Page images

telligence and virtue, health and happiness; and if we would draw the summary of Clinton's conclusions concerning them, it would be this—that they knew little or nothing of the actual world, but inhabited a hemisphere of their own creation-a pure, a bright one-teeming with truth and joy. Lucy realised Wordsworth's description

“ She dwelt among the untrodden ways,

Beside the springs of Dove,
A maid whom there were none to praise,

And very few to love.

“ A violet by a mossy stone,

Half hidden from the eye,
A single star, when only one,

Is shining in the sky.”


“ Hear my soul speak ;

The very instant that I saw you, did
My heart fly to your service; there resides,
To make me slave to it; and for your sake
Am I thus patient.”—Shak speare.

" And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,

That suck'd the honey of his music vows.”—Shakspeare.

Clinton was not the only stranger introduced about this time into the pastor's abode. Jane Anderson, the Pirate's daughter, was fortunate enough to be taken from the farm of the settler by Lucy, to assist in the household affairs of the isolated lodge; and as Arthur Lee became attached to Clinton, so did Lucy to Jane. Often was the Pirate's daughter reminded here of her former residence with Madame Barry, and she loved nothing better than to talk of her to her young friend and mistress, and to describe her looks, her dress, and her discourse, But her father she never could be induced to speak of. If asked concerning him, she sighed ; a kind of horror was in her eye, and she would be melancholy for hours after. Clinton, also, if interrogated on his early life, if asked to converse about his former friends

and associates, looked as if suffering hidden pangs, the nature of which were not explained. Thus a mystery hung over them both. But still they advanced in the favour and confidence of the pastor, and in the esteem of his grandchildren.

The employments of Clinton chiefly confined him to the pastor's study, where he transcribed sermons, letters, and law papers ; kept the book of general expenses and receipts; and assisted his patron to turn over the solid tomes which burdened the shelves, in search of choice passages on topics of religion, philosophy, or judicature. In addition to this, he was a valuable assistant to Arthur, with respect to agricultural subjects, having so excellent a memory, that he could bring forward, when necessary, quotations from writers of authority, to elucidate any particular branch of the art, and could point to the very book, and chapter, if not to the page, in which any information required could be obtained. And though he had appeared to take so little interest in the farming concerns of farmer Joshua, yet, while under the settler's roof, he had not failed to acquire a great deal of knowledge as to the best means of raising crops of all kinds, and had made himself expert in the Canadian arts of spearing fish, of hunting and trapping animals, both large and small, and of shooting birds.

His earliest morning, and his latest evening hours, were devoted to Lucy. Her favourite walks and seats in the dell he decorated with considerable taste; his turn for poetry was cultivated for her amusement; and as he had a fine mellow voice, and she was rapturously partial to singing, he practised this accomplishment too. There was an old guitar in the house, which had not been played

upon for

years, Clinton put it in order, and found that it was really a very superior instrument; he had once taken lessons from a professor of the guitar in the English metropolis, and now he turned them to account, so that shortly many a tender air won the ear of Lucy, at hours most favourable to such sounds—the beginning and decline of day.

He had some acquaintance with botany, mineralogy, and other ornamental sciences, which he now brought forth to the light. His knowledge on these, and all other abstract subjects, was very superficial—but Lucy did not perceive that She admired his classification of the plants and flowers which he gathered in her walks; and, while he was never wearied of drying them, and arranging them in her cabinet, she took pleasure in pronouncing the hard Latin names for the different parts of each fair production, which he had taught he?.

Insects, she was too humane to kill by the barbarous method of impaling with pins, which Clinton recommended as the practice of some European ladies, who esteemed themselves for fine feelings; but Lucy gratified her curiosity more guiltlessly, and more persectly, too, by observing the fragile creatures in their pleasant haunts, possessed of freedom and life, sunning their gauze wings bedecked with splendid colours, and humming aloud with joy as they pursued their airy sports, among countless myriads of their kind.

When Clinton was with her, he acted as the interpreter of her observations on them. Theories regarding the cause of the colours they exhibited, he set before her in the most pleasing light. He endeavoured to make her sensible of the wonders which the misroscope was able

to reveal in their minute bodies : he narrated anecdotes of their habits, of their governments, of the changes they assumed. The military maneuvres of the ant, the monarchical empire of the bees, the transformation of the chrysalis to the butterfly, and similar wonders of the insect world, were his delightful themes.

He gave such names as Lucy approved to all the most beautiful parts of the scenery around the house. The basin of the cascade, was called the Marble Fountain—its diverging channel, the Milky Way—alluding to the colour of the rapid current, which, being pent within confined boundaries, became white as milk under the concentration of its force)—the dell itself was called the Happy Valley, (in reference to Dr. Johnson's prose poem of “ Rasselas,” which was a favourite book of the

young lady.) A slight bridge was thrown over the Milky Way by the mill, and just behind, a path wound up the front of a steep and bold rock, to a commanding situation, where Clinton constructed a couch and table of branches and moss, and at the edge of the precipice, piled a low wall of stones covered with sod—this spot was designated Lucy's Observatory; and here the guileless girl listened to the musical tongue of the designing Clinton, when he pointed out the planets and the fixed stars-explained the nightly changes in the heaveus—the moon's relation to the earth—and the true nature of planetary systems ; and when, gradually raising her imagination, he repeateł the suppositions of noted astronomers regarding those immense tracts of the universe which seem unpeopled and in darkness, and those tracts, which, on the contrary, are not only strewn thick with innumerable stars or suns, each the blazing centre of revolving worlds, but also dis

« PreviousContinue »