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whole warehouses full of the rubbishy nothings
which a home-spinning dame would call dear
at a gift.


I saw one leaf upon a tree remaining,
Which by a feeble trembling tenure hung;
The cold chill winds of winter were complaining,
And heaps of dead leaves, wet with constant raining,
Were here and there in fitful eddies flung.

Still, in the piercing blast, this lone leaf quivered
As though each gust would force it from its hold;
Or, as it dying were, and feebly shivered
Ere to the dull cold grasp of Earth delivered,
And with its dead and rotting brethren rolled.

From the bleak North a fiercer blast came sweeping,
And from its tottering hold the leaf was hurled
Down to the ground; the bitter rain seemed weeping
In its sad icy tears the dead leaves steeping
While in the rushing wind they madly whirled.

And then it seemed the only hope had parted,
While desolation did supremely reign;
'Twas like the last trust of the broken-hearted;
Yet was a consolation then imparted
Which eased my spirit of a weight of pain:—

For, as my heart was thus so sadly viewing
The dying leaf, and seeing but its tomb,
I thought upon the coming spring, renewing
All that seemed desolate, and for dead leaves strewing
The laughing Earth with flowers of gayest bloom.

'Tis thus we should for ever look at sorrow
But, as a casting our dead leaves away
To give place to a brighter bloom to-morrow:
And from the fresh'ning face of Nature borrow
All joyous emblemsa perpetual May.


NOT many miles from Kendal, in
Westmoreland, there is a little town which I will
call Bridgemoor. Bridgemoor has a long,
scattered, straggling street of houses built in
the "any how" style of architecture. The
market-place in Bridgemoor has a circular
flight of steps in the midst, surmounted by
a jagged stone stumpthe pedestal, in old
Catholic times, of Bridgemoor market-cross.
There is a market-house, within whose cloister
is a statue of Sir Gervase Gabion, Knight,
of Gabion Place, hard by; who barricaded,
loopholed, casemated, and held out the
market-house, against Colonel Barzillai
Thwaites, commanding a troop of horse and
two companies of the Carlisle Godly train-bands,
in the Cavalier and Roundhead days.
The loyal baronet is represented in full
Roman costume, including, of course, the
voluminous periwig essential to strict
classicality in those days. He stands in a
commanding attitude, irremediably crushing
with his left sandal a hideous stone griffin,
supposed to be an effigy of anarchy, or
Cromwellism, embodied in the person of Colonel
Barzillai aforesaid. The baronet's right
hand holds an elongated cylinder of stone,
which may be interpreted as a b√Ęton, a
telescope, or a roll of paper, and with which
he points in the direction of his ancestral
mansion, Gabion Place, nearly half of which
mansion he had the patriotism to blow up
with gunpowder about the ears of the Godly
train-bands; in consideration of which
eminent, loyal, and patriotic service, the
inhabitants of Bridgemoor caused this statue
to be erected to him in the market-house
cloister; and King Charles the Second, on His
Majesty's happy restoration, did him the
honour of playing basset with him twice in
the gallery at Whitehall, being actually, in
addition, condescending enough to win two
score pieces of him and to make two jokes on
the fashion of his periwig; which was all he
ever did for him.

Bridgemoor has, besides the architectural
embellishments I have noticed, the usual
complement of decent, or genteel, or stylish
houses, being the residences of its clergyman,
lawyer, doctor, and other local big-wigs. It
has a quiet, humdrum, harmless population;
and manners quite as harmless, as quiet, and
as humdrum; but, amidst its general
tranquillity, it possesses so great a warmth of
feeling on a certain subject, that if a Certain
Personage were to come over from foreign
parts and set up, aggressively and defiantly,
his Toe to be kissed in Bridgemoor
market-place, he would be told something from
Bridgemoor folk that would, I warrant,
astonish him.

Such is Bridgemoor, and such it was, with
some few exceptions, one hundred and six
years ago, when the story I have to tell had
action. The same street, market-place, market-
house, quiet humdrum people, and manners
existed then as now; but, in 1746, the men wore
cocked hats, and square cut coats; the ladies
coifs, pinners, and quilted petticoats. The
Bridgemoor ladies now ride in railway
carriages from the Bridgemoor station along
the railway to Kendal; in 1746 they rode on
a pillion behind John the servant-man. In
1746 the market-place could boast of two
time-honoured monuments or institutions,
called stocks and a whipping post; at which
latter institution very many vagrants, male
and female, were salutarily scourged by the
parish constable "till their bodyes were
bloodie," according to the humane letter of
the more humane statute of Elizabeth in the
case of vagrancy made and provided, for which
see Mr. Burns his Justice. Both of these
institutions, together with a cheerful-looking
gibbet on an adjacent moor, on which fettered
corpses swung in the northern blast, and
which was the chief lounge for the Bridgemoor
crows, ravens and starlings, and the terror
of vinous farmers returning from fair or
market, have long since disappeared. So
have some score cottages which tumbled
down from time to time through rottenness,
and were rebuilt in a more modern style. So