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torture before they executed their inhuman purpose. But the horrid mystery of the story of how the transaction occurred—the veil of concealment which never to this day has been lifted-envelops the strange transaction in such a shroud of horror, that I know not if any occurrence, whether foreign or domestic, that ever was recorded seemed to bear more of the impress of atrocity, or to mark more the detestable treachery which characterises the course of murderous deeds in Ireland than this. Little more remains to be added.

When the coroner's, inquest sat on the bodies, as if to increase the doubt of what could possibly be the cause of their dreadful and sudden murder, one of the servants of the deceased officer deposed that his master was so perfect a swimmer, that on one occasion, in one of the lakes near Athlone, in Ireland, of a moonlight night in summer, he had jumped from on board a boat in which he and a brother officer and the servant had been seated, and from which they had been fishing, and had swum across the lake in his clothes to the opposite shore. This occurred only about a year before, and argued strongly that, had it merely happened that she had fallen in, with his expert swimming and strength he would have soon seized her and drawn her in safety to shore. But no; the monster or monsters who enacted the tragedy must have first stunned him, and then, after the body had been thrown in, the rest of the heartrending act could have been easily carried into execution. There was no house, cottage, or tenement near enough to the probable scene of this dreadful drama for any of its inmates to hear either cries or noise of any kind.

When his boxes and papers were examined by his brother, many letters and notes from the lovely girl attested the interest of the attachment which existed between them. His tomb lies in the small church of Clonmel, and near it the tomb of the unfortunate but innocent partner in his fate.

Who will not sigh for the young soldier's doom,

Who fell, in youth and gaiety, elate?
Or mourn the lovely maid in beauty's bloom,

So early summoned, by her cruel sate?
Or pass with sorrow the sad lonely tomb

Which holds the victims of mysterious hate,
At dread night shrouded in a watery grave,
No pitying friend, or succouring arm to save ?
Alas! cut off in joyous beauty's pride!

How ruthless was the fiend who struck the blow!
How hateful are the haunts that then supplied

A refuge to such recreant murderous foe,
Whose act the name of man so far belied,

And ’scaped from mortal justice meet below,
When stood no witness by the wintry flood
Which whelmed the slaughter'd in that deed of blood.
But the All-seeing Eye, beneath whose care

Each dark deed is at last revealed to day,
Can judge the guilty who His power could dare,

Or those whose wandering steps were led astray.
Oh, could these awful truths their lesson bear,

And warn from error's fond delusive sway,
That night's terrific scene! might well impart
Its solemn caution to the saddened heart.

181

A VISIT TO CHARLES DICKENS BY HANS CHRISTIAN

ANDERSEN.

A FASHION introduced into this country by our American brethren appears to be spreading on the Continent. A man can hardly attain a decent amount of literary celebrity ere a chiel's among his household taking notes, and faith he'll print them. The last and most striking instance of this nature is supplied by the Danish poet Hans Christian Andersen, who having spent a portion of 1857 at Charles Dickens's hospitable house at Gadshill

, has recently put forth his experiences among some other sketches, which go to form an unpretending volume. A scamper through the paper may afford some amusement to our readers.

M. Andersen had already visited England on several occasions, and was, therefore, bold enough to reach the Higham station alone. But no carriage was to be procured there, and hence our author ascended the hill, accompanied by a porter, who carried his luggage. It must have been a charming walk through this portion of the garden of England, which never looks better than in the month of May. And here for Gadshill-place itself:

Before me lay on the broad high road Dickens's country-house, whose tower, with its gilded weathercock, I had seen for some time over the tops of the trees. It was a handsome new house, with brick walls and a projecting entrance, supported by small pillars; a thick hedge of cherry-trees joined the house, in front of which was a carefully-tended grass-plot, in the rear two splendid cedar-trees, whose crooked branches spread their green shade over a garden fenced in with ivy and wild grape. As I entered the house Dickens came to meet me, so happy, so* cordial; he looked somewhat older than when we parted ten years before, but this was partly owing to the beard lie wore; his eyes glistened as formerly, the same smile played round his mouth, the same clear voice sounded so cheerily, even more affectionately than heretofore. Dickens was now in his best years, so youthful, lively, eloquent, and rich in humour, through which the warmest cordiality ever shone. "I cannot find more characteristic words to describe him than a quotation from the first letter I wrote home. “ Select the best of Charles Dickens's works, form from them the image of a man, and you have Dickens." Just as he stood before me in the first hour, he remained unchanged during all the weeks I passed with him, ever jovial, merry, and sympathising.

Our author had frequently heard it remarked that Agnes, in “ David Copperfield,” was a likeness of Mrs. Dickens; and he believes that no other character in all his writings resembles her so much for her kindness and amiability as this very Agnes. M. Andersen found in Mrs. Dickens a calm, feminine, and retiring nature; but when she spoke, her large gentle eye assumed a peculiar brilliancy, a good-humoured smile played round her mouth, and in the sound of her voice was something so attractive, that, since the meeting, M. Andersen has always imaged Agnes to himself as possessed of these attributes. Equally characteristic is the description of the room in which the family breakfasted: the large windows were festooned with fragrant roses, and the prospect was varied and extensive. A good portrait of Cromwell hung over the mantelpiece, and among the other pictures was one which our author specially noticed. It depicted a carriage, in which two ladies are seated, deep in the perusal of a copy of “ Bleak House.” The little groom behind was bending forward, and eagerly reading the work.

In the letter of invitation Charles Dickens sent to Andersen, he wrote: “ I have now finished · Little Dorritt,' and am a free man. We shall be always together, and play at cricket in the field.” But these calculations were foiled by the death of Douglas Jerrold, and the necessary arrangements for securing the future comfort of his widow. M. Andersen furnishes a detailed account of all the performances instituted, but on which we need not dwell, as few of our readers, we trust, have forgotten the efforts made by the most eminent literary men in this most sacred cause. It, however, took Dickens more frequently than usual to London, and robbed the guest of his host's society. Very pleasant, though, must have been their country walks, and the philological discussions they held on the resemblance between the English and Danish languages, and of which our author gives some amusing instances. Take, for instance, the following sentence: “ Der er en Grasshoppe in den Höstak,” which Dickens at once triumphantly translated as a “grasshopper in the haystack.” Or here, again, is a pleasant sketch enough of a family group :

More and more I felt at home ; even the younger children began to under. stand and attach themselves to me. Dickens has no less than nine children, two grown-up daughters and seven sons. The two eldest and two youngest were at home, and the three middle boys had just returned for the holidays from Boulogne, where they were at school. I soon saw them climbing up, the branches of the lofty cedars, or playing a game of cricket in the large meadow, with father and elder brothers, in shirt-sleeves; the ladies sat beneath the trees in the tall grass ; peasant children peered over the hedge, and the house-dog, Turk, who was chained up the night through, was now unfastened, and led a free doggish existence, while his long iron chain and kennel were left to the care of an old raven, who certainly considered himself the Barnaby Rudge's raven of the family. That bird, by the way, might be seen in-doors, stuffed.

The dramatic entertainments necessitated a visit to the town-house in Tavistock-square, which M. Andersen describes in the most enthusiastic language. A large garden, with grass-plots and tall trees, lies behind the house, and imparts a rustic character to the scene.

In the passage hung pictures and copper-plate engravings; here was Dickens's bust, a capital likeness, young and handsome; and over the door leading to the sleeping apartments and the dressing-room were Thorwaldsen's bas-reliefs of “ Day and Night.” On the first floor was a copious library, and, in the rear of that again, the small theatre where Dickens was wont to perform in the winter with his family.

There was plenty for M. Andersen to see. In the first place, the Handel Festival at the Crystal Palace, the prominent reminiscence he has borne

away from which is the puffed-out crinolines of the ladies, which seemed prepared to wing their way to London like balloons. But what pleased him still more was the performance of Ristori at the Lyceum. Our author is enthusiastic in her praise, though he also quotes the verdict of a clever lady, who said that the Ristori reminded her too greatly of the epileptic boy in Raphael's Trausfiguration--one eternal ecstasy. And here for a pleasant bit of biography:

We are aware that Ristori is the daughter of poor travelling Italian artistes, and it is also said that, when an infant, she lay behind the scenes in a basket

while her mother was playing. She herself made her appearance on the boards at a very early age, in Turin; and it was here, too, that her extraordinary talent was first noticed. Presently she married an Italian noble, whose family did not like a daughter-in-law from the stage, but, by her amiability, she con. quered all their hearts. When financial motives compelled her return to the stage, she was accompanied by her husband to Paris, where her greatness was speedily recognised. She alone held the sceptre of the tragic muse, and the Rachel proceeded to America. Her fame soon spread to adjacent countries, and England and Germany followed the example of France in homage and delight. Signora Ristori has a splendid theatrical figure, noble features, sparkling eyes, and a mimic which appears to me too powerful, and only permissible in the ballet, where action is employed instead of words. The transitions were so violent that only the truth of the talent rendered them pardonable. At first I could not accustom myself to them; but in the concluding scene, after she has poisoned her treacherous husband, and drunk the cup to the dregs berself, when she begs the priests to sound their harps, there was something so attractive, so affecting in her gestures, that I was forced to bend low before the might of the tragédienne.

More satisfactory in every respect was Ristori's reading of Lady Macbeth, which M. Andersen went twice to see. It affords him occasion, too, for a comparison with the performance at the Princess's, where he saw the opening night of “ The Tempest.” He allows that it was incomparably fine; but he went empty away after the performance was over. Shakspeare became an illustrated petrifaction; the living word evaporated, the mental food was lacking; it was forgotten in gazing on the golden plate upon which it was presented. Another thing, too, that offended M. Andersen's artistic sense was the inferiority of the performers : Caliban was clever, and Ariel pretty, but that was all. Kean himself droned through the piece. To sum up in a word, M. Andersen prefers Shakspeare artistically acted in a barn to such a disappearance of the text behind scenery. We have not space to follow M. Andersen through all the wonders of London ; he is equally amazed with the Museum as with the Times printing-office. But we must find space characteristic excerpt:

The richest lady in England is Miss Burdett Coutts, to whom Dickens dedicated his “Martin Chuzzlewit.” Her fortune is said to be fabulously large, but the most glorious thing connected with it is, that she is at the same time one of the noblest and most benevolent ladies in the world: not only has she built several churches, but she provides, like a reasonable and Christian woman, for the poor, the ailing, and the oppressed : her house in London is visited by the richest and most respected persons. On my first stay at Gadshill I met there an elderly lady dressed in black and another younger ; they remained a week there, and were most amiable, straightforward, and kind; we walked together up to the monument; I drove with them to Rochester, and when they quitted us the younger lady said that I must stay at her house when I visited London. From Dickens I learned that she was Miss Coutts; he spoke with the utmost veneration of her, and of the glorious Christian use to which she applied her enormous fortune; I should have an opportunity of seeing an English mansion appointed with all possible wealth. I visited her, and it was not the rich pic. tures, the bedizened language, the palatial resources, which imparted to the house grandeur and a peculiar brilliancy, but the noble

, feminine, amiable Miss Coutts herself, she offered such a simple and touching contrast to her richlyattired servants. She had noticed that I had felt the cold while in the country; it was not yet thoroughly warm, hence a fire burned cheerily in my chimney: How comfortable I felt there! There were books, cozy arm-chairs, sofas, and

for one

rococo furniture, and from the windows a prospect over the garden of Piccadilly and the Green Park. Close to London are Miss Coutts's country-house and garden : here are long alleys of rhododendrons, which shook their blue petals over the carriage in which I was seated; here were magnificent cedars and rare exotics, while the hothouses were filled with tropical vegetation. From all these splendours the owner led me to a small kitchen-garden, where she seemed fondest of being; it seemed as if these plants, which possessed such value for the poor, harmonised best with her nature.

Another very pleasant house M. Andersen visited was that of the publisher of the English version of the “Improvisatore," where he was treated with the utmost kindness by both the parents and the children. Here he found pleasant glances, listened to music, and felt himself comprehended and happy. It was quite refreshing to go to Mr. Bentley's house from the heated, noisy capital of the world. But his heart ever fondly turned to the quiet evenings at Gadshill. How pleasant it was to ascend the hill from the station, having the brilliantly lighted windows ever in view, and the sound of music as a guide. Miss Mary Dickens and her auut played passages from Beethoven, Mozart, or Mendelssohn. It was a happy party round the pianoforte when Dickens and his wife and the guests sat gossipping ; presently, too, a moonlight walk through the fields, which caused M. Andersen to feel melancholy at the thought that he must ever quit such friends. One evening, when undergoing these feelings, Dickens suddenly seized his hand, and begged him in the most cordial manner to remain with them a few days longer, to witness the dramatic representation he was about giving with his family. There was such heartiness in the invitation that M. Andersen could not but accept it, and his good spirits returned with a confidential chat with Dickens. Every one who enters his presence feels and knows that the expression in his eyes arouses confidence and devotion. Here is an instance :

The old farmer, whose cows and sheep grazed round the monument on Gadshill, knew that I was living with Dickens, and told me that he would bring us fresh bread every day. They are splendid people,” he said ; "that can be seen at once in both of them, man and wife.” They had both spoken so openly and heartily with him, they had quite won him. “Yes,” the farmer continued, "a few years ago the lady who is called the Swedish Nightingale lived close by. She was just as kind and straightforward as Charles Dickens.” I sought thie house where Jenny Lind was stated to have lived; the windows were plastered over, the door was bolted, the cage was empty, the nightingale had flown. Many thoughts and old recollections were aroused, and I could never pass the house hereafter without being affected by a peculiar feeling of melancholy.

But the time was approaching for the departure from Gadshill and Dickens ; but M. Andersen was still to enjoy the opportunity of admiring in his host the great actor. The Queen expressed a desire to witness a private representation of " The Frozen Deep” at the Gallery of Illustration, and our author had the rare distinction of being present. The royal party also comprised the Prince of Prussia and the King of Belgium. The party from Gadshill were accidentally prevented from proceeding to London by the last train on the Sunday night, and thus escaped a terrible tragedy. A collision took place, costing a heavy number of lives ; and M. Andersen says he shall not easily forget the

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