Obrazy na stronie

stitious Papist. But before Madame Jacques terrogate their surviving comrades ; and obfound occasion to repeat the tale, Maxime taining from all the same answer, that the was gone, and the Dumonts gone also. The poor Pearl could not have lived half an hour mother and daughter, having sold off their in such a sea as that of the 30th of Decem. scanty furniture, had retired to the village of ber, after she had been last seen by her con. Argues, probably to be beyond reach of the voy. animosity of the Crosnier family, and to sub. No one, however, appeared to make fur. sist upon the funds left with them by Maxime. ther inquiries after Max! Old Crosnier wus ,

It is not to be supposed that Jacques Cros. on his death bed, and his family in anxious nier (though his jealousy of his brother was attendance upon his last moments; and it stimulated a thousand fold by the unconceal. was noticeable that though the tidings of the ed misery of his parents at losing sight of loss of his son had broken the heari of the their favourite son) could consent without old man, so obstinately did he cling to the scruple to all the malpractices of his wife. hope of Maxime's survival, to reappear at It was only by pleading hypocritically the some future moment, that no persuasions of cause of the two infants of whom she was the notary employed by the ivoirier and his now the mother, and representing that, wife could induce him to frame his last will should Maxime once re.obtain a footing in and testament, otherwise than by bequeathhis father's house, he would inevitably retali- ing his whole property to his wife for her lifeate upon them and procure their expulsion,- time, with a request that she would divide it that Madame Jacques obtained his co-opera- by will between his representatives. It was tion. They had gone too far to recede; and conjectured by the disappointed Jacques that he silenced his conscience by, reminding his uncle Bouzard had some share in sughimself that all stratagems were lawful to se gesting this absurd disposition; and vexation cure his brother's salvation, by preventing was gnawing at his heart when, with outhis marriage with a Protestant. Still, when ward signs of grief, he followed his father to at the close of the five months, which usual- the grave, and remembered that for her life ly formed the limit of the absence of the his mother must retain her authority. Newfoundland fleet, Bouzard took his station Nevertheless, so thoroughly was Madame every morning, glass in hand, upon the jetty, Crosnier's spirit broken by the loss of her and announced that the Terre-Neuviers were husband and son, that it was easy for the not yet in sight, the heart of the elder brother ivoirier's wife to obtain sole ascendancy in began to wax heavy. Six months passed the house in the Pollet. Half the old wo. away--the seventh was advancing--and still man's time was spent in that long-closed no tidings. On the exchange of Dieppe not chamber of the second floor, which still cona broker could be found to listen to the pro- tained a few personal tokens of her beloved posals of the owners. It was clear that the Max-foreign shells and feathers, and Indian ships and their crews had come to misfor- implements and toys, which the poor old tune. Bouzard was to be seen from sunrise mariner had chosen to have laid upon his to nightfall, watching upon the falaise ; and deatlibed, that he might stretch his wasted old Crosnier and his wife spent their lives on hand over something that had once belonged their knees at the foot of the Calvary erected to his boy. Amid these treasures, and oppoon the jetty. Already they had vowed an site to a rough canoe of birch-bark, the bandioffering of a full rigged frigate in ivory to work of the shipwrecked man, would the ven. the shrine of Notre Dame des Grèves, in the erable Pierrette sit for hours, wandering back event of Maxime's return; and would have into the past ; reviling her own hardness of rushed forward to clasp the truant in their heart towards her Maxime, and grieving that arms, even had he presented himself holding not one of the tame-hearted cunning children the hand of a Protestant wife. But it was fat- of her son Jacques should, in the slightest deed that Maxime should come no more. In gree, recall to mind the brave, rebellious, the eighth month, a letter from Prince Ed. curly-headed varlet who, twenty years beward's Island apprized the associated own- fore, used to tag after her along the shores ers of the Newfoundland fleet, that, having of the Pollet, watching for the return of the been dispersed by a frightful storm, four of Belle Gabrielle. The Belle Gabrielle was the vessels had reassembled in the most dis- sold to a stranger; and the little curly-headtressed condition, and with great difficulty ed lad a senseless corse beneath the howling made for the nearest port, to refit; the Pearl, waves of the Atlantic! No wonder that the the fifth vessel, having foundered at sea, Of aflicted mother should weep and bemoan the Pearl, the fated fifth, had Maxime Cros- herself. No wonder that Madame Jacques, nier the command! The vessel had been impatient of her continued control in the seen for the last time, at nightfall on the 30th house, should reproach her with indifference of December, battling with the rising tem- towards her more deserving and still survive pest, and Maxime was then on the deck, en- ing son. couraging the men, and exerting unexampled Weary of these constant recurring reenergies in working his dismiasted ship. On monstrances, and anxious to conceal her the arrival of the Terre-Neuviers in the har. tears, Madame Crosnier was apt to wander bour, amid the acclamations of multitudes out from the Pollet, on summer evenings; who had dreaded never to behold their en- sometimes along the cliffs, as if she still extrance into the port of Dieppe, it was a sad pected that a future fleet of Terre-Neuviers thing to see the widows and orphans of those I might include the long-lost Pearl ; but oftenwho were lost in the Pearl, crowding to in- er along the green valley of the Scie and the

Saane. On one occasion, about four years churl had not only refused her relief, but after the loss of her husband, the poor old prevented her tale from reaching the ear of soul, no longer comely, no longer oppressed his mother. The widow of Mas had been with embonpoint, was taking ber sad and soli. led to believe, that if she presented herself tary way through the silence of a dreary before the family of Maxime, both she and September evening, up the ascent leading to her idolized boy would be exposed to injury the cemetery of the Pollet ; without noticing and insult. Sheltering herself

, therefore, in that, before her on the road, toiled a poor the obscure village where her mother had woman heavily charged with one of the breathed her last, she devoted herself sub. wicker hods of the country, who now and missively to the severest daily labour. Her then turned round to look after a little fellow comfort was in her child. It was sufficient as raggedly accoutred as herself. At length, for her consolation to breathe the name of a few paces in advance of Madame Crosnier, “ Max," and to find it answered by the sweet she paused to call the boy, who was seeking voice and fair looks of one who was the livberries in the hedge; and the name by which ing portrait of the lover of her youth. she addressed her child went straight to the In the dusk of that eventful evening, the heart of the sorrowing mother. It was Max ! two sorrowing women returned together to

“ How art thou called, little one ?" inquired the Pollet; and, from that night, scarcely Madame Crosnier, taking the hand of the lived one hour apart, till the sister of Bouboy, when, tardily obeying the call, he at zard was laid in the grave. Together they length followed his mother, who was proceed wept over him they had lost ; together, relating at some distance along the road.

ed to the young child the prowess and feats * My name is Maxime Crosnier-but I am of bis father. Old Pierrette felt that she only called Max. Now let me go, for I am could not lavish sufficient love and affection tired and hungry; and mother has promised upon this recovered treasure-this morsel of that if I step out, perhaps she will give me a her favourite son--this image of her darling bit of bread for supper.

Max; and old Bouzard was scarcely less de" And who is thy mother ?" persisted the lighted to perceive that the boy was likely agitated Pierrette.

to become a worthy representative of his fa" She is yonder there, at the top of the vourite nephew. From the startling moment hill."

of Madame Max's appearance in the Pollet, " Thou hast a father, perhaps ?" persisted under the protection of her mother-in-law, the old lady, in a faltering voice.

Jacques and his wife, as if hoping by submis1 Yes.”

sion to disarm inquiry and silence invective, " And where is thy father ?"

gradually withdrew from the place, and es" Far away, under the sea. My poor fa- tablished a household of their own ; more ther was lost by shipwreck; and granny is especially on perceiving that Madame Crosdead, and though mother works very, very nier, instead of shuddering at the heresies of hard, it is not always we can get food.” her daughter-in-law, exerted herself with

Madame Crosnier sat down on the bank success to establish the legality of Louise's by the way-side, without relinquishing the marriage, in order to bestow upon her grandhand of the child, who stood wondering by son his lawful share of the property of his her side.

forefathers. “ What was thy grandmother's name ?". The two oaken presses of the mansion of she continued in a scarcely audible whisper, the Pollet are accordingly now disunited; dreading that the reply might crush the de- and the twelve silver couverts have diminished lightful hopes already dawning in her heart. to six. For Pierrette, great as was to the And when poor little Max breathed in her last her adoration of the Max of her own ear the name of “ Dumont," the sobs with Max, was strictly just in her division of her which she threw her arms around him, and belongings between her two grandsons. ACthen, placing him at arms' length, considered cording to the desire of the widow Jacques, and reconsidered his handsome intelligent her eldest son received in money, from his little face, so terrified the boy, that he soon grandmother, an equivalent for the family mingled his tears with those of his unknown dwelling, and is now a flourishing tailor in relative. Thou art his--thou art mine the town of Dieppe. But the jolly mariner, thou shalt remain with me !" cried the poor who may be seen to this very hour upon the old soul — who, at the moment, felt as if quays, in affectionate discourse with his cou. one restored from the dead were folded in sin, the Bouzard of the present day, and who her arms; and while the boy struggled to inhabits, with a pretty, merry, little wife, extricate himself from her embraces, his mo- and a grave but happy old mother, a house ther, having returned along the road to seek in the Grande Rue of the Pollet, (the winher lost treasure, stood beside them in utter dows of which are bright with geraniums, and amazement. The explanation that ensued seem to be alive with linnets and canaries,) was heart-rending. The wasted cheek and is no other than Maxime Crospier ! His callous hands of poor Louise, attested the children still delight in showing to strangers tale of her sufferings, her wants, her labours, the shells and curiosities gathered in foreign for the sake of Maxime's son. After the parts by their shipwrecked grandfather; and death of her mother, she had made known the family may be visited and regarded by to Jacques Crosnier her situation, and the travellers as an advantageous specimen of the lawfulness of her wedlock with his brother, mariners of the Pollet. yet, at the instigation of his partner, the



Frowns through the evening's darkening

glooms The day is closing on the sea,

As once again the Fog-gun booms.
A day of storm and dread, —
The trembling ship meets wearily

They pass at length the guarded fort,
Each wave's foam-crested head ;

They pass the rocky height,
The creaking poles like willows bow And now within the sheltered port
To still-increasing blasts,

They're safe from Ocean's might.
The gallant crew, exhausted now,

One cheer, one loud, long, grateful cheer, Are clinging to the masts,

Bursts forth from ev'ry lip, And calling on the sailor's Friend,

As, in their welcome rest, they hear His strong and pitying aid to lend.

The sound that led their ship,

And brought them o'er the raging sea, They drift along before the gale,

To the calm port“ where they would be.” Whither they cannot know,

H. P., Nova TERRA. For the fog is hanging like a veil

Around them as they go. Darker and darker grows the day,

Loud and more loud the storm,
The fog so dense each sailor may

Scarce see his neighbour's form.
The brave turn pale to think that night CURIOSITIES OF LEGAL EXPERI.
May yield them to the wild sea's might.

A mother with her only child

No. III.
Is in the wave-tost bark,
And as the tempest grows more wild,

The eve more drear and dark,
She clasps the baby to her heart,

And prays for him alone;
For she is ready to depart,

No social institutions are perfect. Laws and So he, her precious one,

customs, the most beneficial to the general Might still be saved by Him, who trod mass, are often cruel and unjust to individO'er raging waves-the Son of God! uals. The gliding speed of a railroad train,

which daily contributes to the ease of thouAnd others, who, few hours before,

sands, may sometimes inflict a horrible death Were full of joy and hope,

on slow age or heedless infancy ; but we All telling of the days of yore,

cannot weigh the occasional suffering of one And giving boundless scope

against the perpetual advantage of many. To visions of their future hours

Still even to the steadiest eye and the sternAlas ! how altered now !

est heart there will come a momentary The gayest of the hopeful cow'rs,

doubt, when circumstances, compel attention The young girl bends her brow,

to these “Victims of Society." Was, it inAnd weeps that over dreams so fair deed, necessary that they should undergo Should fall the shadow of despair!

such a doom? Could no plan be discovered

to promote the general good without this A sound comes booming o'er the deep, sacrifice of happiness? And if justice anSolemn, and sad, and slow;

swer, No; if it be unreasonable for the sake Yet instantly the sailors leap

of a few to disturb the career of a nation, or Once more to man the prow.

to hope that the sun of a system will stay The mother's tears fall thick and fast his course at the voice of a man, still there Upon her baby's face;

is an aching assent, an unsatisfied reluctant She trusts that they may reach at last acquiescence, rather than a firm persuasion Their home, their native place,

of real and invincible necessity. It is hard And though she did not weep for fear, in all cases to keep in view the ultimate She weeps at thought of safety near. good of present misery; but when that

misery arises from torturing the very inThe young are full of hope again,

stincts of human nature-when, to preserve The girl hath dried her eyes,

a level regularity, society crushes and rolls While through the fog and driving rain down the tenderest feelings,-respecting The lab'ring vessel flies.

neither a mother's love nor a woman's outAgain, again the welcome sound,

raged affection,-how is it possible to avoid Nearer and nearer still;

a heartfelt sympathy with the victims-how It cometh from their native ground

can we check the rebel tear and the traiThe steep and well-known hill

torous humanity?' Those whose only object * It is customary at St. John's, Newfoundland, in life is to keep the even tenor of their way at Halifax, Nova Scotia, as well as in many other undisturbed by the sufferings of others, had situations where fogs are frequent and dense, to better not interest themselves in Anna

gun every hour, as a guide or warning to any Wyndham's history, but, with the Levite's vessels that may be near the coast.

selfishness, pass by on the other side.

fire a


In the autumn of 18–, the year before my neither O'Rourke nor myself noticed it. I articles expireil, I went to pass a month with felt very happy, and never took the trouble a fellow pupil at his brother's house in the to ask why. One morning, however, Biddy, county Cavan, where we certainly lived in the old housekeeper, began curtseying while the genuine style of Irish bachelors. The we were at breakfast, and informed his brother was away, and my friend commenced honour that the stock on the farm had all operations by taking stock, as he called it, been consumed, poultry, sheep, and all, that is, by getting from the old woman, who barring the big pig, which the Masther" took care of the cottage, a return of every was keeping for Christmas, O'Rourke thing eatable upon the premises. There looked astounded at this bad news, and exwas a large supply of ducks and fowls, seve- pressed his indignation at the small supply ral turkeys, a small sheep in the paddock, his brother kept on the farm ;-fowls, he and a large pig with three piglets in the stye. grumbled, no bigger than a jack snipe, and Two cows on the farm gave reasonable hopes a sheep that it would be worth any man's of milk, and butter, and buttermilk; the while io show about the country, as a specimeal-tub was full, and there was plenty of men of the dwarf breed. After venting his wheaten flour in store for griddle cakes ; spleen on the departed poultry and defunct eggs of course, while the poultry survived ; sheep, he proposed a survey of the big pig, wine we had brought from Dublin ; a keg of as the last resource of the garrison. whiskey was procured in less than no time; She was a huge creature, weighing eight and considherin', as O'Rourke judiciously or ten score at least, and as she lay on her observed, that we should probably dine out side grunting and twisting her tail, O'Rourke half our time, besides adding to the stock in “discoorsed” the old woman how easy it band by slaughtering incalculable numbers would be to make hams and bacon of part, of snipe, quail, woodcocks, hares, and wild and eat part fresh, &c.; but it was evident ducks, there was no great fear of a famine that Biddy had scruples, though she only any way. From this well-provisioned gar- ventured io suggest, What would the “ Masrison we sallied every morning on some ther” do at Christmas ? However, this little foray against the snipes in the bogs, or the interruption led us to consider how the time wild ducks on Lough Shillen; now and then was passing; and when it turned out that we varying our amusements, by attending a had already been six weeks at the cottage, coursing match in the county Meath, or a and that it wanted but ten days to Michaelpic-nic party to Lord Farnham's, or on Lake mas Term, it was quite evident that we had Virginia; but, for at least three evenings in far outstayed our leave of absence, and the week, we were always to be found at the ought to start for London immediately. The fireside of O'Rourke's uncle, the Rev. Mr. case was clear, there was no room for doubt ; Hamilton, of Kilmore House.

yet O'Rourke, as he turned away, cast a This punctual attendance was not alto. truculent look at old Grumphy, and seemed gether owing to a general respect for the to grudge her the involuntary reprieve. church, nor to an individual regard for the That very evening we took leave of the worthy parson; but the fact was, that he circle at Kilmore. My friend made a capital had three daughters, all pretty, lively girls, story about the pig, expressed his regret

, at who were as glad to see us come in as we going away a hundred times over, and shook were to join the party. Harriet, the young hands most warmly with every one. I tried est, was a black-eyed saucy thing of four- to follow his example, but was afraid to say teen, who liked a laugh and a romp, as her a word to Anna, and maneuvred to press her eldest sister had probably done before she hand last, that I might leave the house imreached her then matronly age of twenty. mediately after. I have often thought since, But it is with Anna, the second sister, then how different might have been her fate and about seventeen, that the narrative is princi. mine, had we been united. I was not actupally concerned. She was generally thought ally in love, yet she certainly had a hold to be the least beautiful of the three; her over my feelings; and as at that time I really eyes were not so bright, nor her colour so believe she herself was not quite indifferent brilliant; she was less animated, and never to me, in all likelihood a little more opportugave way to that flow of spirits, and abandon nity would have brought about a mutual to the impulse of the moment, which some- attachment. But it was not to be : times carried her sisters a little beyond bounds. But she had a more womanly look “ There's a Divinity that shapes our ends, than either; there was a conscientious ex Rough-hew them how we will." pression, a something that invited trust and confidence; every word and action displayed Though it is curious enough to reflect that, extreme and innate gentleness, and she pos

in the present instance, the future destiny of sessed, in the highest degree, that invaluable two human beings probably turned on the blessing, a temper of sunny cheerfulness. question whether O'Rourke would or would To borrow from a poet, who unfortunately not-slaughter the big pig ! has little good to lend, “ Her face was like the milky way in the sky,

Five years passed away before I saw Anna A meeting of gentle lights without a name.

again, and in that brief period how many

changes had occurred ! She was Anna The allotted month had passed away ,yet Hamilton no longer, but the wife of Mr.



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Wyndham, and the mother of a little girl. in the warm earth, and watered by the gentle On calling at the house in Bedford Square, dew. And so it is with human beings; many I felt an indefinable reluctance to ask for germs of character lie buried in the heart, Mrs. Wyndham. Although I had been in- unknown to and unsuspected even by ourformed of the marriage three years before, selves, until the favouring circumstances ocand busy life had greatly weakened early cur which call them into life and energy. impressions, and my feelings were no longer Whether this was the case with Mrs. Wynds in the gristle of youth, but hardened into ham, or whether my own observation was in the bone of manhood,” still there must ever fault, I cannot say ; but certainly to me it be a strange uneasy sensation at meeting, as was a new trait in her character to find that the wife of another, one whom you once she was a Protestant, "sincere, austere, as thought of for your own. She received me far as her own gentle heart allowed," and with the utmost kindness ; she would not imbued with a perfect horror of the Roman notice that my hand shook on touching hers, Catholic creed. Yet, after all, it was nothing nor that I was afraid to look at her; but very surprising that the daughter of an Irish talked on the subjects of the day, until I clergyman, himself a thorough Orangeman, had regained my composure. Even then and boasting a descent from the far-famed she said little of her husband, nor sent for “ 'Prentice Boys” of Derry, should feel nurse and the baby, selon les règles on such strongly on a subject impressed on her mind occasions; all mention of old times was by precept and example from earliest childavoided, and our conversation turned entire hood. Perhaps, too, she felt that “besoin d' ly on the changes which had occurred since aimer," that wish for some object to call forth our parting five years before. I was obliged the full devotion of the heart, which her to give a minute account of my proceedings husband could neither excite nor appreciate. since leaving Kilmore, and she took such in. “ Ah !" writes Madam de Sevigné, “ah! terest in my difficulties, and congratulated jamais, jamais je ne serai pas aimé comme me so warmly on my success, that I was sur- j'aime !"--and it was obvious to me that such prised, and perhaps a little vexed, to find a feeling had often crossed the mind of Anna how soon my embarrassment disappeared. Wyndham. At all events, the family arrangeNothing destroys a mere sentiment so tho- ments were strict and almost austere; attenroughly as a frank and open demeanour. dance at morning and evening prayers was These weakling fancies are like the animals rigidly enforced on the household; works of which are sometimes found shut up in blocks fiction were banished from the drawing-room, of wood or stone, existing for a length of and a solitary pack of cards was consigned to time, while closely shut up in their cavities, the fire without remorse. Controversial tracts but perishing at once when exposed to the abounded both in the parlours and kitchen; sunny light and free air of heaven.

and the servants, whenever they wanted to From this time forward my intercourse take a walk with a "sweetheart,” always with Mrs. Wyndham was that of true friend. made a pretence of wishing to hear a sership. I felt and expressed an open and mon or lecture against the Papistical dogmas. undisguised interest in all that concerned One of these damsels was the orphan child her or her husband, and when I myself burst of Roman Catholic parents, and had been forth from the chrysalis state of bachelordom taken into Mr. Hamilton's family when only into the full splendour of a married man, twelve years old : she was now about eighi. Anna was the first to welcome my beautiful een, heavy.browed, ruddy, and with rather Ellen with a sister's sincere affection. a showy figure, but possessed of a pair of

When the two families became intimate, bold black eyes that had something danger. I found Mr. Wyndham to be a pleasing, gen- ous in their expression. There was a latent tlemanly man, of remarkably easy temper, fierceness in her manner at times, which told flexible to a fault, and rather formed to be of strong passions kept down but not quelled, • liked by many than to be loved by one. He and altogether I had no great liking for had that vague indiscriminate benevolence Alley," as she was called. Her mistress of disposition, which, if it gives no provoca- however looked upon the girl with great tion to hatred, offers little incentive to love. favour, as a proselyte of her own making, and His character, like the portrait which good frequently congratulated herself on having Queen Bess desired the painter to draw, was rescued one fellow-creature at least from the without shade; and the consequence was Papistical idolatries. Whether she had inuch not, as the royal critic expected, an increase cause for congratulation, will appear from of brilliancy, but a dull monotony of colour- the extracts which I shall now make from my ing, without relief or expression. He was private journal. about eight-and-twenty, tall, with a good May 10.-Ellen called at Bedford Squaro figure, large hazel eyes, regular features, and to-day, and found Mrs.Wyndham much excitbrown curlrd hair. His profession was that ed by the discovery that her proselyte, Alley, of an architect, in which he showed consi- was as good a Roman Catholic as ever. A derable taste and ingenuity.

string of beads, accidentally found in her It is a remarkable fact, that the seeds of room, gave rise to inquiry, during which the plants, which have lain for two thousand damsel entirely lost her temper, and not only years in a mummy's hand, shut up in its avowed her determined adherence to the porphyry sarcophagus, have yet been found old church, but also loaded her mistress with to shoot and burst into blossom, when placed the fiercest abuse. The very necessity for

« PoprzedniaDalej »