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strained fun of the girls, were, I admit, when I recovered my composure in some degree, a great treat. While Daly, “helping himself and passing the bottle” to me, kept up a fire of conversation, which, if the senior Dods had known anything of the world, would have convinced them in ten minutes that the part of measurer was an assumed one. It certainly was a sight to see the respectable lady of the house pleading the cause of her conservatory, and piling the choicest fruits upon the plate of the arbiter of her destinies, while Fanny's civilities to me were as zealously displayed. I would have given the world to own the truth; and I am sure, if we had done so, we should not have been the worse received; for, independently of the excellence of the joke and the impudence of the proceeding, the relief which would have been afforded to the minds of the whole Doddery would have ensured us their eternal favour and affection.
Daly having finished the claret, and taken a last “stopper over all,” as the sailors say, of sherry, gave me the signal for departure. I, too, gladly took the hint, and drew back my chair. Fanny looked as if she thought we were in a hurry; however, it was getting late, and my master had some distance to pull. We accordingly rose and prepared to take leave. I bowed my adieu to the girls, and, I think, shook hands with Fanny, at which I saw Augusta toss back her head and throw up her eyes, as much as to say, “Well, Fanny!” meaning exactly the reverse. I bowed low to my Lady Dod, and Sir Timothy attended us to our boat. I stepped in; Daly was at the bow; Sir Timothy desired the man who had been left in charge of the funny to go away; and then I saw, with doubt and trepidation, the respectable dupe of Daly's consummate impudence shake him by the hand with a peculiarity of manner which particularly attracted my attention. I saw him in the execution of this manoeuvre press upon his palm a bank-note, with a flourish in the corner like the top of a raspberry tartlet.
I never was more agitated. If Daly took this bribe for saving the corner of the conservatory it was an actof swindling. The strawberries, grapes, and claret, were fit matters of joke, although it was carrying the joke a little too far; but money, if he took that, I was resolved to avow the whole affair to Sir Timothy, show up my companion, and leave him to the fate he deserved. Judge my mingled delight and horror when I heard him say,+
“Sir! what I have done in your house or in your society to induce you to believe me capable of taking a bribe to compromise my duty, I really don’t know. Mr. Higgins, I call you to witness that this person has had the insolence to put a fifty-pound bank-note into my hand. Witness, too, the manner in which I throw it back to him.” Here he suited the word to the action. “Learn, old gentleman,” continued he, with an anger so well feigned that I almost believed him in earnest, “ that neither fifty nor fifty thousand pounds will warp an honest man from the duty he owes to his employers; and so, Sir, good night, and rely upon it, your conservatory goes, rely upon it, Sir Timothy;—it is the right line, and the short line,—and I feel it incumbent on me not only to tell the history of your petty bribe, but to prove my unimpeachable integrity by running the canal right under your dining-room windows; and so, Sir, good night.”
Saying which he jumped into the boat, and pulling away manfully,
left his unfortunate victim in all the horrors of defeated corruption, and the certainty of the destruction of his most favourite object, for the preservation of which he had actually crammed his betrayers, and committed himself to a perfect stranger.
I confess I regretted the termination of this adventure as much as I had apprehended its consequence in the beginning; however, Daly swore that it was right to leave the old gentleman in an agony of suspense for having entertained so mean an idea of his honour and honesty.
The thing seemed all like a dream, but I found myself awake when Daly ran the narrow nose of his boat into the nook at Teddington Church; there I landed, and having shaken my extraordinary friend by the hand, proceeded to my mother's villa, while he continued his pull to Hampton Court.
R EU OR D S OF PASS IN G THOUGH T.
OvALE and lake, within your mountain-urn
Trees, gracious trees' how rich a gift ye are,
And a lost mother's eye gives back its holy light.
And ye are strong to shelter 1 all meek things,
All that need home and covert, love your shade :
And stealthy violets, by the winds betrayed.
Childhood beneath your fresh green tents hath played
And silent grief, of day's keen glance afraid,
A native temple, solemn, hushed, and dim;
Confessed a spirit's breath, and heard a ceaseless hymn.
O gentle story of the Indian Isle
Still that last look is solemn—though o rays,
Winding in patience o'er the desert-plain, The tent, the palm-tree, the reposing flock, The gleaming fount, the shadow of the rock. Oh! by how subtle, yet how strong a chain, And in the influence of its touch how blest, Are these things linked, for many a thoughtful breast, With household memories, through all change endeared 1 The matin-bird, the ripple of a stream, Beside our native porch, the hearth-light's gleam, The voices earliest by the soul revered 1 XVI. ATTRACTION of THE EAST. What secret current of man's nature turns Unto the golden East, with ceaseless flow 2 Still, where the sunbeam at its fountain burns, The pilgrim-spirit would adore and glow. Rapt in high thought, though weary, faint, and slow, Still doth the traveller through the deserts wind, Led by those old Chaldean stars, which know Where passed the shepherd-fathers of mankind. Is it some quenchless instinct, which from far Still points to where our alienated home Lay in bright peace? O thou, true Eastern Star ! Saviour, atoming Lord! where'er we roam, Draw still our hearts to thee; else, else how vain Their hope the fair lost birthright to regain! XVII. To AN AGED FRIEND. Not long thy voice amongst us may be heard, Servant of God! thy day is almost done; The charm now lingering in thy look and word Is that which hangs about the setting sun, That which the meekness of decay hath won Still from revering love.—Yet doth the sense Of Life immortal—progress but begun— Pervade thy mien with such clear eloquence, That hope, not sadness breathes from thy decline; And the loved flowers which round thee smile farewell Of more than vernal glory seem to tell, By thy pure spirit touched with light divine; While we, to whom its parting gleams are given, Forget the grave in trustful thoughts of Heaven.
Oh! what a joy to feel that in my breast
The founts of childhood's vernal fancies lay Still pure, though heavily and long repress'd
By early-blighted leaves, which o'er their way
Dark summer-storms had heaped l But free, glad play Once more was given them;-to the sunshine's glow, And the sweet wood-song's penetrating flow,
And to the wandering primrose-breath of May, And the rich hawthorn odours, forth they sprung,
Oh! not less freshly bright, that now a thought Of spiritual presence o'er them hung,
And of immortal life l—a germ, unwrought In childhood's soul to power, now strong, serene, And full of love and light, colouring the whole blest scene
A VISIT TO “THE BROADS.”
“As the heart of the angler thus ran over with amiability, he was benignantly impaling a live frog upon a hook, to which he afterwards sewed its flesh for the Purpose of torturing a fish to death, without a single motive for either, but his own momentary gratification.” Description of Izaak Walton in “ Brambleye House.”
“Scene—The banks of a sedgy stream—it rains in torrents—Popjoy angling. He sits upon the wet ground, eyeing his quill. Enter a friend, warmly wrapped in a comfortable great coat, and sheltered by a large umbrella.
“‘ Have you had a bite, Popjoy P’
“Popjoy.—“No.' * Bell's Life in London,
It has been said a thousand and a thousand times, that only minds prone to reflection are susceptible of rural beauty. The truth, however, lies even deeper still. ...Whoever can feel with intense delight the glories of creation—a scene like that which is now slowly disclosing itself before my eyes from the mists of morning—a noble amphitheatre of wood, its gently undulating line of surface broken by a battlemented tower; the foreground, meadows intersected by a small serpentine stream lying in still and glassy smoothness; trees of all sorts of figures and dimensions, from the close dark-leaved alder, and the pale-green willow, to the tall and stately poplar intervening and marking the distances, with here and there the roof of a cottage and the smoke melting slow and unbroken into ether,
“While not a breath disturbs the deep serene;”—
whoever feels the uncalled, the intense delight which leads him through “Nature up to Nature's God,” and impresses, profoundly impresses, him with the loving-kindness of his Maker at sight of such a scene,— his is the mind that truly loves the beauty of the country. The enjoyment is constitutional, and belongs to temperament. It is mine, and I own it, though fully aware that the good citizens of London, and particularly the West-enders, will vote me a dullard, and all like me a very stupid set. N'importe—happiness is only happiness, the way we wish it.
It was with such thoughts, or rather in such a way of thinking, that I set out on the evening of Sunday, July 20, to visit friends who reside within four miles of the eastern coast of Norfolk—if not the ultima Thule at least the penitus divisos orbe of England, and therefore because so seldom seen or spoken of by the residents of brighter regions, worth putting upon record with other memorabilia of the passing time. The richness of the coming harvest glowed like gold in the evening sun. To my mere faculty of vision, as well as in my boundless sense of Divine power and glory, there is no display of opulence that approaches the opulence of fields thus waving with the produce of the year. Were I to survey from its loftiest pinnacle the finest city of the earth, it would convey to me no such conception of wealth or splendour. It is not that I am incapable of estimating the labours of man, but it is that I can understand and value the universal bounty of nature. , My soul is satiated through the single sense of sight; my eyes are enchanted with the affluence of colour, and the inimitable beauty of the substance; and an intuitive comprehension