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I could stay dinner, all else was for- scheme for making house-tops of felt, gotten. By a wonder, which I did (which, under other hands, bas, I not regret, Uucle Jack really was en- believe, since succeeded ;) and he had gaged to dine out. He had other irons found a rich man (I suppose a batter) in the fire besides the “ Literary who seemed well inclined to the proTimes" and the “ Confederate Au- ject, and had actually asked him to thors' Society ;" he was deep in a dine and expound his views !
Here we three are seated round the the most excruciating headachs ; open window-after dinner-familiar how, as the tombstones say, “ physi. as in the old happy time and my cians were in vain ;" how she died; . mother is talking low that she may how her head was opened, and how not disturb my father, who seems in such a nest of earwigs-ma'am-such thought.
a nest 1-Earwigs are the prolifickest Cr-cr-crrr-cr-cr! I feel it-I have things, and so fond of their offspring! it.- Where! What! Where! Knock They sit on their eggs like hens-and it down-brush it off! For Heaven's the young, as soon as they are born, sake, see to it!-Crrrr-crrrrr-there creep under them for protection--here-in my hair-in my sleeve- quite touchingly! Imagine such an in my ear.-Cr-cr.
establishment domesticated at one's I say solemnly, and on the word tympanum! of a Christian, that, as I sate down to But the creature was certainly larger begin this chapter, being somewhat in than an earwig. It might have been a brown study, the pen insensibly one of that genus in the family of slipt from my hand, and, leaning back Forficulida, called Labidoura-monin my chair, I fell to gazing into the sters whose antenna have thirty fire. It is the end of June, and a joints! There is a species of this remarkably cold evening-even for creature in England, but, to the great that time of year. And while I was grief of naturalists, and to the great so gazing, I felt something crawling, honour of Providence, very rarely just by the nape of the neck, ma'am. found, infinitely larger than the comInstinctively and mechanically, and mon earwig or Forficulida auriculana. still musing, I put my hand there, and Could it have been an early hornet? It drew forth-What? That what it is had certainly a black head, and great which perplexes me. It was a thing feelers. I have a greater horror of -a dark thing—a much bigger thing hornets, if possible, than I have of than I had expected. And the sight earwigs. Two hornets will kill a man, took me so by surprise that I gave my and three a carriage-horse sixteen hand a violent shake, and the thing hands high. However, the creature went-where I know not. The what was gone.-Yes, but where? Where and the where are the knotty points in had I so rashly thrown it? It might the whole question! No sooner had have got into a fold of my dressingit gone than I was seized with repent. gown-or into my slippers--or, in ance not to have examined it more short, anywhere, in the various reclosely-not to have ascertained what cesses for earwigs and hornets which the creature was. It might have been a gentleman's habiliments afford. I an earwig-a very large motherly ear- satisfy myself at last, as far as I can, wig-an earwig far gone in that way seeing that I am not alone in the room in which earwigs wish to be who love that it is not upon me. I look upon their lords. I have a profound hor- the carpet-the rug—the chair- unror of earwigs-I firmly believe that der the fender. It is non inventus. I they do get into the ear. That is a barbarously hope it is frizzing behind subject on which it is useless to argue that great black coal in the grate. I with me upon philosophical grounds. pluck up courage-I prudently remove I have a vivid recollection of a story to the other end of the room. I take told me by Mrs Primmins-How a up my pen-I begin my chapter-very lady for many years suffered under nicely, too, I think upon the whole. I am just getting into my subject, when- and ladies who have cultivated an accr-cr-cr-cr-cr-crawl-crawl-crawl quaintance with the Phænician lan--creep-creep-creep. Exactly, my guage, are aware that Belzebub, exadear ma'am, in the same place it was mined etymologically and entomolobefore! Oh, by the Powers! I forgot gically, is nothing more nor less than all my scientific regrets at not having Baal-zebub—66 the Jupiter-Fly" — scrutinised its genus before, whether an emblem of the Destroying AttriForficulida or Labidoura. I made a bute, which attribute, indeed, is found desperate lunge with both hands, in all the insect tribes, more or less. something between thrust and cut, Wherefore, as Mr Payne Knight, in ma'am. The beast is gone. Yes, but his Inquiry into Symbolical Languages, again where? I say that that where hath observed—the Egyptian priests is a very horrible question. Having shaved their whole bodies, even to come twice, in spite of all my precau their eyebrows, lest unaware they tions-and exactly on the same spot, should harbour any of the minor too-it shows a confirmed disposition Zebubs of the great Baal. If I were to habituate itself to its quarters to the least bit more persuaded that that effect a parochial settlement upon me; black cr-cr were about me still, and there is something awful and preter- that the sacrifice of my eyebrows natural in it. I assure you that there would deprive him of shelter, by the is not a part of me that has not gone souls of the Ptolemies ! I would,-and cr-cr-cr !--that has not crept, crawled, I will, too. Ring the bell, my little and forficulated ever since; and I just dear! John, -my- my cigar-box! put it to you what sort of a chapter I There is not a cr in the world that can make after such a- My good can abide the fumes of the Havannah! little girl, will you just take the candle, Pshaw, sir, I am not the only man and look carefully under the table ? who lets his first thoughts upon cold that's a dear! Yes, my love, very steel end, like this chapter, in-Pffblack indeed, with two horns, and in. pff-pff-! clined to be corpulent. Gentlemen
Every thing in this world is of use, into a dark corner of your apron, even a black thing crawling over the Thus it is with many other things in nape of one's neck! Grim unknown life besides black insects. One has I shall make of thee-a simile!
a secret care- an abstraction- & I think, ma'am, you will allow that something between the memory and if an incident such as I have described the feeling, of a dark crawling cr, had befallen yourself, and you had a which one has never dared to anaproper and ladylike horror of earwigs lyse. So I sate by my mother, trying (however motherly and fond of their to smile and talk as in the old time, offspring,) and also of early hornets, but longing to move about and look --and indeed of all unknown things around, and escape to my own soliof the insect tribe with black heads tude, and take the clothes off my mind, and two great horns, or feelers or for- and see what it was that had so ceps, just by your ear-Ithink, ma'am, troubled and terrified me-for trouyou will allow that you would find it ble and terror were upon me. And difficult to settle back to your former my mother, who was always (heaven placidity of mood and innocent stitch- bless her!) inquisitive enough in all work. You would feel a something that concerned her darling Anachronthat grated on your nerves—and ism, was especially inquisitive that cr'd-cr'd "all over you like," as evening. She made me say where I the children say. And the worst is, had been, and what I had done, and that you would be ashamed to say it. how I had spent my time, and You would feel obliged to look Fanny Trevanion, (whom she had pleased and join in the conversation, seen, by the way, three or four times, and not fidget too much, nor always and whom she thought the prettiest be shaking your flounces, and looking person in the world)-oh, she must
know exactly what I thought of “No, indeed, sir," said I smiling. Fanny Trevanion !
"He,"resumed my father—"he who And all this while my father wears the saffron bag has more seemed in thought; and so, with my cheerful, settled spirits than you seem arm over my mother's chair, and my to have, my poor boy." hand in hers—I answered my mo- "My dear Austin, his spirits are ther's questions, sometimes by a very good, I think,” said my mother stammer, sometimes by a violent anxiously. effort at volubility, when, at some My father shook his head-then he interrogatory that went tingling right took two or three turns about the to my heart, I turned uneasily, and room. there were my father's eyes fixed on “Shall I ring for candles, sir, it is mine. Fixed, as they had been getting dark : you will wish to read?” when, and none knew why, I pined “No, Pisistratus, it is you who and languished, and my father said shall read, and this hour of twilight “ he must go to school." Fixed, best suits the book I am about to open with quiet watchful tenderness. Ah to you." no !-his thought had not been on So saying, he drew a chair between the great work he had been deep in me and my mother, and seated himthe pages of that less worthy one for self gravely, looking down a long time which he had yet more an author's in silence—then turning his eyes to paternal care. I met those eyes, and each of us alternately. yearned to throw myself on his "My dear wife," said he at length, heart—and tell him all. Tell him almost solemnly, "I am going to what? Ma'am, I no more knew speak of myself as I was before I what to tell him, than I know knew you." what that black thing was which E ven in the twilight I saw that my has so worried me all this blessed mother's countenance changed. evening!
“You have respected my secrets, " Pisistratus," said my father Katherine, tenderly-honestly. Now softly, “I fear you have forgotten the the time is come when I can tell saffron bag."
them to you and to our son."
MY FATHER'S FIRST LOVE.
“I lost my mother early; my father, thing that Budæus did, viz. that the (a good man, but who was so indo- only lost day in his life was that in lent that he rarely stirred from his which he was married; for on that chair, and who often passed whole day he had only had six hours for days without speaking, like an Indian reading !' Under such a master I dervish,) left Roland and myself to could not fail to be a scholar. I came educate ourselves much according to from the university with such distincour own tastes. Roland shot, and tion as led me to look sanguinely on hunted, and fished, read all the my career in the world. poetry and books of chivalry to be " I returned to my father's quiet recfound in my father's collection, which tory to pause and look about me, and was rich in such matters, and made a consider what path I should take to great many copies of the old pedigree; fame. · The rectory was just at the -the only thing in which my father foot of the hill, on the brow of which ever evinced much of the vital prin- were the ruins of the castle Roland ciple. Early in life I conceived a has since purchased. And though I passion for graver studies, and by did not feel for the ruins the same good luck I found a tutor in Mr Tib- romantic veneration as my dear brobets, who, but for his modesty, Kitty, ther, (for my day-dreams were more would have rivalled Porson. He was coloured by classic than feudal recola second Budæus for industry, and, by lections,) I yet loved to climb the hill, the way, he said exactly the same book in hand, and build my castles in the air amidst the wrecks of that My father paused, and seeing my which time had shattered on the mother had fixed her eyes upon him earth,
with a sort of mournful earnestness, “ One day, entering the old weed- and had pressed her hands very tightly grown court, I saw a lady, seated on together, he bent down and kissed her my favourite spot, sketching the ruins. forehead. The lady was young-more beautiful " There is no cause, my child ! " than any woman I had yet seen, at said he. It is the only time I ever heard least to my eyes. In a word, I was him call my mother by that paternal fascinated, and, as the trite phrase name. But then, I never heard him goes, spell-bound. I seated my before so grave and solemn-not a self at a little distance, and contem- quotation, too—it was incredible : it plated her without desiring to speak was not my father speaking—it was By-and-by, from another part of the another man. “Yes, I went there ruins, which were then uninhabited, often. Lord Rainsforth was a remarkcame a tall, imposing, elderly gentle- able person. Shyness, that was wholly man, with a benignant aspect ; and a without pride, (which is rare,) and a little dog. The dog ran up to me, love for quiet literary pursuits, had barking. This drew the attention of prevented his taking that personal both lady and gentleman to me. The part in public life for which he was gentleman approached, called off the richly qualified; but his reputation for dog, and apologised with much polite- sepse and honour, and his personal ness. Surveying me somewhat cu- popularity, had given him no inconriously, he then began to ask ques- siderable influence even, I believe, in tions about the old place and the fa- the formation of cabinets, and he had mily it had belonged to, with the once been prevailed upon to fill a high name and antecedents of which he was diplomatic situation abroad, in which well acquainted. By degrees it came I have no doubt that he was as miserout that I was the descendant of that able as a good man can be under any family, and the younger son of the infliction. He was now pleased to rehumble rector who was now its repre- tire from the world, and look at it sentative. The gentleman then in- through the loopholes of retreat. Lord troduced himself to me as the Earlof Rainsforth had a great respect for Rainsforth, the principal proprietor in talent, and a warm interest in such of the neighbourhood, but who had so the young as seemed to him to possess rarely visited the county during my it. By talent, indeed, his family had childhood and earlier youth, that I risen, and were strikingly characterhad never before seen him. His only ised. His ancestor, the first peer, had son, however, a young man of great been a distinguished lawyer; his promise, had been at the same college father had been celebrated for scientific with me in my first year at the uni- attainments; his children, Ellinor and versity. The young lord was a read. Lord Pendarvis, were highly accoming man and a scholar; and we had plished. Thus, the family identified become slightly acquainted when he themselves with the aristocracy of inleft for his travels.
tellect, and seemed unconscious of "Now, on hearing my name, Lord their claims to the lower aristocracy Rainsforth took my hand cordially, of rank. You must bear this in mind and leading me to his daughter, said, throughout my story. * Think, Ellinor, how fortunate ; this. "Lady Ellinor shared her father's is the Mr Caxton whom your brother tastes and habits of thought — (she so often spoke of.'
was not then an heiress.) Lord "In short, my dear Pisistratus, the Rainsforth talked to me of my career. ice was broken, the acquaintance It was a time when the French Revo. made, and Lord Rainsforth, saying he lution had made statesmen look round was come to atone for his long absence with some anxiety to strengthen the from the county, and to reside at existing order of things, by alliance Compton the greater part of the year, with all in the rising generation who pressed me to visit him. I did so. evinced such ability as might influence Lord Rainsforth's liking to me in their contemporaries. creased : I went there often."
“University distinction is, or was formerly, among the popular passports 'Plant!' cried Lady Emily, it will be to public life. By degrees Lord Rains- twenty years before the trees grow up. forth liked me so well, as to suggest No, my dear father, build a wall, and to me a seat in the House of Commons. cover it with creepers !' That was an A member of Parliament might rise to illustration of her whole character. any thing, and Lord Rainsforth had She could not wait till trees had time sufficient influence to effect my return. to grow up; a dead wall would be so Dazzling prospect this to a young much more quickly thrown up, and scholar fresh from Thucydides, and parasite creepers would give it a with Demosthenes fresh at his tongue's prettier effect. Nevertheless, she was end. My dear boy, I was not then, a grand and noble creature. And I you see, quite what I am now; in a -in love! Not so discouraged as you word, I loved Ellinor Compton, and may suppose ; for Lord Rainsforth therefore I was ambitious. You know often hinted encouragement, which how ambitious she is still. But I even I could scarcely misconstrue. could not mould my ambition to hers. Not caring for rank, and not wishing I could not contemplate entering the for fortune beyond competence for his senate of my country as a dependant daughter, he saw in me all he required, on a party or a patron-as a man who -a gentleman of ancient birth, and must make his fortune there---as a man one in whom his own active mind who, in every vote, must consider how could prosecute that kind of mental much nearer he advanced himself to ambition which overflowed in him, and emolument. I was not even certain yet had never had its vent. And that Lord Rainsforth's views on poli- Ellinor Sheaven forbid I should say tics were the same as mine would be. she loved me,-but something made How could the politics of an experi- me think she could do so. Under these enced man of the world be those of an notions, suppressing all my hopes, I ardent young student? But had they made a bold effort to master the inbeen identical, I felt that I could not fluences round me, and to adopt that 80 creep into equality with a patron's career I thought worthiest of us all. I daughter. No! I was ready to abandon went to London to read for the bar." my own more scholastic predilections " The bar! is it possible ?" cried I.
-to strain every energy at the bar- My father smiled sadly. to carve or force my own way to for- “Every thing seemed possible to tune-and, if I arrived at indepen- me then. I read some months. I dence, then what then? why, the began to see my way even in that right to speak of love, and aim at short time; began to comprehend power. This was not the view of Ellinor what would be the difficulties before Compton. The law seemed to her a me, and to feel there was that within tedious, needless drudgery : there was me which could master them. I took nothing in it to captivate her imagi- a holiday and returned to Cumberland. nation. She listened to me with that I found Roland there on my return. charm which she yet retains, and by Always of a roving adventurous temwhich she seems to identify herself per, though he had not then entered with those who speak to her. She the army, he had, for more than two would turn to me with a pleading look years, been wandering over the Contiwhen her father dilated on the bril- nent on foot. It was a young knightliant prospects of a parliamentary errant whom I embraced, and who success; for he (not having gained it, overwhelmed me with reproaches that yet having lived with those who had,) I should be reading for the law. There overvalued it, and seemed ever to wish had never been a lawyer in the family! to enjoy it through some other. But It was about that time, I think, that when İ, in turn, spoke of indepen. I petrified him with the discovery of dence, of the bar, Ellinor's face grew the printer! I knew not exactly overcast. The world the world was wherefore, whether from jealousy, fear, with her, and the ambition of the foreboding—but it certainly was a pain world, which is always for power or that seized me—when I learned from effect! A part of the house lay ex- Roland that he had become intimate posed to the east wind, Plant half at Compton Hall. Roland and Lord way down the hill,' said I one day. Rainsforth had met at the house of a