« AnteriorContinuar »
virtue in his camp, and that (by implication at least) every soldier is a robber and murderer!
Notwithstanding its prolixity there is an amusing vein of envy running through the essay, and it is a palpable bid for that new kind of glory so lauded by the author, the achieving even of which requires life-long labour for―(Transgressing a literary rule, I quote myself from the "Bivouac ")
"the sage's story
Takes him threescore years to weave;
Flash through ages from the grave."
THE TRIBUTE OF SONG.
Jove, wearied by prayers that so savoured of self,
The laurel for man, as his emblem of worth h;
Who wins its green wreath and the Tribute of Song.'
Law, Science, and Learning rushed up to the tree,
And with his own haud placed the wreath on his brow;
Then crowds came from temple, and tower, and hall,
And mother and maid round the laurel tree throng'd,
And sang Glory's wreath to bold valour belong'd.
That chief among earth-born is Valour alone,
Take, on the other hand, examples in civic glory :-Franklin's fame rests upon his discovery; and Watt's, on his invention; yet both have, as it were, been so built upon as to be scarcely seen, except through the superstructure.
Our great soi-disant Liberal and hitherto most popular statesman's fame rests partly upon his administrative abilities, and partly upon his brilliant oratory. The former, however, has been so mutilated by the spirit of party that she has left him but one wing wherewith to soar, and the Muse has burdened the latter
with a multiplicity of words. Hence, crippled and over-weighted, he is doomed to be distanced in his flight to posterity.
Lacking originality, our popular poet shares but a divided fame in his very laboured and most ambitious work. In the heavens of our literature he shines Castor, Malory the Pollux, in the Arthurean legend which he has so beautifully, yet so much less graphically, paraphrased. Even that moiety is overshadowed by an impure cloud, for, quoting once more from the "Bivouac ":
"Do not the deeds of an adulterous queen,
R. COMPTON NOAKE,
SONNET ON THE BOSPHORUS.
BEAUTIFUL Bosphorus ! enchantingly wandering
Now the rude storm-winds cease to disturb thee,
Beautiful Bosphorus! gentle and tender,
Beautiful minarets, gilded and slender,
That rise from the centre of keen, sordid strife; Pointing with fingers, taper and tender,
Upwards and onwards, the journey of life. Now the last rays shine on star and on crescent, Beautiful emblems of happier days,
And I see Istamboul, not of the present,
But back in the past my memory strays.
Beautiful Bosphorus, grand old Propontis !
Alas! for the days when thy beauties were sung; When but a sight of thy glorious waters
Inspired the sweet songs that through ages were sung. Alas! for the songs, and alas! for the singers!
The songs have been sung, and well-nigh forgot;
Soft and voluptuous thy beauty still lingers,
While nations and kingdoms have been and are not!
Constantinople, Sept. 12.
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
THE WOMAN IN POSSESSION.
ABOUT seven o'clock in the evening the postchaise in which Oliver and Mark had travelled from London drove rapidly along the avenue of fine old elms which led up to the front entrance of Buckhurst Hall.
If Norris disliked that condition in the will which required him to take the name of Tinker, he had not a shadow of aversion to the other injunction, and so he spent not only six months out of the year at Buckhurst Hall, but the whole twelve.
One of the few remaining specimens of the timber-and-plaster style of architecture, it offered great attractions to a man of such antiquarian taste as the new squire of Buckhurst.
With the fresh green hues of spring about it, and the sky above a clear deep blue, melting away towards the horizon into soft opal tints, the old hall looked at its best, the sombre colouring of the dark shining ivy, that shrouded walls and casements, and twined its tendrils even about the quaint stacks of chimnies, contrasting well with the brighter tints in the surrounding landscape.
Descending banks, now covered with soft green turf, marked the spot where the moat had been in days gone by, and where its waters had once flowed evergreens now flourished, and primroses and broad clustering patches of wild violets grew thickly on the sloping banks and against the ivied walls of the old house.
Alighting from the chaise, the two young men, after receiving a very satisfactory answer from the butler as to the present health of the master of the house, passed through the great door, beautifully carved in oak of antique workmanship. A screen, supported by pilasters, very tastefully adorned, gave exit from the entrancepassage into the hall, a vast apartment with the walls hung with a variety of weapons, helmets, and flags, and a window, at the far end, ornamented with the Tinker arms and pedigree in stained glass.
As Oliver and Mark emerged from the screen, the door of the dining-room, which was just at their right hand, opened, and forth came a lady rustling in very stiff silk-a very tall lady, of commanding appearance, with clear olive complexion, black hair, piercing black eyes, and a nose so strongly aquiline, as to border on the Roman.
"Mr. Oliver Norris and Mr. Mark Unsworth, I presume," said the lady, advancing towards them. "Mr. Tinker has deputed to me the pleasure of receiving you, as he is yet unable to leave his room. I—that is, we, all his friends, I should say-have only felt too happy in rendering to him, during his illness, all the little services that lay in our power. Come into the dining-room, pray, and I will send word to Mr. Tinker that you have arrived, for I daresay he will like to see you before you dine; but I must prohibit more than a few minutes' chat, as it might excite him; besides, you must both need refreshment. I have ordered dinner for eight, and it wants only a quarter now. Will you tell Mrs. Ford," she added, turning to the butler, "to see that the fires are burning well in the chintz bedroom and the tapestry-room? The nights are cool, and I thought, as you were coming off a journey, you had best have fires," she continued, walking into the diningroom, followed by the two young men, who had not, as yet, been able even to edge in a word. Indeed, Oliver looked quite bewildered, whilst Mark's face expressed great inward amusement.
After some more remarks, principally on the lady's part, she rustled out of the room to give a few more orders, and to apprise Norris, through the butler, of the arrival of his son and step
"I'll tell you what, Mark," said Oliver, "this is an odd state of things. Here I am, my father's son, welcomed to his house as if I were a stranger, by a lady visitor, and told what room I shall have, and how long I am to be permitted to stay with him, and so She evidently orders everything here, and has the complete control of the household; and, by Jove, I think she intends having me under her wing too."
"I have heard of the man in possession in a case of distress for rent," replied Mark, laughing; "but as your father's is certainly a case of distress for a wife, I suppose we must consider Mis Fairfax as the woman in possession. Did you notice the affectionate and pitying tenderness with which she laid hold of my stumps?"
Here the conversation was stopped by the abrupt entrance of Peter and fon, followel by Miss Fairfax. After sundry fraternal greetings from the two boys, Oliver asked if they were going to dine with Mark and himself.