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Title: Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 5 November 1848
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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GRAHAM'S MAGAZINE.

VOL. XXXIII.   PHILADELPHIA, NOVEMBER, 1848.     NO. 5.



THE BRIDE OF FATE.

A TALE: FOUNDED UPON EVENTS IN THE EARLY HISTORY OF VENICE.

BY W. GILMORE SIMMS.


It was a glad day in Venice. The eve of the feast of the Purification
had arrived, and all those maidens of the Republic, whose names had
been written in the "Book of Gold," were assembled with their parents,
their friends and lovers--a beautiful and joyous crowd--repairing, in
the gondolas provided by the Republic, to the church of San Pietro de
Castella, at Olivolo, which was the residence of the Patriarch. This
place was on the extreme verge of the city, a beautiful and isolated
spot, its precincts almost without inhabitants, a ghostly and small
priesthood excepted, whose grave habits and taciturn seclusion seemed
to lend an additional aspect of solitude to the neighborhood. It was,
indeed, a solitary and sad-seeming region, which, to the thoughtless
and unmeditative, might be absolutely gloomy. But it was not the less
lovely as a place suited equally for the picturesque and the
thoughtful; and, just now, it was very far from gloomy or solitary.
The event which was in hand was decreed to enliven it in especial
degree, and, in its consequences, to impress its characteristics on
the memory for long generations after. It was the day of St. Mary's
Eve--a day set aside from immemorial time for a great and peculiar
festival. All, accordingly, was life and joy in the sea republic. The
marriages of a goodly company of the high-born, the young and the
beautiful, were to be celebrated on this occasion, and in public,
according to the custom. Headed by the Doge himself, Pietro Candiano,
the city sent forth its thousands. The ornamented gondolas plied
busily from an early hour in the morning, from the city to Olivolo;
and there, amidst music and merry gratulations of friends and kindred,
the lovers disembarked. They were all clad in their richest array.
Silks, which caught their colors from the rainbow, and jewels that had
inherited, even in their caverns, their beauties from the sun and
stars, met the eye in all directions. Wealth had put on all its
riches, and beauty, always modest, was not satisfied with her
intrinsic loveliness. All that could delight the eye, in personal
decorations and nuptial ornaments, was displayed to the eager gaze of
curiosity, and, for a moment, the treasures of the city were
transplanted to the solitude and waste.

But gorgeous and grand as was the spectacle, and joyous as was the
crowd, there were some at the festival, some young, throbbing hearts,
who, though deeply interested in its proceedings, felt any thing but
gladness. While most of the betrothed thrilled only with rapturous
anticipations that might have been counted in the strong pulsations
that made the bosom heave rapidly beneath the close pressure of the
virgin zone, there were yet others, who felt only that sad sinking of
the heart which declares nothing but its hopelessness and desolation.
There were victims to be sacrificed as well as virgins to be made
happy, and girdled in by thousands of the brave and goodly--by golden
images and flaunting banners, and speaking symbols--by music and by
smiles--there were more hearts than one that longed to escape from
all, to fly away to some far solitude, where the voices of such a joy
as was now present could vex the defrauded soul no more. As the fair
procession moved onward and up through the gorgeous avenues of the
cathedral to the altar-place, where stood the venerable Patriarch in
waiting for their coming, in order to begin the solemn but grateful
rites, you might have marked, in the crowding column, the face of one
meek damsel, which declared a heart very far removed from hope or
joyful expectation. Is that tearful eye--is that pallid cheek--that
lip, now so tremulously convulsed--are these proper to one going to a
bridal, and that her own? Where is her anticipated joy? It is not in
that despairing vacancy of face--not in that feeble, faltering, almost
fainting footstep--not, certainly, in any thing that we behold about
the maiden, unless we seek it in the rich and flaming jewels with
which she is decorated and almost laden down; and these no more
declare for her emotions than the roses which encircle the neck of
the white lamb, as it is led to the altar and the priest. The fate of
the two is not unlike, and so also is their character. Francesca Ziani
is decreed for a sacrifice. She was one of those sweet and winning,
but feeble spirits, which know how to submit only. She has no powers
of resistance. She knows that she is a victim; she feels that her
heart has been wronged even to the death, by the duty to which it is
now commanded; she feels that it is thus made the cruel but unwilling
instrument for doing a mortal wrong to the heart of another; but she
lacks the courage to refuse, to resist, to die rather than submit. Her
nature only teaches her submission; and this is the language of the
wo-begone, despairing glance--but one--which she bestows, in passing
up the aisle, upon one who stands beside a column, close to her
progress, in whose countenance she perceives a fearful struggle,
marking equally his indignation and his grief.

Giovanni Gradenigo was one of the noblest cavaliers of Venice--but
nobleness, as we know, is not always, perhaps not often, the
credential in behalf of him who seeks a maiden from her parents. He
certainly was not the choice of Francesca's sire. The poor girl was
doomed to the embraces of one Ulric Barberigo, a man totally destitute
of all nobility, that alone excepted which belonged to wealth. This
shone in the eyes of Francesca's parents, but failed utterly to
attract her own. She saw, through the heart's simple, unsophisticated
medium, the person of Giovanni Gradenigo only. Her sighs were given to
him, her loathings to the other. Though meek and finally submissive,
she did not yield without a remonstrance, without mingled tears and
entreaties, which were found unavailing. The ally of a young damsel is
naturally her mother, and when she fails her, her best human hope is
lost. Alas! for the poor Francesca! It was her mother's weakness,
blinded by the wealth of Ulric Barberigo, that rendered the father's
will so stubborn. It was the erring mother that wilfully beheld her
daughter led to the sacrifice, giving no heed to the heart which was
breaking, even beneath its heavy weight of jewels. How completely that
mournful and desponding, that entreating and appealing glance to her
indignant lover, told her wretched history. There he stood, stern as
well as sad, leaning, as if for support, upon the arm of his kinsman,
Nicolo Malapieri. Hopeless, helpless, and in utter despair, he thus
lingered, as if under a strange and fearful fascination, watching the
progress of the proceedings which were striking fatally, with every
movement, upon the sources of his own hope and happiness. His
resolution rose with his desperation, and he suddenly shook himself
free from his friend.

"I will not bear this, Nicolo," he exclaimed, "I must not suffer it
without another effort, though it be the last."

"What would you do, Giovanni," demanded his kinsman, grasping him by
the wrist as he spoke, and arresting his movement.

"Shall I see her thus sacrificed--delivered to misery and the grave!
Never! they shall not so lord it over true affections to their loss
and mine. Francesca was mine--is mine--even now, in the very sight of
Heaven. How often hath she vowed it! Her glance avows it now. My lips
shall as boldly declare it again; and as Heaven has heard our vows,
the church shall hear them. The Patriarch shall hear. Hearts must not
be wronged--Heaven must not thus be defrauded. That selfish, vain
woman, her mother--that mercenary monster, miscalled her father, have
no better rights than mine--none half so good. They shall hear me.
Stand by me, Nicolo, while I speak!"

This was the language of a passion, which, however true, was equally
unmeasured and imprudent. The friend of the unhappy lover would have
held him back.

"It is all in vain, Giovanni! Think! my friend, you can do nothing
now. It is too late; nor is there any power to prevent this
consummation. Their names have been long since written in the 'Book of
Gold,' and the Doge himself may not alter the destiny!"

"The Book of Gold!" exclaimed the other. "Ay, the 'Bride of Gold!' but
we shall see!" And he again started forward. His kinsman clung to him.

"Better that we leave this place, Giovanni. It was wrong that you
should come. Let us go. You will only commit some folly to remain."

"Ay! it is folly to be wronged, and to submit to it, I know! folly to
have felt and still to feel! folly, surely, to discover, and to live
after the discovery, that the very crown that made life precious is
lost to you forever! What matter if I should commit this folly! Well,
indeed, if they who laugh at the fool, taste none of the wrath that
they provoke."

"This is sheer madness, Giovanni."

"Release me, Nicolo."

The kinsman urged in vain. The dialogue, which was carried on in under
tones, now enforced by animated action, began to attract attention.
The procession was moving forward. The high anthem began to swell, and
Giovanni, wrought to the highest pitch of frenzy by the progress of
events, and by the opposition of Nicolo, now broke away from all
restraint, and hurried through the crowd. The circle, dense and deep,
had already gathered closely about the altar-place, to behold the
ceremony. The desperate youth made his way through it. The crowd gave
way at his approach, and under the decisive pressure of his person.
They knew his mournful history--for when does the history of love's
denial and defeat fail to find its way to the world's curious hearing.
Giovanni was beloved in Venice. Such a history as his and Francesca's
was sure to beget sympathy, particularly with all those who could find
no rich lovers for themselves or daughters, such as Ulric Barberigo.
The fate of the youthful lovers drew all eyes upon the two. A tearful
interest in the event began to pervade the assembly, and Giovanni
really found no such difficulty as would have attended the efforts of
any other person to approach the sacred centre of the bridal circle.
He made his way directly for the spot where Francesca stood. She felt
his approach and presence by the most natural instincts, though
without ever daring to lift her eye to his person. A more deadly
paleness than ever came over her, and as she heard the first sounds of
his voice, she faltered and grasped a column for support. The
Patriarch, startled by the sounds of confusion, rose from the sacred
cushions, and spread his hands over the assembly for silence; but as
yet he failed to conceive the occasion for commotion. Meanwhile, the
parents and relatives of Francesca had gathered around her person, as
if to guard her from an enemy. Ulric Barberigo, the millionaire, put
on the aspect of a man whose word was law on 'change. He, too, had his
retainers, all looking daggers at the intruder. Fortunately for
Giovanni, they were permitted to wear none at these peaceful
ceremonials. Their looks of wrath did not discourage the approach of
our lover. He did not seem, indeed, to see them, but gently putting
them by, he drew near to the scarcely conscious maiden. He lifted the
almost lifeless hand from her side, and pressing it within both his
own, a proceeding which her mother vainly endeavored to prevent, he
addressed the maiden with all that impressiveness of tone which
declares a stifled but still present and passionate emotion in the
heart. His words were of a touching sorrow.

"And is it thus, my Francesca, that I must look upon thee for the last
time? Henceforth are we to be dead to one another? Is it thus that I
am to hear that, forgetful of thy virgin vows to Gradenigo, thou art
here calling Heaven to witness that thou givest thyself and affections
to another?"

"Not willingly, O! not willingly, Giovanni, as I live! I have not
forgotten--alas! I cannot forget that I have once vowed myself to
thee. But I pray thee to forget, Giovanni. Forget me and
forgive--forgive!"

Oh! how mournfully was this response delivered. There was a dead
silence through the assembly; a silence which imposed a similar
restraint even upon the parents of the maiden, who had showed a desire
to arrest the speaker. They had appealed to the Patriarch, but the
venerable man was wise enough to perceive that this was the last open
expression of a passion which must have its utterance in some form,
and if not this, must result in greater mischief. His decision tacitly
sanctioned the interview as we have witnessed. It was with increased
faltering, which to the bystanders seemed almost fainting, that the
unhappy Francesca thus responded to her lover. Her words were little
more than whispers, and his tones, though deep, were very low and
subdued, as if spoken while the teeth were shut. There was that in the
scene which brought forward the crowd in breathless anxiety to hear,
and the proud heart of the damsel's mother revolted at an exhibition
in which her position was by no means a grateful one. She would have
wrested, even by violence, the hand of her daughter from the grasp of
Giovanni; but he retained it firmly, the maiden herself being scarcely
conscious that he did so. His eye was sternly fixed upon the mother,
as he drew Francesca toward himself. His words followed his looks:

"Have you not enough triumphed, lady, in thus bringing about your
cruel purpose, to the sacrifice of two hearts--your child's no less
than mine. Mine was nothing to you--but hers! what had she done that
you should trample upon hers? This hast thou done! Thou hast
triumphed! What would'st thou more? Must she be denied the mournful
privilege of saying her last parting with him to whom she vowed
herself, ere she vows herself to another! For shame, lady; this is a
twofold and a needless tyranny!"

As he spoke, the more gentle and sympathizing spirits around looked
upon the stern mother with faces of the keenest rebuke and
indignation. Giovanni once more addressed himself to the maiden.

"And if you do not love this man, my Francesca, why is it that you so
weakly yield to his solicitings? Why submit to this sacrifice at any
instance? Have they strength to subdue thee?--has he the art to
ensnare thee?--canst thou not declare thy affections with a will? What
magic is it that they employ which is thus superior to that of
love?--and what is thy right--if heedless of the affections of _thy_
heart--to demand the sacrifice of _mine_? Thou hadst it in thy
keeping, Francesca, as I fondly fancied I had thine!"

"Thou hadst--thou hast!--"

"Francesca, my child!" was the expostulating exclamation of the
mother; but it failed, except for a single instant, to arrest the
passionate answer of the maiden.

"Hear me and pity, Giovanni, if you may not forgive! Blame me for my
infirmity--for the wretched weakness which has brought me to this
defeat of thy heart--this desolation of mine--but do not doubt that I
have loved thee--that I shall ever--"

"Stay!" commanded the imperious father.

"What is it thou wouldst say, Francesca? Beware!" was the stern
language of the mother.

The poor girl shrunk back in trembling. The brief impulse of courage
which the address of her lover, and the evident sympathy of the crowd,
had imparted, was gone as suddenly as it came. She had no more
strength for the struggle; and as she sunk back nerveless, and closed
her eyes as if fainting under the terrible glances of both her
parents, Giovanni dropped her hand from his grasp. It now lay lifeless
at her side, and she was sustained from falling by some of her
sympathizing companions. The eyes of the youth were bent upon her with
a last look.

"It is all over then," he exclaimed. "Thy hope, unhappy maiden, like
mine, must perish because of thy weakness. Yet there will be bitter
memories for this," he exclaimed, and his eye now sought the
mother--"bitter, bitter memories! Francesca, farewell! Be happy if
thou canst!"

She rushed toward him as he moved away, recovering all her strength
for this one effort. A single and broken sentence--"Forgive me, O
forgive!"--escaped her lips, as she sunk senseless upon the floor. He
would have raised her, but they did not suffer him.

"Is this not enough, Giovanni?" said his friend reproachfully. "Seest
thou not that thy presence but distracts her?"

"Thou art right, Nicolo; let us go. I am myself choking--undo me this
collar!--There! Let us depart."

The organ rolled its anthem--a thousand voices joined in the hymn to
the Virgin, and as the sweet but painful sounds rushed to the senses
of the youth he darted through the crowd, closely followed by his
friend. The music seemed to pursue him with mockery. He rushed
headlong from the temple, as if seeking escape from some suffocating
atmosphere in the pure breezes of heaven, and hurried forward with
confused and purposeless footsteps. The moment of his disappearance
was marked by the partial recovery of Francesca. She unclosed her
eyes, raised her head and looked wildly around her. Her lips once more
murmured his name.

"Giovanni!"

"He is gone," was the sympathizing answer from more than one lip in
the assembly; and once more she relapsed into unconsciousness.


CHAPTER II.

Giovanni Gradenigo was scarcely more conscious than the maiden when he
left. He needed all the guidance of his friend.

"Whither?" asked Nicolo Malapiero.

"What matter! where thou wilt," was the reply.

"For the city then;" and his friend conducted him to the gondola which
was appointed to await them. In the profoundest silence they glided
toward the city. The gondola stopped before the dwelling of Nicolo,
and he, taking the arm of the sullen and absent Giovanni within his
own, ascended the marble steps, and was about to enter, when a shrill
voice challenged their attention by naming Giovanni.

"How now, signor," said the stranger. "Is it thou? Wherefore hast thou
left Olivolo? Why didst thou not wait the bridal."

The speaker was a strange, dark-looking woman, in coarse woollen
garments. She hobbled as she walked, assisted by a heavy staff, and
seeming to suffer equally from lameness and from age. Her thin
depressed lips, that ever sunk as she spoke into the cavity of the
mouth, which, in the process of time, had been denuded of nearly all
its teeth; her yellow wrinkled visage, and thin gray hairs, that
escaped from the close black cap which covered her head, declared the
presence of very great age. But her eye shone still with something
even more lively and impressive than a youthful fire. It had a sort of
spiritual intensity. Nothing, indeed, could have been more brilliant,
or, seemingly, more unnatural. But hers was a nature of which we may
not judge by common laws. She was no common woman, and her whole life
was characterized by mystery. She was known in Venice as the "Spanish
Gipsy;" was supposed to be secretly a Jewess, and had only escaped
from being punished as a sorceress by her profound and most exemplary
public devotions. But she was known, nevertheless, as an enchantress,
a magician, a prophetess; and her palmistry, her magic, her symbols,
signs and talismans, were all held in great repute by the
superstitious and the youthful of the ocean city. Giovanni Gradenigo
himself, obeying the popular custom, had consulted her; and now, as he
heard her voice, he raised his eyes, and started forward with the
impulse of one who suddenly darts from under the gliding knife of the
assassin. Before Nicolo could interfere, he had leapt down the steps,
and darted to the quay from which the old woman was about to step into
a gondola. She awaited his coming with a smile of peculiar meaning, as
she repeated her inquiry:

"Why are not you at Olivolo?"

He answered the question by another, grasping her wrist violently as
he spoke.

"Did you not promise that she should wed with me--that she should be
mine--mine only?"

"Well!" she answered calmly, without struggling or seeking to
extricate her arm from the strong hold which he had taken upon it.

"Well! and even now the rites are in progress which bind her to Ulric
Barberigo!"

"She will never wed Ulric Barberigo," was the quiet answer. "Why left
you Olivolo?" she continued.

"Could I remain and look upon these hated nuptials--could I be patient
and see her driven like a sheep to the sacrifice? I fled from the
spectacle, as if the knife of the butcher were already in my own
heart."

"You were wrong; but the fates have spoken, and their decrees are
unchangeable. I tell you I have seen your bridal with Francesca Ziani.
No Ulric weds that maiden. She is reserved for you alone. You alone
will interchange with her the final vows before the man of God. But
hasten, that this may find early consummation. I have seen other
things! Hasten--but hasten not alone, nor without your armor! A sudden
and terrible danger hangs over San Pietro di Castella, and all within
its walls. Gather your friends, gather your retainers. Put on the
weapons of war and fly thither with all your speed. I see a terrible
vision, even now, of blood and struggle! I behold terrors that
frighten even me! Your friend is a man of arms. Let your war-galleys
be put forth, and bid them steer for the Lagune of Caorlo. There will
you win Francesca, and thenceforth shall you wear her--you only--so
long as it may be allowed you to wear any human joy!"

Her voice, look, manner, sudden energy, and the wild fire of her eyes,
awakened Giovanni to his fullest consciousness. His friend drew
nigh--they would have conferred together, but the woman interrupted
them.

"You would deliberate," said she, "but you have no time! What is to be
done must be done quickly. It seems wild to you, and strange, and
idle, what I tell you, but it is nevertheless true; and if you heed me
not now bitter will be your repentance hereafter. You, Giovanni, will
depart at least. Heed not your friend--he is too cold to be
successful. He will always be safe, and do well, but he will do
nothing further. Away! if you can but gather a dozen friends and man a
single galley, you will be in season. But the time is short. I hear a
fearful cry--the cry of women--and the feeble shriek of Francesca
Ziani is among the voices of those who wail with a new terror! I see
their struggling forms, and floating garments, and disheveled hair!
Fly, young men, lest the names of those whom Venice has written in her
Book of Gold, shall henceforth be written in a Book of Blood!"

The reputation of the sybil was too great in Venice to allow her wild
predictions to be laughed at. Besides, our young Venetians--Nicolo no
less than Giovanni, in spite of what the woman had spoken touching his
lack of enthusiasm--were both aroused and eagerly excited by her
speech. Her person dilated as she spoke--her voice seemed to come up
from a fearful depth, and went thrillingly deep into the souls of the
hearers. They were carried from their feet by her predictions. They
prepared to obey her counsels. Soon had they gathered their friends
together, enough to man three of the fastest galleys of the city.
Their prows were turned at once toward the Lagune of Caorlo, whither
the woman had directed them. She, meanwhile, had disappeared, but the
course of her gondola lay for Olivolo.


CHAPTER III.

It will be necessary that we should go back in our narrative but a
single week before the occurrence of these events. Let us penetrate
the dim and lonesome abode on the confines of the "Jewish Quarter,"
but not within it, where the "Spanish Gipsy" delivered her
predictions. It is midnight, and still she sits over her incantations.
There are vessels of uncouth shape and unknown character before her.
Huge braziers lie convenient, on one of which, amidst a few coals, a
feeble flame may be seen to struggle. The atmosphere is impregnated
with a strong but not ungrateful perfume, and through its vapors
objects appear with some indistinctness. A circular plate of brass or
copper--it could not well be any more precious metal--rests beneath
the eye and finger of the woman. It is covered with strange and mystic
characters, which she seems busily to explore, as if they had a real
significance in her mind. She evidently united the highest departments
of her art with its humblest offices; and possessed those nobler
aspirations of the soul, which, during the middle ages, elevated in
considerable degree the professors of necromancy. But our purpose is
not now to determine her pretensions. We have but to exhibit and to
ascertain a small specimen of her skill in the vulgar business of
fortune-telling--an art which will continue to be received among men,
to a greater or less extent, so long as they shall possess a hope
which they cannot gratify, and feel a superstition which they cannot
explain. Our gipsy expects a visiter. She hears his footstep. The door
opens at her bidding and a stranger makes his appearance. He is a tall
and well made man, of stern and gloomy countenance, which is half
concealed beneath the raised foldings of his cloak. His beard, of
enormous length, is seen to stream down upon his breast; but his
cheek is youthful, and his eye is eagerly and anxiously bright. But
for a certain repelling something in his glance, he might be
considered a very handsome man--perhaps by many persons he was thought
so. He advanced with an air of dignity and power. His deportment and
manner--and when he spoke, his voice--all seemed to denote a person
accustomed to command. The woman did not look up as he approached--on
the contrary she seemed more intent than ever in the examination of
the strange characters before her. But a curious spectator might have
seen that a corner of her eye, bright with an intelligence that looked
more like cunning than wisdom, was suffered to take in all of the face
and person of the visiter that his muffling costume permitted to be
seen.

"Mother," said the stranger, "I am here."

"You say not who you are," answered the woman.

"Nor shall say," was the abrupt reply of the stranger. "That, you
said, was unnecessary to your art--to the solution of the questions
that I asked you."

"Surely," was the answer. "My art, that promises to tell thee of the
future, would be a sorry fraud could it not declare the present--could
it not say who thou art, as well as what thou seekest."

"Ha! and thou knowest!" exclaimed the other, his hand suddenly feeling
within the folds of his cloak, as he spoke, as if for a weapon, while
his eye glared quickly around the apartment, as if seeking for a
secret enemy.

"Nay, fear nothing," said the woman calmly. "I care not to know who
thou art. It is not an object of my quest, otherwise it would not long
remain a secret to me."

"It is well! mine is a name that must not be spoken among the homes of
Venice. It would make thee thyself to quail couldst thou hear it
spoken."

"Perhaps! but mine is not the heart to quail at many things, unless it
be the absolute wrath of Heaven. What the violence or the hate of man
could do to this feeble frame, short of death, it has already
suffered. Thou knowest but little of human cruelty, young man, though
thy own deeds be cruel!"

"How knowest thou that my deeds are cruel?" was the quick and
passionate demand, while the form of the stranger suddenly and
threateningly advanced. The woman was unmoved.

"Saidst thou not that there was a name that might not be spoken in the
homes of Venice? Why should thy very name make the hearts of Venice to
quail unless for thy deeds of cruelty and crime? But I see further. I
see it in thine eyes that thou art cruel. I hear it in thy voice that
thou art criminal. I know, even now, that thy soul is bent on deeds of
violence and blood, and the very quest that brings thee to me now is
less the quest of love than of that wild and selfish passion which so
frequently puts on his habit."

"Ha! speak to me of that! This damsel, Francesca Ziani! 'Tis of her
that I would have thee speak. Thou saidst that she should be mine, yet
lo! her name is written in the "Book of Gold," and she is allotted to
this man of wealth, this Ulric Barberigo."

"She will never be the wife of Ulric Barberigo."

"Thou saidst she should be mine."

"Nay; I said not that."

"Ha!--but thou liest!"

"No! Anger me not, young man! I am slower, much slower to anger than
thyself--slower than most of those who still chafe within this mortal
covering--yet am I mortal like thyself, and not wholly free from such
foolish passions as vex mortality. Chafe me, and I will repulse thee
with scorn. Annoy me, and I close upon thee the book of fate, leaving
thee to the blind paths which thy passions have ever moved thee to
take."

The stranger muttered something apologetically.

"Make me no excuses. I only ask thee to forbear and submit. I said not
that Francesca Ziani should be _thine_! I said only that I beheld her
in thy arms."

"And what more do I ask!" was the exulting speech of the stranger, his
voice rising into a sort of outburst, which fully declared the
ruffian, and the sort of passions by which he was governed.

"If that contents thee, well!" said the woman, coldly, her eye
perusing with a seeming calmness the brazen plate upon which the
strange characters were inscribed.

"That, then, thou promisest still?" demanded the stranger.

"Thou shalt see for thyself," was the reply. Thus speaking the woman
slowly arose and brought forth a small chafing-dish, also of brass or
copper, not much larger than a common plate. This she placed over the
brazier, the flame of which she quickened by a few smart puffs from a
little bellows which lay beside her. As the flame kindled, and the
sharp, red jets rose like tongues on either side of the plate, she
poured into it something like a gill of a thick tenacious liquid, that
looked like, and might have been, honey. Above this she brooded for
awhile with her eyes immediately over the vessel; and the keen ear of
the stranger, quickened by excited curiosity, could detect the
muttering of her lips, though the foreign syllables which she employed
were entirely beyond his comprehension. Suddenly, a thick vapor went
up from the dish. She withdrew it from the brazier and laid it before
her on the table. A few moments sufficed to clear the surface of the
vessel, the vapor arising and hanging languidly above her head.

"Look now for thyself and see!" was her command to the visiter; she
herself not deigning a glance upon the vessel, seeming thus to be
quite sure of what it would present, or quite indifferent to the
result. The stranger needed no second summons. He bent instantly over
the vessel, and started back with undisguised delight.

"It is she!" he exclaimed. "She droops! whose arm is it that supports
her--upon whose breast is it that she lies--who bears her away in
triumph?"

"Is it not thyself?" asked the woman, coldly.

"By Hercules, it is! She is mine! She is in my arms! She is on my
bosom! I have her in my galley! She speeds with me to my home! I see
it all, even as thou hast promised me!"

"I promise thee nothing. I but show thee only what is written."

"And when and how shall this be effected?"

"How, I know not," answered the woman, "this is withheld from me. Fate
shows what her work is only as it appears when done, but not the
manner of the doing."

"But when will this be?" was the question.

"It must be ere she marries with Ulric Barberigo, for him she will
never marry."

"And it is appointed that he weds with her on the day of St. Mary's
Eve. That is but a week from hence, and the ceremony takes place--"

"At Olivolo."

"Ha! at Olivolo!" and a bright gleam of intelligence passed over the
features of the stranger, from which his cloak had by this time
entirely fallen. The woman beheld the look, and a slight smile, that
seemed to denote scorn rather than any other emotion, played for a
moment over her shriveled and sunken lips.

"Mother," said the stranger, "must all these matters be left to fate?"

"That is as thou wilt."

"But the eye of a young woman may be won--her heart may be touched--so
that it shall be easy for fate to accomplish her designs. I am young;
am indifferently well fashioned in person, and have but little reason
to be ashamed of the face which God has given me. Beside, I have much
skill in music, and can sing to the guitar as fairly as most of the
young men of Venice. What if I were to find my way to the damsel--what
if I play and sing beneath her father's palace? I have disguises, and
am wont to practice in various garments; I can--"

The woman interrupted him.

"Thou mayest do as thou wilt. It is doubtless as indifferent to the
fates what thou doest, as it will be to me. Thou hast seen what I have
shown--I can no more. I am not permitted to counsel thee. I am but a
voice; thou hast all that I can give thee."

The stranger lingered still, but the woman ceased to speak, and
betrayed by her manner that she desired his departure. Thus seeing, he
took a purse from his bosom and laid it before her. She did not seem
to notice the action, nor did she again look up until he was gone.
With the sound of his retreating footsteps, she put aside the brazen
volume of strange characters which seemed her favorite study, and her
lips slowly parted in soliloquy,

"Ay! thou exultest, fierce ruffian that thou art, in the assurance
that fate yields herself to thy will! Thou shall, indeed, have the
maiden in thy arms, but it shall profit thee nothing; and that single
triumph shall exact from thee the last penalties which are sure to
follow on the footsteps of a trade like thine. Thou thinkest that I
know thee not, as if thy shallow masking could baffle eyes and art
like mine; but I had not shown thee thus much, were I not in
possession of yet further knowledge--did I not see that this lure was
essential to embolden thee to thy own final overthrow. Alas! that in
serving the cause of innocence, in saving the innocent from harm, we
cannot make it safe in happiness. Poor Francesca, beloved of three,
yet blest with neither! Thou shalt be wedded, yet be no bride; shall
gain all that thy fond young heart craveth, yet gain nothing! Be
spared the embraces of him thou loathest, yet rest in his arms whom
thou hast most need to fear, and shalt be denied, even when most
assured, the only embrace which might bring thee blessings! Happy at
least that thy sorrows shall not last thee long--their very keenness
and intensity being thy security from the misery which holds through
years like mine!"

Let us leave the woman of mystery--let us once more change the scene.
Now pass we to the pirate's domain at Istria, a region over which, at
the period of our narrative, the control of Venice was feeble,
exceedingly capricious, and subject to frequent vicissitudes. At this
particular time, it was maintained by the fiercest band of pirates
that ever swept the Mediterranean with their bloody prows.


CHAPTER IV.

It was midnight when the galley of the chief glided into the harbor of
Istria. The challenge of the sentinel was answered from the vessel,
and she took her place beside the shore, where two other galleys were
at anchor. Suddenly her sails descended with a rattle; a voice hailed
throughout the ship, was answered from stem to stern, and a deep
silence followed. The fierce chief of the pirates, Pietro Barbaro, the
fiercest, strongest, wisest, yet youngest of seven brothers, all
devoted to the same fearful employment, strode in silence to his
cabin. Here, throwing himself upon a couch, he prepared rather to rest
his limbs than to sleep. He had thoughts to keep him wakeful. Wild
hopes, and tenderer joys than his usual occupations offered, were
gleaming before his fancy. The light burned dimly in his floating
chamber, but the shapes of his imagination rose up before his mind's
eye not the less vividly because of the obscurity in which he lay.
Thus musing over expectations of most agreeable and exciting aspect,
he finally lapsed away in sleep.

He was suddenly aroused from slumber by a rude hand that lay heavily
on his shoulder.

"Who is it?" he asked of the intruder.

"Gamba," was the answer.

"Thou, brother!"

"Ay," continued the intruder; "and here are all of us."

"Indeed! and wherefore come you? I would sleep--I am weary. I must
have rest."

"Thou hast too much rest, Pietro," said another of the brothers. "It
is that of which we complain--that of which we would speak to thee
now."

"Ha! this is new language, brethren! Answer me--perhaps I am not well
awake; am I your captain, or not?"

"Thou art--the fact seems to be forgotten by no one but thyself.
Though the youngest of our mother's children, we made thee our
leader."

"For what did ye this, my brothers, unless that I might command ye?"

"For this, in truth, and this only, did we confer upon thee this
authority. Thou hadst shown thyself worthy to command--"

"Well!"

"Thy skill--thy courage--thy fortitude--"

"In brief, ye thought me best fitted to command ye?"

"Yes."

"Then I command ye hence! Leave me, and let me rest!"

"Nay, brother, but this cannot be;" was the reply of another of the
intruders. "We must speak with thee while the night serves us, lest
thou hear worse things with the morrow. Thou art, indeed, our captain;
chosen because of thy qualities of service, to conduct and counsel us;
but we chose thee not that thou shouldst sleep! Thou wert chosen that
our enterprises might be active and might lead to frequent profit."

"Has it not been so?" demanded the chief.

"For a season it was so, and there was no complaint of thee."

"Who now complains?"

"Thy people--all!"

"And can ye not answer them?"

"No! for we ourselves need an answer! We, too, complain."

"Of what complain ye?"

"That our enterprises profit us nothing."

"Do ye not go forth in the galleys? Lead ye not, each of you, an armed
galley? Why is it that your enterprises profit ye nothing?"

"Because of the lack of our captain."

"And ye can do nothing without me; and because ye are incapable, I
must have no leisure for myself."

"Nay, something more than this, Pietro. Our enterprises avail us
nothing, since you command that we no longer trouble the argosies of
Venice. Venice has become thy favorite. Thou shieldest her only, when
it is her merchants only who should give us spoil. This, brother, is
thy true offence. For this we complain of thee; for this thy people
complain of thee. They are impoverished by thy new-born love for
Venice, and they are angry with thee. Brother, their purpose is to
depose thee?"

"Ha! and ye--"

"We are men as well as brethren. We cherish no such attachment for
Venice as that which seems to fill thy bosom. When the question shall
be taken in regard to thy office, our voices shall be against thee,
unless--"

There was a pause. It was broken by the chief.

"Well, speak out. What are your conditions?"

"Unless thou shalt consent to lead us on a great enterprise against
the Venetians. Hearken to us, brother Pietro. Thou knowest of the
annual festival at Olivolo, when the marriage takes place of all those
maidens, whose families are favorites of the Signiory, and whose names
are written in the "Book of Gold" of the Republic."

The eyes of the pirate chief involuntarily closed at the suggestion,
but his head nodded affirmatively. The speaker continued.

"It is now but a week when this festival takes place. On this
occasion assemble the great, the noble and the wealthy of the sea
city. Thither they bring all that is gorgeous in their apparel, all
that is precious among their ornaments and decorations. Nobility and
wealth here strive together which shall most gloriously display
itself. Here, too, is the beauty of the city--the virgins of
Venice--the very choice among her flocks. Could there be prize more
fortunate? Could there be prize more easy of attainment? The church of
San Pietro di Castella permits no armed men within its holy
sanctuaries. There are no apprehensions of peril; the people who
gather to the rites are wholly weaponless. They can offer no defense
against our assault; nor can this be foreseen? What place more lonely
than Olivolo? Thither shall we repair the day before the festival, and
shelter ourselves from scrutiny. At the moment when the crowd is
greatest, we will dart upon our prey. We lack women; we desire wealth.
Shall we fail in either, when we have in remembrance the bold deeds of
our ancient fathers, when they looked with yearning on the fresh
beauties of the Sabine virgins? These Venetian beauties are our
Sabines. Thou, too, if the bruit of thy followers do thee no
injustice, thou, too, hast been overcome by one of these. She will
doubtless be present at this festival. Make her thine, and fear not
that each of thy brethren will do justice to his tastes and thine own.
Here, now, thou hast all. Either thou agreest to that which thy people
demand, or the power departs from thy keeping. Fabio becomes our
leader!"

There was a pause. At length the pirate-chief addressed his brethren.

"Ye have spoken! ye threaten, too! This power, of which ye speak, is
precious in your eyes. I value it not a zecchino; and wert thou to
depose me to-morrow, I should be the master of ye in another month,
did it please me to command a people so capricious. But think not,
though I speak to ye in this fashion, that I deny your demand. I but
speak thus to show ye that I fear you not. I will do as ye desire; but
did not your own wishes square evenly with mine own, I should bide the
issue of this struggle, though it were with knife to knife."

"It matters not how thou feelest, or what movest thee, Pietro, so that
thou dost as we demand. Thou wilt lead us to this spoil?"

"I will."

"It is enough. It will prove to thy people that they are still the
masters of the Lagune--that they are not sold to Venice."

"Leave me now."

The brethren took their departure. When they had gone, the chief spoke
in brief soliloquy, thus:

"Verily, there is the hand of fate in this. Methinks I see the history
once more, even as I beheld it in the magic liquor of the Spanish
Gipsy. Why thought I not of this before, dreaming vainly like an idiot
boy, as much in love with his music as himself, who hopes by the
tinkle of his guitar to win his beauty from the palace of her noble
sire, to the obscure retreats of his gondola. These brethren shall not
vex me. They are but the creatures of a fate!"


CHAPTER V.

Let us now return to Olivolo, to the altar-place of the church of San
Pietro di Castella, and resume the progress of that strangely mingled
ceremonial--mixed sunshine and sadness--which was broken by the
passionate conduct of Giovanni Gradenigo. We left the poor, crushed
Francesca, in a state of unconsciousness, in the arms of her
sympathizing kindred. For a brief space the impression was a painful
one upon the hearts of the vast assembly; but as the deep organ rolled
its ascending anthems, the emotion subsided. The people had assembled
for pleasure and an agreeable spectacle; and though sympathizing, for
a moment, with the pathetic fortunes of the sundered lovers, quite as
earnestly as it is possible for mere lookers-on to do, they were not
to be disappointed in the objects for which they came. The various
shows of the assemblage--the dresses, the jewels, the dignitaries, and
the beauties--were quite enough to divert the feelings of a populace,
at all times notorious for its levities, from a scene which, however
impressive at first, was becoming a little tedious. Sympathies are
very good and proper things; but the world seldom suffers them to
occupy too much of its time. Our Venetians did not pretend to be any
more humane than the rest of the great family; and the moment that
Francesca had fainted, and Giovanni had disappeared, the multitude
began to express their impatience of any further delay by all the
means in their possession. There was no longer a motive to resist
their desires, and simply reserving the fate of the poor Francesca to
the last, or until she should sufficiently recover to be fully
conscious of the sacrifice which she was about to make, the ceremonies
were begun. There was a political part to be played by the Doge, in
which the people took particular interest; and to behold which,
indeed, was the strongest reason of their impatience. The government
of Venice, as was remarked by quaint and witty James Howell, was a
compound thing, mixed of all kinds of governments, and might be said
to be composed of "a _grain_ of monarchy, a _dose_ of democracy, and a
_dram_, if not an _ounce_ of optimacy." It was in regard to this
_dose_ of democracy, that the government annually assigned marriage
portions to twelve young maidens, selected from the great body of the
people, of those not sufficiently opulent to secure husbands, or find
the adequate means for marriage, without this help. To bestow these
maidens upon their lovers, and with them the portions allotted by the
state, constituted the first, and in the eyes of the masses, the most
agreeable part of the spectacle. The Doge, on this occasion, who was
the thrice renowned Pietro Candiano, "did his spiriting gently," and
in a highly edifying manner. The bishop bestowed his blessings, and
confirmed by the religious, the civil rites, which allied the chosen
couples. To these succeeded the _voluntary_ parties, if we may thus
presume upon a distinction between the two classes, which we are yet
not sure that we have a right to make. The high-born and the wealthy,
couple after couple, now approached the altar, to receive the final
benediction which committed them to hopes of happiness which it is not
in the power of any priesthood to compel. No doubt there was a great
deal of hope among the parties, and we have certainly no reason to
suppose that happiness did not follow in every instance.

But there is poor Francesca Ziani. It is now her turn. Her cruel
parents remain unsubdued and unsoftened by her deep and touching
sorrows. She is made to rise, to totter forward to the altar, scarcely
conscious of any thing, except, perhaps, that the worthless, but
wealthy, Ulric Barberigo is at her side. Once more the mournful
spectacle restores to the spectators all their better feelings. They
perceive, they feel the cruelty of that sacrifice to which her kindred
are insensible. In vain do they murmur "shame!" In vain does she turn
her vacant, wild, but still expressive eyes, expressive because of
their very soulless vacancy, to that stern, ambitious mother, whose
bosom no longer responds to her child with the true maternal feeling.
Hopeless of help from that quarter, she lifts her eyes to Heaven, and,
no longer listening to the words of the holy man, she surrenders
herself only to despair.

Is it Heaven that hearkens to her prayer? Is it the benevolent office
of an angel that bursts the doors of the church at the very moment
when she is called upon to yield that response which dooms her to
misery forever? To her ears, the thunders which now shook the church
were the fruits of Heaven's benignant interposition. The shrieks of
women on every hand--the oaths and shouts of fierce and insolent
authority--the clamors of men--the struggles and cries of those who
seek safety in flight or entreat for mercy--suggest no other idea to
the wretched Francesca, than that she is saved from the embraces of
Ulric Barberigo. She is only conscious that, heedless of her, and of
the entreaties of her mother, he is the first to endeavor selfishly to
save himself by flight. But her escape from Barberigo is only the
prelude to other embraces. She knows not, unhappy child! that she is
an object of desire to another, until she finds herself lifted in the
grasp of Pietro Barbaro, the terrible chief of the Istrute pirates. He
and his brothers have kept their pledges to one another, and they have
been successful in their prey. Their fierce followers have subdued to
submission the struggles of a weaponless multitude, who, with horror
and consternation, behold the loveliest of their virgins, the just
wedded among them, borne away upon the shoulders of the pirates to
their warlike galleys. Those who resist them perish. Resistance was
hopeless. The fainting and shrieking women, like the Sabine damsels,
are hurried from the sight of their kinsmen and their lovers, and the
Istrute galleys are about to depart with their precious freight.
Pietro Barbaro, the chief, stands with one foot upon his vessel's side
and the other on the shore. Still insensible, the lovely Francesca
lies upon his breast. At this moment the skirt of his cloak is plucked
by a bold hand. He turns to meet the glance of the Spanish Gypsy. The
old woman leered on him with eyes that seemed to mock his triumph,
even while she appealed to it.

"Is it not even as I told thee--as I showed thee?" was her demand.

"It is!" exclaimed the pirate-chief, as he flung her a purse of gold.
"Thou art a true prophetess. Fate has done her work!"

He was gone; his galley was already on the deep, and he himself might
now be seen kneeling upon the deck of the vessel, bending over his
precious conquest, and striving to bring back the life into her
cheeks.

"Ay, indeed!" muttered the Spanish Gipsy, "thou hast had her in thy
arms, but think not, reckless robber that thou art, that fate has
_done_ its work. The work is but _begun_. Fate has kept its word to
thee; it is thy weak sense that fancied she had nothing more to say or
do!"

Even as she spoke these words, the galleys of Giovanni Gradenigo were
standing for the Lagune of Caorlo. He had succeeded in collecting a
gallant band of cavaliers who tacitly yielded him the command. The
excitement of action had served, in some measure, to relieve the
distress under which he suffered. He was no longer the lover, but the
man; nor the man merely, but the leader of men. Giovanni was endowed
for this by nature. His valor was known. It had been tried upon the
Turk. Now that he was persuaded by the Spanish Gipsy, whom all
believed and feared, that a nameless and terrible danger overhung his
beloved, which was to be met and baffled only by the course he was
pursuing, his whole person seemed to be informed by a new spirit. The
youth, his companions, wondered to behold the change. There was no
longer a dreaminess and doubt about his words and movements, but all
was prompt, energetic, and directly to the purpose. Giovanni was now
the confident and strong man. Enough for him that there _was_ danger.
Of this he no longer entertained a fear. Whether the danger that was
supposed to threaten Francesca, was still suggestive of a hope--as the
prediction of the Spanish Gipsy might well warrant--may very well be
questioned. It was in the very desperation of his hope, perhaps, that
his energies became at once equally well-ordered and intense. He
prompted to their utmost the energies of others. He impelled all his
agencies to their best exertions. Oar and sail were busy without
intermission, and soon the efforts of the pursuers were rewarded. A
gondola, bearing a single man, drifted along their path. He was a
fugitive from Olivolo, who gave them the first definite idea of the
foray of the pirates. His tidings, rendered imperfect by his terrors,
were still enough to goad the pursuers to new exertions. Fortune
favored the pursuit. In their haste the pirate galleys had become
entangled in the lagune. The keen eye of Giovanni was the first to
discover them. First one bark, and then another, hove in sight, and
soon the whole piratical fleet were made out, as they urged their
embarrassed progress through the intricacies of the shallow waters.

"Courage, bold hearts!" cried Giovanni to his people; "they are ours!
We shall soon be upon them. They cannot now escape us!"

The eye of the youthful leader brightened with the expectation of the
struggle. His exulting, eager voice declared the strength and
confidence of his soul, and cheered the souls of all around him. The
sturdy oarsmen "gave way" with renewed efforts. The knights prepared
their weapons for the conflict. Giovanni _signaled_ the other galleys
by which his own was followed.

"I am for the red flag of Pietro Barbaro himself. I know his banner.
Let your galleys grapple with the rest. Cross their path--prevent
their flight, and bear down upon the strongest. Do your parts, and
fear not but we shall do ours."

With these brief instructions, our captain led the way with the
Venetian galleys. The conflict was at hand. It came. They drew nigh
and hailed the enemy. The parley was a brief one. The pirates could
hope no mercy, and they asked none. But few words, accordingly, were
exchanged between the parties, and these were not words of peace.

"Yield thee to the mercy of St. Mark!" was the stern summons of
Giovanni, to the pirate-chief.

"St. Mark's mercy has too many teeth!" was the scornful reply of the
pirate. "The worthy saint must strike well before Barbaro of Istria
sues to him for mercy.

With the answer the galleys grappled. The Venetians leapt on board of
the pirates, with a fury that was little short of madness. Their wrath
was terrible. Under the guidance of the fierce Giovanni, they smote
with an unforgiving vengeance. It was in vain that the Istrutes fought
as they had been long accustomed. It needed something more than
customary valor to meet the fury of their assailants. All of them
perished. Mercy now was neither asked nor given. Nor, as it seemed,
did the pirates care to live, when they beheld the fall of their
fearful leader. He had crossed weapons with Giovanni Gradenigo, in
whom he found his fate. Twice, thrice, the sword of the latter drove
through the breast of the pirate. Little did his conqueror conjecture
the import of the few words which the dying chief gasped forth at his
feet, his glazed eyes striving to pierce the deck, as if seeking some
one within.

"I have, indeed, had thee in my arms, but--"

There was no more--death finished the sentence! The victory was
complete, but Giovanni was wounded. Pietro Barbaro was a fearful
enemy. He was conquered, it is true, but he had made his mark upon his
conqueror. He had bitten deep before he fell.

The victors returned with their spoil. They brought back the captured
brides in triumph. That same evening preparations were made to
conclude the bridal ceremonies which the morning had seen so fearfully
arrested. With a single exception, the original distribution of the
"brides" was persevered in. That exception, as we may well suppose,
was Francesca Ziani. It was no longer possible for her unnatural
parents to withstand the popular sentiment. The Doge himself, Pietro
Candiano, was particularly active in persuading the reluctant mother
to submit to what was so evidently the will of destiny. But for the
discreditable baseness and cowardice of Ulric Barberigo, it is
probable she never would have yielded. But his imbecility and unmanly
terror in the moment of danger, had been too conspicuous. Even his
enormous wealth could not save him from the shame that followed; and
however unwillingly, the parents of Francesca consented that she
should become the bride of Giovanni, as the only proper reward for the
gallantry which had saved her, and so many more, from shame.

But where was Giovanni? His friends have been dispatched for him; why
comes he not? The maid, now happy beyond her hope, awaits him at the
altar. And still he comes not. Let us go back for a moment to the
moment of his victory over the pirate-chief. Barbaro lies before him
in the agonies of death. His sword it is which has sent the much
dreaded outlaw to his last account. But he himself is wounded--wounded
severely, but not mortally by the man whom he has slain. At this
moment he received a blow from the axe of one of the brothers of
Barbaro. He had strength left barely to behold and to shout his
victory, when he sunk fainting upon the deck of the pirate vessel. His
further care devolved upon his friend, Nicolo, who had followed his
footsteps closely through all the paths of danger. In a state of
stupor he lies upon the couch of Nicolo, when the aged prophetess, the
"Spanish Gipsy," appeared beside his bed.

"He is called," she said. "The Doge demands his presence. They will
bestow upon him his bride, Francesca Ziani. You must bear him
thither."

The surgeon shook his head.

"It may arouse him," said Nicolo. "We can bear him thither on a
litter, so that he shall feel no pain."

"It were something to wake him from this apathy," mused the surgeon.
"Be it as thou wilt."

Thus, grievously wounded, was the noble Giovanni borne into the midst
of the assembly for each member of which he had suffered and done so
much. The soft music which played around, awakened him. His eyes
unclosed to discover the lovely Francesca, tearful, but hopeful,
bending fondly over him. She declared herself his. The voice of the
Doge confirmed the assurance; and the eye of the dying man brightened
into the life of a new and delightful consciousness. Eagerly he spoke;
his voice was but a whisper.

"Make it so, I pray thee, that I may live!"

The priest drew nigh with the sacred unction. The marriage service was
performed, and the hands of the two were clasped in one.

"Said I not?" demanded an aged woman, who approached the moment after
the ceremonial, and whose face was beheld by none but him whom she
addressed. "She is thine!"

The youth smiled, but made no answer. His hand drew that of Francesca
closer. She stooped to his kiss, and whispered him, but he heard her
not. With the consciousness of the sweet treasure that he had won
after such sad denial, the sense grew conscious no longer--the lips of
the youth were sealed for ever. The young Giovanni, the bravest of
the Venetian youth, lay lifeless in the embrace of the scarcely more
living Francesca. It was a sad day, after all, in Venice, since its
triumph was followed by so great a loss; but the damsels of the ocean
city still declare that the lovers were much more blest in this
fortune, than had they survived for the embrace of others less
beloved.

[The touching and romantic incident upon which this little tale is
founded, has been made use of by Mr. Rogers, in his poem of "Italy."
It is one of those events which enrich and enliven, for romance, the
early histories of most states and nations that ever arrive at
character and civilization. It occurs in the first periods of Venetian
story, about 932, under the Doge Candiano II. I have divided my sketch
into _five_ parts, having originally designed a dramatic piece with
the same divisions. That I have since thought proper to write the tale
in the narrative and not the dramatic form, is not because of any
insusceptibility of the material to such uses. I still think that the
story, as above given, might easily and successfully be dramatized,
giving it a mixed character--that of the melo-dramatic opera, and only
softening the close to a less tragical denouement.]



ODE TO THE MOON.

BY MRS. E. C. KINNEY.

I.


      Myriads have sung thy praise,
    Fair Dian, virgin-goddess of the skies!
      And myriads will raise
    Their songs, as time yet onward flies,
    To _thee_, chaste prompter of the lover's sighs,
      And of the minstrel's lays!
    Yet still exhaustless as a theme
      Shall be thy name--
    While lives immortal Fame--
    As when to people the first poet's dream
      Thy inspiration came.


II.


          None ever lived, or loved,
        Who hath not thine oblivious influence felt--
        As if a silver veil hid outward things,
        While some bright spirit's wings
          Mysteriously moved
        The world of fancies that within him dwelt--
      Regent of Night! whence is this charm in thee,
    That sways the human soul with potent witchery?


III.


      When first the infant learns to look on high,
        While twilight's drapery his heart appals,
      Thy full-orbed presence captivates his eye;
        Or when, 'mid shadows grim upon the walls,
          Are sent thy pallid rays,
          'Tis awe his bosom fills,
          And trembling joy that thrills
      His tiny frame, and fastens his young gaze:
          Thy spell is on that heart,
          And childhood may depart,
      But it shall gather strength with youthful days;
        For oft as thou, capricious moon!
          Shalt wax and wane,
      He, now perchance a love-sick swain,
        Will watch thee at night's stilly noon,
      Pouring his passion in an amorous strain:
        Or, with the mistress of his soul--
          Lighted by thy love-whispering beams--
        In some secluded garden stroll,
          Bewildered in ambrosial dreams;
      Nor once suspect, while his full pulses move,
    That thou, whom tides obey, may'st turn the tide of love!


IV.


        The watcher on the deep--
          Though weary be his eye--
        Forgets even drowsy sleep,
          When thou art in the sky!
      For with thine image on the silvery sea
      A thousand forms of memory
        Whirl in a mazy dance;
      And when he upward looks to thee,
        In thy far-reaching glance
      There is a sacred bond of sympathy
          'Twixt sea and land;
          For on his native strand
      That glance awakens kindred souls
        To kindred thought,
      And though the deep between them rolls,
        Hearts are together brought;
    While tears that fall from eyes at home,
      And those that wet the sailor's cheek,
    From the same sacred fountains come--
          The same emotion speak.


V.


          The watcher on the land--
          Who holds the burning hand
        Of one whom scorching fever wastes--
          Beholds thee, orient moon!
      With reddened face, expanded in the east,
      Till Superstition chills his breast,
        While tremulous he hastes
      To draw the curtains as thou journeyest on:
          But when the far-spent night
          Is streaked with dawning light,
          Again, to look on thee,
          He lifts the drapery,
      And hope divine now triumphs over fear,
          As in the zenith far
      A pale, small orb thou dost appear,
    While eastward rises morn's resplendent star!
    And Fancy sees the passing soul ascend
    Where thy mild glories with the azure blend.


VI.


    Even on the face of Death thou lookest calm,
      Fair Dian! as when watchful thou didst keep
      Love's holy vigils o'er Endymion's sleep,
    Drinking the breath of youth's perpetual balm.
      Thy beams are kissing now
        The icy brow
    Of many a youth in slumber deep,
      Who cannot yield to thee
    The incense of Love's perfumed breath,
    For no response gives Death!
      Ah, 'tis a fearful sight to see
    Thy lustre on a human face
    Where the Promethean spark has left no trace,
        As if it shone upon
          The marble cold,
        Of that famed ruin old--
    The grand, but empty Parthenon!


VII.


    Dian, enchantress of all hearts!
      While mine in song now worships thee,
    From thy far-shooting bow the silver darts
          Fall thick and fast on me:
    Oh, beautiful in light and shade,
    By thee is this fair landscape made!
    Gems sparkle on the river's breast--
    Now covered by an icy vest--
        Upon the frozen hills
          A regal glory shines!
        And all the scene, as Fancy wills,
          Shifts into new designs.
    Yet night is still as Death's unbroken realms,
      And solemnly thy light, wan orb, is cast
    Through the arched branches of these reverend elms,
    As though it through the Gothic windows passed
    Of some old abbey or cathedral vast.


VIII.


        In awe my spirit kneels--
    And seems before a hallowed shrine;
    Yet not the majesty of Art it feels,
        But Nature's law divine--
    The presence of her mighty Architect!
      Who piled these pyramidal hills sublime,
    That still, pure moon, thy radiance will reflect,
      And still defy the crumbling touch of Time:
    Who built this temple of gigantic trees,
      Where Nature's worshipers repair
      To pray the heart's unuttered prayer,
    Whose veiled thought the great Omniscient sees.


IX.


    Oh, I could wonder, and adore
      Religious Night! and thee, her queen!
    Till golden Phoebus should restore
      His splendor to the scene!
    But the same natural laws control
      Thy motions and the poet's will;
    So, that while tireless roves the soul,
      This actual life must weary still.
    And oh, inspirer of my song!
      While close these eyes upon thy beams,
    Watching, amid thy starry throng,
      Be thou the goddess of my dreams.



MY BIRD.

BY MRS. JANE C. CAMPBELL.


    Ring out, ring out, thy clear sweet note!
      Art longing to be free--
    To break thy bars and heavenward float?
      My bird, this may not be.

    Thou ne'er hast known another home
      Than in that cage of thine,
    And shouldst thou from its shelter roam,
      Where meet a love like mine?

    When the gay wealth of leaves and flowers
      Wreathes every fragrant bough,
    And hides thee all the summer hours
      From noontide's sultry glow--

    And when the limpid grass-fringed brook
      Reflects thy yellow wing,
    And thou may'st seek each quiet nook
      Where sweets are blossoming--

    And warble there the cheerful song
      That oft has charmed mine ear,
    Thou might'st, those leafy shades among,
      Be happier far than here.

    But when sad Autumn sheds abroad
      The stillness of decay,
    And leaves beneath the feet are trod
      Where young winds love to play--

    When icy chains the streams have bound,
      Gems hang from every tree,
    And but the snow-bird skims the ground,
      Where would my trembler flee?

    Ah, fold thy wing and rest thee there,
      Nor trust deceitful skies,
    Though balmy now the gentle air,
      Dark tempests will arise.

    And Freedom! 'tis a glorious word!
      But should the rude winds come,
    Then wouldst thou wish, my warbling bird,
      For thine own quiet home.

    My bird! I too would take my flight,
      I long to soar away
    To those far realms where all is bright,
      Where beams an endless day.

    I may not tread a holier sphere,
      I may not upward move,
    But bound like thee, I linger here
      And trust a Father's love.



THE KNIGHTS OF THE RINGLET.

BY GIFTIE.

CHAPTER I.


If to be seated, on a bright winter's day, before a glowing fire of
anthracite, with one's feet on the fender, and one's form half-buried
in the depths of a cushioned easy-chair, holding the uncut pages of
the last novel, be indeed the practical definition of happiness, then
Emma Leslie was to be envied as she sat thus cosily, one afternoon,
listening to an animated discussion going on between an elderly lady
and gentleman on the opposite side of the fire-place. The discussion
ran on a grave subject--a very grave subject--one which has puzzled
the heads of wise men, and turned the wits of weak ones. But though
the argument grew every moment more close and earnest, the fair
listener had the audacity to laugh, in clear, silvery tones, that told
there was not one serious thought in her mind, as she said,

"Nay, good uncle, a truce to these generalities. If, as I imagine, all
this talk upon woman's rights and woman's duties has been for my
special edification, pray be more explicit and tell me what part I am
to play in the general reform you propose?"

The gentleman thus addressed looked up at this interruption, and
replied in a tone slightly acidified,

"For your benefit also has been your Aunt Mary's clear exposition of
what woman may and should be. Perhaps you will profit as much by her
suggestions as you seem to do by mine."

"Do not give me up as incorrigible just as I am coming to be taught
how to be good," said Emma, with mock gravity. "With regard to this
subject of temperance, of which you were just speaking, and upon which
you say woman has so much influence, what shall I do? How can I
reclaim the drunkard while I move in a circle where the degraded
creatures are not admitted. They will not be influenced by a person
who has no feelings or sympathies in common with them, even were it
proper for me to descend to their level in order to help them."

"That may be. The tide of gay and fashionable life sweeps over and
buries in oblivion the ruin its forms and ceremonies help to make. Yet
there are some you might reach. Some who are just beginning to sink,
and whom men cannot influence because they are too proud to own their
danger."

"How less likely, then, would a woman be to influence them," replied
Emma. "You know how men try to conceal their vices and foibles from
us."

"True, but yet men do not suspect the weaker sex of doubting their
power to reform themselves, and are therefore more willing to be
advised and persuaded by them to abandon their bad habits, which have
not yet become fixed vices. Woman's intuitive perception of what
should be said, and the right moment to say it, men rarely possess;
and this gives your sex a superiority over ours in the work of
reform. Yet, alas! how often is this influence employed to lure the
wandering feet further and further from the path of virtue."

"Beware, uncle, I'll have no slander," replied Emma, half vexed.

"It is not slander. How often have I seen you, Emma, with smiles and
gay words, sipping that which, however harmless to you, is poison to
some of your thoughtless companions. Were you pure in word and deed
from all contamination in that behalf, how different would be your
influence. Yet you refused to join the Temperance Society I am
endeavoring to establish in our neighborhood."

"But you know," said Emma, with a proud curl of her ruby lip, "that I
am in no danger. Why should my name be mixed with the common herd?"

"That is false pride, unworthy a true-hearted woman. To refuse to aid
a reforming movement that will assist thousands, simply because it
will not benefit you, because you do not need its help. I did not
think you so selfish."

"I am not selfish. You shall not call me such ugly names," replied the
niece, striving to turn the conversation from the serious turn it had
taken. "You know very well it is only my humility that speaks. I don't
think women have any right to form societies and make laws. All that
honor and glory I am willing to leave to men, and only ask for my sex
the liberty of doing as they please in the humble station assigned to
them by the 'lords of creation.' You may rule the world, and give
orders, and we will--break them."

"Yes," said her uncle, rising to go, "you will break them,
indeed--break all laws of justice, honor and humanity in your giddy
course."

"Nay," said Emma, rising and holding his hands in hers as he was about
to leave the room,

    'Put down your hat, don't take your stick,
    Now, prithee, uncle, stay.'

I will not let you go thinking me so naughty and saucy. Don't look so
sober, or I shall certainly cry, and you know you hate scenes. I am
really half convinced by your arguments, but were I to sign the
pledge, what good would it do. I have no desire to go about with a
sermon on my lips, and a frown on my brow, to bestow on all the
luckless wights who 'touch, taste or handle.' It is not genteel to
scold, and I fancy they might think me impertinent were I to advise.
Who is there among my acquaintance who would not resent my
interference with their habits in this respect?"

"There is your cousin, Edward," replied her uncle, seating himself
again. "You know well how to lead him in your train through all kinds
of fun and folly, perhaps you might induce him to sign the temperance
pledge."

"But Edward is strictly temperate. He rarely takes even wine."

"True, and I don't think him in danger of becoming less so. But his
position in society gives him great influence over the young men with
whom he associates; and some who follow his example in refusing to
sign the pledge, are unable to follow him in controlling their
appetites."

"There is young Saville, too," said Aunt Mary. "It is whispered among
his friends, that unless something arrests his course, he will ere
long be ruined."

A flush passed over Emma's beautiful face as, in a tone of surprise
and horror, she exclaimed, "What, George Saville! with his genius and
eloquence--is he a slave to that vice?"

"They say," replied her aunt, "that much of his fiery eloquence arises
from the fumes of brandy, and the sparkling wit that makes him so
delightful is caught from the bubbles that dance on the wine-cup. When
the excitement, thus produced, passes away, he is dull and
spiritless."

"And will no one warn him--no one save him?" said Emma, thoughtfully.

"Who can do it so well as yourself?" said her uncle. "Is he not one of
the worshipers at your shrine? Of what avail is it to be young and
beautiful and wealthy, if the influence such accidents give be not
employed in the cause of truth and virtue?"

Emma did not reply, and her uncle left the room, where she remained a
long time in deep thought, roused and startled by the new ideas
presented to her mind, for giddy and thoughtless as she seemed, she
possessed a mind and heart capable of deep feeling and energetic
action.

The same evening she was seated by the piano, drawing thence a flood
of melody, while her Cousin Edward and George Saville stood beside
her. But the attention of the latter seemed more absorbed by the fair
musician than by the sweet sounds produced by her flying fingers; and
directing his companion's attention to the soft brown hair that fell
in long, shining ringlets around her pure brow, and over her snowy
neck, he said, in a tone intended to reach his ear alone,

"What would you give to possess one of those curls?"

Low as were the words, Emma heard them, and pausing suddenly, said,
"What would _you_ give?"

"Any thing--every thing," said the young man, eagerly.

"Would you give your liberty--would you bind yourself to do my
bidding?" asked the maiden, in a tone in which playful gayety strove
to hide a deeper feeling.

"The liberty to disobey your will, lady, has long been lost," replied
Saville, with a glance that well-nigh destroyed Emma's
self-possession. "It were a small matter to acknowledge it by my vow."

"On that condition it is yours," said Emma, while the rich blush that
mantled cheek and brow, made her more beautiful than ever as she
severed from her queenly head one of the longest of the luxurient
tresses with which nature had adorned it.

"Ma belle Emma," interposed Edward as she did this, "I cannot allow of
such partiality. Let me take the oath of allegiance and gain an equal
prize."

"Will you dare?" replied Emma, gayly. "Will you bow your haughty
spirit to do my bidding? Beware, for when you have vowed, you are
completely in my power."

"And a very tyrant you will be, no doubt, fair queen, yet I accept the
vow. Royalty needs new disciples when there are so many deserters."

"Kneel, then, Cousin Edward, and you also, Mr. Saville, and rise
Knights of the Ringlet, bound to serve in all things the will of your
sovereign lady." So saying, she placed half the ringlet on the
shoulder of each gentleman, as they knelt in mock humility before her.
Some unutterable feeling seemed to compel Saville to _look_ the thanks
he would have spoken, but Edward, with a conscious privilege, seized
her hand, and kissing it, exclaimed, as he threw himself into "an
attitude,"


    "Thy will, and thine alone,
      For ever and a day,
    By sea and land, through fire and flood,
      We promise to obey."


CHAPTER II.

About a month after, Edward and his cousin found themselves listening
to the eloquent appeals of a well known temperance lecturer. He dwelt
upon the woes and ruins of intemperance, and the responsibility of
every one who did not do all in his power to remedy the evil. At the
close of the lecture the pledge was passed among the audience. When it
came to where they were sitting, Emma took it, and offering Edward her
pencil, whispered, "Let the Knight of the Ringlet perform his vow." He
looked at her inquiringly. She traced her own name beneath those
written there, and bade him do the same. For an instant he hesitated,
and was half offended with her for the stratagem, but good sense and
politeness both forbade a refusal, and he complied.

It was a more delicate task to exert the same influence over the proud
and sensitive George Saville, but at length the opportunity occurred.

One evening, as he mingled with the gay groups that filled the
splendid drawing-rooms of the fashionable Mrs. B----, one of his
acquaintance came up, and filling two glasses with wine that stood on
the marble side-table, offered one to him. As he was raising it to his
lips, a rose-bud fell over his shoulder into the glass, and a voice
near him said, in low, musical tones, "Touch it not, Knight of the
Ringlet, I command you by this token;" and turning, he saw Emma
standing beside him. As she met his gaze, she passed her delicate hand
through the dark curls that shaded her lovely face, and shaking her
finger at him impressively, was lost in the crowd. Saville stood
looking after her with a bewildered air, as if lost in thought, until
the laugh of his companion recalled him to himself. "Excuse me," he
said, putting down the glass. "You saw the spell flung over me, I am
under oath to obey the behests of beauty."

Emma watched him through the evening, but he seemed to avoid her, and
appeared thoughtful and sad. They did not meet again, until at a late
hour; she was stepping into her carriage to return home, when suddenly
he appeared at her side and assisting her into it, entreated, "Fair
queen, permit the humblest of your most loyal subjects the honor of
escorting you to the palace." She assented, and the carriage had no
sooner started than in a voice, trembling with earnestness, he added.
"and permit me to ask if your command this evening was merely an
exercise of power, or did a deeper meaning lie therein?"

"I did mean to warn you," said Emma, gently, "that there was poison in
the glass--slow, perchance, but sure."

"And do you think _me_ in danger, Miss Leslie?"

"I think all in danger who do not adopt the rule of total abstinance;
and, pardon me, if I say that with your excitable temperament, I
imagine you to be in more than ordinary peril."

There was a long pause. When he spoke again his tones were calmer.

"I did not imagine I could ever become a slave to appetite. Often,
while suffering from the fatigue induced by writing, I have taken
brandy, and been revived by it. Sometimes before going to speak in
public I have felt the need of artificial stimulus to invigorate my
shattered nerves. Do you think that improper indulgence?"

"Do you not find," said Emma, "that this lassitude returns more
frequently, and requires more stimulus to overcome it than formerly?"

"It is true," said he, thoughtfully; "yet I often speak with more
fluency when under such excitement than I can possibly do at other
times."

"Once it was not so," said Emma, kindly.

"Very true, but this kind of life wears on my system. I cannot get
though with my public duties without help of this kind."

"Does not this show," replied Emma, that you have already somewhat
impaired those noble powers with which you are endowed. Would it not
be far nobler as well as safer to trust solely to yourself than to
depend on the wild excitement thus induced?"

"It does, indeed; fool that I have been to think myself secure. But,
thank heaven! I am yet master. I _can_ control myself if I choose."

By this time they had arrived at the door of Miss Leslie's mansion.

"Let me detain you one moment," said Saville, as they stood upon the
steps, "to ask you if you have heard others speak of this. Tell me
truly," he added, as she hesitated. "Do the public know that I am not
always master of myself?"

"I have heard it intimated you were injuring yourself in this way,"
replied Emma, in a low voice, doubtful how the intelligence would be
received.

"And you," said the young man, fervently, "you were the kind angel who
interposed to save me from the precipice over which I have well-nigh
fallen. Be assured the warning shall not be in vain. A thousand thanks
for this well-timed caution," he added, more cheerfully, as they
parted, "the Knight of the Ringlet will not forget his vow."

For a few moments the joyous excitement of his spirit continued, as he
thought of the interest in him which her conversation and actions had
that evening evinced. But when the door closed and shut her fairy form
from his sight, a shadow fell over his heart. Other feelings arose and
whispered that after all it was but pity that actuated her.
Love--would she not rather despise his weakness that had need of such
a caution? Then came a sense of wounded pride, an idea that his
confession had humbled him before her, and ere he reached his home he
had become so deeply desponding that he was meditating taking passage
for England, and doing a thousand other desperate things, so that he
never again might see the gentle monitress who, he had persuaded
himself, regarded him with pity that was more akin to disgust than
love.

A letter received the next morning calling him into the country for a
week, prevented his executing his rash designs; but a feeling,
unaccountable even to himself, made him shun the places where he was
accustomed to meet Emma, and made him miserable, till three or four
weeks afterward, merely by accident, he found himself seated opposite
to her at a concert. Was it fancy, or did she look sad and thoughtful;
and why did her eye roam over the crowd, as if seeking some one it
found not. So he thought to himself, till suddenly, in their gazing,
his eyes met hers. Instantly she turned away, and then in a moment
after, gave him an earnest, inquiring glance, full of troubled
thought. At that look the demon which tormented him vanished, and a
flood of inexpressible love filled his soul. He could not go to her,
hemmed in as he was by the audience; but he did not cease looking at
her through the evening. In vain; she gave no second look or sign of
consciousness of his presence.

"She is offended with me," he soliloquized, as he went homeward; "and
no wonder. How like a fool I have acted. I will go to her to-morrow
and tell her all."

In the morning he called, but others had been before him, and the
drawing-room was well supplied with loungers. He staid as long as
decency would permit; but Miss Leslie was not at all cordial in her
manner toward him, and the "dear five hundred friends" kept coming and
going, so that no opportunity offered for the explanation. "I will go
again this evening," said he to himself; and so he did. Emma stood at
the window, beside a stand of magnificent plants, whose blossoms
filled the room with fragrance. The lamps had not been lighted, and
the moonlight fell like a halo of glory around her, as she stood in
sad reverie that cast a pensive shade over her face, usually so
brilliant in its beauty. So absorbed was she, that she did not hear
the door open, and was unconscious of Saville's presence till he was
at her side.

"You received me coldly, fair lady, this morning, so that I came back
to see if you are offended with me," said he, as she turned to receive
him.

"And I, in my turn, ask you the same question, or else why have you
absented yourself so long?"

"I was not offended--ah, no!" said Saville, dropping the tone of
forced gayety in which he had at first spoken, "but can you not
understand why I have thus exiled myself? Did you not know it was that
I feared you might despise me--you from whom more than from any one
else I desired esteem, admiration--_love_." The last word was spoken
in a lower tone, and he looked at her appealingly, as if to ask
forgiveness for having uttered it. For one instant he met the gaze of
Emma's dark blue eyes, and he must have read something there he did
not expect to find, for the expression of his own changed into one so
hopeful and earnest that Emma's sunk beneath its light. And when he
drew Emma into a seat beside him, and in a few rapid words told her
what in fact she knew before, how long and how well he had loved her.
I don't know what she said, for, reader, I came away then.

But I do know that one morning, six months after, some carriages went
from Mr. Leslie's mansion to the church, and came back filled with a
party looking most auspiciously happy, and that some hours after, as
Edward was conducting his Cousin Emma to a traveling carriage, which
stood at the door, he said, "So you and Saville have changed
positions, and _you_ are henceforth to obey. What a tyrant I would be,
were I in his place. Pray does this morning's act cancel former
obligations?"

"The contract is unbroken," said Saville, answering for his bride, and
producing a locket containing _the_ ringlet--"here is the token that
renders the vow perpetual."



A REQUIEM IN THE NORTH.

BY J. BAYARD TAYLOR.


    Speed swifter, Night!--wild Northern Night,
      Whose feet the Artic islands know,
    When stiffening breakers, sharp and white,
      Gird the complaining shores of snow!
    Send all thy winds to sweep the wold
      And howl in mountain-passes far,
    And hang thy banners, red and cold,
      Against the shield of every star!

    For what have I to do with morn,
      Or Summer's glory in the vales--
    With the blithe ring of forest-horn,
      Or beckoning gleam of snowy sails?
    Art _thou_ not gone, in whose blue eye
      The fleeting Summer dawned to me?--
    Gone, like the echo of a sigh
      Beside the loud, resounding sea!

    Oh, brief that time of song and flowers,
      Which blessed, through thee, the Northern Land!
    I pine amid its leafless bowers,
      And on the black and lonely strand.
    The forest wails the starry bloom,
      Which yet shall pave its shadowy floor,
    But down my spirits aisles of gloom
      Thy love shall blossom nevermore!

    And nevermore shall battled pines
      Their solemn triumph sound for me,
    Nor morning fringe the mountain-lines,
      Nor sunset flush the hoary sea;
    But Night and Winter fill the sky,
      And load with frost the shivering air,
    Till every gust that hurries by
      Chimes wilder with my own despair.

    The leaden twilight, cold and long,
      Is slowly settling o'er the wave;
    No wandering blast awakes a song
      In naked boughs above thy grave.
    The frozen air is still and dark;
      The numb earth lies in icy rest;
    And all is dead, save this one spark
      Of burning grief, within my breast.

    Life's darkened orb shall wheel no more
      To Love's rejoicing summer back:
    My spirit walks a wintry shore,
      With not a star to light its track.
    Speed swifter, Night! thy gloom and frost
      Are free to spoil and ravage here;
    This last wild requiem for the lost
      I pour in thy unheeding ear!



DEATH.

BY GEORGE S. BURLEIGH.


    Why mourn the perished glories of the past?
      Why wrong with murmurs Death's paternal care?
    Sire of immortal Beauty, from his vast
      Embrace with Infinite Life, spring all things fair
    And good and wonderful: Ye are not cast,
      Like wailing orphans, on the desert bare,
      To cry and perish. Life comes everywhere

    With Mother-love, and strong Death garners fast
      His bounty for her board; for all which live
    His tireless hands the harvest sow and reap,
      He feeds alone those lily breasts which give
    New strength to all on Life's white arms that leap;
      Fear not, sweet babes, in his thick mantle furled,
      Now lulled asleep, to wake in a new splendor-world.



THE CRUISE OF THE RAKER.

A TALE OF THE WAR OF 1812-15.

BY HENRY A. CLARK.

(_Concluded from page 196._)


CHAPTER VII.

_The Raker in a Calm._

A long calm, usually so tiresome to sailors, but considered most
fortunate by Lieutenant Morris, succeeded the events just narrated. He
was constantly in the society of the beautiful Julia Williams, and the
impression first made upon him by her surpassing beauty rapidly
deepened into a devoted love. Wholly absorbed in his passion, he cared
not how long his little brig lay with flapping sails upon the water
waiting for the wind. Julia was by no means indifferent to his
addresses, so ardent and yet so respectful. She already loved the
gallant young sailor, though she hardly even suspected it herself, yet
why did she so love the long evening walk with him upon the deck of
the brig? Why did her eye grow brighter, and her heart beat faster,
whenever he entered the little cabin? Such feelings she had for him as
she had never felt before, though one of her beauty could hardly have
been without lovers in her native land. She loved to hear him talk of
his own home in the far west--of the clear blue skies of America. She
even began to think that her country was wrong in the quarrel then
existing between the two nations, though the young officer touched but
lightly upon the subject, not deeming it matter of interest to a
lady's ears. Yes, Lieutenant Morris had a strange influence over
Julia, and she wondered why it was, but she could not be in love with
him, O, no!

The disastrous events which had so effectually prevented Mr. Williams
from prosecuting his voyage to the Indies were matters of deep regret
to the worthy merchant, and his brow was continually clouded with
care. Julia was not so much engrossed with her passion for the young
lieutenant that she did not perceive this, but as she saw no way to
console her father, she only strove by her own cheerfulness to impart
a greater degree of contentment to him. As for John, he seemed both
happy and proud. He was once more in safety, and he bore honorable
wounds to show in proof of his valor. His stories of his own
achievements when he so gallantly made his escape from the pirate each
day grew more and more marvelous. He was especially fond of narrating
this exploit to his friend Dick Halyard, to whom he endeavored to
convey the impression that he had fought his way overboard from the
deck of the pirate, and for want of a boat had boldly set sail upon a
plank over the dangerous deep.

"Crikey! Dick, if ever I get back to old Lonnon agin, how the women
will love me when I tell 'em how I fought them bloody pirates."

John had never read Shakspeare, or he might have said with Othello,
that they would love him,


    "For the dangers I have passed."


Dick, who as the reader already knows was somewhat of a wag in his
way, was not at all disposed to allow John to retain this
self-conceited idea of his own valor, and determined to convince him
before the belief got too strongly settled in his mind, that he was as
much a coward as ever.

With this praiseworthy intention he waited till the middle watch of
the night, when John was comfortably snoozing in his hammock, to which
he had become somewhat accustomed. Dick suddenly awoke him.

"John, roll out, the pirates are on us again."

John jumped from his hammock, thoroughly awakened by the dreadful
word.

"O lud! Dick, where can I hide myself?"

"Why, we must fight them off, John. You have now a chance to get
another wound to show the girls in Lonnon. Come, be lively.

"O! Dick, here's a box, let me get in here."

"Nonsense, man! take this cutlas, and here's a pair of pistols; come,
we shall be too late for them."

"O! Dick, I can't fight."

"Can't fight! What was that yarn you told me this morning, how you
killed two pirates on their own deck, and jumped overboard followed by
a shower of balls."

"Dick, that was all a lie."

"Ha! ha! ha!"

"I never fought in my life; I always run when any body tried to lick
me, ever since I was a little boy."

"Well, I thought so, John. You can turn in again, and snooze till
daylight."

"What, aint there no pirates on board us?"

"Not a one, ha! ha! ha! I only wanted to see how brave a fellow you
were, so turn in."

"Thunder and lightning! Dick," said John, picking up the cutlas and
brandishing it heroically, "you don't think I 'm afraid of pirates do
you?"

"O! no, not a bit of it."

"Of course I aint."

"I don't think you are--I only know you are."

"Well now, you see, Dick, taint our business to fight 'em if they was
here; this ship belongs to the 'Mericans, and we haint got to fight
for them, it's their own look out."

"Turn in, John."

"Thunder! if this 'ere was an English ship you'd a seen me going into
'em."

"John, I say, don't you tell me any thing more about your fighting the
pirates, 'cause if you do, I'll tell the whole crew how I frightened
you."

"Say nothing, Dick, and I wont lie to you any more."

"Ha! ha! ha!"

Dick left John to his repose, and returned to the deck much pleased
with the success of his stratagem.

"Confounded mean, that 'are, in Dick Halyard," thought John, as he
tumbled into his hammock again. "Now I never would a served him
so--there aint nothing like true friendship in this world--at any rate
there aint none out to sea--but never mind, I can tell the story to
the girls in Lonnon, if I ever get there, and there wont be nobody to
make a fool of me then--pirates, crikey! who cares, I aint afraid of
'em."

And John went to sleep, dreaming that he was sailing on a plank again,
with any quantity of sharks following in his wake.

After several days a fine breeze filled the sails of the Raker; it did
not come in consequence of the vast amount of grumbling, and perhaps
of swearing, which the uneasy tars had given vent to, but from
whatever cause it filled them with joy, and every countenance among
them was lighted with pleasure. Captain Greene had so far recovered as
to be able to reach the deck of his brig, and as his smart little
craft walked off before the wind, he sat on the quarter-deck with a
pleasant smile upon his weather-beaten countenance, conversing with
Captain Horton and Mr. Williams. Each of the three old gentlemen held
a short pipe in his mouth, and all seemed to be decidedly enjoying
themselves.

"I say, Captain Greene," exclaimed the commander of the lost
merchantman, "nobody would think our two countries were at war to see
us now," and the worthy tar blew a long column of smoke from his mouth
and laughed merrily.

"Truly not, and it don't seem more than half natural that we should
be."

"Why, we English all think that the Americans cherish feelings of
hatred toward us."

"Not a bit of it sir--there is, on the contrary, a strong feeling of
attachment among us all for our mother country."

"Well, what are you fighting us for now then?"

"Because we think we have been wronged; your naval officers have time
and again impressed our free-born American citizens, on board their
own craft, though it was clearly shown that they owed no allegiance to
the king."

"Well, if that is so, it looks wrong to be sure; I don't know much
about the war, but as an Englishman, I am bound to believe my country
is in the right, some way or other, even if it looks otherwise."

"Of course, captain--at any rate, I don't believe we shall quarrel
about it. Fill up again, captain, I see your pipe is out."

"Thank you, I believe I will. Mr. Williams, you don't seem to feel as
well as usual, you look a little gloomy."

"My thoughts just then were running upon my great disappointment, in
being so unfortunately prevented from proceeding to the Indies."

"The fortune of war, Mr. Williams," said Capt. Horton, as he lit his
pipe from the American commander's. "It's bad, I know, and I've lost
as nice a little brig as ever sailed out of London, and don't know as
I shall ever get another, even if I ever get home to old England
again. Speaking of that, Captain Greene, do you hold us prisoners of
war, or how?"

"Not at all, sir," replied the captain. "If I'd overhauled your brig
before that pirate fell a-foul of you, why, then, it would have been a
different thing; but, shiver my timbers, if I ever make war against a
ship's crew in distress. No, no--I picked you up at sea, and I don't
consider you at all in the light of enemies. I will set you adrift
again the first chance I have."

"Not on a raft, I hope, Captain Greene, ha! ha! ha!"

"No, but I shall lay the Raker alongside of the first craft I see that
sports a British flag; and after I have taken it, why I'll put you and
your crew aboard, and you may make the best of your way back to
England."

"Suppose you should run a-foul of one of our frigates."

"Never fear that--the little Raker will take care of herself. She can
outsail any thing that floats, now that we have sunk that bloody
pirate. I do think that he could sail away from her. I always run up
to a vessel or run off from her, just as my spy-glass tells me I'd
better do. You may depend on seeing old England again before a great
while, Captain Horton, or I'm much mistaken."

"I shant be sorry to come within hail of her white cliffs again,
though I did not expect, two weeks ago, that I should see them for
many a long month."

Julia and Florette were seated in the little cabin below; the French
girl was weeping bitterly. She had done little else since she had been
removed to the privateer. Julia had in vain endeavored to console her;
and rightly judging that it would be better to allow her grief to have
full vent, she had for several days done little but to see to all her
wants, and whisper an occasional word of cheerfulness and
encouragement. She determined, however, on this morning to make
another attempt to console the unfortunate girl.

"My dear Florette," said she, "why do you so continually mourn; all
that has happened cannot now be remedied."

"I know it, lady."

"Then do not weep, Florette, you shall once more see your native
France; and you will be happy again."

"O, never, never! I have lost all that could make me happy!"

"You have been unfortunate, Florette, but you have not been guilty."

"Alas! I have been guilty; it is that which grieves me now more than
aught else. No, I should have died rather than have suffered myself to
become the pirate's mistress."

"Yet you were compelled, Florette."

"Ah! lady, _you_ would not have been compelled; you would have sooner
died--would you not?"

The flashing eye of Julia, and the warm flush that covered her cheek
and neck, answered the poor girl. She would not trust herself to
answer in words.

"I see you would, dear lady--and so should I have done. No, I am
guilty. I could have saved my honor in the arms of death; the pirate's
dirk lay on the table in my cabin--that would have saved me; the deep,
deep sea was all around me--there, too, I might have found an
honorable safety."

"My dear Florette, do not think of these things now. You are sorry for
the past, whether you have done a great wrong, or a small, it is
certainly not one which the good God cannot forgive."

"But the world will not; and, lady, I loved the pirate-captain; harsh
as he was to all else, to me he was kind--and now he is dead. O!
William, William!"

"Do not weep for him, Florette."

"I will try not to any more; but, lady, I shall never be happy again.
I shall never again see the hills of sunny France. I feel that I shall
not--but I will weep no more. I never close my eyes but the form of
William appears to me. Last night I saw him. Oh! 'twas a fearful
dream; he seemed to me to rise from the ocean, close beside this brig,
and standing on the blue water, he spoke to me, as I gazed from this
cabin-window.

"'Come, Florette,' said he, 'come with me to our home in the deep;
beautiful are its coral chambers, and its floors are strewn with
pearls. Soft is the radiance that lights its gorgeous halls, where the
riches of a thousand wrecks are stored; the dolphins sport like living
rainbows in the watery sky above it, and the huge leviathans guard its
golden portals. Come, Florette, I wait for you, in our home in the
deep.'"

Julia wept as she heard the plaintive tones of the poor girl.

"Florette, it was but a vision, do not think of it."

"Well, lady; yet I shall soon join my William--so my heart tells me.
You will think of me when I am gone?"

"Often, very often, Florette; but you will soon be better."

Florette shook her head mournfully, and Julia, who saw she would not
be comforted, left her to herself, and ascended to the deck.
Lieutenant Morris was in a moment at her side, and in his conversation
she soon forgot the unfortunate girl, who as soon as Julia had gone,
threw herself upon a couch, and gave way to her cheerless thoughts;
her eyes were closed, but ever and anon a large tear burst through the
closed lids and rolled down the wasted cheeks, which already the
hectic flush, so fatally significant, had dyed with its lovely hue.

While the trio of old gentlemen kept up their smoking and conversation
on one side of the companion-way, Lieutenant Morris and Julia took
possession of the other. The young officer had not dared as yet to
speak of his love to her, but he had not failed to evince it by every
thing but words; and he felt assured that it was known to her, and not
treated with indifference.

"Julia," said he, as they gazed out upon the beautiful waters flashing
in the clear beams of the morning sun, "do you know that we must soon
part?"

"I do not see how we can, Lieutenant Morris, unless you are going to
take a cruise in the jolly boat."

"We shall soon, doubtless, fall in with some merchant vessel from your
native country, as we are directly in their course, and then you and
your father, with all the crew of the Betsy Allen, will be allowed to
go on board of it, and return to England."

"Dear England, shall I so soon see it again."

"And will you have no regret at leaving the Raker?"

"Why, is it not an enemy's vessel?"

"Not your enemy's."

"No, it is not; you have all been kind to us, and we shall feel as if
we were parting with friends."

"Dear Julia," said the young officer, taking her hand in his, "you
will not forget us? You will not forget _me_?" and he ventured to
press the little hand he held in his own. It was not withdrawn.
Encouraged in his advances, the young lieutenant was emboldened to
proceed, and bending his head until he could gaze into the blushing
countenance which was half averted from him, he made his first
declaration of love, and his heart beat painfully as he awaited her
answer.

"Julia, I love you."

He heard no answer from her lips, but he felt a pressure from the hand
he still held in his own, and was happy.

"Will you be mine, Julia?"

Julia had no affectation in her character, and she frankly avowed that
she loved the young lieutenant, but could not give him an answer until
she had seen her father.

"I will be yours or no ones," said she; and releasing her hand, she
glided below into the cabin.

Lieutenant Morris paced the deck in very pleasant companionship with
his thoughts. He did not believe that Julia's father would strenuously
oppose their marriage, if he saw that his daughter's happiness was
concerned, though he might very naturally prefer that she should marry
one of her own countrymen.

He was disturbed in his meditations by the cry of "sail ho!" from the
foretop-crosstrees. He ordered the man at the helm to bear away for
the strange craft. As the two vessels rapidly approached each other,
she was soon hull above the water, and Morris perceived through his
glass, that the stars and stripes floated at her mast-head. A thrill
of pleasure, like that which one feels at meeting an old friend in a
distant land, shot through his veins. Signal-flags were shown and
answered from each vessel, and the approaching sail proved to be the
Hornet, of the American navy. Each of the two vessels were laid in
stays as they drew near each other, and a boat from the privateer was
soon alongside the Hornet, and after a while returned with several of
the officers of the latter, who were desirous to pay their respects to
the lady on board the privateer. They were all highly accomplished
gentlemen, as well as gallant officers; and in after years, when Julia
heard of the fate of the Hornet and her noble crew, she wept none the
less bitterly that words of courtesy had passed between her and the
officers of the devoted vessel, on the broad ocean, where such kindly
greetings seldom were met or returned.

From the Hornet Lieutenant Morris heard that a convoy of merchantmen
were not far to windward of him, protected by an English frigate.

"If you keep a bright eye open," said a gay young midshipman, as he
stepped into the boat which was to reconvey him to his vessel, "you
may cut out one or two of them, for they sail wide apart, and the
frigate keeps heaving ahead, and laying-to for the lubberly sailers."

And with a touch of his hat, and a wave of his hand to the fair Julia,
on whom his eye lingered as if she had reminded him of another as
bright and fair as she, whom he had left behind him, the gallant boy
sprung into the boat, and was soon upon his own deck, which he left
only for the deep bosom of the ocean, when, not long afterward, the
Hornet went down with all sail standing, and the stars and stripes at
her mast-head, in the midst of a terrible storm, against which she
could not stand. There were eyes that long looked anxiously for the
return of the loved and lost--hearts that sighed, and spirits that
sunk with the sickness of hope deferred; but there was no return for
those who slept


    "Full many a fathom deep,
     In the deep bosom of the ocean buried!"


CHAPTER VIII.

FLORETTE.

In consequence of the information obtained from the Hornet, the head
of the Raker was turned more to windward, in order to intercept the
convoy of merchantmen; but, owing to miscalculations of their
bearings, she lost them entirely, and after keeping her course several
days, hauled up again, and bore off on her former track.

Florette had wasted away like a flower in midsummer. Each succeeding
hour seemed to bear off upon its wings some portion of her beauty and
bloom, as the winds steal away the fragrance from the rose, and leave
it at length withered and dying. Her mind seemed also to waste with
her body--her brain was fevered, and the form of the pirate seemed to
be always before her gaze.

The night had set in calm and beautiful, though the wind blew strong,
and the waves were high, yet the heavens were cloudless, and the
bright stars glided along the upper deep, like bubbles bathed in
silver light.

Julia sat by the side of Florette, in the cabin, gazing with anxious
melancholy upon her wan yet beautiful countenance, and striving to
direct her wandering thoughts by her own counsel.

"Florette, you seem happier to-night?"

"O, yes! I am happier--do you not see how he smiles upon me; his face
is not dark to me. See! he beckons me to follow him!"

And rising, she began to ascend the steps that led from the cabin.

"Florette, where are you going?"

"With William."

Julia seized her hand and led her gently back to her seat.

"Come, you are not well enough to go upon deck--let us talk of
something else. Do you not long to see France again?"

"France, la belle France?" murmured the poor girl.

"Yes, your own France."

"I see the home of my childhood; O, is it not beautiful! How full the
vine-tree hangs with the clustering grape, and the village girls are
dancing on the green. I see myself among them--and I look smiling and
happy; but, O! there is William! how dark he looks as he gazes through
the vines upon me; he beckons me away. I will come! I will come!"

Julia wept as she looked sorrowfully upon this wreck of happiness and
beauty.

"My dear Florette, I hope you will yet again dance with your village
girls beneath the bower of vines you seem to see."

"O, never, never! Did I not tell you I should never see France again?
No, no! I am going to William, he is impatient. See! he frowns!" and
again she strove to break from Julia, but suffered herself to be
restrained by the gentle violence of her companion.

"Come, Florette, will you not sleep?"

A gleam of intelligence seemed to pass across her countenance, and her
eyes lighted as if with a sudden resolve. She was too weak to escape
from Julia, and with the cunning which so often characterizes the
fevered mind, she determined to attain by deception, what she saw
could not be done otherwise.

"Yes, lady, I will sleep."

And with a smile upon her lips she closed her eyes, and wrapping her
long scarf about her, fell back upon the couch.

Julia watched her long. In the dim light of the cabin-lamp she did not
perceive that occasionally those bright eyes were half opened, and
fastened upon her impatiently.

Satisfied at length that she was asleep, Julia gently left the cabin,
and stole upon the deck, where Lieutenant Morris anxiously awaited
her.

The moment her light form vanished, the invalid rose from her couch,
and, with a triumphant smile, gazed round the vacant cabin.

"There is no one here now, William, but you and I. Now I will go with
you to your beautiful home in the sea. Stay a moment, let me arrange
my toilette. I do not look as well as I did, William, or this glass
deceives me; but it matters not, you look kindly on me still, and I am
happy now--happier than I have been for a long time. There, William, I
am ready!" and following the shadow of her imagination, she glided
with a stealthy step to the deck.

Lieutenant Morris and Julia were slowly pacing the deck, with their
heads bent forward, forgetful of every thing but themselves; a light
step was heard close behind them, and the low rustling of garments.
They turned to look, but too late; Florette sprung past them, her foot
rested on the gunwale, and with the cry, "I follow you, William!" the
form of the girl disappeared over the side of the brig.

Lieutenant Morris sprung forward, and the cry of "man overboard!" was
heard from the look-out; the sails were immediately thrown a-back, and
the boat lowered--but the body of Florette was not found. Her long
scarf was picked up, stained with blood; the worthy tar shuddered as
he gazed upon it.

"Jack, I told you that shark was not following us for nothing; he's
been in our wake now these ten days. I knew somebody on board had got
to go to Davy Jones's locker."

"Poor girl! but heave ahead, Bill, it's no use after this, you know."

Julia was terribly shocked at the dreadful fate of Florette, and
retiring to the cabin, she wept sadly, and long, for the poor
girl--this last victim of the _scourge of the ocean_, murdered no less
by him than were the hundreds his bloody hand had struck dead with the
sword. Even the rude seamen shed tears for the lost and ill-fated
girl; and a silence like that of the death-chamber reigned on board
the little brig, as it swept noiselessly over the waters. No class of
people are more proverbially light-hearted and thoughtless than
seamen. The sad event of the preceding night seemed to have passed
from the memories of all on board the Raker with the morning's
dawn--from all save Julia. She, indeed, often thought of the
unfortunate Florette, and her eyes were red, as if from much weeping,
long after the pirate's mistress had been forgotten by all others.

To Lieutenant Morris it was but an event in an eventful life, and if
not wholly forgotten by him, yet slumbered in his memory with other
deeds he had witnessed, as melancholy and appalling as the death of
the poor girl--for his thoughts were too entirely occupied by his love
for Julia, and the necessary duties of his station, to find room for
other and sadder recollections.

Mr. Williams, who had just finished his morning glass, and with a pipe
in his mouth, was reclining in the stern-sheets, a little melancholy,
to be sure, but apparently wholly occupied in watching the long curls
of smoke, which the wind bore off to leeward, to mingle with the purer
air of ocean, was a little surprised when the young officer
approaching him, requested a moment's conversation on business of
importance.

"Certainly, certainly, sir."

"Mr. Williams, I am anxious to know if you approve of my attentions to
your daughter?"

The old gentleman, who had been blind to the progress of the
attachment between his daughter and Morris, seemed not to comprehend
him, which his inquiring gaze evinced.

"Would you be willing to accept of me as a son-in-law, sir?"

The worthy merchant had just drawn in a mouthful of smoke as this
question made the matter clear to him; the pipe fell from his lips,
and no small quantity of the smoke seemed to have gone down his
throat, as, instead of giving any intelligible answer to the
proposition, he was seized with a violent fit of coughing.

The anxious lover folded his arms with a half smile upon his
countenance, and waited till his desired information could be
obtained.

"Whew!" exclaimed the merchant; "excuse me, sir. Confound the smoke! I
understand you, sir; but it took me by surprise. Have you said any
thing to Julia about this?"

"She has herself referred me to you, if your answer is favorable, I
shall have no reason to despair."

"Ah! has it gone so far as this?"

"I trust you do not regret it, sir."

"You are not an Englishman, Lieutenant Morris, I believe."

"Well, sir--that is one objection."

"You are an enemy of England, are you not?"

"I can't deny it, sir."

"Well, there's two objections--and I suppose I might find more; but it
seems to me that's enough."

As the old gentleman said this with a very decided air, he picked up
his pipe, and began filling it again.

"I do not think those are strong objections, sir; if I am not myself
an Englishman, my forefathers were, and of good old English blood; and
if I am an enemy of England, I am neither your enemy nor your
daughter's."

"Well, that's all true, but it don't look natural, somehow, that my
daughter should marry an American."

"Such things have happened, however."

"I suppose likely; but, young man, I am not rich. What little I had
was taken away by the pirate, and I havn't seen it since."

"I care nothing for that, sir."

"But I do."

"I mean, Mr. Williams, that my love for your daughter will not be
influenced one way or the other by the riches or poverty of her
father."

"You seem to be a whole-souled man, anyway, Lieutenant Morris; and if
you were only an Englishman, you should have my daughter for that
speech, if for nothing else, you should, by St. George! I recollect
when I was rich, the young men were round Julia as thick as bees; and
when I failed, Lord! how they scattered!"

"My dear sir, I am rich enough for us all; beside a large amount of
prize-money, my family estate is not small."

This last remark seemed to produce a deeper effect upon the old
gentleman than any thing that had been said.

"Well, well, boy, I will think of it."

Lieutenant Morris was wise enough to say no more at that time; he saw
that he had nearly, if not quite, secured the old gentleman's assent;
and leaving him, he went forward.

Mr. Williams followed his manly form with his eyes, as he stepped
lightly over the deck.

"Pity he's not an Englishman--confounded pity. He's a fine-looking
fellow--never saw a better; rich, too. Well, I'll go and talk with
Julia. After all, it will be pretty much as she says about it, I
suppose."

That same evening Julia told her lover that her father would not
oppose their marriage after the war had closed, but that he was
strongly opposed to its taking place any sooner."

"But it may last forever, Julia."

"Well, I hope not."

"If it does?"

"Why then I'll make father change his mind, I think."

Morris laughed, and clasped her to his bosom, the broad main-sail hid
them from observation, and he impressed upon her lips a kiss, warm as
his devoted love--not the first kiss of love, for he had been a poor
suitor, indeed, if that had been the first. He then tried to persuade
Julia that she and her father should remain with the Raker, and go
with him to the States; but he did not expect compliance with this
request, and soon desisted from it, devoting the remainder of the
evening to such converse as was most delightful to him and Julia, but
which, doubtless, would be uninteresting to all others.

He had been afraid each morning that he should hear the cry of "Sail
insight!" for he had lost his ambition in his love; and he knew that
the first vessel they captured would be given to the crew of the Betsy
Allen, and that with them Julia and her father would depart. It was
with a feeling, then, that partook more of sadness than any other
emotion, that he heard the long-expected cry.

The sail in sight proved to be an English merchantman, which, as she
was a lazy sailer, was speedily overhauled. A gun brought her to. As
if determined, however, not to surrender without a shot, she replied
with as powerful a broadside as she could command, immediately
striking her flag. The only effect of her fire was to frighten poor
John, who had rashly remained upon deck. That courageous personage
fell upon his face, so suddenly, that his friend, Dick Halyard ran to
him, really supposing he was hit; there was, however, no other
expression than that of fear in the upturned countenance of John.

"O, lud, Dick! you are safe--how many are killed?"

"You are the only one, I believe, John."

"Me? I aint hit, be I?"

"Pshaw, John, get up," said Mr. Williams, approaching him angrily;
"don't you see everybody is laughing at you?"

John rose slowly, anxiously eyeing the merchantman, as if ready to
dodge the first flash.

"A fortunate escape, Dick."

"Yes, another adventure to tell the girls in Lonnon."

"Don't now, Dick."

The merchantman was richly laden, and the honest captain, who
doubtless had his own interest in her cargo, actually shed tears as he
saw the greater portion of it removed to the privateer. The crew of
the latter could not but pity his distress, but they thought, and none
could dispute the truth, that an English cruiser would have hardly
been moved by the sorrow and complaints of one of their own captains,
if he should fall into his hands. It was, moreover, in accordance with
the law and usage of nations at war, and the English captain felt that
he was kindly dealt with, when informed that he would be allowed to
depart with his vessel, on condition of conveying a number of his own
countrymen to their native shore. He contented himself, therefore,
with cursing the war, and all who caused it. As the peaceful mariner,
he neither knew why the two nations were at war, nor could he feel the
justice of any laws which involved him in ruin while quietly following
his avocation, content to let others alone if the same privilege could
be extended to him.

Strong arguments have indeed been urged against the _right_ of the
system of privateering! It is no part of our task either to defend or
to condemn it, yet it would seem evident that, looking at it as a
means of crippling an enemy more efficacious than any other that can
be devised, thereby hastening a return to peace, it cannot in its
broadest sense be deemed unjust or cruel. Private individuals must
suffer in every war, and fortune had ordained that the poor
merchantman should be one of them. It would doubtless have been
difficult to have persuaded him that he was suffering for the good of
his country. He certainly did not look nor feel remarkably like a
patriot, and would have much preferred not to have been used as a
means to accomplish the end of war, and the restoration of peace
between the two great contending powers.

He received Captain Horton, his crew and passengers, however, with
much affability, and when his ship had parted from the Raker, after
cursing the Yankees awhile in good old Saxon, his countenance was
restored in great measure to its wonted expression of good humor.

Julia and Lieutenant Morris had parted sorrowfully, yet full of hope
for the future. A heavy box was also conveyed to the merchantman by
orders of Lieutenant Morris, who told Mr. Williams it contained an
equivalent for his loss by the pirate. It did indeed contain a sum in
gold, which Mr. Williams would never have accepted had he had an
opportunity to refuse. It produced on his mind precisely the effect
which, without doubt, the young lieutenant intended that it should,
awakening a feeling of obligation, which would prevent his opposing
very strenuously the suit of the young American, which there was some
reason to fear might be the case after he had been separated from him
and returned to his own land.

In a short time the two vessels were out of sight of each other. The
merchantman reached England in safety, and Mr. Williams determined to
remain there, inasmuch as he was heartily sick of adventures on the
ocean; and the sum of money left in his hands by Lieut. Morris enabled
him to form a good business connection in London. With this
arrangement Julia also was pleased, as she felt sure that as soon as
the war closed her lover would be at her feet, and that the end of
hostilities would be peace and happiness to them, as well as to the
contending nations.


CHAPTER IX.

_The Arrow and the Raker._

The immense injury done to the English service by American privateers,
no less than the splendid victories obtained by our regular navy, had
at length awakened in the mind of our adversaries a proper respect for
American prowess. They had learned that the stars and stripes shone
upon a banner that was seldom conquered, and never disgraced. At this
period of the war their attention was more particularly directed to
the privateers, who seemed to be covering the sea. Almost every
merchantman that sailed from an English port became a prize to the
daring and active foe. The commerce of England was severely crippled,
and anxious to punish an enemy who had so seriously injured the
service, several frigates were fitted out to cruise especially against
the American privateers; these were chosen with particular reference
to their speed, and one which was the admiration of every sailor in
the service, called the Arrow, had spoken the merchantman, just as it
was entering the channel, a few days after its capture by the Raker.
No definite information as to the present position of the privateer
could be obtained from the merchantman, but having learned her
bearings at the time she was lost sight of, the Arrow bent her course
in the same direction, confident that if he could once come in sight
of her he would find little difficulty in overhauling her.

It was a black, murky, windy day, with frequent gusts of rain, and a
thick fog circumscribed the horizon, narrowing the view to a few miles
in each direction. Toward evening the fog rose like a gathered cloud
to westward, leaving that part of the horizon cloudless, and shedding
down a bright light upon the waters. Had the look-out on the Arrow
been on the alert he might have seen, directly under this clear sky,
the topsails of the American privateer, but the honest sailor had just
spliced the main-brace, and having deposited a huge quid of tobacco in
his cheek, was lying over the crosstrees, in a state as completely
_abandon_ as a fop upon a couch in his dressing-room.

All on the Raker, however, were on the broad look out, they knew they
were nearing the shores of England, and liable at any time to come
within sight of an enemy's cruiser as well as merchantman.

Lieut. Morris had for some time been anxiously scanning the horizon
with his glass, and had caught sight of the frigate's topsails almost
as soon as the fog lifted. As Captain Greene's wounds still in a
great measure disabled him, the lieutenant still kept the command of
the privateer. Unable to determine whether he had been seen by the
frigate or not, he at once gave orders to bear off before the wind,
hoping that even if such were the case, his little brig would prove
superior in speed to the frigate.

As his brig wore off, with her white sails glittering in the flood of
light, the worthy look-out on the Arrow had just raised his head to
eject a quantity of the juice of the weed. His eyes caught sight of
the sails as they rose and fell like the glancing wings of a bird;
rubbing his eyes, he took another careful look, and then cried "sail
in sight." The officer of the deck, as soon as he had got the bearings
from the sailor, could plainly see her himself, and after swearing
slightly at the look-out for not seeing her sooner, gave orders that
all sail should be set in pursuit. As the fog rapidly lifted from the
ocean, each vessel was able to determine the character of the other,
and when the sun went down, leaving a cloudless sky, it was evident
that the Arrow had gained on the privateer. Lieutenant Morris felt
that his brig must be overhauled unless the wind should slacken. The
breeze was now so powerful that, while it bore the frigate onward at
its best speed, it prevented the privateer from making its usual way.
Before a light breeze, Lieutenant Morris felt quite confident that he
could sail away from any frigate in his majesty's service. He
therefore calmly ordered every rag to be set that he thought the
little brig would bear, and kept steadily on, trusting the wind would
die away to a light breeze after the middle watch. It did indeed die
away almost to a calm, and when the day broke, although the Raker had
put a considerable distance between herself and the frigate, yet she
lay in plain sight of her, the sails of both vessels flapping idly in
the still air.

Morris knew that he must prepare for an attack from the frigate's
boats, and consequently every gun on board was loaded with grape and
canister, and carefully pointed; the captain of each gun receiving
orders to be sure his first fire should not be lost, for that is
always the most effective, and indeed often wins the battle, as many
sea-fights will attest. Every sail was kept set, as this was a
conflict in which it would be no disgrace for the privateer to run if
favored by the wind.

The frigate had by this time lowered three boats, which were speedily
filled by her brave seamen, and impelled by vigorous oarsmen toward
the privateer. As it would occupy them nearly two hours to make the
passage between the two vessels, the crew of the Raker paid no
immediate attention to their progress, but quietly partook of their
breakfast, and then girded themselves with their boarding cutlases,
and made ready to defend to the death the little bark they all loved
so well.

Lieutenant Morris watched with some anxiety for the moment to give
orders to fire. If he could cripple and sink two of the boats, he felt
confident that he could beat off all who would then attempt to board,
as that would reduce the number of his foe nearly to his own number.
The boats had now approached within half a mile of the privateer,
evidently making vigorous efforts each to take the lead. All was
silent on board the Raker, not the silence of fear, but of suspense.
They looked with a feeling somewhat akin to pity upon the gallant
seamen, many of whom were hurrying to death. Lieutenant Morris himself
stood by the long gun, holding the match in his hand, and frequently
taking aim over its long breech--another moment and the fatal volley
would be sped, but even as he was about to apply the match, his quick
eye saw the sails filling with the breeze, and with the true
magnanimity of a generous heart he stayed his hand.

The light bark fell off gracefully before the wind, and in the hearing
of the volley of curses, accompanied by a few musket-shots, from the
boats, the graceful brig shot away from them, leaving them far in the
wake. It was but a cap-full of wind, however, and again the privateer
was motionless upon the calm waters. Alas for many a brave English
heart! With a loud cheer from their crews the boats again came
sweeping on.

"Boat ahoy!" shouted Morris, "'bout ship or I'll blow you out of
water."

He was answered by a musket-shot, which struck his right arm lifeless
to his side, compelling him to drop the match. Another moment and the
foremost boat would be inside the range of the gun, but with a cool
courage which belongs only to the truly brave, Lieutenant Morris
picked up the match with his left hand, and though his wounded arm
pained him excessively, without hurry or confusion he waited the
dreadful instant when the gun would cover the boat--then the heavy gun
sent forth its smoke and deadly missiles--as the dense cloud lifted
from around the brig, he saw how terrible had been its effect; the
foremost boat was cut in pieces, and of its gallant crew only here and
there was one able to struggle with the waves; most had sunk under the
deadly volley. A few were picked up by the hindmost boat, the second
having pressed on with the valor characteristic of English seamen;
they were met, however, by a heavy fire from the starboard guns, which
had been depressed so as to cover a particular range, and the second
boat like the first was shattered to pieces. The third busied itself
in picking up the crew, and then lay on its oars, as if aware of the
folly of attempting to board under such a terrible fire. It is seldom
indeed that a boat attack is successful against a well armed and
expecting vessel, and the attempt on the part of the Arrow may justly
be considered rash, and doubtless arose from a hope that fortune would
favor the assault, rather than from a confidence in its success.

Lieutenant Morris had no desire to shed more blood, and he therefore,
after giving orders to load the long gun, kept his position by it,
with his match ready, but forbore to hail the boat, well aware that
any thing like a taunt from him would bring the gallant crew forward
even to certain death, and confident that a few moments reflection
would convince the officer of the boat that, if he should make the
assault, he would more likely be a candidate for immortality than for
promotion.

To such a conclusion did that worthy officer arrive, and having picked
up all his wounded companions, his boat returned to the Arrow, the
slow, heavy strokes of the oars showing how different were the
feelings of those that held them, from the excited valor with which
they pulled toward the privateer but a short hour before.

For the remainder of the day the two vessels held their relative
positions, but the heavy clouds gathering over the western sky
portended a storm of wind during the night, and the crew of the Raker
felt no little anxiety, as they were well aware that the frigate being
much the heaviest, would have every advantage over them in the chase.
But there was but one way, and that was to run for it, not yielding
till the last moment--for a sailor never yet sailed under the stripes
and stars, that would not rather see his flag shot down by an enemy's
ball, than strike it with his own hands.

The wind increased by the hour of sunset to so strong a blow, that it
seemed impossible that the little privateer should escape the
frigate--and it was not to be doubted that the two vessels would be
alongside each other before morning; yet the Raker was saved, and by
American hands.

On board the Arrow were several native-born American seamen, who had
been pressed into the English service, and compelled to serve even
against their own country. Three of these sailors were among the
middle watch on board the frigate. They had watched the whole conduct
of the Raker with a patriotic pride, and were in no slight degree
vexed and disappointed when they saw that the frigate must in all
probability overtake the little brig.

These three sailors were together in the bow of the frigate, the rest
of the watch being on the look-out, or pacing up and down between
decks.

"I say, Bill," says one, "isn't it too d--d bad that the little craft
has got to be overhauled after all. She's given this cursed frigate a
good run for it, anyhow."

"Yes she has; the old man has looked black all day, and sworn a little
I guess; here he's kept all ready for a fight for the last two
days--arm-chests on deck--cutlas-racks at the capstan and
for'ard--decks sanded down--and haint got within a long shot yet. God
bless the little brig, and the flag she sails under--the stars and
stripes forever!"

"Yes, the stars and stripes--'tis just the handsomest flag that
floats."

"By Heaven, and that's the truth! but avast now, Bill, can't we do any
thing for the little craft ahead?"

"D--d if I see how, Hal; we can't shorten sail, for we should be seen;
and we can't fire bow-chasers, for we should be heard--and those are
all the ways I know on to deaden a vessel's speed."

"Bill, I've got my grapples hold on an idear. I recollect once, when I
was a fishing in Lake Winnepisoge, in the old Granite State, where we
used to anchor with a heavy stone, made fast to a rope, and sometimes
we used to row with the stone hanging over the side, not hauled up."

"Well, Hal, what's all this long yarn about? If you call it an idear,
it strikes me it's a d--d simple one."

"Why the yarn aint much, I think myself; and I shouldn't tell it on
the forecastle in a quiet night, no how; but it's the principle of the
thing, Bill--that's what's the idear."

"Well, shove ahead--they allers told me on shore, before I came to
sea, that I hadn't got no principle--but that's no sign you haint."

"Now, boys, if we can only get some dead weight over the frigate's
side, it will lessen her way you see, and the wind may lull enough
before morning to give the little craft a chance to haul off."

"That's a fact, Hal; blast my eyes but they spoiled a good lawyer
sending you to sea. But what can we make a hold-back of? And there's
them cursed Britishers abaft, sitting on all the rope on deck."

"That's a poser!--no, I have it. Can't we drop these anchors?--that
would do it."

"They'll make a confounded noise running through the hawse-holes; but
let's try it, it's hard work for three men. Belay it round that pin,
Hal! Better take two turns, 'cause if any body comes toward us, one
more will hold it tight. I believe we shall do it."

"Do it--of course we will! aint we working for our country?"

The whistling of the wind through the shrouds, and the rushing of the
waters over the deck, aided the seamen much in their noble
achievement, and in a short time both anchors were run out to their
full length. Fortunately for them, the watch was changed before it
became apparent that the frigate was losing ground, and upon the after
investigation of the matter, no suspicion fell upon their watch, and
the perpetrators of the deed were never detected.

As any seaman knows, so heavy a dead weight on the bow of a vessel
would materially lessen its speed; and by the morning's sun the
privateer's topsails were but barely visible in the distance.

The commander of the Arrow was furious in his anger, and threatened to
flog the whole of the last watch, as before they took charge of the
deck, the frigate had neared the privateer so much as to give
assurance of taking her; but, after a rigid examination, no one was
punished, and all the captain could do was to keep a close eye on all
his crew, trusting to discover the traitors at some future time.

As for the gallant Americans, they had the proud consciousness that
though chained to an enemy's service, they had been able to serve
their own country, perhaps more effectually than if fighting under her
banner.

The wind slackened, and long before night the Raker was out of sight.
She was not, however, to be frightened off her cruising ground by a
narrow escape, and did not set sail for the States until she had a
full cargo; and, being favored by fortune, reached her port in
Chesapeake Bay, with wealth aboard for all hands, followed by three
English merchantmen--the English ensign at their peaks, with the
stars and stripes streaming over them.

The Raker had nearly prepared for another cruise, when she was stayed
by rumors of peace being declared between the two nations; the report
was soon confirmed, and the gallant crew of the Raker shook hands
together over the news. They were glad, for the sake of their country,
that the war was over, yet all had acquired a love for their wild and
exciting life as privateersmen; and there was much that partook of a
mournful nature in their feelings, as they thought that their number
must be divided forever. Some of the crew entered the regular American
Navy, some entered the merchant service; and a few, having sufficient
wealth to purchase farms, made the attempt to be happy ashore, but
after a short time declared it a lubberly sort of a life, and returned
once more to "do business upon the waters."

Lieutenant Morris purchased the Raker, and made one more cruise in
her--not for war, nor for gold, but for his lady-love. She who had
risen like a Naiad from the wave to be his bride. A year had passed
since he had seen her, and though he doubted not her truth, it was
with an anxious heart that he drew near the shores of England. He
feared lest some hand might yet dash the cup of happiness from his
lips--perhaps the unseen hand of death.

Mr. Williams's name was once more good on 'change; and his fair
daughter had once more seen crowds of suitors thronging their doors,
among them were the titled and the proud, who gladly laid at her feet
their titles and their pride--but still her heart beat true to the
young sailor, though her father now and then ventured to hint that she
had better accept the hand of Lord Augustus this, or Sir George
Frederick that, remarking that likely enough her lover had got killed
before the close of the war; and that if she did not be careful, she
might never get a husband of any kind. At these remarks, half
expostulatory and half petulant, from her worthy father, Julia would
smile very quietly, telling him she was sure her young sailor was
alive, and would soon be at her feet.

She was right in her prescience. The gallant sailor before another
week had passed, after her father's expostulations, had cast anchor in
the Thames--and without difficulty found the residence of Mr.
Williams. Julia presented him to her visiters with pride, for, in the
fashionable dress of the day, his appearance was more brilliant and
graceful than any one of her titled suitors. These soon discovered how
matters stood between the young American and the fair Julia. Some were
wise enough to retreat from the field with good grace; but vigorous
attempts were made to drive the lieutenant from the course by two or
three others, who could illy bear their disappointment; but the firm
and haughty bearing of Morris had its due effect upon them, and one by
one they dropped away, until the old merchant, who had not at first
received the lieutenant with much satisfaction, acknowledged to his
daughter that she had better marry him if she wanted any body, as he
was the only one left. To this Julia assented readily, and their
hands were joined as their hearts had long been; and the blessing of
the old merchant pronounced upon them, as he saw the happiness which
beamed from his daughter's eyes, as she gazed up from the altar that
had heard her willing vows.

Long years have since then joined the irrevocable past. Mr. Williams
lived several years, to witness the happiness of his child, but could
never be persuaded to visit America. He had no doubt, he said, but
that it was a very fine country, and he would go and see it, if it
wasn't for crossing the sea, and that he wouldn't do for nobody. After
he had been gathered to the dead, his children resided entirely on
the family estate of the Morris's, in New Jersey, where, at this day,
they still reside, surrounded by children with the lofty port of their
father, and the flashing eye of their mother. The tale of the pirate's
death, and the fate of poor Florette, is a tale that never wearies
their fire-side circle, and there, tears are still shed for the dark
scourge of the ocean, and his devoted mistress; and very often is an
old and gray-headed man, in whom the reader would hardly recognize our
old friend, John, asked to recount his perilous achievements on the
pirate's deck, and his wonderful escape, obtained by his own right
arm.



THE BATTLE OF LIFE.

BY ANNE C. LYNCH.


    There are countless fields, the green earth o'er,
    Where the verdant turf has been dyed with gore;
    Where hostile ranks, in their grim array,
    With the battle's smoke have obscured the day;
    Where hate was stamped on each rigid face,
    As foe met foe in the death embrace;
    Where the groans of the wounded and dying rose
    Till the heart of the listener with horror froze,
    And the wide expanse of crimsoned plain
    Was piled with heaps of uncounted slain--
    But a fiercer combat, a deadlier strife,
    Is that which is waged in the Battle of Life.

    The hero that wars on the tented field,
    With his shining sword and his burnished shield,
    Goes not alone with his faithful brand:--
    Friends and comrades around him stand,
    The trumpets sound and the war-steeds neigh
    To join in the shock of the coming fray;
    And he flies to the onset, he charges the foe,
    Where the bayonets gleam and the red tides flow,
    And he bears his part in that conflict dire
    With an arm all nerve and a heart all fire.
    What though he fall? At the battle's close,
    In the flush of the victory won, he goes
    With martial music--and waving plume--
    From a field of fame--to a laureled tomb!
    But the hero that wars in the Battle of Life
    Must stand alone in the fearful strife;
    Alone in his weakness or strength must go,
    Hero or coward, to meet the foe:
    He may not fly; on that fated field
    He must win or lose, he must conquer or yield.

    Warrior--who com'st to this battle now,
    With a careless step and a thoughtless brow,
    As if the day were already won--
    Pause, and gird all thy armor on!
    Dost thou bring with thee hither a dauntless will--
    An ardent soul that no fear can chill--
    Thy shield of faith hast thou tried and proved--
    Canst thou say to the mountain "be thou moved"--
    In thy hand does the sword of Truth flame bright--
    Is thy banner inscribed--"For God and the Right"--
    In the might of prayer dost thou wrestle and plead?
    Never had warrior greater need!
    Unseen foes in thy pathway hide,
    Thou art encompassed on every side.
    There Pleasure waits with her siren train,
    Her poisen flowers and her hidden chain;
    Flattery courts with her hollow smiles,
    Passion with silvery tone beguiles,
    Love and Friendship their charmed spells weave;
    Trust not too deeply--they may deceive!
    Hope with her Dead Sea fruits is there,
    Sin is spreading her gilded snare,
    Disease with a ruthless hand would smite,
    And Care spread o'er thee her withering blight.
    Hate and Envy, with visage black,
    And the serpent Slander, are on thy track;
    Falsehood and Guilt, Remorse and Pride,
    Doubt and Despair, in thy pathway glide;
    Haggard Want, in her demon joy,
    Waits to degrade thee and then destroy;
    And Death, the insatiate, is hovering near
    To snatch from thy grasp all thou holdest dear.

    In war with these phantoms that gird thee round
    No limbs dissevered may strew the ground;
    No blood may flow, and no mortal ear
    The groans of the wounded heart may hear,
    As it struggles and writhes in their dread control,
    As the iron enters the riven soul.
    But the youthful form grows wasted and weak,
    And sunken and wan is the rounded cheek,
    The brow is furrowed, but not with years,
    The eye is dimmed with its secret tears,
    And streaked with white is the raven hair;
    These are the tokens of conflict there.

    The battle is ended; the hero goes
    Worn and scarred to his last repose.
    He has won the day, he conquered doom,
    He has sunk unknown to his nameless tomb.
    For the victor's glory, no voice may plead,
    Fame has no echo and earth no meed.
    But the guardian angels are hovering near,
    They have watched unseen o'er the conflict here,
    And they bear him now on their wings away,
    To a realm of peace, to a cloudless day.
    Ended now is earthly strife,
    And his brow is crowned with the Crown of Life!



[Illustration: SUPPLICATION.
Engraved Expressly for Grahams Magazine]


SUPPLICATION.--TWO SONNETS.

BY FAYETTE ROBINSON.

[SEE ENGRAVING.]


I.


    Hearts will sigh. The burdens of distress
      Weigh on us all. E'en from the natal hour
    The purest soul some hidden cares oppress,
      O'ertasking far our vain and feeble power.
      Clouds o'er each mountain summit ever lower,
    And gloom enwraps each hushed and quiet vale:
    Bright eyes grow dim, each rosy cheek grows pale,
      For change is earth's inevitable dower.
    Then the crushed soul, forgetful of its pride,
      Turns from itself to what it may not see
        But knows exists, for safety and for aid.
    And well it is that we may lay aside
      Our burdens thus, and in humility
    Pray at a shrine where prayer was ne'er denied.


II.


    And in that hour of weariness of soul,
      Not 'mid a marble aisle, 'neath vaulted domes,
      The stricken heart for aid and refuge comes;
    But where from lonely hills bright torrents roll,
      And placid lakes reflect the moon's bright ray,
      Striving with clouds that ever seem to sway
    Like ocean waves. When heaven's great scroll
      Is spread before us does the heart unfold
    Its agony to God's all-searching eye,
      And pray to him to shield it from distress.
        Then o'er the heart comes hopefulness again,
    As moonbeams rush from out the clouded sky:
      The brow grows bright, the spirit dares to bless
        The unseen hand that loosed its heavy chain.



A VISION.

BY E. CURTISS HINE, U. S. N.

[This piece was composed during a tremendous storm off Cape Horn, on
board the frigate "United States" in 1844.]


    Night from her gloomy dungeon freed,
      Had chased the lingering light away,
    The landscape, clad in widow's weed,
      Mourned o'er the couch of dying day;
    Bright-shielded Mars, who leads the host
      That watch around God's burning throne,
    Placed sentinels on every post,
      Whose beaming eyes upon me shone!

    The tears of eve were falling fast,
      With diamonds spangling every flower,
    Whose gentle fragrance round was cast,
      Like incense in some Eastern bower.
    The wearied hind had left his plough
      To rest within its furrowed bed,
    And on full many a waving bough
      Was heard the night-bird's lightest tread.

    All else was still, save Nature's voice,
      That whispered 'mid the waving trees,
    And bade my lonely heart rejoice;
      While oft the playful evening breeze,
    Came o'er the moonlit Hudson's tide,
      And brushed it with its playful wing,
    As swift it hurried by my side,
      Perchance in angel's bower to sing.

    Afar the Highlands reared a wall,
       To keep the clouds from passing by,
    There, in a mass were gathered all,
      Impatient gazing on the sky;
    Where sister-cloud escaped was free,
      Sailing the heaven's blue ocean o'er,
    Like lonely frigate on the sea,
      That seeks some fair and distant shore.

    Where Summer's busy hand had wove
      A shady roof above my head,
    I sat me down and eager strove,
      To spy the rebel cloud that fled.
    I saw it soon, with wondering eye,
      Take to itself a female form,
    And hover toward me from on high,
      As fall the leaves in Autumn storm.
    Her dress was like the mantle fair
      Which Autumn to Columbia brings,
    And bids the moaning forest wear,
      With rainbow hues of angel's wings;
    Her voice was like the witching strain
      Which laughing streamlets gayly sing
    When Summer o'er the ripening grain
      Spreads wide her warm and golden wing.

    The rustling of her snowy wing
      Was like the music of the breeze,
    That seraphs mimic when they sing:
      'T was sweet as when an organ's keys
    Are touched by angel's hand at night,
      When all the earth in slumber share,
    And glimmering grave-yard meteors light
      The church while spirits worship there.

    Softly she spoke--"Awake! arise!
      Thy doom is sealed, thou long must roam
    Where ocean surges wet the skies,
      And where the condor makes his home!
    Thou'lt gaze on many a cloudless sky,
      Where deathless Summer sweetly smiles,
    Like restless swallow thou shalt fly
      Where ocean's breast is gem'd with isles,

    "Thy feet shall track the forests wide,
      Like vast eternity unshorn,
    Where great Missouri's arrowy tide
      On pebbled couch is borne.
    But when the World's imperial brow
      Shall frown like wintry sky,
    Then seek my cloud-winged bark, and thou
      Shalt soar with me on high!"

    She paused and vanished--but her form
      In Heaven's blue lake I hail,
    When oft before the raging storm
      The clouds in squadron sail;
    And when the fleet can live no more,
      But in a mass are thrown,
    On the horizon's circling shore
      She skims the air alone!



MARY DUNBAR.

BY THE AUTHOR OF "THE THREE CALLS."

CHAPTER I.


Once more the Stanwoods sat of a morning in their pleasant parlor.
Once more the sun streamed lazily and warmly through the heavy silk
curtains, and once more sat the cherished and beloved invalid in the
cosiest nook, with her spectacles beside her, and the book on the
little table before her.

Something of change might be felt rather than seen in the blooming
faces near her. A thoughtful shadow on the clear brows of youth, the
impression of mind and feeling that ever shows itself in the deeps of
the eye and about the mouth, where smiles alone no longer play, but
the experience of life is showing itself in slight but unmistakeable
and uneffaceable lines.

The bell rung, and presently a portly, calm-looking old gentleman came
in, and after chatting a few minutes on ordinary topics took his
leave. It was a Mr. Gardner of Connecticut; somewhere about the south
part, Louisa thought, and Alice thought him a very dull person, and
they were both rather relieved when he left them.

"Do you like him, grandmother?" asked Alice.

"No, not exactly: at least he is not a person I should like of myself;
but he is connected with much that has interested me, and he is
himself a more interesting man than you would think him."

"Now, grandmother, dear," said the young girls, with an earnestness
that brought a smile to Mrs. Stanwood's face, "now do give us one of
your _real_ stories: they are better, after all, than the latest and
newest novel, for they are true ones."

"This Mr. Gardner's story is rather an eventful one, certainly; he is
a phlegmatic sort of man, as you see, and yet he has not lived without
having the depths of his being stirred. I happened to know him and
about his affairs a good deal at one time, and afterward I continued
my interest in him, though I saw nothing of him for years--but it is
rather a long story."

"Never mind the length--no fear of its seeming long, because it will
be true, you know."

"Yes, it will be true, but it is liker a fiction than any of the true
stories I have told you: but if you are patient with an old woman's
stories, and are willing to begin with the beginning, I will try to be
as sketchy as possible."

"That will we be," said Alice; "when did you know us otherwise?" and
both the girls hurried to take their seats on a low divan before Madam
Stanwood's arm-chair, and to look attentively up in her kind face.

"Now then, to begin with the beginning, Mary Dunbar and myself were
visiting at a town somewhere in the western part of Massachusetts. I
could tell you where, but you may as well have some mystery about
it--well, there we were visiting, and enjoying all the hospitalities
of a small town where city people were rather rare articles, and
prized accordingly. The beauty of Mary, and her gentle winning
manners, made a great impression on every body, and a succession of
pleasant rides, walks, pic-nics, little sociables, and every thing
which could bring young people together, kept us quite delighted with
every thing and every body about us; and as attentions and admiration
are apt to have a pleasant effect on the disposition as well as the
countenance, I, too, came in for a share, and we were quite the belles
of the time. Every body regretted, however, and that continually,
"that _Mr. Gardner_ was not at home--oh! if _he_ could see Miss
Dunbar! and oh! if Miss Dunbar could see him!" and at last he did come
from Burlington, where he had been gone a good while, at last he did
see Miss Dunbar, and as in duty bound admired her very much. He was a
common-looking young man, as he is now an old one--only then he had a
fair youthful complexion and light curling hair, that united strangely
with a premature gravity, and methodical way of saying every thing. He
was not a _taking_ person as you say, Louisa, but he was the nabob of
the place. His father had died young, and the "Gardner place" was a
very small part of the large property which this young man had
inherited. He kept house, and managed his large domestic establishment
with the greatest propriety and hospitality. All these things are
looked into thoroughly in such a town as K----, and young Gardner's
character was pronounced unexceptionable, and the match every way most
desirable for any girl for twenty miles round.

"Mary did not seem to fancy him much, and when at length her brother
came for us, and Mr. Gardner quietly proposed himself to Mr. Dunbar as
Mary's suitor, and he had told him the connection would give _him_
great pleasure, they neither of them seemed to think much more was
necessary, for absolutely nothing was said to Mary till we got home.
Mr. Dunbar lived at Cambridge then, near Boston. He was a widower, and
Mary lived with him, and kept his house in some sort, and played with
his little boy occasionally. You may suppose she was not a very staid
personage, for she was at this time only seventeen years old, and as I
was more than twenty-seven, I occasionally checked her wildness, while
I could not help laughing at her graceful follies. She should have
been born of a French mother and a Spanish father, for she was gay and
volatile as the summer insect, and yet she had much depth of feeling,
and was full of romantic tenderness, with sometimes a haughty
expression that seemed altogether foreign to her usual character of
face, and looked only the index of what might be expected of her if
she should ever be exasperated to fight against her destiny. But so
far destiny seemed to wait humbly on her pleasure; she was beloved by
all, and though left early an orphan, had found in the indulgent
tenderness of her brother and his wife a delightful home.

"A little while after our return, Mr. Dunbar took an opportunity when
business did not press, for he went daily into Boston and left Mary
and me to ourselves through the day, just to mention the little matter
of Mr. Gardner's proposal to Mary; and to say he had accepted it so
far as he was concerned.

"Now, girls, you must not ask me about characters, I shall tell you
the facts, and you must guess at the characters of persons by them,
the _whys_ you can ascertain as well as I could tell you. When Mr.
Dunbar had told Mary, who received the intelligence in silence, he
dismissed the topic and no further allusion was made to it.

"I asked Mary soon after if she considered herself engaged to Mr.
Gardner.

"'Certainly not.'

"I asked her if she liked him, and she gave me the same laconic
answer. So I, too, dismissed the topic. There was a little mystery in
Mary's manner about this time. If she did not like Mr. Gardner she did
like young Randolph, a Southerner, and a student, who walked with her,
and sent her flowers, and notes, and all sorts of pretty and poetical
things to read--poems marked for her eye, and the sweetest and newest
music for her piano. Then of a moonlight night we had serenades
without number, and soft strains sung in a deep, rich voice, so that
what with flowers, music, notes and very expressive looking and
sighing, the prospect was all but shut out for poor Mr. Gardner, and
opening an interminable vista for Randolph.

"Weeks went on--oh, I forgot; in the meantime Mr. Gardner wrote two
letters, one to Mr. Dunbar about Mary, and one to Mary herself, but
not much about her. It was mostly a business letter, written in a
calm, friendly style, and asking her opinion about some alterations he
proposed making in the house, adding a wing, I think. He seemed to
consider her a person who had a right to be consulted in his
arrangements, and I remember he finished his letter with 'Yours, &c.'
Mary handed the letter to me with a look of extreme vexation, which at
length subsided into a hearty laugh. I laughed too, but Mr. Dunbar did
not, and looked rather surprised at us.

"In the course of four weeks from the time of our return, this ardent
lover appeared in person. He drove up to the door in a very handsome
carriage, and with his servant, all looking very stylish. I saw Mary
color extremely, but she sat quite still, and when Mr. Gardner entered
and went toward her holding out his hand, she remained in her place,
and did not move her hand at all. He shook hands with the rest of us.
Mary made tea, and one or two persons coming in, Mr. Gardner became
rather animated, and appeared as he was, a very gentlemanly,
intelligent person. At last Mary could bear it no longer. She ran out
of the room and went up to her chamber. She shared hers with me, and
Mr. Gardner's was adjoining ours. It was rather late, between ten and
eleven o'clock, and presently Mr. Gardner, who was somewhat fatigued,
bade us good-night and ascended to his own apartment. I then went to
Mary's room: I found her in a state of great excitement and
indignation, and yet though I sympathized fully with her, there was
something so comical in the business-like way of doing the thing,
which Mr. Gardner had adopted, and his entire unconsciousness of the
sort of person he was to deal with, that I began to laugh heartily.

"'Hush! hush! for Heaven's sake! he can hear every word! Oh, my
heart!--do you believe, he has come up stairs and gone straight to
bed, and is this minute fast asleep! there--hear him! don't laugh!
he'll wake as sure as you do!'

"But laugh I did, for I could not help it, albeit Mary's pallid face
and earnest eyes checked me in the midst.

"'Now I am going down stairs this minute to put a stop to all this at
once. I could not have believed stupidity could have gone so far. I
shall see my brother and have an end put to his journeys here: good
heavens! to think of it.'

"This I could not object to, of course. Indeed, from the first of this
very peculiar 'arrangement' I had not been consulted by either Mary or
her brother, and I had a dreamy sort of feeling that by and by we
should all wake up and find Mr. Gardner was only an incubus, instead
of the unpleasant reality he was getting to be.

"I sat still for nearly or quite half an hour, when Mary returned to
her chamber on tiptoe and looking very pale.

"'Now, what is it?' said I earnestly, for I saw it was no joke to poor
Mary: her very lips were pallid and trembling, and her hand was
pressed to her side as if to still the convulsive springing of her
heart.

"'I--I have been talking it over to William,' she said, in a thick,
hasty voice; 'I told him I could go no further with this man--this no
man--who is willing to take me, without so much as inquiring if I have
a heart to bestow--but oh! oh, Susan--Randolph has gone!' she sobbed
out in a complete passion of grief, that could not brook further
concealment or restraint.

"'But how do you know this?' I asked, after, as you may suppose, I had
soothed and hushed her as far as I was able.

"'William told me so himself. I told him I could not, would not marry
Mr. Gardner--and he would not believe me--called me a foolish,
nonsensical child, who didn't know my own mind--and at last, when
nothing else would have any effect on his mind, I said--I said--ah!
Susan, how hard it was and is to say it! I loved another!'

"'And how then, my poor child?'

"'Then--he just in his quiet, calm way, that kills one, you know--for
it seems the death-blow to all sentiment--he said, 'Mary, if you mean
young Randolph, whom I have sometimes met here, playing the lover,
all I can say is, he is too discreet to contest the field, witness
this note of farewell which was sent to my office this afternoon. He
desires his very respectful compliments to you, Mary.' Would you
believe it, Susan? I took that note--and read every word of it; yes,
and I smiled, too, as I gave it back to him, as if it were the most
indifferent thing in the world--though I felt then, as I do now, every
line of it chilling my heart like ice.'

"'Dear Mary,' I said, still very quietly, for she grew almost wild
with excitement, 'how is this? Why has Randolph gone? have you had any
quarrel?'

"'Quarrel! God help you--no!--how should that be? don't I love the
very dust he treads on!' she screamed out violently at last, and went
into a hysteric fit. The sound of her maniacal voice brought her
brother to the door with anxious inquiry, but as I told him Mary was a
little over excited, and quiet would soon restore her, at my earnest
request he retired. In a short time I was able, with bathing her head
in cold water, and constantly soothing her with low murmuring tones of
endearment, to see her sobbing herself into a troubled sleep, and as I
looked on her beautiful face, pale as marble, and the black hair
wetted and matted back from her fine brow, I felt that I saw a double
victim to the cruel indifference of others, and the violent emotions
of her own untutored nature."

Alice and Louisa Stanwood had gazed steadily into the face of their
grandmother, while in the relation of this true story, it lighted up
with remembered emotion.

"Poor, poor girl!" said they; "but where, then, was Mr. Gardener all
this while? Surely he must have relented."

"Truth compels me to say, my romantic girls, that this quiet-loving
lover, to all human appearance, was not in the least disturbed.
Indeed, as I listened to the painful breathings of Mary, every now and
then catching, as if for life, at a breath, and then hushed into all
but dead silence, I was distinctly aware of certain audible
demonstrations of profound composure on the part of Mr. Gardner. In
sooth, he was not a lover for a romance writer at all; but such as he
was--and you must remember our agreement was that I should only relate
facts, not account for them--such as he was, he rose with the lark and
took his usual walk, to promote his appetite and prolong his life.

"When he returned, as Mary was too unwell to go down stairs, I
descended to the breakfast-room where I found Mr. Dunbar uneasily
walking the room.

"'How is Mary?' said he, the moment he saw me? 'No better? Tell her to
be comforted--be quiet. God forbid I should do any thing to make her
unhappy. I will speak to Mr. Gardner about the matter myself, and tell
him it can't be.'

"His earnest manner quite convinced me that however he might seem, his
sister was really very near his heart, and 'albeit unused to the
melting mood,' I felt my eyes fill with tears, as I turned and ran up
to Mary's room to comfort her poor heart. She was comforted and
quieted, though she declined leaving her room till after Mr.
Gardner's departure; and I left her, at her own request, to silent
reflection.

"And now you will think all the trouble was over. But did ever faint
heart win fair ladie? Never. And Mr. Gardner's heart did not sink when
he was told the true story of Mary's indifference and aversion. Both
brother and lover had deceived themselves, or rather they had not
thought about it. But now that he did think about it, Mr. Gardner was
not inclined to relinquish the pursuit. He knew that women were fickle
and strange beings, and oft-times refused the very happiness they were
dying to possess. Whether Mary were of this species he knew not, but
at all events the prize was worth trying for. So he told Mr. Dunbar he
would not trouble Mary more at present, but leave it to time. Time did
a great many things. Time might make him acceptable to the very heart
that now tossed him as a scorned thing away.

"Now Alice, my dear child, don't give up my Mary, nor think her a
heartless being, when I tell you that in six months from that time she
became Mrs. Gardner. A very lovely bride she was, too--pale as a
snow-drop, and graceful as the lake-lily. She smiled, too, with a sort
of contented smile, not radiant, not heartfelt, not joyous; there were
no deeps of her being stirred as she stood calm and passionless by the
altar, and promised to love and honor Mr. Gardner, but a very quiet
and pensive sort of pleasure. A part of her soul seemed to have been
buried with the past, and to have been forcibly crushed down with all
its young ardor and bloom forever; but above it was an everyday being,
full of determination to do her duty, to make her husband happy, and
be as happy herself as she could. So she was married; and so she
stepped into a handsome carriage with Mr. Gardner, and the bridemaids
and groomsmen followed in another; and never was there a gayer and
merrier cavalcade than at Mary Dunbar's marriage.


CHAPTER II.

"Now, my dear girls, you must skip over a few years, during which I
neither saw nor heard of Mary Dunbar. I returned from a journey which
I had been taking, and was glad to feel that Mr. Gardner's house lay
in my nearest route home. I longed to see Mary in her new character,
now that she had had time to feel and perform her duties, and proposed
to be with her for a few days, that I might form my own opinion
touching this 'mariage de convenance.'

"Mr. Gardner's house was one of some pretension originally; that is to
say, it had been built in the style of country gentlemen in New
England forty years ago. A row of white-pine pillars surrounded the
house from roof to basement, and formed a piazza-walk very convenient
in a dull day. Six chimneys crowned the roof, and the whole
arrangement was tasteful and imposing. There was a terrace of green
turf all round the house, and the offices and out-buildings were at a
short distance from the main building. As the stage-coach wound up the
avenue, I noticed in the disposition of the grounds and shrubbery the
evident hand of female taste. Fantastic arbors, almost hid behind
clematis and honeysuckle; little white arches supporting twining roses
of twenty sorts, and trees arranged in picturesque groups, gave a
character of beautiful wildness to the scenery.

"I fancied Mary the presiding genius of the place as I last had seen
her, white and bright, with a little rose-tint on her cheek, caught
from nature and the happy quiet of her life--for I had heard that she
rejoiced in an infant, whose beauty and promise I knew must renew all
the affectionate sympathies of her woman's heart.

"The stage-coach stopped. A servant opened the door, and to my inquiry
for Mrs. Gardner, answered hesitatingly, that 'he believed she did not
wish to see company.' How much of apprehension was compressed into
that brief moment. What could have happened to her? Much might have
happened, and I not know it, for I had been living in great seclusion,
and had had no correspondence with Mary. However, I gave my card to
the man, and bade him take it to Mrs. Gardner, meanwhile sitting with
a throbbing heart in the carriage.

"The man returned in a short time with a message requesting me to
stop, and to have my trunks taken off. Not a welcoming voice or face
met me--and in silence I followed the servant to the parlor. Mary was
sitting there; some fire was in the grate, though it was in July; and
she hovered over it as if she sought to warm her heart enough to show
proper feeling at the sight of an old friend.

"'Mary Dunbar!' I cried out, with my arms outspread, for the figure
before me of hopelessness and gloom gave me a feeling almost
heart-breaking.

"The sound of her own maiden name acted like magic on Mary. She sprung
to my arms like a frightened bird, and clung to me with such intensity
of sad earnestness in her face, that it brought back to me all the old
sorrow of that night of suffering at her brother's. Once more I
soothed her, smoothed back the dark plumage of her hair, and with soft
words and gentle caresses, brought her to quietness.

"'You are ill, my poor Mary,' I said, as I looked at her sunken cheek,
and the deep gloom about her eyes. 'Where is Mr. Gardner?'

"'Oh, he is gone most of the time,' said she hastily, and then, for
the first time, seeming to recollect her duty as hostess, she added,
'but you are tired and travel-soiled, and hungry, too, I dare say; let
me make you comfortable.' She laughed a little as she spoke, but not
like her old laugh, it was affected, and died in its birth.

"She rang the bell, gave orders for lunch to be brought in, and a room
prepared for me, with something of her old activity, and saying
cordially, 'Now you must stay with me; now I have got you here, I
cannot spare you again.' She relapsed into thoughtfulness and absence.
This strange manner puzzled me not a little.

"I went up stairs. The white dreariness of my room chilled me. Mary
did not accompany me as she would once have done, to see that all was
comfortable for me. The muslin window-curtains hid the view outside,
and the stately high-post bedstead, with its gilded tester, looked as
if sleep would be afraid to 'come anear' it. My trunks were brought
up, and then a silence like death was in the house. No child was in
the house, that was clear--and nobody else it would seem. Well, I must
wait. I should know all in good time. I dressed and went down to the
parlor. Mary still hovered over the fire, looking, in her white
wrapper and whiter face, more like a ghost than any living thing. I
had intended to be calmly cheerful, to talk to Mary about old times,
and by degrees to lead her to speak of so much of her present life as
would give me an insight into the mysterious sorrow that reigned like
a presence over the dwelling.

"But as poor Ophelia says, 'we know what we are, but not what we shall
be.' So no more did I know how to look at that crouching figure and be
cheerful and calm. I lost all presence of mind, and could only sit
down and cry heartily. Mary rose at the sound of my weeping and came
to me.

"'Do you know I cannot weep, Susan? These fountains are drained dry.
See, there are no tears in my eyes, though God knows my heart is
drowned all day and night. It is dreadful to have such a burning head
as mine, and no tears to wet it withal.'

"I wiped my eyes and grew calmer when I saw the wild brightness of her
eye; and dreading another nervous attack, I did my best to quiet both
her and myself. The day passed on without further reference to any
present griefs; she showed me her little conservatory, with a few rare
flowers in it, which she had reared with much care, and led me over
the pleasantest paths in the grounds and groves attached to the house.
In one of these groves, at some distance from the house itself, was a
little cleared space, and in the centre of that a small, a very small
mound.

"I knew at once what it was. There slept the child I had heard of. So
had been broken the dearest tie Mary had felt binding her to life. She
stood with me a moment, looking at the mound with a steadfast look,
and then putting back her hair from her forehead, as if she tried to
remember something, she smiled sadly, and said in a broken voice,

"'You see I cannot shed one tear, even on my child's grave.' I led her
gently away among the old trees and quiet paths, and we sat in the
warm July shadows till the sun went down.

"You may guess how thankful I was to see at last, as we turned
homeward, the tears slowly falling over her face and dropping on her
dress, as she walked on, evidently unconscious of the blessed relief.
'Like music on my heart' sunk these tears, for I knew that with them
would come the coolness, 'like a welcoming' over her burning pulse,
and I carefully abstained from saying a word that would interrupt the
feelings rather than thoughts which now agitated her. We returned to
the house; tea was served silently, for even the domestics hardly
spoke above a whisper; and then we sat in the soft moonlight and
looked on the sleeping scene before us. The summer sounds of rural
life had long died away, and nothing but the untiring chirp of the
tree-toad was to be heard. The melancholy monotony of the scene hushed
Mary's spirit to a quiet she had not for a long time known, and at
last she became conscious of having wept freely.

"'I have wept, thank God! that shows I am human. Now ask me all about
what you want to know. I think I can talk about it. Mr. Gardner? Oh,
he is gone--he is gone a great deal, you know; his business leads him
continually away from home, and that leaves me, of course, very
dull--very. Shouldn't you think it ought to, Susan dear?'

"Thus incoherently she began; but the first step taken, and secure of
sympathy in her hearer, she went on, and you will believe me when I
tell you we talked till midnight, and that then Mary sunk, like a
weary child, into my arms in a sound sleep.

"I cannot give you her precise words, but the import of her relation I
shall never forget. A few words will suffice to tell you what it took
her hours of emotion and tears to reveal.

"You remember I told you she looked determined to do her duty, and be
as happy a wife as she could. Did ever a wife succeed in being happy
with duty for the material? Perhaps if Mr. Gardner had been an ardent
lover, somewhat impulsive, and eager to commend himself to her
grateful affection, he would have succeeded in doing so; indeed, I am
sure of it, in time it must have been so; but, alas! Mr. Gardner was a
calm, gentlemanly, sensible, phlegmatic person, who thought his wife's
impulsive and hasty nature should be occasionally checked, and who had
no toleration for, nor sympathy with, her excitable spirit.
Consequently, she soon learned to have a calm exterior when he was at
home, which his frequent absences made it easy to assume. They had
been married something like three years, and Mary was the delighted
mother of a healthy and lovely daughter. Her heart, which had almost
closed in the chilly atmosphere of her husband's manners, expanded and
flowered luxuriantly in the warmth of maternity. In her happiness she
reflected a part of its exuberance on her husband, and smiled with
much of her old gayety. 'I felt my young days coming back to me,' she
said.

"One day the post brought a letter for her, which she opened, and then
left the room to read. The letter was from young Randolph. The writer
apologized for his year's silence to her, by an account of a long
illness, &c. He knew of her happiness, of her child; in short, he
seemed to be informed of every thing about her. He asked to be
permitted to correspond with her. The letter expressed the strongest
and deepest interest, but couched in such respectful and friendly
terms as were difficult to resist. Mary struggled long with her sense
of what was due to herself and her husband; but right at last
conquered, and she re-entered the room with the letter in her hand.
Tremblingly she gave it to her husband, who read a part of it, and
then said, with much kindness of manner,

"'Correspond with any of your friends, male or female, my dear. I have
not the slightest objection.'

"Mary's good spirit was still at her ear, and she said with some
difficulty,

"'Mr. Gardner, the writer of this letter was once much interested in
me.'

"'And you in him, eh? Well, my love, those things are all gone by; I
can fully trust you. So again, I say, correspond with any body you
like, provided you don't ask me to read the letters.'

The generous confidence of her husband deeply affected Mary; but,
unhappily, it did not induce her to the safe course of declining the
correspondence with this fascinating and dangerous friend. The
correspondence went on for years, nay, it was continued up to the time
of my visit. And now, my dears, I must stop the current of my story
for a minute, to utter my protest against this most dangerous and
wretched of all theories--_Platonic friendships between a married
woman and her male friends._ But for the false notions of safety in
such a friendship, Mary Dunbar might now be a loved and loving woman.
This you will not believe could have been with Mr. Gardner; but
remember, Mary was getting to love Mr. Gardner a good deal, and habit
and duty and maternal happiness would have done much; so that _in a
sort_, she would have been both loved and loving. The letters from
Randolph, which she showed me, were very interesting, and full of fine
sensible remarks on education, all so interspersed with gentle and
deep interest for herself, that you saw she was never out of his mind
and heart for an instant. Just such letters as a happy married woman
would never read, and what any woman's instinct protects her from if
she listens to it.

"Things had gone on in this way for two years, or thereabouts, when
the child, who had been the subject of so many theories, and in whom
were garnered all the _conscious_ hopes of Mary, was taken suddenly
ill. Her anxiety induced her immediately to summon medical assistance;
and she could hardly believe her physician when he said there were no
grounds for apprehension. The child had a sore throat; there was a
considerable degree of inflammation about the system, and when he
left, he directed Mary to have some leeches applied to the neck of the
little girl, at the same time pointing to the spot where he wished
them to take the blood.

Mary was particular to place them there, but to her great alarm, the
blood issued from the punctures in such a quantity as to drench the
bed-linen almost immediately. In vain she tried to stop it--it flowed
in torrents, and before the horror-struck servants could summon the
physician, the life had ebbed from the child--nothing but a
blood-stained form remained. The physician said the jugular vein had
been pierced, and that it was something like half an inch nearer the
ear than he ever saw it before. I believe he was not to blame--far
less was the wretched instrument, whose agony I will not attempt to
describe.

"But from that hour the nervous spasms and depression of spirits
supervened, which I found had become the habit of her mind. I should
have premised that through all the distressing circumstances of the
child's death Mr. Gardner was absent. Undoubtedly, could he have been
at home, his fortitude and calmness would have been of the greatest
service to her; but he did not return until long after her maternal
agonies had sunk into a sort of stupor of wretchedness, which looked
like a resigned grief outwardly. Far enough was her spirit from the
enforced composure of her manner. By degrees she came to look upon
herself as born only to make others unhappy. That she had caused the
death of her own child was too horrible a thought to dwell on
voluntarily, yet it obtruded itself always--and she shuddered at the
grave of the being dearest to her heart.

"I remained with Mary until her husband's return, and then left her,
promising to visit her again in the course of a few weeks. I was
pleased to see the manly kindness of Mr. Gardner's manner to his wife.
He evidently did not understand her, but he was gentle and quiet in
his words to her, and so far as was in his nature to do, sympathized
with her. He was frequently called away from home for weeks together,
and had no idea of the effect solitude was having on the mind of his
wife.

"As soon as I could so arrange my affairs at home as to leave them, I
went to my sick-souled friend. I found her in her chamber and lying on
her bed. She looked paler than ever, and her eyes were dry and
tearless as when I first saw her before. All over the bed, and pressed
in her hands, were letters strewn, half open, and which she had
evidently been reading. She looked up at me when I entered, but
immediately began gathering up the letters with a strange carefulness,
placing them one above the other according to their dates, taking no
further notice of me. I saw something agitating had occurred, and
seated myself without speaking till she should be more composed. I
knew they were Randolph's letters; I had seen them before.

"Presently she spoke in a low voice and seemingly exhausted manner.

"'Susan!' I was by her instantly. She gave me a folded manuscript.
'Between you and me there is no need of words. Take this and read it.
It is the last death I shall cause. Leave me now, dear Susan; perhaps
I may sleep, who knows'

"She put her hands over her eyes--they were burning as coals--and
tried to smile, but the lips refused the mockery. I begged her to lie
down and try to sleep, closed the curtains, and left the room, not a
little anxious to see the contents of the manuscript which I hoped
would explain this new grief.

"The first letter was from a clergyman at the South, containing the
intelligence of Randolph's death, after a long illness, and
transmitting, at his request, the sealed packet to Mrs. Gardner.

"And saddening enough was the recital of the young man's sorrows. He
began with saying that he had scrupulously abstained from ever
mentioning his attachment to Mary while he had lived, but he could not
refrain from asking her pity for him when he could never more disturb
or injure her. He inclosed to her his journal, kept from the first day
he saw her, when he loved her with all the fervor of his southern
nature, and all the confidence of youth. Then followed the shock of
hearing from Mr. Dunbar's own lips of his sister's engagement and
approaching marriage. Then the farewell note of wounded affection that
assumed indifference. Then a long delirious fever; then the news of
Mary's marriage; and then the vain attempt to conquer his ill-fated
love. His delight in his correspondence with her; it had been the life
of his life, all that soothed the downward passage to the grave. To
that grave he had gladly come, feeling that happiness was forever
denied him, and only begged her to believe in his never-varying love
from the moment he met her to this dying hour, when he signed his name
to the last words he should address to mortal.

"All that she had lost--all she might have been, and might have
enjoyed in a union with this young man, so brilliant, so amiable, so
devoted, rushed on my heart, and contrasting with the reality a few
paces off, made me weep bitterly. Oh! had they never loved so kindly!

"I sat long with the manuscript, looking at the writing, some of it
years old, and written with a firm, flowing hand, then varying through
all the vicissitudes of health and feeling, till it trembled and died
away in its last farewell. The peculiar tenderness with which we look
on the handwriting of the dead, however personally unknown, affected
me. This young man I had seen, though seldom; and I easily connected
the memoir before me with the memory of his dark, curling hair, his
olive complexion, and the graceful dignity of his manner. I saw his
bright eye dim, the dew of suffering on his brow, his cheek pale with
anguish of heart and body, and the last flicker of his glorious light
going out in darkness.

"From these thoughts I was roused by a sudden and deep groan; it
seemed near me, and I sprung to my feet. Bells rang; there was a rush
on the staircaise--a shriek--another rush--the opening of doors
wildly; all this was in a moment--in the moment I ran out of my room
toward Mary's where an undefined and terrible fear taught me to look.

"You will guess what met my appalled gaze. Mr. Gardner, who had
returned from a journey while I was reading in my own room, hastened
up stairs to see Mary. At the moment he entered, she had completed the
act which terminated her life. He received in his arms the lifeless
body. The suffering soul still hovered unconsciously. We believe that
God who made us, alone can try us, and He who knew all the wo that
'wrought like madness in her brain,' can both pity and forgive."

A deep silence followed Madame Stanwood's relation. Alice and Louise
were thinking how little such an experience could have been guessed
from Mr. Gardner's exterior.

"I wonder," said Louisa at last, "if he ever knew he cause of Mary's
death--did you give him the manuscript, grandmother?"

"Well--what _should_ I have done?"

"Oh! I would have given it to him! I would have rejoiced to see him
one hour feeling all the agony which poor Mary had felt so long!"

"That is very natural, my child, for you to say; and, I confess, when
I saw him first--his clothes covered with his wife's life-blood, and
her marble face on his shoulder; when I saw _his_ calmness, his
complete self-possession, the directions he gave for the physician,
all the time keeping his hand so pressed on the wound, that no more
blood should flow; when I saw him hold her till the surgeon closed the
wound, and then place his hand on the heart, and watch its beating, if
happily life might yet linger there; when I saw this, I longed to say,
'thou cold-hearted being! she is beyond the chill of thine icy
love--care not for her! the grave is softer and warmer than thou art!'

"But life had gone out. Not, however, till the loss of blood had so
relieved the agonizing pressure on the brain, that reason had
evidently returned--for she opened her eyes, with a sweet, sad smile,
looked at us all--saw every thing--knew every thing that had passed.
She raised her hand to her neck, and then pointed upward, and
breathing more and more softly, like the dead child who had gone
before her, in its baptism of blood, she slept in peace.

"I thought of all that had passed in the hearts of the two young
persons for whom life had so early closed. They had suffered much, but
I did not see how any good could occur to the dead or the living by
further communication. If Mary had desired it, there had been
opportunity enough. She might have left the letters for her husband to
read. On the contrary, she had burned them immediately after I had
left the room. Her woman had brought her a lamp, and she saw her
setting fire to letters--and, in fact, the relics of them were still
in the chimney.

"I therefore said no more to Mr. Gardner. He had been much shocked
with the events of the day, and for some time was depressed. But he
recovered the tone of his mind, and to this day, I suppose, has very
little comprehension of what was about him and around him for
years--of the broken-heart that was so long breaking."



THE PROPHET'S REBUKE

BY MRS. JULIET H. L. CAMPBELL.


    In a cedar-ceiled palace, the proud arches rolled,
    O'erlaid with vermilion, and blazoned with gold,
    While their graceful supporters in colonnade stood,
    Like the children of giants, a grand brotherhood:
    Around them the lily and pomegranate wreath,
    In delicate tracery, while far beneath
    The siren-voiced fountains beguile the long day,
    And the tessalate pavement is gemmed with their spray.

    The East from her treasury joyeth to bring
    Her magnificent gifts to a world-renowned king;
    Her birds, like to meteors, as brilliant and fleet,
    And her rainbow-hued flowers are laid at his feet,
    While he, in regality's power and pride,
    Sits enthroned with the symbol of pomp by his side.
    The beauty is glorious that beams in his face,
    His mien is majestic, his movement is grace!
    Before him a prophet, with hair long and white
    Falling down o'er a mantle as sable as night,
    With a glance of stern loftiness, cheek cold and pale,
    And a gesture of earnestness, thus told his tale.

    "Two men in this city there dwelleth, my lord--
    One is blessed in the battle, and blessed by the board:
    He hath numberless flocks in the field and the fold,
    And the wealth of his coffers remaineth untold.
    The other hath naught save one lamb, which he fed
    Like a child of his household; it ate of his bread,
    It partook of his portion of food and of rest,
    It followed his footsteps, it lay on his breast,
    It lightened his sorrows with innocent art,
    And e'en, as a daughter, was dear to his heart.
    A traveler came to the rich man's abode,
    And he welcomed the guest in the name of his God;
    Bade him tarry awhile, 'mid the fierce noontide heat,
    'Neath the vine-tree's broad shadow, to rest him and eat.
    Then straightway he hasted, with tenderest care,
    To spread forth the board and the banquet prepare,
    While he spared of his _own_ to take youngling or dam
    But dressed for the stranger his _neighbor's ewe lamb_.

    As a breath from the meadow, on wings of the wind,
    To the sense that had breathed but the perfume of Ind,
    Seemed this tale of simplicity, told to the heart
    That had dwelt 'mid the spells of magnificent art.
    Spake the king, while fierce anger flashed hot from his eye,
    "Now, as the Lord liveth! this robber shall die!
    To the victim of wrong let his cattle be told,
    Till full restitution be rendered fourfould,
    And _cursed_ be forever, with sword and with brand,
    The wretch who hath done such foul wrong in our land!"

    Then with stern condemnation the prophet replied
    To the monarch, who sat in his purple-clad pride,
    And his bold voice resounded throughout the broad span
    Of the arches above them, "_Thou, thou art the man!_
    Saith the Lord, I have raised thee from humble estate,
    To rule o'er a nation most favored and great--
    I have given thee Judah thy portion to be,
    And the honor of Israel centres in thee!
    Thy children, like olive boughs, circle thy board,
    And the wives of thy master await at thy word,
    But insatiate still, thou hast entered the dome
    Of thy neighbor, and stolen the wife from her home;
    Thou hast slaughtered the husband with treacherous wile,
    And the vengeance of Heaven rewardeth thy guile!
    The child of thy love from thy arms shall be torn--
    And in sackcloth and ashes thy proud head shall mourn--
    The wives of thy household thy rivals shall be--
    As thou didst unto others, _so be it to thee_!
    And the _sword_ thou hast taken, with murderous art,
    From thy heaven-doomed lineage _ne'er shall depart_."



A SCENE ON THE SUSQUEHANNA.

HARRISBURG.

BY JOSEPH R. CHANDLER.


The incidents of life around us--of common life--of everyday events,
and the common scenes which Nature has prepared on every side, are
full of interest, full of means of gratifying a taste formed or
cultivated to rational enjoyment. The Hymmalayen mountains may overtop
the Andes, and the Amazon bear more water to the sea than the
Susquehanna, but it follows not thence that the combination of
scenery--points of beauty to be associated with the eye--are less
attractive in the latter than in the former; and though thousands may
tread, may ride, or may murder on the unfrequented path of the elder
world, and give tragic effect to narrative, yet on all sides of us, in
our home experience, and our limited wandering, events are every day
occurring of as much interest to the participators as are those which
constitute the theme of the foreign tourist; and scenes are presenting
themselves almost daily within our own observation, that need only the
pen of a Radcliffe to describe, or the pencil of a Claude to depict,
to fix them on the imperishable canvas of the artist or the immortal
page of the gifted poet.

How often have we been struck with the clustering beauties of a
seashore by Birch, or some landscape by Russell Smith, and while we
gazed in admiration at the production so rich in artistic skill, and
felt astonishment at the fidelity of the representation, have shrunk
away from the picture, ashamed that objects so constantly before our
eyes should have remained unadmired till the pencil of the artist had
transferred them to canvas--had selected the moment when sunshine had
brought out the clustering beauties of some gentle promontory, or
shade had deepened the darkness of the dell, and all which to our eyes
had been daily spread out in constantly changing hues, had been fixed
in beauty to challenge our admiration and create new love for the
original.

Events which strike us with astonishment in their record, whether they
are real or imaginary, acquire much of their importance from our
knowledge of the antecedent circumstances and present condition of the
actors. We connect the present with the past, and our sympathies
becoming enlisted with the joys or sorrows of others, all that relates
to them acquires the exaggerated importance to us which it has with
those who are really connected with the occurrences. Every group of
immigrants we meet, every wedding party we attend, every funeral train
we join, contains in itself a story of deep and thrilling interest;
the power of genius only is necessary to collect and combine the
incidents, to bring in the feelings and hopes of the parties, and to
present to the reader what the unobtrusive actor does, feels, hopes,
fears and suffers.

Ungifted to catch the beauties of the landscape and transfer them to
canvas, unpracticed in the simplest movement of the artist's duties, I
can only stand and admire what Providence has spread around with a
profusion of bounty, and as colors deepen or fade, and beauties
augment or diminish, I bow with admiration at the object, and
increased love to Him whose hand garnished the heavens, and whose
goodness is as manifest "in these his lower works" as in the
constellated glories of the firmament, whose systems combine to enrich
with heatless light worlds of space--and the infinite seems exhausted
to gem with starry lustre earth's evening canopy.

Equally unsupplied am I with that genius which seizes on passing
incidents, and moulds them to important events, building the
interesting and the sublime on the simple and the ordinary. I have not
these gifts, but I have the love for the gifts, the sense of their
existence in others, and a sort of conception of the time and the
place in which they should be employed; and often, as I pass along, I
select groups and note incidents that with the child of genius would
be seed for a golden harvest. And scenes, too, that escape the general
eye, or only excite the exclamation "how beautiful," press upon me
till I wish that I had the genius and skill to fix the picture which
Nature has drawn, and show that our own land and own vicinity are full
of those beauties which true taste admires, which, transferred to
canvas, become in turn the stimulant to taste. Yet the scenes which I
see, and the occurrences which I note, may be of use to those who know
better how to combine and present the materials; and what I saw and
heard, others may present in an attractive form.

During the close of August and the first of September last I was, in
obedience to an imperative call, engaged in some business in
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The little borough was crowded with
delegates to two conventions then being held, for the purpose of
nominating candidates by the opposing parties for the office of
Governor of the Commonwealth; a part of the machinery to which our
institutions give rise, and those who affect to sneer at these
preliminary movements, do not understand the true theory and practice
of republicanism, where action, to be effective, must begin in the
_will_ of the people, and to be beneficially operative it must
continue in concurrence with that will. Notwithstanding the presence
of two antagonistic parties there were peace and much social
intercourse between the delegates of opposite creeds; nor was this
marvelous, the contest had not yet been delivered to the parties; the
rivalry and antagonism were between the members of the same party, who
should be the candidate--that settled on each side, then the divided
fronts of the main divisions would unite, and the hostility be
transferred from sections of the same party to the parties themselves.
The general field of contest was of course not taken there, so that
the elements of political warfare were held in abeyance, and the
thronged streets wore a holyday appearance of pleasure and hope.

Standing early one morning at the door of the hotel, before the
customary hour of rising, I was struck with a little procession from
the canal toward the centre of the place. A stern woman led the
company, in which were four men, two of whom, and the youngest, each
carried a child; and in the rear was a very tall man, bearing also a
younger child, wrapped about with parts of a ragged female dress. The
man by his height and measured tread drew attention particularly to
himself. The appearance of the whole was that of poor immigrants;
Germans probably; though the stateliness of the march of its principal
man was that of some one who had a spirit of independence, and felt
that whatever might be his appearance, he was, for a time at least,
above the influence of outward circumstances. The company passed me,
and for some time I lost sight of them, and indeed nothing but the
peculiar look of the woman and the remarkable tread of the man would
have kept them in my memory. It was not long, however, before I saw a
gathering in front of a public building, and loving to hear the
remarks of those who speak out unrestrainedly, I joined the little
company. Its centre was the band of immigrants. It was evident that
some movements toward effective sympathy had been suggested. What they
were or by what suggested I could not tell. The strangers could speak
little or no English, and for a time their appearance only appealed to
the kindly feelings of the multitude. I had pressed in close to the
strong man, who was still bearing the little child in the same
position in which it rested when he passed me at the door of the
hotel. The same fixed look of independence was in his face and his
position. There was much of sternness on the face of the woman, but it
was marked by pain, referable perhaps to her situation, and to the
marks of recent grief. Something was to be done, but what I could not
yet determine. As I pressed nearer to the man the company crowded
closer.

"You need help," said I to the strange man.

He intimated plainly that he could not understand me.

"You want _bread_," said I.

"_Das brod_," exclaimed he, shaking his head. "_Nein--das grab!_"

And he threw the clothes from the face of the child on his arm, and
the pale, quiet features of the little one were cold in death.

One low, agonizing cry went up from the depth of the woman's heart.
One proud look around was given by the father, but that look was
exchanged for one of anguish as he turned his eye downward toward the
burthen which his arm sustained.

The company had come up, not to solicit charity, that they might eat
and drink before they should die--but that they might obtain a
burying-place for the little one of their flock, whom death had
released from its parents' troubles.

It was a pretty child; the blue eyes were visible beneath the half
divided lids, and the long lashes hung over them like gentle palls,
defending them from the rudeness of earth's winds. The fine light hair
lay smoothly over the marble forehead, and a few white teeth shone out
from between the lips that were shrinking away from each other in the
coldness of death.

It was a _grave_ the parents needed.

The contributions were liberal, and a grave was provided. It would
seem that in the wilderness of unreclaimed lands which lie along the
public works of Pennsylvania, there might be found a resting-place for
an infant stranger, without the eleemosynary aid which had been
sought--but, alas! who does not desire when they "bury their dead out
of their sight," that it may be in a place which memory may cherish.

We cannot comprehend the unconsciousness of the grave. We hedge it
about, we make the last house as if comforts were to be enjoyed
therein, and we love to place our dead side by side with others, as if
there were fellowship with the mouldering clay. It is of no use to
argue against this--it is better perhaps to encourage the feelings,
and assist in their gratification. They refine the mind, they elevate
views, they meliorate passions and keep alive affections. Let the
resting-place of the dead be sanctified to all, it is the home of the
temple of God. It is the Moriah of the Christian dispensation.

I cannot leave Harrisburg at any season of the year, but especially in
the early part of Autumn, without seeking the shore of the Susquehanna
at sunset. All day long the river is beautiful, the quiet stream as it
goes shining down to the ocean is full of loveliness, and all upon it
or near it, partakes of its character. But it is exquisitely rich and
attractive near the close of the day. I went alone to enjoy the scene.
And placing myself upon the bold bank between the town and the river I
looked westward for the sight that had so often been enjoyed. It was
there; no change comes over such beauties; they are immortal, they are
without mutation. In the bosom of the broad river--glowing with the
golden beams of the retiring sun--sat the islands that break the unity
of the stream and augment its beauties. So rich, so full was the
sunlight upon the river, that these islands seemed to be floating in
the gorgeous light. Some shot out prominent angles into the water, and
presented salient points to break the uniformity, while others sat
swan-like down, their rounded edge touching the stream, as if they had
been dressed by art to present the perfection of symmetry; the dark
green of the shrubbery that sprung up in the moisture of the islands
was mingled with the golden hues of the sun, and here and there the
gentle current, by passing over some obstructing object, broke into a
ripple, that danced like liquid gold in the sunlight.

It was a rich and lovely sight, one to which frequency of enjoyment
can bring no satiety, and he who sits down to such a scene finds the
impressions of unfriendly association passing away--the resolutions of
revenge, which unprovoked rudeness excited, melting into the better
determinations of the heart--and all of bitterness and animosity which
unchastened pride encourages, are neutralized and lost in the deep
emotions of love which such a view of God's works and such a sense of
man's enjoyment necessarily promote.

I sat absorbed in the scene until the sun began to drop below the
hills, and the warmth of the coloring upon the water was yielding to
the neutral and colder tints of evening, but upward along the sides of
the hills the gorgeousness of the sunlight was in its fullness.
Casting my eyes away to the right, I noticed a gathering on the
upland: and on looking closer I could discover the forms of those who
had composed the morning procession. They had made a grave for the
little one of their flock, and had gathered around it to do the last
offices to the inanimate form. They all bowed together, as if taking
a last look, and when they raised their heads, I thought I caught a
little of the wild cry of the anguished mother--but I must have been
deceived, the distance was too great, but the signs of grief were
_visible_, and I saw the father sustaining with his arm the afflicted
wife, and the other members of the group cast their eyes toward their
afflicted female companion. The air was full of dust, the consequence
of a long drought, and as the floating particles reflected the
sunbeams, the funeral gathering seemed for a moment, bathed in the
glorious light of the setting sun, transfigured on their mount of
sorrow--transfigured from the poor mendicant wanderers they had
appeared in the morning, to children of light.

That glorious sunset on the islands and waters of the Susquehanna
cannot soon fade from my memory--nor shall I easily forget the blaze
of glory shed around the infant's grave. Strange that the richness of
sunlight should spring from the impure particles by which it is
reflected--but in this world of ours what but errors and impurities of
the human kind make visible and beautiful the grace of Him in whose
light and heat "we live and move and have our being?"



PEDRO AND INEZ.

BY ELIZABETH J. EAMES.

      [It is a well known fact that the hapless Inez de
      Castro, the young and beautiful bride of Pedro of
      Portugal, was murdered, while he was absent on a
      hunting excursion.]


    Softly broke the light of morning, through a pictured window's gloom,
    Blandly strayed the zephyr's winglet 'mid rich plants of Eastern bloom,
    Shedding a strong spicy fragrance round that gorgeous room,
    Lightly on her couch of purple slumbered Pedro's new-made bride,
    In her young unshadowed beauty, with no other thought beside
    That which his deep love had poured o'er her spirit's tide.

    Softly had Prince Pedro risen from his nuptial couch that morn,
    Lightly donned his hunting vesture, at the call of hound and horn:
    Yet he bends enamored o'er that face of Beauty born.
    One more love-glance, yet another, on the sleeping face he cast;
    Soft he stoops to meet that red lip--one light kiss--the last!
    "God and our Lady bless thee, love!"--and so Prince Pedro passed.

    Softly faded into twilight gorgeous gleams of gold and red,
    Valley, stream, and purple mountain lay in mellow glory spread.
    And the lemon's snowy blossom dewy odors shed.
    Homeward through eve's tender shadows speeds Prince Pedro with his band,
    While with love almost paternal his fond eye drinks in the land,
    Over which he soon may govern with a kingly hand.

    Now the mellow horn he soundeth through the leafy olive groves,
    Far and wide the clear notes echo, but they bring not her he loves--
    "Inez? is it thou, sweet Inez, where yon shadow moves?"
    Never more shall Inez answer to that fond familiar call--
    Of the lovely bride left sleeping, bleeding clay is all--
    Of a fiendish hate the victim lies she, wrapt in gory pall.

    Never more from that dread hour was Prince Pedro seen to smile!
    Never more did chase or revel his still agony beguile--
    But he walked in the shadow of dark thoughts the while!
    With her martyred form forever graven on his memory,
    He became a scourge and terror from whom all men sought to flee,
    Tortured were his victims, but he smiled in mockery!

    Such the change, and such the monarch whose reft hand made discord ring
    Like a clarion through the country that had gladly hailed him king.
    Darkly, like the tempest, rode he on the avenger's wing!
    And when midnight drew her curtain round the land, that hour
    In her blood-stained chamber did he stand with fearful power,
    And renew the fatal vow to avenge his martyred flower!



A LEGEND OF CLARE.

THE TRICKS UPON TRICKS, AND THE TWISTS UPON TWISTS;

OR KHUR ENEIN KHUR, AGUS KHAOUN ENEIN KHAOUN.

BY J. GERAHTY M'TEAGUE.


CHAPTER I.

THE GUBBAUN SEARE.

One of my own dear countrymen, casting his eye on the above title, may
possibly recognize something in it familiar to him, especially should
he ever have resided on the classic shores of Galway or of Clare, our
own "Far West;" but to others who may chance to honor our legend with
a perusal, some few words of introduction are necessary to transport
them, "in their mind's eye," from the city of "brotherly love," to the
far distant and far different land of the O'Malleys, the
Macnamaras,[1] and the Blakes.

An Irishman is, in my humble opinion, rather unlike a prophet, for
this reason, he is in one sense only, to be honored in his own
country--transplant him; and though he may be unimpaired, perhaps, in
vigor of body; though he may make an excellent fabricator of
rail-roads and canals, yet it has always appeared to me he loses his
native _raciness_, except under very peculiar circumstances; he grows
_different_; in a word, he gradually becomes--_like the rest of the
world_!

[Footnote 1: Let me assure my readers that this word is pronounced
Macnam_ah_ra.]

Is it the absence of the unique fragrancy of his native turf smoke,
which at home he so freely inhaled, or is it the substitution of beef
and pudding for his former scanty meals of the never-failing root of
plenty? Let us leave these _vexatæ questiones_ to those whom they may
concern, but on one point let us give our decided opinion. Our readers
may say, "O, now you all are changed! since your Father Mathew has
made five millions of you _teetotallers_, your country is not worth
the living in! No more doth the invigorating, all-inspiring, thrice
concentrated juice of the 'barley grain' push you forward to glorious
deeds of heroic daring--of skull-breaking, dancing, or of
story-telling; so that for all intents and purposes you have nothing
left worth chronicling--_you are getting like the rest of the world_!"
"Aisy a bit," say I, "the fiddle and the bagpipes have just the same
charms to 'put the capers in our heels' as in whisky's balmiest days;
and as for story-telling, _that_ we can do equally well over a good
cup of fine hot coffee. No, no; while the same fresh and _free_
breezes shall continue to be wafted across the Atlantic to us; while
we have our own green fields and wild, lofty mountains to behold,
Irishmen we shall be in all our better qualities; and though Father
Mathew may have been influential enough in cooling our heads, (we
admit,) yet our _hearts_ are as warm as ever!

Irish cabins, which you all have heard of, would not be such bad
concerns after all, and we should get

on very well indeed, if we were only a _leetle_ better treated. On all
hands it is admitted that we are pretty nearly able (and take my word
for it we are willing enough) to eat and to drink all that a bounteous
Providence causes to be brought forth from the most fruitful of soils;
in truth, a superficial observer might even be tempted to utter an
exclamation of surprise on being told that with a territory one
thousand square miles less than that of the state of Maine, and six
thousand less than that of Pennsylvania, ten millions of human beings
should be supported; but then consider, kind reader, when our beef,
and our butter, and our eggs, and even the little cabbages from our
gardens, must fly on the wings of steam to pay the rent, and that rent
flies away again, you know, to pay _whom_; (a slight glance at a
certain map will tell you that;) consider, I say, that we cannot
always be light-hearted, that a little sadness will sometimes creep
over us. Think how our poor countrymen must sometimes suffer, and let
ever our warmest sympathies be exerted when we hear of their
distresses.

But, "stop!" you say, "these are twists you're getting into, indeed.
What has this to do with your legend?" Well, then, reader, jump over
with me into a snug cabin, which is not so very unlike a log-cabin,
only built of stone or mud, (excuse me,) and sit down with me and a
collection of choice spirits, round a blazing turf fire, keeping it
warm, as we say, with the pipe and the "darlin' tibacky" taking their
accustomed rounds. I may as well introduce Jimmy Carmody to you--my
"Micky Free"--Tom Dillon, and a few others. So, now we are all
settled.

"What's this you're all discussing so learnedly, boys?"

"O, nothing very partic'lar, your honor, only we're just saying what
mighty quare owld ruins them is--them round towers. Did your honor
never see any of them? Sure there's one on Scattery Island, in the
Shannon, and one at Kilmacduagh, I believe, in this county."

"O, yes, Tom, I've seen those you mention, and a great many more, too;
and if any of you have ever been to Dublin by the canal, I'm sure you
must have seen the one at Clondalkin. There's one, too, you know, in
the county Wicklow, at the lake that Tommy Moore made the beautiful
song about:


    'By that lake, whose gloomy shore
     Skylark never warbled o'er.'"


"Why, now, yer honor's perfectially right!" said Jimmy, who just then
remembered some incidents in his former travels to Dublin about his
"little spot of a pratee garden, that was near being sowld at the Four
Courts for _non payment_. Quite right your honor is. Sure I wint down
to see where the blessed Saint Kevin done all his miracles--where he
turned the loaves into stones, and where he med the owld king's goose,
that he was so fond of, young again, and all that; but sure your honor
knows all about it; but after a while, the man that was there showed
me a little hole up over the lake in the _clift_ above, and 'look!'
says he, 'that's St. Kevin's bed,' says he. 'Why, then, now!' says I,
'up in _that_ little pigeon-hole!' says I. 'O! and did his blessed
reverince go up _there_ to bed?' says I. 'No! you fool!' says he, 'but
to avoid the darlin' young lady,' says he. 'And it's _there_ he threw
her down into the deep, cowld, dark lake,' says he. 'Would you like to
go up and lie down in his bed?' says he. 'Is it _me_,' says I, 'to do
it? Why my brain is like a spider's web wid lookin' at it,' says I.
But a young man that was used to crawling in them unchristian
places--them mines--went up; and I thought I could jump through a
key-hole, I felt so, to see him do it; and says I, when he came down,
'Young man, I pray, when you settle in life, you may have a handier
way of gettin' into bed than that, particularly if you're--'"

Here a burst of laughter, which it is not hard to elicit from such an
auditory, interrupted Jimmy, who is requested to tell "whether he ever
heard who built these round towers, or why they were built at all?"

"Why," remarks Jimmy, "_why_ they were built, no one can tell--they
don't look like any thing Christian; but the man that undoubtedly
built some of them was the Gubbaun Seare."

"Who was he, Jimmy?" asked all.

"Why, then, your honor, myself doesn't know much about the Gubbaun
Seare, only as the owld people tell us."

"Well, Jimmy, that don't make what the old people tell us of no
account; for with all our new improvements, (I had been explaining a
rail-road to them the evening before,) we are obliged to retain nearly
all their inventions also; so you may as well tell us what you know
about the Gubbaun Seare, for you may depend there must be some truth
and value in it."

"Why, then, that's true for your honor," said another; a sentence, by
the bye, which always greets you when you utter an opinion, correct or
incorrect.

"Well, then," said Jimmy, "in them owld times, I believe, when the
round towers was building, there was a mason--and if there was, he was
as fine a mason as ever lived, or ever will again--and, indeed, your
honor, you know the round towers would prove that, if he built
them--for where is the mason-work that's equal to what's on them? That
one at Glendalough is a fine one, to be sure--and there's many finer
than that. Well, he lived in a fine cottage, somewhere in Munster, and
I don't know exactly where.

"He had been married, and had an only son--and proud was he of him,
you may depend. Well, it was given up to the Gubbaun, that he was not
only the best mason in all the world, but along with that, sir, he was
the cutest man known, and the greatest hand at all kinds of plans and
contrivances. He was able for every one, and any one; and nobody ever
had to boast that they had gained the least advantage over _him_."

"I suppose, Tom, that with all this wisdom of the father, the son must
have been as wise as he was himself, or may be wiser?"

"Why, to be sure, so one would imagine; but it was far from him to be
as _good_ a boy as the father--and that the father knew right well,
for he was always trying to make him sensible of the scaming; but the
son was always too honest, and that vext the father.

"However, he said nothing until the son grew up a dashin' fine young
man; and if he wasn't the best av scamers, he was nearly as good a
mason as the father himself, and was quiet and _honest_, only a
terrible simpleton, and what the English gentleman that used to come
to see your honor called _spooney_; though what a man had to do with a
spoon, myself doesn't see. But the father racked his brains constantly
to find out some way to make him knowin'; and at last he came to be
determined in his mind that nothing would do the son so much good, or
put sinse so well into his head as a fine, clever, smart young woman
av a wife, if he could meet one to his mind; and, your honor, though I
never tried it myself, I have no doubt an excellent plan it is. Well,
sir, after he once hit on a plan, sorra long he was in puttin' it into
execution. One morning he got up very early, and called his son into
the field. 'Now, Boofun,' (that was the young man's name,) 'now,
Boofun,' says he, 'run an' catch the sheep beyant there--that big
white one, with the fine fleece, and bring her to me quick!' So Boofun
did; an' if he did, the Gubbaun pulled out his big knife, and kill'd
her; an' by the same token the summer was comin' on, and the fleece
was fine, and long, and silky."

"What did he do that for, Jimmy?"

"Wait a bit, your honor. When the Gubbaun had her skinned, he embraced
his son, (that's _hugged_ him, boys, d' ye mind,) an' spoke to him as
this:

"'Now, Boofun, avick, (my son,) and it's you _was_ ever the good boy
of a son to me, only I never could make you understand the coorse of
the world's doin's as well as I could wish; but never heed! you'll
improve yet--so take courage and do as I desire you; but mind, if you
don't, never call the Gubbaun Seare your father more, the longest day
you have to live! Do you see that skin?' 'I do, father--I see it,'
says he, innocent as a child. 'Well, Boofun, you must take to the road
now at once, and you must walk on, and never stop till you get some
one that will buy this skin, and pay you for it, and then give you
your skin back again into the bargain.'

"'O! O! father!' says the other, 'I'm a fool myself, I know, and yet
I'm sure I wouldn't do sich a simple thing as _that_,' says he, 'and I
think, indeed, father, you must be a fool _yourself_ to think so,'
says he. 'Howld your tongue, an' be off, you natral!' says the father;
'what do _you_ know about it! Be off at wanst; and here, take this!
here's cost enough for the road,' says he, 'and be sure an' remember
what I towld you,' says he.

"So poor Boofun, sir, wint off; and sorrowful he was to lave his
father, and his business, and his comfortable home, and to go away on
what he thought sich a wild-goose chase. It happened that it was
market-day at the next town, an' many a one overtook him, an' he
cryin'.

"'Well, Boofun,' they'd say, for they knew him, 'are you going to sell
that fine sheep's skin?' 'I am,' he'd say; 'but I know _you_ wont buy
it, for by the way I'm selling it, it would be a dear article for
you.' 'Why so, man? I'm in want of wool, an' very little would make me
buy the same _skin_, for it's fine _wool_.' 'Yes, but,' Boofun would
say, 'you must pay me for it, and then give it me back if you buy it!'
So he would be always laughed at, an' he was nearly dying av dishpair.

"However, on he traveled and walked; and many miles from home he came
to a beautiful lake, all surrounded with trees, very like that lake
where your honor and the captain, and the ladies used to go and fish,
and make peckthers, (pictures,) Inchiquin lake, sir; an' if he did,
there was as darlin' a young lady as could be seen, an' she standing
on the shore of the lake, and after finishing washin' some of the
finest fleeces of iligant wool. 'O!' said he to himself, 'if I could
only get this darlin' to buy _my_ fleece! But no one will ever do so
foolish a thing as that, an' I shall never sell it, nor get back
again!'

"However, Boofun took courage, and wint up to her. 'God bless your
work, alanna! 'tis yourself's not idle this morning! And what
beautiful wool! I've a fleece here myself, an' I thought it good, but
yours bates it intirely! I would sell mine, too, but neither you nor
any one else will ever buy it! A voh! voh!'

"'Why, that _must_ be a curious fleece, if no one'll buy it. Sir,'
says she, 'what may be the price?'

"'O, for that,' says he, 'it's for little or nothing I'd sell it; but
what good would that do you, agrah, when I'm never to enter my
father's house again, nor call myself his son, until I bring him back
the skin and the price of it as well! However, it's no use talking to
you, at any rate, for _you'll_ have nothing to do with me.'

"'Why, how can you say so till I tell you?' says she.

"'O, my thousand blessings for that word,' says he, 'it makes my heart
rise like a cork to hear you!'

"'Well, what will you take for the skin?'

"'O, very little, then--only so much, (mentioning a small sum.)

"'Very good,' says she, 'I'll give you that much, and welcome;' and
whisper, 'are you the son of the Gubbaun Seare?'

"'I am; but how could you guess that?'

"'Because,' says she, 'no one could think of such a plan but his own
four bones, _and I think I see the meanin' of it, too_,' says she.
'Hand me the skin.' So Boofun did, sir; and she fell to work, and in a
very short time she had the wool stripped off. 'And here, now,' says
she, 'here is your _skin_ back for you, and _here_ is the price of
it,' says she, handing him the money; and tell the Gubbaun a very good
_buraun_ the skin'll make,' says she.

"'O, my million thanks to you,' says he; 'though I never should have
thought of this in thousands of years, yet you've settled it with one
word!'

"So, sir, after much more talk, away he ran, and never stopped till he
came home; and the Gubbaun had just returned from his work, and
findin' the house so lonesome, was almost repentin' he'd ever sent
Boofun away. Glad he was, though, when Boofun came in, and gave him a
great account of all he had done; but what was his joy when Boofun
drew forth the sheep's skin, and counted out the money. Well, after
some of the joy was over, the Gubbaun put on a very long, sarious
face, 'And now, Boofun,' says he, 'don't as you love me,' says he,
'deny any thing I ask,' says he, 'but tell me the truth. I know, you
needn't tell me, it was a woman that thought of the plan of skinning
the fleece, for no _man_ in Ireland would think of it but myself.'

"'Faix, then, so she said herself,' says Boofun.

"'Hah! well, I knew it was a _she_; but was she young or owld? for, by
my trowel and hammer!' says he, 'the owld ones are _sometimes_ as cute
as any!'

"O, then, she was young, and handsome, too, and rich beside,' says he.

"'O, never mind the riches,' says the Gubbaun, 'for half a grain of
sinse is worth a ton of it; but you're my darlin' son at last, and be
off at the first light of morning,' says he, 'and take the best horse
I have, and put on the best clothes you have, and bring her home--and
I'll engage she comes.'

"Long before the Gubbaun was up, Boofun started; and not many hours
was he on the road, when he met the very same young lady, an' she
goin' to market all by herself. Well, sir, they had a great
salutation, an' he coaxed her to take a sate on the horse. She wanted
to get off at the market, but it wouldn't do, sir; and he came to his
father's house airly in the evening.

"Well, you'd think, sir, the Gubbaun knew it all. Some said surely
that he could foretell. There was the house, all beautiful and nate,
and a most splendid intertainment on the table; there was a large
party of the Gubbaun's friends, and plenty of all that was good.

"And the Gubbaun was the boy that _could_ intertain them all. And,
sir, when all were in high good-humor, and herself laughing and jokin'
with Boofun, then he brought forward _the match_. To be sure, she was
very shy, and ashamed, the crayther, (all by herself, you may say,)
but you know, sir, even now, as we see every day, a match isn't long
comin' round, when the parties are willin' an' the _spaykers_ are
good. So it was now; she agreed to lave all for Boofun--and she did
well. To make my long story short, in a few days they were married;
and in the meantime they had got _her_ friends' consint. And a great
weddin' they had."

"Well, Tom, now we've got them well married, jump up for some turf!
don't you see the fire's a'most out?"

"O, then, that your honor may never want for a good fire, I pray."

"Yes, Jimmy, nor a _good warrant_, like yourself, to tell a good
story."

"To be sure, sir, it shortens the night, as we say, an' if Jimmy wont
be offended, for taking the story out av his mouth, I'll tell your
honor some more of the Gubbaun's doin's."


CHAPTER II.

"That's a good boy, Tom," said Jimmy, myself doesn't remember any more
about him."

"Well, then, sir, they were not very many weeks married, when the
Gubbaun wished to _try_ the wife still more, to see whether she was
knowin' enough for him, in order that she might be depended on
completely, if any thing should happen. So one day he towld the son to
get ready, and to come with him, for that he had heard of a fine job
of work. So they started; and when they had got about three miles on
the road, the Gubbaun turned sharp round, and asked Boofun the
distance to the next place.

"'Twenty miles, no less,' says Boofun.

"'Well,' says the Gubbaun, 'every inch of the road we have to go,'
says he, 'but it's too long by ten miles.'

"'Sure I can't help that,' says Boofun.

"'You _can_, sir!' says the Gubbaun, 'you can make it _ten_ miles, if
you like; and if you can't, go back, sir, and stay at home with your
wife, for you're not fit to travel with me,' says he.

"Boofun said 'he couldn't do it;' so he had to go back. And when he
came home, his wife ran out.

"'Well, what's brought you back? Any thing the matter?'

"'Every thing!' says poor Boofun. 'We hadn't got three miles before
the Gubbaun towld me to shorten the road one half; and sure, you know,
_all I could say_ wouldn't shorten it!'

"'I don't know that,' says she, 'may be not; but take my advice, run
back, and begin to tell him some story,' says she, 'no matter whether
it is true or not, but amuse him as well as you can; and if he isn't
satisfied, cut my head off when you come back,' says she. So, sir, he
never stopped until he overtook the Gubbaun; and the very minute he
began the story, he had confidence in Boofun's wife.

"Now, Tom, tell us--what reason could he have had for that? Couldn't
they and she both have taken care of themselves?"

"Howld on a while, and maybe you'll see, sir."

"They traveled on and on, a hundred miles, or maybe more, and at last
they came to a most splendid, iligant, noble palace, that the King of
Munster was building. Thousands of masons, and carpenters, and all
kinds of workmen, were in full operation at it--and the finest of work
they were doing. It was just dinner-time, as it happened, when the
Gubbaun and Boofun came, but they made no delay, but asked the steward
of the works, sir, for employment, an' they didn't let an they were
_any thing in particklar_, only just masons.

"'O!' says the steward, says he, 'there's plenty av employment for men
in your line,' says he, 'but wait till after dinner, and then I'll
talk to you,' says he.

"'Why, for that matter,' says the Gubbaun, 'it's a while ago we eat
our dinner,' says he, 'and if it's all the same to you, we'll be glad
if you'll set us some piece of work that we can be at till you come
back.' And just then, sir, the dinner-bell began to ring. 'Well,
gentleman,' says the steward, laughin' out loud, an' turnin' up his
nose, an' winkin' round to the rest of the men, since you are so
impatient, an' sich wonderful men, just sit down here, and take that
block of marble,' says he, 'and have a cat an' two tails made out of
it when I come back,' says he, runnin' into dinner.

"Well, sir, it was a fine block of stone, sure enough, and likely,
rale Kilkenny marble; but it was any thing like a Kilkenny cat they
med, for they never stopped until they had a splendid cat, wid two
noble tails carved out, and all this before the lazy steward and his
men came back from their dinner; and what was the most astonishin' to
all, the surprisin' fierce pair of whiskers that the Gubbaun was
puttin' out from the cat's nose when the steward came out! But who
should be along with him but the King of Munster himself; and when he
saw the cat, and the two tails, and the warlike pair of whiskers, he
was all but ready to split with the laughin', and when he got words at
last, he never stopped praisin' the Gubbaun.

"'But,' says the King of Munster, turning round to the unfortunate
steward, (that hadn't one word to say,) 'you scoundrel! your intention
was to make game of this honest man, and now he has done in one hour,
what you wouldn't do if you were to live as long as that cat would
last; and it's _he_, and not _you_, that has the best right to be
steward here,' says he. So the Gubbaun was appointed steward over all
the palace; and it was he that made all the ornaments, and all the
images and statues that was in the place intirely, he and Boofun; and
the King of Munster grew fonder and fonder of him every day.

"But, sir, in the course of time the king got curious notions into his
head, and the worst was, that at last he determined that his palace
should not only be the finest and grandest in all Ireland, but what
was worse for the Gubbaun, he resolved that as soon as all was
finished, he would put an end to the poor fellow's life, and
particularly because he had lately found out that the King of Leinster
had heard of his beautiful palace, and that he intended to send for
the Gubbaun and construct one still finer.

"But, sir, though the King of Munster was certainly determined to kill
the Gubbaun Seare, he found it very difficult to lay a plan to do
it--for he well knew who he had to deal with, and how hard it would be
to catch him. However, the king incraysed his wages, and made him very
well off, so that he mightn't suspect any thing; but, for fear he
should, he sent for the man who owned the house where the Gubbaun and
Boofun lived, privately, and made him great presents to keep the
saycret, and to lay hands on the Gubbaun if he suspected that he was
about to start away in any hurry. But, sir, as luck would have it,
this very man's daughter, who loved the Gubbaun and Boofun dearly,
happened to be behind the door, or in a closet, while the king was
giving these horrible directions to her father, and determined at once
to let them know the danger they were in."

"I wonder, Tom, the Gubbaun didn't suspect something?"

"O, then, most likely he did, and was well prepared, I dare say, (for
we all know, sir, how hard it is to trust these kings and great
people,) still the girl found it very hard to make the Gubbaun
sensible of his danger; and she knew there was always a strict guard
over him, and spies out, for fear he'd make his escape; though, the
palace not being finished yet, the king did not like to do the action
for a while.

"One day the Gubbaun and Boofun had been hard at work at some grand
temple, and they came back at night, mighty hungry. This very girl was
the cook, and she had a very fine lookin' pot of pratees on the fire
for dinner."

"Potatoes, Tom! No! Why they came from America, a thousand or more
years after this!"

"Why, then, now, did they, your honor? Well, I suppose it was
something as good; any how, we'll call them pratees."

"'Good evenin'!' says the Gubbaun; 'is supper ready?'

"'O, quite ready,' says she; 'but it's a poor one we have to-day, only
pratees and eggs,' says she; for you know, your honor, they didn't
live _then_ as we do _now_--they knew better than that.

"'Well, them same's good,' says he. 'Did you never hear the old
saying, When all _fruits_ fail, welkim _haws_!' for he'd always a
pleasant joke or saying in his mouth. 'But what's this?' says he;
'Why, how came so many raw ones among them?'

"'O,' says she, looking hard at him, 'if you _will_ stop _here_, you
must take things as they come, agreeable and disagreeable, for that's
the way they're going!'

"'By my trowel and hammer!' says the Gubbaun, to himself, 'if that's
the case, its full time to be goin' ourselves likewise;' and when they
were going to work, he told Boofun every word, for _he_ never
suspected. 'But never fear,' says he, 'we'll get out of this scrape,
if they did their worst and their best, and if they were seventeen
times wiser than they are, and if they had all the guards in his
kingdom to watch me; but howld _your_ tongue, and don't let on a word
of what I've said.'

"Next morning, when the king was up, and in his room, where he
transacted all his affairs, the Gubbaun came and sint up word that he
would be glad to see his majesty about something that was wanted for
the palace. Now the Gubbaun, sir, was always welcome; and it was only
because the king had _too good_ an opinion of him, that he was going
to kill him. When he was admitted, 'Well,' says the king, (mighty
grand,) 'is my palace finished, _or_ what do you want with _me_?' says
he.

"'Why, plaze your majesty's reverence,' says the Gubbaun, (for he was
a fine spoken man,) 'your majesty's palace is _not_ quite complately
turned out of my hands yet,' says he, 'nor I can't exactly call it
finished, nor let the people that's to come after me speak of the name
of the Gubbaun Seare along with it, unless one thing is done, that
_should_ be done, if your majesty raylly wishes it to be _perfect_.'

"'Well, spake your wishes, _and then, if I plaze_, they shall be
attinded to,' says the king.

"'Well, then, plaze your majesty, there is an instrument, and without
it, your statues, and your images and pillars can't be polished nor
complayted unless I get it, and that instrument is at home with me,'
says he.

"'What may be the name of it?' says the king.

"'Why, we call it,' said the Gubbaun, (of course they spoke in Irish,)
'_Khur enein khur, agus khaoun enein khaoun!_' (and that, your honor,
manes, the tricks upon tricks, and the twists upon twists;) 'no one in
Ireland owns such an instrument but myself, or at any rate not half
such a good one; and if your majesty plazes, I'll go home and get it.'

"'No,' says the king, '_you must never laive me_; when I've this
palace built, I'll build another, and I'll want you; if I let you go
now, may be you'd meet something better, though _that_ you could
hardly do, I believe; but may be you'd die on the road, and I'd never
see you again. _No_,' says he, 'you must _never_ laive me!'

"'Do you think so?' says the Gubbaun to himself. 'By my trowel and
hammer, though, I think you're considerably wrong! Why, indeed, your
majesty,' answered the Gubbaun, 'tis yourself that was ever and always
the good friend to me and my son; and, indeed, so happy am I here,
long life and good luck to your majesty!' says he, 'and may you
incrayse, and long reign,' says he, 'that I would certainly never wish
to part from you, and I'd be satisfied to build palaces for you all my
life; may be, then, in that case, your majesty would be graciously
plazed to allow my son, Boofun, to set out and get the khur enein
khur, agus khaoun enein khaoun?'

"'_No!_' says the king, says he, 'I'm nearly as fond and as proud of
Boofun as yourself; and it's my orders to double his wages, and to
double your own from this minute.'

"'Well, very well, your majesty, let it be so, then. I would tell no
common fellow here where it is, he'd just break it on the road; and if
I'm not, nor Boofun, to go for this instrument, things must stop as
they are, and the palace will remain unfinished to the end of the
world.'

"The king considered for some time; at last, 'Gubbaun Seare,' says he,
'I _must_ have my palace finished, and yet I _must_ have your
instrument; now my son, the prince, has nothing on earth to do--and
will you be satisfied if I send him? I will be your security that he
takes the greatest care of it.'

"'Well, your majesty, your will must be law. O! O! my poor instrument,
if any thing should happen you!'

"So, sir, the prince was ordered up, and the Gubbaun gave him all
kinds of directions how to carry it, and towld him where he'd get it,
'in the big chest, over the chimney-piece.'

"The next day the prince set out, and took but one companion with him;
and who should that be but his younger brother, a young lad that
wished for some divarsion--and the two only thought it a pleasant
ride.

"In a few days they reached the Gubbaun's cottage, and when Boofun's
wife saw them coming, she was sure something was wrong. Some of her
people were in the house, but she bundled them out; 'Be ready,
though,' says she, 'for fear I'd want you, but leave those lads to
me.' So they came in, and the prince saluted her most kindly, towld
her who he was, and begged lave to put up his horse. Then she asked
him 'how her husband and the Gubbaun were?' But he gave her a full
account of all I've told you, as far as he knew. 'But, ma'am,' says
the prince, very gracious intirely, 'there is an instrument that the
Gubbaun can't do without, that he wants to polish the stones,' says
he, 'and my father's so fond of them both,' says he, 'that he wouldn't
let him or Boofun home,' says he, 'and the Gubbaun wouldn't let any
common fellow come, for fear he'd break it, and so I'm sent to ask you
for it.'

"'And plaze your highness,' says she, 'what may be the name of this
instrument? for he left so many afther him here, in that terrible big
chest over the chimney-piece, that raylly I don't know which it could
be.'

"'Ah! sure enough,' he said, 'it was in the big chest,' says the
prince, 'and the name of it is--let me see, I dare say you know it
ma'am--the khur enein khur, agus khaoun enein khaoun.'

"'O, yes, your highness!' says she, 'I know the twists upon twists,
and tricks upon tricks very well, and a very fine, useful kind of
instrument it is, as you'll soon see. I don't know whether I'll be
able to get it out av the chist or not, but if I'm not able, you can
do it aisy, for you're a fine, tall young man, and may you live long!'
says she. So she got up on a chair and tried, and all she could reach
was the lid av the chest. Then she put another chair on that one, and
tried again, but she could only get her hand a little way in, and,
says she, 'O, the lid's mighty heavy! but do you try, and I'm sure
you'll bring it, for I can just reach it; I can almost feel it.' So
the prince fell to laughin', and mounted on the chairs in no time, and
opened the big lid av the chest, and looked in, while she gave the sly
wink to one of her brothers.

"'O!' says the prince, 'but it's very deep! I can't see the bottom av
it yet, it's so dark,' says he; 'get a candle.'

"'O, no!' says she, 'creep down, your highness; the instrument is
quite at the bottom, I'm sure,' says she. 'Now,' says she to her
brother, 'when I say _you're very near it_, catch a howlt av his legs,
and bundle him into the chest.' Now the prince's brother all this time
was ayten some bread and milk, and never suspected a ha'porth.

"'O, ma'am,' says the prince, 'I _can't_ reach it,' says he, bendin'
over, and balancin' his body on the edge av the chist, 'is it here at
all?' says he.

"'O, you're very near it now!' says she. And, sir, in a minute they
had him doubled up an' pitched into the chest, and caught a howlt of
the young brother and tied him neck and heels.

"'Ha! ha! what your highness asked for, you got,' says she. 'In all
your life now, did you ever see a finer trick or a nicer twist? Faix!
I think it was a rale trick upon trick, and a twist upon twist! Your
brother may go back now, as quick as he likes, and tell his father
that as soon as the Gubbaun is done polishin' the statues, we'll be
very glad to see him back, and Boofun too, and we'll take iligant care
of yourself until he comes; it was a good messenger he found to go for
the khur enein khur, agus khaoun enein khaoun. That's a fine fellow,'
says she, (to the young chap,) 'pelt away home, and when we see the
Gubbaun and Boofun in view of this house, we'll release your brother;
but mind me! if they are not in this house within one week from this
day, your father will never see the prince again!'

"So he rode home, tearin' over the roads like mad, and as soon as he
was gone, sir, she had the prince taken out av the chest, (for he was
a'most smothered,) and took him up the mountains in hide, and fed him
well, and took care av him.

"But O! your honor, how can I tell you how mad the king was, when he
saw the _hare_ that the Gubbaun had made av him, and how he wouldn't
spake a word all day, but cursin'. However, next mornin' he considered
that after all it was useless to fret, and that no time must be lost,
or he'd lose the prince.

"So he put a good face on the business, and called the Gubbaun and
Boofun to him, but took great care to explain to the Gubbaun how he
didn't mean to harm him, and all that, and they say that kings and
sich like people were always tolerable good hands at the _blarney_.
And he paid them all their full amount of wages, and made them
presents, and sent to the stables, and had two of the most splindid
hunters that could be found saddled and bridled, and gave them to
them.

"Well! they set out, and weren't long till they got home, and glad and
thankful they were for their great escape; and to be sure Boofun's
wife was proud indeed to see them, and she went and had the prince
brought down, and the Gubbaun invited all his friends, and a great
intertainment was prepared in honor of his return, and in honor of the
prince.

"In the evening, or rather the morning of the next day, the prince
asked leave to take his departure, but the Gubbaun wouldn't let him go
till he had written a letter to the king, and I think this was the
letter:--

"'_May it plaze your majesty_--I returned here quite safe, but I can't
let his highness the prince off without returnin' you many thousand
thanks for all you have done for me. You have made a family
comfortable and happy for life, and, by my trowel and hammer, I will
forever pray for your majesty's reverence! However, plaze your
majesty, _the instrument I have safe here_, which the prince wasn't
able to _make out_; and in all my expayrience I never yet met with one
that answered my purpose better than the Khur enein khur, agus khaoun
enein khaoun.

                                                  THE GUBBAUN SEARE.'"



EDITH MAURICE.

BY T. S. ARTHUR.

[SEE ENGRAVING.]


How many beautiful, lovely-minded women do we meet in society, who are
united, by marriage contract, with men whose tastes, habits and
characters, cannot but be in every way uncongenial. And on the other
hand, how often do we see the finest specimens of men unequally joined
to women who seem to have no true appreciation of what is really
excellent in morals or social life. The reason for such inequality is
very apparent to all who observe with any intelligence. The affinities
which govern among those who enter life's dazzling arena, are, in most
cases, external instead of internal. Accomplishment, personal
appearance, and family connections, are more considered than qualities
of the heart. Beauty, wit, station and wealth, are the standards of
value, while real merit is not thought of or fondly believed to exist
as a natural internal correspondent of the external attractions so
pleasant to behold. In this false and superficial mode of estimating
character lies the bane of domestic happiness. Deceived by the merest
externals, young persons come together and enter into the holiest
relation of life, to discover, alas! in a few years, that there exists
no congeniality of taste, no mutual appreciation of what is excellent
and desirable in life, and, worse than all, no mutual affection, based
upon clearly seen qualities of the mind. Unhappiness always follows
this sad discovery, and were it not for the love of children, which
has come in to save them, hundreds and thousands, who, in the eyes of
the world, appear to live happily together, would be driven angrily
asunder.

Aunt Esther, whose own experience in life, confirmed by much
observation, made the evil here indicated as clear as noonday to her
perceptions, saw the error of her beautiful niece, Edith, in courting
rather than shunning observation while in society.

"You wrong yourself, dear," she would often say, "by this over
carefulness about external appearance. You attract those who see but
little below the surface, while the really excellent and truly
intelligent avoid instead of seeking your society."

"Would you have me careless about my appearance, aunt?" Edith would
sometimes say, in reply to these suggestions.

"By no means," Aunt Esther would reply. "A just regard to what is
appropriate in externals marks the woman of true taste and right
feelings. But you go beyond this."

"Then I violate the principles of taste in dressing."

"I will not say that you do very broadly. Most persons would affirm
that you display a fine taste, and in using the word display would
express my objection. I think a woman infringes good taste when she
so arrays herself as to attract attention to her dress."

"As I do?"

"Yes, Edith, as you do. If you disguise from yourself the fact that
you both love and seek admiration for personal appearance, you do not
do so from others--at least not from me."

Aunt Esther did not wrong her niece by this judgment. It was Edith's
weakness to love admiration; and what we love we naturally seek.
Without actually infringing the laws of taste and harmony, she yet
managed to dress in a style that always attracted the eye, and set off
her really fine person in the most imposing manner. The consequence
was that she had many admirers, some of whom were elegant and
attractive young men. But none of these were drawn to the side of
Edith from a love of her moral beauty. It was the beauty of her
person, the fascination of her manners, and the sparkle of her wit,
that made her an object of admiration.

Edith had a friend whom she dearly loved; a sweet, gentle,
true-hearted girl, named Mary Graham. Those who were dazzled by an
imposing appearance, passed Mary with indifference; but the few who
could perceive the violet's odor by the way-side, as they moved along
through life, sought her company, and found, in the heart of a loving
woman, more of beauty and delight than she ever gives as a creature of
show and admiration.

Different as they were, in many respects, Edith and Mary were alike in
the possession of deep affections. Both loved what was pure and good;
but, while one had an instinctive power of looking beneath the
glittering surface, the other was easily deceived by appearances.
While one shrunk from observation, the other courted attentions. The
consequence was, that Edith had hosts of admirers, while only the
discriminating few lingered near the retiring Mary. The one was
admired for what she appeared to be, the other was loved for what she
was.

Two young men, entirely dissimilar in character, yet thrown together
as friends, by circumstances, met one evening, when one of them, whose
name was Ashton, said to the other,

"Erskine! I met a glorious creature last night--a perfect Hebe!"

"Ah! Who is she?"

"Her name is Edith Maurice."

"She's a showy girl, certainly."


[Illustration: W. Drummond
J. Addison
EDITH MAURICE.
Engraved Expressly for Graham's Magazine.]


"Showy! She's a magnificent woman, Erskine. And so you've met her?"

"A few times."

"Were you not enchanted?"

"No. Your glorious creatures never turn my brain."

"You're an anchorite."

"Far from it. I delight in all things lovely; and, above all, in the
presence of a lovely woman."

"A lovelier woman than Edith Maurice _I_ have not seen for a
twelvemonth."

"Though I have."

"You have, indeed!"

"I think so. She has a friend, named Mary Graham, whom _I_ think far
more interesting."

"Pray introduce me."

"I will, when opportunity offers."

Not long afterward an introduction took place, and Ashton spent a
short time in the company of Mary Graham.

"That's your lovely woman," said the young man to his friend, in a
tone of contempt, when they next met.

"To me she is exceedingly interesting," returned Erskine.

"Interesting! A duller piece of human ware it has not been my fortune
to meet for these dozen years. I should say she has no soul."

"There you are mistaken. She is all soul."

"All soul! If you want to see a woman all soul, look at Edith
Maurice."

"All body, you mean," replied Erskine, smiling.

"What do you mean by that?" inquired Ashton.

"All external. It is rather the beauty of person than the beauty of
soul that you see in Edith; but, in Mary, every tone and motion but
expresses some modification of the true beauty that lies within. Edith
bursts upon you like a meteor; but Mary comes forth as Hesperus,
scarcely seen at first, but shining with a purer and brighter light
the more intently you gaze upon her."

"Not a meteor, my dear fellow," replied Ashton. "I repudiate that
comparison. Edith is another Sirius, flashing on the eyes with an
ever-varying, yet strong and beautiful light. As for your evening
stars, with their unimpassioned way of shining--their steady,
planet-like, orderly fashion of sending forth their rays--I never had
any fancy for them."

"Every one to his taste," said Erskine. "As for me, I like true
beauty--the beauty of the mind and heart."

"Oh, as for that," returned Ashton, lightly, "let people go in for
hearts who understand such matters. I don't profess to know much about
them. But I can appreciate, ay, and love a magnificent woman like
Edith Maurice. You can have Mary Graham, and welcome; _I_ will never
cross your path."

From this time Ashton became the undisguised admirer of Edith. The
young man was handsome, well educated, and had a winning address; yet,
for all this, there was something about him from which the pure-minded
girl at first shrunk. Erskine she sometimes met; and whenever she
happened to be thrown into his company, she was charmed with his
manners, and interested in his conversation. Unobtrusive as he was,
she admired him more than any man she had yet seen. But the showy
exterior of Edith hid from the eyes of Erskine her real worth. He
looked upon her as vain, fond of admiration, and of course, as
possessing little heart--and turned from her to find a congenial
spirit in her friend Mary. Had Erskine sought to win the favor of
Edith, a man like Ashton would have proved no rival. But Erskine
evinced no disposition to show her any thing more than ordinary polite
attentions, and with an inward sigh, she suffered the heart which
shrunk at first with instinctive repugnance, to turn with its
affections toward Ashton.

Vain with the thought of having so imposing and beautiful a woman as
Edith for a wife, Ashton did not stop to inquire whether there was a
relative fitness for mutual happiness, but pressed his suit with
ardor, and won her consent before the half-bewildered girl had time
for reflection. Friends, who understood the character of the young
man, interposed their influence to save Edith from a connection that
promised little for the future; but their interposition came too late.
She was betrothed, and neither could nor would listen to a word
against the man with whom she had chosen to cast her lot in life.

A brilliant and beautiful girl, Edith was led to the altar by one,
who, as a man, was her equal in external attractions; but he was far
from possessing her pure, true, loving heart. It did not take many
months to lift the veil that had fallen before the eyes of Edith.
Gradually the quality of her husband's mind began to manifest
itself--and sad, indeed, was her spirit, at times, when these
manifestations were more distinct than usual.

The experience of a single year was painful in the extreme. The young
wife not only found herself neglected, but treated with what she felt
to be direct unkindness. She had discovered that her husband was
selfish; and though, to the world, he showed a polished exterior, she
had found him wanting in the finer feelings she had fondly believed
him to possess. Moreover, he was a mere sensualist, than which nothing
is more revolting to a pure-minded woman. External attractions had
brought them together, but these had failed to unite them as one.

No wonder that, in such a marriage, a few years robbed the cheeks of
Edith of their roundness and bloom, and her eyes of their beautiful
light. Those who met her, no longer remarked upon her loveliness, but
rather spoke of the great change so short a period had wrought. A
certain respect for himself caused Ashton to assume the appearance of
kindness toward his wife, when any one was present; but at other times
he manifested the utmost indifference. They had three children, and
love for these held them in a state of mutual toleration and
forbearance.

Ill health was the understood reason for the change in Edith's manner
and appearance. Few, if any, knew the real cause. Few imagined that
the fountain of her affections had become sealed, or only poured forth
its waters to sink in an arid soil. In society she made an effort to
be companionable and cheerful for the sake of others; and at home,
with her children, she strove to be the same. But, oh! what a weary,
hopeless life she led; and but for the love of her little ones, she
would have died.

Mary Graham was united to Mr. Erskine, shortly after the union of
Edith with Mr. Ashton--and it was a true marriage. A just appreciation
of internal qualities had drawn them together, and these proved, as
they ever do, permanent bonds.

Mary and Edith had retained a tender regard for each other, and met
frequently. But in all their intercourse, with true womanly delicacy,
Edith avoided all allusion to her own unhappy state, although there
were times when her heart longed to unburden itself to one so truly a
sympathizing friend.

One evening--it was ten years from the time of Edith's marriage--her
husband came home in his usual cold and indifferent way; and while
they sat at the tea-table, something that she said excited his anger,
and he replied in most harsh and cutting words. This was no unusual
thing. But it so happened that Edith's feelings were less under her
control than usual, and she answered the unkindness with a gush of
tears. This only tended to irritate her unfeeling husband, who said,
in a sneering tone,

"A woman's tears don't lie very deep. But it's lost time to use them
on me. I'll go where I can meet cheerful faces."

And then rising from the table, he put on his hat and left the house
to spend his evening, as usual, in more congenial society.

Edith dried her tears as best she could, and going to her chamber,
sought, by an effort of reason, to calm her agitated feelings. But
such an effort for a woman, under such circumstances, must, as in this
case, ever be fruitless. Calmness of spirit only comes after a more
passionate overflow of grief. When this had subsided, Edith remembered
that she had promised Mrs. Erskine, who lived only two or three doors
away, to come in and spend the evening. Had she consulted her feelings
now, she would have remained at home, but as she would be expected,
she rallied her spirits as much as was in her power, and then went in
to join her friend.

How different was the home of Mary to that of Edith. Mutual love
reigned there. The very atmosphere was redolent of domestic bliss. Mr.
Erskine was away when Edith joined Mary, and they sat and talked
together for an hour before he returned. A short time before Edith
intended going home, he came in, with his ever cheerful face, and
after greeting her cordially, turned to his wife, and spoke in a voice
so full of tenderness and affection, that Edith felt her heart flutter
and the tears steal unbidden to her eyes. It was so different from the
way her husband spoke. The contrast caused her to feel more deeply, if
possible, than ever, her own sad, heart-wrung lot.

Rising suddenly, for she felt that she was losing the control of her
feelings, Edith excused herself, and hastily retired. Mary saw that
something had affected her friend, and, with a look, made her husband
comprehend the fact also. He remained in the drawing-room, while Mary
passed with Edith into the hall, where they paused for a moment,
looking into each other's faces. Neither said a word, but Edith laid
her face down upon the bosom of her friend, and sobbed passionately.

"What is it that pains you, Edith?" Mary asked, in a low, tender
voice, as soon as her friend had wept herself into calmness.

Edith raised her face, now pale and composed, and pushing back with
her hand a stray ringlet that had fallen over her cheek, said, with a
forced but sad smile,

"Forgive my weakness, dear--I could not help it. A full heart will at
times run over. But, good-night--good-night!"

And Edith hurried away.

A few years more and the history of a hopeless, weary life was closed.
Is the moral of this history hard to read? No; all may comprehend it.



STANZAS.


    Vain our hopes with pleasure glowing,
      False the light ambition burns,
    Swift the tide of time is flowing,
      And the dial quickly turns.

    Mark the flowers how they wither,
      As the north winds pass them by,
    And the sparrow passing thither
      At the falcon's luring cry:

    So our movements straight are bearing
      Courses to the silent grave,
    All alike its terrors sharing,
      E'en the monarch and the slave.

    From its verge there's no retreating,
      Wayward, helpless masses throng;
    Nature's wheels are still repeating
      Revolutions swift and strong.

    Onward with the current rushing
      Atoms and their kindred blend;
    Worlds to dust in fragments crushing,
      As they proximate the end.

    Thus all things, in perfect keeping,
      Point direct to that dread day
    When the trump shall wake the sleeping,
      And this orb shall fade away:

    When the planets wildly rolling,
      As by Heaven's fierce lightnings hurled,
    Thunders deep, like curfew's tolling
      Requiems of the dying world:

    Then shall join, in quick succession,
      Stars, celestial bodies, all,
    Form the trembling, vast procession
      At their Maker's final call.   S. S. HORNOR.



A DAY OR TWO IN THE OLDEN TIME.

BY A NEW CONTRIBUTOR.

      [It is related of Justin Martyr that, while a young
      man, walking upon a certain occasion on the seashore
      near Alexandria, and meditating doubtfully on the
      immortality of the soul, he met a stranger of
      venerable appearance, who accosted him, and
      discovering the subject of his thoughts, revealed to
      him the doctrines of the Gospel on that subject.
      Justin shortly after embraced Christianity--became one
      of the brightest ornaments of the church--and suffered
      martyrdom at Rome, at a very advanced age. From this
      text the following sketch was produced, which may be
      considered rather as a fanciful outline of what might
      have befallen any Christian in the days of Rome's
      fierce domination, than as faithfully following the
      history of any real personage.]


CHAPTER I.

The sun was setting over the wide waste of sand which surrounded the
ancient city of the great Alexander. The sultry heat of a summer day
was beginning to give place to a refreshing coolness. All was calm and
still--the bustle of the mighty city, faintly heard in the distance,
seemed to enhance the quiet of the solitary shore upon which walked
one alone and in deep thought. He was a man in his youthful prime, but
clad in the grave robes of one devoted to the study of philosophy, and
his face was marked with the lines of much thought and study.
Sometimes he moved slowly on, his eyes fixed on the sand which the
retiring tide had left a firm and even footing. Anon he paused to look
at the play of the little waves, as they came murmuring in, and curled
their light foam over the last traces of his footsteps. Far as the eye
could reach, the blue waters of the Mediterranean spread themselves,
scarcely agitated by the faint breeze, and reflecting, in a long line
of undulating light, the glory of the setting sun. As the bright
luminary sunk, the eye of the wanderer rested on it, and a shade of
deep melancholy gathered over his face.

"Another day thou hast fulfilled thy task, O sun! and done thy Makers
bidding--again thou hidest thyself in the ocean's bosom, to arise
to-morrow with renewed splendor. Thou art no enigma, to give the lie
to all the conclusions of philosophy. Clear as thy light is the
purpose for which thou wast hung on high; steady as thy Maker's will
is thy bright obedience. _Thou_ fulfillest thy destiny--but man,
man--I and such as I--alas! we but resemble these useless waves which
foam out their little moment and vanish on the barren sand. Alas!
shall it never be that we shall find a solution of the mystery of our
being? How aimless, how useless, appears our existence. Confined to
this narrow stage, how vain are our mighty energies, our inexhaustible
wishes, our infinite hopes. Where now," he exclaimed, as turning to
retrace his steps, his eye was caught by the towers and temples of the
distant city, lit by the sun with transitory splendor, "where now is
the mighty hero who founded yonder city? He is gone forever from the
stage of being, as little regarded or remembered as the dust which the
hurrying crowd tramples in its streets. O for some certainty, some
assurance that this life is not _all_; that hereafter permitted to
awake from the sleep of death, man shall yet fill a part worthy of
his mighty spirit, shall yet find in infinite perfection an object on
which to expend those treasures of thought and feeling which corrode
hidden here in his heart, or are wasted on idols as vain as yonder
vapor which rises from the sea."

Absorbed in mediation, he had not perceived until now that another was
approaching, walking at a slow pace along the margin of the sea. As
the stranger came nearer, the young philosopher could not avoid
observing him with interest. He was apparently very aged. Long locks
of white hair streamed on his shoulders and mingled with the hair of a
beard equally as white. His robe was arranged with careful soberness,
and in his hand he carried a staff, though his erect and firm figure
did not seem to need its support. In his clear, bright eye, his ruddy
cheek and benign expression, appeared intelligence, health and
goodness, all the beauty of a green old age, all the charm of the
fully ripened autumn of life. As they drew nearer each other, the
stranger looked earnestly on the young philosopher, who regarded him
with increasing interest.

"Dost thou know me, my son," said the old man, at length, "that thou
lookest on me so earnestly?"

The young man bowed reverently as he answered.

"No, father; but I wondered to see one like thee here at such an
hour."

"I am here," replied the stranger, "to meet one who promised to be
with me at this place. But what, my son, brings thee to this lonely
spot, when yonder busy city is thronged with whatsoever can minister
to pleasure or the thirst of knowledge?"

"It is therefore I am here; for it is when alone with the great Author
of Nature, among his works, that we can best seek that highest wisdom
which is learned only by meditating on His nature and the end of our
being. The fountains of divine philosophy may be found even here in
the cold sea-sand."

"Alas! my son, and if they be, of what avail shalt thou find them? The
sand upon which the showers descend vainly for centuries, is not more
barren nor more unstable than that philosophy of which thou makest thy
boast."

"I boast not--I am but a seeker after Truth."

"Ay, so say all you philosophers; but what profit shalt thou have of
that truth which cannot be practiced in life, nor console thee at
death?"

"My father, it was but now that I lamented to myself my own useless
and aimless existence, and the vanity of those speculations wherewith
we strive in vain to pierce the mystery of our being. There are
moments when that foundation of reason on which I build my hopes of
eternal life seems to shift beneath my feet, as unstable as this sand;
when life and its purposes, death and its consequences, seem to me a
mystery more unfathomable than yonder sea. What assurance have I that
my existence will not terminate like that of the beasts which perish?
What certainty that, with my mortal frame, this spirit which I feel
within me shall not also die and disappear forever? It is true, there
are many probabilities that the soul is immortal, nature and reason
seem alike to teach that it is so, but still I have no assurance,
still that mighty hope at times seems vain, often it is eclipsed
entirely, and my soul is shrouded in darkness."

"My son, what wouldst thou give to one who could give thee an
assurance, a positive certainty, that thy hopes of immortality are not
vain?"

"Did there exist one able to give me that assurance I would deem the
devotion of my whole life a poor return for so vast a blessing. But
thou mockest me with so vain a hope. No created being is able to give
me such assurance, or is worthy of belief did he promise it. No--the
great Maker of my spirit alone can reveal to me if it be immortal; but
where shall I seek him to ask for that revelation? He is to be found
only in his own works, and I can but go back to that school, and
strive by meditation on Him to strengthen my spirit in the only faith
which gives any value to life."

The stranger regarded the young man with a long and wistful gaze.

"Wouldst thou believe me, my son, were I to tell thee that I possess
that assurance? that I am as firmly convinced of my existence after
death, as I am that I am now a living, breathing man? that I feel an
absolute certainty that you and I will meet, immortal spirits, before
the throne of God, who is the Judge of all men?"

The young philosopher smiled mournfully, regarding the aged man with a
look of affectionate pity.

"Thou thinkest now that this is delusion, but it is a truth, a hope
full of immortality. Listen, my son; has God left himself without a
witness of his own existence? Is it not written on the heavens and on
the earth in characters as clear as the light that he is, and that his
hand hath made all these things? Behold the sun which performs his
daily task so perfectly, the stars which write all over the heavens
the story of God's glory. Go forth into the field and behold his work.
See him preparing the bright cloud, which the winds gently upheave,
from whose bosom drops the softening shower--how richly the grass
springs in the valley--how the golden grain steals splendor from the
sunbeam which has smiled on it so long--how his hand is ever at work
providing for the wants of his creatures, and ever reminding men by
this silent ministry that he is the Author and Giver of every good and
perfect gift. If God hath so clearly revealed the great truth of his
own existence, is it not reasonable to suppose that he hath in like
manner revealed to man that truth concerning his own destiny which it
is most important for him to know?"

"That it is, indeed," replied the young philosopher, "on which we
build our hopes. It is reasonable, and it may be hoped that God will
yet make such a revelation--but, alas! it is only a hope."

"My son, my son, it is no longer a faint, uncertain hope, it is a
matter of perfect certainty, and if thou wilt abide by my words thou
wilt find it so, and it shall give thee, after a season, a peace past
all understanding. If thou wilt but submit thyself to God's teaching
thou shalt no longer grope as the blind at noonday, but a light above
the brightness of the heavens shall shine into thy soul."

The young man bowed his head, and crossed his arms upon his breast, as
he sadly replied, "God's teaching--but where, O, my father, may it be
found, save where I have vainly sought--among his works?"

The old man, without reply, drew a manuscript from his bosom, and
laying his hand on the arm of the other they walked forward together
over the smooth sand, while he read aloud high and burning words,
which the ear of his companion drank eagerly in. Upon that silent
shore, in the still evening air, arose that clear voice, uttering to
the astonished sense of the young heathen philosopher the argument of
Paul the Apostle, in which he persuades the Corinthians of the
resurrection of the dead. He read on and the other listened as one in
a dream, and the sun had gone down over the wide sea and outspread
sands where they walked alone, and one silver star came forth in the
west, the lovely Vesper, and looked at its image in the quiet wave, as
the old man read, with tears which would not be restrained, the mighty
conclusion, "O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy
victory?"


CHAPTER II.

Behold another scene in the shifting panorama of a life. In a poor and
humble chamber, on a mean couch, lay one dying. It is evening, and he
is alone. Fearfully sounds the gasping breath and the low moan,
terrible is the look cast upward in anguish. The hurrying tread of the
busy multitude is heard without, the sound of music and merry voices,
and trampling of steeds and rattling of wheels, and still he lies
there alone. He is aged and poor, and his kindred have forsaken him,
for the heathen creed taught nothing better than the leaving such as
he to struggle alone with the last enemy. The light of evening waxes
fainter and fainter, and now a step is heard on the threshold, and a
form enters, dimly seen in the fading twilight. It is the same we
beheld on the seashore hearkening to the words of eternal life. The
seed there sown germinated soon under the culture of that faithful
teacher. In that heart it found a good soil, and it sprung up, and
bore fruits manifold of faith and temperance and heavenly wisdom. That
divine word taught him to seek his suffering fellow mortals and
minister to their necessities. This was not his first visit to this
poor dying man, and he was welcomed even now with joy and gratitude.
How gently did he smooth the pillow, how tenderly support the sinking
frame, how kindly bathe the brow and wet the parched lips. Philosophy
had not taught him this. O, no! occupied in high meditation, she swept
past the couch of suffering humanity; "commercing with the skies," she
forgot that man's mission is to his fellow man, and that his life's
business is to do, not altogether to think. Christ had taught this
young disciple a new, a different and a better lesson; and he sat
there now, patient and humble beside the dying man, regarding him, not
as an atom, soon to be swept from an aimless existence, but as an
immortal spirit shaking off encumbering clay and preparing for a new
and glorious state of being. With his own hands the young Christian
lighted the little rude lamp which hung from the ceiling, and sat down
on a low stool by the bed-side, and drawing a manuscript from the
folds of his robe, read aloud the same hallowed words he had first
heard on the seashore in the still twilight of a summer evening long
past away. Sometimes he paused to add a word of comment or
explanation, and when he had finished reading, he kneeled down to
pray. He was famed even then in the schools of philosophy. He had been
the envy of his fellow-disciples in the academic grove for his
profound wisdom and various learning. But had one of those
fellow-students stood there and beheld him, he would have scorned him.
He kneeled on the stone-floor. The dim light of the lamp fell on his
bowed head and long, dark robe, and lit faintly the couch of the dying
beggar. The only sounds to be heard were the voice of earnest,
heartfelt prayer, and the quick breathing which told that life was
ebbing fast with him for whom that prayer was offered with trembling
accents and tears fast falling. But, ah! there was a presence there
better than philosophy, greater than Plato, holier than Socrates,
"higher than the kings of the earth," even of Him "that sitteth on the
circle of the heavens," and saith "To this man will I look--even to
him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word."

The whole night through the young Christian was a patient watcher by
the bed of death. Once he had wasted the midnight oil in the study of
vain wisdom and false philosophy, utterly forgetful that thousands lay
all about him perishing in ignorance and misery. Now how rich was his
reward when the glazing eye opened with a gleam of intelligence, and
the pale lips murmured the sweet hope of pardon, or strove to frame
the language of some remembered promise from the word of God. The
noise of the great city had long ago subsided. Solemn, indeed, was the
stillness; and the spirit of that faithful watcher almost quailed when
the King of Terrors laid hold of his victim with the last, inexorable
grasp. Long did he struggle in that savage hold with agony not to be
described. At last it was over, and he lay calm and scarcely
breathing. The beams of the cold, pale dawn stole in and dimmed "the
ineffectual fire," of the lamp, as the young man bent over that form
to ascertain if life yet lingered in it. As he did so the dying eyes
opened. How full of consolation was that look! He pressed the hand
that still held his; a faint, sweet smile stole over his face, and he
whispered in a tone so low that the eager ear of the listener could
scarcely catch it. "Thanks be unto God who giveth us the victory
through Jesus Christ our Lord!" They were the last words. As the
golden sun rose once more to light the towers and temples of the city,
he sent one rich beam into that humble chamber. The Christian was
alone with the dead now. He had composed the body in decent order with
his own hands, and reverently covered it over. The face was still
visible, but no distortion was there; the lips were gently closed, and
the eyes, as if in slumber; the white locks fell quietly down over the
hollow temples and wasted cheeks, and over all was written the
fulfillment of the promise, "Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed upon Thee." Awful is the presence of Death
always; and when he has set his seal on the aged servant of God, there
is a holiness there which every human spirit must bow down before. No
matter how rude the form, how coarse the features--with his plastic
hand he moulds them into lines of superhuman grandeur. He robs the
face of the hues of life, and it becomes as pure as marble. He touches
the white hair, and it falls into beautiful repose. He breathes on the
distorted brow and smoothes every wrinkle. We know that the messenger
who has wrought this wondrous change is none other than the servant of
God, that he is the last commissioned of the ministering spirits to
the earthly tabernacle, that he hath no more that he can do, and he
compels us to look on his handiwork and stand in awe.

Long did the young Christian gaze on the face of the dead with solemn
thoughts and unuttered prayers--not, indeed, for the departed spirit,
for he knew that with that his business was accomplished and over for
ever--but for himself, that his latter end might be such. His
thoughts, not unnaturally, went forward into the distant future, and
speculated on his own dying hour, and he wondered what might be its
accompaniments. He prayed that it might be as peaceful as this he had
just witnessed, that he might descend into the grave as a shock of
corn fully ripe; that he might lie down with the sweet consciousness
that his work was done, and his reward sure. With no unhallowed
curiosity did he strive to pierce the future, but had some evil genius
been permitted at that moment to lift the veil which hid his own
death-scene, how would he have shrunk and shuddered, and his yet young
faith fainted in the contemplation.


CHAPTER III.

It was a bright, busy day in Imperial Rome. Never had her resplendent
sun shone more brightly on her marble palaces, her gorgeous temples,
her lovely groves and gardens. The scented air stole in through open
windows, where sat secluded lovely damsels and noble matrons; and it
wantoned, too, over humbler homes, where little children played and
sung and shouted joyously. It fanned the cheek of the pale student,
as he paced the lonely grove in silent meditation, and lightly touched
the troubled brow of the orator as he took his way to the forum. It
wooed the captive, in his cell, to dream of freedom and
long-remembered home. In the streets were heard quick footsteps, and
loud, merry voices. Traffic went on in the crowded mart, and pleasure
was pursued in the luxurious halls of the noble. Here, flower-crowned
guests reclined at the banquet, listening to sweet music, while yonder
the squalid miser counted his gold, and there a fair young mother
smiled upon her children. Just the same passions crowded into human
hearts that day, just the same delusions were followed, the same
pleasures felt, arid the same griefs deplored on that bright day in
Imperial Rome, as now agitate, or delight, or torture us who have
beheld that great city a living tomb.

While all this went on in the fresh air and sunshine of a summer-day,
far down, beneath the earth which upheld the city, were other and
sadder sights. In those terrible caverns, which run in veins of
darkness under its foundations, which travelers now fearfully explore
by torch-light, human beings, guilty of no crime but that of bearing
the name of Christians, were shut up, expecting, hoping no release
until summoned to a frightful death. In a solitary cell, small, damp
and noisome, lighted by a dim lamp, an aged man sat alone. It is easy
to picture to ourselves the hideous gloom, the walls sweating
unwholesome vapors, the oppressive thickness of the air, never stirred
by a fresh breath from heaven, the jar of water and mouldy crust, the
miserable garments, the pallid face and emaciated form of a prisoner
in such a place. It is less easy to guess what might be the thoughts
of one sitting there in expectation of an instant summons to
execution. More than seventy years had laid their weight upon him. His
hair was quite white, but his eye was bright and beaming, his whole
countenance informed with a noble, thoughtful expression, and
beautified, despite of man's cruelty, with benevolence. It was plainly
to be seen that only the outer tabernacle of the spirit was suffering
and declining, while that within was burning brighter and higher as
the mortal part drew toward extinction. He knows that his days are
numbered, but he meditates peacefully on the change which awaits him.
He knows that his death will be painful and ignominious, but he knows
not yet the exact manner of it--at least, it will be the end of his
long course, and then remain only the reward and rest. He has now
nearly arrived at a long-desired period, and he finds all the
sweetness of that immortal hope which first dawned upon his soul on
the seashore beside far-distant Alexandria. It seems as if that
glorious faith could only be known in its perfection of consolation in
such a dungeon, and awaiting such a doom; and promise after promise
from the word of God comes upon his memory, making that living grave
"all glorious within." Yea, it will be a blessed change. To-day he
will be done forever with sin and sorrow, and to-morrow he will be
"where the wicked cease from troubling." To-day he will take farewell
of a world lying in wickedness, and to-morrow will behold him a
companion of "just men made perfect." To-day he will quit his dungeon
and miserable garments, and wear to-morrow a crown of glory and robes
of righteousness.

As these promises and hopes crowded upon his mind, his meditation was
disturbed by a long, low, sullen roar, which seemed to shake the
ground he rested on. He started up with anguish and terror in his
face. He listened. Again it came, distincter than before, with a
sharper, deeper cadence. He shuddered visibly, and his face grew paler
in the dim light, and large drops of sweat broke out upon his
forehead. The third time it was repeated, and then all was silent. He
listened long, with strained ear and eye, which seemed to pierce his
dungeon walls; but he heard no more. He sunk back, and covering his
face prayed in an agony. Now, too well he knew what was to be his
doom. He had heard the voice of his executioner. It was the desert
lion roaring for his prey. Now he remembered that in these caverns
were confined the Christians reserved for martyrdom, and, in still
lower cells, the wild beasts to which they were to be surrendered in
the bloody amphitheatre. It is no wonder that mortal terror, for a
season, took possession of the soul of the aged Christian. He shrunk
with unutterable horror when he thought of the savage beast, rendered
fiercer by protracted hunger; of the crowded amphitheatre, the gazing
eyes, the exulting shouts, the unpitying human hearts. It was long
before he could bring himself to look beyond these and upward to Him
who sat enthroned on high and watched tenderly the falling sparrow. He
was a Christian hero, but he was also a man. His sensitive human
frame, his natural human will shuddered and revolted at the execution
of this frightful doom, and it was not until hours had passed, and he
had wrestled mightily in prayer, that he learned to contemplate it
calmly. Then great consolations were vouchsafed him; his crown
glittered bright before him; the passage to death was shown him as
short, though terrible, the hereafter, long, long and glorious, even
glory forever and ever. Above all he was shown the cross; and, O, how
inexpressibly dear was the Lord who hung there; and how sweet was that
most beautiful of all the promises, "God himself shall wipe away all
tears."

It needs not to tell how his furious jailors burst in upon his
solitude. How they dragged him to the arena. How, when the blindness
from the intolerable sunlight had passed, he beheld the crowded rank
on rank of eager spectators, and heard the shout which greeted a fresh
victim. He looked upward to the clear, blue sky, where soft, lovely
clouds floated here and there, and he inhaled the sweet, elastic air.
There was the usual offer of reprieve, pardon, life, at the cost of a
single act of idolatry. There was heard at the same instant, the
savage roar of the hungry lion, now kept near in waiting for his prey.
There was the shout of triumph when that last offer was refused,
calmly, contemptuously. Then he quickly found himself alone in the
vast arena. Other victims had been there before him. He saw the
blood, hastily and slightly covered--he looked round once more; alas!
there was no human eye to pity, and no hand to spare. With a bound the
mighty beast was in the arena, and close upon him.

It was soon over. This was the conclusion of the day's spectacle, and
plebeian and patrician Romans were on their way homeward, talking of
this and that, merrily, carelessly; and the so lately crowded
Amphitheatre was solitary and deserted. But the sun, with his mighty
eye, looked down upon the guilty spot, and his hot beam drank up a
portion of the fresh blood, and the winds of heaven sighed round it,
and the clouds came and cast their shadows over it; and centuries have
passed since then, and still the sun and winds and clouds have gone
about it, day after day, and still the eye of God beholds, and its
dumb walls and crumbling arches cry aloud for vengeance.



GAME-BIRDS OF AMERICA.--NO. X.

THE RAIL. (_Rallus._ LINNÆUS.)

Taken altogether, the generic characters of the several kinds of Rail
may be stated to be as follows: the bill longer than the head,
straight or slightly curved, compressed at the base, and cylindrical
toward the tips, the upper mandible channeled, the nostrils opening
longitudinally at the base of the bill in the grooves, open through
and through, but in part closed with membrane; legs very stout, bare
of feathers to some distance above the tarsal joints, with three long
toes to the front and one to the rear, articulated on the tarsus, the
front toes free or divided to their bases; the wings of mean length
and rounded, the first quill being shorter than the second, and the
third and fourth the longest in the wing.

The Clapper Rail, or Mud Hen, is one of the most remarkable, and like
its relative, the Corncrake of England, makes its note heard all the
night long. It is fourteen inches in length and eighteen in the
stretch of the wings; the bill is two inches and a quarter long,
slightly bent, and of a reddish-brown color; the upper part is black,
and streaked with dull brown; the chin and streak over the eye are
brownish-white; the fore neck and breast are reddish-brown; the flanks
and vent black, with white tips to the feathers; the coverts of the
wings are dark chestnut-brown, and the tail-feathers and quills dusky,
without any margins; the legs are dull brown, and the irides dark red.
This species is very common, during the summer, through all the
latitudes of the United States, keeping near the sea-coast, as it
prefers the salt marshes to the waters of the interior. It is a very
noisy bird, especially during the night and before rain, which are, of
course, the times when the _molusca crustacea_, and other small
animals, upon which it feeds in the marshes, are in the greatest
activity, and most easy to be obtained.

Wilson's account of the casualties to which it is exposed in the
breeding season, is so graphic, that we shall in part quote it. "About
the twentieth of May," he says, "they usually begin building and
laying at the same time; the first egg being usually dropped in a
slight cavity lined with a little dry grass pressed for the purpose,
which, as the eggs increase to their usual complement, is gradually
added to till it rises to the height of twelve inches or more,
doubtless to secure it from the rising of the tides. Over this the
long, salt grass is artfully arched, to conceal it from the view
above; but this very circumstance enables the experienced egg-hunter
to distinguish the spot at the distance of thirty or forty yards,
though, imperceptible to a common eye. The eggs are of a pale clay
color, sprinkled with small spots of dark red, and measure somewhat
more than an inch and a half in length by an inch in breadth, being
rather obtuse at the small end. These eggs are delicious eating, far
surpassing those of the domestic hen. The height of laying is about
the first of June, when the people of the neighborhood go to the
marshes _an egging_, as it is so called. So abundant are the nests of
this species, and so dexterous some persons at finding them, that one
hundred dozen of eggs have been collected by one man in a day. At this
time the crows, the minx, and the foxes, come in for their share, but,
not content with the eggs, these last often seize and devour the
parents also. The bones, feathers, wings, &c., of the poor mud hen lie
in heaps by the hole of the minx, by which circumstance, however, he
himself is often detected and destroyed." It seems as if the very
elements were in conspiracy against these birds; they "are subject to
another calamity of a more extensive kind; after the greater part of
the eggs are laid there sometimes happen violent north-east tempests
that drive a great sea into the bay, covering the whole marshes; so
that at such times the Rail may be seen in hundreds floating over the
marsh in great distress; many escape to the main land, and vast
numbers perish. On an occasion of this kind I have seen, at one view,
thousands in a single meadow, walking about exposed and bewildered,
while the dead bodies of the females, who perished on or near their
nests, were strewed along the shore. The last circumstance shows how
strong the tie of maternal affection is in these birds, for, of the
great number which I picked up and opened, not one male was to be
found among them, all were females; such as had not yet begun to sit
probably escaped. These disasters do not prevent the survivors from
recommencing the work of laying and building anew; and instances have
occurred in which their eggs have been twice destroyed by the sea, and
yet in two weeks the nests and eggs seemed as numerous as ever. If all
is well, the young are soon able to run about, which they do with
great swiftness, and tread the grass and other marsh plants with
wonderful dexterity. They can swim in smooth water, though they are,
of course, ill able to contend with an inbreak of the sea. Swimming is
a much more severe action in them, however, than in birds which have
the feet webbed or lobed; though they strike powerfully, their stroke
tells but little upon the water; and the rapidity of their stroke
proves their distrust of that element--their feet are for the land,
not for the water, and on the level ground and the leaves of floating
plants, they run with astonishing rapidity."

The Virginian or Lesser Clapper Rail is scarcely distinguishable from
the true Clapper, except by its reduced size; and in every part of
America it appears to be a somewhat rare species. It confines itself
to the fresh-water marshes, and thereby escapes many of the mishaps
which befall its relative. This circumstance also has caused the
people of New Jersey to bestow upon it the name of the Fresh Water Mud
Hen, and renders it not unknown on the bogs and swampy grounds near
the Ohio and Mississippi. Their flesh is not inferior to that of the
Soree, but their diminutive size renders them little sought after as
game. The Soree or Common Rail of America, than which, perhaps, none
affords a more delicious repast, or more agreeable amusement, is now
before us.

[Illustration: CAROLINA RAIL. (_Crex Carolinus._ BONAPARTE.)]

The natural history of the Rail, or Soree, or Coot, as it is called in
the Carolinas, is involved in much mystery, the process of incubation
being still more unknown than the exact places where it is effected.
The general character of the Sorees is the same as that of the two
other species of Rail already mentioned. They run swiftly, fly slowly,
and usually with the legs hanging down, become extremely fat, prefer
running to flying, and are extremely fond of concealment. In Virginia,
along the shores of the James River, the inhabitants take advantage of
the effect produced upon the Rail by fright much in the following
fashion. A mast is erected in a light canoe, surmounted by a grate, in
which is a quantity of fire. The person who manages the canoe is
provided with a light paddle, and at night, about an hour before high
tide, proceeds through and among the reeds. The birds stare with
astonishment at the light, and as they appear, are knocked on the head
with the paddle and thrown into the boat. Three negroes have been
known to kill from twenty to eighty dozen in the space of three hours.
The reeds attain their full growth along the shores of the Delaware in
August, when the Rail resort to them in great numbers to feed upon the
seeds, of which they, as well as the Rice Birds, are excessively fond.
The eloquent Wilson, than whom no one could more enjoy the pleasures
of Rail-shooting, thus speaks of the sport: "As you walk along the
bank of the river at this period, you hear them squeaking in every
direction like young puppies. If a stone be thrown among the reeds,
there is a general outcry and reiterated kuk, kuk, kuk, something like
that of a Guinea-fowl. Any sudden noise, or the discharge of a gun,
produces the same effect. In the meantime none are to be seen, unless
it be at or near high water; for, when the tide is low, they
universally secrete themselves among the interstices of the reeds, and
you may walk past, and even over them, where there are hundreds,
without seeing a single individual. On their first arrival they are
generally lean, and unfit for the table, but as the reeds ripen they
rapidly fatten, and from the twentieth of September to the middle of
October, are excellent, and eagerly sought after. The usual method of
shooting them in this quarter of the country is as follows: The
sportsman furnishes himself with a light batteau, and a stout,
experienced boatman, with a pole of twelve or fifteen feet long,
thickened at the lower end to prevent it from sinking too deep into
the mud. About two hours or so before high-water they enter the reeds,
and each takes his post, the sportsman standing in the bow ready for
action, the boatman on the stern-seat pushing her steadily through the
reeds. The Rail generally spring singly, as the boat advances, and at
a short distance ahead, are instantly shot down, while the boatman,
keeping his eye on the spot where the bird fell, directs the boat
forward and picks it up as the gunner is loading. It is also the
boatman's business to keep a sharp look-out, and give the word 'Mark!'
when a Rail springs on either side without being observed by the
sportsman, and to note the exact spot where it falls until he has
picked it up; for this, once lost sight of, owing to the sameness in
the appearance of the reeds, is seldom found again. In this manner the
boat moves steadily through and over the reeds, the birds flushing and
falling, the gunner loading and firing, while the boatman is pushing
and picking up. The sport continues till an hour or two after
high-water, when the shallowness of the water, and the strength and
weight of the floating reeds, and also the backwardness of the game to
spring as the tide decreases, oblige them to return. Several boats are
sometimes within a short distance of each other, and perpetual
cracking of musketry prevails along the whole reedy shores of the
river. In these excursions it is not uncommon for an active and expert
marksman to kill ten or twelve dozen in a tide. They are usually shot
singly, though I have known five killed at one discharge of a
double-barreled piece. These instances are rare. The flight of these
birds among the reeds is usually low; and shelter being abundant, is
rarely extended to more than fifty or one hundred yards. When winged
and uninjured in their legs, they swim and dive with great rapidity,
and are seldom seen to rise again. I have several times on such
occasions discovered them clinging with their feet to the reeds under
the water; and at other times skulking under the floating reeds with
their bill just above the surface. Sometimes, when wounded, they dive,
and rising under the gunwale of the boat, secrete themselves there,
moving round as the boat moves until they have an opportunity of
escaping unnoticed. They are feeble and delicate in every thing but
the legs, which seem to possess great vigor and energy, and their
bodies being so remarkably thin or compressed as to be less than an
inch and a quarter through transversely, they are enabled to pass
between the reeds like rats. Yet though their flight among the reeds
seems feeble and fluttering, every sportsman who is acquainted with
them here must have seen them occasionally rising to a considerable
height, stretching out their legs behind them, and flying rapidly
across the river where it is more than a mile in width."

[Illustration: PURPLE GALLINULE. (_Gallinula Porphyrio._ WILSON.)]

Before concluding this article, we would say a few words in behalf of
the Gallinule, called, from its resemblance to the domestic fowl, the
Water Hen. In respect to manners, it is, according to Latham, a very
docile bird, being easily tamed and feeding with the common poultry,
scratching the ground with the foot like the latter. It will feed on
many things, such as roots of plants, fruits, and grain, but will eat
fish with avidity, dipping them in the water before it swallows them;
will frequently stand on one leg and lift the food to its mouth with
the other, like a parrot. Its flesh is exquisite in taste. This bird
was famous among the ancients under the name Porphyrion, indicating
the red or purple tint of its bill and feet--a far more appropriate
appellation than that now vulgarly applied to it. It is known to breed
in Georgia, whose thick swamps favor the concealment to which it is
partial. It is extremely vigilant and shy, and cannot be shot without
great difficulty. They move with grace upon the water, and run with
equal facility on the ground or on the leaves of water plants.



MY LOVE.

BY J. IVES PEASE.


    I love! and ah, 'tis bliss to feel
      My breast no longer lone and cold;
    To know, though Time all else should steal,
      The _heart_ can never all grow old!
    I love! and now I _live_ again!
      The world looks brighter to my eyes;
    There is a gladness on the plain--
      A newer glory in the skies.

    I love! Her smile is o'er my path
      Like sunlight in sweet April hours:
    Her voice steals o'er me like the breath
      Of morning to half-withered flowers.
    I love! Ah _she_ may never know
      How wild my love! I have no sigh--
    I have no word--nor look to show
      How much I'm blessed when she is nigh.

    And it is well!--my hapless love
      May never dare to ask return--
    Enough that her glad smiles may move
      _My heart--I ask not hers to burn!_
    Ah no. 'Tis better thus to meet
      With equal pulse and tranquil brow--
    Drink, through her eyes, delirium sweet.
      Can madness from such fountains flow?

    I know not! Dearest, still, oh still,
      "Look love upon me," sweet and kind!--
    Let thy glad thought, in music, thrill
      Bright witchcraft through my longing mind.
    I clasp thee to my breast--in dreams!
      Thy lips rain kisses warm and fast--
    And I half hate the morning beams
      That scare thee to thy home at last.

    Thy "home!"--ah, would it ne'er had been--
      Thy home and mine are wide apart--
    The world's grim shadow glooms between--
      And my life lives but where thou art.
    Ah, dearest, we're not happy! Life
      Yields not the bliss 'twas meant to do:
    Discord _might_ come of wrong and strife--
      Should sorrow spring from duty, too?

    Thou art not happy, dearest, thou!--
      A shade has fallen on thy young years;
    Thou art not happy: even now
      Thine eyes are full of unshed tears.
    And this our fate? My Life!--my "world!"--
      Too late beloved--too rarely seen--
    And we, as o'er Time's tide we're hurled,
      Can only say "WE MIGHT HAVE BEEN!"



LIFE.

BY A. J. REQUIER.


    In every life there is a stream
      Whose waters flow,
    Dark as the current of a dream,
      And seem to throw
    On cup and hall and summer beam
      A sign of wo!

    In every life there is a ray
      That shineth still,
    From noon to night and night to day,
      Through every ill;
    And serves to light our solemn way
      Go where we will.

    Oh, traveler! of that stream beware
      Which cannot glow;
    It floweth only where a snare
      Is lying low,
    To deal upon thee unaware
      A fatal blow.

    Oh, traveler! seek that gentle ray
      Which constant gleams,
    So beautiful that none can say
      Like what it seems;
    The star predestined on thy way
      To throw its beams.

    For in that stream of leafless shade
      A fiend is hid;
    And on thy fall his heart is laid,
      Thy fall amid
    The sinner's shriek and shroud and spade
      And coffin-lid.

    And in that ray so pure and bright
      A buoyant form,
    Will bear thee through the darkest night
      Away from harm;
    Swift as the rainbow's graceful flight
      Out of the storm.

    Let fate be stern--let fortune fly--
      Their chastening rod
    Strikes not the soul whose strength is high
      Above its clod;
    Thy heart may bleed to breaking nigh--
      But trust in God!



GEMS FROM LATE READINGS.

BY MISS ELLEN PICKERING.


"An humble appreciation of your powers might save you pain; but I
doubt if your humility exceeds your knowledge. Fascinated by harmony
of tone and grace of manner, you perceive not a deficiency in
energy--a want of moral courage. You close your eyes against every
token of an over-sensitiveness to ridicule, veiled beneath the more
graceful cloak of fastidious taste. You will not understand that pride
and weakness fashion a character which, however seemingly amiable in
many other points, is not such as to repay the devotion of a woman's
love. A strong mind will make itself known; and where all is perfect
harmony, no unmodulated tone, no sudden and impulsive movement, no
springing into action, there is art, and that may not be trusted--or
there is over-refinement, wasted powers, a trivial mind, without a
noble aim--or there is weakness, which fears ridicule--a moral
cowardice: or there is mediocrity, that cannot rise above the common
herd--that dares not dare--that may pass unnoted in prosperity, but
whose powers rise not in adversity. Such should not be throned in
woman's heart! He is not worthy woman's tender, self-denying love,
whom a sneer will change--a laugh will part--he will be found
wanting--he will stand aloof when the faint heart turns to him for
consolation. Wo to you! wo to you, especially if you trust such. You
cannot always tread on flowers; choose one who can and will smooth
down a rugged path. The gilded vessel, the child's plaything, rides
gayly on a glassy sea--but life is not a glassy sea; the storm must
come. If you would reach the peaceful port, embark not in a summer
yacht; select a ship that can abide the storm--a mind that can
maintain its course--that struggles--and will conquer. Look there," he
continued, for she made no reply, taking up a highly finished drawing
from the table, the performance showing more pains than genius, and
contrasting it with a bold, free sketch which lay beside it, "there
they are exactly, the one all harmony, or insipidity as I should call
it; a model of weakness--highly finished--not a stroke
wanting--complete as a whole--but how poor a whole! Without the
possibility of amendment, too: deficient in energy--not a bold line:
and were such put in it would be out of place--it would spoil the
keeping. Now look on this! A bold and vigorous outline--the work of
mind, seizing the attention: soul, not manner; thought, not mechanism;
it may be filled up ill, but it may also be filled up well: there is
the capability of greatness: there may be faults in the petty details,
but the whole will compel admiration, and not weary in the survey.
This other makes me yawn. Better choose the bold, the frank, the
generous, with all his faults; he may be rash, unthinking, wasting the
powers whose force he knows not; but the capabilities of amendment are
within him. What say you to my exordium?"

    *    *    *    *    *

It is great injustice to assert that delicacy of feeling is confined
to the higher ranks, and is the offspring of refinement and education;
these may nourish and increase, but they cannot give it. It is innate;
the child of the untutored heart; the very essence of the beautiful:
chained to no climate, bounded to no rank.

We have seen the wealthy, those who thought themselves the great ones
of the earth, take leave of those of fallen fortunes with undimmed eye
and steady voice, as though they knew not that there was cause for
sorrow, guessed not that the heart was well nigh broken, and only
stayed the expression of its grief that the cold gaze might not mock
it. We have seen the lowly ones of earth, lowly in station, but how
high in worth! part from the same; and the lip could not speak for the
heart's feeling; and the tears of the mourner, repressed before lest
the cold should mock, mingled with theirs. The first passed on with
stately step, and a cold offer of future service; the last plucked the
only rose from the favorite tree, and placed it by the traveler's
cloak with a trembling hand and quivering lip. They thought that the
traveler would prize it as a memorial of a once happy home. That
single rose, and its kind and delicate giver, can they ever be
forgotten? If all the memories of misfortune were like that who would
not be unfortunate? What feeling so endearing, so ennobling as
gratitude? Even love, though it may have more of beauty and
brightness, is not so generous and so pure.

    *    *    *    *    *

What a glorious day! Not a heavy cloud in all the sky, only a few
fleecy forms floating across the rich blue vault, and the sun shining
out in all its summer splendor, as though it had never shone before,
looking down for the first time on the gladsome earth, instead of
having run its course unnumbered years--undimmed in lustre--unimpaired
in power.

Where are the works of man? his labors of the past? The eye looks on
ruin; or time hath swept away even that poor trace; and a fable or
tradition alone remains. But time hath no power over the Eternal or
the works of His hands--itself His slave.

Out! out! treading the green turf--lying on some flowery
bank--dreaming beneath the leafy shade. Who would be pent up within
four stone walls on such a day, when he could forth with the blue
above and the green below, and a thousand gleesome things around? What
though the walls are gilded, and the lofty ceiling fretted; the
Persian carpet soft as the woodland moss; whilst the luxuries of art,
the beauties of genius, lend their splendors with a gorgeous
profusion? Still it is only a magnificent prison. We see but little of
the blue heaven; scarcely more of the varied tints of earth. The air
we breathe is close; and the heart flutters to be free, as the
imprisoned butterfly on the first day of spring. Who would not rather
go forth into the fresh, free air, than be a prisoner even in a gilded
cage? And Nature, is she not more beautiful than Art? Doth not that
beauty make the step more buoyant, and the heart more light?

How one loves a summer day with all its gentle glories its murmured
music--its delicious fragrance--its warmth, gladdening, not
oppressing, its soft and soothing air--its dreamy feel, its shadows
and its lights--its brilliant visions and its stirring thoughts--and
more, far more, its loving memories!

    *    *    *    *    *

SONG.

    My dwelling is no lordly hall,
      I rule no wide domain;
    No bending servants wait my call,
      No flatterers swell my train;
    But roses twine around my home,
      Bright smiles my presence greet;
    The woodland wild is mine to roam,
      Mine Summer's odors sweet.
    No costly diamonds deck my hair,
      No cloth of gold have I;
    But gorgeous robes and jewels rare
      Stay not the sad heart's sigh.
    Those gems might bind an aching brow,
      There is no pain in mine;
    Red gold might win a faithless vow,
      And I be left to pine.


BY G. P. R. JAMES.

It may seem perhaps a paradox to say that expectation is enjoyment.
Nevertheless it is so on this earth. Fruition is for heaven. With the
accomplishment of every desire there is so much of disappointment
mingled that it cannot be really called enjoyment, for fancy always
exercises itself upon the future; and when we obtain the hard reality
for which we wished, the charms with which imagination decorated it
are gone. Did we but state the case to ourselves as it truly is,
whenever we conceive any of the manifold desires which lead us on from
step to step through life, the proposition would be totally different
from that which man forever puts before his own mind, and we should
take one step toward undeceiving ourselves. We continually say, "if I
could attain such an object, I should be _quite contented_." But what
man ought to say to himself is, "I believe this or that acquisition
would give me happiness." He would soon find that it did not do so;
and the never-ceasing recurrence of the lesson might, in the end,
teach him to ask what was the source of his disappointment? Was it
that other circumstances in his own fate were so altered, even while
he pursued the path of endeavor, as to render attainment no longer
satisfactory?--was it that the object sought was intrinsically
different when attained, from that which he had reasonably believed it
to be while pursuing it?--or was it that his fancy had gilded it with
charms not its own, and that he had voluntarily and blindly persuaded
himself that it was brighter and more excellent than it was? Perhaps
the answer, yes, might be returned to all these questions; but yet I
fear the chief burden of deceit would rest with imagination, and that
man would ever find he had judged of the future without sufficient
grounds, and had suffered desire to stimulate hope, and hope to cheat
expectation. Yet, perhaps, if he would but turn back and look behind,
when disappointment and success had been obtained together, he would
find that the pleasures lasted in the pursuit, especially at the time
when fruition was drawing nearer and nearer, would, in the sum, make
up the amount of enjoyment which he had anticipated in possession.


BY JOHN G. WHITTIER.

A DREAM OF SUMMER.


    Bland as the morning breath of June
      The south-west breezes play;
    And through its haze the winter noon
      Seems warm as summer day.
    The snow-plumed angel of the north
      Has dropped his icy spear;
    Again the mossy earth looks forth,
      Again the streams gush clear.

    The fox his hill-side cell forsakes,
      The muskrat leaves his nook,
    The blue-bird in the meadow brakes
      Is singing with the brook.
    "Bear up, O Mother Nature!" cry
      Bird, breeze, and streamlet free,
    "Our winter voices prophesy
      Of summer days to thee!"
    So in the winters of the soul,
      By bitter blasts and drear,
    O'erswept, from memory's frozen pole,
      Will sunny days appear,
    Reviving Hope and Faith, they show
      The soul its living powers,
    And low beneath the winter's snow
      Lie gems of summer flowers.

    The night is mother of the day,
      The winter of the spring,
    And ever upon old decay
      The greenest mosses cling;
    Behind the cloud the starlight lurks,
      Through showers the sunbeams fall;
    For God, who loveth all his works,
      Has left his Hope with all.


BY THE AUTHOR OF "GRANTLEY MANOR."

SILENCE.


What a strange power there is in _silence_! How many resolutions are
formed--how many sublime conquests effected during that pause, when
the lips are closed, and the soul secretly feels the eye of her Maker
upon her! When some of those cutting, sharp, blighting words have been
spoken which send the hot indignant blood to the face and head, if
those to whom they are addressed keep silence, look on with awe, for a
mighty work is going on within them, and the Spirit of Evil, or their
Guardian Angel, is very near to them in that hour. During that pause
they have made a step toward heaven or toward hell, and an item has
been scored in the book which the day of judgment shall see opened.
They are the strong ones of the earth, the mighty for good or for
evil, those who know how to keep silence when it is a pain and a grief
to them; those who give time to their own souls, to wax strong against
temptation; or to the powers of wrath, to stamp upon them their
withering passage.


BY CURRER BELL.

TIME.


        Life, believe, is not a dream
          So dark as sages say;
        Oft a little morning rain
          Foretells a pleasant day.
    Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
      But these are transient all;
    If the shower will make the roses bloom,
      O why lament its fall?
          Rapidly, merrily,
        Life's sunny hours flit by,
          Gratefully, cheerily,
        Enjoy them as they fly!

    What though Death at times steps in,
      And calls our _best_ away?
    What though sorrow seems to win,
      O'er hope, a heavy sway?
    Yet hope again elastic springs,
      Unconquered, though she fell:
    Still buoyant are her golden wings,
      Still strong to bear us well.
        Manfully, fearlessly,
      The day of trial bear,
        For gloriously, victoriously,
      Can courage quell despair!



REVIEW OF NEW BOOKS.


      _Vanity Fair, a Novel without a Hero. By W. M.
      Thackeray. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 8vo._

This is one of the most striking novels of the season. It bears little
resemblance in tone, spirit and object, to the other popular romances
of the day. The author follows in the track of Fielding rather than
Bulwer, and aims at representing the world as it is. Though his mind
is not creative, it is eminently delineative, and he has succeeded in
cramming into one volume a large variety of characters, each
expressing one of the different forms of worldliness, and all
belonging strictly to the world we live in. Though the novel thus
relates exclusively to the world, and indicates a most remarkable
knowledge of the selfish element in human nature, in the multitudinous
modifications which that element receives from individual
peculiarities, the general tone of the author himself is so far from
being worldly, that it is distinguished by singular manliness,
cheerfulness and generosity. There is nothing morbid, nothing of the
hater or the sentimentalist in his representations. He trusts himself
resolutely to the genuine emotions of the heart, but he guards himself
against all superfine feelings and manufactured sentiment. His
characters are so true that at first we are inclined to consider them
commonplace. In their development, however, we soon find that the
author is a master in his art, that without pretension and without
exaggeration, he touches profound springs of thought and sentiment,
and represents with a graceful decision, and in clear light, those
evanescent and unconscious transpirations of character, in which a
novelist's capacity is most truly exhibited.

The animating spirit of the novel is that master-piece of address and
cunning, little Becky Sharp. Tact and talent never had a worthier
representative than this character. She indicates the extreme point of
worldly success to which these qualities will carry a person, and also
the impossibility of their providing against all contingencies in
life. Becky steadily rises in the world, reaches a certain height,
makes one inevitable mistake, and then as steadily falls, while many
of her simple companions, whom she despises as weaklings, succeed from
the very simplicity with which they follow the instinctive sagacity of
pure and honest feeling. Colonel Rawdon Crawley, a brainless
sensualist, whom Becky marries, and in some degree reforms, but who,
by having an occasional twinkle of genuine sentiment in his heart,
always was her superior, is drawn both with a breadth and a nicety of
touch which is rare in such delineations. The exact amount of humanity
which coexists with his rascality and stupidity, is given with perfect
accuracy. Sir Pitt Crawley, coarse, uneducated, sordid, quarrelsome,
his small, sharp mind an epitome of vulgar shrewdness, is a
personation to force laughter from the lungs of a misanthrope. Old Mr.
Sedley is a most truthful representation of a broken-down merchant,
conceived in the spirit of that humane humor which blends the
ludicrous and the pathetic in one. Joe Sedley, the East Indian,
slightly suggests Major Bagstock. He has the major's physical
circumference, apoplectic turn and swell of manner, with the addition
of Cockney vulgarity and cowardice. His retreat from Brussels, just
before the battle of Waterloo, is described with the art of a comic
Xenophan.

In the characters of George Osborne, Dobbin and Amelia, the author has
succeeded admirably. They are wonderfully true to nature, and indicate
even a finer power of characterization than is exhibited in the more
strongly marked personages of the work.

The test of the excellence of a novel is the clearness with which its
events and characters are remembered after it has been read. We think
that Vanity Fair will bear this criterion. All its characters are
recognized in memory as living beings, and we would refer to and quote
them with as much confidence as to any of the acquaintances we hold in
remembrance.

    *    *    *    *    *

      _Life, Letters and Literary Remains of John Keats.
      Edited by Richard Moncton Milnes. New York: Geo. P.
      Putnam. 1 vol. 12mo._

This book, the long promised, has at last appeared, and we must
confess that, from the time expended in its preparation, we expected a
more satisfactory result. The biography, though written in a style of
elaborate elegance, and pleasing enough as regards cadence of period
and felicity of phrase, tells little about Keats which is new, and
leaves many obscure passages of his life in the same darkness in which
it found them. Nothing to the purpose is told of the lady who was the
object of Keats's passionate love, and who shares with consumption in
being the dismal cause of his early death. Mr. Milnes points
triumphantly to the new facts and private letters he has included in
the volume, in proof that the common impression that Keats lacked
manliness of character, is an error; but instead of proving that Keats
was a strong man, he has very nearly proved that he himself is a
sentimentalist. The characteristic of Keats is sensitiveness to
external impressions, the characteristic of Milnes is sensitiveness to
self; the page of one throngs with delicious sensations, but leaves no
strong impression of character; that of the other is pervaded by a
thoughtful ennui, and leaves an impression of egotistic weakness of
character. Of course, Keats is the stronger man of the two, and a
stronger man even than Milnes's musical sentences indicate, but still
not a strong man in the strict meaning of the phrase.

The letters of Keats are exceedingly interesting, and some of them
fine specimens of brilliant epistolary composition, but we think there
is a general tone of languid jauntiness observable in them, which
shows a certain feebleness at the heart of his being. He seems a man
whom every one would desire to see placed in happy circumstances, but
not one who would bear bravely up under bad circumstances. The state
of his finances occupies a good portion of his letters, and it is
often very pleasantly stated. As early as 1817, he speaks of receiving
a note for £20, and avows his intention of destroying with it "some of
the minor heads of that hydra, the dun;" to conquer which he says, the
knight need have no sword or shield, but only the "Bank-note of Faith
and Cash of Salvation, and set out against the monster invoking the
aid of no Archimago or Urganda, but finger me the paper, light as the
Sybil's leaves in Virgil, whereat the fiend skulks off with his tail
between his legs. . . I think," he adds, "I could make a nice little
allegorical poem, called "The Dun," where we would have the Castle of
Carelessness, the Drawbridge of Credit, Sir Novelty Fashion's
expedition against the City of Tailors, &c., &c." There is a good deal
of this coquetry with indigence in the volume.

There is one curious letter to Reynolds, referring to Wordsworth's
calling the exquisite Hymn to Pan, in "Endymion," "a pretty piece of
Paganism." Keats took the words in a contemptuous sense, and wrote a
letter from the feelings it excited, reminding us in its style of an
essay by Emerson. We extract it as almost the best thing in the book.


     _Hampstead, February 3, 1818._

     MY DEAR REYNOLDS,--I thank you for your dish of
     filberts. Would I could get a basket of them by way of
     dessert every day for the sum of two pence, (two
     sonnets on Robin Hood, sent by the two penny post.)
     Would we were a sort of athereal pigs, and turned loose
     to feed upon spiritual mast and acorns! which would be
     merely a squirrel and feeding upon filberts; for what
     is a squirrel but an airy pig, or a filbert but a sort
     of archangelical acorn? About the nuts being worth
     cracking, all I can say is, that where there are a
     throng of delightful images ready drawn, simplicity is
     the only thing. It may be said that we ought to read
     our contemporaries, that Wordsworth, &c., should have
     their due from us. But, for the sake of a few fine
     imaginative or domestic passages, are we to be bullied
     into a certain philosophy engendered in the whims of an
     egotist? Every man has his speculations, but every man
     does not brood and peacock over them till he makes a
     false coinage and deceives himself. Many a man can
     travel to the very bourne of Heaven, and yet want
     confidence to put down his half-seeing. Sancho will
     invent a journey heavenward as well as any body. We
     hate poetry that has a palpable design upon us, and, if
     we do not agree, seems to put its hand into its
     breeches pocket. Poetry should be great and
     unobtrusive; a thing which enters into one's soul, and
     does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with
     its subject. How beautiful are the retired flowers! How
     would they lose their beauty, were they to throng into
     the highway, crying out "Admire me, I am a violet! Dote
     upon me, I am a primrose!" Modern poets differ from the
     Elizabethans in this; each of the moderns, like an
     Elector of Hanover, governs his petty state, and knows
     how many straws are swept daily from the causeways in
     all his dominions, and has a continual itching that all
     the housewives should have their coppers well scoured.
     The ancients were emperors of vast provinces; they had
     only heard of the remote ones, and scarcely cared to
     visit them. I will cut all this. I will have no more of
     Wordsworth or Hunt in particular. Why should we be of
     the tribe of Manassah, when we can wander with Esau?
     Why should we kick against the pricks when we can walk
     on roses? Why should we be owls when we can be eagles?
     Why be teazed with "nice-eyed wagtails," when we have
     in sight "the cherub Contemplation?" Why, with
     Wordsworth's "Matthew with a bough of wilding in his
     hand," when we can have Jacques "under an oak," &c.?
     The secret of the "bough of wilding" will run through
     your head faster than I can write it. Old Matthew spoke
     to him some years ago on some nothing, and because he
     happens in an evening walk to imagine the figure of the
     old man, he must stamp it down in black and white, and
     it is henceforth sacred. I don't mean to deny
     Wordsworth's grandeur and Hunt's merit, but I mean to
     say we need not be teazed with grandeur and merit when
     we can have them uncontaminated and unobtrusive. Let us
     have the old Poets and Robin Hood. Your letter and its
     sonnets gave me more pleasure than will the Fourth Book
     of "Childe Harold," and the whole of any body's life
     and opinions.

     In return for your dish of filberts, I have gathered a
     few catkins.[2] I hope they'll look pretty.

         "No, those days are gone away," &c.

     I hope you will like them--they are at least written in
     the spirit of outlawry. Here are the Mermaid lines;--

         "Souls of Poets dead and gone," &c.

     In the hope that these scribblings will be some
     amusement for you this evening, I remain, copying on
     the hill,

     Your sincere friend and co-scribbler,
                               JOHN KEATS.


[Footnote 2: Mr. Reynolds had enclosed Keats some Sonnets on Robin
Hood, to which these fine lines are an answer.]

The reader rises from the biography of Keats with the impression that
it tells one of the most melancholy stories in the history of
literature. The account of his last days is beyond measure painful.
The poems now published for the first time, though good enough to make
a reputation, will hardly add to the fame of Keats.

    *    *    *    *    *


      _The Women of the Revolution. By Elizabeth F. Ellet.
      New York: Baker & Scribner. 2 vols. 12mo._

We are under obligations to Mrs. Ellet for the two volumes now before
us. They are the first fruits of a large harvest. And we doubt not
that the authoress will pursue the subject, and give "continuations,"
until something like justice shall be done to the women, the mothers,
sisters, wives and sweethearts of the great and good men of our
Revolution. We wish that some just appreciation of what all society
owes woman could be had. We wish that some one would sit down and show
how all great efforts have their origin in woman's devotion to her
duty, and all great men owe their position to their mother's faithful
service, and how society owes the advantages which it may possess to
the plastic mind of women. In this spirit Mrs. Ellet has prepared the
two volumes before us, and has by her labors added one other name to
the long list that claims the gratitude of Americans. Of course when
notices of one hundred and twenty-four women are crowded into two
duodecimo volumes, no great extent can be allowed to the biography of
any one. Yet by a judicious disposition of material, and selection of
prominent places for really prominent persons, Mrs. Ellet has given
enough to make her readers comprehend the character, services and
position of all her heroines. It happens to us to have known something
of the private life of several mentioned in the volumes, and while we
recollect much that is not recorded, we are bound to confess that the
character of each so far as we know is well brought out, and
additional materials might serve only to sustain the opinion formed by
what is offered. We regard Mrs. Ellet's work only as a prelude--a
rich, delightful, prelude--but it must be followed by other
performances. The work is enriched with the likenesses of several
ladies whose biographies are given--one or two of these we know are
correct. The others resemble what we recollect to have heard
denominated good likenesses.

    *    *    *    *    *


      _Orators of the American Revolution. By E. L. Magoon.
      New York: Baker & Scribner. 1 vol. 12mo._

Mr. Magoon is a writer of great fluency and sensibility, who "wreaks"
his thoughts upon expression. He has given us a very exciting volume,
glowing with revolutionary fervor, and eloquent of revolutionary
heroes. The great difficulty is that each of his orators is described
in terms which a cool person might hesitate in applying to Demosthenes
and Cicero. Mr. Magoon writes too much on the high-pressure principle.
As we move down the Mississippi stream of his rhetoric, we are pleased
with the rapidity of the motion, and the chivalrous feeling of the
captain of the boat, but we look occasionally at the boiler and the
engine with some fear of an explosion.

Seriously, the volume will doubtless serve its purpose of impressing a
great idea of our revolutionary orators on the popular mind--to reach
which mind a certain extravagance of statement and description is now
considered necessary. The glowing mode of writing history and
biography is, doubtless, better than the dry and dead mode, but a
medium between the two, combining life and movement with accuracy and
discrimination, is better still. However, we know of no book on the
subject so good as the present. It can be read at one sitting, and it
leaves a strong impression on the mind of the power of our great
orators. Every production which forcibly conveys an idea of our
historical men as living souls, as well as living names, deserves to
succeed.

    *    *    *    *    *


      _Historical and Miscellaneous Questions. By Richard
      Mangnall. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 12mo._

This has been one of the most successful educational books ever
published. The present edition is from the _eighty-fourth_ London
edition. The sale in England has reached a hundred thousand copies. A
mere glance at the book will explain its popularity. It embraces the
elements of Mythology, Astronomy, Architecture, Heraldry, as well as
Ancient and Modern History, and gives exactly that kind of information
which every body needs. The first principles and foundations of
knowledge are often imperfectly understood by persons moderately
learned. Few have any system in reading or study, but cram their minds
with miscellaneous matter of various kinds, without regard to
arrangement, and with no clear perception of the principles of any
thing. Such a book as the present is needed not only by youth, but by
many men and women who would be offended at the charge of ignorance.
No person can read it without some addition to his knowledge. It is
got up with remarkable skill, and covers a very wide extent of
erudition.

    *    *    *    *    *


      _Thrilling Incidents of the Wars of the United States:
      Comprising the most Striking and Remarkable Events of
      the Revolution, the French War, the Second War with
      Great Britain, and the Mexican War. With Three Hundred
      Engravings. By the Author of the Army and Navy of the
      United States. Philadelphia: Carey & Hart. 8vo._

This is a large octavo volume, filled with deeply interesting
historical anecdotes, illustrated with engravings--a volume which will
create a taste for the whole series of American history, while it
gratifies in part a useful appetite. The work is beautifully printed
and admirably got out.

    *    *    *    *    *


      _Amelia._ This is one of Miss Leslie's novels, and it
      is worthy of that lady's fame, founded on liberal
      efforts to improve the heart, and make men and women
      better, by setting before them instances of folly and
      examples of virtue.



EDITOR'S TABLE.


THE TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE MOON.--In the month of September--the night
of the 12th and 13th--there was a total eclipse of the moon. Those who
would know all about it--exactly what was done when the adumbration
commenced, when and how long total obscuration was observable, and
when exactly the satellite passed out of the shadow of her principal
planet--have nothing to do but read in the almanacs the predictions
and calculations of the event--for exactly to a second the whole was
performed as set down by the astronomers. It was a beautiful sight for
those who love to watch the phenomena of the heavens, and there was
not a cloud, not a passing scud, to prevent a complete view of the
whole movement, from the first stain upon the eastern limb of the moon
until the whole passed off from her western side.

This eclipse of the moon is caused by that planet's passing through
the shadow of the earth, projected far into space; and in proportion
to the proximity of the moon is the duration of the eclipse--so that
we who occupied the side of the earth to which the eclipse was
visible, really saw the moon darkened by the intervention of our own
shadow. How like life is this! How many thousands are daily condemned
for some apparent fault, which they have indeed acquired from those
who condemn. How many live and suffer in the shadow of those who
sneer--and persecute while they impart the cause. How many parents, by
their errors, keep the sunlight of Truth and Religion from their
children, and yet condemn them for the shadow which rests upon their
mind, and makes them objects of undesirable notoriety--profitless
members of the social circle.

Go and inquire of that heart-broken, condemned female, why she ceased
to be the light of the circle in which she was placed--and she will
answer that the very beings whom she was to bless, and from whom she
was to derive blessings, darkened her pathway by the interference of
injudicious kindness or ill-timed severity, and she became totally
eclipsed. Ask the youth who has just made shipwreck of his wealth and
his fame, and he will tell you that in passing through the shadow
which relatives and associates had thrown across his path, his eclipse
was so long that society had no patience to await his return to
light--no mercy for the obscuration which their ill-timed lenity to
others had made him suffer.

But the moon on the morning of the 13th September passed out of the
obscuration, and went on her course diffusing light to all, and
maintaining her supremacy, in apparent size and real lustre, above all
the stellar orbs. And thus it is with man. The shadow of misfortune or
error, of indiscretion, is always projected across his path--he is
liable with every change to suffer some obscuration, some diminution
of his brightness, some eclipse of that portion bestowed on man. Let
society wait--let him toil onward--let there be a little faith, a
little confidence, a little hope, and he will recover all he has lost,
he will emerge from the shadow that is upon him and be bright and
profitable as before. In the deepest obscuration of the full, or the
earthward face of the moon, when all but its bare existence seemed
blotted out, the upper, heavenward surface was undimmed, and reflected
all the stellar glories of the higher planets. And thus is it with
man. Sorrows, disappointments, errors, wrongs, darken his way, and all
that is visible to those around him seems sullied and obscure, and he
is left to toil onward through the deep shadow of misery and
shame--the earthward side of his heart in a total eclipse--but the
heavenward portion, the cherished and the blessed, though beyond the
gaze, and often beyond the comprehension of the worldly--is bathed in
the holy light of heavenly influences--it knows no diminution of
brightness, no darkness from earthly shadows, no dimness from worldly
cares or worldly sorrow, but, turned away from the observation and
uses of mankind, its phaze is one of unalterable quiet, of undimmed
and shadowless lustre. Earth is not permitted to project one shadow
upon its plane, while heaven and heavenly light lie beautiful and
beautifying upon its surface.

    *    *    *    *    *

THE WOMEN OF THE SCRIPTURES.--Our booksellers are making judicious
preparations for the approaching holydays, and it may be anticipated
that the next "Christmas times" will afford a most varied and elegant
assortment of gift books for the choice of purchasers. Among those
that we have been favored with a sight of, one of the most beautiful,
both in design and execution, is a volume entitled "_The Women of the
Scriptures_," which Messrs. LINDSAY & BLAKISTON have gotten up to
correspond with those favorite works "Scenes in the Life of the
Saviour" and "Scenes in the Lives of the Apostles," heretofore issued
by them. The new publication has been edited by the Rev. H. HASTINGS
WELD, who has been well sustained by the artists, printers and binders
in their several departments. The purchaser will find in this volume
articles from many of the most able and popular writers in the
country, and we are sure that it cannot fail to commend itself, in an
eminent degree, to the favor of the public.

    *    *    *    *    *

Messrs. Carey & Hart are about to publish an edition of Mrs.
Sigourney's poetry, to be illustrated by some of the best productions
of the American burin, samples of which we have seen and admired. It
is fitting that the writings of Mrs. Sigourney should be thus set out.

The same publishers have caused to be prepared for the festive season
a handsome volume, of the Souvenir family, called the Ruby. A portion,
indeed most of its pictorial embellishments are of the first class of
engraving, and the letter-press contains poetry and prose worthy of
perusal. The work is a beautiful addition to the centre-table, and
will of course find favor.

    *    *    *    *    *

"IT IS NOT ALWAYS NIGHT."--The heart chilled by adversity or
languishing in sorrow, may find consolation and peace in the thought
which forms the caption of this article, and which we find so
beautifully woven into the harmony of numbers by our contemporary,
WILLIAM C. RICHARDS, Esq. Editor of the "Southern Literary Gazette."


    It is not always night! Though darkness reign
      In gloomy silence o'er the slumbering earth,
    The hastening dawn will bring the light again,
      And call the glories of the day to birth!
    The sun withdraws awhile his blessed light,
    To shine again--it is not always night!

    The voices of the storm may fill the sky,
      And Tempest sweep the earth with angry wing;
    But the fierce winds in gentle murmurings die,
      And freshened beauty to the world they bring:
    The after-calm is sweeter and more bright;
    Though storms arise, it is not always night!

    The night of Nature, and the night of Storm,
      Are emblems both of shadows on the heart;
    Which fall and chill its currents quick and warm,
      And bid the light of peace and joy depart:
    A thousand shapes hath Sorrow to affright
    The soul of man, and shroud his hopes in night.

    Yet, when the darkest, saddest hour is come,
      And grim Despair would seize his shrinking heart,
    The dawn of Hope breaks on the heavy gloom,
      And one by one the shadows will depart:
    As storm and darkness yields to calm and light,
    So with the heart--it is not always night!

    *    *    *    *    *

THE FUTURE.--By the time another number of the "Magazine" is laid
before its numerous readers, the bustle and din of the presidential
election will have subsided, and the people will set themselves to
thinking seriously of the selection of useful and entertaining
publications, to render perfect the enjoyment of the long, calm, quiet
winter evenings at home. Of course, none who take "Graham's Magazine"
now, will consent to deprive themselves of it for the future,
especially as the new volume, commencing in January, will be rendered
as attractive as means, energy, industry and application can make it.
We shall soon lay before our hundred thousand readers our new
Prospectus, in which will be given a bird's-eye view of the plan of
our prospective operations. Nothing will be promised that we will not
fully and faithfully perform; and, unrivaled as this "Magazine" has
heretofore been, we intend so to improve upon it, that the new volume
shall bear away the palm, and command the universal admission that it
is more excellent than ever!

    *    *    *    *    *

CHEAP PUBLICATIONS.--In these days of cheap publications, the means of
gratifying a love for reading are within the reach of all. There is an
abundant supply to feed the mental appetite, and our neighbor, T. B.
PETERSON, caters for the public taste with great energy and success.
To the lovers of light literature it may not be amiss for us to state,
that Mr. P. has published uniform editions of the works of those
popular and approved writers, MRS. GREY and MISS PICKERING--ladies
whose writings are always worth reading, and always convey a good
moral. A late publication, "The Orphan Niece," by Miss Pickering,
appears now, for the first time in this country, and is as excellent
and interesting as those from the same pen with which the public are
more familiar.

    *    *    *    *    *

[illo--finger] Were we inclined to copy one-half of the very handsome
compliments bestowed upon our Magazine by our friends of the press, we
could not find room to do so. We feel, however, rejoiced at and
grateful for these evidences of their favor, and will strive to render
ourselves yet more worthy of their commendations. The motto of
"Graham's Magazine" is EXCELSIOR; and as it has hitherto stood
immeasurably above all competitors in the public estimation, so shall
it maintain its enviable position, and merit the success it has
enjoyed.

    *    *    *    *    *

[illo--finger] Our engraver, WM. E. TUCKER, Esq., has in hand and will
have ready for the next volume, some brilliant specimens of his art.
We promise our patrons--and we do so without a single fear that our
promise will not be fully redeemed--more magnificent embellishments
than any literary work in the country has ever presented. This, of
course, will involve an immense expenditure of money, but we never
place cost in competition with the duty we owe our patrons, and our
desire to merit their favor.

    *    *    *    *    *

[illo--finger] We expect to give, in our next number, a life-like
portrait of our late correspondent and now co-editor, J. BAYARD
TAYLOR. He is a modest gentleman, and may not be pleased with the idea
of so public an introduction to the readers of this Magazine, but we
know that he is a favorite with them, and the admirers of his articles
will be gratified to see "what manner of man he is."

    *    *    *    *    *

WINTER FASHIONS.--Our friend _Oakford_ knows how to cap the climax of
human perfection, if we may judge from the various styles and fashions
of Hats, Caps, &c., presented in his card on the cover of our
"Magazine." His establishment is a favorite place of resort for all
who desire to be well fitted; and they must, indeed, be hard to
please, who cannot find something there to suit their fancy.

    *    *    *    *    *

[illo--finger] If we were inclined to be boastful, we think we might
raise a high note of exultation upon the character of the present
number of the "American Monthly Magazine." But, as "good wine needs no
bush," we lay our offering before the public, confident that its
manifest excellence will be discovered without the necessity of a word
from us to point out its varied beauties. While, however, we believe,
and feel assured that the public will concur in the belief, that this
number is one of surpassing beauty and merit, it may not be improper
to hint that the arrangements we have consummated for the future, will
enable us to improve even upon our present high standard of
excellence, and keep us, as ever, far, very far in advance of the most
labored efforts of all contemporaries. Our course is onward, and he
must bestir himself actively who would excel us.


Transcriber's Note:

Some archaic spellings have been retained to preserve the historicity
of the book. Simple changes in punctuation have been made without
comment. Obvious typos or printer's errors have been corrected without
comment.





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