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Title: Graham's Magazine Vol. XXXII No. 2.  February 1848
Author: Various
Language: English
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GRAHAM'S MAGAZINE.

VOL. XXXII. PHILADELPHIA, FEBRUARY, 1848. No. 2.

STOKE CHURCH AND PARK.

THE SCENE OF GRAY'S ELEGY, AND RESIDENCE OF THE PENNS OF PENNSYLVANIA

BY R. BALMANNO.


[Illustration: Manor of Stoke]

The Manor of Stoke, with its magnificent mansion and picturesque park,
is situate near the village of Stoke Pogeys, in the county of
Buckingham, four miles north-west of Windsor.

About two miles distant from Stoke lies the village of Slough,
rendered famous by the residence of the celebrated astronomer, Sir
William Herschel, and a short way further, on a gentle slope continued
the whole way from Stoke, stand the venerable towers of time-honored
Eton, on the bank of the Thames, directly opposite, and looking up to
the proud castle of the kings of England, unmatched in its lofty,
commanding situation and rich scenery by that of any royal residence
in Europe.

Stoke, anciently written Stoches, belonged, in the time of William the
Conqueror, A. D. 1086, to William, son of Ansculf, of whom it was held
by Walter de Stoke. Previous thereto, it was in part held by Siret, a
vassal of Harold, and at the same time, a certain Stokeman, the vassal
of Tubi, held another portion. Finally, in the year 1300, during the
reign of King Edward the First, it received its present appellation by
the intermarriage of Amicia de Stoke, the heiress, with Robert de
Pogeys. Under the sovereignty of Edward the Third, 1346, John de
Molines, originally of French extraction, and from the town of that
name in Bourbonnais, married Margaret de Pogeys; and, in consequence
of his eminent services, obtained license of the king to make a castle
of his manor-house of Stoke Pogeys, fortify with stone walls
embattled, and imparke the woods; also that it should be exempt from
the authority of the marshal of the king's household, or any of his
officers; and in further testimony of the king's favor, he had summons
to Parliament among the barons of the realm.

During the wars of the rival Roses, the place was owned by Sir Robert
Hungerford, commonly called Lord Moleyns, by reason of his marriage
with Alianore, daughter of William, Lord Moleyns.

This Lord Robert, siding with the Lancasterians, or the Red Roses,
upon the loss of the battle of Towton, fled to York, where King Henry
the Sixth then was, and afterward with him into Scotland. He was
attainted by the Parliament of Edward the Fourth; but the king took
compassion on Alianore, his wife, and her children, committing her and
them to the care of John, Lord Wenlock, to whom he had granted all her
husband's manors and lands, granting them a fitting support as long as
her said husband, Lord Robert, should live. But the Lancasterians
making head in the north, he "flew out" again, being the chief of
those who were in the castle of the Percys, at Alnwick, with five or
six hundred Frenchmen, and being taken prisoner at the battle of
Hexham, he was beheaded at Newcastle on Tyne, but buried in the north
aisle of the cathedral of Salisbury.

Lady Alianore, his widow, lies buried in the church of Stoke Pogeys;
and her monument may still be seen, with an epitaph commencing thus:

    _Hic, hoc sub lapide sepelitur Corpus venerabilis
    Dominæ Alianoræ Molins, Baronissiæ, quam
    prius desponsavit Dominus Robertus Hungerford,
    miles et Baro. &c. &c._

Notwithstanding the grant to Lord Wenlock, Thomas, the son and heir of
Lord Robert Hungerford, succeeded to the estate. For a time he sided
with the famous Earl of Warwick, the king-maker, who took part with
Edward the Fourth, but afterward "falling off," and endeavoring for
the restoration of King Henry the Sixth, was seized on, and tried for
his life at Salisbury, before that diabolical tyrant, crook-back Duke
of Gloucester, afterward Richard the Third, where he had judgment of
the death of a traitor, and suffered accordingly the next day.

But during the reign of Henry the Seventh, in 1485, when the Red Roses
became triumphant at the decisive battle of Bosworth, and these
unnatural and bloody wars which had devastated England for nearly
thirty years, being brought to a close, by the union of Henry with
Elizabeth of York, representative of the White Roses, the attainder of
Thomas, as well as that of his father, Lord Robert, being reversed in
Parliament, his only child and heir, called Mary, succeeded to the
estate.

Lady Mary married Edward, Lord Hastings, from whom the present Earl of
Huntingdon is descended. She used the title of Lady Hungerford,
Botreux, Molines, and Peverell. To this marriage Shakspeare alludes in
the tragedy of King Henry the VI., Part 3, A. 4, Sc. 1, when he makes
the Duke of Clarence say ironically,

    For this one speech Lord Hastings well deserves
    To have the heir of the Lord Hungerford.

Lord George Hungerford succeeding his father, was advanced to the
title of Earl of Huntingdon by King Henry the Eighth, in 1529. He died
the 24th of March, 1543, and lies buried in the chancel of Stoke
Pogeys. Edward, his second son, was a warrior with King Henry the
Eighth, and during the reign of Henry's daughter, Queen Mary, 1555,
declared his testament, appointing his body to be buried at Stoke
Pogeys, and directing his executors to build a chapel of stone, with
an altar therein, adjoining the church or chancel, where the late Earl
Huntingdon and his wife (his father and mother) lay buried; and that a
tomb should be made, with their images carved in stone, appointing
that a plate of copper, double gilt, should be made to represent his
own image, of the size of life, _in harness_, (armor,) and a memorial
in writing, with his arms, to be placed upright on the wall of the
chapel, without any other tomb for him. He died without issue. Earl
Henry was the last of the illustrious family of Huntingdon who
possessed the manor and manor-house of Stoke; and the embarrassed
state of his affairs compelled him to mortgage the estate to one
Branthwait, a sergeant at law, in 1580, during which period it was
occupied by Lord Chancellor Sir Christopher Hatton, the fine dancer,
one of the celebrated _favorites_ of Elizabeth, the lascivious
daughter of King Henry the Eighth--a woman as fickle as profligate, as
cruel and hard-hearted, so far as regarded her numerous paramours, as
her brutal father was in respect to his wives.

This historical detail, gathered from Domesday Book, Dugdale, and
other authorities, is narrated in consequence of its bearing upon some
celebrated poems hereafter to be noticed, and is continued up to the
present period for a like reason.

Sir Christopher Hatton died in 1591, and settled his estate on Sir
William Newport, whose daughter became the second wife of Sir Edward
Coke, Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench, who purchased
the estate of Stoke. After the dissolution of the Parliament by King
Charles the First, in March, 1628-9, Sir Edward Coke being then
greatly advanced in years, retired to his house at Stoke, where he
spent the remainder of his days in a quiet retirement, universally
respected and esteemed; and there, says his epitaph, crowned his pious
life with a pious and Christian departure, on Wednesday the 3d day of
September, A. D., 1634, and of his age 83; his last words, "THY
KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE!"

Upon the death of Sir Edward Coke, the manor and estate of Stoke
devolved to his son-in-law, Viscount Purbeck, elder brother of
Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, who perished by the hand of the
assassin, Felton.

Lord Purbeck, upon the death of his wife, daughter of Sir Edward Coke,
married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Slingsby, by whom he had a
son, Robert, which Robert, marrying the daughter and heir of Sir John
Danvers, one of the judges who sat on the trial of King Charles the
First, obtained a patent from Cromwell, Protector of the Commonwealth,
to change his name to Danvers, alledging as the reasons for his so
doing "the many disservices done to the commonwealth by the name of
the family of Villiers."

In 1657, Viscount Purbeck granted a lease of the manor and house of
Stoke, to Sir Robert Gayer during his own life; and in the same year,
his son, Robert Villiers, or Danvers, sold his reversionary interest
in the estate to Sir R. Gayer for the sum of eight thousand five
hundred and sixty-four pounds. The family of Gayers continued in
possession until 1724, when the estate was sold for twelve thousand
pounds to Edmund Halsey, Esq., M.P., who died in 1729, his daughter
Anne married Sir Richard Temple, created Viscount Cobham, who survived
him; and she resided at Stoke until her death in the year 1760.

The house and manor of Stoke were sold in the same year, by the
representatives of Edmund Halsey, to the Honorable Thomas Penn, Lord
Proprietary of the Province of Pennsylvania, the eldest surviving son
of the Honorable William Penn, the celebrated founder and original
proprietary of the province.

Upon the death of Thomas Penn, in 1775, the manor of Stoke, together
with all his other estates, devolved upon his eldest surviving son,
John, by the Right Honorable Lady Juliana, his wife, fourth daughter
of the Earl of Pomfret.

In 1789, the ancient mansion of Stoke, appearing to Mr. Penn, after
some years absence in America, to demand very extensive repairs,
(chiefly from the destructive consequences of damp in the principal
rooms,) it was judged advisable to take it down.

The style of its architecture was not of a kind the most likely to
dissuade him from this undertaking. Most of the great buildings of
Queen Elizabeth's reign have a style peculiar to themselves, both in
form and finishing, where, though much of the old Gothic is retained,
and a great part of the new style is adopted, yet neither
predominates, while both, thus indiscriminately blended, compose a
fantastic species, hardly reducible to any class or name. One of its
characteristics is the affectation of _large_ and _lofty_ windows,
where, says Lord Bacon, "you shall have sometimes faire houses so full
of glass, that one cannot tell where to become to be out of the sun."
A perfect specimen of this fantastic style, in complete repair, may be
seen in Hardwick Hall, county of Derby, one of the many residences of
that princely and amiable nobleman, the Duke of Devonshire, and a
perfect _contrast_ to it, at his other noble residence not many miles
distant, in the same county, Chatsworth, "the Palace of the Peak."

It is true that high antiquity alone gives, in the eye of taste, a
continually increasing value to specimens of all such kinds of
architecture; but beside that, the superiority of the new site chosen
by Mr. Penn was manifest, the principal rooms of the old mansion at
Stoke, where the windows admitted light from _both_ the opposite
sides, were instances, peculiarly exemplifying the remark of Lord
Bacon, and countenancing the design to lessen the number of bad, and
increase that of the good examples of architecture. But a wing of the
ancient plan was preserved, and is still kept in repair, as a relic,
harmonizing with the surrounding scenery, and forms with the rustic
offices, and fruit-gardens annexed, the _villa rustica_ and
_fructuaria_ of the place.

The new buildings, or, more properly speaking, Palace of Stoke, was
begun by Mr. Penn immediately after his return from a long absence in
Pennsylvania, and was covered-in in December, 1790. It is scarcely
possible to conceive a finer site than that chosen by him for his new
mansion, being on a commanding eminence, the windows of the principal
front looking over a rich, variegated landscape toward the lofty
towers of Windsor Castle, at a distance of four miles, which
terminates the view in that direction; whilst about and around the
site are abundance of magnificent aged oaks, elms, and beeches.

    *    *    *    *    *

The poems of Thomas Gray, who was educated at Eton, and resided at
Stoke, are perhaps better known, more read, more easily remembered,
and more frequently quoted, than those of any other English poet.
Where is the person who does not remember with feelings approaching to
enthusiasm, the impressions made on his youthful fancy by the
enchanting language of the "Elegy written in a Country Church-yard?"
Who can ever forget the impressions with which he first read the
narrative of the "hoary-headed swain," and the deep emotion felt on
perusing the pathetic epitaph, "graved on the stone, beneath yon aged
thorn," beginning--

    Here rests his head upon the lap of earth.
    A youth to fortune and to fame unknown:
    Fair science frowned not on his humble birth.
    And melancholy marked him for her own.

That exquisite poem contains passages "grav'd" on the hearts of all
who ever read it in youth, until they themselves become
hoary-headed--and then, perhaps, remembered most.

But it is not the Elegy alone which makes an indelible impression on
the youthful reader; equally imperishable are the lines on a distant
prospect of Eton College.

    Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,
    That crown the wat'ry glade,
    Where grateful science still adores
    Her Henry's holy shade.[1]

And who can ever forget the Bard--

    Ruin seize thee, ruthless King!
    Confusion on thy banners wait!
  Though fann'd by conquests crimson wing,
    They mock the air with idle state.

Or the lovely Ode on the Spring.

  Lo! where the rosy bosom'd Hours
     Fair Venus' train appear,
  Disclose the long-expecting flowers,
     And wake the purple year!

Or those sublime Odes--On The Progress of Poesy. Awake, Æolian lyre,
awake; and the Descent of Odin:

    Uprose the king of men with speed,
    And saddled strait his coal-black steed:
    Down the yawning steep he rode,
    That leads to Hela's drear abode.

[Footnote 1: Eton was founded and endowed by King Henry the Sixth. A
marble bust of the poet Gray was presented by Lord Morpeth, in 1846,
and placed, amongst many others, in the upper school.]

Who can ever forget the pleasure experienced on the first perusal, and
on every subsequent reading of these fascinating productions? They
are such as all, imbued with even a moderate degree of taste and
feeling, must respond to. But there is another poem of Gray's, less
read, perhaps, than these, but which, from its humor and arch playful
style, is apt to make a strong and lasting impression on an
enthusiastic juvenile mind. It opens so abruptly and oddly, that
attention is bespoke from the first line. It is entitled "A Long
Story."

    In Britain's isle--no matter where--
    An ancient pile of building stands:
    The Huntingdons and Hattons there
    Employed the power of fairy hands
    To raise the ceilings fretted height,
    Each panel in achievements clothing,
    Rich windows, that exclude the light,
    And passages, that lead to nothing.

This poem, teeming with quaint humor, contains one hundred and
forty-four lines, beside, _as it says_, "two thousand which are lost!"

Extreme admiration of the poems of Gray had been excited in the
writer's mind even when a schoolboy. In after years, whilst occupying
chambers in the Temple, he first became aware that the scenery so
exquisitely described in the Elegy, and the "ancient pile" of
building, so graphically delineated in the Long Story, were both
within a few hours' ride of London, and adjoining each other.

Until about the year 1815 he had constantly supposed that the Country
Church-yard was altogether an imaginary conception, and that the
ancient mansion of the Huntingdons was far away, somewhere in the
midland counties; but when fully aware of the true localities, he was
almost mad with impatience, until, on a Saturday afternoon, _he_ could
get relieved from the turmoil of business, to fly to scenes hallowed
by recollections of the halcyon days of youthful aspirations of hope,
and love, and innocence--and sweetly and fresh do such reminiscences
still float in his memory.

About the period in question, there was a club in London, formed of
about twenty or thirty of the most aristocratic of the young nobility,
possessed of more wealth than wisdom. They gave themselves the name of
the Whip Club, because each member drove his own team of four horses.
The chief tutor of these titled Jehu's in the art and mystery of
driving, was no less a personage than the celebrated Tom Moody, driver
of the Windsor Coach, and by that crack coach it was intended to
proceed as far as Slough, on the intended excursion to Stoke, and then
turn off to the left; but as the Whip Club, at the period in question,
attracted a large share of public attention in the metropolis, perhaps
a short notice of it may be here permitted, as it has been long since
defunct, and is never again likely to be revived, now that steam and
iron horses have taken the road.

The vehicles, horses, trappings, and gearing, were the most elegant
and expensive that money could command; and it was a rare thing to see
upward of twenty such equipages, which, as well as the housings of the
horses, were emblazoned with heraldric devices, and glittering all
over with splendid silver and gold ornaments.

The open carriages were all filled with the loveliest of England's
lovely women, who generally congregated together at an early
breakfast, or what with them was considered an early breakfast,
between ten and eleven o'clock! The meet took place at the house of
Lord Hawke, in Portman Square. His lordship was high admiral, or
president, Sir Bellingham Graham, whipper-in--and courteously and
cleverly did Sir Bellingham (or Bellinjim, as it is pronounced)
perform his delicate duty. When each driver mounted his box, after
handing in the ladies, it was wonderful to observe with what
dexterity, ease, and order, all wheeled into line, when the leader,
with a flourish of his long whip--being the signal for which all were
watching--led off the splendid array.

It was a gay sight to witness the start, as they swept round the
square--for the horses were one and all of pure blood, and
unparalleled for beauty, symmetry, and speed.

To one unaccustomed to such a sight, it might appear somewhat
dangerous. The fiery impatience of the horses--their pawing and
champing, the tossing of their beautiful heads, and the swan-like
curving of their glittering, sleek necks, until they were fairly
formed into order--at which time they knew just as well as their
owners that _the play_ was going to begin. But it was perfectly
delightful to observe the graceful manner in which each pair laid
their small heads and ears together when fairly under way, beating
time with their highly polished hoofs--pat, pat, pat, pat, as true as
the most disciplined regiment marching to a soul-stirring quick step,
or a troupe of well-trained ballet girls, bounding across the stage of
the Italian Opera.

When fairly off and skimming along the road, it was, perhaps, as
animating a show as London ever witnessed since its palmiest days of
tilt and tournament. I say nothing of the ladies, their commingled
charms, or gorgeous attire; I only noticed that during the gayety in
the square, previous to starting, their recognition of each other, and
the beaux of their acquaintance, there were plenty of

    "Nods, and becks, and wreathed smiles,
    Such as hang on Hebe's cheek,
    And love to live in dimples sleek."

This celebrated club congregated every fortnight, during the gay
season of May and June, and spent the day at the residence of one of
their number, within twenty or thirty miles of London, returning in
the evening, exactly in the order they had set out.

Master Moody, the driver and proprietor of the fast Windsor Coach,
had, as said, been the tutor of these aristocratic charioteers, who
placed themselves under his guardianship, and had been taught to
handle "the ribbons" until declared perfect in the noble science. He
had consequently imbibed much and many of the _airs_ and _graces_, and
manners of his pupils.

Being anxious to have a ride beside this great man, I was at
Piccadilly long before he started, and by a pretty handsome douceur to
his cad, had the supreme felicity of obtaining a seat on the box, and
certainly was well repaid for the extra expense of sitting by
Corinthian Tom.

He was a tall fellow, and had a severely serious face; was dressed in
the extreme of driving fashion; wore delicate white kid gloves, and
the tops of his highly-polished boots were white as the lily. In
short, his whole "toggery" was faultless--a perfect out-and-outer. He
was truly a great man, or appeared to fancy himself such--for he
rarely condescended to exchange a word, except with an acquaintance,
and even then, it was with a condescending, patronizing air; and he
smiled as seldom as a Connecticut lawyer. Although sitting close by
his side for twenty miles, not one word passed between us during the
whole journey.

The nags driven by this proud fellow were as splendid as himself;
finer cattle never flew over Epsom Downs, the Heath of Ascot, or
Doncaster Course--pure bloods, every one of them, and such as might
have served Guido as models for his famous fresco of the chariot of
Apollo; but Guido's steeds, although they are represented tearing away
furiously, are lubberly _drays_, compared with the slim, graceful,
fleet stags of Tom Moody.

When the cad gave the word--"all right," Tom started them with his
short, shrill "t'chit, t'chit," and a crack of his two-fathom whip
right over the ears of the leaders, as loud as the report of a pistol.
They sprang forward with a maddening energy, almost terrifying; but
the coach was hung and balanced with such precision, and the Windsor
road kept in the finest order for royalty, there was no jumping or
jolting, it glided along as smoothly as if it had been running on
rails. A proud man was Master Moody; not so much of himself, perhaps,
or of his glossy, broad-brimmed beaver, and broadcloth "upper
Benjamin," or the dashing silk tie around his neck, but of his
beautiful nags--and he had reason, for there was not an equipage on
the road, from the ducal chariot to the dandy tandem, to which he did
not give the go-by like lightning.

The rapidity of the movement, and the beauty of the animals, produced
an excitement sufficient to enable one to appreciate the rapture of
the Arab, as he flies over the desert on his beloved barb, enjoying,
feeling, exulting in liberty, sweet, intoxicating, unbounded liberty,
with the whole wilderness for a home.

Some such feelings took possession of me, as the well-poised machine
shot along. Quick as thought we threaded Kensington High street,
skirted the wall of Lord Holland's park, just catching, like the
twinkle of a sunbeam, a glimpse of the antique turrets of that classic
fane peeping through the trees, as we passed the centre avenue.

We speedily reached Hammersmith and Turnham Green, and then passed
Sion House and park, the princely residence of the Duke of
Northumberland, then dashed through the straggling old town of
Brentford. The intervening fields and openings into the landscape
affording enchanting prospects before entering on Hounslow Heath, when
the horses having got warm, the driver gave them full head, and the
vehicle attained a speed truly exhilarating.

The increased momentum, and the extensive prairie-like expanse of
Hounslow Heath, would have realized in any enthusiastic mind, the
feelings of the children of the desert.

This first excursion to Stoke was made during the month of May, when
all nature is fresh and fair; the guelder-roses and lilacs being in
full flower, and the hawthorn hedges were one sheet of milky
fragrance, the air was almost intoxicating, owing to the concentrated
perfumes arising from fruit orchards in full blossom, and the
interminable succession of flower gardens opposite every house
skirting that lovely road, the beauty of which few can conceive who
have not been in England; but the fresh, _pure_ air on the Heath,
infused a new feeling, a realization of unalloyed happiness; we were
rapidly hastening toward scenes for which the soul was yearning, and
hope, bright, young hope, lent wings and a charm to every object,
animate and inanimate.

The usual relay of fresh horses were in waiting at Cranburn Bridge,
and the reeking bloods were instantly changed for others, not a whit
less spirited than their released compeers. Away went Moody, and away
went Moody's fiery steeds. In a very short time we passed, at a few
miles on the hither side of Slough, the "ivy-mantled tower" of Upton
Church, which, but for one or two small, square openings in it, may be
mistaken for a gigantic bush, or unshapely tree of evergreen ivy.

Arriving at Slough, I bade adieu to Master Moody; the forty feet
telescope of Herschel, with its complicated frame-work and machinery,
attracting only a few minutes attention. The road leading up to Stoke
Green is one of those beautiful lanes so exquisitely described by
Gilbert White, in his History of Selborne, or still more graphically
portrayed by Miss Mitford, in her Tales of our Village. Stoke Green
lies to the right of this lane, and at the distance of one or two
fields further on, there is a stile in the corner of one of them, on
the left, where a foot-path crosses diagonally. In going through a gap
in the hedge, you catch the first peep of the spire of Stoke Church.
After passing the field, you come to a narrow lane, overhung with
hawthorns; it leads from Salt-Hill to the village of West-End Stoke.
Keeping along the lane a short way, and passing through a small gate
on the top of the bank, you at once enter the domain of Stoke Park,
and are admitted to a full view of the church, which stands at a short
distance, but almost immediately within the gate, are particularly
struck by the appearance of a grand sarcophagus, erected by Mr. Penn
to the memory of Gray, in the year 1779. It is a lofty structure, in
the purest style of architecture; and a tolerable idea of it, and the
surrounding scenery, may be obtained from the cut at the head of this
article, which has been executed from a drawing made on the spot. The
inscription and quotations following are on the several sides of the
pedestal. It is needless to say they are from the Elegy, and Ode to
Eton College--the latter poem being unquestionably written from this
very spot; and Mr. Penn has exhibited the finest taste in their
selection.

On the end facing Mr. Penn's house--

            THIS MONUMENT,
       IN HONOR OF THOMAS GRAY,
    WAS ERECTED, A. D. MDCCXCIX., AMONG
       THE SCENES CELEBRATED BY THAT
       GREAT LYRIC AND ELEGIAC POET.
    HE DIED XXX JULY, MDCCLXXI, AND
    LIES UNNOTICED IN THE CHURCH-YARD
    ADJOINING, UNDER THE TOMB-STONE ON
    WHICH HE PIOUSLY AND PATHETICALLY
      RECORDED THE INTERMENT OF HIS
        AUNT AND LAMENTED MOTHER.

On the side looking toward Windsor--

    Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
    Muttering his wayward fancies, he would rove;
    Now drooping, woful wan, like one forlorn,
    Or crazed with care, or cross'd in hopeless love.

    One morn I miss'd him on the 'custom'd hill,
    Along the heath, and near his fav'rite tree;
    Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
    Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he.

On the end facing Stoke Palace--

      Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,
        That crown the wat'ry glade,
      Ah! happy hills! Ah, pleasing shade!
        Ah! fields belov'd in vain!
    Where once my careless childhood strayed,
        A stranger yet to pain!
    I feel the gales that from ye blow,
        A momentary bliss bestow.

On the west side, looking toward the church-yard--

    Beneath these rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
    Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap,
    Each in his narrow cell forever laid,
    The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

    The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
    And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
    Await alike th' inevitable hour--
    The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

This noble monument is erected on a beautiful green mound, and is
surrounded with flowers. It is protected by a deep trench, in the
bottom of which is a palisade; but the inclosure may be entered by
application at one of Mr. Penn's pretty entrance lodges, which is
close by. The prospects from this part of the park are surpassingly
beautiful, particularly looking toward the "distant spires and antique
towers" of Eton and Windsor.

It may be worth while here to remark, that the church and church-yard
of Stoke is surrounded by Mr. Penn's property, or more properly
speaking his park.

Coming upon the beautiful monument quite unexpectedly, was not likely
to diminish the enthusiasm previously entertained; and before
proceeding to the church-yard, it was impossible to resist the impulse
of making a rapid memorandum sketch of it. In after years, it was
carefully and correctly drawn in all its aspects. Proceeding along
"the churchway path" into the church-yard, where in reality "rests his
head upon the lap of earth," the tomb-stone of the admired and beloved
poet was soon found. It is at the east end of the church, nearly under
a window.

Persons of a cold temperament, and not imbued with the love of poetry,
may perhaps smile when it is admitted, that the approach to that tomb
was made with steps as slow and reverential as those of any devout
Catholic approaching the shrine of his patron saint.

Long was it gazed upon, and frequently was the inscription read, and
the following cut exhibits the coat of arms and inscriptions on the
blue marble tabular stone, as they were carefully drawn and copied,
that very evening:

[Illustration: Coat of Arms and inscriptions]

    IN THE VAULT BENEATH ARE DEPOSITED
     IN HOPE OF A JOYFUL RESURRECTION,
             THE REMAINS OF
             MARY ANTROBUS,
  SHE DIED UNMARRIED, NOVEMBER 5TH, 1749,
                AGED 66.

         *    *    *    *    *

    IN THE SAME PIOUS CONFIDENCE,
    BESIDE HER FRIEND AND SISTER,
    HERE SLEEP THE REMAINS OF
           DOROTHY GRAY,
   WIDOW, THE CAREFUL TENDER MOTHER
  OF MANY CHILDREN, ONE OF WHOM ALONE
   HAD THE MISFORTUNE TO SURVIVE HER.
       SHE DIED MARCH 11TH, 1753,
                AGED 67.


It was a soft, balmy evening; "every leaf was at rest;" the deer in
the park had betaken themselves to their favorite haunts, under the
wide-spreading boughs of ancient oaks and elms, and were reposing in
happy security.

The long continued twilight of England was gathering in, and I still
lingered in the consecrated inclosure, fascinated with the
unmistakable antiquity of the church, which, although small as
compared with many others, is eminently romantic, and I cannot better
describe the scene, and the feelings impressed at the moment, than in
the words of one equally near as dear--

    "A holy spell pervades thy gloom,
      A silent charm breathes all around;
    And the dread stillness of the tomb
      Reigns o'er thy hallowed haunted ground."

It may be proper to mention that the poem from which this is
extracted, is descriptive of Haddon Hall, one of the most ancient and
perfect specimens of the pure Gothic in England. The poem appeared in
one of the English Annuals.

At peace with all the world, and filled with emotions of true and
sincere gratitude to the Giver of all good, for the pure happiness
then enjoyed, I sank down by the tomb-stone, overpowered with
veneration, and breathed fervent thanks to HIM who refuses not the
offering of a humble and contrite heart.

This narrative is meant to be a faithful and honest representation of
_facts_ and _circumstances_ that actually occurred, and it is firmly
believed that none can stray into an ancient secluded country
church-yard, during the decline of day, without deeply meditating on
those who for ages have slept below, and where ALL must soon sleep,
without feeling true devotion, and forming resolves for future and
amended conduct.

Slowly quitting the church-yard, and approaching the elevated
monument, now become almost sublime as the shades of evening rendered
dim its classic outline, it was impossible to avoid lingering some
time longer beside it, recalling various passages of the Elegy
appropriate to the occasion; the landscape was indeed "glimmering on
the sight," and there was a "solemn stillness in the air," well
befitting the occasion; more particularly appropriate was that fine
stanza, which, although written by Gray, is omitted in all editions of
the Elegy except the one hereafter noticed, in where it was
re-incorporated by the editor, [the present writer,] in consequence of
a suggestion kindly offered in a letter from Granville Penn, Esq.,
then residing with his brother at Stoke Park.

    Hark! how the sacred calm that breathes around
      Bids every fierce tumultuous passion cease;
    In still small accents whispering from the ground,
      A grateful earnest of eternal peace.

The Elegy is undoubtedly the most popular poem in the English
language; it was translated into that of every country in Europe,
besides Latin and Greek. It has been more frequently, elaborately and
expensively illustrated with pictorial embellishments. The autograph
copy of it, in the poet's small, neat hand, written on two small half
sheets of paper, was sold last year for no less than _one hundred
pounds sterling_; and the spirited purchaser was most appropriately
the proprietor of Stoke Park, Granville John Penn, Esq., who at the
same sale gave _forty-five pounds_ for the autograph copy of The Long
Story, and _one hundred and five pounds_ for the Odes; whilst another
gentleman gave forty pounds for two short poems and a letter from the
illustrious poet on the death of his father.

The truthfulness of the pictures presented to the imagination in the
Elegy could not be denied, for there, on the very spot where, beyond
all question, it was composed, and after a lapse of nearly one hundred
years, the images which impressed the mind of the inspired poet came
fresh at every turn. It is true the curfew did not toll, but the
"lowing herd" were as distinctly audible as the beetle wheeling his
droning flight. The yew tree's shade--that identical tree, to which,
to a moral certainty, the poet had reference--is represented in the
cut, in the corner of the inclosure, as distinctly as the smallness of
the scale admitted, underneath its shade the "turf lies in many a
mouldering heap," and the "rugged elms" are outside the inclosure, but
their outstretched arms overspread many a "narrow cell and frail
memorial," where the "rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep," and
where also "their name and years are spelt by th' unlettered muse." A
singular error in spelling _the name_ of one of those humble persons,
was however committed by the poet himself in his "Long Story," very
pardonable in him, however, as the party was then alive; but that the
error should have been perpetuated in ALL EDITIONS save one, down to
that entitled "The Eton," being printed there, and edited by a
reverend clergyman resident in the college, is somewhat singular;
moreover the _second_ edition of the Eton Gray appeared this very
year, and the error remains, although the name is correctly given on
the grave-stone. The excepted edition, in which alone it is correctly
given, was published in 1821, and edited by the present writer for his
friend Mr. John Sharpe. The circumstance will be noticed presently.

The Elegy of Gray was evidently written under the influence of strong
feeling, and vivid impressions of the beautiful in the scenery around
him, and when his sensitive mind was overspread with melancholy, in
consequence of the death of his young, amiable and accomplished friend
West, to whom, in June, 1742, he addressed his lovely Ode to Spring,
which was written at Stoke; but before it reached his friend he was
numbered with the dead! So true was the friendship subsisting between
them, that the poet of Stoke was overpowered with a melancholy which,
although subdued, lasted during a great part of his life.

The scenes amid which the Elegy was composed were well adapted to
soothe and cherish that contemplative sadness which, when the wounds
of grief are healing, it is a luxury to indulge, and that the poet did
indulge them is self-evident in many a line.

In returning to Stoke Green to spend the night, some of the rustic
peasantry were wending their way down the lane to the same place, but
none of these simple people, although questioned, could tell aught of
him whose fame and works had induced the pilgrimage to Stoke; neither
did better success attend any succeeding inquiry at the village. So
universally true is that scriptural saying, like ALL the sayings of
HIM who uttered it, that a prophet is not without honor, save in his
own country and in his own house.

Retiring to rest early, with a full determination to do that which had
often been resolved but never accomplished, that is, to rise with the
dawn; the resolution had nearly defeated the purpose, inasmuch as the
mind being surcharged with the past and the expected, there was little
inclination to sleep until after midnight. But a full and fixed
determination of the will overcomes greater difficulties, and the
first streak of light at break of day found me up and dressed, and of
a truth

    Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,
    To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.

The dawn was most lovely, and the perfume from the hawthorns
delicious; every thing indicated a beautiful day. The sarcophagus
stands on the most elevated spot, and there, where probably in days
long past the poet had watched the rising of the sun, did I, a humble
pilgrim at his shrine, await the same sublime spectacle.

As if to gratify a long cherished desire, the sun did rise with a
splendor impossible to be exceeded, and the following lines, by an
anonymous author, immediately recurred to memory:

    O who can paint the rapture of the soul,
      As o'er the scene the sun first steals to sight,
    And all the world of vapors as they roll,
      And heaven's vast arch unveils in living light.

To witness the break of day in the country is indeed a luxury to which
the inhabitants of cities are strangers. As the sun rose from the
horizon, his increasing light brought into view myriads of dew-drops
on every bud and blossom, which glittered and shone like diamonds. The
sky-larks began to rise from their grassy beds among the daisies,
ascending in circles to the clouds, and caroling a music which is
almost heavenly to hear. The deer also were getting up from their
shadowy lair under the trees, and the young fawns sprung away and took
to flight as I passed a herd, under a clump of beeches, in order to
obtain a view of the ancient mansion. In approaching it, a sound,
familiar indeed but far from musical, struck the ear, and added
another proof and a fresh charm to the fidelity of the picture drawn
by the poet. The swallows were merrily "twittering" about the
gable-ends, and it did the heart good to stand watching the probable
successors of those active little visiters, whose predecessors had
possibly attracted the notice of the bard. It is well known that these
birds, like the orchard oriole, return year after year to the same
house, and haunt where they had previously reared their young.[2]

A strong and perhaps natural desire to inspect the interior of all
that remained of the ancient mansion of the Huntingdons and Hattons
was defeated, inasmuch as it was found barricaded. Imagination had
been busy for many a year, in respect to its great hall and gallery,
its rich windows "and passages that lead to nothing;" but as access to
the interior was denied, the sketch-book was put in requisition, and
an accurate view soon secured.

Observing at some distance, through a vista among the trees, a lofty
pillar with a statue on its summit, and proceeding thither, it was
found to be another of those splendid ornaments with which the taste
and liberality of the proprietor had adorned his park, being erected
to the memory of Sir Edward Coke, whose statue it was which surmounted
the capital. Whilst engaged in sketching this truly classic object, a
gentleman approached, who introduced himself as Mr. Osborne, the
superintendent of the demesne. He expressed pleasure at seeing the
sketches, and politely offered every facility for making such, but
hinted that Mr. Penn had scruples, and very proper ones, about
strangers approaching too near the house on the Sabbath day, to make
sketches of objects in its vicinity.

[Footnote 2: A pair of Baltimore birds (the orchard oriole) returned
summer after summer, and built their hanging nest, not only in the
same apple-tree, but on the same bough, which overhung a terrace, in a
garden belonging to the writer at Geneva, New York, until one season a
terrific storm, not of hail but ice, tore the nest from the tree, and
killed the young, and the parent birds never afterward returned.]

Mr. Osborne's offer was courteously made, and the consequence was that
many visits to Stoke afterward took place, and the whole of the
interesting scenery carefully sketched. He kindly pointed out all that
was most worthy of attention about the estate and neighborhood, and
made tender of his company to visit West-End, and show the house which
Gray, and his mother and aunt had for many years occupied. The
proprietor he said was Captain Salter, in whose family it had remained
for a great many generations. Latterly the house has been purchased,
enlarged, and put into complete repair by Mr. Granville John Penn, the
present proprietor, nephew of John Penn, Esq., who died in June, 1834.
After "a hasty" breakfast at Stoke Green, the church-yard was again
visited, and there was not a grave-stone in it which was not examined
and read. The error formerly alluded to was immediately detected. The
passages in the Long Story, describing the mock trial at the "Great
House," before Lady Cobham, may be worth transcribing.

    Fame, in the shape of Mr. Purt,[3]
      (By this time all the parish know it,)
    Had told that thereabouts there lurked
      A wicked imp they call a poet:
    Who prowled the country far and near,
      Bewitched the children of the peasants,
    Dried up the cows and lamed the deer,
      And sucked the eggs and killed the pheasants.

              *    *    *    *    *

    The court was sat, the culprit there,
      Forth from their gloomy mansions creeping,
    The Lady Janes and Joans repair,
      And from the gallery stand peeping:
    Such in the silence of the night
      Come (sweep) along some winding entry,
    (Styack has often seen the sight,)
      Or at the chapel-door stand sentry:
    In peakèd hoods and mantles tarnished
      Sour visages enough to scare ye,
    High dames of honor once who garnished
      The drawing-room of fierce Queen Mary.

              *    *    *    *    *

    The bard with many an artful fib
      Had in imagination fenced him,
    Disproved the arguments of Squib
      And all that Groom could urge against him.

[Footnote 3: In all editions but that published by Mr. John Sharpe the
initial _only_ of this name has been given--"Mr. P."--even the Eton
edition of this year has it so. It seems folly to continue what may
have been very proper nearly a hundred years ago, when the individual
was alive; but the Rev. Robert Purt died in April, 1752!]

Finding on the stone alluded to, that it was to the memory of Mrs. Ann
Tyacke, who died in 1753, it occurred that this was the Styack of the
poem, where a foot-note in a copy then and there consulted, stated her
to have been the housekeeper; and on inquiring of Mr. Osborne, he
confirmed the conjecture. Two other foot-notes state Squib to have
been _groom_ of the chamber, and that Groom was steward; but finding
another head-stone (both are represented in the large wood-cut,
although not exactly in the situations they occupy in the church-yard)
close to that of Mrs. Tyacke, to the memory of _William_ Groom, who
died 1751, it appears to offer evidence that Gray mistook the _name_
of the one for the _office_ of the other. The Eton edition has not a
single foot-note from beginning to end of the volume. It is dedicated
to Mr. Granville John Penn, and his "kind assistance _during the
progress of the work_" acknowledged, both in its illustrations, and in
the biographical sketch, not withstanding which "assistance," the
error of the house-keeper's name is continued; and amongst the
wood-cut illustrations, there is one entitled (both _in_ the list and
_on_ the cut) "Stoke Church, east end, with tablet to Gray," when, in
fact, it represents the _tomb-stone_ at the end of the church, under
which Gray and his mother are interred. The _tablet_ to Gray is quite
another thing, _that_ was lately inserted in the wall of the church;
but by some extraordinary blunder it records his death as having taken
place on the 1st of August, while on the sarcophagus it is stated to
have occurred on the 30th of July. Neither the one nor the other is
correct. The Gentleman's Magazine for 1771, and the Annual Register
for the same year, as well as Mathias' Life, 2 vols. 4to., 1814, all
concur in giving it as having taken place on the 31st. The Etonian
edition has it the 30th. After a considerable time spent in the
church-yard, the hour of public worship drew near, the aged sexton
appeared, opened the doors, and began to toll the bell--that same
ancient bell which, century after century, had "rung in" generation
after generation, and tolled at their funerals. It is difficult to
realize the feelings excited on entering a sacred edifice of very
ancient date, particularly if it is in the country, secluded amongst
aged trees, looking as old as itself; and in walking over the stone
floor, which, although so seldom trodden, is worn away into something
like channels; in sitting in the same antique, and curiously carved,
black oaken pews, which had been sat on by races of men who had
occupied the same seats hundreds of years long past; but the effect is
greatly increased on viewing the effigies of the mighty dead, lying on
their marble beds, in long and low niches in the walls, some with the
palms of their hands pressed together and pointing upward, as if in
the act of supplication; and others grasping their swords, and having
their legs _crossed_, indicating that they had fought _for_ the cross
in the Holy Land. Such a church, and such objects around, fill the
mind with true devotion. The sublime words of Milton work out the
picture to perfection.

    There let the pealing organ blow
    To the full-voiced quire below,
    In service high, and anthems clear,
    As may with sweetness through mine ear
    Dissolve me into extasies,
    And bring all heaven before mine eyes.

It was gratifying and affecting to witness the piety, humility, and
devotion of the congregation as they entered and took their seats in
silence, long before the venerable clergyman entered the church; there
was something exceedingly touching in the profound silence that
reigned throughout the congregation, and induced one to think highly
of that rule amongst those excellent people, who with great propriety
are termed Friends. Public worship was attended both in the morning
and afternoon, and I returned to London, feeling myself a much better
man than when I left it, with a full determination to revisit a place
where so much pleasure had been received. It was nearly three months
before the resolve was carried into effect; but a second excursion was
made in August, and Mr. Osborne was kind enough to show the house at
West-End, together with the celebrated Burnham beeches, amongst which
were several "which wreathed their old fantastic roots so high,"
evidently the originals alluded to in the Elegy. They are scarcely a
mile from West-End, and are approached through another of those sweet
green lanes with which the neighborhood abounds. They are part of the
original forest. The spot was one of Gray's favorite haunts; and it
would be difficult to find one better fitted for a lover of nature,
and a contemplative mind. Late in the autumn an invitation was
received from Mr. Osborne to spend a day or two with him; but it was
not until the beginning of November that advantage could be taken of
it. Arriving at his house late in the afternoon, his servant informed
me he had been suddenly called away to the Isle of Portland, in
Dorsetshire, where Mr. Penn was erecting a castle. She also apologized
for Mrs. Osborne's inability to receive company, in consequence of "a
particular circumstance," which circumstance she blushingly
acknowledged was the birth of a fine boy the night before. There was
no resource, therefore, but to walk down either to Stoke Green, or to
Salt-Hill, where there are two well-known taverns. Before proceeding,
however, the church-yard, almost of necessity, must be visited; and
although in a direct line, it was not far from Mr. Osborne's house, a
considerable circuit had to be made to get into the inclosure. The
evening was particularly still--you could have heard a leaf fall; the
twilight was just setting in, and a haze, or fog, coming on, but the
spot was soon reached; and whilst kneeling, engaged, like Old
Mortality, in plucking some weeds and long grass, which had sprung up
about _the_ tomb since the last visit, a slight sound--a very gentle
rustle--struck the ear. I supposed it to be the ivy on the
church-wall, but the next instant it was followed by a movement--something
very near was certainly approaching. On looking up, it is impossible
to describe with what mixed feelings of astonishment, apprehension,
and awe, I beheld coming from a corner of the church-yard, (where
there was no ingress through the brick wall,) and directly toward the
spot where I knelt, the figure of a tall, majestic lady, dressed in a
black velvet pelisse, black velvet hat, surmounted by a plume of black
ostrich feathers. She was stepping slowly toward me, over the graves.
It would be useless to deny that fear fixed me to the spot on
beholding the expression of her very serious face, and her eyes firmly
fixed on mine.

Appalled by her sudden appearance, it seemed as if she had just risen
from the grave, dressed in a funeral pall; for I was facing toward
that corner of the enclosure from which she was coming, and feeling
certain no human being was there one minute before, I was breathless
with apprehension, and glad to rest one arm on the tomb-stone until
she came close up to me.

[Illustration: In the Grave-yard--P. Balmanno]

With a graceful inclination of the head, she addressed me.

"Mr. B----, I believe?"

"Yes, madam, that is my name."

"And you came down to visit Mr. Osborne, who has been called away to
Portland."

I breathed more freely as I admitted it.

"It happens," she continued, "to be inconvenient for Mrs. Osborne to
receive you, and as you came by invitation from her husband, if you
will accept a night's lodging from me, I am enabled to offer it. I am
Mr. Penn's housekeeper, and none of the family are at home."

Most joyfully was the invitation accepted; my mind was relieved from a
very unpleasant load of apprehension--but the end was not yet! She
began to lead the way over the graves, exactly toward the spot from
whence she had so suddenly and mysteriously appeared; after proceeding
a few steps, I ventured to say--

"Pray, madam, may I be allowed to inquire where you are leading to? I
can see no egress in that direction, unless it be into an open grave
or under a tomb-stone."

"Oh, you will find that out presently," replied the lady, transfixing
me with a glance of her bright blue eyes, and I thought I could detect
a rather equivocal expression about the corners of her beautiful
mouth. This was not very encouraging, and not much liked, but she was
a woman, and a lovely one, too much so by half to be a Banshee--I was
on my guard, however, and ready, but the fog became so thick it was
impossible to see three steps before us; in fact, it rolled over the
church-yard wall in clouds. The lady linked her arm in mine, to
prevent herself from stumbling, holding up her dress with the other
hand, as the long dank grass was wetting it. At last we arrived in the
very corner of the church-yard, she still keeping a firm hold of my
arm.

"In Heaven's name, madam, what do you mean by leading me into this
corner?"

"Oh, you are afraid, I see; but wait a moment."

On saying which, I observed her to take something bright from her
girdle, which apprehension converted into a stiletto or dirk, and such
is the force of self-preservation, that I was on the point of tripping
her up and throwing her on her back. But thrusting the supposed dirk
against the wall--presto--open sesame--the wall gave way, and she drew
me through a doorway. This was done so quickly it absolutely seemed
magic. For an instant I thought of dropping her arm--indeed I should
have done so, and retreated back through the door, but she held my arm
tight, and I almost quaked, for I thought she had dragged me into a
secret vault, the manoeuvre was performed so adroitly. The drifting
cold fog, however, soon made it plain we were in no vault, but the
open park. In short, it was a door in the wall, flush with the bricks,
and painted so exactly like them, it was impossible for a stranger to
discover it. It was Mr. Penn's private entrance, and saved the family
a walk of some distance. A narrow green walk, not previously remarked,
led from the door to the west end of the church.

The housekeeper of a nobleman or gentleman of wealth, in England,
generally enjoys an enviable situation. Intrusted with much that is
valuable, she is generally a person of the highest consideration and
respect, and seldom fails to acquire the elevated manners and refined
address of her superiors. The lady in question was exactly one of this
description, well educated, and well read; a magnificent library was
at her command, and having much time, and what is better, fine taste,
she had profited by it. Never was an evening passed in greater
comfort, or with a more agreeable companion. After partaking of that
most exhilarating of all beverages, the pure hyson, we began to chat
with almost the same freedom as though we had been long acquainted.
During a pause in the conversation, after looking in my face a moment,
she said--

"Will you answer me one question?"

"Most certainly, any thing, you choose to ask."

"But will you answer it honestly and truly?"

"Do not doubt it."

"Well, then, tell me, were you not most horribly afraid when you saw
me coming toward you in the church-yard?"

"I do frankly confess, madam, I _was horribly_ afraid, and further, I
firmly believe I should have taken to my heels, had you not been a
very beautiful woman!"

Before the sentence was well finished her laughter was irrepressible.

"I _knew_ it, I _saw_ it, I _intended_ it," said she, laughing so
heartily that the tears sprung out of her beautiful eyes, and she was
obliged to use her handkerchief to wipe them away.

"And do you feel no compunction for scaring a poor fellow half out of
his wits?"

"None whatever," replied she gayly. "What could you expect when
prowling amongst the graves in a church-yard so lone and solitary,
like a goule, on a damp November night? I saw you from Mr. Osborne's
going toward it, and determined to startle you--and I think I
succeeded pretty effectually."

"You did, and had very nearly met with your reward, for when in the
corner of that church-yard you pulled the key from your girdle, fully
believing you to be the Evil One, I was on the point of strangling
you."

Much laughter at my expense ensued, for the lady lacked neither wit
nor humor, and the evening flew faster than desired. On retiring, a
man servant conducted me to an apartment on the upper floor of the
mansion, and sleep soon came and soon went, for an innumerable number
of rats and mice were careering all over the bed! and I felt them
sniffing about my nose and mouth; I sprang bolt upright, striking
right and left like a madman. This sent them pattering all about the
room, and dreading that I might find myself minus a nose or an ear
before morning, I groped all around the room for a bell, but could
find none; proceeding into the corridor and standing on tip-toe,
bell-wires were soon found, and soon set a ringing; watching at the
top of the very long staircase, a light was at last seen ascending,
borne in the hand of a very fat man, who proved to be the butler; he
had nothing on but his shirt, and a huge pair of red plush, which
enveloped his nether bulk. Puffing with the exertion of ascending so
many stairs, he at last saw me, still more lightly clothed than
himself, and inquired what I wanted?

"Have you got a cat about the house?"

"No, sir, we have no cats, they destroy the young pheasants."

"A dog, then?"

"No dog, sir, on account of the deer."

"Then tell the housekeeper there are ten thousand rats and twenty
thousand mice in the room I occupy!"

As he descended the stair he was heard mumbling,
"cats!"--"dogs!"--"rats!"--"mice!" and chuckling ready to burst his
fat sides.

After long waiting, the reflection of light on his red plush smalls
(_greats_ would better describe them) flashed up like a streak of
lightning, and puffing harder than before, told me if I would follow
him down stairs, he had orders to show me to another room.

Gathering up the articles of my dress over my arm, we descended, and I
was shown into a room of almost regal splendor. The lofty bedstead had
a canopy, terminating in a gilded coronet, and the ample hangings were
of rich Venetian crimson velvet, trimmed and festooned "about, around
and underneath." The ascent to this unusually lofty bed was by a
flight of superb steps, covered with rich embossed velvet. Out of the
royal palaces I had never seen such a bed.

In consequence of having stood so long undressed on the marble floor
at the top of the stairs, shivering with cold, the magnificent bed, on
getting into it, was found comfortable beyond expression. It felt as
if it would never cease yielding under the pressure; it sunk down,
down, down--there appeared no stop to its declension; and then its
delicious warmth--what a luxury to a shivering man! Hugging myself
under the idea of a glorious night's rest, and composing myself in the
easiest possible position, it was more desirable to lay awake in such
full enjoyment, than to sleep--sleep had lost all its charms. I was in
the bed of beds--the celestial!

After thus laying about twenty minutes, enjoying perfect bliss, a
sensation of some uneasiness began slowly to manifest itself, which
induced a change of position; but the change did not relieve the
uncomfortable feeling. It would be difficult to describe it, but it
increased every moment, until at last it seemed as if the points of a
hundred thousand fine needles were puncturing every pore. This was
borne with great resignation and equanimity for some time, expecting
it would go off; but the stinging sensation increased, and finally
became intolerable; the celestial bed became one of infernal torture.
I tossed, and dashed, and threw about my limbs in all directions, and
almost bellowed like a mad bull.

What to do to relieve the torment I knew not. To ask for another bed
was out of the question, and to attempt to sleep on thorns--thorns!
they would have been thought a luxury to this of lying enduring the
pains of the doomed. After long endurance of the pain, and in racking
my brains considering what was best to be done, the intolerable
sensations began by degrees to subside and grow less and less; but the
heat, although nearly insupportable, was more easily endured. That
horrible night was a long one--and long will it be before it is
forgotten.

Coming down in the morning, expecting to find the lady all smiles and
graces, I was surprised and hurt to find she received me rather
coldly, and with averted head; but when she could no longer avoid
turning round, never, in the whole course of my life, was I more
astonished at the change she had undergone. It was a total, a radical
change--she was hardly to be recognized--and it was scarcely possible
to believe she was the lovely woman of the last night. Not that her
splendid figure was altered--in fact, an elegant morning-dress rather
tended to improve and set-off her full and almost voluptuous contour,
and her soft, sweet voice was equally musical; but her face--the
charms of her lovely face were vanished and gone!

Every one will admit that the nose is a most important, nay, a very
prominent feature in female beauty. It is indispensible that a belle
should have a beautiful nose; in fact, it is a question whether a
woman without an eye would not be preferable to one with--but I
anticipate.

"I see your surprise, sir," said she, with evident chagrin, "but it is
all owing to you."

"To _me_, madam! I presume you allude to the altered appearance of
your face, but I cannot conceive what I can have had to do with the
change."

In brief, her beautiful nose was all over as red as scarlet,
particularly the point of it, which exactly resembled a large red
cherry, or ripe Siberian crab-apple. Now just think of it--a very fair
woman with a blood-red nose! Faugh! it is enough to sicken the most
devoted admirer of the sex. Suppose any gentleman going to be married,
and full of love and admiration, should, on going to the house of his
beloved bride on the appointed morning, to take her to church, humming
to himself that sweet song, "She Wove a Wreath of Roses," finds her
beautiful nose become a big rosy nosegay--would he not be apt to
suppose she had over night been making pretty free sacrifices, not to
the little god of love, but to jolly Bacchus? I did not do _my_ belle
such an injustice--and yet what could I think?

"How do you make out that I had any thing to do with such an important
alteration, madam."

"O, as easy as it is true. Did not your wo-begone terrors in the
church-yard throw me into immoderate fits of laughter, as you well
know? And did not your adventures, after you retired, when reported to
me, throw me all but into convulsions--the more I thought, the more I
laughed, until it brought on a nervous headache so intense, it felt as
if my head would have split? To relieve so distressing a pain, I took
a bottle of eau de cologne to bed with me, and pulling out the
stopper, propped it up by the pillow, right under my nose. I quite
forgot it, and fell asleep with the bottle in that position."

"Ah!" said I, "I suspected _the bottle_ had something to do with it."

"Quite true, quite true--but not the bottle you wickedly insinuate.
How long I slept I know not, it must have been a long time; when I
awoke, I was surprised to find my shoulder cold and wet--and then I
recollected the bottle of cologne; but what was my horror, on getting
up, to behold my face in this frightful condition, you may easily
imagine."

Poor, dear lady, if she laughed heartily at the scare she gave me in
the church-yard, I now had my revenge, full and ample--for I could not
refrain from laughing outright every time I looked in her face; and
laughter, when it is hearty and hilarious, is catching, almost as much
as yawning; and I fancy few will dispute how potent, how Mesmeric, or
magnetic the effect of an outstretched arm and wide gaping oscitation
is. I declare, I caught myself gaping the other night on seeing my
wife's white cat stretch herself on the rug, and yawn.

"I really should feel obliged if you would be polite enough to keep
your eye off my face," said the lady.

Now it need hardly be remarked, that when any thing is the matter with
a person's face, be it a wall-eye, a squint, a cancer, very bad teeth,
or any such disfigurement or malady, it is impossible to look at any
other spot--it is sure to fix your gaze, you can look at no other
part; you cannot keep your eye off it, unless you are more generous,
or better bred than most men.

"I really should feel obliged if you would be polite enough to keep
your eye off my nose; it puts me out of countenance," said the fair
one. She said this half earnest, half jest; and I obliged her, by
directing my looks to her taper fingers and white hands--and the
conversation proceeded with the breakfast.

"May I inquire how you rested, after your escape from the ten thousand
rats, and twenty thousand mice, which attacked you before you changed
your room?"

"Do you ask the question seriously?"

"Certainly I do."

"Why, then, to use a homely but a very expressive phrase, it was out
of the frying-pan into the fire."

"Mercy on us! how can that be; you had what is considered the best bed
in the house."

"O, I dare say--no doubt, the softest I ever lay in; but instead of
ten thousand rats, and twenty thousand mice, I had not been in it
fifteen minutes ere a hundred and twenty thousand hornets, wasps,
scorpions, and centipedes, two or three thousand hedge-hogs, and as
many porcupines, seemed to be full drive at me; and had I not soon
been relieved by perspiration, I should assuredly have gone mad, and
been in bedlam. Nervous headache! Why, madam, it would have been
considered paradise, compared with the purgatory you inflicted on me."

Her eyes sparkled with glee--and she began to laugh joyously; but soon
checking herself, and assuming a sort of mock sympathy, said,

"I am very sorry--_very_ sorry, indeed, that you should have found
your bed so like the love of some men, rather hot to hold."

On inquiring whether the grand coroneted bed, which had been as a hot
gridiron to me, was intended for any particular person, she informed
me it was for a Russian nobleman, Baron Nicholay, a much respected
friend of Mr. Penn's, who sometimes visited Stoke, and who, being used
to a bed of down in the cold climate of his own country, Mr. Penn,
with his characteristic kindness and attention, had it prepared for
the baron's especial comfort. She added that the reason why Mr. Penn
had all his life remained a bachelor, was in consequence of an early
attachment which he had formed for the baron's sister; that they were
to have been married, but in driving the lady in a _drouschky_, or
sledge, on the ice of the Neva, at St. Petersburg, by some fatality
the ice gave way, and notwithstanding the most strenuous exertions of
her lover, and the servant who stood behind the sled, the lady, by the
force of the current, was swept away under the ice, and never
afterward seen. That this shocking accident had such effect on Mr.
Penn's mind, as well it might, he never could think of any other
woman, but remained true and constant to his first love, mourning her
tragic end all his life.

This was exactly the case with that most amiable and gifted man, the
late Sir Thomas Lawrence, who being engaged and about to be married to
a daughter of the celebrated Mrs. Siddons, the young lady was suddenly
snatched from him by a rapid consumption; and Sir Thomas remained
faithful to her beloved memory, wearing mourning during his life, and
ever after used black wax in sealing his letters, as the writer can
prove by many, many received from him during a series of years until
his lamented death.

On asking my intelligent companion if she knew any particulars
respecting Gray, she replied she did know a great deal regarding him;
that Mr. Penn idolized his memory, and had made collections respecting
him and the personages mentioned in the Long Story. At my pressing
solicitation she was good enough to say she would write out all the
particulars--a promise which she faithfully kept; and they may
hereafter appear in some shape.

The morning proving foggy and damp, the time (instead of going to
church) was passed in the library--a magnificent room, nearly two
hundred feet long, extending the whole length of the building, and
filled with books from floor to ceiling.

In one of the principal rooms, mounted upon a pedestal, there is a
large piece of the identical tree under the shade of which Mr. Penn's
celebrated ancestor, William, signed his treaty with the Indians,
constituting him Lord Proprietary of what was afterward, and what will
ever be, Pennsylvania. The piece of wood is part of a large limb,
about five feet long. The tree was blown down in 1812, and the portion
in question was transmitted by Dr. Rush to Mr. Penn, who had it
varnished in its original state, and a brass plate affixed to it, with
an inscription.

The sun broke through the fog about twelve o'clock, and had as
cheering an effect on the landscape, as it almost invariably has on
the mind. In the afternoon, after a most delightful day spent with the
fair housekeeper, it became time to think of returning to London, and
as the distance would be much lessened by proceeding through Mr.
Penn's grounds, and going down to Salt-Hill instead of Slough, the
lady offered to accompany me to the extent of the shrubberies, and
point out the way. These enchanting shrubberies are adorned with busts
of the Roman and English poets, placed on antique terms, along the
well-kept, smooth gravel-walks, which wind about in many a serpentine
direction through the grounds. There are appropriate quotations from
the works of the different bards, placed on the front of each
terminus. The bust of Gray, is placed under an ancient wide-spreading
oak, with this inscription:

    Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch
    A broader, browner shade;
    Where'er the rude moss-grown beech
    O'er canopies the glade,
    With me the muse shall sit and think,
    At ease reclined in rustic state.

There is an elegant small building, inscribed "The Temple of Fancy,"
in which a bust of the immortal Shakspeare is the only ornament. It is
on a small knoll, commanding an extensive prospect through the trees,
which are opened like a fan. Windsor Castle terminates this lovely
view. Within the temple there is a long inscription from the Merry
Wives of Windsor, Act 5, sc. 5, beginning thus,

    Search Windsor Castle, elves, within and out;
    Strew good luck, ouphes, on every sacred room;
    That it may stand till the perpetual doom,
    In state as wholesome, as in state 'tis fit,
    Worthy the owner, and the owner it.

The grounds, laid out with so much fine taste, terminate in a lovely
little dell, sheltered on every side. In the centre there is a circle
bordered with box, and growing within it, a collection of all the
known varieties of heath. The plants were then in full flower, and
innumerable honey-bees were feeding and buzzing. To one who, in early
life, had been accustomed to tread the heath-covered hills of
Scotland, the unexpected sight of these blooming plants of the
mountain was a treat; and the effect was heightened on seeing the bust
of Scotia's most admired bard, Thomson, adorning it. The inscription
was from that sublime, almost divine hymn, with which the Seasons
conclude, and eminently well applied to the heath, as some one or
other of the varieties blossom nearly all the year through.

   These, as they change, Almighty Father, these,
   Are but the varied God. The rolling year
   Is full of thee.

In that secluded dell I bade a sorrowful and unwilling adieu to the
lady who had shown such extraordinary politeness. It may be worth the
while to mention that she was soon after married, much against the
wish of Mr. Penn, who had a great aversion to any changes in his
establishment; for a kinder, a better, a more pious, or more
accomplished gentleman than the late John Penn, of Stoke Park, England
could not boast.

    *    *    *    *    *

In consequence of the extraordinary prices lately paid for the
autograph copies of Gray's poems, more particularly that of the Elegy,
it has been thought it would be acceptable to the readers of the
Magazine to be presented with a _fac simile_. The following have
therefore been traced, and engraved with great care and accuracy, from
the first and last stanzas of the Elegy, and the signature from a
letter. These will give an exact idea of the peculiarly neat and
elegant handwriting of the Poet of Stoke.

[Illustration: handwritten poem by Gray

The Curfew tolls the Knell of parting Day,
The lowing Herd wind slowly o'er the Lea,
The Plowman homeward plods his weary Way,
And leaves the World to Darkness & to me.

    No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his Frailties from their dread Abode,
(There they alike in trembling Hope repose)
The Bosom of his Father, & his God.

    Your humble Serv^t      T. Gray]

    *    *    *    *    *



THE SAW-MILL.

FROM THE GERMAN OF KORNER.

BY WILLIAM C. BRYANT.


    In yonder mill I rested,
      And sat me down to look
    Upon the wheel's quick glimmer.
      And on the flowing brook.

    As in a dream, before me,
      The saw, with restless play,
    Was cleaving through a fir-tree
      Its long and steady way.

    The tree through all its fibres
      With living motion stirred,
    And, in a dirge-like murmur,
      These solemn words I heard--

    Oh, thou, who wanderest hither,
      A timely guest thou art!
    For thee this cruel engine
      Is passing through my heart.

    When soon, in earth's still bosom,
      Thy hours of rest begin,
    This wood shall form the chamber
      Whose walls shall close thee in.

    Four planks--I saw and shuddered--
      Dropped in that busy mill;
    Then, as I tried to answer,
      At once the wheel was still.



EFFIE MORRIS.

OR LOVE AND PRIDE.

BY ENNA DUVAL.

    So changes mortal Life with fleeting years;
      A mournful change, should Reason fail to bring
    The timely insight that can temper fears,
      And from vicissitude remove its sting;
    While Faith aspires to seats in that domain
    Where joys are perfect--neither wax nor wane. WORDSWORTH.


It was a warm, cloudy, sultry summer morning--scarcely a breath of air
stirred the clematis and woodbine blossoms that peeped in and
clustered around the breakfast-room window, greeting us with fresh
fragrance; but on this morning no pleasant air breathed sighingly over
them, and they looked drooping and faded. I was visiting my friend
Effie Morris, who resided in a pleasant country village, some twenty
or thirty miles from my city home. We were both young, and had been
school-girl friends from early childhood. The preceding winter had
been our closing session at school, and we were about entering our
little world as women. Effie was an only daughter of a widowed mother.
Possessing comfortable means, they lived most pleasantly in their
quiet romantic little village. Effie had stayed with me during the
winters of her school-days, while I had always returned the compliment
by spending the summer months at her pleasant home. Her mother was
lovely both in mind and disposition, and though she had suffered much
from affliction, she still retained youthful and sympathizing
feelings. Effie was gentle and beautiful, and the most innocent,
unsophisticated little enthusiast that ever breathed. She had arrived
at the age of seventeen, and to my certain knowledge had never felt
the first heart-throb; never had been in love. In vain had we attended
the dancing-school balls, and little parties. A host of boy-lovers
surrounded the little set to which we belonged, and yet Effie remained
entirely heart-whole. She never flirted, never sentimentalized with
gentlemen, and she was called cold and matter-of-fact, by those who
judged her alone by her manner; but one glance in her soft, dove-like
eyes, it seems to me, should have set them a doubting. I have seen
those expressive eyes well up with tears when together we would read
some old story or poem--

    "Two shall be named preeminently dear--
    The gentle Lady married to the Moor,
    And heavenly Una with her milk-white Lamb"--

or leaning from our bed-room window, at midnight, we would gaze on the
silvery moon in the heavens, listening to the rippling notes of the
water-spirits that to our fancy inhabited the sparkling stream that
ran near the house. How beautifully would she improvise at times--for
improvisations in truth were they, while she was quite unconscious of
her gift. She never wrote a line of poetry, but when in such moods,
every word she uttered was true, pure poetry. She had a most
remarkable memory, and seemed never to forget a line she read. To me
she would repeat page after page of our favorite authors, when we
would be wandering through the woods, our arms entwined around each
other.

Effie Morris was an enthusiastic dreamer, and entertained certain
little romantic exaggerated opinions, out of which it was impossible
to argue her--sometimes her actions ran contrary to these opinions,
and we would fancy that surely now she would admit the fallacy of her
arguments in favor of them; but when taxed with it, she would in the
most earnest, sincere manner defend her original position, proving to
us that no matter how her actions appeared to others, they were in her
own mind entirely in keeping with these first expressed opinions,
which to us seemed entirely at variance. But she was so gentle in
argument, and proved so plainly that though her reasoning might be
false, her thoughts were so beautiful and pure, as to make us feel
perfectly willing to pardon her obstinacy.

On the morning I speak of, we lounged languidly over the
breakfast-table, not caring to taste of the tempting crisp rolls, or
drink of the fragrant Mocha juice, the delicious fumes of which rose
up from the delicate China cups all unheeded by us. At first we talked
listlessly of various things, wandering from subject to subject, and
at last, to our surprise, we found ourselves engaged in a sprightly,
animated argument; each forgetting the close atmosphere that seemed at
first to weigh down all vivacity. The subject of this argument was the
possibility of pride overcoming love in a woman's heart. Mrs. Morris
and I contended that love weakened or quite died out if the object
proved unworthy or indifferent. Our romantic Effie of course took the
opposite side. True love to her mind was unalterable. Falsehood,
deceit, change--no matter what sorrow, she said, might afflict the
pure loving heart--its love would still remain. "I cannot," she
exclaimed enthusiastically, "imagine for an instant that true, genuine
love should--could have any affinity with pride. When I see a woman
giving evidence of what is called high spirit in love matters, I
straightway lose all sympathy for her heart-troubles. I say to
myself--she has never truly loved."

We argued, but in vain; at length her mother laughingly cried
out--"Nonsense, Effie, no one would sooner resent neglect from a
lover than yourself. True love, as you call it, would never make such
a spiritless, meek creature out of the material of which you are
composed."

"Yes, in truth," I added, as I saw our pretty enthusiast, half vexed,
shake her head obstinately at her mother's prophecy--"I can see those
soft eyes of yours, Effie, darling, flash most eloquent fire, should
your true love meet with unworthiness."

During our conversation the clouds had broken, the wind changed, and a
delicious breeze came sweeping in at the windows as if to cool our
cheeks, flushed with the playful argument.

"Will you ride or walk this morning, girls?" asked Mrs. Morris, as we
arose from the breakfast-table.

"Oh, let us take our books, guitar and work up the mill-stream to the
old oak, dear mamma," exclaimed Effie, "and spend an hour or two
there."

"But it will be mid-day when we return," replied her mother.

"That's true," said Effie, laughing, "but Leven can drive up to the
old broken bridge for us at mid-day."

"To be sure he can," said Mrs. Morris, and accordingly we sallied
forth, laden with books and netting, while a servant trudged on ahead,
with camp-stools and guitar. Nothing eventful occurred on that
particular morning, and yet though years have passed since then, I
never recall the undulating scenery of the narrow, dark, winding
mill-stream of Stamford, but it presents itself to my mind's eye as it
looked on that morning. In my waking or sleeping dreams, I see the old
oak at the morning hours, and whenever the happy moments I have spent
at Effie Morris' country home come to my memory, this morning is
always the brightest, most vivid picture presented before me by my
fancy. As Hans Christian Andersen says with such poetic eloquence in
his Improvisatore--"It was one of those moments which occur but once
in a person's life, which, without signalizing itself by any great
life-adventure, yet stamps itself in its whole coloring upon the
Psyche wings."

We walked slowly along the narrow bank--tall trees towered around us,
whose waving branches, together with the floating clouds, were
mirrored with exquisite distinctness on the bosom of the dark, deep,
narrow stream--near at shore lay the dreaming, luxurious water-lilies,
and a thousand beautiful blossoms bent over the bank, and kissed
playfully the passing waters, or coquetted with the inconstant breeze.
Our favorite resting-place was about a mile's walk up the beautiful
stream, and to reach it we had to cross to the opposite shore, over a
rude, half-ruined bridge, which added to the picturesque beauty of the
scenery. The oak was a century old tree, and stood upon rising ground
a short distance from the shore. How calmly and happily passed that
morning. Effie sang wild ballads for us, and her rich full notes were
echoed from the distance by the spirit voices of the hills. We wove
garlands of water-lilies and wild flowers, and when I said we were
making Ophelias of ourselves, Effie, with shy earnestness most
bewitching, unloosened her beautiful hair, twining the long locks, and
banding her temples with the water-lily garlands and long grass--then
wrapping an India muslin mantle around her shoulders, she gathered up
the ends on her arms, filling them with sprigs of wild blossoms, and
acted poor Ophelia's mad scene most touchingly. Tears gathered in our
eyes as she concluded the wild, wailing melody

   "And will he not come again,
    And will he not come again,
        No, no, he is dead,
        Go to thy death-bed,
    He never will come again.

   "His beard was as white as snow,
    All flaxen was his poll--
        He is gone, he is gone,
        And we cast away moan--
    God a mercy on his soul."

There was a deep, touching pathos in her voice as she uttered the
minor notes of this song, and her soft eyes beamed half vacantly, half
reverently, as looking up to heaven she uttered in low breathing
tones--

    "And of all Christian souls! I pray God!"

Then suddenly arousing herself, she looked toward us and murmured, as
she turned away with a sad, tearful smile, "God be wi' you." The
illusion was perfect, and we both sobbed outright.

Effie Morris was one of the few true geniuses I have known in my life
time; and when I have said this to those who only met with her in
society, they have laughed and wondered what genius there could be in
my cold, quiet friend.

The following winter Effie entered society. Her mother had many gay
and fashionable friends in the principal northern cities, and during
the winter season her letters to me were dated at one time from
Washington, then again from some other gay city; and in this free from
care pleasant manner did her days pass. Household duties kept me,
though a young girl, close at home. Possibly if Effie had been thrown
into the active domestic sphere which was my mission, her history
might have been different. She certainly would have been less of a
dreamer. Exquisite waking dreams, woven of the shining fairy threads
of fancy, meet with but poor encouragement in every-day life, and take
flight sometimes never to return, when one is rudely awakened from
them in order to attend to "the baked and the broiled." I remember,
when a girl, feeling at times a little restive under the duties
unavoidably imposed upon me, and often would indulge in a morbid
sentimental humor, dreaming over some "rare old poet" or blessed
romance, to the exceeding great detriment of my household affairs,
making my poor father sigh over a tough, badly cooked stake, and
cheerless, dusty house; but these moods, to my credit be it told, were
of rare occurrence; and I say now the best school for a dreaming,
enthusiastic girl, who sighs for the realization of her fancy visions,
is to place her in charge of some active duty--to make her feel it is
exacted from her--that she must see it performed. I mean not that a
delicate intellectual spirit should be borne to the earth disheartened
with care and hard labor--but a share of domestic cares, domestic
duties, is both wholesome and necessary for a woman. Cultivate if
possible in a girl a taste for reading and study first, then she will
soon find time for intellectual pursuits, which, from being in a
measure denied to her, will become dearer. In her attempts to secure
moments for the indulgence of her mental desires she will
unconsciously learn order, management and economy of time and labor,
thus will her mind be strengthened. But I am digressing, dear reader.
I am sadly talkative on this subject, and sometimes fancy I could
educate a girl most famously; and when "thinking aloud" of the perfect
woman my theory would certainly complete, I am often pitched rudely
from my self-satisfied position, by some married friend saying, in a
half vexed, impatient tone--"Ah, yes, this is all very fine in
theory--no doubt you would be successful--we all know the homely
adage--'old bachelors' wives and old maids' children,' &c."

Effie was not what is called a belle in society. She was too cold and
spiritual. Her beauty was too delicate to make an impression in the
gay ball-room; and she cared little for what both men and women in the
world pine after--popularity. She danced and talked only with those
who pleased her, and sometimes not at all if it did not suit her
fancy. There was a great contrast between her mother and herself. Mrs.
Morris, though "forty rising," was still a fine-looking, _distingué_
woman; and on her re-entrance into society with her daughter, she
produced a greater impression than did Effie. She had a merry, joyous
disposition, and without possessing half the mental superiority her
daughter was gifted with, she had a light, easy conversational
ability, playful repartee, an elegant style and manner, and a
sufficient knowledge of accomplishments to produce an effect in the
gay world, and make her the centre of attraction of every circle she
entered; and the world wondered so brilliant a mother should have so
indifferent a daughter. She doted on Effie; and, I am sure, loved her
all the more for her calm, quiet way. She often said to me, "Effie is
very superior to the women one meets with--she has a pure, elevated
spirit. So delicate a nature as hers is not properly appreciated in
this world."

One summer there came a wooing of Effie a most excellent gentleman. He
had met with her the preceding winter in some gay circle, and had
discernment enough to discover the merits of our jewel. How anxiously
Mrs. Morris and I watched the wooing--for we were both anxious for Mr.
Grayson's success. He was in every way worthy of her--high-minded,
honorable, and well to do in the world--some years her senior, but
handsome and elegant in appearance. He must have had doubts of his
success, for he let the live-long summer pass ere he ventured on his
love speech. We were a pleasant party--Mrs. Morris, Effie, myself, Mr.
Grayson, and Lucien Decker, a cousin of Mrs. Morris--a college youth,
who only recently had become one of the family. Lucien Decker's family
lived in a distant state, and only until he came to a northern college
to finish his studies had he known his pleasant relatives. He was a
bright, interesting, graceful youth, and wondrous clever, we thought.
We would spend morning after morning wandering up the mill-stream,
resting under the old oak, where Mr. Grayson would discourse most
pleasantly, or read aloud to us; and sometimes, after Effie and I had
chanted simple melodies, we would prevail on Lucien to recite some of
his own poetry, at which he was, indeed, most clever--he recited well,
and wrote very delicately and beautifully. At last Mr. Grayson
ventured on a proposal; but, to our sorrow, he met with a calm, gentle
refusal; and to relieve his disappointment, he sailed in the fall for
Europe.

Not long after his departure, to our surprise, Effie and Lucien
announced themselves as lovers. No objection, surely, could be made;
but such a thing had never entered our minds. Though of the same age
with Effie and myself, he had always seemed as a boy in comparison to
us, and I had always treated him with the playful familiarity of a
youth. He was more intelligent and interesting than young men of his
age generally are; indeed he gave promise of talent--and he was
likewise good-looking; but, in truth, when we compared him with the
elegant and finished Mr. Grayson, we felt a wee bit out of patience;
and if we did not give utterance aloud to our thoughts, I shrewdly
suspect if those thoughts had formed themselves into words, those
words would have sounded very much like, "Nonsensical sentimentality!"
"strange infatuation!" but nothing could be said with propriety, and
the engagement was fully entered into. Some time had necessarily to
elapse before its fulfillment, however, for the lover was but twenty;
but it was well understood, that when he had finished his studies, and
was settled in his profession, he was to wed our darling Effie. After
the acceptance of his suit, Lucien seemed perfectly happy, and, I must
confess, made himself particularly interesting. He walked and read
with us, and wrote such beautiful poetry in honor of Effie's charms,
that we were at last quite propitiated. He was, indeed, an ardent
lover; and his enthusiastic, earnest wooing, was very different from
Mr. Grayson's calm, dignified manner. He caused our quiet Effie a deal
of entertainment, however; for when he was an acknowledged lover, like
all such ardent dispositions, he showed himself to be an exacting one.
Her calm, cold manner would set him frantic at times; and he would vow
she could not love him; but these lovers' quarrels instead of wearying
Effie, seemed to produce a contrary effect.

They had been engaged a year or so, when one summer a belle of the
first water made her appearance in the village-circle of Stamford.
Kate Barclay was her name. She was a Southerner, and a reputed
heiress. She had come rusticating, she said; and shrugging her pretty
shoulders, she would declare in a bewitching, languid tone, "truly a
face and figure needed rest after a brilliant winter campaign." Old
Mrs. Barclay, a dear, nice old lady in the village, was her aunt; and
as we were the only young ladies of a companionable age, Kate was, of
course, a great deal with us. She was, indeed, a delicious looking
creature. She had large, melting dark eyes, and rich curling masses of
hair, that fell in clusters over her neck and shoulders, giving her a
most romantic appearance. She understood fully all the little arts and
wiles of a belle; and she succeeded in securing admiration.
Superficial she was, but showy; and could put on at will all moods,
from the proud and dignified, to the bewitching and childlike. We had
no gentlemen visiters with us when she first came, not even Lucien;
for some engagement had taken him from Effie for a week or two, and
our pretty southern damsel almost expired with _ennui_. When we first
met with her, she talked so beautifully of the delights of a quiet
country life, seemed so enchanted with every thing and every body, and
so eloquent in praise of rambles in the forest, sunsets, moonlights,
rushing streamlets, &c., &c., that we decided she was an angel
forthwith. But one or two ramblings quite finished her--for she
complained terribly of dust, sun, and fatigue; moreover, we quite
neglected to notice or admire her picturesque rambling dress, which
inadvertency provoked her into telling us that the gentlemen at
Ballston, or some other fashionable watering-place, had declared she
looked in it quite like Robin Hood's maid Marian. The gorgeous summer
sunsets and clear moonlight nights, soon wearied her--for we were too
much occupied with the beauties of nature to notice her fine
attitudes, or beautiful eyes cast up imploringly to heaven, while she
recited, in a half theatrical manner, passages of poetry descriptive
of her imaginary feelings. I suspected she was meditating a flitting,
when one day Lucien, and two of his student friends, made their
appearance amongst us. How quickly her mood changed; the listless,
yawning, dissatisfied manner disappeared, and we heard her the first
night of their arrival delighting them, as she had us, with her
fascinating ecstasies over rural enjoyments. She sentimentalized,
flirted, romped, laughed, dressed in a picturesque manner, and "was
every thing by turns, but nothing long," evidently bent upon bringing
to her feet the three gentlemen. Lucien's friends soon struck their
flags, and were her humble cavaliers--but a right tyrannical mistress
she proved to them, making them scowl, and say sharp things to each
other in a most ferocious manner, very amusing to us; but Lucien was
impregnable. She played off all her arts in vain, he seemed
unconscious, and devoted himself entirely to Effie. At first she was
so occupied with securing the two other prizes she overlooked his
delinquency, but when certain of them, she was piqued into
accomplishing a conquest of him likewise. I did not think she would be
successful, and amused myself by quietly watching her manoeuvres.

One bright moonlight evening the gentlemen rowed us up the
mill-stream, and as we returned we landed at our favorite oak. The
waters, swelled by recent rains, came dashing and tumbling along in
mimic billows; the moon beamed down a heavenly radiance, and as the
little wavelets broke against the shore, they glittered like molten
silver, covering the wild blossoms with dazzling fairy gems. Kate's
two lovers were talking and walking with Mrs. Morris and Effie along
the shore. Lucien, Kate, and I, remained on a little bank that rose
abruptly from the water. She did, indeed, look most bewitchingly
beautiful; her soft, white dress, bound at the waist by a flowing
ribbon, floated in graceful folds around her; her lovely neck,
shoulders and arms, were quite uncovered, and her rich, dark hair fell
in loose, long curls, making picturesque shadows in the moonlight. She
could act the inspired enthusiast to perfection; and what our Effie
really was, she could affect most admirably. She seemed unconscious of
our presence; indeed, I do not think she thought I was near her, and,
as if involuntarily, she burst out into one of her affected
rhapsodies, her eyes beamed brightly, and she expressed her feelings
most rapturously, concluding with repeating, in low, earnest, half
trembling tones, some lines of Lucien's she had taken from my Scrap
Book, descriptive of the very scene before her, written the preceding
summer for Effie, after a moonlight ramble together. The poetry was
quite impassioned; and I heard Kate murmur with a sigh, as she turned
away after concluding her quotation, as if sick at heart, "Ah! I would
give years of brilliant success for one hour of devotion from such a
lover."

No one heard her but Lucien and myself--and I was one listener more
than she would have desired; for Lucien's ear alone was the
ejaculation intended, the good for nothing little flirt. It produced
the intended effect, for I saw Lucien watching her with admiring
interest. She noted the impression, and cunningly kept it up. There
was such a contrast between Effie and Kate, rather to Effie's
disadvantage, I had to confess, and Kate's affected expressions of
intense feeling, rather served to heighten Effie's natural coldness of
manner. Why waste words--the conclusion is already divined. The
coquette succeeded--and ere a week had passed Lucien was her
infatuated, devoted admirer; Effie was quite forgotten. Lucien's two
friends, wretched, and completely maddened by the cool, contemptuous
rejections they received from Kate, left Stamford, vowing eternal
hatred for womankind, and uttering deep, dire denunciations against
all coquettes, leaving the field open to Lucien, who seemed to have
perfectly lost all sense of propriety in his infatuation. Effie looked
on as calmly and quietly as though she were not particularly
interested. I fancied, for the credit of romance and sentiment, that
her cheek was paler; and I thought I could detect at times a trembling
of her delicate lips--but she said not a word. Mrs. Morris and I
displayed much more feeling; but what could we do--and half amused,
half vexed, we watched the conduct of the naughty little flirt.
Suddenly Kate received a summons home--and right glad I was to hear of
it. She announced it to us one evening, saying she expected her father
the next day. The following afternoon she came over to our cottage,
accompanied with two middle-aged gentlemen. The elder of the two was
Mr. Barclay, her father, who had known Mrs. Morris in early life; the
other she introduced as Col. Paulding, a friend. Col. Paulding's
manner struck us with surprise. He called her "Kate;" and though
dignified, was affectionate. She seemed painfully embarrassed, and
anxious to terminate the visit. She answered our questions hurriedly,
and appeared ill at ease. Lucien was not present, fortunately for her;
and I fancied she watched the door, as if anxiously fearing his
entrance; certain it was she started nervously at every distant sound.

"Will you revisit Stamford next summer, Miss Barclay?" I asked.

Kate replied that she was uncertain at present.

"I suppose Kate has not told you," said her father, laughingly, "that
long before another summer she will cease to be mistress of her own
movements. She expects to be in Germany next summer, I believe, with
her husband," and he looked significantly at Col. Paulding, who was
standing out on the lawn with Mrs. Morris, admiring the beautiful
view, quite out of hearing distance. Effie was just stepping from the
French window of the drawing-room into the conservatory to gather some
of her pretty flowers for her visiters, as she heard Mr. Barclay say
this. She turned with a stern, cold look, and regarded Kate Barclay
quietly. Kate colored crimson, then grew deadly white, and trembled
from head to foot; but her father did not notice it, as he had
followed Col. Paulding and Mrs. Morris out on the lawn. There we three
stood, Effie, cold and pale as a statue, and Kate looking quite like a
criminal. She looked up, attempting to make some laughing remark, but
the words died in her throat as she met Effie's stern, cold glance;
she gasped, trembled, then rallied, and at last, with a proud look of
defiance, she swept out on the lawn, and taking Col. Paulding's arm,
proposed departure. She bade us good-bye most gracefully; but I saw
that she avoided offering her hand to Effie. As the gate closed, she
looked over her shoulder indifferently, and said, in a saucy, laughing
tone,

"Oh, pray make my adieux to Mr. Decker. I regret that I shall not see
him to bid him good-bye. I depend upon the charity of you ladies to
keep me fresh in his remembrance;" and, as far as we could see her
down the road, we heard her forced laugh and unnaturally loud voice.

Lucien came in a few minutes after they left, and Mrs. Morris
delivered Kate's message. He looked agitated, and after swallowing his
cup of tea hastily and quietly, he took up his hat and went out. He
went to see Kate, but she, anticipating his visit, had retired with a
violent headache immediately after her walk; but Lucien staid long
enough to discover, as we had, Col. Paulding's relation to the
fascinating coquette. This we learned long afterward. The next day
Lucien left Stamford without saying more than cold words of good-bye.
He did not go with Kate's party, we felt certain; and many weeks
passed without hearing from him. Effie never made a remark; and our
days passed quietly as they had before the appearance of Kate Barclay
in our quiet little village. It was not long, however, before we saw
in the newspapers, and read without comment, the marriage of Kate
Barclay with Col. Paulding.

"See this," said Mrs. Morris to me one morning as I entered the
drawing-room, and she handed me a letter. We were alone, Effie was
attending to her plants in the conservatory. I took the letter and
read it. It was a wild, impassioned one from Lucien. Two months had
elapsed since his silent departure, and this first letter was written
to Mrs. Morris. It was filled with self-reproaches, and earnest
entreaties for her intercession and mine with Effie. He cursed his
infatuation, and the cause of it, and closed with the declaration that
he would be reckless of life if Effie remained unforgiving. As I
finished reading the letter I heard Effie's voice warbling in wild and
plaintive notes in the conservatory,

    "How should I your true love know,
        From another one,
    By his cockle hat and staff,
        And his sandal shoon?"

And the scene at the opening of this story rose before my
remembrance--the playful argument--the declaration made by her that
true, pure love could not have any affinity with pride--and I was lost
in reverie.

"What would you do, Enna?" inquired Mrs. Morris.

"Give the letter to Effie without remark," I replied. "We cannot
intercede for him--he does not deserve to be forgiven."

The letter was given to Effie, who read it quietly; and if she evinced
emotion, it was not before us. She said she was sorry for Lucien, for
she had discovered a change in her own feelings. She did not love him
as she fancied she had, and she could not in justice to herself
fulfill their engagement--it was impossible. She wrote this to him,
and all his wild letters were laid calmly and quietly aside. Can this
be pride? I said to myself. But she seemed as though she suspected my
thoughts, for the night before I returned to my city home, as we were
leaning against the window-frame of our bed-room, listening the last
time for that season to the tumbling, dashing water-music, she said,

"Enna, dear, it was not spirit and pride that made me act so unkindly
to Lucien--indeed, it was not. But I mistook my feelings for him from
the first. I fancied I loved him dearly, when I only loved him as a
sister. Believe me, if that love had existed once for him, his foolish
infatuation for Kate Barclay would not have been regarded by me one
moment."

Two or three years passed, and Effie still remained unwedded, when, to
our delight, Mr. Grayson, who had returned from Europe, again
addressed her. She accepted him; and I was, indeed, happy when I
officiated as bridesmaid for her. One year after that joyous wedding
we stood over her bier, weeping bitter, bitter tears. We laid her in
the grave--and the heart-broken mother soon rested beside her. Among
her papers was a letter directed to me; it was written in expectation
of death, although we did not any of us anticipate such a calamity.

"I am not long for this world, dear Enna," she wrote, "I feel I am
dying daily; and yet, young as I am, it grieves me not, except when I
think of the sorrow my death will occasion to others. When you read
this I shall be enveloped in the heavy grave-clothes; but then I shall
be at rest. Oh! how my aching, weary spirit pines for rest. Do not
fancy that sorrow or disappointment has brought me to this. I fancied
I loved Lucien Decker fondly, devotedly; and how happy was I when
under the influence of that fancy. That fatal summer, at the time of
his infatuation for that heartless girl, insensibly a chilling
hardness crept over my feelings. I struggled against my awakening; and
if Lucien had displayed any emotion before his departure, I might
still have kept up the happy delusion. But in vain, it disappeared,
and with it all the beauty of life, which increased in weariness from
that moment. I sought for some object of interest--I married; but,
though my husband has been devoted and kind, I weary of existence.
Life has no interest for me. I hail the approach of death. Farewell."

I read these sad lines with eyes blinded with tears; and I could not
help thinking how Effie had deceived herself; unconsciously she had
become a victim of the very pride she had condemned.



EARLY ENGLISH POETS.

BY ELIZABETH J. EAMES.


              I.--CHAUCER.

    Yea! lovely are the hues still floating o'er
      Thy rural visions, bard of olden time,
    The form of purest Poesy flits before
      My mental gaze, while bending o'er thy rhyme.
      No lofty flight, bold, brilliant and sublime--
      But tender beauty, and endearing grace,
      And touching pathos in these lines I trace,
    Oh! gentle poet of the northern clime.
    And oft when dazzled by the gorgeous glow
      And gilded luxury of modern rhymes,
    Grateful I turn to the clear, quiet flow
      Of thy sweet thoughts, which fall like pleasant chimes
    From the "pure wells of English undefiled."
    Thou wert inspired, thou, Poetry's true child.


             II.--SPENCER.

    What forms of grace and glory glided through
      The royal palace of thy lofty mind!
    Rare shapes of beauty thy sweet fancy drew,
      In the brave knights, and peerless dames enshrined
      Within thy magic book, The Faerie Queene,
      Bright Gloriana robed in dazzling sheen--
    Hapless Irene--angelic Una--and
      The noble Arthur all before me pass,
      As summoned by the enchanter rod and glass.
    And glorious still thy pure creations stand,
    Leaving their golden footprints on the sand
      Of Time indelible! All thanks to thee,
    Oh! beauty-breathing bard of Poesy,
      That thou hast charmed a weary hour for me.


            III.--SHAKSPEARE.

    Oh! minstrel monarch! the most glorious throne
      Of Intellect thy Genius doth inherit.
    Compeer, or perfect rival thou hast none--
      O Soul of Song!--O mind of royal merit.
    Is not this high, imperishable fame
      The tribute of a grateful world to thee?
    A recognizing glory in thy name
      From a great nation to thy memory.
    Lord of Dramatic Art--the splendid scenes
      Of thy rich fancy are around us still;
      All shapes of Thought to make the bosom thrill
    Are thine supreme! Many long years have sped,
    And dimmed in dust the crowned and laureled head,
    But thou--_thou_ speakest still, though numbered with the dead.



THE PORTRAIT.

[WITH AN ENGRAVING.]

BY ROBT. T. CONRAD.


    And he hath spoken! Knew I not he would?
      Though flitting fears, like clouds o'er lakes, would cast
    Shadows o'er true love's trust. The tear-drop stood
      In his dark eye; he trembled. But 't is past,
    And I am his, he mine. Why trembled he?
      This fond heart knew he not; and that his eye
    Governed its tides, as doth the moon the sea;
      And that with him, for him, 't were bliss to die?
    Yet said I naught. Shame on me, that my cheek
      And eye my hoarded secret should betray!
    Why wept I? And why was I sudden weak,
      So weak his manly arm was stretched to stay?
    How like a suppliant God he looked! His sweet,
      Low voice, heart-shaken, spoke--and all was known;
    Yet, from the first, I felt our souls must meet,
      Like stars that rush together and shine on.


[Illustration: The Bridal Morning

J. Hayter          A. B. Ross

Engraved Expressly for Graham's Magazine]



THE ISLETS OF THE GULF;

OR, ROSE BUDD.


    Ay, now I am in Arden; the more fool
    I; when I was at home I was in a better place; but
    Travelers must be content. AS YOU LIKE IT.


BY THE AUTHOR Of "PILOT," "RED ROVER," "TWO ADMIRALS,"
"WING-AND-WING," "MILES WALLINGFORD," ETC.


[Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1846, by
J. Fenimore Cooper, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court
of the United States, for the Northern District of New York.]

                 _(Continued from page 48.)_


PART XV.

    Man hath a weary pilgrimage
    As through the world he wends;
    On every stage, from youth to age,
    Still discontent attends;
    With heaviness he casts his eye
    Upon the road before,
    And still remembers with a sigh
    The days that are no more. SOUTHEY.


It has now become necessary to advance the time three entire days, and
to change the scene to Key West. As this latter place may not be known
to the world at large, it may be well to explain that it is a small
seaport, situate on one of the largest of the many low islands that
dot the Florida Reef, that has risen into notice, or indeed into
existence as a town, since the acquisition of the Floridas by the
American Republic. For many years it was the resort of few besides
wreckers, and those who live by the business dependent on the rescuing
and repairing of stranded vessels, not forgetting the salvages. When
it is remembered that the greater portion of the vessels that enter
the Gulf of Mexico stand close along this reef, before the trades, for
a distance varying from one to two hundred miles, and that nearly
every thing which quits it, is obliged to beat down its rocky coast in
the Gulf Stream for the same distance, one is not to be surprised that
the wrecks, which so constantly occur, can supply the wants of a
considerable population. To live at Key West is the next thing to
being at sea. The place has sea air, no other water than such as is
preserved in cisterns, and no soil, or so little as to render even a
head of lettuce a rarity. Turtle is abundant, and the business of
"turtling" forms an occupation additional to that of wrecking. As
might be expected in such circumstances, a potato is a far more
precious thing than a turtle's egg, and a sack of the tubers would
probably be deemed a sufficient remuneration for enough of the
materials of callipash and callipee to feed all the aldermen extant.

Of late years, the government of the United States has turned its
attention to the capabilities of the Florida Reef, as an advanced
naval station; a sort of Downs, or St. Helen's Roads, for the West
Indian seas. As yet little has been done beyond making the preliminary
surveys, but the day is not probably very distant when fleets will
lie at anchor among the islets described in our earlier chapters, or
garnish the fine waters of Key West. For a long time it was thought
that even frigates would have a difficulty in entering and quitting
the port of the latter, but it is said that recent explorations have
discovered channels capable of admitting any thing that floats. Still
Key West is a town yet in its chrysalis state, possessing the promise
rather than the fruition of the prosperous days which are in reserve.
It may be well to add, that it lies a very little north of the 24th
degree of latitude, and in a longitude quite five degrees west from
Washington. Until the recent conquests in Mexico it was the most
southern possession of the American government, on the eastern side of
the continent; Cape St. Lucas, at the extremity of Lower California,
however, being two degrees farther south.

It will give the foreign reader a more accurate notion of the
character of Key West, if we mention a fact of quite recent
occurrence. A very few weeks after the closing scenes of this tale,
the town in question was, in a great measure, washed away! A hurricane
brought in the sea upon all these islands and reefs, water running in
swift currents over places that within the memory of man were never
before submerged. The lower part of Key West was converted into a
raging sea, and every thing in that quarter of the place disappeared.
The foundation being of rock, however, when the ocean retired the
island came into view again, and industry and enterprise set to work
to repair the injuries.

The government has established a small hospital for seamen at Key
West. Into one of the rooms of the building thus appropriated our
narrative must now conduct the reader. It contained but a single
patient, and that was Spike. He was on his narrow bed, which was to be
but the precursor of a still narrower tenement, the grave. In the room
with the dying man were two females, in one of whom our readers will
at once recognize the person of Rose Budd, dressed in deep mourning
for her aunt. At first sight, it is probable that a casual spectator
would mistake the second female for one of the ordinary nurses of the
place. Her attire was well enough, though worn awkwardly, and as if
its owner were not exactly at ease in it. She had the air of one in
her best attire, who was unaccustomed to be dressed above the most
common mode. What added to the singularity of her appearance, was the
fact, that while she wore no cap, her hair had been cut into short,
gray bristles, instead of being long, and turned up, as is usual with
females. To give a sort of climax to this uncouth appearance, this
strange-looking creature chewed tobacco.

The woman in question, equivocal as might be her exterior, was
employed in one of the commonest avocations of her sex--that of
sewing. She held in her hand a coarse garment, one of Spike's, in
fact, which she seemed to be intently busy in mending; although the
work was of a quality that invited the use of the palm and
sail-needle, rather than that of the thimble and the smaller implement
known to seamstresses, the woman appeared awkward in her business, as
if her coarse-looking and dark hands refused to lend themselves to an
occupation so feminine. Nevertheless, there were touches of a purely
womanly character about this extraordinary person, and touches that
particularly attracted the attention, and awakened the sympathy of the
gentle Rose, her companion. Tears occasionally struggled out from
beneath her eyelids, crossed her dark, sun-burnt cheek, and fell on
the coarse canvas garment that lay in her lap. It was after one of
these sudden and strong exhibitions of feeling that Rose approached
her, laid her own little, fair hand, in a friendly way, though
unheeded, on the other's shoulder, and spoke to her in her kindest and
softest tones.

"I do really think he is reviving, Jack," said Rose, "and that you may
yet hope to have an intelligent conversation with him."

"They all agree he _must_ die," answered Jack Tier--for it was _he_,
appearing in the garb of his proper sex, after a disguise that had now
lasted fully twenty years--"and he will never know who I am, and that
I forgive him. He must think of me in another world, though he isn't
able to do it in this; but it would be a great relief to his soul to
know that I forgive him."

"To be sure, a man must like to take a kind leave of his own wife
before he closes his eyes forever; and I dare say it would be a great
relief to you to tell him that you have forgotten his desertion of
you, and all the hardships it has brought upon you in searching for
him, and in earning your own livelihood as a common sailor."

"I shall not tell him I've _forgotten_ it, Miss Rose; that would be
untrue--and there shall be no more deception between us; but I shall
tell him that I _forgive_ him, as I hope God will one day forgive me
all _my_ sins."

"It is, certainly, not a light offence to desert a wife in a foreign
land, and then to seek to deceive another woman," quietly observed
Rose.

"He's a willian!" muttered the wife--"but--but--"

"You forgive him, Jack--yes, I'm sure you do. You are too good a
Christian to refuse to forgive him."

"I'm a woman a'ter all, Miss Rose; and that, I believe, is the truth
of it. I suppose I ought to do as you say, for the reason you
mention; but I'm his wife--and once he loved me, though that has long
been over. When I first knew Stephen, I'd the sort of feelin's you
speak of, and was a very different creatur' from what you see me
to-day. Change comes over us all with years and sufferin'."

Rose did not answer, but she stood looking intently at the speaker
more than a minute. Change had, indeed, come over her, if she had ever
possessed the power to please the fancy of any living man. Her
features had always seemed diminitive and mean for her assumed sex, as
her voice was small and cracked; but, making every allowance for the
probabilities, Rose found it difficult to imagine that Jack Tier had
ever possessed, even under the high advantages of youth and innocence,
the attractions so common to her sex. Her skin had acquired the
tanning of the sea; the expression of her face had become hard and
worldly; and her habits contributed to render those natural
consequences of exposure and toil even more than usually marked and
decided. By saying "habits," however, we do not mean that Jack had
ever drank to excess, as happens with so many seamen, for this would
have been doing her injustice, but she smoked and chewed--practices
that intoxicate in another form, and lead nearly as many to the grave
as excess in drinking. Thus all the accessories about this singular
being, partook of the character of her recent life and duties. Her
walk was between a waddle and a seaman's roll; her hands were
discolored with tar, and had got to be full of knuckles, and even her
feet had degenerated into that flat, broad-toed form that, perhaps,
sooner distinguishes caste, in connection with outward appearances,
than any one other physical peculiarity. Yet this being _had_ once
been young--had once been even _fair_; and had once possessed that
feminine air and lightness of form, that as often belongs to the
youthful American of her sex, perhaps, as to the girl of any other
nation on earth. Rose continued to gaze at her companion for some
time, when she walked musingly to a window that looked out upon the
port.

"I am not certain whether it would do him good or not to see this
sight," she said, addressing the wife kindly, doubtful of the effect
of her words even on the latter. "But here are the sloop-of-war, and
several other vessels."

"Ay, she is _there_; but never will his foot be put on board the Swash
ag'in. When he bought that brig I was still young, and agreeable to
him; and he gave her my maiden name, which was Mary, or Molly Swash.
But that is all changed; I wonder he did not change the name with his
change of feelin's."

"Then you did really sail in the brig in former times, and knew the
seaman whose name you assumed?"

"Many years. Tier, with whose name I made free, on account of his
size, and some resemblance to me in form, died under my care; and his
protection fell into my hands, which first put the notion into my head
of hailing as his representative. Yes, I knew Tier in the brig, and we
were left ashore at the same time--I, intentionally, I make no
question; he, because Stephen Spike was in a hurry, and did not choose
to wait for a man. The poor fellow caught the yellow fever the very
next day, and did not live eight-and-forty hours. So the world goes;
them that wish to live, die; and them that wants to die, live!"

"You have had a hard time for one of your sex, poor Jack--quite twenty
years a sailor, did you not tell me?"

"Every day of it, Miss Rose--and bitter years have they been; for the
whole of that time have I been in chase of my husband, keeping my own
secret, and slaving like a horse for a livelihood."

"You could not have been old when he left--that is--when you parted."

"Call it by its true name, and say at once, when he desarted me. I was
under thirty by two or three years, and was still like my own sex to
look at. All _that_ is changed since; but I _was_ comely _then_."

"_Why_ did Capt. Spike abandon you, Jack; you have never told me
_that_."

"Because he fancied another. And ever since that time he has been
fancying others, instead of remembering me. Had he got _you_, Miss
Rose, I think he would have been content for the rest of his days."

"Be certain, Jack, I should never have consented to marry Capt.
Spike."

"You're well out of his hands," answered Jack, sighing heavily, which
was much the most feminine thing she had done during the whole
conversation, "well out of his hands--and God be praised it is so. He
should have died, before I would let him carry you off the
island--husband or no husband."

"It might have exceeded your power to prevent it under other
circumstances, Jack."

Rose now continued looking out of the window in silence. Her thoughts
reverted to her aunt and Biddy, and tears rolled down her cheeks as
she remembered the love of one, and the fidelity of the other. Their
horrible fate had given her a shock that, at first, menaced her with a
severe fit of illness; but her strong, good sense, and excellent
constitution, both sustained by her piety and Harry's manly
tenderness, had brought her through the danger, and left her, as the
reader now sees her, struggling with her own griefs, in order to be of
use to the still more unhappy woman who had so singularly become her
friend and companion.

The reader will readily have anticipated that Jack Tier had early made
the females on board the Swash her confidents. Rose had known the
outlines of her history from the first few days they were at sea
together, which is the explanation of the visible intimacy that had
caused Mulford so much surprise. Jack's motive in making his
revelations might possibly have been tinctured with jealousy, but a
desire to save one as young and innocent as Rose was at its bottom.
Few persons but a wife would have supposed our heroine could have been
in any danger from a lover like Spike; but Jack saw him with the eyes
of her own youth, and of past recollections, rather than with those of
truth. A movement of the wounded man first drew Rose from the window.
Drying her eyes hastily, she turned toward him, fancying that she
might prove the better nurse of the two, notwithstanding Jack's
greater interest in the patient.

"What place is this--and why am I here?" demanded Spike, with more
strength of voice than could have been expected, after all that had
passed. "This is not a cabin--not the Swash--it looks like a
hospital."

"It is a hospital, Capt. Spike," said Rose, gently drawing near the
bed; "you have been hurt, and have been brought to Key West, and
placed in the hospital. I hope you feel better, and that you suffer no
pain."

"My head isn't right--I don't know--every thing seems turned round
with me--perhaps it will all come out as it should. I begin to
remember--where is my brig?"

"She is lost on the rocks. The seas have broken her into fragments."

"That's melancholy news, at any rate. Ah! Miss Rose! God bless
you--I've had terrible dreams. Well, it's pleasant to be among
friends--what creature is that--where does _she_ come from?"

"That is Jack Tier," answered Rose, steadily. "She turns out to be a
woman, and has put on her proper dress, in order to attend on you
during your illness. Jack has never left your bed-side since we have
been here."

A long silence succeeded this revelation. Jack's eyes twinkled, and
she hitched her body half aside, as if to conceal her features, where
emotions that were unusual were at work with the muscles. Rose thought
it might be well to leave the man and wife alone--and she managed to
get out of the room unobserved.

Spike continued to gaze at the strange-looking female, who was now his
sole companion. Gradually his recollection returned, and with it the
full consciousness of his situation. He might not have been fully
aware of the absolute certainty of his approaching death, but he must
have known that his wound was of a very grave character, and that the
result might early prove fatal. Still that strange and unknown figure
haunted him; a figure that was so different from any he had ever seen
before, and which, in spite of its present dress, seemed to belong
quite as much to one sex as to the other. As for Jack--we call Molly,
or Mary Swash by her masculine appellation, not only because it is
more familiar, but because the other name seems really out of place,
as applied to such a person--as for Jack, then, she sat with her face
half averted, thumbing the canvas, and endeavoring to ply the needle,
but perfectly mute. She was conscious that Spike's eyes were on her;
and a lingering feeling of her sex told her how much time, exposure,
and circumstances, had changed her person--and she would gladly have
hidden the defects in her appearance.

Mary Swash was the daughter as well as the wife of a ship-master. In
her youth, as has been said before, she had even been pretty, and down
to the day when her husband deserted her, she would have been thought
a female of a comely appearance rather than the reverse. Her hair in
particular, though slightly coarse, perhaps, had been rich and
abundant; and the change from the long, dark, shining, flowing locks
which she still possessed in her thirtieth year, to the short, gray
bristles that now stood exposed without a cap, or covering of any
sort, was one very likely to destroy all identity of appearance. Then
Jack had passed from what might be called youth to the verge of old
age, in the interval that she had been separated from her husband. Her
shape had changed entirely; her complexion was utterly gone; and her
features, always unmeaning, though feminine, and suitable to her sex,
had become hard and slightly coarse. Still there was something of her
former self about Jack that bewildered Spike; and his eyes continued
fastened on her for quite a quarter of an hour in profound silence.

"Give me some water," said the wounded man, "I wish some water to
drink."

Jack arose, filled a tumbler and brought it to the side of the bed.
Spike took the glass and drank, but the whole time his eyes were
riveted on his strange nurse. When his thirst was appeased, he asked--

"Who are you? How came you here?"

"I am your nurse. It is common to place nurses at the bedsides of the
sick."

"Are you man or woman?"

"That is a question I hardly know how to answer. Sometimes I think
myself each; sometimes neither."

"Did I ever see you before?"

"Often, and quite lately. I sailed with you in your last voyage."

"You! That cannot be. If so, what is your name?"

"Jack Tier."

A long pause succeeded this announcement, which induced Spike to muse
as intently as his condition would allow, though the truth did not yet
flash on his understanding. At length the bewildered man again spoke.

"Are _you_ Jack Tier?" he said slowly, like one who doubted. "Yes--I
now see the resemblance, and it was _that_ which puzzled me. Are they
so rigid in this hospital that you have been obliged to put on woman's
clothes in order to lend me a helping hand?"

"I am dressed as you see, and for good reasons."

"But Jack Tier run, like that rascal Mulford--ay, I remember now; you
were in the boat when I over-hauled you all on the reef."

"Very true; I was in the boat. But I never run, Stephen Spike. It was
_you_ who abandoned _me_, on the islet in the gulf, and that makes the
second time in your life that you have left me ashore, when it was
your duty to carry me to sea."

"The first time I was in a hurry, and could not wait for you; this
last time you took sides with the women. But for your interference, I
should have got Rose, and married her, and all would now have been
well with me."

This was an awkward announcement for a man to make to his legal wife.
But after all Jack had endured, and all Jack had seen during the late
voyage, she was not to be overcome by this avowal. Her self-command
extended so far as to prevent any open manifestation of emotion,
however much her feelings were excited.

"I took sides with the women, because I am a woman myself," she
answered, speaking at length with decision, as if determined to bring
matters to a head at once. "It is natural for us all to take sides
with our kind."

"You a woman, Jack! That is very remarkable. Since when have you
hailed for a woman? You have shipped with me twice, and each time as a
man--though I've never thought you able to do seaman's duty."

"Nevertheless, I am what you see; a woman born and edicated; one that
never had on man's dress until I knew you. _You_ supposed me to be a
man, when I came off to you in the skiff to the eastward of Riker's
Island, but I was then what you now see."

"I begin to understand matters," rejoined the invalid, musingly. "Ay,
ay, it opens on me; and I now see how it was you made such fair
weather with Madam Budd and pretty, pretty Rose. Rose _is_ pretty,
Jack; you _must_ admit _that_, though you be a woman."

"Rose _is_ pretty--I do admit it; and what is better, Rose is _good_."
It required a heavy draft on Jack's justice and magnanimity, however,
to make this concession.

"And you told Rose and Madam Budd about your sex; and that was the
reason they took to you so on the v'y'ge?"

"I told them who I was, and why I went abroad as a man. They know my
whole story."

"Did Rose approve of your sailing under false colors, Jack?"

"You must ask that of Rose herself. My story made her my friend; but
she never said any thing for or against my disguise."

"It was no great disguise a'ter all, Jack. Now you're fitted out in
your own clothes, you've a sort of half-rigged look; one would be as
likely to set you down for a man under jury-canvas, as for a woman."

Jack made no answer to this, but she sighed very heavily. As for Spike
himself, he was silent for some little time, not only from exhaustion,
but because he suffered pain from his wound. The needle was diligently
but awkwardly plied in this pause.

Spike's ideas were still a little confused; but a silence and rest of
a quarter of an hour cleared them materially. At the end of that time
he again asked for water. When he had drank, and Jack was once more
seated, with his side-face toward him, at work with the needle, the
captain gazed long and intently at this strange woman. It happened
that the profile of Jack preserved more of the resemblance to her
former self, than the full face; and it was this resemblance that now
attracted Spike's attention, though not the smallest suspicion of the
truth yet gleamed upon him. He saw something that was familiar, though
he could not even tell what that something was, much less to what or
whom it bore any resemblance. At length he spoke.

"I was told that Jack Tier was dead," he said; "that he took the
fever, and was in his grave within eight-and-forty hours after we
sailed. That was what they told me of _him_."

"And what did they tell you of your own wife, Stephen Spike. She that
you left ashore at the time Jack was left?"

"They said she did not die for three years later. I heard of her death
at New Or_leens_, three years later."

"And how could you leave her ashore--she, your true and lawful wife?"

"It was a bad thing," answered Spike, who, like all other mortals,
regarded his own past career, now that he stood on the edge of the
grave, very differently from what he had regarded it in the hour of
his health and strength. "Yes, it _was_ a very bad thing; and I wish
it was ondone. But it is too late now. She died of the fever,
too--that's some comfort; had she died of a broken-heart, I could not
have forgiven myself. Molly was not without her faults--great faults,
I considered them; but, on the whole, Molly was a good creatur'."

"You liked her, then, Stephen Spike?"

"I can truly say that when I married Molly, and old Capt. Swash put
his da'ghter's hand into mine, that the woman wasn't living who was
better in my judgment, or handsomer in my eyes."

"Ay, ay--when you _married_ her; but how was it a'terwards. When you
was tired of her, and saw another that was fairer in your eyes?"

"I desarted her; and God has punished me for the sin! Do you know,
Jack, that luck has never been with me since that day. Often and often
have I bethought me of it; and sartain as you sit there, no great luck
has ever been with me, or my craft, since I went off, leaving my wife
ashore. What was made in one v'y'ge, was lost in the next. Up and
down, up and down the whole time, for so many, many long years, that
gray hairs set in, and old age was beginning to get close aboard--and
I as poor as ever. It has been rub and go with me ever since; and I
have had as much as I could do to keep the brig in motion, as the only
means that was left to make the two ends meet."

"And did not all this make you think of your poor wife--she whom you
had so wronged?"

"I thought of little else, until I heard of her death at New
Or_leens_--and then I gave it up as useless. Could I have fallen in
with Molly at any time a'ter the first six months of my desartion, she
and I would have come together again, and every thing would have been
forgotten. I knowed her very nature, which was all forgiveness to me
at the bottom, though seemingly so spiteful and hard."

"Yet you wanted to have this Rose Budd, who is only too young, and
handsome, and good for you."

"I was tired of being a widower, Jack; and Rose _is_ wonderful pretty.
She has money, too, and might make the evening of my days comfortable.
The brig was old, as you must know, and has long been off of all the
Insurance Offices' books; and she couldn't hold together much longer.
But for this sloop-of-war, I should have put her off on the Mexicans;
and they would have lost her to our people in a month."

"And was it an honest thing to sell an old and worn-out craft to any
one, Stephen Spike?"

Spike had a conscience that had become hard as iron by means of trade.
He who traffics much, most especially if his dealings be on so small a
scale as to render constant investigations of the minor qualities of
things necessary, must be a very fortunate man, if he preserve his
conscience in any better condition. When Jack made this allusion,
therefore, the dying man--for death was much nearer to Spike than even
he supposed, though he no longer hoped for his own recovery--when Jack
made this allusion, then, the dying man was a good deal at a loss to
comprehend it. He saw no particular harm in making the best bargain he
could; nor was it easy for him to understand why he might not dispose
of any thing he possessed for the highest price that was to be had.
Still he answered in an apologetic sort of way.

"The brig was old, I acknowledge," he said, "but she was strong, and
_might_ have run a long time. I only spoke of her capture as a thing
likely to take place soon, if the Mexicans got her; so that her
qualities were of no great account, unless it might be her speed--and
that you know was excellent, Jack."

"And you regret that brig, Stephen Spike, lying as you do on your
death-bed, more than any thing else."

"Not as much as I do pretty Rose Budd, Jack; Rosy is so delightful to
look at!"

The muscles of Jack's face twitched a little, and she looked deeply
mortified; for, to own the truth, she hoped that the conversation had
so far turned her delinquent husband's thoughts to the past, as to
have revived in him some of his former interest in herself. It is
true, he still believed her dead; but this was a circumstance Jack
overlooked--so hard is it to hear the praises of a rival, and be just.
She felt the necessity of being more explicit, and determined at once
to come to the point.

"Stephen Spike," she said, steadily, drawing near to the bed-side,
"you should be told the truth, when you are heard thus extolling the
good looks of Rose Budd, with less than eight-and-forty hours of life
remaining. Mary Swash did not die, as you have supposed, three years
a'ter you desarted her, but is living at this moment. Had you read the
letter I gave you in the boat, just before you made me jump into the
sea, _that_ would have told you where she is to be found."

Spike stared at the speaker intently; and when her cracked voice
ceased, his look was that of a man who was terrified as well as
bewildered. This did not arise still from any gleamings of the real
state of the case, but from the soreness with which his conscience
pricked him, when he heard that his much-wronged wife was alive. He
fancied, with a vivid and rapid glance at the probabilities, all that
a woman abandoned would be likely to endure in the course of so many
long and suffering years.

"Are you sure of what you say, Jack? You wouldn't take advantage of my
situation to tell me an untruth?"

"As certain of it as of my own existence. I have seen her quite
lately--talked with her of _you_--in short, she is now at Key West,
knows your state, and has a wife's feelin's to come to your bed-side."

Notwithstanding all this, and the many gleamings he had had of the
facts during their late intercourse on board the brig, Spike did not
guess at the truth. He appeared astounded, and his terror seemed to
increase.

"I have another thing to tell you," continued Jack, pausing but a
moment to collect her own thoughts. "Jack Tier--the real Jack Tier--he
who sailed with you of old, and whom you left ashore at the same time
you desarted your wife, _did_ die of the fever, as you was told, in
eight-and-forty hours a'ter the brig went to sea."

"Then who, in the name of Heaven, are you? How came you to hail by
another's name as well as by another sex?"

"What could a woman do, whose husband had desarted her in a strange
land?"

"That is remarkable! So _you_'ve been married? I should not have
thought _that_ possible; and your husband desarted you, too. Well,
such things _do_ happen." Jack now felt a severe pang. She could not
but see that her ungainly--we had almost said her unearthly
appearance--prevented the captain from even yet suspecting the truth;
and the meaning of his language was not easily to be mistaken. That
any one should have married _her_, seemed to her husband as improbable
as it was probable he would run away from her as soon as it was in his
power after the ceremony.

"Stephen Spike," resumed Jack, solemnly, "_I_ am Mary Swash--_I_ am
your wife!"

Spike started in his bed; then he buried his face in the coverlet--and
he actually groaned. In bitterness of spirit the woman turned away and
wept. Her feelings had been blunted by misfortune and the collisions
of a selfish world; but enough of former self remained to make this
the hardest of all the blows she had ever received. Her husband, dying
as he was, as he must and did know himself to be, shrunk from one of
her appearance, unsexed as she had become by habits, and changed by
years and suffering.

                                                 [_To be continued_.



AN HOUR.

BY J. BAYARD TAYLOR.


    I've left the keen, cold winds to blow
      Around the summits bare;
    My sunny pathway to the sea
      Winds downward, green and fair,
    And bright-leaved branches toss and glow
      Upon the buoyant air!

    The fern its fragrant plumage droops
      O'er mosses, crisp and gray,
    Where on the shaded crags I sit,
      Beside the cataract's spray,
    And watch the far-off, shining sails
      Go down the sunny bay!

    I've left the wintry winds of life
      On barren hearts to blow--
    The anguish and the gnawing care,
      The silent, shuddering wo!
    Across the balmy sea of dreams
      My spirit-barque shall go.

    Learned not the breeze its fairy lore
      Where sweetest measures throng?
    A maiden sings, beside the stream,
      Some chorus, wild and long,
    Mingling and blending with its roar,
      Like rainbows turned to song!

    I hear it, like a strain that sweeps
      The confines of a dream;
    Now fading into silent space,
      Now with a flashing gleam
    Of triumph, ringing through the deeps
      Of forest, dell and stream!

    Away! away! I hear the horn
      Among the hills of Spain:
    The old, chivalric glory fires
      Her warrior-hearts again!
    Ho! how their banners light the morn,
      Along Grenada's plain!

    I hear the hymns of holy faith
      The red Crusaders sang,
    And the silver horn of Ronçeval,
      That o'er the tecbir rang
    When prince and kaiser through the fray
      To the paladin's rescue sprang!

    A beam of burning light I hold!--
      My good Damascus brand,
    And the jet-black charger that I ride
      Was foaled in the Arab land,
    And a hundred horsemen, mailed in steel,
      Follow my bold command!

    Through royal cities speeds our march--
      The minster-bells are rung;
    The loud, rejoicing trumpets peal,
      The battle-flags are swung,
    And sweet, sweet lips of ladies praise
      The chieftain, brave and young.

    And now, in bright Provençal bowers,
      A minstrel-knight am I:
    A gentle bosom on my own
      Throbs back its ecstasy;
    A cheek, as fair as the almond flowers,
      Thrills to my lips' reply!

    I tread the fanes of wondrous Rome,
      Crowned with immortal bay,
    And myriads throng the Capitol
      To hear my lofty lay,
    While, sounding o'er the Tiber's foam,
      Their shoutings peal away!

    Oh, triumph such as this were worth
      The poet's doom of pain,
    Whose hours are brazen on the earth,
      But golden in the brain:
    I close the starry gate of dreams,
      And walk the dust again!



POWER OF BEAUTY,

AND A PLAIN MAN'S LOVE.

BY N. P. WILLIS.


That the truths arrived at by the unaccredited short road of
"magnetism" had better be stripped of their technical phraseology, and
set down as the gradual discoveries of science and experience, is a
policy upon which acts many a sagacious believer in "clairvoyance."
Doubtless, too, there is, here and there, a wise man, who is glad
enough to pierce, with the eyes of an incredible agent, the secrets
about him, and let the world give him credit, by whatever name they
please, for the superior knowledge of which he silently takes
advantage. I should be behind the time, if I had not sounded to the
utmost of my ability and opportunity the depth of this new medium. I
have tried it on grave things and trifles. If the unveiling which I am
about to record were of more use to myself than to others, perhaps I
should adopt the policy of which I have just spoken, and give the
result, simply as my own shrewd lesson learned in reading the female
heart. But the truths I unfold will instruct the few who need and can
appreciate them, while the whole subject is not of general importance
enough to bring down cavilers upon the credibility of their source. I
thus get rid of a very detestable though sometimes necessary evil,
("_qui nescit dissimulare nescit vivere_," says the Latin sage,) that
of shining by any light that is not absolutely my own.

I am a very plain man in my personal appearance--_so_ plain that a
common observer, if informed that there was a woman who had a fancy
for my peculiar type, would wonder that I was not thankfully put to
rest for life as a seeker after love--a second miracle of the kind
being a very slender probability. It is not in beauty that the taste
for beauty alone resides, however. In early youth my soul, like the
mirror of Cydippe, retained, with enamored fidelity, the image of
female loveliness copied in the clear truth of its appreciation, and
the passion for it had become, insensibly, the thirst of my life,
before I thought of it as more than an intoxicating study. To be
loved--myself beloved--by a creature made in one of the diviner moulds
of woman, was, however, a dream that shaped itself into waking
distinctness at last, and from that hour I took up the clogging weight
of personal disadvantages, to which I had hitherto unconsciously been
chained, and bore it heavily in the race which the well-favored ran as
eagerly as I.

I am not to recount, here, the varied experiences of my search, the
world over, after beauty and its smile. It is a search on which all
travelers are more than half bent, let them name as they please their
professed errand in far countries. The coldest scholar in art will
better remember a living face of a new cast of expression, met in the
gallery of Florence, than the best work of Michael Angelo, whose
genius he has crossed an ocean to study; and a fair shoulder crowded
against the musical pilgrim, in the Capella Sistiera, will be taken
surer into his soul's inner memory than the best outdoing of "the
sky-lark taken up into heaven," by the ravishing reach of the
_Miserere_. Is it not true?

There can hardly be now, I think, a style of female beauty of which I
have not appreciated the meaning and comparative enchantment, nor a
degree of that sometimes more effective thing than beauty itself--its
expression breathing through features otherwise unlovely--that I have
not approached near enough to weigh and store truthfully in
remembrance. The taste forever refines in the study of woman. We
return to what, with immature eye, we at first rejected; we intensify,
immeasurably, our worship of the few who wear on their foreheads the
star of supreme loveliness, confessed pure and perfect by all
beholders alike; we detect it under surfaces which become transparent
only with tenderness or enthusiasm; we separate the work of Nature's
material chisel from the resistless and warm expansion of the soul
swelling its proportions to fill out the shape it is to tenant
hereafter. Led by the purest study of true beauty, the eager mind
passes on from the shrine where it lingered to the next of whose
greater brightness it becomes aware; and this is the secret of one
kind of "inconstancy in love," which should be named apart from the
variableness of those seekers of novelty, who, from unconscious
self-contempt, value nothing they have had the power to win.

An unsuspected student of beauty, I passed years of loiterings in the
living galleries of Europe and Asia, and, like self-punishing misers
in all kinds of amassings, stored up boundlessly more than, with the
best trained senses, I could have found the life to enjoy. Of course I
had a first advantage, of dangerous facility, in my unhappy plainness
of person--the alarm-guard that surrounds every beautiful woman in
every country of the world--letting sleep at _my_ approach the
cautionary reserve which presents bayonet so promptly to the
good-looking. Even with my worship avowed, and the manifestation of
grateful regard which a woman of fine quality always returns for
elevated and unexacting admiration I was still left with such
privilege of access as is granted to the family-gossip, or to an
innocuous uncle, and it is of such a passion, rashly nurtured under
this protection of an improbability, that I propose to tell the
_inner_ story.



PART II.


I was at the Baths of Lucca during a season made gay by the presence
of a large proportion of the agreeable and accessible court of
Tuscany. The material for my untiring study was in abundance, yet it
was all of the worldly character which the attractions of the place
would naturally draw together, and my homage had but a choice between
differences of display, in the one pursuit of admiration. In my walks
through the romantic mountain-paths of the neighborhood, and along the
banks of the deep-down river that threads the ravine above the
village, I had often met, meantime, a lady accompanied by a well-bred
and scholar-like looking man; and though she invariably dropped her
veil at my approach, her admirable movement, as she walked, or stooped
to pick a flower, betrayed that conscious possession of beauty and
habitual confidence in her own grace and elegance, which assured me of
attractions worth taking trouble to know. By one of those "unavoidable
accidents" which any respectable guardian angel will contrive, to
oblige one, I was a visiter to the gentleman and lady--father and
daughter--soon after my curiosity had framed the desire; and in her I
found a marvel of beauty, from which I looked in vain for my usual
escape--that of placing the ladder of my heart against a loftier and
fairer.

Mr. Wangrave was one of those English gentlemen who would not exchange
the name of an ancient and immemorially wealthy family for any title
that their country could give them, and he used this shield of modest
honor simply to protect himself in the enjoyment of habits, freed, as
far as refinement and culture could do it, from the burthens and
intrusions of life above and below him. He was ceaselessly educating
himself--like a man whose whole life was only too brief an
apprenticeship to a higher existence--and, with an invalid but
intellectual and lovely wife, and a daughter who seemed unconscious
that she could love, and who kept gay pace with her youthful-hearted
father in his lighter branches of knowledge, his family sufficed to
itself, and had determined so to continue while abroad. The society of
no Continental watering-place has a very good name, and they were
there for climate and seclusion. With two ladies, who seemed to occupy
the places and estimation of friends, (but who were probably the paid
nurse and companion to the invalid,) and a kind-hearted old secretary
to Mr. Wangrave, whose duties consisted in being as happy as he could
possibly be, their circle was large enough, and it contained elements
enough--except only, perhaps, the _réveille_ that was wanting for the
apparently slumbering heart of Stephania.

A month after my first call upon the Wangraves, I joined them on their
journey to Vallambrosa, where they proposed to take refuge from the
sultry coming of the Italian autumn. My happiness would not have been
arranged after the manner of this world's happiness, if I had been the
only addition to their party up the mountain. They had received with
open arms, a few days before leaving Lucca, a young man from the
neighborhood of their own home, and who, I saw with half a glance, was
the very Eidolon and type of what Mr. Wangrave would desire as a
fitting match for his daughter. From the allusions to him that had
preceded his coming, I had learned that he was the heir to a brilliant
fortune, and was coming to his old friends to be congratulated on his
appointment to a captaincy in the Queen's Guards--as pretty a case of
an "irresistible" as could well have been compounded for expectation.
And when he came--the absolute model of a youth of noble beauty--all
frankness, good manners, joyousness, and confidence, I summoned
courage to look alternately at Stephania and him, and the hope, the
daring hope that I had never yet named to myself, but which was
already master of my heart, and its every pulse and capability,
dropped prostrate and lifeless in my bosom. If he did but offer her
the life-minute of love, of which I would give her, it seemed to me,
for the same price, an eternity of countless existences--if he should
but give her a careless word, where I could wring a passionate
utterance out of the aching blood of my very heart--she must needs be
his. She would be a star else that would resign an orbit in the fair
sky, to illumine a dim cave; a flower that would rather bloom on a
bleak moor, than in the garden of a king--for, with such crushing
comparisons, did I irresistibly see myself as I remembered my own
shape and features, and my far humbler fortunes than his, standing in
her presence beside him.

Oh! how every thing contributed to enhance the beauty of that young
man. How the mellow and harmonizing tenderness of the light of the
Italian sky gave sentiment to his oval cheek, depth to his gray-blue
eye, meaning to their overfolding and thick-fringed lashes. Whatever
he said with his finely-cut lips, was _looked_ into twenty times its
meaning by the beauty of their motion in that languid atmosphere--an
atmosphere that seemed only breathed for his embellishment and
Stephania's. Every posture he took seemed a happy and rare accident,
which a painter should have been there to see. The sunsets, the
moonlight, the chance back-ground and fore-ground, of vines and
rocks--every thing seemed in conspiracy to heighten his effect, and
make of him a faultless picture of a lover.

"Every thing," did I say? Yes, _even myself_--for my uncomely face and
form were such a foil to his beauty as a skillful artist would have
introduced to heighten it when all other art was exhausted, and every
one saw it except Stephania; and little they knew how, with
perceptions far quicker than theirs, I _felt_ their recognition of
this, in the degree of softer kindness in which they unconsciously
spoke to me. They pitied me, and without recognizing their own
thought--for it was a striking instance of the difference in the
gifts of nature--one man looking scarce possible to love, and beside
him, another, of the same age, to whose mere first-seen beauty,
without a word from his lips, any heart would seem unnatural not to
leap in passionate surrender.

We were the best of sudden friends, Palgray and I. He, like the rest,
walked only the outer vestibule of the sympathies, viewlessly
deepening and extending, hour by hour, in that frank and joyous
circle. The interlinkings of soul, which need no language, and which
go on, whether we will or no, while we talk with friends, are so
strangely unthought of by the careless and happy. He saw in me no
counter-worker to his influence. I was to him but a well-bred and
extremely plain man, who tranquilly submitted to forego all the first
prizes of life, content if I could contribute to society in its
unexcited voids, and receive in return only the freedom of its outer
intercourse, and its friendly esteem. But, oh! it was not in the same
world that he and I knew Stephania. He approached her from the world
in whose most valued excellences, beauty and wealth, he was
pre-eminently gifted--I, from the viewless world, in which I had at
least more skill and knowledge. In the month that I had known her
before he came, I had sedulously addressed myself to a character
within her, of which Palgray had not even a conjecture; and there was
but one danger of his encroachment on the ground I had gained--her
imagination might supply in him the nobler temple of soul-worship,
which was still unbuilt, and which would never be builded except by
pangs such as he was little likely to feel in the undeepening channel
of happiness. He did not notice that _I_ never spoke to her in the
same key of voice to which the conversation of others was attuned. He
saw not that, while she turned to _him_ with a smile as a preparation
to listen, she heard _my_ voice as if her attention had been arrested
by distant music--with no change in her features except a look more
earnest. She would have called _him_ to look with her at a glowing
sunset, or to point out a new comer in the road from the village; but
if the moon had gone suddenly into a cloud and saddened the face of
the landscape, or if the wind had sounded mournfully through the
trees, as she looked out upon the night, she would have spoken of that
first to _me_.



PART III.


I am flying over the track, of what was to me a torrent--outlining its
course by alighting upon, here and there, a point where it turned or
lingered.

The reader has been to Vallambrosa--if not once as a pilgrim, at least
often with writers of travels in Italy. The usages of the convent are
familiar to all memories--their lodging of the gentlemen of a party in
cells of their own monastic privilege, and giving to the ladies less
sacred hospitalities, in a secular building of meaner and
unconsecrated architecture. (So, oh, mortifying brotherhood, you shut
off your only chance of entertaining angels unaware!)

Not permitted to eat with the ladies while on the holy mountain, Mr.
Wangrave and his secretary, and Palgray and I, fed at the table with
the aristocratic monks--(for they are the aristocrats of European
holiness, these monks of Vallambrosa.) It was somewhat a relief to me,
to be separated with my rival from the party in the feminine
refectory, even for the short space of a meal-time; for the all-day
suffering of presence with an unconscious trampler on my
heart-strings; and in circumstances where all the triumphs were his
own, were more than my intangible hold upon hope could well enable me
to bear. I was happiest, therefore, when I was out of the presence of
her to be near whom was all for which my life was worth having; and
when we sat down at the long and bare table, with the thoughtful and
ashen-cowled company, sad as I was, it was an opiate sadness--a
suspension from self-mastery, under torture which others took to be
pleasure.

The temperature of the mountain-air was just such as to invite us to
never enter doors except to eat and sleep; and breakfasting at
convent-hours, we passed the long day in rambling up the ravines and
through the sombre forests, drawing, botanizing, and conversing in
group around some spot of exquisite natural beauty; and all of the
party, myself excepted, supposing it to be the un-dissenting, common
desire to contrive opportunity for the love-making of Palgray and
Stephania. And, bitter though it was, in each particular instance, to
accept a hint from one and another, and stroll off, leaving the
confessed lovers alone by some musical water-fall, or in the secluded
and twilight dimness of some curve in an overhanging ravine--places
where only to breathe is to love--I still felt an instinctive
prompting to rather anticipate than wait for these reminders, she
alone knowing what it cost me to be without her in that delicious
wilderness; and Palgray, as well as I could judge, having a mind out
of harmony with both the wilderness and her.

He loved her--loved her as well as most women need to be, or know that
they can be loved. But he was too happy, too prosperous, too
universally beloved, to love well. He was a man, with all his beauty,
more likely to be fascinating to his own sex than to hers, for the
women who love best, do not love in the character they live in; and
his out-of-doors heart, whose joyfulness was so contagious, and whose
bold impulses were so manly and open, contented itself with gay
homage, and left unplummeted the sweetest as well as deepest wells of
the thoughtful tenderness of woman.

To most observers, Stephania Wangrave would have seemed only born to
be gay--the mere habit of being happy having made its life-long
imprint upon her expression of countenance, and all of her nature,
that would be legible to a superficial reader, being brought out by
the warm translucence of her smiles. But while I had seen this, in the
first hour of my study of her, I was too advanced in my knowledge (of
such works of nature as encroach on the models of Heaven) not to know
this to be a light veil over a picture of melancholy meaning. Sadness
was the tone of her mind's inner coloring. Tears were the
subterranean river upon which her soul's bark floated with the most
loved freight of her thought's accumulation--the sunny waters of joy,
where alone she was thought to voyage, being the tide on which her
heart embarked no venture, and which seemed to her triflingly garish
and even profaning to the hallowed delicacy of the inner nature.

It was so strange to me that Palgray did not see this through every
lineament of her marvelous beauty. There was a glow under her skin,
but no color--an effect of paleness--fair as the lotus-leaf, but
warmer and brighter, and which came through the alabaster fineness of
the grain, like something the eye cannot define, but which we know by
some spirit-perception to be the effluence of purer existence, the
breathing through, as it were, of the luminous tenanting of an angel.
To this glowing paleness, with golden hair, I never had seen united
any but a disposition of predominant melancholy; and it seemed to me
dull indeed otherwise to read it. But there were other betrayals of
the same inner nature of Stephania. Her lips, cut with the fine
tracery of the penciling upon a tulip-cup, were of a slender and
delicate fullness, expressive of a mind which took--(of the
senses)--only so much life as would hold down the spirit during its
probation; and when this spiritual mouth was at rest, no painter has
ever drawn lips on which lay more of the unutterable pensiveness of
beauty which we dream to have been Mary's, in the childhood of Jesus.
A tear in the heart was the instinctive answer to Stephania's every
look when she did not smile; and her large, soft, slowly-lifting eyes,
were to any elevated perception, it seemed to me, most eloquent of
tenderness as tearful as it was unfathomable and angelic.

I shall have failed, however, in portraying truly the being of whom I
am thus privileged to hold the likeness in my memory, if the reader
fancies her to have nurtured her pensive disposition at the expense of
a just value for real life, or a full development of womanly feelings.
It was a peculiarity of her beauty, to my eye, that, with all her
earnest leaning toward a thoughtful existence, there did not seem to
be one vein beneath her pearly skin, not one wavy line in her
faultless person, that did not lend its proportionate consciousness to
her breathing sense of life. Her bust was of the slightest fullness
which the sculptor would choose for the embodying of his ideal of the
best blending of modesty with complete beauty; and her throat and
arms--oh, with what an inexpressible pathos of loveliness, so to
speak, was moulded, under an infantine dewiness of surface, their
delicate undulations. No one could be in her presence without
acknowledging the perfection of her form as a woman, and rendering the
passionate yet subdued homage which the purest beauty fulfills its
human errand by inspiring; but, while Palgray made the halo which
surrounded her outward beauty the whole orbit of his appreciation, and
made of it, too, the measure of the circle of topics he chose to talk
upon, there was still another and far wider ring of light about her,
which he lived in too dazzling a gayety of his own to see--a halo of
a mind more beautiful than the body which shut it in; and in this
intellectual orbit of guidance to interchange of mind, with manifold
deeper and higher reach than Palgray's, upon whatever topic chanced to
occur, revolved I, around her who was the loveliest and most gifted of
all the human beings I had been privileged to meet.



PART IV.


The month was expiring at Vallambrosa, but I had not mingled, for that
length of time, with a fraternity of thoughtful men, without
recognition of some of that working of spontaneous and elective
magnetism to which I have alluded in a previous part of this story.
Opposite me, at the table of the convent refectory, had sat a taciturn
monk, whose influence I felt from the first day--a stronger
consciousness of his presence, that is to say, than of any one of the
other monks--though he did not seem particularly to observe me, and
till recently had scarce spoken to me at all. He was a man of perhaps
fifty years of age, with the countenance of one who had suffered and
gained a victory of contemplation--a look as if no suffering could be
new to him, and before whom no riddle of human vicissitudes could stay
unread; but over all this penetration and sagacity was diffused a cast
of genial philanthropy and good-fellowship which told of his
forgiveness of the world for what he had suffered in it. With a
curiosity more at leisure, I should have sought him out, and joined
him in his walks to know more of him; but spiritually acquainted
though I felt we had become, I was far too busy with head and heart
for any intercourse, except it had a bearing on the struggle for love
that I was, to all appearance, so hopelessly making.

Preparations were beginning for departure, and with the morrow, or the
day after, I was to take my way to Venice--my friends bound to
Switzerland and England, and propriety not permitting me to seek
another move in their company. The evening on which this was made
clear to me, was one of those continuations of day into night made by
the brightness of a full Italian moon; and Palgray, whose face,
troubled, for the first time, betrayed to me that he was at a crisis
of his fate with Stephania, evidently looked forward to this glowing
night as the favorable atmosphere in which he might urge his suit,
with nature pleading in his behalf. The reluctance and evident
irresolution of his daughter puzzled Mr. Wangrave--for he had no doubt
that she loved Palgray, and his education of her head and heart gave
him no clue to any principle of coquettishness, or willingness to give
pain, for the pleasure of an exercise of power. Her mother, and all
the members of the party, were aware of the mystery that hung over the
suit of the young guardsman, but they were all alike discreet, while
distressed, and confined their interference to the removal of
obstacles in the way of the lovers being together, and the avoidance
of any topics gay enough to change the key of her spirits from the
natural softness of the evening.

Vespers were over, and the sad-colored figures of the monks were
gliding indolently here and there, and Stephania, with Palgray beside
her, stood a little apart from the group at the door of the secular
refectory, looking off at the fading purple of the sunset. I could not
join her without crossing rudely the obvious wishes of every person
present; yet for the last two days, I had scarce found the opportunity
to exchange a word with her, and my emotion now was scarce
controllable. The happier lover beside her, with his features
heightened in expression (as I thought they never could be) by his
embarrassment in wooing, was evidently and irresistibly the object of
her momentary admiration. He offered her his arm, and made a movement
toward the path off into the forest. There was an imploring deference
infinitely becoming in his manner, and see it she must, with pride and
pleasure. She hesitated--gave a look to where I stood, which explained
to me better than a world of language, that she had wished at least to
speak to me on this last evening--and, before the dimness over my eyes
had passed away, they were gone. Oh! pitying Heaven! give me never
again, while wrapt in mortal weakness, so harsh a pang to suffer.



PART V.


The convent-bell struck midnight, and there was a foot-fall in the
cloister. I was startled by it out of an entire forgetfulness of all
around me, for I was lying on my bed in the monastery cell, with my
hands clasped over my eyes, as I had thrown myself down on coming in;
and, with a strange contrariety, my mind, broken rudely from its hope,
had flown to my far away home, oblivious of the benumbed links that
lay between. A knock at my door completed the return to my despair,
for with a look at the walls of my little chamber, in the bright beam
of moonlight that streamed in at the narrow window, I was, by
recognition, again at Vallambrosa, and Stephania, with an accepted
lover's voice in her ear, was again near me, her moistened eyes
steeped with Palgray's in the same beam of the all-visiting and
unbetraying moon.

Father Ludovic entered. The gentle tone of his _benedicite_, told me
that he had come on an errand of sympathy. There was little need of
preliminary between two who read the inner countenance as habitually
as did both of us; and as briefly as the knowledge and present feeling
of each could be re-expressed in words, we confirmed the
spirit-mingling that had brought him there, and were presently as one.
He had read truly the drama of love, enacting in the party of visiters
to his convent, but his judgment of the possible termination of it was
different from mine.

    *    *    *    *    *

Palgray's dormitory was at the extremity of the cloister, and we
presently heard him pass.

"She is alone, now," said Father Ludovic, "I will send you to her."

My mind had strained to Stephania's presence with the first footsteps
that told me of their separation; and it needed but a wave of his hand
to unlink the spirit-wings from my weary frame. I was present with
her.

I struggled for a moment, but in vain, to see her face. Its expression
was as visible as my hand in the sun, but no feature. The mind I had
read was close to me, in a presence of consciousness; and, in points,
here and there, brighter, bolder, and further-reaching than I had
altogether believed. She was unutterably pure--a spirit without a
spot--and I remained near her with a feeling as if my forehead were
pressed down to the palms of my hands, in homage mixed with sorrow,
for I should have more recognized this in my waking study of her
nature.

A moment more--a trembling effort, as if to read what were written to
record my companionship for eternity--and a vague image of myself came
out in shadow--clearer now, and still clearer, enlarging to the
fullness of her mind. She thought wholly and only of that image I then
saw, yet with a faint coloring playing to and from it, as influences
came in from the outer world. Her eyes were turned in upon it in lost
contemplation. But suddenly a new thought broke upon me. I saw my
image, but it was not I, as I looked to myself. The type of my
countenance was there; but, oh, transformed to an ideal, such as I
now, for the first time, saw possible--ennobled in every defective
line--purified of its taint from worldliness--inspired with high
aspirations--cleared of what it had become cankered with, in its
transmission through countless generations since first sent into the
world, and restored to a likeness of the angel of whose illuminated
lineaments it was first a copy. So thought Stephania of me. Thus did
she believe I truly was. Oh! blessed, and yet humiliating, trust of
woman! Oh! comparison of true and ideal, at which spirits must look
out of heaven, and of which they must long, with aching pity, to make
us thus rebukingly aware!

    *    *    *    *    *

I felt myself withdrawing from Stephania's presence. There were tears
between us, which I could not see. I strove to remain, but a stronger
power than my will was at work within me. I felt my heart swell with a
gasp, as if death were bearing out of it the principle of life; and my
head dropped on the pillow of my bed.

"Good night, my son," said the low voice of Father Ludovic, "I have
willed that you should remember what you have seen. Be worthy of her
love, for there are few like her."

He closed the door, and as the glide of his sandals died away in the
echoing cloisters, I leaned forth to spread my expanding heart in the
upward and boundless light of the moon--for I seemed to wish never
again to lose in the wasteful forgetfulness of sleep, the
consciousness that I was loved by Stephania.

    *    *    *    *    *

I was journeying the next day, alone, toward Venice. I had left
written adieux for the party at Vallambrosa, pleading to my friends an
unwillingness to bear the pain of a formal separation. Betwixt
midnight and morning, however, I had written a parting letter for
Stephania, which I had committed to the kind envoying of Father
Ludovic, and thus it ran:--

         "When you read this, Stephania, I shall be alone
         with the thought of you, traveling a reluctant
         road, but still with a burthen in my heart which
         will bring me to you again, and which even now
         envelopes my pang of separation in a veil of
         happiness. I have been blessed by Heaven's mercy
         with the power to know that you love me. Were you
         not what you are, I could not venture to startle
         you thus with a truth which, perhaps, you have
         hardly confessed in waking reality to yourself; but
         you are one of those who are coy of no truth that
         could be found to have lain without alarm in your
         own bosom, and, with those beloved hands pressed
         together with the earnestness of the clasp of
         prayer, you will say, 'yes! I love him!'

         "I leave you, now, not to put our love to trial,
         and still less in the ordinary meaning of the
         phrase, to prepare to wed you. The first is little
         needed, angels in heaven well know. The second is a
         thought which will be in time, when I have done the
         work on which I am newly bent by the inspiration of
         love--_the making myself what you think me to be_.
         Oh, Stephania! to feel encouraged, as God has given
         me strength to feel, that I may yet be this--that I
         may yet bring you a soul brought up to the standard
         you have raised, and achieve it by effort in
         self-denial, and by the works of honor and goodness
         that are as possible to a man in obscurity and
         poverty as to his brother in wealth and
         distinction--this is to me new life, boundless
         enlargement of sphere, food for a love of which,
         alas! I was not before worthy.

         "I have told you unreservedly what my station in
         life is--what my hopes are, and what career I had
         marked out for struggle. I shall go on with the
         career, though the prizes I then mentally saw have
         since faded in value almost as much as my purpose
         is strengthened. Fame and wealth, my pure,
         Stephania, are to you as they now can only be to
         me, larger trusts of service and duty; and if I
         hope they will come while other aims are sought, it
         is because they will confer happiness on parents
         and friends who mistakenly suppose them necessary
         to the winner of your heart. I hope to bring them
         to you. I know that I shall come as welcome without
         them.

         "While I write--while my courage and hope throb
         loud in the pulses of my bosom--I can think even
         happily of separation. To leave you, the better to
         return, is bearable--even pleasurable--to the
         heart's noonday mood. But I have been steeped for a
         summer, now, in a presence of visible and breathing
         loveliness, (that you cannot forbid me to speak of,
         since language is too poor to out-color truth,) and
         there will come moments of depression--twilights of
         deepening and undivided loneliness--hours of
         illness, perhaps--and times of discouragement and
         adverse cloudings over of Providence--when I shall
         need to be remembered with sympathy, and to know
         that I am so remembered. I do not ask you to write
         to me. It would entail difficulties upon you, and
         put between us an interchange of uncertainties and
         possible misunderstandings. But I can communicate
         with you by a surer medium, if you will grant a
         request. The habits of your family are such that
         you can, for the first hour after midnight, be
         always alone. Waking or sleeping, there will then
         be a thought of me occupying your heart, and--call
         it a fancy if you will--I can come and read it on
         the viewless wings of the soul.

         "I commend your inexpressible earthly beauty, dear
         Stephania, and your still brighter loveliness of
         soul, to God's angel, who has never left you.
         Farewell! You will see me when I am worthy of
         you--if it be necessary that it should be first in
         heaven, made so by forgiveness there.

    *    *    *    *    *

_Cell of St. Eusebius, Vallambrosa--day-breaking_."



A BUTTERFLY IN THE CITY.

BY THOMAS BUCHANAN READ.


    Dear transient spirit of the fields,
      Thou com'st, without distrust,
    To fan the sunshine of our streets
      Among the noise and dust.

    Thou leadest in thy wavering flight
      My footsteps unaware,
    Until I seem to walk the vales
      And breathe thy native air.

    And thou hast fed upon the flowers,
      And drained their honied springs,
    Till every tender hue they wore
      Is blooming on thy wings.

    I bless the fresh and flowery light
      Thou bringest to the town,
    But tremble lest the hot turmoil
      Have power to weigh thee down;

    For thou art like the poet's song,
      Arrayed in holiest dyes,
    Though it hath drained the honied wells
      Of flowers of Paradise;

    Though it hath brought celestial hues
      To light the ways of life,
    The dust shall weigh its pinions down
      Amid the noisy strife.

    And yet, perchance, some kindred soul
      Shall see its glory shine,
    And feel its wings within his heart
      As bright as I do thine.



THE RIVAL SISTERS.

AN ENGLISH TRAGEDY OF REAL LIFE.

BY HENRY WILLIAM HERBERT, AUTHOR OF "THE ROMAN TRAITOR,"
"MARMADUKE WYVIL," ETC.

(_Concluded from page 22_.)


PART II.


A lovely summer's evening in the year 168-, was drawing toward its
close, when many a gay and brilliant cavalcade of both sexes, many of
the huge gilded coaches of that day, and many a train of liveried
attendants, winding through the green lane, as they arrived, some in
this direction from Eton, some in that, across Datchet-mead, from
Windsor, and its royal castle, came thronging toward Ditton-in-the-Dale.

Lights were beginning to twinkle, as the shadows fell thick among the
arcades of the trim gardens, and the wilder forest-walks which
extended their circuitous course for many a mile along the stately
hall of the Fitz-Henries; loud bursts of festive or of martial music
came pealing down the wind, mixed with the hum of a gay and happy
concourse, causing the nightingales to hold their peace, not in
despair of rivaling the melody, but that the mirth jarred unpleasantly
on the souls of the melancholy birds.

The gates of Ditton-in-the-Dale were flung wide open, for it was gala
night, and never had the old hall put on a gayer or more sumptuous
show than it had donned that evening.

From far and near the gentry and the nobles of Buckingham and
Berkshire had gathered to the birth-day ball--for such was the occasion
of the festive meeting.

Yes! it was Blanche Fitz-Henry's birth-day; and on this gay and glad
anniversary was the fair heiress of that noble house to be introduced
to the great world as the future owner of those beautiful demesnes.

From the roof to the foundation the old manor-house--it was a stately
red brick mansion of the latter period of Elizabethan architecture,
with mullioned windows, and stacks of curiously wreathed chimneys--was
one blaze of light; and as group after group of gay and high-born
riders came caracoling up to the hospitable porch, and coach after
coach, with its running footmen, or mounted outriders lumbered slowly
in their train, the saloons and corridors began to fill up rapidly,
with a joyous and splendid company.

The entrance-hall, a vast square apartment, wainscoted with old
English oak, brighter and richer in its dark hues than mahogany,
received the entering guests; and what with the profusion of
wax-lights, pendant in gorgeous chandeliers from the carved roof, or
fixed in silver sconces to the walls, the gay festoons of green
wreaths and fresh summer flowers, mixed quaintly with old armor,
blazoned shields, and rustling banners, some of which had waved over
the thirsty plains of Syria, and been fanned by the shouts of triumph
that pealed so high at Cressy and Poitiers, it presented a not unapt
picture of that midway period--that halting-place, as it were, between
the old world and the new--when chivalry and feudalism had ceased
already to exist among the nations, but before the rudeness of reform
had banished the last remnants of courtesy, and the reverence for all
things that were high and noble--for all things that were fair and
graceful--for all things, in one word, except the golden calf, the
mob-worshiped mammon.

Within this stately hall was drawn up in glittering array, the
splendid band of the Life Guards, for royally himself was present, and
all the officers of that superb regiment, quartered at Windsor, had
followed in his train; and as an ordinary courtesy to their
well-proved and loyal host, the services of those chosen musicians had
been tendered and accepted.

Through many a dazzling corridor, glittering with lights, and redolent
of choicest perfumes, through many a fair saloon the guests were
marshaled to the great drawing-room, where, beneath a canopy of state,
the ill-advised and imbecile monarch, soon to be deserted by the very
princes and princesses who now clustered round his throne, sat, with
his host and his lovely daughters at his right hand, accepting the
homage of the fickle crowd, who were within a little year to bow
obsequiously to the cold-blooded Hollander.

That was a day of singular, and what would now be termed hideous
costumes--a day of hair-powder and patches, of hoops and trains, of
stiff brocades and tight-laced stomachers, and high-heeled shoes among
the ladies--of flowing periwigs, and coats with huge cuffs and no
collars, and voluminous skirts, of diamond-hilted rapiers, and diamond
buckles, ruffles of Valenciennes and Mecklin lace, among the ruder
sex. And though the individual might be metamorphosed strangely from
the fair form which nature gave him, it cannot be denied that the
concourse of highly-bred and graceful persons, when viewed as a whole,
was infinitely more picturesque, infinitely more like what the fancy
paints a meeting of the great and noble, than any assemblage
now-a-days, however courtly or refined, in which the stiff dress coats
and white neckcloths of the men are not to be redeemed by the Parisian
finery--how much more natural, let critics tell, than the hoop and
train--of the fair portion of the company.

The rich materials, the gay colors, the glittering jewelry, and waving
plumes, all contributed their part to the splendor of the show; and in
those days a gentleman possessed at least this advantage, lost to him
in these practical utilitarian times, that he could not by any
possibility be mistaken for his own _valet de chambre_--a misfortune
which has befallen many a one, the most aristocratic not excepted, of
modern nobility.

A truly graceful person will be graceful, and look well in every garb,
however strange or _outré_; and there is, moreover, undoubtedly
something, apart from any paltry love of finery, or mere vanity of
person, which elevates the thoughts, and stamps a statelier demeanor
on the man who is clad highly for some high occasion. The custom, too,
of wearing arms, peculiar to the gentleman of that day, had its
effect, and that not a slight one, as well on the character as on the
bearing of the individual so distinguished.

As for the ladies, loveliness will still be loveliness, disguise it as
you may; and if the beauties of King James's court lost much by the
travesty of their natural ringlets, they gained, perhaps, yet more
from the increased lustre of their complexions and brilliancy of their
eyes.

So that it is far from being the case, as is commonly supposed, that
it was owing to fashion alone, and the influence of all powerful
custom, that the costume of that day was not tolerated only, but
admired by its wearers.

At this time, however, the use of hair-powder, though general, was by
no means universal; and many beauties, who fancied that it did not
suit their complexions, dispensed with it altogether, or wore it in
some modified shape, and tinged with some coloring matter, which
assimilated it more closely to the natural tints of the hair.

At all events, it must have been a dull eye, and a cold heart, that
could have looked undelighted on the assemblage that night gathered in
the ball-room of Ditton-in-the-Dale.

But now the reception was finished; the royal party moved into the
ball-room, from which they shortly afterward retired, leaving the
company at liberty from the restraint which their presence had imposed
upon them. The concourse broke up into little groups; the stately
minuet was performed, and livelier dances followed it; and gentlemen
sighed tender sighs, and looked unutterable things; and ladies
listened to soft nonsense, and smiled gentle approbation; and melting
glances were exchanged, and warm hands were pressed warmly; and fans
were flirted angrily, and flippant jokes were interchanged--for human
nature, whether in the seventeeth or the nineteenth century, whether
arrayed in brocade, or simply dressed in broadcloth, is human nature
still; and, perhaps, not one feeling, or one passion, that actuated
man's or woman's heart five hundred years ago, but dwells within it
now, and shall dwell unchanged forever.

It needs not to say that, on such an occasion, in their own father's
mansion, and at the celebration of one sister's birth-day, Blanche and
Agnes, had their attractions been much smaller, their pretensions much
more lowly than they really were, would have received boundless
attention. But being as they were infinitely the finest girls in the
room, and being, moreover, new _debutantes_ on the stage of fashion,
there was no limit to the admiration, to the _furor_ which they
excited among the wits and lady-killers of the day.

Many an antiquated Miss, proud of past conquests, and unable yet to
believe that her career of triumph was, indeed, ended, would turn up
an envious nose, and utter a sharp sneer at the forwardness and hoyden
mirth of that pert Mistress Agnes, or at the coldness and inanimate
smile of the fair heiress; but the sneer, even were it the sneer of a
duke's or a minister's daughter, fell harmless, or yet worse, drew
forth a prompt defence of the unjustly assailed beauty.

No greater proof could be adduced, indeed, of the amazing success of
the sister beauties, than the unanimous decision of every lady in the
room numbering less than forty years, that they were by no means
uncommon; were pretty country hoppets, who, as soon as the novelty of
their first appearance should have worn out, would cease to be
admired, and sink back into their proper sphere of insignificance.

So thought not the gentle cavaliers; and there were many present
there, well qualified to judge of ladies' minds as of ladies' persons;
and not a few were heard to swear aloud, that the Fitz-Henries were as
far above the rest of their sex in wit, and graceful accomplishment,
as in beauty of form and face, and elegance of motion.

See! they are dancing now some gay, newly invented, Spanish dance,
each whirling through the voluptuous mazes of the courtly measure with
her own characteristic air and manner, each evidently pleased with her
partner, each evidently charming him in turn; and the two together
enchaining all eyes, and interesting all spectators, so that a gentle
hum of approbation is heard running through the crowd, as they pause,
blushing and panting from the exertion and excitement of the dance.

"Fore Gad! she is exquisite, George! I have seen nothing like her in
my time," lisped a superb coxcomb, attired in a splendid civilian's
suit of Pompadour and silver, to a young cornet of the Life Guard who
stood beside him.

"Which _she_, my lord?" inquired the standard-bearer, in reply.
"Methinks they both deserve your encomiums; but I would fain know
which of the two your lordship means, for fame speaks you a dangerous
rival against whom to enter the lists."

"What, George!" cried the other, gayly, "are you about to have a throw
for the heiress? Pshaw! it wont do, man--never think of it! Why,
though you are an earl's second son, and date your creation from the
days of Hump-backed Dickon, old Allan would vote you a _novus homo_,
as we used to say at Christ Church. Pshaw! George, go hang yourself!
No one has a chance of winning that fair loveliness, much less of
wearing her, unless he can quarter Sir Japhet's bearings on his coat
armorial."

"It _is_ the heiress, then, my lord," answered George Delawarr,
merrily. "I thought as much from the first. Well, I'll relieve your
lordship, as you have relieved me, from all fear of rivalry. I am
devoted to the dark beauty. Egad! there's life, there's fire for you!
Why, I should have thought the flash of that eye-glance would have
reduced Jack Greville to cinders in a moment, yet there he stands, as
calm and impassive a puppy as ever dangled a plumed hat, or played
with a sword-knot. Your fair beauty's cold, my lord. Give me that
Italian complexion, and that coal-black hair! Gad zooks! I honor the
girl's spirit for not disguising it with starch and pomatum. There's
more passion in her little finger, than in the whole soul of the
other."

"You're out there, George Delawarr," returned the peer. "Trust me, it
is not always the quickest flame that burns the strongest; nor the
liveliest girl that feels the most deeply. There's an old saying, and
a true one, that still water aye runs deep. And, trust me, if I know
any thing of the dear, delicious, devilish sex, as methinks I am not
altogether a novice at the trade, if ever Blanche Fitz-Henry love at
all, she will love with her whole soul and heart and spirit. That gay,
laughing brunette will love you with her tongue, her eyes, her head,
and perhaps her fancy--the other, if, as I say, she ever love at all,
will love with her whole being."

"The broad acres! my lord! all the broad acres!" replied the cornet,
laughing more merrily than before. "Fore Gad! I think it the very
thing for you. For the first Lord St. George was, I believe, in the
ark with Noah, so that you will pass current with the first gentleman
of England. I prithee, my lord, push your suit, and help me on a
little with my dark Dulcinea."

"Faith! George, I've no objection; and see, this dance is over. Let us
go up and ask their fair hands. You'll have no trouble in ousting that
shallow-pated puppy Jack, and I think I can put the pass on Mr.
privy-counsellor there, although he is simpering so prettily. But,
hold a moment, have you been duly and in form presented to your
black-eyed beauty?"

"Upon my soul! I hope so, my lord. It were very wrong else; for I have
danced with her three times to-night already."

"The devil! Well, come along, quick. I see that they are going to
announce supper, so soon as this next dance shall be ended; and if we
can engage them now, we shall have their fair company for an hour at
least."

"I am with you, my lord!"

And away they sauntered through the crowd, and ere long were coupled
for a little space each to the lady of his choice.

The dance was soon over, and then, as Lord St. George had surmised,
supper was announced, and the cavaliers led their ladies to the
sumptuous board, and there attended them with all that courtly and
respectful service, which, like many another good thing, has passed
away and been forgotten with the diamond-hilted sword, and the full
bottomed periwig.

George Delawarr was full as ever of gay quips and merry repartees; his
wit was as sparkling as the champagne which in some degree inspired
it, and as innocent. There was no touch of bitterness or satire in his
polished and gentle humor; no envy or dislike pointed his quick,
epigrammatic speech; but all was clear, light, and transparent, as the
sunny air at noonday. Nor was his conversation altogether light and
mirthful. There were at times bursts of high enthusiasm, at which he
would himself laugh heartily a moment afterward--there were touches of
passing romance and poetry blending in an under-current with his
fluent mirth; and, above all, there was an evident strain of right
feeling, of appreciation of all that was great and generous and good,
predominant above romance and wit, perceptible in every word he
uttered.

And Agnes listened, and laughed, and flung back skillfully and
cleverly the ball of conversation, as he tossed it to her. She was
pleased, it was evident, and amused. But she was pleased only as with
a clever actor, a brilliant performer on some new instrument now heard
for the first time. The gay, wild humor of the young man hit her
fancy; his mad wit struck a kindred chord in her mind; but the latent
poetry and romance passed unheeded, and the noblest point of all, the
good and gracious feelings, made no impression on the polished but
hard surface of the bright maiden's heart.

Meantime, how fared the peer with the calmer and gentler sister? Less
brilliant than George Delawarr, he had traveled much, had seen more of
men and things, had a more cultivated mind, was more of a scholar, and
no less of a gentleman, scarce less perhaps of a soldier; for he had
served a campaign or two in his early youth in the Low Countries.

He was a noble and honorable man, clever, and eloquent, and well
esteemed--a little, perhaps, spoiled by that good esteem, a little too
confident of himself, too conscious of his own good mien and good
parts, and a little hardened, if very much polished, by continual
contact with the world.

He was, however, an easy and agreeable talker, accustomed to the
society of ladies, in which he was held to shine, and fond of shining.
He exerted himself also that night, partly because he was really
struck with Blanche's grace and beauty, partly because Delawarr's
liveliness and wit excited him to a sort of playful rivalry.

Still, he was not successful; for though Blanche listened graciously,
and smiled in the right places, and spoke in answer pleasantly and
well, when she did speak, and evidently wished to appear and to be
amused; her mind was at times absent and distracted, and it could not
long escape the observation of so thorough a man of the world as Lord
St. George, that he had not made that impression on the young country
damsel which he was wont to make, with one half the effort, on what
might be supposed more difficult ladies.

But though he saw this plainly, he was too much of a gentleman to be
either piqued or annoyed; and if any thing he exerted himself the more
to please, when he believed exertion useless; and by degrees his
gentle partner laid aside her abstraction, and entered into the spirit
of the hour with something of her sister's mirth, though with a
quieter and more chastened tone.

It was a pleasant party, and a merry evening; but like all other
things, merry or sad, it had its end, and passed away, and by many was
forgotten; but there were two persons present there who never while
they lived forgot that evening--for there were other two, to whom it
was indeed the commencement of the end.

But the hour for parting had arrived, and with the ceremonious
greetings of those days, deep bows and stately courtesies, and kissing
of fair hands, and humble requests to be permitted to pay their duty
on the following day, the cavaliers and ladies parted.

When the two gallants stood together in the great hall, George
Delawarr turned suddenly to the peer--

"Where the deuce are you going to sleep to-night, St. George? You came
down hither all the way from London, did you not? You surely do not
mean to return to-night."

"I surely do not _wish_ it, you mean, George. No, truly. But I do mean
it. For my fellows tell me that there is not a bed to be had for love,
which does not at all surprise me, or for money, which I confess does
somewhat, in Eton, Slough, or Windsor. And if I must go back to
Brentford or to Hounslow, as well at once to London."

"Come with me! Come with me, St. George. I can give you quarters in
the barracks, and a good breakfast, and a game of tennis if you will;
and afterward, if you like, we'll ride over and see how these
bright-eyed beauties look by daylight, after all this night-work."

"A good offer, George, and I'll take it as it is offered."

"How are you here? In a great lumbering coach I suppose. Well, look
you, I have got two horses here; you shall take mine, and I'll ride on
my fellow's, who shall go with your people and pilot them on the road,
else they'll be getting that great gilded Noah's ark into
Datchet-ditch. Have you got any tools? Ay! ay! I see you travel well
equipped, if you do ride in your coach. Now your riding-cloak, the
nights are damp here, by the river-side, even in summer; oh! never
mind your pistols, you'll find a brace in my holsters, genuine
Kuchenreuters. I can hit a crown piece with them, for a hundred
guineas, at fifty paces."

"Heaven send that you never shoot at me with them, if that's the case,
George."

"Heaven send that I never shoot at any one, my lord, unless it be an
enemy of my king and country, and in open warfare; for so certainly as
I do shoot I shall kill."

"I do not doubt you, George. But let's be off. The lights are burning
low in the sockets, and these good fellows are evidently tired out
with their share of our festivity. Fore Gad! I believe we are the
last of the guests."

And with the word, the young men mounted joyously, and galloped away
at the top of their horses' speed to the quarters of the life-guard in
Windsor.

Half an hour after their departure, the two sisters sat above stairs
in a pleasant chamber, disrobing themselves, with the assistance of
their maidens, of the cumbrous and stiff costumes of the ball-room,
and jesting merrily over the events of the evening.

"Well, Blanche," said Agnes archly, "confess, siss, who is the lord
paramount, the beau _par excellence_, of the ball? I know, you demure
puss! After all, it is ever the quiet cat that licks the cream. But to
think that on your very first night you should have made such a
conquest. So difficult, too, to please, they say, and all the great
court ladies dying for him."

"Hush! madcap. I don't know who you mean. At all events, I have not
danced four dances in one evening with one cavalier. Ah! have I caught
you, pretty mistress?"

"Oh! that was only _poor_ George Delawarr. A paltry cornet in the
guards. He will do well enough to have dangling after one, to play
with, while he amuses one--but fancy, being proud of conquering poor
George! His namesake with the Saint before it were worth a score of
such."

"Fie, sister!" said Blanche, gravely. "I do not love to hear you talk
so. I am sure he's a very pretty gentleman, and has twice as much head
as my lord, if I'm not mistaken; and three times as much heart."

"Heart, indeed, siss! Much you know about hearts, I fancy. But, now
that you speak of it, I _will_ try if he has got a heart. If he has,
he will do well to pique some more eligible--"

"Oh! Agnes, Agnes! I cannot hear you--"

"Pshaw!" interrupted the younger sister, very bitterly, "this
affectation of sentiment and disinterestedness sits very prettily on
the heiress of Ditton-in-the-Dale, Long Netherby, and Waltham Ferrers,
three manors, and ten thousand pounds a year to buy a bridegroom! Poor
I, with my face for my fortune, must needs make my wit eke out my want
of dowry. And I'm not one, I promise you, siss, to choose love in a
cottage. No, no! Give me your Lord St. George, and I'll make over all
my right and title to poor George Delawarr this minute. Heigho! I
believe the fellow is smitten with me after all. Well, well! I'll have
some fun with him before I have done yet."

"Agnes," said Blanche, gravely, but reproachfully, "I have long seen
that you are light, and careless whom you wound with your wild words,
but I never thought before that you were bad-hearted."

"Bad-hearted, sister!"

"Yes! bad-hearted! To speak to me of manors, or of money, as if for
fifty wills, or five hundred fathers, I would ever profit by a
parent's whim to rob my sister of her portion. As if I would not
rather lie in the cold grave, than that my sister should have a wish
ungratified, which I had power to gratify, much less that she should
narrow down the standard of her choice--the holiest and most sacred
thing on earth--to the miserable scale of wealth and title. Out upon
it! out upon it! Never, while you live, speak so to me again!"

"Sister, I never will. I did not mean it, sister, dear," cried Agnes,
now much affected, as she saw how vehemently Blanche was moved. "You
should not heed me. You know my wild, rash way, and how I speak
whatever words come first."

"Those were very meaning words, Agnes--and very bitter, too. They cut
me to the heart," cried the fair girl, bursting into a flood of
passionate tears.

"Oh! do not--do not, Blanche. Forgive me, dearest! Indeed, indeed, I
meant nothing!"

"Forgive you, Agnes! I have nothing to forgive. I was not even angry,
but pained, but sorry for you, sister; for sure I am, that if you give
way to this bitter, jealous spirit, you will work much anguish to
yourself, and to all those who love you."

"Jealous, Blanche!"

"Yes, Agnes, jealous! But let us say no more. Let this pass, and be
forgotten; but never, dear girl, if you love me, as I think you do,
never _so_ speak to me again."

"I never, never will." And she fell upon her neck, and kissed her
fondly, as her heart relented, and she felt something of sincere
repentance for the harsh words which she had spoken, and the hard,
bitter feelings which suggested them.

Another hour, and, clasped in each others' arms, they were sleeping as
sweetly as though no breath of this world's bitterness had ever blown
upon their hearts, or stirred them into momentary strife.

Peace to their slumbers, and sweet dreams!

It was, perhaps, an hour or two after noon, and the early dinner of
the time was already over, when the two sisters strolled out into the
gardens, unaccompanied, except by a tall old greyhound, Blanche's
peculiar friend and guardian, and some two or three beautiful
silky-haired King Charles spaniels.

After loitering for a little while among the trim parterres, and
box-edged terraces, and gathering a few sweet summer flowers, they
turned to avoid the heat, which was excessive, into the dark elm
avenue, and wandered along between the tall black yew hedges, linked
arm-in-arm, indeed, but both silent and abstracted, and neither of
them conscious of the rich melancholy music of the nightingales, which
was ringing all around them in that pleasant solitude.

Both, indeed, were buried in deep thought; and each, perhaps, for the
first time in her life, felt that her thought was such that she could
not, dared not, communicate it to her sister.

For Blanche Fitz-Henry had, on the previous night, began, for the
first time in her life, to suspect that she was the owner, for the
time being, of a commodity called a heart, although it may be that the
very suspicion proved in some degree that the possession was about to
pass, if it were not already passing, from her.

In sober seriousness, it must be confessed that the young cornet of
the Life Guards, although he had made so little impression on her to
whom he had devoted his attentions, had produced an effect different
from any thing which she had ever fell before on the mind of the elder
sister. It was not his good mien, nor his noble air that had struck
her; for though he was a well-made, fine-looking man, of graceful
manners, and high-born carriage, there were twenty men in the room
with whom he could not for five minutes have sustained a comparison in
point of personal appearance.

His friend, the Viscount St. George, to whom she had lent but a cold
ear, was a far handsomer man. Nor was it his wit and gay humor, and
easy flow of conversation, that had captivated her fancy; although she
certainly did think him the most agreeable man she had ever listened
to. No, it was the under-current of delicate and poetical thought, the
glimpses of a high and noble spirit, which flashed out at times
through the light veil of reckless merriment, which, partly in
compliance with the spirit of the day, and partly because his was a
gay and mirthful nature, he had superinduced over the deeper and
grander points of his character. No; it was a certain originality of
mind, which assured her that, though he might talk lightly, he was one
to feel fervently and deeply--it was the impress of truth, and candor,
and high independence, which was stamped on his every word and action,
that first riveted her attention, and, in spite of her resistance,
half fascinated her imagination.

This it was that had held her abstracted and apparently indifferent,
while Lord St. George was exerting all his powers of entertainment in
her behalf; this it was that had roused her indignation at hearing her
sister speak so slightingly, and, as it seemed to her, so ungenerously
of one whom she felt intuitively to be good and noble.

This it was which now held her mute and thoughtful, and almost sad;
for she felt conscious that she was on the verge of loving--loving one
who, for aught that he had shown as yet, cared naught for her, perhaps
even preferred another--and that other her own sister.

Thereupon her maiden modesty rallied tumultuous to the rescue, and
suggested the shame of giving love unasked, giving it, perchance, to
be scorned--and almost she resolved to stifle the infant feeling in
its birth, and rise superior to the weakness. But when was ever love
vanquished by cold argument, or bound at the chariot-wheels of reason.

The thought would still rise up prominent, turn her mind to whatever
subject she would, coupled with something of pity at the treatment
which he was like to meet from Agnes, something of vague, unconfessed
pleasure that it was so, and something of secret hope that his eyes
would erelong be opened, and that she might prove, in the end, herself
his consoler.

And what, meanwhile, were the dreams of Agnes? Bitter--bitter, and
black, and hateful. Oh! it is a terrible consideration, how swiftly
evil thoughts, once admitted to the heart, take root and flourish, and
grow up into a rank and poisonous crop, choking the good grain
utterly, and corrupting the very soil of which they have taken hold.
There is but one hope--but one! To tear them from the root forcibly,
though the heart-strings crack, and the soul trembles, as with a
spiritual earthquake. To nerve the mind firmly and resolutely, yet
humbly withal, and contritely, and with prayer against temptation,
prayer for support from on high--to resist the Evil One with the whole
force of the intellect, the whole truth of the heart, and to stop the
ears steadfastly against the voice of the charmer, charm he never so
wisely.

But so did not Agnes Fitz-Henry. It is true that on the preceding
night her better feelings had been touched, her heart had relented,
and she had banished, as she thought, the evil counsellors, ambition,
envy, jealousy, and distrust, from her spirit.

But with the night the better influence passed away, and ere the
morning had well come, the evil spirit had returned to his dwelling
place, and brought with him other spirits, worse and more wicked than
himself.

The festive scene of the previous evening had, for the first time
opened her eyes fairly to her own position; she read it in the
demeanor of all present; she heard it in the whispers which
unintentionally reached her ears; she felt it intuitively in the
shade--it was not a shade, yet she observed it--of difference
perceptible in the degree of deference and courtesy paid to herself
and to her sister.

She felt, for the first time, that Blanche was every thing, herself a
mere cipher--that Blanche was the lady of the manor, the cynosure of
all eyes, the queen of all hearts, herself but the lady's poor
relation, the dependent on her bounty, and at the best a creature to
be played with, and petted for her beauty and her wit, without regard
to her feelings, or sympathy for her heart.

And prepared as she was at all times to resist even just authority
with insolent rebellion; ready as she was always to assume the
defensive, and from that the offensive against all whom she fancied
offenders, how angrily did her heart now boil up, how almost fiercely
did she muster her faculties to resist, to attack, to conquer, to
annihilate all whom she deemed her enemies--and that, for the moment,
was the world.

Conscious of her own beauty, of her own wit, of her own high and
powerful intellect, perhaps over-confident in her resources, she
determined on that instant that she would devote them all, all to one
purpose, to which she would bend every energy, direct every thought of
her mind--to her own aggrandizement, by means of some great and
splendid marriage, which should set her as far above the heiress of
Ditton-in-the-Dale, as the rich heiress now stood in the world's eye
above the portionless and dependent sister.

Nor was this all--there was a sterner, harder, and more wicked feeling
yet, springing up in her heart, and whispering the sweetness of
revenge--revenge on that amiable and gentle sister, who, so far from
wronging her, had loved her ever with the tenderest and most
affectionate love, who would have sacrificed her dearest wishes to her
welfare--but whom, in the hardness of her embittered spirit, she could
now see only as an intruder upon her own just rights, a rival on the
stage of fashion, perhaps in the interests of the heart--whom she
already envied, suspected, almost hated.

And Blanche, at that self-same moment, had resolved to keep watch on
her own heart narrowly, and to observe her sister's bearing toward
George Delawarr, that in case she should perceive her favoring his
suit, she might at once crush down the germ of rising passion, and
sacrifice her own to her dear sister's happiness.

Alas! Blanche! Alas! Agnes!

Thus they strolled onward, silently and slowly, until they reached the
little green before the summer-house, which was then the gayest and
most lightsome place that can be imagined, with its rare paintings
glowing in their undimmed hues, its gilding bright and burnished, its
furniture all sumptuous and new, and instead of the dark funereal ivy,
covered with woodbine and rich clustered roses. The windows were all
thrown wide open to the perfumed summer air, and the warm light poured
in through the gaps in the tree-tops, and above the summits of the
then carefully trimmed hedgerows, blithe and golden.

They entered and sat down, still pensive and abstracted; but erelong
the pleasant and happy influences of the time and place appeared to
operate in some degree on the feelings of both, but especially on the
tranquil and well-ordered mind of the elder sister. She raised her
head suddenly, and was about to speak, when the rapid sound of horses'
feet, unheard on the soft sand until they were hard by, turned her
attention to the window, and the next moment the two young cavaliers,
who were even then uppermost in her mind, came into view, cantering
along slowly on their well-managed chargers.

Her eye was not quicker than those of the gallant riders, who, seeing
the ladies, whom they had ridden over to visit, sitting by the windows
of the summer-house, checked their horses on the instant, and doffed
their plumed hats.

"Good faith, fair ladies, we are in fortune's graces to-day," said the
young peer, gracefully, "since having ridden thus far on our way to
pay you our humble devoirs, we meet you thus short of our journey's
end."

"But how are we to win our way to you," cried Delawarr, "as you sit
there bright _chatelaines_ of your enchanted bower--for I see neither
fairy skiff, piloted by grim-visaged dwarfs, to waft us over, nor even
a stray dragon, by aid of whose broad wings to fly across this mimic
moat, which seems to be something of the deepest?"

"Oh! gallop on, gay knights," said Agnes, smiling on Lord St. George,
but averting her face somewhat from the cornet, "gallop on to the
lodges, and leaving there your coursers, take the first path on the
left hand, and that will lead you to our presence; and should you
peradventure get entangled in the hornbeam maze, why, one of us two
will bring you the clue, like a second Ariadne. Ride on and we will
meet you. Come, sister, let us walk."

Blanche had as yet scarcely found words to reply to the greeting of
the gallants, for the coincidence of their arrival with her own
thoughts had embarrassed her a little, and she had blushed crimson as
she caught the eye of George Delawarr fixed on her with a marked
expression, beneath which her own dropped timidly. But now she arose,
and bowing with an easy smile, and a few pleasant words, expressed her
willingness to abide by her sister's plan.

In a few minutes the ladies met their gallants in the green labyrinth
of which Agnes had spoken, and falling into pairs, for the walk was
too narrow to allow them all four to walk abreast, they strolled in
company toward the Hall.

What words they said, I am not about to relate--for such
conversations, though infinitely pleasant to the parties, are for the
most part infinitely dull to third persons--but it so fell out, not
without something of forwardness and marked management, which did not
escape the young soldier's rapid eye, on the part of Agnes, that the
order of things which had been on the previous evening was reversed;
the gay, rattling girl attaching herself perforce to the viscount, not
without a sharp and half-sarcastic jest at the expense of her former
partner, and the mild heiress falling to his charge.

George Delawarr had been smitten, it is true, the night before by the
gayety and rapid intellect of Agnes, as well as by the wild and
peculiar style of her beauty; and it might well have been that the
temporary fascination might have ripened into love. But he was hurt,
and disgusted even more than hurt, by her manner, and observing her
with a watchful eye as she coquetted with his friend, he speedily came
to the conclusion that St. George was right in his estimate of _her_
character at least, although he now seemed to be flattered and amused
by her evident prepossession in his favor.

He had not, it is true, been deeply enough touched to feel either
pique or melancholy at this discovery, but was so far heart-whole as
to be rather inclined to laugh at the fickleness of the merry jilt,
than either to repine or to be angry.

He was by no means the man, however, to cast away the occasion of
pleasure; and walking with so beautiful and soft a creature as
Blanche, he naturally abandoned himself to the tide of the hour, and
in a little while found himself engaged in a conversation, which, if
less sparkling and brilliant, was a thousand times more charming than
that which he had yesterday held with her sister.

In a short time he had made the discovery that with regard to the
elder sister, too, his friend's penetration had exceeded his own; and
that beneath that calm and tranquil exterior there lay a deep and
powerful mind, stored with a treasury of the richest gems of thought
and feeling. He learned in that long woodland walk that she was,
indeed, a creature both to adore and to be adored; and he, too, like
St. George, was certain, that the happy man whom she should love,
would be loved for himself alone, with the whole fervor, the whole
truth, the whole concentrated passion of a heart, the flow of which
once unloosed, would be but the stronger for the restraint which had
hitherto confined it.

Erelong, as they reached the wider avenue, the two parties united, and
then, more than ever, he perceived the immense superiority in all
lovable, all feminine points, of the elder to the younger sister; for
Agnes, though brilliant and seemingly thoughtless and spirit-free as
ever, let fall full many a bitter word, many a covert taunt and hidden
sneer, which, with his eyes now opened as they were, he readily
detected, and which Blanche, as he could discover, even through her
graceful quietude, felt, and felt painfully.

They reached the Hall at length, and were duly welcomed by its master;
refreshments were offered and accepted--and the young men were invited
to return often, and a day was fixed on which they should partake the
hospitalities of Ditton, at least as temporary residents.

The night was already closing in when they mounted their horses and
withdrew, both well pleased with their visit--for the young lord was
in pursuit of amusement only, and seeing at a glance the coyness of
the heiress, and the somewhat forward coquetry of her sister, he had
accommodated himself to circumstances, and determined that a passing
flirtation with so pretty a girl, and a short _sejour_ at a house so
well-appointed as Ditton, would be no unpleasant substitute for London
in the dog-days; and George Delawarr, like Romeo, had discarded the
imaginary love the moment he found the true Juliet. If not in love, he
certainly was fascinated, charmed; he certainly thought Blanche the
sweetest, and most lovely girl he had ever met, and was well inclined
to believe that she was the best and most admirable. He trembled on
the verge of his fate.

And she--her destiny was fixed already, and forever! And when she saw
her sister delighted with the attentions of the youthful nobleman, she
smiled to herself, and dreamed a pleasant dream, and gave herself up
to the sweet delusion. She had already asked her own heart "does he
love me?" and though it fluttered sorely, and hesitated for a while,
it did not answer, "No!"

But as the gentlemen rode homeward, St. George turned shortly on his
companion, and said, gravely,

"You have changed your mind, Delawarr, and found out that I am right.
Nevertheless, beware! do not, for God's sake, fall in love with her,
or make her love you!"

The blood flushed fiery-red to the ingenuous brow of George Delawarr,
and he was embarrassed for a moment. Then he tried to turn off his
confusion with a jest.

"What, jealous, my lord! jealous of a poor cornet, with no other
fortune than an honorable name, and a bright sword! I thought you,
too, had changed your mind, when I saw you flirting so merrily with
that merry brunette."

"You did see me _flirting_, George--nothing more; and I _have_ changed
my mind, since the beginning, if not since the end of last
evening--for I thought at first that fair Blanche Fitz-Henry would
make me a charming wife; and now I am sure that she would _not_--"

"Why so, my lord? For God's sake! why say you so?"

"Because she never would love _me_, George; and _I_ would never marry
any woman, unless I were sure that she both could and did. So you see
that I am not the least jealous; but still I say, don't fall in love
with her--"

"Faith! St. George, but your admonition comes somewhat late--for I
believe I am half in love with her already."

"Then stop where you are, and go no deeper--for if I err not, she is
more than half in love with you, too."

"A strange reason, St. George, wherefore to bid me stop!"

"A most excellent good one!" replied the other, gravely, and almost
sadly, "for mutual love between you two can only lead to mutual
misery. Her father never would consent to her marrying you more than
he would to her marrying a peasant--the man is perfectly insane on the
subject of title-deeds and heraldry, and will accept no one for his
son-in-law who cannot show as many quarterings as a Spanish grandee,
or a German noble. But, of course, it is of no use talking about it.
Love never yet listened to reason; and, moreover, I suppose what is to
be is to be--come what may."

"And what will you do, St. George, about Agnes? I think you are
touched there a little!"

"Not a whit I--honor bright! And for what I will do--amuse myself,
George--amuse myself, and that pretty coquette, too; and if I find her
less of a coquette, with more of a heart than I fancy she has--" he
stopped short, and laughed.

"Well, what then--what then?" cried George Delawarr.

"It will be time enough to decide _then_."

"And so say I, St. George. Meanwhile, I too will amuse myself."

"Ay! but observe this special difference--what is fun to _you_ may be
death to _her_, for she _has_ a heart, and a fine, and true, and deep
one; may be death to yourself--for you, too, are honorable, and true,
and noble; and that is why I love you, George, and why I speak to you
thus, at the risk of being held meddlesome or impertinent."

"Oh, never, never!" exclaimed Delawarr, moving his horse closer up to
him, and grasping his hand warmly, "never! You meddlesome or
impertinent! Let me hear no man call you so. But I will think of this.
On my honor, I will think of this that you have said!"

And he did think of it. Thought of it often, deeply--and the more he
thought, the more he loved Blanche Fitz-Henry.

Days, weeks, and months rolled on, and still those two young cavaliers
were constant visiters, sometimes alone, sometimes with other gallants
in their company, at Ditton-in-the-Dale. And ever still, despite his
companion's warning, Delawarr lingered by the fair heiress' side,
until both were as deeply enamored as it is possible for two persons
to be, both single-hearted, both endowed with powerful intellect, and
powerful imagination; both of that strong and energetic temperament
which renders all impressions permanent, all strong passions immortal.
It was strange that there should have been two persons, and there were
but two, who discovered nothing of what was passing--suspected nothing
of the deep feelings which possessed the hearts of the young lovers;
while all else marked the growth of liking into love, of love into
that absolute and over-whelming idolatry, which but few souls can
comprehend, and which to those few is the mightiest of blessings or
the blackest of curses.

And those two, as is oftentimes the case, were the very two whom it
most concerned to perceive, and who imagined themselves the quickest
and the clearest sighted--Allan Fitz-Henry, and the envious Agnes.

But so true is it that the hope is oft parent to the thought, and the
thought again to security and conviction, that, having in the first
instance made up his mind that Lord St. George would be a most
suitable successor to the name of the family, and secondly, that he
was engaged in prosecuting his suit to the elder daughter, her father
gave himself no further trouble in the matter, but suffered things to
take their own course without interference.

He saw, indeed, that in public the viscount was more frequently the
companion of Agnes than of Blanche; that there seemed to be a better
and more rapid intelligence between them; and that Blanche appeared
better pleased with George Delawarr's than with the viscount's
company.

But, to a man blinded by his own wishes and prejudices, such evidences
went as nothing. He set it down at once to the score of timidity on
Blanche's part, and to the desire of avoiding unnecessary notoriety on
St. George's; and saw nothing but what was perfectly natural and
comprehensible, in the fact that the younger sister and the familiar
friend should be the mutual confidents, perhaps the go-betweens, of
the two acknowledged lovers.

He was in high good-humor, therefore; and as he fancied himself on the
high-road to the full fruition of his schemes, nothing could exceed
his courtesy and kindness to the young cornet, whom he almost
overpowered with those tokens of affection and regard which he did
not choose to lavish on the peer, lest he should be thought to be
courting his alliance.

Agnes, in the meantime, was so busy in the prosecution of her assault
on Lord St. George's heart, on which she began to believe that she had
made some permanent impression, that she was perfectly contented with
her own position, and was well-disposed to let other people enjoy
themselves, provided they did not interfere with her proceedings. It
is true that, at times, in the very spirit of coquetry, she would
resume her flirtation with George Delawarr, for the double purpose of
piquing the viscount, and playing with the cornet's affections, which,
blinded by self-love, she still believed to be devoted to her pretty
self.

But Delawarr was so happy in himself, that, without any intention of
playing with Agnes, or deceiving her, he joked and rattled with her
as he would with a sister, and believing that she must understand
their mutual situation, at times treated her with a sort of quiet
fondness, as a man naturally does the sister of his betrothed or his
bride, which effectually completed her hallucination.

The consequence of all this was, that, while they were unintentionally
deceiving others, they were fatally deceiving themselves likewise; and
of this, it is probable that no one was aware, with the exception of
St. George, who, seeing that his warnings were neglected, did not
choose to meddle further in the matter, although keeping himself ready
to aid the lovers to the utmost of his ability by any means that
should offer.

In the innocence of their hearts, and the purity of their young love,
they fancied that what was so clear to themselves, must be apparent to
the eyes of others; and they flattered themselves that the lady's
father not only saw, but approved their affection, and that, when the
fitting time should arrive, there would be no obstacle to the
accomplishment of their happiness.

It is true that Blanche spoke not of her love to her sister, for,
apart from the aversion which a refined and delicate girl must ever
feel to touching on that subject, unless the secret be teased or
coaxed out of her by some near and affectionate friend, there had
grown up a sort of distance, not coldness, nor dislike, nor distrust,
but simply distance, and lack of communication between the sisters
since the night of the birth-day ball. Still Blanche doubted not that
her sister saw and knew all that was passing in her mind, in the same
manner as she read her heart; and it was to her evident liking for
Lord St. George, and the engrossing claim of her own affections on all
her thoughts, and all her time, that she attributed her carelessness
of herself.

Deeply, however, did she err, and cruelly was she destined to be
undeceived.

The early days of autumn had arrived, and the woods had donned their
many-colored garments, when on a calm, sweet evening--one of those
quiet and delicious evenings peculiar to that season--Blanche and
George Delawarr had wandered away from the gay concourse which filled
the gardens, and unseen, as they believed, and unsuspected, had turned
into the old labyrinth where first they had begun to love, and were
wrapped in soft dreams of the near approach of more perfect happiness.

But a quick, hard eye was upon them--the eye of Agnes; for, by chance,
Lord St. George was absent, having been summoned to attend the king at
Windsor; and being left to herself, her busy mind, too busy to rest
for a moment idle, plunged into mischief and malevolence.

No sooner did she see them turn aside from the broad walk than the
cloud was withdrawn, as if by magic, from her eyes; and she saw almost
intuitively all that had previously escaped her.

Not a second did she lose, but stealing after the unsuspecting pair
with a noiseless and treacherous step, she followed them, foot by
foot, through the mazes of the clipped hornbeam labyrinth, divided
from them only by the verdant screen, listening to every
half-breathed word of love, and drinking in with greedy ears every
passionate sigh.

Delawarr's left arm was around Blanche's slender waist, and her right
hand rested on his shoulder; the fingers of their other hands were
entwined lovingly together, as they wandered onward, wrapped each in
the other, unconscious of wrong on their own part, and unsuspicious of
injury from any other.

Meanwhile, with rage in her eyes, with hell in her heart, Agnes
followed and listened.

So deadly was her hatred, at that moment, of her sister, so fierce and
overmastering her rage, that it was only by the utmost exertion of
self-control that she could refrain from rushing forward and loading
them with reproaches, with contumely, and with scorn.

But biting her lips till the blood sprang beneath her pearly teeth,
and clinching her hands so hard that the nails wounded their tender
palms, she did refrain, did subdue the swelling fury of her rebellious
heart, and awaited the hour of more deadly vengeance.

Vengeance for what? She had not loved George Delawarr--nay, she had
scorned him! Blanche had not robbed her of her lover--nay, in her own
thoughts, she had carried off the admirer, perhaps the future lover,
from the heiress.

She was the wronger, not the wronged! Then wherefore vengeance?

Even, _therefore_, reader, because she had wronged her, and knew it;
because her own conscience smote her, and she would fain avenge on the
innocent cause, the pangs which at times rent her own bosom.

Envious and bitter, she could not endure that Blanche should be loved,
as she felt she was not loved herself, purely, devotedly, forever, and
for herself alone.

Ambitious, and insatiate of admiration, she could not endure that
George Delawarr, once her captive, whom she still thought her slave,
should shake off his allegiance to herself, much less that he should
dare to love her sister.

Even while she listened, she suddenly heard Blanche reply to some
words of her lover, which had escaped her watchful ears.

"Never fear, dearest George; I am sure that he has seen and knows
all--he is the kindest and the best of fathers. I will tell him all
to-morrow, and will have good news for you when you come to see me in
the evening."

"Never!" exclaimed the fury, stamping upon the ground violently--"by
all my hopes of heaven, never!"

And with the words she darted away in the direction of the hall as
fast as her feet could carry her over the level greensward; rage
seeming literally to lend her wings, so rapidly did her fiery passions
spur her on the road to impotent revenge.

Ten minutes afterward, with his face inflamed with fury, his periwig
awry, his dress disordered by the haste with which he had come up,
Allan Fitz-Henry broke upon the unsuspecting lovers.

Snatching his daughter rudely from the young man's half embrace, he
broke out into a torrent of terrible and furious invective, far more
disgraceful to him who used it, than to those on whom it was vented.

There was no check to his violence, no moderation on his tongue.
Traitor, and knave, and low-born beggar, were the mildest epithets
which he applied to the high-bred and gallant soldier; while on his
sweet and shrinking child he heaped terms the most opprobrious, the
most unworthy of himself, whether as a father or as a man.

The blood rushed crimson to the brow of George Delawarr, and his hand
fell, as if by instinct, upon the hilt of his rapier; but the next
moment he withdrew it, and was cool by a mighty effort.

"From you, sir, any thing! You will be sorry for this to-morrow!"

"Never, sir! never! Get you gone! base domestic traitor! Get you gone,
lest I call my servants, and bid them spurn you from my premises!"

"I go, sir--" he began calmly; but at this moment St. George came upon
the scene, having just returned from Windsor, eager, but, alas! too
late, to anticipate the shameful scene--and to him did George Delawarr
turn with unutterable anguish in his eyes. "Bid my men bring my horses
after me, St. George," said he, firmly, but mournfully; "for me, this
is no place any longer. Farewell, sir! you will repent of this. Adieu,
Blanche, we shall meet again, sweet one."

"Never! dog, never! or with my own hands--"

"Hush! hush! for shame. Peace, Mister Fitz-Henry, these words are not
such as may pass between gentlemen. Go, George, for God's sake! Go,
and prevent worse scandal," cried the viscount.

And miserable beyond all comprehension, his dream of bliss thus
cruelly cut short, the young man went his way, leaving his mistress
hanging in a deep swoon, happy to be for a while unconscious of her
misery, upon her father's arm.

Three days had passed--three dark, dismal, hopeless days. Delawarr did
his duty with his regiment, nay, did it well--but he was utterly
unconscious, his mind was afar off, as of a man walking in a dream.
Late on the third night a small note was put into his hands, blistered
and soiled with tears. A wan smile crossed his face, he ordered his
horses at daybreak, drained a deep draught of wine, sauntered away to
his own chamber, stopping at every two or three paces in deep
meditation; threw himself on his bed, for the first time in his life
without praying, and slept, or seemed to sleep, till daybreak.

Three days had passed--three dark, dismal, hopeless days! Blanche was
half dead--for she now despaired. All methods had been tried with the
fierce and prejudiced old man, secretly prompted by that
demon-girl--and all tried in vain. Poor Blanche had implored him to
suffer her to resign her birthright in favor of her sister, who would
wed to suit his wishes, but in vain. The generous St. George had
offered to purchase for his friend, as speedily as possible, every
step to the very highest in the service; nay, he had obtained from the
easy monarch a promise to raise him to the peerage, but in vain.

And Blanche despaired; and St. George left the Hall in sorrow and
disgust that he could effect nothing.

That evening Blanche's maid, a true and honest girl, delivered to her
mistress a small note, brought by a peasant lad; and within an hour
the boy went thence, the bearer of a billet, blistered and wet with
tears.

And Blanche crept away unheeded to her chamber, and threw herself upon
her knees, and prayed fervently and long; and casting herself upon her
painful bed, at last wept herself to sleep.

The morning dawned, merry and clear, and lightsome; and all the face
of nature smiled gladly in the merry sunbeams.

At the first peep of dawn Blanche started from her restless slumbers,
dressed herself hastily, and creeping down the stairs with a cautious
step, unbarred a postern door, darted out into the free air, without
casting a glance behind her, and fled, with all the speed of mingled
love and terror, down the green avenue toward the gay pavilion--scene
of so many happy hours.

But again she was watched by an envious eye, and followed by a jealous
foot.

For scarce ten minutes had elapsed from the time when she issued from
the postern, before Agnes appeared on the threshold, with her dark
face livid and convulsed with passion; and after pausing a moment, as
if in hesitation, followed rapidly in the footsteps of her sister.

When Blanche reached the summer-house, it was closed and untenanted;
but scarcely had she entered and cast open the blinds of one window
toward the road, before a hard horse-tramp was heard coming up at full
gallop, and in an instant George Delawarr pulled up his panting
charger in the lane, leaped to the ground, swung himself up into the
branches of the great oak-tree, and climbing rapidly along its gnarled
limbs, sprang down on the other side, rushed into the building, and
cast himself at his mistress' feet.

Agnes was entering the far end of the elm-tree walk as he sprang down
into the little coplanade, but he was too dreadfully preoccupied with
hope and anguish, and almost despair, to observe any thing around him.

But she saw him, and fearful that she should be too late to arrest
what she supposed to be the lovers' flight, she ran like the wind.

She neared the doorway--loud voices reached her ears, but whether in
anger, or in supplication, or in sorrow, she could not distinguish.

Then came a sound that rooted her to the ground on which her flying
foot was planted, in mute terror.

The round ringing report of a pistol-shot! and ere its echo had begun
to die away, another!

No shriek, no wail, no word succeeded--all was as silent as the grave.

Then terror gave her courage, and she rushed madly forward a few
steps, then stood on the threshold horror-stricken.

Both those young souls, but a few days before so happy, so beloved,
and so loving, had taken their flight--whither?

Both lay there dead, as they had fallen, but unconvulsed, and graceful
even in death. Neither had groaned or struggled, but as they had
fallen, so they lay, a few feet asunder--her heart and his brain
pierced by the deadly bullets, sped with the accuracy of his
never-erring aim.

While she stood gazing, in the very stupor of dread, scarce conscious
yet of what had fallen out, a deep voice smote her ear.

"Base, base girl, this is all your doing!" Then, as if wakening from a
trance, she uttered a long, piercing shriek, darted into the pavilion
between the gory corpses, and flung herself headlong out of the open
window into the pool beneath.

But she was not fated so to die. A strong hand dragged her out--the
hand of St. George, who, learning that his friend had ridden forth
toward Ditton, had followed him, and arrived too late by scarce a
minute.

From that day forth Agnes Fitz-Henry was a dull, melancholy maniac.
Never one gleam of momentary light dispersed the shadows of her insane
horror--never one smile crossed her lip, one pleasant thought relieved
her life-long sorrow. Thus lived she; and when death at length came to
restore her spirit's light, she died, and made no sign.

Allan Fitz-Henry _lived_--a moody misanthropic man, shunning all men,
and shunned of all. In truth, the saddest and most wretched of the
sons of men.

How that catastrophe fell out none ever knew, and it were useless to
conjecture.

They were beautiful, they were young, they were happy. The evil days
arrived--and they were wretched, and lacked strength to bear their
wretchedness. They are gone where ONE alone must judge them--may HE
have pity on their weakness. REQUIESCANT!



THE LOST PLEIAD.

BY HENRY B. HIRST.


    Beautiful sisters! tell me, do you ever
      Dream of the loved and lost one, she who fell
    And faded, in love's turbid, crimson river--
              The sacred secret tell?
    Calmly the purple heavens reposed around her,
      And, chanting harmonies, she danced along;
    Ere Eros in his silken meshes bound her,
              Her being passed in song.

    Once on a day she lay in dreamy slumber;
      Beside her slept her golden-tonguèd lyre;
    And radiant visions--fancies without number--
              Filled breast and brain with fire.
    She dreamed; and, in her dreams, saw, bending o'er her,
      A form her fervid fancy deified;
    And, waking, viewed the noble one before her,
              Who wooed her as his bride.

    What words--what passionate words he breathed, beseeching,
      Have long been lost in the descending years:
    Nevertheless she listened to his teaching,
              Smiling between her tears.
    And ever since that hour the happy maiden
      Wanders unknown of any one but Jove;
    Regretting not the lost Olympian Aidenn
              In the Elysium--Love!



SUNSET AFTER RAIN.

BY ALFRED B. STREET.


    All day, with humming and continuous sound,
    Streaking the landscape, has the slant rain fall'n;
    But now the mist is vanishing; in the west
    The dull gray sheet, that shrouded from the sight
    The sky, is rent in fragments, and rich streaks
    Of tenderest blue are smiling through the clefts.
    A dart of sunshine strikes upon the hills,
    Then melts. The great clouds whiten, and roll off,
    Until a steady blaze of golden light
    Kindles the dripping scene. Within the east,
    The delicate rainbow suddenly breaks out;
    Soft air-breaths flutter round; each tree shakes down
    A shower of glittering drops; the woodlands burst
    Into a chorus of glad harmony;
    And the rich landscape, full of loveliness,
    Fades slowly, calmly, sweetly, into night.
      Thus, sometimes, is the end of Human life.
    In youth and manhood, sorrows may frown round;
    But when the sun of Being lowly stoops,
    The darkness breaks away--the tears are dried;
    The Christian's hope--a rainbow--brightly glows,
    And life glides sweet and tranquil to the tomb.



MONTEZUMA MOGGS.

THAT WAS TO BE.


BY THE LATE JOSEPH C. NEAL.


"Now, Moggs--you Moggs--good Moggs--dear Moggs," said his wife,
running through the chromatic scale of matrimonial address, and
modulating her words and her tones from irritation into
tenderness--"yes, Moggs--that's a good soul--I do wish for once you
would try to be a little useful to your family. Stay at home to-day,
Moggs, can't you, while I do the washing? It would be so pleasant,
Moggs--so like old times, to hear you whistling at your work, while I
am busy at mine."

And a smile of affection stole across the countenance of Mrs. Moggs,
like a stray sunbeam on a cloudy day, breaking up the sharp and fixed
lines of care into which her features had settled as a habitual
expression, and causing her also to look as she did in the "old
times," to which she now so kindly referred.

"Wont you, Moggs?" added she, laying her hand upon his shoulder, "it
would be so pleasant, dear--wouldn't it? I should not mind hard work,
Moggs, if you were at work near me."

There was a tear, perhaps, twinkling in the eye of the wife, giving
gentleness to the hard, stony look which she in general wore, caused
by those unceasing troubles of her existence that leave no time for
weeping. Perpetual struggle hardens the heart and dries up the source
of tears.

"Wont you, Moggs?"

The idea of combined effort was a pleasant family picture to Mrs.
Moggs, though it did involve not a little of toil. Still, to her
loneliness it was a pleasant picture, accustomed as she had been to
strive alone, and continually, to support existence. But it seems that
perceptions of the pleasant and of the picturesque in such matters,
differ essentially; and Moggs, glancing through the sentimental, and
beyond it, felt determined, as he always did, to avoid the trouble
which it threatened.

"Can't be," responded Moggs, slightly shrugging his shoulder, as a
hint to his wife that the weight of her hand was oppressive. "Can't
be," continued he, as he set himself industriously--for in this Moggs
was industrious--to the consumption of the best part of the breakfast
that was before him--a breakfast that had been, as usual, provided by
his wife, and prepared by her, while Montezuma Moggs was fast
asleep--an amusement to which, next to eating, Montezuma Moggs was
greatly addicted when at home, as demanding the least possible effort
and exertion on his part. Montezuma Moggs, you see, was in some
respects not a little of an economist; and, as a rule, never made his
appearance in the morning until firmly assured that breakfast was
quite ready--"'most ready," was too indefinite and vague for Montezuma
Moggs--he had been too often tricked from comfort in that way
before--people will so impose on one in this respect--envious people,
who covet your slumbers--such as those who drag the covering off, or
sprinkle water on the unguarded physiognomy. But Moggs took care, in
the excess of his caution, that no time should be lost by him in a
tedious interval of hungry expectation.

"Say ready--quite ready--and I'll come," muttered he, in that sleepy
debate between bed and breakfast which often consumes so much of time;
and his eyes remained shut and his mouth open until perfectly assured
that all the preliminary arrangements had been completed. "Because,"
as Moggs wisely observed, "that half hour before breakfast, reflecting
on sausages and speculating on coffee, if there is sausages and
coffee, frets a man dreadful, and does him more harm than all the rest
of the day put together."--Sagacious Moggs!

Besides, Moggs has a great respect for himself--much more, probably,
than he has for other people, being the respecter of a person, rather
than of persons, and that person being himself. Moggs, therefore,
disdains the kindling of fires, splitting wood, and all that,
especially of frosty mornings--and eschews the putting on of
kettles--well knowing that if an individual is in the way when the aid
of an individual is required, there is likely to be a requisition on
the individual's services. Montezuma Moggs understood how to "skulk;"
and we all comprehend the fact that to "skulk" judiciously is a fine
political feature, saving much of wear and tear to the body corporate.

"Mend boots--mind shop--tend baby!--can't be," repeated Moggs,
draining the last drop from his cup--"boots, shops and babies must
mend, mind and tend themselves--I'm going to do something better than
that;" and so Moggs rose leisurely, took his hat, and departed, to
stroll the streets, to talk at the corners, and to read the
bulletin-boards at the newspaper offices, which, as Moggs often
remarks, not only encourages literature, but is also one of the
cheapest of all amusements--vastly more agreeable than if you paid for
it.

It was a little shop, in one of the poorer sections of the city, where
Montezuma Moggs resided with his family--Mrs. Moggs and five juveniles
of that name and race--a shop of the miscellaneous order, in which was
offered for sale a little, but a very little, of any thing, and every
thing--one of those distressed looking shops which bring a sensation
of dreariness over the mind, and which cause a sinking of the heart
before you have time to ask why you are saddened--a frail and feeble
barrier it seems against penury and famine, to yield at the first
approach of the gaunt enemy--a shop that has no aspect of business
about it, but compels you to think of distraining for rent, of broken
hearts, of sickness, suffering and death.

It was a shop, moreover--we have all seen the like--with a bell to it,
which rings out an announcement as we open the door, that, few and far
between, there has been an arrival in the way of a customer, though it
may be, as sometimes happens, that the bell, with all its untuned
sharpness, fails to triumph over the din of domestic affairs in the
little back-room, which serves for parlor, and kitchen, and hall, and
proves unavailing to spread the news against the turbulent clamor of
noisy children and a vociferous wife.

But be patient to the last--even if the bell does prove insufficient
to attract due attention to your majestic presence, whether you come
to make purchases or to avail yourself of the additional proffer made
by the sign appertaining to Moggs exclusively, relative to "Boots and
shoes mended," collateral to which you observe a work-bench in the
corner; still, be patient, and cause the energies of your heel to hold
"wooden discourse" with the sanded floor, as emphatically you cry--

"Shop!" and beat with pennies on the counter.

Be patient; for, look ye, Mrs. Moggs will soon appear, with a flushed
countenance and a soiled garb--her youngest hope, if a young Moggs is
to be called a hope, sobbing loudly on its mother's shoulder, while
the unawed pratlers within, carry on the war with increasing violence.

"Shop!"

"Comin'!--what's wanten?" is the sharp and somewhat discourteous
reply, as Mrs. Moggs gives a shake of admonition to her peevish little
charge, and turns half back to the riotous assemblage in the rear.

Now, we ask it of you as a special favor, that you do not suffer any
shadow of offence to arise at the dash of acerbity that may manifest
itself in the tones of Mrs. Montezuma Moggs. According to our notion
of the world, as it goes, she, and such as she, deserve rather to be
honored than to provoke wrath by the defects of an unpolished and
unguarded manner. She has her troubles, poor woman--gnawing cares, to
which, in all likelihood, yours are but as the gossamer upon the wind,
or as the thistle-down floating upon the summer breeze; and if there
be cash in your pocket, do not, after having caused such a turmoil,
content yourself with simply asking where Jones resides, or Jenkins
lives. It would be cruel--indeed it would. True, Mrs. Moggs expects
little else from one of your dashing style and elegant appearance.
Such a call rarely comes to her but with some profitless query; yet
look around at the sparse candies, the withering apples, and the
forlorn groceries--specimens of which are affixed to the window-panes
in triangular patches of paste and paper--speak they not of poverty?
Purchase, then, if it be but a trifle.

Mrs. Moggs, unluckily for herself, is possessed of a husband.
Husbands, they say, are often regarded as desirable; and some of them
are spoken of as if they were a blessing. But if the opinion of Mrs.
Moggs were obtained on that score, it would probably be somewhat
different; for be it known that the husband of Mrs. Moggs is of the
kind that is neither useful nor ornamental. He belongs to that
division which addicts itself mainly to laziness--a species of the
biped called husband, which unfortunately is not so rare that we seek
for the specimen only in museums. We know not whether Montezuma Moggs
was or was not born lazy; nor shall we undertake to decide that
laziness is an inherent quality; but as Mrs. Moggs was herself a
thrifty, painstaking woman, as women, to their credit be it spoken,
are apt to be, her lazy husband, as lazy husbands will, in all such
cases, continued to grow and to increase in laziness, shifting every
care from his own broad shoulders to any other shoulders, whether
broad or narrow, strong or wreak, that had no craven shrinkings from
the load, Moggs contenting himself in an indolence which must be seen
to be appreciated by those--husbands or wives--who perform their tasks
in this great work-shop of human effort with becoming zeal and with
conscientious assiduity, regarding laziness as a sin against the great
purposes of their being. If this assumption be true, as we suspect it
is, Montezuma Moggs has much to answer for; though it is a common
occurrence, this falling back into imbecility, if there be any one at
hand willing to ply the oar, as too often shown in the fact that the
children of the industrious are willing to let their parents work,
while the energetic wife has a drag upon her in the shape of a
lounging husband.

Yes, Mrs. Moggs belongs to the numerous class of women who have what
is well called "a trying time of it." You may recognize them in the
street, by their look of premature age--anxious, hollow-eyed, and worn
to shadows. There is a whole history in every line of their faces,
which tells of unceasing trouble, and their hard, quick movement as
they press onward regardless of all that begirts the way, indicates
those who have no thought to spare from their own immediate
necessities, for comment upon the gay and flaunting world. Little does
ostentation know, as it flashes by in satined arrogance and jeweled
pride, of the sorrow it may jostle from its path; and perhaps it is
happy for us as we move along in smiles and pleasantness, not to
comprehend that the glance which meets our own comes from the
bleakness of a withered heart--withered by penury's unceasing
presence.

Moggs is in fault--ay, Montezuma Moggs--what, he "mend boots, mind
shop, tend baby," bringing down his lofty aspirations for the future
to be cabined within the miserable confines of the present!

"Hard work?" sneers Moggs--"yes, if a man sets himself down to hard
work, there he may set--nothing else but hard work will ever come to
him--but if he wont do hard work, then something easier will be sure to
come toddlin' along sooner or later. What can ever find you but hard
work if you are forever in the shop, a thumpin' and a hammerin'? Good
luck never ventures near lap-stones and straps. I never saw any of it
there in the whole course of my life; and I'm waitin' for good luck,
so as to be ready to catch it when it comes by."

Montezuma Moggs had a turn for politics; and for many a year he
exhibited great activity in that respect, believing confidently that
good luck to himself might grow from town-meetings and elections; and
you may have observed him on the platform when oratory addressed the
"masses," or on the election ground with a placard to his button, and
a whole handfull of tickets. But his luck did not seem to wear that
shape; and politically, Montezuma Moggs at last took his place in the
"innumerable caravan" of the disappointed. And thus, in turn, has he
courted fortune in all her phases, without a smile of recognition from
the blinded goddess. The world never knows its noblest sons; and
Montezuma Moggs was left to sorrow and despair.

Could he have been honored with a lofty commission, Montezuma Moggs
might have set forth to a revel in the halls of his namesake; but as
one of the rank and file, he could not think of it. And in private
conversation with his sneering friend Quiggens, to whose captiousness
and criticism Moggs submitted, on the score of the cigars occasionally
derivable from that source, he ventured the subjoined remarks relative
to his military dispositions:

"What I want," said Moggs, "is a large amount of glory, and a bigger
share of pay--a man like me ought to have plenty of both--glory, to
swagger about with, while the people run into the street to stare at
Moggs, all whiskers and glory--and plenty of pay, to make the glory
shine, and to set it off. I wouldn't mind, besides, if I did have a
nice little wound or two, if they've got any that don't hurt much, so
that I might have my arm in a sling, or a black patch on my
countenance. But if I was only one of the rank and file, I'm very much
afraid I might have considerable more of knocks that would hurt a
great deal, than I should of either the pay or the glory--that's what
troubles me in the milentary way. But make me a gineral, and then,
I'll talk to you about the matter--make me a gineral ossifer, with the
commission, and the feathers, and the cocked-hat--plenty of pay, and a
large slice of rations--there's nothing like rations--and then I'll
talk to you like a book. Then I'll pledge you my lives, and my
fortunes, and my sacred honors--all of 'em--that I will furnish the
genus whenever it is wanted--genus in great big gloves, monstrous long
boots, and astride of a hoss that scatters the little boys like
Boston, whenever I touch the critter with my long spurs, to astonish
the ladies. Oh, get out!--do you think I couldn't play gineral and
look black as thunder, for such pay as ginerals get? I'd do it for
half the money, and I'd not only do it cheaper, but considerable
better than you ever see it done the best Fourth of July you ever met
with. At present, I know I've not much rations, and no money at
all--money's skurse--but as for genus--look at my eye--isn't genus
there?--observation my nose--isn't it a Boneyparte?--aint I sevagerous
about the mouth?--I tell you, Quiggens, there's whole lots of a hero
in this little gentleman. I've so much genus that I can't work. When a
man's genus is a workin' in his upper story, and mine always is, then
his hands has to be idle, so's not to interrupt his genus."

"Yes," responded Quiggens, who is rather of the satirical turn, as one
is likely to be who has driven the "Black Maria," and has thus found
out that the world is all a fleeting show; "yes, you've got so much
genus in your upper story that it has made a hole in the crown of your
hat, so it can see what sort of weather is going on out of doors--and
it's your genus, I reckon, that's peeping out of your elbows. Why
don't you ask your genus to patch your knees, and to mend the holes in
your boots?"

"Quiggens, go 'way, Quiggens--you're of the common natur', Quiggens--a
vulgar fraction, Quiggens; and you can't understand an indiwidooal who
has a mind inside of his hat, and a whole soul packed away under his
jacket. You'll never rise, a flutterin' and a ringin' like a
bald-headed eagle--men like you have got no wings, and can only go
about nibblin' the grass, while we fly up and peck cherries from the
trees. I'm always thinkin' on what I'm going to be, and a preparin'
myself for what natur' intended, though I don't know exactly what it
is yet. But I don't believe that sich a man as Montezuma Moggs was
brought into the world only to put patches on shoes and to heel-tap
people's boots. No, Quiggens--no--it can't be, Quiggens. But you don't
understand, and I'll have to talk to my genus. It's the only friend I
have."

"Why don't you ask your genus to lend you a fip then, or see whether
it's got any cigars to give away," replied Quiggs contemptuously, as
he walked up the street, while Moggs, in offended majesty, stalked
sulkily off in another direction.

"I would go somewheres, if I only knew where to go to," soliloquized
Moggs, as he strolled slowly along the deserted streets; "but when
there's nowheres to go to, then I suppose a person must go
home--specially of cold nights like this, when the thermometer is down
as far as Nero, and acts cruel on the countenance. It's always colder,
too, when there's nobody about but yourself--you get your own share
and every body else's besides; and it's lucky if you're not friz. Why
don't they have gloves for people's noses? I ought to have a
carriage--yes, and horses--ay, and a colored gemman to drive 'em, to
say nothing of a big house warmed all over, with curtains to the
windows. And why haven't I? Isn't Montezuma Moggs as good as
anybody--isn't he as big--as full of genus? It's cold now, a footin'
it round. But I'll wait--perhaps there's a good time comin',
boys--there must be a good time, for there isn't any sort of times in
the place where they keep time, which can be worse times than these
times. But here's home--here's where you must go when you don't know
what to do with yourself. Whenever a man tells you he has nowheres to
go to, or says he's goin' nowheres, that man's a crawlin' home,
because he can't help it. Well, well--there's nothin' else to be did,
and so somebody must turn out and let me in home."

It appeared, however, that Montezuma Moggs erred in part in this
calculation. It is true enough that he knocked and knocked for
admission at the door of his domicile; but the muscular effort thus
employed seemed to serve no other purpose than that of exercise. Tired
with the employment of his hands in this regard, Moggs resorted to his
feet--then tried his knee, and anon his back, after the usual
desperate variety of such appeal resorted to by the "great locked
out," when they become a little savage or so at the delay to which
they are subjected. Sometimes, also, he would rap fiercely, and then
apply his eye to the key-hole, as if to watch for the effect of his
rapping. "I don't see 'em," groaned he. And then again, his ear would
be placed against the lock--"I don't hear 'em either." There were
moments when he would frantically kick the door, and then rush as
frantically to the middle of the street, to look at the windows; but
no sign of animation from within peered forth to cheer him. After full
an hour of toil and of hope deferred, Montezuma Moggs tossed his arms
aloft in despair--let them fall listlessly at his side, and then sat
down upon the curb-stone to weep, while the neighbors looked upon him
from their respective windows; a benevolent few, not afraid of
catching cold, coming down to him with their condolements. None,
however, offered a resting place to the homeless, unsheltered and
despairing Moggs.

In the course of his musings and mournings, as he sat chattering with
cold, a loosened paving-stone arrested his attention; and, with the
instinct of genius, which catches comfort and assistance from means
apparently the most trivial, and unpromising in their aspect, the
paving-stone seemed to impart an idea to Montezuma Moggs, in this "his
last and fearfulest extremity." Grappling this new weapon in both his
hands, he raised it and poised it aloft.

"I shall make a ten-strike now," exclaimed he, as he launched the
missile at the door with herculean force, and himself remained in
classic attitude watching the effect of the shot, as the door groaned,
and creaked, and splintered under the unwonted infliction. Still,
however, it did not give way before this application of force, though
the prospect was encouraging. The observers laughed--Moggs
chuckled--the dogs barked louder than before; and indeed it seemed all
round as if a new light had been cast upon the subject.

"Hongcore!" cried somebody.

"I will," said Moggs, preparing to demonstrate accordingly.

"Stop there," said the voice of Mrs. Montezuma Moggs, as she raised
the window, "if you hongcore the door of this 'ere house again, I'll
call the watch, to see what he thinks of such doings, I will. And now,
once for all, you can't come in here to-night."

"Can't, indeed!--why can't I?--not come into my own house! Do you
call this a free country, on the gineral average, if such rebellions
are to be tolerated?"

"Your house, Mr. Moggs--yours?--who pays the rent, Moggs--who feeds
you and the children, Moggs--who finds the fire and every thing else?
Tell us that?"

This was somewhat of the nature of a home-thrust, and Moggs, rather
conscience-stricken, was dumb-founded and appalled. Moggs was very
cold, and therefore, for the time being, deficient in his usual pride
and self-esteem, leaving himself more pervious to the assault of
reproach from without and within, than he would have been in a more
genial state of the atmosphere. No man is courageous when he is
thoroughly chilled; and it had become painfully evident that this was
not a momentary riot, but an enduring revolution, through the
intermedium of a civil war.

"Ho, ho!" faintly responded Moggs, though once more preparing to carry
the citadel by storm, "I'll settle this business in a twinkling."

Splash!

Any thing but cold water in quantity at a crisis like this. Who could
endure a shower-bath under such ungenial circumstances? Not Priessnitz
himself. It is not, then, to be wondered at that Montezuma Moggs now
quailed, having nothing in him of the amphibious nature.

"Water is cheap, Mr. Moggs; and you'd better take keer. There's
several buckets yet up here of unkommon cold water, all of which is at
your service without charge--wont ask you nothin', Moggs, for your
washin'; and if you're feverish, may be it will do you good."

Everybody laughed, as you know everybody will, at any other body's
misfortune or disaster. Everybody laughed but Moggs, and he shivered.

"I'll sattinly ketch my death," moaned he; "I'll be friz, standing
straight up, like a big icicle; or if I fall over when I'm friz, the
boys will slide on me as they go to school, and call it fun as they go
whizzing over my countenance with nails in their shoes, scratching my
physimohogany all to pieces. They tell me that being friz is an easy
death--that you go to sleep and don't know nothing about it. I wish
they'd get their wives to slouse 'em all over with a bucket of water,
on sich a night as this, and then try whether it is easy. Call being
friz hard an easy thing! I'd rather be biled any time. What shill I
do--what shill I do?"

"Perhaps they'll put you in an ice-house, and kiver you up with tan
till summer comes--you'd be good for something then, which is more nor
you are now," observed Mrs. Moggs from the window.

"Quit twitting a man with his misfortunes," whined Montezuma, of the
now broken-heart.

"Why, my duck!"

"Y-e-e-s--y-e-e-s! that's it--I am a duck, indeed! but by morning I'll
be only a snow-ball--the boys will take my head for a snow-ball. What
shill I do--I guvs up, and I guvs in."

"Well, I'll tell you, Montezuma Moggs, what you must do to be thawed.
Promise me faithfully only to work half as hard as I do, and you may
come to the fire--the ten-plate stove is almost red-hot. Promise to
mend boots, mind shop, and tend baby; them's the terms--that's the
price of admission."

Hard terms, certainly--the severest of terms--but then hard terms, and
severe terms, are good terms, if no other terms are to be had. One
must do the best he can in this world, if it be imperative upon him to
do something, as it evidently was in Moggs' case.

"I promise," shivered Moggs.

"Promise what?"

"T-t-to tend baby, m-m-mind shop, and m-m-mend boots;" and the
vanquished Moggs sank down exhausted, proving, beyond the possibility
of doubt, that cold water, when skillfully applied of a cold night, is
the sovereignest thing on earth for the cure of "genus" in its lazier
branches.

It is but justice, however, to state, that Moggs kept his word
faithfully, in which he contradicted the general expectation, which,
with reason enough in the main, places but little reliance on
promises; and he became, for him, quite an industrious person. His
wife's buckets served as a continual remembrancer. But Mrs. Moggs
never exulted over his defeat; and, though once compelled to
harshness, continued to be to Montezuma a most excellent wife. The
shop looks lively now--and the bell to the door is removed; for Moggs,
with his rat-tat-tat, is ever at his post, doing admired execution on
the dilapidated boots and shoes. The Moggses prosper, and all through
the efficacy of a bucket of cold water. We should not wonder if, in
the end, the Moggs family were to become rich, through the force of
industry, and without recourse to "genus."

"Politics and me has shuck hands forever," said the repentant Moggs.
"I've been looking out and expecting loaves and fishes long enough.
Loaves, indeed! Why I never got even a cracker, unless it was aside of
the ear, when there was a row on the election ground; and as for
fishes, why, if I'd stopped any longer for them to come swimming up to
my mouth, all ready fried, with pepper on 'em, I wouldn't even have
been decent food for fishes myself. I never got a nibble, let alone a
bite; but somebody else always cotch'd the fish, and asked me to carry
'em home for them. Fact is, if people wont wote for me, I wont wote
for people. And as for the milentary line, I give up in a gineral way,
all idea of being a gineral ossifer. Bonyparte is dead, and if my
milentary genus was so great that I couldn't sleep for it, who'd hunt
me up and put me at the head of affairs? No, if I'm wanted for any
thing, they'll have to call me. I've dodged about winkin' and noddin'
as long as the country had any right to expect, and now--rat-tat-tat--I'm
going to work for myself."

It was a wise conclusion on the part of Moggs, who may, perchance, in
this way, be a "gineral" yet.



THE BRIDE'S CONFESSION.

BY ALICE G. LEE.


    A sudden thrill passed through my heart,
      Wild and intense--yet not of pain--
    I strove to quell quick, bounding throbs,
      And scanned the sentence o'er again.
    It might have been full idly penned
      By one whose thoughts from love were free,
    And yet as if entranced I read
      "Thou art most beautiful to me."

    Thou didst not whisper I was loved--
      There were no gleams of tenderness,
    Save those my trembling heart _would_ hope
      That careless sentence might express.
    But while the blinding tears fell fast,
      Until the words I scarce could see,
    There shone, as through a wreathing mist,
      "Thou art most beautiful to me."

    To thee! I cared not for all eyes
      So I was beautiful in thine!
    A timid star, my faint, sad beams
      Upon _thy_ path alone should shine.
    Oh what was praise, save from thy lips--
      And love should all unheeded be
    So I could hear thy blessed voice
      Say--"Thou art beautiful to me."

    And I _have heard_ those very words--
      Blushing beneath thine earnest gaze--
    Though thou, perchance, hadst quite forgot
      They had been said in by-gone days.
    While claspèd hand, and circling arm,
      Drew me nearer still to thee--
    Thy low voice breathed upon mine ear
      "Thou, love, art beautiful to me."

    And, dearest, though thine eyes alone
      May see in me a single grace--
    I care not so thou e'er canst find
      A hidden sweetness in my face.
    And if, as years and cares steal on,
      Even that lingering light must flee,
    What matter! if from thee I hear
      "Thou art _still_ beautiful to me!"



SONNET TO NIGHT.


      Oh! look, my love, as over seas and lands
    Comes shadowy Night, with dew, and peace, and rest;
      How every flower clasps its folded hands
    And fondly leans apon her faithful breast.
      How still, how calm, is all around us now,
    From the high stars to these pale buds beneath--
      Calm, as the quiet on an infant's brow
    Rocked to deep slumber in the lap of death.
      Oh! hush--move not--it is a holy hour
    And this soft nurse of nature, bending low,
      Lists, like the sinless pair in Eden's bower,
    For angels' pinions waving to and fro--
    Oh, sacred Night! what mysteries are thine
    Graven in stars upon thy page divine.
                                          GRETTA.



PAULINE DUMESNIL.

OR A MARRIAGE DE CONVENANCE.

BY ANGELE DE V. HULL.


    The reason firm, the temperate will,
    Endurance, foresight, strength and skill
    A perfect woman, nobly planned.   WORDSWORTH.


In a large but somewhat scantily furnished apartment sat two young
girls, in such earnest and apparently serious conversation that, but
for their youthful and blooming countenances, one might have fancied
them bending beneath the cares and sorrows of age. On the dark old
table between them rested a magnificent work-box, whose rich
implements they had been busily and skillfully using; but now the
scissors and thread lay at their feet, their needles were dropped, and
the younger of the two sat with clasped hands, while her companion's
low tones appeared to awaken every emotion of her heart.

On the old-fashioned French bedstead were thrown dresses of various
hues and expensive stuffs, while one only, a robe of the most delicate
material, its graceful folds looped with orange flowers, seemed to
attract the attention of the fair, fragile being, whose attitude was
one of intense suffering. Her bright hopes had faded at sight of that
colorless garb, and the bridal wreath was to wither on her brow! What
to her sad soul were the costly things before her? The jewels that
sparkled on their snow-white satin case, the long fairy veil of
beautiful lace that lay side by side with the bridal dress?

Her companion continued speaking, and she bowed her face upon those
clasped hands, while her slight frame shook with its contending
emotions. A few moments more and she raised her head. She was pale,
and her large, dark eyes dilated into fearful size. At length the big
drops came slowly down her cheek, and she was able to speak.

"No more, Angela, no more! You love me, I know; but what you have done
to day was no act of friendship. You have troubled the dark waters of
my soul until they have become a torrent over which I have no
control."

"And it is because I love you, Pauline, that I have made your future
life manifest to you. Do not seek to make a merit of obedience to your
proud mother's will. It is because you have been taught to fear her,
that you have consented to perjure yourself, and marry a man you
cannot love."

"For the love of heaven, spare me!" cried the girl, shrinking from her
friend's words, "Is it to triumph over me that you thus seek to move
me?"

Her friend gazed mournfully upon her, and rising from her seat, gently
put her arm around her.

"My poor Pauline! my dear Pauline!" murmured she, "I have been
cruel--forgive me."

Her answer was a fervent embrace--and throwing their arms round one
another, they wept in silence.

At this moment the door opened, and a lady entered. She was tall and
majestic, but there was an expression of pride and extreme hauteur on
her countenance. She wore a handsome but faded dress, and the somewhat
high-crowned cap bespoke a love of former fashions. She had a foreign
air, and when she addressed her daughter, it was in French.

"How is this!" cried she, angrily. "What scenes are these, Pauline? As
often as I enter your room I find you in tears. Is it to your advice,
Mademoiselle Percy, that my daughter owes her red eyes?"

Angela was about to reply, but Pauline waved her back.

"Is it, then, a crime to weep, mamma? If there were no tears, the
heart would break."

"It is a crime, Pauline, to resist the will of your mother, when she
has provided for your happiness in a manner suitable to your rank and
birth. It is a crime to break the fifth commandment, which tells you
to honor and obey your mother."

"And have I not done both," cried Pauline, indignantly. "Have you not
sold my happiness? Have you not bartered perhaps my eternal welfare,
that I might lay my aching head upon the downy pillows of the rich,
that you might see me a wretched slave, writhing under chains not the
less heavy because they are of gold?"

"Have you been reading Racine this morning? Or have you been studying
for the stage?" said Madame Dumesnil, in a cold, scornful tone. "You
are a good actress, certainly."

Pauline sank upon a chair, and her friend stood beside her, pressing
her trembling hand. Her mother advanced and stood before her.

"We will have no more of this, Pauline. If I feel satisfied that my
duty is done, you should rejoice in obeying me. I alone am the judge
in this matter--children should ever be contented with allowing their
parents to act for them; and allow me to say, that any interference of
strangers upon an occasion like this, is exceedingly misplaced."

This was aimed at Angela Percy; but she only replied by a wondering
and mournful gaze to the stern, cold woman before her. The old lady
proceeded.

"Bathe your eyes, Pauline, and arrange your hair. Monsieur de
Vaissiere is below. Perhaps," added she, with a sneer, "perhaps that
Miss Percy will assist you in entertaining your lover."

Pauline started and shuddered, but by this time she had again yielded
to her mother's influence. Going to the glass, she smoothed her dark
hair, and endeavored to abate the swelling of her eyes. Bidding
farewell to her friend, she descended to the parlor, where her
affianced husband awaited her.

He was tall, and his appearance _distingué_; but he, too, looked stern
and cold as he rose to meet that young creature, whose nineteen
summers were more than doubled by his years. He was handsome also; but
where was the youthful ardor that should have been roused at the idea
of winning that fair girl's love? Where were the sunny hopes to meet
hers, the dreams of the future that _he_ wanted? His willingness to
accept the sacrifice was no proof of his gentleness; and the cheek of
his betrothed grew pale, and her hand was cold, as he led her to a
seat.

Pauline had been bred to the hard forcing-school of the _ancien
régime_. Her mother had left France on the terrible death of her
beloved queen, Marie Antoinette, and had passed from the high post of
_dame d'honneur_, to poverty and exile in America. The sale of her
magnificent jewels and massive silver, had enabled her to lease an old
roomy mansion, deserted by its owners, and to live in peace and
retirement. Here, with the recollection of the horrors of the
revolution fresh within her memory, while her heart was still bleeding
with the wounds it had received; while she still had before her the
mangled remains of her sovereigns--the bleeding head of her husband,
torn from her in the days of their early love; in the midst of these
agonizing thoughts, she gave birth to a posthumous child--the heroine
of our story. Clasping her babe to her breast, Madame Dumesnil
bitterly recalled the many plans of happiness her murdered husband had
made in anticipation of its coming--his affection for _her_--his
anxiety for her safety--their parting, and the subsequent news of his
execution. Those lips were mute whose words of tenderness were to
soothe her in her hour of suffering; that hand was cold that would
have rested on her brow; that heart was still that would have bounded
with a father's love at sight of the tiny, helpless creature that lay
upon her arm.

Madame Dumesnil, the young, the lovely, and the gentle, became silent,
reserved, and harsh. Nothing could swerve her from a determination
made, and with feelings of the deepest parental affection for her
daughter, she had crushed and broken her spirit in the sweet
spring-time of her childhood.

From the time Pauline was old enough to form a desire, she learned to
hear it opposed. "_Une petite fille attend qu'on lui donne se qui lui
faut_," was the invariable reply to all her childish longings.
According to the old French system, every slight offence was followed
by her mother's "_Allez vous coucher, mademoiselle_;" so that half her
life was spent in bed, while she lay awake with the bright, broad
daylight around her, the hour when other children are strengthening
their little limbs in the active enjoyment of God's free, fresh air.

As she grew older, she was taught that "_une demoiselle bien elevée
n'a pas d'opinions_," that her parents judged and decided for her;
and while she sat erect upon a high stool, accomplishing her daily
tasks in silence, her heart nearly burst with the pent-up feelings of
her young imagination. Wherever she went her mother's old
waiting-woman was behind her. "Miss Pauline, hold yourself straight;
Miss Pauline, turn out your feet--your head, mademoiselle--your arms!"
Poor girl! she was well-nigh distracted with these incessant
admonitions.

In her walks she met Angela Percy and her father. They had lately
settled in the neighborhood, and having no acquaintances, gladly made
advances to the timid Pauline. Nothing daunted by her shyness and
reserve, Angela, some years her senior, persevered, and overcame it.
She was an enthusiastic, high-minded girl, and soon pointed out to her
companion new views and new ideas of the world from which she had been
excluded. The intimacy was formed ere Madame Dumesnil could prevent
it, and at the instances of old Jeannette, who begged that
Mademoiselle Pauline might have a friend of her own age--some one to
talk to, besides two old women, she consented to allow the friendship
to continue, provided Jeannette were present at every interview. This
was easily promised, but the nurse's stiff limbs were no match for the
agile supple ones of her young charges. Day by day she loitered
behind, while Pauline and Angela, with their arms entwined, continued
in eager and undisturbed enjoyment of one another's society. Jeannette
remarked a glow upon her young lady's cheek, and a light in her
eye--new charms in her hitherto pale, resigned countenance; and, wiser
than her mistress, concluded that the acquisition of a youthful friend
was fast pouring happiness into her lonely heart.

Three years passed in this pleasant intercourse, when the monotony of
their lives was broken by the arrival of an old friend of Madame
Dumesnil--a Monsieur de Vaissiere. When they had last met, she was in
the morning of her beauty and bliss, he a handsome youth, for whom
many a fair one had sighed, and in vain--as he was still unmarried.
What a change! He could not recognize the lovely young countess, whose
marriage had been attended with so much éclat--so many rejoicings; nor
could she see one vestige of the blooming countenance, the delicate
profile, and the jet-black wavy locks that once shaded his fair, open
brow. But these works of time were soon forgotten, and the desire of
the proud, harsh mother was accomplished when, after a few weeks, M.
de Vaissiere proposed for the hapless Pauline. Unconsciously, but with
the thoughtlessness of selfishness, Madame Dumesnil sacrificed her
child to her prejudices. M. de Vaissiere's opinions and _hers_ were
the same; their admiration of _le vieux systeme_--their fond
recollection of the unfortunate monarch, whose weakness they had never
reproached him with, even in their secret souls--their abhorrence of
Bonaparte--their contempt for _la noblesse Napoleonne_--their upturned
noses at their adopted countrymen, _les Americains_--their want of
faith in hearts and love--the sinecure-ism of young people--their
presumption--their misfortune being that they _were_ young and not
born old--and finally, the coincidence of opinions wherein both looked
upon the white-headed suitor as a most eligible husband for the young,
the blooming, the beautiful Pauline.

M. de Vaissiere settled a _dot_ upon his _fiancée_, and ordered a
_trousseau_ and a _corbeille_, not forgetting the _cachemire_. The
preliminaries were arranged, the day hinted at, and Pauline was
informed with a flourish of trumpets that her destiny was fixed.

She listened to her mother's rhapsodies over the admirable _parti_
Providence had enabled her to provide for her child in the wilderness
of America; she heard her enlarge upon her own excellence as a parent,
of the favor she had conferred upon her in bringing her into the
world; of her consequent obligations, and the gratitude she owed her
mother when she recollected that not content with giving her life, she
had clothed, fed, and supported her until now. All this Pauline
received in a silence that resembled stupor; but when M. de Vaissiere
was again mentioned, she fell, with a scream of terror, at her
mother's feet.

In vain she wept and entreated; in vain she protested against the
disparity of age, the utter want of congeniality, the absence of all
affection, Madame Dumesnil was too much incensed to reply. With a
gesture that Pauline well understood, (for it was used to express
maledictions of every description,) she left the room, and locking the
door, kept her daughter prisoner for the rest of the day.

She treated this resistance to her will as one of the unhappy
consequences of living in a republican country. She suspected Angela
of communicating American ideas of independence to her daughter, and
would have added to her wretchedness by forbidding further intercourse
between the two friends. But Jeannette again interfered; she knew that
Pauline's doom was sealed, and that it would be more than cruel to
deprive her of the companion she loved. She herself carried the note
that conveyed the intelligence of Pauline's coming fate to the
indignant Angela, and extended her walks that her poor young lady
might derive what consolation she could from her friend's willing
sympathy. Many were the tears she shed, many the sighs that burst from
her oppressed heart, as the poor old creature followed behind them.
Once she had summoned courage sufficient to expostulate with her
mistress upon the cruelty of her conduct to her daughter; but she was
haughtily dismissed.

Every effort had been made, and at length Angela appealed to Pauline.
She entreated her to be more firm, and to declare her resolution never
to marry where she could not love.

"Rouse yourself, Pauline--the misery of a lifetime is before you, and
it is not yet too late."

"I have done every thing, Angela," said Pauline, despairingly. "My
doom is sealed, and I must bend to my bitter fate. I would fly, but
that I could not survive my mother's curse."

"The curse of the unrighteous availeth naught," replied her friend,
solemnly. "Were you wrongfully opposing your mother's will, mine
would be the last voice to uphold you; but now your very soul is at
stake."

Pauline cast up her eyes in mute appeal to heaven. Her companion
became excited as she proceeded, depicting the horrors of an unequal
marriage. Pale and exhausted, her listener at length entreated her to
forbear. She had been too long the slave of her mother's wishes to
oppose them now; she had been drilled into fear until it was a
weakness. This her bold-hearted, energetic friend could not
understand; and it was on her reproaching Pauline with moral cowardice
that she, for the first time, resented what had in fact been patiently
borne.

We have seen how kindly Angela forgave the accusation, and how she
wept over the effect of her words. The sudden entrance of Madame
Dumesnil put an end to the conversation, and the friends separated.

The next morning Angela was at Pauline's side again. Silently she
assisted in decorating the victim for the sacrifice. The bright jewels
clasped her arm and neck; the long veil hung around her slender form;
the orange wreath rested on the dark, dark tresses--and the dress was
beautiful. But the bride! she was pale and ghastly, and her lips blue
and quivering. Her eyes were void of all expression--those liquid,
lustrous eyes; and ever and anon the large drops rolled over her face,
oozing from the depths of her heart.

Poor Jeannette turned away, sobbing convulsively as the finishing
touches were given to this sad bridal toilette. Angela remained firm
and collected, but she, too, was pale; her cherished companion was
gone from her forever--gone in such misery, too, that she almost
prayed to see her the corpse she at that moment resembled.

Madame Dumesnil had remained below with the bridegroom and Mr. Percy,
the sole witness to this ill-omened marriage. At length the hour came,
Pauline was nearly carried down by Angela and Jeannette, and in a few
moments bound forever to a man she loathed. The ceremony was ended,
and the bride, with a convulsive sigh, fell back into the arms of her
mother. Restoratives were procured, and at last she opened her eyes.
They rested on the face of her friend, who hung over her in mute
agony. Forcing a smile, which was taken by M. de Vaissiere for
himself, Pauline arose, and hurried through her farewell. Her husband
handed her into his carriage--and thus Pauline Dumesnil left her
friends and her home.

    *    *    *    *    *

Years had passed, and Pauline sat alone in her magnificent boudoir,
the presiding deity of one of the finest hotels in Paris. Fortune had
favored M. de Vaissiere. He had lived to rejoice over the downfall of
the mighty Napoleon, and his mournful exile. He had returned to his
beloved France, recovered his vast estates, and presented his young
wife at court. His vanity was flattered at her gracious reception, and
the admiration that followed her; his pride was roused, and, much
against her will, Pauline found herself the centre of a gay circle
that crowded her vast saloons as often as they were thrown open for
the reception of her now numerous acquaintances.

It was on one of these evenings that Pauline sought the silence of her
private apartment ere she gave herself up to her femme de chambre. Her
loose _peignoir_ of white satin was gathered round her, with a crimson
cord tied negligently at the waist, and hanging, with its rich tassels
of silver mixed, to the ground. Her hair had fallen over her
shoulders, giving her a look of sadness that increased her beauty. Her
eyes wandered around the room, and her lips parted into a melancholy
smile, as she contemplated its delicate silk hangings, its heavy,
costly furniture, her magnificent toilette, crowded with perfumes of
every description, beautiful flacons, silver combs, and jewels that
sparkled in and out of their cases. Her thoughts went back to her
mother, whose pride had made her a childless, lonely widow; to Angela,
whom she had so loved; to the misery of the day upon which they
parted, perhaps forever--and her eyes were filled with tears that,
rolling at length over her cheek, startled her as they fell upon her
hand.

"And it was for this that I was sacrificed," murmured she, bending her
head. "My poor mother! could you see me here, _you_ would feel that my
happiness is secure; but, alas! how little you know of the human
heart. This splendor lends weight to my chains, and makes me feel more
desolate than ever! Night after night mingling in gay crowds,
listening to honied words that fall unheeded on my ear; wearing smiles
that come not from the heart, but help to break it; exposed to
temptation, that makes me fear to mix with those of my own age; bound
forever to a man whose only sentiment for me is one of pride--what
part of happiness is mine?"

A sudden step aroused her, and her husband entered unannounced. He
looked but little older. Time had dealt lightly with _him_, and with
the aid of cosmetics and a perfect toilette, M. de Vaissiere stood a
remarkable looking man--for his age.

"How is this, madame--not dressed yet! Have you no anxiety to see
Mademoiselle Mars to night?"

"I have, indeed," said Pauline, starting up and forcing a smile. "Is
it so late, that I see you ready?"

"You must hasten Marie, or we shall be too late. How provoking! What
can you do with that dishevelled hair? You have a bad habit of
thinking--that is actually sinful. Why do you not take my example; I
never reflect--it makes one grow old!"

She might have told him how her young life was embittered by the
memory of days that were gone never to return; how she had grown old
with thinking, and wore but the semblance of youth over a withered
heart. But she had schooled herself to serenity with an effort almost
superhuman--and seizing a silver bell at her side, she rang for her
waiting woman.

"You must hasten, Marie--Monsieur de Vaissiere is already dressed.
Bind up this hair beneath some net-work, my good girl; I have no time
for embellishing this evening."

"Madame is more beautiful without her usual coiffure," said the girl,
as she gathered up the dark tresses of her mistress. "I shall place
her diamond _aigrette_ in her hair, and she will turn all heads."

"I have no such ambition, my good Marie," said Pauline, laughing.
"Give me my fan and gloves, and fasten this bracelet for me."

"_Tenez, madame_," said Marie, handing them; and Pauline ran down
stairs, where her husband awaited her. He had just been fretted
sufficiently to find fault with her dress.

"You never wear jewels enough. Do you think I bought them to ornament
your boudoir?"

"I did not like to keep you waiting, _mon ami_. Shall I return and
tell Marie to give me my necklace?"

"Yes, and your bracelet to match. Your white arm, madame, was made to
ornament," added M. de Vaissiere, assuming an air of gallantry.

Pauline smiled, and ran back to her boudoir. In a few moments she
returned blazing with jewels, inwardly lamenting the display, but ever
ready to grant her husband's wish. He, too, smiled as she came
forward, and taking her hand, led her to her carriage.

Shortly after they were seated, the door opened, and the young Vicomte
de H---- entered the box. He placed himself behind Pauline, and
remained there for the rest of the evening, in eager, animated
conversation. He was not only one of the most agreeable men of the
day, but added to wit and versatility of genius, a handsome face,
graceful bearing, and a noble heart; and while Pauline yielded to the
charms of so delightful a companion, full of the dreams and hopes of
youth, uttering sentiments that years ago had been hers, her husband
sat silent and moody beside her. A pang went through his heart as he
gazed upon her bright countenance, and remembered her youth, whose
sunshine was extinguished by her marriage with him. He looked at the
smooth, full cheek of her companion, the purple gloss of his raven
locks, the fire of his eye, and listening to his gay tones, his
brilliant repartees, and enthusiastic expressions, pictured him with a
shudder the husband of Pauline. What would have been her life compared
to the one she led with him. How different would have been the bridal!
He thought of her gentleness, her cheerful compliance with his wishes,
her calm, subdued look, her lonely hours, the void that must be in her
heart; and as all these things passed, for the first time, through his
mind, he clasped his hands in despair.

He turned once more to look upon the wife he was but now beginning to
appreciate. She, too, had fallen in a revery. Her beautiful head was
bent, her long, dark lashes sweeping her cheek; and around her lips
played a smile so sweet, that though he know her thoughts were far
away in some pleasant wandering, he was sure he had no part in them.

For the first time since their wedded life, M. de Vaissiere was
beginning to love his wife. He turned suddenly to look at the Vicomte
de H----. He, too, was gazing upon Pauline with a look of intense
admiration, but so full of pity and respect, that it made the jealous
pang that thrilled through the husband's frame less bitter--and with a
deep sigh he turned to the stage. The play was one that gave him a
lesson for the rest of his days. It represented a young girl like his
Pauline, forced to wed one, like him, old enough to be her father. For
a while all went smoothly; the giddy wife was dazzled by her jewels
and her importance. But time passed, and she was roughly treated, her
every wish thwarted, and her very servants taught to disobey her. Her
angelic behaviour had no effect upon her brutal husband; her patience
exasperated him. Wickedly he exposed her to temptation; and as he
watched her mingle with those of her own age, and share their plans
and pleasures, suspicion entered his mind. He removed her far from her
friends, and intercepted her letters, making himself master of their
contents, until by a series of persecutions he drove her to fly from
him, and perish in the attempt.

Well for him was it that Monsieur de Vaissiere witnessed this play.
How different might have been the effect of his newly awakened
emotions, had they risen in the solitude of his apartment. The curtain
fell, and Pauline looked up. Tears were standing in her eyes--for the
fate of the heroine of the piece had affected her deeply, and her
husband's sympathy was with her when he remarked them. He waited until
he saw her give her arm to the vicomte, and walked behind them,
another creature. He had determined to win his wife's love or die; to
watch her, that he might warn her; to minister forever to her
comforts.

The vicomte returned with them, and soon the splendid salon was
crowded with guests. Pauline passed from one to the other with
graceful, winning smiles; and her husband's heart filled with pride
and pleasure as he watched her, the object of admiration, glittering
with diamonds, radiant with beauty, and remembered that she was his.
Without a pang he saw the noble youth, whose coming had been to him
salvation, lead her to supper, and seat himself at her side. He knew
that she was pleased; he felt that she might have loved; but he knew,
too, that she was as pure as an angel. How was it that suddenly her
many virtues rose in array before him, and spoke to his heart?

One evening Pauline stood at the window overlooking the garden that
was behind the Hotel de Vaissiere. The moonlight was glancing over the
tops of the orange trees, and the perfume of their white blossoms came
floating up like an incense of thanks to the Great Author of all,
while fountains played beneath their shade, falling musically on the
heart of the lonely watcher.

A shade was upon her brow--a shade of discontent; and busy were the
thoughts that came creeping into her soul. She was judging her own
heart--and bitterly did she reproach it as the image of another filled
its space. Alas! she had feared this; and again she was roused into
indignation as her mother's stern will was recalled to her--and she
was carried back to the day whereon she had reproached her with
hazarding the eternal welfare of her child. Throwing herself upon her
knees, she prayed for strength--and her prayer was heard. Suddenly, as
if struck with some impulse, she hurried from the window, through the
hall, passed the long suite of apartments, and reached her husband's.
Entering, she closed the door behind her, and rushed forward to M. de
Vaissiere's chair with such passionate rapidity, that one might have
thought she feared to fail in her resolution.

Her sobs and tears had nearly deprived her of utterance, but falling
at her husband's feet, she confessed the momentary infidelity of her
hitherto love-less heart, and besought him to take her from those
scenes of gayety and temptation to some distant, quiet region, that
she might expiate her fault in solitude.

Trembling she raised her eyes to his face. Instead of the fury, the
reproaches she had expected, what was her surprise at seeing the tears
coursing down his cheeks, to feel herself raised and clasped to his
breast.

"My poor child!" said he, tenderly--and it was the first time he had
ever so addressed her--"my poor child! I should have foreseen this; I
should have warned you ere now. It was your mother's fault to marry
you to me, and mine to have placed temptation in your way. But how
could I tear you from those whose years were suited to yours, to shut
you up with an old greybeard! Thus, while I watched over you, my pride
in your success made me forgetful of your safety. It is not yet too
late, my Pauline--all will be for the best. In time you will learn to
love your husband, and to know how devotedly he has loved you since
his stupid eyes were opened to your virtues."

With a smothered cry of joy Pauline threw herself upon his bosom. The
poor stricken dove had at last found a shelter.

The next day, while the whole world was lamenting and wondering over
the determination of the beautiful, brilliant, and courted Pauline de
Vaissiere, to leave the gay metropolis in the midst of its pleasure,
she sat once more in her boudoir. A holy calm had settled on her brow,
peace had entered her heart; and though a deep blush overspread her
features as she heard her husband's step approaching, she rose to meet
him with a grateful look. Putting his arm around her, he drew her
closer to him, and pressed a kiss upon her forehead.

"How many days of packing will you require, Pauline?" said he,
smiling. "Poor Marie! she has nearly worn her arms out."

"She will complete her task to-night; and if you like, we can be off
in the morning. But have you the carriages ready, _mon ami_? Are we
not before-hand with you?" asked Pauline, in the same cheerful strain.

"We must summon François," said M. de Vaissiere, "and see if my orders
have been executed."

François had been as prompt as usual; and three days after,
we found Pauline gazing out at the windows, mournful and
conscience-stricken--she was leaving Paris behind her as fast as four
horses and cracking whips could carry her. As they drove on, losing
sight of its towers and steeples, a sensation of freedom came over
her, and she placed her hand in her husband's, as if to thank him for
her safety. The wound upon her heart was not yet closed; but her firm
principle, her love of right, and gratitude for her deliverance, and
the indulgence of M. de Vaissiere were fast healing what she did not
for a moment allow to rest within her mind.

Every thing delighted her; the ploughed fields, divided by green
hedges; the farm-houses scattered far and near; the picturesque
appearance of the peasantry and their groupings, as they gathered
together to watch the travelers' suite; and when they stopped at a
family estate of M. de Vassiere, her enthusiasm knew no bounds.

Here they remained until the spring was past and summer came,
embellishing still more the beautiful woods around the little domain.
But they lingered yet in this pleasant place, loving it for the peace
it had given them, and the happiness they had learned to feel in being
together.

Leaning on her husband's arm, Pauline wandered amid the bright scenes
with a light step, now stopping to admire some variety of foliage, and
now pausing by the crystal stream that ran at the foot of the tall
trees, murmuring like a hidden sprite, and mirroring the waving
boughs, and the blue sky of _la belle France_. She had forgotten the
misery of her bridal-day, or remembered it but to contrast her present
quiet enjoyment of life with her then wretchedness. She had forgotten
her youth of terror, her husband's years and his coldness, and now,
when she looked upon the silver hair that glittered beside her braids
of jet, a feeling of gratitude filled her heart, as she recalled the
hour when he might have cast her off with some show of justice, and
sent her forth upon the wide world to die.

She had learned to love him, not with the heart-stirring love of youth
for youth, but with the deep, holy affection of a prodigal child. Not
all the temptations of the gay world could ever make her swerve from
her allegiance to him. Like a good and pious daughter did she cling to
him, providing for his comfort, and forseeing his every want.

One day he called her to him as she returned from her visit of charity
to the surrounding peasantry. She had wept over their troubles and
relieved them, and rejoiced with the happy. Her heart was
over-flowing, and passing the little church, she entered, and offered
up a prayer of thankfulness for her own blessings, and those she was
able to confer on others.

Her husband watched her graceful form as she came at his call, and
smilingly placed a letter in her hand. It was from her mother, and
part of it ran thus:

         "I am now very old, monsieur, and very infirm. I
         have often thought, in my lonely hours, of the
         unhappiness of my child on her marriage with you,
         and have doubted the wisdom of that authority which
         I exercised so severely over her. The vision of
         that pale, agonized countenance, comes upon me like
         a reproach; and although she has never hinted in
         one of her letters of unkindness from you, I have
         often thought that there was a mournful spirit
         pervading them. Pray God she may not be unhappy
         through my fault! I rely upon you, monsieur; be
         kind to my poor Pauline.
                            MARIE THERESE CLEMENCE DUMESNIL.
                                      (_Née de Villeneuve_.)"

Pauline's tears fell fast over this letter; and as she finished
reading it, she cast herself upon her husband's bosom.

"She does not deserve a reply, does she, Pauline?" asked he, with a
smile, and pressing her closer to him. "Think you there would be no
more marriages _de convenance_ if we were to give the benefit of our
experience to the world? Would your mother even be sensible of her
error, could she know how your suffering has ended--could she see how
happy you make an old man."

"Let her think that we have been always so," cried the noble Pauline.
"Why disturb her last years with a narrative of what may embitter
them? Shall it not be so, my dear, kind husband?"

"It shall, my child," said he, touched by the generosity of her
request. "And you, Pauline, shall write the answer--you, my patient,
enduring, and admirable wife! Why is it that I alone know what you
have suffered, forced thus to appreciate in silence your noble
forbearance."

But there was another letter to be read--one from Angela. It contained
an account of Madame Dumesnil's failing strength, and her earnest
desire to embrace her child once more. Jeannette was long since
numbered with the dead; and Angela, whose devotion to her father had
made her refuse every offer of marriage, removed with him to the abode
of her friend's mother, passing her life in dividing her cares.

But a short time elapsed and Pauline, with her husband, was sailing
once more upon the broad bosom of the Atlantic. It was a long and
tedious voyage; but she arrived in time to receive her mother's
blessing, and close her eyes--the reward her filial piety had merited.

Mr. Percy soon followed his aged companion, and Angela returned with
Pauline to France. Here she witnessed, with wonder and delight, the
happiness that, through Pauline's virtue, was not incompatible with so
great a disparity of age, and rejoiced when a few months after their
arrival in Paris, Pauline gave birth to a son and heir. Nothing now
was wanting to complete the domestic enjoyment of the circle gathered
at the Hotel de Vaissiere; and while the same gay crowds graced its
walls, and courted its fair mistress, Pauline never forgot to turn to
her husband as the one whose smile was to her the brightest, whose
praise the most valued, and whose approbation alone she loved and
lived for.



THE HERMIT OF NIAGARA.

BY MRS. LYDIA H. SIGOURNEY.


    It was the leafy month of June,
    And joyous Nature, all in tune,
      With wreathing buds was drest,
    As toward the mighty cataract's side
      A youthful stranger prest;
    His ruddy cheek was blanched with awe,
    And scarce he seemed his breath to draw,
      While bending o'er its brim,
    He marked its strong, unfathomed tide,
      And heard its thunder-hymn.

    His measured week too quickly fled,
    Another, and another sped,
    And soon the summer-rose decayed,
    The moon of autumn sank in shade,
      And winter hurled its dart,
    Years filled their circle, brief and fair,
    Yet still the enthusiast lingered there,
    While deeper round his soul was wove
    A mystic chain of fearful love,
      That would not let him part.

    When darkest midnight veiled the sky,
    You'd hear his hasting step go by,
    To gain the bridge beside the deep,
    That where its wildest torrents leap
      Hangs thread-like o'er the surge,
      Just there, upon its awful verge,
        His vigil-hour to keep.

    And when the moon, descending low,
    Hung on the flood that gleaming bow,
    Which it would seem some angel's hand,
    With Heaven's own pencil, tinged and spanned,
    Pure symbol of a better land,
    He, kneeling, poured in utterance free
    The eloquence of ecstasy;
    Though to his words no answer came,
    Save that One, Everlasting Name,
    Which since Creation's morning broke
    Niagara's lip alone hath spoke.

    When wintry tempests shook the sky,
    And the rent pine-tree hurtled by,
    Unblenching, 'mid the storm he stood,
    And marked sublime the wrathful flood,
    While wrought the frost-king, fierce and drear,
    His palace 'mid those cliffs to rear,
    And strike the massy buttress strong,
    And pile his sleet the rocks among,
    And wasteful deck the branches bare
    With icy diamonds, rich and rare.

    Nor lacked the hermit's humble shed
      Such comforts as our natures ask
      To fit them for life's daily task.
    The cheering fire, the peaceful bed,
    The simple meal in season spread,
    While by the lone lamp's trembling light,
    As blazed the hearth-stone, clear and bright,
      O'er Homer's page he hung,
    Or Maro's martial numbers scanned--

    For classic lore of many a land
      Flowed smoothly o'er his tongue.
    Oft with rapt eye, and skill profound,
    He woke the entrancing viol's sound,
      Or touched the sweet guitar.
    For heavenly music deigned to dwell
    An inmate in his cloistered cell,
      As beams the solem star,
    All night, with meditative eyes
    Where some lone, rock-bound fountain lies.

    As through the groves, with quiet tread,
    On his accustomed haunts he sped,
    The mother-thrush, unstartled, sung
    Her descant to her callow young,
    And fearless o'er his threshold prest
    The wanderer from the sparrow's nest,
    The squirrel raised a sparkling eye
    Nor from his kernel cared to fly
    As passed that gentle hermit by.
    No timid creature shrank to meet
    His pensive glance, serenely sweet;
    From his own kind, alone, he sought
    The screen of solitary thought.
    Whether the world too harshly prest
    Its iron o'er a yielding breast,
    Or forced his morbid youth to prove
    The pang of unrequited love,
    We know not, for he never said
    Aught of the life he erst had led.

    On Iris isle, a summer-bower
    He twined with branch and vine and flower,
    And there he mused on rustic seat,
    Unconscious of the noonday heat,
    Or 'neath the crystal waters lay,
    Luxuriant, in the swimmer's play.

    Yet once the whelming flood grew strong.
    And bore him like a weed along,
    Though with convulsive grasp of pain
    And heaving breast, he strove in vain,
    Then sinking 'neath the infuriate tide,
    Lone, as he lived, the hermit died.

    On, by the rushing current swept,
    The lifeless corse its voyage kept,
    To where, in narrow gorge comprest,
    The whirlpool-eddies never rest,
    But boil with wild tumultuous sway,
    The Maelstrom of Niagara.
    And there, within that rocky bound,
    In swift gyrations round and round,
      Mysterious course it held,
    Now springing from the torrent hoarse,
    Now battling, as with maniac force,
      To mortal strife compelled.

    Right fearful, 'neath the moonbeam bright,
    It was to see that brow so white,
    And mark the ghastly dead
    Leap upward from his torture-bed,
      As if in passion-gust,
    And tossing wild with agony
    Resist the omnipotent decree
      Of dust to dust.

    At length, where smoother waters flow,
    Emerging from the abyss below,
    The hapless youth they gained, and bore
    Sad to his own forsaken door.
    There watched his dog, with straining eye,
    And scarce would let the train pass by,
      Save that with instinct's rushing spell,
    Through the changed cheek's empurpled hue,
    And stiff and stony form, he knew
      The master he had loved so well.
    The kitten fair, whose graceful wile
    So oft had won his musing smile,
    As round his slippered foot she played,
    Stretched on his vacant pillow laid.
    While strewed around, on board and chair,
      The last-plucked flower, the book last read,
      The ready pen, the page outspread,
      The water cruse, the unbroken bread--
    Revealed how sudden was the snare
      That swept him to the dead.

    And so, he rests in foreign earth,
    Who drew 'mid Albion's vales his birth:
    Yet let no cynic phrase unkind
    Condemn that youth of gentle mind--
    Of shrinking nerve, and lonely heart,
    And lettered lore, and tuneful art,
      Who here his humble worship paid
    In that most glorious temple-shrine,
    Where to the Majesty Divine
      Nature her noblest altar made.

    No, blame him not, but praise the Power
    Who, in the dear domestic bower,
    Hath given you firmer strength to rear
    The plants of love--with toil and fear--
    The beam to meet, the blast to dare,
    And like a faithful soldier bear;
    Still with sad heart his requiem pour,
    Amid the cataract's ceaseless roar,
    And bid one tear of pitying gloom
    Bedew that meek enthusiast's tomb.



BURIAL OF A VOLUNTEER.

BY PARK BENJAMIN.


    'Tis eve! one brightly-beaming star
    Shines from the eastern heavens afar,
    To light the footsteps of the brave,
    Slow marching to a comrade's grave.

    The Northern wind has sunk to sleep;
    The sweet South breathes; as low and deep
    The martial clang is heard, the tread
    Of those who bear the silent dead.

    And whose the form, all stark and cold,
    Thus ready for the loosened mould;
    Thus stretched upon so rude a bier?
    Thine, soldier, thine--the volunteer!

    Poor volunteer! the shot, the blow,
    Or fell disease hath laid him low--
    And few his early loss deplore--
    His battle done, his journey o'er.

    Alas! no fond wife's arms caressed,
    His cheeks no tender mother pressed,
    No pitying soul was by his side,
    As, lonely in his tent, he died.

    He died--the volunteer--at noon;
    At evening came the small platoon;
    And soon they'll leave him to his rest,
    With sods upon his manly breast.

    Hark to their fire! his only knell,
    More solemn than the passing bell;
    For, ah! it tells a spirit flown
    Without a prayer or sigh, alone!

    His name and fate shall fade away,
    Forgotten since his dying day,
    And never on the roll of fame
    Shall be inscribed his humble name.

    Alas! like him how many more
    Lie cold on Rio Grande's shore;
    How many green, unnoted graves
    Are bordered by those turbid waves!

    Sleep, soldier, sleep! from sorrow free
    And sin and strife: 'tis well with thee!
    'Tis well, though not a single tear
    Laments the buried volunteer.



THE BRIDAL MORNING.

[SEE ENGRAVING.]


    Morn of hopes that, quivering, glow
      With a light ne'er known before;
    Morn of fears, which cannot throw
      Shadows its sweet glory o'er!

    Gentle thoughts of all the past;
      Happy thoughts of all to come;
    Loving thoughts, like rose-leaves, cast
      Over all around her home.

    Oh, the light upon that brow;
      Oh, the love within that eye!
    Oh, the pleasant dreams that flow
      Like fairy music sweetly by!

    Morn of Hope! Oh may its light
      Melt but into brighter day!
    Lady, all that's blest and bright
      Be about thy path alway!



HOME.

BY MRS. H. MARION WARD.


"_Home, sweet home!"_ How many holy and beautiful memories are crowded
into those three little words. How does the absent one, when weary
with the cold world's strife, return, like the dove of the deluge, to
that bright spot amid the troubled waters of life. "_Home, sweet
home!_" The one household plant that blooms on and on, amid the
withering heart-flowers, that brightens up amidst tempests and storms,
and gives its sweetest fragrance when all else is gloom and
desolation. We never know how deeply its roots are entwined with our
heart-strings, till bitter lessons of wasted affection have taught us
to appreciate that love which remains the same through years of
estrangement. What exile from the spot of his birth but remembers,
perhaps with bitterness, the time when falsehood and deceit first
broke up the beautiful dreams of his soul, when he learned to _see_
the world in its true colors. How his heart ached for his father's
look of kindness--his mother's voice of sympathy--a sister's or
brother's hand to clasp in the warm embrace of kindred affection.
Poor, home-sick wanderer! I can feel for your loneliness; for my heart
often weeps tears of bitterness over the memories of a far-off home,
and in sympathy with a gray-haired father, who, when he calls his
little band around the hearth-stone, misses full many a link in the
chain of social affection. I can feel for your loneliness, for perhaps
you have a father, too, whose eyes have grown dim by long looking into
the tomb of love. Perhaps you, too, have a mother, sleeping in some
distant grave-yard, beneath the flowers your hands have planted; and
as life's path grows still more rugged before you, you wonder, as I
have done, when your time will come to lie down and sleep quietly with
_her_. An incident occurred on board of one of the western steamers,
some years since, which strongly impressed me with its truthfulness in
proving how wildly the heart clings to home reminiscences when absent
from that spot. A party of emigrants had taken passage, amongst whom
was a young Swiss girl, accompanied by a small brother. Not even the
_outré_ admixture of Swiss, German, and English costume, which
composed her dress, could conceal the fact that she was supremely
beautiful; and as the emigrants were separated from what is termed the
first-class passengers only by a slight railing, I had an opportunity
of inspecting her appearance without giving offence by marked
observation. Amongst the crowd there happened to be a set of German
musicians, who, by amusing the _ennuied_ passengers, reaped quite a
harvest of silver for their exertions. I have always heard that the
Germans were extremely fond of music, and was surprised that none of
the party, not even the beautiful Swiss girl, gave the slightest
indication of pleasure, or once removed from the position they had
occupied the whole way. Indeed, I was becoming quite indignant, that
the soul-stirring Marseilles Hymn of France, the God Save the Queen of
England, and last, not _least_ in its impressive melody, the Hail
Columbia of our own nation, should have pealed its music out upon the
great waters, almost hushing their mighty swell with its enchantment,
and yet not waken an echo in the hearts of those homeless wanderers.
The musicians paused to rest for a moment, and then suddenly, as if by
magic, the glorious _Rans des Vache_ of Switzerland stole over the
water, with its touching pathos swelling into grand sublimity, its
home-music melting away in love, and then bursting forth in the free,
glad strains of revelry, till every breath was hushed as by the
presence of visible beauty. Having never before heard this beautiful
melody, in my surprise and admiration I had quite forgotten my
emigrant friends, when a low sob attracted my attention, and turning
round, I saw the Swiss girl, with her head buried in the lap of an old
woman, trying to stifle the tears that _would_ force their way or
break the heart that held them. I had but a slight knowledge of the
Swiss dialect, and "my home, my beautiful home!" was the only words
intelligible to me. She wept long and bitterly after the cadence of
the song was lost amongst the waves, while the old woman, blessings on
her for the act, sought by every endearment within her power to soothe
and encourage the home-sick girl. There was little enow of refinement
in her rough sympathy, but it was a heart-tribute--and I could almost
love her for the unselfishness with which she drew the shrinking form
closer to her bosom. I would have given the world to have learned that
girl's previous history. I am sure _accident_ must have thrown her
amongst her present associates, as I have seen a lily broken from its
stem by a sudden gust of wind, and flung to wither and die amid rude
and hardy weeds. In a few hours the party left the boat, and I never
saw either her or them again; but, till this day, whenever any
incident of a domestic nature wakens old-time dreams, pleasant
memories of that beautiful exile, weeping over the music of her lost
Eden, and of the kind old woman caressing her, and kissing off the
falling tears, creep together, and form a lovely picture of _home and
heaven-born love_.



MARGINALIA.

BY EDGAR A. POE.


That punctuation is important all agree; but how few comprehend the
extent of its importance! The writer who neglects punctuation, or
mis-punctuates, is liable to be misunderstood--this, according to the
popular idea, is the sum of the evils arising from heedlessness or
ignorance. It does not seem to be known that, even where the sense is
perfectly clear, a sentence may be deprived of half its force--its
spirit--its point--by improper punctuation. For the want of merely a
comma, it often occurs that an axiom appears a paradox, or that a
sarcasm is converted into a sermonoid.

There is _no_ treatise on the topic--and there is no topic on which a
treatise is more needed. There seems to exist a vulgar notion that the
subject is one of pure conventionality, and cannot be brought within
the limits of intelligibly and consistent _rule_. And yet, if fairly
looked in the face, the whole matter is so plain that its _rationale_
may be read as we run. If not anticipated, I shall, hereafter, make an
attempt at a magazine paper on "The Philosophy of Point."

In the meantime let me say a word or two of _the dash_. Every writer
for the press, who has any sense of the accurate, must have been
frequently mortified and vexed at the distortion of his sentences by
the printer's now general substitution of a semicolon, or comma, for
the dash of the MS. The total or nearly total disuse of the latter
point, has been brought about by the revulsion consequent upon its
excessive employment about twenty years ago. The Byronic poets were
_all_ dash. John Neal, in his earlier novels, exaggerated its use into
the grossest abuse--although his very error arose from the
philosophical and self-dependent spirit which has always distinguished
him, and which will even yet lead him, if I am not greatly mistaken in
the man, to do something for the literature of the country which the
country "will not willingly," and cannot possibly, "let die."

Without entering now into the _why_, let me observe that the printer
may always ascertain when the dash of the MS. is properly and when
improperly employed, by bearing in mind that this point represents _a
second thought--an emendation_. In using it just above I have
exemplified its use. The words "an emendation" are, speaking with
reference to grammatical construction, put in _ap_position with the
words "a second thought." Having written these latter words, I
reflected whether it would not be possible to render their meaning
more distinct by certain other words. Now, instead of erasing the
phrase "a second thought," which is of _some_ use--which _partially_
conveys the idea intended--which advances me _a step toward_ my full
purpose--I suffer it to remain, and merely put a dash between it and
the phrase "an emendation." The dash gives the reader a choice between
two, or among three or more expressions, one of which may be more
forcible than another, but all of which help out the idea. It stands,
in general, for these words--"_or, to make my meaning more distinct_."
This force _it has_--and this force no other point can have; since all
other points have well-understood uses quite different from this.
Therefore, the dash _cannot_ be dispensed with.

It has its phases--its variation of the force described; but the one
principle--that of second thought or emendation--will be found at the
bottom of all.

    *    *    *    *    *

In a reply to a letter signed "Outis," and defending Mr. Longfellow
from certain charges supposed to have been made against him by myself,
I took occasion to assert that "of the class of willful plagiarists
nine out of ten are authors of established reputation who plunder
recondite, neglected, or forgotten books." I came to this conclusion
_à priori_; but experience has confirmed me in it. Here is a
plagiarism from Channing; and as it is perpetrated by an anonymous
writer in a Monthly Magazine, the theft seems at war with my
assertion--until it is seen that the Magazine in question is
Campbell's New Monthly for _August_, 1828. Channing, at that time, was
comparatively unknown; and, besides, the plagiarism appeared in a
foreign country, where there was little probability of detection.

Channing, in his essay on Bonaparte, says:

         "We would observe that military talent, even of the
         highest order, is far from holding the first place
         among intellectual endowments. It is one of the
         lower forms of genius, for it is not conversant
         with the highest and richest objects of thought....
         Still the chief work of a general is to apply
         physical force--to remove physical obstructions--to
         avail himself of physical aids and advantages--to
         act on matter--to overcome rivers, ramparts,
         mountains, and human muscles; and these are not the
         highest objects of mind, nor do they demand
         intelligence of the highest order:--and accordingly
         nothing is more common than to find men, eminent in
         this department, who are almost wholly wanting in
         the noblest energies of the soul--in imagination
         and taste--in the capacity of enjoying works of
         genius--in large views of human nature--in the
         moral sciences--in the application of analysis and
         generalization to the human mind and to society,
         and in original conceptions on the great subjects
         which have absorbed the most glorious
         understandings."

The thief in "The New Monthly," says:

         "Military talent, even of the highest _grade_, is
         _very_ far from holding the first place among
         intellectual endowments. It is one of the lower
         forms of genius, for it is _never made_ conversant
         with the _more delicate and abstruse of mental
         operations_.

         It is used to apply physical force; to remove
         physical force; to remove physical obstructions; to
         avail itself of physical aids and advantages; and
         all these are not the highest objects of mind, nor
         do they demand intelligence of the highest _and
         rarest_ order. Nothing is more common than to find
         men, eminent in the science and practice of war,
         _wholly_ wanting in the nobler energies of the
         soul; in imagination, in taste, in _enlarged_ views
         of human nature, in the moral sciences, in the
         application of analysis and generalization to the
         human mind and to society; or in original
         conceptions on the great subjects which have
         _occupied and_ absorbed the most glorious _of
         human_ understandings."

The article in "The New Monthly" is on "The State of Parties." The
italics are mine.

Apparent plagiarisms frequently arise from an author's
self-repetition. He finds that something he has already published has
fallen dead--been overlooked--or that it is peculiarly _à propos_ to
another subject now under discussion. He therefore introduces the
passage; often without allusion to his having printed it before; and
sometimes he introduces it into an anonymous article. An anonymous
writer is thus, now and then, unjustly accused of plagiarism--when the
sin is merely that of self-repetition.

In the present case, however, there has been a deliberate plagiarism
of the silliest as well as meanest species. Trusting to the obscurity
of his original, the plagiarist has fallen upon the idea of killing
two birds with one stone--of dispensing with all disguise but that of
_decoration_.

Channing says "order"--the writer in the New Monthly says "grade." The
former says that this order is "far from holding," etc.--the latter
says it is "_very_ far from holding." The one says that military
talent is "_not_ conversant," and so on--the other says "it is _never
made_ conversant." The one speaks of "the highest and richest
objects"--the other of "the more delicate and abstruse." Channing
speaks of "thought"--the thief of "mental operations." Chaming
mentions "intelligence of the _highest_ order"--the thief will have it
of "the highest _and rarest_." Channing observes that military talent
is often "_almost_ wholly wanting," etc.--the thief maintains it to be
"_wholly_ wanting." Channing alludes to "_large_ views of human
nature"--the thief can be content with nothing less than "enlarged"
ones. Finally, the American having been satisfied with a reference to
"subjects which have absorbed the most glorious understandings," the
Cockney puts him to shame at once by discoursing about "subjects which
have _occupied and_ absorbed the most glorious _of human_
understandings"--as if one could be absorbed, without being occupied,
by a subject--as if "_of_" were here any thing more than two
superfluous letters--and as if there were any chance of the reader's
supposing that the understandings in question were the understandings
of frogs, or jackasses, or Johnny Bulls.

By the way, in a case of this kind, whenever there is a question as to
who is the original and who the plagiarist, the point may be
determined, almost invariably, by observing which passage is
amplified, or exaggerated, in tone. To disguise his stolen horse, the
uneducated thief cuts off the tail; but the educated thief prefers
tying on a new tail at the end of the old one, and painting them both
sky blue.

    *    *    *    *    *

After reading all that has been written, and after thinking all that
can be thought, on the topics of God and the soul, the man who has a
right to say that he thinks at all, will find himself face to face
with the conclusion that, on these topics, the most profound thought
is that which can be the least easily distinguished from the most
superficial sentiment.



LOVE.

BY R. H. STODDARD.


    Oh Love! thou art a fallen child of light,
      A ruined seraph in a world of care--
      Tortured and wrung by sorrow and despair,
    And longings for the beautiful and bright:
    Thy brow is deeply scarred, and bleeds beneath
    A spiked coronet, a thorny wreath;
    Thy rainbow wings are rent and torn with chains,
      Sullied and drooping in extremest wo;
      Thy dower, to those who love thee best below,
    Is tears and torture, agony and pains,
    Coldness and scorn and doubt which often parts;--
      "The course of true love never does run smooth,"
    Old histories show it, and a thousand hearts,
      Breaking from day to day, attest the solemn truth.


[Illustration: Beauty's Bath

Painted by E. Landseer     Engraved by J. Sartain

Engraved Expressly for Graham's Magazine]



BEAUTY'S BATH.

[ILLUSTRATING AN ENGRAVING.]


    The fair one stands beside the plashing brim,
      Her pet, her Beauty, gathered to her breast;
    A doubt hath crossed her: "can he surely swim?"
      And in her sweet face is that fear exprest.

    Alas! how often, for thyself, in years
      Fast coming, wilt thou pause and doubt and shrink
    O'er some fair project! Then, be all thy fears
      False as this first one by the water's brink!



REVIEW OF NEW BOOKS.


_Poems of Early and After Years. By N. P. Willis. Illustrated by E.
Leutze. Philadelphia: Carey & Hart. 1 vol. 8vo._

This is a complete edition of one of America's most popular poets,
with the old poems carefully revised, and many new pieces added. It is
got up in a similar style with the editions of Longfellow and Bryant,
by the same publishers, and is one of the most splendid volumes of the
season. The portrait of the author, engraved by Cheney, is the most
accurate we have seen. The illustrations, from designs by Leutze, and
engraved by Humphrys, Tucker, and Pease, are sixteen in number, and in
their character and execution are honorable to American art. They are
truly embellishments. Fertile as has been the house of Carey & Hart in
beautiful books, they have published nothing more elegant and tasteful
than the present edition of Willis.

We have written, in various critiques, at such length on the merits
and characteristics of Willis, that it would be but repetition to
dilate upon his genius now. In looking over the present volume, we
cannot see that the sparkle and fire of his poetry becomes dim, even
as read by eyes which have often performed that pleasant task before.
The old witchery still abides in them, and the old sweetness,
raciness, melody and power. That versatile mind, gliding with such
graceful ease over the whole ground of "occasional" pieces, serious
and mirthful, impassioned and tender, sacred and satirical, looks out
upon us with the same freshness from his present "pictured" page, as
when we hunted it, in the old time, through newspapers, magazines, and
incomplete collections. We cordially wish the author the same success
in his present rich dress, which he has always met in whatever style
of typography he has invaded the public heart. When the stereotype
plates of the present edition are worn out, it does not require the
gift of prophecy to predict that the poet's reputation will be as
unworn and us bright as ever.

    *    *    *    *    *

_A Plea for Amusements. By Frederic W. Sawyer, New York: D. Appleton &
Co. 1 vol. 12mo._

This little volume, viewed in respect to the prejudices it so clearly
exposes and opposes, is quite an important publication, and we trust
it will find readers among those who need it most. That clumsy habit
of the public mind, by which the perversions are confounded with the
use of a thing, finds in Mr. Sawyer an acute analyst as well as
sensible opponent. He has done his work with much learning, ability
and taste, and has contrived to make his exposure of popular bigotries
as interesting as it is useful.

    *    *    *    *    *

_Campaign Sketches of the War with Mexico. By Capt. W. S. Henry, U. S.
Army. With Engravings. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 12mo._

Here is a work by a brave and intelligent soldier, relating to the
battles of General Taylor in Mexico, of which he was an eye-witness.
It has the freshness which might be expected from a writer who mingled
in the scenes he describes; and the plates of the different
battle-grounds enable the reader intelligently to follow the
descriptions of the author. Spite of the numerous books relating to
the subject already before the public, Captain Henry's volume will be
found to contain much not generally known, and to describe what is
generally known better than most of his precursors in the task.

    *    *    *    *    *

_The Consuelo. By George Sand. In Three Volumes. New York: W. H.
Graham, Tribune Buildings._

_The Countess of Rudolstadt. By George Sand. [Sequel to Consuelo.] 2
vols. Same Publisher._

_The Journeyman Joiner, or the Companion of the Tour of France. By
George Sand. Same Publisher._

_The Devil's Pool. By George Sand. Same Publisher._

The above editions of the somewhat too celebrated George Sand are got
up, by our enterprising friend the publisher, in a style superior to
that generally used on this species of literature. The translation by
F. G. Shaw, Esq. has been generally, and we think justly, commended.
The works themselves, and their tendencies and results, have been made
the subject of various opinions both here and abroad. We are not among
those who are prepared to enter the lists as their champion. The
translator himself remarks in relation to Consuelo: "That it has not
found fit translation before, was doubtless owing to prevailing
impressions of something erratic and _bizarre_ in the author's way of
living, and to a certain undeniable tone of wild, defying freedom in
her earlier writings." The censure of the moral portion of the
community is thus softly and mercifully expressed: We will not at
present add to it.

    *    *    *    *    *

_The Last Incarnation. Gospel Legends of the Nineteenth Century. By A.
Constant. Translated by F. G. Shaw, Esq. New York: Wm. H. Graham._

A well printed and cheap volume.

    *    *    *    *    *

_The Scouting Expeditions of M'Culloch's Texas Rangers. By Samuel C.
Ried, jr. Zieber & Co. Philadelphia._

This work contains a spirited and vivid sketch of the Mexican war as
prosecuted under Taylor. It is full of incident and interest, is
written with spirit, and illustrated by a number of engravings.

    *    *    *    *    *



DESCRIPTION OF THE FASHION PLATE.


TOILETTE DE VILLE.--Dress of gray satin, with a plain skirt; corsage
plain, with a rounded point; sleeves above of violet-colored velvet,
closed on the top, and trimmed with very rich lace; small pelerine to
the waists, and terminated at the seam of the shoulder, trimmed with
lace. Hat of yellow satin, long at the cheeks, and rounded, ornamented
with a bouquet of white flowers resting on the side, arid a puff of
tulle on the inside.

RICHE TOILETTE D'INTERIEUR.--Dress of blue cashmere, ornamented with a
row of silver buttons down the front of the skirts; corsage plain,
with buttons, and terminating in two small points; sleeves rather
short, and under ones of three rows of lace: neck-dress of lace. Cap
also of lace, resting flat upon the front of the head, and forming
folds behind, trimmed with bows of ribbon, of rose-colored taffeta,
below the lace to the depth of the strings.

    *    *    *    *    *

ERRATUM.--In the article on Stoke Church and Church-yard, page 77,
12th line from bottom of 2d column, "1779" should read 1799.

Transcriber's Note:

Some likely incorrect spellings and probable dialect have been left as
printed, but the following corrections have been made:

1. Page 83--'for the lady lacked neither wit not humor, and the ....'
   changed to 'for the lady lacked neither wit nor humor...'

2. Page 83--superfluous word 'his' removed from sentence '...he had
   nothing on but his his shirt, and...'

3. Page 85--typo 'centipeds' corrected to 'centipedes'

4. Page 85--superfluous word 'his' removed from sentence '...constant
   to his his first love, mourning...'

5. A number of contracted forms, such as 't is, shortened to 'tis, in
   order to preserve the scansion of poetry

6. Page 106--typo in sentence '...up the mill-stream, und as we
   returned...' replaced by 'and'

7. Page 106--typo 'outrè' in sentence '...however strange or outrè;
   and there is...' changed to 'outré'

8. Page 106--typo 'evious' in sentence '...would turn up an evious
   nose, and...' corrected to 'envious'

9. Page 110--typo 'widows' in sentence '...sitting by the widows of
   the summer-house,' changed to 'windows'

10. Page 113--typo 'then' in sentence '...was upon then--the eye of
    Agnes;...' changed to 'them'

11. Page 121--typo 'claspéd' corrected to 'claspèd'

12. Page 125--typo 'giver' in sentence '...until he saw her giver her
    arm...' corrected to 'give'





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