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often troubled, struggling earnestness, ence to every little outward object,with this cold, far.glancing, many. a plant, a bird, a shower, a village sided, self-idolising, consummate ar wedding. Now and then he expresses tist. . .
in a few words a view which seems to
throw a wondrous light over whole I am unjust to Walsingham. No regions of one's life. As this—a large man could so well understand and to. mind, which cannot tolerate small lerate all kinds of characters, even the ones, is smaller than if it could. Or most unlike his own, nay, even the poor, this—when we feel strongly and mysfoolish, painful, mimicries of himself, teriously as to the past, we should rewithout a long and hard self-sacrifi. member that all which seems strangest cing discipline. There is nothing in our consciousness may arise, not which I find that he so thoroughly from the past that it relates to, but hates as the coarse, tawdry finery of from the present that it subsists in. the English upper classes, unaccom- Or this-Rochefoucauld's maxims are panied, as it so often is, by any true a true picture, not of human nature, refinement or sense of the beautiful. indeed, but of its selfishness. He But I think, that when this better works like a painter who paints the taste exists, he is inclined to overlook profile, and chooses the side of the face in its favour much of moral evil, and in which the eye is blind and deformeven a good deal of heartless selfish- ed, instead of the other which is up. ness. When this tendency of his blemished. Yet the picture may be a breaks out I shrink away from him. most accurate copy. . Or this the But then again my admiration is re. wider the base of life the higher may called to him by his sensibility to every we hope to raise the summit. Numform of power and loveliness, by his berless more of such remarks has he insight into the real substance of all let fall in the three days he has been the kinds of human life we meet with, here, and chiefly when conversing and his capacity of divining the his- with me. And yet there is nothing tory of each, and rounding off its des- pedantic or sententious in his tone. tiny into a clear and expressive whole. He is easy and playful, though earnest; Sometimes, for a few moments, I seem and these sayings, and others like borne upwards on his eagle wings, them, have only come out as explanaand feel long after as if he had placed tions of some casual remark which me on a mighty mountain-head, had interested me, and on which I whence, in bright sunshine and keen had wished for more light. Yet this blue air, I can behold 'the great and man becomes, on occasion, quite a living mass of Nature and Mankind. different being, and one with whom I Dare I ask myself whether I could be cannot sympathize at all. : Thus, we content to dwell with him upon that had yesterday at dinner, and staying summit ?. It is too late to doubt whe, till to-day, Mrs — , an airy, sparkther I shall ask the question. Arthur, ling creature, fond of admiration, very forgive me! But I am clear as to the good-natured, and skimming through answer-No-Oh, No. May God for life like a butterfly. Walsingham bid! Rather let me live in the dark seemed much amused by her, and est, rudest valley, where I may be paid her a great deal of attention. I strengthened and guided by one true, am certain she could not in the least warm, wise heart; where I should not understand him in his more serious only understand and mould to ima. moments. But the odd thing was, gery all the beings round me, but that, seeing him with her, no one could where they might feel that I loved have suspected him of ever having them, and was struggling onward any serious moments. She was singwith them to do whatever good we ing, and exclaimed, " What stupid knew, at whatever sacrifice.
words these are- I cannot sing them!
and yet the tune is very pretty : Do Walsingham puzzles me more and give me something better for it?" She more. I cannot be mistaken as to the held out her ivory tablets to him with interest he feels in me, and the plea a coquettish smile, and said, “ Do, I sure he has in my society. I too en should so like it." He took them joy the perpetual flow of animated and from her laughing, and said, “ Mind graceful thoughts which breaks from you promise to sing the lines," and in him on all occasions, and with refer- ten minutes he gave her the verses
called Sappho, which, the next morn- Come to woo her from above,
Dreaming Sappho could not say, “ By the noontide heat oppress'd,
But she woke alone, and found
Evening floating o'er the ground.
And with inward moan she said, " But within the twilight shade,
• Boy, a double rest was thine, Lol a lovely boy was laid,
For thou leay'st me nought of mine.'” Who in deepest calm reposed, With his wings of purple closed.
Mrs - ran through this poem
merrily for several stanzas, and while 3.
she sang there was a droll indefinable “ Pleased, afraid, she knew not why, smile about the corners of her mouth, With a fond and dreaming sigh,
which I could not make out. But Down she sank beside the child,
before she had done, she shook her Who, in sleep rejoicing, smiled.
pretty bright head, with all its fair
ringlets waving round it, and said, 4.
“O! I can never get through all that." “ O'er the imp an arm she threw,
She then gave him an arch glance, Daintiest arm, of whitest hue,
and ran off from the piano to me, He towards her bosom crept,
saying, “ Dear Miss Lascelles, what Though it seemed that still he slept.
bores Sapphos, and Madame de Staels, and all such people must have been.
Do let us have some rational talk “" To her beating heart he clung,
about fashions, and fiddlesticks, and Like a bee the flowers among;
any thing useful." Walsingham took And one throbbing music played,
up a book, and his whole look changed Through the veins of child and maid.
to one that would suit my notion of
Plato or Pythagoras, and this evident“ On her eyelids, smooth and sweet,
ly quite unconsciously. Mrs --Sleep came down with presence fleet ,
could not keep her eyes off hio long, How could sleep delay to rest
and after a quarter of an hour she In so soft and fair a nest?
made some excuse for moving. I saw her pass near him and say something
laughingly. But he looked up with a " Then upon her soul arose
face of such entire thoughtful abstracWondrous visionary shows;
tion, that she started away as if she had Manly locks, heroic eyes,
seen a skeleton-head. He soon, howWith a voice of songs and sighs.
ever, smiled, answered her, and then came away and talked to me about
Albert Durer's Prayer-book, which I “ In the wooded vale it seemed,
was looking at. That the new-sprung godhead beamed,
Such were the terms on which Ma- who was indolent, and cared nothing ria and Walsingham stood together, for any prospects but those of his own when Mrs Nugent proposed that she pedigree, rent-roll, and dinner-table, and they should ride in the evening, said he had letters to write, and staid after an early dinner, to a ruined at home. Two or three of his guests church a few miles away, from which also reinained. But the riding-party there was said to be a very beautiful set out in high spirits, followed by a prospect. They set out more than an single servant, and passed quickly hour before sunset, and designed to through the green lanes till they bereturn by moonlight. Mr Nugent, gan to reach the higher and more broken ground of heathy hills. Here tice. After having heard him, some they came to a farm-house, where Mrs of his phrases keep ringing in one's Nugent, a notable visitor and adviser ears, as if he had sent a goblin trum. of her inferior neighbours, said she peter to haunt one with the sound for must go in to see the farmer's wife, days and nights after. But I have but would soon catch them by a always felt that he has more in his shorter road than that which, for the mind than ever comes out in the ex. sake of the view, was to be pursued by pression, and, so odd as his talk is, I them. The others, accordingly, rode should hardly call it affected or con. on. Maria knew that the good lady's ceited." habits of delaying and gossiping would " Ah! no doubt there must be probably detain her longer than she much genuine nature there. But, expected. But she could not change although these vehement lava-lumps her aunt's arrangements, and went and burning coals of his may be no forward without objection.
mere showy firework, and do shoot - Not far,” said Maria, “ from the out from a hot central furnace, I · point we are approaching lives the would rather it were all so much cool man we have before spoken of, the clear water, pouring from an inward hermit Collins. I have seen him often, lake of freshness." and, strange as he is, I like him very “ I can fancy him saying-the All much. There is such thorough ho- is right. There must be a Fire-God nesty about him, as well as so much as well as a Water-God. If there queer uncouth kindness, that he inte. were no fire forces secthing and blastrests me extremely. He is the most ing, for aught you know the fountains marked and original figure I have and flood forces would stagnate into ever heard of in modern England. slime. I heard him say something Whatever is usual and commonplace like that when last I saw him." among us seems to have influenced him « All very true. But I stoop to only by contraries, and called out no- drink of the stream, and I hasten thing but opposition."
away from the eruption." “ All that," answered Walsingham, “ In this case," replied Maria, “ is very foolish, or at least very im. laughing, “ the eruption saves you perfectly wise. In every age there is the trouble. It seeks no one, and good enough, if a man will but put loves its solitude." himself into harmony with it, to In half an hour after parting from enable him to produce more good out Mrs Nugent they had climbed a sort of it. If he does not, he defrauds his of pass between two hills, and then time of what he owes to it; and above turned to one side, so as to gain the all, he keeps his own mind in a per- summit of the ridge. There was then petual aimless ferment of antipathy. nothing between them and the sea but Kicking out behind is not the way to a wide and easy descent ending in move forward either for horse or man. level ground. Hardly a house was in And then what an absurd dream, to sight for many miles. Broad tracts fancy that the good in any man has of heath, mingled with furze and grown up so independently of all broom, all in full flower, and here and around him as to have nothing out there with patches of timber, covered ward with which to connect itself. the long and weary fore-ground, which No, no, we are not thrown down out sloped away into fields and meadows, of the sky like meteoric stones, but divided by hedgerows, and dotted with are formed by the same laws and sheep and cattle. A small town was gradual processes as all about us, and visible several miles off on the shore. so are adapted to it all, and it to us. The sea lay shining under a blood-red But, no doubt, Collins will fight his sun, which had nearly set amid the way through his present angry ele- heat-red sky. Above the sun a dark ment to peace and activity. What cloud hung distinct and swollen as a employment has he now ?”
black mantle ; but the glaring light « He minds his bee-hives. And to blazed around the spectators, and illuthe few people he ever sees he talks minated one side of the old church quaintly and vigorously, I sometimes which stood about a mile from them think wildly. But all he says has a on the same ridge as they. The por. strong stamp upon it, and never could tion of it towards the east looked cold pass from hand to hand without now and gloomy, while the hot light poured through two or three windows, and and seated himself beside her. “ This defined the whole dark outline against scene," he said, “ is worth some inthe sky.
convenience. I fear, had you expectThey had hardly gazed for a few ed it, you would have stayed at home. seconds before the black cloud spread It would have been an additional in. rapidly, with its smoking edges, over ducement to me to come here." a third of the heavens, and some " I should hardly have been allowed heavy drops of rain fell. Walsingham to choose, but I am not sorry for the looked at Maria, and she said, " Let event." us make haste to the church ; there is The wind rose high, and dashed the no nearer shelter." She turned her rain in noisy bursts about the ruin. horse in that direction, and riding fast, The neighbouring old beech-trees they reached the broken walls of the roared. The sound of the sea was small green enclosure in which the not audible, but a vague roll of white ruin stood, before much rain had fallen. and black confusion showed its tumult They pushed through one of the gaps, even at a distance. A glimmer of the gained the porch, and dismounted. sunset still played over it, though the The door was not locked, and they sun was now drowned out. The entered the building, and tied their greatness of the powers at work stirred horses to an old iron stancheon in the and enlarged the two beholders with wall. A stone-bench still remained a grave joy. They felt themselves under the spire of the church, on which rise and expand with the strong eleMaria sat down, while Walsingham ments. stood beside her. The eastern win- « One feels now," said Walsingdow, at the other end of the church ham, " what life there is in nature, from them, was in a great degree and our feeling shows how deeply it blocked up by rubbish and ivy, but is involved with our life, how insepathrough it was seen the grey sky, with rably its powers are one with those we a streak or two of faint red. The wield and are conscious of. Almost, western window, near them, was quite we dare to say, with every gust and open, and between its shafts they saw peal, these efforts of the universe have the dark and stormy landscape, the their impulsions from our breasts, so sea, angry and labouring under the mightily do sympathy and abounding heavy sky, yet kindled here and there imagination gush with them from with famelike rays, and the broad within us.” fierce sun balancing for a moment its " The storm is very grand," she crimson orb on the perilous edge of said, “ but I feel as if I should yield the horizon.
to its grasp, and lose myself in its They gazed in earnest delight, but vastness, if there were not a sense of the sharp glare which struck upon religion which the sublime struggle Maria's eyes compelled her to raise awakens in me, but which raises me · her hand before her face, while Wal- above it to God." singham stood confronting the violent He did not answer her directly. and resplendent hour, while the glory But soon she heard him repeating, as upon his marble face was met by more if rather to himself than to her,– than answering power from within. Ye demon winds that fill the vault of She looked at him with admiration air, from behind her hand, now tinged to And caves of earth with uproar Sibylline, a transparent pink ; and she thought On whose dark blasts the fates let loose that if, as she believed, his life were their hair far too statuesque and coldly predeter. Amid the thunder-clouds to stream and mined, yet intelligence and sensibility twine, could never have been invested with a Rage on, huge spirits, wildly as ye can ! nobler form. At this instant the Yet nobler tempest swells the soul of lightning flashed and filled the church; man. the thunder broke in a long peal. The T hey were both silent for some sun seemed to have dropped like a moments, when the lightning again flag at the signal, and barely burnt broke in terrible beauty, and before above the sea with a hand's breadth of the swift sound followed, they saw the intense radiance. A crash of rain ruin and each other's faces in a blaze came down upon the building. Wal- of light, and land and sea swept over singham turned composedly to Maria, by the meteoric burst, and in the distant depth a vessel reeling and crouch- ness! I too feel as if there were a ing under the tempest. Involuntarily wondrous life and spiritual presence she grasped his arm. She had never around us. But for weeks past I have felt so intimately attracted to him as had something of this feeling, and when he laid his hand on hers, and more than ever since you have been returned her trembling pressure. staying with us. It is now a month
- It is the hour," he said, “ of the since I have heard any thing of a dear Spirits ; but I cannot wish it other friend, and his image has been hauntwise, or that I were away from here.” ing me at intervals all the time."
" I feel that God is here, but — - She felt his hand relax, and that he as if he did not reach so far as that trembled while she spoke. She too poor ship."
now trembled, for never to any one • He is there too,” replied Wal. before had she spoken of her love. singham, in a voice almost as low as But the previous idea still possessed hers, but most, doubtless, with those her, for the potent strife of nature had who believe in Him."
elevated and freed her soul, and broken The horses were uneasy and fright down many an old barrier of reserve. ened at the storm ; and the poet said, - Often," she continued, “ and after a pause,-" Those animals feel especially when you are with me, he only apprehension. We can admire walks visibly before me, and turns his and enjoy the hour, so much nearer head as if to look at me, but never so do we lie to the source of all things, much that I can catch his eye. There," at which, could we quite attain to it, she cried, “ there—now he sees me !" all would doubtless appear in perfect and she drew her hand away convulharmony.'
sively, and pointed into the darkness. “ How noble," exclaimed Maria, A keen flash now came, and showed “ are these organ tones, so infinitely Walsingham that there was no one deep, of the vast air, while in the where she had looked. The astound. midst of them we hear so many bro. ing thunder followed ; and Maria, at ken sounds, some even whispers, like the same time, fell back with a long voices of living hearts, filling the whole sigh. Walsingham, too, was much tempest, and modulating every breath agitated, for what he thus learnt of of it."
Maria's affections bitterly disappointHer hand now lay calmly in his, ed him; but he commanded himself and he could feel its quiet pulsation. sternly. Another flash now spread His own beat more hurriedly-excited around them, and the thunder follownot by the tempest but by her. “ Yes,” ed so rapidly as to show how near to he said, “ not only the ethereal powers them was the explosion; but before it are working with fresh energies around was heard she had again opened her us,but the spirits in ourselves,—and eyes, and both she and her companion how many are there, each claiming in saw once more the fated ship, which turn to be our true self, which no one now lay stripped and dismasted, and of them is, but all of them together- seeming to take its final plunge into are, awakened and busy in such an the deep. They kept their eyes fixed hour, strong with more than common upon the spot, but even when some life. Nor can they stir and throng fainter electric lights did play over the without calling round them, too, the view, the sea was now invisible through other spirits of the past and present, the black sheets of rain. The streams perhaps of the future, and of all be from the steeple above them and from ings with whom our hearts have ever the remaining portions of the roof were held true communion. It is the graves heard rushing down with a continuous themselves which are dead, and the uproar, while the rattle and the mur. dead live triumphantly around us." mur of the rain itself spread all around,
His sweet and steady voice flowed and the wind howled and bellowed as clear and low amid the clang and if the universe were given over to its discord of the winds and rain, and wrath. Except during the moments wrought, with the hour itself, in the of the lightning, it had long been pitch ears of Maria, like an enchantment. dark. Maria felt that she could speak She pressed the hand which held more boldly than if she had been seen hers, and looking at the other hand, by Walsingham, and she said in a said to him in a deep whisper,-“ How low voice, “ I have been talking very that ring of yours glitters in the dark- ' wildly ; but this tempest had filled me