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But Zaidee made no answer. She dance, to inquire all about them, if it was pondering sadly in her own heart was improvidence or evil behaviour
- pondering of necessity and provi- which brought them within the range dence, and how different what she of her benefactions, if they had seen wonld, was from what she must better days, or if their poverty was
“ They are very unkind, these fool. native to them, or if their need was ish young people, for I am sure their desperate enough to warrant charity. mother has a cheap assistant in you," All the miputiæ of their circumstances said Mrs Lancaster, her dislike to the carefully inquired into, no one could Disbrowes insensibly prevailing over be more bountiful than this wellher prudence. “You are a poor art- endowed and childless widow ; but less child, I can see; you would be so much fortified with custom and far better away from that woman of regulation was she, that it perplexed the world."
her greatly when a "case" came "Must I go away?" said Zaidee, before her which could not be dealt catching the one word which chimed with according to rule. At present into her thoughts; "and if I go away, she found herself in a dilemma-of will you give me something to work her own creating, too, which made it at ?" she continued, looking up with the more vexatious. Acting on a honest simplicity in Mrs Lancaster's whim, which a woman of prudence face.
never ought to do-acting, moreover, This good lady was somewhat taken on other motives still farther removed aback by the downright sincerity of from Christian charity than whims her young companion. “I-I can are—but these Mrs Lancaster did not scarcely tell," said Mrs Lancaster; specify to herself-she had brought " but that was not what I meant; this child away with her, had partialyou ought to go home to your friends." ly enlightened her as to her own cir
“I thought I ought to go away at cumstances, had conceived a strong infirst, when I found I could not teach terest in her - what was to be done with the children," said Zaidee, either not her now? Mrs Lancaster retired into hearing or not heeding. “I thought the depths of her sables to consider. I could live in a little room some. Zaidee, with her wistful eyes, looked where, and work at sewing, if any out upon these great ranges of houses. one would give it me; but Mrs Dis. The air was warm and soft in this browe was kind, and said I should luxurious enclosure, tinged with a rather stay. Do they grudge that I faint perfume, and very different from am there? I have no right to be that brown hazy sunny winter air there-perhaps, indeed, I had better without. The little carriage moved go away.”
on at a drowsy pleasant pace. WayAnd Zaidee's eyes, brightened with farers walking fast to keep themselves a new thought, travelled over the warm, children cased in furs and bigh range of buildings they were hosiery, little groups of juvenile vagapassing. Nay, these are all great bonds with feet and faces red and houses, poor child ! ranges of lofty blue with cold, disappeared from the windows, drawing-rooms, and bed- window as they drove on. Mrs Lanchambers, of better fashion and higher caster, much vexed with her own inrank than Bedford Place-not one discretion, and Zaidee, brightly realissingle little nook among them where ing that impossible independence of you could bring your needle, your hers, working alone in a little chamsole capability, your forlorn young ber for some one else than Mrs Dislife and sincere heart. The old lady's browe, saw nothing of the bare trees eyes followed this gaze of futile long- and sodden grass-young and old, ing; her own mind was built with they had other things to look at than lofty regularity, something like those this wintry park. blank fine houses which gave forth The old lady has not spoken again, no answer to Zaidee's mute inquiry. neither has Zaidee; but the wellShe loved to dispense her liberality accustomed coachman has turned in the legitimate channels, to ascer- homewards. Now the lights are betain that they were “ deserving ob- ginning to shine in the windows, and jects” who had alms of her abun- the last red ray of sunset has disappeared from the brown haze of air good day's work in the City or elsewhich gives tone and colour to these where; and in this pleasant darkenstreets. They are not going to Bed- ing they see already the firelight shine ford Place, but turning at this easy in their own windows as every one speed to another quarter. The chill goes home. Scboolboys with satchels in the air gives animation to all those making the road echo, tall school-girls passers-by upon the way; such visions swinging by in confidential couples of home and fireside waiting for one with music-books, and an infinite and another-of the cheerful house- quantity of secrets to tell. Here and hold meal ready for their coming, there a shop holding out the light and the news of the great world of its homely traffic upon the waywhich they carry with them to 80 many pleasant sounds in the air, brighten the quiet, crowd about all voices, and footsteps-so many peacethose comfortable figures, briskly ful people on their way home. pressing forward. One has a news- The little carriage trundles on, and paper, another a parcel of books, never pauses for a moment. Its rich another only a toy swinging " at the mistress has a home, but no child to cold finger's end," or a paper-bag of make it glad; and as for poor Zaidee, cakes and sweetmeats for the chil- searching the darkness with her wistdren. You may call them City men as ful eyes, she believes there is no home you pass by in your superb idleness for her in all this plentiful and pros-never mind; they have done their perous world.
Zaidee has not considered the ques- Lancaster reaches the door of her own tion, whether she is going home to room, she commits Zaidee to the Mrs Disbrowe's, or elsewhere. So full charge of her maid, who conveys her of fancies is she, nothing that hap- forth with into a small humdrum compened to-night would much surprise fortable apartment, where there is a Zaidee ; and when the little carriage fire, and tea on the table. The maid turns into a gate, and rounds the small desires the young lady to seat herself curve of a semicircular plot planted till she comes back, and Zaidee is left thick with evergreens, to pause be- alone to look into the cavern of the fore a quickly-opened door, she ob- fire, and round the unfamiliar furniserves vividly, but can scarcely be ture, and wonder what she herself is called curious. Mrs Lancaster, warm doing here. in her furs, alights slowly. The girl It is not quite dark, and the sky has behind her feels a slight chill of cold not deepened into the intense blue of as she glances up into a clear frosty a winter night, but is pale and silvery sky, all bright with stars, before she all over with its young moon and early enters Mrs Lancaster's door. Many a stars. Zaidee sits before the fire, wontime that glimpse of the friendly dering-almost roused into romance heavens will return upon her, when once more-the house is so quiet, the she is pursuing her course among atmosphere so warm, the tone of strangers; but now it has disappeared, wealth and comfort so apparentand there is nothing loftier visible quite another world from the thrifty than the ceiling of Mrs Lancaster's plenty of Bedford Place, and its conhall, and the staircase, on which a stant stir of young unruly life. But it sober-coloured maid waits for her is no romance after all; for this is mistress. Without a word, Zaidee only a kind of housekeeper's room, follows Mrs Lancaster up-stairs. The where Mrs Lancaster's own maid has stairs are softly carpeted; there is a her sanctuary; and the sober-colournoiseless warmth and wealth in the ed woman who re-enters anon, and house, still, and regular, and orderly- tells Zaidee she is to take tea here, no nursery to awaken the echoes, nor and that Mrs Lancaster will send for " young people" to disturb this calm her presently, is the trusted factotum with intrusive activity. When Mrs of the lady of the house.
There is not much said between verness to these rude little children, these two strangers. Mrs Lancaster's and did not succeed-no wonder -50 maid by no means resembles Mrs Dis- they have made a sewing-maid of the browe's Irish nurse. She too, like her poor child. I have no doubt Mrs Dismistress, requires a certificate of merit browe finds her very useful, but the before she bestows her acquaintance; young people think her in the way. so Zaidee's thoughts are little dis- She would like some one to give her turbed by conversation. It is a full sewing to do ; but she is much too hour before the summons comes for young to live alone, so I wish very her audience, and then with gradually much to persuade her to go home to increasing wonder and interest she her friends." follows her conductor down stairs. “Has she any friends, then? How
Mrs Lancaster has just dined, and thin she is, poor dear!" said Mrs there is a faint odour of the good Burtonshaw, Mrs Lancaster's guest, things of the table in this large ruddy touching Zaidee's angular arm and apartment, which is Mrs Lancaster's stooping shoulders, by way of invesusual sitting-room. The fire burnstigation. warm with a subdued glow; the lamp " Well, she has neither father nor throws a tempered light upon two large mother, but some friends, of course. easy chairs, one on either side, where, I feel quite responsible," said Mrs leaning back upon easy cushions, sits Lancaster uneasily. “I brought her Mrs Lancaster and Mrs Lancaster's from Mrs Edward's to give her a guest. They are both looking with drive, but we got into conversation by some expectation towards the door, the way. I was interested, and she and both bend forward a little to see came here with me. Now I really am Zaidee as she enters, in her quick and at a loss. I cannot tell what to do. silent fashion, with her bonnet off, and The child seems somehow thrown on her dark hair shed back from her fore. my hands." head. Mrs Lancaster, with her deep To all this Zaidee listened, as they draperies of crape, and spotless wi- seemed to intend she should listen, as dow's cap, looks somewhat imposing quietly as if they had been talking of in her great chair; but the old lady a piece of furniture, and not of a piece opposite, who has been a widow for of sensitive human nature, warm with twenty years, and is gay in flowers, girlish susceptibility. At this point, and ribbons, and stiff little curls of however, Zaidee's dormant pride was grey hair, with a coloured gown of roused. She turned round. rich texture, with jewels and orna- “Mrs Disbrowe never said I was ments past counting, is anything but to leave her," said Zaidee. “She did imposing, and with her bright cheery not tell me she found me a burden. face makes a very good foil to Mrs I am of no use to any one but her. Lancaster. Poor Zaidee, being but a If you please I will go home." child, and friendless, feels her heart Should you like to go abroad, my warm a little when she glances to the dear?" asked Mrs Burtonshaw, strikopposite side of the fireplace. Mrs ing in rapidly before her weightier Lancaster is by far the most proper friend, astonished by the sudden moveand dignified, but her friend might ment of the subject" under her hands, not be flattered if she knew that could find words to answer. Zaidee found encouragement in the Aglow of colour rose upon Zaidee's smile, because it was like that of Irish face." Yes," she said very eagerly. Nurse, poor Zaidee's most familiar The question filled her with such a friend.
flush of sudden excitement that she " This is Miss Francis,” says Mrs could answer no more. Lancaster, as Zaidee enters. And “Should you like to be companion “Poor dear!” says Mrs Lancaster's to a good little girl of your own age ? friend.
A dear little girl, my love," cried Mrs " I hear Edward's wife speak of her Burtonshaw, warming rapidly; “ one constantly," pursued the lady of the who will never take any airs upon her, house, motioning Zaidee to sit down but love you like a sister, if you are beside her. “ It appears she came up good to be educated with her, and from the country to be nursery go- have everything the same as she has - a dear pretty little angel, the love. My darling child, she will make sweetest child that ever was born! you so happy!” Will you go and be a companion to her, Zaidee looked up with sudden wonand make her a happier child, my der. She thonght of Mrs Wyburgh love?"
and of Nurse, who alone had called The old lady spoke so warmly and her “ darling" before; but it was all quickly, that " therewithal the water to be put to the account of the upstood in her eyes." To all this Zaidee known Mary, this burst of affection answered by a long wistful look. “If for the girl who might be her comany one would take me abroad, I panion. Her wistful dark eyes began should be very, very glad," she said, to smile upon the old lady; it was when she turned her eyes from Mrs almost the first time they had been Burtonshaw; but she did not know moved with this gentle relaxation how to reply to this, about being a since she came from home. Involuncompanion, and making happy – it tarily Zaidee, who had learned the was not in Zaidee's way.
lessons of respect and humility be" She is the very person," cried coming a dependant only very slightly, Mrs Lancaster, in a voice of great and who underneath had all the simple relief. Once put in the way of morti trustfulness of a child, came to Mrs fying the Disbrowes, and especially Burtonshaw's footstool, and sat down • Edward's wife," by the exaltation there. " Will you tell me about of Zaidee, Mrs Lancaster was quite Mary?" said Zaidee, looking up with herself again. “She will do admirably; all her old eagerness for a story. She that is, if we can be satisfied about did not hear that Mrs Lancaster sugher friends."
gested “ Miss Cumberland." Zaidee “My dear," said Mrs Burtonshaw, knew nothing of Miss Cumberland; " are you sure you would like to go she wanted to hear of this unknown with me? It is a long way off-a place girl, who was held in so much love. where there are scarcely any English, And thus it was that Zaidee's heart and the family travel about a great awoke to the clear light of common deal; but Mary is the sweetest little life again.
POETRY OF THE WAR.
REVIEWED BEFORE SEBASTOPOL.
FANCY, reader, the son of Peleus, is wanting but verse; and his eye, in the white-haired Nestor, and the sage a fine frenzy rolling, glances from the Ulysses, reading, towards the close of Times to a quire of foolscap, wbich he the first year of their sojourn before presently covers with ballads, sonnets, Troy, the first book of the Iliad, to be or some other form of lay, plaintive continued in parts as a serial. Poetry, as the odes of Sappho, or sanguinary whose high office is to select and como as the songs of Tyrtæus. Thus it hapbine in order to exalt, would do for pens that (not withstanding the Postthem the refining work of time. The office authorities have made arrangesqualid scenes of the camp and the ments for the suppression of news. work-a-day operations of the siege papers and small parcels) we receive, would vanish from their mental pic- with tolerable speed and regularity, ture; they would become heroes to commentaries from home upon our themselves ; each would begin to be doings; and not only does the counlieve he had seen the gods of Olympus cil of chiefs find its deliberations aided mingling in the fray, and every Greek by the ever unerring vox populi, but who had experienced a touch of the Crimean Achilles reads the inspircholera, would be ready to swear by ing stanzas which tell of his own the Styx that he had heard the twang- deeds in the last battle, before the ing of the silver bow, and felt the blood has rusted on his bayonet; sharp arrow of the vengeful archer- while (alas that it should be often
so!) the British Laodamia hears her Such is the fortune of the besiegers wail for the lost Protesilaus echoed of our modern Ilium. The parallel in with bewildering iteration in musical men does not altogether hold good. verse. Nestors we have, unfortunately, rather It is both amusing and satisfactory too many of. Ulysses is, perhaps, to find our young versifiers taking less numerously represented in the this line. When last Maga took Allied camp; while Pelides, Diomed, occasion to notice the work of a ris. and the greater Ajax, would meet their ing poet, he was steering a widely match in the first trio of guardsmen different course. Maudlin imitations whom you happened to see cooking their of passion, such as a tragedian at a salt pork. Penelope may now silence minor theatre might utter, when the too-pressing suitors by pointing to the effects of the overdose of gin with gazette, which shows that Ithaca has which he had refreshed himself after still a king and she a lord. But men the laborious representation of the and women are much the same now Amorous Tyrant were beginning to as in those dim days, and we who sit wear off, and retributive seediness before Sebastopol may form some idea was overshadowing him-suicide deof the feelings of those ancient war- fended in the case of a dumb poet, riors, could they have seen their own big with magnificent ideas, but unable deeds chronicled in the immortal verse to express them, the latter fact being of the blind old man. Scenes of the probably his very best title to a procampaign glow and expand in the longed existence-formed part of the pictures of an imaginative“ own cor- episodes; while the great yearning of respondent” writing up to the require the poet himself was to set this age to ments of an excited public. The poet, music—the age, not, as it appears now, catching the enthusiasm, burns to sing with its armour on, “mailed and of the war. Fancy and invention he horsed with lance and sword," but a need not call on for aid, as those ele- drab - coloured, broad - brimmed era, ments of poetry have already done whose fitting poet would be a gentletheir utmost in the columns of the man having an eye at once to the newspaper he subscribes to. Nothing beauties of nature and to commercial
VOL. LXXVII.-NO. CCCCLXXV.