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of business, dull and spiritless, for the impression | he made upon me had never been forgotten.

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"I have had a visit, my love, from old Mrs. Stukely,' said my governess to me one evening, ' and it is my duty now to communicate to you its purport, and what took place between Mr. James Gordon and myself on the day we left Brookmead. Your pale cheek tells me you have guessed what I would say. That gentleman made, then, an honourable offer of his hand, but as it was unknown to his aunt, my pride in your welfare induced me to reject it, without even consulting you; and I insisted on his not naming the subject to you unless he had the sanction of Mrs. Stukely, and he promised, although unwilling, not to do so until you had passed your minority. The ravings during his fever betrayed his secret; and his doctors pronounced nothing could save his life from sinking under his present debility, unless the weight was removed from his mind. The old lady, anxious to preserve her adopted son, has consented to his engagement with you. Can you love him well enough to become his wife?'

"I threw myself into Mrs. Foxall's arms, and wept like a child.

gentleman of birth and fortune came to pass a few months at our house, as he was anxious to understand something of the mysteries of the law before he yielded to his parents' wish of making it a profession. My husband desired me to conquer my habitual reserve, and make myself amusing to our new inmate, as he had owed his success in life partly to the high connections of this young man.

"Mr. James Gordon recovered from his illness, and in less than a twelvemonth from my aunt's death, I became his envied bride. My husband was lavish in his presents to me, but I soon found I owed them more to his pride than his generosity. Rich in the adornments of my house and person, I was poor in the power of rewarding my beloved governess as she deserved; a handsome ring, and defraying the just expenses of my education, up to my marriage, was all the remuneration she received from my husband; who often reminded me, that the companions of my girlhood were not the companions suited to his wife, and my spirit withered, as I thought of the ingratitude these cherished friends would internally tax me with, at my apparent neglect of all the promises I had made whilst residing under their roof; and often I buried my face, bathed in tears, upon the downy pillows of my gilded couch. Notwithstanding, I loved my husband sincerely, but I felt to my heart's core, the inequality of our station, and I knew he felt it also. The servants too, who had ruled their master for years, naturally disliked having a mistress, and the housekeeper always addressed me with a scowl of malignity.

"Mrs. Stukely rarely paid me a visit, it was evident her set had condemned me as a cunning and maneuvering person, and the young people of Dalton made but few advances towards my friendship. In time I became diffident of my powers of attraction to please even my husband; he cared little for music, and still less for painting, and was mortified and annoyed to see that my timidity prevented me from taking that stand in society which he expected; but my thoughts, in presence of the cold exclusion of Dalton, were frozen, ere my tongue could give them utterance, and it was with a feeling somewhat akin to joy, that my physician, who had been consulted on the delicate state of my health, prohibited my going into company.

"It was in the latter end of autumn, when a

"Mr. Douglas was handsome, with a highly cultivated mind, and under the influence of his bland manners Mr. Gordon's became less imperious, and mine less reserved. The long winter evenings, which I fancied would have brought only ennui, passed away happily enough, and, seated in my fauteuil, I enjoyed for the first time in my life the intellectual pleasure of hearing the favourite authors of the day read aloud to us by Mr. Douglas. At this period Mr. Gordon announced to me that a difficult law-case would require him to be often away from home, but if his young friend would continue his readings to amuse me, he should feel more uncontrolled to pursue the necessary researches.

"Byron's mighty genius had just blazed upon the world, and one of his warmest worshippers was Mr. Douglas. I, who had scarcely known the name of poetry, except from pages of Enfield's Speaker, was enchanted; its beauties were rendered doubly impressive by the tone of voice of the reader; and frequently he would pause to elicit my opinion in the progress of the volume. Once or twice, as I met his earnest gaze, I trembled lest the natural vanity of man should construe my admiration of the poet to himself; the bare thought was full of danger, and yet I had not courage to act upon the internal warning; but I resolved when my husband returned I would speak to him on the possible impropriety of allowing a single man to pass so much idle time with me.

"It was rather later one evening than usual when Mr. Douglas entered the drawing-room with a new work by Byron; and, as he asked my permission to read it, I fancied he looked pale and excited. He overruled my scruples of the lateness of the hour, and pleaded the shortness and exquisite pathos of the poem; it was Parasina; and as I listened I felt my cheeks burn, and mine ears tingle with the palpable immorality of the story. I felt too, though I did not once look up, that Mr. Douglas was watching its effect upon me; and I resolved, in spite of giving offence, this should be the last time I would listen to such readings alone; when the book was closed I rose hastily to ring the bell, that I might retire to bed; but my companion, seeing my intention, forcibly grasped my hand.

"Dear Mrs. Gordon, beloved Cecile,' he exclaimed passionately, you must and shall hear me. I can no longer conceal my passion.' Agitation rooted me to the spot,and I burst into tears. Your husband is not worthy of you,' continued he; you love him not, those tears speak volumes, and tell me, what I have long known, that you are his victim. All things are arranged for our flight, and—' But ere I could reproach him for his audacity I was paralyzed at seeing Mr. Gordon in the half

open doorway. He had returned home unex- | girls palpably turned away their heads to avoid pectedly, and had heard the latter part of Mr. Douglas's speech. My tears, my agitation, were proofs in his mind of my being a willing listener; and, in a voice of thunder, he desired the polluter of his honour to leave the house, ere he met with the chastisement he deserved. The door closed on the destroyer, and in the next moment a blow rendered me insensible; how long I remained so I know not. When I recovered I found myself in bed, the malignant housekeeper standing over me. What has happened?' I faintly exclaimed, as I felt the blood gushing from my nostrils. You can best answer that, Ma'an,' said the woman; all I know is, my poor master is pacing up and down the drawing-room like mad.

"

recognition.

"

"I returned with sad forebodings to my splendid home, where there was not one face but my child's to smile upon me. Next morning the young woman whom I had engaged as a nurse, requested to speak to me. She wished to leave her situation. I offered to advance her wages. No; she wanted to return to her parents. Was she unhappy? I enquired. The girl burst into tears, and, after some hesitation, acknowledged that if she remained with me she could not get another place. Even then in the eyes of my menials I was depraved. I rushed to my chamber, and on my knees implored the Almighty to teach me fortitude to endure. Who is there that does not feel the efficacy of prayer? and where is "I must see him this instant,' said I, at- the grief that does not yield to the comfort that tempting to rise, but I sunk down exhausted with comes from the Eternal Spirit? I rose from supthe effort. An hysteric sob for a moment relieved plication strong in my weakness; I wrote a long me, and I commanded my attendant to do my letter to my husband, and implored him to dismiss bidding. As soon as I saw Mr. Gordon enter my the servants who had so basely maligned me to chamber, I sprang out of bed, and threw myself the nurse, or allow me to leave him for ever. I at his feet; he would have spurned me, but I asked but a small pittance for myself and infant. clung to his knees. James, James,' said I, He answered my appeal personally. He was 'hear me, for God's sake; do not condemn your cold and distant, and told me I was at liberty innocent wife unheard.' He was pale and trem- to leave him, if I preferred it; I had brought bling, and pointed to the scattered clothes lying shame on his name, and if we separated he on the floor. I gazed wildly on these apparent should retain his child; she should not share preparations for flight-'Oh, James!' I exclaimed, the exile which I well deserved. But though he listen, in mercy listen to me. I know nothing no longer loved me, he felt the evil would be less of these arrangements-a fatal snare has been laid in my remaining under his roof, than in the pubby some fiend, who has worked ruin for us both.' licity of a separation; it was arranged that the serHe made no answer, but sat down on a chair and vants should be dismissed, and to all outward aphid his face in his hands. I rose from my knees, pearance he would continue my protector. I must calm and rigid as marble-I felt my asseverations not attempt to relate the years of mortification which were not believed, perchance never would be followed; my brain seems scorched at the bare reand the agony of my spirit became too great for collection-my sweet Cecile was the only ray which words or tears-a thousand years of life could lighted my gilded prison. Mrs. Stukely never again never make me forget one moment of that long, darkened my doors; and the only reply that Mrs. long night. The next day I was in a delirious Foxall made to my urgent and private request to fever, and for weeks remained unconscious; the see her was, that for the sake of her pupils she dared weakness which followed reduced me to the brink not comply; and both she and Mr. Gordon's aunt of the grave; but when my child was born, this passed from the earth in the full belief of my innew and holy tie gave fresh vigour to my con- gratitude and guilt. My husband, even when at stitution, and, as I pressed her soft cheek to mine, home, was never my companion; and when Cecile I no longer prayed for death. Mr. Gordon often grew older she visited with him, and from that entered my chamber to caress his little girl; but hour the trusting affection she bore me daily dein vain I tried to attract his attention, his eyes were creased; the insidious remarks she heard snapped invariably turned from mine, and the few words he asunder the holy links between mother and child. addressed to me fell like ice upon my heart. II dared not seek an explanation; she was too young longed to see my beloved governess, and pour my to understand the trials I had gone through; she griefs into her ear; but after sending to inquire of saw me despised and neglected, and seemed afraid my health the first few days after my confinement, to trust herself to my judgment. her attentions ceased altogether, and the solitude of my room remained undisturbed by any of the Dalton visitors. But these slights could not destroy the happiness I possessed in cherishing my little Cecile, who grew hourly in strength and beauty.

"At this time a sister of my husband's, the widow of a general, had come from India to settle in Paris; she was childless, and wished Cecile to pay her a visit. Mr. Gordon thought this a good opportunity for his daughter to see the world, and my sanction was not asked; my hopes had long ceased to rest upon the gifts of this earth; I therefore made no complaint, and bore our parting with less anguish than I anticipated. Little did I dream I should never see her again; and without a tear I witnessed the departure of my husband and child for the continent, and in the silence of my closet I poured forth my whole soul to God, in

"The Sunday after my recovery I accompanied my husband to church, but as I leaned heavily on his arm, no returning pressure reminded me we were going to the house of God with one heart and one mind. I gazed anxiously, after the service was over, at Mrs. Foxall's distant pew: but she answered not as usual my eager glance, and the

voking him to soften the heart of the one, and strengthen the weakness of the other.

"Within a twelvemonth my daughter was married to a young officer, Edward Lorraine; my husband went over to the nuptials, and I wrote to Cecile such a letter as only a mother could write to her daughter; no answer was returned, and when Mr. Gordon came back few and brief were the answers he gave to my eager questions. Mr. Lorraine was rich, well connected, and bound for India. Two years of gloom succeeded this event, occasionally enlivened by letters from Cecile, which were addressed to her father and not to me.

moments I thought he had fainted; but suddenly the quivering lip grew rigid, and without a struggle his soul had passed its mortal boundary, and with a wild shriek I fell on the floor.

“One winter's afternoon my husband received a summons from my old enemy, the housekeeper, who had long been pensioned off at some little distance from us. His horse was soon saddled, and without taking leave of me, he was on his mission to the dying woman. That night he was brought back speechless from a fall, which had produced concussion of the brain. The labourer who accompanied him, related that he had seen Mr. Gordon riding on the high road, as if a demon were behind him; and, in urging his horse to the utmost speed, it had started at the shadow of a tree, and threw its rider, apparently lifeless, against the trunk. The medical man who examined the wounds pronounced the possibility of a fatal termination, unless the patient were kept profoundly quiet. He promised to visit him at early dawn, and I kept watch alone beside my husband's pillow. He lay there long, scarcely showing any signs of life; and tears streamed down my cheeks as I dwelt on the probability of bis being called to his heavy reckoning in that unconscious state. At last he moved, and murmured, as if in a dream, Cecile! wife!' How strangely those words thrilled through my heart. 'Cecile !' he repeated again, as he endeavoured to raise himself up. I flew to his assistance; our eyes met, and in his was the love and tenderness of our early years: his reason was returned. "That box,' he articulated, pointing to the iron one in his own chamber, the key is in my pocket; burn the papers you will find at the top.' I hastily obeyed him, and a gleam of exultation played upon his features as he gazed upon the consuming parchment. "Thank God!' he faintly exclaimed; that was my last testament, and to the trifling stipend I left you, I attached the stigma of my anger. Oh, Cecile, beloved Cecile, only to-night did I learn from the housekeeper, who has gone to a more merciful Judge than myself, that you were innocent: it was she who laid the snare to ruin us both-she it was who urged Mr. Douglas to insult you with his love, he believing from her that you secretly indulged a passion for him; and to give her lie every appearance of truth, unknown to you, apparent preparations were made for your quitting my roof, which I was summoned to witness by an anonymous letter. Cecile, it is too late, now, to atone for all your wrongs; I am dying! Oh, do not weep; let me but live to write an explanation to the world, and you may, yet be happy.' I wiped the dew from his brow as he sank exhausted in my arms. A stillness succeeded: for some

·

"Deep and settled became my melancholy, as I found all endeavours to establish my innocence at Dalton unavailing. The clergyman and physician were both attentive, but I believe their wives only the more despised me, for what they considered my shallow attempts to impose upon their credulity. Oh, those self-righteous, hardjudging people, could they but have probed one human heart, what a lesson they might have learned!

"Thus months passed away in desolation; but I still clung to the hope that Cecile would return to England, and that she at any rate would be but too glad to believe my statement. Her husband's appearance was absolutely necessary, as I could claim only my widow's portion. I did not speculate whether it were more or less than the sum named in the will; it was sufficient for my wants. At length Mr. Lorraine arrived, unaccompanied by Cecile. He was a man who, naturally, viewed everything in a suspicious light, and held doggedly to his prejudices. The impressions he had received of my guilt from my husband's sister were never to be erased; he therefore scoffed at the account I gave of Mr. Gordon's dying moments, and departed, strong in the determination that I should never be reunited to my child.

"Worn down in body and mind, I quitted Dalton for ever; and when I arrived in London, I sold out my property, took my maiden name of Corrie, and without friends or advisers, I found peace and shelter amid the sweet scenery of Richmond; but for some time I suffered from a train of nervous disorders, in which originated my dislike to perfumes. Here I have remained undisturbed until now, by the terrible recollections of the past, which your description of myself awoke in me: but I have learned to know all things are willed by the Most High for our ultimate good, and my meeting with you was not ordained by chance. When my weary race on earth is run, I shall die in peace. When you forward the pictures to India, inclose the history of my trials: Cecile will then not blush to weep over the memory of her mother. My executors will have orders to forward you Mr. Edward Lorraine's address. I will not give it you now, fearing you might be tempted to make the disclosure during my lifetime a disclosure which would still be treated as an imposture. Already have I trespassed too long upon your time, and will only add the prayer that you may meet in your hour of need the same balm of kindness which you poured upon the broken heart of CECILE GORDON !"

I had scarcely folded up the narrative, when my young sitters were announced, and gladly would I have given up the profits of the pictures, to have had at that moment leisure to have dwelt upon what had I read; and the children appeared more restless than ever.

"How very tiresome you are, to-day," said the quiet mother: "how you weary Mrs. .T: you are worse than your brother," continued the lady,

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speaking to the girl. "See how you have torn | And through all ages such the minds who still the crape from your frock, Cecile." "Our spirits rule," and Fame's bright records fill,

Cecile the word acted upon me like an electric shock-it was a name so full of interest. "And what else are you called, my dear?" said I. "Lorraine-Cecile Lorraine," replied the child. The pencil fell from my hand, and I sat without power to move.

"You are ill-over-fatigued," said my visitor, rising; "shall I ring for your maid?"

"Oh, no, thank you," I replied, half ashamed of my emotion, "I am better, but may I ask your husband's Christian name ?"

"Edward," answered the widow, looking in her turn agitated; "but why do you ask?"

I opened my desk and placed the two miniatures before me. She snatched up the one painted of Mrs. Corrie in her youth, and pressed it to her lips.

NIGHT.

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"Enough," the Spirit sighed, "enough is shown:
Choose now a star that gems the Boreal crown."
And, like a feather drifted by the wind,
My soul obeyed the spell the Spirit twined!
There is a chamber rude-a casement high,
And one poor watcher of the starry sky.
His day's too needful toil at length is past
When the bowed heart with joy upsprings at last.
Lofty the brow the night winds softly fan,
But the supporting hand is weak and wan ;
(And, oh! methinks the observing eye may trace
Expression here, not art nor will can chase.)
The MAN BEFORE HIS AGE!-alone-apart
From the dull throng communes with his own
heart.

'Tis well! for every faculty has bent
To one great purpose, and one sole intent.
Crushed by the iron heel of Poverty
Not his to form affection's holiest tie;
No loving wife, or prattling child is near,
The care-worn student's hour of rest to cheer.

More often lone than with the shield
From half life's ills a happy home can yield;
More often lone: for in the wheel of life
How oft has Genius drawn but woe and strife!
Or is it that each faculty and sense
To mate the intellect is deep-intense-
So that for them there ever sparkles up
Either the nectar or the poison cup?
I know but this, that as the marble rock
Is fretted by the river's feeble shock,
Although an earthquake threw it up unrent,
When all the elements of power were blent;
So the proud heart of Genius, day by day,
Girt by domestic misery, wears away.
Thus, for the thankless world perchance 'tis best-
No human ties find anchor in his breast.
He had a glorious dream in days of yore,
But now a score of years are passed, or more;
Love's flowers are dead, or faded all,
Though kept like relics beneath memory's pall.
And ever since that hour when the decree
Of that gaunt despot, iron Poverty,
Went forth to quench Hope's bright and cheering
light,

And blast Love's flowers, which bloomed beneath his sight,

The

expanding mind, braced by the shocks of
fate,
Stands forth the mightier, and more concentrate.
The Man before his Age-The Pioneer!
Who cries "Eureka," and the herd but jeer;
And yet the pathway that he leaves behind,
The broad foot-marks which they that follow find,
Lead-if to future years we quickly leap,
To the rich harvest meaner minds shall reap.
Perchance in earlier days a meteor flame
Lured him to dream of winning earthly fame.
But this is over-and no visions now
Image the laurel round his fading brow;
They only whisper, that a future age
Of wiser men shall venerate his page.
So, as the bright beam from the Starry Crown
Meets the raised orbs which Genius' fire illumes,
Kissing the cheek whence health's clear hue is
flown,

And the bent frame, that slow decay consumes,
Unto his heart it seems a type on high
Beyond the pale of poor mortality.
Methinks to many a world-wearied mind,
That Northern Crown, so clear, so well defined,
Hath whispered the soul's language-which must

be

Those deathless Truths, whose Truth is Poetry!
(For it doth seem no other word expresses
The dim revealings which the soul confesses.)
It tells of something dearer to such hearts
Than earthly fame, or earthly crown imparts.
This is the spirit essence which is found
In pure religion, and is shed around
The soul of Genius, where it doth distil,
And lowlier minds with borrowed glory fill.
He asks no guerdon now from feeble man,
But feels his Soul a part of the Almighty Plan!
(To be continued.)

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"THE CHAR-WOMAN."
A Sketch from Real Life.

BY ELIZA WALKER.

The class of persons which forms the subject of our present sketch, is one which has even enlisted our sympathy and commiseration.

The undefined, yet multifarious occupation devolved on them, the scanty, still often begrudged remuneration doled out for long hours of ceaseless and wearisome labour; the uncertain and contingent nature of their vocation, which compels them, perhaps, to task every corporeal energy, "to rise up early and late take rest" three days in the week, to supply the wants of the unemployed remainder, are all so many and forcible appeals to the charities of our nature

at the same time he inhales the poison which saps his physical energies, and mildews the cords which bind him to existence. She is a widow with three helpless children, she cannot command the little capital necessary to establish her in business, or purchase the mangle and other implements to enable her to follow the occupation of a laundress, she must get bread for herself and little ones by "charing." She goes forth to work-alas! alas! how often do the public journals chronicle that she is summoned from her labours to the succour of one of her babes, who is injured, perhaps to death, by fire. Without the playthings and appliances to amuse childhood's taste which wealth and luxury provide; in a room destitute, perhaps, almost of furniture, no cakes "to make a feast with," no toys, no scraps of finery wherein to bedeck themselves, and, dearer than all these, no loving mother's voice to cheer and enliven with song and story; (for the mother's heart shall be full to bursting, yet will she force the song from her parched throat, and amidst the hard and drear realities of life, weave the gay story of fairy enchantment to amuse the babes of her bosom ;) the children have crept to the fire, and sought amusement from the burning embers, till a spark has caught the clothes of one, and the terrified shrieks of its young companions summon aid, often too late. The distracted mother arrives at the hospital where her darling has been conveyed, to see the cherub face she left a few hours since rosy and smiling, scorched and blackened, and hear the wail of dying agony from the lips of her loved and her last born. But let us change the scene.

"Take physic pomp, Learn to feel that which wretches feel, and Show the heavens more just!"

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Go look at that poor, emaciated, worn-out woman-age has come upon her, yet she lacks the provision its wants and infirmities demand. Sickness, it may be, enfeebles her frame, and bows her strength; she has lived a life of honest labour, but for servitude she is now unfit. What can she do to gain wherewith to pay for a roof to shelter her, or to produce the coarsest meal to support life? Her spirit, cramped and crushed as it is by the thraldom of poverty, yet revolts at the sterner shackles, the bitterer bondage of pauper maintenance. One last effort she makes for independence, and selfsustainment, ere she seeks the door of the parish poor-house, which, once closed on her, she knows will not open again, till the hard pallet is exchanged for the green sod of the grave-she becomes a "char-woman." The early winter's morning, dark and bleak, sees her on her way to her work. The thin and scanty habiliments in which she is clothed are but poor defence against the wild wind which howls around her; but she murmurs not, and the weakened sinews and failing strength will put forth their every effort, that she may retain employment in the house to which she is going. Amidst all her toil she still remembers that night brings release; that she has yet a home, poor and humble though that home may be, where she is mistress; and where action, as thought, is alike free. But often the "char-woman" works not only for herself. She has a husband at home pros-hand to everything, which made her in such trate through sickness, and the two shillings, won request with the ladies of our acquaintance. by twelve hours of unlimited toil, must go to provide not alone rent, and food, and firing, but a portion must be deducted to satisfy the lingering of diseased appetite; a little fruit, perhaps a glass of wine, has been eagerly coveted, and the poor "char-woman" will go to her bed tired and supperless, that the help-mate of her love and of her youth may be indulged in his fancy.

Mary Morgan (or as she was commonly called Molly Morgan) was a "char-woman," it is true, but of the most thriving and prosperous sort. Ever in demand, summer and winter, spring and autumn, in season and out of season, she was still employed. She had been a soldier's wife, and little akin as her appearance or temperament were to melancholy, a shade of grief would cloud her round rubicond face, when allusion to the battle of Waterloo, in which her husband perished, was made; of a frame, whose "thews and sinews" seemed formed of cast iron at the weakest; of spirits so exuberant, they did not need the foreign aid which scandal said she assisted them occasionally with. She seemed to take to it as a pastime, and would do the office of three ordinary "maids of all work" on any day. It was, indeed, the readiness with which she turned her

Was the cook ill? albeit she had not taken lessons at Crockford's in the cunning science of gastronomy, she was competent to roast and boil to a minute, and, if occasion required, concoct a fricandeau of irreproachable flavour. Had the housemaid sprained her wrist? who swept the rooms so thoroughly? who shook the beds with such strength and vivacity that not one feather clung to another? or, who brought to the bright bars so dazzing a polish? We have known her promoted to the nursery, when some pretty "Fanny" or "Jane," who presided there heretofore, has suddenly linked herself in Hymen's silken bonds with

But our "char-woman," it may be, is a widow; her husband, a mechanic, long since has fallen a victim to one of the diseases, which, in specific employments, darken the path of productive labour, from which the artisan reaps large wages, knowing

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