Oldalképek
PDF
ePub
[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

From Hogg?s Instructor. find time for all that were urged upon them. TIE SISTERS OF PROVENCE.

They seemed to give their hearts up entirely

to their profession, and to have nothing to do The impression produced on our youthful with the outward world beyond it; they never minds by two spinster sisters, from whom we gossiped, or exchanged a word beyond what received lessons in singing and on the harp, strict civility required, with their employers. time has not in the least degree obliterated; The progress of their pupils occupied their nor yet the peculiar circumstances attending sole and rapt attention; and whatever their their history, with which we afterwards be- secret memories might be — of youth, or rocame acquainted.

mance, or buried friends - these memories Our home was situated in a gay and airy seemed merged in present arduous labor; for, part of the vast metropolis ; our windows charming as their performances were univeropened on a square in the vicinage of royalty, sally pronounced, they lahored at them as at where shady trees and sweet-scented lowers some penitential exercise, and not from any abounded ; and so fresh and fair was every- admixture of love or admiration for art itself. thing around us, that we almost forgot we The canker-worm was at the core, the worm breathed in an atmosphere of smoke. No of remorse ever mingling with past associadoubt the accessories of our clean and beauti- tions: the music of life was silent; and ful dwelling rendered the dingy appearance mechanically they played and sang to win of the Misses Berry, as our instructresses bread, and to attain a certain object. When were named, more striking. Twice-a-week this object was attained, the Misses Berry they regularly came at a certain hour to im- vanished. We, girl-like, wove a romance of part lessons in the accomplishments above unrequited affection for these lonely women. Damned – Miss Lydia, the elder, teaching the - They must have been disappointed in harp only; while Miss Paulina, the younger love,” we said, " because they had been beaulady, exclusively devoted herself to vocal ac- tiful, and born in a sunny land!” But, quirements. They never attended separately; when their story became known to us (from a they never were seen apart; and their terms train of events which it were unnecessary to of remuneration, poor things ! were just the recapitulate), then we acknowledged there are same as if the combined talents of one indi- other woes and more bitter memories than vidual were called into requisition.

those which shed a sad, solemn halo round the Afterwards, when they disappeared from memory of sweet first love, which of course our more immediate sphere, and their story never did, and never will “ run smooth.” became known to us, we often recalled, with The mother of the Misses Berry was a Prosomething akin to remorse, the thoughtless vençal lady, who inherited from troubadour trouble and vexation we had caused them ; progenitors the gift of song; she imprudently though never did a symptom of impatience espoused Mr. Thomas Berry, an English tutor betray itself, never was á hasty word of re- in a large French academy, who, on marrybuke spoken by the Misses Berry, sorely as ing, was dismissed from his situation. Mrs. they were oftentimes tried. A smile, indeed, Berry supported her husband and herself by never illumined their careworn visages, giving lessons in music; and for twelve years whereon traces of remarkable beauty were they managed to exist in tolerable comfort, still perceptible, as well as of premature having but one little daughter, born within wrinkled

age

traces written by ineffaceable twelve months after their union. This cbild Borrow and suffering. They came from a dis- was at once the delight and the misery of its tant part of the town, where, in an old- parents — deformed from birth, and excesfashioned, obsolete locality, they had resided sively plain in feature ; yet the angelic dispoin a small tenement of their own for many sition and rare gifts which early developed years; they were always attired in the deep themselves in poor Claudia, with the mother est mourning habiliments, rusty and faded, more than made amends for the deprivation and of antiquated fashioning, yet with a of personal charms. Not so, however, with foreign air about them, which truthfully Mr. Berry, who was an admirer of female betokened their lineage, which was not of our beauty, and greatly lamented the deficiency northern clime. Noiselessly the gentle ladies of it in his offspring. Moreover, the soured glided about; softly they intonated our harsh temper and idle habits indulged in, from a language ; and each seemed a silent and re-course of ill health, rendered him too prone served resemblance of the other, save that to complain on all occasions, whether with or Miss Paulina's mouth was of unusual dimen- without cause; and Claudia, from infancy, -sions, and that, in singing (and her singing was accustomed to hear how " very ugly was melody itself), she opened it to its full and forbidding her personal appearance extent. Miss Lydia's harp accompaniment was. was superb; and so excellent and judicious But the mother's gift of song had descended was their mode of imparting instruction, that to the little pale flower with twofold power; they had no lack of pupils, nor could they and earnestly Claudia prayed that she might

[ocr errors]

وو

as

be enabled to help her dear mother; and in- sorrow for their faults — faults which began dustriously she persevered in cultivating her to wear so serious an aspect, and which she talent, and profiting by the spare time which had not power to check or withstand. For Mrs. Berry was enabled to bestow on her often were the good lessons she inculcated daughter's instruction. When Claudia was neutralized during her unavoidable absence ; twelve years old, a little sister made its ap- and though the young girls certainly night be pearance on the troublous stage of life ; and said to respect their eldest sister, yet her in less than two years another stranger fol- gravity, and the rebukes she was imperatively lowed, and the mother made her final exit, called upon to administer in the form of bequeathing the two beautiful infants, Lydia wholesome counsel and remonstrance, were and Paulina, to the care of the young, received with laughter or indifference ; thoughtful, and affectionate Claudia, who, papa was appealed to; and by degrees with more than a sister's love, had hailed the her sisters regarded Claudia over-strict," advent of the fair innocents. From this time over-exacting ;" for had not their father forth, Claudia toiled unremittingly at her pro- on more than one occasion declared so in their fession; it was a hard battle, an arduous presence ? struggle for the noble-hearted girl, and far At this juncture, the relative who had too much for her delicate frame, and no already assisted them died, bequeathing to doubt she would speedily have sunk beneath Mr. Berry another donation of ready money, such exertions, had they not been permitted and to Claudia the small tenement in that to relax, by timely aid arriving, in the shape old-fashioned quarter of London in which the of a donation (considerable to them), unex- two younger Misses Berry continued to reside pectedly bestowed by an aged relative of Mr. when we were their pupils. Mr. Berry forthBerry's, to whom they had hitherto appealed with determined to repair thither, and take in vain. This enabled her to disburse out- possession, with his family; but, very shortly standing debts, and to procure comforts for after being reëstablished on his native soil, the ailing father and the lovely babes ; of self, he received his summons to that unknown Claudia never thought! She knew how valu- land from whence there is no return. It was able her life was, for the sake of the two dear a curious, carved, bay-windowed, rickety old little ones ; and, for their sakes alone, Clau-house, of which Claudia found herself the dia determined to husband her powers owner and the mistress, in a grass-growo old powers which had been too early and too street, with a gray old church tower at the painfully taxed. There were many who lis- corner. But, by slow degrees, the good Clautened to the thrilling notes of the young dia prospered here in worldly circumstances ; songstress, who felt the tender bird was a French schoolmistress bad given her a warbling itself to death.

recommendation to an English one, in the - Living, fortunately, was cheap in the suburbs of the metropolis; French town where the Berrys resided. They mended another, and thus Claudia increased inhabited a vine-hung cottage on the out- her connection, and found herself in a posiskirts, and, upon the whole, Claudia's busy tion to gratify the first wish of her heart. life may be pronounced to have been a happy This was to place her sisters at a good one, during the fifteen years which succeeded school, where their neglected education might her mother's departure 'to a better world. be attended to, and where they might receive She bad schools to attend, and private les that degree of attention which her avocations sons to give ; and her “ two children,” as prevented Claudia bestowing on their mental she called her little sisters, grew in grace and culture. The self-willed girls with great difbeauty: Mr. Berry was fractious and hypo- ficulty were persuaded to acquiesce ; persuachondriacal, and could not be induced to con- sion or command for a long time was null; sent that Lydia and Paulina might be sent to they loved the idleness of their dingy home school. Nay, he carried his extravagant their exemption from tasks and work when fondness for the spoilt girls to such a perni- Claudia was away; and they revelled in the cious extent, that Claudia (loth, indeed, todo-nothingness” and novelty of their new remonstrate with her parent), was compelled abode. But Claudia was firm. Go to school to entreat he would moderate indulgence they must - and go to school they did; and towards them; and not foster those seeds of there they remained for three years. An outvanity and selfishness which, Claudia was ward change was wrought in the demeanor obliged to confess to her own heart, were of the two beautiful sisters a change which beginning to spring up, bringing forth obnox- delighted the loving Claudia. They returned ious fruits in the characters of those whom home with polished, elegant exteriors ; with she would have died to serve.

dancing steps, poetry on their lips, and profiFar beyond the weak father's dotage was cients in harp music and singing her intense love for the fair creatures 80 sol- plishments in which from childhood they had emnly confided to her care by a dying mother ; excelled. But they were fine ladies —- idle für beyond his, her pride in their beauty, her] ludies ; and sister Claudia was their Cinde

one

recom

[ocr errors]

accom

rella ;

1

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]

in short, working, drudging, and slav- , romaunts to Lydia's fine harp accompaniing for the two pampered beauties from morn ment. till night. She thought and hoped that of With her head thrown back on the couch, themselves they might propose to turn their her eyes shaded by clasped hands, at the talents to account, bg. pursuing the same evening hour, in their old dwelling, might course which she did, and relieving her of Claudia be seen, enjoying this short respite some portion of the heavy labor which was so from labor. Paulina's voice excelled Claudia's far beyond her strength. She even took cour- now, but the taste and the style were all age to broach the subject to them, but Lydia Claudia's. and Paulina seemed to be quite offended at One evening, after a day of unusual and the idea of their being called upon to become severe exertion, Claudia returned home, worn teachers, and united in speaking at, if not to, out, weak, and utterly exhausted, needing the devoted sister, who in silence wept bitter cheering and comfort, perhaps, as she had tears at their unkindness and ingratitude. never needed it before. But Lydia and PauShe began sometimes to think it was really lina were in an angry, defiant, and disconwrong of her to wish to send them forth into tented mood; some silly, exorbitant demand the world ; they were so very lovely and en had been of necessity denied, and they dechanting (in Claudia's eyes, at least), " that clared Claudia was “shamefully mean." perhaps, after all,” she argued, “it was Alas! they went beyond this, and spoke better as it was ;” though, had the fair girls hasty words in passion, taunting her offered of their own accord to become useful, the good, devoted sister — with her unand to assist in earning their daily bread, fortunate deformity. A heavy, sigh Claudia would have rejoiced at such evidence sad, appealing look was the only answer, of a right and sound condition of mind. as, gently taking up her chamber lamp,

The little, pale, deformed music-teacher Claudia left the apartment, to seek the quiet was universally respected and beloved ; she ness and rest she stood so much in need of in was well known round the suburbs, trotting her own. That heavy sigh — that mute, upfrom school to school, and from house to braiding look — haunted the younger sisters house, on the appointed days. But her fine forever afterwards ! Never more was that voice gradually became fainter and fainter, bitter sigh — that pleading, tender, affectionthough no one knew what painful and desper ate look - to be forgotten. In the morning, ate exertions she made to retain her pupils ; Claudia, contrary to her usual wont, did not

- sweet and low, as the last notes of the dy- make her appearance the first at the breakfasting swan, were Claudia's last songs on earth; table; Claudia came not. They sought her and many of her pupils never ceased to re- chamber, and found her sleeping the sleep member these sad and solemn cadences, long from which, on earth, there is no awaking. after their gentle instructress had passed Serene and placid was the countenance on away. Erery one saw she was “passing which they gized, but the attenuated form away every one but the two who ought was cold, and the shadowy hands were folded to have watched and tended her with unre- meekly on her guileless breast. In frantic mitting solicitude. But Lydia and Paulina terror the two miserable sisters called upon were so accustomed to see their plain sister her name ; and 0! to bring her back again look pale and wearied; they were 80 accus- but for one short• hour ; to hear her speak tomed to her lavish tenderness and fond ca- words of love and forgiveness, for all their inresses, that it never entered into their heads sults, all their slights and ingratitude ! there was anything unusual in so much devo- Pass we over the days, and weeks, and tion. On the contrary, they were so used to months of unavailing remorso which followed have whims and caprices gratified, to the es- a remorse which never could be assuaged, tent of Claudia's means, that a denial of in- for which earth contained no panacea, no dulgence, of dress, of sight-seeing, or any healing, no comfort. Necessity compelled other frivolity, caused them to murmur, and Lydia and Pauline Berry to apply themselves to hint complaints of " hard usage.' Poor successfully to the professional career in which Claudia could not endure to hear this ; she they first became known to us; but memory dreaded their sour looks — their smiles were never slumbered; and who might read the her sunshine ; and when the potted girls secrets of those lonely penitents' hearts ? threw their arms round her, and thanked her Their hopes and wisbes in life were concenfor granting this or that boon or request, Clau- trated on the attainment of an object — which dia was more than repaid for the sacrifice only had urged them onwards — which only the life-long sacrifice she made. To Lydia she had been their leading-star when heaven was presented a beautiful harp ; to Paulina she so dark. This object was to accomplish the imparted all the instruction in her power to removal of Claudia's remains to their native afford, oftentimes when she ought to bave Provençal burying-place; she had left ber rested from toil; all she asked in return was wishes thus expressed in writing, found after to hear Paulina sing their native Provençal ber decease, and to comply with these wishes

[graphic]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

was the ultimatum of the Misses Berry. Nor survivors,” in that noble Provençal church at that alone ; they aspired to something beyond whose foot they were baptized in infancy, this ; and we were informed by eye-witnesses was a worthy testimonial of her virtues, and that the monumental record raised to their of their deep and lasting remorse. elder sister's inemory by " the two grateful

From the Economist.

The consequence necessarily is to circumTHE ISLE OF MAN.

scribe the trade of the island, retard its

prosperity, and to keep the sale of the limited It is hardly credible that at this period of quantities in the hands of the privileged few. our history, after Scotland has been united to Of brandy 20,000 gallons might be imported, England for a century and a half, and Ireland and of runi 70,000 gallons. Of these limited has been united with it for more than half a quantities, under the licensing systein 4,458 century, and all are placed under one code of gallons less of the former, and 13,988 gallons laws so far as the commerce of the empire is less of the latter, were imported than the law concerned, that there should exist, nearly permits — a pretty clear proof that the trade midway between these three principal parts, of the island does not thrive under this an island about thirty miles long and twelve licensing and restrictive system. broad, with a legislature and separate govern- In return for giving up their privileges the ment of its own, with peculiar taxes in posed Manxmen get rid of the licensing system, at by its own legislature, and with a system of which they are all pleased. Henceforward commercial and revenue laws totally distinct they will be able to import as much as they from those of the rest of the empire. Yet so like, though in some cases at enhanced duties. it is ; and the Isle of Man, or Mona, which they like the free importation, but they do seems still to cherish its privileges as if they not like the price demanded for it. After a were inherited from the Druids, is that singu- good deal of writing backwards and forwards, larly endowed place. There of course, as the treasury have settled the terins on which elsewhere, a number of persons either have, the free importation is to take place. They or fancy they have — and belief is very often are these :- Brandy, on which a duty wus as potent in things imagined as in things levied of 4s. Od., will henceforth pay 6s. seen - a great interest in not allowing this Geneva, on which the duty was 2s.6d., 6s. little spot to be incorporated with the great all foreign spirits will pay 6s. On rum the empire, and they resist an attempt to ap- increase of duty will be from 1s. 6d. to 3s. proximate it only to unity. At present a bill 8d., or an increase of 2s. 2d ; and on manuis going through Parliament to consolidate all factured tobacco and cigars the increase will the laws concerning the customs into one be ls. 6d. “ Against these increases must act; and it was thought advisable, still be placed,” says the treasury circular, "the reserving most of the peculiar privileges of the entire abolition of the licensing system, and island, to include the regulations concerning the consequent restrictions on trade. The Mona in the act. To such a proposition as a admission of British spirits, now prohibited, desecration of dignity, the Tinwald Court, at a duty of 3s. 4d. the gallon. A reduction the council of the lieutenant-governor, and of the duty on refined sugar from 9s, to os. the House of Keys, all object that it will in the cwt. ; and a removal of the existing terfere with the separate privileges enjoyed by restrictions to the use of British refined dutythe island. They all stand out for exclusion paid sugar under drawback. A reduction of

- they will not share in the moral unity and the duty on tea from 1s. to 6d. the pound. the moral grandeur of a great whole, but the entire repeal of the duties on timber. struggle for soine separate and exclusive A full participation in all the privileges and privileges, because the island is geographically advantages enjoyed by the trade of the United separate from all the three great parts of the Kingdom ; and the exclusive appropriation to empire. Seas, rivers, and mountains make local purposes in the island of any surplus no separation of the interest of the human revenue which it shall appear, on computation, family: America responds to every movement as likely to be derived from the fiscal changes of England, and England shares in the growth now proposed.” and the greatness of America, but Mona With all these changes the Isle of Man stands apart and cherishes its isolated dig- will remain an exceptional part of the empire, nity.

but one act of Parliament will include the Curious, too, are the privileges. To pre-exceptions as well as all the rules of the cusvent the island, in which the duties are low, toms. By-and-by, when the Manxmen have from being a nest of smugglers, the principle ascertained that annihilation does not ensue is adopted of limiting the quantities of all from the changes now proposed, they will be things imported. To carry out that limita- willing to come into tho general system, and tion, nobody can deal in the restricted articles pay the same duties and be under the same now importod except licensed by the governor. I regulation as the rest of the empire.

[graphic]

A FANTASIA.

[ocr errors]

Have you

[ocr errors]

From the Dublin University Magazine. with a dinner composed solely of cayenne and

Cbili-vinegar, with an olive or two by way of THE HOP-GARDEN; OR, A KENTISH

dessert. ACADEMUS.

Now, gentle reader, give me thine hand, and let me lead thee into a garden. Perhaps

you know a great deal about gardens. You BEGONE, ye philosophers! - satirists, avaunt! have been to Chiswick often — to the BotaniI declare, at the outset of this sketch, or tale cal Gardens in the Regent's Park, to Kew (or whatever else, by the interwoven blessings and Kensington, to Chatsworth, to Versailles, of Momus and Minerva, this article may and to the Tuileries - to the gardens of the chance to turn out), that you and yours shall Escurial and of the Alhambra — to those have nothing to do with it. You shall not classic gardens of the Ausonian land, and to even read it, if, by fair warning, you can be those beloved of the people and the princes kept off the premises. Let me assure you in Germany? Have you been as far as Rusthat there is nothing here that will conduce sia, to see the emperor's gardens there? Have to your self-glorification. There is not a word you been to Stamboul ? and can you — Giaour of praise for either party. The fact is I am as you are, man as you may be - can you tired to death of you both. You, Messieurs boast of having seen the gardens of the Serag. les Philosophes, with your absurd doubts and lio? Further east still — do you know any. equally absurd confidence - to say nothing thing of “the Gardens of Gul in their bloom," of the “horrid impudence,” as Montaigne beyond the poet's report that they are calls it, with which you pelt one another "sweet?" Have you questioned any intelliwith arguments - have fairly worn out my gent Persian, of the working classes, as to the patience ; unfairly, I should have said. You, amount of human labor required to produce ye satirists! ye Arabs of literature! whose an ounce of that far-famed attar? hand is against every man - who are no re- yourself taken part in an oriental_Feast of specters of persons ; ye professors of the art Roses? or even only, assisted, à la Française, of offence! whose excellence is in the use of by looking on at such an affair? If you an. missile weapons, from the finely-tempered swer most of these questions in the affirmative jereed down to the merely disgusting rotten if you are a fashionable Briton, or & wanogg; ye chevaliers errant, but most anti-chiv- dering cosmopolitan - I feel almost ashamed alresque, ye bave becoine a sad weariness to of inviting you into a place so completely my flesh! May I never hear another fine rustic and homely as the one I have in view. stroke of wit may I never enjoy a hearty Here are no rare flowers of resplendent hues, laugh again — if I do not believe that you are various as the rainbow no terraced lawne the worst company in the world to live, move, and pleached alleys - - no ornamental founand have one's being in. Dogberry's tedious- tains and neatly rolled gravel walks ; nothing ness is as nothing compared with that of a which a Sir William Temple or a Shenstone society that does nothing hut joke, and satirize, would desire, to “decorate repose." Yet fain and labor to be keen and brilliant. For my would I have your company, gentle reader, own part, gentle reader, I hate a man or wo-though you be a lion at the Travellers Club, man whose conversation is all points ; like or enthroned high among the princes, pohedgehogs or porcupines, they are very curi- tentates, powers," of Almacks' — those male, ous to look at, but who would ever think of these feminine. Yes, though you belong to taking them to one's bosom to pet?

the crême de la crême of the sky-blue heaven As the pseudo-philosophers and professors of aristocratic society - which, unlike its gud. of sarcasm have now turned away in contempt, father, the firmament on high, is not spacious, let me invite the reader to accompany me to but extremely narrow; and, instead of bending a pleasant place. Before we set off; though, over all, with graceful amplitude, keeps its allow me to explain to you that I have a great starry glories packed together in the smallest love in my heart for philosophers, humorists, orbital space, and covers them with mysteriand wits. It is only those who "imitate” ous clouds from the familiar gaze of any lowly them." so abominably that I have been ad- wight: though you have put an equatorial dressing above ; knowing perfectly well that belt about the earth, and have sailed “ from they would assume the titles to which they Indus to the Pole," and know all that is to be have no claim, and listen, accordingly, to seen between China and Peru; be you the what was meant for themselves. There is a very quintessence of fashion, or the most acgreat difference between the real men and complished vagabond within the four seas, I their imitators - - as great as that between the would, nevertheless, have your company. true and the false Florimel. The right sort Ah! I bethink me. There is one name by of philosophers never invite you to a feast aid of which I can draw you on with mo. consisting of bare bones and chaff. The right Lady Lofty! Mr. Peregrine ! do you not know sort of wits and satirists never think of grati- the name of Bass? It has been whispered to fying a refined taste or a healthy stomach) me that, in your ladyship’serene and elevated

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ElőzőTovább »