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tune, as he prepared to follow its example: and there was not a barley-sugar ship or windmill which had not been jolted into fragments that left no trace of the original form. Well enough might the domestic supernumeraries, engaged for the night, have been scared. There was a momentary expectation of all the guests coming down to supper by a much quicker method than the staircase.
Terrible and general was the alarm, when the remarkable state of architectural affairs was promulgated. There was only one person happy, and that was old Mr. Ledbury. As soon as he saw his guests were frightened, he rubbed his hands and smiled, and promulgated the intelligence that the floor was about to fall in, with the same glee as he would have done the news of a favourable change in the ministry, or a rise in the railway shares, of which he was a large participator. Titus, who was stopped in the middle of a distinguished step, turned pale; Jack laughed; and Mrs. Ledbury hurried all her visitors down stairs, with the most nervous eagerness, which gave them a pretty broad hint, that they were to bolt their supper and go away. They took it very speedily.
This was Mr. Ledbury's first Polka party, and his last. It certainly had created a sensation, but not the one he had anticipated. He de termined, if he danced the Polka again, to do so at the residences of other people; and old Mr. Ledbury, who got involved in a mild lawsuit in consequence, after many anathemas against outlandish dances and their followers, finally gravitated into a determination to leave his present abode, which never recovered its right angles; and for the future, next to the Polka, to abhor all houses run up to be let in suburban neighbourhoods, which were as picturesque and fragile as those of the illuminated village carried at evening on the head of the ingenious Italian in quiet neighbourhoods.
DROOP NOT, MY HEART!
BY WILLIAM JONES.
Droop not, my heart, with thy burden of sadness,
That Hope in its spring-time is wither'd and gone ;
While heav'n smiles above thee, thou art not alone!
Seeking in vain for a covert of rest ;
Where grief cannot enter to weaken the breast !
In the morning of life, when its truth we believe,
But find, when too late, that the best can deceive!
The words that would melt, for we thought them sincere ;
Alas! they survive but to waken the tear !
Nor leaves till the sun doth its beauty sustain,
Of sorrow with us, till the smile comes again ?
Redeem in the future, the woes of the past ;
The ties broken here will enduringly last !
THE GAOL CHAPLAIN;
OR, A DARK PAGE FROM LIFE'S VOLUME,
"Woman ! how dared you refuse us admittance?” cried his companion, Edwin the gambler : you must have known our right to be here?"
"If not, I'll teach you,” resumed Felix, in an uproarious tone. “ This house is mine. "Hurrah! no will! And the first use I make of my authority, is to order you to give up the keys and pocket-book which belonged to my late father; and then to quit the premises within half an hour. D’ye hear? Now-hand out his keys and pocketbook. Be quick !—you have them !"
"Upon what authority do you make that assertion ?" was Ruth's reply.
"You have them !” observed the second brother, Edwin, in a more quiet tone. “Of that we have information. Surrender them quietly. It will be your best course.”
Ruth looked on the pale, calm, features of her charge. His face, his lips, his hands, were icy cold. She bent over him. Not the faintest respiration was perceptible. And yet, to her experienced eye, the features wore not the dread semblance of death. She paused. Another look ;-then, remembering his charge, her reply ran, slowly and firmly
“ I will do so the moment Mr. Bickersteth pronounces that life is fed ; as it is, I have my doubts : but, under any circumstances, decency requires peace and calmness in this chamber, where you suppose death present."
Decency be !" said Felix, interrupting her with a rude oath.
"Give up!" said Edwin, checking him; and then addressing Ruth coaxingly—“pray give up what does not belong to you; what never was intended for you; and what, under no possible contingency, you can hope to retain."
Ruth's purpose remained unshaken.
" I will give up nothing but in the presence of Mr. Bickersteth," was her quiet comment.
“ Seize that woman and search her!” said Felix Calmady to the servants.
“At your peril!” cried Ruth, with a blanched cheek but unfaltering voice.
“Say you so ? then I myself will teach you honesty !" exclaimed Felix ; and pulling her roughly towards him, she fell, and that so violently, as to bring blood from both mouth and nostrils.
“ This will never do,” said the younger brother, in an expostulating tone.
“ But it must do, and it shall do!” roared the elder ruffian, vehemently. “Give up the keys and pocket-book, I say !"
And he cursed the bruised and bleeding woman in the most offensive and opprobrious terms.
“ No! Less disposed to do so now than ever!” was Ruth's rejoinder.
You are, are you?” The coward raised his hand as if about to strike, when a cry of terror, echoed by many voices, arrested his purpose. He glanced towards the bed. Mr. Calmady had partially raised himself. His hand pointed to the door. His eyes rested with displeasure on bis unnatural son : and from his thin, shrunken, colourless lips, these few words distinctly issued
“Go, sir, go'; at once and quickly!"
THE LEGATE E.
Pay over-price.-OTWAY. No course could have been more fatal to the Calmadys, in a pecuniary point of view, than that on which their violent passions so rashly drove them.
Their unseemly violence not merely roused their sinking father from his deep and apparently death-like stupor, but the unmanly attack on Ruth, which he saw and comprehended, gave a fillip to his sinking energies, which rallied from that hour. His appetite returned. His sleep became tranquil. His faculties slowly, but gradually, recovered their former grasp and clearness; and, within a fortnight of that frightful outbreak in his sick chamber, another and more elaborate will was duly executed, in which, after a limited provision for each of his children, the whole of his vast property was devised to public charities.
It was in keeping with his character, that during his many and lengthened conversations with Nurse Dangerfield no reference was ever made by him to the conduct of his sons. He hazarded an inquiry, now and then, respecting them; and directed that certain money payments
, which he had promised, should be continued to them. But on their brutal behaviour in what was imagined to be his death-chamber, he was wholly silent.
But he mused upon it much and deeply; long and silently; and acted upon it when least expected.
Five weeks had elapsed from the day of Ruth's first admittance into Ormond Street; and Mr. Calmady's recovery being pronounced complete, Ruth prepared for her departure.
A summons from the aged man interrupted her.
Why leave me at all ?"
“Why return to the round of ill-requited toil that awaits you at the hospital"
Ruth was convinced he was wandering; and wondered whether she could possibly have omitted giving him his customary composing draught.
"Answer me,” repeated he ; "what recalls you to the infirmary?” "My duty; and I feel thankful that I can fulfil it."
“Contract your cares,” cried the old merchant. “Be content with one patient instead of many; and remain here honoured and respected as my wife.”
"You forget," replied Ruth, “my circumstances and condition.” "What were mine originally ?” interrupted the old gentleman. • Forget! Can I forget your conduct when my sons burst into my chamber? And can I meet it otherwise than by offering you a permanent and comfortable home?"
“No! no! Your family will be furious at the bare mention of such alliance."
“ Have I any reason to consider my family?” returned he quickly; "or have you ?"
That self-same week they were married !
He lived two years—two happy years, he was wont to term them after his union with Ruth; and when he died, he left her-his numerous charitable bequests being satisfied—sole residuary legatee. His will contained no specific provision for any one of his children. That was left entirely to Ruth's good feeling, compassion, and sense of justice; an exercise of power of which her subsequent bounty proved her fully worthy:
Three years after Mr. Calmady's decease, she remarried. Her choice -amidst a crowd of suitors, some of them titled--was a Mr. Heyrick; a youthful member of an ancient but decayed family, whose mortgaged lands Ruth speedily disencumbered. But in this, as well as in other eventful passages of her life, her wonted prudence was triumphant. Prior to uniting her fate to that of Mr. Heyrick, she took care that every sixpence of her property should be settled upon herself.
Her change of fortune brought with it little or no change of feeling. All who had known her formerly—who had shewn her kindness when in dependent circumstances—who had been in any way associated with her in her humbler fortunes—had no need to dread repulse at her hands ; but were sure of receiving aid, if aid they needed.
To none was she kinder than to the drunken Nurse Larum, who had watched with her in the - Infirmary; and whom she in vain endeavoured to reclaim from her drunken courses. This veteran-rat! tat! tat! I'm interrupted—who knocks ?
“A messenger from Mrs. Heyrick, sir,--the under butler, I believe ; Nurse Larum's fine is laid down for her once more.”
“Bah!” cried Mr. Croak, with a growl of indubitable dissatisfaction.
“Nurse Larum you are discharged. The fine and costs are paid. Reform your life, and bless God that you've such a friend as Mrs. Heyrick, whose eyes, I pray, may be speedily opened! You don't deserve her interference."
“Mr. Croak !" returned the old hypocrite, “if we had all our deserts,"
“ Be off !”
Away with ye!" “I'm your humble servant, sir! I shall drink your very good health this summer's evening ; but noi”- this was added as an aside
« but not to our next merry meeting. What a blessed thing it is", this was intended specially for the edification of the under butler, Mrs. Heyrick's almoner—" that there is marciful hearts still a-going about in this remarkable wicked world of ourn!"
The base measure all men's marches by their own pace.-SIR P. SIDNEY.
AMONG the instructions issued by the Visiting Justices, was one to this effect—that "especial attention be paid by the Chaplain to Juvenile Delinquents;" a class of offenders, apparently, not promising, but in reality most difficult to impress. Yes; of all the unhappy objects committed to a Chaplain's spiritual care, none try his patience more,—none reward his cares less : and yet it is to this class that Magistrates pointedly direct bis attention ; from it expect converts ; and insist that if with it the Chaplain be faithful and earnest, great, and rapid, and visible, must be his success! No anticipation more fallacious: no conclusion more unsound. The youthful offender's experience is short-lived. He has, it is true, eaten the bread of deceit; but has yet to learn that its flavour is bitter, and its fruits ignominy and shame.
The firmness, self-denial, and unflinching earnestness of purpose with which some finished performers of this class—young in years but old in fraud-sustain their parts, merit distinct and durable record. One came under my notice, a fair-haired, delicate-looking boy of some eleven years, who for very many months had earned a comfortable maintenance for his “truly afflicted parents.” He had contrived, by firmly twisting his tongue at the back of his mouth,-compressing it there by a very curious and unquestionably painful process, and assuming, habituaily, the anxious, uneasy, yet stolid look of those whom God has in reality thus heavily visited, to pass for one who was deaf and dumb. A clever counterfeit his indisputably was. He had been cursorily examined by two of “the Faculty.” The opinion of one learned Leech ran, that there was “a chronic and incurable contraction of the muscles ;" that of the other, that "it was a case of thorough malformation.” But both agreed that he was deaf and dumb. So deaf and dumb he was, and to a right merry tune. With single ladies of “ matured judgment” he was an established favourite ; because—such, at least, was the wicked explanation of an irreclaimable wag—he let them have all the talk to themselves ; and was an unrivalled companion, since in his case contradiction was impossible!
One benevolent spinster made a practice of giving him a shilling whenever she met him in her street ! As a matter of course, that street lay in his way on all occasions: it was “a short cut” to whatever part of the City he was tending. To the lavish bounty of this lady might be traced his overthrow. She had an idle, inquisitive, prying, " ne'er-do-weel,” nephew,-he called himself a young gentle, man reading for the bar, -who had doubts upon most subjects, and who chose to entertain the most marvellous scepticism Crockett's infirmity. He maintained, much to Miss Matilda Bark
as to Caleb