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“FRIEND after friend departs." It that almost the next thing heard of is one of the most painful circumstances her was the fatal news, that she, so of life when on the decline to see drop- tenderly sympathetic, so full of materping upon the way from time to time nal instincts that every mother's grief another and another well-known figure. seemed her own, had almost as sudThe young too lose their brethren and denly entered the presence of her comrades now and then, but the effect Maker, and left her own home desolate. is different. The slow disappearance But not by any violent way, thank one by one of contemporaries and com heaven: not in pain or horror, but panions, the tendency towards the tranquilly, sweetly, as became her life, grave which has set in drawing us without any lengthened preliminaries, with it, the growing solitude in which in the manner she had desired, and as we move, make us realise better than a kindred soul has sung: anything else that our cycle of life is rounding to its close.
“Life! we've been long together
Through pleasant and through cloudy A month ago, or little more, the
weather ; present writer sat on a lovely terrace 'Tis hard to part when friends are dear ; shaded by great trees overlooking the Then steal away, give little warning; beautiful, placid Derwentwater lake,
Choose thine own time, which lay smiling as if it had never
Say not Good-night, but in some brighter
clime known a storm—talking with Mrs. Bid me Good-morning.” Craik of a tragedy, the occurrence of a moment, which had desolated the So was the gentle spirit of Dinah house behind us. We spoke with Craik liberated from mortal cares, as tears and hushed voices of the story many like her have prayed to be. never to be dissociated from that This is no time or place to speak of peaceful scene. One young man arriv her work, which will no doubt have a ing gaily on an unexpected visit : the variety of criticisms and interpretaother, the young host, receiving him tions ; but about herself there is no with cordial welcome and pleasure; the conflict of testimony, and it is of hersudden suggestion of an expedition on self her friends are thinking-her the water, to which the little inland friends who are endless in number storm gave all the greater zest. And throughout all the three kingdoms, and then in a moment, in the twinkling of reckoned in crowds less known and an eye, all over, and the lake under the further off, to whom she has been mother's windows become the death familiar as a household word. To scene of her only son. It seems strange recall a little the actual look and
No. 338.-VOL. LVII.
aspect of a woman so widely known, Mulock was at all known to the world, yet so little of a public personage, so or to most of those who have held her indisposed to put her own personality dear in her later life. If there are any forward, is all that a friend can do. memorials of it left, it would no doubt We were contemporaries in every
form a most attractive chapter among sense of the word : the beginning of the many records of early struggles. her work preceding mine a little, as The young heroic creature writing her
did-so little as scarcely to pretty juvenile nonsense of love and tell at all. We were both young when lovers, in swift, unformed style, as fast we made acquaintance : she a slim tall as the pen could fly, to get bread for maiden always surrounded by a band the boys and a little soup and wine of other ambitious and admiring girls, for the invalid over whose deathbed of whom and of whose talents and she watched with impassioned love and accomplishments she had always tales —what a tragic, tender picture, to to tell with an enthusiasm not excited be associated by ever so distant a link by any success of her own.
with inane magazines of the fashions even at this early period her literary and short-lived periodicals unknown gifts had received much acknowledg to fame! No doubt she must have ment. The early part of her life (she thought sometimes how far her own was but twenty-three at the time of her unthought-of troubles exceeded those first important publication, but her of her Edwins and Angelinas. But independent career had begun long she was always loyal to love, and before) had been full of trial and of perhaps this reflection did not cross that girlish and generous daring which her mind. There was no longer any makes a young, high-spirited woman mother when I first knew her, but the most dauntless creature in crea only the bevy of attendant maidens tion. I do not know the facts of the aforesaid, and a brother, gifted but story, but only its tenor vaguely, wbich not fortunate, in the background who was that-her mother being as she appeared and disappeared, always much thought untenderly treated by a father talked of, tenderly welcomed, giving -a man of brilliant attainments her anxieties much grudged and obwhose profession of extreme Evangeli- jected to by her friends, but never by cal religiousness was not carried out by herself; and she was then a writer his practice--the young Dinah, in a with a recognised position, and well blaze of love and indignation, carried able to maintain it. that ailing and delicate mother away, Little parties, pleasant meetings, and took in her rashness the charge of kind visits at intervals, form a sucthe whole family, two younger brothers, cession of pretty scenes in my recolupon her own slender shoulders, work lection of her at this period. Involved ing to sustain them in every way that in household cares, and the coming and presented itself, from stories for the alas! going of little children, I had no fashion books to graver publications. leisure for the constant intercourse She had gone through some years of which youthful friendship demands; this feverish work before her novel, The but she was always the centre of an Ogilvies, introduced her to a wider attached
to which her kind eyes, medium and to higher possibilities. full of the glamour of affection, attriHer mother, broken in spirit and in buted the highest gifts and graces. health, had died, as well, I think, as the They were all a little literary-artists, elder of the two brothers, before I knew musicians, full of intellectual interher; but the story was told among her ests and aspirations, and taking a friends, and thrilled the hearer with share in all the pleasant follies, as well sympathy and admiration. That first as wisdoms of their day. Spiritualism struggle was over, along with the
had made its first invasion of England dearest cause of it, before Dinah about that time, and some families of
the circle in which Miss Mulock lived account of various circumstances conwere deeply involved in it. One heard nected with its beginning from the of little drawings which a friend had re notes of Mr. Clarence Dobell. ceived of the home in heaven from one of her infants lately departed there,
“In the summer of 1852 she one day drove and how the poor little scribbling con
over with me to see the quaint old town of soled the sorrowful mother ; along with
Tewkesbury. Directly she saw the grand old
abbey and the medieval houses of the High many other wondrous tales, such as Street she decided that this should form the have been repeated periodically since,
background of her story, and like a true but then were altogether novel; and
artist fell to work making mental sketehes on
the spot. A sudden shower drove us into one these early undeveloped séances formed of the old covered alleys opposite the house, I sometimes part of the evening enter believe, of the then town clerk of Tewkesbury, taipments in the region where then we and as we stood there a bright-looking but all lived, in the north of London to
ragged boy also took refuge at the mouth of wards Camden Town--regions grown
the alley, and from the town clerk's window
a little girl gazed with looks of sympathy at entirely unknown now as if they were the ragged boy opposite. Presently the door in Timbuctoo. Miss Mulock had a opened, and the girl appeared on the steps, and little house in a little street, full of
beckoned to the boy to take a piece of bread,
exactly as the scene is described in the openpretty things, as pretty things were
ing chapters of John Halifax. We had lunch understood before the days of Heil at the Bell Inn, and explored the bowling. bronner and Liberty, with all her little green, which also is minutely and accurately court about her. She sang very sweetly,
described, and the landlord's statement that
the house had once been used by a tanner, with great taste and feeling, a gift
and the smell of tan which filled the streets which she retained long; and wrote from a tanyard not far off, decided the trade little poesies which used to appear in
which her hero was to follow. Chambers's Journal, one in each weekly
“She made one or two subsequent visits to
further identify her background, and the part; and knew a great many
name of her hero was decided by the discovery people," and fully enjoyed her modest
of an old gravestone in the Abbey churchyard, youthful fame, which was the climax on which was inscribed 'John Halifax.' She of so much labour and pain, and her
had already decided that the hero's Christian
name must be John, but the surname had peaceful days. I don't know who her
been hitherto doubtful.” publisher had been for her first books, but she was (as is not unusual) dis Thirty-four years after, in the course satisfied with the results; and when of the present autumn, Mrs. Craik John Halifax was about to be finished, made another expedition in the same she came to my house, and met, at a faithful company to a spot so assostall dinner-party convened for that ciated with her fame, and once more purpose, my friend Henry Blackett, lunched at the Bell, where the delighted another of the contemporary band who landlady, on being informed who her has long ago passed away, along with visitor was, told with pride that in his still more dear and charming wife.
“hundreds of visitors, They made friends at once, and her especially Americans, came to Tewkesgreat book was brought into the world bury, not so much to see the town and under his care—the beginning of a abbey, as to identify the scenery of business connection which, notwith John Halifax." Better still however standing her subsequent alliance with than this are the words in which she a member of another firm, was main expresses to her companion and corretained to a late period, a curious instancespondent the pleasure this visit gave of her fidelity to every bond.
her. “Our visit was truly happy," This great book, which finally estab she says, “especially the bright day lished her reputation, and gave her of Tewkesbury, where my heart was her definite place in literature, had then very full, little as I showed it. It been for some time in hand. I am wasn't the book : that I cared little permitted to quote the following pretty about. It was the feeling of thirty