Imágenes de páginas

at once, for I remember very well listen- However, by the next mail came the ing to the creaking of the ship's timbers news of the old Commodore's death. as she rose to the swell, and watching It had been a very sudden break-up, the lamp, which was slung from the his executor said. He had left all ceiling, and gave light enough to make his property, which was not much, to out the other hammocks swinging slowly his great-nephew, who was to get leave all together. At last, however, I dropped to come home as soon as he could. off, and I reckon I must have been The first time we touched at Malta asleep about an hour, when I woke Tom Holdsworth left us, and went with a start. For the first moment I home. We followed about two years didn't see anything but the swinging afterwards, and the first thing I did hammocks and the lamp ; but then sud- after landing was to find out the Comdenly I became aware that some one modore's executor. He was a quiet, was standing by my hammock, and I saw dry little Plymouth lawyer, and very the figure as plainly as I see any one of civilly answered all my questions about you now, for the foot of the hammock

the last days of my old friend. At last was close to the lamp, and the light I asked him to tell me as near as he struck full across on the head and shoul- could the time of his death; and he ders, which was all that I could see of put on his spectacles, and got his diary, hiin. There he was, the old Commodore; and turned over the leaves. I was quite his grizzled hair coming out from under a nervous till he looked up and said, red woollen night-cap, and his shoulders “Twenty-five minutes to two, sir, A. M., wrapped in an old threadbare blue dress

on the morning of October 21st; or it ing-gown which I had often seen him in. might be a few minutes later." His face looked pale and drawn, and there “How do you mean, sir?” I asked. was a wistful disappointed look about the “Well,” he said, “it is an odd story. eres. I was so taken aback I couldn't The doctor was sitting with me, watchspeak, but lay watching him. He looked ing the old man, and, as I tell you, at full at my face once or twice, but didn't twenty-five minutes to two, he got up seem to recognise me ; and, just as I was and said it was all over. We stood getting back my tongue and going to together, talking in whispers for, it speak, he said slowly: Where's Tom? might be, four or five minutes, when the this is his hammock. I can't see Tom;', body seemed to move. He was an odd and then he looked vaguely about and old man, you know, the Commodore, passed away somehow, but how I and we never could get him properly to couldn't see.

In a moment or two I bed, but he lay in his red nightcap and jumped out and hurried to my cabin, old dressing-gown, with a blanket over

, but young Holdsworth was fast asleep. him. It was not a pleasant sight, I can I sat down, and wrote down just what I tell you, sir. I don't think one of you had seen, making a note of the exact gentlemen, who are bred to face all time, twenty minutes to two. I didn't manner of dangers, would have liked it. turn in again, but sat watching the As I was saying, the body first moved, youngster. When he woke I asked him

and then sat up, propping itself behind if he had heard anything of his great with its lands. The eyes were wide uncle by the last mail. Yes, he had open, and he looked at us for a moment, heard ; the old gentleman was rather and said slowly, “I've been to the feeble, but nothing particular the matter. Mediterranean, but I didn't see Tom.' I kept my own counsel and never told a Then the body sank back again, and soul in the ship; and, when the mail came this time the old Commodore was really to hand a few days afterwards with a letter dead. But it was not a pleasant thing from the Commodore to his nephew, dated to happen to one, sir. I do not rememlate in September, saying that he was ber anything like it in my forty years' well, I thought the figure by my ham- practice." mock must have been all my own fancy.

To be continued. No. 8.-VOL. II.




[blocks in formation]

Is it sin, you say, I have spoken? For I thought, not long ago,

I know not; my head feels strange ; That I was in Abraham's bosom,
And something in me is broken ; And she lifted a face of woe,
Lord, is it the coming change ?

Like some pale, withered blossom, Forgive the word I have spoken.

Out of the depths below.

[blocks in formation]

A GOOD ruler but a bad general was David's picture of "Napoleon crossing Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick. The the Alps.” She would have him stay, French defeated him at Auerstadt and not only as her lover, but as the Jena ; mortally wounded, he retired to opponent of her own party. For this his own territories to die, but, being she has interposed herself between him hunted out, took refuge within those of and the door,—standing up against his the Danish king. His enemies over- breast, she holds it back with one hand ran Brunswick and committed such upon the lock, although he firmly strives dreadful excesses that the huzzars of to open it and leave her. For this the Brunswick Oels, assuming a

black tears are ready to start under her uniform of perpetual mourning for their broad eyelids, and for this she lays her loss, signified a determination neither head against his bosom ; her eyes are to give nor receive quarter by wearing downcast, and her lips tremble with on their shakoes a silver skull and cross- emotion—suppressed though evident. bones. They fulfilled the vow,

and their He looks at her depressed face, in hatred of the French was deepened by pique averted from him, himself hurt the death of the young Duke William that she owns not the call of duty he Frederick, at Ligny, on the day before

must obey Waterloo. Mr. Millais has chosen for

“I could not love thee, deare, so much, his contribution the parting of an officer

Loved I not honour more”. of this famous corps of the BlackBrunswickers from his mistress. He is the motto he might take from Loveinsinuates a French leaning to her lace's


His will is stern and judgment by giving a French character heart strong, and she does but make to her face, and showing hung upon the duty painful by resisting. Maybe the wall of the room

a print after
he feels that & political bias in-

fluences her conduct. Does this seem honourable to the painter, but every artist melodramatic, good reader—this story of willappreciate the skill with which Millais vengeance, skulls, and cross-bones, and has opposed this by a sudden contrast lovers' parting? Possibly it may to of the intense white of the lady's dress, some who believe in no more earnest so that they negative one another; then, expression of passion than an operatic to overcome the chill effect of bothduet sung before the footlights. But having grouped round them warm greens let such sceptics see Millais' picture, of the wall-paper, mauve of the lady's and they will recognise more than the shawl, and hot transparent brown of the raptures of the kid-glove school. He polished mahogany door, white and has dealt with great wisdom upon the black repeated in the print on the broad, bold, and blunt features of the wall,-he adds the warm-tinted floor, the German officer; the square forehead and variety in unity of broken tints of warm knitted brow, the clear firm-set lips; or cold counterchanged upon the black the hair cut short giving a precision and and the white dress ; lastly, the focalirigidity to his face, which, brown but zation of hot tint with crimson-scarlet pale, typifies a resolute grief admirably. of the broad arm-ribbon of the lady, and She too, with her French face, is half the subtle employment of downright unworthy of such a lover, piqued and cold blue in the braid running athwart nigh fretful as she is. Passionate as a the soldier's figure. We shall be told child, and unstable as water, she would that these are technical subtleties people stay his will with her prejudices. All don't understand, but reply that they this must strike the most unobservant are not subtleties, but patent to the as the converse of the motive of the

least taught eye.

Colour is as much “Huguenot"-to which this picture is an art as music, being in fact to the eye à pendant. Let us think how the what music is to the ear,—the expresartist displays his knowledge of the sion of beauty, heart in thus treating two allied

“That may overtake far thought, subjects so diversely. In both the

With music that it makes.” woman would save her lover, one by keeping him away from danger; the The time is rapidly coming when this other, humbler and more devoted, bow- will be understood, and critics no more ing to the will of the strong-hearted omit to describe the colour of a picture man, strives only to gain him a little -heart of art as it is—than they would safety-only a little—with the badge of the melody of a piece of music. Guise! We are to suppose too that

Mr. Frith's "Claude Duval" displays she is not aware of the Protestantism of no such knowledge as Mr. Millais her lover, at any rate that it is not work. Comparatively it is deficient publicly known; so she is tempting in artistic power and feeling for the him to no overt dishonour—as she of subject, relatively coarse as that is. the Black-Brunswicker does; therefore Claude Duval, the highwayman, took a the entreaty of that sweet face, whose lady out of her coach and made her beauty men have not yet done justice dance a corranto with him in the road to, because forsooth it is not tamely while his companions rifled the equipage. vacant of expression. The depth of His figure is stiff and angular, needs grace her tenderness is very different from and spirit of action; that of the lady is that passionate caprice of the lady of much better; she looks pallid with fear, Brussels, who would not guard her lover, and trembling with suppressed anger. but rather lock him up out of the way The group inside the coach is the best of hurting or being hurt.

part of the picture; a masked ruffian For technical merit this work is a enters it with a grin, demanding the triumph throughout. Getting over the occupiers' valuables. An old lady clasps difficulty of the mass of black in the her hands entreatingly, a younger one soldier's uniform by any means would be faints at the spectacle. An old man sits bound by the roadside, after having the cat. The trophies of the household, struggled against the thieves.

that have been saved as its palladium, Sir E. Landseer has outdone himself lie heaped in front,

-a brass-studded with his great picture, “A Flood in the target, wherewith the old grandsire Highlands.” A torrent rushes through might have gone to battle in the '45; a the village street, bearing large pine- heap of plaids, and triple case of Hightrees torn up by the roots, and carried land knives. Overhead the great pines down from the bank above; these have roar in the wind's strife, bending their fallen across a waggon, the horse of which red branches like canes ; black game, struggles in the flood; some men on driven from the moors, cling there ; and the roof of a cottage endeavour to save the wild grey clouds of storm hurry him by means of a rope, that stretched heavily over the scene of ruin. Close to the utmost does but check the speed. under the caves of the cottage in front, a Immersed, and nigh spent, an ox has hare, borne down from the open, and come driving full upon a cottage in the sheltered from the force of the deluge by foreground, and with bloody nostrils and the slack-water, burrows fearfully in haste distended eyes, strives vainly to get a way into the thatch of the habitation of footing for its hoofs. A goat whose its enemies; its ears are laid back, and the eyes are glazing in death is swept eyes, that Nature has made ever expresdown beside the larger beast, and sive of alarm, have now no meaning in will soon sink in the waves. Upon them but the wild instinct of self-prethe roof of this last cottage, up to the servation. We have said the water has very threshold of which the water flows, reached the cottage threshold, and it are gathered its inhabitants, a woman has flooded the interior. A flock of with her child, whom she has just ducks swim before it. Over it is placed taken from the cradle; and now, so a board, with the inscription denoting ghastly is the spectacle of death pre- the occupation of the inmates ; thus :sented by the drowning beasts before

ALICK GORDON. her that she lets even the infant lie

Upputting. scarce noticed on her lap. Glaring with

Stance mile East. rounded eyes of horror, and parted jaw, fixed wide in terror, with outthrust For the benefit of Southron readers, head, and body bowed, she stares, her let us say that "upputting"-genuine forehead in deep lines, and her cheek old Saxon the Celtic proprietor has hollowed out fearfully. The cradle is adopted-is equivalent to the offer of empty, the clothes tossed over; before “ beds." Does not promise good ones it a sheep-dog, with pricked ears and

even; you may stop, and that is all ; quivering flanks, whimpers with fright. still less does it hold out hopes of “good Behind her sits an old man, blind, entertainment for man and beast," so rife, scarce conscious, but mutely praying; but so seldom fulfilled, in the English by his side, a boy, dripping wet, clasps villages. “Stance mile East," signifies a puppy he has saved close to his chest; that there is a mile-stone so placed. the boy is pallid-cheeked, and his eyes red. In the Highlands the primitive direction On a ladder, by which they have reached to travellers is by the points of the comthe roof, is a group of poultry, fussily pass, and not “first turning to the right troubled, and stupidly selfish. The and third to the left," of the less intelcock roosts lazily ; one of the hens in her ligible English custom. nervous alarm-true bit of nature this- Mr. Elmore's picture, “The Tuileries, has laid an egg, which, falling on a lower 20th June, 1792,” has for subject step before a cat, astonishes her greatly, Marie Antoinette before the mob. The as, with curved tail, she rises to in- lowest of the people have flooded the spect it. Above the poultry, a mouse Palace; and, the Queen's attendants creeps upon the step, having judi- having brought her children, in order ciously put them between himself and that their presence might protect their

« AnteriorContinuar »