Imatges de pÓgina
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From her fireside she could see,
Sidelong, its rich antiquity,
Far as the Bishop's garden-wall,
Where sycamores and elm-trees tall,
Full-leav'd the forest had outstript,
By no sharp north-wind ever nipt,
So shelter'd by the mighty pile.
Bertha arose, and read awhile,
With forehead 'gainst the window-pane.
Again she try'd, and then again,
Until the dusk eve left her dark
Upon the legend of St. Mark.
From plaited lawn-frill, fine and thin,
She lifted up her soft warm chin,
With aching neck and swimming eyes,
And dazed with saintly imageries.

All was gloom, and silent all,

Save now and then the still footfall
Of one returning homewards late,
Past the echoing minster-gate.

The clamorous daws, that all the day
Above tree-tops and towers play,
Pair by pair had gone to rest,
Each in ancient belfry-nest,
Where asleep they fall betimes,
To music and the drowsy chimes.

All was silent, all was gloom,
Abroad and in the homely room:
Down she sat, poor cheated soul !
And struck a lamp from the dismal coal
Lean'd forward, with bright drooping hair
And slant book, full against the glare.
Her shadow, in uneasy guise,

Hover'd about, a giant size,
On ceiling-beam and old oak chair,
The parrot's cage, and panel square;
And the warm angled winter-screen,
On which were many monsters seen,
Call'd doves of Siam, Lima mice,
And legless birds of Paradise,
Macaw and tender Avadavat,
And silken-furr'd Angora cat.
Untir'd she read, her shadow still
Glower'd about, as it would fill

The room with wildest forms and shades,
As though some ghostly queen of spades

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Man han beforne they wake in bliss,

Whanne that hir friendes thinke him bound
In crimped shroude farre under grounde;
And how a litling child mote be

A saint er its nativitie,

Gif that the modre (God her blesse !)
Kepen in solitarinesse,

And kissen devoute the holy croce.
Of Goddes love, and Sathan's force,-
He writith; and thinges many mo
Of swiche thinges I may not show.
Bot I must tellen verilie

Somdel of Saintè Cicilie,

And chieflie what he auctorethe
Of Sainte Markis life and dethe: "

At length her constant eyelids come
Upon the fervent martyrdom;
Then lastly to his holy shrine,

Exalt amid the tapers' shine
At Venice,-

I hope you will like this for all its carelessness. I must take an opportunity here to observe that though I am writing to you, I am all the while writing at your wife. This explanation will account for my speaking sometimes hoity-toity-ishly, whereas if you were alone, I should sport a little more sober sadness. I am like a squinty gentleman, who, saying soft things to one lady ogles another, or what is as bad, in arguing with a person on his left hand, appeals with his eyes to one on the right. His vision is elastic; he bends it to a certain

object, but having a patent spring it flies off. Writing has this disadvantage of speaking-one cannot write a wink, or a nod, or a grin, or a purse of the lips, or a smile-O law! One cannot put one's finger to one's nose, or yerk ye in the ribs, or lay hold of your button in writing; but in all the most lively and titterly parts of my letter you must not fail to imagine me, as the epic poets say, now here, now there; now with one foot pointed at the ceiling, now with another; now with my pen on my ear, now with my elbow in my mouth. O, my friends, you lose the action, and attitude is everything, as Fuseli said when he took up his leg like a musket to shoot a swallow just darting behind his shoulder. And yet does not the word "mum" go for one's finger beside the nose? I hope it does. I have to make use of the word "mum" before I tell you that Severn has got a little baby-all his own, let us hope. He told Brown he had given up painting, and had turned modeller. I hope sincerely 'tis not a party concern that no Mr.

or

-is the real Pinxit and Severn the poor Sculpsit to this work of art. You know he has long studied in the life Academy. "Haydon—yes," your wife will say, "Here is a sum total account of Haydon again. I wonder your brother don't put a monthly bulletin in the Philadelphia papers about him. I won't hear no. Skip down to the bottom, and there are some more of his verses-skip (lullaby-by) them too."-"No, let's go regularly through." "I won't hear a word about Haydon-bless the child, how rioty she is there, go on there." Now, pray go

on here, for I have a few words to say about Haydon. Before this chancery threat had cut off every legitimate supply of cash from me, I had a little at my disposal. Haydon being very much in want, I lent him £30 of it. Now in this see-saw game of life, I got nearest to the ground, and this chancery business rivette me there, so that I was sitting in that uneasy position. where the seat slants so abominably. I applied to him for payment. He could not. That was no wonder;

but Goodman Delver, where was the wonder then? Why marry in this: he did not seem to care much about it, and let me go without my money with almost nonchalance, when he ought to have sold his drawings to supply me. I shall perhaps still be acquainted with him, but for friendship, that is at an end. Brown has been my friend in this. He got him to sign a bond, payable at three months.

Haslam has assisted me with

the return of part of the money you lent him.

Hunt "there," says your wife, "there's another of those dull folk! Not a syllable about my friends? Well, Hunt-What about Hunt? You little thing, see how she bites my finger! My! is not this a tooth? Well when you have done with the tooth, read on. Not a syllable about your friends! Here are some syllables. As far as I could smoke things on the Sunday before last, thus matters stood in Henrietta Street. Henry was a greater blade then ever I remember to have seen him. He had on a very nice coat, a becoming waistcoat, and buff trousers. I think his face has lost a little of the Spanish-brown, but no flesh. He carved some beef exactly to suit my appetite, as if I had been measured for it. As I stood looking out of the window with Charles, after dinner, quizzing the passengers,—at which I am sorry to say he is too apt, I observed that this young son of a gun's whiskers had begun to curl and curl, little twists and twists, all down the sides of his face, getting properly thickest on the angles of the visage. He certainly will have a notable pair of whiskers. "How shiny your gown is in front," says Charles. "Why don't you see? 'tis an apron," says Henry; whereat I scrutinised, and behold your mother had a purple stuff gown on, and over it an apron of the same colour, being the same cloth that was used for the lining. And furthermore to account for the shining, it was the first day of wearing. I guessed as much of the gown-but that is entre nous. Charles likes England better than France. They've got a fat, smiling, fair cook as ever

you saw; she is a little lame, but that improves her; it makes her go more swimmingly. When I asked "Is Mrs. Wylie within?" she gave me such a large five-andthirty-year-old smile, it made me look round upon the fourth stair—it might have been the fifth; but that's a puzzle. I shall never be able, if I were to set myself a recollecting for a year, to recollect. I think I remember two or three specks in her teeth, but I really can't say exactly. Your mother said something about Miss Keasle —what that was is quite a riddle to me now, whether she had got fatter or thinner, or broader or longer, straiter, or had taken to the zigzags-whether she had taken to or had left off asses' milk. That, by the bye, she ought never to touch. How much better it would be to put her out to nurse with the wise woman of Brentford. I can say no more on so spare a subject. Miss Millar now is a different morsel, if one knew how to divide and subdivide, theme her out into sections and subsections, lay a little on every part of her body as it is divided, in common with all her fellow-creatures, in Moor's Almanack. But, alas, I have not heard a word about her, no cue to begin upon there was indeed a buzz about her and her mother's being at old die, as the Jews say.

Mrs. So and So's, who was like to But I dare say, keeping up their dialect, she was not like to die. I must tell you a good thing Reynolds did. 'Twas the best thing he ever said. You know at taking leave of a party at a doorway, sometimes a man dallies and foolishes and gets awkward, and does not know how to make off to advantage. Good-bye-well, good-bye—and yet he does not go; good-bye, and so on,-well, good bless you-you know what I mean. Now Reynolds was in this predicament, and got out of it in a very witty way. He was leaving us at Hampstead. him, and even said his coat between his spaniel as could be.

He delayed, and we were pressing at "be off," at which he put the tails of legs and sneak'd off as nigh like a He went with flying colours. This is very clever. I must, being upon the subject, tell you

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