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lies, with nothing-save the grain that memory scratches from the dunghill of her past existence-to guarantee her one sigh of regret, and without even the tear of pretended wailing to hallow her remains.
The neighbours were all recalling to mind her good qualitiesalbeit, it required but little stretch of calculation,-and a few, from the extreme generosity of their nature, or else from the influence of the moment-a far stronger motive than many imagine--were giving her credit for bonos mores, to which poor Poll herself in her life-day would never have dreamt of laying claim, even in her most sanguine fits. Before we permit them to speak, let us finish our description of the room and company.
We have before stated, that the corpse was stretched on a deal table. It was overspread with a large course linen sheet, and the face, the only part visible above the covering, showed clean beneath a snowy mob-cap.
Upon the corpse were placed two delf plates; the one, filled with tobacco cut into minute portions being placed near the head; the other, sprinkled with salt, over the feet. On the smaller table some dozen and a half brass candlesticks furnished with penny dips and disposed in regular file, filled the room with an acceptable light; and their sockets being ornamented with white paper cut into fine shreds, gave them a ghastly look, in good keeping with the sallow corpse and the white sheet.
The company were scattered through the apartment in buzzing groups. As yet no fun had been set a going; and though a loud laugh might be heard now and then issuing from some wag telling his own story, or young girl tickled into risibility by her lover making too free with her ribs, accompanied with a drawled out “behaave;" true decorum was still inviolate, and respect preserved.
Upon a form near the body with their faces turned inwards, and each with a well-filled dudeen* between her teeth, sat four old crones, who alone seemed to take any interest in the fate of the poor washerwoman, as we may gather from the following colloquial
“ Thrue fur you, Misthress Delany, honey,” said Honor Fitzpatrick, echoing a remark of the parish midwife, while she applied the bowl of her dudeen to the candle, and sucked in the flame with haste and energy," thrue fur you, poor Poll—no use in talkin', was the darlinest washer in the three kingdoms; and as fur ironin' and clear starchin'—mouja! she flogged-there was'nt the likes of her no where.”
“That nobody can or will dispute, Honor, gra," replied the midwife, who was considered a woman of repute in her calling; and who, from being employed by the ladies of the town and country upon all necessary occasions, had caught a tincture of
* A short pipe.
genteelness in her phraseology, was recognised as Nance Morrissy, the nurse-tender, or Honor Fitzpatrick, the nailor's wife, as a person' entirely off the common;' and one whose presence conferred on them no small favor at wake or wedding," Poll, indeed, was all you said; and though she was too much predicted to intossication for speritual liquiors, she never did no mortle manner o' harum to man, woman, or child, as long as the breath was in her body."
" Axin pardon for conthradictin, Mistress Delany,” said Mrs. Anty Donroche, the huckster, "sure enough, Poll, God rest her sowi”—here she paused, made the sign of the cross on her forehead with the thumb of her right hand, the devotional observance being copied by the other three, and blew her nose in the corner of her bird's-eye apron ;--"Poll
, the crathur, liked a drop as well as most people, and where, I'd like to know, is them thit does'nt ? Is it the quality?- Moshtha faikins! Its thim thit loves the Nance* betther nor we cares for the whiskey ?--An' is'nt it always undher the great ladies' boulsthers every night? So it is; an' they purtendin' havin' head-aches, an' maygrims—an' they falls inta starricks, an' they gits a sup o' the lick-cures, as they calls the brandy; and sure enough they're often sick, an' small blame to ’em, seeing the physick is so comfortable an' nice. An' the cor’ner, an' the juntlemin on the jury this day, found poor oul Poll died odhrinkin, when every body in his siven sinces knows very well, thit ony fur Fogarty's hole, she'd be here this minnit to the fore :-bad loock fur ever attend the jury and cor'ner, fresh an fastin'; and glad we'd all be, God knows! to see her purtakin' in the night's fun, an" —
" I'm sorry, Anty Donroche," said the midwife, interrupting her in rather a sharpish tone; “ I'm very sorry indeed! so I am, that you should forgit yourself so far as to-to forgit yourself before a corp, and not pay that respect due to the dead, by cursin' a parcel o' men who did nothing but their duty-duty to God and their country, and all for the best; and as for poor Poll! Jasus be good to her!"
" Amen!" echoed Nance Morrissy.
“ Jasus be good to her, I say!" continued Mrs. Delany,“ I must observe, 'twas partly her own faut, and partly her own disposiel, sence Poll, the crathur, 'id have pass’d by twinty Fogarty's holes till doomsday, and not have wetted the soles of her brogues, if she had'nt put herself--and too much, too-undher the influence of dhrink.'
The controversy ceased. There were two strong reasons for this. First, Mistress Delany held her tongue, imagining her arguments unanswerable; next, Mrs. Donroche did not like to dispute with so influential a body as the midwife, and gave up the contest.
* For Nantz Brandy.
“ That Tim Doolan is a lauchy, good nathur'd sowl,” said Honor Fitzpatrick, breaking the silence," to send a gallon of sperits, an' the whishkey riz tuppens a pint.”
“ He was ever, an' always that, sence he came here,” added Nance Morrissy.
An' so funny," joined the huckster. " And so chattible and convaarsable," agreed the midwife.
“I wondher when the whishkey 'ill be given out?” enquired Anty.
When Tim comes," answered two together. “ It's late enough,” said Anty, refilling her pipe. “Musha! here's Tim at last,” exclaimed Honor Fitzpatrick. “ God be praised!" ejaculated Anty, as Tim entered.
(To be continued.)
FORGET ME NOT.
When pleasure gilds thy happy day,
Forget me not!
When other friends around thee smile,
Forget me not!
Where'er thro' life's eventful day,
Forget me not !
But oh! should anguish, pain, or woe,
Forget me not !
LILLA OF LAUTERBRUNNEN.
TRAVELLING southward in the Canton of Berne, and not far from the little village of Lauterbrunnen, I became incited with the desire of spending a short time in its vicinity; being resolved to visit the well known cataract of the Staubbach, (and the almost numberless torrents which, on advancing up the valley, may be seen falling and glittering from rock to rock; some dashing perpendicularly from an immense altitude; others threading their "silvery falls until they reach the stream;") which at first a rill, swells at length into the silent river, wending its course along until, mixing in the dark waters of the Schwarge Lutschinen, it loses itself in the lake of Brientz, and not, as is commonly supposed, in the Aar.
It was towards this lake that I was myself bound; but as my journey was one of friendship, being about to visit a brother officer, who had taken up his abode in that neighbourhood, I saw no reason why I might not indulge my fancy in exploring some of the beauties of the Lauterbrunnen valley. Born in a forest, and early inured to the rude scenes of nature, it could be no wonder that a love of romance had been engendered in my disposition; and although the scenes and toils of a military life had contributed to dull the enthusiasm of boyhood, there needed but the first fair scene of Switzerland, to awaken it to fresh vigour.
Having settled myself, therefore, in the most comfortable quarters the humble auberge afforded, I took my way along the path that led towards the Staubbach; not that I intended to reach the cataract, for the blue vapours of evening were already stealing along the valley; but it was a pleasure, a delicious pleasure, to be alone, to mark the everlasting mountains; now rising at my very feet, now fading in the soft and airy distances; and seating myself upon a mass of rock, which appeared to have been rent from the precipice above my head, I continued for some time gazing on the mighty scene.
The frisking of a young chamois, and the bleating of its dam, were the first objects that aroused me from the contemplation into which I had unconsciously fallen. The sounds were social—they were those of a living object, and as they broke upon my ear, contrasted with the solitude by which I was surrounded, I could not but acknowledge, that however deep the delight born of such a solitude, there was a chord in the human heart, which toned it back to life; and I continued to watch the active gambols of the little animal, until the last ray of sunlight had faded away into gloom.
Accustomed, however, to moonlight wandering, I still pursued my way, which branching obliquely from the path that led to the Staubbach, brought me at length to the confines of a small valley, so soft, so peaceful, so unlike the majestic scenery of the one I had just quitted, that it seemed as if nature, wearied with the havoc she had made in the Lauterbrunnen valley, must have here reposed herself. I know not how long I might have remained in my present situation, had not this second dream of fascination been broken by a voice, the tones of which, sent back as they were by the peculiar situation of the place, can never be forgotten. Again and again I listened, and again the same sweet sounds were on mine ear.
Thomasin, Thomasin, why linger? why?” What was there in these simple words ?-nothing! but the pathos with which they were uttered, and the deep melody of the tone, sank into my heart.
“ Thomasin," was a second time reiterated; but more touchingly, and as if the absence of the person thus called upon was the cause of uneasiness to the speaker.
“Thomasin-dear Thomasin, where!--where?”. Still no reply was given. Vainly the name of Thomasin was reiterated, and as vainly did I endeavour to catch a glimpse of one whose voice, even when silent, was speaking in fancy. At length a cry like that of childhood was indistinctly returned on the breeze: it was succeeded by the words, "Lilla-sister-the deep-deep waters
-I cannot come.” But inaudible and unconnected as they were to me, they evidently carried sounds of terror to her: who so recently called upon the name of Thomasin, for a deep sob succeeded, and then, the rustling of foliage so near as to cause me to believe the sounds might be followed by the presence of the individual I now so earnestly wished to behold.
In a moment, however, all was again silent. I heard nothingsaw nothing. The dark pines, through whose branches the moon faintly penetrated, waved above me; in front was the beautiful valley, clear in chrystal loveliness; but Lilla, that Lilla whom fancy had already decked in all the light charms of youth and beauty, was nowhere to be seen; and, after some time spent in a state of anxious, uncertain expectation, I returned dissatisfied to my quarters.
Who then was Lilla? I enquired of every one in and about the auberge, but though several professed to have heard similar sounds to myself, none had seen such a person; and having settled down all I had heard to one of the supernatural occurrences with which they affirmed the Oberland to abound, they permitted me to draw what conclusions I might. But, however, the simplicity of the Lauterbrunnens might lean to superstition, mine was not a disposition to be so easily contented; and the first beam of morning beheld me again on my way in search of what.