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sake of reviving a custom becoming obsolete, repeated the dose, and drank each others' health.
At eight, I was up and out to take a morning stroll; at nine, returned to breakfast; and while at it, the servant announced that a messenger in breathless haste, desirous to save the first train, had brought me a note, which conveyed an invitation to go that day, along with all my friends, to visit the nursery at Ogle's Grove, near the magnificent mansion of the Marquis of Downshire, at Hillsboro'. Having read the multum in parvo epistle, I addressed myself to one of the ladies, in a tone audible to all, when "Yes" was the unanimous reply except from their father, whose modesty inclined him to remark, "I fear that if we all go, our number will appear rather formidable." When I counted our number, I found it was just five, and as a car would be requisite at Lisburn, I visited the sufferer with the tooth-ache, and wished that she would form one of the party. There was no hesitation, no insincere demurs to require pressing, no hems, haughs, regrets, and so forth, at the shortness of the notice: no, a compliance was at once given. "Where are you bound to-day?" inquired this amiable girl's stepfather.
"To Ogle's Grove nursery, near Hillsboro'," was the reply.
After some preparations, we walked to the railway, and went by the twelve o'clock train, and as the weather was delightfully fine, we enjoyed the trip. "That's the place," pointing to a gentleman's country seat, "where your sister, when she was here in the spring, and we, spent a day." The next moment, the train was brought to a stand still; when one of the railroad porters, in livery garb, with rod of office in hand, bawled lustily, "Dunmurry." Some passengers went out, others came in, and in a minute we were off till another stop took place at Lisburn, where the "outs" and "ins" were more numerous. Six of us here vacated our seats. Economy, to those whose finances are limited, is to be studied; but for the sake of humanity, why have not the railroad company seats for the accommodation of the passengers in the “ open
Lisburn, the property of the Marquis of Hertford, is a fine town; there are many superior houses in it occupied as private dwellings. On the evening before, I heard a lady say that a friend of hers had a story about him, which, as it was of daily recollection, would continue for life. I was in the dark till the mystery was explained that the gentleman's house had "one story" added to it which makes it three stories high.
Let us proceed to Ogle's Grove. After driving a short distance on the line of road to Hillsboro', to save a short distance we branched into an avenuelike thoroughfare, which brought us on the banks of the Ulster canal. On this road, excellent by day, we jaunted for two miles, till we were ushered into the ancient mansion at Ogle's Grove. A domestic announced that his master was preparing some boxes of dahlias for a horticultural exhibition in Dublin the succeeding day, and begged us to enter the house, where he would be with us in a few mninutes. The "few minutes" were by necessity extended to half-an-hour, and pleasantly was the
time occupied walking through the flower-garden, and shaking the pear-trees, having the proprietor's daughter as our Cicerone, who politely supplied us with fruit and gave us interesting descriptions of the dahlia and other magnificent flowers. Mr. Davis, the owner of this rural paradise, now relieved from his toilsome, yet tasteful labours, now came amongst us. I had the pleasure of introducing him to the visitors, whom he piloted to his ancient mansion built three centuries since, and for twelve generations inhabited by his ancestors.
Pray, Mr. Davis," asked Miss Johnston, "is not this a dahlia of peculiar rarity?"
"Yes, it is a seedling, a dark crimson lined with purple; its habit is compact, its flower petals rounded, and the heart well up," he answered in the florist's language. "I have named it the beauty of Ogle's Grove.'"
"The day is advancing," remarked one of our company sotto voce, "and I suppose it will be imagined we have come to dinner."
This was spoken to and meant for myself, but it vibrated on the tympanum of Mr. Davis, who earnestly observed, "that such was his intention, and he would feel bitterly disappointed if it were not fulfilled." Not having an inclination to disoblige the invitor, and being grateful for the handsome terms in which the invitation was conveyed, at four dinner was supplied in a neat and comfortable manner, the purveyor apologizing for not being better prepared.
While at the repast I was feasting my eyes on the picturesque beauties visible north or south. View southerly, overhanging the house a majestic maple tree with its exuberant foliage, the feathered tribe hopping from branch to branch warbling their sweetest strains; and in an opposite direction were autumn flowers of every kind and complexion, for this was the 20th of September.
"You see your dinner," said the florist, wielding a knife, a "big one," while its colleague, for the sinister hand, was not of diminutive importance.
"Will you have some steak?" enquired the hostess, suiting the action to the word.
"Yes," said I, suiting the word to the action, handing her my plate, telling her no secret that "a stake in the country was always acceptable." "Take a little mutton ?" asked the carver. A little mutton! I had heard of a "Vauxhall slice" and had partaken of it there, as thin as a wafer. A cut at Ogle's grove would outweigh a smoothing iron.
"Before dinner walk a mile, And after it rest a while."
Adopting this precept, we rested a while discoursing on the fertility of the spot surrounding the place; one field in particular was worthy of commentary, which in July yielded a luxuriant crop of hay, and when it was removed to the haggard the field was ploughed afresh, an appropriate seed being sown presented a crop of turnips that promised in productiveness to realize the hopes of the enterprising cultivator. The fineness of the evening actuated the florist to recommend a removal to the verdant turf, where, on a rustic seat of C
tolerable dimensions, there was room for five. Happy indeed did every one seem at the rurality of the scene; on no countenance was there depicted a shade of sorrow: no, on all were beaming the purest felicity.
Presently was added to our ranks a native of England, a fine specimen of John Bull, and who took his seat on a chair which was placed on the green carpet of nature. Rarely, if ever, have I conversed with so social a gentleman, nor one who could so well infuse jollity into others as this importation from the sister country. At dusk we were obliged to leave, having to save the last train at Lisburn for Belfast; Mr. Davis politely handed each lady a boquet of dahlias, his favourite flower, which he was one of the first to introduce into Ireland and bring to such unequalled perfection. By nine we found ourselves" at home." Silence or dulness was unknown to us during the day, and till the watchman's midnight howl (while the clock was chiming and before it had struck) "past twelve o'clock' intimated that it was time to withdraw for the night; we then separated, the lady unconnected with the family, who lives "over the way," staying as she occasionally does, and none more welcome or deservedly so than "the sufferer from the toothache."
Next day, accompanied by two of my namesake's daughters, I visited "the fair-haired girl," the pretty star of the north, who, owing to a domestic calamity, the long continued illness of a gifted parent, is much depressed in spirits. Her portfolio, which I got permission to open and inspect, was embellished with a few productions from her pencil, and while admiring a caricature, sketched by a juvenile brother, of monkeys performing on musical instruments, a renewal was given, and a pressing one, of an invitation to spend that evening. I was in an unhappy state of indecision, recollecting that I had promised to be the same evening in Moneymore, till I had gradually to thank Miss Se for the honour conferred, and with expressions of regret, like Sir Boyle Roche's, and that I could not be in two places at once, I bade her and her sister Jane farewell.
Thanks to my respected namesake, the oracle of integrity, the bater of tobacco, and to his nephew for seeing me 66 off," and thanks to some one else for an appropriate air which was played on the piano-forte previous to my departure. With this I conclude my narrative, wishing the fair northerns, for the kindness they manifested towards me, "happy destinies ;" and as steam by land and sea, with various other modes of conveyance, affords ready facilities, mayhap I'll again revisit my native province before the expiration of 1844, and delighted shall I be to extend my stay something longer than "five days from home." J. A. S.
AN ENTHUSIAST'S INTERVIEW WITH
BY ALICIA JANE SPARROW.
"The words of such a man are worth attending to."
"And you have seen Lord Byron !" I exclaimed, delighted even to look on one who had looked on the great and gifted poet; "you have seen Lord Byron !" I exclaimed, as words to this import reached my ear from the lips of one of the most ardent admirers of genius I have ever had the good fortune to be in company with. "I knew him well," was the impressively uttered reply. The "when," and the "where," were rapidly inquired into by my ardent self; and pleased, perhaps, at meeting a kindred spirit in enthusiasm, my new acquaintance kindly entered into the particulars of an interview, which was too characteristic and too interesting to pass quickly from memory.
"The poet," he commenced, "was at a villa at the Lago di Como, and I brought with me a letter of introduction from Moore. Two English gentlemen with whom I was slightly acquainted were staying with his lordship, and, on the morning of my visit, I met them both just quitting the portico on an excursion. When they understood my wishes, one of them courteously re-entered with me, and, conducting me into a small saloon, presented me to Lord Byron, and again withdrew. I was young that time (and the speaker passed his hand over his now time-worn brow); I was young and ardent, and a passionate admirer of every man, woman, youth, or maiden endowed with the 'celestial gift'-the art unteachable;' therefore, with interest the most intense I gazed on Byron-the great, the famous Byron
'Who ope'd new fountains in the human heart.'
He sat by a table, in a thoughtful attitude, with his forehead resting on his hand, and occasionally sipping some hollands and water which stood beside him. On my entrance, he had slightly moved his head without rising, and he took no further notice of me, but left me standing beside him in the most uncomfortable position. I felt his discourtesy to the quick-the blood mounted to my very temples-but England's mightiest poet was before me, and I was an enthusiast! For once' I inwardly said, 'I will be a philosopher, and bear this indignity with patience, and see how it will end.' Seemingly lost in a fit of musing, he appeared, or affected to appear, wholly unconscious of my presence for the space of, at least, fifteen minutes. At length he suddenly looked up, and abruptly asked
"Why, my Lord, it is almost presumptuous in me to make choice amongst them,' I answered; 'but if urged to do so, I should name the poem of "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers:" it suits my temperament best; your Lordship hits hard!'
"Have you read all my works, sir?'
"I do not think one of them has escaped me,' was my reply.
"Which of them do you prefer?' was his next interrogation.
"Ha, you judge!' he exclaimed, with animation; and something like civility became perceptible in his manner, as he added-Take a seat, sir.' "I gladly availed myself of the offer, and drawing forth my letter of introduction, I said-'As your Lordship appeared in a reverie on my entrance, I did not take the liberty of interrupting it; but now will you permit me to hand you a letter from a particular friend of yours, and, I have the honour to say, of mine.'
"Who-who is it?' he inquired. "Tom Moore.'
"Instantly he started from his chair, and springing towards me, shook me cordially by the hand, and eagerly seizing the letter, pressed it several times with the utmost ardour to his lips, exclaimingAh, Moore! my dear, dear Moore!' turning to me, he rejoined: Why did not (mentioning the gentleman who had admitted me) tell me this? or, why did not you tell me at once that you were a friend of Moore?'
"I felt like one spell-bound, the change was so rapid from the cold, arrogant, discourteous muser to the cordial and warm-hearted friend. My being the friend of his beloved Moore, seemed at once a passport to his favour and regard. In half an hour, I felt as if I had known him for years. He urged my stay with an importunity I could not resist, and in the society of this gifted and extraordinary man, I passed one of the most agreeable weeks of my life. At times he abandoned himself to a reckless vivacity that was delightful to me, after the haughty arrogance that marked our first interview; flashes of gaiety streamed from those lips which have been pronounced lips of scorn, and methinks I hear even now the low ringing of his musical laugh. Alas! alas! and now that voice is still!" continued the speaker musingly: "that face so full of mind, is wrapped in dust, and upon that glorious brow the worm has long since made its feast! Oh! would that he had lived to verify the speculations of him, who has sweetly said
'If years had brought A blessed store of brighter thought, How much of all that mars his fame Had vanished in a purer aim.'"
ANSWER TO ENIGMA
In our last.
BY ELIZABETH YOUatt.
"They're all gone-my loved-my own! With swelling heart and swimming eye, In our old home, I sit alone,
And call them-but there's no reply."
"This cannot last, Rhoda," said he, "you must feel that it cannot. I will never consent to come prowling after you like a thief! You must either become mine, as you have so often promised, or give me up for ever."
"That is," replied the girl sadly, "I must make up my mind which of the only two beings in the world whom I have to love me will be the least missed, my father or you. Oh! William, it is much better to wait but a little longer things may change-he is growing very old and I am his only child."
"No, no," exclaimed her lover impatiently, "I have waited time enough; I must have your answer this night!"
"Must!" repeated the maiden haughtily. "Ay, even so. Hear me, Rhoda; did I marry you for the little fortune which they say will one day be yours, I might, indeed, fear to brave the old man's wrath, lest in his anger he should bestow it on another. But I court only thyself, my long-plighted bride. And yet for your sake, and for fear it should grieve you to think on it afterwards, I would not urge you to this step, were I not sure he would forgive it, for you have often boasted to me of the power you had over him in his sternest moods."
"Heaven forgive me then, for it was very wrong. And yet, I do believe he loves me too much to be long angry, for somehow in the end he always comes round to my way of thinking; but how much better to wait until that time arrives-until of his own accord he places my hand in yours; and tells you in his kindest voice, that a good and dutiful daughter is sure to make a good wife. How often I have dreamt that it was thus."
the maiden returned, alone, looking thoughtful, and almost sad.
“And I fear that it is only in dreams that it will ever come to pass," replied William Dormer, "but it needs neither his voice nor any one's else to tell me of thy virtues, Rhoda."
They walked on, beguiled either by the beauty of the evening or their own earnest conversation, and the shades of night had begun to fall before
"You are late," said the old man sternly. "Yes, father."
"This should not be, Rhoda, for you are far from strong. Your poor mother died of consumption, and at times your strange resemblance to her makes me tremble."
It was on a summer evening when a young man might have been seen walking with a kindling eye and flushed brow, the frown upon which deepened every moment, backwards and forwards before a neat rose-covered cottage, its high wall sheltering him from the observation of those within," until the door opened at length, and a maiden appeared, whose bright glance won a smile even from him, tired and impatient as he was: but his ill-humour soon returned.
"If it makes you love me for her sake, I care for little else," said the girl gently.
Silly child! Are you not everything to me now ?"
Rhoda kissed him fondly.
“The neighbours say," continued the old man, after a pause, "that I am stern and harsh, so that I have but few friends among them; but I have never been so to you-have I, Rhoda, darling?"
Only in one thing, my father," said the girl, and then I do not think that in your heart you meant half you said against poor William Dormer;" and here she paused suddenly, while a dark frown gathered upon the withered brow of her companion.
"I understand all now," said Mr. Pemberton, for that was the old man's name; "he has been with you to night?"
Rhoda could not deny it.
"Be it so; but remember that the wife of William Dormer is no daughter of mine. I have sworn it! My curse rest upon his head, and that of all connected with him !”
There was a passionless solemnity in the tone with which this sentence was uttered, which awed Rhoda far more than the words themselves, but did not silence her, for she had her father's spirit.
"You must have some powerful reason to make you act thus?"
"I have: his mother was my first love; and now the son too, would steal away my last treasure, and ill-use and break her heart, as his father did hers who is now an angel in heaven. Hush! not a word more-I will not hear it-unless it be to swear to me, you will never behold him again.
Poor Rhoda sat down and leant her throbbing temples upon her hands, while a dreary silence ensued, which was broken at length by Mr. Pemberton.
"Rhoda," said he fondly, "do not let us quarrel about him, my child. Forgive me if I spoke harshly to you just now, and let the subject be no more mentioned between us."
And so all their conversation upon this topic ever ended, although the old man was frequently so violent, that it made her shudder to listen to his threats and imprecations; but then she knew how passionate he was, and how soon the fit passed over, and relied perhaps too much upon his almost childish affection for herself, and so the summer wore away. One day Rhoda Pemberton was seen to leave the cottage early on a sunny morning, in her neat white dress and straw bonnet, and return a few hours afterwards, as she had often done before, with young Dormer; but there was no lingering farewell uttered beneath the shadow of the high wall; no parting protracted so long, that the girl in the opposite cottage grew weary of looking out to see if he were gone, and
became, in the ready sympathy of her kind heart, quite anxious lest Mr. Pemberton should come suddenly and unawares upon them. Both walked straight up the gravel path, and entered the house as if it had been their own, closing the door after them, although they must have known it was at an hour when the old man was sure to be within.
And then arose, on a sudden, the mingling of fierce voices, until Rhoda was seen with a face whiter than the robe she wore, closing the casement hastily, so that a confused murmur only was heard, followed at length by a wild woman's shriek; and a few moments afterwards William Dormer again appeared, bearing Rhoda in his powerful arms as though she had been a little child. But when they had advanced a few paces, she broke from him, and tottering back sank down fainting upon the threshold, stretching out her arms imploringly towards the doors that had closed against her for ever.
A crowd, attracted partly by sympathy and partly by curiosity, were soon collected around them, and many were the kind and friendly offers which the young couple received from those who had known them both from their childhood.
"Nay, do not weep," said one soothingly; "the old man will be sorry for this after a time."
"No, no!" exclaimed Rhoda, "what's past can never be recalled. The curse must be worked out! For myself I want nothing, only be kind to him when I am gone, for my sake. And, Lucy, dear!" added the poor girl to her sympathizing opposite neighbour, "if all this agitation should make him ill, do not say a word to any one, but go yourself immediately to Doctor Lee, who is the only person that understands and does him good, and do not let them judge him harshly for his conduct to me this day, for I have deserved it all."
At this moment the casement was again flung open, and the harsh voice of Mr. Pemberton heard threatening, if the crowd did not instanly disperse, to send for a constable; and Rhoda, clinging to her husband's arm, went forth from among them without another word. A weary bridal day was that for her, and wearier still to come; truly, her punishment was a heavy one!
Years passed away-what unexpressed wretchedness is often crowded into that common phrase, which we utter with careless lips-years passed away, and the old man had grown feeble as a child, and blind beside, so that they were obliged at last to put some one into the house to take care of it and him. Lucy went first, for she was still unmarried, and remembered her promise to poor Rhoda, whom no one had seen from the day she wedded William Dormer. And being a meekspirited girl, she bore all his harshness, as long as she could without a murmur, and even tried to introduce the subject of his daughter's disobedience, and win him to seek her out and pardon her; but discouraged and frightened too, by the fearful rage into which he got, she gave up her task in despair. Next came a hired nurse, who left the first week, and then a succession of strangers who almost drove the old man mad.
Lee vouched for her skill, and, contrary to the predictions of all, she stayed. The new nurse was tall and fearfully attenuated, and wore her hair, which was perfectly grey, although it would seem from some other cause than age, parted simply beneath her widow's cap, and she had a low, melancholy voice, which fell upon the ear like music heard long ago. The old man seemed quite to take to her, as it were, and, as they sat together of a winter night, would tell her how the last woman that was there had even beaten him; but bid her not to weep, for that was all past now.
"Many a time," said he," have I heard the rattling of money, when she thought I slept, but I said nothing, although I knew that she was robbing me, for it mattered little since I have no one to leave it to."
"But had you not a daughter?" asked his companion. She disobeyed
"Yes, I forget her name now. me, and I cast her off for ever!" "Poor girl!" exclaimed the nurse.
"And why poor? she has her husband-it was her own choice-and she preferred him to her old father."
At length one arrived who looked ill-fitted for the arduous task she had undertaken; but Doctor
"But what if he be dead ?”
"Ah! she would be lonely then, almost as lonely as I have been, and seek me out perhaps, but I hope not. I never wish to hear that voice again. I have grown calmer and happier of late than for years before; it would only irritate, and tempt me perhaps to exult in the speedy punishment of her disobedience-to curse and spurn her from my door, as I did years ago."
"Now heaven forbid !" said Mary, for so his attendant was called, and the conversation dropped.
The walls of the cottage were very thin, and sometimes Mr. Pemberton could not sleep all night for Mary's hollow and incessant cough; and he used to lay and think of old times, for it was thus with his wife for the few months previous to her death; and how lonely he should feel if Mary were taken too, just when he had begun to like her so much; and when she came the next morning to hope that she had not disturbed him very much, tired as he was, he would answer kindly, and even asked Doctor Lee if something could not be done for it, although he anticipated the answer almost before it came.
"Mary," said he,
when the worthy physician had departed, "you have been a good and kind nurse to me, but you require one yourself now, take what money you want and go back to your home."
"I have no home," replied she sadly, "no friend in the whole world that I know of."
"Poor child! and yet you must not die-what can I do for you, Mary?"
Nothing-oh, nothing, but let me stay here with you. Indeed I am not so very ill, and my cough will go away when the warm weather comes, as it always does, only do not send me from you."
"Well, well, we will wait until summer," said
the old man, "and see what that produces; 1 believe I should have missed you very much, Mary."