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A Recollection of the Gifted.
It was not enough for us that the authoress was “And shall you feel lonely to-night?" asked a Mrs. Inchbald; we never rested until we Madame de Staël, to whom she had been introknew more of her, until we had gathered up duced for the first time, and who always spoke every scattered fragment of her real existence; of her afterwards in the highest terms of respectand from that time she became one of the idols ful admiration. of our youthful worship. There was a strange “ Yes, indeed,” replied Mrs. Inchbald, with charm in her early life : her affliction-her rare the beautiful simplicity that formed so prominent beauty-her wild, romantic dreamings-the love a portion of her character; “ for I have no one of adventure, that rashly sought to realize them to tell that I have seen you, no one to describe all; and secure in the dignity of conscious inno- your person to; no one to whom I can repeat cence, to walk scathless with her “snowy white the many encomiums you have passed on my wand” throughout the world !--the prompt- Simple Story;' no one to enjoy any of your ness to act--the susceptibility to feel the child praise but myself.” like faith, so full of a pure and loving trust- Ah! she must often have felt thus ! we pity the pretty way she had of winning all hearts. her less when she sat in her cold, comfortless Her early marriage, and its consequences : her apartment, smiling to think that she-that aged wilfulness-her many faults-her candour, car- sister-was warm and well cared for. It is hapried even to the verge of eccentricity—the strong piness even to suffer for those we love ; but that love of home and kindred, teaching her for their after-loneliness must have been sad indeed. sakes a lesson of prudence and economy, that The numerous plays written by Mrs. Inchseemed somewhat strange to one so young and bald form a part of the standard dramatic litebeautiful. Her widowhood : the many trials and rature of England. She also wrote a second temptations to which it exposed her, and how novel, or rather a tale, called “Nature and Art," she passed through them all as by a miracle, so and considered by many as quite equal to her that the breath of slander had no power to first; besides editing and preparing for the wound. Her genius : its triumphs; the uses to press several works which it is unnecessary to which the money they won for her was appro- particularize, and are mentioned only in conpriated; and how she gradually withdrew her-firmation of that steady and persevering industry self more and more from the world, devoting which was one of her chief characteristics through every energy of mind and body to the high and life. Without doubt, however, the “ Simple holy task which she had marked out for herself, Story” is her chef d'auvre, and that upon which and from which nothing ever tempted her to her fame principally rests. There is a truthfulswerve. Thus do we find her writing to that ness-a real humanity about it—an irresistible same dear friend before mentioned :
pathos-a simplicity of thought and feeling inex" I say no to all the vanities of the world, and pressibly sweet and touching-a wonderful faciperhaps soon shall have to say that I allow my lity in finding its way to the heart as well as the poor infirm sister a hundred a-year! I have imagination, and calling forth its hidden tears raised my allowance to eighty; and in the rapid and sympathies. Its few faults of style and constride of her wants, and my own obligations as ception we leave to wiser critics, finding more a Christian to make no selfish refusal to the pleasure in dwelling upon those numberless and poor, in a few months I hope to raise it to a unequalled beauties with which it everywhere hundred.” Oh that there was more of this sweet abounds; and loving it most of all for the and real Christian spirit in the world!
beautiful revealings it contains of her who Nor were the charities of this estimable woman dreamed and wrote it. confined to her own family, of whom for many Among all the numerous biographies of our years she was the chief support; returning good favourite, we have never met with one that for evil, and weeping over the errors which death exactly pleased us. The character of Elizabeth has ever a strange power to palliate. We are Inchbald abounds in those delicate and minute told, that her sister Deborah died miserably touches, which can only be properly understood poor, and ill deserving of the kindness of her and appreciated by one of her own sex. It is a who watched over her to the last; and how beautiful and complicated mystery, past man's Mrs. Inchbald went back to her solitary home, art to solve, and requiring the tenderest discriwith a heart full of grief and self-upbraiding, mination, and the gentlest care to unravel ; even as though it had been her own sin that had when, despite the cross threads of woman's wilso long estranged them from each other-re-fulness, it will be found, nevertheless, to be a membering only that Deborah was her sister, fair, silken web, well worth the pains bestowed and that she was dead! how one by one the upon it. We would judge Elizabeth Inchbald household ties were severed; and her warm, only in her own frank and kindly spirit, or by generous heart sought only fresh spheres of the memory of the good deeds which she left to benevolent usefulness. One hour, buried like a plead for her, and as we would that others should second Cinderella, in the very lowest domestic judge us. drudgery, hallowed by its own kind motive; the next, mingling among the great and proud ones of the land, a welcome and honoured guest. And this last but seldom in latter years, because, as she touchingly confessed, “it made her feel her after-loneliness all the more !"
THE OLD SOLDIER.
" At evening time we crown'd the height
A fearful cannonade Tore through our ranks, both left and right,
And bloody havoc made; And then the order went around, That each should throw him on the ground.
The winter snow fell thick and fast;
'Tis an old soldier, worn and gray;
" The Duke rode up, and from his horse
Sprang down with eye of flame; While up the hill, at fearful force,
The old French Guard they came. On, on they came, though fierce and hot Upon them pour'd our cannon-shot.
“ Still on they came at once the Duke
Threw up his cap on high ;
Up-at them !' was his cry.
My head is gray, and bow'd with care !
My eyes are dim with tears !
The weight of many years.
“ Ah me! since then long years have past !
And tears have dimm'd this eye,
To beg my bread, or die !
" A bit of bread-O grant me, God!
Some shelter from the cold !
But ah! my limbs are old ! They would not surely turn away A soldier old from Strathfieldsaye!
“ 'Tis hard ; and yet God's will be done !
He surely knows the best !
I soon shall be at rest !
“ My noble General lives there ;
For so the people say. A large estate, and mansion fair,
Was given him one day, For service to his country done, When Waterloo was lost and won.
“O give me strength, Almighty Lord,
To reach yon mansion's door! Our Duke would order bed and board,
If once he saw me more ; He would not turn from Strathfieldsaye His poor old soldier, worn and gray.
" Ah! how that thrilling word hath brought
The blood to my old brow:
I think I see it now.
“ Again I am a Grenadier
I hear the rolling drum; And high o'er all, the thundering cheer
They come !--the French--they come ! Then burst at once our cannons' roar, And down our charging Guardsmen bore.
Ah me! it is in vain I try
My limbs are numb'd with cold;
Death has me in his hold !
" Down, like a thunderbolt, they went,
Right on the Cuirassier ; Like broken reeds their ranks were rent
Before their fierce career. Stand fast, my men !' our captain cried; Our muskets, roll on roll, replied.
(From an Album.) Oh, Woman, there's a perfectness In thy least act of tenderness Above Man's best; for you alone Know how to cheer when hope is none To whisper sunny words, and smile, Your heart misgiving all the while; To win away the tears that steal Where care sits woe-begone; to heal
The wound that baffles art, and lend A hand when Friendship ceases to befriend.
* And fast we stood, that bloody day;
High beat each English heart, Each thought of home so far away,
And played an English part. With bayonets fix'd, and charging frown, Three times we bore the Frenchmen down.
LE Y BURN SHAWL FESTIVAL,
BY W. G. J. BARKER, ESQ.
“ High on some cliff, to heaven uppiled,
Of rude access, of prospect wild,
Dismiss from your mind, kind reader, if per- ' sibly be formed from "shaw” and “hill," as both chance you have entertained thein, all thoughts these objects are united : however, fair reader, connected with ladies' apparel which one word fear not that we are about to plunge you into of our title may induce. The North Yorkshire etymological discussions. It is somewhat diffidales have no connection with the looms of cult to convey a perfect idea of this delightful Thibet or the fabrics of Cashmere. The Shawl spot by description, for it is in a great degree is a name given from time immemorial to a lo- of unique character: probably none exactly cality near Leyburn.
similar can be found in England. Let us, in This little town, situated in Richmondshire, a fancy, take a walk there. division of the extensive county of York, stands Leaving Leyburn, you pass along a hilly at the summit of a continuous slope on the meadow, where the splendid scenery beneath on north bank of the river Yore, about six miles the left affords a foretaste of the pleasure you above the point where Yorevale or Wensleydale' are about to enjoy. Plantations exclude this merges in the vale of Mowbray. The place, view in the next fields, after traversing which though small and obscure, dates its origin from you arrive at Wensley Point. Here the landhigh antiquity, having been of some conse- scape unfolds itself. You are seated on a point quence in the reign of St. Edward the Con- of rock, with the valley of the Yore extending fessor : but when in 1070 William the Bastard far away west and east below, and the broad swept through North England with fire and river winding through meadow-lands and be. sword, laying the fair land waste wherever a tween pretty villages. Plantations slope up to Norman horseman could ride, Leyburn, with you: on your right stretches the Shawi-a long other manors in Yorevale, was devastated. terrace of greensward, girded with firs, on the
It is not our province here to chronicle the summit of a precipice of dark grey rocks, at the vicissitudes which the good town has since ex- foot of which wave thick old woods, covering perienced: suffice it that at the present day it is the steep declivity that extends down to the of some importance in the lovely district it over- green pastures above Wensley. Behind are the looks, possesses a considerable market, and is debris of slate and lime-quarries, and dull fields, the seat of local justice as dispensed at petty devoid of trees, and barren in appearance, vergsessions. The houses are mostly new, but there ing on the north moors. Fine as the prospect yet remain a few specimens of Tudor architec- from this point unquestionably is, you are not ture; and in the market-place stands an ancient yet on the Shawl, strictly speaking. You proedifice, known and used as the Town Hall, which ceed, and passing through a neat wicket-the serves by its venerable appearance to afford entrance to the grounds-find yourself on a spot strangers ocular proof of Leyburn's antiquity. deeply interesting to all who sympathize with The only buildings of note besides, are the very unfortunate beauty, and desecrated royalty-the neat and capacious Catholic Chapel of Saints Queen's Gap. Peter and Paul, and a smaller structure used as History makes no mention of the circuma chapel of ease by the Anglican establishment. stance: the correspondence recently published
But the great attraction of Leyburn, which by Prince Alexander Labanhoff throws no light during the summer months brings frequent upon it. Antiquaries may treat it as a fable; visitors, is the Shawl. This is a splendid na- but constant local tradition, transmitted from tural terrace, commencing some half-mile west father to son, avers that here Mary of Scotland of the town, and stretching from thence for up- was retaken in an unrecorded attempt to escape wards of a mile. The origin of the somewhat from her English jailers during the time the unusual appellation “Shawl,” has afforded mat- neighbouring castle of Bolton formed her prison. ter for controversy amongst antiquaries. It is It is merely a pass in the wood; the only place most likely a corruption of " shaw” (a wood), for some distance at which the Shawl can be as the place is thickly wooded, and may pos. ascended by a mounted party.
Here, reader, you may indulge sad reveries. | rocks, and robed in blue and green, part of the Here the royal victim once more bade farewell great Yorkshire and Westmorland chain. Beto earthly hope-here another pang was inflicted tween you and these hills lies the calm winding on the heart that had already meekly endured so valley,'intersected by the meandering Yore, one much. You are most likely, treading these of the most devious of English rivers. Just paths in the bright summer time, a happy pil below, peeping through trees, is the pretty church grim amongst the birds and flowers, accom- and village of Wensley, from which the dale pinied by loving friends; but the discrowned takes its modern name. fugitive saw them in the bleak cold winter, naked Westward Bishopdale opens, and Raydale, and desolate as her own sad lot. For her there which contains that mysterious lake, Semerwere no flowers, no sunshine, hardly one gentle water, with its sub-merged city and fearful friend. True hearts indeed then abounded in legends. You distinctly perceive the far-famed these dales-men who had kept the ancient faith, falls of the Yore at Aysgarth, said by travellers to and their pure integrity, unstained; but they surpass in majesty the cataracts of the Nile; and were powerless to aid, unable to deliver. We when the bird-songs cease, and the breeze comes may imagine the glance the recaptured Queen gently, you hear the rush of those hasty waters, cast over the wide landscape, majestic in its which is audible fifteen miles away. T'he grey winter gloom, part and portion of her island in- towers of Bolton Castle rise conspicuous, the heritance-her own rightful realm. Did it re- ancient seat of the lordly Scropes, to whom most mind her more of Scotland-scene of her former of the country once belonged. Corn-fields are griefs, than of la belle France, where she once rare and far between. This is a pastoral district, knew so much happiness? Not even in fancy famous for sweet milk and the excellent produce dare we guess her thoughts that hour. We of its dairies. The view west is bounded by hills only know she was borne back to Bolton, and which approach Westmorland. corried thence in inclement weather, through A little east, on the opposite bank of the river, bad roads, by guardians who knew no pity; and fronting north, stands the town and royal castle so transferred from prison to prison, and from of Middleham, built by a younger branch of the one heart-torture to another, till the long weary reigning House of Brittany, subsequently the tragedy found an end in the hall of Fotheringay, heritage of the proud Neviles, the King-maker and earth lost her whom heaven we cannot Warwick and his haughty father, and afterwards doubt received. The Queen's Gap is indeed the a favourite abode of Richard the Third, the hallowed ground of Leyburn Shawl.
mansion where his only son was born and died. There is an extremely neat alcove here, and a In this fortress, according to various historians, little further a larger (the principal) one on the Edward the Fourth was a prisoner-a tale which grounds. When once fairly on the Shawl, it is investigation has disproved, though rendered difficult to fix the spot whence the finest view popular by Shakspere. That the King spent may be obtained : all is so magnificent, that, some time here is, however, indisputable. reader, should propitious fortune ever lead you Beyond this point the valley expands; and a to our favourite walk, we seek not to direct the few miles farther, in the bounds of Wilton, may choice which your own taste cannot make amiss. be seen all that remains of the once magnificent You behold a superb, vast, natural panorama. abbey of our blessed Lady of Jorevalle. The On either hand the scenery is exquisite. The last 'superior of this Cistertian house - Adam steep precipice drops away abruptly from your Sedbergh by name, a prelate of irreproachable feet, and at the bottom lie huge masses of grey character and saintly life—was cruelly put to rocks, splintered and scattered as if an earth death by the crowned adulterer and murderer quake had strewn them there. Light hazels Henry the Eighth, merely because in uprightshoot up amongst them; and all spring and ness of soul he remained faithful to his sacred summer, but chiefly in latter spring, a profusion trust. It is saddening to look over the sunny of wood-flowers, of various scent and dye, fill valley, and think of those dark times and the the interstices, and form a spangled carpet on gloom that has followed. But divine Justice every vacant spot. Here, too, there is a most fails not; the Abbot and the King have long delightful walk. Old trees grow picturesquely ago received their reward. from narrow clefts in the precipice, their top- The entire view from the Shawl eastward is most boughs just waving along the edge of the splendid, only of a more subdued character than terrace, where ground honeysuckle and wild that towards the west. It is bounded by the rethyme blossom luxuriantly. "Still lower down mote blue hills of Cleveland, and with the aid rise the thick woods already mentioned, sloping of a glass the smoke of the engines on the Great gradually in a semicircular shape to rich fields. North Railway is sometimes very distinctly In these woods the soft low coo of the cushat visible. and the sweet songs of linnets seldom cease, In this rapid sketch we have merely glanced notwithstanding kestrels and sparrow-hawks at the principal objects, overlooking many minor may frequently be seen sailing about, far beneath beauties : the scene must be beheld to be appreyou indeed, but still high above the ground and ciated. It may well be conceived such a lovely the elm-tops. Right opposite, Penhill—"the haunt, so pleasantly adjacent to their homes, hill of hills”—-uprears his crest, covered with has long been prized by the inhabitants of deep purple heather, the abode of grouse; whilst Leyburn. The vicinity has produced more than right and left range other fells, studded with one “inglorious Milton,” and these bards have
sung its praises in strains which never had au- | Shawl Tea Festival took place. A festival has dience beyond the circle of their own friends, been held annually ever since, and these anniand so perished with the authors. Notwith- versaries, thus founded, have acquired much standing this, the Shawl remained as Nature popularity in the county, have been celebrated formed it; its beauty, indeed, could not be en- and applauded in the public prints, and for chahanced, but there was ample scope for labour in racteristics can be likened to few modern obcontriving accommodation for visitors : and servances in our once “Merrie England.” We now, kind reader, if you have had patience with hope, reader, you have formed some conception us thus far, comes the pith of our simple story. of the place and scenery from our description.
The Shawl is the property of a peer who never We now ask you to be briefly present in imavisits his large Yorkshire estates, and can hardly gination at our mountain holiday. be induced to repair his own cottages : from him It is a July morning; the air is warm and little could be expected. Leyburn contains no pleasant : although a cloudy veil obscures the really wealthy inhabitants : with one or two ex- sky, and a few rain-drops have fallen at interceptions, all are engaged in business. In these vals, never fear; the weather will brighten circumstances a spirit sprung up, so unusual, long before noon, and even now it is not gloomy yet so highly commendable, that it deserves to enough to deter distant visitors—the only misbe recorded and published for imitation. A chance we have to apprehend. Leyburn is all astir; few young men, duly estimating the attractions completing preparations begun weeks ago, and and value of the Shawl, resolved, in the spring all anxiety awaiting the arrival of the expected of 1841, to undertake the task of improving it. guests. As the day advances the atmosphere The idea was spontaneous : no one urged it becomes clearer, till lo! the sun bursts forth, upon them : they had no individual interest in hot and brilliant, and all our doubts on this the matter, and could hope for no remuneration score are removed. beyond the thanks of their townsmen. They Vehicles of different kinds begin to arrive, were not rich, nor unemployed : far from this, at first singly, then in rapid succession. There most were occupied in trade-young shopmen, are neat phaetons, and ugly market-carts ; choice in fact, destitute alike of leisure and super- steeds, and dale horses that do not much reabundant coin.
semble Derby winners, albeit not lacking mettle, Nothing daunted, they set to work with a for Yorkshire is a land of horses; and is not hearty good will—a determination to overcome Middleham, just opposite, renowned in chrodifficulties; and they succeeded. They themselves nicles of the turf? But we cannot be critical laboured well and stoutly, for they had no means to-day upon horses or carriages; their fair to hire workmen. When the weary hours of burthens are the grand attraction for manly eyes, business ended, or liberty could be granted, they and truly there is no lack of beauty, flocking in flew to the Shawl, and there toiled with axe and from far and near. Bands of music begin to hammer and spade, till the soft June night fell, play in the market-place; the colours on the old and the summer moon lighted them home. Town Hall and at the inns float brilliantly Again, in the early morning, whilst mists yet lay in sunshine, gaily clad groups parade on the Yore, and the larks by the moorside had the streets, and everybody and everything not begun to sing, they were to be found, cheer- seems devoted to pleasure : even old men and fully advancing their improvements, disre- women don their Sunday hats and cloaks, and garding alike fatigue, and the smiles their at- halt along wearily, but with cheerful hearts, to tempt drew from some.
the Shawl. There let us too go, admiring on Honour be to them, and praise. They are our road the rustic triumphal arches of everlowly in station, and their names will not live greens and flowers beneath which we pass, and in fame; but they achieved pleasure for their fel- the glad mottos of “Welcome” that greet us lows-innocent recreation. They led others from banner and scroll by the way. from the temptations of idleness, and proved How changed is our accustomed walk, wont that the delights of our English youth do not to be so still and lonely! An enchanter's wand consist wholly in the dram-shop and the gaming- has surely been waved over it, to summon hither table—in the low debauch and the besetting the thronging array of youth and grace, that sin : they gave, unbidden, an example worthy keeps gliding in incessant motion along the of emulation to their compeers, aye, and to others green terrace and the shaded walk far beneath. of much higher grade; therefore again we say, There are somewhere about three thousand inHonour be to them, and praise.
dividuals present, of every age, and nearly every In this manner inequalities of ground were class. Fair girls from distant towns, eager to smoothed, walks formed, commodious rustic participate in the famed festival, attired with benches placed at due intervals, a tasteful grotto tasteful care-rosy mountain damsels from erected at the Queen's Gap, and an embattled Bishopdale and Raydale, and a dozen dales bestone seat on Wensley Point. The Shawl began sides, dressed, with true dales' taste, in the to wear the appearance of well-ordered grounds; brightest colours, themselves still brighter from and now a pleasant suggestion offered—a fête the glow of healthy charms-slender youths, champêtre on a humble scale-a gipsy tea- whose looks proclaim confinement in shops or party on the high terrace for their friends. The counting-houses; others, whose bearing beidea was eagerly adopted, expanded, and on tokens a higher class-stout, comely yeomen, Saturday, July 31st, 1841, the first Leyburn , and robust labourers, descendants of those very