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CHAPTERS ON CHURCHYARDS.
THE HAUNTED CHURCHYARD.
A Friend of mine, with whom I village hostelrie. It was well for me lately compared churchyard " expe
expe- that I arrived not in equestrian equiriences,” gave me a little narrative of page, for neither landlord, hostler, nor one which had recently fallen to his male biped of any denomination, was share, during an angling excursion in visible about the large old house one of our northern counties. It will and its adjacent stable-yard. But I be best and easiest to let the narrator needed no attendance; so stooping speak in his own person, so, without with my shoulder-load of rod, basket, further preamble, "I tell the tale as it and landing-net,asI stept down one step was told to me.'
into the low heavy old porch, I passed Arriving about dark one evening straighton into the kitchen, where a blaat a large village, where I proposed zing fire in the huge gaping chimney, taking up my quarters for the night, gave me a cheerful welcome, though I observed a general stir and agitation, neither there, nor in the adjoining as if a bee-hive were pouring forth tap-room, could I espy signs or tokens its swarming colonists; and as I pro- of any living creature. I could have ceeded down the long straggling street, been well contented to take silent postowards the sign of “ The Jolly Mil session of one of the high-backed seitles ler,” the whole population of the within the ingle-nook, had there been place seemed streaming in the oppo wherewithal within reach to appease site direction of the churchyard, which “ the rage of hunger,” whose imporI had passed at the entrance of the tunate calls were rather incited than village. Men, women, and children, suppressed by the feeling of warmth were hurrying along, with an appear and comfort which circulated through ance of eager trepidation; and there my whole frame, as I stood beside the was a general hum of voices, though companionable hearth. So I called every one seemed to speak below his lustily, and thumped the end of my natural key, except a few blustering fishing-rod against the heavy oakyoungsters, who were whetting their table and dark wooden partition, till own courage, by boasting of it with at last came hurrying forth from an valiant oaths and asseverations, and inner-chamber, a little old woman, ridiculing the cowardice of the wo whose sharp shrivelled face betokened men and children. The latter were no mood of sweet complacency. But running along close by their mothers, a few words, intimating my intentions holding fast by their gowns or aprons, of sojourning in her house that night, and every minute pressing nearer, and and my voracious designs upon her looking up in their faces, with eyes larder and ale-butt, smoothed, as if by of fearful inquiry. As the different magic, half the wrinkles in her face, groups scudded swiftly by me, I caught and put her in such good-humour, here and there a few disjointed words with me at least, that she would
a ghost,” and “ the church fain have installed me into the chillyard,” and “all in white,” and “ Old ing magnificence of the parlour, whose Andrew,” and “ ten-foot high," and sanded and boarded floor, and dismal
very awful !" Half-tempted was I fireless grate, nodding with plumes of to turn with the stream, and wind up fennel, like the Enchanted Helmet in my day's sport with a Ghost hunt, but the Castle of Otranto, I was obliged to the sign of the Jolly Miller waving glance at, though the first glimpse sent before me, and the brown loaf, and me back with shivering eagerness to foaming can, so naturally depicted the comforts of the kitchen. hearth, thereon, were irresistible attractions where at last I was permitted to set, to a poor Piscator, who had fasted tle myself, while mine hostess spread since early morning from all but the for me a little claw-table, with a snowdelights of angling; and who, as day white cloth, and set about preparing declined, had followed the windings my savoury supper of fried eggs and of the stream for many a weary mile, rashers. to seek rest and refreshment at the It was not till I had dispatched two
courses of those, with a proportionate and was generally addressed by the quantum of " jolly good ale and old,” style and title of “ Farmer Cleave.” that I found leisure, while attacking Then and not till then,-and still the picturesque ruins of a fine old with most phlegmatic deliberation, he Cheshire cheese, to question mine an, began to look about him for a partner cient hostess respecting those signs of -a help meet—in the true homely sense popular agitation which had excited of the word, was the wife he desired my curiosity as I came through the to take unto himself; and it was all in village. My inquiry set wide open vain—" Love's Labour Lost”-that the floodgates of her eloquence and many a wealthy farmer's flaunting indignation. “Well I might ask,” daughter-and many a gay damsel of she said, “ but, for her part, she was the second table, from my lord's, and the almost ashamed to tell me what fools squire's,—and divers other fair ones set the folks made of themselves,-her their caps at wary Andrew, and spake master among 'em,—who was old sweet words to him when chance threw enough to know better, Lord help them in his path, and looked sweet him ! than to set off, night after night, looks at him, when he sat within eyegalloping after a ghost,--with Bob shot at church, in his own old oaken Ostler at his heels, and that idle pew, hard by the clerk's desk, with hussy Beckey, leaving her to mind his tall, bony, athletic person, erect the house, and look to everything, as a poker, and his coal-black hair and be robbed and murdered for what (glossy as the raven's wing) combed they knew,--and all for what quotha? smooth down over his forehead, till She wished, when their time came, they it met the intersecting line of two might lie balf as quiet in their graves straight jetty eyebrows, almost meetas old Andrew did in his, for all their ing over the high curved nose, and nonsensical
talk about his walk- overhanging a pair of eyes, dark, keen, ing o' nights.” I waited patiently till and lustrous ; but withal, of a severe the 'larum had unwound itself, then and saturnine expression, well in keeptaking up that part of the desultory ing with that of the closely compressinvective which more immediately re ed lips, and angular jaw. Those lips lated to the haunted churchyard, and were not made to utter tender nonsense its unquiet tenant, I got the old lady -nor those eyes for ogling, verily ; fairly into the mood of story-telling; but the latter were sharp and discernand from what she then related to me, ing enough, to find out such qualifia and from after gleanings among other cations as he had laid down to him, inhabitants of the village, succeeded self, as indispensable in his destined in stringing together a tolerably con spouse, among which (though Andrew nected narrative.
Cleaves was justly accounted a close, Andrew Cleave, whose remains had penurious man) money was not a pabeen interred the preceding week in ramount consideration, as he wisely Redburn Churchyard, was the oldest argued within himself, a prudent wife man in its large and populous parish, might save him a fortune, though she and had been one of the most prospe- did not bring one. A. small matter rous among its numerous class of by way of portion, could not come thriving and industrious husbandmen. amiss, however, and Andrew naturally
His little property, which had de- weighed in with her other perfections scended from father to son for many the twenty years' savings of the vigenerations, consisted of a large and car's housekeeper, whose age did not comfortable cottage, situated on the greatly exceed his own 1-who was acremote verge of the village common, knowledged to be the best housewife a productive garden, and a few fields, in the parish, and the most skilful. which he cultivated so successfully, dairy-woman, having come from a farising up early, and late taking rest, mous cheese country, whose fashions that by the time he had attained the she had successfully introduced at middle period of life, he was enabled Redburn Vicarage. Beside which, Mrs to rent a score more acres—had got Dinah was a staid, quiet person—not together a pretty stock of cattle—had given to gadding and gossiping and built a barn and enclosed a rick, idle conversation ; and, moreover,” yard—and drove as fine a team as any quoth Andrew, "I have a respect unto in the parişh-was altogether account. the damsel, and, verily, P might go ed a man " well to do in the world,” farther and fare worse. “ Marry in
haste, and repent at leisure," was, fasted rigidly on all days appointed by however, another of Andrew's favour- the church--broke the heads of all the ite sayings, so he took another year little boys who whistled, within his or two to consider the matter in all hearing, on Sabbaths and Saints' days its bearings; but as all things earthly -said immoderate long graces before come to an end, so at last did Andrew and after meals, and sang hymns by Cleave's ponderings; and as his actual the hour, though he had no more voice wooing was by no means so tedious than a cracked pitcher, and not ear an affair, and as the discreet Dinah enough to distinguish between the had had ample time for deliberation tunes of the 100th Psalm, and “Molly while the important question was put the Kettle on.” pending, the favoured suitor was not Besides all this, he had been a dukept long on the rack of uncertainty, tiful, if not an affectionate son—was and the third Sunday, which complet- a good, if not a tender husband-a ed the bans, saw Mrs Dinah “endow, neighbour of whose integrity no one ed,” by Andrew Cleave, with “ all doubted-a most respectable parishhis worldly goods," and installed Lady ioner; and, yet, with all this, Andrew and Mistress of his hitherto lonely Cleave's was not vital religion, for it dwelling.
partook not of that blessed spirit of He had no reason to repent his choice. love, meekness, and charity, which For once Dame Fortune (so often revi- vaunteth not itself-is not puffed up led for her strange blunders in match- —thinketh no evil of its neighbour making—so often accused of "join- neither maketh broad its phylacteries, ing the gentle with the rude”,) had nor prayeth in the corners of markethooked together two kindred souls; places, to be seen of men.
He was and it seemed indecil as if Andrew had neither extortionate nor a drunkard. only reunited to himself a sometime He gave tithes of all that he possessed. divided portion of his own nature, so He did not give half his goods to the marvellously did he and his prudent poor; but, nevertheless, contrived to Dinah sympathise in their views, ha- make out such a catalogue of claims bits, and principles. Thrift—thrift on the peculiar favour of Heaven, as thrift—and the accumulation of world- very, comfortably satisfied his own ly substance, was the end and aim of conscience, and left him quite at leiall their thoughts, dreams, and under sure to “ despise others.” takings; yet were they rigidly just It had been the misfortune of Anand honest in all their dealings, even drew Cleave, to have imbibed from beyond the strict letter of the law, of his parents those narrow views of Chriswhich they scorned to take advantage in tianity, and their early death had left a doubtful matter; and Andrew Cleave him an unsociable being, unloving, had been known more than once to unloved, and unconnected, till he come forward to the assistance of dise changed his single for a married state. tressed neighbours (on good security indeed), but on more liberal terms
“ Habits are stubborn things ; than could have been expected from
And by the time a man is turned of forty, one of his parsimonious habits, or
His ruling passions grow so haughty,
There is no clipping of his wings." than were offered by persons of more reputed generosity.
Now, Andrew was full forty-three Moreover, he was accounted--and when he entered the pale of matrihe surely accounted himself-a very mony, and the staid Dinah, three good religious man, and a very pious Chris“ years his senior, had no wish to clip tian,-“ a serious Christian,” he de them, being, as we have demonstrated, nominated himself; and such a one his very counterpart, his “ mutual he was in good truth, if a sad and head” in all essential points; so, withgrave aspect-solemn speech, much out a spark of what silly swains and abounding in scriptural phrases--slow simple maidens call love, and some delivery-erect deportment, and un wedded folks“ tender friendship," social reserve, constitute fair claims to our serious couple jogged on together this distinction. Moreover, he was a in a perfect matrimonial rail-road of regular church-goer-an in-lefatigable monotonous conformity, and Andrew reader of his Bible, (of the Old Testa. Cleave might have gone down to his ment, and the Epistles in particular), grave unconscious that hearts were Vol. XXIII.
male for any other purpose than to travelling, with her babe in her arins,
illustrations and observations, such as, And sometimes, on his way home “ misfortunes never come alone, for of an evening, he would stop and ex- his poor dame was taken at night, and change a few words with an acquain- the old gander was found dead in the tance, at his cottage door, attracted by morning.” Moreover, he failed not to the sight of some chubby boy, with sum up, as sources of rational consowhose short limbs and infant vigour lation, “ that it had pleased the Lord he would compare, in his mind's eye, to spare her till the boy ran alone, and the healthful beauty of his own urchin. Daisey's calf was weaned, and all the But great, indeed, was the amaze bacon cured ; and he himself had bement of Dame Cleave, when Andrew, come fully competent to supply her who had always “set his face like a place in the manufacturing of clieeses.” flint" against the whole tribe of idle So Andrew buried his wife, and was mendicants, making it a rule, not only comforted. to chase them from his own door, but And, from the night of her death, he to consign them, if possible, to the took his little son to his own bed, and wholesome coercion of the parish stocks, liid him in his mother's place; and long actually went the length of bestowing and fervent were the prayers he ejaa comfortable meal, a night's shelter culated before he went to rest, kneelin an outhouse, and a bed of clean ing beside his sleeping child; and straw, on a soldier's widow, who was cautious and tender as a mother's kiss,
was that he imprinted on its innocent in childhood, have relaxed into suen brow before he turned himself to an expression of dimpled mirth, as slumber. Early in the morning an the joyous laugh burst out-that sound elderly widow, who had been used to of infectious gladness, which rings to cook his victuals, and set the cottage one's heart's core like a peal of merry to rights before his marriage, came to bells. He was a fine little fellow! take up and tend the boy, and get and, at five years old, the joy and breakfast for him and his father, and pride of the doating father, not only she was now detained through the for his vigorous beauty, but for his day, in the care of household concerns, quick parts, and wonderful forwardand of the motherless little one. She ness in learning; for Andrew was a was a good and tender foster-mother, scholar, and had early taken in hand and a careful manager withal, falling his son's education ; so that, at the readily into Andrew's ways and lik- age above mentioned, he could spell ings ; a woman of few words, and con out passages in any printed book, could tent with little more than her victuals say the Lord's Prayer and the Belief, and drink-and (inoffensive and taci- and great part of the Ten Commandturn as she was) he had a feeling of ments, though he stuck fast at the snug satisfaction in locking her out 39 Articles, and the Athanasian Creed, every evening when she betook here which his father had thought it expeself to sleep at her own cottage. Then dient to include among his theological was Andrew wont to turn back to his studies. It was the proudest day of own solitary hearth, with a feeling of Andrew Cleave's whole life, when, for self gratulation, not evincing much the first tiine, he led his little son by taste for social enjoyment, or any dis- the hand up the aisle of his parish position again to barter his secure church, into his own pew, and littert state of single blessedness for a chance up the boy upon the seat beside hiin, in the matrimonial lottery — from where (so well had he been tutored, which, having drawn a first-rate prize, and so profound was his chillish awe,) it would have been presumptuous tó he stood stock still, with his new red expect a second.
prayer-book held open in his two little What with old Jenny's help, and his chubby hands, and his eyes own notability, (he had not lived so ably fixed, “not on the book, but” on long a bachelor without having ac his father's face. All eyes were fixed quired some skill in housewifery), he upon the boy, for, verily, a comical got on very comfortably; and for a little figure did the young Josiah exhiliving object to care for, and to love, bit that Sabbath-day. Andrew Cleave the little Josiah was to him wife, had a sovereign contempt for petchild, companion-every thing! So ticoats, (though, of course, he hail Andrew continued faithful as a wi. never hinted as much in his late dowed turtle to the memory of his spouse's hearing,) and could ill brook deceased Dinah; and the motherless that his son and heir, a future lord of boy throve as lustily as if he had con creation, should be ignominiously tinued to nestle under the maternal trammelled even in swaddling clothes. wing. He was, in truth, a fine sturdy So soon, therefore, as a change was little fellow, full of life and glee, and feasible-far sooner than old Jenny “ quips and cranks, and mirthful allowed it to be so-the boy was emana smiles," and yet as like Andrew as cipated from his effeminate habilia
“ The very moral of ments, and made a man of-a little the father,” said old Jenny, "only man complete, in coat, waistcoat, and not so solemn like.” He had Andrew's breeches, made after the precise fajetty eyebrows, and black lustrous eyes, shion of his father's, who had set the deep set under the broad projecting tailor to work in his own kitchen, unbrow; but they looked out with der his own eye, and on a half-worn roguish mirth from their shadowy suit of his own clothes, out of which cells, and the raven hair, that, like enough remained in excellent preservahis father's, almost touched his straight tion, to furnish a complete equipment eyebrows, clung clustering over thein, for the man in miniature. So little and round bis little fat poll, in á Josiah's Sunday-going suit consisted luxuriance of rich, close, glossy curls. of a long-tailed coat of dark blue His mouth was shaped like his father's, broad cloth, lapelled back with two rows 100; but Andrew's could never, even of large gilt basket-work buttons : :
“ two peas."