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She lies on her couch, all pale and hushed,
And is still as the spring-flower by traveller crushed,
The mother has flown from that lonely room,
And the maid is mute and pale:
Iler ivory hand is cold as the tomb,
Her mother strays with folded arms,
But listen! what name salutes her ear?
"Jesus," she cries, "has no power here;
He leads the way to that cold white couch,
And bends o'er the senseless form;
Can his be less than a heavy touch?
The maiden's hand is warm!
And the fresh blood comes with a roseate hue,
While Death's dark terrors fly;
Her form is raised, and her step is true,
And life beams bright in her eye.
WHEN the dessert was finally put upon the table, I had great advantages for hearing all the conversation that passed round me; and I was much amused.
The Admiral told a number of good stories. He told them particularly well, from having told them evidently very often before;
and we felt sure they must be all true, for Captain Thompson was there to vouch for them. There was a further advantage in the repetition, since the children knew exactly where the jokes lay, and when to laugh.
Reginald, impudently enough, called these stories his uncle's long yarns, which I understood to be the sea phrase denoting endless recital. I felt I was a little given to indulge in the same weakness, so I could excuse it in the dear good Admiral. I watched my mistress putting some grapes and biscuits aside. I guessed what she was doing, and longed to be of the party; the plate was going up to Frank, who was not well enough to play with the others, and to Bertha, who was too young.
The Admiral gave the Queen's health, for he was a loyal old officer. The ladies retired to the drawing-room; the children rushed to play in the hall. My dear mistress had to assist Lady Jemima in her basket-work. She always began it, and often finished it for her, generally doing a good large bit in the middle of any piece she had in hand.
The gentlemen closed round the fire to discuss politics, and talk of their farms, and crops, sheep, and bullocks. Captain Thompson was a dead hand at the poor-rates; it was wearying to me. One thing I gathered from the general conversation, namely, that the Admiral, Reginald, and one of the little Thompsons were to go to sea in a few days, and that Lady Jemima was to spend the winter at Bath. So soon to part again with Reginald was painful to me.
The gentlemen joined Lady Jemima, and had coffee; but I was so engaged with sad reflections as scarcely to perceive that the servants were clearing away the things, and were making sundry preparations for the sports of the evening. The dessert was carried away, all but the golden pippins and ourselves; we were, by Mrs. Parsons' particular desire, replaced upon the side-board; a deal table and a tub of cold water were brought in, after the Turkey carpet had been rolled aside. Whilst all this was going on, we heard peals of laughter ringing through the hall, and the boys shouting as they played at blindman's-buff. The Admiral and my master were playing as heartily as the best of them. Mr. Neville sat with Lady Jemima, and I missed Alice; she had slipped up-stairs to sit with Frank.
The merriment waxed fast and furious, and presently the whole troop burst into the dining-room, "following the leader," who was my master; and a fine dance he led them, in and out, and over chairs and tables, like hounds after a hare: I certainly saw fine sport now. Comparative peace being restored, a large pan of almonds and raisins was put upon the deal table, the candles were put away, a screen
was placed before the fire, and as I wondered why we were left in the dark, the Admiral came in, carrying a taper and a bottle of brandy, which he poured all over the almonds and raisins, then set light to the spirits, and all the large dish was on fire; such beautiful blue flames were kindled, licking the pan round like fiery tongues, then darting and curling up like snakes, lighting all the room fitfully, and casting a lurid glare on the children's faces, as they danced round it. The fun then began: such dashing at the burning almonds, such snapping at the raisins dropping liquid fire, as they threw them about with their fingers tipped by blue flames; such screaminghalf fright and half pleasure. Reginald's hand was never out of the dish,-scattering fire in every direction, till the dish was empty. Candles reappeared, and the noise subsided for a while. Mrs. Parsons now entered, carrying a bullet-pudding, and a large kitchenknife-a horrid instrument! I never see a knife without feeling a cold chill running through me! the knife is in reality the natural enemy the apple: I always sympathised with a king called James, of whom I heard mistress tell the children; King James never could bear the sight of "cold steel" from his birth. It is a very natural feeling.
To return to the bullet-pudding: it was formed in the shape of a solid, well-pressed pyramid of dry flour, on the conical top of which was placed a leaden bullet, or a boy's marble; each child, by turns, cuts a slice of the flour down, and the child whose cut brings down the bullet, is bound to hunt for it in the dish in which it has buried itself as it fell, and to bring it out with his teeth! At first they cut boldly enough; but as the pyramid diminished, and got undermined, and the bullet began to topple over, the children became more cautious. Thompson brought it down, and a fine figure he was when he found the bullet, his hair, face, and eyelashes all powdered, like a rat in a meal-tub. I was laughing fit to kill myself at the drollery of this sport, when I saw the table and dish taken away, and a great wooden tub-a washing-tub-put into the middle of the room; I heard a shout raised of "Now for the apples! now for the apples!" re-echoed from all sides. I felt agitated, I knew not why. Reginald, seizing both dishes of apples, hurried us to the brink of the tub. I just remember the flash of the lights gleaming in the dark, cold water beneath me,-when, without the slightest warning, he plunged us all headlong in! The shock, the surprise, were overwhelming for some seconds; but after a while, finding the cold freshness of the sparkling waters rather agreeable than otherwise, and having always been a hardy apple of my kind in the summer showers, I rallied; and entering into the merriment of those around me, I bobbed and danced
about with very considerable spirit, while the children were trying to catch us in their mouths, without being allowed to use their hands. I gave the young creatures some trouble in this sport, bobbing against their fresh, wet faces, till they were tired with laughing. I saw them catch a pippin or two that had not my activity in eluding the foe. However, as all things must have an end, when I saw my friend, Reginald, trying his chance, and boldly diving after me, I felt I could not fall into better hands; I no longer avoided him, I yielded, and he drew me out by the stalk, in triumph, with his teeth!
This ended the frolics; the party was all thoroughly tired out, as if it had been work instead of play, and it was ten o'clock. Reginald wiped my face and his own, and slipped me into his jacketpocket.
THE CATARACT OF LODORE.*
HOW DOES THE WATER COME DOWN AT LODORE?
My little boy asked me
Thus, once on a time;
To tell him in rhyme.
Anon at the word,
There first came one daughter,
And then came another
To second and third
The request of their brother,
And to hear how the water
Comes down at Lodore,
They had seen it before.
For of rhymes I had store:
That so I should sing,
To them and the king.
From its sources which well
In the Tarn on the fell;
From its fountains
In the mountains,
* A celebrated cascade, near Keswick, in Cumberland, with a fall of 100 feet