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THE BLACK LANE.
AT the first dawn of light, Rosamond
was at her turret window, looking out
to see what kind of day it would be
and, putting her head far out to the
eat, she saw the casement window of
the eastern turret thrown open, Ibd
Godfrey's head popped out for the am
purpose. Head nodded to head and
withdrew, both satisfied, from the p.r
mise of the sunrie, that it would i
as fe aday a heart could wish.- Adll
happily for those who were to ride, ad
those who were to go in open camnagi
the weather was quite decided, m its
pro e and in its performaemm ' sy
ad et to trust to
"-- Smourtaa at e ar r AprU dald
VOL. II. B
It was September: there was neither
too much heat, nor too much cold, nor
too much wind, nor too much dust, nor
too much, nor too little of any thing,
of which the most fastidious felicity
hunters could complain.
Felicity hunters, if any young or old
reader should chance to be unacquainted
with the term, is (as the traveller told
Rosamond) the name given in the Isle
of Wight, to those who go there and
make parties of pleasure, to see the
beauties of the island. Our party were
not felicity hunters, but felicityfinders,
for they were disposed to find pleasure
in everything they saw, and that is
great step towards success in finding it,
as Rosamond, from her own experieeo
of the party of pain, and the party of
pleasure, in the days of her chilhood
well remembered. Rosamond ws tp
go in the carriage when they set oad
and to ride in returning. She wa
THA BLACK LAM 5
soon happily ated in the loads
wedged in between Laura and the red
To all who have ever been in the
lovely valley of Dorking, the very sound
of its name will call forth instant ex.
clamations of delight: and such continue.
ally burst from our young travellers
when they saw this happy valley. The
riders called to those in the carriage,
and those in the carriage called to thoue
who were riding. "Oh, look there
Rosamond I" cried Godfrey, pointing to
the right with his whip. I" Oh, look
here Godfrey! Laural Mammal P.
pal" cried Rosamond, a the views
passed too quickly before her; view of
cultivated hills and dales, covered with #
vat extent of wood in rich foliage, end
aatumnal tints, to which the bright
September sun gave constant variety ea
light and shade. Every landscp, as it
p ed, Laura longed to put into her
sketch book, but, at every trial, she failed
in the hope of representing what she saw,
and at last gave herself up, as Rosmond
advised, to the full enjoyment of the
The traveller pointed out, a they
passed on, all the places famed for beau-
ty, which could be seen from that road,
telling them their names, and those of
their present and former possessors; re-
lating anecdotes of past and present
times, which gave a character to almost
every part of the country through which
they passed. As they came within view
of a very picturesque demesne, Godfrey
and his father rode up to the side of the
carriage to point out to Laura and Rosa.
mond the beautiful grounds of Chert
Park, which join the Deep Dene.
',Those two charming places," sid their
father, "are now united, Chert Park
has lately been purchased, and given to
the possessor of the Deep Dene, by his
THSB LACK LANE. I
brother, who declared, that the day on
which he maw the boundaries between
the two estates levelled, was the happiest
of his life."
"How noble! How kind How
generous I exclaimed the party in the
"It is a good thing, indeed," said
Godfrey's father, turning to him, "to
have such a brother; but I question
much, whether the being such a one is
not still better."
"The affection of these brothers re
minds me," said the traveller, "of the
attachment to each other, shown by two
young Frenchmen, brothers, of that
family who were so nobly reopived by
the Polish Countess, of whom you were
reading yesterday, Mis Rosamond.
"Oh pray tell it to us," exclaimed
SThey were concerned in a conspi
racy against Bonaparte," continued the
traveller, "during his prosperity in
France. Their plans were discovered;
they were seized and imprisoned. I for.
get by what means they escaped being
shot. The only favour they obtained
for some years, during a most rigorous
confinement, was that of being permitted
to be together. They had happy tern-
pers, and contrived to keep up each
other's spirits. At last the severity of
their confinement was relaxed in some
degree, and they were removed on their
parole to the Castle of Vincennes. They
both possessed many accomplishments,
and spent their time in drawing, music,
and in many innocent amusements.
However, when the Allies were ap,
preaching France, it was thought dange-
rous to allow them so much liberty. They
one day received a visit from an officer,
of whose hostile designs they could have
an doubt, though he appeared to have
nothing but friendly intentions towards
THE BLACt LANE.
them. He invited himself to dine with
them, and at last recommended their
accompanying him from the prison:
they of course made no resistance.
Dinner came: conversation continued,
during which the two brothers contrived
to make themselves understood by each
other, in a manner which they had be-
fore practiced. In every sentence they
addressed to the officer, they introduced
particular words, which, after a certain
time, formed a sentence, which conveyed
their intentions to each other: in this
manner they concerted between the
their plan. Upon some pretext, ias
brother went down stairs, and after
some minutes, the other went to his
apartment above stairs, saying that he
would prepare himself for his departure.
They had purposely lingered over their
dinner till it was quite dark. The bro-
ther, who had been above stairs, came
down, rushed into the room where he
had left the officer, blew out the candle,
fastened the door on him, ran down
stairs, and joined the younger brother,
who was waiting for him below. They
had often marked the place in the wall,
where they could, if necessary, clear it:
dark as it was, they knew it, and got
safe to the outside of the walls of Paris.
If they escaped from thence, they feared
being immediately traced: they there-
fore got to the other extremity of Paris,
and there concealed themselves, while
all France was searched for them in
Just a the traveller had finished this
history, they arrived at Wotton. The
first sight of this house, built in the
feihion of Queen Elisabeth's time, round
a hollow square, with small windows,
pointed eye-brows, and many-peaked
roof, disappointed Rosamond and God.
frey. It was old enough but not vene.
able enough to strike Rosamond's fancy;
THB BLACK LANE.
and every room they entered, she fund
too low, too small, and too dark: the
library especially, of which they had
formed magnificent expectation, disap.
pointed Godfrey so much, that he twice
repeated, "And is this really the library?
Is this Evelyn's library?"
But Evelyn's portrait, with his Sylva
in his hand, and the sight and smell of
the original manuscript of his journal,
proved quite satisfactory; and the old
portfolios, with all the odd prints and
drawings, which Evelyn collected1 wheb
he was a young man, on the Coutineto
and sent home to his father at Wotteo
delighted Godfrey; and not only he,
but his friend the traveller, who had
seen most of what is best worth seeing
in the four quarters of the globe, ex-
amined, with minute curiosity and in.
terest, every tattered remnant of the
yellow paper notes in Evelyn's hand-
Such is the power of a celebrated
name, known all over Europe," mid the
"* Such, my dear son," mid Godfrey's
father, "is the interest inspired by
those, who, during their lives, distin.
guish themselves among their fellow
creatures by knowledge, talents, and
virtue; and who, after their death,
leave, in their works, records of their
not having lived in vain."
All the company now set out upon
their walk. The woods of Wotton
surpssed the expectations of old and
young. As to the country gentleman,
he was in a state of continual enthu-
siasm; the more remarkable, as till now
he had shown no symptoms of warmth
on any other subject. He stopped fre-
quently to exclaim, at the sight of the
magnificent extent of the woods, Ha I
These forest trees do honour, indeed, to
Evelyn's Sylva, or Sylva's father I He
TEE BLACK LANZ.
planted Wotton. What one man ca
do when he sets about it I All thatyet
see, planted by one man I As far as the
eye can reach, and farther! Well! i
any thing could teach men to be wir,
and plant in time, certainly such a sight
as this would do it I"
"Do it," said the orator to himself,
"is but a flat ending."
Godfrey's father sighed, and ob.
served, that all he now saw, and all he
now heard, made him regret that he
had not early in life planted more:
" My son will, I hope, be wiser thanI
Orlando, my father means," aid
Godfrey to Rosamond, whose eyes ir
mediately turned upon him.
"But father, by the by," continued
Godfrey, "I want to ask you a que
tion; I have something to say."
"BBy the by, and J want to ask ye
a question, I hose smeMAing to 8m%
might be omitted," whispered the orator
to Laura. Pardon me; but your
brother, I see, intends to be an orator;
and, as I am sure be will always have
something to say, he will do well to
avoid any of these by-words and useless
Godfrey, without having the benefit
of this counsel at the moment, went on
with his speech to his father, entirely to
the country gentleman's satisfaction;
for the purport of it was to declare his
intention, as soon as he should arrive
at years of discretion, to plant a small
portion of land, which his grandfather
had left to him, and of which, as it was
mountain and moorland, he could make
no better use. His father promised to
asist him in carrying this laudable re.
solution into effect, even before God-
frey should arrive at legal years of dis-
eretion. From this moment it was
observed, that Godfrey, and with him
THE BLACK LANE.
Rosmoud, who sympatlhied in all her
brother's concerns and projects, lisend
with much increased interest to all that
was said upon the subject of planting
and fencing, and on the growth, acut
ting, pruning, and profit of trees. She
and Godfrey often assisted the country
gentleman, in measuring, with hatband
and handkerchief, the girth of many pro-
digious trees; and, in return, received
from him much useful information for
the management of the future woods on
the Moorland estate. Laura, meantime,
was equally happy in making some rapid
sketches of the picturesque groups of
trees present to her eye, and was kindly
assisted by the traveller, who was master
of the art of drawing, and who knew,
as well as Kennion himself, how, by
skilful touches, to give to each dif.
ferent tree or grove the peculiar cha
racter of their respective growth and
foliage. In one lesson, given in this
VOL. II. C
manner, by a person who began by in-
sisting, that she should not draw a line
without knowing with what intent and
for what purpose, Laura said she learned
more of the art than she bad acquired
in previous months and years from
common masters. She was so eager
at her work, that she could hardly leave
it, even when most peremptorily sum.
moned by Godfrey and Rosamond, to
all the joys of dining in a tent a
marquee I with its red streamer flying I
There is an age-and Laura, God-
frey, and Rosamond were of that age-
when it is one of the great pleasures
of life to dine in a tent; and the more
inconvenient the place, and the fewer
the customary luxuries of life, the better,
because the greater must be the occa.
sion for making everything answer some
purpose for which it was never origi.
asily intended, and consequently. the
more laughter, the more enjoyment, the
THE BLACK LANE.
more delight. On the present ooa imo,
perhaps the tent and the arrngamet
were rather too convenient for Godfrey
and Rosamond, but they better sited
the more mature taste of their father
and mother, Dr. and Mrs. Egerton, and
even of the traveller, who loved his see,
he owned, when he could have it; and
of the country gentleman, who loved
always to have every thing comrJrtubM,
even at a Afte champftre.
After dinner, while the company were
walking from the tent to the avenue,
where they were to meet the carriages,
Godfrey and Rosamond went to the
gardens, to see the fountain; and, while
they were looking at it, Helen came
running to them. "* The horses are all
ready Oh! I have run so fst I" cried
she. "* Rosamond, I am glad I am in
time to ask you, if you are going to ride
all the way back?"
SYea, that I am," aid Rosamood,
"if you please."
I do please: but, my dear Ros-
mond, I came to beg you will take care
when you come to the Black Lane."
The Black Lane I" repeated Ross-
mond, with a look of alarm.
Yes," aid Helen: the pony,
though the gentlest creature, and the
quietest, at all other times, is always
restive when she comes to that lane."
What a horrid place it must be "
But why?" said Godfrey.
"Because," answered Helen, "the
pony once ran away down that lane with
our servant Richard's son, and threw
A child, I suppose, that did not
know how to sit a horse," mid God.
But is that the reason it is called
the Black Lane? Why is it called by
THE SLACK LANE.
that terrific name?" mid Rommond,
on whose imagination the name made
more impression, than the reality of the
danger. But to her question, she could
obtain no satisfactory answer: Helen
did not know, or did not hear what she
said, for Godfrey was proving to her,
that it must have been the boy's fault
that the pony threw him. Then,
anxious to quiet Rosamond's apprehen-
sions, who, as she observed, looked ex-
cessively alarmed, Helen began to soften
her first hasty representation.
My dear Rosamond," said she, you
need not be the least afraid of my pony;
she is the gentlest creature in the world,
except just when she comes to the turn
to the Black Lane."
"Oh, that horrible lane I Do tell me
all about it?" said Rosamond.
I have nothing to tell, but that the
pony formerly lived there."
"Lived in the Black Lane said
Yes; she was bought from the
farmer, who lives at the end of the lane,
and she always wants to turn down
there, because she has an affection for
the place, that's all."
That's all," said Godfrey; she is
the quietest creature in the world; I
could ride her with a rein of worsted:
but Helen is a little bit of a coward, and
is frightened if a horse move its ears."
Well, I know I am a coward," said
Helen; and I only tell you, Rosamond;
there's no danger, I know, if you let
Richard lead her past the lane, or just
let him ride between you and the turn."
But why, Richard ?" said Godfrey;
"I can take care of her as well as
"Oh, certainly; but I would rather
have Richard, too, when we come to the
dangerous place," said Rosamond.
THE BLACK LANE.
"* To the Black Lane said Godfrey.
SThat name ha run away with Roos-
mond's imagination. See, how fright.
ened she looks i"
"Not at all, Brother," maid Roa-
mond, "only I think--"
I think," interrupted Godfrey, "to
settle the matter at once, if you are a
coward, you had better not ride at all,
While Rosamond stood doubtful, be-
tween the fear of the Black Lane, and
the fear that her brother should think
her a coward, they came up to the place
where the horses were standing, and
Richard, the servant who usually rode
with Helen, called "Careful Richard,"
led the pony up to his mistress. In
reply to Godfrey and Rosamond's in-
stant questions, concerning the habits
and disposition of the pony, Richard
patted her fondly, declaring there was
not a quieter creature upon earth; she
never ran away but once, and that was
the boy's fault who was riding her.
"So I told you, Rosamond," cried
"But I don't care whose fault it
was," said Rosamond. Helen says,
the pony always wants to run off down
That she might have a liking to turn
down the lane where she had formerly
lived, Richard would not take upon him
to deny; "but, Sir," added he, turning
to Godfrey, "she never attempts such
a thing, or thinks of it, except when
Miss Helen is riding her, who is so very
nimoursome, and the pony knows she
can do as she pleases."
Godfrey laughed at Helen's coward.
ice; and Rosamond's fear of being
laughed at, conquered her fear of the
lane; so patting the pretty bright hay
pony, who stood as quiet as a lamb, she
declared she was not the least afraid
TNK BLACK LANK.
now, and that she would not upon ny
account give up her ride with Godfrey:
so Godfrey praising her spirit, she
sprang up on the pony, proud to show
that she was not timoursome. Her
father, who had not heard what had
passed, joined them just as she had
mounted, and they set out all together.
Rosamond, afraid to show Godfrey the
fear that still lurked in her secret soul,
did not mention the subject to her
father. Once she was going to say
something of it, but Godfrey praised her
way of holding her bridle, and that put
it out of her head. The traveller and
his sister were of the riding party this
evening. The traveller's sister was a
remarkably good horsewoman, and the
conversation turned upon cowards, who
die many times before their death; and
the valiant, who never taste of death
but once." It was observed by the
traveller and his sister, that Rosamond
would ride very well; that she had a
very good maet; that she had a much
better seat than Helen; that she was
not a coward, &c. All these observa-
tions flattered Rosamond not a little;
the found the pony go remarkably well,
and her spirits rose: she got from a
canter into a gallop, and went on so
fast, that her father several times called
to her, to desire her not to ride so fart,
and to keep near him: but she, proud
to show her horsemanship,. went on
with Godfrey, who admired, and was
proud of, his sister's spirit, a he called
it. The evening was fine, and the road
good, and all went on charmingly;
Rosamond pretending to be quite at
ease, and Godfrey. so completely de.
ceived by her seeming bravery, that
he got deep into a calculation con.
cerning his future plantation, and into
the plan of the house which he was
to build, with the profits of the trees
THU ILACK LANE.
he was reckoning before thy were
You shall draw the plan of my
house, Rosamond," aid he.
"I will,.certainly," said Rommoud.
But, Brother, will you get me a bough
for this pony? The flies are testing
her sadly, I think."
Not at all, my dear. My library
shall be a great deal larger, I prone
you, than the library at Wotton: do
you recollect how many feet long the
library at Egerton Abbey is, Row.
I don't recollect, indeed," said Re.
samond: 'twenty, thirty-the pony
certainly is growing uneasy;" thought
she, I believe we are coming to the
Twenty, thirty my dear, what ca
you be thinking of ? nerer fortyl I
believe, after all, you ae afraid of the
"Not the least," mid Romsmond,
struggling to conceal her fears ; forty,
nearer forty, as you say, I believe it is."
Well, my library shall be full forty
feet long; and what breadth, Rosamond?"
Breadth oh, very broad; any
breadth," sid Rosamond. "But what
place is this we are coming to, God.
frey ?" said she, looking to some trees,
and a house at a little distance. Now
we are coming to the Black Lane,"
thought she, but she did not dare to
tell her fears, or to pronounce the name.
I see nothing but a farm house; I
dAn't know whose it is; and what does
it signify ?" said Godfrey. My library
shall have Gothic windows, which yot
like, don't you, Rosamond? "
"Oh yes, Gothic; yes, certainly.
But do call Richard, Brother, for the
saddle is turning, or going to turn, I
believe: the girth is too tight, or toe
loose, or something."
THE BLACK LANE. W
*No such thing," amid Godfrey;
"the saddle is not turning, or going to
Richard I Richard I get down and
look at the girths," said Rosamond.
Richard alighted, and examined the
"Pray what place is that to the
right ? said she.
The Black Lane, Miss," said
Richard. The girths are tight enough,
"Pray, Richard, why is this lane
called black ?" asked Rosamond,
On account, Miss, of the hedges
being all of blackthorp. In former
times it used to be called Blackthor
Lane; so then came to be, for shortness,
On hearing this explanation, all the
sublime,and mysterious ideas Rosamond
had formed of the Black Lame were
instantly dispelled, and she was now
VOL. II. D
only apprehensive that her brother should
find them out, and laugh at her. There-
fore, going to the contrary extreme, she,
in a moment, went from cowardice to
rashness; she would neither allow the
servant to ride on, as he proposed, that
he might keep between her and the turn
to the lane; nor would she let Godfrey
take her bridle, nor yet would she wait
till her father should come up. On she
went, cantering, to prove that she was
not timoursome, and to raise Godfrey's
admiration of her courage: but at the
moment when her courage was most
wanting, unfortunately it suddenly failed;
just as she came to the turn she lost her
presence of mind, and, looking down the
lane, checked the bridle, turning the
pony's head the wrong way: Godfrey
matched at her btidle, missed it, and off
the pony went down the lane full gallop,
Rosamond screaming, Godfrey and the
groom after her. There was a gate, at
THE BLACK LANK.
the end of the lane, leading into the
farm yard: the pony stopped suddenly
at the gate, and Rosamond wia thrown
over its head, and over the gate into the
yard: Godfrey was so much terrified,
that he saw no more; the groom rode
on; and when he came to the gate, he
saw Rosamond lying on a heap of straw,
which had been left in the farm yard,
and on which, most happily, she had
been thrown. She was stunned, however,
by the fall, and lay motionless. Godfrey
raised her up a little, and the moment
she recovered her recollection, she ex.
claimed, "I am not hurt, my de"r
Godfrey; don't be frightened, I am not
the least hurt."
"Thank God Oh, thank God!"
Thank God I" repeated Rosamond:
and starting up to convince her brother
that she was not hurt, she attempted to
walk; but the instant she put her le
foot to the ground, she felt that her
ancle was sprained.
"Never mind it, said she, sitting
down again; "the pain is not great,
Godfrey; if you can put me upon the
pony again, I think I can ride home;
it is only three miles: that will be best;
then I shall not alarm my father and
mother: so say nothing about it. I dare
say the pain will go off and I shall be
well to-morrow. Besides, you know,
Mrs. What's-her-name says, that no-
body will ever be a good horsewoman,
who does not get upon her hore again
directly, after having had a first fall. I
am determined I will not give it up; I
will go through it with spirit."
Godfrey admired her courage, though
he insisted upon telling all that had
happened when they should arrive at
home: he did not object to her remount-
ing the pony. Rosamond had secretly
hoped, that be would have objected to
THB BLACK LANZ. s
it; and now, between her petended
courage and her reel cowardice, she was
in a great difficulty. The groom, stand-
ing with the stirrup in hand, wa anxious
that she should remount and ride home,
and that nothing more should be mid;
while the prudent farmer and his wife,
who had come out into the yard to quiet
their dogs, and to offer assistance, dis-
suaded Rosamond from the attempt;
and the farmer giving the nod of autho.
rity to one of his sons, the boy ran of,
quick as an arrow from a bow; he ran
till he met the riding party, and tod
what had happened. In a few minutes,
and before the groom could settle girths
and curb to Rosamond's satisfaction, she
saw her father galloping down the ane.
This lane was so narrow, that the car-
riage could not come along it to the
farm yard. Her father forbad the at-
tempt to remount the pony; and Rosa-
moud was carried to the landau, and
laid on the front seat. Her mother and
Laura had suffered much from anxiety
during the time that necessarily passed
till the arrival of Rosamond; who felt
more pain from having alarmed all her
friends so much, than from the injury to
her ancle; and she regretted, but re-
gretted in vain, being the cause of end-
ing, in such a vexatious manner, this
It was difficult to be angry with
Rosamond, however well inclined to it
her friends might feel: her contrition
turned away their anger. Her chief con-
cern was to prevent any share of the
blame from falling on her brother. God-
frey all the time reproached himself for
not having taken better care of her.
How they at last divided the shares of
blame among them we never could ac-
curately learn; but we know, that, con-
trary to the usual practice on such occa.
sions, all were ready to take to themselves
THra LACK LANB. St
just portion; and a due, but not more
than a due share, we believe, was thrown
upon the pony. To the honour of Heles
we must record, that she did not above
three times repeat, that she had warned
Godfrey of the danger; and that she
had, from the first, advised Rosamond
to be careful at that turn to the Black
Upon examination, it was found that
Rosamond's ancle was very much bruised
and swelled. The pain increased during
the night; so that her hopes, of being
almost well next morning, vanished when
the day arrived; and even, to her san-
guine imagination, it appeared a little
doubtful, whether she should be quite
well before the important evening fixed
for a dance to be given at Egerton
Abbey the ensuing week. Meantime,
during her confinement to the house
and to the sofa, she had leisure for some
"After all, Mamma," mid she, I
was blamed for being too courageous, but
the fact was, that I was too cowardly.
I was afraid to let Godfrey see that I
was afraid; I deceived him by my pre.
tended bravery, and that was the reason
he did not take care of me at the right
time: all this arose from my wanting to
show that I could ride better than Helen.
In short, I was thinking more of what
people would say of me, than of what
was prudent. However, I have had a
good lesson now, Mamma; no danger
of my forgetting it as long as I live I
You need not smile, Laura: depend
upon it, that as long as ever I live, if I
live a hundred years, I never will again
be so foolish as to hazard my life, and to
alarm all my friends, merely for the
sake of being praised for not being
Her mother much approved of this
resolution. And depend upon it,
THE BLACK LANE.
Laura," repeated Rosamond, "it is a
resolution I shall keep, though I know
you are sure that I shall not."
"Sure Oh no," aid Laura; "but
I only fear a little, that Godfrey-.
Never fear," interrupted Rosamond,
" I am too wise now."
During the remainder of this day,
and for two or three succeeding days,
Rosamond continued in the same pru-
dent and cautious mood; and this lasted
till the swelling of the ancle abated, the
inflammation ceased, the bruises faded;
in due course, from black to blue, and
from blue to yellow. Then Rosamond,
soon forgetting the taste of pain, began
again to entertain high thoughts of
future rides, especially when she saw
Godfrey with his boots on, his whip in
his band, and his horse, his bright black
horse, led round within view of the
What a delightful day I I am glad
you are going to ride, Brother," said abe.
And I am sorry you cannot ride
with me, poor dear Rosamond," mid he.
"Your ancle is getting well, is not it?"
"Yes, quite well-almost," mid Ro.
samond. "Very soon I shall be able to
walk again; and I think I might ride
before I walk, might not I? What do
you think, Godfrey ?"
Certainly, I dare say," said Godfrey.
What do you think, Laura?"
I think the stirrup would hurt you
very much," said Laura; and that you
had better wait, at least till your foot is
quite well, before you attempt to ride
again. But here comes Mamma, ask
"No, no," said Rosamond, "I was
only asking you ; I will not ask her yet.
Good by, Brother."
The next day, Rosamond found that
she could walk a little with a stick, and
it was with some difficulty she submitted
THB BLACK LANK.
to be kept prisoner on the sof. How.
ever, in the hope that she should the
sooner be able to ride, she lay still.
The morning shone, and again the
riding party appeared; and Godfrey,
beside her sofa, again wished her good
by, and hoped she would be able to ride
again very soon.
Very soon," said Rosamond; I
long to ride again."
I quite admire her spirit," cried the
traveller's sister, drawing on her gloves,
and walking out of the room as fast as
the long swathings of her riding habit
would permit. I quite admire her
spirit and I prophesy, that she will
make a capital horsewoman 1"
"( I always mid so cried Godfrey,
following her, but paused at the door to
hear what Rosamond was saying.
How soon do you think, Mamma,"
sid Rosamond, that I shall be able to
ride again ?
I do not know, my dear," aid her
mother; "'but whenever you do ride
again, I hope you will remember your
"Oh yes," said Rosamond; I shall
never forget the Black Lane."
But you ought to forget it," cried
Godfrey, or you will never be a good
horsewoman as long as you live, Rosa-
mond, and you will be a coward at last."
With this denunciation, pronounced
with alarming emphasis, he shut the
door, ran to mount his horse, and an
instant afterwards Rosamond saw him
galloping past the windows.
"I hope I shall be able to ride to.
morrow," said she to Laura; "and I
hope I shall not be a coward at last; for
after all, Mamma, Godfrey would despise
me if I were a coward; so we must not
think about the Black Lane too much,
"Not too much, my dear: I would
THE BLACK LANE*
not make you a coward, I would only
make you prudent, if I could."
Prudent Oh yes. But, Mamma,
did you hear Godfrey's last words, that
I ought quite to forget the Black Lane,
or I never shall be a good horsewoman
as long as I live?"
"Well, my dear," said her mother,
smiling at the earnest look of alarm
with which Rosamond repeated these
words; "and even suppose that terrible
prophecy were to be accomplished, it
is not the most dreadful thing that
could happen to you; nor would it even
be the most glorious, if you accom.
polished the lady's flattering prediction,
and were to become a most capital
Rosamond, blushing a little, an.
swered, that indeed she had no ambi-
tion to be a capital horsewoman, but
she really thought a woman ought not
to be a coward.
VOL. 1I. E
Is this last assertion she was uncon-
tndicted by her mother.
Nothing more was said upon the sub-
ject at this time; but when the surgeon,
who attended Rosamond, came, she
asked very anxiously whether she might
ride the next day; the surgeon advised
against it, and gave her several good
reasons, to which, in her disappointment,
she did not much listen. The only
words she retained were these: When-
ever you can walk without pain, then
you may safely venture to ride."
No sooner was the surgeon gone, than
Rosamond began trying "how well" she
could walk; and the occasional remon-
strances of Laura, Mrs. Egerton, and
her mother, were constantly answered
with Indeed it does not hurt me."
The next morning, when she got up,
she assured Laura that she could walk
without pain almost without pain.
This, however, did not appear so clearly
THE BLACK LANE.
in her countenance as in her words)
there was a wincing, every now and
then, which betrayed that she suflbred.
"This is quite foolish, very impru.
dent, Rosamond," said her mother.
"' You may perhaps lame yourself for
life, if you attempt in this manner to
walk before your ancle is strong."
"My dear, be prudent," said Mrs.
Egerton, and submit to lie still on the
sofa a few days longer."
Rosamond, sighing, let herself be led
back to the sofa after breakfast, and
there, perhaps, she might quietly have
remained all the morning; but it hap.
opened, that at the time when none of
her guardians were beside her, Godfrey
came in, and whispered, that in con.
sequence of what she had told him yes-
terday, that she could walk without
paI and that she might ride whenever
sbe could walk without pain, he had
ordered the pony to be brought to the
door, that she might try. Rosamond
shook her head, and answered, that she
was afraid her mother would not be
pleased; and that she was afraid Mrs.
Egerton would not be pleased; and
that, in short, she believed it would not
"In short," said Godfrey, laughing,
"you are afraid; that's the plain fact."
The lady, who had prophesied that
Rosamond would be a capital rider,
heard the words and smiled a little, as
in scorn: and after some more persua-
sion, Rosamond consented "just to try"
whether it would hurt her to put her
foot in the stirrup. She went to put on
her habit, and not finding either her
mother or Laura, who had gone out to
walk, she excused herself to herself for
doing what she knew was imprudent,
and what they would not approve of,
by thinking "They are too timid, too
much afraid for me. I will only take
THB BLACK LANE. 41
one turn round the little back lawn
and the surgeon sid, that when I could
walk without pain, I might ride; and
now it gives me very little pain to
Thus cheating her conscience, and for.
getting her prudent resolutions, Rosa-
mond went down stairs, crossing the hall
quickly, lest she should be stopped by
Mrs. Egerton, whose step she heard in
a distant passage. Godfrey put her on
the pony, and the lady, whose praise
and prophecy had excited her so much,
looked out of the window, and admired
I am afraid it is imprudent,"
thought Rosamond, "but I cannot draw
back now, it would seem so cowardly.
I will only go once round this little
lawn," said she, and I shall be home
again in five minutes."
As she went round the lawn her an.
cle, she mid, did not hurt her much-
"that is, not very much."
As she came back she was sorry, and
a little alarmed, when she saw her father
and mother standing at the hall door,
waiting for her. Godfrey called out
triumphantly, You see I have brought
her home quite safe."
Rosamond would have added some-
thing; but observing, that both her
father and mother looked very grave,
she forgot the sentence about the sur-
geon, which she had prepared in her
own defence, and could only sy, '* I
hope you are not displeased with me,
Mamma? I am afraid, Father, you are
SGodfrey jumped from his horse, and
ran to take her down from the pony.
.* My ancle," said Rosamond, does
not give me any -pain," she would
have- said, had not her feelings at the
moment, and. the manner in which she
TIM BLACK LANZ.
walked, or attempted to walk, so con.
tradicted the assertion, that she stopped
short, and indeed was forced to catch
hold of Godfrey's arm. Her father put
him aside, saying, Leave your sister
to me, young man," in a tone which
implied, you are not fit to be trusted
with her." Then taking her up in his
arms, her father carried her to the
library, and to the sofa; she, all the
time, going on with such apologies as
she could make, more for Godfrey than
( It is not Godfrey's fault; it was all
my fault, indeed it was; he held my
bridle all the time; I told him it did
not hurt me at all."
"! It is very little satisfaction to me,
that you told him what was false," said
But I did not know it, Papa, till
afterwards, till I took my foot out of
the stirrup." Then she got out her
favourite sentence about the surgeon,
ending with an appeal to her mother -
" You know, Mamma, he maid I might
ride, whenever I could walk without
But you know, Rosamond," said
her mother, in a tone which re-appealed
to her conscience, and required, in
answer, the exactness of truth, you
know, Rosamond, that you could not
walk without pain."
"Not without a little pain," said
And you recollect, Rosamond, that
I had advised you not to attempt it, and
you made a great many wise reflections
and resolutions; and yet you did directly
the contrary to that, which you were
convinced was best, the moment we left
Oh, Laura, my dear, I wish you had
been in our room when I went up to put
on my habit," said Rosamond.
THE BLACK LANL
How I wish I had not gone out,"
But, my dear Laura, that was not
your fault. I only mean to say, Mamma,
that if either of you had been there, I
would not have gone without asking your
advice and consent: and one thing more
I may say in my own defence-"
No, no, Rosamond," interrupted her
father, let me hear no more childish
defences and excuses; do not let me see
you go back to all the faults of your
Say no more, say no more, my
dear Rosamond," whispered Godfrey,
who stood in great anxiety at the beck
of the sofa, as close to her and as quiet
You are no longer a child, Rosa.
mond," continued her father; and
therefore I am seriously concerned to
find that you have so little prudence and
I assure you, my dear father," sid
Rosamond, "I never will be so foolish,
so imprudent again."
What satisfaction, or what secu-
rity, my dear, can such assurances give
me of your future conduct ?" said her
father. I judge by actions, not by
But such a trifling action" said
Rosamond. Surely you would not
seriously judge of me, and be alarmed
for my future conduct, by such a trifling
imprudence: especially when--"
She stopped; for something in her
father's countenance warned hat, that
he knew what she was going to add, and
that it would not avail.
Especially when it has done no
harm, you were going to say."
"Yes, Papa, that was what I was
going to say."
And that was what Godfrey's looks
had been saying all the time.
THR BLACK LANE. 47
"Your having escaped, if you have
escaped, hurting your ancle, or doing
yourself any serious mischief, rather
increases than lessens my alarm," aid
her father; because this would en-
courage you to venture to be again im-
prudent another time. You say, that I
need not be alarmed, and that I should
not judge of you by such a trifle:
nothing is a trifle that marks an im-
prudent disposition in a woman: and by
what can I judge of you but by such
things? You are not called upon yet,
to make decisions for your own conduct
in matters of consequence."
"I'm sure I am glad of it," aid
"But soon you will," said her mo-
ther: "and consider, Rosamond, that
then, every trifling imprudence may be
of serious consequence, irreparable con-
sequence. If you are to be so easily
swayed from your better judgment, so
easily persuaded by any one who comes
near you, so easily excited by any foolish
praise or idle vanity, to act contrary to
your own resolutions, contrary to your
conviction of what is best, of what use
will be all your good sense, all your
good dispositions, all your good prin.
All my good education I All you
have done for me !" said Rosamond.
Oh, Mamma --"
Tears now flowed so fast, that she
could say no more.
Godfrey then burst forth, and said,
"* Father, I own I thought you were
wrong, at first, and too angry about a
trifle; but now I understand your rea.
sons, and my mother's; and I think
you are quite right, and I was quite
wrong; and I am sorry for it: but you
shall see, that now, and for evermore, I
am fit to be trusted with the care of my
THi BLACK LANZ.
I shall be glad ofit; and still more
glad to see, that she can be trusted with
the care of herself," aid her father.
And I prophesy," aid Mrs. Eger-
ton, who had not till now, spoken one
word, "I venture to prophesy, that Ro-
samond, with so much candour, and so
true a desire to improve, will become a
most prudent woman."
Rather a better prophesy for me,"
said Rosamond, wiping away her tears,
and smiling, "than that I shall, with
so much spirit, become a most capital
rider. But my dear, kind Mrs. Eger-
ton, you are too good to me: the worst,
the most foolish thing I did, in this
whole business, you do not yet know:
when I heard your voice at a distance, I
ran away, lest you should see me, and
advise me not to go."
"That certainly was foolish, Ros.
mond; but now you have told me the
worst thing you did, I must sy, that
VOL. II. F
the best thing you have done, is to con.
fess it so-candidly," mid Mrs. Egerton,
Don't latter, don't spoil my daugh-
ter," said her father. "Let me ee,
that her candour is not of a useless sort.
Let me see, that she is not one of those,
who own their faults, but never mend."
EITIER from the pressure on Rosamond's
foot in riding, or from her precipitation
in dismounting, a fresh twist had been
given to her ancle. We pretend not to
decide among disputed causes; the con.
sequence was indisputable, that Rosa-
mond was not able to walk again for a
fortnight. But from almost all the un-
fortunate circumstances of life, and even
from those evils which we have brought
upon ourselves, by our own fault or folly,
some consoling, if not counterbalancing
good often arises, or may be drawn, by
those who know how to make use of the
lessons of experience. So it was with
Rosamond. The amiable temper she
showed, the patience with which she bore
pain, disappointment, and confinement,
increased the affection of all her friends,
and especially of her brother Godfrey.
He, considering himself as in part the
cause of the blame and suffering she had
incurred, was peculiarly sensible of her
good temper and generosity, in never,
directly or indirectly, reproaching, or
throwing on him any part of the blame.
Innumerable little trials of temper, and
some trials of prudence, occurred. Mrs.
Egerton put off her ball, on Rosamond's
account, for a week ; but when the ad-
journed day arrived, Rosamond's ancle
was still weak; she could stand indeed,
she could walk, and she believed she
could dance, yet she had the prudence
to forbear the attempt. She lay quietly
all night on the sofa, a passive spectator
of that ball, in which she had once
hoped to have been a most active, per.
haps a most admired performer; for
having had the best of dancing masters,
having practised quadrilles the last sea.
THr PALANQUIN. ,9
n, in Leodon, with great diligence end
success, with some of the most promising
rising geniuses of the age, and of the
most fashionable names, Rosmond could
not but be aware, that she had great
chance of excelling any country com-
petitors; and of being, perhaps, envied,
as well a admired, for her superior
skill. But even here there were counter-
balancing advantages. While she was a
passive spectator, a sitter-by at this ball,
she had opportunity of seeing, hearing,
observing, and feeling much, for which
otherwise she would have had no leisure.
At this ball, which Mrs. Egerton in-
tended for her young friends, there was
assembled a great number of young
ladies; and among these were two of
Rosamond's London acquaintance, who
danced for fame, and danced exceedingly
well. There were others, who dnced
less well, but with more ease and gaiety
of heart, and who were obviously free
from anxiety, jealousy, or envy. Roms
mood observed how much happier these
were than the exhibitors; and, further,
she heard the opinions of all the spec-
tators near her, especially of her favourite
traveller, who had seen so much of the
world. Whenever the exhibitors were
dancing, the spectators pressed forward
to see them; and after admiring and
criticising, with a freedom which aston-
ished Rosamond, they always ended by
declaring, that they preferred dancing,
which was quiet and gentlewomanlike,
to that which was in itself superior, but
which was evidently performed to pro-
duce effect, and to excite admiration.
Rosamond attended anxiously when
her sister was spoken of; and she had
the pleasure of hearing several, who did
not know how much she was interested
in what they were saying, bestow appro-
bation of the most gratifying sort upon
4( that graceful, modest young person.
Rosamond had, more than once, th,
satisfaction of answering, when asked,
"Do you know that young lady ? "
" Yes, Sir, she is my sister."
A lady, who was sitting near the sofa
on which Rosamond lay, seemed to be
attracted by something in her counte-
nance, and drew nearer and nearer, till
at last, by seizing the vacated places of
those who stood up to dance, or to talk,
she obtained the seat next to the arm of
This lady was not young, nor very
handsome, nor was she a person of for-
tune or rank; but she seemed one of te
happiest persons in the room. She ed
a most benevolent, cheerful coutnamme,
and took particular and delighted interest
in attending to some of the dancers.
She was a Mrs. Harte. In times long
past, she had been governess to a sister
of Helen's, who died; and Mrs. Egerton,
useible of her merit, had assisted in
establishing her in a school in the neigh.
bourhood. Many of the young people
who were at this ball had been her pupils;
and Mrs. Egerton had invited her, on
purpose that she might have the satis-
faction of seeing them and their parents.
The parents and the young people, all
loved and respected her. When Ross.
mond saw the affectionate manner in
which they all came and spoke to Mrs.
Harte, she could not help being interested
for her, though she was a stranger to
Rosamond's pleasure this evening arose
chiefly from her sympathy in these be.
nevolent feelings. She was very happy,
though her ancle at times gave her pain,
and though she was prevented from
dancing, of which, independently of all
vanity, she was naturally and heartily
fond. As she observed to Laura, when
they went to rest, she was much happier
than she had been at the ball at the
THN PALANQUIN. 07
Folliott Brown's, or on any occaion
where she had only enjoyed the triumphs,
or mixed in the petty competitions, of
Mrs. Harte's young friends, in talking
over old times with her this night, re-
curred to many very happy days," of
their childhood; and, among others, they
mentioned that time when they acted a
certain tiny play, which a friend wrote
on purpose for them, and which they
performed merely among themselves, and
for Mrs. Harte's amusement. Rosamond
wished to know the name of this tiny
play. The name did not promise much
--" The Dame-school Holiday." How.
ever, Rosamond's eyes still expressing
some wish to know more, Mrs. Harte
obligingly offered to have it looked for,
promising that, if the prompter's muti-
lated copy could be found, it should be
sent to her in the course of a week;
or that, if she could wait so long u a
fortnight, a perfect copy should be
made, which she might keep for ever.
Of course, she chose that which might
be kept for ever.
Next day, Rosamond told Godfrey of
this promise, and asked him whether he
did not think that a certain waste room
in Egerton Abbey would make a charm-
ing theatre : but Godfrey augured ill
from the title; observed, that a tiny
play must be stupid; and as to a theatre,
he had not time to think of it. Godfrey
was then quite intent upon making a pa-
lanquin, on which he and Laura might
carry Rosamond round the grounds,
without injury to her sprained ancle.
Rosamond would much rather have
had the play than the palanquin, she
sid; but Godfrey held to his purpose,
and insisted upon it that he would
finish the palanquin; and she saw that
she must be delighted with it, though
she confessed to Laura, she was more
afraid of being carried on it than of
mounting the pony. As she justly
observed, It is really provoking to be
forced to be obliged to a person for
something, which you would rather he
should not do; especially when there is
something else that you wish very much
to have done."
It is a little trial of temper, cer-
tainly," said her mother; "but such
continually occur, even between the best
friends; and there is no possibility of
making or keeping good friends, my
dear, without such little sacrifices of the
fancies and humours. Either you or
your brother, you see, must give up to
the other, the fincy of the moment."
"Then I will give it up cried
Rosamond. I will my no more to him
about acting the play, and I will be
pleased with the palanquin he is making
for me, if I can. If I can, Mamma,"
repeated she. You know, if I really
cannot like it, I must say so; but I will
say it a kindly to Godfrey as I can."
Rosamond refrained, though not with-
out some difficulty, from saying any
thing more to Godfrey about the play;
and he went on working indefatigably
at his own favourite project; till at
length, with the assistance of his father,
and of a carpenter, and with an old
chair bottom, and two poles, Godfrey
did contrive to make a solid, safe, com.
modious palanquin. Rosamond acknow.
ledged it was very well made; and,
without trembling much, she suffered
herself to be placed upon it; and when
she had made this conquest of herself
she was soon delighted, even to God.
frey's complete satisfaction, with the
palanquin, and with the palanquin
bearers. Of these she had many re-
lays, for her patience and good humour,
during her long confinement, had so
much interested every body at Egerton
Abbey in her favour, that all were
eager to assist Godfrey in his schemes
for her amusement. When her brother,
or her father, or Laura, were tired of
carrying her palanquin, the traveller
and the country gentleman were eager
to offer their services: and the orator
once stopped half way in a fine simile,
and ran to put his shoulder under her
palanquin. In this manner Rosamond
was carried in triumph, as Godfrey
called it; but, what was much better,
carried in kindness; she enjoyed many
a fine day, and many a pleasant expe-
dition. The palanquin became her
greatest delight; and Godfrey's satis.
faction in his success, and his sister'
obliging manner of accepting his kind-
ness, was at least equal to her pleasure.
How glad I am, Mamma, that I
really and truly do like the palanquin I "
whispered she to her mother, one even-
ing. I am glad that I tried it fairly,
VOL. II. 0
instead of telling my brother, that I
was sure I should never like it."
"But," said the travelled lady, "I
have sen such handsome palanquins I
I wish you had seen such palanquins as
I have seen I"
"I wish I had," said Rosamond.
"I mean, I am glad I have not; for
then, perhaps, I should not like mine
It would be well enough if it had
but something like curtains; but, really,
a palanquin without curtains, is little
better than a hand-barrow."
Rosamond looked at Godfrey, and
Godfrey looked at Rosamond, and they
both grew rather melancholy.
The next day Rosamond found the
lies, and the sun, and the dust, and the
wind, very troublesome; and Godfrey,
after having in vain contended that
there was no wind, no dust, no sun,
and very few fies, grew angry, and said
THE PALANQUIN. 09
something about the unreaonablenes of
women, who were never satisfied; and
made some allusion to a foolish prince
in the Arabian Tales, who grew dis-
satisfied with her delightful palace, from
the moment that an old woman told her
it wanted a roc's egg.
Rosamond, vexed by the mixture of
truth and falsehood, justice and injustice,
in her brother's observations, declared,
that she could no longer bear the sun
shining so full in her eyes."
Laura took off her green veil at this
moment, and threw it over Rosamond's
head, whispering, as she tied it on, The
sun was as hot, and hotter, than it is
now, when I one day saw Godfrey hard
at work, for hours, at this palanquin, for
you, Rosamond; so I am sure you will
bear the sun in your eye for five
minutes, rather than vex him."
Rosamond immediately recollected her-
self, and begging her palanquin bearers
to stop for one minute, placed herself
with her back to the sun, and assured
Godfrey, that she was now quite com-
fortable; and no further complaints were
heard of sun, wind, dust, or flies.
Godfrey, as soon as they reached the
house, began to consult in secret with
Laura, upon the possibility, and the best
means of making curtains to the palan-
quin. Now it happened, that Laura had
bought some pretty green silk, with
which she had intended to make bags for
two chiffonnieres; but when she saw how
much Godfrey and Rosamond wished for
the palanquin curtains, she determined
that she would give up her chiffonnieres.
Accordingly, she rose an hour and a half
earlier than usual the next morning, and
the curtains were made, and the rings
sewn on, and the strings too, before she
was called to breakfast. Godfrey was
much delighted, for though he had con.
tried how the curtains could very easily
be put up, md though he h pru'iM
himself with four brass rods begging
to some old window blinds, which Dr.
Egerton had been so good a to say wer
at his service, yet he had been quite at a
loss for something of which to make the
curtains. Mrs. Egerton's stores, and the
housekeeper's chests, had all been rum-
maged in vain. He never knew, how.
ever, the extent of Laura's kindness, till
Rosamond saw the palanquin with. its
curtains, when she immediately exclaimed,
"Oh, Laura, this is your doing! You
have given me the silk which you in-
tended for your chiffonnieres; but I can-
not bear to rob you of it."
Laura, who knew how to do kindness
so as to prevent her friends from ever
feeling uneasy, in the thought that they
deprived her of any pleasure, assured
Rosamond, that these curtains might do
just as well for her chiffonnieres, after
they had been used for the palanquin;
and that therefore she had more pleasure
from her green silk, than she had ever
expected that this, or any other green
silk, could give her.
Rosamond, Godfrey, and Laura were
now pleased with themselves, and with
each other, as friends always are, when
they feel that they have each, even in
trifles, borne and forborne from mutual
The travelled lady found many faults
with the manner in which the curtains
were made; and suggested several things
which would be necessary to make Ro-
samond's palanquin like those which she
had seen. In particular, a tassel in the
middle was indispensable. But Rosa-
mond smiled at Godfrey, and said, that
she was quite satisfied without the roe's
THE FOREST DRIVE
"* THE time will soon come, when you
will be able to ride again, Miss Ross.
mond," said the traveller's sister. But
Rosamond never attempted to ride, till
she could honestly walk without pain;
and when she rode, it was in a manner
which convinced her father, that she was
not one of those who own their faults,
but never mend.
The next time she came within sight
of Black Lane, she permitted -no, let
us do her justice, she requested Careful
Richard to lead her hone past the dan-
gerous turn, even in the face and front
of all the remonstrances, and ridicule,
which the traveller's sister threw, or
might have thrown, upon her want of
spirit; even while a denunciation
sounded on her ear, that now, she would
" never be a capital horsewoman."
Her father was satisfied in the main
point which he had in view, and which
he knew to be of so much consequence
to his daughter's future character and
happiness; quite satisfied, since she
showed herself able to do steadily what
she believed to be best, without being
influenced to the contrary, by praise,
blame, persuasion, or example.
After the traveller's sister had left
Egerton Abbey, and when there could
be no longer any doubt of the motive;
when Rosamond had proved, that she
had conquered her foolish ambition to
be a distinguished and a desperate rider,
her father took her with him to the
Black Lane, and taught her to manage
her horse, so as to pass and repass in
Though the traveller's sister had left
Egerton Abbey, the traveller himself
THE FOREST DRIVE.
still remained there, much to the satis-
faction of all the young people; a his
varied conversation, full of interesting
information, made him a most agreeable
companion; and he was so good-natured
as to bestow much of his time and atten-
tion upon Laura, Rosamond, and God-
Rosamond, though now able to walk
without pain, was advised to avoid fa.
tiguing her 'ancle, which was not yet
quite strong ; therefore she did not
venture upon any long expedition. One
day, some walk too distant for her had
been proposed; Helen, Laura, and God-
frey, jointly and severally, offered to give
it up, and to take some shorter walk,
which Rosamond knew was not half so
pretty; and a generous debate on the
subject was warmly commencing, when
Mrs. Egerton moved that Rosamond
should accompany her in the garden
chair, as she said she particularly
wished for her company for one hour;
but that she would let her walk back
with her younger friends.
The place of reunion was settled to
be at the old white gate in the forest;
and whichever of the parties should
arrive first, was to wait for the other.
This point was carefully agreed upon;
and very necessary it is, for all who
would avoid disappointments and dis-
sensions, to be accurate in such agree-
ments. The parties set out on their
As Mrs. Egerton took the same way
which she had formerly gone, when
they went to see the paralytic woman,
Romsmond said, I know now, my dear
Mrs. Egerton, where we are going; and
I am glad of it, for I long to see that
poor creature, and that grateful girl
again. Why would you never answer
any of my questions about them ? "
"You shall have all your questions
THE FOURT DRIVE. 71
satisfactorily answered presently, my
dear," aid Mrs. Egerton. "You know
you are lately grown remarkable for
patience; and since you will not have
your curiosity satisfied, perhaps this
half hour, think of something else."
How difficult it is to think of
something else when one is bid to do
it," said Rosamond. The other day,
when Godfrey insisted upon my never
thinking of what colour Dr. Egerton's
new horse was to be, I found that black,
grey, and brown would flit before my
eyes, till I drove them away by an ex-
cellent expedient; by trying to recol.
lect, and repeat to myself, some lines
which Laura and I had just been
",Try the experiment again now,"
said Mrs. Egerton, "and let me be the
better for it."
But you know the poem, I am
sure, Ma'am," said Rosamond. "It
was one of those translations from the
Arabic, which Dr. Egerton read to us;
the lines, you know, by the generous
I have not the honour, or pleasure,
of being acquainted with the generous
Hatem," said Mrs. Egerton.
Is it possible, Ma'am, you can have
forgotten him ? "
I never heard any lines about him,
True; I remember, now, that you
were out of the room when they were
read. Now, my dear Mrs. Egerton, if
you do not like them as well as Laura
and I do, I shall be so sorry."
Well, my love, let me hear them,
and then I can judge."
"But as you were not in the room,
when the poem was read, perhaps you
did not hear the anecdotes of Hatem,
which are given in the preface to the
poem, by the translator; I forget his
THE FORBaT DRIVE.
name, but I know he was a professor of
Arabic, and from Cambridge."
Well, my love, never mind his
name, but let me hear what he says of
Hatem," said Mrs. Egerton.
He says, Ma'am, that his poems
expressed the charms of beneficence, and
his practice evinced that he wrote from
That was well said for him and his
poems; but does he give any instance
of his generosity?"
He was," continued Rosamond, in
his time, as famous for beneficence as
the far-famed Aboulcasem. It was
common in the East, when any person
did a generous action, to say, that he
was as generous as Hatem.' One of the
anecdotes he tells in proof of his gene-
rosity is this : -
The Emperor of Constantinople,
having heard much of Hatem's libe-
rality, resolved to make trial of it:. for
VOL. II. H
this purpose he despatched a person
from his court, to request a particular
horse, which he knew the Arabian
prince valued above all his other pos-
sessions. The officer arrived at Hatem's
abode in a dark, tempestuous night, at
a season when all the horses were at
pasture in the meadows. He was re-
ceived in a manner suitable to the dig.
nity of the imperial envoy, and treated
that night with the utmost hospitality.
The next day the officer delivered to
Hatem his message from the Emperor.
Hatem seemed concerned. "If," said
he, you had yesterday apprised me of
your errand, I should instantly have
complied with the Emperor's request;
but the horse he asks for is now no
more; being surprised by your sudden
arrival, and having nothing else to re-
gale you with, I ordered him to be killed
and served up to you last night for
supper." Hatem immediately ordered,
THE FOREST DRIVE.
that the finest horses he had yet re.
maining, should be brought, and begged
the ambassador to present them to his
master. That prince, as the history
says, could not but admire this mark of
Hatem's generosity; and owned that
he truly merited the title of the most
liberal among men.'"
Notwithstanding her wish to agree
with Rosamond in admiring Hatem's
generosity, Mrs. Egerton could not help
regretting the killing and eating of the
Rosamond disliked the eating, but
thought the killing, grand. In fiwour
of the eating, too, it was to be observed,
that the Arabians prefer the flesh of
horses to any other food. But even so,
why should the ambassador be regaled
with this most valuable of horses, which
was so desired, too, by the Emperor?
Could not this ambassador have waited
for his supper, while some of the ether
horses were brought in from the mea-
dows ? It is not fair, Mrs. Egerton
allowed, to try Arabic actions by English
laws; and she was willing to allow, that
this instance of Hatem's" liberality is
curious, as a picture of Arabian man-
ners; but as to the positive merit of
the generosity, she thought that was
questionable. This involved discussions
on many other points; for instance,
whether the merit of generosity depends
on the pain it costs, or the pleasure it
bestows: whether its merit depends on
the greatness of the sacrifice, or on its
utility: whether it be true, that our
virtues all depend on sacrifices of some
of our selfish feelings; or whether it be
true only, that some of our virtues can-
not be practised without requiring some
such sacrifices. Wide and deep subjects
of thought were displayed to Rosamond's
inquiring mind; her friend just opened
them, and left them there.
THE IORIT DRIVE. 77
Meanwhile they had gone three miles
on the beaten road, and then had turned
into the forest; and Rosamond, waken.
ing to external objects, found that she
was in a pleasant glade in the wood,
within view of a cottage; not that cot-
tage in which she had formerly seen the
paralytic woman. This was in another
part of the forest, and in a less pic-
turesque situation, perhaps; but it was
a more comfortable looking dwelling,
well thatched, well glazed, and in neat
repair. They got out of their carriage,
and walked to the cottage. A man,
who was at work in the garden, threw
down his spade, and came to meet
them. Mrs. Egerton asked this man,
an honest-faced, good-natured looking
farmer, whether all was going on well,
and whether he and his wife were satis-
fied with their bargain, and their new
lodgers? Quite satisfied," the man
answered; and that all was going on,
and likely, to go on, well."
It was here that Mrs. Egerton had
settled the paralytic woman, and the
grateful girl. The mistress of this
house, who next appeared at the door,
was, as her countenance bespoke her,
and as her husband called her, as good.
tempered, kind-hearted a soul as ever
breathed; as active and notable a dame,
moreover, as the scolding hostess. This
farmer and his wife were tenants of
Dr. Egerton's, so that Mrs. Egerton was
well acquainted with their conduct, and
with all their affairs. They had, she
knew, been kind to a servant girl, who
had lived with them several years, and
who had just married, and had left them,
with their goodwill, though much to
their inconvenience. From this expe-
rience of their kind conduct (the only
safe test), Mrs. Egerton formed her ex-
pectations, that they would behave well
THZ FORMT DRIVZ.
to those whom she placed under their
protection. And she took great care,
in making the agreement and arrange-
ments, that all should be for the reci-
procal advantage of the parties con-
cerned; and that all should be perfectly
The farmer's wife was often obliged
to be absent from home, at market, and
wanted a servant she could trust with
her children; the grateful girl was just
such a one as she needed. The paralytic
woman, having still the use of her hands
and her head, could be useful also to the
children, because she had a little learn-
ing; just as much as was not a dan-
gerous thing for poor children. She
could teach them to read and write, and
a little arithmetic; and she could teach
the girls to sew and knit; and, as she
said, even the very thought that she
could do something still, and that she
could be in any way useful to those that
took charge of her, was a great eae to
her mind, in her state; sad state she no
longer called it. Rosamond now saw
her in a light, neat, comfortable room,
on a bed with sheets as white as snow;
and there she was sitting, with the
children round her; one knitting, or
learning to knit, and another reading
The grateful girl, though she still
looked as if her health required care,
had no longer that hectic flush, and
overworked appearance, nor the expres-
sion of anxiety on her countenance,
which had marked the depression on
her mind. She looked the picture, the
reality of happiness.
And oh, Madam Egerton best of
all I thanks to you," said she, for set.
tling that I was to pay for the room
for her. Little as it is, what a pleasure
it is to me to be still earning it for
THE FOREST DRIVE.
Mrs. Egerton had taken particular
care, that this girl should still enjoy
the satisfaction of providing for the
paralytic woman, for whom she had so
long worked with such grateful perse-
verance. It would have been easy to
have paid for the lodging, but this would
have been less real kindness than per-
mitting her still to feel, that she exer-
cised her kind affections to good pur-
pose: on which kind affections, whether
in health or sickness, riches or poverty,
whether in the highest or lowest stations
of life, so large a portion of the hap-
piness of human creatures depends.
Rosamond observed, that by ju-
dicious arrangements, much had been
done for these poor people, without
Mrs. Egerton's having given them, or
having laid out, much money; and
she began to think that it would be
possible for her to do good, without
possessing the wealth of Hatem, of
Aboulcasem, or of the Polish Countess.
The walking party stayed for Mrs.
Egerton at the white gate, as ap.
pointed; a degree of punctuality worth
recording, because it is of rare occur-
rence. Rosamond, however, instead of
walking, as had been proposed, chose
to go home in the garden chair with
Mrs. Egerton, that she might talk to
her; her thoughts being still intent
upon all they had seen in the cottage,
and especially on the happiness of the
"She is much happier than if she
were rich," said Rosamond. I think
the poor have infinitely greater oppor.
tunity of showing one another affection,
and kindness, and gratitude, than the
rich can ever have. Consider what
sacrifices they make every day to one
another, even of the necessaries of life.
Our sacrifices are nothing to these:
THr O3RUT DRIVE. 88
when we leave the finest peach for our
neighbour, as you did yesterday," aid
Rosamond, smiling, "that may be very
polite, but there is no great generosity in
"Very true," said Mrs. Egerton.
"Then as to gratitude," continued
Rosamond, it often happens, that the
persons to whom one feels the most
obliged, are in a situation of life where
one can do nothing for them."
There I differ from you, my dear,"
said Mrs. Egerton.
"Why, my dear Ma'am, for instance,
what can I do for you ? "
Have you forgotten (I can never
forget) all the kindness you showed me
when I was ill in London?" replied
Mrs. Egerton; "* and I know the whole
of The nine days' trial.' "
"How could you know about that?
Godfrey must have told it to you," said
Rosamond. "That is just like him,
and I love him the better for it: I
don't mean for telling it to praise me,
"I understand you perfectly," said
"But to return to what we were
talking of," said Rosamond. These are
such little proofs of affection, such insig.
nificant proofs of gratitude, compared
with what the poor can and do show
"My dear Rosamond," said Mrs.
Egerton, "though in our rank of life
we are not often called upon to sacri-
fice the necessaries, or even the luxu-
ries of life, to prove our gratitude; yet
we are often called upon for sacrifices
of our humours, our time, our plea-
sures, our selfish interests, in many
ways; so that altogether, though the
trials may be very different, yet they
are full as constant and as great. For
instance: I know in this neighbour-
THE FORBST DRIVE.
hood a young lady of about Laura's
Mrs. Egerton stopped, and seemed
Well, my dear Mrs. Egerton, pray
go on : you know a young lady in this
neighbourhood, about Laura's age. What
is her name ? Did I ever see her ? Shall
I ever see her ? "
Her name is Louisa Dudley. You
have never seen her: but I think perhaps
you may see her; and I was considering
how we could manage it."
"Thank you, thank you, Ma'am. I
recollect hearing the name before. Miss
Dudley I Louisa Dudley II remember
now, that was the name I heard you
and Mrs. Harte, and all those young
ladies, repeat so often the night of the
ball- Louisa Dudley, whom they all
wished so much had been there: and
something was said about the reason
why she could not come; something
VOL. II. I
about the odd tempers of the people
she is with. Will you tell me all about
it, my dear Ma'am ?"
Mrs. Egerton smiled, and answered,
that now she had excited her curiosity,
she would not tell her more; but that'
she should either hear or see more in a
few days. "And now," added Mrs.
Egerton, to prevent your curiosity
from preying upon you, amuse yourself
and me, my dear, by repeating those
lines of Hatem's."
"MORNING visits! This whole morn-
ing to be sacrificed to the returning of
those visits said Rosamond. "This
finest of days, which I had laid out for
finishing my view of the Abbey I How
1 hate morning visiting I"
I do not love it more than you do,
my dear," said her mother; "and I
wish that the custom were laid aside;
but in living in society, there are many
little sacrifices we must make to civility."
Yes, I know that you, Mamma, must
return the visits of all those people who
called upon you; but why must Igo?"
Don't you recollect, my dear, that
Mrs. Egerton mid she particularly
wished you should go ?
"Has she any particular reason, I
wonder?" said Rosamond.
Is not her wish reason sufficient, my
dear, without further question ?"
Certainly," said Rosamond; "I
am willing to do any thing she wishes;
Only- you are not willing; is that
what you mean to say, my dear ?"
No, no, Mamma, I was only think-
ing, that I could go out first, and just
finish my view of the cloisters, while the
lights and shades are on them so beau.
But if you go out now, Rosamond,
you will not be ready when the carriage
comes to the door; and you know, Mrs.
Egerton requested, that we should set
Rosamond cast a lingering look out
of the window, and still adhering to her
portfolio, and walking very slowly to-
wards the door, said, Must I then
give up the whole morning?"
"I have heard a proverb, aid her
father, looking up from the paper he
was reading, "a Latin proverb, which
says, that 'Who gives promptly, gives
twice.' This applies to the gift of time,
as well as to all other gift. And I
should add, 'Who complies readily,
complies in the only manner in which
I would accept of their compliance,
either in a matter of consequence, or a
Rosamond stood abashed. All
thoughts of the cloisters were promptly
given up. She vanished, and reap.
peared in a few minutes, ready to set
out, even before the carriage came to
The round of necessary but tiresome
visits was duly paid, according to the list
which Rosamond's mother held in her
hand; and when they came to the last
on the list, and when the joyful words,
"Not at home," had been heard, and the
cards, with corners duly dog's-eared, had
been delivered, Rosamond exclaimed,
Home; is not it, Mrs. Egerton ?"
"No; there is one other visit to be
paid, and six miles off," said Mrs. Eger.
Rosamond's face lengthened; but
shortened again the next instant, when
Mrs. Egerton added, "to Dudley Ma-
"Dudley Manor exclaimed Rosa-
mond. Now I know why you wished
me to accompany you, dear Mrs. Eger-
ton. I may always trust to your in.
tending some kindness, even when you
ask me to do what I don't like. Now I
shall see that Louisa Dudley, whom
every body wished for so much, at the
ball. And now, my dear Mrs. Egerton,
will you go on with what you were going
to tell me of her the other day. You
stopped short, if you recollect, just after
you told me, that she is about Laura's
age. Is she like Laura ? Pray describe
You will see her so soon, my dear,"
answered Mrs Egerton, "that I may
spare the description of eyes, nose, mouth,
and chin; especially as all these, when
most minutely described, seldom give any
idea of a countenance."
But," said Rosamond, is she like
Laura in disposition character man-
ners temper ?"
As to temper, to answer one ques-
tion at a time," said Mrs. Egerton, I
cannot tell whether your sister's temper
is as good as her's. True, my dear, not.
withstanding your look of incredulity. I
do not know, I assure you, because I
never have seen Laura's temper put to
such trials u I have seen Mis Dudley's;
and I hope I never may."
"What sort of trials?" said Rosa
mond; pray tell us some of them."
Impossible to tell them to you, they
are such petty things; they must be
seen and felt to be understood."
But if they are such little things,
surely they might be easily borne," said
No; little torments continually re-
iterated, are, it is found, the most difi.
cult of all others to endure."
Are the people she lives with, fond
of her ? said Rosamond.
Yes; very fond of her," said Mrs.
Then I do not pity her," said Ro.
samond. I could bear any thing from
people who are fond of me."
"Stay till you try, my dear Rosa-
mond," said her mother.
"Stay till you see Mr. and Mrs.
Dudley," said Mrs. Egerton.
What sort of persons are they?"
Excellent people, with good hearts,
good heads, good name, good fortune."
"Oh, I don't pity her I" cried Rosa-
Good fortune, did I say ? I should
have said more than good- great for-
tune; they have, in short, every thing
this world can afford to make them
happy; steeped up to the lips in luxury."
They are what is called hypochon-
driacal, then, I suppose," said Rosamond.
Mental hypochondriacism, perhaps,
it may be called," said Mrs. Egerton;
" they do not imagine themselves ill, but
they imagine themselves unhappy. The
fact is, they want nothing in this world,
"That is a sad want, indeed," said
Rosamond; "but still "
s" But still," repeated Mrs. Egerton,
smiling, as you have never felt it, you
cannot conceive the misery."
"Yes, I can conceive it," said Rosa-
mond; but still, if they are fond of
one another -"
They married for love," said Mrs.
Egerton; "and, for aught I know, they
maybe, as many people say, very fond
of' one another in the main, to this day;
but their love has all the effects of hate,
for they make one another as unhappy as
the bitterest enemies chained together
could do. Their lives are every day,
and all day long, one scene of petty con-
tradiction, opposition, dispute, taunt, and
reply. They were originally high-bred
persons; but their tempers have so far
got the better, or the worse of them, that
they quite forget domestic politeness;
and though they are well-bred to all the
world besides, are really ill-bred to one
And does this appear before corm.
pany, too?" said Rosamond. "But
cannot Louisa Dudley, if they are so
fond of her, do any thing to make affairs
go on better?"
She does everything that is possible,
but all in vain. She cannot please one,
without displeasing the other; and their
very fondness for her proves a new source
of jealousy, and, if not of open alter-
cation, of secret taunt. She gives up
her amusements, her occupations, her
will, her whole time, her liberty to them;
and yet she can never succeed in making
them satisfied with her, or happy them-
selves, for one day, one hour."
"What a misfortune to have such a
father and mother!" said Rosamond.
Mr. and Mrs. Dudley are not her
father and mother," replied Mrs. Eger-
ton; they are only distant relations to
"Then why," said Rosamond, "does