Imatges de pàgina
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letting a doubt come near my mind. You most ordinary occasions, such as the long, will forgive me my disorder, and I will go silent, uneventful summer evenings of last and trim myself. After the night I have year; as if no sound were going to disturb passed I must appear like a savage. the mute monotony of the hours but the

“ And you will tell me of your happi- click of her aunt's knitting - needles, the ness when it is fully secured ?" said May, ticking of the clock, the distant piping of as they parted; and she watched him some cow-boy in the valley, the wail of a stride away, big and glad, towards the sleepy plover shuddering in at the open house. Your six-feet men have not always window, or the sound of her own voice giant intellects, but they often carry very reading a chapter of Thomas à Kempis tender hearts.

aloud to Miss Martha in the dusk. May did not tell Katherine the chief A great glare had flashed over the hills, news of her aunt's letter. She could not and down the paths, and through the open speak again to Miss Archbold about Paul; door into the hall. As May reached the she only made known her aunt's wish that door, a long shadow and a quick step came she should go home, and after no little out of the blinding red glow, and stopped difficulty she was suffered to depart. at the threshold. Here then, of course,

How small and simple her home looked was the visitor arrived: but not the lad after Camlough, and how wholesome Aunt whom May remembered. This was not Martha, in her clear-starched kerchief and May's merry friend. But it was Kathefair white cap ! Paul was coming in the rine's handsome lover, without a doubt. evening. He had taken up his quarters in “Mr. Finiston!” said May, giving her a farmer's house a couple of miles away. hand. She could not say Paul” to this As May took off her bonnet at her own little important-looking gentleman. dressing-table, she saw her face looking * Miss Mourne !” said Paul, uncovering charmingly brightened up. In spite of his curls. He could not say “ May” to Katherine's judgment, she was not quite a this dignified-looking maiden. But he held fright. What a glorious thing was joy the proffered hand as tightly as if he had which could thus burnish people's looks! got at last what he had been in want of all She dared not look long enough to assure his life. And May was regarding him with herself that beauty had actually taken sympathetic curiosity, wondering if he had possession of her face. Katherine had told heard as yet the report of Katherine's apher that it was all mock-modesty for a young proaching marriage : and if so, how he woman not to think of her appearance. was bearing it. Miss Martha stepped out But Katherine lived in the world. Fine of the parlour, where she had been setting ladies bad, perhaps, little time for self- forth her dainties on the tea-table. respect, but people who were not fashion- “So you have been walking over your able had a great deal of leisure to perceive property all day,” said she to Paul. “ May, when they were going wrong.

you go in and pour out the tea. I have So May bustled about her room, briskly had to do it for myself during the past putting herself and the chamber into the three weeks. I have just got her home, order which her fancy approved of. She and I intend to make her work. She has was wiser than she had been a month ago, been living like a fine lady among the inasmuch as she had got a lesson in coquetry magnates of the land.” for life; she was now going to profit by the Paul thought she looked a fine lady in lesson. A month ago she would innocently the finest sense of the word ; excellently have dressed in her prettiest to meet Paul, fit for household work like the present, as without thinking why she did it, or that her quick hand fitted about the board, and she ought not to do it. Now, it could not her sweet face smiled at him and dimpled be done without taking away her ease. above the tea-pot. It was nectar and not This was not Camlough, so she need not tea which she handed him in a cup. She change her dress because it was evening. had a love-philter in her cream-ewer, this She kept on the thick white “

wrapper witch-maid of the mountains. Paul had, which had been fresh at breakfast-time until now, held three images in his mind, that morning; a crimson rose was already now they paled away and became faint for fastened in the bosom, and that might evermore. A little grey pelisse making stay. Nice braids of hair were nothing purchases in Dublin ; a maiden with outunusual, and there could not be any vanity stretched hands upon a bridge; a gracious in a pair of newly-washed hands. And so young gentlewoman holding parley with she took her way to the parlour, as on the à pedlar. These three young people had

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been, successively, his loves ; now let swiftly mastered his fancy ; her

presence, them vanish, for their day had gone past. then, had been only the nearness of a They could not bear comparison with this lovely and luminous soul and body, full radiant tea-making creature, who could of kindred warmth and dreams. It was not hide her gladness that her friend had after he had left her that he remembered come home.

the strong breadth of her brow with all its Not a word was spoken about the miser girlish fairness, the deep fire in her

eyes, of Tobereevil. Paul shirked the subject, the sweet curves of her mouth, the tender and the evening was given up to his own firmness of her softly-moulded chin. It adventures abroad. The three friends was then that she seemed to show herself to sat all through the sunset, and far into him in the many changeful attitudes that the dusk, while Paul poured forth his her character could assume, without losing recitals, and the audience drank in every a line of strength or a curve of grace. word he spoke. The little parlour with On that warm July night Paul was deeply its queer fittings seemed paradise to this dipped in love. He had been parched in love-sick and home-sick wanderer. May his exile, and he had brought himself to sat opposite to him on a bench along the drink; but he was only the more athirst window. Two huge jars filled with roses after this first spicy draught. and sheaves of lavender stood between Miss Martha and May had walked a them, making a bank of scent and colour little way with him through the field-paths across which their eyes and words travelled. towards the moor. The twilight blurred and Miss Martha sat in her straight-backed blended the ghostly outlines of the ruins, arm-chair before the two, with her hands and garden and graveyard were wreathed folded in her lap, no knitting being toler- together in one gleaming, fragrant acre. able on this particular evening. The win- The warm wind swept over the uncut grass, dow was open, to the utmost folding back which had already the breath of hay, and of its latticed panes, and the climbing roses the river glinted in the hollow, under its were dipping over the strong brown frame- bending rows of trees. The moonlight work, and lying along the lintel. As Paul hung like a faint silvery veil along the told his foreign adventures, he felt himself moorland, and the lights in distant farmto be only some lucky Othello, or less houses shone like will-o'-the-wisps in a savage Feramorz.

He forgot that he was marsh. The weird watch-note of some a Finiston, and the heir of Tobereevil. sleepless wild-bird came floating up at inMay's eyes glowed towards him through tervals from the meadows. The sweet, the fading light, and he saw in her an em- mild summer beat in every pulse of the bodiment of all the fair hopes that had night. withdrawn him from the influence of his Very slowly, and with few words, the dreads and difficulties, that he might sit three friends had sauntered along. At the here at this hour in delicious peace at her gate that parted the farm-lands from the side. He saw in her here present all the open hills they touched hands, and said beauties with which his fancy had ever good-night. gifted her in absence; besides a tender “Well, my dear, and what do


think paleness of cheek when thrilled by grave of him ?” asked Aunt Martha, as the interest, and a spiritual abstraction of the women returned homeward. eyes at times, out of which he gathered May did not answer for a few moments. for himself the assurance that she could She was pacing a little in advance, with search far with him into whatever mys- her arms crossed on her breast, a trick teries might trouble him. And yet-he she had from childhood when in musing delighted to discover-he could call back humour. Two or three times her feet fell the

merry smiles and the laughter-loving on the grass as if to the rhythm of some dimples.

music that was solemn, but passing sweet, All these satisfactions he did not note on “Eh, Aunty?" she said at last.“ Did the moment, while he lingered in the dim you speak to me?” atmosphere of the parlour among the clois- “I was asking you what you thought of ters; but they were duly recalled and him, my dear.” gloated over as he walked home to his “Don't ask me to-night, then," said May, farm-house under the moonlight. While stopping suddenly, putting her hands on sitting by her side, within reach of her her aunt's shoulders, and looking frankly hand and the sympathy of her face, he and smilingly in her face; “moonlight could not analyse the charm which had so makes people mad, you know, and I might


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be too enthusiastic. To-morrow we shall noon in Fleet-street, to see the wooden see him better as he is."

giants on the tower of old St. Dunstan's “Well, well, my love!” said Miss Martha, church strike the hour with their clubs. “ I am not going to bother you. Let us I remember when Trafalgar-square and its now get into bed.”

sculptural atrocities had no existence, and But as May went into her bedroom she when the King's Mews stood on the site thought of Katherine. And she remem- of the National Gallery. I remember when bered that for some hours she had forgotten members of the Houses of Lords and to pity Paul.

Commons did not think it beneath their dignity to fight duels, and when the late

John Black of the late Morning Chronicle FEATHERS AND IRON. challenged the still living Mr. Roebuck to

settle, or attempt to settle, a personal I am on the sunny side of fifty-five; not quarrel, arising out of a political discussion, that the fact is of the slightest importance by the same illogical method. I remember to any one but myself and my friends; when the rate of postage varied according but I mention it to show how compara- to distance, and when a letter to the Land's tively young a man may be, who re- End or John o' Groat's House was charged members things that to those who have two shillings or half a crown for conveynot yet arrived at middle age might seem ance; and when people well to do in the to reach into a remote antiquity. I re- world, rather than pay such a rate, gave member old London Bridge. I remember themselves a vast deal of trouble to hunt shooting the particularly dangerous arch up members of parliament to badger or in a wherry. I remember the Thames coax them out of their signatures, which, watermen, with their badges and their written on the corner of letters, franked the quaint mediæval costume. I remember documents to any part of the British Isles. when there was neither a cab nor an omni- I remember when the only pen that man, bus plying for hire in the streets of London, woman, or child could write with was the and when the lumbering old vehicles called goose-quill, or the more delicate wing hackney - coaches, with two horses, did feathers of the crow; when pen-mending heavily and expensively the duty now per- was an art and an accomplishment that formed lightly and cheaply by the hansom. employed much time, and needed much I remember the wretched old watchmen, patience on the part of the inexpert or the or “Charlies,” who crawled along the hasty. I need scarcely add that I restreets at night from twilight until dawn, member the old mail-coaches, with their and called out the hour and the state of jaunty red-coated drivers and guards clad the weather and the moon, and who when in the royal livery, and their gallant, almost off their beats took refuge in crazy old triumphant departure every evening from sentry-boxes, set up for their use by the Lombard-street and St. Martin's-le-Grand, parishes that employed them, and which in days when railways, though spoken of it was the especial glory and pleasure of and recommended by the far-seeing few, the fast young men of the day to over- were condemned by the short-seeing many set and carry off. I remember the time as very dangerous experiments, and when when flint, steel, and tinder-box afforded the agency of electricity for the conveyance the only available means of procuring of messages was utterly unsuspected, except a light or a fire, unless by borrowing by a poet or a stray visionary or two. As from a fire or a light already kindled. I for the old semaphore, that worked its remember the first feeble attempt at the ungainly arms on the top of the ugly old lucifer-match, when the match, instead Admiralty at Whitehall, to signal its fellow of being drawn over a rough surface to at Greenwich, it seems but yesterday that, be ignited, had to be dipped into a its vocation being gone, it was removed little bottle or phial, which you kept in from its airy eminence, perhaps to be preyour waistcoat-pocket. I remember when served as a relic of the past, or more prosnuffers were indispensable to the burning bably to be chopped up for firewood. of candles, .when women wore patteps in The men to whom the world is indebted bad weather, and goloshes were things un- for inland and ocean telegraphy and for the known, and india-rubber, of which they are penny post, still live, and long may they now made, was only used for rubbing out Aourish to receive the gratitude of their pencil-marks from paper. I remember the countrymen! He to whom we owe the crowds that used to collect every day at apparently little, but in reality great, boon

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of the steel pen, without the aid of which factory—the number which he since emRowland Hill's immense social reformation ployed, the writer cannot undertake to -the penny post-would have been re- specify-and produced between one hunstricted and comparatively valueless, has dred and fifty and two hundred millions of just passed away, having attained the steel pens annually. It would be an inallotted



seventy years, which few teresting little sum in arithmetic, to cal. are permitted to overpass. Joseph Gillott, culate how many geese would have to be of Birmingham, whose pens are known all reared, and fed, and afterwards robbed, over the civilised world, died early in the for the supply of such a vast consumpyear, at the age of seventy-two, in the tion of quills as is represented by Mr. possession of a handsome fortune, which Gillott's figures. When he first began he had accumulated in his business, and to manufacture steel pens, he had great leaving behind him the reputation, not only and manifold difficulties to contend with. of a kindly and upright man, but of the People did not approve of steel pens, and pioneer of a great manufacture and of an would not write with them. Social conintelligent patron of art.

servatives, such as bankers, great merJoseph Gillott did not invent the steel chants, lawyers, authors, and others, would pen, any more than James Watt invented not admit them into their offices or studies, the steam-engine, or George Stephenson looking upon them with as much distrust, the railway. He only did, in his own surprise, and aversion as the domestic peculiar way, what those illustrious men servants and paupers of the present day had done before him; he perfected that look upon that wholesome Australian beef which he found already in existence, but and mutton which they have not learned inchoate and inoperative, and rendered to appreciate. So great and long-continued available and cheap that which before his in certain quarters was the prejudice entertime was either unavailable or costly. The tained against steel pens, that it is recorded steel or iron pen is as old as history, and, of a late master in one of the Superior under its classic name of stylus, was the Courts at Westminster, so recently as eight medium of introducing into modern years ago, that he took so much to heart language that which we call the style the introduction of the objectionable article, or manner of a writer. Not only iron in lieu of the quill, into the sacred precincts and steel, but gold and silver pens were of the Queen's Bench, that he became manufactured for the dainty before the firmly convinced of the approaching and days of Gillott. But all of these were inevitable downfall of British liberty and expensive articles. Gillott was employed the British nation—which he thonght he as a grinder in the manufacture of steel could distinctly trace to this daring and pens, which were made by hand, and sold sacrilegious innovation. The worthy man at the rate of about three shillings and six--like the love-sick lady in the ballad—is

The correspondence of the said to have drooped his head and died, in world—its business, its loves, its friend consequence of this cruel blow, which was ships, and its quarrels-were all carried on aggravated, to his sensitive mind, by the by the aid of the quill, called by the fact that his lordship on the bench, not Germans feder, by the French plume, and only actually used the pernicious impleby ourselves pen, from the Latin penna, a ment, but publicly declared it to be an feather, so that the people of these great improvement upon the time-honoured feanations, unaware of the solecism, inaccu- ther of the goose! This blow was too hard rately and habitually speak of steel fea- to bear, and the good man never entirely thers, whenever they mention those little got over it. implements for the transmission of thought But the unreasonable prejudices of the which the people of this latter half of public, which at this early period of his the nineteenth century are compelled to career were still more formidable, did not

If no substitute for a goose - quill discourage Mr. Gillott. After awhile, had been discovered, it is evident that though in a small way, he introduced the the world could not have maintained a agency of steam into the manufacture, by tithe of its present correspondence, unless which he was speedily enabled to supply geese and other fowls had been bred in ex- a much cheaper and an infinitely better traordinary numbers for the pluckage of article. After a very few years he began their wings. Twenty years ago Mr. Gillott to accumulate wealth, and it was reported employed six hundred girls and young of him that he was fearful of opening a women, besides machinists, in his manu- banking account, lest the fame of his earn.

pence each.


ings should attract rivals into the business, unskilled workers of the softer sex are but kept his sovereigns in earthen jars--as compelled to resort to earn a bare subif they were pickles-or sewed them into old sistence. The pen-makers as a rule are stockings, or into the mattress of his bed. well paid, and when out in the streets of By degrees, however, the demand for steel Birmingham in their holiday costumes on pens increased so much that he was unable Sundays or other days of leisure, present to supply it, although he largely extended not alone a highly respectable, but so gay his factories and the number of his work and showy an appearance, as to prove that people. The secret of his wealth and its the prosperity of Birmingham must react sources could be preserved no longer, and very considerably on that of Coventry, rivalry and improvement went hand in Manchester, Derby, and Paisley, and all hand, until the steel pens of Birmingham others that grow rich by providing finery became known and approved all over the for the ladies. world. By the time that the penny post The quantity of steel pens annually came into operation in Great Britain, and turned out of the factories of Birmingham, afterwards in other countries, the steel pen judged by the number produced by the one was ready for the millions of people who firm of Gillott and Company, cannot fall had scarcely ever written letters before, far short of a thousand millions. The and who could not have profited by the actual business of the world in buying and beneficent boon if the goose and the crow selling, and keeping accounts, employs, it had continued to be their only providers. must be supposed, about three-fourths of

A visit to Mr. Gillott's or any other great them-leaving some two hundred and fifty pen factory in the “toy-shop of the world” millions, or thereabouts, for love and idle(for “toy” in the trade phraseology of ness, for friendship, acquaintance, and poBirmingham is a word that designates not liteness, and last, not least, for literature. only pens, but pins, needles, buckles, cork. What becomes of them all when they are screws, nails, hammers, and every con- worn out ?-for the steel pen is too cheap ceivable tool that can be manufactured of to be worth mending. The same question metal), is one of the things which every has been asked about pins and needles, traveller who comes to England from a far and can only receive the one reply : that country must “do,” just as he “does like the men and women who make and Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, use them, they return, when they have Windsor Castle, or the Trosachs. The served their purpose, to the earth from sight is exceedingly interesting, and in which they came; and out of which cludes a far greater variety of processes than nothing can be taken without ultimate a spectator, previously uninformed, might restoration. imagine. From the unrolling of the finely tempered sheets of steel, not thicker than cardboard—from which the first rude body

ECHO VERSES. of the future pen is pierced by the delicate but all-powerful agency of steam-to the Much ingenuity has been shown by several processes of curving, slitting the rhymesters — some of them not merely nib, polishing, drying, and packing, the little poetasters, but real poets in their hours of implement undergoes a long series of ma- merry relaxation-in the construction of nipulations and transformations. Men are what are designated Echo Verses. These only employed in the care of the engines are lines in which the last word is given and the reparation of the necessary ma- as a question, and the answer to it is the chines by which the several results are same word repeated as an echo; or there obtained. All the rest of the work is may be a group of words so treated, inperformed by women, whose deft fingers stead of a single word; or the echo may be are better snited than those of men for the a sort of corroboration instead of a direct dainty operations required. The work is answer to a question; or it may involve a light-pleasant in itself—and unlike the kind of verbal pun, such as those much labour employed in the manufacture of used in the construction of conundrums. artificial flowers and grasses, and many Some languages lend themselves more others where women and children are em- readily than others to this kind of invenployed, involves no detriment eventive pleasantry, but examples are to be met danger to the health, while the wages are with in most European tongues. much higher than can be obtained by needle- There is an old Latin echo verse, rather work, or other forlorn occupations to which solemn than humorous in its character, in



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