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hand-her mother, whom the long the walls were garnished, and the piercing cold of that cruel snow was lamp and fire burned brightly downkilling, whilst with daily sullen de- stairs; and above, Elsie's white dress nial it forbade all aid to approach lay in her room like a wreath from her. Day after day she sat so, hold- the pitiless snow outside, which had ing the thin hand while weeks went drifted in through the window and on and December was half spent, remained there undisturbed. And gazing out at the imploring hills the wind moaned round the house, and the mourning trees, trying to rattling at the locks of the doors as pray with patient courage while her if to warn that one was coming to eyes searched the relentless sky in whom closed doors were nothing. vain for mercy.
And that one came in the dead of a Downstairs a lamp burned con- dark night and summoned the pale stantly in the garnished parlour. lady from sleep. And opening her Christmas decorations had been eyes, she recognized the call, and, made, and white curtains riveting one last prayerful gaze upon looped with the red and green of the dear face beside her, she turned the holly. Bab kept the fire burn- her own from the world and followed ing and the lamp trimmed, and Elsie
the messenger. stole down now and again to see Oh, pulseless earth! oh, tearless that all was neat and bright, for the sky! you had no pity for the longing thaw might come any day, and Philip life that would fain have lingered might arrive, and her mother re- yet a little space, how then could cover.
you melt for the unpraying dead that And the pale lady who lay up- lay there, meekly defying you in its stairs, knowing herself to be dying, shroud, with its patient hands folded, spoke bright words to the child waiting so stilly till you vouchsafed whom she feared to leave lonely, it a grave; or for the stricken figure urging her to omit no preparation, that sat at its feet with a brain dulled to have all things brightly in readi- from studying hour by hour the nesș, so that when the thaw should changed features in their unsymcome and Philip arrive, her own pathizing repose, where all the floodwasting life might yet have a little gates of warmth had been suddenly time to burn, even until she beheld locked and set with the seal of that that which her heart craved to sco chill, unheeding smile? accomplished.
So Elsie sat at her dead mother's Christmas Day will be bright, feet, and old Bab came and went love,' she would murmur, stroking heartbroken, and could not coax her the faithful little band that held hers to weep nor to rest. And still the so strongly, as if it would not give wedding gown lay in the next room, up its grasp to death. 'I dreamed and the lamp burned downstairs, this morning that the day had come, and the wind rattled at the locks, and the sun was shining, and you and still the earth and sky were & and I were both dressed in white, blank. and I was quite well again. I know it will be a bright day!'
At last the thaw commenced slowly And then the pale lady would to work. Life began to appear, and turn her fast-changing face to where passages were cleared here and there. she could see the chimneys of her And one or two of those kind Chrisold home, and, thinking who knows tians, the poor, with difficulty found what thoughts of the happy days Elsie's mother a grave. And after passed under its roof-tree, she would that was done, Elsie, shunning the gaze away above the white hills garnished parlour and the lorn bedbeyond with the eyes of one whose room, crept into the kitchen and soul goes with them, trying to learn laid her head on Bab's knees. the track, trying to grow accustomed Late in the evening she roused to the path by which it soon must herself and asked if it was not Christgo on its lonely journey to the un- mas Eve. Yes, it was the eve of her known land.
wedding-day: And so the hearth was swept and • Then, Bab,' she said, 'we must have everything ready. Mr. North nothing had changed. Three, and will be here to-night.'
the moon began to sink away among Bad shook her head. 'No, no, cloud-drifts low on the hills. Miss Elsie. The thaw has done Four struck in the hall, and the something, but not so much as that. sound roused Elsie from a state of It's dark already, and no human numbness like stupor into which she bein' could know his way from the had fallen. Was it the shock that moor beyond where the roads cross. made her start to her feet and, with He'd most likely take the one that bent brows and strained eyes, gaze goes out to the Black Crags, and if towards the moor, whilst all her he did he'd go down headlong as frame shook with the agony of sussure as heaven and earth!'
pense? Was it fate that pointed to Elsie sat up straight and stared at her a black something moving in the old woman, and then put up her the dim distance like one riding on hand to her head as if to collect her with difficulty ? Another instant poor shattered wits.
and the window is flung open and *Some one must go,' she said, head and shoulders are thrust out. and watch on the moor all night, to A low groan, - My God!' bursts from show him the way when he comes. her as the shadow seems to pause He will be there as sure as God is and then move away into that dim above us. I feel it, Bab! I know it! distance. Fleet as thought she has Cannot some one go?
left the window, dashed from the Oh, no, no, Miss Elsie!' cried room, and is gone. Bab, wringing her hands at her Till her death poor old Bab reyoung mistress's white distraught membered with remorse how heavily face; 'no one could stay there the she slept that night, till she seemed night through, he'd be foundered to dream that Miss Elsie's figure dead before mornin'.'
flashed past her through the room * You are sure of it? Ask some in which she lay. The vision made one; I must know.'
her sleep uneasily, and she awoke Bab went to inquire, and came troubled, and, rising to reassure herback. It was as she had said ; no self, searched the house for her one dared venture to pass a night young mistress. In vain; one room on the moor. The snow might come was empty, and another was empty. on again at any moment.
Elsie was gone. * Then God help me!' moaned Who shall tell where? The moorElsie, as she crept from the kitchen fowls that screamed past her as she and felt her way up stairs in the struggled on, fired to supernatural dark. She went into her own room, effort by the strength of her purpose, where the wedding-gown still lay, plunging through snow-wreaths, and she could see from the window stumbling over fences and clogged that line of moor where the roads marshes, with her eyes fixed on met. There, with hands locked in those Black Crags? Or the moon her lap, and strained eyes fixed on that pitied her as she fell and bled, the distance, and white cheek close and rose and fought on again, as sho to the pane, she sat. The sky had must have done terribly, piteously cleared a little, and the moon had often, ere those fatal rocks were ventured out, looking pale and meek, won ? as if she, too, had had her troubles Oh, those pitiless white wastes, and wept away all her brightness. how they must have frozen the blood
Twelve o'clock struck; and Bab, in that brave battling young heart! who had vainly tried to move her How they must have stung that mistress, had perforce laid her own daring soul with bitter wounds ere weary old head on a bed in the room it could acknowledge its defeat! off Elsie's and fallen asleep. One How they must have torn the plodo'clock, and the night had bright ding feet with treacherous stones ened, and the moon shone clear and and rocks ere they carried her to her brilliant on the white ridges and
goal-death! levels of mountains and valleys. But the moon waned, and the Two, and still Elsie sat fixed, and grey Christmas dawn broke, and a traveller, riding with difficulty along long, long weeks was quenched for the partially-cleared road, paused ever, and the heart whose love had suddenly, thinking he heard his own fed its flame, and the fingers that name called, a sharp, clear, bitter had trimmed the lamp, and the lips cry, fading suddenly into silence- that had kissed the little love-gifts * Philip! Philip!'
lying about, where were they? He wheeled about and gazed sea
Who shall guess ward, just as the red sun bared his from what hollow gulf of snow, from brow above the eastern mountains, the feet of what cruel rock, the tide and glared fiercely over the crimson- carried the dead girl? The seastained wastes of whiteness like a gulls may scream her misereres, and ruthless conqueror exulting after the the waves roll their muffled drums carnage is done. And out, out far, over her head, but no human mourner just by the Black Crags, he thought will ever kneel at her grave, for the he saw a slight dark figure standing body of Elsie Leonard was never in the red light against the snow found. But his eyes were dazed with the Philip North still lives, but whersun, and when he looked again the ever he goes the vision of that figure form was gone. He pressed on his out on the snow in the red dawn horse eagerly and thought no more will haunt him till death, and the of his odd fancy.
echo of that last bitter cry, ‘Philip! • Philip! Philip!' Oh, that last Philip!' ring in his ears. woeful cry, falling unheeded into This is the story of the Snowy stillness just as the poor heart broke! Christmas. It is told over the logs And he, the watched and prayed for, in the cabins at night; and children entered at last that garnished home; will turn pale if, in the wintry gloambut the hearth that had glowed so ing, a plover sobs from seaward or a brightly for him all through the curlew cries over the Black Crags.
No. 1.–FROM THE GOLDEN GALLERY. I hare vowed to spend all my life in London. People do really live nowhere else; they breathe, and move, and have a kind of insipid, dull being, but there is no life but in Loudon.'—Epsom Wells, by T. Shadwell, 1676.
AM not a musician, not even a student of music, nor, so say my detractors, a lover of music. They gloze over this bit of criticism, and hug themselves with delight; they point at me the finger of scorn, and they shrug the shoulders of contempt, and they laugh the sneer of spite as they say to each other, 'Look at him! he don't know Beethoven, from Mozart, nor Sebastian Bach from Donizetti; he has no soul for music!' I don't know whether I have; I do know that when people play sonatas and motetts and symphonies I go to sleep; and that when they play tunes-say the Che faro,' from Gluck's 'Orféo,' or the Harmonious Blacksmith,' or anything from Lucrezia’or' Lucia,' my tears flow very easily, and I can
sit and listen to them by the hour. I am afraid I have a weakness for tune; I have no doubt that a perpetual tumty-tum without definite object or aim is a good thing ; but then a little of it goes a long way. I become thoroughly somnolent before a symphony is one third played; whereas I can bear to hear my favourite tunes over and over again. I sit placidly by, and murmur da capo. It is one of the few bits of Italian I know, and it has been learnt from patiently standing over young ladies' shoulders at the piano, and turning over the leaves of their music-books when they give an impatient kind of jerk; for I cannot read the notes, and should be otherwise quite abroad. I know, too, its meaning — all over again,' or 'from the beginning;' and that is why I have begun this essay in this manner, simply because it is all da cupo. Da, capo, ladies and gentlemen! all over again! If I don't call it out you will accuse me of it; and it is much better to confess your own crime than to have it narrated' by somebody else. Picturesque . London, you will say; don't we know all about it? haven't we had enough of London sketches, and London people, and London life? have we not had books about London, ancient and modern ? can we not refer to Strype and Hollinshed, to Strutt and Stow, and Camden and Burgess ? have we not Ned Ward, “the London Spy,” Asmodeus-like, to unroof the houses for us? Will this writer be able to combine the vigour of Johnson with the soundness of Addison, the playfulness of Steele, the sentiment of Goldsmith-all of whom have written about London ? can he prattle as pleasantly as Mr. Secretary Pepys, as quaintly as Evelyn? does he know as much of low life and the “ fancy” as did Mr. Pierce Egan, when he sketched, “ Tom and Jerry; or, Life in London,” for our delectation ? is he prepared to give us the antiquarian research of Mr. Peter Cunningham, or the life-long labours of Mr. John Timbs? Finally, has he the faculty for observation, the wondrous memory, the power of transcribing his impressions, possessed by Mr. George Augustus Sala, who has given a closely written description of the twenty-four hours of the day and night as passed in London, in his “Twice round the Clock ?" Picturesque London, does this new which has since been extensively sketcher say? We have had it all followed by many who have been before, and are not going to have it by no means so successful; and in all over again.
my own experience I have seen In all ineekness and humility I many men who left for Switzerland, cry you mercy, and beseech you to Norway, Italy, the Nile, all with think no such hard things. I have the same view, who have returned read the authors, and the books you with equally small results. Now, I quote, and am thoroughly aware of make no tour at all; my steed is my inability to cope with them; there- Shanks's mare; my saddle - bags fore I make no such pretence. While
dwindle down into a cigar-case; my they, purple-clad and palfrey-riding, hotel expenses resolve themselves caracole down the grand streets, we into fourpence for a glass of beer shall slip by back ways, and tread and a sandwich at an Alton aledevious lanes; while they float in house; my letters of credit are a few golden galleys in mid Thames, we shillings in my portemonnaie; and I shall take oars at Hungerford, and have no passport. I leave my home dodge in and out, floating with the when I list-when my usual work tide, and seeing all sorts of quaint is done, if I list, or in early mornings out-o'-the-way bits that in their or pleasant afternoons; and I find grand voyage they pass by: the myself snugly ensconced in the club noise of the band on board their in time for the second joint, or cheerworships' barge is so great as to fully slippered and shooting-coated drown half the human cries which at the domestic dinner-table. And shall reach us, floating in our little as for the picturesque, ah! friend and boat: the awning to keep the sun
brother, not merely in Alpine mounfrom my lord and his friends hides tains or Italian plains lies the picturnumerous little nooks into which esque; not merely in trellised vines we shall penetrate, and prevents or purple hill-side, or stormbeaten many glimpses of odd bits of light ruin, not merely in unkempt lazzaand shade, of glow here and reflec- roni, or long-haired Burschen, or tion there, which in our little skiff snowy-chemiseted jödling mädchens; we catch : the accommodation is of not merely in jack-booted postilions, the homeliest, and you may chance or tight corporals of the line, or to sit on an ill-swabbed seat; but I Arab pipe - bearers, or turbaned believe the craft is safe; and at all Turks. I have seen fine bits of the events we will keep a sharp look-out picturesque from Southwark Bridge, ahead, and take care not to run foul and have marked them in the lanes of any one else.
of Wapping; I have seen the picAgain, I purpose to write of Pic- turesque on the Royal Exchange turesque London; and forthwith I and in the Stone Yard of Newgate am assailed by a yelping chorus of Gaol; I have noted it in the aldercurs, all protesting against the man's purple, and in the beggar's analogy of the two words. ‘Pictu- rags; in the moonlight on the Pool, resque! do you know what the word and in the trembling reflection of means ?' they ask; 'do you know how the gas on the wet pavement; in Webster detines it?' oss Expressing windy railway cuttings, and at that peculiar kind of beauty which dreary stations; in lamp-lit streets, is agreeable in a picture, natural or and solemn squares; in Quakers' meetartificial; striking the mind with ing-houses and public gatherings, I great power or pleasure in represent- have seen it; but keep your eyes ing objects of vision, and in pointing open and watch for it, and only to the imagination any circumstance have the soul to appreciate it when or event as clearly as if delineated it comes, and you will not be long in a picture." Are you going to in looking for the picturesque even fulfil all this with your pen ? Spare in London. me, gentlemen! Spare me for one It is a bad thing, I thought to minute, and hear what I purpose myself when I had decided on carrydoing. Dr. Syntax made a tour in ing out this idea, to start with a desearch of the picturesque, a course termination. If you say 'I uill do'