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quently it is constantly falling into the exploded form, formerly known as that of the Minerva Press. Epithets that have "an ancient and fish-like odour," bestrew almost every page. “The bower-maid," “the venerable parent."
“ The mitred abbot, and warrior bold" belong to a class of writing we hope not about to be revived : consisting as it does of vague generalities, heated fancies, and a falselydirected invention. ,
The story of “Ines de Castro " is of itself simple and sad enough, and it has always appeared from its very want of complexity ili adapted to the uses of either the novelist or the dramatist, though both have so frequently seized upon it. The interest rests entirely in its climax,' for the loves of the unhappy pair until broken in upon by the ferocious murderer seem to have been as dull and as uninteresting to all but themselves as those of any young couple in a fashionable square in our own time. The intensity of passion supposed to be expressed in the revolting exhumation and crowning of the corpse of the murdered Ines, has always captivated the imagination of those disregardful of the æsthetic rules that divide the terrible and the horrible. These writers have always seized on this portion of the story with especial goût, and the best of them have been more attentive to the revolting sensations produced by such a scene, than even to the pourtrayal of the passion supposed to be the cause of its disgusting enactment. It has been justly questioned, however, and even by the present author, whether policy had not much more to do with this proceeding than either passion or affection : the object being to enforce the legitimate claims of her children, and to pronounce with ferocious emphasis the will and governance of the new monarch.
To those not sated with descriptions of “ proud cavalcades," “ambling palfreys," " jewelled carcanets," and all the long catalogue of middle-age paraphernalia ; who can still be excited with descriptions of " peals of the solemn organ” and “winding processions of pallid priests ;" whose blood can still curdle at the fatal combat between the hero and his malignant foe ; who has still sympathy for the ethereal heroine and faith in the high-flown sentiment and devoted heroism of the favourite characters, satisfaction and entertainment may be found in these four volumes. For ourselves we must confess to being too common-place to derive anything of the kind from them. What is styled heroism appears at the best mistaken energy, at the worst ferocious malignity: the ceremonies seem superstitious acts to deceive and mislead the many: the sentiments are incompatible with the equal distribution of justice, and the principles advocated such as to produce an undue elevation of one portion of society to the outrage and injury of the rest. The middle age doubtless had its virtuous characters, though as an age and “body corporate " the more it is examined the more it seems to be a compound of tyranny, violence, and baseness.
THE HISTORY OF ST. GILES AND ST. JAMES.*
BY THE EDITOR.
CHAPTER XXVII, WHEN Snipeton turned his horse's head from Dovesnest—for the which incident we must send back the reader some dozen chapters-he resolved, as he rode, upon closing his accounts with the world, that freed from the cares of money, he might cherish and protect his youthful, blooming partner. Arrived in London, seated at his books in St. Mary Axe, the resolution was strengthened by the contemplation of his balance against men. He had more than enough, and would enjoy life in good earnest. Why should he toil like a slave for gold-dust, and never know the blessings of the boon ? No: he would close his accounts, and open wide his heart. And Snipeton was sincere in this his high resolve. For a whole night, waking and dreaming, he was fixed in it ; and the next morning the uxorious apostate fell back to his first creed of money-bags. Fortune is a woman, and therefore where she blindly loves (and what Bottoms and Calibans she does embrace and fondle!)—is not to be put aside by slight or ill-usage. All his life had Fortune doted upon Snipeton, hugging him the closer as she carried him up no infant ape more tenderly clutched in ticklish places, and he should not leave her, And to this end did Fortune Tribe back her renegade with a lumping bargain. A young gentleman—a very young gentleman
* Continued from page 396,-Vol. III. NO. XVIII. VOL. III.
desired for so much ready metal, to put his land upon parchment, and that young gentleman did Fortune take by the hand, and, smiling ruin, lead him to St. Mary Ase. In few minutes was Snipeton wooed and won again; for to say the truth his weakness was a mortgage. The written parchment, like charmed characters, conjured him ; put imagination into that dry husk of a man. He would look upon the deed as upon a land of promise. He would see in the smallest pen-marks giant oaks, with the might of navies waiting in them; and from the sheepskin would feel the nimble air of Arcady. There it lay, a beautiful bit of God's earth-a sweet morsel of creation-conjured and conveyed into a few black syllables.
And so, Snipeton made his peace with his first wife Fortune, and then bethought him of his second spouse, Clarissa. That he might duly attend to both, he would remove his second mate from Dovesnest. There were double reasons for the motion ; for the haven of wedded bliss was known to the profligate St. James ; who, unmindful of the sweetest obligation money at large usance ought to confer upon the human heart, dared to accost his creditor's wife. Let Dovesnest henceforth be a place for owls and foxes, Clarissa should bring happiness within an hour's ride of St. Mary Axe. The thought was so good, sent such large content to old Snipeton's heart, that with no delay it was carried out, and ere she well had time to weep a farewell to her favourite roses, Mrs. Snipeton left Dovesnest to the spiders.
Was it a wise change, this? Had Snipeton healthy eyes ; or did avarice, that jaundice of the soul, so blear his vision, that he saw not in the thin, discoloured features of the wife of his bosom, aught to twitch a husband's heart? She never complained. Besides, once or twice he had questioned her; and she was not ill. No, well, quite well ; and—this too he had asked-very happy. Nevertheless, it would the better satisfy him if Crossbone could see her. Crossbone knew her constitution, and—and so that meek and knowing man was summoned to London.
In a green, sequestered nook, half-way between Hampstead and Kilburn, embowered in the middle of a garden, was a small cottage ; so hidden, that oft the traveller passed, unheeding it. In this cottage was Clarissa. To this retreat would her husband amble every day from St. Mary Axe, quitting his money temple for the treasure of his fireside, his pale and placid wife ; and resolved to think himself blessed at both places.
“Mr. Snipeton is late to-day," said Mrs. Wilton, the mother housekeeper.
“He will come,” replied Clarissa, in the tone of one resigned to a daily care. “He will come, mother."
Mrs. Wilton looked with appealing tenderness in her daughter's face; and in a low, calm voice, controlling her heart as she spoke, she said-“This must not be: do not repeat that word-not even when we are alone. Some day it may betray me to your husband, and then ”_
“ What then?” asked Clarissa.
“ We should be parted; for ever-for ever,” cried the woman, and with the thought she burst into tears.
“ Not so. Nothing parts us ; nothing but the kindliness of death,” said Clarissa. “And death is kind, at least'
“At least, my child, the world with you is too young to think it so.”
“ Old, old and faded,” said Clarissa. “The spirit of youth is departed. I look at all things with dim and weary eyes.”
“ And yet, my child, there is a sanctity in suffering, when strongly, meekly borne. Our duty, though set about by thorns, may still be made a staff, supporting even while it tortures. Cast it away, and like the prophet's wand, it changes to a snake. God and my own heart know, I speak no idle thoughts, I speak a bitter truth, bitterly acknowledged.”
“And duty shall support me on this weary pilgrimage,” said Clarissa. Then taking her mother's hand, and feebly smiling, she added, “Surely, it can be no sin to wish such travel short : or if it be, I still must wish–I cannot help it."
“ Time, time, my child, is the sure conciliator. You will live to wonder at and bless his goodness."
“You say so-it may be,” said Clarissa, with a lightened look, “ at least, I'll hope it." And then both smiled gaily-wanly; for both felt the deceit they strove to act but could not carry through. Words, words of comforting, of hope were uttered, but they fell coldly, hollowly ; for the spirit of truth was not in them. They were things of the tongue, passionless, mechanical ; the voice without the soul. At this moment, old Dorothy Vale entered the room ; and she was welcome : even though she announced the coming of the master of the house.
“Master 's coming up the garden,” said Dorothy, each hand rubbing an arm crossed before her. “Somebody 's with him."
“A stranger here! Who can it be?” cried Clarissa.
“Don't say he's a stranger ; don't say he isn't ; can only see a somebody," answered Dorothy, in whom no show whatever of this world of shows could have awakened a momentary curiosity. Her inheritance, as one of Eve's daughters, was this beautiful earth, sky-roofed ; yet was it no more to her than a huge deal box, pierced with air-holes. A place to eat, drink, sleep, and hang up her bonnet in.
Another minute, and Snipeton entered the room. The husband had returned to the haven of his hopes, and was resolved that the world—then comprised in the single person of Peter Crossbone, who followed close at the heels of his host-should bear witness to his exceeding happiness ; to the robust delight that, as he crossed his threshold, instantly possessed him: for with an anxious look of joy, he strode up to his wife, and suddenly taking her cheeks between both his hands, pursed out her lips, and then vigorously kissed them. IIe was so happy, he could not, would not feel his wife shrink at his touch could not, would not see her white face flush as with sudden resentment, and then subside into pale endurance. No: the husband was resolved upon displaying to the world his exceeding happiness, and would not be thwarted in his show of bliss, by trifles. He merely said, still dallying with his felicity—“ Never mind Crossbone ; he's nobody;. a family man--has been married, and that's all the same."! Now Crossbone in his wayward heart, felt tempted to dispute such position; it was not all the same to him. Nevertheless, he would not be captious. It was a poor, an ignorant opinion, and therefore his host and customer should have the free enjoyment
“Mrs. Snipeton," said the Apothecary, “ though I do not feel it professional to hope that anybody is well, nevertheless in your case, I do hope that—well, well, I see ; a little pale, but never fear it--we'll bring the roses out again. In a little while, and you'll bloom like a bough-pot.”
“ To be sure she will," said Snipeton. “I thought of buying her a pretty little horse ; just a quiet thing”—
“Nothing could be better--perhaps. As I often say, horseflesh is the thing for weak stomachs. I may say as much to you as a friend, Mr. Snipeton ; folks often go to the doctor's, when they should go to the stable, Yes, yes—horse exercise and change of air"