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“ To London, sweetest-to the great city; there is work, they say, and food for all, and very, very soon I shall be rich enough to return and take you there too.' (I bad strange ideas of London in those days, I didn't believe that the streets were paved with gold, but I had a sort of vague notion that I should only have to present myself to obtain work and support.)
“ • But will you not forget me in that great place,' she said.
«« With life, never !--and my faith is strong as my love is true,' I answered.
“A slight blush-stream flowed over the marble paleness of her brow and blanched cheek.
“Pledge me, then,' she said, 'to think of me each day-to be ever mindful of our oft-repeated vows-and to be true to them.”
“ I did promise—I did pledge iny all here and hereafter on my faith; and now, on the eve of that long journey of awful stillness, I thank my God that I kept it pure, spotless, and unbroken.
“Many a last farewell was spoken_soul leaning against souland with one tear-mingled kiss we parted,—would to God it had been for aye! That night I slept not;—in the breaking light I arose, and with a trembling hand wrote a hasty note to my mother. Passing her chamber-door as would an escaping prisoner his sleeping keeper, I darted into the morning-onwards through the fields-through the lanes, the sun kissing the uplands--onwards thorough the hop-yards, with their blythe and busy band of women-workers binding the young shootsonwards to the old lighway, renowned Watling Street-onwards to the city of eclesiastical preēminence, where once the giant tenants of primæval forests struck deep their roots in earth ; where druids strung their mystic beads; where Roman legions fought and raised the sacred altar ; where fire, desolation, and rapine followed in the wake of conquering Danes ; and where Elfeda, Alfred's warlike daughter, defying their fiery arrows, met and overthrew those savage invaders. Could Saxon arch or Roman tower plagiarise a tongue, what archives would equal that they would tell us! As I neared the city, feeling exhausted I slackened my pace and strolled distractedly into the sombre streets, knowing not, caring not whither I went-much like a man wandering through a great forest purposeless.
(To be concluded in our next.)
BY J. J. BRITTON.
WHEN the blocks of ice thaw-loosened
Hurtle down the steep, Like a rugged Vandal army,
On the hamlet's sleep :
When, like healed lepers casting
Off the palid blight,
From their snow-shrouds white :
When the rain in gray mist drizzles,
Rather seen than felt : When from round the low green valleys
Falls the icy belt:
When the brown and solemn forest
Garbs in light buds gay, Like a sober village father
Out for holyday :
When the eagle wheeleth downward,
Hanging o'er the herd :
Many a stranger bird :
When the log no more is gathered,
Peat is left behind :
By the weary hind :
When the coat of winter freize-cloth
Hangeth on the nail :
With the silent flail :
When the rusty spade issueth
From its winter nook : When the hands, the mattock clutching,
Fling aside the book:
When the blue and nipped features
Put on warmer red :
Hymns of joy are said ;
Hymns of joy for every green blade
Struggling through the earth;
Child of sun-beam birth :
Then, be sure the infant season,
With half trembling hands,
Al her cradling bands.
Then, be sure the summer standeth
In the offing dim;
Spring to come to him !
'Tis this, O my Lucy, of earth's flowers the best,
It is surely exceedingly unfair that velocity should be confined to the sex male : since the world commenced its mad foundering in space-fast girls have abounded, and until the same mad flounderer shall be knocked “out of time” by the black fist of chaosfast girls will abound! Fastness may be in these ages of a milder character, than of yore-(we hope it is, for such gentle feats as tacking planets together in order to spangle the skirt of one's robe-scourging one's spouse to pieces—devouring one's children for an antemeridian meal—and pinning down the heads of one's tired visitors with the iron nails to the bedstead—would have been esteemed merely as rather fast.)
The root from which has sprung the whole stock is, we submit, to be found, in that lady whose complexion was as dark as the veil of fables since wound round her—who was the daughter of Jupiter—who was cut off without a shilling by her father, was hurled with so severe a “rap" upon this earth, and whose denomination is Ate. Very pretty is the game (all will acknowledge) played by this damsel and her admirer—whose name and address (from a card unfortunately dropped in a certain garden of Eden) is well known—and of whom, it is said by alarmists, that he has cut for her sake his low friends and his old flames, and intends living in a princely (Regent) manner upon our unfortunate glube but this by the way. The Medusa, with her killing glance; the Medea ; Callipatira, who donned her husband's unnoticeables, and attended the Olympic Games; the young lady, to feed whose vanity Leander nightly struggled through the heavy-wet of the Hellespont, with no other encouragement to him in the waves below but the wave of her scented kerchief above ; the young person of fashion, whose charms and abduction carried by storm the heart of Paris and the city of Troy ; Cleopatra, the sale of whose effects for the benefit of their seizer (Cæsar) caused such a gallant auction, when her aspirations and life were bitten short by the asp on her bosom; the fair criminal who bared her charms in open court to move the pity of her judges ; the Romaness, who drove her cab in so unhandsome and unchary a manner over the body of her slaughtered governor; Catherine de Medicis, and her of Russia; Boadicea, Lady Macbeth, and Lucretia Borgia--all these were likewise unmistakeably, and most of them unpleasantly, “fast.” As, however, to chronicle byegone fastness is a pursuit which is not altogether undeserving of tbe opprobium“slow," we will take a novel reader's leap from A.M., and B.C., to A.D. 1852, and look around on the less cruel, less artful, less beautiful, more loveably and more dressy fast “darlings” of our own day, whose dazzling “graces” pin down our hearts instead of our heads !
In so doing let us consider Life as a Theatre, and its different grades as the different places—forgetting, however, (as the fashion is) the existence of a gallery—for truly the godesses of that Olympus so generally incline to the Venus and Juno view of things that Diogenes' lanthorn would in addition to the gas, be required to discover among them a-slow girl!
In the Pit, then, which corresponds to the shady side of middle rank—we have the English Grisette who expends her scanty income upon her own pretty little person, and whose rich hair is brushed and coaxed in a manner which might be envied of the Countess, whose Lorgnette shines over her head. She is happy and hearty-fond-passionately fond—of a “spree.” When her lover treats her to a suburban trip, she will take the reins and courageously drive the hired hack. She has been known to discharge a shotted fowling piece. She is the spirit of a Gipsy Party, and her presence well maketh up for the absence of Champagne and Burgundy. She is an assumed coquet, but seldom a real one. She rallies her spooney admirer unsparingly—is ever provoking his jealousy. Laughs at him and about him in public -convinces all of the non-existence of her love and secretly would follow him “the wide world over!”
Higher in the boxes and the stalls of society, where money and education give opportunity, that opportunity is embraced, and the shades of feminine fastness are more numerous and vivid. There is the haughty brunette, who, Beatrice-like, shunneth her sex, hateth its weaker representatives, and yet apeth its manners and conversation. Would you read her a poem, she would brand it as trash ; would you seek to move her human sympathies, she would stigmatise the attempt as—cant; would you talk to her of love, she would think you jested; would you offer her love, she would call you a fool! Speak to her of Nimrod, discuss the respective merits of gun-cotton and powder, and you will be to her a man of science; pour upon her anecdotes of some score or two of extra sagacious hounds and horses--together with a few of your own in the field,--and you are “ an amusing creature." Offer her the