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it was 'not very far from home, I think, as them liked the place, and the sun of pros-
Madeleine Burdett's engagement to VerI think I remember the place you mean,' ner Bingham was a year old — their 'odious said Henry Hurst, ' near the Blackwater. A youth was lessened so much — and the asquiet place enough, I daresay, and healthy. sembling of a large party at Meriton preTf I cannot get a house for you, I suppose vious to the partridge-shooting was expected some sort of decent lodgings can be had. in the autumn of the same year which had At any rate, I will try.. Couldn't you man- seen Henry Hurst commence his rambling age to look pleased, Alice, just by way of a artistic studies, and Alice take up her abode little variety?'
in a retired spot on the eastern coast, a short
distance from the mouth of the Blackwater. Meriton was a pleasant place at all times. The party, when met at Meriton, included The house was spacious and handsome. Its Mr. and Mrs. Marsh and their daughters, master had added considerably to its size, who contributed the chief portion of the and the good taste of its mistress had family' element to the gathering. Mr. brought its internal arrangements to a very Marsh, usually spoken of by his wife as high degree of excellence. Stephen Hav- my Ned,' was a gentleman of the harmless iland was characterised by all the virtues and inexpressive character to whom that of a country gentleman — a capital stud style of appellation seems peculiarly approand an irreproachable cellar included. Ju- priate. He was good-natured, slow, very lia, his wife, was an admirable hostess well off, and perfectly amenable to his she never interfered with her guests, es- Maria, whom he held in admiration and repecially in their flirtations, and she took spect, almost equal in intensity to the sencare they had all the material components timents entertained towards herself by that of comfort and enjoyment. Meriton was lady. Mr. Marsh believed in the Havilands an especially pleasant place in the autumn thoroughly, and was a happy man. His and the shooting season, when Frank Bur- manner of life, his opinions, his engagedett was more particularly at home there, ments, his politics, his money-matters, and and lent his very efficient aid to both Mr. bis dress were all regulated for him; but he and Mrs. Haviland in their separate de- had no objection. He liked ordering his partments. It was, of course, inevitable own dinner, and eating it gave him sensible that Frank Burdett should grow old — he satisfaction, but as the Havilands approved had, indeed, made no trifling progress in of good living, he was indulged even on that direction already — but nothing seemed that point. He was very fond of his wife, less probable than that he should ever look but perhaps only moderately attached to his so. "It gave his beautiful young daughter daughters, a pair of big bouncing young keen delight to observe his youthfulness of women, with loud voices, decided opinions, looks and spirits, and she rejoiced mightily and awe-inspiring manners. Needless to in being at Meriton, because when there add that they were perfect Havilands. Miss she had her father almost always with her. Angelina and Miss Clementina Marsh were
• It is so pleasant,” she said one day with girls of the (then) period, which, though a pretty wilfulness, which none but the most differing from the present in some very acrimonious could have misinterpreted, 'to material particulars — a difference on which have some one about me who never thinks the society of to-day is by no means to be of disobeying me, and who believes every- congratulated — had a good many objectionthing I do to be what is it that dreadful able features. They talked politics and reman says in that dreadful poem Miss Glen- ligious controversy; they were offensively nie used to make me learn when I was well-informed about elections; they were naughty? - " discreetest, wisest, virtuous- given to pronunciamentos in favour of popest, best.” There, Captain Medway, I'm ular preachers; they danced the polka vesure you are astonished at my memory. hemently; they bored every one who could Why don't you ease your mind by saying not escape from them about the insularities
of England, and the advantages of a cosmoWhile the gallant but not over-ready offi- politan taste; they dressed in the worst cer was seeking for an answer, and appar- possible foreign style, being wholly unaware ently expecting to find it either in his shirt- of the special manufacture of millinery for collar or in his whiskers, Madeleine forgot the English market, and falling readily into all about him, and was busily expatiating the snare; and they detested Madeleine on the delights of Meriton from some other Burdett. point of view. She did not exaggerate It was not to be expected, even from the them. All who were admitted to a share in Haviland ramification of human nature,
that the precious legacy'should be re- that a girl with so little conversation' garded with much favour by her cousins, should attract the attention of sensible men, who, though they had no just grounds of and thus assist to give society a frivolous complaint against fate and fortune on any tone. Lastly, she had an independence score, had nothing like the advantages and about her in dress, and in choosing her indulgences which the removal of Selina associates, and in her way of attracthad been the means of securing to her ing the best' young men to her, and daughter. A rich, childless uncle, with a keeping their attention fixed on her for just fine country place and an unimpeachable as long as she found them amusing, which town-house, an eminently fashionable wife, weak people called artless, girlish fascinaa seat in parliament, and all the contingent tion, but which they regarded as reprehensocial advantages conferred by so pleasant sible flirtation. If Angelina and Clemena combination, is a very charming member tina had known, when they made their not of a family, provided that he understands remarkably triumphant entry among the the duties and privileges of his position party assembled at Meriton, that Madeleine properly, and divides the benefits he has it was engaged,' their feelings towards her in his power to bestow, conscientiously. might have undergone a salutary change, But when he makes an “invidious selection, but, on the other hand, they would have as Mrs. Marsh feelingly described Stephen been very much shocked.' It was bad Haviland's adoption of Madeleine, and ad- enough to see Captain Medway, one of the heres to that selection in so provokingly most presentable men they knew - the parrow a spirit that he might as well have Misses Marsh observed the true Haviland had ever so many children of his own, so moderation of praise-making himself so far as the unselected nephews and nieces absurdly conspicuous about her, and to see are concerned, he is no such great acquisi- her taking his homage as a matter of course; tion after all. The strong sentiments en- but if they had known that his homage, like tertained on this point by the Marshes and that of many another man whom they were the Fanshaws were not altogether without destined to observe during their visit, must warrant. Stephen Haviland invited their be quite infructuous, they would have re* young people sometimes to Meriton, and garded her with lofty horror rather than on those occasions they had their fair share with ill-disguised envy. But they knew of the enjoyments the place afforded. But nothing about Verner Bingham; and Madethis was merely a general attention. They leine's position seemed more unassailable had none of the dear delightful privileges and her bearing more insouciante than ever. of intimacy with the important Mrs. Havi Angelina and Clementina usually spoke land and the admired Miss Burdett. They of their cousin as “that disagreeable girl,' were asked to Mrs. Haviland's balls in the but when they retired to their rooms that season, but of invitations which mean so night, having had but moderate opportumuch more they received none. Julia did nity for the exhibition of all the Haviland not pretend to feel any more interest in them talents, they called her • detestable. than in the scores of young ladies who Mrs. Haviland, who had not lost her skill danced in her rooms, and flirted on her in the reading of character, or her taste for staircases. The glimpse afforded her of the its employ, perfectly understood the sentifamily tactique when Selina died had suficed ments of Angelina and Clementina, and for her acuteness ; she calmly preserved the ' likewise of their mother. They amused attitude which she had then assumed, and ber a good deal. In truth, there was nothMadeleine alone was admitted within the ing of the conventional fiancée in Madecharmed circle of whose pleasures and pas- leine Burdett's manner. She did not muse times the Misses Marsh permitted them- or mope; she was not absent in her mood, selves to talk, sometimes boastfully and, or pale or pensive in her looks ; she did sometimes disparagingly, as suited their au- not watch the arrival of the post with ostendience, but always with some precaution as tatious avidity, nor did she expend an unregarded Mrs. Haviland's becoming aware reasonable quantity of time in writing letof their flights of fancy. Angelina and ters. She was not deficient in the ordinary Clementina disapproved of Madeleine for courtesies of life to her friends who were several reasons. First, she was “a Bur- present, in honour of the one particular dett,' and it was undeniable that her style friend who was absent; she was not incapawas admired. Secondly, she had a flighty, ble of interesting herself in any human afinconsiderate manner — a habit of saying fairs except her own; she did not take pains things which people, particularly men, con- to prove to her relatives that she was ensidered witty, but in which they found noth- tirely indifferent to them and their interests ing to admire; and it was quite lamentable and pleasures. She ate with a good appe
tite, danced with undiminished spirit, rising diplomatist, and contrived to keep laughed quite as much as usual; in short, her cousins in a very good humour without she did not make herself a nuisance to every- making any sacrifices of a painful nature. body, and was, in consequence, totally un It was in the course of the second week like the engaged young lady whose friends after the autumn festivities at Meriton had are debarred by circumstances from antici- commenced, that Stephen Haviland told his pating the happy release of her speedy mar- wife he had been requested by Messrs. G-, riage.
the well-known engravers, to permit an arMadeleine was less exceptional in the tist in their employment to make drawings hearty and undisguised pleasure with which of the house and grounds of Meriton, for she received the tribute of admiration so the purpose of giving them a place in a generally paid her. It has occurred a few work designed to illustrate the architectural times to on-lookers at the game of life, to and landscape beauties of England, and observe that the most sentimental and even which was destined to be the finest work of lugubrious young ladies in the engaged con- the kind in existence. This was the sort of dition have no objection to flirtations more request that Stephen Haviland liked to have or less mild, and entertain liberal notions made to him. It flattered his sense of selfconcerning permissible friendships,' and importance and his pride in all his possesthe good which their influence is calculated sions. Julia did not care particularly about to do to impressible mankind. Madeleine the matter, but her invariable good taste had no theories upon this point; but her led her to a graceful acquiescence; and practice was to make herself very charming also to signify her assent to her husband's to all comers, and to let them take the con- proposition that it would be well to offer sequences. If Verner Bingham had been some attention to the artist, who would present, she would not have made the small- probably arrive soon after the necessary est difference in her manner; in bis absence formality of his reply: Madeleine, who she had more time to make herself generally had been listening with her usual lively inagreeable, that was all. But it will be terest, intervened at this point by saying: easily understood that the young-lady sec I wonder if he would give me some tion of the community explained Madeleine's drawing-lessons while he is down here, un charming manner by declaring her to be a cle? Do you think he is too high and flirt; and would have described it still more mighty, an artist on too grand a scale, for harshly had they known the truth.
that sort of thing?? For all this, Madeleine was pot generally *I don't know indeed, my dear,' anunpopular with women. There were many swered Stephen; 'I am inclined to imagine sufficiently generous to like and admire the not, however. A commission of this kind fair, bright young girl, and she was just as does not bespeak much importance. I can charming to the women who were her friends find out as soon as I see him. as to the men; while the dislike of her • Thank you, uncle,' said Madeleine. It cousins troubled her not in the least. She will be so delightful it' he should not object had heard some of the strictures passed to giving me lessons. I was getting on so upon her conduct by Angelina and Clemen- nicely with that dear old Colebrook — the tina ; and even a few of their prognostica- only thing I really regretted leaving town tions of the inevitable evil termination of for was my drawing. - You don't object, what they more tersely than elegantly called do you, aunt ? ' she added, turning with a her "goings on. But she was too happy, smile of security to Julia. as well as too generous, to care for anything Certainly not, Maddy, if your uncle can of the kind, and would have been genuinely manage it for you. - Who is this person, delighted if society would have accepted Stephen ? Anyone one knows anything Angelina and Clementina according to the about? Do the Messrs. G— name him?' Haviland valuation. That fraction of so Yes,' said Stephen, they do. I think ciety which formed the autumn party at I have the letter here, but I don't know the Meriton did not so accept them; but Made- name at all. Ah, yes, here it is '- he had leine exerted the tact which she possessed taken a letter from his breast-pocket, and in a degree calculated to be of much use to was looking hurriedly through it his her as the wife of a --- it was to be hoped - name is Horace Holmes.'
From The Pall Mall Gazette. mischief, however, does not even stop here. JUDICIAL OATHS OF HEATHEN WIT
The whole theory of swearing rests upon NESSES. *
the notion that the person taking the oath
believes in its binding efficacy; but we, it Mr. CHISHOLM ANSTEY has just pub- appears, have got hold of a set of misbelished an interesting and even amusing gotten ceremonies which have no meaning pamphlet on the subject of the system at all to the Chinese or to any one else, but adopted in our courts of law at home and which we absurdly suppose to be binding in most of the colonies of administering on their consciences. Mr. Anstey declares judicial oaths to people who are not Chris- that the ceremony of breaking a saucer and tians. He proposes that such oaths should telling the witness that in case of perjury be altogether abolished, and we think that his soul” (it used to be his body, but no one who reads his pamphlet can doubt" soul” was regarded as a more pious exthat, if his facts are correct -- and he ap- pression). would be cracked like the pears to have taken great pains to ascertain saucer” is a proceeding, as idiotic in the their correctness - his inference follows eyes of a Chinaman as in the eyes of an from them. Mr. Anstey very fairly says Englishman. He shows, indeed, by an inthat he objects to all oaths, promissory, vestigation which we have not room to folcompurgatory, or assertory, and whether low out, that the form was originally adopted the witnesses be Christians or heathens, on the strength of a cock and a bull story but, without entering upon so wide and told by one Antonio at the Old Bailey in well worn a discussion, his special objec- 1804 on the prosecution of a man named tions to oaths administered to heathen wit- Alsey for stealing money from a Chinese. nesses deserve the careful attention of all The form was completely unknown, and persons interested in the reform of the never used in China itself. In the treaty
ports they used at one time to burn " paper The theory upon which the use of oaths of imprecation," which, says Mr. Anstey, is justified is that the person who takes the always made the Chinamen laugh. The conoath is impressed with the belief that Divine sequences were at once so absurd and so vengeance will overtake him here or here- injurious that in the years 1856 and 1857 after if he commits perjury, and no doubt all judicial oaths were abolished by a Hong the practice of taking oaths has been so Kong ordinance, a warning as to the temmuch mixed up with our political and social poral penalties of perjury being substituted arrangements that most people are more or for them. less open to such impressions. But how- There is one objection to the administraever this may be with European Christians, tion of heathenish oaths which Mr. Anstey bred up to believe in one God, essentially works out with great force, and which would holy and an enemy to falsehood, it is far not probably occur to any one who had not otherwise with regard to the innumerable had the practical advantage which he has mass of heathens, who have no such belief. enjoyed for many years of seeing the sys" Amongst the people of China,” says Mr. tem at work. At best we take advantage Anstey, ** oaths are utterly unknown except of a degraded superstition which directly to such of them as may have visited our encourages the grossest idolatry; but, as a own courts of justice.” Swearing, he says, rule, we fail to get our mess of pottage. is contrary to the principles of Buddhism, When ignorant heathen people attach imand according to the principles of the fol- portance to an oath, as they often do, their lowers of Confucius it is a mere absurdity. view of its character is just as abject as that It might naturally be supposed, however, of the ignorant English or Irish man who that it is at worst useless. Mr. Anstey kisses his thumb instead of kissing "the takes from us this rag of comfort. He calfskin of King James's Bible," as Mr. Ansays, and with the greatest plausibility, stey puts it. that it makes the administration of justice T'he heathen's god is perfectly indifferent ridiculous in the eyes of the Chinese, and to perjury, unless it is committed in violain particular conveys to their minds the tion of a strictly prescribed formula. If natural impression that perjury is no crime you say pocus hocus instead of hocus pocus in a temporal point of view, inasmuch as the oath is utterly null and void. Now it We trust to the efficacy of charms to ensure is almost impossible to ascertain whether the truthfulness of our witnesses. The hocus pocus or pocus hocus is the true
charm, and “ Asiatics in general and the ** On Judicial Oaths as Administered to Heathen Chinese in particular take a singular Witnesses. By Thomas Chisholm Anstey, Esqpleasure in evading and overreaching any Barrister-at-Law. (London: Maxwell and Sons.
law of ceremonial imposed upon them by
foreigners from Europe or America.” | false witness ?" He very properly con“What,” says Mr. Anstey elsewhere, cludes that we ought to leave the charms “are we to say to the wild tribes scattered alone, and rely upon the real, substantial over Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula, sanction of temporal punishment. He and many another outlying dominion of the makes several good suggestions as to inQueen, swearing some by thunder and creasing the efficiency of this, the true lightning, some by the falling tree of the sanction; and he might in particular have forest, some by earth, some by old iron, added that perjury in England is not punsome by the missile of death and so forth, ished with nearly enough severity. It may each after their kind, yet one and all con- be doubted whether a judge should be sentient in two things only - 1, that they allowed to pass a lighter sentence than that fear no other ordeal and are always ready of penal servitude for a crime so enormous, to swear with bilarity in whatsoever spirit- so mischievous, so difficult to detect, and, ual name they fear not; and 2, that they we fear we must add, so common. hold in the greatest dread the temporal The pamphlet is in every way well worth power and its chastisements of the crime of 'reading.
From The Sunday Magazine.
In a parish of Cambridgeshire, consisting of 18.000
acres, the whole of which is the property of the THE GANG CHILDREN.
Duke of Bedford, labour for its cultivation can only
be obtained at the distance of seven or eight miles. “Woe unto them that lay field to field till there be no place, that they may make themselves alone EARLY, early, they rise, in the midst of the earth."- Book of the Prophet In the twilight cold and grey Isaiah. "Am I my brother's keeper?”– The Saying of
They rub their sleepy eyes, Cain.
“ Is it morning so soon?” they say. ** The principal seats of the agrarian evil which Early, early, the children rise, threatens to extend itself over a considerable por And yet they are not merry nor wise, tion of the rural districts of England are Norfolk, Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, but especially Healthy nor wealthy are theyLincolnshire, which may be considered, in an agri Late, late, in the evening grey, cultural sense, as almost a new creation; a great As they trudge on their homeward track, part of it, which was within the memory of living man a waste, has been brought into a state of the
From the fields where they've worked all day, finest cultivation, and has added at least 230,000 You may meet them coming back. acres to the corn-producing area of England. The They are cold, perhaps they are wet, low level of Norfolk, which was a hundred years ago They have worked in the fields all day, but one vast bed of sedge and sallow bushes, now glows with red clover and the golden mustard and They must surely be tired --and yet gladdens the eye with the verdure of turnip-fields and They sing: are the children gay? heavy crops of grain. In this reclaimed portion of England, farmhouses, barns, stables, and all that is required for agricultural prosperity, have been erect- | They woke at the voice of the bird; ed, but no thought has been taken for the labourer. In the fields, the whole day long, No cottages have been built for his accommodation; They have been where the heavens were stirred in many cases, he must walk miles to his work; even on estates where he had been so fortunate as to se
And thrilled by the lark's clear song; cure an humble shelter he has been dispossessed of Have they learnt
of the lark to sing ? it lest he should become a pauper and a burden to The lark from the grassy sod, the parish, and has been driven to find a home where with the dew on his breast and wing, and how he could. In the eastern districts of England many farms of 300 acres do not possess a single That soars to the throne of God. resident labourer."-- The Quarterly Review, July, Have they followed his upward way? 1867. Eight appears to be the ordinary age at which chil.
But no ! it would be a crime dren join the agricultural gangs; in some instances, Almost as bad as to play, they have been known to do so even at four. It is So to idle their precious time. a common practice with parents to stipulate that if What flowers in the fields may blow, the elder children are hired to the gangmaster he must take the younger ones too. The distances they
What joys in the hedgerows lurk, have to walk, or rather run, before the labours of They do not ask or know, the day begin, are astounding, sometimes eight They come to the fields to work : miles a day, as in a case near Peterborough. They leave at five in the morning, under the care of the And labour is such a boon, gangmaster, and return at five at night. They work In our world of sorrow and sin, eight or nine hours; and during the last hour they It cannot matter how soon are at work they will ask, said an old gangmaster, The little children begin.* forty times what o'clock it is.
The atmosphere of moral corruption which surrounds agricultural gang-work is such as can be * At a meeting of the Norfolk Chamber of Com paralleled only in the interior of Africa; the behav- merce, on Saturday, October 11th, 1867, Mr. C. 8. four and language of the girls and women is such Read,' M. P., said: "The employment in which that no respectable man can speak to them or even women and children employed in agricnlture were look at them without being shocked, and any decent occupied was light, and the hours during which female would shrink from meeting them as they walk they were employed were not long. A great deal homewards from the fields.
of what might be called sentimental twaddle lad