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their lair beneath the branches, and the forest fowls built therein. But having thus seen, with the spirit's eyes, the fashioning of the “deer-frith,” who could close them to that other page of local history, the tragedy indivisible from it, or sitting, as we did, within the very limits of its perpetration, prevent (though the sun was high) the seeming to see a bloody stag, pressed by a solitary hunter, break from a neighbouring thicket across the open area before us so close that (had a shade bulk and weight) we could have heard the beating of her flying hoofs, already heavy with the pressure of the ghastly thing she fled from, sound on the short, loose turf? But we heard nothing, -only on the sun-burnt grass—for it seemed Lammas-tide-a dark, huge shadow, like the unclouded moiety of the zodiacal archer—the upper part of a man, with an upraised bow and arrow in its hand, appeared under the shelter of the tabooed tree before us, and as it were projected from it. We had made up our minds to go as far as imagination would carry us, and turned to follow the wounded deer and her pursuer ; but behold, she had vanished in the green wood ! A moment more, and the hunter lay with his face to the earth, pierced by an unseen arrow. The giant shadow disappeared, and ere a dim group of charcoal-burners in the distance could emerge and carry off the corpse, the shrill whistle of the railway roused us ; and only Tyrrel's Oak remained of all our waking phantasy. Another instant, and the voice of a lark, so lost in her own melody that earth was out of sight the rippling of the water-brooks—the cooing of the ring-doves, were the loudest sounds around us ; and reflection, the offspring of tranquillity, had made us almost forgetful of Brockenhurst and our engagement; but a glance at the lengthened shadows, and softened light, made us at length rise up, and leave reluctantly (for all its solitude) our seat in the New Forest.
NOVEMBER CLOUDS AND COUNSELS.
BY PAUL BELL.
“ A LITTLE mirth is good in these dull times,”-dull enough, God wot ! -not merely as regards customary November weather, but from the extraordinary wintry fortunes come upon some of those who were lately sitting in the sunshine. Such of us as have enjoyed a business education, Sir, have handledtouched-perhaps, themselves tasted the miseries which follow such enormous failures, as the World of Changes has of late witnessed. I have known a lonely person who had embarked the savings of a long life in a Bank, drop down dead in the street, on suddenly encountering the news of the sinking of her Ark of subsistence. I could tell tales, .... but I will not, when I would wish to speak of more cheerful things, than of gloom and dolour : or,—to word matters less precisely when I would see what light the chemistry of Common Sense can strike out of this dreary November fog. But, if I write lightly, I am not, therefore, to be thought hard or unmoved by what is passing round me, The American Woodsman who, on returning home to his hut, and finding his whole family lying murdered on the floor-exclaimed drily-" Well, now: this is really too ridioulous!”-must not for that be thought a bloek of Hickory, incapable of cleaving to wife and children. Have we not, again, History, to tell us how the ladies of Florence beguiled the time of the Plague, by ten days of telling such stories as have served to many a drooping spirit as medicine far more potent than solemn julep or mystical abracadabra?
Difficulties, moreover,-shocks or casualties, -have their balm of Gilead— their bright side—to such skilful persons, as know how to keep their eyes open and to “gather honey," as Dr. Watts singeth, "from every opening flower.” Let me instance what I heard, the other day :--a dialogue betwixt a very philanthropic man, and a kind motherly creature of a woman, which would have an odd sound, if reported without some such cautionary preface. It was one of those debates on new-furnishing the Lady's, drawingroom, which used to draw forth such solemn letters from Civis, Justus, and other pattern husbands, in the periodicals of the last century and by which, as Miss Edgeworth's “Out of Debt, Out of Danger,” will bear me out in asserting, many a Mrs. Ludgate has ruined her husband out of envy to Mrs. Pimlico. The He, of the duet, was, I have said, a very philanthropic man : fond of his own comforts ; and of his wife's too. “ Very well, my dear,” was his answer. “ I do not know that we could take a better time for furnishing than now. What with this pressure, and all these failures, everything will be five-and-twenty per cent, cheaper this Christmas!' How shall I ever go in to play my rubber with the Holdshaws, and not think of the five-and-twenty per cent. of luxury gained-like a brand plucked out of the burning--from the ruin of the poor speculated-out manufacturers ? My Mrs. Bell, however, says
I am morbid. Well, then, to be common-place-in continuation. Troubles averted often cause great inconveniences : beside the wrong they do, in depriving Prophets of their authority, and grumblers of their grievances. I heard the other day, an illustration of this, so very whimsical, that, though it has merely a Tipperary cousin-shipwith the argument of my homily, I cannot resist giving it currency. A good Lady, dwelling in no matter what foreign metropolis, being naturally affrighted at rumours of the return of the Cholera, bethought her to make preparation and provision against the unwelcome visitor : and, accordingly, laid out some pounds in flannel, for bandages, armour, etc. etc. etc.-pleased, no doubt, with her own foresight. Day after day passed ; week after weekand the “ravishing” did not begin : -At length proclamation was made (one can afford to treat good news merrily) that the Pestilence had graciously postponed its visit, as Hood's Mrs. Tuppin “waived her animosities”_" till a more agreeable season. “Here's a pretty business ! ” cried the thrifty dame, loving her penny’s-worth for her penny" No Cholera coming after all? and when one has locked up all that money in flannel !” Could the identity of one man's meat with another man's poison, be more quaintly exhibited than in her indignation ?
Common-sense forbid, however, that a plain speaker, commanding no “metaphysical aid," should waste his time and yours, by examining ever so casually, the indissoluble connexion of Evil with Good, especially since the origin and the reason thereof-its. historical progress, and its ultimate issue, have been too largely and eloquently treated by many erudite gentlewomen ending with Miss Weak's "Notes on the Great Beast,"'--to make it becoming
in me, to meddle with a subject, so finely and finally closed ! I was thinking more discursively and less dogmatically, on the strange connexion between Ruin and Enjoyment—on the unforeseen forms and accidents belonging to cheap luxury, which every day develops :-wondering, by way of beginning, whether an age, which hardly affords that obsolete thing called “ A Treat,” to any one, be the more poetical or prosaic : more closely resemble a Birmingham manufactory—where a steam-engine shall finish off and spit out every blessing of life, at the rate of a thousand in a minute : and the next, pack them up and send them home to the purchaser : or a Valley of Diamonds, where not merely one solitary Cogia Hassan may enter and enrich his girdle : but as many men, women, and children as please ; until in the land flowing with milk and honey, every inhabitant wears the largest possible adornment of precious stones ! It will be not easy to tell, Sir, what Kings and Queens may shortly have to do, to keep their crowns on their heads-like proper crowns : and their sceptres in the form of such sceptres as distanced “small people” in times past. If the old proportions are to be observed : “ China must fall,” ere our Queen, (my Mrs. Bell, desires me to add, “ Heaven bless her.!") can fit up her boudoir a bit more grandly than the Railway Sovereign, or than the Marchioness of Whortleberry, with her six cachemire chairs at a hundred guineas a-piece! The Pope, again, will hardly maintain the supremacy of his tiara, and new furnish the Holy Roman Empire, save by the ruin of a rival crownmanufacturer-France, or peace-maker, Austria. And how the poor dear seven-feet-high Emperor of Russia is to manage by way of distinguishing himself among the iskys, inskys, ouskys, and etskoys, who are scouring the high-roads of Europe and strewing the same with gold :-is, as Miss Le Grand remarks of Mrs. Eagle's mulatto niece, so often as the latter is mentioned—“truly a' mystery.'
Another thought, fit for the times, has occurred to me of late -How Genius is to keep up its market price, in these days of crumbling credit, and mechanical over-production, is a matter admitting of grave and disquieting thought. Sir, (I hope you are agreed with me, in being aware that it is a shame !) there is as much good wit thrown away in one week's London newspaper writing—as would have set up White's and Will's and Button's for a year, in the days when Wit rode delicately in its sedan, wore its muff and chapeau bras-prepared and copied its own bon-mots for Selwyns and Townsends to quote.—The marriage tables of the citizens' wives are furnished forth ” five-and-twenty per cent. too cheap, (like Mrs. Holdshaw's drawing-room) out of OUR ruin ! They read our jokes ; and so have no need to ask us to dinner, as formerly: another heavy loss. I have heard it said, that proposals have been made to the choice spirits of “ Punch,” to amuse a very autocratic party assembled in a country house, by the Agency of the Electrical Telegraph-thus at once vindicating Science; protecting the selectness of good Society; and affording “ talented persons a chance.
But I am not sure that this is true : and, if it be, 'tis merely one solitary instance. What if we, ourselves, be compelled to introduce a Ten Hours' Bill, for the relief of Authors pressed for opportunity ? -some sort of statute of limitation, by which Ashall be forbidden to exceed the stipulated quota of ten Historical Romances a year : and Mrs. B. precluded from laying hands on more than half-a-dozen grievances in the same twelvemonth :whereby you, Mr. Jerrold (excuse the personality), may be permitted to export as many sharp-edged things as you please, for the use of the foreign market (cases not to be opened in England), but at home, for the good of your species, are to be allowanced in the article of paragraphs. -, again, must be checked in traducing foreign authors at his present railway speed-Dprevented from speaking discreditably of Mr. Lumley, Mr. Bunn, Mr. Beale, Mr. Maddox, Mr. Webster, the notable Jullien, or any other manager or mismanager, oftener than six times a month.
instructed that to fabricate more than one marriage every week, of which “the Swedish Nightingale" is heroine, is not only what Miggs calls pagin,” but what the Club Law of Literary Wisdom hath made penal—for the protection of our own order and profession :—The Poets (even the Poets of Moses those as
pure Sephardim whom the author of " Tancred delighteth to honour !) must be laid under embargo. Miss F, having secured herself a monopoly of “ The Stone Jug," “ The Wooden Ladle,” “The Warming Pan,” and “The Old Hand-basket,” is to be at liberty to prosecute any other Miss or Mistress in the alphabet · who meddles with her whitecooperage, or enters her store-room :--while she is prohibited from supplying her culinary Utensils in Rhyme, at her present rate of wasteful prodigality !-Messrs. G, H, I, J, and K—who produce epics and epigrams-odes and sonnets, on the approved " Song
NO. XXXV.VOL. VI.