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Thou wert not in the rocks and waves.
No real happiness is found
'Twas thus, as under shade I stood,
Oh! by yonder mossy seat,
To please my ear and tune my song,
The sun that walks his airy way,
-From Hymn to Contentment.
PARR, HARRIET (HOLME LEE, pseud.), an Eng. lish novelist, born in York in 1828. Her many
stories and novels have been very popular. Among them are Maud Talbot (1854); Gilbert Massenger (1854); Thorney Hall (1855); Kathie Brande (1856); Sylvan Holt's Daughter (1858); Against Wind and Tide (1859); Hawksview (1859); The Worthbank Diary (1860); The Wonderful Adventures of Tuflongbo and His Elfin Company in Their Journey with Little Content Through the Enchanted Forest (1861); Warp and Woof; or, The Reminiscences of Doris Fletcher (1861); Annis Warleigh's Fortunes (1863); In the Silver Age : Essays (1864); The Life and Death of Jeanne D'Arc, Called the Maid (1866); Mr. Wynward's Ward (1867); Basil Godfrey's Caprice (1868); Contrast ; or, The School fellows (1868); M. and E. de Guérin (1870); For Richer, For Poorer (1870); Her Title of Honor (1871); The Beautiful Miss Barrington (1871); Country Stories, Old and New, in prose and verse (1872); Echoes of a Famous Year : the Story of the Franco-German War (1872); Katherine's Trial (1873); The Vicissitudes of Bessie Fairfax (1874); This Work-a-day World (1875); Ben Miller's Wooing (1876); Straightforward (1878); Mrs. Denys of Cote (1880); A Poor Squire (1882), and Loving and Serving (1883). “Her books," says The London Reader, "are full of bright painting, which gains in purity by the shadow that it casts."
JOAN'S HOME. Joan's time was her own for two hours of an afternoon, and she always spent them upstairs with her books alone. Her room told something of her life. The bare floor, the old clothes-chest, the pallet bed, with a thin, hard mattress, and shell-patterned coverlet, white as driven snow, her last winter's night handiwork, knitted as she read, were the outward signs of her peasant condition. Her tastes, modest and intellectual, appeared in the garland of small-leaved ivy twisted round the frame of her misty, oval looking-glass, in the woodcuts of good pictures fastened on the walls, and in the books ranged on the mantle-shelf, on the window-sills, and a few, the most precious, on two hanging-shelves edged with scarlet cloth, another gift from her cousin Nicholas..
This afternoon when her book was laid by, the shadow of her self-reproach soon passed. She had a great gift of being happy : of enjoying those good things of earth which nobody envies and nobody covets because they are common to all. Her childhood was a bright, a blessed background to look forward from into life. She stood at her open lattice, gazing over the wide meadows by the Lea, where red herds of cattle were feeding. She saw the blue sky far away, the sweep of distant hills, the darkness of thick woods, and they were pleasure to her. She had a mind free to receive all new impressions of beauty : but her heart was steadfast and strong in keeping its best affection for old types.
At sixteen we all look for a happy life. Joan fell into a dream of one as she stood, and was quite rapt away. The minutes passed swiftly, unconsciously. She did not hear her mother call from the stair's-foot, “ Joan, father's got home from Whorlstone.” She did not even hear her chamber-door open ; and her mother entered, and observed her air and attitude of total abstraction without disturbing her.
“ Joan, has thou fallen asleep standing, like the doctor's horse at a gate ?" said she, and laid a hand on her shoulder. Then Joan came back to herself, and started into laughing life.
“I don't know what I've been dreaming about, mother—it's a drowsy day, I think ;” and drawing a long breath, she stretched her arms above her head, then flung them wide to shake off her lethargy.
“And thou's not dressed, my love. Father'll like to see thee dressed. Make haste, or they'll be here from Ashleigh afore thou's ready."
“Stay and help me then, mother," pleaded Joan, who dearly liked to be helped by her mother.
“What o' the cakes in the oven? They'll burn if they're not watched. I'll step down an' look at 'em, an' come back-only don't lose any more time, joy, father's asked for thee twice."
Joan's was not a coquettish toilette. To be clean as a primrose was its first principle. Her hair, coax it as she would, had a rufflesome look at the best, being curly and not uniform in tint, but brown in meshes and golden in threads, like hair that maturity darkens. The fashion of it, braided above the ear, and knotted in a large coil at the back of her head, was according to Mrs. Paget's instructions, and was never varied. The style and material of her dresses were also according to her godmother's orders—washing-prints, rather short in the skirt, for stepping clear over the ground, high to the throat and loose in the sleeve-lilac, as most serviceable, for every-day wear, and pink or blue spotted for summer Sundays. She put on now a new pink spot that had quite a look of May. Her mother fastened it at the neck, and retiring a pace or two to view the effect, pronounced it very neat, only a trifle too short.
“ Short skirts an' cardinal capes won't keep you a bairn much longer, Joan; you'll be a woman soon in spite o' godmother," said she, and kissed her tenderly.
“That must have been what I was dreaming of," replied Joan, and as she spoke, again the far-away, abstracted gaze came into her eyes.
But her mother would not let her relapse into musing. She heard voices and feet at the gate ; and there were the cousins from Ashleigh.–Basil Godfrey's Ca. price.