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BRECONSHIRE QUARTER SESSIONS.

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- - - -_ -_- -COUNTRY COURTSHIPS.—A…

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COUNTRY COURTSHIPS.âA NEW NOVEL BY MISS BEALE OF LLANDILO.* This is altogether a Welsh novel. It is as thoroughly Welsh as Old Mortality," or the more intensely national of Sir Walter Scott's novels are Scotch. The towns, the villages, the country, with few exceptions, are Welsh. The heroine and nearly all the subordinate characters are AVelsh. The hard, morose puritanism, which brings about the perplexities unravelled in the story, is purely Welsh. We scarcely know which to admire most, the courage of Miss Beale, in making her novel so exclusively Welsh, or the skill with which she has accomplished the task. It required a good deal of courage, because very many English novel readers have learnt to despise the Welsh as a barbarous and uncultured people, without any feature of interest. They have been so long misrepresented and carica- tured, that none were more surprised than the Welsh themselves, when Punch last week stood forth as their champion, shouting Stand up, brave Taffy, for thy right, And never be put down. If half Victoria's subjects Were half as good as thou Victoria's subjects would kick up Uncommon little row. And Punch, Incarnate Justice, Intends henceforth to lick All who shall scorn or sneer at you, You Jolly little Brick. But all-powerful as Punch is he cannot do for Wales what Miss Beale, with rare accomplishments, has done in this novel. She knows the country well, and her descriptions of its scenery, its institutions, its people are severely truthful but, at the same time, so skilfully done, and with so much warmth and character as to captivate every person who cares to read one of the best and ablest novels of the season. Margaret Vaughan, or Mara, is the daughter of a stern, unbending, bigotted dissenter, who kept those about him very much in awe of himself and his piety. Mara was a lovely girl with a complexion like a pink and white camellia-hair smooth, glassy and black as water in the moonlight, and eyes so large and sparkling, that it almost dazzled you to look into them. Her expression varied every moment. Now grave, now gay, now sad, now sarcastic. Nobody could describe her face. As she moved about that dark cottage, tossing the baby in a sort of wild delight, you would have thought her a school girl, mad with animal spirits but if you had looked under the long lashes of her wonderful eyes, you would have seen two large tears, like pearls of dew on lily bells." From childhood she was attached to Gerwyn Herbert, a handsome, good- natured, rollicking sailor, who Mr Vaughan thought did not deserve the love of his daughter, and he set his face against it, refusing his consent to their marriage. This preyed on Mara's health, and she went from home for change of air, her father hoping she would soon forget her lover. Gerwyn, too, chafing under the harsh refusal, accepted a berth on board a ship, which was wrecked on the coast of Africa. In the course of some months afterwards, a baby was found in a ditch not far from Mr Vaughan's house. No one could discover the heartless mother, and the child was sent to the Workhouse. Just at this time the Union schoolmistress retired, and to the surprise of every- body, Mara applied for the appointment. She gave herself up to the duties with a cheerfulness and self- denial never before witnessed in the mistress of a Workhouse school. But the foundling, and two companions, engrossed the greater share of her affectionate concern. She watched over the boy with apparent maternal care and anxiety. He Was a strange child, with a marvellous passion for music. Mara's father was desirous that she should marry Edwin Morris, his adopted son and a distinguished Methodist preacher. But she would not listen to the young man's proposals, coldly repulsing him whenever he approached her. She would be true to Gerwyn, and suffer all things for him even to death. Her life in the Workhouse with the paupers for many long years is told with touching pathos and a nice discrimination of character. When the boy grew up and was apprenticed to her father as a farm-servant, Mara left the Workhouse, continuing the boy's ministering angel. In watching the sheep he carried with him either his violin, concertina, or flute, which he played with wonderful skill. At the Eisteddfod he won prizes, and attracted so much notice that it was agreed to send him for educa- tion in music to London. But when the proposal was communicated to Mr Vaughan, he refused to entertain it, and was so wroth that he at once pro hibited the boy using the instruments again. We have already mentioned that he had, in the Work- house, two companions who shared with him Mara's fondness. One of these was a sharp, clever boy-Gipsy Georgeâwho had gone to the iron works, resolving to push his way in the world. He had returned to the Eisteddfod, and pressed the foundling to escape from the farm, promising to procure for him a musical education. And now, when Mr Vaughan had taken away his in- struments, he made up his mind to go, and suddenly disappeared. Mara became frantic, and in her mental agony confessed that she was the mother of the child, and the wife of Gerwyn. The shock was too much for Mr Vaughan. The strong man was stricken as a rock by a thunderbolt. He seemed suddenly turned to stone. A long illness followed-body and mind were pros- trate." The disgrace could not be borne. Mara went in search of her poor boy and no part of this touching story is more pathetic than her dreary wanderings in Glamorganshire and in the crowded streets of London, and her return home, weary and distracted, every effort having failed to discover him. One evening in Jnne, a tall, travel-worn woman, with a large veil closely drawn over her face, alighted from the coach at the Glyn Arms. No one recognized the once beautiful Margaret Vaughan, but she it was. She hurried out of the town, and took the road to the Little Mountain, that road which she had taken when she laid her infant in Shanno's path. Then it was autumn, now it is summer; then she was wandering on the hill, watching the fate of her child now she is hastening, forlorn and childless, up the same hill to the cottage whither that infant was taken. Poor Mara! she has paid bitterly for her folly. She has drunk to the dregs the aloes of her deception. How changed she is How pale, thin, and haggard She has sold everything except the worn clothes she has on, and is weary and penniless. She has not found her child, and is uncertain what to do and whither to go. As she advances up the lonely hill, she slackens her pace, and throws up her veil. She glances from side to side with a smile on her worn lips. She is glad to see the hedge-rows again. She stops to look at a grand foxglove, with its hundred purple bells, that towers amid a garden of ferns. She is about to gather it, she starts back, muttering. Poor lfower Let it live out its little life. A few years ago, I held up my head as proudly as the foxglove, now any one may pluck a blossom from my stalk. Ah! what a bower of wild roses wreaths long enough for a briilal arch. Gerwyn used to say we would have an arch all roses! How very sweet they are How could my darling leave these beauties for the darkness and dreariness of the mines? I must gather you, dear bud, f- r you are like him and you, bright rose, for you are what I was! Flower and bud, mother and child to- gether once more and you, wandering honeysuckle, for you are like Gerwyn. Sweet, wild, and thornless, for he never willingly planted a thorn. Gerwyn, Mara, and Ivor! You shall live and die together on my poor breast." There was something very soft and touching in Mara's voice, as she murmured these disjointed sentences and still more touching was the expression, half wild, half wearied, of her large dark eyes. If her mind had not given way, it was sadly shaken, and would require gentle treatment to keep it in its seat. She walked slowly, pausing now and again, and talk- ing to herself. "How brautiful it is Summer on the mountains! sunset on the foxgloves, moss, rock- work, all turned to gold." She paused, scenting the air, as if attracted by a per- fume. It was a bed of wild thyme. She stooped over

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WATER FOR ABERYSTWITH.

- - - -_ -_- -COUNTRY COURTSHIPS.—A…