands to their kindred clay; How unfit for courtly ball, Or the giddy festival, Was the grim and ghastly view, E're evening closed on Waterloo.
See the Highland Warrior rushing Firm in danger on the foe, Till the life blood warmly gushing Lays the plaided hero low. His native, pipe's accustomed sound, Mid war's infernal concert drowned, Cannot soothe his last adieu, Or wake his sleep on Waterloo.
Charging on, the Cuirassier, See the foaming charger flying Trampling in his wild career, On all alike the dead and dying, See the bullet through his side, Answered by the spouting tide, Helmet, horse and rider too, Roll on bloody Waterloo.
Shall scenes like these, the dance inspire; Or wake th' enlivening notes of mirth, Oh shivered be the recreant lyre, That gave the base idea birth; Other sounds I ween were there, Other music rent the air, Other waltz the warriors knew, When they closed on Waterloo.
THE BOY OF EGREMONT.
The founders of Embsay were now dead, and left a daughter, who adopted the mother's name of Romille, and was married to William FitzDuncan. They had issue a son, commonly called the Boy of Egremont, who surviving an elder brother, became the last hope of the family.
In the deep solitude of the woods, betwixt Bolton and Barden the river suddenly contracts itself into a rocky channel, little more than four feet wide, and pours through the tremendous fissure, with a rapidity equal to its confinement. This place was then, as it now is, called the Strid, from a feat often exercised by persons of more agility than prudence, who stride from brink to brink, regardless of the destruction which awaits a faltering step. Such, according to tradition, was the fate of young Romille, who, inconsiderately, bounding over the chasm with a greyhound in his leash, the animal hung back, and drew his unfortunate master into the torrent. The Forester, who accompanied Romille and beheld his fate, returned to the Lady Aaliza, and with despair in his countenance, enquired, "what is good for bootless Bene," to which the mother, apprehending some great misfortune, had befallen her son, instantly replied, "endless sorrow."
The language of this question is almost unintelligible at present. But bootless bene, is unavailing prayer; and the meaning, though imperfectly expressed, seems to have been, what remains when prayer avails not?
—Vide. Whitaker's History of Craven
Lady! what is the fate of those Whose hopes and joys are failing? Who, brooding over ceaseless woes, Finds prayer is unavailing? The mother heard his maddening tone, She marked his look of horror; She thought upon her absent son, And answered, "endless sorrow."
How fair that morning star arose! And bright and cloudless was its ray; Ah! who could think that evening's close, Would mark a frantic mother's woes, And see a father's hopes decay?
Inhuman Chief! a judgment stern Hath stopped thee in thy mad career; And thou, who hast made thousands mourn. Must shed, thyself, the hopeless tear, And long, in helpless grief, deplore Thy only child is now no more.
Long ere the lark his matin sung, Clad in his hunting garb of green, The brave, the noble, and the young, The Boy of Egremont was seen! Who in his fair form could not trace, The youth was born of high degree; He was the last of Duncan's race, The only hope of Romille.
In his bright eye the youthful fire Was glowing with unwonted brightness; Warm in friendship, fierce in ire, Yet spoke of all its bosom's lightness. His mother marked his brilliant cheek, And blessed him as he onward past; Ah! did no boding feeling speak, To tell that look would be her last. He held the hound in silken band, The merlin perched upon his hand, And frolic, mirth and wayward glee Glanced in the heart of Romille.
And oft the huntsman by his side, Would warn him from the fatal tide, And whisper in his heedless ear, To think upon his mother's tear, Should aught of ill or harm befall Her child, her hope, her life, her all; And bade him, for more sakes than one, The desperate, dangerous leap to shun. He smiled, and gave the herdsman's prayer. And all his counsel to the air, And laughed to see the old man's eye, Fix'd in imploring agony.
Where the wild stream's eternal strife, Wake the dark echoes into life, Where rudely o'er the rock it gushes, Lost in its everlasting foam; And swift the channeled water rushes, With ceaseless roar and endless storm; And rugged crags, dark, grey, and high, Hang fearful o'er the darkened sky; And o'er the dim and shadowy deep, Yawning, presents a deathful leap. The boy has gained that desperate brink, And not a moment will he think Of all the hopes, and joys, and fears That are entwined in his young years.
The old man stretched his arms in air, And vainly warned him to forbear: Oh! stay, my child, in mercy stay, And mark the dread abyss beneath; Destruction wings thee on thy way, And leads thee to an awful death.
He said no more, for on the air Rose the deep murmuring of despair; One shriek of agonizing woe Broke on his ear, and all was o'er; For midst the waves' eternal flow, The boy had sank to rise no more.
When springing from the dizzy steep, He winged his way 'twixt earth and sky, The affrighted hound beheld the deep, And starting back, he shunned the leap, And by this fatal check he drew Death on himself and master too.
But those wild waves of death and strife Flowed deeply, wildly as before, Though he was reft of light and life, And sunk in death to rise no more.
And he was gone! his mother's smile No more shall welcome his return. Ah! little did she think the while, Her fate through life would be to mourn! And his stern sire; how will he brook The tale that tells his child is low! How will the haughty tyrant look, And writhe beneath the hopeless blow! While conscience, with his vengeance sure, Shall grant no peace, and feel no cure. Aye, weep! for thee, no pitying eye Shall shed the sympathizing tear; Hopeless and childless shalt thou die, And none shall mourn above thy bier. Thy race extinct; no more thy name Shall proudly swell the lists of fame.
Thou art the last! with thee shall die Thy proud descent and lineage high; No more on Barden's hills shall swell The mirth inspiring bugle note; No more o'er mountain, vale and, dell, Its well known sounds shall wildly float. Other sounds shall steal along, Other music swell the song; The deep funeral wail of wo, In solemn cadence, now shall spread Its strains of sorrow, sad and slow, In requiem dirges for the dead.
Why has the Lady left her home, And quitted every earthly care, And sought, in deep monastic gloom, The holy balm that centres there? Oh! ill that Lady's eye could brook On those deserted scenes to look, Where she so oft had marked her child, With all a mother's joy and smiled, For not a shrub, or tree or flower, But brought to mind some happy hour, And called to life some vision fair. When her young hope stood smiling there.
But he was gone! and what had she To do with love, or hope, or pride, For every feeling, warm and free, Had left her when young Duncan died; And she had nought on earth beside. One single throb was lingering yet, And that forbade her to forget; Forget! what spell can calm the soul? Should memory o'er its pulses roll Through almost every night of grief, We still hope for the morrow; But what to those can bring relief, Who pine in endless sorrow.
LINES WRITTEN ON THE PROSPECT OF DEATH.
Sad solitary thought! that keeps thy vigils, Thy solemn vigils in the sick man's mind; Communing lonely with his sinking soul, And musing on the dim obscurity around him! Thee! rapt in thy dark magnificence, I call At this still midnight hour, this awful season, When on my bed in wakeful restlessness, I turn me, weary: while all around, All, all, save me, sink in forgetfulness, I only wake to watch the sickly taper that lights, Me to my tomb. Yes, 'tis the hand of death I feel press heavy on my vitals; Slow sapping the warm current of existence; My moments now are few! e'en now I feel the knife, the separating knife, divide The tender chords that tie my soul To earth. Yes, I must die, I feel that I must die And though to me has life been dark and dreary Though smiling Hope, has lured but to deceive, And disappointment still pursued its blandishments, Yet do I feel my soul recoil within me, As I contemplate the grim gulf,—
The shuddering blank, the awful void futurity. Aye, I had planned full many a sanguine scheme, Romantic schemes and fraught with loveliness; And it is hard to feel the hand of death Arrest one's steps; throw a chill blast O'er all one's budding hopes, and hurl one's soul Untimely to the grave, lost in the gaping gulf Of blank oblivion. Fifty years hence, And who will think of Henry? ah, none! Another busy world of beings will start up In the interim, and none will hold him In remembrance. I shall sink as sinks A stranger in the crowded streets of busy London, A few enquiries, and the crowds pass on, And all's forgotten. O'er my grassy grave The men of future times will careless tread And read my name upon the sculptured stone; Nor will the sound, familiar with their ears, Recall my vanished memory. I had hoped For better things; I hoped I should not leave This earth without a vestige. Fate decrees It shall be otherwise, and I submit. Henceforth, oh, world! no more of thy desires, No more of hope, that wanton vagrant hope; Now higher cares engross me, and my tired soul, With emulative haste, looks to its God, And prunes its wings for heaven.
AN EMBARKATION SCENE.
A short time since, I found among other papers, one containing an account of the embarkation of a few detachments to join their respective regiments, then engaged in the Burmese war, in India. It was written almost verbatim, from the description by one, who was not only an eye witness, but who took an active part in the proceedings of the morning. As so very many similar and trying scenes are occurring at the present time, among our devoted countrymen, leaving for the Crimea, it may not be wholly uninteresting now; as it is founded on facts, which alas, must be far, very far, out-numbered by parallel facts and circumstances.
Having business at Gravesend, I arrived there late at night, and took a bed at an Inn in one of the thoroughfares of that place; I retired early to rest, and was awakened in the morning by the sound of martial music; and ever delighting in the "soul-stirring fife and drum," I jumped out of bed and found it was troops, about to sail for India; I therefore, dressed myself and strolled down to the beach to witness what, to me, was quite a novel sight, the embarkation.
It was a clear bright morning in June, and the sun was shining in full splendor, while the calm bosom of the beautiful Thames reflected back all its dazzling effulgence. The river was studded with shipping, and to add to the beauty of the scene, two or three East Indiamen had just anchored there, and as I viewed them majestically riding, I could easily fancy the various feelings their arrival would create, not only in the breasts of those who were in these stately barks, but of the hundreds of expectant friends, who were anxiously awaiting their return. With how many momentous meetings was that day to be filled. How many a fond and anxious mother, who had, perhaps, for years, nightly closed her eyes in praying for a beloved son, was in a few hours to clasp him to the maternal breast. Here, too, might be pictured, the husband and father returning, not as he left his wife and children, in the vigour of health and manhood, but with his cheeks pallid and his constitution enfeebled by hard service in a tropical climate. Some few had, doubtless, realized those gorgeous dreams of affluence and greatness which first tempted them to leave their native land. I once knew one myself, whose hardy sinews had for nearly sixty years, braved the fervid heat of the torrid sun; but he returned to endure life, not to enjoy it. He told me, he had left England at the early age of fourteen. He had, as it were, out grown his young friendships. Eastern habits and associations had usurped the place of those domestic feelings, which his early banishment had not allowed to take root, we might question if the seeds were even sown in his young breast, for he was an orphan, with no other patrimony than the interest of connexions, which procured him a cadetcy in the East India Company's Service. On his departure, he earned no parent's blessing for him, no anxious father sighed, no fond indulgent mother wept and prayed. As I stood musing on the scene, a gentleman, a seeming idler, like myself, joined me, and after many judicious remarks on what was passing around, informed me he was there to meet a widowed sister, who only three years before, had gone out in the very ship in which she now returned, to join her husband,—the long affianced of her early choice. For a short period, she had enjoyed all earthly happiness, but it was only for a brief space; for soon, alas! was she taught in the school of sorrow, that this world is not our abiding place.
But the Blue Peter, gently floating in the scarcely perceptible breeze, betokened the vessel from which it streamed, destined for a far different purpose. It told not of restoring the fond husband to his wife, the father to his children, or the lover to his mistress; it was, in this instance, to sever, for a time, all these endearing ties; for very soon would the father, the husband, and the lover be borne many miles on the trackless ocean, far, very far, from all they hold dear, and some with feelings so deep and true, that for a time, not all the brilliant prospects of wealth or glory, will restore their spirits to their wonted tone.
 A flag hoisted always when a ship is preparing to sail.
There was one detachment which greatly struck me; it consisted of about one hundred and fifty fine athletic young men, who though only recruits, were particularly soldier-like in appearance. There was throughout, a sort of determined firmness in their countenances, which seemed to say, "Away with private feelings! we go on glory's errand, and at her imperious bidding, and of her alone we think!" Yet to fancy's eye, might be read an interesting tale in every face. We might trace, in all, some scarcely perceptible relaxation of muscle, that would say, "With the deportment of the hero, we have the feelings of the man. One young officer was there, belonging to a different regiment, who, certainly, seemed to have none of those amiable weaknesses, none of those home feelings, which characterize the husband or the father. He had not even pains of the lover to contend with. Glory was indeed his mistress, the all absorbing ruling passion of his mind; he dreamt not, talked not of, thought not of aught, but glory!"
Panting to distinguish himself with his corps, he would gladly have annihilated time and space to have reached it, without spending so many tedious months in making the voyage. Led away by his military ardor, he thought not of his anxious parents; little recked he of his mother's sleepless nights, and how her maternal fears would fancy every breeze a gale, and every gale a storm, while he was subject to their influence.
Among those waiting to embark, was one who had just parted from his wife and children; care and anxiety had set their marks on him. He was a man of domestic habits, and was now, perhaps, to be severed for years, from all that gave any charm to life; but the fiat for separation had gone forth, and was inevitable! Soon would immense oceans roll between them; their resources, which, while they were together, were barely sufficient for their wants, were now to be divided; and the pang of parting, severe enough in itself, was sharpened by the fear that poverty and privation might overtake them, ere he could send remittances to his family.
A post chaise now came in sight, when an officer stepped forward, as it drove to the water's edge, and assisted a lady to alight from it. Her eyes were red with weeping and her trembling limbs seemed scarcely able to support her sinking frame. Her husband, for such I found he was, who had gone towards the vehicle, showed little less emotion than herself, which he, however, strove hard to suppress. These were parents, whom each successive wave would bear still further from their lovely offspring, towards whom their aching hearts would yearn, long after their childish tears had ceased to flow. They, poor little things, knew not the blessings they were about to lose, but their fond and anxious father and mother could not forget, that they had consigned them to strangers, who might or who might not be kind to them, and who had too many under their care, to feel, or even show the endearing tenderness that marks parental love.
In regimental costume, also, stood one, quite aloof, and from his history, (which I afterwards learnt,) I found that his position on the beach corresponded with that in which he stood in the world—alone; cared for by none, himself indifferent to all around him; every kindlier affection had withered in his breast. He was careless whither he went or what became of him. Yet was he not always so, for he had known a parent's and a husband's love. His now blighted heart had often beaten with rapture, as the babe, on which he doted, first lisped a father's name, taught by a mother, whose smile of affection was, for years, the sun that gladdened his existence. But these bright visions of happiness had all flown; that being whom he had so fondly loved had dishonoured him, and neglected his boy, and on his return, he found one in the grave, the other living in infamy.
Among the soldiers, I noticed one, on whom not more than nineteen summers had shone; nay, less than that. His light and joyous heart seemed bounding with delight, as he witnessed the busy scene that met his wondering eyes. An aged woman stood near him, whose blanched and withered cheek but ill accorded with the cheerful look of her light-hearted thoughtless son. She took his hand, and sobbed out, "Oh, George, my poor boy, little thought I to see the day when I should be thus forsaken; I did hope you would now have staid with me, and been a comfort in my old days."
"Hush, hush! grand-mother, the boys are all looking at you. Come, now, don't be blubbering so foolishly, I shall soon come back again."
"Come back again, boy! afore that day comes, these poor old bones will be mouldering in the dust. But God's will be done, and may his blessings be upon you; I know there must be soldiers, but oh, 'tis hard, so very hard, to part with one's only child. Oh, after the care I have taken to bring you up decently, to lose you thus; and how I worked, day and night, to buy you off before, and yet you listed again, though a month had not passed over your head. God help me," said she sighing, "for even this trial could not be without God's will, for without that, not a sparrow could fell to the ground. But stay, do wait a bit longer," said she, catching him by the belt, as he was manifesting a restless impatience to join the busy throng.
"You will promise to write to me, George, you will not forget that?"
"Yes, yes, to be sure, mother, I'll write."
The sergeant now began to call the muster roll, and the poor old creature's cheek grew whiter still as the lad exclaimed:
"Now, mother, I must fall into the ranks; good bye, good bye."
"May God Almighty preserve thee, my child; you may one day be a parent yourself, and will then know what your poor old grandmother feels this day."
The lad had by this time passed muster, and was soon after on board. The afflicted grand-mother stood, with her eyes transfixed on the vessel, gazing on her unheeding boy, who, insensible to the agonizing feelings that rent her breast, felt not one single throe of regret, his mind being entirely engrossed in contemplating the bright future, which the sergeant, who enlisted him, had drawn.
Captain Ormsby, who commanded the detachment, was a man of feeling; he had particularly noticed the poor woman's distress.
"Be comforted," said he, "I will watch over the lad, for your sake, and will try and take him under my immediate charge, and if he behaves well, I may be able to serve him. I will see that he writes to you."
"Heaven bless and reward your honour," she exclaimed, "surely you are a parent yourself. Oh, yes, I knew it," said she, as she saw him wipe off the starting tear. "May God spare you such a trial as has this day been my lot."
"Thank you, thank you, my good woman," said he hardly able to speak.
She had touched a tender chord, and its vibration shook his very frame, for he had in the last few days, taken leave of four motherless girls, pledges of love by a wife whom he had fondly loved, and of whom he had been suddenly bereaved. Well might he feel for this poor wretch, for he had known parting in all its bitterness.
A soldier and his wife stood side by side, apparently ready to embark, whose looks told unutterable things; they both seemed young, but their faces betokened the extreme of agony. The name of Patrick Morgan being called, the distracted wife clung to her husband, uttering the most piercing and heartrending cries.
"Sure, and what'll become of me," cried she, "will you then lave me, Pat, dear, lave your own poor Norah to die, as, sure I will, when you go in that big ship? Oh, my dear Captain, and where will I go if your honour isn't plazed to go without him this time? Oh, do forgive me, but do not, oh, do not, in pity, part us. Sure, an' its your honours dear self as knows what it is to part from them ye loves; an' so you thought, when ye tuk lave of the dear childer, t'other day, an' saw the mother's swate face, God rest her sowl, in the biggest of 'em, for sure they're like, as two pays in a bushel, only one is little an' t'other big, barring she's in heaven. Sure, and if your honour's self had to bid 'em good bye over agin you'd, may be, think how hard it was for me to stay behind when Pat goes."
Patrick, who, with national keen-sightedness, saw the internal working which his wife's home appeal had created, now came forward, and said, "Oh, yer honour, if as how I dare be so bowld as jist to ax you this wan'st, to take compassion on us; may be, next time, we could go together, and if Norah was but wid me, what do I care where I goes. Here's Jem O'Connor wouldn't mind going in my stead, and he's neither wife, as I have, nor childer, like your honour to part from." Jem O'Conner now came forward and testified his readiness to go all the world over to serve a comrade.
Words could but poorly convey an idea of the looks of the anxious couple, as they watched the varying countenance of the Captain. The situation of the soldier and his wife touched him to the quick, and the appeal proved irresistible. Jem O'Connor was permitted to go instead of Pat. Morgan, who, triumphantly led off his wife, both of them invoking blessings on his head, whose humanity had thus spared them the pangs of separation.
I stood, perhaps, twenty minutes musing on the scenes that had just been passing before me and was returning, to retrace my steps to the inn breakfast, when I noticed a wretched looking woman, with a baby in her arms. She was walking very fast, towards the water's edge, where the boats were still waiting to take the last of the soldiers on board ship. She had an anxious, nay, a despairing look as she looked around, as I judged, for the Captain, who was not to be seen.
Hushing her little one, whose piteous cry would almost have made one think it was uttered in sympathy with its mother's distress. Casting one more despairing glance, she was, apparently, about to retrace her weary steps with a look that completely baffles description, when her eye fell on a boat returning from the vessel, which that moment neared the water's edge, and she saw Captain Ormsby jump out. Hastily going up to him, she exclaimed, in a tone that seemed almost to forbid comfort.
"Oh, Sir, I am ashamed to be so troublesome, indeed I am, and I fear to ask you if I have any chance this time?"
"Why Kitty, my good girl, had you asked me that question half, nay, a quarter of an hour ago, I could not have given you any hope, but I can now put you in place of Timothy Brennan's wife, who has just altered her mind."
"Sergeant Browne," cried he, "here is Hewson's wife, who went out in the 'Boyne.' Do the best you can for her, she can take Hetty Brennan's place." Joyfully did Kitty Hewson step into the boat, beckoning to a lad who was holding a small deal box, which he placed beside her; but she seemed as if she could hardly believe herself about to follow her husband, till actually on board.
The worthy Captain was, indeed, to be envied such a disposition to lessen the aggregate of human misery, by entering into their feelings. In how very short a space (three hours) had he the power of cheering the desponding hearts of several fellow creatures, without either detriment to the service, or swerving, in the least, from his duty.
THE EXECUTION OF MONTROSE.
This Narrative is supposed to be addressed by an aged Highlander to his Grandson shortly before the battle of Killiecrankie.
Come hither, Evan Cameron,— Come stand beside my knee; I hear the river roaring down Towards the wintry sea. There's shouting on the mountain side; There's war within the blast; Old faces look upon me, Old forms go riding past. I hear the pibrock wailing Amidst the din of fight, And my dim spirit wakes again Upon the verge of night.
'Twas I, that led the Highland host Through wild Lochaber's snows, What time the plaided clans came down To battle with Montrose. I've told thee how the South'rons fell Beneath his broad claymore, And how he smote the Campbell clan By Inverlocky's shore. I've told thee how we swept Dundee And tamed the Lindsay's pride; But never have I told thee yet How the great Marquis died.
A traitor sold him to his foes: Oh, deed of deathless shame! I charge thee, boy, if e'er thou meet With one of Assynt's name, Be it upon the mountain side, Or yet within the glen, Stand he in martial gear alone, Or backed by armed men; Face him as thou wouldst face a man That wronged thy sire's renown; Remember of what blood thou art, And strike the caitiff down
They brought him to the watergate Hard bound, with hempen span. As though they held a lion there, And not a 'fenceless man: They set him high upon a cart, The hangman rode below, They drew his hands behind his back And bared his noble brow. Then as a hound is slipped from leash They cheered the common throng, And blew the note with yell and shout And bade him pass along.
It would have made a brave man's heart Grow sad and sick that day, To watch the keen malignant eyes Bent down on that array. There stood the whig west country lord In Balcony and Bow; There sat three gaunt and withered Dames And daughters in a row, And every open window Was full, as full might be, With black robed covenanting carles, That goodly sport to see.
And when he came, so pale and wan He looked, so great and High, So noble was his manly front, So calm his steadfast eye, The rabble rout, forbore to shout, And each man held his breath, For well they knew the hero's soul Was face to face with death. And then a mournful shuddering Through all the people crept, And some that came to scoff at him Now turned aside and wept.
But onward, always onward, In silence and in gloom, The dreary pageant labored Till it reached the house of doom. Then first a woman's voice was heard In jeer and laughter loud, An angry cry and hiss arose, From the lips of the angry crowd. Then as the Graeme looked upward He saw the bitter smile Of him who sold his king for gold, The master fiend Argyle.
The Marquis gazed a moment And nothing did he say; But Argyle's cheek grew deadly pale, And he turned his eyes away. The painted frail one by his side, She shook through every limb, For warlike thunder swept the streets, And hands were clenched at him, And a Saxon soldier cried, aloud, Back coward, from thy place! For seven long years thou hast not dared To look him in the face!
Had I been there with sword in hand And fifty Cameron's by, That day, through high Dunadin's streets, Had pealed the Slogan cry Not all their troops of trampling horse, Nor might of mailed men; Nor all the rebels of the South Had borne us backward then. Once more his, foot on highland heath Had trod, as free as air, Or I and all who bore my name, Been laid around him there.
It might not be! they placed him next, Within the solemn hall, Where once the Scottish kings were throned Amidst their nobles all. But there was dust of vulgar feet On that polluted floor And perjured traitors filled the place, Where good men sat before. With savage glee came there, To read the murderous doom And then up rose the great Montrose In the middle of the room,—
Now by my faith as belted knight, And by the name I bear, And by the bright St. Andrew's Cross, That waves above us there; Yea, by a greater mightier oath, And oh! that such should be— By that dark stream of royal blood, That lies 'twixt you and me, I have not sought in battle field A wreath of such renown, Or dared to hope my dying day Would win a martyr's crown.
There is a chamber far away, Where sleeps the good and brave But a better place ye have named for me Than by my fathers grave, For truth and right 'gainst treason's might This hand has always striven, And ye raise it up for a witness still For the eye of earth and heaven. Then nail my heart on yonder tower, Give every town a limb And God who made, shall gather them;— I go from you to him!
The morning dawned full darkly, The rain came flashing down And the forky streak of lightning's bolt, Lit up the gloomy town. The thunders' crashed across the heaven, The fatal hour was come; Yet aye broke in with muffled beat The 'larum of the drum: There was madness on the earth below, And anger in the sky, And young and old and rich and poor Came forth to see him die.
Oh God! that ghastly gibbet, How dismal 't is to see, The great spectral skeleton— The ladder and the tree. Hark! hark! the clash of arms The bells begin to toll,— He is coming! He is coming! God have mercy on his soul! One last long peal of thunder,— The clouds are cleared away And the glorious sun once more look'd down Upon the dazzling day.
He is coming! he is coming!— Like a bridegroom from his room, Came the hero, from his prison To the scaffold and the doom. There was glory on his forehead,— There was lustre in his eye, And he never walked to battle More proudly than to'die. There was colour in his visage, Though the cheeks of all were wan, And they marvelled as he passed them, That great and goodly man.
He mounted up the scaffold, And he turned him to the crowd; But they dared not trust the people, So he might not speak aloud. But he look'd up toward heaven, And it all was clear and blue, And in the liquid ether The eye of God shone through. Yet a black and murky battlement Lay resting on the hill, As though the thunder slept therein, All else was calm and still.
Then radiant and serene he rose, And cast his cloak away; For he had taken his latest look Of earth and sun and day.
A beam of light fell o'er him, Like a glory round the shriven, And he climbed the lofty ladder, As it were a path to heaven. Then came a flash from out the cloud, And a stunning thunder's roll, And no man dared to look aloft, Fear was on every soul. There was another heavy sound, A hush!—and then—a groan, And darkness swept across the sky,— The work of death was done!
A GHOST STORY, FOR THE YOUNG.
MY DEAR CHARLES—
When I promised to write to you during the holidays, I little thought I should have so much to put in my letter. I actually fancied it would be difficult to find enough to fill one sheet; and now I do really believe two will not be sufficient for all I have to say: but to commence my story, which you must know, is a real Ghost Story! But to begin:—
While we were at breakfast the other morning, papa showed mamma an advertisement in the "Times" newspaper, remarking, at the same time, that it appeared just the thing he had long wanted; and that he would go to the Solicitor's and make enquiries, and if it seemed still eligible, would go immediately and see about it. Upon asking what it was;
I was told it was an estate in South Wales to be disposed of; on which was a large commodious dwelling house, which at a trifling expence, might be converted into a family mansion. It commanded, the paper said, a picturesque view, with plenty of shooting and fishing.—It further stated, that on one part of the grounds, were the ruins of a castle, and a great deal more, in its favor, but you know the glowing descriptions with which these great London auctioneers always set off any property they have to dispose of.
Papa had every reason to be satisfied, that it was what he desired; so it was settled he should start by railway that very evening. And you may judge how delighted I was when he asked if I should like to accompany him. You may be sure I did not refuse; so we got ready, and started by the eight o'clock train.
We travelled all night and arrived at our destination about four next day. Papa thought I should sleep during the night, but I found it impossible, for a gentleman, whom we met in the cars, knew the place, and said so much in favour of it, that I could think of nothing else, but he admitted there was a drawback, and that a great prejudice existed against it, which caused no little difficulty in the disposal of. It was reported to be haunted, and one or two people, who had bought it, had actually paid money to get off the bargain. Of course, hearing this, my mind dwelt much on it, though I said nothing, lest I might be suspected of being afraid. Now, you know, it is not a little, frightens me at school, but I was greatly puzzled at all I heard, and determined I would rally my courage. After dinner, we strolled out to take a look at the proposed purchase. Papa was very much pleased with all he saw. House, grounds, and prospect were, he said, all he could wish, and not even the report of a ghost, did he consider, any disadvantage, but quite the contrary, as he certainly would never else be able to buy it for double the sum they now asked for it.
By the time we got back to the inn, Mrs. Davis, our landlady, had learnt the purport of our visit, and we, consequently, found her in great consternation. We had hardly entered, than she exclaimed:—
"Why surely, Sir, you are not going to buy Castle Hill? Why it is haunted, as sure as my name is Peggy Davis!"
"Well, my dear madam," said Papa, "haunted or not, such is my present intention."
"Why, sir, nobody can live there. Don't you know there's a ghost seen there every night."
"Oh," replied papa, "we shall soon, I think, send the ghost off packing."
"Send a ghost off packing! really, sir, you must pardon me, but you are a strange gentleman. Dear! dear! why do you know that four or five have tried to live there and couldn't, for the ghost wouldn't let 'em. You may laugh, but it's a real truth, that it drove every mother's son away; yes not one of them could stay."
"Well, my good Mrs. Davis, we shall soon see whether I can or not; at any rate I shall try."
"Well you certainly are a stout-hearted gentleman, and you must please remember, whatever comes of it, I warned you. Why, there was James Reece, a bold reckless fellow and a very wicked one into the bargain, who feared nothing nor nobody, agreed, for five pounds to stay the night, and was never heard of any more, and some go so far as to say, his ghost has been seen alongside the others once or twice."
"The others," repeated papa, "why you don't mean to say there is more than one?"
"Yes, sure sir, two or three; but 'tis no use telling you, for I really think you are unbelieving as a Jew," and away trotted the old dame, talking to herself as fast as she chatted to papa.
The next morning, after another ineffectual effort from Mrs. Davis, to persuade him to give it up, papa went and concluded, what appeared to him, an excellent bargain, with the lawyer, who was too anxious to serve his employer, not to try and make light of the reports, and not only this, but to fix papa so, that he could not possibly retract.
He came to the Inn and dined with us. Poor Mrs. Davis appeared rather in awe of him; as she never spoke a word, but as she came in and out with different things, she gave papa some very significant looks; but always behind Mr. Crawford's back. No sooner had that gentleman left us, than papa told me, he had made up his mind to take possession of his new purchase, by passing the night in the haunted house.
Charles you are my most intimate friend; and therefore, I may open my heart to you, and tell you honestly, (but mind, not a word to the other boys, when we get back to school) that my heart began to fail me; I know it ought not, for I had been taught better things, and should not have suffered myself to have been influenced, by an ignorant old woman.
There was a bedstead left in one of the rooms, put up by a gentleman who had nearly bought the place, and who, hearing such dreadful stories, determined to try and pass a night there, ere he finally closed:—but people said he heard such strange noises, and saw such odd sights, that he ran away and never returned; the bed and bedding had, the country people believed, all vanished at the bidding of the ghost; indeed, some scrupled not to say, that he had himself been spirited away. Papa said when he heard it, that most likely he was ashamed of his cowardice, and that this prevented his going again to the village.
Papa sent for Mr. Davis, or Griffy Davis, as his wife was pleased to call him; but the old body herself came, and entreated of papa not to try and entice him to accompany us; for it seems that papa's cool and determined manner had made a great impression on Griffy, who, perhaps, got more sceptical on these matters, on account of it. Mrs. Davis was so importunate on the subject, that she obtained the desired assurance, viz., that Griffeth Davis should not be directly or indirectly tempted to encounter the ghost or ghosts, as the case might be. The old man soon came, and you would have laughed to see the old dame's rubicond face, with her large grey eyes, peering over his shoulder; for, notwithstanding; the promise given, she had some doubts that he might be induced to try his prowess in the haunted chamber. Papa asked him if he knew any strong bodied young man whom a good sum of money would induce to accompany him and stay the night. Griffy scratched his head, and pondered some short time; till at length, he said he knew, but one at all likely; they were he said all so plaguey timerous, or timmersome I believe was the word; but he thought Davy Evans might go if well paid, if he were certain papa would remain too; but another doubt was started; Davy had talked of taking some cattle to a fair some miles off, and might be gone: however, it turned out, that he was on hand, and agreeable to go, with the understanding, that he was to have his money, even if papa was conquered by the ghost, or had to run for his ghostship. This was soon obviated; by papa's depositing the money in Mrs. Davis' hands; an arrangement that seemed to give great satisfaction to Davy. The next difficulty was the bedding necessary, this, as Mrs. Davis never expected to see it again, had to be paid for. Davy Evans, seemed a stout stalwart fellow, who had rather a good countenance. Papa who had put the same question before; again asked, "if he were sure he was not afraid."
"Oh no, sir," said Davy, "not a bit, thank God, I never intentionally harmed man, woman, or child, or wronged them, that I of, in any way, and therefore, I may trust in Providence, go wherever I will, and I certainly ain't afraid of the ghosts up there."
"But your courage may fail you, my friend, at the last."
"There's nothing like trying, sir, I haven't been in these parts long; and I know there's strange noises to be heard, but then a little noise breaks no bones and can't hurt me; and as to a ghost, why, seeing its made of air, that can't do much mischief either, especially to flesh and blood, can it now?"