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• I shall like it very much,' said Daisy, who, like many petted pupilteachers, found it rather dull to have no intercourse with any one out of her own class; and though Miss Walters was not quite like her beloved Miss Gertrude, it seemed natural to have something to do with her. Her fellow assistant-mistress, whose training had been totally different, could not imagine why she mixed herself up with Sunday-schools which it was a mark of independence to avoid, and with people who grudge one one's proper position.
• Ladies can't teach.'
*I don't think Miss Walters knows much about teaching,' returned Daisy, but she seems a nice young lady, and you know she never in all her life thought that Pontius Pilate was a Roman Catholic.'
• He was the Roman governor,' said Miss Lane, in a puzzled voice. • What has that to do with it?' And as Daisy proceeded to explain, some new ideas derived from her early intercourse with cultivated people began to permeate Miss Lane's manual filled brains.
If people would only cultivate the cultivators, how much further their efforts would spread. · But this is a digression. As soon as Miss Walters and Daisy had made their arrangements, they were interrupted by the approach of Mr. Bailey, who came up to Miss Morris, and inquired if she had ever heard of a poem called “The Raven,' which he proposed to recite.
Oh, yes,' said Daisy, whom a long course of penny readings had familiarised with most of the stock pieces, 'I've heard it many times.'
• Do you admire it, Miss Morris?'
"Well, I believe it's considered a very fine poem; but I'm not sure that I quite understand it myself,' said Daisy, recalling an early scrape, when she had fallen into disgrace at Flaxby for explosions of giggling, during the performance of this piece. “I think it strikes audiences as a little odd sometimes.'
"Shall I substitute anything else? “Eugene Aram,” “The Maniac,” or a more obscure work called “The Murderer's Last Groan.” Perhaps that might be new to you.'. :- Why—I think“ The Raven” is the most cheerful on the whole. The gentlemen in these parts seems to have very gloomy tastes, said Daisy, thinking of Mr. Cummings' Dead March.
Tragedy is my line,' said Mr. Bailey, with a cheerful twinkle of his pretty blue eyes. But if there was anything in the comic line which you admired, Miss Morris, I would study it at once with pleasure.'
Miss Walters turned away her head to hide a smile; but Daisy caught the look, blushed violently, and said stiffly that she did not wish to interfere with any one's choice of pieces.
Shakspere-you admire Shakspere?' said Mr. Bailey hopefully. . Oh, certainly,' returned Daisy. • I'm very glad of that,” said Mr. Bailey, in a tone of delighted surprise, as if a common preference for Shakspere showed an unusual community of taste, 'for Cummings and I-you will hear, Miss Morris.'
Daisy looked at Mr. Bailey as he stood up reciting The Raven,' and some previous remarks of Mr. Woodford's echoed in her mindsuch a steady, superior young man, with such ideas for helping his fellow-creatures, kept his Church too, and was sure to get on in life. So he was very superior, and he did recite.The Raven' very well, if he could have helped looking so very happy. Daisy was glad when her own turn came and distracted her thoughts from him.
She had not forgotten her encounter with Lily, who stood among the glee-singers, looking her very prettiest with a hot-house flower in her dress, a burning bright colour in her cheeks, and a wistful look in her round, kitten-like eyes.
For young Mr. Warren was talking to Miss Vincent, the great ironmonger's daughter, and never turned his eyes towards the chorus. Daisy felt very indignant, the more so, as she saw Mrs. Warren, in an elegant bonnet, sitting in the front row. Last Tuesday the young gentleman had found occasion for many whispers and glances; now, he never gave one. But poor Lily's eyes were less under her own control and followed him about. As her bright colour and her bright flower faded a little, together, Daisy also noted that Mr. Cummings, who had not deserted the chorus, gloomily watched Lily all the evening through, and she began to see why wedding marches were so incongruous with his feelings.
He was very sprucely got up too, with a red camellia in hi ; button-hole, and a book under his arm, at which he glanced occasionally.
• What, Mr. Cummings, are you going to favour us?' said the Rector.
“Yes, sir, I am going to endeavour to throw myself into the prevailing spirit,' returned Mr. Cummings, and accordingly, presently, “The Quarrel of Brutus and Cassius, from Shakspere's play of Julius Cæsar—Brutus, Mr. Bailey; Cassius, Mr. Cummings,' was announced by the chairman. Mr. Cummings gave out Cassius' speeches in a loud and distinct voice, exceedingly suitable to a dictation lesson; he never missed a word, and he stood bolt upright and perfectly still. Mr. Bailey used plenty of action, and did his utmost to look like a noble Roman. For both gentlemen the audience was practically reduced to one.
When the piece ended, amid moderate applause—the gallery hardly appreciated Shakspere—the eyes of Cassius turned wistfully to Lily Woodford, who sat looking on the floor, apparently quite unmoved and uninterested. Mr. Bailey turned to meet Daisy Morris's eager face full of criticism, interest, and enjoyment; and, she, spite of the late alarm, was so much more full of the recitation than the reciter, that she could not help entering on a lively discussion, which lasted all the way home to Laura Terrace, while Lily dragged along beside them with hardly a word.
(To be continued.)
CAMEOS FROM ENGLISH HISTORY.
IEST LENCE AND WAR. FUGITIVES camping out in the country were proscribed by those around, and often reduced to terrible straits of hunger. The villages about London suffered terribly. Poplar had in every house one sick or dead. Defoe's account tells of a conversation with a poor waterman who pointed out a house where father, mother, and five children had died. The waterman himself lived by taking provisions and messages to the ships in the river, where the owners had taken refuge with their families. He himself had been shut out from his house, where his wife and one child were sick, the mother recovering, but the child like to die. He brought his earnings daily to the garden, where she received them, and conversed with him from a distance, in a simple God-fearing manner, such as drew tears from the listener.
The most noted of these visitations in the country was that at Eyam, one of the beautiful villages in the ravines of Derbyshire. Introduced by a tailor's patterns, the disease raged in the narrow confined valley; but owing to the resolute faith and strong influence of the Vicar, Mr. Mompesson, it was prevented from extending beyond it. He sent away his little children; but his wife would not leave him, and he kept his people from going beyond their own bounds, the Earl of Devonshire engaging that provisions and medicines should be regularly sent to appointed spots, where money and letters were placed on a stone, and then passed through vinegar. For seven months this arrangement was carried on faithfully on both sides. Lest infection should be communicated within the walls of the church, Mr. Mom pesson assembled his flock in a beautiful little dell, branching out of the ravine, and still called Cucklet Church, every Litany day and Sunday. He lost his devoted wife—not from the plague, but from exhaustion from her attendance on the sick; and when the long quarantine was over at last, only a fifth of the parishioners survived.
It was remarkable that there was no case on board the fleet. There had been inquiries on both sides into the battle of Lowestoff, and it was proved before the Houses of Parliament that the slackening of the pursuit was entirely owing to the forgery of Bronkhard, though the enemies of the Duke of York continued to assert in the
face of evidence that the cowardice was the master's, and the servant only the scapegoat. But James, whatever his faults, was a brave and an honest man. He longed to pursue his victories; but his mother was terrified at the danger he had run, and represented to King Charles that it was not fitting to let the only male heir to the crown thus risk his life, when he had only two little daughters—his son having died early. The Earl of Sandwich was therefore appointed to the chief command.
The Dutch, when their shattered fleet came home, were full of rage and despair, and their wrath fixed itself upon Evertsen. Reports had exaggerated the loss, and when he came in sight of the Texel, a small vessel, which had put out to meet him, brought back word that there were no great signs of damage about his ship. He had sent despatches to the States-General describing the battle, complaining of the cowardice of those who had fled, and asking permission to enter the river. The reply was a summons to the Hague to answer for himself before the States-General.
He started in a carriage, but in passing through Briel, he was assailed by a furious mob, who reproached him in the most violent manner, even for the blowing up of the Eendraght, pelted him with stones and mud, dragged him out of his carriage, and to the quay, where they pushed him into the water. The old man clung to the prow of a vessel, and kept his head above water, though they pelted him to make him let go. However, the alarm had reached the burgomasters and garrison, who came rushing down, dispersed the rioters, and rescued the Admiral nearly dead, carrying him to a house, round which, while friends tried to revive him, the mob, excited by the tales of sailors from the remaining ships, raged all night.
A Dutch mob, though slow to be stirred, when once excited is apt to be a very terrible, stubborn and cruel one; and the gallant old Admiral was forced to put on the disguise of a fisherman and leave the town at two o'clock in the dawn of the June morning. An escort of soldiers was required to guard him on his way, and De Witt and the Hollanders managed that the guard before the door of his lodging at the Hague should appear as if watching a prisoner.
The Zeeland deputies indignantly demanded that he should be heard in his own justification, and the old sailor stood before the States, telling simply the history of the engagement, and his appearance showing the outrages he had received ; but party was far too strong for justice or patriotism, and instead of applauding the brave old man who had saved the remnant, John De Witt got up and ordered him back instantly to the Texel, to be tried with the other officers by court-martial.
He was taken on board the ship Middleburg and treated as a prisoner ; but at the Texel nobody would preside at the court-martial, and it came to nothing, since all the captains, indeed all honest and courageous naval men, spoke honourably of him, including Cornelis
van Tromp, who was the popular favourite, and was made an Admiral at thirty-four.
The Zeelanders demanded his entire acquittal, with the thanks of the Republic; but the Grand Pensionary prevented this, and they could only give him the thanks of their own province. Deeply wounded, he retired to Flushing, where he still worked at the fitting out of a new fleet, in spite of the injustice of his country.
In the midst of these quarrels De Ruyter came back from his African expedition, having passed very close to the English fleet under cover of a thick fog. He arrived at West Ems on the 6th of August, and the sight of his trophies filled the Dutch with joy, so that many a woman fell on his neck and kissed him in her ecstacy. De Witt, on receiving his despatches, got up in the night and wrote to him that ninety ships of the line were ready for him to join them and take the command. His answer was that he and his captains were ready to serve again immediately, but that his ships needed cleaning and repair and his crews rest. At once he was appointed Admiral-inChief, and went to take the command at Texel a fortnight after his return without even seeing his wife and children
He was received with great delight by all the navy, and though he was of the Lowestein faction, and Cornelis van Tromp and Cornelis Evertsen were Orangemen, his fame overbore everything. Many of the sailors held to the house of Orange, and to keep this feeling in check De Witt himself went on board, and made a cruise with De Ruyter to Bergen to escort home the Indian fleet. The storms that blew the plague from London did much damage to the fleet; two fireships sank, and eight men-of-war with two Indiamen ran among the English and were taken. Lord Sandwich and some of the other officers helped themselves to the treasures, privateer fashion, and on this account Sandwich lost the command of the fleet, which was given to Albemarle, together with Prince Rupert.
So much damage had the Dutch fleet undergone that only in October could De Ruyter again threaten the English east coast; but he found every part of the shore guarded, and could attempt no landing before the winter storms sent him home. Holland was ready to give him a triumph, he was bidden to keep on his hat while addressing the States-General, a silver vase worth £150 was presented to him, and every possible honour was paid to him. He was a simple-minded, simple-mannered, religious sailor, and was by chance overheard praying in his bedroom against being uplifted by pride and vain-glory.
He worked hard at the refitting of the fleet, while De Witt did all he could by diplomacy, and arranged with Louis XIV. a secret treaty for the partition of the Spanish Netherlands, thus inducing France to declare war against England, but against his will, and three months' grace was granted at Charles's request.
De Ruyter had a splendid fleet ready by the spring, eighty-five