Imágenes de página

white muslin, lately out of the school- Sarah with good will; bat not s room, very pensive and sentimental; Zaidee Vivian. Then, Mrs Grea an eager borrower of novels, a fluent took the warmest interest in all to quoter of poetry, and most keen in mantic and imaginary persons, and the discussion of all the fabulous his could “say" any amount of verses; tories, and all the romantic person- the said verses having so much effect, ages she could hear of, far or near. at least upon the reciter, as to bring Mrs Vivian could not win her to that moisture to her pale blue eyes. With urgent oversight of the parish old these conspiring circumstances to rewomen, which Mrs Vivian thought commend her, Zaidee received into necessary; and Sophy could not tempt her special favour the curate's wife; the languishing young heroine io and though she had yet poured out plead for bolidays and indulgences, or but few of her own private mosios to join in secret projects for the de- into the willing ear of her confidante

, light and astonishment of Briarford and found an unaccountable difficulty school. Mrs Green did not happen in doing this, yet still ber confidante to chime in harmoniously with the chosen and elected, Angelina a peculiar tone of Margaret, the only Her being married was a drawbacă, one of the family of tastes similar to certainly, and a still more annoying her own; so Mrs Green was very suspicion of her being silly bad jost generally given up in the Grange, darted across Zaidee's mind; but with only the reservation in her favour Zaidee had an infinite deal of glamou that there surely must be something in her girlish eyes, and could so easily, good in her, or her sensible husband exalt and idealise-it was the age of would never have made such a choice; "sweetness in the bad and glory in “but men,” said Mrs Vivian, senten- the flower” to Zaidee, and who was to tiously—“men, it must be confessed, profit by the “vision splendid” if it when women are concerued, are often was not her selected friend ? such fools !”

Perhaps neither of the individuals To the general astonishment, how would have felt particularly flattered ever, when everybody else relin- by their close conjunction ; yet it quished her, Zaidee adopted Mrs was nevertheless true that Sermo and Green—Mrs Green's name was An. Angelina, with an attendant retinue gelina-most unfortunate of designa- of select old women from amongst tions. Her poor good husband, who Aunt Vivian's beadroll-old women was only John, threw all the blame of who could tell stories-were Zaidee's all ber weaknesses on this celestial name, and would have called her

most beloved friends.


“Philip does not know what "I would not let them treat me Colonel Morton is to do here for some like a child, Lizzy, if I were you !" days, as my mother tells us ; neither “I can trust them," said the sweet do I, Lizzy ;-it must be something answering voice, in such tones as about you.

subdued the boyish impatience of “ Indeed, Percy, my mother has Percy. The youth turned away with said nothing to me," said the soft a youth's affectionate enthusiasm, and liquid voice of Elizabeth.

a youth's quick but no less affection** And the Captain ? Does he say ate anger. "My beautiful sister !" nothing ?" inquired Percy, with a muttered Percy, “not one of them little impatience.

knows how good she is,-and we'll “Nothing, Percy.”. A soft tranquil all put our hands to it to throw Lizzy blush coloured Elizabeth's face—she away !" was not discomposed in the slightest You would have thought the familiar degree, but the pure blood came to abbreviation sacrilege had you seen her cheek in maidenly acknowledg- the queen - like figure so simple and ment of her affianced bridegroom's yet so majestic, which, leaving the name.

young brother in the little paved fore

court, which lay between the house son-it gave her every action a sinand the moat, was now re-entering gular charm. the open doorway of the Grange; The guardian whom Squire Percy for few who looked upon her lofty had associated with their mother in beauty could realise the character of the charge of the family interests, Elizabeth Vivian, so full of sweet un- was an old friend of the house, an conscious humility and child - like invalided Indian officer, rich and of simpleness. This perfect unpretend- good repute. Colonel Morton had a ing and even unintellectual simplicity son only a few years older than Elizaof bers, made her, by some strange beth Vivian, no great match, as everymagic, half sublime. Straightforward, body said, but a very suitable one. and sincere, and innocent, Elizabeth Bernard was clever, while Elizabeth made no investigations into the un- was not, but for the rest, all the adknown, but stood on the clear ground vantage was on the lady's side; and of things obvious and actual, and on Elizabeth's home admirers could not the daylight level of ordinary sober- comprehend what she, so beantiful ness and truth. She was not clever; as they all thought her, could find perhaps this very fact helped her to attractive in the very plain dark man, the half adoration with which her mustached and sun-browned, whom brothers regarded her-but foolish she their guardian presented to them, could never be.

after many years' absence, as “my Elizabeth read nothing but the Bible, son," and all the retainers of the wbich she loved to read, and sundry Morton family proudly hailed as Capgood books, which she did not love, tain Bernard. True, he turned out but thought it right to study. This a very agreeable man-well read, well was the whole extent of her attain. bred, well informed. At first sight, ments in literature, unless the house- these did not seem the qualities to hold receipt-book, or the young-lady secure the heart of Elizabeth ;-yet, volumes of patterns for “ fancy"work, whatever his means of wooing were, could be numbered among the mis- a successful wooer Captain Bernard cellanies of literature. Two or three Morton proved to be. little feminine accomplishments she “ She who might have made the

exquisite in. She painted greatest match of any young lady in flowers with the sweetest natural the county; she who only needed to grace and simplicity, arranged them be seen !" cried the indignant Mrs with faultless taste, and did every. Blundell, Elizabeth's aunt. Elizathing well which could be done with beth smiled and blushed and shook a needle. Besides these, there was her head, but made no other answer. no one fulfilled all the everyday If anything did ever dismay the comhousehold offices with so perfect a posed and tranquil spirit of Elizabeth natural propriety. Elizabeth thought Vivian, it was this “ being seen.” nothing beneath her, and dignified Admiration ruffled her calm, unless it everything with that wonderful was household admiration, which she queenly grace of hers which every- liked well enough, setting it all down body was aware of but herself. Her- to the score of love and kindness ; self was aware of it with the slightest but to be seen! to be looked at like possible shade of annoyance. She a picture or a statue !-almost Elizalaughed her low musical laugh, beth was angry; and with a sweeter while she complained of being so tall

, content she turned to the dark face so solemn, so incapable of those light of Bernard Morton, to the unassuming half-invisible movements by which lot she had chosen, and the womanly her lively little mother kept all the life of home. household on the alert; but perhaps

At the same time it was just posnothing did more contribute to the sible that there might be a little truth perfectly supreme and undisputed at the bottom of Percy's boyish imtenderness with which all the house patience and jealousy for bis sister. regarded Elizabeth-respectful, yet She who made no exactions, perhaps, protecting—as the contrast between did not fare quite so well as if she her perfect simplicity of humble mind had been more self-asserting. It was and manners, and her imperial per- just possible that her betrothed and VOL, LXXVI.-NO. CCCCLXX.

2 u


his father calculated a little too much Surely they had known each other upon the easy acquiescence of Eliza. sufficiently long to obviate all scruples; beth. A slight cloud of pain crossed why not yield this point to bim ?her forehead. “I should be sorry to and Captain Bernard urged his long think Bernard could feel so," was the affection, his impatient patience, bis thought that passed through her mind; general profound submission to her

_" and I to say I can trust them, and wishes in all matters hitherto. “I yet doubt like this." So Elizabeth did not know, really, I had bad my set down the momentary pang as a own way so often," said Elizabeth, fault of her own-much the most puzzled, but undoubting, as by-andsatisfactory plan of getting rid of it, by she discussed this matter with a plan which she constantly adopted her mother. “It must be one time and came down to breakfast, after or another, my love," was Mrs Vivi. half an hour's retirement, with her an's response; "and I don't see what most tranquil looks and most com- good it is putting off the day ;-you posed heart.

had better give way!" But Elizabeth was doomed to some So Elizabeth, with her usual gentleagitation that morning. On the ness, dropped the discussion. She breakfast-table lay a letter from Ber- did give way as was ber wont; and nard, urgently begging for the appoint- it became known in the household ment of their marriage-day. This that Philip's coming of age and Elizahad been often postponed already, and beth's marriage should take place the bridegroom was impatient. Why within the same eventful week. A not have it when Philip came of age? whole lifetime of excitement and festiWhy not take adrantage of one joy. vity, as Sophy thought, crowded withful opportunity to make another ? in the little range of one seven days.



The infallible symptom of news- He will see that the great difficulty of paper correspondence has shown how military supply is in truth with reenergetically have been working the spect to officers, and that on them newly-excited military anxieties of mainly must depend the effect of all the great public. A good deal has national effort in the way of military been in this way adduced, contrary organisation. Recent events may, on to the grain of national complacency, the first blush, appear to afford an and calculated to argue the existence inference tending the other way, of a disposition to find fault unscru- tending, that is, to show that we may pulously. This is not altogether a dispense with excellence in officers, pleasing manifestation, but at least provided the men be sufficiently pugit is calculated to authorise the hope nacious and subordinate. The test, that we know the worst of our predi- however, to which the Turkish armies cament, and that not much undis- have been brought, has been of very covered evil can lurk behind. The imperfect character, save in the one amount of criticism, lately bestowed respect of their personal bravery, on our army statistics, might really Their operations in Europe have been seem almost to justify this hope with of confined extent, and of a character respect to our military arrangements. peculiarly suited to their genius.

But what has all the talk been They have been leavened by a conabout? We have had an abundant siderable intermixture of foreign offishowing-up of weak points, and truly cers, and supported by the near preare in evil case if many more faults of sence of their mighty allies. Above arrangement beset us than those which all, they have been commanded in have been already routed out. Yet chief by Omer Pasha. But what is it is remarkable that the national the argument derivable from the mind seems to have been given en- campaign in Asia ? Or could we tirely to the matériel, and not to the have a clearer proof of the worthlesspersonnel of war. Our wide-awake ness of any mere numerical force, correspondents have been stumbling unless properly officered, than we over the equipment of the men, or the derive from the spectacle of their conmisdoings of Mr Commissary-General tinuous defeats ? So-and-so, or the medical arrange- It is too much to say that good ments, as undoubtedly in all of these officers will raise an army out of any departments there was a fine field for kind of rabble. We might, perhaps, indignation. Yet no one seems to have thought so, but for the late have had the slightest misgivings as failure with regard to those vagabonds to the men themselves; or to have the Bashi-Bazouks. They have made suggested the inquiry whether we it clear that bodies of men may be so have been doing what we ought, to demoralised as to be unsusceptible of have men ready to take their places training, at least on the first intention. in the field as representatives of Brit- But this we say, that, up to the failure ish Force. Taking it for granted that of Beatson and Yussuff, the stream of the country will always afford a suffi- testimony went to show that there cient supply to make up the brutum was no limit to a good trainer's power pondus of an army, what is the state of adaptation. Our own Indian army of the case with regard to the officers? is a standing proof that a force may Are they to be found ready-made on hold together and act most efficiently demand? Clearly the public impres- in the field, though to a great extent sion has been to the effect that they recruited from alien races. When are so to be found, since no one seems we bring the case home to ourto have doubted that persons would selves, and speak of British armies, be ready to use the means for whose we are justified in the roundest assersupply they have been so clamorous. tion of their capability. We may

It is not difficult to assume the judg- affirm that here, if anywhere, is to be ment of a wise man on this subject. found the staff whereof soldiers are

made, and that, if the finished article been duly exercised, what shall me does not work well, it must be be- say of those now under consideration? cause of defective treatment. It is It is no longer a question of persons not enough to take friend Wart, and maintaining a fair appearance. The place a caliver in his hand and bid prodigal who could not bear even a hinn "traverse.” He will require a father's rule; the young gentleman great deal more care and training than broken down in his teens, because he this before one can be content to could not use the blessings of bis stamarch through Coventry with him. tion with the least dash of discretion; The day of actual battle comes only even honest Hodge the ploughbos, as the climax of performances re- who has no idea in particular of any, quired at bis hands, and frequently as thing, and only knows that he "listed a positive relief from a long series of because somehow the sergeant talked foregone endurances. He has to ac- him over,—what shall we say of them, quire habits of obedience and patience, and of any body of which they are and must be made to imbibe that largely constituents? Whatever we esprit de corps which can be engrafted may think of their moral capacities

, only on the consciousness that the we must at least allow that the good body to which he belongs is held to. within them is latent, and decidedly gether by a worthy principle. Some- in need of being acted on by influences thing there must be in him of patriot- from without. ism, and something of unselfishness. There is but one class of persons in The moral principle within the man the position effectually to afford these must be developed in some strength, influences--that is to say, the regi: before he can be relied on as strong mental officer. It would be difficult to endure the trials of monotonous to imagine any relative position more encampings, or of such epidemic visit- thoroughly calculated to invest with ations as Varna and the Dobrudscha the attributes of moral command. As bave lately witnessed. These are a fact, it can scarcely be denied that requirements far beyond the ordinary the different regiments in the service dreams of the class of men among do largely borrow their moral tone whom the recruiting sergeant plies bis from that of the officers. Some of vocation. It were indeed too much these regiments there may be, where to say that this high tone of moral comparatively little pains are taken cultivation characterises the mass of to act on the menos consciences for any army under the sun. All that better or for worse ; and, according we can hope for is, that a certain to the pains taken, we may suppose number of individuals may be mo- the observable result to be. But delled after this sort, and so the whole where the officers keep at the greatest body be brought, to a certain extent, permitted distance, there will still be under the constraining influence of many occasions when they must good example. It is at least a field needs come before the observation of in which example has its most power- the men, as affording practical illusful opportunity.

tration of the mode in which they And is it of this stamp that we can meet the moral requisitions of their declare the rollicking young men to be position. It is not likely that they who are the most likely to take the will be so observed without finding shilling, and follow the drums and imitators. But, happily, there are fifes ? "Making every allowance for regiments where the oficers are fully the numbers of those who are con- alive to the depth of their responsisiderately and conscientiously led to bilities, and expressly endeavour to enlist, must we not allow that a large act on the consciences of the men. proportion of recruits consists of those These regiments enable us to judge whom a harum-scarum disposition, how great is the effect to be produced to say the least of it, has led to that by those who, starting with the pres: consummation ? If it may be asserted tige of rank and education, make it -as in good truth it may—that, of plain by their line of conduct, that they any large number of persons

grouped are followers of a principle of good, together, the majority will be those Numerous are the private soldiers and in whom the moral principle has not non-commissioned officers who have

« AnteriorContinuar »