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men anil women within a circuit of ten the old man hail for some vears remiles of his native place. Those who sided; a codicil, containing the bequest were residing with their sons, and their oi' the ring, with some further particu. sons' wives, were to receive by far the lars regarding the charities, had been largest reliet. lie appointeil 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 gave 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 ellect. 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 his melancholy tale, and supplifortune to be present when a singular cated counsel. advice was given to an agitated indi. The chamber in which this carnest 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 clabiparty to whom this counsel was given rate decorations of the olden time. had suffered much mental disquiet, Richly curved 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 ibe prolific out-pourings and pike, and dlagver, assumed a spec- of ready literature, and politics, and tral intiuence over his 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 manitestly 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 nonumental receptacles ; pending convulsion of blood and crime, chairs and tables, carpet and lounin which, whoever were the victors, ger, were overspread, coníuseilly 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 imagi. partment 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. 6. 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 fluc- a page of imaginary terrors has feartuating details. Sufiicient it is to say, fully prevailed over a mind feebly that a compromise was entered into struggling with ideal calamities, and between 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 bas 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 cure." descen,led 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 enings 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 supersede 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 :seck 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 ihe into which they withdraw from dis- ordinary track, but having scenes and quietudes of condition or circum- situations of much interest, and indi.
** The lzilvies:" Chapman and Ilall. 1819.
cative of far more than ordinary power. The subject of the story is that which we regard as en regle—“ The course of true love never did run smooth." A walking gentleman, while suing for the love of one fair creature, wins the affections of another. Rejected by the object of his love, as usual, he leaves the country; and, at his return, finds the slighted girl grown into majestic womanhood, a wife and a beauty. We regret to read of moral delinquencies in fiction, and wish lady.writers especially would eschew them. But what are our wishes in the judgment of a novelist? The hero of the tale, who had unthinkingly awakened an interest in the heart of the half child, half girl, with whom he entertained himself while wooing her obdurate cousin, avows a passion under the circumstances in which he ought to have thwarted and concealed it; and, instead of flying, as he flew when his prayer was rejected, he remains within the circle of his new, but too tardy affection, long enough to tell his sin
An accident of a deplorable character comes to the rescue of the compromised and perilled wife and “ friend." The husband, as if in compliance with the half-formed wishes of his unhappy partner, meets a sudden and violent death. A marriage follows between what may well be called the guilty parties; and as they return from the ceremony by which they were united-even in an hour after the consecrated words are spoken—the inauspicious marriage is dissolved
“Who comes from the bridal chamber?- Azrael, the angel of death."
We cite the passage in which this catastrophe, unprecedented in romance, is recorded. We cite at a disadvantage, because the reader will peruse it without any feeling of suspense; and yet we shall be much disappointed if it do not convey an idea of power and genius, which demands only careful culture to become eminent:
*** It is true-- it is all true" she cried joy has come at last. This day I shall be his wife-this day, nay, this hour; and he will be mine—mine only—mine for ever!'
“ As she stood, her once drooping forin was sublimited into almost superhuman beauty -the beauty which had dawned with the dawning love. It was the same face, radiant with the same shining, which had kindled into passionate hope the young girl who once gazed into the mirror at Summerwood. But ten times more glorious was the loveli. ness born of the hope fulfilled.
“The hope fulfilled! Could it be so, when, excited by this frenzied joy, there darted through her heart that warning pang ? She sank on the bed, struck with a cold numbness. Above the morning sounds withoutthe bees humming among the roses, the swallows twittering in the eaves--Katharine heard and felt the death-pulse, which warned her that her hours were numbered.
" To die, so young still, so full of life and love-to sink from Lynedou's arins to the cold dark grave-to pass from this glad spring sunshine into darkness, and silence, and nothingness ! it was a horrible doom! And it might come at any moment—soonsoon--perhaps even before the bridal!
* It shall not come !' shrieked the voice of Katharine's despair, though her palsied lips scarcely gave vent to the sound.
"I will live to be his wife, if only for one week, one day, one hour! Love has conquered life--it shall conquer death! I will not die!'
"She held her breath; she strove to press down the pulsations that stirred her very garments; she moved her feeble, ice-bound limbs, and stood upright.
** I must be calm, very calm. What is this poor weak body to my strong soul ? will fight with death I will drive it from me. Love is my life, nought else : while that lasts I cannot die!
“But still the loud beating choked her very breath, as she moaned, “ Paul, Paul, come ! Save me, clasp me; let your spirit pass into mine and give me life-life!
" And while she yet called upon his name, Katharine heard from below the voice of her bridegroom. He came bounding over the little gate, and entered the rose-porch, wear. ing a bridegroom's most radiant mien. She saw him ; she heard him asking for her; a scarce perceptible anxiety trembled through his cheerful tone. Could she cast over his happiness the cold horror which froze her own? could she tell him that his bride was doomed ? No; she would smile, she would bring him joy, even to the last.
"Tell him I am coming,' she said, in a calm, cheerful voice, to the nurse who repeated Lynedon's anxious summons. And then Katharine bathed her temples, smoothed her hair, and went to meet her bridegroom." In this strain the story proceeds
“ Katharine finished the letter all but the signature. A few hours more, and she would write as her own that long-beloved name. The thought came upon her with a flood of bewildering joy. She leaned her forehead on the paper in one long, still pause; and then sprang up, pressing her clasped hands in turns to her heaving breast and throbbing temples, in a delirium of rapturc that was almost pain.
VOL. XXXVI.-10. CCXI.
through the incidents of the marriage ceremony. It has at length been concluded :
"Earth to earti-ashes to ashes ?" It will come true: I know it will, and it is riglit it should.'
" Lynecion took his bride in his arms, and endeavoured to calm her. He half succeeded, for she looked up in his face with a faint smile. Thank you! I know you love me, my own Paul, my
Suddenly her voice ceased. With a convulsive movement she put her hand to her
art, and her head sank on her husband's breast.
" That instant the awful summons came. Without a word, or sigh, or moan, the spirit passed!
" Katharine was dead. But she died on Paul Lynedon's breast, knowing herself his wife, beloved even as she had loved. For her, such a death was happier than life !"
There is in this passage a reference to an incident in the earlier days of this victim of passion. It is well described :
“ The whole wide world was nothing to her now. She only held the hand which pressed her own with a tender though somewhat agitated clasp, and said to herself, “I am his-he is mine— for ever.' They walked in silence from the church, down the lane, through the roseporch, and into the cottage parlour. Then Katharine felt herself drawn closely, passionately, into his very heart; and she heard the words, once so wildly prayed for, "My Katharine-my wife !'
“In that embrace-in that one long, nevereuding kiss—she could willingly have passed from life into eternity.
" After a while they both began to talk calınly. Paul made her sit by the open window, while he leaned over her, pulling the roses from outside the casement, and throwing them leaf by leaf into her lap. While he did so, she took courage to tell him of the letter to her mother. He murmured a little at the full confession, but when he read it he only blessed her the more for her tenderness towards himself.
May I grow worthy of such love, my Katharine! he said, for the moment deeply touched. “But we must not be sad, dearest. Come, sign your name—your new name. Are you content to bear it?' continued he, with a smile.
“Her answer was another, radiant with intense love and perfect joy. Paul looked over her while she laid the paper on the rosestrewed window-sill, and wrote the words • Katharine Lynedon.'
*** She said them over to herself once or twice with a loving intonation, and then turned her face on her bridegroom's arm, weeping.
"Do not chide me, Paul: I am so happy -so happy! Now I begin to hope that the past may be forgiven us--that we may have a future yet.'
“We may! We will,' was Lynedon's answer. While he spoke, through the hush of that glad May-noon came a sound—dull, solemn! Another, and yet another! It was the funeral bell tolling from the near church tower.
" Katharine lifted up her face, white and ghastly. "Paul, do you hear that ?—and her voice was shrill with terror_ It is our marriage-peal -- we have no other, we ought not to have. I knew it was too late!'
“ Nay, my own love,' answered Paul, becoming alarmed at her look. He drew her nearer to him, but she seemed neither to hear his voice nor to feel his clasp.
“ The bell sounded again. "Hark! hark ! Katharine cried. Paul, do you remember the room where we knelt, you and I ; and of joined our hands, and said the words,
“ Hugh came in, looking not particularly pleased. Though he had a strong suspicion that his sister Eleanor was Paul Lynedon's chief attraction at Summerwood, he never felt altogether free from a vague jealousy on Katharine's account. But the warmth with which his supposed rival met him quite re-assured the simple-hearted, good-natured Hugh; and while the two young men interchanged greetings, Katharine crept away to her own room.
“ There, when quite alone, the full tide of joy was free to flow. With an emotion of almost childlike rapture she clasped her hands above her head.
" " It may come—that bliss ! It may come yet !' she murmured ; and then she repeated his words the words which now ever haunted her like a perpetual music--I almost love Katharine Ogilrie! It may be trueit must be-how happy am I!'
“And as she stood with her clasped hands pressed on her bosom, her head thrown back, the lips parted, the face beaming, and her whole form dilated with joy, Katharine caught a sight of her figure in the opposite mirror. She was startled to see herself so lovely. There is no beautitier like happiness -especially the happiness of love. It often seems to invest with a halo of radiance the most ordinary face and form. No wonder that under its influence Katharine hardly knew her own semblance.
“But, in a moment, a delicious consciousness of beauty stole over her. It was not vanity, but a passionate gladness that thereby she might be more worthy of him. She drew nearer; she gazed almost lovingly on the bright young face reflected there, not as if it were her own, but as something fair and precious in his sight' which accordingly became most dear to hers. She looked into
There is much in this story of sentiment wrought into passion, of which we cannot approve. Such is not the intellectual food on which young minds should be fed; nor is it the species of production in which a young authoress ought to indulge herself. Passion and sentiment, in combination, are too apt to betray. They invent a moral system for themselves; and the rules and laws which are essential to the well-being of society, and which have their origin in a higher source than any notion of human utility, become reft of their authority and eminence, when they rebuke or contend with emotions that have their birth in sin, but can assume the aspect of an angel of light, and never leave it aside until their ruinous ends are accomplished. Most earnestly would we exhort a writer, whose powers we respect as we do those of the au. thor of "The Ogilvies,” to shun in her imaginings, as we are sure she would in her real lite, situations perilous to virtue. Into such situations the current of a story, as the current of life, may hurry those who sought it not. When difficulties of this kind present themselves, they must be struggled with and overcome; but it is our wisdom, in fiction and in fact, not to seek them.
We give one extract as a sample of our author's descriptive power. It is her picture of a cathedral town in England :
minutes' walk would bring you from one extremity to the other-is fully alive to the consciousness of its own (leservings. It is a very colony of Levites; who, devoted to the temple service, shut out from their precincts any unholy thing. But this unholiness is. an epithet of their own affixing, not Heaven's. It means not merely what is irreligious, but what is ungenteel, unaristocratic, unconser vative.
“Yet there is much that is good about the place and its inhabitants.
The latter may well be proud of their ancient and beautiful city_beautiful not so much in itself as for its situation. It lies in the midst of a fertile and gracefully undulated region, and consists of a cluster of artistically irregular and delieiously old-fashioned streets, of which the nucleus is the cathedral. This rises aloft with its three airy spires, so light, so delicately traced, that they have been christened the Ladies of the Vale. You may see them for miles and miles looking almost like a fairy building against the sky. The city has an air of repose, an old-world look, which becomes it well. No railway has yet disturbed the sacred peace of its antiquity, and here and there you may see grass growing in its quiet streets, -over which you would no more think of thundering in a modern equipage than of driving a coach-and-four across the graves of your ancestors.
“ The whole atmosphere of the place is that of sleepiness and antique propriety. The people do everything, as Boniface says, . soberly.' They have grave dinner-parties, once or twice in the year; a public ball, as solemn as a funeral; a concert now and then, very select and proper ;-and so it is that society moves on in a circle of polite reguJarities. The resident bishop is the sun of the system ; around which deans, sub-deans, choral vicars, and clerical functionaries of all sorts revolve in successive orbits with their separate satellites. But one character, one tone of feeling pervades everybody L-is a city of serene old age. Nobody seems young there—not even the little singing-boys.
“ But the sanctum sanctorum, the penetralia of the city is a small region surrounding the cathedral, entitled the Close. Here abide relics of ancient sanctity, widows of departed deans, maiden descendants of officials who probably chanted anthems on the accession of George III., or on the downfall of the last Pretender. Here, too, is the residence of many cathedrul functionaries who pass their lives within the precincts of the sanctuary. These dwellings have imbibed the clerical and dignified solemnity due to their neighbourhood. It seenis always Sunday in the Close; and the child who should venture to bowl a hoop along its still pave. ment, or play at marbles on its door-steps, would be more daring than ever was infant within the verge of the city of L.
"In this spot was Mrs. Breynton's resi
“ There is, in one of the counties between Devon and Northumberland, a certain cathedral city, the name of which I do not intend to reveal. It is, or was until very lately, one of the few remaining strongholes of high-churchism and conservatism, political and moral. In olden days it almost sacrificed its existence as a city for the cause of King Charles the Martyr; and ever since has kept true to its principles, or at least to that moditication of them which the exigencies of modern times required. And the • loyal and ancient' town—which dignifies itself by the name of city, though a twenty