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Juliana Horatia Ewing and her books
Daddy Darwin's dovecot
The story of a short life
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I I ) I
1 1111 1
DADDY DARWIN'S DOVECOT.
THE STORY OF A SHORT LIFE.
JULIANA HORATIA EWING,
AUTHOR OF "SIX TO SIXTEEN," "JAN OF THE WINDMILL"
WITH A SKETCH OF HER LIFE BY HER SISTER,
fORA TIA K. F. GATTY.
OH nibSeritON AND s:
JOHN WILSON AND SON, CAMBRIDGE.
JULIANA HORATIA EWING
AND HER BOOKS.
ALL hearts grew warmer in the presence
Of one who, seeking not his own,
Gave freely for the love of giving,
Nor reaped for self the harvest sown.
Thy greeting smile was pledge and prelude
Of generous deeds and kindly words:
In thy large heart were fair guest-chambers,
Open to sunrise and the birds.
The task was thine to mould and fashion
Life's plastic newness into grace;
To make the boyish heart heroic,
And light with thought the maiden's face.
O friend! if thought and sense avail not
To know thee henceforth as thou art,
That all is well with thee forever
I trust the instincts of my heart.
Thine be the quiet habitations,
Thine the green pastures, blossom-sown,
And smiles of saintly recognition,
As sweet and tender as thy own.
Thou com'st not from the hush and shadow
To meet us, but to thee we come ;
With thee we never can be strangers,
And where thou art must still be home.
A Memorial. JOHN G. WHITTIER.
SECOND DAUGHTER OF THE REV. ALFRED GATTY, D.D., AND
MARGARET, HIS WIFE,
BORN AT ECCLESFIELD, YORKSHIRE, AUGUST 3, 1841,
MARRIED JUNE I, 1867, TO ALEXANDER EWING, MAJOR, A.P.D.,
DIED AT BATH, MAY 13, 1885,
BURIED AT TRULL, SOMERSET, MAY 16, 1885.
HAVE promised the children to write something
for them about their favorite story-teller, JULIANA
HORATIA EWING, because I am sure they will like
to read it.
I well remember how eagerly I devoured the Life of my
favorite author, Hans Christian Andersen; how anxious I
was to send a subscription to the memorial statue of him,
which was placed in the centre of the Public Garden at
Copenhagen, where children yet play at his feet; and, still
further, to send some flowers to his newly filled grave by the
hand of one who, more fortunate than myself, had the chance
of visiting the spot.
I think that the point which children will be most anxious
to know about Mrs. Ewing is how she wrote her stories.
6 WE HAVE NOT WINGS, WE CANNOT SOAR,
Did she evolve the plots and characters entirely out of her
own mind, or were they in any way suggested by the occur-
rences and people around her?
The best plan of answering such questions will be for me
to give a list of her stories in succession as they were written,
and to tell, as far as I can, what gave rise to them in my
sister's mind; in doing this we shall find that an outline
biography of her will naturally follow. Nearly all her writ-
ings first appeared in the pages of "Aunt Judy's Magazine,"
and as we realize this fact we shall see how close her con-
nection with it was, and cease to wonder that the Magazine
should end after her death.
Those who lived with my sister have no difficulty in trac-
ing likenesses between some of the characters in her books
and many whom she met in real life; but let me say, once
for all, that she never drew portraits of people, and even
if some of us now and then caught glimpses of ourselves
under the clothing she had robed us in, we only felt ashamed
to think how unlike we really were to the glorified beings
whom she put before the public.
Still less did she ever do with her pen, what an artistic
family of children used to threaten to do with their pencils
when they were vexed with each other, namely, to draw
It was one of the strongest features in my sister's character
that she received but what she gave," and threw such a
halo of sympathy and trust round every one she came in
contact with, that she seemed to see them "with larger other
eyes than ours," and treated them accordingly. On the
whole, I am sure this was good in its results, though the pain
occasionally of awakening to disappointment was acute; but
she generally contrived to cover up the wound with some
BUT WE HAVE FEET TO SCALE AND CLIMB. 7
new shoot of hope. On those in whom she trusted I think
her faith acted favorably. I recollect one friend, whose con-
science did not allow him to rest quite easily under the rosy
light through which he felt he was viewed, saying to her:
It's the trust that such women as you repose in us men,
which makes us desire to become more like what you believe
us to be."
If her universal sympathy sometimes led her to what we
might hastily consider "waste her time on the petty inter-
ests and troubles of people who appeared to us unworthy,
what were we that we should blame her? The value of each
soul is equal in God's sight; and when the books are opened
there may be more entries than we now can count of hearts
comforted, self-respect restored, and souls raised by her help
to fresh love and trust in God, ay, even of old sins and
deeds of shame turned into rungs on the ladder to heaven
by feet that have learned to tread the evil beneath them. It
was this w.ii-l p!li; of sympathy in her which made my
sister rejoice as she did in the teaching of the now Chaplain-
General, Dr. J. C. Edghill, when he was yet attached to the
iron church in the South Camp, Aldershot. "He preaches
the gospel of Hope," she said; hope, that is, in the latent
power which lies hidden even in the worst of us, ready to
take fire when touched by the Divine flame, and burn up its
old evil into a light that will shine to God's glory before men.
I still possess the epitome of one of these hopeful" sermons,
which she sent me in a letter after hearing the chaplain
preach on the two texts: "What meanest thou, 0 sleeper?
arise, call upon thy God; "Awake, thou that sleepest, and
arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."
It has been said that, in his story of "The Old Bachelor's
Nightcap," Hans Andersen recorded something of his own
career. I know not if this be true, but certainly in her story
of Madam Liberality "1 Mrs. Ewing drew a picture of her
own character that can never be surpassed. She did this
quite unintentionally, I know, and believed that she was only
giving her own experiences of suffering under quinsy, in
combination with some record of the virtues of one whose
powers of courage, uprightness, and generosity under ill-
health she had always regarded with deep admiration. Pos-
sibly the virtues were hereditary, certainly the original
owner of them was a relation; but, however this may be,
Madam Liberality bears a wonderfully strong likeness to my
sister, and she used to be called by a great friend of ours the
" little body with a mighty heart," from the quotation which
appears at the head of the tale.
The same friend is now a bishop in another hemisphere
from ours, but he will ever be reckoned a great" friend.
Our bonds of friendship were tied during hours of sorrow in
the house of mourning, and such as these are not broken by
after-divisions of space and time. Mrs. Ewing named him
" Jachin," from one of the pillars of the Temple, on account
of his being a pillar of strength at that time to us.
All my earliest recollections of Julie (as I must call her)
picture her as at once the projector and manager of all our
nursery doings. Even if she tyrannized over us by always
arranging things according to her own fancy, we did not
rebel, we relied so habitually and entirely on her to originate
every fresh plan and idea; and I am sure that in our turn
we often tyrannized over her by reproaching her when any of
what we called her "projukes ended in mulls," or when
she paused for what seemed to us a longer five minutes than
1 Reprinted in "A Great Emergency."
usual in the middle of some story she was telling, to think
what the next incident should be.
It amazes me now to realize how unreasonable we were in
our impatience, and how her powers of invention ever kept
pace with our demands. These early stories were influenced
to some extent by the books that she then liked best to read,
- Grimm, Andersen, and Bechstein's fairy tales; to the last
writer I believe we owed her story about a Wizard, which
was one of our chief favorites. Not that she copied Bech-
stein in any way, for we read his tales too, and would not
Shave submitted to anything approaching a recapitulation;
Sbut the character of the little Wizard was one which fasci-
nated her, and even more so, perhaps, the quaint picture of
him, which stood at the head of the tale; and she wove
round this skeleton idea a rambling romance from her own
I have specially alluded to the picture, because my sister's
artistic as well as literary powers were so strong that through
all her life the two ever ran side by side, each aiding and
developing the other, so that it is difficult to speak of them
Many of the stories she told us in childhood were inspired
by some fine woodcuts in a German "A B C book," that
we could none of us then read, and in later years some of
her best efforts were suggested by !lI-ii i,..-, and written
,to fit them. I know, too, that in arranging the plots and
wording of her stories she followed the rules that are pursued
by artists in composing their pictures. She found great
difficulty in preventing herself from overcrowding her
canvas with minor characters, owing to her tendency to
throw herself into complete sympathy with whatever creature
she touched ; and, sometimes, particularly in tales which
came out as serials, when she wrote from month to month,
and had no opportunity of correcting the composition as a
whole, she was apt to give undue prominence to minor
details, and throw her high lights on to obscure corners, in-
stead of concentrating them on the central point. These
artistic rules kept her humor and pathos -like light and
shade duly balanced, and made the lights she "left out"
some of the most striking points of her work.
But to go back to the stories she told us as children.
Another of our favorite ones related to a Cavalier who hid in
an underground passage connected with a deserted V\;i.1I-
mill on a lonely moor. It is needless to say that, as we
were brought up on Marryat's Children of the New Forest,"
and possessed an aunt who always went into mourning for
King Charles on January 30, our sympathies were entirely
devoted to the Stuarts' cause ; and this persecuted Cavalier,
with his big hat and boots, long hair and sorrows, was our
best beloved hero. We would always let Julie tell us the
"Windmill Story" over again, when her imagination was at
a loss for a new one. Windmills, I suppose from their pic-
turesqueness, had a very strong attraction for her. There
were none near our Yorkshire home, so, perhaps, their rarity
added to their value in her eyes; certain it is that she was
never tired of sketching them, and one of her latest note-
books is full of the old mill at Frimley, Hants, taken under
various aspects of sunset and storm. Then Holland, with
its low horizons and rows of windmills, was the first foreign
land she chose to visit, and the "Dutch Story," one of her
earliest written efforts, remains an unfinished fragment; while
"Jan of the Windmill" owes much of its existence to her
early love for these quaint structures.
It was not only in the matter of fairy tales that Julie reigned
DEEP MEANING IN CHILDISH PLAY.
supreme in the nursery, she presided equally over our games
and amusements. In matters such as garden-plots, when
she and our eldest sister could each have one of the same
size, they did so; but, when it came to there being one bower,
devised under the bending branches of a lilac bush, then the
Slaws of seniority were disregarded, and it was "Juiie',
Bower." Here, on benches made of narrow boards laid
on inverted flower-pots, we sat and listened to her stories;
here was kept the discarded i.1,n. ,1 I-.. I, used at the funerals
Sof our pet animals, and which she introduced into "The
SBurial of the Linnet." Near the Bower we had a chapel,
dedicated to Saint Christopher, and a sketch of it is still ex-
tant, which was drawn by our eldest sister, who was the chief
builder arid care-taker of the shrine; hence started the funeral
processions, both of our pets and of the stray birds and beasts
we found unburied. In "Brothers of Pity"1 Julie gave
her hero the same predilection for burying that we had
She invented names for the spots that we most frequented
in our walks, such as "The _r ... .l's Ford," and "St.
Nicholas." The latter covered a space including several
fields and a clear stream, and over this locality she certainly
reigned supreme; our gathering of violets and cowslips, or
of hips and haws for jam, and our digging of earth-nuts were
limited by her orders. I do not think she ever attempted
to exercise her prerogative over the stream; I am sure that,
whenever we caught sight of a dark tuft of slimy Batracho-
spernzum in its clear depths, we plunged in to secure it for
mother, whether Julie or any other Naiad liked it or no !
But the splendor in the grass and glory in the flower that
we found in St. Nicholas was very deep and real, thanks
1 Brothers of Pity, and other Tales of Beasts and Men
to all she wove around the spot for us. Even in childhood
she must have felt, and imparted to us, a great deal of what
she put into the hearts of the children in "Our Field." 1 To
me this story is one of the most beautiful of her compositions,
and deeply characteristic of the strong power she possessed
of drawing happiness from little things, in spite of the hin-
drances caused by weak health. Her fountain of hope and
thankfulness never ran dry.
Some of the indoor amusements over which Julie exercised
great influence were our theatricals. Her powers of imitation
were strong; indeed, my mother's story of "Joachim the
Mimic" was written, when Julie was very young, rather to
check this habit which had early developed in her. She al-
ways took what may be called the walking gentleman's "
part in our plays. Miss Corner's Series came first, and then
Julie was usually a Prince; but after we advanced to farces,
her most successful character was that of the commercial
traveller, Charley Beeswing, in "Twenty Minutes with a
Tiger." "Character" parts were what she liked best to
take, and in later years, when aiding in private theatricals at
Aldershot Camp, the piece she most enjoyed was Helping
Hands," in which she acted Tilda, with Captain F. G.
Slade, R. A. as Shockey, and Major Ewing as the blind
The last time she acted was at Shoeburyness, where she
was the guest of her friends Colonel and Mrs. Strangways,
and when Captain Goold-Adams and his wife also took part
in the entertainment. The terrible news of Colonel Strang-
ways' and Captain Goold-Adams's deaths from the explosion
at Shoebury in February, 1885, reached her while she was
very ill, and shocked her greatly; though she often alluded
1 A Great Emergency, and other Tales.
Sto the help she got from thinking of Colonel Strangways'
unselfishness, courage, and submission during his last hours,
and trying to bear her own sufferings in the same spirit. She
was so much pleased with the description given of his grave
being lined with moss, and lilac crocuses, that when her own
I..i i.- i.e dug it was lined in a similar way.
Lu.t it us go back to her in the nursery, and recall how,
in f.*,he of very limited pocket-money, she was always the
Li..,.1';,,; genius over birthday and Christmas-tree gifts;
:jn.i lh true Saint Nicholas who filled the stockings that
r,. "' laide ones" tied, in happy confidence, to their bed-
.'. ihe emerged from the nursery and began to take an
ini.: .r ;n our village neighbors, her taste for "projects was
devoted to their interests. It was her energy that established
a lending library in 1859, which still remains a flourishing
Institution; but all her attempts were not crowned with equal
success. She often recalled, with great amusement, how, the
first day on which she distributed tracts as a District Visitor,
an old lady of limited ideas and crabbed disposition called in
the evening to restore the tract which had been lent to her,
remarking that she had brought it back and required no
more, as, My husbandd does not attend the public house ,
Sand we 've no unrewly children !"
My sister had also a class for young women, which was
held in the vicarage because she was so often prevented by
attacks of quinsy from going to the school; indeed, at this
time, as the mother of some of her ex-pupils only lately
remarked, Miss Julie were always cayling."
The first stories that she published belong to this so-to-
speak "parochial" phase of her life, when her interests were
chiefly divided between the nursery and the village. "A
Bit of Green came out in the Monthly Packet in July,
1861; "The Blackbird's Nest" in August, 186 ; "Mel-
chior's Dream," in December, 1861; and these three tales,
with two others, which had not been previously published
(" Friedrich's Ballad and "The Viscount's Friend "), were
issued in a volume called Melchior's Dream and other
Tales," in 1862. The proceeds of the first edition of this
book gave Madam Liberality the opportunity of indulg-
ing in her favorite virtue. She and her eldest sister, who
illustrated the stories, first devoted the "tenths of their
respective earnings for letterpress and pictures to buying
some hangings for the sacrarium of Ecclesfield Church, and
then Julie treated two of her sisters, who were out of health,
to Whitby for change of air. Three years later, out of some
other literary earnings, she took her eldest brother to Ant-
werp and Holland, to see the city of Rubens's pictures, and
the land of canals, v.-, i ilI,!., and fine sunsets. The expe-
dition had to be conducted on principles which savored
more of strict integrity and economy than of comfort,
for they went in a small steamer from Hull to Antwerp;
but Julie feasted her eyes and brain on all the fresh sights
and sounds she encountered, and filled her sketch-book with
It was at Rotterdam," wrote her brother, that I left her
with her camp-stool and water-colors for a moment in the
street, to find her, on my return, with a huge crowd round
her, behind and before, a baker's man holding back a blue
veil that would blow before her eyes, -and she sketching
down an avenue of spectators, to whom she kept motion-
ing with her brush to stand aside. Perfectly unconscious
she was of how she looked, and I had great difficulty
in getting her to pack up and move on. Every quaint
".I.Y THE OPEN HAND BE FULLEST!
Duil.:h i b t, every queer street, every peasant in gold
oin oi .it-t.. was a treasure for her note-book. We were very
I -.i...l.I. indeed, whether her companion has experienced
r. ,-: :.._ ,i.: yment during any of his later and more luxurious
\ -1: i... i,- same spots; the first sight of a foreign country
Imui r.-.ti-iii a unique sensation.
i: ..i :- iot the intrinsic value of Julie's gifts to us that
mi.l.' thi.!,i so precious, but the wide-hearted spirit which
alk.va,- 1 i"inpted them. Out of a moderate income she
ci:..tl -:.!11. afford to be generous from her constant habit of
tlhi k... ri.rt for others, and denying herself. It made little
dlll;:!:!!.-.. -hether the gift was elevenpence-three-farthings'
v: !li ._ 'ii,., dern Japanese pottery, which she seized upon as
ju-i thie i' .lt shape and color to fit some niche on one of our
sl...-.... i a copy of the edition de luxe of "Evangeline,"
Fi.1i inI- Dicksee's magnificent illustrations, which she
oi .: .. I .:.- day to be included in the parcel of a sister, who
hj. I. ..:.. iidiciously laying out a small sum on the purchase
o -'Il-i ...iitions of standard works, not daring to look into
tl .:i ta,! 1 volume for fear of coveting it. When the carrier
bi :i.!_l I,...'ne the unexpectedly large parcel that night, it
nw r I. ih|.lI to say whether the receiver or the giver was the
h 'i '! .!' .
_i tirn i .ame once to be taken by Julie to the sea for rest
(li~i.. i-;4), and then one of the chief enjoyments lay in
ti. i.i. .-.it. -d luxury of being allowed to choose my own
i,-.,,i... Freedom of choice to a wearied mind is quite as
refreshing as ozone to an exhausted body. Julie had none of
tli- i"etty tyranny about her which often mars the generosity
o! ..iI Ierwise liberal souls, who insist on giving what they wish
r.iih.l- than what the receiver wants.
16 AS MUCH GREATNESS IN GRATITUDE
I was told to take out Bradshaw's map, and go exactly
where I desired, and, oh how we did pore over the various
railway lines, but at last chose Dartmouth for a destination,
as being old in itself, and new to us, and really a long way
off." We were neither of us disappointed; we lived on the
quay, and watched the natives living in boats on the harbor,
as is their wont; and we drove about the deep Devon lanes, all
nodding with foxgloves, to see the churches with finely carved
screens that abound in the neighborhood, our driver being a
more than middle-aged woman, with shoes down at heel,
and a hat on her head. She was always attended by a
black retriever, whom she called "Naro," and whom Julie
sketched. I am afraid, as years went on, I became unscru-
pulous about accepting her presents, on the score that she
liked to give them and I only tried to be, at any rate,
a gracious receiver.
There was one person, however, whom Julie found less
easy to deal with, and that was a relation, whose liberality
even exceeded her own. When Greek met Greek over
Christmas presents, then came the tug of war indeed The
Relation's ingenuity in contriving to give away whatever
plums were given to her was quite amazing, and she gen-
erally managed to baffle the most careful restrictions which
were laid upon her; but Julie conquered at last, by yielding
- as often happens in this life.
"It's no use," Julie said to me, as she got out her bit of
cardboard (not for a needle-book this time) ; I must make
her happy in her own way. She wants me to make her a
sketch for somebody else, and I 've promised to do it."
The sketch was made, the last Julie ever drew, but it
still rests among the receiver's own treasures. She was so
much delighted with it, she could not make up her mind to
AS IN GENEROSITY.
i.ie ii away, and Julie laughed many times with pleasure as
l-I. r .;:_cted on the unexpected success that had crowned
h.- r iil effort.
I q..I.e of "Melchior's Dream," and must revert to it again,
f,: il.1.-i.h it was written when my sister was only nineteen, I
d-, a... think she has surpassed it in any of her later domes-
/' irl.. Some of the writing in the introduction may be
!o, .' and less finished than she was capable of in after-
ye l.. I, t the originality, power, and pathos of the Dream
its.:i!' .L beyond doubt. In it, too, she showed the talent
i n 1,.. I .res the highest value to all her work, that of teach-
in_ ,-:l religious lessons without disgusting her readers by
ain, .,I. coach h to cant or goody-goodyism.
I i,.,i,, the years 1862 to 1868, we kept up a MS. maga-
zin:. -id, of course, Julie was our principal contributor.
M -i.. -'t her poems on local events were genuinely witty,
anrl I. serial tales the backbone of the periodical. The
b,.-t L ti' these was called "The Two Abbots: a Tale of
Sc .... I Sight," and in the course of it she introduced a
hin, ii which was afterwards set to music by Major Ewing,
.an.l I.ul.ished in Boosey's Royal Edition of Sacred Songs,"
unm. .. i le title From Fleeting Pleasures."
\ li.d- speaking of her hymns, I may mention that, on
se..r-i occasions, she helped us by writing or adapting
h in ti.) be sung by our school-children at their Whitsun-
it,.l i .. 1. services, when new hymns had to be provided
e..* ..ar. Two of those that my sister wrote, in the re-
s5,..-. .: years 1864 and 1866, shall be given here, as they
ar.- i,.. published elsewhere, and I think other children
b .i. o. our Ecclesfield ones may like to sing them. The
first was written to the tune of Hymn 50 in the present
tedIi..i of Hymns, Ancient and Modern."
Come down! come down! 0 Holy Ghost!
As once of old Thou didst come down,
In fiery tongues at Pentecost,
The apostolic heads to crown.
Come down! though now no flame divine,
Nor heaven-sent Dove our sight amaze;
Our Church still shows the outward sign
Thou truly givest inward grace.
Come down! come down! on infancy;
The babes whom JESUS deigned to love.
God give us grace by faith to see,
Above the font, the mystic Dove.
Come down come down on kneeling bands
Of those who fain would strength receive;
And in the laying on of hands
Bless us beyond what we believe.
Come down! not only on the saint,
Oh, struggle with the hard of heart,
With wilful sin and inborn taint,
Till lust, and wrath, and pride depart!
Come down come down, sweet Comforter!
It was the promise of the Lord.
Come down although we grieve Thee sore,
Not for our merits -but His Word.
Come down! come down! not what we would
But what we need, oh, bring with Thee!
Turn life's sore riddle to our good ;
A little while, and we shall see. Amen.
VINCIT QUI PATITUR.
SThe second hymn is in the same metre as "The Pilgrims
if the Night," and was written to fit the flowery tune to
which the latter was originally attached.
Long, long ago with vows too much forgotten,
The cross of Christ was sealed on every brow;
Ah slow of heart, that shun the Christian conflict,
Rise up at last! The accepted time is now.
Soldiers of JESUS Blest who endure;
Stand in the battle the victory is sure.
Hark! hark! the Saviour's voice to each is calling:
I bore the Cross of Death in pain for thee;
On thee the Cross of daily life is falling :
Children, take up the Cross and follow ME "
Soldiers of JESUs Blest who endure, etc.
Strive as God's saints have striven in all ages;
Press those slow steps where firmer feet have trod:
For us their lives adorn the sacred pages,
For them a crown of glory is with God.
Soldiers of JESUs Blest who endure, etc.
Peace peace sweet voices bring an ancient story
(Such songs angelic melodies employ),
Hard is the strife, but unconceived the glory:
Short is the pain, eternal is the joy,"
Soldiers of JESUS Blest who endure, etc.
On, Christian souls all base temptations spurning,
Drown coward thoughts in Faith's triumphant hymn,
Since JEsus suffered, our salvation earning,
Shall we not toil, that we may rest with Him ?
Soldiers of JEsus Blest who endure,
Stand in the battle the victory is sure. Amen.
My sister published very few of the things which she wrote
to amuse us in our MS. Gunpowder Plot Magazine," for
they chiefly referred to local and family events; but "The
Blue Bells on the Lea" was an exception. The scene of
this is a hill-side near our old home, and Mr. Andre's fan-
tastic and graceful illustrations to the verses when they came
out as a book, gave her full satisfaction and delight.
In June, 1865, she contributed a short parochial tale,
"The Yew Lane Ghosts," 1 to the Monthly Packet," and
during the same year she gave a somewhat sensational story,
called The Mystery of the Bloody Hand," to London
Society." Julie found no real satisfaction in writing this kind
of literature, and she soon discarded it; but her first attempt
showed some promise of the prolific power of her imagina-
'tion, for Mr. Shirley Brooks, who read the tale impartially,
not knowing who had written it, wrote the following criti-
cism: If the author has leisure and inclination to make a
picture instead of a sketch, the material, judiciously treated,
would make a novel, and I especially see in the character
and sufferings of the Quaker, previous to his crime, matter
for effective psychological treatment. The contrast between
the semi-insane nature and that of the hypocrite might be
powerfully worked up; but these are inere suggestions from
an old craftsman, who never expects younger ones to see
things as veterans do."
In May, 1866, my mother started Aunt Judy's Magazine
for Children," and she called it by this title because "Aunt
Judy was the nickname we had given to Julie while she
was yet our nursery story-teller, and it had been previously
used in the titles of two of my mother's most popular books,
"Aunt Judy's Tales," and "Aunt Judy's Letters."
1 Melchior's Dream, and other Tales.
VISITS TO GRENOSIDE.
After my sister grew up, and began to publish stories of
h,-r own, many mistakes occurred as to the authorship of
these books. It was supposed that the Tales and Letters
'.i:.: really written by Julie, and the introductory portions
tliIr strung them together by my mother. This was a com-
l--1 1.. mistake; the only bits that Julie wrote in either of the
1,:.o.1., were three brief tales, in imitation of Andersen, called
"'The Smut," The Crick," and "The Brothers," which were
included in "The Black Bag in "Aunt Judy's Letters."
Julie's first contribution to "Aunt Judy's Magazine was
I.Ii. Overtheway's Remembrances,"l and between May,
r'-.., and May, 1867, the first three portions of "Ida,"
!\:. Moss," and "The Snoring Ghosts" came out. In
fio : : stories I can trace many of the influences which sur-
rounded my sister while she was still the "always cayling Miss
Julie," suffering from constant attacks of quinsy, and in the
in'Lt. li: reviving from them with the vivacity of Madam
Lil.:i I1.,, and frequently going away to pay visits to her
friends for change of air.
We had one great friend to whom Julie often went, as she
lived within a mile of our home, but on a perfectly different
:.;I to ours. Ecclesfield is built on clay, but Grenoside, the
i!...- where our friend lived, is on sand, and much higher
in altitude. From it we have often looked down at Eccles-
Ir: 1. lying in fog, while at Grenoside the air was clear and
'the sun shining. Here my sister loved to go, and from the
i.-*,,- where she was so welcome and tenderly cared for,
41,: drew (though no facts) yet much of the coloring which
is seen in Mrs. Overtheway, -a solitary life lived in the fear
of God ; enjoyment of the delights of a garden; with tender
tr-e 111 ii. of dainty china and household goods for the sake
1 Mrs. Overtheway's Remembrances, and other Tales.
22 GONE INTO THE WORLD OF LIGHT.
of those to whom such relics had once belonged. Years
after our friend had followed her loved ones to their better
home, and had bequeathed her egg-shell brocade to my
sister, Julie had another resting-place in Grenoside, to which
she was as warmly welcomed as to the old one, during days
of weakness and convalescence. Here, in an atmosphere
of cultivated tastes and loving appreciation, she spent many
happy hours, sketching some of the villagers at their pictu-
resque occupations of carpet-weaving and clog-making, or
amusing herself in other ways. This home, too, was broken
up by death, but Mrs. Ewing looked back to it with great
affection, and when, at the beginning of her last illness,
while she still expected to recover, she was planning a visit
to her Yorkshire home, she sighed to think that Grenoside
was no longer open to her.
On June I, 1867, my sister was married to Alexander
Ewing, A.P.D., son of the late Alexander Ewing, M.D., of
Aberdeen, and a week afterwards they sailed for Fredericton,
New Brunswick, where he was to be stationed.
A gap now occurred in the continuation of Mrs. Over-
theway's Remembrances." The first contributions that Julie
sent from her new home were "An Idyl of the Wood,"1
and "The Three Christmas Trees." In these tales the expe-
riences of her voyage and fresh surroundings became appar-
ent; but in June, 1868, "Mrs. Overtheway" was continued
by the story of Reka Dom."
In this Julie reverted to the scenery of another English
home where she had spent a good deal of time during her
girlhood. The winter of 1862-63 was passed by her at Clyst
St. George, near Topsham, with the family of her kind friend,
Rev. H. T. Ellacombe; and she evolved Mrs. Overtheway's
1 Reprinted in "The Brownies, and other Tales."
HOME IN THE DEAR OLD CAMP.
"River House "1 out of the romance roused by the sight of
quaint old houses, with quainter gardens, and strange names
that seemed to show traces of foreign residents in days gone
by. Reka Dom was actually the name of a house isr
Topsham, where a Russian family had once lived.
For the descriptions of Father and Mother Albatross and
their island home, in the last and most beautiful tale of Ker-
guelen's Land," she was indebted to her husband, a wide
traveller and very accurate observer of nature.
To the volume of "Aunt Judy's Magazine for 1869 she
only sent "The Land of Lost Toys," a short but very brilliant
domestic story, the wood described in it being the Upper
Shroggs, near Ecclesfield, which had been a very favorite
haunt in her childhood. In October, 1869, she and Major
Ewing returned to England, and from this time until May,
1877, he was stationed at Aldershot.
While living in Fredericton my sister formed many close
friendships. It was here she first met Colonel and Mrs.
Strangways. In the society of Bishop Medley and his wife
she had also great happiness, and with the former she and
Major Ewing used to study Hebrew. The cathedral services
were a never-failing source of comfort, and at these her
husband frequently played the organ, especially on occasions
1 On the evening of our arrival at Fredericton, New Brunswick,
which stands on the River St. John, we strolled down out of the prin-
cipal street, and wandered on the river shore. We stopped to rest
opposite to a large old house, then in the hands of workmen. There
was only the road between this house and the river, and on the banks
one or two old willows. We said we should like to make our first
home in some such spot. Ere many weeks were over, we were estab-
lished in that very house where we spent the first year, or more, of
our time in Fredericton. We called it Reka Dom, the River House
when anthems, which he had written at the bishop's request,
To the volume of "Aunt Judy's Magazine for 1870 she
gave "Amelia and the Dwarfs," and "Christmas Crackers,"1
Benjy in Beastland," 2 and eight Old-fashioned Fairy
Tales." "Amelia" is one of her happiest combinations of
real child-life and genuine fairy lore. The dwarfs inspired
Mr. Cruikshank to one of his best water-color sketches: who
is the happy possessor thereof I do not know, but the wood-
cut illustration very inadequately represents the beauty and
delicacy of the picture.
While speaking of the stories in this volume of "Aunt
Judy's Magazine," I must stop to allude to one of the strong-
est features in Julie's character, namely, her love for animals.
She threw over them, as over everything she touched, all
the warm sympathy of her loving heart, and it always seemed
to me as if this enabled her almost to get inside the mind of
her pets, and know how to describe their feelings.
Another beast friend whom Julie had in New Brunswick
was the bear of the 22d Regiment, and she drew a sketch
of him "with one of his pet black dogs, as I saw them, 18th
September, 1868, near the Officers' Quarters, Fredericton,
N. B. The bear is at breakfast, and the dog occasionally
licks his nose when it comes up out of the bucket."
The pink-nosed bull-dog in "Amelia" bears a strong like-
ness to a well-beloved Hector whom she took charge of
in Fredericton while his master had gone on leave to be mar-
ried in England. Hector, too, was "a snow-white bull-dog
(who was certainly as well-bred and as amiable as any living
creature in the kingdom)," with a pink nose that became
1 Both reprinted in The Brownies, and other Tales."
2 Reprinted in Lob Lie-by-the-Fire, and other Tales."
A FAVORITE DOG. 25
crimson with increased agitation." He was absolutely gen-
tle with human beings, but a hopeless adept at fighting with
his own kind; and many of my sister's letters and note-books
were adorned with sketches of Hector as he appeared swollen
about the head, and subdued in spirits, after some desperate
encounter; or, with cards spread out in front of him .1 -., ;,
as she delighted to make him do, at having his fortune
told." But, instead of the four Queens standing for four ladies
of, I ii'i.i. i degrees of complexion, they represented his four
favorite dishes of,- (i.)Welsh rabbit; (2.) Blueberry pudding;
(3.) Pork sausages; (4.) Buckwheat pancakes and molasses;
and the fortune decided which of these dainties he was to
have for supper.
Shortly before the Ewings started from Fredericton, they
went into the barracks, whence a battalion of some regiment
had departed two days before, and there discovered a large
black retriever who had been left behind. It is needless to
say that this deserted gentleman entirely overcame their
feelings; he was at once adopted, named Trouv6, and
brought home to England, where he spent a very happy life,
chiefly in the South Camp, Aldershot, his one danger there
being that he was such a favorite with the soldiers they over-
fed him terribly. Never did a more benevolent disposition
exist; his broad forehead and kind eyes, set widely apart,
did not belie him ; there was a strong strain of Newfound-
land in his breed, and a strong likeness to a bear in the way
his feathered paws half crossed over each other in walking.
Trouv6 appears as Nox in Benjy," and there is a
glimpse of him in The Sweep, who ended his days as a
"soldier's dog" in "The Story of a Short Life." Trouv6
did, in reality, end his days at Ecclesfield, where he is buried
near Rough, the broken-haired bull-terrier, who is the
real hero in Benjy." Among the various animal friends
whom Julie had, either of her own or belonging to others,
none is lovelier than the golden-haired collie, Rufus, who
was at once the delight and distraction of the last year of her
life at Taunton, by the tricks he taught himself of very gently
extracting the pins from her hair, and letting it down at in-
convenient moments; and of extracting, with equal gentle-
ness, from the earth the labels that she had put to the various
treasured flowers in her Little Garden," and then tossing
them in mid-air on the grass-plot.
A very amusing domestic story by my sister, called "The
Snap Dragons came out in the Christmas number of the
"Monthly Packet" for 1870, and it has not yet been pub-
Timothy's Shoes appeared in Aunt Judy's volume for
1871. This was another story of the same type as Amelia,"
and it was also illustrated by Mr. Cruikshank. I think the
Marsh Julie had in her mind's eye, with a "long and steep
bank," is one near the canal at Aldershot, where she herself
used to enjoy hunting for kingcups, bog-asphodel, sundew,
and the like. The tale is a charming combination of humor
and pathos, and the last clause, where the shoes go home,"
is enough to bring tears to the eyes of every one who loves
the patter of childish feet.
The most important work that she did this year (1871)
was "A Flat-Iron for a Farthing," which ran as a serial
through the volume of Aunt Judy's Magazine." It was very
beautifully illustrated by Helen Paterson (now Mrs. Allingham),
and the design where the "little ladies," in big beaver bon-
nets, are seated at a shop-counter buying flat-irons, was af-
terwards reproduced in water-colors by Mrs. Allingham, and
1 Reprinted in Lob Lie-by-the-Fire, and other Tales."
THE LITTLE LADIES. 27
exhibited at the Royal Society of Painters in Water-colors
(1875), where it attracted Mr. Ruskin's attention.' Eventu-
ally, a fine steel engraving was done from it by Mr. Stodart.
It is interesting to know that the girl friend who sat as a
model for Polly to Mrs. A\inol.oI is now herself a well-
known artist, whose pictures are hung in the Royal Academy.
The scene of the little girls in beaver bonnets was really
taken from an incident of Julie's childhood, when she and
her duplicate (my eldest sister) being the nearest in age,
size, and appearance, of any of the family, used to be dressed
exactly alike, and were inseparable companions: their flat-
irons, I think, were bought in Matlock. Shadowy glimpses
of this same "duplicate are also to be caught in Mrs.
Overtheway's Fatima, and Madam Liberality's Darling.
When "A Flat-Iron came out in its book form it was dedi-
cated "To my dear Father, and to his sister, my dear Aunt
Mary, in memory of their good friend and nurse, E. B., obiit
3 March, 1872, a0t. 83 ; the loyal devotion and high integ-
rity of Nurse Bundle having been somewhat drawn from the
"E. B." alluded to. Such characters are not common, and
they grow rarer year by year. We do well to hold them in
1 The drawing, with whatever temporary purpose executed, is for,
ever lovely; a thing which I believe Gainsborough would have given
one of his own pictures for, old-fashioned as red-tipped daisies are,
and more precious than rubies.- Ruskin's Notes on some of the
Pictures at the Royal Academy. 1875.
THE meadows gleam with hoarfrost white
The day breaks on the hill ;
The widgeon takes its early flight
Beside the frozen rill.
From village steeples far away
The sound of bells is borne,
As one by one each crimson ray
Brings in the Christmas morn.
Peace to all the church bells say,
For Christ was born on Christmas day.
Peace to all !
Here some will those again embrace
They hold on earth most dear;
There some will mourn an absent face
They lost within the year.
Yet peace to all who smile or weep
Is rung from earth to sky;
But most to those to-day who keep
The feast with Christ on high.
Peace to all! the church bells say,
For Christ was born on Christmas day.
Peace to all I
R. A. GATTY, 1873.
T-TRING 1871 my sister published the first of her
"Verses for C i.l l ..-," "The Little Master to
his Big Dog; she did not put her name to it in
"Aunt Judy's Magazine," but afterwards included it in one of
her shilling Verse Books. Two series of these books, con-
sisting of six volumes each, have now been published, and a
third series is in the press, which will be called "Poems of
A-MUMMING WE WILL GO!
Child Life and Country Life;" though Julie had some diffi-
culty in making up her mind to use the term "poem," be-
cause she did not think her irregular verses were worthy to
bear the title.
She saw Mr. Andr6's original sketches for five of the last
six volumes, and liked the illustrations to "The Poet and the
Brook," Convalescence," and "The Mill Stream best.
To the volume of "Aunt Judy's Magazine" for 1872 she
gave her first .:.i. story, "The Peace Egg," and in
this she began to sing those praises of military life and
courtesies which she afterwards more fully showed forth in
"Jackanapes," "The Story of a Short Life," and the opening
chapters of Six to Sixteen." The chief incident of the
story, however, consisted in the Captain's children uncon-
sciously bringing peace and good-will into the family by per-
forming the old Christmas play or Mystery of The Peace
F This play we had been accustomed to see acted in
Yorkshire, and to act ourselves when we were young. I
recollect how proud we were on one occasion, when our dis-
guises were so complete, that a neighboring farmer's wife, at
whose door we went to act, drove us as ignominiously away,
as the Housekeeper did the children in the story. Darkie,
who "slipped in last like a black shadow," and Pax, who
jumped on to Mamma's lap, where, sitting facing the com-
pany, he opened his black mouth and yawned, with ludi-
crous inappropriateness," are life-like portraits of two favorite
The tale was a very popular one, and many children wrote
to ask where they could buy copies of the play in order to
act it themselves. These inquiries led Julie to compile a
fresh arrangement'of it, for she knew that in its original form
it was rather too roughly worded to be fit for nursery use;
LIVE FOR A CENTURY,
so in "Aunt Judy's Magazine" (january, 1884) she published
an adaptation of "The Peace Egg, a ( li iii,-,, Mumming
Play," together with some interesting information about
the various versions of it which exist in different parts of
She contributed "Six to Sixteen as a serial to the Maga-
zine in 1872, and it was illustrated by Mrs. Allingham. When
it was published as a book, the dedication to Miss Eleanor
Lloyd told that many of the theories on the up-bringing of
girls, which the story contained, were the result of the some-
what desultory, if intellectual, home education which we had
received from our mother. This education Miss Lloyd had,
to a great extent, shared during the happy visits she paid
us; when she entered into our interests with the zest of a
sister, and in more than one point outstripped us in follow-
ing the pursuits for which mother gave us a taste. Julie
never really either went to school or had a governess, though
for a brief period she was under the kind care of some ladies
at Brighton, but they were relations, and she went to them
more for the benefit of sea breezes than lessons. She cer-
tainly chiefly educated herself by the thorough" way in
which she pursued the various tastes she had inherited, and
into which she was guided by our mother. Then she never
thought she had learned enough, but throughout her whole
life was constantly improving and adding to her knowledge.
She owed to mother's teaching the first principles of drawing,
and I have often seen her refer for rules on perspective to
"My Childhood in Art," a story in which these rules were
fully laid down; but mother had no eye for color, and not
much for figure drawing. Her own best works were etchings
on copper 'of trees and landscapes, whereas Julie's artistic
talent lay more in colors and human forms. The only real
BUT EVER BE LEARNING.
lessons in sketching she ever had were a few from Mr. Paul
Naftel, years after she was married.
One of her favorite methods for practising drawing was
to devote herself to thoroughly studying the sketches of some
one master, in order to try and unravel the special principles
on which he had worked, and then to copy his drawings.
She pursued this plan with some of Chinnery's curious and
effective water-color sketches, which were lent to her by
friends, and she found it a very useful one. She made cop-
ies from De Wint, Turner, and others, in the same way, and
certainly.the labor she threw into her work enabled her to
produce almost fac-similes of the originals. She was greatly
interested one day by hearing a lady, who ranks as the best
living English writer of her sex, say that when she was young
she had practised the art of writing, in just the same way that
Julie pursued that of drawing, namely, by devoting herself
to reading the works of one writer at a time, until her brain
was so saturated with his style that she could write exactly
like him, and then passing on to an equally careful study of
some other author.
The life-like details of the cholera season," in the second
chapter of "Six to Sixteen," were drawn from facts that
Major Ewing told his wife of a similar season which he had
passed through in China, and during which he had lost several
friends; but the touching episode of Margery's birthday pres-
ent, and Mr. Abercrombie's efforts to console her, were
Several of the Old-fashioned Fairy Tales which Julie
wrote during this (1872) and previous years in "Aunt Judy's
Magazine were on Scotch topics, and she owed the striking
accuracy of her local coloring and dialect, as well as her
keen intuition of Scotch character, to visits that she paid to
A STORY OF THE PLAINS.
Major Ewing's relatives in the North, and also to reading
such typical books as "Mansie Wauch, the Tailor of Dal-
keith," a story which she greatly admired. She liked to study
national types of character, and when she wrote We and
the World," one of its chief features was meant to be the
contrast drawn between the English, Scotch, and Irish heroes ;
thanks to her wide sympathy she was as keenly able to ap-
preciate the rugged virtues of the dour Scotch race, as the
more quick and graceful beauties of the Irish mind.
The Autumn Military Manouvres in 1872 were held near
Salisbury Plain, and Major Ewing was so much fascinated by
the quaint old town of Amesbury, where he was quartered,
that he took my sister afterwards to visit the place. The
result of this was that her Miller's Thumb came out as a
serial in "Aunt Judy's Magazine" during 1873. All the scen-
ery is drawn from the neighborhood of Amesbury, and the
Wiltshire dialect she acquired by the aid of a friend, who
procured copies for her of "Wiltshire Tales and "A Glos-
sary of Wiltshire Words and Phrases," both by J. Y. Aker-
man, F. S. A. She gleaned her practical knowledge of life
in a windmill, and a "Miller's Thumb," from an old man
who used to visit her hut in the South Camp, Aldershot,
having fallen from being a Miller with a genuine Thumb to
the less exalted position of hawking muffins in winter and
: Sally Lunns in summer Mrs. Ali,1hri .1' illustrated the
story; two of her best designs were Jan and his Nurse
Boy sitting on the plain watching the crows fly, and Jan's
first effort at drawing on his slate. It was published as a
book in 1876, and dedicated to our eldest sister, and the
title was then altered to "Jan of the Windmill, a Story of the
Three poems of Julie's came out in the volume of "Aunt
MORS JANUA VITzE.
Judy's Magazine" for 1873, "The Willow Man," "Ran away
to Sea," and "A Friend in the Garden;" her name was not
given to the last, but it is a pleasant little rhyme about a toad.
She also wrote during this year "Among the Merrows," a
fantastic account of a visit she paid to the Aquarium at the
In October, 1873, our mother died, and my sister contrib-
uted a short memoir of her to the November number of
"Aunt Judy's Magazine." To the December number she
gave "Madam Liberality."
For two years after mother's death Julie shared the work
of editing the Magazine with me, and then she gave it up,
as we were not living together, and so found the plan rather
inconvenient; also the task of reading manuscripts and writing
business letters wasted time which she could spend better
an her own stories.
At the end of the year 1873 she brought out a book, Lob
Lie-by-the-Fire, and other Tales," consisting of five stories,
three of which- Timothy's Shoes," "Benjy in Beastland,"
and The Peace Egg" had already been published in
" Aunt Judy's Magazine," while Old Father Christmas had
appeared in Little Folks ;" but the first tale of Lob was
specially written for the volume.
The character of McAlister in this story is a Scotchman of
the Scotch, an uncle of Major Ewing, who always showed a
most kind and helpful interest in my sister's literary work.
He died a few weeks before she did, much to her sorrow.
The incident which makes the tale specially appropriate to
so true and unobtrusive a philanthropist as Mr. McCombie
was, is the Highlander's burning anxiety to rescue John
Broom from his vagrant career.
1 Reprinted in A Great Emergency, and other Tales."
34 LARGE HUMAN SYMPATHIES.
Lob contains some of Julie's brightest flashes of humor,
and ends happily, but in it, as in many of her tales, the
dusky strand of death" appears, inwoven with, and thereby
heightening, the joys of love and life. It is a curious fact
that, though her power of describing death-bed scenes was
so vivid, I believe she never saw any one die; and I will
venture to say that her description of McAlister's last hours
surpasses in truth and power the end of Leonard's Short
Life; the extinction of the line of "Old Standards in
Daddy Darwin; the unseen call that led Jan's Schoolmaster
away; and will even bear comparison with Jackanapes' de-
parture through the grave to that other side where the
Trumpets sounded for him."
Death-beds are not the only things which Julie had the
power of picturing out of her inner consciousness apart from
actual experience. She was much amused by the pertinacity
with which unknown correspondents occasionally inquired
after her little ones," unable to give her the credit of de-
scribing and understanding children unless she possessed
some of her own. There is a graceful touch at the end of
"Lob," which seems to me one of the most delicate evi-
dences of her universal sympathy with all sorts and conditions
of men and women It is similar in character to the
passage I alluded to in "Timothy's Shoes," where they
clatter away for the last time, into silence.
Even after the sobering influences of middle age had touched
him, and a wife and children bound him with the quiet ties of
home, he had (at long intervals) his restless times,' when his
good missis would bring out a little store laid by in one of
the children's socks, and would bid him Be off, and get a
breath of the sea air,' but on condition that the sock went with
him as his purse. John Broom always looked ashamed to go,
but he came back the better, and his wife was quite easy in his
absence with that confidence in her knowledge of the master,'
which is so mysterious to the unmarried.
"'The sock '11 bring him home,' said Mrs. Broom, and home
he came, and never could say what he had been doing."
In 1874 Julie wrote "A Great Emergency" 1 as a serial
for the Magazine and took great pains to corroborate the
accuracy of her descriptions of barge life for it. I remember
our inspecting a barge on the canal at Aldershot, with a
friend who understood all its details, and we arranged to go
on an expedition in it to gain further experience, but were
somehow prevented. The allusions to Dartmouth arose from
our visit there, of which I have already spoken, and which
took place while she was writing the tale; and her knowl-
edge of the intricacies of the Great Eastern Railway between
Fenchurch Street Station and North Woolwich came from
the experience she gained when we went on expeditions to
Victoria Docks, where one of our brothers was doing paro-
chial work under Canon Boyd.
During 1874 five of her "Verses for Children" came out
in the Magazine, two of which, "Our Garden," and "Three
Little Nest-Birds," were written to fit old German woodcuts.
These two, and The Doll's Wash," and The Blue Bells on
the Lea," have since been republished. The Doll's Lul-
laby" has not yet reappeared. She wrote an article on
"May-Day, Old Style and New Style," in 1874, and also
contributed fifty-two brief Tales of the Khoja," which she
adapted from the Turkish by the aid of a literal translation of
them given in Barker's Reading-Book of the Turkish Lan-
1 "A Great Emergency, and other Tales."
WHICH IS WHICH?
guage," and by the help of Major Ewing, who possessed
some knowledge of the Turkish language and customs, and
assisted her in polishing the stories. They are thoroughly
Eastern in character, and full of dry wit.
I must here digress to speak of some other work that my
sister did during the time she lived in Aldershot. Both she
and Major Ewing took great interest in the amateur concerts
and private musical performances that took place in the
camp, and the V. C. in "The Story of a Short Life," with a
fine tenor voice, and a "fastidious choice in,the words of the
songs he sang," is a shadow of these past days. The want
that many composers felt of good words for setting to music,
led Julie to try to write some, and eventually, in 1874, a book
of Songs for Music, by Four Friends," was published; the
contents were written by my sister and two of her brothers,
and the Rev. G. J. Chester. This book became a standing
joke among them, because one of the reviewers said it con-
tained songs by four writers, one of whom was a poet," and
he did not specify the one by name. Whatever his opinion
may have been, there are two "poems of my sister's in the
volume which deserve to be noticed here; they are very dif-
ferent in type, one of them was written to suit a sweet singer
with a tenor voice, and the other a powerful and effective
baritone. The former was gracefully set to music by my
brother Alfred Scott Gatty, and spoiled by his publisher, who
insisted on "adapting" it to his own ideas of the public
taste. The latter was set too well by Mr. J. F. Duggan to
have any chance of becoming "popular," if the publisher's
gauge of taste was a true one.
FOR LOVE OF LONG AGO.
HOW MANY YEARS AGO?
How many years ago, love,
Since you came courting me?
Through oak-tree wood and o'er the lea,
With rosy cheeks and waistcoat gay,
And mostly not a word to say, -
How many years ago, love,
How many years ago?
How many years ago, love,
Since you to father spoke?
Between your lips a sprig of oak:
You were not one with much to say,
But mother spoke for you that day, -
How many years ago, love,
How many years ago ?
So many years ago, love,
That soon our time must come
To leave our girl without a home.
She's like her mother, love, you've said:
At her age I had long been wed, -
How many years ago, love,
How many years ago?
For love of long ago, love,
If John has aught to say,
When he comes up to us to-day
(A likely lad, though short of tongue),
Remember, husband, we were young, -
How many years ago, love,
How many years ago ?
THE MAN IN GRAY.
A SONG OF SECOND SIGHT.
Elleree 0 Elleree!
Seeing what none else may see,
Dost thou see the man in gray ?
Dost thou hear the night hounds bay?
Elleree! 0 Elleree!
Seventh son of seventh son,
All thy thread of life is spun,
Thy little race is nearly run,
And death awaits for thee.
Elleree! 0 Elleree
Coronach shall wail for thee;
Get thee shrived and get thee blest,
Get thee ready for thy rest,
That thou owest quickly give,
What thou ownest thou must leave,
And those thou lovest best shall grieve,
But all in vain for thee.
Bodach Glas 2 the chieftain said,
All my debts but one are paid,
All I love have long been dead,
All my hopes on Heaven are stayed,
Death to me can bring no dole; "
Thus the Elleree replied;
But with the ebbing of the tide
As sinks the setting sun he died;
May Christ receive his soul!
1 Elleree is the name of one who has the gift of second-sight.
2 Bodach Glas," the Man in Gray, appears to a Highland family
with the gift of second-sight, presaging death.
THEORY OF FAIRY LITERATURE.
During 1875 Julie was again aided by her husband in the
work that she did for "Aunt Judy's Magazine." Cousin
Peregrine's three Wonder Stories "- (I) The Chinese Jug-
glers and the Englishman's Hand; (2) "The Waves of the
Great South Sea; and (3) "Jack of Pera were a combi-
nation of his facts and her wording. She added only one
more to her "Old-fashioned Fairy Tales," "Good Luck is
Better than Gold," but it is one of her most finished bits of
art, and she placed it first, when the tales came out in a vol-
ume. The Preface to this book is well worth the study of
those who are interested in the composition of Fairy litera-
ture. Julie began by explaining that though the title of the
book might lead people to think it consisted of "old fairy
tales told afresh," yet they were all new, except for the use
of common 'properties' of Fairy Drama, and were
written in conformity to certain theories respecting stories of
this kind: "--
First, that there are ideas and types, occurring in the myths
of all countries, which are common properties, to use which does
not lay the teller of fairytales open to the charge of plagiarism.
Such as the idea of the weak outwitting the strong; the failure
of man to choose wisely when he may have his wish ; or the
desire of sprites to exchange their careless and unfettered exist-
ence for the pains and penalties of humanity, if they may thereby
share in the hopes of the human soul.
Secondly, that in these household stories (the models for
which were .,:.'.-..i oral tradition), the thing to be most
a .;.1 .1 is a discursive or descriptive style of writing. Brevity
and epigram must ever be the soul of their wit, and they should
be written as tales that are told."
After this Julie touched on some of the reasons for which
grown-up readers occasionally object to tales of the imagination
as food for young minds, and very ably proved that fairy
tales have positive uses in education, which no cramming
of facts and no merely domestic fiction can serve;" but
her defence is too long to be quoted here.
She also wrote (in 1875) an article on "Little Woods,"
and a domestic story called "A very Ill-tempered Family."1
This is most powerfully written, and has been ardently
admired by many people who found help from the lessons
it taught; for my own part, I prefer the tales in which Julie
left her lessons to be inferred, rather than those where she
laid them down in anything approaching to a didactic fashion.
I think, too, that the very vividness of the children she drew
made me feel about them what is said of the little girl in
the nursery rhyme, that "when she was nice she was very,
very nice, but when she was nasty she was horrid." Julie's
"horrid" children give me real pain to read about, and I
know I shrink for this reason from "A Sweet Little Dear,"
in spite of the caustic fun of the verses, and also from Selina
in "A Bad Habit;" but this, of course, is a matter of
personal taste only.
The incident of Isobel's reciting the Te Deum is a touch-
ing one, because the habit of repeating it by heart, especially
in bed at night, was one which Julie herself had practised
from the days of childhood, when, I believe, it was used to
drive away the terrors of darlmess. The last day on which
she expressed any expectation of recovering from her final
illness was one on which she said, "I think I must be getting
better, for I 've repeated the Te Deum all through, and since
I 've been ill I've only been able to say a few sentences at
once." This was certainly the last time that she recited the
great hymn of praise before she joined the throng of those
1 Reprinted in A Great Emergency, and other Tales."
" TOOTS AND BOOTS."
who sing it day and night before the throne of God. The
German print of the Crucifixion, on which Isobel saw the
light of the setting sun fall, is one which has hung over my
sister's drawing-room fireplace in every home of wood or
stone which she has had for many years past.
The Child Verse, "A Hero to his Hobby-horse," came
out in the Magazine volume for 1875, and, like many of the
other verses, it was written to fit a picture.
One of the happiest inspirations from pictures, however,
appeared in the following volume (1876), the story of "Toots
and Boots," but though the picture of the ideal Toots was
cast like a shadow before him, the actual Toots, name and
all complete, had a real existence, and his word-portrait was
taken from life. He belonged to the mess of the Royal
Engineers in the South Camp, Aldershot, and was as digni-
fied as if he held the office of President. I shall never for-
get one occasion on which he was invited to luncheon at
Mrs. Ewing's hut, that I might have the pleasure of making
n;s acquaintance; he had to be unwillingly carried across the
lines in the arms of an obliging subaltern, but directly he
arrived, without waiting for the first course even, he strug-
gled out of the officer's embrace and galloped back to his
own mess-table, tail erect and thick with rage at the indignity
he had undergone.
"Father Hedgehog and his Friends," 2 in this same vol-
ume (1876), was also written to some excellent German
woodcuts; and it, too, is a wonderfully brilliant sketch of
animal life; perhaps the human beings in the tale are scarcely
done justice to. We feel as if Sybil and Basil, and the Gypsy
1 Reprinted in Brothers of Pity, and other Talcs of Beasts and
Mother and Christian had scarcely room to breathe in the
few pages that they are crowded into; there is certainly too
much subject" here for the size of the canvas; but
Father Hedgehog takes up little space, and every syllable
about him is as keenly pointed as the spines on his back.
The method by which he silenced awkward questions from
any of his family is truly delightful:-
"'Will the donkey be cooked when he is fat?' asked my
"' I smell valerian,' said my father, on which she put out her
nose, and he ran at it with his prickles. He always did this
when he was annoyed with any of his family; and though we
knew what was coming, we are all so fond of valerian, we could
never resist the temptation to sniff, just on the chance of there
being some about."
Then, the following season, we find the Hedgehog Son
grown into a parent, and with the "little hoard of maxims"
he had inherited, checking the too-inquiring minds of his
"'What is a louis d'or?' cried three of my children; and 'what
is brandy?' asked the other four.
"'I smell valerian,' said I; on which they poked out their
seven noses, and I ran at them with my spines, for a father
who is not an Encyclopaedia on all fours must adopt some method
of checking the inquisitiveness of the young."
One more quotation must be made from the end of the
story, where Father Hedgehog gives a list of the fates that
befell his children:--
"Number one came to a sad end. What on the face of the
wood made him think of pheasants' eggs I cannot conceive.
I 'm sure I never said anything about them It was while he
was scrambling along the edge of the covert, that he met the
TRUTH IS GOD'S DAUGHTER.
Fox, and very properly rolled himself into a ball. The Fox's
nose was as long as his own, and he rolled my poor son over
and over with it, till he rolled him into the stream. The young
urchins swim like fishes, but just as he was scrambling to shore,
the Fox caught him by the waistcoat and killed him. I do hate
It seems scarcely conceivable that any one can sympathize
sufficiently with a hedgehog as to place himself in the latter's
position, and share its paternal anxieties; but I think Julie
was able to do so, or, at any rate, her translations of the
hedgepig's whines were so ben trovati, they may well stand
until some better interpreter of the languages of the brute
creation rises up among us.
I must here venture to remark that the chief and lasting
value of whatever both my sister and my mother wrote about
animals, or any other objects in Nature, lies in the fact that
they invariably took the utmost pains to verify whatever state-
ments they made relating to those objects. Spiritual laws
can only be drawn from the natural world when they are
based on truth.
Julie spared no trouble in trying to ascertain whether
hedgehogs do or do not eat pheasants' eggs; she consulted
"The Field," and books on sport, and her sporting friends,
and when she found it was a disputed point, she determined
to give the 1 ..1. .', the benefit of the doubt. Then the taste
for valerian, and the fox's method of capture, were drawn
from facts, and the gruesome details as to who ate who in
the Glass Pond were equally '.. I! founded.
This (1876) volume of the Magazine is rich in contribu-
tions from Julie, the reason being that she was stronger in
health while she livsd at Aldershot than during any other
period of her life. The sweet dry air of the Highwayman's
DEATH OF A PET DOG.
Heath -bared though it was of heather -suited her so
well, she could sleep with her hut windows open, and go out
into her garden at any hour of the evening without fear of
harm. She liked to stroll out and listen to "Retreat being
sounded at sundown, especially when it was the turn of some
regiment with pipes to perform the duty; they sounded so
shrill and weird, coming from the distant hill through the
We held a curious function one hot July evening during
Retreat, when, the Fates being propitious, it was the turn of
the 42d Highlanders to play. My sister had taken compas-
sion on a stray collie puppy a few weeks before, and adopted
him; he was very soft-coated and fascinating in his ways, de-
spite his gawky legs, and promised to grow into a credit to
his race. But it seemed he was too finely bred to survive
the ravages of distemper, for, though he was tenderly nursed,
he died. A wreath of flowers was hung round his neck, and,
as he lay on his bier, Julie made a sketch- of him, with the
inscription, "The little Colley, Eheu Taken in, June 14.
In spite of care, died July i. Sleravimus meliora." Major
Ewing, wearing a broad Scotch bonnet, dug a grave in the
garden, and, as we had no dinner bell to muffle, we
waited till the pipers broke forth at sundown with an appro-
priate air, and then lowered the little Scotch dog into his
During her residence at Aldershot Julie wrote three of her
longest books, "A Flat-Iron for a Farthing," Six to Six-
teen," and Jan of the Windmill," besides all the shorter
tales and verses that she contributed to the Magazine be-
tween 1870 and 1877. The two short tales which seem to
me her very best came out in 1876, namely, Our Field "1
1 Reprinted in "A Great Emergency, and other Tales."
(about which I have already spoken) and The Blind Man
and the Talking Dog." Both the stories were written to fit
some old German woodcuts, but they are perfectly different
in style; ".Our Field is told in the language and from the
fresh heart of a child; while The Blind Man is such a
picture of life from cradle to grave aye, and stretching for-
ward into the world beyond as could only have come forth
from the experiences of age. But though this be so, the
lesson shown of how the Boy's story foreshadows the Man's
history, is one which cannot be learned too early.
Julie never pictured a dearer dog than the Peronet whom
she originated from the fat stumpy-tailed puppy who is seen
playing with the children in the woodcut to Our Field: "
"People sometimes asked us what kind of a dog he was, but
we never knew, except that he was the nicest possible kind ..
Peronet was as fond of the Field as we were. What he liked
were the little birds. At least, I don't know that he liked them,
but they were what he chiefly attended to. I think he knew
that it was our field, and thought he was the watch-dog of it;
and whenever a bird settled down anywhere, he barked at it,
and then it flew away, and he ran barking after it till he lost
it; by that time another had settled down, and then Peronet
flew at him, all up and down the hedge. He never caught a
bird, and never would let one sit down, if he could see it."
Then what a vista is opened by the light that is "left out"
in the concluding words : -
I know that Our Field does not exactly belong to us. I
wonder whom it does belong to ? Richard says he believes it
belongs to the gentleman who lives at the big red house among
the trees. But lie must be wrong; for we see that gentleman
at church every Sunday, but we never saw him in Our Field.
" THE BLIND MAN."
"And I don't believe anybody could have such a field of their
very own, and never come to see it, from one end of summer to
It is almost impossible to quote portions of the Blind
Man without marring the whole. The story is so con-
densed, only four pages in length; it is one of the most
striking examples of my sister's favorite rule in composition
(to which further allusion shall be made hereafter), "never
use two words where one will do." But from these four
brief pages we learn as much as if four volumes had been
filled with descriptions of the characters of the Mayor's son
and Aldegunda; from her birthday- on which the boy
grumbled because she toddles as badly as she did yester-
day, though she's a year older," and Aldegunda sobbed
till she burst the strings of her hat, and the boy had to tie
them afresh -to the day of their wedding, when the Bride-
groom thinks he can take possession of the Blind Man's
Talking Dog, because the latter had promised to leave his
master and live with the hero, if ever he could claim to be
perfectly happy -happier than him whom he regarded as
" a poor wretched old beggar in want of everything."
As they rode together in search of the Dog : -
"Aldegunda thought to herself, We are so happy, and have
so much, that I do not like to take the Blind Man's dog from
him;' but she did not dare to say so. One--if not two-,
must bear and forbear to be happy, even on one's wedding-day."
And, when they reached their journey's end, Lazarus was
no longer "the wretched one miserable, poor, and
blind," but was numbered among the blessed dead, and
the Dog was by his grave: -
" THE KYRKEGRIM."
"'Come and live with me, now your old master is gone,' said
the young man, stooping over the dog. But he made no reply.
"' I think he is dead, sir,' said the grave-digger.
"' I don't believe it,' said the young man, fretfully. He was
an Enchanted Dog, and he promised I should have him when
I could say what I am ready to say now. He should have kept
"But Aldegunda had taken the dog's cold head into her arms,
and her tears fell fast over it.
"' You forget,' she said; he only promised to come to you
when you were happy, if his old master was not happier still;
and perhaps -'
"'I remember that you always disagree with me,' said the
young man, impatiently. 'You always did so. Tears on our
wedding-day, too! I suppose the truth is, that no one is
Aldegunda made no answer, for it is not from those one loves
that he will willingly learn that with a selfish and imperious
temper happiness never dwells."
"The Blind Man" was inserted in the Magazine as an
Old-fashioned Fairy Tale," and Julie wrote another this
year (1876) under the same heading, which was called
She also wrote a delightfully funny legend, The Kyrke-
grim turned Preacher," about a Norwegian Brownie, or Niss,
whose duty was "to keep the church clean, and to scatter
the marsh marigolds on the floor before service," but like
other church-sweepers his soul, was troubled by seeing the
congregation neglect to listen to the preacher, and fall asleep
during his sermons. Then the Kyrkegrim, feeling sure that
he could make more impression on their hardened hearts
than the priest did, ascended from the floor to the pulpit,
and tried to set the world to rights; but eventually he was
glad to return to his broom, and leave heavier responsibili-
ties in higher hands."
She contributed Hints for Private Theatricals. In Let-
ters from Burnt Cork to Rouge Pot," which were probably
suggested by the private theatricals in which she was helping
at Aldershot; and she wrote four of her best "Verses for
Children," -" Big Smith," House-building and Repairs,"
"An Only Child's Tea-Party," and "Papa Poodle."
"The Adventures of an Elf" is a poem to some clever
silhouette pictures of Fedor Flinzer's, which she freely adapted
from the German. The Snarling Princess is a fairy tale
also adapted from the German; but neither of these contri-
butions was so well worth the trouble of translation as a fine
dialogue from the French of Jean Mac6 called War and the
Dead," which Julie gave to the number of "Aunt Judy" for
October, 1866. "The Princes of Vegetation" (April, 1876)
is an article on palm-trees, to which family Linnaus had
given this noble title.
The last contribution, in 1876, which remains to be men-
tioned is Dandelion Clocks," a short tale; but it will need
rather a long introduction, as it opens out into a fresh trait
of my sister's character, namely, her love for flowers.
It need scarcely be said that she wrote as accurately about
them as about everything else; and, in addition to this, she
enveloped them in such an atmosphere of sentiment as served
to give life and individuality to their inanimate forms. The
habit of weaving stories round them began in girlhood, when
she was devoted to reading Mr. J. G. Wood's graceful trans-
lation of Alphonse Karr's Voyage autour de mon Jardin."
The book was given to her in 1856 by her father, and it ex-
ercised a strong influence upon her mind. What else made
the ungraceful Buddlea lovely in her eyes? I confess that
when she pointed out the shrub to me for the first time, in
Mr. Ellacombe's garden, it looked so like the Plum-pudding
tree in the Willow pattern and fell so far short of my
expectation of the plant over which the two florists had
squabbled, that I almost wished that I had not seen it.
Still I did not share their discomfiture so fully as to think "it
no longer good for anything but firewood "
Karr's fifty-eighth "Letter" nearly sufficed to enclose a
declaration of love in every bunch of yellow roses which
Julie tied together; and to plant an "Incognito for dis-
covery in every bed of tulips she looked at; while her favor-
ite Letter XL.," on the result produced by inhaling the odor
of bean flowers, embodies the spirit of the ideal existence
which she passed, as she walked through the fields of our
work-a-day world :-
The beans were in full blossom. But a truce to this cold-
hearted pleasantry. No, it is not a folly to be under the empire
of the most beautiful the most noble feelings; it is no folly to
feel oneself great, strong, invincible ; it is not a folly to have a
good, honest, and generous heart; it is no folly to be filled with
good faith; it is not a folly to devote oneself for the good of
others; it is not a folly to live thus out of real life.
No, no; that cold wisdom which pronounces so severe a judg-
ment upon all it cannot do; that wisdom which owes its birth
to the death of so many great, noble, and sweet things ; that
wisdom which only comes with infirmities, and which decorates
them with such fine names ; which calls decay of the powers
of the stomach and loss of appetite sobriety; the cooling of
the heart and the stagnation of the blood a return to reason;
envious impotence a disdain for futile things,-this wisdom
would be the greatest, the most melancholy of follies, if it
were not the commencement of the death of the heart and the
" DANDELION CLOCKS."
I do not, of course, mean to claim for Alphonse Karr a
solitary capability of drawing beautiful lessons from Nature,
but have instanced his power of finding a quaint mixture of
philosophy and deep romance in his garden, because it is
more in accordance with the current of my sister's mind,
than the gathering of such exquisite, but totally different
teaching, as Kingsley drew during the course of his limited
"Winter's Walk," or his strolls by "The Chalk Stream."
Dandelion Clocks resembles one of Karr's "Letters"
in containing the germs of a three-volumed romance, but
they are the germs only; and the "proportions" of the
picture are consequently well preserved. Indeed, the tale
always reminds me of a series of peaceful scenes by Cuyp,
with low horizons, sleek cattle, and a glow in the sky beto-
kening the approach of sunset. First we have Peter Paul
and his two sisters playing in the pastures at blowing dan-
delion clocks: -
"Rich, green, Dutch pastures, unbroken by hedge or wall,
which stretched-like an emerald ocean-to the horizon and
met the sky. The cows stood ankle-deep in it and chewed the
cud, the clouds sailed slowly over it to the sea, and on a dry
hillock sat mother, in her broad sun-hat, with one eye to the
cows, and one to the linen she was bleaching, thinking of her
The actual outlines of this scene may be traced in the Ger-
man woodcut to which the tale was written, but the coloring
is Julie's. The only disturbing element in this quiet picture
is Peter Paul's restless, inquiring heart. What wonder that
when his bulb-growing uncle fails to solve the riddle of life,
Peter Paul should go out into the wider world and try to find
a solution for himself? But the answers to our life problems
" DANDELION CLOCKS."
full often are to be found within, for those who will look, and
so Peter Paul comes back after some years to find that, -
"The elder sister was married and had two children. She
had grown up very pretty, a fair woman, with liquid misleading
eyes. They looked as if they were gazing into the far future,
but they did not see an inch beyond the farm. Anna was a very
plain copy of her in body; in mind she was the elder sister's
echo. They were very fond of each other, and the prettiest
thing about them was their faithful love for their mother, whose
memory was kept as green as pastures after rain."
Peter Paul's temperament, however, was not one that could
adapt itself to a stagnant existence ; so when his three weeks
on shore are ended, we see him on his way from the Home
Farm to join his ship :--
"Leena walked far over the pastures with Peter Paul. She
was very fond of him, and she had a woman's perception that
they would miss him more than he could miss them.
I am very sorry you could not settle down with us,' she
said, and her eyes brimmed over.
"Peter Paul kissed the tears tenderly from her cheeks.
Perhaps I shall when I am older, and have shaken off a few
more of my whims into the sea. I'11 come back yet, Leena, and
live very near to you, and grow tulips, and be as good an old
bachelor-uncle to your boy as Uncle Jacob is to me.'
"When they got to the hillock where mother used to sit, Peter
Paul took her once more into his arms.
"'Good-by, good sister,' he said, I have been back in my
childhood again, and God knows that is both pleasant and
good for one.'
And it is funny that you should say so,' said Leena, smil-
ing through her tears ; 'for when we were children you were
never happy except in thinking of when you should be a man.'
5? DANDELION CLOCKS."
And with this salutary home-thrust (which thoroughly
common-place minds have such a provoking faculty for
giving) Leena went back to her children and cattle.
Happy for the artistic temperament that can profit by
such rebuffs !
YET, how few believe such doctrine springs
From a poor root,
Which all the winter sleeps here under foot,
And hath no wings
To raise it to the truth and light of things;
But is still trod
By ev'ry wandering clod.
O Thou, whose Spirit did at first inflame
And warm the dead,
And by a sacred incubation fed
With life this frame,
Which once had neither being, forme, nor name;
Grant I may so
Thy steps track here below,
That in these masques and shadows I may see
Thy sacred way;
And by those hid ascents climb to that day
Which breaks from Thee,
Who art in all things, though invisibly !
The Hidden Flower. HENRY VAUGHAN.
NE of the causes which helped to develop my sis-
ter's interest in flowers was the sight of the fresh
ones that she met with on going to live in New
Brunswick after her marriage. Every strange face was a
subject for study, and she soon began to devote a note-book
to sketches of these new friends, naming them scientifically
from Professor Asa Gray's Manual of the Botany of the
Northern United States," while Major Ewing added as many
of the Melicete names as he could glean from Peter, a
54 THE MEANEST FLOWER CAN GIVE
member of the tribe, who had attached himself to the Ewings,
and used constantly to come about their house. Peter and
his wife lived in a small colony of the Melicete Indians,
which was established on the opposite side of the St. John
River to that on which the Reka Dom stood. Mrs. Peter
was the most skilful embroiderer in beads among her peo-
ple, and Peter himself the best canoe-builder. He made a
beautiful one for the Ewings, which they constantly used;
and when they returned to England his regret at losing them
was wonderfully mitigated by the present which Major Ewing
gave him of an old gun; he declared no gentleman had ever
thought of giving him such a thing before !
Julie introduced several of the North American flowers
into her stories. The tabby-striped Arum, or Jack-in-the-
Pulpit (as it is called in Mr. Whittier's delightful collection
of child-poems), appears in "We and the World," where
Dennis, the rollicking Irish hero, unintentionally raises himself
in the estimation of his sober-minded Scotch. companion,
Alister, by betraying that he can speak with other tongues,"
from his ability to converse with a squaw in French on the
subject of the bunch of Arums he had gathered and was
holding in his hand.
This allusion was only a slight one, but Julie wrote a com-
plete story on one species of Trillium, having a special affec-
tion for the whole. genus. Trilliums are among the North
American herbaceous plants which have lately become fash-
ionable, and easy to be bought in England; but ere they
did so, Julie made some ineffectual attempts to transplant
tubers of them into English soil; and the last letter she re-
ceived from Fredericton contained a packet of red Trillium
seeds, which came too late to be sown before she died. The
species which she immortalized in "The Blind Hermit and
THOUGHTS TOO DEEP FOR TEARS.
the Trinity Flower," was T. erythrocarfum. The story is a
graceful legend of an old Hermit whose life was spent in
growing herbs for the healing of diseases; and when he, in
his turn, was struck with blindness, he could not reconcile
himself to the loss of the occupation which alone seemed
to make him of use in the world. "They also serve who
only stand and wait," was a hard lesson to learn; every day
he prayed for some Balm of Gilead to heal his ill, and restore
his sight, and the prayer was answered, though not in the
manner that he desired. First he was supplied with a serv-
ing-boy, who became eyes and feet to him, from gratitude
for cures which the Hermit had done to the lad himself;
and then a vision was granted to the old man, wherein he
saw a flower which would heal his blindness: -
And what was the Trinity Flower like, my Father ?" asked
It was about the size of Herb Paris, my son," replied the
Hermit. "But instead of being fourfold every way, it num-
bered the mystic Three. Every part was threefold. The leaves
were three, the petals three, the sepals three. The flower was
snow-white, but on each of the three parts it was stained with
crimson stripes, like white garments dyed in blood."
A root of this plant was sent to the Hermit by a heavenly
messenger, which the boy planted, and anxiously watched
the growth of, cheering his master with the hope, Patience,
my Father, thou shalt see yet !"
Meantime greater light was breaking in upon the Hermit's
soul than had been there before : -
My son, I repent me that I have not been patient under
affliction. Moreover, I have set thee an ill example, in that I
have murmured at that which God who knoweth best -or-
dained for me."
A FLOWER LEGEND.
And, when the boy ofttimes repeated, Thou shalt yet see,"
the Hermit answered, "If God will. When God will. As God
And at last, when the white bud opens, and the blood-like
stains are visible within, he who once was blind sees, but his
vision is opened on eternal day.
In "Aunt Judy's Magazine" for 1877 there is another
flower legend, but of an English plant, the Lily of the
Valley. Julie called the tale by the old-fashioned name of
the flower, Ladders to Heaven." The scenery is pictured
from spots near her Yorkshire home, where she was accus-
tomed to seeing beautiful valleys blackened by smoke from
iron furnaces, and the woods beyond the church, where she
liked to ramble, filled with desolate heaps of black shale, the
refuse left round the mouths of disused coal and ironstone
pits. I remember how glad we were when we found the
woolly-leaved yellow mullein growing on some of these dreary
places, and helping to cover up their nakedness. In later
years my sister heard with much pleasure that a mining
friend was doing what he could to repair the damages he
made on the beauty of the country, by planting over the
worked-out mines such trees and plants as would thrive in
the poor and useless shale, which was left as a covering to
once rich and valuable spots.
"Brothers of Pity" (" Aunt Judy's Magazine," 1877) shows
a deep and minute insight into the feelings of a solitary child,
which one fancies Julie must have acquired by the process of
contrast with her own surroundings of seven brethren and
sisters. A similar power of perception was displayed in her
verses on "An Only Child's Tea-party."
I Brothers of Pity, and other Tales of Beasts and Men;
" BROTHERS OF PITY."
She remembered from experiences of our own childhood
what a favorite game funerals is with those whose whole
vocation" is yet endless imitation ; and she had watched
the soldiers' children in camp play at it so often that she
knew it was not only the bright covering of the Union Jack
which made death lovely in their eyes. Blind Baby en-
joyed it for the sake of the music; and even civilians' chil-
dren, who see the service devoid of sweet sounds, and under
its blackest and most revolting aspect, still are strangely fas-
cinated thereby. Julie had heard about one of these, a lonely,
motherless boy, whose chief joy was to harness Granny to his
hearse and play at funeral processions round the drawing-
room, where his dead mother had once toddled in her turn.
The boy in Brothers of Pity is the principal character,
and the animals occupy minor positions. Cock-Robin only
appears as a corpse on the scene; and Julie did not touch
much on bird pets in any of her tales, chiefly because she
never kept one, having too much sympathy with their powers
and cravings for flight to reconcile herself to putting them in
cages. The flight and recapture of the Cocky in "Lob"
were drawn from life, though the bird did not belong to her,
but her descriptions of how he stood on the window-sill
"scanning the summer sky with his fierce eyes, and flapping
himself in the breeze, bowed his yellow crest, spread
his noble wings, and sailed out into the ether; and
his dreams of liberty in the tree-tops," all show the light in
which she viewed the practice of keeping birds in confine-
ment. Her verses on "Three Little N.'i -i., I ." and her
tale of the thrush in An Idyl of the Wood bear witness
to the same feeling. Major F'.i-n remembers how often
she used to wish, when passing bird-shops, that she could
" buy the whole collection and set them all free," a desire
SKETCH OF A PET CAT.
which suggests a quaint vision of her in "Seven Dials," with
a mixed flock of macaws, canaries, parrots, and thrushes shriek-
ing and flying round her head; but the wish was worthy o
her in what Mr. Howells called "woman's heaven-born igno-
rance of the insuperable difficulties of doing right."
In this (1877) volume of "Aunt Judy's Magazine "there is
a striking portrait of another kind of animal pet, the Kit
who is resolved to choose her own "cradle," and not to
sleep where she is told. It is needless to say that she gets
her own way, since, -
"There 's a soft persistence about a cat
That even a little kitten can show."
She has, however, the grace to purr when she is pleased,
which all kits and cats have not: -
I 'm happy in ev'ry hair of my fur,
They may keep the hamper and hay themselves."
There are three other sets of verses in the volume, and all
of them were originally written to old woodcuts, but have
since been re-illustrated by Mr. Andre.
"A Sweet Little Dear is the personification of a selfish
girl, and Master Fritz" of an equally selfish boy; but his
sister Katerina is delicious by contrast, as she gives heed to
his schemes : -
"And if you make nice feasts every day for me and Nickel,
and never keep us waiting for our food,
And always do everything I want, and attend to everything
I say, I 'm sure I shall almost always be good.
And if I'm naughty now and then, it'll most likely be your
fault : and if it is n't, you must n't mind;
For even if I seem to be cross, youi ought to know that I
mean to be kind."
WHERE THOU ART MUST BE HOME.
An old-fashioned fairy tale, "The Magician turned Mis-
chief-maker," came out in 1877 ; and a short domestic tale
called "A Bad Habit; but Julie was unable to supply
any long contributions this year, as in April her seven-years'
home at Aldershot was broken up in consequence of Major
Ewing being ordered to Manchester, and her time was occu-
pied by the labor and process of removing.
She took down the motto which she had hung over her
hearth to temper her joy in the comfort thereof, Ut migra-
turSrus abita, and moved the scroll on to her next resting-
place. No one knew better than she the depth of Mrs.
Hemans's definition, "What is home, and where, -
but with the -'" and most truly can it be said that
wherever Julie went she carried Home" with her; free-
dom, generosity, and loving welcome were always to be
found in her house, even if upholstery and carpets ran
short. It was a joke among some of her friends that
though rose-colored curtains and bevelled-edged looking-
glasses could be counted upon in their bed-rooms, such
commonplace necessities as soap might be forgotten, and
the glasses be fastened in artistic corners of the rooms,
rather than in such lights as were best adapted for shav-
Julie followed the course of the new lines in which her lot
was cast most cheerfully, but the mighty heart could not
really support the little body ; and the fatigue of packing,
combined with the effects of the relaxing climate of Bowdon,
near Manchester, where she went to live, acted sadly upon
her constitution. She was able, however, after settling in the
North, to pay more frequent visits to Ecclesfield than before;
and the next work that she did for Aunt Judy's Magazine"
bears evidences of the renewal of Yorkshire associations.
" WE AND THE WORLD."
This story, "We and the World," was specially intended
for boys, and the "law of contrast in it was meant to be
drawn between the career which Cripple Charlie spent at
home, and those of the three lads who went out into "the
World" together. Then, too, she wished, as I mentioned
before, to contrast the national types of character in the Eng-
lish, Scotch, and Irish heroes, and to show the good con-
tained in each of them. But the tale seemed to have been
begun under an unlucky star. The first half, which came
out in the first six numbers of the Magazine for 1878, is ex-
cellent as a matter of art; and as pictures of north-country
life and scenery nothing can be better than Walnut-tree Farm
and Academy, the Miser's funeral, and the Bee-master's
visit to his hives on the moors, combined with attendance
at church on a hot Sunday afternoon in August (it need
scarcely be said that the church is a real one). But, good
though all this is, it is too long and out of proportion,"
when one reflects how much of the plot was left to be un-
ravelled in the other half of the tale. "The World could
not properly be squeezed into a space only equal in size to
that which had been devoted to Home." If Julie had
been in better health, she would have foreseen the dilemma
into which she was falling, but she did not, and in the autumn
of 1878 she had to lay the tale aside, for Major Ewing was
sent to be stationed at York. "We" was put by until the
following volume; but for this (1878) one she wrote two
other short contributions, The Yellow Fly; a Tale with a
Sting in It," and So-so."
To those who do not read between the lines, "So-so"
sounds (as he felt) "very soft and pleasant," but to me the
tale is in Julie's saddest strain, because of the suspicion of
hopelessness that pervades it, a spirit which I do not trace
in any of her other writings. So-so was only the widow's
house-dog, but he represents the sadly large class of those
who are "neither hot nor cold," and whom Dante saw as
the melancholy souls of those
Who lived withouten infamy or praise,
Commingled are they with that caitiff choir
Of angels, who have not rebellious been,
Nor faithful were to God, but were for self.
The heavens expelled them, not to be less fair;
Nor them the nethermore abyss receives,
For glory none the damned would have from them.
These have no longer any hope of death;
And this blind life of theirs is so debased,
They envious are of every other fate.
No fame of them the world permits to be,
Misericord and Justice both disdain them.
Let us not speak of them, but look and pass."
"Be sure, my child," said the widow to her little daughter.
that you always do just as you are told."
"Very well, mother."
Or at any rate do what will do just as well," said the small
house-dog, as he lay blinking at the fire.
For the future, my child," said the widow, I hope you
will always do just as you are told, whatever So-so may say."
I will, mother," said little Joan. (And she did.) But the
house-dog sat and blinked. He dared not speak, he was in
I do not feel quite sure about So-so. Wild dogs often
amend their ways far on this side of the gallows, and the faith-
ful sometimes fall; but when any one begins by being only so-so,
he is very apt to be so-so to the end. So-sos so seldom
62 "A GENTLEMAN OF THE ROAD."
Before turning from the record of my sister's life at Man.
chester, I must mention a circumstance which gave her very
great pleasure there. In the summer 6f 1875 she and I went
up from Aldershot to see the Exhibition of Water-colors by
the Royal Society of Painters, .and she was completely fasci-
nated by a picture of Mr. J. D. Watson's, called "A Gentle-
man of the Road." It represented a horseman at daybreak,
allowing his horse to drink from a stream, while he sat half-
turned in the saddle to look back at a gallows which was
visible on the horizon against the beams of rising light. The
subject may sound very sensational, but it was not that as-
pect of it which charmed my sister; she found beauty as well
as romance in it, and after we returned to camp in the evening
she became so restless and engrossed by what she had seen,
that she got up during the night, and planned out the head-
ings of a story on the picture, adding characteristically a
moral or soul to the subject by a quotation from Thomas
A Kempis, Respice finem, In all things remember the end."
This "mapped-out" story, I am sorry to say, remains un-
finished. The manuscript went through many vicissitudes,
was inadvertently torn up and thrown into the waste-paper
basket, whence it was rescued and the pieces carefully en-
closed in an envelope ready for mending; but afterwards lost
again for many months in a box that was sent abroad, and
now it must ever remain among the unwritten.
This incident will, however, serve to show what a strong
impression the picture had made upon Julie's mind, so it will
readily be imagined how intensely delighted she was when
she unexpectedly made the acquaintance, at Manchester, of
Mr. Galloway, who proved to have bought Mr. Watson's work,
and he was actually kind enough to lend the treasure to her
for a considerable time, so that she could study it thoroughly
and make a most accurate copy of it. Mr. Galloway's friend-
ship, and that of some other people whom she first met at
Bowdon, were the brightest spots in Julie's existence during
In September, 1878, the Ewings removed to Fulford, near
York, and, on their arrival, Julie at once devoted herself to
adorning her new home. We were very much amused by
the incredulous amazement betrayed on the stolid face of an
elderly workman, to whom it was explained that he was re-
quired to distemper the walls of the drawing-room with a sole
color, instead of covering them with a paper, after the man-
ner of all the other drawing-rooms he had ever had to do
with. But he was too polite to express his difference of taste
by more than looks; and some days after the room was
finished, with etchings duly hung on velvet in the panels of
the door, the sole-colored walls well covered with pictures,
whence they stood out undistracted by gold and flowery
paper patterns, the distemperer called, and asked if he
might be allowed, as a favor, to see the result of Mrs. Ewing's
arrangements. I forget if he expressed anything by words,
as he stood in the middle of the room twisting his hat in his
fingers, but we had learned to read his face, and Julie was
fully satisfied with the fresh expression of amazement mixed
with admiration which she saw there.
One theory which she held strongly about the decoration
of houses was, that the contents ought to represent the asso-
ciations of the inmates, rather than the skill of their uphol-
sterer; and for this reason she would not have liked to limit
any of her rooms to one special period, such as Queen Anne's,
unless she had possessed an old house, built at some date to
which a special kind of furniture belonged. She contrived
to make her home at York a very pretty one ; but it was of
64 CANE VECCHIO NON BAIA INDARNO.
short duration, for in March, 1879, Major Ewing was de-
spatched to Malta, and Julie had to begin to pack her Lares
and Penates once more.
It may, perhaps, be wondered that she was allowed to
spend her time and strength on the labor of packing, which
a professional worker would have done far better, but it is
easier to see the mistakes of others than to rectify our own.
There were many difficulties to be encountered, not the least
of these being Julie's own strong will, and bad though it was,
in one sense, for her to be physically over-tired, it was better
than letting her be mentally so; and to an active brain like
hers "change of occupation is the only possible form of
"rest." Professional packers and road and rail cars represent
money, and Julie's skill in packing both securely and eco-
nomically was undeniably great. This is not surprising if we
hold, as an old friend does, that ladies would make far better
housemaids than uneducated women do, because they would
throw their brains as well as muscles into their work. Julie
did throw her brains into everything, big or little, that she
undertook; and one of her best and dearest friends whose
belief in my sister's powers and mission as a writer were
so strong that she almost grudged even the time wasted"
on sketching, which might have been given to penning more
stories for the age which boasts Gordon as its hero; and
who, being with Julie at her death, could not believe till the
very end came that she would be taken, while so much
seemed to remain for her to do here confessed to me
afterwards she had learned to see that Julie's habit of expend-
ing her strength on trifles arose from an effort of nature to
balance the vigor of her mind, which was so much greater
than that of her body.
During the six months that my sister resided in York she
wrote a few contributions for "Aunt Judy's Magazine." To
the number of January, r879, she gave "Flaps," a sequel to
"The Hens of Hencastle."
The latter story was not written by her, but was a free
adaptation which Colonel Yeatman-Biggs made from the
German of Victor Bliithgen. Julie had been greatly amused
by the tale, but, finding that it ended in a vague and unsat-
isfactory way, she could not be contented, so took up her
pen and wrote a finale, her chief aim being to provide a
happy ending for the old farm-dog, Flaps himself, after whom
she named her sequel. The writing is so exactly similar to
that of "The Hens," that the two portions can scarcely be
identified as belonging to different writers. Julie used often
to reproach me for indulging in what John Wesley called
"the lust of finishing," but in matters concerning her own
art she was as great an offender on this score as any one else.
Her inability to leave the farm-yard question undecided re-
minds me of the way in which Dr. Hullah's pupils at the Char-
terhouse used to tease him when they were finishing their
music-lessons, by ending off the piece they had practised on
the chord of the dominant seventh, and then banging, boy-
like, out of the room, but waiting outside to listen to the Doc-
tor as he quickly advanced to the piano, while the notes were
still vibrating, and gently resolved the chord into the tonic.
Julie gave a set of verses on "Canada Home" to the
same number as "Flaps," and to the March (r879) number
she gave some other verses on "Garden Lore." In April,
the second part of" We and the World began to appear,
and a fresh character was introduced, who is one of the most
important and touching features of the tale. Biddy Macart-
ney is a real old Irish melody in herself, with her body tied
to a coffee-barrow in the Liverpool docks, and her mind
" WE AND THE WORLD."
ever wandering in search of the son who had run away to
sea. Jack, the English hero, comes across Biddy in the
docks just before he starts as a stowaway for America, and
his stiff, crude replies to her voluble outpourings are essen-
tially British and boy-like : -
"You hope Micky '11 come back, I suppose ?"
"Why would n't I, acushla ? Sure, it was by reason o' that I
got bothered with the washin' after me poor boy left me, from
my mind being continually in the docks instead of with the
clothes. And there I would be at the end of the week, with
the captain's jerseys gone to old Miss Harding, and zis wash-
ing no corricter than hers, though he'd more good-nature in him
over the accidents, and iron-moulds on the table-cloths, and
pocket-handkerchers mission and me ruined entirely with mak-
ing them good, and no thanks for it, till a good-natured sowl of
a foreigner that kept a pie-shop lamed me to make the coffee,
and lint me the money to buy a barra, and he says, Go as con-
vanient to the ships as ye can, mother: it 'll ease your mind.
My own heart,' says he, laying his hand to it, 'knows what it is
to have my body here, and the whole sowl of me far away.'"
"Did you pay him back ? I asked. I spoke without thinking,
and still less did I mean to be rude ; but it had suddenly struck
me that I was young and hearty, and that it would be almost a
duty to share the contents of my leather bag with this poor old
woman, if there were no chance of her being able to repay the
"Did I pay him back?" she screamed. "Would I be the
black-hearted thief to him that was kind to me ? Sorra bit nor sup
but dry bread and water passed me lips till he had his own again,
and the heart's blessings of owld Biddy Macartney along with it."
I made my peace with old Biddy as well as I could, and turned
the conversation back to her son.
So you live in the docks with your coffee-barrow, mother, thai
you may be sure not to miss Micky when he comes ashore ? "
" WE AND THE WORLD."
I do, darlin'. Fourteen years all but three days He'll be
gone fifteen if we all live till Wednesday week."
"Fifteen? But, mother, if he were like me when he went, he
can't be very like me now. He must be a middle-aged man.
Do you think you'd know him ?"
This question was more unfortunate than the other, and
produced such howling and weeping, and beating of Biddy's
knees as she rocked herself among the beans, that I should
have thought every soul in the docks would have crowded
round us. But no one took any notice, and by degrees I calmed
her, chiefly by the assertion, He'll know you, mother, any
"He will so, God bless him!" said she. "And haven't I
gone over it all in me own mind, often and often, when I 'd see
the vessels feeling' their way home through the darkness, and the
coffee staymin' enough to cheer your heart wid the smell of it,
and the least taste in life of something better in the stone bottle
under me petticoats. And then the big ship would be coming in
with her lights at the head of her, and myself would be sitting
alone with me patience, God helping me, and one and another
strange face going by. And then he comes along, cold may be,
and smells the coffee. Bedad, but that's a fine smell with it,'
says he, for Micky was mighty particular in his aitin' and
drinking I'11 take a dhrop of that,' says he, not noticing me
particular, and if ever I 'd the saycret of a good cup he gets it,
me consayling me face. What will it be ?' says he, setting
down the mug. What would it be, Micky, from your mother?'
says I, and I lifts me head. Arrah, but then there 's the heart's
delight between us. 'Mother!' says he. 'Micky! says 1.
And he lifts his foot and kicks over the barra, and dances m,
round in his arms. 'Ochone !' says the spectators ; 'there's
the fine coffee that's running into the dock.' Let it run,' says
I, in the joy of me heart, and you after it, and the barra on the
top of ye, now Micky me son's come home "
Wonderfully jolly! said I. "And it must be pleasant
even to think of it."
" WE AND THE WORLD."
There is another new character in the second part of We,"
who is also a fine picture, Alister the blue-eyed Scotch
lad, with his respect for "book learning," and his powers of
self-denial and endurance; but Julie certainly had a weak-
ness for the Irish nation, and the tender grace with which
she touches Dennis O'Moore and Biddy shines conspicuously
throughout the story. In one scene, however, I think she
brings up her Scotch hero neck-and-neck, if not ahead of
her favorite Irishman.
This is in Chapter VII., where an entertainment is being
held on board ship, and Dennis and Alister are called upon
in turn to amuse the company with a song. Dennis gets
through his ordeal well; he has a beautiful voice, which
makes him independent of the accompaniment of a fiddle
(the only musical instrument on board), and Julie describes
his simpatico rendering of Bendemeer's Stream from the
way in which she loved to hear one of our brothers sing it.
He had learned it by ear on board ship from a fellow-pas-
senger, and she was never tired of listening to the melody.
When this same brother came to visit her while she was ill at
Bath, and sang to her as she lay in bed, "Bendemeer's
Stream was the one strain she asked for, and the last she
Dennis O'Moore's performance met with warm applause,
and then the boatswain, who had a grudge against Alister,
because the Scotch captain treated his countryman with leni-
ency, taunted the shy and taciturn lad to contribute to the
I was very sorry for Alister, and so was Dennis, I am sure,
for he did his best to encourage him.
"Sing God Save the Queen,' and I'll keep well after ye with
the fiddle," he suggested. But Alister shook his head. "I
" WE AND THE WORLD."
know one or two Scotch tunes," Dennis added, and he began to
sketch out an air or two with his fingers on the strings.
Presently Alister stopped him. "Yon's the Land o' the
Leal ? "
It is," said Dennis.
"Play it a bit quicker, man, and I'll try Scots, wha hae.'"
Dennis quickened at once, and Alister stood forward. He
neither fidgeted nor complained of feeling shy, but, as my eyes
(I was squatted cross-legged on the deck) were at the level of
his knees, I could see them shaking, and pitied him none the
ess that I was doubtful as to what might not be before me.
Dennis had to make two or three false starts before poor Alister
could get a note out of his throat; but when he had fairly broken
h e ice with the word "Scots!" he faltered no more. The
ooatswain was cheated a second time of his malice. Alister
could not sing in the least like Dennis, but he had a strong
nanly voice, and it had a ring that stirred one's blood, as he
clenched his hands and rolled his r's to the rugged appeal:-
Scots, wha hac wi' Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led;
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to victory !
Applause did n't seem to steady his legs in the least, and he
lever moved his eyes from the sea, and his face only grew
vhiter by the time he drove all the blood to my heart with-
Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha can fill a coward's grave ?
Wha sae base as be a slave ?
Let him turn and flee I
God forbid !" cried Dennis, impetuously. Sing that verse
gain, me boy, and give us a chance to sing with ye! which
we did accordingly ; but as Alister and Dennis were rolling r's
like the rattle of musketry on the word turn, Alister did turn, and
stopped suddenly short. The captain had come up unobserved.
" WE AND THE WORLD.'
Go on said he, waving us back to our places.
By this time the solo had become a chorus. Beautifully un-
conscious, for the most part, that the song was by way of stirring
Scot against Saxon, its deeper patriotism had seized upon us all.
Englishmen, Scotchmen, and sons of Erin, we all shouted at the
top of our voices, Sambo's fiddle not being silent. And I main-
tain that we all felt the sentiment with our whole hearts, though
I doubt if any but Alister and the captain knew and sang the
precise words: -
Wha for Scotland's king and law
Freedom's sword will strongly draw,
Freeman stand, or freeman fa'?
Let him on wi' me !
The description of Alister's song, as well as that of Dennis,
was to some extent drawn from life, Julie having been accus-
tomed to hear "Scots, wha hae rendered by a Scot with
more soul than voice, who always "moved the hearts of the
people as one man by his patriotic fire.
My sister was greatly aided by two friends in her descrip-
tions of the scenery in "We," such as the vivid account of
Bermuda and the waterspout in Chapter XI., and that of the
fire at Demerara in Chapter XII., and she owed to the same
kind helpers also the accuracy of her nautical phrases and
her Irish dialect. Certainly this second part of the tale is
full of interest, but I cannot help wishing that the materials
had been made into two books instead of one. There are
more than enough characters and incidents to have developed
into a couple of tales.
Julie has often said how strange it seemed to her, when
people who had a ready pen for writing consulted her as to
what they should write about! She suffered so much from
over-abundance of ideas which she had not the physical
strength to put on paper.
A STUDY FROM LIFE.
Even when she was very ill, and unable to use her hands
at all, the sight of a lot of good German woodcuts, which
were sent to me at Bath, suggested so many fresh ideas to
her brain, that she only longed to be able to seize her pen
and write tales to the pictures.
Before we turn finally away from the subject of her liking
for Irish people, I must mention a little adventure which
happened to her at Fulford.
There is one parish in York where a great number of Irish
peasants live, and many of the women used to pass Julie's
windows daily, going out to work in the fields at Fulford.
She liked to watch them trudging by, with large baskets
perched picturesquely on the tops of their heads; but in
the town the "Irishers are not viewed with equal favor by
the inhabitants. One afternoon Julie was out sketching in a
field, and came across one of these poor Irish women. My
sister's mind at the time was full of Biddy Macartney, and
she could not resist the opportunity of having a chat with
this suggestive study for the character. She found an ex-
cuse for addressing the old woman about some cattle who
seemed restless in the field, but quickly discovered, to her
amusement, that when she alluded to Ireland, her companion,
in the broadest brogue, stoutly denied having any connection
with the country. No doubt she thought Julie's prejudices
would be similar to those of her town neighbors, but in a
short time some allusion was inadvertently made to me fa-
ther's farm in Kerry," and the truth leaked out. After this they
became more confidential; and when Julie admired some
quaint silver rings on her companion's finger, the old woman
was most anxious to give her one, and was only restrained by
coming to the decision that she would give her a recipe for
"real Irish whiskey" instead. She began with "You must
take some barley and put it in a poke -" but after this
Julie heard no more, for she was distracted by the cattle, who
had advanced unpleasantly near; the Irish woman, however,
continued her instructions to the end, waving her arms to keep
the beasts off, which she so far succeeded in doing, that
julie caught the last sentence,-
"And then ye must bury it in a bog."
"Is that to give it a peaty flavor?" asked my sister,
Oh, no, me dear it's because of the exciseman."
When they parted, the old woman's original reserve en-
tirely gave way, and she cried, Good luck to ye I and go to
Julie remained in England for some months after Major
Ewing started for Malta, as he was despatched on very short
notice, and she had to pack up their goods; also -as she
was not strong it was decided that she should avoid going
out for the hot summer weather, and wait for the healthier
autumn season. Her time, therefore, was now chiefly spent
among civilian friends and relations, and I wal.t this fact to
be specially noticed in connection with the next contribu-
tions that she wrote for the Magazine.
In February, 1879, the terrible news had come of the
Isandlwana massacre, and this was followed in June by that
of the Prince Imperial's death. My sister was, of course,
deeply engrossed in the war tidings, as many of her friends
went out to South Africa some to return no more. In July
she contributed "A Soldier's Children to Aunt Judy," and
of all her Child Verses this must be reckoned the best, every
line from first to last breathing how strong her sympathies
still were for military men and things, though she was no
longer living among them: -
Our home used to be in the dear old camp, with lots of
bands, and trumpets, and bugles, and dead-marches, and
three times a day there was a gun,
"But now we live in View Villa, at the top of the village,
and it is n't nearly such fun."
The humor and pathos in the lines are so closely mixed,
it is very difficult to read them aloud without tears; but they
have been recited as Julie was much pleased to know by
the "old Father" of the Queer Fellows," to whom the
verses were dedicated, when he was on a troop-ship going
abroad for active service, and they were received with warm
approbation by his hearers. He read them on other occa-
sions, also in public, with equal success.
The crowning military work, however, which Julie did this
year was "Jackanapes." This she wrote for the October
number of Aunt Judy ; and here let me state that I believe
if she had still been living at Aldershot, surrounded by the
atmosphere of military sympathies and views of honor, the
tale would never have been written. It was not aimed, as
some people supposed, personally at the man who was with
the Prince Imperial when he met his death. Julie would
never have sat in judgment on him, even before he, too,
joined the rank of those dead, about whom no evil may be
spoken. It was hearing this same man's conduct discussed
by civilians from the standard of honor which is unhappily
so different in civil and military circles, and more especially
the discussion of it among "business men," where the rule
of "each man for himself" is invariable, which drove Julie
into uttering the protest of "Jackanapes." I believe what
she longed to show forth was how the Ife of an army- as
of any other body depends on whether the individuality of
its members is dead; a paradox which may perhaps be hard
to understand, save in the light of His teaching, who said
that the saving of a man's life lay in his readiness to lose it.
The merging of selfish interests into a common cause is what
makes it strong; and it is from Satan alone we get the axiom,
" Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his
life." Of "Jackanapes" itself I need not speak. It has
made Julie's name famous, and deservedly so, for it not only
contains her highest teaching, but is her best piece of literary
There are a few facts connected with the story which, I
think, will be interesting to some of its admirers. My sister
was in London in June, 1879, and then made the acquaint-
ance of Mr. Randolph Caldecott, for whose illustrations to
Washington Irving's "Bracebridge Hall," and Old Christ-
mas she had an unbounded admiration, as well as for his
Toy Books. This introduction led us to ask him, when
"Jackanapes was still simmering in Julie's brain, if he would
supply a colored illustration for it. But as the tale was only
written a very short time before it appeared, and as the illus-
tration was wanted early, because colors take long to print,
Julie could not send the story to be read, but asked Mr.
Caldecott to draw her a picture to fit one of the scenes in it.
The one she suggested was a fair-haired boy on a red-haired
pony," having noticed the artistic effect produced by this
combination in one of her own nephews, a skilful seven-year-
old rider who was accustomed to follow the hounds.
This colored illustration was given in "Aunt Judy's Maga-
zine with the tale, but when it was republished as a book, in
1883, the scene was reproduced on a smaller scale in black
and white only.
Jackanapes was much praised when it came out in the
Magazir-e, but it was not until it had been re-issued as a
book that it became really well known. Even then its suc-
cess was within a hair's-breadth- of failing. The first copies
were brought out in dull stone-colored paper covers, and
that powerful vehicle "the Trade," unable to believe that a
jewel could be concealed in so plain a casket, refused the
work of J. H. E. and R. C. until they had stretched the paper
cover on boards, and colored the Union Jack which adorns
it. No doubt the Trade understands its fickle child "the
Public better than either authors or artists do, and knows
by experience that it requires tempting with what is pretty to
look at, before it will taste. Certainly, if praise from the
public were the chief aim that writers, or any other workers,
strove after, their lives for the most part would consist of
disappointment only, so seldom is success granted while
the power to enjoy it is present. They alone whose aims are
pointed above earthly praise can stand unmoved amid ne-
glect or blame, filled with that peace of a good conscience
which the world can neither give nor take away.
I have spoken of Jackanapes as being my sister's best
literary work, and will, therefore, here introduce some valuable
notes which she communicated to my youngest brother on
her method of working, as I feel sure they will be interesting,
and may be useful to other authors :--
Some years ago I had several conversations with my sister,
Mrs. Ewing, on the subject of literary composition, with special
reference to that art as it ought to be employed in works of fic-
tion, such as she herself produced. I, fortunately, at the time
made a few notes of her remarks, and which may now be of inter-
est, as elucidating in some measure the manner of construction
employed in the works which she has bequeathed to the world.
Referring generally to the subject of construction, she told me
that she had been greatly indebted for her own education in such
LAWS OF PRINCIPALITY,
matters to the latter part of the third Letter in Mr. Ruskin's
' Elements of Drawing,' where the first principles of this great
question are touched upon, in their application to music, poetry,
and painting. It is unnecessary to reproduce here the masterly
analyses of the laws of Principality, Repetition, Continuity,
Contrast, Harmony, etc., which are to be found in Mr. Ruskin's
work. It is sufficient only to note that Mrs. Ewing felt keenly
that they were equally essential to the art of writing as to that
of painting ; and she held that the great mass of English fiction
does not fail to interest us so much for lack of stories to be told,
as from the want of an artistic way of telling them. She re-
marked that the English writers are strangely behind the French-
in this particular, and that, however feeble the incidents in a
French work of fiction often are, the constructive power is com-
monly of a high order.
It may be of interest to consider for a moment how the laws
of construction just spoken of can be traced in one of Mrs.
Ewing's stories. For example, in the story of 'Jackanapes' the
law of Principality is very clearly demonstrated. 'Jackanapes'
is the one important figure. The doting aunt, the weak-kneed
but faithful Tony Johnson, the irascible general, the punctilious
postman, the loyal boy-trumpeter, the silent major, and the ever-
dear, faithful, loving Lollo,--all and each of them conspire with
one consent to reflect forth the glory and beauty of the noble,
generous, recklessly brave, and gently tender spirit of the hero
'Jackanapes.' What aunt could fail to dote on such a boy?
What friend could resist making a hero of such an inspiring ex-
ample? What old general could be proof against the brave,
dashing gallantry of such a lad ? What old soldier could help
but be proud of such a cadet? What village lad save himself
from the irresistible influence of leaving his father's plough
and following Jackanapes to the field of honor ? What brother-
officer, however seared with sorrow, and made taciturn by trial,
could hold that dying hand, and not weep for him who begged
for the grace of Christ and the love of God as he passed away?
REPETITION, AND CONTRAST.
And Lollo, the faithful Lollo, who does not feel that all the sun-
light which pours upon his ruddy coat is reflected from the joy
of that dear boy's first gallop upon his back ?
This is indeed a very striking example of the law of Princi-
pality. All these life-like figures group around Jackanapes in
subordinate positions, and in all they say, and do, and feel, they
conspire to increase his pre-eminence.
The law of Repetition may also be very clearly traced in the
same story. Again and again is the village green introduced to
the imagination. It is a picture of eternal peace and quietness,
amid the tragedies of our ever-changing life which are enacted
around it. Mr. Ruskin remarks that Turner chiefly used the
law of Repetition in his pictures where he wished to obtain an
expression of repose. In general,' he says, Thi.:..lii..,lt Na-
ture, reflection and repetition are peaceful things.'
Another law which is very forcibly introduced into 'Jacka-
napes is the law of Contrast. The peace of Nature upon the
village green, as I have just remarked, is sharply contrasted with
the changes and chances in the human life around it. The
idiotic gabblings of the goose are compared with the cowardly
doctrines of the peace-at-any-price politician. The embryo gal-
lant, with his clear blue eyes and mop of yellow curls, is placed
vis-r-vis with the wounded hero of many battles, the victim of
a glass eye and an artificial toilet. That 'yellow thing,' the
captain's child, starts in pursuit of the other yellow thing,' the
young ...- i;..
"These points will be of interest to those who care to make
themselves acquainted with the work of Mr. Ruskin, already re-
ferred to, and who try to see how the principles there laid down
were, more or less, applied by Mrs. Ewing in her books.
Among her general axioms for the construction of stories
may be mentioned the f.i ;... She i .... 1.i it was best to
fix first the entire plot of the whole story, as this helps the
writer to determine the relative value of persons, places, inci-
dents, etc., in the general idea. She considered, also, that at
78 CONSTRUCTION OF STORIES.
this stage the whole dramatic personce should be settled upon
and arranged into classes, those for the foreground, those for the
middle distance, and those for the background. Another of
her axioms was that no single word of conversation should
ever be introduced which did not plainly (i) either develop
the character speaking, or (2) forward the plot. She thought
it well, too, to have a clear understanding of the amount to
be ultimately written, and determine how much for each chap-
ter, and, indeed, for each phrase in the chapter.
With regard to the introduction of passion into stories, she
remarked that it was most necessary, but that human feelings
are elastic, and are soon over-strained, and that this kind of
ammunition should be sparingly fired, with intervals of refresh-
She was very careful to recommend the study of types of
sentences and idioms, which give force and beauty, from the
placing and repetition of words, etc. One of the most important
doctrines she held, and in an extraordinary manner carried out,
was, that if a writer could express himself clearly in one word
he was not to use two."
I SHALL know by the gleam and glitter
Of the golden chain you wear,
By your heart's calm strength in loving,
Of the fire they have had to bear.
Beat on, true heart, forever !
Shine bright, strong golden chain!
And bless the cleansing fire,
And the furnace of living pain!
ADELAIDE A. PROCTER.
OWARDS the end of October, 1879, Julie started
for Malta, to join Major Ewing, but she became so
very ill while travelling through France that her
youngest sister, and her friend, Mrs. R. H. Jelf (from whose
house in Folkestone she had started on her journey), followed
her to Paris, and brought her back to England as soon as she
could be moved.
Julie now consulted Sir William Jenner about her health,
and, seeing the disastrous effect that travelling had upon her,
he totally forbade her to start again for several months, until
she had recovered some strength and was better able to bear
fatigue. This verdict was a heavy blow to my sister, and the
next four years were ones of great trial and discomfort to her.
A constant succession of disappointed hopes and frustrated
plans, which were difficult even for Madam Liberality to
She hoped when her husband came home on leave at
Christmas, 1879, that she should be able to return with him,
80 I WILL HAVE HOPES THAT CANNOT FADE,
but she was still unfit to go; and then she planned to follow
later with a sister, who should help her on the journey, and
be rewarded by visiting the island home of the Knights, but
this castle also fell to the ground. Meantime Julie was suffer-
ing great inconvenience from the fact that she had sent all
her possessions to Malta several months before, keeping only
some light luggage which she could take with her. Among
other things from which she was thus parted, was the last
chapter of We and the World," which she had written (as
she often did the endings of her tales) when she was first
arranging the plot. This final scene was buried in a box of
books, and could not be found when wanted, so had to be
re-written; and then my sister's ideas seem to have got into
a fresh channel, for she brought her heroes safely back to
their Yorkshire home, instead of dropping the curtain on
them after a gallant rescue in a Cornish mine, as she origi-
nally arranged. Julie hoped against hope, as time went on,
that she should become stronger, and able to follow her Lares
and Penates, so she would not have them sent back to her,
until a final end was put to her hopes by Major Ewing being
sent on from Malta to Ceylon, and in the climate of the lat-
ter place the doctors declared it would be impossible for her
to live. The goods, therefore, were now sent back to Eng-
land, and she consoled herself under the bitter trial of being
parted from her husband, and unable to share the enjoyment
of the new and wonderful scenes with which he was sur-
rounded, by thankfulness for his unusual ability as a vivid and
brilliant letter writer. She certainly practised both in days of
joy and sorrow the virtue of being Zcitus sore med, which she
afterwards so powerfully taught in her Story of a Short Life."
I never knew her fail to find happiness wherever she was placed,
ind good in whomever she came across. Whatever her cir-
FOR FLOWERS THE VALLEY YIELDS.
cumstances might be they always yielded to her causes for
thankfulness, and work to be done with a ready and hopeful
heart. That "lamp of zeal," about which Margery speaks
in "Six to Sixteen," was never extinguished in Julie, even
after youth and strength were no longer hers: -
"Like most other conscientious girls, we had rules and regul;
tions of our own devising; private codes, generally kept in cipher
for our own personal self-discipline, and laws common to us
both for the employment of our time in joint duties, -lessons,
parish work, and so forth.
I think we made rather too many rules, and that we re-made
them too often. I make fewer now, and easier ones, and let
them much more alone. I wonder if I really keep them better ?
But if not, may God, I pray Him, send me back the restless
zeal, the hunger and thirst after righteousness, which He gives
us in early youth It is so easy to become more thick-skinned
in conscience, more tolerant of evil, more hopeless of good,
more careful of one's own comfort and one's own property,
more self-satisfied in leaving high aims and great deeds to en-
thusiasts, and then to believe that one is growing older and
wiser. And yet those high examples, those good works, those
great triumphs over evil which single hands effect sometimes,
we are all grateful for, when they are done, whatever we may
have said of the doing. But we speak of saints and enthusiasts
for good, as if some special gifts were made to them in middle
age which are withheld from other men. Is it not rather that
some few souls keep alive the lamp of zeal and high desire
which God lights for most of us while life is young?"
In spite, however, of my sister's contentment with her lot,
and the kindness and hospitality shown to her at this time
by relations and friends, her position was far from comfort-
able; and Madam Liberality's hospitable soul was sorely
tried by having no home to which she could welcome he-
friends, while her fragile body battled against constantly
moving from one house to another when she was often unfit
to do anything except keep quiet and at rest. She was
not able to write much, and during 188o only contributed
two poems to Aunt Judy's Magazine," Grandmother's
Spring," and "Touch Him if You Dare."
To the following volume (1881) she again was only able
to give two other poems, Blue and Red: or, the Discon-
tented Lobster," and "The Mill Stream;" but these are
both much longer than her usual Verses for Children; "
and, indeed, are better suited for older readers, though the
former was such a favorite with a three-year-old son of one
of our bishops that he used to repeat it by heart.
In November, 1881, Aunt Judy's Magazine passed into
the hands of a fresh publisher, and a new series was begun,
with a fresh outside cover which Mr. Caldecott designed for
it. Julie was anxious to help in starting the new series, and
she wrote Daddy Darwin's Dovecote for the opening
number. All the scenery of this is drawn from the neigh-
borhood of Ecclesfield, where she had lately been spending
a good deal of her time, and so refreshed her memory of its
local coloring. The story ranks equal to Jackanapes as a
work of literary art, though it is an idyl of peace instead of
war, and perhaps, therefore, appeals rather less deeply to
general sympathies; but I fully agree with a noted artist
friend, who, when writing to regret my sister's death, said,
"'Jackanapes' and 'Daddy Darwin' I have never been
able to read without tears, and hope I never may." Daddy
had no actual existence, though his outward man may have
been drawn from types of a race of old standards," which
is fast dying out. The incident of the theft and recovery of
the pigeons is a true one, and happened to a flock at the
"THE STORY OF A SHORT LIFE."
old Hall farm near our home, which also once possessed a
luxuriant garden, wherein Phcebe might have found all the
requisites for her Sunday posy. A tea for the workhouse
children used to be Madam Liberality's annual birthday
feast; and the spot where the gaffers sat and watched the
" new graft strolling home across the fields was so faithfully
described by Julie from her favorite Schroggs Wood, that,
when Mr. Caldecott reproduced it in his beautiful illustra-
tion, some friends who were well acquainted with the spot
believed that he had been to Ecclesfield to paint it.
Julie's health became somewhat better in 1882, and for
this volume she wrote as a serial tale Letus Sorte Mea;
or, the Story of a Short Life." This was not republished as
a book until four days before my sister's death, and it has
become so well known from appearing at this critical time
that I need say very little about it. A curious mistake, how-
ever, resulted from its being published then, which was that
most of the reviewers spoke of it as being the last work that
she wrote, and commented on the title as a singularly appro-
priate one, but those who had read the tale in the Magazine
were aware that it was written three years previously, and
that the second name was put before the first, as it was
feared the public would be perplexed by a Latin title. The
only part of the book that my sister added during her illness
was Leonard's fifth letter in Chapter X. This she dictated,
because she could not write. She had intended to give Saint
Martin's history when the story came out in the Magazine,
but was hindered by want of space, as her materials proved
larger than she expected. Many people admire Leonard's
story as much as Jackanapes," but to me it is not quite
so highly finished from an artistic point of view. I think
it suffered a little from being written in detachments from
PATIENCE IN SICKNESS.
month to month. It is, however almost hypercritical to
point out defects; and the circumstances of Leonard's life
are so much more within the range of common experiences
than those of "Jackanapes," it is probable that the lesson of
the Short Life during which a Victoria Cross was won by the
joyful endurance of inglorious suffering, may be more helpful
to general readers than that of the other brief career, in which
" Jackanapes," after one crowded hour of glorious life,"
earned his crown of victory.
On one of Julie's last days she expressed a fear to her
doctor that she was very impatient under her pain, and he
answered, Indeed you are not; I think you deserve a
Victoria Cross for the way in which you bear it." This
reply touched her very much, for she knew the speaker had
not read Leonard's story; and we used to hide the proof-
sheets of it, for which she was choosing head-lines to the
pages, whenever her doctors came into the room, fearing
that they would disapprove of her doing any mental work.
In the volume of" Aunt Judy for 1883 "A Happy Family"
appeared, but this had been originally written for an American
Magazine, in which a prize was offered for a tale not exceed-
ing nine hundred words in length. Julie did not gain the
prize, and her story was rather spoiled by having to be too
She also wrote three poems for Aunt Judy in 1883, The
Poet and the Brook," Mother's Birthday Review," and
Convalescence." The last one, and the tale of Sun-
flowers and a Rushlight" (which came out in November,
1883), bear some traces of the deep sympathy she had
learned for ill-health through her own sufferings of the last
few years; the same may, to some extent, be said of "The
Story of a Short Life." ivther's birthday Review does
AN EARTHLY PARADISE.
not come under this heading, though I well remember that
part, if not the whole of it, was written while Julie lay in
bed; and I was despatched by her on messages in various
directions to ascertain what really became of Hampstead
Heath donkeys during the winter, and the name of the flower
that clothes some parts of the Heath with a sheet of white in
In May, 1883, Major Ewing returned home from Ceylon,
and was stationed at Taunton. This change brought back
much comfort and happiness into my sister's life. She once
more had a pretty home of her own, and not only a home but
a garden. When the Ewings took their house, and named
it Villa Ponente, from its aspect towards the setting sun, the
garden was a potato patch, with soil chiefly composed of
refuse left by the house builders ; but my sister soon began
to accumulate flowers in the borders, especially herbaceous
ones that were given to her by friends, or bought by her in
the market. Then, in 1884, she wrote "Mary's Meadow,"
as a serial for "Aunt Judy's Magazine," and the story was so
popular that it led to the establishment of a Parkinson
Society for lovers of hardy flowers." Miss Alice Sargant
was the founder and secretary of this, and to her my sister
owed much of the enjoyment of her life at Taunton, for
the Society produced many friends by correspondence, with
whom she exchanged plants and books, and the "potato
patch quickly turned into a well-stocked flower-garden.
Perhaps the friend who did most of all to beautify it was
the Rev. J. Going, who not only gave my sister many roses,
but planted them round the walls of her house himself, and
pruned them afterwards, calling himself her head gardener."
She did not live long enough to see the roses sufficiently
established to flower thoroughly, but she enjoyed them by
86 LETTERS FROM A LITTLE GARDEN."
anticipation, and they served to keep her grave bright during
the summer that followed her death.
Next to roses I think the flowers that Julie had most of
were primulas of various kinds, owing to the interest that was
aroused in them by the incident in "Mary's Meadow of
Christopher finding a Hose-in-hose cowslip growing wild in
the said meadow." My sister was specially proud of a
Hose-in-hose cowslip which was sent to her by a little boy in
Ireland, who had determined one day with his brothers and
sisters, that they would set out and found an Earthly Para-
dise of their own, and he began by actually finding a Hose-
in-hose, so named it after "Christopher," and sent a bit of
the root to Mrs. Ewing.
The last literary work that she did was again on the sub-
ject of flowers. She began a series of Letters from a Little
Garden in the number of "Aunt Judy" for November,
1884, and these were continued until February, 1885. The
Letter for March was left unfinished, though it seemed, when
boxes of flowers arrived day by day during Julie's illness
from distant friends, as if they must almost have intuitively
known the purport of the opening injunction in her unpub-
lished epistle, enjoining liberality in the practice of cutting
flowers for decorative purposes. Her room for three months
was kept so continuously bright by the presence of these
creations of God which she loved so well: -
DEAR LITTLE FRIEND, A garden of hardy flowers is pre-
eminently a garden for cut flowers. You must carefully count
this among its merits, because if a constant and undimmed blaze
outside were the one virtue of a flower-garden, upholders of the
bedding-out system would now and then have the advantage of
us. For my own part I am prepared to say that I want my
flowers quite as much for the house as the garden, and so I sus-
pect do most women. The gardener's point of view is not quite
Speaking of women, and recalling Mr. Charles Warner's
quaint idea of all his Polly" was good for on the scene of his
conflicts with Nature, the striped bug and the weed Pusley,"
-namely, to sit on an inverted flower-pot and "consult" him
while he was hoeing, it is interesting to notice that some gen-
erations ago the garden was very emphatically included within
woman's "proper sphere," which was not, in those days, a wide
The Letters were the last things that my sister wrote ; but
some brief papers which she contributed to "The Child's
Pictorial '!.- -;,..- were not published until after her
death. In the May number "Tiny's Tricks and Toby's
Tricks came out, and in the numbers for June, July, and
August, 1885, there were three "Hoots" from "The Owl
in the Ivy Bush; or, the Children's Bird of Wisdom."
They are in the form of quaint letters of advice, and my
sister adopted the "Spectator's" method of writing as
an eye-witness in the first person, so far as was possible in
addressing a very youthful class of readers. She had a
strong admiration for many of both Steele's and Addison's
The list that I promised to give of Julie's published stories
is now completed; and, if her works are to be valued by
their length, it may justly be said that she has not left a vast
amount of matter behind her; but I think that those who
study her writings ,' 1.f 'ii.,, will feel that some of their great-
est worth lies in the wonderful condensation and high finish
that they display. No reviewer has made a more apt com-
parison than the American one in Every Other Saturday,"
who spoke of Jackanapes as an exquisite bit of finished
work, -a Meissonier, in its way."
To other readers the chief value of the books will be in
the high purpose of their teaching, and the consciousness
that Julie held her talent as a direct gift from God, and never
based it otherwise than to His glory. She has penned noth-
ing for which she need fear reproach from her favorite old
proverb, "A wicked book is all the wickeder because it can
never repent." It is difficult for those who admire her writ-
ings to help regretting that her life was cut off before she had
accomplished more, but to still such regrets we cannot do
better than realize (as a kind friend remarked) how much
she has been able to do, rather than what she has left
undone." The work which she did, in spite of her physi-
cal fragility, far exceeds what the majority of us perform
with stronger bodies and longer lives. This reflection has
comforted me, though I perhaps know more than others
how many subjects she had intended to write stories upon.
Some people have spoken as if her forte lay in writing about
soldiers only, but her success in this line was really due to
her having spent much time among them. I am sure her
imagination and sympathy were so strong, that whatever class
of men she was mixed with she could not help throwing her-
self into their interests, and weaving romances about them.
Whether such romances ever got on to paper was a matter
dependent on outward circumstances and the state of her
One of the unwritten stories which I most regret is Grim
the Collier; this was to have been a romance of the Black
Country of coal-mines, in which she was born, and the title
was chosen from the description of a flower in a copy of
Gerarde's Herbal," given to her by Miss Sargant:--
" LITTLE MOTHERS' MEETINGS."
Hieracium hortense latifolium, sine Pilosella maior, Golden
Mouseeare, or Grim the Colliar. The floures grow at the top
as it were in an vmbel, and are of the bignesse of the ordinary
Mouseeare, and of an orange colour. The seeds are round, and
blackish, and are carried away with the down by the wind.
The stalks and cups of the flours are all set thicke with a black-
ish down, or hairinesse, as it were the dust of coles; whence
the women who keepe it in gardens for novelties sake, have
named it Grim the Colliar."
I wish, too, that Julie could have written about sailors, as
well as soldiers, in the tale of Little Mothers' Meetings,"
which had been suggested to her mind by visits to Liverpool.
The sight of a baby patient in the Children's Hospital there,
who had been paralyzed and made speechless by fright, but
who took so strange a fancy to my sister's sympathetic face
that he held her hand and could scarcely be induced to re-
lease it, had affected her deeply. So did a visit that she paid
one Sunday to the Seamen's Orphanage, where she heard the
voices of hundreds of fatherless children ascending with one
accord in the words, I will arise and go to my Father,"
and realized the Love that watched over them. These scenes
were both to have been woven into the tale, and the Little
Mothers" were boy nurses of baby brothers and sisters.
Another phase of sailor life on which Julie hoped to write
was the Guild of Merchant Adventurers of Bristol." She
had visited their quaint Hall, and collected a good deal of
historical information and local coloring for the tale, and its
lesson would have been one on mercantile honor.
I hope I have kept my original promise, that while I was
making a list of Julie's writings, I would also supply an outline
biography of her life; but now, if the children wish to learn
FORTUNE AND MISFORTUNE.
something of her at its end, they shall be told in her own
Madam Liberality grew up into much the same sort of person
that she was when a child. She always had been what is
termed old-fashioned, and the older she grew, the better her
old-fashionedness became her, so that at last her friends would
say to her, 'Ah, if we all wore as well as you do, my dear!
You 've hardly changed at all since we remember you in short
petticoats.' So far as she did change, the change was for the
better. (It is to be hoped we do improve a little as we get
older.) She was still liberal and economical. She still planned
and hoped indefatigably. She was still tender-hearted in the
sense in which Gray speaks: -
'To each his sufferings: all are men
Condemned alike to groan.
The tender for another's pain.
The unfeeling for his own.'
"She still had a good deal of ill-health and ill-luck, and a good
deal of pleasure in spite of both. She was happy in the happi-
ness of others, and pleased by their praise. But she was less
headstrong and opinionated in her plans, and less fretful when
they failed. It is possible, after one has cut one's wisdom-teeth,
to cure oneself even of a good deal of vanity, and to learn to play
the second fiddle very gracefully; and Madam Liberality did not
resist the lessons of life.
"God teaches us wisdom in divers ways. Why He suffers
some people to have so many troubles, and so little of what we
call pleasure in this world, we cannot in this world know. The
heaviest blows often fall on the weakest shoulders, and how
these endure and bear up under them is another of the things
which God knows better than we."
Julie did absolutely remain '"the same" during the three
months of heavy suffering which, in God's mysterious love,
BEGINNING OF THE END.
preceded her death. Perhaps it is well for us all to know
that she found, as others do, the intervals of exhausted relief
granted between attacks of pain were not times in which (had
it been needed) she could have changed her whole character,
and, what is called, "prepared to die." Our days of health
and strength are the ones in which this preparation must be
made; but for those who live, as she did, with their whole
talents dedicated to God's service, death is only the gate of
life, the path from joyful work in this world to greater
capacities and opportunities for it in the other.
I trust that what I have said about Julie's religious life will
not lead children to imagine that she was gloomy, and unable
to enjoy her existence on earth, for this was not the case.
No one appreciated and rejoiced in the pleasures and beau-
ties of the world more thoroughly than she did: no one could
be a wittier and brighter companion than she always was.
Early in February, 1885, she was found to be suffering
from a species of blood poisoning, and as no cause for this
could then be discovered, it was thought that change of air
might do her good, and she was taken from her home at
Taunton to lodgings at Bath. She had been three weeks in
bed before she started, and was obliged to return to it two
days after she arrived, and there to remain on her back; but
this uncomfortable position did not alter her love for flowers
The first of these tastes was abundantly gratified, as I men-
tioned before, by the quantities of blossoms which were sent
her from friends; as well as by the weekly nosegay which
came from her own Little Garden, and made her realize
that the year was advancing from winter to spring, when
crocuses and I I i.li, were succeeded by primroses and
92 MRS. EWING'S SENSE OF HUMOR.
Of living creatures she saw fewer. The only object she
could see through her window was a high wall covered with
ivy, in which a lot of sparrows and starlings were building
their nests. As the sunlight fell on the leaves, and the little
birds popped in and out, Julie enjoyed watching them at
work, and declared the wall looked like a fine Japanese
picture. She made us keep bread crumbs on the window-
sill, together with bits of cotton-wool and hair, so that the
birds might come and fetch supplies of food, and materials
for their nests.
Her appreciation of fun, too, remained keen as ever, and,
strange as it may seem, one of the very few books which she
liked to have read aloud was Mark Twain's "Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn; the dry humor of it, the natural way
in which everything is told from a boy's point of view, and
the vivid and beautiful descriptions of river scenery, all
charmed her. One of Twain's shorter tales, "Aurelia's Un-
fortunate Young Man," was also read to her, and made her
laugh so much, when she was nearly as helpless as the
"young man" himself, that we had to desist for fear of doing
her harm. Most truly may it be said that between each
paroxysm of pain her little white face and undaunted spirit
bobbed up as ready and hopeful as ever." She was sel-
dom able, however, to concentrate her attention on solid
works, and for her religious exercises chiefly relied on what
was stored in her memory.
This faculty was always a strong one. She was catechised
in church with the village children when only four years old,
and when six, could repeat many poems from an old collec-
tion called "The Diadem," such as Mrs. Hemans's Cross
in the Wilderness," and Dale's "Christian Virgin to her Apos-
tate Lover;" but she reminded me one day during her
MADE PERFECT THROUGH SUFFERING.
illness of how little she understood what she was saying, in the
days when she fluently recited such lines to her nursery
She liked to repeat the alternate verses of the Psalms, when
the others were read to her; and to the good things laid up
in her mind she owed much of the consolation that strength-
ened her in hours of trial. After one night of great suffering,
in which she had been repeating George Herbert's poem,
"'The Pulley," she said that the last verse had helped her to
realize what the hidden good might be which underlaid her
Let him be rich and weary; that, at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to My breast."
During the earlier part of her illness, when every one ex-
pected that she would recover, she found it difficult to sub-
mit to the unaccountable sufferings which her highly strung
temperament felt so keenly; but after this special night of
physical and mental darkness, it seemed, as if light had bro-
ken upon her through the clouds, for she said she had, as it
were, looked her pain and weariness in the face, and seen
they were sent for some purpose; and now that she had
done so, we should find that she would be "more patient
than before." We were told to take a sheet of paper, and
write out a calendar for a week with the text above, "In pa-
tience possess ye your souls." Then as each day went by
we were to strike it through with a pencil; this we did, hop-
ing that the passing days were leading her nearer to recovery,
and not knowing that each was in reality "a day's march
For the text of another week she had "Be strong and of
a good courage," as the words had been said by a kind friend
MRS. EWING'S HUMILITY.
to cheer her just before undergoing the trial of an operation.
Later still, when nights of suffering were added to days of
pain, she chose, "The day is Thine, the night also is
Of what may be termed external spiritual privileges she did
not have many, but she derived much comfort from an unex-
pected visitor. During nine years previously she had known
the Rev. Edward Thring as a correspondent, but they had
not met face to face, though they had tried on several occa-
sions to do so. Now, when their chances of meeting were
nearly gone, he came and gave great consolation by his unrav-
elling of the mystery of suffering, and its sanctifying power;
as also by his interpretation that the life which we are meant
to lead under the dispensation of the Spirit who has been
given for our guidance into truth, is one which does not take
us out of the world, but keeps us from its evil, enabling us to
lead a heavenly existence on earth, and so to span over the
chasm which divides us from heaven.
Perhaps some of us may wonder that Julie should need
lessons of encouragement and comfort, who was so apt a
teacher herself; but however ready she may always have
been to hope for others, she was thoroughly humble-minded
about herself. On one day near the end, when she had re-
ceived some letter of warm praise about her writings, a friend
said in joke, "I wonder your head is not turned by such
things; and Julie replied, "I don't think praise really hurts
me, because, when I read my own writings over again, they
often seem to me such 'bosh;' and then, too, you know I
lead such a useless life, and there is so little I can do, it is a
great pleasure to know I may have done some good."
It pleased her to get a letter from Sir Evelyn Wood, writ-
ten from the Soudan, telling how he had cried over Letus; "
DEATH AND BURIAL.
and she was almost more gratified to get an anonymous expres-
sion from "One of the Oldest Natives of the Town of Alder-
shot" of his "warm and grateful sense of the charm of her
delightful references to a district much loved of its children,
and the emotion he felt in recognizing his birthplace so
tenderly alluded to." Julie certainly set no value on her
own actual manuscripts, for she almost invariably used them
up when they were returned from the printers, by writing on
the empty sides, and destroying them after they had thus
done double duty. She was quite amused by a relation who
begged for the sheets of Jackanapes," and so rescued them
from the flames.
On the IIth of May an increase of suffering made it ne-
cessary that my sister should undergo another operation, as
the one chance of prolonging her life. This ordeal she faced
with undaunted courage, thanking God that she was able to
take chloroform easily, and only praying He would end her
sufferings speedily, as He thought best, since she feared her
physical ability to bear them patiently was nearly worn out.
Her prayer was answered, when, two days later, free from
pain, she entered into rest. On the 16th of May she was
buried in her parish church-yard of Trull, near Taunton, in a
grave literally lined with moss and flowers; and so many
floral wreaths and crosses were sent from all parts of Eng-
land, that when the grave was filled up they entirely covered
it, not a speck of soil could be seen ; her first sleep in mother
earth was beneath a coverlet of fragrant white blossoms. No
resting-place than this could be more fitting for her. The
church is deeply interesting from its antiquity and its fine
oak-screen and seats carved by monks of Glastonbury, while
the church-yard is an :. Hi.. 1, peaceful one, containing sev-
eral yew-trees under one of these, which overshadows Julie's
UNTIL THE DAY BREAK,
grave, the remains of the parish stocks are to be seen, a
quaint mixture of objects, that recalls some of her own close
blendings of humor and pathos into one scene. Here, "for
a space, the tired body lies with feet towards the dawn," but I
must hope and believe that the active soul, now it is delivered
from the burden of the flesh, has realized that Gordon's anti-
cipations were right when he wrote : The future world must
be much more amusing, more enticing, more to be desired
than this world, putting aside its absence of sorrow and
sin. The future world has been somehow painted to our
minds as a place of continuous praise, and, though we may
not say it, yet we cannot help feeling that, if thus, it would
prove monotonous. It cannot be thus. It must be a life of
activity, for happiness is dependent on activity: death is ces-
sation of movement; life is all movement."
If Archbishop Trench, too, was right in saying, -
The tasks, the joys of earth, the same in heaven will be;
Only the little brook has widened to a sea,"
have we not cause to trust that Julie still ministers to the
good and happiness of the young and old whom she served
so well while she was seen among them? Let her, at any
rate, be to us one of those who shine as the stars to lead us
unto God : -
"God's saints are shining lights: who stays
Here long must passe
O'er dark hills, swift streams, and steep ways
As smooth as glass;
But these all night,
Like Candles, shed
Their beams, and light
Us into bed.
AND THE SHADOWS 1'LEE AWAY. 97
"They are, indeed, our pillar-fires,
Seen as we go;
They are that Citie's shining spires
We travel to.
A sword-like gleame
Kept man for sin -
First out, this beame
Will guide him In."