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himself, for by his frugality and industry the hers, and rivet themselves on the same objects, young carpenter had even already saved a little in faith you would, to conclude your happy store of money. Perhaps it was because he was simile, have accused him of possessing “cat's apt to view every one, and George among them, eyes.” At the head of the table we can see the with an unfavourable eye; perhaps because his austere features of the Farmer ; at the bottom, worldly experience soon enabled him to discover and directly opposite to him, is the happy openthe one drawback in George we have already hearted face and matronly form of Ellen's mentioned-his want of that moral courage mother. By her side is seated Annie Wilson, which would give him strength to resist tempta- fresh in her young beauty; five years younger tion after the indecisive “No” had been uttered. than George, and as like him as one of nature's
But the farmer's opposition was not of long fairer and softer mould can be to man, composed, continuance: for his wife, with whom George as he is, of "sterner stuff.” The remainder of was an immense favourite, was his most staunch the guests who had been especially invited were supporter; and the farmer at last, perforce, most of them blood-relations either to the bride yielded to her superior arguments-or superior or the bridegroom. lungs--which ?
Presently, however, the good dame looks up Ellen herself was as pretty and perfect a at the old-fashioned timepiece that counts the specimen of a country lass, who puts forth the hours and the fleeting minutes of their everyday claim to a rustic beauty, as the eye could wish and Sunday existence, without pausing never 80 to rest upon. She was to use a term inappro- little, to take breath; the good dame, I say, looks priate in the present instance, but very expres- up, and then starts up energetically, almost sive nevertheless-a petite blonde; her face bringing down with the effort the table, contents, clothed with a profusion of dimples-deuce take and all, with her. Nothing disconcerted, how. them!-though, extraordinary to relate, their ever, or unheeding it, she looks towards the effect was mostly lost, for she was of a pensive happy pair,” and exclaims, in a loud tone, disposition, and seldom indulged in the joyous “Bless me, Nelly, it is ten o'clock, and you laughter so usual, so natural to youth. Her ought to be at church by this time! Deary me, form was gracefulness itself; not according to the deary me, come along; we shall keep parson horrid rules required by distorted Fashion, but Goodheart waiting! Deary me, deary me, come the free and artless beauty of Nature. What child !" her character was will be further developed in Ellen obeyed, trembling and blushing like the the course of this little history.
newly-wakened rose; while her breath seemed to Needs it for us now to enter the dwelling- come short and quick. George was at first disa compact-looking, comfortable homestead--of inclined to part with her, but, snatching the half Farmer Johnston. It is one of the largest and reluctantly-given kiss, he consigned her to the neatest-looking cottages the village of Crayford care of his sister, watching her disappearance can boast. The same sun that shines o'er field with all the ardour and affection of a young
and and meadow sheds through the little diamond true lover. He soon, however, had the felicity panes of glass a brilliance that fills with its of seeing her return; and then what a hurrying glory every room which looks towards the Great to and fro, what a bustle was there among the Luminary. Into the largest of these we must guests, as some necessary article of apparel was enter. At a table which groaned beneath the to be found! what a "confusion worse conweight of a profusion of viands-for in their founded” of tongues, as one besought the other's rustic simplicity the wedding-breakfast took assistance in putting on a shawl or a bonnet in place before, and not after, the awful ceremony- the best possible manner, and with the greatest were grouped as many persons, of both sexes, regard to becomingness ! as could conveniently be placed round it. From Taking Ellen under his arm--she, by the bye, the heartsome though subdued laughter, and looking quite " killing" in her young happiness from the incessant talking, it may easily be con George led the way to the little church, followed, cluded that it is a meeting of joyful occasion. in order and with precision, by the whole party; There are two, however, who sit apart from the and never had there entered that quiet place, to rest--these are the bride and bridegroom, and, be linked in the holy tie with which they were if we see quite distinctly, the latter has his arm about to be united, a more happy, a more loving, round the fair girl's waist ; but amid the general a more handsome pair, than George Wilson and rejoicing, this circumstance is either unnoticed, Ellen Johnston. or not commented upon. That they are happy At the very moment the group entered the we can see, by glancing in their faces; although porch the belís struck up their merry sound, as their joy appears too concentrated in each other if in greeting ; at least so thought George, for he to find relief in noisy laughter, or even in pressed Ellen's arm with a greater degree of smiles. George is whispering, in low tones, to tenderness, looking fondly into her face the his beloved; who looks down, blushingly and while, as he uttered, “My own Nelly!" agitated, upon her feet, admiring their symmetry, But those three words only, dear reader. no doubt, for they
And yet the language of love was breathed from “ Like little mice peeped out."
the lips of that humble artizan with a tone as
eloquent and impassioned, and be sure as sincere, -“ Little mice,” indeed! Why, Sir John as from the lips of the child of luxury, with all Suckling, if you had beheld George's eyes follow the advantages of an expensive education ; for
true love has but one method, be it in riches or “gentle art;" and it was with a deep sense of in poverty; and the words fall from the heart pain that he discovered this trait in his Ellen's and invest themselves with as much truthfulness character. From this difference in their tastes and fervency, albeit the heart be covered by a happened the most lamentable results. Ellen fustian jacket instead of beating beneath the em- prided herself upon her fulfilment of her housebroiderer's chefs d'autres.
hold duties; she was always at work upon There was no audible reply to George's ex- something connected with its offices; washing, clamation; but he fancied that his pressure was cleaning, scrubbing perpetually. Brought up slightly-very slightly-returned.
by a bustling and over-industrious mother, she It will be needless to pause in order to describe had imbibed a contrariety of ideas, which George the auspieious ceremony; nor the good-humoured saw, when too late, ill corresponded with his, of attempt of the minister to claim his due—the domestic felicity. Her highest pride was to be first salute on the lips of the newly-wedded; nor enabled to boast that her house was the best the bride's bashful resistance; nor the manner ordered, her parlour the neatest, her kitchen the in which George interposed his sturdy arm, and most scrupulously clean, her household impletook it kimself-suffice it to say that it was per- ments the best preserved, of the whole village. formed in due time for George, much to Ellen's Besides, she thought that the sole duty of George chagrin, to judge from the pout that displayed was to work all day, and that if he came home itself on her pretty lips, to take his accustomed and found his evening-meal ready prepared for place in the choir. Nor will it be very interesting him, and his house kept in the strictest order, he to know particularly what occurred during the must necessarily be as happy as it was possible remainder of the happy day; how George gave she could make him. himself a holiday from his scholastic duties to But things fell out differently to what she the village children; nor how Ellen and himself expected. One evening George returned home took a long, long walk over the daisy-crowned from his daily work, tired and dispirited; he fields, through pieasant little woods; at one was melancholy, he knew not why. He sat himtime wandering by the hedgeside, now clothed self down; his meal was ready, to be sure; but with all the wild luxuriance and beauty of nature, he certainly thought, as he gazed on the yet unat another following the course of a limpid dried floor, that his wife spent too much time brooklet, rippling on with its soft murmur, all and labour upon such overstrained cleanliness; too silent in their own happiness ; for joy-that besides, he considered it might have been done true, deep joy which but rarely visits the hours sufficiently in time before his return to admit of of mortals-is ever beyond all speech; nor the its being perfectly dry; for he confessed to himhilarity of the wedding-dinner, with its pleasant self that it would have been more pleasant to jests and hearty expressions of love; nor how, have occupied a dry rather than a damp room. in the evening, George took his bride homem He had yielded to Ellen's wish to partake of his home to a cottage after Ellen's own heart, all meal in the kitchen instead of the parlour-that covered with honeysuckle, and roses, and jas he thought a great sacrifice; and he felt the mine-with a sweet little garden in front, and a present one doubly the more, but he said nothing. large one in the rear, well stocked with fruit and Ellen busied herself in assisting him to his vegetables for domestic purposes ; nor how the dinner: he looked into her face; all that was happiness of both was complete.
written on its surface was an exemplification of A month flew by like the wings of the wind, her own tidiness, primness, carefulness, and love and would it not be thought that their lives of order; no smile or harmless look of kindpassed in perpetual sunshine-a course of as ness accompanied her movements; all was done pure and perfect happiness as could fall to the mechanically, and he fancied, for the first time, lot of the descendants of Adam? But no; a that everything was performed more from a month-a short month-after their marriage, a sense of duty than a feeling of pleasure. The cloud obscured the fair expanse of their matri- meal was therefore dispatched by both in almost monial horizon, that seemed to George as if it total silence; but thought was busy in George's would darken it for ever; and he experienced brain in no way so favourable to Ellen as was that sudden revulsion of feeling that the true- usual. The violin had been locked up in its hearted and most loving do when they discover case since their marriage, and had not been some--even the most trifling-blemish in the once opened. For the first few evenings they were object on which the affection is centred, and in accustomed to take walks about the neighbourwhom they had previously beheld only per- hood; but as the first sensation of the novelty fection.
of her situation wore away in Ellen's bosom, she This cloud arose from the fact which George raised objections and refused to accompany him discovered, that Ellen not only did not care for as usual. George went out, therefore, for the music, but absolutely disliked it! Now from his first time since their marriage, alone; however, early youth music had been a passion with he did not feel happy, and could not enjoy the George; and he had straitened his means of en- beauty of the evening without the presence of joyment that he might purchase his violin, and his wife, so he quickly returned home; where receive instructions in playing. Music was to his wife met him, with her bible in her hand, him a source of unaffected mental enjoyment, and began to read aloud from its divine pages. for, independently of its soothing qualities, Far from being of an irreligious turn of mind, George felt a higher and nobler pleasure in the George listened with devout attention to her monotonous, cold delivery, but when evening too far to recede; at least so his remnant succeeds to evening in this routine, even the of moral courage whispered him, and he sat strongest and best cannot help at times feeling down among them. His violin was brought awearied at the changeless succession of ap- out; he played, and his playing was hailed pointed duties to appointed hours, and on the with shouts of delight. Their applause inevening of which we speak it was with a feeling toxicated him; he played his very best, and of greater weariness and prostration of energy nothing could give bounds to their demonstrathan ever that George beheld his wife produce tions of pleasure. Poor George! his fate was her bible and arrange herself to read from it sealed. Ile promised to become one of their the whole evening, as usual; he therefore re- club; and after the lapse of a few hours he was quested her to bring out his violin. For a too much overcome by the spirits he had drunk considerable time she held out, saying that to return to Crayford. he should think of higher objects than such a In the morning, however, he returned home; senseless, irrational amusement. Here arose the but it was only to meet bitter reproaches from first difference between them. The violin was at his wife, who should have soothed and reclaimed last brought, and Ellen sat down to work with rather than have irritated his already erring pouting lip and flushed cheek. Heedless of this, heart. He proceeded to his work ; but his mind George played over his favourite pieces in his was dwelling on the hard reception he bad met very best manner; he endeavoured to give more with from Ellen, and his heart swelled with a expression to the airs than he had ever tried to feeling alike strange and painful: that evening do before, but they had no effect on his wife ; therefore was spent as the former. Thus grathey even tended to heighten her colour and dually the character of George gave way; he deepen the frown on her forehead. To his neglected his work, he did not see his wife for question as to whether she did not admire any days, all the money he could obtain was spent particular air he had played, she invariably re- among his besotted companions : but in all plied that she did not do so; that she could not this there was one burning thought ever present hear music; that it was only an employment fit to his imagination--the unkind treatinent of his for those who had nothing to do, and not for a wife, and the morbid state of feeling engendered working man, who had, or should have, the by this unhappiness; and his having yielded welfare of his family at heart.
to temptation made this unkindness appear a Thus affairs proceeded, till George began to monster shape to his brain. feel tired of playing nightly to one who was so Ellen, poor thing, was compelled to part not dead to the beauty and effect of music; yet he only with their little treasures to give herself the still played, but without any attempt to win his means of existence, and her husband the means wife to experience the same exquisite sensations of procuring drink; but the cottage was soon he himself did. It happened unfortunately at completely stripped of its once prized furniture, this time that George met with an old school and presented a truly wretched appearance. Her fellow, who had likewise shewed a great taste for father had refused' all assistance to ber-he music in his youth, and was so excellent a per- replied to her entreaties that as she had sown so former on the flute that he was engaged in the might she reap; and her mother possessed not orchestra of the theatre in a very large town the power to assist her. Almost the last thing nearly contiguous to the village where George that was disposed of was the violin, which had resided. This renewal of their acquaintance been the cause of their mutual misery. led to the most unhappy results, for William From that moinent George began to yield to Markham was of a very opposite disposition utter despair, and long for death to end his from George. A bold and successful liber sufferings; from that inoment Ellen began to tine, it was no wonder that with the common think. She was in a fair way to become a sophistry of his kind, he persuaded George that mother, and that was a double incentive to it was the duty of his wife to give way in every exertion. Something ought to be done; but thing to a husband; that, were it his case, he what she could not imagine. As her last rewould let her pursue her own course, and that source she applied to the Minister, and frankly if he absented himself from her for an evening, stated the whole circumstances. He compre, she would soon turn round and yield. It is hended the whole case in a second, and shewed needless to say that George was led astray by Ellen how wrong she had been in not giving the wretched cant of a man in all respects much way to her husband; he explained to her that his inferior in point of mental acquirements, instead of opposing his taste for harmless reand that evening beheld him hastening to the creation, if she had endeavoured to foster a liking town of C-, to join his newly-found friend, for it in herself
, their happiness would have been Markham. By him he was taken to some low on as fair a footing as with mortals it could be. public-house, where, in a small room, dense with She wept and owned her error. The Minister the smoke of tobaceo and redolent of the fumes was a good and worthy man ; he judged that all of spirits, a number of persons were seated might be remedied if managed judiciously, and at a large table, which exhibited in various so determined to advance her a sum of money, ways the appliances and effects of their debauch. by way of loan, that might enable her to redeem He was startled at first-terribly startled; for their furniture and effects she had sacrificed. All his mind revolted at mixing with the bloated, this was done, and done promptly, and the cotsensual beings before him. But he had gone | tage presented the same aspect of internal comfort Dante's Meeting with Casello in Purgatory.
that it did before; but George had not been his trade. I have been told too that a Mechanics' home for some evenings. That day, however, | Institute has sprung up, and is in a very flourishhe returned home-but too inuch intoxicated, ing condition, and mainly through the instruto perceive the changed appearance of things, mentality of George, who generously sacrificed or the unwonted softness of his bed. In the a very considerable collection of books, with morning, however, he rose; and when he beheld which he who founded it endowed it. Annie the change, he was struck dumb with astonish- Wilson too, I almost forgot to say, is married to ment; he almost looked upon everything as a a young clergyınan, who now fills the place of dream, and gazed silently into the face of Ellen the good minister who has slept with his Fathers for explanation. But she judged it more prudent for some years. George, however, has no need not to say anything, but to abide till time was to use his violin at church now, for he was one ripe.
who set on foot a subscription-in which all who Seeing that she did not comply with his could, willingly joined-for presenting an organ request, he ate his breakfast in silence, and to the sacred edifice; and he may be seen frehurried away; but the first principle of return- quently on Sundays, and on spare afternoons, in ing Good was strong within him, and this day he the loft, practising the sublime creations of Bach, set himself resolutely to work, and many were and Handel, and Haydn; and he has already the comments and rejoicings of the worthy vil- acquired considerable proficiency on the instrulagers when they beheld him labouring in his ment. He has no desire, however, to take away shop as usual. Orders, like honours, came thick the office from the poor blind organist who has upon him; they were executed with dispatch, been attached to the village church since the and the time arrived when he should return gift of the organ made such a situation neceshome.
sary; but George, amid all his prosperity-for I It was with a feeling of uncertainty and need scarcely say he is now a very important doubt that he entered; but that uncertainty was personage in the village-is not proud, and removed when he beheld his meal prepared for does not and cannot forget the period at which him, and on the table beside it, his dearly-loved he laboured at his humble shop, and fulfilled his violin, which he deemed he had lost for ever. voluntary duties in that church (before the He sat down too much overcome to speak. Ellen organ sent forth its solemn peal, to guide and approached him, and throwing her arms around assist the children's voices) as a Violin-player. him affectionately, pointed to the signs of their future happiness. He comprehended all in a moment, and folding Ellen in his embrace, he yielded to his emotions in a manner that the callous and hard-hearted think derogatory to DANTE'S MEETING WITH CASELLO manhood; but which is far otherwise. When
IN PURGATORY. the well-springs of the human heart are full almost to bursting, he who is ashamed to let them flow is less or more than Man. Oh! how (From Il Purgatorio."'-Canto II.) happy were George and Ellen that evening ! The violin was taken up, George played badly Still near the sea we slowly kept our way, Ellen praised him, and endeavoured to make Like one who muses, lingering as he goes, herself pleased with his efforts; he played better, Whose swift thoughts travel, though his feet delay. she praised him the more, and before the night And lo! as Mars ere dawn of morning shows, closed upon them, Ellen had not only conquered
When, setting slow above the western sea, her previous dislike to music, but had already
Through vapours dense with redder hue he glows; begun to imbibe a taste for it, and George was
So, as if I beheld it still, to me in the perfection of happiness to behold the
Appear'd a light, gliding across the main. marked and happy change in her,
No flight e'er equallid such velocity!
When I my vision had withdrawn, to gain The good minister's advice prospered; they
A moment's space to ask my master dear, are now as happy a pair as it would be possible More brilliant yet it seem'd, and shewn more to meet-happy with each other, and happy
plain : with the world. Their eldest child-for they Then, froin one side did suddenly appear have many-proved to be a boy; and Ellen, as A something undefined, of heavenly white ; she kisses him and parts the curling hair on his And by degrees another burst out clear. forehead, shows him the well-known violin, and My master spoke not, till, upon his sight makes his little heart leap with joy as she
Shone the white vision with the outstretch'd promises him that he too, like his father, shall
wings; one day be a Violin-player.
Then, as he knew the heavenly boat so bright, | Cried, “Fall upon thy knees ! for lo ! it brings
God's blessed Angel-humbly fold thy hands ; The last time I visited the village of Crayford, Behold how, scorning human means, he stands !
It is the messenger of holy things. I perceived a visible change for the better, both
No oar desires he, nor aught other sail in the domestic arrangements of George and in
Than his broad wings, between these distant lands. the village itself. It is said that he now employs See how he spreads them out to heaven's wide veil, several journeymen, and but seldom occupies Beating the air with his immortal plumes, himself in aught save the inventive portion of That, unlike our flesh-robes, nor change nor fail." Why this delay- this negligence ? Haste, haste;
Run to the mount, by expiation sore,
The veil which hides God from ye off to cast." As when a flock of doves are gather'd o'er
The pastures, feeding on the oats or tares,
At peace they shew their wonted pride no more ; But seeing aught that fearful aspect bears,
Sudden they quit the food, and trembling fly,
Assailed by other and still greater cares
Leave the sweet song, and to the lone coast dart,
Like one who heeds not where his course may lieNor with less swiftness did we twain depart.
D. M. M.
As unto us still nearer, nearer comes
The Bird divine, yet brighter he appears !
So that the eye his splendour thus illumes, Endures it not, but closes. Thus he nears
The shore, his airy bark scarce glancing o'er
The surface of the waters as he steers. The heavenly pilot stood the poop before,
With sacred writing consecrated fair.
More than a hundred souls the vessel bore.
Together in one voice the spirits sung,
The ghostly freight at once upon the plain ;
Swift as he came the Angel pa-s'd, ere long.
Gazing around, as in strange regions placed,
Sol launched his arrowy beams of dazzling light,
And from mid heaven bright Capricornus chas'd.
Saying, “ We pray ye, if ye can, to shew
The mysteries of this place : but no; for we,
In an antique room of a mansion rare
“Ha! ha!” cried Death, as he scann'd them o'er,
" I'll just steal in while the mirth is so rife
I love to meddle a bit with life! Then I beheld one spirit before them move,
I wot their joy will be chang'd to woe,
When they are hearing my time-piece go !"
Thrice I stretch'd out my arms, and thrice in vain He paus’d, and his watch wound carefully,
Till it tick'd away in an ecstasy.
Its case was made of an infant's skull,
Yellow with keeping, soil'd, and dull.
Its works were wrought of the metal old,
Pick'd from the lumber of church-yard mould ; Awhile, that I might hear his accents too.
Two coffio-nails for its hands unfurl'd, He said." While I was bound in mortal clay
Showing the time of the other world! I lov'd thee ; £0 I love thee now, when freed ;
Therefore I stay ; but whither leads thy way?" 'Twas hung round bis neck by a polish'd tether “ Casello mine : I journey here, indeed,
Of old men's knuckle-bones link'd together ;
A jaw-bone hung from it pendently,
The time-piece was set, and Death stole in,
And alas! and alas! for the woe and care-
He paus d at the youngest, the fairest there! And exercise of thy sweet songs divine,*
That once were wont to steal my cares from me, A minute, a moment, the maid turn'a pale I pray thee comfort this sad soul of mine,
As the flow'ret when met by the cold northern gale : That with its fleshly garment does in fear
The laugh on her lips died faintly away Amidst these realms with inward sorrow pine."
She heard not the music, she heard not the lay, Lore that within my spirit reasons-here
Commenred he, and so sweetly, that the sound “List! list !" she exclaimed, “Oh, grandmother Still rings within my memory, soft and clear.
dear, My master, I, and they who linger'd round, The Death-watch is ticking most loud in my ear ! Listen'd, enchanted by the magic spell,
Tell me, oh, is it not, is it not said,
His silver notes; when suddenly came past A month, and behold the maiden was laid
The Death-Wutch tick'd not o'er her coffin cold, * Casello was a musician, and a dear friend of the For ber moments, her minutes, her hours were told, poet's.