Page images

concerns others; she is longing to visit our peasant friends, while I dread it! Old Dame Bateson will ask me why “ my sweet face has not got me a Duke for a husband;" and Dame Smith will warn me, for the twentieth time, "not to look along the hedge for a straight stick, till I am obliged to take up with a crooked one at last."

How I hate the freedom of their conversation! but Margaret has always accustomed them to such familiarity. Last night the old housekeeper nodded her head with an air of importance, and, after complimenting me upon the fresh colour in my cheeks, added, “Ah, Miss! but, for all you are so pretty, the right man is not come yet." And I must smile and look as if I was amused, and invent some good-humoured reply, when every word they utter probes the rankling wound at my heart!

These are the joys of returning home to feel at every turn how happy I was when last I wandered about these walks; to remember the pleasing day-dream in which I indulged, as I paced the lime-tree avenue; to think how

joyously I bounded across the open heath, or climbed the steepest path up the Whitecliffe crags!

Margaret, on the contrary, seems to love all her former haunts, and the stupid old women, and the poor lame horses that are turned out to grass, and the very dogs, which, she says, remind her of happier days. Now even our favourite dogs make me melancholy; for, when Neptune came fawning upon me, I recollected that, as I patted his head just before I stepped into the carriage, I thought, "when next I revisit my father's halls, it will be as Lord George's bride." To me, such are the joys of returning home!

They tell me I have youth, and health, and all the comforts and luxuries of life; that I have kind friends; and that I ought to be happy but what avail all these blessings, if there is a canker in the heart, that renders one incapable of enjoying them? Surely happiness springs from the mind within, not from the circumstances without!




Rockstone Abbey, September 16th.-We have now been two days at Rockstone; and I think I may say that I have returned to it in a better frame of mind than I left it. A year has had the effect that time ought to have; 1 am resigned to the sorrows with which I have been visited, and I am grateful for having been spared many with which others have been afflicted.

There is some consolation in reflecting that I suffer under an immediate dispensation of Providence, not under the consequences of any misconduct of my own; and there is hope in the conviction that, if we bow in unrepining submission to the decrees of Heaven, we shall surely have our reward.




THE YEAR 1834.

I left home at midnight of Friday, the 8th of August, 1834, and got to Brighton by seven in the morning; and, after sleeping for four hours, went on board the steam-boat for Dieppe: the day was lovely, the passage prosperous, and we arrived at Dieppe at half past twelve at night. The next day I was too ill to go on; but, on the 11th, we started at half past six; we passed through some very pretty country, much cultivated, and arrived at Havre-de-Grace in about twelve hours.

The market-place is very handsome, and the drive along the quays striking: the harbour was crowded by ships from all countries, and of all sizes, mixed with innumerable steam

boats. The Rue de Paris is remarkably picturesque, owing to the great irregularity of the houses, the vast number of shops, and the quantity of goods exposed to view outside the doors; and these, being principally of bright colours, made it gay and pleasant to pass through the evening sun came streaming and glowing along, and here and there catching on these gaudy colours, considerably added to the brilliancy of the scene: the whole population also seemed stirring, and the costumes were various and pretty. As I drove up the street, I felt my spirits rise, and was fully convinced that I should be comfortably lodged after my day's fatigue.

Alas! how uncertain is human felicity! We drove from hôtel to hôtel, from inn to inn; each successive removal brought us lower and lower, till at last we began to fear that we should find no place of rest at all: however, after some time we got rooms in a wretched place kept by a Frenchwoman, the widow of an American, who was exorbitant in her demands, and most inhospitable and uncivil in

« PreviousContinue »