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There are characters in this book as dif-1 days and weeks and months and years as ficult to portray as ever novelist attempted, our lives progress ; it is not rounded into and Mrs. Gaskell's success in portraying any completeness of plot, though each event • them is as great as ever novelist achieved. grows out of its predecessors as inevitably as We have no wish either to add or to di- real events grow, and brings about its natminish - they are perfect in their strength ural results, in the fulness of time, such as and in their weakness people whom we we anticipate will be brought about. But know and think of as if they were our per- we will quote one of its most salient and sonal acquaintances. We love Molly, and beautiful passages to show that the genius are satisfied that she and Roger Hamley which created Mary Barton and Ruth, were born for each other; we have not the Margaret Hale and Mr. Thornton, Cousin heart to be angry with Cynthia — nay, we Phillis and Sylvia Robson, had lost none of sympathize in her prejudice against a hus- its fire, none of its force when its work band who would keep her always on mor- was suddenly arrested by death. al tiptoes, straining to be more purely good Roger Hamley is going away to Africa than complex nature meant her to be. on a scientific mission, and coming to bid Mrs. Gibson is odious in her selfishness and the doctor's family good-bye, he cannot redouble-facedness, but the character rings sist the temptation to tell Cynthia he loves true to life from first to last. Indeed, all her, and the following scene ensues bethe omen are natural, from the rigid old tween the fortunate coquette and poor
Molcountess, her sensible daughter Lady Cux- ly as soon as he has left the house. haven and her brusque daughter Lady Molly saw him turn round and shade his Harriet, to poor, suffering Mrs. Hamley, eyes from the level rays of the westering sun, and the group of village gossips, Mrs. and rake the house with his glances — in hopes, Goodenough, Mrs. Daws, the Misses Brown- she knew, of catching one more glimpse of Cyning, and their neighbours. And if the wo-thia. But apparently he saw no one, not even men are excellent, the men are no less ad Molly at the attic casement; for she had drawn mirable. We do not know that it has ever shadow; for she had no right to put herseļf for:
back when he had turned, and kept herself in been charged on Mrs. Gaskell that she drew ward as the one to watch and yearn for farewell her characters from the life, but they are all signs. None came another moment - he so distinctly individualized that a real mod- was out of sight for years. el might have sat for each portrait. And 'She shut the window softly, and shivered there is a complete gallery of them to study. all over. She left the attic and went to her own Mr Gibson, the country doctor, shrewd, sar- room; but she did not begin to take off her outcastic, disappointed in his frivolous wife, is of-door things till she heard Cynthia's foot on good, but better are Squire Hamley, the the stairs. Then she hastily went to the toiletTory of old lineage, and his despised neigh- but they were in a knot, and took time to undo.
table and began to untie her bonnet-strings; bour, the Whig Earl of Cumnor, whose Cynthia’s step stopped at Molly's door, she family dates no higher in county annals opened it a little and said, “May I come in, than Queen Anne's days; and best of all Molly? are the brothers Osborne and Roger Ham- Certainly,” said Molly, longing to say ley, so dissimilar yet so clearly akin; the “No all the time. Molly did not turn to elder, like his mother, beautiful, poetical, meet her, so Cynthia came up behind her, and with a strain of his father's wilfulness; the putting her two hands round Molly's waist, younger, strong-featured and rugged like the peeped over her shoulder, pouting out her lips Squire, laborious, most generous and tender, to be kissed. Molly could not resist the action
- the mute entreaty for a caress. But in the fulfilling all the hopes that Osborne had disappointed, bearing his own grievances like a the two faces in the glass ; her own, red-eyed,
moment before she had caught the reflection of Mr. Preston is well painted too, inso-pale, with lips dyed with blackberry juice, her lent, handsome, boastful, redeemed by a vein curls tangled, her bonnet pulled awry, her gown of honest passion; and for • lad-love' red-torn - and contrasted it with Cynthia's brightheaded Mr. Coxe, who begins with a des- ness and bloom, and the trim elegance of her perate caprice for Molly, and after two dress. “Oh'it is no wonder!” thought poor years of absence and fidelity, forgets her in Molly, as she turned round, and put out her a week under the fire of Cynthia's charms, arms round Cynthia, and laid her head for an is without a rival.
instant on her shoulder — the weary aching We shall not endeavour to give any out- preme moment! The next she had raised her,
head that sought a loving pillow in that suline of this every day story, for the merit of self, and had taken Cynthia's two hands, and it is that it carries out its name — it is a story was holding her off a little the better to read her of such simple loves and doings and sacri- face. fices as we see around us; it progresses by! ""Cynthia, you do love him dearly,don't you ?"
Cynthia winced a little aside from the pene- | ant it would have been. I remember at Boutrating steadiness of those eyes.
logne (another blackberry) "how I used to ““ You speak with all the solemnity of an envy the English who were going to Paris ; it adjuration, Molly,” said she laughing a little at seemed to me then, as if nobody stopped at first to cover her nervousness, and then looking Boulogne but dull, stupid school-girls. up at Molly._ “Don't you think I've given a «“When will he be there?” asked Molly. proof of it? But you know I've often told you ""On Wednesday, he said. I am to write to I've not the gift of loving ; I said pretty much him there; at any rate he is going to write to the same thing to him. I can respect, and I me." • Molly went about the adjustment of can admire, and I can like, but I never feel car- her dress in a quiet, business-like manner, not ried off my feet by love for any one, not even speaking much; Cynthia, although sitting still, for you, little Molly, and I am sure I love you seemed very restless. Oh! how much Molly more than
wished she would go. "No, don't!” said Molly, putting her hand · Perhaps, after all,” said Cynthia, after a before Cynthia's mouth, in almost a passion of pause of apparent meditation, “ we shall never impatience. “Don't, don't — I won't hear you be married." - I ought not to have asked you — it makes ““ Why do you say that?” said Molly, alyou tell lies
most bitterly. “ You have nothing to make Why Molly !” said Cynthia, in her turn you think so. I wonder how you can bear to seeking to read Molly s face, “whát s the mat- think you won't, even for a moment." ter with you? One might think you cared for Oh!” said Cynthia, “ you must not go him yourself.”
and take me au grand serieux. I dare say I "I?” said Molly, all the blood rushing to don't mean what I say, but you see everything her heart suddenly; then it returned and she seems a dream at present. Still, I think the had courage to speak, and she spoke the truth chances are equal— the chances for and against as she believed it, though not the real actual our marriage, I mean. Two years ! it's a long truth. I do care for him; I think you have time; he may change his mind, or I may; or won the love of a prince amongst men. Why, some one else may turn up and I may get enI am proud to remember that he has been to me gaged to him ; what should you think of that, as a brother, and I love him as a sister, and I Molly ? I'm putting such a gloomy thing as love you doubly because he has honoured you death quite on one side, you see ; yet in two with his love.
years how much may happen?” Come, thats not complimentary!” said «“Don't talk so, Cynthia ; pleased on't,” said Cynthia, laughing, but not ill-pleased to hear Molly, piteously. “One would think you did her lover s praises, and even willing to depre- not care for him, and he cares so much for you." ciate him a little in order to hear more.
Why, did I
I did not care for him ? I well enough, I dare say, and a great deal too was only calculating chances. I am sure I learned and clever for a stupid girl like me; hope nothing will happen to prevent the marbut even you must acknowledge he is very plain riage. Only, you know it may, and I thought and awkward ; and I like pretty things and I was taking a step in wisdom, in looking for. pretty people,"
ward to all the evils that might befall. I am "" Cynthia, I won't talk to you about him. sure all the wise people I have ever known You know you don't mean what you are saying, thought it a virtue to have gloomy prognostics and you only say it out of contradiction, because of the future. But you're not in a mood for I praise him. He shan't be run down by you, wisdom or virtue, I see; so I'll go and get even in joke.
ready for dinner, and leave you to your vanities ““ Well, then, we won't talk of him at all. of dress." I was so surprised when he began to speak She took Molly's face in both her hands, 80 ;” and Cynthia looked very lovely, blushing before Molly was aware of her intention, and and dimpling up as she remembered his words kissed it playfully. Then she left Molly to herself.' and looks. Suddenly she recalled herself to the present time, and her eye caught on the leaf full trasted the characters of the two heroines
This scene, in which are so finely conof blackberries the broad green leaf so fresh and crisp when Molly had gathered it an hour of the story, must serve as an ensample for or so ago, but now soft and Aabby and dying the whole, which is, indeed, too fresh in Molly saw it too, and felt a strange kind of popular remembrance and favour to need a sympathetic pity for the poor inanimate leaf. lengthened commendation. It makes us
“Oh! what blackberries ! you've gathered keenly regret that the world will have no them for me, I know,” said Cynthia, sitting more ainusement, no more wise instruction down and beginning to feed herself daintily, from the same masterly pen. Mrs. Gaskell touching them lightly with the tips of ber fin. leaves a place vacant in the literary world, gers, and dropping each ripe berry into her open mouth. When she had eaten above half as Thackeray left a place vacant the year she stopped suddenly short.
before her -as all men and women of ge““ How I should like to have gone as far as nius and power like theirs, do leave vacant Paris with him," she exclaimed. “I suppose places which never seem to find quite adeit would not have been proper ; but how pleas- quate successors.
“ He s
From the Spect tor, 30 March. strengthened by Sadowa, had been weak
ened by that great victory; that seventy THE EUROPEAN POSITION. millions had shrunk to thirty; that the Con
federation, formally one, had been divided EVERY grown man in Germany outside into three branches — Austria, the Southern Austria competent to bear arms is to be- States, and Germany North of the Main. come a drilled soldier. The King of Prussia Either fearful of the effect of these stateis ex officio Commander-in-chief of all suchments in Germany, which is sensitive on soldiers. That is the substance of the the subject of dismemberment, or enraged Treaties between Prussia, Bavaria, Wur- at M. Rouber's assumption that a word from temburg, and Baden which have this week France had checked the Prussian career, or created such excitement in Paris and embarrassed by the disposition exhibited in throughout France. It appears that imme- the North German Parliament to mould diately after the agreement of Nikolsburg public policy in order to attract into Gerwhich followed the battle of Sadowa, the many States already secured, M. Bismarck Southern States began to tremble for their immediately on M. Rouher's speech caused existence. Deserted by Austria and men- the treaties to be published in the Gazette, aced by France, with Prussia threatening informed France and the world, as it were their capitals and their own subjects half officially, that despite all external opposition inclined to summon the friendly invader, the unity of the Fatherland had been alunwilling to be excluded from Germany ready secured. Bavaria existed and Baden, and apprehensive for their dynastic position, the King of Wurtemburg was no tributary the petty Kings turned to an alliance with and the Grand Duke of Hesse no depenPrussia as their only hope, and in the last dent, but the Hohenzollern was nevertheweeks of August signed secret treaties with less master for war of the whole German their great opponent placing their armies in race. The treaties create an alliance at time of war at his absolute disposal. It was once offensive and defensive, but even if understood also, though not provided by they did not the result would still be the treaty, that these armies should be organ- same. While Prussia marches to battle, the ized for the future upon the Prussian sys- Southern Army, 150,000 strong, will remain tem, and a Bill with that end has, we be- in garrison, and Germany is as unsafe to lieve, been introduced into the Bavarian attack as if her entire population obeyed a Parliament. In return the King of Prussia single ruler and were represented in a single guaranteed their possessions from every parliament. enemy except himself, a guarantee invalu- The blow is a most serious one, alike for able to Bavaria, whose Palatinate lies France and for M. Rouher. The latter inacross the Rhine and within the grip of deed is unmistakably checkmated. If he France; but not so valuable to Wurtem- had heard of the Treaties, which is most burg, whose dominions are absolutely encir- probable, he based his wbole argument upcled by German populations. To avoid on an assumption which he knew to be unexciting still further the susceptibilities of founded, and may be taunted at any moFrance these treaties were kept quiet, so ment with a rhetorical victory won at the quiet that Count von Bismarck actually expense of concealiny a truth essential to allowed all Germany to lament its division the debate. If he was not aware of the by the Main without hinting that he had treaties, he must admit that in diplomacy, already secured a union indefinitely stronger as in war, his master is no fitting match for than that of the old Confederation. Ger- the audacious Prussian squire who has dared many outside Austria had become for mili- on French frontiers to make a nation withtary purposes one great State, under an out the permission of France. Frenchmen organization which sends every able-bodied of course, are not responsible either for Naman when needful into the field. These poleon's diplomatic defeats or M. Rouber's treaties were known to the Austrian Gov- parliamentary apologies, but they will feel ernment immediately after their completion, most bitterly the changed position of and it is difficult to believe that they were France. The unity of Germany does more not also known to the Emperor Napoleon, than threaten her military ascendancy in to whom it was Austria's clear interest that the world. It reduces her to the English they should be at once revealed. Whether position - to a positive inability to move they were or were not, the Emperor per- on the Continent until she has first secured mitted M. Rouher in the debate on the an ally. Whatever the question at issue, interpellation put forward by M. Theirs to in the East or in the West, at Constantinoassert that Germany, so far from being ple or at the Hague, the opposition of Prussia will suffice to reduce her to one of two fears — a Government Bill, for instance, alternatives - a galling quiescence, or a which sends every able-bodied Frenchman war in which defeat might involve an al- into the ranks, a studious abstinence of the teration of frontier. France, no doubt, is Moniteur from any allusion to the treaties a great nation, and the French are a milita- with the South. If Napoleon be not alarmed, ry people; the fortune of war is uncertain, why does he risk his popularity with peasand a great General is worth, as Wellington ants? If he is not indignant, why does he said of Napoleon, an extra fifty thousand silence the Moniteur, usually so careful to men. But judging on the rules by which reprint all official news? soldiers and statesmen usually judge, it is The higher the popular estimate of the by no means clear that France must win in Emperor's sagacity, the deeper will be the a conflict with Germany, by no means cer- apprehensions of all who believe in him, till tain that she might not sustain a defeat they feel at last as if they, Frenchmen, the which would compel her to surrender Al- race of all others proudest of its military sace or Lorraine, a defeat which, even if fame, were refusing a challenge, are half inshe surrendered nothing, would unseat the clined, like the peasants of Turuy, to prodynasty. A war with a power organized pose a levee en masse to defend the soil. for battle as Germany now. is with an army That is not a healthy condition of mind for of at least three-quarters a million, and a great military people, and least of all for an armed population behind her of forty a great military people ruled by a dynasty millions, is an enterprise which no people to which success is as the breath of life. It not alarmed for its existence or wounded in will make war easy on the first occasion, its honour would be willing to undertake. and there are occasions in plenty. WithFrenchmen must surrender all hope of their out believing all the rumours which now “natural boundary,” the frontier of the load the air of every Continental capital, it Rhine, all expectation of obtaining Belgium may, we think, be taken for granted that except with Prussian consent, all claim to Napoleon and Bismarck are at this moment decide alone on the future distribution of engaged in a diplomatic war for the possesthe Sultan's dominions. Those hopes and sion of Luxemburg. The King of Holland, expectations and claims may all be unrea- to whom the Duchy belongs, is willing, it is sonable, or absurd, or selfish, but they are said, to sell his rights, and the Dutch, who entertained by Frenchmen, were avowed dread entanglements with Germany, are by a man so moderate as De Tocqueville, willing that it should be sold. The only are cherished by the rank and file of France difficulty in the way is Prussia, which garrias Americans cherish their hope of ruling sons the fortress, which regards it as an outAmerica from the Isthmus to the Pole. work of Germany, which dare not surrenThere are signs abroad that Frenchmen der one inch of strictly German soil, and are beginning to hate Prussia as they once which hopes, and from the necessity of its hated England, and their hatred is by no geographical position will always continue means wholly devoid of fear. Strange as to hope, that Holland mayone day be it
to Englishmen, Frenchmen attracted within the Germanic circle. To have never forgotten 1815, never quite rid seat a united Germany upon the Atlantic themselves of the belief that an invasion is a dream no German will willingly resign, from the North, a suceessful invasion, is not and the Prussian King, though of course beyond the limits of possibility. They lis- officially most desirous of peace, may object tened to rumours about the absorption of very strenuously to surrender Luxemburg. Holland, the annexation of German Swit- Napoleon cannot bear to be always baffled; zerland, an offensive and defensive alliance the American complication is over; the between Berlin and St. Petersburg, an French are in the dangerous mood which agreement between Von Bismarck and the idea that their influence is waning Ricasoli, till they begin to feel as men felt always inspires; England is paralyzed by when the First Bonaparte was on the internal dissensions, and indisposed in any throne, as if nothing were too horrible to be event to interfere with France; Germany beyond their enemy's dreams. Accounts is exalted till it will bear no menace; the of plans drawn up by Baron von Moltke East is stirring and heaving with excitefor the invasion of France are greedily re- ment; all things point to that greatest of ceived, and photographs of M. Tbiers, who earthly calamities -- a general European denounces Germany as a danger, are de- war. We have still three months, for Namanded in such numbers that even Paris- poleon must give the signal, and the Exhiian photographers are overworked. They bition does not close till August; but if he see, too, some substantial evidence for their lives, and “the unforeseen does not arrive,”
Germany will yet be welded into a harder and the Auditor, in his report estimates it at unity by blows from the outside. Already full two hundred thousand. The increased the mere rumour of menace is doing Count mortality, presumed to result from the war, von Bismarck's work, the Federal draft is from the neglect of the aged negroes, from passing as rapidly as if the North German insufficiency of food in some sections, and Parliament were filled with soldiers, and, from epidemic diseases, fails to account for when it is proclaimed, the King of Prussia so large a diminution in the number of neis Emperor of Germany, with a military groes. The nearness to the federal lines Dictatorship for three years. And we won- during the war opened loop-holes for thouder that on all Bourses there are uneasiness sands of them to slip through to Washingand hesitation !
ton and to the North, but the real exodus has taken place since the war closed. With the removal of all restraint the negroes have wandered at will, sometimes towards the cities, but generally southwards. Late statistics show that in some counties in Vir
ginia the number of laborers have been reFrom the N. Y. Evening Post, April 11.
duced full one-half, and throughout the
state the negroes have noticeably thinned THE NOMADIC NEGROES OF THE SOUTH.
out. No figures are given in Kentucky to
show the extent of the exodus from that In the very general interest that attaches state, but there is a general complaint of to the enfranchisement of the freedmen by the loss of labor, and the local journals say the Reconstruction act the public, north and that all the best field-hands are going to south, has almost lost sight of the important the southern cotton grounds. fact that thousands of the negroes will be From states south of Kentucky and Virunable, at present, to avail themselves of ginia the negro movement is still southward. the advantage offered to vote for delegates Within a year the two Carolinas are estito the state conventions to frame the con- mated to have lost from one-fourth to onestitutions which are subsequently to be sub-third of their negro population, though the mitted to Congress før approval. The law Charleston News thinks that only twentyprovides that the delegates shall be elected five thousand field-hands have gone from by the male citizens of the state, twenty- South Carolina, and these went, it says, to one years old and upward, of whatever race, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, and color or previous condition," who have been Florida. Still further south, the Macon resident in said state for one year previous | Telegraph is confident that Georgia has lost to the day of such election." . The present one-third of her negroes, and that the loss remarkable and general migration of freed- of North Carolina and South Carolina is men from the border and other states to the still greater. The Augusta Constitutionalist extreme south and southwest, and especially says, " if a correct.census should be taken of the very class of negroes who would be of the negro population of Georgia, a voters will disqualify these nomads, for startling exhibit of decrease would be manwant of the requisite residence, from taking ifest,” and that “one of the chief causes of part in the formation of the conventions, or this decrease is migration to the south and in other words, in the primary and impor- southwest." Even in Alabama, which tant step in the scheme of reconstruction would seem, at least in summer, about as that the law itself evidently intends. We far south as the most aspiring or perspiring have not seen this really important point colore/l laborer would desire to go, there is made known in any journal, north or south, a marked scarcity of labor, which the Selma nor do we propose to press it now; but Times explains by stating that the deplerather to show the extent of and reasons
tion is due to the agents who are everyfor this remarkable migration of the freed- | where “ offering extraordinary inducements
to the negroes to go to Mississippi, LouisiThe border states, Virginia and Kentucky, ana, and Texas." were naturally the first to suffer from this Naturally enough this extraordinary tidal southward movement. There has been, of flow of freedmen to the far South must ebb course, no census in Virginia since the last somewhere, and there is now a strong setdecennial returns in 1860 ; but the returns ting back from Texas to other states. At from the Commissioners of Revenue to the the beginning of the war the population of State Auditor show a remarkable decrease Texas was between 600,000 and 700,000 ; in the colored population within six years, the best local estimates now make it at least