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assembly perambulates the town on Sunday, and on the following Tuesday (Mardi gras) pays its homage to the king and to the ministers, by whom a handsome donation is annually made, after which the procession returns to the abattoir. Then, alas! the animal-god, despoiled of his rich and splendid accoutrements, is ruthlessly immolated by those very devotees who but a moment before seemed ready to sacrifice to his honour.

The expense of this ceremony was formerly borne by the butchers, who dedicated the sums they received from the public and their patrons to the desirable consummation of a ball and a banquet. But now the directors of the abattoirs receive everything, even the sums given by the king and the ministers, and defray all expenses. To them is due the invention of the mythological car. Such is one of the annual festivalsor, we might more properly say, follies-of the Parisian populace.

THE LATE MR TOPPING OF THE NORTHERN CIRCUIT. We have received rather an interesting note, from one of the family, on the subject of the humorous anecdotes of Mr Topping we gave in No. 165, from the Law Review.' It seems that Mrs Topping, to whom he addressed such irritable letters every day, was enthusiastic and imaginative, and warmly attached to him, so that her replies (daily also), full of sympathy, fanned the flame, if there was any cause for irritation. The following lines, addressed by Mr Topping to his wife, will be read as the evidence of a warm and kindly heart:

HONG-KONG.

SELF-KNOWLEDGE.

Hong-Kong, our recently-acquired possession in China, is one of the largest islands near the mouth of the Canton river. Its length from east to west is about eight miles, and its greatest breadth not more than six. Its outline is extremely irregular, here jutting out into abrupt promontories, and there receding into narrow creeks or bays, which often reduce its breadth to little more than three miles. Imagine, then, an island considerably longer than it is broad, perfectly mountainous, and sloping in a rugged manner to the water's edge, having here and there deep ravines almost at equal distances along the coast, which extend from the tops of the mountains down to the sea, deepening and widening in their course. There are immense blocks of granite in these ravines, which have either. To know one's-self, one would think, would be no very been bared by the rapid currents of water in its descent difficult lesson; for who, you will say, can be truly ignorant during the rain, or which have tumbled from the moun- of himself and the true disposition of his own heart? If a tain-sides at some former period. The water in these man thinks at all, he cannot be a stranger to what passes ravines is abundant and excellent; hence the poetical there; he must be conscious of his own thoughts; he must name which the Chinese have given the island, Hong-Kong, remember his past pursuits, and the true springs and moor, more properly, Heang-Keang-The Island of Fragrant tives which in general have directed the actions of his life: Streams. There is very little flat ground on the island he may hang out false colours and deceive the world, but capable of being brought under cultivation; indeed the how can a man deceive himself? That a man can, is evionly tract of any extent is the Wangnai-Chung,' or, as dent, because he daily does so. Though man is the only the English call it, The Happy Valley,' about two miles creature endowed with reflection, and consequently qualicast from the town; and even that is not more than fied to know the most of himself, yet so it happens that he twenty or thirty acres in extent. There are several small generally knows the least. Of all the many revengeful, plots of ground near the bottom of hills, and some few covetous, and ill-natured persons whom we complain terraced patches among them, but the whole is of a very of in the world, though we all join in the cry against them, trifling extent. From this description, it will be seen that what man amongst us singles out himself as a criminal, or our settlement of Hong-Kong is entirely dependent on the ever once takes it into his head that he adds to the numdominion of his Celestial majesty for supplies, which he of ber? What other man speaks so often and so vehemently course can cut off when he pleases.-Fortune's Wanderings against the vice of pride, sets the weakness of it in a more odious light, or is more hurt with it in another, than the proud man himself? It is the same with the passionate, the designing, the ambitious, and some other common characters in life. Most of us are aware of, and pretend to detest, the barefaced instances of that hypocrisy by which men deceive others; but few of us are upon our guard, or see that more fatal hypocrisy by which we deceive and overreach our own hearts.-Manuscript Sermons.

·

in China.

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THE PORTRAIT.

OH SHE WAS FAIR! This is enough-and much :
For these are magic words, where lies a spell
That utters more than eloquence can tell;
And by its power, with many a fairy touch,
The limner Memory on the heart doth fling
Those traits of beauty, that in other years
Long past, seemed born for ever there to cling,
Now dim with time, or blotted out with tears;
And youthful fancy, that hath ne'er been lit
By woman's smile, hath a dim consciousness
Of beauty near, like shadowy dreams that flit
Around our haunted slumbers, from above,
Mute and mysterious; and idolatrous love
Falls down and worships in his wilfulness
The form himself hath on the altar set.

A CONSOLATORY PRECEDENT.

All degrees of nations begin with living in pigsties. The king or the priest first gets out of them, then the noble, then the pauper, in proportion as each class becomes more and more opulent. Better tastes arise from better circumstances, and the luxury of one period is the wretchedness and poverty of another.-The late Sidney Smith.

Her hair, what colour? In most artful thrall
Confined a coronet wreath its graceful flow?
Or showered it, streaming o'er her breast of snow,
Love's net, to catch men's willing hearts withal?
Enough-'twas beautiful! And straight each heart
Beholds a portrait of its own, than art

Could paint more lovely and more glowing, where
Tresses confined or flowing, black or fair,
Orbs bright or melting, dark or heavenly blue,
Cheeks softly pale, or of 'love's proper hue,'
Are all unlike, although when gazing there,
Each seems divine adoring eyes declare,
And the soul's echo sighs-Oh she was fair!

L. R.

TEA-DRINKING IN CHILOE.

Chiloe, in South America, is at once unique and original.
The mode of drinking tea, as practised by the ladies of
Their favourite beverage, according to Dr Von Tschudi, is
maté, or Paraguay tea, of which they partake at all hours
of the day. The mode of preparing and drinking it is as
follows:-A portion of the herb is put into a sort of cup
made from a gourd, and boiling water is poured over it.
The mistress of the house then takes a reed or pipe, to one
end of which a strainer is affixed, and putting it into the
decoction, she sucks up a mouthful of the liquid. She
then hands the apparatus to the person next her, who par-
takes of it in the same manner, and so it goes round. The
mistress of the house and all
guests suck the aromatic
liquid through the same pipe or bombilla.

Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, High Street, Edinburgh. Also

sold by D. CHAMBERS, 98 Miller Street, Glasgow; W. S. Orr, 147 Strand, and Amen Corner, London; and J. M'GLASHAN, 21 D'Olier Street, Dublin.-Printed by W. and R. CHAMBERS, Edinburgh.

EDINBURGH

No. 177. NEW SERIES.

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS, EDITORS OF CHAMBERS'S INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE,' 'CHAMBERS'S EDUCATIONAL COURSE,' &c.

JOURNAL

SATURDAY, MAY 22, 1847.

In a lonely vale lies a beautiful lake of almost unknown depth. Such a lake is that of Wensley Dale in Yorkshire, which, however, the country people believe to have once been only a small mountain rill called Simmer-water. In those days there stood upon the banks of the rivulet a great city. One day a wayfarer, barely clothed, hungry, and penniless, but yet of noble and engaging aspect, came thither soliciting alms and shelter. He sought in vain, and then turned eastward down the vale. Now, fast without the bounds of the city there lived an aged couple, too poor and mean to be allowed to take up their residence within the precincts of this proud and inhospitable town. Into their dwelling the stranger betook himself, and ere he had told his tale of wo, they placed before him the best their house afforded -namely, a little bowl of milk, some cheese, and an oaten cake. Having satisfied his hunger, he bestowed upon them his blessing both in basket and in store. Beneath their roof was his dormitory for the night. On the morrow he repeated his benison, which was attended with the effect of making his hosts increase from that day in worldly wealth. Being then ready to depart, he turned his face to the west, and uttered this malediction

PRICE 14d.

that has submerged a city; and this a well-known poet alludes to

FIRESIDE

MYTHS.

AMONGST Simple popular tales, there are many which are met with in application to more places than one. I shall endeavour to recall the class by a few examples.

The lake of Grand-Lieu, in Brittany, is another of these ravenous waters, and is supposed to disgorge to this

Visit almost any first-rate Gothic church of the middle ages, and you are sure to be regaled with a story of an apprentice who built an extraordinary pillar. The master architect wished to make one pillar of sur-day fragments of carved wood, the relics of a city subpassing beauty. He travelled to obtain ideas for the merged in the first centuries of our era.* purpose. Meanwhile the apprentice, out of his own genius, executed the pillar, which the master no sooner saw on his return, than he fell upon the ambitious youth and killed him. The story must be true, for see, there is in one corner the rueful face of the slain lad with a gash on the brow; and there, in another, is his mother weeping for him! Among many places where this story is localised, is Roslin chapel, a singularly beautiful though small specimen of the florid Gothic, near Edinburgh.

'Simmer-water rise, Simmer-water sink,

And swallow all the town but this little house, Where they gave me bread and cheese, and summat to drink.' Immediately the earth made a hissing noise, the stream overflowed its bounds, and the city was buried in a deep flood. If you are incredulous of the tale, take a boat and sail over the lake on a calm day, and you will see (with some little assistance from those having faith) the tops of the houses and spires of the churches, which still stand after a lapse of more than a thousand years. Lough Neagh in Ulster is a similar example of a pool

'On Lough Neagh's bank, as the fisherman strays,
When the clear cold eve's declining,

He sees the round towers of other days
In the wave beneath him shining.'

The popular account of the building of Stonehenge is a capital example of these fireside tales. To quote a local reporter:-The prophet Merlin, desirous of having a parcel of stones which grew in an odd sort of form in a back-yard belonging to an old woman in Ireland, transported thence to Salisbury Plain, employed the devil upon the work, who, the night after, dressing himself like a gentleman, and taking a large bag of money in his hand, presented himself before the good woman as she was sitting at her table, and acquainted her of the purchase he was come to make; the fiend at the same time pouring out his money on the board before her, and offering her as much for the stones as she could reckon while he should be taking them away. The money was all in odd sorts of coins-such as fourpenny - halfpenny pieces, ninepenny pieces, thirteenpenny-halfpenny pieces, and the like-but nevertheless

merchant. This lady, expecting the arrival of precious merchan

*The Zuyder Zee in Holland, in like manner, stagnates over the city of Stavoren, drowned in consequence of the impiety of a female dise, was so much disappointed on receiving instead merely a cargo of corn, that in her rage she commanded it to be thrown overboard into the harbour. In vain the starving poor supplicated a portionbag after bag, the grain sunk into the bitter waters: and the same night the sea rose over the city, which disappeared for ever. The site of its harbour, however, is still designated by long reedy grass (for corn, it may be supposed, degenerates in salt water) waving above the surface, and the name it retains to this day of Frauen's Sand, or the Lady's Bank.

The lake of Laach, near the Rhine, occupies a cavity resembling the crater of an extinct volcano. The water is disagreeable to the

taste, of a blue colour, and deadly cold, though it never freezes; and in consequence of some ancient malediction--if we are to believe tradition against the testimony of our senses-no bird can fly over its surface and live. The key to the story is a pit on the eastern bank, which exhales carbonic acid gas in considerable quantities.

Sometimes, however, instead of lakes being formed, existing waters disappear. A plain between Heidelberg and Darmstadt, dotted with small hills, which rise up like islands, and surrounded

by the steep sides of the mountains, which look as if they were intended to form a breast work against the waves, was formerly, it seems, the bed of a lake. A necromancer, who had kept the country in terror, was seized by the prince and hung up in the air in an iron cage, so as to render his charms unavailing: in which predicament he proposed, by way of ransom, to dry up the lake, and convert the spot into a fertile plain. The terms were accepted; and hence the sandy flat near Darmstadt, where the waters disappeared, and the celebrated whirlpool at Bingen, called Bingerloch, where they rose up again to mingle with the current of the Rhine.

the devil's proposals seemed so very advantageous, that, notwithstanding the difficulty there would be in reckoning the money, the old woman could not avoid complying with it, as she imagined the removal of the stones by a single man would be a work of almost infinite time, and that she should be able to tell as much money while it should be about as would make her as rich as a princess. But the bargain was no sooner made, and she had no sooner laid her fingers on a fourpenny-halfpenny coin, than the devil, with an audible voice, cried out, "Hold!" and "The stones are gone!" The old woman, disregarding what he said, however, peeped out into her back-yard, and, to her great amazement, it was even so as Satan had spoken; for the common deceiver of mankind in an instant took down the stones, bound them up in a withe, and conveyed them to Salisbury Plain. But just before he got to Mount Ambre the withe slackened, and as he was crossing the river Avon at Bulford, one of the stones dropped down into the water, where it lies to this very hour; the rest were immediately reared up on the spot of ground destined by Merlin for them: and the devil, pleased with the accomplishment of his work, declared, upon fixing the last stone, that nobody should be ever able to tell how the fabric, or any of the parts of which it is composed, came there. A friar, who had lain all night concealed near the building, hearing the devil's declaration, replied to it by saying, "That is more than thee canst tell;" which put Satan into such a passion, that he snatched up a pillar and hurled it at the friar, with an intention to bruise him to dirt; but he running for his life, the stone in its fall only reached his heel, and struck him on it; the mark of which appears in that pillar even unto this day, and is called The Friar's Heel.'*

There are similar stories to this regarding the building of many other great structures. In Scotland, Dumbarton Castle was reared by a witch, who compelled the devil to bring the stones to her from Ireland: he dropped one by the way, and behold it in the Firth of Clyde to this day, in the goodly form of Ailsa Craig! Most old buildings of magnitude in our northern land are ascribed to a people called the Pechts, of stature short, but genius bright,' as Burns says of Captain Grose, and who handed forward the stones from one to another between the quarry and the masonry. In Ireland, such structures are believed to have been the work of certain wandering masons of gigantic stature, called the Gobhans. Perhaps the Cyclops of the Greeks were to them what the Pechts are to the Scotch and the Gobhans to the Irish. There is also in Scotland a very peculiar class of stories about old buildings. When the situation of the edifice is at all peculiar, as in a bog, we are sure to hear that it was first designed to be somewhere else; but, as the walls rose, everything that was done during the day was by supernatural agency undone at night, till at length a voice gave directions for the structure being commenced in another place which order being obeyed, there was no longer any difficulty. I have had occasion to trace this story in Lanarkshire, Fifeshire, Forfarshire, and even in places still more remote from one another.

Till very lately, these fireside prattlings were disregarded; but now it is seen that there are principles in them reflecting some light upon great investigations. They take their place among those myths to which learned writers have latterly directed no small degree of attention. A myth may be described as a history of a person or thing which has not originated in facts, but in suggestions which the person or thing was calculated to awaken in unenlightened minds. Thus, such a mind contemplating a lake which fills a valley, and seeing other valleys occupied by hamlets and towns, imagines

*A Description of Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain. Pp. 3-5. Salisbury, 1809.

+ See Müller's Introduction to a Scientific System of Mythology. Translated from the German by John Leitch. London: 1844. Also Grote's History of Greece, vol. 1.

that this vale may have been once occupied by towns also. From dreaming this to setting it forth as a fact, is but a step. A natural tendency to exaggeration makes the town a large one-a city, with towers and spires. A reason for its submersion is easily imagined: persons in humble life having a tendency to believe themselves exclusive possessors of the virtues, nothing is more natural than to suppose the event to have been owing to the selfish wickedness of these proud citizens. Behold furbished forth a myth! So also as to the Prentice's Pillar. It had been a whimsical practice of the medieval architects to have one column excessively decorated. In after-times, the same disposition to attribute great qualities where they are least to be expected, suggested that this was the work of an apprentice. The killing of the youth is but a naturally supposable result of such an insult to the master. Against this reading of the tale, it is no obstruction that perhaps, in such late instances as Roslin, where the prentice and his mother are sculptured, the pillar was owing to the already existing legend. Stonehenge, in like manner, suggests the fictitious account of its structure. A stray boulder in the bed of the Avon lends corroboration, if it did not help to the making of the story. As to old buildings in general, their origin is beyond the ken of the common people; seeing how much they exceed the powers of the thin population now living at the spot, the idea of a different aboriginal people as their constructors unavoidably arises. And so a tale of Pechts, Gobhans, or Cyclops takes its ground. Even an unexpected situation for a building is obviously qualified to start some similar supposition as to its cause, and thus to raise a legend on the subject.

All natural objects of a singular nature have their explanations from the popular imagination before they fall under the regard of science. The scattered Celts of the northern glens, seeing one or two of those recesses marked with broad flat terraces, which stretch for miles along the hill-sides-a grand and mysterious-looking object-speedily have it settled amongst themselves that those terraces were roads made for hunting by their early hero Fingal, himself a mythic personage. It required a careful examination from minds instructed in such knowledge, to ascertain that they were the margins of a lake which had sunk through a succession of levels, according as its boundaries were reduced.* Even to the present day, the Celt is by no means overpleased to abandon his own dream for this conclusion. The channel of Sapey brook in Herefordshire consists of a long stripe of old red sandstone, enclosed between high banks, and along the surface of the stone are a series of marks, resembling the footsteps of a horse and colt, and those of a person walking on pattens. There can be no doubt with geologists that these are the traces of fossils or concretions which formerly existed in the surface of the rock; but very different from this is the account given of them by the common people thereabouts. By a process the most intelligible imaginable, they have got up a story of a St Catherine, who lived at Burton, having had a horse and foal stolen from her by a girl wearing a pair of pattens, by whom the two animals were conducted along the channel of the brook for concealment. Discovering the loss of her property, the saint prayed that the feet of the thief, the horse, and colt, might leave indelible marks wherever they went. Accordingly, the rock in the channel of the brook became impressed with the three sets of footsteps.

*This was the conclusion at which Sir Thomas Dick Lauder

arrived in an excellent paper on the Parallel Roads of Glenroy, in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The ingehas since obtained a temporary predominance for a theory which nious Mr Darwin, so distinguished by his South American Travels, represents the terraces as produced by the sea, in the course of an

uprise of the land from that element. The present writer is now satisfied, from personal examination of the country, that the latter idea is untenable, and that incontrovertible evidence exists for establishing the explanation of Sir Thomas Dick Lauder. Of this evidence an able view has lately been brought before the Royal Society of Edinburgh by Mr David Milne, advocate.

Here the process of the fabrication of the story is pal-
pable, and the girl and her act, as well as the two ani-
mals concerned, are merely ideas excited by the appear-
ances, since transformed, in perfect good faith, into a
history.

The truth is, that might be unavoidably leads to is or was. Let any appearance be presented to us in a striking manner, and it speedily becomes alive with the vagrant notions of our brains, first set forth perhaps as fancies, but soon petrified into realities. Cumberland tells us in his 'Lives of the Spanish Painters,' of a beautiful Virgin Mary painted by a distinguished artist upon the ceiling of a church. The Catholic believes that the Virgin performs miracles to this hour. He also knows that a painting on a ceiling has to be done by the artist lying on his back, in somewhat dangerous circumstances, upon a scaffold. Accordingly, it is not wonderful that visitors to the church are told of a wonderful deliverance for which the painter was indebted to the creature of his pencil. He had nearly completed his work; he was surveying it in mute and pious rapture; totally forgetting himself, he slipped from his proper place, and was about to be dashed on the floor below, when the Virgin put out her arm and upheld him! It is a simple result of a law of the mind with regard to the circumstances, that this story should have been conceived, and told, and believed.

Most superstitions and mythologies have probably had no other source than in the suggestions of actual circumstances and events. It has been remarked that the Greeks of Asia Minor, seeing the sun set in glory upon the mountains beyond the sea to the west, might very naturally conceive the idea of an Olympus which was the residence of the gods. Etna and its subterraneous noises were equally calculated to engender the idea of Vulcan and his occupations. Müller has pointed out how, among those divine-minded Greeks, abstractions were continually being crystallised into persons. Not long since, an author endeavoured, in a very plausible manner, to show how, among heathen nations, the sea-stratified sand, found at great elevations in so many places, was quite sufficient to suggest the notion of a universal flood, which is found almost everywhere prevalent amongst them. The fairies are a wide-spread superstition; but can anything be more natural than to suppose a kind of ideal forms, more beautiful than those of common mortals, pursuing an obscure nocturnal existence, and occasionally traversing the course of human destiny? We only do not know the real history of these things, because the transition from the possible to the actual is performed so quickly in the popular mind, and at so early a period in its growth, as to escape enlightened observation. Even the gross superstition of witchcraft is only an idea of the malignity which occasionally besets the human heart, made tangible, and carried out into its contemplated effects. Simple man loves the kind greetings and the parting good wishes of his friends: he attaches consequence to these things, as if they could have an influence over his fortunes. It is equally natural for him to dread evil wishes and denunciations. Hence his horror of misanthropic old women-hence witchcraft. stitious stories, which are told in many places with Some superlittle variation besides that of persons, may be traced to the same metaphysical origin. There is one which represents a young man as selling his soul to Satan, for the sake of some too-much desired object-as learning, or a mistress, or gold-and being afterwards with difficulty saved by means of a pious clergyman, who tricks the enemy out of his pledge. Who can fail to see here the mere supposable creating the actual? Another represents a hare wounded by a shot in passing across a field. The animal mysteriously disappears; but that forenoon, a noted Sycorax of the neighbourhood is obliged to send for a surgeon to heal a broken limb. This story is told everywhere in our country, with slightly varying circumstances. It is of course only a supposition converted into reality.

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examples of such reflective creations. From the ScotIn the records of heraldry might be found many tish genealogist, we have the family of Lesly originating in a person who,

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'Between the less lee and the mair,
Slew the knight, and left him there;'

and that of Douglas, from a dark-gray man [dhu glas being Gaelic for dark-gray]; the simple fact being, that both names arose in the usual manner from the places where the first man of the family lived. mistake,' says Mr Lower, in his Curiosities of Heraldry, prevails among the vulgar respecting the bloody hand 'A singular borne in the arms of baronets. seriously and confidentially told that murders had been committed by the ancestors of such and such families, I have been very and that the descendants were compelled to bear this dreadful emblem in consequence. same sapient authorities, it can only be got rid of by the bearer's submitting, either in his own person, or by According to the proxy, to pass seven years in a cave, without either speaking or cutting his nails and beard for that length of time! The intelligent reader need not be informed that this supposed badge of infamy is really a mark of honour, derived from the province of Ulster in Ireland, the defence and colonisation of which was the specious plea I.' This is a particularly valuable example, as it shows upon which the order of baronets was created by James time, and that by no means of great extent. us the popular fancy working out its tale in a definite

from such an examination of the mental processes by It is humbly conceived that there may be some profit which fireside myths are produced. It may be to many a first lesson in the important business of truth-seeking. The world is yet full of actualised abstractions handed down from infant mankind. They form a portion of every history, and of almost every philosophical system. Nor does there pass a day even now, which does not witness the process of fabricating history, biography, and common anecdote, out of the suggestions connected with the respective subjects. It is well to be put on our guard against such things, for they are the very thorns and brambles which beset the path of truth. I contemplate, however, a superior advantage in merely leading the minds of my readers to follow a line of inquiry by which error may be detected. Every thought truth and delusion, must carry with it an increase to we give to an earnest effort for the discrimination of the power of the mind, as well as some improvement to its conscientiousness. I therefore hope that, even in this slight paper, there may be the elements of a mental discipline which will advance not a few in the scale of thinking beings.

CONSTANCY.

the pilgrim minstrel was no more, it uttered but one THERE is a tale of old St Monan's harp, that when sound whoever touched it; however gay, however glad or lightsome, was the tune that any other finger tried to play, a long, long sigh was all the sound that came.'

of poetical feeling!' exclaimed Elizabeth Monro, as, What an exquisite idea! How beautiful-how full closing her book with a responsive sigh, she leant back in her easy-chair, and surrendered herself to the fancies awakened by these words. Her mother, who had been silently working at the other side of the fireplace while Elizabeth read, now looked up, smiling at the mournful cadence with which the little sentence had been uttered; but her smile faded into seriousness as she met the abstracted look of her young daughter, and recognised the workings of a too vivid and romantic imagination in her varying cheek and dreamy eyes. Happily she alone; and though the anxious expression lingered on was aware those symptoms resulted from imagination her countenance, it lent no gravity to her tone as she answered, 'I should say, most fanciful, most poetical, or even beautiful, if you will; but, dearest Elizabeth,

in what consists its mournful truth, or where are we to was to have made her his. I knew that, long ago, some find its parallel?' such story had been spoken, but hardly thought it could have survived its little day, outlived her blameless, admirable life, to find at last a resting-place in the bosom of one of her descendants.' She paused abruptly, while Elizabeth, surprised and grieved at this unusual reproof, hastened, with words full of gentleness and affection, to apologise for her involuntary fault.

With half indignant eagerness Elizabeth raised herself from her indolent position, and impetuously exclaimed, 'Oh, mamma! how can you ask? Surely its echo is found in every loving, constant heart?'

Mrs Monro's smile returned as she asked, 'The echo of what, Elizabeth ?-of the long, long sigh? Alas for the loving, constant heart, were that to be its only occupation and reward!'

"

But it was with a still more earnest look Elizabeth replied to her mother's half-bantering tone and words. Mamma, I do think there is something mournful the idea of constancy: does not its very existence imply somewhat of delay and disappointment, and hope deferred-a strain upon the heart till hope is over, and then a grief incurable, irremediable, till life itself is past?'

The tears that shaded Elizabeth's soft eyes bespoke her full conviction of the truth of this description, and checked the smile that still was lingering on her mother's lip. For a moment Mrs Monro paused, and then with gentle seriousness she answered-Not so, my child; not such is the meaning that I would attach to constancy. Oh how differently the word strikes upon my ear, upon my heart! You look upon it as a sentiment; you confine it to one passion; you make it the handmaid of weak hearts, paralysing even their puny strength; while I regard it as a principle existing in noble minds; prompting to noble deeds; imparting fortitude, endurance, perseverance, instead of passively supporting a morbid state of feeling, or encouraging an obstinate resistance to circumstances-an opposition to the judgment of wiser and more experienced heads.'

As Mrs Monro spoke, her eyes involuntarily rested on an old portrait which hung upon the opposite wall, and following the look, with an arch smile Elizabeth exclaimed, If there be truth in tradition, we have at least no example of constancy there!'

Her mother turned on her a look of pained inquiry as she asked, Elizabeth, where did you learn that? I was just going to select the original of that portrait as affording beyond all, or any I had ever known, the best exemplification of my opinion; the best proof that even in the quiet circle of domestic life, the constant heart may become a refuge of strength, not only for its own support, but for the happiness of all within its sphere. Look attentively for a moment at that countenance, and tell me even had you never been acquainted with her it represents, never heard or known aught of her life or character-what would be the impression those features would convey?'

With a deprecating gesture, as if the study were indeed superfluous, Elizabeth rose in obedience to her mother's wish, and perused more closely those lineaments, so well known and well beloved. It was the portrait of a lady, matronly, but not advanced in life; an air of serene thoughtfulness seemed to add more years than time had reckoned, and gave intelligence and decision to features cast in nature's gentlest and most feminine mould. Elizabeth looked long and thoughtfully at that sweet face; and even after she had returned to her seat, still fascinated, bent her gaze upon it, until a question from her mother reminded her that she had not given the desired opinion yet. Starting, she hurriedly exclaimed, 'Oh, mamma! who could read aught but truth and honour on that clear, expressive brow; or detect one fickle wavering line in the whole of that earnest face? And yetShe paused, apparently unwilling to qualify her testimony, but gave her mother an appealing look, as if she too must be aware that something in the experience or history of that individual contradicted the fair promise pictured there.

Mrs Monro took up the unfinished sentence. And yet-you have possibly heard, that, fickle and untrue to her earliest attachment, she wedded another for the sake of house and lands, while he that loved her first was far away, winning in other lands the gold which

Conquering her momentary emotion, Mrs Monro more calmly continued-You remember that dear parent, Elizabeth, and with a memory full of reverence and love; of that I am convinced, even though you thus lightly spoke. But had you known her as I did-had you been honoured with her confidence-had you been of an age to appreciate her rare and noble heart before that heart was stilled-you would not wonder that it was with a feeling akin to some sudden bodily pain I saw her memory wronged by a child of mine-of hers. And now, to remove that impression for ever, listen to me. I need not, perhaps, tell you of her earliest years, how she lost her mother before she knew her, and was brought up entirely beneath a father's eye. I do believe he must have been such a father as those harsher times rarely exhibited, for he sacrificed ambition, and every former predilection, to devote himself to his little helpless child. Descended from an ancient family, and the last of his line, and hitherto most desirous of an heir, he resisted every temptation to a second marriage, fearing to place a stepmother over his darling, and reconciled himself to the disappointment of not having a son, by feeling that there was no child in Christendom for whom he would exchange his daughter. Thus he loved her, while she, unacquainted with any other experience, accepted his deep affection as the usual expression of parental love, and imagined that every child in the world was as fortunate as herself. Thus in happy ignorance she passed through her nursery, her school-room days; their period abridged by her lonely father's anxiety to have her seated beside him in his library, while he directed even her childish studies himself.

'One day he was unusually grave, and answered her remarks and questions absently, while now and then he would lay down his book, and re-peruse a letter which lay beside him on the table, each time apparently less satisfied with the contents. At last he said abruptly, Cicely, I expect a visitor to-day. Your cousin, Georgy Hume, is very ill, and is coming here for change of air."

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Cicely's heart bounded with joy at the thought of that unknown luxury-a young companion; but the next moment checked its gladness with the recollection of his being ill; and, full of sympathy, she inquired the circumstances from her father. Drawing her towards him, in grave and half-reluctant tones he proceeded to inform her that Georgy was not only ill, but very unhappy too, and that it was as much for his mind's health as for that of his body that he was sent to those who would take care of him and love him well.

'Cicely's glistening eyes had promised for her; but she quickly inquired, What makes Georgy unhappy?" And looking up in her father's face, she added very softly, "Has he lost his own papa?"

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The eyes she was gazing at became clouded with emotion, and even a tear fell upon her cheek with the kiss that was imprinted there at once; but the answer was very different from the one she apprehended, “Oh no, my child; but he has got a new mamma!"

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