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gold in the blaze of the banquet-lights, and that wondrous beauty, without parallel amidst the dames of England, shone like the vision of an accusing angel, on the eyes of the startled duke and the breathless knights. But, twice in her life, Edith beheld that awful man: once, when roused from her reverie of innocent love, by the holiday pomp of his troops and banners, the child-like maid stood at the foot of the grassy knoll—and once again, when in the hour of his triumph, and amidst the wrecks of England, on the field of Sanguelac, with a soul surviving the crush. ed and broken heart, the faith of the lofty woman defended the hero dead.
There, with knee unbent, and form unquailing, with marble cheek, and haughty eye, she faced the Conqueror ; and as she ceased, his noble barons broke into bold applause.
«« Who art thou ?' said William, if not daunted at least amazed, methinks I have seen thy face before-thou art not Harold's wife or sister.'
oo • Dread lord,' said Osgood, she was the betrothed of Harold, but as within the degrees of kin, the Church forbade their union, and they obeyed the Church.'
“Out from the banquet throng stepped Mallet de Graville. "O, my liege,' said he, thou hast promised me land and earldom ; instead of these gifts undeserved, bestow on me the right to bury and to honor the remains of Ha. roid ; to-day I took from him my life: let me give all I can in return-a grave.'
“ William paused; but the sentiment of the assembly, so clearly pronounced, and it, may be, his own better nature, which, ere polluted by plotting craft, and hardened by despotic ire, was magnanimous and heroic, moved and won him.
“Lady,' said he, gently, thou appealest not in vain to Norman knighthood : thy rebuke was just, and í repent me of a hasty impulse. Mallet de Graville, thy prayer is granted to thy choice be consigned the place of burial --to thy care, the funeral rites of him whose soul hath passed out of human judgment.'
• The feast was over. William the Conqueror slept on his couch, and round him slumbered his Norman knights, dreaming of baronies to come; and still the torches moved dismally to and fro the waste of death; and through the hush of night was heard, far and near, the wail of women.
“ Accompanied by the brothers of Waltham, and attended by link-bearers, Mallet de Graville was yet engaged in the
search for the royal dead, and the search was vain. Deeper and stiller the autumnal moon rose to its melancholy noon, and lent its ghastly aid to the glare of the redder lights ; but on learing the pavilion they had missed Edith; she had gone from them alone, and was lost in that dreadful wilderness. And Ailred said, despondingly
“• Perchance we may already have seen the corpse we search for, and not recognised it; for the face may be mutilated with wounds. And therefore it is that Saxon wives and mothers haunt our battle-fields, discovering those they search by signs not known without the household.'
“ Ay,' said the Norman, 'I comprehend thee, by the letter or device, in which, according to your customs, your warriors impress on their own forms some token of affection, or some fancied charm against ill.'
" It is so,' answered the monk; 'wherefore I grieve that we have lost the guidance of the maid.'
“While thus conversing, they had retraced their steps, almost in despair, towards the duke's pavilion.
""See,' said de Graville, 'how near yon lonely woman hath come to the tent of the duke-yea, to the foot of the lowly gonfanon, which supplanted “the Fighting Man," Pardex/ my heart bleeds to see her striving to lift up the heavy dead!
“ The monks neared the spot, and Osgood exclaimed, in a voice almost joyful, It is Edith the fair! This way the torches ; hither, quick !
“ The corpses had been flung in irreverent haste from either side of the gonfanon, to make room for the banner of the conquest and the pavilion of the feast. Huddled together they lay in that holy bed; and the woman silently, and by the help of no ligbt save the moon, was intent on her search. She waved her hand impatiently as they approached, as if jealous of the dead, but as she had not sought, so neither did she offer them aid. Moaning low to herself, she desisted from her task, and knelt, watching them and shaking her head mournfully, as they removed helm after helm, and lowered the torches upon stern and livid brows. At length the lights fell red and full on the ghastly face of Haco, proud and sad as in life.
“De Graville uttered an exclamation: The king's nephew; be sure the king is near.'
“A shudder went over the woman's form and the moaning ceased. They unhelmed another corpse, and the monks and the knight, after one glance, turned away, sickened and awe-stricken at the
divided. In the holy burial ground that encircled a small Saxon chapel on the shore, and near the spot on which William had leaped to land, one grave received the betrothed, and the tomb of Waltham only honoured an empty name.
“ Eight centuries have rolled away, and where is the Norman now, or where is not the Saxon? The little urn that sufficed for the mighty lord, is despoiled of his very dust; but the tombless shade of the kingly freeman still guards the coasts and rests upon the seas. In many a noiseless field, with thoughts for armies, your relics, O Saxon heroes, have won back the victory from the bones of the Norman saints; and whenever, with fairer fates, freedom opposes force, and justice, redeeming the old defeat, smites down the armed frauds that would consecrate the wrong, smile, O soul of our Saxon Harold, smile, appeased, on the Saxon's land !"
sight; for the face was all defeatured and mangled with wounds; and nought could they recognise save the ravaged majesty of what had been man. But at the sight of that face a wild shriek broke from Edith's breast. She started to her feet, put aside the monks with a wild and angry gesture, and bending over the face, sought with her long hair to wipe from it the clotted blood; then, with convulsive fingers, she strove to loosen the buckles of the breast mail. The knight knelt to assist her. “No, no,'. she gasped, he is mine, mine now! Her hands bled as the mail gave way to her efforts. The tunic beneath was all dabbled with blood. She rent the folds, and on the breast, just above the silenced heart, was punctured in the old Saxon letters the word “Epitu,' and just below, in characters more fresh, the word * ENGLAND.'
** See, see! she cried in piercing accents, and clasping the dead in her arms, she kissed the lips, and called aloud in words of the tenderest endearments, as if she addressed the living. All knew then that the search was ended; all knew that the eyes of love had recognised the dead.
"* Wed, wed,'murmured the betrothed, 'wed at last. O Harold, Harold ! the fates were true and kind,' and laying her head gently on the breast of the dead, she smiled and died.
"At the east end of the choir, in the abbey of Waltham, was long shown the tomb of the last Saxon king, inscribed with the touching words, Harold Infelix.' But not under that stone, according to the chronicler who should best know the truth, mouldered the dust of him, in whose grave was buried an epoch in human annals.
"*Let his corpse,' said William the Norman, 'let his corpse guard the coasts which his life madly defended; let the seas wail his dirge and girdle his grave, and his spirit protect the land which hath passed to the Norman's sway;' and Mal. let de Graville assented to the word of his chief; for his knightly heart turned into honor the latent taunt ; and well he knew that Harold could have chosen no burial spot so worthy his English spirit and his Roman end.
“The tombat Waltham would have excluded the faithful ashes of the betrothed whose heart had broken on the bosom she had found. More gentle was the grave in the temple of heaven, and be. wailed by the bridal death-dirge of the everlasting sea.
“So, in that sentiment of poetry and love which made half the religion of a Norman knight, Mallet de Graville suf. sered death to unite those whom life had
In comparing this work with the former productions of the author, it is impossible not to feel that it is one of a higher and loftier aim than any which have preceded it. No attempt has been made to interest the reader by scenes of startling effect, by exaggerated sentiment, or by any of those ordinary devices, often so successfully adopted by writers of fiction. The brilliant pictures in which its pages abound, the lofty and graceful portraits of the inighty dead, have all the sober charms of truth and reality ; and as a commentary upon the obscure history of remote ages, it is an invaluable addition to the literature of England. Difficult as it was to link the long-forgotten past with our own times, by associations which are im. perishable, because they belong to all ages and to all countries, the author has been completely successful. If this work has less of tender and touching interest than the “ Last of the Barons," it is unquestionably enriched by more varied learning. The style is more pure and classic, the conceptions more grand and lofty, while, at the same time, the historical narration is enlivened by a living vein of the most exquisite and beautiful poetry.
The part of the work which will be found least interesting to the general reader, is, possibly, the first volume, which is somewhat like the exordium of a speech before the orator has fully
warmed with a subject, which at first sight might be supposed one to afford little scope for a display of his peculiar powers. But let him go on, and when the glorious conceptions of genius have dawned upon him—when his eye is dazzled by the magnificent pictures of beauty which rise upon his view_when his heart is touched by the soft and deep pathos, and his mind is stirred by the lofty grandeur with which the master-art of genius has
contrived to invest details of history, apparently so uninteresting, he will turn over the last page, as we have done, with a deep regret, that the voice whose tones have charmed his ear is hushed, and upon his memory these scenes and pictures of enchanting beauty will often return, which have made unto the author a name to be remembered in his land's language, and which, as long as that language endures, can never die.
TO THE RELIGIOUS MEMORY OF W. A. BUTLER.
And that bright region where the Glory dwells,
That Nature yearns for from her inmost cells,
From unseen source, the oblivious river wells,
Which waters with its streams those silent dells-
Immaculate Berkley rests his laurelled head ;
With these shalt thou enjoy that blissful bourne,
O spiritual Patriot! whom we mourn
C. I. BLACK.
THE STRANGER'S PARTING.
(FROM THE ROMAIC.) And now 'tis May, now fresh and fair, now Springtide's glorious season, And now again to house and home, must turn him home the Stranger; By night he saddles still his horse, by night he shoes his courser, With silver nails he shoes him well, with nails of gold and silver; And on his neck a bridle flings, with pearls all rich embroidered The maiden who the Stranger loves--the maiden who adores himHolds near the light, and lights him well, and pours the parting beakerAt every cup she pours him out, at every turn she speaketh“ Oh! take me, lord ! oh! take me home! oh! take me with thee, Stranger ! That supper I may dress for thee, the couch spread where thou sleepest, And then mine own may spread beside, mine own spread close beside thee !" “ Where now I go, dear maiden mine! no maiden can go with me, Men only can therein abide—young men alone-young soldiers ! "Well, deck me then in Frankish dress, a man's apparel give meGive me a courser fleet and strong-give me a golden saddleAnd I will off with thee at once, like thee a brave young soldier ! Oh! take me, lord ! oh! take me, love!-oh! take me with thee, Stranger!"
M. S. J.
CHINA AND THE CHINESE.
CHAPTER X-AGRICULTURE - CHINESE AN AGRICULTURAL PEOPLE-EMPEROR
ATTENDING AGRICULTURAL FESTIVAL-INGENUITY IN IRRIGATIONDWARE VEGETATION-FRUITS AND VEGETABLESTEA, AND MODE OF PREPARATION MODE OF PREPARING SEEDS FOR THE GROUND VALUABLE TO BRITISH AGRI. CULTURISTS.
The Chinese are a nation of the most industrious habits, and must be considered as an agricultural people. They have most wisely established laws for the protection and encouragement of agriculture, and to such an extent is it carried, that the emperor does not think it derogatory to his dignity, once in every year, at the agri. cultural festival, to descend from his throne, clad as a husbandman, to set the laudable example to his subjects of tilling the earth; his family and courtiers, similarly habited with himself, attend him on the occasion. The appointed day baving been previously proclaimed throughout the empire, the emperor goes forth and ploughs a particular field, and every farmer through his vast territories simultaneously turns up the earth. The produce of the field ploughed by the emperor is always most carefully preserved, being considered far superior to any other. The ancient laws are so particular upon the subject, that they even declare the peculiar manner in which the sovereign shall perform this ceremony. So essential do the Chinese consider agriculture to the prosperity of a nation, in contradistinction to the many heavy blows and great discouragements inflicted upon it in Great Britain, by modern legislation. By another ancient law, all uncultivated or neglected lands are declared forfeited to the emperor, who grants them to farmers, on condition of their being kept in proper cultivation. The consequence of this is, that, in China there is not an uncultivated spot to be seen. A fifth, and in some instances, a fourth part, of all produce is reserved for the emperor, which is paid in kind to the principal mandarin of the prince, who farms the tax. There is one great pecu. liarity in Chinese agriculture, which, if adopted, might prove highly advan.
tageous to British farmers. All seeds, previous to being sown, are steeped in liquid manure until they germinate, and to this, coupled with their system of irrigation, may be attributed the rich luxuriance and abundance of their various crops. Their ingenuity and perseverance may daily be witnessed in the terraces, built one above the other, up to the summit of a rocky mountain, where paddy is cultivated. They form reservoirs and dams on each platform, and the water having passed along one terrace, is received into the reservoir of the next below, and thus descends, step by step, in its irrigatory course. After the rainy season, when the water has been exhausted which was saved in these reservoirs, the water is carried both by hand and ingenuity, to the heights above. Their various modes of irrigation have been frequently described. Their methods of threshing rice or paddy are numerous. I have seen them threshing with flails of bamboo, somewhat similar to ours in form, but shorter. I have also seen them or their oxen, tread out the corn, reminding me, in that heathen land, of the passage, “ 'Thou shalt not muzzle the ox which treadeth out the corn.” Rice is the staff of life in China, from which grain they distil a spirit called samshoo, known in England as arrack. Here are we furnished with an example of the manner in which everything is turned by the Chinese to account, and nothing wasted. The grain forms their food, the straw thatches their houses, and out of it they construct coarse mats, and make paper. The husks are carefully collected, and being mixed with a greasy substance, are formed into cakes to feed the pigs. Ornaments are manufactured out of prepared rice, which is first pounded into paste, and then hardened by fire. I have seen very pretty vases, and
bottles of antique form of this mate. kinds. The appearance of the tree, rial. As they cultivate their hills to with its tapering trunk, and leaves of the summits, so do they make the mo- most graceful form, something rerasses subservient to the support of sembling, but larger, than those of the man. Bamboos, split longitudinally, willow, of a brilliant, light green are placed upon the marsh, and over color, is peculiarly elegant. I have these are laid layers of earth. In this seen them growing from twenty to artificial soil vegetables and pot-herbsthirty feet in height. The yellow trunk are raised to the greatest perfection. and green leaves of a bamboo planta. There is no plant, in short, growing in tion present a very agreeable contrast to China, which is not rendered subser the eye. The uses to which the bamvient to man's use. They extract oil, boo is applied are various ; of the equal to the finest Florence, for.table young sprouts a most delicious preuse, from the kernels of apricots. serve is manufactured ; a medicinal Excellent oil is also extracted from substance is extracted from the holvarious seeds, such as the cotton and low of the tree. I am ignorant as to turnip, which is used for lamps, and whether this is known in England. by the lower orders for culinary pur- Paper is manufactured from the pulp; poses. A most beautiful black dye is masts and spars are formed of the full prepared from the cup of the acorn; grown tree, as well as rafts, houses, and the finest scarlet is extracted from and furniture. The poles used by the cactus. Should the crop of mul. coolees for carrying burthens are berry leaves prove insufficient for the made of bamboo, and the oxen are support of the silk-worm, the leaves yoked with it. of the ash-tree are made to supply the The fruits I have eaten in China are deficiency.
very fine, but not equal to those of The sugar-cane plantations in Chi. Singapore. The Chinese hare the na are allowed to be of a very supe. pine-apple, custard-apple, lee-chea, rior quality, and I have been induced pomegranate,pumbelow-a plum which to believe, from the complaints made comes from Chink-chew, which is by West Indian planters, of the want very delicious, not unlike our eggof water, that to the superiority of plum, grapes-from which a weak Chinese irrigation, is due the excel. wine is made, used by the richer lence of their canes. They conduct classes, resembling, in flavour, bad water through trenches from the large Madeira-water-melons, sweet-melons, reservoirs between each row of canes, apricots, guavas, plantains, bananas, and at regular intervals allow it to papaw, chesnuts, citrons, mangoes, flow through transverse trenches; and, though last not least, oranges. these trenches are either closed or Many of the fruits are dried, and also opened, as the canes in their respec- made into preserves and jellies. The tive vicinities require moisture. As orange-plantations are truly beautiful, no farmer exclusively cultivates the and their fragrance almost overpowersugar-cane, as the farms are all small, ing, surpassing those of Italy and and none can afford the expense of Spain. The size of the blossoms and machinery, the use of a perambulating flowers is most extraordinary. Their machine for the extraction of the juice, beauty is peculiar to China. But the is contracted for by several adjoining Orange, par excellence, of China, is the farmers. A temporary building or mandarin orange. To be eaten in bamboo shed for boiling is constructed perfection, it must be used immediatein some central position; the proprie. Jy after it has been taken from the tors of each plantation, with the assist tree, as it will not keep above to ance of their families, carry their or three days. They are of a flatter canes to this building, and in like form than others, and somewhat smallmanner convey back the manufac er; the rind is the bright color of the tured produce. There is nothing Seville orange; although I cannot lost even here, for the canes, after the say, as a friend of mine did, that it sugar has been extracted, are used for was worth a voyage to China to taste fuel.
it, yet it is a most delicious fruit. In gravelly soils, where nothing else The dwarf vegetation of China is can be cultivated, the farmer plants peculiar to that country. I have had the bamboo, of which there are several in my possession an oak, two feet higli,