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but even his best was not very good; and Mrs. Dowling had no eyes to see anything but the new-born baby. After a few days, when Mrs. Markham had talked over her travels, her plans, and had seen all that was to be seen in the neighbourhood, having, also, returned the visits of those who had called upon her, she bethought herself of the business and arrangements she had before her in town, which were preliminary to her sailing for India; and she very much wished that she could have a companion with her, to go about and take away the odious stupidity of visiting at different offices. She determined to get Eliza to accompany her-she asked her, first, whether she would like to see a little of London, as she had never been there; and Eliza said she had not thought of the matter before, and she scarcely knew what sight-seeing in London was. Mrs. Markham said that if she asked leave of her mother to let her come up with her, she might have an opportunity of seeing some of the town sights, though it was not the most favourable time of the year to do it. "But," said she, "London is a sort of necessity to anyone who has any business in hand. There is no place so good for making purchases, and as for preparations for a voyage they must all be made in town. I must go to different agents about my ship; I must make inquiries about its sailing; I must even go on board, and see my cabin; as to the sum to be paid, that is much easier to settle. But I do wish I had a companion with me on the voyage. I hate going amongst strangers for such a sojourn as being cooped up for several months on board ship; I should like to have some one to tell all my thoughts, and to confide my opinions of the different beings around me. it is not the least amusement to one, when one sees a diverting scene before one's eyes, first not to be able to express any opinion about it at the time, and then, afterwards, not to be able to talk over it or laugh about it. I have a great mind to tell you what I have been thinking of the last few days." Eliza then said, "What was it, then?" Mrs. Markham continued "It is that you should ask your mother to allow me to take charge of you, and that you should go out with me to India. I know it must be a most trying thing to your feelings to ask it, and a most painful thing to part with your friends; but you must recollect that it would not be for ever. I know I should like you; I feel happier, in having you for a companion, than ever I did before. I have not, as yet, said anything to your mother; but, when I know your opinion on the subject, I will speak to her. It will not be a cause of anxiety to you to make any preparations; for all shall be done for you, if will only agree to the proposition. Eliza said, "I do not know what to say it seems to you a trifle, going out to India, but to me it seems a most overwhelming piece of business. I am sure I should like to be with you; but what a new world it would be for
me! I shall not be able to tell you until I speak to my mother; but, in any case, I feel I shall never be able to thank you sufficiently for your kindness." "Oh, do not speak of it," said Mrs. Markham : "the fact is I shall be the person who is obliged, if you will only accept this proposal."
Then, shortly after this conversation, Miss Wilson went to her mother, who, as usual, was in the nursery, and told her all that Mrs. Markham had said to her, but scarcely succeeded in getting her to pay attention to her statement. It was a matter of much difficulty, as Mrs Dowling had no eyes, ears, or senses for anything but for the baby who was before her in the cradle. However, at last, the gentle sleep of the child came on, and they both went away softly to Mrs. Dowling's room; and, when they reached it, Eliza repeated all that Mrs. Markham had said over again. Then Mrs. Dowling asked her if she had agreed to the proposal, and Eliza said that she had declined giving her any answer until she had told her mother. Then Mrs. Dowling said, "Of course, unless you wished to go, there should not be any sort of persuasion used; in fact, I leave it to your own choice, whether you will go or not." But Eliza, who had pondered over the subject in her own mind, felt sure that her mother would not offer any obstacle to her leaving-she knew that it would cause, at first, a great commotion in the establishment-that there would be, also, a great deal said, by the neighbours, about Miss Wilson being obliged to go to India-that the parting and severing of home ties to her, so young as she was, would be almost heart-breaking; but she also knew that Mrs. Dowling, in her heart of hearts, did not wish her to refuse this offer; so she authorised her mother to speak to Mrs. Markham, and be the person who would assent to the plan first, and she said that she would offer no sort of opposition to it herself.
Mrs. Markham was rather, what one would call, an impulsive person, and having taken a fancy into her head, she felt quite impatient until it had been followed up to its completion.
So, shortly after Miss Wilson had left her mother, she came up to Mrs. Dowling, who was walking in the garden, and introduced the subject; and, when she had told her that she had mentioned the proposed plan to Miss Wilson, she went on to say, “I think, the least I can do is to be answerable altogether for all the expenses that shall be incurred by Eliza, both as to her outfit and as to her passage out and it is only on these conditions that I first thought of asking her to come with me. I promise you that you shall not have a care or a thought of anything, with regard to providing for her; but then we shall have to go soon, and, also, must first go
Visit to the Isle of Amsterdam.
to London. There should not be a longer delay than about threeEW YOY
weeks, from this time until the time of our sailing.'
"Then," said Mr. Dowling, "I can only say that both Eliz and I, myself, feel exceedingly obliged to you; and it only remain for me to speak to Mr. Dowling, who, I know, will agree to anything that I say on this subject."
Accordingly, when Mr. Dowling returned from his office, at Reading, his wife very soon broached the subject to him, and, as she predicted, she met with no opposition from him. Mrs. Dowling felt that it would be not much use pressing the point of Mr. Sharman's attachment upon Eliza; she thought that, after all, it it was better to let things take their own course; and, that, as she knew her daughter would be sure to make conquests wherever she went, it was quite as well not to put any pressure upon her will. But soon after this the matter was finally settled, Miss Wilson bade farewell to her mother, who, at the very last day of parting, did really feel very much, and wept, indeed, a great deal; "but, as it must be," she said, "it must be." All the servants were exceedingly sorry. The final hour for leaving the cottage, however, at last came round, and both the ladies stepped into a post-chaise, the most desirable mode of travelling at that period, at the same time, the most respectable, and proceeded on their way to London. It was tedious. It was much more of a journey at that time, starting from Woodville, than a visit to Edinburgh would be now. The transit of fifty miles was indeed new to Eliza, but the last part of it, from the entrance to the town until they came, in the dusk of the evening, to Mrs. Markham's lodging, in Sackville Street, Piccadilly, was perfectly stunning to their senses. The glare of the lights, and the many-coloured objects of show, ranged in the diverse assortments of the shops; the clattering of the vehicles of every sort of wheeled conveyance; the phases of continual change in the appearance of every street; the noise, the whirl, the hum, the ever-changing succession of groups passing to and fro, dazzled, astonished, and bewildered her. She was, withal, very much fatigued, and so was Mrs. Markham, who had something of the languor which is generally found in an East Indian lady.
Having ordered everything beforehand, and having also a maid who had been long with her and who knew her ways, Mrs. Markham and her young charge found everything ready for dinner, and the wealth which was at hand to command every comfort was able to make even London at the end of August endurable. They, of course, did not think of stirring out that evening, but indulged in a very lengthy conversation as to their plans for the future; after a long discussion on these Mrs. Markham exclaimed -"Oh, Eliza! how delighted I am that you have agreed to come
with me! Fancy me by myself in this gloomy house! That would only be the beginning of the horror I should have to look forward to. A confidante of some kind is really indispensable, but of all places, on board ship to have no confidante is most odious!"
"Well," said Eliza, "I thought there were always great numbers of ladies composing the party on board each of these large ships; and should you not be able easily to make out a friend from amongst them ?"".
"No such thing, my dear," said Mrs. Markham. "The young ladies who go out in those ships are those whom I should especially wish to avoid. When you come to see a little more of the world, you will know what I mean. They are mostly those who go out with a speculating motive, to make a matrimonial connection with some of the rich Anglo-Indians-men who, from the time they left England as boys, have never had an opportunity of being in a large society of ladies-to whom a fair face seems, as it were, a vision from paradise."
LUIS PONCE DE LEON.
[LUIS PONCE DE LEON, nat. 1527, denat. 1591: Professor of Theology in the University of Salamanca, having translated the Bible into Spanish, was cast into the Prison of the Inquisition. Three centuries later-1861-the like offence was in like manner punished in the person of a bookseller named Diego Matamoros.]
HERE lies DE LEON-he, whose power unsphered
The Christian Cross; blending the old and deep
Was-by the Holy Brotherhood pardonless—
And broadly to the popular eye displayed
What monks and monarchs would have kept in shade.
The prompt Familiars came, and bore him thence
Deepened into his spirit; on minds like ours
The sights and sounds that charmed De Leon's hours
Stoopeth Urania from her distant sphere.
EDMUND LENTHALL SWIFTE.