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Title: Graham's Magazine, Vol. XLI, No. 4, October 1852
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                           GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE.
               Vol. XLI.      October, 1852.      No. 4.


                           Table of Contents

                 Derwentwater
                 Sonnet:—To the Redbreast
                 Fanny Leigh
                 The Atmosphere and Its Currents
                 Influence of Place on Race
                 Song
                 Sonnet.—The Comet.
                 Fancies from a Garret
                 The Minister’s Wife
                 Fragment.—A Picture.
                 Glimpses of Western Travel
                 A Midnight Fantasy
                 Sporting Adventures in India
                 Sonnet.—Peace.
                 Something New About Byron
                 Zulma
                 The Autobiography of a Boarding-House
                 Ariadne: Or the Love Watch
                 The Game of the Month.
                 Wreck and Ruin
                 Le Petit Savoyard
                 Mabel Dacre
                 The Lucky Penny
                 Meditations on the Last Judgment
                 The Trial by Battle
                 “I Know Where the Fairies Are.”
                 Canadian Life
                 The Last Hour of Sappho
                 Nine O’clock
                 Virginia Dare
                 Review of New Books
                 Sips of Punch
                 Fashion Plate

       Transcriber’s Notes can be found at the end of this eBook.



[Illustration: =THE PRIDE OF THE PARTERRE.=]

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: =THE FORGOTTEN WORD.=
 Engraved expressly for Graham’s Magazine by Humphrys.]

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: =THE FLOWER-GIRL.=]

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: =DERWENTWATER.=]



                            =DERWENTWATER.=


[The sad story of the Earl of Derwentwater, executed in 1716 for
participation in the rebellion of the previous year, is well known. The
beautiful lake from which he derives his title is surrounded by some of
the grandest scenery in England. Few persons will need to be reminded of
the beauty of the small cataract of Ladore. The memory of the
misfortunes of Lord Derwentwater, and of the beauty of his disconsolate
countess, is is still preserved in the traditions of the neighbourhood.]

[Illustration]
[Illustration]

          Sweet lake of the moun-tains how happy was I,
          When life’s sunny morn had no cloud on its sky,
          And I roam’d with my love on thy beautiful shore,
          To hear the deep music that gush’d from Ladore!

          We sail’d on thy waters rejoicing, alone,
          And built, ’mid the hills that encircle thy breast
          A bower and a home in the wilds of the West.

          But sorrow has darken’d the noon of our day,
          And peril and doubt have encompass’d our way;
          My heart’s only love in captivity lies,
          And thy glory, O Derwent, is dimm’d in mine eyes.

          Sad lake of the mountains, through dangers I roam,
          With a pang in my heart and a blight on my home,
          To dream of the joys that shall bless me no more,
          And mingle my sighs with the moan of Ladore.

                           GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE.

                 *        *        *        *        *

         Vol. XLI.     PHILADELPHIA, October, 1852.     No. 4.

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration]



                      =SONNET:—TO THE REDBREAST.=


            When that the fields put on their gay attire,
          Thou silent sitt’st near brake or river’s brim,
          Whilst the gay thrush sings loud from covert dim;
          But when pale Winter lights the social fire,
          And meads with slime are spent, and ways with mire,
            Thou charm’st us with thy soft and solemn hymn,
            From battlement or barn, or hay-stack trim;
          And now not seldom tun’st, as if for hire.
            Thy thrilling pipe to me, waiting to catch
          The pittance due to thy well-warbled song:
            Sweet bird, sing on! for oft near lonely hatch,
          Like thee, myself have pleased the rustic throng,
            And oft for entrance ’neath the peaceful thatch,
          Paid the cheap tribute of a simple song.

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration]



                             =FANNY LEIGH.=


                           =BY MRS. TOOGOOD.=


               Unskilled in lore was Fanny Leigh,
                 But learned in wisdom mild,
               That glowed all soft and tenderly
                 In that meek, blue-eyed child.

               And why the sigh? why sad the brow?
                 She conned it o’er and o’er,
               And found out anxious thoughts, and how
                 They prey upon the poor.

               Her soft young hands, she did not fear,
                 Could aid the feeble old:
               How blest for her to wipe their tear,
                 And clothe them from the cold!

               And she hath left the rose-clad cot,
                 From youth’s one home to part,
               Armed with resolve—revealing not
                 What tempest at her heart.

               None saw the drops that dimmed her eye,
                 When a sad breeze and keen
               Came answering with a long-lorn sigh
                 From that still village scene.

               Forth hath she gone—a summer boat
                 Skims o’er the glassy bay
               With slender strength—nor dreads to float
                 Where the stern waters lay.

               Forth hath she gone, from dewy field,
                 And used to fondest care,
               To try the desert—will it yield
                 One shelter from the glare?

               Where Innocence is shamed to quail
                 Before the worldling’s mirth;
               And beautiful will learn to veil
                 Its scorned, yet heavenly birth.

               Forth so she went, yet ’mid the pest,
                 The blast of noxious night;
               A lamp burned stedfast at her breast,
                 And cast its certain light.

               And oft she heard a mellowed tone
                 Streaming above the din;
               A Voice that loves the pure and lone,
                 And strengthens them within.

               O! there was joy, even unto pain,
                 When, passed those days so drear,
               As music, Fanny’s steps again
                 Fell on each aged one’s ear.

               And who, the gladdest of the glad,
                 Stands at the gate? I pray.
               Is’t he who then a very lad
                 So wept her going away?

               ’Tis he, who, while he fed his flowers,
                 (Stronger her bright chain grew,)
               Saw constantly through haunted hours
                 Those eyes of gentlest blue.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                   =THE ATMOSPHERE AND ITS CURRENTS.=


[Illustration]

It has been mentioned as a part of the planetary constitution of our
globe, that a gaseous envelope environs its mass, the atmosphere, which
requires the attention of the astronomer, on account of its influence in
displacing the celestial bodies, and contributing to their visibility,
by refracting and reflecting the rays of light. This elastic fluid is
the scene of interesting phenomena, and performs important functions in
the economy of nature. Besides being essential to the life of man, and
the animal races, whose existence would terminate in a few minutes
without the respiration of it; the exhalation of moisture from the
surface of the earth is mainly owing to the common air we breathe, which
receives and sustains the vapors formed into clouds, distributes them
over different regions by its incessant motions, and tempers by its
currents those extremes of heat and cold to which various localities are
subject. It is in these last-named offices that the atmosphere demands
the notice of the physical geographer. The consideration of its actual
constitution does not belong to his province, but a general view of the
fluid may be appropriate before we proceed to those agitations and
changes which are in constant action, and upon which the welfare of
organized beings so materially depends.

The atmosphere is, then, an integral portion of the earth, a body of air
revolving with the solid mass upon its axis, the higher strata, of
course, increasing in velocity with the distance from the axis of
revolution. From hence a conclusion may be drawn respecting its height,
for an absolute limit is put to its elevation by this feature of its
physical condition. There is a point where the centrifugal force, or the
tendency to fly off from the centre, will counterbalance the
centripetal, or the gravitation toward the centre, and beyond that point
the latter will be vanquished. It is obvious that no portion of the
atmosphere can extend beyond the point where the two influences balance,
or are in equilibrium, and the projectile force becomes greater than
that of gravitation, or its projection into space would follow. At the
distance of 6.6 radii from the centre of the earth, or at an elevation
of 22,200 miles, about the eleventh part the distance of the moon, this
point is fixed, beyond which it is impossible for the atmosphere in the
smallest quantity to extend. This consideration is only of importance to
show that physical laws rigidly restrict it within finite bounds, for
any portion of air at that distance must have a tenuity which is utterly
inconceivable. The indications of the height of the atmosphere drawn
from its weight, as shown by the barometer, reduce its elevation within
a vastly circumscribed limit. A column of the whole circumambient air is
nearly equal in weight to a similar column of mercury of thirty inches,
or of water of thirty-four feet, which would give it an elevation of but
27,000 feet, or rather under five miles, if its density were uniform.
But the elasticity of the air causes it to expand with the diminution of
its own pressure, which becomes less at every step from the surface of
the earth; and owing to this expansion we must place the limit to its
height at a far greater distance than that suggested by the simple
barometrical measurement of its weight. A pretty common opinion prevails
that its extreme boundary does not exceed forty or fifty miles, and we
have sensible evidence on the high lands of the globe, that for all the
purposes serviceable to vegetable and animal life, the atmospheric zone
is of very contracted elevation. It is a well-known property of the air
that the temperature diminishes with its height, a circumstance
referable to the general physical law, that as the density of gases
decreases they acquire an increased capacity for heat. The higher,
therefore, a body ascends in the atmosphere, the greater is the quantity
of heat abstracted from it, the surrounding fluid becoming more rare.
Hence the perpetual snow, and the piles of glaciers, that crown the
summits of mountains, at whose base the orange and the citron bloom, and
man pants in the fierce sultriness of a torrid climate.

But while the atmosphere may be considered generally as an aerial zone
of the earth, the companion of the massy spheroid in its annual
revolution round the sun, and rotating with it upon its axis, it has
independent movements which present very complex phenomena, however
clear the causes which put them in operation. The particles of air are
constantly suffering displacement, and it is easy to conceive of various
circumstances disturbing the dilatable and elastic fluid in which we
live. A body in movement will communicate its motion to the adjoining
particles, which may be sensibly propagated by them to a considerable
distance; but this cause operates so slightly in the production of
atmospheric currents that it might be entirely overlooked. It will be
sufficient to state that some of the vast oceanic streams are supposed
to produce a corresponding flow in the air. The varying attractions of
the sun, moon, and planets on the atmosphere, will occasion tides in it
analogous to those of the ocean, or an alteration in the heights of
vertical columns of air, winds and currents arising from the resulting
inequalities of horizontal pressure; but La Place has proved the action
of this cause to be scarcely appreciable. The atmospheric agitations of
which we are sensible, both the more violent and gentle, appear to
proceed either from a change in the temperature of a portion of the air,
or from a change in the quantity of water which it holds in a state of
vapor. In both these cases a temporary destruction of the equilibrium
subsisting between different parts of the atmosphere is produced, and
its particles are set in motion to restore the balance. The effect of
heat upon a volume of air is to rarefy and expand, to increase its bulk
and diminish its density. When any portion, therefore, of the earth’s
surface is more heated than the surrounding districts, the air there
ascends and flows over the adjoining cooler and denser strata, causing
an upper outward current, while the colder and denser fluid rushes
toward the spot where the balance has been lost by expansion, and a
lower inward current is produced. An easy experiment will illustrate
this interchange. In a room warmed by a good fire, if a candle be held
at the crevice between the door and the floor, an inward current will be
observed from the exterior colder air, but near the ceiling, by the same
means, an outward flow will be detected. In the other condition an
addition of vapor to the atmosphere gives rise to a wind blowing on all
sides away from the district of evaporation, while an abstraction of it
by showers creates a partial vacuum, toward which the air rushes from
all points of the compass. The diversity of the winds in power is
principally owing to the different degrees of vigor with which these
causes act.

The currents of the atmosphere display an endless variety in their
velocity and force, from the zephyr, which scarcely stirs the leaves of
the forest, to the gale under which its mightiest branches bend, and the
hurricane which tears up its trees by the roots, and destroys the
habitations of mankind. It has been observed that in the temperate zone
the most violent winds occur, when neither the heat nor the cold common
to such localities are at its maximum—that they generally extend over a
considerable tract of country—and are accompanied by sudden and great
falls in the mercury of the barometer. The latter circumstance attends
the storms of the tropics, but they are often confined within narrower
limits than the extra-tropical hurricanes. It was noticed by the
superstitious as a coincidence, not without meaning, that at the time of
Cromwell’s death the enchained winds were liberated, and went forth
raving and howling through the land, uprooting the largest trees, and
whirling them about like straws, and toppling down chimneys and turrets;
but the same tempest, at the self-same hour, dashed the vessels of the
Baltic sea even upon the strand, and buried Venetian argosies in the
Adriatic, shivered the pines of Norway, and swept before it the
cypresses of the Bosphorus—a similar war of the elements attending the
termination of the earthly career of Cardinal Wolsey, Bonaparte, and
George IV. Sometimes the upper regions of the atmosphere have been
remarkably agitated, while the lower stratum of the air has been quite
calm. Lunardi, on one occasion, traveled at the rate of seventy miles an
hour in his balloon, while at Edinburgh; when he ascended, the air was
quite tranquil, and continued so throughout his expedition. To ascertain
the velocity and force of winds, a variety of experiments have been made
with instruments constructed for the purpose. The following table
contains some results obtained by Smeaton, inserted in a volume of the
Philosophical Transactions:—

                         VELOCITY OF THE WIND.

    ──────┬───────┬─────────────────────────┬─────────────────────────
    Miles │ Feet  │ Perpendicular Force on  │Characteristics.
     per  │  per  │   one Square Foot, in   │
    Hour. │Second.│ Avoirdupois Pounds and  │
          │       │         Parts.          │
    ──────┼───────┼─────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────
      1   │ 1·47  │          .005           │Hardly perceptible.
    ──────┼───────┼─────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────
      2   │ 2·93  │         ·020 }          │Just perceptible.
      3   │  4·4  │         ·044 }          │
    ──────┼───────┼─────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────
      4   │ 5·87  │         ·079 }          │Gentle, pleasant wind.
      5   │ 7·33  │         ·123 }          │
    ──────┼───────┼─────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────
      10  │ 14·67 │         ·492 }          │Brisk wind.
      15  │  22   │         1·107 }         │
    ──────┼───────┼─────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────
      20  │ 29·34 │         1·968 }         │Very brisk wind.
      25  │ 36·37 │         3·075 }         │
    ──────┼───────┼─────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────
      30  │ 44·01 │         4·429 }         │High wind.
      35  │ 51·34 │         6·027 }         │
    ──────┼───────┼─────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────
      40  │ 58·68 │         7·873 }         │Very high wind.
      45  │ 66·01 │         9·963 }         │
    ──────┼───────┼─────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────
      50  │ 73·35 │         12·300          │Storm.
    ──────┼───────┼─────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────
      60  │ 88·02 │         17·715          │Great storm.
    ──────┼───────┼─────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────
      80  │117·36 │         31·490          │Hurricane.
    ──────┼───────┼─────────────────────────┼─────────────────────────
     100  │ 147·7 │         49·200          │Hurricane carrying trees
          │       │                         │and buildings before it.
    ──────┴───────┴─────────────────────────┴─────────────────────────

The currents of the atmosphere far surpass in velocity those of the
rivers and the ocean, a gentle pleasant wind blowing at a rate equal to
that of the mighty Father of Waters when in flood, but a hurricane will
outstrip the swiftest locomotive in its speed. In speaking of the
direction of currents of air and water, the indicating terms are
employed in an inverse sense, an easterly wind signifying a breeze
coming from that quarter, an easterly stream a flow of water toward it.
Winds may be divided into three classes or genera, the Permanent, the
Periodical, and the Variable; of which, the first excepted, there are
many different species. We shall prefer, however, to consider them under
their local recognized titles.

[Illustration: =A Calm at Sea.=]

1. _Trade winds._ These are permanent, following the same direction
throughout the year. They are met with between the tropics, and a few
degrees to the north and south of those limits. The well-known name
applied to them is a phrase of doubtful origin, but probably derived
from the facilities afforded to trade and commerce by their constant
prevalence and generally uniform course, though Hakluyt speaks of the
“wind blowing trade,” meaning a regular tread or track. The parallels of
28° north and south latitude mark the medium external limits of the
trade winds, between which, with some variations, their direction is
from the north-east, north of the equator, and from the south-east, on
the other side of the line, hence called the north-east and south-east
trades. They are separated from each other by the region of calms, in
which a thick foggy air prevails, with frequent sudden and transient
rains attended by thunder and lightning. This region, in the Atlantic,
extends across the whole ocean from the coasts of Africa to those of
America, but its position shifts, being sometimes entirely north of the
equator, and but rarely reaching one or two degrees south; and hence it
may be considered as belonging to the northern hemisphere. The region
also varies in breadth from two and a half to ten degrees, but usually
occupies a width of four or five. These variations are dependent upon
the position of the sun, which has an influence likewise upon the
strength, direction, and situation of the trade winds themselves. When
the sun has a northern declination, and approaches the tropic of Cancer,
the boundary line of the north-east trade wind extends to 32° north
latitude, and the wind has a more easterly direction, but the parallel
of 25° is its northern boundary, and the wind inclines more north when
the sun is south of the equator, and approaches the tropic of Capricorn.
At that season, the southern boundary of the south-east trade wind
extends to 30° S. lat., and the whole ocean is swept by it between that
line and about 1° N. lat. The general width of the south-east trade is
about 9° greater than that of the north-east, the region of calms, as
before stated, being almost wholly in the northern hemisphere. In the
basin of the Atlantic, the zone of the trade winds becomes broader, and
their direction more easterly, as the coast of America is approached,
the breezes blowing to the very shore. This is not the case on the
African side of the Atlantic, where, through a tract of sea extending
from fifty to eighty miles off shore, these winds are not found at all,
but contrary westerly breezes prevail. The irregularity is easily
explained. Owing to the rarefaction which the air undergoes over the
great hot desert of the Sahara, the colder air from the contiguous sea
rushes in to supply the partial vacuum created, and keep up the
equilibrium of the atmosphere, producing winds blowing toward the shore.

In the Pacific Ocean, a similar zone is occupied by permanent north and
south-easterly breezes, or trade winds, though subject to a variety of
interruptions. An instance of irregularity occurs along the coasts of
Peru and Chili, where the general direction of the wind is south, and a
steady south-easterly wind is only experienced at the distance of five
or six hundred miles from the shore. The numerous shoals and islands
which are found in the Pacific, prevent uniformity in the tropical
movements of the atmosphere. That intelligent hydrographer Captain
Horsburgh has observed, that where shoal coral banks shoot up out of the
deep water in many places between the tropics, a decrease of the
prevailing wind is frequently experienced; for when a steady wind is
blowing over the surface of the deep water, no sooner does a ship get
upon the verge of a shoal coral bank, than a sudden decrease of the wind
is often perceived. This he supposes to be occasioned by the atmosphere
over these banks being less rarefied by the increased evaporation than
that over the deep water, and consequently not requiring so great a
supply of air to restore the equilibrium as the circumjacent parts,
which are more rarefied and heated. It would undoubtedly be the case, if
the earth were entirely covered with a mantle of water of uniform depth,
that the trade-winds would everywhere prevail, throughout a zone,
bounded by the parallels of from 25° to 32° on each side of the equator.
But the large masses of land, of uneven surface, which occur between the
tropics, and the consequent inequalities of temperature, check the
tendency of the intertropical atmosphere to a regular course, introduce
derangement in its movements, so that it is only in the great open seas
that the trade-winds are experienced. Still, it has been observed that,
in some countries under and near the equator, constant easterly winds
are found, which are no doubt identical in their cause with those that
distinguish the equatorial regions of the ocean. They are met with on
lands which exhibit extensive level plains, where nothing occurs to
obstruct their passage and alter their direction. Thus, along the
immense low tract drained by the Amazon an easterly wind prevails, by
the assistance of which, the voyager is enabled to ascend rapidly
against the strong current of the river. This wind blows from the
estuary of the Amazon, where it is moderate, to its sources at the foot
of the Andes, where it has gathered such strength, that Humboldt found
it difficult to make head against it. The plain traversed by the lower
course of the Orinoco has a similar easterly breeze, but of less force.

We owe the discovery of the trade winds to Columbus, and this would have
been prominently connected with his name, had it not been supplanted by
the glory of a greater achievement, the revelation of a new world to the
knowledge of mankind. The ancients were entirely unacquainted with these
permanent breezes, and though maritime adventure had been largely
prosecuted by the Portuguese at the instigation of Prince Henry, they
had not penetrated into the region of the trades. Proceeding cautiously
along the shores of Barbary, they had explored the coasts of Africa to
Cape de Verde, rescued the Azore Islands from the “oblivious empire of
the ocean,” and afterward, under Vasco di Gama, doubled the Cape of Good
Hope; but these voyages carried them clear of the district of the north
and south-east trade winds. But soon after leaving the Canaries in the
Santa Maria, Columbus fell in with the former, which in the summer
extend to the latitude of those islands, and—for the first time—a sail
from the Old World swelled before the steady breath of the northern
tropic. This circumstance, favorable to the success of his expedition,
speedily excited the apprehensions of his crew, who found themselves
borne, day after day, by a permanent breeze, farther from their native
shores, and inferred the impossibility of returning, as they observed no
change in its direction. Fortunately for his fame, and for the world,
the great navigator firmly held on his course, reached the bounds of the
before-supposed illimitable ocean, and re-crossed it in the region of
the variables, to the north of the northern trade wind. Now, in passing
from the Canaries to Cumana, on the north coast of South America, it is
scarcely ever necessary to touch the sails of a ship; and with equal
facility the passage is made across the Pacific, from Acapulco, on the
west coast of Mexico, to the Philippine Islands. If a channel were cut
through the Isthmus of Panama, the voyage to China would be remarkably
facilitated by the trade winds of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; be
more speedy, agreeable, and safe than the usual route by the Cape, the
chief interruption to its uniformity occurring in the Caribbean Sea and
the Gulf of Mexico, where the trade wind blows impetuously, the sea is
stormy, and the sky gray and cloudy.

The theory respecting the origin of the trade winds, adopted by Doctor
Dalton, Professor Daniell, and Sir John Herschel, was first proposed by
George Hadley, the brother of the inventor of the quadrant, and embodies
features of the previous theories of Halley and Galileo, who both
grappled with this great geographical phenomenon. It is founded upon the
rarefaction of the atmosphere of the torrid zone by the powerful heat to
which that region is subject, in connection with the different
velocities of the earth’s surface, in different degrees of latitude, in
the diurnal rotation. Heat rarefies and expands a volume of air in a
ratio equivalent to an addition of about seventy feet to the ordinary
height of the atmosphere for every degree of thermometrical measurement.
As the sun is always vertical at some place within the tropics, the
average temperature of the earth’s surface in that region, bounded by
the parallels of 23½° on each side of the equator, is much higher than
in latitudes to the north and south; and the incumbent air acquiring
this higher temperature, is thereby rarefied and expanded. The
consequence is, that in obedience to hydrostatical laws, masses of air
are continually buoyed up from the surface, or swelled round the torrid
zone in the form of a protuberant belt, the upper strata flowing over,
and running off in streams north and south toward the poles,
where—having been cooled and condensed—they descend, and flow over the
surface toward the equator, pouring in a perpetual current of air to
supply the place of that buoyed up by the heat of the tropics. Thus,
there is a constant current in the higher regions of the atmosphere,
proceeding from the equator northward and southward to the poles; and,
if the earth were at rest, there would be a constant wind in the lower
regions of the atmosphere blowing directly from the poles to the
equator, while in equatorial regions the two streamlets would meet, and
neutralize each other’s influence. But the earth is not at rest! It is
incessantly whirling upon its axis, the surface moving at a rate which
varies according to the extent of the circumference. The velocity at the
equator, where the circumference is the greatest, is about sixteen miles
a minute; at 30° of latitude, which is below the most southerly point of
Europe, it is about fourteen miles in the same time; and at 45°, or
about the centre of France, it is about eleven miles. As the distance
from the equator increases, north and south, the rate of the rotation
thus becomes less, because the circle of the earth’s circumference
diminishes in extent. Now a current of air flowing from the north or
south polar regions, and setting toward the equator, will encounter as
it proceeds an increased rotatory motion eastward, the direction of the
earth’s axical revolution; and, not acquiring the new velocity at once,
it will be left behind, and seem to deflect toward the west just in
proportion as it does not keep up with the earth to the east. Hence,
what would simply be a north or south wind but for the earth’s rotatory
motion, becomes a north-east and south-east wind as it approaches those
regions where, the velocity of the globe being so much greater than
where it originated, it lags behind it in its easterly course. This is
the exact path of the trade winds—breezes, with few exceptions, uniform
in their direction, perpetual in their motion, and steady in their
force—which wafted Columbus across the Atlantic, impelled the
Portuguese from their southerly course, and bore them to the Brazils,
and have since been important auxiliaries to the communication of the
eastern with the western continent.

The existence of a current in the upper regions of the atmosphere
counter to that below, assumed by the preceding theory, is not mere
hypothesis. Clouds, though of rare occurrence in the district of the
trade winds, have been observed to take a direction contrary to that
which the surface-breezes would have given them. A circumstance
remarkably in favor of the counter-current inferred from theory,
occurred in the year 1812. There was then an eruption of the volcano of
St. Vincent, one of the West India Islands, which covered the island of
Barbadoes with a quantity of the ashes and volcanic matter ejected. The
trade wind here blows with great power, and it is certain that the
volcanic ashes would have been conveyed in a direction from Barbadoes,
instead of toward it, by its action. To account for their transportation
thither, it is necessary to suppose that the volcano ejected them to an
elevation within reach of a superior stratum of air, blowing contrary to
the course of the inferior current. When Humboldt was upon the Peak of
Teneriffe the west wind blew with such violence that he could scarcely
stand, though the island below was under the influence of the ordinary
north-east trade wind; and the remark has often been made, that in the
elevated parts of the Canary Islands, a contrary wind has been
experienced to that which has been prevailing over the general surface.

All mariners and passengers have spoken with delight of the region of
the trade winds, not only on account of the favoring gale, but its
genial influence, the transparent atmosphere, the splendid sunsets, and
the brilliancy of the unclouded heavens, day and night. Columbus, in
recording his first voyage into their territory, compares the air, soft
and refreshing without being cool, to that of the pure and balmy April
mornings he had experienced in Andalusia, wanting but the song of the
nightingale and the sight of the groves, to complete the fancy that he
was sailing along the Guadalquivir, “It is marvelous,” observes Las
Casas, “the suavity which we experience when half way toward these
Indies; and the more the ships approach the lands so much more do they
perceive the temperance and softness of the air, the clearness of the
sky, and the amenity and fragrance sent forth from the groves and
forests; much more certainly than in April in Andalusia.” Humboldt
lingers with pleasure, upon his first acquaintance with the tropical
regions at sea, upon the mildness of the climate and the beauty of the
southern sky, gradually opening new constellations to the view, stars
contemplated from infancy progressively sinking and finally disappearing
below the horizon, an unknown firmament unfolding its aspect, and
scattered nebulæ rivaling in splendor the milky way. “A traveler,” he
states, “has no need of being a botanist, to recognize the torrid zone,
on the mere aspect of its vegetation; and without having acquired any
notions of astronomy, without any acquaintance with the celestial charts
of Flamstead and De la Caille, he feels he is not in Europe, when he
sees the immense constellation of the Ship, or the phosphorescent clouds
of Magellan, arise on the horizon. We pass those latitudes, as if we
were descending a river, and we might deem it no hazardous undertaking,
if we made the voyage in an open boat.” Mr. Bailey, in his Four Years in
the West Indies, relates an adventure, nearly answering to that here
referred to. The master of one of the small fishing smacks that ply
along the coast of Scotland, who had no other knowledge of navigation
than that which enabled him to keep his dead reckoning, and to take the
sun with his quadrant at noon-day, having heard that sugar was a very
profitable cargo, determined, by way of speculation, upon a trip to St.
Vincent, to bring a few hogsheads of the commodity on his own account
into the Scottish market. Accordingly, he freighted his vessel; made
sail; crossed the Bay of Biscay in a gale; got into the trade winds, and
scudded before them, at the rate of seven knots an hour, trusting to his
dead reckoning all the way. He spoke no vessel during the whole
voyage; and never once saw land until on the morning of the thirty-fifth
day, when he descried St. Vincent’s right ahead, and running down, under
a light breeze, along the windward coast of the island, came to anchor.
The private signal of the little vessel was unknown to any of the
merchants, and it immediately attracted notice. The natives were
perfectly astonished—they had never heard of such a feat before; and
deemed it quite impossible that a mere fishing smack, worked only by
four men, and commanded by an ignorant master, should plow the billows
of the Atlantic, and reach the West Indies in safety—yet so it was.
This relation justifies the title given by the Spaniards to the zone
where the trade winds are constant, _el Golpo de las Damas_, the Sea of
the Ladies, on account of the ease with which it may be navigated, the
uniform temperature prevalent night and day, and its pacific aspect.

[Illustration: =Commencement of the Monsoon.=]

2. _Monsoons._ These are periodical winds, which sweep the northern part
of the Indian Ocean, changing their direction after an interval of about
six months, and hence the term Monsoon, the Anglicised form of the
Persic _mousum_, or the Malay _moossin_, signifying a _season_,
referring to their periodicity. Avoiding all minute detail, we shall
merely give the range, direction, and duration of these singular, yet
highly useful currents, and that in a very general way. From 3° south of
the equator to the northern shores of the Indian Ocean, including the
Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Chinese Sea, a south-west wind
blows from April to October, and then a north-east wind sets in, and
prevails through the next half year, from October to April. From 3° to
10° south of the equator a south-east wind blows from April to October,
and a north-west during the succeeding six months. Without attending to
local variations, these are the general phenomena. There is a
_south-west_ wind prevailing north of the equator from April to October,
and southward of this, through a certain space, at the same season, a
_south-east_ wind. There is a _north-east_ wind north of the equator
from October to April, and coincidently, a _north-west_ wind between 3°
and 10° south of the line. The western boundary of the region of the
monsoons is the African shore; its eastern limit is supposed to be about
the meridian of 136° east longitude, which cuts the island of New
Guinea; its northern confine is near the parallel of 27° north latitude,
which intersects the Loo Choo islands; its southern extremity has been
already stated. The monsoons are much stronger than the trade winds, and
may be called gales, but they are by no means of uniform force, either
as it respects themselves or each other, the same monsoon occasionally
blowing with such violence that ships are obliged to reef their sails.
It must not be imagined that these winds are confined to the ocean. They
extend over the whole of Hindûstan to the Himalaya, the north-east
monsoon bringing copious rains to its eastern shores, and the south-west
monsoon performing the same office for its western coast.

The change of the monsoon—the periodical shifting of the wind—the most
singular feature of the case, is a gradual process, usually occupying
about a month, which reduces the reign of the two annual monsoons, north
and south of the equator, to five months each, the remaining two months
being spent in the transitions. In each interval of change, calms, light
variable breezes, alternate with storms of tremendous violence. Mr.
Caunter thus describes the scene at Madras, in the interim between the
cessation of one monsoon and the setting in of another: “On the 15th of
October, the flag-staff was struck, as a signal for all vessels to leave
the roads, lest they should be overtaken by the monsoon. On that very
morning some premonitory symptoms of the approaching “war of elements”
had appeared. As the house we occupied overlooked the beach, we could
behold the setting in of the monsoon in all its grand and terrific
sublimity. The wind, with a force which nothing could resist, bent the
tufted heads of the tall, slim cocoa-nut trees almost to the earth,
flinging the light sand into the air in eddying vortices, until the rain
had either so increased its gravity, or beaten it into a mass, as to
prevent the wind from raising it. The pale lightning streamed from the
clouds in broad sheets of flame, which appeared to encircle the heavens
as if every element had been converted into fire, and the world was on
the eve of a general conflagration, whilst the peal, which instantly
followed, was like the explosion of a gunpowder magazine. The heavens
seemed to be one vast reservoir of flame, which was propelled from its
voluminous bed by some invisible but omnipotent agency, and threatened
to fling its fiery ruin upon every thing around. In some parts, however,
of the pitchy vapor by which the skies were by this time completely
overspread, the lightning was seen only occasionally to glimmer in faint
streaks of light, as if struggling, but unable, to escape from its
prison, igniting, but too weak to burst, the impervious bosoms of those
capacious magazines in which it was at once engendered and pent up. So
heavy and continuous was the rain, that scarcely any thing, save those
vivid bursts of light which nothing could arrest or resist, was
perceptible through it. The thunder was so painfully loud, that it
frequently caused the ear to throb; it seemed as if mines were
momentarily springing in the heavens, and I could almost fancy that one
of the sublimest fictions of heathen fable was realized at this moment
before me, and that I was hearing an assault of the Titans. The surf was
raised by the wind and scattered in thin billows of foam over the
esplanade, which was completely powdered with the white, feathery spray.
It extended several hundred yards from the beach; fish, upward of three
inches long, were found upon the flat roofs of houses in the town,
during the prevalence of the monsoon, either blown from the sea by the
violence of the gales, or taken up in the water-spouts, which are very
prevalent in this tempestuous season. When these burst, whatever they
contain is frequently borne by the sweeping blast to a considerable
distance over-land, and deposited in the most uncongenial situations; so
that now, during the violence of these tropical storms, fish are found
alive on the tops of houses; nor is this any longer a matter of surprise
to the established resident in India, who sees every year a repetition
of this singular phenomenon. During the extreme violence of the storm,
the heat was occasionally almost beyond endurance, particularly after
the first day or two, when the wind would at intervals entirely subside,
so that not a breath of air could be felt, and the punka afforded but a
partial relief to that distressing sensation which is caused by the
oppressive stillness of the air so well known in India.” It is an
extraordinary but well-ascertained fact, that as soon as one monsoon
ceases, though a month may elapse before the succeeding one appears, the
clouds take the direction of the approaching monsoon, and thus from the
regions of the atmosphere herald its advent to the dwellers below.

We naturally inquire concerning the origin of these peculiar movements,
but must be content with a very scanty measure of information upon the
subject. The laws which nature obeys in these periodical changes are
undoubtedly identical with those which give rise to atmospheric currents
in general, but their mode of operation is in this case obscure. The
north-east and south-east monsoons, the former on the north and the
latter on the south side of the equator, may be considered as trade
winds, explicable upon the same principles, but counteracted for a
certain time by causes which produce winds from a different quarter, the
south-west and north-west monsoons. It has been observed that the
south-west monsoon, which prevails to the north of the equator, is
coincident with the sun being vertical to that region, when Hindûstan,
Siam, and the adjacent countries receive their maximum of heat.
Consequently, the incumbent air, being rarefied, ascends, and a rush of
colder air to supply its place, is produced from the southward, which is
then receiving the oblique rays of the sun, and which presenting a
surface of water is immensely less heated than the lands to which the
luminary is perpendicular. In like manner, the north-west monsoon, which
prevails south of the equator, is coincident with the sun being south of
it likewise, and vertical to the region, when the sandy plains of New
Holland become powerfully heated, and the air over them rarefied,
creating a wind by the rush of the colder northern air toward the point
of rarefaction. These are the explanations commonly given, and though in
several respects they do not account for all the phenomena, yet the
probability is, that they present the correct theory, anomalous
circumstances arising from the influence of causes which are local and
as yet unknown. The monsoons are more valuable as auxiliaries to
commerce than the trade winds, owing to the change in their direction,
for a ship may proceed to a distant port with one monsoon and be aided
on its return by its successor.

3. _Land and sea breezes._ A line in one of our popular songs,

        “How sweetly the breeze blows off the shore,”

refers to the wind which begins at evening to blow from the coasts
situated between and near the tropics: and an equally grateful breeze
blows by day from the sea to the shore in those warm climates. The
inequality of the solar action on the land and water, together with the
tendency of the atmosphere to preserve an uniform density, is the cause
of these periodically shifting currents. During the day the land
acquires a temperature higher than that of the ocean, and the air over
it is therefore rarefied and ascends, and the cooler air from the sea
glides in to fill the partial vacuum produced. At night, the land
rapidly cools with the atmosphere over it, but the sea and the air in
connection with it retain a nearly equal temperature, in consequence of
which, the colder and heavier land-air displaces the less dense or
lighter air over the water, and a wind from the shore is created. The
smoke of Vesuvius beautifully exemplifies this diurnal change in the
direction of the atmospheric currents along the shore, its long tail
stretching landward for a few hours, and then veering round to seaward.
In the Mediterranean and the West Indies, the land breeze usually begins
at six or seven o’clock in the evening, and blows until eight in the
morning, when the sea breeze begins, increasing till mid-day, and
gradually dying away in the afternoon, a period of stillness occurring
between the changes, as between the ebbing and flowing of the tide. The
sea-breeze of the Mediterranean in summer is said to be perceptible
sometimes as far north as Norway. These draughts of the cool air of the
ocean are important benefactions to various countries, where the heat
would otherwise be insupportable. Along the coast of Malabar, the
alternate breezes are powerfully felt, the land wind extending in summer
a considerable distance out to sea, redolent with the roses and spices
of the shore. Though the land and sea breezes are most sensible in
tropical countries, yet in far remote latitudes, and especially around
lakes, the same diurnal shifting in the direction of the wind is
experienced. The change of temperature in the air over a spacious lake,
caused by the succession of day and night, has been computed to be about
thirty times less than that which takes place in the atmosphere of the
surrounding land—the air over the land being much more heated during
the day, and much less heated during the night, than that over the
lake—an inequality of temperature which necessarily occasions a breeze
from the lake by day, and toward it by night.

[Illustration: =Vesuvius from St. Elmo.=]

The old and faithful voyager, Captain Dampier, in a quaint but pleasing
style, has given the most exact description of these remarkable winds,
as they occur in tropical latitudes. “These sea-breezes do commonly rise
in the morning about nine o’clock, sometimes sooner, sometimes later;
they first approach the shore so gently, as if they were afraid to come
near it, and ofttimes they make some faint breathings, and, as if not
willing to offend, they make a halt, and seem ready to retire. I have
waited many a time, both ashore to receive the pleasure, and at sea to
take the benefit of it. It comes in a fine, small, black curl upon the
water, whereas all the sea between it and the shore, not yet reached by
it, is as smooth and even as glass in comparison. In half an hour’s time
after it has reached the shore, it fans pretty briskly, and so
increaseth, gradually, till twelve o’clock; then it is commonly
strongest, and lasts so till two or three a very brisk gale; about
twelve at noon it also veers off to sea two or three points, or more in
very fair weather. After three o’clock, it begins to die away again, and
gradually withdraws its force till all is spent; and about five o’clock,
sooner or later, according as the weather is, it is lulled asleep, and
comes no more till the next morning.

“Land-breezes are as remarkable as any winds that I have yet treated of;
they are quite contrary to the sea-breezes; for those blow right from
the shore, but the sea-breeze right in upon the shore; and as the
sea-breezes do blow in the day and rest in the night, so, on the
contrary, these do blow in the night and rest in the day, and so they do
alternately succeed each other. For when the sea-breezes have performed
their offices of the day, by breathing on their respective coasts, they,
in the evening, do either withdraw from the coast, or lie down to rest.
Then the land-winds, whose office it is to breathe in the night, moved
by the same order of divine impulse, do rouse out of their private
recesses, and gently fan the air till the next morning, and then their
task ends, and they leave the stage. There can be no proper time set
when they do begin in the evening, or when they retire in the morning,
for they do not keep to an hour, but they commonly spring up between six
and twelve in the evening, and last till six, eight, or ten in the
morning. They both come and go away again earlier or later, according to
the weather, the season of the year, or some accidental cause from the
land. For, on some coasts, they do rise earlier, blow fresher, and
remain later than on other coasts, as I shall show hereafter.

“These winds blow off to sea, a greater or less distance, according as
the coast lies more or less exposed to the sea-winds; for, in some
places, we find them brisk three or four leagues off shore; in other
places, not so many miles, and, in some places, they scarce peep without
the rocks; or if they do sometimes, in very fair weather, make a sally
out a mile or two, they are not lasting, but suddenly vanish away,
though yet, there are every night as fresh land-winds ashore, at these
places, as in any other part of the world. Indeed, these winds are an
extraordinary blessing to those that use the sea in any part of the
world within the tropics; for as the constant trade-winds do blow, there
could be no sailing in these seas; but by the help of the sea and
land-breezes, ships will sail 200 or 300 leagues, as particularly from
Jamaica to the Lagune of Trist, in the Bay of Campeachy, and then back
again, all against the trade-wind. The seamen that sail in sloops or
other small vessels in the West Indies do know very well when they shall
meet a brisk land-wind by the fogs that hang over the land before night;
for it is a certain sign of a good land-wind to see a thick fog lie
still and quiet, like smoke over the land, not stirring any way; and we
look out for such signs when we are plying to windward. For if we see no
fog over the land, the land-wind will be but faint and short that night.
These signs are to be observed chiefly in fair weather; for in the wet
season fogs do hang over the land all the day, and it may be neither
land-wind nor sea-breeze stirring. If in the afternoon, also, in fair
weather, we see a tornado over the land, it commonly sends us forth a
fresh land-wind. These land-winds are very cold, and though the
sea-breezes are always much stronger, yet these are colder by far. The
sea-breezes, indeed, are very comfortable and refreshing; for the
hottest time in all the day, is about nine, ten, or eleven o’clock in
the morning, in the interval between both breezes; for then it is
commonly calm, and then people pant for breath, especially if it is late
before the sea-breeze comes, but afterward the breeze allays the heat.
However, in the evening again, after the sea-breeze is spent, it is very
hot till the land-wind springs up, which is sometimes not till twelve
o’clock or after.”

4. _Etesian winds._ The ancients gave this designation, from _annual_,
to periodical winds which blow from the north-east in the summer months,
for about six weeks, throughout the Mediterranean and adjacent
countries, but mostly in the eastern branch, including the Adriatic and
the Archipelago. The term Meltem is now applied to them by the
fishermen, a corruption, probably, of _mal temps_, referring to the fury
with which they blow, and to the danger to which their small craft
become exposed. On land, they are more favorably regarded. These winds
are noticed by Pliny, Seneca, and Cicero, the latter of whom says, that
in Italy they are equally comfortable and salutary to men, beasts, and
birds, and likewise beneficial to vegetation, by moderating the violent
heat of the weather during the inclement season of the dog-days. In the
Levant, they commence toward the middle of July, about nine in the
morning, continuing only in the day-time. The sun at that season is
powerfully heating the earth under the tropic of Cancer, and rarefying
the atmosphere south of the Mediterranean, thus giving birth to the
north-east etesian gales.

5. _Khamsin_, _Samiel_, _Simoom_, _Harmattan_, _Sirocco_. These are
local titles of winds differing greatly in geographical position and
direction, and also in some of their properties, but prevalent in desert
regions, or in countries adjacent to them, and having one universal
character of being hot blasts. The Khamsin is a hot south wind, which
soon after the vernal equinox begins to blow in Egypt, continuing at
intervals during a period of about fifty days, to which the name refers.
The two next are entirely identical, the Samiel being the name given by
the Turks to the wind which the Arabs called the Simoom. It is common in
Syria, Arabia, and Nubia, deleterious in its mildest forms, occasionally
destructive, many a pilgrim to the shrine of the Prophet at Mecca, and
merchant to the marts of Bagdad, having perished by its noxious
suffocating influence. Bruce suffered from it when ascending the Nile,
he and his company becoming so enervated as to be incapable of pitching
their tents, oppressed as well by an intolerable headache. “The
poisonous simoom,” he remarks, when at Chendi, “blew as if it came from
an oven; our eyes were dim, our lips cracked, our knees tottering, our
throats perfectly dry; and no relief was found from drinking an
immoderate quantity of water.” The most complete account of the simoom
and its effects has been given by Volney, whose accuracy here has been
repeatedly confirmed. “Travelers,” he states, “have mentioned these
winds under the name of poisonous winds; or, more correctly, hot winds
of the desert. Such in fact is their quality; and their heat is
sometimes so excessive that it is difficult to form an idea of their
violence without having experienced it; but it may be compared to the
heat of a large oven at the moment of drawing out the bread. When these
winds begin to blow, the atmosphere assumes an alarming aspect. The sky,
at other times so clear in this climate, becomes dark and heavy; the sun
loses its splendor, and appears of a violet color. The air is not
cloudy, but gray and thick; and is in fact filled with an extremely
subtle dust, that penetrates everywhere. This wind, always light and
rapid, is not at first remarkably hot, but it increases in heat in
proportion as it continues. All animated bodies soon discover it by the
change it produces in them. The lungs, which a too rarefied air no
longer expands, are contracted and become painful. Respiration is short
and difficult, the skin parched and dry, and the body consumed by an
internal heat. In vain is recourse had to large draughts of water;
nothing can restore perspiration. In vain is coolness sought for; all
bodies in which it is usual to find it deceive the hand that touches
them. Marble, iron, water, notwithstanding the sun no longer appears,
are hot. The streets are deserted, and the dead silence of night reigns
everywhere. The inhabitants of towns and villages shut themselves up in
their houses—and those of the desert in their tents, or in pits they
dig in the earth—where they wait the termination of this destructive
heat. It usually lasts three days, but if it exceeds that time it
becomes insupportable. Wo to the traveler whom this wind surprises
remote from shelter! he must suffer all its dreadful consequences, which
sometimes are mortal. The danger is most imminent when it blows in
squalls, for then the rapidity of the wind increases the heat to such a
degree as to cause sudden death. This death is a real suffocation; the
lungs being empty are convulsed, the circulation disordered, and the
whole mass of blood driven by the heat toward the head and breast;
whence that hæmorrhage at the nose and mouth which happens after death.
This wind is especially fatal to persons of a plethoric habit, and those
in whom fatigue has destroyed the tone of the muscles and vessels. The
corpse remains a long time warm, swells, turns blue, and is easily
separated; all of which are signs of that putrid fermentation which
takes place when the humors become stagnant. These accidents are to be
avoided by stopping the nose and mouth with handkerchiefs; an
efficacious method is also that practiced by the camels, who bury their
noses in the sand, and keep them there till the squall is over. Another
quality of this wind is its extreme aridity, which is such, that water
sprinkled upon the floor evaporates in a few minutes. By this extreme
dryness it withers and strips all the plants, and by exhaling too
suddenly the emanations from animal bodies, crisps the skin, closes the
pores, and causes that feverish heat which is the invariable effect of
suppressed perspiration.” The current of the simoom is seldom of any
considerable breadth, but different examples of it have been traversing
a tract of country of but scanty area at the same time, and several
cases of disaster from it upon an extensive scale are upon record. The
opinion is now commonly held, that the destruction of the Assyrian army,
when

        “The angel of death spread his wings on the blast,
         And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed
         And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
         And their hearts but once heaved, and forever grew still,”

was accomplished by the agency of the simoom, directed by the Almighty
Will over the host of Senacherib—an interpretation which the terms of
the prophetic announcement of the avenging stroke remarkably support:
“Behold I will send a blast upon him.”

The Harmattan, a periodical hot wind from the desert, differs remarkably
from the simoom. It blows from the interior of the great Sahara, from
the north-east, over Senegambia and Guinea, to that part of the coast of
Africa lying between Cape Verde in 15° north latitude to Cape Lopez in
1° south latitude, a coast line of upward of two thousand miles. It
occurs during December, January, and February, generally three or four
times in that season. The harmattan is the local name of the wind among
the Fantees, a nation on the Gold Coast. It comes on indiscriminately at
any hour of the day, at any time of the tide, or at any period of the
moon, continuing sometimes only a day or two, at other times five or six
days, and it has been known to last upward of a fortnight. A fog or haze
is one of the peculiarities which always accompanies this wind,
occasioning a gloom which frequently renders even near objects obscure,
through which the sun appears for a short time about noon, having a wild
red aspect. Though the wind blows out to sea for ten or twelve leagues,
the fog is confined to the land, and leaves a deposition of fine whitish
particles upon the grass and trees. Extreme dryness is another property
of the harmattan. No dew falls during its continuance, nor is there the
least appearance of moisture in the atmosphere. Vegetables of every kind
suffer; all tender plants and most of the productions of the garden are
destroyed; the grass withers, and becomes dry like hay; vigorous
evergreens feel the pernicious influence; the branches of the lemon,
orange, and lime trees droop, the leaves become flaccid, and so parched
as to be easily rubbed to dust between the fingers, should the harmattan
blow for several successive days. Among other extraordinary effects of
the extreme dryness, it is stated, that the covers of books, though
closely shut up in a trunk, are bent as if they had been exposed to a
fire. Household furniture cracks, the panels of the doors split, and any
veneered work flies to pieces. Another, and the most striking feature of
the harmattan, is its salubrity. Though prejudicial to vegetable life,
and occasioning disagreeable parching effects on the human species, yet
it is highly conducive to health, those laboring previously under fevers
generally recover during its prevalence, the feeble gain strength, and
malignant diseases disappear. It seems that as this wind immediately
follows the rainy season on the African coast, during which diseases are
induced by an excess of moisture, the harmattan, invested with
extraordinary dryness, removes humidity from the atmosphere, and
counteracts its effects.

The Sirocco is analogous to the Khamsin, but milder. It is a hot
south-east wind prevailing in the Mediterranean, in Italy and Sicily,
but felt most violently in the country around Naples, and at Palermo. It
sometimes commences faintly about the summer solstice, but blows
occasionally with great force in the month of July. Mr. Brydone, writing
from Palermo, and referring to July 8th, observes—

“On Sunday, we had the long-expected sirocco wind, which, although our
expectations had been raised pretty high, yet I own greatly exceeded
them. Friday and Saturday were uncommonly cool, the mercury never being
higher than 72½: and, although the sirocco is said to have set in early
on Sunday morning, the air in our apartments, which are very large, with
high ceilings, was not in the least affected by it at eight o’clock,
when I rose. I opened the door without having any suspicion of such a
change, and, indeed, I never was more astonished in my life. The first
blast of it on my face felt like the burning steam from the mouth of an
oven. I drew back my head and shut the door, calling out to Fullarton
that the whole atmosphere was in a flame. However, we ventured to open
another door that leads to a cool platform, where we usually walk; this
was not exposed to the wind, and here I found the heat much more
supportable than I could have expected from the first specimen I had of
it at the other door. It felt somewhat like the subterraneous
sweating-stoves at Naples, but still much hotter. In a few minutes, we
found every fibre greatly relaxed, and the pores opened to such a
degree, that we expected soon to be thrown into a profuse sweat. I went
to examine the thermometer, and found the air in the room as yet so
little affected that it stood only at 73. The preceding night it was at
72½. I took it out in the open air, when it immediately rose to 110, and
soon after to 112; and I am confident, that in our old lodgings, or
anywhere within the city, it must have risen several degrees higher. The
air was thick and heavy, but the barometer was little affected—it had
fallen only about a line. The sun did not once appear the whole day,
otherwise I am persuaded the heat must have been insupportable; on that
side of our platform which is exposed to the wind, it was with
difficulty we could bear it for a few minutes. Here I exposed a little
pomatum, which was melted down as if I had laid it before the fire. I
attempted to take a walk in the street, to see if any creature was
stirring, but I found it too much for me, and was glad to get up stairs
again. This extraordinary heat continued till three o’clock in the
afternoon, when the wind changed at once, almost to the opposite point
of the compass.” All nature languishes under the influence of this wind:
vegetation droops and withers; the Italians suffering from it not less
than strangers. When any feeble literary production appears, the
strongest phrase of disapprobation they can bestow is—_era scritto in
temps del sirocco_, “it was written in the time of the sirocco.” There
can be little doubt but that this hot south-east wind sweeps across the
Mediterranean from the shores of Africa. It is some compensation that
the season of this oppressive blast is also that of the north-east
Etesian winds, and not unfrequently, after a few hours’ experience of
the enfeebling influence of the sirocco, the tramontane—or north
wind—follows with its invigorating breath.

Hot winds, resembling the sirocco of Sicily and Italy, prevail in New
South Wales, and are supposed to derive their heat from tracts of
unknown deserts in the intertropical regions of that island-continent.
“One might almost fancy,” says Mrs. Meredith, “the Ancient Mariner to
have experienced one during his ghostly voyage, he so accurately
describes their aspect—

        All in a hot and copper sky,
          The bloody sun, at noon,
        Right up above the mast did stand,
          No bigger than the moon.

The sirocco of that country always blows from the north-west. At Sydney,
its oven-like temperature is moderated by the mid-day sea-breeze; but in
the interior it is severely felt, and is often fatal to the vegetation.
Every green thing droops and dies, dried up like half-burnt paper. Large
tracts of cultivated land, covered with luxuriant green crops of wheat
or barley, just going into ear, are scorched, shriveled, and absolutely
blackened by the heat, and become fit for nothing but to be cut as
litter; and of course the delicate plants and flowers of the gardens are
not spared by the “burning breath of the fervid Air-king.”

6. _Hurricanes._—Sudden and tremendous bursts of storm are common in
mountainous districts, and in the plains which lie at the base of those
vast piles of nature’s building. Their peaks, exposed by elevation to
intense cold, and covered with perpetual snow, cool and condense the
warm air rising up from the regions below, which descends with an
impetus proportioned to its own gravity and the lighter condition of the
air over the regions below, and a tempest ensues upon considerable
condensation and rarefaction in adjoining regions of the atmosphere.
This is the origin of the _pamperos_, or south-west winds, which rush
from the snows of the Andes, and sweeping over the level pampas with
unchecked violence, become hurricanes before their arrival at Buenos
Ayres, and carry to the city clouds of dust collected from the plains,
occasioning almost total darkness in the streets. So sudden is the
operation of the pampero, that persons bathing in the river Plate have
been drowned by the agitation of its waters, through the tempest, before
they could possibly reach the shore. Captain Fitzroy relates, when in
his ship upon the river, that a small boat had been hauled ashore above
high-water mark, and fastened with a strong rope to a large stone; but
the pampero set in, and afterward the boat was found far from the beach,
shattered to pieces, but still fast to the stone, which it had dragged
along.

[Illustration: =Hurricane in the Tropics.=]

But this violent movement of the atmosphere is remarkably beneficial in
its general effect to the inhabitants of the pampas of Buenos Ayres and
on the banks of the Plata. The prevailing winds through a great part of
the year are northerly; and these passing over extensive marshy tracts
bring with them a degree of humidity, which renders the land rife with
fever and pestilence, till the pampero rushes down from the Andes and
clears the atmosphere. A somewhat similar wind is one of our own
physical phenomena, hitherto unexplained, to the violence of which the
tourist to the Cumberland lakes may occasionally be exposed in spring
and autumn. This is the Helm-wind. Hutchinson, in the history of the
county, and the Rev. J. Watson, in a report to the British Association,
have given an account of its singular features. When not a breath of air
is stirring, or a cloud is to be seen, a line of clouds will be suddenly
formed over the summits of the lofty ridge of mountains at Hartside,
extending several miles on the western side. To this collection of
vapors the term Helm is applied from its shape. It exhibits an awful and
solemn appearance, spreading a gloom over the regions below, like the
shadows of night. Parallel to this, another line of clouds, called the
Bar, begins to form. The two lines unite together at their extremities,
and embrace between them an elliptical cloudless space, from half a mile
to four or five miles in breadth, and from eight to thirty miles in
length; the breadth being from east to west, and the length from north
to south. Soon after the complete formation of the Helm-bar, a violent
wind issues from the space between the clouds, generally blowing
directly from the east, and with such power that trees have been
dismantled of their foliage, stacks of grain dispersed, and heavy
vehicles overturned. The Helm-wind has continued for as much as nine
days together, with a noise resembling that of a violent sea-storm, but
it is seldom accompanied with any rain. It has been suggested, that the
air from the coast of Northumberland, being cooled as it rises to the
summit of the mountains, and there condensed, descends from thence with
great force, by its gravity, into the district, to the west of Hartside,
the scene of the phenomenon: but obviously a variety of other causes
must enter into its production.

In several parts of the globe, an extensive vacuum being suddenly
created in the atmosphere by the agency of electricity, the surrounding
air rushes in with immense impetuosity from all points of the compass,
blowing in gusts of resistless power, destroying all the productions of
the earth, leveling forests and the finest buildings, and inundating
whole tracts of country by the deluge of rain with which they are
accompanied. These storms seldom occur far out in the open ocean, or
beyond the tropics, or nearer the equator than nine or ten degrees.
Their principal localities are the West India Islands, those of
Madagascar, Mauritius, and Bourbon, the north-west coast of Africa, the
Bay of Bengal, and the Chinese Sea, where they are variously called
hurricanes, tornadoes, and typhoons. A heavy swell upon the sea, a dusky
redness of the sky, a close oppressive air, and a wild irregularity in
the appearance of things, are the usual precursors of a tropical
tempest. Though generally confined to the districts mentioned, where
they are of frequent occurrence, the extra-tropical latitudes, at more
distant intervals, experience the force of the hurricane.

                           When were the winds
        Let slip with such a warrant to destroy?
        When did the waves so haughtily o’erleap
        Their ancient barriers, deluging the dry?”

This is the language of Cowper in the Task, respecting the year 1783,
when—amid the other events of that portentous season, noticed upon a
previous page—a succession of storms, accompanied with violent rains,
visited the whole of Great Britain, and caused considerable damage. But
what is known in our records as the “Great Storm,” occurred on the night
of the 26th and the morning of the 27th of November 1703, and has been
referred to by almost all the writers of that period. Derham, in the
Philosophical Transactions for the year following, states—

“Of the preceding parts of the year (1703), the months of April, May,
June, and July were wet in the southern parts of England, particularly
in May, when more rain fell than in any month of any year since 1690;
June also was very wet; and though July had considerable intermissions,
yet on the 28th and 29th there fell violent showers of rain, and the
newspapers gave accounts of great rains that month from divers places of
Europe. On Thursday, November 25th, the day before the tempest, in the
morning there was a little rain, the winds high in the afternoon. In the
evening there was lightning, and between nine and ten o’clock at night,
a violent but short storm of wind, and much rain. Next morning, November
26th, the wind was S. S. W., and high all day, and so continued till I
was in bed and asleep. About twelve that night the storm awakened me,
which gradually increased till near three that morning, and from thence
till near seven it continued with the greatest violence; then it began
to abate slowly and the mercury to rise swiftly.” This tempest filled
the whole kingdom with terror, and produced immense commercial loss, and
many melancholy accidents. The country between the Loire in France and
the Trent in England was the chief scene of its ravages. The historians
of those times give an affecting account of the dismal appearance of the
district. Houses unroofed—steeples blown down—stacks of corn scattered
abroad—vessels dismasted or wrecked—and upward of eight thousand
persons drowned. “The wind,” says Oldmixon, “blew west-south-west, and
grumbled like thunder, accompanied with flashes of lightning. It threw
down several battlements and stacks of chimneys at St. James’ Palace;
tore to pieces tall trees in the Park; and killed a servant in the
house. The Guard-house at Whitehall was much damaged, as was the
Banqueting-house. A great deal of lead was blown off Westminster Abbey;
and most of the lead on churches and houses either rolled up in sheets
or loosened. The pious and learned prelate Doctor Richard Kidder, Bishop
of Bath and Wells, and his lady, were killed by the fall of part of the
old episcopal palace at Wells. The Bishop of London’s sister, Lady
Penelope Nicholas, was killed in like manner at Horsely in Sussex, and
Sir John Nicholas—her husband—grievously hurt.” Upward of 800 houses,
400 windmills, and 250,000 timber-trees were thrown down; 100 churches
unroofed; 300 sail lost upon the coast; 900 wherries and barges
destroyed on the Thames; the Eddystone light-house, built by Winstanley,
was overthrown; 15,000 sheep, besides other cattle, were drowned by the
overflowing of the Severn; and Rear-Admiral Beaumont, with the crews of
several ships, perished on the Goodwin Sands.

The West Indies and the vicinity of the Mauritius seem to be two
principal foci of hurricanes, from their frequency and tremendous
violence in those localities. Of thirteen hurricanes, described by
Colonel Reid, in his interesting attempt to develop the law of storms,
eleven took place in the neighborhood of the Mauritius and Madagascar,
which sanctions an opinion prevalent among seamen, that gales are
commonly avoided by ships steering in a course so as to keep well to the
eastward of the Mauritius. To give some idea of a tropical hurricane,
the particulars gathered by Colonel Reid from various sources,
respecting that which desolated several of the West India Islands in the
year 1831, are here introduced. It passed over Barbadoes, St. Lucia, St.
Domingo, and Cuba, swept the northern shores of the Gulf of Mexico,
raged simultaneously at Pensacola, Mobile, and New Orleans, entered the
adjoining states, and seems to have been disorganized by the opposition
offered to its progress by the mountain region of the Alleghanies. The
hurricane accomplished the distance of 2000 miles in 150 hours, at an
average velocity of 13½ miles an hour, but the rate of its progressive
motion was insignificant in comparison with that of its rotatory
movement, a feature hereafter to be adverted to. Before its arrival at
St. Vincent, a cloud was observed to the north by a resident, so
threatening in its aspect and peculiar in its color, that of _olive
green_, that, impressed with a sense of impending danger, he hastened
home, and by nailing up his doors and windows saved his house from the
general calamity. In this island, the most remarkable effect of the
storm was the destruction of an extensive forest at its northern
extremity, the trees of which were _killed without being blown down_. In
1832, these trees were frequently examined by Colonel Reid, and appeared
not to have been killed by the wind, but by the immense quantity of
electric matter rendered active during the storm. When at its height,
two negroes at Barbadoes were greatly terrified by sparks of electricity
passing off from one of them, as they were struggling in the darkness,
in the garden of Coddrington College, to reach the main building, after
the destruction of their hut. Such was the quantity of spray carried
inland from the sea by the wind, that it rained salt water over the
whole island, which killed the fresh-water fish in the ponds, and
several ponds continued salt for some days after the storm. The
afternoon that ushered in the hurricane, that of the 11th of August, was
one of dismal gloom, but about four o’clock, there was an _obscure
circle of imperfect light toward the zenith_ subtending an angle of 35°
or 40°. Variable squalls of wind and rain, with intervening calms,
prevailed till midnight, when the lightning flashed fearfully, and a
gale blew fiercely from the north and north-east. At 1 A. M. the wind
increased, but suddenly shifted its quarter, blowing from north-west and
intermediate points. Toward three o’clock, after a little intermission,
the hurricane again burst from the western points, hurling before it
thousands of missiles—the fragments of every unsheltered work of human
art. The strongest houses vibrated to their foundations, and the surface
of the earth trembled as the destroyer passed over it. There was no
thunder at any time distinctly heard, but the horrible roar and yelling
of the wind, the noise of the ocean, whose waves threatened the
destruction of every thing in Barbadoes that the other elements might
spare, the clattering of tiles, the falling of roofs and walls, and the
combination of a thousand other sounds, formed a hideous and appalling
din. As soon as the dawn rendered outward objects visible, and, the
storm abating, permitted the inhabitants of Bridgetown to venture out, a
grand but distressing picture of ruin presented itself. From the summit
of the cathedral tower, the whole face of the country appeared the wreck
of its former condition. No sign of vegetation could be observed, except
here and there a few patches of sickly green. The surface of the ground
exhibited the scorching and blackening effect of the lightning. A few
remaining trees, stripped of their boughs and foliage, wore a cold and
wintry aspect; and the numerous villas in the neighborhood, formerly
concealed amid thick groves, were exposed and in ruins.

In the year 1837, three hurricanes occurred in the West Indies and
adjacent parts of the Atlantic, the narratives of which, as collected by
Colonel Reid from different observers, present some singular features.
The first passed over Barbadoes on the 26th of July. The sky assumed a
blue-black appearance, with a red glare at the verge of the horizon. The
flashes of lightning were accompanied with a whizzing noise, like that
of a red-hot iron plunged in water. The barometer and sympiesometer fell
rapidly and sunk to 28·45 inches. The Antigua hurricane, the second of
that year, commenced in the Atlantic, on the night of the 31st of July,
and was encountered by Captain Seymour, in the brigantine Judith and
Esther of Cork. He observed near the zenith _a white appearance of a
round form_, and while looking stedfastly at it, a sudden gust of wind
carried away the topmast and lower scudding sails. During the hurricane
the eyes of the crew were remarkably affected, their sight became dim,
and every one of their _finger-nails turned quite black_, and remained
so nearly five weeks afterward. The captain inferred, from the
universality of the effect, that it could not have been produced by the
firmness of the grasp with which they were holding by the rigging, but
that the whole was caused by an electric body in the elements. On the 2d
of August, in another situation, the Water Witch was caught by the
skirts of the same storm, the wind blowing in squalls from the W. and N.
N. W. till the evening, when “a calm succeeded,” states Captain Newby,
“for about ten minutes; and then, in the most tremendous, unearthly
screech I ever heard, it recommenced from the south and south-west.” The
third hurricane of the year was met with by the Rawlins, about midnight
of the 18th of August, when, after blowing violently for twelve hours
from the north, in an instant a perfect calm ensued for an hour, and
then, quick as thought, the wind sprung up with tremendous force from
the south-west, no swell whatever preceding the convulsion. During this
hurricane, an extraordinary phenomenon presented itself, resembling a
_solid, black, perpendicular wall_ about 15° or 20° above the horizon,
which disappeared and became visible again several times, described by
one of the observers, as “the most appalling sight he had ever seen
during his life at sea.” A similar spectacle is described by an officer
on board the ship Tartarus, during a hurricane on the American coast in
the year 1814:—“No horizon appeared, but only a something resembling an
_immense wall_ within ten yards of the ship.” The power of the wind was
remarkably exemplified during the great hurricane of 1780, which at
Barbadoes forced its way into every part of the Government-house, and
tore off most of the roof, though the walls were three feet thick, and
the doors and windows had been well barricaded. Obliged to retreat from
thence, the governor and his family fled to the ruins of the foundation
of the flag-staff, and, compelled to relinquish that station, they with
difficulty reached the cannon of the fortifications, under the carriages
of which they took shelter. But here they were not secure, for the
cannons were moved by the fury of the wind, and they dreaded every
moment that the guns would be dismounted, and crush them by their fall.
From the preceding accounts it appears that the agency of electricity is
frequently extensively developed in hurricanes; that they have a
progressive motion; that calms of short duration occur during their
continuance; after which the wind bursts forth from a quarter different
to that from which it has been blowing—peculiarities which have led to
a theory respecting storms which may be considered as established in its
leading principles.

Down to a very recent date, a hurricane was generally deemed to be
simply a gale of wind pursuing with immense velocity a rectilinear
direction. Colonel Capper departed from this idea after investigating
the storms of the Indian Ocean, and published the conclusion in the year
1801, that the hurricanes he had examined in that region were real
whirlwinds of varying diameter, having a progressive as well as a
rotatory motion. The evidence collected from the records of an immense
number of storms in the Atlantic by Mr. Redfield, of New York, and in
the Indian Ocean by Colonel Reid, seems to place beyond all dispute the
fact, that they occur in the form of a ring, having an outer circle,
where the air revolves with intense velocity, and an interior space, the
diameter of which is sometimes equal to several hundred miles, the
vortex of the whirlwind, which is the scene of gusts and lulls, a
comparatively slow progressive motion on the surface of land and sea
distinguishing the whole. A hurricane which occurred at New Brunswick in
the year 1835 strikingly exhibited the character of a revolving storm;
for, while about the centre bodies of great weight were carried spirally
upward, at the extremities the trees were thrown in opposite directions.
The same circumstance was observed at Barbadoes in 1831, near the
northern coast: the trees which the hurricane uprooted lay from N. N. W.
to S. S. E., having been thrown down by a northerly wind, while in some
other parts of the island they lay from S. to N., having been prostrated
by a southerly wind. It is evident, therefore, that the direction of the
wind at a particular point affords no indication of the course in which
the whole revolving mass of the atmosphere is advancing. Another
singular conclusion respecting storms, which the American and Anglican
philosophers, along with Professor Dove of Berlin, have arrived at by
independent investigations, is, that the hurricanes in the southern
hemisphere revolve in a _counter direction_ to those in the northern;
and while the axis of a storm in the North Atlantic has a progressive
motion from the equator obliquely toward the north pole, that of one in
the Indian Ocean proceeds obliquely from the equator toward the south
pole. In the Pacific Ocean, a region of hurricanes, their revolving
motion appears to be sanctioned by the evidence which has been obtained
respecting them. Mr. Williams, the missionary, describes a hurricane at
Raratonga, one of the Hervey Islands, during which the rain descended in
deluging torrents, the lightning darted in fiery streams among the
dense, black clouds, the thunder rolled deep and loud through the
heavens, and the island trembled to its very centre as the war of the
elements raged over it. Scarcely a banana or plaintain tree was left,
either on the plains, or in the valleys, or upon the mountains; hundreds
of thousands of which, on the preceding day, covered and adorned the
land with their foliage and fruit, and immense chestnuts, which had
withstood the storms of ages, were laid prostrate on the ground, while
those that remained erect had scarcely a branch, and were all leafless.
It was observed, that when the gale ended, the wind was in the west,
whereas in the early part of its action the east end of the chapel had
been blown in, which shows the wind then to have been in the east. The
hurricanes of New South Wales have been observed to develop the same
peculiarity. Mr. Meredith traced the path of one in the centre, and
found at the termination a circle plainly shown, in which the trees lay
all ways.

The cause of this rotatory motion of storms remains in obscurity, but it
is probably due in part to the same law under which eddies or whirlpools
are formed in water, by two currents being obliquely impelled against
each other. The great hurricanes may thus be considered identical with
the small local whirlwinds, which are common with us in the summer
season, carrying upward and along the dust and loose grass in spiral
columns, exhibiting a progressive and rotatory motion. In the region of
the sandy deserts these atmospheric whirls transpire upon a great scale,
raising up immense quantities of the loose particles in columns to a
considerable height, which sweep along with prodigious violence, and
have occasionally swallowed up whole caravans in their tremendous
vortex.

        “Man mounts on man, on camels camels rush,
         Hosts march on hosts, and nations nations crush,
         Wheeling in air the winged islands fall,
         And one great earthy ocean covers all.”

“One of the largest of these pillars of sand,” says a modern traveler,
Caille, “crossed our camp, overset all the seats, and whirling us about
like straws, threw one of us on the other in the utmost confusion. We
knew not where we were, and could not distinguish any thing at the
distance of a foot. The sand wrapped us in darkness like a fog, and the
sky and the earth seemed confounded and blended in one. Whilst this
frightful tempest lasted we remained stretched on the ground motionless,
dying of thirst, burned by the heat of the sand, and buffeted by the
wind. We suffered nothing, however, from the sun, whose disk, almost
concealed by the clouds of sand, appeared dim and deprived of its rays.”
Bruce has sketched with spirit several of these desert whirlwinds, of
which he was an eye-witness:—“At one o’clock,” he states, “we alighted
among some acacia trees at Waadi el Halboub, having gone twenty-one
miles. We were here at once surprised and terrified by a sight surely
one of the most magnificent in the world. In that vast expanse of
desert, from W. to N. W. of us, we saw a number of prodigious pillars of
sand at different distances, at times moving with great celerity, at
others stalking on with a majestic slowness; at intervals we thought
they were coming in a few minutes to overwhelm us; and small quantities
of sand did actually more than once reach us. Again they would retreat
so as to be almost out of sight, their tops reaching to the very clouds.
There the tops often separated from the bodies, and these, once
disjoined, dispersed in the air, and did not appear more. Sometimes they
were broken in the middle, as if struck with large cannon-shot. About
noon they began to advance with considerable swiftness upon us, the wind
being very strong at the north. Eleven of them ranged alongside of us
about the distance of three miles. The greatest diameter of the largest
appeared to me at that distance as if it would measure ten feet. They
retired from us with a wind at S. E., leaving an impression upon my mind
to which I can give no name, though surely one ingredient in it was
fear, with a considerable deal of wonder and astonishment. It was in
vain to think of flying; the swiftest horse, or fastest sailing ship,
could be of no use to carry us out of this danger; and the full
persuasion of this riveted me as if to the spot where I stood. The same
appearance of moving pillars of sand presented themselves to us this
day, in form and disposition like those we had seen at Waadi Halboub,
only they seemed to be more in number and less in size. They came
several times in a direction close upon us; that is, I believe, within
less than two miles. They began immediately after sunrise like a thick
wood, and almost darkened the sun. His rays shining through them for
near an hour, gave them an appearance of pillars of fire. Our people now
became desperate; the Greeks shrieked out and said it was the day of
judgment; Ismael pronounced it to be hell; and the Turcorories, that the
world was on fire.” The procession of tall columns of dust, the upper
end seeming to vanish off, or puff away like light smoke, and the lower
apparently touching the earth, is not unusual on the large plains of New
South Wales, in dry weather. They move in a perpendicular position,
quietly and majestically gliding along one after another, but really so
fast that the fleetest horse is unable to keep pace with them. According
to Mrs. Meredith, when they are crossing a brook, the lower portion of
the dust is lost sight of, and a considerable agitation disturbs the
water, but immediately on landing the same appearance is resumed. “As
some vanish,” she remarks, “others imperceptibly arise and join the
giant waltz; and when I first observed this most singular display, I
amused myself by fancying them a new species of genii relaxing from
their more laborious avocations, and having a sedate and stately dance
all to themselves. When the dance ends, these dusty performers always
appear to sit down among the neighboring hills.” To the same class with
these rotating and progressing pillars of sand, that singular phenomenon
called the _waterspout_ clearly belongs, a whirlwind raising into a
columnar mass the waters of the sea, and causing the aqueous vapors in
the atmosphere to assume the same form, the two frequently uniting, the
whole presenting a magnificent spectacle.

[Illustration: =Waterspout.=]

The Greeks applied the term Prester to the waterspout, which signifies a
fiery fluid, from its appearance being generally accompanied with
flashes of lightning, and a sulphureous smell, showing the activity of
the electrical principle in the air. Lucretius refers to it in the
following terms:—

          Hence, with much ease, the meteor may we trace
          Termed, from its essence, Prester by the Greeks,
          That oft from heaven wide hovers o’er the deep.
          Like a vast column, gradual from the skies,
          Prone o’er the waves, descends it; the vexed tide
          Boiling amain beneath its mighty whirl,
          And with destruction sure the stoutest ship
          Threat’ning that dares the boist’rous scene approach.

Waterspouts exhibit various aspects, but a frequent appearance has been
thus described, as it has been observed at sea. Under a dense cloud, a
circular area of the ocean, in diameter from 100 to 120 yards, shows
great disturbance, the water rushing toward the centre of the agitated
mass, from whence it rises in a spiral manner toward the clouds,
assuming a trumpet-shape, with the broad end downward. At the same time,
the cloud assumes a similar form, but the position of the cone is
inverted, and its lower extremity, or apex, gradually unites with the
upper extremity of the ascending column of water. At the point of
junction, the diameter is not more than two or three feet. There is thus
a column of water and vapor formed, extending from the sea to the cloud,
thin in the middle, and broad at the two extremities, the sides of which
are dark, which gives it the appearance of a hollow tube. It moves with
the wind, and even in calm weather, when no wind is perceptible, the
position shifts. Sometimes the spout preserves the perpendicular in its
motion, but frequently, from the wind not acting with equal force upon
its upper and lower extremities, or the one being more susceptible of
impulsion than the other, it assumes an inclined position, and the
column is speedily ruptured by the unequal velocity of its parts. A few
minutes suffices in general for the duration of the phenomenon, but
several have been known to continue for near an hour. Instances of
repeated disruption and formation have been witnessed, and in the
Mediterranean, as many as sixteen waterspouts have been observed at the
same time. The mariners of former days were accustomed to discharge
artillery at these moving columns, to accelerate their fall, fearful of
their ships being crossed by them, and sunk or damaged—a practice
alluded to by Falconer in the opening of the second canto of The
Shipwreck: but the principal danger arises from the wind blowing in
sudden gusts in their vicinity, from all points of the compass,
sufficient to capsize small vessels carrying much sail. Waterspouts on
land are not uncommon, and in this case there is no ascending column of
water, but only a descending inverted cone of vapor. Vivid flashes of
lightning frequently issue from them, and deluges of rain attend their
disruption. A remarkable spout appeared and burst on Emott Moor, near
Coln in Lancashire, in the year 1718, about a mile distant from some
laborers digging peat, whose attention was directed to it by hearing an
unusual noise in the air. Upon leaving the spot in alarm, they found a
small rippling stream converted into a roaring flood, though no rain had
fallen on the moor; and at the immediate scene of action, the earth had
been swept away to the depth of seven feet, the naked rock appeared, and
an excavation had been made in the ground by the force of the water
discharged from the spout, upward of half a mile in length.

It is a time of fear and peril to man and beast when the hurricane
develops its giant strength, yet, contemplated apart from the
probability of some fatal catastrophe, there is no scene more intensely
sublime in the varied panorama of nature, than that exhibited to the
senses of sight and hearing, by the dense black masses of clouds that
roll in wild confusion through the air, the tumultuous aspect of the
ocean, the agitation of the woods, and the voice of the tempest, varying
from the melancholy wail, to the piercingly shrill cry and deafening
roar, and occasionally combining every kind of intonation in its sound.
However destructive these extraordinary agitations of the
atmosphere—however terrible such a situation as that of Æneas on the
stormy sea, helpless and hopeless, stretching his folded hands to the
stars, and lamenting that he had not fallen with fierce Hector on the
Ilian plains—it is unquestionable, that neither “breeze, or gale, or
storm,” could be dispensed with in the economy of nature; for the
various forms of life which the common air sustains, are preserved in
vigor by that conflict of the elements which works occasional disaster.
A variety of natural causes in operation upon the surface of the globe,
and in its interior, concur to derange that constitution of the
atmosphere which is alone salubrious, to vitiate the fluid, convert the
medium of life and health into a cause of fever, pestilence, and death,
thus changing every scene where the machinery of human existence is in
movement into a Grotto del Cane, completely arresting all its wheels—an
effect which would undoubtedly transpire without an antagonistic
influence in constant action. In the process of supporting mankind and
animals, the atmosphere is deprived of its oxygen, and exhaled in a
morbid condition unfit for combustion and the sustenance of life; and
the respiration of plants contributes also to its derangement. The
exhalations from the low swampy regions of the earth are a further cause
of deterioration, and hence the malarious mass to which the Pontine
marshes, and similar districts, give birth. The provision against the
reduction of the atmosphere to a universally disorganised and vitiated
condition is the currents that prevail in it, which disperse and
separate the poisonous ingredients, render them innocuous by bringing
them into new combinations, and thus keep up that due proportion between
the component parts of the aerial envelop, upon which its
life-conserving property hinges, yet which the functions of life are
perpetually destroying. The ordinary play of the winds, whispering in
gentle breezes and rushing in powerful gales, has been ordained by the
Author of life to subserve this purpose, and the dread tornado is also
an efficient agent in the regeneration. In its alembic, it has been
remarked, “the isolated poisons will be re-distilled; by the electric
fires which it generates, their deleterious sublimations will be
deflagrated; and thus will the great Alchymist neutralize the azotic
elements which he has let loose, and shake the medicinal draught into
salubrity.” The baneful effects of a stagnant condition of the
atmosphere are exemplified in the feeble physical frame, and short term
of years, of those who in the “city full” are cooped up in sites were
there is no sufficient ventilation, and the inhabitants of many deep
inclosed valleys exhibit physical and mental deterioration as a
consequence of the same cause. The numerous examples of cretinism, or
idiocy, with goitres, found about the villages and hamlets of the Lower
Valais, and the Val d’Aosta in Switzerland—valleys, which have low
marshy spots at the bottom, surrounded by high mountains, where the
fresh air does not circulate freely, and where the reflected rays of the
sun are very powerful in summer—Saussure attributed to the stagnation
of the atmosphere; and though such instances of physical deformity and
intellectual incapacity may be the combined effect of various causes, it
is in harmony with the known effect of the one referred to, to suppose
it materially to contribute to the result. The cagots of the deep
Pyrenean valleys answer to the cretins of the Alps.

In closing this notice of atmospheric currents, we refer to observations
made upon the ordinary winds of Great Britain. From an average of ten
years of the register kept by order of the Royal Society, it appears
that at London the wind blows annually in the following proportions:—

                                       Days.
                         South-west     112
                         North-east     58
                         North-west     50
                         West           53
                         South-east     32
                         East           26
                         South          18
                         North          16

The same register shows, that the south-west wind blows at an average
more frequently than any other wind during every month of the year, and
that it blows longest in July and August; that the north-east blows most
constantly during January, March, April, May, and June, and most seldom
during February, July, September, and December; and that the north-west
wind blows oftener from November to March, and more seldom during
September and October, than any other months.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                     =INFLUENCE OF PLACE ON RACE.=


                           =BY BON GAULTIER.=


              Blancs ou noirs, gelés ou rotis,
              Mortels que j’ai faits si petits,
              Dit le bon Dieu, d’un air paterne,
              On pretende que je vous gouverne;
              Mais vous devez voir, Dieu merci,
              Que j’ai des ministres aussi.      Beranger.


           Are not the mountains, waves and skies a part
           Of us and of our souls, as we of them?      Byron.


Though there seems no good reason to doubt that the earth was made for
man, and that he has got the supremacy of it, yet we believe it is as
little to be doubted that his character and royalty have been very much
modified by “the beggarly elements” of the world, and still continue to
be so, though in a lesser degree than during the earlier ages of his
existence in it. In more recent times a great many causes, arising from
customs, laws, beliefs, and so forth, have been effective aids in
establishing the diversities of nations, such as we see them. But the
great disposing causes, operating on men earliest and producing the most
permanent tendencies, were in the localities in which they found
themselves, and multiplied their generations; and these influences of
place can still, in the divisions of the human family, be distinctly
traced beneath all others which civilization may have superinduced.

We are not disposed alone to test this proposition by the differences
existing between the European families and their affiliations. We would
go further, and comprehend “the black men, the white men, the frozen and
fried,” of whom Beranger speaks—the eight or nine hundred millions
that, at this moment, are crawling about on the thick rotundity of the
globe; and thence argue that the soil and the sun have been the chief
modifiers of all the human varieties. But here we are met, _in
liminé_—on the threshold of our disquisition—by a crowd of respectable
names, among which are those of Professor Agassiz, Van Amringe, Dr.
Morton, etc., backed by arguments denying our right to conclude, from
the apparent difference of race, the operation of topical influences.
These philosophers say there were other causes—that, in fact, these
differences were mainly produced by creation—that several distinct
species of men were fashioned by the Divine hand, to suit the elemental
diversities of the world.

Of course we cannot get along without considering these views—very
fairly urged and very worthy of consideration. Every effort after truth
is a good thing in itself—even though, like the arrow of Acestes, it
should miss its aim, and only make something to wonder at:—

          Volens liquidis in nubibus arsit arundo
          Signavitque viam flammis tenuesque recessit
          Consumpta in ventis.

Though the philosophy of Agassiz and the rest has not, however, been
dissipated in thin air, we have an idea, nevertheless, that it has
failed, like the Trojan’s arrow. We “cannot away with” that notion of
making a species of man for every extreme climate of the globe, and do
not think they have at all made the matter clear. They argue
analogically. Their opponents argue analogically too. Pritchard and
others support their views of the unity of the human species by the
analogy of animals. They bring forward a very strong argument in the
fact, that hybrids of plants or animals—the offspring of different
species—are sterile, as a general law of nature. The offspring of the
most dissimilar races of men are never hybrid—but capable of continuing
the kind. Pritchard says the difference between the skull of the
domestic hog and that of the wild boar is as great as that between the
European and Negro skulls; and Blumenbach says there is more difference
between the skulls of the Neapolitan and Hungarian breed of horses,
respectively, than between the most dissimilar human heads.

But those who agree with Agassiz rely a good deal upon the assertions of
Dr. Morton, of Philadelphia, and adduce several instances in which
hybrids were found to be fruitful—mostly, however, in conjunction with
an animal of pure stock. Still, these cases are so exceptional, or so
uncertain, that no general conclusion can be drawn from them, sufficient
to make head against Pritchard, Buffon, Cuvier, Hunter, and those who
argue with them, on the matter. The general law is the true one. A man
has suckled an infant, and a heifer, that never calved, has given milk;
but such things cannot tell against the order of Nature.

Taking higher ground in this argument, we are the more strongly of
opinion that the analogical mode of reasoning is a wrong one. We do not
perceive how the analogies can be made good in the business. It seems
fallacious to conclude, with Professor Agassiz, that, because plants and
animals—as is generally believed—have not originated in a common
centre, our race could not have so originated. To argue from the fact
that such “inconsistencies” do not occur in the laws of nature is bad
philosophy, after all. He does not clearly or fully know what Nature, or
the power we are agreed to call Nature, intends for laws. He takes a
department of the material world—a section embracing the Marsupiata,
the Edentata, fishes of cartilagenous type, certain plants, flowers, and
so forth; and, circumscribing it, he seems to look upon it as the proper
sphere for the laws of nature to work in. But it is possible—indeed we
believe it to be the truth—that Nature has laws ten millions of miles
beyond and above that little circle, and that we do not know or even
suspect one half of them. By what law of nature was the ball we cling
upon launched into space, and man, “of a reasonable soul and human flesh
subsisting,” put upon it? Certainly by one of those laws which we, not
comprehending them, call miracles. Coming down a little from the summit
of such high positions, we find that man is not the analogue of
reptiles, fishes, animals, plants, and so forth—that he differs from
them in something out of the rule—something miraculous—the “reasonable
soul” which St. Athanasius speaks of. The philosophy of analogy is at
fault here, and must be. Man enters none of the categories; he is
neither an animal, a reptile, nor a fish. The laws of these are not the
laws of Nature—the whole book—nor the laws of man. It is nonsense,
therefore, to talk, with such an air, of “inconsistencies.” Even
supposing that man may, on the Lamarckian principle, at any time of his
development, have been a sponge and lived on salt water, he is, as he
stands now—the laughing, the exchanging, the believing animal—not the
less an exception and a miracle, and as such philosophers must deal with
him.

It is not improbable, after all, that our materialist philosophers may
be going astray. The doctrines of Bacon and Locke were noble
pronunciamentos in their way and day, and fulfilled in a memorable
degree one of the great laws of human progression. They displaced
Aristotle, Ptolemy, and those other ancients who were the Bacons and
Lockes of the earlier generations. It is not improbable that the
founders of the English school of philosophy may, in time, yield to new
teachers of men and obey the supreme laws of mutation. Nothing is
permanent; every thing tends to something newer and higher. Bacon and
Locke may yet abdicate their supremacy, and go away with the other
mental and physical Megatheriums of the world—having lived their
appropriate and necessary lives. They have built a noble materialist
edifice; but they who come after them and strive to raise a metaphysical
superstructure from it are probably building upon the wrong foundation.
There is nothing any where to show that mind and matter are subject to
the same laws—that the development and destiny of one belong, at all,
to the other. We may yet be fated to know something more of the origin
and end of man than we have been able to gather, ever since the first
syllable of recorded time; but it must be by some means widely different
from the circumscribed and earth-grubbing; philosophies which have risen
amongst us of late, and which sometimes make us regard with a feeling of
preference the transcendentalisms, infinite misty soarings, and so
forth, of the Kantean school. We are so tired of Aristides Bacon,
Aristides Locke, and those other solid thinkers, so repeatedly called
the Just and the True, that we feel ourselves at times disposed to
ostracise them.

We cannot bend man to the laws of Linnæus, Lamarck, or any one else. The
arguments against the unity of his species, drawn from the unreasoning
creation, are not at all convincing. They are very violent and clumsy.
Messrs. Agassiz, Amringe, and others, desire to make a simple and
consistent theory—one which shall have nothing miraculous in it. And
yet to avoid one miracle, they adopt a dozen. They turn their backs upon
their own development doctrine, and refuse to believe that the material
of the human structure could undergo its changes in process of time, and
under the various elemental influences. They argue that there must have
been originally several creations of men, to suit the varying localities
of the earth. Following their views, and taking the divisions of race
made by different philosophers, we should find our beliefs blown about a
good deal. For Blumenbach, Cuvier, and Latham, hold that the Deity made
three species; Martin and Lawrence that he made five; Dumenil and Lesson
that he made six; Fischer and others that he made seven; and Desmoulins
and Pickering that he made eleven. But, in the midst of the confused
indecision in which we are left, where would be the unreasonableness of
taking the subdivisions of these divisions and asking why we may not
look on _these_ as distinct species also—why, in fact, should there not
have been creations equal in number to the twenty-four subdivisions? If
these philosophers go on, making distinctions, (in which no two of them
will be found to agree with the others,) where are they to stop? There
are varieties enough in the osteology and general appearance of the
races to warrant a hundred distinctions—therefore, a hundred creations.
Why should we stop at three creations—or six, or eleven? It is as easy
and more consistent to suppose half a hundred creations than half a
dozen. Then those who contend for only three or four creations, admit a
great number of varieties; and thus admit the principle that climate and
other accidents can, after all, change the race from the exact condition
of a type. Thus the principle of their argument is compromised—the
philosophy of it is in a loose and untenable condition. It is a very
clumsy hypothesis altogether:

                            How smiles
          The gazer’s eye in philosophic mirth
          To see the weak design!

Here we have the Deity forming several pairs of the race, to suit the
several hills, plains, and peculiar configuration of the earth just
rising above the slush and slime of the Saurian period. This shocks our
ideas of divine wisdom. Our reason, such as it is, teaches us, and it
seems to be generally received that creative power works with simplicity
and not in repetitionary ways. And, taking another view of the case, we
cannot conceive why the great Artificer should make different species
expressly for different places. The argument that, because many plants
are, or seem to be, proper to their peculiar habitats, man should be so
to one place, is a feeble one. Man is not rooted, but biped; legs were
given him for locomotion; unlike the other animals, he has got a mind
and the _adductor pollicis_, and can build coracles, caravels,
cunarders. The Supreme Being did not surely design that man should stay
in any particular place. The children of men have been nomade from the
beginning, moving over the surface of the globe, hither and thither,
like the waves on the sea. If God did really produce three, or six, or a
dozen distinct species—each for its own place, it was labor in vain and
without foresight—a very ridiculous conclusion to come to.

It is generally admitted that within the reach of the historic periods,
several predominant races proceeded from the middle of Asia, in several
directions—north, south, east, and west. The advocates of the different
species contend that there are no nomade invaders on record who did not
find inhabitants in the countries they intruded on. If such were the
case, the creation of these _autocthonoi_, or “children of the ground,”
was an unnecessary thing; for the Hyperboreans, Mongols, Egyptians,
Arabs, Circassians, Pelasgians, Getæ, and so forth, came to obliterate
them and flourish in their stead. And if the invaders could thus
flourish in localities for which they were not created, there would seem
to have been little necessity for the creation of more than one species
of man. Altogether, it does appear that the scheme of making a distinct
species for distinct zones or parallels is incompatible with our
received notions of divine wisdom.

As for the production and distribution of animals and plants, we have no
objection to consider them on the Lamarckian principle. The germs of
earth’s million vegetable varieties were and are doubtless scattered
through the crust of the earth, to be modified by the elements which act
upon the surface; they may exist in an infinitesimal manner, baffling to
our senses and our ideas alike. The reptiles, fishes, and animals,
probably owed their origin to _infusoria_ and a variety of changes
following the law of development, and influenced by the sea or the sun.
But between these and man—as we have already insisted—there is only an
imperfect analogy, extremely helpless in this question of human
derivation. That Lamarckian hypothesis—set forth so eloquently in the
Vestiges of Creation—a work which, of a surety, belongs to Professor
Nichol of Glasgow—answers very well for every thing but the man. Leave
him out. Omit the part of Hamlet, and so play out the play. But man, the
miraculous—that strange compound of dirt and divinity—will not be
amenable to all this gradation—will not be put in a category and
decided on, like a cactus or a kangaroo. He still remains apart—

          The glory, jest, and riddle of the world.

Such are the considerations which lead us to reject the idea of a
variety of pristine pairs. The arguments by which it is supported are
many, but they are feeble. One of them is the fact, that, so far back as
the records of the race have extended, the existing distinctions of it
are discoverable. The most ancient Egyptian sculptures show the
different features of the Negro and Ethiopian races, such as they appear
at this day. These sculptures bear date nearly four thousand years ago;
and it is concluded these heads had not time enough, since the beginning
of the world, to be changed from a common type—seeing they have not
since been changed in a lapse of time twice as long. They assume that
our race has only been six thousand years on the globe. But that sort of
argument is set aside by general consent. Chronological science is not
among the truths which the Bible was intended to teach; with respect to
the age of the world that venerable book is not historic nor
authoritative. The most orthodox believers all over the world have
admitted the demonstrations of geology; and we may safely conclude that
our race has been roaming over the periphery of this planet for a longer
period than that deduced by Usher from the Hebrew records. Philosophical
science does not avail itself of such uncertainties as the world’s age
is allowed to be. Again; it is argued by the doctors of development that
a _pair_ could not naturally propagate a species. They keep their eyes
very closely upon the habits of the lower animals. They do not consider
what was contrary to nature in making the paragon of animals, only a
little lower than the angels. The propagation of a species from a pair,
seems a very conquerable sort of difficulty, compared with others, that
lie along this field of our disquisition. Why should people strain so
much at a gnat, after they have swallowed the dromedary?

We have been following this argument through the pages of Col. Smith’s
work[1] on the Human Species, with an Introduction by Dr. Kneeland. The
doctor gives the views of Pritchard, Agassiz, and others, _pro_ and
_con_, on this matter, and subjoins his own opinions, supporting those
of Agassiz, and claiming more than one original species. Dr. Kneeland’s
conclusions seem lame enough. He argues, among other things, that a
human mixture is bad. He says history proves that artificial breeds and
mixed races of men have no permanency, and become extinct, unless they
procure supplies from a pure stock. If this be true, God help these
United States of ours! Here we are receiving increments from almost all
the races of the world—certainly from all those of the old world—and
making a perfect _olla podrida_ of our civilization! Are we to decline,
fall away, perish and become extinct, if we do not call upon the pure
Celtic, Teutonic, or Anglo-Saxon stock for large periodical supplies? We
hope not. Intermixture may not turn out so fatally. England has
certainly drawn her strength and empire, in a great measure, from the
fountain of her mongrel blood of Peghts, Britons, Celts, Romans, Danes,
Teutons, Northmen, and all the rest of them. And yet there may be, after
all, something in this ethnic philosophy of Dr. Kneeland. Still it is
not good to despair; and, in fact, there is much to console the future
of this federation, should its mingled blood grow too much diluted.
Ireland is bent on coming over here bodily; and the pure Celtic blood of
that island will be happily available to the veins and arteries of our
debilitated body politic!

In this question of the human species—whether there were many created,
or only one—we think it most reasonable to abide by the old doctrine of
a single pair, seeing that the advocates of repeated creations cannot
overthrow it, nor recommend their own. It is, at all events, simplest to
believe in one; for if you believe in more, you will soon be bewildered
into the belief of twenty or thirty primordial pairs. Assuming, then,
that the race first issued from some part of Central Asia—where it
seems generally allowed that it originated—we see nothing very violent
in the supposition, that climate and locality produced the varied
appearances of the human family, which we see at this day. After a
certain lapse of time, black races were found to exist—especially in
Africa—exhibiting features which distinguished them, in a very marked
manner, from the white and other varieties:—viz—flat noses, protruding
thick lips, retreating foreheads, and a wooliness of hair. These
peculiarities are found, more or less, in all the races of that
continent; the exceptions are few—still exhibiting the prevailing marks
of race. The Egyptians sculptured on monuments have features resembling
those of the Negroes—in the breadth of nostril, the thickness of the
lips, and the general expression, but certainly of a higher facial
order. A number of authorities, among whom are reckoned Pritchard and
Denon, sanction the idea, that the Egyptian must, in a great degree, be
classed with the Negro race. This race exhibits no proof of having been
created especially to occupy an appropriate place, for it is found in a
hundred localities. Clans of Negroes have existed in Laristan, in
Makran, in Persia, and on the Helmund. They are also scattered over the
Indian Archipelago—bearing the Hindoo, Mongol, and Malay
characteristics. The Papuas of Nicobar, the Philippine Islands, and
these oriental longitudes, resemble the numerous tribes of Negro variety
to be found in Africa. On the latter continent, the races have all a
strong family likeness; marked, however, by diversities which seem to
prove the existence of modifying influences. In South Africa, the
Hottentots and Bushmen greatly resemble, in size and face, their brother
men of the Mongolian stock, in the opposite latitudes—to wit, the
Chinese, the Esquimaux, and the other tribes of Northern Asiatics. Some
of these diversified Negro races have woolly hair, and others straight
hair. The skulls of the woolly tribes cannot be classed sufficiently
distinctly. They exhibit that variety which runs through all those dusky
families, recognized as one stock from their general resemblance. Thus
it would seem that races of men were made Negroes in Asia as well as in
Africa—perhaps long before they reached the latter continent—in which
similar elemental influences were prepared to produce a like result.

If we consider the other extremes of mankind which we call the
Caucasian, Japhetic, Bearded, and so forth, we find no certain sign that
they constitute a distinct species. They have such diversities among
themselves, and such intermingling resemblances to other divisions of
humanity, that it is bewildering and, indeed, impossible to abide by any
arbitrary distribution of them. In Asia, the Caucasian features are
blended with the Mongolian, and Capuan or Negro, in a variety of
degrees, in different localities, and under many nomenclatures. Toward
the West, the Caucasian face is modified into the Egyptian, which is
still further modified into some of the several Negro types. Each of the
extreme divisions is found to be connected with the other by many signs
of common likeness, and the races seem imperceptibly to run into one
another as they appear to be modified by locality, or habits of
existence. We may mention, in passing—as showing the resemblance that
human aspects bear to one another, though the owners of them may have
their native habitats a thousand leagues asunder—that the daguerreotype
of Erasmus York, (a Mongol boy,) taken a few months ago in London,
presents a face which we thought we saw with a basket of oranges the
other day, in the street, a few days after it had arrived from the
county Galway, in an emigrant ship.

People have speculated a good deal on the aspect and general appearance
of our first parents. Some suppose they had white skin—that Adam was
colored and shaped somewhat resembling the Sagittarius Apollo, and that
the first of women was like the finest of her daughters at Almack’s or
Saratoga, in the season—

          That she, who lived six thousand years ago,
          Was made exactly like the best we know.

This idea of the primordial pair has been variously expressed. Dubufe,
the Frenchman, whose two pictures of the Temptation and the Expulsion
have been so extensively carried about and admired, represents Adam and
Eve as a very fair and almost rose-colored pair of progenitors—as if
they had just stepped out of band-boxes. Instead of resembling in aspect
the old _intonsus Cato_, at a time when razors were unheard of, Adam
wears his countenance smooth-shaven, while his dark hair and beard look
as well dressed as if they had just come from the accomplishing hand of
a barber. The toilet of the father of all men living seems, in fact,
perfected as to the head; and he looks for all the world like a handsome
French guardsman, _in puris naturalibus_. The genius of Gaul breathes
from the whole representation, proving as strongly as the poetry of
Victor Hugo, Chateaubriand, and Lamartine, that though powerful in the
picturesque, splendid and _grandiose_, it is still deficient in the
finer and higher faculties of poetic inspiration. An Englishman has
certainty made a far nobler picture of the human protoplast and his
better half. John Milton says of Adam—

          His fair, large front and eye sublime declared
          Infinite rule; and hyacinthine locks
          Round from his parted forelock manly hung
          Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad.

In both these instances the man seems to be of the Caucasian type—a
European; for Milton’s portrait has an air of Greek dignity. Pritchard
is of opinion that Adam was of a melanic skin—a black man, in
fact—though not of course belonging to what we recognize as the African
type. Indeed, it is difficult not to suppose the first man and woman
beings of a swarthy complexion, to suit their skies—and nobly-faced, as
the Afghans and other races of Central Asia are at this day. If we
assume—as we are disposed to do—that the first pair were fashioned by
miraculous initiative, we must conclude they would be physical, and,
indeed, mental exemplars—of beautiful aspect and faultless symmetry.
But the ardent oriental sun, and the glorious exposure of their persons
to the elements, would naturally darken their complexions, and in this
guise should they be represented by painting and poetry. “But whither
would conjecture stray,” on such a theme as this?

Spreading out from their original locality, the various branches of the
human family may be easily conceived to undergo changes from the climate
and mode of life of their successive generations. That such changes were
undergone seems to be borne out by the comparison or contrast of the
different races. In some places, the people who traveled out of the
temperate zone, or whose lot was cast in places far inland, and without
rivers, where the powers of nature were niggard and the elements
unfavorable, would become deteriorated, and the course of generations
would confirm in them the growing inferiority of their
condition—physical and mental. On the other hand, they whose lines were
fallen to them in pleasant places, in a temperate zone, by the shores of
seas, or banks of rivers, and in the midst of a country, fit either to
feed cattle or to produce corn and wine, would keep their original
dignity of feature and physical structure.

Thus, for instance, the first wanderers to the South and East would, in
time, become the black Papuan races; and others, passing through Suez
and Egypt into Africa Proper—so to term it—would become baked and
brutified by the sun and the sandy wilderness. On the other hand, they
who moved through the temperate zone under beneficent firmaments, and in
Mesopotamian districts, would naturally become the Assyrian, Persian,
Pelasgian builders of houses, ships, temples, great cities, and
historical colonies. The tribes migrating up toward the North would,
from the first, suffer from the Boreal elements, and take deep traces of
them; but would also be endowed with great physical energy from the
same, and under the Mongolian name, agitate all the North with powerful
migrations, and, in the end, originate those world-overthrowing hordes,
which filled subsequent ages with so much terror and glory. The earlier
wanderers into Africa, passing inward and southward, would give rise to
those marked and many-named tribes, classed under the nomenclature of
Negroes. The hot sun, and the condition of their soil, would affect
their physical nature. Every thing would tend, as we have still the
opportunity of perceiving, to degrade the human type in the interior of
Africa. The people would become mere animals without the stimulants of
happier localities. They would bask lazily in the sun, crowd together in
kraals, and propagate their degraded race into something still more
stupid and degraded by the vitiating closeness of their intermarriages.
In such circumstances of savagery, the dropping and thickness of the
sensual mouth, and the other facial peculiarities would grow and become
hardened features, in the course of time. It seems to be generally
understood that the power of adaptation is a law of physical nature, as
well in man as in the lower organizations; and it may very reasonably be
concluded that the human head is modified by the powers of the
brain—the energy of thought expanding the capacity of the head. This is
the opinion of Mallebranche, and other philosophers and physiologists.
We may conclude that the sensual stagnation of the intellectual
faculties, under the tropical elements, where exertion of any kind could
have but little effect in bettering the condition of a lazy population,
leaves the brain to grow feeble and flaccid from disuse; whence it is
not unphilosophical to conclude the fore part of the head would sink in,
and lie toward the back. It seems to be a general physical law, that the
expression of the face shall indicate the natures of men. The Arabs and
other Asiatics arriving from the East into Egypt, and bringing on their
firm faces the traces of their arduous circumstances and active habits,
came, in the course of generations, to be marked with the sensuousness
of mouth and chin, and the lower arch of the head which distinguish the
Egyptian face. The hot and enervating climate of Egypt had a
deteriorating effect on the population, which at last grew to resemble
the Negro race. That the Egyptians were not so degraded in appearance as
these last, was owing to the many immigrations of foreign tribes, who
preserved to the kings, priests, and higher classes, a more Asiatic
physical expression. The river Nile, the Sea—the great civilizer—and
the influences of commerce, had also their beneficent effects upon the
condition of the people of Egypt.

With regard to the other more marked races, it is known that the law of
Northern latitudes is, the lessening of physical development and
capacity, from the temperate toward the colder zones. In these last, the
blood of men grows colder and more sluggish, and their bodies grow
smaller and weaker. Extreme cold is unfriendly to the element of life;
and under its influence, acting directly on man, and indirectly on his
condition, from the soil, the Northern races received their stunted
proportions of figure and mental energy—such as we witness in the
Esquimaux and other tribes, of the same high latitudes.

We should not calculate the climatic effects of primitive times, from
the result of experience or observation now-a-days. The conditions of
men are not exactly what they were, even in those places we consider
barbarous. In the beginning, men were ignorantly exposed to all the rude
shocks of the elements for generations, and lived and propagated the
conditions which those elements impressed upon them. All the
deteriorating influences of savage life, working in a very vicious
circle, effected then what can no longer be effected, in a general way,
so decidedly and remarkably. People, now, can move about and live in
extreme latitudes, and yet keep for generations their peculiar traits
and conformation. But they have comfortable means and appliances about
them, and hold themselves aloof from the barbarisms peculiar to the
place. In this way, the climatic influences are resisted for ages.

Those who argue for a distinct species in the case of the blacks, and do
not believe in the slow changes produced by geographical position and
the elements, will point to the fact, that Negroes taken into temperate
latitudes, and propagating purely for a few generations, have appeared
to be Negroes still—not much the whiter for the experiment. But it has
not been a full and a fair one. Nature produces her permanent results
very slowly. She took hundreds of years to bake, and blacken and
flatten, and lanify the nigger, and hundreds more to harden his
osteology—to burn, as it were, his traits into his clay; and if the man
is to be unbaked, unblackened, and so forth, she must have something of
the same time, in which to reverse her operations. It would take four or
five hundred years, at least, to bleach Pompey or Lucretia. Perhaps at
Spitzbergen, or some of those hyperborean places—

          Where the wild hare and the crow
          Whiten in surrounding snow—

the process may be accelerated by a century or so. But, till some
philosopher gets his pair of blacks, and sits fairly down to see the
experiment out, we shall be of opinion that, centuries would be
necessary to counteract the slow workmanship of nature in this business;
but certainly, that at the end of that time, the whole human type would
have suffered a perfect change, conformable to the latitude and
longitude—the _locus in quo_. We repeat—those early effects of
climate, tropical or boreal, were such as no elemental influence noted
in modern times can give us any correct idea of. Ages and continents
were the first premises and means, by and from which Nature stamped her
human varieties in the first ages.

Coming from the physical and ethnical considerations, we see the
influence of the material elements very perceptible, in the social,
moral, and historical manifestations of the various races of the world.
A consideration of the Asiatics, the Greeks, the Egyptians, and other
nations of ancient or modern name, would make this evident. The Easterns
inhabiting, in Central Asia, vast extents of level country, for the most
part at a distance from the sea, were chiefly pastoral and nomadic. They
had room to wander and grow, and be numbered by millions. Under such
circumstances, they were naturally liable to be dominated by great
commanders, to whom—seeing that their unsettled polity also included
the principles of war and plunder—they would delegate the leadership;
and who, on the broad _plateaux_, could make use of cavalry and
chariots—those ready means of conquest and despotism in the old times.
Hence the people fell numerously under the sway of a few kings, who used
their power with the fierceness and irresponsibility of gods, and kept
the soldiery and the masses in a state of slavery—whether following
plunder, cultivating the soil, or making bricks from mud, and rearing
with these, through sweating generations, those walls and towers of
Central Asia—Nineveh, Babylon, and so forth—of which we have
transmitted to us such vague and magnificent traditions, and of which
Layard and others have been discovering some traces for us latterly.

It was the same way, nearly, in Egypt—that prominent historic feature
of antiquity. The valley of the Nile was one level, isolated extent of
unrivaled fertility—capable of supporting millions at the expense of no
very heavy amount of agricultural toil. People necessarily multiplied
there, and being of peaceful agrarian disposition, came, in time, to be
subservient to the priests and Pharaohs of the land. The civilization of
Egypt was a monstrous sort of thing, born of the sun and the sediment of
the Nile, like the other monsters of that “Great river.” Relaxed and
enervated by the heat of the climate, kept in ignorance, and employed in
masses by the despotism of the country, the people became slavish
laborers, husbandmen and manufacturers, living content, in a hot inland
condition, unfreshened by any breeze of the civilizing sea, worshiping
animals first used as hieroglyphical helps to language, and hating the
idea of foreign invasion, ever associated in their minds and traditions
with the revolution of the nomade shepherd kings. The stupendous
architecture of Egypt, like that of Assyria, proved the numerical force,
physical slavishness, and mental superstition of that people. Fattened
by the _lætas segetes_—the exuberant harvests of the Nile—brute force
and beaverism divided the nation between them—excepting what amount of
esoteric knowledge the priests and kings made use of to keep the
many-headed monster in order.

Let us now look at the aspects of Greece—a country, undoubtedly,
peopled from the places and races of Central Asia. Greece is an
irregular land of hills and valleys, broken by a thousand bays, and
clasped, beneficently, in the serpent arms of the Midland Sea. In Greece
are no broad levels on which a despot may deploy his horsemen and
war-chariots. Marathon, to be sure, is a plateau, looked on by the
mountains, and looking on the sea—

          The mountains look on Marathon,
          And Marathon looks on the sea—

but history tells us that the Persian cavalry found it far too rugged a
place to charge upon. Neither had Hellas any fat, broad extent of soil
on which maize, rice, and corn may grow, to feed millions in a supine
content, and predispose them to be the instruments of some powerful
despotism, kingly or priestly. The climate of Greece was varied by the
inequalities of its surface and the nearness of the sea; and the
inhabitants became a pastoral, agricultural, and commercial people. The
soil brought forth, in reward of care and labor, corn, and wine, and
oil, and vegetation of great beauty and grandeur. The climate was marked
by those vicissitudes which the experience of the world proves to be
most favorable to the condition of man, and the highest development of
his powers. It had none of the inland and enervating characteristics of
Middle Asia or Egypt. The Greek was obliged to wrestle with Nature for
her blessings. Thence rose, in time, the illustrious polities, the
immortal mythologies, and white theories of her fields and streams—all
that memorable splendor of intellect and war which has had nothing
comparable to it in antiquity.

The geography of Greece forbade that deadly centralization which has so
disastrously weighed upon most other civilizations. Nature divided the
Hellenic land into states—fashioned the Greek group of peoples on the
federal principle. The results were that the distinct races and families
of men set about taking care of their own destinies—began to make their
municipal arrangements, and lift up their ideas to the great argument of
self-government. Each nationality was small enough to be within the ken
and influence of all its citizens. Every man in the state—slaves
excepted—had an intimate personal interest in its welfare—the people
were all politicians or soldiers, and could be statesmen—if necessary.
Their minds were thus nursed in independence—educated in the true
school of civil liberty; and, even in monarchies as well as republics,
the power, intelligence, and influence of the people, constituted the
life and vigor of the state. The warlike and religious games of Greece
perfected the strength and symmetry of the human body. Its climate and
soil were eminently calculated to produce happy results on the minds of
men so organized and educated; and the national character became
reflected in the graceful arts and superstitions of the people. In the
East and Egypt, the vague idea of some supreme divinity, which hovered
over all nations from the beginning, and never seems to have been absent
from the world, was degraded by the degraded souls of the people. Their
notions of supernal things were monstrous, grotesque, and
inhuman—gathered evidently from their experience of kings and
crocodiles. To express them the slavish race accepted the shapes of
birds and beasts—winged bulls, cows, cats, hawks, alligators, and so
forth. How different the cheerful and eminently human mythologies of
Greece, born of the elements of the clime—autochthonous of that
immortal ground! The Orientals, Egyptians, etc., bowed down to brutal
shapes, congenial with the gross conceptions of their own laborious
ignorance. But the Greek looked up, with a dignified sense of
things—admired his own splendid symmetry in the olympic festivals, and,
with a glorious egotism, invested the many manifestations of the
universal spirit with the finest forms of men that ran or fought naked
in the _palestræ_. Pan was no monstrous deity—he was a jolly rustic
divinity—of the earth, earthy—a bucolic _bizarrerie_, coming naturally
from the gay, gross genius of agrarianism; a little _caper_-footed, to
be sure; but therefore only the more in character, and a very
respectable divinity, indeed, for the country parts.

Berenger, the French poet, fables that it was Cyprus wine which first
gave birth to the gods of Greece—stating that Hesiod had warmed his
veins with the liquor before he began to embody his Olympian theories.
But Hesiod, after all, only transcribed and touched up the popular
belief; it was the bright, sensuous genius of Greece, transfiguring the
happy elements of the clime, that brought forth the theogonies—peopled
with immortal dwellers the

          Elysian, windless, fortunate abodes,
          Beyond heaven’s constellated wilderness.

The Greeks deified the best attributes of mankind, and adored the
Supreme Spirit in the reflections of their own cheerful and elevated
minds. In the vastness and power of the sea they saw Poseidon on his
car, drawn by sea-horses, and girt by his conch-bearing Tritons,
sounding in response to what the old Greek dramatist calls “the
innumerable laughter of the waves”—_anarithmon kymaton
gelasma_—Jupiter thundered from the acroceraunian top of Olympus,

          Soaring all snow-clad through his native sky
          In the wild pomp of mountain majesty;

Phœbus-Apollo and Diana, his sister, moved, beautiful unspeakably, in
the sun and moon; gods blew in the four great winds and in the breeze;
every fountain had its Naiad, and every oak its Hamadryad. Pan shouted
on the mountains—especially whenever good came to Greece; and on the
day of Marathon his mighty vociferations were heard at wonderful
distances!—and the Fauns, Satyrs, Dryads, Oreads and so forth, his
subjects and followers, wandered over every meadow, and were seen
peeping from the glades and openings of every forest.

Much of the power and civilization of Greece grew from her commerce and
maritime enterprise—from the sea. Dr. Arnold, the historian, says very
truly, that the sea has always been one of the greatest agents of
liberty and civilization. The supremacy of Athens over Sparta, then, and
in the memory of all future time, was due to the port of the Piræus. The
crowning glories of the Attic metropolis—her immortal sculptures and
temples and her splendid philosophies—were owing to a refining
intercourse with other peoples, and to the maritime exactions, somewhat
tyrannically levied from those sea-born states that, from the waters and
shores of the Mediterranean, looked to Athens as their mother city and
protectress. Tyre, Carthage, Syracuse and other seaports—ancient and
modern—have owed their wealth, celebrity and distinguishing character
to their respective geographical positions.

If we follow the movements of the human family through Germany and up to
the high latitudes of Europe, we find that the severe elements of the
north and the peculiarities of soil were able to imbue the human mind
with a portion of their own character. The life of the great
Scandinavian race was necessarily divided between war and plunder; and
the ideas which they entertained of the superior powers and a future
state were reflected from their circumstances. These corsairs and
kempions believed the Valhalla of departed spirits was a place where the
happy warriors fought one another during the day, and feasted together
at night, (eating flesh and drinking mead from deer’s horns) after Odin
had miraculously put together the severed limbs and healed all the
wounds; till the morrow should once more renew these murdering
beatitudes of the boreal heaven! Again—the iron hills of the Northern
region helped to form the mythologies and superstitions originally so
distinctive of the Scandinavian mind. The Lapps, Finns, and other
peoples of the high latitudes, were in a great measure miners and
smiths. Æschylus, we believe it is, who says that the sword is “the
child of Scythia”—a saying not more figurative than matter-of-fact.
Jornades, a Goth, says Scandinavia was the Forge of Mankind—_humani
generis officium_—indicating the metallurgic nature of that influence
exerted on the fate of the more Southern European nations. The men who
mined, and who hammered into shape the swords of the Northmen, were
small in their physical proportions, and usually had their stithies near
the mouths of the mines among the hills. Hence the kobold-workers, the
hill-folk, the goblins, trolls, dwarfs, wee men and so forth, of a
superstition which has overflowed the rest of Europe, almost as
extensively as the military migrations from the same places did, once
upon a time. These little hyperborean _diableries_ have wandered all
over the fields of the South and permanently tinged the currents of its
various literature.

Turning to Asia, we perceive how the relaxing heat of the climate led
the mild and perspiring Hindoo to regard God as a being who sits still
and reposes—a type of sublime steadfastness and languor. If
Christianity had been born in the middle of Europe, the history of
society would probably have wanted some of its most curious and
remarkable features—monasteries and hermitages. In the East,
enthusiasts, overpowered by the heat, naturally agreed that thinking and
doing nothing would be a great help to devotional feeling. So the pious
were led to go very much together into cool crypts, and, from the
physical sensations of the East, gave rise to a philosophy which having
passed into the colder climates, became naturally identified with more
of penance and endurance. The Koran would not have been written—could
not have done its work, in any Northern latitude. It is as much a part
of the East—of south-western Asia—as if it was a date or a palm tree,
and grew near a well in the desert. One of the sublimest religious
duties among the Brahmins and Turks is said to be, to sit on the floor,
with the eye of the mind fixed on the very centre of the midriff, and
thus expect the growth and efflorescence of sanctity—a much pleasanter
way of coming at the result, than by walking or taking any violent
exercise, where the thermometer is usually up to 95 in the shade! It is
also a part of religion in these hot latitudes to wash one’s self—a
piece of piety which is good enough to be Christian. The Arab is free,
because no one cares to dispute his sands with him; and hospitable,
because without hospitality his dusty father-land would be nearly
impassable or uninhabitable. Montesquieu says that poor and barbarous
nations are most hospitable, and trading nations least so; for which
moral effects there could be adduced very good geographical causes.

Regarding Asia, on the whole, we perceive its great inferiority to
Europe in every thing which civilization boasts of. For the causes of
this we must look to the circumstances of sun and soil—the latter,
especially. Europe, unlike Asia, is broken into many distinct
territories by mountain chains, seas, straits, rivers, etc. Nature, in
laying out portions of her domain, as it were, prepared those divisions,
segregations, and isolations which fostered national independence, and
left to the European families of men leisure to entertain the more
humanizing and elevating thoughts of life. Europe became crowded with
nationalities in which the federal principle grew up, perilously shaken
by blows, to be sure, and nourished with human gore, but still
struggling forward; by degrees, into more assured vitality; while
flowing around and through all, the civilizing sea with its breezes
fanned into strength the warm blood in the arteries of enterprise, toil
and progress. The Asian continent, on the contrary, is comparatively a
vast, unwatered, sun-baked extent of solid ground, open, for the most
part, to the wild winds and the wilder hordes of barbarians and
semi-barbarians. If, by some convulsion of Nature, the Caspian Sea could
have been widened and prolonged eastward for fifteen hundred miles or
so, the history of Asia, and, perhaps, of the world, would certainly
have been different from that we now peruse.

Freedom and national prosperity are hard to locate. They have never
seemed to thrive, as yet, (we don’t know how it may be in the future) in
the soft and sunny places of the world. They require hard conditions of
the sun and soil to bring them to a valid and permanent state of
existence. They seem to have succeeded best in presence of a
difficulty—proving apparently, the truth of the saying, that the price
of independence is eternal vigilance. The perfection of the human race
belongs to the temperate zones and to the necessity of energy imposed by
their elemental conditions. The civilization of warm, fertile,
spontaneous countries is not that by which the progress of the world is
accelerated. Switzerland has been kept free by her barren ground and her
keen winds, which have invigorated the souls of her people; and they
have also, probably, dissuaded the ambition of her neighbors. But it is
certain that she has shown herself courageous and determined to be free.
The Hollowland, south of the Baltic, lying half in the ocean, and
subject to its overflows, was not very vehemently regarded by the rulers
of men, and therefore, for a long time, served as a refuge for the
peaceful and industrious. Labor built up their energies in that place,
and their spirit of independence along with the dykes, and they at last
learned to love and die for “their new-catched miles” taken from under
the trident of Poseidon; and so they made that land the asylum of
liberty, toleration, enlightenment and commercial prosperity. Venice,
China, and other states in which labor and vigilance have been necessary
to cope with certain difficulties of the soil or situation, are further
proofs of this influence of climate on national character.

If we look to England—we think it could be shown that all she is—all
that contrasts in her so strongly with the condition of other European
nations, has been owing to her place on the map. Beneath a variable sky,
the soil, which would yield little spontaneously, was still rich enough
to reward cultivation; and so the Anglo-Saxons—not to go further
back—became agricultural and accustomed to toil. Their tribes,
occupying a series of independent localities, after a primitive fashion,
were necessarily accustomed to look to their own plow-lands, hundreds,
parishes and counties, and regulate them independently. The space of the
island was too small to permit any nomade movements; and when it was
brought to acknowledge a common ruler, the parish and county regulations
were in customary force. The agricultural and household fixity of the
people allowed them to form regular habits and ideas of policy. The
circumstances of the island did not encourage any central despotism to
grow up in it like that of Charlemagne over France and Europe. Girt by
the waters of the four seas, the Saxon polity had time to grow hardened
on the soil, so that the invasions of the Danes and the Normans had no
power to do away with it. The Norman government, imposed for centuries
on the island, grew-weak in time before the well-rooted Anglo-Saxonism
of the land; the early county representatives flowered at last into the
Parliament, and the _folkmotes_ of Egbert and the Confessor are, at this
day, flourishing bravely and remarkably on wide-severed hemispheres of
the globe.

The isolation of England preserved her from the despotic influences of
the continent. But for her separating sea, she would have been many
times overrun by her neighbors. If she had touched the bounds of France
or the Low Countries, she might have passed under the French crown in
the reign of King John, or she would have been overrun by the terrible
Spanish infantry—a _land_ armada—in the days of Philip; or would have
had Napoleon, in 1804, dating his European decrees from the brick-built
palace of St. James’. The ocean gods that have been the friends of Great
Britain, have vindicated the truth of Dr. Arnold’s assertion—in
fostering a maritime wealth and empire, of which no former example has
at any time existed in the world, and which will only be exceeded when
the Anglo-Saxonism which is the moral back-bone of this
continent—obeying the unexpired old insular impulse of the slow
gathering years long before the Mayflower floated—shall spread out a
broader breadth of canvas to all the winds of Heaven—a more Briarean
strength of arm over the seas and shores of the world.

It would be absurd to deny, we repeat, that other influences beside
those of climate and soil operate upon peoples. Accidents, of conquests,
great men, modes of government, religions—these mould the life and
character of nations. But, as far as the world has yet gone, we must
perceive the more radical and permanent power of the elemental and local
influences. We see that nations keep their peculiar character, through
the long period of progress, for a thousand years together. The Germans
seem to be the same with those Teutonic tribes described by Cæsar and
Tacitus. The former described the French of to-day in the Gauls of his
own time. He says that nowhere were the common people more despised and
kept down than in the country of the Gauls. The Italians of this century
are certainly those of the ancient Roman days. If we desire to find a
parallel for that general supineness and helplessness which, they
exhibit just now, we shall find them under the emperors, from Augustus
down, when the old warlike spirit of the people seemed to have entirely
evaporated; and if we desire to find something like the heroism which
drove Brennus back to the mountains and refused to despair after Cannae,
we may discover it in the revolution and siege of Rome in 1848 and 1849.
The “human plant” in Italy appears at all times to belong to the soil
and the sun: capable of heroic things after “the high Roman fashion;”
also wonderfully content with maccaroni and the basking _dolce far
niente_, which, being interpreted, is the _panem et circensis_ of those
times when Rome was mistress of the world; and as handy with the
stiletto as once, upon those historic Ides of March, when the blood of
Cæsar

          Came rushing out of doors to be resolved
          If Brutus so unkindly knocked or no.

In the same way could be traced old resemblances in the features of many
other modern nations—surviving time and change, and, apparently,
proving the truth of the autocthonous principle.

Coming to ourselves—we also exhibit the influence of climate on
character. And first, as to physical character, in which this
proposition seems least controvertible. The Americans, are found to be
less robust than their European forefathers—English, Irish, German,
French, Spanish, and others. The citizens of this republic are,
generally speaking, a thinner and paler race than the peoples of the old
world. This fact is the more striking, that the condition of immigrants
is customarily improved on this soil—they eat and drink better, and
have more of the physical comforts of life. Philosophers have been
endeavoring to account for this. Some maintain there is something in the
climate of America which will not permit organized beings to possess the
fire and vigor of the animal creation of the other hemisphere. The dogs
of this community are found not to have at all the ferocity of the
European hounds: and the American cock does not keep up the high,
military heart of his insular brother over the way. It has been
considered that to the greater moisture of the British Isles (it is
chiefly to these we confine our contrast—seeing they furnish us with
the chief material for making it) is owing the superior freshness of
complexion and roundness of form which distinguish the insulars. The air
of this continent is far dryer than that of the United Kingdom. Another
cause has been found in the astonishing haste in which Americans live
and move and have their being—their incessant play of speculative
thought: and especially the rapid way in which they furnish the
microcosm with its necessary aliment—or, as Mr. Micawber would say,
with a burst of confidence —bolt their victuals, in fact. Other causes
have been found in the general use of stoves in houses, and the
consumption of acidulating fruit in this country. Certainly the health
of American women, in particular, suffers from these two causes in a
very palpable manner. The stoves of anthracitic America, vitiating the
air of close rooms and relaxing the powers of the human body, are
calculated to produce a great difference of some sort or other between
our people—the women especially—and those islanders who use bituminous
coal and open grates. All these things, of course, produce their
results; but we think the chief cause of this effect—“or of this
defect; for this effect defective comes by cause,” as old Polonius would
say—would seem to exist in the atmosphere; inasmuch as the lower animal
creation on this continent is also found inferior to that of Europe in a
certain amount of physical stamina.

As regards the mental and moral character of our people, it could be
fairly shown that among all the influences affecting it, those of sun
and soil are radically the most forcible. The vast and varied resources
of our territory have made us a nation of energetic workers and traders.
The lower faculties of our minds have been so excited by the prospects
and opportunities which commerce has displayed and discovered to us, on
all sides, that the rest of these faculties, in sight of such a
wonderful business and the great ends to which it is tending, engage
also in the excitement, and Science, Art, Poetry, Philosophy, Religion
even, move down gladly to join the great and manifold march of our
destinies. Whatever amount of social greatness, enterprise and far
speculation distinguishes us from the other nations, is certainly owing
to our continental place upon the surface of the globe—this moral _pou
sto_, whence we may yet be enabled to move the whole world in a variety
of ways. Our minds seem to grow to the measure of this territory, and to
represent, in its capacities, the material resources of the empire in
all their affluence and incompleteness.

Science and general intercourse will, doubtless, do a great deal in
time, in the way of obliterating nations’ distinctives. But these can
never wholly pass away before the moral advances of civilization. In the
human economy, in fact, it would seem that the principle of variety
which we find at work every where in the universe, is just as necessary
and good as in the material scheme of things. Man must always, more or
less, bear the character of those elements by which he is surrounded.

-----

[1] Natural History of the Human Species; by Lieut. Col. C. H. Smith.
Reprint, Boston. Gould & Kendall.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                =SONG.=


                         =BY WM. H. C. HOSMER.=


                Music; where soft voices die,
                Vibrates in the memory.     Shelley.

                She knew me not, although her breast
                  Had pillowed oft my head,
                And thought I long had been at rest
                  With Ocean’s ghostly dead.
                Full on my wan and wasted face
                  She fixed her melancholy gaze;
                But there, alas! she could not trace
                  The look of other days.

                She knew me not! the flight of time
                  An iron form will bow,
                And bondage in a tropic clime
                  Had darkened cheek and brow:
                I spoke of friends; with look cast down,
                  Who shared her joy in better hours—
                Whom Death had added to his crown
                  Of darkly folded flowers:—

                In vain! the mourning one no glance
                  Of love or welcome gave;
                She thought beneath the blue expanse
                  Of ocean was my grave:
                I then sang airs that in the cell
                  Of hoarding memory long had slept,
                And with a look tongue cannot tell
                  She clasped my neck and wept.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                          =SONNET.—THE COMET.=


                          =BY WM. ALEXANDER.=


             Upon what deed of hazardous emprise,
               Bold Comet, dost thou come? From vistas deep
               Of space, thou hurriedly dost sweep,
             Self-shining, with thy trail athwart the skies,
             To greet the golden sun. Nor comest thou
               Alone—a myriad more press on thy track,
               In wild excursion; soon to measure back
             The ebon distances. Come, tell us, now,
             Why unannounced, strange visitant! once more,
               So suddenly thou burstest on our sight,
               A terror at mid-day—a wonder of the night?
             Precursor of red war, then, dost thou soar,
             Or monitor of wo? Peculiar Fire!
             Thy presence can in us no confidence inspire.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        =FANCIES FROM A GARRET.=


                        =BY GEO. CANNING HILL.=


                                BUBBLES.

                   And why not, pray, from a Garret?
                   And from a Country Garret, too?


Though the sun doth not flood the crannies and crevices with its
light—and though dangling webs from spiders’ looms swing from one huge
beam to another—yet may there brood no Fancies there?—fancies, too,
themselves radiant with sunshine, and fringed with a fine web of beauty?

Ay—it is not in smooth-shaven meadows alone, or beneath broad-reaching
trees, or beside brawling brooks, that a man’s Fancies will disport
themselves:—it is not in the woods only, that his inward nature will
take airy wings, and revel among speculations far more real, after all,
than the very realities about him:—but it is
here—there—everywhere:—it is even beneath the rafters of a dim,
dusty, and lumber-laden Garret.

                 *        *        *        *        *

I have got a little apartment in the south-east corner of one of these
thought-peopled Garrets; none at all too spacious, to be sure; lighted
by but a single window, and walled in on all sides by the weird and
strange influences that haunt the place. To this retreat I am accustomed
to betake myself occasionally, when I would indulge in that refreshing
and genial siesta of the senses—a Reverie.

Here are no interruptions. Of a warm summer day, I open my door and
suffer the cool wind to draw through the room. Sometimes, on entering at
the window, it snatches hold of the corners of my manuscript sheets,
whirls them rudely about to the floor, performs a rapid pirouette, and
whisks out through the door. There it dances at its pleasure in the
spacious and silent Garret-hall—piping its own soft music—and kicking
up with its airy feet the venerable dust of years.

When the sunlight blazes upon the crisped shingles, it seems to me that
it is night; and that I behold innumerable stars, where, the light
streams through the hundred holes in the roof. The effect is singular
enough. And I go groping about in the darkness and the dust—crouching
beneath huge beams—crawling carefully into dim archways and
quaint-looking angles—ransacking the lumber of years’ accumulation—and
raising clouds of dust, which the slender lines of sunlight through the
roof fashion into shining threads of gold.

All the influences here at times are sombre; yet they are not so sad as
to depress me. I have a strange feeling of being momentarily out of the
world. I do not feel lost: only isolated. Neither do I feel myself
wholly lonely; for olden and strange associations come thronging to me,
so that I may easily imagine myself surrounded with beings of life and
thought.

I wander and grope about in this spacious garret, and lose myself
sometimes in the varied play of my feelings. My eyes light on old bits
of trumpery, that were vastly counted on fifty years ago. Here are
children’s worn and faded playthings—the baubles and hobby-horses, that
absorbed minds which are now impressing an influence upon the world.
Here, still clasping an open beam, are the ends of the rope by which
children swung themselves, full a half century ago; and the whole dusky
beam seems circled round and round with rings of childish laughter. Here
are dark corners, and cosy angles, and curious spaces, where each
erected spacious playhouses, that might, in mimicry, have rivaled the
establishments of the jealous Montagues and Capulets.

And I pick out from the rubbish, or take down from the edges of beams
and rafters, remnants of ancient China sets, with their quaint devices
shattered into other and stranger ones—all of them faithful souvenirs
of the days and the habits of our godly grandmothers. And hidden away in
the dusty lumber, are a few old and badly bedimmed portraits—coarsely
enough done, but once probably sources of secret pride and gratification
to their owners.

And then when I stand in the midst of these rare collections of time,
and perceptibly feel the influence of the deep silence and the faded
light, I say to my heart—Why should not a Garret be the place, of all
others, the fullest of living Fancies?

                 *        *        *        *        *

—I had thrown myself into my arm-chair one day—it was in the latter
part of a protracted and severe winter—and was gradually losing myself
in the sweet and soothing play of feelings that always hover about me
here. The wintry winds had bawled themselves hoarse over the snowy
fields in the distance, and were charging in thick squadrons down the
wooded road, to attack the first chance traveler. I could hear them
piping shrilly at the crannies and beneath the eaves; and their
whistling voices had, I confess, a secret charm for me. I knew they
could not reach me with their frost-biting breath; and I unconsciously
drew a bit nearer the fire, and wrapped myself more closely in the
feeling of comfort that I had drawn about me.

It was already past mid-afternoon; and the pale and lifeless sun threw
itself across my floor more like a veritable shadow, than like the
cheerful sun it should have been.

I tried to lose myself entirely—to sleep; but that was only impossible.
My thoughts would not wholly sleep. Yet they were, for all that,
disposed to drowsiness.

Every thing I had ever heard, or read, seemed crowding back on my
memory. Chance sayings from lips that had not spoken in long years; and
quaint lines from quaintest authors. Old books sifted out their
piquancies into my lap, that I should pick them up and examine them over
again, one at a time. My mind was, for the moment, converted into a
crowded museum. Every thing was huddled together there; yet not so
confusedly as that I could not lay my hand—so to say—on whatever I
wanted.

By some unknown association, the line of Banquo, in his questioning of
Macbeth respecting the three witches, came to me; and I know not if I
repeated it aloud to myself or not, in the state of reverie into which
my mind was lapsing:

          “The earth has bubbles, as the water hath.”

At all events, the line kept running and spinning round in my brain—I
all the while trying to deduce some hidden meaning from it. I had it
over and over again; and in time, my thoughts began to weave themselves
together somewhat after this wise:—

                 *        *        *        *        *

—Bubbles? Yes—and a plenty of them, too!

The baby blows them from the smooth bowl of a clay pipe; distending its
little cheeks to their utmost, and staring at the gaudy tints that sail
over their surfaces, with a delight that is almost uncontrollable.

The youth blows them, when he looks out from one of the windows of his
lofty air-castle; and his eye swims with the pleasant prospect he sees
through the golden mist that hangs before him.

The man of mature years blows them—big and round; but they are not
always so gayly painted as those he inflated years ago. The colors are
faded: they seem soiled: they are, in truth, wanting. Yet the bubbles
are no less bubbles, albeit they look so vapory and dull.

—And so, thought I, we all keep blowing bubbles, from early babyhood
till we lean upon the staff. It is only when the silvery snows of old
age lie thickly upon the temples, and the clear eye has altogether lost
its crystal lustre, that we leave off the occupation.

Early in life we call it a pleasant pastime; when we grow older, we make
it a business. While we are children, we send the fragile creations up
into the air; and we laugh and clap our hands, to see the winds play
gently with them as with foot-balls. And when at last their thousand
liquid threads snap in sunder, and only a glistening water-drop falls to
the earth, our faces for a moment forget their smiles, and then—we
straightway go to blowing more.

We get further on in years. We are sanguine, even to feverishness. We
hope for every thing which our minds can conceive. We know no such
chances as those of impossibility. Our blood is hot: it flies swiftly
along our veins, and we do not know how to brook restraint. Life is all
pleasure; or rather, a concentric series of pleasure—the outer circles
seemingly quite as thickly crowded with happiness as those nearer the
centre. We snatch quick glances at the future; and we see the years
going round and round in these charmed circles, till our brain grows
giddy. And then we give ourselves up to nothing but this single object
and purpose—Pleasure.

We grow out of mere boyhood—that age of continual conflict betwixt
pride and sense—that time wherein we experience more mortifications
than during all the rest of our lives—and we feel the first flush of
manhood on our brows. The limbs are lithe, and graceful, and strong. The
senses take a secret pleasure at the very consciousness of their
existence. The eye is quick, and clear, and far-sighted. The ear catches
the slightest sounds. A sense of strength, and so of confidence, settles
down upon the whole being. There are no feats—whether physical or
intellectual—for which we do not seem to have abundant capacity.

And the hopes, too, are so high; and the ambition is so exalted; and the
heart is so strong!

—Oh, how much it would take of trial, to crush the strength out of the
heart now!

You are looking, with an eye full of hopeful expression, out upon the
world’s highway. Crowded as it is, you have no fears of there being no
room for you. You are so full of self-reliance—to give it no harsher
name—that you even think the world will need your services—that it can
ill do without them.

—Immature fellow! You might die; and a thousand more of equal promise
and hope, might die along with you; and yet your loss would never be
felt by the world. There would be enough left to perform all you had in
your heart resolved upon.

You think, as you pass on, and as the days begin to lag and grow more
tedious, that you will need the sympathy of another, from which, as from
a never-failing fountain, to feed your own. You sometimes, even now,
have moments of weariness and exhaustion, although they are as fleeting
as fleecy clouds; yet they suggest to you fears of weariness and
exhaustion, in the battle of coming years—and you secretly resolve not
to be taken unawares.

At the first, this is but a thought of expediency; or of something that
looks as much to safety as to any thing else. Then it slowly and
gradually takes form. Then it thrusts its bursting grain-head above the
heart-soil; and it instantly becomes an existence—a living reality.
Then it shoots and germinates rapidly; drawing strongly on the life for
sustenance; and sucking up almost all the invigorating juices from the
heart.

You are thrown off your guard by the most trifling cause—nay, by no
causes at all. Your nerves become shattered, unstrung, and sadly out of
tune. Your head swims with the slightest pretexts. Your eyes grow wild,
and at times glassy, even to ghastliness. Your heart feels never so sad
and so lonely; never so deeply in want of another’s sympathy.

You have brothers?—No—no.

Sisters?—Ah—but even that will not do. Something nearer even than
brother or sister, is what this heart-hunger craves now.

And all this time—silly fellow!—your eyes are tightly shut. You see
nothing. You are willing to grope your way thus in the dark. Yet if you
would but exercise a little of the reason you have laid by as of no
present service, in what a straight-forward way would you go at your
purpose!

The sight of a pale ribbon, flirting in the wind, throws you in a panic.
The faintest smile from ruby lips, makes you fairly go mad. The sudden
glance of a twinkling dark eye, only intoxicates you. How the hot blood
rushes up to the eyes—and then slowly ebbs back upon the heart again!

—Ah! if you could but catch the sweet music of her voice!—

Well—well; and that time at length comes along. You have waited
patiently and long. You have wrestled valiantly with your
bashfulness—and, at last, you are the victor.

You speak to her, whose image has so long been haunting you. She replies
to you. Her voice is like the low tones of a lute.

          —Was there ever such joy?—

—Again. You just feel the slight weight of her hand upon your arm. Yet
you think you cannot feel it, either. You wish she was heavier. You wish
she was far more of a burden on your arm.

The lace-frills on either side of her face are snowy white; but not near
so white as her face itself. Nothing could be whiter than that. You look
hurriedly at it, and you greatly wonder while you fear.

Lean more on me for support! you say.

She throws up a grateful glance at you, but says nothing. Yet you read
in that glance, as plainly as if it had been upon a printed page—

Thank you: I lean on you now all I can!—

But, how like a feather! How fearfully fragile! She leans on you with
all her weight? Then is she scarce heavier than a shadow.—

You try cheering words. You tell her how balmy airs always refresh your
senses; and timidly ask her if she is not already refreshed herself. The
blushing red rose that has ambitiously climbed over the wall, you pluck
hastily for her—heedless of either thorns or pain. You offer it to her.
She lays it upon her lips.

Alas! how fearful the contrast with that blanched face. For the moment,
yours is fully as white as her own.

You speak of flowers; but your lip quivers. You know that the flower you
support on your arm is too white for a rose; too pale by far for a lily;
too fragile altogether for an earth-flower: and you cannot keep it out
of your mind, that she must soon bloom in another soil.

—Oh, God! How the rushing thoughts come now! All your ambition—that
strong cord that bound you down to earth—is snapped like tow in a
blaze! You could at once burn your books, and feel no regret; if by that
means these cruel fears would release your heart from the clutch of
their skinny fingers! You would give up your whole life-time, day by
day, and year by year—if, by this devotion, you could crush the life
out of these cruel spectres!

                 *        *        *        *        *

Then comes a long day: a dark day: a dismal day. No other such day could
ever have been notched in the calendar. The sun is clear—but you do not
see it. You are wholly in the darkness. The soft south winds blow upon
your temples, and refresh your nostrils with the fragrance they have
rifled from gardens full of flowers.

—If _she_ could but feel this refreshing fragrance in her nostrils!—

You behold many faces—and many strange ones, too. These are wild briars
running all over the turf you are slowly treading on; but no roses on
one of them; nothing but thorns. Your eye is glassy; and it runs round
hurriedly on the ring of faces that are turned to your own. Your muscles
are so very rigid—you think your face is of marble.

There is a dark throng all around you. Circles of young girls—but not a
smile on the face of one of them. Their eyes are cast down; and you
fancy their pale lips slightly quiver. You look closer; and your own
tremble and shake in spite of you.

The dull tramp of feet has ceased. There is no voice—no sound. The
silence is unbroken. It hangs over you—over those about you—over the
whole dense throng, like a heavy pall. You would even put out your hand
and raise it from before your eyes. You feel strange sensations, as of
suffocation; and you would fain speak aloud, to satisfy yourself that
you still possess your senses.

—How heavy!—how oppressive!—how appalling!—

By and by, a low, faint, scarce audible sound rises on the air. It is
very near you, yet it seems as if it were a very great way off. Now
louder—now higher—now nearer still to you. It is as if the air were
filled with low wails!

It is only a dirge for the dead.

—How your flesh creeps, as the fearfully solemn tones fall on your
ears. How icy cold is the blood in your veins—and yet the beaded drops
of perspiration stand upon your temples, and in your palms! How stoutly
you struggle to feel that you still have your senses; and yet, in your
strong agony, you fiercely bite your lip through and through, and know
it not.

Alas!—what wo!—what wo!—what untold wo! No heart now, from whose
depths to draw refreshing sympathy. No open ear, into which to pour the
torrent of your untold grief. You cannot move from your tracks. You
would not move if you could. You would not speak—nor utter so much as a
faint cry. You would for ever stand there, like a lifeless block of
marble.

You wonder if all the rest feel as you do; and you try to lift your
eyes, to meet the gaze which you feel is upon you.

Just then, another wail of song—and your dimmed eyes drop to the
ground. They behold what has been spared you till now.

They fall into a gaping grave!

—And then comes blindness again, and a swift swimming of the brain; and
a sickening of all the senses; and you fear for yourself, lest you may
suddenly reel and pitch into the newly-dug grave.—

Oh, God!—you pray—if this cup would but have passed from me!

Four men stand near the dark cavity. Their feet are imbedded in the
gravel that has been freshly thrown out, and it rattles back again into
the grave, with an unearthly echo.

The men each hold on upon a strap. They let it slip—you can distinctly
hear it—through their hands. Down—down—down!

The coffin has gone down beneath the edge of the grave. It grates, and
rubs, and rumbles against the rough sides of its cell, and then sinks
into the silence and darkness for ever.

You hear sobs—quick, convulsive, heart-rending sobs. They are full to
bursting with distress. They come from the lips of her mother—her
sister—her brother.

You cannot bear it yourself. Oh, for only a single tear! Oh, for but a
single heaving of the breast!

—But no—but no. No one to whom to carry all your griefs now. They must
flow back upon your heart again. They must scorch it with their boiling
lava. They press even now so hard upon you, that you feel fearfully
self-possessed. It is almost impossible to bear it all.

Young girls step timidly up to the edge of the dark grave—snatch a look
at the coffin that holds all your own heart—and cautiously throw roses
down upon it.

The sight goes to your very heart. But no tears yet. What a relief would
they not be?

And now you clench your hands tightly together, and bite your lip in
fresh agony. You spit blood already from your mouth.

Only a prayer—a slow, solemn prayer from the reverend man of God—and
all is over. The dense throng begin to turn away.

They are nearly all gone: they wait for you only.

Some one touches you gently on your arm; but you are senseless as stone.
Your eyes are fixed on that remorseless grave—the greedy grave, that
has in a moment swallowed up all your hopes of earthly happiness.

You only wish you could lie down, and be buried there too!

—Then you think of her again—of the time when she was in the flush of
health and beauty. You remember well the very first look she gave you.
It will never, you think, pass out of your memory.

You call up her tender expressions; her genial thoughts; and her many
arch and graceful sayings. You think how surpassingly beautiful she
seemed to you, on a certain summer morning, when you were riding
together along a road lined with ruddy apple-blossoms, and vocal with
the bewildering music of birds. You think, too, of the time when she
gently dropped her head upon your manly shoulder, and you felt your soul
full to the brim with happiness.

And then to have the crushing thought fall again like a great weight
upon you—that this is all that is left of her love; and that she is
carefully laid away for the rioting worm!

—Oh, for but a hot—a scalding tear! How you pray that this mighty
grief will break its bounds and overflow!

This time they pull harder at your arm, and call you by name. You look
up—but you comprehend nothing. You hear your name spoken—but know not
by whom.

They warn you to come away. You move on reluctantly after them; but your
last look is on that grave. And you think you will come back again, when
night steals over the place; and watch by the side of it till she comes
and sits down beside you; and then you will weave fresh roses again into
garlands together.

                 *        *        *        *        *

—You are back in your little office once more. You open a book—a huge
book—and lay it out upon the table before you. The events of the day
you desire to make into something more real; and you bring them into
close proximity with your daily duties—with the very books you have
handled so often, with the clear type on the page.

Alas!—in only a moment—they become far too real to you. They roll
rapidly over your brain, like yeasty waves over a drowning man.

—No ambition now—no more hope—no high thoughts for the future. You
care nothing for applauding voices. They are but faint whispers, in the
storm of your roaring and deafening trouble.

You pace to and fro in your little room; but no consolation. All your
castles, that you had builded with such nice care, have crumbled to the
ground. All the domestic bliss you had thought soon to enter upon, has
suddenly become a blank. The homefires you had thought to kindle so
brightly on your hearth, are all smothered and smouldering. Only dry
ashes before you: no blaze; no warmth. A vacant chair stands beside your
own.

You seize your hat, and rush out to breathe out your still grief upon
the winds—hoping, perchance, they may waft it to her ears.

—And this is your first disappointment—your first great grief. Would
to God—you say—it may be your last!

                 *        *        *        *        *

—Bubbles—all bubbles, thought I, as the wind shrieked at the crevices
of the Old Garret again. When do we stop blowing them?—and when do they
stop bursting?

Now, I thought I knew what Banquo meant, when he said that the earth,
like the water, had bubbles;—

“And this is of them!—”

                 *        *        *        *        *

I piled fresh logs upon my fire. I felt chilled, as with a searching
wind.

My eyes wandered out at the window. The sick sun no longer lay across
the floor. It had gone down behind the distant hills. The swart shadows
were at the casement, and were slowly creeping in.

—They had come—thought I—to throw their dark shroud about the Fancies
that were brooding here. And I gladly welcomed them, too.—

I buried my face in my hands; and a secret joy stole into my heart, that
the Night had finally come.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =THE MINISTER’S WIFE.=


                           =BY ELLA RODMAN.=


The Rev. Sydney Saybrook preached his first sermon to an admiring
congregation. The people of L—— were astonished; old men dwelt with
delight on the excellent home-truths introduced, as it were, amid a bed
of flowers—young men admired the eloquence and frank bearing of the
speaker—and young ladies, ah! _that_ was the thing. _They_, disdaining
the matter-of-fact admiration of the rougher sex, looked forward into
futurity, and, as the young minister was reported free of encumbrances,
they thought of putting an end to his season of bliss by providing him
with _one_ as soon as possible.

This, however, is in strict confidence—they would not have acknowledged
it for the world, and yet many of the brains pertaining to those
attentive faces were busily at work within the pretty parsonage,
altering, remodeling, arranging things to their own particular tastes.
One would have that rose-vine taken away—it obscured the view; another
would not only leave the rose, but would add a honeysuckle, too—it
looked pretty and romantic; while a third had re-carpeted the stairs to
the last flight by the time that Mr. Saybrook arrived at “thirteenthly.”

Milly Ellsworth was a very pretty girl, and, therefore, what might
perhaps have been vanity in one more plain, was with her only a pleasant
consciousness of her own charms; as, in apparent forgetfulness of the
saying that it takes two to make a bargain, she exclaimed:

“I have made up my mind to captivate Mr. Saybrook—it must be so
beautiful to be a minister’s wife.”

The last remark was intended as a sort of compliment to their visitor,
who enjoyed that enviable distinction, but Mrs. S—— merely smiled as
Milly’s earnest face was raised toward her.

“Only think of it,” continued the young enthusiast.

“I do think of it,” replied Mrs. S——, quietly; “but the thought to me
brings up some scenes that are any thing but agreeable. If I cannot tell
‘tales that would freeze your very blood,’ I can relate some that
_would_ freeze a little of that enthusiasm. _A minister’s wife!_ You
little know what is comprised in that title.”

“Of course,” replied Milly, with a demure face, “it is a station of
great responsibility, and has its peculiar duties. A minister’s wife,
too, is a sort of pattern, and should be a—a—in short, just the
thing.”

“Exactly,” returned Mrs. S——, smiling at this very satisfactory
explanation, “but for ‘pattern’ read ‘mirror’—a reflection of
everybody’s own particular ideas; in which, of course, no two agree. But
let me hear _your_ ideas on the subject, Milly—I wish to know what you
consider ‘just the thing.’”

“Why,” continued Milly, warming with her subject, “her dress, in the
first place, should be scrupulously plain—not an article of jewelry—a
simple straw hat, perhaps, tied down with a single ribbon—and a white
dress, with no ornament but natural flowers.”

“Very good,” said Mrs. S——, “as far as it goes; but the beauty of this
very ‘simple straw-hat’ is, of course, to consist in its shape and
style, and country villages are not proverbial for taste in this
respect. It would never do for a minister’s wife to spend her time in
searching for a tasty bonnet, and with a limited purse this is no light
labor. Then, too, she is obliged to encourage the manufactures of the
town in which she resides. If you could have seen some of the hats _I_
had to wear!”

Milly shuddered; she could have borne reverses of fortune, could even
have stood at the stake unflinchingly, supported by the glories of
martyrdom; but an unbecoming bonnet is one of those petty trials for
which one gains no credit but that of bad taste.

“As to the white dress,” continued Mrs. S——, “you must intend it to be
made of some material from which dirt will glance harmlessly off on one
side. Or perhaps you have one already—a legacy from one of those
everlastingly white-robed heroines in the old novels. Those must
assuredly have been spectre woods that they wandered in, for in _our_
days brambles and under-wood leave their marks. _I_ was obliged to give
up white dresses.”

Milly looked thoughtful.

“Oh, well,” said she, after a short pause, “dress is very little, after
all. I should like the idea of being a minister’s wife; you are so
looked-up to by the congregation; and then they bring you presents and
think so much of you.”

“Yes,” replied Mrs. S——, “there _is_ something in that; I had seven
thimbles given to me once.”

“Well, that must have been pleasant, I am sure.”

“It would have done very well had they not expected me to use the whole
seven at once. Don’t look so frightened, Milly—I don’t mean in a
literal sense; but I was certainly expected to accomplish as much work
as would have kept the seven well employed. This, with my household
affairs, was somewhat impossible.”

Milly sighed; she was not fond of work, and had vague visions of meals
of fruit and milk, and interminable seams accomplishing themselves with
neatness and dispatch.

“Now, that you look rather more rational,” said Mrs. S——, with a
smile, “I will give you a little of my own experience, that you may not
walk into these responsibilities with your eyes half-shut, as I did. My
ideas upon the subject of minister’s wives were very much like your own,
and when I left my father’s house in the city to accompany Mr. S—— to
his home in a distant country-village, it was with the impression that I
was to become a sort of queen—over a small territory, it is true, but
filled with adoring subjects. Mr. S—— is not very communicative, and
as he did not pull down my castles-in-the-air with any description of
realities, I was rather disappointed to find no roses or honeysuckles;
but a very substantial-looking house, with an immense corn-field on one
side and a kitchen-garden on the other. I could scarcely repress my
tears; but Mr. S——, who had been accustomed to the prospect all his
life, welcomed me to my future home as though it were all that could be
desired.

“The congregation soon flocked, not ‘to pay their respects,’ but to take
an inventory of my person and manners. I was quite young and naturally
lively, and old people shook their heads disapprovingly at the
minister’s choice, while grave spinsters, disappointed ones perhaps,
tossed theirs at the idea of ‘such a chit.’ The very rigid ones
black-balled me from _their_ community as unworthy to enter, while the
gay ones regarded me as a sort of amphibious animal, neither one thing
nor the other.

“Before long, the gifts of which you speak thronged in. I was pleased at
the attention—not dreaming, in my innocence, that twice as much would
be required of me in return. My ignorance on a great many subjects
excited the contempt, and often indignation of my country neighbors;
they made not the least allowance for my city education.

“I was standing in the kitchen one day, with a delusive notion of making
cake—for my attempts in the cookery line always placed me in a state of
delightful uncertainty as to the end, it was quite a puzzle what things
_would_ turn out—when a middle-aged woman made her appearance, and,
without being invited, seated herself near me. A basket accompanied her;
and after remarking that ‘it was awful hot!’ she asked me ‘if I wouldn’t
like some turnpike-cakes?’

“Previous unpalatable messes had been sent in to the table, and afraid
that I might be drawn in to taste some nauseous compound, I replied
rather hesitatingly—‘No, I thank you—I do not think that I am very
fond of them.’

“Mrs. Badger, for that was my visitor’s name, placed a hand on each hip,
and looking me full in the face, burst forth into a laugh that would
have done credit to a backwood’s-man. I trembled, and felt myself
coloring to the tips of my ears. To this day I have a vivid recollection
of the impression made upon me by that woman’s contempt.

“‘Well, wherever was you broughten up,’ said my visitor, at length, ‘to
’spose that turnpike-cakes was meant to _eat_! Why, bless your heart,
child! they’re to make bread with!’

“I caught eagerly at the idea; Mr. S—— was partial to home-made
bread—Mrs. Badger, who was by no means ill-natured, willingly left the
turnpike-cakes, and I was soon plunged up to the elbows in my labor of
love. I had very mistaken ideas though upon the subject of bread, and
its capabilities of rising; I supposed that a very minute piece of dough
would bake into a pretty loaf, and was extremely surprised when I beheld
only an extensive tea-cake. Mr. S—— laughed good-naturedly at my
baking, and pronounced it very well, what there was of it. Anxious to
distinguish myself in his eyes as a good housekeeper, I toiled over
pies, cake, and every thing eatable that I could think of; but, alas!
the mead of praise always fell short of my expectations. He dispatched
the pies with a mournful air, as he assured me that ‘he never expected
to taste any equal to his mother’s;’ and after trying in vain to reach
this standard of perfection, I gave it up in despair. This, I have since
found, is merely a delusion peculiar to men, to be classed in the same
scale with the fancy that sermons were longer and winters merrier in
childhood than they are now.

“_My_ experience of ministers has convinced me that, with respect to
worldly matters, they are an extremely thoughtless, improvident race;
and the machinery of _work_, indispensable to the producing of comforts,
always contrives to get on ‘the blind side’ of them. Mr. S—— seemed to
imagine that shining shirt-bosoms and spotless cravats grew on trees, or
were fished-up, unharmed, from the depths of the sea, for every week his
astonishment at Biddy’s failures was indescribable.

“Anxious to put an end to this perpetual state of surprise, I went into
the kitchen to oversee the girl’s performances—knowing about as much of
the matter as she did. Her request, ‘and would ye plaze, ma’am, to be
afther showin’ me,’ just meant to do it myself. The sensations that Mr.
S—— experienced on finding me thus employed were almost too deep to
vent themselves in words, but he positively forbade my doing it again;
so, whenever I knew that he was off on some lengthy visit, I continued
my mysterious occupation unsuspected; while he rejoiced at Biddy’s
improvement, and in the innocence of his heart exclaimed:

“‘Don’t tell me, my dear, that these Irish cannot be taught—look at
Biddy!’

“I did look at her, and encountered so hopelessly vacant a visage that I
laughed to myself at his credulity.

“I was invited, rather _commanded_, to join ‘The Dorcas Society for the
Relief of Indigent Females,’ which met every week, and where the members
always sewed on unbleached muslin and sixpenny calico; they made me
president, and in consequence I was expected, at each meeting, to take
home the unfinished work and do it up during the week. I was collector
for the poor—and in my rounds some gave me sixpence, some nothing, and
some impudence. I was superintendent of the Sunday-school, besides
teacher of a Bible-class of middle-aged young ladies who were not quite
grown up. I was member of a ‘Society for the Diffusion of Useful
Reading,’ which also met every week; and where, had I not been a
minister’s wife, I should certainly have fallen asleep over the
‘Exhortations,’ ‘Helps,’ ‘Aids,’ and ‘Addresses,’ that were showered
upon us poor women; while I wondered that nobody took the trouble to
write to men.

“You must acknowledge that my time was pretty well employed; but,
besides all this, I was expected to entertain innumerable visitors.
Traveling clergymen always made our house their stopping-place; and it
must have been conveniently on the route to almost every place in the
Union; for some were going north, some east, and some west, but that was
always the halting-place. Their hours of arriving were various and
unexpected; but _I_ was expected to furnish banquets at the shortest
notice—to drag forth inexhaustible store of linen and bedding—and
throw open airy apartments that had hitherto been concealed by secret
springs. Mr. S—— was firmly convinced that the house possessed the
elastic properties of India-rubber, and mildly disregarded my ignorance
when I asserted that it would not stretch to any extent.

“A convention of ministers was to meet in the village, for some purpose
or other, and the visitors, like British soldiers during the revolution,
were to be quartered upon the inhabitants—with only this difference,
they were to be invited before they entered a house. I was seated in Mr.
S——’s study when he mentioned the ministers.

“‘I spoke for you, too, my dear,’ said he coolly, ‘and said that we
could accommodate six.’

“‘Mr. S——!’ I exclaimed, roused past all endurance; ‘are you really
crazy!’

“‘Anna!’ replied my husband, as he turned his eyes upon me. Mr. S——
was usually very mild, and appeared to think that a look was sufficient
to subdue refractory spirits. He now undertook to _look_ me into reason;
while I, fairly boiling at the idea of being treated like a naughty
child, and yet struggling with a sense of right and wrong, sat with
downcast eyes trying in vain to get cool.

“‘I hope,’ continued Mr. S——, ‘that my wife has not forgotten the
rules of hospitality, or the precepts of the Bible?’

“‘But it is so impossible!’ I pleaded, ‘Neither beds nor any thing else
will hold out under such an inundation.’

“‘Remember the widow’s cruse of oil,’ replied my husband.

“‘Yes,’ said I, for I felt just the least bit termagantish, ‘but such
things do not happen now-a-days.’

“Mr. S—— _looked_ again, and I was quieted, though I felt very much
like laughing.

“‘One can sleep on the sofa,’ continued my husband, after a pause.

“It was the nearest approach toward calculating probabilities that I had
ever known him to make; but I took somewhat of a wicked pleasure in
replying,

“‘Not if he is very tall—and then he would probably roll out, it is so
narrow; and, after all, that is only one.’

“‘Chairs!’ suggested Mr. S——.

“‘Don’t you think,’ said I, rather hesitatingly, ‘that they would rather
go where they could be better accommodated?’

“‘Anna,’ said Mr. S——, as he deliberately laid down his pen, ‘I am
really sorry to see you so unwilling to contribute your mite toward
entertaining those who should be welcome guests in every house.’

“‘_Mite_, indeed!’ thought I; ‘but that sounded better in a sentence
than ‘superhuman efforts.’’

“‘Mr. S——,’ said I, in a sort of frantic hope of reducing him to
reason, ‘there are exactly two spare-beds in the house—these divided
among six full-grown men are not very extensive accommodations.’

“My husband turned upon me a look, ‘more in sorrow than in anger,’ and
left the room, as I imagined, to examine our stock of blankets and
comfortables. But not he; he only went to look for a book of reference,
and soon was writing again as calmly as though six ministries were not
hovering over us in perspective.

“I sat like one bewildered, and thought. Mr. S—— would not imagine the
possibility of our not being able to accommodate them; and I foresaw
that all the blame of a failure would fall upon me. Had they only been
girls, I could have disposed of them somehow; but the idea of packing
away six grave ministers, like so many bundles, was quite repugnant to
my feelings of reverence. I thought, however, in vain—there was no
conclusion to come to; nothing left for me but inglorious retreat. In
spite of having taken him ‘for better or for worse’—notwithstanding
that I had vowed to cling to him through every thing—I deserted him in
his hour of need. Yes, I thought that a good, practical lesson might be
of benefit both to him and me; so I went off on a visit, ostensibly to
spend the day, but I contrived to be gone all night—the very night that
the ministers were to arrive.

“I learned the particulars of their visit from Mr. S——.

“They arrived about dinner-time, and rather disconcerted at my absence,
Mr. S—— did the honors of the house with all the egregious mistakes
that usually fall to the lot of absent-minded people. No extra provision
had been made for the six guests; and Mr. S—— helped the oldest
minister so liberally that the others were in danger of falling short.
As he proceeded in his employment the alarming scantiness of the viands
struck even _his_ eye; and, in his first feelings of embarrassment, he
abruptly left the room, and dashing into a closet near by, he soon
returned with a dish, which he presented to one of the unfortunate ones,
saying:

“‘Mrs. S—— is quite famous for her—her’—

“What name he would have bestowed upon it he does not exactly know
himself; but his visitor’s optical organs being more on the alert, he
indignantly declined the feast of soft-soap with which Mr. S—— was
about to favor him. My husband asserts that his feelings were
indescribable; and to this day, he has scarcely forgiven my desertion.
He was taking his first lesson in house-keeping; and saw, with some
surprise, that a dinner provided for three or four persons would not
answer for six more. He sent to the neighbors’, and soon supplied
deficiencies; but conversation rather flagged, and his visitors
evidently looked upon him with some distrust. At tea-time Biddy made so
many ridiculous mistakes that he was obliged to set the table himself,
and expressly forbid her entering the room.

“The hour for retiring approached, and then, indeed, came ‘the tug of
war.’ Mr. S—— examined the accommodations again and again, but no more
beds grew beneath his eye; and at length, in despair, he concluded to
marshal them upstairs in the order of precedence, and see how things
turned out. Brother A—— took the light from his hand, and bade him
‘good-night’ in an imposing manner, but without a single hint that the
company of Brother B—— or Brother C—— would be acceptable; and
somewhat despairingly he descended to his other visitors. Brother B——,
being of a convenient size, was bestowed upon the sofa; but there now
remained four others for one bed and a half, for Mr. S—— had concluded
to take one in with him. Two were dispatched to the remaining room; one
was invited to share his apartment, and, after giving Brother A——
abundance of time to establish himself comfortably, Mr. S—— presented
himself at his door with the remaining visitor, and aroused him from a
sound sleep with a request to take him in. No wonder that Brother A——
looked dignified at this miserable management, or that Mr. S—— began
to think that I might be half-right, after all.

“The next morning matters drew to a crisis. The coffee, manufactured by
Mr. S——, was execrable; and this, with a banquet of burned beef and
something that Biddy termed ‘short-cake,’ lumps of dough, scorched
without and raw within, utterly failed to satisfy the appetites of the
six visitors, who were going upon a long journey; and they departed with
a conviction that my husband’s invitation had been extremely ill-timed,
and prevented them from accepting others that might have proved
pleasant.

“‘My dear,’ said Mr. S—— to me one day, after I had been home some
little time, ‘are you not making an uncommon quantity of cake? Do you
expect any visitors?’

“‘I do not _expect_ any,’ I replied. ‘But they may come without
expecting. Perhaps the six ministers will stop here on their return.’

“Mr. S—— gave me a look, but it was only to smile at the expression of
my eyes, which, I felt, were, fairly dancing; and he replied quite
meekly:

“‘It was very foolish of me to be so unreasonable—but I have had a
lesson that will not be soon forgotten.’

“I could have thrown my arms around him in ecstasy, but they were full
of flour, and as I had ‘a respect for the _cloth_,’ I desisted. He never
again volunteered to take in six ministers at once; how truly they had
been ‘_taken in_,’ they could probably testify.”

“Well,” said Milly, with a sigh, “were you not sorry that you had
married Mr. S——?”

“Not at all,” replied the visitor, with a smile at this detriment to her
advice, “I would do the same thing again to-morrow.”

Milly was surprised; she had seen Mr. S——, a grave, mild-looking
gentleman, in a white cravat, but, while she regarded him with the
greatest reverence, and trembled whenever she encountered him on the
stairs, she could not realize the possibility of his compensating for
all these trials—even Mr. Saybrook failed there.

The next Sunday the young minister was as eloquent and fascinating as
ever; but Milly glanced at his white cravat and thought of the
ironings—she glanced at the congregation and thought of
sewing-societies—and, like the things in “The Philosopher’s Scales,”
Mr. Saybrook went up with a bound, while these stern realities pressed
heavily down in the balance. Her eyes were opened, and the young
minister fell to the lot of some competitor who had not been favored
with “a peep behind the scenes.”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =FRAGMENT.—A PICTURE.=


                       =BY WM. ALBERT SUTLIFFE.=


           Calm was the wave; such stillness up in Heaven
           Heralds the voicefulness of Deity,—
           Or such, on earth, o’erstoops a placid mere,
           Mountained all round, and sentineled of woods,
           And citadeled of tafted islets green.
           A bark lay on the deep; and from the shore
           Fled back rude-climbing slopes, high-terminate
           In snow and clustering cloud, and the hills stared
           With a dry burning smile up zenith-ward,
           Into the broad blue quiet of the sky:
           Quiet the sea-kissed shore—noiseless the hills—
           All soothed the Titan pulses of the deep—
           And the huge-breathing winds were caverned all,
           Moveless, and murmurless, as somewhere near
           Some god were chambered, pillowed in sweet rest.
           A bark was on the deep; and some few men,
           Plain-garbed, and bronzed by life-expending toil,
           Looked steadily down into the unwinking main,
           And saw themselves look up—and nothing more.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                     =GLIMPSES OF WESTERN TRAVEL.=


On board one of those floating Babels, a steamer of the largest class,
and bound by the way of the upper lakes for the territory of Wisconsin.
The night of our leaving Buffalo was very tempestuous, which led some of
the fearful passengers to inquire, “Will not the captain put into some
port should the danger become imminent?” “There is no port that this
boat can enter, short of Cleaveland,” was the comforting reply. In the
morning the weather became calm, and the day was pleasant upon Lake
Erie. A view of Cleaveland from the lake, and a very imperfect one of
Detroit, as we were receding from it in the early morning, was all that
I saw of the towns upon the lower lakes. Looking out upon the St. Clair
river, and near the magnificent Lake Huron, Fort Gratiot lingers as a
beautiful picture upon my memory. Every thing belonging to the fort
looked dazzlingly white in the afternoon sun, and contrasted finely with
the green foliage of the trees with which it was surrounded. The
burial-ground seemed, as we saw it from the river, to be in the midst of
a grove of Nature’s own planting. A retired and peaceful spot for the
last rest of the weary-hearted! The evening found us far up upon Lake
Huron. There was a clear moon, and it was delightful to stay out upon
the guards and look upon the lake as its waves glittered in the
moonlight. There was a lonely grandeur in that night scene upon “the
great waters,” that brought home to the heart a sense of how little
human aid could avail us there, should evil betide our vessel. That
moonlight scene upon Lake Huron is placed beside the view of Fort
Gratiot in the treasure-house of memory. The morning had been dark, with
a wintry sky, but the afternoon was warm and bright when we arrived at
Mackinack. The isolation of its situation in the far northern
waters—the antique appearance of a portion of its buildings, and the
strange blending in its population of military and civil, savage and
civilized life, combine to render Mackinaw indeed a unique spot. The
island rises almost like a hill from the water, and the fort, as every
one knows, is upon the height commanding the passage of the straits, and
the town is built upon the lake shore beneath it, and close along the
water’s edge are erected the lodges of the Indians. Whether there are
always so many lodges to be found there, or whether some of them were
set up for a temporary gathering of the Indians at Mackinaw, I know not.
They were made of a coarse matting, attached to poles that protruded
from their tops, and were in a conical form. I should suppose from their
size that the families inhabiting them must be very small, or that there
was little room allowed for guests. The bark canoes of the Indians were
drawn up all along the lake-shore. They look frail things to trust in,
out on the deep waters of the lake. A scene on board the boat impressed
me strangely. On returning to the saloon after visiting the town, we
found a refined and fashionable-looking group gathered around the piano
engaged in a piece of modern music, and close behind them, and listening
with apparently deep interest, stood some of the dark children of the
forest. A squaw, with her pappoose lashed to her back, with its head
just visible above her soiled blanket, forms a striking contrast to a
fashionably dressed lady when placed beside her. There is an evident
effort among the Indians to assume in a measure the dress of white
people. Some poor and soiled articles of civilized attire, worn with
their savage costume, only makes their appearance the more miserable.
The old mission-house was pointed out to me. Mackinack has long been
abandoned as a missionary station, but it was evident that a missionary
of evil was still laboring there in the midst of the Indians, and from
their appearance had won many followers—the firewater—that curse of
the red man! It was painful to see the number of casks laid along the
shore with the brand “whisky” upon them, and to think of the evil that
would undoubtedly ensue from it. Mackinaw is somewhat important from its
fishing trade, and its white-fish and trout are justly celebrated. These
large trout have the beautifully spotted skins of the fish bearing the
same name in the Eastern waters. What has been said of the transparency
of the “blue waters of Huron” is not exaggeration. Of a clear day, when
the lake is still, one can discern objects at the depth of many fathoms
as distinctly as if they were at the surface of the water. There are
old, bark-covered houses standing in the town, that look as if they must
have stood there when Mackinaw was one of the frontier posts belonging
to France. I observed no large trees, but there are many cedars along
the bluff which surrounds the island. Landing at Milwaukee late at night
and leaving it early in the morning, there was no opportunity for seeing
this fast-improving city of the lake. It is some miles from Milwaukee on
the west, before one enters the prairie country. There is much beautiful
prairie between Milwaukee and the Rock river, interspersed with the oak
openings, which form a characteristic feature of the country. These oak
openings are of a burr oak, with low, spreading branches, and are free
from any under-growth of shrubs, and at a little distance have much the
appearance of extensive orchards. It was night long before we reached
Janesville, upon the Rock river, the place of our destination. There was
again a clear, bright moon, like that which looked down upon Huron, and
the country was distinctly visible in its light.

Along the way we saw, in different places, the “camping out” so common
among the team-drivers of the West, and I was reminded strikingly of
scenes I had read of in gipsy life. The groups gathered around their
fires—the fire-light shining and flickering upon the trees—the large
wagons, with their white, covered tops, which at a little distance
looked almost like tents in the moonlight, and the cattle in the
background, formed altogether a picturesque scene. It is said that teams
often go in this manner from the Mississippi to the lake and return,
without their drivers seeking any other lodgings than such as they can
find within or beneath their wagons. They select places for the night
encampment where wood and water can be readily obtained, and turn out
their cattle to crop the grass around them.

Janesville, the county town of Rock county, is already a place of very
considerable business, although it is but little more than nine years
since its site was the hunting-ground of the Pottawattomies and
Winnebagoes. The town was originally built on the eastern side of the
river, beneath and along the side of the bluff which there terminates
Rock prairie on the west; but within two years past streets have been
laid out in the oak openings on the western side of the river, and many
buildings erected upon them. There is a stone academy on the western
side of the river, which is also occupied for the present as a chapel
for the services of the Episcopal denomination. A very fine, large
flouring-mill is also in process of erection on the western side of the
river. The court-house stands upon the brow of the bluff, on the eastern
side of the river, and near the centre of the village, and commands a
fine and extensive view. Rock river is a much purer and quicker stream
than many of the rivers of the West. Rock prairie is many miles in
extent—it is skirted by oak openings, and has some groves of timber
dotted through it. The soil of the prairie is very dark and rich, and
looks as though it might bear cultivation for ages without wearing out.
Rock county possesses great agricultural resources, and has settled very
rapidly for an inland district. The tide of foreign emigration that sets
so strongly to the West, has brought many emigrants to this county. Many
from the cold and sterile land of Norway have found homes upon its rich
soil. In the deed-books, in the county register’s office, are recorded
many names that sound strangely to American ears. The foreign vote told
heavily upon the last elections in the territory, and its weight was
given on the side that usually receives the foreign vote every where in
our country.

Beloit, in the lower part of the county, near the Illinois line, is said
to have grown still more rapidly than Janesville, and there are also
several other villages growing up in different parts of Rock county.
This is a broad and rich and beautiful country, but to one whose life
has been passed in the mountain-bounded valley of the Susquehanna, the
absence of any high points of view detracts from its beauty. The
autumnal burning of the prairies has passed. It is a magnificent sight
in the night time, to see a belt of flame stretching along for miles,
until in the distance it seems lost upon the very verge of the horizon.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =A MIDNIGHT FANTASY.=


                     =BY WILLIAM ALBERT SUTLIFFE.=


           Lighting the lonely taper of a thought—
           Lone and forlorn, solely entranced I sit,
           While night, in silence deeper dipt for aye,
           Hushes to midnight in a weirdish calm.
           I may not muse the low abasing earth
           That ever yearn beyond its sensual coil—
           Nor all the stars, th’ ambitions stars sublime,
           Sprinkling the liquid blue on witching nights—
           But in the hazy precincts of a dream,
           Soft-pacing, like a shade, erring I roam.
           Go to, go to, ye winds with wasting moan,
           And chase the shadows through the woody aisles,
           And gild the sleep-drunk earth with slender beam,
           Ye stars that watch the undulating sea!
           While dimly I, with memory’s torch alight,
           And fancy’s shifting prism, chase my will,
           My own dear will, incessant through and through
           The antique halls of the Past’s dusky dome.

           And now the glimmering of a friendly face
           Grows haze-like through the gloom; and now a burst
           Of hateful passion in my childish soul;
           And now a coterie of friends enring
           My heart with sunshine, lighting up the dim
           For many a dream-land rood.

                         But soon a shape
           Comes brightening on and on into a face
           Of serious loveliness and graceful form,
           With eyes lit up in sweet expectancy,
           And slanted earthward so to veil their joy:—
           My sister at her bridal, know’t is she!

           And then again, drooped as with hidden wo,
           As one doth bide a threatened stormy shock,
           And, trembling ever, yet affirmed and strong,
           Doth linger till its coming; her I see,
           Clinging with tendrils of enhanced love
           To one pale image ever at her side
           Until the cloud shall drop its deathly store.

           A rainy burial on a sullen day,
           When all the heaven showers its hoarded gloom,
           Melts in and out the vision as I dream,
           And the wild strangeness of the pale farewell—
           And scattered sobs unclosing all the heart—
           Blend darkly with the varying of my thought;
           Till the starred midnight and the homeless wind
           Thrill in upon the sense with light and sound,
           Bringing me back from visions unto tears.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                    =SPORTING ADVENTURES IN INDIA.=


                =FROM THE M. S. OF A HIGHLAND OFFICER.=


Mount Aboo, to the north of Guzerat, is one of the most interesting
spots in the world, and also one of the pleasantest in the great eastern
peninsula. It rears its giant form amongst a group of mountains which
are surrounded on nearly all sides by the sultry plains peculiar to that
part of India. These latter are so perfectly hot, that it has become a
proverbial expression that there is only a sheet of brown paper between
Deesa and the infernal regions; and really the gently undulating sandy
expanse, destitute during the dry season of every thing like vegetation,
save a stunted milk or thorn bush here and there, presents no bad
resemblance to an uneven sheet of brown paper. Strange is the alteration
about the beginning of June; the rains set in, and after the second day
a tinge of green may be observed mingling with the dusky brown; a week
elapses, and all is a smiling meadow. Not less extraordinary is the
change in the rivers: at one time they are dry sandy channels; at
another, torrents from a hundred yards to half a mile broad, full to the
brim, and sweeping buffaloes, deer, sheep, cattle, trees, fragments of
houses, and sometimes even human bodies, hurry headlong in their course
toward the rhun of Cutch, (at that time a gulf,) where they and their
victims are alike swallowed up in the ocean. A ride of fifty miles
through a country principally jungle takes one from Deesa to the foot of
Mount Aboo; but a traveler’s bungalow is built at Goondree, as a kind of
half-way house for those who do not relish the idea of a fifty mile
morning gallop. At Apadra, a mile from the foot of the mountain, is
another traveler’s bungalow, and a village wherein reside the people
whose business it is to transport baggage, and even individuals, to the
top; for the path is such that a horse has quite enough to do to
scramble up the rugged ascent, while to a wheel carriage of any
description it is perfectly impossible. All burdens are therefore
carried up by Coolies; when not too heavy they are borne upon the head,
while the more weighty are slung upon poles by two or more men, as the
case may be. Individuals, whom laziness or illness debar from using, or
rather abusing, the muscles of their legs and backs to a degree
necessary to replace them on the summit, are carried by four men, on a
rude seat swung by ropes between two poles which rest on the bearers’
shoulders; and, as the path leads along the very edge of frightful
precipices, it is certainly a position well calculated to test a man’s
nerves, though I never heard of any accident occurring. The usual
complement of bearers to each chair is eight, four being at work and
four at rest. But one fat friend of mine they refused to have any thing
to do with, unless he employed twelve, and after the first trial, unless
he took sixteen; which to his intense disgust he was compelled to do,
for he was not fond of parting with his money. Various and very
interesting are the views obtained as the traveler is borne along in his
ascent. Often after passing through some dense jungle (the whole
hill-side being wooded, and infested with tigers and other _feræ
naturæ_,) he finds himself on the verge of some precipitous and dark
ravine, or catches a glimpse of the almost boundless jungle and plain
which stretches away beyond his ken, far, far below him. An active and
hardy race are the men that convey one up to the mountain brow; yet
their forms, thin and meagre, give no promise to the eye, of their
immense endurance. Patiently they toil on, the sweat oozing from every
pore, and mingling in streams with cocoa-nut oil adown their dark
half-naked bodies, as with an occasional “Hough! hough!!” when the
ascent is steeper than usual, they hump their shoulders and steadily
continue their painful task. The flavor of the creatures is nothing
sweet; and as I was blessed with a pair of sturdy legs, after the first
visit I always made use of them to attain the summit. When once past the
gate, as two projecting rocks which narrow the path near the top are
termed, a glorious sight, or rather succession of sights, meets the eye.
At about five thousand feet above the plain an irregular and hilly
table-land of some six miles in diameter occurs. By a table-land,
however, I do not mean to convey the idea of any level space, for there
is scarcely five hundred yards of continuous level to be found in the
whole tract, but rather a species of main top to the entire mass, from
whence many hills of various heights take their rise, the larger of
these forming the different peaks of the mountain as seen from the
plains below. Ravines and glens of varied description seam this top or
table-land in every direction; small streams flow through the rugged
fissures or grassy glades, and here and there cultivation is carried on
with tolerable success. One feels, on arriving at this elevation, a
greater freedom of breathing, a more bracing air, and altogether a
renewal of the elasticity of the frame, sadly shaken and out of repair
from the hot winds and fevered climate of the sultry plains beneath. But
one of the chief attractions is the beautiful lake of pure cool water,
which lies embosomed among these hills. It is about half a mile long, by
a third of that distance in breadth, and was formed many hundred years
ago, by damming up a marshy hollow with solid masonry and banks of earth
(called a Bund in that country.) The stream which runs through it
escapes, in its downward course, through a small ravine on the main side
of the mountain. It is a most lovely spot, surrounded by grassy hills,
gently swelling from the water’s edge, with here and there a mighty
black rock rearing its rugged head in stern and solemn majesty. The
hills are covered with fine large trees, or sometimes thickets of wood
and jungle, and the white houses of the different European residents, or
whiter tents of occasional visitors, give a pleasing and social effect
to the park-like scenery. From the foot of some of the hills which
descend to the water’s edge the earth has crumbled away, leaving here
and there a scarped, gravelly perpendicular fall of twenty or thirty
feet into the water, which beneath these small precipices is generally
very deep.

It was my good fortune to witness an amusing scene near one of these
places. Lying under the shade of a tree one fine morning, and smoking
the pipe of meditation as I gazed on the calm lake stretching beneath my
feet, I was suddenly startled by a thundering roar not a hundred paces
from me. I looked up, and saw that it proceeded from a magnificent
Bramahinee bull: he was evidently in a desperate fury, and tore up the
turf with head and horn in grand style, making the surrounding hills
echo with his hollow bellowing—“_Reboant sylvaque et magnus Olympus_,”
as old Virgil has it. He was the champion in the lists; nor was his
challenge long unanswered. Soon a roar, as deep and as full of rage as
his own, was heard in the distance. Nearer and louder it came; and out
of an adjoining thicket rushed another bull, brother-like, equal at all
points, and a worthy antagonist for such a hero. For a second or so each
stood proudly at gaze, surveying each other; then down went their heads,
and they met with a shock that seemed to me the very image of a knightly
joust. Well matched they were, and it was evident the combat would be a
desperate one. Save where a shade of black appeared on the curled
forehead and on the tuft of the tail, both were milk white, and both
carried, of course, the large hump—that epicurean dish—peculiar to the
breed; while their ponderous dewlaps, wide-spreading horns, and gallant
bearing, produced a grand effect. There I lay regarding this strife with
the most intense interest, but without the least alarm; for, even
supposing they had ventured to resent my intrusion on their tilting
ground, my double-barrelled gun, without which I rarely stirred, would
soon have taught them good manners. Round and round they drove one
another, till the grass was beaten down and the bushes torn up in all
directions; but neither gave way until the fate of war brought one with
his back to the lake on the slope of the hill which verged to the water.
Here position told: his enemy, equal in strength, and being on the
higher ground, began to prevail, and to force him backward. Bravely he
battled, but in vain: still he only yielded to main force; and with
foreheads joined as if soldered to each other, he retreated step by step
toward the edge of that treacherous precipice noticed above. I scarcely
ventured to breathe as the pair arrived within a foot of the trap, of
which they were totally unconscious. Here a more strenuous resistance
from the lowermost hero called forth a more vigorous above from the
uppermost, when suddenly (I’ve no doubt to his utter astonishment) his
enemy receded and vanished from his view; while he, unable to check
himself, lunged furiously forward, and following his adversary, tumbled
headlong into the lake below—“_Præceps fertur in hostem_.” With
breathless excitement I rushed to the brink, anxious to see this
marvelous catastrophe brought to a close. In a few seconds both emerged
from the bottom, puffing like grampuses, and at once made the best of
their way to the shore, giving vent to many a fearful bellow. It was
evident that the surprise and the plunge had banished all warlike
thoughts, for on reaching terra firma they started off at full gallop in
opposite directions, with their tails streaming in the air, and making
the woods and valleys ring with their panic-stricken roarings.

The green and fresh appearance of the grass and foliage at Aboo was
remarkably pleasant: even during the hottest weather dews and morning
mists were not uncommon; and though by nine or ten o’clock the sun
asserted his power, and caused all vapor to disperse, yet he shone forth
with a benign aspect, and did not inflict that “knock-me-down” heat
experienced in the plains below. Through the glens and over the
hill-sides I used to wander through the live-long day, and each ramble
brought me to new scenes of beauty, and made me more and more regret
that the talent of the painter was not mine. How exceedingly lovely are
the Dillwara temples! Situated on the bank of a small stream which flows
through a well-cultivated valley, and bounded on each side by wooded
hills, the exterior alone is imposing and beautiful; but the interior is
a wonder, the grandeur and magnificence of which are far beyond my
powers of description. One enters a large quadrangular court, in the
centre of which is the shrine and porch of the deity Parsualt (I think
that is the right name.) The shrine and porch are oval in shape, and
about one-fourth of the quadrangle is taken up by the former, which is a
building admitting no light save from the porch door. A _silver key_
opened this door to us, (although unbelievers,) and we were honored with
a sight of the deity sitting cross-legged, in white marble, with a lamp
or two burning before him, and a great many tawdry ornaments hanging
about his domicile. But the porch is the most magnificent work of art.
Under the same dome with the shrine, a succession of arches, instead of
the walls, is continued round the oval: these arches are of the lightest
form imaginable, often serpentine, worked and carved with every sort of
device, and all made of the purest white marble: the pillars supporting
them are light and tall, and also of white marble, with figures of men
and women about two feet high, playing and singing and dancing: these
are grotesquely carved in compartments, and in such high relief that one
can insert the hand between them and the pillars. The roof, too, is
wonderful: the most minute flowers, the most delicate tracery, are all
carved exquisitely in white marble; a thousand different objects are
also represented, but it would be impossible to enumerate all. Round the
quadrangle runs a veranda supported by a double row of white marble
pillars placed at equal distances (about eight feet) from each other,
and thus dividing the veranda into a number of imaginary squares between
each four pillars; each square has its roof and its cornice round the
lower edge of the roof, while the roofs are of every indescribable
pattern, and two are seldom found alike; the cornices are covered with
men and animals in all situations, hunting, battling, dancing, the whole
executed in white marble; sometimes the roof will ascend gradually,
narrowing with most elaborate and deep carving to a height of many feet,
then the same carving after the same fashion is continued down again,
till it looks like a beautiful stalactite depending from the centre of
the roof. A second court of the same kind is also shown, and I think a
third, but my memory will not allow me to be sure of this last point.
This description I have given, though imperfect, will do for all. I must
not, however, forget to mention the curious room in which a large figure
of a royal personage on horseback, and some twenty or thirty figures of
elephants, about five feet high, stand fully equipped with howdahs and
trappings, the whole of which are carved most beautifully in solid white
marble, and so minutely that even the very strands of the ropes are
executed with the utmost fidelity. In fact, the whole thing is so
wonderfully beautiful that I despair of doing more than conveying a
faint idea of it. These temples are said to be some 800 or 900 years
old, and are held in great sanctity as a place of pilgrimage. At a
certain season of the year, thousands flock thither, and the Brahmins
make a pretty decent thing out of the pious but deluded devotees. I have
often wished that they were rooted out, and that I were made governor of
Aboo, with the temple for my palace, and the top of the mountain for my
park.

The Ghau-Muk, pronounced Gyemook, or cow’s-mouth, is another sweet spot
on the mountain-side; it is a small marble spout, carved in the form of
a cow’s head, through which a stream of pure, cold water flows into a
square tank: it is a sacred spot to Fakeers and Brahmins, who resort
there in great numbers; but its refreshing waters and the cool shade of
the magnificent trees that surround it are far better recommendations to
the tired wayfarer, and give him fresh courage to ascend the steep
staircase of steps leading from it to the mountain-top.

One morning rather early, F. and his friend K., while lying in their
tent on Mount Aboo, were aroused from sleep by the solemn tones of the
Kitmutgar, or butler, announcing news, which, as a matter of course,
meant game. Out of bed both sprang simultaneously, and soon discovered
from the Shikaree that a panther had been somehow entrapped in a
neighboring village, and that the natives wished the sahibs (_Anglicé_
gentlemen) to come with their guns and kill it. Clothes being thrown on,
and guns prepared without loss of time, out they sallied into the raw
air of the morning (it was not yet light,) and followed the native
guide. A smart walk of four or five miles across the mountain top
brought them to a little village, or collection of huts, clustered upon
the edge of a steep bank, which formed one side of a very narrow rocky
valley. Here an Indian hubbub of no ordinary character was going on; but
as we approached, respect for the sahibs soon silenced it. All was now
explained: a fierce and huge panther had for some time been the terror
of the village; sheep, goats, calves, and an occasional piccaninny, had
been carried off by the remorseless brute. By accident, the door of a
goat-house, which contained about 18 goats, had been left open during
the previous night, and the owner, hearing an uproar, rose to shut it,
and only then discovered that he had also shut in the panther among his
defenseless flock: on making this discovery, he lost no time in coming
to demand the sahib’s assistance. F. and K. held a council of war, as to
the best mode of action: the goat-house was a round wall of rough stones
about three feet high, from the top of which a thatched roof rose to a
point in the centre, at about six feet in height above the wall-plate;
the rude building had no window, and only the one door, which was so low
as only to be entered in a stooping or rather crawling position. At
first it was resolved to throw open the door, and shoot the brute as he
bolted; but this plan was rejected for several reasons: the natives were
crowding round on every side, the place was uneven and rocky, and if in
his bolt they had the bad luck to miss him, there was a chance of not
getting another shot at him; or, if they did, of hitting one of the
natives, who would have run in all directions as soon as the panther
appeared. At last, F., with more boldness than discretion, decided to
try and shoot him from above: the thatch, however, was too old and
rotten to bear his weight, and so a “charpoy” or frame of wood, with
cords interlaced across it (used as a bedstead), was procured and laid
upon the thatch, and upon it mounted F. and an old gray-headed Shikaree
of the village, more like a monkey than a man, whose charge it was to
open a hole for F. to shoot through; this he accomplished with so much
good will, but unfortunately with so little adroitness, that in a second
or two the already ragged thatch had a hole close to F.’s head, not only
quite large enough to shoot through, but also large enough for the
panther to make his escape. A sudden execration caused him to desist;
but in spite of the large hole, F. could discern nothing in the dark
interior, but distinctly heard the angry purring of the enraged savage,
and the flapping of his tail against the ground, which is a sure prelude
to a charge. F.’s thoughts were not altogether comfortable as he lay on
the thatch, the infuriated and invisible brute being within a short
spring of him, and having, no doubt, a clear view of his head and
shoulders against the rising light. All of a sudden, the glare of the
panther’s eyes showed like two coals of fire; to level between them was
the work of an instant, but lying on his right side F. was forced to
bring the gun to the left shoulder, and as his finger pressed the
trigger, he found that from habit he was closing the left eye;
rectifying, however, his mistake at once, the explosion followed, and
the pest of the village fell dead with a brace of bullets in his brain.
It was found that he had killed 11 of the goats, but had not eaten any
part of them; so that he seems to have slaughtered them from mere
wantonness and the love of destruction. He measured over seven feet from
the nose to the tip of the tail, and was a very fine male specimen of
his kind. It is needless to say that the two friends returned to
breakfast well satisfied with their morning’s work.

The immense plains which stretch from the foot of Mount Aboo are
occasionally broken by low, detached, and rocky hills, covered with
dense jungle, that clothes the country for many miles round: several
rivers also meander through the expanse, fed either by periodical rains,
or by unfailing springs from the mountain range. In this wild country,
W— and A—, two young officers, had determined to pause for a day or
two during their journey from Aboo to Deesa, and endeavor to obtain some
sport among the numerous _feræ naturæ_ with which that district
abounded. Our two sportsmen had no tent nor any great camp-equipage with
them; a covered bullock-cart formed their house and bed; a couple of
steady ponies (horses were useless in such a country) their cavallada;
and some three or four servants, with the two shikarees, their retinue.
Free and happy is such a life! They hunted when they pleased, ate when
they pleased, and slept when they pleased; and, above all, no bugle
called them to the dull routine of morning parade. The time of the year
was not favorable to woodland shooting; for, after the rains, the grass
and seeds grow to such a length as to render parts of the jungle
impassable, and the foliage of the trees is so thick as to obstruct the
view for any distance; while water being plentiful in every direction,
it is useless to attempt night-shooting at the animals coming to drink.
The sport was therefore but indifferent: and on the second day, after a
morning and forenoon spent in poking their noses into a number of dark,
tigerish-looking places, without any satisfactory result, although much
“sign” was observed, they halted for tiffin on the banks of a small
shallow stream, with a canopy of magnificent wild fig-trees spread over
their heads. Whilst the servants were unpacking the scanty stock of
provisions, one of the shikarees approached, and, having made his
salaam, begged to inform the sahibs that if they so pleased, he and his
brother shikaree would provide them some fresh fish for their tiffin. As
there were no implements generally used in that sport among the party,
the two friends were curious to see how this was to be effected, and the
required permission was at once given, with an “All right, old
fellow!—thank you, fire away!” The two shikarees, rolling up the
sleeves of their upper garments, now entered the stream, the bottom of
which was gravelly and hard; and, drawing their swords, stood one a
little above the other on different sides of the channel, the water
reaching to about their knees. Three or four of the villagers, who had
joined the party as guides, now entered the water higher up, and forming
a line across the stream, commenced wading down toward the shikarees,
the two outermost feeling with their feet under each bank as they
proceeded. Shortly the frightened fish began to swim down past the
shikarees, who—as they passed—dexterously, with a sweep of their sharp
swords, severed them in two, seldom missing their aim; while the two
halves of each fish at once floated on the surface, and were thrown on
the bank by a couple of men stationed in rear of the swordsmen. W— and
A— followed down the river in a state of the greatest excitement at the
novel sport; and were only prevented from jumping into the water to
share it, by the fact of their nether limbs being closely encased in
leathern gaiters. Eight or ten large fish had been taken, and the
_chasse_ had wandered some two or three hundred yards from the spot
where the sahibs had left their guns, when suddenly a shriek was heard
from one of the men who searched the bank with their feet: he was seen
to fall back in the water; and a huge serpent, uncoiling himself from
his cool lair, and raising his head above the surface, took his course
down the centre of the stream, lashing the water into a foam, while the
villagers fled in every direction. Not so the gallant shikarees: closing
together as the monster approached, they cut at him vigorously and
severely wounded him. A terrible tussle now ensued: turning upon his
assailants with open mouth, the snake attempted to seize one of them;
but was repelled by a shower of blows and several fresh wounds. He then
once more sought safety in flight, but was pursued by his active
enemies; and, being disabled by a well-directed cut, that broke his
spine, was dragged to land amid the shouts of all present. The sahibs
had, indeed, charged into the river to help the shikarees; but their
guns being left behind, their knives were of little use in such a
_melée_, and the victory belonged solely to the two swordsmen. The snake
proved to be a very large rock snake (a species allied to the boa), and
measured nearly fourteen feet in length; while the thickest part of his
body was as large as a stout man’s thigh. W— and A— made an attempt to
preserve the skin; but the numerous wounds, the heat and closeness of
the weather, and the want of arsenical soap, rendered their efforts
unavailing.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            =SONNET.—PEACE.=


        Benign thy sacred influence, golden Peace!
          Even desert lands beneath thy magic sway
          Would smile once more. Fields, fruitful, now repay
        The reaper for his toil, by rich increase;
        War’s captive but beholds thee, and his chain,
          As by some charm, dissolves, to set him free;
          Homes, erewhile silent, desolate, by thee
        Made glad, with joyous notes resound again—
        Soft is the feeling thy calm visit spreads
          O’er every breast! Science and Art awake;
          Now Commerce open all her ports doth make,
        While Safety with her angel footsteps treads—
        Nor battlements nor walls shall cities know,
        When, like a mighty stream, thou over earth shalt flow.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                      =SOMETHING NEW ABOUT BYRON.=


                             =BY AELDRIC.=


Can aught that is new be said of Byron? Can aught that is new be written
to sink him lower beneath the scorn of wisdom, in the ignominy of moral
littleness; aught that is new, to lift him higher before the gaze of
romance, within the fane of mystic and Satanic beauty: aught that is
new, to evolve before the magisterial aspect of philosophy the tangled
mass of passion, hate, sentiment and poetic conception, that so long has
awed the semi-wise into ecstatic contemplation, and charmed the
semi-foolish into vain, insipid emulation? Can any thing new that can
tend to open to the view of the world Lord Byron’s utter earthliness be
written, since all that has been denounced in holy horror from the
pulpit; warned against from the paternal fire-side; lisped stealthily
with the flush of maiden shame, or hymned in the Psalteria of
poetasters, whose highest praise but evokes the wise man’s judgment in
condemnation? The subject would appear exhausted; for few subjects, and
no man, have elicited so much commentary, and of such divers kinds. No
youthful aspirant after literary distinction essays his hand upon the
world’s wide folio, but, in some moment of pleasurable pain, dips his
pen into the horn of Byronic inspiration: there has been no critic, from
the “Scotch Reviewers” down to our day, but has reduced to some
fantastic analysis the sparkling effusions of the “English Bard.” Much,
much has been written; yet to me it seems that concerning this
extraordinary man something more need still be written. Never, I think,
has the peculiar quality of his poetry been thoroughly analyzed, and the
simplicity of its charm, the nature of its singularity been clearly
precipitated. Never, I think, has the character of the man been fully
delineated, and his double littleness held up to view. This task I
assume. Never, I think, has his success and renown been shown
attributable to the intrinsic merits of his productions, and traceable
to the judgment of the good and the wise among learned men. Be this task
for others: and until it be done I will now cease to say that such a
task were futile.

To the intrinsic merits of Lord Byron’s poetry much, very much, of his
success was due, and that chiefly to a peculiarity which I will
hereafter point out; but not to them was due the gigantic temple of his
popularity and fame. His mere poetic fame stands, and ever will stand,
upon a poet’s solid basis—Genius: but this overgrown temple of
popularity was built of the sparkling gems of romance, gathered on
earthly shores, and piled into the brilliant structure more by the fired
imaginations of the world of builders—the public—than according to the
commanding _dixit_ of the architect himself. Byron sketched not more
than the outlines of his fame; he foresaw not distinctly more: but, like
a cunning and artful woman who shrouds from gaze the distincter outlines
of her form, and but assumes a posture, bares but a mere glance of
voluptuousness to the pregnant imagination, he blazoned forth his youth
and noble birth, the world’s hatred for him, and his hatred for the
world; advertised that he had loved, deeply, ardently loved, and would
not love again; boasted that he had been “sore given to revel and
ungodly glee;” and then departed from Albion’s chill and murky twilight
to sunny and classic climes, sated with the world, and the world with
him. With a brilliant yet devilish poetic allurement he pictured his
proud and noble self a victim to genius and tortured sensibilities,
basking in the light of Spain’s bright skies, and the smiles of Spain’s
loveliest daughters; bound ere long to the fairest of all lands, to the
land of love, and art, and song, and scene, and highest classic fame;
thence to the almost dreamy ruins of Grecian temples, of Grecian beauty
and Grecian greatness; wandering alone, with “sandal shoon and scallop
shell,” through the world, but not of it, through an etherealized path
aloof from vulgar souls; eyeing afar repose amid the lofty grandeur of
eternal snows which crown the downy verdure of the Alpine valleys, and
trickle forever their glittering coolness into the lakes below. Thus far
he bared to the world’s morbid imagination, craving incessantly for
spicy food, then wrapped himself within the folds of his own romance:
the world’s imagination did the rest.

Bulwer, in his “Life of Lord Byron,” says:—“Childe Harold succeeded
more than I think the merits of the first two cantos deserved; and not
only was the success extraordinary, but of a description most likely to
please. It was not the poem that was admired only; it was the poet about
whom an interest was excited. The fictitious hero of the tale, between
whom and the writer of it, we must confess, there was some kind of
resemblance, was considered at once as an accurate portrait of the
mysterious young noble, who had just returned from the lands of romance
and song which he had been describing. If Lord Byron had been known in
the world before his travels, the world would have viewed both himself
and his travels differently; but though a peer of England, he was
unknown to English society.” A veil of mystery and singularity and
romance being about him and the strange hero of his tale, and so he
enjoyed the privilege of drawing upon his own imagination for the
character in which the public should view him, and he created a
fictitious and hellish light through which to be viewed; fictitious, ay,
in most all save intentional malignity; I say intentional, for his
morality was so far dead, that he would not have scrupled to become any
one of his heroes in act, could such a complex of incident and
circumstance become possible in a real bodily existence.

The more distinctly and substantially the author, if he be a man of
originality and genius, be brought before the public gaze, the better
will he be appreciated; the more will he be even overrated, by the
public. It is creating a body for the dwelling of the poetic soul: the
picture is more graphic. For the constant association of the creator
with his ideal beauty, encircles him with a never-fading halo; and in
those moments when our mind is too inert to rise to the contemplation of
his ecstatic thought, it can gaze habitually and languidly upon the
other partner of the firm, and tacitly credit him with a glory whose
effulgence is acknowledged, still, at the time, but dimly seen. This
intimacy with him, which could not exist otherwise, introduces him more
familiarly into the society of our affective facilities, and the
acquaintanceship improves and ripens. But when the garments by which we
know him, are woven of originality, and beauty, and romance, and noble
name and birth, and the soft velvet of our own sympathy for sorrow and
misfortune; and we have to enter the enchanted fields of far-off lands,
to snuff the perfume of southern vines and flowering figs, amid bright
vistas at olden grandeur and modern voluptuousness, to enjoy communion;
the heart expands, and the brain glows beneath the warmth of
overpowering imagination: the individual, composed of humanity and its
poetry, as body and soul, is enshrined in veneration a household god,
among the contemplative affections. Such was Byron, there was he known,
and so was he enshrined. Thus do I take leave of my assertion that,
although to the intrinsic merits of Lord Byron’s poetry, much, very much
was due, still, not to them was due the gigantic temple of his
popularity and fame.

That much of Byron’s popularity was due to the intrinsic merits of his
productions, may not seem strange. Had they possessed the same
characteristic, the same singularity, and been far less brilliant they
would have elicited immense admiration. Still, there is no mystery in
this. No other poet, perhaps, ancient or modern, ever possessed the same
happy blending of southern exuberance and vividness, with the
deep-inspired, psychological mysticism of the north. Apart then from his
originality, which is every poet’s inheritance, and a good command of
words, this blending is, in its extraordinary degree, the chief among
Lord Byron’s claims to merit; together with the—certainly in him unique
and only too apparent—dash of Satanic leaven that raised unceasingly
the frothy acid. Dante, perhaps, of all the southern poets, possessed
most of the spiritualism that breathes in dark Druidical forests; but
his heavy philosophy weighs down the mind, and it staggers along in
pursuit of that sublime spiritualism, that is to most intellects, after
all, but an _ignis fatuus_. From Byron’s poetic palace, from time to
time, bursts forth, like a Bacchanalian, a round of untamed music, that
revels nakedly in perfect abandonment: now leaping by long and rapid
strides o’er chords of melody, towering up, up, up, through the vasty
dome; new groaning through the double bass of trembling passion. Anon
there unrolls a resplendent transparency of southern hues, that, at
times, dart boldly into the endless fantasies of the kaleidoscope; again
melt into blending prismata, or swimming circles unconceived of but
through the distorted iris of a compressed eye-ball. At times, too, one
strays through vast and sounding halls that reëcho but the wandering
footsteps of a moody mind alone there by chance. At times, too, in some
silent, sombre, far-distant recess, mid withe-bound, faggoty columns of
Gothic mould, whose lofty branches are hung with ivy cold and
mistletoe-bough, there glows suspended the blue ethereal flame of
northern superstition, in a floorless chamber from whose mystic depths
go forth the sinewy phantoms of the house of Woden. Anon there bursts an
unearthly sound and glare that shakes and illumines the whole vast
structure; and one almost hears the deliberate laugh of diabolic glee.

Lord Byron’s poetry is entirely a poetry of sentiment: there is no
philosophy in it. After all, a man’s best study of the more intimate
workings of the human heart, must find its materials within himself; and
his productions will be moulded and colored by his principles; for it is
they that supply the oil which feeds the habitual light in the chamber
of the mind. When there exists no fixed principle, there exists no fixed
light, no steady medium, no standard measure, then all is moral
darkness, and vagaries, and dreamy riot. Now and then, it is true, solid
thoughts and good may spring up from the mind’s fertility, but if they
be not pretty, they are cast aside, and if they be pretty, they are
doomed to association with ignobler ones, to be ranged indiscriminately
with pretty thoughts and profane, upon the shelves of poetry. There is
nothing in Byron’s poetry that can inspire any good. It is true there
are good and noble sentiments woven in the mass; but it is so plain that
only their beauty is turned toward us, to the entire neglect of
intrinsic worth, that one cannot help associating them with the man, and
they fade into vagaries. There are poets who, with vigorous and
accustomed flight, transport us into more lofty realms of thought than
Byron’s gaudy wing would dare aspire to lift us to. Such are Milton, and
Dante, and Klopstock; men, before whose towering intellects Byron, like
us, bowed down in astonishment and veneration. There are those, too, who
have swept their harps to lays of richer melody; such is he, as we have
just learned, the thrilling music of whose harp is o’er, for the hand
that waked it moulders in the grave. Alas! Tom Moore, the glow of
Oriental fire is extinguished forever in Britain; but thy memory shall
endure, green as the green and lonely isle that gave thee birth; and the
melting warmth of thy mellow melodies shall not grow cold forever! Such
was Dryden, too, who, softly sweet in Lydian measures, could lull and
soothe our soul to pleasures. Such at times was Collins; such was
preëminently Petrarch; such, too, was the rollicking old Anacreon in his
time. There are poets, too, who, with hard and honest hand, could lead
us more at ease through the peasant’s humble door, and open to us freely
there the gushing fount of simple love, and sincere and innocent and
homely pleasure, and the sweet joys of peaceful rest. Such could Burns,
and such could Florian. There are poets who, with measured tread, could
lead us a more majestic walk upon classic terraces, and withdraw us
further from the commonalities of life. Such is Homer, and Virgil, and
Tasso, and Pope. There are poets of wiser and more practical philosophy,
who could feel and appreciate the poetry of wisdom; like Schiller: and
there are poets, too, like Ariosto, who could glide and curvet about his
pen, performing strange feats of ideal legerdemain in a perfect
gymnasium of poetry, from whom Byron, like almost all others, must turn
away in helpless laughter. There is never a time when a mind at all
appreciative of poetry, and unburthened of immediately oppressing cares,
cannot seize upon some one of these styles, according to its passing
humor, and enjoy it with infinite satisfaction, until its too unvaried
strain becomes wearisome. How admired and popular, then, would be a
poet, whose happy tone could blend these seemingly heterogeneous
qualities in its _material_, and afford spicy food savory to every whim
and phase of appetite! Such, in a great measure, is Horace, and hence,
in a measure, his untiring popularity through all ages. Such was
Shakspeare, who, though he did not possess the ultraism of Byron, was a
thousand times more philosophical; and who, could he have exchanged
conditions, accidental circumstances with Lord Byron, inherited his name
and title, worn his garb of romance and his air of eccentricity among
modern women who would but flatter it to a disease, had shone a luminous
sun of poetry, whilst Byron but passed as a flashy meteor. Finally,
such, too, was Byron, with this distinctive mark, that in him the
_melange_ is more perceptible, continuous, never ceases; and hence, in a
great measure, his popularity to the end of time. He was always
thoughtful, observant, meditative, verbose, and often wrote great poems
under the inspiration of the moment. He was equally at home in grave and
gay, in lively and severe, in tender and morose, in grand, in trifling,
in voluptuous. He stood equally at home in his listless boat upon the
stilly lake naveled among the hills, soothed by the softer influences
afloat on Nature’s bosom; and on the heaving deck amid torn ocean’s
roar, loving the unearthly terrors. He stood equally at home amid the
bowers of a sunny and sea-girt isle, his soul melting for the moment,
into ecstasies of voluptuous love; and amid bare mountain pates and
wintry pyramids of snow, amid rugged rocks, and clefts, and crags, that
rend the mighty thunder as it speeds; communing, with blanched face and
swelling mind, with the angry spirits of Storm and Solitude. He was
equally at home when, dejected and melancholy, he “poured through the
mellow horn his plaintive soul,” and sighed and mourned in loneliness,
making maidens weep; and when, fired by the poisoned cup and “_carnal
companie_,” he reveled in profanity, and, to hear his ribald jests, made
maidens blush. So far, indeed, would his nature bear contrast, that, he
would have been equally at home when, wasted by the heat of an Asiatic
sun and withering Siroc, he might repose in coolness beneath the broken
arch and temple, conjuring up grim shadows of old armies past away,
contrasting the proud glory of learned and heroic Greece with the shame
of the cowardly vassals whose careless song is e’en now beguiling his
ear with its lightness; when he might wander without a care or elevating
thought amid the cinnamon groves of the Cingalese, embodying all thought
in beautiful, redolent materiality, scenting even an immortal Paradise
in the ravishing sweetness of a perfumed atmosphere; as when, standing
alone at midnight, in the deep darkness of a polar season, when the moon
rides high, and the stars shone unclouded, when the dry icicles crackle
in the breeze, and sparkle as they fall shivered into tiny diamonds, the
solemn spirit of metaphysical contemplation thrills a low symphony of
feeling and of awe that the melting rays of a southern sun could never
reach.

So great was Byron’s versatility; and, yielding ever to the influence of
the moment, so did he throw off at times the characteristic poetry of
all climes, all people, and all moods: and, if there is no one kind in
which he has not been surpassed; through his versatility and boldness
his fame has not dimmed in the contrast. The characteristic of southern
poetry is a materialising even of the spiritual; that of northern
poetry, a spiritualizing, an etherealizing even of the material. Even
the northern and southern tongues, though all springing from the same
root, are modified and characterized by the tone and natural feeling
which climate and association have diversified. In southern tongues,
sounds seem such as those that the soul of music and of feeling might
give vent to, as through the lips it passes to liberty away; in northern
tongues sounds seem each as the soul of thought and feeling might mutter
when their confined power is aroused to action within us. How different
and characteristic are Lord Byron’s descriptions where, in one,
describing the voluptuous Dudù, he says with true southern softness:

          “She was not violently lively, but
           Stole on your senses like a May-day breaking.”

Ekeing out the materialised comparison with redundant melody; and when,
with stern northern contemplation he realises that

          “There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
           There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
           There is society where none intrudes
           By the deep sea, and music in its roar.
           I love not man the less, but Nature more,
           From these our interviews, in which I steal
           From all I may be, or have been before,
           To mingle with the universe, and feel
           What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.”

Is there not something still pent up here, still a cud for feeling,
still something that the very sounds confine within us unmigratory;
something, in the utterance of which we feel no relief of the burthen of
feeling? Does it not seem that the southern laborer goes forth into the
bright fields, and labors in imitation of Nature’s external beauties,
singing his feeling away to the air; whilst the northern man bears his
material to his home, and there revolves and fashions his productions
from the depth and cunning of his dreamy mind? How warmed by the
brightness and harmony of the external world must not Ariosto have been
when, in the seventh canto of the “Orlando,” he portrays the exceeding
beauty of Alcina, combining all that was most beautiful for eyes to look
upon!

          “Sotto due negri, e sottilissimi archi
           Son due negri occhi, anzi due chiari soli,
           Pietosi a riguardar, a mover parchi.”

And then,

          “Sotto quel sta, quasi fra due vallette,
           La bocca sparsa di natio cinabro;
           Quivi due filze son di perle elette,
           Che chiude ed apre un bello e dolce labro:
           Quindi escon le cortesi parolette
           Da render molie ogni corrozzo e scabro:
           Quivi si forma quel soave riso,
           Ch’ apre a sua porta in terra il paradiso.”

A perfect Paradise of material delights must have been Tasso’s garden of
Armida, in the XV. Canto of the Jerusalem. Yet in these things does
Byron so often approach to the rivalry of Tasso and Ariosto, both in his
appreciation of sensual beauty, and in his grace of diction, that this
alone, in many minds, would have stamped him as a great poet.
Nevertheless, when other natures step in to judgment, they behold him at
times glorying in the midst of an Alpine storm, exulting in the
lightning, muttering, tone for tone, the loud crash of thunder;
rejoicing and abroad upon the night like a fierce passion let loose,
breathing life and soul and the voice of loud defiance, into the solid
mountains.

                                                “O night,
            And storm and darkness, ye are wondrous strong,
            Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light
            Of a dark eye in woman! Far along
            From peak to peak the rattling crags among,
            Leaps the live thunder! Not from one lone cloud,
            But every mountain now hath found a tongue,
            And Jura answers from her misty shroud
          Back to the joyous Alps who call on her aloud!

            And this is in the night: most glorious night!
            Thou wert not made for slumber!—let me be
            A sharer in thy fierce and fair delight—
            _A portion of the tempest and of thee_.
            How the lit lake shines, a phosphoric sea,
            And the big rain comes dancing to the earth!
            And now again ’tis black—and now the glee
            Of the loud hills shakes with its mountain mirth,
          As if they did rejoice o’er a young earthquake’s birth.”

Heavens! what a terrible fascination in the fellow! Here is shown not
only the weird psychology of the north, but another great illustration
of Lord Byron’s humor; for what but a spirit racy of the lower regions,
could invoke that loud and awful warring of the elements, that darting
to and fro from crag to crag, of deadly thunderbolt, as a fair,
congenial delight; and long to claim kindred with, and become a part of
the destroying emissary?

How, then, shall we characterize Lord Byron’s poetry, and make plain the
mystery of its singularity? How shall we assert that its charm is
simple, and prove its simplicity, evolving it from the intricacies of
Romance? Be it remembered that I said Lord Byron was totally, utterly
earthly: yet I say his poetry is Satanic. This is no paradox. There are
minds which are utterly earthly and are not Satanic; but this is owing
solely to their supineness and incapacity. A mind essentially active,
grasping, comprehensive; its vast faculties born of Heaven, yet thwarted
and diverted to passion and sensuality; succumbing, not only without
resistance, but with infinite relish to the passing whim; courting
voluptuousness, and reveling in it; conceiving stupendous and holy
thoughts, yet wantonly blasting them, to joy in their sad and terrible
destruction; understanding the most hidden depths of human weakness, and
human tenderness, and human feeling, yet exploring but to profane;
gifted with the finest appreciation of beauty and pleasure, yet gorging
to satiety, intoxication, disgust—then turning in selfishness, hatred
and malice from all that is good; such a mind, I say, is earthly, nay
more, in its unbridled license it is devilish. Had Satan freed from
fire, and sent on earth a fiend, a fiend damned for hatred, selfishness
and wanton malice, to be the chief among English poets, this poet would
have written in Byronic style, and with Byronic humor; with more
ability, perhaps, but not with greater fidelity to his court; nor would
the infernal glare of his fierce and voluptuous sentiment be more
apparent. Byron touched no beauty that he did not wither; no virtue, no
holy feeling that he did not mock. Why was it? It was by reason of the
deep-seated malice of his thought. Womanly beauty in his hands was a
plaything, womanly weakness a delight, woman’s fall a glory, and woman’s
virtue a scorn. He could gaze on the stars, and the mountains, and the
ocean, but he could not see and feel the poetry of their creation and
government, as the stupendous works of God’s hand, and as types and
illustrations of scientific, and universal, and eternal law. He drew
down the very stars from Heaven to minister to mere sentiment of man’s
or woman’s humor. He could draw the most pleasing picture for gratified
sensibilities to pour upon, rejoicing; and with fell joy he would dash
it o’er, gloating in the destruction of all moral beauty. Among the
darker, deadlier passions of revenge and hatred he was perfectly at
ease: any passion, whatsoever, was to his mind savory food; and there
exists no passion of lightest or heaviest grade, that Byron has not
felt. His mental existence was in a sphere of passion; in it did he
live; by it was he ruled; and—by the odor of passion is his poetry
characterized. Let me then term it a poetry of passion, wild sentiment,
and moral riot; earthly, diabolical, as you will—it is all the same.
Let me call it original, bold, audacious. Let me call it a mingling of
northern superstitious etherealism, and southern brilliancy and
materialism. Let me call it wandering, astray, without principle or
guide; without aim, or any motive but the fitful blasts of his own
caprice and passion. Let me call it self-esteem and praise, scorn of the
moral judgment of the world, scorn of true humanity, and glory in one’s
own contempt and wickedness; and I have characterised Lord Byron’s
poetry, and unraveled the mystery of its charm.

Concerning Byron’s character as a man, little need be said to prove its
double littleness. From every man, no matter how low his capacity,
something good, something useful is expected; and he who meets not this
natural, this rational expectation, merits the stigma of littleness of
character. To some men are given high conceptions, deep penetration,
exalted feelings and impulses, and energy of mind: yet, if they meet not
the rational expectation of greater good, greater utility than is the
average offspring of lowlier men, they merit the stigma of littleness of
character; and if they produce no good at all, they are doubly little.
If not only this, but they positively pervert those gifts to the
detriment of others, they are trebly little. Nay, more—a man’s
littleness, if he pervert his gifts, does not increase in direct ratio
with his relative capacities; but I feel that I am justified in applying
here the mathematical law of gravitation, and in saying that his
littleness—measured on God’s measure of mankind—increases as the
square of his distance above the average capacity of his race. How much,
then, must the greatest admirers of Lord Byron; those who seem struck
with awe before the mountain of his stupendous power, despise, in their
inmost heart, his utter, utter littleness! Truly may we comprise him in
the Latin poet’s pithy words—“_Parturiunt montes, nascetur ridiculus
mus._”

No man is great who has not the strength of mind to work utility from
vast resources, and is able, besides, to appreciate the necessity of
working that utility, in spite of whim, humor, flattery, success or
misfortune: yet not one sentiment, of benefit to mankind or individual,
amongst those now ministering upon this earth of trial, of suffering,
and of temptation, can claim paternity in Lord Byron. As his poetry is a
poetry of passion unregulated by principle, so was the life of his
feelings and his intellect, a life of unbridled license. Let no one put
forth, in extenuation, that he often meant well; and that his venom,
when he spat it, was the secretion of unhappiness and misfortune; for we
have no proof, no reason to believe that he ever meant well, but his own
assertion—which is singular when contrasted with his life and his
writings; and as to his sufferings, he courted, nursed suffering as the
theme of all his writings. How strangely does the assertion of his moral
intent, in his farewell to the “Childe,” contrast with the confession of
the truth which a moment of intoxication beguiled from him in the II.
Canto of Don Juan! In the one we read—

          “Farewell! with him alone may rest the _pain_,
           If such there were—with you, the moral of this strain.”

In the other, where his true character speaks—

          “As for the ladies I have nought to say,
             A wanderer from the British world of fashion,
           Where I, like other dogs, have had my day,
             Like other men, too, may have had my passion—
           But that, like other things, has passed away,
             And all her fools whom I _could_ lay the lash on,
           Foes, friends, men, women, now are nought to me
           But dreams of what has been, no more to be.”

Shall we say that he lies, or that he only writes the first crazy thing
that comes uppermost in his brain? I prefer the latter—or both; for
they equally prove that he had no positive intent of good. His history,
romance, character, all are truthfully told in that one stanza. ’Tis
useless to dwell upon it.

That he had his inspirations of religious truth, which are common to all
men, one may read abundantly in his works, especially in “Childe
Harold.” Poor Byron seemed to grow sober and reflective, as the last
Canto waned away. He could see the Almighty’s form glassed in the
tempest, calm or convulsed; in its never-ending oscillation, the image
of Eternity; in its incomprehensibility, “the throne of the Invisible.”
The first time (how melancholy to him must have been the feeling!) that
he ever longed to be associated with exalted womanly virtue, was, when
in the CXVII. stanza—he breaks forth:

          “Ye elements!—in whose ennobling stir
           I feel myself exalted—can ye not
           Accord me such a being?”

And how unmistakably does he not confess himself a stranger to it, as he
continues—

                                          “Do I err
          In deeming such inhabit many a spot?
          Though with them to converse can rarely be our lot.”

Frequently the circumstance of association seemed to be the channel
through which the rejected grace of faith was poured upon his soul. As
he enters the portals of the church of churches, the mausoleum of the
prince of the apostles, his gifted light shines forth—

          “But thou, of temples old or altars new,
           Standest alone—with nothing like to thee—
           Worthiest of God, the holy and the true.”

This last line seems to belie the opinion that Byron never saw any thing
in religion but the poetry of it: it sounds like an involuntary
revelation of interior conviction. Again—

                                    “———the mind
               Has grown colossal, and can only find
             A fit abode wherein appear enshrined
             Thy hopes of immortality: and thou
             Shalt one day, if found worthy, so defined,
             See thy God face to face, as thou dost now
           His Holy of Holies, nor be blasted by his brow.”

Yet, poor, weak, fickle, terrified man! How often does he turn from the
afflatus of Revelation, to build again his temple of doubt and despair,
upon the mere caprice of his humor! Fickle, most fickle ground. It well
nigh makes one weep to hear his melancholy breathing:

            “Son of the morning, rise! approach you here!
             Come, but molest not yon defenseless urn:
             Look on this spot—a nation’s sepulchre!
             Abode of gods whose shrines no longer burn.
             Even gods must yield—religions take their turn:
             ’Twas Jove’s, ’tis Mahomet’s—and other creeds
             Will rise with other years, till man shall learn
             Vainly his incense soars, his victim bleeds:
           Poor child of doubt and death, whose hope is built on reeds.”

“Poor child of doubt and death” we will then term thee, Byron; we will
grieve over thy sorrows and thy wrongs, pitying thee: we will melt over
thy gushing tenderness which, ever and anon, pleads with so soft a
feeling, so sweet a melody, that every warm heart feels drawn toward
thee in sympathy: we will mourn with thy desponding; and over thy
wavering and despair we will drop a tear; and so pass thee on to the
mysterious judgments of thy God, where thou art gone!

I cannot dismiss this subject without a word in regard to the influence
of Lord Byron’s writings on the minds of readers. To the reader whose
principles and faith are fixed, defined, there are few dangers; for
there is scarcely any attempt in all Byron’s works, at either philosophy
or sophistry: but to one whose tone of sentiment and feeling is to be
moulded, or can, to any extent, be moulded, there is most pernicious
danger, ruin. There is an irresistible charm and brilliancy that
enchant; for, all veneration Byron cast aside, and he touches, handles
the most sublime with an audacious boldness that dazzles him who does
not tremble. This infatuating allurement seems to me to consist
principally in the contrastive. The poetry of harmony and law had little
affinity with Byron’s wayward fancy; and there is more of that _eclat_
in the contrasts of nature physical and metaphysical, which astonishes,
which raises emotions in us with infinitely less labor to ourselves,
than through the process of analysis or progressive contemplation. As a
_jeu de mot_ sparkles and delights by the approximation, through mere
fancy, of things essentially opposite—and the more diametrically
opposite, the greater the pleasurable surprise—so is it in poetry: the
poetry of harmony raises and refines by softening, expanding the mind,
whilst the poetry of contrast but dazzles without leaving an impress; it
runs together colors before unassociated, that play and flash, like
fire-works, around each other with the centripetal force of fancied
homogeneousness, and the centrifugal power of real dissimilitude,
astonishing with novelty; or, through the same power of fancy, heap
together heterogeneous ideas in fantastic association, that surprise us
by their fictitious harmony. One poetry is that of truth, the other that
of fancy. The poetry of truth and real affinity is God’s own beauty:
through the poetic harmony and relationship that reigns throughout the
universe, can we arrive at the knowledge of God; through that do we see
him in his works, and through that do we gradually rise to the homage of
veneration: whilst the poetry of only fancy prompts us to create our own
beauty, despising the guidance of veneration; to overlook the divine
intellect in its works, and to accustom ourselves to the neglect of
religion and principle, in our contemplations. Whoever has read Byron
cannot but remember how often he has been dazzled by the boldness of the
poet’s flights of contrast; and upon reflection, will confess that he
has seen in them, most apparently, the giddy raving of utter moral
recklessness. He will confess that he perceives the intellectual epicure
delivered, in self-abandonment, a prey to his fevered imagination; his
accursed appetite ever on edge, at the scent of strife, and blood, and
tumult, and black passion, and pride, and soft voluptuousness. He will
confess that when the poor, sated mortal yearned for rest, it was not
the rest of peace; but retirement in a far-off nook, apart from the
society of men, wherein he could pass his hours in greater unreserve, to
chew the cud of gorged passion, or hide his childish tears of
self-earned melancholy. Let no one then pour his sentiment into the
mould of Lord Byron’s recklessness; for that would be destruction; and
in this, it seems to me, lies the only danger. Yet there is a pervading,
seductive beauty that might thrill an angel’s bosom, in a moment of
forgetfulness; and there are few conceptions, no matter from what
inspired source they may spring, which, in their decided earthly
limitation, the powers of darkness could not with malignant meaning
consistently _encore_.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                =ZULMA.=


                      =BY MRS. JULIA C. R. DORR.=


                  Sweet little baby mine,
                  Gift from a Hand Divine,
            What shall I sing thee this bright summer morn?
                  Is it a fairy dream?
                  All things more lovely seem
            To this fond, grateful heart since thou wert born!

                  Strange that we love thee so!
                  Let us the secret know,
            Tell us the way that all hearts thou hast won;
                  Surely some magic lies
                  Deep in thine earnest eyes,
            Or in that smile of thine, beautiful one!

                  Over thy baby brow
                  Brown locks are waving now,
            When the sun toucheth them changing to gold,
                  Sweeter art thou by far
                  Than the pale lilies are,
            Or the blue violets that thou dost hold.

                  Dear little household pet,
                  With thy bright eyes of jet,
            Shining so softly the long lashes through,
                  Wert thou not born to be
                  Cherished as tenderly,
            Treasured for aye by as fond hearts and true!

                  Oh! if a mother’s prayer
                  Reach Heaven’s purer air,
            Not for the wealth of this world will I plead,
                  But that the boon of love,
                  Holy as that above,
            May be thine own in thine hour of need!

                  And that the smile of Him,
                  Greater than seraphim,
            Before whom angels and archangels bow,
                  Always may rest on thee,
                  So shall my darling be
            Ever as pure and as happy as now!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                =THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A BOARDING-HOUSE.=


                         =BY CORNELIA CAROLLA.=


Like most old things, I have “seen better days;” but I am strong and
firm as in my youth. The misfortune that reduced me to “taking
boarders,” was a change in the fashion. When I was built, the part of
the town which I inhabit, was the residence of the “ton”—emphatically
the West End! But as the city enlarged its limits, they gradually
deserted my neighborhood, and removed to more remote situations.
Besides, the large, airy houses of the past generation do not suit the
degenerate taste of the present day. The exquisitely carved wood-work,
so much admired in my youth, is sneered at by those whose brains can
neither design, nor fingers execute, such beautiful devices. Such things
have grown old-fashioned! And the mantle-pieces, with their elaborate
ships under sail, and figures of the ancient gods; their satyrs, dryads,
fauns and nymphs; their wreaths, doves, Hymens and Cupids, are torn
away, and replaced by plain, smooth, black, funereal-looking marble,
brought over seas from Alexandria, in degraded Egypt.

I had once a beautiful garden; but it has been destroyed. The tall,
straight poplar, the trembling aspen, the delicate, lace-like
fringe-tree, the majestic oak and unchanging cedar, have all fallen
under the merciless hand of modern improvement. The sweet flowers have
ceased to shed their grateful perfume on the air. The evergreen box no
longer relieves the cheerless expanse of winter’s snow. The moon looks
not on the maiden’s blushing face as she listens, in the garden-walk, to
the welcome words of love, and tears the unoffending rose, lest it
should breathe the tale. The musical laugh of little children echoes no
more through blooming alcoves. The black Hamburgh grape, with its purple
clusters of pulpy fruit, has ceased to shade the thoughtful old man from
the noonday sun, or shield him in the enjoyment of his after-dinner nap.
The apricot, trained, _espalier_-fashion, along the walls, has vanished,
with its crimson fruit. The burning-bush and holly no longer retain
their glowing berries and green leaves, through December storms, or
adorn the Christmas board. The crocus, violet and daffodil have failed
to herald the approach of spring. All, all are gone; my garden has
disappeared. A little square, paven yard is the only trace of it which
remains. A small border, a few inches wide, containing a weak, sickly
rose, a few hardy hollyhocks, and an attenuated dahlia, betrays the
extent of my landlady’s meagre devotion at the shrine of Flora. A few
unfortunate flowers have been brought occasionally within my walls, but
some unlucky chambermaid invariably tilted them out of the window.

I said that my old inhabitants deserted me for more quiet parts of the
city, and I remained vacant for some time; those who were wealthy enough
to own me (for the ground where I stood had become very valuable)
preferring a more fashionable neighborhood. At last, a speculator bought
me, and built a long row of additional rooms on the large lot which had
been my garden, and refitting the inside throughout, leased me for a
boarding-house.

I was, of course, very indignant at being degraded in my old age, for I
still retained my primitive love of quiet; but I was a powerless
instrument in the hands of my tormentors, and was compelled to submit.
I, however, became somewhat comforted, when I thought of the
multiplicity of events that would occur within my walls, and that all
would be known to me. I have a love of gossip and I promised myself much
pleasure in studying the characters, and learning the histories, of the
many inhabitants who would fill my rooms. Nor was I disappointed, for
could I tell gracefully all that I have seen, I should relate, as good
Sir Philip Sidney would say, “many tales that would hold children from
their play, and old men from the chimney-corner.” But I am old and
forgetful, and a novice in literary matters. Still, I cannot abandon my
cherished idea of attempting the recital of some of the things that I
have witnessed and heard. I give them without reference to date, for my
mind is somewhat confused with the numerous events and characters that
press forward like half-starved ghosts, each anxious to take the first
place at my table. I am indulgent toward them, and hold them somewhat
excusable for their rudeness, when I reflect that they passed their
lives in boarding-houses, where each one must, perforce, take a selfish
care of himself, with little heed of his neighbors.

But I must first recall my keepers.

There was Mrs. Albertson, a lady of good family in reduced
circumstances. She had the misfortune to be poor and the folly to be
proud, and was ashamed of honest labor. She tried every means to prevent
the fact of her taking boarders from becoming known. The ladies were not
allowed to sit near the windows unless the blinds were down, “because,”
she said, “it made the establishment look like a boarding-house.” Her
family lived at the front part of the adjoining dwelling, which she also
occupied, and all their visitors were instructed to call at that door.
She received the contempt she so richly merited; and her two daughters,
who were really pretty, became old maids, simply because sensible men
would not marry women who thought honest poverty a disgrace; and the
young ladies were too intelligent to become the wives of the senseless
puppies who sought them.

Mrs. Wentworth furnished her house in the most exquisite style, although
she kept her boarders on remarkably low diet. A piece of beef was placed
on the table as long as any fragments of meat clung to the bones, which
were afterward served up in soup. The bread was generally so stale as to
endanger the teeth, and it was difficult to distinguish coffee from tea,
or tea from coffee. Mrs. Wentworth could not imagine why her boarders
left her so soon; and no one had sufficient courage to brave her anger
and tell her the truth. A year after her house was opened, her furniture
was sold to pay the rent.

Mrs. Gleason fell into the opposite extreme: Her table was excellent;
but her prices not sufficient to support the expenditure, and those who
profited by her loss were too selfish to acquaint her with the cause.

Mrs. Holden had kept a quiet, comfortable house, where the boarders were
like a private family. In an evil hour, however, she resolved to attempt
“getting into society,” as the increase of great acquaintances is now
called, and took me, and furnished me in fine style, in order to attract
a “higher class” of persons than she had hitherto been accustomed to
meet, hoping to live on the same terms with them that she had previously
done with her more sensible and familiar boarders. But she soon found
out her mistake. Most of the inmates of fashionable boarding-houses look
on the mistress of the house as their natural enemy, and, although Mrs.
Holden was really a good, clever woman in her way, she found herself
treated by her new boarders rather as their servant than their
companion. She often sighed for her happy little home; but it was too
late for repentance, and she consoled herself with the thought, that she
made more money in her new house.

Mrs. Hall kept a showy establishment, hoping to find a rich husband for
her pretty daughter. The young lady was much admired, and attracted many
gentlemen to the house, who, of course, paid pretty well for the
pleasure of residing under the same roof with so beautiful a girl. Most
of them, however, vacated the premises, unwilling to trust their hearts
in the neighborhood of beauty, when they found the mind destitute of
cultivation, and, indeed, wanting in natural strength. She was
accomplished—that was all. She could talk nonsense; but whenever
conversation took a more sensible turn she was silent. She found a rich
husband, however, possessed of the same grade of intellect as herself,
and they live contentedly in their little world of trivial events.

A school has been called a miniature world; a boarding-house is much
more truly entitled so, since within its walls rage all the passions,
the joys and sorrows, the hopes and fears, that rack humanity. Glance
along the table when its inmates are assembled. How many virtues and
vices are reflected in the different countenances that meet the eye!
There is an old man, happy in the knowledge of a well-spent life; seated
next him, may be seen one of half his years, already bowed by sorrow,
which his own vices have occasioned. Near him an innocent girl,
shrinking involuntarily from her neighbor, with the instinctive
antipathy of virtue for vice. Next to her a widow, who, before her
mourning weeds are thrown aside, forgets the departed one she had once
professed to love so deeply. Here a wife, who heedless of matronly
dignity, flirts with every brainless fop, with the careless gayety of a
school-girl. There a blushing bride, dreaming only of a blissful future,
while _vis a vis_ with a constituent, a politician discusses the
probable results of the next election, and beholds the profitable office
he toils for within his grasp. Near him sits a poet, with pale,
intellectual brow, revolving in his mind the dazzling thoughts that
shall live hereafter on the “deathless page,” while his nearest
neighbor, an anxious merchant, hastily swallows his food, to return to
his toil before the shrine of Mammon. There an uxorious old man watches,
with jealous eyes, the words and smiles of his giddy young bride. Here
an old woman disfigures the beauty of age, and turns the reverence it
excites to ridicule, by aping in dress and manner the youth which she
can never recall. Her shriveled neck covered with thin gauze, the
glittering jewels on her bony hands, the rouge on her wrinkled and
sunken cheeks, the gay silks that mock the silvery hairs that peep from
beneath the ebon colored wig, betray the paltry vanity of a weak mind,
and make me sigh to see age deform itself in such a masquerade. Even so
might I proceed through the whole list on my landlady’s books; but I
must cease mere speculation, for I promised to relate some of the
incidents that have occurred within my walls—such histories as I have
heard.

Often has the caution that “walls have ears” been uttered, timidly and
shrinkingly, in my rooms; but the speakers little dreamed that those
walls were then using their “ears,” and to good purpose. I seek not to
betray confidences: I have none: I was never willingly trusted! No one
but the actors in the scenes that I am about to relate (if they are
still alive) will recognize the facts; and if they choose to publish
their part in the transactions, they must take the responsibility. But
this can never be; their mortal remains have reposed for many a year in
the silent embrace of the grave, and “God have mercy on their souls!”
Some of my characters may also be mistaken for portraits of those who
frequent other walls than mine; but if any one recognises his own
faults, let him remember, that life is the same in all situations, and
that at my age I need scarcely descend to the Present when my sympathies
dwell with the Past.

But where shall I commence my stories? As I said before, characters and
incidents press so rudely forward that I am at a loss which to select;
but there is one who stands aside from the crowd, whose deep, unearthly
eyes haunt me; whose shadowy hand is upraised as though in solemn
warning; around whose pale lips seems to hover a tale of sin and
suffering. His story is a sad one, and I will take for


                             SKETCH—No. 1,

                                REMORSE.

In the quiet depth of night the desolate silence which reigned
throughout the house was frequently broken by the hasty step of Paul
Weldon, as he paced the long passages. At first it startled the inmates
from repose, but they soon became accustomed to the sound and ceased to
note it, or, if they heard it, merely muttering, “It is only poor
Weldon,” settled themselves again to sleep. Night after night, like an
unquiet spirit, he walked up and down the corridors, across the long
dining-room, through the wide hall and parlor, until the approaching day
brought with it signs of life. He then returned to his apartments. Some
thought him mad, and whispered of a crazed mother and hereditary
insanity, trembling, at times, at the wild lustre of his eyes; another
suggested deep study of dark, forbidden things, and hinted that older
and wiser men had bartered their souls before for such knowledge. A
horror-loving youth insinuated that some dark crime had been committed,
while all shrank, involuntarily, from contact with the unfortunate
Weldon.

He was gentle, yet children clung to their mothers when he approached;
there was something so fearful in the glance of his large, sunken eyes.
Without seeming to shun companionship, he stood apart from all. Indeed,
sometimes he forced himself to seek society, and, apparently, would fain
have found friends had not every one avoided him. No matter how gay the
conversation might be when he entered the public drawing-room, it
immediately languished and ceased at his appearance: there was a strange
charm about him which cast a gloom over all. The giddiest were subdued
by it; the gravest felt its melancholy influence. All eyed him askance,
and whenever his pale lips moved they unconsciously nerved themselves
for some terrible tale.

Perhaps he felt his fearful power, since he soon ceased to seek
companionship, and confined himself almost exclusively to his
apartments. He seemed to have neither friends, occupation, nor home. The
present looked cheerless to him; the future, hopeless: he dwelt only in
the dreadful memories of the past.

His agonies in seclusion were terrible. Sometimes he threw himself on a
chair and moved his body to and fro, moaning as if in suffering; now he
started up and walked the floor; then seated himself and strove to read,
evidently utterly incapable of confining his attention to any single
subject. Book after book was opened and thrown aside. At last, seizing
his hat, he rushed into the street, where his rapid walk and abstracted
manner excited astonishment but too visible to his sensitive mind. At
length he ceased to quit the home, and hiding himself in his apartments,
ventured from them only in the darkness, silence, and solitude of night.

He apparently struggled against this strange restlessness, for he would
lie down on his bed and strive to sleep; but when repose came it brought
with it such fearful dreams that he soon awoke, and sprang from his, to
him, accursed couch.

“O, no, I cannot—cannot sleep!” exclaimed he; “there is no rest for me,
nor will there be until I find it in the grave. Ah, might I indeed, find
repose in its embrace, how soon would I seek its icy portals; but no, I
cannot, for even there crime finds its reward: must I not awake to
judgment and to punishment? Remorse—remorse! how shall I destroy thy
fangs? How shall I hide me from that fearful vision?”

From his wild self-accusations I learned his history. It was a sad one.
The effects of his youthful vices had awakened in his heart that
sleepless demon, remorse, which acting on his sensitive, imaginative
mind, made life a curse where it might have been a blessing.

He was an only son—the idol of parents too indulgent for his good. When
will parents learn to temper kindness with prudence? Daily is the lesson
of their complicated duties taught them by the fate of those who fall
victims to their careless teachings. Here, one is ruined by over
indulgence; there, another is embittered and hardened by undue rigor;
here, genius is crushed by ridicule; there, stupidity is rendered vain
by undeserved praise. How rarely is the onerous office of a parent
properly fulfilled!

Weldon’s early training left him quite unfitted to resist temptation in
any form. Impulse, not principle, was the law of his actions. At college
he formed an intimacy with some dissipated young men. As the wine
circulated they boasted of their licentiousness, until Paul Weldon’s
better feelings were crushed, and he thought with them, that the ruin of
the peace of the innocent and happy was a feat to be proud of.

Under such guidance he followed them to their haunts of dissipation: he
was initiated into their orgies, and soon became the boon companion of
the vilest of the vile—of a set of villains who wore the semblance of
gentlemen, and yet, at heart, were as deeply dyed with crime as the
wretch who expiates his guilt on the gallows. Strange that society
banishes from its temples those who break the laws of men, yet welcomes
with open arms the offender against the laws of God and the dictates of
natural justice.

We will not follow Weldon through his downward path. At first conscience
restrained him, but the ridicule of his associates soon drowned her
warning voice, and he hurried on in his reckless course until he became
a leader among his former teachers in vice.

Thus passed his college life, and when he returned to his home it was
with feelings dulled and seared by crime.

Paul Weldon’s father was a country gentleman of the old school. His
mother, the proud daughter of a poor earl, had been a belle, and had
married, partly for love, partly for money. Preferring to be “first in a
province rather than second in a city,” when her charms waned she
retired to her husband’s fine old country-house, where she assumed the
airs of a queen regnant over the neighboring provincials. In the
outskirts of the village, however, was one who neither courted nor
fawned upon her. This was Mrs. White, the widow of a gallant officer who
fell bravely fighting for his country, bequeathing to his young wife’s
guardianship his only child—a daughter, then an infant. Mrs. White
possessed a small annuity, and with this she purchased the cottage near
Weldon Manor. Here she lived quietly and happily, devoting her whole
time to the education of her daughter, who, like a rose in the desert,
seemed “born to blush unseen.”

When the Weldons returned to the old house, which they had not visited
for years, Lucy White was a lovely, innocent girl of sixteen. I have
said that Mrs. White did not court the lady of the manor, wherefore she
was hated by her; but living apart and alone, the humble inhabitants of
the cottage were ignorant of the enmity of the haughty dame.

Shortly after the arrival of the Weldons at the manor-house, their son
returned from college. He soon discovered the beautiful cottager, and
found means to make her acquaintance. From that time the fair girl was
seldom alone, and she soon discovered that the light of loving eyes was
preferable even to the holy radiance of the stars, and that the low
tones of love were sweeter than the songs of birds, or the music of
murmuring streams. She was guileless, unsuspecting; he was artful and
persuasive—one who could easily make “the worse seem the better cause,”
and the result was that her unsuspecting love became her ruin. Her idol
was her betrayer! She soon awoke to the consequences of her crime, and
besought her destroyer to spare her from misery—to save her from
disgrace. Paul’s heart was melted; he loved her truly and would have
repaired the wrong he had done her; but his mother unfortunately
discovered the state of things, and by prayers and entreaties, jeers and
taunts, so wrought on his pride that he determined to forsake her.

Poor Lucy! how earnestly, how vainly she entreated him to save her.

“O, Paul—Paul,” she exclaimed, “if you love me—if you ever loved
me—spare me! Save me, I entreat you, for the sake of my poor widowed
mother! For the sake of my unborn babe, if not for mine; drive me not
forth an outcast—homeless, friendless. Too guilty to dwell with the
pure; too innocent to consort with the vicious, where shall I go? Men
will behold me with sneering pity; women will turn aside from the
fallen. I am a woman and have sinned, and may not hope for pardon. In
happier days, Paul, you have often told me how dear I was to you, and
have you so soon learned to despise me for my sin? You turn away! Ah,
yes; it is so; you—even you whom I loved so truly, and trusted so
deeply, turn from me in my sorrow—in my shame. But no—no; I cannot—I
will not believe it. Speak to me—give me hope, or else confirm my
despair.”

Paul averted his head, for love and pity struggled in his heart; but the
demon pride, mastered the angels, and he determined to leave her to her
wretchedness. Still his tongue refused to speak the heartless words.

“What, still silent?” she cried. “Will you not even speak to me, Paul?
And a few short months ago you seemed to live only in my presence; now
you are eager to shun me. Then you had no eyes for any one but me; now,
you turn away; then you had no ears for sweeter music than my voice, now
you shudder at its sound; then you vowed you would never know joy apart
from me; now you would drive me from you forever. Then your low, loving,
passionate tones entered my soul, lulling its guardian spirit with their
sweet music until my senses swam in a sweet delirium of delight, from
which I awoke—to find myself the wretched creature you have made me.
And you, who wrought this change—you, who sought me but to
betray—stand there before me, silent, trembling, when I ask you to
repair your wrong—when for the sake of love and pity I ask for justice.
You will not even answer me. Why do you hesitate, if you would give me
hope? Why prolong my suffering? If you would plunge me into despair, why
dally with me? Why not let me know the worst? Speak, answer me, I
entreat—I command you!”

She retreated a few paces, and gazing steadily on his averted face,
awaited his reply. He hesitated; at last he spoke:

“Dear Lucy,” said he, “you know I love you, but—but—”

“But what,” she exclaimed; “do not stammer—do not hesitate. Speak, and
quickly!”

“Well, then,” he replied, “I love you and pity you; but I cannot make
you my wife. Nay,” he continued, as the pale impress of hopeless agony
stole over her features, “nay, do not look so terribly, Lucy; all will
yet be well!”

As he spoke he advanced and took her hand within his own; but she
withdrew it quickly, as though she had been touched by a scorpion.

“Yes, yes; all will be well for you, but not for me. Paul Weldon, how
dearly, how deeply I have loved you I need not say, for I have proved
it, and have been rewarded for it by treachery, disgrace, and despair.
But enough of this; you have decided, so have I; and all that now
remains is to say that I will pray to God, if He will listen to the
prayer of the fallen, that you may never know such wo as you have caused
me, and to entreat you, when you go forth into the world, that when you
see the young and innocent, happy in their purity, you will spare them
for my sake—that you will never whisper of love and joy when you
meditate treachery and ruin! And now farewell. We shall never meet again
on earth! Once more, farewell—forever!”

As she spoke she glided from the room. After standing, irresolute, a few
moments, he seized his hat, and left the house.

That night sleep refused to visit his eyes. Hour by hour he paced his
chamber, thinking of the ruin he had wrought, and upbraiding himself for
his cruelty. The struggle between love and pride was again renewed, and
this time the good angel was victorious, and he determined to atone for
his previous injuries by such reparation as remained in his power.
Resolving not to expose his new made resolution to his mother’s attacks,
he intended to persuade Lucy to an immediate marriage. At daybreak he
sought the rector of the parish, and having told his story, induced him
to consent to perform the marriage service. From thence he hastened to
the well-known cottage. Meeting Mrs. White at the door, he asked for
Lucy, and was told that she had not risen; but as he seemed eager to
speak to her, Mrs. White summoned the servant and bade her call her
daughter. A moment later a shrill shriek was heard, and the girl rushed
into the apartment, pale and breathless:

“O, madam, madam,” she exclaimed, “she is dead—she is dead!”

With a bound Paul sprang up the staircase, and then into Lucy’s chamber,
followed close by her horror-stricken mother. There, on the bed, pale,
cold and lifeless, lay fair Lucy White. A cup upon the table, and a
bottle, labeled “laudanum,” betrayed the manner of her death. All these
things Paul took in at a glance, and stood petrified with horror. The
thought struck him that life might not yet be quite extinct, throwing
aside the covering, he placed his hand above her heart; but it was cold
and still; its pulses had ceased to beat. She was indeed—dead! He knelt
beside the corpse, and, in his agony, called on Heaven to destroy him,
accusing himself of having murdered the most fair and innocent of
beings. The mother, roused from her anguish, learned, for the first
time, that the dear child she mourned, had fallen from her purity and
innocence. At first she would not believe the dreadful truth, and
springing up, she caught the betrayer by the arm.

“Paul Weldon,” she exclaimed, “by all you hold sacred, I command you to
tell me the truth: Was she innocent or guilty?”

“She was betrayed!” he replied, shuddering.

“Then the curse of the widow and the childless be upon you! Begone!
Linger not a moment by the corpse of your victim, lest she rise from
death to upbraid you! Away, and hope not for peace on earth. Go where
you will, a mother’s curse shall follow the murderer of her child!”

Mechanically he left the room, and wandered away, he knew not whither.
His brain whirled. He saw strange phantoms around him. He fancied the
bright heavens strove to fall on him. Dark, angry clouds seemed to
envelop him and prevent him from escaping. The birds accused him in
their songs. The wind whispered his crime among the green leaves. They
trembled as they heard the story, and even the grass and the sweet
flowers bowed their heads as they learned his crime. All nature accused
him, and he strove to hide himself from the light of day. On, on, he
fled until he saw a simple dwelling.

“Ah,” he cried, “this at least is the work of human hands. Here at least
dwells a human being. God’s works are pure and they accuse me; but
sheltered by what the hand of man has made, I shall feel secure.”

The door stood open and he rushed in. The family were seated at their
breakfast, and sprang up in amazement when he appeared. The children
shrieked, and he felt that they, too, knew his crime; that they, too,
upbraided him. He left the house and sought the woods, but their grand,
solemn quiet oppressed him.

“I will go to my father’s house,” said he; “there, at least, no one can
accuse me, for my parents share my crime.”

He strove to retrace his steps, but could not: his mind grew more
confused, his head became giddy, and he sunk exhausted by the roadside.

The news of Lucy’s death sped like lightning through the village, and
when Lady Laura Weldon summoned her dressing-maid, the girl’s pale face
struck an unexpected terror to the heart of the mistress.

“What is the matter, Warren?” said she.

“O, madam, such dreadful news,” replied the frightened girl. “Lucy White
has killed herself!”

“O, mercy,” shrieked her lady; “Warren, the salts: I shall faint. There,
there, I am better now. How could you break such awful news so abruptly.
But where is Paul? Go and tell him to come to me.”

The girl hesitated.

“Why do you hesitate? Go and tell my son to come here. Go—instantly.”

“Ah, madam,” said the girl, “I fear it would be useless to seek him. He
was there when the death was discovered, and Mrs. White upbraided him so
dreadfully, that he rushed from the house and has not been heard of
since.”

“Good God! has no one seen him? Run quickly; tell all the servants to
seek him and bring him back. By force, if it be required. Bid them
search in every direction: whoever finds him shall be well rewarded.”

A few hours later Paul was brought home. On his arrival he was carried
to bed, and a physician summoned. His mother knelt by his side, and
strove to rouse him to consciousness. At length a few muttered words
broke from his lips; then wild cries; then delirious ravings, in which
he accused himself of murder, and called on earth and heaven to witness
that his mother had instigated him to do the deed, begging the
attendants to take her away lest she should also kill him. Thus he lay
for weeks; sometimes in a deep stupor, sometimes in furious insanity,
when his mad cries rang through the house, curdling the blood of his
hearers. Gradually the fever left him, and hope was entertained that he
would at length recover. He became convalescent; but still, apparently,
not quite sane. He was moody and silent, and avoided companionship. The
physicians bade them humor all his wishes, and he was permitted to
wander about the mansion and the park, unattended. Care, however, was
taken that he should not escape; but as he never attempted any thing of
the kind, their vigilance gradually relaxed. One day he cunningly
contrived to elude them, and hastened to the cottage of Mrs. White.

The widow sat before the fire with her head bowed down. A step upon the
threshold aroused her attention. She turned and beheld Paul Weldon; but
so pale, so thin was he, so wild were his looks, that she scarcely knew
him. She sprang up with a shriek, remembering his madness, and would
have left the apartment; but he placed himself before her.

“Nay, do not leave me,” said he; “I have come to converse with you. You
are greatly changed since I saw you last. And Lucy—is she, too,
altered? She was pale and cold when I left her, and I thought that she
was dead. But they tell me I was mistaken. May I not see her? Where is
she?”

Mrs. White saw that he was still insane and dreaded to tell him the
truth, yet she feared to deceive him.

He arose and took her by the hand.

“Come, show me where she is,” said he. “You need not refuse, for I will
know. Come!”

Finding it useless to resist, she led him toward the church-yard. When
they approached the gate, he said:

“You go to the grave-yard. Is she, then, really dead?”

Mrs. White replied not, but entered, and seeking poor Lucy’s grave,
pointed to it, saying:

“Lucy sleeps here!”

A simple stone with the single word “Lucy” marked her resting-place. It
stood apart from those around it, as if the dead, like the living,
shrunk from the unfortunate. It was late in the autumn, and the trees
were stripped of their foliage. The wind swept mournfully through their
bare branches, and eddied around the vaults and monuments, like a spirit
moaning over the dead.

Paul gazed long and silently on the solitary mound of earth where his
victim slept. At length he turned to Mrs. White, who was striving to
subdue her sobs.

“They deceived me, then, and she _is_ dead; and they have buried her
deep in the earth to hide her from my sight,” said he. “But there are no
flowers on her grave—no birds to cheer her lonely resting-place. And
see! even the very leaves have striven to hide her grave from me. But
they shall not—they shall not. I will see her once more. Ha, ha, ha!”

With this he dashed the leaves away, and commenced tearing up the earth
with his hands. Mrs. White strove vainly to restrain him; he threw her
from him and pursued his fearful task with the strength and activity of
insanity. He was suddenly arrested by the strong hands of his
attendants, who had missed him, and in their search had been directed
thither. He resisted stoutly, but at length was overpowered by their
superior numbers.

Next day his fever returned, and for weeks his life was despaired of.
His illness now took a favorable turn, and he slowly recovered. With
renewed strength reason returned; and his physicians advised an
immediate change of scene and air, lest the sight of familiar faces
should cause a second relapse into insanity. Preparations were
immediately made for a visit to the Continent; and when Paul was well
enough to be removed, they departed, late at night, in order that the
darkness might hide every thing from his eyes.

A week later they found themselves in Paris, and Paul was still
improving in health. Here they rested a short time, and strove by every
means to dispel the melancholy which still brooded over him. When summer
arrived they repaired to one of the German watering-places. The two
succeeding years were spent in Italy, and then, as Mr. Weldon’s health
declined, and he pined for the air of his native land, they returned to
London. Immediately after their arrival Lady Laura fell ill and died.

The corpse was removed for interment to Weldon. The anxious father would
fain have left Paul in London; but the latter persisted in paying the
last sad rites to his mother.

He was deeply affected when, after his long absence, he found himself
gazing again on the scene of his sin and suffering. His thoughts, were,
however, diverted from such reflections by his grief for his mother.

Next day she was buried. For a fortnight Paul never left his father’s
side; the old man was sinking rapidly. At the expiration of that time
Mr. Weldon was laid beside his wife, and Paul was alone in the world. On
his death-bed Mr. Weldon entreated his son to leave England immediately
after his funeral, and advised him not to return until time had entirely
obliterated the past.

The funeral was over, and Paul sat alone in his chamber, looking
silently and sadly toward the church, in whose dreary vaults his parents
now slept their last sleep. That benumbing sensation of utter desolation
which comes when we have seen the grave close over those nearest and
dearest to us, stole over his heart. The past, with its shadowy
memories, arose in his mind. He thought of the beloved but mistaken
mother who had cherished him so fondly—of the noble father who regarded
him with so much pride. He remembered the affectionate words and
caresses that he had received from them, and sighed to think how
frequently he had caused them unnecessary pain by his boyish
willfulness. But those lamented ones were lost to him forever. They lay
in the cold gloomy vault, in the lonely church. Then his thoughts
wandered to an humble grave in the church-yard. He remembered the fair
young girl that he had betrayed; he thought of _her_ wild love and _his_
crime, and felt that God’s just and unfailing retribution had already
commenced. He was alone in the world; those whom he had most loved had
been snatched away by death. There, in the bounds of that church, rested
father, mother, and the one he had betrayed.

He arose and sought their resting-place. There at least he would be less
lonely, for would not they be near him, although invisible to his sight?
He hastened to the church-yard. He sought among the graves until a
simple stone, with the single word “Lucy,” told him who slept beneath.
He knelt beside the grave, gazing intently on it, as though his sight
could pierce the earth to where she lay within her coffin. He fancied he
saw her, pale, cold, rigid, as on that fatal morning when he last beheld
her. He remembered how time had flown, and knew that her beauteous form
had long since returned to its original clay. He smoothed the long grass
that grew above her, and parted the creeping ivy that partly enveloped
the grave-stone. Flowers had been planted around, and they bloomed and
flourished luxuriously. He hated them when he remembered that they drew
their nourishment from the ashes of the dead. Gradually the feeling
changed. He plucked one of them and gazed into its cup, until he fancied
he saw her face within its depth. He recalled to mind how she had loved
them in her life, and felt that even in the spirit-land she delighted in
their grateful incense. Their presence at her grave finally comforted
him. A slight whirring sound, followed by a sharp cry, startled him. He
raised his eyes, and glanced nervously toward the spot from whence the
sound proceeded. Upon a grave-stone near him sat a bird, which, as he
gazed on it, uttered another cry, and soared away into the azure
overhead. He followed it with his eyes until it disappeared, and then,
urged by an irresistible impulse, arose and approached the grave on
which the bird had perched. He glanced at the head-stone, and read the
name of “Mary White” on its pure surface. A heavy groan burst from his
lips, as the words met his eyes. He did not need words to tell him the
history of the broken-hearted mother who slept beneath the marble. He
felt it all; she, too, was dead, and her blood also rested on his soul!
The bitter curse which, in the madness of her anguish she had invoked,
rang again in his ears. “He should never know peace.” The dead had said
it. The desolate mother had called down curses on him ere she died, and
they were already closing around him. He was, indeed, accursed. Father
and mother had been taken from him. The joyousness of youth had passed
forever. Remorse had fastened its fangs in his heart. A demon pursued
him wherever he fled. His senses whirled; the hot blood danced madly
through his veins. He bared his brow, that the soft air might cool the
fever of his brain. He felt the old mood returning. He feared that he
would again become insane. He knew himself on the very verge of madness,
and strove to restore the balance of his mind. He entered the church,
and resting his burning head upon the cold marble underneath which his
parents reposed, endeavored to calm himself—to tear his thoughts from
subjects which he dreaded to dwell on. He remembered his promise to his
dying father, and felt that, to save himself from madness, he must
fulfill it, and that quickly. Still Weldon had an irresistible charm for
him, since he was there near the resting-place of his lost ones. He
could come daily to water the grave of his injured, murdered love with
repentant tears. But he was bound by his pledge, and he fully recognized
the wisdom which dictated it. Gradually he became more composed, his
mind grew more clear, and still kneeling, with bowed head, he entreated
his dear parents to offer up the prayer for him which he himself dared
not make.

He remained thus until the last rays of the setting sun left the spire
of the church, when a step by his side aroused him. He turned and beheld
his father’s steward. Tears stood in the old man’s eyes, as, with a
faltering voice, he addressed him.

“Pardon me, sir, for intruding upon your grief,” said he; “but he who
sleeps below required me to perform the duty which brings me here. He
bade me entreat you to leave Weldon as soon as he was laid in his grave.
Forgive my boldness; but I hope you will obey his urgent, often-repeated
request.”

“And did he say I must go so soon, Elwood?” asked Paul, anxiously.

“He did,” replied the old man. “Indeed he wished you to depart in a few
hours after his funeral. I ought to have told you before; but I could
not interrupt the indulgence of your grief. There is a sacred comfort in
weeping alone over the graves of those whom we love.”

“Well, return and order the carriage: I will be with you at once,”
replied Paul.

Elwood bowed and withdrew, and Paul again knelt beside the tomb of his
parents, and, pressing his lips to the cold marble, inwardly invoked
their blessings. He then arose and turned to depart; but when he reached
the door suddenly paused, and rushing back, threw himself once more on
the tomb, and burst into tears.

Tears! what sad, yet welcome guests they are! When the deep sorrow which
is pent in the heart bursts forth in its natural expression, what relief
is found. Thank God for the power to weep, for grief would become
madness but for this means to give it vent. Tears have a healing magic,
for after an utter abandonment to weeping there comes a heavy, sullen
stupor, from which gradually arises slight gleams of hope, which
dissipate the midnight gloom of sorrow, and light up the horizon of the
future.

Paul wept long and bitterly, then sunk into deep thought, and at length
arose and left the church. He knelt a short time by Lucy’s grave, and
then by a desperate effort sprung to his feet and rushed from the
burial-ground, without casting a single look behind him. He hurried to
the manor-house, and finding the carriage in waiting threw himself into
it, and, with a hasty adieu to those around, bade the coachman drive on.
The next day he found himself in London, from whence he sailed for the
Continent. There he wandered from place to place, sometimes mingling
with the gay, at others, immuring himself in religious houses, or again
seeking excitement in every thing which promised forgetfulness. He next
sought oblivion in travel, and went to Palestine, hoping to find in its
sacred scenes something more powerful to charm his mind than the
all-engrossing subject which continually haunted him. He visited Egypt,
and pondering over her buried mysteries strove to devote his intellect
to the solution of those wonderful records of old, which she holds with
jealous hands, granting but slight glimpses of Truth to the most
profound of seers. In vain: the one thought reigned supreme. He now
hastened back to Europe, and visiting every place of note, strove to
interest himself in her glorious historical remembrances, which
impregnate her very air with food for thought. Still in vain. At last he
resolved to seek America—the happy land of Freedom. There, among a
nation who dwelt but little on the past, who looked to the future with
glorious aspirations; there, where none need despair—where the road to
fame was open unto all; there, in the bounding hopefulness of a young
people’s heart, he hoped to find that something which might excite an
overwhelming interest in his soul. His last hope failed him, and the
mirage-like Lethe which he had so long and vainly followed on the Sahara
of sorrow disappeared forever from his view.

Visiting one of our northern cities, and feeling unwilling to endure the
noise and bustle of a large hotel, he resolved to seek a private
boarding-house. He was directed to one which ranked among the highest.
The terms were soon arranged, and Paul Weldon came to dwell within my
walls.

What impression his strange, restless melancholy produced among his
fellow-boarders, I have already made known. The cause of his conduct was
a mystery which each one vainly tried to solve; and, failing in this,
each gave a different reason for what they could not comprehend,
agreeing in but one particular—to avoid him.

His nocturnal rambles annoyed them; but he was so gentle and
inoffensive, they could not complain of this one fault. It was true that
very nervous ladies indulged in delicate shrieks of alarm, or perhaps
fainted outright, when returning late from some festive hall, they
encountered him in the dimly-lighted passage. But, then it was so good
an opportunity for displaying their pretty little feminine fears, that
they were rather grateful to him than otherwise: for how could they be
angry with one who indirectly caused such tender inquiries as were
always made the following morning. And then how interesting the
frightened lady looked, as with a scarf or mantilla thrown gracefully
around her, (as though the fright caused a chill, which lasted thus
long,) she related the incident to her commiserating admirers—and what
a dear, delicate little creature she could seem upon such occasions! Too
ethereal for this rude world, it excited a fear lest she might too soon
be called to a more fitting home.

It was such thoughts, perhaps, that stirred in the hearts of the devoted
swains, and made them bristle up, and look fierce, and wonder why such a
person was kept in the house, hinting that they would speak sharply to
the landlady about it, and have the matter corrected. And then to hear
with what earnest sweetness, with what an angelic spirit of forgiveness
the fair lady entreated them not to do so; and how the gentlemen
expressed their admiration of the lady’s forbearance. It was worth a
half-a-dozen fainting fits to give these nervous ladies an opportunity
for a display of such exquisite delicacy, and such rare virtues.

Paul consequently remained undisturbed, though he continued to be
shunned by all. Under the withering influence of the demon which
possessed him, his health gradually declined. Day by day his cheek grew
paler, and his form more slender. He now ceased to frequent the public
table, and ordered his meals to be served in his own apartments; and
only when the solemn stillness of night roused afresh the fearful
memories of the past, did he quit his chamber and wander out in the
deserted corridors.

At length he became unable to leave his bed. He refused to call in a
physician, and required but little attention; and lay there alone,
gradually sinking into the grave, without a single friend to soothe or
console him. When his illness and his loneliness became known among his
fellow-boarders, they all expressed much regret; but he had held himself
aloof from all, and there was such an impenetrable mystery around him,
that all hesitated at proffering any of those delicate acts of kindness,
which are so welcome to an invalid. At length, a young man named Barton,
resolved to act the Good Samaritan, even at the risk of being repelled
by the sick man. Mr. Barton was one of those true Christians, who do not
hesitate at performing their duty, even when it jars with their
feelings. He accordingly sought Paul’s chamber; and, tapping at the
door, was bidden to enter.

Weldon started when he saw a stranger, but immediately recovering
himself, spoke.

“I am happy to see you, sir,” said he: “pray be seated?”

Mr. Barton sat down; and after apologizing for his intrusion, asked if
he could render him any service. Paul expressed his gratitude, but
declined the proffered assistance.

“Human aid cannot help me now,” was his reply. “I feel that I am dying,
and I thank God for it; although death is a fearful thing to one so
stained with guilt as I am.”

“But,” replied Barton, “have you no hope from the mercy of God? Repent
of your sins, seek forgiveness through the Saviour, and you will find
peace.”

“Peace!” exclaimed Weldon; “talk not of peace to me: I cannot—dare not
hope for it!”

“Nay,” replied Barton, “do not despair! The Saviour pardoned the thief
upon the cross; and He has bidden all that are weary and heavy laden to
come unto Him. There, and there only, will you find rest and joy.”

“O, do not mock me with such words!” exclaimed Weldon. “I tell you, I
may not—dare not hope. Teach me to exorcise the restless spirit of the
dead, and then I may find peace. Night after night she comes to me in my
dreams: waking, she is ever before me—her accusing eyes are fixed upon
me. Years have elapsed since she died; oceans roll between her grave and
me. I have knelt at the holiest shrines—I have dwelt in the lowest
depths of vice—I have joined the giddy in pursuit of pleasure—the wise
in toil for knowledge. I have hidden in the caverns of the earth, and
stood upon her mountain tops. The palace and the hovel, alternately,
have been my home. Men have fawned, and fair maidens smiled on me; but
all in vain. Still—still her pale face haunts me. The holy hymn and the
din of battle—the mad curse of the drunken revel—the silvery laugh of
pleasure—the soothing words of woman—and the flattering homage of man
have alike failed to silence the bitter, ringing reproach of conscience.
Then, bid me not hope for the peace which for years I have vainly
sought. Would you go to the fiends of hell, and picture heaven with all
its joys to them, and say—‘see; all this might have been yours, though
now it is lost forever?’ Would you stand upon the scaffold beside the
condemned felon, and tell him that a bright heritage had been left him,
and paint all the joys of life, saying—all these were his could he but
live; and add, that there was no hope—he must die? It were as merciful
as to tell me of that for which I would freely give up all that I
possess; nay, even life itself to win—yet dare not hope for.”

“Still,” replied Barton, “you need not despair. There is no guilt,
however black, that God will not wipe away. I fear you have never yet
sought in the proper manner for the peace which you desire?”

“And do you think I might indeed find it?” asked Weldon, eagerly. “O, if
you can but teach me how to drive this restless fiend, Remorse, from my
heart, I will be forever grateful!—but you must first know what has
been my crime. The blood of two innocent, unoffending women rests upon
my head; and one of them was my betrothed wife. She loved me—yes, loved
me deeply, madly; and I—I betrayed her. She died by her own hand, and
her mother of a broken heart. Knowing this, do you still think I might
hope for pardon?”

“Your crime was a fearful one; but surely your deep repentance, your
great suffering have, in a measure, expatiated your guilt. But permit me
to arrange your pillows, and then I will read to you for a short time.”

The pillows having been arranged, Barton produced a pocket Bible, and
read such passages as he thought applicable to Weldon’s case; panning
occasionally to comment upon them. This was continued as long as he
thought Paul’s strength would permit, and then he arose and took his
leave, advising the sick man to sleep if possible. Weldon thanked him
for his kind visit, and begged him to return soon again, which Barton
readily promised to do.

Thereafter Weldon found his new friend by his bedside daily, advising
and soothing him. Under Barton’s teachings his mind gradually became
more calm, and he learned to look on the past without that agonizing
remorse with which he once regarded it. He repented of his sin, and at
last found hope that it might be forgiven. But his life was fast ebbing
away, and scarcely had he rejoiced in the reality of his new-found
peace, when he died. Calmly and happily did his spirit burst its bonds
and fly to join the loved and lamented ones in a holier and happier
home.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                               =ARIADNE:=


                          =OR THE LOVE WATCH.=


                         =BY MRS. E. J. EAMES.=


                          “’Tis she of Crete.”

                 Wherefore, wherefore, dost thou stand
                   By the sea-washed shore so lonely?
                   Morn’s first crimson shadows only
                 Saw a vessel leave the strand!
                   But its canvas glancing white,
                   Long hath left thy straining sight—
                 Sunset dies o’er sea and land:
                   Yet across the waste of waters,
                   Saddest of Earth’s quivering daughters
                 Stretcheth still each small white hand!

                 Cretan girl, still art thou there?
                   Luna her soft watch is keeping,
                   Eve’s first timid star is peeping
                 Through the hushed and shining air;
                   For that fair ship dost thou wait—
                   Beautiful, yet desolate?
                 With thy long and jet black hair
                   Wild and loose about thee falling—
                   Still complaining, moaning, calling—
                 In thy heart’s forlorn despair!

                 Watching still beside the sea!—
                   Gem-like stars to midnight given
                   Flash upon the purple heaven—
                 O! forsaken Ariadne!
                   Leave thy seat beside the shore—
                   He will come to thee no more—
                 That young king is false to thee,
                   Who for his sake crossed the ocean,
                   And with deep, intense devotion
                 Worshiped him, as Deity!

                 Royal princess! morn again
                   On thy weary watching breaketh—
                   Hope deferred thy heart sick maketh—
                 Stretch thy hand no more—’tis vain!
                   Could that false Athenian king
                   Know what desperate faith doth cling
                 To thy heart, he would again
                   Seek the bride so soon forsaken—
                   But thy trust would then be shaken:
                 Better dwell thou by the main!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        =THE GAME OF THE MONTH.=


= BY HENRY WILLIAM HERBERT, AUTHOR OF “FRANK FORESTER’S FIELD SPORTS,”
  “FISH AND FISHING,” ETC.=


[Illustration]


                               THE PERCH.

The Yellow Perch; _Perca flavescens_.

This fine fish, which belongs to the family _Percoidæ_, of the division
_Acanthopterygii_, or thorny-finned, is the common perch of the waters
of the United Slates; ranging from the extreme east to the extreme west
of the continent; from the streams and pools of Nova Scotia and New
Brunswick, to the feeders of Lake Superior and the northern tributaries
of the Canadian lakes.

To the northward, it is not found in the rivers flowing into the Arctic
Ocean or Hudson’s Bay, and its southern limit is ill-defined, and can
scarcely be ascertained, except by personal inspection; since the
denizens of the southern waters have been disfigured by appellations,
local, provincial, and most unscientifical, so barbarous as to defy the
most intelligent inquirer.

The title of the division _Acanthopterygii_, or _thorny-finned_, is
founded on the principle that every genus and sub-genus thereof has one
or more of the fins supported on, or preceded by, strong, sharp spines,
capable of inflicting a severe wound, and forming a very efficient
weapon of defense, so that the boldest and most voracious of fishes
rarely venture to seize them. All the genera have two dorsal fins—the
first, or foremost, of which is invariably supported on spines, as
opposed to soft branched rays; while the second, or hindmost, is of soft
texture, preceded by one or more hard spines—two pectoral fins, both
soft-rayed—one ventral, and one anal, each of which is often preceded
by one or more spines—and one caudal, or tail fin, which is the main
propelling power of the animal. On the number of the hard spines
supplementary to the soft fins, are founded the different families; and
on the number of spines in the first dorsal, the dental system, and some
other parts of the bony structure, the lesser or individual
distinctions. On color, as distinctive of genera, or even varieties,
little or no reliance can be placed, unless confirmed by distinct
variations in the bony formation; since in all fishes there is observed
to exist a great range of hues, shades, and even positive colors,
arising sometimes from mere casual influences operating on individual
specimens, sometimes from accidents of light or shade affecting peculiar
situations, and most frequently of all from the soil and character of
the feeding-grounds, and from the various mineral or earthy substances
held in solution by the waters they frequent.

These latter influences frequently modify the same fish in different
streams, even of the same region and neighborhood, and flowing over
soils apparently identical, to such an extent, that the casual observer
not unnaturally believes them to be distinct varieties, if not species,
and can be with difficulty convinced, on the immutable evidences of
structural sameness.

This fact has led, in a great measure, to the complicating and
confounding the science of Natural History, by the undue multiplication
of names, species, and genera, where no specific differences exist;
rendering the science infinitely difficult to the beginner, and causing
the unlearned to undervalue the lore of the naturalist, and to deny the
reality of all scientific distinctions whatsoever.

On differences of structure, such as the situation and texture of the
fins, the number of spines or soft rays in each, the form of the gill
covers, the character and position of the teeth, perfect reliance may be
placed, as indicating unchangeable specific characteristics, by
observation of which the educated naturalist will name at a glance the
species, genus and subgenus of any fish, unseen before; and will
unerringly determine his habits, his food, and in some degree his
habitation.

Thus of the _Percoid_ family we distinguish the subgenera _Perca_, perch
proper, from _Gristes_ and _Centrarchus_, to which are referred the
types black basse of the lakes, and the little rock basse of the St.
Lawrence basin, by the fact that the _Percæ_ have one spine to the
ventrals and two to the anal. The _Gristes_ one to the ventrals and
three to the anal. The _Centrarchi_ one to the ventrals and six to the
anal.

And in like manner, by the number of spines supporting the first dorsal,
we are enabled to pronounce on the truth or untruthfulness of the many
subdivisions of the perch family, as predicated by the fishermen of
various regions, and insisted on by credulous naturalists, such as Dr.
Smith, of Massachusetts, whose book is rendered absolutely valueless by
the readiness which he displays in adopting every local legend
concerning new varieties, and classifying new species; until, if we
believe him at all, we must believe that every several stream and pool
from Maine to Minnesota has its own distinct variety of perch; nor of
perch only, but of trout, and, more or less, of every finny tenant of
the waters.

The truth appears to have been at length firmly established, and to be
this—that there is but one clearly defined and distinct perch, _perca
flavescens_, the yellow perch, found in the United Stales—the _perca
fluviatilis_, common river perch of Europe, does not exist at all in
American waters, though it is so closely connected with our fish that a
casual observer would pronounce them identical—that the supposed
subgenera of _perca granulata_, or rough-headed perch, _perca argentea_,
silver perch, _perca acuta_, or sharp-nosed perch, and _perca gracilis_,
said to be peculiar to the small lake of Skaneateles, in the interior of
New York, are not sufficiently made out as permanent varieties; and that
the variations of color from dark green, and greenish brown, to bright
yellow, silvery, and something nearly approaching to orange, are merely
local, casual, and individual differences, and not general, permanent,
specific distinctions.

The following luminous description of this game and excellent fish is
borrowed from Dr. Richardson’s _Taura-boreali-Americana_, or natural
history of the Northern Regions of America, including parts of the
United States, and the British Provinces as far north as to the Arctic
Ocean. The specimen from which it was compiled was caught at
Penetanguishine, on the great Georgian bay of Lake Huron, but will
answer for fish of this genus taken in any part of America which they
may chance to frequent; so small is their variation in any respect but
that of color, which appears to vary in obedience to no fixed law of
locality or latitude, except that it appears to me that of the fishes
taken in estuaries and at the mouths of tidal rivers, the color is
deeper and the tints fade from cerulean black along the dorsal outline
to olive green on the flanks, with a silver belly; while in clear lakes
and fresh streams, they change from olive-green on the back to bright
golden yellow on the sides and belly.

                           THE YELLOW PERCH.

_Color._—General tint of the back greenish-yellow; of the sides
golden-yellow with minute black specks; and of the belly whitish. Nine
or ten dark bands descend from the back to the sides, and taper away
toward the belly; the alternate ones are shorter, and on the tail and
shoulders they are less distinctly defined: the longest band is opposite
to the posterior part of the first dorsal fin, on which there is a large
black mark.

_Form._—The body is moderately compressed, its greatest thickness being
somewhat more than one half of its depth. Its profile is oblong,
tapering more toward the tail, which is nearly cylindrical: its greatest
depth is at the ventrals, and rather exceeds one-fourth of the total
length, caudal included.

The head constitutes two-sevenths of the total length, and its height,
at the eye, is equal to one-half its length from the tip of the snout to
the point of the gill-cover. The forehead is flat, but appears
depressed, owing to the convexity of the nape. The snout is a little
convex. The orbits are lateral, distant more than one of their own
diameters from the tip of the snout, and more than two diameters from
the point of the gill-cover. The jaws are equal. The mouth descends on
it runs backward, its posterior angle being under the centre of the
orbit.

_Teeth._—The intermaxillaries, lower-jaw, knob of the vomer, and edge
of the palate-bones, are covered with very small, straight or
slightly-curved, densely-crowded teeth (_en velours._) The vault of the
palate, posterior part of the vomer, and the pointed tongue, are smooth.

_Gill-covers._—The preoperculum is narrow; its upper limb rising
vertically forms a right-angle with the lower one; and its edge is armed
with small spinous teeth, those on the lower limb being directed
forward. The bony operculum terminates in a narrow sub-spinous point,
beneath which there are three denticulations, with grooves running
backward from them. An acute-pointed membranous flap prolonged from the
margin of the suboperculum conceals these parts in the recent fish. The
edge of the interoperculum and posterior part of the suboperculum are
minutely denticulated. The edges of the humeral bones are slightly
grooved and denticulated, the denticulations being more obvious in some
individuals than in others.

_Scales._—There are sixty scales on the lateral line, and twenty-two in
a vertical row between the first dorsal and centre of the belly. The
scales are rather small, their bases truncated and furrowed to near the
middle (_striées en éventail_) by six grooves corresponding to eight
minute lobes of the margin. A narrow border of the outer rounded edge is
very minutely streaked, producing teeth on the margin, visible under a
lens. The length and breadth of a scale, taken from the side, are about
equal, being two and a half lines. A linear inch measured on the sides
or belly, longitudinally, contains twelve scales, the scales on the
belly having, however, less vertical breadth. On the back an inch
includes seventeen or eighteen. The asperity of the scales is
perceptible to the finger, when it is drawn over them from the tail
toward the head. The lateral-line is thrice as near to the back as to
the belly, and is slightly arched till it passes the dorsal and anal
fins, when it runs straight through the middle of the tail. It is marked
on each scale by a tubular elevation, which is divided irregularly by an
oblique depression.

_Fins._—Br. 7—7; D. 13—1 | 13; P. 14; V. 1 | 5; A. 2 | 8; C.
175-5.[2]

The first dorsal commences a little posterior to the point of the
gill-cover and to the pectorals: its fourth and fifth rays are the
highest: the first ray is slender and not half the height of the second;
the last ray is so short as to be detected only by a close examination.
The second dorsal commences a quarter of an inch from the first, the
space between them being occupied by two or three inter-spinous bones
without rays: its first ray is spinous, and is closely applied to the
base of the second, which is thrice as long distinctly articulated, and
divided at the tip: the remaining rays are all divided at their summits,
but at their bases the articulations are obsolete. The pectorals
originate opposite to the spinous point of the operculum; they are
somewhat longer than the ventrals, which are attached opposite to the
second spine of the first dorsal. The anal is rounded: its first ray is
one-fourth part shorter than the second, both being spinous: the
succeeding rays are articulated and branched, the five anterior ones
being longer than the second spine, the others becoming successively
shorter: its termination is opposite to that of the second dorsal. The
caudal is distinctly forked, its base is scaly, the scales advancing
farther on the outer rays and covering one-third of their length.

Such is the general description of the fish throughout the country at
large, but great allowance must be made for accidental and local
variations of color, some specimens being light-green, backed and barred
with black, with silvery bellies, others exactly as portrayed above,
others nearly orange, and approaching in some degree to the splendor of
the goldfish.

As I have observed, no fish is more general than this in every
description of waters throughout his range in the United States. From
the largest rivers, so low down their channels that the waters begin to
be brackish, to the smallest mountain rivulets; from the mill-pond, and
small, clear mountain tarn, to the vast expanses of Huron, Michigan and
Superior, they are omnipresent and numerous.

They spawn in March, each female excluding a vast quantity of spawn. So
many as 992,000 ova having been taken, as it is stated by Mr. Brown in
his “American Angler’s Guide,” though he does not annex his authority,
from a single female.

They may be taken during every month of the year with the hook, being
bold biters and among the most voracious of all fishes, devouring the
spawn and young fry of their own species with savage avidity, and being
among the most deadly foes to the trout preserves, owing to the rapacity
with which they ransack the spawning beds.

They are in the main a lively and active fish, roving about in small
bands or shoals, sometimes swimming high and near the surface, leaping
merrily at the flies and smaller water insects, and sometimes,
especially in clear, rapid scours of gravel-bedded rivers, sweeping
along the bottom gathering the small, red brandling worms, of which they
are very fond, caddises, and other water reptiles, as well the spawn of
such fish as use these localities.

The larger fish will, however, often select stations, such as the lee of
a large stone at the tail of a ripple, especially under the umbrage of
trees growing on the bank, or among the piles and timbers of mill-dams
or sluice-ways, whence they sally out like the pike or trout on any
passing prey with great velocity and accuracy of aim. Still even these
are decidedly gregarious, as one is never found singly in a hole, such
places being invariably frequented by such band as it will liberally
support, who rarely stray beyond its limits, and prey, for the most part
over the same fishing-ground, and in the same course.

This propensity is taken advantage of by the angler, since, when he has
once struck upon a well-stocked haunt, while the fish are in the humor
to bite, he will be very apt, if patient and skillful, to take the whole
shoal without the loss of a single fish.

The growth of the yellow perch is slow, and appears to be proportioned
pretty accurately to the size and character of the waters which he
frequents. In small, swift running brooks, or little spring-ponds or
mill-dams, he rarely exceeds a few inches in length and a few ounces in
weight, partaking generally of the green and silvery type of the fish.
In estuaries and large rivers, in the pellucid tarns and lakelets, which
are dotted so beautifully through all the uplands of the eastern and
middle states from Maine to Pennsylvania, in the vast expanses of the
great northern lakes of Canada, in the giant rivers of the west, they
attain far more rapidly to a great size, three or four pounds being a
run by no means unusual, and individuals being not unfrequently taken up
to five, six and seven pounds, when they are very firm, fat, and in
capital condition for the table.

They may be caught in all months of the year. Mr. Brown considers that
they “may be had in the largest quantities and in the finest condition
from May to July;” but from my own experience, which has been limited
principally to the lakelets of Maine, to Greenwood or Wawayanda lake, in
Orange county, New York, to Lake Hopatkong, desecrated into Brooklyn
pond, in Sussex county, New Jersey, and to some of the north-eastern
streams and ponds of Pennsylvania, I should say that late in the
autumn—

          When the maple boughs are crimson,
            And the hickory shines like gold,
          And the noons are sultry hot,
            And the nights are frosty cold;

They bite with greater freedom, show more sport, and are better on the
table than at any other season of the year.

The yellow perch is a bold, nay! a savage biter, and a greedy feeder; it
is even recorded of him that he has been known to strike at his own eye,
casually torn out by the point of the hook, which is to me by no means
incredible.

Securely weaponed by the sharp palisade of arrowy spines bristling along
his back, and by the stout jagged thorns protruding in advance of his
ventral anal fins, when of any considerable size, he fears neither the
tremendous rush and shark-like jaws of the savage mascalonge, nor the
terrible agility and dauntless daring of the namaycush and siskawity,
those vast lake trouts, but feeds himself, a lesser tyrant of the
waters, on whatever crosses his path of havoc.

A light, stiff, ten-foot rod, with a small reel, and twenty-five or
thirty yards of line, with a small cork float, and a proper sinker for
bottom fishing, is the best implement; and the best baits for this
method are the common ground-worm or the little scarlet brandling. The
latter particularly in rapid channels and scours. Cheese pastes are also
used, and at times successfully, but I do not advocate their use, but
the most certainly deadly of all baits is the paste made from the
preserved roe of any fish which frequents the waters you are to fish.
Trout-roe, in lakes or rivers haunted by that gamest and best of all the
inhabitants of the water, kills unerringly.

In brackish water shrimp beats the world for perch, remembering that you
fish near to or upon the bottom.

Perch, especially when of large size, may be trolled for as pike, with
the hind legs of a frog, or with any small fish on a gorge hook. But in
my opinion the prettiest of all modes of catching them is to rove for
them with the live minnow.

For this purpose you take a fine, clear, gut leader, with a No. 9
Limerick hook whipped on at the tail, and an inch and a half above it,
and back to back to the tail hook, a second one size smaller than the
first.

The upper should be hooked securely into the lower jaw of a moderate
sized minnow, and the lower into his dorsal fin, care being taken not to
pierce his back, when he will swim about naturally and gayly for many
hours, if not taken by a fish, and if carefully released without
laceration, will survive the operation. A small cork, or, what is
better, quill-float, is necessary to this method, and a few shot,
sufficient to sink the bait to within three inches of the bottom. When a
bite is felt, a little time should be given before striking; when
struck, the perch is surely taken, for though he pulls hard for a short
time he has neither the fierce courage nor the wily craft of the trout,
but succumbs after a few brief struggles. A reel is necessary, and the
float often dispensed with by veterans in the art.

The following very graphic extracts, on perch fishing in the waters of
the Niagara river and Lake Erie, are from the pen of probably the best
piscatorial writer of the United States, long an esteemed correspondent
of the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, from whose lucubrations I have
borrowed largely in my larger works on “Fish and Fishing,” and to whom I
gladly record my obligation:

“_The Yellow Perch._ This beautiful and active fish is almost
omnipresent in the fresh waters of the Northern States. There are
probably two distinct but similar species in our country, blended
together under this common name. The perch of New England differs from
ours principally in the shape of the head. In the Saratoga Lake, Owasco
Lake, Cayuga Outlet, the Flats of Lake Huron, and many other localities,
the perch is larger than with us, frequently weighing three pounds.
Among the perch of our streams and rivers, a half-pounder is a very
portly citizen—though on a few particular bars they are sometimes taken
in considerable numbers, averaging nearly a pound each. It is almost
always to be had, from earliest spring to the commencement of winter;
and when poor Piscator has had all his lobsters[3] taken by the
sheeps-head, and utterly despairs of bass, he can, at any time, and
almost any where, in our river, bait with the minnow and the worm, and
retrieve somewhat from frowning fortune, by catching a mess of perch.

“In the spring, as soon as the ice has left the streams, the perch
begins running up our creeks to spawn. He is then caught in them in
great plenty. About the middle of May, however, he seems to prefer the
Niagara’s clear current, and almost entirely deserts the Tonawanda, and
other amber waters. You then find him in the eddies, on the edge of
swift ripples, and often in the swift waters, watching for the minnow.
As the water-weeds increase in height, he ensconces himself among them,
and, in mid-summer, comes out to seek his prey only in the morning and
toward night. He seems to delight especially in a grassy bottom, and
when the black frost has cut down the tall water-weeds, and the more
delicate herbage that never attains the surface is withered, he
disappears until spring—probably secluding himself in the depths of the
river.

“The back fin of the perch is large, and armed with strong spines. He is
bold and ravenous. He will not give way to the pike or to the black
bass; and though he may sometimes be eaten by them, his comrades will
retaliate upon the young of his destroyers.

“The proper bait for the perch is the minnow. He will take that all
seasons. In mid-summer, however, he prefers the worm, at which he
generally bites freely. He is often taken with the grub, or with small
pieces of fish of any kind.

“He is a capital fish at all times for the table. His flesh is hard and
savory. He should be fried with salt pork rather than butter, and
thoroughly done. He makes good chowder, though inferior for that purpose
to the black bass or the yellow pike.

“A difference of opinion exists among our most tasteful icthyophagists,
as to whether this fish should be scaled or skinned. Let me tell you how
to skin him. Take a sharp-pointed knife, and rip up the skin along the
back, from the posterior extremity of the back fin, on one or both sides
of it, along its whole length—then take the fish firmly by the head
with the left hand, and with the right take hold of the skin of the back
near the head, first on one side and then on the other, and peel it down
over the tail. This being done, all the fins are thereby removed except
those of the back and belly, which are easily drawn out by a gentle
pulling toward the head. Cut off the head, and you have a skinless,
finless lump of pure white flesh. Some say this is the only way a perch
should be prepared for the cook’s art—others say it impairs the flavor,
and should never be pursued. As for me, I say, ‘_in medio tutissimus
ibis_,’—neither of the disputants is infallible. Much, very much of the
sweetness of the perch, and, indeed, almost all fishes, resides in the
skin, which should never be parted with except for some special reason;
therefore, as a general thing, I scale my perch. But, in summer, the
skin of the perch is apt to acquire a slight bitter taste, or a smack of
the mud—therefore, in summer, I skin my perch.”

Before quitting this subject, I will simply point out that the excellent
little pan fish taken in salt water, near the turn of the tide, in most
of our large rivers, and usually known as white perch, or silver perch,
is not a perch, but the little white, or the little red bass. And
herewith, good-night; and good luck to the gentle friends and good
fishermen all who read Graham.

-----

[2] _Br._ represents the rays within the gill-covers, which form the
breathing apparatus of the animal—D. the dorsals—P. pectorals—V.
ventrals—A. anal—C. caudal. The notations 1 | 13, 2 | 5, and 2 | 8,
respectively indicate one hard spine thirteen soft rays, etc. etc.

[3] By lobsters the writer means the small fresh-water crayfish.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           =WRECK AND RUIN.=


                        =FROM HOUSEHOLD WORDS.=


In October, 1848, I went over to the Island of Capri, some twenty miles
from Naples, to enjoy a rustic festival. Our party consisted of some
Englishmen and some Italians; the latter, being in the service of the
government, had a fixed limit to their leave of absence. When the
morning arrived that was appointed for the departure of our Italian
friends, we accompanied them to the shore, where they made their
arrangements for the passage back to the main-land. There was a strong
west-and-by-south wind roaring round the island, and the sea looked
dangerous; but, in Naples, where there is no career for a young man out
of government employ, an official must not trifle with his post. The
preparations, therefore, for the launching of the boat went on.

It was one of those wide-bottomed boats, commonly used in the port of
Naples, upon which the stranger starts out for a moonlight row to
Posilippo, or betakes himself with his portmanteau and his carpet-bag,
or with his wife and her pill-box full of a few things to the steamer.
Such boats are not made for riding on a stormy sea. The men preparing to
put out that morning were our two friends the officials, and two
boatmen. One of the passengers was hailed by the captain of a good
strong bark, upon the point of starting. “Come with us, Raffaelluccio;
it will be madness to sail out in that cockle-shell, through such a
sea!” Raffaelluccio, a delicate youth, replied that he was no coward. He
had come in the boat, and might go back in the boat, with the Madonna’s
blessing. The other passenger was a stout, black-bearded man, and the
two boatmen were a youth and a weather-beaten sailor from the port of
Naples.

The little harbor at Capri is so sheltered from certain winds, that
there is often a deceptive smoothness in its waters. It was only by
looking out to sea that one detected, on that wild October morning, how
the waters writhed under the torture of the wind. Far as the eye could
reach the sea was covered with those smaller storm waves, called, in the
phrase of the country, _pecore_; these, as the day advanced, swelled
into great billows, _cavalloni_, which came rolling on upon our little
island, and dashed violently against the coast of Massa and Sorrento.

The boat had been shoved off, and had returned for some article, left
accidentally behind. A group of weather-wise old sailors thronged about
the foolhardy crew, in vain urging them to wait for fairer weather. They
put out to sea again, and made straight for the cape under the summer
palace of Tiberius. This is a well-known point, which boatmen often seek
when they desire to catch a direct wind for their passage to the
main-land. The gale that had been blowing round the island appeared to
pour out from this point its undivided force, and beat the sea with a
strength almost irresistible. We saw the mast of the little boat snapped
the moment it had reached the cape, and the crew put back, not to await
calmer weather, but to seek another temporary mast, and start again. No
threat or persuasion could detain the Italians, who feared to exceed
their term of leave. A rude mast was set up, and again the boat started,
leaping across wave after wave. We saw no more of it.

“I watched it for some distance,” said the captain of the barque, which
had started at the same time. “Their mast bent as though it would break
with every puff of wind, and the little sail fluttered like a
handkerchief upon the waves. In a moment it disappeared, and we knew
that our foreboding had proved true.” The rest of the tale I had from
the lips of the black-bearded official, the sole survivor; and a wilder
tale of human passion does not often fall within the bounds of sober
truth.

The old mariner, at starting, had been placed at the helm as the most
competent man of the party; but there was an alarming difference between
the eddies, currents, and billows at the cape, and the smooth waters of
the Bay of Naples. A monstrous _cavallone_ appeared in the distance;
leaping, roaring, foaming, it was close upon their quarter; its crest
overhung them; in an instant, said my informant, they were swallowed up.
The boat was overturned; but the crew—struggling desperately for
life—rose with it once more to the surface, clinging to its bottom. In
their last agony they glared upon each other, face to face, among the
beating waves, and the loud execrations of his companions were poured
passionately on the ancient mariner, whose want of skill was cursed as
the fatal cause of their despair. The hold of the poor old fellow, weak
with age and faint with emotion, had not strength to bear him up amid
the tossing of the waters, and as his grasp relaxed, the others watched
his weakness with a fiendish satisfaction. “It is some consolation,”
exclaimed one, “to see you die first, fool as you are!” He did not hear
the latest maledictions, but went down in the deep sea. The next who
died was Raffaelluccio, upon whose daily work the daily bread of a
mother and three sisters depended. “I am stiff with cold, and can hang
on no longer,” he said to his companion. “Get on my shoulders,” was the
answer of the stronger man. And so he did, and so he died: the living
man with the dead weight upon him grappling still for life, and drifting
before the storm. The young boatman, the other survivor, trembling
himself upon the brink of eternity, crept round to the dead body, and
having robbed it of a watch and chain and other valuables, pushed it
from the shoulders of his friend into the sea. So there remained these
two men, clinging to the boat, and gazing on each other anxiously.

The thought had crossed the mind of the young man that, if they lived
until they should be thrown ashore, the surviving passenger would
require that he should deliver up the watch and other valuables to the
family of Raffaelluccio. He may not have taken them with a design of
theft. He probably saw that the dead body cumbered his companion, and
committed it from a good humane motive to the sea, having removed the
jewelry. But to retain possession of the property, his conscience did
not bid him shrink from murder of which no eye of man would ever see the
stain. An unexpected blow would silence his companion, and leave him on
the boat to drift to land, a sole survivor, quietly made richer by the
wreck. “I read it in his eyes,” said my informant. “The devil was in
them, and I watched him well; but a heavy sea raised his side of the
boat—that was his opportunity, and immediately he struck a heavy blow
upon my head. If he was the younger I was the stronger, and he summoned
me to struggle for my life, or for that chance of life which either of
us had upon the gulf of waters. There was a horrible wrestling! I am the
only survivor.

“All that day, and through a stormy, pitch-dark night, I lay tossed
about, almost senseless, in the Bay of Naples. But before dawn on the
second day, my boat was cast ashore at Torre dell’ Annunziata, and there
locked between two rocks. I had just strength to crawl to the
Coast-Guard house, in which I perceived that lights were twinkling. I
was spurned. My papers were demanded.

“Faint as I was, in time I found it possible to make the good officials
understand my case, and excuse the production of credentials from the
fishes. They took me in, and treated me with Christian kindness. My
looks had frightened them: my face was bloated, and my eyes protruded
like those of a lobster.”

The mother of Raffaelluccio was living in Capri, and I was there when
the news came back of her son’s fate. In the darkness of an October
night, the ruined family—the bereaved mother and her daughters—mounted
to their house-top, and turning toward the sea, shrieked wildly for the
son and brother whom it held from them.

The voice of wo that then thrilled in my ears will never be forgotten. I
never knew till then what agony could be; not expressed only, but
communicated by the wail of women.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                          =LE PETIT SAVOYARD.=


                    =(FROM THE FRENCH OF GUIRAUD.)=


                           =BY WILLIAM DOWE.=


         Well, go to France, poor little child! yes, go.
           My love for thee is worthless: I am poor.
           People enjoy elsewhere; here we endure:
         Go child, ’tis for your good; ’tis better so.

         When this poor arm was strong to labor once,
           Refreshed, rewarded when my darling smiled,
         Who then had dared advise me to renounce
           The dear caresses of my child?

         But I am widowed; Strength departs with Joy.
           Now sick and sad, I know not what to do.
           ’Tis vain to beg; our friends are paupers too.
         Leave thy lorn mother; leave this poor Savoy;
         Go where God takes thee—go, my cherished boy!

         Still, far away, think on this homestead lone;
           Remember it; and this last hour, and this;
         A mother blesses her beloved one
           With her embrace; my blessing with my kiss!

         Now, do you see yon oak? I think I may
           Go so far with thee; four long years are o’er
         Since with your father, when he went away,
           I walked there too; but he returned no more.

         Were he but here to guide thee forth, ’twould be
           Less sorrow to my heart to bid thee go.
           Thou art not ten years old; so helpless—oh!
         How I shall pray to God, my child, for thee!

         Unless He aid, how can thy small feet tread
           Through a cold world, without a mother’s care?
           She would, at least, instruct thee how to bear;
         Poor little child! O, why have I no bread?

         But ’tis God’s will, and we must humbly bow;
           Don’t weep to leave me, little hapless thing!
         Take to their palace-gates a cheerful brow,
         ’Twill grieve thee, oft, to think of me, I know;
           But to amuse the rest, thou still must sing.

         Sing, ere life’s bitterness for thee shall come.
           Now take thy wallet and that poor marmotte;
         Beguile the way with my old songs of home,
           Sung to thy cradle in this mountain cot.

         If I had strength, as in the time gone by,
           I’d hold thee by the hand and lead thee on;
           But I should fail, before three days were done;
         Yes, thou shouldst leave me soon behind, and I—
         Where I was born, my son, I wish to die.

         Hear thy poor mother’s last advice, and take
           The warning, if thou wouldst be blest of Heaven;
           The poor man’s only wealth is what is given.
         Ask of the rich; he gives for Jesu’s sake.
             Thy father said so too;
         Be thou more fortunate, my boy; adieu!

         The sun had fallen beneath the neighboring steep,
           And “we must part,” the mother said at last—
           On through the oaks the little wanderer passed,
         Turning, at times; but did not dare to weep.

                                  ———

         [To the above I have presumed to make a pendant.]

                          THE DYING SAVOYARD.

       Cold, cold is the storm, with its darkness and danger!
       Take pity, dear friends, on a poor little stranger:
       To-night is a feast in your village, I’m told,
       While shuddering and foodless I sob in the cold.
       You all are in gladness; but I am in sorrow,
       And must rest on the ground, to be dead on to-morrow.

       Oh! dreary to die with my home at a distance,
       And all those I love too far off for assistance;
       Around me the snow-flakes are falling and flying,
       And the sad light of evening is darkening and dying;
       The winds freeze my blood as they mournfully sweep,
       And icicles hang on my rags as I weep.

       Ah, pity my poverty, pity my years,
       And pass not a child, in his hunger and tears;
       And see, the companion and friend of my lot,
       As forlorn as myself, my poor, pining marmotte;
       He is shivering and hungry, and nestling in quest
       Of the warmth that is nearly gone out of my breast.

       O, never again shall a wandering boy
       See the dear cottage homes and the skies of Savoy,
       Or hear the gay herd-song, the falling of rills
       In the fresh-swelling air of her beautiful hills;
       Oh, where are they now, those old mornings of joy?
       They are lost, they are lost, to the wandering boy!

       Oh, never again shall my fond mother kiss me;
       How dearly she loved me—how much will she miss me!
       And how must she mourn, my affectionate mother,
       For her lost little child, and she has not another!
       Long, long may she weep at the door of her cot,
       Ere she sees me return with my merry marmotte.

       So the Savoyard mourned, the poor child, in his sorrow,
       Undoomed to go forth at the voice of the morrow,
       With his friend, the marmotte, he had died ere the day;
       And they scooped them one grave in the snow where they lay;
       And a slight cross of lath rises over the spot
       Where the Savoyard sleeps with his mountain marmotte.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                             =MABEL DACRE:=


                        =OR THE TRIAL OF FAITH.=


                              =BY HELEN.=


                               CHAPTER I.

To him who in the love of Nature holds communion with her visible forms
she speaks a various language.
                                                 Bryant’s Thanatopsis.

Rarely does the sun shine upon a lovelier spot than the small, secluded
town of Riverdale. Shut in between high hills, that served to screen it
also from the bleak north winds, it seemed to embrace within its narrow
limits every element of beauty; and though from its retired situation it
afforded no business facilities, and therefore contained little wealth
and no style, yet to those who sought the beautiful in Nature, or for
whom solitude had charms, it was a little paradise.

And so thought Mabel Dacre, as she sat with her hands clasped over a
book that lay half-open in her lap, and her eyes gazing earnestly and
with rapt attention on the distant landscape. It was sunset, and far off
in the clear horizon floated the golden clouds curtaining the day-god’s
couch. A crimson light, softened by that exquisite misty veil in which
Nature is so fond of adorning herself, rested like a glory upon the tops
of the hills, and threw into deep shadow the quiet valley at their feet;
while upon the river which wound slowly along, reluctant as it would
seem to leave a place so lovely, a few bright gleams yet lingered. “How
beautiful,” murmured Mabel to herself, as her delighted gaze took in at
once the scene that we have vainly attempted to describe; “how can any
one think the world so dark and dreary?”

“I will tell you, my Mabel,” said a low voice at her side, as blushing,
yet smiling, Mabel turned and met the fond gaze of Walter Lee, who had
advanced unperceived, so absorbed had she previously been. Now, however,
she willingly lent an ear to her lover’s voice. “I will tell you; it is
because so few are in unison with the loveliness, the repose, the purity
of Nature, that they find in her no beauty; the vain toils of ambition,
the grasping pursuit of wealth, the wearying chase for pleasure, unfit
men for loving that which is simple, pure and universal. You, dearest,
are a true child of Nature, and you feel almost a child’s love for a
mother, toward the beauty around you.

“My sweet one,” he continued, as with delighted eyes he gazed upon the
lovely face uplifted to him in all the unconsciousness and confiding
love of childhood, “my beautiful Mabel, will you laugh at my fancies if
I say that I find in Nature the original of even all your charms: from
the violet you stole the deep-blue of those dear eyes, and from whence
learned your hair its graceful waving, save from the tendrils of the
vine; so confess now, fair pilferer, ere I bring forward other charges.”
And with these words he took the book from her hands; it was a volume of
Spenser’s Faery Queen. Mabel laughingly reproached him for stealing so
quietly upon her.

“But where have you been, Walter, this long, long day; I was so lonely,
I had no one to read to me, so I soon tired of my needle-work, and in
very weariness I wandered off to see the sun set.”

“Have you, indeed, missed me, Mabel, darling; bless you for those words;
to me, too, it was a weary day, in the close, dark city, but duty called
me there, and I have brought letters to the rector from London.”

“Letters to my father! and from London,” exclaimed the surprised girl;
“who can he have in the great city to write to him; I have often heard
him say he knew no one in London. But hark! I hear the sunset-bell, and
my father will be waiting for me for our evening service.” And so
saying, with one last look at the distant landscape, Mabel put her arm
fondly in Walter’s, and with step as light and graceful as the mountain
deer’s, turned toward the little, low-roofed cottage of the Rector of
Riverdale. “Will you not come in, Walter,” said Mabel, in soft,
persuasive accents.

“Not to-night,” he replied; “I have been away all day, and there are
numerous duties for me to fulfill ere to-morrow’s round commences.
Good-night, sweet love,” he fondly murmured, as Mabel entered the house.

She advanced hurriedly to the rector’s study, where she found him seated
in his accustomed arm-chair by the window, but she was struck at once
with the look of anxiety and sorrow so unusual to his placid and
venerable face; an open letter lay in his lap, but his eyes were closed,
and his lips moved as if in prayer.

“Father, dearest father, what has happened; why do you look so sad,”
exclaimed Mabel, as she knelt at his side.

“Is it you, my child,” said the old man, softly stroking her silken
hair—then a sigh so deep escaped him that Mabel was still more
terrified. “Be calm, my love, my little lamb,” he murmured gently, and
with accents choked and broken, “listen calmly, and I will tell you all.
You know, Mabel dear, that I am not your own father, but you know not,
nor did I, until to-day, that your own father is living; that he is a
nobleman of high rank, and having been under our new sovereign, King
James, restored to his estates, he now claims his daughter, and desires
me to accompany you at once to London, or at least to York, where he
will meet you.”

Mabel’s cheek grew paler and paler, as she took in the full meaning of
these to her painful words; her strength forsook her, and she sunk upon
the floor at his feet—

“My father, my own true, loving father, I cannot leave you, and Walter,
oh! where can I hide from this cold, stern man, who has left me so long
without a word, and now expects me to break, in a moment, the ties that
constant intercourse for fifteen years have formed; no, I will not obey
this proud dictate. Say I shall not go, dear, dear father,” said the
weeping girl, throwing herself on his neck.

“Hush! hush! my daughter; remember who controls our destinies; think who
it is that orders all the events of life. He has said, ‘Children, obey
your parents,’ ‘Honor thy father and thy mother,’ and shall I, one of
his ministers, counsel you to disobey him? No, my precious child, dear
as you are to my heart; though the light of this world will have gone
out for me when I no longer see my Mabel’s face, or hear her soft, sweet
tones, yet I would have you go at once, my child; and go determined; so
far as you can under God, to please your father—render to him the
obedience that is due from a child to a parent. In one thing, however,
you will be tried, your father is a Roman Catholic; in your religious
faith be firm and steadfast; let no persuasions induce you to give up
the simple faith of our Protestant church; be strong, be prudent, and be
gentle in all your intercourse with him, and perhaps the daughter may
yet lead her father back to the pure faith of his ancestors, though,”
murmured he to himself, “a king’s favor is a tempting bait.”

“But Walter,” tremblingly uttered the weeping girl, who had hardly
understood the rector’s words, so filled was her heart with that dear
image. “Walter! must I leave him—I was so soon to be all his; can I not
write and tell my father so, and then perhaps—he might—I am sure if he
only knew Walter”—she blushed and hesitated, and then stopped, waiting
in tearful suspense to hear what would be said by him whose word for
fifteen years had been her law.

“Mabel, my darling child, it may not be; you must not even dream of such
a step. Think you the noble Earl of Arlington would suffer his daughter
to wed a poor curate? No, my precious child, you must give up
Walter—forget him—think only of your duty to your father, or rather,
your duty to your God.”

He said no more, for Mabel, upon whose loving heart these words fell
like the sentence of death, sunk fainting upon the floor. No words
escaped from those pale lips, and not even a sigh relieved the bursting
heart.

“Poor stricken lamb!” said the kind old man, as he gently raised the
lifeless form, “had I but known thy future destiny this suffering at
least thou shouldst have been spared—little did I dream when, fifteen
years ago, thou wert brought, a little child beautiful as the angels, to
my lonely home, that thou wast one day to tread the halls of royalty.”
He laid her gently on the couch, and hastily summoning what help he
could command, watched fondly and anxiously the return of consciousness.

And now let us review briefly the circumstances that have so strangely
formed the lot of our young heroine.

About eighteen years previous to the time at which our story commences,
Robert, Earl of Arlington, had married a young and beautiful girl, whom,
though of rather humble origin, he loved as passionately as a nature
selfish as his could love; she was frail and delicate, and died soon
after the birth of her first child, a daughter, to whom the sorrowing
husband gave her name—Mabel. His disappointment at not having a son
embittered his feelings for the poor, motherless babe, and two years
after having, in consequence of his being concerned in a rebellion
against the reigning monarch, been compelled to leave his country and to
endure the confiscation of his estates; he determined to place his child
in the keeping of some one whom he could trust, and who would educate
her carefully; thinking that should he ever regain his rank, she could
easily acquire all the necessary accomplishments. He at once recalled
the Rector of Riverdale, of whose learning and virtue he had often heard
his young wife speak in terms of eloquent praise, as the very person to
whom with the most perfect confidence he could entrust his child.
Descended from high and even noble ancestors, and educated at Oxford,
the rector was eminently fitted for the development and guidance of his
daughter’s mind; while for her physical education, the charming and
healthy situation of Riverdale afforded every facility. Hastily making
his preparations, therefore, and under cover of an assumed name, he sent
his child to the old man, with a letter stating only that, being obliged
to fly from England, he wished her to be brought up in ignorance of his
name or station; and he made at the same time ample provision for her
wants as far as money could supply them.

Years passed, and no tidings came of the unknown father; and gradually
the conviction forced itself upon the rector’s mind that he must be
dead; an opinion which fifteen years of utter silence had tended to
confirm, and the kind old man had learned to love the gentle Mabel as
his own child; all others considered her as his niece, for as such he
was to represent her, and she was accordingly called Mabel Dacre. But
after the death of Charles, through the influence of some friends, the
long banished man was recalled, and on his return having publicly
renounced his allegiance to the Established Church and embraced
Romanism, his estates and titles were restored to him, and he was high
in favor with the new monarch James II., whose strong partiality for
papists was well known. He had obtained occasionally some information
respecting his child, and had even made a secret visit to the town,
since his return, to satisfy his proud heart as to his daughter’s
fitness to share in his recovered _greatness_—but even his haughty
spirit was charmed with the exquisite beauty and grace of Mabel, as she,
so unconscious that her father even _lived_, paused before him. He
immediately made arrangements to receive her, and then dispatched the
letter which had thrown the little household at Riverdale into such
sorrow and dismay.


                              CHAPTER II.

          And there were sudden partings, such as press
            The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
          Which ne’er might be repeated, who could guess
            If ever more should meet these mutual eyes?
                                               Childe Harold.

Walter Lee was the youngest son of a baronet, who, during the late
struggle, had lost both life and property in defense of his sovereign.
The oldest son died soon after his father, having been severely wounded
at the battle of Edgehill. Walter had been intended for the church, and
his education carried on with that end in view; the sad fate of his
father and only brother had contributed to strengthen his youthful
inclination to the ministry; and after collecting what remained of his
father’s property he completed his studies, and having heard that the
curacy at Riverdale, near which town his father had at one time resided,
was vacant, he applied immediately to the rector for it, and had the
good fortune to be successful.

The worthy man was at once prepossessed in favor of the young scholar,
whose acquirements were much above the usual standard, and whose clear,
open brow and brilliant eyes seemed to indicate a man of no ordinary
character. And in truth his was a nature such as we seldom meet with in
this every-day world; full of devotion to his cause, and zealous for his
Master’s glory, his efforts to do good were untiring. His was a truly
noble heart—so strong and loyal, so open and sincere; full of all
generous thoughts and high aspirations, and withal, as tender and loving
as a woman’s: with a soul that shrank in abhorrence from meanness,
deceit, or the licentiousness so common to the times, he yet felt and
ever showed the kindest pity and compassion for the sinner.

Six years had passed since he came to Riverdale, and Mr. Dacre loved him
as a son, for such he had long seemed to him, while Walter felt for his
venerable pastor the deepest love and reverence.

And Mabel—how shall we describe her, the fair and gentle being, who
from the winning simplicity and grace of childhood, had passed almost
unconsciously into that loveliest period of womanhood, when as yet the
heart has lost none of its early freshness, the sweet dew of life’s
morning, and its pure affections have only expanded into fuller beauty;
its opening mind only exhales a richer perfume; beautiful without
vanity, intelligent yet simple and childlike; loving, gentle and timid,
yet at the same time high-souled, generous and full of enthusiasm—such
was Mabel Dacre at seventeen. Could it be otherwise than that those two,
so fitted for each other, such twin-souls as it were, should love?
Silently, at first, a pure affection sprang up in their youthful hearts;
it grew with their growth and strengthened with their strength; each
felt, long before any promise had passed between them, that they were no
longer free, and when in low and trembling tones Walter drew from his
beloved her plighted troth, they both felt that no time could alter, no
circumstances change their fervent, undying love. And it was this love,
the growth of years, that Mabel was now so suddenly called upon to
resign; she had not at first, in her artless simplicity, even imagined
this as the result of her father’s letter; it was the thought of parting
for a time with him she so passionately loved, that had caused the first
bitter sorrow. Into her pure and simple mind it did not enter that her
father would forbid her union with Walter, that he _could_ break ties,
so solemnly contracted, or sever hearts so closely united; but as her
ear took in the last fearful sentences of the rector, light and almost
life forsook her, her brain reeled, and her heart became like ice. It
was well that consciousness failed, and that a temporary oblivion
deadened the first keen pang; but oh, that sad, dreary awakening to
sorrow; that half-shrinking, trembling dread with which we strive to
recall the terrible event that has changed life into a gloomy solitude
and hushed up within us the very sound of joy. Long did Mabel strive to
keep back the return of reason, to dream on in blissful ignorance, but
it would come, “_You must give up Walter_—you must strive to _forget_
him.” These words rang for ever in the dark chambers of her now desolate
heart; she knew it must be so, she felt that even Walter would bid her
go, and as her opening eyes caught a view of her dear old father (for
such he ever seemed to her) gazing so sadly upon her, she sprang from
the bed and feebly sunk at his feet; then hiding her face in his lap,
she wept such tears as she could never shed again; the bitterness of
death was past, her duty was before her, and in that sad hour the old
man’s prayers were answered; strength from above inspired her drooping
heart, and though in those soft eyes the light of joy had faded, and no
gleam of brightness played around the mouth that once dimpled with the
innocent mirth of an unclouded girlhood, yet Mr. Dacre felt, as he
kissed her pure, calm brow, and gazed almost reverently into the clear
depths of those spiritual eyes, that a power mightier than the spell of
earthly love dwelt in that frail form; and his voice was almost exultant
as with trembling hand he implored the blessing of God the Father, the
Son and the Spirit upon her youthful head.

That evening, long after the sun had set behind the hills, in the same
lovely spot where Mabel was wont to watch his parting glories, two
youthful forms sat with clasped hands, and pale, tearful faces. The moon
rose in all her unclouded beauty, pouring a flood of silvery radiance
over the scene; for a moment, the exquisite beauty of Nature sent its
wonted light to Mabel’s face: then, with a faint cry of agony, she
exclaimed—

“It is the last time, Walter—dear, dear Walter! I shall never again
gaze upon this beauty with thee. O, God, who makest the world so lovely,
can it be that Thou requirest of me this sacrifice!”

There was no sound for many minutes; but Walter’s head was bowed as if
in prayer, and his strong frame shook like a reed.

“God knoweth best, my own beloved,” at length he murmured. “It may be
that for me this trial was sent, to teach me the hard lesson—‘Little
children, keep yourselves from idols.’ I knew it not, but now I feel
that your image reigned in the heart I had offered to my God, and that
earth had more share in my thoughts than Heaven.

“But, oh! to part from you, my Mabel—to give you up to others, my
treasure, my love, my life! Oh! I cannot submit—my heart is crushed
under this bitter trial! Alas! at times I have no trust, no hope, no
faith!”

“Say not so, my own, my noble Walter; give up all else, but cling to
your faith; forsake not our only strength; think, in this terrible
parting, how tenfold would be our anguish, did we not both look forward
to that world where there is no more parting, and where ‘God shall wipe
all tears from all eyes.’”

“But, O, my beautiful Mabel, sometimes a strange shuddering fear comes
over me, that in that gay and gorgeous world where your future steps
will wander, you will be so admired, courted, and caressed, that you
will cease to yearn for the simple home of your girlhood, cease to
love—”

“Nay, Walter, speak not those dreadful words? Say not you doubt the
faith, the love, the constancy of years: oh! do not let us add this drop
to the bitter cup we are called upon to drink. Ah! if I thought you
could _doubt_ me, I should have lost the only happiness that yet remains
for me—the thought of your full and perfect trust in my love. Do not
let us doubt each other for one moment, Walter dearest; it would be to
break the only tie yet left between us, our mutual trust.”

“Forgive me, sweet Mabel, my beloved, once my plighted wife—nay, let me
not speak that word! Ah! _Mabel, Mabel_, what have I left to live for?”

“God, and thine own soul, beloved: let me support and strengthen thee in
this our greatest trial; for, from thy example, how often have I
gathered fortitude and patience. And remember, Walter dearest, that just
as full, as perfect, as entire and devoted as your _love_, so may be
your _faith_ in me. I ask you, as my last request, to feel this always,
though it may sometimes seem _hard_, though years of silence may pass,
for I know you can never, never forget me!”

“I do—I will trust you always, my beloved. I ask from _you_ no promise,
but, before Heaven! I solemnly pronounce myself yours; and should God in
his wisdom see fit to forbid our ever again meeting, my heart shall
still cherish your image only, and go widowed to its grave.”

Night had already filled the firmament with its countless stars, ere the
young lovers, for the last time, slowly and sadly wended their way to
the happy home of Mabel’s childhood and youth.

Ah! who can tell the bitterness of that parting; the choking thoughts
that could not be uttered, the throbbing hearts whose chords had been so
rudely severed; earth had for them no sterner lesson, the light of life
is faded—well will it be if “in the darkness stars arise, and the night
is holy.”


                              CHAPTER III.

                               “Your house within the city
             Is richly furnished with plate and gold,
             Basins and ewers, to lave your dainty hands,
             Your hangings all of Tyrian tapestry.”
                                      Taming of the Shrew.

A year had passed since the events narrated in our last chapter, and how
had the time sped with Mabel. Received with a proud and delighted
affection by her newly-found parent, and welcomed with almost a mother’s
kindness by his titled and wealthy bride, she could not feel otherwise
than grateful, and, at times, happy; but as increased intimacy revealed
more and more to her of the characters of those whom, under God, she was
most bound to obey and honor, Mabel’s heart sank, and her thoughts flew
back to the simple piety and humble faith of her early teacher and
guardian. The worldliness, the cold selfishness, the grasping ambition,
and slavish cringing to superior rank that she saw in all around her,
was to the high-souled and enthusiastic girl deserving of the most
profound contempt and pity. She saw the father whom she so longed to
honor and respect, fawning and bending before a monarch whom he hoped
still further to propitiate, and at times he would talk to Mabel about
her own advancement, until her whole frame trembled with a nameless
fear. He had lately begun to speak more sternly with regard to her
neglect of the ceremonies of the Romish Church, not dreaming that this
neglect arose from a determined opposition. It did not once occur to
him—so little had his own religious belief to do with conviction—that,
in the mind of a young and beautiful girl, there _could_ be a settled
and resolute preference for any particular church. Mabel had, indeed,
never joined in any of the rites of her father’s church, but this he had
attributed to thoughtlessness and indifference, little dreaming that, in
her own solitary chamber, she enjoyed the purest and truest communion
with her Maker, and that not the sternest mandate he could utter, would
tempt her to abjure her Protestant faith.

But the trial was yet to come.

For some months after her arrival at the castle, Mabel had continued to
receive, constantly, letters from Walter and Mr. Dacre; but she was not
long to enjoy this gratification.

“Mabel, my daughter,” said Lord Arlington one day, as he saw with a
frown the blush and smile with which she received an unusually large
packet from Riverdale; “it were well if you could remember for yourself
what were proper and becoming in the rank you now hold; but since your
own sense has not prompted you to cease at _once_ all communication with
those among whom nothing but your father’s misfortunes could have placed
you, I am now compelled to forbid your ever again receiving any of those
voluminous epistles, which, to judge from your countenance, must possess
a degree of interest perfectly unaccountable. Does the old man send his
weekly sermons for your soul’s benefit?” he sneeringly said.

Mabel endeavored to reply, but her eyes fell under his cold, searching
gaze; she could not speak, as the thought flashed through her mind that
she should never again see that well-known hand, or read those precious
words of affection from Walter, never more be cheered and supported by
the advice and sympathy of him whom she reverenced more than any earthly
being.

“Oh! father, do not, do not compel me to give up my dearest—”

She stopped, for the frown on her father’s face grew darker at this
involuntary betrayal of her preference for her early friends—

“Do not compel me to seem so ungrateful and proud to those, whose
kindness made me what I am: let me at least write a few words to tell
them of your wishes?”

“Mabel—I have already been sufficiently annoyed and displeased by your
evident dislike to your new life, and your childish preference for your
country home; rouse me no further by opposition, strive to overcome your
early prejudices, and to remember you are an _Earl’s daughter_, and that
you may be the wife—”

At this moment, Mabel uttered a faint cry of surprise and terror; then
recollecting herself, she complained of feeling unwell, and begged her
father’s permission to retire to her own apartment.

“Go, my daughter; but do not let a trifling indisposition prevent your
being in readiness to accompany us this evening to the palace, for the
king expressly requested me to bring you, and your mother has provided
your toilette for the occasion: let me see my Mabel the gayest and
happiest, as she will be the loveliest, in the proud assemblage?”

With a sad and heavy heart Mabel gained her own chamber, and
there—seated on the floor, with her head buried in the velvet cushions
of the luxurious divan, and her precious letters clasped to her
bosom—she wept bitterly. Long did she sit thus, with her soft, black
hair hanging like a veil around her, and her head bowed in that utter
abandonment to grief, that only an impassioned nature can feel.


                              CHAPTER IV.

                  “Oh! her smile—it seems half holy,
                   As if drawn from thoughts more far
                   Than our common jestings are;
                   And if any painter drew her,
                   He would paint her unaware,
                   With a halo round her hair.”
                                   Elizabeth Barrett.

Never was the Lady Mabel’s beauty more transcendent than on that
evening; and as she entered the splendid apartments where King James
held his levee, a low murmur of admiration arose on every side.

“What exquisite creature is she, who moves like a queen by right of her
own loveliness!” exclaimed a young French nobleman of the highest rank,
who was visiting at the court. “Tell me, Ormond?” he said, turning to an
older person who stood beside him, “do your cold English eyes behold
unmoved such a vision of beauty; for my own part, I confess that, never
upon my sight rose so peerless a creature.” And, in truth, Mabel’s
beauty was of no ordinary kind; tall, and rather slender, yet with all
the roundness of _contour_, and the gracefulness of childhood, every
movement had a charm. Her complexion was exquisitely fair, and so
transparently delicate that it glowed with every passing emotion; her
eyes, large and full, were of that dark violet hue that varies every
moment—sometimes so soft and liquid that you would have thought her a
creature all gentleness, then flashing with the light of thought,
brilliant and sparkling, as though a tear had never dimmed their lustre.
At times, the mirth—so natural to her once—would play over her lovely
features, glancing in dimples round her rosy mouth, and bringing to view
the pearly teeth, so small and regular.

On this evening she was robed in a thin, exquisite dress of the richest
lace, over a satin of such lustre as to resemble woven silver, whilst on
her raven hair rested a tiara of brilliants, such as a nobleman’s
revenue could not purchase, the gift of the Queen to Lady Arlington on
her marriage. Her snowy neck and arms were circled with the same
sparkling gems, and one shone like a star on the girdle that confined
her slender waist. Who would have recognized in the queenly bearing and
rather haughty countenance of the Lady Mabel, the sweet, simple and
loving maiden, who used to dance over the fields at Riverdale? And yet
could she have met in all that crowd of flatterers one true friend, one
pure, guileless nature, Mabel’s whole face would have changed, and her
free spirit have flowed out in all its wonted fullness and
confidingness. The young Duke D’Alençon, the French nobleman to whom we
have before alluded, was of the blood-royal, and an especial favorite of
Louis Fourteenth, the reigning monarch of France. He had been educated
at a convent, and was early imbued with the strongest reverence for the
Romish church: so deeply was his mind filled with its superstitions,
that it was only the most-earnest solicitations of relations that
prevented his becoming a monk. A residence at the Court of Louis, the
most dissipated and reckless of any in Europe, had moderated, in some
measure, his severe notions of conduct, but his attachment to the forms
and ceremonies of his own church remained as firm and bigoted as before.
It was the sympathy between himself and the English monarch, that had
induced him to visit the Court of St. James.

To Lord Arlington, the king had often spoken of his dear friend
D’Alençon; and, ever striving to add new links to the ties that bound
the nation to France, he expressed his wish that a union between Mabel
and the young duke might be formed, adding, at the same time, that the
latter would wed none but a member of his own communion. To this
proposal, Lord Arlington with much delight had acceded, and declared
that _his_ daughter could be no other than a zealous Catholic. It was
with this plan at heart, he had so earnestly desired Mabel to be present
on the evening before-mentioned, and all transpired to the satisfaction
of the ambitious parent. The king himself introduced D’Alençon to the
lovely Mabel, and after whispering in her ear some words of flattery,
that called a blush to her fair cheek, he left them to converse
undisturbed. The young duke’s nature was more earnest, sincere, and
enthusiastic than any our heroine had yet encountered, and she
accordingly listened with unusual interest to his words, and replied
with more of her accustomed spirit and vivacity than she had ever before
displayed.

Little dreamed the artless girl that her father was watching every
glance of her eye, and that already, in his ambitious mind, a resolution
was formed as inflexible as iron, a plan for her aggrandizement, which
no prayers, or tears, or entreaties of hers could alter in the minutest
particulars.

Not many weeks had passed since that evening, and the young duke had
sought Mabel’s side at every festive occasion, yet still to her he had
never breathed his love. Something there was in her simple purity that
almost awed him; her calm dignity prevented all courtly gallantries,
while her apparent indifference kept back an impassioned declaration. To
her father, therefore, he resolved to speak first, and it was with
difficulty Lord Arlington concealed his delight, when the prospect of
his daughter’s alliance with the blood-royal of France was first
presented to him as a _certain_ thing; for, to his mind, the possibility
of Mabel’s opposition would have seemed absurd. The proposal was at once
accepted, and the day fixed upon for the nuptials, which were to be
celebrated according to the Romish form; and, previous to the ceremony,
the young pair were to confess and receive mass, after the custom of
that church.

The next day, the happy father called his daughter to the library, and
there proceeded to lay before the astonished girl her brilliant
prospects; not to ask her consent, not even to inquire whether she loved
D’Alençon, but with the iron tone of one who expects no opposition, and
to whom denial would be of no avail. Mabel heard at first as one in a
dream, her eyes dilated, her bosom heaved, but when he went on, and
named the day that had been fixed upon, she seemed to feel as one who
has heard his doom, but whose lips will cry for mercy, though there is
no hope.

“My father!” she passionately exclaimed, “it must not be. I cannot,
cannot wed him—oh, God! teach me in this hour what I shall say. The
time has come—I can no longer keep silent! Father—I have striven to be
dutiful, I have tried to please you; nay, sometimes I have grieved my
conscience rather than disobey you—but it cannot be so any longer. No!”
she wildly said, and her eyes glowed, her whole frame trembled with the
violence of her emotion, “I am your child, and, as such, I am bound as
far as I can to obey you, but I have another father, even _God_, and to
him, before you, before all the world, I owe allegiance. I have solemnly
pledged myself to obey his will as I have been taught it; I am a member
of His church—yes, my father, I am a Protestant, a Puritan, if so in
derision you call those who acknowledge no supreme head but _Christ, no
infallible guide_ but the Bible; and can you ask me, in obedience to
your will, to renounce my faith, to abjure my church, to forsake that
which is dearer to me than all the world beside? No, you will not, you
cannot be so cruel, so unjust, so harsh!”

“Cease, cease this idle ranting, Lady Mabel. As your father, it is my
duty to bring you into the true church, from which, but for my
carelessness, you should never have wandered. Is not the opinion of your
father, and your sovereign, of more value than your own unenlightened
prejudices? Is it not your duty to obey your only parent, at the expense
only of the sacrifice of a mere form of worship?

“Nay, _speak_ not; I will hear no complaints, no refusals: you shall
marry D’Alençon on the day I have fixed, or I will deprive your old
Puritan teacher of his living, and send him forth a _beggar_.”

With a faint shriek Mabel sprung forward, and fell at her father’s feet,
clasping his knees with her cold hands, and lifting her despairing eyes
to his face.

“Spare, oh! spare me this trial, my father; I will do aught else to
please you, but, oh! do not ask me solemnly to confess a faith I have
not, or to promise a love that I can never, never give: let me be your
own Mabel—let me live with you, and cheer your declining years? I ask
no high station, I covet no wealth—only let me be at peace with God,
and my own soul! In pity hear me, O father; for her sake, whose name I
bear, do not revenge my denial of your wishes on the head of that
innocent old man—do not send his gray hairs in sorrow to the grave?”

For a moment, one moment only, the proud heart of the aspiring man was
softened, as he called to mind one who had also knelt before him, and
implored him to let her once more see her childhood’s friends; but the
next, the vision of a coronet over that pale brow, round which the long
dark curls were falling, and he coldly said—

“You have but to _choose_. I ask no dreadful sacrifice at your hands:
methinks it were to many rather a pleasant prospect to be Duchess
D’Alençon, and you will remember your own impressions of him were
decidedly agreeable. However, he will be satisfied when you are his, I
doubt not; I will leave you to meditate, and remember, in a life of
_forty_ years, your father was never known to give up any thing on which
his will was fixed.”

Mabel said no more; on that sweet face had fallen the deadness of
despair, no sound escaped from her lips, her eyes wandered vacantly
round as if her mind had failed under the pressure of some great
calamity—but she was not forsaken in that dark hour by Him to whom she
had solemnly given her service. Although the terrible thought that she
should send forth her beloved and venerable father to destitution and
want was ever in her mind, and—added to it—the remembrance that
Walter, too, would be left desolate, even were he suffered to retain the
curacy, which, in itself, was very improbable; yet the words of Mr.
Dacre were with her—“My child, never give up your faith, let no threats
induce you; and then, above even this, the words of Christ, ‘whoso
loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me.’”

Strengthened by these reflections, Mabel resolved, before God, never to
abjure her faith, and never to wed one whom she could not love or
revere.

The weeks passed slowly on, and nothing more was said to Mabel on the
subject of her marriage, but she saw the preparations going on with
languid indifference, which her father attributed to her perfect
resignation to his will. One thing she had requested of Lord Arlington,
and he had granted it, and this was—that the duke should visit her
only, occasionally, as a common acquaintance.

The wedding-day approached: it was the night before—the magnificent
dress, with the gorgeous jewels and bridal gifts, were all prepared.
Mabel asked leave to retire early, and as she knelt, according to the
custom, to receive her father’s good-night embrace, she gently kissed
his hand and a tear fell upon it. With more than his usual tenderness,
he said—“God bless and keep you, my darling daughter!”

                 *        *        *        *        *

That morning, Mabel did not appear. It was late, and becoming alarmed,
her father entered her room. The curtained bed had not been touched. She
had fled—and with her, a young girl, her waiting-maid, who loved her
fair mistress with almost a passionate fondness. No clue could be
obtained of her course; search was unavailing; and, heart-broken and
disconsolate, the father—after a year or two of utter silence as to her
fate—relapsed into a sad and stern misanthropy. None but himself knew
how sharp were the pangs of remorse, or how his solitude was haunted by
a pale, sad face, and the moans of a broken heart.


                               CHAPTER V.

                 What sought they thus afar?
                   Bright jewels of the mine?
                 The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?
                   They sought a faith’s pure shrine.
                                                Hemans.

It was early in June, 1660, that in one of the oldest settlements of the
New England colony, quite a large number of persons were assembled in
the best room the town afforded, to worship God according to the rites
of the English church. It was the first time since the settlement of the
place that the liturgy of the church had been heard there; and the
congregation, many of them wept with delight to hear again those
well-remembered strains; and their voices swelled in one unanimous
response, as the lips of the aged man of God repeated, “Glory be to the
Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.”

Then, when in his sermon he touchingly alluded to the storm of
persecution that had driven him out of the quiet harbor, in which he had
hoped to lie moored, for his few remaining years, and forced him, a mere
wreck, across the wide ocean, many were the tears that fell from the
eyes of those who had left parents and homes, and wandered away to this
new country. But on the ears of one in particular the sweet and soothing
tones of the church-service seemed to fall like magic.

This was a pale, sad, drooping girl, the village schoolmistress; none
knew much about her history, save that some three years before, a vessel
landed from England, having met with terrible disasters, and brought a
company of pilgrims, who, though they could not endure the mummeries
which the church was continually borrowing from Rome, yet loved and
revered its services, and desired to retain its ritual. Among their
number was an old man, accompanied by two young girls, one of them of
rare beauty and grace, though her face was worn with weeping and care.
The old man was simple-hearted, pious, and benevolent, and soon became
much beloved by all the colonists. He was quite poor, having been only a
schoolmaster in his native country so that on their arrival he opened a
school, in which the fair young girl above mentioned assisted, while the
other, Alice, managed the household affairs. Thus things went on until
nearly two years had passed, then Alice married, and moved away, leaving
Mr. Acton and Mabel alone together. He had become too feeble to attend
much to the school, so that Mabel now took charge of that and the house
also, beside ministering in every way to the old man’s comfort, who
seemed to look upon her as a being from another world, so entirely was
his love mingled with veneration; he guarded her with the most jealous
care, and watched that none should dare to treat her with disrespect or
even familiarity. Such was the reverence with which his example inspired
others that she was almost universally called the Lady Mabel. And yet
she was neither proud nor haughty; no, never was there a sad heart to
which Mabel’s soft voice and lovely face were not soothing as the tones
of music; and by the bed of sickness, or in the hour of death, she was
always ready to minister help to the afflicted, and to breathe into the
sufferer’s ear the blessed promises of the gospel.

But, ah! in all these long dreary years, how had Mabel pined for some
voice to breathe comfort into her sad heart, and to awaken once more the
chords of affection within its silent chambers. Since a poor persecuted
girl, she fled, in the dark and gloomy night, from the princely mansion
of her cruel father, “choosing rather to suffer affliction with the
people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season,” how
much of suffering, toil, and privation, had she endured.

It was by the help of Alice, her waiting-maid, that her plan of flying
to America was formed and carried out. Alice’s uncle, Mr. Acton, had
written to her, to announce his intended departure to the colonies, with
a company about to sail; and Mabel determined to join him, and accompany
them to America. Alice was easily persuaded to escape with her young
mistress, and their arrangements had been made some days previous to the
wedding-day; but Mabel had hoped till the last that her stern father
would relent. Disguised in a suit of Alice’s apparel, she easily
effected her escape from the castle, and from thence to the little
seaport town, where Mr. Acton resided. To him, Mabel made known all that
was necessary of her sad story, and the old man, touched with pity for
the poor dove flying from the tormentors, promised his aid and
protection as long as she required it. A day or two after they all
embarked; and Mabel, as she saw the distant shore sink below the
horizon, felt that she was leaving all she loved on earth, and that
henceforth her life must be one of toil, hardship, and privation,
without a single ray of gladness to cheer and brighten it; but her pure
spirit did not waver for a moment; dearer to her the faith in which she
had been educated, and which she had so early learned to prize, than
luxury or splendor, or even earthly love. Then, too, she was comforted
by the thought that her father would not carry out his threat, now that
threats were useless, and Mr. Dacre would close his life in peace among
his beloved parishioners; and Walter, ah! could he know the sufferings
to which she was exposed, how would his loving heart ache—and she
thanked Heaven for sparing him this trial; never for a moment did she
doubt his constancy, or cease to dwell upon his love as still fully
hers. Beautiful faith of a warm, trusting heart! how seldom on earth do
we find it.

We have wandered far away from the little band of worshipers, but our
readers will at once recognize in the pale sad girl, who listened with
such trembling eagerness to the solemn words of the liturgy, Mabel
Dacre, (as she once more called herself,) and can readily understand the
emotion with which she heard for the first time in so many years, the
same pure ritual, which in childhood she had learned to love. Often had
a deep manly voice, whose lightest tones were music to her ears,
repeated those well known words, and Mabel’s heart was too full for
utterance, she could only weep.

And now for a time let us return to Riverdale, and see the changes that
have taken place there.

For months after Mabel’s departure, the little cottage was filled with
gloom, yet still her sweet loving letters, like gleams of sunshine,
often illumined its darkness, and Walter, who now shared the loneliness
of Mr. Dacre’s abode, would often sit for hours with one of those
precious missives clasped in his hand, and his eyes wandering from one
to another of the dear objects which her touch had rendered sacred.
There were her flowers, still blooming as freshly as ever, while she
whose slender fingers had so often trained their graceful foliage, was
gone forever. Alas! how sad, how inexpressibly harassing to his loving
heart, was this living death of her whom he so idolized; separated as
fully as though the dark portals of the grave had arisen between them,
yet with the agonizing thought ever in his mind that far away, in a gay
and brilliant throng, her beauty gladdened other eyes, her silvery voice
made music to other ears, while her poor lonely heart was yearning to
flee away and be at rest.

For a time not a doubt of her constant, faithful devotion to him ever
crossed his mind; and even when a long interval passed and no letters
came in answer to his repeated and affectionate ones, not a line to
cheer his poor desolate heart, he still tried not to give way to
despondency or doubt; “do not let us distrust each other, Walter,” these
sweet words would come like an angel message, when his hope, and his
faith in woman’s love were well nigh gone.

And then a new trial came in the increasing feebleness of his beloved
rector. The old man’s worn-out frame could not long have endured even
with the gentle cares and sweet cherishing of his adopted daughter.
Anxiety for her fate, and the long cessation of all intercourse between
them, brought on a melancholy that seemed to deprive him of all energy
or strength; and day by day Walter saw the bowed and aged form grow
weaker, and the gentle voice more tremulous.

One evening in autumn, as Walter sat by his bedside, reading from that
priceless volume, which was now the rector’s only comfort, the post-boy
entered with a letter from London.

“It is for you, dear father,” said the young man, at the same time
handing him the letter. Mr. Dacre’s eyes glowed with unusual lustre, and
he said reverently, “Thank God! I shall once more hear the sweet words
of affection from my darling child! read it to me, Walter, I am too
blind to read it myself.”

Walter opened the letter; but at the first glance a chill like ice crept
over his frame. “It is not from Mabel, father,” he said, in a voice of
such ill-suppressed agony, that Mr. Dacre started, then almost gasping
for breath, he read as follows:

    “Mr. Dacre,—At the request of Lady Mabel Arlington, I desire to
    inform you of her approaching marriage with the Duke D’Alençon,
    a zealous supporter of her father’s faith, and a nobleman of the
    highest rank. Under such circumstances she deems it proper that
    _all_ intercourse between herself and her childhood’s associates
    should cease entirely.

                                     “Robert, Earl of Arlington.”

“Oh God! must I drink this cup of bitterness! My Mabel false to her
faith; my child, my child, it must not be,” murmured the old man—and
his cheek grew paler and paler. The shock was too great for his weak
frame, and with one long sigh his ransomed spirit fled to its eternal
rest.

What language can paint the bitterness, the deep intensity of Walter’s
anguish. That Mabel, his beloved, his plighted wife, could be another’s,
was a thought too fearful for his soul’s strength; he could not believe
that there was on earth a misery so great. No, it should not be; and he
cried aloud in the terrible struggle with his agony,

“I will tear her away from them all; I will fly to her, and lay at her
feet my wealth of despised affection. Yes, I will snatch my treasure
from those gilded nobles, and bring her to some lonely wilderness where
none shall dare molest us.

“Oh Mabel, my love, my precious one; can your heart so soon have grown
cold; have you forgotten already in your gorgeous home the happy cottage
where you grew in innocence and beauty, and each day, each hour, I loved
you with an intense and yet tenderer passion? Is the gay world, then, so
alluring, so fascinating. Alas! I could not give my darling wealth, or
luxury, or splendor, and in her new home, she has found them all. Poor,
presumptuous fool that I was, to think that amid the gifted, the
learned, the flattering crowd who throng around the peerless Lady Mabel,
she could remember through long years of absence, the humble, unknown
curate.

“And yet she bade me not doubt her even in the darkest hours, she was so
true, so loving, so constant; is there not some ray of hope; some little
ground for faith”—and in very despair he read again the fatal
letter—“by Lady Mabel’s request,” met his eye, and once more he flung
it from him.

“Ah, Mabel, could you not have spared me this pang. You feared lest I
should intrude upon your happiness, lest I should scare away the golden
visions that are lulling your conscience to sleep; fear not, I shall
never come to reproach you; life shall henceforth be a vain yet constant
struggle to forget thee.

“And can it be, oh God, my king, that thou requirest of me a broken
heart—is this, indeed, thy chosen sacrifice? Then be it so—‘thy will
be done.’

“But ah, not here let me live, not amid these scenes let my future years
be spent. Here every thing speaks of her; each sound in nature seems to
thrill my heart with that dear name; the little birds call Mabel in the
joyous tones she used to warble, and the river sighs forth her name as
it flows along to the ocean.

“I shall never conquer myself here, never be a useful, calm, devoted
servant of Him to whose cause I am pledged. Far from all these happy
memories, let me seek a new and wider sphere of action. I will go forth
into the life and freshness, the hardy vigor and stern independence of
the pilgrim settlements; and may God grant me strength and power to
carry forward his work, though it lead me even among the wild savages of
a western wilderness.”

Such were the thoughts that daily passed through his tortured mind; and
ere many months passed Walter Lee stood on the deck of a vessel that was
bearing him to his new home. He had joined a brother clergyman who, with
his young sister, a fair and lovely girl, were, like him, seeking new
scenes and associations. They were the last of their family; and on
them, too, the insidious hand of disease had impressed its symptoms,
though to the girl it only added a richer glow to the transparent cheek,
and a more sparkling lustre to the radiant eye; but Charles Wentworth,
for that was the name of the young clergyman, was already, to all eyes
but his own and his idolized sister’s, the marked victim of that fatal
disease, by which nearly all his family had suffered.

Consumption had given that pale cheek its wan, haggard look, and to
those large eloquent eyes their peculiar and unnatural fire. His voice,
though full of melody, was feeble and low as a woman’s; and, unable to
preach, he had resolved to try change of air, in hopes that his own and
his sister’s health would be benefited.

Walter had formed a strong friendship for the pure-minded and talented
young man, whose gentle and affectionate nature needed a strong heart to
lean upon; and the lovely Evelyn, too, he regarded with a deep and
painful interest; so frail and fair a tiding you seldom saw, with a hold
on life so insecure, and yet so gay and unconscious; her thoughts, her
hopes, and her whole loving heart were with her brother, for whom she
fondly pictured a future of happiness and success in the new world where
they were going. And for herself, she had no thought beyond the pleasure
of the moment, in adding to his comfort, in contributing to his
enjoyment. Such were the feelings of all when they commenced their new
life; but Walter Lee was not one toward whom a young and susceptible
heart like Evelyn’s could long remain unmoved; his devotion and
tenderness to her brother, his earnest, affectionate, and serious
pleadings with _her_, upon those subjects in which he was himself most
deeply interested, and his brilliancy and eloquence in conversation,
charmed her completely, and ere she was herself aware of it, she loved
him with all the depth of her nature. Charles knew by the varying color
of her cheek, and the ardor with which she hung upon every word and look
of their beloved friend, that her heart was wholly his, and he trembled
lest her love should not be returned; for he knew the slender chord of
her life would soon be broken under the burden of an unrequited passion.

With nervous and painful anxiety, therefore, he watched each motion and
glance of William’s, for so our hero had told them to call him, his
heart, so sensitive when they first met, could not bear to hear from
woman’s lips the name of Walter. Evelyn’s voice, too, was singularly
like Mabel’s, so much so that at times a tone or word of hers would send
the blood in a warm glow to his cheek, and cause him to reply with a
tenderness of look and accent that though it was but momentary, always
sent a thrill of joy to the young girl’s heart.

“William,” said Charles Wentworth, one evening, as they sat together in
their new home, admiring the rich hues of the autumnal leaves, and
listening to the sweet music of Evelyn’s voice, as it came to them from
the little garden where she loved to wander, “how is it, William,” he
asked earnestly, “that, with a heart so sensitive and warm, you have
never loved?”

With a sudden start, and turning away his head while his voice sunk to
an accent of touching pathos, William replied, “I do love;” then hastily
recollecting himself, he hesitated, and said in a hurried and agitated
voice, “Yes—that is—I mean I love an ideal of my own.”

But Charles heard not the confused explanation, he dwelt with secret
rapture on the thought that Evelyn was loved; she would be so happy, his
sweet, his lovely sister; he knew that no one could help loving her.

A few months had passed away, and Walter (or William, as I suppose we
must now call him) gradually becoming more dependent upon Evelyn’s
society for his happiness, so sad and bitter were the memories that
haunted him when alone, that he would fly to her presence to dispel
them; it was a relief to his slighted heart to be so fondly welcomed;
and almost unconsciously he was led on, till Charles had no longer any
doubt that his affections were fondly Evelyn’s, and she so happy, so
blessed in his presence, asked nothing more. The cold bleak winds of
autumn, with their first breath, seemed to chill the little life in
Wentworth’s feeble frame; every day he failed, and yet Evelyn could not,
would not believe that he was passing away.

One evening, after a wretched day, he insisted upon being lifted into a
chair, that he might behold the sun-set. Alas! it was only to hasten a
few days the approach of the fatal messenger.

The exertion was too great for him, a large blood-vessel ruptured, and
in a few moments all saw that his life was fast ebbing away.

Evelyn and William stood by in mute despair, the former, her cheek
deadly pale, her whole frame convulsed, bent over him in that silent,
tearless anguish, so terrible to behold.

“William,” whispered the dying man, “come near, I have a solemn charge
for you—my darling sister! oh guard her, cherish and protect her, as
you value my peace in death. I give her to you; oh promise me that you
will be to her, father, brother, husband—all; promise me this, my
friend, my only friend—and he took the cold passive hand of Evelyn and
laid it gently in William’s, then clasping them in his own, he said, you
promise me never to leave her, to value her happiness more than your
own; do you not, oh will you not promise this for the sake of a dying
man?”

“I will—I do promise,” faltered the young man, in earnest, solemn
accents; “and may ‘God do so to me and more also,’ if I ever willingly
cause her pain.”

“I know you love her,” Charles continued; “I have seen it in your every
act; and oh, William, you have yet to learn the wealth of love and
tenderness in that young heart—it is thine, all thine.

“God bless you, dear ones; do not mourn for me, I am so happy thus to
die;” and here the low tones, grew fainter and fainter, the large
eloquent eyes gave one last lingering look of ardent love, and then were
closed forever.

William’s words and presence alone had power to soothe or even moderate
the intensity of Evelyn’s grief; and he would not leave her until he saw
her restored to something of her accustomed cheerfulness. He talked to
her kindly and tenderly of their future home, when he should have a
settled parish; he tried to persuade his own heart that he was happy;
but at times memories of the past would come before him, and a longing
so irresistible to behold once more the face that even now haunted his
dreams, would take possession of him, that even to Evelyn, so blinded by
love, he appeared constrained and unhappy; and tears would fill her
loving eyes as she gazed upon him, and felt she could not drive away his
gloom; then William would call to mind his promise, to care for her
happiness before his own, and would hasten to chase away the tears, and
recall her wonted brightness. But with all his cherishing, he could not
but perceive that her health was declining, and he earnestly besought
her to be more careful and prudent, and to guard more watchfully against
the first indications of disease. “Oh, you are too fearful, my William,”
she would say, in a cheerful tone, yet in her own secret heart she often
mourned in bitterness of spirit over her doom, for such it seemed to
her.

“I have good news for you, dearest,” said William Lee, as he entered the
lowly home of the widow lady, with whom, since her brother’s death,
Evelyn had lived. “I have heard from Mr. Clare, the kind old minister
whom you remember as having crossed the sea with us. He writes most
urgently for you to come to them at once; and his daughter, Mrs. Ives,
adds a most affectionate postscript, to say that our wedding, my Evelyn,
shall take place at her house. I have already found you an escort, as I
am obliged to set out on my western expedition to-morrow. Can you be all
ready for a start to-morrow?”

“Oh yes, I am quite ready; and since you must leave so soon, I shall be
very glad to go. I shall be so much happier there among those who knew
our dear Charles.”

Accordingly, a few days found Evelyn settled as an inmate in the house
of Mr. Clare, the aged man of God whom we mentioned as having been the
first to establish an Episcopal church in the little town of M——.
While William, who longed to escape for a while from all society, and
nerve his mind for the performance of that promise, which yet weighed
heavily on his heart, was going as a missionary among the Indians. Often
would he reproach himself that he could turn from the fond, tender,
passionate love of Evelyn, and sigh for a heart that had cast him off
forever.

“I will go away,” he said to his poor struggling heart. “I will go among
the Red Men of the woods, and there, in solitude, and amid the vastness
of nature, I will learn to school my heart; I will bury her image in the
pathless woods, and return a new man.” Alas! how vain the effort to flee
from that which we carry within us; to seek ’mid change of scene for
that which we can never find—forgetfulness.


                              CHAPTER VI.

           “The deepest sorrow that stern fate can bring
          In all her catalogue of suffering,
            To love, adore, and be beloved again;
          To know between you lies a gulf that ever
          Your forms, your hopes, your destinies must sever.”

“Oh, Mabel dear, I am so tired; I have come so fast,” said Evelyn
Wentworth, as she ran into the little parlor where Mabel Dacre sat with
her workbasket beside her, busily employed as usual. Her brilliant eyes
sparkled with excitement, and her cheek glowed with a feverish flush as
she took Mabel’s small hands in her own, and exclaimed—“Do come, Mabel,
darling, I have so much to tell you, and I want you to help me to gather
some flowers to deck our little cottage, for William is to be here
to-night—just think, dear sister, this very evening—oh, I can hardly
believe it. Six whole months since I have seen him, and now, Mabel, he
writes so lovingly, and says he will never leave me any more; oh, I am
so happy.”

“But, sister mine,” said the silvery voice of Mabel, as she lifted her
large, serene eyes to the excited face of Evelyn, whom she loved with
all a sister’s fondness; “my darling, why have you run so fast and
exhausted yourself now, when you wish and need most to be bright and
well; will you never learn prudence, thoughtless Evelyn. I shall not let
you stir now until you are quite, quite rested; for, see here are
flowers enough to make a perfect bower of your little room.”

Mabel was right in chiding the imprudent girl, for in a few moments the
glow had faded from her cheek, and was succeeded by a deadly paleness;
Mabel ran for water, and just arrived in time to catch her sinking form
as she fell faint and breathless upon a couch.

“I am a poor, weak child,” she said, softly; “but I shall soon be
better, Mabel, darling.” A sweet, grateful smile played over her
delicate features as Mabel tenderly kissed her and smoothed back the
soft auburn ringlets.

A few hours passed, and they were all seated in the little flower-decked
parlor awaiting William’s return, save Mabel—she had escaped into the
garden, and seating herself in the shadiest corner, her thoughts flew
back to the time when she, too, was happy in the blessedness of love;
unconsciously her lips moved and breathed in low, impassioned accents
the name that was ever in her heart.

“I am here, dear Evelyn,” said a voice close beside her, whose tones
made her heart leap and her pulses thrill; she turned quickly—and
Walter Lee stood before her.

One moment, and they were clasped in each other’s arms; the long hoarded
love of years seemed all to flow out in that close, silent, passionate
embrace, the next—and Mabel’s heart recalled with a pang as keen as
death, his first words. A cold shudder crept over her.

“Walter, speak!” she almost gasped forth; “tell me, tell me _truly_,
what have you to do with Evelyn?”

“I am her affianced husband,” he said, in those low, despairing tones
that tell of a crushed and broken spirit; “but you, Mabel, why are you
here; you, the proud and titled wife of a noble; say, beautiful vision,
why have you come to mock me in this trying hour—to take from me all my
firm resolves, and to light again the fire that for so long has
smouldered in my poor, desolate heart. Oh, Mabel, Mabel, why were you
false?”

At first, a bitter, piercing cry was her only answer. “Walter,” at
length she said, with tearful accents, “for six long, weary years I have
thought and wept and dreamed of only thee; my sleep was filled with
visions so blissful of thy dear presence, that I dreaded the awakening,
and yet, you could doubt me—ah, how little can man’s heart know of the
depth, the devotedness, the unchanging constancy of woman’s love.”

“Mabel, you wrong me; indeed you wrong me. I did not doubt you, even
through long months of utter silence, until there came that cruel letter
signed by your father, and sent by your request, to tell of your
_marriage_; yes, the words burnt into my heart like letters of fire, and
can never, never be erased. How could I but think it true, in spite of
all my faith, since it bore your father’s seal?”

With mute anguish Mabel heard this new revelation of her father’s sinful
tyranny; she could hardly believe that he was capable of such meanness
and guilt; she could not comprehend the absorbing nature of that eager
grasping for power that has led men to wade through the blood even of
near relatives to reach the object of their desires.

Then Walter spoke of their beloved friend, Mr. Dacre, of his death, so
sudden at the last, though long expected; and Mabel knew, though no such
words were spoken, that it was her father’s letter which had hastened
the final blow.

She wept as she thought that never more on earth should she behold the
face whose smile had been the sunshine of her youth, but even while she
wept, a smile of triumph lit up her tear-bathed eyes, as she remembered
he was now in a world where there is no doubting or darkness, “for the
Lamb is the light thereof;” he knew now that his prayers, his lessons,
and his example had not been all in vain, and that the trial of her
faith, though a fiery one, had but strengthened and confirmed it.

Long and earnestly they conversed, and Mabel drew from her lover all his
varied history. Into her ear he poured forth the long hidden, but still
fervent love that even his belief in her estrangement could never
subdue. Then he told of his promise to Charles Wentworth, of Evelyn’s
tender love, and his almost involuntary engagement.

Mabel heard his words with a beating heart, each moment her cheek grew
paler, but in her eye and on her lip there rested a look of calm, almost
sublime self-sacrifice, a firm resolve to obey the dictates of that
still, small voice within.

“Walter,” she said, in a tone so low and solemn that he was
awed—“Walter, you must never breathe to human ear the secret of our
mutual love; it would kill Evelyn, she is your plighted wife; would you
snap the frail thread of her young life; your promise to that dying man
forbids it, your own conscience forbids it.

“Walter, my beloved, my cherished friend, my brother, remember her
_life_ depends on the fidelity with which you keep this secret, and I
charge you, as you will answer to her brother, that you be not guilty of
her life!”

“Oh, Mabel, my angel Mabel, must it indeed be so; is there no
hope—think how hard it will be to press back once again the rushing
tide of love that has for long years been gathering silently yet
strongly in my heart.”

“Is it easier, think you, for me,” said the noble girl, lifting her
clear eyes, lit with the purity of an angelic spirit, to his; “shall I
have no struggle, now that hopes long since crushed have sprung up only
to be once more blasted; it is hard, but we can do it, my Walter; yes,
and we must do it, faithfully and truly, as we hope for peace in our
lives and joy in heaven.”

She took once more his hand in hers, and kissed it with a sister’s
tenderness—“Be strong, dear _brother_; trust in God, we shall meet
again where there is neither sorrow nor sighing—farewell.”

The next morning Mabel left M——; she wrote a line to Evelyn, saying
that she was summoned to attend the sick-bed of a friend, her old
companion, Alice, and wishing her, at the same time, the purest
happiness earth can bestow.

In a few weeks Walter and Evelyn were married.


                              CHAPTER VII.

                 Mighty ones, Love and Death,
            Ye are strong in this world of ours;
          Ye meet at the banquet, ye dwell amidst the flowers
                 —Which hath the conqueror’s wreath.
                                                      Hemans.

Let us now transport ourselves to a large and luxurious apartment in one
of England’s stateliest mansions. It was dusk, but there was no light in
the room save the flickering and uncertain glare of a cheerful
wood-fire, in front of which was seated a man in the prime of life, yet
with deep lines of care engraven on his high brow, and traces of some
bitter sorrow round his thin, compressed lips; but those lips were
parted now with a smile of deep and fond affection, and his eyes were
fixed earnestly upon a sweet, loving face upturned to his; it was the
face of an exquisitely beautiful girl, who sat on a low stool beside
him—she had apparently been reading, for a large volume lay in her lap,
but now they were silent for a long time—his hand rested on her silken
hair, and he seemed absorbed in thought; at last she whispered, “Dear
father.” A tear started to those eyes so unused to weep—

“And do you, indeed, love me, my sweet, forgiving Mabel. Can you so
easily forget, in a few months of kindness, the cruelty, sternness and
injustice of years? But, in truth, my child, I have been bitterly
punished; in all those long, long years I have never known happiness. In
the dark night a pale, sad, weeping form would come and stand beside my
bed, and stretch out its thin, shadowy arms so imploringly. I fled from
society—I shut myself up in my own apartments; I called to mind my past
life, and I shuddered at the review; I could not bear the presence even
of my gay and haughty wife, and for months I never spoke one word to
her. I was wicked—proud—angry with the world. At last I partly
overcame my hatred and bitterness. I hoped on in spite of every thing
that I should yet see my Mabel and ask her forgiveness. When Lady
Arlington died I shut myself up once more, and I humbly hope meditation
and sorrow had made me a better man, even before I had your sweet
example and precious words to be my daily support.

“Oh, my child, my only comfort, you can never know half the blessedness,
the peace your presence brings me; truly I can say, ‘Lord, now lettest
thou thy servant depart in peace.’”

There was no reply save Mabel’s silent tears and the fond pressure of
her hand.

It was the announcement of Lady Arlington’s death; which Mabel had seen
in the English papers, accompanied by rumors of her father’s entire
seclusion, that first induced her to return to her forsaken home. Then,
too, she thought it would be better for her to avoid Walter and Evelyn,
which she could not do, while any where within their reach, without
awakening some suspicion in the latter’s mind. A thousand times since
her return had she thanked God who had guided her through so many trials
to the very place where she was most needed; yes, in her devoted heart
there was no murmuring, though all that life could give she had
renounced in resigning Walter’s love; even for that she thanked God,
since it had been the means of leading her to be the comfort and the
solace of her father’s lonely home; and Mabel saw, with a joy too deep
for utterance, that her example, her words, and her constant influence
were bringing her father back to the pure faith she had so nobly
illustrated in her life. This was reward enough—quietly and peacefully
their life glided along. Her father’s wealth was in Mabel’s hands an
instrument of good to hundreds—she established schools, visited the
poor and the sick, and was idolised by all the tenantry. She had told
her father her whole history, and they often now talked together about
Walter and Mr. Dacre. Lord Arlington confessed, with burning shame and
sorrow, his having written that letter to prevent Mr. Dacre’s coming to
London, and to destroy all friendship between them; and then he would
look at Mabel so humbly, and ask her if she could forgive him, could
love him after all the misery he had caused her.

“Do not think of those things now, dearest father; you know I love you,
and you make me so happy now, that I can almost forget the past.”

                 *        *        *        *        *

Two years have passed since Mabel’s return. It is a bright June day, and
in a little cottage, covered almost by the clustering vines that peeped
in at every window, a young, fair creature, with a heart as guileless as
a child’s, was lying on a bed of death.

In that sweet, infantine expression, in those soft, blue eyes and the
cherub mouth, we recognize at once Evelyn Wentworth; but ah! how
changed; those eyes were now sunken and dimmed; the cheeks, once so
roseate, were deadly pale, and the blue veins could be distinctly traced
through the transparent skin. Beside her sat Walter Lee, still young and
handsome, though the struggle of life had cast a shade over his brow,
and taken something from the calm, serene expression naturally his.

A little girl lay in a cradle by the bedside, whose golden curls fell
over shoulders white and round as a classic model; her face, though
glowing with health, was strangely like her mother’s; the fairy’s name
was Mabel.

“My own beloved,” murmured those pale lips, and Walter bent to catch the
lightest sound. “You have been faithful and true to me, and since first
we met, never have you caused me a pang. I bless you for all the wealth
of love with which you have filled my heart; I bless you for the smiles
of fond affection with which you ever greeted me, and oh! for countless
words and tones that my soul has cherished in its deepest shrines; but
ah! my William, I know full well I have never been to you, I never could
be to you, all that your soul required; I am too weak and childish and
ignorant, to be your comfort and strength and help; do not chide me for
these words, dearest, there is no bitterness in the thought; you are too
noble, exalted and talented for such a companion, and I can only thank
and bless you for making my short life so happy, and pray that God would
reward you with a bliss greater than your longing heart has ever known.

“And now, my precious husband, hear my last request; our child, our
little darling will need a mother’s care; and there is only one in all
the world, to whom, without anxiety or fear, I can resign her; it is
Mabel Dacre. Go to her at once, after my death, and tell her with my
last breath I begged her to be a mother to my child; you will love her,
William, she is far more worthy of you than I am; she is the only being
I have ever seen who could, I think, fully appreciate the depths of your
noble nature; she will love our little daughter if only for her mother’s
sake; and oh! William, she will teach her better than I can her duty to
God.

“Promise me you will do as I ask of you, my precious husband, and I
shall have no fears in my last hours that my child will pine as I did
for a mother’s love.”

With tearful earnestness the self-reproached man gave the required
promise, and bending over her kissed the pale face, over which a smile
of such angelic peace and love was hovering.

In a few more days the sods were laid over that loving heart, and Walter
Lee was once more desolate; but in the darkness glimmered a ray of hope,
that Mabel might still be free; could it be that her warm affections had
been hoarded up for him, that she whom to see was to love, had in all
this time found no one to displace his image in her soul; was there on
earth such happiness. He knew that Mabel was with her father, for she
had written to Evelyn after her arrival; so, two years after his wife’s
death, with his little daughter, whose childish beauty attracted all
beholders, Walter sailed for England, his early home.

Let us glance over the events of a few months, and take a peep into that
large, old-fashioned room, where we left Lord Arlington and his
daughter. It is evening now, and seated before the same glowing fire two
figures are revealed by the flickering light; their hands are clasped,
and a look of unutterable happiness dwells in their quiet faces; the
eyes of one are gazing with a tenderness, a depth of love almost holy,
upon the sweet countenance of the other.

At a little distance, in a large arm-chair, sits Lord Arlington, his
face beaming with happiness as he looks upon them; while nestling in his
lap, her little white arms around him, lies a lovely child, his own
adopted daughter—his _second Mabel_.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           =THE LUCKY PENNY.=


                         =BY MRS. S. C. HALL.=


                      (_Continued from page 315._)


                              CHAPTER II.

The next morning saw Richard at the bookseller’s door, full ten minutes
before the appointed time. Around his slender throat was the promised
handkerchief; and there was an air of gentility about the lad, though
under evident restraint, in his threadbare best clothes. He was neither
tall nor large of his age, yet he had outgrown his dress: to look at him
when his cloth cap (from which depended a worn tassel, brown with age,)
was on, you would have thought that his eyes were too large for his
small, delicate features; but when that was removed, and the pale, full,
well-developed brow, shaded by an abundance of light-brown hair, was
displayed, then the schoolmaster’s son had an air, despite his
ill-fitting clothes, his patched shoes, his sunken cheeks, and the cold,
mercilessly blue “handkerchief” round his throat, of the highest and
most earnest intelligence. What most rendered him different from other
boys, however, was his frequent habit of uplooking: there was nothing
weak or silly in this manner, nor did his eyes wander away from the
things around him, as if he heard them not; his large, quick eyes,
bright and gray, were rapid and observant; but it was as if he carried
what he saw _below_ to be judged _above_; his leisure looks were
“uplooking,” his slight figure was erect, and he never slouched in his
gait, or dragged his feet after him, as many lads are apt to do. As he
stood at his new master’s door, in the gray fog of a London morning, he
longed for the door to open; he longed to begin work; he thought the
clocks were all wrong; and, though there was hardly a creature moving in
the streets, except a stray cat or a slip-shod charwoman, he would have
it that the entire London population were a set of slug-a-beds, unworthy
of the name of Britons; for he had great veneration for Britons, and
when he used to write impromptu copies on the broken slate, his favorite
sentence was “Rule Britannia.”

At last he heard doors opening beneath the area gratings, and in due
time the shop-door was unbarred by a not very clean-faced woman, who
inquired—

“Are you the new boy?” Richard said he was. “Well,” added the woman,
looking him over carefully, “when master had a mind to get a new boy, he
might have got something with flesh on its bones, and stout arms. Sorra
a much joy I’ll have wid a shrimpeen of a child like you in the house.
Sorra a helping hand at the knives, or shoes, or messages, I’ll go
bail!”

“Indeed I can do every thing you want, and bring you all you wish,” said
Richard, cheerfully.

“Bring me all I wish!” repeated the Irish servant, in a low, desponding
tone. “Oh, then, hear to the presumption of youth! May be, you think I’m
like yer mother, and that all my wishes end in a half-pint of beer, or a
glass of gin?”

Richard felt his susceptible blood rush over his face. “My mother,” he
said, “never took a glass of gin in her life!”

She looked fixedly at him, and gradually her huge mouth expanded into a
smile. “Yer a better boy than I thought ye, though you can’t bring me
all I wish; you can’t bring me my two fine boys back from the withered
church-yard; you can’t bring me back my strength, my heart, my youth, my
gay, bright youth! All I wish! Och, wirrasthue! if I had all I wish,
it’s not in slavery I’d be in an airee all day, with a poor lone man for
a master, that thinks the world and its sunshine is made out of musty
books—and newspapers—that I can’t get the reading of. Can you read?”

“Yes.”

“Well, if you’ll read me a bit of the news—the reale newspaper,
political news—not your po-leece thrash, but the States of Europe—I’ll
stand yer friend.”

Richard followed her down stairs, wondering what interest such a
deplorable looking woman could possibly take in the “States of Europe.”
She told him what to do, concerning knives and shoes and coat-brushing,
and left him to do it; but the “all” was so very little, that, in
addition to her directions, he made up the fire and swept the hearth;
and his habits of order and quickness gave the small, dismal kitchen an
air of neatness approaching to comfort, which perhaps it had never
before exhibited during the dynasty of “Matty Hayes.” It was this good
woman’s habit always to speak in a tone of injured innocence. She
anticipated that every thing must go wrong, and she met the evil
half-way, with a sort of grim exultation. She delighted in
contradiction; and would contradict herself, rather than not contradict
at all. There was, however, as is usual with her “people,” an
under-current of good-nature coursing round her heart, which rendered
her speech and action two different and opposite things.

“Master’s shoes nor coat aint ready, of course?” she called from the
landing. In a moment Richard’s light feet flew up the stairs, and he
laid them on her bony arms.

“Then I’m sure he’s let the fire out, if these are done,” she muttered
to herself. “There never was a boy that did not undo ten things while he
did one!”

When she descended, she looked round, silenced by the change Richard had
wrought in the den of a kitchen, and hardly knowing whether she ought to
blame or praise.

“I don’t mean to pay you for all this fine work,” she said; “and there’s
no breakfast for you—no, nor bit nor sup—it’s as much as I can do to
manage for us three—master, and I, and Peter.”

“I have had my breakfast, thank you; and as I can do nothing here, I
will go up stairs, if you will be so good as to tell me what I can do
there.”

“Tell you what to do,” she repeated. “Are you an apprentice, that you
want teaching? A pretty boy, indeed, you are for a place, if you can’t
take down shutters, and sweep and dust a shop, and clean windows—I dare
say you’ll break ’em when you do—and mop the pavement (always do _that_
in frosty weather, like the doctor’s boy next door, to break people’s
legs, and make a job of their precious limbs)—and sweep the snow over
the slides, that the old people may _slider_ about for your amusement.”

Richard felt a choking sensation at his throat, and as usual he flushed,
but tried not to look angry.

“There!” she exclaimed, “don’t give me any impudence: quick lads are
always impudent. I thought how it would be when you were _so mighty
neat_.”

During this unsavory dialogue, and in direct opposition to her declared
intention, she was cutting a remarkably thick piece of bread and butter;
and having done so, she pushed it to the boy, saying—“There, go to your
work now, and don’t say you are starved by Matthew Whitelock’s
housekeeper.”

Richard was a peace-loving lad: he saw the storm gathering in Matty’s
face, and, notwithstanding his boasted breakfast (he had slipped back
one of the pieces of bread his mother had given him) he could from any
other hands have eaten the bread with great _goût_; but the hands that
fed him from infancy were delicately clean and white, and—it might be
the darkness and murkiness of a January morning, but every thing, and
above all things Matty, looked fearfully dirty—a favorite proverb of
his mother’s took possession of his mind—

    “Cleanliness is next to godliness.”

But he loved peace, and he thanked “Matthew Whitelock’s housekeeper;”
simply repeating that he had breakfasted. Matty was a resolute woman;
she had made up her mind he should eat what she had prepared; and,
consequently, laying her massive hands upon his shoulders, she forced
him suddenly down upon a chair, from which he as suddenly sprang up as
from an air cushion, but not before a most unearthly howl intimated that
he had pressed too heavily upon “Peter,” a rough, gray terrier, who, in
these days, when tangled, ragged dogs are the fashion, would have been
called a “beauty.”

“And that’s your thanks, Peter, my darlin’ for not biting him, to have
him scrunch down upon you, as if you war a cat,” she exclaimed; then,
turning suddenly upon poor Richard, she commanded him to eat at once,
and be done with it, and not stand there aggravating her, and murdering
her dog.

At first Richard ate with a feeling of disgust; but the bread was good,
and he was hungry. Peter seated himself before the lad, rising every
second moment on his haunches, and making little twitching movements
with his fore-paws: Richard gave him a piece of the crumb.

“Look at that, now,” said Matty; “ye’ just give the poor innocent baste
the crumb, because ye’ don’t like it ye’rself.”

Richard presented him with a bit of the crisp brown crust.

“See, now, if that brat of a boy ain’t trying already to break every
tooth in the creature’s head with his crusts.”

Richard finished without offering Peter another morsel.

“Well!” ejaculated his tormentor, “if ever I saw such a selfish boy of
yer age, and that’s speaking volumes, as master says; not to give the
brute the last crumb, for good luck; but some has no nature in ’em; and
the poor baste bobbing at you, as if you had never scrooged him into a
pancake. There, go along, do; and, harkee! if you run the window-bars
through the glass, you’ll have to pay for every pane you break: and mind
the trap that’s over the cellar: but sure you war here before, when I
was sick. Ah! I dare say you’ll go off in consumption, just as the last
boy did: it’s all along the smell of the old books, and the _ile_ of the
papers, to say nothing of the gas. I wonder how master and I live
through it; but it wont be for long, I’m certain of that; I’m a poor
fading-away crature.”

As Richard ran up the dark stairs, he could not avoid turning to look at
the “fading-away crature.” The cheerful blaze of the fire threw her
figure into strong light, and her shadow on the wall grew up into the
ceiling. She recalled all Richard had ever heard of “ogres”—so gaunt,
and strong, and terrible—tremendous people who trouble the world
forever, and never die.

Richard entered the shop with the feeling of a governor going to take
the command of a new province. Could it be absolutely real, that he was
the appointed messenger to go in and out, backward and forward, amongst
such a multitude of books! To him the store seemed more than ever
immense. Surely Mr. Whitelock must have added hundreds to his hundreds
since he stood upon that threshold to help the poor dying boy. He
recalled the feeling of awe with which he regarded that dingy interior;
he thought Mr. Whitelock must be the happiest man in the world, not only
to live amongst so many books, but to be their absolute owner; he
wondered how he could bear to sell them: he resolved to count them; and
thrilled from head to foot at the new-born pleasure—even in
anticipation—that perhaps he might be permitted to read them. There was
a delight; to read every one of the books that filled these shelves! But
then came the thought that, however delicious it would be to get all
that knowledge into his head, it would do his mother no _real good_,
unless he could put the knowledge so acquired in practice: yes, put it
in practice, to make money and means sufficient to keep his mother—his
loving, tender, gentle mother—who seemed threatened with a terrible
affliction; to keep her from want—from cold—from every apprehension of
distress. Richard never stood idly to muse: no, _he thought_. His
thoughts were active—strong, too, for a boy of his years; and they came
abundantly while he occupied himself with his duties; fine, healthy,
earnest thoughts they were—sanctified by an unexpressed, yet fervent,
prayer to the Almighty, to bless his mother, and to prosper his own
exertions for her happiness.

There is something most holy and beautiful in the attachment between
mother and son: it is not always so tender or so enduring as the love
between mother and daughter; but when circumstances arise to call forth
the affections of a large-hearted, lonely boy toward his mother, there
can be no feeling more intense or more devoted.

Again Richard’s habits of order increased his usefulness fourfold. He
arranged all things in the neatest way, resolving to ask leave to dust
the shelves, after the shop was shut; and determined to keep the windows
clean; his mother’s window was the cleanest in the court, why should not
his master’s be clean also?

He was finishing his morning’s work by mending an old stumpy pen—the
last of three belonging to a leaden inkstand—when his master entered.

“So, you can mend pens?”

“Yes, sir, I think I can: would you be so good as to try this one?”

He good-naturedly did so, and, as it suited him, he was really pleased;
and then told Richard where to find some things, and where to keep
others, until it was time to carry out certain library books, and make
sundry calls, to inquire after those that had not been returned.

Richard thought it no harm to peep into the books as he went along. The
first novel he opened was all about great lords and ladies, and what
they did and said, and how they looked and walked, and spent their time;
and Richard, when he had read half a page, came to the conclusion that
those grand folks must be different in every respect from any human
beings he had ever seen. He had resolved to be very quick in his
messages; but as he read, his pace insensibly slackened, and his master
(a long, lean man, whose benevolent countenance was somewhat hardened by
a firm set mouth) met him at the door.

“You have loitered.”

“I just looked into the book, sir; and I am afraid I did not come as
fast as I intended.”

“I sent you to carry books, not to read them; and this sort of books
would not do you any good, but rather harm.”

“Please, sir, I thought I had time enough.”

“Remember what Poor Richard says, ‘that what we call time enough always
proves little enough.’ Besides, I have a right to your _time_; it is all
you have to give in exchange for my money, and it is as dishonest to
squander the one as it would be to squander the other.”

“I will never look in a book again, sir, without your leave.”

It was perhaps strange that, though the bookseller had seen as much of
what is called “the world,”—that is, of his own particular “world,”
with now and then a peep into its higher and lower regions—as most men,
and been—as kind-natured men invariably are—frequently deceived, yet
he never doubted the integrity of his little messenger’s promise,
believing he would keep it to the letter; and he turned away without a
single additional word of reproof or displeasure; but Richard heard
sundry murmurings and grumblings on the stairs—ascending and
descending—which convinced him that Matty would not be as easily
pacified as her master. The bookseller told him he might go down and
have his dinner.

“Your room would be more pleasing than your company,” said Matty.
Without a word he was returning whence he came.

“Where are you going?” she inquired, vehemently.

“You did not wish me to stay.”

“But yer master did; he’s never contint but when he fills up this bit of
a kitchen with tagrag and bobtail; but, no matter—there, eat your
dinner.”

“Am I always to dine here?” he said, in a hesitating voice.

“Just like the rest of them! Yer going to find fault with the blessed
food—I knew ye’ would—I said so to-day. Says I, ‘He was too fond of
giving his bread to the dogs, to care for his dinner.’”

The woman’s contradictions perplexed the boy so much that he could not
speak. Moreover, he felt a sort of self-reproach for eating all that
meat, when his mother wanted; this made him more than once lay down his
knife and fork, and look upward.

“Mighty fine eyes ye’ have, to be sure, and fond of showing them,” said
the sarcastic Matty.

“I’m quite done, thank you,” he said, after murmuring a grace he truly
felt.

“Come back: what’s to come of what ye’ choose to lave on yer plate? Do
you mean that I don’t give Peter enough? He wouldn’t think it worth his
while to ask for all you’d eat in a month. Why ye’ve left the best cut
of the silver side!—the daintiness of some boys! I’ll go bail ye’ve eat
yer own weight of pudding or hard-bake while ye’ were out; but as master
said, ‘Give him his dinner,’ I’v no notion of yer not eating it; so, put
it up in paper, and let me see the last of ye’ this blessed day.”

Richard thanked her so warmly, that she knew, with instinctive feeling,
there was some one at home he loved better than himself. Her heart
softened—or rather, her mood changed. But while she paused, Richard
thought, and held the piece of meat on the paper she had given him,
without folding it up.

“I’d rather not take it, thank you,” said the boy, gently. “I’d much
rather not take it.”

“Poor and proud—poor and proud,” muttered Matty; “but ye’ _shall_ take
it. I’m not to be contradicted by the likes of you.”

“I will not take it,” he said, firmly. “Master ordered me my dinner, but
did not say I was to take away any thing; and, as it is his—not
yours—So, thank you—all—”

He dared not finish the sentence: Matty struck down the knuckles of both
hands violently on the table, and advanced her strongly-marked face
close to his: it was illumined by fierce anger, and her small, piercing,
black eyes flashed fire.

“Do ye’ mean to tell me, ye’ _waspeen_, that I’m a thief?”

“No—no—no, indeed,” said Richard, backing out as fast as he could.
Still the flaming face and flashing eyes followed him; but something
arrested his progress—he could retreat no farther: it was the
bookseller, who inquired what was the matter. Matty multiplied and
exaggerated: the little “nagur” had as good as called her a thief. After
many fruitless exertions to obtain silence, the master at last succeeded
in hearing the truth from Richard.

“She gave me a beautiful dinner—a fine dinner, sir—too good—too
much—and I could not eat it all; so she desired me to take up what I
left, and carry it home. It was so kind of her; but I thought you would
not approve of my taking it. It was no longer my dinner, when I had
eaten all I could: it did not appear to me quite hers to give.”

“To doubt my right!” commented Matty; but Mr. Whitelock commanded her to
listen, in a tone she was little accustomed to.

“The lad is right, Matty; it is the proper sense of justice and honesty.
I am glad to see it, Matty; it is not common. You may take what you
leave in future, my boy; Matty was right, and you were right. No words,
Matty.”

And the master—who was really, like many peace-lovers, fearful of
noise, and consequently gave way more frequently than he ought to do,
merely to avoid it—seeing that he had, in this instance, the advantage,
and being well pleased with himself, resolved to make a dignified exit,
and withdrew, thinking—“An evidence of truth, and an evidence of
honesty—both in one day—both in one day; very pleasing, very
remarkable.”

Matty, however, had been offended, and she determined to show it. She
paced up and down the kitchen, talking loudly to herself.

“I’m not the sort to squander my master’s property on comers or goers; I
know what’s enough for a boy’s dinner; and, whether he eats it or not,
there it is, and I have nothing to do with it after; for Peter scorns
scraps. There—be off with ye’rself—there’s nothing keeping ye’ that I
know of now, ye’ got yer answer. Setting up for honesty, indeed! as if
there was no one ever honest before ye’.”

The boy’s eyes filled with tears.

“I do not know,” he said, “why every one should be so kind to me.”

“You young villain!” exclaimed Matty, with a flourish of a brobdignag
poker, which seemed forged by the Cyclops. “Get out of my kitchen this
moment! What do ye’ mean by saying I’m _kind_—kind enagh! A mighty fine
thing ye’ are to take away my character! Botheration! _is that_ what I’m
come to?”

Richard flew up the stairs, concluded his evening’s shop-work to his
master’s satisfaction, again went out to distribute and gather books,
and religiously kept his promise; never paused before a print-shop, nor
under a tempting lamp-post, to read a sentence; thought it would not
become him to be proud, so nodded to Ned Brady, at his old corner. Ned
hopped after him, first on one leg, then on the other, and after a
brilliant somerset stood right in his path.

“Come and watch for a job,” he exclaimed.

“I don’t want it, thank you; I’ve a place.”

“A place! Britons never should be slaves! I like odd jobs, and freedom!
Lend us a bob?”

“I have not got it.”

“Well, then, a brownie.”

“I have not even that,” replied Richard.

Ned eyed him closely.

“To think of your turning out like _that_,” he said, and he then walked
round and round him. “We did not think we had such a fine gentleman for
a friend, when we said he’d got the lucky penny.”

“We were never _friends_,” observed Richard, coldly.

“Don’t be too up,” was the reply, “and cut a poor cove because his
toggery is not as fine as your’n. Rather small, though, aint they? Would
just fit me.” He made two or three mocking bows round Richard, and
vanished, playing the cart-wheel—turning over and over—along the
street.

“He carried many a heavy load for me, though, when I was in my former
hard place, and it’s a pity he is such a bad boy in some things,”
thought Richard, as he trudged on. He left the books, offering to do any
thing else he could, at his master’s, and felt all the anticipations of
“_home_” more delightfully than ever, when he saw the candle-light
glimmering through the chinks of his mother’s shutter. The tiny room
seemed to him a paradise. The widow had finished her embroidery and was
netting, so her eyes did not look as strained and weary as usual. There
was something simmering and smelling very savory on the fire; but
Richard put back his hand to pull out his piece of beef. It was gone!

Richard had no doubt that his quandam “friend” had picked his pocket,
more in fun than malice; and he was confirmed in the idea, by seeing a
boy’s shadow on the wall of the opposite houses—Ned, doubtless, waiting
to see how he bore his disappointment. His first impulse was to run out
and thrash the thief; but the memory of their nodding companionship, and
of the loads the unfortunate lad had carried for him twice or
thrice—running off with what Richard had staggered under—harmonized by
the perfume of the _pot au feu_, taught him forbearance, and the evening
passed, as the widow said, “full of hope.” Many such succeeded. Richard
well satisfied his master, although he was a reserved, peculiar man, not
much known, and less liked; he frequented no public places, and kept
little society, spending his evenings in making up his accounts,
arranging his books, and reading. Matty had often told her confidential
friend, the milk-woman, that “one might as well live in the house with a
_corpse_,” adding her belief “that all would be corpses one day, for
certain; and the sooner she was one the pleasanter it would be for
herself, only that, being a lone woman, she thought while people had the
holy breath of life in their bodies they might as well be alive—that
was all.”

Richard had numbered more than fourteen years when he entered Mr.
Whitelock’s service. He managed to keep on speaking terms with Matty,
for when she would not talk to him she talked at him. He frequently
remained half an hour after all was shut up to read to her; and once
when Mr. Whitelock called to her to inquire who was below, she answered,
in a tone of fierce indignation, that it was only the “State of Europe,
the French at another revulsion, and Spain on the top of the Pyramids.”

Richard’s life passed very happily: he was gaining knowledge, he was
assisting his beloved mother, he was inhaling the atmosphere of all
others he most enjoyed. He had permission to take home any book at
night, provided he brought it in the morning; at first, he greedily
devoured all that came in his way, but the reading-stock of a third
class library was not likely to feed a mind eager for actual knowledge,
and largely comprehensive. Poetry he imbibed fervently; but whenever he
could get biography or scientific books, he dispensed with the luxury of
sleep, and came with pale cheeks and haggard eyes to his employment in
the morning. Sandford and Merton, with its bright lessons of practical
independence, was his favorite relaxation, and frequently, as he told
his mother, “he took a plunge” into Franklin’s life as a refreshment.
Then he wrote copies upon stray slips of paper; worked sums and problems
on a rough piece of common slate; read what he most admired to his
mother, though he was often grieved that her enthusiasm did not keep
pace with his, and that she had little relish for any thing that “had
not hope in it.” Then she would insist on his going to rest, when he was
all eagerness to finish a book or unravel a mystery—not the transparent
mystery of a novel, but the mystery of some mighty worker in the
business of life; some giant amongst men, who achieved greatness though
born in obscurity; some artist, whose fame towered toward the heavens,
like the tree produced by the grain of mustard-seed; some Lancaster, or
Washington, or Howard, or Watt, or humble, benevolent Wilderspin,
revolutionizing sloth into activity, touching the eyes of multitudes
with a magic wand, so that they cried out as one man. Behold, we
see!—electrifying nations, calling into existence the dormant powers
and sympathies of nature and of art.

Often his eyes refused to slumber or sleep, when, in obedience to the
gentle request which love turned into a command, he lay down, beneath
the shadow of his mother’s blessing; and his brain would throb, and his
heart beat; and when _she_ slept, he would creep from his humble pallet
and read by the light of the one lamp which illumined the court, and was
(so he thought) fortunately placed opposite their window. Not that the
boy understood all he read, but he imbibed its influence, and clasping
his large brow within his palms, he would weigh and consider, and feel,
within that narrow room, where poverty still lingered—though _then_,
with their simple and few wants, rather as a shadow than a
substance—and his heart throbbing as he thought, “What shall I do to be
_great_?” even, it might have been, when the chastened and subdued
spirit of his young but almost sightless mother murmured in her
half-broken sleep, “What shall I do to be _saved_?” And then, as the
spring advanced, and night and morning blended sweetly together, he
hastened to his work joyfully—for he loved the labor that gave him food
and knowledge. Matty would say his “food went into an ill skin—never
did credit to man or _mortial_;” while his silent master, absorbed in
his occupations, and pretty much abstracted from the every-day goings-on
of his establishment—having, as he said of himself, an honest curse of
a housekeeper and a jewel of a boy—was, nevertheless, sometimes
startled by the singular questions Richard asked, meekly and modestly
seeking for information, from him whom his enthusiastic nature believed
one of the mild lights of literature.

What will youths who are pampered or wooed into learning say of the
circulating boy of a circulating library, performing the menial offices
of his station, yet working his mind ardently and steadily _onward_?

One evening, after he had gone out with his books, his mother entered
the shop, timidly and with hesitating step, which those who struggle
against blindness unconsciously assume. Matty was there, removing some
papers; Peter, the most silent of all dogs, lay upon the mat, and Mrs.
Dolland stumbled over him: Peter only gave vent to a stifled
remonstrance, but that was enough to set Matty into a passion.

“Couldn’t you see the dog!” she exclaimed. “If you war a customer tin
times over, you had no call to the baste; he’s neither pens, ink,
wafers, books, nor blotting-paper—no, nor the writer of a book—to be
trampled under your feet.”

“I did not see him,” she said meekly.

“Can’t you use your eyes?”

The unconscious roughness cut like a razor.

“I did,” she replied, turning her large, sorrowful, and dimmed eyeballs
toward Matty—“I did; I used them night and day, until it was the will
of God to take away their light.”

“God look down upon you!” exclaimed the woman tenderly. “Sure it isn’t
going blind you are—a young woman like you to go blind?”

“I wanted to see Mr. Whitelock,” she said, without heeding Matty’s
observation. “I wanted to speak a few words to him.”

Matty loved a gossip. She never suspected the fair, frail, trembling
woman, “going blind,” to be Richard’s mother. He never mentioned his
mother’s blindness; he could not speak of it; he hoped it would never be
worse than it was. She could still read; and do plain work; and so Matty
heard not of it. She had nothing particular to do that evening, and the
sight of a stranger did her good, because she expected a gossip.

“Master can’t always be interrupted,” she replied, “particularly by them
he doesn’t know; but if you will tell me your name and business, I’ll
see what can be done for you.”

“I am Richard’s mother.”

“Think of that now. We do our best with him, poor boy—but he’s an
unruly member!”

“Richard!” exclaimed the poor woman, in a tone of dismay.

“Ay, indeed; that is, he’s not so jist at the prisent time, but he’ll
become so, like all the rest of them boys, one of these days.”

“God forbid!” ejaculated the widow.

“Amin!” said Matty; “but he’ll be sure to come to it at last.”

“Come to what?” inquired the alarmed mother.

“To all sorts and kinds of contrariness,” replied Matty, rapidly; “boys
can’t help it, you see; it’s their nature; they’re not patient, bidable,
gentle creatures like _us_—not they! Mischief, and all kinds of
murther, and upsetting, and latch-keys, and fidgets, and police-courts,
and going out at nights, and staying out all day (though that’s a good
riddance) and boxing, and apple-stealing, falling in love, and kicking
up _shindies_.”

“I beg your pardon, but I do not understand you,” interrupted Mrs.
Dolland, with more determination than she had exercised for years. She
felt as if this strange, abrupt, half-mad woman was stringing together a
set of accusations against her child.

“I’m obleeged to you, ma’am, for the compliment,” said Matty, dropping a
curtsey; “but, as that’s neither here nor there, what’s your business
with the masther?”

“That I can only tell himself,” she replied.

“Well,” muttered Matty, “that beats—! But the women now have no
modesty. Them English is all a silent set—no sociability in them. Tell
himself!—as if it wasn’t more natural for a half-blind craythur like
that to discoorse a woman than a man. Well, well! No wonder my hair’s
gone gray and my heart hard!”

There was something almost courtly in Mr. Whitelock’s manner of
addressing women. People in his own class of life, who observed it,
thought it ridiculous, and never speculated as to how this politeness
became engrafted on his nature. He placed a seat for Mrs. Dolland in his
little parlor; and, though it was a warm autumn evening, he moved it to
keep her out of the air that blew over a box of yellowish, stunted
mignonette, and two sickly wall-flowers, which graced the sill of his
back window; he also pushed his own chair as far as he could from the
widow’s, but, like all persons with impaired vision, she moved nearer to
him, and turned her restless eyes toward the door.

“It is shut close,” said the bookseller.

                                                  [_To be continued._

                 *        *        *        *        *



                  =MEDITATIONS ON THE LAST JUDGMENT.=


                       =BY ERASTUS W. ELLSWORTH.=


              Thou, who, from majesty of light,
              Didst move Isaiah’s heart aright,
              And touch his prophet lips with fire,
              Once more a mortal song inspire.

              Uplift my powers above the sphere
              Of themes that daily earth me here;
              Give me, on things within thy Book,
              With the large eye of truth to look.

              So shall my daily works be sped,
              For when this heart of mine is fed
              On things of lofty consequence,
              My daily life is more intense.

              My mortal spirits most ally
              With nature and humanity,
              When most I bear, however known,
              Some deep emotion all my own.

              Night hovers! What with hand and thought
              My will would do, must soon be wrought;
              Lo! how the years no more return,
              Each with his own sepulchral urn.

              Give me, O Lord, an eye to see
              Illusion from reality:
              This world, and all its ample scene,
              Is like a grand cathedral screen;

              So vastly spread, and graven high
              With labyrinthine blazonry;
              Rapt to a whisper, I behold
              Art so sublime and manifold.

              Lo! half in light, and half in gloom,
              Sleeps at the base an ancient tomb,
              Whose prickly-blooming niches bear
              All forms of rapture and despair.

              Above, in solemn ’scutcheons hung,
              Are legends in an unknown tongue—
              The fingers of the God of light
              Touched on the awful walls of night.

              Through middle breadth, from side to side,
              The bounding-footed hours glide,
              And scatter blooms, like meteor things,
              About a glass with glowing wings.

              But I behold an usher wait,
              And wave me onward to a gate,
              Whose leaves on groaning staples turn,
              Within whose arch no lamp will burn.

              When, for thy feet, those valves shall play,
              How soon this grandeur fleets away,
              How, through a vista vast and clear,
              These eyes shall look, these ears shall hear,

              Preluding my eternity,
              Deep stops unmouthed in symphony—
              Hymns of an inexpressive choir,
              Or tremblings of a winnowed fire.

              O Thou, who laidst thy splendors by,
              To show me how to live and die,
              Be thou, O Lord, my hope and home,
              Now, and in ages yet to come.

              When, the firm stars and swinging spheres,
              Conscious of their accomplished years,
              Flare in the motions of thy mind,
              As cressets to a midnight wind,

              And shrunk of oil, collect their gold,
              And the great angel, once foretold,
              Girt with a noonday, comes to stand,
              One foot on sea, and one on land;

              When powers that wear a grand impress,
              Beatitudes expressionless,
              Curbed in the glory of a zone,
              Set forth the white eternal throne;

              When the loud trump, with solemn jar,
              Shall rouse thy creatures to thy bar,
              Unhousing all the sprites that dwell
              In realms of heaven and earth and hell;

              When, up from where earth’s empire stirs,
              From all her unchained sepulchres,
              The trump-alarmed nations run,
              As vapors flitting to the sun;

              When, up from hell’s volcanic gloom,
              The devils soar to final doom,
              And shade, in horror and affright,
              Their eyelids from access of light.

              When thou art come to judgment sore,
              Whom every eye shall see; before
              Whose eyes the heavens shall crack and roll,
              Even as a furnace-writhing scroll;

              When Thou, alone, dost sit serene,
              In that immense concurrent scene,
              Revolving, in thy dome of thought,
              All that eternal ages wrought.

              When Gabriel lays, with solemn look,
              Beneath thine eye the dooms-day book,
              And opens where the leaves rehearse
              The index of the universe;

              When the proud rebel’s reckoned score
              Is big with debts unknown before;
              When, ’lumined in unshaded day,
              The good man’s whiteness all is gray;

              When, at that session in the air,
              My name is called in judgment there,
              When what is writ shall plainly draw
              The sword of that unswerving law;

              When swathed in tempest, like a star
              O’er an unknown horizon bar,
              Millions of ghosts unharbored all,
              Shall watch to see me rise or fall;

              O then, what prayer shall I renew
              To make my Judge my Father too?
              What breath of mine—what moving tone
              Shall make my bosom all his own?

              Look not on alms my hands have done,
              Nor on the tint my soul hath won;
              Lord, when thine eye shall rest on me,
              Remember thy Gethsemane.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =THE TRIAL BY BATTLE.=


                         =A TALE OF CHIVALRY.=


                      (_Continued from page 330._)


                              CHAPTER II.

                             THE CHAMPION.

The Emperor Henry IV. of Germany, the husband of the falsely accused
empress, was one of the bravest and most unfortunate princes who ever
sat upon a throne. He had succeeded his father, Henry the Black, in
1056, at the age of six years, and the diet had given to Agnes of
Aquetaine the administration of the affairs of state during his
minority. But the princes and barons of Germany feeling themselves
humiliated by their subjection to a foreign female, revolted against the
empire, and Otho, Margrave of Saxony, commenced that series of civil
wars, in which the emperor was destined to consume his life. Thus Henry
IV. was always engaged in contests, first with his uncles, and then with
his son; sometimes an emperor, sometimes a fugitive; to-day a
proscriber, to-morrow proscribed; but always a “man of war and wo,” even
in his greatest triumphs. After having deposed Pope Gregory VII.—after
having, in expiation of that sacrilege, crossed the Apennines on foot,
his staff in his hand, like a mendicant, in the depth of winter—after
having waited three days in the court of the Castle of Canassa without
clothes, without fire, without food, till it pleased his highness to
admit him to his presence, he kissed his feet, and swore on the cross to
submit himself to his authority; for at this price alone would the pope
absolve the imperial penitent of the guilt of sacrilege; but the
humiliation of the emperor displeased and disgusted the Lombards, who
accused him of cowardice. Threatened by them with deposition, if he did
not break the shameful league he had made with the pope, he purchased
peace with the Lombards by renouncing his submission to Gregory. His
acceptance of these terms set him at variance with the German barons,
who elected Rodolphe, of Suabia, in his place. Henry, who had gone to
Italy as a supplicant, returned to Germany a soldier, though under the
ban of the church, for his rival, Rodolphe, had received from Pope
Gregory a crown of gold, in token of his investiture by him of temporal
dominion, and a bull invoking the malediction of heaven upon his enemy.
Henry defeated and slew Rodolphe at the battle of Wolskieur, near Gera,
after which he returned victorious and furious into Italy, bringing with
him the Bishop Guibert, whom he had made pope. This time it was for
Gregory to tremble, who could not expect more mercy than he had shown to
Henry. He shut himself up in Rome, and when the emperor appeared under
the walls, sent a legate to make up the quarrel, by the offer of the
investiture of the crown, and absolution and reconciliation to the
church. Henry’s only reply was the capture of the city. The pope fled to
the Castle of St. Angelo, where he was put in a state of blockade by
Henry, who placed upon the papal throne the Anti-Pope Guibert, from
whose hand he received the imperial crown. He had scarcely done this
before he received the annoying intelligence that the Saxons had elected
in his room, Hermann, Count of Luxembourg. Henry repassed the Apennines,
beat the Saxons, subdued Thuringia, and took Hermann prisoner, whom he
permitted to live and die unknown in an obscure corner of his empire. He
once more re-entered Italy, where he caused his son Conrad to be elected
King of the Romans. Believing he had settled peace on a firm basis, he
came back to Germany, and turned his arms against the Bavarians and
Suabians, who still remained in a state of revolt.

His son, whom he had just made king of the Romans, and who aspired to
the empire, conspired at that time against his father, raised an army,
and got Pope Urban II. to excommunicate him a second time. Henry upon
this convoked the diet to Aix-la-Chapelle, laid open before it his
paternal grief, and displayed the wounds of a heart wrung by filial
ingratitude, and demanded that his second son, Henry, should be
acknowledged for king of the Romans, in the place of his brother. In the
midst of the sitting, he received a mysterious intimation that his
presence was required at Cologne, where, he was told, an important
secret would be made known to him. Henry quitted the diet in great
haste; and found two of the noblest barons in the empire, Guthram de
Falkenbourg and Walter de Than, waiting for him at the gates of his
palace. The emperor invited them to enter with him, and led them into
his chamber, when perceiving sadness and gloom painted on their faces,
he demanded “why they appeared so thoughtful and sorrowful!”

“Because the majesty of the throne is in danger,” replied Guthram, with
some abruptness.

“Who has endangered the throne?” demanded the emperor.

“The Empress Praxida, your wife,” said Guthram.

No other tidings would have made Henry of Germany turn pale, for he had
only been married to the empress two years, for whom he felt the
tenderness of a parent, and the faithful love of a husband. His union
with this angelic young woman had given him the only happy hours he had
passed during his stormy and unfortunate life. He had not courage at
this miserable moment even to ask what his wife had done, but was
gathering the strength of a failing heart to do so, when Guthram broke
the ominous silence, by saying, “she has done what we cannot pass by
unnoticed, for the honor of the imperial throne, and we should deserve
the name of traitors to our sovereign lord, if we should hesitate to
make her misconduct known to him.”

“What has she done?” again demanded the emperor, growing paler than
before.

“In your absence she has encouraged the love of a young knight, and that
so openly,” replied Guthram, “that if she gives birth to a son, however
the people may rejoice in that event, your nobility will mourn; for
though any master is good enough for the multitude, none but the noblest
in the empire can command the highest nobles in the world, who will
render homage to none but the son of an emperor.”

Henry supported himself against the chair of state on which he leaned,
or he would have fallen to the floor, for he remembered that only a
month before, the empress had written to him to announce her maternal
hopes, with the pleasure natural to a young woman about to become a
mother.

“What has become of the knight?” asked the emperor.

“He quitted Cologne as suddenly as he entered it, without any person
knowing from whence he came, or whither he is going. His country and
name are secrets with which we are unacquainted, but you had better ask
the empress, she perhaps, can satisfy your majesty.”

“Very well,” replied the emperor, “Enter, gentlemen, that cabinet.” Then
the emperor summoned his chamberlain, and bade him conduct the empress
to his chamber. As soon as the emperor was alone, he threw himself into
the chair, like a man who had lost his personal strength and mental
firmness. He who had endured with unbending fortitude civil and foreign
wars, the ban of the church, and the filial revolt, yielded to a doubt.
His head, which had borne the weight of a crown for five-and-forty
years, without bending beneath the burden, grew feeble under the weight
of a suspicion, and hung down as if the hand of a giant was upon it. In
a moment the man, who had scarcely passed his full meridian of
intellect, forgot every thing—empire, ban, malediction, revolt. He
remembered nothing but his wife, the only human being who possessed his
entire confidence, and who had deceived him more basely than any other
creature had yet done. Much as he had experienced, throughout his long
regnal life, of disloyalty and guile, tears fell from his eyes, for the
rod of misfortune, like that of Moses, had struck the rock so forcibly,
that it had drawn these drops from a source hitherto sealed up and
barren.

The empress entered unseen, for her light step had not been heard by her
unhappy husband. Fair, blooming, and blue-eyed, with a graceful form, of
tall and slender proportions, this daughter of a northern clime
approached her lord with a sweet smile, and with almost filial reverence
united to conjugal affection, imprinted a chaste kiss on the troubled
brow of her lord, who shrank and shuddered as if the touch of her rosy
lips had been the fangs of a serpent.

“What is the matter, my lord?” asked the empress, in a tone of alarm.

“Woman,” replied the emperor, raising his head and showing her his
tearful eyes, “you have seen me for four years carrying a heavy cross;
you have seen my crown a crown of thorns; you have seen my face bathed
in the sweat of toil, my brow in blood; but you never saw my eyelids
moistened with tears. Well, behold me now—and see me weep!”

“And why do you weep, my dearly-beloved lord?” replied the empress, in a
tone of sorrowful inquiry.

“Because, abandoned by my people, denied by my vassals, cursed by the
church, and proscribed by my son, I had nothing but you in the
world—and you, Praxida, you too have betrayed me.”

The empress stood like a statue, only her complexion, varying from red
to pale, betrayed her feelings. “My lord,” said she, “it is not true.
You are my liege lord and my sovereign master; but if any other man than
yourself had dared to utter such words, I would answer that he lied
through envy or malice.”

The emperor turned in the direction of cabinet, and in a loud voice
said, “Come in.” The door opened, and Guthram de Falkenbourg, and Walter
de Than entered the imperial chamber. The empress, at the sight of her
enemies, trembled all over. They advanced to the other side of the
emperor’s chair, and, holding up their hands, prepared to make their
unjust accusation good upon the first sign he might give.

He motioned them to speak, and they were not slow to avail themselves of
his permission.

“Sire,” said they, “what we have told you is true; and we are ready to
support the charge at the peril of our bodies and souls, two against
two, against any knights who may dare to dispute the truth of our
impeachment of the empress.”

“Do you hear what they say, madam! for it shall be done as they have
demanded; and if, in a year and a day, you cannot find any knights to
clear your fame by a victorious combat, you will be burned alive in the
great square of Cologne, in the face of the people, and by the torch of
the common hangman.”

“My lord, I invoke the aid of God,” replied the empress, “and I hope, by
His grace, my truth and innocence will find vindicators, and will be
completely established.”

“Well, be it so,” said the emperor; and he summoned his guards, to whose
wardship he consigned his empress. By his command she was conveyed to
the lowest apartment in the castle, which differed in nothing from a
prison but in name.

She had been imprisoned nearly a twelve-month, and had given birth to a
son, condemned, like herself, to the pile. This babe she nourished at
her own bosom, and reared with her own hands, like one of the wives of
the people. None of her women paid her any attention or rendered her the
smallest service, but Douce, Marchioness of Provence, who, having
abandoned her own country, then the theatre of civil war, to seek an
asylum at the court of her suzerain, had remained faithful to her
mistress in her misfortunes. The empress, who had diligently exerted
herself, by letters and promises, to procure champions for her ordeal by
battle, had been hitherto completely unsuccessful. The renown of her
accusers, their prowess in war and revengeful dispositions, had
outweighed all her entreaties and largesses. Only three days of the time
allowed by the emperor now remained, and the envoy sent by the fair
Marchioness of Provence had not yet returned. She began to despair
herself—she who had always soothed the despondency of the injured
empress with hope.

As to the poor emperor, no one suffered like him; struck by this blow at
once as sovereign, husband, and father, he had vowed publicly to join
the Crusades, in the hope of averting the wrath of heaven; and the day
he had fixed for the vindication or execution of the empress, would
bring to him as severe a trial as to that unfortunate and injured
princess. He had, at length, given the matter into the care of heaven,
and, immuring himself in the most private apartments in his palace of
Cologne, gave up all business, whether public or private, having no
heart to attend to any thing, whatever. Such was the state of his mind
when the dawn of the three hundred and sixty-fifth day found him still
miserable, and his accused empress championless.

At noon, he had scarcely quitted his oratory when he was told that a
foreign knight, from a distant country, wished to speak to him. The
emperor was agitated, for, at the bottom of his heart, he secretly
wished that heaven would yet send the unfortunate Praxida a champion;
and he received him in the same chamber in which, sitting in the same
chair, he had commanded the arrest of the empress. The knight entered,
and bent his knee to the ground. The emperor bade him rise, and declare
the occasion of his visit to his court.

“My lord,” replied the unknown knight, “I am a Spanish count. I was told
at matins that the empress, your spouse, was accused by two knights of
your court, and that if, within the space of a year and a day, she could
not find a champion to defend her by battle, she would be publicly
burned. Now, I have heard so much good said of this lady, and she is so
renowned for piety throughout the world, that I am come from my own
distant land to undertake her quarrel against both her accusers.”

“Count, you are welcome,” replied the emperor. “Certainly you show great
friendship for the accused, or a great desire for renown. You are yet in
time to save her, for there still remains one day before the sentence to
which the laws of Germany condemn the adultress can be put in force
against her.”

“Sire,” said the count, “I have a favor to ask you, which I hope you
will courteously grant me. I wish to see the empress, for in this
interview I should be able to form some opinion of her guilt or
innocence; for, if I think her guilty, I will not imperil my body and
soul in battle for her, but if she is innocent, I will fight, not only
with one of her accusers, but with both, and indeed, will undertake her
defense against every knight in Germany.”

“It is but justice on my part,” replied the emperor, “to grant your
request, Sir Count.”

The unknown bowed, and retreated toward the door, but the emperor
recalled him. “My lord count, have you made a vow to keep your visor
down, and conceal your face?”

“No, sire,” replied the knight.

“Then you will do me the favor to raise your visor, that I may engrave
on my memory the features of him who is about to imperil his life to
save my honor?”

The knight took off his helmet, and the emperor saw the
dark-complexioned, but expressive features of a young man of eighteen or
nineteen years. His forehead and head were finely formed, and indicative
of talent and power. The monarch regarded the youthful countenance of
the champion with a sigh, and remembered with regret that the accusers
of Praxida, his empress, were men not only well-skilled in war, but in
the prime of manly strength. “May God preserve you, lord count,” said
he, “for you appear to me full young for success in the difficult
enterprise you have undertaken. Reflect, for there is still time to
withdraw your promise.”

“Do me the honor to let me see the empress,” replied the knight, who had
no intention of abandoning without cause an unfortunate lady.

The emperor gave him his signet-ring. “Go then, Sir Knight; this seal
will open for you the doors of her prison.”

The knight kissed, on his knee, the hand which offered him the ring;
then rose, saluted the monarch, and departed.

The sight of the emperor’s signet opened, as he had said, the guarded
apartment of the empress, and in ten minutes the youthful champion found
himself in the presence of the accused lady, for whom he was about to
risk his life.

The empress was seated on her bed, nursing her infant. Accustomed to the
entrance of her jailors, and for a long time abandoned by her women, she
never even raised her head when the door was opened, only, by the
instinct of modesty, she covered with her mantle her unveiled bosom,
still continuing the plaintive hymn by which she lulled her babe to
rest, accompanying the air with the movement of a nurse who rocks her
babe to sleep.

The knight contemplated for some minutes, in tearful silence, this
moving picture of fallen greatness, till, perceiving that the empress
seemed unconscious of his vicinity, he accosted her in these words:
“Madam, deign to raise your eyes, and honor with your notice, a man whom
the renown of your virtue has led from a distant land, to vindicate your
honor, defamed, he trusts, by false accusation; but before I undertake
your cause, it is absolutely necessary that I should learn from you
whether you are innocent of the charge laid against you. For, madam, I
require a clear conscience, as well as a strong arm, since a trial by
battle is an appeal to God, the judge of all, to decide the cause by the
victory or fall of the champion. In the name of heaven, I entreat you to
speak the truth; in which case, if you can prove your innocence to me, I
swear by my knighthood that I will defend you to the last drop of my
blood; trusting that the Lord will strengthen me to do your battle with
such power as will clear your honor, and preserve my own life.”

“First, let me thank you, Sir Knight,” replied the empress, shedding
tears of joy; “but, before I clear up my fame in your hearing, I pray
you tell me your name, and permit me to see your face.”

“My face, madam, may be seen by every body,” said the count; “but my
name is a different thing, since I have sworn to tell it to none but
you.” He removed his helmet, and displayed to her sight his noble and
ingenuous countenance, full of the fire and intelligence of upright
youth verging upon manhood.

“Your name and quality, then, be pleased to show me,” replied the
empress.

“I am a prince of Spain: Raymond Berenger, Count of Barcelona.”

At that name, so celebrated from father to son for lofty generosity and
heroic deeds, the empress clasped her hands together, while a smile of
joy lighted up her beautiful features through her tears, like a sunbeam
breaking through a watery cloud.

“My lord, I can never repay you for the consolation you have afforded me
this day; but you have demanded the truth from me—the whole truth: I
ought to tell it you, and I will not disguise it from your knowledge. It
is true that there came, in my husband’s absence, to the court of
Cologne, a young and handsome knight, who, perhaps, was under some vow,
either to his sovereign or the lady of his heart, to conceal his name
and rank; for he told them to no one, not even to me. It was supposed,
from his magnificence and generosity, that he was the son of a king; but
we called him, from the gem he wore on his finger, the Knight of the
Emerald. It is true that he sometimes conversed with me; but with so
much respect, that I could not distance him without appearing to
consider his attention as a matter of more consequence than it really
was. Still he made a point of attending me on every public occasion. It
happened one day, when we were hawking on the borders of the Rhine, and
were got as far as Lusdorf, without meeting any game, till at last a
heron rose, and I unhooded and cast off my falcon, who immediately
soared; and, as he was a fine one, of true Norwegian breed, he soon
reached the quarry, and I put my horse to a full gallop, to be in at the
death. Carried away by my ardor, I leaped a stream, followed by none of
my ladies but Douce, for they were timid horsewomen. The wicked knights,
who have falsely slandered me, could not take the leap on their heavy
steeds, but led my ladies to a fordable part of the rivulet. While
making to the spot where the game had fallen, we saw a mounted cavalier
fly from it like a phantom, and reënter a wood along the shore. The
heron we found fluttering in the agonies of death, for the falcon had
pierced his brain; but he still held an emerald ring in his beak, which
Douce, as well as myself, immediately recognised as the one we had often
seen on the finger of the unknown knight, whom we rightly supposed to be
the cavalier who had galloped into the wood. I was wrong, I will own, to
do as I then did; but women are vain and thoughtless. So, instead of
throwing the jewel into the stream, as I ought, perhaps, to have done, I
put it on my finger, and displaying it to my suite as they came up,
related the adventure, without being aware of my own imprudence. Nobody,
however, doubted the truth of my recital but Guthram and Walter, who
smiled incredulously, in a manner that seemed to ask explanations which
would have compromised my dignity, without allaying their unjust
suspicions. I put on my glove, replaced my falcon on my wrist, without
meeting with any other extraordinary discovery. At mass, however, I
again met the knight of the emerald, and then perceived that he was
without his ring, which, from that moment, I resolved to return to him
upon the first suitable opportunity. A week after this adventure, the
festival of Cologne was held. You are aware that this feast attracts a
concourse of people from all parts of Germany: minstrels, players, and
jongleurs of course abound. Among these last, there was a man who showed
wild beasts, which he displayed on a theatre built for the occasion, in
the grand square, where the spectators could gaze without danger on a
lion from Barbery, and a tiger from India. Seated in a gallery, raised
fifteen feet above them—I was there with my ladies—when, happening to
discover the knight of the emerald among the company, I was going to
give the ring to Douce, in order to restore it to him, when a spring
from the tiger, accompanied by a dreadful roar, so terrified me, that I
dropped the jewel from my finger into the cage of the lion, which was
immediately below the balcony in which I was placed. Instantly, before I
could utter a word, I saw the knight in the theatre, sword in hand. The
tiger remained for a moment quiet, apparently astonished at the
unparalleled boldness of the action, before he sprung upon the dauntless
stranger; then we saw what appeared like a flash of lighting, and the
head of the monster rolled upon the sand, upon which his immense body
and terrible paws were deeply impressed. The knight took a diamond
agraffe from his cap, flung it to the wild-beast man, and thrusting his
arm through the bars of the lion’s cage, took up the ring I had dropped,
and brought it to me, while the air rang with the acclamations of the
spectators; but, as I had resolved to return it to him, I put back his
hand, and said—‘No, my lord knight; this ring has cost you too dear for
me to retain. Keep it in remembrance of me.’ These were the last words I
ever addressed to him; for fearing the adventure would make more noise,
I dispatched Douce with a message to the knight of the emerald,
beseeching him in my name to quit Cologne. He departed the same evening,
without informing me of his name or quality, or telling me whence he
came, or whither he was going. This, my lord count, is the whole truth.
And if I have been imprudent, I have, I think, paid dearly for my fault,
by a twelve-month’s imprisonment, and a false accusation, that imperils
my life.”

The count drew his sword, and turning the cross of the handle most
reverently toward the empress, said—

“Swear to me, madam, upon this blade, that what you have just now
related to me is perfectly true.”

“I swear,” replied the empress, “that I have told you nothing but the
truth.”

“Well, by this sword, and the help of God, you shall be delivered from
this prison, in which you have been confined a year, and be cleared also
from the deadly accusation that clouds your fame.”

“May God grant it!” said the pious empress.

“Now, madam, will you bestow upon me one of your jewels, in token that
you accept me for your knight?”

“My lord count, take this gold chain, the only relic of my former state
that I still possess. This pledge will serve as a proof that I have
chosen you for my champion.”

“Madam, I take it with thanks,” replied the Count of Barcelona,
returning, as he spoke, his sword to its scabbard, and replacing his
helmet on his head. He bowed courteously to the fair prisoner, and
rejoined the emperor, who was anxiously expecting his return.

“Sire,” said the count, “I have seen her majesty, the empress, and am
satisfied with her explanations. Will you, therefore, be pleased to
inform her accusers, that I am ready to do battle in her cause with one
or both—either together, or by single combat.”

“My lord count,” replied the emperor, “you shall engage them separately;
for it shall never be said that a knight who undertook the cause of an
accused lady in so noble a manner did not find noble enemies.”

                                                  [_To be continued._

                 *        *        *        *        *



                   =“I KNOW WHERE THE FAIRIES ARE.”=


                          =BY MARIE DELAMAIE.=


PROEM.—Giant Night in grim repose was sleeping beneath the soft
influence of the moonbeams, which spread over him like the silvery
drapery of a bridal couch; when the fairies came forth from their
flowery abodes, and engaged in their merry dance, with laughter and
song; till, growing boisterous in their mirth, they aroused old Nox from
his slumber, who, frowning, drove the affrighted moon behind the western
hills, when the children of Gladness hid themselves in haste. But when
Aurora, Goddess of the Morning, showed her radiant face in the east,
Darkness folded his wings and retired before her.

         The moon on the bosom of night was reposing,
           As wrapped in her mantle of glory he lay,
         Whilst the wings of the angel of darkness were closing
           Beneath the soft touch of her bright silvery ray.
         Far, far from her smile grim darkness had fled,
           And queen of the night she gloried to rise,
         While the tears which the angels o’er mortals had shed,
           Congealed into stars, bespangled the skies.

         ’Twas the hour of twelve, the bright, witching hour,
           That I gazed on this slumber of night,
         And thought of the time when the fairies had power
           To dance, while he slept o’ercome by moonlight.
         While thus the proud giant lay hushed in repose,
           There suddenly burst from the bosom of earth
         A strain of low music, that swelled as it rose
           Till it seemed the outpouring of gladness and mirth.

         At the sound of this music the flowers awoke—
           Their bright little cups in a moment expand—
         When lo! from these cells there suddenly broke,
           As freed by some magic, a gay fairy band.
         Each flower sent forth a sweet laughing elf,
           Whom safely it guarded from danger by day,
         And kept closely prisoned, in spite of itself,
           Till their queen gave the elfins permission to play.

         Their prisons then opened, and out they came streaming,
           From the cell of each flower that was blooming around,
         Methought, for a while, I surely was dreaming,
           I knew not that earth did with fairies abound.
         I saw the bright cerius its golden rays spread,
           Its snowy-white petals next slowly unfold,
         And forth from its centre, whence fragrance is shed,
           Came the queen of the fairies in emerald and gold.

         From the leaves of the rose-bud, from the violet’s cell,
           From the depths of the fuchia, they merrily sprung;
         A thousand seemed hid in the jessamine’s bell,
           And e’en on the bachelor’s-button they hung.
         Away they all sped with the swiftness of thought,
           To form a bright court for their lovely young queen,
         Who, borne on the wings of a zephyr, was brought
           To grace with her presence their dance on the green.

         I saw them then dance around an old oak,
           To the sound of that heart-stirring strain,
         Till, growing too noisy, old Darkness awoke
           And sent them all back to their flowers again.
         Then slowly the giant arose from his rest,
           His mantle of glory aside he first cast,
         Then frowned on the moon till she sunk in the west,
           For she knew that her hour of triumph was past.

         Yes, yes it was o’er, and darkness again
           Spread out his broad wings for a while,
         Till the light of the Morn, as she rose o’er the plain,
           Dispelled all his gloom by her smile;
         She breathed on the stars till they melted in dew,
           Which she shed on the flowers around—
         And I said in my heart as I bade them adieu,
           I know where the Fairies are found.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            =CANADIAN LIFE.=


                            =BY MRS. MOODY.=


                             JEANIE BURNS.

                Ah, human hearts are strangely cast,
                  Time softens grief and pain;
                Like reeds that shiver in the blast,
                  They bend to rise again.

                But she in silence bowed her head,
                  To none her sorrow would impart;
                Earth’s faithful arms inclose the dead,
                  And hide for aye her broken heart!
                                                  S. M.

Old man James came to me to request the loan of one of the horses, to
attend a funeral. M. was absent on business, and the horses and the
man’s time were both greatly needed to prepare the land for the fall
crops. I demurred; James looked anxious and disappointed; and the loan
of the horse was at length granted, but not without a strict injunction
that he should return to his work the moment the funeral was over. He
did not come back until late that evening. I had just finished my tea,
and was nursing my wrath at his staying out the whole day, when the door
of the room (we had but one, and that was shared in common with the
servants,) opened, and the delinquent at last appeared. He hung up the
new English saddle, and sat down by the blazing hearth without speaking
a word.

“What detained you so long, James? You ought to have had half an acre of
land, at least, ploughed to-day.”

“Verra true, mistress. It was nae fau’t o’ mine. I had mista’en the
hour. The funeral didna’ come in afore sun-down, and I cam’ awa’
directly it was ower.”

“Was it any relation of yours!”

“Na, na, jist a freend, an auld acquaintance, but nane o’ my ain kin. I
never felt sae sad in a’ my life, as I ha’ dune this day. I ha’ seen the
clods piled on many a heid, and never felt the saut tear in my e’en.
But, puir Jeanie! puir lass. It was a sair sight to see them thrown doon
upon her.”

My curiosity was excited; I pushed the tea-things from me, and told Bell
to give James his supper.

“Naething for me the night, Bell—I canna’ eat—my thoughts will a’ rin
on that puir lass. Sae young—sae bonnie, an’ a few months ago as blythe
as a lark, an’ now a clod o’ the earth. Hout, we maun all dee when our
ain time comes; but, somehow, I canna’ think that Jeanie ought to ha’
gane sae sune.”

“Who is Jeanie Burns? Tell me, James, something about her.”

In compliance with my request, the man gave the following story. I wish
I could convey it in his own words, but though I can perfectly
understand the Scotch dialect when spoken, I could not write it in its
charming simplicity: that honest, truthful brevity, which is so
characteristic of this noble people.

“Jeanie Burns was the daughter of a respectable shoemaker, who gained a
comfortable living by his trade in a small town in Ayrshire. Her father,
like herself, was an only child, and followed the same vocation, and
wrought under the same roof that his father had done before him. The
elder Burns had met with many reverses, and now helpless and blind, was
entirely dependent upon the charity of his son. Honest Jock had not
married until late in life, that he might more comfortably provide for
the wants of his aged parent. His mother had been dead for some years.
She was a meek, pious woman, and Jock quaintly affirmed, ‘That it had
pleased the Lord to provide a better inheritance for his dear auld
mither than his arm could win, proud and happy as he would have been to
have supported her when she was no longer able to work for him.’

“Jock’s paternal love was repaid at last; chance threw in his way a
canny young lass, baith guid and bonny: they were united, and Jeanie was
the sole fruit of this marriage. But Jeanie proved a host in herself,
and grew up the best natured, the prettiest, and the most industrious
lass in the village, and was a general favorite both with young and old.
She helped her mother in the house, bound shoes for her father, and
attended to all the wants of her dear old grandfather, Saunders Burns;
who was so much attached to his little handmaid that he was never happy
when she was absent.

“Happiness is not a flower of long growth in the world; it requires the
dew and sunlight of Heaven to nourish it, and it soon withers, removed
from its native skies. The cholera visited the remote village. It smote
the strong man in the pride of his strength, and the matron in the
beauty of her prime; while it spared the helpless and the aged, the
infant of a few days, and the parent of many years. Both Jeanie’s
parents fell victims to the fatal disease, and the old blind Saunders
and the young Jeanie were left to fight alone a hard battle with poverty
and grief. The truly deserving are never entirely forsaken. God may
afflict them with many trials, but he watches over them still, and often
provides for their wants in a manner truly miraculous. Sympathizing
friends gathered round the orphan girl in her hour of need, and obtained
for her sufficient employment to enable her to support her old
grandfather and herself, and provide for them the common necessaries of
life.

“Jeanie was an excellent seamstress, and what between making waistcoats
and trowsers for the sailors, and binding shoes for the shoemakers, a
business that she thoroughly understood, she soon had her little hired
room neatly furnished, and her grandfather as clean and spruce as ever.
When she led him into the kirk of a Sabbath morning, all the neighbors
greeted the dutiful daughter with an approving smile, and the old man
looked so serene and happy that Jeanie was fully repaid for her labors
of love.

“Her industry and piety often formed the theme of conversation to the
young lads of the village. ‘What a guid wife Jeanie Burns will mak’,’
cried one. ‘Ay,’ said another, ‘he need na complain o’ ill-fortin, who
has the luck to get the like o’ her.’

“‘An’ she’s sae bonnie,’ would Willie Robertson add with a sigh, ‘I
would na’ covet the wealth o’ the hale world an she were mine.’

“Willie was a fine, active young man, who bore an excellent character,
and his comrades thought it very likely that Willie was to be the
fortunate man.

“Robertson was the youngest son of a farmer in the neighborhood. He had
no land of his own, and he was one of a very large family. From a boy he
had assisted his father in working the farm for their common
maintenance; but after he took to looking at Jeanie Burns at kirk,
instead of minding his prayers, he began to wish that he had a homestead
of his own, which he could ask Jeanie and her grandfather to share. He
made his wishes known to his father. The old man was prudent. A marriage
with Jeanie Burns offered no advantages in a pecuniary view. But the
girl was a good, honest girl, of whom any man might be proud. He had
himself married for love, and had enjoyed great comfort in his wife.

“‘Willie, my lad,’ he said, ‘I canna’ gi’e ye a share o’ the farm. It is
ower sma’ for the mony mouths it has to feed. I ha’e laid by a little
siller for a rainy day, an’ this I will gi’e ye to win a farm for
yersel’ in the woods o’ Canada. There is plenty o’ room there, an’
industry brings its ain reward. If Jeanie Burns lo’es you, as weel as
yer dear mither did me, she will be fain to follow you there.’

“Willie grasped his father’s hand, for he was too much elated to speak,
and he ran away to tell his tale of love to the girl of his heart.
Jeanie had long loved Robertson in secret, and they were not long in
settling the matter. They forgot in their first moments of joy that old
Saunders had to be consulted, for they had determined to take the old
man with them. But here an obstacle occurred of which they had not
dreamed. Old age is selfish, and Saunders obstinately refused to comply
with their wishes. The grave that held the remains of his wife and son
was dearer to him than all the comforts promised to him by the impatient
lovers in that far foreign land. Jeanie wept—but Saunders, deaf and
blind, neither heard nor saw her grief, and, like a dutiful child, she
breathed no complaint to him, but promised to remain with him until his
head rested upon the same pillow with the dead.

“This was a sore and great trial to Willie Robertson, but he consoled
himself for his disappointment with the thought that Saunders could not
live long, and that he would go and prepare a place for his Jean, and
have every thing ready for her reception against the old man died.

“‘I was a cousin of Willie’s,” continued James, ‘by the mither’s side,
and he persuaded me to accompany him to Canada. We set sail the first
day of May, and were here in time to chop a small fallow for a fall
crop. While Robertson had more of this world’s gear than I, for his
father had provided him with sufficient funds to purchase a good lot of
wild land, which he did in the township of M——, and I was to work with
him, on shares. We were one of the first settlers in that place, and we
found the work before us rough and hard to our heart’s content. But
Willie had a strong motive for exertion—and never did man work harder
than he did that first year on his bush-farm, for the love of Jeanie
Burns.’

“We built a comfortable log-house, in which we were assisted by the few
neighbors we had, who likewise lent a hand in clearing ten acres we had
chopped for fall crop.

“All this time Willie kept up a constant correspondence with Jeanie
Burns; and he used to talk to me of her coming out, and his future
plans, every night when our work was done. If I had not loved and
respected the girl mysel’ I should have got unco tired o’ the subject.

“We had just put in our first crop of wheat, when a letter came from
Jeanie bringing us the news of her grandfather’s death. Weel I ken the
word that Willie spak’ to me when he closed that letter. ‘Jamie, the
auld man is gane at last—an’, God forgi’e me, I feel too gladsome to
greet. Jeanie is willin’ to come whenever I ha’e the means to bring her
out, an’, hoot man, I’m jist thinkin’ that she winna’ ha’e to wait
lang.’

“Good workmen were getting very high wages just then, and Willie left
the care of the place to me, and hired for three months with auld Squire
Jones. He was an excellent teamster, and could put his hand to any sort
of work. When his term of service expired he sent Jeanie forty dollars,
to pay her passage out, which he hoped she would not delay longer than
the spring.

“He got an answer from Jeanie full of love and gratitude, but she
thought that her voyage might be delayed until the fall. The good woman,
with whom she had lodged since her parent’s died, had just lost her
husband, and was in a bad state of health, and she begged Jeanie to stay
with her until her daughter could leave her service in Edinburgh and
come to take charge of the house. This person had been a kind and
steadfast friend to Jeanie in all her troubles, and had helped her nurse
the old man in his dying illness. I am sure it was just like Jeanie to
act as she did. She had all her life looked more to the comforts of
others than to her ain. But Robertson was an angry man when he got that
letter, and he said, ‘If that was a’ the lo’e that Jeanie Burns had for
him, to prefer an auld woman’s comfort, who was naething to her, to her
betrothed husband, she might bide awa’ as lang as she pleased, he would
never trouble himsel’ to write to her again.’

“I did na’ think that the man was in earnest, an’ I remonstrated with
him on his folly an’ injustice. This ended in a sharp quarrel atween us,
and I left him to gang his ain gate, an’ went to live with my uncle, who
kept a blacksmith’s forge in the village.

“After a while, we heard that Willie Robertson was married to a Canadian
woman—neither young nor good-looking, and very much his inferior in
every way, but she had a good lot of land in the rear of his farm. Of
course I thought that it was all broken off with puir Jeanie, and I
wondered what she would spier at the marriage.

“It was early in June, and our Canadian woods were in their first flush
o’ green—an’ how green and lightsome they be in their spring
dress—when Jeanie Burns landed in Canada. She traveled her lane up the
country, wondering why Willie was not at Montreal to meet her as he had
promised in the last letter he sent her. It was late in the afternoon
when the steamboat brought her to C——, and, without waiting to ask any
questions respecting him, she hired a man and cart to take her and her
luggage to M——. The road through the bush was very heavy, and it was
night before they reached Robertson’s clearing, and with some difficulty
the driver found his way among the logs to the cabin-door.

“Hearing the sound of wheels, the wife, a coarse, ill-dressed slattern,
came out to see what could bring strangers to such an out-o’-the-way
place at that late hour. ‘Puir Jeanie! I can weel imagine the fluttering
o’ her heart when she spier’d of the woman for ane Willie Robertson, and
asked if he was at hame?’

“‘Yes,’ answered the wife gruffly; ‘but he is not in from the fallow
yet—you may see him up yonder, tending the blazing logs.’

“While Jeanie was striving to look in the direction which the woman
pointed out, and could na’ see through the tears that blinded her e’e,
the driver jumped down from the cart, and asked the puir girl where he
should leave her trunks, as it was getting late, and he must be off.

“‘You need not bring these big chests in here,’ said Mrs. Robertson; ‘I
have no room in my house for strangers and their luggage.’

“‘Your house!’ gasped Jeanie, catching her arm. ‘Did you na’ tell me
that he lived here?—and whereever Willie Robertson bides Jeanie Burns
sud be a welcome guest. Tell him,’ she continued, trembling all ower,
for she told me afterward that there was something in the woman’s look
and tone that made the cold chills run to her heart, ‘that an auld
friend from Scotland has jist came off a lang, wearisome journey to see
him.’

“‘You may speak for yourself!’ cried the woman angrily, ‘for my husband
is now coming down the clearing.’

“The word husband was scarcely out o’ her mouth than puir Jeanie fell as
ane dead across the doorstep.

“The driver lifted up the unfortunate girl, carried her into the cabin,
and placed her in a chair, regardless of the opposition of Mrs.
Robertson, whose jealousy was now fairly aroused, and who declared that
the bold huzzie should not enter her doors.

“It was a long time before the driver succeeded in bringing Jeanie to
herself, and she had only just unclosed her eyes when Willie came in.

“‘Wife,’ he said, ‘whose cart is this standing at the door, and what do
these people want here?’

“‘You know best,’ cried the angry woman, bursting into tears; ‘that
creature is no acquaintance of mine, and if she is suffered to remain
here, I will leave the house.’

“‘Forgi’e me, good woman, for having unwittingly offended ye,’ said
Jeanie, rising. ‘But, merciful Father! how sud I ken that Willie
Robertson, my ain Willie, had a wife? Oh, Willie!’ she cried, covering
her face in her hands, to hide all the agony that was in her heart, ‘I
ha’ come a lang way, as’ a weary to see ye, an’ ye might ha’ spared me
the grief—the burning shame o’ this. Farewell, Willie Robertson!—I
will never mair trouble ye nor her wi’ my presence, but this cruel deed
of yours has broken my heart!’

“She went away weeping, and he had not the courage to detain her, or say
one word to comfort her, or account for his strange conduct; yet, if I
know him right, that must ha’ been the most sorrowfu’ moment in his
life.

“Jeanie was a distant connection of my uncle’s, and she found us out
that night on her return to the village, and told us all her grief. My
aunt, who was a kind, good woman, was indignant at the treatment she had
received, and loved and cherished her as if she had been her own child.

“For two whole weeks she kept her bed, and was so ill that the doctor
despaired of her life; and when she did come again among us, the color
had faded from her cheeks, and the light from her sweet blue eyes, and
she spoke in a low, subdued voice, but she never spoke of _him_ as the
cause of her grief.

“One day she called me aside and said—

“‘Jamie, you know how I lo’ed an’ trusted him, an’ obeyed his ain wishes
in comin’ out to this strange country to be his wife. But ’tis all over
now,’ and she pressed her sma’ hands tightly over her breast, to keep
doon the swelling o’ her heart. ‘Jamie, I know now that it is a’ for the
best; I lo’ed him too weel—mair than ony creature sud lo’e a perishing
thing o’ earth. But I thought that he wud be sae glad an’ sae proud to
see his ain Jeanie sae sune. But, oh!—ah, weel!—I maun na think o’
that; what I wud jist say is this,’ an’ she took a sma’ packet fra’ her
breast, while the tears streamed down her pale cheeks. ‘He sent me forty
dollars to bring me ower the sea to him—God bless him for that!—I ken
he worked hard to earn it, for he lo’ed me then—I was na’ idle during
his absence. I had saved enough to bury my dear auld grandfather, and to
pay my ain expenses out; and I thought, like the gude servant in the
parable, I wud return Willie his ain with interest; an’ I hoped to see
him smile at my diligence, an’ ca’ me his bonnie gude lassie. Jamie, I
canna’ keep this siller—it lies like a weight o’ lead on my heart. Tak’
it back to him, an’ tell him fra’ me, that I forgi’e him his cruel
deceit, an’ pray to God to grant him prosperity, and restore to him that
peace o’ mind o’ which he has robbed me forever.’

“I did as she bade me. Willie looked stupefied when I delivered her
message. The only remark he made, when I gave him back the money,
was—‘I maun be gratefu’, man, that she did na’ curse me.’ The wife came
in, and he hid away the packet and slunk off. The man looked degraded in
his own eyes, and so wretched, that I pitied him from my very heart.

“When I came home, Jeanie met me at my uncle’s gate.

“‘Tell me?’ she said, in a low, anxious voice, ‘tell me, Cousin Jamie,
what passed atween ye? Had he nae word for me?’

“‘Naething, Jeanie; the man is lost to himsel’—to a’ who ance wished
him weel. He is not worth a decent body’s thought.’

“She sighed deeply, for I saw that her heart craved after some word fra’
him; but she said nae mair, but pale and sorrowfu’ the very ghaist o’
her former sel’, went back into the house.

“From that hour she never breathed his name to ony of us; but we all
ken’d that it was her love for him, that was preying upon her life. The
grief that has nae voice, like the canker-worm, always lies ne’est to
the heart. Puir Jeanie! she held out during the simmer, but when the
fall came, she just withered awa’ like a flower nipped by the early
frost, and this day we laid her in the earth.

“After the funeral was ower, and the mourners were all gone, I stood
beside her grave, thinking ower the days of my boyhood, when she and I
were happy weans, an’ used to pu’ the gowans together, on the heathery
hills o’ dear auld Scotland. An’ I tried in vain to understan’ the
mysterious providence o’ God, who had stricken her who seemed sae gude
and pure, an’ spared the like o’ me, who was mair deservin’ o’ his
wrath, when I heard a deep groan, an’ I saw Willie Robertson standing
near me beside the grave.

“‘Ye may as weel spare your grief, noo,’ said I, for I felt hard toward
him, an’ rejoice that the weary is at rest.’

“‘It was I murdered her,’ said he, ‘an’ the thought will haunt me to my
last day. Did she remember me on her death-bed?’

“‘Her thoughts were only ken’d by Him who reads the secrets of a’
hearts, Willie. Her end was peace, an’ her Saviour’s blessed name was
the last sound upon her lips. But if ever woman died fra’ a broken
heart, there she lies.’

“‘Oh, Jeanie!’ he cried, mine ain darling Jennie! my blessed lammie! I
was na’ worthy o’ yer love—my heart, too, is breaking. To bring ye back
aince mair, I wud lay me down an’ dee!’

“An’ he flung himsel’ upon the grave, and embraced the fresh clods, and
greeted like a child.

“When he grew more calm, we had a long conversation about the past, and
truly I believe that the man was not in his right senses when he married
yon wife; at ony rate, he is not lang for this world; he has fretted the
flesh aff his banes, an’ before many months are ower, his heid will lie
as low as puir Jeanie Burns’s.”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                       =THE LAST HOUR OF SAPPHO.=


                          =BY E. ANNA LEWIS.=


                      THE PROMONTORY OF LEUCADIA.

        This is the spot—’tis here tradition says,
        That hopeless love from this high towering rook
        Leaped headlong to oblivion, or to death.
        Oh, ’tis a giddy height! my dizzy head
        Swims at the precipice!—’tis death to fall.
                                                       Southey.

        My life is in its last hour . . . .
        ——————farewell, ye opening heavens!
        Look not upon me thus reproachfully—
        Ye were not meant for me—earth! take these atoms!
                                                     _Manfred._

                                  I.

          The sun was sinking from soft Hella’s shore,
          Yet lingering still, as if he loved to pour
          His beams o’er towers and temples then sublime,
          But mouldering now beneath the tooth of Time;
          To kiss the sloping hills, and myrtle boughs,
          And flowers, and streams, and Lesbian maiden’s brows,
          As they were warbling ’long the sultry vale
          Like blithesome birds, or lisping some love tale:
          Slowly he sunk, while far the deep waves rolled
          Beneath his fiery track, like molten gold;
          The spire, and minaret from the distant dome,
          And castle hoar, and fane, and royal home;
          The olive grove, the dark majestic palm,
          The cypress sadd’ning in the pensive calm,
          And in the liquid distance many an isle
          Gleamed in his yellow beams and parting smile;
          And there the lowing herds adown the hill
          Were winding to their homes by glade and rill;
          The weary peasants by their cabin door
          To their shrill pipes their simple idyls pour;
          Maidens reclining ’neath the spreading trees,
          Bathe their dark brows in the refreshing breeze,
          Send their wild mirth along the vales afar,
          And greet with glowing eyes the evening star—
          O, who would deem at such soft twilight time
        Sorrow could rear her throne in that delightful clime.

                                  II.

          High on Leucadia’s famed and jutting rock,
          Whose rugged base doth scorn the fearful shock
          Of ocean’s waves, half-veiled in evening shade,
          Sat Lesbian Sappho all for death arrayed:
          Around her beauteous form her tunic flung,
          And her dark tresses long and flowing hung
          Down to the rock, steeped in the briny dew,
          And gently waving as the breezes blew
          Along the lea. One small hand held her lute,
          The other rested on its strings all mute
          As they had never breathed one thrilling song
          Of fervent love, or anguish cherished long.
          Her swollen eyes, dejected, had not wept,
          Though her past life in one dark tissue swept
          Before her now—“I would sing one song more—
          One wild, undying strain, ere life be o’er;
          And I would gather in this latest theme
          My sufferings—my heart’s benighted dream,
          This fierce, consuming flame that racks my soul,
          So that when Phaon glances o’er the scroll
          I leave, my fate may flash upon his heart
          Swift as from clouds the long pent lightnings start:—
          Awake, my soul! nor yet within me die!
          Draw back the veil from thy deep agony;
          And chant but one song more—one sad farewell
          To love and life:—oh! breathe in it thy knell!
          Thy requiem—a dagger make each tone—
          To pierce false Phaon’s heart when I am gone!”
          She said; then swept its straining chords—but fleet
          As struck, her lute fell shattered at her feet.
          She gazed upon it as it quivering lay,
        And felt that thus her hopes had ever passed away.

                                 III.

          Upon that melting scene, those glowing skies.
          She cast around her sad and swimming eyes,
          And to them breathed one silent, long farewell;
          For in her earlier years they held a spell
          Upon her lute, and she had of them sung
          Ere darker passions had her bosom wrung.
          Turning far thence, she gazed across the sea.
          To where young Phaon dwelt—bright Sicily;
          Then her heart swelled—to every wo awake.
          And beat the narrow cage it could not break—
          “Yes—yes—inconstant Phaon! thou art there
          Rejoicing, heedless of my lone despair—
          I see thee in the laurel-grove—thy noble form
          Move on—a maiden hanging on thine arm,
          And drinking thy sweet words, erst breathed to me—
          Forsake me, reason—thought—and memory!—
          I see thee in the gay Sicilian dance,
          Bending upon the fair thy tender glance;
          Where jewels gleam, and where soft beauty glows;
          The song swells high, the crowned goblet flows;
          Thy smile—my heart’s once light upon thy brow;
          I see thee by a beauteous maiden now—
          Love’s fickle vows—thy witching flatteries hear,
          As thou dost breathe them in her willing ear.
          O misery! why am I thus awake?
          Sad heart of mine, oh! wilt thou never break?
          There’s but one remedy far such deep wo;
          A fearful antidote—but be it so!
          And must I go?—from thee no farewell sigh;
          No word to soothe my last keen agony;
          No smile to cheer me in the hour of death?—
          Oh! for some power, swift as the tempest’s breath,
          To catch my dying shriek as I depart,
          And ring it as a death-knell in thy heart.
            And yet I would not chide thee, Phaon. No!
          But I would wake thee to a sense of wo,
          And all the misery that thou hast wrought,
          And why a home beneath the waves I sought,
          When thou wast far away: may peace be thine!
          The gods preserve thee from a fate like mine!
          The quick and fevered pulse, the tears that blind,
          The heart’s dark void, the canker of the mind;
          And if to ’parted spirits power be given,
          To leave the high abode they hold in heaven,
          Oh, I will guide thy footsteps from all wo,
        Thy guardian angel be while lingering here below.

                                  IV.

          Phaon, thou wast the fond reality
          Of my youth’s cherished dream—the phantasy
          That hath beguiled me from my earliest days.
          Luring me on—the theme of all my lays,
          The pole-star of my heart in grief or joy.
          The day-spring of my life, my Deity!
          That I might win thy love, and make thee mine—
          O dream too pure, too heavenly, too divine
          For earth!—I’ve toiled through long and weary years,
          In hours I stole from sleep and life’s dull cares,
          And earned a laurel for my fading brow,
          That will not wither like thy fragile vow;—
          Yes, I have swept my lyre through Lesbian isles,
          Till it has won from kings their softest smiles;
          And royal dames have worshiped where I trod,
          As there had been enshrined their favorite god;
          The proud have sought my hand—the high of birth
          Have knelt to me, as I were not of earth;
          But these are nothing, since they fail to move
          Thy heart, and gain for me thy constant love.
          This was the die on which I staked my all.
        And I, alas! have lost, and perish in thy thrall.

                                  V.

          And now, to thee, thou wild and mighty sea!
          Terrific emblem of futurity!
          That in thy restless might dost round me roll,
          And chafe thyself like my own troubled soul;
          Upon whose fickle bosom none can trace
          The pathways of the dead unto their place
          Of endless rest. From blighting storms of life,
          From my own heart’s corroding fires and strife—
          The flame that hath no sure relief but death,
          I come to seek for peace, thy waves beneath.
          Ope now thy breast, and hide forever there
          My lifeless form—my fondness and despair!”
          She said, then drew her robe around her close,
          And calmly as reclining to repose
          At eventide, from that tremendous height,
          Headlong descended to eternal night,
          On sea-weed beds to rest in slumbers sweet,
        The boundless main her tomb, the waves her winding-sheet.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            =NINE O’CLOCK.=


The night of the 30th of June, 1783, is memorable in the prison annals
of Paris, as the last night in confinement of the leaders of the famous
Girondin party in the first French Revolution. On the morning of the
31st, the twenty-one deputies, who represented the department of the
Gironde, were guillotined, to make way for Robespierre and the Reign of
Terror.

With these men fell the last revolutionists of that period, who shrank
from founding a republic on massacre; who recoiled from substituting for
a monarchy of corruption, a monarchy of bloodshed. The elements of their
defeat lay as much in themselves, as in the events of their time. They
were not, as a party, true to their own convictions; they temporised;
they fatally attempted to take a middle course amid the terrible
emergencies of a terrible epoch, and they fell—fell before worse men,
because those men were in earnest.

Condemned to die, the Girondins submitted nobly to their fate; their
great glory was the glory of their deaths. The speech of one of them, on
hearing his sentence pronounced, was a prophecy of the future, fulfilled
to the letter.

“_I_ die,” he said to the Jacobin judges, the creatures of Robespierre,
who tried him, “_I_ die at a time when the people have lost their
reason: _you_ will die on the day when they recover it.”

Valaze was the only member of the condemned party who displayed a
momentary weakness; he stabbed himself on hearing his sentence
pronounced. But the blow was not mortal—he died on the scaffold, and
died bravely with the rest.

On the night of the 30th, the Girondists held their famous banquet in
the prison; celebrated, with the ferocious stoicism of the time, their
last social meeting before, the morning on which they were to die. Other
men, besides the twenty-one, were present at this supper of the
condemned. They were prisoners who held Girondin opinions, but whose
names were not illustrious enough for history to preserve. Though
sentenced to confinement, they were not sentenced to death. Some of
their number, who had protested most boldly against the condemnation of
the deputies, were ordered to witness the execution on the morrow, as a
timely example to terrify them into submission. More than this,
Robespierre and his colleagues did not as yet venture to attempt: the
Reign of Terror was a cautious reign at starting.

The supper-table of the prison was spread: the guests, twenty-one of
their number stamped already with the seal of death, were congregated at
the last Girondin banquet: toast followed toast; the _Marseillaise_ was
sung; the desperate triumph of the feast was rising fast to its climax,
when a new and ominous subject of conversation was started at the lower
end of the table, and spread electrically, almost in a moment, to the
top.

This subject—by whom originated no one knew—was simply a question as
to the hour in the morning at which the execution was to take place.
Every one of the prisoners appeared to be in ignorance on this point;
and the gaolers either could not, or would not enlighten them. Until the
cart for the condemned rolled into the prison-yard, not one of the
Girondins could tell whether he was to be called out to the guillotine
soon after sunrise, or not till near noon.

This uncertainty was made a topic for discussion, or for jesting on all
sides. It was eagerly seized on as a pretext for raising to the highest
pitch the ghastly animation and hilarity of the evening. In some
quarters, the recognized hour of former executions was quoted, as a
precedent sure to be followed by the executioners of the morrow; in
others, it was asserted that Robespierre and his party would purposely
depart from established customs in this, as in previous instances.
Dozens of wild schemes were suggested for guessing the hour, by
fortune-telling rules on the cards; bets were offered and accepted among
the prisoners who were not condemned to death, and witnessed in stoical
mockery by the prisoners who were. Jests were exchanged about early
rising and hurried toilets: in short, every man contributed an
assertion, a contradiction, or a witticism to keep up the new topic of
conversation, with one solitary exception. That exception was the
Girondin Duprat, one of the deputies who was sentenced to die by the
guillotine.

He was a younger man than the majority of his brethren, and was
personally remarkable by his pale, handsome, melancholy face, and his
reserved yet gentle manners. Throughout the evening he had spoken but
rarely; there was something of the silence and serenity of a martyr in
his demeanor. That he feared death as little as any of his companions
was plainly visible in his bright steady eye; in his unchanging
complexion; in his firm, calm voice, when he occasionally addressed
those who happened to be near him. But he was evidently out of place at
the banquet; his temperament was reflective, his disposition serious;
feasts were at no time a sphere in which he was calculated to shine.

His taciturnity, while the hour of the execution was under discussion,
had separated him from most of those with whom he sat, at the lower end
of the table. They edged up toward the top, where the conversation was
most general and most animated. One of his friends, however, still kept
his place by Duprat’s side, and thus questioned him anxiously, but in
low tones, on the cause of his immovable silence—

“Are you the only man of the company, Duprat, who has neither a guess
nor a joke to make about the time of the execution?”

“I never joke, Marigny,” was the answer given, with a slight smile which
had something of the sarcastic in it; “and as for guessing at the time
of the execution, I never guess at things which I _know_.”

“Know! You know the hour of the execution? Then why not communicate your
knowledge to your friends around you?”

“Because not one of them would believe what I said.”

“But, surely, you could prove it. Somebody must have told you?”

“Nobody has told me.”

“You have seen some private letter, then; or you have managed to get
sight of the execution-order; or—”

“Spare your conjectures, Marigny. I have not read, as I have not been
told, what is the hour at which we are to die to-morrow.”.

“Then how on earth can you possibly know it?”

“I do not know when the execution will begin, or when it will end—I
only know that it will be _going on_ at nine o’clock to-morrow morning.
Out of the twenty-one who are to suffer death, one will be guillotined
exactly at that hour. Whether he will be the first whose head falls, or
the last, I cannot tell.”

“And pray who may this man be, who is to die exactly at nine o’clock? Of
course, prophetically knowing so much, you know that?”

“I _do_ know it. I am the man whose death by the guillotine will take
place exactly at the hour I have mentioned.”

“You said just now, Duprat, that you never joked. Do you expect me to
believe that what you have just spoken is spoken in earnest?”

“I repeat that I never joke, and I answer that I expect you to believe
me. I know the hour at which my death will take place to-morrow, just as
certainly as I know the fact of my own existence to-night.”

“But how? My dear friend, can you really lay claim to supernatural
intuition, in this eighteenth century of the world, in this renowned Age
of Reason?”

“No two men, Marigny, understand that word, supernatural, exactly in the
same sense: you and I differ about its meaning; or, in other words,
differ about the real distinction between the doubtful and the true. We
will not discuss the subject: I wish to be understood, at the outset, as
laying claim to no superior intuitions whatever; but I tell you, at the
same time, that even in this Age of Reason, I have reason for what I
have said. My father and my brother both died at nine o’clock in the
morning, and were both warned very strangely of their deaths. I am the
last of my family: I was warned last night, as they were warned; and I
shall die by the guillotine, as they died in their beds, at the fatal
hour of nine.”

“But, Duprat, why have I never heard of this before? As your eldest and,
I am sure, your dearest friend, I thought you had long since trusted me
with all your secrets?”

“And you shall know this secret: I only kept it from you till the time
when I could be certain that my death would substantiate my words, to
the very letter. Come—you are as bad supper-company as I am: let us
slip away from the table unperceived, while our friends are all engaged
in conversation. Yonder end of the hall is dark and quiet—we can speak
there uninterruptedly, for some hours to come.”

He led the way from the supper-table, followed by Marigny. Arrived at
one of the darkest and most retired corners of the great hall of the
prison, Duprat spoke again—

“I believe, Marigny,” he said, “that you are one of those who have been
ordered by our tyrants to witness my execution, and the execution of my
brethren, as a warning spectacle for an enemy to the Jacobin cause?”

“My dear, dear friend, it is too true: I am ordered to witness the
butchery which I cannot prevent—our last awful parting will be at the
foot of the scaffold. I am among the victims who are spared—mercilessly
spared—for a little while yet.”

“Say the martyrs! We die as martyrs—calmly, hopefully, innocently. When
I am placed under the guillotine to-morrow morning, listen, my friend,
for the striking of the church clocks—listen for the hour while you
look your last on me! Until that time suspend your judgement on the
strange chapter of family history which I am now about to relate.”

Marigny took his friend’s hand, and promised compliance with the
request. Duprat then began as follows—

“You knew my brother Alfred when he was quite a youth, and you knew
something of what people flippantly termed the eccentricities of his
character. He was three years my junior; but, from childhood, he showed
far less of a child’s innate levity and happiness than his elder
brother. He was noted for his seriousness and thoughtfulness as a boy;
showed little inclination for a boy’s usual lessons, and less still for
a boy’s usual recreations—in short, he was considered by every body (my
father included) as deficient in intellect; as a vacant dreamer, and an
inveterate idler, whom it was hopeless to improve. Our tutor tried to
lead him to various studies, and tried in vain. It was the same when the
cultivation of his mind was given up, and the cultivation of his body
was next attempted. The fencing-master could make nothing of him; and
the dancing-master, after the first three lessons, resigned in despair.
Seeing that it was useless to set others to teach him, my father made a
virtue of necessity, and left him, if he chose, to teach himself.

“To the astonishment of every one, he had not been long consigned to his
own guidance, when he was discovered in the library, reading every old
treatise on astrology which he could lay his hands on. He had rejected
all useful knowledge for the most obsolete of obsolete sciences—the old
abandoned delusion of divination by the stars! My father laughed
heartily over the strange study to which his idle son had at last
applied himself, but made no attempt to oppose his new caprice, and
sarcastically presented him with a telescope on his next birthday. I
should remind you here, of what you may perhaps have forgotten, that my
father was a philosopher of the Voltaire school, who believed that the
summit of human wisdom was to arrive at the power of sneering at all
enthusiasms, and doubting of all truths. Apart from his philosophy, he
was a kind hearted, easy man, of quick rather than of profound
intelligence. He could see nothing in my brother’s new occupation but
the evidence of a new idleness; a fresh caprice, which would be
abandoned in a few months. My father was not the man to appreciate those
yearnings toward the poetical and the spiritual which were part of
Alfred’s temperament, and which gave to his peculiar studies of the
stars and their influences, a certain charm altogether unconnected with
the more practical attractions of scientific investigation.

“This idle caprice of my brother’s, as my father insisted on terming it,
had lasted more than a twelve-month, when there occurred the first of a
series of mysterious and—as I consider them—supernatural events, with
all of which Alfred was very remarkably connected. I was myself a
witness of the strange circumstance which I am now about to relate to
you.

“One day—my brother being then sixteen years of age—I happened to go
into my father’s study during his absence, and found Alfred there,
standing close to a window which looked into the garden. I walked up to
him, and observed a curious expression of vacancy and rigidity in his
face, especially in his eyes. Although I knew him to be subject to what
are called fits of absence, I still thought it rather extraordinary that
he never moved, and never noticed me when I was close to him. I took his
hand, and asked if he was unwell. His flesh felt quite cold: neither my
touch nor my voice produced the smallest sensation in him. Almost at the
same moment, when I noticed this, I happened to be looking accidentally
toward the garden. There was my father walking along one of the paths,
and there by his side, walking with him, was _another Alfred_!—Another;
yet exactly the same as the Alfred by whose side I was standing, whose
hand I still held in mine!

“Thoroughly panic-stricken, I dropped his hand, and uttered a cry of
terror. At the loud sound of my voice, the statue-like presence before
me immediately began to show signs of animation. I looked round again at
the garden. The figure of my brother which I had beheld there was gone,
and I saw to my horror that my father was looking for it—looking in all
directions for the companion (spectre or human being) of his walk.

“When I turned toward Alfred once more, he had (if I may so express it)
come to life again, and was asking—with his usual gentleness of manner
and kindness of voice—why I was looking so pale. I evaded the question
by making some excuse, and in my turn inquired of him how long he had
been in my father’s study.

“‘Surely you ought to know best,’ he answered, with a laugh, ‘for you
must have been here before me. It is not many minutes  ago since I was
walking in the garden with—’

“Before he could complete the sentence my father entered the room.

“‘Oh! here you are, Master Alfred,’ said he. ‘May I ask for what purpose
you took it into your wise head to vanish in that extraordinary manner?
Why you slipped away from me in an instant, while I was picking a
flower? On my word, sir, you’re a better player at hide-and-seek than
your brother—he would only have run into the shrubbery, you have
managed to run in here, though how you did it in the time passes my poor
comprehension. I was not a moment picking the flower, yet in that moment
you were gone!’

“Alfred glanced suddenly and searchingly at me: his face became deadly
pale; and, without speaking a word, he hurried from the room.

“‘Can you explain this?’ said my father, looking very much astonished.

“I hesitated a moment, and then told him what I had seen. He took a
pinch of snuff—a favorite habit with him when he was going to be
sarcastic, in imitation of Voltaire.

“‘One visionary in a family is enough,’ said he: ‘I recommend you not to
turn yourself into a bad imitation of your brother Alfred! Send your
ghost after me, my good boy! I am going back into the garden, and should
like to see him again.’

“Ridicule, even much sharper than this, would have had little effect on
me. If I was certain of any thing in the world, I was certain that I had
seen my brother in the study—nay, more, had touched him—and equally
certain that I had seen his double—his exact similitude in the garden.
As far as any man could know that he was in possession of his own
senses, I knew myself to be in possession of mine. Left alone to think
over what I had beheld, I felt a supernatural terror creeping through
me—a terror which increased when I recollected that, on one or two
occasions, friends had said they had seen Alfred out of doors, when we
all knew him to be at home. These statements—which my father had
laughed at, and had taught me to laugh at, either as a trick, or a
delusion on the part of others—now recurred to my memory as startling
corroborations of what I had just seen myself. The solitude of the study
oppressed me in a manner which I cannot describe. I left the apartment
to seek Alfred, determined to question him with all possible caution, on
the subject of his strange trance, and his sensations at the moment when
I had awakened him from it.

“I found him in his bed-room, still pale, and now very thoughtful. As
the first words in reference to the scene in the study passed my lips,
he started violently, and entreated me, with very unusual warmth of
speech and manner, never to speak to him on that subject again—never,
if I had any love or regard for him! Of course, I complied with his
request. The mystery, however, was not destined to end here.

“About two months after the event which I have just related, we had
arranged, one evening, to go to the theatre. My father had insisted that
Alfred should be of the party, otherwise he would certainly have
declined accompanying us; for he had no inclination whatever for public
amusements of any kind. However, with his usual docility, he prepared to
obey my father’s desire, by going up-stairs to put on his evening-dress.
It was winter time, so he was obliged to take a candle with him.

“We waited in the drawing-room for his return a very long time, so long,
that my father was on the point of sending up-stairs to remind him of
the lateness of the hour, when Alfred reappeared without the candle
which he had taken with him from the room. The ghastly alteration that
had passed over his face—the hideous, death-look that distorted his
features I shall never forget—I shall see it to-morrow on the scaffold!

“Before either my father or I could utter a word, my brother said—‘I
have been taken suddenly ill; but I am better now. Do you still wish me
to go to the theatre?’

“‘Certainly not, my dear Alfred,’ answered my father; ‘we must send for
the doctor immediately.’

“‘Pray do not call in the doctor, sir; he would be of no use. I will
tell you why, if you will let me speak to you alone.’

“My father, looking seriously alarmed, signed to me to leave the room.
For more than half an hour I remained absent, suffering almost
unendurable suspense and anxiety on my brother’s account. When I was
recalled, I observed that Alfred was quite calm, though still deadly
pale. My father’s manner displayed an agitation which I had never
observed in it before. He rose from his chair when I re-entered the
room, and left me alone with my brother.

“‘Promise me,’ said Alfred, in answer to my entreaties to know what had
happened, ‘promise that you will not ask me to tell you more than my
father has permitted me to tell. It is his desire that I should keep
certain things a secret from you.’

“I gave the required promise, but gave it most unwillingly. Alfred then
proceeded.

“‘When I left you to go and dress for the theatre, I felt a sense of
oppression all over me, which I cannot describe. As soon as I was alone,
it seemed as if some part of the life within me was slowly wasting away.
I could hardly breathe the air around me, big drops of perspiration
burst out on my forehead, and then a feeling of terror seized me which I
was utterly unable to control. Some of those strange fancies of seeing
my mother’s spirit, which used to influence me at the time of her death,
came back again to my mind. I ascended the stairs slowly and painfully,
not daring to look behind me, for I heard—yes, heard!—something
following me. When I had got into my room, and had shut the door, I
began to recover my self-possession a little. But the sense of
oppression was still as heavy on me as ever, when I approached the
wardrobe to get out my clothes. Just as I stretched forth my hand to
turn the key, I saw, to my horror, the two doors of the wardrobe opening
of themselves, opening slowly and silently: The candle went out at the
same moment, and the whole inside of the wardrobe became to me like a
great mirror, with a bright light shining in the middle of it. Out of
that light there came a figure, the exact counterpart of myself. Over
its breast hung an open scroll, and on that I read the warning of my own
death, and a revelation of the destinies of my father and his race. Do
not ask me what were the words on the scroll, I have given my promise
not to tell you. I may only say that, as soon as I had read all, the
room grew dark, and the vision disappeared.’

“Forgetful of my promise, I entreated Alfred to repeat to me the words
on the scroll. He smiled sadly, and refused to speak on the subject any
more. I next sought out my father, and begged him to divulge the secret.
Still sceptical to the last, he answered that one diseased imagination
in the family was enough, and that he would not permit me to run the
risk of being injected by Alfred’s mental malady. I passed the whole of
that day and the next in a state of agitation and alarm which nothing
could tranquilize. The sight I had seen in the study gave a terrible
significance to the little that my brother had told me. I was uneasy if
he was a moment out of my sight. There was something in his
expression—calm and even cheerful as it was—which made me dread the
worst.

“On the morning of the third day after the occurrence I have just
related, I rose very early, after a sleepless night, and went into
Alfred’s bed-room. He was awake, and welcomed me with more than usual
affection and kindness. As I drew a chair to his bedside, he asked me to
get pen, ink and paper, and write down something from his dictation. I
obeyed, and found to my terror and distress, that the idea of death was
more present to his imagination than ever. He employed me in writing a
statement of his wishes in regard to the disposal of all his own little
possessions as keepsakes to be given, after he was no more, to my
father, myself, the house-servants, and one or two of his most intimate
friends. Over and over again I entreated him to tell me whether he
really believed that his death was near. He invariably replied that I
should soon know, and then led the conversation to indifferent topics.
As the morning advanced, he asked to see my father, who came,
accompanied by the doctor, the latter having been in attendance for the
last two days.

“Alfred took my father’s hand, and begged his forgiveness of any
offense, any disobedience of which he had ever been guilty. Then,
reaching out his other hand, and taking mine, as I stood on the opposite
side of the bed, he asked what the time was. A clock was placed on the
mantel-piece of the room, but not in a position in which he could see it
as he now lay. I turned round to look at the dial, and answered that it
was just on the stroke of nine.

“‘Farewell!’ said Alfred, calmly; ‘in this world, farewell for ever!’

“The next instant the clock struck. I felt his fingers tremble in mine,
then grow quite still. The doctor seized a hand-mirror that lay on the
table, and held it over his lips. He was dead—dead, as the last chime
of the hour echoed through the awful silence of the room!

“I pass over the first days of our affliction. You, who have suffered
the loss of a beloved sister, can well imagine their misery. I pass over
these days, and pause for a moment at the time when we could speak with
some calmness and resignation on the subject of our bereavement. On the
arrival of that period, I ventured, in conversation with my father, to
refer to the vision which had been seen by our dear Alfred in his
bed-room, and to the prophecy which he described himself as having read
upon the supernatural scroll.

“Even yet my father persisted in his scepticism; but now, as it seemed
to me, more because he was afraid, than because he was unwilling, to
believe. I again recalled to his memory what I myself had seen in the
study. I asked him to recollect how certain Alfred had been beforehand,
and how fatally right, about the day and hour of his death. Still I
could get but one answer; my brother had died of a nervous disorder (the
doctor said so); his imagination had been diseased from his childhood;
there was only one way of treating the vision which he described himself
as having seen, and that was not to speak of it again between ourselves;
never to speak of it at all to our friends.

“We were sitting in the study during this conversation. It was evening.
As my father uttered the last words of his reply to me, I saw his eye
turn suddenly and uneasily toward the farther end of the room. In dead
silence, I looked in the same direction, and saw the door opening slowly
of itself. The vacant space beyond was filled with a bright, steady
glow, which hid all outer objects in the hall, and which I cannot
describe to you by likening it to any light that we are accustomed to
behold either by day or night. In my terror, I caught my father by the
arm, and asked him, in a whisper, whether he did not see something
extraordinary in the direction of the door-way?

“‘Yes,’ he answered, in tones as low as mine, ‘I see, or fancy I see, a
strange light. The subject on which we have been speaking has impressed
our feelings as it should not. Our nerves are still unstrung by the
shock of the bereavement we have suffered: our senses are deluding us.
Let us look away toward the garden.’

“‘But the opening of the door, father; remember the opening of the
door!’

“‘Ours is not the first door which has accidentally flown open of
itself.’

“‘Then why not shut it again?’

“‘Why not, indeed. I will close it at once.’ He rose, advanced a few
paces, then stopped, and came back to his place. ‘It is a warm evening,’
he said, avoiding my eyes, which were eagerly fixed on him, ‘the room
will be all the cooler if the door is suffered to remain open.’

“His face grew quite pale as he spoke. The light lasted for a few
minutes longer, then suddenly disappeared. For the rest of the evening
my father’s manner was very much altered. He was silent and thoughtful,
and complained of a feeling of oppression and langor, which he tried to
persuade himself was produced by the heat of the weather. At an
unusually early hour he retired to his room.

“The next morning, when I got down stairs, I found, to my astonishment,
that the servants were engaged in preparations for the departure of
somebody from the house. I made inquiries of one of them who was
hurriedly packing a trunk. ‘My master, sir, starts for Lyons the first
thing this morning,’ was the reply. I immediately repaired to my
father’s room, and found him there with an open letter in his hand,
which he was reading. His face, as he looked up at me on my entrance,
expressed the most violent emotions of apprehension and despair.

“‘I hardly know whether I am awake or dreaming; whether I am the dupe of
a terrible delusion, or the victim of a supernatural reality more
terrible still,’ he said, in low, awe-struck tones as I approached him.
‘One of the prophecies which Alfred told me in private that he had read
upon the scroll, has come true! He predicted the loss of the bulk of my
fortune—here is the letter, which informs me that the merchant at
Lyons, in whose hands my money was placed, has become a bankrupt. Can
the occurrence of this ruinous calamity be the chance fulfillment of a
mere guess? Or was the doom of my family really revealed to my dead son?
I go to Lyons immediately to know the truth: this letter may have been
written under false information; it may be the work of an impostor. And
yet, Alfred’s prediction—I shudder to think of it!’

“‘The light, father! I exclaimed; ‘the light we saw last night in the
study!’

“‘Hush! don’t speak of it! Alfred said that I should be warned of the
truth of the prophecy, and of its immediate fulfillment, by the shining
of the same supernatural light that he had seen—I tried to disbelieve
what I beheld last night—I hardly know whether I dare believe it even
now! This prophecy is not the last; there are others yet to be
fulfilled—but let us not speak, let us not think of them! I must start
at once for Lyons; I must be on the spot, if this horrible news is true,
to save what I can from the wreck. The letter—give me back the
letter!—I must go directly!’

“He hurried from the room. I followed him; and, with some difficulty,
obtained permission to be the companion of his momentous journey. When
we arrived at Lyons, we found that the statement in the letter was true.
My father’s fortune was gone: a mere pittance, derived from a small
estate that had belonged to my mother, was all that was left to us.

“My father’s health gave way under this misfortune. He never referred
again to Alfred’s prediction, and I was afraid to mention the subject;
but I saw that it was affecting his mind quite as painfully as the loss
of his property. Over, and over again, he checked himself very strangely
when he was on the point of speaking to me about my brother. I saw that
there was some secret pressing heavily on his mind, which he was afraid
to disclose to me. It was useless to ask for his confidence. His temper
had become irritable under disaster; perhaps, also, under the dread
uncertainties which were now evidently tormenting him in secret. My
situation was a very sad, and a very dreary one, at that time: I had no
remembrances of the past that were not mournful and affrighting
remembrances; I had no hopes for the future that were not darkened by a
vague presentiment of troubles and perils to come; and I was expressly
forbidden by my father to say a word about the terrible events which had
cast an unnatural gloom over my youthful career, to any of the friends
(yourself included) whose counsel and whose sympathy might have guided
and sustained me in the day of trial.

“We returned to Paris; sold our house there, and retired to live on the
small estate to which I have referred, as the last possession left us.
We had not been many days in our new abode, when my father imprudently
exposed himself to a heavy shower of rain, and suffered, in consequence,
from a violent attack of cold. This temporary malady was not dreaded by
the medical attendant; but it was soon aggravated by a fever, produced
as much by the anxiety and distress of mind from which he continued to
suffer, as by any other cause. Still the doctor gave hope; but still he
grew daily worse—so much worse, that I removed my bed into his room,
and never quitted him night or day.

“One night I had fallen asleep, overpowered by fatigue and anxiety, when
I was awakened by a cry from my father. I instantly trimmed the light,
and ran to his side. He was sitting up in bed, with his eyes fixed on
the door, which had been left ajar to ventilate the room. I saw nothing
in that direction, and asked what was the matter. He murmured some
expressions of affection toward me, and begged me to sit by his bedside
till the morning; but gave no definite answer to my question. Once or
twice I thought he wandered a little; and I observed that he
occasionally moved his hand under the pillow, as if searching for
something there. However, when the morning came, he appeared to be quite
calm and self-possessed. The doctor arrived; and pronouncing him to be
better, retired to the dressing-room to write a prescription. The moment
his back was turned, my father laid his weak hand on my arm, and
whispered faintly:—‘Last night I saw the supernatural light again—the
second prediction—true, true—my death this time—the same hour as
Alfred’s—nine—nine o’clock, this morning.’ He paused a moment through
weakness; then added:—‘Take that sealed paper—under the pillow—when I
am dead, read it—now go into the dressing-room—my watch is there—I
have heard the church clock strike eight; let me see how long it is now
till nine—go—go quickly!’

“Horror-stricken, moving and acting like a man in a trance, I silently
obeyed him. The doctor was still in the dressing-room: despair made me
catch eagerly at any chance of saving my father; I told his medical
attendant what I had just heard, and entreated advice and assistance
without delay.

“‘He is a little delirious,’ said the doctor—‘don’t be alarmed: we can
cheat him out of his dangerous idea, and so perhaps save his life. Where
is the watch?’ (I produced it)—‘See: it is ten minutes to nine. I will
put back the hands one hour; that will give good time for a composing
draught to operate. There! take him the watch, and let him see the false
time with his own eyes. He will be comfortably asleep before the
hour-hand gets round again to nine.’

“I went back with the watch to my father’s bedside. ‘Too slow,’ he
murmured, as he looked at the dial—‘too slow by an hour—the church
clock—I counted eight.’

“‘Father! dear father! you are mistaken,’ I cried. ‘_I_ counted also; it
was only seven.’

“‘Only seven!’ he echoed faintly, ‘another hour, then—another hour to
live!’ He evidently believed what I had said to him. In spite of the
fatal experiences of the past, I now ventured to hope the best from our
stratagem, as I resumed my place by his side.

“The doctor came in; but my father never noticed him. He kept his eyes
fixed on the watch, which lay between us, on the coverlet. When the
minute hand was within a few seconds of indicating the false hour of
eight, he looked round at me, murmured very feebly and doubtingly,
‘another hour to live!’ and then gently closed his eyes. I looked at the
watch, and saw that it was just eight o’clock, according to our
alteration of the right time. At the same moment, I heard the doctor,
whose hand had been on my father’s pulse, exclaim, ‘My God! it’s
stopped! He has died at nine o’clock!’

“The fatality, which no human stratagem or human science could turn
aside, was accomplished! I was alone in the world!

“In the solitude of our little cottage, on the day of my father’s
burial, I opened the sealed letter, which he had told me to take from
the pillow of his death-bed. In preparing to read it, I knew that I was
preparing for the knowledge of my own doom; but I neither trembled nor
wept. I was beyond all grief: despair, such as mine was then, is calm
and self-possessed to the last.

“The letter ran thus;—‘After your father and your brother have fallen
under the fatality that pursues our house, it is right, my dear son,
that you should be warned how you are included in the last of the
predictions which still remains unaccomplished. Know, then, that the
final lines read by our dear Alfred on the scroll, prophesied that you
should die, as we have died, at the fatal hour of nine; but by a bloody
and violent death, the day of which was not foretold. My beloved boy!
you know not, you never will know, what I suffered in the possession of
this terrible secret, as the truth of the former prophecies forced
itself more and more plainly on my mind! Even now, as I write, I hope
against all hope; believe vainly and desperately against all experience,
that this last, worst doom may be avoided. Be cautious; be patient; look
well before you at each step of your career. The fatality by which you
are threatened is terrible; but there is a Power above fatality; and
before that Power my spirit and my child’s spirit now pray for you.
Remember this when your heart is heavy, and your path through life grows
dark. Remember that the better world is still before you, the world
where we shall all meet! Farewell!’

“When I first read those lines, I read them with the gloomy, immovable
resignation of the Eastern fatalists; and that resignation never left me
afterward. Here, in this prison, I feel it, calm as ever. I bowed
patiently to my doom, when it was only predicted: I bow to it as
patiently now, when it is on the eve of accomplishment. You have often
wondered, my friend, at the tranquil, equable sadness of my manner:
after what I have just told you, can you wonder any longer?

“But let me return for a moment to the past. Though I had no hope of
escaping the fatality which had overtaken my father and my brother, my
life, after my double bereavement, was the existence of all others which
might seem most likely to evade the accomplishment of my predicted doom.
Yourself and one other friend excepted, I saw no society; my walks were
limited to the cottage garden and the neighboring fields, and my
every-day, unvarying occupation was confined to that hard and resolute
course of study, by which alone I could hope to prevent my mind from
dwelling on what I had suffered in the past, or on what I might still be
condemned to suffer in the future. Never was there a life more quiet and
more uneventful than mine!

“You know how I awoke to an ambition, which irresistibly impelled me to
change this mode of existence. News from Paris penetrated even to my
obscure retreat, and disturbed my self-imposed tranquillity. I heard of
the last errors and weaknesses of Louis the Sixteenth; I heard of the
assembling of the States-General; and I knew that the French Revolution
had begun. The tremendous emergencies of that epoch drew men of all
characters from private to public pursuits, and made politics the
necessity rather than the choice of every Frenchman’s life. The great
change preparing for the country acted universally on individuals, even
to the humblest, and it acted on me.

“I was elected a deputy, more for the sake of the name I bore, than on
account of any little influence which my acquirements and my character
might have exercised in the neighborhood of my country abode. I removed
to Paris, and took my seat in the Chamber, little thinking at that time,
of the crime and the bloodshed to which our revolution, so moderate in
its beginning, would lead; little thinking that I had taken the first,
irretrievable step toward the bloody and the violent death which was
lying in store for me.

“Need I go on? You know how warmly I joined the Girondin party; you know
how we have been sacrificed; you know what the death is which I and my
brethren are to suffer to-morrow. On now ending, I repeat what I said at
the beginning:—Judge not of my narrative till you have seen with your
own eyes what really takes place in the morning. I have carefully
abstained from all comment, I have simply related events as they
happened, forbearing to add my own views of their significance, my own
ideas on the explanation of which they admit. You may believe us to have
been a family of nervous visionaries, witnesses of certain remarkable
contingencies; victims of curious, but not impossible chances, which we
have fancifully and falsely interpreted into supernatural events. I
leave you undisturbed in this conviction (if you really feel it;)
to-morrow you will think differently; to-morrow you will be an altered
man. In the meantime, remember what I now say, as you would remember my
dying words:—Last night I saw the supernatural radiance which warned my
father and my brother; and which warns me, that, whatever the time when
the execution begins, whatever the order in which the twenty-one
Girondins are chosen for death, I shall be the man who kneels under the
guillotine, as the clock strikes nine!”

                 *        *        *        *        *

It was morning. Of the ghastly festivities of the night no sign
remained. The prison-hall wore an altered look, as the twenty-one
condemned men (followed by those who were ordered to witness their
execution) were marched out to the carts appointed to take them from the
dungeon to the scaffold.

The sky was cloudless, the sun warm and brilliant, as the Girondin
leaders and their companions were drawn slowly through the streets to
the place of execution. Duprat and Marigny were placed in separate
vehicles: the contrast in their demeanor at that awful moment was
strongly marked. The features of the doomed man still preserved their
noble and melancholy repose; his glance was steady; his color never
changed. The face of Marigny, on the contrary, displayed the strongest
agitation; he was pale even to his lips. The terrible narrative he had
heard, the anticipation of the final and appalling proof by which its
truth was now to be tested, had robbed him, for the first time in his
life, of all his self-possession. Duprat had predicted truly; the morrow
had come, and he was an altered man already.

The carts drew up at the foot of the scaffold which was soon to be
stained with the blood of twenty-one human beings. The condemned
deputies mounted it; and ranged themselves at the end opposite the
guillotine. The prisoners who were to behold the execution remained in
their cart. Before Duprat ascended the steps, he took his friend’s hand
for the last time: “Farewell!” he said, calmly. “Farewell! I go to my
father and my brother! Remember my words of last night.”

With straining eyes, and bloodless cheeks, Marigny saw Duprat take his
position in the middle row of his companions, who stood in three ranks
of seven each. Then the awful spectacle of the execution began. After
the first seven deputies had suffered there was a pause; the horrible
traces of the judicial massacre were being removed. When the execution
proceeded, Duprat was the third taken from the middle rank of the
condemned. As he came forward, and stood for an instant erect under the
guillotine, he looked with a smile on his friend, and repeated in a
clear voice the word, “_Remember!_”—then bowed himself on the block.
The blood stood still at Marigny’s heart, as he looked and listened,
during the moment of silence that followed. That moment past, the church
clock of Paris struck. He dropped down on the cart, and covered his face
with his hands; for through the heavy beat of the hour he heard the fall
of the fatal steel.

                 *        *        *        *        *

“Pray, sir, was it nine or ten that struck just now?” said one of
Marigny’s fellow prisoners to an officer of the guard, who stood near
the cart.

The person addressed referred to his watch, and answered—“Nine
o’clock!”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            =VIRGINIA DARE.=


                       =BY MRS. L. H. SIGOURNEY.=


    [The first-born child of English parents in the Western World
    was the granddaughter of Governor White, who planted a
    short-lived colony at Roanoke, Virginia, in the year 1587.]

               ’Twas lovely in the deep greenwood
                 Of old Virginia’s glade,
               Ere the sharp axe amid its boughs
                 A fearful chasm had made;
               Long spikes of rich catalpa flowers
                 Hung pendent from the tree,
               And the maqudia’s ample cup
                 O’erflowed with fragrance free;

               And through the shades the antlered deer
                 Like fairy visions flew,
               And mighty vines from tree to tree
                 Their wealth of clusters threw,
               While wingéd odors from the hills
                 Reviving welcome bore,
               To greet the stranger bands that come
                 From Albion’s distant shore.

               Up rose their roofs in copse and dell,
                 Outpealed the laborer’s horn,
               And graceful through the broken mould
                 Peered forth their tasseled corn:
               While from one rose-encircled bower,
                 Hid in the nested grove,
               Came, blending with the robin’s lay,
                 The lullaby of love.

               There sang a mother to her babe—
                 A mother young and fair—
               “No flower like thee adorns the vale,
                 O sweet Virginia Dare!
               Thou art the lily of our love,
                 The forest’s sylph-like queen,
               The first-born bud from Saxon stem
                 That this New World hath seen;

               “Thy father’s axe in thicket rings,
                 To fell the kingly tree;
               Thy grandsire sails o’er ocean-brine—
                 A gallant man is he!
               And when once more, from England’s realm,
                 He comes with bounty rare,
               A thousand gifts to thee he’ll bring,
                 Mine own Virginia Dare!”

               As sweet that mother’s loving tones
                 Their warbled music shed,
               As though in proud baronial hall,
                 O’er silken cradle-bed;
               No more the pomps and gauds of life
                 Maintained their strong control,
               For holy love’s new gift had shed
                 Fresh greenness o’er her soul.

               And when the husband from his toil
                 Returned at closing day,
               How dear to him the lowly home
                 Where all his treasures lay.
               “O, Ellinor! ’tis naught to me,
                 The hardship or the storm,
               While thus thy blessed smile I see,
                 And clasp our infant’s form.”

               No secret sigh o’er pleasures lost
                 Convulsed their tranquil breast,
               For where the pure affections dwell
                 The heart hath perfect rest.
               So fled the Summer’s balmy prime,
                 The Autumn’s golden wing,
               And Winter laid his hoary head
                 Upon the lap of Spring.

               Yet oft, with wily, wary step,
                 The red-browed Indian crept
               Close round his pale-faced neighbor’s home,
                 And listened while they slept;
               But fierce Wingina, lofty chief,
                 Aloof, their movements eyed,
               Nor courteous bowed his pluméd head,
                 Nor checked his haughty stride.

               John White leaped from his vessel’s prow,
                 He had braved the boisterous sea,
               And boldly rode the mountain-wave—
                 A stalwart man was he.
               John White leaped from his vessel’s prow,
                 And joy was in his eye;
               For his daughter’s smile had lured him on
                 Amid the stormiest sky.

               Where were the roofs that flecked the green!
                 The smoke-wreaths curling high?
               He calls—he shouts—the cherished names,
                 But Echo makes reply.
               “Where art thou, Ellinor! my child!
                 And sweet Virginia Dare!
               O, silver cloud, that cleaves the blue
                 Like angel’s wing—_say where!_

               “Where is the glorious Saxon vine
                 We set so strong and fair?”
               The stern gray rocks in mockery smiled,
                 And coldly answered “_where!_”
               “Ho! flitting savage! stay thy step,
                 And tell—” but light as air
               He vanished, and the falling stream
                 Responsive murmured—“_where!_”

               So, o’er the ruined palisade,
                 The blackened threshold-stone,
               The funeral of colonial hope,
                 That old man wept—alone!
               And mournful rose his wild lament,
                 In accents of despair,
               For the lost daughter of his love,
                 And young Virginia Dare.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =REVIEW OF NEW BOOKS.=


    _The Poetical Works of Fitz Greene Halleck. New Edition.
    Redfield: Clinton Hall, New York._

This is a new and very beautiful edition, the most beautiful that has
ever been published, of one of the sweetest, most elaborately finished,
most expressive and original poets of America. No one can read Halleck,
without being at once impressed with the sense that he is a writer
entirely _sui generis_ and most peculiar; not merely imitating no one,
but resembling no one, and—

        “Si liceat magnis componere parva”—

Like the notorious Andrew Jackson Allen, himself alone.

Mr. Bryant we have never heard accused of imitation; yet it is notorious
that his style, elaborate, didactic, stately, sometimes magniloquent,
sometimes magnificent, always as brightly polished and always as cold as
a Toledo rapier’s blade, always arousing admiration, and at times awe,
but rarely awakening sympathy, but never calling forth a tear, closely
resembles that of many English poets, none of them his inferior, the
most remarkable of whom are Thompson of the Seasons, and Young of the
Night Thoughts; and Wordsworth; and although I acquit him wholly of any
premeditated design to follow in any of their footsteps, I still hold it
as an undoubted truth, that unless those three great didacticians had
written before him, Bryant would not have written, at least as he has
written. Not that I design or desire to underrate his talent, or detract
from his well-earned laurels; for I admire him as a grand, calm, pure,
and at times almost sublime, English writer; but that no passage ever
caused me a thrill in the veins, a tear in the eye, or a flush on the
cheek; and that his want of honest human sympathies renders the report
of his fame greater than the reality of his popularity.

Longfellow, again, principally I believe from mere base malignity on the
part of his would-be critics, and vile envy of his superiority, has been
falsely accused of plagiarism, and most unjustly charged with copying
Keats, Shelley, and Tennyson, with the former two of whom he has nothing
whatever in common, while he resembles the latter only in the perfect
flow of his inimitable rhythm, and the really artificial, but most
seemingly inartificial, structure of his smooth versification; in all of
which he as far excels his supposed model, as he does in expression,
simplicity and force, not of diction only but of thought, and in the
fire of his quick and vivid fancy.

Of Halleck, on the contrary, though he alone has successfully followed
Byron in the half-lyric, half-comic vein of Don Juan and Fanny; even as
Byron alone followed that of Whistlecraft—though in the fineness of his
fancy, in the neat finish and epigrammatic turn of his antithetical
verses, in his playful wit, and felicitous turns of natural pathos, he
rivals if not equals Moore—it has never been said, never could be said,
that he resembles, much less copies, either Moore or Byron, or any other
poet of ancient times or modern.

The most observable characteristics of Halleck are the exquisite grace
with which he glides from the purest and sweetest sentiments into the
most delicate, yet most pungent wit; in the playfulness of his fancy;
the truth of his humanity; and the epigrammatic terseness of his smaller
compositions. Such as—

        Green be the turf above thee
          Friend of my better days!
        None knew thee but to love thee,
          None named thee but to praise—

An elegy of which it can be truly said, as of how few persons through
all time, that there is not one idea wanting, or one superfluous; not
one word that could be altered without injuring the beauty and force of
the ensemble.

The most frequently quoted of Mr. Halleck’s poems, are “The Death of
Bozzaris,” and “Alnwick Castle,” the latter perhaps the most generally
popular of all his writings. But, in my judgment, the best, beyond all
doubt, is “The Field of the Grounded Arms;” which, because it is
entirely beyond the low sphere of New York poetical criticism, as being
writ in unrhymed lyric lines, has been little praised or noticed, in
proportion to its real merits, which are of the highest.

The same exquisite power and felicity in the fitness of wording, noticed
above, of the lines “On the Death of Joseph Rodman Drake,” and the
terseness of phraseology, in which Mr. Halleck clearly surpasses every
contemporaneous poet, native or foreign, is here most conspicuous; as is
the perfect harmony, which causes unrhymed metric lines, which some
wiseacres would doubtless call rhythmic prose, to read melodious and
sonorous as the most perfect rhymed lyrics. My limits will not allow me
to quote this beautiful poem, breathing the true fire of honest and
impartial patriotism and love of country; and, as it is already long
before the public, and known to all judicious readers, I prefer to pass
on to a long extract from an unpublished poem on “Connecticut,” the
poet’s birth-place and heart’s home, a portion of which is now for the
first time suffered to see the light.

“Connecticut” is in our poet’s favorite measure, the decasyllabic stanza
of eight lines, and in his favorite vein, the serio-humorous style of
“Fanny.” I confess, for my own part, that I prefer the simple-serious to
the semi-comic semi-sentimental strain; for a sweet fall of pathos
melting into a dying close, and then abruptly terminated by a sarcasm or
a sneer, rather strikes me with a jarring violence, like that arising
from a musical discord, than charms me by the contrast it affords.
Admiration, at the dexterity of the versifier, mingles too largely with
vexation at the violence done to the harmony of beauty.

But of Mr. Halleck’s genial and various genius no component part is more
clearly marked than his hearty pantagruelism, which finds something
humorous in the deepest of sentiments, which must have its shot at every
folly as it flies, and which must vent its sarcasm at the weak point,
even in what it most admires; and never, it must be said, was wit of the
most pointed less ill-natured, humor more fairy-like and fanciful, or
sarcasm more softly veiled in dewy flowers of immortal verse.

His biting satires on the grim old Puritans, quaint and cruel, godly and
greedy, forgiving any thing to no men except their own pet sins to
themselves, most clamorous for tolerance to their own creed, most
intolerant to that of all others, are most refreshing in this age of
cant and fulsome section-adulation.

The following stanzas, in a bolder vein, following up his expedition of
Mather’s mendacity, are as sublime as they are bold and independent—

                        XVII.

        No: a born Poet at his cradle fire
          The Muses nursed him as their bud unblown,
        And gave him, as his mind grew high and higher,
          Their ducal strawberry leaf’s unwreathed renown.
        Alas! that mightiest masters of the lyre,
          Whose pens above an eagle’s heart have grown,
        In all the proud nobility of wing,
        Should stoop to dip their points in passion’s poison spring.

                        XVIII.

        For Milton, weary of his youth’s young wife,
          To her, to king, to church, to law untrue,
        Warred for divorce and discord to the knife,
          And proudest wore his plume of darkest hue:
        And Dante, when his Florence, in her strife,
          Robbed him of office and his temper, threw
        ’Mongst friends and foes a bomb-shell of fierce rhymes,
        Shivering their names and fames to all succeeding times.

The two closing stanzas of this fragment are so perfectly, chastely and
inimitably beautiful, that they induce a strong hope that Mr. Halleck’s
fastidious judgment—for it is neither indolence of habit, nor
difficulty of composition, which keeps our poet for periods so long and
tedious behind the curtain, but the severe taste and chariness of his
muse, which causes him to reject as unworthy of his pen what most
writers would rejoice to put forward as the cope-stone of their
renown—will suffer him ere long to give us his “Connecticut” entire.

                        XXIV.

        Beneath thy star, as one of the THIRTEEN,
          Land of my lay! through many a battle’s night,
        Thy gallant men stepped, steady and serene,
          To that war-music’s stern and strong delight.
        Where bayonets clenched above the trampled green,
          Where sabres grappled in the ocean fight;
        In siege, in storm, on deck or rampart, there
        They hunted the wolf Danger to his lair,
        And sought and won sweet peace, and wreaths for Honor’s hair.

                        XXV.

        And with thy smiles, sweet Peace, came woman’s, bringing
          The Eden sunshine of her welcome kiss,
        And lover’s flutes, and children’s voices singing
          The maiden’s promised, matron’s perfect bliss,
        And heart and home-bells blending with their ringing
          Thank-offerings borne to holier words than this,
        And the proud Queen of Glory’s laurel leaves,
        And gold, the gift to Peace, of Plenty’s summer sheaves.

Honor and health to Halleck, and may he speak to us in the high-hearted,
honest music of his soul oftener than heretofore; and let him rest
assured he cannot speak to us too often or too long.     Valeto.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Mysteries; or Glimpses of the Supernatural. By Charles Wyllys
    Elliott. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 12mo._

The publication of this volume is timely. It goes over the whole field
appropriated to oracles, astrology, dreams, demons, ghosts, spectres,
and the like, with long chapters on the Salem Witchcraft, the Cock-lane
Ghost, the Rochester Knockings and the Stratford Mysteries. The rules of
evidence in relation to such marvels are also clearly stated. Mr.
Elliott’s style is somewhat affected, but his information gives evidence
of research, and the circulation of his book may produce good. Every
thing which will tend in the slightest degree to scare away the late
importations of vulgar vagabonds from the “spiritual world,” ironically
so called, is worthy of patronage. We are not, of course, so audaciously
incredulous as to doubt the reality of “the spirits,” but we sincerely
hope that the Maine Liquor Law, in its most stringent provisions, may be
applied to them; for such a set of unfleshed drivelers and disembodied
nuisances never before attempted to convey to mortal ears the gossip of
ghost-land.

A curious story is related in Mr. Elliott’s book, on the authority of
Southey. We cannot forbear quoting it as an illustration of the way that
John Bull experiences supernatural fear. “In 1702 Whiston predicted that
the comet would appear on Wednesday, 14th October, at five minutes after
five in the morning, and that the world would be destroyed by fire on
the Friday following. His reputation was high, and the comet appeared. A
number of persons got into boats and barges on the Thames, thinking the
water the safest place. South Sea and India stock fell. A captain of a
Dutch ship threw all his powder into the river, that the ship might not
be endangered. At noon, after the comet had appeared, it is said that
more than one hundred clergymen were ferried over to Lambeth, to request
that proper prayers might be prepared, there being none in the church
service. People believed that the day of judgment was at hand, and some
acted on this belief, as if some temporary evil was to be expected. On
Thursday more than 7,000 kept mistresses were publicly married. There
was a prodigious run kept on the bank; Sir Gilbert Heathcote, at that
time head director, issued orders to all the fire offices in London,
requiring them to keep a good look-out, and have a particular eye on the
Bank of England.” The run on the bank, and the orders of Sir Gilbert, in
view of the world’s being destroyed by fire, are touches of practical
humor, which the most daring humorist would hardly have ventured to
imagine.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Works of Shakspeare: the Text Carefully Restored according
    to the First Editions; with Introductions, Notes Original and
    Selected, and a Life of the Poet. By the Rev. H. N. Hudson, A.
    M. Boston: James Monroe & Co. Vol. 5, 12mo._

The present volume of Mr. Hudson’s beautiful edition of Shakspeare
contains King Richard II., the first and second parts of Henry IV., and
Henry V. The introductions, especially those to Henry IV., are probably
the ablest of the editor’s many able disquisitions. The analysis of
Prince Henry, Hotspur, Glendower, and, above all, Falstaffe, are in Mr.
Hudson’s most matured style, both of thought and expression. They are
positive additions to critical literature. No editor of Shakspeare, no
critic of character, has ever approached the masterly dissection of
Falstaffe given in this volume. The fat knight’s great intellect has
perfect justice done to it, while his humor is richly set forth. Mr.
Hudson says very finely of him, that he has “all the intellectual
qualities that enter into the composition of practical wisdom, without
one of the moral.” Of his sensuality, it is remarked: “The animal
susceptibilities of our nature are in him carried up to their highest
pitch, and his several appetites hug their respective objects with
exquisite gust. Moreover, his speech borrows additional flavor and
effect from the thick foldings of flesh which it oozes through;
therefore he glories in his much flesh, and cherishes it as being the
procreant cradle of jests; if he be fat, it enables his tongue to drop
fatness; and in the chambers of his brain all the pleasurable agitations
that pervade the structure below are curiously wrought into mental
delectation. With how keen and inexhaustible a relish does he pour down
sack, as if he tasted it all over and through his body to the ends of
his fingers and toes! Yet who does not see that he has far more pleasure
in discoursing about it than in drinking it? And so it is through all
the particulars of his enormous sensuality. And he makes the same use of
his vices and infirmities; nay, he often exaggerates and caricatures
those he has, and sometimes affects those he has not, that he may suck
the same profit from them.”

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Book of Snobs. By William M. Thackeray. New York: D.
    Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 18mo._

These biting and brilliant squibs were originally published in Punch. In
their collected form they will take their place among the most
characteristic of Thackeray’s works. This volume, in short, contains the
philosophy of Snobbism, as Vanity Fair and Pendennis contain its
illustrations in life. But while these sketches are philosophical, the
philosophy teaches by example. We have city snobs—military, clerical
and literary snobs—party-giving, dinner-giving, dining-out snobs—whig
snobs, tory snobs, radical snobs—snobs in the country and snobs on the
continent—university snobs, club snobs, and regal snobs. The result is
that the author, in snobbing the race, at last becomes almost a snob
himself—as it was said of Mr. Brownson, that he was so much of a
protestant that he protested himself out of protestantism. Thackeray’s
definition of a snob is “he who meanly admires mean things.”

The “Snob Royal” is one of the best essays in the volume. “In a
country,” says Thackeray, “where snobs are in the majority, a prime one,
surely, cannot be unfit to govern. With us they have succeeded to
admiration. For instance, James I. was a snob, and a Scotch snob; than
which the world contains no more offensive creature. He appears not to
have had one of the good qualities of a man—neither courage, nor
generosity, nor honesty, nor brains; but read what the great divines and
doctors of England said about him! Charles II., his grandson, was a
rogue, but not a snob; while Louis XIV., his old square-toes of a
contemporary—the great worshiper of big-wiggery—has always struck me
as a most undoubted and royal snob.” In George the Fourth he also finds
a regal snob. “With the same humility with which the footmen at the
King’s Arms gave way before the Plush Royal, the aristocracy of the
English nation bent down and truckled before Georgius, and proclaimed
him the first gentleman in Europe. And it’s a wonder to think what is
the gentlefolks opinion of a gentleman when they gave Georgius such a
title.”

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Outlines of English Literature. By Thomas B. Shaw, B. A. A new
    American edition, with a Sketch of American Literature. By Henry
    T. Tuckerman. Philadelphia: Blanchard & Lea. 1 vol. 12mo._

This compact duodecimo volume is an admirable guide to English and
American literature. Mr. Shaw’s work has been extensively circulated in
England and America, and well deserves its reputation. It is
well-written, evinces a well-trained study of the great English writers,
and abounds in information and judicious criticism. It clearly conveys
to the reader, uninformed in literary history, accurate ideas of the
sliding-scale of English reputations. Mr. Tuckerman’s sketch of American
literature occupies fifty closely-printed pages, and is a model of
compactness of style and distinctness of judgment. From a few of his
critical estimates we should feel inclined to dissent, and it would be
strange, indeed, if any two persons could agree in opinion on the merits
of the scores of authors coming within the scope of the editor’s plan;
but, as a whole, the judgments evince a genial and catholic taste,
unbiassed by prejudice, and combining both the disposition and the power
to decide justly. The critic’s discrimination is exhibited equally in
his criticisms on works of the understanding and works of the
imagination. The style is remarkably condensed; every word tells; yet
the sweet and fluent ease of Mr. Tuckerman’s diction gives no evidence
of purchasing brevity at any sacrifice of grace. The book deserves an
extensive circulation as the best and most available introduction to
English and American literature.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Pierre; or The Ambiguities. By Herman Melville. New York:
    Harper & Brothers. 1 vol. 12mo._

This work is generally considered a failure. The cause of its
ill-success is certainly not to be sought in its lack of power. None of
Melville’s novels equals the present in force and subtlety of thinking
and unity of purpose. Many of the scenes are wrought out with great
splendor and vigor, and a capacity is evinced of holding with a firm
grasp, and describing with a masterly distinctness, some of the most
evanescent phenomena of morbid emotions. But the spirit pervading the
whole book is intolerably unhealthy, and the most friendly reader is
obliged at the end to protest against such a provoking perversion of
talent and waste of power. The author has attempted seemingly to combine
in it the peculiarities of Poe and Hawthorne, and has succeeded in
producing nothing but a powerfully unpleasant caricature of morbid
thought and passion. Pierre, we take it, is crazy, and the merit of the
book is in clearly presenting the psychology of his madness; but the
details of such a mental malady as that which afflicts Pierre are almost
as disgusting as those of physical disease itself.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Men of the Time, or Sketches of Living Notables. New York:
    Redfield. 1 vol. 12mo._

This is a thick duodecimo volume of some six hundred closely printed
pages, devoted to clear and concise biographies of men whose names are
now before the world. The number of notables is nearly nine hundred, and
it contains almost every name of reputation in Europe or America. The
labor of its compilation must have been great, as the editor has
diligently explored the recondite as well as obvious sources of
information. In most of the American biographies the information has
been obtained at first hand. The collection comprises living authors,
architects, artists, composers, demagogues, divines, dramatists,
engineers, journalists, merchants, novelists, philanthropists, poets,
politicians, savants, statesmen, travelers, voyagers and warriors. The
biographies vary in length according to the importance of the subject,
some of them being admirably and critically written, giving estimation
of character as well as narratives of events. It is a book which should
be in every house. The newspaper itself cannot be thoroughly understood
without a reference to this volume.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Dombey and Son. By Charles Dickens. New York: Harper &
    Brothers. 2 vols. 12mo._

This is a cheap, elegant, and finely illustrated edition of Dickens’
celebrated novel, which we trust will be followed by an edition of his
other works in the same form. “Dombey and Son,” though defective in
plot, and with some blunders in characterization, is still brimful of
the author’s genius, and contains many scenes and characters which
cannot fade from the reader’s memory. Dombey, Carker, Major Bagstock and
Edith, are apt to be bores when they are not caricatures, but Florence,
little Paul, Captain “Ed’ard Cuttle,” Toots and Susan Nipper, are
acquaintances which, once made, are a possession forever. As there is no
complete American edition of Dickens’ works in a convenient readable
form, we trust that the Harper’s will give us one modeled on the present
volumes.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            =SIPS OF PUNCH.=


[Illustration: Master Tom surprises the family by stating that he
intends taking _his_ ladies out on a fishing excursion.]

[Illustration: “Please, Sir, did you want any body to _keep order_ on
these here Hustings on Polling Day?”]

[Illustration: PITY THE SORROWS OF THE POOR POLICE.
 “Lor, Soosan! How’s a Feller to eat Meat such Weather as this. Now, a bit
   o’ Pickled Salmon and Cowcumber, or a Lobster Salad _might_ do.”]

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            =FASHION PLATE.=


[Illustration]

Illustration.—A charming morning dress is thus formed: a dress of
_barège_, of silk pattern, with three _volants_ trimmed with a small
quilling _à la vieille_, and open in front, displaying a lace trimmed
neckerchief, (Mechlin lace,) while two small _volants_ finish the
sleeves; the last surmounted by a quilling similar to that of the body
of the dress.

The morning pardessus is also worn with a dress of percale, likewise
embroidered; _volant_ and sleeves in English embroidery; the front is
trimmed in the same manner; the body is ornamented with a double plait
in the stuff, and above the _volant_, and which replaces the braiding,
generally placed on pardessus of tissue. Lastly, are models of sleeves
trimmed with lace, one with two open _volants_; the other closed at the
wrist, and trimmed with a _manchette_ of lace.


                        MANTILLE A LA DUCHESSE.

[Illustration]

The edge of front is from 3 inches at the top to 34 at the bottom; the
shoulder seam is from 9 to 13¼; the bottom of front is sloped from 34 to
10¼; the curved line from 10¼-5¾-5⅛-5 is then cut; the edges of the
piece in which the armhole is cut are then vandyked—the straight lines
forming the vandykes are 1¼ long; this piece is then brought over the
other part of the front as far as the dotted line, which indicates the
place where it should be sewn; the edges of the vandykes are finished by
a narrow trimming, and there is a small button in each point; the bottom
of front is trimmed with a double row of lace from 34 to 10¼, being the
only part of the front which is trimmed with lace.

[Illustration]

                 *        *        *        *        *

=Transcriber’s Notes:=

Archaic spellings and hyphenation have been retained. Punctuation has
been corrected without note. Other errors have been corrected as noted
below. For illustrations, some caption text may be missing or incomplete
due to condition of the originals used for preparation of the ebook.

Page 343, gaseous envelop environs ==> gaseous envelope environs
Page 345, parallel of 25° degrees ==> parallel of 25° is
Page 345, winds are are not found ==> winds are not found
Page 345, by permament north ==> by permanent north
Page 346, constant eastterly winds ==> constant easterly winds
Page 346, though maritine adventure ==> though maritime adventure
Page 346, found themselve borne ==> found themselves borne
Page 347, where it orignated ==> where it originated
Page 347, along the Gaudalquivir ==> along the Guadalquivir
Page 352, Cape Lopez in 1° degree south ==> Cape Lopez in 1° south
Page 360, BY BON GUALTIER ==> BY BON GAULTIER
Page 362, Chronogloical science ==> Chronological science
Page 363, debilitated body politc ==> debilitated body politic
Page 363, razors where unheard of ==> razors were unheard of
Page 364, Affghans and other races ==> Afghans and other races
Page 370, performs a rapid piroutte ==> performs a rapid pirouette
Page 383, is usless to attempt ==> is useless to attempt
Page 402, fish is almost ominipresent ==> fish is almost omnipresent
Page 402, and peal it down ==> and peel it down
Page 408, growth and strenghtened ==> growth and strengthened
Page 408, for a mo- moment ==> for a moment
Page 412, how had Mable pined ==> how had Mabel pined
Page 412, and Mable determined ==> and Mabel determined
Page 413, Oh Mable, my love ==> Oh Mabel, my love
page 415, where Mable Dacre sat ==> where Mabel Dacre sat
Page 420, Richard eat with a feeling ==> Richard ate with a feeling
Page 421, and carry it it home ==> and carry it home
Page 425, Henry the Black, in 1036 ==> Henry the Black, in 1056
Page 425, token of his investure ==> token of his investiture
Page 425, battle of Wolskieur may not be correct name
Page 428, cost you to dear ==> cost you too dear
Page 431, guid wife Jenie Burns ==> guid wife Jeanie Burns
Page 434, heart’s corroding fire’s ==> heart’s corroding fires
Page 436, speak there uninteruptedly ==> speak there uninterruptedly
Page 439, which has accidently ==> which has accidentally
Page 443, of home human sympathies ==> of honest human sympathies
Page 443, inimitable rythm, and ==> inimitable rhythm, and
Page 445, poets, politicians, savans ==> poets, politicians, savants





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