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She had lived, we'll say,

The marts and tempels, the triumphal A harmless life, she called & virtuous life,

gates A quiet life, which was not life at all,

And towers of observation, clears herself (But that, she had not lived enough to To elemental freedom-thus, my soul, know),

At poetry's divine first finger-touch, Between the vicar and the county squires, Let go conventions and sprang up The lord - lieatenant looking down

prised, times

Convicted of the great eternities From the empyreal, to assure their souls

Before two worlds." gainst chance - vulgarisms, and, in the

abyes, The apothecary looked on once a-year, To prove their soundness of humility.

So Aurora began to make verses, The poor-club exercised her Christian gifts

and found herself all the better for Of knitting stockings, stitching petticoats,

the exercise. But there were more Because we are of one flesh after all, And need one flannel (with a proper sense Leighs in the world than Aurora. Of difference in the quality)-and still The book-club, guarded from your modern She had a cousin, Romney Leigh, trick

the proprietor of Leigh Hall, who, Of shaking dangerous questions from the

even a youth, exhibited queer Preserved her intellectual. She had lived

tendencies :A sort of cage-bird life, born in a cage, Accounting that to leap from perch to

perch Was act and joy enough for any bird.

· Romney, Romney Leigh. Dear heaven, how silly are the things that I have not named my cousin hitherto, live

And vet I used bim as a sort of friend :
In thickets, and eat berries!

My elder by few years, but cold and shy
I, alas,

And absent tender, when he thought of
A wild bird scarcely fledged, was brought

it, to her cage,

Which scarcely was imperauve, grave beAnd she was there to meet me. Very kind.

times, Bring the clean water; give out the fresh As well as early master of Leigh Hall,

Whereof seed."

the nightmare, sate upon

Repressing all its seasonable delights,
And agonising with a ghastly sense
or universal bideous want and wrong

To incriminate possession. Wben he camo
This prim old lady was not exactly From college to the country, very oft
to Miss Aurora's mind ; indeed, there o. crossed the bills on visits to my aunt,

With gift of blue grapes from the hotwas not much love lost between

houses, them, for Aunt Marjory had been A book in one hand, -mere statistics (if

I chanced to lift the cover), count of all sorely incensed, and with good rea

The goats

whose beards sprouting son, as will presently appear, at her down toward hell, brother's marriage with a foreigner, And she, she almost loved him, - even al

Against God's separating judgment-hour. and never thoroughly forgave the lowed daughter, However, she did her That sometimes he should seem

to sigh

my way;
duty by her in her own fashion, sup. It made hiin' easier to be pitiful,
plementing ber education by giving And sighing was his gift."
her instruction in such things as are
usually taught to English girls, an
intellectual regimen wbich excited This young gentleman, after his
the profoundest disgust in Aurora. Own odd fashion, has conceived an
However, she had strength enough to attachment for Aurora ; nor is be an
stand the trial, though occasionally object of total indifference to her,
threatening to die; and her patience though her mind is more occupied
was at length rewarded by finding with versification than with love.
her father's books in a garret. These The two characters, male and female,
she devoured furtively, and lighting are meant to stand in strong contrast
upon the poets, at once perceived her to each other. Romney is a Social-

ist, bent on devoting himself to the
regeneration of mankind, and the
improvement of the condition of the

working classes, by carrying into ef“ At Inst, because the time was ripe, fect the schemes of Fourier and ) chanced upon the poets.

Owen--the aim of Aurora is, through

As the earth Art, to raise the aspirations of the
Planges in fury, when the internal fires
Have reached and pricked her heart, and,

people. The man is physical, the throwing flat

woman metaphysical. The one is


was made

for increasing bodily comfort, the him, was in fact carrying out that other for stimulating the mind. intention. Otherwise Aurora is a Both are enthusiasts, and both are beggar, for her aunt has no fortune intolerably dogmatic. Now it so to leave her. Such suggestions as happens that, on the mornicg of the these, when they occur in romance twentieth anniversary of her birth- and poetry, always prove arguments day, Miss Aurora sallies forth early, in favour of obstinacy; and Aurora, with the laudable purpose of crown- even though she likes Romney, fixes ing herself after the manner of Co- upon them as insuperable obstacles rinna, and is surprised by Romney to the marriage :in the act of placing an ivy wreath apon her brows. Romney has picked ap a volume of her manuscript po

"Romney now was turned ems, which he returns, not, however, To a benefactor, to a generous man, with any complimentary phrase, but who had tied himself to marry — me, inrather sneeringly, and forthwith be or such a woman, with low timorous 11ds gins to read her a lecture, in a high He lifted with a sudden word one day, puritanical strain, upon the vanity of And Left, perhaps, for my sake.—Ah, selfher pursuits. This, of course, rouses By a contract, -male Iphigenia, bound the ire of Aurora, who retorts with At a fatal Aulis, for the winds to change,

(But loose him – they'll not change); he great spirit on his materialistic ten

well might seem dencies. In the midst of this dis- A little cold and dominant in love! cussion he has the bad taste to pro- This poor, good Romney.

He had a right to be dogmatical,

Love, to him, pose, not so much, as he puts it, throuch love, but because he wants A simple law-clause. If I married him,

I would not dare to call my soul my own, a helpmate to assist bim in the erec

Which so he had bought and paid for: tion of public washing-houses, soup- and every heart-beat down there in the kitchens, and hospitals; whereapon

bill,our high-souled poetess flies off at a Not one found honestly deductible tangent :

From any use that pleased him! He might * What you love,

My body into coins to give away

Among his other paupers; change my sons, Is not a woman, Romney, but a cause:

While I stood dumb as Griseld, for black You want a helpmate, not a mistress, sirA wife to help your ends--in her no end! Your cause is noble, your ends excellent,

Or piteous foundings; might unquestioned Bat 1, being most unworthy of these and My right hand teaching in the Ragged that,

Schools, Do otherwise conceive of love. Farewell.'

My left hand washing in the Public Baths,

What time my angel of the Ideal stretched
Farewell, Aurora? you reject me thus ?'

Both his to me in vain! I could not claim
The poor right of a mouse in a trap, to

* Why, sir, you are married long

And take so much as pity, from myself.”
You have a wife already whom you love,
Your social theory. Bless you both, I say.
Por my part, I am scarcely meek enough
To be the handmaid of a lawful spouse.

In short, she will be her own misDo I look a Hagar, think you!! :*

tress, and work out her own indeAunt Marjory, when she hears of Aurora about three hundred pounds.

Her aunt dies, leaving

pendence. this refusal, is frantic

, and rates Au- She peremptorily rejects a large sum rora soudly for rejecting a fortune of money which Romney, with delilaid at ber feet. She explains that by a special clause in the Leigh en

cate generosity, had attempted to

place at her disposal, without allowtail

, offspring by a foreign wife were ing her to incur the sense of obligacut off from succession

that no

tion, and starts for the metropolis :sooner was Aurora born than the next beir, Rompey Leigb's father, proposed tbat a marriage should be

go hence arranged between his son and the

London, the gathering-place of child, so that the penalties of disinherison might be avoided—and that to live

mine straight out, vocally, in Romney, by asking her to marry Harmoniously for others, if indeed




He said.

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woman's soul, like man's, be wide

ney Leigh again appeared, and after enough

the death of her friend, proposed to To carry the whole octave (that's to prove), Or if I fail, still, purely for myself.”

marry her, fashioning his proposal

thus : Locating herself at Kensington, she begins her literary career, and achieves distinction. One day she is “Dear Marian, of one clay God made us waited on by a certain Lady Walde


And though mar, who gives her the astounding

push and poke and

paddle in't information that her cousin Romney, (As children play at fashioning dirt-pies), whom she had not seen for three And call their fancies by the name of facts,

Assuming difference, lordship, privilege, years, is on the eve of marriage

When all's plain dirt,-they come back to

it at last; “ To a girl of doubtful life, undoubtful first grave-digger proves birth.

spade, Starved out in London, till

And pats all even. Need we wait for this, grained hands

You, Marian, and I, Romney? Are whiter than her morals."

She, at that,

Looked blindly in his face, as when one This Lady Waldemar is personally through driving autumn-rains to find the in love with Romney Leigh, and sky. comes to ask the aid of Aurora in He went on speaking.

Marian, I being born breaking off the ill-assorted mar

What men call noble, and you, issued from riage. Aurora, however, having con- The noble people, though the tyrannous ceived a disgust to her visitor (wbigh Which pierced Christ's heart, has cleft the is not surprising, seeing that her con- world in twain versation is so flavoured with allu- 'Twixt class and class, opposing rich to

, sions to garlic, that even the Lady of Shall we keep parted ? Not 60. Shallot would have recoiled from her whispers), refuses to have any partici- Andøtrain together father, each to each,

Compress red lips of this gaping pation in the matter, but resolves im- wound, mediately to see this girl, Marian Erle, As far as two souls can-ay, lean and

league, who resides in a garret somewhere in

I, from my superabundance, - from your the purlieus of St. Giles. After pass- want,

protest 'gainst the ing through the abominations of that You-joining in

wrong quarter, and receiving the maledic- On both sides!!” tions of thief and prostitute, the poetess discovers the object of her search, and hears her story. Marian While Marian is telling her story Erle, the selected bride of Romney to Aurora, Romney comes in, looks Leigh, was the danghter of a tramp certainly a little surprised at finding and squatter on the Malvern Hills, his cousin there, but is by no means and her education was essentially a disconcerted. Naturally enough hedge one. Her father drank and Aurora supposes that he must be beat his wife, and the wife in turn beat influenced by a very strong passion her child. When Marian arrived at for the girl whom he is about to the age of puberty, her unnatural make his wife, and congratulates him, mother was about to sell her as a with what sincerity we need not invictim to the lusts of "a squire," quire, on having made choice of so fair when the girl, in horror, ran away, and gentle a creature. Romney, howburst a blood-vessel in her flight, ever, utterly denies the soft impeachwas found senseless on the road by a ment, in so far as it implies that his waggoner, and conveyed to an hos- affections were any way engaged. pital in a neighbouring, town, where Ordinary men contract marriages Romney Leigh was a visitor. Find- from love he is influenced by a far ing that she was friendless and home- higher principle. He says:less, he procured her a place in a sowing establishment in London, which she quitted to attend the "You did not, do not, cannot comprehend, deathbed of a poor consumptive com- My choice, my ends, my motives, nor my. panion, who had sunk under the

No matter now-we'll let it pass, you say. pressure of over-work. Here Rom. I thank you for your generous cousinship

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Which helps this present; I accept for her was to be typical of the inpending Your favourable thoughts. We're fallen abolition of all class distinctions, on days,

Romney determined that it should We two, who are not poets, when to wed

be celebrated in the presence of high Requires less mutual love than

and low, and issued cards accordlove, For two together to bear out at once

ingly. Upon the loveless many. Work in pairs,

"Well, In galley-couplings or in marriage-rings, The difference lies in the honour, not the

A month passed so, and then the notice

came; work,

On such a day the marriage at the church. And such we're bound to, I and she. But

I was not backward. love, (Foa poets are benighted in this age;

Half St. Giles in frieze

Was bidden to meet St. James in cloth of The hour's too late for catching even

gold, moths,

And after contract at the altar, pass You've gnats instead), love !- love's fool

To eat a marriage-feast on Hampstead paradise

Heath. Is out of date, like Adam's. Set a swan

Of course the people came in uncompelled, To swim the Trenton, rather than true

Lame, blind, and worse - sick, sorrowful, love

and worse, To float its fabulous plumage safely down

The humours of the peccant social wound
The cataracts of

loud transition-

All pressed out, poured out upon Pimlico,
Whose roar, for ever henceforth, in my

Exasperating the unaccustomed air

With hideous interfusion : you'd suppose ears,

A finished generation, dead of plague, Must keep me deaf to music."

Swept outward from their graves into the

sun, In short, the man has not an atom The moil of death upon them. What a of love for the girl, whom he proposes

sight! to wed entirely from motives of A holiday of miserable men

Is sadder than a burial-day of kings. general philanthropy! At this Aurora is somewhat disgusted; bat, They clogged the streets, they oozed into wishing to show kindness to her in a dark, slow stream, like blood. To see cousin—perhaps to testify her own

that sight, indifference, which,

The noble ladiess tood up in their pews, however, is

Some pale for fear, a few as red for hate, rather feigned than real — she sug- Some simply curious, some just insolent,


in gests that the marriage should take


scorn, - What

next? what next? place at her house. But Master

These crushed their delicate rose-lips from Romney will not hear of such an

the simile

That misbecame them in a holy place, arrangement, as it might weaken

With broidered hems of perfumed handthe effect of the grand moral les- kerchiefs; son which he intends to convey to

Those passed the salts with confidence of

eyes society :

And simultaneous shiver of moiré silk;
While all the aisles, alive and black with

heads, " He answered, 'But it is :-) take my

Crawled slowly toward the altar from the wife


As bruised snakes crawl and hiss out of a Directly from the people,-and she comes,

hole As Austria's daughter to imperial France,

With shuddering involutions, swaying Betwixt her eagles, blinking not her race,

slow From Margaret's Court, at garret - height,

From right to left, and then from left to

right, to meet

In pants and pauses. What an ugly crest And wed me at St. James's, nor put off

of faces roge upon you everywhere Her

From that crammed mass ! you did not gown of serge for that. The things

usually Fedo,

See faces like them in the open day: We do: we'll wear

no mask, as if we They hide in cellars, not to make you mad

As Rommey Leigh is.-Faces! O my God,
We call those, faces? men's and women's


And children's ; – babies, hanging like The following sketch of the com

rag pany assembled to witness the mar- Forgotten on their mother's neck,


mouths, riage ceremony is too racy and rich to be omitted here. As the union wiped clean of mother's milk by mother's


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taught her cursing At this St. Giles' rises in insurrecFaces !--pbew, We'll call them vices festering to despairs,

tion, cursing Romney as a seducer, Or sorrows petrifying to vices : not

and accusing him of having made A finger-touch of God left whole on them;

away with the girl. There is a superl, All ruined, lost

countenance worn out

row, with threats of violence and As the garments, the will dissolute as the arson, until the police enter and clear

acts, The passions loose and draggling in the the church. dirt

Beyond an engimatical letter of To trip the foot up at the first free step!

leave-taking, which gives no explaThose faces ! 'twas as if you had stirred

nation of her avoiding the marriage To heave its lowest dreg-fiends uppermost In fiery swirls of slime,

ceremony, we hear nothing of Mariau

- such strangled fronts.

for a long time. Romney retires to Such obdurate jaws were thrown up con- Leigh Hall, which he has turned into

stantly, To twit you with your race, corrupt your

phalanstery,” by which term, we blood,

presume, is meant an Owenite comAnd grind to devilish

colours all your munity. Miss Aurora continues her dreams Henceforth, - though, haply, you

should devotion to the muses, and becomes drop asleep

more notable day by day; but a horBy clink of silver waters, in a muse On Raffael's mild Madonna of the Bird."

rid suspicion crosses her that Lady Waldemar has found the weak side

of her wealtby cousin. For, at a conSo there they wait—that strangely versazione at the house of a certain assorted company

the denizens of Lord Howe she learns that the fair St. Giles thronging on the inhabitants and intriguing Waldemar is commonof St. James—both parties curious to ly considered as Romney's pet disbehold the marriage which is to in- ciple—nay, that she is considered as augurate the future revolution and his bride intended. In the words of fusion of society. Romney Leigh Mrs. Browning, which we give withappears to do the honours; but time out the metrical divisions,rolls on, and still the bride comes not. The fashionables stare and talk gossip; the vulgar murmur, and de

“You may find her name on all his mis. sire a smoke_until a rumour to the hospitals

. He has had her down with other

sions and commissions, schools, asylums. effect that something is amiss, per- ladies, whom her starry lead persuaded vades the throng.

from other spheres, to his country-place in

Shropshire, in the famed phalanstery at and


Leigh Hall, christianised from Fourier's around ;

own, in which he has planted out his sap. A naked whisper touched us. Something ling stocks of knowledge into social bursa

wrong! What's wrong? The black crowd, as

ries; and there, they say, she has tarried overstrained

half a week, and milked the cows, and Cord, quivered in vibrations, and I saw- churned, and pressed the curd, and said Was that his face I saw? — his--Romney.my sister to the lowest drab of all the

Which tossed a sudden horror like a sponge

assembled castaways. Such girls! Ay, Into all eyes,

while himself stood white sided with them at the washing-tub." upon The topmost altar-stair, and tried to speak, And failed,

and lifted higher above his head

Lady Waldemar, in a very spiteful A letter,--as

who drowns and speech, confirms this impression; and gasps.

Miss Aurora, who all this time has My brothers, bear with me!

I am very

had a secret hankering for her cousin, weak.

determines to

square her balances I meant but only good. Perhaps I meant Too proudly,

and God snatched the cir- with her publisher, and to depart for cumstance,

Italy. And changed it therefore. There's

In Paris she encounters Marian, marriage-none.

leaves me, she departs, dis- and finds her mother. The expla

appears, I lose her. Yet I never forced her “ay,"

nation is, that Lady Waldemar had To have her "no" so cast into my teeth,

tampered with the girl ; and by reIn manner of an accusation, thus. My friends, you are all dismissed, Go, eat with Romney would be bis sociul

presenting to her that her marriage and drink According to the programme,--and farewell "" ruin, induced her to take flight on


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