« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
notes of rustic joy—the villagers were returning from the labours of the day; and, here and there, appeared in distant groups, winding down the avenue of vine-clad hills. At the cottage door he was met by two buxom little girls, on whose cheeks bloomed the roses of health, and their dress was such as served not to decorate, but display the fine symmetry of their figures. They made a low and graceful curtsey, and then ran in to announce the approach of a stranger.
The charming mother came out, and modestly welcomed him to her cottage, where she set before him the best her simple larder afforded, together with the choicest fruits the children could procure. He took the infants on his knee, and encouraged their artless prattle by familiar questions and endearments; and from them he learnt that papa was gone to take a long walk on the mountains, on which account they were unable to accompany him as usual. Their pleasures, their pastimes, and their mode of education, became the general topics of conversation ; and the marquis discovered in this little group more natural ability and good sense, than he had frequently found in the most polished circles. The mother was an intelligent, liberal-minded woman, and delivered her sentiments with the most agreeable and unaffected simplicity; her whole deportment and conduct evinced the most sacred attachment to the maternal and conjugal duties, and she spoke with enthusiasm of the enjoyments of retirement and domestic life. The mind of the marquis was much affected, and it was with apparent difficulty he could conceal the various emotions which struggled in his bosom.
The little mountaineers, who had been on the “ tip-toe of expectation” for the arrival of their father, now recognised bis footsteps as he approached the door; and, running out to welcome him, hung around his knees, and danced with excess of rapture, while he distributed between them some flowers and other natural curiosities indigenous to the soil, which he had picked up in his way. A sudden pleasure seemed to irradiate the lovely countenance of the mother, as she introduced her consort to her guest. Had a clap of thunder that moment torn from the summit of the neighbouring mountain the eternal, rock, which then cast a length of shade across the lake, and hurled it into the vale below, a greater degree of asto
nishment could not have been depicted on the faces of both at this unexpected rencontre.
A momentary silence prevailed ; conscious remorse touched the heart of the marquis at the sudden appearance of a son whom he had so deeply injured, while Lewis stood awed beneath the heretofore authoritative eye of a disobliged parent. The roses fled the cheek of the amiable Maria, while the husband, on his knees, implored the forgiveness of that father, of whose displeasure she had formerly heard with so much emotion, and who, she now fully expected, was come to destroy her happiness for ever. He perceived their agitation ; adver. sity had softened his heart, and all the father returned : for a while he could not speak, but took their hands and joined them together, lifted his eyes to heaven, as if in the act of imploring blessings on them both. He then snatched the wondering infants to his bosom, and shed over them involuntary tears.
The first tumult this interview had occasioned, subsiding, a calmer but more solemn scene ensued. The death of Lady Embleville, and the family misfortunes, engaged all their attention ; and while they listened to the tale of woe,” they mutually paid the tribute due to human calamity. The marquis, having now experienced the vicissitudes and fallacy of fortune, ack nowledged the superior prudence of bis son in making so judicious a choice, and blessed the power that so mysteriously disposed him to provide this calm retreat, and those domestic comforts, amidst which he resolved to spend the evening of his days.
LYNEHAM GRAMMAR SCHOOL.
MISS NANCY HINTON.
To nurse my helpless infancy ;
She hushed me with the mother's charm." Both sexes are apt to confess that their happiest days were spent at school. Much truth is expressed in the confession. Past time abstracts the severity from the indulgence ; the latter being remembered, brings pleasure into the present cares, and it is therefore in accordance with our shifting nature to hold fast that which is dearest, whether in the possession of me
mory or otherwise. But to the most fortunate of youths, the snatches of happiness are not many--they are the more valued, trifles though they be, and survive events more momentous in the future progress to manhood.
The “ Grammar School” is, as it was thirty years since, a large old building in the village of Lyneham. A court yard, with paiing, a row of lime trees towards the causeway street, and nearly opposite the church. An orchard is on the one side with a kitchen garden ; in the play ground is a pear tree of wondrous height ; a pool, with steps leading into the surface of the deep, is surrounded with hurdles and by willows ; on the opposite, is a flower garden which rises gradually to an arbour, celebrated for wall-flowers, carnations, sunflowers, and holyoaks. This seat of learning is remembered especially ; first, for the motherly kindness of its mistress, unexceptionably, to no less than sixty pupil boarders, the youngest of whom was the writer, and perhaps the favorite : secondly, for the unshaken integrity of her husband, the venerated conductor, whose anger was often justly roused by the indocible disposition which the writer, to his sorrow, evinced : thirdly, for an exanıple of urbanity, neatness, and learning, which the brother of the mistress uniformly maintained in his discipline and rectitude. He was the most exquisite pattern of a bachelor at sixty which could be seen. His writing and books, garden and manners, were of the same conspicuous class. His mind was completely enriched by the best stores of literature, and his conversational powers, when relaxed from the duties of pedantry, exceedingly delightful. And, fourthly, for the sweet and seasonable excuses which “ Miss Nancy,' the daughter, made in behalf of transgressors, to soften the severe chastisement which their conduct, though not criminally, deserved. She was a good and unhappy young lady! Alas! painful thoughts are interspersed with the pleasing ones of her history : she was a disappointed and lovely creature at twenty, and existed as one without hope. A mild and secret, and patient endurance of her trials, inhabited her heart, which, though it was not broken, yet lingered 10 con, quer the departure of faded affection in silence. Her daily deportment was well conducted, but gloomy: she looked as one that carried a weight sorrow in all her engagements, but relieved her mind not of it, by communion either of friendly converse in confidence, or tears in her retirement :
this trial was past. Settled despair and she grew more inti. mate than her friends desired ; but the remedy was out of reach : her lover left the shores of his nativity by the impulse of a family quarrel, and was out of the commune of tidings. She was watched with affectionate apprehension,—the ten. derest solicitudes, like cords of silk, were ever around her ; but she sometimes stietched them, and exceeded the bounds of her safety-she walked in her sleep. Silently, as the steps of shadow in the midnight moonbeam, she would creep along the winding staircase, and, descending to the laundry, fetch several pails full of water from the pool, and, after filling the furnace, return without harm to bed. Care was taken not to wake her, lest more serious consequences might ensue. She would, at other times, go into the orchard, and carry fruit into the desks of some of the pupils, for whom she held most esteem. Poor Miss Nancy! many and many a windfall she gathered together in her lap from under the pear tree, in a tempestuous night, and deposited in the writer's box ; and bunches of pinks and pansies she planted in his little patch of ground, allotted as his garden. When the dancing master, too, made his monthly appearance, Miss Nancy, after the coy interlocutions were passed, would be prevailed on by her mother to join in the country dance with the highly-favored scribe, who is now her survivor. The excursions in the fields, with all the establishment, in the choicest summer afternoons, to gather cowslips for wine, were no less dear to all; and Nancy always made one in the joyous recreation to liberated youths. Her constant attendance in the family pew under the gallery, in a plain suit of wood, on which many a schoolboy's initials are scratched, was regular and devotional: her eye often corrected the playful smile of youth, and reminded him of his duty.
Alas-alas! good old Mr. and Mrs. Hinton, Mr. Saunders, Miss Nancy Hinton, and many a sprightly youth, are now silent as the dust in which they are deposited ; the grave is still hungry,—the worm, though fatter, still craving. The school stands-masters are breathing in its walls-pupils are, there---the pew is filled with new faces—the scenes are stock. ed with new trees-new voices echo in them. Is not the writer devoid of gratitude, if he does not drop a tear of recollection, and retire to ask his heart why he is spared amid the commotion of life, and the havoc of death? J. R. P.
Wheree'er I roam, whatever realms I see,
Forbids the wither'd flower to blow;
On mountains of eternal snow.
Or poverty's more tranquil road,
Or sixty winters chill my blood.
Or though on earth 'twere doom'd to pine ;
My heart, oh Sarah! still is thine.
This faithful heart still burns for thee.
A LAY OF THE HEART.
BY ROBERT SHELTOY MACKENZIE, ESQ.
Lady! fair lady, the Aash of thine eye
out in revelry) --