« 이전계속 »
window. The street door opened, and turned, so as to let in the light of with a light step, the graceful form of heaven and my own gaze! I could my heroine came forth and descended see through the spaces, directly down to the carriage. At that moment into the room, as distinctly as if there (some men surely are born under the was no obstruction! This I give as auspices of more indulgent stars than a hint to all concerned, who have reothers)--the stranger rode up, bowed volving leaves to their Venetian blinds. with ineffable grace, and—(blessed en- Attic gentlemen are much edified counter that with the omnibus-wheel!) thereby! The next moment he was -his bow was acknowledged by an in- in the room, his hand upon his heart clination of her superb head, and a —another, and I saw him at her feet ! smile that would make a man of any Sir-would that I had language to soul seek accidents even in the “ can- paint you the scene ! Lady—I then non's mouth.” He rode slowly for learned the “art of love !" I shall ward, and, in a few seconds, the car. have confidence, I have so good a patriage took the same direction. There tern, when I go to make my declaraare no inferences to be drawn from tion! The declaration, the confession, this, reader! All the other carriages the acceptation, all passed beneath passed the same route. It was he me most edifyingly. Then came the customary one! At the melting of labial seal, that made his bliss secure. twilight into night, the throng of riders By his animated gestures, I could see and drivers repassed. “The lady's" he was urging her to take some sudcarriage-(it was a landau, and the den step. She at first appeared retop was thrown back)—came last of luctant, but gradually becoming more all! The cavalier was riding beside placable, yielded. In ten minutes it! He dismounted as it drew up the landau was at the door. They before the door, assisted her to the came out arm in arm, and entered it! pavé, and took his leave! For several I could hear the order to the coachafternoons, successively, the gentle- man,“ Drive to St. John's Church,” man's appearance, mounted on his “An elopement!” thought I. “Havnoble animal, was simultaneous with ing been in at breaking cover, I will that of the lady at her carriage. One be in at the death !” and taking my evening they were unusually late on hat and gloves, I descended, as if I their return. Finally the landau drew carried a policy of insurance upon my up before the door. It was too dark life in my pocket, the long flights of to see faces, but I could have sworn stairs to the street, bolted out of the the equestrian was not the stranger ! front door, and followed the landau, No! He dismounted, opened the door which I discerned just turning the of the carriage, and the gentleman corner of street! I followed and lady descended! The footman full fast on foot. I eschew omnibuses. had rode his horse, while he, happy They are vulgar! When I arrived at man! occupied a seat by the side of the church, the carriage was before it, the fair-one! I watched the progress and the “ happy pair,” already joined of this amour for several days, and together, were just crossing the trotstill the stranger had never entered toir to re-enter it !-the grinning the house. One day, however, about footman, who had legally witnessed three o'clock, P. M., I saw him loung- the ceremony, following them ! ing past, with that ease and self-pos- The next day, about noon, a capasession which characterised him. He cious family carriage rolled up to the passed and repassed the house two or door of the mansion, followed by a three times, and then rather hastily as- barouche with servants and baggage. cending the steps of the portico, pulled First descended an elderly gentleman at the bell. The next moment he was who cast his eyes over the building, admitted, and disappeared out of my to see if it stood where it did when sight. But only for a moment, reader! he left it. Then came, one after an attic hath its advantages ! The another, two beautiful girls ; then a blinds of the drawing-room were handsome young man.
" How glad drawn, and impervious to any glance I am that I have got home again," from the street ; but the leaves were exclaimed one of the young ladies,
running up the steps to the door. THE WINTER OF THE MIND. “I wonder where Jane is, that she does not meet us?”
Oh coldly gleams the setting sun, The sylph rung the bell as she spoke. And the dews of eve are chill ; I could see down through the blinds The flood is in the valley, into the drawing-room. There was a And the mist upon the hill. scene!
November's blast comes sweeping The gentleman was for going to the Through the forest lone and seredoor, and the lady, his bride, was And the waning year goes creeping striving to prevent him !
To her cold and wintry bier. sha'n't "-"I will”'--"I say you sha’n’t"_“I say I will”-were in. What matter? Spring is coming, terchanged as certainly between the In a path bestrewn with flowers; parties, as if I had heard the words. And joyous summer follows, The gentleman, or rather husband,
With the laughing, rosy hours ; prevailed. I saw him leave the room, And warm again will beam the sun, and the next moment, open the street- And gently breathe the wind door. The young ladies started back But when comes spring or summer at the presence of the new footman. To the winter of the mind ? The old gentleman, who was now at When the glow of life has faded, the door, inquired as he saw him, loud enough for me to hear, “Who in the
And comes on the ague-chilldevil's name are you, sir?"
And the spirit's spring is broken, “I have the honour to be your son
That mock'd each petty illin-law !”
And the world's cold ways are round “ The devil you have! And who may you have the honour to be?” And Hope no longer cheers
“The Count 1-y!" with a bow And fond, bright dreams lie buried of ineffable condescension.
In the ashes of past years :“You are an impostor, sir !"
Why what remains ? To bear our fate “Here is your eldest daughter, my And breast the downward tide ;wife," replied the newly-made hus. And quell each weak and foolish plaint, band, taking by the hand his lovely
And patiently abide bride, who had come imploringly for. Our earthly doom : and firmly keep ward as the disturbance reached her
The spirit free from stain,“ Here is my wife, your daugh. And calmly walk in duty's pathter!"
We shall not walk in vain : “ You are mistaken, sir, she is my housekeeper!
For partial gleams of gladness A scene followed that cannot be Will yet come, as of yore; described. The nobleman had married And mirth leap up from sadness, the gentleman's charming housekeeper. Though joy returns no more! She had spread the snare, and, like And temperate autumn's soothing many a wiser fool, he had fallen into thoughts it.
Will gently round us windHalf an hour afterwards, a hack But ne'er come spring or summer drove to the servants' hall door, and To the winter of the mind. my heroine came forth, closely veiled, with bag and baggage, and drove away. The count, for such he was, I saw no more! I saw his name gazetted as a MISERY.—“Why, when nature is passenger in a packet ship that sailed so full of joyousness, when, at the a day or two after for Hayre. How summer season, vegetation basks in he escaped from the mansion remaineth beauty and delight, and the very yet a mystery ! Henceforth, dear clouds seem to enjoy their aerial abode reader, I most conscientiously eschew in the upper sky, why should misery matrimony !
find an abode in the breast of man?"
THE JUNIOR PARTNER. It was twelve o'clock, and a plain
chariot with a simple crest on the It was what is called by people on panels, slowly picked its way through the continent a “ London day.” A the choked and disputed thoroughfare thin, grey mist drizzled down through east of Temple Bar. The smart glazed the smoke which darkened the long hat of the coachman, the well-fitted cavern of Fleet street; the sidewalks drab great-coat and gaiters of the foot. were slippery and clammy; the drays man, and the sort of half-submissive, slid from side to side on the greasy half-contemptuous look on both their pavement, creating a perpetual clamour faces, (implying that they were bound among the lighter carriages with which to drive to the devil if it were miladi's they came in contact; the porters orders, but that the rabble of Fleet wondered that “gemmen" would carry street was a leetle too vulgar for their their umbrellas up when there was no contact,) expressed very plainly that rain, and the gentlemen wondered that the lady within was a denizen of a more porters should be permitted on the privileged quarter, but had chosen a sidewalks; there were passengers in rainy day for some compulsory visit to box-coats though it was the first of “the city." May, and beggars with bare breasts At the rate of perhaps a mile an though it was chilly as November; the hour, the well-groomed night-horsesboys were looking wistfully into the (a pair of smart, hardy, twelve-mile hosier's windows, who were generally cabs, all bottom but little style, kept at the pastry-cook's, and there were for night-work and forced journeys) persons who wished to know the time, -had threaded the tortuous entrails trying in vain to see the dial of St. of London, and had arrived at the arch Paul's through the gamboge atmos- of a dark court in Throgmorton-street. phere.
The coachman put his wheels snug Vol. I. (23.)
against the edge of the sidewalk, to ness,” said the junior partner, in the avoid being crushed by the passing same well-enunciated tone of courtesy. drays, and settled his many-caped “ Then,” replied the lady with a benjamin about him; while the foot- smile, “ Lord Augustus Fitz-Moi, who man spread his umbrella, and making looks at himself all dinner-time in a a balustrade of his arm for his mis- spoon, will be the Apollo of the hour. tress's assistance, a closely-veiled lady What a pity such a handsome creature descended and disappeared up the wet should be so vain! By the way, Mr. and ill-paved avenue.
Firkins, you live without a lookingThe green-baize door of Firkins and glass, I see.” Co. opened on its silent hinges, and “ Your ladyship reminds me that admitted the mysterious visitor, who, this is merely a place of business. enquiring of the nearest clerk if the May I ask at once what errand has junior partner was in, was showed to procured me the honour of a visit on a small inner room containing a desk, so unpleasant a day?” two chairs, a coal fire, and a young A slight flush brightened the cheek gentleman. The last article of furni- and forehead of the beautiful woman, ture rose on the lady's entrance, and as she compressed her lips, and forced as she threw off her veil he made a low herself to say with affected ease, bow, with the air of a gentleman who want of five hundred pounds." is neither surprised nor embarrassed, The junior partner paused an instant, and pushing aside the door-check, they while the lady tapped with her boot were left alone.
upon the fender in ill-dissembled There was that forced complaisance anxiety, and then, turning to his desk, in the lady's manner on her first en- he filled up the check without remark, trance, which produced the slightest presented it, and took his hat to wait possible elevation in a very scornful on her to her carriage. A gleam of lip owned by the junior partner, but relief and pleasure shot over her the lady was only forty-five, high- countenance as she closed her small born, and very handsome, and as she jewelled hand over it, followed imlooked at the fine specimen of nature's mediately by a look of embarrassed nobility, who met her with a look as inquiry into the face of the unquestionproud and yet as gentle as her own, ing banker. the smoke of Fleet street passed away “ I am in your debt already." from her memory; and she became “Thirty thousand pounds, madam!'' natural and even gracious. The effect “And for this you think the securi. upon the junior partner was simply ties on the estate of Rockland" that of removing from his breast the “ Are worth nothing; madam ! But shade of her first impression.
it rains. I regret that your ladyship's “I have brought you,” said his carriage cannot come to the door. In visitor, drawing a card from her the old-fashioned days of sedan-chairs, reticule, an invitation to the duchess now, the dark courts of Lothbury of Hautaigle's ball. She sent me half must have been more attractive. By a dozen to fill up for what she calls the way, talking of Lothbury, there is
ornamentals”—and I am sure I shall Lady Roseberry's fête champêtre next scarce find another who comes so de. week. If you should chance to have a cidedly under her grace's category.”
The fair speaker had delivered this “ Twenty, if you like-I am too pretty speech in the sweetest and best. happy-really, Mr. Firkinsbred tone of St. James's, looking the “ It's on the fifteenth ; I shall have while at the toe of the small brodequin the honour of seeing your ladyship which she held up to the fire-perhaps there! Good morning! Home, coach. thinking only of drying it. As she man !" concluded her sentence, she turned to " Does this man love me?" was her companion for an answer, and was Lady Ravelgold's first thought, as she surprised at the impassive politeness sank back in her returning chariot. of his bow of acknowledgment. Yet no! he was even rude in his haste
“I regret that I shall not be able to to be rid of me. And I would will. avail myself of your ladyship’s kind- ingly have staid, too ; for there is some.
thing about him of a mark that I like. being understood to enumerate all Ay, and he must have seen it-a lighter “ the nice young men” of the West encouragement has been interpreted end, besides the guardsmen. (The more readily. Five hundred pounds! ton of the latter, in all matters that really, five hundred pounds ! And affect the style of the regiment, is thirty thousand at the back of it! looked after by the club and the What does he mean? Heavens, if he colonel.) The junior Firkins seemed should be deeper than I thought! If an exception to this exclusive rule. he should wish to involve me first !" No “ nice man" could come from
And spite of the horror with which Lothbury, and he did not visit Lady the thought was met in the mind of ; but his horse was faultless, and Lady Ravelgold, the blush over her when he turned into the gate of Rose forehead died away into a half smile Eden, the policeman at the porter's and a brighter tint in her lips; and as lodge, though he did not know him, the carriage wound slowly on through thought it unnecessary to ask for his the confused press of Fleet street and
Away he spattered up the the Strand, the image of the handsome hilly avenue, and giving the reins to his and haughty young banker shut her groom at the end of a green arbour eyes from all sounds without, and she leading to the reception-lawn, he walkwas at her own door in Grosvenor ed in and made his bow to Lady Rosesquare before she had changed position, berry, who remarked, “ How very or wandered for half a moment from handsome! Who can he be ?" and the subject of those busy dreams. the junior partner walked on and dis
appeared down an avenue of laburnums. The morning of the fifteenth of May Ah! but Rose Eden looked a paraseemed to have been appointed by all dise that day! Hundreds had passed the flowers as a jubilee of perfume and across the closely-shaven lawn, with a bloom. The birds had been invited bow to the lady-mistress of this fairy and sang in the summer with a wel- abode. Yet the grounds were still come as full-throated as a prima donna private enough for Milton's pair, so singing down the tenor in a duet ; the lost were they in the green labyrinths most laggard buds turned out their of hill and dale. Some had descended hearts to the sunshine, and promised through heavily-shaded paths to a fancy leaves on the morrow, and that portion dairy, built over a fountain in the bot. of London that had been invited to tom of a cool dell; and here, amid her Lady Roseberry's
fête, thought it a milk-pans of old and costly china, the very fine day! That portion which prettiest maid in the country round was not, wondered how people would pattered about upon a floor of Dutch go sweltering about in such a glare for tiles, and served her visitors with a cold dinner!
creams and ices; already, as it were, At about half-past two, a very adapted to fashionable comprehension. elegant dark green cab without a crest, Some had strayed to the ornamental and with a servant in whose slight cottages in the skirts of the flowerfigure and plain blue livery there was garden--poetical abodes, built from a not a fault, whirled out at the gate of picturesque drawing, with imitation the Regent's Park, and took its way roughness; thatch, lattice window, and up the well-watered road leading to low paling, all complete ; and inhabi. Hampstead. The gentlemen whom ted by superannuated dependants of it passed or met, turned to admire the Lord Roseberry,whose only duties were performance of the dark grey horse, to look like patriarchs, and give tea and the ladies looked after the cab as and new cream-cheese to visitors on if they could see the handsome oc- fête-days. Some had gone to see the cupant once more through its leather silver and gold pheasants in their wire back. Whether by conspiracy among houses-stately aristocrats of the game the coachmakers, or by an aristocracy tribe, who carry their finely pencilled of taste, the degree of elegance in a feathers like si Marmalet Madarus," turn-out attained by the cab just de- strutting in hoop and farthingale. cribed, is usually confined to the ac- Some had gone to the kennels, to see quaintances of Lady ; that list setters and pointers, hounds and ter