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opinion of himself, that counts for very two pedestrians if it was Alice, and if little ; and he could only go on and she was free to take such a step. follow out his career in his own way. Lauderdale had no doubt either of the
Lauderdale, on his side, had less com- one or the other of these facts; and, to prehension of his friend at this point of tell the truth, Colin, regarding the his character than at any other. He matter under an altogether different had discouraged as far as he was able aspect, had little doubt on his part the earlier steps of the engagement that the moment of fate had arrived. between Colin and Alice; but when Nevertheless, when he saw the first things “had gone so far" the philo- straggling houses of the hamlet-rude sopher understood no compromise. He little Westmoreland houses, grey and hastened on through the dust, for his simple with a moorland air, and no part, with a tender anxiety in his heart, grand Seigneur near at hand to trim concerned for the girl who had ap- them into model cottages-- It is so proached him more nearly than any hard to believe what goes against one's woman had done since the days of his wishes. After all, perhaps, the end youth; who had been to him that would be a laugh, an exclamation of mingled type of sister, daughter, de- surprise, a blessed sense of relief; and pendant, and ruler, which a very young, no dreadful apparition of old ties and very innocent, woman sometimes is to a old vows to bind the freed-man over man too old to fall in love with her, or again in cold blood and without any even to think of such a weakness. Such illusion. Such feverish hopes came into love as had been possible to Lauderdale Colin's mind against his will, as they had been given early in his life-given drew nearer. The road was as dusty as once and done with ; and Colin had ever, but he did not see the broad mark filled up all the place in his heart which of the carriage wheels; and with a great might have been left vacant as a prey to throb of relief found when they came in vagrant affections. At present he was sight of the little inn that there was occupied with the thought that Alice no carriage, nothing but a farmer's gig was ill, and that the little cry she had before the door. He began to breathe uttered had a tone of appeal in it, and again, throwing off his burden. “It was in reality a cry for help to those might be one of my farmers for anything who had succoured her in her loneliness, one could tell to the contrary,” said · and been more to her for one little Colin, with a short laugh and a sense of period of her life than father or family. relief past describing. “You see now And Colin's friend and guardian pur what fools we were to suppose " sued his way with great strides, going At that moment, however, the young to the rescue of the tender little suffer- man stopped short in the midst of his ing creature, the mournful, yet dutiful, sentence. A man was coming to meet little woman who had borne her grief them who might have been, for anything, So courageously at Frascati, where they as Colin said, that one could say to the two were all the protectors, all the com- contrary, the farmer to whom the gig forters she had. Thus the friends went belonged. He was at present but a on with their different sentiments, saying black figure against the sunshine, with little to each other, and not a word upon his face shaded by his hat; but notwiththis particular subject. They had meant standing Colin stopped short when he to pause at a village which was on their came in sight of him, and his heart way to Windermere to rest during the stopped beating,—or at least he thought heat of the day and refresh themselves; so. He had seen this man once, in his and it was here, according to all likeli- life before, but once, and no more. But hood, that the carriage which had passed there are some circumstances which with the invalid would also stop, to sharpen and intensify the senses. Colin repose the sick lady if she was a recognised him the moment his eyes stranger to await the approach of the rested on him. He stopped short,
because what he was saying was proved to be folly, and worse than folly. It was a denial of the certainty which had suddenly appeared before his eyes. He stopped without explaining why he stopped, and made a step onwards in a confused and bewildered way. Henceforward Lauderdale had nothing to do with it. It was Colin himself as the principal and contracting party who was concerned.
And the stranger, for his part, who had also seen the young man but once in his life, recognised Colin. It had only been for a moment, and it was nearly four years ago, but still Mr. Meredith knew, when he saw him, the young man whom he had bidden to begone for a fortunehunter ; who had closed his son's eyes, and laid Arthur in his grave; and given to Alice in her desolation the tenderest guardianship. He did not know Lauderdale, who had his share in all but the last act of that sad little domestic drama; but he recognised Colin by intuition. He came forward to him with the courtesy of a man whom necessity compels to change all kis tactics. “Mr. Campbell, I think ?” he said. “I feel that I cannot be mistaken. Alice was sure she saw you on the road. I came back after I had taken her home, to try whether I could meet you. Will you do me the favour to introduce me to your friend. I believe I am almost as much indebted to him as to you.”
“There is no debt on one side or the other," said Lauderdale, interposing, for Colin found it difficult to speak. “Tell us how she is, which is far more important. We heard her give a cry, and since then we've been hurrying on to see."
“She is not at all well,” said Mr. Meredith. “I hope you will consent to gratify my daughter by going back to dine with me. My house is close by here, and I came on purpose. Mr. Campbell, you may think you have a just grievance against me. I hope you will overlook it at present, and hear my explanation afterwards. We can never be sufficiently grateful for all you have done for my son, both before his death
and after. It was a terrible dispensation of Providence; but I cannot be thankful enough that my poor boy lived to produce a work which has been of value to so many; and but for you it never could have been successfully published. My dear sir, I hope you will not suffer any personal feeling to me--I beg you to believe that what I said was said in ignorance-I mean, I trust that you will not refuse to gratify Alice. She is almost all I have left,” Mr. Meredith said, with a faltering voice. “I have had great losses in my family. She has not been so much interested about anything for a long time. You will come with me, will you not, for Arthur's and for my daughter's sake ?”
If any man could have said No to that appeal, Colin was not the man. He made little answer except by a bow, and Mr. Meredith turned with them, and they all got into the country vehicle at the door of the little inn, and drove off silent enough to the house where Alice was awaiting them. Colin had scarcely a word to say as he drove along by her father's side. The gaiety, and freedom, and happy thoughts with which he had set out on his journey seemed to detach themselves from his mind, and abandon him one by one. His fate had encountered him where he had least expectation of meeting it. And yet at the same time a compunction awoke in his heart to think that it was in this way, like a captive brought back to her presence, that the man whom Alice loved was going to her. He could have felt aggrieved and angry for her sake, if the claim of his own reluctance and dread had not been nearer, and gained upon the more generous feeling. And yet withal he had a longing to see her, a kind of inclination to carry her off from this man, who had but a secondary claim upon her, and heal and cherish the wounded dove. It was this singular chance which changed the course of the excursion which the two friends had planned into the lake country, and made that holiday expedition of so much importance in the history of Colin's life. To be continued.
Under the silent trees,
Leaves are green, and the blue Here in the noontide glow,
Is soft as a wing overhead ; Watching the winding Line
Shoots, like a beam, the trout Threading the valley below;
O'er the gold of the river's bed. Waiting for one who is coming
How have I longed for to-day, Hitherward, early to-day
With an aching void at my heartFair as a lily in moonlight,
Can I believe she is coming, Sweeter than milk-white may.
Never again to depart? Near me the river flows
Grant it, O thou bright Heaven! Silently on, like Love:
For life without her at best Yonder the kingfisher dips,
Is a weary, aimless dream,
Dreamed in a night of unrest.
ESSAYS AT ODD TIMES.
whole. They have, for the most part, III. OF TRUE PERSPECTIVE IN ART AND LIFE.
either the fly's eye, which sees individual
parts, and parts only, or the eagle's, It has been said that the incidents of which takes in a hemisphere, but with the homeliest and least eventful life, if all its details blurred and confused. It they were only set down faithfully and was only a few days back that I was konestly, would be read with interest looking at a work of fiction which lay and instruction by the world. And, of on the drawing-room table, which procourse, this dictum has some measure of fessed to give the fortunes of a family of truth in it. The main hopes and fears young folk growing up around their of all men are similar. Human lives father, a widower, who lived in a small are dramas in which the actors are the country town, and, being a man of same, the stage is the same ; it is only business, left them to shift very much the scenery and dresses which are dif- for themselves. The interest of the ferent.
book, of course, lay in the develop. But, when it is said that a narration ment of character in the children under of the homely details of common life such circumstances. But the dialogue would be of interest to us all, I think and the book was mainly dialogueit must be understood that these details through which this was to be worked shall be rendered in their true perspec- out was in some places out of all perspective. And it is in this art that the tive. I will give an instance of what ordinary run of narratives, whether fact I mean from memory. Scene--the or fiction, is so deficient. The writers breakfast-table; elder sister cutting bread of them have not, as a rule, that seeing and butter. Elder brother speaks :eye which can take in a whole, as well “ Emily, why will you cut the bread as its minutest parts, in their true rela- “and butter so thick! if it fell down on tionship to each other and to that “the children's toes I am sure it would
66 break them." Emily goes on cutting And, indeed, I was led into this bread and butter. “Pray, John, get train of thought by a sketch which my “ up and stir the fire, and make yourself little boy (ætat. four) showed me just “ useful; we all know you are ornamen- now upon his slate the portrait of a “ tal enough. By the way, did the dog, and a very fat dog too, which is his 66 Joneses call yesterday, when I was constant companion and devoted slave. "out?-do any of you know ? Amelia This portrait he had given, and not un" said something about it when I saw skilfully, I think, with two strokes of “ her last week. But the Tomkinsons his pencil, an inner circle and an outer, " are with them, and that might have,” which stood for the dog's head and &c. &c. Now, no doubt this sort of body. And it seemed to me that he talk goes on, more or less, at every gave the idea of a fat and lazy dog very breakfast-table in the United Kingdom. happily, considering the means which But it has no business to be written he employed. At any rate, his perdown in a work of fiction. A novel is spective was true and right. the epitome of events which run over We are told that rules for teaching permany years, perhaps a whole life-time; spective are not of much practical use to and to give in a novel the daily twaddle the artist. Such rules are to be found, I which is talked by all civilized beings is believe, in most drawing-books. But I to write out of all perspective. Man, fancy that all which students of art in indeed, can no more live upon concen- general care to know about perspective trated talk than he can upon concen- is supplied by that common-sense rule trated meat. The essence of meat must which teaches that the farther an object be taken with a bulk of other food to is removed from the spectator the be nourishing; and in every life strong smaller it becomes. And, teste Mr. thought expressed in words must be Ruskin, the painters and architects of diluted with a certain amount of twaddle the day have no larger acquaintance about the weather, about the crops, with perspective than this. He declares about friends. But with this sort of that, with the exception of Mr. Roberts's talk the novelist has no business, unless, pictures (alas, that we must say Fuit!), indeed, he wishes to present us with he has scarcely ever seen an architecthe character of a silly person, who never tural picture or drawing on the walls of says a wise thing; but then, at least, he the Academy which was in true perspecshould make the talk of that person tive, and that he has never met but absurd and grotesque, and so amusing with two men in his life who knew A novel, as I have said, is generally the enough of perspective to draw a Gothic epitome of a life-time, the events of arch in a retiring plane, so that its years to be concentrated into the reading lateral dimensions and curvatures could of an hour or two ; and the first rule of be calculated to scale from the drawing. a good epitome should be that, whilst But I beg to observe that this is a every event is given on a smaller scale, moral essay, and not a treatise upon the it shall still preserve its relative position fine arts. And, from a moral standwith regard to every other event, and so point, a true perspective, whether in the whole picture be set before us in its art or life, is a matter of no little consetrue perspective. To see and describe quence. Now, to obtain a true perthe true relationship between events spective in life seems to me to call into and persons is the characteristic of play that faculty of the seeing eyegenius.
alas, how rare a faculty it is !—which In painting the same rule holds good looks upon things and facts as they The learner's colouring is feeble because really are, and notes the relationship he forgets that he has to concentrate, on which exists between them. And a a few square inches of paper, the colour true perspective in art seems to be the which in nature was diffused over whole work of a faculty, no less rare, which miles of landscape.
enables men to describe things as they THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTION FOR BRITISH NORTH AMERICA.1
are ; to set them down in their true positions without distortion or exaggeration. Both these faculties, then, it will be seen—the one receptive, and the other productive--are nearly allied to veracity, to that virtue which “ trows the truth.”
There are some people unfortunately so constituted that it is almost impossible for them to take a true view of things or persons. There are, at any rate, certain facts and certain persons whom they can only look at through a distorting medium. They choose to live in low and marshy ground, where the river mists crawl and reek; and, looking up through these mists, they see a poor innocent sheep grazing upon the hillsides above, and straightway declare that it is a wild beast of prey. These are people of strong prejudices. They take likes and dislikes to certain of their acquaintance ; one half of whom can do no wrong, whilst the other half can never do right. They see nothing in its true perspective, because every action is deflected and thrown out of its place by the distorting medium through which they view it. There is another class of persons, who, if they trow the truth, can never for the lives of them utter it. Their minds are like a piece of Labrador spar, and distort every image that passes through. If they have to relate any incident or series of incidents, they cannot place the facts before you in their true perspective, but jumble them all together, till they seem like a
pack of cards which a child has been building houses with to knock down again. And this is done either through perverseness of disposition—the love of magnifying facts, which is, indeed, in other words, lying—or more commonly, perhaps, through puzzle-headedness, “My dear madam,” said Johnson in his bow-wow manner to poor Mrs. Thrale, who was an offender after this sort,“ do have more regard to veracity. “ Accustom your children constantly to “ this : if a thing happened at one “ window, and they, when relating it, “ say it happened at another, do not let “it pass, but instantly check them. “ You do not know where deviation “from truth will end."
Under certain circumstances it sometimes happens that all things about us appear out of perspective. Little worries become great worries. We begin to look with suspicion on our friends' sayings and doings. We fancy evil where no evil is. This sometimes happens to people who live retired lives, who have shut themselves up much alone, whether for brain-work or idleness ; and it is, of course, a very dangerous and unwholesome state for the mind to be in. As far as I know, there is but one cure for the diseasechange of scene and occupation. Blessings on railways and tourists' tickets ! A change even for a few days will set all to rights, restore the balance of the mind, and place things in their true perspective.
A UNION of the provinces of British North America under a new constitu
1 Report of Resolutions adopted at a Conference of Delegates from the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, and the Colonies of Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island, held at the city of Quebec, 10th October, 1864, as the basis of a proposed Confederation of those Provinces and Colonies.
tion, is a subject of which it may be said, not as a hackneyed phrase, but in earnest, that its importance needs no exaggeration. Perhaps, in most minds, it derives a part of its interest from the tacit conviction that it is a step towards a further change.
No further change, however, is contemplated, professedly at least, by the