Miss Corner's Series came first, and then Julie was usually a Prince; but after we advanced to farces, her most successful character was that of the commercial traveller, Charley Beeswing, in "Twenty Minutes with a Tiger. Slade, R. The last time she acted was at Shoeburyness, where she was the guests of her friends Colonel and Mrs.
Strangways, and when Captain Goold-Adams and his wife also took part in the entertainment. The terrible news of Colonel Strangways' and Captain Goold-Adams's deaths from the explosion at Shoebury in February, , reached her whilst she was very ill, and shocked her greatly; though she often alluded to the help she got from thinking of Colonel Strangways' unselfishness, courage, and submission during his last hours, and trying to bear her own sufferings in the same spirit.
She was so much pleased with the description given of his grave being lined with moss and lilac crocuses, that when her own had to be dug it was lined in a similar way. Here the description must be quoted of Madam Liberality's struggles between generosity and conscientiousness:— It may seem strange that Madam Liberality should ever have been accused of meanness, and yet her eldest brother did once shake his head at her and say, "You're the most meanest and the generousest person I ever knew!
But it was the touch of truth in it which made Madam Liberality cry. To the end of their lives Tom and she were alike, and yet different in this manner. Madam Liberality saved, and pinched, and planned, and then gave away, and Tom gave away without the pinching and the saving. This sounds much handsomer, and it was poor Tom's misfortune that he always believed it to be so; though he gave away what did not belong to him, and fell back for the supply of his own pretty numerous wants upon other people, not forgetting Madam Liberality.
Painful experience convinced Madam Liberality in the end that his way was a wrong one, but she had her doubts many times in her life whether there were not something unhandsome in her own decided talent for economy. Not that economy was always pleasant to her. When people are very poor for their position in life, they can only keep out of debt by stinting on many occasions when stinting is very painful to a liberal spirit. And it requires a sterner virtue than good nature to hold fast the truth that it is nobler to be shabby and honest than to do things handsomely in debt.
But long before Tom had a bill even for bull's-eyes and Gibralter rock, Madam Liberality was pinching and plotting, and saving bits of coloured paper and ends of ribbon, with a thriftiness which seemed to justify Tom's view of her character. The object of these savings was twofold,—birthday presents and Christmas-boxes. They were the chief cares and triumphs of Madam Liberality's childhood. It was with the next birthday or approaching Christmas in view that she saved her pence instead of spending them, but she so seldom had any money that she chiefly relied on her own ingenuity.
Year by year it became more difficult to make anything which would "do for a boy"; but it was easy to please Darling, and "mother's" unabated appreciation of pin-cushions, and of needle-books made out of old cards, was most satisfactory. Equally characteristic of Julie's moral courage and unselfishness is the incident of how Madam Liberality suffered the doctor's assistant to extract the tooth fang whch had been accidentally left in her jaw, because her mother's "fixed scale of reward was sixpence for a tooth without fangs, and a shilling for one with them," and she wanted the larger sum to spend on Christmas-tree presents.
Moralists say a great deal about pain treading so very closely on the heels of pleasure in this life, but they are not always wise or grateful enough to speak of the pleasure which springs out of pain. And yet there is a bliss which comes just when the pain has ceased, whose rapture rivals even the high happiness of unbroken health; and there is a keen pleasure about small pleasures hardly earned, in which the full measure of those who can afford anything they want is sometimes lacking.
Relief is certainly one of the most delicious sensations which poor humanity can enjoy! If the story could be told of how Julie went alone to a London surgeon, to have an operation performed on her throat, because she did not like to give any one the trouble of being present at such an unpleasant scene, it would read very much like a chapter from Madam Liberality's biography.
Happily, Julie too earned a reward in the relief which she appreciated so keenly; for, after this event, quinsies became things of the past to her, and she had them no more. As she emerged from the nursery and began to take an interest in our village neighbours, her taste for "projects" was devoted to their interests. It was her energy that established a lending library in , which still remains a flourishing institution; but all her attempts were not crowned with equal success.
She often recalled, with great amusement, how, the first day on which she distributed tracts as a District Visitor, an old lady of limited ideas and crabbed disposition called in the evening to restore the tract which had been lent to her, remarking that she had brought it back and required no more as,— "My 'usband does not attend the public 'ouse, and we've no unrewly children! Perfectly unconscious she was of how she looked, and I had great difficulty in getting her to pack up and move on. Every quaint Dutch boat, every queer street, every peasant in gold ornaments, was a treasure for her note-book.
We were very happy! I doubt, indeed, whether her companion has experienced greater enjoyment during any of his later and more luxurious visits to the same spots; the first sight of a foreign country must remain a unique sensation. It was not the intrinsic value of Julie's gifts to us that made them so precious, but the wide-hearted spirit which always prompted them.
Out of a moderate income she could only afford to be generous from her constant habit of thinking first for others, and denying herself. When the carrier brought home the unexpectedly large parcel that night, it was difficult to say whether the receiver or the giver was the happier. Freedom of choice to a weary mind is quite as refreshing as ozone to an exhausted body.
Julie had none of the petty tyranny about her which often mars the generosity of otherwise liberal souls, who insist on giving what they wish rather than what the receiver wants. There was one person, however, whom Julie found less easy to deal with, and that was a relation, whose liberality even exceeded her own.
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When Greek met Greek over Christmas presents, then came the tug of war indeed! She wants me to make her a sketch for somebody else, and I've promised to do it. She was so much delighted with it, she could not make up her mind to give it away, and Julie laughed many times with pleasure as she reflected on the unexpected success that had crowned her final effort.
I spoke of "Melchior's Dream," and must revert to it again, for though it was written when my sister was only nineteen, I do not think she has surpassed it in any of her later domestic tales. Some of the writing in the introduction may be rougher and less finished than she was capable of in after-years, but the originality, power, and pathos of the Dream itself are beyond doubt. In it, too, she showed the talent which gives the highest value to all her work—that of teaching deep religious lessons without disgusting her readers by any approach to cant or goody-goodyism.
During the years to , we kept up a MS. Many of her poems on local events were genuinely witty, and her serial tales the backbone of the periodical. Two of those that my sister wrote, in the respective years and , shall be given here, as they are not published elsewhere, and I think other children besides our Ecclesfield ones may like to sing them.
The first was written to the tune of Hymn 50 in the present edition of "Hymns, Ancient and Modern. Come down! O Holy Ghost! It was the promise of the Lord.
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The second hymn is in the same metre as "The Pilgrims of the Night," and was written to fit the flowery tune to which the latter was originally attached. The accepted time is now. My sister published very few of the things which she wrote to amuse us in our MS. The scene of this is a hill-side near our old home, and Mr. Andre's fantastic and graceful illustrations to the verses when they came out as a book, gave her full satisfaction and delight.
Julie found no real satisfaction in writing this kind of literature, and she soon discarded it; but her first attempt showed some promise of the prolific power of her imagination, for Mr. The contrast between the semi-insane nature and that of the hypocrite might be powerfully worked up; but these are mere suggestions from an old craftsman, who never expects younger ones to see things as veterans do. It was supposed that the Tales and Letters were really written by Julie, and the introductory portions that strung them together by my Mother.
Moss," and "The Snoring Ghosts" came out. In these stories I can trace many of the influences which surrounded my sister whilst she was still the "always cayling Miss Julie," suffering from constant attacks of quinsy, and in the intervals reviving from them with the vivacity of Madam Liberality, and frequently going away to pay visits to her friends for change of air.
We had one great friend to whom Julie often went, as she lived within a mile of our home, but on a perfectly different soil to ours. Ecclesfield is built on clay, but, Grenoside, the village where our friend lived, is on sand and much higher in altitude. From it we have often looked down at Ecclesfield lying in fog, whilst at Grenoside the air was clear and the sun shining. Here my sister loved to go, and from the home where she was so welcome and tenderly cared for, she drew though no facts yet much of the colouring which is seen in Mrs. Years after our friend had followed her loved ones to their better home, and had bequeathed her egg-shell brocade to my sister, Julie had another resting-place in Grenoside, to which she was as warmly welcomed as to the old one, during days of weakness and convalescence.
Here, in an atmosphere of cultivated tastes and loving appreciation, she spent many happy hours, sketching some of the villagers at their picturesque occupations of carpet-weaving and clog-making, or amusing herself in other ways. This home, too, was broken up by Death, but Mrs. Ewing looked back to it with great affection, and when, at the beginning of her last illness, whilst she still expected to recover, she was planning a visit to her Yorkshire home, she sighed to think that Grenoside was no longer open to her.
On June 1, , my sister was married to Alexander Ewing, A. View from the window of Reka Dom. A gap now occurred in the continuation of "Mrs. Overtheway's Remembrances. Overtheway" was continued by the story of "Reka Dom.
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The winter of was passed by her at Clyst St. George, near Topsham, with the family of her kind friend, Rev. Ellacombe; and she evolved Mrs. For the descriptions of Father and Mother Albatross and their island home, in the last and most beautiful tale of "Kerguelen's Land," she was indebted to her husband, a wide traveller and very acute observer of nature. In October, , she and Major Ewing returned to England, and from this time until May, , he was stationed at Aldershot. Whilst living in Fredericton my sister formed many close friendships.
Hut, X Lines, South Camp. The dwarfs inspired Mr. Cruikshank to one of his best water-colour sketches: who is the happy possessor thereof I do not know, but the woodcut illustration very inadequately represents the beauty and delicacy of the picture. She threw over them, as over everything she touched, all the warm sympathy of her loving heart, and it always seemed to me as if this enabled her almost to get inside the minds of her pets, and know how to describe their feelings.
The Bear is at breakfast, and the dog occasionally licks his nose when it comes up out of the bucket. The pink-nosed bull-dog in "Amelia" bears a strong likeness to a well-beloved "Hector" whom she took charge of in Fredericton whilst his master had gone on leave to be married in England. Hector, too, was "a snow-white bull-dog who was certainly as well-bred and as amiable as any living creature in the kingdom ," with a pink nose that "became crimson with increased agitation.
Welsh rabbit. Blueberry pudding. Pork sausages. Buckwheat pancakes and molasses; and "the fortune" decided which of these dainties he was to have for supper. Shortly before the Ewings started from Fredericton they went into the barracks, whence a battalion of some regiment had departed two days before, and there discovered a large black retriever who had been left behind. Never did a more benevolent disposition exist; his broad forehead and kind eyes, set widely apart, did not belie him; there was a strong strain of Newfoundland in his breed, and a strong likeness to a bear in the way his feathered paws half crossed over each other in walking.
A very amusing domestic story by my sister, called "The Snap Dragons" came out in the Christmas number of the Monthly Packet for , and it has not yet been published separately. I think the Marsh Julie had in her mind's eye with a "long and steep bank," is one near the canal at Aldershot, where she herself used to enjoy hunting for kingcups, bog-asphodel, sundew, and the like.
The tale is a charming combination of humour and pathos, and the last clause, where "the shoes go home," is enough to bring tears to the eyes of every one who loves the patter of childish feet.
It was very beautifully illustrated by Helen Paterson now Mrs. Allingham , and the design where the "little ladies," in big beaver bonnets, are seated at a shop-counter buying flat-irons, was afterwards reproduced in water-colours by Mrs. Allingham, and exhibited at the Royal Society of Painters in Water-colours , where it attracted Mr. Ruskin's attention. Allingham is now herself a well-known artist, whose pictures are hung in the Royal Academy.
The scene of the little girls in beaver bonnets was really taken from an incident of Julie's childhood, when she and her "duplicate" my eldest sister being the nearest in age, size, and appearance of any of the family, used to be dressed exactly alike, and were inseparable companions: their flat-irons, I think, were bought in Matlock.
Shadowy glimpses of this same "duplicate" are also to be caught in Mrs. Overtheway's "Fatima," and Madam Liberality's "Darling. Such characters are not common, and they grow rarer year by year. We do well to hold them in everlasting remembrance. Pictured by R. Ewing, depicted by R. Both reprinted in "The Brownies, and other Tales. John, we strolled down, out of the principal street, and wandered on the river shore. We stopped to rest opposite to a large old house, then in the hands of workmen. There was only the road between this house and the river, and on the banks, one or two old willows.
We said we should like to make our first home in some such spot. Ere many weeks were over, we were established in that very house where we spent the first year, or more, of our time in Fredericton. We called it "Reka Dom," the River House. Peace to all! Peace to all. She saw Mr. I recollect how proud we were on one occasion, when our disguises were so complete, that a neighbouring farmer's wife, at whose door we went to act, drove us as ignominiously away, as the Housekeeper did the children in the story.
The tale was a very popular one, and many children wrote to ask where they could buy copies of the Play in order to act it themselves. Julie never really either went to school or had a governess, though for a brief period she was under the kind care of some ladies at Brighton, but they were relations, and she went to them more for the benefit of sea breezes than lessons.
She certainly chiefly educated herself by the "thorough" way in which she pursued the various tastes she had inherited, and into which she was guided by our Mother. Then she never thought she had learned enough , but throughout her whole life was constantly improving and adding to her knowledge.
Her own best works were etchings on copper of trees and landscapes, whereas Julie's artistic talent lay more in colours and human forms. The only real lessons in sketching she ever had were a few from Mr. Paul Naftel, years after she was married. One of her favourite methods for practicing drawing was to devote herself to thoroughly studying the sketches of some one master, in order to try and unravel the special principles on which he had worked, and then to copy his drawings. She pursued this plan with some of Chinnery's curious and effective water-colour sketches, which were lent to her by friends, and she found it a very useful one.
She made copies from De Wint, Turner, and others, in the same way, and certainly the labour she threw into her work enabled her to produce almost facsimiles of the originals. She was greatly interested one day by hearing a lady, who ranks as the best living English writer of her sex, say that when she was young she had practiced the art of writing, in just the same way that Julie pursued that of drawing, namely, by devoting herself to reading the works of one writer at a time, until her brain was so saturated with his style that she could vvrite exactly like him, and then passing on to an equally careful study of some other author.
Ewing, Juliana Horatia [WorldCat Identities]
Abercrombie's efforts to console her, were purely imaginary. The Autumn Military Manoeuvers in were held near Salisbury Plain, and Major Ewing was so much fascinated by the quaint old town of Amesbury, where he was quartered, that he took my sister afterwards to visit the place. All the scenery is drawn from the neighbourhood of Amesbury, and the Wiltshire dialect she acquired by the aid of a friend, who procured copies for her of "Wiltshire Tales" and "A Glossary of Wiltshire Words and Phrases," both by J.
Akerman, F. She gleaned her practical knowledge of life in a windmill, and a "Miller's Thumb," from an old man who used to visit her hut in the South Camp, Aldershot, having fallen from being a Miller with a genuine Thumb to the less exalted position of hawking muffins in winter and "Sally Lunns" in summer! Allingham illustrated the story; two of her best designs were Jan and his Nurse Boy sitting on the plain watching the crows fly, and Jan's first effort at drawing on his slate. It was published as a book in , and dedicated to our eldest sister, and the title was then altered to "Jan of the Windmill, a Story of the Plains.
She also wrote during this year "Among the Merrows," a fantastic account of a visit she paid to the Aquarium at the Crystal Palace. To the December number she gave "Madam Liberality. The character of McAlister in this story is a Scotchman of the Scotch, and, chiefly in consequence of this fact, the book was dedicated to James Boyn McCombie, an uncle of Major Ewing, who always showed a most kind and helpful interest in my sister's literary work. He died a few weeks before she did, much to her sorrow, but the Dedication will remain when the story comes out as it shortly will do , in a separate form, illustrated by Mr.
The incident which makes the tale specially appropriate to be dedicated to so true and unobtrusive a philanthropist as Mr. McCombie was, is the Highlander's burning anxiety to rescue John Broom from his vagrant career. It is a curious fact that, though her power of describing death-bed scenes was so vivid, I believe she never saw any one die; and I will venture to say that her description of McAlister's last hours surpasses in truth and power the end of Leonard's "Short Life"; the extinction of the line of "Old Standards" in Daddy Darwin; the unseen call that led Jan's Schoolmaster away; and will even bear comparison with Jackanapes ' departure through the Grave to that "other side" where "the Trumpets sounded for him.
When a candle had been brought in and placed near the bed, the Highlander roused himself and asked: "Is there a Bible on yon table? Could ye read a bit to me, laddie? Weel ye'll learn when ye gang hame," said the Highlander, in gentle tones. I'll never get over it, that I couldn't read to ye when ye wanted me, McAlister. And for me—I'm not that presoomtious to think I can square up a misspent life as a man might compound wi's creditors. So dinna fret yoursel', but let me think while I may. It was just midnight when he partly raised himself, and cried: "Whisht, laddie!
They were playing the old year out with "Auld Lang Syne," and the Highlander beat the time out with his hand, and his eyes gleamed out of his rugged face in the dim light, as cairngorms glitter in dark tartan. There was a pause after the first verse, and he grew restless, and turning doubtfully to where John Broom sat, as if his sight were failing, he said: "Ye'll mind your promise, ye'll gang hame? As the light of sunrise creeps over the face of some rugged rock, it crept from chin to brow, and the pale blue eyes shone tranquil, like water that reflects heaven.
And when it had passed it left them still open, but gems that had lost their ray. Death-beds are not the only things which Julie had the power of picturing out of her inner consciousness apart from actual experience. She was much amused by the pertinacity with which unknown correspondents occasionally inquired after her "little ones," unable to give her the credit of describing and understanding children unless she possessed some of her own.
Juliana Horatia Ewing's Works
There is a graceful touch at the end of " Lob ," which seems to me one of the most delicate evidences of her universal sympathy with all sorts and conditions of men,—and women! Even after the sobering influences of middle age had touched him, and a wife and children bound him with the quiet ties of home, he had at long intervals his "restless times" when his good "missis" would bring out a little store laid by in one of the children's socks, and would bid him "Be off, and get a breath of the sea air," but on condition that the sock went with him as his purse.
John Broom always looked ashamed to go, but he came back the better, and his wife was quite easy in his absence with that confidence in her knowledge of "the master," which is so mysterious to the unmarried. Broom, and home he came, and never could say what he had been doing. I remember our inspecting a barge on the canal at Aldershot, with a friend who understood all its details, and we arranged to go on an expedition in it to gain further experience, but were somehow prevented. The allusions to Dartmouth arose from our visit there, of which I have already spoken, and which took place whilst she was writing the tale; and her knowledge of the intricacies of the Great Eastern Railway between Fenchurch Street Station and North Woolwich came from the experience she gained when we went on expeditions to Victoria Docks, where one of our brothers was doing parochial work under Canon Boyd.
They are thoroughly Eastern in character, and full of dry wit. I must here digress to speak of some other work that my sister did during the time she lived in Aldershot. Both she and Major Ewing took great interest in the amateur concerts and private musical performances that took place in the camp, and the V.
This book became a standing joke amongst them, because one of the reviewers said it contained "songs by four writers, one of whom was a poet," and he did not specify the one by name. Whatever his opinion may have been, there are two "poems" of my sister's in the volume which deserve to be noticed here; they are very different in type, one of them was written to suit a sweet singer with a tenor voice, and the other a powerful and effective baritone. The former was gracefully set to music by my brother Alfred Scott Gatty, and spoiled by his publisher, who insisted on "adapting" it to his own ideas of the public taste.
The latter was set too well by Mr. Duggan to have any chance of becoming "popular," if the publisher's gauge of taste was a true one. How many years ago, love, Since you came courting me? Through oak-tree wood and o'er the lea, With rosy cheeks and waistcoat gay, And mostly not a word to say,— How many years ago, love, How many years ago? Between your lips a sprig of oak: You were not one with much to say, But Mother spoke for you that day,— How many years ago, love, How many years ago?
So many years ago, love, That soon our time must come To leave our girl without a home;— She's like her Mother, love, you've said; At her age I had long been wed,— How many years ago, love, How many years ago? For love of long ago, love, If John has ought to say, When he comes up to us to-day A likely lad, though short of tongue , Remember, husband, we were young,— How many years ago, love, How many years ago?
O Elleree! Seeing what none else may see, Dost thou see the man in grey? Dost thou hear the night hounds bay? The Preface to this book is well worth the study of those who are interested in the composition of Fairy literature. Julie began by explaining that though the title of the book might lead people to think it consisted of "old fairy tales told afresh," yet they were all new, "except for the use of common 'properties' of Fairy Drama,.
Such as the idea of the weak outwitting the strong; the failure of man to choose wisely when he may have his wish; or the desire of sprites to exchange their careless and unfettered existence for the pains and penalties of humanity, if they may thereby share in the hopes of the human soul. Secondly, that in these household stories the models for which were originally oral tradition , the thing to be most avoided is a discursive or descriptive style of writing. Brevity and epigram must ever be the soul of their wit, and they should be written as tales that are told.
She also wrote in an article on "Little Woods" and a domestic story called "A very Ill-tempered Family. I think, too, that the very vividness of the children she drew made me feel about them what is said of the little girl in the nursery rhyme, that "when she was nice she was very, very nice, but when she was nasty she was horrid. The incident of Isobel's reciting the Te Deum is a touching one, because the habit of repeating it by heart, especially in bed at night, was one which Julie herself had practiced from the days of childhood, when, I believe, it was used to drive away the terrors of darkness.
The last day on which she expressed any expectation of recovering from her final illness was one on which she said, "I think I must be getting better, for I've repeated the Te Deum all through, and since I've been ill I've only been able to say a few sentences at once. The German print of the Crucifixion, on which Isobel saw the light of the setting sun fall, is one which has hung over my sister's drawing-room fireplace in every home of wood or stone which she has had for many years past.
He belonged to the mess of the Royal Engineers in the South Camp, Aldershot, and was as dignified as if he held the office of President. I shall never forget one occasion on which he was invited to luncheon at Mrs. Ewing's hut, that I might have the pleasure of making his acquaintance; he had to be unwillingly carried across the Lines in the arms of an obliging subaltern, but directly he arrived, without waiting for the first course even, he struggled out of the officer's embrace and galloped back to his own mess-table, tail erect and thick with rage at the indignity he had undergone.
We feel as if Sybil and Basil, and the Gipsy Mother and Christian had scarcely room to breathe in the few pages that they are crowded into; there is certainly too much "subject" here for the size of the canvas! The method by which he silenced awkward questions from any of his family is truly delightful: "Will the donkey be cooked when he is fat? He always did this when he was annoyed with any of his family; and though we knew what was coming, we are all so fond of valerian, we could never resist the temptation to sniff, just on the chance of there being some about.
One more quotation must be made from the end of the story, where Father Hedgehog gives a list of the fates that befell his children: Number one came to a sad end. What on the face of the wood made him think of pheasants' eggs I cannot conceive. I'm sure I never said anything about them!
It was whilst he was scrambling along the edge of the covert, that he met the Fox, and very properly rolled himself into a ball. The Fox's nose was as long as his own, and he rolled my poor son over and over with it, till he rolled him into the stream. The young urchins swim like fishes, but just as he was scrambling to shore, the Fox caught him by the waistcoat and killed him. I do hate slyness! It seems scarcely conceivable that any one can sympathise sufficiently with a hedgehog as to place himself in the latter's position, and share its paternal anxieties,— but I think Julie was able to do so, or, at any rate, her translations of the hedgepig's whines were so ben trovati , they may well stand until some better interpreter of the languages of the brute creation rises up amongst us.
Any one whose appetite is as keen, and whose hind-legs are as powerful as mine, will understand the delights of hunting, and being hunted, in a pond; where the light comes down in fitful rays and reflections through the water, and gleams among the hanging roots of the frog-bit, and the fading leaves of the water-starwort, through the maze of which, in and out, hither and thither, you pursue and are pursued, in cool and skilful chase, by a mixed company of your neighbours, who dart, and shoot, and dive, and come and go, and any one of whom, at any moment, may either eat you or be eaten by you.
And if you want peace and quiet, where can one bury oneself so safely and completely as in the mud? A state of existence, without mud at the bottom, must be a life without repose! Spiritual Laws can only be drawn from the Natural World when they are based on Truth. Julie spared no trouble in trying to ascertain whether hedgehogs do or do not eat pheasants' eggs; she consulted The Field, and books on sport, and her sporting friends, and when she found it was a disputed point, she determined to give the Hedgepig the benefit of the doubt.
Then the taste for valerian, and the fox's method of capture, were drawn from facts, and the gruesome details as to who ate who in the Glass Pond were equally well founded! This volume of the MAGAZINE is rich in contributions from Julie, the reason being that she was stronger in health whilst she lived at Aldershot than during any other period of her life. The sweet dry air of "the Highwayman's Heath"—bared though it was of heather! She liked to stroll out and listen to "Retreat" being sounded at sundown, especially when it was the turn of some regiment with pipes to perform the duty; they sounded so shrill and weird, coming from the distant hill through the growing darkness.
Our latest Pet—a refugee Pup, whom we have saved from the common hangman. We held a curious function one hot July evening during Retreat, when, the fates being propitious, it was the turn of the 42nd Highlanders to play. But it seemed he was too finely bred to survive the ravages of distemper, for, though he was tenderly nursed, he died. A wreath of flowers was hung round his neck, and, as he lay on his bier, Julie made a sketch of him, with the inscription, "The little Collie, Eheu!
Taken in, June In spite of care, died July 1. Speravimus meliora. But though this be so, the lesson shown of how the Boy's story foreshadows the Man's history, is one which cannot be learned too early. Julie never pictured a dearer dog than the Peronet whom she originated from the fat stumpy-tailed puppy who is seen playing with the children in the woodcut to "Our Field.
Peronet was as fond of the Field as we were. What he liked were the little birds. At least, I don't know that he liked them, but they were what he chiefly attended to. I think he knew that it was our field, and thought he was the watch-dog of it; and whenever a bird settled down anywhere, he barked at it, and then it flew away, and he ran barking after it till he lost it; by that time another had settled down, and then Peronet flew at him, all up and down the hedge. He never caught a bird, and never would let one sit down, if he could see it. Then what a vista is opened by the light that is "left out" in the concluding words:— I know that Our Field does not exactly belong to us.
Richard says he believes it belongs to the gentleman who lives at the big red house among the trees. But he must be wrong; for we see that gentleman at church every Sunday, but we never saw him in Our Field. And I don't believe anybody could have such a field of their very own, and never come to see it, from one end of summer to the other. It is almost impossible to quote portions of the "Blind Man" without marring the whole.
The story is so condensed—only four pages in length; it is one of the most striking examples of my sister's favourite rule in composition to which further allusion shall be made hereafter —"never use two words where one will do. One—if not two—must bear and forbear to be happy, even on one's wedding-day.
Juliana Horatia Ewing's Works
And, when they reached their journey's end, Lazarus was no longer "the wretched one. But he made no reply. He should have kept his promise. Tears on our wedding-day, too! I suppose the truth is, that no one is happy. Then the Kyrkegrim, feeling sure that he could make more impression on their hardened hearts than the priest did, ascended from the floor to the pulpit, and tried to set the world to rights; but eventually he was glad to return to his broom, and leave "heavier responsibilities in higher hands.
The last contribution, in , which remains to be mentioned is "Dandelion Clocks," a short tale; but it will need rather a long introduction, as it opens out into a fresh trait of my sister's character, namely, her love for flowers. The habit of weaving stories round them began in girlhood, when she was devoted to reading Mr. Wood's graceful translation of Alphonse Karr's "Voyage autour de mon Jardin.
I confess that when she pointed out the shrub to me for the first time, in Mr. Ellacombe's garden, it looked so like the "Plum-pudding tree" in the "Willow pattern" and fell so far short of my expectation of the plant over which the two florists had squabbled, that I almost wished that I had not seen it!
Still I did not share their discomfiture so fully as to think "it no longer good for anything but firewood! But a truce to this cold-hearted pleasantry. No, it is not a folly to be under the empire of the most beautiful—the most noble feelings; it is no folly to feel oneself great, strong, invincible; it is not a folly to have a good, honest, and generous heart; it is no folly to be filled with good faith; it is not a folly to devote oneself for the good of others; it is not a folly to live thus out of real life.
No, no; that cold wisdom which pronounces so severe a judgment upon all it cannot do; that wisdom which owes its birth to the death of so many great, noble, and sweet things; that wisdom which only comes with infirmities, and which decorates them with such fine names—which calls decay of the powers of the stomach and loss of appetite sobriety; the cooling of the heart and the stagnation of the blood a return to reason; envious impotence a disdain for futile things;—this wisdom would be the greatest, the most melancholy of follies, if it were not the commencement of the death of the heart and the senses.
Indeed, the tale always reminds me of a series of peaceful scenes by Cuyp, with low horizons, sleek cattle, and a glow in the sky betokening the approach of sunset. First we have "Peter Paul and his two sisters playing in the pastures" at blowing dandelion clocks: Rich, green, Dutch pastures, unbroken by hedge or wall, which stretched—like an emerald ocean—to the horizon and met the sky. The cows stood ankle-deep in it and chewed the cud, the clouds sailed slowly over it to the sea, and on a dry hillock sat Mother, in her broad sun-hat, with one eye to the cows, and one to the linen she was bleaching, thinking of her farm.
The actual outlines of this scene may be traced in the German woodcut to which the tale was written, but the colouring is Julie's! The only disturbing element in this quiet picture is Peter Paul's restless, inquiring heart. What wonder that when his bulb-growing uncle fails to solve the riddle of life, Peter Paul should go out into the wider world and try to find a solution for himself? But the answers to our life problems full often are to be found within, for those who will look, and so Peter Paul comes back after some years to find that: The elder sister was married and had two children.
She had grown up very pretty,—a fair woman, with liquid misleading eyes. They looked as if they were gazing into the far future, but they did not see an inch beyond the farm. Anna was a very plain copy of her in body; in mind she was the elder sister's echo. They were very fond of each other, and the prettiest thing about them was their faithful love for their mother, whose memory was kept as green as pastures after rain. Peter Paul's temperament, however, was not one that could adapt itself to a stagnant existence; so when his three weeks on shore are ended, we see him on his way from the Home Farm to join his ship: Leena walked far over the pastures with Peter Paul.
She was very fond of him, and she had a woman's perception that they would miss him more than he could miss them. Peter Paul kissed the tears tenderly from her cheeks. I'll come back yet, Leena, and live very near to you, and grow tulips, and be as good an old bachelor-uncle to your boy as Uncle Jacob is to me. When they got to the hillock where Mother used to sit Peter Paul took her once more into his arms.
Happy for the artistic temperament that can profit by such rebuffs! Depicted by R. Alfred Gatty.
Complete edition. O Thou! NE of the causes which helped to develop my sister's interest in flowers was the sight of the fresh ones that she met with on going to live in New Brunswick after her marriage. Every strange face was a subject for study, and she soon began to devote a note-book to sketches of these new friends, naming them scientifically from Professor Asa Gray's "Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States," whilst Major Ewing added as many of the Melicete names as he could glean from Peter, a member of the tribe, who had attached himself to the Ewings, and used constantly to come about their house.
John River to that on which the Reka Dom stood. Peter was the most skilful embroiderer in beads amongst her people, and Peter himself the best canoe-builder. He made a beautiful one for the Ewings, which they constantly used; and when they returned to England his regret at losing them was wonderfully mitigated by the present which Major Ewing gave him of an old gun; he declared no gentleman had ever thought of giving him such a thing before!
Indian Squaw. Julie introduced several of the North American flowers into her stories. This allusion was only a slight one, but Julie wrote a complete story on one species of Trillium, having a special affection for the whole genus. The story is a graceful legend of an old Hermit whose life was spent in growing herbs for the healing of diseases; and when he, in his turn, was struck with blindness, he could not reconcile himself to the loss of the occupation which alone seemed to make him of use in the world.
First he was supplied with a serving-boy, who became eyes and feet to him, from gratitude for cures which the Hermit had done to the lad himself; and then a vision was granted to the old man, wherein he saw a flower which would heal his blindness:— "And what was the Trinity Flower like, my Father? Every part was threefold.
The leaves were three, the petals three, the sepals three. The flower was snow-white, but on each of the three parts it was stained with crimson stripes, like white garments dyed in blood. Moreover, I have set thee an ill example, in that I have murmured at that which God—Who knoweth best—ordained for me. When God will. As God will. Trillium erythrocarpum. Julie called the tale by the old-fashioned name of the flower, "Ladders to Heaven.
I remember how glad we were when we found the woolly-leaved yellow mullein growing on some of these dreary places, and helping to cover up their nakedness. In later years my sister heard with much pleasure that a mining friend was doing what he could to repair the damages he made on the beauty of the country, by planting over the worked-out mines such trees and plants as would thrive in the poor and useless shale, which was left as a covering to once rich and valuable spots. Mary's Church, Ecclesfield. A similar power of perception was displayed in her verses on "An Only Child's Tea-party.
Julie had heard about one of these, a lonely, motherless boy, whose chief joy was to harness Granny to his "hearse" and play at funeral processions round the drawing-room, where his dead mother had once toddled in her turn. The boy in "Brothers of Pity" is the principal character, and the animals occupy minor positions. Cock-Robin only appears as a corpse on the scene; and Julie did not touch much on bird pets in any of her tales, chiefly because she never kept one, having too much sympathy with their powers and cravings for flight to reconcile herself to putting them in cages.
The flight and recapture of the Cocky in " Lob " were drawn from life, though the bird did not belong to her, but her descriptions of how he stood on the window-sill "scanning the summer sky with his fierce eyes, and flapping himself in the breeze,. Howells called "woman's heaven-born ignorance of the insuperable difficulties of doing right. It is needless to say that she gets her own way, since, There's a soft persistence about a cat That even a little kitten can show. She has, however, the grace to purr when she is pleased, which all kits and cats have not!
I'm happy in ev'ry hair of my fur, They may keep the hamper and hay themselves. And if I'm naughty now and then, it'll most likely be your fault: and if it isn't, you mustn't mind; For even if I seem to be cross you ought to know that I mean to be kind. She took down the motto which she had hung over her hearth to temper her joy in the comfort thereof,— Ut migraturus habita, —and moved the scroll on to her next resting-place.
No one knew better than she the depth of Mrs. Hemans's definition,—"What is home,—and where,—but with the loving? It was a joke amongst some of her friends that though rose-coloured curtains and bevelled-edged looking-glasses could be counted upon in their bed-rooms, such commonplace necessities as soap might be forgotten, and the glasses be fastened in artistic corners of the rooms, rather than in such lights as were best adapted for shaving by! South Camp, Aldershot.
Julie followed the course of the new lines in which her lot was cast most cheerfully, but the "mighty heart" could not really support the "little body"; and the fatigue of packing, combined with the effects of the relaxing climate of Bowdon, near Manchester, where she went to live, acted sadly upon her constitution. Then, too, she wished, as I mentioned before, to contrast the national types of character in the English, Scotch, and Irish heroes, and to show the good contained in each of them.
But the tale seemed to have been begun under an unlucky star. The first half, which came out in the first six numbers of the MAGAZINE for , is excellent as a matter of art; and as pictures of North-country life and scenery nothing can be better than Walnut-tree Farm and Academy, the Miser's Funeral, and the Bee-master's Visit to his Hives on the Moors, combined with attendance at Church on a hot Sunday afternoon in August it need scarcely be said that the church is a real one. But, good though all this is, it is too long and "out of proportion," when one reflects how much of the plot was left to be unravelled in the other half of the tale.
And she did. But the house-dog sat and blinked. He dared not speak, he was in disgrace. Wild dogs often amend their ways far on this side of the gallows, and the Faithful sometimes fall; but when any one begins by being only so-so, he is very apt to be so-so to the end. So-so's so seldom change. In the summer of she and I went up from Aldershot to see the Exhibition of Water-Colours by the Royal Society of Painters, and she was completely fascinated by a picture of Mr. Watson's, called "A Gentleman of the Road. The manuscript went through many vicissitudes, was inadvertently torn up and thrown into the waste-paper basket, whence it was rescued and the pieces carefully enclosed in an envelope ready for mending; but afterwards lost again for many months in a box that was sent abroad, and now it must ever remain amongst the unwritten.
Galloway, who proved to have bought Mr. Watson's work, and he was actually kind enough to lend the treasure to her for a considerable time, so that she could study it thoroughly and make a most accurate copy of it. Galloway's friendship, and that of some other people whom she first met at Bowdon, were the brightest spots in Julie's existence during this period.
In September, , the Ewings removed to Fulford, near York, and, on their arrival, Julie at once devoted herself to adorning her new home. We were very much amused by the incredulous amazement betrayed on the stolid face of an elderly workman, to whom it was explained that he was required to distemper the walls of the drawing room with a sole colour, instead of covering them with a paper, after the manner of all the other drawing-rooms he had ever had to do with. But he was too polite to express his difference of taste by more than looks;—and some days after the room was finished, with etchings duly hung on velvet in the panels of the door,—the sole-coloured walls well covered with pictures, whence they stood out undistracted by gold and flowery paper patterns,—the distemperer called, and asked if he might be allowed, as a favour, to see the result of Mrs.
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