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THE BRIDE OF THE SEPULCH R E.
PART I.-TIE ALTAR.
An, poor Baptiste, all thy dreaming hopes are vanished, all
arc goneThe sun hath set in cloud and gloom that was so briglit at
dawn; With a noble they have medded her, and now, before the
shrine, She plights ber troth to wealth and power, and thou art left
With a lamp lic then descended to the gloomy vault below While the murky vapours almost dim the taper's cheerfu
How joysully the bridegroom from the Altar led away
glow; Each monument passed swiftly—he was now no more afraid But he liurried onward-ontrard to the place where she was
On a coffin that stood ncar le placed the dimly burning
light, And with an iron bar he struck the lid with all his
miunt; Soon beneath his blows it opened, and the lid was thrown
aside-And before liim lay the form of her who should hare been
PART II.-TAE TOMB.
But her looks are not like death -- fur on her lovely shapen
brow Some slight colour faintly reddens, and her eyes have lastre
The low potes of the organ in a murmur died away-
“ Can it be, great Ileaven,” cried Baptiste, with momentary
thrill“ It is--the soul yet lingers and Celestine liveth still!"
Long he sat there, half bewildered, with a strange fantastic
fear•Twas silent, nought save faint unearthly whispers could he
hear; He knew t'was but the rustling of the dying autumn
With maniacal gesture he has reached the holy shrine,
And faintly, faintly came a sigh, and then a mystic tone-
Undecided, restless, timil, and with purpose undefined,
As thongh to bless him for his lorc-reward him for his
trull An echo reached him from the land of everlasting yonth.
Life without is all fogotten- darker grow the losty aisles-
'Twas a mortal voice, and whispered indistinctly now a
And the spark of life increased— till it became a ruddy
But the moonliglit now is streaming on the statues and the
shrines, In shisting floods of silver light, and visionary lives; First with glitter, then with faintness, then with mo!nentary
glare, Till the quaint od sculptured figures scem with life to
Escaping from the Church, and rushing swiftly through the
gloomIle placed upon his own poor bed that tenant of the tomb.
Night and day he watched and waited till her chcek began
to glowAnd at loogili, lic whispered, “Dearest, to another land
Rising slowly, stepping firmly, shaking off his former fear,
trod, And he breathed as pare a prayer as ever reached the thirone
I harc youth and health to struggle in the batile-field of
life, And Ilearen will held thiee guiltless that I claim tliee as my wife."
A PEEP INTO UPPER BOHEMIA.
THERE is a district which is uot marked out in any their want of position, from their manners. They of the maps, although it lies within easy reach of were men who, in one way or another, were able, the geographers. Its inhabitants and characteristics and barely able, to scrape together as much daily are worthy of their attention, nevertheless. I do as sufficed to preserve life; and they moved in a not allude now to Bohemia Proper, nor even to the circle within which all reference to their present Bohemia in the delineation of which Mr. Mayhew pursuits was tacitly but most religiously tabooed. and other gentlemen have attained celebrity. These There was “Jack the Singer,” as he was are very interesting, no doubt, but Upper Bohemia, familiarly designated in our kitchen. He had, that region in the heart of London lying just beyond doubt, been a respectable man. It was be, above the district named-socially, of course-is indeed, who first afforded me an insight into the in no less degree deserving of careful study. working of the establishment in which we were
It may be humiliating to confess it; but my both for the time located. He did so one morning, information respecting the region in question is after the occupants of the sleeping apartment derived from a personal residence within its bound which we both used, had got up for the day. He aries. The “ anonymous”—precious attribute of bad bimself been a buok-keeper to a large firm in British authorship-certainly saves one much of the city. It went down, and he was thrown out the pain he would otherwise feel in making the of employment. Every day made things worse arowal. And, after all, there is nothing so very than they were on the previous day; and poverty disgraceful in the matter. The stern necessity —not an unusual circumstance-brought discontent which placed Oliver Goldsmith in the position to into his household. His wife (he is still under which he afterwards referred as -“ When I was thirty) and he separated; he took delusive refuge lodging amongst the beggars in St. Mary Axe," in dissipation, and found himself one day a lodger may surely overtake a much smaller man, even in in that same building, foodless and moneyless. For these days of enterprising publishers. It was two successive nights he walked about the streets while actually residing in Bohemia Upper that the in the most wretched condition; and finally so far idea first occurred to me of explaining its charac- mastered pride and prejudice as to seek a trifle by teristics. This is all my preface, and my only singing in the public houses. A miserable livelirequest to the reader is to bear in mind that I des. hood, forsooth. “Frequently, even now," he scribe facts and facts alone.
assured me, “I am obliged to take the streets Where the crowbar and pick-axe of the street for a night; and although on Fridays and Saturimprover has relentlessly demolished whole streets days I do pretty well, during the remainder of the and courts, over crowded with inbabitants, leaving week I experience great difficulty in procuring a blank vistas in foggy nights, through which the gas mouthful of food.” I was enabled from my own lamps in ghastly desperation gleam lonesomely, and observation, to judge that such was literally the which are shunned by timid gentlemen returning case. I saw that the system of "going out for from the city; where silk handkerchiefs liang from the night,” as it was called, was practised to a door-posts and hooks artistically arranged along great extent by the inmates. The plan was to the shop fronts; where there are suspicious-looking leave the house at the hour at which it was courtways, up which experienced policemen glance supposed to shut up for the night-two o'clockwith sinister esc, repeatedly; where little boys may and to return when it is supposed to open, namely, be seen smoking at any hour of the day, without six in the morning. “There are only four hours the slightest make believe of secresy; where to kill," was a not unusual remark among those dealers in cast-off garments, and traders in all whose circumstances compelled them to go out at manner of out-of-the-way articles, abound— within that point when the most tedious sitter-up of the “ liberties” adjoining the City of London | those within doors retired to bed. The sainc Proper-I obtained my first glimpse of Bohemian person was not in charge of the house when they lise,--my first insight into Bohemian
went out and when they returned back; so that Almost immediately, I discovered that this was not the "deputies," as they were called, were supposed the Bohemia so graphically described by the not to know that such a practice was in existence. gentlemen to whom I just now alluded. The But the owner of the establishment knew all people were not their people. I bad not descended about it, for all that. If you bad entered the deep cnough for that; but I had no desire to go kitchen at a sufficiently early hour, you might any farther down. My “fellow-lodgers" were perceive any morning in the week about half a not professional beggars; certainly not thieves - dozen drop in stealthily, with marks of fatigne and although for the first day or two during which I hardship upon their dress and persons--with traces was condemned to their companionship, I felt as if of sleepless watching about their eyes, with damp the atmosphere itself was redolent of ticket-of-muddy foot-gear, and other signs of having travelled leaveism. They were for the most part men who during the dreary night through the wilderness of had seen better days, as could easily be gleaned from houses—and take their places as near the fire as their conversation-and, making allowance for possible. In a minute or two they were fast
asleep; and thus slumbering, nodding over the --that the palm of snperior has been respectability fire, and, if any could be procured, cooking the was accorded to him by the general consent of the smallest quantity of food which the retailer next inmates, and he would tell long stories about bis door would sell, the day passed over listlessly and having met and conversed with bighly influential unprofitably. Evening brought with it the neces. parties during his daily walks abroad, which very sity for some desperate attempt at procuring few listened to, and nobody believed. means to secure shelter for the night-two nights There was a gentleman who rejoiced in a mous. in succession, especially in winter, being regarded | tacle, and was supposed to be a penny-a-liner for as over much for endurance. Some, however, had the journals. He commenced liis stories with the been known only to use a bed twice in the course re nark—“ When I was sub-editor of a country of an entire week; and in that same tenement newspaper,” and proceeded to the relation of inci. dozens, perhaps hundreds, had clung to this dents incredible. miserable make-shift existence until a brief week We had “Bob the groom,” who was not a or fortnight before they were relieved by death groom at all—but a waiter at a public house, from from all anxiety as to food or shelter; in the near- which he had been dismissed for an over attachest hospital.
ment to its commodities, and who went forth There was
“ Bill Velveteen'--so called from nightly to pick up strangers arriving by the late his wearing, and, I do believe, always having worn, trains, and needing cabs or guidance. He affected a sort of coat or jacket of that material. He had a kind of silliness in manner aud conversation; lodged, they assured me, upon the premises for nevertheless, he had the reputation of being as three and twenty years. Formerly he had been thoroughly "wide awake” as any one in the build. attached in some capacity to one of the principal ing—no small compliment to his sagacity. theatres. Latterly, during the summer months, We had two brothers, mysterious personages, he employed himself attending the country fairs who were for some time a downright puzzle to me. with a gambling apparatus, of the nature and One or the other sat in that kitchen from morning operation of which I am unacquainted. He wore till night, without ostensible employment of any high-lows, extensively turned up at the toes, which description. They went forth one at a time and were always in good condition, was rather asthma- rarely. My curiosity led me to make some in. tical and self-opinionative-not without a talent quiry as to their occupation. I was informed, in for slyly "taking down” any great talker who a half whisper and strict confidence, that they behappened to be making too free in his presence longed to a class of persons scattered through the with the first person singular. No one in the lodging-houses of the great metropolis, and who house had any notion how he lived in winter. One find a living by hunting up information for the thing was quite clear--he was enabled to scrape detective police. They were both men in the together as much as paid his lodging nightly, or prime of life, and seemed to divide the toil and he would not have been there.
spoil equally with almost as much cordiality as the There was "Jumper” and “Shakspeare," two Brothers Cheeryble. They both dressed in a theatrical gentlemen attached to the “ gaffs” on somewhat seedy black, and were at pains to the Surrey side, who managed to reach home about preserve a shabby gentility in appearance. midnight, and who, if one might judge from their Wilson, who worked in the city, returned usastyle of living, just now, were not in receipt of ally in time to cook his supper before midnight, extravagant salaries. One of them--but he was and take part in the conversation. His normal not the most prudent man in the world—has been state was one neither of intoxication nor sobriety. under the necessity to tramp it occasionally of a His wages were supposed to be about twenty-four
shillings weekly, and no one ever saw good shoes There was a tailor in the corner of the kitchen, on his feet. Even the luxury of butchers' meat which be had occupied for months-a purchaser of on Sundays he could not always afford. Every one old garments, which he converted into new vests (in our kitchen) said that he deserved something for the slop-shops, and who was to be found in the better and more respectable than his present post, same spot working away every day in the week --but nobody saw any chance of his habits not (Sunday included) with the utmost regularity. He continuing to stand in the way of his deserts. seemed particularly averse to going out of doors, Old Campbell, the Scotchman, bad travelled from which circumstance, and other trifles, I drew over the greater part of Europe and America. He the inference-perhaps rashly-that he was one was an engineer by trade ; but now had obtained of those for whom their better balves made cease- work at a cutlery establishment at the west end. less but profitless inquiries of the “deputy" in He got in at first as a labourer, but his skill was charge of the door.
specdily noticed and turned to account. He was There was Brown, the jeweller, another lodger remarkably precise in his movements, crotchetty of twenty years' standing. He might, as they in his babits, and regular in his hours. Disliking said, be in receipt of bandsome wages; but one the trouble of joining in the squabble for cooking week at work was sufficient to put him “out of a utensils on Sundays, he rose early on that day, and job” for many succeeding ones. He fancied-he dined about ten o'clock in the forenoon. The was usually something more than half intoxicated I incident was characteristic of the man-retiring,
but keeping on the right side, notwithstand- me that there were among the inmates individuals ing.
whose deserted wives and children occupied rooms Besides, there were " Barney," whose name was witbin a few hundred yards of the house, but who not Barney, a hay carter; " Betsey," a gentleman had never been able to make them out-owing to bred, as I could gather with ease from his deport. the convenient obstacles thrown in their way by ment, whose business out of doors nobody knew, the " deputy" in charge of the door. There were or could even guess—the name having been, three of those “ deputies”--the owner, who was doubtless, conferred as a compliment to the also the proprietor of an establishment similarly superiority of his manners.
conducted in Westminster, merely coming in once What appeared to me not in the least degree a day to receive the money, and hear complaints. strange was the unanimity with which all of | The speculation pays, beyond question ; for while these would assure me separately that his particuin the adjoining “chambers” conducted with more lar stay was at first intended not to exceed a day pretensions to respectability,
are often or two; yet weeks and months and years have empty, the beds in this baunt are always occu. rolled on without working a change in their con pied. The expense is the same in both cases ; and dition; and they have seen many who entered the the preference shown for the private lodging. building with similar notions to their own, removed house system is a point which “the Shaftesbury in the meantime out of this more extensive lodging, people”- ---as I heard one of the deputies contempthouse—the world—altogether. One young man uously designate the advocates of Christian living has told me this with an ominous shake of the among the poor-would do well to study. I can't head, which impressed me so much that, the next guess it. One of the reasons may be that the time I heard the pullied door clang after me Upper Bohemians have not yet arrived at the point I entered the house, the phrase nulla vestigia when men become insensible to disgrace; and that retrorsum involuntarily occurred to me.
the dread of expulsion for trifling irregularities, “Our Kitcheu” deserves a word or two for joined to delicacy arising from the indifferent style itself. There were two such apartments, and each of their clothing, operates upon their minds so lodger, as he entered, chose one or the other of far as to induce their rejection of the superior these, which he used for culinary or loitering advantages which regularly organised artisans' purposes—to prepare food or kill time. With No. homes offer. Whatever be the cause, the fact 2, and its internal arrangements, I was, up to my
exists, and Upper Bohemia is at this moment the farewell to Upper Bohemia, unacquainted. Ours was most neglected region of English society. a rather spacious room on the ground floor, flagged, In politics our kitchen was radical, but by no had a large table, upon which the various means republican. We listened with unaffected processes of preparing breakfast or dinner, as the and undisguised pleasure to a spirited article case might be, ironing clothes, and resting the attacking abuses; but universal levelling found no weary heads of the inmates, went on simulta- favour amongst us. Neither did any observations neously. There were “ lockers" provided for the betokening a disregard for the legal obligations lodgers, in which each put away his food; and that under which we live, or the constituted authori. a great number of these were required will be ties. I confess that this circumstance rather understood when it is considered that the house astonished me. We certainly took no pains to altogether professed to find accommodation for hide our concurrence in the remarks offered by one hundred and fifty people. I had, formerly, way of advice for retrenchment in all departments passed the door repeatedly, without even a suspicion of the State, and our wish that while the toiler that such an establishment existed there ; and the should be more lightly burthened, public affairs systematic silence observed by the inmates as to should be more wisely administered, as well as their former counexions, and to casual acquaintances more economically. But the man who would as to their whereabouts, contributed to secure its venture in our kitchen a sweeping denunciation of comparative privacy. There no females all in power, or of all in receipt of salaries, would admitted. Some of the old hands had a tradition find among us little sympathy. Considering how about two of the fair sex having come into the closely the circumstances of many among us verged larger kitchen one afternoon, years since, and, upon the desperate, the latter fact was in no small mistaking it for a coffee shop, demanding some degree remarkable. One would suppose men who refreshment-together with the amusement to feel so directly what the want of necessaries which the incident in question gave rise. I do occasionally meant, would not be likely to draw believe that there are people in the house who nice distinctions in the matter of property and have laughed with daily regularity, since the ownership. Yet, as far as words could be depended mistake occurred, at a recital of the circumstance, upon, or a notion formed from the dealings of our and who have laughed at nothing else. By a few people among themselves, such an opinion would this regulation was regarded in the light of an have been groundless. advantage. “If they come asking for a fellow,” Practically, there was no religion in our kitchen. said one of them, in my hearing, they never Work went on during the whole day on Sundayknows nothing about you at the door, and so some pursued their usual avocations, as in the case they're sold." Another went so far as to inform of the tailor; others were engaged washing, mend.
ing, shoemaking, ironing, and other kindred em- this feeling leads men to attack and rob others ployments. As in political sentiment, so in equally indigent with themselves. I strongly religious conformity, Upper Bohemia bad no doubt that such could cver come to be the case fixed standard; yet it was not wholly unchristianised. | among the class of which our kitchen is a sample. While in effect the religious obligations are But if circumstances should take them once more ignored, the natives are not scoffers, still less into a more respectable, and accordingly more res. atheistic. I have never heard an expression in ponsible position, there can be no doubt that this the way of offered opinion touching religious poverty.engendered selfishness will accompany them. matters while I was tliere which could with | The recollection of days in which hardship was justice be set down as evidencing an infidel spirit. endured, so far from opening the heart to sympaThere is just enough of neglect upon matters tliising influences, will, I fear, operate in an religious to render an approach to scrious con. opposite direction; and the dread of future want troversy absurd; and there is a lingering angel in may hold back the land which, before the ordeal their midst that prevents, nevertheless, the possi- was gone through, would willingly have been bility of their blooming into scoffers. Ministra stretched forth to the assistance of another, tions of no kind are sought amongst them, and Shall I confess it? I almost regretted that the clergymen of the establishment are mentioned circumstar:ces favourable to my own prospects took with the nearest approach to a shrug wliclı any me from a position where I was able to study topic bordering on the affairs of the other world character better than I ever did before. I made evokes.
there the acquaintance of a class who, as a class There is a tacit agreement anong them at least, I was not aware had an existence prethat the church is not exactly the thing for this viously. I have seen the Upper Bohemians at age, in its present development; and that Popery home; and I feel a strong interest in them. I is an extremely wicked institution. The only dis- have seen stricter honour brought into play among senter from this latter vicw was an Irishman, who them than often characterises the dealings of the used the larger kitchen, but who came out into snobs of the commercial und fashionable worlds. ours occasionally. The slightest mention of the I have not seen much of dissipation, when we consubject drove him up to the neck into quotations, sider the strong temptation to indulgence thrown and deplorably out of temper. For the fun of in their way by the hard necessitics of their sta. the thing an antagonist was occasionally found ; but tion, the barren recollection of days when they the rest of the people did not heed him. It was liad a greater share of life's enjoyments within remarked by some with a certain show of reason, their reach, and an occasional opportunity to "be that the zeal of the Hibernian might be owing to a man again,” if only for an hour or two. If the the fact that he obtains " his living among them.” social virtues stand little chance of prominent deHe is himself a rather mysterious personage. velopment in a condition where the physical wants Nobody in the house knows what his business is are constantly pressing themselves into view, the beyond that of a hawker.
The nature of his great whirlpool of vice, into the rery border of wares is unknown; but the recently current which these people are flung, has marvellously belief is that they consist of blessed images, for little power to draw them within its influence. which lie finds a market among the Roman Catho. To some of them I look hopelessly, though with lic community.
much of interest. Their career appears to me to Philosopliy of a peculiar character our kitchen be marked with deplorable distinctness. They possesses. It is a strange compound in its way. are men well known each to a circle in London, It is made up of a listlessness, not without a dash but who may be said to have lost castem that is of fatalism in it, and a selfishness that sinks every- to say, without any criminal stain upon their chathing-even a man's own suture comfort—in the racter, have incurred the penalty of charitable sisatisfaction of his immediate physical cravings. It lence regarding them, on the part of those with is in the last point of view that this state of ex- whom they moved at one time in social converse. istence is most to be deplored. I have learr.ed One has told another that So-and-so was done up, to believe that the precarious nature of the living until the whole circle—and the only one in which obtained by the majority of those here is in itself So-and-so could reasonably look for sympathy and sufficient to engraft upon a nature furnished with a helping hand—becomes hardened into the belief the best and most lovcable of qualities the curse of that he is irretrievably unsuccessful. As success selfishness. The little procured, barely sufficing from is the only test of talent and virtue admitted by day to day, and not in sufficient quantity to bear the discerning British public of our day, a suspidividing with another, at last comes to be regarded cion of irretrievable failure is the most damning of with a sort of jealous eye, as if all who were pre: crimes. And so the moral dignity of manhood sent wished to have it shared amongst them, and becomes swamped in merely material considera. that they were, therefore, to some extent, one's tions, and the place of the victim of such suspi. enemy, seeking to deprive us of what is necessary cions is permanently fixed within the dreary and to ourselves. In the district of Lower Bohemia, I homeless precincts of Upper Bohemia.