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bered her want of beauty. She was exceed-, several colours," making the banks as gay as ingly fond of the country, and of her pretty a garden. cousin, who, on her part, looked up to her It was impossible not to pause in this with much of the respectful fondness of a lovely spot; and Sophy, who had been col- ! young sister, and had thought to herself a lecting a bright bunch of pink blossoms, the hundred times, when most pleased with their ragged-robin, the wild rose, the crane's-bill, new neighbour, “how I wish my cousin and the fox-glove, or, to use the prettier Irish Sophy could see Edward Grey !" and now name of that superb plant, the fairy-cap, apthat her cousin Sophy had seen Edward Grey, pealed to Katy to " read a lecture of her poor Katy would have given all that she pos- country art," and show " what every flower, sessed in the world, if they had never met. as country people hold, did signify." A They were heartily delighted with each other, talent for which the young maid of the mill and proclaimed openly their mutual good was as celebrated as Bellario. But poor opinion. Sophy praised Mr. Grey's vivacity; Katy, who declined Edward's offered arm, Edward professed himself enchanted with had loitered a little behind, gathering a long Miss Maynard's voice. Each was astonished wreath of the woodbine, and the briony, and to find in the other, a cultivation unusual in the wild vetch, was, or pretended to be, deeply that walk of life. They talked, and laughed, engaged in twisting the garland round her and sang together, and seemed so happy that straw bonnet, and answered not a word. She Katy, without knowing why, became quite tied on her bonnet, however, and stood by miserable, fiew from Edward, avoided Sophy, listening, whilst the other two continued to shrank away from her kind father, and found talk of the symbolic meaning of flowers, no rest or comfort, except when she could quoting the well-known lines from the Wincreep alone to some solitary place, and give ter's Tale, and the almost equally charming vent to her vexation in tears. Poor Katy ! passage from Philaster. she could not tell what ailed her, but she was At length Edward, who, during the conquite sure that she was wretched ; and then versation, had been gathering all that he could she cried again.
collect of the tall almond-scented tufts of the In the meanwhile, the intimacy between the elegant meadow-sweet, whose crested blos. new friends became closer and closer. There soms arrange themselves in a plumage so was an air of intelligence between them that richly delicate, said, holding up his nosegay, might have puzzled wiser heads than that of “I do not know what mystical interpretation our simple miller-maiden. A secret-Could may be attached to this plant in Katy's 'counit be a love secret! And the influence of the try art,' but it is my favourite amongst flowgentleman was so open and avowed, that
on and avowed, that ers; and if I were inclined to follow the eastSophy, when on the point of departure, con
ern manner of courtship, and make love by a sented to prolong her visit to Hatherford, at nosegay, I should certainly send it to plead his request, although she had previously re
my cause. And it shall be so," he added, sisted Katy's solicitations, and the hospitable
after a short pause, his bright and sudden urgency of her father.
smile illumining his whole countenance; "the
botanical name signifies, the Queen of the Affairs were in this posture, when one fine Meadow, and wherever I offer this tribute. evening, towards the end of June, the cousins
wherever I place this tuft, the homage of my sallied forth for a walk, and were suddenly
heart, the proffer of my hand shall go also. joined by Edward Grey, when at such a dis
Oh, that the offering might find favour with tance from the house, as to prevent the poso my queen!" Katy heard no more. She sibility of Katy's stealing back thither, as had
turned away to a little bay formed by the been her usual habit on such occasions. The rivulet, where a bed of pebbles, overhang by path they chose, led through long narrow
a grassy bank, afforded a commodious seat, meadows, sloping down, on either side, to the
and there she sat her down, trembling, cold, winding stream, enclosed by high hedges, I and wretched; understanding for the first and, seemingly, shut out from the world. time her own feelings, and wondering if any
A pleasant walk it was, through those body in all the world had ever been so unnewly-mown meadows, just cleared of the happy before. hay, with the bright rivulet meandering through There she sat, with the tears rolling down banks so variously beautiful; now fringed by her cheeks, unconsciously making “ rings of rushes and sedges; now bordered by little rushes that grew thereby," and Edward's dog thickets of hawthorn, and woodbine, and the Ranger, who had been watching a shoal of briar-rose; now overhung by a pollard ash, minnows at play in the shallow water, and or a silver-barked beech, or a lime-tree in full every now and then inserting his huge paw blossom. Now a smooth turfy slope, green into the stream, as if trying to catch one, to the eye, and soft to the foot; and now came to her, and laid his rough head, and his again a rich embroidery of the golden flag, long curling brown ears into her lap, and the purple willow-herb, the blue forget-me- | looked at her with " eyes whose human meannot, and " a thousand fresh-water flowers of l ing did not need the aid of speech"--eyes
full of pity and of love ; for Ranger, in com- , to look at, it is somewhat dangerous to meet, mon with all the four-footed world, loved especially in a narrow lane; and I thought Katy dearly; and now he looked up in her myself very fortunate one day last August, face, and licked her cold hand. Oh! kinder in being so near a five-barred gate, as to be and faithfuller than your master, thought poor enabled to escape from a cortège of labourers, Katy, as, with a fresh gush of tears, she laid and harvest-wagons, sufficiently bulky and her sweet face on the dog's head, and sat in noisy to convoy half the wheat in the parish. that position, as it seemed to her, for ages, On they went, men, women, and children, whilst her companions were hooking and shouting, laughing, and singing in joyous exlanding some white water-lilies.
pectation of the coming harvest-home; the At last they approached, and she arose very wagons nodding from side to side, as if hastily and trembling, and walked on, anxious tipsy, and threatening every moment to break to escape observation. « Your garland is down bank, and tree, and hedge, and crush loose, Katy," said Edward, lifting his hand every obstacle that opposed them. It would to her bonnet : “ Come and see how nicely I have been as safe to encounter the car of have fastened it! No clearer mirror than the Juggernaut; I blest my stars; and after leandark smooth basin of water, under those ing on the friendly gate until the last gleaner hazels! Come !" He put her hand under his had passed, a ragged rogue of seven years arm, and led her thither; and there, when old, who, with hair as white as flax, a skin mechanically she cast her eyes on the stream, as brown as a berry, and features as grotesque she saw the rich tuft of meadow-sweet, the as an Indian idol, was brandishing his tuft identical Queen of the Meadow, waving like of wheat-ears, and shrieking forth, in a shrill a plume, over her own straw bonnet: felt her-childish voice, and with a most ludicrous self caught in Edward's arms; for between gravity, the popular song of “Buy a broom!" surprise and joy, she had well-nigh fallen; -after watching this young gentleman, (the and when, with instinctive modesty, she es- urchin is of my acquaintance) as long as a caped from his embrace, and took refuge with curve in the lane would permit, I turned to her cousin, the first sound that she heard was examine in what spot chance had placed me, Sophy's affectionate whisper, “I knew it all and found before my eyes another picture of the time, Katy ! every body knew it but you ! rural life, but one as different from that which and the wedding must be next week, for I I had just witnessed, as the Arcadian peasants have promised Edward to stay and be bride's- of Poussin, from the Boors of Teniers, or maid ;" and the very next week they were weeds from flowers, or poetry from prose. married.
I had taken refuge in a harvest-field belonging to my good neighbour, Farmer Creswell; a beautiful child lay on the ground at some little distance, whilst a young girl, rest
ing from the labour of reaping, was twisting DORA CRESWELL. a rustic wreath of enamelled corn-flowers,
brilliant poppies, snow-white lilybines, and Few things are more delightful than to light fragile harebells, mingled with tufts of saunter along these green lanes of ours, in the richest wheat-ears, around its hat. the busy harvest-time; the deep verdure of There was something in the tender youththe hedge-rows, and the strong shadow of fulness of these two innocent creatures, in the trees, contrasting so vividly with the the pretty, though somewhat fantastic, occufields, partly waving with golden corn, partly pation of the girl, the fresh wild flowers, the studded with regular piles of heavy wheat- ripe and swelling corn that harmonized with sheaves; the whole popnlation abroad; the the season and the hour, and conjured up whole earth teeming with fruitfulness, and memories of “Dis and Proserpine," and of the bright autumn sun careering over-head, all that is gorgeous and graceful, in old myamidst the deep-blue sky, and the fleecy thology; of the lovely Lavinia of our own clouds of the most glowing, and least fickle poet, and of that finest pastoral of the world, of the seasons. Even a solitary walk loses the far lovelier Ruth. But these fanciful asits loneliness in the general cheerfulness of sociations soon vanished before the real symnature. The air is gay with bees and butter-pathy excited by the actors of the scene, both flies; the robin twitters from amongst the of whom were known to me, and both objects ripening hazel-nuts; and you cannot proceed of a sincere and lively interest. a quarter of a mile, without encountering The young girl, Dora Creswell, was the some merry group of leasers, or some long orphan niece of one of the wealthiest yeomen line of majestic wains, groaning under their in our part of the word, the only child of his rich burthen, brushing the close hedges on only brother; and having lost both her parents either side, and knocking their tall tops whilst still an infant, had been reared by her against the overhanging trees; the very image widowed uncle as fondly and carefully as his of ponderous plenty.
own son Walter. He said that he loved her Pleasant, however, as such a procession is quite as well, porhaps he loved her better; for though it was impossible for a father not to be woman who should come in his way; and he proud of the bold handsome youth, who, at did fall in love accordingly. eighteen, had a man's strength, and a man's Mary Hay, the object of his ill-fated passion. stature; was the best ringer, the best cricketer, was the daughter of the respectable mistress and the best shot in the county; yet the fairy of a small endowed school at the other end of Dora, who, nearly ten years younger, was at the parish. She was a delicate, interesting once his handmaid, his housekeeper, his play- creature, with a slight, drooping figure, and a thing, and his companion, was evidently the fair, downcast face, like a snow-drop, forming apple of his eye. Our good farmer vaunted such a contrast with her gay and gallant wooer, her accomplishments, as men of his class are as Love, in his vagaries, is often pleased to wont to boast of a high-bred horse, or a favour- bring together. ite greyhound.
The courtship was secret and tedious, and She could make a shirt and a pudding, darn prolonged from months to years; for Mary stockings, rear poultry, keep accounts, and shrank from the painful contest which she read the newspaper; was as famous for goose- knew that an avowal of their attachment would berry wine as Mrs. Primrose, and could com- occasion. At length her mother died, and depound a syllabub with any dairy-woman in the prived of home, and maintenance, she reluccounty. There was not so handy a little crea- tantly consented to a private marriage ; an ture any where; so thoughtful and trusty about immediate discovery ensued, and was followed the house, and yet out of doors as gay as a by all the evils, and more than all, that her lark, and as wild as the wind; nobody was worst fears had anticipated. Her husband like his Dora. So said, and so thought Far- was turned from the house of his father, and mer Creswell: and before Dora was ten years in less than three months, his death, by an old, he had resolved that in due time she inflammatory fever, left her a desolate and should marry his son, Walter, and had in- penniless widow - unowned and unassisted formed both parties of his intention
by the stern parent, on whose unrelenting temNow Farmer Creswell's intentions were per neither the death of his son, nor the birth well known to be as unchangeable as the laws of his grandson, seemed to make the slightest of the Medes and Persians. He was a fair impression. But for the general sympathy specimen of an English yeoman, a tall, square- excited by the deplorable situation, and blamebuilt, muscular, stout and active man, with a less demeanour of the widowed bride, she and resolute countenance, a keen eye, and an in her infant might have taken refuge in the worktelligent smile; his temper was boisterous and house. The whole neighbourhood was zeal. irascible, generous and kind to those whom he ous to relieve, and to serve them; but their loved, but quick to take offence, and slow to most liberal benefactress, their most devoted pardon, expecting and exacting implicit obedi-friend, was poor Dora. Considering her ence from all about him. With all Dora's uncle's partiality to herself as the primary good gifts, the sweet and yielding nature of cause of all this misery, she felt like a guilty the gentle and submissive little girl, was un- creature; and casting off at once her native doubtedly the chief cause of her uncle's par- timidity, and habitual submission, she had tiality. Above all, he was obstinate in the repeatedly braved his anger, by the most earnhighest degree, had never been known to yield est supplications for mercy and for pardon ; a point, or change a resolution; and the fault and when this proved unavailing, she tried to was the more inveterate, because he called it mitigate their distresses by all the assistance firmness, and accounted it a virtue. For the that her small means would permit. Every rest, he was a person of excellent principle, shilling of her pocket-money, she expended and perfect integrity; clear-headed, prudent, upon her poor cousins; worked for them, and sagacious ; fond of agricultural experi- begged for them, and transferred to them every ments, which he pursued cautiously, and present that was made to herself, from a silk successfully; a good farmer, and a good frock, to a penny tartlet. Every thing that man.
was her own she gave, but nothing of her His son Walter, who was in person a hand- uncle's; for, though sorely tempted to transfer some likeness of his father, resembled him some of the plenty around her, to those whose also in many points of character, was equally claims seemed so just, and whose need was obstinate, and far more fiery, hot, and bold. so urgent, Dora felt that she was trusted, and He loved his pretty cousin, much as he would that she must prove herself trust-worthy. have loved a favourite sister, and might very Such was the posture of affairs, at the time possibly, if let alone, have become attached of my encounter with Dora, and little Walter, to her as his father wished; but to be dictated in the harvest-field; the rest will be best told to, to be chained down to a distant engage in the course of our dialogue. ment, to hold himself bound to a mere child; “And so, Madam! I cannot bear to see my the very idea was absurd ; and restraining with dear cousin Mary so sick, and so melancholy; difficulty an abrupt denial, he walked down and the dear, dear child, that a king might be into the village, predisposed, out of sheer con- proud of-only look at him !” exclaimed Dora, tradiction, to fall in love with the first young I interrupting herself, as the beautiful child,
sitting on the ground, in all the placid dignity glossy white feathers, all we could do. Her of infancy, looked up at me and smiled in my ladyship was quite angry. And my red and face; "only look at him," continued she," and yellow marvel of Peru, which used to blow think of that dear boy, and his dear mother at four in the afternoon, as regular as the living on charity, and they my uncle's lawful clock struck, was not open the other day at heirs, whilst I, who have no right whatever, five, when dear Miss Ellen came to paint it, no claim at all, that compared to them, am though the sun was shining as bright as it but a far-off kinswoman, the mere creature of does now. If Walter should scream and cry, bis bounty, should revel in comfort, and in for my uncle does sometimes look so stern; plenty, and they starving! I cannot bear it, and then it's Saturday, and he has such a and I will not. "And then the wrong that he beard ! if the child should be frightened !is doing himself, he that is really so good and Be sure, Walter, you don't cry!" said Dora, kind, to be called a hard-hearted tyrant, by the in great alarm. whole country side. And he is unhappy him-! « Gan-papa's fowers," replied the smiling self too; I know that he is; so tired as he boy, holding up his hat; and his young procomes home, he will walk about his room half tectress was comforted. the night; and often at meal times, he will At that moment the farmer was heard whistdrop his knife and fork, and sigh so heavily.ling to his dog in a neighbouring field, and He may turn me out of doors, as he threat- fearful that my presence might injure the ened; or, what is worse, call me ungrateful, cause, I departed, my thoughts full of the or undutiful, but he shall see this boy." noble little girl, and her generous purpose.
“He never has seen him then ? and that is I had promised to call the next afternoon, the reason you are tricking him out so pret- to learn her success; and passing the harvesttily.”
field in my way, I found a group assembled 6 Yes, ma'am. Mind what I told you, there, which instantly dissipated my anxiety. Walter! and hold up your hat, and say what On the very spot where we had parted, I saw I bid you."
the good farmer himself, in his Sunday clothes, “Gan-papa's fowers !” stammered the pret- tossing little Walter in the air; the child ty boy, in his sweet childish voice, the first laughing and screaming, with delight, and his words that I had ever heard him speak. grandfather, apparently quite as much delight
"Grand-papa's flowers !" said his zealous ed as himself. A pale, slender, young wopreceptress.
man, in deep mourning, stood looking at their "Gan-papa's fowers !" echoed the boy. gambols with an air of intense thankfulness;
“ Shall you take the child to the house, and Dora, the cause and sharer of all this hapDora !" asked I.
piness, was loitering behind, playing with the “No, ma'am, for I look for my uncle here flowers in Walter's hat, which she was holdevery minute, and this is the best place to ask ing in her hand. Catching my eye, the sweet à favour in, for the very sight of the great girl came to me instantly. crop puts him in good-humour; not so much “I see how it is, my dear Dora! and I give on account of the profits, but because the land you joy from the bottom of my heart. Little never bore half so much before, and it's all Walter behaved well then ?" owing to his management in dressing and “Oh, he behaved like an angel.” drilling. I came reaping here to-day, on pure “Did he say, gan-papa's fowers ?" pose to please him; for though he says he “Nobody spoke a word. The moment the does not wish me to work in the fields, I child took off his hat, and looked up, the truth know he likes it; and here he shall see little seemed to flash on my uncle, and to melt his Walter. Do you think he can resist him, heart at once- the boy is so like his father. ma'am," continued Dora, leaning over her in- He knew him, instantly, and caught him up fant cousin, with the grace and fondness of a in his arms, and hugged him just as he is young Madonna; “ do you think he can resist hugging him now." him, poor child ! so helpless, so harmless; his “And the beard, Dora ?" own blood too, and so like his father, no heart “Why, that seemed to take the child's could be hard enough to hold out, and I am fancy, he put up his little hands and stroked sure that his will not. Only," pursued Dora, it; and laughed in his grandfather's face, and relapsing into her girlish tone and attitude, as flung his chubby arms round his neck, and a cold fear crossed her enthusiastic hope, held out his sweet mouth to be kissed ; and "only, I am half-afraid, that Walter will cry. how my uncle did kiss him! I thought he It's strange, when one wants any thing to never would have done; and then he sate behave particularly well, how sure it is to be down on a wheat-sheaf and cried; and I cried naughty; my pets especially. I remember too! Very strange that one should cry for when my Lady Countess came on purpose to happiness !” added Dora, as some large drops see our wbite peacock, that we got in a pre- fell on the wreath which she was adjusting sent from India, the obstinate bird ran away round Walter's hat; “ Very strange," repeatbehind a bean-stack, and would not spread his ed she, looking up, with a bright smile, and train, to show the dead-white spots on his brushing away the tears from her rosy cheeks,
with a bunch of corn-flowers; * Very strange flowers of all seasons seemed mingling as one that I should cry, when I am the happiest' sometimes sees them in a painter's garland creature alive; for Mary and Walter are to the violets and primroses re-blossoming, and live with us; and my dear uncle, instead of new crops of sweet-peas and mignionette blend. being angry with me, says that he loves me ing with the chrysanthemum, the Michaelmas better than ever. How very strange it is," daisy, and the dahlia, the latest blossoms of said Dora, as the tears poured down, faster the year-when the very leaves clung to the and faster, " that I should be so foolish as to trees with a freshness so vigorous and so
youthful, that they seemed to have determined, in spite of their old bad habit, that for once they would not fall-this last lovely autumn has given us more foggy mornings, or rather
more foggy days, than I ever remember to THE BIRD-CATCHER. have seen in Berkshire : days beginning in a
soft and vapoury mistiness, enveloping the A LONDON fog is a sad thing, as every in- whole country in a veil, snowy, fleecy, and habitant of London knows full well: dingy, light, as the smoke which one often sees cirdusky, dirty, damp; an atmosphere black as cling in the distance from some cottage chimsmoke, and wet as steam, that wraps round ney, or as the still whiter clouds which float you like a blanket; a cloud reaching from around the moon: and finishing in supsets of earth to heaven; a "palpable obscure," which a surprising richness and beauty, when the not only turns day into night, but threatens mist is lifted up from the earth, and turned to extinguish the lamps and lanthorns, with into a canopy of unrivalled gorgeousness, which the poor street-wanderers strive to il- purple, rosy, and golden, and disclosing the lumine their darkness, dimming and paling the splendid autumn landscape, with its shining " ineffectual fires," until the volume of gas at rivulets, its varied and mellow woodland tints, a shop-door cuts no better figure than a hedge and its deep emerald pasture lands, every blade glow-worm, and a duchess's flambeau would and leaf covered with a thousand little drops, veil its glories to a Will-o'-the-wisp. A Lon- as pure as crystal, glittering and sparkling in don fog is, not to speak profanely, a sort of the sunbeams like the dew on a summer monsrenewal and reversal of Joshua's miracle; the ing, or the still more brilliant scintillations of sun seems to stand still as on that occasion, frost. only that now it stands in the wrong place, It was in one of these days, early in No and gives light to the Antipodes. The very verber, that we set out about noon to pay a noises of the street come stified and smothered visit to a friend at some distance. The fog through that suffocating medium; din is at a was yet on the earth, only some brightening pause; the town is silenced ; and the whole in the south-west gave token that it was likely population, biped and quadruped, sympathise to clear away. As yet, however, the mist held with the dead and chilling weight of the out- complete possession-a much prettier, lighter, of-door world. Dogs and cats just look up and cleaner vapour than that which is defiled from their slumbers, turn round, and go to with London smoke, but every whit as powersleep again; the little birds open their pretty ful and as delusive. We could not see the eyes, stare about them, wonder that the night shoemaker's shop across the road-no! Dor is so long, and settle themselves afresh on our chaise when it drew up before our door; their perches. Silks lose their gloss, cravats were fain to guess at our own laburnum tree; their stiffness, hackney-coachmen their way; and found the sign of the Rose invisible, eren young ladies fall out of curl, and mammas out when we ran against the sign-post. Our little of temper; masters scold ; servants grumble; maid, a kind and careful lass, who, perceiving and the whole city, from Hyde Park Corner the dreariness of the weather, followed as to Wapping, looks sleepy and cross, like a across the court with extra wraps, had wellfine gentleman roused before his time, and nigh tied my veil round her master's hat, and forced to get up by candle-light. Of all de- enveloped me in his bearskin; and my dog testable things, a London fog is the most de Mayflower, a white greyhound of the largest testable.
size, who had a mind to give us the undesired Now a country fog is quite another matter. honour of her company, carried her point in To say nothing of its rarity, and in this dry spite of the united efforts of balf-a-dozen active and healthy midland county, few of the many pursuers, simply because the fog was so thick variations of our variable English climate are that nobody could see her. It was a complete rarer; to say nothing of its unfrequent reeur- game at bo-peep. Even mine host of the rence, there is about it much of the peculiar Rose, one of the most alert of ber followers, and characteristic beauty which almost all remained invisible, although we heard his natural phenomena exhibit to those who have voice close beside us. themselves that faculty, oftener perhaps A misty world it was, and a watery; and I. claimed than possessed, a genuine feeling of that had been praising the beauty of the fleecy nature. This last lovely autumn, when the white fog every day for a week before, began