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stand behind with a Speisekorb on arm-no place was clean enough to receive it; and as for ourselves, we had been better off in an English pigsty. So out we sallied, tired, hungry, chilly and dirty, and in the very worst of all possible humours with the Fleck and all its inhabitants, and sat down in the churchyard to while away the time. The Fleck, however, boasts a history; has fragments of a castle and monastery still standing; has been besieged over and over again, and almost burnt down several times—I heartily wish it had been so quite. After studying all the inscriptions in the churchyard, alternately German and Estonian, with here and there a stray Swedish memento, and looking at our watches to hurry time in vain, we returned to our carriage, where poor tired Sascha was enjoying a short oblivion from her woes. Rather than disturb her, we bethought ourselves to try an Estonian krug close by, for those incarnations of nastiness who had assailed us on our arrival were Germans, and would have scorned to be confounded with the peasantry; and here we found, though no great accommodation, yet a clean table and chair in the hostess's room-a brisk, handsoine creature, whom we disturbed from her spinning-wheel at the side of her sleeping child, and who soon took her place in my sketch-book.
“From Leal we passed through a country uninteresting, with the exception of an oak-wood of great age and beauty—a sight of uncommon occur. rence—and blocks of granite of immense size which towered above the cornfields, and by ten o'clock reached our journey's end."-Vol. ii. pp. 39–51.
The length to which our extracts have been carried precludes the possibility of entering into the picture of Russian society with that deliberation which the subject demands. A woman's observation on morals and manners may stop half way; but within its own range it possesses a fineness, a justice warm from the heart, which the better balanced but duller powers of Man do not possess. The home made comfortless by fraud, corruption and tyrannous power abroad; the frivolity of a social circle in which noble thoughts dare not spring, or etiquettes and observances, which, however ruinous, must not be disregarded, may be taken on the word of a young lady as implicitly as upon the testimony of a man, be he even belonging to the experienced and inquisitive classes of soldier and sailor travellers. There is a strange coincidence between our lady's more delicate and graceful pencillings, and the sharper Russian sketches since given to the public by Captain Jesse. If we are to believe in the multitude of witnesseswhat next? The answer is too long and grave for the present occasion. A third lady is still waiting.
This is Miss Costello, for whose pleasant books on the French provinces we have a great partiality. Save Mr. Hughes's 'Itinerary of Provence and the Rhone,' a work or two on Normandy, and four thick volumes, in which Mr. T. Adolphus Trollope has described what he saw in the French provinces—much as his mother's son might be expected to do; coarsely, cleverly, with a quantum sufficit of presumption and prejudice, we have had far too few books on the interior of France. The authors of the country have themselves kept a strange silence on all their world beyond the Barrière de l'Etoile. It is true that here and there a Balzac or a George Sand will indulge some fond remembrance by making a particular nook the scene of a story; and M. Emile Souvestre has put forth his · Les Dernièrs Bretons;' and Victor Hugo, on his way to the Rhine, set down the antiquities he studied, as well as the adventures which befell him on the road to the frontier; but this makes up a meagre account of satisfaction for the curiosity we cannot but feel, concerning the rest of that fine country, of which Paris is the crown. To satisfy this, Miss Costello was unusually qualified. Her volume of translations from the ancient French poets, published some years ago, proved her to be not only a thorough mistress of the language, but also fairly versed in the historical and traditional lore which gives a charm to every crumbling village, to every quaint mass of ruin ; and, beyond these gifts, to possess also that graceful and poetical spirit, without which Antiquarianism is but (in the eyes of the million) a heart-wearying pursuit, and translation a school task, dry to read as it was hard to accomplish. The present volumes are agreeably diversified by metrical specimens, which, though hardly equal in interest and finish to those contained in Miss Costello's former works, ought not wholly to be passed over. We shall give a part of one of the Chansons of the Chatelain de Coucy, recalled by the authoress under the ruined walls of his castle.
“La douce voix du louseignol sauvage," etc.
Sings night and day and tells a thousand tales,
My power comes back, and song at length prevails ;
Who long has held me in her gentle sway;
And proud that she will listen to my lay.
Alas! no changeful thoughts my fancy knew,
Since first I learnt, through her, to love so well;-
But never dare the tender truth to tell.
Her beauty fills my soul with sweet dismay;
Yet have no power to turn my eyes away.
Go, song, and whisper all I dare not say,
For I am banish’d, yet still linger near,
Nor would their melody should reach her ear.
And beg from her some sweet return again;
Who keep us sighing thus in absent pain!"-Vol. i. pp. 66, 67. These volumes everywhere contain indicia that, beside the poet's mind, Miss Costello, like the lady of the Letters from the Baltic,' possesses the artist's hand. Her style is incorrect, and liable to the charge of a prosy minuteness; but the following passages, selected almost at random, are nearly as lively in the forms and colours they display as the charming descriptions in the late Mrs. Boddington's "Sketches in the Pyrenees'-a book we have not forgotten, and which is fitly commended, though only with a passing word, in an article on female travellers. Our reference to it implies high praise of Miss Costello, which we think the following fragments will justify.
"Among the many walks we took at Thiers, one to the Château des Hauts was peculiarly agreeable. There is but little remaining of the ancient castle, which now, as a modern house, belongs to a family described to us as another band of brothers like the stalwart sons of Hardicanute, all handsome and fine-looking-six proper youths and tall.' The last of them lives with a ci-devant fairly fair, his sister; both are nearly eighty; and both were confined with the gout, which prevented their extending to us in person the hospitality for which they are celebrated in the country. Their castle stands on a high hill in a most beautiful position, with all the mountains of Auvergne around it, and, before it was ruined by the Revolution, must have been a very handsome domain.
“ We were permitted to remain in the gardens full of flowers, and sit beneath the fine trees as long as we pleased, while two or three servants, all apparently partaking of their master's liberality and suavity, stood by relating anecdotes of the family, and lamenting that we were not received as guests in consequence of the illness of Monsieur, who would be quite in despair when he found we had been without his having an opportunity of doing the honours of his château.
“We were seated on a bench in a fine walk, before which was a large green where clothes were drying: a magnificent prospect of mountain and vale was spread beneath the adjoining meadows and corn-fields; and we were told all, as far as we could see, once belonged to the Seigneur des Hauts, but had passed away to other hands at the Revolution, which had left but a small domain and fortune to the most generous and amiable of men.
“Looking up I saw close beside us, and gazing in our faces with a radiant expression of delight, a little, ragged, half-clad boy, with a pair of the blackest and funniest eyes I ever beheld, cheeks like peonies, and face like the full-moon; his curly dark hair flying in the breeze, and his chubby hands full of leaves and flowers : he was leaning on the back, or rather embracing the neck of an enormous handsome dog, who seemed to share his curiosity, and looked as carelessly happy as himself. We gave him some sous, which seemed to delight him past expression : he exhibited his treasure with glee, and was immediately pounced upon by the old housekeeper and her assistant, and dragged towards us in order that he might express his gratitude in fitting terms. Struggling and laughing he complied, and then, with his friend the dog, began bounding and rolling about the lawn.
“ I asked who he was. 'Ah! c'est un petit malheureux !' was the reply.
“The walk to the château is precipitous, but very rural and pleasant. We parted with our guide on our return, as we wished to enjoy the fine summer day at our leisure amongst the piled-up rocks and grassy knolls which invited us to wander from the direct path. I sat down to sketch a most extraordinary altar of rocks on a height which had a very Druidical form, and seemed well calculated to be the hiding-place of dwarfs and fairies. Below us, at a great depth, hurried along the foaming river, whose hoarse murmurs we heard as it dashed over the masses which impeded its sinuous course along the wooded valley. An immense rugged rock, called La Mayeride, raised its irregular surface and jagged edges on the opposite side of the gorge down wbich we gazed. Corn was waving in fields so precipitous, that it seemed a marvel how the ground could ever be ploughed : a thousand wild flowers of every colour were shaking their bells and blossoms in the soft wind; the bright sun chequered the green sward with its light gleaming through the leaves of beech and acacia ; butterflies were flitting here and there, and everything was glowing, peaceful and warm as summer weather could be, when suddenly a low roar was heard, a few large drops came plashing among the branches, and the whole face of things was changed. Torrents of rain came pouring down, and we were forced to fly for shelter into the shallow fairy caverns of the Pierres Plats, as the pile I was drawing is called; but the storm came on thicker and faster, with occasional intervals of calm, during one of which we escaped, and began the slippery descent which was to conduct us back to Thiers. We had not, however, proceeded far, when, the violence of the rain increasing, we were fain to follow the example of a pretty young woman in a large straw hat tied with a blue riband, who hurried into a hut by the way-side.
“There we found she was at home; but, unlike an English peasant, appeared entirely unoccupied except in standing listlessly watching the storm as it beat against the casement and in at the open door. At one end of the cottage sat a sullen-looking man lazily twisting broom, of which a large pile filled one side of the chamber; a forge and all the implements of a considerable trade were before him, but he was not at work, nor preparing for it. From time to time he looked up at us, and at last addressed some remark in broad patois to his wife, whose manners seemed much superior to his own, and who spoke very good French. We apologized for having in. truded, and thanked him for the shelter his shed afforded us. He seemed to care little whether we stayed or went, but presently motioned that a wooden bench should be pushed towards us. Encouraged by this approach towards civility, I ventured to enter into conversation with him, assisted by his wife as interpreter. He asked me, as usual, a great many questions, and seemed curious to know some particulars of England. * * * As usual, the little intelligence he had enabled him to talk politics and abuse the government, which he seemed as capable as his neighbours of remodelling to advantage.” --Vol. ii. pp. 102-107.
The close of this passage admits us to a view of the political bias of our authoress. It is curious, by the way, to observe with what eagerness the travelling Englishwoman, when she is abroad, betakes herself to decide upon subjects she has had no opportunity or inclination for studying at home! But Miss Costello's love for the days when “the right divine” was the predominant influence, may possibly be nothing more than a natural appanage to her antiquarianism; at all events her sympathies and judgements are merely insinuated, instead of being, like Miss Sedgwick's, thrust upon her readers “at point of fox.” Her sins too, in the matter of personality, are far less in amount than those of either lady whom she is here placed in company with. One poor literary man, it is true, whom she encountered at St. Amand, meets with but sorry treatment at her hands. Though he civilly volunteered his services as guide and cicerone, Miss Costello, on learning his quality and calling, seems to have regarded him with as sudden and ladylike a disdain as if her own hands were guiltless of the cunning of pen and ink, and she belonged to the silly myriad of her sex, who are willing either to stare at an author or to sneer at him, but would rather submit to the ennui of any fool's flattery, than associate with the writer as a human being. We notice this, because it is one of the affectations most deeply burnt into the class of professional literary people. One