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to save lierself, flung her arms forward, said without great efforts; yet, inand bounded diagonally down the stage, deed, she was lovely enough to admire as if to take a flying leap over foot- and applaud, if she had only stood still lights and orchestra, far out into the to be looked at. But her flushed face very pit. She did really almost do it; showed plainly that she was making a she was barely able to stop herself just most painful effort, and I was glad when behind the lights. For an instant she she went off for the last time with the was white with terror; then, she turned Queen in Act IV. crimson with intense pain and mortifi- Indeed, although I remained until cation; trembled, hid her face in her the curtain fell, I paid very little attenhands, almost fainted. Some of the tion to the remainder of the performaudience, well-meaning, applauded, to ance, and am quite unable to offer any restore her courage; and this, of course, criticisms upon the church-yard scene, she misinterpreted to be satirical ap- or the combat in the last Act. plause. Others said “Hush !" and The rest is brief. Next day Mrs. “Sh!” and this she thought was hiss- Willis was ill with a nervous fever from ing for her blunder. A very few laughed effort and over-excitement, and she only
-for which there was reason, if not ex- recovered her usual perfect though delicuse; the sense of the ridiculous is far cate health after some months, and the stronger than sympathy, in some minds. still longer subsequent process of a Hamlet stepped promptly forward, in- journey to Europe. It was, accordingtending to carry the dialogue straight ly, more than a year before I saw her on, as if nothing had happened, and, and her husband again. When I did, “cutting” five lines and a half, resumed, almost the first thing Tom Willis said holding out both hands to her,
was, as I entered his parlor, “ Soft you, now!
“Here, Charley-here's one of the The fair Ophelia !”
people you were wishing for, one day; But the stage-manager was wiser. A
do you remember?" whistle sounded within the mysterious off the parlor, where sat Susy, content
And he drew me into a little room depths back of the stage, and the actor had just time to say two words and edly rocking a cradle with baby in it,
while she sewed on some white fabric draw the trembling little lady back a few steps, when the great curtain rolled
or other. heavily down to the floor. Of
The little lady was unaffectedly
course, there was then a great buzz of talking, pleased at our meeting, and I a mingled mess of regret, giggle, and
“What people do you mean, dear ? " criticism.
she asked her husband. Before many minutes, the curtain
He pointed to the young gentleman
in the cradle. rose again, and the scene proceeded with Ophelia's greeting,
“ You wished for him?” said she to
me, inquiringly. " You can't have Good my lord,
him !" How does your honor for this many a day? "
“No," I said ; “Tom is remeinberIt is needless, however, to detail the ing something I said to him, one day. further progress of the play. There I had an idea that, if this young perwere no more positive mischances. For son had been here, you would not the rest of the evening, the others were have-" absurd, and Mrs. Willis all but inaudi- I hesitated; but Susy understood me, ble; and I could not sufficiently admire and blushed and smiled. the patient resolution which she showed 'I shouldn't,” she said simply. “ I'm in going so straight forward through as glad as he is, now, that I broke the rest of the piece. The good-natured down.” spectators applauded her everywhere, though they could not hear a word she Onthank was pensioned off when the
Willises went abroad, and they kept statement that the play of Hamlet was her so after they came home.
then enacted, and none of them named The reason that so little has ever been Mrs. Willis even by her proposed theatheard of Mrs. Willis' “ first appear- rical surname. I have no doubt that ance," and of the consequent triumph the vengeful brethren of the quill of her tyrant, I easily ascertained on fully believe that they were the peothe very morning after the performance, ple who really gained a victory, and The reporter of the Daily Despot had that their silence was the grave where done exactly what I hoped ; and, with an agonized débutante was buried alive; one consent, the dailies of the next day whereas Mr. Thomas Willis was rcalabstained from any reference to the do- ly, so to speak, the tyrant who triings of the evening, except the merestumphed,
THE BRONTÉS AND THEIR HOME.
TWO DAYS AT HAWORTH.
I was obliged to wait two ventured to accost a tall, sedate-looking hours for the train on the branch rail- woman who was nearest me, as to the way to Haworth, and spent most of the prospect of finding a lodging in the time in the waiting-room with the village. As soon as she heard that I motherly old attendant, who knew the was an American, and had come so far neighborhood well, and could tell me out of my way to see Haworth, she bemuch about the family which had made came very cordial, and introduced me it famous. I met there, also, a very to the little company generally, who agreeable gentlewoman, who travelled made me welcome in a simple, hearty with me for a short distance, and, on fashion, which was very promising, and our separating, bade me look at the beguiled for me the exceeding steepness tomb of her family in Haworth church- of the ascent. Instead of going by the yard, as her ancestors for many genera- paved road, we followed a narrow path tions had lived in the vicinity, and it between stone walls which wound was only within a few years that she among the fields, so that I was almost
ad left her old home for the more stir- in the centre of the village before I ring life of Manchester. After leaving recognized its nearness. It is built Bradford, the road passes through sev- mainly upon one long street, and, as we eral small manufacturing villages, of emerged from the high-walled lane, I which Keightley (pronounced Keethley) saw all the famous localities at once. is the most important, and peculiarly Thero were the church, the
parsonage, interesting to me, as having been the the churchyard "terribly full of upnearest station to Haworth in former right tombstones,” and beyond these times, and the terminus of many a walk the dim outline of the moors. The litof the Bronté sisters. A few miles fur- tle inn of "The Black Bull” was directther on, the guide called out “Ha- ly in front of us; but it was not till I worth," and, after barely giving time had entered that I discovered the landfor the few passengers to alight, the lady in the modest companion of my train passed on, and I was left standing walk. She was willing to keep me, but on the platform of the solitary little feared she could not make me comfortstation at the foot of the hills, the ham- able, as the next day (Sunday) was the let of which I was in search being on anniversary of the Sunday-school, and the top of one of them. I waited until on Monday the annual fair of the the few people had taken up their line “ Rush-bearing” would begin ; conseof march, when I followed them, and quently, her carpets had all been taken
up, and the house made as plain as pos- of such travellers as were above the sible, to stand the wear and tear of the ordinary society of the Black Bull. crowds of rough-shod countrymen who After dinner I went out, and, in obewere expected to make it their head. dience to my rule of business before quarters for the next three days. One pleasure," proceeded to secure photolittle room up-stairs, however, had been graphs and other souvenirs of the place, left undisturbed, and that was given to before beginning my round of personal me. It was old-fashioned and queer, inspection. One of the shop-keepers and the bed, besides having high posts, was a woman, a fair, plump matron, was so high itself, that a pair of steps who had once been a pupil of Charlotte stood ready at the head to assist the in the Sunday-school. I made the acfuture incumbent to scale its mountain quaintance of several persons in the of feathers. From my open window I course of my shopping, all of whom could look across a lane at the rear of could give reminiscences of the family; the inn to the Mechanics’ Institute, and though the incidents were mainly modest building, containing the village the same that I had read, they seemed library and a room for reading and de- fresh and new when heard from living bate. The intervening space had been lips. One man asked me if the village rented for the fair-time by owners of looked as I had expected to find it. booths for refreshments and fancy arti- On my answering in the affirmativc, he cles, a few of which were already in continued, “But don't you find the operation, and in the centre had been people less rough in their manners than planted one of those whirligig machines Mrs. Gaskell has described them ?” I which seem to be an accompaniment of could bear willing testimony to their similar festivities in every part of the courtesy and kindness, so far as I had world, wherein a large number of chil- been brought into contact with them, dren go round and round, imagining and made haste to do so, to his evident themselves meanwhile on horseback or gratification; for the pride of the inin a carriage. Of course, so novel an habitants had no doubt suffered from amusement had greatly roused the vil that strong picture of their local pelage children, and they stood bŷ in full culiarities. force, while a few of their number, the After securing my photographs, I happy possessors of a half-penny or so, started with my mind free to enjoy the mounted the machine and flashed by experiences that were yet to come. The before the envious gaze of their impe- churchyard adjoins the inn at one corcunious companions. It was quite an ner, and I passed through the great amusing sight; but when speaking of iron gates, which had been opened for it to the landlady, during the good din- a funeral procession. The ordinary enner to which I was presently called, she trance is between open posts at the replied, that the machine should never other end of the church, for the enclobe allowed to come there again, for she sure is a thoroughfare, affording a short was “fairly stalled wi' their poise." I cut to the farm-houses and moors beremembered the Yorkshire expression yond. None but foot-passengers can for fatigue, and could have hugged the enter it, however, as the place is too good woman for allowing me to hear it thickly. sown with graves to allow of a in Yorkshire air. My dinner was served carriage-road; and the paths, exceptin the private parlor—a pleasant room, ing one to the church-door, are not wellwith an open fire-place, and windows defined, because people wind their way looking upon the street, and furnished among the tombs, or walk upon the with a shiny hair-cloth sofa, and oak huge flat memorial-stones to suit their chairs of antique form grown dark and convenience. Between the church and glossy with age. It was the same room the wall which separates it from the to which Branwell Bronté had often street, a small space bas been carefully been summoned for the entertainment arranged in flower-beds, which were
Man but dives in death
gay with roses and pansies, and other cannot be expected to open his house old-fashioned flowers, at the time of my to all who, through curiosity, or even visit. But elsewhere there is no room a better motive, may wish to see their for adornment, and a stunted ivy upon former haunts. Besides, the gratificathe church, and a few shrubs scattered tion would be only partial, if it would among the graves, alone break the cheer- not better deserve to be called a disless monotony of gray stone and white appointment; for the house has been marble. The first slab that I paused modernized and completely refurnishto examine contained the well-known ed, and no trace of its former occuverse that so puzzled David Copper- pancy remains. Even “ the small oldfield's infant meditations in church: fashioned window-panes” have been
exchanged for the light sash and large Aflictions sore long time I bore,
glass of the present day. It is easy to Physicians were in vain, But Death gave ease when God did please,
tell from the outside the arrangement And freed me from my pain.
of the rooms, and so there is nothing
lost but the blessed consciousness of Another announced that
having been in the very places made
sacred through the habitual presence Dives from the sun in fairer day to rise,
of those gifted beings. The grave his subterranean road to bliss.
By standing on a tombstone, I could I was particularly struck by the ex- see over the hedge into the front yard; tent of mortality in some families, and and, as I could do this without intruthe wholesale manner of recording such sion, I took a long and careful survey afflictions. Thus, one stone was erect- of the premises. There were the mased “in memory of eight children of sive stone steps which they had daily Robert and Alice Hey, of Bradford, crossed, and the old-fashioned front who all died young." Another was to door which had closed upon them all “Bernard Hartley, who died aged forty- one after another as they were carried one years—also to eleven children of to their burial. The flower-beds under his who all died young.” Another, “to the windows still remained, but the five children who died young.” There square grass-plot” was now adorned was one to an infant“ who lived three with a large circular mound aflame with hundred and nine days"- -a calculation verbenas and scarlet geraniums. The which saved the trouble of division grass was cut close and looked like velinto weeks and months.
vet, and the gravei-paths were trim and In my wanderings among the graves neat. The place was evidently well I had reached the upper end of the cared for; and, as I heard the cheerful enclosure very near the parsonage. Of voices of the rector and his wife, who course, my dearest wish had been to were at work in the lower end of the enter the house, especially the room garden, and saw the white curtains where the sisters had been accustomed waving in the summer air through the to sit together, and where the last sur- open windows, I imagined how it might vivor had so often paced to and fro in have been during that brief period in the lonely evenings, haunted by the Charlotte's experience, when “the safaces that had vanished and the voices cred doors of home” were “closed upon that were silenced forever.
her married life,” and “her loying But I was told that the present rec- friends standing outside caught occator had positively refused admission to sional glimpses of brightness and pleasevery stranger that had applied ; and, ant peaceful murmurs of sound, telling in view of the thousands who visit the of the gladness within." place, one cannot blame him for assert- Returning towards the church, I ing his right to domestic privacy. He found it open, and the sexton's wife never knew the Bronté family, and, sweeping and dusting for the next day's though he takes pride in their fame, he festival, while the sexton was dancing the baby upon a tombstone by the door. table, enclosed in a small chancel, is at Remembering the numerous deaths of the eastern end. The gallery, broad children I had seen recorded, I asked and low, and divided into pews, runs the man whether the close proximity of around the other three sides; the organ so crowded a graveyard—which is also stands at the eastern end, over the comat a higher elevation than the town- munion-table. The pews below are were not injurious to the public health. square and high, and divided by two He admitted that it had been so in past aisles paved with tombstones, for the times, when the people used water from space underneath the church is full of the village wells, and found it often graves; and, after the interment of Mr. “greasy;
;" but during a severe epidem- Bronté, it was decided not to allow any ic, a company of chemists came from more burials there. The Bronté pew is London, and, after testing the water, the last of the body-pews on the side forbade its use ; since when the inhabits next the pulpit. There is only a narants had brought water from springs row passage between it and the little found on neighboring farms above the chancel, and on the wall over the comlevel of the churchyard.
munion-table is the tablet containing Haworth church is very old, even as the record of the departed family, while compared with many other ecclesiastical under the pavement is the family vault. relics in England. It has been claimed The pew is cushioned with green mothat the tower was built in the year 600; reen, and remains as formerly, the recbut this idea first arose from a misin- tor's family preferring a better-lighted terpretation of a half-obliterated in- seat; consequently this one is rented to scription on the wall. The outside is a parishioner, and is often filled with plain ; the windows are large, and filled strangers. I asked permission to sit with common glass in small panes. I there on the morrow, which was readily noticed, in some of these panes, a pro- granted; and then the sexton pointed tuberance as large as an egg, and asked out the places once occupied by the the sexton how they came there. He sisters : Emily in the farther corner, said that the glass was made long ago, facing the clergyman, Anne next, and before its manufacture had been so well Charlotte by the door. While he was understood as now, and when a defect talking, I sat down for a few moments could not so easily be remedied. He in each seat, for fear that I should have added, that each of these protuberances no chance the next day. My conscience acted as a burning-glass, and church- is guiltless of any vandalism towards goers were always careful to avoid their works of art in the Old World. I have vicinity in a sunny day.
never chipped a statue, nor written my The sexton's wife was evidently ac- name upon the wall of a renowned buildcustomed to the visits of strangers, and ing; but I have loved to sit and think she now proceeded to show me the ob- where my heroes and heroines have sat jects of greatest interest. The interior and thought, and to touch with reverent of the church is quaint and queer enough hand some object which they knew in to cyes accustomed to the regularity of life. After reading with my own eyes American church architecture. The pul- the small black lettering on the tablet pit is high, with an umbrella-like sound- which had long been familiar through ing-board over it. In front of the pul- print and photograph, and drawing pit, and a few feet lower down, is the aside the carpet in the narrow aisle bereading-desk; and still lower is a little low, to read the original inscription nook for the clerk, or other inferior upon the slab that was fitted over the official. But these seats of authority vault when Mrs. Bronté died, I followed are not at one end of the building, as the guide to the vestry, a small room in is usual with us, but in the middle of the tower, where I saw the antique comone side, and the pews are built close munion-service procured by Mr. Grimup to them; while the communion- shaw, the energetic and eccentric rector