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diminution in our speed, and the confusion of
noises so far ceased, that we could hear the
panting of our biped cattle. Then, straight
before us, shining in the centre of the pitchy
darkness, there was a bright blue star
suddenly apparent. One of the poor lads in
the whisper of exhaustion, and between his
broken pantings for breath, told us that they
always know when they have got half way
by the blue star, for that is the daylight
shining in.

A little necessary rest, and we were off again,
the blue star before us growing gradually
paler, and expanding and still growing whiter,
till with an uncontrollable dash, and a
concussion, we are thrown within a few feet of
the broad incomparable daylight. With how
much contempt of candles did I look up at
the noonday sun! The two lads, streaming
with perspiration, who had dragged us down
the long incline, were made happy by the
payment we all gladly offered for their
services. Then, as we passed out of the mouth
of the shaft, by a rude chamber cut out of the
rock, we were induced to pause and purchase
from a family of miners who reside there a
little box of salt crystals, as a memento of our
visit. Truly we must have been among the
gnomes, for when I had reached the inn I
spread the brilliant crystals I had brought
home with me on my bedroom window sill,
and there they sparkled in the sun and
twinkled rainbows, changing and shifting
their bright colours as though there were a
living imp at work within. But when I got
up next morning and looked for my crystals,
in the place where each had stood, I found
only a little slop of brine. That fact may,
I have no doubt, be accounted for by the
philosophers; but I prefer to think that it
was something wondrous strange, and that I
fared marvellously like people of whom I had
read in German tales, how they received gifts
from the good people who live in the bowels
of the earth, and what became of them. I
have had my experiences, and I do not choose
to be sure whether those tales are altogether
founded upon fancy.

           FRIEND SORROW.

Do not cheat thy Heart and tell her,
    Grief will pass away
"Hope for fairer times in future,
    And forget to-day."
Tell her, if you will, that sorrow
    Need not come in vain;
Tell her that the lesson taught her
    Far outweighs the pain.

Cheat her not with the old comfort,
    "Soon she will forget"—
Bitter truth, alas, but matter
    Rather for regret;
Bid her not "Seek other pleasures,
    Turn to other things:"—
Rather nurse her cagèd sorrow
    'Till the captive sings.

Rather bid her go forth bravely,
    And the stranger greet:
Not as foe, with shield and buckler,
    But as dear friends meet;
Bid her with a strong clasp hold her,
    By her dusky wings;
And she'll whisper low and gently
    Blessings that she brings.


RAFAELLE, the Angel-limner; Guido with
his heavenward turned visages; the ghost
stalwart, grim, awfulof Michael Angelo
Buonarotti, pointing with a giant hand* from the
midst of the gemmed raiment and rich
carnations of Sebastiano del Piombo; with these
the grand old white-bearded man Tiziano
Vecelli, so affectionately called by his countrymen
the Titian, with hues as gorgeous as his
own Venice. Such are my glorious company
in one of the shabby suite of shabby rooms
near Charing Cross, called (in a spirit of polite
irony, I presume,) the National Gallery.
Shabby, paltry, in bad taste, miserably
inefficient as these rooms may be for the
purposes they were intended to fulfil, while I
have these great masters of Art around me I
can forgive and forget the ugly hive that holds
so many sweets: the barn-like frontage, the
mustard-pot dome, and pepper-box cupolas.
I am not alone. The Grenadier Barracks
may be close behind me, with most unromantic
fifing and drumming in the yard thereof,
for ever calling discordant echoes from the
purlieus of Leicester Square; with inartistical-
looking privates lolling out of monotonous
windows, with doors, jamb-studded by lance
corporals returning from the fatigue duty of
carrying home their better-halves basket of
newly mangled linen. The neighbouring sky
may be obscured by puffy steam issuing from
the work-a-day baths and wash-houses. There
may be little charity children, hard by, droning
forth spelling-lessons in St. Martin's
Schools. Sallow paupers may be uncomfortably
stone-breaking, oakum-picking, bone-
crushing, handmill-grinding, all in direct
opposition to good taste and the advancement
of the Fine Arts, in the inner yards of
St. Martin's workhouse; but I can condone
all their common-place delinquencies, and all
the short-comings of the locality, the entourage,
the population, Cockspur Street with its
hideous statue, St. Martin's Lane, the ginger-
beer fountains, the post they have stuck
Nelson on. Here, in the one-pair front of the
National Gallery, I can walk with the peacocks
in the rainbow-marbled palace of Dido; good
master Steenwyck my gentleman usher. I can
side under the trees with Pater Æneas in the
storm. I can tremble when Lazarus rises, and
weep when the Angel lifts His auburn tresses
in pious Francia's canvass. I can fondle the
little lamb that Saint John is leading in the
desert, can wipe the moisture from the
swimming eyes of the Gevartius of Vandyck,
can count the furrows in the forty per cent.
face of Rembrandt's Jewish Rabbi.
* It is matter of artistical tradition that the figures in
Sebastiano del Piombo's great picture of the Raising of
Lazarus were drawn by Michael Angelo, who wished to pit
the Venetian painter against Rafaelle, and knowing the
proficiency of Sebastiano as a colourist and his weakness as a
draughtsman, designed his picture for him.