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Grave and Gay," is appropriate and significant-for in pathos and humour both the author excels: to adopt Wordsworth's language,

Caverns there are within his mind which sun
Can never penetrate, yet wants there not

Rich store of leafy arbours where the light
May enter in at will.

In part these miscellanies are to be viewed as entirely new; "large sections having been intercalated in the present edition, and other changes made, which, even to the old parts, by giving very great expansion, give sometimes a character of absolute novelty." Mr. de Quincey proposes to group the collected articles under three general heads-first, a class "which proposes primarily to amuse the reader, but which, in doing so, may or may not happen occasionally to reach a higher station, at which the amusement passes into an impassioned interest;" secondly, those papers which address themselves purely to the understanding as an insulated faculty, or do so primarily" (including, ex. gr., the essays on the Essenes, the Cæsars, Cicero, &c.); and thirdly, a far higher class of compositions in virtue of their aim, "modes of impassioned prose ranging under no precedents" in any literature, viz., the "Confessions," and the Suspiria de Profundis.

The present volume is autobiographical, dating from the "Affliction of Childhood" in its earliest germ, onwards to the experiences of fervid youth. Nothing can surpass the touching power, the profound grandeur, the psychological interest of this extraordinary narrative-unless it be its sallies of superlative fun, its mirthful originalities of mood and manner. There are "bits" of magnificent prose that stand alone for splendour of diction and passion of sentiment in the English language. We have no space for quotation at this late period-no opportunity to show how the future Opium-eater was initiated, yet an infant, in premature spiritual conflict, and in the stern habit of thoughts that lie too deep for tears-or how an elder brother ruled the nursery with a sway of which the present chronicle gives the most ludicrous record imaginable-or how the autobiographer was introduced to the warfare of a public school, how he entered the world, how he bivouacked in the "nation of London," and pilgrimised amid the beauties and strifes of Ireland. But we could not forbear the utterance of a most cordial welcome to this volume,

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which we trust the "leafy month of June" will cause to be known and read of all men. On a future occasion we hope to indite a paper on the Pathos and Passion, as already we have on the Humour, of Thomas de Quincey,*—and for such an essay the present tome will present ample scope and verge enough, and to spare.

*New Monthly Magazine, October, 1852.


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On the outskirts of a handsome village situated many miles' distance from the metropolis, stands a somewhat small but most elegant villa. Nothing about it, inside or out, would seem to be wanting that could contribute to the comfort of its inmates; for if the pleasure-grounds were limited, they were luxuriant; if the conservatories were small, all that was choice and lovely in the florist's calendar had a place there; and if the villa's apartments were neither stately nor numerous, there was at least enough of space, and also of elegance about them, to satisfy all rea sonable desires.

The bleak winter had passed; the early spring had come and gone; and now that May was entering, the lately bare trees were budding forth into beauty, the garden flowers rose their lovely heads, the lawn was clothed in its brightest and freshest tint of green; and on that glowing spring morning there came dancing on to the lawn, from one of the low French windows of the breakfast-room, an exquisite child of seven years old, bright and radiant as that sunny day of spring.

Few could look for the first time at that young face without being riveted with its charming beauty. Yet it was not so much in the features, faultless as they were, that the attraction lay; or in the complexion, though it rivalled the loveliest rose; or in the sunny ringlets sporting on the neck, as in the deep, earnest, spirituel expression of the face. A singular face it was, singular in its depth of pathos and beauty; and rarely, indeed, have the gifts of nature, both in mind and person, been lavished upon a child of earth as they were lavished upon Georgina Vereker.

She was gaily dressed in white, with a blue sash tied round her waist, its long ends fluttering with her restless movements; and her straw hat hung dangling from her arm by its blue ribbons, for she had raced out of doors in joyous impatience, too eager to wait for its being put on. Flying hither and thither; now stopping to listen to the birds as they carolled in the trees, now stooping to pluck a rare flower, or inhale the perfume from a newly-blown rose, now practising some dancing-step, and now glancing down at the dew gathered on her sandaled shoes.

"My dear," cried a staid, but young and pleasing-looking lady, who had followed her out, "the grass is not yet dry. You must come upon the gravel."

"The grass will not hurt me," returned the child, skipping about it more than ever. "And I can't see mamma's windows from the gravel. I want to have the first look at her when she comes to open them."

One of the windows the child was looking up to did open as she spoke, for a lady, attracted probably by the voices, drew aside the curtains and threw up the sash.

"My May-bird! my May-bird!" she exclaimed, fondly looking down at the little girl.

"Dear mamma! dear mamma! see what a lovely day it is. And I have got a white frock on-you said I might put one on for the first time, if it were warm and sunny. Shall I come to you now, that you may wish me many happy returns of my birthday?"

"Yes, yes, my darling. Come."

Away flew the child, brushing past her governess, on her way to her mother's bedroom. The lady had not begun to dress; she was merely in her dressing-gown and slippers. She extended her arms as the child entered, clasping her fondly in them: she passionately kissed her smooth, glowing cheeks; her open brow; her rosy lips; and as she laid her hand upon the little head, and looked up to heaven, the tears gathered in her eyes with the earnestness of her aspiration:


Almighty Father! bless, oh bless my child! Protect and bless her through this approaching year that she is entering upon, even as Thou hast blessed and protected her through the last!"

Is it well to be an only child?-the only child of doting parents? I scarcely think so. Mr. and Mrs. Vereker had married late in life: he was turned fifty, and she fast approaching it. It may be, they had not expected children; that they thought the time was gone by for the blessing to be accorded them; and when a child was, indeed, born, they looked upon it as the most precious of all precious gifts; had it been a very angel from heaven, its little presence could not have diffused more joy and gladness, or have given rise to greater thanksgiving. It grew and thrived-in spite of the overwhelming care that was bestowed upon it. Every breath was watched-every sigh was listened to with nervous anxiety; and when it screamed, for the very best of babies will scream, the whole house rose in commotion, and the nearest medical man was run for. How Mrs. Vereker survived the "painful period of dentition," as the soothing syrup advertisements express it, was a mystery. Mr. Vereker was in a state of nervousness from its commencement to its close; his wife never quitted the nursery or the infant for weeks and months, and all the rules and daily ordinary regulations of the household were thrown aside. Mrs. Vereker took her breakfast standing, tea-cup in hand, and looking at the baby; Mr. Vereker how and where he could get it: dinner was forgotten to be ordered; and bed-time only remembered by the child's sinking into a quiet sleep. Still the child grew and prospered; and by the time she was two years old, her will was law in the house. No child was ever so indulged and cared for; and, perhaps, for these doting parents there was some excuse, for she was a very angel in beauty and temper. A

looker-on could not but recal some of the lines in Parnell's "Hermit." I have not the poem to refer to, and have never seen it since I was a child, but the reader will recollect what I mean. Where a child is born to the good, religious man, who had been walking straight for heaven before, but now

-the child half weaned his heart from God.
Child of his age! for him he lived in pain,
And measured back his steps to earth again.

Was Mr. Vereker acquainted with that poem? And did a following line ever recur to him?

And God, to save the father, took the son.

Did he fear the same all-seeing wisdom, the same termination, might rule over this earthly and inordinate love of his?

But no. Mr. Vereker was not, himself, spared long, either to love or to mourn his child. Ere she was three years old, he died; and his last prayers on earth were for her happiness, his last thoughts for her welfare. The whole of his fortune-and it was considerable-was left to Georgina. Half of it to be paid over to her, unconditionally, on her wedding-day, or when she should be twenty-one; the other half on the death of his wife: but during the child's infancy and youth, Mrs. Vereker was to enjoy the interest of the whole. Was there wisdom in this will as regarded the child's temporal happiness? Mr. Vereker no doubt thought so.

An only child of a widowed mother! and she long past her meridian of life! never hoping for another-knowing that another could never be born to her. The reader may have witnessed a parallel case in some of the daily scenes around him; but I question if he ever saw or heard of a passion so idolatrous in one human being for another, as Mrs. Vereker felt and encouraged for her little daughter. Every indulgence, every expense, every care was lavished upon her. She had never heard the voice of contradiction. Almost any other, in her place, would have become a household tyrant, unbearable to the servants, and a source of perpetual torment to herself and her mother; but, happily for them both, the child was gifted with the sweetest temper, with expansive intellect, and with the most sensitive imagination, far, far beyond her years.

"Those children never live," cried an incautious, gossiping friend one day, looking at Georgina as she knelt, weaving daisies on the lawn. They are too good and too beautiful for earth, and God takes them to their fitting home."

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The visitor thought she spoke to the governess alone, but Mrs. Vereker had joined them unperceived. The life-blood left her heart as she listened to the words, rushing back to it with tumultuous agony; a cold, shivering moisture broke over her skin, and her sight momentarily left her. Perhaps the thought had never before fully occurred to her that her child might be taken from her: that it was really subject to the common doom of its fellow-mortals-death. But she looked at the lovely picture kneeling on the grass, on her glowing colour, and round, healthy form.

"Death is not likely to come to her before its time," she mentally exclaimed, drawing a relieved sigh. "Mrs. Grame is always revelling in old wives' tales."

And so the child, worshipped by her mother, loved by her governess, doted on by the servants, reached her seventh birthday, the 1st of May, and was now in her mother's room, listening to the fervent prayer for blessings to descend upon her head. Her birthdays were always kept, and with much splendour. To-day, a large party, chiefly children like herself, were to assemble to a mid-day dinner, and all sorts of merry games were to take place on the lawn afterwards, with dancing in-doors in the evening.

"But what shall I do till then?" asked Georgina, when breakfast was

over, and she had fully examined all her birthday presents. Of course she learnt no lessons that day.

"What would you like to do, dearest ?" questioned her mother. "Shall I order the carriage and take you out ?"

"The carriage," hesitated the child, apparently deliberating within herself the pros and cons of the proposition. "No, mamma," she said, at length, "I don't think we will have the carriage to-day. I am so delighted with everything! with my birthday, and my presents, and all my visitors coming, that I should not like to sit still in the carriage. I must dance about for joy. What are you going to do, Miss Harding ?"

"I have one or two commissions to execute in the village,” replied the governess.

"Then I will go with you," added the child. "Mamma, I shall put on my new birthday bonnet."

No objection was made. When was an objection ever made to the will of Georgina? So the birthday bonnet-it was all white satin and feathers was put on, and Miss Vereker started on her walk with her governess.

She was really like a bird, happy and light and joyous as one. Now singing a scrap of a song; now flying after a butterfly-one of the first of the year; now plucking a hedge flower; now skipping over the pasture grass; and now talking, strange, deep thoughts, as she always did, to Miss Harding. Never was there so sweet and sunny a child-never one so imaginative.

As they neared the lodge at the gates, where dwelt the gardener and his wife, she sprang, as usual, up to the door, in quest of her old friend Willy, a pretty boy about her own age.

"Where's Willy?" she asked of the wife, who was busy in the room over her domestic duties.

“Ah, my dear young lady, is it you? Many happy returns of the day, my sweetest. And oh, what a love of a bonnet!"

"Yes, I know. Thank you; everybody has been wishing it to me. But where's Willy?"

"Willy's in bed," cried the woman, coming forward, and speaking in a whisper. "I don't know what's the matter with him, whether it is a bad cold, or his tooth, or what; but he is in bed, and very ill."

Quick as thought Miss Vereker had stepped over the upright board at the door, placed there to stop the egress, at will, of a younger child than Willy, and had flown into the back room. On one of the beds therefor it contained two-lay the boy, his face nearly the colour of scarlet, and his eyes and lips looking hot, swollen, and inflamed.

"Dearest little Willy!" she exclaimed, the tears rising to her own eyes, "what is it has made ill? You will not be able to come up at dusk and see the fireworks.'


Dearest little Willy! It was her frequent salutation to him, though the boy was nearly as old as she in years; but in deep thought and intellect she was as one twice his age.

Willy did not speak, did not even put out his hand, but lay there looking as ill and feverish as he could well look. And when Miss Harding and the mother entered the room, whither they had followed somewhat

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