I cannot tell what sentiment haunted the quite solitary churchyard, with
its inscribed headstone; its gate, its two trees, its low horizon,
girdled by a broken wall, and its newly-risen crescent, attesting the
hour of eventide.
The two ships becalmed on a torpid sea, I believed to be marine phantoms.
The fiend pinning down the thief's pack behind him, I passed over
quickly: it was an object of terror.
So was the black horned thing seated aloof on a rock, surveying a distant
crowd surrounding a gallows.
Each picture told a story; mysterious often to my undeveloped
understanding and imperfect feelings, yet ever profoundly interesting: as
interesting as the tales Bessie sometimes narrated on winter evenings,
when she chanced to be in good humour; and when, having brought her
ironing-table to the nursery hearth, she allowed us to sit about it, and
while she got up Mrs. Reed's lace frills, and crimped her nightcap
borders, fed our eager attention with passages of love and adventure
taken from old fairy tales and other ballads; or (as at a later period I
discovered) from the pages of Pamela, and Henry, Earl of Moreland.