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mistress, who went about in fine clothes^
while she (the legitimate Birthday) had
scarcely a rag, etc.

April J^ool, being made mediator, con-
firmed the right in the strongest form of
words to the appellant, but decided for
peace's sake that the exercise of it should
remain with the present possessor. At the
same time, he slyly rounded the first lady
in the ear, that an action might lie against
the Crown for hi-geny.

It beginning to grow a little duskish.
Candlemas lustily bawled out for lights,
which was opposed by all the Days, who pro-
tested against burning daylight. Then fair
water Avas handed round in silver ewers,,
and the same ladij was observed to take an
unusual time in ^VasJiing herself.

May Day, with that sweetness which is
peculiar to her, in a neat si^eech proposing^
the health of the founder, crowned her gob-
let (and by her example the rest of the com-
pany) with garlands. This being done, the
lordly New Year from the upper end of the
table, in a cordial but somewhat lofty tone,.



®Hc Xn^t (^^^m^ of (Jrlia. 187



returned thanks. lie felt proud on an occa-
sion of meeting so many of his wortliy
father's late tenants, promised to improve
their farms, and at the same time to abate
(if anything was found unreasonable) in
their rents.

At the mention of this, the four Quarter
Ikii/s involuntarily looked at each other,
and smiled ; April Fool whistled to an old
tune of " New Brooms ; " and a surly old
rebel at the farther end of the table (who
was discovered to be no other than the Fifth
of jVocemher) muttered out, distinctly
enough to be heard by the whole company,
words to this effect, that "when the old
one is gone, he is a fool that looks for a bet-
ter." Which rudeness of his, the guests
resenting, unanimously voted his expulsion ;
and the malcontent was thrust out neck and
heels into the cellar, as the properest x)lace
for such a houtcfeu and firebrand as he had
shown liimself to be.

Oi'der being restored — the young lord
(who, to say truth, had been a little ruffled,
and put beside his oratory) in as few, and
yet as obliging words as possible, assured
them of entire welcome ; and, with a grace-
ful turn, singling out jyoor Twenty-KintJi of
February^ that had sat all this while mum-
chance at the sideboard, begged to couple
his health with that of the good company
before hira, — which ho drank accordingly ;
observing, that he had not seen his honest



188 ehc ITa.ot (^^m;s of (?:'Uii.



face any time these four years, — with a
number of endearing expressions besides.
At tlie same time, removing^ the solitary
J)ai/ from tlie forlorn seat which had been
assigned him, he stationed him at his own
board, somewhere between the Greek Cal-
ends and Latter Lammas.

Ash Wednesda;/, being now called upon
for a song, with his eyes fast stuck in his
head, and as well as the Canary he had
swallowed would give him leave, struck up
a Carol, which Christmas Day had taught
him for the nonce ; and Avas followed by the
latter, who gave "^Miserere" in fine style,
hitting otf the mumping notes and length-
ened drawl of Old JSlortif. cation with infinite
humor. April Fool swore they had ex-
changed conditions ; but Good Friday was
observed to look extremely grave; and aS'^^-
day held her fan before her face, that she
might not be seen to smile.

iSJirovetide^ Lord Jfayor's Lay, and Ajyril
Fool next joined in a glee —

" Which is tlie properest clay to drink ? "

in which all the Lays chiming in, made a
merry burden.

They next fell to quibbl.es and conun-
drums. The question being proposed, who
had the greatest number of followers, — the
Quarter Lays said, there could be no ques-
tion as to that ; for they had all the cred-



m\t i;a.^t (^'^rj:n3^ of (gU«. 189



itors in the world dogging tlieir heels. But
Ap7-il Fool gave it in favor of tlie Fortij
Da>/s before Easter ; because the debtors
in all cases outnunibered the creditors, and
they kept lent all tlie year.

All this while l^dentine' s Day kept court-
ing pretty J/c/y, who sat next him, slipping
amorous billets-doux uuiXev the table, till the
Dog Dai/s (who are naturally of a warm
constitution) began to be jealous, and to
bark and rage exceedingly. April Fool,
who likes a bit of sport above measure, and
had some pretensions to the lady besides, as
being but a cousin once removed, — clapped
and halloo'd them on ; and as fast as their
indignation cooled, those mad wags, the
Ember Dei^/s^ were at it with their bellows,
to blow it into a flame ; and all was in a fer-
ment; till old Madam ^Septuagesimei (who
boasts herself the Mother of the Days) wisely
diverted the conversation with a tedious tale
of the lovers which she could reckon Avhen
she was young ; and of one Master Dona-
tion Daij in pai'ticular, Avho was forever put-
ting the question to her ; but she kept him
at a distance, as the chronicle would tell, — •
by whicii I apprehend she meant the Al-
manac. Then she rambled on to the Daijs
that icere gone, the good old Dags, and so to
the Dags before the Flood, — which plainly
showed her old head to be little better than
crazed and doited.

Day being ended, the Dags called for



190 (The i:a.$t it^^r^ of (^lia.



their cloaks and greatcoats, and took their
leaves. Lord 3Iatjor's Day went oft' in a
JMist, as usual ; Shortest Day in a deep black
Fog, that wrapt the little gentleman all
round like a hedge-hog. Two Ylylls — so
Avatchmen are called in lieaven — saw C7ii'ist-
mas Day safe home, — they had been used
to the business before. Another Mgil — a
stout, sturdy patrole, called the Ere of St.
C/iristop/ter — seeing Ash ^Vednesday in a
condition little better than he should be, — ■
e'en Avhipt him over his shoulders, pick-a-
pack fashion, and Old Mortification went
floating home singing —

" On the bat's back do I fly,"

and a number of old snatches besides, be-
tween drunk and sober; but very few
Aves or Penitentiaries (you may believe
me) were among them. Longest Day set
off westward in beautiful crimson and gold,
— the rest, some in one fashion, some in an-
other ; but Valentine and pretty 3Iay took
their departure together in one of the pret-
tiest silvery twilights a Lover's Day could
wish to set in.



(Lht £i\rA if:$^n\0 ox (bM» 191



Old China,

I HAVE an almost feminine partiality for
old china. When I go to see any great
house, I inquire for the china-closet, and
next for the picture gallery. I cannot de-
fend the order of in'eference, but by saying,
that we have all some taste or other, of too
ancient a date to admit of our rememljering
distinctly that it was an acquired one. I
can call to mind the first play, and the first
exhibition, that I was taken to ; but I am
not conscious of a time Avhen china jars and
saucers were introduced into my imagina-
tion.

I had no repugnance then — why should I
now have ? — to those little, lawless, azure-
tinctured grotesques that, under the notion
of men and women, float about, uncircura-
scribed by any element, in that world be-
fore perspective — a chiua tea-cup.

I like to see my old friends — whom dis-
tance cannot diminish — figuring up in the
air (so they appear to our optics), yet on
terra firnia still, — for so Ave must in court-
esy interpret that speck of deei:)er blue, —



192 ©he |:a^t (^^mp of min,

which the decorous artist, to prevent ab-
surdity, had made to siDring up beneath
their sandals.

I love the men with women's faces, and
the women, if possible, with still more
womanish expressions.

Here is a youngs and courtly Mandarin,
handing tea to a lady from a salver — two
miles oli". See how distance seeins to set off
respect ! x\nd here the same lady, or an-
other — for likeness is identity on tea-cups —
is stepping- into a fairy boat, moored on the
hither side of this calm g-arden river, with a
dainty mincing foot, which in a right angle
of incidence (as angles go in our world)
must infallibly land her in the midst of a
flowery mead — a furlong off on the other
side of the same strange stream !

Farther on — if far or near can be predi-
cated of their world — see horses, trees, pago-
das, dancing the hays.

Here — a cow and rabbit coucliant and co-
extensive, — so objects show, seen through
the lucid atmosphere of line Cathay.

I was pointing out to my cousin last even-
ing, over our Ilyson (which we are old-
fashioned enough to drink unmixed still of
an afternoon), some of these speciosa mira-
cula upon a set of extraordinary old blue china
(a recent purchase) which we were now for
the first time using ; and could not help re-
marking, how favorable circumstances had
been to us of late years, that we could afford



^U ps-t (t^^n^^ of mn. 193



to please the eye sometimes with trifles of
this sort — when a passing sentiment seemed
to oversliade the brows of my companion,
I am quick at detecting these summer clouds
in Bridget.

" I wish the good old times would come
again," she said, " when we were not quite
so rich. I do not mean that I want to be
poor ; but there was a middle state " — so she
^ras pleased to ramble on — "in which I am
sure we were a great deal happier. A i^ur-
chase is but a purchase, now that you
have money enough and to spare. Formerly
it used to be a triumph. When we coveted
a cheap luxury (and, O ! how much ado I
had to get you to consent in those times !) — •
we were used to have a debate two or three
days before, and to weigh the/or and against^
and to think what we might spare it out of,
and what saving we could hit upon, that
should be an equivalent. A thing was
worth buying then, when we felt the money
that we paid for it.

" Do you remember the brown suit, which
you made to hang upon j^ou, till all your
friends cried shame upon you, it grew so
threadbare — and all because of that folio
Beaumont and Fletcher, which you dragged
home late at night from Barker's in Covent
Garden ? Do you rememljer how we eyed
it for weeks before we could make up our
minds to the jourcliase, and had not come to
a determination till it was near ten o'clock
13



194 Z\u g:a,$t (^^^inp of (!:»a.



of the Saturday night, when you set off
from Islington, fearing you should be too
late, — and wiien the old bookseller with
some grumbling opened his shop, and by
the twilight taper (for he was setting bed-
wards) lighted out the relic from his dusty
treasures, — and when you lugged it home,
wishing it were twice as cumbersome, — and
when you presented it to me,— and when
W'B were exploring the perfectness of it
(coNati/if/ you called it), — and while I w^as
repairhig some of the loose leaves with ])aste
which your impatience would not suffer to
be left till daybreak, — was there no pleasure
in being a poor man? or can those neat
black clothes which you wear now, and are
so careful to keep brushed, since Ave have
become rich and finical, give j^ou half the
honest vanitj^, with which you flaunted it
about in that overworn suit — your old cor-
beau — for four or five weeks longer than you
should have done, to pacify your conscience
for the mighty sura of fifteen — or sixteen
shillings was it ? — a great affair we thought
it then — which 3-ou had lavislied on the old
folio. Now you can afford to buy any book
that pleases you, but I do not see that you
ever bring me home any nice old purchases
now.

"When you came home with twenty
apologies for laying out a less number of
shillings upon that print after Lionardo,
which we christened the ' Lady Blanch ; '



Wht fa^f (g,s\$aij,« of (gUa. 195



ivhen yon looked at the purchase, and
thought of the money,^and looked again at
the picture, — was there no jjleasure in being
a poor man? Xow, you have nothing to do
but to walk into Colnaghi's, and buy a wilder-
ness of Lionardos. Yet do you ?

" Then, do 3'ou remember our pleasant
Avalks to Enfield, and Potter's bar, and
"SValtham, when we had a holidaj^ — holidays,
and all other fun, are gone now we are rich —
and the little hand-basket in which I used to
deposit our day's fare of savory cold lamb
and salad,— and how you would pry about
at noonday for some decent house, where
we might go in and produce our store — only
paying for the ale that you must call for —
and speculate upon the looks of the land-
lady, and Avhether she was lilvcly to allow
us a tal)lecloth, — and wish for such another
honest hostess, as Izaak Walton has de-
scribed many a one on the pleasant banks of
the Lea, when we Avent a-fishing — and some-
times they would prove obliging enough,
and sometimes they would look grudgingly
upon us, — but we had cheerful looks still
for one another, and would eat our plain
food savorily, scarcely grudging Piscator
his Trout Hall ? Xow — when we go out a
day's pleasuring, which is seldom moreover,
we ricle part of the way — and go into a fine
inn, and order the best of dinners, never de-
bating the expense — which, after all, never
has half the relish of those chance country



il;G ^u 'g^^i (g^,$ay,^ of (gUa.



snaps, when we were at the mercy of uncer-
tain usage, and a precarious welcome.

" You are too j^roud to see a play any-
where now but in the pit. Do you remem-
ber where it was we used to sit when Ave
saw the Battle of Hexham, and the Surren-
der of Calais, and Bannister and Mrs. Bland
in the Children in the Wood, — when we
squeezed out our shillings apiece to sit three
or four times in a season in the one-shilling
gallery — where you felt all the time that
you ought not to have brought me — and
more strongly 1 felt obligation to you for hav-
ing brought me — and the pleasure was the •
better for a little shame, — and when the cur-
tain drew up, Avliat cared we for our place
in the house, or what mattered it where we
were sitting, when our thoughts were with
Rosalind in Arden, or with Viola at tlie
court of Illyria ? You used to say, that the
Gallery was the best place of all for enjoy-
ing a play socialh",— that the relish of such
exhibitions must be in proportion to the in-
frequency of going, — that the company we
met there, not being in general readers of
plays, were obliged to attend the more, and
did attend, to what wag going on, on the
stage,— because a word lost would have been
a chasm, which it was impossible for them
to fill up. With such reflections we consoled
our pride then, — and I appeal to you,,
whether, as a woman, I met generally with
less attention and accommodation than I



tave done since in more expensive situations
in the lionse ? The getting in indeed, and
tlie crowding up tliose inconvenient stair-
cases was bad enough, — but there ^^■as still
a law of civilitj^ to woman recognized to
quite as great an extent as we ever found in
the otlier passages, — and how a httle difB-
culty overcome heightened the snug seat and
tlie play, afterwards ! Now we can only pay
our money and Avalk in. You cannot see,
you say, in tlie galleries now. I am sure we
saw, and heard too, well enough then, — but
sight, and all, I think, is gone with our
povert3\

" There Avas pleasure in eating straw-
loerries, before they came quite common — in
the first dish of peas, while they were yet
■dear — to have them for a nice supper, a treat.
What treat can we have now ? If Ave were
to treat ourselves now, — that is, to have dain-
ties a little above our means, it Avould be
selfish and wicked. It is the very little
more that Ave alloAV ourseh'es beyond what
the actual poor can get at, that makes Avhat
I call a treat, — when two people liAang to-
gether, as Ave have done, noAV and then in-
dulge themseh-es in a cheap luxury, Avhicli
both like ; Avhile each apologizes, and is will-
ing to take both hah^es of the blame to his
single share. I see no harm in people mak-
ing much of themselves, in that sense of the
word. It may giA^e them a hint how to make
much of others. But noAV — what I mean by



198 ©he fa.sit (*?,^,$ay.« at mn.



the word — we never clo make much of our-
selves. None but the poor can do it. I do-
not mean the veriest poor of all, but persons
as we Avere, just above iwverty.

" I know wliat you were going to say, that
it is mighty pleasant at the end of the year
to make all meet, — and much ado we used
to have every Thirty-th-st night of Decem-
ber to account for our exceedings, — many a
long face did you make over your puzzled
accounts, and in contriving to make it out
how we had spent so nuicli — or that we had
not spent so much — or that it was im-
possible we should spend so much next
year, — and still Ave found our slender c;ipi-
tal decreasing, — but then, — ^betwixt ways,
and projects, and compromises of one sort
or another, and talk of curtailing this
charge, and doing without that for the fut-
ure, — and the hope that youth brings, and.
laughing spirits (in which you wpre never
poor till now), we pocketed up our loss, and
in conclusion, with ' lusty brimmers ' (as you.
used to quote it out of heart//, cheerful Mr. .
Cotton, as you called him), we used to wel-
come in the ' coming guest.' ISTow we have-
no reckoning at all at the end of the old
year, — no flattering promises about the nevr
year doing better for us."

Bridget is so sparing of her speech on
most occasions, that when she gets into a
rhetorical vein, 1 am careful how I interrupt
it. I could not help, however, smiling at.



©he fiv^i't (^^m^ 0^ ^li«- 199



the phantom of wealth which her dear imag-
ination liad conjured up out of a clear in-
come of poor hundred pounds a year.

" It is true Ave Avere happier when we were
poorer, but Ave were also younger, my cous-
in. I am afraid wq must put up AA-itli the
excess, for if aa^c AA^ere to shake the superflux
into the sea, avo should not much mend our-
selves. That AA'e had much to struggle Avith,
as AA'C grew up together, Ave have reason to
be most thankful. It strengthened, and knit
our compact closer. Vv^e Avould ncA'cr liaA'Q
been Avhat Ave liaA^e been to each other, if Ave
had ahvays had the suiuciency which younoAV
complain of. The resisting poAver, — those
natural dilations of the youthful spirit Avhicli
circumstances cannot straiten, — Avitli us are
long since passed aAvay. Competence to
age is supplementary youth, a sorry supple-
ment indeed, but I fear the best that is to
be had. "We must ride Avhere Ave formerly
walked ; live better and lie softer — and shall
be Avise to do so — than Ave had means to do
in those good old days you speak of. Yet
could those days return, — could you and I
once more Avalk our thirty miles a day, —
could Bannister and ]\Irs. Bland again be
young, and you and I be young to see them,
— could the good old one-shilling gallery
days return, — they are dreams, my cousin,
noAV, — but could you and I at this moment,,
instead of this quiet argument, by our Avell-
carpeted tire-side, sitting on this luxurious-



200 JThc ^a.st (^^^mp of (^lia.



sofa, — he once more struggling up those in-
convenient staircases, puslied about, and
squeezed, and elbowed b}- the poorest rabble
of poor gallery scrambles, — could I once
more hear those anxious shrieks of yours, —
and the delicious Thank God., toe are safe,
which always followed when the topmost
stair, conquered, let in the first light of the
whole cheerful theater down beneath us, — I
know not the fathom line that ever touched
a descent so deep as I would be willing to
bury more wealth in than Croesus had, or

the great Jew R is supposed to have, to

purchase it. And now do just look at that
merry little Chinese Avaiter holding an um-
brella, big enough for a bed-tester, over the
head of that pretty insipid half ]Madonna-
ish chit of a lady in that very blue sumuier-
liouse."



mc fa^t (g^'.saa.^ 0i mm. 201



The ChiSd Angel : A Dream.

I CHAXCED upon the prettiest, oddest, fan-
tastical tliin,^ of a dream tlie other night,
that you sliall hear of. I had been reading
the " Loves of the Angels," and went to bed
■with my head full of speculations, suggested
by that extraordinary legend. It had given
birth to innumerable conjectures ; and I re-
member tlie last waking thougiit which I
gave expression to on my pillow, M'as a sort
of wonder " what could come of it."

I was suddenly transported, how or
"whither I could scarcely make out, — but to
some celestial region. It was not the real
heavens neither — not the downright Bible
heaven — but a kind of fairy-land heaven
about which a poor human fancy may have
leave to sport and air itself, 1 will hope,
without presumption.

Methought — what wild things dreams
are I — I Avas present — at what would you
imagine ? — at an angel's gossiping.

Whence it came, or how it came, or who
l)id it come, or whether it came purely of
its own head, neither you nor I know — but



202 5:he Xn$t (^$m\^ ot min.



there lay, sure enough, wrapping in its little
cloudy swaddling-bands — a Child Angel.

Sun-threads — filmy beams — ran through
the celestial napery of what seemed its
princely cradle. All the winged orders
hovered round, watching when the new-born
should open its yet closed eyes ; which, when
it did, first one, and then the other, — with
a solicitude and apprehension, yet not such
as, stained with fear, dim the expanding eye-
lids of mortal infants, but as if to explore its
path in those its unhereditar}'- palaces, —
what an inextinguishable titter that time
spared not celestial visages ! Xor Avanted
there to my seeming, — O the inexplicable
simpleness of dreams ! bowls of that cheer-
ing nectar,

" — wliich mortals caudle call below,"

!Kor were wanting faces of female minis-
trants, — stricken in years, as it might seem^
— so dexterous were those heavenly attend-
ants to counterfeit kindly similitudes of
earth, to greet, with terrestrial child-rites
the young pre^ent^ which earth had made to
heaven.

Then were celestial harpings heard, not in
full symphony as those by Avhich the spheres
are tutored ; but, as loudest instruments on
earth speak oftentimes, muffled; so to ac-
commodate their sound the better to the
weak ears of the imperfect-born. And, with



5:iic p,$t tf\^.5ay,$ cf (glia. 203

the noise of those subdued soundings, the
Angelet sprang forth, fluttering its rudi-
ments of pinions, — but forthwitli flagged
and was recovered into tlie arms of those
fuII-winged angels. And a wonder it ^^'as
to see how, as years Avent around in heaven
— a year in dreams is as a day — continually
its white shoulders put forth buds of wings,
but wanting the perfect angelic nutriment,
anon was shorn of its aspiring, and fell flut-
tering, — still caught by angel hands, — for-
ever to put forth shoots, and to fall flutter-
ing, because its birth was not of the unmixed
vigor of heaven.

And a name Avas given to the Babe An-
gel, and it was to be called Ge- Uranlay
because its production was of earth ancL
heaven.

And it could.not taste of death, by reason
of its adoption into immortal palaces; but
it Avas to knoAV weakness, and • reliance, and
the shadow of human imbecility ; and it
went with a lame gait ; but in its goings it
exceeded all mortal children in grace and
swiftness. Then pity first sprung up in
angelic bosoms; and yearnings (like the
human) touched them at the sight of the
immortal lame one.

And Avith pain did then first those Intui-
tive Essences, Avith pain and strife, to their
natures (not grief), put back their bright
intelligences, and reduce their ethereal minds,
schooling them to degrees and sloAver pro-



cesses, so to adapt their lessons to the grad-
ual illuniination (as must needs be) of the
half-earth-born and what intuitive notices
they oould not repel (by reason that their
nature is, to know all things at once), the
half-heavenly novice, by the better part of
its nature, aspired to receive into its under-
standin,^; so that Humility and Asi^iration
went on even-paced in the instruction of the
glorious Amphibium.

But, by reason that Mature Humanity is
too gross to breathe the air of that super-
subtile region, its portion Avas, and is, to be
a child forever.

And because the human part of it might
not press into the heart and inwards of the
i:»alace of its adoption, those full-natured
angels tended it by turns in the purlieus of
the palace, where were shady groves and
rivulets, like this green earth from which it
came ; so Love, with Voluntary Humility,
waited upon the entertainment of the new-


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