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were those which treat of the haunts of sea.
I returned to my book--Bewick's History of
British Birds : the letter-press thereof I cared TUER I was no possibility of taking a walk little for, generally speaking ; and yet there that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in were certain introductory pages that, child as i the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; was, I could not pass quite as a blank. They but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind fowl; of “the solitary rocks and promontories" had brought with it clouds so somber, and a by them only inhabited ; of the coast of Norrain so penetrating, that further out-door exer- way, studded with isles from its southern excise was now out of the question.
tremity, the Lindeness, or Naze, to the Nort I was glad of it: I never liked long walks, Cape especially on chilly afternoons : dreadful to me
" Where the Northern Ocean, in vast whirls was the coming home in the raw twilight, with
Boils round the r.aked, melancholy isles nipped fingers and toes, and a heart saddened
Of farthest Thule; and the Atlantic surge by the chidings of Bessie, the nurse, and hum
Pours in among the stormy Hebrides." bled by the consciousness of my physical infe- Nor could I pass unnoticed the suggestion of riority to Eliza, John, and Georgiana Reed. the bleak shores of Lapland, Siberia, Spitzber.
The said Eliza, John, and Georgiana were gen, Nova Zembla, Iceland, Greenland, with now clustered round their mamma in the draw- "the vast sweep of the Arctic Zone, and those ing-room ; she lay reclined on a sofa by the forlorn regions of dreary space that reservoir fireside, and, with her darlings about her 'for of frost and snow, where firm fields of ice, the the time neither quarreling nor crying), looked accumulation of centuries of winters, glazed in perfectly happy. Me, she had dispensed from Alpine heights above heights, surround the pole, joining the group, saying, “She regretted to and concenter the multiplied rigors of extreme be under the necessity of keeping me at a dis- cold.” Of these death-white realms I formed tance; but that until she heard from Bessie, an idea of my own-shadowy, like all the halfand could discover by her own observation that comprehended notions that float dim through I was endeavoring in good earnest to acquire a children's brains, but strangely impressive. more sociable and childlike disposition, a more The words in these introductory pages conattractive and sprightly manner --- something nected themselves with the succeeding vig. lighter, franker, more natural, as it were-she nets, and gave significance to the rock standreally must exclude me from privileges intended ing up alone in a sea of billow and spray; to only for contented, happy little children.” the broken boat stranded on a desolate coast;
“What does Bessie say I have done?" I to the cold and ghastly moon glancing through asked.
bars of cloud at a wreck just sinking. Jane, I don't like cavilers or questioners : I can not tell wl.at sentiment haunted the besides, there is something truly forbidding in a quiet, solitary church-yard with its inscribed child taking up her elders in that manner. Be headstone ; its gate, its two trees, its low horiseated somewhere; and, until you can speak zon, girdled by a broken wall, and its newlypleasantly, remain silent."
risen crescent, attesting the hour of eventide. A small breakfast-room adjoined the drawing- The two ships becalmed on a torpid sea, I room: I slipped in there. It contained a book- believed to be marine phantoms. case: I soon possessed myself of a volume, The fiend pinning down the thief's pack betaking care that it should be one stored with hind him, I passed over quickly: it was an object pictures. I mounted into the window-seat: of terror. gathering up my feet, I sat cross-legged, like a So was the black, horned thing seated aloof Turk; and, having drawn the red moreen cur- on a rock, surveying a distant crowd surroundtain nearly close, I was shrined in double re- ing a gallows. irement.
Each picture told a story ; mysterious often Folds of scarlet drapery shut in my view to to my undeveloped understanding and imperfect the right hand; to the left were the clear panes feelings, yet ever profoundly interesting: as of glass protecting, but not separating, me from interesting as the tales Bessie sometimes narthe grear November day. At intervals, while rated on winter evenings, when she chanced to turning over the leaves of my book, I studied be in good humor; and when, having brought the aspect of that winter afternoon. Afar it her ironing-table to the nursery hearth, she offered a pale blank of mist and cloud ; near, a allowed us to sit about it, and while she got up scene of wet lawn and storm-beat shrub, with Mrs. Reed's lace frills, and crimped her nighiceaseless rain sweeping away wildly before a cap borders, fed our eager attention with passlong and lamentable blast
ages of love and adventure taken from old fairy
tales and older ballads; or (as at a later period of him who would presently deal it. I wonder I discovered) from the pages of Pamela, and if he read that notion in my face; for, all at Henry, Earl of Moreland.
once, without speaking, he struck sudüinly and With Bewick on my knee, I was then happy : strongly. I tottered, and, on regaining my equihappy at least in my way. I feared nothing but | libriun, retired back a step or two from his interruption, and that came too soon. The chair. breakfast-room door opened.
- That is for your impudence in answering “ Boh! Madam Mope !" cried the voice of mamma a while since,” said he, “and for your John Reed; then he paused: he found the room sneaking way of getting behind curtains, and apparently empty.
for the look you had in your eyes two minutes • Where the dickens is she ?" he continued. I since, you rat!” “ Lizzy, Georgy!" (calling to his sisters)" Joan Accustomed to John Reed's abuse, I never is not here: teil mamma she is run out into the had an idea of replying to it; my care was how rain-bad animal !"
to endure the blow which would certainly follow It is well I drew the curtain," thought I; the insult. and I wished fervently he might not discover " What were you doing behind the curtain ?" my hiding-place : nor would John Reed have he asked. found it out himself; he was not quick'either
“ I was reading." of vision or conception : but Eliza just put her - Show the book.' hcad in at the door and said at once
I returned to the window and letched it "She is in the window-seat, to be sure, thence. Jack."
- You have no business to take our books, And I came out immediately; for I trembled you are a dependent, mamma says; you have at the idea of being dragged forth by the said no money ; your father left you none; you Jack.
ought to beg, and not to live here with gentle“What do you want ?" I asked, with awk- men's children like us, and eat the same meals ward diffidence.
we do, and wear clothes at our mamma's exSay, 'what do you want, Master Reed ?'” pense. Now, I'll teach you to rummage my was the answer. “I want you to come here ;" | book-shelves : for they are mine; all the house and, seating himself in an arm-chair, he inti- belongs to me, or will do in a few years. Go mated by a gesture that I was to approach and and stand by the door, out of the way of the stand before him.
mirror and the windows." John Reed was a school-boy of fourteen years
I did so, not at first aware what was his inold-four years older than I, for I was but ten- tention ; but when I saw him lift and poise the large and stout for his age, with a dingy and book, and stand in act to hurl it, I instinctively unwholesome skin ; thick lineaments in a spa- started aside with a cry of alarm-not soon cious visage, heavy limbs and large extremities. enough, however: the volume was flung, it hit He gorged himself habitually at table, which me, and I fell, striking my head against the made him bilious, and gave him a dim and door and cutting it. The cut bled, the pain was bleared eye and flabby cheeks. He ought now sharp: my terror had passed its climax; other to have been at school; but his mamma had feelings succeeded. taken him home for a month or two, won ac- “ Wicked and cruel boy!" I said.
" You are count of his delicate health.” Mr. Miles, the like a murderer-you are like a slave-drivermaster, affirmed that he would do very well if you are like the Roman emperors !" he had fewer cakes and sweetmeats sent him I had read Goldsmith's History of Rome, and from home; but the mother's heart turned from had formed my opinion of Nero, Caligula, &c. an opinion so harsh, and inclined rather to the Also I had drawn parallels in silence, which I more refined idea that John's sallowness was never thought thus to have declared aloud. owing to overapplication, and, perhaps, to pining 66 What! what !” he cried, "did she say that after home.
to me? Did you hear her, Eliza and Georgiana ? John had not much affection for his mother Won't I tell mamma? But first-" and sisters, and an antipathy to me. He bullied He ran headlong at me; I felt him grasp my and punished me-not two or three times in the hair and my shoulder; he had closed with a week, nor once or twice in the day, but con- desperate thing. I really saw in him a tyranttinually: every nerve I had feared him, and a murderer. I felt a drop or two of blood from every morsel of flesh on my bones shrunk when my head trickle down my neck, and was sensihe came near. There were moments when I ble of some pungent suffering ; these sensawas bewildered by the terror he inspired, be- tions, for the time, predominated over fear, and cause I had no appeal whatever against either I received him in frantic sort. his menaces or his inflictions: the servants did well know what I did with my hands, but he not like to offend their young master by taking called me “Rat! rat!" and bellowed out aloud my part against him, and Mrs. Reed was blind Aid was near him; Eliza and Georgiana had and deaf on the subject : she never saw him run for Mrs. Reed, who was gone up stairs, strike or heard him abuse me, though he did she now came upon the scene, followed by both now and then in her very presence--more Bessie and her maid Abbot. We were parted; frequently, however, behind her back.
I heard the words : Habitually obedient to John, I came up to “Dear! dear! What a fury to fly at Mas. his chair : he spent some three minutes in ter John!" thirusting out his tongue at me as far as he “ Did ever any body see such a picture o couli without damaging the roots : I knew he passion!" would soon strike, and, while dreading the blow, Then Mrs. Reed subjoined: (musrd on the disgusting and ugly appearance
Take her away to the red room, and lock
I don't very