Page images


Edward" always enacted the part in her of being able to see common among the mind of all the heroes and good knights blind. The moon's at the full to-night, and genii; else all was as before. Her an' they'll well-nigh finish wi' the cider, I chief playfellow now was the old blind take it, with the help o' she."





So yer uncle left yer the money after all, and not to Susan a bit," she was saying, rather reproachfully, to Amyas. "I've just a heerd it from the man wi' the cider-wring, and he heerd it over at Wallcott's when he were there. Wallcott laughed, he did, and said how could ye be so soft, and pressed for money so bad?"

'Them marks on her face looks so plain," One bright beautiful day that autumn mused Lettie. "What is they, Dannel?" there was high feast and festival going on "That's the man as stole a nitch o' wood in the great orchard behind the house, for o' the Sabbath-day," replied he, and he the cider-press had come up, and everybody were sot up there for a warnin' to them as about the farm had come in to help. The wants it-I don't. Yer granny allays apple-trees, large and spreading, covered thinks ill o' folk; she takes 'um by the with the weird grey moss which clothes the wrong end, she do," muttered he, his branches in that soft damp climate with a wrongs rankling in his mind as they apsort of hoary hair, were hung with red and proached the house, and he heard Mrs. golden fruit and looked very idyllic. It Wynyate's voice stern and sad. was a prolific year, and the boughs were so laden that they would have broken under the weight of apples if they had not been propped up. Great baskets stood about in all directions to receive them; and a good deal of rude jollity was going on in this English vintage. The men were perched in the higher branches, and the women stood below catching the fruit, collecting it on the ground, picking out the decayed apples, and emptying the others into the insatiable maw of the rude cider-press, which turned with a harsh creaking, grating noise, pressing out the juice into pails on one side, while the most imperfectly crushed apples were carried off on the other for the pigs. "It's pretty late: you go and fetch Dannel home from the cider-wring; he's tired, and you too," said her uncle, smiling at Lettice, who had been running out all day, assisting greatly, as she considered, in all the processes.


We've pretty nigh done now," said the old man, wearily, as she steered him carefully up among the piles of fruit. "He's a beautiful man, yer uncle, he is. I'm terrible much obliged to he. Madame Wynyate's trimming comikle in her temper, contrairy like, and I should just ha' toddled away years agone if it weren't along o' he: I knows that well enough.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

'But you do a greatish deal, Dannel, up and down," said the child, as he stumbled among the apples.


Well," answered the old man, with some pride, "I'm tottery, and creaky, and wheezy, but I can twiddle about after summat as well as most on 'um, and I'm none for wasting my time as the young 'uns is. There ayn't narrer an orchat anywhere as this 'un; and that ratheripe* allays do bear such a wonderful deal o' hist fruit," he said, looking about with the curious affectation *Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies." - Lycidas.

"If the salt have lost (his) savour."-"Its" does not occur once in our translation of the Bible, and only three times in Shakspeare.

"Susan were poor and wanted it," replied Amyas, in an apologetic tone.

"And who was poor and wanted it here, I'd like to know?" grumbled his mother, as she went off to the cider. She was proud of his conduct for all this, though upon principle she spoke (and at great length too), when things were wrong, but kept silence when they were right, which is a depressing and dispiriting way of conducting life.

"There, that's just him and her all over," continued the old man. "I mind one day when Norton Lisle were a-comin' after yer mother. What's come o' your father?" he said, suddenly turning to the child.

[ocr errors]

"My father!" cried the little girl, surprised. No one ever mentioned him, and he had quite died out of her little life; but the word recalled old times in her childish recollections of something painful, though she could not have told what they were.

"Yea, he ayn't much of a one for to boast on, but he is thy father anyhow, and thou oughtest not to be kep from knowin' o' him, as I take it they does by thee," the old man went on with some glee. "I likes to rip up a mystery," he mumbled to himself, and 'twill vex madam."


[blocks in formation]

Australia or 'Merikee, or some o' them. I have seemed a more unlikely subject for Pr'aps he mayn't come back agin at all, the assaults of the fiend than the young who knows? But don't yer tell madam as girl, standing trembling in the shadow of I talked on him," said he, as they entered the house.

Amyas's fortunes seemed now to improve a little. There was a further fall of timber that winter, the price of wheat rose, as did that of bark, and he was able to tide over some of his difficulties, for a time at least.

He began to look a little after Lettice's education, and she learnt more of the three R's than Mrs. Wynyate at all approved of. "As for reading, there isn't much use, as I see, for more o' that than 'll do the Catechism;" and as for arithmetic, anything beyond what was required to calculate the pounds of butter was sheer robbery of the dairy. Still, Lettice was quick at learning, and got on in spite of her grandmother's warnings of all sorts of evil connected with knowledge, ever since the days of grandmother Eve.

A considerable part of one's education, however, is that which nobody has given or is answerable for: the accidental inferences, the chance ideas, which are sown like seeds before the wind, and bear fruit, no one knows how or whence.

[ocr errors][merged small]


And what d'ye hear o' yer uncle ?" he would say, importantly. "I'm in hopes as he's got plenty to do, and does it, not all along like yer father. What is it yer little hymn says? — ́ And Satan finds some mischief still for idle folk.' And, I take it, the Devil's always uncommon handy for to tempt them as holds out their hands to him. Ye know he's like a ragin' lion up and down the world."

"Was he ever seen lately, d'ye think, Dannel?" whispered Lettie, almost too frightened to put her query.

"Bless ye, child, yes! Lambourne seed he as plain as the church tower at the turn in the Deep Lane, like a calf wi' saucer eyes, and I heerd o' one as had a sore struggle wi' him for's soul, dying down at Fordingdean."

Pleased with the effect he produced, the old man's stories grew more and more dreadful, and his accounts of the real presence of the Evil One began to take possession of the young girl's imagination. One night, as she was preparing for her little evening devotions, it seemed to her as if "he" was himself present in bodily form in the room, to prevent her from uttering her prayer. St. Agnes herself could hardly

the still moonlight, and looking the very emblem of purity, in her white night dress. The wide old latticed window had been partially walled up to save the tax, and the single high upright stone mullion which remained, with its horizontal bar, threw the shadow of a cross on the floor and over her little bed, as she had often liked to see. At length, though in a paroxysm of terror, she knelt down close by it as a sort of protection and pronounced the holy words in his despite, and then, taking her Bible in her hand-the recognized amulet against the power of the Devil - she turned with desperate courage to face and confound him. To her infinite amazement and relief there was no one to be seen. He was not there!

From that time she began to doubt whether there might not be a little mistake, and whether Satan was in the habit of walking into people's houses in this familiar way, at the present time, whatever might have been the case in former days. Her scepticism did not reach further, for was there not a formidable picture of the Witch of Endor in the folio Bible, which she had always turned over in an agony of dread lest the horrid image should haunt her dreams, though, Eve like, having once "peeped" at it, her caution was of little use.

Sometime after she was sitting by her uncle as usual on the Sunday evening, as she dearly loved to do, when the whole world seemed at rest, and he had time for "discourse." It was still broad sunshine, and warm, which disposes to courage; and private, which disposes to confidence.

"Uncle Amyas," said she, suddenly, "did you ever see the Devil your own self?"

"No, child," he answered, laughing (and a great comfort the laugh was to her mind), "nor any one else that I know of. Are ye afraid of meeting him some day out walking?"

"But, uncle Amyas," said she, evading the home thrust, "ye know it's said about his coming roaring to Bunyan, and how he was always hearing of him calling out all manner of temptations, and many folk have seen him too in the books, or how should they ha' told how he was made, ye know? Them horns and his tail, ye know. body must have seen him sometime." The Pilgrim's Progress and Bunyan's Life were almost her only reading beside the Bible. Well, my little 'un," answered Amyas,



slowly, “for a' that I don't believe that he's seen. Evil temptations is strong enow in our own hearts in a' conscience, and p'r'aps they thinks of him till they believe they sees him wi' their own eyes. I can't say; but I take it, even if the Devil is as they tell on, that he's felt, not seen. No; I don't believe in him one bit," he went on with sudden energy;" 'twould be a good God and an evil God if he's so strong and powerful as all that. Don't thee mind in Job how Satan's just sent out like one of the other angels-that's a very different concern. Don't ye be frightened that way, my little mayd. Ye needn't be afraid o' him nor any other bugs;' God is about us in all our ways, both to will and to do; not that other


row. A curious feeling of unreality about it sometimes came over her, but she put it from her with horror, and only esteemed it a fresh proof of her "parlous state." An odd volume of Fox's Book of Martyrs had got into the house, together with a dozen cotton umbrellas and a pile of manuscript violin music-effects from a bad debt (somehow Amyas often had bad debts) — and the stories of their sufferings had a grim attraction for her imagination. One night, as she sat in the window reading and considering whether she could have suffered for her faith like Latimer, or like Faithful in Vanity Fair - the one was to her as real an historical event as the other-she put her finger close to the candle to try. She held it manfully for a second or two, but snatched it away when it began to sting, and she cried bitterly afterwards as she bewailed her extreme sinfulness, proved thus by this searching test. She was carrying out her little experiments in philosophy and reli

Lettie was trying to prove the worth of her convictions in real life. Her grandmother's teaching had borne its fruit: she honestly believed in her own exceeding wickedness, over which, by fits and starts, she lamented herself with most sincere sor-gion like greater folk.

SEEING IS DECEIVING. Here is a row of ordi- | The Origin of the Four Gospels. By Constannary capital letters and figurestine Tischendorff. (Jackson, Walford, and Hodder.)

SSSSXXX X Z Z Z Z 3 3 3 3 8888

They are such as are made up of two parts of equal shapes. Look carefully at these and you will perceive that the upper halves of the characters are a very little smaller than the lower halves so little that an ordinary eye will declare them to be of equal size. Now turn the page upside down, and, without any careful looking, you will see that this difference in size is very much exaggerated that the real top half of the letter is very much smaller than the bottom half. It will be seen from this that there is a tendency in the eye to enlarge the upper part of any object upon which it looks. We might draw two circles of unequal size, and so place them that they should appear equal. Once a Week.

The History of France. By Eyre Evans Crowe. Vol. V. (Longmans.)

MR. CROWE Completes in this volume a work on which he has bestowed a great amount of conscientious labour, and which will doubtless possess a permanent value. We doubt, indeed, whether, with the sources of information that are now open, it is possible for any man to perform such a task satisfactorily as writing the whole history of a great country like France. Mr. Crowe, for instance, gives to the description of the battle of Austerlitz less than a page, to that of Waterloo little more than two. It is manifest that this method of writing history admits neither of completeness nor of brilliancy. It is not possible within such limits either to discuss or to describe. Those who have once enjoyed Macaulay, Motley, or Froude will never be satisfied with anything Spectator.

so meagre.

Mr. W. L. GAGE translates from the latest edition of Professor Tischendorff's work, and this, we are given to understand, has been revised and enlarged. Orthodoxy has no more able defender in Germany or, indeed, in Christendom than the writer; we have little more to do than to chronicle the appearance of his work in a form which renders it available for the English reader. Herr Tischendorff thinks that the canon (receiv ing the four gospels substantially as we have them now, and excluding what are called Apocryphal) was settled at the end of the first century, or, at the least, in the first years of the second. He here states exhaustively the arguments by which this view may be supported. Readers who may be professionally or otherwise interested in the subject can.. better than consult this volume pectator.

The Shilling Shakespeare. Routledge.

THIS is, probably, the cheapest book ever published, intended, of course, to pay. It might, we fancy, challenge comparison even with the books which the religious societies print at a loss, with the cheap Bibles, for instance, or the Pilgrim's Progress at a penny. The type is wonderfully clear, better, to give a familiar example, than that of the Bibles commonly known as

Polyglott." That we should like to read much of it is more than we can honestly say; but those who are obliged to read a multitude of books cannot help being fastidious. There are numbers of people, more happily situated, to whom the publication of this volume will be a great boon. We heartily wish the enterprise of Messrs. Routledge, which, we fancy, more than rivals any thing Transatlantic, may meet with the success which it deserves. Spectator.


From Good Words.

A CHRISTIAN'S CREED. I BELIEVE in dreams of duty, Warnings where they can't control, Fragments of the glorious beauty

That once filled th' unfall'n soul: In the godlike wreck of nature

Sin did in the sinner leave That may still regain the stature It hath fall'n from-I believe.

I believe in human kindness

Large amid the sons of men, Nobler far in willing blindness

Than in censure's keenest ken: In the gentleness that slowly Sanctions what would others grieve, In the trust that deep and holy, Hopeth all things- I believe.

I believe in self-denial,

And its secret throb of joy : In the love that lives through trial, Dying not, though death destroy: In those fond and full believings That, though all the world deceive, Will not let its dark deceivings Wake suspicion - I believe.

I believe in man's affection
Tender, true, unselfish, high,
Infancy's almost perfection,

And in woman's purity:
In his lofty soul-sustaining
That can to one purpose cleave,
In her gentle uncomplaining
Peace and patience - I believe.

I believe in self-devotion,

The long sacrifice of years, Noblest fruits of deep emotion,

Man's blood-shedding, woman's tears: In the pure prevailing passion

Human hearts by God conceive,

And, despite the world's cold fashion,
Live and die for- I believe.

I believe in human weakness
Trying to be strong and true,
Owning its impassion'd meekness
What it would, but could not do:
In its consciousness of failing,

Which the less it doth perceive,
Doth the more leave unavailing
All its efforts - I believe.

I believe in Love renewing

All that sin hath swept away, Leaven-like its work pursuing Night by night and day by day: In the power of its remoulding, In the grace of its reprieve, In the glory of beholding Its perfection - I believe.

I believe in Love Eternal

Fixed in God's unchanging will, That beneath the deep infernal Hath a depth that's deeper still: In its patience, its endurance To forbear, and to retrieve, In the large and full assurance Of its triumph-I believe.


[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

MR. LONGFELLOW is at present residing on the borders of the Lake of Como. It is to be hoped that his stay in Europe will furnish him with matter for some eloquent and enduring poem.

THERE is a rumour that Mr. Carlyle is engaged upon a life of George III., of whom he proposes to make a hero. It is impossible to say what Mr. Carlyle may not do, but we sincerely trust that there is no foundation for the report. Indeed, when one thinks of the great genius who wrote the history of the French Revolution, THE winter season of the London theatres will who interpreted Cromwell for us, who first accommence shortly, and we are promised several quainted his countrymen with the spirit of mod-novelties. Chief of these, of course, is Lord ern German literature, and then of the sham Lytton's play, which is now in preparation at political prophet who put slavery into a nutshell the Lyceum. "The Rightful Heir" is the title and afterwards shot Niagara, one is disposed to which is now fixed upon. Then there is Mr. think that after a certain age no man whose rep- Halliday's adaptation of the "Fortunes of Niutation is valuable to his country should be per- gel," with which Mr. Chatterton hopes to fill Imitted to write. We hope Mr. Carlyle will let Drury Lane. Dr. Westland Marston will conthe poor, dull old king alone, if there is anything tribute another drama to the list of Haymarket in the rumour beyond the suggestion of a feeble pieces. Instead of, or along with, the burlesque


London Review.

We are soon to have a "Life and Uncollected Works of Daniel Defoe," which will include a large number of essays, pamphlets, and other writings never before published. The discoverer and collector of these treasures is a Mr. Lee, who has for some years devoted himself to a praiseworthy task.

THE gentlemen who carry medicine-chests with them when they take a Saturday-to-Monday holiday, and the ladies who have always with them bags filled with the most wonderfully occult safeguards against impossible dangers, ought to add to their stores a quantity of carbolic acid. This acid, says the Homeward Mail, has been found to be a specific cure in cases of snake-bites. It would repay any lady or gentleman for carrying a bottle of carbolic acid for twenty years, if, at the end of twenty years, the acid saved her or his life. Supposing no snake ever came near, the sense of security is almost worth the trouble. Gentlemen who never Bat on the back of a horse, and who are very unlikely to try any such feat, are fond of carrying about with them an instrument for picking stones out of a horse's hoof: why should they not have a phial of carbolic acid always in their waistcoat-pocket?

advertised to follow Blow for Blow" at the Holborn, we are to have a drama by Watts Phillips. Now, it was bad enough to devote such a pretty and convenient theatre as the Holborn to the production of still another burlesque, but Mr. Watts Phillips —— !

Ir has just been decided in Paris that the editor of a periodical cannot, without the consent of the contributor, cut out any portion of an article published under the signature of the author. The editor must either throw out the whole article, or gain the consent of the writer to his corrections, or publish the document entire, with all its suggestions of libel, foggy grammar, and violent partisanship staring him in the face. Fortunately, French journals are, as a rule, in no hurry about the publication of articles which comment on news; but here in England an editor would have plenty to do were he bound to gain the acquiescence of the contributor to the striking out of every awkward or compromising sentence.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »