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it would have been called a carriage in
Loudon; and it was nothing to be at all
proud of, for it was a superannuated, rickety,
uupainted old box upon wheels, something
between an obsolete fly and a post-chaise that
had seen better days. None of the wheels
were of a size; and they might all have
belonged to Ixion for any progress they
made, worth mentioning. One of the shutter-
blinds was irremovably fixed in its window
by age, or stiffness, or obstinacy; and there
it was, like a wall-eye. The thing was
intended to be drawn by two horses, but we
never had more than one, and he was a
rough colt of all-work, without a hap'orth
of breeding in him. He was troubled
with a perpetual cough; was suspected of
having once eaten a ginger-beer bottle, which
had disagreed with him; had a strong dash
of the mule in his appearance; had a face
very like a cow; and would not have at all
surprised us by turning out a donkey, some
fine day. When he had nothing to do, he
used to loaf about a paddock, resting his
foolish nose on the palings; and the
bluebottles used to come and chaff him, asking
him, no doubt, whether he had enough corn
to eat, and how he liked the ginger-beer
bottle. Before we became possessed of our
carriage, it used to stand forlorn in the middle
of the village street, stranded, high and dry,
like a boat. The boys used to play games on
its box; and there was a report that hens
were accustomed to roost in its interior. But it
served our turn; for we lived a long distance
from a town, and there were no railway stations
in those days. Our coachman, who was a
man of all-work, like the horse, was half-
ashamed of our vehicle. He had not the
hardihood to call it the " carriage " — he
spoke of it as the " conveyance."  At all
events, he had to convey us all to the races.
A lovely day it was; and happy all we
children were, and brave I thought the coachman
looked, in a new coat and a new hat, — not
quite a bran new hat, perhaps; for it had
originally been a riding-hat of my mother's
very broad in the brim, as all ladies' hats
were worn then. It had since been cut down,
and had lain about and knocked about a
little, and had at last been furbished up
anew, with a smart silver band, for the coachman.
The man wore it, and, I verily believe,
was proud of it. But woe is me! we had to
pass Doctor Strong'i'th'arm's establishment
for young gentlemen (Sampson House, Birch-
hampstead), and Doctor Strong'i'th'arm's
four-and-twenty boarders were drawn up to see
the company go to the races; and, from the
four-and-twenty throats of those unfeeling
boys, there came, as we passed, a screama
yellof " What a shocking bad hat! " I
hear it now. It is years ago. The Reform
Bill has passed since then. I am nearly
the only one of that carriage party who
has not gone another journey in another
carriage, with plumes; but the coachman's
silver-laced hat, and Doctor Strong'i'th'arm's
boarders' criticisms thereupon, will never be
effaced from my mind.


A POET'S home! On earth what spot
Is that where lodge the Muses ?
A tropic isle, a warm south plot
Round which fresh sunlight cruises.

Walks which a sleeping ocean bounds
With hints of worlds hereafter;
Rare scents of wild flowers, and the sounds
Of Bacchant girlish laughter.

A hill that hides a drowsy town,
A great cloud sauntering by it:
A streamlet poured in sunshine down
In almost visible quiet.

Ah me! I fear Greek tales are lies;
We live a life too real
To dally 'neath Arcadian skies,
And list to sounds ideal.

A poet's home! What prospect hath
His eyewhat sights Elysian?
A rough highway, a dusty path
Where brick-kilns blur the vision.

A want of light, a want of air,
A want of poet-neighbour:
A wooing of all wishes fair,
A winning but of labour.

Sing on, O poet! Time is just,
Sing, 'mid the city shadows:
A flower that beautifies the dust
Shames blooms that droop in meadows.

Better than poet-friend to thee,
And dearer, is employment:
Thy duty is an Arcady
More glorious than enjoyment.

Where common eyes nought rare can scan
Thou findest angel faces,
And in each highway trod by man
Greetest holy places.



OF all the persons who had been present,
in any capacity, at the Marquis Melam's
ball, the earliest riser, on the morning after
it, was Nanina. The agitation produced by
the strange events in which she had been
concerned, destroyed the very idea of sleep.
Through the hours of darkness she could not
even close her eyes; and, as soon as the new
day broke, she rose to breathe the early
morning air at her window, and to think in
perfect tranquillity over all that had passed
since she entered the Melani Palace to wait
on the guests at the masquerade.

On reaching home the previous night, all
her other sensations had been absorbed in a
vague feeling of mingled dread and curiosity,