« ПредишнаНапред »
accepting the honor, was the only means at where to get a crust for your own starving hand of responding to the important docu- home-full on the morrow! when even in your ment; for to have obtained writing materials daily sacrifice of prayer, the words, "Give us would have entailed a three miles' walk to the this day our daily bread,' tremble on your nearest town, and a greater expenditure of lips as you breathe them upwards!—for you capital than could with any propriety at the think how vain they are. present time be afforded.
“But joy! joy! why think of sorrow? “But who shall scrutinize the old man's the rooms are blazing in countless lights !dreams of happiness and grandeur as he glittering trappings! - snowey plumes ! read and re-read the flattering missive to the happy voices !-clear ringing tones of woman's partner of his existence ?
laughter !-(down thoughts of the morrow!) “He had heard and read in fairy tales of congratulations, happy and heartfelt !-all beggars who had become princes—of Cin these are seen and heard around !-and is the derellas who had, in a night, been transformed old man left alone ?-Ob, no! bright eyes to queens; but this was bringing the ro- beam sweetly on him ; noble lips pour forth mance home to his own fire-side in stern praises upon his head. He, the almost sole reality.
survivor of his regiment on the field of . “How would it all end ?' was a self-pro- Waterloo, may nearly be considered the bero posed question that made him giddy to con- of the feast. template.
“Oh! but for one-the least of the "The old regimentals of the -th regi- jewels that lavishly bedecked that fair and ment were slightly astonished, I promise most enthusiastic interrogator of the veteran you, on that day, at being so rubbed and to save my darlings from starvation ! scrubbed, and brushed, and mended, after" He cannot curb his thoughts : but this is they had quietly lapsed into the thought all he thinks of. that, like their old master, they were worn "The dinner, so unusual to English dinners out, and, after a long 'tour of duty,' they in general, soon thawed into conviviality. had been laid on the shelf for ever. In How surely we always find, that the more many places they even disdained the stitches in hospitable the appearance of a country, of the busy wife, and mutinously broke out the more hospitable the dwellers therein ; as as soon as attempted to be set into anything if to compensate by a profusion of the one like wearing order.
for a delinquency of the other. “Master Bobby was discovered, after an “ The dinner ended, and the toasts began. hour's hard search, sharpening the sword. The ladies had retired to the drawing-room, blade on the homely knife-board, to the utter and reminiscences of the eventful day were destruction of that useful household article. eagerly canvassed around. Pass round the
"At last all was in readiness,—and having ruby wine ! imprinted a kiss on the lips of each of his "It was getting late. loved and only earthly treasures, the old “Pass the snuff-box, if you please,' exadjutant set forth on his journey to the claimed the host, who at an early period after • Castle.'
the removal of the dinner had produced an “He had just attained the summit of the article of elaborate workmanship, studded nearest hill, when the strokes of the town with brilliants, presented to him by Marshal clock came booming over the plain upon his Blucher in person, as a token of admiration
After all, it was but five, and he was an for his valor, and esteem for his friendship. hour, at the very least, too early.
«The snuff-box!' The snuff-box!' echoed
the guests, passing the word one to another; “Alone in the drawing room of the castle-but no snuff-box. for the heavy drops of the coming storm had " In vain were the dessert-dishes pushed driven him onwards before the appointed aside, in vain was search made under the time-stood the hero of our story, lost in table and under the chairs ; the snuff box had wonder of the wealth and luxuries that lay vanished, as if by magic! The attendants around him; the only feeling, save wonder, protested having brought it in at the beginelicited by the display, being simply that the ing of the evening, and having left it on the most trifling article there would keep his table. family in plenty for probably half their “It is quite ridiculous,' exclaimed one of life.
the company after awhile ; 'some one must “Oh! it is a bitter thing to stand surround have pocketed it in error, and I'll be the first ed by another's wealth, when you know not to try my own pockets.'
“ Matters were looking most unpleasantly to undergo the investigation, and it was the serious, and each one at table was feeling old adjutant. as uncomfortable under the circumstances as "The adjutant! the adjutant !--where is men can be supposed to feel, when the noble he?' host, rising, addressed the company as fol- Aye, call away! obsequious guests ! lows:
search for him from room to room! and con“ Brother-soldiers and gentlemen, I have demn him unfound. He's o'er the mountain, missed an article of unsurpassable value to and awa'--and little hears your calling. me. It strikes me that some one having got hold of the article, has, in error, put it into his pocket instead of his own box, and has
Change we the scene. not now the moral courage to produce it ; so “Cold —aye, shivering cold ; not from the I will order in a box filled with sawdust, into chilling atmosphere of the climate, but of the which each of you can in turn place bis hand; heart--the old man wandered homewards. and the one having the box in bis possession Thought, feeling, life almost, all but motion may thereby return it without its being had deserted him. known by whom it was deposited. Does Thief ?' at last burst from his pent up any one object to this ?'
bosom, as he strode homewards - I a thief ?' • No one did, of course, so the box was “ Thief!" exclaimed a voice at his side, that brought, and each guest in turn left his seat made him involuntarily turn round, and lay and walked up to it, the others looking away, bis hand on his sword.' He looked around in and thrust in his band. All had completed the darkness, but perceived no one; he was the ordeal, and the sawdust was emptied ; but passing a cavern in the Lowland bills, but still no box appeared.
long since renowned for the clearness of its ««• There is no doubt but that some one echoes. present has the box, said a noble general, the “ Ere the veteran had scarce begun to rehighest in rank at table ; and under the
cover his senses, he found himself at the circumstances I propose
that we each in turn threshold of bis cottage. submit to undergo a personal investigation of our pockets, and I will set the example by being the first to submit to it.'
meal for all within those walls that had the «And I—and l-and 1 !' flew round the power of partaking of it. table.
“ The news had now flown to the drawing. “ The following morning brought numerous room; and the party, that one hour before messages and messengers from the castle,' in promised to be a reunion of deep and noble hopes of recovering the lost bijou. feelings, of cordiality and goodwill, became a « Entreaties first, then threats, were had scene of general disorder, suspicion, and con- recourse to; but each in turn were met by a fusion,
steady and firm avowal of innocence by ihe “I wish the earl had not asked people no- owner of the cottage. In compassion to the body knows any thing of !” exclaimed our
veteran, he was not at once banded over 10
the civil power; but in a few days afterwards “* Yes, inc' oed!' echoed another, 'people he received a letter from the Horse Guards, may be officers,--but honesty is never tested to whom the matter had been fully commutill a man is a beggar.'
nicated, and the half-pay of the old man's (True ! noble lady ! true affluence can rank, upon which he had retired, was immeafford to be honest.)
diately suspended, leaving him a beggar, and "Aye! search us !_search us all !' eagerly powerless in the world! exclaimed all in turn.
True, he might have claimed the alterna"All? no; not all!
tive of a court-martial: but were not all the "One lip grew pallid, and one cheek blanch- circumstances of the case arrayed against ed white as the damask cloth before it, when bim-bearing on their face a moral certainty the word “Search' was uttered; but no one of conviction in spite of his honor or bis oath ? remarked it; a brimming bumper of wine, “Nothing was now left him but starvation taken at a gulp, alone prevented one guest or the workhouse, and he chose the latter. there from sinking sick and faint beneath the "In a huge whitewashed building in the board.
nearest town he found himself separated for “One by one each guest underwent the the first time in life from his only solace in self-imposed ordeal, until but one remained l this world-his wife and children !—from her
1. He heard his name pronounced, and the
who had shared his troubles as a private sol- , it was sent from heaven to restore him to his dier, and his honor as an officer. Those whom own again, who were all at home awaiting his God had joined together, man at last had put return; and his trial on earth was over. asunder.
Louder and louder swelled the roar "Sharp and agonizing was the anguish at without. first; but ere a week bad elapsed, another « Fire !' 'Fire! Fire ! roared a thousblow more stunning than this was doomed to and voices in chorus !- *A fire at the castle! descend upon the martyr's head.
and the rolling of the engines and the clash“He heard the church-bell tolling, and ing tread of the horses succeeded one another saw-but at a distance—all that was mortal of in rapid succession. his two darling daughters borne from out that “At length nature was exhausted, and he whitewashed world of sorrow to the grave! sunk once to sleep until the morning.
"A settled melancholy, bordering on idiotcy, now came over the old man's spirits. His daily task was gove through mechanically; " What means that thundering knocking but his wife still lived, and he might yet one at the gate? A pauper would not knock so day meet her again alive, and that was, in- loud. deed, a consolation in his sorrow; but alas! “Even the adjutant looked up from his how faint even that poor ray of hope! daily task, but soon looked down again as he
“ Faint--faint, indeed--poor outcast ! You saw the hated livery of the castle standing at have looked your last, and breathed your last the portal. farewell, ere you entered within the walls that now enclose you !
pallor of death fell over his brow and cheek. “ The intelligence of his wifes death was In another minute he found himself ushered soon after communicated to him, accompanied into the governor's room, and confronted face by a permission for him to have access to all to face with the noble giver of the banquet at that remained of one once dearer to him than which his misery had begun. life itself, and the further boon was conceded “He had scarce time to gaze steadfastly of following her to her long last home. on the face of his visitor ere the later seized
“ How willingly would be have availed him by the hand; but before a word could himself of this kindness !--but as the first be uttered, a flood of tears-tears of repenboom of the bell tolled out, he fell back in- tance for a bitter and irreparable injury done sensible, and so remained till all was over. to an innocent man, and coming from the
“ His son was now all that was left to him, noble and contrite breast of a soldier, broke and he had been bound as apprentice in a from the long pent-up channels of the genetown several miles distant.
ral's heart, and he wept aloud on the old Days, weeks, months, a year had elapsed, man's shoulder. So totally was he overcome and his routine of life remained unaltered and that it was with the greatest difficulty that unvaried. Nothing seemed to have any effect be prevented the official authorities from inon him, save wben a casual visitor remarked, troducing immediate medical assistance, and in an undertone (but what tone is too soft for like a flash of lightning through the gloom of sensitive ears to comprehend ?)-
night, the pauper's dream flashed o'er his re 66. That is the old officer who stole the collection. snuff box at the castle.'
6. To-morrow !'-to-morrow!' —come to “ But what most astonished every one was, the castle--at any time—but come. I am that no trace of the box had been, or could ill; I must go now,' exclaimed the general, be, discovered. It was not found concealed and thrusting a purse full of notes and gold in the old man's cottage, neither buried in bis into the wonder-stricken old man's hand, he garden, for even that had been turned up in allowed his valet to lead him to his carriage. hopes of recovering the lost treasure-neither “ There had indeed been a fire at the castle, had it been pawned in the town.
which being simply occasioned by the over“A heavy rolling sound breaks on the heating of the flues, had done no material indreamer's ears as he starts at midnight from jury; but the first place that was attended his thin-clad stretcher, and feels the cold to was the plate-closet; and there, in a cupdamp walls of his tiny cell around him! board bigh above the others, where the usual
" He had been dreaming happily: He plate for household purposes was kept, was dreamt that an angel-it was like his dear discovered the GOLI SNUFF-BOX lost wife, but yet it was not her—had brought “ It had, no doubt, been removed from the the lost jewel to his bedside—had told him table by one of the servants, who, oblivious of the circumstance, or fearing after all that had and you would have proved as innocent as he occurred to produce it, had placed it where or I, without having entailed on me the lastit had so long remained unseen.
ing misery of remembering that I have in
flicted such a punishment on an innocent man “The following morning broke again bright as you have undergone-a recollection that and joyously, as if in welcome of the scene will haunt me on my death-bed-and on yourit was to witness. The old soldier had at self, the anguish of the past. once been discharged at the departure of the «• Sire! returned the veteran, but his voice general, and was soon provided with comfort- faltered audibly, 'I did not take the snuffable lodgings in the town.
box, as you and all around me are now fully “His first thought was to seek his boy; aware, but nevertheless I was a THIEF. but the news quickly reached him, that, tired “« Yes, God forgive me and I trust he of the monotonous life his son was obliged to bas, as I believe you all will. In the midst lead as an apprentice, he had gone on board of the dinner, when the mirth was at the her Majesty's ship at Plymouth; so he highest, and when every one's attention seemwas left alone and childless in the world.
ed to be engaged, I took advantage of the “ That the snuff-box had been found ran moment to slip a part of the contents of my like wild-fire through the place, and had plate between some bread beside me, and reached the old man's ears before he had left when no eyes were upon me, I secreted it the workhouse; therefore why need he fear in my pocket. None of my family nor myself to meet the inmates of the castle? In jus- had lasted meat for days, aye, long days past! tice to himself, moreover, although he would and I had more that day before me than rather have avoided the interview, he made would have saved my darling children from up his mind to go; and again setting out on the grave! I was a thief! My whole pitfoot, he traversed the same path that he had tance had for months been swallowed up by passed just eighteen months ago, when the the illness of my family, and what was given storm arose around him.
to me, I had secretly purloined for them. My “He had scarcely knocked at the castle days on earth are short. I care not to confess ere the doors were thrown open, and every all. My gray hairs have come in sorrow to servant seemed to vie in being most attentive the grave, and little recks it what befals me to the lately reputed criminal. He was at This is the reason I stole away like a once ushered into the dining-room, where, thief rather than be searched, and dearly seated round the table as he had seen them have I paid the penalty attending The Peon that memorable day, were the self-same RILS OF THE Poor.' guests that then surrounded the board,
and “ The old man ceased ; but the sobs that had since concurred in his condemnation. burst forth around told how deeply bis tale
“ His place alone was changed, and now a had entered the hearts of his hearers. chair was placed for him by the side of his "Spontaneously the whole host arose, and bost, at the head of the table; but the vete thronged around him. Kind words-noble ran refused to take advantage of it, remaining promises-sweet condolences—from the noerect, and gazing with a fixed, half-vacant ble, the brave, and the fair, were showered stare on the scene before bim, as if it were on the veteran's head, but, alas !-like a soft all a dream.
song in the tempest--they fell unbeard“ The general, liowever, as soon as he re- unheeded. covered his self-possession-for he saw-and “ A cottage on the estate, fitted with every deeply felt—what a change was wrought in luxury, was urged on his acceptance—the the old man's appearance, broke the subject arrears of pay made up-all that wealth could by saying
offer, or contrition devise, was placed at his • Deep, irreparable, and undeserved, as disposal—but it came too late ! is the injury that has been inflicted on you, The silver cord was loosed, and the goldand for which no amends on my part can en bowl was broken !--aye, shattered past atone, you must allow that in a great measure redemption. you have been the cause of it, by not at the time submitting to the ordeal which every one else present readily underwent. Had I re- " The old church trees were budding forth quested to search you alone, you might justly I in spring, and glad birds carolled on their have felt indignant; but the measure was not new-leaved branches, and a crowd had gaeven proposed by me, but by one higher in thered round the churchyard gate, dressed rank, both military and noble, than myself ; in their best habiliments.
Hush !-'uis the old man's funeral !
" The bell has ceased—the earth is closed "Toll on! thou mournful Herald to eternity! again-the tearful crowd has gone. -thou hast carried anguish to his soul ere " Peace ! peace to him who sleeps beneath S—but now he hears thee not!
the turf! “His old sword rests upon the coffin lid. “ His character reëstablished among men Ah !— bear him gently to his grave, in life -he has gone to meet his God! so roughly handled !
From Eliza Cook's Journal.
HANG UP A PICTURE.
The many ingenious methods which have his features, we think we feel as if we knew been discovered of multiplying works of art, him better, and were more closely related to by engravings, lithographs, woodcuts, and him. Such a portrait hung up before us photographs, now renders it possible for daily, at our meals and during our leisure every person to furnish his rooms with beau- hours, unconsciously serves to lift us up and tiful pictures. Skill and science bave thus sustain us. It is a link that in some way brought art within the reach even of the binds us to higher and better natures. poorest.
There was a Catholic money-lender who, We have seen some woodcuts in recent when about to cheat, was wont to draw a cheap publications, which, if cut out and veil over the face of his favorite saint. Thus framed, or hung against the wall in the the portraiture of a noble man or saint is in simplest way, would shed a glory round the some sort a companionship of something room—of a peasant or of a lord. Of this sort better than ourselves, and though we may of cheap cuts, we may particulary mention not reach the standard of our hero, we are to the Madonna and child, after Rafaelle, so some extent influenced by his depicted admirably executed by Mr. Linton.
That presence. head reminds one of the observation made by It is not necessary that a picture should be Mr. Hazlitt upon a picture, that it seems as high-priced in order to be beautiful and good. if our unhandsome action would be impos- ¡ We have seen things for which hundreds of sible in its presence. It embodies the ideas guineas have been paid, that have not one. of mother's love, womanly beauty, and hundredth part of the meaning or beauty that earnest piety. And any picture, or print, or is to be found in Linton's woodcut of Ra. engraving, that represents a noble thought, faelle's Madonna, which may be had for that depicts a heroic act, or that brings a bit two pence. Picture-fanciers pay not for the of nature from the fields or the streets into merit, so much as for the age and the our room, is a teacher, a means of education, rareness of their works.
A rich man may and a help to self-culture. It serves to make possess a gallery of 1,000 great paintings, home more pleasant and attractive. It and yet be able to appreciate none of them. sweetens domestic life, and sheds a grace and The poorest may have the seeing eye for beauty around it. It draws the gazer away beauty, while the millionaire may be blind to from mere considerations of self, and in- it. And the cheapest engraving may comcreases his store of delightful associations municate the sense of beauty to the artizan, with the world without as well as with the while the thousand-guinea picture may fail to world at home.
communicate to the lord anything except the A portrait of a great man, for instance, notion that he has got possession of the work helps us to read his life—it invests him with which the means of other people cannot a more personal interest for us-looking at i compass.