« AnteriorContinuar »
could secure their services; Watch death, which event had occurred two being renowned for keeping a flock or three years before, been accustomtogether, better than any shepherd's ed to take the direction of their dodog on the road-Jack, for delivering mestic concerns, to manage her two them more punctually, and in better brothers, to feed the pigs and the condition. No man had a more tho- poultry, and to keep house during the rough knowledge of the proper night almost constant absence of her father. stations, where good feed might be She was a quick, clever lass, of a high procured for his charge, and good li- spirit, a firm temper, some pride, and quor for Watch and himself; Watch, a horror of accepting parochial relief, like other sheep dogs, being accus- which is every day becoming rarer tomed to live chiefly on bread and beer. amongst the peasantry; but which His master, although not averse to a forms the surest safeguard to the pot of good double X, preferred gin; and sturdy independence of the English they who plod slowly along, through character. Our little damsel possesswet and weary ways, in frost and in ed this quality in perfection; and fog, have undoubtedly a stronger temp- when her father talked of giving up tation to indulge in that cordial and their comfortable cottage, and remorreviving stimulus, than we water- ing to the workhouse, whilst she and drinkers, sitting in warm and com- her brothers must go to service, Hanfortable rooms, can readily imagine. nah formed a bold resolution, and, For certain, our drover could never without disturbing the sick man by resist the gentle seduction of the gin- any participation of her hopes and bottle, and being of a free, merry, jo- fears, proceeded, after settling their vial temperament, one of those per- trifling affairs, to act at once on her sons commonly called good fellows, own plans and designs. who like to see others happy in the Careless of the future as the poor same way with themselves, he was drover had seemed, he had yet kept apt to circulate it at his own expense, clear of debt, and by subscribing conto the great improvement of his popu- stantly to a benefit club, had securlarity, and the great detriment of his ed a pittance that might at least asfinances.
sist in supporting him during the long All this did vastly well whilst his years of sickness and helplessness to earnings continued proportionate to which he was doomed to look forward. his spendings, and the little family at This his daughter knew. She knew, home were comfortably supported by also, that the employer in whose serhis industry : but when a rheumatic vice his health had suffered so sererefever came on, one hard winter, and ly, was a rich and liberal cattlefinally settled in his limbs, reducing dealer in the neighborhood, who would the most active and hardy man in the willingly aid an old and faithful serparish to the state of a confirmed vant, and had, indeed, come forward cripple, then his reckless improvi- with offers of money. To assistance dence stared him in the face; and from such a quarter Hannah had no poor Jack, a thoughtless, but kind objection. Farmer Oakley and the creature, and a most affectionate fa- parish were quite distinct things. Of ther, looked at his three motherless him, accordingly, she asked, not mochildren with the acute misery of a ney, but something much more in his parent, who has brought those whom own way-"a cow! any cow! old or he loves best in the world, to abject lame, or what not, so that it were a destitution. He found help, where cow! she would be bound to keep it he probably least expected it, in the well; if she did not, he might take it sense and spirit of his young daugh- back again. She even hoped to pay ter, a girl of twelve years old. for it by and by, by instalments, but
Hannah was the eldest of the fami- that she would not promise !" and ly, and had, ever since her mother's partly amused, partly interested by
the child's earnestness, the wealthy poor Jack had pleased himself with yeoman gave her, not as a purchase, bringing home; the China tea-service, but as a present, a very fine young the gilded mugs, and the painted waiAlderney. She then went to the lord ters, for the more useful utensils of of the manor, and, with equal know- the dairy, and speedily established a ledge of character, begged his per- regular and gainful trade in milk, eggs, mission to keep her cow in the Shaw butter, honey, and poultry--for poulcommon. “ Farmer Oakley had giv- try they had always kept. en her a fine Alderney, and she would Her domestic management prosbe bound to pay the rent, and keep pered equally. Her father, who reher father off the parish, if he would tained the perfect use of his hands, only let it graze on the waste ;” and began a manufacture of mats and he, too, half from real good nature- baskets, which he constructed with half, not to be outdone in liberality great nicety and adroitness; the eldest by his tenant, not only granted the re- boy, a sharp and clever lad, cut for quested permission, but reduced the him his rushes and oziers ; erected, rent so much, that the produce of the under his sister's directions, a shed vine seldom fails to satisfy their kind for the cow, and enlarged and cultilandlord.
vated the garden (always with the Now, Hannah showed great tact in good leave of her kind patron, the setting up as a dairy-woman. She could lord of the manor) until it became so not have chosen an occupation more ample, that the produce not only kept completely unoccupied, or more loud- the pig, and half-kept the family, but ly called for. One of the most pro- afforded another branch of merchanvoking of the petty difficulties which dize to the indefatigable directress of beset people with a small establish- the establishment. For the younger ment, in this neighborhood, is the boy, less quick and active, Hannah trouble, almost the impossibility, of contrived to obtain an admission to procuring the pastoral luxuries of the charity-school, where he made milk, eggs, and butter, which rank, great progress-retaining him at home, unfortunately, amongst the indispen- however, in the haymaking, reaping, sable necessaries of housekeeping and leasing season, or whenever his To your thorough-bred Londoner, services could be made available, to who, whilst grumbling over his own the great annoyance of the schoolmasbreakfast, is apt to fancy that thick ter, whose favorite he is, and who cream, and fresh butter, and new- piques himself so much on George's laid eggs, grow, so to say, in the scholarship (your heavy sluggish boy country-form an actual part of its at country work often turns out clever natural produce-it may be some com- at his book), that it is the general fort to learn, that in this great grazing opinion of the village, that this muchdistrict, however the calves and the vaunted pupil will, in process of time, farmers may be the better for cows, be promoted to the post of assistant, nobody else is; that farmers' wives have and may, possibly, in course of ceased to keep poultry, and that we years, rise to the dignity of a parish unlucky villagers sit down often to our pedagogue in his own person ; so that first meal in a state of destitution, which bis sister, although still making him may well make him content with his useful at odd times, now considers thin milk, and his Cambridge butter, George as pretty well off her hands, when compared to our imputed pasto- whilst his elder brother, Tom, could ralities.
take an under-gardener's place diHannah's Alderney restored us to rectly, if he were not too important at one rural privilege. Never was so home to be spared even for a day. cleanly a little milk-maid. She I n short, during the five years that changed away some of the cottage she has ruled at the Shaw cottage, the finery, which, in his prosperous days, world has gone well with Hannah Bint. Her cow, her calves, her pigs, she would soon die too!-and the her bees, her poultry, have each, in keeper ?-why, he is not dead, or like their several ways, thriven and pros- to die ; but the change that has takes pered. She has even brought Watch place there is the most astonishing of to like buttermilk, as well as strong all-except, perhaps, the change in beer, and has nearly persuaded her Hannah herself. father (to whose wants and wishes Few damsels of twelve years old, she is most anxiously attentive) to ac- generally a very pretty age, were less cept of milk as a substitute for gin. pretty than Hannah Bint. Short and Not but Hannah hath bad her enemies stunted in her figure, thin in face, as well as her betters. Why should she sharp in feature, with a muddled comnot? The old woman at the lodge, plexion, wild sun-burnt hair, and eyes, who always piqued herself on being whose very brightness had in them spiteful, and crying down new ways, something startling, over-informed, foretold, from the first, that she would super-subtle, too clever for her age. come to no good, and could not for- At twelve years old she had quite the give her for falsifying her prediction; air of a little old fairy. Now, at and Betty Barnes, the flattering widow seventeen, matters are mended. Her of a tippling farmer, who rented a complexion has cleared : her counte. field, and set up a cow herself, and nance, her figure, has shot up into was universally discarded for insuffer- height and lightness, and a sort of able dirt, said all that the wit of an en- rustic grace ; her bright, acute eye is vious woman could devise against Han- softened and sweetened by the wonah and her Alderney ; nay, even Ned manly wish to please ; her hair is Miles, the keeper, her next neigh- trimmed, and curled, and brushed, bor, who had, whilom held entire with exquisite neatness; and her sway over the Shaw common, as well whole dress arranged with that nice as its coppices, grumbled as much as attention to the becoming, the suitable so good-natured and genial a person both in form and texture, which would could grumble, when he found a little be called the bighest degree of coquetgirl sharing his dominion, a cow graz- ry, if it did not deserve the better ing beside his pony, and vulgar cocks name of propriety. Never was such and hens hovering around the buck a transmogrification beheld. The lass wheat destined to feed his noble phea- is really pretty, and Ned Miles has sants. Nobody that had been accus- discovered that she is so. There he tomed to see that paragon of keepers, stands, the rogue, close at her side so tall and manly, and pleasant look- (for he hath joined her whilst we have ing, with his merry eye, and his been telling her little story, and the knowing smile, striding gaily along, in milking is over!)—there he standshis green coat, and his gold laced hat, holding her milk pail in one hand, and with his noble Newfoundland dog, (a stroking Watch with the other; whilst retriever is the sporting word,) and she is returning the compliment, by his beautiful spaniel flirt at his patting Neptune's magnificent head. heels, could conceive how askew he There they stand, as much like lorers looked, when he first found Han- as may be ; he smiling, and she blushnah and Watch holding equal reigning-he never looking so handsome, over his old territory, the Shaw com- nor she so pretty, in all their lives. mon.
There they stand, in blessed forgetYes! Hannah hath had her ene- fulness of all except each other; as mies; but they are passing away. happy a couple as ever trod the earth. The old woman at the lodge is dead, There they stand, and one would not poor creature ; and Betty Barnes, disturb them for all the milk and having herself taken to tippling, has butter in Christendom. I should not lost the few friends she once possess- wonder if they were fixing the weded, and looks, luckless wretch, as if ding day.
THE EVIL EYE.
Among the qualities attributed to the Notwithstanding this sovereign mode eye in some persons, and once univer- of guarding against an “evil tongue," sally credited, was the power of work- the evil eye seems to have been as ing evil and enchantment by its glances. much proof against the wisdom of our The operation of the “evil eye,” (once forefathers as against our own. It so denominated,) upon mankind, as would therefore, in the language of being a pretty general belief in past the olden time, be an “insult to Protimes, has been recorded by many vidence,” if, after the experience of writers. Bacon says that its effects our ancestors in such matters, we prehave, according to some bistorians, surned to attempt the discovery of an been so powerful as to affect the mind efficient antidote. of the individual upon whom they fell; In our times the “ evil eye" still that even after “triumphs, the tri- survives, though its operations may umphants" have been made sick in not be so much a matter of general spirit by the evil eyes of lookers on. attention as formerly. It works still, In most modern European nations, in in a manner equally as injurious as their earlier ages, the fear of the fas - when the “irradiations” of the visual cination of children by an “evil eye,” orb were supposed to be solely confined made nurses very careful how they to the subtle operations of magic. The permitted strangers to look upon them. “evil eye,” in modern days, is obIn Spain it was called mal de ojos, served to be not less dangerous in its and anyone who was suspected of consequences to its possessor, than to having an “evil eye,” while regarding those whom it fixes upon as victims a child, was forced to say, while ob- of its malignity. He smarts in heartserving the infant, “ God bless it.” consuming anguish while he regards This notion, however, is far more an- the happiness of a neighbor, the succient than the name of England. cess of an acquaintance in an honoraThe Greeks and Romans gave credit ble calling, or the hard struggle and to it, when they were in their high merited reward of literary assiduity. career of glory. We find, in many No rank of life is beyond the glance ancient writers, allusions to the mali- of the "evil eye;" no talent mailed cious influence of what they call the against its deadly malignity; no robe “vicious” or “evil eye.” Theocri- of innocence so pure as to conceal the tus, Horace, Persius, Juvenal, and wearer from its blighting observation. others, allude to it in a way not to be The sensibilities of genius, with whatmistaken in its alliance with the later ever art or science they may be linked, superstition. I have never heard what are too often scorched by its fatal charms were used by our forefathers gaze. It blanches the cheek of beauor the ancients against the influence ty, dries up the springs of charity, of the “evil eye :"
extinguishes the noblest ardors, withVervain and dill
ers the fairest blossoms of the soul, Hinder witches from their will,
and almost renders indifferent the glowas, we know, a sovereign receipt rious triumphs of virtuous age, by against the daughters of the Lady of blasting the honors due to its proEndor. Lilly has the following charm tracted perseverance in goodness. to obviate the effect of an “evil The subjects of Vathek, in the territongue,” which, for curiosity sake, I ble ball of Eblis, had a heart of selfwill mention. “Take unguentum po- wasting fire, which was disclosed on puleum, vervain, and hypericon, and putting aside the vest. The man with put a red hot iron into it. Anoint the the evil eye” exhibits the burning back-bone, or wear it on the breast.” heart through the organ of vision.
49 ATHENEUM, vol. 1, 3d series.
His glances explain what is passing ters not; the baser passions hare put within, as well as if the ribs and down reason, and drowned even a fool's pericardium were pellucid crystal, degree of reflection. The “evil eye" or the transparent summer atmos- can see nothing but what is tinged phere.
with its own green hue, and no longer The “ man with the evil eye” al- discriminates color or form. The reways looks obliquely at society. His sult is a consequence mathematically tongue may be silvery smooth, tipped correct-true to the very point : envy with velvet, dropping honey, like Nes- and hatred become the guiding star of tor's, though blackness be beneath. the soul. Does he pester society with He cannot conceal the glances that his diatribes ?-be mingles in them, shoot insidiously towards the objects to second the desires of his heart, the of his hatred-glances, that, were venom of the snake, with the stratathey rays of a pestilence, (as he would gem of the fox, and the reasoning of they were,) must make perish all the ostrich, which hides its head alone against whom they are directed. No from the hunter and fancies itself unglance from the basilisk could be more seen. He has no sight but for the fatal in reality than his glance, had he objects of his malice, and loses the his wish. To provoke the latent ven- view of his own interest in the eagergeance of the “ evil eye,” it is a suffi- ness of ocular vengeance. Is the cient offence to be fortunate ; success owner of the “ evil eye” a trader ! is a brand on the forehead of another he looks fatal things to his industrious in its sight. The specious Iago of the neighbor's credit; is the owner a fe“ evil eye” may have four senses of male ?-she glances away her friend's the five such as the best might select virtue. Lastly, the owner of the for themselves; but with him, these "evil eye" is a universal enemy, only administer to the sovereign lord whom man cannot trust, time marks of vision, and exist subordinate to the out for retribution, and fiends alone "aspect malign." The man of the can envy. " evil eye” finds his heart ignite with If society still hold one man to tenfold violence when excellence of whom this alleged power, anciently any kind meets due reward. Who attributed to the organ of vision, rebut the man of the “evil eye,” has, mains in action, let him be watched. in his own opinion, a right to be for- The “evil eye” cannot be mistaken: tunate in industry ?-who but he has unsteady as the ocean waves, it rolls a lawful claim to the suffrages of so- around and about in fevered restlessciety and the crown of reward ? The ness; now extended, it exhibits its bonds of friendship are melted before orb clear of the lid, surrounded by the him ; human sympathies dried into white, in angry convulsion-now half dust; envy and selfishness furnish fuel closed, it questions with wariness and to the heart, and malignant flames shallow cunning-now calm and dead rush from the “evil eye” with terri- as Lethe, it represses the pale beam ble intensity. Lord of the ascendant, of its malice, and with saintly bearing the “ evil eye” makes reason its vas- seems piety itself, the herald of corsal, and never allows the claims of diality, the star of friendship and recself or self-interest to be balanced titude. But it is all the charmed against common sense or obligation. disguise of the magician, that he may Is the object regarded an artist ? he make his spells the surer. The “evil inay be a far superior one to him of eye" is still the same; its Tophetic the “ evil eye ;” is he an orator ? he beams are less visible, only from the may far excel him; or, is he an au- hope that they may more effectually thor, possessing genius and learning, operate on the objects of their malig. and patronized by the public? it mat- nity.