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gentle deference, visiting the comfortable house. You see the parlour, the antimacassars, the decanter and biscuits, the smelling salts, the gentility. You hear the exchange of texts. Both books have this background. The good Cornelius carried round with him his receptive sympathetic ear and his urgent sympathetic heart as steadily as Mr. Dobson’s curé carried his green umbrella case. An inscrutable calamity in the life of a lady or gentleman made him as happy (although genuinely grieving) as a natural phenomenon made the Rev. Gilbert White, or a loose jest the Rev. Laurence Sterne, or a good dinner the Rev. Sydney Smith. He collected misfortunes. His cabinets were full of bodily accidents and spiritual trials, all neatly arranged and preserved in camphor. Mr. Whur, if not a contemporary of Emmeline Grangerford, was very little before her pensive day. Although the Atlantic rolled between they were kindred souls. You remember the instant correspondence between the tender heart and the muse of that lady: so prompt that the saying was it was first the doctor, then Emmeline, and then the undertaker. With Mr. Whur too, the sequence was the same. According to Buck's testimony, it will be remembered she could rattle off poetry like nothing. She didn't ever have to stop to think He said she would slap down a line, and if she couldn’t find anything to rhyme with it she would just scratch it out and slap down another one, and go ahead She warn’t particular; she could write about anything you choose to give her to write about, just so it was sadful. Every time a man died, or a woman died, or a child died, she would be on hand with her “tribute before he was cold. She called them tributes. . . . The undertaker never got in ahead of Emmeline but once, and then she hung fire on a rhyme for the dead person's name, which was
Whistler. She warn’t ever the same after that ; she never complained, but she kind of pined away and did not live long.
Sudden death had the same fascination for Cornelius Whur. One can see his parishioners waylaying him to tell of the latest case. For the most part Norfolk supplied material enough for this branch of his poetical activity, but once he went as far afield for his example as Mobile in America (Emmeline Grangerford's own land) where Miss Sarah E. Norton of Edgartown, New York, had fallen down dead on the day before her marriage while standing before a looking-glass. Here was a subject made to the hand of Cornelius Whur, for it comprised not only one of his favourite tragedies, but also an object that has always been stimulus and nourishment to the moralist—a looking-glass. His knowledge
of feminine vanity, however, was less profound than his didactic fervour, or he would never have written such a stanza as this:
Her lovely tresses smoothly hung
When death's unerring dart was flung,
If I know anything of brides, whether in London or in Edgartown, N.Y., they do not dress their hair the day before the wedding. As a specimen of a tragedy nearer home, let us take this:
AN AWFUL DISPENSATION.
The following lines refer to the death of Mrs. Phebe R. which occurred under the subjoined awfully melancholy circumstances.
The unfortunate woman was in her thirty-fifth year, and had five small children, the youngest of whom was only thirteen weeks old. After the necessary arrangements had been observed, she bade adieu to her family, and having been strongly solicited, ascended a certain vehicle. The animal by which it was drawn becoming restive, poor Phebe, in a state of great excitement, attempted to leap out, and in doing so was killed on the spot. This dreadful occurrence took place within half an hour of her having taken leave of an affectionate husband and five helpless children. The gloomy circumstances were related to the writer, in melancholy detail, by the bereaved husband.
The beautiful baby was wrapped in her arms,
By fostering kindness she quelled its alarms,
Thus nourished, the babe had a mother's embrace,
And leaving her dear in the happiest place
The parting, though keen, had a dazzling beam—
Enchanting the heart, like the glow of a dream,
• And at my returning, thy sweet rosy cheek,
For Phebe had scarcely retired from her cot,
Ere she dreadfully fell ; and sad was her lot,
What tongue can rehearse what her dear partner felt,
Like rush of a meteor, the blow had been dealt,
Yes! his dearest had fled at meridian hour,
The innocent babes in the absence of power,
But God, whose designs are a fathomless deep,
Not ceasing his footsteps in darkness to keep,
At that awful moment, with beamings of light,
A power to discover He did what was right,
That poem is not unworthy to be set...beside (the ode on the death of Stephen Dowling Bots, thus proving once again how great a book is ‘Huckleberry Finn,” where Emmeline Grangerford is (of course) to be found. Mr. Whur's faith, it will be seen, was of the most elementary. He believed in this life as a preparation for the next; he believed we were all in the everlasting arms; he believed that affliction should yield to rhetoric, and he had, I fancy, no patience with those troubled ones who could hold out against his facile panaceas. Comfort, when one is as sure as this, and given a tender heart, becomes a simple thing. It resolves itself into the formula of Dr. Pangloss. To the bereaved and poverty-stricken, to the deaf and dumb, to the blind—even (as we shall see) to the armless and legless—the sympathetic Whur, prosperously and briskly exercising all his faculties, had messages of consolation, genuine if automatic. “Never despond,” he said; “God will make up to you for this,” he said; “Your crown will be the brighter,’ said he. To take an extreme case, a youth who was saved from the wreck in which his father and mother, uncle, and nine brothers and sisters were drowned, was reminded that he himself was saved, and therefore bidden to be of good optimistic cheer:
Dost thou, in wandering there, that scene review
One feels that it would have been a cruel thing to ask this glib and beaming consoler why Jehovah's arm was not beneath those other waves which engulfed the balance of the family. There are certain types of simple believers whom no sceptic but the dastard or the cad can attack, and the Rev. Cornelius Whur came high among them. In default of a catastrophe Mr. Whur would make himself comfortable in a cemetery. Tombstones never failed to move him. He has a number of poems upon graves, all amusing but too long to quote. As a specimen of his mortuary manner here is the exordium of ‘The Lady's Tomb’:
A young gentleman, who is a Clergyman, and who had the misfortune to lose his amiable lady a few weeks subsequently to her confinement, by a severe attack of influenza, gave instructions for a grave to be prepared, nine feet in depth, for the reception of her loved remains, intending, as he afterwards informed the author, to rest there himself. It may likewise be proper to inform the reader that the lady left behind a sweet little boy. About thirteen weeks previously to this sad event the writer had the honour of dining with this excellent young lady, and being in the neighbourhood in which she had resided he again waited upon the bereaved gentleman, and accompanied him to the melancholy spot where the sharer of his former joys was reposing. Several years afterwards this excellent Clergyman removed to a distant part of the kingdom, and in the lines which follow he is supposed, previously to his departure, to have visited the scene, and when standing by the tomb of the deceased lady her spirit is to be understood as having addressed him as she is represented to have done in the verses which are subjoined.
The poem is, as usual, merely the same thing over again, but not so concise. One tomb poem I may, however, quote in full. With great daring it is written in the metre of “The Soldier's Dream, almost the least suitable that could be chosen by an indifferent technician.
THE ROSE-COWERED GRAVE.
The author, in passing through a beautiful churchyard in the county of Norfolk was particularly struck with the appearance of a recently covered grave, which was surrounded by a profusion of roses. Afterwards while proceeding on his journey he casually overtook the gentleman whose lady had been interred in the grave which had engaged his attention, and of whose sudden departure he gave the following relation: He had an only daughter, who at the period referred to was seriously indisposed, and who had been deploring that circumstance in consequence of the inconvenience it occasioned in the family. The lady, who at that time was in perfect health, endeavoured to console the mind of her afflicted daughter by exclaiming, “Thank God, I am quite well, and will alleviate your sufferings ' ' But within twenty minutes the affectionate mother, who had thus spoken, was a corpse, and in the above-named grave her remains were reposing.
The morning arose, and its beauties were beaming,
But alas ! as such splendours were brilliantly gleaming,
That hour was a season of gloomy decision,
Nor aught to illumine the dark-clouded vision,
She'd heard too, to add to the keen separation,
Nor could she but sigh for a dearer relation,
Yet she fell 'mid emotions of exquisite sorrow,
And the sad apparatus was used on the morrow,
And there, as the breezes are wantonly playing,
And zephyrs will chance as their fragrance is straying
Such—such is the spot, yet this pleasing reflection
Though her spirit hath fled, it is 'neath His protection,
Here you see Mr. Whur at his happiest. He is the kind of man who would build his country house in the valley of the shadow. His very walking-stick smelt of mortality, for before it came to
it had been the property and daily companion of a gentleman (a member of the Church of England) who although a layman, most laudably employed several evenings in each week preaching to and instructing the peasantry in different cot. tages in his neighbourhood. This gentleman upon a certain occasion gathered what he supposed to be mushrooms, in eating of which himself, a sister, and a little boy were poisoned.
But Cornelius was not always serious: he had his levities too. One of his poems describes his adventures on journeying into Northamptonshire to preach, and being arrested by mistake immediately on arrival and conveyed to the chief constable. The little error, however, led to the discovery of a whole nest of new and warm friends for the victim—pious gentlemen and amiable