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Who knows? who cares?
Am I asleep, awake, or dead? What matter?
Tra la, tra la, tra la ! Ding dong bell, toll.
Ha, ha, ha! How they ring!
O dear, what will I do? They have taken him quite away! Heart's Darling !-Rudolf!
Where are you?
My heart is breaking,
Let me die!
"For the touch of a vanish'd hand
And the sound of a voice that is still!' 1
"Now for the great experiment! I yield my soul,
if I have a soul, to God; if there be God."
There see! I cannot lie.
Who was it said that?
And he died; it's only Blossom, poor little last year's Blossom, who cannot-may not die!
Last night, I thought I felt his dear arm round me; his sweet mouth upon mine. It was the clear ring of his own voice calling me, that aroused me last, to find, O, woe is me, I was but dreaming! Ah, me!
They say I'm mad :
Mad Mad! Mad!
That is what the world always says when it cannot understand. I am so weary. I would that I could lay my head upon the cold stone cross, that marks my Darling's sleeping bed, and so sink down, down, down, into the beautiful black mould beside him. "So tired, so tired, my heart and I!” Ah, then would I rest my weary, aching head upon his dear, dead breast, and die; and he, God bless him, he would sweetly lull me in his arms to kingdom
' Tennyson. 2 Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Translated from the Italian.
THIS is decidedly the best of Lady Hardy's novels. The story is well told, and is told without any of that affectation which so fatally mars any pleasure that a lover of style would otherwise take in perusing the majority of modern novels. The story is one of to-day. To readers of this Magazine-an organ which has for so many years advocated the good old Conservative cause against the inroads of blatant cobblers, and blasphemous and self-sufficient braggarts-it will have a special interest. And for this reason: in its pages are contrasted the extreme parties in this country. We have the representation of territorial interests, on the one hand. The man of fine instincts-instincts that are the result of refined influence. The man reserved but kindly, dignified but loving. This is Colonel Pomeroy. And the portrait is, in truth, a very admirable one. Contrasted with him is Mr. Stephen Groves; the low-born, self-sufficient, adventurous, and unscrupulous seeker after popular applause is admirably illustrated in this picture. The ease with which he makes use of tools is equalled only by the ease with which he casts them aside when they have answered his purpose. One cannot avoid entertaining a sort of pity for the little cad Haviland, who writes revolutionary odes and gains the suffrages of Padborough for the ambitious Groves. The story is slight. must not, however, be imagined that, because we have only indicated its political bearing, it is without the love element. There are, indeed, two love stories in it running prettily side by side. There is, moreover, no lack of exciting incident. And if lovers of sensation want anything stronger than the mayor of an important town accused of and tried for murder they had better wait till they get it.
Lady Hardy's style has the quality which we usually seck for in vain in contemporary fiction-we mean, simplicity. If novelists only knew how very much they would gain in force by telling their stories in a straightforward and intelligible way, we, the public, would be almost as great gainers as they the novelists. We regret that we have at this time no greater space at our disposal in which to point out more critically the strong points of this work, and in which to justify our criticism by quotations form the work itself.
1 By Lady Duffus Hardy. Hurst and Blackett.
We can only cordially recommend our realers to make their acquaintance with the characters in the novel, feeling sure that they will find some to be delighted with and others to detest. When a novelist has succeeded in sowing either feeling in the breast of a reader, that novelist has achieved no trifling triumph.
THERE is no heart, however stern and cold,
Oh sweetest childhood! in that happy time
The heavenly strains fade quickly, earthly strife
Brave deeds of self-denial, have a wordless voice
And find expression in a people's cheers.
And busy manhood finds a time to sing
And age, again, though deaf to earthly care,
J. T. W. B.
THE WATER TOWER:
A STORY OF THE FIRST ROYAL LANCASHIRE MILITIA.
BY MRS. HIBBERT WARE,
Authoress of "Dr. Harcourt's Assistant," "The Hunlock Title Deeds," &c
MARK'S PRIOR ENGAGEMENT.
HAD Mrs. Thorold been passing through Georges Square a few hours later, she would have seen that Mark's reception of company was a somewhat large one, whilst she probably would have marvelled at the quality of the guests for whom he had declined her invitation to dinner.
They all arrived on foot, the women's dresses and shawls showing the most gaudy and flaming colours, whilst most of them carried small brown paper bags, doubtless containing their caps. The men, who were in the minority, had evidently donned clean shirts for the occasion; and they all had short pipes in their mouths, which they carefully extinguished and put away before going down the area steps.
Amongst the first arrivals was that same old piper, whom Mrs. Thorold had alluded to, with his pipes carefully tucked under his arm.
Now, all these guests, male and female, were either relatives or friends of the servants of the house, invited, however, by the master's stepson, Mark Unsworth, in a spirit of fun and mischief. Flora had raised a feeble protest against the entertainment, a feeble one indeed, for she was fond of Jenny, being too young to be much shocked at her dirt and disorder, and amongst those invited were Jenny's mother, two sisters, an aunt, and a cousin five times removed. Mark's first calculations had not extended beyond a dozen or so of invitations, but the list of invited swelled by degress, till the party bid fair to resemble one of those entertainments in fashionable life where half the guests stay on the staircase all night. This rapid increase in the number of those who were to be entertained arose from Mark having given leave to the servant's relatives to bring a friend, and this friend was construed into meaning three or four friends; so that Mark was amazed himself as the guests came pouring in, and he exclaimed as