Page images
[ocr errors]

have already been told, is H; by that uniform for the ladies; had down all the name I have enjoyed the honour of an new music as fast as it was published in introduction to our respected host, and London, and the new novels a week in the ladies and gentlemen whose acquaint- advance of the circulating library. More.. ance I have this day had the pleasure over, he played the church-organ on of making; it may be a singular name Sundays, with almost the touch and taste to bear, but it is mine nevertheless, and of a Neukomm; and there was not a until it can be made to appear that its gentleman in the neighbourhood that owner has done something to forfeit the possessed such a talent at making conunrespect due to a gentleman, I shall be drums, acting charades, and putting all under the necessity of considering any sorts of people in perfect humour with farther remarks as an overture to a themselves and everybody around them. serious disagreement.”

It was very soon ascertained too, that he The report of this conversation was was not only an unmarried, but a soon spiead abroad, and had the effect marrying man; rich, young, bandsome, to prevent any future allusion to the accomplished, and uncommonly pleasant forbidden subject, in the presence of there was not a young lady in M, the party concerned; and in process of or its vicinity, from the retired cheesetime, the wonder began to diminish, and monger's plump daughter up to the Mr. H to be left in the undisputed en- aristocratic sister of the poor, but proud joyment of his supposed incognito. In baronet who represented the county the course of a few more weeks, people in parliament, that would not have even began to believe, or at least to been willing, and, if the truth must admit, that his name might really be be told, delighted to change her whole H, by itself H; letters came to him so name for a share of his single letter; directed, from various parts of the king- and, for a time, so general were his dom; books and parcels were brought attentions, that an equal hope was chedown every week from London, for rished by all of a result so congenial to Mr. H; and all doubt was at length their wishes. It appeared, however, in removed, when it was found that his time, that Mr. H had a preference; and drafts on a great banking-house in the he approved himself a man of excellent metropolis, signed merely with a pecu- taste and judgment in making it. Isabel liar and difficult flourish, -in the centre Hartley was a delightful creature; there of wbich was a handsome and very dis- can be no doubt of it, for even when I tinct H, were honoured with all pos- knew her four years ago, she was still sible promptitude.

almost as beautiful as either of her three Spring passed away, summer came charming daughters, and although not and departed, and autumn still found quite so sylph-like in form, looked but a Mr. H the observed of all observers at very few years older. When Mr. H M The village and the country became the slave of her bright hazel eyes, around it had never been so gay as she was but just nineteen; a lovely, in. they had become under the inspiring nocent, guileless being, whose motions influence of his presence. The men all were all grace, looks gladness, and swore he was the best rider, and one of thoughts purity. I have not time to the best shots they had ever seen, and describe her at length, and the reader gave capital dinners and wine into the must be contented with learning from bargain. The old ladies eulogized his me that she was not tall, nor yet very profound skill and attention at whist; short, slender in the waist, but of the and the young ones were all in raptures most beautiful rounded proportions, with with his fine voice, bis exquisite taste in a small classical head, a sweet little dress, and his delightful gallantry. Even mouth, exquisite hands, and a foot of the boys were his devoted adherents, for surpassing loveliness. Her temper was he allowed them to ride his horses, and not very gay, but always serene and shoot with his guns, and both were first cheerful; and her mind both good and rate. He was always proposing and well cultivated. In short, she was a girl carrying into effect, some particularly to be loved more as a wife than a bride; agreeble scheme of amusement; to day and so she has been for the last twenty a pic-nic, on the top of one of the Mal- years of her happy innocent life. Mr. É vern Hills; to-morrow a ride to the old fell in love with this good and bewitching ruined castle that frowned over the girl, courted her like a man of sense and Severn; now an extemporaneous ball, a gentleman, and gained her affections. and anon a fishing excursion. He intro. Her parents were satisfied, she was grateduced archery, and invented the sweetest ful and happy, and he at the summit of

rational human felicity. They were around, to ward off the unwelcome attenengaged, and the wedding day was tions of poor younger brothers, or to appointed to be in the first week of encourage those of the bashful young December,

squires whose estates were known to The annual county ball given at Bridge amount to the desirable number of thouwater, on the second of November, 1810, sands per annum.

The band was one was more than commonly brilliant, and of the best that could be procured from was graced by the presence of all the London, and poured out a continual wealth, beauty, and fashion of Somerset- flood of the richest and most inspiriting shire. There had boen a great political harmony; perfumes of the most delicious struggle, or in other words, a hotly con- fragrance floated upon the air, but so tested election; and it is always observed skilfully regulated as not to oppress while that in exact proportion to the heat and they delighted the sense; and in the violence of the strife upon these occa- intervals of the dance, numbers of richlysions, are the splendour and luxury of dressed liveried servants wandered about the dejeuners, dinners and balls by which the rooms, laden with welcome refreshthey are followed; the victors, of course, ments, in every variety that taste and anxious to make the most of their triumph, luxury could devise. and the vanquished to hide or forget the Conspicuous among the throng of the mortification of their defeat. The refined, the elegant and the lovely who Bridgewater ball, therefore, of the par- graced this splendid array, was the party ticular year in question, was much from M-; and chief among these were talked-of beforehand, expected with vast the betrothed lovers. Mr. Å and Isabel įmpatience, and attended by every Hartley were both exquisite dancers, creature within thirty miles, who could and the grace of their movements not manage the three requisites of a convey- less than her exquisite loveliness and his ance, a dress, and an invitation. The manly beauty, attracted general admiraofficers of the regiment stationed at Bris- tion. It was very soon known by all in tol were there to a man, from the colonel the room that they were engaged, and down to the cornet; both the candidates therefore it excited no surprise, although for the honour of representing the county a great deal of envy to both ladies and made it a point to be present, with their gentlemen, that he solicited no other wives, sons, daughters, brothers, and hand than hers for waltz or quadrille, sisters, and as many friends as they could and that her answer to every request for drum up for the occasion ; Taunton sent the honour of being her partner, was met forth its belles ; Bath and Cheltenham with a gracious and graceful denial. furnished their quota of yellow nabobs, Isabel was delighted with all around her ; dyspeptic dowagers, fortune-hunters, and with the splendour of the scene, the adyoung men of no particular occupation; miration excited by her lover, his assiand even the catholic peer, the right duous and elegant attention, the exquisite honourable baron De Clifford, emerged music, the champagne, and last but not from his seclusion at Weston Park, and least of all, with the secret consciousness forgot for a single night his political of her own irresistible and acknowledged wrongs, and the duns of his troublesome beauty. Women always know when they creditors. The scene was one of enchant- are loveliest, and see the evidence of their ment; look where you would, your power with a pleasant feeling; even glance was rewarded with visions of though they care not to exert it. It is beauty : diamonds and ladies' eyes an innocent and harmless joy, and seemed to vie with each other in bril. shame to him who would condemn its liancy; the pearly lustre of satin was presence. eclipsed by teeth of more exquisite purity; But never before had the M- friends and round, graceful arms, surpassed both of her betrothed seen him to such advanin softness and hue the unsullied kid by tage, or shining with a brilliancy of perwhich they were partly enveloped. son and mind so fascinating and sustained. Honeyed words were murmured by irre- His spirits, always elastic and cheerful, sistible voices in charmed ears; many a were now excited to the highest pitch, pure and innocent heart fluttered with yet beautifully tempered with the most mingled delight and alarm, as the fair perfect good breeding. His discourse hand of its gentle mistress was clasped was a perpetual series of neat repartee, for a moment in that of some handsome elegant compliment, bright thought and captain or major, whose eyes spoke a lan- happy expression; he had a beaming guage too flattering to be disbelieved; smile and a pleasant word for every one and many a vigilant mother hovered that came near him; he jested with the men, was respectfully attentive to the the passes of the Sierra Morena. We dowagers, flattered the belles, amused had been told that banditti were lurking the mothers, and even found time, now among the rocks, but gave no faith to and then, for some little act of courtesy the story, and went unprovided with and kindness to the forsaken wall-flowers arms of any description. We had and humble companions; and yet was rambled some miles, without thinking scarcely a moment away from the side where we were going ; pursuing a mounof his mistress. He anticipated her tain.path, worn, probably, by the sheep, thoughts, knew the meaning of every of which large flocks are pastured among glance, and ministered to her every wish the rich valleys that lie hidden away, as almost before it was formed. : - As the it were, in those wild recesses. At night wore on, Isabel wearied with danc- length, we found ourselves in a narrow ing, and she and her immediate friends glen, completely surrounded by steep, gathered together at one side of the room, craggy rocks, and accessible only by the where the sofa on which she was seated "narrow and difficult path by which we quckly became the central point of a had reached it. I confess that the look numerous circle, comprising the elite of of the place gave me some not very the assembly, among whom Mr. H'was agreeable thoughts, and I was on the the reigning star of the hour. His fund point of suggesting to Larrington the of anecdote was amazing, and of the propriety of returning, when our ears richest quality; and he poured it forth were'assailed by a loud, "shrill'whistle, with a profusion that made: all around apparently just over our heads.

Larhim delighted listeners. He was actually rington,' said I, - did you hear that ?' inspired with happiness, admiration, and Before he could answer, the whistle was just sufficient champagne to give full answered again and again, and I began play to his conversational powers. Still to suspect that mischief was coming. the party increased, as one after another Larrington's thoughts were much of the came up eager to know and to share the same tenor ; Hogsflesh, 'my boy,' said enjoyment that caused such repeated he to me bursts of merriment and good-humour ; There was a'general start-a shriek and every one thought to himself that a shrill cry of wretchedness and despair. decidedly the most agreeable part of the Isabel Hartley fell swooning into the night was commencing just when the arms of her mother. “ Hogsflesh! dancing was over.

merciful heavens !” exclaimed her father “H,” said Isabel's father, "you are -the gentlemen stared at each other, leaving the band nothing to do; they and muttered “Hogsflesh! O, horrid !” will not have a quadrille to play to, if The brilliant room was in a moment a you go on at this rate."

scene of wild and disastrous confusion, “ The united attraction is too great to and when this had in some measure subresist,” said the pompous Lord Hun- sided, the unfortunate cause gerford; the amusing talents of Mr. where to be seen. He had rushed from H, and beauty like that of Miss Isabel the room like a madman, and “ Lodgings Hartley might wile away the most de- to let ” appeared the next day in the voted servitor of Terpsichore.”

lower-floor windows of the house occu. En revanche," squeaked a diminutive pied by the widow Johnson. J. I. colonel, “ Miss Hartley ought to divide the attraction, and get up another set. May I solicit the honour of leading her to the floor?"

Isabel pleaded fatigue; and her At a late catechetical examination in mother suggested that it was time to Trinity College, Dublin, an examiner, withdraw; but a dozen voices at once

well known for his delight in badgering were lifted up in remonstrance, and blockheads, enjoyed the following treat: two rattling young men linked their

Q. It is recorded in scripture that a arms in those of the irresistible H, de- beast spoke-what was the beast ?- A. claring that they should keep him a fast

A whale. Q. To whom did the whale prisoner for three hours at least.

speak ?—A. To Moses in the bulrushes. “ You remind me, gentlemen,” said Q. What did the whale say?—A. Almost Mr. H, with a smile, “ of an adventure thou persuadest me to be a Christian. I had some six years ago, in Spain. I Q. And what did Moses reply?—A. was out one day, on a stroll, with my

Thou art the man ! friend, the Marquis of Larrington, among

was no



[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]



DEATH IN THE TOWER. the musical night-wind, that sows his BY HORACE GUILFORD.

hollow murmuring flood with diamond (For the Parlerre).

sparks! Lo! the magnificent and crested porch,—the resounding hall; the tapes.

tried saloon, whose pompous raiment of The damsel led him through the spacious hall, palaces and castles, and groves and vilShe frequent looked behind and changed her lages, and tilting knights and banquethue,

ting ladies, is enwoven with the partiWhile fancy tipt the candle's flame with blue:

coloured gorgeousness of that bright And now they gained the winding stairs' ascent, And to "The Lonesome Room of Terrors"


“Which zealons Europe learnt of Pagan hands, When all was ready, swift retired the maid

While she assayed, with rage of holy war, The watchlights burn; tucked warm in bed was To desolate their fields : but old the skill:

Long were the Phrygians' picturing looms reThe hardy stranger, and attends the sprite,

nowned ; Till his accustomed walk at Dead of Night! Tyre also, wealthy seat of arts, excelled,

Gay's Tales.

And elder Sidon, in th' historic web."* What a fine thing, even to imagination, -how majestically gloomy the volu. is a fine old mansion, lonely, remote, and minous pictures of romance and terror melancholy-so smothered in a beechen and gallantry glare at you from the vast rookery, that its clustered chimneys can walls, their cumbrous woof overspreads ! scarcely shew their dingy white cornices with what appalling solemnity do they over the tree-tops, or the tawdry vanes sweep and swell, when, through the clatglimmer murkily against the clottered tering windows, or the groaning doors, blackness of the gigantic firs! See that the audacious gusts assail their inviolable dull moat, unwillingly reflecting the beau. pomp: some such a bridling, peacocktifully shy moon, and with reluctance still more savage, yielding to the soft caresses of


movement as a high, stiff dowager would firelight, and vanishes through the winmake, on the advance of some gay un- dow. From that window you had not chartered libertine—not a flutter, but a long before undrawn the massive cursurge! On with you to the gleaming tains of yellow Damascus brocade, flowarmoury, with its pavisses and spears and ered with scarlet poppies and white lilies, banners and burgonets, “ e'en to horror in order to admit the moonlight, whose bright;"—up the wide staircase, with its imprint of the panes, mullions, and trangothic window of “saint - encyphered somes, in black and white, on the polished glass,” and its grim portraits and brazen wainscot and floor, you had so sleepingly effigies, and traverse the hearth-light admired. Well !-after a pause, during haunted gallery, in which the puny light which you had hardly drawn breath from of your lamp is lost in gulphs of shadow the recent horror, the same three yells and umbered flame from dying brands, are heard in the garden below, to which, as you creep shivering to the oaken cham- bulustraded steps, and terraces lined with ber.

orange trees in sculptured vases, interOh friend--whoever thou art, thus mingled with old white fauns and nymphs situated !--would I were with thee, were of marble, lead down from your window. it only for the sake of the apparition You neither see nor hear more of this which will undoubtedly come to thee! phantom-but I wish you joy of the rest

Yes ! you will have stirred the logs of your night. More than all, do I felion the hearth into a bright blaze, given citate you on your feelings,- when, upon one admiring look at the sublime tester your descending to breakfast the next and Indian draperies of the pavilion- morning late, jaded and perplexed, you like couch, remembering that

discover, beyond all possibility of doubt,

in a silent, pale, nervous looking person“Our ancestors. Selected such for hospitable beds,

age, attired in sable, and sitting by your To rest the stranger or the gory chief,

noble host, who pays her the most affecFrom battle or the chase of wolves returned."* tionate though quiet attention—the Spec-and noted, with Iachimo (though with tre of the Oak Chamber ! less felonious intent, it is to be hoped)

Of course you take the first opporthe antique phantasms of forgotten ages tunity of delicately cleansing your bosom

of its perilous stuff, in the confidential “ First, the bedchamber was hanged With tapestry of silk and silver; the story

ear of his lordship, who, in his turn adProud Cleopatra, when she met her Roman,

ministers to your mind diseased, by And Cydnus swell'd above the banks, or for starting, biting his lip, changing colour, The press of boats, or pride: a piece of work and finally apologizing for the unpleasant So bravely done, so richi, that it did strive In workmanship and value. The chimney

mistake to which the neglect of servants Is south the chamber; and the chimney-piece, and the very late hour of your arrival on Chaste Dian bathing: never saw I fignres the preceding night had evidently led. So likely to report themselves; the cutter Was as another nature, dumb; outwent her,

His sister, the Lady Arabella B- was Motion and breath left out.' The roof o''the incurably but harmlessly insane. She

had been a prisoner in the Conciergerie With golden cherubins is fretted, the andirons (I had forgot them), were two winking Cupids

during the reign of terror; from a winOf silver, each on one foot standing, nicely

dow she had been compelled to witness Depending on their brands."

the murder of her husband in the street Thus sauntering on the luxurious below, together with the unutterable

mutilations of his blood-streaming corpse margent of repose, you at length plunge by the pikes and sabres of the demon a plombe into the billows of eider-down,

rabble. and sink-no, swim to that far distant the guillotine by the death of Robespierre

She herself had only escaped shore of gay and gloomy mysteries, the and his atrocious clique. Land of Dreams.

Her madness seldom manifested itself, Three yells, more deep than loud, with a profound, measured (need I say, and horrible mummeries during the

except in a propensity to strange noises horrible ?) pause between each, startle you night. At most other times she was from your first sleep, which, as every one knows, is as hard to replace as first love.

tranquil, and even occasionally mingled A figure in the habiliments of the that morning. A remote and solitary

with the family, as you had yourself seen grave, but whose features and attire are alike incarnadined with revolting gouts assigned to her exclusive occupation-and

suite of apartments had however been of clotted gory red, discloses itself in the

you (once more I congratulate you, Oh

dear, though imaginary friend !) and you * Cymbeline. Act 2. Scene 4. had the luck to stumble upon them!


• Dyer.

« PreviousContinue »