Imatges de pÓgina

duced him to the others, reserving her who was making himself agreeable to for the last. She was at that moment Olive just then, to come and see what talking with the worthy Rector, and turn- was the matter with Myrtle. ed when Mr. Bradshaw spoke to her.

“ A little nervous turn, that is all,” “Miss Hazard, will you allow me to he said. “ Open the window. Loose present to you my friend, Mr. Clement the ribbon round he neck. Rub her Lindsay ?"

hands. Sprinkle some water on her They looked full upon each other, forehead. A few drops of cologne. and spoke the common words of saluta- Room too warm for her, – that 's all, I tion. It was a strange meeting ; but we think." who profess to tell the truth must tell Myrtle came to herself after a time strange things, or we shall be liars. without anything like a regular parox

In poor little Susan's letter there was ysm. But she was excitable, and whatsome allusion to a bust of Innocence ever the cause of the disturbance may which the young artist had begun, but have been, it seemed prudent that she of which he had said nothing in his should go home early; and the excelanswer to her. He had roughed out a lent Rector insisted on caring for her, block of marble for that impersonation; much to the discontent of Mr. William sculpture was a delight to him, though Murray Bradshaw. secondary to his main pursuit. After “ Demonish odd,” said this gentlehis memorable adventure, the features man, “was n't it, Mr. Lindsay, that Miss and the forms of the girl he had res- Hazard should go off in that way? Did cued so haunted him that the pale ideal you ever see her before ?" which was to work itself out in the bust “1-1— have seen that young lady faded away in its perpetual presence, before," Clement answered. and — alas, poor Susan !- in obedience “ Where did you meet her?” Mr. to the impulse that he could not con- Bradshaw asked, with eager interest. trol, he left Innocence sleeping in the “I met her in the Valley of the Shadmarble, and began modelling a figure of ow of Death,” Clement answered, very proud and noble and imperious beauty, solemnly. — “I leave this place to-morto which he gave the name of Liberty. row morning. Have you any commands

The original which had inspired his for the city ?” conception was before him. These (“Knows how to shut a fellow up pretwere the lips to which his own had ty well for a young one, does n't he ? " clung when he brought her back from Mr. Bradshaw thought to himself.) the land of shadows. The hyacinthine “ Thank you, no,” he answered, recurl of her lengthening locks had added covering himself.

“ Rather a melansomething to her beauty ; but it was choly place to make acquaintance in, I the same face which had haunted him. should think, that Valley you spoke of. This was the form he had borne seem- I should like to know about it." ingly lifeless in his arms, and the bosom Mr. Clement had the power of looking which heaved so visibly before him was steadily into another person's eyes in a that which his eyes They were way that was by no means encouraging the calm eyes of a sculptor, but of a to curiosity or favorable to the process sculptor hardly twenty years old. of cross-examination. Mr. Bradshaw

Yes, her bosom was heaving. She was not disposed to press his question had an unexplained feeling of suffoca- in the face of the calm, repressive look tion, and drew great breaths, — she the young man gave him. could not have said why, — but she “ If he was n't bagged, I should n't could not help it; and presently she like the shape of things any too well," became giddy, and had a great noise in he said to himself. her ears, and rolled her eyes about, and The conversation between Mr. Clemwas on the point of going into an hys- ent Lindsay and Miss Susan Posey, teric spasm. They called Dr. Hurlbut, as they walked home together, was not



very brilliant. “I am going to-morrow The whole hymn pleased the grave Deamorning," he said, “and I must bid

He had never seen this work you good by to-night.” Perhaps it is of the author of the Commentary. No as well to leave two lovers to them- matter ; anything that such a good man selves, under these circumstances. wrote must be good reading, and he

Before he went be spoke to his wor- would save it up for Sunday. The conthy host, whose moderate demands he sequence of this was, that, when the had to satisfy, and with whom he Rev. Mr. Stoker stopped in on his way wished to exchange a few words. to meeting on the “Sabbath,” he turned

“ And by the way, Deacon, I bave white with horror at the spectacle of no use for this book, and as it is in a the senior Deacon of his church sitting, good type, perhaps you would like it. open-mouthed and wide-eyed, absorbed Your favorite, Scott, and one of his in the pages of “ Ivanhoe,” which he greatest works. I have another edition found enormously interesting ; but, so of it at home, and don't care for this far as he had yet read, not occupied volume."

with religious matters so much as he “Thank you, thank you, Mr. Lind- had expected. say, much obleeged. I shall read that Myrtle had no explanation to give copy for your sake, - the best of books of her nervous attack. Mr. Bradshaw next to the Bible itself.”

called the day after the party, but did After Mr. Lindsay had gone, the not see her. He met her walking, and Deacon looked at the back of the book thought she seemed a little more distant “Scott's Works, Vol. IX.” He opened than common. That would never do. it at hazard, and happened to fall on a He called again at The Poplars a few well-known page, from which he began days afterwards, and was met in the enreading aloud, slowly,

try by Miss Cynthia, with whom he had * When Izrul, of the Lord beloved,

a long conversation on matters involvOut of the land of bondage came."

ing Myrtle's interests and their own.



UR road to Rydal lay through driver tells us is Rydal Lake! We had

Ambleside, which is certainly a already heard that it was but three very pretty town, and looks cheerfully quarters of a mile long, and one quaron a sunny day. We saw Miss Mar- ter broad; still, it being an idea of contineau's residence, called the Knoll, siderable size in our minds, we had instanding high up on a hillock, and hav- evitably drawn its ideal physical proing at its foot a Methodist chapel, for portions on a somewhat corresponding which, or whatever place of Christian scale. It certainly did look very small; worship, this good lady can have no and I said, in my American scorn, that occasion. We stopped a moment in I uld carry it away easily in a porthe street below her house, and delib- ringer ; for it is nothing more than a erated a little whether to call on her, grassy-bordered pool among the surbut concluded otherwise.

rounding hills, which ascend directly After leaving Ambleside, the road from its margin; so that one might winds in and out among the hills, and fancy it not a permanent body of water, soon brings us to a sheet (or napkin, but a rather extensive accumulation of rather than a sheet) of water, which the recent rain. Moreover, it was rippled


with a breeze, and so, as I remember the hills and at the flags on the lake's it, though the sun shone, it looked dull shore. and sulky, like a child out of humor. Reaching the house that had been Now the best thing these small ponds pointed out to us as Wordsworth’s rescan do is to keep perfectly calm and idence, we began to peer about at its smooth, and not to attempt to show front and gables, and over the gardenoff any airs of their own, but content wall on both sides of the road, quickthemselves with serving as a mirror ening our enthusiasm as much as we for whatever of beautiful or picturesque could, and meditating to pilfer some there may be in the scenery around flower or ivy-leaf from the house or its them. The hills about Rydal water vicinity, to be kept as sacred memo are not very lofty, but are sufficiently rials. At this juncture a man apso as objects of every-day view, -ob- proached, who announced himself as jects to live with, — and they are crag- the gardener of the place, and said, too, gier than those we have hitherto seen, that this was not Wordsworth's house and bare of wood, which indeed would at all, but the residence of Mr. Ball, a hardly grow on some of their precipi- Quaker gentleman ; but that his ground tous sides.

adjoined Wordsworth's, and that he On the roadside, as we reach the foot had liberty to take visitors through the of the lake, stands a spruce and rather latter. How absurd it would have been large house of modern aspect, but with if we had carried away ivy-leaves and several gables, and much overgrown tender recollections from this domicile with ivy, - a very pretty and comforta- of a respectable Quaker! The garble house, built, adorned, and cared for dener was an intelligent young man, with commendable taste. We inquired of pleasant, sociable, and respectful adwhose it was, and the coachman said it dress; and as we went along, he talked was “Mr. Wordsworth’s,” and that about the poet, whom he had known, Mrs. Wordsworth was still residing and who, he said, was very familiar there. So we were much delighted to with the country people. He led us have seen his abode; and as we were to through Mr. Ball's grounds, up a steep stay the night at Grasmere, about two hillside, by winding, gravelled walks, miles farther on, we determined to come with summer-houses at points favoraback and inspect it as particularly as ble for them. It was a very shady and should be allowable. Accordingly, after pleasant spot, containing about an acre taking rooms at Brown's Hotel, we drove of ground, and all turned to good acback in our return car, and, reaching count by the manner of laying it out; the head of Rydal water, alighted to walk so that it seemed more than it really through this familiar scene of so many In one place, on a small, smooth years of Wordsworth’s life. We ought slab of slate let into a rock, there is an to have seen De Quincey's former res- inscription by Wordsworth, which I idence, and Hartley Coleridge's cot- think I have read in his works, claimtage, I believe, on our way, but were ing kindly regards from those who visit not aware of it at the time. Near the spot, after his departure, because the lake there is a stone quarry, and many trees had been spared at his ina cavern of some extent, artificially tercession. His own grounds, or rathformed, probably, by taking out the er his ornamental garden, is separated stone. Above the shore of the lake, from Mr. Ball's only by a wire fence, or not a great way from Wordsworth's res- some such barrier, and the gates have idence, there is a flight of steps hewn no fastening, so that the whole appears in a rock, and ascending to a seat, like one possession, and doubtless was where a good view of the lake may

bc so as regarded the poet's walks and enattained; and as Wordsworth has doubt- joyments. We approached by paths so less sat there hundreds of times, so did winding, that I hardly know how the we ascend and sit down and look at house stands in relation to the road;


but, after much circuity, we really did something false, a kind of humbug, in see Wordsworth's residence, - an old all this. "At any rate, the traces of house, with an uneven ridge-pole, built it do not contribute to my enjoyment, of stone, no doubt, but plastered over and, indeed, it ought to be done so exwith some neutral tint, - a house that quisitely as to leave no trace. But I would not have been remarkably pret- ought not to criticise in any way a spot ty in itself, but so delightfully situat- which gave me so much pleasure, and ed, so secluded, so hedged about with where it is good to think of Wordsshrubbery and adorned with flowersworth in quiet, past days, walking in so ivy-grown on one side, so beauti- his home-shadow of trees which he fied with the personal care of him who knew, and training flowers, and trimlived in it and loved it, that it seemed ming shrubs, and chanting in an underthe very place for a poet's residence; tone his own verses, up and down the and as if, while he lived so long in it, winding walks. his poetry

had manifested itself in flow- The gardener gave Julian a cone ers, shrubbery, and ivy. I never smelt from the summer-house, which had fallsuch a delightful fragrance of flowers as en on the seat, and mamma got some there was all through the garden. In mignonette, and leaves of laurel and front of the house, there is a circular ivy, and we wended our way back to terrace, of two ascents, in raising which the hotel. Wordsworth had himself performed Wordsworth was not the owner of much of the labor; and here there are this house, it being the property of seats, from which we obtained a fine Lady Fleming. Mrs. Wordsworth still view down the valley of the Rothay, lives there, and is now at home. with Windermere in the distance, - a Five o'clock. — All day it has been view of several miles, and which we did cloudy and showery, with thunder now not suppose could be seen, after wind- and then ; the mists hang low on the ing among the hills so far from the lake. surrounding hills, adown which, at variIt is very beautiful and picture-like. ous points, we can see the snow-white While we sat here, mamma happened fall of little streamlets — forces they call to refer to the ballad of little Barbara them here — swollen by the rain. An Lewthwaite, and Julian began to repeat overcast day is not so gloomy in the the poem concerning her; and the gar- hill-country as in the lowlands ; there dener said that little Barbara had died are more breaks, more transfusion of not a great while ago, an elderly wo- sky-light through the gloom, as has man, leaving grown-up children behind been the case to-day; and, as I found her. Her marriage-name was Thomp- in Lenox, we get better acquainted son, and the gardener believed there was with clouds by seeing at what height nothing remarkable in her character. they lie on the hillsides, and find that

There is a summer-house at one ex- the difference betwixt a fair day and a tremity of the grounds, in deepest shad- cloudy and rainy one is very superficial, ow, but with glimpses of mountain- after all. Nevertheless, rain is rain, views through trees which shut it in, and wets a man just as much among and which have spread intercepting the mountains as anywhere else; so boughs since Wordsworth died. It is we have been kept within doors all day, lined with pine cones, in a pretty way till an hour or so ago, when Julian and enough, but of doubtful taste. I rather I went down to the village in quest of wonder that people of real taste should the post-office. help Nature out, and beautify her, or We took a path that leads from the perhaps rather prettify her so much as hotel across the fields, and, coming into they do, - opening vistas, showing one a wood, crosses the Rothay by a one-. thing, hiding another, making a scene arched bridge, and passes the village picturesque whether or no. I cannot church. The Rothay is very swift and rid myself of the feeling that there is turbulent to-day, and hurries along with

NO. 117



foam-specks on its surface, filling its I found out Hartley Coleridge's grave banks from brim to brim, a stream per- sooner than Wordsworth's ; for it is. haps twenty feet wide, perhaps more ; of marble, and, though simple enough, for I am willing that the good little has more of sculptured device about it, river should have all it can fairly claim. having been erected, as I think the inIt is the St. Lawrence of several of scription states, by his brother and sisthese English lakes, through which it ter. Wordsworth's has only the very flows, and carries off their superfluous simplest slab of slate, with “William waters. In its haste, and with its rush- Wordsworth ” and nothing else upon ing sound, it was pleasant both to see it. As I recollect it, it is the midmost and hear; and it sweeps by one side of grave of the row. It is, or has been, the old churchyard where Wordsworth well grass-grown, but the grass is quite lies buried, - the side where his grave worn away from the top, though suffiis made. The church of Grasmere is a ciently luxuriant at the sides. It looks very plain structure, with a low body, as if people had stood upon it, and so on one side of which is a low porch does the grave next to it, which, I with a pointed arch. The tower is believe, is of one of his children. I square, and looks ancient; but the plucked some grass and weeds from it;. whole is overlaid with plaster of a and as he was buried within so few buff or pale-yellow hue. It was origi- years, they may fairly be supposed to nally built, I suppose, of rough, shingly have drawn their nutriment from his

I stones, as many of the houses here- mortal remains, and I gathered them abouts are now, and the plaster is from just above his head. There is no used to give a finish. We found the fault to be found with his grave, --withgate of the churchyard wide open ; in view of the hills, within sound of the and the grass was lying on the graves, river, murmuring near by, no fault, having probably been mowed yester- except that he is crowded so closely day. It is but a small churchyard, with his kindred; and, moreover, that, and with few monuments of any pre- being so old a churchyard, the earth tension in it, most of them being slate over him must all have been human headstones, standing erect. From the once. He might have had fresh earth. gate at which we entered a distinct to himself, but he chose this grave defoot-track leads to the corner nearest liberately. No very stately and broadthe river-side, and I turned into it by a based monument can ever be erected sort of instinct, the more readily as I over it, without infringing upon, coversaw a tourist-looking man approaching ing, and overshadowing the graves, not from that point, and a woman looking only of his family, but of individuals. among the gravestones. Both of these who probably were quite disconnected persons had gone by the time I came with him. But it is pleasant to think up, so that Julian and I were left to find and know — were it but on the evidence Wordsworth's grave all by ourselves. of this choice of a resting-place -- that

At this corner of the churchyard he did not care for a stately monument. there is a hawthorn bush or tree, the After leaving the churchyard, we wanextremest branches of which stretch as dered about in quest of the post-office, far as where Wordsworth lies. This and for a long time without success.. whole corner seems to be devoted to This little town of Grasmere seems to himself and his family and friends; me as pretty a place as ever I met with and they all lie very closely together, in my life. It is quite shut in by hills. side by side, and head to foot, as room that rise up immediately around it, like could conveniently be found. Hartley a neighborhood of kindly giants. These Coleridge lies a little behind, in the di- hills descend steeply to the verge of rection of the church, his feet being the level on which the village stands, towards Wordsworth's head, who lies and there they terminate at once, the in the row of those of his own blood. whole site of the little town being as

« AnteriorContinua »