Abbildungen der Seite
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

18 6 2.


h h dt

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

The interior, however, was the enigma. The large gilt figures, on strong side of Tregarrow. We will a dark ground, would have made the enter whilst the peoman and his note of time difficult under the most guest are shaking off the snow from favourable circumstances

it their shoes in the entrapce hall. was a perfect mystery ; but when On the left of this was a room with it struck, then it showed what a a blazing fire in its large grate, clock with good, strong, healthy which showed cheerfully through works could do. Its accuracy, too, the half-open door ; but it had, was a proverb. The church and devertheless, a stiff, stately, unso- town clocks deferred to it, and all cial look. This was evidently the minor timepieces and watches were apartment which had been offered set by it most humbly. up as a temple to the grand piano. On the right, a large door in the A little farther, on the same side, wainscot partition opened into the was a smaller and cosier room a chief room. In fact this was the perfect little spuggery. This was the interior ; here the interior life was dame's “ bowd woir," as her spouse passed ; here, too, was the place of called it ; & dear little sanctuary the hearthstone, and that made it suggestive of home meetings, home sacred in Guy Penrice's eyes. The talk, and home affections. Oppo. first perception of the interior was site the door was an oak staircase, pleasant certainly. A genial warmth very broad and very massive, but took possession at once of mind and very dark also and very slippery - body. The cold was completely the scene of many a fall, and the conquered here; not only conquered, cause of many a bruise — for the peo- but' appihilated. The thought of man considered carpets aristocratic, it even was subdued.

Standing and would have the stairs left in there, one looked out on the heaps the nakedness of their native oak. of snow through the windows as In a dusty corner at the foot of the though it were a picture of a winter staircase stood an old clock. In in Russia. The warmth reigned the obscurity of this position, the supreme; it had things all its own face of this horologe was quite an way; it swept even into odd cranVOL. XCI.



nies and corners, leaving not a which had undoubtedly once shod chilly spot; and if a blast of cold the hoof of Dobbin the ploughcame through an open door, it was borse. Old Peprice rather paraded at once seized and whirled and his superstition, and prided himself sucked into the maelstrom of heat on the efficacy of the talisman. He Servant girls as they came in ceased used to boast that old Jenny Giant to blow their fingers ; servant men could never cross his threshold; to stamp their feet or beat their which was true enough, as all the bodies : a few minutes before that dogs had been trained to make an hearth were enough. 'Twas a glori- onslaught on her the instant she made ous hearth that ; no scanty starveling the attempt. thing half-choked with bricks, or The apartment itself was neither exjust built a few feet into the wall, actly hall por kitchen, but had somebut a large-hearted, open-armed what the character of each. Jopahearth, which thrust itself well out than Oldbuck might have called it on the floor, and seemed to invite the symposium ; for there the yeoman, all to come there and be warm. bis family, and dependants, sat down

The fire, too, was worthy of the to the daily meals, there were the heartb. It would have kindled the evening gatherings, and there were devotion even of a fire-worshipper. held the feasts and family meetings. It was a perfect structure. All the The yeoman said he did not care elements of a fire were there, all whether 'twere hall or kitchenscientifically piled and arranged. 'twas the place of the hearthstone, There was a layer of motts, as the and that was enough for bim. Ali stumps of old trees are called in the the culinary processes had, however, West, another of coal, then came a been removed from hence, as pile of peat, and over all would lie open door showed a second kitchen, the dry crackling faggots. The fire where a large grate and a still took its character from the element glowing oven seemed to have been which predominated at the time ; fully employed of late. As a furnow it glowed bright, strong, and ther proof of disfranchisement steady in the motts and coals — now a kitchen, the dressers and the burnt more dull and heavily with pewter, the glory of a farmhouse, the peat, and then as it caught the had been displaced by a curious sticks of the faggots, its flames piece of furniture ; it was, like would blaze and roar up the chim- everything else, of dark oak, and in ney. That old chimney, too, black shape was part cabinet, part press, and grimy with the smoke of cen- part book-shelf, or rather a union turies, looked like the crater of an of all. On the ground shelf stood old volcano, as the columns of a cavalry helmet with long borse smoke and flame whirled up it, hair plume, a breastplate, and broadclouding for the time the bit of clear sword, all highly burnished, seembright sky above.

ingly a most impertinent pretence The mantelpiece was of dark oak in such a place ; but old Peorice without carving or ornament, un- cherished most religiously these reless that horse-shoe nailed on the miniscences of his having belonged front of it could be called one. We to the yeomanry, and of his having grieve to reveal this weakness of gone out when the country called our geoman, • though he certainly him. The shelf above held implemade no attempt to, conceal it. ments of a service much more in The horse-shoe was not placed accordance with the genius loci — & with any cheat-the-devil compro- punch-bowl of the old grey dragon mise in an obscure corner or crevice, pattern which had evidently seen but stood well out in front; por good service and owed its present was it a small shoe such as might entirety to one or two rivets ; & have fallen from Lilian's filly, but plain silver tankard, and the cup of a good substantial piece of iron buffalo's horn flanking it on either


« ZurückWeiter »