Fossicking in the archives to find the text of What’s On In Mustard Parva (see below), I noticed that the day before I had posted an extract from the magnificently-titled Withered Leaves From Memory’s Garland by Abigail Stanley Hanna (1857):
Next to Rosa Whittier sat Julia Balcolm, with saddened expression of countenance and large deep blue eyes that gazed upon you with a deeper expression of melancholy in their glances than is usual to the merry age of childhood, and elicited your sympathy ere you knew her history. Julia was a cripple. She was drawn to school by an older sister with rosy cheeks, bright flashing black eyes, and a sprightly animated countenance, and carried into the school-room in the arms of her teacher, or some of the older scholars. And so she came, year after year, mingling with the merry group. But where is she now? Yon little mound of heaped up earth covers her remains, and a narrow marble slab tells the place of her repose, and we can but hope she who was denied the privilege of walking on earth may now soar on angel’s wings. This dear child was obliged to crawl from place to place after her more favoured companions, dragging her useless perished limbs behind her. But He who careth for us knew what was best for her, and we cannot doubt His infinite wisdom.
Would that Edward Gorey were with us still, to illustrate this tear-stained yet uplifting tale!