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standard of individual worth and individual effort, a ceaseless activity in channels for the most part conducive to mankind's true welfare, thirstings for peace and goodwill between all nations, are noble characteristics of our age.

The enforcement of charity towards men is eminently practical; but Teufelsdröckh is even more palpably practical. With all his mysticism, with all his speculations on space, time, and eternity, he has not lost sight of the earth. He sets forth the dignity of labour; he inculcates the idea of duty, which is to uphold the labourer. His religious feeling vivifies his practical tendencies; he thus becomes, not a phantom or a machine, but a complete man. In his quaint, spirit-stirring manner he cries-"Be no longer a chaos, but a world, or even worldkin! produce! were it but the pitifullest infinitesimal fraction of a product, produce it, in God's name!"

It is the glory of our age that men should work with this religious motive to action. Great are, no doubt, the follies and vices of our time. Follies and vices have been great in all ages; but the vital principle of the age, its normal life, the heart that pulsates through it, giving it motion and power, is a religious idea. It is not an idea of merely intellectual examination. Voltaire, with his encyclopædiacal knowledge, was "old dog at physiology," and was often repeating that animals have the faculty of thought. Remembering this, our age perceives that the moral and religious faculties must be adequately developed, in order to form the perfect man. Worship and duty must be observed, as well as the spirit of intellectual research.

The humour with which Teufelsdröckh teaches his thoughts is quite in the tenor of his age. It is cynicism; but it is neither the cold sarcasm of Gulliver, which, placid and artless in appearance, sears with the very excess of its cold, like iron in the Arctic regions. It is not the frolicsome irony of Candide. It is as earnest as the former, as averse to conventional forms, but without its relentless sting: it is as sharp as the latter, but more serious. It answers more fully to the proper sense of the word humour; which is not a mood

of constant uniformity of love through-
out, but varies with all the moods of
human nature. Like man—that in-
constant and changeable animal, as
the old Gascon cynic calls him-it
shifts from smiles to tears, from sal-
lies of wonder and delight to indig-
nant denunciations of evil.
It is as
variable as the English sky-now
unclouded, now sprinkled with rosy
cloudlets, then darkened with lower-
ing masses of black clouds. The irony
of Candide and Gulliver is like the
sky of the Sahara, which day after
day shows its ardent, ever-recurring,
pitiless blue. Passion and shifting
thought give Teufelsdröckh's irony
so many various shades and meanings,
that he moves the reader to tears, to
laughter, to aversion, to pity; thus
ascending to the highest phase, to the
perfection of humour.

But in whatever way the thoughts
of great men are expressed-what-
ever hues the bright creations of
their fancy may assume; whether
they express, in imperishable types,
the spirit of an analytical age, which
destroys superstition, or of a synthe-
tical age, which ardently strives to
unite mankind in common sympathy
and knowledge; whatever may be
the characteristics and meanings of
great humorists, their writings must
be studied, and must receive merited
homage. Their beauty and value are
depreciated only by the ignorant and
narrow-minded. Satire is a natural
propensity of man; it is a weapon
which may be right nobly used; it
is a powerful remedy against evil,
meanness, and vulgarity. Its virtue
is like that of Ithuriel's spear-it
reveals the insidious monster of evil
in all his horrible shape, and forces
him to the alternative of fight or of
flight. Wielded by true and virtuous
power, satire enlarges the heart and
mind; it fosters love for mankind,
and "desire to make them blest;
it burns up in the soul all manner of
noxious weeds, hollowness, hypocrisy,
selfishness, and prepares the soil for
the implantation of noble truths and
high aspirations. It shows us how
men can be rebuked, not with fana-
ticism and hatred, but by the superior
thought of men who had in them a
brighter spark of the Divine nature
than that ordinarily vouchsafed to
mortals.

ALL IN THE DARK.

A WINTER'S TALE-IN FOUR PARTS.

BY J. S. LE FANU.

CHAPTER I.

GILROYD HALL AND ITS MISTRESS.

NEAR the ancient and pretty village of Saxton, with its gabled side to the road, stands an old red-brick house of moderate dimensions, called Gilroyd Hall, with some tall elms of very old date about it; and an ancient, brickwalled garden, overtopping the road with standard fruit-trees that have quite outgrown the common stature of such timber, and have acquired a sylvan and venerable appearance.

Here dwelt my aunt, an old maid, Miss Dinah Perfect by name; and here my cousin William Maubray, the nephew whom she had in effect adopted, used to spend his holidays.

I shall have a good deal to say of herby-and-by, though my story chiefly concerns William Maubray, who was an orphan, and very nearly absolutely dependent upon the kindness of his aunt. Her love was true, but crossed and ruffled now and then by temper and caprice. Not an ill temper was hers, but whimsical and despotic, and excited oftenest upon the absurdities which she liked letting into her active and perverse little head, which must have been the proper nidus of all odd fancies, they so prospered and multiplied there.

On the whole, Gilroyd Hall and the village of Saxton were rather slow quarters for the holidays. Besides his aunt, William had but one companion under that steep and hospitable roof. This was little Violet Darkwell, a child of about eleven years, when he had attained to the matured importance of seventeen, and was in the first eleven at Digby, had his cap, and was, in fact, a person with a career to look back upon, and who had long left childish things behind him.

This little girl was-in some roundabout way, which, as a lazy man, I had rather take for granted than investigate-a kinswoman; and Miss Dinah Perfect had made her in some sort her property, and had her at least eight months out of the twelve

down at Gilroyd Hall. Little Violet was lonely at home-an only daughter, with a father working sternly at the bar, not every day seen by her, and who seemed like a visiter in his own house-hurried, reserved, unobtrusive, and a little awful.

To the slim, prettily-formed little girl, with the large dark eyes, brown hair, and delicate bright tints, the country was delightful the air, the flowers, the liberty; and old Aunt Dinah, though with a will and a temper, still so much kindlier and pleasanter than Miss Placey, her governess, in town; and good old Winnie Dobbs was so cosy and goodnatured.

To this little maid, in her pleasant solitude, the arrival of William Maubray for the holidays, was an event full of interest and even of excitement. Shy as he was, and much in awe of all the young lady-kind, she was far too young to be in his way. Her sparkling fuss and silvery prattle were even pleasant to him. There was life and something of comicality in her interruptions and unreasonableness. She made him visit her kittens and kiss them all round, and learn and recite their names; whistle after tea for her bullfinch, dig in her garden, mend and even nurse her doll, and perform many such tasks, quite beneath his dignity as a "swell" at Digby, which, however, the gentle fellow did very merrily and industriously for the imperious little woman, with scant thanks, but some liking for his guerdon.

So, in his fancy, she grew to be mixed up with the pleasant influences of Gilroyd Hall, with the flowers and the birds, with the freaks of the little dog Pixie, with the stories he read there, and with his kindly welcomes and good-byes.

Sitting, after breakfast, deep in his novel in the "study," with his white flanuel cricket trousers on, for he was to play against Winderbroke for

the town of Saxton that day, he received a smart tweak by the hair, at the back of his head, and, looking round, saw little Vi, perched on the rung of his old-fashioned chair, and dimly recollected having received several gentler tweaks in succession, without evincing the due attention.

"Pert little Vi! what's all this?" said the stalworth Digby boy, turning round with a little shake of his head, and his sweet smile, and leaning on his elbow. The sunny landscape from the window, which was clustered round with roses, and a slanting sunbeam that just touched her hair, helped to make the picture very pretty.

Great, big, old bear! you never listen to one word I say."

"Don't you call names, Miss," said Aunt Dinah, who had just glided into the room.

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"What was little Silver-hair saying? What does she want?" he replied, laughing at the child's indig nation, and pursuing the nomenclature of Southey's pleasant little nursery tale. Golden-hair, I must call you, though," he said, looking on her sun-lit head; "and not quite golden either; it is brown, and very pretty brown, too. Who called you Violet ?" He was holding the tip of her pretty chin between his fingers, and looking in her large deep eyes; Who called you Violet?"

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"How should I know, Willie?" she replied, disengaging her chin with a little toss.

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Why, your poor mamma called you Violet. I told you so fifty times," said Aunt Dinah sharply.

"You said it was my godfathers and godmothers in my baptism, grannie!" said Miss Vi, not really meaning to be pert.

"Don't answer me, Miss-that's, of course, your catechism-we're speaking of your poor mamma. 'Twas her mamma who called her Violet. What about it ?"

"Nothing," answered William, gently looking up at his aunt, "only it is such a pretty name;" and, glancing again at the child, "it goes so well with her eyes. She is a jolly little creature."

"She has some good features, I suppose, like every other child, and you should not try to turn her head. Nothing extraordinary. There's

vanity enough in the world, and I insist, William, you don't try to spoil her."

"And what do you want of me, little woman?" asked William. "You come out and sow my lupins for me.'

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"Why, foolish little woman, it isn't the season; they would not grow." "Yes, they would though-you say that just because you don't like; you story!"

"Violet!" exclaimed Aunt Dinah, tapping the table with the seal end of her silver pencil-case.

"Well, but he is, grannie, very disobliging. You do nothing now but read your tiresome old books, and never do anything I bid you.”

"Really! Well, that's very bad; I really must do better," said William, getting up with a smile; "I will sow the lupins."

"What folly!" murmured Aunt Dinah, grimly.

"We'll get the hoe and trowel. But-but what's to be done? I forgot I'm to play for the town; and I don't think I have time-no, certainly-no time to-day for the lupins," and William shook his head, smiling disconsolately.

"Then I'll never ask you to do anything for me again as long as I livenever-never- never!" she vowed, with a tiny stamp.

"Yes you shall-you shall, indeed, and I'll do ever so much; and may she come and look at the cricket?"

So, leave granted, she did, under old Winnie's care; and when she returned, and for days after, she boasted of Willie's long score, and how he caught the ball.

When he returned at the end of next "half" he found old Miss Dinah Perfect with her spectacles on, in her comfortable old drawing-room, in the cheer of a Christmas fire, with her head full of the fancies and terrors of a certain American tome, now laid with its face downward upon the table-as she jumped up full of glee and affection, to greet him at the threshold.

It was about this period, as we all remember, that hats began to turn and heads with them, and tables approved themselves the most intelligent of quadrupeds; chests of drawers and other grave pieces of furniture babbled of family secrets, and houses re

sounded with those creaks and cracks with which Bacon, Shakespeare, and Lord Byron communicated their several inspirations in detestable grammar, to all who pleased to consult them.

Aunt Dinah was charmed. Her rapid genius loved a short-cut, and here was, by something better than a post-office, a direct gossiping intimacy opened between her and the people on t'other side the Styx.

She ran into this as into her other whimsies, might and main, with all her heart and soul. She spent money very wildly, for her, upon the gospels of the new religion, with which the transatlantic press was teeming; and in her little green-papered dressing-room was accumulating a library upon her favourite craze, which might have grown to the dimensions of Don Quixote's.

She had been practising for a year, however, and all the minor tables in her house had repeatedly prophesied before she disclosed her conversion to her nephew, or to anyone else except old Winnie.

It was no particular business of his if his aunt chose to converse with ghosts and angels by the mediation of her furniture. So, except that he now and then assisted at a séance, the phenomena of which were not very clear to him, though perfectly so to his aunt, and acquiesced in dimly and submissively by good old Winnie, things went on in their old course; and so, for some three or four years more, during which William Maubray read a great deal of all sorts of lore, and acquired an erudite smattering of old English authors, dramatists, divines, poets, and essayists, and time was tracing fine wrinkles about Aunt Dinah's kind eyes and candid forehead, and adding graceful inches to the lithe figure of Violet Darkwell; and the great law of decay and renewal was asserting itself everywhere, and snows shrouding the dead world in winter, and summer fragrance, and glow of many hues in the gardens and fields succeeding, and births and deaths in all the newspapers every morning.

CHAPTER II.

A LETTER.

THE following letter, posted at Saxton, reached a rather solitary student in College, Cambridge.

"DEAR WILLIAM,-You will be sorry---I know you will-to hear that poor old auntie is not long for this world; I don't know exactly what is wrong, but something I am certain very bad. As for Doctor Drake, I have no faith in him, or, indeed, in medicine, and don't mean to trouble him except as a friend. I am quite happy in the expectation of the coming change, and have had within the last week, with the assistance of good old Winnie Dobbs some very delightful communications, you know, I dare say, what I mean. Bring with you-for you must come immediately, if you care to see poor Aunt Dinah before she departs-a basket-bottle of eau de Cologne, like the former, you know the kind I mean, and buy it at the same place. You need not get the cameo ring for Doctor Drake, I shan't make him a present-in fact, we are not now on terms. I had heard from many people of his incivility and want of temper; God

forgive him his ingratitude, however, as I do. The basket-bottle holds about a pint, remember. I want to tell you exactly what I can do for you by my will; I always told you, dear William, it was very small; still, as people used to say, 'every little makes a muckle,' and though little, it will be a help. I cannot rest till you come; I know, and am sure you love poor old auntie, and would like to close her eyes when the hour comes; therefore, dear Willie, come without delay. Also bring with you half a pound of the snuff, the same at Figgs's-get it there-not in paper, mixture as before; they make it up observe; in a canister, and rolled in lead, as will be poor auntie before long! Old Dobbs will have your room and bed comfortable, as usual; come by the cross coach, at eight o'clock. Tea, and anything else you like, will

await you.

"Ever your fond old "AUNTIE. "P.S.-I send you, to guard against mistakes, the exact proportions of the mixture-the snuff I mean, of course.

I quite forgot a new collar for Psyche, plated. Make them engrave Mrs. Perfect, Gilroyd Hall,' upon it. Heaven bless you. We are all progressing upward. Amen! says your poor old Aunt Dinah, who loves you.'

It was in his quiet college room by candle-light that William Maubray read this letter from his kind, wild, preposterous, old aunt, who had been to him as a mother from his early days.

Aunt Dinah! was it possible that he was about to lose that familiar friend and face, the only person on earth who cared about him.

He read the letter over again. A person who did not know Aunt Dinah so well as he, would have argued from the commissions about scents, dogcollars, and snuff, that the old lady had no honest intention of dying. But he knew that incongruous and volatile soul too well to infer reliable consolation from those levities.

"Yes, yes-I shall lose her-she's gone," said the young man in great distress, laying the letter, with the gentleness of despair, upon the table, and looking down upon it in pain and rumination.

It would certainly make a changepossibly a fatal one in his prospects. A sudden change. He read the letter through again, and then, with a sinking heart, he opened the window and looked out upon the moonlighted prospect. There are times when in her sweetest moods nature seems unkind. Why all this smiling light-this cheer and serenity of sky and earth-when he was stricken only five minutes since, perhaps undone, by the message of that letter-that sorrow-laden burlesque ?

This sort of suggestion, in such a moment, comes despairingly. The vastness of creation-the inflexibility of its laws, and "What is man," and what am I among men, that the great Projector of all this should look after ephemeral me and my concerns? The human sympathy that I could rely upon, and human power—frail and fleeting-but still enough-is gone, and in this solitary hour, as in the coming one of death, experience fails me, and I must rest all upon that which, according to my light, is faith, or theory, or chance!"

With a great sigh, and a heavy heart, William Maubray turned away

VOL. LXVII.-NO. CCCXCVIII.

from the window, and a gush of very true affection flooded his heart as he thought of kind, old Aunt Dinah. He read the letter once more, to make out what gleams of comfort he could.

A handsome fellow was William Maubray-nearly three-and-twenty by this time-good at cricket-great at football: three years ago, in the school days, now, so old-tall, and lithe. A studious man in his own way-a little pale, with broad forehead, good blue eyes, and delicatelyformed, but somewhat sad features.

He

He looked round his room. had grown very fond of that homely apartment. His eyes wandered over his few shelves of beloved old books, in all manner of dingy and decayed bindings-some of them two centuries and a half old, very few of later birth than a hundred years ago. Delightful companions-ready at a moment's call

ready to open their minds, and say their best sayings on any subject he might choose-resenting no neglectobtruding no counsel - always the same serene, cheerful, inalienable friends.

The idea of parting with them was insupportable, nearly. But if the break-up came, they must part company, and the world be a new one for him. The young man spent much of that night in dismal reveries and speculations over his future schemes and chances-all which I spare the reader.

Good Dr. Sprague, whom he saw next day, heard the news with much concern. He had known Miss Perfect long ago, and was decorously sorry on her account. But his real regrets were for the young man.

"Well, you go, of course, and see your aunt, and I do trust it mayn't be quite so bad. Stay, you know, as long as she wants you, and don't despond. I could wish your reading had been in a more available direction; but rely on it, you'll find a way to make a start and get into a profession, and with your abilities, I've no doubt you'll make your way in the world."

And the Doctor, who was a shrewd as well as a kindly little gentleman, having buttoned the last button of his gaiter, stood, cap in hand, erect, and smiling confidently, he shook his hand, with a "God bless you, Maubray," and a few minutes later William Maubray, with all his commissions stowed away in his portmanteau, had

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