« AnteriorContinuar »
unquestionably did, settlements and would amply repay the inquiring possessions on nearly every known antiquarian. sea-board, it is quite possible that Independent of the many old. he may have become the proprietor world curiosities and attractions so of negros as slaves, or been joined freely scattered over the county-in. by the oppressed Africans as com dependent of the beautiful old church rades. The presence of the Ethio and the vaults of death, which it is pian, then, although in strange com. his express purpose to visit, he pany, may be easily accounted for; would 'find in the summer a picand when we consider the footing turesque country of hill and dale, which the Danes established in the clothed with verdure and adorned heart of England, and more espe with every description of woodland cially in Northamptonshire, we may scenery; whilst in the winter months fairly argue the probability of their he might combine with his scientific having left their dead here after a studies the relaxation of a gallop succession of actions in which they over the freest pastures that ever had been worsted, or their defeat in breathed a steed. some great battle, which freed our We had almost forgotten to men. country, but of which we have no tion that in one corner of that vault, account.
in which we have now been moulderVixere fortes ante Agamemnona
ing too long, there is a separate pile Multi : sed omnes illacrimabiles
of bones and corresponding skulls, Urguentur ignotique longå
from the proportions and formation Nocte, carent quia vate sacro.
of which anatomists argue them to Under the reign of the elder belong to our northern brethren. Edward, from the year 917 to 921,
• The high cheek bones,' say they, we find the Danes in actual posses
and, we presume, the greater elonsion as lords and masters of the gation of the occiput, stamp them town of Northampton ; and Tow. indubitably Scotch? cester was, about the same period,
Of this we are not sufficiently fortified and surrounded with a
skilled in comparative phrenology to strong stone walls to resist their give an opinion; but granting that raids and inroads. In 1010, they
such is the case, nothing appears to marched upon Northampton, from
us more natural, knowing the do. which they had been expelled for
minion enjoyed by the Danes in the nearly a century, burned the town,
north of England, through the and wasted the adjoining plain. And,
whole of Northumberland, and far
across what is now the Border, than some fifty years later, they advanced to give battle to Harold himself
that a body of our canny neighbours
should have marched under their under the same walls that had before witnessed their triumph and ex
orders, or joined them as allies in
any expedition promising plunder These historical facts, we submit,
and free quarters in the heart of make in favour of our theory ; but
And no our object in thus mooting the
temptible auxiliaries either; for truly
the bones which we examined in vexed question of 'whose are the bones?' is not to establish a crotchet
this Caledonian corner, denuded as of our own, but to excite if possible
they were of all their former clothing that spirit of research and inquiry
of muscle and sinew, argued prowhich is never dormant in British
portions that would not have disarchæologians. A trip to Rothwell,
graced the most renowned champions which, to use the language of those
of Scottish history, such as Architrue poets, the advertizers, 'may be
bald Bell-the-Cat, Robert the Bruce, easily reached per rail vid North Or Wallace wight or Gilbert Hay. ampton or Market-Harborough,' Gentles, my tale is said.
BERTHA'S LOVE. TT was a pleasant evening, and I the woman I was - whom people I ran through the garden and along called unbending — austere - and the narrow path that wound down cold. Cold! Little they guessed of the cliff to the beach. I held in the passionate yearning for love that my hand the flowers he had given had for so long been rudely crushed me, and the soft breeze that tossed back into my desolate heart, till all my hair over my face was laden with its tenderer feelings were, from their their perfume. I was so happy-I very strength, turning into poison. did not ask myself why, but a new Little they knew of the fierce im. and strange sense of blessedness was pulses subdued—the storms of emothrobbing in my heart; and as I stood tion oftentimes concealed beneath still and looked at the great sea that frigid reserve they deemed stretched out before me, at the want of feeling. But I had always gorgeous calm of the August sunset, been misunderstood, and harshly -I felt as I had never felt since I judged--I had always been lonelywas a little child, saying my prayers uncared for-unsympathized with. at my mother's knees.
Till now ! I wandered along close to where Now I had some one to love the waves came rippling over the some one who cared for my love, red pebbles. The dark rocks looked and who loved me again, as I knew, glorified in the western radiance, I felt assured he loved me, though and the feathery clouds floated no lover's word or vow had ever dreamily in the blue space, as if they passed between us. How holy this were happy too. How strange it was new happiness made me! How it that the beauty of the world had sanctified and calmed the troubled never spoken to my heart till that heart, so restless, so stormy in its evening!
unsatisfied longing heretofore-re. I climbed to my favourite seat in storing to it the innocent repose it the recess of that great black rock had not known since it ceased to which abutted on the sea even at be a child's heart and became a ebb of tide, and where the fantastic woman's! peaks of brown stone rise on all How tenderly I felt to all the sides save where the incessant world—to my very self, even! I beating of the waves have worn looked down into a deep pool of them away. All the world was water formed by a break in the rock: shut out, save ocean and sky; and the dark waters gave to my view my in the vast mysterious sea heaving face, with its firm, hard outlines, the in the glow reflected from the large steadfast eyes, and the black heavens, I seemed to find a sympa. hair which I loved, because yes. thy with the great happiness that terday Geoffrey had said it was thrilled within me. My hands beautiful. I took a curl tenderly clasped over the flowers, -I raised into my hand-kissed it and felt my head to the still heaven where a my glad tears fall on it :-what a quiet star seemed watching me,- child I was! and a thanksgiving rose from my The sunset was fading when I re. very soul to the God who had made turned home. As I ascended the the world so fair, and me so happy! cliff, I saw a figure that I knew,
Gentle thoughts arose in my leaning over the shrubbery gate-a mind :-I thought of my dead head bent forward with waving hair mother, and of the great love I had tossed in his own careless fashion borne her, which, since she died had over his brow. His voice reached lain dormant in my heart-till now ! my ears at the same moment: Ah, how that heart leaped at those I am watching for you, Bertha ; little words whispered to itself. I you truant, to stay away so long!' thought of my olden self-of what I Who had ever watched for me had been but two short weeks before, before? Who had ever taken such with a kind of remorse, chastened note of my absence, or thought the by pity. If I had had any one to time long when I was away? I felt love during all these years, I thought, all this as I quietly pursued my I should surely never have become way towards him; keeping my eyes
fixed on the rugged pathway, not •You know very well that I love daring-God help me!-to look up them too,' he pursued—that every at him when I knew his gaze was on old tor on the down, every rugged
rock on the shore is dear to me. I He opened the gate for me, drew little thought, when your father inmy arm within his, and we slowly sisted on bringing me home with walked towards the house.
him, that I should spend such a • We have had visitors this even happy time in this wild country. ing,' said he; "and one of them re Stilf less that in the quiet, dark mains with Mrs. Warburton to browed child just remembered night. A Miss Lester ;-do you years ago, I should find a dear comknow her '
panion-a friend. Ah, Bertha, you “I have heard my father speak of yourself don't know how much you her, but I have never seen her.' have been my friend—what good you Mr. Lester, it seems, knew my
have done me. I am a better man father in his youngdays,'he resumed, that I was a month ago. If I had and claimed acquaintance with me had a mother or a sister all these on that ground. He is a courtly, years, I should have done more jusprecise, well-expressed elderly gen tice to the blessings God has given tleman of the old school. I like me. Nay, Bertha, don't go in yet. him ;-a real, thorough-bred for I tell you they are showing Miss malist now-a-days is so rare. Lester the poor little geraniums and
He idly switched with his hand things that Mrs. Warburton is so the flower-laden branches of the proud of; they wont be ready for syringa trees we were sauntering tea this half hour, and it is so among
pleasant out here.' Mrs. Warburton'-in speaking We were standing on the terrace to me he never called my step- which skirted the southern side of mother by any other name—Mrs. the house. It was the highest part Warburton is going back with Miss of the ground, and commanded a Lester to-morrow, to stay two or view of the coast for some miles. I three days with her at F-Then, shall never forget the sea as it looked Bertha, we can have the horses and that minute ; the moon's first gallop over the downs as we have faint rays trembling over the waters often promised ourselves.'
the white foam enlightening I was silent, and he looked at me the broad colourless waste, where curiously.
the waves were dashing over the Ah — you will like that, little rocks near shore. Again, my spirit Bertha! he cried, patting my hand was strangely softened within me, which lay on his arm ; 'your eyes
and hot tears rose to my eyes. He are not so cautious as your tongue, saw them, and gently pressed my and I can read what thoy say, quite hand in sympathy. He thought he well. Why are you hurrying on so understood what I felt, but he did fast? They are all in the green not know-he never knew; Iscarcely house, looking at the miserable speci- comprehended myself, I was so bemens of horticultural vegetation wildered by the fulness of happiness that you savages here call flowers. that was bounding within me. As if tender blossoms born under a * Bertha, you are chilled-you are Southern sky could survive when shivering,' said Geoffrey, at length; brought to a bleak precipice like * perhaps it is too late for you to be this.'
out. The dew is falling, and your He looked at me again, in laugh curls have quite drooped; so we will ing surprise. "What, Bertha ! not go in. Good bye to the moon—and a word to say for your Cornish sea—and stars !-and, ah, Bertha, Cliffs? I expected to have been good bye for to-night to our pleasant fairly stunned with your indignation talk together;--Now we must be sociaat my impertinence. Are you tired ble, and agreeable, and conventional, of defending the beloved scenes of I suppose. Is it wrong to wish this your childhood, or do you begin to intruding Miss Lester at—at Caldoubt my
sincerity in abusing cutta, or Hyderabad, or any other them ?'
place sufficiently removed from our I murmured something in reply. quiet family circle? No happy even.
45 ing for us, Bertha, this evening! her embroidery, while Mary Lester Your father won't go to sleep over and I converged together. At his newspaper, and Mrs. Warburton length my father's attention was wont doze over her embroidery, and aroused. we sha'n't have the piano to our Why, Geoffrey!' cried he, 'what selves. Con- oh, I could swear!' ails you? This is a day of metamor
phoses, I believe. Here is our When I entered the drawing-room quiet Bertha chattering gaily, while my father called me to him, and pre- you, our enlivener-general, and sented me to the young lady who talker par excellence, sit silent and stood by his side.
uncompanionable as a mummy.' This is Mary Lester, the daugh- Talkers are like clocks, sir, I ter of my old schoolfellow, of whom think,' he answered, laughing you must often have heard me speak, lightly, and one is enough for a Bertha. They have come to stay room. Especially when that one some months at F- , and Mary is does duty so admirably.' This last anxious to know you.'
was accompanied by a quick glance With a gesture of girlish cor. at me, as he rose from his chair, and diality, half eager, yet half shy, Miss sauntered to the window again. Lester took my hand (how brown it · Bertha, come and look at this looked in the clasp of her white star,' he cried, presently, and I left fingers !) and gazed up into my face Mary to my step-mother, and joined with her own sweet, loving expres. him. sion, that I afterwards learned to 'Are you going to be fast friends know so well. I was always re- with that pale-faced little thing all served, repellant perhaps, to stran in a minute ?' said he, in a low tone; gers; but now I wondered at my- because, if so, I am de trop, and I self-at my softened manner-at the will go back to London to-morrow gentle feelings stirred within me, as morning.' I bent towards her, and pressed her •Dear Geoffrey,' I remonstrated, hand.
I must be kind to her; she is our My father was as much pleased as guest. Come and talk, and help me he was surprised, I could see.
to amuse her.' That's well—that's well,' said he, I can't amuse young ladies. I as he resumed his seat; you two detest the whole genus. I dare say ought to be friends, as your fathers she will make you as missish as she were before you.
is, soon; and then, when I have I hope so,' murmured Mary, in you to myself again, you'll be a timid voice, clinging to my hand changed, and I sha'n't know you. as I moved to my usual seat at the We were so happy till this visitor tea-table. She sat close beside me, came,' he added, regretfully, and and I could see Geoffrey watching us now she will spoil our pleasant evenfrom the window where he was ing, and our music, and our astronostanding, with a displeased expres. mical lecture, and our metaphysical sion. I understood so well that discussions. How can you like her, twitching of his lip. I, who could Bertha ?' interpret every change in his face, I felt quite a pity for the poor girl every flash of his eye, every turn of be thus unjustly regarded. his haughty head, I knew that he 'She is gentle and loveable,' I did not approve of my unwonted urged ; 'you would like her youramiability to my new friend—that self, Geoffrey, if you would talk to he had a jealous dislike of her in her, and be sociable. consequence. How happy it made Sociable !-ah, there you are! I me to know it !-how doubly tender hate sociability, and small parties of I grew towards the unconscious girl dear friends. In my plan of Parabeside me ;—what an overflowing dise, people walk about in couples, satisfaction I found in the reserve and three is an unknown number.' and coldness which suddenly came I could see that he was recoverover him! He remained silent for ing his wonted spirits, which, indeed, some time, during which my father rarely left him for long. was reading his newspaper, and my 'Do be good,' I persisted, and step-mother counting the stitches in come with me, and talk to her.'
And ignore Paradise, for once?' mother with Miss Lester, Geoffrey He tossed back his hair, with a ges
and I rode out upon
the moors. ture peculiar to him when he was It was a tempestuous day. The throwing aside some passing irrita wind blew fiercely; the clouds tion, and then smiling at my
serious careered over the sky in heavy, face-his own frank, sunshiny smile, troubled masses, and not a gleam of —Ah, Bertha!' said he, 'you put sunshine lit up the great waste of all my peevishness to flight. I had moorland, as we sped over it. so determined to be ill-tempered and I revelled in the wildness of the disagreeable—but I can't, it seems. weather and the scene,- in the It is impossible to resist your per
blank desolation of the moor,-in suasive little voice, and those great, the vast tumult of the darkened sea, earnest, entreating dark eyes. So chequered with foam, which we will leave Paradise, and be mun stretched far away, till it joined the dane for the nonce.'
louring heavens at the horizon. The We went and sat by Miss Lester. great gusts of wind, the general agiI was glad to be relieved of the ne tation which pervaded earth, sea, cessity of talking much, and I leaned and air, inspired me with a sense of back in my chair, and listened to keen and intense vitality, that I had Geoffrey's animated voice, which never felt before. There is no mood was occasionally, but not often, in of nature that comes amiss to a soul terrupted by a few words from overflowing with its own happiness. Mary. He was very, 'good. He I was silently thinking thus, when threw off all his coldness and re Geoffrey's first words smote me with serve, and appeared bent on making a strange idea of contrast to the atonement for his previous ill be thoughts busy in my mind. haviour, by being quite friendly • What a dreary day!' said he ; with the obnoxious visitor.
It was how forlorn this great barren plain now dusk, and I could only see the looks! And the wind !—It cuts and shadowy outlines of the two figures: slashes at one with a vindictive howl, Geoffrey, with his head stretched as if it were personal enemy. Is slightly forward, and his hands it possible you can stand against it, every now and then uplifted with
Bertha? What an amazon you are ! an emphasising gesture; and Mary Fighting with these savage sea sitting farther in the shadow. I had breezes of yours requires all my thought her very lovely ; her beauty masculine endurance and fortitude was of that species that I especially 'Shall we go back ?' I asked him ; admired in a woman; perhaps be- feeling a vague pain. And, somecause the golden hair, the regular how, as I looked round again, the classic features, and the soft eyes, moor did look drear and monoto. were all so utterly different to my nous, and the wind had a wailing
I remembered the face I had sound which I had not noted beseen that day reflected in the rocky fore. . You are not used to the pool—the face I had, till lately, rough weather we have in the west,' thought so forbidding, so unlovely. I added; perhaps we had better reI should never think so again— turn, and reserve our ride for a more never ! What a blessed thing it fitting season.' was to know that there was one •No, we wont be so cowardly ; who looked on it with tenderness, and, after all, a day like this is peras none had done before, since my haps experienced under its least mother died. As I mused, in the gloomy aspect in the present cirquiet twilight, with his voice mur. cumstances. That is muring in my ears, and the sense of mounted on gallant steeds, and galhis presence gladdening me, I again loping over a broad tract of land, thanked God for sending me such which, Bertha, whatever its shorthappiness-happiness in which, like comings in picturesque beauty, is, I as a river in the sunshine, the dark allow you, first-rate riding ground.' and turbid waters of my life grew He urged his horse forward as he beautiful and glorified.
spoke, and we dashed on at full
speed for some time. The clouds The next morning, immediately above our heads grew denser and after the departure of my step- darker every moment. At length,