« EelmineJätka »
I assured Mrs. Baldwin that I had already I have done very well, and in the course of admired the beauty of the workmanship, time perhaps—but we can't forget our lost though I did not then know the sad history child." which gave it so much interest.
| This was the strange history I heard from “If you should ever visit that part of the Reuben Baldwin-an unpolished man, but a country,” resumed Mr. Baldwin, again ad- man of excellent sense and generous, warm dressing me, “ you will see the traces of that feelings. With such a gem of a farm as he is storm for miles; where it began, or where it now in, with such an admirable partner in ended, I can't say, but the greatest mischief his joys and sorrows, and above all, with the was done just by our lake. It seemed to blessings of Providence, Reuben Baldwin may burst right over my house, and then gather yet live to be a happy, if not a rich man. up and carry everything away, sweeping furi- I took leave of the worthy couple with the ously across the lake, and even driving the painful feeling that I was not likely ever to water several hundred feet on to the land on see them again, or even to make them any rethe opposite shore, as was plainly seen by the turn for the kindness and hospitality they mud that was left there. From the first I had bestowed on me. believed that our child slept her death-sleep It is not iny intention to describe my meetbeneath those waters on which I had so often ling with my New York friend, or the business taken her in my little fishing-boat-and when which brought us together, for there was she could nowhere be found amongst the ruins nothing in it that could afford interest to any that the storm had made, I felt certain of it. third person. I did not care to rebuild my house where Two days after I left Reuben Baldwin's everything would remind us of our mis- log-house in the bush, I was again in Cincinfortune — and as to fishing in that lake nati, where I made it my first business to again, or even rowing on those waters, I procure a handsome copy of “ Izaak Walton's could not bear to think of it. So I sold my complete Angler," which I sent with my land for what little I could get, and soon fixed grateful remembrance to the Fisherman of myself here where you see me. Thank God, Lake Suna pee.
VITALITY OF SEEDS.--In addition to the old sto-II took the opportunity of asking him how the ry of the vegetation of wheat found in an Egyptian missions were liked. Sir,' said the peasant, mummy, the New Hampshire Journal of Agri- we all feel obliged to you for your kind intenculture, in reply to the inquiry of a correspon- tions; we are likewise sensible that everything dent as to the length of time that seeds retain you tell us is good, but you preach too long. We their vitality, quotes the following statement from ignorant boorg are just like our own wine-vatsan English paper.
the juice must have plenty of room left to work ; James Binks, in the North British Agricul- and once filled to the brim, if you attempt to pour turist, stated that he had recently cleared off in more, even if it were the very best juice in the some old Roman encampments on his farm near world, it will only be spilt on the ground and Alnwick, a farm which he had lived upon for lost.” "-From the Tour to Alet in Mrs. Shimsixty-four years, and forthwith among the bar- nelpenninck's Memoirs of Port Royal. ley there sown, arose some seventy-four varieties of oats, never seen in that section before. As no oats had been sown, he supposed the place to be Men are so inclined to content themselves with an old cavalry camp, and that the oats which what is commonest; the spirit and the senses so were ripened under other skies, had lain covered easily grow dead to the impressions of the beauwith debris for 1,500 years, and now, being ex- tiful and perfect, that every one should study, by posed to the action of the sun and air, they germ- all methods, to nourish in his mind the faculty of inated as readily as though but recently sown. feeling these things. For no man can bear to be
entirely deprived of such enjoyments ; it is only
because they are not used to taste of what is exST. VINCENT DE Paul.-" After having spent cellent, that the generality of people take delight much strength and labor to little purpose," said in silly and insipid things provided they be new, this zealous evangelist (St. Vincent de Paul), “I For this reason one ought, every day at least, to was one day lamenting before God, as I walked hear a little song, and read a good poem, see a to church, the little fruits of my exertions. As fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a I went along, I was overtaken by a vine-dresser. few reasonable words. Goethe.
From Once a week. | discourse. Tom was not a nervous man; TOM MORLAND'S PREFERMENT. the sight of the thirty or forty upturned
| faces from the open benches gave him no CHAPTER 1.
pang of alarm, and his sermon, which was “ CHANLEIGH! Chanleigh ! shouted the brief, and very much to the point, did not guard, with a conventional accentuation on suffer from the circumstances under which the word which almost prevented its recog- he preached it. He was leaving the church nition, and Tom Morland, who had been on at the conclusion of the service, when the the look-out for the station for the last quar-old beadie, whose cheeks were like a winter ter of an hour, got out of the train. But apple, hurried up to him with the intelliChanleigh was not his destination. He in- gence that Squire Luttrell had brought a visquired of the station master how far off the itor to church with him that afternoon, and village of Beauchamp was ; and learning that he had it on the authority of the squire's that the distance might be something bet- servants that the visitor was no other than ter nor three miles," he desired that his lug-the Bishop of
Tom remembered gage might be sent.on in the solitary square that once or twice during the service he had box on wheels which, doing duty as a fly, met the eyes of a little old gentleman in the had come down from the inn on speculation ; squiro's pew, and he laughed as he caught and set out on foot in the direction indicated. himself wishing that he had not left his ser
"I take yon to be the new parson of Beau- mon in his best coat pocket. Three weeks champ," said one of the bystanders to an- afterwards, when Tom had almost forgotten other.
the occurrence, the squire's distinguished The supposition was a correct one. Tom visitor presented him to the living of BcauMorland, at thirty-seven years of age, had champ, of the annual value of three hunbecome rector of Beauchamp. He had been dred and twenty-seven pounds. a hard-working curate for thirteen years : Tom came down to his new home a solitary during a portion of them he had had the man. His father and mother had died when care of a large, straggling parish, in the op- he was young: the money they left behind posite extremities of which he held three ser- them had barely served to complete bis prepvices every Sunday. His preferment came aration for the church. He had had a sister to him in this wise. One Sunday afternoon some years older than bimself, far away in he had arrived, according to his custom, at India, and married to a chaplain there. She a little chapel on a breezy common, which was a fair, gentle, kind-hearted creature. was situated some miles from the vicarage She had been Tom's ideal of womanly perhouse in which he was permitted to live du- fection in his childhood, and so she remained ring the lengthened absence of its rightful throughout his life. He never saw her after owner in Italy. He was in the act of put their separation in his youth. She was ting on his surplice, when a sudden idea amongst the victims of a violent outbreak of caused him to feel in his pocket for his ser- cholera at a distant station, and her death mon,-in vain. He remembered that the was the sole darkening shadow on Tom's life, weather having suddenly changed just be- which was otherwise essentially a happy one. fore his leaving home, he had taken off his He had strong health and buoyant spirits ; coat and put on an older and thicker one : perhaps he had but an ordinary intellect, but in the pocket of his best garment the sermon he was thoroughly practical in his dealings had undoubtedly remained. Tom Morland with the souls as well as the bodies of his had never yet attempted an extempore ser fellow-men, and he had an honest-hearted mon : he held that the mere fact of writing sincerity about him that won him friends down ideas compelled a closer and deeper amongst all classes. In person he was tall study of the subject; that what was unsound and stout, with a cheerful smile and kindly in the matter would sometimes strike the brown eyes. His was something better than outward eye more readily than the inward merely a handsome face: it was a bright and one. Nevertheless, on this occasion, there genial one. was no help for it. While the congregation The fly containing Tom's luggage rumbled were singing four verses of a hymn, he made by, and was some time before it was out of up his mind what text he would take for his sight. He strode on with a pleasant sense of freedom ia his limbs. The country grew | idently a cripple--for a little pair of crutches picturesque as he left the town of Chanleigh bad rolled away into a ditch-lay on the bebind him. It was certainly flat, but then ground, unable to rise. In another moment, it was well wooded, and watered by a little just as Tom had almost eucceeded in reaching river that ran swiftly and clearly over its him, he was rescued by a woman's hand, pebbly bed. On the banks grew tall grasses, with the fond foolish words which will serve luxuriant in the shade of the willows. He as a panacea for half the woes of childhood came at length upon a common, covered with till the end of time. Tom turned to the long brambles, stretching over stunted gorse speaker. She had a care-worn look, and was bushes, behind which were hid away pools almost shabbily dressed ; but she had a proof water known only to the cottagers' asses fusion of fair hair, and large gray eyes, and their foals, and one or two worn-out whose expression atoned for waning youth plough-borses turned out to graze there. and freshness. The children made way for Leaving the common to his right, he made her eagerly, and Jemmy Bates himself seemed his way down a shady lane, arched with long thankful to be near her even at the cost of branches of elm and oak, and presently came his bruises. The boy who had knocked him upon a village which he rightly concluded down slunk away. to be Beauchamp. At intervals he had “Now, Jemmy,” she said, " we will go passed several farmhouses, which wore an home together, and to-morrow you shall wait air of comfort and plenty. The village, how- for me. I dare say it was carelessness; no ever, was not in character with them. Damp one would be so cruel as to hit you a blow on had seized on many of the cottages. Here, purposc." the roof, the walls, and the out-bouses were “Oh, yes, Miss Letitia; I saw him!” covered with a moss of vivid green, which was the general cry. "I did !” and “I clung tenaciously, and turned all to rotten- did !” 66 And I am afraid I did," said Tom, ness beneath it; there, the door was coated who had raised his hat to Miss Letitia, and with a fungus which grew as surely as the walked on by her side. night came, to be destroyed in the morning, " Are you Mr. Morland?" she asked. and to grow again, till man's patience was " Then do not judge of the boys by this unexhausted in the conflict. Hinges had given lucky incident. They are good on the whole ; way; locks were loose, for the screws would but the schoolmaster has lately suffered much never stay in ; a dozen carpenters might work from ill-health, and they have been for some from morning till night without effecting time without the personal superintendence of much good with such unsatisfactory materi- a clergyman. Altogether, circumstances have als. At every third or fourth house beer been against them." was licensed “ to be drunk on the premises."! Tom said truly that children good, bad, or The inn, where hung the sign of the Golden indifferent were always an object of interest Lion—a prodigious animal with a mane of to him. He had been watching poor little startling brilliancy-was a modern building Jemmy Bates limping painfully by his side, of brick, and apparently the only one in de- and somewhat to the boy's astonishment cent repair. Near it stood the school-house be took him up in his arms and carried in a dilapidated state, and contrasting pain- him along. The distance was soon accomfully with its neighbor. Tom had heard the plished. Tom deposited his burden in his church clock strike four as he came up to it, mother's cottage, and was overwhelmed with and in a moment out rushed a swarm of chil- her thanks. Miss Letitia having pointed out dren : boys, girls, and infants. He watched to him the nearest way to the rectory, went them with keen interest. They were the on her way, and another half-mile brought soil in which he was to plant seeds, to weed, him to his journey's end. The house which to reap-God granting itthe harvest of re-was henceforward to be his dwelling-place ward. Half a dozen boys a little older than was before him. It was one story high, the rest were in loud turmoil. From the with lattice windows, and a porch, over midst of the group Tom heard a rattling wbich grew honeysuckles and roses in the noise, then a groan: and a cry of “ Shame wildest luxuriance. An unsparing hand bad to knock down Jemmy Bates !” broke from planted half a dozen sorts of climbers bethe rest. A boy, about ten years of age, ev- neath the windows; one of these had served
as a trellis to another, and so on, till the came-as they sometimes did he lived gayly whole front of the house was in a tangle of at Beauchamp, giving pleasant little dinners foliage. In front was a little grass-plot: no to the sprightliest people he could get toscythe had touched its growth for months, gether ; never troubling himself with parish and the gravel path that ran round it was al- work, preaching effectively what he seldom most choked with weeds. It was a neglected attempted to practice, and never striving spot.
to restrain his son in the downward course Tom had bought the household furniture in which he had walked from his boyhood of the executors of the late incumbent, and upwards. Three years passed on thus. Sudan elderly woman, who had been left in denly the news spread like wildfire in Chancharge of the house, was engaged by him as leigh and Beauchamp that George Nugent his housekeeper. His Lares and Penates had left Mr. Wortleby's office overnight, and were thus already set up. To be enabled to had taken his passage in a vessel that sailed form some idea of the work Tom had before on the following morning for Australia. Was him, it will be necessary to revert to a period his father acquainted with his movements ? sixteen years antecedent to his entering on Nobody ever knew; nobody demurred when the living. The rector of Beauchamp was, he stated his inability to meet his son's at that time, named Nevil. He was a wid-debts ; nobody wondered at his evasion of ower, with one daughter. She was scarcely the just demands on his time, his energy, or seventeen years of age, but she had been his income. An affection of the lungs was a her father's almoner, sick-nurse, and school sufficient excuse to the Bishop of the diocese teacher from childhood. Her education had for Mr. Nugent's residence in the south of been built upon his theories, and the result France, during the two last years of his life, had made her, in some measure, different and a succession of ill-paid curates took the from other girls. She gave all her energies duty at Beauchamp. One became ill and to assist him in the care of the parish, mak- unfit for work from the effects of the damp; ing no friends in her own class of life. another, who had come fresh from a manuWhen his death occurred suddenly, she found facturing town, where he had been accusherself alone in the world. An old fellow- tomed to appeal to intellects as keen as collegian of her father presented her case to his own, gave up his rural congregation a charitable fund, which conferred a small in despair after he had examined a few of annuity upon her, and Letitia Nevil settled the most intelligent-looking members in the down in the place which circumstances had churchyard on the subject of the sermon he endeared to her, on an income of fifteen had just delivered; a third levelled such pounds a year; her skill in needlework, straightforward denunciations at what he and her industry in various ways, supply-considered the hopeless lethargy of his flock, ing whatever her need required beyond that that they grew too timid to venture into amount. The new rector, Mr. Nugent, was church at all. But in truth it was a discouran elderly man of good family-handsome, aging field for action, for no one could look eloquent and agreeable. His wife, who was at the vacant eye and the meagre developthe daughter of a spendthrift Irish peer, died ment of brain amongst the laboring populasoon after his arrival in the parish ; and his lation, and hope for much fruit from so saponly son, on leaving college was placed in the less a tree. When death removed Mr. Nuoffice of Mr. Wortleby, the solicitor at Chan- gent from the supervision of the work to leigh. George Nagent was like his father in which he had never had sufficient energy to person, careless and extravagant as the elder put his own hand, it was owing to the fact man was also. Mr. Nugent's debts had ac- of a sermon lying forgotten in the pocket of cuinulated with his years, but they never sat a coat that an industrious and earnest-minded heavily on his shoulders, like the old man of man had come to fill his place. the sea, as they do on many others ; for when his creditors were pressing, he packed
CHAPTER II. up his travelling bags and went to Paris or MR. WORTLEBY lived in a large, gloomy Brussels till they became weary, or resigned house in Chanleigh, of which the lower part to the hopelessness of their case. He was was entirely set apart for the transaction of always expecting windfalls. When they business. On either side of the street-door,
which had a ponderous hard-headed looking more closely in his selfishness. The girls knocker upon it, and a brass-plate, which were strongly attached to their mother, who was suffered to turn green, were the offices; drew all the sunshine of her existence from behind the larger of the two was Mr. Wor- their kindness and affection. They were but tleby's private room. But into this he had little known amongst their own class in Channot yet descended. He was at breakfast up-leigh. If a neighbor chanced to call at any stairs; at breakfast grimly, solemnly, in the time after two o'clock in the day, by which midst of his family; the hush that pervades hour the family dinner was concluded, Mrs. all atmospheres when the ruling spirit is a Wortleby invaribly saluted her with a wistcruel one was perceptible in the room. Mr. ful request to " stay to tea”-provided, of Wortleby was somewhat past the prime of course, as it generally bappened, Mr. Worlife; tall, and well-bred, looking with a cold tleby was from home. This was the extent blue eye, and a purple lip that only became to which she indulged herself in the pleaslife-like when his temper was roused. In ures of society. his intercourse with his superiors his man- It was Saturday morning, and the usual ners were exquisitely polished ; with his supply of newspapers had arrived. Mr. equals he was haughty and arrogant; to his Wortleby had a way of appropriating them inferiors he was symply a tyrant. Amongst to his own use which no one ever ventured the latter class he reckoned his family. Early to dispute. The Economist was thrust under in life he had married the daughter of a the cushion of his chair ; beneath bis elbows farmer, for the sake of a little hoard of were two county papers, and he held the money, which served to buy the business of Times in his hands. His attitude symbolized the solicitor to whom he had been articled, his life. and to secure the best connection in the coun- A knock at the door of the breakfast-room try. This object attained, he never professed interrupted his study of the course of events, to care whether Mrs. Wortleby lived or died. and a junior clerk, with cheeks that always She bore him seven daughters : like herself, became cherry-colored at the sight of the neither pretty nor remarkably ugly; ordi- seven Miss Wortlebys, announced “Miss nary in ability as in person. As they grew Nevil, on business." " Let her wait in my up to womanhood, Mr. Wortleby would sit room," said Mr. Wortleby. It was unnecand gaze at them, his hand supporting his essary for him to hurry himself on her acchin, almost savagely. Not one of them re-count: her position did not justify such a sembled him; not one of them had a redeem- proceeding. He had barely tolerated her ing point of beauty. Mr. Wortleby was a since the day when Mrs. Wortleby had instaunch Conservative: he numbered amongst nocently let fall an observation on the fact his clients the representatives of the landed of her mainly supporting herself by various interest of the county ; he was land-steward kinds of intricate needlework, which were to three noblemen ; he sat at their tables, he sent from time to time to an agent in Lonwent ou professional visits to their houses. don. It was sufficient to prove her loss of Of course he never dreamt of presenting Mrs. caste, Mr. Wortleby said, that Mr. Parkins Wortleby to their notice, but for a daughter the grocer of Chanleigh, had made her an
he would have had no difficulty in procuring offer of marriage on becoming acquainted * an introduction, provided she had beauty or with the fact. How this had ever come to
talent, or, better still, the two requisites be a matter of public gossip had never clearcombined. To have heard “ Wortleby's ly transpired. Mr. Parkins, a liberally-diedaughter" praised for her beauty, for her posed man, giving credit for many an ounce singing, for any attraction or accomplishment of tea and rasher of bacon which he never that would entitle her to be “ taken up” by expected to get paid for, had learned to look the class he loved to be amongst—this was on Miss Letitia as the perfection of womanly the craving of his heart, and in it he was grace and sweetness. He was unprepared doomed to a life-long disappointment. As for the discovery that she took wages for her one little snub-nose after another grew out work, as Miss Simms the village dressmaker of the age which their simple-hearted mother did for hers, and with a feeling of chivalry looked upon as cherubhood, Mr. Wortleby rather than of presumption, he had offered sigbed bitterly, and wrapped himself still her his home and his honest heart as a desira