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COUNTRY CHURCHYARDS. No. III. W ITHIN a short distance of my condensed currents of the living stream,
own habitation stands a pic one, the inhabitants of a far distant turesque old church, remote from any hamlet, the other, comprising the potown or hamlet, save that village of the pulation of two smaller ones, within dead contained within the precincts of a shorter distance of the church. And its own sequestered burial-ground. It from many lanes and leafy glades, and is however the parish church of a large through many field-paths and stiles, rural district, comprising several small advance small groups of neighbours, hamlets, and numerous farms and cot- and families, and social pairs, and here tages, together with the scattered resi- and there a solitary aged person, who dences of the neighboring gentry; and totters leisurely along, supported by hither (there being no other place of his trusty companion, his stout oak worship within the parish boundary) staff, not undutifully consigned by his its population may be seen for the most neglectful children to that silent compart resorting on Sundays, by various panionship, but willingly loitering beroads, lanes, heath tracks, coppice and hind to enjoy the luxury of the aged, field-paths, all diverging from that con- the warmth of the cheerful sun-beams, secrated centre. The church itself, the serene beauty of nature, the fruitnearly in the midst of a very beautiful ful aspect of the ripening corn-fields, church-yard, rich in old carved head- the sound of near and mirthful voices, stones, and bright verdure, roofing the the voices of children and grandchilpameless graves--the church itself dren, and a sense of quiet happiness, stands on the brow of a finely wooded partaking surely of that peace' which knoll, commanding a diversified ex- passeth all understanding. panse of heath, forest, and cultivated And sometimes the venerable Elder land ; and it is a beautiful sight on comes, accompanied by his old faithful Sundays, on a fine autumn Sunday in helpmate ; and then they may be seen particular, when the ferns are assuming once more side by side, her arm again their rich browns, and the forest trees locked within his as in the days of their exquisite gradations of colour, courtship ; not, as then, resting on his
no limner upon earth can more vigorous frame, for they have paint-to see the people approaching grown old and feeble together; and of in all directions, now winding in long the twain, the burthen of years lies straggling files over the open common, heaviest upon the husband, for his has now abruptly disappearing amongst it's been the hardest portion of labour. In innumerable shrubby declivities, and the prime of life, during the full flush again emerging into sight through the of his manly vigour, and of her healthboles of the old oaks that encircle the ful comeliness, he was wont to walk churchyard, standing in their majestic sturdily onward, discoursing between beauty, like sentinels over the slumbers whiles with his buxom partner, as she of the dead. From two several quarters followed with her little ones ; but now across the heath, approach the more they are grown up into men and wo
17 ATHENEUM VOL, 2. 2d series.
men, dispersed about in their several black poke bonnet, flounced with russtations, and have themselves yoụng ty lace, and secured upon her head, ones to care and provide for ; and the not by strings, but by two long black old couple are, as it were, left to be- corking-pins. That bit of black lace, of gin the world again, alone in their real lace, is a treasured remnant of quiet cottage. Those two alone togeth- what once trimmed her mistress's best er, as when they entered it fifty years cloak, when she herself was a blithe ago, bridegroom and bride--alone, and buxom lass, in the days of her but not forsaken-sons, and daughters, happy servitude; and the very cloak and grandchildren, as each can snatch itself, once a rich mode silk of ample an interval of leisure, or when the la- dimensions, now narrowed and curbours of the day are over, come drop- tailed to repair with many cunning ping in under the honeysuckle porch, engraftings, the ravages of time-the with their hearty greetings; and many very cloak itself, with a scrap of the a chubby great-grandchild finds its fre- same lace frilled round the neck, is still quent way to Grannum's cottage; many worn on Sundays, through the Suma school truant, and many a “toddlin' mer and Autumn, till early frosts and wee thing," whose little hand can hard- keener winds pierce through the thin ly reach the latch of the low wicket, old silk, and the good red-hooded cloak but whose baby call of “flitcherin' noise is substituted in its stead.
They have an' glee” gains free and fond admit- reached the church-yard wicket; they tance. And now they are on their way have passed through it now, and together, the old man and his wife. wherefore do they turn aside from the See !—they have just passed through path, a few steps beyond it, and stop the last field-gate leading thitherward and look down upon that grassy bilto the church. They are on their way lock? It is no recent grave, the daitogether towards the house of God, sies are thickly matted on its green and towards the place where they shall sod, and the heap itself has sunk to a soon lie down to rest“ in sure and level nearly even with the flat ground. certain hope," and they lean on one The little head-stone is half-buried another for mutual support ; and would too, but you may read thereon the few it not seem still, as they are thus again words, the only ones ever engraven drawn closer together as they approach there--" William Moss, aged 22." nearer to the term of their earthly Few living now remember William union, as if it were a type and token Moss. Few at least think of him. The of an eternal re-union in a better and playmates of his childhood, the coma happier state ? I love to gaze upon panions of his youth, his brothers and that venerable pair,-ay, even to note sisters, pass weekly by his lonely grave, their decent, antiquated Sabbath rai- and none turn aside to look upon it, or ment—what mortal tailor—no modern to think of him who sleeps beneath. one to be sure—can have carved out But in the hearts of his parents, the that coat of indescribable colour— memory of their dead child is as fresh something of orange tawny with a as their affections for their living chilreddish tinge-I suspect it has once dren. He is not dead to them, though, been a rich Devonshire brown, and per- eight-and-twenty years ago, they saw haps the wedding-suit of the squire's that turf heaped over his coffin-over grandfather, for it has had a silk lining, the coffin of their eldest born. He is not and it has been trimmed with some dead to them, and every Sabbath-day sort of lace, gold probably, and there they tarry a moment by his lowly adown each side are still, the resplen- grave, and even now, as they look dent rows of embossed, basket-work thereon in silence, does not the heart of gilt buttons, as large as crown-pieces- each parent whisper as if to the sleeper it must have been the Squire's grand- below,—“My son! we shall go to thee, father's wedding-suit. And how snowy- though thou shalt not return to us.” white, and how neatly plaited is the Look down yonder under those archsingle edge of his old dame's plaining hawthorns ! what mischief is conmob cap, surmounted by that little federating there, amongst those sun
burnt, curly-pated boys, clustering to- ed Sir Cloudesley Shovel; and from gether over the stile and about it, like behind dangles half-way down his a bunch of swarming bees? The con- back, a long taper pig-tail, wound fused sound of their voices is like the round with black ribbon, the which, hum of a swarm too, and they are de- about half-way, is tied into an elebating of grave and weighty matters ; gant rosette.--On the top of that same of nuts ripening in thick clusters down periwig is perched a diminutive cocked in Fairlee Copse, of trouts of prodi- hat— with such a cock ! so fierce ! so gious magnitude leaping by the bridge triangular ! the little squat crown so below the Mill-head; of apples-and buried within its triple fortification !
heads crowd closer together, The like was never seen, save in the and the buzzing voices sink to a whis- shape of those coloured sugar comfits per—“Of cherry-cheeked apples hang- called cock’d-hats, that are stuck up in ing just within reach of one who should long glasses in the confectioners' winclimb upon the roof of the old shed, dows, to attract the eyes of poor longing by the corner of the south wall of urchins; and his face is triangular too, Squire Mills's orchard.” Ah Squire the exact centre of his forehead where Mills! I would not give sixpence for it meets the periwig, being the apex all the apples you shall gather off that thereof_his nose is triangular-his famous red-streak to-morrow. But little red eyes are triangular-his perwho comes there across the field to son is altogether triangular, from the wards the stile ? a very youthful cou- sloping narrow shoulders, to where it ple-Sweethearts, one should guess, if widens out, corresponding with the it were not that they were so far asun- broad square fantail flaps of that green der, and look as if they had not spo- velveteen coat. He is a walking triken a word to each other this half angle! and he carries his cane behind hour. Ah! they were not so far asun- him, holding it with both hands wide der before they turned out of the sha- apart, exactly parallel with the square dy lane into that open field, in sight line of his coat-flaps. See ! he is bustof all the folk gathering into the church- ling up to join that small group of subyard, and of those mischievous boys, stantial farmers, amongst whom he is one of whom is brother to that pretty evidently a person of no small conseFanny Payne, whose downcast looks, quence; they think him, 6 and grave, sober walk, so far from the should say, Sir Oracle," for he knows young miller, will not save her from every fluctuation of stocks to a fraction running the gauntlet of their teazing --criticizes the minister's discourses jokes as she passes—and pass she must, expounds the prophecies--explains all through the knot of conspirators
. Never about the milleniums and the number mind it, Fanny Payne! Put a good of the beast-foretells changes of weathface on the matter, and above all, be- er-knows something of physic and ware of knitting up that fair brow into surgery-gives charms for the ague anything like a frown, as you steal a and rheumatizm-makes ink--mends passing glance at that provoking broth- pens, and writes a wonderful fine hand, er of yours; it will only bring down with such flourishes, that without taking upon you a thicker shower of saucy his
pen off the paper, he can represent jests.-See! see! that little old man, so the figures of Adam and Eve, in the old and shrivelled, and lean and wizen, involutions composing the initial capiand mummy coloured; he looks as if tals of their names ! He is “ Sir Orahe had been embalmed and inhumed a cle," and not the less so, because people century ago, and had just now walked do not exactly know what he has been, out of his swathing bands, a specimen and where he comes from. Some think of the year one thousand seven hundred he has been a schoolmaster-others and ten.
His periwig is so well plas- conjecture that he has been a doctor tered with flour and hog's lard, that its of some sort, or a schemer in mechanlarge sausage side curls look as durably ics, about which he talks very scientificonsistent, as the “ eternal buckles cutcally-or in the funds-or in some in Parian stone” that have immortalize foreign commercial concern, for he has
certainly lived long in foreign parts, there is nothing in the expression of and is often heard talking to his old his countenance that bespeaks a selfgrey parrot in some outlandish tongue, ish and narrow heart, or a covetous and the bird seems to understand it disposition. He looks willing to diswell, and replies in the same language. tribute of his abundance, and greet
There are not wanting some, who ings of cordial goodwill, on both sides, suspect that he has not been always are exchanged between the farmer in his perfect mind; but however that and such of his labourers as fall into may be, he is perfectly harmless now, the same path, in their way to the and has conducted himself unexcep- church. Arm-in-arm with her spouse tionably ever since he came to settle marches his portly helpmate, fat, florid, in the village of Downe, ten years ago. and, like himself, “ redolent” of the In all that time he has never been good things of this world, corn, and known to receive within his dwelling wine, and oil, that sustaineth the heart any former friend or kinsman, and he of man, and maketh him of a cheerful has never stirred beyond the boundary countenance. of the parish, but to go once a-year to
A comely and a stately dame is the the banker's in the nearest town, to re- lady of Farmer Buckwheat, when, as ceive a small sum of money, for which now, she paces by his side, resplenhe draws on a mercantile house in dent in her Sunday-going garb, of Lombard Street. He boards and ample and substantial materials, and lodges with a widow, who has a neat all of the very best that can be bought little cottage in the village, and he for money. One can calculate the cultivates the finest polyanthuses and profits of the dairy and the bee-hives, auriculars in the flower-plot, of which the pin-money of the farmer's ladyshe has yielded up the management not to mention his weightier accumuto him, that were ever beheld in that lations-by the richness of that black neighbourhood. He is very fond of satin cloak and bonnet, full trimmed flowers, and dumb animals, and chil- with real lace, and by the multitudidren : ; and also the children in the nous plaits of that respectable-looking place love him, and the old white snuff-coloured silk gown and coat. Pomeranian dog, blind of one eye,who It is true, her old-fashioned prejufollows his master everywhere except dices would have been in favour of a to church. Now you know as much large double silk handkerchief, pinned as I or any one knows of Master Ja- neatly down, and a flowered chintz cob Marks, more, perhaps, than was gown, drawn up through the pocketworth telling, but I could not leave holes over a white quilted petticoat; such an original subject half-sketched. but the worthy dame has two fair
Behold that jolly-looking farmer and daughters, and they have been brought his family approaching up the green up at a boarding-school, and they lane that leads from their habitation, have half-coaxed, half-teazed their that old substantial-looking farm-house Ma'a out of such antiquated vulgar yonder, half embowered in its guar- tastes, though even those pertinacious dian elms.
reformists have been obliged to conThey are a portly couple, the farm- cede the point of a pelisse in favour er and his wife! He, a hale, florid, of the satin cloak. But when they fine looking man, on whose broad have conceded one point, they have open brow time has scarcely imprint- gained at least two. See, the old ed a furrow, though it has changed to lady's short sleeves, neatly frilled just silky whiteness the raven hue of those below the elbow, are elongated down locks, once so thickly clustered about to the wrists, and finished there by a his temples. There is a conscious- fashionable cuff, out of which proness of wealth and prosperity, and of trudes the red, fat, fubsy hand, with rural consequence, in his general as- short dumpty fingers nubbed between, pect and deportment ; but if he loves broad and turning up at the tips, lookthe good things of this world, and ing as if they had been created on prides himself in possessing them, purpose to knead dough, press curds,
and put up butter; and, lo! on the weak, doating mother fondly anticifore-finger of the right hand a great pates, though the father talks as yet garnet ring set in silver, massy enough only of their prosperous establishment for the edge of a soup tureen. It is all classes talk of establishing young an heir-loom from some great-grand- ladies now,) as the wives of wealthy mother, who was somehow related to graziers, or substantial yeomen, or somebody who was first cousin to a farmers, or thriving tradesmen. But “ Barrow-knight,” and was herself so he drinks his port wine and follows very rich a lady—and so the misses the hounds. And then bringing up have rummaged it out, and forced it the rear of the family procession, down upon their Ma'a's poor dear fat lounges on its future representative, finger, which sticks out as stiffly from its sole son and heir. And he is a the sensation of that unwonted com- smart buck, far too genteel to walk pression, as if it were tied up and arm-in-arm with his sisters ; so he poulticed for a whitlow; and the poor saunters behind, cutting off the innolady, in spite of all hints and remon cent heads of the dangling brier-roses, strances, will walk with her gloves and the tender hazel shoots, with that dangling in her hands, instead of on little jemmy switch, wherewith ever them; and altogether the short pil- and anon he flaps the long-looped lowy arms cased up in those tight sides of his yellow topped boots ; and cearments, with both hands and all his white hat is set knowingly on the fingers spread out as if in act to one side, and he wears a colourswim, look, for all the world, like the ed silk handkerchief knotted loosely fins of a turtle, or the flaps of a fright- round his throat, and fastened down ened gosling. Poor worthy dame! to the shirt bosom by a shining but a sense of conscious grandeur sup- brooch,—and waistcoat of three colports her under the infliction of this ours, pink, blue, and buff,-a grassfashionable penance. And then come green coat, with black velvet collar, the Misses Buckwheat, mincing deli- and on his little finger, (the wash cately in the wake of their Pa'a and leather glove is off on that hand,) a Ma'a, with artificial flowers in their Belcher ring as thick as the coil of a Leghorn bonnets, sky-blue spencers, ship's cable. Well done, young Hopefawn-coloured boots, flounces up to ful! That was a clever aim! There their knees, a pink parasol in one goes a whole shower of hazel-tops. hand, and a pocket-handkerchief dang- What a pity your shearing ingenuity ling from the other; not neatly folded is not as active among the thistles in and carried with the handsome prayer- your father's fields! The family has book in the pretty fashion that so well reached the church-gate ; they are becomes that fair modest girl, their entering now; and the farmer, as he neighbour's daughter, whose profound passes through, vouchsafes a patronignorance of fashionable dress and izing nod, and a good-humoured word manners is looked on as quite pitiable, or two, to that poor widow and her
poor thing !” by the Misses Buck- daughter, who stand aside holding wheat. For what are they intended, the gate open for him, and dropping I wonder! For farmers' wives ? To humble curtsies to every member of strain milk, churn butter, fat pigs, the family. The farmer gives them feed poultry, weigh out cheeses, and now and then a few days' work,cure bacon hogs ? Good lack! They hoeing, weeding, or stoning, or, at hay paint landskips! and play on the or harvest time, on his broad acres ; piano ! and dance quadrilles ! and but his daughters wonder “Pa'a should make bead purses ! and keep Albums! demean himself so far as to nod faand doat on Moore's Melodies and miliarly to such poor objects.” They Lord Byron's poems! They are to draw up their chins, flirt their handbe “tutoresses, or companions, or kerchiefs, and pass on as stiff as posomething or other-very genteel- 'kers. And last, in straggles Master Ladies, for certain, anyway. So they Timothy--(He hates that name, by the have settled themselves, and so the by, and wishes his sponsors had favour