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nature, the joy offered to us in the simple, elementary affections and duties," and of "the power with which in case after case he shows us this joy, and renders it so as to make us share it."

We should attempt to popularize Wordsworth, so far as he can be popularized, by first presenting to the uninitiated some of those pure and lucid pictures of simple beauty in which, though they, too, embody the "lonely rapture of lonely minds," everybody may take some delight, if only . for the color and the animation with which the poet's buoyant mind has invested them. Where, for instance, is there a lover of poetry of any kind who could not enter into the vivacity of such a poem as this?—

"THE DAFFfodils.

"I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

"Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay ;

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
"The waves beside them danced; but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee :
A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed-and gazed-but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought

"For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils."

The color, the life, the motion in that exquisite picture will reconcile many to the significance of the last verse, who would fail, at first at least, to see that in the last verse lies the real pith and power of the poem. Next, we should go on to point out the fidelity and strength with which Wordsworth can take up into his musing imagination, and isolate there, the simplest and most permanent of the human passions, as, for example, in the noble poem called "The Affliction of Margaret," in which a bereaved mother, who waits in vain to learn her long-lost son's fate, pours forth her heart's yearnings:

"Perhaps some dungeon hears thee groan,
Maimed, mangled by inhuman men ;
Or thou upon a desert thrown

VOL. VII.-15

Inheritest the lion's den;

Or hast been summoned to the deep,
Thou, thou and all thy mates, to keep
An incommunicable sleep.

"I look for ghosts; but none will force
Their way to me: 'tis falsely said
That there was ever intercourse
Between the living and the dead;
For, surely, then I should have sight
Of him I wait for day and night,
With love and longings infinite.

"My apprehensions come in crowds;
I dread the rustling of the grass;
The very shadows of the clouds
Have power to shake me as they pass:
I question things, and do not find
One that will answer to my mind;
And all the world appears unkind.

Beyond participation lie

My troubles, and beyond relief;
If any chance to heave a sigh,
They pity me, and not my grief.
Then come to me, my son, or send
Some tidings that my woes may end;
I have no other earthly friend!"

The intensity of maternal passion, as it is reflected in the lonely musings of one who can concentrate as well as understand it, was never more powerfully translated into human speech. After this, we would place before the reader some of the many poems in which Wordsworth's feeling for the purest grace and beauty of human life, and his fine sense of the analogy between the beauty of nature and the beauty of human loveliness, are most exquisitely expressed-as, for example, the lovely sonnet to a lady beautiful in her old age:

"Such age how beautiful! O lady bright, Whose mortal lineaments seem all refined By favoring nature and a saintly mind To something purer and more exquisite Than flesh and blood; whene'er thou meet'st my sight,

When I behold thy blanched unwithered cheek, Thy temples fringed with locks of gleaming white, And head that droops because the soul is meek, Thee with the welcome snowdrop I compare; That child of winter, prompting thoughts that


From desolation toward the genial prime; Or with the moon conquering earth's misty air, And filling more and more with crystal light As pensive Evening deepens into night." And then, rising a little higher, we would entreat the reader to let the perfect melody of "The Song at the Feast of Brougham Castle" sink gradually into him, observing especially the remarkable contrast between the calm, sweet

wisdom engendered in "The Shepherd-Lord" by his long seclusion in homely and peaceful scenes, and the eloquent conventional hopes of the local minstrel, with which it concludes:



'Again he wanders forth at will,

And tends a flock from hill to hill:
His garb was humble; ne'er was seen
Such garb with such a noble mien ;
Among the shepherd grooms no mate
Hath he, a Child of strength and state!
Yet lacks no friends for simple glee,
Nor yet for higher sympathy.
To his side the fallow-deer

Came, and rested without fear;
The eagle, lord of land and sea,
Stooped down to pay him fealty ;
And both the undying fish that swim
Through Bowscale-tarn did wait on him;
The pair were servants of his eye
In their immortality;

And glancing, gleaming, dark or bright,
Moved to and fro, for his delight.

He knew the rocks which angels haunt
Upon the mountains visitant;

He hath kenned them taking wing:
And into caves where faeries sing
He hath entered; and been told
By voices how men lived of old.
Among the heavens his eye can see
The face of thing that is to be;
And, if that men report him right,

His tongue could whisper words of might.
-Now another day is come,
Fitter hope, and nobler doom;
He hath thrown aside his crook,
And hath buried deep his book;
Armor rusting in his halls
On the blood of Clifford calls;
'Quell the Scot,' exclaims the Lance-
Bear me to the heart of France,
Is the longing of the Shield-
Tell thy name, thou trembling Field;
Field of death, where'er thou be,
Groan thou with our victory!
Happy day, and mighty hour,
When our Shepherd, in his power,

Mailed and horsed, with lance and sword,

To his ancestors restored,

Like a reappearing star,
Like a glory from afar,

First shall head the flock of war!"

"Alas! the impassioned minstrel did not know How, by Heaven's grace, this Clifford's heart was framed ;

How he, long forced in humble walks to go, Was softened into feeling, soothed and tamed. "Love had he found in huts where poor men lie; His daily teachers had been woods and rills, The silence that is in the starry sky, The sleep that is among the lonely hills.

"In him the savage virtue of the race,
Revenge, and all ferocious thoughts, were dead:
Nor did he change; but kept in lofty place
The wisdom which adversity had bred.

"Glad were the vales, and every cottage-hearth; The Shepherd-lord was honored more and more ; And ages after he was laid in earth,

'The good Lord Clifford' was the name he bore."

If, after such an initiation as this, any average cultivated man were not convinced that Wordsworth at his best was a great poet, we should almost despair of any large measure of popularity for Wordsworth. But with such an initiation, we think almost any cultivated man might be convinced that in Wordsworth there was indeed a great poet, however much also that was not great poetry, might have come out of him. And then, perhaps, we might go a little further, and the reader who had appreciated Wordsworth thus far, might by this time learn to understand the mystical grandeur of the "Ode to Duty"; the meditative passion which, like a river which sometimes runs above and sometimes underground, makes of "The Prelude," in spite of considerable intervals of prose, so magnificent a poem; the subtile splendor of the three poems on Yarrow; and this latest of all the really great poems of Wordsworth, his spiritual "Skylark" (written in 1825), in which the genius of the man may be said to be almost perfectly embodied :

"Ethereal minstrel ! pilgrim of the sky!

Dost thou despise the earth where cares abound?
Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and eye
Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground?
Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will,
Those quivering wings composed, that music still!

"To the last point of vision, and beyond, Mount, daring warbler! that love-prompted strain ('Twixt thee and thine a never-failing bond) Thrills not the less the bosom of the plain :

Else might'st thou seem, proud privilege! to sing All independent of the leafy spring.

"Leave to the nightingale her shady wood;

A privacy of glorious light is thine;

Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood
Of harmony, with instinct more divine;
Type of the wise who soar, but never roam ;
True to the kindred points of heaven and home!"

Any one who had really learned to love this poem as it deserves, would hardly fail to love, in time, all that is great in Wordsworth—and is it not nearly half of all that he has written?

The Spectator.

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and prepared him for opposition and indignation.

He tried to shake off the impression produced by this contempt and wrath. It was use

HOW STEPHEN ASKED FOR BARE JUSTICE, less. An hour before he had been a strong man,



HE die was cast, then. Stephen had committed all his fortunes to one hazard, the chance of his being right.

The great, quiet house-his own, he said to himself-became almost intolerable to him. The face of the indignant girl, so like, so reproachfully like his mother, haunted him, and remained with him. Above the mantel-shelf, the Señora gazed down upon him with sorrowful eyes of deep black, like Alison's, which followed him wherever he moved. The girl's very gestures recalled to his mind his mother, her Spanish blood, and her Spanish ways. It was not pleasant, again, to feel that somewhere the two ladies were conversing together, indignant and humiliated, in wrath, shame, and misery; it was not an agreeable reflection that not only then, but ever afterward, he would be regarded as the author of all the sorrow. One may be an impenitent spendthrift; one may be the black sheep of the family; but one never likes to be thought the cause and origin of trouble, and this Stephen had brought upon his own back. Besides, he would have been the blackest of villains, indeed, had he been able altogether to forget Anthony, the generous brother who had maintained him in luxury for so many years, and whom he was going to repay in this-this very disagreeable way, so very disagreeably put by Anthony's daughter. People do not so much mind the sin of ingratitude as being reminded of it.

Stephen took no notice whatever of the boy's impertinence: that was nothing: he hardly heard it; for the moment he was wholly overpowered by a sense of his own audacity. His mother, from her picture; his brother, from every corner of the room, from every trifle about it, from every book, from every chair-for all was full of his memory; his brother's daughter, with her gestures of surprise, contempt, and loathing; his cousin, timid and gentle enough as a rule, with her tearful face of sorrow and disgust -these, separately and together, reminded Stephen that he had staked his all upon one event,

walking with the firm tread of strength. Now he felt small and weak; he walked, or thought he walked, with bent knees; he seemed to tremble as he stood; and when he looked at his mother's portrait, her eyes, which to him had always been so full of pity and of love, were turned, like those of Alison, into loathing. One never, you see, estimates quite justly beforehand the consequences of one's actions.

But he had done it. It was too late to go


No future words of his could ever destroy those which had passed between himself and his niece. They could never be recalled. There could be, he said, no reconciliation for himself and Alison; there could be nothing between them for the future but a duel à outrance. On her side would be his cousins, all the family. On his own, the mystery-the impenetrable mystery of her birth.

The battle was inevitable: the victory, he tried to persuade himself, was certain. Yet he hesitated. He wished he had been more gentle : he wished he had kept his temper; he wished he had weighed his words. One thing he could do: he would leave the house. There was no necessity for him to continue under the same roof with his brother's daughter; he could hardly turn her out: he would leave it himself, at all events for a time, until the first shock of the row should wear off a little.

His nerves were shaken, and he was glad to find an excuse for getting out of the place. The issue was so important, the stake so great, the associations of the house so strong, that he wanted the solitude of his own chambers. He told the footman that he should not be back for a day or two, and left the house. In reality, he ran away from Alison, whom he feared to meet again.

Alison, for her part, outraged and stricken down by this cruel and wholly unexpected blow, took refuge in her own room, trying to understand it, if she might. She was too wretched for tears. She threw herself upon the bed and buried her face in her hands, moaning with agony and

shame. Everything was torn away at once; the dream of a fond and worthy mother, the belief in a noble and honorable father.

Had Anthony Hamblin foreseen this sorrow? Had there been no middle way possible, by which the girl could have been spared at once the shame of her father's sin, and the agony of her mother's dishonor?

He begged his mother to remember that for the future.

"Fig pudding, old lady!" he cried presently, with beaming eyes, having the dish set well before him. Figs made into pudding are recommended by doctors. They are said to be comforting after trouble." He cut a slice for his mother, and then placed a very large one on his 'Grief," said young Nick, when the clock own plate. "This," he said, with a sigh, "is for pointed to half-past one, which was dinner-time Alison, poor girl! She can't eat any. This" (he -"grief, with waxiness, makes a man hungry. added another massive lump) "is for myself. I Call down Alison, mother. Dinner will be on will do the best I can and eat up her slice for the table in a minute or two. As for the first her. She must not be allowed to lower the syscousin once removed, he's gone. I saw him out tem." His white eyebrows glittered like a diaof the house myself ten minutes ago." mond-spray as he rapturously contemplated the double ration.

Mrs. Cridland went to call her niece. She returned after a few minutes, her eyes heavy with tears. Alison would not come down at all.

Young Nick shook his head sagaciously.


Girls," he said, "are good at a slanging match. Their tongues hang free, and their cackle is continuous. Men are nowhere. Still, men don't shirk their grub because they've had a fight. None such fools. It's only girls who don't see when it comes to keeping up the pecker, that the pecker must be kept up by more than the usual amount of grub, and break down. One short burst, good enough while it lasts, is the most they can manage. Then it is all over." When dinner was served, he took Alison's place at the head of the table and assumed the carving-knife and fork with considerable increase of dignity. Whatever might happen, he had covered himself with glory as the defier of villainy. Besides, it is not every day that a boy of fourteen is trusted to carve.

"Boiled rabbit, mother "--he brandished the carving-knife with ostentatious dexterity--" boiled rabbit, smothered in onions, and a little piece of pickled pig. Ah! and a very fair notion of a simple dinner, too; what we may call a reasonable tuck-in for a hungry man : not a blow-out, like the Hamblin Dinner; but a dinner that a man can do justice to, particularly if there's no falling off when the pudding comes. Let me give you a slice off the back. I say, mother"there was a twinkle in his eye as he stuck the carving-knife into the vertebræ-"I say, I wish the bunny's back was Uncle Stephen's, and my knife was in it. Wouldn't I twist it? And suppose we had him before us actually smothered in onions!"

He took a more than ample meal, because, as he explained, he had now hurled defiance at his uncle, and a gentleman's glove once thrown down had to be fought for; therefore he must hasten to grow and get strong. With which object he must eat much more meat than was heretofore thought prudent, and a great deal more pudding.


As for Stephen, he was driving to town in a

As he had been so hasty, as the thing had been told, as the cousins would most certainly hear of it immediately, it was far better, he thought, to go to them himself and tell the story first. At present, too, he had accepted the post of guardian, and thereby put himself in a false position. He ought not to have taken it; he ought to have asserted his claim from the beginning, in a modest but firm way; he should have communicated his suspicions. But then Stephen could never run straight. Meantime he must go and tell his story, whatever the result.

The result? Outside the house he began to shake off some of the whipped-hound feeling which oppressed him beneath the triple influence of which I have spoken. The result? What result could there be? His brother had never married. Why, justice was on his side; he asked for nothing but plain and simple justice: let bare justice be done to every man alike. What could his cousins, what could the world, object to in his claim for simple justice?

Yet there was once a man, a younger son, who laid a claim to a great title and great estate, held by his elder brother, on much the same grounds as he was about to advance. And though he had justice on his side, though it was clearly proved that he was the heir, the world condemned that man for raking up old scandals, for dishonoring the name of his mother, and the credit of his father. Stephen thought of that case, but he hardened his heart. Besides, he said it was done now; he had spoken the fatal words, he must go on. To tell Alison, for instance, that he intended to let her hold the estates by his gracious favor would never console her for the trouble he had brought upon her, would never heal the wound he had inflicted, would never lead her to forgive him who had cast a blot upon the fair name of her father. And, again, it was absurd to suppose that he was

going to let her hold the estates when they were his own.

If no man suddenly becomes the basest of men, it is also true that no man, brought up as Stephen Hamblin was brought up, can at any time, after however long a course of selfish pampering to his own appetites, contemplate an action of the basest kind without some sort of hesitation. No one would deny that this man was one eminently untrustworthy. Most of those who knew him best trusted him least. There was, in the opinion of his cousins, no wickedness of which he was not capable. They would not, for instance, have believed that this deed, perpetrated with such apparent calm deliberation, could have cost him so much hesitation and self-abasement. When we plan out a line of action for a knave, we are generally right, but we forget how much battling with his knavish conscience it costs him.

In truth, Stephen, by much brooding over the thing, had got to the level of hallucinations, a very common level with all sorts of people whom the world condemns.

He thought people would sympathize with him. In imagination, he took up the attitude of one who calmly, firmly, and without heat or passion, claims his own, standing out for the simple, the barest justice.

Alison showed him, with her swift contempt, how the world would really regard his action, what he would really seem. With her spear of Ithuriel she changed him from the upright figure of a wronged and injured man to a crawling, sneaking spy, who had crept into the house under false pretenses, and made use of his opportunities to pry into the secrets of his brother, discover the weak points and nakedness of the land, and, in his own interests, search into all the secret documents.

This view of the matter was not so pleasant to contemplate, and Stephen put it behind him as much as possible.

He deposited his bag in his chambers at Pall Mall, took a late lunch, with a single pint of champagne, at his club, and then drove into the City. Since the thing had to be done, let it be done quickly.

He presented himself at his cousin's private office with an air which struck Augustus Hamblin as of ill omen. His dark eyes were bloodshot and more shifty than usual. They were ringed with black, the result of midnight potations, not of villainy, and they seemed more crow's-footed than usual; his dress, which was that of a young man of five-and-twenty, seemed more than usually incongruous; he held between his lips the remaining half of a great cigar-men of Stephen Hamblin's stamp are seldom without

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'You here, Stephen?" he asked, not very cordially. "Is anything wrong with your ward? "Nothing is wrong with my ward," replied Stephen. "It is not about her, or at least only indirectly, that I have come to see you." "Is it on business? partner to be present.

Then we will ask my Two heads are better

than one, or three better than two." He whistled down a tube and sent his message.

Augustus Hamblin spoke cheerfully, but he remembered what Alderney Codd had told him, and he felt uneasy. William the Silent presently came, and nodded to Stephen; but he, too, looked meaningly toward his partner. The two sat like a judicial bench behind the table. Stephen, like a criminal, stood before them. He laid down the cigar, and looked from one to the other with a certain embarrassment.

"You will remember," he said presently, producing a pocket-book full of papers-but this was only a pretense-"you will remember that when I was here last, Augustus, I asked you what you knew about my brother Anthony's marriage." "Certainly."

"Since then I have been employing myself, in Alison's interests, in trying to clear up the mystery."

"Yes, though you might as well have left it alone."

"I might as well, so far as her interests go, as it seems," said Stephen, clearing his throat. His face was pale now, but his attitude was firm and erect. He was about to fire the fatal shot. "I might as well, because I have made-a remarkable discovery among Anthony's papers—a most surprising discovery-a thing which alters the whole complexion of affairs, and puts me in a most awkward position."

One of Stephen's least pleasant traits was a certain liability to inspiration of sudden falsehood, just as some men are apt to be inspired by sudden bursts of generosity and lofty purpose. It would have been better for him had he stated the truth, that he suspected no marriage, and found in the papers no proof of marriage. But it occurred to him at the moment that he would strengthen his case if he asserted that he had found proof of no marriage-a very different thing.

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