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too; and how dreadfully disappointed, how dreadfully angry she would be! And then your papa-all your friends—your cousin, Miss Dacre !"
"To Jericho with my cousin, Miss Dacre! What has she to do with it?"
"Well, it would be awkward, Herbert. And then, my father. He would be 23 angry as Lady Grovelly. He would say, "Here have I, and my family before me, been growing rich as tenants on this estate for more than a hundred years. My grandfather was once little better than a labourer on it. Now what does this forward creature mean by—by— '"
"Taking such a liberty ?" suggested her lover, bitterly.
“Well, my dear, something like that! He might feel it as a disgrace and be not the less anxious for my happiness either !"
"I don't understand, Charlotte.”
“We might both suffer. There is much danger of your being disappointed in me-many chances of your being sorry and ashamed of having married me, when you grow older, and mix in society more; and—we might both suffer !"
She shook her head, continued to look down, and to swing her foot over the grass, and said no more. Herbert stood silent too. At length he gently said
Well, dear Lotty, I see what you mean. You think we had better bother no more about this affair at present; better forget it; better wait—though, for my own part, I had as soon hang myself and hope, and meet as before."
"That will be almost as bad, won't it?" faltered our little maid—not so sure of her ground now, but striving bravely to keep firm and upright. Herbert appeared astonished.
Why, what does this mean, Charlotte ?" said he. “I think-(sob)—I think we had better not meet again, as before. I came determined to say good-bye !"
Ilerbert, bethinking himself a moment, replied cruelly, and with that troubling air about him, which, however, Lotty did not see.
45 Ah !" he said, "I perceive how it is. While for love of you I am ready to meet all risks without question, for love of me you have set them all down on paper, added them up, multiplied them by five-[a strange, savage, humorous look about him now, and no wonder, for five little children present themselves before his mind]—and, finding they do not balance with other chances, you decline the venture! Very well !”
And thereupon the young man wheeled about, and sauntered up the plantation -not in the direction of Brierly House, but in Lotty's way home. By this she knew he was not downright disgusted and done with her; and that gave a little ease to her heart, otherwise ready to break. The little simpleton !
He paused. He sauntered back a little way. “Shall I see you through into the road, Charlotte ?" he cried.
A simpleton, indeed! She said, “ Thank you, Herbert !" advanced and took his arra, and even smiled at him, as much as to say, “And now it's over, and all's for the best." Whether that was the view he took of it remains to be seen.
What more passed between them I do not know; but they lingered long by the gate which led out of the plantation. Sometimes they seemed to speak earnestlyonce he had both her hands in his, and they parted not without tenderness.
The sun has set, the dark has fallen. Good night! The lovers have gone their several ways, and Miss Dacre, closing her little book, sails elegantly home.
THE DOMESTIC HISTORY OF ENGLAND.
ANCIENT BRITONS AND ANGLO-SAXONS.
"Old custom made this life more sweet Than that of painted pomp." The inventions, the conveniences, the privileges, and the wonders of this boasted-nor unwisely, or without reason be-praised-nineteenth century, are so rapid, so wonderful, and so various, that few amongst us sufficiently contemplate
or remember how very gradual has been the growth and development of that civilization with which we are surrounded, and from which we derive so many incalculable advantages. The folly of overlooking or forgetting the steps by which any nation, and particularly a great nation like ours, has risen from obscurity to the highest pinnacle of earthly glory, is, however, self-evident; and we believe that so great an oversight arises, in most instances,
rather from want of thought than from Cooks.
any wilful determination to ignore or for(From the Bayeux Tapestry—1035.)
get the deep debt of gratitude which we owe to our forefathers, for their inventions and their industry, from which we are reaping so large and abundant a harvest.
The old boast of the ballad-maker, and his gibes at Parliamentary proceedings, are not so senseless as may, at first sight, appear ; for, as Burke says, “Manners are of more importance than laws, as upon them, in a great measure, the laws depend." Happily, the history of “common things" is assuming a proper importance, and the chronicling of everyday events growing a more, and still more, important work; nor can we imagine a subject fraught with deeper interest to the women of England than an examination of the domestic history of their own country.
If we wander, in imagination, to the days—not before the flood, but before the descent of the Romans, or the appearance of the Saxons, we shall behold our most
SERVANTS CARRYING UP THE DINSER. rightly-denominated “rude forefathers," (From the Bayeur Tapestry.) grimly tattooed, stained with woad, dwelling in dens and caves, and contented to take for food the green herb whose seed was in itself. How different, even from these men, were the brave warriors who opposed the landing of Cæsar, whose bodies, if only covered with skins of beasts (worn with the fur inward), were, at least, no longer disfigured and unclothed, and whose homes—though, as yet, merely osier defences, interlaced with boughs, and daubed with untempered mortar, and in shape very strongly resembling tea-canisters (the part where the lid shuts being left open, to allow the smoke to pass out)—were yet a very great advance upon the hiding-holes of former generations. Beasts that had been killed in the chase began, also, to serve for food, while acorns, wild berries, and roots proved accessories to, instead of forming the principal feature of, their meals.
When we remember that, at the time when the Romans first invaded Britain, the country was full of bogs and marshes, and covered with innumerable forests, we shall not be surprised to learn that they had nothing answering to the Roman, or our own, ideas of a city or town. Indeed, Cæsar expressly says that what the Britons call a town was a tract of woody country, surrounded by a vallum (or high bank) and a ditch, for the security of themselves and cattle against the incursions of their enemies; and Strabo tells us that the forests of the Britons
were their cities, for, when they had inclosed a very large circuit with felled trees, they built within it houses for themselves and hovels for their cattle. These buildings were very slight, and not designed for long duration.
How the Romans felled forests, drained the fens, built bridges and walls, and made splendid roads right across the country, is a matter of history too well known to need any comment; sufficient for us to remember that these works wrought great physical as well as social changes in the country, and paved the way for the introduction of pasturage and agriculture.
All that we know of the rough manner in which the hovels of the Britons were furnished, is derived from some of their earlier coins, where we find the interior of habitations furnished with seats resembling our modern chairs, stools like the crickets of our peasantry, and others composed of round blocks of wood, while upon the walls are ranged the arms of the warriors.
By this time it is probable that the house was built with large stones, laid on each other without mortar. The upper rooms only were lighted by windows. There is no appearance of chimneys; and the doorway is one of the gables, and reaches more than half-way to the top. The Saxons made bricks, but they were thin, and were called wall-tiles.
The oldest kitchens in this country are said to have been built by the Romans. They were mostly octagonal, and had several fire-places, but no chimneys; there was no wood in the building; and a stone conical roof, with a turret at top, let out the steam and smoke; but some of the kitchens had a vent below the eaves, to let out the steam. In the first stage of the art of baking, however, the use of ovens was unknown, and the cake, when properly kneaded, was toasted, either upon a warm hearth or upon a gridiron. Such was the bread of the AngloSaxons, and an excellent proof of their baking it after this fashion is to be found in the well-known anecdote of King Alfred in the neatherd's hut; so that the Roman ovens, like their baths, must have fallen, after their departure from this country, first into disuse, and afterwards into ruins. The next public bakers were the monks, since bake-houses were found as appendages to monasteries; and the host, or consecrated bread, was baked by the monks with great ceremony. In olden times tenants were compelled to bake at their lord's oven, as they were also obliged to grind corn at his mill. Although the monks were early bakers, they do not appear to have fared much more sumptuously than the people, as far as bread was concerned ; for the Anglo-Saxon monks of the Abbey of St. Edmund, in the eighth century, ate barley bread, because the income of the establishment would not admit of their feeding twice or thrice a day on wheaten.
But to return to their domiciles. We find, first, that the floor served for a bed, and the mantle of the sleeper for a blanket; though in winter, no doubt, they had recourse to the additional warmth of shaggy skins. Wooden bowls and platters, and the celebrated baskets of osier-work, would contain their provisions and other necessaries; and, in addition to these, they had, as already mentioned, articles of coarse pottery, consisting of bowls, cups, and jars. Moreover, these houses consisted of but one large circular room, or hall, with a fire in the middle, round which the whole family, visitants, men, women, and children, slept on the floor, in one continued bed of straw and rushes. According to Cæsar, ten or twelve families used to live under one roof; which excited unfavourable suspicions in the minds of strangers accustomed to a more decent manner of living, and gave rise to the impression of the general prevalence of promiscuous polygamy, an idea which-judging from the storm of indignation that the conduct of Cartismandua, Queen of the Brigantes, raised, and from the sympathy extended to Boadicea and her daughters, and the undoubted influence for good that the Saxon women exercised over their husbands and sons-was, probably, without any real foundation. Indeed, the British ladies not only excelled in fairness, and in the whiteness and softness of their persons, but were held in general respect assuming, as well as men, the prophetic office, and dictating for the emergency of the future. Occasionally they held the sovereignty of states, and commanded armies on the field of battle ; and this is the reason that some of the sepulchres, when opened, display an assortment like the commodities of Ulysses, when he went to discover Achilles_viz., implements of housewifery, trinkets, and warlike weapons.
We do not know what particular ceremonies were used at the interment of the dead, but, from the contents of the graves, we find that, like other rude
pations, they buried with the body whatever they accounted most valuable. The prodigious labour with which the old British barrows (or burying-places) were constructed-by soil, in many cases brought from a great distance—and the care and ingenuity displayed in their forms, excite the wonder of modern ages. The most elegant of all these barrows are those known as the Druidical barrows, which appear to have been generally occupied by females, from the fact of their containing trinkets of a finer and more feminine character, and bones of a smaller size than those of the others.
All ceremonies in the first stages of society are necessarily few and simple ; and little more seems to have been customary, in contracting marriages among the early Britons, than the mutual affection of the individuals, and a few presents expressive of that affection, delivered to each other in the presence of their friends, at the marriage feast, to which all relations of both parties who were within the third degree of kindred were invited by the bridegroom, at his own house, on the day when the bride was conducted thither by her friends. When nobles or chiefs married, they made presents at this feast to their friends ; but at the nuptials of the poorer classes, the friends of the couple made them small presents, according to their ability or generosity. On the morning after the marriage, the husband made his wife a present of considerable value, according to his circumstances, and this gift became her peculiar property, and was entirely at her own disposal.
The wives of the ancient Britons, especially of their warriors, had not only the management of their domestic concerns, but the care and direction of the whole affairs of the family without doors--the husbands being constantly employed either in war or hunting, and, even when not so engaged, were too lazy or too proud to labour.
As the women among the ancient Britons were generally of robust and healthy constitutions, and led simple, innocent, and rural lives, they brought forth their children with little pain or danger, and often without any assistance or interruption to their business. When a birth was attended with any difficulty, they put certain girdles, made for that purpose, round the women, which they imagined gave immediate and effectual relief. These girdles, which were believed to facilitate the birth of heroes, are reckoned in the poems of Ossian among the treasures of kings. Such girdles were kept with care until very lately, and not improbably our readers may have seen them among the old families in the highlands of Scotland. They are impressed with mystical figures; and the ceremony of binding them about the women's waists was accompanied with words and gestures which showed the custom to have been derived originally from the Druids.
It was the practice of all Celtic nations to plunge their new-born infants into some lake or river, even in the winter season, with a view to try the firmness of their constitution and to harden their bodies; and every mother in Britain, not excepting even those of the highest rank, nursed all her own children, without having the least idea that it was possible for any other woman to perform that maternal office.
If we may believe Solinus, the ancient Britons had also a custom of putting the first morsel of food into their son's mouth on the point of the father's sword, with the prayer that the child might prove a brave warrior, and die on the field of battle.
That it would be beneath the dignity of heroes to roast roast, bake bread, and