Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

“I wish I was a housemaid."

uments that should have gone to him ; but "A housemaid, ma'am !” cried the girl, | 'everything is irregular here. There was no in almost horror.

master, and, worse, no mistress; but I'll “Well, a lady’s-maid. I mean, I'd like a hope, as they tell me here, that there will: life where my beaviest sorrow would be a soon be one.” refused leave to go out, or a sharp word or * I don't know - I have not heard." two for an ill-ironed collar. See who is “What a diplomatic damsel it is! Why, that at the door; there's some one tapping child, can't you be frank, and say if you are there the last two minutes."

coming back to live here? “ It's Miss Lucy, ma'am ; she wants to "I never suspected that I was in question know if she may come in ?".

at all; if I had, I'd have told you, as I tell Mis. Sewell' looked in the glass before you now, there is not the most remote probwhich she was sitting, and as speedily passed ability of such an event. We are going her hands across her brow, and by the ac- back to live at The Nest. Sir Brook has tion seeming to chase away the stern ex- bought it, and made it over to papa or mypression of her eyes; then, rising up with a self— I don't know which, but it means the face all smiles, she rushed to the door and same in the sense I care for, that we are to clasped Lucy in her arms, kissing her again be together again." and again, as she said, " I never dreamed of " How delightful! I declare, child, my such happiness as this ; but why didn't you envy of you goes on increasing every minute. come and awaken me ? why did you rob me I never was able to captivate any man, old of one precious moment of your presence ? ” or young, who would buy a beautiful house

“I knew how tired and worn-out you and give it to me. Of all the fortunate were. Grandpapa has told me of all your creatures I ever heard or read of, you are unwearying kindness.”

the luckiest." " Come over to the light, child, and let me " Perhaps I am. Indeed I own as much see you well. I'm wildly jealous of you, I to myself when I bethink me how little I must own, but I'll try to be fair and judge have contributed to my own good fortune." you honestly. My husband says you are “ And I," said she, with a heavy sigh, the loveliest creature he ever saw; and I " about the most unlucky! I suppose I startdeclare I'm afraid he spoke truly. What ed in life with almost as fair a promise as have you done with your eyes ? they are far your own. Not so handsome, I admit. I darker than they used to be; and this hair had neither these long lashes nor that won

you need not tell me it's all your own, derful hair, that gives you a look of one of child. Gold could not buy it. Yes, Jane, those Venetian beauties Giorgione used to you are right; she is perfectly beautiful.” paint ; still less that lovely mouth, which I

" Oh, do not turn iny head with vanity,” envy you more even than your eyes or your said Lucy, blushing.

skin ; but I was good-looking enough to be “ I wish I could — I wish I could do any- adınired, and I was admired, and some of thing to lesson any of your fascinations. my admirers were very great folk indeed ; Do you know it's very hard - very hard but I rejected them all and married Sewell! indeed — to forgive any one being so beauti- I need not tell you what came of that. Poor ful, and hardest of all for me to do so ?” papa foresaw it all. I believe it helped to

Why for you ? " said Lucy, anxiously. break his heart; it might have broken mine "I'll tell you another time,” said she, in a too if I happened to have one. There, don't half-whisper, and with a signifirant glance look horrified, darling, I wasn't born withat her maid, who, with the officiousness of out one; but what with vanity and distrust, her order, was taking far more than ordi- a reckless ambition to make a figure in the nary trouble to put things to rights. “ There, world, and a few other like good qualities, Jane," said her mistress at last, “ all that I made of the heart that ought to bave been opening and shutting of drawers is driving the home of anything that was worthy in me distracted; leave everything as it is, my nature, a scene of plot and intrigue, till and let us have quiet. Go and fetch me a at last I imagine it wore itself out, just as cup of chocolate.”

people do who have to follow uncongenial Nothing else, ma'am ?”

labour. It was like a lady set down to pick “ Nothing; and ask if there are any let- oakum! Why don't you laugh, dear, at my ters for me. It's a dreadful house, Lucy, absurd simile ?” for sending one's letters astray. The Chief “ Because you frighten me," said Lucy, used to have scores of little scented notes almost shuddering: sent up to him that were meant for me, and “ I'm certain," resumed the other, “I was I used to get masses of formal-looking doc- very like yourself when I was married. I

66

had been very carefully brought up – had | latterly, and the strong-minded race always excellent governesses, and was trained in all impart some of their hardness to the women the admirable discipline of a well-ordered who associate with them. You'll have to family. All I knew of life was the good come down to silly creatures like me, Lucy, side. I saw people at church on Sundays, to regain your softness.”. and fancied that they wore the same tran- “I

shall be delighted if you let me keep quil and virtuous faces throughout the your company." week. Above all things I was trustful and “ We will be sisters, darling, if you will confiding. Colonel Sewell soon uprooted only be frank with me." such delusions. He believed in nothing • Prove me if you like ; ask me anything nor in any one. If he had any theory at you will, and see if I will not answer you all of life, it was that the world consisted freely." of wolves and lambs, and that one must

“ Have

you told me all your Cagliari life make an early choice which fock he all ?" would belong to.

I'm ashamed to own “I think so; all at least that was worth what a zest it gave to existence to feel that telling.” the whole thing was a great game in which,

“ You had a shipwreck on your island, by the exercise of skill and cleverness, one we heard here; are such events so frequent might be almost sure to win. He soon that they make slight impression ?” made me as impassioned a gambler as “I was but speaking of ourselves and our himself, as ready to'risk anything - every- fortunes,” said Lucy; “ my narrative was thing - on the issue. But I have made all selfish.” you quite ill, child, with this dark revela- “ Come - I'never beat about the bush tion ; you are pale as death."

tell me one thing - it's a very abrupt way "No, I am only frightened – frightened to ask, but perhaps it's the best way - are and grieved.".

you going to be married ?” “ Don't grieve for me,” said the other, “I don't know," said she ; and her face haughtily. There is nothing I couldn't and neck became crimson in a moment. more easily forgive than pity. But let me “ You don't know! Do you mean that turn from my odious self and talk of you. you're like one of those young ladies in the I want you to tell me everything about foreign convents who are sent for to accept your fortune, where you have been all this a husband whenever the papas and mamtime, what seeing and doing, and what is mas have agreed upon the terms ? " the vista in front of you ? "

“ Not that; but I mean that I am not Lucy gave a full account of Cagliari and sure whether grandpapa will give his conher life there, narrating how blank their sent, and without it, papa will pot either.". first hopes had been, and what a glorious “ And why should not grandpa say yes ? fortune had crowned them at last. “ I'm Major Trafford – we needn't talk riúdles to afraid to say what the mine returns at each other — Major Trafford has a good present; and they say it is a mere nothing position, a good name, and will have a to what it may yield when improved means good estate- - are not these the three gifts of working are employed, new shafts sunk, the mothers of England go in pursuit of?”. and steam power engaged.”

" His family, I suspect, wish him to look “ Don't get technical, darling ; I'll take higher; at all events they don't like the your word for Sir Brook's wealth ; only tell idea of an Irish daughter-in-law." me what he means to do with it. You “More fools they! Irish women, of the know he gambled away one large fortune better class, are more ready to respond to already, and squandered another, nobody good treatment, and less given to resent knows how. Has he gained anything by bad usage, than any I ever met.” these experiences to do better with the " Then I have just heard since I came third ?”

over that Lady Trafford has written to “ I have only heard of his acts of munifi- grandpapa in a tone of such condescension cence or generosity,” said Lucy, gravely. and gentle sorrow, that it has driven him

“ What a reproachful face to put on, and half crazy. Indeed, his continual inference for so little !” said the other, laughing. from the letter is – What must the son of “ You don't think that when I said he gam- such a woman be!" bled I thought the worse of him.”

" That's most unfair !" Perhaps not; but you meant that I “ So they have all told him — papa, and should."

Beattie, and even Mr. Haire, who met Lio“ You are too sharp in your casuistry; nel one morning at Beattie's." but you have been living with only men Perhaps I might be of service here;

nesses.

what a blush, child I dear me, you are crim- | the deposit; but it is a great mistake, as he son, far too deep for beauty. How I bave bas found by this time. But don't let this fluttered the dear little bird, but I'm not make you unhappy, dear; tbere never was going to rob its nest, or steal its mate away. less cause for unhappiness. It is just of All I meant was, that I could exactly con- these sort of men the model husbands are tribute that sort of worldly testimony to the made. The male heart is a very tough goodness of the match that old people like piece of anatomy, and requires a good deal and ask for. You must never talk to them of manipulation to make it tender, and, as about affections, nor so much as allude to you will learn one day, it is far better all tastes or tempers; never expatiate on any- this should be done before marriage than thing that cannot be communicated by after. Well, Jane, I did begin to think parchment, and attested by proper wit- you had forgotten about the chocolate. It

Whatever is not subject to stamp- is about an hour since I asked for it.” duty, they set down as mere moonshine.” “ Indeed, ma'am, it was Mr. Chaytor's

While she thus ran on, Lucy's thoughts fault; he was a-shooitng rabbits with annever strayed from a certain letter which other gentleman.” had once thrown a dark shadow over her, “ There, there, spare me Mr. Chaytor's and even yet left a gloomy memory behind diversions, and fetch me some sugar.”. it. The rapidity with which Mrs. Sewell “Mr. Lendrick and another gentleman, spoke, too, had less the air of one carried ma’am, is below, and wants to see Miss away by the strong current of feeling than Lucy.” of a speaker who was uttering everything, A young gentleman, Jane ?" asked anything, to relieve her own overburdened Mrs. Sewell, while her eyes flashed with a mind.

sudden fierce brilliancy. “ You look very grave, Lucy,” went she “No, ma'am, an old gentleman, with a

" I suspect I know what's passing in white beard, very tall and stern to look that little brain. You are doubting if I at.”. should be the fittest person to employ on “ We don't care for descriptions of old the negotiation; come, now, confess it.” gentlemen, Jane. Do we, Lucy ? Must you

You have guessed aright,” said Lucy, go, darling ?” gravely.

“ Yes ; papa perhaps wants me.” “ But all that's past and over, child. “ Come back to me soon, pet.

Now that The whole is a mere memory now, if even we have no false barriers between us, we so much. Men have a trick of thinking, can talk in fullest confidence.” once they have interested a woman on their Lucy hurried away, but no sooner had behalf, that the sentiment survives all she reached the corridor than she burst into changes of time and circumstance, and that tears. they can come back after years and claim

on,

[blocks in formation]

SUS :

From the Edinburgh Review. say, since the time of the Apostles — has 1. Das Leben Jesu : für das deutsche Volk a more earnest attention been paid to the

bearebitet. Von Ď. F. STRAUSB. Leip- life of Jesus than at the present moment. zig: 1864.

There have been controversies without nüm2. Dr. D. F. STRAUSS's New Life of Je

ber as to His nature, confusions without end the authorized English Edition.

as to His doctrine, conflicts interminable

about His Church, but to the present gene2 vols. London : 1865.

ration (strange to say) seems to have been 3. Histoire des Origines du Christianisme ; bequeathed the task of arranging in an

Livre deuxième : Les Apôtres. Par intelligible form the facts of His purely ERNEST RENAN. Paris : 1866. human history. The reason probably is,

that never before have systems of belief 4. ' Ecce Homo :' a Survey of the Life and foreign, yet analogous, to Christianity been

Work of Jesus Christ. Fifth Edition, so clearly understood, or so much vigorous with a new Preface. London: 1866. intelligence been diverted from policy and

war to a critical handling of classical, It was said a great many centuries ago, and still more of Oriental, modes of thought. and in a book of very high authority, that Thus the desire of understanding the orione result of the coming of Christ into the gin of Christianity, and the means of gratiworld would be that the thoughts of many tying that desire, seem to have presented hearts should be revealed.'. And though themselves simultaneously: and the impasuch a result is not without its parallels and tience of mankind will bear no compromise, analogies in other cases, there is no other and take no refusal, until theologians have case in which either the disclosures of men's fairly girded themselves to the task of precharacters have been so searching and senting the human life of Jesus in some profound, or in which the effect has been so strictly historical shape. certainly repeated whenever a fresh inter- The difficulty of this task is probably est has been awakened in the person and least understood by those who most loudly history of the great Teacher. The conse- make the demand. Were an invasion of quence is, that no epochs are better adapted England to shatter at one blow the framefor taking a review of the state of religious work of the State, to destroy the metropolis, opinion than those in which popular atten- and involve in common ruin the civil and tion has been strongly fixed upon the . Life ecclesiastical institutions of the country, it of Christ.' With other religious questiuns is not likely that for the next thirty or it is possible to fence and play, and act a forty years

, at least, much literary activity part, whether in defence or opposition, as would be displayed, or any work be bethe case may be ; feeling all the time, with queathed to posterity except writings inthe mediæval disputant, how easy it might tended for an immediate practical purpose. be to shift one's ground and take up the But if by chance some fragment or offshoot brief for the other side. But this question of the National Church had vigour enough is too closely intertwined with men's per- to outlive the catastrophe, its first energies sonal feelings and hopes for that. It is no would be devoted to collecting the memomatter of gladiatorial display. It is a mat- rials of its earlier and more tranquil days, ter of life and death. Ånd, therefore, in- and especially to forming into a sort of teresting as it may always be, even at times canon for future reference all the writings when men are following each other like a which a hasty criticism could select as the flock of sheep along some narrow path of genuine relics of its first founders. In dogma, to try and understand the meaning fact, no course at such a time could be of the dogma which unlocks the history of more consonant to sound sense and simtheir period, that interest culminates at ple fidelity. But the crisis which we have times when the life of Jesus is in question supposed was far exceeded in severity by -- when men are thoroughly alive, and that fearful crash which ruined the Jewish thoroughly in earnest ; when reserve and State, destroyed the Temple, and scattered reticence: are broken through ; and when the population of Judæa, not very long the books, reviews, and pamphlets of any after the first preaching of the Gospel. For one year may easily offer (as it were, in the small geographical scale of Palestine - a section) a complete conspectus of all the country about as large as Wales — rendered main lines of contemporary thought. the calamity more intense by concentrating Such a period, there can be no doubt, is it in that narrow area, and the furious

Never since the time of the passions that blazed out at the revolt would Reformation never, one might almost not for a long time cool down to the temperature of literary*composition. Moreover, in it is dogmatism to state boldly as an axiom this case, the inhabitants of the country were what is so far from being self-evident that sown broadcast over the world. Every it is denied by the whole opposing party, and slave-market in three continents .was full if it is dogmatism to select for this axiom of them. And although it is true that the very point which, clothed in other these outcasts would find synagogues and words, is the proposition to be proved, then settled communities of Jews wherever they MM. Renan and Strauss are dogmatists. went, still, the blow having crushed the For while the very point in dispute is, political and religious hopes of all alike – whether Jesus was a superhuman personwith the sole exception of the Christian age or not, both of these writers lay it sect - it is likely that the only efforts of down as the first postulate in their argument the pen which would be left from this that no superhuman hypothesis is admis-, epoch would be, on the one hand, Jewish sible. Their argument therefore becomes and Christian collections of existing tradi- neither more nor less than a vicious miracle. tions, with occasional reflective attempts to The Gospels are untrustworthy, because find a key to the terrible events of the past; they record miracles; and no miracles are and, on the other, fugitive pieces of a hortatory credible, because the books that record or polemical character. Now this is exactly them are untrustworthy.* It is wonderful what we do find. The Mishna and the that men of so much ability should be New Testament are the collection of tradi- guilty of such false logic, and should at this tions, written or otherwise. Josephus' His- time of day be beguiled by the threadbare tory at Rome, St. John's Gospel at Eph- sophism of Hume, of which Strauss thinks esus, and probably the fourth Book of so highly as to say: Hume's treatment of Esdras in the far East, are works of reflec- miracles is so universally convincing, that by tion, searches for the key to the past. And it the matter may be considered as virtually the remains of apostolical fathers and of settled.' (P. 148.) Yet Hume's celebrated Judæognostic heretics are specimens of argument is a mere petitio principii. All pieces inspired by a special purpose, and experience [i. e. for the most part, testisingularly barren of any important histor- mony of others), being against miracles, it ical materials. When we add to all this the is more likely that testimony should be fact, that just at this period of the world, false than that miracles should be true. amid the slow but sure advance of universal Which is the same thing as saying, “ All decrepitude and decay, the most singular experience being against Atlantic cables, it rage had seized mankind for pseudonymous is far more likely that Messrs. Glasse and composition, we have said enough to in- Field are playing upon our credulity than dicate that the historian of those times that the cable should be laid. The reply must walk warily, and be prepared to fore- of course is, But the cable is laid, for we go too hasty generalizations, and that the have the results in our hands : and your demand for a prompt and unimpeachable argument from experience is good for account of all that Jesus and His Apostles nothing, for unless it carefully keeps the did and said is made in profound igno- experience of Messrs. Glasse and Field out rance of the real conditions of the problem. of sight, it is inconclusive; and if it does,

our own.

Still, men are always to be found, armed it amounts to saying, “The experience of with more or less of learning and critical all, except those who have had the experience, acumen, who will be prepared straightway is against Atlantic telegraphs.' Just so the to give an answer to the most impossible Christian apologist may reply: Your arguquestions. To them patience seems no scientific virtue at all. And when they

* Compare, for instance, the following passages : have lit upon some plausible solution of - (1.). So long as the Gospels are regarded as nistheir problem, open at a hundred points to torical sources, in the strict sense of the word, so fatal assaults, disdaining to hold it as a mere cible (Strauss, p. 40); for historical enquiry re: hypothesis rough-hewn for after rectifica- fuses absolutely to recognise anywhere any such tion, they must needs impose it upon the thing'as a miracle. (2. 116.) (2.) * In the person

and work of Jesus nothing supernatural happened ; world as the one and only possible key to . . for thus much we can soon discover about our the whole question. In a word, they dog- Gospels that neither all nor any of them display matise. And strongly as both of them reason to the acceptance of a miracle." (P. xv.) would repudiate the charge, we are sorry to

Similarly M. Renan:-(1.) “The first twelve

Now, an be obliged to fix upon M. Renan as well as chapters of Acts are a tissue of miracles. upon Herr Strauss this odious imputation of historical narration to miracles. (P. xliii.) (2.) dogmatism. If it is dogmatism to found show me a specimen of these things, and I will ad one's wbole argument upon an ipse dixit, if with those who allege a fact.” (P. xlv.)

mit them. ... The onus probandi in science rests

absolute rule of criticism is, to allow no place in

« ZurückWeiter »