The World We Live In (Newspaper) - February 25, 1860, Cincinnati, Ohio
Conducted by B. F. SANFORD, Editor and lVo)ui
^ Forth* MorH B> Lir* Jm.
The Life We Live.
BT B. r. POWKBB.
THK BRIGHT SIUK. Mjr he*rt’B ao ftiU of jojr U>-day, *Tw««>d qiiit tkia «intuí breaat. It IkiB would *y froui MU-th *wmjr
A minister's visit! How inuny recollections of that important eve district such as owne<l my birth, co my mind! Well do I remember h duly impressed upon my infantib tance of i e occasion ; how she la structiug me for nearly a whole
’ atrattly «wat the mamtnU roll Wtth noiaaleaa baavwly «mb4 !
How bricht ttw earth! how clear the aky ! How han>y all T tee !
]*rayt (hMMty aiatar, tell naa why It iaaotao with thae?
THK nau 8IHX.
Tha heart wHfcta Bay hratMt to aa«,
Tia Mt «r sriaf and yain;
There'a aaagM I aae can müu it glad, 'Twill M'er he light agaia.
The earth b foil of woa, daaeH,
Tb folaaand Toid of kwe;
Tha««*8 nnnght hrtow that'a pore or eweet. And oil b dark ahew.
Hy eyaa are foil of acathing taara, Thrangh which aay aoal doth bring
Unhappy thanghfo, tormaating bare.
And hrightnaaa withering. dwaAthar, Mick.
For Oto WorU Wo Lkro im.
The Deys oi Tore.
The daya of yore—tha paat! the part t Tinte hnd not long began Htlbri thy aaddenlag apell waa cart Arenad tha heart of hmb ;
Oar banished sire oft looked behind.
Theagfa “ earth was all before,”
It had aoapot, like that for hiaa— Hbparadbe of yo»B.
The ana of eaa the western aky With glory aaay lylom.
Tot w raaaeHhe r, with a sigh, Tbaafldarlfghta of BMm:
And tbos w eft recall, alas !
Frana ■amnry't cherbhad atore. The Hdea of llfo’s wildemtaa The yonag hearth world ofytwe.
Tha daya of yore! the dayaof yoaal The frieada of other years—
I aee you, la the forae ye wore,
: thtungh a
But «eara, thaaigh Meed, ail rainly Bow.
They neaer can rartora Tha kmu, the Joya, of long-ago—
The daya—the days of yore.
The days of yote ! the days of yum 1 The staking aphrit aaoaras.
Am echo bint of louse no moro Bnck on iteelf ratnma ;
Tbeoetd aeaehl’s folaa phiionophy,
Tha atete aaga’a lora.
Ara Tain agataat the shades that haunt Tha nianioriaa of yore.
HbeueeA mmf I heps the time will coaae. Whan anfcrlng part shall aeeaa Hat aa the Am deliriam That Slls a feTsr-dream:
Whan kindred aoal with aonl ahaU meat.
Aad, the arorld's wartaie o'er, Thelltrof lore be aU complete in the days of yore t
Syemk Vo HI.
Kay,apeak neill! a kindly word Can never leave a sting behind ;
And, eh! to htesktheeach tale we've heard la br beneath a nohla aatnd.
Fall aft a hatter aaed b aown Hy ohooeii^ thaa the kiader pian ;
For If bnt little good ha known,
StiB let m speak the beat we can.
Give as tbs heart that bin would hide,
Would bin another's bolts tftart;
Haw can M please e'en hnman pride Ta paova hniaanltj hot base?
Ho! tot aa ranch a higher nsood.
A nobler aentlaient at Bsaa;
He earaeat in the search of good,
Aad apa^ of all the beat we cea.
Thaa apeak ao ill, but toaJeat be To other'a bflinga oa yovrowa ;
If yo«*r« tha Brat n fonlt to aae, -Ha net the haet to aaake tt knowa.
Far lUh to hat a pandag day.
Ho Hp HHBy teU how brief Ha span;
Than, oh! the little tüne w stay, l^t’a «peek efnU the beat we can.
"Whm mj SUf Cmmk W— hmm Bm.'
“If mj ship that’s out at sea, .
£r«r ntflilj get* to me, ^
▲ gXMul lAdy 700 ahaU bo;
Aad IhoB, wife, wo will aeo Tbooe that seorned 700 so UmIe/— l>roTO you harshly ftrom thoir way—
Bow the bead, and e’ea the knee,
To yoo aad mo,
"Wbon my ship oomoo borne fitas soa.
“ Stir the fro, Joaio, dear,
Bboow tbo last stick on the blase,
And light ap with ossiloa of yours Tbooo long-talked of better days.
Cast aside weary work,
CooM and sH beside my knee,
Wkils ws talk of wbat will kappen,
When mj ship oohiss homo from sea. -
**Too shall dross in silken robes,
TriainMd with laces, rich aad fine;
Atoé tbs brif^bfeat, rarest gosM tbell «90» yeor basosB shine;
And o«r bonoe shall be as grand As tbs Bnbs's ufts tbs ¿oare,
JtMt ^ prtnow oftiie land
flbnU knesl low, and call yen feir;
1 ass sturo all thio wiH be,
J oeie, dear,
When my ship comes home from sea.
** Then, theoe ladies, that to-day Cast tbeir scorn full in your face,
Drore you harshly from their way,
Will diseoTer erery grace That /’«e known and loved so long;
And they’ll weave into a song The sweet story of your eyes,
Your meek, dove-like woman's eyes;
And your hair so softly brown.
In rich masses filing down;
“ And your fairy hands and feet;
But Josie, dear,
It does seem so queer to me That to-day, this very day.
When they met you in the street Th^ were all too blind to see Ifeanty in your sweetest face,
And did call you coarse and old.
But never mind it, Josie, dear!
Toa can buy tbeIr praise with gold;
They will erowd to take your fee,
When my ship comes home from sea.
** Bssar tbeir seorn a little kmger,
Joeie, dear, r' It will BMke yoor heart the stronger.
And bstiere, now, what I say,
Tou”ll bars frisada enough some day, lisFs than you san love or trust;
Jbti year heart will be no kinder,
Jeoin, tbaa it is te-night,
Ner yoor soft eyes more lore-bright.
Aftd I don’t beliere yoa’ll be Any bapider. My bettw.
Any deoBoe onto ms,
When my ship cornea home from aea!”
[Waetof for •• TU World We Lioe Im," bp /. D. Jf.]
WnarrT «#. Snow.—“ The girls,’* said the fat old woman, “hare planted the yard all over with iowers, and for my part I would rather aee a bill of ’Utera. ’
a comer regularly erery evf
from school, until, between tear hardly a trace of the decalog what feelings of awe and insti» coming evil I awaited his d he arrived on his little gray pony, sure-footed animal; and how, immediately tap was heard at the door, the little waiter boy disappeared and could nowhere be found. But when he drew me to his side, and I looked up into his bland, smiling face, and at the gray hairs that hung down on his shoulders, my fears at once were dissipated; all constraint fled; and I felt as much at home with him as if I had lived üfith him all my life.
The day on which Mr. Neale set out from my father’s house, there came on one of those cold, drix-sling afternoons which, despite all attempts to the contrary, render one exceedingly uncomfortable if exposed to the weather. Nevertheless, Mr. Neale rode on; his Master required men who valued tj^eir fellow-being's interests at a higher rate than shelter from the storm. His thoughts were engaged with more important matters than the weather, and he felt its influence all the less on that account. As he neared home, passing along an old fir plantation which skirted the road, from the overloaded boughs of which heavy drops of water fell pattering into little pools beneath, a low moan struck his ear —seeming like the half-suppressed cry of a female voice. Though wet and weary himself, he could not avoid descending from his horse to ascertain whence it proceeded. Pushing aside the dripping branches of shrubbery, he entered the place. There, lying at the side of a fallen tree, with her head resting upon it, was a woman, apparently about forty years of age, pale and emaciated from want and suffering, and evidently very ill, if not dying. Her tattered garments betokened the class she belonged to; yet upon her features was stamped a something which plainly said she was not always a beggar. Beside her lay a boy, about twelve years of age, fast asleep, and partially covered with his mother's wet garments. Mr. Neale stood a moment looking at the t*o^ Uis soul was touched by the sight of their wretchedness. He then addressed a few words to the woman, who, opening her eyes, replied faintly, in a slightly foreign accent, that she and her boy were dying with cold and hunger. They had been out two days, and bad tasted nothing but wild berries. They had lost their way, and were toe weak ke <sa»ol farther. For herself she oared not; she was going to die. “ But,” and her eye sparkled with wild energy as she spoke, “ O! save my boy, sir, and the blessing of heaven and a mother’s blessing will rest on you and yours.”
Attempting to raise herself up, the effort proved too much for her, and she fell back and fainted. Mr. Neale paused a moment to consider how he should act; then lifting the lad in his arms, he leaped into the saddle and rode rapidly home. There his wife and little daughter Malina welcomed him with cheerful smiles, wondering not a little at his unusual burden. A few wonls satisfactorily explained all; and immediately two of the domes-ties were dispatched to bring in the poor woman.
The mother and child were laid in a warm bed, and euch reetoratives applied as were within immediate reaeh. Next morning, after a long slumber, the lad awoke, refreshed, but his mother, who had given indications during the night that her mind was wandering, never awoke again to the light of reason. In two days she died, raving incoherently in a strange tongue, from which nothing eould be gleaned relative to herself. After her death, a gold ring, containing the initials £. L., engraved on the inside, was taken from one of her fingers; and this was all the clue to her condition, home or lineage, ^e was buried in the churchyard at Lylestane, and the letters of the ring cut in a rude way on a small stone slab, erected to mark her resting-place.
Mr. Neale’s next thought was about the boy; how to dispose of Him. He did not relish tho idea of turning him adrift on the ocean of life, to beg, or perhaps to steal. There was a quick intelligence beaming in the little fellow’s dark eye, prepossessing Mr. Neale greatly in his favor. Besides, he had become quite a favorite with all the household, particularly with Malina, who had already learned to eall him brother, and who pleaded earnestly that he ahould not be sent away. Backed by his wife’s support, the worthy man at last consented to retain him, and try what could be made out of him. His first effort was to obtain some clue to his history, but, after repeated attempts, gave it up as hopeless. All he could glean was that he had come a long while ago across a great sea; had lived in a large house at home; but had mostly wandered about the country since he crossed the sea. His mother called him Vincent Leroux, and this was all he knew.
Between him and Malina there was no great dis* parity in point of years; but thefr dispositions were of a widely opposite cast. The boy was proud and hasty, quick to retaliate injury, and ready as speedily to forgive—while she was a quiet, thoughtful child, meek and retiring in disposition. Notwithstanding, however, a friendship was speedily formed between them.
Vincent rapidly progressed in his studies under Mr. Neale. The impetuous character of his mind carrying him through those difficulties which most youths are willing to be lifted over. The reading selected by himself for his leisure hours was principally narratives of travel and adventure;’ and these, naturally enough, inspired his sanguine mind with an irresistible craving after a sea-faring life. Several times he hinted a wish to his kind foster-parent to allow him to go to sea; but Mr. Neale knew well all the disadvantages of such life, and endeavored to dissuade him from it. He might as well have attempted to quench a volcano; opposition only tended to make the flame burn fiercer. His whole soul glowed with a desire to mingle in those scenes of wild adventure, on the bosom of the great deep, of which he had read so much.
X()rtli-(‘ast (*oni(?r Fourtli and Walnut Streets.
^ne morning he was missing. They waited " anxiously for him till mid-day, supposing he had rambled away from home, and, hunger impelled, would find his road back. But afternoon and evening passed, and no word was heard of him. A ft or a night of anxiety, spent on his account, Mr Neale set out on the following morning in search of him but returned from a fruitless errand. In the interim, the servant had discovered, lying on a table in the bedsoom occupied by Vincent, a scrap of paper, on which was pencilled, in his hand writing, a few lines, stating that he thought himself a burden on his foster-parents, and wishing to be so no longer, he bad resolved on pushing his fortune elsewhere. He hoped some day to be able to make a suitable return for their kindness.
ning sweetness that lurked in mother was becoming frailer, though not more so than her advanced years necessarily implied, nor 80 much so as Mr.'Neale himself, whose past labors and watchings had greatly impaired a con.stitution not naturally strong. Being out one raw, winter day,¡he caught cold, and returning home, was seized withN^n inflammatory disease that increase<i with fearfut rapidity. Medical aid was called in, but proved unavailing. The angel of death hovered over his dwelling. Like electricity the tidings flew through the length and breadth ot the district, and daily inquiries were made at the door concerning his health, by persons—many of whom came long distances.
I remember passing the house, on my way to school. As soon as my companions and myself arrived in sight of it, the glee of boyhood was hushed. ■With solemn feelings we gazed at the windows of the room in which he la}'. At 'first the shutter was partially closed. Next day it stood closer still. On the fourth day a small corner only admitted the light. We felt he was worse. On the fifth, it was closed altogether, and the mourning faces around the door sent an icy chillness to our hearts—Mr. Neale was dead. I saw him no more in life. In a few days he was carried through the village to the church yartl. Lylestane was that day a place of tears. As the mourners passed along the street, with slow, solemn tread, you could see, grouped areund each door, little clusters, watching the sad procession with wistful, speechless gaze. Old men, white-headed patriarchs, and old women, sat upon the stone benches under the eaves of the houses, or leaned upon their walking-sticks; the sick and infirm looked mournfully from their windows ; little children stood sobbing beside their sires; and the stout-hearted seemed stricken with grief.
But how fared it now with Malina and her widowed mother? At first, the bereavement seemed to them more a dream than a stern, awful reality. But by and by it broke in upon their bew'ildered miitds with all its sad truthfulness. Not only hnd they lost a IsHshnnai and fseher, irot they were cast desolate upon the world. Mr. Neale left no means, nor had he any relatives whose influence could now benefit his family. Their conJitiou was indeed a sad one. Some time elapsed ere they could resolve upon any scheme which might be of advantage to them and place them out of the reach of a contingency becoming daily more inevitable. At length Malina struck upon an idea, which speedily passed into a resolution. She conceived the design of going to Edinburgh and commencing a school; and, having made known her project to her mother, the latter, after some hesitation, agreed to it. In a few days all their preparations were made for quitting Lylestane. One aged domestic, Nanny Gow, who had lived in the house since girlhood, alone remained to be disposed of, as it was considered out of the question to take her with them. Malina informed her of the plan which she was about to adopt, and offering her her wages, requested she would look out for other service.
“Nae, nae,” she replied, refusing the offered money, “ we maunna pairt thus. Miss. It wad break my heart to ken ye were awa’ in the great city, an ne’er a freen’ aside ye. Sae lang’s I’m able to do a’ han’s turn, I'se help ye, and then Providence will provide for me. Keep your money; I want nae wages, but I maun e’en gang wi’ yc.”
Nanny at length got the matter arranged, by dint of entreaty and persuasion, entirely to her own satisfaction, and in a few days the three left that house wherewith was associate all that memory loved to cherish.
In no place does a person feel his own littleness more than in a crowded city. Jostled about by the busy throng; passing through the unceasing stream of strange faces that hurry on ; the heart feels as lonely, perchance, as if in a dreary waste. Feelings of desolation and loneliness crept over Mali-na’s heart the moment she had leisure to sit down in her new home. Then, all the dangers and difficulties of her situation appeared with heart-crushing force. Her mother saw or guessed what she felt, and strove to comfort her with the assurance of success, though even the comforter herself looked sad enough. A few days passed ere M alina felt her spirits rising above the chilling influence, partly removed by a few pupils appearing, in answer to ! several advertisements she had published in the papers. An earnest, she joyfully took it, of her ! future success. She struggled on with renewed [ hope. Gradually the pupils increased to a dozen ' or more, and her most ardent hopes seemed about to be realized . But on what a feeble thread does success in any enterprise often depend ! She was one day forced to punish a little girl who had given her great annoyance. In the evening she was surprised by a call from a jauntily dressed woman,
the parent of this girl, who entered the room in an unceremonious manner, evidei^tly in a highly excited state of mind. Malina politely asked her to take a seat, but with an indignant toss of the head, she refused, exclaiming:
“So, Miss, I understand you chastise jour scholars, in a quite arbitrary manner; it would appear, just as you think fit, or as pas.sion moves j'ou, without reference to the necessity of punishment at all. i-.y^ I was not aware of this until to-day, when my little
a daughter, on coming home, informed me of your
cruelty towards her!”
' “ Gruelty !' gasped Malina.
“Yes, cruelty, Miss. I hold no child should be chastised; it will learn anything by gentleness, and did you know your proper position—did you know your duties—you would act on this principle; but ' 1 am sorry to say you don’t, and are quite unfit to ; teach.’ ’
j Malina felt her blood almost boiling in her veins, but she strove to appear calm, and endeavored to reason the lady into a proper view of her conduct towards the child.
“Oh, no more is necessary,” said the mother, interrupting her; “I have only come to pay you the quarter's salary due,» and inform you qf the withdrawal of my child. 1 am thankful I know how to manage my family without your aid.” So saying, she pulled out her purse, and flung diqwn the few shillings that were due; and then, with a mock-respectful curtsey, sailed out of the room.
But her malice did not end here. Malina saw her pupils drop off one by one, till in less than two onths, not a scholar entered her room. Many of
payment of his rents; besides, her pects of success were so doabtful, that they afforded him no security. He must take such steps as the law admitted of, unless the money was forthcoming when due.
Mrs. Neale returned home, sick at heart, and reported her ill success to Malina ; adding, “ But, my daughter, let us not despair. Providence may yet interpose in our behalf: Mtherto we have depended on Him, and not in vais.”
The day of adversity dsew on, and the dim hope which Malina entertained of relief, became hourly more obscure. She had gathered together such few trinkets and ornaments as still remained in her possession, and had ' resolved on seeking humbler lodgings ; though, poor girl, it was with sad anticipations she looked forward to the future. She saw , no means of saving herself and her parent from ab- ; solute want, unless she hired herself out as a com- | mon servant. ■
Kent day at last arrived, and Malina was unable to meet the landlord’s claims. A few days I after, a crowd of people entered the bouse, and I with them came the auctioneer. To escape their I gaze she shut herself up in another apartment, from [ which she heard the furniture disposed of, article I after article. Soon all was over, and the people dc- ,
The landlord informed her, that as the new tenants would not take possess'ion for a few days, she was welcome to remain until she found another I house. Malina thanked him, and replied, she hoped to be able to leave soon, and with this assjirance he j departed.
! A feeling of desolation Shnk into the hearts of : the little family, after the worst had subsided, and ! the gray curtains of evening began to close around j them. Within, all was dreary and comfortless; the : rooms looking bare and empty, a^d echoing the ' tound of the voice with a sort of hqllow mockery. Malina noticed that old Nanny had disappeared; | she had not been seen since morning, neither could Mrs. Neale recollect of her having gone out on any j errand. Jiist as they were becoming very uneasy regarding her, fearing she had been run over in the streets, or had met with some one of the hun-; dred accidents daily occurring in a large city, they : were greatly re|leved by her entrance. Without | . pausing, and evidently laboring under some excited feeling, she begged Malina to put on her shawl and bonnet, and accompany her out. »
Malina, surprised at such a request, demurred at first, inquiring where she wishefl her to go.
“ Dinna speir mony questions, else we may be , owcr longsome. Ye neodna be feart to g;ang wi' me; 1 winna tak’ ye whaur ony ill can befa’ ye. It's a’ on my ain account I want ye; sae come awa’.”^
Malina thought a moment whether to comply or not with such a strange request. She had every confidence in Nanny’s integrity; perhaps the errand was, after all, a trivial on«; perhaps there was something important in it. Curiosity was aroused. Hesitatingly, however, she consented, saying:
“Well, for your own sake, Nanny, I will gop but I hope the errand will be of some use to you.”
The two departed. Malina accompanying her conductress through a number of streets, wondering what Nannie meant, being forbid to ask any questions, on the grpund that “it wad spile a’ to speak o’t;” but wondering most of all when she saw her stop at a door, in a fashionable street, and ring the bell. It was opened, when Nanny, without speaking, caught Malina by the arm, and half-dragging her into a handsomely furnished parlor, and bidding her sit down, left her, saying, as she went, that she would return in a minute or two. A vague, uncoqifortable feeling, seized Malina, at being thus left alone; her first impulse was to follow Nanny, and demand an explanation; her second, summarily to quit the house. But a moment’s reflection banished any doubt she might entertain of Nanny's integrity, and forbade' the idea that any harm could possibly arise from waiting to see the result. Most probably, thought she, the lady of this house desires a governess for her children, and Nanny may have been making application for me. Entertaining this as the most probable idea, she became more at ease, and began casting her eyes about the room; but imagine her astonishment, on perceiving a number of the very articles adorning it which lately graced her own home. Bhe thought she must be deceived —it was quite impossible—^but noj another glance assured her of the identity of the articles, particularly a pair of water-color sketches, the product of her own labor. With stfangely agitated heart, she looked around in wonder and suspense, in no way lessened by the door suddenly opening, and a stalwart young man, of about twenty-six years of age, entei-ing, followed by old Nanny. Her-^was dressed more in a nautical, than a land costum^ and had a certain indescribable air about him, together with a bronzed, though handsome face, that conveyed the impression of a life chiefly spent on the ocean. He noticed Malina s confusion, and politely requesting her to be seated, for she had arisen on his entrance, he observed, with a smile, “I suppose, Miss Neale, j’ou will have forgotten me. It is so long now—”
A chord, long untouched, vibrated in Malina’s heart, as he pronounced these words. Like one awakened fri/m a dream, she stammered out— “What!' Vincent! ’
“ Yes, yie same,” he replied, “runaway Vincent; but I hope returned, to be, at last, of some service to my old friends.” So saying, he rose and offered her his hand, which she at once took. “I thought,” observed he, after a pause, “ I would have had a great'deal to say to you, but somehow I find myself adrift in a fog. I suppose, however, I must assign some reason for my sudden appearance, after such an absence. It is a long story, but substantially this: After leaving your kind father’s house, I
proceetled, by all the by-paths I could find, to the' nearest sca-port town. There, a skipper took me up, as cabin-lx)y, from which, after much knocking about and rough handling, I gradually rose to the command of a merchant vessel. I never forgot my old benefactors, and resolved, so soon as 1 could possibly get away,, that I would visit them. Only on returning from my last voyage, a few weeks since, did an opportunity present itself. I hurried down to Lylestane; but judge my dismay and sorrow on learning that your father was no more, and
In October. 18Ó
wards, Mi-s. R-
rank in the British
Mjuld ere, I We .ed an ace on of to-rong ?’’ ;arcely ision. himself
re much fcd much » request r mother . can find u, for the r. When ■nr hearth, ove. Say,
rs, and her y«4 ficasing sensations, for utte^RMIlHI|ll||Bi*BtMl^li^ but accept the offer? ^ ^
“ Then,’’ said Vincent, permit me to send Nanny for your mother, who, I hope, will agree to ’the arrangements.”
The truth must out. ¡some months after, as Vincent, Mrs. Neale, and Malina, were seated together in conversation, a visitor was announced, who addressed the latter 'as “ Mrs. Leroux.”
\WriUcnfor ** TAi llVrW hire /k," hy J. H". (?.]
THE OLD KEHT MANOR-HOTISE.
"From Roltrri IhtU Otem's “ FootfnIU an the Bonndarn of Another I World" !
and for several months after- 1 wife of a field-officer of high | army, was residing in Ram- I hurst Manor-House, near Leigh, in Kent, England. From the time of her first occupying this ancient residence, every inmate of the house had been more or less disturbed at night—not ustially during the | day—by knockings and sounds as of footsteps, but i riiorc especially by voices which could not be ac- ; counted for. These last were usually hoard in some ^ unoccupied adjoining room ; sometimes as if talking in a louil tone, sometimes as if reading aloud, occu- ' sionally as if screaming. ¡
The servants were mucli alarmed. They never
saw anything; but the cook told Mrs. R , that
on one occasion, in broad daylight, hearing the rustic of a silk dress, close behind her. and which seemed to touch her, she turned suddenly round, supposing it to be her mistress, but to her great
surprise and terror, could see nobody. Mrs. R s
brother—a bold, light-hearted young officer, fond I of field-sports, and without the slightest faith in the reality of visitations from another world, was much disturbed and annoyed by these voioM, which lie declared must be those of his sister and a lady friend of hers sitting up together to chat all night. , On two occasions, when a voice, which he thought ' resembled his sister’s, rose to a scream, as if imploring aid, he rushed from his room, at two or three o'clock in the morning, gun in hand, into his ! sister's bedroom, there to find her quietly sleeping, i On the second Satyrday in the above month of October, Mrs. drove over to the railway station at Tnnbric^;® to meet h«r fiifend Miss S—^ whom she had invited to spend some weeks with her. This young lady had been in the habit of seeing apparitions, at times, from early childhood. When, on their return, at about four o'clock in the afternoon, they drove up to the entrance of the manor-house. Miss S perceived on the threshold the appearance of two figures, apparently an elderly couple, habited in the costume of a former i age. They appeared as if standing on the ground. She did not hear any voice, and not wishing to render her friend uneasy, she made, at the time, no remark to her, in connection with this apparition.
She saw the apffoarance of the same figures, in the same dress, several times within the next ten days, sometimes in one of the rooms of the house, sometimes in one of the passages—always by daylight. They appeared to her surrounded by an atmosphere nearly of the color usually called neutral tint. On the third occasion they spoke to her, and stated that they had been husband and wife, that in former days they had possessed and occupied that manor-house, and that their name waa Children. They appeared sad and downcast; and when '
Miss S inquired the cause of their melancholy,
they replied that they had idolized this property of theirs; that their pride and pleasure had centered in its possession; "that its improvements had engrossed their thoughts; and that it troubletl them to know that it had passed away from their family, and to see it now in the hands of careless strangers.
I asked Miss S how they spoke. She replied
that the voice was as audible to her as that of a human^being’s; and that she believed it was heard also by others in an adjoining room. This she inferred from the fact that she was afterwards asked , with whom she had been conversing.
After a week or two, Mrs. R , beginning to
suspect that something unusual, connected with the constant disturbances in the house, bad occurred to her friend, questioned her closely on the subject; and then Miss S related to her what she
had seen and beard, describing the appearance and relating the conversation of the figures, calling themselves Mr. and Mrs. Children.
Up to that time, Mrs. R , though her rest had
been frequently broken by the noises in the house, and though she too has the occasional perception of apparitions, had seen nothing, nor did anything appear to her for a month afterward. One day, however, about the end of that time, when she had ceased to expect any apparition to herself, she was hurriedly dressing for a late dinner, her brother, who had just returned from a day's shooting, having called to her in impatient tones that dinner was served, and that he was quite famished. At the moment of completing her toilet, and as she hastily turned to leave her bedchambcL, not dreaming of anything spiritual, there, in the doorway, stood the same female figure Miss S had described, identical in appearance and in costume,' even to the old point lace on her brocaded silk dress, while beside her was the figure of her husband. They "uttered no sound, but above the figure of the lady, as if written in phosphoric light in the dusk atmosphere that surroundetl her, were the words,
“ Dame Children,” together with some other words, intimating that, having never aspired beyond the 'joys and sorrows of this world, she had remained
“earth-bound.” These last, however, Mrs. R--
scarcely pviused to decipher; for a renewed appeal from her brother as to whether they were to have any dinner that day, urged her forward. The figure, filling up the doorway, remained stationary. There was no tirne for hesitation; she closed her eyes, rushed through the apparition and into the dining-room, throwing up her hands and exclaiming to Miss S , “Oh, my dear, Ive walked
through Mrs. Children !”
This was the only time during her residence in
the old manor-house that Mrs. R witnessed the
apparition of these figures.
And it is to be remarked that her bed-chamber at the time was lighted not only by candles but by a cheerful fire, and that there was a lighte«l lamp in the corridor wliich communicated thence to the dining-room.
This répetition of the word “ Children, ” caused the ladies to make inquiries among the servants and in the neighborhood, whether any family bearing that name had ever occupied the manor-house. Among those whom they thought likely to know something about it, was a Mrs. Sophy «•
nurse in the family, who had spent.her life vicinity. But nil inquiries were fruitless; every one to whom they put the question, the nurse included, declaring that they had never heard of such a name. So they gave up all hopes of being able to tínrarel "th« mystery.
It so happened, however, that about four months afterward, this nurse, going home for a holiday, to her family at Riverhead, about a mile from Seven Oakes, and recollecting that one of her sisters-in-law, who lived near her, an old woman of seventy, had fifty years before been housemaid in a family then residing at Ramhurst, inquired of her if she had ever heard of a family named Children. The sister-in-law replied that no such family occupied the manor-house wheu she was there; but she recollected to have seen an old man who told her that in bis boyhood he bad assisted to keep the hounds of the Children family, who were then residing at Ramhurst. This information the nurse communicated to Mrs. R , on her return; and thus it
was that that lady was first informe*! that a family named Children had once occupied the manor-house.
All these particulars I receivefl in December, 18Ó8, directly from the ladies themselves, both being together at the time.
Even up to this point, the case, as it presented itself, was certainly a very remarkable one. But 1 resolve*^, if possible, to obtain further confirmation in thc^iatter. *>r
I>ííquired Miss S whether the a'jiftl^itions
h^l communicated to her any additional plhrticu- i lairs connected with the family. She replied that j she recollected one which she had then received : from them, namely, that her husband's name was Richard. At a subsequent period, likewise, she had obtained the date of Richard Children's death, which j us communicated to her, was 1763. She remembered, also,''that on one occasion a third spirit had appeared with them, which they stated was their son, but she did not get his name. To my further inquiries as to the costumes in which the (alleged)
spirits appeared, Miss 8 replied, that “They
were of the period of Queen Anne or one of the early Georges, she could not be sure which, as the fashions in both were similar.”
These were the exact words. Neither she or Mrs.
R , however, had obtained any information
tending either to verify or to refute these particu-lars.
Having an invitation from some friends residii^ near Seven Oaks, in Kent, to spend with theimthe Christmas week of 1858, I had a good opportunity of prosecuting my inquiries in the way of verification. 1 called with a friend, Mr. F—•r—, on the
nurse, Mrs. Sophy O . Without alluding to the
disturbances, I simply asked her if she'^new anything of an old family of the name of Children. She said she knew very little except what she had heard from her sister-in-law, namely that tlvey used in former days to live at a manor-house called Ramhurst. I asked her if she had ever been there. “Yes,’' she said, “about a year ago, as nurse to
Mrs. R .”
“Did Mrs. R I asked, “know anything
about the Chihlren family?"
She replied that lier mistress had once made inquiries of her aboutf th«m, wishing to know if they had ever occupied the manor-liouse, but at that time she (Mrs. Sophy,) had never heard of such a family, so she could give the lady no satisfaction.
“How did it happen,’’ 1 asked, “that Mrs. R-
supposed such a family might once have occupied the house'f”
“Well, sir,’ she replied, “that is more than lean tell you, unless, indeed, (and here she hesitatetl and lowered her voice, ) it was through a young lady that was staying with mistress. Did you ever hear, sir, " she added, looking around her in a mysterious way, “of what they call spirit-rappers?’’
I intimated that I had heard the name.
“ I’m not afraid of such things,” she pursued, “ I never thought they would harm me, and I'm not one of your believers in ghosts; but then, to be sure, we did have such a time in that old house.”
“Ah! what sort of a time?”
“With knockings, sir, and the noise of footsteps, and people talking of nights. Many a time I’ve heard the voices when I was going along the passage at two or three o’clock in the morning, carrying tho bnby to my mistress. I don't believe in ghosts; but you may be sure, sir, it was something serious when mistress’ brother got up in the middle of the night and came to his sister’s room with his loaded gun in his hand. And then there was another brother; he got out of his bed one night and declared there were robbers in the house.”
“ Did you see anything?”
“No, sir, never.’
“ Nor any of the other servants.’’
“I think not, sir; bnt cook was to frightened? ’ “W^t kappswod to her?”
“W'ell, sir, no harm happened to her, exactly; only she was kneeling down making her fire one morning, when up she started with a cry like. I heard her, and came to see what was the matter. ‘O,’ says she, ‘nurse, if I didn’t hear the rustling of a silk dress all across the kitchen!’ ‘Well, cook,’ says I, ‘you know it couldn’t be me, as I never wear silk.’ ‘ No,’ says she—and she sort of laughed—‘no, I knew it wasn’t you, for I’ve heard the same three or four times already; and whenever I look around there's nothing there!’ ”
I thanked the good woman, and then went to sec the sister-in-law, who fully confirmed her part of the story.
But as all this afforded no clue, either to the Christian name, or the date of occupation, or the year of Mr. Children’s death, I visited, in search of these, the church and graveyard at Leigh, the nearest to the Ramhurst property, and the old church at Tunbridge; making inquiries in both places on the subject. But to no purpose. -\ll I ,could learn was that" a certain George Children left, in the year 1718, a weekly gift of bread to the^poor, and that a descendant of the family, also named George, dying some forty years ago, and not residing at Ramhurst, had a marble tablet, in the Tunbridge^church, erected to his memory.
Sextons and tombstones having failed me, a friend suggested that I might possibly obtain the iuforma-tion 1 sought by visiting a neighboring clergyman.
I did so, and with the most fortunate result. Simply stating to him that I had Uken the liberty to call in search of some particulars touching'the early history of a Kentish family of the name of Children,, he replied, that singularly enough, he was in possession of a document, coming to him through a private source, and containing, he thought likely, the very details of which I was in search. He kindly entrusted it to me; and I found in it, among numerous particulars regarding another member of the family, not many years since deceased, certain extracts from the “Hasted Papers,” preserved in the British Museum; these being contained in a letter addressed by one of the members of the Children family to Mr. Hasted. Of this document, which may be consulted in the Museum library; I here transcribe a portion, as follows:
“ The family of Children were settled for a great many generations at a house called, from their own name. Childrens, situated at a place called Nether street, otherwise Lower street, in Hildenborough, in ■ the parish of Tunbridge. George Children, of Lower street, who waa High Sheriff of Kent in 1698, died without issue in 1718, and by will devised the bulk of his estate to Richard Children, eldest son of his late uncle, William Children, of Hedcorn, and his heirs. This Richard Children, who settled himself at Ramhurst, in the Parish of Leigh, married Anne, daughter of John Saxby, in the parjsh of Leeds, by whom he had issue, four sons and two daughters.”
Thu.s I ascertained that the first of the Children family who occupied Ramhurst as a residence was named Richard, and that he settled there in the early part of the- reign of George I. The year of his death, however, was not ^ven. This last particular I did not ascertain till several months afterwards, when a friend, versed in antiquarian lore, to whom I mentioned my desire to obtain it, suggested that the same Hasted, an extract from whose work I have given, had published, in 1778, a history of Kent, and that in that work 1 might possibly obtain the information I sought. lu effect, after considerable search, 1 there found the following paragraph:
“In the Eastern part of the parish of Lighe, (not Leigh,) near the river Medway, stands an ancient mansion calletl Ramhurst, once reputed a manor and held in the honor of Gloucester. » * *
It continued in the Culpepper family for several generations. •» * * passed by sale
into that of Saxby, and Mr. William Saxby conveyed it, by sale, to Children. Richard Children, Esq., resided here, and died posessttd 0/ it/in 1753, a,ge4.^ghty-three years. He was succeeded by his cldestsbn, John Children, of Tunbridge, Esq.,whose son, George Children, of Tunbridge, Esq., is the present possessor.”
Thus I verified the last remaining particular, the date of Richard Children’s death. It appears from the above, also, that Richard Children, was the only representative of the family who lived and died at Ramhtirst; but as of Tunbridge. From the private memoir above referred to, I had previously ascertained that the family-seat, after Richard's time, was Ferox Hall, near Tunbridge.
It remains to be added, that in 1816, in consequence of events reflecting no discredit j»»'the family, they lost all their property, arid were compelled to sell Ramhurst, which has since been occupied, though a somewhat spacious mansion, not as a family residence, but as a farm house. 1 visited it; and the occupant assured me that nothing worse than rats or mice disturbed it now
1 am not sure that I have found on record, among what are usually termed ghost stories, any narrative better authenticated than the foregoing. It involves, indeed, no startling or romantic particulars, no warning of death, no disclosure of murder, no circumstances of terror or danger; but is all the more reliable on that account; since those passions which are wont to excite and mislead the imaginations of men were not called into play.
It was communicated to me about fourteen months only after the events occurred, by both the chief witnesses, and incidentally confirmed, shortly afterwards, by a third.
The social position and personal character of the two ladies, lo whom tho figures appeared pix'clude.
a^the^utset, all idea whatever of willful mieetate-ment or deception. , The sight and sounds to which ^ they testified Uid pr^eni themselves to their senses. Whether their sensM played them false is another tjuestion. The theory of hallnoination renains to be dealt with. Let us inquire wheUier It be ftypU-cnble in the present case.
Miss 8 first saw the figures, not In the obscurity of night, not between sleefring snd waking, not Jn some old chamber rcpiiited to be haunted, but . in the open air, and as she was desoending from a carriage, in broad daylight. Subsequently, she not only saw them, but beard them Sfusk, and that always in daylight. There are, however, easee on record in which the sensee of hearing and si^l aro alleged to have bomi both hallucinate.
That of Taaso, for example. And if tho case ryot* ed here, such is the interpretation which the physician would put upon it.
But Rotne weeks afterwards another lady sees the appearance of the self-same figures. This oompli cates the case.
For, as elsewhere shown, it is generally admitted by m^ical writers on the subject, that while eases of collective illusion are common, it is doubtful whether there be on record a single authentie^Mso of collective hallucination; the iaferonoo hoingthat if two persons see the same appoaranee, it is not mere imagination; there is sosw objective foundation for it.
It is true, and should be taken into aoeount, that
Miss S had described the apparition to her
friend, ami that for a time the latlor had some expectation of witnessing it. And tMs will suggest to the skeptic^ as explanation, the theory of expectant attention. But in the first place it has never been proved that a mere expectant attention eould produce the appearance of a fl^ire with details of costume, to say nothing of the pboophoreoeont letters
appearing above it, which Mrs. R-- certainly did
not expect;. and secondly, Mrs. R—nxpronsly stated to mé, that as four weeks had clapood and she had seen nothing, she had ceased to expect it at all. Still less can we imagine that her thouifhts would be occupied with the matter at the moment when, hurried by a hungry and impatient brother, she was hastily completing in a cheerfully lighted room her dinner toilet. It would be diftenlt to select a moment out of the twenty-four hours when tlie imagination would be less likely tobe busy with spiritual fancies, or could be supposed excited to the point necessary to reproduce (if it can ever reproduce) the image of a described apparition.
But, conceding these improbabilities, what are we to make of the name of Children, communicated to the one lady through the sense of hearing, and to the other through that of sight ?
The name is a very uncommon one, and both the Indies answered me that they had never even heard it before, to say nothing of their being wholly ignorant whether any family bearing that name had formerly occupied the old house. This latter point they seek to clear up, but neither servante ner the neighbors can tell them anything about it. They Remained for four months without any explanation. At the end of that time one of the servants going home, accidentally ascertained ihgt about a hundred years ago or more, a famHy named Children did occupy that very house.
"What could imagination or expectation have to do with this? The images of the figures may he set down, in the case of both the ladies, as hallucination ; but the name remains a stubborn link, connecting these with the actual world.
If even we were to argu^^wbai ho one wRi believe—that this agreement of family name was but a chance coincidence, there remain yet other coincidences to account for before the whole dilBculty is settled. There is the alleged Christian as well as family name—Richard Children; there is the date indicated by the costume, “ the reign of Queen Anne or one of the early Georges;” snd finally, there is the year of Richard Children’s death.
These, the ladies stated to me, not knowing,whm they did so, what the actual facts were. These fbcts 1 myself subsequently disinterred,obtaining the evidence of a document preserved in the British Museum in proof that Richard Children did inherit the Ramhurst property in tbs focirth year of the reign of George I., and did make the Ramhurst mansimi-house his family residence. And he is the only representative of the family who lived and died there. His son John may have resided there fer a time; but, previous to his decessei, he had left the place for another seat near Tunbridge.
Then there is the circumstance that misfortune compelled the deeoendants of Richard Children to sell the Ramhurst property, and that their ancestor’s family mansion, passing into the hands of stpangers, was degraded (as that ancestor wonld doubtless heve considered it) to an ordinary farm house ; all this still tallying with the eommuniea-tioiig made.
It is perfectly idle, under the eireumstaneeei, to talk of fancy or fortuitous coincidence. Something other than imagination or accident, be it what it may, determin^the minute specifications obieined from the apparitions in the Old Kent Manor House.
The lesson taught by this story—if we admit the figures which presented themselves Jo the two ladies to have been, in verity, the appiuritions of the Children fhmily—is, that crime is not necessary to attract the spirits of the departed hack to earth; that a frame of mind of an exclusively .worldly cast —a character that never bestowed a thought upon anything beyond this earth, and was tronbled only by the cares of possession and the thoughts of gain —may equally draw dow& the spirit, though freed from the body, to gather, sfuraber and sorrow amid the scenes of its former care. If this be ss, hew strong the motive not to suffer the present and the temporal, necessary and proper in their piaees as they are, so completely to engross us as to usurp the place, and wholly to exclude the thoughts of the future and the spiritual I
CiviLiTT IS A FoarcMX.—Civility is a fortune itself, for courtesy always suoceeds well in liib, and that even when persons of ability sometimes fail. The famous Duke of Marlborough is a case in point. It was said of him by one cotemporary, that his agreeable manners often oonveried an enemy into a friend; and, by another, that it was more pleasing to be denied a favor by his Grace, than to receive one from other men. The praeieus manner of Charles James Fox preserved htin from I^rson^l dislike, even at a time when he was politically the most unpopular man in the kingdom. The history of the country is full of such exsmplee of success obtained by civility. The experience of every man ftirnishes, if we but recall the past, frequent instances of conciliatory manners having made the fortunes of physicians, lawyers, divines, politicians, i^erchants, and indeed, individuals of all pursuit^ On being introduced to a stranger, his affabjHij', or the revei-se, creates instantaneously a prejudice for or against him. To man, oivillty is in fact what beauty is to a woman; it is a general passport to favor, a letter of recommendation written in language that every stranger understands. The best of men have often injured themselves by irritability and consequent rudeness, as the greatest scoundrels have frequently succeeded by their plausible manners. Of two men, equal in other respects, the courteous one has twice a chance for fortune.
C-IN A Mothkr Fobgkt ?—Can a mother forget ? Not a morning, noon or night but she looks into the corner of the kitchen where you read Robinson Crusoe, and thinks of you as yet a boy. Mothers rarely become conscions of the yrowth of their ehild-ren. They think of them, advise them, write to them, as if not full fourteen years of age. They cannot forget the child. Three times a day she thinks who are absent from the table, and hopes that next year, at the farthest, she may “just see her own family there and if you are there, look out for the fat limb of a fried chicken,and that coffee which none but everybody’s own mother can make. Did Hannah for^t Samuel ? A short sentence, full of household history, and running over with genuine mother-love, is tellingly beauiiftil: “Moreover, his mother made him a little coat, and broflght it to him from year to year when she came up with her husband to the yearly sacrifice.”
A mother mourning at her first-born's grave, or closing the dying eye of child after child, displays a grief whose very sacredness is sublime, but bitterer, heavier than the death-stroke, if the desperation of a son rushes, over a crushed heart, into vices which he would hide even from the abandoned and the vile. ,
Perhaps few persons are aware that a silk handkerchief may be tightly stretched over a polished brass andiron, and a hot coal of fire laid on it without burning a hole, yet it is so—and a pure heart with a bright character is never burned or injured by the coals of calumny; it is only when the heart is rusted that it has the effect.
Humility is very pretty when she is not too '
pvoua of ft.