Imágenes de páginas

« about my

head which might have given an inter- necessary to have recourse to his friend's est to sunsets even before Lady Mark- advice. Theo in a scrape! It seemed land. There was a word or two about impossible: but yet there are few women that very golden greenness which was who are not prepared for something before his eyes, “ beginning to fade in of this character happening even to the the light he loves on a bed of daffodil

best of men. sky.” He identified that and all the “ I hope,” she said, “ that he is a prurims of color that marked the shining dent adviser, Theo; but he is still quite horizon. Perhaps she would ask him

a young man.” if he had remarked, and he would be “ Not so young; he must be six or able to reply.

seven and twenty,” said the young man ; “ Books ? ” cried Minnie, — "are all and then he paused, remembering that those books ? Don't you kuow we have this was the perfect age,


age a great many books already, more than which she had attained, which he had we have shelves for ? The library is described to Cavendish as quite full, and even the little bookcase in own," -- and he blushed a little and conthe drawing-room. You should get rid tradicted himself. “ Yes, to be sure, of some of the old ones if you bring in he is young: but that makes him only so many new.”

the more sympathetic; and it was not “ And whom did you see in town, his advice I was thinking of so much as Theo ?” said his mother. He had no his sympathy. He is full of sympathy." club, being so young and so little ac- “ You have us to sympathize with customed to London ; but yet a young you,” said innie. “I don't know wbat man brought up as he had been can you want from strangers. We ought to scarcely fail to have many friends. stand by each other, and not care what

“Most people seem to have gone outsiders say." away,” he said. “I saw nobody. Yes, “I hope Theo will never despise the there were people riding in the Row, sympathy of his own people, butand people walking, too, I suppose, but friend of one's own choosing is a great nobody I knew."

help,” said Mrs. Warrender. Yet she “And did you go up all that way only was uneasy. She did not think young to buy books? You might have writ- Cavendish's sympathy could be on acten to the bookseller for them, and saved count of Theo's late bereavement, and

what trouble could the boy have that Theo made his sister no reply, but he confided to Cavendish, and did not when Chatty asked, rather shyly, if he mention to his mother? She became had seen much of Mr. Cavendish, he more and more convinced that there answered warmly that Cavendish was must be some scrape, or at least that a very good fellow; that he took the something bad gone wrong. But save greatest interest in his friends' concerns, in these speeches about Cavendish there and was always ready to do anything was no proof of anything of the kind. he could for you. “I had no idea what He gave no further explanation, howa man he was," he said, with fervor. ever, of the business which had taken Mrs. Warrender looked up, at this, with him to town, unless the fact that he a little anxiety ; for according to the or- drove over to Markland next morning, dinary rules which govern the reasoning with the half of the pile of books which of women she was led from it to the in- he had brought from town, in his dogduction, not immediately visible to the cart, should afford an explanation ; aud unconcerned spectator, that her son had that was so vague that it was hard to got into some scrape, and had found it say what it did or did not prove.


your fare.”

He went over to Markland with his the end of the terrace, pointing out to books, but left them in the dog-cart; Warrender where the little group was. shy, when he was actually in her pres. The man did not think it necessary to ence, of carrying her that bribe. Books expose himself to the full blaze of the were a bribe to her ; she had been out sunshine in order to lead “a great of the way of gratifications of this kind, friend” like Mr. Warrender close up to and too solitary and forsaken during the my lady's chair. latter part of her married life to know “ We are very glad to see you ; in what was going on and to supply her- fact, we are much too glad to see you,” self. She was sitting with Geoff upon said Lady Markland, with a smile. “We the terrace, which ran along one side of are ashamed to say that we were not the house, when Warrender appeared, entering into our work as we ought. and both teacher and pupil received him Nature is always so busy doing a hunwith something that looked very like re- dred things, and calling us to come and lief ; for the day was warm, and the ter- look what she is about. We take more race was but ill chosen as a school-room. interest in her occupations than in our The infinite charm of a summer day, own." the thousand invitations to idleness with “Mamma makes a story of everywhich the air is full, the waving trees thing," said Geoff, half aggrieved ; " but (though there were not many of them), I'm in earnest. Grammar is dreadful the scent of the flowers, the singing of stuff; there is no reflection in it. Why the birds, all distracted Geoff's attention, can't one begin to read books straight and, sooth to say, his mother's, too. She off, without nasty, stupid rules ?” would have been glad to sit quiet, to es- Warrender took little note of what cape the boy's questioning, to put away the boy said. Meanwhile he had shaken the irksome lessons which she herself hands and made his salutations, and the did not much more than understand, and sovereign lady, with a smile, had given to which she brought a mind unaccus- him a chair. He felt himself entering, tomed and full of other thoughts. Of out of the blank world outside, into the these other thoughts there were so many, sphere of her existence, which was his both of the future and the past, that it Vita Nuova, and was capable for the was very hard to keep her attention to moment of no other thought. the little boy's Latin grammar. Geoff “I think,” said Lady Markland, on his side was weary, too; he should “for we have really been at it conscienhave been in a school-room, shut out tiously for a long time and doing our from temptations, with maps hung along best, - I think, Geoff, we may shut up the walls, instead of waving trees, and our books for to-day. You know there where he could not have stopped to cry will be your lessons to prepare to-night.” out, in the midst of his exercises, “I “I'll go and look at Theo's horse. say, mamma, there's a squirrel. I am Have you got that big black one? I certain it is a squirrel.” That, of course, shall be back in a moment, mamma.” was very bad. And then up to a re- “If you look into the cart you will cent period he had shared all, or almost find some books, Geoff; some that perall, his mother's thoughts; but since his haps you may like.” father's death these had become so full "Oh, good !” said the boy, with his of complications that a child could no elfish little countenance lighting up. He longer share them, though neither quite was very slight and small for his age, a understood the partial severance which little shadow darting across the sunhad ensued. Both were relieved, how- shine. The half of the terrace lay in a ever, when the old butler appeared at blaze of light, but all was cool and fresh

66 The

6 I never

in the corner where Lady Markland's to do what I can, - which, after all, is light chairs and table were placed in the nothing." angle of the balustrade, there half hidden She gave a slight glance at him under by a luxuriant climbing rose. Above her eyelids, with a faint dawning of surLady Markland's head rose a cluster of prise at the fervor of his tone. delicate golden roses, tinged in their world which people say is so hard is hearts with faint red, in all the wealth really very kind,” she said. of their secoud bloom. Her black dress, knew till now how kind : at least when profound black, without any relief, was one has a great evident claim upon its the only dark point in the scene. A lit- sympathy, — or pity, should I say? tle faint color of recovering health, and Those who find it otherwise are perhaps perhaps of brightening life, had come to those whose troubles cannot be made her face. She was very tranquil, resting public, and yet who expect their fellow as people rest after a long illness, in a creatures to divine" sort of convalescence of the heart.

Warrender was sadly cast down to be “ You must forgive his familiarity, considered only as the world, a type, so Mr. Warrender; you are so good to to speak, of mankind in general, kind him, and at his age one is so apt to pre- to those whose claims were undeniable. sume on that.”

He replied with a swelling heart, " There Warrender had no inclination to waste must always be individuals who divine, the few minutes in which he had her all though perhaps they may not dare to to himself in any discussion of Geoff. show their sympathy, — ah, don't say He said hastily, “ I have brought some pity, Lady Markland ! ” other books to be looked at, things “ You bumor me," she said, “ because which people are talking of. I don't you know I love to talk. But pity is know if you will care for them, but very sweet ; there is a balm in it to those there is a little novelty in them, at least. who are wounded.” I was in town yesterday”

“Sympathy is better. You are very good to me, too,” she Migbty love would cleave in twain said. “A new book is a wonderful The lading of a single pain, treat. I thought you must be occupied,

And part it, giving half to him.'" or absent, that we did not see you here.” “ Ah,” she cried, with a glimmer in

Again that past tense, that indication her eyes, “ if you go to the poets, Mr. that in his absence - Warrender felt Warrender! And that is more than his head grow giddy with too much de- sympathy. What did he call it himself? light. I was afraid to come too often, •Such a friendship as had mastered lest you should think me importu- time.'

“ Mamma, mamma, look here!" came “ How so ? ” she said, simply. "You in advance of his appearance the voice have been like a young brother ever of Geoff. He came panting, flying since - How could I think you other round the other angle of the terrace, than kind? The only thing is that you with his arms full of books. And here, do too much for me. I ought to be as if it were a type of all that was trying to walk alone.”

coming, the higher intercourse, the ex" Why, while I am here ?” cried the change of thought, the promotion of the young man ; "asking nothing better, man over the child, came suddenly to nothing half so good, as to be allowed an end.

M. O. W. Oliphant.



THERE are few subjects more curious- a race should modify certain sounds in ly interesting, alike to the student of particular ways, any more than it has science and to those who do not care been found possible to explain why the specially for scientific inquiry, than the Teutonic and Latin races should have peculiarities of a language as spoken by modified the language which was once different sections of the same people. common to both in such diverse direcThere can be little doubt that by right- tions as to produce languages whose kinly understanding these localisms we are ship becomes manifest only under close enabled to advance a step towards the

and careful study. interpretation of those wider diversities The misuse of the letter h in Engwhich distinguish the speech of races land and the correct use of the aspirate not forming the same nation, but hav- in English - speaking communities outing a common origin. Any one who side the old home may be regarded as in England, for example, studies the affording an instructive example of the peculiarities of dialect in the southern, modifications a language thus undergoes, western, eastern, and northern counties, under varying circumstances. Of course, - peculiarities still so great that the in- it has not yet come to pass, and we may habitants of certain localities find it hope it never will, that the omission of difficult to comprehend standard Eng- h where it ought to be sounded and its lish (so to describe English as spoken introduction where it has no right to by the most cultured classes), - will be be have become so universal in England well on his way to understand how the as to be regarded as justified by cusvarious languages of Europe had their tom, origin from a common stock. In partic

“Quem penes arbitrium est et jus et norma loular we learn to recognize how, though quendi." we may not so easily understand why, in On the contrary, in England, the misuse some communities changes of a certain of the letter h is much more unpleasant kind in consonantal and vowel sounds than in America or Australia, where, I systematically prevail. Thus in certain notice, people are more amused than northern English counties the i is sys- disgusted by unaspirated or “exaspirattematically pronounced oi, in others ee; ed” h’s ; very much as we find a forso that as far as this vowel sound is eigner's mistakes in speaking English concerned we can always translate the rather pleasant than otherwise, while the county language into common English mistakes of an ignorant native sound by changing the oi's or the ee's, as the coarse and vulgar by comparison. I have case may be, into i’s. In Wiltshire and beard Americans say that they find someSomersetshire, the s’s are all turned into thing quaint in what they are good z's; elsewhere, the o's are changed into enough to call “ the Hinglish haccent." oa's, the broad a's into æ's, and so forth. In England we scarcely view the matIn the Celtic parts of Great Britain, as ter that way. Occasionally some pecuin the Highlands and in Wales, we find liar collocation of dropped and forced h's wider examples of Grimm's law in the may raise a laugh among us, as when dear altering of b's into p’s, d's into t's, v's old Leech makes the veterinary doctor into f's, and so forth. But in the ma- tell the owner of a horse that "it hain't jority of cases it has not been found pos- the 'unting as 'urts 'im ; it's the 'ammer, sible to explain why some sections of 'ammer, 'ammer, along the 'ard 'igh - NO. 331.



road.” 1

But as a rule the h malady is talks with a brogue as broad as his spade, regarded as a most unpleasant one in will never drop or misplace an h, and old England, however funny it may ridicules the h-less Saxon as heartily as seem to Americans and Australians. It would a New York newspaper critic. is instructive and interesting, however ; Whatever theory we are to adopt reand I propose here to consider its nature specting English misuse of the h must and origin, the laws of its propagation, account for the circumstance that this and the reason why in certain English- delicate aspiration, so slight that if it bespeaking communities it has never shown comes more than barely perceptible it itself, and probably never will. Mr. is as offensive as its omission would be, Grant White has dealt with the h mal- is given by the most ignorant Irishman, ady in England, recently, in a highly while it is a dead letter (or else becomes interesting paper, wherein, however, he a disagreeably live letter) with Eng. presents views which are, I think, entire lishmen of fair average education. In ly incorrect. The evidence he adduces certain positions, indeed, presently to be in support of his views seems to me, in- touched on, the h is almost universally deed, to point in precisely the opposite dropped in England, insomuch as almost direction from that which he indicates. to justify its omission by persons of cul

In the first place, it is perfectly true, ture, in obedience to the authority of as he asserts, that the purity of Ameri- recognized custom. can speech in this particular respect is A large majority of Englishmen drop remarkable, because America is the the h in nearly all words in which it younger nation, and in some respects ought to be sounded. So far I go

with less cultivated (Mr. Grant White says Mr. White. But I do not agree with “ less cultivated” without any reserva- him that most Englishmen put in an h tion), and produces the smaller part where it ought not to be. I should imof the literature common to the two, agine, from my own observations, — and though I cannot go on with him to say I have had exceptional means of testing that her part of the literature is much the matter in my lecture travels, — that inferior in quality as well as in quantity. about one third of the people in England He omits, however, to notice, or at least throw into their talk, now and then, a does not dwell upon, the fact that a wrongly placed aspirate, but not more. similar but much more remarkable con- My observations do not include the crimtrast has long existed between England inal classes, but they would not raise and Ireland with regard to the letter h. the proportion very much, certainly not A laboring-man in Ireland, who cannot to one half. Even those who do throw write or even read English, and who in "exaspirated " h's, however, are not

1 So far as I can judge, few Americans, and nerer insert an extra h except in a word on which certainly none who have not been in England, un- emphasis or semi-emphasis falls. For instance, derstand precisely how the h is "exaspirated" you will hear a man, so ignorant as to say " eddiin the old country. When an American novelist, cated” for “educated," who yet will not say newspaper-writer, speaker, or actor tries to pre- "heddicated," long though the word is, and theresent the Hinglish haccent, he invariably (at least fore inviting the extra aspiration, unless he is I have never noticed an exception) puts in h's emphasizing the word, so that in one and the same which would never appear in really English talk. sentence such a word will come in both ways, Thus the above sentence would be given in an thus: "Farmer Brown were a well-eddicated man, American newspaper (see the way Greenfield's sir, but he wor n't nothing to Dr. Jones for eddievidence in the recent slugging trial was dealt cation. Heddicated! Why, sir, Dr. Jones were with), “Hit hain't the 'unting has 'urts 'im ; hit 's that well heddicated there wer n't any one down the 'ammer, 'ammer, 'ammer, halong the 'ard in our parts could hold a candle to him," and so igb road " But no one ever talks that way in forth, drawled out in the customary down-counEngland. Here is a hint which American novel- try fashion. ists nay find useful: English ill-users of the h

« AnteriorContinuar »