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A YOUNG HERO.
THERE have recently been interred on the quiet evening, as he was sitting in the kitchen, where she shore of Windermere, followed to the grave only by was performing her ordinary duty, a boiler, owing his relatives and a few sympathising villagers, the to the ill construction of some apparatus connected
remains of a man more heroic and humane than with it, suddenly exploded, cut out one of her eyes, | many to whom national honours have been accorded. nearly destroyed the sight of the other, seriously Frederick William Davies, late an employé at the burnt and disfigured other parts of her person, and Stanley Dock, Liverpool, was the only boy in a laid her quite prostrate, while her clothes remained family of six. His father died while he was yet on fire. Davies was wounded in the head, his young; but from that hour the boy became as a clothes were nearly destroyed on his back, and both husband-i.e., a house-band ; took home regularly he and his sweetheart would soon have died from what he could earn to help his widowed mother suffocation if from no other cause, but that he had and his sisters, and may be said to have all but the presence of mind to kick out a panel of a bolted entirely sustained them for some years.
door, and let in a rush of fresh air. He soon reWhen the Liverpool Sailors' Home was in flames, covered, but it was otherwise with the young on the 30th of April, 1859, and some of the inmates | woman. As soon as she was capable of being had got out of the upper windows, where they were removed, she was taken to a public infirmary, clinging between two chances of death, with their | where her lover, now more devoted to her than shirts on fire ; on an escape-ladder being hoisted, it ever, visited her as often as the rules of the instiwas found too short to reach them. The crowd tution would permit. The authorities there, struck below seemed perplexed and hesitant, while to the by his constancy and tenderness, presently allowed sufferers above every moment was a little eternity him to visit her every day; and after she had so of terror; and it was just when all hope for them far as was possible recovered, his attentions to her appeared to be gone, that Davies, who had been | were continued as regularly as before. When she standing as a spectator, voluntarily sprang forth, had left Liverpool for the house of her parents at and climbing the larger ladder, braced a smaller | Bowness, he came down as frequently as his duties one near to its top, stave to stave, with his naked would allow him to see her; and on the 1st of hands alone, while four men and a boy came down January in the present year (1866), notwithstanding it and over his body, thereby escaping the death, her personal disfigurement and semi-blindness, made one mode or the other of which seemed but an her his bride. instant before inevitable. At one time a man and That fidelity to Katie Martin, and that marriage, a boy were upon him together, when, to use his | were, as time has proved, among the most provi. OWD expression, the shout of the crowd was so tre dential things that ever happened to brave Frederick mendous as to make him feel as if it were shaking | William Davies. A fatal disease (consumption), not the ladder under him; and the pressure upon apparent at the time, soon afterwards set in with him so great that his hands were forced all but slow but sure determination; and any close obeatirely open : a moment's longer pressure, and all server might plainly have seen that he who had so the three must have been dashed to pieces by the nobly saved the lives of others, must ere long lay threatened fall. By the mercy of God and Davies's down his own. Day by day his body diminished in noble persistence, however, the escape was complete. bulk, and grew weaker; and since it was found The case excited considerable interest at the time. that the medical skill, eveu of Liverpool, could do His portrait appeared in one of the most popular but little for him, he was removed to the home of pictorial weeklies, and the philanthropic feat was his wife's parents in Westmoreland, to try what acknowledged by a public subscription, which change of air could accomplish there. Neither realised about 2201. for his benefit, though no change of air, nor ordinary medical treatment, howthought of reward or applause bad incited him to ever, could arrest his complaint; and it was about the action.
three weeks before his death, that I was first called All accounts of Davies's life agree in this, that in to see him. I can never forget the nobleness and his general conduct harmonised with that brave and benignity of the young man's countenance in the generous effort, as a concert chords with its key- extreme emaciation in which I found him. His note. “Prompt at pity's call," whatever he was, pale and beautiful brow was one of the most intelwhatever he had, was ever at the service of the lectual, and his face, altogether, rather of the distressed and needy; and the crowning act of his Byronic type, only that the outline was filled up career is a fine illustration of his character.
with something more benign than that of Byron, as It is now about two years since he was paying his generally presented to us. I have seen some phy. addresses to a young woman at West Derby, near sicians and ministers of religion with a similar Liverpool ; his visits to her being sanctioned by aspect, but seldom, if ever, one in whom it excelled the family with whom she was in service. One that of poor Davies. It was on that and several succeeding occasions, that he was able to detail to from all I can gather, had certainly been one more me in whispers, some particulars of his history for of life than of talk. But he had heavenward aspirawhich I inquired ; and it was touching to hear tions, and was deeply interested in and happier for him, instead of boasting of his feats, saying in any religious conversation as his end drew nigh. somewhat of the manner of one apologising for He was sometimes engaged in fervent though voicehimself, when speaking of that achievement at the less prayer, and was much comforted when others Liverpool fire, “You see, it was very hard to stand | prayed, or talked in his presence of sacred matters. by when the poor fellows were in such danger, and After the last ordeal of physical nature had comnobody seemingly able to help them, without making menced with him--trying as it was to a man in an effort of some sort; so I did it.”
some respects so weak, but in others so strong as I have said that Davies's marriage to poor Cathe- he-and all stood around him in mournful anxiety rine Martin was providential. In the course of a as to the final change, upon some one stepping near, life fraught with some adventure, and no inconsi- and in soothing words, (alluding to the presence and derable professional experience, it has been my lot goodness of Jesus) saying in gentle tones, “Come to see nurses of almost every possible kind, from unto me me all ye that labour and are heavy-laden, those of the magnanimous type of Florence Nightin- and I will give you rest,” a composure more beauti. gale downwards. No words of mine could ade- ful than aught merely of the earth could have given, quately indicate the patience, gentleuess, assiduity, settled over his entire countenance ; and presently, tenderness and tact, of many a loving soul I have with one more earnest and loving look at his seen in that humane capacity. In the devotion of weeping wife, he passed away. This was about some-not for an odd day or night, but by day and half-past seven on the evening of Sunday, Oct. 28th, night, from week to week, and in a few instances and I have since heard that at the very time a for periods so long that to specify them would be pastor in Liverpool (of course without cognisance of but to awaken doubt-I have seen all that it was what was then occurring at Bowness) was alluding possible for woman to do to “ lengthen out life's in his pulpit to Davies's philanthropic effort at the taper at the close,” and sustain its glow with her burning of the Sailors' Home. watchful care and devotion. But I can never hence When two days afterwards the corpse lay in its thiok at all on the subject, without remembering coffin, methought I had never seen a more striking how poor Mrs. Davies's comparative blindness be instance of manly beauty in death. The noble and came sight at the bedside of her failing husband, expansive brow, the fine development of the coronal how she seemed to see his every movement with arch, the benign and placid cast of face, altogether her whole body, to hear his every breath with her formed a most expressive index to the character of quickened ear, and to the very last be to him all the soul that had so recently avimated the now that man could have hoped of the strongest and silent and motionless frame. Even children of healthiest woman in her circumstances. True, tender years loved to linger in the room and gaze there were other kind spirits there to help her, and upon him as long as they could be allowed. occasionally to take her place. But when at length The young hero's humble funeral was on the he was dying, with his hand in hers, as she bent Wednesday following his decease. Four of his down to him to get a last glimpse of him ere life wife's brothers, boatmen on Windermere lake, carried finally ebbed out, and almost anticipated him in his remains from the door. They were relieved every wish for change of position as his breathing now and then by other friendly bearers on the way, became more difficult-while her vision could have but bore him at last to the side of the grave. That been scarcely more expanded than that of the grave is in the little retired cemetery of Bowness, smallest bird-I felt that his devotion to her in the whence glimpses of the lake may be caught beyond hour of her own sharp affliction was now meeting the old Rectory trees ; and the cragged and wooded with its fit reward, and was thankful for his sake hills, just now in their last vestige of autumnal that he had ever known her.
beauty, stand silently and mournfully round. Should any one wish to know what such a man Monument or no monument, as raised by man, can thought and felt, in relation to futurity, it may be now be a matter of little importance to him ; butbut justice to say that he had not, by any means, been indifferent to that question. His religion,
“Because he needs no praise shall we be dumb ?"
IN KING ARTHUR'S LAND:
BY THE AUTHOR OF “JOHN HALIFAX."
We had a whole week to throw away: and | and civilisation. Afterwards, we heard of an enterkeen are the pleasures that rarely come. The prising family who had breakfasted in London question arose, How shall we waste these glorious and supped at Tintagel; travelling by rail to
eight days, in that wise prodigality of idleness Bodmin Road, and posting thence; who had abode I which often proves to hard-working people a near Tintagel for seven weeks, in a cottage where true economy? Shall we go north, south, east, from the best bed-room you could hear the horse west? Ay, that is it. In these late September | cough in the stable, where the ceiling was bare days-so gloomy now, with the long rainy summer rafters, and the floors so full of holes that the drawing to a close-lie possibilities, as one sees occupants of any room could converse with the sometimes in very sad but patient human lives, of a room beneath. When we thought of this glorious second or “St. Martin's” summer, sweet and sun. Robinson Crusoe life, nearly as grand as our childshiny, cool and calm. We may, for all we know, hood's ideal of running away to dwell in an uninhave a lovely October; clear, bright days, and habited island in the midst of a lake, we sighed, and gorgeous sunsets. Let us travel towards the owned we had not taken the best that is, the most sunset. Let us see him—the good old sun, now picturesque-means of seeing King Arthur's land. missing for about ten weeks—watch him drop into! Yet it seemed a wild lapd enough that we were the wide Atlantic: we standing on the wild Cornish | coming to, when, that Wednesday night, we were coast, with nothing except some two thousand miles tumbled out of the railway carriage and rumbled of heaving sea between us and America.
in the dim dusk across Bideford Bridge; while It was a grand idea, quite Ulyssean, and tinged peering out of the omnibus window we had a view with that half pensive romance with which all of a grand illuminated clock, and then of glimmertired souls turn to the ancient myths of sailing ing lights, dotting a grey slope of houses and streets, towards the sunset; like the old Greek heroes, like which we concluded to be Bideford town.
the Indian Hiawatha, like our own King Arthur Everyone who has read Kingsley's “Westward j! "going a long way” towards the “island valley of Ho!” knows all about Bideford town, and the Avilion."
bold Bideford men of Elizabethan days, who went Ah, now we have it! We will spend our holiday sailing with John Oxenham and Salvation Yeo : week in King Arthur's land.
sturdy Devon lads who were the first to venture But how best to get there? since going to Corn-into the mysteries of tropical lands, and contest wall is nearly as difficult as, topographically speak with southern Europe the sovereignty of the | ing, going to Rome; and it takes more time and Spanish Main. But times are altered now. In
patience and money to wander about the lovely stead of the wild sea-talk, rough and ready, which Dooks of Britain than to investigate half the Conti- Kingsley puts into the mouth of his heroes, we Dent. Our first intention was to go straight to the caught, through the dark, crammed, shaky omnibus, Land's End, which sounded very much like going fragments of loud neighbourly conversation in the to Jericho; or so every body--the benevolent every broad accent which always strikes one on coming
body who guides the destinies of all intending to a new region. It was chiefly about a lady I travellers seemed to consider. Innumerable were lately deceased, who was “a bright, sound, cheer
the warnings we received as to the length and ful Christian,”-(Dear, unknown, dead woman, fatigue of the journey, and the little to be seen would there were more like thee !)--and a young when you got there. So we gave up 'ne Land's man, a minister in the neighbourhood, who was End. Next Dartmoor. But it had been such a obliged to go to live in Scotland, to escape “the rainy season, that Dartmoor was quite impassable— | young ladies." Very funny was it, thus to drop in a mass of “soppy" forests and misty bogs. So we for the crumbs of domestic history and biography, · Degatired Dartmoor. Finally, being decidedly in which formed the staple food of this old-world place. the position of the old man and his ass, we lis- / Queerer still was it, when arrived at the elegant
teved to the advice of one of the wisest of our modern hotel, to speculate on all the strange faces "friends; who said, “Go to Bude. It's the grandest gathered round the table d'hôte; each with its own
Sea-coast imaginable. And go by Bideford, Northam life, character, and history: totally hidden, or dimly Burrows, and Clovelly. There is not a place in guessed at by fragmentary indications, such as will
England so queer as Clovelly, and not an inn in under any circumstances crop out. My neighbour, 1. England more comfortable than the Westward for instance, with the kind honest eyes and the | Ho!' at Northam Burrows." Thus, lured doubly dropped h's: he is certainly a North-countryman, i by curiosity and comfort, we started.
who has “made himself.” But though ill-educated It was a mistake, in degree. We went a long way as to his English, he is not ill-bred; there is an round; wasting two precious days in tame scenery air of gentle courtesy about him which implies a refined nature : in the next generation his children wonders how such an one, evidently a scholar and will be gentlemen. I wish I could say as much for a gentleman every inch of him, came to be hidden, the young fellow opposite, who, though he is per- literally buried, there. fectly well-bred, apparently well-born, has evi-! A word for these curious Devonshire lanes. They dently seen life in many countries, talks most are deep cuttings, ten or twelve feet, by means of politely and pleasantly—still — But what right which the ancient road-makers lowered the steep have we to judge our neighbours? “Here to-day, hills. Nature has done the rest. From the roadway and gone to-morrow," as saith Uncle Toby; what up to the level of the fields she has clothed the are we all, in our frail mortal lives, but fellow- | perpendicular bank with vegetation ; ferns, mosses, guests at an inn? Why pull long faces, or grudge flowers, creepers, bushes—all mingled in a wild small kindnesses, or shut ourselves up in unsocial | luxuriance that makes every yard an endless study grimness? Why not make the best of the passing of form and colour. Better than all the rubbish of hour ?-it will never come again.
costume-pictures that cover the Academy walls, So, night settled down upon us, to the sound of would be a careful study, in oil or water-colour, of waves breaking over the pebbly ridge, two miles three feet of a Devonshire lane. But we cannot long,—the sole curiosity of Northam Burrows, and, stay, though the honeysuckle, red campion, and we afterwards learned, one of the geological marvels wild geranium are, even at this late season, most of England. Alas! its wonders were lost upon us. epticing; and the large, luscious, blackberries hang We were far more attracted by the sight revealed in a manner that, to a feeble, puerile mind, is perby early morning-the bright open sea, with its long fectly maddening. Alas! we must go on : we have waves rolling in ; real ocean waves; and the dim dis- forty miles nearly to do to-day. tance broken only by a hazy speck, said to be Lundy Our first halt is at Clovelly, undoubtedly the Island. Ah-we were nearing the Atlantic at last. qneerest village extant. Our driver tells us of
Breakfast, and then farewell to the quiet, lonely shore—the thousand acres of public land, on which cows, asses, and geese, roam at will :-Query: for how long? A steep climb brought us to the green Devon lanes, rich in ferns and blackberries, and a picturesque village—just a church, a parsonage, and half-a-dozen cottages, where, as we drive past in the early morning, the only visible inhabitants seem to be two or three chubby, round-eyed, white. haired children ; as fat as, and just a trifle cleaner than, the ever-accompanying black pig. I think all pigs are black in Devon.
Now, we can really see the country: the fine open sea-board of Devon, high up the still barer tracts of Cornwall, over which mythical King Arthur reigned. Not as it was then, but modern. | ized into a wide agricultural champaign; free slopes of hill and dale views so wide, that it looks, with its intersecting hedges, not unlike a child's puzzlemap. Mapped in colours, too. There are wheatfields, where, alas ! half the wheat lies spoilt and blackening; red ploughed fields, where the industrious farmer is already preparing for next year's crop; green pasture-fields, dotted with cows, sug. gestive of janket and Devonshire cream. And on
Clovelly from the Pier." the road, owing to a review of the North Devon Mounted Rifles, we meet an extraordinary concourse “ The Hobby” and “ The Park ;” but, wisely or of the aborigines--two persons every three miles at not, we eschew these. We have only a brief time, least-farmers' sons, all in uniform, and mounted and we prefer the village itself. Here is its picture; bravely upon plough-horses, generally riding in but neither that, nor any description written, can couples, and chatting merrily. One bold youth we half describe its oddity. You enter it at the top of caught going through his sword exercise on horse the street, --there is but one,-much as if you were back; till, seeing strangers, he suddenly sheathed his entering a church by the steeple, or a house by the dazzling blade, and blushed !—a first-rate boyish trap-door on the roof. Indeed, it is a saying in blush. May he never blush for any worse deed! Clovelly, that every one can look down his neigh
And once, in one of these narrow Devon lanes, bour's chimney. And the street is not a street, but we met a Devon parson, driving his family to see the sight; a fine thoughtful face, such as one * The illustrations to this paper are from photographs 'casionally meets in far-away country-places, and by Mr. Harry Thorn, Bude Harbour.
a staircase, by whieh are ascending and descending hard and close. But you never know what they're foot-passengers; and donkeys, the only possible worth till you cut into’em. They're like a good many vehicles of traffic, carrying loads of coals, provisions, more things in this world-mighty fine outside, and dc Parallel with this winding stair, leaps a lively you can't get inside of 'em to see what's there. Eh!” stream, whose course it follows down to the sea ; | moralised the old fellow (whose words I have tried and on either side, two or three on a level, are to remember literatim), as he regarded, half-vexed, planted the little, old-fashioned grey stone houses, half-sadly, his rotten log, with a thoughtful wise here and there, anyhow, in the pooks of the rock. | face, wise with that mother-wit which is better What insanity could have possessed the original | than all book-learning-"Eh! but I have been Covellians to build thus, like a colony of cliff mistaken in he!” (Cornish and Devon folk, I noticed, wallows, on a sloping rock, five hundred feet high, | call everything down to an egg or a tea-cup “he.''). sben, close above, was a level of smooth, smiling However, he soon fell to work again on a fresh country! Picturesque as it is,-and as we sat on log : and for one resolute half-hour, his unceasing, the pier and looked up from the sunshiny sea to monotonous saw-saw formed a sleepy under-tone to the green-fringed, curving rock, which held in its the other sounds, faint and few, which broke the arms the tiny village, we thought we had never | intense silence of the autumn afternoon—the disseen 80 pretty a sight-still Clovelly must be a | tant wash of the wave, the twitter of a robin, tarible place to live in.
or the sudden drop of an acorn to the ground. We were sure of this, when, having got to the At last the saw stopped, and the log fell cloven, borton of it, with the certainty of having to climb showing two smooth surfaces of almost unequalled up again, with no possible help save our own feet closeness and beauty of grain. Our top-sawyer Fe daringly tried a new road, which looked green | contemplated them with pride. sed cool, and where an old woman was wearily “There now, he's all right! Look at him, so climbing ahead of us.
smooth, and so firm, and hard. Lord, but he was "Ay, ay," she said, when spoken to, “this be a hard !” wiping the drops from the honest forehead. tough pull for old folks, and I be a widow with! We asked if it were not very severe work ? dine children, and my master was lost off the Cape “Pretty well, but I's used to it; and I likes it O'Good Hope, fifteen years ago.”
rather-specially when I get's a bit o' wood like Whereupon, with the curious, touching frank- that. Look'ee at him! there bean't a better piece of Dess of country-folk, she began to tell us her whole oak in all England.” And again he stood and conhistory; how she had gone through a deal of trouble, templated his work, and many a maker of books and how the rector—"not this one, but t'other, - and pictures might regard theirs with a less innoMr. Kin'sley he was,” had known her well, and been cent and lawful pride. Then tearing himself away very kind to her. And then, with noble ignorance to ordinary things, he said, sharply, “Now, Dick, of fame, she told us how “them Kin’sley lads” used we'll go to our dinners.” to be always haunting the pier and the fishermen, He put on his coat, and he and the younger man climbing the rocks, and sailing in their boat about trudged off together up the hill and down again, the bay. Doubtless much of that hearty tender for they lived, they said, in Clovelly “Street." love of nature and human nature, that wholesome, They would be back in an hour, and go on with manly, English feeling, which shines out in every that incessant “ saw-sawing" till dark. As we one of Charles Kingsley's books, was learnt by the watched them disappear, the old man turning back parson's boys ("and venturous chaps they was,” civilly to give us some advice concerning our own said the old woman,) along the green Devon lanes route back to the inn, we thought, next time we and on the wild Clovelly shore.
get a tough piece of work to do, or a disappointAnother study of rural life. As we wound ment over good work uselessly done, we shall slowly and painfully up the green shady road, / remember the “top-sawyer” of Clovelly. thankful that it was so shady, that there were lots Wonderful little village ! & place to paint, to of blackberries, and one flower, a sort of campion, admire, to wonder at-but not to stay in. Life at quite new to me which is saying a good deal for Clovelly would be far too severe for any mortal ito rarity-we came upon a primitive saw-pit. feet not born on the spot. When we had once Two men, one half-concealed below, the other the | again ascended to the top of the street, we had just poverbial “top-sawyer," were conversing in broad strength left to shake the dust from our feet, perDevon about a cleft log which lay before them. fectly contented never, except in dreams, to see
" Eh, but I's been clean mistaken in he,” said pretty Clovelly more. Besides, eighteen miles lay the top-sawyer, an elderly man, with a sharp, but between us and our destination-Bude Harbour, kindly face. “ Rotten, rotten, he'll never make Cornwall. nothin', not he!” kicking the log. “He's bad at Another succession of Devonshire lanes, interthe beart! Yes," added the old fellow, when sym-spersed by glimpses of wide, open country, a long pathised with and questioned—“Yes, who'd ha hilly tract of heather, breezy and bright, -oh ! thought it? He seemed as good a bit o' wood as how gloriously the sun shone, and how blue was ever you'd get-and you'll get the finest oak in the sea that we left behind at Clovelly !--and we kogland bereabouts—the sea winds make it so were fairly in King Arthur's Land.