THE Village of Gelrole in the valley of the Meuse,
There are excavated places-caves the fairies used to


Fairy grottos now they call them, though the fairies

come no more,

Rendering services to mortals as they did in days of yore, Washing linen for the housewife when she left it out at night,

Bleaching thread for Mechlin lace-makers so beautifully white,

Stitching shoes for honest shoemakers with stitches neat and fine,

Making ropes and mats for rope-makers when they found flax and twine,

Plaiting baskets with the rushes that were left outside to dry,

And always in, 'twas so believed, the twinkling of an


Expecting for their services a very slight reward And not beyond what e'en the poorest peasant could afford:

A slice of bread and butter and a simple glass of beer To be left upon the dresser for their comfort and good cheer;

And they who this precaution ever niggardly omitted, And expected they would work for them, were sure to be outwitted;

For not a thing the elves would do for those who used them badly,

And often, out of pure revenge, they'd come and use them sadly;

They'd knock the chairs and stools about and overturn the table,

And all the mischief they would do that ever they were able.

'Twas in this village on the Meuse a miller lived of old, For whom the dwarfs would often work, for so the story's told;

They'd grind his corn, they'd sift his meal, and put it in his sack,

And every night they'd come again when he had turned his back.

The way he found it out was this: one night he left undone

Some work that, in the afternoon, he'd leisurely begun; He from his supper left untouched some butter and some bread,

Besides a glass half full of beer, and then went home to bed;

Next morn he found the bread and beer were sensibly diminished,

But great was his surprise to find the job he'd left was finished.

He kept the secret to himself, and not a word he said, But every night within his mill left butter, beer, and bread;

And every night the dwarfs would come, and well his flour would sift,

And often too in other ways be giving him a lift;
Thus things went on, at last he felt quite curious to know
What sort of labourers they were who had for him
worked so,

And he resolved that he himself that very night would hide

To see the dwarfs, and how they did contrive to get inside.

He left the usual supper out, and then himself he hid Inside a corn-bin, placing then a shovel 'neath the lid, That he might breathe as well as see—a little open


Where he could watch them, as he thought, and they not see his face :

He waited and he waited till the clock was striking


And then he thought he did discern a tiny little elve Creep through the key-hole, then undo the bolt upon the door,

And open it, and then let in about a dozen more.

One seemed to be the master-man-and then he counted ten

All dressed like millers, and in white-the miller and his men,

With little shovels in their hand, and little sieves as well,

And little measures that they might the proper mea

sure tell.

They set the mill agoing-then they measured out the grain,

And fast as it fell through they filled their measures up again

The miller never saw men work so rapidly as these— He held his breath-but, sad to tell, he soon began to


The dust inside the corn-bin it had got into his noseAnd then the fairy millers, once his friends, became his foes;

The sacks that in the morning he so carefully had filled They soon untied, and on the ground the flour it was spilled;

The grindstones they put out of gear, the mill at once they stopped,

And they didn't stay to shut the door when from the mill they hopped.

The miller called them to come back, but they were out

of sight,

And he was left inside the mill alone at dead of night; He sadly turned him home again, and slowly shut the door

He saw the fairy millers once-he never saw them


His fatal curiosity had been indeed his ban

And, as the poet says, "he rose next morn a wiser man."





[François-Pierre-Guillaume Guizot, the eminent French statesman and historian, was born in 1787. He was educated at Geneva, and at the age of twelve had made himself acquainted with the learned languages. German was to him a familiar tongue, and he knew English and Italian'perfectly. He held, under both restorations of the Bourbons, important political posts, belonged to the liberal school under the Restoration, and fell with its heads. At the age of forty-two, M. Guizot was elected a member of the Chamber of Deputies and joined in the celebrated address (1830) which provoked Charles X. to issue his famous ordonnances of July in that year. Upon the accession of Louis Philippe he was made Minister of the Interior. In the Cabinet of 1832, Guizot was Minister of Public Instruction, and from that period, except when filling the London Embassy, he continued to hold one of the leading offices until the close of the reign of Louis Philippe. Guizot's literary works are in themselves a library. They embrace, "Memoirs relative to the English Revolution," in 26 vols. 8vo.; "History of the English Revolution," in 2 vols.; "Lives of the French Poets;" "Lectures on Civilization," 3 vols.; "Life of Cromwell;" and scores of other, scarcely less important, works. M. Guizot's last work, a production of great force, on the history of Christianity, showing its development and immensely augmenting powers, has just been published by Mr. Murray, and is entitled, "Meditations on the Actual State of Christianity, and on the attacks that are now being made on it."]

FOR four years, from 1654 to 1658, the family of Oliver Cromwell was visited by no misfortune; it continued to enjoy unmixed happiness and prosperity. But during the winter of 1658, death entered it with unusual severity; three months after her marriage, his daughter Frances lost her husband, Robert Rich, at the early age of twenty-three; and three months later, Mr. Rich's grandfather, the Earl of Warwick, the most intimate of Cromwell's friends among the nobility, and a man who never failed to serve him with sound advice and true devotion, followed his grandson to the tomb. Cromwell felt these losses keenly; the one was premature, the other warned him of the approach of old age, and the irreparable voids which it creates. But ere many weeks had passed, he had to endure a still heavier blow. His beloved daughter, Lady Claypole, had long been weak

and invalid; and he had sent her to reside at Hampton Court Palace, that she might have the benefit of country air and complete tranquillity. Finding that her illness. increased, he went to reside there himself, that he might watch over her with tender and constant care. She possessed, in his mind, great and peculiar attractions; she was a person of noble and delicate sentiments, of an elegant and cultivated mind, faithful to her friends, generous to her enemies, and tenderly attached to her father, of whom she felt at once proud and anxious, and who rejoiced greatly in her affection. When fatigued, as he often was, not only by the men who surrounded him, but by his own agitated thoughts, Cromwell took pleasure in seeking repose in the society of a person so entirely a stranger to the brutal conflicts and violent actions which had occupied, and still continued to occupy, his life. But this pleasure was now changed into bitter sorrow; the complicated internal disease of Lady Claypole grew rapidly worse; she became subject to convulsion-fits, during which she gave utterance, in her father's presence, sometimes to her own cruel sufferings, and sometimes to the grief and pious anxiety which she felt regarding himself. Sitting constantly by his daughter's bedside, Cromwell had need of all his self-control to endure these painful impressions. On the 6th of August, 1658, Lady Claypole died. The Protector took a melancholy pleasure in surrounding his daughter's coffin with all the pomp which he could command; her body was conveyed to the Painted Chamber at Westminster, where it lay in state for twenty-four hours; after which it was taken to Henry the Seventh's Chapel, and solemnly interred in a special vault, among the tombs of the kings.

When Lady Claypole fell ill, Cromwell himself was not in good health. Although he had successfully resisted the attacks of fever which he had suffered during his campaigns in Scotland and Ireland, his strong constitution had been shaken by them: he was subject to many painful maladies, which might at any time prove

« VorigeDoorgaan »