« AnteriorContinuar »
MEMOIR OF FRANCES BROWN,
AUTHORESS OF THE STAR OF ATTEGHEI AND OTHER POEMS.
It is always interesting to obtain the history of a mind works fell into my hands. It was The Heart of Mideminent for any quality above that of the common mass,
lothian, and was lent me by a friend, whose family
were rather better provided with books than most in but particularly so in the case of an individual such as
our neighbourhood. Frances Brown, who, with one of the noblest avenues to
“My delight in the work was very great even then; knowledge “ quite shut out,” has yet, by the native and I contrived, by means of borrowing, to get acvigour of her mind and under the most unfavourable ex- quainted, in a very short time, with the greater part of
the works of its illustrious author,--for works of fiction, ternal circumstances, enriched and cultivated that “inner
about this time, occupied all my thoughts. I had a light" which a kind Providence has, as it were, bestowed
curious mode of impressing on my memory what had to compensate the absence of the outer. In a recent
been read-namely, lying awake in the silence of the number we gave some account of the deaf and dumb; night, and repeating it all over to myself. To that babit the following statement of Miss Brown, drawn up with I probably owe the extreme tenacity of memory which great simplicity and feeling, by herself, and prefixed to
I now possess; but, like all other good things, it had its
attendant evil, for I have often thought it curious that, a volume of her poetry lately published, cannot, we should
whilst I never forget any scrap of knowledge collected, think, be read without interest.
however small, yet the common events of daily life slip “ I was born,” she writes, “on the 16th of January from my memory so quickly that I can scarcely find 1816, at Stranorlar, a small village in the county of anything again which I have once laid aside. But this Donegal. My father was then, and still continues to be, misfortune has been useful, in teaching me habits of the postmaster of the village. I was the seventh child order. in a family of twelve; and my infancy was, I believe, as “ About the beginning of my thirteenth year, I happromising as that of most people; but, at the age of pened to hear a friend read a part of Baines's History of eighteen months, not having received the benefit of the French War. It made a singular impression on my Jenner's discovery, I had the misfortune to lose my mind; and works of fiction, from that time, began to sight by the small pox, which was then prevalent in our lose their value, compared with the far more wonderful neighbourhood. This, however, I do not remember; romance of history. But books of the kind were so and, indeed, recollect very little of my infant years. I scarce in our neighbourhood, that Hume’s History of never received any regular education; but very early England, and two or three other works on the same subfelt the want of it; and the first time I remember to ject, were all I could reach, -till a kind friend, who was have experienced this feeling strongly was about the then the teacher of our village-school, obliged me with beginning of my seventh year, when I heard our pastor that voluminous work, The Universal History. There I (my parents being members of the Presbyterian church) heard, for the first time, the histories of Greece and preach for the first time. On the occasion alluded to, Í Rome, and those of many other ancient nations. My was particularly struck by many words in the sermon,
friend had only the ancient part of the work; but it gave which, though in common use, I did not then under. me a fund of information which has been subsequently stand; and from that time adopted a plan for acquiring increased from many sources;-and at present I have a information on this subject. When a word unintelligi- tolerable knowledge of history. ble to me happened to reach my ear, I was careful to “My historical studies made a knowledge of geography ask its meaning from any person whom I thought likely requisite;—but my first efforts to acquire it had been to inform me-a habit which was, probably, troublesome made even in childhood, by inquiring from every person enough to the friends and acquaintances of my child- the situation and locality of distant places which they hood; but by this method I soon acquired a considerable chanced to mention. As I grew older, and could understock of words; and, when further advanced in life, stand the language of books, the small abridgments of enlarged it still more by listening attentively to my Geography, which were used by my brothers and sisters younger brothers and sisters reading over the tasks at the village school, were committed to memory by a required at the village school. They were generally similar process to that by which I had learnt the Dicobliged to commit to memory a certain portion of the tionary and Grammar. In order to acquire a more perDictionary and English Grammar, each day; and by fect knowledge of the relative situations of distant places, hearing them read it aloud frequently for that purpose,
I sometimes requested friend, who could trace maps, as my memory was better than theirs, (perhaps rendered to place my finger upon some well-known spot, the situso by necessity), I learned the task much sooner than ation of which I had exactly ascertained, and then they, and frequently heard them repeat it.
conduct the fingers of the other hand, from the points “ My first acquaintance with books was necessarily thus marked, to any place on the map whose position I formed amongst those which are most common in wished to know,-at the same time mentioning the places country villages. Susan Gray-The Negro Servant – through which my fingers passed. By this plan, having The Gentle Shepherd-Mungo Park's Travels-and, of previously known how the cardinal points were placed, course, Robinson Crusoewere among the first of my I was enabled to form a tolerably correct idea, not only literary friends; for I often heard them read by my of the boundaries and magnitude of various countries, relatives, and remember to have taken a strange delight but also of the courses of rivers and mountain-chains. in them, when I am sure they were not half under- “ The first geographical problem that I remember, stood. Books have been always scarce in our remote occurred to me on hearing, in an account of the discovery neighbourhood, and were much more so in my child- of America, that Columbus at first intended to reach the hood; but the craving for knowledge which then com- coasts of Asia by sailing to the west; and, as I knew dienced grew with my growth; and, as I had no books that Asia was in the eastern portion of the world, as laid of my own in those days, my only resource was bor- down on our maps, the statement puzzled me much. rowing from the few acquaintances I had,—to some of At length, however, hearing our village teacher explain whom I owe obligations of the kind that will never be to my elder brothers and sisters the globular figure of forgotten. In this way, I obtained the reading of many the earth, that problem was solved; but to comprehend
aluable works, though generally old ones;—but it was it cost me the study of a sleepless night! a great day for me when the first of Sir Walter Scott's “As I increased in years and knowledge, the small
school-books already mentioned were found insufficient; to adverse circumstances, my progress was necessarily and I had recourse to my old method of borrowing. By slow. Having, however, in the summer of the year 1840, this I obtained some useful information; and increased heard a friend read the story of La Pérouse, it struck St by conversation with the few well-informed persons me that there was a remarkable similarity between it who came within the limited sphere of my acquaintance. and one related in an old country song, called the Lost In the pursuit of knowledge, my path was always im- Ship, which I had heard in my childhood. The song in peded by difficulties too minute and numerous to men- question was of very low composition; but there was tion; but the want of sight was, of course, the principal one line at the termination of each verse which haunted wone,-which, by depriving me of the power of reading, my imagination; and, I fancied, might deserve a better obliged me to depend on the services of others; and as poem. This line and the story of La Pérouse, together the condition of my family was such as did not admit of with an irresistible inclination to poetry, at length inmuch leisure, my invention was early taxed to gain time duced me to break the resolution I had so long kept; for those who could read. I sometimes did the work as- and the result was, the little poem called La Pérouse. signed to them, or rendered them other little services; His country's banner to the gale for, like most persons similarly placed, necessity and ha
The sea-bound warrior gave, bit have made me more active in this respect than peo- And gathered to his spreading sail ple in ordinary circumstances would suppose. The lighter
The noble, wise and brave: kinds of reading were thus easily managed; but my young
And hope went with the young and gay,
Who left their sunny shore relatives were often unwilling to waste their breath and For isles of promise far away,-time with the drier but more instructive works, which I
But ne'er were heard of more! Jatterly preferred. To tempt them to this, I used, by
Yet far their ocean chief had been, way of recompense, to relate to them long stories, and
In sunlight, storm, and gloom,even novels, which perhaps they had formerly read but
On every shore his flag was seenforgotten; and thus my memory may be said to have
But who hath seen his tomb! earned supplies for itself.
The stars of night and dews of morn
Earth's seasons still restore,“ About the end of my fifteenth year, having heard
But the land looked long for their returnmuch of the Iliad, I obtained the loan of Pope's transla
They ne'er were heard of more! tion. That was a great event to me; but the effect it
From produced requires some words of explanation.
Oh! had they found, mid trackless sea,
Some glorious land, enshrined, my earliest years, I had a great and strange love for Where lived no lingering memory poetry; and could commit verses to memory with greater
Of all they left behind ?rapidity than most children. But at the close of my
For many a brave bark sought, in vain, seventh year, when a few psalms of the Scotch version,
Their wandering to explore, Watts's Divine Songs, and some old country songs
Iut day or night or land or main,
They ne'er were heard of more! (which certainly were not divine) formed the whole of
Time passed away-on darkest hair my poetical knowledge, I made my earliest attempt in
It brought the snow of years,versification-upon that first and most sublime lesson of Till faith had ceased her fruitless prayer, childhood, The Lord's Prayer. As years increased, my
And love forgot her tears: love of poetry, and taste for it, increased also with in- And wasted heart and weary hand creasing knowledge. The provincial newspapers, at
The grave alike closed o'er,--times, supplied me with specimens from the works of the Dark things were known of every landbest living authors. Though then unconscious of the
They ne'er were heard of more! cause, I still remember the extraordinary delight which
Alas! their land, beyond the waves,
Hath felt both sword and flame,those pieces gave me,—and have been astonished to find
And given her brave to stranger-graves, that riper years have only confirmed the judgments of
Who left her deathless fame! childhood. When such pieces reached me, I never rest- But still, though tried and tempest-tost ed till they were committed to memory; and afterwards
As none have been before, repeated them for my own amusement, when alone, or She keeps the memory of the lost,during those sleepless nights to which I have been, all
Who ne'er were heard of more! my life, subject. But a source of still greater amuse- “ Soon after, when Messrs Gunn and Cameron comment was found in attempts at original composition; menced the publication of their Irish Penny Journal, I which, for the first few years, were but feeble imitations was seized with a strange desire to contribute something of everything I knew, from the Psalms to Gray's Elegy. to its pages. My first contribution was favourably reWhen the poems of Burns fell in my way, they took the ceived; and I still feel grateful for the kindness and enplace of all others in my fancy-and this brings me up couragement bestowed upon me by both the editor and to the time when I made my first acquaintance with the the publishers. The three small pieces which I contriIliad.
buted to that work were the first of mine that ever ap“ It was like the discovery of a new world, and effected peared in print, with the exception of one of my early a total change in my ideas on the subject of poetry. productions, which a friend had sent to a provincial There was, at the time, a considerable manuscript of my paper. The Irish Penny Journal was abandoned, on the own productions in existence,which, of course, I re- completion of the first volume; but the publishers, with garded with some partiality; but Homer had awakened great kindness, sent me one of the copies, -and this was me, and, in a fit of sovereign contempt, I committed the the first book of any value that I could call my own! whole to the flames. Soon after I had found the Iliad, But the gift was still more esteemed as an encourageI borrowed a prose translation of Virgil,—there being ment-and the first of the kind. no poetieal one to be found in our neighbourhood; and " At this juncture, I had heard much of the London in a similar manner made acquaintance with many of Athenæum; and the accounts of it which the provincial the classic authors. But after Homer's, the work that papers contained made me long to see it; but no copies produced the greatest impression on my mind was Byron's reached our remote neighbourhood. Finding it imposChilde Harold. The one had induced me to burn my sible to borrow the publication, I resolved to make a first manuscript, and the other made me resolve against bold effort to obtain it; and in the spring of the year verse-making in future; for I was then far enough ad- 1841, having a number of small poems on hand, I advaneed to know my own deficiency; but without appa- dressed them to the editor, promised future contriburent means for the requisite improvement. In this re- tions, and solicited that a copy of the journal might be solution I persevered for several years, and occupied sent to me as the return. My application was long unmy mind solely in the pursuit of knowledge; but, owing | answered, and I had given up all for lost, when the arTHE SCHOOLMASTER'S PROGRESS. By Mrs C. M. KIRKLAND, Author of “Western Clearings," “ Forest Life in America,” &c. ( The following sketch by this lively American writer, besides its intrinsic cleverness, has the interest of depicting views
rival of many numbers of the journal, and a letter from the editor, astonished me, and gratified a wish which had haunted my very dreams. From that period, my name and pretensions have been more before the publicmany poems of mine having appeared in the pages of that publication, in Mr Hood's Magazine, and in the Keepsake edited by the Countess of Blessington. Ten only of those contributed to the Atheneum have been included in the present collection—because most of them were so widely copied into the journals of the day, that I feared they might be too familiar for repetition. I have little more to tell—this story of my mind's progress being the story of my life. My contributions to the Athenæum, and its editor's kindness, shortly enabled me to procure some instructive books, which supplied in some measure the want of early education—while they have been, in my solitude, unspeakable sources of entertainment. I have few memories to disturb my grateful recollection of those who have cheered me onward in my chosen but solitary path.
“ It was written, as all my other pieces have been, neither by the advice of friends nor with the hope of success,--but merely • for the love of the thing,' if I may use an expression very common in my country. It has no better foundation than a newspaper story, which a few years ago appeared in many of the British jour. nals, and was said to have been copied from a Russian paper; but it took a strong bold on my mind at the time; and nothing but the want of information prevented me from attempting the subject long ago. For any errors and mistakes, I can only plead that the land is new to me--and comparatively little known, I believe to all.”
It is sufficient to remark of the poetry of this selftaught authoress, that in this age of fastidious taste and unprecedented fertility of all kinds of literature, it has been read and admired for its own intrinsic merits, even before the history and condition of the authoress was disclosed. What may appear singular enough, there is not an allusion to blindness throughout the whole, on the contrary, external nature and events are described with a bold and free pencil, though of course the colouring, and lights, and shades, must wear a general character, and cannot go into those minute or vivid particulars which sometimes so awaken and delight the fancy in Wordsworth, Scott, or Cowper. It is evident too, that her art of describing to the eye must be borrowed from others, and yet she so manages to naturalize these, as few others who tempt the lofty rhyme, can do even with their full powers of vision. Here for instance is a scene that a painter might sketch
Know ye Pitsounda's lovely tay
only that the painter, to render the picture true to nature, would require to interpose a distant overtopping mountain to make the background of the scene “ fade in the distant azure."
Our authoress, so far from avoiding, seems to delight in depicting the scenery of nature; descriptions of external things seem to awaken that mental susceptibility to all that is beautiful which so decidedly accompanies the poetical temperament.
The comprehensive powers of the blind in this respect are indeed wonderful. Dr Black of Glasgow, in detailing the case of a blind man, of the name of Thompson, says “ he learned to understand the common rules of perspective. After reading to him the description of a landscape, I asked him if he saw it in his mind's eye? He said, perfectly well. The writer first brings into view a stream, then beyond the stream is a level plain, which is bounded by a circle of high mountains; at the same time stretching out his arm to different lengths, which represented the different objects mentioned.”
Both from this individual and Miss Brown, we learn that the totally blind, who have never had any recolleetion of vision, are quite contented without this faculty. Happy dispensation of kind and accommodating nature! It is only those who, like Homer, or his blind Meonidas, or the heaven-soaring Milton, who have been in middle life shut out from the glorious light of heaven and the fair face of nature, once exquisitely enjoyed, that can be detected occasionally grieving at their sad lot. In noticing a recent tale of Dickens' we alluded to the incongruity of making Bertha so querulous upon her exelusion from the pleasures of a sense which she never enjoyed.
In this utilitarian age, when the use of poetry is questioned, and the practice of cultivating the imagination well-nigh abolished, it is pleasing to turn to such a case as Frances Brown. How many solitary hours during the day, and still more during the sleepless night, has her mind been cheered by the bright and varied images of the imagination! How often have her feelings been soothed and calmed, and her mind led into pleasing and useful trains of reflection! Nature unfitted her for mingling much in the too busy world of realities,—but she has been endowed with the faculty of creating a little world of ideas within her own breast, by which she is mentally trained, and exercised, and stimulated to all that is fair and good. Our readers will be glad to learn that since this volume of her poetry was published, a small pension has been secured to her through the considerate kindness of Sir Robert Peel.
of society in the far west, and of local habits fresh to us " in the old country.”] MASTER William Horner came to our village to keep cheeks like those in the surface of a lake, after the inschool when he was about eighteen years old: tall, lank, trusion of a stone. Master Horner knew well what bestraight-sided, and straight-haired, with a mouth of the longed to the pedagogical character, and that facial somost puckered and solemn kind. His figure and move- lemnity stood high on the list of indispensable qualificaments were those of a puppet cut out of shingle, and tions. He had made up his mind before he left his jerked by a string; and his address corresponded very father's house how he would look during the term. He well with his appearance. Never did that prim mouth had not planned any smiles, (knowing that he must give way before a laugh. A faint and misty smile was “ board round "), and it was not for ordinary occurrenthe widest departure from its propriety, and this unac- ces to alter his arrangements; so that when he was becustomed disturbance made wrinkles in the flat skinny trayed into a relaxation of the muscles, it was "in such
a sort" as if he was putting his bread and butter in jeopardy.
Truly he had a grave time that first winter. The rod of power was new to him, and he felt it his “ duty” to use it more frequently than might have been thought necessary by those upon whose sense the privilege had palled. Tears and sulky faces, and impotent fists doubled fiercely when his back was turned, were the rewards of his conscientiousness; and the boys--and girls toowere glad when working time came round again, and the master went home to help his father on the farm.
But with the autumn came Master Horner again, dropping among us as quietly as the faded leaves, and awakening at least as much serious reflection. Would he be as self-sacrificing as before, postponing his own ease and comfort to the public good? or would he have become more sedentary, and less fond of circumambulating the school-room with a switch over his shoulder? Many were fain to hope he might have learned to smoke during the summer, an accomplishment which would probably have moderated his energy not a little, and disposed him rather to reverie than to action. But here he was, and all the broader-chested and stouter-armed for his labours in the harvest-field.
Let it not be supposed that Master Horner was of a cruel and ogreish nature-a babe-eater—a Herod-one who delighted in torturing the helpless. Such souls theite may be, among those endowed with the awful control of the ferule, but they are rare in the fresh and natural regions we describe. It is, we believe, where young gentlemen are to be crammed for college, that the process of hardening heart and skin together goes on most vigorously. Yet, among the uneducated, there is so high a respect for bodily strength, that it is necessary for the schoolmaster to show, first of all, that he possesses this inadmissible requisite for his place. The rest is more readily taken for granted. Brains he wry have—a strong arm he must have: so he provés the more important claim first. We must therefore make all due allowance for Master Horner, who could not be expected to overtop his position so far as to discern at once the philosophy of teaching,
A new examination was required on the entrance into a second term, and, with whatever secret trepidation, the master was obliged to submit. Our law prescribes examinations, but forgets to provide for the competency of the examiners; so that few better farces offer, than the course of questions and answers on these occasions. We know not precisely what were Master Horner's trials; but we have heard of a sharp dispute between the inspectors whether angel spelt angle or angel
. Angle had it, and the school maintained that pronunciation ever after. Master Horner passed, and he was requested to draw up the certificate for the inspectors to sign, as one had left his spectacles at home, and the other had a bad cold, so that it was not convenient for either to write more than his name. Master Horner's exhibition of learning on this occasion did not reach us, but we know that it must have been considerable, since he stood the ordeal.
“What is Orthography?” said an inspector once, in our presence.
The candidate writhed a good deal, studied the beams overhead and the chickens out at the window, and then replied,
" It is so long since I learnt the first part of the speling-book, that I can't justly answer that question. But if I could just look it over, I guess I could.”
Our schoolmaster entered upon his second term with new courage and invigorated authority. Twice certified, who should dare doubt his competency? Even Joshua was civil, and lesser louts of course obsequious; though the girls took more liberties; for they feel even at that early age, that influence is stronger than sense. Master Horner's success was most triumphant that
A year's growth had improved his outward
man exceedingly, filling out the limbs so that they did not so forcibly remind you of a young colt's, and supplying the cheeks with the flesh and blood so necessary where moustaches were not worn. Experience had given him a degree of confidence, and confidence gave him power. In short, people said the master bad waked up; and so he had. He actually set about reading for improvement; and although at the end of the term he could not quite make out from his historical studies which side Hannibal was on, yet this is readily explained by the fact that he boarded round, and was obliged to read generally by firelight, surrounded by ungoverned children.
After this, Master Horner made his own bargain. When school-time came round with the following autumn, and the teacher presented himself for examination, such a test was pronounced no longer necessary; and the district consented to engage him at the astounding rate of sixteen dollars a-month, with the understanding that he was to have a fixed home, provided he'was willing to allow a dollar a-week for it. Master Horner bethought him of the successive “ killing-times," and consequent dough-nuts of the twenty families in which he had sojourned the years before, and consented to the exaction.
Behold our friend now as high as district teacher can ever hope to be--his scholarship established, his home stationary and not revolving, and the good behaviour of the community insured by the fact that he, being of age, had now a farm to retire upon in case of any disgust.
Master Horner was at once the pre-eminent beau of the neighbourhood, spite of the prejudice against learn. ing. He brushed his hair straight up in front, and wore a sky-blue ribband for a guard to his silver watch, and walked as if the tall heels of his blunt boots were eggshells and not leather. Yet he was far from neglecting the duties of his place. He was beau only on Sundays and holidays; very schoolmaster the rest of the time.
It was at a “spelling-school” that Master Horner first met the educated eyes of Miss Harriet Bangle, a young lady visiting the Engleharts in our neighbourhood. She was from one of the towns in Western New York, and had brought with her a variety of city airs and graces somewhat caricatured, set off with year-old French fashions much travestied. Whether she had been sent out to the new country to try, somewhat late, a rustic chance for an establishment, or whether her company had teen found rather trying at home, we cannot say. The view which she was at some pains to make understood was, that her friends had contrived this method of keeping her out of the way of a desperate lover whose addresses were not acceptable to them.
If it should seem surprising that so high-bred a visiter should be sojourning in the wild woods, it must be remembered that more than one celebrated Englishman and not a few distinguished Americans have farmer brothers in the western country, no whit less rustic in their exterior and manner of life than the plainest of their neighbours. When these are visited by their refined kinsfolk, we of the woods catch glimpses of the gay world, or think we do.
" Tbat great medicine hath
With its tinct gilded-" many a vulgarism to the satisfaction of wiser heads than
Miss Bangle's manner bespoke for her that high consideration which she felt to be her due. Yet she condescended to be amused by the rustics and their awkward attempts at gaiety and elegance; and, to say truth, few of the village merry-makings escaped her, though she wore always the air of great superiority.
The spelling-school is one of the ordinary winter amusements in the country. It occurs once in a fortnight, or so, and has power to draw out all the young people for miles round, arrayed in their best clothes and
their holiday behaviour. When all is ready, umpires lady. All that concerns us is the result of Miss Bangle's are elected, and after these have taken the distinguished benevolent designs upon his heart. She tried most sinplace usually occupied by the teacher, the young people cerely to find its vulnerable spot, meaning no doubt to of the school choose the two best scholars to head the put Mr Horner on his guard for the future; and she was opposing classes. These leaders choose their followers unfeignedly surprised to discover that her best efforts from the mass, each calling a name in turn, until all the were of no avail. She concluded he must have taken a spellers are ranked on one side or the other, lining the counter-poison, and she was not slow in guessing its sides of the room, and all standing. The schoolmaster,
She had observed the peculiar fire which lightstanding too, takes his spelling-book, and gives a placid ed up his eyes in the presence of Ellen Kingsbury, and yet awe-inspiring look along the ranks, remarking that she betrought her of a plan which would ensure her he intends to be very impartial, and that he shall some amusement at the expense of these impertinent give out nothing that is not in the spelling-book. For rustics, though in a manner different somewhat from her the first half hour or so he chooses common and easy original more natural idea of simple coquetry. words, that the spirit of the evening may not be A letter was written to Master Horner, purporting to damped by the too early thinning of the classes. When come from Ellen Kingsbury, worded so artfully that the a word is missed, the blunderer has to sit down, and be schoolmaster understood at once that it was intended a spectator only for the rest of the evening. At certain to be a secret communication, though its ostensible obintervals, some of the best speakers mount the platform, ject was an inquiry about some ordinary affair. This and “speak a piece,” which is generally as declamatory was laid in Mr Horner's desk before he came to school, as possible.
with an intimation that he might leave an answer in a The excitement of this scene is equal to that afforded certain spot on the following morning. The bait took by any spectacle whatever; and towards the close of the at once, for Mr Horner, honest and true himself, and evening, when difficult and unusual words are chosen to much smitten with the fair Ellen, was too happy to be confound the small number who still keep the floor, it circumspect. The answer was duly placed, and as becomes scarcely less than painful. When perhaps only duly carried to Miss Bangle by her accomplice Joe one or two remain to be puzzled, the master, weary at Englehart, an unlucky pickle who “ was always for ill, last of his task, though a favourite one, tries by tricks never for good," and who found no difficulty in obtaining to put down those whom he cannot overcome in fair the letter unwatched, since the master was obliged to be fight. If among all the curious, useless, unheard-of in school at nine, and Joe could always linger a few minwords which may be picked out of the spelling-book, he utes later. This answer being opened and laughed at, cannot find one which the scholars have not noticed, he Miss Bangle had only to contrive a rejoinder, which begets the last head down by some quip or catch.“ Bay" ing rather more particular in its tone than the original will perhaps be the sound; one scholar spells it " bey," communication, led on yet again the happy schoolmaster, another “bay,” while the master all the time means who branched out into sentiment," taffeto phrases, “ba,” which comes within the rule, being in the spelling- silken terms precise,” talked of hills and dales and book.
rivulets, and the pleasures of friendship, and concluded It was on one of these occasions, as we have said, by entreating a continuance of the correspondence. that Miss Bangle, having come to the spelling-school to Another letter and another, every one more flattering get materials for a letter to a female friend, first shone and encouraging than the last, almost turned the sober upon Mr Horner. She was excessively amused by his head of our poor master, and warmed up his heart so solemn air and puckered mouth, and set him down at effectually that he could scarcely attend to his business. once as fair game. Yet she could not help becoming The spelling-schools were remembered however, and somewhat interested in the spelling-school, and after it Ellen Kingsbury made one of the merry company; but was over found she had not stored up half as many of the latest letter had not forgotten to caution Mr Horner the schoolmaster's points as she intended, for the benefit not to betray the intimacy, so that he was in honour of her correspondent.
bound to restrict himself to the language of the eyes, In the evening's contest a young girl from some few hard as it was to forbear the single whisper for which miles' distance, Ellen Kingsbury, the only child of a sub- he would have given his very dictionary. So their meetstantial farmer, had been the very last to sit down, after ing passed off without the explanation which Miss Bangle a prolonged effort on the part of Mr Horner to puzzle began to fear would cut short her benovolent amuseher, for the credit of his own school. She blushed, and smiled, and blushed again, but spelt on, until Mr Horner's The correspondence was resumed with renewed spirit, cheeks were crimson with excitement and some touch of and carried on till Miss Bangle, though not over-burdenshame that he should be baffled at his own weapons. At ed with sensitiveness, began to be a little alarmed for length, either by accident or design, Ellen missed a word, the consequences of her malicious pleasantry. She perand sinking into her seat, was numbered with the slain. ceived that she herself had turned schoolmistress, and
In the laugh and talk which followed, (for with the that Master Horner, instead of being merely her dupe, conclusion of the spelling, all form of a public assembly had become her pupil too; for the style of his replies had vanishes,) our schoolmaster said so many gallant things been constantly improving, and the earnest and manly to his fair enemy, and appeared so much animated by tone which he assumed, promised any thing but the the excitement of the contest, that Miss Bangle began quiet, sheepish pocketing of injury and insult, upon to look upon him with rather more respect, and to feel which she had counted. In truth, there was something somewhat indignant that a little rustic like Ellen should deeper than vanity in the feelings with which he regardabsorb the entire attention of the only beau. She put ed Ellen Kingsbury. The encouragement wbich he supon, therefore, her most gracious aspect, and mingled in posed himself to have received, threw down the barrier the circle; caused the schoolmaster to be presented to which his extreme bashfulness would have interposed her, and did her best to fascinate him by certain airs and between himself and any one who possessed charms graces which she had found successful elsewhere. What enough to attract him; and we must excuse him if, in such game is too small for the close-woven net of the coquette ! a case, he did not criticise the mode of encouragement,
Mr Horner quitted not the fair Ellen until he had but rather grasped eagerly the proffered good without a handed her into her father's sleigh; and he then wended scruple, or one which he would own to himself, as to the his way homewards, never thinking that he ought to propriety with which it was tendered. He was as much have escorted Miss Bangle to her uncle's, though she in love as a man can be, and the seriousness of real at. certainly waited a little while for his return.
tachment gave both grace and dignity to his once awkWe must not follow into particulars the subsequent ward diction. intercourse of our schoolmaster with the civilized young The evident determination of Mr Horner to come to