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came nearer, her form melted into air, and when he | reached the spot where she had stood, he was alone!"

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My companion's voice had sunk to a whisper, and his eye rolled, as if in terror at his own narra. tive. Again he spoke. She lingers here still," he said. In the twilight, when the full crescent of the moon is seen in yonder sky, her spirit hovers over this spot-the last she visited on earth. Look! [and he pointed to the ruin] listen! it is herself! [and his eyes gleamed,] she is singing the requiem of her departed soul !"

He seized me by the arm, and dragged me to the edge of the precipice. A thin, blue vapour was curling upwards, and the southern wind moaned over the distant waters. A horrid suspicion seized me!

Who, what, was he who stood beside me ? His wild eyes scared me, while the tightening grasp of my arm pained me. I struggled to escape from him; but, with a laugh, he dragged me nearer to the yawning precipice. One more effort-it was for life; and I broke from him, and fled towards the place where I had left my carriage. Once I looked round, for I thought he was pursuing me. He stood where I had left him, his arms stretched forward to the curling smoke. I did not turn again. The carriage was waiting where I had left it. I jumped in, and was driven home. That night I could not sleep; I lay awake thinking of the old grandfather and his elfin grandchild.

The following morning I mentioned what had occurred to a friend.


"You had a narrow escape," he said. met with José Le Clerc, a maniac, who lives near Gros Nez; however, I wonder at it, for he is never allowed to go out without his keeper. He must have escaped. He was attached to the beautiful Marie Langelier, but she fell into a long, lingering illness, which defied all medical skill. What the

nature of her disease was, none could tell; she pined away gradually, both mind and body decayed, until one night she ceased to breathe. Her death occurred on the very spot where you met José. She had, as he described, walked there in one of her wild fits. He was not with her at the time, but they told him the sad news. He did not speak, or manifest the slightest emotion, but her death was the commencement of his madness. At first they thought him odd, then they became alarmed about him, had medical advice, did all they could for him, but in vain; he became a hopeless maniac. Everything in life with him is now connected with Marie Langelier; and he has coined the story he has told you from the wild fancies of his own brain, interweaving a strange mixture of truth and fiction. Poor fellow! One seldom meets with such constancy in man!"

"You said he was a madman," I replied, "does not that fact account for his constancy?”

My companion smiled.

"Your remark," he said, "is a bitter sarcasm on the fidelity of my sex. But I was going to tell you of a circumstance which once occurred to

myself, while walking through the very valley you drove into yesterday. It was a warm sunny day, and I was strolling along, looking at everything in my path, and enjoying to the full, the dolce far niente. I passed by a cottage, the door of which was open. Of course I could not resist the templation of looking in. It seemed to be a decent little place-clean and tidy. There was nothing particular in its aspect-nothing to induce a lengthened investigation, I thought; so I was just moving away, when, at the end of the room, within a kind of cupboard or pantry, I thought I saw something move, restlessly and quickly, from side to side, dashing itself apparently against the wall in its uneasiness. I remained, still watching it; and soon the restless motion ceased, and it stood before me. What was my horror on perceiving that it was a human being! A thick rope was passed round the waist, and fastened to a ring in the wall, thus restricting its motions and gambols to about the space of three feet square. When the creature perceived me, its wild eyes glared: it made a sort of gibbering noise, and, I believe, would have sprung at me, had not the rope detained it. I could not bear the sight, and walked


A peasant was a short way before me; I joined her, determining to gain some information about the dreadful object I had just seen." "Do you know who lives in that cottage?' I asked.

"Yes,' she replied, four sisters. One is a mad girl; they tie her up because she bites.'

The woman wished me good morning, and turned into a public house. I could never gain any more information; and, although I frequently passed that way afterwards, I never again saw the lunatic of St. Peter's Valley.'"

"There seems to be a great deal of insanity in Jersey," I said.

"There is," he replied. "The inhabitants of Jersey have, from time immemorial, married and intermarried among themselves; this, as we know, is productive of many diseases-insanity among the number. They are, however, as a bʊdy, a thrifty, hard-working class, with strong and clearly defined principles. Economy is the chief object of their lives-they are frugal to an extreme in their living. As a friend once said to me—'A Jersey woman will boil two herrings for the family dinner, and keep the boiling to make soup for the next day's meal.' ”

I laughed; it was a novel idea certainly.
"Are they so very poor, then ?" I asked.

"On the contrary," he replied; "many of them (the labouring classes, I mean,) are extremely well off. They have large farms, a number of cows, sheep, horses, land,-and land in Jersey is very valuable, fetching six or eight pounds per acre; it is also extremely productive, and, under ordinary circumstances, pays the landowners well. Have you heard any of the abominable patois they speak here ?"

"Do they not speak French ?"



'You had better hear it, and judge for yourself; but I must warn you, that it will be high Dutch to you-you will not understand a word of it. In some parts of the island good French is not understood at all; and I have heard of one instance, where an Englishman spoke to a Jersey woman in Parisian French, and received for his answer-Me no spik Inglis.' This sentence she delivered with an oracular shake of the head, and

an air of extreme complacency; she evidently considered that she had said something very grand. The strange peculiarity of their dialect is, that it cannot be written. Were it reduced to letters and words, they could not read it; while they can read correct French with perfect facility, reducing it to their own dialect by giving to it their own pronunciation. But I am prosing away to you here, instead of asking you how much you have seen of the island."

"Very little," I replied; "you forget that I only arrived two days since."

"Ah! very true," he observed; "I certainly did forget that. I am, however, rejoiced at the fact, because it will give me an opportunity of 'lionising' you over the island. Mount Orgueil Castle must be one of the first places you visit; it is singularly beautiful and picturesque. I remember a tale connected with it, which I think will interest you. The heroine, if you will admit of the term for a person in humble life

"The sarcasm is your's now," I said, interrupting him.

"Was the cousin of a servant of mine. Shall I tell you her history-or would it bore you ?" "It would not bore' me," I replied; so let me get my work." "A lady's unfailing resource," he said, with a smile. "What would your sex do without those wonderful pieces of muslin which you are for ever cutting to pieces and sewing together again ?"


"What should we do ?" I answered. "Why, we should be just as idle and useless as you, all of you, are. But now I am ready; so, begin.'

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I had settled myself comfortably on the sofa, and anticipated a treat, (for I knew my companion's capability for story telling); when the great dinner bell sounded; it was the hour for the table d'hôte.

"That does bore me," I said; and I looked so disappointed that my companion laughed.

"I cannot respond to your words," he answered; "for I am very hungry; but let me have the pleasure of giving you my arm to the dining room."

"On one condition; that I do not lose the story."

"You shall have it the next time we meet." "Very well; that is a bargain. What is the name? I shall ask for it."

"It has no name," he replied; "for, as I told you before, it occurred to the cousin of a servant of my own; but we will give it a title. It shall be called, The Daisy of Grouville.""

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"A very pretty title," I remarked, as I took my seat at the dinner table; so recollect, the next time I meet you, I shall expect to be very much delighted and amused by the story of the Daisy of Grouville."

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I am afraid you will not be amused; for the story "I hope you will be delighted," he said, "but better attend to the unsentimental, but very neces a melancholy one. However, now you had sary, occupation of dinner. Which soup will you

take ?"

Of course I looked unutterably disgusted; but, nevertheless, I took his advice, and, from the regions of romance, plunged into the reality of -oyster soup.

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Oh! blessed nature, "O rus! O rus!"
Who cannot sigh for the country thus,
Absorbed in a worldly torpor-

Who does not yearn for its meadow-sweet breath,
Untainted by care, and crime, and death,
And to stand sometimes upon grass or heath--

That soul, spite of gold, is a pauper!-Hood. AND SO I am in London: once more another unheeded wave in that great human tide which will break here unceasingly till Time shall be no more. I have left the old house with its quaint gables, stone terraces, shady walks, and rookery, for a

back room on the ground floor of a Bloomsbury lodging-house.

Perhaps I have been a lonely dreamer in a lonely house too long; perhaps, after all, it is better that I should, for a while at least, lay aside reflection for action, and by some fixed daily drudgery fit myself for busy life. Be that as it may, here I am in London in fine weather, and I must make the best of it. Luckily for me, I have been through life one of those who can make a home for themselves wherever they are fated to

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sojourn; here I have a home of my own seeking, an arm-chair, a few books, and the old meerschaum, and out of these meagre materials I can force myself to shape that dear word "home"even though I have it not, save in the letter. What brought me to this same lodging-house can have little interest to a general reader; it may have been perversity-it may have been misfortune. I fear you will judge both; for there are traces of the first in my style, and of the second in my sadness, which I cannot quite shake off at will. I may have come here but as a sojourner; or I may have lost a home for ever; either way there is almost always a sadness in every change -if we reflect rightly. Think of my change, ere you rashly set me down as a groundless grumbler. Think of the change from a home once happy, with its thousand and one little comforts, never sufficiently realised till lost, to that dreary substitute for it-the London lodging-house, with the slipshod servants, bustling landlady, and hall-door always open to a noisy street, with cab-wheels and organ-grinders perpetually marring what little quiet is attainable in the heart of London. Moreover it is now May-well-nigh June-and at such seasons there is in the heart of every country bred man an undefinable yearning for green fields. Therefore you cannot marvel if this afternoon my reveries are tinged with sadness. I strive for the present to think of anything but what and where I am I wish to wander, in imagination at least, from hot, dusty London to more congenial shire, where my school days were spent, by the banks of Shakspeare's Avon. I strive to persuade myself that I am anything rather than a poor "lean annuitant" in London, and in fine weather. It will not do; "facts are," says the aphorism, "stubborn things," and the facts of my life are just now of the stubbornest.

Nevertheless, I ought to be thankful that I have still a garden to recreate myself withal; for we have a garden, albeit a narrow strip of ground some eighty feet long by twenty broad, which is better than nothing, and a rare thing in this part of town. Moreover, in this garden are lilacs in full blossom, shady trees, birds, albeit smoky London sparrows, and a butterfly, as an occasional visitor, to remind me of the country. I am now sitting at a table placed under those same trees; and the lilacs and the butterfly, who has been here all the day, are capital whets for reflection and reminiscence. Memory is hovering round those lilacs; and, when the butterfly has flown away, will wander afar with that white-winged guest of mine to green fields and field-flowers, till I, the poor Cockney, striving to make out of a London yard fanciful Arcadia of my own, am content for one day to sit here and dream away in complacent idleness the long, warm summer hours. But what am I writing? "How now, my Fancy, whither wilt thou go?" Am I writing with any definite purpose, or merely allowing my pen to skim over this paper at a strange pace, till I so

seem to be talking to you as to a bosom friend, having no one else to whom I can look for sympathy? Bear with me awhile; you all have, or have had, feelings like mine when cribbed, cabined, and confined" in London, in these blessed days of early summer. I may awaken, even by my incoherent babblings, some chords, some purer recollections of your own childhood, which have, perchance, slumbered too long amidst "the dust and drouth of city life;" and so your "Broken Memories," though perchance alloyed by bitterness, may be after all sweet solace to your souls. Aye, at times like this, a single breath of summer air,-a scent of green fields and "meadow-sweet," borne to us on the wings of the wandering-winds from afar snatches of old songs sung to us in our nurseries at our mother's knees, speedily forgotten in the all-absorbing worldliness of active lives, but ever and anon anew remembered when our hearts are failing, and our eyes are growing dim, are just so many of Nature's homilies to men like me. There, in the window-seat, a few yards whence I sit now, are a bunch of wild flowers in a delf jug, which flowers I plucked a few evenings ago some miles hence at a brook-side, and brought home through the reeking streets to gladden me here with their fast-departing fragrance. "Insignificant little weeds!" says my commonplace landlady, who wonders how "the poor gentleman who always looks so pale and lonesome, can trouble himself to walk so far after such rubbish, when he could buy far finer flowers on the doorstep any day."

What! flowers from that lying Israelite, who always has a stock in hand to exchange for cast off small clothes? There is a profanation in the very idea. But my poor, much-abused, little flowrets, despised by the landlady, and roughly handled by her dirty maid of all work, are to me so many living links to bind the present to the past. Who would not be linked to happiness by fragrant fetters like these? And so it is now.

I am no more a dreary-hearted quill-driver, wasting sweet summer days in dusty rooms and grimy printing-offices. Let us go back into the past. It is a long walk-but there are, mingled with its thorns, many flowers by the wayside.

I am a child once more-careless and happy as I was ere I left the banks of the river at home to lead a dreamy, dreary, desultory life in many places and under many phases of grave and gay. But let that pass: I would rather bless the past than blame the present. Once more with a lost one, whose memory never leaves me night or day, like that little locket-"only a woman's hair"given to me long ago, ere I heard the dull, heavy sound of the clods fall in upon the coffin of her who now sleeps calmly in her early grave, I am straying as of old, a happy child. Once more are we two young things playing our sweet fancies at will, weaving fairy necklaces of water-lily buds, of


laughing out peels of silvery laughter on the cool twilight air, till a voice, long ago silent in the grave, is heard calling us to come in, for the mists are floating over the meadows, and the white dew is heavy on the grass

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But never more can summer come to me as then of old,
For boyhood's heart the world hath warped with teachings
false and cold.


There was a time of innocence-a time of trusting truth, When I, with Hope to lead me, walked in sin-unsullied youth,

On through a region of my own-a land of glorious dreams,

Which shrouded me from wandering grief-how sad awaking seems!

Pass before my dim eyes, ye sweet phantasies of the past-changing, ever changing, till the worldling's heart beats as of old, once more. Ι seem to see two shadows of lost Helen and my former self-the tall, lithe stripling and the fair, gentle girl are walking together in an ancient gar den lovingly-their hearts beat in unison-they are all in all to each other. Ah! did either in those days I've lost my all of Truth and Hope-and boyhood's early

think that a time would ever come when the tall stripling's eyes would be red with weeping over gentle Helen's grave? Did she ever dream of a time when Sorrow, weary of loneliness, would seek vain relief in unworthy revelry and sin; when he she so much loved, the proud, pure-hearted boy, would madly mock his better heart to gain the good will of profligates and the coarse applause of fools? Aye, those days did come, I own in humble bitterness of spirit: they are, I trust, for ever passed away. But there is that within me this summer afternoon, which seems to say to me in saddest prophecy, in Shelley's words: Thou in the grave shalt rest-yet till the phantoms flee, Which that house and ancient garden made dear to thee erewhile,

Thy remembrance and repentance, and deep musings are

not free

From the music of two voices, and the light of one sweet smile."

And now the wind comes sweeping under the lilacs, and blowing my papers about the garden. I must secure them at once, or the occupants of the lodging-house next door will have a perusal I never intended for them. I pick them up— poems- attempted tales-sad chronicles of sadder failures, involving loss of time and temper-and the first that meets my eye, strangely enough, is a scrawl of summer thoughts, which I wrote a while ago. They are so much in accordance with my feelings just now, that I transcribe them :—


Oh! blessed are my musings sweet on long departed hours, They fall upon my weary brain like scent of summer flowers;

Those days are gone-my heart is lone-and yet 'tis sum

mer now

And flowers are waving fragrantly, and the birds sing on the bough.


Oh! blessed are the summer days, where the elm-shade's falling cool,

Where the swift is gliding sportively athwart the mill-dam pool,

Where joyous sounds of summer life are tingling through men's ears,

Yet now I greet them with a smile too near akin to tears.


For summer days are come again with the murmur of the bee,

The nightingale's rich note of love, and the south-wind's minstrelsy;

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"A secret curse on that old building hung,
Some weighty crime that Heaven could not pardon."

I KNOW full well that the story I am about to tell
is open to doubts as to its probability, and that any
tale, with which superstition is in part interwoven,
is generally cried down as an offshoot of the super-
natural, spectral school of Monk Lewis and Mrs.
Radcliffe, and believed accordingly. Neverthe-
less, I venture to lay before you a plain narrative,
for the truth of which, (without reference to
names, dates, and a few incidental facts), I, and
people worthy of credence in the county where the
scene is laid can vouch. "My cousin Maskelyne,"
(name only excepted), is no mythical personage of
my own, but was a real flesh and blood cousin of
mine, dear to me as to that part of the county
where he was best known, and is now lamented.
With these rough prefatory remarks I will at once

In the year 1853 in the month of September, I was staying with a shooting party at Beauchamp Abbey inshire, the seat of my cousins, the Maskelynes, whose family have resided there since the days of the Eighth Henry. I had, till the date above given, known very little of my cousins-bad never been, save as a child, to Beauchamp, and

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had now gone there for a month's sojourn with as pleasant a party as I ever had the luck to meet.

But it is not so much of them that I could speak, as of the events of that evening which I remember as the occasion of my first introduction to Roland Maskelyne. The squire his father, John Maskelyne, was a hale old man of some sixty years of age, with nothing remarkable about him but his intense love of field-sports of all kinds, hatred of free trade, and rabid Toryism; in other respects an amiable man enough, a kind father, a good squire when tenants were not poachers or Liberals, and one whose boast was that his ancestors came over with the Normans, and had never sullied their fingers by work of any kind. Mother, Roland Maskelyne had not; his sister was married and lived in Wales, his younger brother was a boy at Eton then, and so the heir of Beauchamp had it all his own way at the Abbey. I cannot better describe him than by saying that he was as near a likeness to the Vandyke Charles I. as can well be imagined, with the same long, oval face, and expression of proud sadness. He only needed a ruff and a pointed beard to convince a looker-on that some old Vandyke copy had walked out of its frame to become Roland Maskelyne. I noticed that during dinner he said little, but seemed absent and disspirited. Perhaps he is in ill health, thought Iperhaps something has gone wrong; but his father seeing I looked inquiringly at my cousin, said in a low tone across the table, "Take no notice of your cousin, he is always as you see him now." This naturally enough heightened my curiosity to know what could be the cause of so settled a sadness. I had indeed heard, before coming to the Abbey, some strange stories of a certain Abbot who once ruled in Beauchamp, and who, on being dispossessed of his broad acres and fine old domain by that rapacious sovereign Henry VIII., for the sole benefit of a certain Hugo Maskelyne and his male heirs for ever, had bestowed a parting curse on the fortunate courtier and his heirs aforesaid, nearly in these words:

"Live a merry life, Hugo Maskelyne, and gorge thyself on the spoil of the Church of God; but thou shalt not die in thy bed, neither shall any eldest son of thy posterity ever live to succeed to the broad, fair lands of Beauchamp."

All this I had heard from an old nursemaid of mine, who came to us from my cousin's village, and though I, of course, knew of the strange fatality regarding the eldest sons of this family, I believed it was an old woman's tale of wonderment, unworthy of recollection. Nevertheless, my opinions on that subject have strangely changed since then.

After dinner, over our wine, the conversation turned upon timber and some trees which the old squire had that day planted in commemoration of Roland's having then attained his twentyseventh year, when my melancholy-visaged cousin said abruptly, as though he just woke up,

"Those trees will, in a few years, be tall and flourishing, while I am sleeping in oar old vault."

"Nonsense, man," said his father, almost angrily. "I really do wish you would, for once in you life, forget that foolish old story about the Abbot's curse, which seems to overshadow your life."

"Father," said the young man, "we are all of us in this room relatives. I am sorry if that foolish observation has cast a gloom over our snug little party, but it is of little avail to blink facts; all of us know there is a fate hanging over us Maskelynes, and that the Abbot's curse has never failed save once, since the day when the Abbot of Beauchamp left his lands for ever. Still, perhaps, I was foolish to talk of these matters too well known already."

The conversation dropped, but it had lasted quite long enough to fill my young head with all kinds of weird fancies, so much so that you can easily imagine that when I retired to rest that night in the "White Room," with its panelled walls hung with stern-looking old Maskelynes, "bearded like the pard" and seemingly as fierce, and old swords bucklers, and arquebuses, which it would require a brave sportsman to load and fire off now, it was to think of anything but slumber. From a child I had at no time been of a superstitious turn; still that night, I confess, I felt anything but comfortable, and, when I heard the clock strike one, and the last step die away on the creaking staircase, I would willingly have given all I then possessed to be at home, with no Maskelynes to stare me out of countenance, no Beauchamp Abbey with hor rible traditions to startle me from my propriety, and no "White Room" "to murder sleep." I tossed and turned, striving in vain to sleep. I could not; till at last, determined to see if there were any ghosts in Beauchamp Abbey, I valiantly poked my nose into every cupboard and cranny in the room till I was more convinced than ever that I was a fool, and still more nervous than I had been before. "This cannot last loug," thought I, "it will soon be morning-I will light a cigar and smoke till daybreak.' I looked round the room for a book-there were none. At last I bethought me of the cupboard at the end of the room, there I found Burton's "Anatomie of Melancholie," a fit book for such a time, when, while glancing over its pages, down tumbled, covering me with dust, a pile of books and papers and a long roll of vellum, which I soon saw was the Maskelyne pedigree. I sat down, smoked my cigar, and read it through patiently, observing at the same time that against the name of every eldest son, for many generations, was a black line, and, "He died before his father," and "his younger brother succeeded," &c. And so the legend had some foundation in fact. I could not then reason myself out of a belief in it-I cannot


Day dawned; I had smoked my cigar down to

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