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starts at half-past from Cosham. Lend me 'Black Buck' and I'll be there in time, and the man who comes for him can telegraph. Write down that you couldn't stay behind, and that he must wait for you at the Albion Hotel-don't forget the hotel-and God bless you, little woman! A kiss for luck ; there, don't shake and look so frightened. By Jove ! we'll astonish the country side, and Miss Clara.”
“But your mother, Roger ?" and Lilly ran downstairs after him. “Oh, I forgot. I wish—but no, you wouldn't like to do it."
“What? Only say ; I'll do anything now. I've gone in for it, good or bad, I'll do my best."
“Well, ride over and tell her just what you told me, and where I have gone. What a glorious finish to a day's hunting!”
And then downstairs, four steps at a time, he went; and, catching up the first overcoat he saw in the hall to hide his red coat, ran round to the stables. In less than three minutes he passed the front where Lilly stood, watching, shivering, and half afraid of what she had done.
“Send the telegram directly," shouted Roger; and down the long slope across the park stretched the famous black colt-the same Reggy Belmont envied.
“He's going to take the sunk fence, I declare !” cried Lilly. “The dear fellow, how he loves Harry!”
And then the raindrops came down Lilly's hot cheeks again ; but remembering there was no time to spend in thinking—she must act first and think after-she went up to tell her own mother first, well knowing what welcome tidings she was the bearer of.
A VOICE FROM THE PAST.
WHEN the Rev. Watson Grey faced the world, after the last look at his dead wife's face, that world had a very dim and lowering aspect. The fog lay thick and yellow upon the deserted squares; and, as he paced recklessly onward-heedless whither his steps led him—the loathsome cloud seemed to grow symbolical of futurity, and his heart sank with a sickening sense of fear and depression. The retrospect from the story of his life, roused by the sight he had just witnessed, had touched a string long silent, and awakened conscience was busy again in the halfdead heart. It was as if one from the grave had risen up to rebuke him. During the few minutes he knelt by the coffin he had forgotten the long crime-stained journey of life, memory bridged over the foul stream, and, for a brief space, the care and sin-worn man wandered along the pleasant path of youth. Alas! the dream was a short one, he could not forget the bridge ; the dark flood fascinated his eyes, and as he stared
into the seething waters, casting up mire and filth, a horrible loathing came over him-separated from the false light of passion, he saw sin in all its black deformity, and a cold sweat beaded out on his livid face. Suddenly, a damp icy mist and wind met him, and looking up, he saw before him the dreary blackened fields, that, clinging to the skirts of London, mock the name of country.
There was something familiar in the damp earthy smell and the rotting vegetation; something that had risen so often to his nostrils as he read the burial service in crowded churchyards; something that reminded him of one grave in particular, one great pit, where uncoffined and still warm fever-slain bodies, were cast by their affrighted brethren, and where, down amongst the grinning disfigured black faces, the vultures and jackalls growled and quarrelled all night, only kept away during daylight by the falling of fresh food into the pit, and the voice of the preacher-who, with a morbid pertinacity which he scarcely understood himself, stood there hour after hour, defying death and disease, and repeating time after time the beautiful promise of "the sure and certain hope of a glorious resurrection.”
He remembered how his heart had mocked at the words he spoke, how the excitement had carried him through his task, and how he had laughed at the praise he won, half-inclined to wonder why the hand that stayed not its slaying, for the prayers of the poor benighted wretches, spared his blasphemy; strong in health, untouched by physical infirmity, he had been left to run the race and win the goal upon which he had set his heart.
The prize was his now, but what then? The wealth he had perilled his soul to win, was his—but what then ? The longing that had possessed his soul, blinding his eyes, deafening his ears, and hardening his heart, had passed away, out of sight and mind; the power of enjoy• ment was gone, and death and hell yawned at his feet. What could money buy to heal or soothe ?
These thoughts caused Mr. Grey's brain to grow dizzy; he had paused opposite the dismal frost-veiled fields, and still stood there, his hand clutching the iron railing which warded off a row of brick houses and sickly gardens from the half-paved road.
A miserable shrunken half-naked child, slouching along by these railings, paused, and looked on in wonder, turning over in his mind as to whether the parson was drunk or wanted a doctor in either case he might earn a penny, and a penny to the hungry child was just a day's reprieve from starvation ; so the dirty blue hand pulled a dirtier
l forelock, but the action brought no notice.
The child tried again, passing this time close past, and pausing immediately to look back and watch the effect of his manoeuvre. Still no sign; and now a cunning half frightened eager look came over the
boy's face; creeping stealthily up, his hand was in Mr. Grey's coat pocket, when a window in the nearest house was thrown up, and a shrill voice screamed
"He's pickin' your pocket, sir.”
Roused from his reverie, Mr. Grey turned round, and saw grovelling on the flags the hapless little child, whining out
“ I didn't do it.”
"Poor little beggar," said the parson, lifting him up ; " don't lieare you hungry?"
A great burst of real tears was the answer.
“He's a good for nothin' little varmint," went on the woman, shaking her fist, “a carrin' fevers and sich like.”
a Tears and sobs were the only excuse, but the sobs made the frail body shake, and a harsh cough came after every gust.
“Will this keep you from stealing for awhile?" and Mr. Grey held out a sovereign.
“ The man's mad or drunk,” muttered the woman.
"Oh, crikey!" and the child, calmed from sheer surprise, stood staring at the gold piece.
“Take it, and get something to eat and keep you warm ; or, stay, can you
hide this away for a time to come ? here's some silver, now.” “Oh, Lord !” ejaculated the child, pulling off his ragged red handkerchief from his throat. “ I'll hide the sov. here."
So he tied it into a corner, and twisting the rag in a wisp, replaced it round his neck. The silver he deposited in various parts of his person, putting sixpence in his mouth for present use; and all the while the parson stood watching him, with a curious pitying look on his face. When the child had accomplished his task, he bethought him of the way the gentleman had looked at the fields, and that, perhaps, he had some reason for being so sad, so he said
“It's werry lonely and cold in them 'ere fields.” « Is it ?"
“ Lord, yes! I slep' in them this six month, since mother was took ; and, says a chap to me, when I told him they was lonely—they ain't, says he, so lonely as the grave, says he ; but he know'd nothin', not he. The grave ain't lonely, there's company i' the churchyard, and bootiful flowers too, i' the cemitaary."
The last words jarred upon Mr. Grey's ears—even this child talked of death and the grave—and with a cowardly fear lest he should enter into further description, he walked away ; not towards the black country this time, but back, along the darkening street, drawn on by the far off hum of men and life ; behind him, but at a respectful distance, trotted the boy, whose mind, unable to comprehend such princely liberality, dwelt upon the woman's final denunciation, and thought the
gentleman, perhaps, was “ drunk or mad," and that, if so, it behoved him, little Arab though he was, to see that no harm came to one who had done so much for him ; so, always keeping the black coat and red whiskers in view, he followed on, up one street, down another, through the great silent squares of Belgravia, along Piccadilly, where the busy tide of carriages and foot passengers was flowing past the newly lit lamps, and where gas, streaming from a hundred dazzling shops, illuminated the glistening flags. More than once the sight of bread or confectionery brought a glow to the cheeks of the half-starved child, but with the means to buy at hand he could resist temptation, and kept on in his self-appointed duty. Reaching Temple Bar, Mr. Grey hailed a han som, and the boy was left staring blankly at the lamps, until the jets danced and glistened through the teardrops that welled up; brushing his coat sleeve across his eyelashes, he turned towards the shop windows; and presently, diving head foremost into one, laid down his precious sixpence to pay for a penny roll; very keenly he looked over the change, ere he disposed of it in a pocket, and then, going out into the street and turning down the first lane, he sat down on a step to enjoy his supper, pausing more than once to say with a gulp
“He wor a good feller."
Who knows how the blessing to those who feed even the least of the children of God was then at work, and that the weary sinner, arrested mysteriously in the downward race, might not owe his salvation to the unspoken prayer of the hungry little pickpocket? All I know is, that Mr. Grey did not leave London that night, although he took the precaution to change the colour of his whiskers, and that, as the funeral procession moved along Cambridge Street, a mourning coach with one occupant fell in, and that Mr. Grey stood by the grave long after the others had gone away, and until the last spadeful of mould was shovelled on.
The sun had set before this was accomplished ; night, clear and sharp with frost, was settling down upon the great solemn cemetery ; a robin, perched upon a yew tree, had trilled his evening hymn, and, after the footsteps of the workmen died away, only the distant roar of the great city broke the silence. It was very quiet, a quiet that soothed and rested the living ; not lonely, no—as the child said, and Mr. Grey remembered his words, not lonely; were there not hundreds of men, women, and children sleeping there, waiting the great reveillez; were there not hundreds clinging in fondest memory to these graves; eyes, far and near, picturing the same scene he was gazing upon, and hearts, sighing to join the sleep in the quiet grave ?
“He was right,” muttered the parson,“ poor little starving beggat, he preached a better sermon than I ever did. The graveyard is not lonely, but oh, my God! life-life such as mine, at least-is.”
( To be continued.)
THE CIVIL AND POLITICAL STATUS OF THE FEMALE
FROM THE TIME OF THE ROMANS UNTIL THE PRESENT DAY.
AND THE CUSTOMS.
INTRODUCTION. BETWEEN the barbarian codes and the customs there is a gap of four centuries,* and to fill it we have only very few and incomplete legislative records. In order, however, to plant history upon a firm basis, it is necessary to become acquainted with this obscure period, because it is one which witnessed the transformation of institutions and great social changes. During it the conquest was replaced by the establishment of a normal state of things; the two races hitherto encamped upon the soil, without mingling, became amalgamated into one ; the new spirit and the Roman spirit were wedded to each other. Whoever cannot follow institutions through the stages of their metamorphosis, loses the thread of continuity, and when that thread is once broken, their origin remains a mystery.
With so small a number of records, how can we study these successive transformations ? The reply is easy. Of laws emanating from the sovereign power the number is, certainly, small indeed; but we possess a mass of forms and deeds, in which it is easy to follow the gradual development and the commingling of institutions. Every barbarian code has, so to say, its complement in some collection made by modern savants. Our ignorance, therefore, of this curious epoch is due to our never having sought for information in the right direction.
ON THE DAUGHTER'S RIGHT OF SUCCESSION, AND THE PROPERTY
OF MARRIED WOMEN IN THE DEEDS OF THE NINTH, TENTH,
ELEVENTH AND TWELFTH CENTURIES. So long as the freemen, who were proprietors of allodial estates, were numerous, and so long as the assembly of the Canton was kept up, the Teutonic customs which regulated the law of succession and marriage were doubtless maintained in full vigour; and the proof of this fact is that the greater part of these ancient usages reappear in the feudal
* Namely, the ninth, tenth, cleventh, and twelfth centuries.