« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
of bis person, and her heart danced would throw her arms around his neck with rapture-Mrs. Thompson had no again, but the old man drew back. such ring, with all her boasting of all “ Woman! your hypocritical words her finery.
show me that your pitiless heart is still “ I bave come to see my child be- unchanged—that it has grown even fore I die," said the old man, gazing worse. You forced me out to the on his son with earnest eyes ; "you world in my old age, when I should broke the ties of nature between us on have had no thoughts except of God your part, when, ten years ago, you and the world to come; you forced me refused your father a few shillings from to think of money-making, when my your abundance, but
hair was grey and my blood cold with He was interrupted by Mrs. Law- years. Yes, I had to draw my thoughts son, who uttered many voluble pro- from the future existence, and to testations of her deep grief at her waste them on the miserable toils of having, even though for the sake of traffic, in order to make money; for economy, refused the money her dear it was better to do this than to drag father had solicited before he left them. out my life a pensioner on your bounShe vowed that she had neither ate, ty, receiving shillings and pence which nor slept, nor even dressed herself for
you gave me as if it had been your weeks after his departure; and that, heart's blood, though I only asked my sleeping or waking, she was perpetually Woman! the black slavery of wishing she had given him the money, my dependence on you was frightful; even though she had known that he but now I can look you thanklessly in was going to throw it into the fire, or the face, for I have the means of living lose it in any way. Her poor, dear fa- without you. I spent sick and sleepther-oh, she wept so after she heard less days and nights, but I gained an that he had left the country. To be independence ; the merciful God blesssure llenry could tell how, for two or ed the efforts of the old man, who three nights, her pillow was soaked with strove to gain his livelihood yes, I tears.
am independent of you both. I came A cold, bitter smile again flitted to see my son before I die--that is all across the old man's lips; he made no I want." response to her words, but in the one Mrs. Lawson attempted a further look which his hollow eyes cast on her, justification of herself, but the words be seemed to read the falsehood of her
died on her lips. The stern looks of assertions.
the old man silenced her. “I was going to add," he said, After remaining for a short time, he “ that though you forgot you were my rose to take his departure ; but, at the son, and refused to act as my son, carnest solicitations of his son, he con. when you withheld the paltry sum for sented to remain for a few days, only which I begged, yet I could not refrain on condition that he should pay for his from coming once more to look on my board and lodging. To this Mrs. Lawchild's face-to look on the face of my son made a feint of resistance, but departed wife in your's-for I know agreed in the end, as the terms offered that a very brief period must finish my by the old man were very advantalife now. I should not have come here,
geous. I feel I know it is the weakness of “I shall soon have a lodging for my nature-I should have died amongst which no mortal is called on to paystrangers, for the strangers of other the great mother-earth,” said the old countries, the people of a different man, “and I am glad, glad to escape from hue, and a different language, I have this money-governed world. Do not found kind and pitiful, compared with smile so blandly on me, both of you, those of my own house.
and attend me with such false tender“Oh, don't say so—don't say so- ness. There, take it away," he said, as you are our own beloved father; ah, Mrs. Lawson was placing her most my heart clings to every feature of comfortable footstool under his feet; your poor, dear, old face; there are “ there was no attendance, no care, the eyes and all that I used to talk to not a civil action or kind look for me Henry so much about. Don't talk of when I was poor John Lawson, the strangers--I shall nurse you and attend silly, most silly old man, who had to you night and day.”
given up all to bis son and his son's She made a movement, as if she wife, for the love of them, and ex. pected, like a fool as he was, to live when the old man's wealth would be with them on terms of perfect equality, her own. She drew glorious mental and to have the family purse open to pictures of how she would burst from him for any trifling sums he wished to behind the shadowing cloud of povertake. Go, go for God's sake ; try and ty, and dazzle all her acquaintances. look bitterly on me now, as you did Her dress, her carriage, her style of when you forced me out of your house. living would be unique in her rank of I detest your obsequious attentions_I life for taste and costliness. She would was as worthy of them ten years ago,
show them she had got money-money before I dragged down my old age to at last-more money than them all. the debasing efforts of money-making. Now at last she sat and saw the will You know I am rich ; you would wor- being opened; she felt that it was a ship my money in me now. Not a smil- mere formality, for the old man had ing look, not a soft word you bestow no one but them to whom he could on me, but is for my riches, not for leave his money; she never once doubtme. Ay, you think you have my ed but all would be theirs; she had wealth in your grasp already; you know reasoned, and fancied herself into the I cannot live long. Thank God that my firm conviction. Her only fear was, life is almost ended, and I hope my that the amount might not be so large death will be a benefit to you, in soft- as she calculated on. ening your hard hearts."
She saw the pacquet opened. Her Mrs. Lawson drew some hope from eyes dilated, her lips became parched ; his last words, and she turned away her heart and brain burned with a her head to hide the joy which shone fierce eagerness—money, money !—at on her face.
last uttered the griping spirit within In a few days the old man became her. seriously ill, and was altogether con- The will, after beginning in the usual fined to his room. As death evidently formal style, was as follows :approached, his mind became serene “I bequeath to my son Henry's wife, and calm, and he received the atten- Augusta Lawson, å high and noble tions which Mrs. Lawson and his son gift” (Mrs. Lawson almost sprung lavished on him with a silent compo- from her seat with eagerness), “the sure, which led them to hope that greatest of all legacies, I bequeath to he had completely forgotten their pre- Augusta Lawson_Charity! Augusta vious conduct to him.
Lawson refused me a few shillings The night on which he died, he which I wished to bestow on a starving turned to his son, and said a few words, woman; but now I leave her joint a very few words, regarding worldly executrix, with my son Henry, in the matters. He exhorted Henry to live distribution of all my money and all in a somewhat less expensive style, and my effects, without any reservation, in to cultivate a spirit of contentment charity, to be applied to such chariwithout riches; then he blessed God table purposes as in this, my last will that he was entering on a world in and testament, I have directed.” which he would hear no more of mo- Then followed a statement of his efney, or earthly possession. He re. fects and money, down to the most mimained in a calm sleep during the nute particular; the money amounted greater part of the night, they thought, to a very considerable sum; his personal but in the morning they found him effects he directed to be sold, with the dead.
exception of his very valuable diamond The funeral was over, and the time ring, which he bequeathed to the orphan was come in which the old man's will
daughter of the poor relation in whose was to be opened. Mrs. Lawson had house he had taken refuge, and rewaited for that moment-she would mained for a short time, previous to his have forcibly dragged time onwards to going abroad. All the proceeds of his that moment- she had execrated the other effects, together with the whole long hours of night since the old man's amount of his money, he bequeathed death-she had still more anathema- for different charitable purposes, and tised the slowly passing days, when gave minute directions as to the man. gazing furtively through a corner of ner in which various sums were to be the blinded window, she saw fine equi- expended. The largest amount he dipages and finely-dressed ladies passing, rected to be distributed in yearly dona. and she planned how she would shine tions amongst the most indigent old
men and women within a circuit of ten the old man bad for some years remiles of his native place. Those who sided; a codicil, containing the bequest were residing with their sons, and their of the ring, with some further particusons' wives, were to receive by far the lars regarding the charities, had been largest relief. He appointed as trus- added a few days previous to the old tees two of the most respectable mer- man's death. chants of the town, to whom he
Mrs. Lawson was carried fainting authority to see the provisions of his from the room before the reading of will carried out, in case his son the will was concluded. She was and Mrs. Lawson should decline seized with violent fever, and her life the duties of executorship which was despaired of. She recovered, he had bequeathed to them; the however, and from the verge of the trustees were to exercise a surveil- eternal existence on which she had lance over Mr. and Mrs. Lawson, been, she returned to life with a less to see that the will should in every worldly and ostentatious nature, and particular be strictly carried into effect. a soul more alive to the impulses of The will was dated, and duly signed kindness and charity. in the town in South America where
A FLIGHT OF LADY-BIRDS.
Is the disappointing year of 1848– a howling wilderness. Such was his that year parturient, as it seemed, and condition, intellectual and
moral, only seemed, of revolutions in Ireland, when, looking with bleared and bloodand at a time when it was most prolific shot eyes into the face of a friend, he of menace and convulsion, we had the told bis melancholy tale, and supplifortune to be present when a singular cated counsel. advice was given to an agitated indi. The chamber in which this earnest vidual, and (contrary to the usual fate request was made, rises around us as of such non-expensive generosities) we write. It was a library, quaintly was accepted and acted on. The but highly ornamented in the elab)party to whom this counsel was given rate decorations of the olden time. had suffered much mental disquiet, Richly carved cases contained treaunder a persuasion that the Repeal sures of higher price than anything of threatenings meant more mischief than mere material structure. But there the transitory disorder they excited. were manifest proofs that that vast Day after day he read of mustering treasury of disciplined thought was clubs, daring conspiracies, and mon- suffered to rest untouched on shelves, ster meetings ; speeches like streams where it was carefully put “out of the of burning lava rent their way through way;" and that the slow-ripened wishis affrighted memory in deluges of dom of the days gone by had become fire; literal and bodily forms of pistol, superseded by the prolific out-pourings and pike, and dagger, assumed a spec- of ready literature, and politics, and tral influence over bis tortured imagi- partisan, as well as personal, excitenation; and, incapable of conceiving ment, which commend the daily press that the swelling ambitions and the des- to its readers. This was manifestly perate resolutions of Conciliation Hall the form in which written thought asand the Councils, could possibly die similated most promptly to the mental tamely out, as they did, in Ballingarry, constitution of our perturbed friend. he lived in a fever of fear; his dream Folios and octavos reposed undisturbby night, his thought by day, that im- ed in their monumental receptacles ; pending convulsion of blood and crime, chairs and tables, carpet and lounin which, whoever were the victors, ger, were overspread, confusedly and the country would become worse than thickly, with piles of newspapers, read
or in process of perusal. On this de- stances, the contrivers of this imagipartment of the patient's studious pur- nary existence incur, it is manifest, suit, the counsel he solicited took an a serious responsibility, that there be effect of extermination. " Cast them no unwholesome agencies in those reout-cast them all out," said his friend; treats where they offer refreshment to “put yourself under a course of the the weary, and health to “the mind ancients; and, whatever you do, ab. diseased.” We have known the horror jure newspapers for a year, or until of thick darkness with which a vitiated this tyranny be overpast.”.
nervous system has oppressed a sad It is unnecessary, and would be spirit, dispersed by a chapter of Lever wearisome, to continue the history of or Dickens; and we have known when this consultation through all its fuc- a page of imaginary terrors has feartuating details. Sufficient it is to say, fully prevailed over a mind feebly that a compromise was entered into struggling with ideal calamities, and betwecn adviser and advised. Ancients, confirmed its affliction into a state of and moderns worthy to be their as- melancholy madness. Books, the sociates in the severer exercises of medicine of the soul," as they have genius, were suffered to sleep in been styled, “must be,” it has been their place of rest. Newspapers were well observed, “ adapted, as any other placed under a temporary interdict, medicine, to the disease they are to and a new flight of literary visitants descended on the library-table. Our And, assuredly, if in the abundance disquieted friend changed the charac- of counsellors there is always safety, ter with the cause or subject of his light literature, in this our day of men. alarms. Fictitious perplexities and tal enterprise, has one strong claim to distresses awakened a new kind of in- be respected. It is omnigenous and terest. Anxiety and alarm, in chang- abundant. Not only have we seen ing their object, changed their nature. the rising of two or three lights of If, when the harpies were chased away most commanding influence, but the from the feasts they persecuted and " minora sidera " amidst which they polluted, the sylvan shades they had shine begem our firmament in vast infested became populous with singing profusion, and in various instances birds, and the Trojan bands, as they beam upon us with a very salubrious resumed their places at the table, were efficacy. We have now before us a saluted by the richest harmony the starry host; but why should we hold forest boughs could offer—the change ourselves trammelled in the meshes would not be greater than was that in of those embarrassing metaphors, the life of our friend, when the threat- and call our octavos and duodecimos cnings of the daily press were denied by the name of stars. We have admission to his study, and a light li- on the table before us an assortment terature, in which politics had no of pictures, some well
, some little, part, came on to superscde them. known; some which trace their being
Regarded in this somewhat utilita- to authors of name-some which are rian aspect, light literature is, as it were, to make a name for their authors; a salubrious retreat for the great mass among whom, by the way, the prayer of intellectual valetudinarians. The of Ossian's hero is the ordinary lanfew can appease their mental disquiet, guage of their ambitions, that they
and escape from harrowing care, by may be known in their posterity, and exploring the paths of science or be, as was Morni the father of Gaul, learning—the wisdom of “divine phi- known as authors of the works in which losophy;" the many, who cannot “hold their intellectual being is reproduced. their pace on deep experiments," must We will open our stores :seek a readier relief--their change of And first to our hand come “ The air must be to a lighter style of literary Ogilvies ;"* a novel in three volumes, occupation.
the composition, as rumour has it, of a If readers may thus be influenced lady, and a young lady. It is a slight for good by the creations of thought, story, with little in its plot out of the into which they withdraw from dis. ordinary track, but having scenes and quietudes of condition or circum- situations of much interest, and indi
“ The Ogilvies:" Chapman and Hall. 1819.
cative of far more than ordinary power. 11. It is true it is all true!' she cried The subject of the story is that which joy has come at last. This day I shall be we regard as en regle-" The course of his wife this day, nay, this hour; and he true love never did run sinooth.” A will be mine—mine only-nine for ever!' walking gentleman, while suing for tho
“As she stood, her once drooping form was
sublimited into almost superhuman beauty love of one fair creature, wins the af. fections of another. Rejected by the
-the beauty which had dawned with the
dawning love. It was the same face, radiant object of his love, as usual, be leaves
with the same shining, which had kindled the country; and, at his return, finds
into passionate hope the young girl who the elighted girl grown into majestic once gazed into the mirror at Summerwood. vomanhood, a wife and a beauty. But ten times inore glorious was the loveli. We regret to read of moral delinquen- ness born of the hope fulfilled. cies in fiction, and wish lady.writers "The hope fulfilled! Could it be so, when, especially would eschew them. But excited by this frenzied joy, there darted what are our wishes in the judgment
through her heart that warning pang? She of a novelist? The hero of the tale,
sank on the bed, struck with a cold numbwho had unthinkingly awakened an
ness. Above the morning sounds without
the bees humming among the roses, the interest in the heart of the half child,
swallows twittering in the eaves-Katharino half girl, with whom he entertained
heard and felt the death-pulse, which warned himself while wooing her obdurate her that her hours were numbered. cousin, avows a passion under the cir
“To die, so young still, so full of life and cumstances in which he ought to have love-to sink from Lynedon's arms to the thwarted and concealed it; and, in- cold dark grave-to pass from this glad stead of Aying, as he flew when his spring sunshine into darkness, and silence, prayer was rejected, he remains within and nothingness ! it was a horrible doom! the circle of his new, but too tardy
And it might come at any moment soon
soon-perhaps even before the bridal! affection, long enough to tell his sin
" It shall not come ! shrieked the voice of ful story. An accident of a deplor
Katharine's despair, though her palsied lips able character comes to the rescue of
scarcely gave vent to the sound. the compromised and perilled wife and " " I will live to be his wife, if only for one “friend.” The husband, as if in com
week, one day, one hour! Love has conpliance with the half-formed wishes of
quered life_it shall conquer death! I will his unhappy partner, meets a sudden not die !'' and violent death. A marriage follows "She held her breath; she strove to press between what may well be called the down the pulsations that stirred her very guilty parties; and as they return garments; she moved her feeble, ice-bound from the ceremony by which they were
limbs, and stood upright. united_even in an hour after the con
“ I must be calm, vory calm. What is this secrated words are spoken—the in
poor weak body to my strong soul ? I will
fight with death I will drive it from me. auspicious marriage is dissolved
Love is my life, nought else : while that lasts "Who comes from the bridal chamber ?– Azrael,
I cannot die ! the angel of death."
“But still the loud beating choked her very
breath, as she moaned, “Paul, Paul, come! We cite the passage in which this Save me, clasp me; let your spirit pass into catastrophe, unprecedented in ro- mine and give me life-life!' mance, is recorded. We cite at a dis- “And while she yet called upon his name, advantage, because the reader will Katharine heard from below the voice of her peruse it without any feeling of sus- bridegroom. He came bounding over the pense; and yet we shall be much disap- little gate, and entered the rose-porch, wear.. pointed if it do not convey an idea of ing a bridegroom's most radiant mien. She power and genius, which demands only
saw him ; she heard him asking for her; a careful culture to become eminentin
scarce perceptible anxiety trembled through his cheerful tone. Could she cast over his
happiness the cold horror which froze her " Katharine finished the letter all but the
own? could she tell himn that his bride was signature. A few hours more, and she would write as her own that long-beloved bring him joy, even to the last.
doomed ? No; she would smile, she would name. The thought came upon her with a
"Tell him I am coming,' she said, in flood of bewildering joy. She leaned her
a calm, cheerful voice, to the nurse who forehead on the paper in one long, still pause; repeated Lynedon's anxious summons. And and then sprang up, pressing her clasped
then Katharine bathed her temples, smoothed hands in turns to her heaving breast and
her hair, and went to meet her bridegroom." throbbing temples, in a delirium of rapture that was almost pain.
In this strain the story proceeds VOL. XXXVI.-NO. CCXI.