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Him, the High Druid of the oak-clad fells
like that of conscience. One whose keen
That are the pulses of ingenuous deeds.* And the third shall be the already honoured son of a long and widely and deeply honoured sire-giving expression to Memorial Verses on the occasion of Wordsworth's death (April, 1850):
Ah, since dark days still bring to light
* Quillinan's Poems.
The closing lines, on Wordsworth's grave, remind us of a touching Sonnet, simple and sweet, by another “Lakist,” David Holt, written in Grasmere Churchyard-concerning which spot, it has been well asked, Could there be a meeter resting-place for the Apostle of Nature ?—could all the dusty grandeur of Westminster compensate for the daisy that rises from his heart, or the golden celandines that cluster on the turf and shelter the lingering dewdrops from the sun?
“Oh, better far than richly sculptured tomb,
I. In a certain quiet street of London, chiefly if not entirely filled by lawyers and their offices, there flourished some years ago the eminent firm of Lyvett, Castlerosse, and Lyvett. An extensive practice had they; and some other firms in the street would watch with an envious eye
the shoals of letters and deeds delivered there by the morning postman, wishing only a tenth would come to them. The partners bore the character of honourable men; and certainly, for lawyers, they were tolerably clean-fingered. The three floors in the house were consecrated to business. The ground-floor was chiefly appropriated to clerks ; on the first floor were the private and consulting rooms of the partners, and on the next story were clerks again. This left free the kitchens, which were under ground, and the attics in the roof, in which apartments dwelt a man of the name of May, his wife, and daughter. May was the trusty porter or messenger of the firm, took care of the house on Sundays and at nights, and was much esteemed by his employers as an honest, respectable servant. Mrs. May cleaned the offices, made the fires, and scoured the stairs; and Miss May, a damsel rising ten, put her ringlets in paper, and read the trash disseminated by certain popular weekly publications. She was being brought up-well
, we shall see how.
One night in winter a clerk remained beyond the usual hour. He was just articled, had copied a deed carelessly and imperfectly, and so was ordered to remain over-hours and copy it again. A strict disciplinarian was Mr. Rowley, the overlooking clerk of Lyvett, Castlerosse, and Lyvett. The porter was out, and Mrs. and Miss May were in the kitchen, the former washing up the tea-things, the latter seated on a low chair, and devouring, by the blaze of the fire, the fresh number of “ E. Caterpillar's Penny Weekly Repository of Romance;” E. Caterpillar being a popular writer with the million.
“ Anything new there, Sophiar ?" asked the mother.
“ Law, ma! yes : such a splendid tale! "The Knight of the Blood red Hand.' It begins beautiful.”
“ You'll try your eyes, reading by firelight, Sophiar. Come to the candle."
“I wish you wouldn't make a fuss," was Miss Sophia's answer. - You'll not read long, I can tell you.
As soon as ever I have finished these tea-things, I'm a going to clear the pianer, and you'll come and practise."
The young lady gave a jerk with her shoulders, and a kick with her feet, both of which movements might be taken as emblematic of rebellion. But Mrs. May was as good as her word, cleared the square piano, which appeared laden with miscellaneous articles of culinary utility, not generally found in association with pianos, opened it, and put one of the
April-VOL. CIX. NO. CCCCXXXVI.
wooden chairs before it. Miss Sophia, however, declined to disturb herself.
“ What was the good of your father a buying of the hinstrument, and what's the good of your having a genus for music, if you don't practise ?" demanded Mrs. May. “Come, miss, no shuffling. And you have not looked at your book-lessons yet.” “ Ma, how
do bother!" “ Come this minute, I say, or I'll put you to bed ; and give them stupid romances to me," added Mrs. May, whisking the leaves out of the child's hand.
“ You don't call them stupid when you read them yourself; and you don't like to be disturbed at them, though you disturb me,” raved the child, in a voice between screaming and sobbing. “The other night, when father kept asking for his supper, you were in the thick of the * Blighted Rose, and you wouldn't stir from it, and he had to get out the bread and cheese himself, and fetch the beer !"*
“ Never you mind that, miss. You come to the pianer as I bid you. It's not your place to reflect on me.”
Sophia, finding resistance useless, flung some books on the chair, to make it higher, and flung herself atop of them, dashing into what she called “the scales" and her mother “ the jingles.” Mrs. May drew a chair before the fire, placed her feet on the iron fender, snuffed the candle on the table behind her, and opened the publication she had taken from her daughter. Before, however, she was fairly immersed in its beauties, or the jingles had come to an end, a tremendous noise overhead caused them both to start.
Sakes alive!" uttered Mrs. May, a favourite exclamation of hers, 66 what's that ?”
A somewhat prolonged noise, as of a stool or chair being moved violently about, was now heard. “ Mother ! suppose it should be an apparition !"
Suppose it should be a robber, come in to kill us, or to steal the law papers !" was the more practical remark of Mrs. May. “I daren't go
“ I'll go and see," answered Sophia. « I'm not afraid of robbers." She took the candle from the table, hurried fearlessly up-stairs, and knocked at the front office on the ground-floor.
Mr. Jones, the young clerk, not being used to solitary evening employment, had nodded over his work, fallen down with the stool, and then picked himself and his stool irascibly up again, inflicting on the latter sundry bumps on the floor, by way of revenge.
66 Come in !” he called out, in answer to Sophia's knock; and very much astonished he looked when the knocker presented herself. A blue-eyed, pretty child, with flaxen hair that curled on her shoulders. Dressed well, she would have been an elegant child, but, dressed as she was, in all the colours of the rainbow, flaunty, dirty, and with a profusion of glass beads glittering about her as necklace and bracelets, she looked like a little itinerant actress at a country fair.
“Why! who and what are you?" demanded the young gentleman.
noise came, we thought it was a robber got in, so I came to see, but ma was afraid.” “Who on earth’s ‘ma?” he repeated, unable to take his eyes
off her. My ma. Down stairs." you
live here?" “ Yes," said she, drawing herself up. am Miss May."
« Oh, indeed !" returned the young gentleman. “Was not that a piano tinkling? It was the sound of that startled me up, and sent the stool off its legs. The first time I ever heard of a piano in a lawyer's office."
" It's mine. Father bought it for me.' “Yours! Where d'ye keep it ?”
“ In the kitchen," answered the child. “We moved the dresser out into the back place where the copper is, to make room for it. It's opposite the windows, and I practise at night when I come home from school.”
Why don't you give us a serenade in the daytime ?” he demanded, delighted at the amusement which appeared to be striking up. might get up a waltz when the governors are out."
Miss May shook her head. “Father says it must never be opened till everybody's gone; the gentlemen would not like it. So ma keeps dishes and things atop of it in the daytime, for fear I should forget and unlock it, when I'm at home at twelve o'clock." "Well, this is a rum go!" muttered Mr. Jones to himself.
« How many brothers and sisters have
child ?" “ I have not got any of either. And that's why ma says she can afford to spend more upon me.
I'm to be a lady when I grow up." « Thank you, my dear, for the information. You look like one. I should say you might be taken for an Arabian-Night princess: only you are too pretty.
The girl took the compliment for earnest. She bridled her head, and her unoccupied hand stole up to twirl round the ends of her ringlets. In the endowment of vanity, Nature has been prodigal to many
but she had been remarkably so to Sophia May.
“Sophiar !" called out a voice from the lower regions. “Sophiar! What is it?”
“ Who is that?" quickly asked Mr. Jones. 66 That's ma.
She“ Sophiar, I say! Who are you talking to? Who is there?" repeated the voice.
“ Ma,” answered the child, putting her head out at the door to speak, “it's one of the gentlemen not gone. Up raced Mrs.
May, and the young man recognised her as the lady he had seen on her hands and knees, cleaning the front door-step the first morning he came, when he had misunderstood the clerks' time, and had arrived an hour too early.
“ Bless me, sir ! I should not have took upon myself to send Sophiar in here, but we thought everybody was gone, and was alarmed at the noise. Sophiar, miss, when you saw it was all right, why didn't you come away again directly?"
“ Don't put yourself out, Mrs. May, she has done no harm. What time do you get this office open in the morning ??
“About half-past seven, sir, these dark mornings. I begin with this floor first, and get my sweeping over and all the fires alight, before I sit down to my breakfast.”
“Then I'm blest if I won't knock off for to-night, if I can get in at that hour,” ejaculated Mr. Jones. “I shall have time to finish this beastly thing before ten, when old Row comes. But he had best mind, again, how he gives me my day's writing to do over twice, for I won't stand it. Good night to you, Dame May. Put out the
“ Sophy,” said Mrs. May, when they returned to the kitchen, “ did he hear the sound of the pianer?”
You should have stood out to him that it was a sound from the next house. Your father don't want the Mr. Lyvetts to know of it: they'd make a fuss perhaps. Never scruple to tell a lie, child, in a necessary cause.
“Can I have that paper now?” asked Sophia.
"No," snapped Mrs. May, “I have hardly begun it. Get on with your jingles.
From the above little episode of one evening, the reader may gather somewhat of how Sophia May was being brought up. It need not be explained that her parents were making that most reprehensible and fatal mistake of rearing her to be above her station. No training can be more pernicious, or is likely to bring forth more disastrous fruits. They had married late in life, and were decent, hard-working people; and if they had had the good sense to make their child hard-working too, they would have given her comfort and content for her portion. Mrs. May had been an inferior servant in a high family, had picked up there some exalted ideas, and the publications she had addicted herself to reading did not tend to sober them. Undoubtedly the child was a pretty, fairylooking thing, and a fancied resemblance to one of the aristocratic daughters, in the family where Mrs.
May had served, first put ridiculous notions for Sophia into her brain. The father was a more sensible man, but he was so ardently attached to this only child that he too readily fell into the
upon that one point was now as extravagant as his wife. For their station they were in easy circumstances. The man's wages sufficed for their wants, in the humble way they were accustomed to live, Mrs. May had saved money, and a sister of Mrs. May's, who was a lady's maid, was ever ready to produce funds to be spent on Sophia. Strange that they could not see the incongruity of what they were doing ! The child, with her flounces and furbelows, her music and dancing, her pernicious romance-reading, and her fostered vanity; and they, with their household drudgery, living amidst their kettles and saucepans and cooking and cleaning-what an absurdity it all was! The way in which the child was dressed out on a Sunday, was something wonderful to behold. Muslins in summer, satins in winter, streamers of many colours, gaudy artificial flowers, and snow-white feathers! In the morning she would be, as the mother expressed it, “ in her dirt,” watching the prepara