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Title: Graham's Magazine, Vol. XLI, No. 3, September 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.      September, 1852.      No. 3.


                           Table of Contents

            Our Way Across The Sea
            The Giant’s Causeway
            Hymn for the Dedication of a Church
            The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
            Distribution of the Human Race
            Excerpts From an Epistle to a Friend
            Oh, Would I Were a Child!
            A Night in the Dissecting-Room
            The Dead at Thermopylæ
            The Opium Eater’s Dream
            The Tutor’s Daughter
            Ambition
            Song
            Ganga
            Memory’s Consolation
            We Laid Her Down to Rest
            The Pedant
            Sonnet.—Age.
            Chaucer and His Times
            The Three Sisters
            Lay of the Crusader
            Joy Murmurs in the Ocean
            A Visit
            The World-Conqueror
            Gather Ripe Fruit, Oh Death!
            The Lucky Penny
            To Mary, Asking for a Song
            A Poet’s Thought
            The Countess of Montfort
            The Mysteries of a Flower
            Too Much Blue
            To —— ——
            The Trial by Battle
            Brevia
            Sonnet.—The Mariner.
            Review of New Books

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



[Illustration: =THE MEMENTO.=
W. Holl]

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: =CONTENTMENT.=]

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: =OUR WAY ACROSS THE SEA.=]



                       =Our Way Across The Sea.=


                  =ADAPTED TO THE MUCH ADMIRED AIR OF=

                    =“LA SUISSESSE AU HORD DU LAC.”=

Published by permission of LEE & WALKER, 188 Chestnut Street,
  Philadelphia,

      _Publishers and Importers of Music and Musical Instruments._

[Illustration]

                       [First Voice Soprano]
                         Home fare thee well The

                       [Second Voice Tenor]
                         Home fare thee well The

[Illustration]

          [First Voice Soprano]
            ocean’s storm is o’er The weary
            pennon woos the seaward wind Fast speeds the
            bark, And now the less’ning shore Sinks in the
            wave, with those we leave be hind: Fare, fare thee

          [Second Voice Tenor]
            ocean’s storm is o’er The weary
            pennon woos the seaward wind Fast speeds the
            bark, And now the less’ning shore Sinks in the
            wave, with those we leave behind:

[Illustration]

[First Voice Soprano]
  well! Land of the free: No tongue can tell the love I
  bear to thee! Fare, fare thee well! Land of the
  free, No tongue can tell the love I bear to thee.

[Second Voice Tenor]
  Fare, fare thee well! Land of the free: No tongue can tell the love I
  bear to thee. Fare, fare thee well!
  Land of the free, No tongue can tell the love I bear to thee.

                                   2

             We wreathe the bowl to drink a gay good bye
             For tears would fall unbidden in the wine,
             And while reflected was the mournful eye,
             The sparkling surface e’en would cease to shine.
                   Then fare, fare well;
                     Once more, once more,
                   The ocean swell
                     Now hides my native shore.

                                   3

              See where yon star its diamond light displays,
              Now seen, now hid behind the swelling sail,
              Hope rides in gladness on its streaming rays,
              And bids us on, and bribes the fav’ring gale.
                    Then hope we bend
                      In joy to thee,
                    And careless wend
                      Our way across the sea.



                           GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE.

                 *        *        *        *        *

        Vol. XLI.     PHILADELPHIA, SEPTEMBER, 1852.     No. 3.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        =THE GIANT’S CAUSEWAY.=


[Illustration]

Only imagine yourself, says a writer in the Journal of Commerce, in a
little row-boat, passing around the northern coast of Ireland. In the
distance, you seem to look upon an immense castle, flanked by double
rows of cylindrical columns. It seems so fortress-like, this massive
structure rising from the depths of the sea, that you expect to find
guards and wardens, soldiery and arms; but as you approach nearer it
loses that castellated appearance, and gradually lessens in magnitude
until there remains only a huge stone wall, extending around the coast
for miles. It is composed of gigantic pillars, cut into prisms,
three-sided, five-sided, eight-sided—side fitting to side—variously
jointed, joint corresponding to joint, innumerable irregularities
conformed into such beautiful regularity, that you are struck with awe
at so perfect a monument of skill, and ask involuntarily to what great
artist your praise is due; what year marked the foundation-stone; what
force formed each cylinder, and joined in uniform contact such irregular
masses? The toil of many a lifetime has been spent on far meaner
designs, and proud wealth has gloried in much less wonderful relics of
man’s invention.

Passing onward and still onward, for this columnar structure bounds a
great extent of seacoast, you come upon a vast gateway of stone work,
like the rest, but formed into a wide arch, not Gothic, nor Norman, but
unique, and perfect as peculiar. Its entrance is kept by huge waves,
that for centuries have been rolling higher and higher, to bar the
gateway that is open still, so your tiny boat rises with their swelling,
and you pass through, not, as you had expected, to find the sky above
you still, but into the recesses of a mighty cavern, whose vaulted roof
is formed of stones, many cornered and many colored. You should be there
at sunset, as we were, to see the dashing waters sparkling with gold,
and the stones radiant with crimson light. You would be awed into
silence; for there is something fearful in the thought of a chamber
built without hands; but should your feelings find vent in words, your
ears would be stunned by the deafening sound of even your sweet voice,
dear Bel, so heavy is the echo there. I had been always very anxious to
see the inside of this famous cave, with its ocean door, and its stony
wall hung with sea-weed tapestry, but I assure you I was not less eager
to see the outside of it again; I had no ambition to interfere with a
solitude too desolate for aught save the cawing of rooks, and the
twittering of swallows.

The average height of the basaltic columns constituting the Giant’s
Causeway is thirty feet; but the whole neighborhood is strewn with
detached fragments of the same species of rock, that in their
picturesque confusion seem the broken pillars of some ruined temple.
These columns in combination, these heptagons, hexagons, octagons and
triangles all joined in perfect symmetry, as if hewn for corresponding
measurements, form, when you have climbed the rocky ascent to their
level summit, a tessellated pavement, where one may promenade in scorn
of the fierce waves that incessantly dash against their base, as if they
sought to hurl the firm rocks into oblivion. It is quite amusing to
listen to the wonderful harangues of the numerous barefooted urchins
that follow you all the way along the shore, offering themselves for
guides, and their tongues for teachers. They were all born within sight
of the “auld Giant’s” dominions, and the only history they ever learned
is comprised in wild legends about the stones and crannies that the
giant once ruled. From morning to evening they walk before you, behind
you, and seem to rise from the stones on every side of you, offering
their “spacermens” of the “Giant’s Punch Bowl,” “his honor’s
walking-stick,” and various other remarkable relics, “the very last” of
which has been sold and resold for twenty years back, and will be for
twenty years to come, to every visitor who will “lend them the loan of a
sixpence to break their fast with.”

The little ragamuffins tell you that their father is dead, and their
mother is poor; and in the grief of your heart you buy, and buy, and
buy, until you have no more money to pay, and no more hands to carry
their useless pebbles; and finding new faces, and hearing new tales
continually, the plot thickens so unmercifully, that you cease to
believe any thing because you have believed so much, and in self-defense
are forced to turn away from the masonic pile that owns no mason—from
the old arm-chair that no cabinet-maker ever planned—from the huge bowl
where none but a giant could drink—and the organ-pipes to whose
identity the roaring waves lend so real an illusion. But a sight of the
Giant’s Causeway, in spite of its nonsensical traditions and its
fabulous legends, is a commentary too impressive ever to be forgotten,
on the power and might of its great Creator. And long years hence it
will stand, firm and enduring, as it ever has stood, in its solemn,
awful grandeur, to annihilate the atheist’s doubt, and to silence the
sceptic’s sneer.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                =HYMN,=


                   =FOR THE DEDICATION OF A CHURCH.=


                      =BY REV. S. DRYDEN PHELPS.=


                   How glorious is thy dwelling,
                     O Lord of Hosts, on high,
                   Where angel anthems swelling
                     Fill all the boundless sky:
                   In more than Eden splendor
                     The heavenly mansions shine,
                   Where praise the ransomed render,
                     In worship all divine.

                   On earth, among the lowly,
                     Thou hast a gracious reign—
                   The kingdom of the holy,
                     The church, the born-again;
                   And temples, reared by mortals.
                     The homes of truth and love.
                   Are hallowed as the portals
                     Of Paradise above.

                   Make this thy habitation,
                     And here thy name record;
                   With blessing and salvation
                     Our prayers and toils reward;
                   Let dews of grace descending,
                     On every heart distill;
                   And humble throngs come bending
                     To know and do thy will.

                   The Spirit’s living beauty
                     To all thy servants give,
                   And strength for every duty,
                     That each to thee may live;
                   Till, in his chariot gleaming,
                     The Saviour comes to bear
                   The souls of his redeeming
                     To heavenly mansions fair.

                 *        *        *        *        *



           =THE ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES OF PHILADELPHIA.=


[Illustration]

It has been frequently said the building at the north-west corner of
Broad and George streets looks poverty caste, that is, its external
indications lead to a suspicion it is of a poor family, while if it were
rough-caste it would have such a tidy, smart look, that no mere
passer-by would suspect there are any poor relations connected with it.
That edifice is a small arena where a few courageous men do battle for
Truth. Were they to consent to rough-caste, or stucco, or plaster over
the unsightly surface of their street fronts, while they are in debt,
they would make a false show to the public which would be altogether
inconsistent with the object of the Society to which that edifice
belongs. The object of that Society is to ascertain the truth, and to
point it out to the human race, beginning of course with citizens of
Philadelphia. It must not be imagined, reader, gentle or fair or both,
that the Society to which the rough brick walls alluded to belongs, is
engaged in any fanciful or visionary or transcendental occupation. It
does not spend time in listening to testimony or seeking evidence of
truth of the kind asserted to exist in the doctrines of Hanneman, of
Preisnitz, of Broussais, or in the published certificates of the
efficacy of Perkins’ metallic tractors, or somebody’s galvanic rings, or
anybody’s sarsaparilla syrup, or in Kossuth’s theory of intervention, or
in the editorial predictions printed in the daily newspapers; but the
members of the Society in question battle for Truth which is truth, and
not for the flimsy dictum of men. They seek to ascertain the facts of
the Creation, and the yet hidden causes which bind them together in
relations of eternal harmony and peace. They seek in the atmosphere for
signs to lead to the comprehension of the laws which regulate its
movements; they study the vegetable growths of forest and field to learn
how to increase the products of the soil; they inquire into the nature
and habits and structure of the living inhabitants of the air, the
earth, and the seas, to know the best and easiest modes of rendering
them profitable to society; they dive beneath the surface of the land,
and drag to light the buried remains of those animals which dwelt on
earth countless years before man made any mark of his presence in the
universe, indeed before he had existence: and in that building they
bring together, under one view, the physical, palpable evidence of their
statements, and expose all to the gaze of the inquisitive without
charge. The inquiries or researches of men of the class constituting the
Society to which the not very polished structure belongs, have led to
the discovery of various coal-beds and mines of metallic ores, and the
means of illuminating our cities with gas. They are plain, simple,
unostentatious citizens, who seek the truths, the facts of the creation
for the common good of all. This circumstance is in itself almost enough
to satisfy any intelligent man of the world the Society must be
pecuniarily poor, and therefore, at present, unable to plaster over the
walls of their workshop, merely to make them agreeable to the eyes of
those who do not care to view the wonders within.

The building of which we speak was founded on the 25th of May, 1839, by
the “Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia,” a society which was
begun on the 25th of January, 1812, and incorporated by an act of the
Legislature of the State of Pennsylvania on the 24th of March, 1817.

The object of the Institution is to cultivate the Natural Sciences
exclusively, and to diffuse a knowledge of them amongst the people. Of
the 409,000 inhabitants of Philadelphia, about 150 only are now engaged
in this laudable enterprise, which is little known and little understood
by the community. Its members include representatives of almost all
vocations; clergymen, physicians, lawyers, merchants and mechanics, who
devote simply leisure moments to the study of natural history. For this
purpose they have formed a museum and library of books on the natural
sciences and on the arts. At this time, the museum contains nearly
150,000 objects of natural history, and the library almost 14,000
volumes.

The “Hall of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia” is
forty-five feet front on Broad street, and one hundred and fifteen feet
on George street, with an elevation of fifty feet. The style of
architecture is plain and unpretending; and, as already intimated, the
exterior remains unfinished for want of funds, all the resources of the
Society being required to meet the current expenses incurred for
preserving the objects in the museum, binding, books, warming and
lighting, etc. etc.

The visitor is admitted at a door on Broad street, and ascends a flight
of stairs, on the left hand as he enters the vestibule. He finds himself
in a spacious saloon, one hundred and ten feet in length and forty-two
feet broad, lighted from the roof and tall windows at the east and west
extremities. Three ranges of galleries, supported on light and graceful
iron columns, surround the apartment. The walls are hidden by
glass-cases, filled almost to overflowing with specimens of natural
history. Three ranges of flat cases occupy the floor, in which are
arranged fossil organic remains, illustrative of that department of
natural science termed palæontology. The American specimens are in the
southern, and the foreign in the middle and northern range of cases; the
whole constituting a collection of more than 60,000 individual
specimens. Among them are some of great rarity and interest. There are
several of those gigantic fish-lizards, called ichthyosaurians, imbedded
in massive limestone; teeth and bones of the mastodon, of elephants, of
an extinct species of bird, found in New Zealand, called the Dinornis;
impressions of coal-plants, etc. etc. On the southern side of the hall
is a collection of skeletons and parts of skeletons of mammals, birds,
reptiles and fishes; and the extraordinary collection of human skulls,
brought together here from all parts of the world, by the late Dr.
Samuel George Morton, so extensively known for his publications in
various departments of the history of the human race. On the northern
side is a collection of mammals, representing about 200 species of the
various quadrupeds. The cases on the galleries are occupied by the
extraordinary collection of birds, which is three times more extensive
than that of the British Museum; it contains at this time 27,000
specimens, of which no less than 22,000 are labeled and beautifully
mounted, and as well displayed as the want of space will permit. Among
the mammals are a specimen of the polar bear, obtained during the voyage
recently made under the command of Capt. De Haven, in search of Sir John
Franklin, and a fine male specimen of the Rocky Mountain sheep, a very
rare animal, this being, it is believed, the second specimen ever
brought to this city; the first was obtained by Capt. Lewis, during his
famous expedition with Clarke to the Rocky Mountains, more than
thirty-five years ago.

Besides the collections alluded to, there are others of great interest
which are not exhibited for want of space. The collection of crustaceans
or crabs, and that of reptiles, are equal to any in Europe. The
specimens of shells number 25,000; and of minerals more than 4000; but
they are not at present accessible to the public for want of room to
display them. The herbarium or hortus siccus, contains 46,000 species of
plants.

The value of the library is not easily estimated by the number of its
volumes. It contains many works which are not possessed by any other
library in the United States; and on this account is often visited by
scientific men from a distance.

The Society meets every Tuesday evening throughout the year; and
publishes periodically a journal of its proceedings, which is circulated
among the learned societies of all parts of the world.

Since the year 1828 the museum of the Academy has been open gratuitously
two afternoons in every week; tickets of admission on Tuesday and Friday
afternoons, from one o’clock P. M. till sunset, are furnished on
application to any member of the Society.

The Institution is sustained by the annual contributions of the members,
and by donations from those generous persons who are friends of natural
science. The names of donors to the museum and library are attached
always to whatever they present, and are published in the journal of
proceedings.

A full history of this most valuable but little known institution has
been recently printed; copies of it may be obtained, at a trifling cost,
from the doorkeeper on days when the hall is open to the public.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                   =DISTRIBUTION OF THE HUMAN RACE.=


                       =BY THOMAS MILNER, M. A.=


[Illustration]

In the scale of being man rises above mere animal life and sensation,
however delicate and varied, and beyond mere instinct, whatever that
mysterious faculty may be, to rational existence, which constitutes him
“the minister and interpreter of nature.” The most sagacious and
instinctive of the brute creation live and die without the least
comprehension of the vast system of which they form a part; but man is
capable of surveying the whole with thought and reflection, of
understanding its economy and purpose, of tracing the Author of the
work, and marking the display of his perfections, of yielding to Him
adoration and homage, and sanctifying the varied scene to moral uses.
Sometimes, in the spirit of lurking infidelity to the announcements of
Scripture respecting the attention paid to our race by Divine
Providence, philosophy has paraded before us its demonstrations
concerning the plan of the universe, and called upon us to contemplate
its stately forms and vast dimensions. We may obey its summons, and
return from the contemplation with renewed ability to “vindicate the
ways of God to man.” For what knows the sun of his own brightness, or
the lightnings of their force, or the planets of their velocity, or the
ten thousand stars of their mighty proportions? The universe of material
things can neither think nor feel, but is perfectly unconscious of
itself; whereas man can appreciate to a certain extent its design,
derive enjoyment from its objects, track their course, comprehend their
laws, gather from them an intellectual apprehension of the wondrous
Artificer, make them subservient to morals and devotion; and thus the
grandeur of nature illustrates the greatness of man.

Linnæus placed man in the order of _Quadrumana_, or four-handed, in
fellowship with the monkey tribe, and even considered the genus _Homo_
as consisting of two species, the ourang-outang being the second, the
congener of the human being. Cuvier, with an obvious propriety, has
departed from this classification, and placed man in an order by
himself, that of _Bimana_, or two-handed, in allusion to the prehensory
organs with which he is furnished. They are instruments of essential
moment to their possessor, and form a characteristic mark of his
nobility, for, strictly speaking, he is the only bimane. In several
physical respects, man is far inferior to many of the lower animals. The
elephant is his superior in bulk and power, the hawk in sight, the
antelope in swiftness, the hound in scent, and the squirrel in agility.
No animal, in the infancy of existence, continues for so long a period
in a state of helplessness and dependence, or suffers for an equal
interval infirmity in age. To every other animal nature supplies an
appropriate clothing, for which they “toil not, neither do they
spin”—the office of man; without which, he would live and die in the
nakedness of his birth. No parallel to his case can be found in the
animal kingdom, in relation to the slowness of his growth, the variety
of his wants, and the numerous diseases to which he is exposed; and
while animals directly adapt to their support the food that is suited to
them—the lion his flesh, and the ox his grasses—the greater part of
the human aliment, according to the practice of all nations, is subject
to preparing processes, more or less rude or perfect, in order to be
rendered agreeable and nutritious. These are apparently the hardships of
the human condition; but a regard to their moral and intellectual effect
will strip them of the character of disadvantages. If endowed with a
high degree of physical force, if free from the necessity of culinary
preparation, if naturally arrayed against the exigencies of climate, and
thus constituted with a greater amount of personal independence—it may
reasonably be inferred, that civilization would not have made its
present advances, that mental capacity would have remained largely
undeveloped, and the career of man have exhibited a succession of
melancholy oscillation, between intemperate ferocity and selfish
indolence. The sense of his weakness and the pressure of his wants have
contributed to call forth his resources, to stir up “the gift and
faculty divine,” to rouse inventive powers to action which would
otherwise have continued dormant, and to excite benevolent affections,
by the demand he is compelled to make for the society of his kind; and
thus the very disabilities of his mere animal being tend to evoke his
higher nature, and to accomplish one of the designed ends of his
creation by sheer intellectual power, that of having “dominion over the
fowl of the air, and over the fish of the sea, and over the cattle, and
over every creeping thing that creepeth on the earth.”

The human population of the globe has been commonly rated at eight
hundred millions, but this is probably an error in excess. The
statements of geographers vary considerably, as appears from the
following estimates of two of the most distinguished, MM. Malte Brun and
Balbi. The former justly remarks, that all the calculations that have
been made upon the subject are chimerical, and that it is impossible to
state any which shall even approximate to the truth.

                                    Malte Brun.   Balbi.
           Population of Europe     170,000,000  227,700,000
                         Asia       320,000,000  390,000,000
                         Africa      70,000,000   60,000,000
                         America     45,000,000   39,000,000
                         Oceanica    20,000,000   20,300,000
                                    -----------  -----------
                               Total  625,000,000  737,000,000
                                    -----------  -----------

But however uncertain the numbers of the human race, maritime and inland
discovery show the wide dispersion of the species, to the extreme bounds
of vegetable life; and the extraordinary facility of the human frame in
accommodating itself to diverse circumstances. There are but few tracts
of land which have not within their limits an indigenous human
population. The antarctic continent, the Falkland Isles, and Kerguelen’s
Land, with Nova Zembla and Spitzbergen in the northern zone, are the
principal exceptions. St. Helena is also another; for when that island
was discovered, in 1501, it was only occupied by sea-fowl, occasionally
visited by seals and turtles, and covered with forest-trees and shrubs.
However small the coral islands of the Pacific, and remote from
continents, they have in general their families of men. The New World,
though very scantily peopled, has the Esquimaux at its northern
extremity, within ten degrees of the pole, and the Fuegians at its
southern end, perhaps in the lowest condition in which humanity exists
upon the face of the globe. In the Ancient World, we every where meet
with traces of man and of his works, except in the zone of deserts; and
even here he has planted his race in the oases, the verdant islets of
the great ocean of sand. In situations high and low, dry and moist, cold
and hot, we find members of the family to which we belong, enduring the
extremes of temperature; a degree of heat which on the banks of the
Senegal causes spirits of wine to boil, and of cold in the north-east of
Asia which freezes brandy and mercury.

[Illustration: =Esquimaux Hut.=]

This wide diffusion of the species, occupying every variety of climate,
soil, and situation, necessarily involves the fact of man being
omnivorous, or able to derive support from all kinds of aliment; for
otherwise, if the nourishment depended exclusively upon animal or
vegetable food, various regions where the race exists and multiplies
would be incompatible with the easy maintenance of human life. In the
cold and frozen north, beyond the range of the cereal plants, where
excessive poverty marks the only vegetation that appears, the tribes of
Esquimaux draw their support entirely from the land and marine animals,
principally from fish and seals; and this is also the case with the
miserable Petcheres, inhabiting a corresponding district in the southern
hemisphere, the chill and barren shores of Tierra del Fuego. On the
other hand, the condition of many interior tropical countries is not
propitious to the subsistence of an extended population of the domestic
animals and the common cerealia, owing to the number of the beasts of
prey and the interchange of a flooded and a parching soil; and there we
find large families of men chiefly sustained by a peculiar farinaceous
diet, the fruits of the plantain and the palm. In the temperate zone, a
plentiful supply of both animal and vegetable food is met with, which
mingle in the aliment of the inhabitants. Thus, as we approach the
poles, man does not live by bread at all, the Esquimaux being
unacquainted with it; while approaching the equator he is mainly
supported by vegetable nutriment; and intermediate between them, he is
strikingly omnivorous, various kinds of grain and flesh composing the
staff of life. Some naturalists have proposed a classification of
mankind, according to the species of food by the use of which they are
distinguished. Thus we have _carnivorous_, or flesh-eaters;
_Ichthyophagists_, or fish-eaters; _Frugivorous_, or fruit and
corn-eaters; _Acridophagists_, or locust-eaters; _Geophagists_, or
earth-eaters; _Anthropophagists_, or man-eaters; and _Omnivorous_, or
devourers of every thing. But we have no tribes of men that exclusively
belong to any one of these classes. The only clear division that can be
made of the human race, taking their food as a characteristic, is the
very general one already stated, between the inhabitants of polar,
temperate, and tropical regions; and growing intercommunication is
constantly lessening the amount of difference even here, by transporting
the aliment yielded in abundance in one district to another naturally
destitute of it. The locust-eaters include some of the wandering Arabs
of northern Africa and western Asia, where the crested locust, one of
the largest species of the tribe, is made use of for food, both fresh
and salted; in which last state it is sold in some of the markets of the
Levant. Morier, in his Second Journey to Persia, observes, that locusts
are sold at Bushire as food, to the lowest of the peasantry, when dried;
and he adds, that “the locusts and wild honey, which St. John ate in the
wilderness, are perhaps particularly mentioned to show, that he fared as
the poorest of men.”

In considering the distribution of mankind, it is an obvious reflection
that, to secure the general diffusion of human life, the same necessity
did not exist, as in the case of plants and animals, for parent stocks
to be originally planted in different regions of the globe. It has been
correctly remarked, that had an individual of each tribe of plants, and
a pair of each tribe of animals, been called into being in one and the
same spot, the Linnæan hypothesis, large regions, separated by wide seas
and lofty chains of mountains from the country containing that single
spot, would forever have remained almost, if not entirely, destitute of
plants and animals, unless at the same time means had been provided for
their dispersion far more effectual than any which we behold in
operation, and a constitution more accommodated to diverse climates had
been given to them. To accomplish the dissemination of animal and
vegetable life, to an extent commensurate with the capacity of the
globe, separate regions were supplied with distinct stocks of plants and
animals. But the case of man required no such arrangement to secure a
large occupancy of the earth with his species. Endued with a
constitution capable of accommodating itself to extreme diversities of
climate, and with intelligence to invent methods of protection against
atmospheric influences; enabled also by the same intelligence to devise
means of transport over the most extensive seas, and across the most
formidable ranges of mountains, it is clear, that, possessed of these
capabilities, the whole habitable earth might be replenished with his
race from the location of a single pair. This is the doctrine of the
Mosaic history, and also of another part of the sacred record, which
declares that God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to
dwell on all the face of the earth;” and notwithstanding numerous and
important diversities, the conclusions of philosophical inquiry are
clearly in harmony with it, establishing the unity of mankind.

Before touching upon the question of the common nature and origin of the
human race, a necessary preliminary to the question of their diffusion,
it may be requisite to state the sense of certain terms of common
occurrence in natural history, as _species_, _genus_, and _varieties_. A
race of animals, or plants, which constantly transmit from one
generation to another the same peculiar organization, constitute what is
technically called a _species_; and two races are held to be
specifically distinct, where a marked difference or organization exists,
which is unvaryingly transmitted. A species, therefore, includes those
animals and plants which may be presumed to have sprung from the same
parent stock. “We unite,” says De Candolle, “under the designation of a
species, all those individuals who mutually bear to each other so close
a resemblance as to allow of our supposing that they may have proceeded
originally from a single being, or a single pair.” The term _genus_ has
a more comprehensive signification. It is applied to a group of animals
or plants, the several tribes of which seem constructed after a common
general model, each being distinguished from the rest by a peculiarity
of organization, for which we cannot account but by supposing them to
have proceeded from originally different individuals. Animals of the
horse kind, which includes the ass and the zebra, furnish an example of
genus. They display the phenomena of general resemblance, but with such
marked differences, which are regularly transmitted, that we cannot
suppose them the common offspring of the same individuals, but to have
descended from originally different pairs. Animals of the feline race,
as the cat and the tiger, and of the bovine kind, as the ox, buffalo,
and bison, are similar instances of genera. A genus, therefore, embraces
several species. But within the limits of a species varieties occur, or
deviations from the type exhibited by the parent stock, which are due to
external causes, climate, soil, food, and other agencies, which have an
obvious and marked effect upon animal and vegetable forms, however
little their operation is understood. Some of these varieties are
transient, but others become fixed and permanent in the race, and are so
optically striking, as in several cases to suggest the idea of a
specific difference, where the species is identical. Now, the question
to be considered in relation to man is, whether the diversities which he
exhibits in different parts of the globe are compatible with his race
coming under the denomination of a species, having a common ancestry; or
whether it forms a genus including several tribes, having a general
resemblance, but so characteristically different as to lead the
philosophical investigator to the verdict, that the diverging streams of
humanity have originated independent of each other, and have not
proceeded from the same fountain head.

In prosecuting this inquiry, one method to be adopted is to review the
principal external differences observable among mankind, as to
complexion, structure, and stature; and examine, whether analogous
diversities appear among the lower animals within the limits of the same
species. If it is ascertained that corresponding phenomena to the human
variations occur in the case of animals belonging to an identical
species, the chief objection is obviated to the unity and common origin
of the human kind.

1. The most obvious distinction displayed by mankind is that of _color_,
in relation to the skin, hair, and eyes, which, with few exceptions, are
well known to have a certain correspondence, intimating their dependence
on a common cause. Thus light-colored hair is very generally in alliance
with light blue or gray eyes; but a relation of the complexion of the
skin to the hue of the hair is still more invariable. Persons of light
hair have a fair and transparent skin, which assumes a ruddy tint by
exposure to the light and heat of the sun, while the complexion of
black-haired individuals is of a darker cast, and acquires a bronze
shade in proportion to the intensity of the solar influence admitted to
it. The dark-haired women of Syria and Barbary are indeed frequently
very white; but this is owing to the careful avoidance of exposure to
the effect of climate, which Prichard calls a being “bleached by
artificial protection from light, or at least from the solar rays.” He
discriminates three principal varieties of mankind, taking the color of
the hair as the leading character, which he styles the _melanic_, the
_xanthous_, and the _leucous_. The melanic or black variety, includes
all individuals or races who have black or very dark hair; the xanthous
or fair class embraces those who have either brown, auburn, yellow,
flaxen, or red hair; and the leucous or white variety comprises those
who are commonly called albinos, whose hair is either pure white or
cream-colored.

The great majority of the human race belong to the melanic or
black-haired variety, with a corresponding hue of the skin. This hue
varies from the deepest black to a copper and olive color, and to a much
lighter shade. The Senegal Negroes are jet black, and the natives of
Malabar, with other nations of India, are nearly so. In some races, the
black combines with red, and in others with yellow, as in the instance
of the copper and olive colored tribes of America, Africa, and Asia; and
the same indigenous population furnishes examples of great discrepancy
as to the character of the tint. “The great difference of color,” says
Bishop Heber, of the Hindoos, “between different natives struck me much.
Of the crowd by whom we were surrounded, some were black as Negroes,
others merely copper-colored, and others little darker than the
Tunisines, whom I have seen at Liverpool. It is not merely the
differences of exposure, since this variety of tint is visible in the
fishermen who are naked all alike. Nor does it depend on caste, since
very high caste Brahmins are sometimes black, while Pariahs are
comparatively fair. It seems, therefore, to be an accidental difference,
like that of light and dark complexions in Europe; though where so much
of the body is exposed to sight, it becomes more striking here than in
our own country. Two observations,” he elsewhere observes, “struck me
forcibly; first, that the deep bronze is more naturally agreeable to the
human eye than the fair skins of Europe, since we are not displeased
with it even in the first instance, while it is well-known that to them
a fair complexion gives the idea of ill health, and of that sort of
deformity which, in our eyes, belongs to an albino.” The same class
includes the swarthy Spaniards, and the inhabitants of southern Europe
in general, who have dark hair, with the melanic complexion only
strongly dilute, which characterizes the olive, copper-colored, and
negro nations. In the xanthous or light-haired variety, who have
commonly gray or azure-blue eyes, combined with a fair complexion, which
acquires a ruddy instead of a bronze tinge on exposure to heat, some
whole tribes in the temperately cold regions of Europe and Asia are
included. Red or yellow hair and blue eyes peculiarly characterized the
old Gothic races according to the testimony of Tacitus, and are
prevalent among their descendants at present. But examples of the
xanthous variety present themselves in every dark-haired race, and we
gather from Homer, that it was not uncommon among the Greeks of his time
to find a melanic family. “The Jews, like the Arabs,” says Prichard,
“are generally a black-haired race; but I have seen many Jews with light
hair and beards, and blue eyes; and in some parts of Germany, the Jews
are remarkable for red, bushy beards. Many of the Russians are
light-haired, though the mass of the Slavonian race is of the melanous
variety. The Laplanders are generally of a dark complexion, but the
Finns, Mordouines, and Votiaks, who are allied to them in race, are
xanthous. Many of the northern Tungusians, or Mantschu Tartars, are of
the xanthous variety, though the majority of this nation are
black-haired.” Even among the more swarthy races of the melanic class,
as the Negroes of Senegal, examples of fair-haired individuals, with the
corresponding complexions, occur; and the native stock of Egypt supplies
similar instances, as appears from the light brown hair of some of the
mummies. The leucous or white variety includes no entire race of people;
but occasionally albinos, with perfectly white hair and skin, and red or
pink eyes, appear in all countries—among the xanthous tribes of Europe,
the copper-colored nations of America, and the pure blacks of Africa.
The phrase, white Negroes, though a literal contradiction, exactly
expresses the physical fact—a white individual of a black stock. In
some instances, pure white and black children have mingled in the same
family, the offspring of black parents.

The cause of the introduction of these varieties of color among the
inferior animals of the same species, which have become permanent, is
involved in great obscurity; but we have good reason to suppose that
differences of climate, situation, food, and habits, are some of the
influential agencies in their production, chiefly perhaps the former,
which appears to operate to a considerable extent in the various
coloring of the human race. Both the plants and animals of hot regions
display the deepest colors with which we are acquainted, while lighter
shades are characteristic of those that are situated in cold countries.
Within the tropics, the birds, beasts, flowers, and even fishes have the
respective hues of their feathers, hairs, petals, and scales uniformly
very deeply tinctured; while, as we recede from the equator, the color
of the animal races progressively becomes of a lighter cast, till,
approaching the poles, white is their common livery. The same remark is
true very generally of the complexion of mankind. The black, dark-brown,
and copper colors prevail in equatorial districts; the lighter olive is
distinctive of the nations immediately north of the tropic of Cancer;
and still lighter shades become more universal in the higher latitudes.
The Abyssinians are much less dark than the Negro races, for though
their geographical climate is the same, their physical climate is very
different, the high, table-land of the country placing them in a lower
temperature. Shut up within the walls of their seraglios, and secluded
from the sun, the Asiatic and African women are frequently as white as
the Europeans; while, in our own country, exposure to the sun is
well-known to produce a deeper complexion, and artificial protection
from its influence is adopted to preserve a fair and unfreckled skin.
The larvæ of many insects deposited in dark situations are white, and
acquire a brownish hue upon being confined under glasses that admit the
influence of the solar rays. Facts of this kind indicate the powerful
operation of diverse climates in the various coloring of the human skin,
and are sufficient to show, that the different complexions of mankind
are mere varieties of species, introduced and made permanent by the
continued action of local causes.

2. The next most obvious and important of the human differences involves
variety of structure, especially in the _shape of the skull_. Taking
this as the basis of a classification, Professor Blumenbach proposed a
division of mankind into five grand classes—the Caucasian, Mongolian,
Ethiopic, American, and Malay, which has been very generally adopted.
The principal descriptive particulars of each, as given by that
distinguished naturalist, are the following:

In the Caucasian race, the head is of the most symmetrical shape, almost
round; the forehead of moderate extent; the cheek-bones rather narrow,
without any projection; the face straight and oval, with the features
tolerably distinct; the nose narrow, and slightly arched; the mouth
small, with the lips a little turned out, especially the lower one; and
the chin full and rounded. This is the most elegant variety of the human
form, and the most perfect examples of it are found in the regions of
Western Asia, bordering on Europe, which skirt the southern foot of the
vast chain of the Caucasus, from whence the class derives its name, and
which is near what is supposed to be the parent spot of the human race.
Here are the Circassians and Georgians, the most exquisite models of
female beauty. But the Caucasian class includes nations very dissimilar
apart from the form of the head. Its members are of all complexions,
from the Hindoos and Arabs, some of whom are as black as the Negroes, to
the Danes, Swedes, and Norsemen, who are fair, with flaxen hair and
light blue eyes. The class comprises the ancient and modern inhabitants
of Europe, except the Laplanders and Finns. It comprises also the
ancient and modern inhabitants of Western Asia, as far as the Oby, the
Belurtagh, and the Ganges—such as the Assyrians, Babylonians, Medes and
Persians, Sarmatians, Scythians, Parthians, Jews, Arabs and Syrians, the
Turks and Tartars proper, the tribes of Caucasus, the Armenians,
Affghans, and Hindoos. It includes likewise the Africans who live on the
shores of the Mediterranean, and throughout the Sahara, the Egyptians
and Copts, the Abyssinians, and the Guanches, or ancient inhabitants of
the Canary Islands, with those Europeans who have colonized America and
other parts of the world. The color of the Caucasian class seems mainly
to depend on climate, on the degree of solar heat to which there is
exposure, for they are all born with light complexions, and become dark
only as they grow up, and are more freely acted on by the sun. Their hue
is found to deepen by a regular gradation from the farthest north, where
the members of this class are very fair, through the olive-colored
inhabitants of Southern Europe, and the swarthy Moors of Northern
Africa, till the gradation ends with the deep black natives of the
African and Arabian deserts, and of inter-tropical India. The lighter
shades of color, however, prevail among the Caucasians, and hence they
are correctly styled the white race, though some of them are jet black.
Their hair is variously melanic and xanthous, always long, and never
woolly like that of the Negroes.

[Illustration]

In the Mongolian class, that of the brown man of Gmelin, the head,
instead of being round, is almost square; the face is broad and flat,
with the parts imperfectly distinguished; the arches of the eye-brows
are scarcely to be perceived. The complexion is generally olive,
sometimes very slight, and approaching to yellow; but none of this class
are known to be fair. The eyes are small and black; the hair, dark and
strong, but seldom curled, or in great abundance; and there is little or
no beard. This division embraces the tribes that occupy the central,
east, north, and south-east parts of Asia; the people of China and
Japan, of Thibet, Bootan, and Indo-China, the Finns and Laplanders of
Northern Europe, and the Esquimaux on the shores of the Arctic ocean.
Climate influences the color of many of this class, those parts of the
body protected from the sun being much lighter than those that are
uncovered. Dr. Abeel mentions, that when he saw the Chinese boatmen
throw off their clothes, for the purpose of entering the water to push
along the boats, they appeared, when quite naked, as if dressed in
light-colored trowsers.

[Illustration]

In the Ethiopic division, that of the black man of Gmelin, the head is
narrow and compressed at the sides: the forehead very convex and
vaulted; the cheek-bones project forward; the nostrils are wide, the
nose spread, and is almost confounded with the cheeks; the lips are
thick, particularly the upper one; the lower part of the face projects
considerably; and the skull is in general thick and heavy. The iris of
the eye, which is deep-seated, and the skin of this class, are black, as
well as the hair, which is generally woolly. These characteristics of
the Negroes vary less than those of the two former classes, because they
are chiefly confined to one climate within the tropics, whereas the
Mongolians and Caucasians are spread through every variety of
temperature, from the equator to the polar circle. The division
comprises the native Africans to the south of the Sahara and Abyssinia,
and of course those who have been transported to the West Indies and
America, the natives of New Holland, and various tribes scattered
through the islands of the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Archipelago.
Though, for the reason stated, this class exhibits a great general
uniformity, examples are not wanting of beauty of feature, and fine
stature and proportions, in several races belonging to this department
of mankind.

[Illustration]

The American variety, that of the red man of Gmelin, approaches to the
Mongolian, but the head is less square; the cheek-bones are prominent,
yet not so angular as in the Mongol; the forehead is low, the eyes
deep-seated, and the features, viewed in profile, are strongly marked.
The skin is red, or of an obscure orange, rusty iron, and copper color,
sometimes nearly black, according to climate and circumstances. The
native American tribes and nations, excepting the Esquimaux, and the
descendants of African and European colonists, belong to this class.

[Illustration]

In the Malay class, that of the tawny man of Gmelin, the top of the head
is slightly narrowed; the face is less narrow than that of the Negro;
the features are generally more prominent; the hair is black, soft,
curled, and abundant; the color of the skin is tawny, but sometimes
approaching to that of mahogany. The division embraces the principal
tribes of the Indian archipelago, and all the islanders of the Pacific
excepting those which belong to the Ethiopic variety.

The preceding five great divisions of Blumenbach are reduced by some
naturalists to three, who consider the Malay class to be only a
sub-variety of the Caucasian, and the American a sub-variety of the
Mongolian. Cuvier gives only three distinct, well-marked divisions, the
white or Caucasian, the yellow or Mongolian, and the Negro or Ethiopic;
at the same time stating that several tribes diverge so remarkably, that
they can scarcely be referred to any one of these varieties. In reality,
the more extended arrangement of Blumenbach is but a very imperfect
classification of mankind, for not only individuals but whole tribes,
incorporated in each particular division, have distinctive characters
which separate them from the rest of the class, and some peculiarities
of one division are frequently traceable in the others. The Caucasians
might be readily divided into a large number of races, each having
definite characteristics. This is the case also with the Ethiopic class,
for there is nearly as much difference between the New Hollanders and
the woolly-headed Africans, included in the same department of the human
species, and between a Bosjesmen, a Caffre, and a Negro of Soudan, who
are also comprised in the Ethiopic variety, as between a Caucasian,
Mongolian, and Malay. It has also occurred, that from the spirit of
conquest and peaceful colonization, nations belonging to the divisions
of Blumenbach have become commingled, and have produced, by
intermarriage, races which cannot be distinctly traced to either the one
or the other of the parent classes. The Mongols, for instance, have
spread out from central Asia and largely intermixed with the Caucasians,
especially toward their western frontiers, while the Caucasians have
intruded into every quarter of the globe, and blended themselves with
the native inhabitants of the countries they have overrun. The Europeans
and Negroes produce Mulattos; Europeans and Mulattos produce Tercerons;
Europeans and Tercerons produce Quadroons, in whom the alleged
contamination of dark blood is no longer visible, and the Negro
character disappears. On the other hand, the offspring of a Mulatto and
a Negro, pairing with a Negro, the decided African character appears in
the children. Indians and Europeans produce Mestizos; Indians and
Negroes produce Zambos; Europeans and Zambos and Indians and Zambos
produce respective varieties. It is obvious, therefore, that the
preceding divisions of mankind, principally derived from the supposed
origin of nations, can only be regarded as extremely general.

[Illustration]

Attending exclusively to the form of the human skull, Dr. Prichard
discriminates three leading varieties:—The symmetrical or oval form,
which is that of the European and western Asiatic nations; the narrow
and elongated skull, of which the most strongly marked example is
perhaps the cranium of the Negro of the Gold Coast; the broad and
square-faced skull of the Mongols afford a fair specimen, and the
Esquimaux an exaggerated one.

[Illustration]

3. The other principal physical variations observable between different
nations refer to the _proportion of the limbs_, to _stature_, to the
_texture of the skin_, and to the _character of the hair_. Large hands
and broad and flat feet are among the peculiarities of the Negro; and in
general, the arm below the elbow is more elongated in proportion to the
length of the upper arm and the height of the person, than in the case
of Europeans. But among the latter, individual examples of the same
constructions occur; while among the former, instances of structure
after the European type may be found. As it respects stature, the
variations are not remarkable in relation to the majority of mankind;
but a striking discrepancy appears upon comparing a few isolated tribes.
America exhibits the extremes of stature—in the Esquimaux who are
generally below five feet, and in the Patagonians who are usually more
than six, and frequently as much as seven; but individual specimens of
both extremes are observed among the inhabitants of almost every
country. Europe has often presented the human form developed in gigantic
and dwarfish proportions. The contrasts are striking with reference to
the texture of the skin; that of the Negroes and some of the South Sea
islanders being always cooler, more soft and velvety than that of the
Europeans. Connected probably with varieties of the skin in texture are
the various odors which it is well-known belong to different races. “The
Peruvian Indians,” says Humbolt, “who in the middle of the night
distinguish the different races by their quick sense of smell, have
formed three words to express the odor of the Europeans, the Indian
Americans, and the Negro.” The diversities are great and obvious in the
character of the hair from that of the Negro, which is short and crisp,
and has acquired the name of wool, to the long, flowing, and glossy
locks of the Esquimaux, between which there are many gradations.

Precisely parallel varieties are ascertained to arise in the same race
of animals. Those of the domestic kind “vary from each other in size
much more than individuals the most different in stature among mankind.”
The small Welsh cattle compared with the large flocks of the southern
counties in England; or the Shetland ponies with the tall-backed mares
of Flanders; the bantam breed with the large English fowls, are well
known examples. More striking instances are mentioned by naturalists. In
the isles of the Celebes, a race of buffaloes is said to exist, which is
of the size of a common sheep; and Pennant has described a variety of
the horse in Ceylon, not more than thirty inches in height. The swine of
Cuba, imported into that island from Europe, have become double the
height and magnitude of the stock from which they were derived. The
disproportionate arm of the Negro and leg of the Hindoo meet an exact
parallel in the swine of Normandy, the hind-quarters of which are so out
of keeping with the fore, that the back forms an inclined plane to the
head; and as the head itself partakes of the same direction, the snout
is but a little removed from the ground. Among domesticated animals, no
species afford more striking specimens of modification in structure than
the hog tribe. The external forms which the race has assumed surpass in
monstrosity the most extraordinary diversities of the human frame.
“Swine,” observes Blumenbach, “in some countries have degenerated into
races which, in singularity, far exceed every thing that has been found
strange in bodily variety among the human race. Swine with solid hoofs
were known to the ancients, and large breeds of them are found in
Hungary and Sweden. In like manner the European swine first carried by
the Spaniards in 1509 to the island of Cuba—at that time celebrated for
its pearl-fishery—degenerated into a monstrous race, with toes that
were half a span in length.” The texture of the skin of several species
of animals is different in a wild and in a domesticated condition; and
the character of the hair exhibits analogous variations to that of the
tribes of mankind. In the instance of a neglected flock of sheep, the
fine wool is soon succeeded by a coarser kind, and the breed
approximates to the argali, or wild sheep of Siberia, the original
stock, which are covered with hair. The covering of the goat and dog
displays the same variety. Thus, the several external distinctions from
each other which the nations of men develop, must be admitted to be
plainly compatible with their forming a single species, when
distinctions of a parallel nature, but more numerous and singular, have
arisen within the limits of a species in the inferior animal creation.
It may be difficult, nay impossible, to explain the phenomena of
external variation—but surely it would be a matter of surprise if it
did not exist, considering the variation of external
circumstances—artic cold and tropical heat—flowery savannas and arid
deserts—civilization and barbarism—liberty and oppression—scantiness
of food and an abundant supply—nutritious food and a feebly supporting
fare—the feeling of security and the sense of danger.

[Illustration]

If the existence of varieties of structure and complexion offers no
argument against the common nature and origin of the millions of mankind
in the slightest degree valid, their identity as a species is strongly
supported by adverting to the general laws of their animal economy.
These have reference to the manner of their birth, the period of
gestation, the duration of life, and the casualties in the form of
diseases to which they are subject; and, in all these respects, a
general coincidence proclaims the unity of the human population of the
globe. As to longevity, it is the case indeed that the barbarian tribes
are shorter-lived than the cultivated races; but this is owing to the
physical hardships under which they suffer, and to ignorance of the
appropriate remedies to use under the assailments of sickness, freedom
from the former and a knowledge of the latter being possessed by all
civilized nations. Facts prove that, in circumstances favorable to
extreme longevity, the Europeans, the most polished communities, have no
preëminence over the tribes of Africa, among the least advanced in the
social scale. Mr. Easton, of Salisbury, gives the following instances of
advanced age from the Europeans and Asiatics—

                                     In A. D.    Aged.
           Appollonius at Tyana            99    130
           St. Patrick                    491    122
           Attila                         500    124
           Leywarch Hêw                   500    150
           St. Coemgene                   618    120
           Piastus, King of Poland        861    120
           Thomas Parr                   1635    152
           Henry Jenkins                 1670    169
           Countess of Desmond           1612    145
           Thomas Damme                  1648    154
           Peter Torton                  1724    185
           Margaret Patters              1739    137
           John Rovin and Wife           1741    172 & 164
           St. Mougah or Kentigern       1781    185

In juxtaposition with this list, we may place the following observation
of Humbolt relating to the native Americans: “It is by no means
uncommon,” he remarks, “to see at Mexico, in the temperate zone,
half-way up the Cordillera, natives—and especially women—reach a
hundred years of age. This old age is generally comfortable; for the
Mexicans and Peruvian Indians preserve their strength to the last. While
I was at Lima, the Indian, Hilario Sari, died at the village of
Chiguata, four leagues distant from the town of Arequipa, at the age of
one hundred and forty-three. She had been united in marriage for ninety
years to an Indian of the name of Andrea Alea Zar, who attained the age
of one hundred and seventeen. This old Peruvian went, at the age of one
hundred and thirty, a distance of from three to four leagues daily on
foot.” Dr. Prichard, from various sources, collected a variety of
remarkable instances of Negro longevity, of which the two following are
samples—

December 5th, 1830—Died at St. Andrews, Jamaica, the property of Sir
Edward Hyde East, Robert Lynch, a negro slave in comfortable
circumstances, who perfectly recollected the great earthquake in 1692,
and further recollected the person and equipages of the
Lieutenant-governor Sir Henry Morgan, whose third and last governorship
commenced in 1680; viz.—one hundred and fifty years before. Allowing
for this early recollection the age of ten years, this negro must have
died at the age of one hundred and sixty.

Died, February 17th, 1823, in the bay of St. John’s, Antigua, a black
woman named Statira. She was a slave, and was hired as a day-laborer
during the building of the gaol, and was present at the laying of the
corner-stone, which ceremony took place one hundred and sixteen years
ago. She also stated that she was a young woman grown, when the
President Sharp assumed the administration of the island, which was in
1706. Allowing her to be fourteen years old at that time, we must
conclude her age to be upward of one hundred and thirty years.

The same authority received from a physician at St. Vincent’s as an
answer to his query this statement—

“I have known a great many very old Negroes, whose exact ages could not
be ascertained. At the time of the hurricane in 1831, I had a record of
the mortality in the whole of my practice from the year 1813, and in
every year there were deaths of Negroes computed to be sixty, seventy,
or eighty years of age, and upward. My father will be eighty-four years
old in May next, and the Negro woman who carried him about as a child is
still living, and at the age of ninety-six enjoying good health, upright
in figure, and capable of walking several miles.” It may be true that
the Negroes regarded in mass exhibit a shorter term of life than the
European average; but this is sufficiently explained by the privations
of their lot in the colonies to which they have been transported, and by
an unfavorable climatic influence and geographical site in their native
country. The preceding facts show, that there is no law forbidding the
Negro to attain a longevity equal to that of the European, in
circumstances friendly to it; while placing the European in subjection
to the same amount of toil in the West Indies, or planting him amid the
swamps, the luxuriant vegetation, the inundations, and heat of Western
Africa, and his term of life in general would not come up to the Negro
standard. It appears from the researches of Major Tulloch, as embodied
in statistical reports printed by the House of Commons, that neither the
Saxon, nor Celtic, nor mixed race, composing the troops of Great
Britain, can withstand—even under the most favorable circumstances—the
deleterious influence of a tropical climate. It is shown, also, that
this result is not to be attributed to intemperance, the besetting vice
of all soldiers; for though temperance diminishes the effects of
climate, and adds to the chances of the European, it is by no means a
permanent security. So far as regards the vast regions of the earth, the
most fertile, the richest, the question as to their permanent occupancy
by the Saxon and Celt—as Britain, or France, or any other country, is
now occupied by its native inhabitants—appears, from these reports, to
be answered in the negative. “The Anglo-Saxon is now pushing himself
toward the tropical countries; but can the Saxon maintain himself in
these countries? It is to be feared not. Experience seems to indicate
that neither the Saxon nor Celtic races can maintain themselves, in the
strict sense of the word, within tropical countries. To enable them to
do so, they require a slave population of native laborers, or of colored
men at least. The instances of Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, and Columbia, where
the Spanish and Portuguese seem to be able to maintain their ground, do
not bear so directly on the question as many may suppose; for, in the
first place, we know not precisely the extent to which these have
mingled with the dark and native races; and secondly, the emigrants from
Spain and Portugal partook, in all probability, more of the Moor,
Pelasgic, and even Arab blood, than of the Celt or Saxon.”

A careful comparison of different tribes leads to the conclusion, that
the general phenomena of human life, or those processes which are termed
the natural functions, the laws of the animal economy, are remarkably
uniform, making allowance for the influence of climates, of modes of
living, of localities, and of the accidents which interrupt the natural
course. The age of puberty announces itself by corresponding symptoms,
and that of advanced life by analogous signs of decrepitude, the
decrease of the humors, the loss or decay of sight, and of the other
senses, and a change in the color of the hair. All communities of men
appear open to the attack of all kinds of disease, though a few haunt
particular districts, and of course only prey upon those who are exposed
to their invasion. In some cases, it is only the old inhabitants of
these neighborhoods that are attacked, as in the instance of the _plica_
_polonica_, which afflicts the Sarmatic race on and near the banks of
the Vistula, from which the German residents are in a great measure
free. But this proves no specific difference between the two, but only
shows that, to acquire a predisposition to certain local complaints is a
work of time, and will probably appear in new settlers after the lapse
of centuries. There is a well-marked variety in the constitution of
nations, and in their liability to certain given disorders; but the
difference between the torpid American and the irritable European is not
greater than the common varieties of constitution which meet us within
the bounds of the same family, and which render its different members
peculiarly subject to different complaints. The conclusion to which
these considerations point—that of the identity of mankind as a
species—is strongly supported by the fecundity of the offspring of
parents of different races. Hunter and other naturalists have advanced
it as a law, that if the offspring of two individual animals belonging
to different breeds is found to be capable of procreation, the parent
animals—though differing from each other in some particulars—are of
the same species; and if the offspring so engendered is sterile, then
the races from which it descended are originally distinct. This is a
position to which there are many exceptions; but it is undoubtedly true,
that the energy of propagation is very defective in the product of a
union of different species. Tried by this test, the inference is in
favor of a common nature belonging to all mankind; for the mixture of
originally far-separated human races has repeatedly resulted in a
numerous population, physically equal, and in many instances superior,
to either branch of the ancestral stock.

A variety of evidence—psychical and moral, physical and
philological—rebukes the ancient boast of Attica, that the Greeks
descended from no other stock of men; the first occupants of the country
springing out of the soil—an opinion held by the populace, but not the
creed of the philosophers. One of the most distinguished anatomists of
the day, who cannot be suspected of any prejudice upon the question—Mr.
Lawrence—draws this induction from an extensive series of facts and
reasonings—“that the human species—like that of the cow, sheep, horse,
and pig, and others—is _single_; and that all the differences which it
exhibits are to be regarded merely as varieties.” In what particular
spot the location of the primal pair was situated, and what race now
makes the nearest approximation to the original type, are points of some
interest, but of no importance, and are now involved in an obscurity
which it is impossible to remove. That the primitive man occupied some
part of the country traversed by the Tigris and Euphrates appears to be
the best supported opinion, as it is the most general; and from thence
there is no difficulty in conceiving the diffusion of the race to the
remotest habitable districts, in the course of ages. In the infancy of
society, an increasing population would speedily outstrip the means of
subsistence to be found in a limited district, inducing the necessity of
emigration to an unoccupied territory—a proceeding which the natural
love of adventure, with the spirit of curiosity and acquisition, so
influential in later ages, could not fail to facilitate. Considering the
connection of Asia, Africa, and Europe, the approximation of the
northern parts of the two great continents, with the contiguity of the
islands of Asia to it, we cannot marvel that the races spreading out to
these points, should devise means to cross rivers, scale mountains,
penetrate into deserts, and navigate the sea. The spur of necessity, the
excitement of enterprise, the stimulus of ambition, the occurrence of
accident, and sometimes the influence of fear, created by the commission
of crime, have all contributed to this result; but perhaps man has more
frequently than otherwise become the involuntary occupant of isolated
and distant isles. Three inhabitants of Tahiti had their canoe drifted
to the island Wateoo, a distance of five hundred and fifty miles; and
Malte Brun relates that, in 1696, two canoes, containing thirty persons,
were thrown by storms and contrary winds upon one of the Philippines,
eight hundred miles from their own islands. Kotzebue also states that,
in one of the Caroline isles he became acquainted with Kadu, a native of
Ulea. Kadu, with three of his countrymen, left Ulea in a sailing-boat
for a day’s excursion, when a violent storm arose, and drove them out of
their course. For eight months they drifted about in the open sea,
according to their reckoning by the moon, making a knot on a cord at
every new moon. Being expert fishermen, they were able to maintain
themselves by the produce of the sea; and caught the falling rain in
some vessels that were on board. Kadu—being a diver—frequently went
down to the bottom, where it is well known that the water is not so
salt, taking a cocoanut shell with only a small opening to receive a
supply. When these castaways at last drew near to land, every hope and
almost every feeling had died within them; but, by the care of the
islanders of Aur, they were soon restored to perfect health. Their
distance from home, in a direct line, was one thousand five hundred
miles.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                               =EXCERPTS=


                     =FROM AN EPISTLE TO A FRIEND.=


                       =BY ERASTUS W. ELLSWORTH.=


          Good Friend—dear heart—companion of my youth,
        Whose soul was honor, and whose words were truth;
        Methinks I see your smile of quick surprise,
        As o’er these rhymes you glance your curious eyes.
        But is it strange, if in an idle hour,
        I cull these blossoms from the Muses’ bower?
        Frail though they be, and blown but for a day,
        The heart’s best language they may best convey;
        In climes more genial, more adorned than ours,
        The poet and the lover talk with flowers;
        Then, though some richer gift were mine, to send,
        This should be thine, my old familiar friend.
        If for a while it cheat thee of a care,
        With fond remembrance of the things that were—
        Renew a thought, a hope that once was dear,
        Or hint an adage for a future year,
        I scarce shall think these lines were vainly writ,
        Nor quite disown my Muse’s random wit.

          Time, that has made us boys, and makes as men,
        Will never, never bring the past again;
        But wingéd memory half the wish supplies,
        Which he who bears the scythe and glass denies:
        He—the grim sexton of our dying years—
        She—“Old Mortality” of sepulchres—
        Both lay their fingers where our lives have flown,
        And touch, in turn, each monumental stone.

          Recall, my friend, the days when sent to school,
        We framed our first idea of tyrant rule.
        Long ere we turned the world’s dark pages o’er,
        Glued with the vassal’s tears, the martyr’s gore—
        Knew that a Cæsar passed a Rubicon,
        Or wrongful Britain laid a Stamp-act on,
        We drudged in study at another’s will,
        While the free light fell warm on wood and hill—
        Wrought with the service of an eye askance,
        Beneath a master’s rogue-detecting glance:
        Possessed with fear, lest trick or task might draw
        The rod that fell without the forms of law;
        Possessed with wrath to see our wealth expire—
        Tops, apples, penknives in the penal fire.
          How oft the slate, whose sable field should show
        Platoons of figures ranked in studied row—
        Squadrons of sums arrayed in careful lines—
        Victualled with grocer’s bills of fruits and wines,
        Betrayed a scene that crowned a day’s disgrace,
        Before that sternly, sadly smiling face—
        Trees, houses, elephants, and dogs and men,
        Where half the Arabian’s science should have been;
        And only this much learned, of figured lore,
        That time subtracted—always left a score.

          But when those long-loved hours were come, that took
        From those reveréd hands the rod and book,
        Our, like all vassal hearts, set quickly free,
        Sought at a bound the largest liberty.
        Self-exiled then, to meadow stream and wood,
        We dropped half-read the tale of Robin Hood;
        Though guiltless of his suits of Lincoln green,
        Dear, as to him, was every sylvan scene.
          Shade of old Crusoe, with thy dog and gun,
        And thy lone isle beneath a southern sun!
        Shades of the lords that made such rare disport
        Beneath the oaks of Arden’s rural court!
        As o’er my little day I cast my view,
        Contrasting what I know, with what I knew,
        Your lot no hardship seems: to you were given
        The world of nature and the lights of heaven,
        What time the sun came flaming from the deep,
        Bursting the curtained clouds of morning sleep,
        Or night, majestic, paced the solemn skies,
        Wrapped in a woof of starry mysteries—
        All times, all seasons, as they came and went,
        Soothed with sweet thought the ills of banishment.
        No rude, unbidden guest invaded there,
        Nor the harsh din of congregated care;
        The heart, all ruffled in the haunts of men,
        Like to a quiet sea became again—
        Like to the deep reflection of the skies,
        Its faith-born hopes, and sage moralities.

          This much, at least, my devious muse would say:
        Our golden age, my friend, has passed away—
        Passed, with the careless dress, and elfin looks,
        That showed our books were trees and running brooks.
        But something more I would awhile recall,
        Then let, with lingering hand, the curtain fall.
        Dear to this heart—O now how passing dear,
        With the sad change of each dispatchful year!—
        Seems every waif of hours when life was new,
        Though home’s small scene contained its little view.
        Home that, however mean or grand, supplies
        A gay kaleidoscope to youthful eyes.
        Say not, gray Wisdom, that its wonders pass,
        The mere deceit of beads and broken glass.
        Here, to thy rugged front, and locks of snow,
        Thy solemn eye, and beard’s descending flow,
        I dare avouch, of life’s most pleasing way,
        The best is gilded with the morning ray.
        See all our life the coinage of our eye;
        (O shut thy book—let go philosophy!)
        In Youth the pennies pass, ’tis no less strange
        That Age and Manhood clink the silver change.
        Through all estates our joys alike are vain;
        Then chide not one who turns to youth again.
        One rainbow vision of youth’s earnest eyes
        Is worth a stack of staid philosophies.

          Fields, waters, forests where we roamed of yore,
        What thronging memories haunt ye evermore:
        In yonder glen the brook is gliding still,
        Whose turf-dammed waters turned the mimic mill.
        Yon wood still woos us to its deep embrace,
        Whose shadows wrought a summer’s resting place,
        When from our brows the caps were careless thrown,
        The hunter’s tackle and the game laid down,
        As the long daylight, wearing towards a close,
        Breathed the soft airs of languor and repose.
        There, stretched at length, we mused, with half shut eye,
        To the leaf-kissing wind’s light lullaby,
        That, ever and anon, with murmur deep,
        Did through the pine’s Æolian organ creep.
        Tired with the varied travel of the day,
        The sound of game unheeded passed away—
        The bursting thunder of a partridge wing—
        The frolick blue-jay’s nasal caroling—
        The tawny thrush, that peeped with curious look,
        A rustic starer, from his leafy nook—
        The crow, hoarse cawing as we met his eye—
        The squirrels, bickering on the oaks hard by;
        Red-liveried elves, who taught their brains to say—
        “Whene’er the cat doth sleep the mice may play.”
        No more they feared the gun’s successless skill,
        Banged with clear malice, and intent to kill,
        But shelled their nuts with self-complacent air,
        And chid as, plainly, for invading there.
          Through loopholes of the intertwisted green
        Came the far glimpse of many a sylvan scene—
        Parts of a smiling vale, a glorious sphere,
        Warm with the vigorous manhood of the year;
        Deep-bosomed haunts, where honest-handed toil
        Renewed the strength that dressed his native soil,
        While the gray spire, towards the drooping west,
        With heavenward finger, showed a world of rest.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                      =OH, WOULD I WERE A CHILD!=


                          =BY MARIE DELAMAIE.=


                Oh, would I were a child again!
                  A child with spirit free,
                Singing glad songs of merriment
                  Beneath the hawthorn tree,
                Watching the many-colored clouds
                  Pursue their course on high,
                Trying to count the silver stars
                  That gem the evening sky,
                Weaving, beside bright sparkling streams,
                  A wreath of sunny flowers,
                Or reading wondrous fairy tales,
                  In green, sequestered bowers.
                The lights, the sounds of Nature then
                  My happy hours beguiled;
                Would I could feel their power again—
                  Oh, would I were a child!

                I chose my sprightly playmates then
                  For simplicity and mirth,
                I cared not for the lofty
                  Or the great ones of the earth;
                Rich in the love of cherished friends,
                  I asked no monied store,
                Save to relieve the beggar’s wants,
                  That wandered to my door.
                I wrote my artless verses then
                  Without effort, toil, or aim,
                And read them to a list’ning group,
                  Without a hope of fame;
                By worldly views, ambitious dreams,
                  My thoughts were undefiled;
                Would I were now as free from care—
                  Oh, would I were a child!

                Yet soon my youthful heart began
                  To spurn a life like this,
                I deemed the far-off glittering world
                  A fairy land of bliss;
                I left my playmates to their sports
                  And castles built in air;
                I dreamed of scenes through which I moved
                  A lady, proud and fair,
                And, while my short and simple tasks
                  With careless haste I conned,
                I longed to study learned lore
                  My feeble powers beyond—
                Like Rassalas around me
                  The Happy Valley smiled,
                Yet I longed to leave its limits
                  And cease to be a child.

                The magic circle of the world
                  I now have stood within,
                Yet I turn from its frivolity,
                  I tremble at its sin.
                And Knowledge! my long cherished hope,
                  The object of my love,
                She still eludes my eager quest,
                  Still soars my grasp above;
                I add from her bright treasury
                  New jewels to my store,
                Yet miserable, I murmur
                  That I cannot grasp in more,
                Before me seem exhaustless heaps
                  Of mental riches piled,
                Yet still, in learning’s brightest gifts,
                  I feel myself a child.

                Oh foolish, oh repining heart,
                  Thus willfully to cast
                Vain wishes to the Future,
                  Fond longings to the Past!
                Panting to overleap the bounds
                  Of childhood’s simple track,
                Anxious to ’scape from woman’s cares
                  And trace the journey back;
                Should I not rather be content
                  To pass from youth to age
                Striving to do my appointed work
                  In life’s short pilgrimage?
                Then let me school my rebel heart,
                  And calm my fancies wild,
                And be in meek, submissive love
                  Indeed a little child.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                   =A NIGHT IN THE DISSECTING-ROOM.=


                        =BY MRS. LOUISE PIATT.=


          Fatherly, motherly,
          Sisterly, brotherly
            Feelings had changed:
          Love by harsh evidence
            Thrown from its eminence,
              Even God’s providence
                Seeming estranged.         _Bridge of Sighs._


Medical students are merry fellows. This is one of the settled
convictions of the world. Any one who dare assert that medical students
are not lively, reckless youths, would be considered very ignorant, or
devoid of truth. And the world in a received opinion is right for once.
The majority of them, bred at home, the sons of wealthy parents, are
sent to large cities, to pass in crowds the season of lecture; and,
being suddenly removed beyond restraint, and countenanced by each other,
it is little wonder they break into youthful extravagance, that too
often ends in habits of sin and misery. The short passage between the
hospital and dissecting-room rings with laughter, and the wild
exuberance of youth blooms like a flower, rich and rank among graves.
The hotel in which I have passed the winter, is in the neighborhood of a
medical college, and my two little rooms look down upon the street along
which troups of students pass laughing and chatting—in their queer
dresses, made up of sacks, blouses, and caps. From time to time, as my
health would permit, I have, reminded by these youths, given the history
of a medical student, who came from the same sunny plains upon which I
passed three of my happiest years. I give it here much curtailed, and
only regret that facts cannot be made more entertaining.

The scenery of the U-na-ka plains is exceedingly beautiful and peculiar.
Yet one traveling from early morn till even, over roads level as a
railway, may at last become wearied with a sameness of quiet beauty that
seems to be without end. But to see the specimens preserved in
Frankenstein’s sketches, is to have a life-pension in pictured
loveliness. The green sward, cropped close by huge droves of cattle,
stretches out for miles and miles, dotted by groves of bur-oak,
interlacing their gnarled boughs, upon which the bright green foliage
hangs denser than that of any other species of American tree, or
threaded by silvery rivulets that glide slowly along between flowery
banks, as if they seemed loath to leave the paradise they adorn, or
broken by little wood-covered mounds that swell up like islands in a
flowery sea; or one sees a little lake calmly mirroring the quiet
heavens above, like a beautiful nun in a cloistered convent. No rocks,
no distant mountains melting in the hazy noon—no wide seas or sweeping
rivers—no swelling uplands, yet in their own, quiet way the U-na-ka
plains are as beautiful as they.

As the Frankensteins selected knots of still beauty to immortalize on
canvas, so the Hon. William Fletcher selected a scene of exceeding
beauty in the midst of which to place his home, and gratify his taste
for retirement, where he could look the fairest nature in the face. A
dreamy, indolent man of fine intellect, he had struggled for years at
the bar with various success, when, through the influence of some
friends, he was elevated to the bench, and shortly after, a near
relative dying, left him an immense fortune. The judge gave up his
judgeship, presented his fine library to a nephew, and, with wife and
only child, retired to his U-na-ka farm, to settle down over books and
dreams for the remainder of his useless life. He would have certainly
accomplished this sleepy purpose, but for the only child—a boy—who
acted upon the Hon. Mr. Fletcher like a corn, with the difference that
love, not hate, made the young development of himself exceedingly
troublesome.

The younger Fletcher, humored by the indolent father and fond mother,
had every whim gratified, every wish anticipated. When the educated
selfishness proposed breaking his neck by riding a colt that seemed
unmanageable, the proposition was acceded to by the foolish parents amid
earnest protestations, prayers, and loud lamentations. From the time he
fell from the table, in a fit of indigestion, having gorged himself with
plum-cake, to his nineteenth year, when he discharged a load of small
shot from his double-barrel Manton into the back of John, the coachman,
and cost his father a large sum to keep his heir out of jail, Dudley
Fletcher had his own way—and a bad way it was. Yet Dudley was popular.
He had plenty of money, and no care for it. His selfishness was ignorant
thoughtlessness, for he did many generous acts—if they cost him little
trouble. His hand went to and from his well-filled purse quite
easily—and he flung his father’s money from him like a lord.

When in his nineteenth year, one pair of sparkling black eyes at least
saw Dudley dash by upon his blood mare without dislike. These eyes
belonged to a little girl, the daughter of one of the Hon. Fletcher’s
tenants; and however beautiful the orbs were, the setting was in
keeping. A prettier specimen of Heaven’s choicest handiwork never peeped
out in hill and woodland. Upon the most exclusive carpets she would have
been a distinguished feature, so delicate, graceful and beautiful was
she; but in the U-na-ka wilds, she looked like a water-lily turning up
its pure, pale face from a marshy pool. Dudley, just at the age when
youths, like creepers, stretch out their arms to cling to something, saw
and loved the little cottager—the tenant’s daughter. Dudley had ever
been gratified with all he sighed for, and, of course, saw no obstacle
in the path to obtain what he so earnestly admired. He waded in to pluck
the lily, never seeing the slime and earth that might cling to him in
the act. To do the youth justice, however, he was as sincere and honest
in his hopes, as thoughtless, selfish youths ever are. He paled
apace—his appetite came like country cousins, unexpectedly; he read
much poetry, and wandered about at unseasonable hours. His fond, good
mother, said the private tutor kept Dudley too close at his books. The
Hon. Fletcher said the boy had the dyspepsia—the tutor hinted the
truth, but no one listened.

How the youth prospered in his wooing, the tutor himself soon had
striking proof. This private pedagogue was a large, dirty man, who wore
his hair standing on end, and kept his nails in mourning. Somewhat
indignant at not being heard when he suggested the real cause of
Dudley’s trouble, this mortal made himself a committee of one, to
investigate and report. By close watching he discovered that his pupil
was in the habit of stealing out at a late hour of the night to stroll
past the cottage, whistling as he went a popular melody. By closer
observations he discovered that soon after this performance, a white
little fairy flitted by and disappeared in the willow grove, that
fringed the brook. Ah! ha! thought the tutor, we will have occular
proof. He gave himself up to a few days’ hard thinking, which resulted
in a plot. One dark night, shortly after he had the Hon. Fletcher and
his hopeful closeted in deep discourse, while the mother sat with her
knitting close by, throwing in a few maternal remarks upon Dudley’s
ill-health and close application, the redoubtable tutor wrapped himself
comfortably in the idea of a successful trick, and stalked past the
cottage and whistled, well as he was able, the popular melody. Then he
stole into the willow grove. The night, as I have said, was dark and
stormy. The heavens, veiled by heavy clouds, gave no light, and the
willows swung to and fro in the fitful winds that swept through them.
The tutor listened—he heard a quick, light step, and turned. Alas! no
loving arms were clasped around his neck, no gentle words were whispered
in his ears, but, in their place, a cudgel fell upon his nose, breaking
down that important feature. The blow knocked the tutor down, but
recovering, with a wild cry of murder, he fled—his speed greatly
increased by a shower of thumps that for awhile rained upon his back. He
reached the house, and, with a face like Banquo’s, rushed through the
library, frightening the Hon. Fletcher, wife, and son terribly.

The next morning the elder Mr. Fletcher was wondering what confounded
scrape that fool tutor had been in. Thomas Wickley, the father of the
pretty Mary, entered his apartment. He came in, as justly indignant
fathers always do upon the stage, and told his story very much as
Reynolds or Coleman would have had him.

“You say my son has been paying improper attention to your daughter?”

“I do.”

“And that you beat him for it?”

“Yes—and I guess he carries the marks this morning, for I made them
last night.”

The Hon. Fletcher opened wide his blue eyes, and then burst into a roar
of laughter. Wickley looked at the unseasonable merriment sullen and
indignant. The Hon. Fletcher smoothed his wrinkled front immediately.

“Excuse me, sir; my merriment is out of place. I feel deeply for
you—but I can soon convince you of a slight mistake.”

“No you can’t,” was the rude response.

“Yes, I think I can; and let me assure you, I give no countenance to
such things. If you wish, they shall be married, or this fellow must
quit my house. Wait one moment, I have sent for my son.”

“Judge Fletcher, you are an honest man, if you are rich,” began Wickley,
when he was interrupted by the entrance of Dudley. The young man started
when he saw the visitor; but his face was as smooth as youth and soap
could make.

“You say you beat my son last night—he did not leave the house: You say
you beat him—he certainly does not look in that plight.”

The man stared, evidently puzzled; but fumbling at his pocket, he pulled
out a bundle of letters, and spread them before his honor.

“I don’t know who I did beat last night. I did beat some one, that’s a
fact. But maybe you’d tell me who writ them?”

The judge took the first papers. It was Dudley’s writing, and, at arm’s
length, looked frightfully like poetry. He examined it closely, and
found a lyric of seventeen verses, of an amorous, mystic character. The
reader must not think me romancing if I give as specimens a few lines of
the best. Men in love will spin out just such gossamer threads, that,
floating in the merry sunlight of youth, look very beautiful. A steady
member of the bar, who, I doubt not, is at this moment in his dull, grim
office, pouring over musty law books, looking as if the jingle of a
rhyme would be as annoying as a poor client, did, once upon a time,
address volumes of verse to me, until he found that I was in a fair mood
to label all as “rejected addresses,” when he suddenly took to special
pleading with eminent success. To poor Dudley’s poetry.

          ’Tis sad, sweet May, to part with thee,
            More sad than words may tell;
          To give thy form to Memory,
            To breathe a last farewell;
          How long thy every thought and tone
            Of mine have been a part;
          And now to tread life’s path alone,
            Oh! well may break my heart.

          As dew is to the drooping flower,
            As night-stars to the sea,
          As sunlight to the summer hour,
            Is thy sweet voice to me.
          Oh! gentle May—soul of my heart—
            Oh! wild-bird of the wood;
          Thy holier nature grows my part
            Of all that’s pure and good.

“Did you write this stuff?” asked the father, after he had, with cruel
deliberation, read the seventeen verses, while Dudley stood by, his face
covered with blushes.

“I did, sir.”

“And what do you mean by it—am I to understand that you have been
secretly addressing this man’s daughter?”

“Yes, sir. I love Mary Wickley, and intend to marry her.”

This little speech had been carefully prepared in anticipation of just
such a scene; and Dudley intended to speak it boldly and well, as the
preface to an eloquent effort in behalf of virtuous love and a cottage
ornée. But, alas! between the resolution and the act lay a wide
difference. He faltered out the first sentence, and the last words died,
suffocated in his throat; and he stood before the cold, calm face of the
judge, more like a criminal than an advocate. Mr. Wickley was quite
astonished and puzzled at Judge Fletcher’s not following up his bold,
virtuous sentence of marriage or expulsion. Mary’s father was dismissed
with vague promises of justice, and Dudley locked in his room. After
which, Judge Fletcher, wife, and tutor, went into solemn deliberation
with closed doors. The result of that consultation was a determination
to send Dudley into honorable exile. “He is old enough to enter upon the
study of a profession,” said the judge, “and we will place him in Doctor
Calomel’s office, and let him live with his aunt, Mrs. Col. Hays. He
will see something of the world, and be cured of absurdities in behalf
of love and poverty.”

The dim twilight of the next early dawn saw Dudley seated by the driver
upon the stage, and, as he felt the huge affair swing under him, the
horses trotting briskly along, the cool fresh breeze fanning his cheeks,
and birds making vocal the road-side, the sensation was not that of the
utter desolation that fell upon the heart of the little girl who saw the
blushing morn and merry birds through tears. The one had change of
scene, and elegant solitude, leisure and quiet to minister to his
miseries—the other choked down her grief before a harsh unfeeling
parent, and turned to weary drudgery, lightened by no kind words, no
looks of gentle sympathy. Save us from our friends should read—Lord,
save us from our natural guardians.

Dudley, in the midst of the vast city, opened his books under the
guidance of Doctor Calomel, and entered society under the guardianship
of Mrs. Col. Hays. Dr. Calomel taught him the grand mystery of
dosing—Mrs. Col. Hays gave him lessons in the sublime mystery of being
dosed. This lady, elegant, beautiful, and rich, had great sway in what
is considered “the world.” Her house was thronged with fashionable
nonentities—her will undisputed, and her wishes carefully considered by
a dozen other families, who held in common with her iron sway over
society. She was cold, correct, graceful—in fact, a thoroughbred woman
of the world. No stain had ever fallen upon her snowy character; she
turned with freezing dignity upon the slightest departure from
rectitude, and yet was the most perfect teacher of vice Satan ever
commissioned. Dudley was dazzled and delighted; and when he compared the
splendor of his aunt’s drawing-room, satined, slippered, powdered and
perfumed, the contrast between Mary—poor little Mary—and those
fashionables in his mind, was great; and when Mrs. Col. Hays made a
casual allusion to that “little love-scrape” in the country, shame
entered and took side with love. He did not love her less, but he pitied
her more; and the brave thought of an humble home and happy fireside
took flight, never, never to return.

Mrs. Col. Hays—lady of Col. Cabell Hays—had some unseen spirit
whispered harshly in your ear, while you were sitting in your cushioned
pew, listening to that divine man, the Rev. Theodore Smoothe, preach
from a marble pulpit, upon the righteousness of right and the sinfulness
of sin, that you had opened a rosewood door and shown the downward path
carpeted and beautiful to a poor, innocent boy, that, under your care,
was hastening on to misery and death—what an awful chill would have
fallen upon your soul. Yet this is what you have to answer for; and no
beautifully sculptured stone, telling of a virtuous wife and Christian
neighbor, will save you!

Dudley continued to love the little May, he could not help that; but it
was not with the pure love that once made life so beautiful. He wrote
long, burning letters frequently to her, and received long, truthful
letters in return. With what a beating heart she stole in the crowd that
thronged the village post-office upon the day the great coach came in,
and sitting timidly upon a coil of rope, heard her name called out by
the greasy postmaster, as he sorted over the letters. With what a
trembling hand she gave the pay and hastened away with the dear unopened
letter. How she hid herself in retired places, in the woods, in the
cellar or garret, and read and read, through tears of joy, the delicious
poison. What Dudley received in his gay life he transmitted in letter to
the poor girl. How the heart sickens at the miserable lies that line a
way like this.

A year rolled by, and Dudley returned to pass a summer’s vacation at his
father’s house. How changed they found him. No longer a willful, bashful
boy, he now came out in all the colors of an accomplished, impudent,
empty-headed scamp. I will not pause to tell of his meetings with
Mary—of the many hours passed together without the knowledge of parents
or friends. Six weeks fled by, and Dudley returned to his books, to
society, to vices he now followed up with an eagerness that can only be
accounted for by a restless desire to drown all remembrance of the past.
He received letters frequently from Mary, long, sad, wretched letters,
blotted with tears. He answered them with hasty scrawls, one note to a
dozen letters, and at last ceased to answer them at all. He ceased to
study, his nights were passed in brawls, drunken orgies, his days in
sleeping off the effect of bad wine and exhausting revelry.

I have not the heart to detail the sufferings of poor little Mary. How
she toiled on from day to day, between sleepless nights of agony and
shame, until her cheeks seemed washed away by tears. Her parents,
suspecting the truth, treated her harshly. Summer had faded into autumn,
and autumn into winter. Weeks and weeks had gone by without a word from
Dudley. When filled with despair, one night, after a harsh lecture from
her misguided father, she promised on the morrow to tell him all. With
this promise she was permitted to retire, but not to rest. Soon as the
door of her little room was closed, she sat down and wrote for her
parents the bitter truth. Then gathering her cloak about her shoulders,
she fled into the dark, wintry night. She would go, she would seek
Dudley, for what purpose she could not say—but at home there was no
hope, no life.

Through the long dismal night the poor girl walked along the rough
frozen road that led to the city. Over wide dreary fields that seemed to
stretch out in the gloom of night, miles and miles away: through
groaning woods, that shrieked in the winds as they rubbed their giant
arms together: past farm houses—with windows, from which twinkled
little lights, and where the deep-mouthed watch-dog bayed fierce and
honestly: through sleeping villages—where the winds swept, making the
signs creak dismally, the once timid and delicate girl pushed on. She
had no fear, for she had no thought for the present. In the present,
there lay a dull, aching pain about her heart; all the rest of her
fevered being was far off, in the huge, great city with Dudley. The
little, timid, commonplace girl was now a heroine. In her father’s
cottage her mother walked quietly about her pleasant duties, singing a
low, sad melody that her children might sleep—the fire was sparkling
brightly upon the hearth, lighting up the walls and rafters of that holy
place, while she, the dearest, loveliest of all, was fleeing alone, in
the stormy night, far, far away.

That night wore slowly on, and toward morning the rear-guard of the
northern storm came hurrying by. In scattered groups of hosts, as if
flying from a foe, the great clouds rolled down over the distant
horizon, and left the bright stars sparkling coldly in the clear
atmosphere of the winter’s night. Then came morning, and the winds
ceased. The earth seemed waiting in breathless silence for the glorious
morn. Little Mary—sick, tired Mary—saw nothing of this. She staggered
on, sometimes falling; but again getting up and hurrying on. About noon
the stage came by, and the driver, seeing a frail creature—almost a
child—walking weariedly, invited her to ride. She mechanically
accepted. Inside the vehicle—all closed in with carpet lining, that
seemed to flap the cold air about, and smelled of old leather—she found
two passengers. One, a countryman, shivering in a woolsey over-coat; the
other, so lost in the folds of a buffalo robe, he could not be made out.
Mary seated herself upon the middle seat, but a lurch of the stage threw
her forward upon the buffalo robe, which unrolled, and an old gentleman
peered savagely out, displaying a wrinkled front, in which age had more
to do than anger. He was about uttering an ugly exclamation, when the
sight of Mary’s sad, pale, young face checked him; and, moving over, he
not only gave her a seat, but insisted upon folding a part of the warm
robe about her.

In a few moments, the poor girl fell wearied upon the shoulder of her
companion into sleep. The old man looked kindly down on the pale, thin
face, over which he saw traces of tears, and beneath the cross exterior,
a heart throbbed kindly for the suffering girl. Wondering what could
bring grief to one so young, he saw the lips quiver, and tears well out
from the veiled eyes—then sobs that came up like bubbles from drowning
hope; and these passed away, and a gentle smile settled upon the fair
face, as a mellow sunset upon a wintry scene. She was dreaming—the
voice of her mother broke upon her ear, kind, gentle, forgiving; and he
was there—the past all forgotten, the future all brightness. Sleep on,
poor wretch: let the rough vehicle rock gently, and the strong horses
trot evenly along, for she who now, in happy forgetfulness, moves
swiftly on to death. Could the impenetrable curtain of the future be
lifted from before each of us as we take our last ride, not only the
criminal seated in his rude cart would shudder. What gay equipages,
flashing along, would be turned to funeral marches, with at least one
sincere mourner for the doomed and lost. What humble family groups, with
hope in their midst, wending their way to church or home, would see
earth darken down in gloom and tears. But, thank kind Heaven! the dread
Unknown comes silently on, with all shadows behind; and we laugh or cry,
as joys or cares possess us, up to the very second when his iron hand is
at our heart, and eternity opens before us.

Through long hours she slumbered—still dreaming—sometimes smiling,
oftener in tears; but still sleep sealed up her aching sense. The stage
stopped, and driver and horses were changed; and still on rattled the
rough stage, now over a wide MacAdamized road, thronged with vehicles of
all sorts, going, and coming. The passengers were called to sup in a
town possessed of one brick street, two or three frame streets, and
then, on every side, thinly populated suburbs, consisting of stables,
smoke-houses, and shanties. The old gentleman led his little charge into
the dirty-white barn-like hotel, at the door of which a negro began
ringing a discordant bell, whereupon a number of slippered gentlemen,
who were tilted back on chairs, chewing and smoking, suddenly disposed
of their tobacco, and rushed into the dining-room, as if the tough
beef-steak, heavy hot bread, and muddy coffee, were positively the last
eatables left upon earth. Mary sat down, but could eat nothing; her old
friend insisted upon her swallowing a cup of the hot coffee, and they
returned to the stage.

Evening found them still upon the road. The stage lamps were lit, and
they were whirled past carriages and wagons, through towns, and by
glaring forges, where the sparks flew in showers around sinewy arms, to
the music of heavy hammers and ringing anvils. This changed as the night
stole on, and, in the dark stage, they seemed moving through a
slumbering world—all shadows, and so still. Between feverish sleep and
long fits of crying, the hours passed slowly away with Mary. About one
o’clock the stage stopped, and the old gentleman, who had volunteered
his guardianship, said he was at home.

“Won't you stop, and stay all night with us?” he asked kindly.

“O, no,” she responded hastily; “I must go.”

“Remain, and go on to-morrow. You will suffer, I fear.”

“No, no—I must go on. Is it far, now?”

“Yes, ’tis some distance yet. But, see, I must take this robe,” he
added, hesitatingly.

“Oh yes, never mind me. I am much obliged, I thank you.”

She could say no more. The old man hesitated—walked a few paces,
stopped—then entered the gate, and the stage was driven away. She did
suffer, no longer protected by the robe, her little cloak afforded small
shelter from the bitter cold night that blew into the stage, and was
whirled about; and nestled she ever so close into a corner, still the
cold would penetrate, and she shivered, suffering terribly. How
long—Oh, how long the painful hours were! Between that midnight and the
morn seemed an age. At last it came, and found the stage jolting over
the pavements of the city of ——. She looked out in wonder and dread at
the tall houses, towering up on either side, and the men and women
hurrying to and fro in such strange haste.

The stage stopped in front of a large hotel, and a crowd of servants
rushed out and surrounded the frozen vehicle—some mounting to the top
like apes, others struggling at straps, pulling out trunks and carpet
sacks, putting all in a pile upon the pavement, amidst screams, curses,
and cries, perfectly stunning.

“Your baggage, Miss?” asked a clerk, with his pen behind his ears, and a
good deal of impudent pomposity before.

“Is there any thing to pay?” answered the poor girl, perfectly
bewildered.

“John, the way-bill?” shouted the clerk.

“No—nothing, Miss: marked paid—all right—walk in?”

Mary sat before the glowing grate in the handsome parlor, trying to
determine in her own mind what next was to be done. More and more the
painful reality of helplessness among strangers in a strange place
impressed itself upon her mind. Her head ached dreadfully, her limbs
pained her, and while the face was burning as with fever, it seemed
impossible to get warm. She at last asked a servant timidly for the
office of Dr. Calomel.

“Just round the corner, Miss. Here, I’ll show you,” he answered
politely, and running to the corner, pointed out the old tarnished sign
of the eminent practitioner.

Mary sought the place designated, entered a wide hall, and knowing
nothing about bells, walked in and knocked gently at the first door. The
knock was responded to by a thin old man, of very sombre appearance;
who, with broom and brush in hand, seemed fresh from cleaning the rooms.

“Come in quick, young female, you’re too early for consultin’, but the
doctor will be about directly. Come straight along, you’re lettin’ in
considerable atmosphere.”

Thus strangely addressed, Mary was ushered into a large room,
well-furnished and adorned with hideous pictures of various diseased
heads, arms, legs, etc., that made one shudder. Cases of books, bones
and preparations stood against the walls, while upon a rosewood table,
in the centre of the room, were piled books and prints, all treating of
the same disagreeable topics. Through an open door she saw another room,
got up in the same style, and beyond this yet another, and in all three,
the polished grates roared with bright coal fires.

Mary sat and waited nearly two hours, while the stately servant went on
silently dusting and sweeping, answering the bell every few minutes, but
never saying a word to the little visitor. At the end of that time,
others came in and sat by her. Pale, wretched, distressed-looking
women—some with babes afflicted with sad diseases; while men limped in,
almost groaning with pain. Young gentlemen, handsomely dressed,
sauntered in, and throwing off cloaks and coats, sat down to books in
the adjoining room. They carried on conversation in a low tone, broken
by occasional laughs that contrasted strangely with the half-suppressed
complainings of the group around her. The doctor at last came hurriedly
in. He was a small, spare man, with a gray head, and wrinkled, cross
face, that, guarded by a pair of cold blue eyes, looked as unfeeling as
the man really was. He passed from patient to patient—scolding this
one, abusing that, and treating all as if they were dogs. Having run
through his catalogue of poverty-stricken specimens of humanity, he
turned abruptly to Mary, and asked—

“What do you want?”

“I wish to see Dudley Fletcher, sir,” was the frightened reply.

The doctor eyed the little visitor with a cold, half-suppressed sneer
for a second; and then, making no reply, looked at his watch, and left
the house—having thus humanely disposed of his charity patients. As his
buggy rattled away, the grim janitor told Mary that Dudley Fletcher was
seldom about the office now-a-days—he might be in before dinner, but it
was very doubtful. If she would leave a note, he would see that Mr.
Fletcher received it. Mary was disposed to wait; but her presence had
attracted the attention of the students in the adjoining room, and she
noticed they whispered together and stared at her—so writing hastily a
note, telling Dudley of her arrival and where she could be found, she
sealed and directed it, then with a heavy heart returned to the hotel.

It is difficult to say what the deserted and heart-sickened girl
proposed doing when Dudley did see her. She had no definite idea, no
realization of aught save fevered suffering; but, if she could only see
him once more, hear his voice, feel his arm about her aching form, it
seemed as if all would be well again. But time stole slowly on, and no
Dudley came: she started at the approach of strangers, expecting the
familiar face of her betrayer. She escaped the impertinent stare of
servants by going to the window, and looking down the thronged streets
until her eyes were dim with tears. The noise of life around fell
without a meaning upon her ear—it seemed a continual roar like a
senseless rush of waters. She still stood by the window as evening came,
and the shades of night fell upon the street, and saw the crowd thin,
and the lights twinkle from post and store—still no Dudley came. The
servants treated her so rudely, that, at last, she was forced to go; and
fearing he might come yet and not find her, for more than an hour she
lingered upon the street, in front of the wide flight of steps that led
to the hotel.

It was now quite dark, and Mary still hung about the steps, when a man
handsomely dressed came down them—passed, looking at her as the
lamp-light fell upon her pale face, then turned and asked in a low tone
if she wished to see any one. Thinking the questioner might be from
Dudley, she answered quickly—

“Yes—I want to see Dudley Fletcher.”

“Ah! yes, yes, you will scarcely find him here.”

“Where can I find him, sir?”

“That is easier asked than answered, my little maiden, unless you know
something before hand.”

“I don’t know—I came into town to-day. I wish to see him. Can’t you
tell me where to go?”

“I will go with you, little one,” answered the man, looking uneasily at
the lights around. “Come, I will take you where you can send for
him—come with me.” He walked hastily on, and Mary followed: for some
time he continued a few paces before her, but turning down a narrow
street in which there were no gas-lamps, he put her arm in his, and
said—

“Now, my little girl, tell me all about it. Where did you come from, and
what is it about Dudley Fletcher?”

“I came from Un-a-ka, sir—and I wish to see him.”

“A little love-affair now—eh! You’re his little sweetheart?”

To this Mary making no reply, her companion withdrew her arm, and placed
his own around her. Frightened at this, she shrunk away, and, as he
persisted, she suddenly sunk to the ground, and burst into tears. Had
there been sufficient light, a very puzzled expression might have been
seen upon the face of the gentleman as he lifted her from the pavement.

“Come,” he said, “don’t cry. I’ll not offend you again—where shall I
take you?”

“To Dudley Fletcher,” she sobbed out. “Only show me his house, and then
leave me.”

“Why, yes—he lives with his Aunt, Mrs. Hays; but I’ll take you there,
so do not cry.”

They moved on in silence, and in a few minutes were in front of the
marble mansion, blazing with light.

“Here,” said her companion, “is the house. Mrs. Col. Hays gives a party
to-night. Go up those steps, ring the bell, and ask for Mr. Fletcher. I
cannot accompany you farther.”

Scarcely stopping to thank her conductor, Mary staggered up the marble
steps, while he turned hastily away, as if shunning a denouement. She
paused at the door, weak, frightened and doubting, when a carriage
stopped, and from it a party ran up the steps. Mary shrank from sight
behind a pillar as they came. A gentleman rang the bell, and had
scarcely touched the silver knob before the door swung noiselessly open
and the party entered. Not daring to follow their example she still
hesitated. From the door by which she stood ran a narrow porch of
ornamented iron-work, and along this she stole to where the high window
came to the floor and looked in. For a second she was dazzled. The
magnificent rooms blazed with light from cut-glass chandeliers, the soft
light fell upon delicate furniture of the most costly kind—upon
pictures rare and beautiful—upon soft carpets over which fairy forms
moved so exquisitely, while strains of delicious music came up from some
distant room, that to the unexperienced eye of Mary all seemed a fairy
scene—a creation of the imagination.

As the poor girl stood shivering in the cold, the snow began to fall,
and shrinking closer to the warmth she could not feel, the whole scene
presented a realization of Barry Cornwall’s exquisite poem of “Without
and Within.” With only that diamond-pane between—a world wide contrast
had existence. Upon one side was a piece of God’s exquisite workmanship,
shivering, suffering, half-crazed, trampled upon and outcast—while upon
the other, wanton luxury rolled in sin. Ah! who comes here, pacing so
proudly, while bright eyes turn admiringly—what exceeding loveliness is
led by the arm. The blood rushes to the pale face, the little heart
throbs aloud, she presses closer to the pane, for it is him—it is
Dudley. She of the bright complexion, large, soft eyes and mass of
ringlets, is seated near that fated window, and he bends over her. She
hears him speak—no, his low voice cannot come through the heavy pane,
but she knows too well—ah! too well—the persuasive words that are
falling from his lips, for she has learned to read his looks—the
lessons have been burned into her heart.

The lights shine on. To strains of witching music forms pass to and fro
in the mazes of the dance—jest and song, laughter and wine, flash and
ring out for unheeded hours and hours—but she is gone. The pale wretch
that pressed shivering against the window pane is gone. Down the dark
thoroughfare, with the cold snow beating in her face, maddened, sobbing,
sick to death, she flies. Oh! where? What demon leads her on? Why down
that silent, deserted street? On, on, past quiet homes where the
night-lamp yet gleams on peace and happiness—past shops where low
drunkenness revels in late hours—on she unheeded flies. And now she
stumbles over loose stones, and the air blows keener. Down the steep
bank she reels—poor little Mary—she pauses for a moment. A mighty
river, shrouded in darkness, sweeps on before her. Boats, tied to the
bank, rub against each other, making a moaning noise, while the waves
flap under their bows—this is all she hears, for the great stream
sweeps on in silence. From the opposite shore a furnace glares, that
glittering out red, sends a long line over the waves and lights her way
to death. She steps along the plank to the deck of a boat—over that to
the very edge—and then disappears. Disappears in the dark flood
silently as the snow-flakes. The mighty river moves on like fate to
eternity. Into its deep bosom it took what God had made and man cast
out. For many hours after the music still sounded in the marble palace,
and dancers gracefully answered the strains, for the silent street had
no tale—the great river no revelation for the heartless throng.

A party of medical students were lounging round a billiard-table in a
celebrated restaurant, the evening after the event just narrated. They
were smoking, drinking, laughing, and at intervals knocking idly the
ivory balls over the table. Their light sacks, or black velvet coats,
with fancy caps, variously fashioned and tasseled, showed them to be
youths whose fathers could pay for something beside the improvement of
their brains.

“Will you be at class to-night, Tom?” asked one, of his comrade, as he
rattled down his empty glass.

“To be sure, I don’t intend to miss a muscle of Crosstree. We had too
much trouble in getting the infernal rascal.”

“We had that, and Cross. is a beauty, besides having been hung.”

“I want to see him carefully dissected,” said a handsome, light-haired
youth, joining the group.

“Why, Ned, do you expect ever to undergo the innocent operation of being
hung?”

“Can’t say. No telling what a fellow may come to in such a crowd as
this. If Strong ever sings another sentimental song in my presence I’ll
murder him—now mind.”

“Crosstree is a magnificent subject. I was looking at him to-day—old S.
says he never saw a finer.”

“Class B has a finer, they say—a girl. They gave two hundred for her.”

“They wont be outdone. But I believe in the rope yet. Come,
fellows—it’s getting late—let’s be off.”

“Where’s Dudley?”

“Drunk as usual.”

“Come, old boy,” said the first speaker, approaching our hero, who,
stretched upon a sofa, was looking in the fire with a drunken stare.
“Come, we’ll be too late.”

Dudley mechanically started to his feet, drank a quantity of brandy, and
rushing forward, was caught by two of his brother students, and the
whole party left the house together, laughing, chatting, whistling and
singing, they wended their way toward the medical college. Dudley
Fletcher, as his comrades afterward remarked, was unusually silent and
even morose. Arriving at the college, the party mounted long fights of
dark stairs ending in a door, that one of them unlocked and threw open,
and all entered the dissecting-room. The janitor had left a bright
coal-fire sputtering in the stove, and save this no other light fell
upon the ghastly gloom. The large, square windows were open, as gusts of
wind making the fire roar indicated, but in spite of this a dreadful,
sickening odor of decay filled the room. Several lamps were lighted, and
then the frightful reality became apparent.

Upon either side of a large room were placed narrow tables, on each of
which lay a specimen of the desecrated dead; over the floor were
scattered limbs strangely mutilated, bones with particles of flesh yet
hanging to them, snow-white skeletons and grinning skulls. Upon the
table nearer the fire was the body of a man lately hung. The frame was
heavy and muscular, but the head presented the most awful sight the
heart of man ever shuddered over. It was one swollen mass of purple
blood, while around the neck lay a red line where the cruel cord had
sunk in and disappeared from the force of the struggling weight. He had
been found guilty of a fiendish murder, yet no heart could look on this
and not shudder at the punishment. Why do the students leave this table
and crowd around the next? Why hold up their lights and gaze in
breathless awe? Do youth and innocence carry admiration and respect with
them to the charnel-house? They whisper as they gaze upon the gentle
form, so beautiful and still, that with wild hair disheveled seems to
sleep upon the rude couch of death. Where is Dudley—why does he not
gaze and whisper too? Upon entering the room he threw himself upon a low
seat behind the stove, and falling from that to the floor, sleeps
soundly in his drunkenness.

Star-eyed Science walks unmoved among the dead. The students are busy
about the table of the murderer. Nothing is heard save the voice of the
instructor, or noise of his instruments as he lays bare the hidden
mysteries of life. Dudley sleeps on.

The fire burns down—the candles, flickering in the wind, are dim—the
lesson is over. Putting out their lights, the students gather their
coats and cloaks about them and leave. The last one is gone. The
janitor, casting a hasty look at the fire, goes with them. The great
bolt is shot into its place—the door is locked, and Dudley, forgotten
and alone, sleeps on!

Hour after hour steals by. The fire, dimmer and dimmer, at length goes
out, and darkness fills the room. The storm, with its sky of heavy
clouds, sweeps away, and now the full moon comes up in silvery
brightness. Cold, clear and cheerless the flood of light poured in at
the open windows, lighting up like the ghost of day that chamber of
death. Chilled through and through, Dudley awakes.

For a moment he gazed in startled wonder at the strange scene around
him. Then a dim recollection of the night stole over his now sobered
brain, and seizing his cap he strode toward the door—to find it locked!
In vain he pulled and knocked, the echoes that rung through the silent
room were his only answers. The stout door resisted all attempts to
break it open. Foiled and disheartened he returned to the stove. Dudley
shook with the cold that had numbed his limbs while sleeping, and now
seemed to be penetrating to his very heart. Stooping, he raked among the
ashes and found one live coal. Taking this gently up he made many
efforts to kindle it to a blaze, but this last spark died out in the
midst of his exertions. Nothing daunted, he looked to find some covering
to shield him—nothing could be seen save the sheets thrown carelessly
over the dead. These he proceeded to gather. Pulling the frail covering
from form after form, leaving exposed the emaciated remnants of
consumption, the half-destroyed remains of quick disease, without a
shudder—why starts he at this over which the moonlight falls so
brightly—why gasp for breath and stare so wildly?

This cannot be—this is a hideous dream. He strikes his forehead, wrings
his hands, staggers forward. No, no, he cannot look again. A chill
horror curdles about his heart and he reels toward the door. He had one
look—but one—yet that is frozen into his very soul. How long in
dreadful agony he stood gazing down the hall, peopled with the dead. He
dared not turn to where she lay—the poor little timid girl—she who so
confidingly had trusted him, and now rested among thieves, murderers,
and cast-out poverty—claimed by Decay alone. He dared not look
again—over her innocent form stood fearful Retribution—silent as the
grave—terrible as Death. His eyes wandered from table to table, one by
one, slower and slower, until they rested upon that long, grinning
monument of consumption, upon which the moonlight fell, silvering the
hard and bony points, that seemed like a skeleton covered with yellow
parchment.

Oh! how he longed for liberty and life—for some power to lift the awful
punishment from his soul. A confused thought of escape crept in—of the
dark well running the length of the house down to vaults where the
refuse flesh was cast. How deep and dark to his mind it seemed—deeper
and deeper, miles and miles into the earth. The hall seems to lengthen
out—how huge it is? Again he turns to the body that consumption
owns—he tries to look from that to her—in vain. His eyes are fixed,
they see no farther. Did that hand move?—it seemed to move. It did—the
body turns—it raises and points its long, skinny arm at her—and shakes
its horribly mutilated head. Another and another—and all raise slowly
up and point at her. And now they speak—what confused blasphemy—what
groans and cries! Hark! that well-known, once-loved voice, hear it—hear
its gentle tones and die—

“Oh! Dudley, come to me.”

He sees no more, he hears no more—gasping he falls, striking heavily
against the oak door.

Early next morning the janitor found him lying senseless where he had
fallen. He was carried to his room, and all that medical science could
do was done. Slowly he returned to sense, but not health. The cold had
perfected its work—his limbs were without life, and after many days he
was carried back to his father’s house helpless as a child. So he yet
remains, humble, sad and repentant.

In the little church-yard, not far from his home, is a green mound,
where the soft falling snow of winter and the wild birds of spring see
no name—no marble tomb, but where the long grass whispers in the summer
winds, Dudley Fletcher may be frequently seen reading or musing
silently, having been carried there, his only haunt from home.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                       =THE DEAD AT THERMOPYLÆ.=


                     =FROM THE GREEK OF SIMONIDES.=


                      =BY HENRY WILLIAM HERBERT.=


             Bright was their fortune and sublime their doom,
             Who perished at Thermopylæ—their tomb
               An altar of their sons—their dirge, renown.

             Their epitaph not rust shall e’er efface,
             Nor Time, who changes all things else, debase,
               Nor later ages insolent disown.

             Their tomb contains, enshrined beside the dead,
             A mightier inmate, her for whom they bled,
               Glory—their country’s unforgotten fame.

             Witness the royal Spartan, who in death
             Did win high Valor’s, more than Pythian, wreath,
               A crown immortal, an unfading name.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                       =THE OPIUM EATER’S DREAM:=


                      =OR THE MODERN FORTUNATUS.=


                  =FROM THE GERMAN OF GEORGE DÖRING.=


I passed some time, a few months ago, in the seven-hilled city of the
Bosphorus—in beautiful, but muddy Constantinople. I had seen and
admired every thing that was to be seen and admired, as far as the Turks
allow to a Christian dog. Often had I stood at the portal of the mosque
of St. Sophia, and gazed with longing sighs upon the imperial seraglio
just opposite, in the vain hope that some veiled beauty would appear at
one of the balconies, observe me, and then raise her veil, that I might
at home, in my native place—Gelnhaus—describe a Turkish Sultana; for
my susceptible heart had been trained in every way, by repeated journeys
to large towns and capitals. One evening, however, I remarked that
several black slaves eyed me attentively and suspiciously: I imagined
also something threatening and dangerous in their gestures; and as, at
the same time, several shots were heard from the interior of the
seraglio—which seemed to intimate that capital punishment was being
inflicted upon criminals, whose crimes were, perhaps, nothing worse than
a few longing sighs, wafted to the imprisoned fair ones—a panic seized
me, which drove me from the spot in tempestuous haste, whilst I inwardly
swore a solemn oath never again to venture within a hundred yards of the
sultan’s palace.

Be it known to the world that I am the traveling agent for the house of
Messrs. Steinlein & Son, wine-merchants of Frankfort on the Main. I
myself am called Gabriel Mostert, born in the town which, on account of
the old legend, I call the Barbarossa town; and which deserves quite as
wide a reputation as the town of Pisa, in Italy, for it contains just
such a leaning tower. My countenance is round and ruddy, my eyes are
lively and intellectual, my form powerful and muscular—five-feet-three.
I am possessed by a spirit of speculation. I am determined to establish
a famous house—not what they call famous in Frankfort, Leipzig, or
Hamburg—no, I will establish the firm only for my Barbarossa town, and
my little Kate, whose father gives her to me only upon condition that I
settle down respectably in Gelnhaus, as a dealer in dry goods, in _Drap_
_de Zephire_, in _Crêpe de Chine_, and in veritable _eau de Cologne_. On
this account, I persuaded my honored principals to a Constantinople
speculation, which offered a fair profit. I had, in fact, read in the
best papers of the day, that the present sultan was busy in placing
every thing upon a European footing. There can be no European footing
without a European head; and what is a European head without the
inspiration of Champagne, Burgundy, and Johannisburg? My principals
agreed to every thing: I sailed from Trieste with casks and bottles,
anchored in the Bosphorus, and the next day was employed in preparations
to attract the worshipers of Islam to my European inspiration.

The thing succeeded; my wines disappeared with charming celerity. Even
the Mufti honored me with a visit, and assured me—while he tried my
costly Johannisburg, of 1822, with the smack of a connoisseur—that his
friend, the Abbot of Fulda, had done well to exalt this wine to his
closet—it did indeed deserve to be drank in solitude, when not a
breath, not a word could disturb the full enjoyment of the liquid gold.
He tried a couple of bottles, and the European inspiration began then to
beam so brilliantly from his eyes, that I verily believe, had any
cunning missionary been at hand, he would have embraced Christianity.

My affairs then were prosperous, and yet not so; for although the wines
had found purchasers, the money for them was not forthcoming. From time
to time I paid a visit to my Turkish debtors. I was kindly received with
pipes and coffee, but of my money—not a word. I look care never rudely
to remind them of it, having been assured by some Armenian friends that
the Moslems could bear no dunning, and that unpleasant hints were often
rewarded with a most unpleasant bastinado. I was sure of my money in the
end, for I had already heard that it was the custom of all distinguished
Turks to pay off all their debts on a certain day of the year, just
before the Ramazan. The Ramazan was not very distant, and until then I
had to wait with patience. It is a dreadful thing for a fiery young
merchant, whose fancy revels in interest and commission, to have to
parade up and down the streets of Constantinople in useless, idle
patience.

Thus, one beautiful afternoon, I sauntered toward Bujukdìre, the summer
residence of the European ambassadors. Here their many beautiful
daughters dwelt, but now my heart was filled with thoughts of Kate, and
the future establishment for the sale of fancy articles and _eau de_
_Cologne_. Nevertheless, I trembled with excitement; for my eye rested
upon the dome of St. Sophia, and involuntarily the oft-recalled wish
stirred in my soul—“Wert thou only, O dearly loved Gabriel Mostert, as
prosperous a house as this venerable church, which receives, according
to well-accredited testimony, an income of ten thousand guilders daily.”

Ten thousand guilders! What a sublime thought! Shakspeare, Schiller, and
Goethe had had great thoughts, and Bethman and Rothschild have carried
the poesy of trade to a wonderful extent—but this mosque of St.
Sophia—I must control myself—I must clip the wings of my speculative
fancy, or it will carry me too far—to Golconda or Potosi. Return to thy
home, to the old town, where bloomed for Barbarossa the fair Gela, and
where blooms now the burgomaster’s daughter, thy violet, and beside her,
a shop stocked with all fancy articles, and with the delicious perfume
of _Karl Maria Farina of Cöln_.

With such reflections I was obliged to moderate my lively imagination
while I approached Bujukdìre, when I was awakened from my dreams of
home, and brought back to reality upon the Bosphorus by a hearty slap
upon my shoulder.

“_Salam, aleìkum!_” I cried; and warding off the Turkish greeting, I
sprang aside. I was too well acquainted with the proofs of esteem with
which the Turks honor us poor Christians, when they find us in their
way, not to immediately suppose that the slave of some noble Turk had
chosen this means of informing me of his master’s presence. A loud laugh
in my ears corrected this false idea. As I turned round, I saw my two
worthy friends, Mynheer Jan von Delpt—the Dutch Ambassador’s cook, and
Monsieur Fleury—the French Ambassador’s butler. We were right good
friends, and had passed many a jovial evening together. They came now
just at the right time; they would serve to divert me, and we could
enjoy a social hour, for this evening they were, as they assured me,
free; their masters had accepted an invitation from the Reis-Effendi.

“Come,” I said, as I seized both by the arm, and stopped them, “we’ll
contrive quite a charming supper together. In wine you shall have free
choice. You, Van Delpt, like something heavy—Port wine, or genuine
Madeira. It shall not be wanting, and we will drink to the health of
your Margery von Minderhout, in Amsterdam. You, M. Fleury, shall have
Champagne from Sillery, and vive Demoiselle Manon Larochière, rue
Montmartre. I stand by the true German. O, ye honored grapes of
Rudesheim, with what shall I compare you, if not with little Kate of
Castle street, Barbarossa town; your sweet flower, with the flower of
her beauty—your animating fire, with the fire that gleams in her eyes.
Come, friends, let us bring down the high ideal to actual life. The trio
of our loves shall sound in Madeira, Champagne, and Rudesheim; and
inspired fancy shall present to our raptured gaze the gracious forms of
our beloved ones.”

I had, I thought, outshone myself in the poetry of this invitation. I
wished to touch and win them—but my friends seemed neither touched by
my resemblance of their loved ones, nor won by the picture of the costly
wines that awaited them at my lodgings. They looked thoughtfully at each
other, shook their heads, and withstood all my attempts to lead them
back to the city. Then Van Delpt shook himself loose from me, and taking
me by the shoulders, turned me round as the wind would a weathercock,
and said, pointing to a little wooden house, upon the top of which
floated a red silk flag—

“Do you see that booth, and do you know what you can obtain there for a
mere nothing?”

I answered in the negative.

“Then I will take the cover off the dish for you,” continued the cook;
“you shall learn how we can enjoy Mahomet’s seventh heaven here on
earth. Yes, Mynheer, there, in that unpretending booth the bliss of
earth and heaven can be enjoyed for a few paras.”

I was perplexed. Van Delpt was usually a quiet matter-of-fact person. He
did not seem to have taken more than his usual allowance of Genivee, the
old Dutch phlegm had not vanished in the least from his features, only
there was to be seen there an inspired expression, not before
observable, which beamed forth very brilliantly as he looked at the
little red house.

“Yes, monsieur,” chimed in the Frenchman, “you will not take it ill of
us if we refuse your invitation. With you we should only intoxicate
ourselves, there we shall be entranced! It is a delight which we have
enjoyed once a year since we arrived in Stamboul. To-day, the
Reis-Effendi has procured us this opportunity—who knows when it will
come again? Come with us, M. Mostert, and inhale rapture, bliss,
enchantment. Yes, M. Mostert, no champagne can procure for us that bliss
to which I now invite you. I am a butler, and you know how much what I
say must mean. I surely know all the joys which the grapes of
Constantinople, Canary, or Vesuvius can yield. But what are they to the
rapture that awaits us? Does empire please you—a kingdom is yours the
instant you think of it. Would you be Grand Vizier, Kapudin Pacha, or
minister plenipotentiary—in a flash it is as you wish. Come with us,
and you will thank your friends, the fat cook and the lean butler, for
procuring for you an unknown, but incomparable delight. I have
determined to-day to be Henry the Fourth, but only until the moment when
the rascal Ravaillac murders the excellent monarch; then I change myself
into the Count St. Germain, who, it is well known, was three hundred
years old when he visited the royal court of Versailles, and probably is
still living somewhere, under a feigned name, in the fullness of youth
and strength. _Vive_, Henri Quatre,” cried M. Fleury, while my brain
whirled, and I allowed myself to be drawn toward the house with the red
flag.

I knew Fleury, and could rely upon what he said. I might be a king, a
sultan, or a Rothschild. There I paused—it was a grand idea—a poetical
excitement made my heart beat faster in my breast. But prosaically
enough came the change of faith between me and my wishes.

“No,” I said, “I must always remain a good Christian, according to the
Augsburg confession; a different happiness awaits me in the little red
house—money, plenty of money, and little Kate, in Gelnhaus.”

“You are, and always will be an enthusiast, Fleury,” replied Van Delpt
to the Frenchman’s invitation. “You are, in spite of your employment for
so many years in the diplomatic line, a true Frenchman, devoted to the
fair. For my part I hold a middle course. I must have something solid. I
will to-day be no happier than my renowned countryman, William Benkels,
after he had discovered the salting of the herring. I aspire to the
delight only of one moment, but that moment shall last—the great moment
in which William Benkels stood before the first cask of
successfully-salted herrings. It was in the year 1416. Imagine the man
to yourselves, when he stood at last before the completed work, over
which his mind had brooded for so many years, and which brought such a
blessing upon his Fatherland. He foresaw in this moment, a thousand
inventions to which this one must give birth; soused fish, pickles,
sardines—every thing which can gain immortality through salt. He saw,
by means of his invention, tons of gold pouring into the coffers of his
Fatherland, and he heard his name lauded by posterity. Yes, thou
immortal William Benkels, to-day I will be thou, and enjoy the rapture
of that moment, when, standing before that cask, thine own greatness and
the happy future thou hadst prepared for thy country was revealed to
thee.”

These representations were not without their effect. My curiosity was
excited. We now stood before the little house with the red flag. I saw
some Turks staggering out, pale, hollow-eyed, and trembling in every
limb. “Are those the devotees of your temple of bliss?” said, I to my
companions. “They seem to me far more like the inmates of a hospital
than men who have just succeeded in a speculation in rapture.”

Van Delpt pushed me in, and Fleury pressed forward eagerly. “Those are
stupid Turks,” he said, “who wish to be always happy, and when one bliss
ends they desire always another, which is contrary to the whole order of
nature. But forward, Gabriel Mostert! you shall learn every thing
within; light shall spring up for you there like the conflagration of
Moscow. _Vive Henri Quatre_,” he shouted, and pushed me on.

“William Benkels forever!” cried the cook, who passed his arm around me
and swung me into the little house. I stood, giddy from the sudden
movement, in a large, darkened room. Although without it was perfectly
light, here all illumination proceeded from a dimly burning lamp, hung
in the middle of the apartment. Windows I could see none, and a strange,
bewildering perfume filled the room. My friends bore me on, and before I
could observe distinctly the objects which surrounded me, I felt myself
seated upon a cushion, and Van Delpt and Fleury took their places beside
me. I could not collect my ideas, I only saw a grinning Turk, dressed in
red, who stepped forth from the darkness and approached with a silver
plate, upon which were a number of little, reddish-brown balls, while a
crystal goblet of water stood in the middle of it. My friends seized the
balls and swallowed several of them.

“Now eat, Gabriel,” cried Van Delpt, while his left arm encircled me
powerfully. “Feast upon delight. _It is opium_—the manna of
immortality.”

His eyes started from his head—I seemed to gaze upon a madman. I tried
to extricate myself from him but in vain. He endeavored, in the
meanwhile, with his right hand to slip some opium balls into my mouth,
but I set my teeth firmly, and shook my head.

“_Bon appetit, Monsieur_,” said the Frenchman, who seized me upon the
other side. Two hands with the horrible little balls, hovered before my
eyes ready to force me to partake. “You must eat like us, you must be
blessed as we shall be. _Vive Henri Quatre!_”

“I will not,” I cried with horror. “If you don’t release me I’ll
complain of you to your masters, and foreswear your friendship forever.
What would my little Kate say were she to learn that I had taken
opium—had dreamed like a Musselman, and been happy in such an
unchristian way. Away with the balls of Satan. The Evil One with horns
and hoofs has prepared them.”

“He must eat them,” cried the Dutchman and Frenchman in chorus, and the
Turk grinned more frightfully. In the struggle, for a moment, my senses
left me. A shout of triumph from my tormentors called me back to life.

“He has swallowed them!” cried they, and released me. In the same moment
I saw them sink back upon their cushions, their eyes were fixed, a happy
smile expanded their features; they were enjoying the happiness of the
theriake, or opium-eater.

“He has not swallowed them!” cried I raging, and sprang up. “I closed my
mouth and your cursed pills fell into the cushion beside me.” I ran out
like one possessed. The Turk laughed scornfully after me, and I heard
the Frenchman murmur in his sleep—“_Vive Henri Quatre!_” and the
Dutchman groan out his “William Benkels forever!”

In the air without I recovered myself. I seemed open to all blissful
influences—I was again happy and light-hearted. With what an exquisite
display of colors did the sun mirror itself in the Bosphorus! how the
domes of the mosques sparkled, as if composed of diamonds and rubies!
How brilliant were the streets through which I walked—no, through which
I floated. And at this moment I felt myself richer than the richest
houses of which I had ever heard. Thus I arrived at a shady forest of
dates. Here I sat me down in the overhanging shade of a palm, and gazed
toward the west where the sun was setting, and where was the Barbarossa
town, with its leaning tower and my charming Kate.


                              CHAPTER II.

I carried always with me a costly Turkish pipe, with a long stem of
rose-wood. The head I carried in my pocket, carefully wrapped in soft
silk; the stem was so contrived that I used it for a cane.

Without knowing what I did, whilst my gaze was riveted upon the glorious
landscape, and my thoughts were busy with my home, I pushed my cane in
among the dry leaves and roots of the palm. Suddenly it was caught by
something which attracted my notice, and I tried to draw it out quickly.
The costly stem broke, and I looked, half-vexed and half-curious, to
know what had caused the mischief.

With difficulty I extricated from the roots of the palm an old leathern
purse, the strings of which were tied round another old leathern
article. A wondrously joyful sensation stirred in my soul at the sight
of these objects. What they were I knew not, and yet they filled me with
delight. But when I had cleansed them from the dirt and mud, when I held
an old, richly-embroidered purse in my hand, and in the other article
recognized a little, pointed cap, then arose from the glowing memories
of my childhood the wonderful story of the inexhaustible purse of
Fortunatus and his wishing cap. Then all creation beamed around me, and
a chorus of voices from the sky seemed to say to me, “Thou art the new
Fortunatus. Fortune has favored thee with her most valuable gifts, which
have remained so long in the lap of earth, hidden from all mortal eyes.”

I laughed aloud like a child. I was firmly convinced that it was all
true, and I danced round the palm, with the purse and cap in my hands,
like a madman. “What are lotteries, stocks, and Rothschild’s
speculations in comparison,” cried I; “do I wish for a million—I have
to use my purse for a day, and my cap serves me better than the swiftest
courier.”

My reason at last returned, and the madman became again the prudent,
calculating merchant.

“Make a calculation, and produce an exact facit,” said the merchant. I
seated myself again, with tolerable composure, at the foot of the palm.
I wished calmly to prove the power of the purse, but my hand trembled as
I put it into it. My fingers twitched convulsively, the fascination of
the noblest of metals penetrated every nerve, and there, in my hand,
before my wondering, blissful gaze, lay a hundred franc piece, with the
new stamp, “Louis Philippe, Roi des Français.” “O, Heaven! life is still
fair,” I cried with Schiller’s Marquis Posa, and proved the power of my
purse again and again, until the lap of my Turkish dress was covered
with, hundred-franc-pieces.

My eyes feasted upon the treasure, my soul reveled in rapture.

“Prudence, prudence,” said the merchant within me. “May not the gold be
false, or coined in the devil’s mint, and if you attempt to use it
destroy your honor and reputation?” I tried it upon the leather of my
sandals, and upon a little stone that I carried about with me for the
purpose. It was pure Parisian coin. I put up my gold and filled my
pockets with it. How blessed was I that I had withstood Van Delpt’s and
Fleury’s entreaties. What was their happiness now—their manna of
immortality? Dreams and froth! But I possessed the most desirable,
glorious reality—my pockets full of gold, the inexhaustible purse, and
the wonderful cap. Ay—the cap—its power must also be proved; I must
know if by its art I could be this moment in the date forest on the
Bosphorus, and the next in the cherry grove in Frankfort on the Main. In
a flash I placed the little thing upon my head and thought of the
Barbarossa town, and of the little balcony which looked into Kate’s
room. What is a royal dispatch in comparison with the cap of Fortunatus?
Without inconvenience from the elbows of neighbors, without the least
change in my worthy person, I stood before the window through whose
curtains I could look into Kate’s little room. I looked round me; the
leaning tower, with its straight brother, were at my back; I was in my
native town, the breeze of home stirred around me. Just then Kate
stepped into the room. She carried a candle, was negligently dressed,
and was humming an air from “Der Freischütz.” Was the girl altered, or
had my too lively fancy deceived me, and presented to me at a distance
as charming, what in reality seemed to me extremely vulgar? Where was
the variety of charms that had so excited my love in Constantinople?
Where was the airy grace that had surrounded the image of the absent
one, as the air of Paradise encircles a Mohammedan houri? Kate was, in
truth, no disagreeable-looking girl, but excessively commonplace; she
had cheeks as fresh and round as an apple, pretty hair, _a la giraffe_,
eyes whose color was rather undecided, and a form which, although it
certainly was not wanting in roundness, did not move with exactly the
grace of a dancing-master. I felt my heart grow cold at the sight of
her. Heaven knows, my taste must have become wonderfully refined since I
had been separated from her; knowledge of mankind and of the world must
have sharpened my judgment. I never could love this creature—that was
ineffaceably written in my soul. The purse and cap had given me the
right to other claims than to be the son-in-law of the burgomaster of an
obscure German village, and to demean myself by selling crêpe de Chine
and eau de Cologne.

“Away, away from here, to the fairest of the fair!” I cried, inspired.
“Who will dispute with me the possession of the most beautiful woman
upon the earth?”

In an instant I stood in a high vestibule, upon a marble floor; from the
frescoed walls shone the light of a hundred tapers; the fragrance-laden
air of the tropics was around me, and silver fountains were playing
without in the moonlight. A great mirror opposite reflected my image. I
was clad in black, in my finest European suit. I wore the breast-pin
with the turquoise and brilliants, which I had bought two years before
in Frankfort, and I knew that I was in the palace of the Duke of Silvio
Cremonio, in Rio Janeiro, to whose beautiful daughter I was about to be
introduced. All this the wonderful cap had arranged and declared to me.

Fifty lackeys, in rich livery, flew to my assistance. Two ushers opened
the folding-doors, and at their announcement, “The Marquis della
Mostarda!” I stepped into a brilliant saloon.

I was in a maze—the dresses of the ladies, which blazed with diamonds
and other precious stones, dazzled me. What was the home-made splendor
of my former employers, Steinlein & Son, which I had so often admired in
my yearly visit to them, compared with this.

What was the finery of the richest merchant’s daughter compared with the
splendor of the ladies of Rio Janeiro. I noticed that my entrance
created a sensation. The ladies remained standing, looked at me and
whispered among themselves. A little stout gentleman pushed forward from
the crowd toward me. It was the duke. He wore a richly embroidered
dress, with ribbon and star.

He spoke to me, bidding we welcome, and although he spoke Spanish, and I
had never learned the language, I understood it perfectly and conversed
in it as easily as in my mother tongue.

“You are a welcome guest, dear friend,” said the duke, and graciously
pressed my band. “You have been introduced to me as an excellent and
wealthy lord. Wealth is always well received; wealth is the key to every
thing; wealth captivates all hearts; permit me to present you to my wife
and daughter.”

Oh, what joy and rapture! The moment had arrived in which I should
behold the fairest of the fair—the most beautiful woman now dwelling
upon the earth! I saw her! Words cannot describe her, thought cannot
picture her, only the imagination may venture to conceive of her.

Her voice was song—her glance a revelation of heaven.

The young rose had touched her cheeks with its soft tint; the enamel of
the lily was upon her brow; her charming lips vied with crimson coral;
her soft, blond hair waved in natural curls around her lovely face, and
a Persian poet would have compared her graceful form to the gazelle.
Beside the heavenly Angelica sat her mother, who would still have been
called handsome, although there was about her an air of pride and
haughtiness, which was wholly wanting in the daughter. I felt that, by
the possession of the purse and wishing cap, I had become an entirely
different man. How often I had trembled and been agitated as I stood in
the antechamber of some great man, waiting to present my catalogue of
wines for the firm of Steinlein & Son. What trouble I had taken to learn
by heart the conditions of sale, that I might not stutter and stammer
when they were asked for. And now I stood like a cool, self-possessed
man of the world before a Brazilian duchess and her beautiful daughter,
while the duke, her father, held my hand, which did not tremble in the
least, and said, laying a significant stress upon his words, “The
Marquis della Mostarda, the stranger whom the imperial secretary has so
kindly introduced to us. He is just from Europe, and can tell you of the
latest fashions. He is a man of great merit, and, as I well know, all
means will be tried to induce him to take up his residence here in the
capital.”

The stout nobleman moved on to make room for me by the ladies. The
duchess beckoned me toward her, and her proud bearing gave way to a
gracious condescension. She cast upon me a smiling glance, the tender
expression of which I recognised at once from the descriptions in the
best romances of the day. Then, pointing to her daughter, she observed,
“The child there will listen only too willingly to stories of strange
lands. She is wonderfully interested in geography. Talk with her—tell
her where the most costly shawls are made, of Brabant laces, and
Parisian bijouterie; tell her of your Italian home, of fire-breathing
Vesuvius, of the Colosseum at Rome and the Lagune in Venice.”

The duchess turned from me to a pale young man, simply dressed, whose
eyes had been fixed upon me whilst I stood by the lady with a singular,
I might almost say sinister expression. His features were finely cut,
but it could not escape me, with my knowledge of mankind, that there
played about the corners of the mouth a contemptuous, scornful
expression; just such as Hoffman always gives to his diabolical
characters. It seemed to me that, looking through me, he saw the
wishing-cap in my bosom, and the purse in my vest pocket. With an
uncomfortable sensation I turned from him to the angel-face of the
Princess Angelica. Her musical tones broke upon the ear like the singing
in Schelble’s Cecilia-chorus. A whole opera by Rossini seemed to fill my
senses as I listened to her; trills and roulades, crescendo and
decrescendo, adagio and allegro. Now it sounded mournfully as in the
cavatina from “Tancredi,” now, it exulted like the song of victory in
the “Siege of Corinth.” O thou heavenly Angelica, thou wast at once the
music and the director, and if I looked at thee, I seemed to see the
Venus de Medici, dressed in tulle, embroidered with gold, sleeves _à la
Gigot_, brilliants in her ears and upon her fingers, and rubies around
her neck. Her remarks were acute and witty, while, at the same time, she
raised her forget-me-not eyes so beseechingly to my face, that I
imagined I read in them Goethe’s “Sorrows of Werther” and the loves of
Herrman and Dorothea. She was curious about literature and the stage.
Then I was in my element. I told her of Madame Sontag and Paganini; how
the former, before her marriage, had sung variations for the violin, and
the latter had played the charming song “cara mamena.” I told her of the
public favorites, and hummed several airs for her from “Der Weiner in
Berlin.” All this with an ease and grace which stamped the Marquis della
Mostarda as a most accomplished cavalier. Then I spoke of the great
lights in modern poetry—of Heine and Count Plateu Hallermande—how the
former lavished the flowers of his fancy in lamentations over an unhappy
love, and the latter poured himself forth in metrical praise of
Friendship. She listened attentively; then suddenly she sighed deeply,
so deeply that I was alarmed, and asked her in my confusion whether, in
speaking of these renowned poets, I had said any thing unpleasant to
her?

“No, no!” said she, mournfully. “I have had a German governante; I
understand German, and read the German poets. Both poets of whom you
speak are dear to me, particularly the touching Heine. But there are
other glorious things in Germany beside art and poetry. Do you not love
Nüremburg gingerbread, my lord marquis? As you have lived so long in
Germany, you cannot be a stranger to this delicious production.”

“Alas! it is now two years since my father received a little package of
it, and since that time all the delicacies of this country have lost
their charm for me. In vain do I breathe this delightful atmosphere, its
fragrance is nothing to that of this rich manufacture from Germany.”

The princess was silent; she appeared to sink into a profound
melancholy. The duchess leaned over to us, and said, in a confidential,
motherly tone, “What is the matter, children? You seem troubled, my lord
marquis; and, Angelica, your eyes are swimming with tears.”

“We were speaking of Nüremburg gingerbread,” answered the princess,
softly.

The duchess also seemed troubled, looked up to heaven, and said, “Yes,
there is something truly divine in that Nüremburg gingerbread.”

“To-morrow I shall have the honor of bringing you some,” replied I,
hastily, as I bethought me of the wishing-cap. At this moment I heard a
scornful chuckling near me; I looked up, and the pale stranger stood at
my side. He looked contemptuously down upon me, then turned his head,
and seemed to whisper something to the air. This behavior I considered
assumed to mock me; but I determined not to heed the man, for how could
he harm me, the possessor of the cap and purse of Fortunatus.

Suddenly a stir arose in the assembly. Exclamations of astonishment were
heard from all sides, and a lackey, richly dressed, pressed forward to
where the ladies were, with a large silver plate of fresh Nüremburg
gingerbread in his hands. I stood amazed; the stranger smiled
contemptuously. A stranger, the lackey said, had brought him the salver
in the anteroom, with the express command to carry it directly to the
Duchess of Silvio Cremonio. As they were about to question him, he
unaccountably disappeared. A quiet joy lighted up Angelica’s charming
countenance, her mother glanced inquiringly at the stranger, who
answered her by a bow of acknowledgment.

“Doctor Joannes, of Ingolstadt,” said the princess, introducing the
stranger to me. “Doubtless we must thank him for the beautiful present,
which has so enriched our fête to-night. He knows how to prize the
treasures of his fatherland, and has foreseen, with his usual tact, that
here also he would find friends who would value the productions of his
country.”

The doctor bowed smilingly to both ladies. The impertinent fellow hardly
looked at me as the princess introduced him. And he was only a doctor
and I a marquis. “There is, fortunately, a to-morrow,” thought I; “and
although your gingerbread may gratify the taste of the moment, their
eyes will be dazzled, and their souls enraptured with the exquisite
jewelry, that I intend purchasing for them to-morrow at Rundell &
Bridges, in London.” There was witchcraft in the appearance of the
gingerbread—that was beyond a doubt. I now observed the man more
closely as he conversed with the ladies. His manner toward them was
humble and modest, but the diabolical expression about the mouth was not
to be concealed.

“Let us make up a party for a game of marriage,” said the glorious
Angelica, in her most dulcet tones, as she took my arm. “There is the
card saloon. The rest are busy with roulette and faro, but I love
marriage beyond every thing.”

“It is also my favorite game,” I replied, full of love for this
beautiful creature. “For its sake have I come hither from Constantinople
upon the Bosphorus.”

The princess gave me a significant look, and secretly pressed my hand.
As I looked up, I saw Joannes gazing upon me with a threatening
expression of hate. He then leaned over Angelica, and smilingly
whispered something in her ear. Impertinence! He imagined himself
all-engrossing with his gingerbread. I gingled the one hundred-franc
pieces in my pocket—and the sound made a favorable impression upon the
duke’s daughter.

“Yes, we will play marriage,” said she, looking tenderly at me. “Come,
marquis every moment of delay is lost.”

The doctor impatiently stamped his foot, but composed himself
immediately, and said in his gentlest tone, “Only two seconds, your
grace, I hear the horses now—they are here.”

In fact, at this moment a vehicle drove furiously into the court-yard.
The snorting of fiery horses, and the voices of servants were heard.
Several of the company hastened to the window, and Angelica moved toward
it also.

“It is only my new Viennese chariot and Andalusian ponies,” said the
doctor, humbly, but so loud, that every one could hear him. “Will you
come and see my establishment? I am rather proud of my choice.”

“See,” growled an old gentleman, in a brilliant uniform, “who could see
any thing in this Egyptian darkness.”

“I beg pardon,” said Joannes, gently; “I had forgotten that you are not
accustomed to see in the dark. That is easily remedied.”

He snapped his fingers, and in a moment the whole court-yard was as
light as day from the blaze of many hundred torches secured to the
palace walls, and the equipage stood revealed in their brilliant glare.
A unanimous and admiring exclamation burst from all present. But I cried
scornfully, “That is nothing new, I have often seen it done by Professor
Dohler—an electric machine and dry weather are all that is required.”
No one listened to me. Every one broke out in praises of the magnificent
equipage. Harnessed to it were four horses of wondrous beauty, of the
true Andalusian breed. I was forced to confess that I had never seen any
thing like them, and to hide my annoyance in admiration. And then the
coach—an easier, more gorgeous or graceful thing of the kind could not
well be imagined. It rested upon the springs like the shell of Venus
upon the waves. It was worthy to contain the fairest of the fair. This
seemed to strike the fair Angelica herself. She relinquished my arm for
the doctor’s, and said, with a heavenly smile, “You are a happy man,
doctor; I cannot imagine a more exquisite sensation, than the possession
of such an equipage would create.”

“It is yours, adored one!” whispered Joannes tenderly, yet so loudly
that he evidently intended I should hear. “The world has no treasure too
great for the queen of all hearts.”

“O heavens! what generosity!” cried Angelica. She hastened from the
doctor to her mother, to tell the joyful news.

I looked angrily out of the window, and saw how the doctor’s coachman
performed the most wonderful manœuvres, in the confined court-yard, with
his fiery steeds. “Witchcraft! a real devil’s trick!” said I to myself,
as I stepped back into the saloon, and walked hastily up and down.

I was jealous, furiously jealous—and what wonder? Did not Italian blood
course through my veins—was I not the Marquis della Mostarda, from
Naples? Thoughts of daggers and aqua toffana coursed through my brain
when I looked at Joannes. Two persons in serious conversation passed me,
a stately gentleman and an elderly lady. “They may say what they choose,
but all is not right with the German doctor. He practices the Black Art,
and ought to be thankful that the Holy Inquisition no longer exists. He
gives presents here which an emperor could hardly afford, while he
inhabits a miserable room in the suburbs, attended by no one but a dirty
black poodle, who brings him his meals every day from the
restaurateur’s.”

“And how every thing has altered here in this house since he arrived and
paid his court to the beautiful Angelica,” continued the lady. “Before
we saw poverty everywhere—the servants had no livery, and there had
been no parties given since Olini’s time. Now the servants shine in rich
embroidery, and at these rare entertainments, delicacies appear upon the
table that one has hardly ever dreamed of, such as the gingerbread
to-night, after Angelica had expressed her wonderful desire for it. We
shall soon see the daughter of the Duke of Silvio Cremonio wife of
Doctor Joannes.”

“No, no!” said the gentleman, thoughtfully shaking his head, “I thought
so until to-night; but now I see that her parents have other views with
regard to her.”

His glance rested upon me, and appearing to observe, for the first time,
that I was near, he walked away. But I, knowing now that others regarded
my rival as I did, prepared myself to contend with him for the
incomparable Angelica.


                              CHAPTER III.

“Shall we not then play marriage?” sounded the nightingale tones at my
side, and I felt her delicate hand rest upon my arm.

“To my latest hour,” I cried, enraptured; and every thing was forgotten
but the exquisite creature before me. We went to the saloon, and took
our places in a quiet niche. In the centre of the apartment they were
playing faro. There stood the doctor losing huge sums, and looking as if
he were cursing his unlucky stars.

Oh heavens! how beautiful she was with her graceful head bent over the
table, her heavenly eyes resting upon the cards, and her features
composed to an expression of thoughtfulness. How could I think of the
miserable game while she was sitting opposite to me? I thought of only
one marriage, and that was with the fair one herself.

She played eagerly, but in her eagerness displayed the most child-like,
guileless soul. When she won—and I always let her win—when my one
hundred-franc pieces slipped over the green cloth toward her, and she
looked at the heap of gold beside her, she clapped her hands like a
child beaming with innocence and simplicity. I was blest; I looked at
her, and lost with the greatest delight—for was not my purse
inexhaustible?

“That is enough for to-night,” said she at last, smiling graciously as
she entrusted the heap of gold to an old servant. “One must not go too
far, even in their favorite enjoyments. To-morrow I hope to give you
your revenge, dear marquis.”

She tripped away to her mother at the faro-table. I was intoxicated with
delight—I was beside myself. She had called me dear marquis, and in a
tone of voice which rung through my soul. In this blissful state I
looked toward the faro-table, but Joannes was no longer there. “He must
have lost all,” I said to myself, “and will trouble me no more with his
Viennese chariots and Andalusian ponies.” I longed for solitude, and
retired to a little room, lighted only by the tapers of the great
saloon. Throwing myself upon an ottoman, I thought upon my love and my
happiness. I compared my present with my former prospects. Poor Gabriel
Mostert! How often hast thou been compelled to wait before great men’s
doors, waiting for the permission, which was necessary, before I could
venture to intrude. And now, when the Marquis della Mostarda appears,
all doors are thrown open, and cringing lackeys attend everywhere to
wait on him—all the treasures of the earth are spread out before him
for his choice. To be sure just now the finger upon which Kate had put
the forget-me-not ring pinched me a little. But why need the marquis
keep a promise which the tradesman had made? The thing was not to be
thought of. Spite of this reasoning, my conscience would not let me
think of the burgomaster’s daughter without a twinge. But I called
Angelica’s image to my aid, and little Kate vanished. “She is an angel
from heaven, this duke’s daughter,” cried I aloud. Just at this moment a
loud, distinct voice in an adjoining dark room enchained my attention.

“Dog, hateful monster!” I heard Doctor Joannes say, “bring me more
money, or the compact which binds me to thee is null and void. Of what
use is it to me if I must stand now, like a naked beggar, by the side of
this Italian, who appears to possess the gold mines of Golconda, and who
loses thousands to the beautiful, avaricious Angelica—and smiles all
the while, as if he were playing for beans. Money! money! or I will
torment thee! I will turn Christian and take thee with me to church.”
Then I heard a suppressed whining. It was evident that Doctor Joannes
was conversing with the dog, of whom I had already heard something in
the saloon. He appeared to understand the poodle tongue, for he
answered, when the dog ceased whining, in increasing rage. “Do you say I
should have bargained with Moloch, if I wished for gold and jewels? That
I cannot compete with the Italian in expense, for he is under some
mighty influence, which has at its command all the treasures of the
world? That you fear he will marry Angelica, and so destroy all my
plans? Dog! cursed monster! Angelica must be mine! Do you dare to fear
where I hope? Wo be to you if my forbearance comes to an end.” Then the
poodle growled more angrily, and whined no more. It seemed as if the
growling in his throat deepened into thunder. But again he was silent,
and the doctor replied scornfully, “Your threats I despise, for you are
my slave. You must serve me until the old fellow in Wiemar has completed
me; it will be a long time before that happens. I shall enjoy life for
many years, and you must fill up my cup of pleasure. I say again,
Angelica must be mine. And money, money I must have, and that to-night.
My old friend may never complete me, or I may turn Christian; and in
either case you are balked of my poor soul!”

The dog replied by a tolerably distinct growling.

“Steal, steal—always steal,” replied the doctor, peevishly. “There is
something so vulgar in it. Why do you not steal for me, and have it
ready for me when I want it. You think stealing is something so purely
human that hell itself can have no part in it. But I care not, and will
be off with you again for booty. But not from the merchant’s safe or the
miser’s chest shall the money come to-night; take me to the treasury of
the Emperor of China; there, perhaps, I may find something worth the
stealing.”

An icy shudder ran through me. It was beyond a doubt I was in the
vicinity of a horrible magician and his _famulus_. There was a strange
rustling in the room; something flew out of the open door, the windows
clattered, and a violent wind blew suddenly without. Something impelled
me to go into the room. The air was hot and sulphurous, the high
folding-doors were open, and on the distant horizon I saw a meteor which
vanished in an instant. Half-senseless, I staggered out again. Strange
thoughts rushed through my mind. I seemed to have known this doctor and
his dog before, and to recollect walking and rioting with them in
Frankfort on the Main. But such ridiculous fancies I banished quickly
from my mind. “I shall have to deal with him,” said I to myself; “but he
can do me no harm, for if the worst comes to the worst, my cap can
easily rescue me.”

Satisfied with this reflection, I entered the eating saloon. The
trumpets had already announced that supper waited, and the duchess led
the fairest of the fair to me, that I might conduct her to the table.
How can I describe those moments of bliss! What were the English oysters
and Steinberg wine to me? I valued them not at all; I said nothing, but
gazed upon her, while in silver tones she revealed to me her whole
child-like soul. The dear child was, as is the case with all innocent
children—all wishes. She wished for several dresses of the finest and
broadest Brabant lace, for a set of Oriental pearls, and for diamonds of
larger size and purer water than those she was then wearing. Then
followed a multitude of fashionable trifles, and sweetmeats, which last
appeared particularly attractive to the lovely girl. I noted down every
thing in my memory, and resolved that all should be presented to her at
dinner the next day.

Doctor Joannes did not appear at table. It seemed to disturb the
duchess, who made many inquiries concerning him, but could learn nothing
satisfactory.

I thought it best to guard with diligent secrecy the fact that he had
gone to China upon a light-fingered errand. In his absence I was
relieved and happy. I might have been the star of the evening, and
should have made many excellent observations upon men and manners, had I
not infinitely preferred to listen to my gracious princess, who appeared
well pleased at not being interrupted in her prattle.

Thus the moments flew by, and the hour for departure arrived. I was in
no little embarrassment; richly dressed servants began to announce to
the various guests the arrival of their equipages. How could I sustain
the dignity of the Marquis della Mostarda? What could I do but retire to
some obscure corner, and wish myself in my gloomy lodgings on the
Bosphorus. But it was not so to be. A stately Moor, more brilliantly
appareled than the rest, approached me, and, as my servant, announced
that my vehicle was waiting. I took leave with the utmost dignity of my
princely entertainers, who declared that they should certainty expect me
the next day at noon, to accompany them on a drive to San Solario—the
duke’s château. These, their last words, were accompanied by a heavenly
smile from the princess.

In a state of perfect bliss I descended the marble steps, and saw by the
torchlight a magnificent chariot and two footmen in waiting. The Moor
assisted me to enter, and the horses, which might well vie with the
doctor’s Andalusian ponies, flew through the streets of Rio Janeiro. We
stopped before a stately mansion, my hotel, as an inward voice assured
me. Footmen stood ready to receive me, and chamberlains to attend me to
my sleeping apartment. In short, I should have fallen from one state of
bewilderment into another, had I not been perfectly conscious of my
position as fortune’s favorite. I slept under a silken coverlet, upon
eider down. But my dreams were excessively stupid, not of the charming
Angelica, as I had hoped, but of Van Delpt and Fleury, with their
nonsensical William Benkels and Henri Quatre, and of little Kate, with
her vulgar burgomaster papa.


                              CHAPTER IV.

In the morning, however, in spite of my restless night, I was early
astir. I visited all the jewelers in Rio Janeiro, and bought all their
most costly jewelry. The tradespeople were astonished, and the Marquis
della Mostarda was the object of universal admiration. For the pearls
which the lovely child had expressed such a desire for, I was obliged to
take a little trip to Calcutta. I came back by the way of London,
Mechlin, and Paris. Every thing lay before me in my room; exquisite
stones from the Brazilian mines, bijouterie of all kinds from Paris, and
a superb golden dressing case from Rundell & Bridges. These should
secure for me the favor of the mother and daughter, while I endeavored
to conciliate the father, by requesting him, in a most polite note, to
accept a deposit of 20,000 double pistoles. Every thing was packed up
and sent off. The consequences were a note of transporting sweetness
from the daughter, upon silk paper, stamped with forget-me-nots, and a
business-like letter from the father, assuring me that my money had not
been thrown away. O, Angelica, thy beaming smile was with me at all
times; for thy sake I could even have forgotten all the obligations of
honor and honesty, and have stolen from the Emperor of China. But as yet
I had paid for every thing, and the receipts were in my portefeuille.
While my servants imagined that I was taking my siesta, I was dining
sumptuously in the Rocher de Cancale, in Paris. A little excited by the
champagne, I came back to Rio Janeiro, and at the appointed time my
chariot stopped before the ducal palace. Need I say that both mother and
daughter received me most kindly, and that Angelica, dressed in Mechlin
lace over pink silk, with the bandeau of pearls, looked like a goddess.

“Loveliest one,” cried I, “there is no jewel upon earth which would not
be ten times more brilliant upon your fair brow. Command me, I beg.
Every thing that you desire shall be yours in a quarter of an hour—the
mammoth diamond from the turban of the great Mogul.”

“Another time,” said the innocent creature, smiling. “Enough for to-day;
now we will drive to San Solario.”

I offered the use of my carriage, but Angelica was bent upon trying her
Andalusian horses for the first time. Indeed, it hardly seemed safe to
trust ourselves with the suspicious animals, and there was something
unpleasantly strange in the idea of being driven by a poodle-dog; but
Angelica desired it, her mother coincided in her wishes, and I, as
cavalier-servante, must obey. However, I quietly calculated the chances
of the venture, and seized an opportunity, when Angelica and her mother
were looking another way, to put my little cap upon my head, under my
hat, and then felt prepared for any emergency. Should the horses run
away, I had only to seize upon the princess and wish myself, with her,
upon the parade ground in Berlin, or any other place I might choose—and
we should be at once safe and concealed. In the meanwhile, I observed
the coachman narrowly. Our glances met, and he regarded me with a
fierce, penetrating expression. He wore a beard of enormous growth, and
his moustaches were large in proportion. His fiery eyes, his flat nose,
and his broad mouth, which was always showing his glistening teeth, gave
one the vivid idea of a snarling, rascally poodle.

“You can do me no harm,” I said to myself, as I entered the coach, “for
I can remove myself from your rascally neighborhood at any moment that I
think best.”

The ponies flew through the streets. Ladies and gentlemen crowded to the
balconies and windows to see us pass. The devil certainly drove
magnificently, never deviating a hair’s breadth from the right line, and
avoiding obstructions in the most skillful manner, though so narrowly,
that it was enough to make my flesh creep with horror. The gates of the
city now lay behind us. The duchess commanded him to drive more slowly,
that we might enjoy the beauty of a charming South American landscape.
And now, through my forgetfulness, and all absorbing love for the
beautiful Angelica, an accident occurred, which well-nigh destroyed my
credit with the duchess and her lovely daughter. We were speaking of all
imaginable things—of the Carnival of Venice, of St. Peter’s, in Rome,
and of Mahomet’s tomb, at Medina. I was describing the wonderful manner
in which the Prophet’s coffin hung suspended between heaven and earth,
and expressed my astonishment at the incredible circumstance.

“Indeed, that must be very wonderful!” said Angelica, with child-like
sympathy; “I should so like to be there.”

“So should I,” I replied, mechanically, without reflecting that the cap
which instantly fulfilled all such wishes was upon my head. Scarcely had
the three syllables passed my lips, when I found myself in an immense
vaulted apartment, whose high ceiling was undiscernible to the eye.
Pillars of marble, porphyry, and jaspar, reared themselves from the
floor, which was covered with the most costly carpets. I saw before me
the silver doors of a smaller apartment standing open. In the midst
hovered, without losing its balance, an object which resembled a coffin.
“Allah! Allah!” resounded around me, and everywhere I saw prostrate the
pious worshipers of Islam. I tried to collect myself. “A Giaour!” cried
many voices, suddenly. “Seize the Christian dog, who defiles the tomb of
the Holy Prophet—stone him.” They had recognized me, and were thronging
toward me with cries of “Death!” The danger was imminent—but relief was
close at hand. In the next moment I was sitting quietly in the carriage
of the Duchess of Silvio Cremonio, opposite to the fairest of the fair.

A pallor overspread the features of both ladies, and they trembled
excessively. The mother regarded me with terror and astonishment, the
daughter more with curiosity.

“By all the saints!” began the mother, in a trembling voice, “I have
never met with so remarkable an adventure in a drive before; suddenly,
in the midst of an intensely interesting conversation, my lord marquis,
you vanish, as if blown away like a mote tossed about by the wind. And
now, just as wonderfully, and, as if created from nothing, you appear
again in your seat. What does this mean, dear Mostarda? You certainly
owe us an explanation.”

“’Tis nothing! A mere trifle,” I replied, confused. “It is a disease
that I inherit, but the attacks are very rare, nor do they, as you have
seen, last long. It is a very peculiar kind of cramp. One is drawn
entirely into himself, into the merest speck, into the plexus solaris of
the soul. There is no danger in the case—before one can turn round, it
is over. I shall be extremely sorry if such a trifle has alarmed you,
ladies.”

I thought I had invented an extremely plausible lie; but the old duchess
shook her head, and after a few moments, said, her anxious glance
resting, meanwhile, upon her daughter, “But this cramp is a terrible
thing; you should consult our physician. It is of very little
consequence as long as you are single; but if, when you are a husband
and father, you should be seized with your plexus solaris, or whatever
you call the thing, and should not be able to recover from it—think
what a dreadful thing it would be for your poor family. And what respect
could any children have for a father who, perhaps, in the middle of some
edifying reproof, was to vanish from their eyes, and then, just as
suddenly, shoot up before them again, like a mushroom. You must take
something, marquis; you must confine yourself to a solid, strengthening
diet, that your body may gain such force as to be able to resist this
plexus solaris of the soul. I will send you some chocolate, and some of
the wonderful plant, Anakatscha; and I hope to see you well in a few
weeks.”

In the anguish of my soul I promised every thing; I would drink the
chocolate, avoid all hasty movements, and take a three hours siesta
every day. Angelica’s innocent spirit had already found something else
to busy itself with, which absorbed all her attention. While the duchess
was talking, I had taken out a little _bonbonniere_ of gold, which I had
bought for my own use in the morning. The _bonbonniere_ was musical,
that is, it played the bridal chorus from “Der Freischütz,” and the
Barcarolle from “La Muette de Portici.” I offered bonbons to the ladies,
and made the box play these little airs. The charming princess was
delighted; she touched the pretty toy, gazed wonderingly at it, and then
held it to her ear, exclaiming, “Ah, how delightful to possess such a
darling; how charming to have it in one’s boudoir, always ready to
beguile the weary hours with music.” Of course, the _bonbonniere_ was
instantly declared to be her own. She blushed, cast down her eyes, and
assured me that nothing but her great esteem for me would permit her to
receive this gift, after all the costly presents of the morning; but I
was thankful that the chapter of the plexus solaris was over, and that
the villa of San Solario was at hand.


                               CHAPTER V.

At the grated gate of the park Doctor Joannes received us. He was
dressed with much more care than on the preceding evening, for, although
he still wore the same common black dress, and his hair hung in simple
curls on either side of his pale face; in his lace jabot sparkled a
diamond of the first water; his fingers were loaded with costly rings,
and upon his light cane of bamboo shone in all its native splendor, a
ruby as large as a billiard-ball. He did not appear to notice me, but
bowed humbly to the ladies, and begged their forgiveness for intruding
himself without an invitation; being driven to San Solario, as he said,
by the desire to know whether they were satisfied with the Viennese
chariot and Andalusian ponies. His whole manner expressed that tender
sensibility which is in such favor with the ladies of the present day.
They appeared delighted to see him. The lovely princess, sweet
innocence, began, in her winning way, to admire the ornaments with which
the doctor was adorned. She admired the diamonds and the rings; but when
she saw the ruby, she broke out in most musical laughter, and declared
that it must have belonged to Gulliver’s Ghlumdalclitch, for none but
the queen of the giants could wear such a stone.

“O, gracious princess,” said I, casting a scornful glance upon Doctor
Joannes, “these stones are never worn by ladies. They are marks of
distinction among the Chinese mandarins; and I do not think such a one
is to be found anywhere but in the imperial treasury at Peking.”

The doctor colored slightly, and his glance threatened me with revenge
and ruin. But he soon turned quietly to the ladies, smiled himself at
the great size of the stone, and confessed that it was this very
peculiarity which had induced him to purchase it of a mandarin, who had
left Rio Janeiro this very afternoon.

I was obliged to acknowledge that he had extricated himself from the
difficulty well, and to leave him in peace for the present.

It was a magnificent afternoon, and the villa San Solario was a place of
perfect enchantment. All the public gardens and squares in Gelnhaus and
Heidelberg, were as common linen to cashmere, compared with San Solario.
In Gelnhaus, if I chanced to hear a nightingale chirp, or a cricket
sing, I fell immediately into a poetical ecstasy; and here there was a
whole orchestra of woodland musicians performing overtures and
symphonies on the boughs of the cedars and palms, while gorgeous birds
were flitting about like animated flowers.

That rascal Joannes took his place by Angelica’s side, and, while the
ladies were occupied with some sentimental love story, I gave myself up
to my strange, wild, poetical dreaming. But I was wakened from my
profound reverie by the sharp tones of the duchess. “Have you another
attack, my lord, marquis?” said she; “you indulge in strange reveries.
Why do you not listen to the exquisite story which the doctor is
relating to us—it would melt a heart of stone. But you are so buried in
thought, that you hear not a word of it; and if we did not pardon much
to the weakness of your nerves, we should really be offended.” The
doctor looked at me with the most impudent malice, and the princess
Angelica smiled strangely, as if she suspected that I was not all right
in my mind, or that I was an unrefined sort of person, who had yet to
learn how to conduct himself toward people of rank; but I collected
myself, and said, “These affecting stories have an injurious effect upon
my nerves, it is true, and the physicians have forbidden me to listen to
them. Even in early childhood my nurse’s tales always affected me
strangely, and the story of a doctor who journeyed through the air upon
a fiery dog, to visit the Emperor of China, or rather his treasury, made
such an impression upon me, that it always seems to me as if it had
really occurred only yesterday.”

Now, it was my time to stare maliciously at the doctor. Astonishment,
rage, and curiosity were painted in his countenance. He had a hard
struggle to prevent a self-betrayal; the veins in his forehead swelled
fearfully, his cheeks glowed, and his eyes would have killed me if they
could. But he recovered his composure again before the ladies noticed
his confusion, and became just as interestingly pale as before—gentle
and retiring as a young maiden, who is just entering the gay world; he
coincided with them in their observations upon the beautiful country,
and especially praised the situation of the villa, and the plan upon
which the grounds were laid out.

This pleased the duchess—for the plans were her own.

We had now reached a spot where the whole beauty of the park and the
surrounding country was spread out before us; but so oppressive were the
rays of the evening sun, that it was almost impossible to remain for a
moment in contemplation of the glorious landscape. The duchess declared
that she would erect a public pavilion here, which should enable people
to enjoy the charming scene without, undisturbed by the burning heat.

“In the meanwhile, I can assist you for the moment, with a little piece
of chemical art,” said Joannes, very gently, as he detained the ladies.
“It were a pity not to remain here until evening, and enjoy all the
beauties of the sunset.” With these words he opened a box, which he took
from his pocket. I regarded it curiously, but could discover nothing but
common snuff. With a solemn air he scattered a few grains of the brown
dust in a semi-circle on the ground; and, lo!—in a moment—roses and
jessamines, vines and fig-trees, peach-trees and dwarf-palms sprouted up
from the earth. They soon grew to a convenient height, and then arched
themselves overhead in a roof, the green of which was charmingly
relieved by many gay-colored flowers. But the doctor performed even more
than he promised. With the arbor, there appeared also luxuriant
ottomans, and an elegant table, upon which were crystal dishes, filled
with the most delicious _confitures_, and glasses of lemonade and almond
milk. The ladies appeared entirely satisfied with every thing; were not
much surprised, and were very glad that the knowledge of natural magic
had been carried so far, because it permitted one so easily to serve a
friend in time of need.

I was vexed, and another cutting remark was upon my tongue, when an
unexpected sight filled me with sweet memories of my home upon the
Rhine, and excited my appetite. The arbor had borne fruits. Juicy figs
and magnificent peaches were seen among the dark green leaves; but,
better than all, there was the genuine fruit of Rhineland—the delicious
grape. My heart leaped up within me, and I could scarcely refrain from
singing—

    “The Rhine, the Rhine, ’tis there our vines are blooming.”

“Does it please you, most honored friend?” asked the doctor, with
extreme politeness, as he pointed to the rich, full bunches. “Pluck them
yourself, while I wait upon the ladies. You will find them of the finest
species, and just in the right state for eating.”

I could not withstand him. I plucked and ate—and the more I ate the
greater became my hunger for them. Oh! how my spirits warmed, as I
tasted the well-known Rutland grape, the Orleans, Riesling, Traminer,
and the delicious, cooling Muscatel. The world around me vanished, and
this fruit of the Rhine was—for the moment—life and love. A loud laugh
from the ladies and the doctor awoke me from my dream of delight.
Amazed, I looked up and around. Angelica pointed maliciously to the
stripped vines, and I saw, to my horror, that I had eaten all the fruit,
and that I was just stretching out my hand for the last grape upon the
arbor. I was deeply mortified, but in the next moment my mortification
was changed into dismay. What had I done? How could I have so forgotten
myself as to enjoy the fruits of the witchcraft of my rival: I was—if
not poisoned—at least bewitched. He gazed at me maliciously; and as he
laughed contemptuously, the wicked fire that he had stolen from hell
darted from his eyes.

“What is the matter, my lord?” began the duchess, who must have noticed
the change in my manner and countenance. “Are you bewitched? Are you
going to have another attack?”

“How bewitched? What attack?” cried I, almost beside myself. “We—all
three—your gracious highness, the heavenly Angelica, and I—I, the
Marquis Della Mostarda, are bewitched by the devil’s arts and a cursed
dog. Doctor Joannes will lure on our poor souls into the power of his
poodle, with Nüremburg gingerbread, delicious confectionary, and magic
fruit. But his power reaches not to me—I am under mightier protection.”

I rushed away, and directed my steps toward the shadiest part of the
garden. “What a pity that the poor man suffers from such attacks,” I
heard the duchess say behind me. “What a pity,” echoed the princess,
sweetly. But the doctor was well content that I had left the field clear
for him.


                              CHAPTER VI.

In the shady palm-forest, I walked wildly up and down. What was the use,
to me, of my wondrous gifts, if this doctor, with his witchcraft, always
contrived to humble me, and to obliterate from the minds of the ladies
all that I might effect by my gold and rich presents. I could no longer
spare him. The duke and duchess were worthy, God-fearing people; and
Angelica went every day to mass, and every week to confession. They
should know who they were entertaining as a friend—who was luring their
lovely daughter on to her destruction. But what could I adduce against
him? That he had journeyed to China upon a poodle-dog, and there stolen
money and precious stones from the emperor’s treasury? Good Heavens! If
I had advanced such a statement Angelica would have looked suspiciously
at me, and the duchess would have felt my pulse, and anxiously
asked—“Are your nerves again excited? Is this a fresh attack, my lord?”
No, no; nothing was to be done in this way. Only some mighty blow at his
credit could free me from my rival. How was it, that from the depths of
my soul I seemed to hear a distinct voice, saying—“You know well both
him and his poodle; bethink yourself where you have seen them before; he
is a person of distinction, well known throughout Europe.” But I thought
until my head ached, and could remember nothing. Suddenly, a plan
occurred to me, which would put an end to all my embarrassment. Was not
the doctor occupied at this moment in creating arbors for the
ladies—and was not his poodle sitting upon the coach-box, whistling
Caspar’s song from Der Freischütz? Could I not instantly repair to the
doctor’s studio, and procure proofs of his dealings with the evil one?

No sooner thought than done. I set my cap more firmly upon my head, and
in the next moment I was sitting in the doctor’s studio, surrounded by
the most ordinary articles of furniture and dress. The papers upon the
table were of no consequence, but the handwriting appeared to me
remarkable. The ancient form of the letters, and the various flourishes
with which they were adorned, belonged to the Middle Ages. I stepped up
to another table, upon which lay several books and a map.

“He loves reading,” thought I: “from the reading in which a man
delights, one can easily discover the bent of his mind; and perhaps he
has made marginal notes which will betray him, and afford sure proofs of
his guilt.” The first book that I opened was the earliest edition of
Faust—it was the merest fragment; and nowhere through the book could I
find a scrap of writing except at the end, where, in red ink, in the
doctor’s easily-recognized handwriting, was the single word, “good.” Did
this word refer only to the masterly genius of Goethe, or did it
characterize the escape of Faust from his well-merited punishment; an
escape which probably filled the doctor with hope that he also might
continue unharmed in his league with the Evil One. I opened another
book: it was another edition of the same work, with the same blood-red
“good” at the end. It was the same with every book that I could
find—nothing but Faust, with the same comment at the end. In the latest
edition, however, where Faust and Mephistophiles leave Margaret in
prison, in the last scene, there was a distinctly-written “very good” at
the end.

This “very good” made the strangest impression upon me. At last I
lighted upon a handsomely bound book, which proved to be an edition of
the admirable drawings with which Ramberg has illustrated Goethe’s great
work. As I held this book in my hand I had the distinct impression that
the riddle was about to be solved—and so it proved. Was I
dreaming?—No. In the first picture upon which I cast my eyes, I
recognised in Faust and his Demon Doctor Joannes—my rival, the wooer of
the heavenly Angelica—and his hateful poodle, who was now figuring as
coachman to the Duke of Silvio Cremonio. My glimmering recollection
became a living picture; and I understood well, why the doctor had
defied the demon dog—“because the old fellow in Weimar had not
completed him.” And because he was as yet only a fragment—because M.
von Goethe had delayed his conclusion he was permitted to live in the
world, and make me and my Angelica miserable. I would write to Weimar,
to M. von Goethe, instantly, and represent to him the dreadful
consequences of his delay. No—it were much better, by virtue of my cap,
to present myself before him, and plead my own cause in _proprid
persona_.

But now the most tormenting fears took possession of me. I seemed to
hear in the distance Angelica’s cry for help, and the shrill tones of
her mother entreating my aid. O, Goethe, Faust, and Mephistophiles! I
feared the worst. In a flash I was at San Solario. The coach was no
longer there; and the old gardener informed me that, at the approach of
evening, the ladies had returned to town, accompanied by Doctor Joannes.
I still seemed to hear Angelica’s cry for help, and the entreaties of
her mother. A moment more, and I stood in the door-way of the palace of
Silvio Cremonio; and, looking into the court, saw the direst confusion
reigning everywhere. Footmen were running hither and thither with
burning torches, and I heard Angelica’s name pronounced in tones of
pity, and the doctor’s accompanied with curses. I pressed through the
bewildered crowd, rushed up the marble steps, and into the drawing-room.
There stood the stout old duke, who came toward me with outstretched
arms, but unable to articulate a word. The duchess came also; and with
the rage of a lioness robbed of her young in her face and manner seized
my hand, and said—

“O, welcome, marquis; more welcome now than ever. Angelica has been torn
from us by that demon doctor. You warned us, but I was foolishly deaf to
your warnings! O, help us; for you, too, possess the most wonderful
natural gifts—else, where could you have procured the beautiful jewels
and rich lace!”

“Torn from you by the doctor?” cried I, almost frantic. “Is it possible
that this miserable villain, who only exists in print and copperplates,
has dared to carry off a Brazilian princess?”

“Dared it before my very eyes!” replied the duchess. “He was this
afternoon, as you saw, extremely polite, and more charmingly pale than
ever. He assisted me into the coach; but when Angelica was about to
enter he flung to the door, seized her, and seating himself with her
upon the box, drove through the streets in the wildest manner. Just the
other side of the city gates the horses reared, snorted fire, and
something like a fiery chariot bore away the doctor, Angelica, and the
coachman to the east, where they vanished in that thunder-cloud that you
see there.”

“There I recognize _Faust_!” I cried. “This driving off in flames is an
old trick of his; but he shall not long rejoice over his beautiful prey.
In a few moments, I will restore Angelica to your arms; you will again
be a happy mother, and the princess—”

“Shall be your reward,” said the lady, interrupting me. “I have seen
your passion, and am convinced that your love for her is the cause of
the weakness of your nerves. Bring the dear child back to us, and you
shall receive the blessing of a happy mother.”

“And of a happy father,” added the old duke.

“Away then to the strife with the doctor and his dog!” cried I,
entranced. “What is the laurel of fame, in comparison with the price for
which I strive?”

The duchess commanded the chaplain to attend in the chapel, and I put on
my cap. With a wish only I was hovering in the air in the fiery car, and
lightnings were quivering around, while the thunder rolled beneath me.
Beside me lay fainting and motionless the dear innocent child, the
graceful Angelica. She knew nothing of what was passing around her, and
lay there like a careless, sleeping child.

Faust and Mephistophiles were talking together.

“On the peak of Teneriffe we will rest,” said the former.

“And the marriage shall take place at Gretna Green,” said the latter.

“The bride is mine,” cried I, boldly; and in an instant I laid her at
the feet of her parents, who were expecting us at the chapel door. As if
awakening from a dream, the beautiful being lifted her head, and
stroking back her curls, cast an inquiring glance around. But this was
no time for explanation. The storm had broken fearfully over the palace,
and the duchess foreboded danger.

“You will be happy in marriage, dear children,” said she. “You,
Angelica, because you will want for nothing; and you, my lord, because
you will gratify every wish of hers. How much pin-money shall you allow
her—a hundred thousand pistoles a year?”

“A million!” cried I, “if she is only mine.” My head burned, my heart
beat as though it would leap from my breast. The storm grew more
fearful, the high Gothic window of the chapel was illuminated by the
lightning, and the doctor’s face was plainly seen, grinning frightfully
in, and by his side that accursed poodle.

“Hey, hey, Gabriel Mostert!” the doctor seemed scornfully to say. “You
are a sad rogue, and the devil will have you, too.”

“I’ll have you, too,” howled the dog, in echo.

I could not fling off the horror that seized me. The priest had now
reached the place where my audible assent was necessary; I grew dizzy,
and my hand clutched at the altar—a thunder-clap of indescribable
violence at this moment burst from the sky—the light of the tapers
threatened to be extinguished. All grew dim before my eyes. Then, like
shadows, the forms of Van Delpt and Fleury rose up as marriage-witnesses
near the altar; the priest, the ducal parents, the princely bride, and
the whole retinue dwindled away into infinite littleness, and then into
nothing. The marble pillars of the chapel sunk into the earth—the lofty
dome bowed down, and became a common ceiling, and out of the dimness
gradually appeared, before my uncertain sight, the red interior of
the—opium-booth, in Bujukdìre, and a row of slumbering Turks against
the walls. My two friends, Van Delpt and Fleury, were standing before
me, shaking me roughly by the arms and shoulders, in order to bring me
entirely to myself.

“Every thing has its time,” said the cook, with melancholy phlegm, “and
you must now abdicate. Your sleep was rather restless at the last, and
so we awaked you. I was very happy, I assure you, as William Benkels,
but all earthly happiness is a dream, and the dream vanishes like a
vapor.”

“What do you mean?” cried I, without understanding him. “Where is my
charming Angelica? Where’s my purse? Where’s my wishing-cap? I’m not
here, I’m in Brazil—in Rio Janeiro.”

“Nothing but a dream,” cried M. Fleury. “You swallowed opium as well as
we, _mon cher_, and so you’ve had heavenly dreams. But that is all over;
be quiet now, my good fellow, and we’ll have some strong coffee; that
will prevent disagreeable consequences.”

Pale, and trembling in all my limbs, with the assistance of my friends I
reached Van Delpt’s room, where we spent the night in drinking strong
coffee, and relating the glories of which we had dreamed.

While I pen these lines to while away the time, I am in quarantine at
Trieste—an excellent provision against the plague, but very
disagreeable is it to be detained as a suspicious person. But my time
will soon be over. I shall hasten on the wings of love to little Kate,
the burgomaster’s daughter.

As to my business in Constantinople, it all ended happily. The Mufti,
Reis-Effendi, and all the other dignitaries of the Sublime Porte,
settled their accounts before the Ramazan; and Messrs. Steinlein & Son
were as well satisfied with the balance, as I was with the commission
that fell to my share; by means of which I shall set up a shop, with a
good stock of _Crêpe de Chine_ and other fashionable articles, as well
as veritable _Eau de Cologne_. My arms are stretched out toward my home,
and my heart laughs to greet it; and in the new ledger of my life stand
entered in golden letters—“Little Katy for ever.”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        =THE TUTOR’S DAUGHTER.=


                         =BY MRS. M. A. FORD.=


On a calm, but very clouded summer evening, I entered a beautiful
valley, bordering on the Juniata river, from which I had been absent
nearly three years. Many of my happiest days had been spent amidst its
rural shades and warm-hearted people. One, whom all the neighborhood
held in veneration, had been my tutor during several years of my youth,
and in the family circle under his roof, my heart had found much to
contribute to its enjoyments. His two sons filled the places of brothers
to one who had none, and their young sister, lovely and modest as the
violet of the valley, had won a yet dearer title to my affection. Nearly
three years seemed a long time to pass far from these associations, but
I had spent it in acquiring a profession on which would depend my future
advancement in life, and was now hastening to revisit the valley, and
receive from her venerable father the hand of my gentle Linda.

How often during the bright and beautiful days which had hitherto
favored my journey, the joyful anticipation of the warm welcome which
would greet my return, came with gushing fullness over my heart.

After leaving the stage on the public road, I had hired a horse, and
entered a lane leading, through embowering woods, to that portion of the
valley which contained the endeared home of other days. In the lightness
of my heart I sang catches of songs as my horse gayly bore me along the
well-remembered road. But night came on while I was yet in the thick
forest, with a mantle darker than usual. Heavy clouds veiled the scene
around, and as the gloom increased, my meditations assumed a more
serious nature. I might lose the way, and my horse was a stranger to it.
The few stars visible gave so little light through the foliage of the
woods, that the track soon became undefined. The silence of this
darkness was not broken by the night-wind which seemed to have died on
its winged way. Thus circumstanced, it was more prudent to proceed
slowly.

Was that a footstep? Did not the underwood rustle as if parted by
something passing through it? I looked around, but saw nothing amidst
the deep gloom, when suddenly the reins were snatched from my hand, and
an attempt made by some one to drag me from the horse. I had just time
to draw and fire a pistol, a groan followed the discharge, and the
strong arm that had grasped me loosed its hold, while a person fell
heavily to the ground. Giving my horse the spur, I was soon borne out of
the wood.

On reaching the open country and looking back, I saw no one, but hastily
resumed my journey.

It was the hour of retiring to rest, when the welcome light from the
window of the Grange, the home of my friend, Mr. Milton, met my view.
How eagerly I dismounted and hurried across the lawn in front of the
mansion. My hand was on the latch of the door, the next moment it was
opened, and I felt myself pressed to the heart of my kind old tutor, to
whom a letter had announced my coming. As we entered the parlor another
form approached, a little hand was clasped in mine, and Linda, covered
with blushes and looking more lovely than ever, faltered my welcome.
Late as was the hour, they had yet waited supper for me, and we sat down
with hearts too full of joyful emotions to do justice to the bountiful
supply of the table.

Although my cup of happiness was so full, the strange and unpleasant
adventure in the forest shared my thoughts, and the uncertainty of the
fate of my assailant pressed rather heavily on one whose habits had
always been peaceful. The scene of the encounter was not more than four
miles from the Grange.

And yet I delayed informing those so interested in my welfare of the
occurrence, partly because their earnest inquiries related to the period
of my absence, and I would not interrupt the first gushings of joy and
tenderness by any thing unpleasant.

“And where are my friends James and Ernest?” I asked, for their vacant
chairs were placed at the table.

Some one entering the door behind me, covered my eyes playfully with his
hands; I caught those hands, and turned to embrace my early fellow
student and warm-hearted friend James, who had waited until my meeting
with his sister was over, and now poured out the frank greeting of his
kind and generous nature.

“But where is Ernest to share our happiness?” he inquired. “What can
detain him to this late hour? He rode out this evening to meet you,
Charles, and I expected to see him with you.”

“I regret I did not meet him. There is another road to meet the stage
route, perhaps he took that.”

“Oh no, he went by the same which you traveled. It is strange you did
not see him.”

As James spoke, he directed a look of anxious inquiry toward his father,
who sighed, and turning to me, said “Ernest has caused me much pain
lately. He is sadly altered.”

I looked surprised, but he did not explain, and the silence of the next
few minutes left me to ponder on his words.

Ernest altered!—the studious, mild, spiritual Ernest? How altered?—in
what way? It could not be favorably, for he had already been my standard
of excellence, and in my enthusiastic admiration he could rise no
higher. Was it for the worse? Heaven forbid! Yet some years had passed
since we parted, and, alas! for changeful man, even Ernest might have
fallen into error.

In his continued absence the time seemed slowly and anxiously to pass
away. Linda rose to retire, and as I pressed her hand in saying
“good-night,” I observed a look of sadness, and a starting tear had
changed the expression of her sweet face. As had always been her custom
from childhood, she knelt for her father’s blessing, and when his
venerable hand, pressed on the rich clusters of her dark brown hair, and
“God bless you, my child,” came from his lips, she earnestly added, “And
may he protect my brother from all danger.”

I could not help sharing the general anxiety, and felt more unwilling to
impart to them the late encounter in the wood, lest it should increase
their fears for the safety of Ernest. Yet what enemy had he? and the
road leading to his home would be plain to him on the darkest night. But
I might with the same reason ask, What enemy had I? And who was my
assailant? If a highwayman, he would have demanded my purse.

As I turned on my pillow after retiring to the chamber alloted to me, I
vainly sought repose. The journey of the day had been a long and weary
one, although supported by the joyous anticipations of a buoyant spirit:
tired I felt, but not sleepy, for a strange feeling of uncertainty and
anxiety was now upon me, which was not relieved by the murmur of voices
in the next apartment. My chamber, which was the same I had occupied in
boyhood, was only separated from the next by a wooden partition, so
common in country houses, and what was spoken there, even in a low
voice, could be heard with a little attention by me. Shall I confess
this attention was not wanting on my part? For the first time in my life
I listened willingly to the communications of others not intended for my
ear. My conscientious scruples were quieted by the reflection that
long-existing ties bound me to the interests of the family, and besides,
was I not about to unite myself to its dearest member, and had I not
something like a brother’s right to learn what were the sorrows or
troubles of Ernest, whose name was more than once spoken in the subdued
but agitated voice of my venerated old friend, his father, whose chamber
I knew adjoined mine. My name was also mentioned, and regret expressed
by James that he had not confided in me and entered into an explanation.
This certainly exonerated me from all blame in eaves-dropping, and I
listened without dreading the admonitions of my inward monitor.

“I will share your pillow to-night, my dear father,” said James, “for I
fear you cannot sleep.”

“As you please, my dear son,” he replied, “and surely we have cause for
alarm. Oh! Ernest, Ernest, you whom I thought by intellectual culture
and literary acquirements to place above the trials and troubles of this
world, that after all you should act so rashly.”

“Nay, my dear father, I trust nothing wrong has happened. My brother
received a note just before his departure; but I do not know that it was
from Bertha. It is true his love for her is most fervent, and another
insult from Durell would arouse him almost to frenzy.”

Here they spoke so low I could not connect the words, but
“encounter—revenge—insult—Bertha—attack—ride—chastise”—and others
as strange met my ear.

And who was Bertha? I now recollected a lovely girl of some fourteen
summers, that bore that name, and at the time I left the valley, resided
with her widowed mother in a neat cottage about three miles from the
Grange. The name was an unusual one, unlike the simple appellations of
her neighbors, and it is one of the pleasing effects of the settlement
of our country by colonists from so many different nations, that some of
the wildly beautiful names brought from other lands may still be heard
in the deep shadows of our valleys, on the rugged brow of the mountain,
by the gush of the waterfall, or in the flower-studded prairies of the
West. To this also, may be attributed the varied style of beauty in our
land which travelers have remarked.

There is no true standard of American loveliness; the blonde, the
brunette; the eye soft as the gazelle or bright as the glancing meteor:
features so differently moulded, some full of commanding dignity, others
replete with [missing content]

Forms rounded into the freshness of a Hebe, or delicate and graceful as
the tendrils of the vine. Figures, tall and majestic in their
proportions, or small and fairy-like in their beauty. Each have their
peculiar charm: but I have digressed too far, and must return to the
scenes of that distressing night.

Bertha was now no longer a child, but a beautiful woman, and had taken
possession of the heart of my friend Ernest, in defiance of the nine
Muses, and all the brilliant array of classic dames and ancient heroines
with which study had stored his memory. How relieved I felt to know that
this was the change which had come over him; how unjust it was to his
merits to suspect for a moment that he could act unworthily. But he had
a rival and might be in danger, and again I listened; when what was my
dismay and horror to hear the father and brother express their fears
that he had attacked his insolent rival, and been injured in the
contest. My heart beat as if it would have burst from my breast. What if
my friend had in the darkness mistaken me for this Durell. What if my
unknown assailant was Ernest, and alas? what if—but I could think and
listen no longer, and sank back on my pillow, with an intense feeling of
agony it is impossible to describe.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Recovering myself by a strong effort, I sprang from the bed and hastily
threw on my clothes. I believe my intention was to rush out of the
house, and seek in the forest the relief or confirmation of my fears.

The noise I made drew the attention of James, who soon entered the
chamber. He was not undressed, yet seemed surprised to find me up.

“Why are you rising, Charles? It is yet two hours before day.”

I could not answer for some moments. At last I faltered out,

“I have overheard your conversation with your father, and like
yourselves, must feel unhappy.”

“My dear friend,” he cried, “I wish we had explained all to you before.
My anxiety about Ernest will not allow me to sleep. I will arouse the
gardener to go with me in search of him, and would have done so before,
but knowing my brother’s sensitive and delicate feelings, I feared if he
was safe he might be displeased.”

“I will accompany you,” I replied, “do not awaken Richard.”

“No, no, you are not well, Charles. How you shake. Why, you are as pale
as ashes. Richard can go, for my father will not let me venture alone.”

Still I persisted in following him down stairs, and with cautious
footsteps we passed Linda’s door; but our care was useless, it was ajar,
and a light burning on the table. Her brother looked in, Linda was not
there, but on re-entering the passage we caught a glimpse of her form
leaning from a window at the extreme end, and gazing out on the road.

She started as we approached, and an exclamation rather of distress than
alarm broke from her—“My brother! my Ernest!”

“Be calm, dear sister,” said James; “I am going to seek him. He may have
gone to the next town, and the night being dark, his friends have
detained him until morning.”

“Alas! I cannot hope this,” said Linda; “for Ernest would not willingly
give pain and anxiety to our father. I fear some evil has befallen him.”
And she burst into tears.

I could not approach to soothe her anguish, for her words were torture
to my heart, as I accused myself of being the cause of all this
distress.

“Are you going, too, Charles?” she inquired, raising her tearful eyes to
mine. Before I could answer, the voice of Mr. Milton called me, and I
hastened to his chamber. He was sitting up in bed, and the painful
anxiety of the last few hours had visibly affected his usually healthy
appearance. His had been a green old age, so beautiful in its gradual
decline, but now his features appeared sharp, and his face very pale.

“Charles,” said he, “I can scarcely tell you how wretched I feel. You
cannot comprehend the reality of our alarm, as you know so little of the
circumstances that cause it. In a few words, then, I will inform you.
Ernest loves and is beloved. A stranger, without character, came lately
into the neighborhood, and struck with the beauty of Bertha (whose sweet
childhood you must remember) has rudely pressed his attendance on her
when walking, and intruded frequently into her mother’s dwelling.
Finding his suit rejected, and hearing of Bertha’s engagement to my son,
he has spoken of him in the most insulting manner, and Ernest, learning
his inexcusable conduct, has forbidden him ever to enter the cottage
again. To this he has only returned insolent language, and perseveres in
his annoyance when my son is absent. Ernest, naturally so mild, is now
quite changed, and has threatened him with chastisement. The note
received by my son I fear conveyed the knowledge of some fresh intrusion
on our sweet Bertha, and we dread his meeting this insolent stranger
again. In riding through the forest he may have crossed his path, and
been provoked to chastise him, and in the struggle may have received
some fatal injury from one so devoid of principle and honor. And now, do
you not think we have great cause for alarm, at the continued absence of
Ernest?”

I was too agitated to answer, and he continued:

“My kind Charles, I knew how deeply you would sympathise in our
feelings. Ernest ought to have met you at the stage, and returned with
you. This would have prevented any collision with his foe. Oh! why did
he not do so? My dear, my unhappy son!” and tears coursed his venerable
cheeks.

Linda and James had followed me to the chamber, and now hastened to
soothe and console him with hopes that cheered not their own hearts.
Suddenly he addressed me again with startling energy:

“Why do you not speak, Charles? Can you suggest nothing to comfort me?
Was all silent in the forest as you passed through, or did you hear a
noise? I adjure you by your hopes of heaven to answer me! Do not fear my
weakness. The great Being who sustains my age will not forsake me now.”

I had advanced to the bedside, and sinking down, buried my face in the
covering. The truth was on my lips, struggling for utterance—but could
I thus destroy all their hopes, brand myself as the murderer of Ernest,
and be separated from Linda forever? I sprang, in the energy of despair,
to my feet.

“’Tis madness to remain longer,” I exclaimed, clasping my hands in
agony, “we are losing time; come, come. Oh, wretched me!”

“He is beside himself,” cried Linda, in a voice of terror; “speak to
him, James.”

I was rushing from the room, when he intercepted me.

“Stay one moment, dear Charles, I will go immediately. Linda, support
our father. Alas! I fear my friend has heard or seen something in that
forest that makes his alarm even greater than ours. Heaven grant we may
be in time to save my brother.”

I broke from him and ran along the passage, he followed, and swift as
lightning we descended the staircase. By this time the housemaid and
gardener were aroused, and running from opposite directions, increased
the confusion. James gave the necessary orders, and assisted Richard to
saddle the horses, when we hastily mounted, and attended by him,
galloped toward the woods I had so lately entered with such different
feelings.

As we moved silently and swiftly along, the gray dawn began to appear in
the east, but the increasing light cheered not my oppressed heart, for I
dreaded its revealings.

How often in my happy youth, before I left the valley, had I watched
with delight the gradual unfolding of the landscape, as the magic
glances of the dawn lighted the rock, the hill, the wood, or when it
mounted higher, heralding the glorious sun, and reflecting its rosy hues
on the waters of the Juniata. Young life, with its dewy freshness, joyed
in that which was congenial to its feelings, but how little suited to
the darkness within me now; I almost shrank from the playful breeze that
fanned my cheek.

As we entered the deeply shadowed wood I dreaded to look forward. Would
I see the pale form of Ernest, fallen by my rashness, for worse than
rashness it now appeared to me? Why did I fire so suddenly? If I had
grappled with the person who attempted to drag me from the horse, I
might have overcome without fatally injuring him. Had I spoken one word,
the sound of my voice would have convinced Ernest of his mistake. But to
reason thus was now useless, and only added to my anguish.

“Charles,” said James, in a low agitated voice, “what is that beneath
yonder oak?”

One plunge of my horse brought me to the object; a white handkerchief,
stained with blood, lay on the spot which I thought must be that of last
night’s assault.

I raised it quickly, exclaiming—“Thank God! he is not here!”

James could not understand my feelings, and replied—“True, but whose is
that blood? Oh! if it is my brother’s he may have been dragged away!”

Alas! I knew too well I had left him there, but hope dawned in my
breast. The wound had not been immediately fatal—he might be
alive—might yet live long to bless his family, and to forgive me. Hope
made me strong again. We searched every thicket around, and then
hastened toward the main road. A lane on the right led to the little
village, near which Bertha resided. We turned into it, and in a short
time the cottage was in view; its lowly roof almost hid by overhanging
branches from the trees around it.

The distressed James hurried me on, in the hope of hearing something to
relieve our anxiety. We soon reached the gate, and springing from our
horses, entered the little flower-garden in front. Although the sun had
not yet risen, the sound of footsteps passing rapidly through the house
was distinctly heard. Presently two persons, who appeared to be
neighbors, came hastily out of the door to meet us.

“Is the doctor with you?” inquired one of them.

“What doctor? Who is injured?” exclaimed James, rushing past them into
the house.

I followed him, trembling in every limb. Several persons were in the
room we entered, but I saw but one—and what a sight was that?

Stretched on a bed, lay a tall form motionless. The face was turned
toward the wall, but the pale hands were white as the counterpane. With
a cry of agony and grief, James threw himself on his knees by its side.
I saw no more, for nature gave way, and I sunk on the door in a state of
insensibility.

                 *        *        *        *        *

When restored to perfect consciousness, I found myself lying on a sofa
in a small parlor. The window shutters were half closed to exclude the
light.

“Where am I?” I exclaimed, attempting to rise, but a gentle hand
prevented me, and turning I saw a lady, advanced in life, but with a
most benignant countenance, who had been watching by my couch. It was
the mother of Bertha, the widow of an American officer.

“Be composed, sir,” she said, “we have all suffered much anxiety on your
account, and your friend Ernest would not leave the house until assured
you were in no danger.”

“Ernest!” I exclaimed, “is he alive? Oh, Heaven be praised!”

“He is alive and well,” she replied, with some surprise; “but now I
recollect that you and his brother were both shocked by supposing the
wounded person was Ernest. It was the stranger who has so constantly
annoyed us, and yet we regret he is hurt. He had only fainted from loss
of blood when you entered the room, but has been shot in the leg, and
probably will be lame through life.”

It is impossible to describe the sudden and joyful change in my
feelings. I thought not of the stranger, but of Ernest my friend, the
brother of my Linda, restored to us safe and well. How the happiness of
my overcharged heart struggled for utterance at my lips, but I could not
speak it, and having listened almost breathlessly to the recital of the
lady, now rose once more from the sofa. But again she stayed my steps.

“Listen to me a moment longer,” she said. “Your friend Ernest after
leaving the Grange last evening to meet you stopped here, and this delay
prevented him from arriving at the stage-road until too late to see you,
but he learned that you had proceeded on horseback toward his father’s
residence, more than an hour before. Thick clouds shadowed the sky, and
it was dark and late when he returned through the forest, when his
attention was arrested by the groans of some person. Hastily alighting,
and following the sounds, he discovered this man wounded, and having
raised him with some difficulty, he placed him on the horse, and brought
him here as the nearest house. But Ernest has since been arrested on
suspicion of wounding him, although we all know he is innocent. His
brother has gone with him and the officers of the law to the next town.”

“Do not detain me a moment,” I exclaimed, “Ernest is innocent! It was I
who, in self-defense, shot at Durell, who attacked me in the forest last
night, no doubt mistaking me in the darkness for my friend.”

The party with Ernest had been gone but a short time, and were soon
overtaken by one of the neighbors, when they immediately returned to the
cottage, and I, certainly the happiest of the group, with a face too
full of truth to be doubted, told my story, which entirely exonerated
Ernest, and myself too. The officers then departed, and a surgeon having
examined and bandaged the limb of Durell, who had only received a flesh
wound, he appeared so mortified and chagrined at his mistake and
exposure, and so anxious to leave the cottage, that it was thought best
to remove him on a litter to the village inn. He soon recovered, and one
morning made an early departure, leaving his bill to be paid by me.
Subsequently we learned he was a gambler, and had probably sought the
seclusion of the valley to evade the pursuit of the law. But enough of
him.

What a joyous party returned to the Grange, to which Richard had been
dispatched at an early hour, to relieve the anxiety of Linda and her
father. Bertha, whose beauty had wrought all our past trouble,
accompanied us, but I scarcely looked at her, as she rode by the side of
Ernest, for I could for some time think only of him, and surprised my
friend very often by the tight pressure I gave his hand whenever I could
reach it.

On our arrival at the Grange, I explained the cause of the distress and
anxiety I had shown there on the night before, and oh! how sincerely my
heart joined in the pious and simply beautiful thanks to God, from the
lips of my old tutor, as we surrounded his hospitable board. How truly I
felt that a benign and overruling Providence alone could bring joy out
of sorrow.

Years have passed since then, years of happiness with Linda, but the
memory of that night and morning can never be effaced from my mind. Yet
it has taught me a grateful dependence on the Giver of all good, and one
of the earliest lessons learned by the little happy group who call us
parents, was to look on the bright side of life, and never imagine
sorrows which may have no reality.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                              =AMBITION.=


                           =BY RUFUS WAPLES.=


           Aurora smiles! the sun is on the sea!
             Angels are painting pictures in the sky;
           Eolian breezes warble wild and free,
             Singing the infant giant’s lullaby.
           He comes to bless; he smiles to beautify:
             But lately laving in a sea of glory,
           New-born, new-crowned, he reigns a prince on high,
             With brightness god-like and with mission holy,
           The brilliant hero of a day’s brief story.

           Sun of the Morn! in gilded car ascend;
             Give gold to dew-drops; silver to the spring;
           Thy light and heat harmoniously blend,
             The earth to gladden in thy journeying.
           Eagle of heaven! outspread thy glorious wing—
             Onward—and upward! higher yet—and higher!
           Ambition’s hero, day’s unrivaled king—
             Millions of mortals see thee to admire,
           The prince of planets wrapped in robe of fire!

           Enthroned, exalted, beautifully grand!
             Clothed in a mantle of effulgent light;
           Crowned by the eternal King of kings, whose hand
             Arrays in majesty such satellite—
           Courtiers that dance around thee with delight;
             A band of guardians ever watching o’er thee,
           Beaming with thy own beauty through the night,
             Veiling their faces when they come before thee,
           Like Gheber worshipers when they adore thee.

           Sun of the Noon! thy highest good is won!
             The zenith of the heavens is thy throne!
           In all his pride the “Man of Macedon”
             Ne’er ruled an empire mighty as thine own,
           Stretching from shore to shore, from zone to zone!
             Thy frown can wither and thy smile create—
           Thou goest forth companionless—alone!
             Thou sittest like a god in royal state:—
           Was ever seen so great a potentate?

           Behold, great monarch, thy declining reign!
             Ambition bade thee over all to tower:
           Full was thy fame! Alas! ’twas doomed to wane—
             To fade like meteor glare or summer flower!
           ’Twas thus great Cæsar gloried in his power,
             Till Rome was startled by his funeral knell:
           Thus Cromwell shone, the starlet of an hour:
             And thus Napoleon rose—and thus he fell!
           List, Phœbus! hearest thou the vesper bell?

           Sun of the Eve! thy sceptre is departed!
             Clouds come as kinsmen round thy dying bed:
           But whilst they gaze as mourners broken-hearted,
             They wrap them in thy royal robe of red;
           They steal thy golden crown from off thy head—
             Ay, pluck thy locks and soil thy silver sheen!
           The heavens with bonfires the glad tidings spread,
             “Sol is no more, and Cynthia is queen!”
           Earth shouts “Glad tidings!” happy at the scene.

           Glad tidings? Yes, the sun was merciless—
             He withered flowers—he parched the prairie plain!
           With Galileo many now confess
             His character was not without a stain.
           Of spots upon his visage they complain
             Who late extolled his brightness to the skies;
           And thousands censure his declining reign
             Who sang “_Excelsior!_” when they saw him rise.
           Thus lives Ambition’s hero—thus he dies!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                =SONG.=


                        Tears for the weary,
                          Smiles for the gay:
                        Hearts that are dreary
                          Dream far away.
                        Vows have been broken—
                          Tears have been shed—
                        Love’s gentle token
                          Lies withered and dead.

                        Dead and forsaken!
                          O leave me alone!
                        I would not awaken
                          The memories gone.
                        Then utter no whisper—
                          Breathe not a sigh—
                        Like evening’s last vesper
                          Affection must die.
                                          O. J. V.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                =GANGA.=


                           =BY D. WILLIAMS.=


Still flows the Ganges the mightiest of Eastern waters! As erst it
flowed when rocking the cradle of our common humanity with its green
waves—laving the shores whence issued all our race—as like the
Heraclean boy it fought and conquered in its tossing cot rolling on the
Ganges’ breakers, all hydras which would smother its birth and growth,
so do its descendants turn with affection to their natal stream, like
the returning Heraclidæ to Greece of old. How rich in scenes of human
joy and wo—how replete with the misty _veddahs_—how full of the
corpses of India’s children, sacrificed to its beatific current, rolls
the ancient river, its banks green with the growth of ages, with tropic
vegetation stretching its umbrageous arms like huge _antennæ_ over the
waters of many colors, as they borrow their dolphin-hues from the
thousand suns dipped in its waves, from the multifold reflections of the
hoary Himmalayeh. And still its fertile flow marks no flight of time or
change in the religion of its children. Still wanders the Brahmin,
continent and secluded, on its banks, and offers his all to the
three-fold Divinity. The air whispering its light _susurrus_ amid the
purple and scarlet flowers that form the home of the humming-birds,
whirring in their sweet-laden journey like the home-coming bees of
Hybla—the ripple of the foaming tide as the lily-tops bow to its
inspired influence—the song of the mourning mother as she strips her
child for the sacrifice, commune with the mighty Bramah, and repeat the
tales of Seeva. And the darkness comprehends it. . . . . .

“O Ganges,” rose the wail of the mother, “ever beneficent as when thou
sprangest gushing in maiden purity from the front of Sivah, as kind as
when thou visitedest this our chosen land, scattering blessings on every
hand, receive now in thy divine bosom—the last, greatest offering of a
mother’s heart, and bear it gently on to happiness.” She ceased; no
sound but the swaying of the forest-boughs met the ear. Hush! there is a
plash, a feeble cry, a dark object floating slowly down the stream! It
is the sacrifice. Will it, must it perish, that fair, fragile image of
its Maker? Is there no hand to save it? Naught human—naught but the
spirit ever-watching. Look! it does not sink, it rests on the
broad-leaved lotus, and passes slowly out of the shade of the banks and
down the whitening current. Fragrant lilies, with sustaining leaves and
petals uphold it from the yawning waters, even as the reedy Nile with
conscious wave upheld the destined prophet. As Moses on the sacred
stream was saved for future good, so was the infant on the rolling
Ganges. Gently floating on its flowery bark, the child went down the
eddying current, its soft Indian features upturned to the silver
moonbeams, and the stars in the shadowy distance, now rocking fearfully
over some little rapid of the stream, now circling round some green-clad
point, where the pendent branches swept its cheek, the unconscious
mariner floated on; and ever the kindly lotus, strengthened by the will
of Bramah, extended its pressed leaves, gemmed with a thousand forms of
insect life, still wider for its protection. The sweet echoes rang
through the lily-cups to the vibrations of its fragrant petals. Soft
melody of innocent life mingled with the voice of the waters. The good
spirits sent by Bramah soothed the child now sleeping, and fanned its
cheek with their breath, like the smoke of the welcome incense to the
divine one. No eye saw the frail burden save Bramah’s, and the holy
Ganges, on whose faithful bosom it reposed. And thus they passed down
the stream, undisturbed, in the gray of the morning.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The old hermit, Nikaiyah, who, in the early twilight, pursued his
devotions on the banks of the river, was making his orisons to the
Ganges when the reddening water and glowing east gave tokens of the
dawn. As he stooped to perform his ablutions, an object, dark upon the
water, caught his eye. It was the lotus-cradle and its burden. The old
man’s heart was moved, and, despite the voice of religion, which forbade
to rob the Ganges, he listened to the voice of nature, and with many
deprecations of the divine wrath, he took up the child and carried it to
his humble dwelling. There was no name for the child, and, partly as a
peace-offering to the wronged divinity, he called it Ganga! He brought
up the infant until its sixteenth year, though troubled by many
misgivings as to the propriety of the responsibility of which he had
relieved the Ganges. Here, then, the child’s youth was passed in the
wilderness. And she grew to be as fair as the hues of her cradle, with
eyes glittering like the lotus-leaves when sparkling with the
foam-fretting waves of the Ganges, as the first sunbeams strike upon the
buds, and the grateful heat unfolds the flowers to the pleasant air of
the morning, and the glory of floral existence. Swift passed the days of
her childhood; and as gayly as the gaudy butterflies that flitted all
day round her dwelling, she passed from day to day, and from object to
object, in the bloom of youthful happiness. Bright as the glow-worm,
when wooing his mate, was the time of her childish experience. To follow
the gayly-painted parrots through the odorous groves of spices, and
watch the busy dragon-flies as they chase each other among the blossoms;
to bathe in the limpid stream which had kindly borne her thither, and
recline on its ever-green banks, watching the flow of the waters; these
were her daily occupations, and these she pursued alone, for the old man
was absorbed in devotion, and always rapt in pious contemplation. But
anxious for her future welfare, he would sometimes, after they had
finished their simple meal of vegetables, take her by the hand and
unfold the ancient _veddahs_, or sacred records, and tell her of the
Metempsychosis; tell her of the holy Trine, that threefold-unity—the
Creator, the Preserver, the Destroyer; the all comprehended in Bramah,
the parts in Seeva and Vishnu. How by inferior eyes it is interpreted,
the earth, the generator; water, the fructifier; fire, the annihilator.
How was born the Ganges, the adored one, by the beneficence of Bramah,
described its primal course, and how at last,

                ——“To India’s favored land
          It rolled o’er fields of nard and spicy meads,
          And won its heaven-directed way.”

That the divine, the incomprehensible, heed not the rage of the evil,
undisturbed by foes in sacred peace. That he who would join their
presence must, for his earthly sins, in others’ bodies do expiation; and
after the lapse of purging ages, can alone be admitted to taste the
heavenly fruit and enjoy the society of the godlike. Then, to please her
maiden heart, would he narrate the tales and the sufferings of the
unmarried dying, their miseries here and hereafter. And when the virgin
Ganga, used to the forms of wilder nature, and remembering only her old
protector, would wish to cling to her rude life in the wilderness, then,
with a sigh at his own reverses, the old man would recount the
ceremonies of the nuptial-feast, and gazing fondly on the
Ganges-offering, pray that she might atone for all past offenses by a
holy youth and a happy union. Sweet visions of the future, when he might
behold his adopted at the solemn ceremony, modest, in the home of the
bridegroom, kindly receiving the votive offering—the corn-crowned
feast—the joyous revel, the sacred mysteries. Then recurring to the old
mythology and the sacred rites, he describes the festival of the
_Vasanti_, the genial goddess of the spring; when, like the bursting out
of nature, the people throw away the fetters of caste and custom, and
mingle in indiscriminate revelry; the rites of Sitala, the goddess of
children, which the mothers celebrate on the hill-top, assembling,
crowned with chaplets of roses, jessamine, and oleander, for the
purposes of mirth; and the “nine days festival of flowers,” sacred to
Ganri, the wife of Siva, the goddess of the harvest, whence comes her
golden name. That this takes place at the vernal equinox, when the
matronly Ganri casts her golden mantle over the ripened beauties of the
verdant Vasanti. Then nature is in perfection—the air is impregnated
with _aroma_, and the crimson poppy contrasts with the spikes of golden
grain to form a wreath for the beneficent Ganri. She bears the lotus in
her corn-stained hands, and often the implements of death, denoting that
the goddess, whose gifts sustain life, is sometimes accessory to the
loss of it—thus resembling the Isis and Cybelle of the Egyptians. The
corn is sown, and when it germinates, they invoke the blessing of Ganri,
and bear her image in solemn procession. Then on the glassy lake the
effigy is borne in boats as primitive as those which bore the Argonauts
to Colchis. The rising borders of the lake swarm with devout and joyous
multitudes. The fair Hindostaneé, fragrant with garlands, wave their
scarlet tokens, reflected from the transparent water, and chant their
festal hymns. The procession winds slowly down the steep descent with
the image of the benefactress, the propitious Ganri, in the centre,
blazing with gold and gems, glittering in the tropic sun; the solemn
music reëchoes among the narrow passes, announcing the approach of the
divine one. The hoary sages bear with reverence the sacred burden. All
is joy and innocent happiness. They reach the shore, passing beneath the
long, black tresses of the attendant maidens, and embark with sober
state to voyage around the lake. This rite performed, the sun ever
shines more brightly on the harvest, and the dews descend gently on the
young promise of the meadows. Ganri propitious smiles upon the
undertakings of her favorite race. Ganga, then, would spring up in
delight, and with sparkling eyes wish to remove from their quiet retreat
and visit these brilliant festivals. Gently the old man reproaches her,
and warns her of ambitious wishes. His kindly words fall as quiet and
soothing on the soul of Ganga as the shades of evening on the silent
leaves of the forest. But hark! from the distant jungle resounds the
howl of the panther, and the muttering of the king of the beasts! The
child shrinks fearful and awe-struck into the arms of her protector, as
the timid leaves bow before the blast of the tempest. Faltering rose her
voice as the quivering notes of the songster, when the thunder rolls in
the ether, when fleeing its dread approach, she seeks her sheltered
nest, her callow and expectant young, seizing the opportunity when great
emotions bare the inner soul, and adapt it to softer impressions.
Nikaiyah would speak of the love, the providence always waking; tell her
of her perilous voyage on the Ganges, describe her preservation, and ask
if she feared the wild beasts, who obeyed their master’s orders. Then
the old doctrine of the transmigration would glimmer on her young mind,
when explained with persuasive eloquence, like the faint first
twinklings of Hesperus, and with as mild and benignant an influence. She
would hang upon his words with large, attentive eyes, as he told her
that even the ferial nature of the wildest monster was filled by a
penance-doing spirit that once had felt as she did—alas! the expiation!
Therefore the pious Brahmin forbore to destroy a living thing, fearful
of injuring a brother—for then would the unfortunate begin his weary
pilgrimage anew. Beware, mortal, of defeating the purposes of Bramah!
That to avoid or shorten this term of suffering the good man lived
secluded from the world, devoting himself to the study of his own
breast, and seeking to know his Creator, or subjected himself to
privation, to torture, and to death, to gain the reward of martyrdom
unspotted by earthly taint, unwearied by earthly transmigration. Thus
did the priests for themselves and others atoning, as did of old in
Christian infancy Simon Stylites. For this had Nikaiyah shut himself up
in the forest, in voluntary retirement, for a term of years which was
even now expiring. Then to the mind of Ganga would come the thought of a
previous life, when she might have roamed under some different form
through the forest, returned by an accident to her human probation.
Vague thoughts like these would steal upon her spirit, like the waves of
a distant ocean, an indefinite sea of former existence, surging, rising
on the memory, breaking on the shifting sands of the present; and she
the storm-tost mariner struggling on the crest of the waves, ever
mistaking the foaming phosphorescence of the surf for a light of
friendly assistance; or if she turned to the future, that mist-shadowed
nothing, she would alternately fancy herself floating smoothly on an
unbroken sea, and gazing into its purple depths, sinister yet tempting;
or pushing for some unknown shore, prone for great discovery. Thus is
life to us all; we stand on the golden sand of an ever-changing present,
listening to the echoes of the past receding with the ebbing tide among
the hoarse-mouthed caverns; more often, unheeding, gaze upon the calm,
open sea of the future, and, regardless of the billows that break
tumultuous around us, think only of those serene hopes to come, those
_halcyon_ days of peace shining undimmed in times of deceptive distance.

The old man ceased. Night had fallen, and the unwholesome exhalations
warned to retire from the unwholesome air—Ganga, soon wrapt in the
sweet sleep of youth, lay dreaming over in ever new and magnified forms
those doctrines of the Metempsychosis which Nikaiyah had explained to
her. She was doomed, it seemed to her, to pass through the stages of an
infinite change, and like the banyan tree, as fast as having reached a
certain height she seemed to have attained perfection, and must needs
bend down to take fresh root in earth. Unconscious that all this was but
enlarging her soul and her sphere of good, as the banyan with fresh
trunks enlarges its cool and refreshing circumference, and gives wider
shelter to the weary and the oppressed. First, she was an ant, busy and
careful as the proverb, toiling to increase the glory of the realm and
queen; but a hostile invasion of robber tribes relieved her from that
insignificant though useful existence—instantly she was rolling, a
vast, glittering length, through the crackling under-brush, a gigantic
boa; the angry lion, defiant to the last, retreated from those shining
meshes, which slow curling in golden folds, could have hugged to death a
generation of laocoons. Undisturbed monarch of the wood the monster
coiled his serpentine length, glaring—O, horror! that such expression
should come from Ganga’s eyes—angrily at the retreating beasts. But
with a pang _that_ was finished—she had been struck unawares. Where was
she now—how cold! how bleak!—and the feathers! A vulture on the
Himmalyah peaks, looking over to the southern sea’s blue on the
horizon’s verge—nothing but snow—where were her beautiful valleys—she
could fly down, at any rate. What a sensation—to be floating in mid-air
unconscious of motion, for want of a standard to measure by; passing
through the variously-tinted clouds, seeing naught—the dull flapping of
noiseless wings. But now the primeval forest grows green upon the
vision—now she swoops at a parrot, all green and yellow, chattering on
a dead bough; unconscious she is struck by the arrow of a wandering boy.
Now she is happy—a nightingale, singing melodiously in harmonious
concert with a thousand sisters amid the sacred grove—fair girls, with
jet-black eyes and locks darker than the night, come to hear the song of
the nightingales—how sweetly the evening breeze, cool from the water,
soughs through the whispering branches! There is something in yonder
aisle of trees!—a youth and a maiden walking under the shadows, their
arms encircling each other’s waist—soft hours of confidence, of fond
anticipation never destined to be realized. They are just passing under
the low, vine-covered sandal-tree, when the nightingale sees the leopard
crouching among the branches that variegate with green his spotted
sides—see the lovers, with heads mutually inclined, engaged in sweet
converse—see the fierce beast, bending on the enormous machinery of his
huge muscles, preparing for the spring! She will warn them—she flies
rapidly to attract their attention—they are just exchanging farewells.
O, Heavens! are they not eternal ones! The monster is in the act of
rising on his spring—the lovers embrace—the nightingale flies with
utmost, but as it seems, fruitless speed—when——

Ganga awoke to the sweet reality of a peaceful security and her quiet
home upon the sacred stream. The morning sun was shining brightly. Where
was her old friend? Why had he not called her at dawn to perform her
matin devotions? Alas! he was sitting dejected by the door, thinking of
the trusting charge he was to commit to the tender mercies of the world;
for the term of his vow had expired, and he must rejoin his brethren,
the Brahmins, in the ministerings and services of the temple.

Sadly they collect their little property—weary prepare for their
pilgrimage. Mournfully Ganga bids farewell to her tame favorites, who,
conscious as it were of the sanctity in which they held life, had
congregated fearlessly around their dwelling, fed daily by the hands of
the maiden. Sadly, they turn their backs upon their happy home and
journey on to worldly experience. The sun’s rays have scarce reached
their noontide severity when they pass up the banks of the river,
casting many a glance behind to the forest so long familiar; accompanied
by their feathered favorites, who soon must miss the fostering care of
Ganga. The river, like the course of life, ever rushing on and onward,
awakens new reflections, and they heed not the voice of the birds nor
the waving _arbutus_ beckoning them homeward.

Years after the Ganges rolls by a ruined hut scarcely distinguishable
from the rest of the forest, overgrown with green, and hung like funeral
weeds with the vine and the trailing _arbutus_. Still cluster the lilies
by the nurtured shore which had been trained by the hands of
childhood—no longer do they raise their expectant heads to receive the
caress of the maiden—no longer do their _corymbi_ deck the jetty locks
of Ganga. In the brightness and joy of the morning; she had come thither
directed by the hand of the goddess. From that natal morn of infancy she
had dwelt in innocence by the sacred stream—full of life and the glory
of beauty, she had arrived at full-blown maturity. At the noon, when the
sun, like her life, had reached its culmination, in the ripened noon,
she departed. Anon comes the silence and darkness of evening overtaking
the pair in the forest—the drama of life is advancing, and sorrows must
obscure her path like the shadows from the mountains descending—like
the clouds which hide the evening red and fleck the glorious sunset.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Spirit of innate devotion! alike thou directest the rude and the
cultivated, the peasant and the prince to avert at times their gaze from
lower things and turn them to the Infinite Author—yet oftenest by
adversity thou drawest the spirit heavenward, and by sundering the
golden links of earthly affection preparest the soul with stronger wing
to follow the fleeting yet much loved object—alike in every clime, in
every age thy influence is acknowledged. Whether to the Roman thou
breathest on the trembling leaves of the sybil; to the Greek neechæst in
thunder tones from the Delphic; to the Zenton floatest in the mists that
shroud the northern hills, or the shore-coming waves of the Baltic—to
the Dane resounds in the mighty Valhalla with the ponderous strokes of
Odin; to the Copt glitters in the morning beams that gilds the sands and
deserts, or to the Druid whisperest amid the foliage of the sacred
oak—within the burning tropic thy power is recognised in the bountiful
forms of exuberant Nature, in the wayside shrines that glisten in the
forest and the vast temples that penetrate the bosom of the fruitful
earth our mother.

Thus do the tropic luxuriance and the polar cold alike furnish ever new
symbols for the Infinite, and by change contrast with the Eternal. The
yellow glories of the fertile harvest but bear new witness to thy
bounty, the pale beams of the Boreal light represent alone thy purity.

How many have fallen victims at thy shrine! victims of a mistaken zeal!
Yet in India hast thou been most misrepresented. There have perished the
human hecatomb yearly in thy service—there thou hast assumed those
distorted forms borrowed from the visible effects in tropic
nature—there have thy attributes been measured by the violent passions
of thy dusky worshipers—yet, while thou hast thus sacrificed India’s
race, thou hast left for later eyes those striking monuments of thy
power, thy temples and shrines—those stupendous fanes which though
sometimes grotesque are often sublime. In India’s lotus has arisen the
leafy capitals of Grecian pillars. Thus is thy task not all in vain—thy
bounty not all misplaced—for as the Goths have borrowed their arching
aisles and groined roofs from the similitude of their sombre forests, so
have the more graceful forms of Egyptian simplicity and Corinthian
elegance had their origin among the lilies of the Ganges. The stupendous
subterranean temples at _Elephantum_ are destined to receive the
returning priest Nikaiyah and his gentle charge; and within those awful
precincts many a stout soul would have shrank with as timid horror as
did Ganga.

Many days and nights had they passed in the wilderness, when, wearied
with their long journey, the pious pair at length emerged from the
forest. How pleasant the return of the sweet sunlight, the birds and the
fragrant meadows. By day they had wandered on through the devious maze,
pathless mid the thickset jungle, often forcing their way through the
tangled vines and creepers which had with parasite embrace overcome some
stately trunk which, withered now, lay lifeless in their tortuous folds.
Gayly the old monarch of the forest had stood decked in his gorgeous
livery, adorned with borrowed foliage—soon had they surpassed his
towering height and wound him in as fatal a shroud as to Hercules was
Creusa’s bridal garment. Thus ever shines most beautiful the destined
one at the moment of ruin’s approach. By night they would retire to some
sheltered nook, and there, lighted by the fireflies and lulled by the
monotonous _cicada_, pass the hours of darkness—the tiger prowled round
them and respected their sacred mission—the serpent averted his
basilisk gaze when he met the full eye of the maiden. Now were all these
perils past—they had come to the holy place guarded by the care of the
Brahmins—and now Ganga, curious, surveys the open, fertile
country—sees other maids as fair as she, and other men more manly than
Nikaiyah—but the untaught child of nature was free from the vices of
civilization and clung steadfastly to her old and well-tried protector.
Anon they pass by the groups of penitents, whose distorted limbs and
painful postures denote their self-imposed penance—these linger round
the outer limits of the holy of holies like the thieves round a wonted
prison, or as it seemed to them, like the wicked at the gates of
Paradise. These all are left behind, and now the solemn silence betokens
some revered and oft-honored shrine. They are at the bottom of the
valley in which lies the cave-temple of Elephantum. Hills all
around—receding, impending, bowing their leafy summits clothed in rich
tropic verdure, gorgeous in the season of bloom—silence unbroken, save
the dove as she laments her absent mate with wo as meek and patient as
the injured _Philomela_. Silence, solemn silence—no sound but their
echoing footsteps repeated on the hill sides. The air dull and
motionless, pregnant with the aroma of the thousand-hued flowers which
wind round the murmuring tree tops—no signs of human desecration to mar
the temple of Nature. A heat of noon, like the scorching glow of a
furnace. The hills rise with loftier summits and more precipitous sides
as they advance—nearly excluding the sunlight. Mossy was now the way to
their tread—soft were their silent footsteps—and from the rocky walls
and moist underwood the deepening gorge exuded the silvery dew, which
trickled noiseless and refreshing down. The humid exhalations softened
the fierce heat of noon-day and quieted the burning thirst of the
travelers. A holier influence seemed, soft as zephyrs, to breathe within
these sacred glades and to refresh whomsoever it fell on. Thus with
reverent step they journey noiseless on, when from some great distance
the sweet sound of vocal harmony stole softly on their ears—rising,
quivering, pausing, dying away among the whispering leaves—now rising
loud and triumphant like the joyous clamor of victory; now lingering
sadly sweet, with scarce audible vibration, like the sigh of the parting
spirit. And ever as they advanced, bowing in silence to its solemn
influence, it seemed to grow fainter and louder, but still to be ever
removing, like the verge of the retreating horizon. They pass the bend
of the valley and the whole scene of worship bursts upon their
astonished eyes in all its sombre grandeur. The long troop of priests
are winding in ever changing measure among the pillars of a vast
subterranean hall, under-reaching the opposite hill side. Like pigmies
they march beneath the colossal arches of the temple.

The gigantic shafts—of singular and fantastic shape, adorned with stony
faces, glaring with jeweled eyes in the flickering torch-light—uphold a
lofty roof, which seems yet near the base of the mountain—so towering
rises the impending fortalice of nature over the works of man. Gigantic
figures, in _bas-relief_, shine dimly portentous in the farther gloom.
The solemn chant reverberates among the lofty arches, and the pale light
of the sacrificial fires sickens the wan visage and circling fillets of
the priestess. Four rows of massive columns divide the vast hall into as
many avenues, retreating, narrowing in the distance, penetrating the
heart of the mountain. From the inmost depths of the temple arises,
faintly remote, the wail of the victim, lost in—and yet distinguishable
amid the din of the clamorous musicians, and the clanging echoes of
trumpets. The shuddering resonance of the trembling gong shivers the
rocky arches—yet, wild above all is heard the occasional shriek of the
sacrifice. Typical of the horrid rites, on the walls are carved the
statues of a male leading a female to the glowing pyre, modest, and
timidly reluctant; while in the blue gloom of the interior, from floor
to roof, rises the Cerberus-headed statue of the Trinity, of Brahmah,
Vishnu, and Sheva, with three-fold face—on all sides ever watching.
Reverent the old man bows his head, and passes ’neath the sacred portal.
Once more worthy, since his penance has expired, he mingles with his
brethren. The awe-struck Ganga is delivered into the care of the
attendant maidens.

The Hindoostanee, if unmarried, are obliged to enter into the service of
the priests of the temples, of whom they become the virtual wives,
although polygamy is allowed and practiced. These unfortunate creatures
perform all the menial offices of worship, and have the care of the
sacred things in and about the temple. Among this wretched sisterhood of
infamy was Ganga thrown. Many of them were fair, though lacking the
virgin innocence of the Ganges maid. Her simple story gained
credence—her character won respect, and her beauty inflamed the
susceptible hearts of all the holy brethren—yet more than all
contributed the presence and influence of Nikaiyah to preserve her pure;
for the old hermit had gained great fame for sanctity, well earned in
his long exile. His voice was ever among the first in the holy council.
Will the silent deference which honor the living continue to respect the
dead?

                 *        *        *        *        *

The days passed quiet and undeeded by at Elephantum. Six moons had waxed
and waned their crescents monthly, silvering the pillars of the temple;
Nikaiyah, growing gray and hoary like the fading year, was bending under
the burdens of life. As he neared the boundary of existence, he was ever
more eagerly gazing into the future—more than over wrapt in devotion.
Yet he would often seek to amuse his charge; and, by his authority, she
had free scope to roam about the island. This she constantly did, when
tired of the monotonous life in the temple, the silent reveries of the
priests, the servile obedience of their menials, the never-varying round
of duties, and the din and confusion of some high festival. With nature
for her nurse, she had naturally become an ardent admirer of her
beauties. Why was it she so often met the young Demetros in her rambles?
Why was she constantly detecting him dogging her footsteps? Had he any
commission to her?—if not, why did he follow her?—if so, why avoid her
open presence?

Demetros was formerly one of the most zealous priests in the temple. His
golden locks, however, owned some milder sun than that of Hindoostan.
His clear and handsome brow and classic profile contrasted strongly with
the swarthy and stern expression of the elder, and the lewd leer of the
younger priests. Yet he was treated by all as a brother. All save one
old Brahmin seemed ignorant of his origin, and he was silent.

One bright day, Ganga had wandered far from the precincts of the temple,
and stood on a crag overhanging the sea, which she had once crossed with
Nikaiyah. The waves played up at the very base of the rock; and, as she
stood and gazed at the mimic breakers rippling against the shore, she
almost fancied herself once more in her happy valley, watching the flow
of the Ganges. Absorbed in the glorious prospect, she inadvertently
approaches too near the edge of the rock. Look how the white foam chases
the advancing wave. A crack—the rock crumbles: a plash—and Ganga is
once more at the mercy of the treacherous element. Years have, however,
added strength to her limbs, habit has rendered her fearless. Boldly she
breasts the tide, and seeks for some shelving spot along the banks
whereon to land. A sandy beach glistens in the sun a few rods before
her; she makes for it. A seething, foaming rush in the water causes her
to turn her head, and, oh! Heavens! the blue fins and greedy jaws of a
shark are close behind her! Tearing through the water, which whitens in
the spray of his wake, the monster gains upon her. She grows fainter,
the waves beat in her ears with a dull, hollow sound; her efforts are
feebler. The dazzling light of the glistening water blinds her as to the
proper direction. She hears the shark; almost feels the ripple which
precedes his coming. There is a cry somewhere, a loud rushing of water,
and she knows no more until she opens her eyes upon the shore, to see
Demetros, wet and bloody, bending anxiously over her.

Silence—the silence of a heart too troubled with conflicting emotions
to trust itself to uttered thanks—could alone express the gratitude of
Ganga.

Flushed with his exertions, the Apollo-like youth stood the picture of
manly beauty, save where the trickling blood betrayed his recent battle
with the monster. He kindly offered to escort her to the temple; and as
they proceeded with increasing confidence, and guessing the meaning of
her curious looks, he confessed to her that he was not her countryman:
that years since, when he could scarce lisp his native tongue, he
remembered a vast and glittering city, dedicated to Athena, in a country
far to the North-West, which looked out on the sparkling Ægean. He
then—a Greek—had wandered or been taken captive, he scarce remembered
how, and had come to Elephantum. All these things were as a daydream to
him: a dream of the morning of life, which the rising sun of manhood had
well nigh dispelled like the gray haze of dawn. He had heard them talk
of King Philip, and he thought of the war of the allies. He tells her
how well he remembered his mother, for there was memory, like affection,
strongest, that she must now sit bereaved and weep the absence of her
fair-haired boy. To him, there was no hope of return, indeed he would
not wish to now: and the tender glance awoke a sympathetic flutter in
the heart of Ganga, when they entered the vale of the temple. What was
that sound afar, and the confusion as they draw nearer the temple? They
run to and fro, and chant the dirge for the departed. Why did the echoes
howling through the vault repeat the name of Nikaiyah?

The old man was dead.

Little time was left for reflection. As if to assuage the poignancy of
her grief, the Gods had sent a new and imminent danger to divert her
attention. Scarce is she allowed to take a farewell look at her old
friend, or shed a tear over his corpse, when the increasing clamor in
the court of the temple rouses new fears and most horrible suggestions.
Why were they making this indecent tumult, while their eldest and most
revered fellow had just breathed his last? Alas! the loud tones of the
controversy showed, but too plainly, how little his past influence was
regarded, while it made her painfully aware of the dangers that
surrounded her.

“Ganga to the pyre!”

“Ganga shall be mine!” reiterated alternately the older and the younger
priests. What! then those whose passions were cooled with age would
sacrifice her as a burnt-offering to the manes of the departed; the
others would cast her into that pit of infamy which the priestesses
shared in the temple. Dreadful alternative! Yet could Ganga hesitate?
Ah! but would they leave it to her choice? It was but too evident that
the stronger party would rule, and thus her fate would be decided. In
agony, the young girl invoked the assistance of the Gods—above all, of
the Ganges goddess, Sivah; the Ganges, in whose purifying stream she had
at infancy been cleansed from sin—could she now but seek an innocent
death in its waves!

But hush! there is a sudden silence. They have decided, and the rapid
footsteps come to announce her fate. Shuddering, the poor child is
dragged before the assembled multitude. It needs but one glance to see
that both parties are baffled; and that, after all, the choice will be
left with herself. She looks round on the eager crowd, thirsting for her
life or for her honor, and her heart grows faint within her.

“Ganga,” rose the solemn voice of the oldest priest. “Ganga, choose
between serving the Gods here, and joining them above.”

Proudly the glorious eye of the virgin beat down the lecherous looks of
the priests, as she calmly replied—

“I choose the pyre.”

“To-morrow then prepare the sacrifice.”

“Ay, to-morrow,” thought the victim, “my body will smoulder into ashes.”
She raised her tearful eyes, and met the anguished look of Demetros. She
saw no more, until—she awoke bound and in darkness.

Where she was, in what part of the temple confined, the gloom prevented
her from distinguishing. Her fetters she could _feel_. She had awakened
from a dream of childhood, a dream of innocent happiness, to the bitter
reality of her situation. It was not then the voice of birds hailing the
returning day which had aroused her, but the clanking of chains. How
cold they felt upon her numbed limbs. How their icy pressure gnawed at
her heart, and sapped, by slow degrees, her failing courage—her
resolution of a few hours since. Thus was she bound for fiery atonement
like that Iphigena at Aulis, of whom Demetros had told her. And should
she, the fiery daughter of Hindoostan, give place in courage or in
resignation to the Grecian maid. And yet she was so young to die, so
unprepared to leave those pleasant scenes, in which she had roamed for a
few short years, so unprepared for any purer state. How faint with
hunger! how worn with anxiety, that refuses to dissolve into tears. And
then—but what is that noise like a piling of faggots, the heavy fall of
trees! Oh Gods! they are preparing the funeral pyre, she must be then
near the front of the building. Yes, in that dark cell she never had,
when free, looked at without shuddering. Ay, had not one of the
priestesses pointed to it as the prison of the condemned? Hear the
careless laugh of the laborers, as they mingle with their work
congratulations on the morrow’s festival! The harsh voice of the
presiding priest. And where were now her countrywomen? How were they
passing the last night of her life? She seems to see the lights shining
from their huts, as they arrange their gayest dresses for the
procession, and wait the dawn to pluck fresh flowers to adorn the
victim.

On the morrow, they could see her last sunrise without emotion, save as
it announced a holyday and a joyous relief from labor. Fair girls would
come to see a sister’s agony, and leaning caressingly on the arms of
their betrothed, would exchange love-tokens by her death-bed. She would
be tossing helpless on her fiery rack of torture, with the flames
licking up greedily her dark hair, once bound with roses. Lovers,
sitting under the broad shade, would converse of her happy release, as
they plaited each other’s shining locks with jessamine for the dance.
And then she should see the rigid features of her loved protector
blackening under the flames, as they hissing rose to receive her in
their fiery arms—curling like a serpent to enfold her. Her parching
thirst would be heightened by the volumes of smoke rising from the
burning, smouldering limbs of Nikaiyah. But the mothers would recline
under the boughs of the opposite forest, and feed their children with
soft, cooling fruits of the orange-tree. Why was not Demetros—known but
too late—why was he not there to console her? Alas! were these not the
ravings of madness? Yes, mad—mad! Why is not her lover too a god to
preserve her: and senseless she repeats the old song of the Bayadere.
She was saved, though a mere dancing-girl; why not an innocent virgin?
Thus the poor girl sings the song of the God and the Bayadere, lost in
the wild charm of the harmony and the picture, too flattering, of
preservation.

            “So the choir, without compassion,
             But increase at heart her grief;
             And with eager hands extended,
             She leaps into the fiery death.
             But the God-youth now arises,
             From the circling flames removed,
             Clasping in his arms protecting,
             Soars upward with his well-beloved.
          The Gods are pleased with sinners repenting;
          And raise their once-lost children, immortal,
          With fiery arms to heaven above.”

                 *        *        *        *        *

“Ganga!” mingles with the dying echoes. What is it? That voice!

“Ganga! Ganga!” repeats a low well-known tone near her, and she is
raised by the hand of Demetros. Noiseless he releases her from her
fetters, and throwing the robe of a Brahmin over her shoulders, bears
her away in the darkness. Swift and silent they pass into the open
air—cool to the hot brow and fevered lips of Ganga. Half-leading and
half-supporting her, her preserver conducts her down the rocky path to
the sea-shore. Hurried was their conversation—it was but a whispered
caution on his side; on hers, a murmur of gratitude. Demetros hastens to
unmoor the boat, which, hid under the banks, awaited the needs of the
priests. They embark on the quiet waters, and Ganga begins to breathe
more freely and to express her thanks to her deliverer. With quick
motion he signs to her to be silent, and bending his powerful frame with
strong but quiet stroke, urges the boat—reeling under the
shock—through the rippling tide. Soon they reach the main shore, and
pass under the leafy protection of the banks, just as the torches and
cries on the island give token of the aroused and baffled Brahmins.
Saved, they pass on like shadows under the arching boughs of the forest.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Verdant in summer are the shores of the foaming Hydaspes. The broad, yet
impetuous stream roars on its rocky, seaward course. Itself in breadth
resembling the vast expanse of ocean: yet not with the slow, mighty
surging of the great deep, does it lave its confining banks; but rolling
with struggling wave it rebounds from the repulsing strand, like a ball
from the head of the buffalo. Yet it is no shallow stream, that, with
puny murmur, frets impatient on its rough bed; but the yawning waters
disclose abysses which could swallow the mighty elephant. On its banks
reposes the lion, when tired with hunting the antelope. On the crags
sits the rapacious eagle, watching his finny victims. One mightier than
the lion, one more cruel than the eagle, now waited for his human prey,
wary and shrewd in watching, on the Indian side of the river.

Why do the youth and the maiden start and pause on the skirt of the
forest? They gaze with impatient, hollow eyes on the long-sought banks
of the Hydaspes. Their emaciated forms and tangled hair, their
sun-scorched features and cautious mien betray their long wandering,
their contest with a thousand perils. Why do they not hasten to pass the
goal of their journey, and escape from the fury of the pursuing priests
into neighboring, friendly Indo-Scythia? Is it not the hope of this
result with which the young fugitive has cheered the heart of his weary
though courageous companion? And will they, who have long months been
traversing the dangerous wilds of the forest, hesitate to plunge into
the fierce stream and swim to the region of safety? Farewell to all fond
hopes, they recognize all around them the swarthy race who bow to the
rule of the Brahmins. If but a scattered few were tilling the soil, they
might still escape their attention. Alas! there is a mighty host
encamped on the stream, with arms and warlike engines, with _holy_
priests, with banners and vigilant sentinels.

The quiet camp was disturbed by the neighing of horses, the shouting of
their drivers, and the shrill blast of the war-elephant. A long row of
these cumbrous but terrible animals was placed in front of the waiting
army, and nearest the bank of the river. The murmur of a vast multitude,
that confused sound of many voices, was mixed with the echoing hoofs of
thousands of horses, while the occasional beat of the drum united with
the swelling chant of the war-song. Glittering with bright armor, the
warriors moved around the camp, eager for the deadly conflict.

The terrified wanderers were seized and conducted into the presence of
the king—Porus, the ruler of the country. Porus, the gigantic in
stature, the Indian Hercules, and in cunning the Indian Nestor, there
awaited the coming of Alexander, the attack of the great Macedonian,
whose fame had preceded his approach. The world’s conqueror had turned
his ambitious arms to the fair land of India. Her “barbaric pearl and
gold” had tempted his soldiery—her vast domain the ambition of the
general. He had even then crossed the Indus, and advancing to the outer
bank of the Hydaspes, was now preparing to pass this bounding stream and
assault the power of Porus.

Here, then, the cunning Indian had placed his army, burning to protect
their native soil, where the steep banks of the river afforded a natural
fortification. Here, most unfortunately, had the fugitives from
Elephantum first emerged from the friendly shade of the forest into the
open, fatal light of day. Thus again captives, they are led before the
monarch. There, fearful of betraying their fatal secret, their confused
answers arouse the suspicions of Porus, and by him they are committed to
the care of the guards, to await through the long and anxious night the
announcement of their fate on the morrow. Conscious that their pursuers
must now overtake them, Ganga, now wholly despairing, refutes the empty
consolation of Demetros. Wearied nature, however, asserts its sway—the
worn-out fugitives pass the night in dull, dreamless sleep, in the camp
of their enemies.

                 *        *        *        *        *

How goes the night? The clouds in the angry south-western sky announce
the approach of the thunder. What picture do the winds behold as they
cross to the farther shore of the Hydaspes? Is it a sleeping camp? It is
the busy note of preparation—the bustle of a moving multitude—the
tramp of soldiers moving toward the stream with steady step, unheeding
the war of the elements and the clashing of steel upon steel, as they
pass. It is the march of the Greeks. The great phalanx, now divided for
secrecy, advances with quiet firmness to cross the stormy Hydaspes.
Their skillful leader, taught by many campaigns, has chosen this
tempestuous night, when the tumult of nature may drown the noise of the
army. Perceiving the advantages of his adversary, he has thus determined
to outwit him, and by crossing the dangerous river in secrecy and
silence, to meet the enemy upon the level plains on the farther side of
the stream. Occasional flashes of lightning are the only guides to their
path. The rain patters upon the metal helmets of the infantry, and the
war-mail of the horses. Snorting with terror, the animals are forced
along by the governing will of their masters. The heavy peals of thunder
roll through the sky like the rumbling of a thousand chariot-wheels, as
they fly over the field of battle. The great host reaches the banks of
the stream, which, roused by the storm, rages doubly threatening,
chafing with white foam like the steed impatient of his rider. The
affrighted horses start back from the leap into the boiling current,
seething and hissing like the swift-winged flight of the loosened arrow.
With hardly less of terror the soldiers recoil from the roaring waters,
rolling sullen now in silence with vast depth, now rushing swiftly over
some protruding rock vainly opposing their progress. Shame on the
warriors who heedless of death when animated by the despair of defeat,
or roused by the clamor of victory, now yield to the power of water! And
will the great Polemarch, for whom Macedonia was too small, who sighed
for other worlds to subdue, be tamed by the rage of a brooklet when he
has crossed the mighty Indus? On! on, good horse! Hasten foot-soldiers,
and overcome the pride of the Indian! Will you rather cross this stream
in light of day, when every wave will be tinged with your arrow-spent
blood? Will you rather climb yon craggy banks, when crowned by the
glittering columns of the enemy, and overhung with the trunks of the
destroying elephant? On! and trust to your well-tried strength, the
kindness of the gods, and the response of the auspicious omen! There is
for a moment a gleaming in the air—the flashing steel of the youthful
hero—then a loud plunge in the water, and all save one shining crest
has vanished. It passes on and on, away from the gaze of the hesitating
army; then instantly a mighty rush, and the river is alive with horses,
curling under the strokes of the swimmers. The resounding plates of the
armor sound faint and hollow beneath the water. The howling blast sweeps
ever new waves over the heads of the struggling soldiers. The flashing
in the heavens illumes for a moment the stormy scene—shows men and
horses mingling in wild confusion, tossing, rising above the black
waves—shows some far down the stream, mounted on panting steeds,
struggling to regain their foothold, plunging in the yielding
water—shows the brief expression of dying agony ere it sinks down in
the darkness—the glad look of triumph, as some one more fortunate gains
the opposite strand and climbs the beetling precipice—shows all silent
and unmoving the shore where Porus is waiting—shows the great war-horse
and his rider clear against the dull sky, as they watch the progress of
the swimming army—and then the black pall shuts down over all, and
envelops in one common gloom; and naught more is seen until sunrise,
naught more heard but the surging of the angry Hydaspes.

                 *        *        *        *        *

This, then, is the eve of battle. Porus, wrapped in a false security,
puffed up with the sight of the host of dependents around him, awaits,
unconscious of danger, expecting the enemy will cross the river on the
morrow. The vigilant and active Greeks once more on the level plain,
await the day to point the way to greater achievements.

As the warm sunbeams awaken the expanding flowers, and arouse the
harmony of the birds in the morning, so with the first light the noise
of the waking camp, and the matin worship of the Brahmins who accompany
the armies, dispel the happy oblivion which had lulled in brief repose
the anxious minds of the fugitives. Confined within the narrow circle of
a tent, and closely guarded, they can only judge by the ear of the
events which are passing around them. They hear, early as the dawn, the
muster of soldiers, the marshaling of squadrons, and the united step of
the moving ranks. Then there is silence for a moment. Then the sharp,
echoing gallop of two thousand horses, and jarring sound of an hundred
and twenty chariot-wheels revolving on their creaking axles, approach
rapidly, sweep by the tent, and die away in the distance. Then a long
pause, broken only by the low, confused murmur of the remaining and
expectant multitude, the adjusting of arms, and the repairing of
tinkling armor. Presently a solitary horseman is heard approaching at a
wild gallop, then another, and another, apparently fleeing from some
danger behind—they can almost hear the palpitating hearts of the horses
as they panting approach, seeking the safety of the main army. But why
no sound of chariots?

Ganga knows not that her lover’s countrymen have already crossed the
Hydaspes, and that the noise of horses and chariots was the departure
from the camp of a detachment sent out to sustain the first brunt of the
engagement under the command of the son of Porus. Neither learns she of
their defeat, and the loss of their chariots, except as she may argue
some great calamity from the confusion and noise without among the
Indian warriors. And now they hear the departure of the noisy host, and
then must await the announcement of their fate on their return, or on
the approach of the Macedonian. The camp seems deserted, except by a few
guards, and a small number of elephants, left for its defense. We must
follow the fortunes of the departing army.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Glorious and worthy of their king appeared the camp and the army of
Porus. The sun scarcely risen, looked down upon the thousand banners of
rich and varied colors that fluttered above the tents, hanging loose and
flapping gently in the morning breeze. The scene resembled the splendor
and the pomp of some great festival, rather than the stern realities of
war. To this appearance added greatly the numerous throng of merchants,
sutlers, and attendants, that wait upon an Indian army. The
camp-followers, who in number far exceeded the soldiers, consisted of
magicians, soothsayers, rope-dancers, sharpers, thieves, fakirs,
blind-beggars, jewelers, carpenters, tailors, tent-makers,
corn-grinders, and farriers. Attached also to each division of the army
were a number of clerical Brahmins, who regularly officiated, offering
up prayer and sacrifice to the deities, as in the temples. On this gay
scene of Asiatic splendor the sun gazed no longer than while reaching
half the way to the zenith—for then had returned the defeated
detachment, warning them to be on the alert for the enemy. Porus, well
knowing that his present situation was ill-adapted to receive and
repulse an attack, hastily collected his army and removed to a level,
sandy plain, where his cavalry and chariots might wheel about with ease
on the firm soil. The four great elements of an Indian army are the
elephants, chariots, cavalry, and infantry. On the cavalry little
dependence is placed, the infantry being regarded as the strength of the
army, and the elephants, but more particularly the chariots, being used
as powerful auxiliaries. The immense height of the elephants was
supposed to fill the enemy with fear; the chariots were used to carry
the principal officers, the cavalry being principally employed in
pursuing the defeated. The main body of Porus’ army was composed of
thirty thousand foot, flanked by four thousand horse, three thousand
chariots, and two hundred elephants. These last bore towers upon their
huge backs, filled with soldiers armed with arrows, darts, and other
missile weapons. The animal himself was often more terrible and
destructive than his riders. The chariots were of vast dimensions, and
drawn oftentimes by five horses. The horses of the cavalry were covered
with a fine netted-armor, and their bridles, cruppers, and saddles,
adorned with gold and gems, with dyed hair and silver roses. The
infantry, armed with every species of weapon—some rough and indented,
for hacking, others long and barbed, and others still heavy and obtuse,
resembling the ponderous mace wielded by the knights in the middle ages.
With all, the sword was indispensable. These vast columns, then, moved
on in glittering ranks to meet the enemy, led by the royal elephant on
which sat Porus, shining with gems, and conspicuous for his great size.

Calmly, and conscious of his power, the crafty Indian drew up his line
of battle. In the front line were placed the elephants as a bulwark for
the infantry, who were immediately behind them. The cavalry were
extended as wings on either flank, and in front skirmished the chariots.
Such the array of Porus, as he awaited the attack of Alexander.

The major part of the Grecian army had crossed the river in safety, and
meeting with the detachment sent out by Porus, had attacked and defeated
it with great slaughter, and captured all the chariots. Among the slain
was their leader, the son of Porus; and this bereavement had filled the
breast of the king with double indignation. Inflamed with various
passions, the Indian might well have felt confident of the result of the
battle, as he turned from surveying his own mighty force to contemplate
the numbers of his enemy, who were but 11,000 strong—being made up of
6000 foot, and 5000 horse. But in the front rank rode the great
Alexander, mounted on the now aged Bucephalus. The steed had borne his
master safely through many a field since his fiery, generous ardor had
first yielded to the stern will of the young hero before the court of
Philip. And behind the great conqueror was the far-famed _phalanx_,
whose solid columns, like the Imperial Guard of Napoleon in modern
times, whenever they were ordered to advance, decided the fate of the
day. The bristling pikes, dense and threatening, gleamed before the
advancing ranks like the foam as it sparkles on the crest of the
breakers, and, like the destroying wave, they fell with overwhelming
force upon the enemy, sweeping all before them. There, too, were the
_hippotoxotai_, the mounted bowmen, equally expert to lead the attack
with death-dealing shafts, or cover the retreating army. The hardy
veterans were not allowed defensive armor for the back, as they were
never to turn to flight. Instead of the cumbrous though secure _thorax_,
which protected alike the shoulders and the breast, they wore the
lighter _hemi-thorax_, defending the chest alone. In addition they bore
the shield, (_aspis_,) made either of light wood or hide, and covered
with metal. The _pozoi_, or foot-soldiers, bore ashen spears, and swords
suspended from the shoulders. The archers’-bow was strung with
horse-hair, or hide, and the arrows were pointed with iron, and winged
with feathers. The phalanx was sometimes rectangular, sometimes
crescent-shaped, and again often in the form of a Roman wedge,
(_cuneus_;) this latter form was especially used in the attack, in
forcing or cleaving a path among the columns of the enemy—the first
being employed in resisting a great shock, like the charge of cavalry.
In this respect it somewhat resembled the hollow-square of the present
day. The Hipparchs lead the cavalry to the charge—the Strategi have the
general control of the infantry.

These varied elements of the hostile armies being arrived in sight of
each other, prepare for the contest whose result is to decide the fate
of Ganga.

Alexander, being in advance with his cavalry, found himself suddenly
face to face with the whole army of the enemy and unsupported, for his
infantry had not yet arrived. They however soon came up, and as they
were much fatigued, he caused his horse to make many evolutions, and by
feigned attacks thus gained time to rest the foot soldiers. The same
reason which led Porus to draw up his infantry and elephants in the
centre, induced Alexander to avoid that part of the army in the attack.
Accordingly with his cavalry he charged the left wing, while Coenus
attacked them in the rear. A thousand bowmen are at the same time
detached for the same service; sweeping round in ever diminishing
circles, like the swift flight of swallows, the archers overwhelm the
enemy with a cloud of arrows. Confused by this sudden attack they face
about to defend themselves, and are instantly charged by Alexander in
person. They now retreat, as behind an impregnable fortification, to the
rear of the line of elephants. But look! by a rapid and simple
counter-march the elephants are in the centre of the phalanx, surrounded
by the pikes of the infantry. Their huge sides are thrust full of
spears, with little apparent effect, and the wounded and now furious
beasts rush impetuous through the ranks of the thickest battalions, and
while the Macedonians are collecting again, down come the rallying
Indian horse. Beware, Alexander, or your seaward progress is stayed, and
your new empires as yet unwon, will remain so forever. See! the great
hero is equal to the emergency—the charge of the heavier Macedonians
breaks a second time the Indian ranks. All is now confusion—the enraged
elephants trample down friend and foe in indiscriminate death. Most
opportunely the phalanx now advances—surrounded, the Indians are cut
down by the heavy swords of the infantry. Then Catoras, who had remained
with the rest of the Greeks on the outer banks of the Hydaspes, crosses,
and his fresh troops finish the defeat of Porus. That valiant prince,
the last to fly, and conspicuous from his great height on the back of
his elephant, brought up the rear in the defeat, as he had led the van
at the commencement of the battle. At length he, too, surrenders under
promise of regal treatment. The victorious Greeks now fly to despoil the
camp of the enemy—for this was ever a prominent characteristic in the
ancient soldier, that as he was brave during the battle so he was mean
and cruel at its close—often stopping in the most critical moment of an
engagement to plunder the dead. Here rich spoils await them, and the
gorgeous luxury of the east finds but little mercy at the hands of the
rude Macedonians.

Demetros, as he listens to the cries of the victors, detects the accents
of his native Greek. Joyous he reassures the maiden, trembling before at
the power of the Brahmins, and now equally shrinking from the shouts of
friends—for how knows she that she shall not be torn from her lover and
delivered up to the lusts of a brutal soldiery? And even if she gains
unharmed the presence of the king, may he not refuse to release or
preserve her? The tumult approaches nearer—the curtains are torn rudely
open by bloody hands, and the trembling pair are saved from the hands of
the spoilers by a taxiarch who chances to be passing, and by him they
are conducted into the presence of Alexander. The hero stood refreshing
himself with wine, from the hands of the attendants, after the fatigues
of the battle. Still young and small in stature, the conqueror did not
evince by his general mien the genius that burned within him; his face,
however, showed the marks of a sprightly disposition and of great
determination, although marred by the traces of excessive drinking.
Alexander was not at this period so wholly sunk in sensuality as to be
incapable of an occasional act of justice, even where the supplicant was
a beautiful woman. Convinced of the truth of their statements by the
answers of Demetros and by his Grecian look, he promises them a return
to Athens in the fleet.

All their trials, as they fondly believe, now over, they prepare for the
voyage and journey to Greece. Why was it that Ganga could not share
entirely in the joy of Demetros? He was but returning to his native
soil, revisiting the scenes of his childhood—for him his country’s gods
prepared the welcome home—he had been absent on a weary pilgrimage and
now brought back one jewel, one precious treasure, for so he thought as
he gazed on the lovey maiden, to the paternal hearth. What though the
vestal flame of affection had been extinguished in the death of his
relatives, and the hearth-stone of his race had become cold from
neglect—he now brought a fresh, warm heat to re-enkindle the sacred
fire which he fondly hoped would burn with ever increasing brilliancy,
and unite their hearts with ever increasing warmth of affection. But
she, born under the burning sun of India, ever associated the name of
fire with the glowing pyre of sacrifice—she must leave her native land
in which, alas! she has no bonds of affection, no ties of sympathy, save
the pleasing remembrance of her innocent childhood in the wilderness,
and the kind old man, her real parent, who was now no more. She could
not avoid the comparison between the natural beauties of her tropic
forests and the artificial embellishments of more northern Greece. Were
the flowers as fragrant, the moonbeams as soft? Did the birds sing as
sweetly, the streams flow as pure there as in her father-land? In vain,
Demetros, you talk to the untutored child of Nature, whose poetry, whose
life and happiness consist in Nature’s beauties, of the splendors of the
great Attic city, the magnificence of its edifices, or the wisdom and
the eloquence of its children. Will those ravishing strains of music
with which the Greeks are amused at their luxurious banquets, sound as
sweet to the ear of the exile as the murmuring breeze of the morning and
the droning wings of the humming-bird? Can the waters of the scented
bath be as pure, as limpid and refreshing as the stream of the matronly
Ganges? Can the ornate roofs of the _Coutron_ be as pleasing to the eye
of the bather as the vault of a tropic sky when half-seen and
half-concealed by the branches thickly interwoven of the luxuriant
tropic forest? And if you mourn the loss of a friend, you may at least
visit and strew flowers upon his tomb, and thus derive a sadly sweet
consolation. But the Indian girl must yearn in vain for the graves of
her fathers—and standing on the Grecian strand, she gazes with wistful
eyes over the blue sea’s _margent_ where repose the remains of Nikaiyah,
the waves will bring to her sighs only hoarse tones roaring back.

And yet, what had she to wait for or to love in India? Were there not
cruel priests thirsting for her blood, urged on by what they believed
the voice of the gods? Besides, as her ripened intellect began to unfold
in maturity, she feels those affections and aspirations peculiar to
every female heart, more and more enlarged and developed, she conceives
a passion, softened by the most maidenly modesty, for the noble youth
who has twice rescued her from death; once from the monster while she
was bathing on the coast of the Elephantine isle, and once from the
glowing funereal pyre where smouldered the limbs of Nikaiyah, and who
now affording her every proof of affection, offers her an asylum in his
native land. These conflicting emotions disturb the heart of Ganga. But
the stern voice of fate gave her but one choice—death in India or life
in Greece. Nature, the love of life, prevails, and they depart for their
northerly journey.

It was nearly sunset when, after following for nine months the course of
the conquering Alexander down the mighty Indus, they reached the
sea-shore, where eight hundred galleys and boats were, under the command
of Nearchus, about to coast the southern borders on their homeward
voyage, and enter the mouth of the Euphrates to join the conqueror at
Babylon, where his career was to be disgracefully closed.

The rocking tide, strong at this point from the influx of the Indus,
bore upon its broad bosom the fleet of the Greeks, reflecting from its
glowing surface the numerous ensigns of the various chiefs. Here were
the lofty _triremes_, the men-of-war, whose progress through the water
was effected by oars alone—while from their bows projected the _émbola_
or hostile beaks, the iron-sheathed prows which often transfixed the
vessels of the enemy—corresponding to the Roman _rostra_, which, when
captured, adorned the stand of the orator as well-earned trophies. Here,
too, were the lower, flat-bottomed transports, or merchant-men, who,
lacking the numerous oars of the many-banked war ships, accelerated
their sluggish course by sails. Here the _cheniskos_, the carved goose
upon the bows, floated in its native element, seemingly in advance and
the guide of the following vessel. At the bows and stern were sheltering
decks; in the open centre, tier above tier, rose the seats of the
laborious rowers, increasing in number as the greater height and longer
sweep of the oars required more hands to control them. Here were
distinct, the laboring oars-men, the officers, the sailors proper, and
the marines, who were cased in heavier armor than the infantry. Demetros
and Ganga, embarked in a transport, stood upon the prow watching the
quiet progress of the fleet. Immediately in front of them was a vessel,
whose loftiness and numerous banks of oars would have sufficiently
indicated its warlike character without the distinguishing mark of the
brazen helmet which gleamed at the mast-head. The sides were protected
by walls of hide, designed to shelter the combatants in battle from the
missiles of the enemy—the sharp beak of metal cut with scarce visible
ripple through the water—the sides were painted with gay colors—the
_parasemon_, the figure-head, carved upon the bow representing the
threatening fangs of a serpent—behind, rose the lofty stern, and on it
was sculptured the guardian image, the tutelar deity of the ship. Here
the carved _Poseidon_ the Grecian Neptune, god of the whole expanse of
ocean, rose as it were from his watery abode, which sparkled in the wake
of the vessel beneath him. The shaggy monarch, with beard as coarse as
the _algae_ of his native waters, drawn, with upright trident, in his
sea-shell car, coursed over the foaming breakers, his stern visage
softened by the presence of the lovely Aphrodite (Venus,) her name
representing her birth (_Aphros_—from the foam of the sea.) Attendant
_Eros_, with fatal quiver, nestles beside her, and with loosened cestus
she guides by her charms the will of the aquatic king. Tritons and
nymphs sport gayly in their train. To him the mariner sacrifices, for

              “——Where’er he guides
          His finny coursers, and in triumph rides,
          The waves unruffle and the sea subsides.”

The fugitives as they stand gazing upon the fair scene converse of these
old Hellenic _myths_, and talk of the power of Zeno, who is the Grecian
Brahma. No sound is now heard but the soft breeze upon the water and the
measured sweep of the oars, keeping time with monotonous beat to the
song of the _trieraules_, the ship’s musician, as he encourages the
rowers with the old legends of the Trojan war, as narrated by the prince
of bards, the blind Chian, Homer, ever the favorite of Alexander. The
plashing oars respond and chime with

         “Achilles’ wrath to Greece the direful spring
          Of woes unnumbered.”

Chime with the Ilian chant of the “crest-waving Hector,” and “Ares the
sacker of cities.”

Absorbed in the charm of the harmony and the soft Grecian rhythm, they
stand intent and heed not the passage of time until a silvery light
recalls their attention to the rear, and there, beyond the bright track
of the moonbeams, appear the low shores and forests of India, dim in the
distance, fast sinking beneath the horizon.

                 *        *        *        *        *

             “——————————Behold
             Where on the Ægean shore a city stands,
             Built nobly, pure the air, and light the soil;
             Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts
             And eloquence————
             See there the olive grove of Academe,
             Plato’s retirement, where the Attic bird
             Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long;
             There flowery hill Hymethus with the sound
             Of bees’ industrious murmur, oft invites
             To studious musing;——————
             ——————Within the walls then view
             The schools of ancient sages; his who bred
             Great Alexander to subdue the world.
             Thence what the lofty, grave tragedians taught,
             High actions and high passions best describing.
             Thence to the famous orators repair,
             Those ancient, whose resistless eloquence
             Wielded at will that fierce democracy,
             Shook the arsenal, and fulmined over Greece.
             To sage philosophy next lend thine ear,
             From heaven descended to the low-roofed house
             Of Socrates; see there his tenement,
             Whom well-inspired the oracle pronounced
             Wisest of men; from whose mouth issued forth
             Mellifluous streams that watered all the schools
             Of Academics old and new——————.”

                 *        *        *        *        *

It is the 15th of the month Bœdromion, when commence the Eleusinian
Mysteries—the greater mysteries celebrated alone in the city of
Cecrops—those sacred rites founded by Demeter herself (the Grecian
Ceres) when wandering in long search for her daughter Persephone, she
was kindly received and entertained in Attica, when she rewarded their
hospitality by giving them the fruits of the earth, and these holiest
and noblest institutions of the Hellenic religion. What parent bends to
take a farewell of his wife and child ere he departs to perform his
duties of _dadouchos_, or torch-bearer, to whom alone it was permitted
to marry? The golden-hair of the Grecian father mingles with the dark
locks of the woman and her son as they unite in the parting embrace. She
is not of the _Autocthones_, no child of the soil, or she would join her
husband in the initiation. Far other rites has she early bowed to in the
flowering forests of India—these she has changed for Grecian faith, but
yet yearns for something purer—may she not hope for it? Faith ever
rules all hearts more or less, and often most the weakest—thus to the
most erring child of earth is given return and repentance—thus to the
feeblest soul the sublimest trust is granted. Will not Demetros “point
to other worlds and show the way” for Ganga?

Curious the mother and the delighted child have watched day by day the
progress of the Eleusinian, observed during the nine days festival,
Demetros leading the procession. That first night he had entered the
holy of holies—that mystic temple he had entered crowned with
myrtle—there, pure and cleansed from sin, washed with holy water, he
had listened to the reading, the exposition of the holy mysteries, from
the rigid leaves of the stone volume which contained the divine
inspiration—then followed the long processions in which the child might
one day join, but never the foreign mother—the pilgrimage to the
sea-shore for purification—the fasting and sacrifice—the sacred
procession with baskets of pomegranates and poppy-seeds, borne on a
wagon drawn by oxen—the torch procession to the temple at Eleusis—the
bearing of the image of Jachus, the son of Demeter, and on the night of
the sixth day the final initiation, the entrance into the lighted
sanctuary, where they beheld what was permitted to no other eyes. But
why cannot the mother share in the Dionysiac festival, the nocturnal
orgies of Bacchus? Educated under the stern rule of temperate Brahmins,
this principle of continence would be alone sufficient to restrain her,
where she not also withheld by that innate modesty which belongs to
every child of nature.

It is evening, and two persons recline in the cool shade on the summit
of Mount Anchesmus, near the temple of Jupiter. A child sports round
them occasionally, withdrawing their attention from the contemplation of
the red-tinged top of the _Acropolis_, the silver stream of the Ilissus,
the murmuring Cephissus and the maritime port of Piræus, where the waves
of the Ægean mingle their solemn roar with the hymns of the sailors, the
buzz of the populous city, and the strains of the tortoise-formed lyre.

The sun is slowly sinking in the west, with the clear radiance peculiar
to happy Greece, but, as it seems to the mother, with less majesty than
when it dipped its burning orb, as into Lethe’s wave, in the
lotus-filled waters of the Ganges. Solemnly they converse of their happy
youth when all things to come wore ever brightening hues, when future
deeds surrounded them like the stars now emerging countless from the
night. And now the _aulic_ tones whisper softly in the ether around
them, filling all things with sweet melody, and catching the ear of the
listening child; recalling to Demetros the period of infancy, when in
like manner at eventide he had raised his head from the lap of his
mother; to Ganga the time when, in the protecting arms of Nikaiyah, she
had hearkened to the notes of the Indian nightingales.

Sadly Ganga speaks of them as those she shall never behold. Hopefully
the Eleusinian priest unfolds his faith in immortality—pure and sweet
fell his words on her mind, when divested of Brahmin superstition, as
the placid moonbeams now silvering his golden locks and kissing the brow
of the sleeping infant. Here was no hideous transmigration to pass
through atoning, but all was clear and blessed as the innocent period of
childhood—there, where the starry points showed glimpses of the radiant
heaven, they would rejoin, in the happy company of the gods, their
friends now made immortal. There, as true Olympians, enjoy the happiness
of the blessed.

Their prophetic eyes seem to behold in the misty future the deified
reclining, on the golden-clouds which cap the hill of Musaeus. Silently
descend the shades of evening on the city of Athens, and on the pair as
they muse on the mount by the temple of Jupiter.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Centuries have passed since the times of Elephantum and Eleusis. The
“eye of Greece” now desolate, still courts the shade of Hymethus—the
suns rise and set no more on the home of the Arts and the Muses—no
longer gild the morning rays a glittering _Acropolis_—no longer chime
the _aulic_ notes with the song of the Chian-Homer. Still wanders the
Brahmin, no longer at Elephantum, in India’s groves alone, unchanged
amid the changing scenes around him. Still flows the Ganges, the
mightiest of eastern waters.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        =MEMORY’S CONSOLATION.=


                           =BY W. W. HARNEY.=


                 When the beauteous rose of morning
                   Wears her diadem of dew,
                 And the foot-print of the zephyr
                   Rests upon the waters blue;
                 When the moon is softly waning
                   ’Neath the morrow’s ruddy light,
                 And the cool breath of the morning
                   Fans the jeweled brow of night;

                 When the maiden morning blushes,
                   As it wakens from repose,
                 And the jealous zephyr brushes
                   Off the dew kiss from the rose,
                 Then I watch the starbeams fading,
                   As the light comes up the sky,
                 Until with the morn they whisper
                   That the loved one still is nigh.

                 When the god of day is shining
                   As it rides a car of light,
                 When the glory of the mid-day
                   Wears a crown of purest white—
                 When a train of breathing flowers
                   With their incense load the air,
                 And the breath from southern valleys
                   Tell of all things bright and fair;

                 When the snowy clouds are floating
                   In the summer’s sunny sheen,
                 And the splendor of the mid-day
                   Adds a glory to the scene—
                 Then I wander sad and lonely
                   ’Mid the beautiful and fair,
                 For my soul is still with Mary,
                   And I feel her spirit there.

                 When the gentle hour of evening
                   Wears her robe of blue and gold,
                 And the castles, plains and valleys
                   Are in airy clouds unrolled;
                 When the night-birds trim their plumage,
                   And the flowers meet the dew—
                 When the moonbeam greets the sunset
                   In her home of crimson hue—

                 When the sunset and the moonlight
                   Are commingled into one,
                 Like to molten gold and crimson,
                   When the gorgeous day is done—
                 Then I think ’t is heaven’s portals
                   Brightly glowing in the west,
                 And my lost one seems to beckon
                   To the regions of the blest.

                 When the cold and fearful midnight
                   Wears her coronet of jet,
                 And a jeweled veil of darkness
                   Round the form of earth has met—
                 Or the frowning clouds are tossing
                   The disheveled hair of night,
                 And the angry lightning flashes
                   With a fitful, fearful light—

                 When the night is dark and stormy
                   As the passions of the soul,
                 And the knell of fleeted glories
                   Echoes in the thunder’s roll;
                 When the lurid lightning flashes
                   With its angry light above,
                 It is naught I see beyond it
                   To my lost, my early love.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                      =WE LAID HER DOWN TO REST.=


                           =BY C. C. BUTLER.=


                The summer winds were lightly strung,
                  The golden eve drew near,
                The gentle zephyrs sweetly sung,
                  To call from us a tear;
                Oh! sadly sweet that mournful strain
                  That called her to the blest,
                As ’neath the green and fertile plain
                  We laid her down to rest.

                The smile of love that rested there
                  Upon her blooming cheek,
                Doth shine in that bright world of prayer,
                  Where angels only speak.
                We look to see that face in vain—
                  That gentle heaving breast—
                But ’neath the green and fertile plain
                  We laid her down to rest.

                That gentle voice is hushed in death—
                  She closed her weary eyes—
                While angels watched the parting breath,
                  And took her to the skies.
                Yes! Death, to break the golden chain,
                  Appeared a welcome guest—
                And ’neath the green and fertile plain
                  We laid her down to rest.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                             =THE PEDANT:=


          =OR CHAPTERS FROM A LIFE SPENT PARTLY IN CAROLINA.=


                         =BY HENRY HOLM, ESQ.=


                      (_Concluded from page 167._)


                              CHAPTER XI.

    I think that the better half, and much the most agreeable one,
    or the pleasures of the mind is best enjoyed while one is upon
    one’s legs. Malthus.

Dreading as I do any thing which might tempt my patient readers to
anticipate adventure, plot, or catastrophe in these chapters, I must
premise that the bit of episode, which I am about to relate, is all for
the sake of introducing a friend, whose gifts and example wrought a
critical change in my studies. It will transfer the attention to certain
localities of our neighboring state.

Americans need not go to Vaucluse or Vallambrosa for the picturesque;
there are scenes among our mountains and our virgin forests which,
though different from any thing in the old world, are yet unsurpassed.
Especially among the solitudes of that great chain of mountains which
runs like a spine from north-east to south-west across many states,
there are spots where the sublime and the enchanting meet, and where the
most longing soul might find itself sated with the exuberance of beauty.

Amidst such seclusions had dwelt my neighbor De Mornay, while yet a
youth. He was not a native, indeed, for he was not an American. During
the latter years of our Revolution, when Pulaski, Gallatin, and other
distinguished foreigners, came to share our fortunes, a Breton gentleman
arrived, and disembarked at City Point, below Richmond, with certain
mercantile claims upon the State of Virginia. Shortly after his arrival,
he made large purchases of land upon the upper waters of the James
River; but he had scarcely completed his bargain when he was carried off
by one of the fevers of the country. The only representative whom he
left was a beautiful boy of fourteen, Albert de Mornay, already
mentioned as the subject of this chapter.

With all the acumen and warmth which prevail in the best French
character, Albert had a decided turn for the contemplative and the
mystical, which was encouraged and fostered by his insulation among some
of the loveliest recesses of nature. The forests through which he
roamed, unbroken by woodman’s axe, and bounded over by the aboriginal
deer; the frowning crags which towered over his precipitous path, far up
beyond the reach of adventurous footsteps, where the young eagles waited
in the eyry for the rapacious parents’ return; the streams, rushing over
clean channels in the rock, and pellucid to the bottom, even when many
feet in depth; the wide champaign prospects, opened up and down the
valley, from certain eminences; all these peculiarities of a mountainous
region tended to subdue in young Albert whatever existed of the busy and
the pragmatical, and to send him musing to the upland levels, or to the
shady spots where crags beetling over the black waters produced the
effect of a grotto.

His French blood was like that which ran in the veins of Victor de St.
Paul, De Rancy, St. Cyr and Pascal. Though a Protestant by education, he
nevertheless loved Fenelon; and in turning over the cases of uncut
volumes, which his father had ordered from Paris, to constitute his
library, Albert soon found himself detained over Bourdaloue and Guion.
How remote this taste was from any that prevailed either in France or
America, in the latter part of the last century, it is scarcely
necessary to say. The French revolution, and the political quarrels of
America, almost extinguished the meditative element in society. Generous
philosophy and contemplative religion were never in a lower state. In
order to preserve any remnants of ascetic or tranquil piety, amidst such
commotions, it was necessary to grow up in solitude and to converse with
the past. Even monasteries in Europe became places of political
gladiatorship, and unfrocked monks were wearing the red cap, and
spouting regicide speeches at the Jacobins. These were no halcyon days,
but times of tempest.

Far, far from these, under the clear skies, and among the gigantic
mountain groves of the Allegheny, the days of Albert floated by. The
rare appearance of a post-rider, and the occasional gift of a stray
newspaper, informed him indeed from time to time of the successive
quakings and eruptions in the old political world; but these were much
like the convulsions of another planet. His ties to them were very much
sundered. He lived in two worlds, but neither of them was the world of
turbulent political affairs; he passed daily between the paradise of
books, in which he held high converse with the mighty dead, and the
paradise of nature, in which he communed with God himself. His training,
though solitary, was not incomplete. The best part of every man’s
education is that which he gives himself. Yet Albert was not entirely
alone.

When the elder De Mornay found himself to be dying, he committed his
young son to the only friend whom he knew in that part of America; this
was another Frenchman, who bore the name of Guerin, a royalist refugee,
once a doctor of the Sorbonne, but now (such changes were not uncommon)
secularized, and seeking his bread by the only science which he could
turn into a useful art, namely, mathematics. Singular was the providence
which had thrown the orphan boy into the arms of such a man. Guerin was
rather below the middle stature, but with that symmetry of person which
leaves nothing to desire. His complexion was fair; his brow was open and
serene, surmounting a clear, large, innocent, contemplative eye; the
brown hair had gathered itself at the sides of his well-formed head,
leaving the crown in a state of natural tonsure, befitting his former
vocation. Delicate lips and regular teeth, taken in connection with
hands which had known no early labor, conveyed the impression of rank
and refinement. When forced to fly, the exile finds celibacy to be an
advantage. Guerin was happy even in the wilds of America; he was more
than happy when he found not only a ward and companion, in his friend’s
son, but a thousand friends revived, in his library.

No one could be less fitted to bring up a young man in the ways of the
world; but then he could induct him into all the mysteries of classic
and romantic knowledge. He spoke Latin with a purity which has always
been coveted in the seminaries of France. He had spent some years at
Rome, and was at home in all the works of Dante, Ariosto, Boccacio,
Tasso and Petrarca. So much had he been secluded from public affairs,
that the old world was almost as familiar to him as the new. True, he
was strange to woodcraft and the ways of the huntsman. Never had he
discharged a gun; its lock was as mysterious to him as a catapulta.
Never had he acquired the gentle art of taking the mountain trout; and
when he sat on the green bank, and lifted up his eyes from Lucretius or
Seneca, he looked amazed at the line running off Albert’s reel, and at
the speckled creatures which the gentle but arch boy landed at his feet.

Never were master and scholar better matched; and the relation is a
tender one. If Guerin was more pensive than jocose, he could
nevertheless relish wit and humor, and he perceived that Albert was
daily unfolding new tendencies toward the spiritual and superhuman. The
teacher could therefore consent to be laughed at for his bad English,
and to bear his share of the burden when Albert had brought down a buck.
His brown-study would often be broken by some song of his companion,
generally English, such as

          Under the greenwood tree,
          Who loves to lie with me,
          And turn his merry pote
          Unto the sweet-bird’s throat,
                Here shall he see
                No enemy,
          But winter and rough weather.

The qualities of Guerin were fit correctives of Albert’s. The teacher
was placid, but not mystical; cheerful, but not enthusiastic; scholarly,
but not philosophic; kind, but not heroic. Without him, Albert might
have been an ignorant zealot, or a fanatical soldier; he never could
have been malign or weak. The changes of opinion which had turned so
many French priests into infidels, had only made Guerin half a
Protestant. He was too yielding and too timid to those of his early
profession; nor did his circumstances demand it. But he acquired
forbearance, and enlarged the circle of his survey. In turning over the
volumes at Crowscrag, the mountain home of Albert, he learned to
recognize some virtue even in a Huguenot, and to admire the argument,
and taste the truth of writers such as Chamier, Plessis du Mornay,
Claude, Sauria, and Bonnet. He and his pupil talked them over among the
limestone rocks and caverns of the mountains. But Guerin had cravings
which his mercurial ward could not understand. The abbé, as he loved to
call him, as if penetrated by the mysterious “Zeit-Geist,” swelled with
inward longings for communion with the spiritual. The sound of the great
ocean came to him even in his solitude; while Albert felt that truth, if
ever reached, was for men, for man. Both were religious in their
thoughts; but Albert’s religion was less of form and dogma, and more of
expansive affection and lofty aspirations. The kind-hearted priest often
charged to the account of Protestantism certain traits in his young
friend, which he could not understand, and wondered to see him
dissatisfied with all the beauties and glories of his mountain-home.

Albert possessed a dog, which, as if to mock the attempts of the abbé at
English consonants, was named Thwackthwart; an awful mouthful, and
second only to the proverbial exercise for foreigners, of “thirty
thousand thorns thrust through the thick of their thumbs.” The aforesaid
Thwackthwart was of that color which you would not willingly denominate,
lest you should find it was gray, when you had called it brown; a
terrier of such a symmetric shape and attractive shagginess, that at
length his ugliness acquired a sort of beauty. I am sure the reader has
just such a dog in his mind’s eye, even if he has never had its teeth in
the calf of his leg. He was exceedingly useful in a mountain-house, and
accompanied Albert on every expedition. As there were no ladies at
Crowscrag to be alarmed by such an event, it was not unusual, when the
chase had been active, or the weather tempting, for Albert to absent
himself several days at a time. However unwelcome this may have been to
the abbé, he did not complain, but mildly took his seat at the little
round table, and gave his orders to Sambo, the servant. Sambo was on the
wane of years, but had once been an athletic man, with noticeable signs
of Indian blood in his face, while he passed for an African. He was
older than any of them, as a dweller in these wilds, and even remembered
when buffalo were known to cross low parts of the Allegheny chain.

One night, early in May, Guerin was seated at the door of the lonely
wooden mansion, which, from its situation under the eastern brow of a
rocky mountain, was named Crowscrag. The weather was warm for the
season, and a heavy cloud in the southwest was giving forth signs of an
approaching thunder-gust. The muttering of the coming storm, and the
angry flashes increased as night came on. At length when darkness had
begun to prevail, each renewal of the lurid glare revealed wide tracts
of the gray valleys, and disclosed yawning depths in the ragged hills,
while the rain descended in torrents. Albert was still absent, and
though both courageous and robust, was, in the estimation of his friend,
exposed to manifold dangers. There was no house within many miles,
except a temporary lodge on the opposite mountain, which had been used
as a station in topographical surveys. This, though several miles
distant, was so situated as to be visible by daylight; and Guerin often
endeavored to catch a glimpse of it with his pocket-telescope, during
intervals of the electric illumination. Midnight came, however, and yet
no tidings of the wanderer. The good abbé paced the floor for hours, but
at length yielded to weariness, and slept soundly. When he awoke to the
clear shining of another day, he felt a pang at not seeing Albert; and
he never saw him more.


                              CHAPTER XII.

              Vadit, fremit, refringit virgulta pede vago.
                                   Catullus. Attys, v. 86.

The grandfathers of some who read this have told them how the
settlements of their childhood were put in fear by the irruption of the
Indians; an evil as little feared in our own day as the ravages of the
minotaur or other mythic monsters. These onsets were frequently made
into the secluded valleys of that rugged district through which the
Kanawha finds its course to the Ohio, from the great spine of mountains
which traverses Virginia and Carolina. Striking across from the Ohio to
the Sciota, the Shawnees used to pursue a “trail” well-known to hunters,
and passing in its route the town of Major-Jack, where Chilicothe now
stands. Thither in more than one instance they carried away captive men,
women and children. Although their usual practice was to slay and scalp
all able-bodied men, yet the aboriginal caprice sometimes led them to
make exceptions in favor of a fine fellow taken even in arms; as for
example when the chief who was prowling was visited with some mysterious
yearning to supply by adoption the loss of a darling son. These
statements are necessary to explain the absence of Albert, who, to say
truth, had fallen into the hands of a party of Shawnees, after being
surprised in the mountain lodge to which he had retreated from the
storm. I am not about to tell an Indian story; such may be better heard
in any frontier inn; I will therefore return to my disconsolate abbé.

When Guerin awoke to the reality of his loss, and had allowed two days
to pass without any signs of his young friend, he was almost beside
himself. Scarcely was there a man on earth less fitted for the
adventures of a new country. Yet he set on foot a variety of
explorations, by means of mountain rangers, and more especially of
Sambo, whose habits and training assimilated him to the native tribes.
The mountain lodge showed signs, obscure indeed to the eye of
civilization, but patent and convincing to the sagacity of foresters,
that a party had halted there. It was manifest that there had been a
recent fire, and some remnants of a wild turkey were near the edifice of
logs. What was more significant, the body of poor Thwackthwart was found
a few miles nearer to the river. Following this clew, Sambo divined, by
infallible signs, that a party had taken canoes at a certain bluff,
where also was discovered an illegible sentence freshly cut, or began to
be cut, on the smooth bark of a beech. The heart-broken priest, as his
only resource, betook himself to Richmond for aid and counsel; and after
waiting there for some months, with no news of de Mornay, he sadly
obeyed a vocation to the island of Martinique, fully persuaded that his
companion had fallen under the ruthless weapons of the savage; an event
by no means uncommon in that stage of our history.

This most untoward event it was, which brought me acquainted with the
friend whom of all others I shall ever remember with the liveliest and
tenderest regard; perpetually applying to him since his death the
expressions of Shenstone’s celebrated epitaph—

          “Here, quanto minus
           Cum reliquis versari,
           Quam tui meminisse!”

Let me purposely abridge the horrors of the tale. De Mornay, after being
taken by a wearisome series of posts northward through what is now the
state of Ohio, was inducted into the Indian life not far from a British
block-house near Lake Erie. One day, when he was accompanying his chief
and father, We-mo-tox, or Burning Broomgrass, to a talk with the whites,
he was recognized by a Highland major, who had a brother among the
Frazers of North Carolina. A correspondence ensued, and the gallant
Major Frazer, in the depth of winter, set out with De Mornay, who was
gaunt and half-crippled from the exposures and chagrins of captivity,
and brought him in a sort of triumph to the banks of the Roanoke. I was
on a visit at Duncan Frazer’s, when the major, long expected, arrived
with the young stranger, whose story had come before him. Pallid and
haggard as he was, with long, tangled hair, and habiliments in which the
deer-skin oddly mingled with the cut of a garrison tailor on the lakes,
Albert struck me as I have seldom been struck by a first appearance. The
deep black eye shone with a melancholy lustre of natural gayety subdued
by sudden and early grief. Gentleness, pain, courage and meditation were
in his brow, his glance, and his reluctant smile. That night I prayed
him to share my habitation and my pursuits, and he was my companion
till—how shall I utter it—he sank away during years of beautiful
decline.


                             CHAPTER XIII.

                     So shalt thou see and hear
               The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible
               Of that eternal language, which thy God
               Utters, who from eternity doth teach
               Himself in all, and all things in himself.
                                               Coleridge.

There is something hard to express in the retrospect which one takes in
chilly and over-prudent old age, of the periods when youth was boiling
over, and when the mind, so far from being ashamed of its enthusiasms,
rather gloried in them. It is not merely in trances of youthful love,
that the soul is ’rapt into a condition above what is normal and beyond
what can be enduring; friendship, poetry, romance and even learning (wo
to the scholar who knows it not) have their times of incantation. But to
give full occasion for such experience there must be a nice conjuncture
of place and age and person; which befel me under some signal aspect of
the celestial signs when our quiet groves were visited by Albert de
Mornay. A few months had graven on him the characters of years. Though
at a later period he came to some knowledge of his departed Mentor, the
meek and venerable Guerin, Albert at this time lamented him as lost, and
mourned over the lessons of wisdom which, in the buoyancy of a spirit
which now seemed frivolous, he had neglected and all but derided. Now
the full shadow of his preceptor’s tenets, example and character, fell
upon him with too sombre a veil. What he remembered was chiefly the
recluse pensiveness of the solitary. Books which he might otherwise have
forgotten, and discourses to which he had scarcely known himself to be
attending, while he was adjusting his rifle or making flies for the
angle, revisited his thoughts like memories of the dead. It was Plato,
it was Petrarca, it was Fenelon, that became the resort of his gentle
spirit. And as he grew paler, as his voice became softer and more
feminine, so his sentiments assumed a sad or rather an aspiring mood,
much in contrast with the loudness and exuberance of his mountain days
of health. Mingled with this were a group of qualities which fastened me
to him as “with hooks of steel.” No more to guide the foaming steed, or
cheer the hunting company with his sonorous voice, he hung over the
volumes of ancient lore, and sat at the embowered window gazing on the
moon which twinkled all night on the reflecting ripples of the Roanoke.

Greek tragedy possesses a secret charm for such moments, which is
undetected even by many a ripe scholar in our baby-whirling age. It was
Electra, it was Antigone, and it was Alcestis, that rose before the
enchanted eye of the once gay Frenchman, with the austere but unearthly
loveliness of antique sculpture. To me this was a lesson but partially
comprehended, yet I owe to Albert my transition from the vexing
punctilios of the grammarian to the high contemplations of literary and
poetic enthusiasm.

Friendship adds intelligence to letters. I felt then and feel now the
force of the _nisi hoc sciat alter_. In solitary lucubration I might
have grown into the accomplished school-master; but I should never have
had an ear for the august harmonies which sometimes swell through the
terrestrial infidelity of Lucretius, if I had not heard the heroic
measures read with the dulcet music of a companion’s voice. I never
should have been able, as at a later day, to pore serenely over Goethe’s
Iphigenia. I never should have comprehended the enigmas of the _Religio
Medici_. I never should have loved the sententious sweetness of Quesnel.
I never should have found myself awakened, as at a trumpet’s alarum, by
the undoctrinal and vague, but stimulating rhapsodies of
Schleiermacher’s _Reden_. I never should have made pilgrimage, as I did
long after, from the old capital of Burgundy to the mount where St.
Bernard was born. All this I owed to the contagion of a lofty and loving
soul.


                              CHAPTER XIV.

                   Parole adorne di lingua piu d’una.
                                   Milton. Sonnet IV.

Fancy to yourself two enthusiasts sitting under a magnificent
liriodendron (pity it is that common usage should have degraded the
glory of our _forests_ into a _poplar_; it is no poplar, and even the
name tulip-tree has a hybrid sound, half Norman half Anglo-Saxon; “it
follows not,” says holy but funny Fuller, “that the foreign tulip is
better than the rose because some usurping fancies would prefer it;”)
fancy, I say, gentle Alice, and gentle reader, two students of old books
under a lofty tree, on a knoll in sight of a broad Southern river, with
the bank all bespread with volumes. One of these youths is tall,
slender, and—“call it fair, not pale,” because two damask rose-leaves
give a hectic beauty to the skin through which the eloquent blood
courses almost visibly and all too rapidly. The brown hair, long and
neglected, falls about the neck and over the linen collar of a country
jacket. The great, liquid eye now rolls and now fixes, and the teeth,
which medical observation recognizes as more pearly in consumptives, are
disclosed in a speaking smile, as the attenuated and almost dainty
fingers turn over the heavy leaves of a Greek folio. The approach of
fatal disease (we remember Kirk White and Godman) seems only to quicken
the appetency and spiritualize the enjoyment of knowledge. Dewy bushes,
birds in the branches, a flock of sheep on the green hill-side, and a
squadron of lazy boats in the distance, only aid the pursuit. Study is
not confined to cells and conventual towers.

_Pedant._ The greatest solitude I ever felt was in a great city; when I
was in an old, tumble-down street in London.

_Albert._ O give me the open air of heaven! I used to spout speeches in
the Virginia mountains, where I could halloo to the echoes and fear no
overhearing. But that was when I dreamed of the forum and the senate. It
is past!

_Pedant._ Cicero makes much of these shades, as he calls them. He says
Eloquence did not flourish in war-times. “Pacis est comes _otiique
socia_, et jam hene constitutæ civitatis quasi alumna quæmdam
Eloquentia.” The gabble and fuss of much that is called learned talk in
our towns is destructive of deep feeling and thus of high art.

_Albert._ Yes, and as my honored abbé used to quote from Goethe,
concerning such a _litterateur_: “All the springs of natural feeling,
which were open in all their fullness to our fathers, are shut to him.
The paper-hangings, which fade on his walls in the course of a few
years, are a token of his taste and a type of his works.”

_Pedant._ Yet we lack great libraries here in our remote place.

_Albert._ We must be ignorant of many things to know any. True—though
said by a man I hate—Helvetius. My friend, let me play the old man and
warn you. You spread your nets too wide. You sow in more fields than you
can ever reap. You have a reluctance to be an undistinguished happy man.
You should read oftener in the Phædo, for you have more Greek than I.
Often am I lifted above common thoughts as I read this wonderful
dialogue. What a passage this is, about the dying swan, (chap. 30) and
the argument of Simmias (chap. 36) about the lyre and its harmonies!

_Pedant._ Thus for I can read Plato best in a version.

_Albert._ A version! It is my aversion. There goes my first pun. Think
of Pope’s Homer! Open the books at Vaucluse for a sample, as your uncle
draws a hand of tobacco from a hogshead. Here—take the Odyssey, xvii.
26-36. What can be simpler than the original—what more meretricious
than the copy?

        Ἀρτέμιδι ἰκέλη ἠὲ χρυσέῃ Ἀφροδίτῃ

Pope thus:

         “The beauteous cheeks the blush of Venus wear,
          Chastened with coy Diana’s pensive air.”

And then, in plain English, “Weeping, she threw her arms about her dear
boy, and kissed his brow and his two fair eyes, and murmuring
plaintively, spake these winged words!”

But Pope, doubtless in wig and ruffles, thus:

          “Hangs o’er her son, _in his embraces dies_;
           _Rains_ kisses on his neck, his face, his eyes;
           Few words she spoke, _though much she had to say_.
           And scarce those few, for tears, could force their way.”

_Pedant._ Hold—I give up, Pope; but all translators have not his
redundancy and pomp of words.

_Albert._ There are few good translators; and _me judice_, the latest
are the best. Wolfius is a miracle. Our Frenchmen have shown their sense
by giving the ancient poets in prose; for it is death to classic metres
and classic thought to entangle them in Alexandrines, with male and
female rhymes. Taylor’s Plato is close enough and bald enough, but it is
harder than the Greek. It is easy to turn _simplex munditiis_ into
“simple in mundicity,” but it becomes neither sense nor English.
Cervantes knew what he was about, when he compared a version to the
wrong side of a piece of tapestry; you make out the figures, but where
are the tone, the beauty, the expression?

_Pedant._ Then you must learn Hebrew to read the Bible.

_Albert._ O, that I could! As it is—one chapter of St. John’s Greek is
glorious, beyond all the scores of version from St. Jerome to Campbell.
I never could endure the barbarisms of the Vulgate, even from the lips
of my honored abbé. I think even he blushed when he recited—_Amen,
amen_ _dico vobis: quia plorabitis et flebitis vos_, etc., S. Joann.
cap. xvi, 20. Yet it is better in its senility than the French-polish of
Castalio. And your English Bible has a venerableness from the lordly old
English of its day. Our French Bibles smack of the _salon_; the
_tournure_ of phrase is colloquial and courtly.

_Pedant._ My friend Pfeffers protests that the gospels are fabricated.

_Albert._ Pfeffers is a fool—pardon me—your friend Pfeffers is duped
by the cold, bloodless philosophers of the High Dutch universities. So
Hardouin undertook to prove that Homer, and Virgil, and all, were vamped
up by monks in the Middle Age. _Papae!_ When that is done, I will
demonstrate that the Temple of Neptune at Paestum was built by the
crusaders, and that the Antinous was chipped out of marble by a couple
of Savoyard image-boys in the year 1789. The microscopic objections of
Bahrdi and Paulus are just such infinitesimal lichens and abrasions and
scratchings as a strong lens will detect on the cheek of the Discobolos,
or the Venus of Florence. Is there sweetness in that breath of wild
roses which comes over us from the west? Was it made to be enjoyed? Is
it correlate with this olfactory sense? Then is the seventeenth chapter
of St. John a heavenly aroma, formed for this inward craving of a
departing soul. Take me back to my wild Indians, and their medicine-men
with gourds and wampum, rather than to the drivel of a learning once
Christian, but now materialistic or godless! That manna was good, but it
has bred worms. _Corruptio optimi pessima est._

_Pedant._ Dearest De Mornay, you flush and injure yourself.

_Albert._ Thanks to thee, Paul Guerin, that thou leftest me lessons
which live in the soil of this heart and germinate after thy departure!
God grant that grief and the suns of Martinique may not despoil the
earth of the purest of the emigrant clergy.

                 *        *        *        *        *

That day we had to carry Albert into the house, and his subsequent
studies and conversations were chiefly in a swinging hammock of Mexican
grass, suspended in our northern veranda.


                              CHAPTER XV.

    Il me semble que considerant la foiblesse de nostre vie, et à
    combien d’escueils ordinaires et naturels elle est exposée, on
    n’en devroit pas faire si grande part à la naissance, à
    l’oisiveté te à l’apprentissageage.

                                               Montaigne, ch. 57.

In a second visit to Europe after the death of De Mornay, I sought out
the hamlet where his father lived. It was _Chateaux-Prix sur L’Emmat_.
The place is very French, being in the neighborhood of a dismantled
fortification. But the green slopes are still kept trim for promenades.
Long, long rows of Lombardy poplars, very different from the spindling
things we have, stretch a mile along the water. The low, red houses,
with red tiles, huddle together about the red church, like a brood
crowding around the hen. In the evenings, the brown peasants in blouses,
and the brown mothers and maids in broad straw plats, cluster under
vines at the doors, with long loaves of bread and flasks of country
wine. Clumps of Grenoble walnut-trees—we call them _English_—half
conceal with their full foliage the immense rood of timber which
predominates over a village spring. Near this, as the sun sinks, are
heard the sound of the tabor and pipe, and the clatter of _sabots_, as
the boys and girls run to the merry-making. Donkeys are loose among the
road-side thistles, and the long twilight is not over before all are in
bed.

But the De Mornays had flitted out of France, and I found them—almost
the only remaining Huguenots in Louvain, which once was so famous a
Protestant town.[1] The portrait of Gaston du Plessis, Albert’s
grand-uncle, hanging at Doctor De Mornay’s, might—with another
dress—have passed for a likeness of my friend; but it was in feather
and coat-armor. Madame Guers, a young widow, heard with tears my
remembrances of her cousin. It was she who carried me to see the _Hôtel
de Ville_, built some time in the fifteenth century, and told me gay
romances of the Dukes of Brabant. She had never heard of Froissart! I
cannot remember whether it was here or at Liège that I wondered at the
Holy Family of Quentin Matsys. The Louvain beer is famous, and I advise
tourists to acquaint themselves with the Brabant John Barleycorn at the
_Maison des Brasseurs_, or Brewer’s Hall, or at the convent of Parc,
with its fish-ponds, not far distant.

Being still out of my head about teaching, I was dinned with talk
concerning the _Methode Jacotot_, which is as little remembered there as
Manual Labor Schools with us. And, surely, a comical method it was! For
Jacotot presumed to teach every thing out of one book, by an everlasting
repetition. Hundreds of schools were set up on this plan.

Rambling old man that I am! It is time my chapters came to an end. Alice
is horrified at my reading out of Homer a passage in the twentieth book
of the Odyssey, and says she shall dream of it. I defy Pfeffers to find
any thing more ghastly in German story. It is where the guests are
suddenly struck mad. They burst forth into sardonic laughter. Blood
issues from their mouths, and tears pour from their eyes. Meanwhile
Theoclymenus, gifted with sudden clairvoyance, beholds the sun perishing
from the heavens, the porch filled with spectres, and the walls sweating
gore. Why has it not been quoted by our Northern spiritualists?

                 *        *        *        *        *

Before I end my dictations and resolve to bid Alice close her portfolio,
let me give one or two discoveries concerning old age, which my readers
will better understand when they have had the “three warnings.”

Old folks do not acquire wisdom in a natural way; that is, as they
acquire short breath, puckered lips, gray hairs, crowsfeet, weak knees
and shuffling feet. Habit is habit. Idle youth—idle age. I love books
as much and as fondly as when I was in my father’s garret. But my
glasses are too young for me, and McAlister is five hundred miles away,
and folios are hard to manage, and my grand-daughter is in peril of
laryngitis by reading so loud to me, and my eyes close in the middle of
periods, and my pipe goes out ten times a-day.

When I was young I thought life pleasant, but I also thought that after
three-score I should be ready to yield it without a sigh. I do not know
how it is, but my love of life has a tenacity as tough as my corded
fingers. Every preparation for “that vast ocean I must sail so soon” is
induced _ab extra_. The instinctive tendency is to live a little longer.

In old age I fancy myself not very much attended to. This I suppress;
but for the life of me I cannot help observing that in all companies my
chair becomes insular. The young men prefer learning of the young women.
The young women attend to me sweetly—but as it were by afterthought,
from sense of duty.

As an old man, I perceive that young creatures are too gay. The loud
laugh reaches me, but I have lost the _bon mot_ which caused it. The
books they are in raptures about are not in my collection. Was I ever
thus? And did those grave looks of my seniors proceed from something
like this in their heedless offspring? Heigh-ho! It is time for me to
look for hat and stick, as a _conviva satur_.

The teeth which Gardette furnished me are the admiration of all
companies; and I speak with only a perceptible click produced by the
play of the gold and porcelain. Yet what I say is evidently less
relished than when I used to be in blue broad-cloth and hair-powder, and
with six unstarched cravats about my neck. My Latin quotations are
unintelligible, for I retain the old continental sound of the vowels,
and cannot break my organs into the Anglicism of _payter_, _frayter_,
and _nigh-sigh_, for _pater_, _frater_, and _nisi_. I can’t learn to
change the Spanish _Quijote_ into Quixotte, with a double T; or to talk
“of paying over _over_ ten dollars,” when I mean “paying over more than
ten dollars.” Alice has never found her favorite “reliable” in any
English author before the days of Sir Robert Peel; or any classic writer
who ever uttered the phrase “_on_ to-morrow.” I am old-fashioned enough
to present to each other visitors who meet at a morning call, and to
show them to the door; nor can I wear my hat in the house, bald as I am.
_Quere._ Whether Methusalem had these disabilities in proportion to his
longinquity?

-----

[1] I may be in error, but so my Commissionaire Jean d’Ypres told me.


                              CHAPTER XVI.

                     “He is insensibly subdued
             To settled quiet; he is one by whom
             All effort seems forgotten: one to whom
             Long patience hath such mild composure given,
             That patience now doth seem a thing of which
             He hath no need.”
                                               Wordsworth.

They say old age is cold, but this summer weather boils my blood, and
drives me to every corner where a little motion among the leaves affords
a surmise of gentle airs. Which reminds me of the comic sufferings of my
friend Pfeffers, when first he made trial of our cis-atlantic climate.
He so panted and perspired, that we feared he might go off in a paroxysm
of some tropical disease. It was many a long year ago, yet Pfeffers is
still alive; by this token, that he is my guest at this present writing.
His tongue retains a few scarcely perceptible Shibboleths of his German
original. Long ago, he threw himself heart and soul into our American
usages, and married an American wife. Age sits lightly on him. He is
brown, and square built, and he dresses young. An auburn wig surmounts
his mahogany visage with formidable dignity. Pfeffers is an
ornithologist, and—with a zeal almost furious—has traversed all our
Southern States in pursuit of the fowls of the air. That he has escaped
poisoning himself with the arsenic which he uses in his taxidermy is to
be ascribed to the volumes of tobacco-smoke which he has inhaled during
half a century.

In the odd changes of life’s wheel, some of my youthful companions have
turned up in strange places. Pfeffers has just informed me, that he met
at Memphis—not in Egypt—an old lady, who remembered having seen me in
Dublin. It was no other than Grace O’Meara, whom I left a bouncing girl
in her gallant father’s house, and who is now a hale but wrinkled
grandmamma. Through her report, I learned that Guerin—the friend of my
beloved De Mornay—lived to a very great age in the island of
Martinique, where he continued, till the last, to pursue his
philosophical and humane studies. Gentle Frenchman—how many, less
deserving, are honored with monumental marbles!

My literary reminiscences were much freshened by Pfeffers, and his
presence carried me back to the vine-clad heights of the Rhine. What
delicious fragrance comes back to one’s inner sense from the balmy
fields of juvenile experience! Surely this is one of the principal
compensations of benign Providence to men in years. Old age itself does
not always impair the faculty of living over again the innocent
pleasures of life. Garrulous we are, it cannot be denied, at our time of
life, and every octogenarian is prone to be a _laudator temporis acti_.
But if young folks were wise, they would lend willing ears, and thus
would have us in our best moments, to wit—when we are rejoicing in the
past, rather than tasking the outworn powers to receive the new
impressions of the present.

I seem to float again upon the Rhine, and again to hear the song of the
vine-dressers, suspended from the craggy and terraced slopes where the
white wines of princes are produced.

Pfeffers and I have diverged more and more as we have grown older, and
each is rigid in his cramps and oddities. Except in smoking, there is
scarcely a point on which we agree. He loves to read Rabelais; whom,
maugre all the eulogies of Coleridge and other great men, I continue to
loathe as a filthy old man. He glories in Jean-Paul, whom I never could
comprehend. He places Dante and Goethe above all poets, while I stick to
Shakspeare, Milton and Schiller. He is a red-democrat, croaks songs of
Freiligrath, and rehearses rhapsodies of Kinkel; I am a conservative, an
old federalist, and a hater of _emeutes_. He follows Blum and Heine, and
is a _Lichtfreund_, or _illuminé_, ready to guillotine priests and
proclaim a millenium of unbelief; I am a churchgoer, and almost a Quaker
in my quiet musings. He derides all such dreams as those of Guerin and
De Mornay, and votes all the Pascals, Nicoles, Fenelons and Gurneys to
be milksops and pietistic fools; I equally scorn his Bruno Bauers and
Carlyles. His old age is fiery, restless, testy and unmerciful; on the
contrary, I grow calmer, and more averse to agitation. He is a
thorough-paced abolitionist, of the _ruat cælum_ school; I am disposed
to follow Sir Robert Walpole’s _quiteta non movere_. We live in a
pleasing pain of endless controversy, which puts out his pipe a dozen
times a-day, while it only causes my clouds of smoke to roll away in
heavier volume.

My chief amusement has been in planting trees for the use of posterity,
and in decorating a little church which the ladies of our neighborhood
have been rearing out of the work of their own hands. I have inserted in
my will—after a competency for Alice—a provision looking toward the
perpetuation of a school, in the spot where my happy pedagogic days were
past. The shadows of the evening have brought with them a grateful calm.
As I contemplate the setting sun, it is soothing to consider that it
will rise to-morrow on a land which grows greater and happier every day;
a land which, in spite of occasional agitations, has settled itself with
dignity on the principles of Washington; a land in which fanatical
bonfires die out without any conflagration.

Adieu, gentlest reader! If these chapters seem to you rambling and
empty, be assured they seem not less so to me. Yet the utterance of
trifles has given me a relief; and if they add a pleasure to any who
peruse them, it will be to me a content and a recompense.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                             =SONNET.—AGE.=


                          =BY WM. ALEXANDER.=


         Brood sombrous clouds above a midnight sea;
           Rude, rifted rocks rise round the final shore
           Of life’s wide world. Through the thick mist that o’er
         The scene spreads sadness, lo! all silently
         Glides a lone, wearied, shattered bark along;
           Sun, moon and stars are darkened unto him,
           Its aged voyager. His eyesight dim,
         Nor joy nor pleasure can to him belong—
         Ferried fast on by many drooping hours,
           Nears he the leaden stream’s wide mouth, at last,
           Whose waters wildly roar as run they past
         Into eternity’s vast flood. All powers
         Fail now to him. With numerous sorrows rife,
         Enters he then the haven of immortal life.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        =CHAUCER AND HIS TIMES.=


                          =BY THOMAS B. SHAW.=


We consider the age of Chaucer as the true starting-point of the English
literature properly so called. In Italy letters appear to have revived
after the long and gloomy period characterized by the somewhat false
term of “the dark ages,” with astonishing rapidity. Like germs and seeds
of plants which have lain for centuries buried deep in the unfruitful
bowels of the earth, and suddenly brought up by some convulsion of
nature to the surface, the intellect of Italy burst forth, in the
fourteenth century, into a tropical luxuriance, putting out its fairest
flowers of poetry, and its solidest and most beautiful fruits of wisdom
and of wit. Dante died seven years before, and Petrarch and Boccaccio
about fifty years after, the birth of Chaucer, who thus was exposed to
the strongest and directest influence of the genius of these great men.
How great that influence was, we shall presently see. The great causes,
then, which modified and directed the genius of Chaucer were—first, the
new Italian poetry, which then suddenly burst forth upon the world, like
Pallas from the brain of Jupiter, perfect and consummate in its virgin
strength and beauty; second, the now decaying Romanz or Provençal
poetry; and third, the doctrines of the Reformation, which were
beginning, obscurely but irresistibly, to agitate the minds of men; a
movement which took its origin, as do all great and permanent
revolutions, in the lower depths of the popular heart, heaving gradually
onward, like the tremendous ground-swell of the equator, until it burst
with resistless strength upon the Romish Church in Germany and in
England, sweeping all before it. Wickliffe, who was born in 1324, only
four years before Chaucer, had undoubtedly communicated to the poet many
of his bold doctrines: the father of our poetry and the father of our
reformed religion were both attached to the party of the celebrated John
of Gaunt, and were both honored with the friendship and protection of
that powerful prince: Chaucer, indeed, was the kinsman of the earl,
having married the sister of Catherine Swinford, first the mistress and
ultimately the wife of “time-honored Lancaster;” and the poet’s varied
and uncertain career seems to have faithfully followed all the
vicissitudes of John of Gaunt’s eventful life.

Geoffrey Chaucer was born, as he informs us himself, in London; and for
the date of an event so important to the destinies of English letters,
we must fix it, on the authority of the inscription upon his tomb, as
having happened in the year 1328; that is to say, at the commencement of
the splendid and chivalrous reign of Edward III. The honor of having
been the place of his education has been eagerly disputed by the two
great and ancient universities of Oxford and Cambridge; the former,
however, of the two learned sisters having apparently the best
established right to the maternity—or at least the fosterage—of so
illustrious a nursling. Cambridge founds her claim upon the circumstance
of Chaucer’s having subscribed one of his early works “Philogenet _of_
_Cambridge_, clerk.” He afterward returned to London, and there became a
student of the law. His detestation of the monks appears, from a very
curious document, to have begun even so early as his abode in the grave
walls of the Temple; for we find the name of Jeffrey Chaucer inscribed
in an ancient register as having been fined for the misdemeanor of
beating a friar in Fleet street.

The first efforts of a revival of letters will always be made in the
path of translation; and to this principle Chaucer forms no exception.
He was an indefatigable translator; and the whole of many—nay, a great
part of _all_—his works bears unequivocal traces of the prevailing
taste for imitation. How much he has improved upon his models, what new
lights he has placed them in, with what skill he has infused fresh life
into the dry bones of obscure authors, it will hereafter be our business
to inquire. He was the poetical pupil of Gower, and, like Raphael and
Shakspeare, he surpassed his master: Gower always speaks with respect of
his illustrious pupil in the art of poetry; and, in his work entitled
“Confessio Amantis,” places in the mouth of Venus the following elegant
compliment;—

        And grate wel Chaucer, when ye mete,
        As my disciple and my poéte:
        For in the flowers of his youth,
        In sundry wise, as he well couthe,
        Of ditees and of songés glade
        The which he for my sake made, etc.

These lines also prove that Chaucer began early to write; and probably
our poet continued during the whole course of his eventful life, to
labor assiduously in the fields of letters.

His earliest works were strongly tinctured with the manner, nay, even
with the mannerism, of the age. They are much fuller of allegory than
his later productions; they are distinguished by a greater parade of
scholarship, and by a deeper tinge of that amorous and metaphysical
mysticism which pervades the later Provençal poetry, and which reached
its highest pitch of fantastical absurdity in the _Arrêts d’Amour_ of
Picardy and Languedoc. As an example of this we may cite his “Dream,” an
allegorical composition written to celebrate the nuptials of his friend
and patron John of Gaunt, with Blanche, the heiress of Lancaster.

Chaucer was in every sense a man of the world: he was the ornament of
two of the most brilliant courts in the annals of England—those of
Edward III. and his successor Richard II. He also accompanied the former
king in his expedition into France, and was taken prisoner about 1359,
at the siege of Retters; and in 1367 we find him receiving from the
crown a grant of 20 marks, _i. e._ about 200_l._ of our present money.

Our poet, thus distinguished as a soldier, as a courtier, and as a
scholar, was honored with the duty of forming part of an embassy to the
splendid court of Genoa, where he was present at the nuptials of
Violante, daughter of Galeazzo, Duke of Milan, with the Duke of
Clarence. At this period he made the acquaintance of Petrarch, and
probably of Boccaccio also: to the former of these illustrious men he
certainly was personally known; for he hints, in his “Canterbury Tales,”
his having learned from him the beautiful and pathetic tale of the
patient Griselda:—

        Learned at Padua of a worthy clerke
        Francis Petrarke, the laureate poét:
        Highte thys clerke, whose rhethorique sweet
        Enlumined al Itale of poesy.

It was during his peregrinations in France and Italy that Chaucer drew
at the fountain-head those deep draughts from the Hippocrene of Tuscany
and of Provence which flow and sparkle in all his compositions. It is
certain that he introduced into the English language an immense quantity
of words absolutely and purely French, and that he succeeded with an
admirable dexterity in harmonizing the ruder sounds of his vernacular
tongue; so successfully, indeed, that it may be safely asserted that
very few poets in any modern language are more exquisitely and uniformly
musical than Chaucer. Indeed, he has been accused, and in rather severe
terms, of having naturalized in English “a wagon-load of foreign words.”

In 1380 we find Chaucer appointed to the office of Clerk of the Works at
Windsor, where he was charged with overlooking the repairs about to be
made in St. George’s Chapel, then in a ruinous condition.

In 1383 Wickliffe completed his translation into the English language of
the Bible, and his death, in the following year, seems to have been the
signal for the commencement of a new and gloomy phase in the fortunes of
the poet. Chaucer returned to England in 1386, and, the party to which
he belonged having lost its political influence, he was imprisoned in
the Tower, and deprived of the places and privileges which had been
granted to him. Two years afterward he was permitted to sell his
patents, and in 1389 he appears to have been induced to abandon, and
even to accuse, his former associates, of whose treachery toward him he
bitterly complains.

In reward for this submission to the government, we afterward find him
restored to favor, and made, in the year 1389, Clerk of the Works at
Westminster. It is at this period that he is supposed to have retired to
pass the calm evening of his active life in the green shades of
Woodstock, where he is related to have composed his admirable
“Canterbury Tales.” This production, though, according to many opinions,
neither the finest nor even the most characteristic of Chaucer’s
numerous and splendid poems, is yet the one of them all by which he is
now best known: it is the work which has handed his name down to future
generations as the earliest glory of his country’s literature; and as
such it warrants us in appealing, from the perhaps partial judgments of
isolated critics, to the sovereign tribunal of posterity. The decisions
of contemporaries may be swayed by fashion and prejudice; the criticism
of scholars may be tinged with partiality; but the unanimous voice of
four hundred and fifty years is sure to be a true index of the relative
value of a work of genius.

Beautiful as are many of his other productions, it is the “Canterbury
Tales” which have enshrined Chaucer in the penetralia of England’s Glory
Temple; it is to the wit, the pathos, the humanity, the chivalry of
those tales that our minds recur when our ear is struck with the
venerable name of Chaucer. In 1390 we find the poet receiving the
honorable charge of Clerk of the Works at Windsor; and, two years later,
a grant from the crown of 20_l._ and a tun of wine annually. Toward the
end of the century which his illustrious name had adorned, he appears to
have fallen into some distress; for another document is in existence
securing to the poet the protection of the crown (probably against
importunate creditors;) and in 1399 we find the poet’s name inserted in
the lease of a house holden from the Abbot and Chapter of Westminster,
and occupying the spot upon which was afterward erected Henry VII.’s
chapel, now forming one of the most brilliant ornaments of Westminster
Abbey. In this house, as is with great probability conjectured, Chaucer
died, on the 25th of October, 1400, and was buried in the Abbey, being
the first of that long array of mighty poets whose bones repose with
generations of kings, warriors, and statesmen, beneath the “long-drawn
aisles.”

In reading the works of this poet the qualities which cannot fail to
strike us most are—admirable truth, freshness, and _livingness_ of his
descriptions of external nature; profound knowledge of human life in the
delineation of character; and that all-embracing humanity of heart which
makes him, as it makes the reader, sympathise with all God’s creation,
taking away from his humor every taste of bitterness and sarcasm. This
humor, colored by and springing from universal sympathy, this noblest
humanity—we mean humanity in the sense of Terence’s: “homo sum; humani
nihil a me alienum puto”—is the heritage of only the greatest among
mankind; and is but an example of that deep truth which Nature herself
has taught us, when she placed in the human heart the spring of Laughter
fast by the fountain of Tears.

We shall now proceed to examine the principal poems of Chaucer, in the
hope of presenting to our readers some scale or measure of the gradual
development of those powers which appear, at least to us, to have
reached their highest apogee or exaltation in the “Canterbury Tales.”

In the first work to which we shall turn our attention, Chaucer has
given us a translation of a poem esteemed by all French critics the
noblest monument of their poetical literature anterior to the time of
Francis I. This is the “Romaunt of the Rose,” a beautiful mixture of
allegory and narrative, of which we shall presently give an outline in
the words of Warton. The “Roman de la Rose” was commenced by William de
Lorris, who died in 1260, and completed, in 1310, by Jean de Meun, a
witty and satirical versifier, who was one of the ornaments of the
brilliant court of Charles le Bel. Chaucer has translated the whole of
the portion composed by the former, together with some of Meun’s
continuation; making, as he goes on, innumerable improvements in the
text, which, where it harmonizes with his own conceptions, he renders
with singular fidelity. “The difficulties and dangers of a lover, in
pursuing and obtaining the object of his desires, are the literal
argument of the poem. This design is couched under the allegory of a
rose, which our lover, after frequent obstacles, gathers in a delicious
garden. He traverses vast ditches, scales lofty walls, and forces the
gates of adamantine castles. These enchanted holds are all inhabited by
various divinities; some of which assist, and some oppose, the lover’s
progress.” The English poem is written, like the French original, in the
short rhymed octo-syllabic couplets so universally adopted by the
Trouvères, a measure well fitted, from its ease and flowingness, for the
purpose of long narratives. We have said that the translation is in most
cases very close; Chaucer was so far from desiring to make his works
pass for original when they had no claim to this qualification, that he
even specifies, with great care and with even a kind of exultation, the
sources from whence his productions are derived. Indeed, at such early
periods in the literature of any country, writers seem to attach as
great or greater dignity to the office of translator than to the more
arduous duty of original composition; the reason of which probably is,
that in the childhood of nations as well as of men, learning is a rarer,
and therefore more admired, quality than imagination.

The allegorical personages in the “Romaunt of the Rose” are singularly
varied, rich, and beautiful. Sorrow, Envy, Avarice, Hate, Beauty,
Franchise, Richesse, are successively brought on the stage. As an
example of the remarks we have just been making, we will quote a short
passage from the latter part of Chaucer’s translation, _i. e._ from that
portion of the poem composed by John of Meun: it describes the
attendants in the palace of Old Age: we will print the original French
and also the extract:—

          Travaile et douleur la hébergent,
          Mais ils la lient et la chargent,
          Que Mort prochaine luy présentent,
          En talant de se repentir;
          Tant luy sont de fléaux sentir;
          Adoncq luy vient en remembrance,
          En cest tardifve présence.
          Quand il se voit foible et chenue.

          With her, Labour and eke Travaile
          Lodgid bene, with sorwe and wo.
          That never out of her court go
          Pain and Distress, Sekenesse and Ire,
          And Melancholie that angry sire,
          Ben of her palais Senatoures;
          Goning ana Grutching her herbegeors.
          The day and night her to tourment,
          With cruel death they her present,
          And tellen her erliche and late,
          That Deth standith armid at her gate.

Here Chaucer’s improvements are plainly perceptible; the introduction of
Death, standing _armed_ at the gate, is a grand and sublime thought, of
which no trace is to be found in the comparatively flat original; not to
mention the terrible distinctness with which Chaucer enumerates Old
Age’s _Senators_, Pain, Distress, Sickness, Ire, and Melancholy; and her
grim chamberlains, Groaning and Grudging.

The next poem which we shall mention is the love-story entitled “Troilus
and Cresseide,” founded on one of the most favorite legends of the
Middle Ages, and which Shakspeare himself has dramatized in the tragedy
of the same name. The anachronism of placing the scene of such a history
of chivalric love in the heroic age of the Trojan War is, we think, more
than compensated by the pathos, the nature, and the variety which
characterize many of the ancient romances on this subject. Chaucer
informs us that his authority is Lollius, a mysterious personage very
often referred to by the writers of the Middle Ages, and so impossible
to discover and identify that he must be considered as the Ignis Fatuus
of antiquaries. “Of Lollius,” says one of these unhappy and baffled
investigators, “it will become every one to speak with deference.” The
whole poem is saturated with the spirit not of the Ionian rhapsodist,
but of the Provençal minstrel. It is written in the rhymed ten-syllabled
couplet, which Chaucer has used in the greater part of his works. In the
midst of a thousand anachronisms, of a thousand absurdities, this poem
contains some strokes of pathos which are invariably to be found in
every thing Chaucer wrote, and which show that his heart ever vibrated
responsive to the touch of nature.

Though we propose, in a future volume, to give such specimens and
extracts of Chaucer as may suffice to enable our readers to judge of his
manner, we cannot abstain from citing here a most exquisite passage: it
describes the bashfulness and hesitation of Cressida before she can find
courage to make the avowal of her love:—

        And as the newe-abashed nightingale
        That stinteth first, when she beginneth sing,
        When that she heareth any herdis tale,
        Or in the hedgis any wight stirring,
        And after siker doth her voice outring:
        Right so Cresseide, when that her drede stent,
        Opened her herte and told him her entent.

We may remark here the extraordinary fondness for the song of birds
exhibited by Chaucer in all his works. There is not one of the English
poets, and certainly none of the poets of any other nation, who has
shown a more intense enjoyment for this natural music: he seems to omit
no opportunity of describing the “doulx ramaige” of these feathered
poets, whose accents seem to be echoed in all their delicacy, their
purity and fervor, in the fresh strains of “our Father Chaucer:”—

            Sound of vernal showers
              On the twinkling grass,
            Rain-awakened flowers,
              All that ever was
        Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass!

We have mentioned the anachronism of _plan_ in this poem; it abounds in
others no less extraordinary. Among these, he represents Cresseide as
reading the Thebaid of Statius (a very favorite book of Chaucer,) which
he calls “The Romance of Thebis;” and Pandarus endeavors to comfort
Troilus with arguments of predestination taken from Bishop Bradwardine,
a theologian nearly contemporary with the poet.

The “House of Fame,” a magnificent allegory, glowing with all the
“barbaric pearl and gold” of Gothic imagination, is the next work on
which we shall remark. Its origin was probably Provençal, but the poem
which Chaucer translated is now lost. We will condense the argument of
this poem from Warton:—“The poet, in a vision, sees a temple of glass
decorated with an unaccountable number of golden images. On the walls
are engraved stories from Virgil’s Eneid and Ovid’s Epistles. Leaving
this temple, he sees an eagle with golden wings soaring near the sun.
The bird descends, seizes the poet in its talons, and conveys him to the
Temple of Fame, which, like that of Ovid, is situated between earth and
sea. He is left by the eagle near the house, which is built of materials
bright as polished glass, and stands on a rock of ice. All the southern
side of this rock is covered with engravings of the names of famous men,
which are perpetually melting away by the heat of the sun. The northern
side of the rock was alike covered with names; but, being shaded from
the warmth of the sun, the characters here remained unmelted and
uneffaced. Within the niches formed in the pinnacles stood all round the
castle

        All manera of minstrellis,
        And gestours, that tellen tales
        Both of weping and eke of game;

and the most renowned harpers—Orpheus, Arion, Chiron, and the Briton
Glaskeirion. In the hall he meets an infinite multitude of heralds, on
whose surcoats are embroidered the arms of the most redoubted champions.
At the upper end, on a lofty shrine of carbuncle, sits Fame. Her figure
is like those of Virgil and Ovid. Above her, as if sustained on her
shoulders, sate Alexander and Hercules. From the throne to the gates of
the hall ran a range of pillars with respective inscriptions. On the
first pillar, made of lead and iron, stood Josephus, the Jewish
historian, with seven other writers on the same subject. On the second,
made of iron, and painted with the blood of tigers, stood Statius. On
another, higher than the rest, stood Homer, Dares Phrygius, Livy,
Lollius, Guido of Colonna, and Geoffrey of Monmouth, writers on the
Trojan story. On a pillar of ‘tinnid iron clere’ stood Virgil; and next
him, on a pillar of copper, appeared Ovid. The figure of Lucan was
placed upon a pillar of iron ‘wrought full sternly,’ accompanied by many
Roman historians. On a pillar of sulphur stood Claudian. The hall is
filled by crowds of minor authors. In the meantime crowds of every
nation and condition fill the temple, each presenting his claim to the
queen. A messenger is sent to summon Eolus from his cave in Thrace, who
is ordered to bring his two clarions, Slander and Praise, and his
trumpeter Triton. The praises of each petitioner are then sounded,
according to the partial or capricious appointment of Fame! and equal
merits obtain very different success. The poet then enters the house or
labyrinth of Rumor. It was built of willow twigs, like a cage, and
therefore admitted every sound. From this house issue tidings of every
kind, like fountains and rivers from the sea. Its inhabitants, who are
eternally employed in hearing or telling news, raising reports, and
spreading lies, are then humorously described: they are chiefly sailors,
pilgrims, and pardoners. At length our author is awakened by seeing a
venerable person of great authority; and thus the vision abruptly
terminates. From the few lines we have quoted, it may be seen that this
poem, like the “Romaunt of the Rose,” is written in the octosyllabic
measure. Though full of extravagances, exaggerations of the already too
monstrous personifications of Ovid, this work extorts our admiration by
the inexhaustible richness and splendor of its ornaments; a richness as
perfectly in accordance with Middle Age art, as it is extravagant and
puerile in the tinsel pages of the Roman poet. That multiplicity of
parts and profusion of minute embellishment which forms the essential
characteristic of a Gothic cathedral is displaced and barbarous when
introduced into the severer outlines of a Grecian temple or a Roman
amphitheatre.

It now becomes our delightful duty to speak of the “Canterbury Tales;”
and we can hardly trust ourselves to confine within reasonable limits
the examination of this admirable work, containing in itself, as it
does, merits of the most various and opposite kinds. It is a finished
picture, delineating almost every variety of human character, crowded
with figures, whose lineaments no lapse of time, no change of manners,
can render faint or indistinct, and which will retain, to the latest
centuries, every stroke of outline and every tint of color, as sharp and
as vivid as when they came from the master’s hand. The Pilgrims of
Chaucer have traversed four hundred and fifty years—like the Israelites
wandering in the wilderness—arid periods of neglect and ignorance,
sandy flats of formal mannerism, unfertilized by any spring of beauty,
and yet “their garments have not decayed, neither have their shoes waxed
old.”

Besides the lively and faithful delineation—_i. e. descriptive_
delineation of these personages, nothing can be more dramatic than the
way in which they are set in motion, speaking and acting in a manner
always conformable to their supposed characters, and mutually
heightening and contrasting each other’s peculiarities. Further yet,
besides these triumphs in the _framing_ of his Tales, the Tales
themselves, distributed among the various pilgrims of his troop, are, in
almost every case, master-pieces of splendor, of pathos, or of drollery.

Chaucer, in the Prologue to the “Canterbury Tales,” relates that he was
about to pass the night at the “Tabarde” inn in Southwark, previous to
setting out on a pilgrimage to the far-famed shrine of St. Thomas of
Kent—_i. e._ Thomas à Becket—at Canterbury. On the evening preceding
the poet’s departure there arrive at the hostelry—

        Wel nine and twenty in a compagnie
        Of sondry folk, by aventure y-fulle
        In felowship, and pilgrimes wer they alle,
        That toward Canterbury wolden ride.

The poet, glad of the opportunity of traveling in such good company,
makes acquaintance with them all, and the party, after mutually
promising to start early in the morning, sup and retire to rest.

Chaucer then gives a full and minute description, yet in incredibly few
words, of the condition, appearance, manners, dress, and horses of the
pilgrims. He first depicts a Knight, “brave in battle, and wise in
council,” courteous, grave, religious, experienced; who had fought for
the faith in far lands, at Algesiras, at Alexandria, in Russia; a model
of the chivalrous virtues:

        And though that he was worthy, he was wise,
        And of his port _make as is a mayde_.
        He was a veray parfit gentle knight.

He is mounted on a good, though not showy, horse, and clothed in a
simple _gipon_ or close tunic, of serviceable materials,
characteristically stained and discolored by the friction of his armor.

This valiant and modest gentleman is accompanied by his son, a perfect
specimen of the _damoyseau_ or “bachelor” of this, or of the graceful
and gallant youth of noble blood in any period. Chaucer seems to revel
in the painting of his curled and shining locks—“as they were laid in
presse”—of his tall and active person, of his already-shown bravery, of
his “love-longing,” of his youthful accomplishments, and of his gay and
fantastic dress. His talent for music, his short, embroidered gown with
long wide sleeves (the fashion of the day,) his perfect horsemanship,
his skill in song-making, in illuminating and writing, his hopeful and
yet somewhat melancholy love for his “lady”—

        So hote he loved, that by nightertale
        He slept no more than doth the nightingale—

nothing is omitted; not a stroke too few or too many.

This attractive pair are attended by a Yeman or retainer. This figure is
a perfect portrait of one of those bold and sturdy archers, the type of
the ancient national character; a type which still exists in the plain,
independent peasantry of the rural districts of the land. He is clad in
the picturesque costume of the greenwood, with his sheaf of peacock
arrows, bright and keen, stuck in his belt, and bearing in his hand “a
mighty bowe”—the far-famed “long-bow” of the English archers—the most
formidable weapon of the Middle Ages, which twanged such fatal music to
the chivalry of France at Poictiers and Agincourt. His “not-bed,” his
“brown viságe,” tanned by sun and wind, his sword and buckler, his sharp
and well-equipped dagger, the silver medal of St. Christopher on his
breast, the horn in the green baldric—how life-like does he stand
before us!

These three figures are admirably contrasted with a Prioress, a lady of
noble birth and delicate bearing, full of the pretty affectations, the
dainty tendernesses of the “grande dame religieuse.” Her name is “Madame
Eglantine;” and the mixture, in her manners and costume, of gentle
worldly vanities and of ignorance of the world; her gayety, and the
ever-visible difficulty she feels to put on an air of courtly hauteur;
the lady-like delicacy of her manners at table, and her fondness for
petting lap-dogs—

        Of smale houndes had she, that she fed
        With rosted flesh, and milk, and wastel-bread,
        But sore she wept if on of hem were dead,
        Or if men smote it with a yerde smart,
        For al was conscience, and tender herte,—

this masterly outline is most appropriately _framed_ (if we may so
speak) in the external and material accompaniments—the beads of “smale
coráll” hanging on her arm, and, above all, the golden brooch with its
delicate device of a “crowned A,” and the inscription _Amor vincit_
_omnia_. She is attended by an inferior nun and three priests.

The Monk follows next, and he, like all the ecclesiastics, with the
single exception of the Personore or secular parish priest, is described
with strong touches of ridicule; but it is impossible not to perceive
the strong and ever-present _humanity_ of which we have spoken as
perhaps the most marked characteristic of Chaucer’s mind. The Monk is a
gallant, richly-dressed, and pleasure-loving sportsman, caring not a
straw for the obsolete strictness of the musty rule of his order. His
sleeves are edged with rich fur, his hood fastened under his chin with a
gold pin headed with a “love-knot,” his eyes are buried deep in his
fleshy, rosy cheeks, indicating great love of rich fare and potent
wines; and yet the impression left on the mind by this type of fat,
roystering sensuality is rather one of drollery and good-fellowship than
of contempt or abhorrence.

Chaucer exhibits rich specimens of the various _genera_ of that vast
species “Monachus monachans,” as it may be classed by some Rabelœsian
Theophrastus. The next personage who enters is the Frere, or mendicant
friar, whose easiness of confession, wonderful skill in extracting money
and gifts, and gay discourse, are most humorously and graphically
described. He is represented as always carrying store of knives, pins,
and toys, to give to his female penitents, as better acquainted with the
tavern than with the lagar-house or the hospital, daintily dressed, and
“lisping somewhat” in his speech, “to make his English swete upon the
tongue.”

This “worthy Limitour” is succeeded by a grave and formal personage, the
Merchant: solemn and wise is he, with forked beard and pompous demeanor,
speaking much of profit, and strongly in favor of the king’s right to
the subsidy “pour la saufgarde et custodie del mer,” as the old Norman
legist phrases it. He is dressed in motley, mounted on a tall and quiet
horse, and wears a “Flaundrish beaver hat.”

The learned poverty of the Clerke of Oxenforde forms a striking contrast
to the Merchant’s rather pompous “respectability.” He and his horse are
“leane as is a rake” with abstinence, his clothes are threadbare, and he
devotes to the purchase of his beloved books all the gold which he can
collect from his friends and patrons, devoutly praying, as in duty
bound, for the souls of those

        Who yeve him wherewith to scolaie.

Nothing can be more true to nature than the mixture of pedantry and
bashfulness in the manners of this anchoret of learning, and the tone of
sententious morality and formal politeness which marks his language.

We now come to a “Serjeant of the Lawe,” a wise and learned magistrate,
rich and yet irreproachable, with all the statutes at his fingers’ ends,
a very busy man in reality, “but yet,” not to forget the inimitable
touch of nature in Chaucer, “As _seemed besier than he was_.” He is
plainly dressed, as one who cares not to display his importance in his
exterior.

Nor are preceding characters superior, in vividness and variety, to the
figure of the “Frankelein,” or rich country-gentleman, who is next
introduced: his splendid and hospitable profusion, and the epicurean
luxuriousness of the man himself, are inimitably set before us. “It
_snewed in his house_ of mete and drink.”

Then comes a number of burgesses, whose appearance is classed under one
general description. These are a Haberdasher, Carpenter, Webbe (or
Weaver,) Dyer, and Tapiser—

        ——Alle yelothed of o liverè,
        Of a solempes and gret fraternitè,—

that is, they all belong to one of those societies, or _mestiers_, which
play so great a part in the municipal history of the Middle Ages. The
somewhat _cossu_ richness of their equipment, their knives hafted with
silver, their grave and citizen-like bearing—all is in harmony with the
pride and vanity, hinted at by the poet, of their wives, who think “it
is full fayre to be yeleped _Madame_.”

The skill and critical discernment of the Cook are next described: “Well
could he know a draught of London ale,” and elaborately could he season
the rich and fantastic dishes which composed the “carte” of the
fourteenth century. He joins the pilgrimage in hope that his devotion
may cure him of a disease in the leg.

A turbulent and boisterous Shipman appears next, who is described with
minute detail. His brown complexion, his rude and quarrelsome manners,
his tricks of trade, stealing wine “from Burdeux ward, while that the
chapman slepe,” all is enumerated; nor does the poet forget the seaman’s
knowledge of all the havens “from Gothland to the Cape de Finistere,”
nor his experience in his profession: “In many a tempest had his berd be
shake.”

He is followed by a Doctour of Phisike, a great astronomer and natural
magician, deeply versed in the ponderous tomes of Hippocrates, Hali,
Galen, Rhasis, Averrhoes, and the Arabian physicians. His diet is but
small in quantity, but rich and nourishing; “_his study is but little
on_ _the Bible_,” and he is humorously represented as particularly fond
of gold, “_for gold in phisiks is a cordiall_.”

Next to the grave, luxurious, and not quite orthodox doctor, enters the
“Wife of Bath,” a daguerreotyped specimen of the female _bourgeoise_ of
Chaucer’s day; and bearing so perfectly the stamp and mark of her class,
that, by changing her costume a little to the dress of the nineteenth
century, she would serve as a perfect sample of her order even in the
present day. She is equipped with a degree of solid costliness that does
not exclude a little coquetry; her character is gay, bold, and not ever
rigid; and she is endeavoring, by long and frequent pilgrimages, to
expiate some of the amorous errors of her youth. She is a substantial
manufacturer of cloth, and so jealous of her precedency in the religious
ceremonies of her parish, that, if any of her female acquaintance should
venture to go before her on these solemn occasions, “so wroth was she,
that she was out of alle charitee.”

Contrasted with this rosy dame are two of the most beautiful and
touching portraits ever delineated by the hand of genius—one “a pour
Persoune,” or secular parish priest; and his brother in simplicity,
virtue, and evangelic parity, a Plowman. It is in these characters, and
particularly in the “Tale” put into the mouth of the former, that we
most distinctly see Chaucer’s sympathy with the doctrines of the
Reformation: the humility, self-denial, and charity of these two pious
and worthy men, are opposed with an unstudied, but not the less striking
pointedness, to the cheatery and sensuality which distinguish all the
monks and friars represented by Chaucer. So beautiful and so complete is
this noble delineation of Christian piety, that we will not venture to
injure its effect by quoting it piecemeal in this place, but refer our
readers to the volume in which the whole of Chaucer’s Prologue will be
found at length.

Then we find enumerated a Reve, a Miller, a Sompnour (an officer in the
ecclesiastical courts,) a Pardoner, a Manciple, and “myself,” that is,
Chaucer.

The Miller is a brawny, short, red-headed fellow, strong, boisterous and
quarrelsome, flat-nosed, wide-mouthed, debauched; he is dressed in a
white coat and blue hood, and armed with sword and buckler.

His conversation and conduct correspond faithfully with such an
appearance; he enlivens the journey by his skill in playing on the
bagpipe.

The Manciple was an officer attached to the ancient colleges; his duty
was to purchase the provisions and other commodities for the consumption
of the students; in fact, he was a kind of steward. Chaucer describes
this pilgrim as singularly adroit in the exercise of his business,
taking good care to advantage himself the while.

Another of the most elaborately painted pictures in Chaucer’s gallery is
the “Reve,” bailiff or intendant of some great proprietor’s estates. He
stands before us as a slender, long-legged, choleric individual, with
his beard shaven as close as possible, and his hair exceedingly short.
He is a severe and watchful manager of his master’s estates, and had
grown so rich that he was able to come to his lord’s assistance, and
“lend him of his owen good.” His horse is described, and even named, and
he is described as always riding “the hindereat of the route.”

Nothing can surpass the nature and truthfulness with which Chaucer has
described the Sompnour. His face is fiery red, as cherubim were painted,
and so covered with pimples, spots, and discolorations, that neither
mercury, sulphur, borax, nor any purifying ointment, could cleanse his
complexion. He is a great lover of onions, leeks, and garlic, and fond
of “strong win as red as blood;” and when drunk he would speak nothing
but Latin, a few terms of which language he had picked up from the writs
and citations it was his profession to serve. He is a great taker of
bribes, and will allow any man to set at naught the archdeacon’s court
in the most flagrant manner “for a quart of wine.”

The last of the pilgrims is the “Pardonere,” or seller of indulgences
from Rome. He is drawn to the life, singing, to the bass of his friend
the Sompnour, the song of “Come hither, love, to me.” The Pardoner’s
hair is “yellow as wax,” smooth and thin, lying on his shoulders: he
wears no hood, “for jollité;” that is, in order to appear in the
fashion. His eyes (as is often found in persons of this complexion—note
Chaucer’s truth to nature) are wide and staring like those of a hare;
his voice is a harsh treble, like that of a goat; and he has no beard.
Chaucer then enumerates the various articles of the Pardoner’s
professional budget; and certainly there never was collected a list of
droller relics: he has Our Lady’s veil, a morsel of the sail of St.
Paul’s ship, a glass full of “pigges bones,” and a pewter cross crammed
with other objects of equal sanctity. With the aid of these and the
hypocritical unction of his address, he could manage, in one day, to
extract from poor and rustic people more money than the Parson (the
regular pastor of the parish) could collect in two months.

The number of the pilgrims now enumerated will be found by any one who
takes the trouble to count them to amount to thirty-one, including
Chaucer; and the poet describes them setting out on their journey on the
following morning. Before their departure, however, the jolly Host of
the Tabarde makes a proposition to the assembled company. He offers to
go along with them himself, on condition that they constitute him a kind
of master of the revels during their journey; showing how agreeably and
profitably they could beguile the tedium of the road with the relation
of stories. He then proposes that on their return they should all sup
together at his hostelry, and that he among them who shall have been
adjudged to have told the best story should be entertained at the
expense of the whole society. This proposal is unanimously adopted; and
nothing can be finer than the mixture of fun and good sense with which
honest Harry Bailey, the host, sways the merry sceptre of his temporary
sovereignty.

This then is the framework or scaffolding on which Chaucer has erected
his Canterbury Tales. The practice of connecting together a multitude of
distinct narrations by some general thread of incident is very natural
and extremely ancient. The Orientals, so passionately fond of
tale-telling, have universally—and not always very artificially—given
consistency and connection to their stories by putting them into the
mouth of some single narrator: the various histories which compose the
Thousand and One Nights are supposed to be successively recounted by the
untiring lips of the inexhaustible Princess Scheherezade; but the source
from whence Chaucer more immediately adopted his _framing_ was the
Decameron of Boccaccio. This work (as it may be necessary to inform our
younger readers) consists of a hundred tales divided into decades, each
decade occupying one day in the relation. They are narrated by a society
of young men and women of rank, who have shut themselves up in a most
luxurious and beautiful retreat on the banks of the Arno, in order to
escape the infection of the terrible plague then ravaging Florence.

If we compare the plan of Chaucer with that of the Florentine, we shall
not hesitate to give the palm of propriety, probability, and good taste
to the English poet. A pilgrimage was by no means an expedition of a
mournful or solemn kind, and afforded the author the widest field for
the selection of character from all classes of society, and an excellent
opportunity for the divers humors and oddities of a company fortuitously
assembled. It is impossible, too, not to feel that there is something
cruel and shocking in the notion of these young, luxurious Italians of
Boccaccio whiling away their days in tales of sensual trickery or
sentimental distress, while without the well-guarded walls of their
retreat thousands of their kinsmen and fellow-citizens were writhing in
despairing agony. Moreover, the similarity of rank and age in the
personages of Boccaccio produces an insipidity and want of variety: all
these careless voluptuaries are repetitions of Dioneo and Fiammetta: and
the period of ten days adopted by the Italian has the defect of being
purely arbitrary, there being no reason why the narratives might not be
continued indefinitely. Chaucer’s pilgrimage, on the contrary, is made
to Canterbury, and occupies a certain and necessary time; and, on the
return of the travelers, the society separates as naturally as it had
assembled; after giving the poet the opportunity of introducing two
striking and appropriate events—their procession to the shrine of St.
Thomas at their arrival in Canterbury, and the prize-supper on their
return to London.

Had Chaucer adhered to his original plan, we should have had a tale from
each of the party on the journey out, and a second tale from every
pilgrim on the way back, making in all sixty-two—or, if the Host also
contributed his share, sixty-four. But, alas! the poet has not conducted
his pilgrims even to Canterbury; and the tales which he has made them
tell only make us the more bitterly lament the nonfulfillment of his
original intention.

Before we speak of the narratives themselves, it will be proper to state
that our poet continues to describe the actions, conversation, and
deportment of his pilgrims: and nothing can be finer than the remarks
put into their mouths respecting the merits of the various tales; or
more dramatic than the affected bashfulness of some, when called upon to
contribute to the amusement of their companions, and the squabbles and
satirical jests made by others.

These passages, in which the tales themselves are, as it were,
incrusted, are called Prologues to the various narratives which they
respectively precede, and they add inexpressibly to the vivacity and
movement of the whole, as in some cases the tales spring, as it were,
spontaneously out of the conversations.

Of the tales themselves it will be impossible to attempt even a rapid
summary: we may mention, as the most remarkable among the serious and
pathetic narratives, the Knight’s Tale, the subject of which is the
beautiful story of Palamon and Arcite, taken from the Teseide of
Boccaccio, but it is unknown whether originally invented by the great
Italian, or, as is far more probable, imitated by him from some of the
innumerable versions of the “noble story” of Theseus current in the
Middle Ages. The poem is full of a strange mixture of manners and
periods: the chivalric and the heroic ages appear side by side: but such
is the splendor of imagination displayed in this immortal work, so rich
is it in magnificence, in pathos, in exquisite delineations of
character, and artfully contrived turns of fortune, that the reader
voluntarily dismisses all his chronology, and allows himself to be
carried away with the fresh and sparkling current of chivalric love and
knightly adventure. No reader ever began this poem without finishing it,
or ever read it once without returning to it a second time. The effect
upon the mind is like that of some gorgeous tissue, gold-inwoven, of
tapestry, in an old baronial hall; full of tournaments and battles,
imprisoned knights, and emblazoned banners, Gothic temples of Mars and
Venus, the lists, the dungeon and the lady’s bower, garden and fountain,
and moonlit groves. Chaucer’s peculiar skill in the delineation of
character and appearance by a few rapid and masterly strokes is as
perceptible here as in the Prologue to the Tales: the procession of the
kings to the tournament is as bright and vivid a piece of painting as
ever was produced by the “strong braine” of mediæval Art: and in point
of grace and simplicity, what can be finer than the single line
descriptive of the beauty of Emilie—so _suggestive_, and therefore so
superior to the most elaborate portrait—“Up rose the sun, and up rose
Emelie?”

The next poem of a serious character is the Squire’s Tale, which indeed
so struck the admiration of Milton—himself profoundly penetrated by the
spirit of the Romanz poetry—that it is by an allusion to the Squire’s
Tale that he characterizes Chaucer when enumerating the great men of all
ages, and when he places him beside Plato, Shakspeare, Æschylus, and his
beloved Euripides: he supposes his Cheerful Man as evoking Chaucer—

        And call up him who left half told
        The story of Cambuscan bold.

The imagery of the Squire’s Tale was certainly well calculated to strike
such a mind as Milton’s, so gorgeous, so stately, so heroic, and imbued
with all the splendor of Oriental literature; for the scenery and
subject of this poem bear evident marks of that Arabian influence which
colors so much of the poetry of the Middle Ages, and which probably
began to act upon the literature of Western Europe after the Crusades.

In point of deep pathos—pathos carried indeed to an extreme and perhaps
hardly natural or justifiable pitch of intensity—we will now cite,
among the graver tales of our pilgrims, the story put into the mouth of
the Clerke of Oxenforde. This is the story of the Patient Griselda—a
model of womanly and wifely obedience, who comes victoriously out of the
most cruel and repeated ordeals inflicted upon her conjugal and maternal
affections. The beautiful and angelic figure of the Patient Wife in this
heart-rending story reminds us of one of those seraphic statues of
Virgin Martyrs which stand with clasped hands and uplifted, imploring
eye, in the carved niches of a Gothic cathedral—an eternal prayer in
sculptured stone—

        ——Patience on a monument,
        Smiling at Grief!

The subject of this tale is, as we mentioned some pages back, invented
by Boccaccio, and first seen in 1374, by Petrarch, who was so struck
with its beauty that he translated it into Latin, and it is from this
translation that Chaucer drew his materials. The English poet indeed
appears to have been ignorant of Boccaccio’s claim to the authorship,
for he makes his “Clerke” say that he had learned it from “Fraunceis
Petrarke, the laureat poéte.” Petrarch himself bears the strongest
testimony to the almost overwhelming pathos of the story, for he relates
that he gave it to a Paduan acquaintance of his to read, who fell into a
repeated agony of passionate tears. Chaucer’s poem is written in the
Italian stanza.

Of the comic tales the following will be found the most excellent—The
Nun’s Priest’s Tale, a droll apologue of the Cock and the Fox, in which
the very absurdity of some of the accompaniments confers one of the
highest qualities which a fable can possess, viz. so high a degree of
individuality that the reader forgets that the persons of the little
drama are animals, and sympathizes with them as human beings; the
Merchant’s Tale, which, like the comic stories generally, though very
indelicate, is yet replete with the richest and broadest humor; the
Reve’s Tale, and many shorter stories distributed among the less
prominent characters. But the crown and pearl of Chaucer’s drollery is
the Miller’s Tale, in which the delicate and penetrating description of
the various actors in the adventure can only be surpassed by the
perfectly natural yet outrageously ludicrous catastrophe of the intrigue
in which they move.

There is certainly nothing, in the vast treasury of ancient or modern
humorous writing, at once so real, so droll, and so exquisitely _enjoué_
in the manner of telling. It is true that the subject is not of the most
delicate nature; but, though coarse and plain-speaking, Chaucer is never
corrupt or vicious: his improprieties are rather the fruit of the ruder
age in which he lived, and the turbid ebullitions of a rich and active
imagination, than the cool, analyzing, studied profligacy—the more
dangerous and corrupting because veiled under a false and morbid
sentimentalism—which denies a great portion of the modern literature of
too many civilized countries.

It is worthy of remark that all the tales are in verse with the
exception of two, one of which, singularly enough, is given to Chaucer
himself. This requires some explanation. When the poet is first called
upon for his story, he bursts out into a long, confused, fantastical
tale of chivalry, relating the adventures of a certain errant-knight,
Sir Thopas, and his wanderings in search of the Queen of Faërie. This is
written in the peculiar versification of the Trouvères (note, that it is
the only tale in which he has adopted this measure,) and is full of all
the absurdities of those compositions. When in the full swing of
declamation, and when we are expecting to be overwhelmed with page after
page of this “sleazy stuff,”—for the poet goes on gallantly, like Don
Quixote, “in the style his books of chivalry had taught him, imitating,
as near as he can, their very phrase”—he is suddenly interrupted by
honest Harry Bailey, the Host, who plays the part of Moderator or Chorus
to Chaucer’s pleasant comedy. The Host begs him, with many strong
expressions of ridicule and disgust, to give them no more of such
“drafty rhyming,” and entreats him to let them hear something less
worn-out and tiresome. The poet then proposes to entertain the party
with “a litel thinge in prose,” and relates the allegorical story of
Melibœus and his wife Patience. It is evident that Chaucer, well aware
of the immeasurable superiority of the newly-revived classical
literature over the barbarous and now exhausted invention of the Romanz
poets, has chosen this ingenious method of ridiculing the commonplace
tales of chivalry; but so exquisitely grave is the irony in this
passage, that many critics have taken the “Rime of Sir Thopas” for a
serious composition, and have regretted it was left a fragment!

The other prose tale, (we have mentioned Melibœus,) is supposed to be
related by the Parson, who is always described as a model of Christian
humility, piety, and wisdom; which does not, however, save him from the
terrible suspicion of being a _Lollard_, _i. e._, a heretical and
seditious revolutionist.

This composition hardly can be called a “tale,” for it contains neither
persons nor events; but it is very curious as a specimen of the sermons
of the early Reformers: for a sermon it is, and nothing else—a sermon
upon the Seven Deadly Sins, divided and subdivided with all the pedantic
regularity of the day. It also gives us a very curious insight into the
domestic life, the manners, the costume, and even the cookery of the
fourteenth century. Some critics have contended that this sermon was
added to the Canterbury Tales by Chaucer at the instigation of his
confessors, as a species of penitence for the light and immoral tone of
much of his writings, and particularly as a sort of recantation, or
_amende honorable_, for his innumerable attacks on the monks. But this
supposition is in direct contradiction with every line of his admirable
portrait of the Parson; and, however natural it may have been for the
licentious Boccaccio to have done such public penance for his ridicule
of the “Frati,” and his numberless sensual and immoral scenes, his
English follower was “made of sterner stuff.” The friend of John of
Gaunt, and the disciple of Wickliffe, was not so easily to be worked
upon by monastic subtlety as the more superstitious and _sensuous_
Italian.

The language of Chaucer is a strong exemplification of the structure of
the English language. The ground of his diction will be ever found to be
the pure, vigorous, Anglo-Saxon English of the people, _inlaid_—if we
may so style it—with an immense quantity of Norman-French words. We may
compare this diction to some of those exquisite specimens of
_incrusting_ left us by the obscure but great artists of the Middle
Ages, in which the polish of metal or ivory contrasts so richly with the
lustrous ebony.

The difficulty of reading this great poet is very much exaggerated: a
very moderate acquaintance with the French and Italian of the fourteenth
century, and the observance of a few simple rules of pronunciation, will
enable any educated person to read and to enjoy. In particular it is to
be remarked that the final letter _e_, occurring in so many English
words, had not yet become an _e mute_; and must constantly be
pronounced, as well as the termination of the past tense, _ed_, in a
separate syllable. The accent also is more varied in its position than
is now common in the language. Read with these precautions, Chaucer will
be found as harmonious as he is tender, magnificent, humorous, or
sublime.

Until the reader is able and willing to appreciate the innumerable
beauties of the Canterbury Tales, it is not to be expected that he can
make acquaintance with the graceful though somewhat pedantic “Court of
Love,” an allegorical poem, bearing the strongest marks of its Provençal
origin; or with the exquisite delicacy and pure chivalry of the “Flower
and the Leaf,” of which latter poem Campbell speaks as follows,
enthusiastically but justly:

“The Flower and the Leaf is an exquisite piece of fairy fancy. With a
moral that is just sufficient to apologise for a dream, and yet which
sits so lightly on the story as not to abridge its most visionary parts,
there is, in the whole scenery and objects of the poem, an air of wonder
and sweetness, an easy and surprising transition, that is truly
magical.”

We cannot conclude this brief and imperfect notice of this great poet
without strongly recommending all those who desire to know something of
the true character of English literature to lose no time in making
acquaintance with the admirable productions of “our Father Chaucer,” as
Gascoigne affectionately calls him; the difficulties of his style have
been unreasonably exaggerated, and the labor which surmounts them will
be abundantly repaid, “it will conduct you,” to use the beautiful words
of Milton, “to a hill-side; laborious indeed at the first ascent, but
else so smooth, so green, so full of goodly prospects and melodious
sounds on every side, that the harp of Orpheus was not more charming.”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                          =THE THREE SISTERS.=


                               CHAPTER I.

“Gabrielle, you should not stay out so late alone.”

“It isn’t late, sister dear, for a summer’s evening. The church clock
struck eight just as I turned into the little path across the field.”

The first speaker, who was the eldest, raised her head from her work,
and, looking at Gabrielle, said:

“For you it is too late. You are not well, Gabrielle. You are quite
flushed and tired. Where have you been?”

“Nowhere but in the village,” Gabrielle said.

She paused a moment, then added, rather hurriedly:

“I was detained by a poor sick woman I went to see. You don’t know her,
Joanna, she has just come here.”

“And who is she?” Joanna asked.

“She is a widow woman, not young, and very poor. She spoke to me in the
road the other day, and I have seen her once or twice since. She had
heard our name in the village, and to-night I promised her that you or
Bertha would go and call on her. She has been very unhappy, poor thing.
You will go, sister?”

“Certainly. You should have told me before. Go, now, and take off your
bonnet. You have walked too quickly home on this hot night.”

Another lady entered the room just as Gabrielle was leaving it, and
addressed her almost as the first had done:

“You are late, Gabrielle. What has kept you out so long?”

“Joanna will tell you,” Gabrielle answered. “I have only been finding
some work for you, sister,” and with a smile she went away.

They were two stern, cold women—Joanna and Bertha Vaux. They lived
together—they two and Gabrielle—in a dark old-fashioned house, close
to a little village, in one of the southern counties of England. It was
a pretty picturesque village, as most English villages are, with little
clusters of white-washed, rose-twined cottages sprinkled through it, and
a little rough-stone country church, covered to the very top of the
spire so thickly with ivy, that it looked like a green bower. Here and
there were scattered a few pleasant houses of the better sort, standing
apart in sunny gardens, and scenting the air around with the smell of
their sweet flowers.

But the house in which Joanna and Bertha and Gabrielle lived was always
gloomy and dark and cold. It was a square brick house, with damp,
unhealthy evergreens planted in front, upon which the sun never
shone—summer or winter; the flags which paved the front of the door and
the steps of the door, were greened over with cheerless moss; and fungi
grew up in the seams of the pavement. The windows, with their thick,
black, clumsy frames, almost all faced the north, so that the cold, dark
rooms were never lighted up with sunshine; but looked even more dreary
in the summer time, with the empty fireless grates, than on winter days.
Yet the house seemed to suit well the tastes of the two elder of the
Misses Vaux.

It had stood empty for some years before they took it; for its last
occupier had committed suicide in one of the rooms—it was just the
house for such a thing to have happened in—and the superstitious horror
which the event created in neighborhood coupled with the dark and
cheerless appearance of the house, were the causes why it remained so
long unlet and so much neglected.

About six years ago, the Misses Vaux had come quite strangers to the
village; and, in a short time were settled as tenants of the lonely
house. They were young women then—not more than three and
four-and-twenty; but already grave, severe, and stern. They dressed
always in mourning, and rarely was a smile seen on their cold lips; but
they spent their time almost entirely in performing acts of charity, in
visiting the sick, and in making clothes for the poor. For miles round
they were known and looked up to with mingled reverence and awe. But
theirs was a strange, soulless charity—more like the performance of
heavy penance than of acts of love.

There was a mystery about their antecedents. No one knew whence they
came, or who they were; they had neither relations nor friends; they
lived alone in their gloomy house, and only at long intervals—sometimes
of many months—did they receive even a single letter. They were two
sad, weary women, to whom life seemed to bring no pleasure, but to be
only a burden, which it was their stern duty to bear uncomplainingly for
a certain number of years.

Gabrielle—the beautiful, sunny-natured Gabrielle—was not with them
when they first came to the village; but three years ago she had joined
them, and the three had lived together since. She was then about
fifteen;—a bright, joyous, beautiful creature, without a thought of
sadness in her, or the faintest shadow of the gloom that rested on her
sisters. Even now, although she had lived for three years in the
chilling atmosphere that surrounded them, she was still unchanged,
almost even as much a child—as gay, thoughtless, and full of joy, as
when she first came. It reminded one of a snowdrop blooming in the
winter, forcing itself through the very midst of the surrounding snow,
to see how she had grown up with this cold, wintry environment. But the
gloomy house looked less gloomy now that Gabrielle lived in it. There
was one little room with a window looking to the south (one of three
that had a sunny aspect,) which she took to be her own, and there she
would sit for many hours, working by the open window, singing joyously,
with the sunlight streaming over her, and the breath of the sweet
flowers that she had planted in a garden as close under her window as
the sun would come, stealing deliciously into the room. It was quite a
pleasant little nook, with a view far over green undulating hills and
yellow waving corn-fields, which sparkled and glittered like plains of
moving gold in the deep bright rays of the setting sun. And Gabrielle,
sitting here and gazing on them, or roaming alone amongst them, was
quite happy and light-hearted. Even her stern sisters were thawed and
softened by her presence; and, I think, felt as much love for her as it
was in their nature to feel for any one; for, indeed, it was impossible
to resist altogether her cheering influence, which spread itself over
every thing around her with the warmth of sunshine.

On this evening on which our tale begins, and for some days previous to
it, Gabrielle had been graver and quieter than she often was. She joined
her sisters now in the common sitting-room; and, with her work in her
hand, sat down beside them near the window, but she answered their few
questions about her evening ramble with only feigned gayety, as though
she was occupied with other thoughts, or was too weary to talk; and,
presently, as the twilight gathered round them, they all sank into
silence. The one window looked across the road in which the house stood,
to a dark plantation of stunted trees that grew opposite: a very gloomy
place, which, even in the hottest summer-day, had always a chill, wintry
feeling, and from which even now a damp air was rising; and, entering
the open window, was spreading itself through the room.

“How unlike a summer evening it is in this room!” Gabrielle suddenly
broke the silence by exclaiming almost impatiently. “I wish I could,
even for once, see a ray of sunshine in it. I have often wondered how
any one could build a house in this situation.”

“And do you never imagine that there are people who care less for
sunshine than you do, Gabrielle?” Bertha asked, rather sadly.

“Yes, certainly, sister; but still it seems to me almost like a sin to
shut out the beautiful heaven’s sunlight as it has been shut out in this
house. Winter and summer, it is always alike. If it was not for my own
bright little room up stairs, I think I never should be gay here at
all.”

“Well, Gabrielle, you need not complain of the gloominess of this room
just now,” Miss Vaux said. “At nine o’clock on an August evening I
suppose all rooms look pretty much alike.”

“Oh, sister, no!” Gabrielle cried. “Have you never noticed the different
kinds of twilight? Here, in this house, it is always winter twilight,
quite colorless, and cold, and cheerless, but in other places, where the
sun has shone, it is warm, and soft, and beautiful; even for an hour, or
longer, after the sun has quite set, a faint rosy tinge, like a warm
breath, seems to rest upon the air, and to shed such peace and almost
holiness over every thing. That was the kind of twilight, I think of it
so often, that there used to be at home. I remember, so very, very long
ago, how I used to sit on the ground at my mother’s feet in the summer
evenings, looking out through the open window at the dear old garden,
where every thing was so very still and quiet that it seemed to me the
very trees must have fallen asleep, and how she used to tell us fairy
stories in the twilight. Sisters, do you remember it?” Gabrielle asked,
her voice tremulous, but not altogether, so it seemed, with emotion that
the recollection had called up.

“I do,” Miss Vaux said, in a voice clear and cold, and hard as ice. From
Bertha there came no answer.

“It is one of the few things I recollect about her,” Gabrielle said
again, very softly, “the rest is almost all indistinct, like a
half-forgotten dream. I was only four years old, you say, Joanna, when
she died?”

“You know it; why do you ask?” Miss Vaux said, harshly and quickly.

There was a pause. It was so dark that none of their faces could be
seen, but one might have told, from the quick nervous way in which,
unconsciously, Gabrielle was clasping and unclasping her hand, that
there was some struggle going on within her. At last, very timidly, her
voice trembling, though she tried hard to steady it, she spoke again.

“Sisters, do not be angry with me. Often, lately I have wished so very
much to ask you some things about my mother. Oh, let me ask them now.
Dear sisters, tell me why it is that you never speak to me, or almost
allow me to speak, of her? Is it because it grieves you so much to think
of her death, or is there any other cause”—her voice sank so low that
it was almost a whisper—“why her name is never mentioned amongst us? I
have kept silence about this for so long, for I knew you did not wish to
speak of it; but, oh sisters, tell me now! Ought I not to know about my
own mother?”

“Hush!” Miss Vaux said, in a voice stern and harsh. “Gabrielle, you do
not know what you are asking. Let it be enough for you to learn that any
thing I could tell you of your mother could give you nothing but pain to
hear—pain which we would gladly spare you yet, knowing, as we so well
do, the great bitterness of it. I ask you for all our sakes, yours as
much as ours, never again be the first to mention your mother’s name!”

She had risen from her seat, and stood upright before Gabrielle, the
outline of her tall, dark figure showing clearly against the window. In
her voice there was not one trace of emotion; her whole manner was hard,
and cold, and unimpassioned; like that of one who had, long ago, subdued
all gentle feelings.

Gabrielle’s tears were falling fast, but she made no answer to Miss
Vaux’s words. She stood much in awe of both her sisters, especially of
the eldest, and knew well how hopeless all remonstrance with her would
be.

After a few moments Bertha laid her hand on Gabrielle’s shoulder,
saying, with something of gentleness in her voice:

“You distress yourself too much, my child. Trust more in us, Gabrielle.
We would try to keep sorrow from you; do not make it impossible.”

“Yes, yes; I know it is meant kindly toward me,” Gabrielle said, gently,
“but you forget that I suffer from being in ignorance. I cannot forget
that you are concealing something from me.”

“Which I would to God I could conceal from you forever,” Miss Vaux said.
“Gabrielle, foolish child, do not seek for sorrow; it will come quickly
enough of itself;” and she turned from her with some muttered words that
her sister could not hear.

Gabrielle tried to speak again; but Bertha raised her hand warningly,
and they were all silent; Gabrielle with her face bowed down upon her
hands in the thick twilight.

“We will close the window and have lights,” Bertha said, after some time
had passed; “the night air is getting cold.”

With a deep sigh Gabrielle rose, and drew down the open window, standing
there for some minutes alone, and looking out upon the dark evergreen
grove.


                              CHAPTER II.

“I am going into the village,” Miss Vaux said. “If you will tell me
where that poor woman lives you were speaking of last night, Gabrielle,
I will call upon her now.”

“Let me go with you,” Gabrielle said quickly. “I told her we would come
together. Wait for me one minute, and I will be ready.”

“I scarcely see the need of it. You are looking pale and ill, Gabrielle.
I would advise you to stay in the house and rest.”

“I have a headache, and the air will do it good,” Gabrielle answered.
“Let me go, sister?”

“As you will, then,” Miss Vaux said, and Gabrielle went away to dress.

She had not yet recovered her usual gay spirits; but was still grave,
quiet, and apparently occupied with her own thoughts, and the two walked
side by side, almost without speaking, along the little path over the
field which lay between their house and the village. It was a very
bright, sunny summer’s day; too hot, indeed, for walking, but beautiful
to look at. The heat seemed to weary Gabrielle, she walked so very
slowly, and was so pale.

“This is the house, sister. We go through the kitchen; she has the room
above.”

They raised the latch and went in. No one was in the lower room; so they
passed through, and ascended a low, narrow staircase, almost like a
ladder, which rose abruptly from a doorway at the farther side, until
they reached another door which stood facing them, without any landing
between it and the highest step. Gabrielle knocked, and a faint voice
from within answered—“Come in;” and she entered, followed by her
sister. It was a very small room, and very bare of furniture; for there
was little in it but a deal bedstead, an old table, and one or two odd
ricketty chairs, in one of which—that boasted of a pair of broken arms,
and something that had once been a cushion—sat the woman they had come
to visit.

Gabrielle went quickly up to her, and taking her hand said in a low
voice—

“I have brought my sister, as I promised—my eldest sister.”

The woman bowed her head without speaking then tried to rise from her
seat, but she seemed very weak, and her hand trembled as she leaned on
the arm of her chair.

“Do not rise, my good woman,” Miss Vaux said kindly; and her voice
sounded almost soft—she was so used to attune it so as to be in harmony
with a sick chamber—“do not rise; I see you are very weak,” and she
drew a chair near, and sat down by her side

“You have come quite lately to the village, my sister tells me.”

“Quite lately, less than a week ago,” was the answer; but spoken in so
low a voice that the words were scarcely audible.

“Were you ever here before? Have you any connection with the place?”
Miss Vaux asked.

“No, none.”

“But you had probably some motive in coming here? Have you no relations
or friends?”

“No, no,” the woman cried, suddenly bursting into tears, “I have no
friends, no friends in the wide world.”

A gentle hand was laid on her shoulder; a gentle voice whispered some
soft words in her ear, and the woman looked up into Gabrielle’s dark
eyes, and murmured something between her sobs. Then they were all silent
for a few moments.

“I think you are a widow,” Miss Vaux asked gently, when she had become
calmer.

“Yes,” she answered slowly, as though the word had been dragged from
her, so much it seemed to pain her to speak it.

“And have you any children?”

A moment’s pause, and then another “yes,” hardly intelligible from the
choking sob which accompanied it.

Miss Vaux was silent, looking inquiringly into the woman’s face. It was
partly turned from her, partly shaded with her thin hand; her large eyes
looking up with a strange agonized look into Gabrielle’s eyes, her pale
lips moving convulsively. Gabrielle’s face was almost as pale as hers;
her look almost as full of agony.

Miss Vaux glanced from one to the other, at first with pity; then
suddenly a quick change came over her face, a deep flush mounted to her
brow, she darted from her seat, and—calm as she ordinarily was—her
whole figure trembled as she stood before them, with her fierce gaze
turned on them.

Pale as death, neither of them speaking, they bore her passionate look;
quite motionless, too, except that Gabrielle had instinctively clasped
the widow’s hand in hers, and held it tightly.

“Speak to me, Gabrielle!” Miss Vaux cried; and her voice, harsh, loud,
and quivering with passion, echoed through the room—“tell me who this
woman is?”

From the widow’s lips there burst one word—one word like a sudden
bitter cry—“Joanna!”

She stretched out her arms imploringly, trying to grasp even her
daughter’s dress; but Miss Vaux sprung from her, and stood erect in the
center of the room; her tall figure drawn to its full height; her
burning eye still turned with unutterable anger upon the crouching woman
near her.

“You have dared to do this. You have dared to seek us out here, where we
had hoped to hide ourselves from the scoffing of the bitter, heartless
world; where we had tried by acts of charity, by suffering and penance,
to blot out the recollection of the shame that you have brought upon us!
Are we nowhere secure from you? What have we to do with you? You cast us
off years ago.”

“Sister, sister,” cried Gabrielle’s imploring voice, “oh, remember,
whatever she has done, that she is still our mother. Have mercy on her,
for she cannot bear this!”

But sternly and coldly came Miss Vaux’s answer—

“Did she remember that we were her children when she left us? Did she
remember that our father was her husband? We all loved her then—she was
very dear to us—but she turned all our warm love into bitterness. She
destroyed our happiness at one stroke, for ever; she blighted, without a
pang, all the hope of our young lives; she branded us with a mark of
shame that we can never shake off; she plunged an arrow into the heart
of each of us, which lies festering there now. Are these things to be
forgiven? I tell you it is impossible! I will never forgive her—I swore
it by my father’s deathbed—never while I live! Gabrielle, this is no
place for you. Come home with me.”

“Hear me first?” the mother cried, creeping from the seat in which she
had sunk back, and cowering, with hidden face, had listened to her
daughter’s words, “hear me before you go! I have deserved every
thing—every thing you can say; but oh, from you it is bitter to hear
it! Oh! my daughter, listen to me.” She flung herself at Miss Vaux’s
feet, on the bare floor.

“You speak of the sorrows I have brought upon you—the sorrow and the
shame; but have they equalled what I have endured? Day and night—day
and night—through months and years—fourteen long years—oh, think of
it! I have wished to kill myself, but I dared not do it; I have prayed
fervently to die. Oh, no, no, stay and listen to me! My last hope—my
last hope in heaven and earth is only with you. Oh, my daughter! you say
you loved me once—will not one spark of the old love live again? I will
try yet once more to move you to pity. I have not told you all. I have
not told you how, in my agony, I tried to find rest and peace; how I
sought it everywhere—wandering from place to place alone, in hunger and
thirst, in cold and weariness, in poverty and wretchedness; finding none
anywhere, until at last, worn out with misery, I wandered here. And here
I saw Gabrielle, my beautiful child, my love, my darling!”

The wan face lighted up with passionate love, as she looked at her who
was kneeling by her side.

“She believed me when I told her of my sorrow. She comforted me with
such sweet words, that they sank like healing balm into my soul, as
though an angel’s voice had spoken. Do not take her from me!”

“Mother, do not fear,” Gabrielle’s soothing voice whispered, “I will
stay with you—did I not promise it?”

“Gabrielle!” cried Miss Vaux, “come with me, and leave her. The tie that
once bound us to her she herself has severed for ever; we have nothing
further to do with her. Gabrielle, come!”

“I cannot come. She is my mother. I cannot leave her.”

“And we are your sisters. To whom do you owe most? We have watched over
you through your life; we have shielded you from sorrow; we have loved
you almost with the love that she ought to have given you. You have been
the single joy that we have had for years. Have you no love to give us
in return for all we have given you? Oh, Gabrielle—my sister, I pray
you!—I, who am so little used to entreat any one, I pray you for the
sake of the love we have borne you—for the sake of the honor that is
still left us—for the sake of all that you hold sacred—come, come back
with us!”

A low moan burst from the mother’s lips; for Gabrielle, weeping
bitterly, rose from her knees, and threw herself into her sister’s arms.

“Heaven bless you for this!” Miss Vaux exclaimed; but interrupting her
in a broken voice, Gabrielle cried—

“You do not understand me. I cannot return with you. No, sister. Any
thing—any thing else I will do, but I cannot forsake her in her
penitence. Can you do it yourself? Oh! sister, will you not take her
home?”

“I will not.”

There was a long pause, broken once or twice by the deep sobs that
seemed bursting the mother’s heart. Then Miss Vaux spoke again,
earnestly, even imploringly—

“Gabrielle, I ask you once more, for the last time, to return with me.
Foolish child, think what you are doing. You are bringing down your
father’s dying curse upon your head—you are piercing the hearts of
those who love you with new and bitter sorrow; you are
closing—willfully closing—against yourself the door that is still open
to receive you; you are making yourself homeless—a wanderer—perhaps a
beggar. Oh, my dear sister Gabrielle, think once more—think of all
this!”

“Sister, spare me further; your words wound me; but I have decided, and
I cannot return with you. My mother’s home is my home.”

“Then I say no more,” Miss Vaux exclaimed, while her whole figure shook.
“May God forgive you for what you do this day!”

The door closed, and Gabrielle and her mother were left alone.

Gently and lovingly Gabrielle raised her from the ground, led her to her
seat, and tried to calm and soothe her—though she wept herself the
while—with cheerful, tender words.

“Mother, are you not glad to have me with you—your own little
Gabrielle? You said it would make you happy, and yet see how you are
weeping. Hush! mother dear, hush! I will be always with you now, to
nurse you, and take care of you, and comfort you, and you will get
strong and well soon; and some day, mother, some day perhaps their
hearts will soften, and they will forgive us both, and take us home to
them, and we will all live again together, loving one another.” And
Gabrielle tried to smile through the tears that were falling still.

“My child, I am weak and selfish,” the mother said. “I should have told
you to go back to your home, and to leave me, but I could not do it. Yet
even now my heart is reproaching me for what I have done. How are we to
live? My Gabrielle, you do not know how I have struggled and labored,
sometimes, only for a crust of bread.”

“Mother, you shall labor no more. My sisters are very just: all that is
mine they will give me. We will live on very little; we will find out
some quiet little village, where no one will know who we are, or where
we came from, and there we will rest together. I will never leave you
more—never more until death parts us.”

She hung upon her mother’s neck, kissing the pale brow and sunken cheek,
and wiping away the tears that were yet falling: though more slowly and
more calmly falling now.


                              CHAPTER III.

“. . Of whom may we seek for succor, but of Thee, O Lord, who for our
sins are justly displeased? . .

“. . earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain
hope of the Resurrection to eternal life. . .”

“I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write. From henceforth
blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord; even so saith the Spirit,
for they do rest from their labors.”

It was a burial in a village church-yard, and standing by an open grave
there was one mourner only, a woman—Bertha Vaux. Alone, in sadness and
silence, with few tears—for she was little used to weep—she stood and
looked upon her sister’s funeral; stood and saw the coffin lowered, and
heard the first handful of earth fall rattling on the coffin lid; then
turned away, slowly, to seek her solitary house. The few spectators
thought her cold and heartless; perhaps if they could have raised that
black veil, they would have seen such sorrow in her face as might have
moved the hearts of most of them.

The sun shone warmly over hill and vale that summer’s day, but Bertha
Vaux shivered as she stepped within the shadow of her lonely house. It
was so cold there; so cold and damp and dark, as if the shadow of that
death that had entered it was still lingering around. The stunted
evergreens, on which, since they first grew, no sunlight had ever
fallen, no single ray of golden light to brighten their dark, sad leaves
for years, looked gloomier, darker, sadder, than they had ever looked
before; the very house, with its closed shutters—all closed, except one
in the room where the dead had lain—seemed mourning for the stern
mistress it had lost. A lonely woman now, lonely and sad, was Bertha
Vaux.

She sat in the summer evening in her silent, cheerless room. It was so
very still, not even a breath of wind to stir the trees; no voice of
living thing to break upon her solitude; no sound even of a single
footstep on the dusty road; but in the solitude that was around her,
countless thoughts seemed springing into life; things long forgotten;
feelings long smothered; hopes once bright—bright as the opening of her
life had been, that had faded and been buried long ago.

She thought of the time when she and her sister, fifteen years ago, had
come first to the lonely house where now she was; of a few years
later—two or three—when another younger sister had joined them there;
and it seemed to Bertha, looking back, as if the house had sometimes
then been filled with sunlight. The dark room in which she sat had once
been lightened up—was it with the light from Gabrielle’s bright eyes?
In these long, sad fifteen years, that little time stood out so clearly,
so hopefully; it brought the tears to Bertha’s eyes, thinking of it in
her solitude. And how had it ended? For ten years nearly, now—for ten
long years—the name of Gabrielle had never been spoken in that house.
The light was gone—extinguished in a moment, suddenly; a darkness
deeper than before had ever since fallen on the lonely house.

The thought of the years that had passed since then—of their
eventlessness and weary sorrow; and then the thought of the last scene
of all—that scene which still was like a living presence to her—her
sister’s death.

Joanna Vaux had been cold, stern, and unforgiving to the last; meeting
death, unmoved; repenting of no hard thing that she had done throughout
her sad, stern life; entering the valley of the shadow of death
fearlessly. But that cold death-bed struck upon the heart of the
solitary woman who watched beside it, and wakened thoughts and doubts
there, which would not rest. She wept now as she thought of it, sadly
and quietly, and some murmured words burst from her lips, which sounded
like a prayer—not for herself only.

Then from her sister’s death-bed she went far, far back—to her own
childhood—and a scene rose up before her; one that she had closed her
eyes on many a time before, thinking vainly that so she could crush it
from her heart, but now she did not try to force it back. The dark room
where she sat, the gloomy, sunless house, seemed fading from her sight;
the long, long years, with their weary train of shame and suffering—all
were forgotten. She was in her old, lost home again—the home where she
was born; she saw a sunny lawn, embowered with trees, each tree familiar
to her and remembered well, and she herself, a happy child, was standing
there; and by her side—with soft arms twining round her, with tender
voice, and gentle, loving eyes, and bright hair glittering in the
sunlight—there was one!

Oh, Bertha! hide thy face and weep. She was so lovely and so loving, so
good and true, so patient and so tender, then. “Oh! how could’st thou
forget it all, and steel thy heart against her, and vow the cruel vow
never to forgive her sin? Thy mother—thy own mother, Bertha! think of
it.”

A shadow fell across the window beside which she sat, and through her
blinding tears Bertha looked up, and saw a woman standing there, holding
by the hand a little child. Her face was very pale and worn, with sunken
eyes and cheeks; her dress was mean and poor. She looked haggard and
weary, and weak and ill; but Bertha knew that it was Gabrielle come
back. She could not speak, for such a sudden rush of joy came to her
softened heart that all words seemed swallowed up in it; such deep
thankfulness for the forgiveness that seemed given her, that her first
thought was not a welcome, but a prayer.

Gabrielle stood without, looking at her with her sad eyes.

“We are alone,” she said, “and very poor; will you take us in?”

Sobbing with pity and with joy, Bertha rose from her seat and hurried to
the door. Trembling, she drew the wanderers in; then falling on her
sister’s neck, her whole heart melted, and she cried, with gushing
tears,

“Gabrielle, dear sister Gabrielle, I, too, am all alone!”

                 *        *        *        *        *

The tale that Gabrielle had to tell was full enough of sadness. They had
lived together, she and her mother, for about a year, very peacefully,
almost happily; and then the mother died, and Gabrielle soon after
married one who had little to give her but his love. And after that the
years passed on with many cares and griefs—for they were very poor, and
he not strong—but with a great love ever between them, which softened
the pain of all they had to bear. At last, after being long ill, he
died, and poor Gabrielle and her child were left to struggle on alone.

“I think I should have died,” she said, as weeping, she told her story
to her sister, “if it had not been for my boy; and _I_ could so well
have borne to die; but, Bertha, I could not leave him to starve! It
pierced my heart with a pang so bitter that I cannot speak of it, to see
his little face grow daily paler; his little feeble form become daily
feebler and thinner; to watch the sad, unchildlike look fixing itself
hourly deeper in his sweet eyes—so mournful, so uncomplaining, so full
of misery. The sight killed me day by day; and then at last, in my
despair, I said to myself that I would come again to you. I thought,
sister—I hoped—that you would take my darling home, and then I could
have gone away and died. But God bless you!—God bless you for the
greater thing that you have done, my kind sister Bertha. Yes—kiss me,
sister dear: it is so sweet. I never thought to feel a sister’s kiss
again.”

Then kneeling down by Gabrielle’s side, with a low voice Bertha said:

“I have thought of many things to-day. Before you came, Gabrielle, my
heart was very full; for in the still evening, as I sat alone, the
memories of many years came back to me as they have not done for very
long. I thought of my two sisters: how the one had ever been so good and
loving and true-hearted; the other—though she was just, or believed
herself to be so—so hard, and stern, and harsh—as, God forgive me,
Gabrielle, I too have been. I thought of this, and understood it
clearly, as I had never done before: and then my thoughts went back, and
rested on my mother—on our old home—on all the things that I had loved
so well, long ago, and that for years had been crushed down in my heart
and smothered there. Oh, Gabrielle, such things rushed back upon me;
such thoughts of her whom we have scorned so many years; such dreams of
happy by-gone days; such passionate regrets; such hope, awakening from
its long, long sleep—no, sister, let me weep—do not wipe the tears
away: let me tell you of my penitence and grief—it does me good; my
heart is so full—so full that I must speak now, or it would burst!”

“Then you shall speak to me, and tell me all, dear sister. Ah! we have
both suffered—we will weep together. Lie down beside me; see, there is
room here for both. Yes; lay your head upon me; rest it on my shoulder.
Give me your hand now—ah! how thin it is—almost as thin as mine. Poor
sister Bertha; poor, kind sister!”

So gently Gabrielle soothed her, forgetting her own grief and weariness
in Bertha’s more bitter suffering and remorse. It was very beautiful to
see how tenderly and patiently she did it, and how her gentle words
calmed down the other’s passionate sorrow. So different from one another
their grief was. Gabrielle’s was a slow, weary pain, which, day by day,
had gradually withered her, eating its way into her heart; then resting
there, fixing itself there for ever. Bertha’s was like the quick, sudden
piercing of a knife—a violent sorrow, that did its work in hours
instead of years, convulsing body and soul for a little while, purifying
them as with a sharp fire, then passing away and leaving no aching pain
behind, but a new cleansed spirit.

In the long summer twilight—the beautiful summer twilight that never
sinks into perfect night—these two women lay side by side together; she
that was oldest in suffering still comforting the other, until Bertha’s
tears were dried, and exhausted with the grief that was so new to her,
she lay silent in Gabrielle’s arms—both silent, looking into the summer
night, and thinking of the days that were forever past. And sleeping at
their feet lay Gabrielle’s child, not forgotten by her watchful love,
though the night had deepened so that she could not see him where he
lay.


                              CHAPTER IV.

“We will not stay here, sister,” Bertha had said. “This gloomy house
will always make us sad. It is so dark and cold here, and Willie, more
than any of us, needs the sunlight to strengthen and cheer him, poor
boy.”

“And I, too, shall be glad to leave it,” Gabrielle answered.

So they went. They did not leave the village; it was a pretty, quiet
place, and was full of old recollections to them—more bitter than
sweet, perhaps, most of them—but still such as it would have been pain
to separate themselves from entirely, as, indeed, it is always sad to
part from things and places which years, either of joy or sorrow, have
made us used to. So they did not leave it, but chose a little cottage, a
mile or so from their former house—a pleasant little cottage in a dell,
looking to the south, with honeysuckle and ivy twining together over it,
up to the thatched roof. A cheerful little nook it was, not over bright
or gay, but shaded with large trees all round it, through whose green
branches the sunlight came, softened and mellowed, into the quiet rooms.
An old garden, too, there was, closed in all round with elm trees—a
peaceful, quiet place, where one would love to wander, or to lie for
hours upon the grass, looking through the green leaves upward to the
calm blue sky.

To Gabrielle, wearied with her sorrow, this place was like an oasis in
the desert. It was so new a thing to her to find rest anywhere: to find
one little spot where she could lay her down, feeling no care for the
morrow. Like one exhausted with long watching, she seemed now for a time
to fall asleep.

The summer faded into autumn; the autumn into winter. A long, cold
winter it was, the snow lying for weeks together on the frozen ground;
the bitter, withering east wind moaning day and night through the great
branches of the bare old elms, swaying them to and fro, and strewing the
snowy earth with broken boughs; a cold and bitter winter, withering not
only trees and shrubs, but sapping out the life from human hearts.

He was a little, delicate boy, that child of Gabrielle’s. To look at
him, it seemed a wonder how he ever could have lived through all their
poverty and daily struggles to get bread; how that little feeble body
had not sunk into its grave long ago. In the bright summer’s days a ray
of sunlight had seemed to pierce to the little frozen heart, and warming
the chilled blood once more, had sent it flowing through his veins,
tinging the pale cheek with rose; but the rose faded as the summer
passed away, and the little marble face was pale as ever when the winter
snow began to fall; the large, dark eyes, which had reflected the
sunbeams for a few short months, were heavy and dim again. And then
presently there came another change. A spot of crimson—a deep red
rose—not pale and delicate like the last, glowed often on each hollow
cheek; a brilliant light burned in the feverish, restless eye; a hollow,
painful cough shook the little emaciated frame. So thin he was, so
feeble, so soon wearied. Day by day the small, thin hand grew thinner
and more transparent; the gentle voice and childish laugh lower and
feebler; the sweet smile sweeter, and fainter, and sadder.

And Gabrielle saw it all, and bowing to the earth in bitter mourning,
prepared herself for this last great sorrow.

The spring came slowly on—slowly, very slowly. The green leaves opened
themselves, struggling in their birth with the cold wind. It was very
clear and bright; the sun shone all day long; but for many weeks there
had been no rain, and the ground was quite parched up.

“No, Willie, dear,” Gabrielle said, “you mustn’t go out to-day. It is
too cold for you yet, dear boy.”

“But, indeed, it isn’t cold, mother. Feel here, where the sun is
falling, how warm it is; put your hand upon it. Oh, mother, let me go
out,” poor Willie said, imploringly. “I am so weary of the hours. I wont
try to run about, only let me go and lie in the sunlight!”

“Not to-day, my darling, wait another day; perhaps the warm winds will
come. Willie, dear child, it would make you ill, you must not go.”

“You say so every day, mother,” Willie said sadly, “and my head is
aching so with staying in the house.”

And at last, he praying so much for it, one day they took him out. It
was a very sunny day, with scarcely a cloud in the bright, blue sky; and
Bertha and Gabrielle made a couch for him in a warm, sheltered corner,
and laid him on it. Poor child, he was so glad to feel himself in the
open air again. It made him so happy, that he laughed and talked as he
had not done for months before; lying with his mother’s hand in his,
supported in her arms, she kneeling so lovingly beside him, listening
with a strange, passionate mingling of joy and misery to the feeble but
merry little voice that, scarcely ever ceasing, talked to her.

Poor Gabrielle, it seemed to her such a fearful mockery of the happiness
that she knew could never be hers any more for ever; but, forcing back
her grief upon her own sad heart, she laughed and talked gayly with him,
showing by no sign how sorrowful she was,

“Mother, mother!” he cried, suddenly clapping his little, wasted hands,
“I see a violet—a pure white violet, in the dark leaves there. Oh,
fetch it to me! It’s the first spring flower. The very first violet of
all! Oh, mother, dear, I love them—the little sweet-smelling flowers.”

“Your eyes are quicker than mine, Willie; I shouldn’t have seen it, it
is such a little thing. There it is, dear boy. I wish there were more
for you.”

“Ah, they will soon come now. I am so glad I have seen the first.
Mother, do you remember how I used to gather them at home, and bring
them to papa when he was ill? He liked them, too—just as I do now.”

“I remember it well, dear,” Gabrielle answered softly.

“How long ago that time seems now,” Willie said; then, after a moment’s
peace, he asked a little sadly, “Mother, what makes me so different now
from what I used to be? I was so strong and well once, and could run
about the whole day long; mother, dear, when shall I run about again?”

“You are very weak, dear child, just now. We mustn’t talk of running
about for a little time to come.”

“No, not for a little time; but when do you think, mother?” The little
voice trembled suddenly: “I feel sometimes so weak—so weak, as if I
never could get strong again.”

Hush, Gabrielle! Press back that bitter sob into thy sorrowful heart,
lest the dying child hear it!

“Do not fear, my darling, do not fear. You will be quite well, very soon
now.”

He looked into her tearful eye, as she tried to smile on him, with a
strange, unchildlike look, as if he partly guessed the meaning in her
words, but did not answer her, nor could she speak again, just then.

“Mother, sing to me,” he said, “sing one of the old songs I used to
love. I haven’t heard you sing for—oh so long!”

Pressing her hand upon her bosom, to still her heart’s unquiet beating,
Gabrielle tried to sing one of the old childish songs with which, in
days long past, she had been wont to nurse her child asleep. The long
silent voice—silent here so many years—awoke again, ringing through
the still air with all its former sweetness. Though fainter than it was
of old, Bertha heard it, moving through the house; and came to the open
window to stand there and listen, smiling to herself to think that
Gabrielle could sing again, and half weeping at some other thoughts
which the long unheard voice recalled to her.

“Oh, mother, I like that,” Willie murmured softly, as the song died
away, “it’s like long ago to hear you sing.”

They looked into one another’s eyes, both filling fast with tears; then
Willie, with childish sympathy, though knowing little why she grieved,
laid his arm round her neck, trying with his feeble strength to draw her
toward him. She bent forward to kiss him; then hid her face upon his
neck that he might not see how bitterly she wept, and he, stroking her
soft hair with his little hand, murmured the while some gentle words
that only made her tears flow faster. So they lay, she growing calmer
presently, for a long while.

“Now, darling, you have staid here long enough,” Gabrielle said at last,
“you must let me carry you into the house again.”

“Must I go so soon mother? See how bright the sun is still.”

“But see, too, how long and deep the shadows are getting, Willie. No, my
dear one, you must come in now.”

“Mother dear, I am so happy to-day—so happy, and so much better than I
have been for a long time, and I know it is only because you have let me
come out here, and lie in the sunlight. You will let me come
again—every day, dear mother?”

How could she refuse the pleading voice its last request? How could she
look upon the little shrunken figure, upon the little face, with its
beseeching, gentle eyes, and deny him what he asked—that she might keep
him to herself a few short days longer?

“You shall come, my darling, if it makes you so happy,” she said, very
softly: then she took him in her arms, and bore him to the house,
kissing him with a wild passion that she could not hide.

And so for two or three weeks, in the bright, sunny morning, Willie was
always laid on his couch in the sheltered corner near the elm trees; but
though he was very happy lying there, and would often talk gayly of the
time when he should be well again, he never got strong any more.

Day by day Gabrielle watched him, knowing that the end was coming very
near; but, with her strong mother’s love, hiding her sorrow from him.
She never told him that he was dying; but sometimes they spoke together
of death, and often—for he liked to hear her—she would sing sweet
hymns to him, that told of the heaven he was so soon going to.

For two or three weeks it went on thus, and then the last day came. He
had been suffering very much with the terrible cough, each paroxysm of
which shook the wasted frame with a pain that pierced to Gabrielle’s
heart: and all day he had had no rest. It was a day in May—a soft, warm
day. But the couch beneath the trees was empty. He was too weak even to
be carried there, but lay restlessly turning on his little bed, through
the long hours, showing by his burning cheek, and bright but heavy eye,
how ill and full of pain he was. And by his side, as ever, Gabrielle
knelt, soothing him with tender words; bathing the little hands, and
moistening the lips; bending over him and gazing on him with all her
passionate love beaming in her tearful eyes. But she was wonderfully
calm—watching like a gentle angel over him.

Through the long day, and far into the night, and still no rest or ease.
Gabrielle never moved from beside him: she could feel no fatigue; her
sorrow seemed to bear her up with a strange strength. At last, he was so
weak that he could not raise his head from the pillow.

He lay very still, with his mother’s hand in his; the flush gradually
passing away from his cheek, until it became quite pale, like marble,
the weary eye half closed.

“You are not suffering much, my child?”

“Oh! no, mother, not now. I am so much better!”

So much better! How deep the words went down into her heart.

“I am so sleepy,” said the little plaintive voice again. “If I go to
sleep, wouldn’t you sleep, too? You must be so tired, mother.”

“See, my darling, I will lay down here by you; let me raise your head a
moment—there—lay it upon me. Can you sleep so?”

“Ah! yes, mother; that is very good.”

He was closing his eyes, when a strong impulse that Gabrielle could not
resist, made her rouse him for a moment, for she knew that he was dying.

“Willie, before you sleep, have you strength to say your evening
prayer?”

“Yes, mother.”

Meekly folding the little thin white hands, he offered up his simple
thanksgiving, then said, “Our Father.” The little voice toward the end
was very faint and weak; and as he finished, his head, which he had
feebly tried to bend forward, fell back more heavily on Gabrielle’s
bosom.

“Good night, mother dear. Go to sleep.”

“Good night, my darling. God bless you, Willie, my child!”

And then they never spoke to one another any more. One sweet look upward
to his mother’s face, and the gentle eyes closed for ever.

As he fell asleep, through the parted curtains, the morning light stole
faintly in. Another day was breaking; but before the sun rose,
Gabrielle’s child was dead. Softly in his sleep the spirit had passed
away. When Bertha came in, after the few hours’ rest that she had
snatched, she found the chamber all quiet, and Gabrielle still
holding—folded in her arms—the lifeless form that had been so very
dear to her.

There was no violent grief in her. His death had been so peaceful and
holy, that at first she did not even shed tears. Quite calmly she knelt
down by his side when they had laid him in his white dress on the bed,
and kissed his pate brow and lips, looking almost reproachfully on
Bertha, as—standing by her side—she sobbed aloud; quite calmly, too,
she let them lead her from the room, and as they bade her, she lay down
upon her bed, and closed her eyes as if to sleep. And then in her
solitude, in the darkened room, she wept quite silently, stretching out
her arms, and crying for her child.

For many years two gentle, quiet women lived alone in the little cottage
in the dell, moving amongst the dwellers in that country village like
two ministering angels; nursing the sick, comforting the sorrowful,
helping the needy, soothing many a deathbed with their gentle, holy
words; spreading peace around them wheresoever their footsteps went. And
often in the summer evenings, one of them—the youngest and most
beautiful—would wend her quiet way to the old church-yard, and there,
in a green, sunny spot, would calmly sit and work for hours, while the
lime-trees waved their leaves above her, and the sunlight shining
through them, danced and sparkled on a little grave.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =LAY OF THE CRUSADER.=


                         =BY WM. H. C. HOSMER.=


                     Ginevra! Ginevra!
                   Thy girlish lip is mute;
                 And silent, in ancestral hall,
                   Hangs now thy gilded lute;
                 With trophies from the Holy Land
                   Hath come thine own true Knight,
                 To wildly wish the desert sand
                   Had drank his blood in fight.

                     Ginevra! Ginevra!
                   By palmer wert thou told,
                 That on the plains of Palestine
                   My corse was lying cold;
                 And credence giving to the tale,
                   Went up wild prayer to _die_,
                 While suddenly thy cheek grew pale,
                   And lustreless thine eye.

                     Ginevra! Ginevra!
                   No more thy lulling voice,
                 When twilight paints the sky, will trill
                   The ballad of my choice;
                 Thy parting gift, my buried bride,
                   Will nerve this arm no more,
                 When speeds my barb with fetlock dyed
                   In Saracenic gore.

                     Ginevra! Ginevra!
                   Death holds in icy thrall
                 Thy loveliness of form and face,
                   In his unlighted hall;
                 With laurels from the Holy Land
                   Hath come thine own true Knight,
                 To wildly wish the desert sand
                   Had drank his blood in fight.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                      =JOY MURMURS IN THE OCEAN.=


                        =BY CHARLES H. STEWART.=


                    Joy murmurs in the ocean,
                      And laughs on shore outright;
                    The world’s in glorious motion—
                      Save mine, all hearts are light.

                    To tread in sunlight places,
                      With heart so strange the while—
                    To gaze in gladsome faces,
                      When all but you can smile—

                    To live while Hope’s high heaven
                      To others lends a ray,
                    To you no gleam is given—
                      Is this not grief, O say?

                 *        *        *        *        *



                             =A VISIT.[2]=


                         =BY FREDERIKA BREMER.=


One winter evening it so happened that I was alone at home. A slight
indisposition had kept me for two or three days within doors, and,
though I was now well, it was thought advisable for me to remain quiet
this night, and not go to any of the parties that carried off the rest
of the family. And I was quite satisfied—then I used most to enjoy
myself, when all alone at home; and with much good humor and many good
wishes I said adieu to father and mother, sister and brothers, as some
went to the opera, and some to a ball, and some to a concert. Then,
though we were generally a very quiet household, with a drop or two of
gloominess coming from . . . . . no matter what—we had just obtained a
brighter place than usual: my eldest sister having become engaged to an
excellent young man, and my youngest brother being just returned from
college with very flattering testimonials, and full of hope and
joyfulness, and love of his youngest sister, who also was equally in
love with her brother. For myself, I was at that interesting period in a
woman’s life where she, young still, but not in her first youth, feels
disposed to settle down in some way, and is not without offers or
opportunities, but still does not feel bound to sacrifice her freedom to
any thing below her heart’s choice.

Well, they—my kith and kin—all went out, and I was left alone. I felt
quite pleased with it. Putting out the lights, except one in each of the
chandeliers in the two drawing-rooms, I began to walk slowly up and down
the soft carpets, enjoying the solitude, and the pleasant light shedding
itself from above over the rooms and their furniture. It was a romantic
_clair obscur_, soft, and a little melancholy—and this evening I felt
very romantic. A slight, not unpleasant, weakness remained after the
past illness; but I was perfectly well, and with every moment a fresh
gush of health and delicious life seemed to swell my heart and pervade
my whole being: a certain soft emotion kept rising within me. On the
whole, I felt not quite so happy at being alone the whole evening. I
wished somebody would come and partake of my solitude; it was too full
for me. My heart bounded with sympathy toward my fellow creatures; with
good will to love, and to be loved; to interchange endearing words and
good offices. I wanted only to give; I wanted only somebody good enough
to receive; I felt my heart overflowing with good will for all the world
and all the people in it. I left the door to the vestibule unlocked, in
hope—not as in the extravagant fancies of my childhood—in hope that
robbers and burglars would come in and give me an opportunity to develop
some wonderful acts of courage or _présence d’ésprit_;—no, I did not
wish for robbers to come, but I did wish for somebody; and I had a
strong presentiment that somebody would come, that I should not remain
alone the whole evening. I felt sure that I should have a visit—a visit
that could not but become of importance either to me or to somebody
else. Then, any body that would come in this evening must feel my
influence—must experience something uncommon from the very volume of
life that rolled in my veins, and that I would roll on him or her. A
thousand feelings—a thousand thoughts—were in my heart and mind. But I
walked silently to and fro in the rooms, now and then looking curiously
down the street. Our house was a corner house: at the corner of the
house opposite hung a street-lamp, not very bright nor brilliant, but
still shedding a light, clear enough on the spot under it, and on the
objects nearest around. Right under the lamp hung, and swung in the
evening wind, a huge, red wooden glove (a glove-maker’s sign) with the
forefinger (a very long forefinger) pointing right down. The snow fell
in large flakes round the lamp and the red glove on the frozen white
ground. Now and then came persons—mostly men—wrapped up in their
cloaks, passing right under the lamp and the red glove, and were, as
they passed, lighted up by the former. I thought I recognized friends or
acquaintances in some of them, and often it would seem as if they
steered their way directly toward my house, but then again they were
wrapped up in the darkness, and the great red glove swung, and the lamp
shed its light, and the snow fell fast over the solitary spot—and again
I paced the carpets of the drawing-rooms. No matter: it was yet good
time for visiting, it was early yet, and a visit I should certainly have
that night; and many a face passed in the _camera obscura_ of my
mind—many a vision of my expected visitor. First, I saw one that had
been very kind to me, but that I had been less kind to; one of these
that we esteem, but can neither like nor love; but now, this night, if
that person would come, I should be so kind, so—it would not be my
fault if that person did not feel amiable and loveable. And then there
was somebody who had wronged me, and made me suffer. Oh! that _she_
might come, that I might do her good instead—that I might make her rich
and happy; it would give me the greatest pleasure. And then there was a
man that was more to me than I to him—that I liked; a brilliant,
interesting man, that did not like me, but who was interested by me,
liked to talk with me, and was a friend of mine. Oh! if he should come;
he would love me, perhaps fall in love with me that evening! There was
in me so much of that fire which makes every thing light up and radiate.
Was he quite fire-proof? Well, still his spirit would light up by the
light of mine; I knew it, and we would have such a talk about stars and
showers of stars; about Copernicus, and Taylor, and Newton; and about
electricity, and alchemy, and Berzelius: we would have such a great
intellectual treat and conversation! And then there was another man,
that liked me well, and would offer me heart and hand, if I would like
him. Like him I could not; but feel very kindly, respectfully, almost
tenderly for him, that I could—I did; and then he was a very good and
very stately gentleman, and of a rank and fortune that well could
flatter a little worldly vanity, and I had my share. Ah! if he should
come this evening, and ask the question, I fear that I should not find
heart to ask delay to consider, and so forth; I fear I should say “Yes,”
at once, and fix my destiny before I was sure it was well. My heart was
too warm to be wise. I almost feared that he would come and ask me. But
then there was an elderly married man, and a genius, that I loved as
young women love elderly gentlemen who are geniuses, and are kind to
them—adoringly, passionately. Oh! that he might come. No danger of his
asking dangerous questions; no danger of becoming engaged to him, and
fixing one’s destiny before the heart was right fixed. If he should but
come—what a delight to indulge looking at him—to give vent to the flow
of thoughts and feelings with such a mind—to be inspired, and foolish,
and nonsensical, in a sublime sense, as well he could be—to hear the
effusions of that great heart, great as the world. He never had quite
understood me; I never had been quite myself with him; this evening I
should be so, he should know my heart. May-be he would ask me to do
something for him—to give my purse, every shilling I possessed, to some
poor persons—what a delight! And how I should treat him with tea, and
wine, and cake, just as Hebe did Jupiter; and how he should enjoy it.
Dear me, what an Olympian treat it would be! And then I saw a lady,
whose very shadow on the wall I loved. Oh! that if she would but come,
my dear, my bosom friend! What a delightful time we should have
together, with tea and chat, and the outpourings of the heart. I would
tell her every thing: she would counsel me wisely, as she was wont to
do. Dear soul, how I loved her; tears filled my eyes in thinking of her,
and that she would come—to be sure she was a hundred miles away, on her
estate; but, no matter, it could very well happen that she should come.
She liked to surprise people, and come unawares upon them, like the
Emperor Nicholas. Very likely she would come this evening. My heart
asked for it, and then I looked out of the window; the street-lamp
flamed and flickered red; the great red glove swung to and fro, with the
long forefinger pointing right out; the snow fell fast. I heard
sleigh-bells ringing—a carriage was coming—may-be my friend in it.
There it comes, right up against the house—my house. The light of the
lamp glances over it—how snow-covered! Oh! I will kiss off the snow
from her clothes—I will make her so comfortable and happy!

Away flew the carriage, with the lady and the snow-cloak, and the merry
jingling bells. But there, now, the great red glove stands still, and
the long forefinger points right down on a man wrapped up in a big
cloak! I am sure it is the genius, and he is coming to pay me a visit.
Dear great man! he comes right up to the house—yes, no—he comes not he
turns to the left hand, it could not be he, he would not have passed me
so! There, again the glove stands still, the finger points, and a
slender figure passes under it—how like my friend the naturalist!—and
he is coming right here—no, he is not—he turns to the right hand. And
the light flickers, and the snow falls, and the glove swings over the
now solitary spot—and I am still alone, and walk up and down the soft
carpets in the romantic twilight.

After all, how gaudily life wears away! why should we not make the best
of it? why not take the love and kindness that are offered, and make
happy those that we can make happy? Why should we think so much of
ourselves alone, and be so afraid of not being so happy as happy can be?
we must think also of others, and be content for ourselves with a
moderate share of happiness.

Well! if the friend so kind and noble-hearted, whose heart I can claim,
now claims my hand, this evening he shall have it, I believe. I will
make him happy, and his whole house comfortable, and everybody about
him! I must have something to do, to love, to live for. Well!—if he
comes! . . . And then I looked out of the window. There now, this time
the forefinger of the red hand points most decidedly down on a tall,
stately figure—and he is coming—yes, he is certainly coming—coming
right to this house; he enters the door. It must be he! how I felt my
heart beat! I almost wished it was not he. And to be sure, if it were he
who entered the house, he never came up the steps, nor opened the
unlocked door of my house and heart—no, not this time; and the
half-dreaded, half-wished-for question was not asked now.

The next time that I looked out of the window the lamp was obscured by a
lowering mist, and the great red hand was swinging—and black figures
were seen passing under it, as through a black veil—my heart began to
feel a little low and sad. But—it was not too late yet for a visit;
some of our friends used to come very late; somebody would yet come.

Next time I looked again for my visitor, the mist had fully come down,
and I could not see a bit more of the lamp, nor the red glove, nor of
the mystical figures passing under it. But as I happened to look upward
I saw that the sky had cleared, and that the stars shone bright and
brilliant; the City of God stood all in light over the earthly city,
obscured by mist and darkness. I was struck by the sight of a
constellation that I had not seen before; and the truth was, that taken
up by earthly objects since a time, I had forgotten to follow up the
study of the firmament that I had begun, with the help of my friend the
naturalist. Now I took my map and globe, and began to study: I put out
the light in the great drawing-room, so as to leave the starlight alone,
and made there my observatory. That side of the room looking toward a
square was a fine space of sky to range over; and I began to range among
the stars. After a while, I ascertained the names of several of the
constellations new to me, and the names of their brightest stars; I made
the acquaintance of several greater and smaller notabilities of the
higher sphere, and read about them what wise men have thought and said.
Then would come of themselves enlarging thoughts about the connexion of
our planet and its human beings, and those shining worlds where lights
and shadows, and weight and measure, are the same as here, and who,
consequently, are related to us in soul and matter, in weal and wo, and
who tell us of it in lovely shining stars. All this gave me great
pleasure.

The servant came with the tea-tray; I was sitting alone, but had
forgotten it. I enjoyed my tea and sandwiches, but only to return fresh
to my study; and continued visiting among the stars, and making friends
with them, till I felt bodily weary. I looked at the watch—it was near
midnight; I sat down on the sofa in the small drawing-room: the light
shone calmly and romantically as before; and I was as before—alone. Yet
there was a pleasant calm—a feeling of plenitude and elevation in my
soul—my heart was at rest. What was it that made me feel so well,
though I had been disappointed in my visit? Left alone, I had not felt
lonely nor at loss: I had studied the works of the Great Father; I had
learned and adored, and so forgotten time, solitude, myself, earth and
earthly wishes, and my expected visit. Oh! was it not clear that I had
had a visit after all—a visit, not from mortal friends, but from
immortal? They had whispered to me—“Hereafter thou shalt never feel
lonely when alone; then we will come to thee.” And I was glad and
thankful!

-----

[2] It will no doubt add to the interest with which this paper may be
read, to know that it was written in English by Miss Bremer, and that it
has not been necessary to alter a dozen words.—Ed.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =THE WORLD-CONQUEROR.=


                         =BY MRS. E. J. EAMES.=


               “And looking round, he sat down and wept,
              because he saw no other worlds to conquer!”

              Alone! alone with night and Heaven,
                The mighty Macedonian stood;
              The searching stars looked down on him,
              To whom their glorious light seemed dim,
              To whom such boundless thoughts seemed given
                By old Hyphasis’ flood!

              Boundless yet on those haughty features
                There dwelt a mournfulness profound;
              And the shadow of a painful thought
              Upon that kingly brow was wrought,
              He who subdued earth’s countless creatures—
                _He_—the world-conqueror crowned!

              Yes! there, beside the silent river,
                On which the moonbeams sweetly slept—
              By which the green and graceful palm,
              Rose ever stately still and calm—
              There did the monarch’s heart-strings quiver—
                For lo! the victor wept!

              Yea, wept, though all the nations rendered
                Meek homage to his sovereign will;
              His soldier-bands their king adored—
              And all victorious with his sword,
              ’Mid trophies, crowns, and laurels splendid—
                Mark what was wanting still!

              “_I see no other worlds!_—and Heaven
                Bends o’er me with prophetic eye;
              Alas! my wild and wildering glance
              Can never pierce that starred expanse,
              Yon radiant sphere may not be given,
                My aims to gratify!

              Hath not this oft-told tale a moral,
                Impressive of the vanity
              To which all human hopes must tend—
              To where ambitious flights must end!—
              For still Earth’s proudest crown and laurel,
                Mock poor mortality!”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                     =GATHER RIPE FRUIT, OH DEATH!=


           Gather ripe fruit, oh death! exclaims the gifted,
             Full of fresh blossoms for the ripening hour;
           Adown whose sky the clouds afar have drifted—
             Whose golden hopes are gilding bud and flower;
           Who, through the vista long, of years advancing,
             Sees fame and honors round his pathway spread,
           And views green laurels in the distance glancing,
             All wreathed in beauty for his waiting head.

           Gather ripe fruit, oh death! the young bride crieth,
             Whilst blushing joys her trembling bosom thrill,
           And each enchanted hour so noiseless flieth,
             That no distracting fears her bright hopes fill.
           The future, all in rainbow-tints is glowing,
             Painted with hues from Love’s own gorgeous dyes;
           And life seems but a river, softly flowing
             ’Mid fragrant banks, ’neath bland and sunny skies.

           Gather ripe fruit, oh death! is ever ringing
             From anxious lips, with deep and earnest tone;
           Some joy, some hope, is ever fondly springing,
             Which clinging fancy deemeth theirs alone.
           All, youth and age alike, the reaper spurneth,
             The young in triumph point to those before;
           And age, from the grim spectre trembling turneth,
             And bids him glean from fields all ripened o’er!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           =THE LUCKY PENNY.=


                         =BY MRS. S. C. HALL.=


                               CHAPTER I.

“And what will you do with yours, Willy?”

“I dun know,” replied the heavy-looking urchin, while he turned the
half-pence over and over in his hand; “two ha p’nees; it’s not much.”
Ned pirouetted on one broad, bare foot, and tossed a summerset on the
pavement, close to the pretty basket-shop at a corner of Covent-Garden
Market, while “Willy” pondered over the half-pence. When “Ned” recovered
his breath, and had shouldered the door-post for half a minute, he again
spoke—

“And that one, just riding away on his fine responsible horse, thought
he’d make our fortune this frosty new-year’s morning, with his
three-pence betwixt three of us—and his grand condition, that we should
meet him on this spot, if living, this day twel’-months, and tell him
what we did with the pennies! Hurroo! as if we could remember. I say,
Willy, suppose you and I toss up for them—head wins?”

“No, no,” replied the prudent Willy, putting the half-pence into his
pocket, and attempting to button the garment; an unsuccessful attempt,
inasmuch as there was no button: “No; I’ll not make up my mind jist
yet—I’ll may-be let it lie, and show it to him this day twal’-month. He
may give more for taking care of un.”

“Easy, easy,” persisted Ned, “let tail win, if you don’t like head.”

“I’ll not have it, no way.”

“But where’s Richard gone?” inquired the careless boy, after varying his
exercise by walking on his hands, and kicking his feet in the air.

“I dun know,” replied the other; “it’s most like he’s gone home: that’s
where he goes most times: he comes the gentleman over us because of his
edication.”

“He has no spirit,” said Ned, contemptuously; “he never spends his money
like—like me.”

“He got the ‘lucky penny,’ for all that,” answered Willy, “for I saw the
hole in it myself.”

“Look at that, now!” exclaimed Ned; “it’s ever the way with him; see
now, if that don’t turn up something before the year’s out. While we
sleep under bridges, in tatur-baskets, and ‘darkies,’ he sleeps on a
bed; and his mother stiches o’ nights, and days too. He’s as high up as
a gentleman, and yet he’s as keen after a job as a cat after a sparra.”

The two boys lounged away, while the third—the only one of the three
who had earned his penny, by holding a gentleman’s horse for a moment,
while the others looked on—had passed rapidly to a small circulating
library near Cranbourne Alley, and laying down his penny on the counter,
looked in the bookseller’s face, and said—

“Please, sir, will you lend me the works of Benjamin Franklin—for a
penny?”

The bookseller looked at the boy, and then at the penny, and inquired if
he were the lad who had carried the parcels about for Thomas Brand, when
he was ill.

The boy said he was.

“And would you like to do so now, on your own account?” was the next
question. The pale, pinched-up features of the youth crimsoned all over,
and his dark, deep-set eyes were illumined as if by magic.

“Be your messenger, sir?—indeed I would.”

“Who could answer for your character?”

“My mother, sir; she knows me best,” he replied with great simplicity.

“But who knows her?” said the bookseller, smiling.

“Not many, sir; but the landlady where we live, and some few others.”

The bookseller inquired what place of worship they attended.

The lad told him, but added, “My mother has not been there lately.”

“Why not?”

The deep flash returned, but the expression of the face told of pain,
not pleasure.

“My mother, sir, has not been well—and—the weather is cold—and her
clothes are not warm.” He eagerly inquired if he was wanted that day.
The bookseller told him to be there at half-past seven the next morning,
and that meanwhile he would inquire into his character.

The boy could hardly speak; unshed tears stood in his eyes, and after
sundry scrapes and bows, he rushed from the shop.

“Holloa, youngster!” called out the bookseller, “you have not told me
your mother’s name or address.” The boy gave both, and again ran off.
Again the bookseller shouted, “Holloa!”

“You have forgotten Franklin.”

The lad bowed and scraped twice as much as ever; and muttering something
about “joy” and “mother,” placed the book inside his jacket and
disappeared.

Richard Dolland’s mother was seated in the smallest of all possible
rooms, which looked into a court near the “Seven Dials.” The window was
but little above the flags, for the room had been slipped off the narrow
entrance; and stowed away into a corner, where there was space for a
bedstead, a small table, a chair, and a box; there was a little
bookshelf, upon it were three or four old books, an ink-bottle, and some
stumpy pens; and the grate only contained wood-ashes.

Mrs. Dolland was plying her needle and thread at the window; but she did
not realise that wonderful Daguerreotype of misery which one of our
greatest poets drew; for she was _not_ clad in

    “Unwomanly rags,”

though the very light-colored cotton-dress—the worn-out and faded blue
“comforter” round her throat—the pale and purple hue of her face
proclaimed that poverty had been beside her many a dreary winter’s day.
The snow was drizzling in little hard bitter knots, not falling in soft
gentle flakes, wooing the earth to resignation; and the woman whose
slight, almost girlish figure, and fair braided hair gave her an aspect
of extreme youth, bent more and more forward to the light, as if she
found it difficult to thread her needle; she rubbed her eyes until they
became quite red; she rubbed the window-glass with her handkerchief
(that _was_ torn), and at last her hands fell into her lap, and large
tears coursed each other over her pale cheeks; she pressed her eyes, and
tried again; no—she could not pass the line thread into the fine
needle.

Oh! what an expression saddened her face into despair. She threw back
her head as if appealing to the Almighty; she clasped her thin palms
together, and then, raising them slowly, pressed them on her eyes.

A light, quick, bounding step echoed in the little court—the mother
knew it well: she arose, as if uncertain what to do—she shuddered—she
sat down—took up her work, and when Richard, in passing, tapped against
the window, she met the flushed, excited face of her son with her usual
calm, quiet smile.

“Here’s a bright new-year’s-day, mother!” he exclaimed.

“Where?” she said, looking drearily out at the falling snow, and dusting
it off her son’s coat with her hand.

“Every where, mother!”—he laid the book on the table—“I earned a
penny, and I’ve got a place—there!”

“Got a place!” repeated the woman; and then her face flushed—“with
whom? how?”

He detailed the particulars. “And I gave the penny, mother dear,” he
added, “to read the ‘Works of Benjamin Franklin,’ which will teach me
how to grow rich and good; I’ll read the book to you this evening, while
you work.”

The flush on her cheek faded to deadly paleness.

“I don’t know what’s the matter with my eyes, Richard—they are so
weak.”

“Looking on the snow, mother; mine grow weak when I look on the snow.”

How she caught at the straw!—“I never thought of that, Richard; I dare
say it is bad. And what did ye with the penny, dear?”

“I told you, mother; I got the reading of the ‘Works of Benjamin
Franklin’ for it, and it’s a book that will do me great good; I read two
or three pages here and there of it, at the very shop where I am to be
employed, when I was there for Thomas Brand, before he died. It was just
luck that took me there to look for it—the book, I mean—and then the
gentleman offered me the place; I’m sure I have worn, as Ned Brady says,
‘the legs off my feet,’ tramping after places—and _that_ to offer
itself to _me_—think of that, mother! Poor Tom Brand had four shillings
a-week, but he could not make out a bill—I can; Benjamin Franklin (he
wrote ‘Poor Richard’s Almanac,’ you know) says, ‘there are no gains
without pains;’ and I’m sure poor father took pains enough to teach me,
though I have the gains, and he had the——”

The entrance of his future master arrested Richard’s eloquence; he made
a few inquiries, found his way into a back kitchen to the landlady, and,
being satisfied with what he heard, engaged the lad at four shillings
a-week; he looked kindly at the gentle mother, and uncomfortably at the
grate; then slid a shilling into Mrs. Dolland’s hand, “in advance.”

“It was not ‘luck,’ Richard,” said she to her son, after the long,
gaunt-looking man of books had departed; “it’s all come of God’s
goodness!”

There was a fire that evening in the widow’s little room, and a whole
candle was lit; and a cup of tea, with the luxuries of milk, sugar, and
a little loaf, formed their new-year’s fête; and yet two-pence remained
out of the bookseller’s loan!

When their frugal meal was finished, Mrs. Dolland worked on
mechanically, and Richard threaded her needle; the boy read aloud to her
certain passages which he thought she might like, he wondered she was
not more elated at his success; she seemed working unconsciously, and
buried in her own thoughts; at last, and not without a feeling of pain,
he ceased reading aloud, and forgot all external cares in the deep
interest he took in the self-helping volume that rested on his lap.

Suddenly he looked up, aroused by a sort of half-breathed sigh; his
mother’s large eyes were fixed upon him—there was something in the look
and the expression he thought he had never seen before.

“Richard,” she said, “is there any hope in that book?”

“Hope, mother! why, it is full, full of hope; for a poor lad, it is one
great hope from beginning to end. Why, many a copy my father set from
Poor Richard’s Almanac, though I don’t think he knew it. Don’t you
remember ‘Help hands, for I have no lands,’ and ‘Diligence is the mother
of good luck,’ and that grand, long one I wrote in small-hand—‘Since
thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.’”

“Yes, dear, those were pleasant days; I mind them well; when _he_ went,
_all_ went.”

“No, mother,” replied the boy; “and I don’t know what is the matter
to-day, you are not a bit like yourself; you used to say that God was
always with us, and that hope was a part of God. And it is new-year’s
day, and has begun so well; I have got a place—and a nice one; suppose
it had been at a butcher’s or green-grocers? we should have been
thankful—but among books and such like, with odd minutes for reading,
and every penny of four shillings a-week—mother, you need not work so
hard now.”

“I can’t, Richard,” she said; and then there was a long pause.

When she spoke again her voice seemed stifled. “I have been turning in
my own mind what I could do; what do you think of ballad-singing—and a
wee dog to lead me?”

“What is it, mother?” inquired the boy; and he flung himself on his
knees beside her. “What sorrow is it?”

She laid her cheek on his head, while she whispered—so terrible did the
words seem—“I am growing _dark_, my child; I shall soon be quite, quite
BLIND.” He drew back, pushed the hair off her brow, and gazed into her
eyes steadily.

“It is over-work—weakness—illness—it cannot be blindness; it will
soon be all right again; they are only a very little dim, mother.” And
he kissed her eyes and brow until his lips were moist with her tears.

“If God would but spare me my sight, just to keep on a little longer,
and keep me from the parish (though we have good right to its help,) and
save me from being a burden—a millstone—about your neck, Richard!”

“Now don’t mother; I will not shed a tear this blessed new-year’s day; I
wont believe it is as you say; it’s just the trouble and the cold you
have gone through; and the tenderness you were once used to—though I
only remember my father a poor school-master, still he took care of you.
You know my four shillings a-week will do a great deal; it’s a capital
salary,” said the boy, exultingly; “four broad white shillings a-week!
you can have some nourishment then.” He paused a moment and opened his
eyes. “I suppose I am not to live in the house; if I was, and you had it
ALL—Oh, mother, you wouldn’t be so comfortable!”

Presently he took down his father’s Bible, and read a psalm—it was the
first Psalm:

    “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the
    ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the
    seat of the scornful;

    “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth
    he meditate day and night;

    “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
    that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall
    not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper”—

The boy paused.

“There, mother! is there not hope in that?”

“There is, indeed—and comfort,” answered the widow; “and I am always
glad when you read a book containing plenty of hope. The present is
often so miserable that it is natural to get away from it, and feel and
know there is something different to come; I have often sat with only
hope for a comforter when you have been seeking employment; and I have
been here without food or fire, or any thing—but hope.”

“And I used to think you so blythe, mother, when I came into the court,
and heard you singing.”

“I have often sobbed through a song, Richard, and yet it was comfort,
somehow, to sing it. I dare say there is a deal of hope in that new book
of yours, but I wish it may be sanctified hope—hope of the right kind.
Your poor father used to talk of unsanctified philosophy; but he was too
wise, as well as too good for me—you ought to be good and wise, my
child—God grant it!”

“To look at it, mother,” said the boy, with an earnestness beyond his
years; “I was so full of joy at being employed, that I thought my heart
would break, and now—” his young spirit bounded bravely above the
trial—“no—not now will I believe what you fear; rest and comfort; you
need not embroider at nights now; you can knit, or make nets, but no
fine work.”

Strangers, to have heard him talk, would have imagined that his
luxuriant imagination was contemplating four pounds instead of four
shillings a-week; only those who have wanted, and counted over the
necessaries to be procured by peace, can comprehend the wealth of
shillings.

These two were alone in the world; the husband and father had died of
consumption; he had been an earnest, true, book-loving man, whose
enthusiastic and poetic temperament had been branded as
“dreamy”—certainly, he was fonder of thinking than of acting; he had
knowledge enough to have given him courage, but perhaps the natural
delicacy of his constitution rendered his struggles for independence
insufficient; latterly, he had been a schoolmaster, but certain
religious scruples prevented his advancing with the great education
movement beginning to agitate England; and when his health declined, his
scholars fell away: but as his mental strength faded, that of his wife
seemed to increase. She was nothing more than a simple, loving,
enduring, industrious woman, noted in the village of their adoption as
possessing a most beautiful voice; and often had the sound of her own
minstrelsy, hyming God’s praise, or on week-days welling forth the
tenderness or chivalry of an old ballad, been company and consolation to
her wearied spirit.

Books and music refine external things; and born and brought up in their
atmosphere, Richard, poor, half-starved, half-naked, running hither and
thither in search of employment, and cast among really low, vicious,
false, intemperate, godless children, was preserved from contagion. It
was a singular happiness that his mother never feared for him; one of
the many bits of poetry of her nature, was the firm faith she
entertained that the son of her husband—whose memory was to her as the
protection of a titular saint—could not be tainted by evil example. She
knew the boy’s burning thirst for knowledge; she knew his struggles, not
for ease, but for labor; she knew his young energy, and wondered at it;
she knew the devotional spirit that was in him;—yet in all these things
she put no trust: but she felt as though the invisible but present
spirit of his father was with him through scenes of sin and misery, and
encompassed him as with a halo, so that he might walk, like the prophets
of Israel, through a burning fiery furnace unscathed.

These two—mother and son—were alone in their poverty-stricken sphere;
and that new-year’s-day had brought to the mother both hope and despair;
but though an increasing film came between her and the delicate
embroidery she wrought with so much skill and care—though the
confession that she was growing “dark,” caused her sharper agony than
she had suffered since her husband’s death—still, as the evening drew
on, and she put by her work, her spirit lightened under the influence of
the fresh and healthful hope which animated her son. She busied herself
with sundry contrivances for his making a neat appearance on the
following day; she forced him into a jacket which he had out-grown, to
see how he looked, and kissed and blessed the bright face which, she
thanked God, she could still see. Together they turned out, and over and
over again, the contents of their solitary box; and Richard, by no means
indifferent to his personal appearance at any time, said, very frankly,
that he thought his acquaintances, Ned Brady and William, or Willy
“No-go,” as he was familiarly styled, would hardly recognise him on the
morrow, if they should chance to meet.

“But if I lend you this silk handkerchief, that was your poor father’s,
to tie round your neck, don’t let it puff you up,” said the
simple-minded woman, “don’t; and don’t look down upon Ned Brady and
William No-go, (what an odd name;) if they are good lads, you might ask
them in to tea some night (that is, when we have tea;) they must be good
lads, if you know them.”

And then followed a prayer and a blessing, and, much later than usual,
after a few happier tears, another prayer, and another blessing, the
worn-out eyes, and those so young and fresh, closed in peaceful sleep.

                 *        *        *        *        *

“Neddy, my boy!” stammered Mrs. Brady to her son, as she staggered to
her wretched lodging that night, “it’s wonderful luck ye’ had with that
penny; the four-pence ye’ won through it at “pitch and toss” has made a
woman of me; I am as happy as a queen—as a queen, Neddy.” The
unfortunate creature flourished her arm so decidedly that she broke a
pane of glass in a shopkeeper’s window, and was secured by a policeman
for the offence; poor unfortunate Ned followed his mother, with loud,
incoherent lamentations, wishing “bad luck” to every one, but more
especially to the police, and the gentleman that brought him into misery
by his mean penny;—_if it had_ been a sum he could have done any thing
with—but a penny! what could be done with one poor penny, but spend it!

                 *        *        *        *        *

Willy’s penny went into a box with several other coins; _his_ mother
lacked the common necessaries of life—still Willy hoarded, and
continued to look after his treasure as a magpie watches the silver coin
she drops into a hole in a castle wall.

                                                  [_To be continued._

                 *        *        *        *        *



                     =TO MARY, ASKING FOR A SONG.=


                          =BY MATTHIAS WARD.=


              The song, dear maid, you deign to ask,
                What churlish mortal could refuse;
              Then, while I ply my pleasing task,
                Be thou at once my theme and muse.
              While to such theme my gift I bring,
              Fair muse, inspire me as I sing.

              A song you ask—if music flow,
                To make thy gentle heart rejoice;
              Ope but thy lips, and soon thou’lt know
                ’Tis but the echo of thy voice.
              Such tones, if kindly, still prolong—
              I cannot ask a sweeter song.

              There’s music beaming from thy brow—
                Within thine eyes a tuneful tongue;
              And gazing there, I fancy how
                The morning stars together sung.
              Through passion’s waste, when wandering far,
              Heaven grant thee for my guiding star.

              Ask you for music? Go but forth,
                And air salutes each varied charm;
              The wildest tempest from the north,
                Melodious dances o’er thy form.
              Would that my tones had winning powers,
              Like breezes when they kiss the flowers!

              The birds are dumb in dreamy night,
                And silent wait the opening day;
              But when he brings his wakening light,
                The morn rejoices in their lay.
              From grove and brook sweet music floats,
              Responsive to their happy notes.

              Thus mute my voice when thou art gone,
                And thus my vigil waits thine eyes;
              But when once more I view their dawn,
                My matin song will gladly rise,
              E’er may it reach a willing ear,
              And welcome prove, when thou art near.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                          =A POET’S THOUGHT.=


                       =BY WM. ALBERT SUTLIFFE.=


       A thought that lay anear a Poet’s heart,
       Found utterance into this cloudy world,
       And stirred some souls with rapture. This poor bard,
       Whose home was where the rugged mountains stoop
       Their foreheads o’er small streams that plash their feet,
       Sang a sweet note that through a palace stole,
       Fluttering a queen’s proud breast until she wept.
       For the same God doth deftly tune the strings
       Of all men’s souls to one melodious strain,
       And Nature runs one silver chord through all,
       Which, sadly touched, gives each a tearful thrill.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                      =THE COUNTESS OF MONTFORT;=


                     =OR, THE RELIEF OF HENNEBON.=


                      =BY HENRY WILLIAM HERBERT.=


    I wish now to return to the Countess of Montfort, who possessed
    the courage of a man and the heart of a lion.

                                Froissart—Chronicles, VOL. I. C. 72.

The age of knight errantry, as we read of it, and in some degree
believe, as recited in the Morte d’Arthur, and the other British or
Breton romances, had never any real existence more than its heroes,
Lancelot du Lac, Tristran le Blanc, or Pellinant or Pellinore, or any of
the heroes of “the table round;” the very date of whose alleged
existence, centuries before chivalry or feudalism was heard of,
precludes the possibility of their identity.

The age of chivalry, however, had a real being; it was in very truth
“the body of a time, its form and pressure;” and that was the age of
Edward the Third, and the Black Prince of England, of the Captal de Buch
and Sire Eustache de Ribeaumont, of Bertrand du Gueselin, and Charles of
Luxemburg, the valiant blind king of Bohemia, and those who won or died
at Crecy and Poictiers.

That was the age, when knights shaped their conduct to the legends which
they read in the old romances, which were to them the code of honor,
bravery and virtue.

That was the age when “_Dieu, son honneur et sa dame_,” was the war-cry
and the creed of every noble knight, when _noblesse oblige_ was a
proverb not—as now—without a meaning. And of that age I have a legend,
reproduced from the old chronicles of old Froissart, so redolent of the
truth, the vigor, and the fresh raciness of those old days, when manhood
was still held in more esteem than money, and the person of a man
something more valuable than his purse, that I think it may be held
worthy to arrest attention, even in these days of sordid deference to
the sovereign dollar, of stolid indifference to every thing in humanity
that is of a truth good or great or noble.

“I wish now to return,” says Froissart, in a fine passage, a portion of
which I have chosen as my motto, “to the Countess of Montfort, who
possessed the courage of a man and the heart of a lion.”

Previous to this, the veracious chronicler of the antique wars of France
and England has related, how by the death of the Duke of Brittany, who
left no issue, the ducal coronet of that province, which together with
Normandy and Anjou, had always since the Norman conquest maintained
relations with the crown of England, was left in dispute between John
Count de Montfort, the half-brother of the late duke, who had married
the sister of Lewis Earl of Flanders, and a daughter of the late duke’s
brother german, who was wedded to Charles, younger son of Guy Count de
Blois, by the sister of Philip of Valois, the reigning king of France.

With which of these the absolute right rested, is not a matter of much
moment; as it is with the romance of feudalism, not the accuracy of
heraldic genealogies, that I am now dealing. Nor, were it important,
have I at hand the means of deciding certainly; since the solution of
the question depends on facts not clearly presented, as regarding the
seniority of the brothers, the precise degrees of consanguinity, and the
local laws of the French provinces.

Both parties appear to have relied on alleged declarations, each in his
own favor, by the late duke, John of Brittany.

The Bretons it would seem, almost to a man, sided with the Count de
Montfort; and this would in these days go very far toward settling the
question.

King Philip of France, naturally took part with his niece, the wife of a
great feudatory of his crown; Edward the Third of England, as naturally,
favored the opposite claimant; expecting doubtless that he should
receive the count’s homage as his vassal for Brittany, in case of his
recovering his duchy by the aid of British arms.

The Count de Montfort was summoned before the king and peers of France
to answer to the charge of having already done homage to the English
king, as suzerain of a French province—a charge, by the way, which he
absolutely denied—and to prove his title to the duchy before
Parliament. To their decision he expressed his willingness to defer, and
offered to abide by their judgment, but the same night, suspecting ill
faith on the part of his rival and the French king, and fearing
treachery, he withdrew secretly into his own duchy, of which he had
already gained absolute possession, holding all its strong places with
the free consent of the lords, the burgesses, the clergy and the
commonalty of the chief towns, and being every where addressed as Duke
of Brittany.

After the departure of the count from Paris, the Parliament, almost as a
matter of course, decided against him—firstly, _par contumace_, or as
we should now say, _by default_—secondly, for treason, as having done
homage to a foreign liege lord—and thirdly, because the Countess of
Blois was the daughter of the next brother of the late duke, while the
Count John de Montfort was the youngest of the family.

I may observe here, that it is more than doubtful whether the alleged
homage to Edward was at this time rendered; that the fact was positively
denied by Montfort himself, and by his other historians; and
furthermore, that the descent to the female line is very questionable in
any French province or principality, the _Salique_ law, adverse to the
succession of females, prevailing in that country.

Be this, however, as it may, the princes and peers of France considering
that the dispute between the rival claimants had resolved itself into a
question between the rival crowns of France and England, which it
virtually had, espoused to a man the party of Charles of Blois.

Thereupon, the dukes of Normandy, of Alençon, of Burgundy, of Bourbon,
the Lord Lewis of Spain, the Constable of France, the Count de Blois,
and the Viscount de Rohan, with all the princes and barons present,
undertook to maintain the rights of Charles; entered Brittany with
powerful forces; and, after some sharp fighting, shot the Count of
Montfort up in Nantes, where he was shortly after delivered to the
enemy, not without suspicion of treachery on the part of Sir Hervè de
Léon, his late chief adviser, whom he had blamed severely for retreating
too readily into the city, before the troops of Charles de Blois.

John de Montfort hereupon nearly disappears from history; Froissart
supposing that he died a prisoner in the tower of the Louvre. But it
appears that, after three years’ confinement, he made good his escape to
England, and _then, not before_, did homage to Edward; who aided him
with a force under William de Bohun, Earl of Northampton, to recover his
duchy, which his sudden death after an unsuccessful attempt on
Quimperlè, finally prevented. This is, however, in anticipation of the
current of history, and more especially of those events which it is my
purpose to illustrate in this sketch; for, from the very moment of his
capture, the affairs, both civil and military, of the duchy were
administered with the most distinguished energy, ability and success by
his wife, sister of Lewis Count of Flanders, a race noble and brave by
descent and nature, “the Countess of Montfort, who possessed the courage
of a man and the heart of a lion.”

“She was in the city of Rennes,” says her historian, “when she heard of
the seizure of her lord; and, notwithstanding the great grief she had at
heart, she did all she could to reanimate her friends and soldiers.
Showing them a young child, called John, after his father, she said,
‘Oh, gentlemen, do not be cast-down for what we have suffered by the
loss of my lord; he was but one man. Look at my little child here, if it
please God, he shall be his restorer and shall do you much service. I
have plenty of wealth, which I will distribute among you, and will seek
out for such a leader as may give you a proper confidence.’ When the
countess had, by these means, encouraged her friends and soldiers at
Rennes, she visited all the other towns and fortresses, taking her young
son John with her. She addressed and encouraged them in the same manner
as she had done at Rennes. She strengthened her garrisons both with men
and provisions, paid handsomely for every thing, and gave largely
wherever she thought it would have a good effect. She then went to
Hennebon, near the sea, where she and her son remained all that winter,
frequently visiting her garrisons, whom she encouraged and paid
liberally.”

Truly a noble woman—a true wife, a true mother, a true princess of her
principality—she sought no woman’s rights, but did a woman’s duty—her
duty as her absent husband’s representative—her duty as her orphaned
son’s protectress—her duty as her unsovereigned people’s sovereign
lady. Nobility and circumstance obliged her; and nobly she discharged
the obligation.

Much as I contemn women, whom a morbid craving after notoriety and
excitement urges to grasp the attire, the arms, the attributes of the
other sex; in the same degree do I honor, in the same degree admire and
laud, the true-hearted woman, the true heroine, who not forcing or
assailing, but obeying the claims of her nature, compels her temper to
put on strength instead of softness, steels herself to do what she
shrinks from doing, not because she arrogates the power of doing it
better than the man could do it, but because she has no man to whom she
might confide the doing of it.

The hen fighting the sparrow-hawk careless of self for her defenseless
brood, is a spectacle beautiful to behold, filling every heart with
genuine sympathy, because her act itself is genuine; is part and parcel
of her sex, her circumstances, her maternity; in a word, is the act of
the God of nature. The hen gaffed and cropped and fighting mains against
the males of her own family in the beastly and bloody cock-pit, is a
spectacle that would make the lowest frequenter of such vile arenas
shudder with disgust, would wring from his lips an honest cry of shame.

Margaret of Anjou, in Hexham forest awing the bandit into submission by
the undaunted royalty of her maternal eye—the Countess of Montfort,
reanimating her faint-hearted garrisons, even by donning on steel
harness for “her young child John”—Elizabeth of England, a-horse at
Tilbury, for her protestantism and her people—Maria Theresa, waving her
sabre from the guarded mount to the four quarters of heaven in the
maintenance of her kingdom and her cause—Marie Antoinette of France,
defying her accusers at the misnamed judgment seat, fearless of her
butchers at the guillotine—these are the true types of nature, the true
types of their sex, the true heroines, mastering the weakness of their
sexual nature, through the might of their maternal nature—these are the
hens championing their broods against the falcon.

But of this day of cant and fustian, the man-women, not heroines, called
by no duty to the attire or the attributes of men, but panting
indelicately for the notoriety, the fierce, passionate excitement of the
political, nay! for aught that appears, of the martial arena—these are
the hens, if they could but see themselves as they see effeminate,
unsexed men, gaffed and cropped and fed to do voluntary battle in the
sinks and slaughterhouses of humanity, against the gamecocks of their
species.

The Lady Macbeths of a falser period, who fancy that, by proving
themselves so much less the woman, they can shine out so much more the
man.

“But I wish now to return,” with my old friend Froissart, “to the
Countess de Montfort, who possessed the courage of a man, and the heart
of a lion,” and I will add—the soul, the instincts and the excellence
of a true woman.

During the winter succeeding the seizure of her lord, and the treason of
Sir Hervè de Léon, who had attached himself to the Count de Blois, she
remained peacefully occupied in Hennebon, in the education of her young
child John; and how she educated him was seen in his after career, as a
knight valorous and gentle, a prince beloved and popular.

But with the summer there came strife and peril, and protection became
paramount to every thing beside.

During the winter, while the Countess de Montfort lay tranquil in
Hennebon, the Count Charles de Blois lay as tranquilly in Nantes,
which—as I have before related—had been treasonably surrendered to him
by Sir Hervè de Léon and the citizens of the place. But now, that the
fair weather had returned, that the swallows were disporting themselves
in the summer air, the cuckoos calling by the river-sides, now that
armies could hold themselves in the fields with plenty of all sorts
around them, he summoned to him all those great princes of the royal
blood, and all the noble barons and valiant knights who had fought with
him in the last campaign. And, mindful of their promises, they drew all
their forces to a head, and came with a great array of spears of France,
and Genoese cross-bowmen, and Spanish men-at-arms, under the leading of
the Lord Lewis d’Espagne, to re-conquer for him all that remained
unconquered of the fair land of Brittany.

During the last year the strong Castle of Chateau-ceux had been won by
them by sheer dint of arms, and Nantes, the capital of the province, by
the vileness of the traitor Hervè de Léon; the next strongest place to
these was the city of Rennes, which had been put into complete readiness
for war by its late lord, and further fortified by the countess, who had
entrusted it to Sir William de Cadoudal, a brave Breton knight, and in
all probability an ancestor of the no less valiant George, of the same
patronymic, the great Vendean chief and victim of Napoleon, co-murdered
with the princely Duc d’Enghien.

This town the French lords surrounded on all sides, and assailed it with
fierce and continual skirmishes at the barricades, and wrought it much
damage by the persistency of their onslaughts; but still the defenders
defended themselves so valiantly, resolute not to lose their
liege-lady’s city, that the besiegers lost more than they gained—for
many lives were lost on both sides, but far most on the French part; and
yet more wounded—nor could they amend it any thing, nor win a tower,
nor force a gate, though they made assaults daily, and plied the walls
from mighty engines, with great store of artillery.

Now, when the Countess of Montfort heard how the French lords had
returned into Brittany, and were laying waste the country and besieging
her strong city, she sent one of the best of all her knights, Sir Amauri
de Clisson, who should repair straightway to King Edward, in England, to
entreat his assistance, upon condition that her young son should take
for his wife one of the daughters of the king, and give her the title of
Duchess of Brittany.

And the king, well pleased to strengthen his claim on that fair
province, readily assented, and ordered Sir Walter Manny, one of the
prowess and most skilled in war of all his knights, to gather together
so many men-at-arms as he should with Sir Amauri’s advice judge proper;
and to take with him three or four thousand of the best archers in
England, and to take ship immediately to the succor of the Countess of
Montfort.

And Sir Walter embarked with Sir Amauri de Clisson, and the two brothers
Sir Lewis and Sir John de Land-Halle, the Haze of Brabant, Sir Herbert
de Fresnoi, Sir Alain de Sirefonde, and many others, leaders of note;
and men-at-arms not a few; and archers of England, six thousand, the
best men in the realm, whose backs no man had seen. And they took their
ships, earnest to aid the countess with a speed; but they were overtaken
by a mighty storm and tempest, and forced to remain at sea forty days so
that much ill fell out, and more would have befallen, but that it was
not to be otherwise in the end, but that the countess should hold the
duchy as her own, and her son’s for ever.

In the meantime, the Count Charles of Blois pressed closer and closer to
the town, and harassed the people sorely, so that the gentlemen and
soldiers being but a few, and the rogue townsmen many, when they saw
that no succors came nor seemed like to come, they grew impatient; and
when Sir William de Cadoudal was determined to make no surrender, they
rose on him by night, and cast him into prison; and so basely and
treacherously yielded up the place to the Count Charles, on condition
only that the men of the Montfort party should have so let or hindrance
to go whither they would, with their effects and followings, under
assurance.

Then Sir William de Cadoudal joined the Countess de Montfort where she
abode in Hennebon, but where she had yet no tidings from the King Edward
of England, or from Sir Amauri de Clisson, or any whom she had sent in
his company.

And she had with her in Hennebon the Bishop of Léon, the uncle of that
traitor Sir Hervè de Léon, Sir Yves de Tresiquidi, the Lord of
Landreman, Sir William de Cadoudal, the Governor of Gesincamp, the two
brothers of Quirich, Sir Oliver, and Sir Henry de Spinefort, and many
others.

Now the Count de Blois well foresaw that the countess once delivered
into his hands with the child John de Montfort, the war was at an end
for ever; and, without tarrying at Rennes when he had taken it, he
marched direct upon Hennebon, to take it if he might by assault, and if
not, to sit down before it; and the numbers of his host without was, as
by thousands to hundreds of those within; and there were among them many
great names for valor and for prowess—but there was that within which
without was lacking, the indomitable heart, the immortal love of a true
woman.

It was a little before noon on the 20th day of May, 1342, when the
vanguard of that great host might be seen from the walls of Hennebon;
and a beautiful sight it was to see them come; to behold the pennons and
pennoncelles, the helmets and habergeons, the plumes and surcoats,
flashing and shimmering in the sunshine, and waving in the light airs;
and such numbers of men-at-arms that the eye might not compass them; all
marshaled fairly beneath the square banners of their lordly and princely
leaders, so that they seemed like a moving forest, so upright did they
hold their lances. Then came the dense array, on foot, of the Genoese
cross-bows, in their plate coats of Italian steel, with terrible
arbalests; and the unrivaled infantry of Spain, a solid column,
bristling like the Greek phalanx of old, with serried lines of spears.

The earth shook under the thick thunder of their horse-hoofs; the air
was alive with the clash and clang of their steel harness; and all the
echoes rang with the shrill flourishes of their trumpets, and the stormy
roar of their kettle-drums.

But no terror did such sights or sounds strike to the hearts of that
undaunted garrison—the deafening clang of the alarm-bells, the
tremendous tocsin answered the kettle-drums and clarions; and all within
the city armed themselves in hot haste. The flower of the French and
Spanish chivalry galloped up to skirmish at the barriers, and the iron
bolts and quarrels of the Genoese cross-bows fell like a hail-storm,
even within the ramparts.

But ere that fierce storm had endured many minutes, up grated the
portcullises, down rattled the drawbridges, and as the barriers were
withdrawn—banners and spears, and barded destriers and knightly
burgonets poured out from all the city gates at once, and burst in full
career upon the skirmishers of the besiegers; then many a knight was
borne to earth, and the chivalry of France and Spain fared ill before
the lances of the Bretons; for they could not bide the brunt, but
scattered back, dismantled and discomfited, to their main body; while
the maces and two-handed glaives and battle-axes of the men-at-arms did
bloody execution on the Genoese, who were not armed to encounter the
charge of steel-clad horse, and to whom no quarter was given, not only
that they were foreigners and _Condottieri_, but that themselves sparing
none, they neither looked for, nor received mercy.

At vesper-time, on both sides they retired; the French in great fury at
their repulse, the garrison of Hennebon well content with themselves and
with that they had done.

On the next day again with the first rays of the sun, “the French made
so very vigorous an attack on the barriers, that those within made a
sally. Among them were some of their bravest, who continued the
engagement till noon with great courage, so that the assaillants retired
a little to the rear, carrying with them numbers of their wounded, and
leaving behind them a great many dead.”

But not for that had they any respite or relaxation; for the lords of
the French were so enraged at the dishonor which had thus twice befallen
their arms, that they ordered them up a third time to the attack, in
greater numbers than before, swearing that they would win the walls ere
the sun should set; but for all their swearing they did not win that
day, nor for all their fighting; for those of the town were earnest to
make a handsome defense, combating under the eyes of their heroic
chatelaine; and so stoutly held they out, that the assailants sent still
to the host for succors till their last men were in the field, and none
were left, with the baggage and the tents, but a sort of horseboys,
scullions, and such rascals.

And still from the hot noontide, till the evening breeze began to blow
in cool from the sea, the din of arms, and shouts, and war-cries, and
the clamor of the wounded, rose from the barricades; and many gallant
deeds of arms were done on that day on both sides, and many doughty
blows given and received; but still the Lord Charles and his men made no
way, but lost more than they gained.

And in the end the _los_ and glory of the day, for the most daring deed,
rested with a woman.

For the countess on that day had clothed herself _cap-a-pie_ in armor,
and mounted on a war-horse; though ever till that day she had been
tender and delicate among women, of slender symmetry and rare soft
beauty, with large blue eyes and a complexion of snow and golden
tresses; and she galloped up and down the streets encouraging the
inhabitants to defend themselves honorably—for she had no thought yet
but to comfort them and kindle their spirit by her show of example; nor
as yet did she know her own courage, or the strength that resides in the
heart of a true woman.

“She had already,” to quote old Froissart, whose account is here so
spirited and graphic in his own words, that I prefer giving the
narration in that old quaint language, to adding any thing, or expanding
the striking relation of facts too strong to bear expansion, “she had
already ordered the ladies and other women to cut short their kirtles,
carry the stones to the ramparts, and throw them on their enemies. She
had pots of quicklime brought to her for the same purpose. That same day
the countess performed a very gallant deed: she ascended a high tower,
to see how her people behaved; and, having observed that all the lords
and others of the army had quitted their tents, and were come to the
assault, she immediately descended, mounted her horse, armed as she was,
collected three hundred horsemen, sallied out at their head by another
gate that was not attacked, and galloping up to the tents of her
enemies, cut them down, and set them on fire, without any loss, for
there were only servants and boys, who fled upon her approach. As soon
as the French saw their camp on fire, and heard the cries, they
immediately hastened thither, bawling out, ‘Treason! Treason!’ so that
none remained at the assault. The countess seeing this, got her men
together, and finding that she could not reënter Hennebon without great
risk, took another road, leading to the castle of Brest, which is
situated near. The Lord Lewis of Spain, who was marshal of the army, had
gone to his tents, which were on fire; and, seeing the countess and her
company galloping off as fast as they could, he immediately pursued them
with a large body of men-at-arms. He gained so fast upon them, that he
came up with them, and wounded or slew all that were not well mounted;
but the countess, and part of her company, made such speed that they
arrived at the castle of Brest, where they were received with great joy.

“On the morrow, the lords of France, who had lost their tents and
provisions, took counsel, if they should not make huts of the branches
and leaves of trees near to the town, and were thunder-struck when they
heard that the countess herself had planned and executed this
enterprise: while those of the town, not knowing what was become of her,
were very uneasy; for they were full five days without gaining any
intelligence of her. The countess, in the meanwhile, was so active that
she assembled from five to six hundred men, well armed and mounted, and
with them set out, about midnight, from Brest, and came straight to
Hennebon about sunrise, riding along one side of the enemy’s host, until
she came to the gates of the castle, which were opened to her: she
entered with great triumph and sounds of trumpets and other warlike
instruments, to the astonishment of the French, who began arming
themselves to make another assault upon the town, while those within
mounted the walls to defend it. This attack was very severe, and lasted
till past noon. The French lost more than their opponents: and then the
lords of France put a stop to it, for their men were killed and wounded
to no purpose. They next retreated, and held a council whether the Lord
Charles should not go to besiege the castle of Aurai, which King Arthur
had built and inclosed. It was determined that he should march thither,
accompanied by the Duke of Bourbon, the Earl of Blois, Sir Robert
Bertrand, Marshal of France; and that Sir Hervè de Léon was to remain
before Hennebon, with a part of the Genoese under his command, and the
Lord Lewis of Spain, the Viscount of Rohan, with the rest of the Genoese
and Spaniards. They sent for twelve large machines which they had left
at Rennes, to cast stones and annoy the castle of Hennebon; for they
perceived that they did not gain any ground by their assaults. The
French divided their army into two parts: one remained before Hennebon,
and the other marched to besiege the castle of Aurai. The Lord Charles
of Blois went to this last place, and quartered all his division in the
neighborhood.”

With the Count Charles de Blois we have naught to do, save in so much as
his doings or sufferings have to do absolutely with the Countess de
Montfort; I shall leave him, therefore, to win or lose the castle of
Aurai, under the fortunes of war, while I shall follow the chances of
that noble chatelaine, the countess, who remained, as we shall see, not
only beset by enemies without, but by traitors within, the walls of
Hennebon.

It may be as well to state here, however, that the Count Charles of
Blois did not take Aurai, whether it was built by King Arthur or
no—which, despot Dom Froissart, is rather more than doubtful—any more
than the Lord Lewis d’Espagne took Hennebon, which he came perilous nigh
to doing, yet had to depart frustrate.

So soon as the French host had divided itself into two parts, after the
taste it had received of the quality of the Breton garrison within the
walls of Hennebon, and of the noble character of its heroic chatelaine,
they made no attempt any more to skirmish at the barriers, or to assault
the walls, for in good sooth they dared not, but day and night they
plyed those dreadful engines hurling in mighty beams of wood,
steel-headed, and ponderous iron bars and vast blocks of stone, shaking
the walls and ramparts, wheresoever they struck them, so that the
defenders knew not at what moment they would be breached, and the city
laid open to the pitiless foe.

And now the hearts of all, save of that delicate and youthful lady,
failed them; and if she had set them, before, a fair example of
chivalric daring, she set them now a fairer of constancy, more heroical
than any action; of feminine endurance, and fortitude and faith, grander
than any daring.

The false bishop, Guy de Léon, contrived to leave the town, on some
false pretext, and hold a parley with his traitor kinsman, Hervè de
Léon—but for whose villainy that bright young dame never had cased her
gentle form in steel, nor wielded the mortal sword in warfare. Where
traitors are on both sides, treason is wont to win; and so it well nigh
proved in this instance; for the bishop returned with offers of free
pardon to the garrison and passports to go whither they would, with
their effects unhurt, so they would yield the town to Sir Hervè.

And, though the countess perceived what was on the wind, and besought
the lords of Brittany with tears and sighs, that made her but more
lovely, “for the love of herself, and of her son; friendless but for
them; for the love of God himself, to have pity on her, and faith in
heaven, that they should receive succor within three days,” it seemed
that she could not prevail.

Nor was there not cause for apprehension; since it was clear to all that
the ramparts could not stand one more day’s breaching; and, those once
battered down, Hennebon and all within it were at the mercy of the
merciless.

The bishop was eloquent, and fear and hope more eloquent yet; and ere,
long after midnight, the council closed, all minds but those of three,
Sir Yves de Tresiquidi, Sir Waleran de Landreman, and the governor of
Guincamp, were won over to yield up the city to Sir Hervè; and even
those three doubted. None so hopeful but to trust that to-morrow’s
conference would be final; none so strong in courage as to dare support
one other day’s assault.

All passed the night in doubt and fear; the countess alone in brave
hope, and earnest prayer.

The day dawned, and—as men crowded to the ramparts, gazing toward the
camp and the plain where Sir Hervè might be seen approaching with his
Genoese, closing up to the town to receive possession—the countess
arose from her knees, and she alone, of all in Hennebon, turned her eyes
toward the sea; for she alone, of all to Hennebon, had faith in her God.

The sea! the sea! it was white with sails, from the mouth almost of the
haven, to the dark line of the horizon, flashing to the new-risen sun
with lanceheads and clear armor, fluttering with pennoncolles and
banners, blazing with embroidered surcoats and emblazoned shields.

And the lady flung her casement wide, and gazed out on her people, in
the market-place, along the ramparts, in the tumultuous streets, with
disheveled hair, and disordered raiment, and clasped hands and flushed
cheeks, and eyes streaming with tears of joy—“God and St. George!” she
cried, in tones that rang to every heart like the notes of a silver
trumpet—“God and St. George! an English fleet! an English fleet! It
_is_ the aid of God!”

And, as the people crowded to the seaward bastions, and saw the great
ships rushing in before a leading wind, with their sails all emblazoned
with Edward’s triple leopards; and the banners and shields of the
English Manny, and of their own Amauri de Clisson, displayed from the
yard-arms, and the immortal red cross blazing, above all, on its argent
field, they, too, took up the cry.

“God and St. George! God and St. George! It _is_ the aid of England! it
is the aid of God!”

“Thereafter,” adds my author, whom I quote once more, for the last time,
“when the Governor of Guincamp, Sir Yves de Tresiquidi, Sir Waleran de
Landreman, and the other knights, perceived this succor coming to them,
they told the bishop that he might break up his conference, for they
were not now inclined to follow his advice. The bishop, Sir Guy de Léon,
replied, ‘My lords, then our company shall separate; for I will go to
him who seems to me to have the clearest right.’ Upon which he sent his
defiance to the lady, and to all her party, and left the town to inform
Sir Hervè de Léon how matters stood. Sir Hervè was much vexed at it, and
immediately ordered the largest machine that was with the army to be
placed as near the castle as possible, strictly commanding that it
should never cease working day nor night. He then presented his uncle to
the Lord Lewis of Spain, and to the Lord Charles of Blois, who both
received him most courteously. The countess, in the meantime, prepared,
and hung with tapestry, halls and chambers, to lodge handsomely the
lords and barons of England whom she saw coming, and sent out a noble
company to meet them. When they were landed, she went herself to give
them welcome, respectfully thanking each knight and squire, and led them
into the town and castle, that they might have convenient lodging: on
the morrow she gave them a magnificent entertainment. All that night,
and the following day, the large machine never ceased from casting
stones into the town.

“After the entertainment, Sir Walter Manny, who was captain of the
English, inquired of the countess the state of the town, and of the
enemy’s army. Upon looking out of the window, he said, he had a great
inclination to destroy the large machine which was placed so near, and
much annoyed them, if any would second him. Sir Yves de Tresiquidi
replied, that he would not fail him in this his first expedition; as did
also the Lord of Landreman. They went to arm themselves, and sallied
quietly out of one of the gates, taking with them three hundred archers;
who shot so well, that those who guarded the machine fled; and the
men-at-arms who followed the archers, falling upon them, slew the
greater part, and broke down and cut in pieces this large machine. They
then dashed in among the tents and huts, set fire to them, and killed
and wounded many of their enemies before the army was in motion. After
this, they made a handsome retreat. When the enemy were mounted and
armed, they galloped after them like madmen. Sir Walter Manny, seeing
this, exclaimed, ‘May I never be embraced by my mistress and dear
friend, if I enter castle or fortress before I have unhorsed one of
these gallopers.’ He then turned round, and pointed his spear toward the
enemy, as did the two brothers of Land-Halle, le Haze de Brabant, Sir
Yves de Tresiquidi, Sir Waleran de Landreman, and many others, and
spitted the first coursers. Many legs were made to kick the air. Some of
their own party were also unhorsed. The conflict became very serious,
for reinforcements were perpetually coming from the camp; and the
English were obliged to retreat toward the castle, which they did in
good order until they came to the castle ditch: there the knights made a
stand, until all their men were safely returned. Many brilliant actions,
captures, and rescues might have been seen. Those of the town who had
not been of the party to destroy the large machine now issued forth,
and, ranging themselves upon the banks of the ditch, made such good use
of their bows, that they forced the enemy to withdraw, killing many men
and horses. The chiefs of the army, perceiving they had the worst of it,
and that they were losing men to no purpose, sounded a retreat, and made
their men retire to the camp. As soon as they were gone, the townsmen
reëntered, and went each to his quarters. The Countess of Montfort came
down from the castle to meet them, and with a most cheerful countenance,
kissed Sir Walter Manny, and all his companions, one after the other,
like a noble and valiant dame.”

Such was the heroism of that true lady. And so was her heroism and her
faith rewarded. Hennebon was relieved; and the Count Charles de Blois
soon died, but died not Duke of Brittany.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                      =THE MYSTERIES OF A FLOWER.=


                        =BY PROFESSOR R. HUNT.=


Flowers have been called the stars of the earth; and certainly, when we
examine those beautiful creations, and discover them, analyzing the
sunbeam, and sending back to the eye the full luxury of colored light,
we must confess that there is more real appropriateness in the term than
even the poet who conceived the delicate thought imagined. Lavoisier
beautifully said—“The fable of Prometheus is but the outshadowing of a
philosophic truth—where there is light there is organization and life;
where light cannot penetrate, Death for ever holds his silent court.”
The flowers, and, indeed, those far inferior forms of organic vegetable
life which never flower, are direct dependencies on the solar rays.
Through every stage of existence they are excited by those subtle
agencies which are gathered together in the sunbeam; and to these
influences we may trace all that beauty of development which prevails
throughout the vegetable world. How few there are, of even those refined
minds to whom flowers are more than a symmetric arrangement of petals
harmoniously colored, who think of the secret agencies forever exciting
the life which is within their cells, to produce the organized
structure—who reflect on the deep, yet divine philosophy, which may be
read in every leaf:—those tongues in trees, which tell us of Eternal
goodness and order.

The hurry of the present age is not well suited to the contemplative
mind; yet, with all, there must be hours in which to fall back into the
repose of quiet thought becomes a luxury. The nervous system is strung
to endure only a given amount of excitement; if its vibrations are
quickened beyond this measure, the delicate harp-strings are broken, or
they undulate in throbs. To every one the contemplation of natural
phenomena will be found to induce that repose which gives vigor to the
mind—as sleep restores the energies of a toil-exhausted body. And to
show the advantages of such a study, and the interesting lessons which
are to be learned in the fields of nature, is the purpose of the present
essay.

The flower is regarded as the full development of vegetable growth; and
the consideration of its mysteries naturally involves a careful
examination of the life of a plant, from the seed placed in the soil to
its full maturity, whether it be as herb or tree.

For the perfect understanding of the physical conditions under which
vegetable life is carried on, it is necessary to appreciate, in its
fullness, the value of the term _growth_. It has been said that stones
grow—that the formation of crystals was an analogous process to the
formation of a leaf; and this impression has appeared to be somewhat
confirmed by witnessing the variety of arborescent forms into which
solidifying waters pass, when the external cold spreads it as ice over
our window-panes. This is, however, a great error; stones do not
grow—there is no analogy even between the formation of a crystal and
the growth of a leaf. All inorganic masses increase in size only by the
accretion of particles—layer upon layer, without any chemical change
taking place as an essentiality. The sun may shine for ages upon a stone
without quickening it into life, changing its constitution, or adding to
its mass. Organic matter consists of arrangements of cells or sacs, and
the increase in size is due to the absorption of gaseous matter, through
the fine tissue of which they are composed. The gas—a compound of
carbon and oxygen—is decomposed by the excitement induced by light; and
the solid matter thus obtained is employed in building a new cell—or
producing actual growth, a true function of _life_, in all the processes
of which matter is constantly undergoing chemical change.

The simplest developments of vegetable life are the formation of
confervæ upon water, and of lichens upon the surface of the rock. In
chemical constitution, these present no very remarkable differences from
the cultivated flower which adorns our garden, or the tree which has
risen in its pride amidst the changing seasons of many centuries. Each
alike have derived their solid constituents from the atmosphere, and the
chemical changes in all are equally dependent upon the powers which have
their mysterious origin in the great centre of our planetary system.

Without dwelling upon the processes which take place in the lower forms
of vegetable life, the purposes of this essay will be fully answered by
taking an example from amongst the higher class of plants and examining
its conditions, from the germination of the seed to the full development
of the flower—rich in form, color, and odor.

In the seed-cell we find, by minute examination, the embryo of the
future plant carefully preserved in its envelop of starch and gluten.
The investigations which have been carried on upon the vitality of seeds
appear to prove that, under favorable conditions, this life-germ may be
maintained for centuries. Grains of wheat, which had been found in the
hands of an Egyptian mummy, germinated and grew; these grains were
produced, in all probability, more than three thousand years since; they
had been placed, at her burial, in the hands of a priestess of Isis, and
in the deep repose of the Egyptian catacomb were preserved to tell us,
in the eighteenth century, the story of that wheat which Joseph sold to
his brethren.

The process of germination is essentially a chemical one. The seed is
placed in the soil, excluded from the light, supplied with a due
quantity of moisture, and maintained at a certain temperature, which
must be above that at which water freezes; air must have free access to
the seed, which if placed so deep in the soil as to prevent the
permeation of the atmosphere never germinates. Under favorable
circumstances, the life-quickening processes begin; the starch, which is
a compound of carbon and oxygen, is converted into sugar by the
absorption of another equivalent of oxygen from the air; and we have an
evident proof of this change in the sweetness which most seeds acquire
in the process, the most familiar example of which we have in the
conversion of barley into malt. The sugar thus formed furnishes the food
to the now living creation, which, in a short period, shoots its first
leaves above the soil; and these, which rising from their dark chamber
are white, quickly become green under the operations of light.

In the process of germination a species of slow combustion takes place,
and—as in the chemical processes of animal life and in those of active
ignition—carbonic acid gas, composed of oxygen and charcoal, or carbon,
is evolved. Thus, by a mystery which our science does not enable us to
reach, the spark of life is kindled—life commences its work—the plant
grows. The first conditions of vegetable growth are, therefore,
singularly similar to those which are found to prevail in the animal
economy. The leaf-bud is no sooner above the soil than a new set of
conditions begin; the plant takes carbonic acid from the atmosphere, and
having, in virtue of its vitality, by the agency of luminous power,
decomposed this gas, it retains the carbon, and pours forth the oxygen
to the air. This process is stated to be a function of vitality; but as
this has been variously described by different authors, it is important
to state with some minuteness what does really take place.

The plant absorbs carbonic acid from the atmosphere through the under
surfaces of the leaves, and the whole of the bark; it at the same time
derives an additional portion from the moisture which is taken up by the
roots, and conveyed “to the topmost twig” by the force of capillary
attraction, and another power, called _endosmosis_, which is exerted in
a most striking manner by living organic tissues. This mysterious force
is shown in a pleasing way by covering some spirits of wine and water in
a wine-glass with a piece of bladder; the water will escape, leaving the
strong spirit behind.

Independently of the action of light the plant may be regarded as a mere
machine; the fluids and gases which it absorbs, pass off in a condition
but very little changed—just as water would strain through a sponge or
a porous stone. The consequence of this is the blanching or _etiolation_
of the plant, which we produce by our artificial treatment of celery and
sea-kale—the formation of the carbonaceous compound called
_chlorophyle_, which is the green coloring-matter of the leaves, being
entirely checked in darkness. If such a plant is brought into the light,
its dormant powers are awakened, and, instead of being little other than
a sponge through which fluids circulate, it exerts most remarkable
chemical powers; the carbonic acid of the air and water is decomposed;
its charcoal is retained to add to the wood of the plant, and the oxygen
is set free again to the atmosphere. In this process is exhibited one of
the most beautiful illustrations of the harmony which prevails through
all the great phenomena of nature with which we are acquainted—the
mutual dependence of the vegetable and animal kingdoms.

In the animal economy there is a constant production of carbonic acid,
and the beautiful vegetable kingdom, spread over the earth in such
infinite variety, requires this carbonic acid for its support.
Constantly removing from the air the pernicious agent produced by the
animal world, and giving back that oxygen which is required as the
life-quickening element by the animal races, the balance of affinities
is constantly maintained by the phenomena of vegetable growth. This
interesting inquiry will form the subject of another essay.

The decomposition of carbonic acid is directly dependent upon luminous
agency; from the impact of the earliest morning ray to the period when
the sun reaches the zenith, the excitation of that vegetable vitality by
which the chemical change is effected regularly increases. As the solar
orb sinks toward the horizon the chemical activity diminishes—the sun
sets—the action is reduced to its minimum—the plant, in the repose of
darkness, passes to that state of rest which is as necessary to the
vegetating races as sleep is to the wearied animal.

These are two well-marked stages in the life of a plant, germination and
vegetation are exerted under different conditions; the time of flowering
arrives, and another change occurs, the processes of forming the
alkaline and acid juices, of producing the oil, wax, and resin, and of
secreting those nitrogenous compounds which are found in the seed, are
in full activity. Carbonic acid is now evolved and oxygen is retained;
hydrogen and nitrogen are also forced, as it were, into combination with
the oxygen and carbon, and altogether new and more complicated
operations are in activity.

Such are the phenomena of vegetable life which the researches of our
philosophers have developed. This curious order—this regular
progression—showing itself at well-marked epochs, is now known to be
dependent upon solar influences; the

    “Bright effluence of bright essence increate”

works its mysterious wonders on every organic form. Much is still
involved in mystery; but to the call of science some strange truths have
been made manifest to man, and of some of these the phenomena must now
be explained.

_Germination_ is a chemical change which takes place most readily in
darkness; _vegetable growth_ is due to the secretion of carbon under the
agency of light; and the processes of _floriation_ are shown to involve
some new and compound operations: these three states must be distinctly
appreciated.

The sunbeam comes to us as a flood of pellucid light, usually colorless;
if we disturb this white beam, as by compelling it to pass through a
triangular piece of glass, we break it up into colored bands, which we
call the _spectrum_, in which we have such an order of chromatic rays as
are seen in the rainbow of a summer shower. These colored rays are now
known to be the sources of all the tints by which nature adorns the
surface of the earth, or art imitates, in its desire to create the
beautiful. These colored bands have not the same illuminating power, nor
do they possess the same heat-giving property. The yellow rays give the
most LIGHT; the red rays have the function of HEAT in the highest
degree. Beyond these properties the sunbeam possesses another, which is
the power of producing CHEMICAL CHANGE—of effecting those magical
results which we witness in the photographic processes, by which the
beams illuminating any object are made to delineate it upon the prepared
tablet of the artist.

It has been suspected that these three phenomena are not due to the same
agency, but that, associated in the sunbeam, we have LIGHT, producing
all the blessings of vision, and throwing the veil of color over all
things—HEAT, maintaining that temperature over our globe which is
necessary to the perfection of living organisms—and a third principle,
ACTINISM, by which the chemical changes alluded to are effected. We
possess the power, by the use of colored media, of separating these
principles from each other, and of analyzing their effects. A yellow
glass allows _light_ to pass through it most freely, but it obstructs
_actinism_ almost entirely; a deep-blue glass, on the contrary, prevents
the permeation of _light_, but it offers no interruption to the
_actinic_, or chemical rays; a red glass, again, cuts off most of the
rays, except those which have peculiarly a _calorific_, or heat-giving
power.

With this knowledge we proceed in our experiments, and learn some of the
mysteries of nature’s chemistry. If, above the soil in which the seed is
placed, we fix a deep, pure yellow glass, the chemical change which
marks germination is prevented; if, on the contrary, we employ a blue
one, it is greatly accelerated; seeds, indeed, placed beneath the soil,
covered with a cobalt blue finger-glass, will germinate many days sooner
than such as may be exposed to the ordinary influences of
sunshine:—this proves the necessity of the principle actinism to this
first stage of vegetable life. Plants, however, made to grow under the
influences of such blue media present much the same conditions as those
which are reared in the dark; they are succulent instead of woody, and
have yellow leaves and white stalks—indeed, the formation of leaves is
prevented, and all the vital energy of the plant is exerted in the
production of stalk. The chemical principle of the sun’s rays, alone, is
not therefore sufficient; remove the plant to the influence of light, as
separated from actinism, by the action of yellow media, and wood is
formed abundantly—the plant grows most healthfully, and the leaves
assume that dark green which belongs to tropical climes or to our most
brilliant summers. Light is thus proved to be the exciting agent in
effecting those chemical decompositions which have already been
described; but under the influence of isolated light it is found that
plants will not flower. When, however, the subject of our experiment is
brought under the influence of a red glass, particularly of that variety
in which a beautifully pure red is produced by oxide of gold, the whole
process of floriation and the perfection of the seed is accomplished.

Careful and long-continued observations have proved that in the spring,
when the process of germination is most active, the chemical rays are
the most abundant in the sunbeam. As the summer advances, light,
relatively to the other forces, is largely increased: at this season the
trees of the forest, the herb of the valley, and the cultivated plants
which adorn our dwellings, are all alike adding to their wood. Autumn
comes on, and then heat, so necessary for ripening grain, is found to
exist in considerable excess. It is curious, too, that the autumnal heat
has properties peculiarly its own—so decidedly distinguished from the
ordinary heat, that Sir John Herschel and Mrs. Somerville have adopted a
term to distinguish it. The peculiar browning or scorching rays of
autumn are called the _parathermic_ rays: they possess a remarkable
chemical action added to their calorific one; and to this is due those
complicated phenomena already briefly described.

In these experiments, carefully tried, we are enabled to imitate the
conditions of nature, and supply, at any time, those states of solar
radiation which belong to the varying seasons of the year.

Such is a rapid sketch of the mysteries of a flower; “Consider the
lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin;
and yet I say unto you, Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like
one of these.”

Under the influence of the sunbeam, vegetable life is awakened,
continued, and completed; a wondrous alchemy is effected; the change in
the condition of the solar radiations determines the varying conditions
of vegetable vitality; and in its progress those transmutations occur,
which at once give beauty to the exterior world, and provide for the
animal races the food by which their existence is maintained. The
contemplation of influences such as these realizes in the human soul
that sweet feeling which, with Keats, finds that

        A thing of beauty is a joy forever;
        Its loveliness increasing, it will never
        Pass into nothingness, but still will keep
        A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
        Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

                       *    *    *    *    *

                      Such the sun and moon,
        Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
        For simple sheep; and such are daffodils,
        With the green world they live in.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            =TOO MUCH BLUE.=


                        =FROM HOUSEHOLD WORDS.=


Early on a fine summer morning, an old man was walking on the road
between Brussels and Namur. He expected a friend to arrive by the
diligence, and he set out some time before it was due, to meet it on the
road. Having a good deal of time to spare, he amused himself by watching
any object of interest that caught his eye; and at length stopped to
inspect the operations of a painter, who, mounted on a ladder placed
against the front of a wayside inn, was busily employed in depicting a
sign suitable to its name, “The Rising Sun.”

“Here,” said the old man to himself, “is an honest dauber, who knows as
much of perspective as a cart-horse; and who, I’ll warrant, fancies
himself a Rubens. How he brushes in that ultramarine sky!”

The critic then commenced walking backward and forward before the inn,
thinking that he might as well loiter there for the diligence as walk on
farther. The painter, meantime, continued to lay on fresh coats of the
brightest blue, which appeared to aggravate the old gentleman very much.
At length, when the sign-painter took another brush full of blue paint
to plaster on, the spectator could endure it no longer, and exclaimed
severely—

“Too much blue!”

The honest painter looked down from his perch, and said, in that tone of
forced calmness which an angry man sometimes assumes:

“Monsieur does not perceive that I am painting a sky?”

“Oh, yes, I see very well, you are trying to paint a sky, but I tell you
again there is too much blue.”

“Did you ever see skies painted without blue, Master amateur?”

“I am not an amateur. I merely tell you, in passing—I make the casual
remark—that that there is too much blue; but do as you like. Put more
blue, if you don’t think you have troweled on enough already.”

“But I tell you, that I want to represent a clear, blue sky at sunrise.”

“And I tell you that no man in his senses would make a sky at sunrise
blue.”

“By St. Gudula, this is too much!” exclaimed the painter, coming down
from his ladder, at no pains this time to conceal his anger; “I should
like to see how _you_ would paint skies without blue.”

“I don’t pretend to much skill in sky-painting; but, if I were to make a
trial, I wouldn’t put in too much blue.”

“And what would it look like if you didn’t?”

“Like nature, I hope, and not like yours, which might be taken for a bed
of gentianella, or a sample of English cloth, or any thing you
please—except a sky; I beg to assure you, for the tenth time, there is
too much blue!”

“I tell you what, old gentleman,” cried the insulted artist, crossing
his maul-stick over his shoulder, and looking very fierce, “I dare say
you are a very worthy fellow when you are at home; but you should not be
let out—alone.”

“Why not?”

“Why not? Because you must be crazy to play the critic after this
fashion; too much blue indeed! What, I, the pupil of Ruysdael, the third
cousin of Gerard Douw’s great-grandson, not know how to color a sky?
Know that my reputation has been long established. I have a Red Horse at
Malines, a Green Bear at Namur, and a Charlemagne at Aix-la-Chapelle,
before which every passenger stops fixed in admiration!”

“Nonsense!” exclaimed the critic, as he snatched the palette from the
painter’s hand. “You deserve to have your own portrait painted to serve
for the sign of the Flemish Ass!” In his indignation he mounted the
ladder with the activity of a boy, and began with the palm of his hand
to efface the _chef d’oeuvre_ of Gerard Douw’s great-grandson’s third
cousin.

“Stop! You old charlatan!” shouted the latter, “you are ruining my sign!
Why, it’s worth thirty-five francs. And then my reputation—lost! gone
for ever!”

He shook the ladder violently to make his persecutor descend. But the
latter, undisturbed either by that or by the presence of a crowd of
villagers, attracted by the dispute, continued mercilessly to blot out
the glowing landscape. Then, using merely the point of his finger and
the handle of a brush, he sketched, in masterly outline, three Flemish
boors, with beer-glasses in their hands, drinking to the rising sun;
which appeared above the horizon, dispersing the gloom of a grayish
morning sky. One of the faces presented a strong and laughable
caricature of the supplanted sign-painter. The spectators at first were
greatly disposed to take part with their countryman against the
intrusive stranger. What right had he to interfere? There was no end to
the impudence of these foreigners.

As, however, they watched and grumbled, the grumbling gradually ceased,
and was turned into a murmur of approbation when the design became
apparent. The owner of the inn was the first to cry “Bravo!” and even
Gerard Douw’s cousin nine times removed, felt his fury calming down into
admiration.

“Oh!” he exclaimed, “you belong to the craft, honest man, and there’s no
use in denying it. Yes, yes,” he continued, laughing, as he turned
toward his neighbors, “this is a French sign-painter, who wishes to have
a jest with me. Well, I must frankly say he knows what he is about.”

The old man was about to descend from the ladder, when a gentleman,
riding a beautiful English horse, made his way through the crowd.

“That painting is mine!” he exclaimed in French, but with a foreign
accent. “I will give a hundred guineas for it!”

“Another madman!” exclaimed the native genius. “Hang me, but all these
foreigners are mad!”

“What do you mean, monsieur?” said the innkeeper, uncommonly interested.

“What I say—I will give one hundred guineas for that painting,”
answered the young Englishman, getting off his horse.

“That picture is not to be sold,” said the sign-painter, with an air of
as much pride as if it had been his own work.

“No,” quoth mine host, “for it is already sold, and even partly paid for
in advance. However, if monsieur wishes to come to an arrangement about
it, it is with me that he must treat.”

“Not at all, not at all,” rejoined the Flemish painter of signs, “it
belongs to me. My fellow-artist here gave me a little help out of
friendship; but the picture is my lawful property, and I am at liberty
to sell it to any one I please.”

“What roguery!” exclaimed the innkeeper, “My Rising Sun is my property;
fastened on the wall of my house. How can it belong to anybody else.
Isn’t it painted on my boards. No one but myself has the smallest right
to it.”

“I’ll summon you before the magistrate,” cried he who had _not_ painted
the sign.

“I’ll prosecute you for breach of covenant,” retorted the innkeeper who
had half paid for it.

“One moment!” interposed another energetic voice, that of the
interloper; “it seems to me that _I_ ought to have some little vote in
this business.”

“Quite right, brother,” answered the painter. “Instead of disputing on
the public road, let us go into Master Martzen’s house, and arrange the
matter amicably over a bottle or two of beer.”

To this all parties agreed, but I am sorry to say they agreed in nothing
else; for within doors, the dispute was carried on with deafening
confusion and energy. The Flemings contended for the possession of the
painting, and the Englishman repeated his offer to cover it with gold.

“But suppose that _I_ don’t choose to have it sold?” said its real
author.

“Oh, my dear monsieur,” said the innkeeper, “I am certain you would not
wish to deprive an honest poor man, who can scarcely make both ends
meet, of this windfall. Why, it would just enable me to lay in a good
stock of wine and beer.”

“Don’t believe him, brother,” cried the painter, “he is an old miser. I
am the father of a family; and being a painter, you ought to help a
brother artist, and give me the preference. Besides, I am ready to share
the money with you.”

“He!” said Master Martzen. “Why, he’s an old spendthrift, who has no
money left to give his daughter as a marriage portion, because he spends
all he gets on himself.”

“No such thing; my Susette is betrothed to an honest, young French
cabinet-maker; who, poor as she is, will marry her next September.”

“A daughter to portion!” exclaimed the stranger artist; “that quite
alters the case. I am content that the picture should be sold for a
marriage portion. I leave it to our English friend’s generosity to fix
the sum.”

“I have already offered,” replied the best bidder, “one hundred guineas
for the sketch just as it is: I will gladly give two hundred for it if
the painter will consent to sign it in the corner with two words.”

“What words?” exclaimed all the disputants at once.

The Englishman replied,

“Pierre David.”

The whole party were quiet enough now; for they were struck dumb with
astonishment. The sign-painter held his breath, glared with his eyes,
frantically clasped his hands together, and fell down on his knees
before the great French painter.

“Forgive me!” he exclaimed, “forgive me for my audacious ignorance.”

David laughed heartily; and, taking his hand, shook it with fraternal
cordiality.

By this time the news of the discovery had spread; the tavern was
crowded with persons anxious to drink the health of their celebrated
visitor; and the good old man, standing in the middle of the room,
pledged them heartily. In the midst of the merry-making, the
sign-painter’s daughter, the pretty Susette, threw her arms round her
benefactor’s neck.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                              =TO —— ——.=


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


            Look thou upon me with approving eyes,
              Oh, thou whose love is more than life to me!
              So shall my soul be strong, though I may see
            Cold looks and stern to other faces rise.
            Since first I promised to be thine alone,
              Hath one fond word from thee been dearer far
              Than loudest praises from all others are,

            Or warmest smiles. Thou art my world, mine own;
            And the one treasure that I prize above
              All else that earth can give—the one rich boon
              So dear, that if I lost it I should soon
            Lie in the grave’s cold bosom, is thy love!
              Love me then ever, for I fain would be
              All onto thee, love, that thou art to me.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =THE TRIAL BY BATTLE.=


                        =A TALE OF CHIVALRY.[3]=


                               CHAPTER I.

                            THE CORONATION.

Easter-even, in the year of our Lord 1099, was held as a high festival
in the fine city of Barcelona: it was the coronation-day of the young
Count Raymond Berenger the Third, whose twelvemonth’s mourning for his
lamented father and sovereign was to close with his own solemn
inauguration. The count had accordingly, by his letters patent, convoked
to his good city of Barcelona the bishops, barons, knights, and also the
ambassadors from foreign courts, to witness him take his knighthood, and
receive from the altar, and place upon his head, the garland of golden
roses which formed the coronet of the Counts of Arragon.

At the appointed day, not only the prelates, barons, and chivalry of
Spain repaired to the festival, but a great many foreign lords and
princes: the Judge and the Archbishop of Albera, from Sardinia; the King
of Arragon, from Saragossa; the King of Castile, from Madrid. The
Moorish sovereigns of Tlemecen and Granada, not being able to come in
person, had sent rich presents to the count, with congratulatory
epistles by the hands of their ambassadors. Indeed, so great was the
concourse to Barcelona on this day, that thirty thousand stirrups
belonging to gentlemen of condition were counted in the city and its
environs.

This concourse was too great for the count to receive at his own palace
of Aljaferia, which stood a short distance from Barcelona: he was
therefore compelled to limit the number of his guests to kings,
prelates, princes, ambassadors, and their suites; and there were present
in Barcelona at that time four thousand persons who claimed his
hospitality as their right.

Throughout the day an immense crowd traversed the streets, visited the
churches, or amused themselves with the tricks of the jugglers and
mountebanks, passing from devotion to mirth, and from mirth to devotion;
but toward evening every one took his way to the palace, for the count
was to watch his arms that evening in the church of St. Saviour. The
whole road to the palace, two miles from the city, was illuminated by
torches, which were kindled before the close of the day, the moment the
vesper-bell was rung. This broad avenue of light defined the route to
the church of St. Saviour, and as soon as this was effected, the heralds
appeared with the banners of the Count of Barcelona, and marshaled the
people on each side, that the _cortége_ might have room to pass,
unobstructed by the pressure of the crowd. At the last stroke of the
vesper-bell, the gates of the palace opened, amidst the joyful shouts of
the multitude, who had been awaiting that event since the hour of noon.

The first who appeared in the procession were the noble knights of
Catalonia, on horseback, wearing the swords of their forefathers;
valiant blades, gapped by hard service in battle or tournament, bearing
names like those of Charlemagne, Roland, and Réné.

Behind them came their squires, bearing the arms and naked swords of
their masters, which, unlike the ancestral brands the knights had
displayed, were bright and unstained; but they knew that in the hands of
their owners they would soon lose their virgin brightness and lustre in
the turmoil of battle.

Next appeared the sword of the lord count, made in the form of a cross,
to recall continually to his mind that he was the soldier of God before
he became an earthly prince. Neither emperor, king, nor count had ever
before worn a sword better tempered, or more richly embossed with jewels
on the handle. It was in the hands of Don Juan Ximenes de la Roca, one
of the bravest knights in the world, who held it till the time should
arrive when it would pass into those of its master. He was supported on
each side by the Baron Gulielmo di Cervallo and Sir Otto de Monçada.

After the sword of the lord count came his equerries, in two chariots,
bearing lighted torches, and charged with ten quintals of wax, to be
offered as a gift to the church of St. Saviour, because the count had
vowed a taper to the altar, to expiate the fault his filial duty had
obliged him to commit, since, detained in his own country by the long
illness of his father, he had not departed for the Crusade. This wax
taper had gone in solemn procession through the city, to prove the
penitence of the count, who felt grief as a knight, and remorse as a
Christian.

After the chariots came the lord count himself, mounted on a steed
magnificently caparisoned. He was a beautiful youth between eighteen and
nineteen, wearing long ringlets on his shoulders, waving on either side,
but restrained from concealing his open brow by a fillet of gold. He
wore his close-fitting coat of war, for during the watch he would have
to assume his armor; but this vestment was covered with a large mantle
of cloth of gold, which fell even to his stirrups. Behind him followed
his arms, carried by two nobles, consisting of a helmet, with the visor
closed; a coat of mail of polished steel, inlaid with gold; a buckler,
on which was engraved the garland of roses, the well-known sign of
sovereignty of the Counts of Barcelona. The nobleman who bore these arms
was accompanied by Roger, Count de Pallars, and Alphonse Ferdinando,
Lord of Ixer, both with their swords drawn, to defend, if necessary, the
royal armor.

After the armor of the lord count came, in pairs, the nobles upon whom
he was to confer the honor of knighthood. They were twelve in number;
and these, in their turn, were each to arm ten knights as soon as they
had received the order; and these hundred and twenty came also in pairs,
their fine horses magnificently caparisoned, and covered with cloth of
gold.

Last of all, four abreast, came, first, the prelates; then the kings and
the ambassadors from foreign courts, who represented the persons of
their sovereigns; then the dukes, counts, and knights; each degree
separated by the musicians, who rent the air with their trumpets,
timbrels, and flutes. The last rank in the pageant was followed by the
_jongleurs_, or jugglers, in the costume of savages, running on foot, or
mounted on little horses without bridle or saddle, on whose backs they
exhibited a variety of tricks.

Thus, by the aid of the flambeau, which changed night into day, and
darkness into light, and with the mighty sound of drums, tymbals,
trumpets, and other musical instruments, aided by the shouts of the
_jongleurs_, and the proclamations of the heralds, who called
out—“Barcelona! Barcelona!” the count was conducted to the church,
having been seen by every one, on account of the slow progress of the
procession, and the length of way between the palace and the sacred
edifice. The hour of midnight, indeed, struck the moment the count
alighted at the porch, where he was met by the Archbishop of Barcelona,
and all the clergy.

The lord count, followed by all the nobles who were to receive their
arms, entered the church, and watched them together, according to old
custom on such occasions, reciting prayers and singing psalms in honor
of their Saviour. They passed the night very happily in these devotional
services, and attended matins, which service was performed by the
archbishops, bishops, priors, and abbots.

When the day broke, the church was opened to the congregation of the
faithful, who filled it in such a fashion, that it was wonderful how so
many men and women could be so closely crowded together without injury
to themselves or their neighbors. The archbishop then made himself ready
to say mass, and the lord count put on a surplice, as if he intended to
assist him; but over the surplice he wore a richer Dalmatica than
emperor or king had ever appeared in, clasped at the throat with a
diamond star, set round with pearls of inestimable value. Then he
assumed the manipule, or girdle, which was also very splendid; and every
time he was invested with a new garment, the archbishop repeated a
prayer. This ceremony being finished, the archbishop said mass; but when
the epistle was ended he paused—when the two godfathers of the count,
Don Juan Ximenes de la Roca, and Don Alphonse Ferdinando, Lord of Ixer,
approached the count, and one affixed the spur to his right heel, the
other to his left—the solemn notes of the organ accompanying this part
of the ceremonial. Then the count, approaching the altar, knelt before
the shrine, and repeated to himself a whispered prayer, while the
archbishop, standing by his aide, prayed aloud.

When this prayer was ended, the count took the sword from the altar,
kissed meekly the cross that formed its handle, girded it to his loins,
and then, drawing it from its scabbard, brandished the knightly weapon
three times. At the first flourish, he defied all the enemies of the
holy Catholic faith; at the second, he vowed to succor all widows,
orphans and minors; and at the third, he promised to render justice all
his life to high and low, rich and poor, to his own subjects, and to
foreigners who might require redress at his hands. At this last oath, a
deep sonorous voice replied “Amen.” Every body turned round to see the
person from whom this response proceeded; it came, however, from a
Provençal _jongleur_, who had crowded into the church, not-withstanding
the opposition made by those who did not consider him fit to be in such
good company; but the count, having heard the quality of his respondent,
would not allow him to be turned out, declaring—“that it would ill
become him at such a moment to refuse the prayer of any one, be he lord
or vassal, rich or poor, provided it came from a pure and contrite
heart.” The _jongleur_, in virtue of this declaration on the part of the
lord count, was permitted to keep his place.

The lord count then, returning his sword to the scabbard, offered his
person and his blade, by a solemn act of dedication, to God; praying him
to take him into his holy keeping, and to give him the victory over all
his enemies. The archbishop, after the lord count had uttered this
prayer, anointed him with the holy chrisme on the right shoulder and
arm; then he took the crown of golden roses from the altar and set it on
his head, the godfathers of the lord count supporting the diadem on each
side. At the same instant, the archbishops, bishops, abbots, kings,
princes, and the two godfathers of the lord count chaunted in chorus,
with loud voices, _Te Deum Laudamus_, during which the lord count took
the golden sceptre in his left, and the globe in his right hand, and
held them while the _Te Deum_ was chanted and the gospel read. He then
replaced them on the altar, and seated himself in his chair of state,
before which twelve nobles led up twelve knights, whom they armed one
after the other; these, in their turn, retired to one of the twelve
chapels belonging to the church, and armed, in like manner, ten knights.

The coronation being concluded, the lord count, with his crown on his
head, bearing the golden sceptre and globe in his hands, and wearing the
dalmatica, star, and belt, came out of the church, and mounted his
horse; but as he could not guide his steed, encumbered as he was with
these insignia of his high power and dignity, two pairs of reins were
attached to the bridle, that on the left being held by his godfathers;
the others, which were of white silk, and forty feet in length, were
held by the barons, the knights, and the most eminent citizens of
Catalonia; and after these came six deputies from Valencia, six from
Saragossa, and four from Tortosa; those who held the reins to the right
or left marched on foot, to denote their subjection to the count, their
lord paramount, who, in this stately manner, and with this magnificent
_cortége_, toward noon returned to his palace of Aljaferia, amidst loud
hurrahs and flourishes of trumpets. As soon as he alighted, he entered
the dining-room, where a high throne had been prepared for him between
two golden stools, on which he deposited the sceptre, the globe, and the
crown. Then his two godfathers seated themselves near their sovereign,
and the Kings of Arragon and Castile, the Archbishops of Saragossa and
Arboise placed themselves by their side. At another table, the bishops,
dukes, and all the new-made knights took their places; after them, the
barons, envoys of the provinces, and the most eminent citizens of
Barcelona, all marshaled according to their degree, were seated in due
order, the whole assembly being waited upon by the junior nobility and
knights.

The lord count himself was served by twelve nobles. His _major domo_,
the Baron Gulielmo di Cervallo, brought in the first dish, singing a
roundel; he was followed by twelve noblemen, each carrying a dish, and
joining in full chorus. As soon as the roundel was concluded, he placed
the dish before the lord count, and cut a portion, with which he served
him; then he divested himself of his mantle and vest of cloth of gold,
trimmed with ermine, and ornamented with pearls, and gave them to a
_jongleur_. As soon as he had arrayed himself in vestments of the same
rich material, the _major domo_ brought, in like manner, and followed by
the same nobles, the first dish of the second course, singing a roundel
as before, and concluding the ceremony by the gift of his magnificent
costume. He conducted, after this fashion, ten courses, with songs, and
concluded with the usual rich largess, to the great admiration and
astonishment of the whole assembly.

The lord count sat three hours at table, after which he rose, took up
the globe and sceptre, and entering the next chamber, placed himself on
a chair raised on a platform, with steps. The two kings were seated on
each side the throne, and round them, on the steps, all the barons,
knights, and eminent citizens. Then a _jongleur_ approached, and sang a
new _sirvente_, which he had composed for this august occasion,
entitled—“The Crown, the Sceptre, and the Globe—”

“The crown being quite round, and this circle having neither beginning
nor end, signifies the great power of God, which he has placed, not on
the middle of the body, nor yet on the feet, but on your head, as the
symbol of intelligence; and because he has placed it on your head, you
ought always to remember this omnipotent God; may you, with this earthly
and perishable crown, win the celestial crown of glory in the eternal
kingdom.

“The sceptre signifies justice, which you ought to maintain and extend
to all ranks; and as this sceptre is a long rod with a curve, fit to
strike and chastise, thus justice should, in like manner, punish, that
the wicked may leave off their bad ways, and the good may become better
and better.

“The globe signifies, that as you hold the globe in your hand you also
hold your country and your power; and since God has confided them to
you, it is necessary that you should govern with truth, justice and
clemency, that none of your subjects may sustain injury from yourself or
any other person.”

The lord count appeared to hear this _sirvente_ with pleasure, like a
prince who laid the good counsel it contained to heart, and intended to
put it in practice. The _sirvente_ was followed by a song in twelve
parts, and the song by a poem in three cantos; and when all was said and
done, the lord count, who was much fatigued, took up the globe and
sceptre, and went into his chamber to get a few minutes’ sleep, of
which, indeed, he was much in need. His attendants had scarcely
unclasped his mantle of state, before he was informed that a _jongleur_
must speak with him, having affairs of interest to communicate, which
would not bear delay. The lord count ordered him to be admitted.

The _jongleur_ advanced two steps, and bent his knee to the ground.

“Speak!” said the count.

“May it please your lordship to order that you should be in private with
your servant?”

Raymond Beranger made a sign to his people that he wished to be alone
with the _jongleur_.

“Who are you?” asked he, as soon as the door was shut.

“I am,” said the _jongleur_, “the person who answered ‘Amen,’ in the
church of St. Saviour, when your lordship vowed, sword in hand, to
render justice to the high and low, the rich and poor, to foreigners as
well as your own subjects.”

“In whose name do you ask justice?”

“In the name of the Empress Praxida of Germany, unjustly accused of
adultery by Guthram de Falkemberg and Walter de Than, and condemned by
her husband, the Emperor Henry the Fourth, to die, unless a champion,
within a twelvemonth and a day, successfully defend her innocence
against her accusers.”

“Why has she chosen such a singular messenger for this important
mission?”

“Because none but the poor _jongleur_ dared expose himself to the anger
of a powerful prince, and the vengeance of two renowned knights like
Guthram de Falkemberg and Walter de Than; and certainly I should not
have ventured to do so myself, if my young mistress, Douce, Marchioness
of Provence, who has such fine eyes and such a touching voice that no
one can refuse what she asks, had not required it of me. I went,
therefore, by her command, in search of a knight sufficiently brave to
defend, and sufficiently powerful to dare to vindicate, the fame of an
injured and innocent lady. I have traversed, in obedience to my
mistress, France and Italy in vain, and even Spain, the very holy land
of chivalry, and found no one disposed to championize the Empress of
Germany. On the way to Barcelona I heard you named as a generous and
courageous gentlemen. I entered the church at the moment you vowed,
sword in hand, to defend the oppressed against the oppressor; and it
appeared to me that the hand of God had led me there. I raised my voice,
and cried ‘Amen, so be it!’”

“So let it be, then,” chivalrously replied the count; “for the honor of
my name, and the increase of my renown, in the name of the Lord, I will
hold myself ready to undertake this enterprise.”

“Thanks, my lord, for this grace; but, saving your good pleasure, you
have no time to lose, for ten months have already elapsed, and you will
have little left for your journey to Cologne.”

“Well; these festivals will be ended by Thursday night; on Friday we
shall offer up our public thanks to God; and on Saturday we will put
ourselves _en route_ for Cologne.”

“Let it be so, according to your lordship’s pleasure,” replied the
_jongleur_, making his farewell devoir to the Count of Barcelona. Before
he could withdraw from his presence, the count detached from his neck a
magnificent gold chain of great value, and threw it round that of the
_jongleur_; for the lord count was as generous as he was brave, and the
union of these qualities acquired for him the surname of Great, an
appellation which the judgment of posterity has confirmed to the
sovereign of Barcelona. He was pious, too; for these festival-days were
designed to do honor to Easter, the day of the resurrection of the
Redeemer; and the gracious rain that, after a long period of drought,
descended on Catalonia, Arragon, and the kingdoms of Valencia and
Murcia, the evening on which these religious _fètes_ concluded, gave to
his people the presage of a long and happy reign, of which, indeed,
Barcelona still preserves the memory.

                                                  [_To be continued._

-----

[3] This tale of chivalry is a free translation from one entitled
_Praxède_, by Alexandre Dumas, and presents a complete description of
the ancient trial, or appeal by battle, as formerly practiced in the
middle ages. The champion was supposed to depend upon God for making the
cause he had undertaken good, provided the party he represented were
clear of the crime of which he or she was accused. This law remained on
the statute book of Great Britain unrepealed until a few years since,
when it was finally abolished. To those who love ancient customs, this
translation from an eminent living author, deeply versed in such lore,
may not prove either unacceptable or uninteresting.—Jane Strickland.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                               =BREVIA.=


                          =BY JAMES W. WALL.=


Whatever original thoughts people may think fit to boast of, there is
scarcely any idea which must not before have passed through the minds of
many. Let it be sufficient then to the good-natured reader, if some of
the present thoughts may not happen to have occurred to him, or if they
are not all remembered to have done so.

In preparing these Brevia, I have not knowingly adopted any one thought
or expression of other writers. At the same time, I do not affect
originality. Lucian, Cervantes and Rabelais have forestalled humor;
Horace, Juvenal, and Perseus have exhausted satire; and upon the subject
of love, Ovid and Tibullus have left us nothing new to say. The letter
of Rousseau, so much admired for its exquisite tenderness and
sensibility, beginning—“_Mourons, ma douce amie_,” is but an imitation
of Chærea’s speech in one of Terence’s comedies, who expresses his
raptures in the same ideas and expressions. “_Nunc est projectò tempu_
_cum perpeti me possum interjici_;” and of Phædria’s speech in
Phermio—“_Ut mihi liceat tam dice quod amo, frui, jam depacisci mortem
cupio._” Even the best writers, therefore, may be accused of plagiarism;
but merely to have the same ideas, many of which are common to all
mankind, is no proof of it.

                 *        *        *        *        *

                               =BREVIA.=

Friendship divided amongst many, is like a mirror broken into separate
small pieces, wherein each can partly see himself, but less of himself
as the pieces are divided into more parts.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Our public boarding-schools are said to bring all boys forward; which is
only true in part. Great liberty and numbers elevate boys of bold and
daring dispositions, and give opportunities of tyrannising over meek and
modest minds; thus, those spirits which ought to be restrained are
ruined by indulgence, and those which ought to be cherished and
encouraged are depressed.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Obstinacy and contradiction are like a paper kite; they are only kept up
while you pull against them.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The best wives have been brought up in a family where there has been a
subordination to men. Forsaken widows and disappointed aunts set up a
hostile warfare against the other sex, and inculcate early prejudices in
young women’s minds, which generally take too strong root to be
eradicated.

                 *        *        *        *        *

People are generally in the end obliged to make an apology for those
very virtues which alone dignify human nature. Friendship, good-nature,
and generosity have often conducted a man to jail, where he has been
obliged, before he could obtain assistance, to confess himself a fool,
and to promise to divest himself of all such companions for the future;
or, to adopt the most effectual method, totally to disavow the
acquaintance of those virtues altogether, and pretend that they assumed
the more worthy form and disguise of discretion and worldly wisdom,
which authorised him to act as he did for the sake of his own interest.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Love often turns to the greatest hatred, as the sharpest vinegar is made
from the sweetest sugar.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Economy is often tempted into expense, merely from the cheapness of it.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Books are quiet, amiable friends; their information is pleasing, because
communicated without petulance, or affected superiority. You must even
take some trouble to find out the knowledge you wish to acquire from
them, notwithstanding your implicit respect and avowed ignorance. They
are generally, too, at home, and their access requires little court.

                 *        *        *        *        *

How disappointed your acquaintances are, if you bear your misfortunes
with calmness and cheerfulness! Some, indeed, derive consolation in
thinking their assistance will not be asked; but most are mortified in
not being able to insult you by their compassion, while they find
arguments to heighten your distress.

                 *        *        *        *        *

How seldom utility is considered in our system of modern education!
Personal accomplishments can not be of any use in this country, at
least, to either men or women, above ten or twelve years; after which
they are rather hid, or render the possession ridiculous. Ought the
father of a family be able to distort his body in the fashionable polka,
or the mother to sing a fine song.

                 *        *        *        *        *

A man gives entertainments only for criticism; and people, on their
return home, revenge themselves for the obligation of the invitation, by
laughing at his vanity for pretending to live at so much expense.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The Egyptians offered to their god Isis an herb—Persica—whose fruit
was like a heart, and the leaf like a tongue. Modern professions and
love offerings have a different fruit and a different leaf; the
profession is all heart, and the fruit all tongue.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Doctor Johnson says, “that allowances are seldom made for ill success;”
and it may be truly said, that reasons are seldom narrowly investigated
for good success. Public men generally meet with more praise and blame,
in both, than they deserve; and at the end of their lives the balance is
probably even.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The easy, good-natured man is like one of the _feræ naturæ_: every body
hunts him as their prey; and, instead of being cherished by every one,
he is claimed as their property: if he is caressed, it is only to draw
him into a snare.

                 *        *        *        *        *

A politician, like the Cyprian, seldom grants favors but to those who
can amply repay them. Virtue, for them, may be its own reward: they only
lavish their favors on those who contribute to their interest.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Every wife would make her husband as many compliments as Eve pays to
Adam, in Milton, if he was the only man in the world; so would every
man, if his wife was the only woman.

                 *        *        *        *        *

People are better pleased with the knavish lawyer—who instructs them
how to cheat the adverse party in a cause, or to avoid the payment of a
just claim, by a legal technicality, than with the honest one—who
recommends an equitable arbitration.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Romance and comedy writers always make lovers rich before they marry:
they know this is an essential requisite to the completion of happiness,
both in the hero and the heroine. Unfortunately, young people follow the
example of these romantic characters in love, but not in the acquisition
of fortune: they forget that love alone will not make them happy, and
that, like lunatics, as they come more and more to themselves, they will
require more and more the comforts and conveniences of life, which, in
the paroxysm of passion, were never attended to.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The people of Fire Island are accused of pillaging strangers who are
shipwrecked. Are not the inhabitants of inland towns equally eager to
divide the spoil of a deceased neighbor or friend, and to glut
themselves with the idea of obtaining his property at half the value?

                 *        *        *        *        *

Prudent people never are beloved. Imprudence, by preventing envy, raises
popularity; yet prudence is the sole friend of generosity. Generosity is
like a beautiful and expansive river; we admire its beauty, and enjoy
its advantages, but neither see nor think of the secret springs that
feed it.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The idea of good or bad fortune attending a man, has been generally
received in all ages. Cicero recommended Pompey to the Romans for their
general, as he was a man of good fortune; and Cardinal Mazarin, when any
officer was recommended to him, always asked, “Est il heureux?”

                 *        *        *        *        *

We never regard innovation, or even oppression, till it comes home to
ourselves. In the life of Cromwell, an anecdote is told of a clerk in
chancery, who had seen with great indifference all the alterations that
had been made in the constitution both in church and state; but when he
was told there was to be some new regulations in the sex’ clerk’s
office—Nay, says he, if they begin once to strike out _fundamentals_,
there is no telling where they will stop.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Public opinion is a tyrant—cruel are the sacrifices it demands.

                 *        *        *        *        *

How many fathers there are who always comfort themselves with saying, “I
shall die poor, but let my sons make their way in the world as I have
done!” To which some complaisant neighbor replies, “And I am sure, sir,
they cannot do better!” But should not parents reflect that their sons
have not only the same difficulties to encounter which they have had,
but the additional disadvantage, that having been brought up in habits
of luxury and idleness, to which the parents themselves in their youth
were strangers.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Married people sometimes study to appear as fond as lovers, passing
their time in billing and cooing like turtle doves. Let them remember
that bankrupts in love, like those in fortune, appear in gaudy colors,
to keep up their credit.

                 *        *        *        *        *

A deaf and dumb person being asked what is forgiveness, took out his
pencil and wrote the answer to the written question thus: “It is the
odor which flowers yield when trampled upon.” What a volume of exquisite
poetry and at the same time forcible truth is contained in it.

                 *        *        *        *        *

I remember somewhere to have read of a tyrannical ruler, who is said to
have publicly erected altars to cruelty and injustice. Many modern
worshipers of the same hideous divinities are equally as zealous as this
tyrant: but with the essential difference, that their altars are erected
in private, within the penetralia of their own homes. Like the Egyptian
priesthood, after having performed the most diabolical rites, they come
forth arrayed in the white robes of innocence. And society is too apt,
like the “ignobile vulgus” of Egypt, to greet them with the same
reverence they did their priesthood. They, too, have their esoteric and
exoteric theology—the one is their religion in private, the other
abroad.

                 *        *        *        *        *

“The nobility of the Spencers has been enriched by the trophies of
Marlborough; but I exhort them to consider ‘The Fairy Queen’ as the most
precious jewel in their coronet.”

This lively paragraph may be found in the memoirs of Gibbon; and the
sentiment therein conveyed is no less beautiful than true; for after
all, what is military glory and renown when compared with the fame of
the distinguished poet, historian, or man of letters. The hero, after
the lapse of a few centuries shines like a very distant constellation,
merely visible in the wide expanse of history, while the poet and
historian continue to sparkle in the eyes of all men, like that radiant
star of the evening, perpetually hailed by the voice of gratitude,
affection, and delight.

                 *        *        *        *        *

“The lawyer,” said Burke, “has his forms and his positive institutions,
and he adheres to them with a veneration altogether as religious as the
divine. The worst cause cannot be so prejudicial to the litigant as his
attorney’s ignorance of forms. A good parson once said, where mystery
begins, there religion ends. May not the same be said of justice, that
where the mystery of forms begin, there all justice ends.”

There is a great deal more truth in the above quotation from Burke, than
is generally admitted by the followers of Coke and Littleton. The satire
may be, perhaps, too broad, as the whole essay in which it occurs was a
burlesque upon Bolingbroke; but, nevertheless, there is truth in the
sarcasm. Law, as a system, even in this age of intelligence, is cumbered
up with useless forms, absurd fictions, and unmeaning technicalities;
serving only to strew with stumbling blocks the pathway to the temple of
justice, which should ever be of safe and easy approach. The system of
the administration of laws in this country, needs a thorough
overhauling. The Augean stables were not half as much in want of the
labors of an Hercules, as the departments of law of the labors of the
modern reformer. And as the stables in the classic fable were cleansed
by the turning of a river through them, so all that it wants now in
reference to the administration of law, is, that the current of popular
sentiment should be turned in that direction; and gathering strength as
it goes

        “Vires acquirit eundo,”

it will thoroughly cleanse and purify the Augean stables of the law.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The impudent man has wonderful advantages; he successfully assumes every
talent, and pretends to every branch of learning; and passes the time,
spent by others in recluse retirement and gloomy study, in making useful
friends, and acquiring the habits of the world.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Any transitory marks of distinction, or ideal honors, produce future
regret, and often poignant grief. The beauty of the ball is little
flattered, twenty years afterward, by that praise and admiration which
is past and forgotten, any more than the collegian, who gained every
literary prize, which vainly taught him to expect admiration, applause,
and respect through life.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Imprudence is so often the cause of misfortunes, that the Cardinal
Richelieu used to say, that imprudence and misfortune were synonymous.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Memory is productive of more misery than happiness. Misfortune leaves
unpleasing vestiges, whilst the remembrance of pleasures past creates
regret.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Fortune, like the fickle female, despises the object of her power. She
slights the very sighs that she creates; and whilst the suppliant is
disregarded, she courts the hand which rejects her. Relentless and
obdurate to her most passionate admirers, what she refuses to love, she
often lavishes on indifference.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =SONNET.—THE MARINER.=


          Aboard his brittle bark, on the rough sea,
            Lo! the bold mariner in safety rides,
            Nor fears he waves, nor dreads he running tides;
          Ocean his home, no other home seeks he—
          Nor storm nor tempest can his course control,
            Sways he the winds, in canvas them enchains,
            Bidding them bear him ’cross the watery plains;
          His guide the needle, pointing to the pole—
          Freighted with wealth, his white-winged vessel goes,
            Things useful fetching from each distant clime;
            Thus mankind, knit in brotherhood sublime,
          Learn all that Art and Science can disclose—
          “Who go to sea in ships”—their native right—
          Deem all apparent danger pleasure and delight.
                                                         W. A.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         =REVIEW OF NEW BOOKS.=


    _The Blithedale Romance. By Nathaniel Hawthorne. Boston:
    Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 1 vol. 12mo._

In the first flush of a romancer’s fame, there is rarely any distinct
recognition of the peculiar originality of his powers as distinguished
from other great novelists, who equally fasten the interest and thrill
the hearts of their readers. The still, small voice of analysis is lost
amid thunders of applause. In the case of Hawthorne this mode of
reception does but little justice either to the force or refinement of
his powers. It is only when we explore the source of his fascination,
when we go over the processes of his mind in creation, that we can
realize the character and scope of his genius, and estimate, on true
principles, the merit of each succeeding product of his pen. It is
obvious to every reader that his mind is at once rich in various
faculties, and powerful in its general action; that he possesses
observation, fancy, imagination, passion, wit, humor; but a great writer
can never be accurately described in those abstract terms which apply
equally to all great writers, for such terms give us only the truth as
it is about the author, not the truth as it is in him. The real question
relates to the modification of his powers by his character; the
tendency, the direction, the coloring, which his faculties receive in
obeying the primary impulses of his individuality. This brings us at
once to the sharpest test to which an author can be subjected, for it
puts to him that searching query which instantly dissolves the most
plausible bubbles—has he novelty of nature? Is he an absolutely new
power in literature? It is Hawthorne’s great felicity that he can stand
the remorseless rigor of this test. He is not made up by culture,
imitation, appropriation, sympathy, but has grown up in obedience to
vigorous innate principles and instincts seated in his own nature; his
power and peculiarity can be analyzed into no inspirations caught from
other minds, but conduct us back to their roots in his original
constitution. Thus he has imagination, and he has humor; but his
imagination is not the imagination of Shelley or the imagination of
Richter; neither is his humor the humor of Addison or the humor of
Dickens; they are both essentially _Hawthorneish_, and resent all
attempts to identify them with faculties in other minds. His style,
again, in its clearness, pliability, and melodious ease of movement,
reminds us of the style of Addison, of Scott, and of Irving, in making
us forget itself in attending to what it conveys; but for that very
reason every vital peculiarity of it is original, for what it conveys is
the individuality of Hawthorne, and there is not a page which suggests,
except to the word-mongers and period-balancers of mechanical criticism,
even an unconscious imitation of any acknowledged master of diction.
This contented movement within the limitations of his own genius, this
austere confinement of his mind to that “magic circle” where none can
walk but he, this scorn of pretending to be a creator in regions of
mental effort with which he can simply sympathize—all declare the
sagacious honesty, the instinctive intellectual conscientiousness of
original genius. Hunt him when and where you will—lay traps for
him—watch the most secret haunts and cosiest corners of his meditative
retirement—and you never catch him strutting about in borrowed robes,
gorgeous with purple patches cut from transatlantic garments, or
adroitly filching felicities from transcendental pockets. Inimitable in
his own sphere, he has little temptation to be a poacher in the domains
of other minds.

It is evident, if what we have said be true, that the criticism to be
applied to Hawthorne’s works must take its rules of judgment from the
laws to which his own genius yields obedience; for if he differs from
other writers, not in degree but in kind, if the process and purpose of
his creations be peculiar to himself, and especially if he draws from an
experience of life from which others have been shut out, and has
penetrated into mysterious regions of consciousness, a pioneer in the
unexplored wildernesses of thought—it is worse than ridiculous to
prattle the old phrases, and apply the accredited rules of criticism to
an entirely new product of the human mind. The objections to Hawthorne,
if objections there be, do not relate to the exercise of his powers but
to his nature itself. His works are the offspring of that; proceed as
certainly from it as a deduction from a premise; and criticism can do
little in detecting any break in the links of that logic of passion and
imagination, any discordance in that unity of law, which presides over
the organization of each product of his mind. But we are willing to
admit, that criticism may advance a step beyond this, and after
conceding the power and genuineness of a work of art, can still question
the excellence of the spirit by which it is animated; can, in short,
doubt the validity, denounce the character, and attempt to weaken the
influence, of the _kind_ of genius its analysis lays open.

The justice of such a criticism applied to Hawthorne would depend on the
notion which the critic has of what constitutes excellence in kind. The
ordinary demand of the mind in a work of art, serious as well on
humorous, is for geniality—a demand which admits of the widest variety
of kinds which can be included within a healthy and pleasurable
directing sentiment. Now Hawthorne is undoubtedly exquisitely genial, at
times, but in him geniality cannot be said to predominate. Geniality of
general effect comes, in a great degree, from tenderness to persons; it
implies a conception of individual character so intense and vivid, that
the beings of the author’s brain become the objects of his love; and
this love somewhat blinds him to the action of those spiritual laws
which really control the conduct and avenge the crimes of individuals.

In Hawthorne, on the contrary, persons are commonly conceived in their
relations to laws, and hold a second place in his mind. In “The Scarlet
Letter,” which made a deeper impression on the public than any romance
ever published in the United States, there is little true
characterization, in the ordinary meaning of the term. The characters
are not really valuable for what they are, but for what they illustrate.
Imagination is predominant throughout the work, but it is imagination in
its highest analytic rather than dramatic action. And this is the secret
of the strange fascination which fastens attention to its horrors. It is
not Hester or Dimmesdale that really interest us, but the spectacle of
the human mind open to the retribution of violated law, and quivering in
the agonies of shame and remorse. It is the law and not the person that
is vitally conceived, and accordingly the author traces its sure
operation with an unshrinking intellect that, for the time, is
remorseless to persons. As an illustration of the Divine order on which
our conventional order rests, it is the most moral book of the age; and
is especially valuable as demonstrating the superficiality of that code
of ethics, predominant in the French school of romance, which teaches
obedience to individual instinct and impulse, regardless of all moral
truths which contain the generalized experience of the race. The purpose
of the book did not admit of geniality. Adultery has been made genial by
many poets and novelists, but only by considering it under a totally
different aspect from that in which Hawthorne viewed it. Geniality in
“The Scarlet Letter” would be like an ice-cream shop in Dante’s Inferno.

In “The House of Seven Gables,” we perceive the same far-reaching and
deep-seeing vision into the duskiest corners of the human mind, and the
same grasp of objective laws, but the interest is less intense, and the
subject admits of more relief. There is more of character in it,
delineated however on some neutral ground between the grotesque and the
picturesque, and with flashes of supernatural light darting occasionally
into the picture, revealing, by glimpses, the dread foundations on which
the whole rests. It contains more variety of power than “The Scarlet
Letter,” and in the characters of Clifford and Phebe exhibits the
extreme points of Hawthorne’s genius. The delineation of Clifford
evinces a metaphysical power, a capacity of watching the most remote
movements of thought, and of resolving into form the mere film of
consciousness—of exhibiting the mysteries of the mind in as clear a
light as ordinary novelists exhibit its common manifestations—which
might excite the wonder of Kant or Hegel. Phebe, on the contrary, though
shaped from the finest materials, and implying a profound insight into
the subtilest sources or genial feeling, is represented dramatically, is
a pure embodiment, and may be deemed Hawthorne’s most perfect character.
The sunshine of the book all radiates from her; and there is hardly a
“shady place” in that weird “House,” into which it does not penetrate.

“The Blithedale Romance,” just published, seems to us the most perfect
in execution of any of Hawthorne’s works, and as a work of art, hardly
equaled by any thing else which the country has produced. It is a real
organism of the mind, with the strict unity of one of Nature’s own
creations. It seems to have grown up in the author’s nature, as a tree
or plant grows from the earth, in obedience to the law of its germ. This
unity cannot be made clear by analysis; it is felt in the oneness of
impression it makes on the reader’s imagination. The author’s hold on
the central principle is never relaxed; it never slips from his grasp;
and yet every thing is developed with a victorious ease which adds a new
charm to the interest of the materials. The romance, also, has more
thought in it than either of its predecessors; it is literally crammed
with the results of most delicate and searching observation of life,
manners and character, and of the most piercing imaginative analysis of
motives and tendencies; yet nothing seems labored, but the profoundest
reflections glide unobtrusively into the free flow of the narration and
description, equally valuable from their felicitous relation to the
events and persons of the story, and for their detached depth and power.
The work is not without a certain morbid tint in the general coloring of
the mood whence it proceeds; but this peculiarity is fainter than is
usual with Hawthorne.

The scene of the story is laid in Blithedale, an imaginary community on
the model of the celebrated Brook Farm, of Roxbury, of which Hawthorne
himself was a member. The practical difficulties in the way of combining
intellectual and manual labor on socialist principles constitutes the
humor of the book; but the interest centres in three characters,
Hollingsworth, Zenobia, and Priscilla. These are represented as they
appear through the medium of an imagined mind, that of Miles Coverdale,
the narrator of the story, a person indolent of will, but of an
apprehensive, penetrating, and inquisitive intellect. The discerner of
spirits only tells us his own discoveries; and there is a wonderful
originality and power displayed in thus representing the characters.
What is lost by this mode, on definite views, is more than made up in
the stimulus given both to our acuteness and curiosity, and its manifold
suggestiveness. We are joint watchers with Miles himself, and sometimes
find ourselves disagreeing with him in his interpretation of an act or
expression of the persons he is observing. The events are purely mental,
the changes and crises of moods of mind. Three persons of essentially
different characters and purposes are placed together; the law of
spiritual influence, the magnetism of soul on soul begins to operate;
and the processes of thought and emotion are then presented in perfect
logical order to their inevitable catastrophe. These characters are
Hollingsworth, a reformer, whose whole nature becomes ruthless under the
dominion of one absorbing idea—Zenobia, a beautiful, imperious,
impassioned, self-willed woman, superbly endowed in person and
intellect, but with something provokingly equivocal in her
character—and Priscilla, an embodiment of feminine affection in its
simplest type. Westervelt, an elegant piece of earthliness, “not so much
born as damned into the world,” plays a Mephistophelian part in this
mental drama; and is so skillfully represented that the reader joins at
the end, with the author, in praying that Heaven may annihilate him.
“May his pernicious soul rot half a grain a day.”

With all the delicate sharpness of insight into the most elusive
movements of Consciousness, by which the romance is characterised, the
drapery cast over the whole representation, is rich and flowing, and
there is no parade of metaphysical acuteness. All the profound and
penetrating observation seems the result of a certain careless felicity
of aim, which hits the mark in the white without any preliminary
posturing or elaborate preparation. The stronger, and harsher passions
are represented with the same ease as the evanescent shades of thought
and emotion. The humorous and descriptive scenes are in Hawthorne’s best
style. The peculiarities of New England life at the present day are
admirably caught and permanently embodied; Silas Foster and
Hollingsworth being both genuine Yankees and representative men. The
great passage of the volume is Zenobia’s death, which is not so much
tragic as tragedy itself. In short, whether we consider “The Blithedale
Romance” as a study in that philosophy of the human mind which peers
into the inmost recesses and first principles of mind and character, or
a highly colored and fascinating story, it does not yield in interest or
value to any of Hawthorne’s preceding works, while it is removed from a
comparison with them by essential differences in its purpose and mode of
treatment, and is perhaps their superior in affluence and fineness of
thought and masterly perception of the first remote workings of great
and absorbing passions.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The History of the Restoration of Monarchy in France. By
    Alphonse de Lamartine. Vol. 2. New York: Harper & Brothers._

This volume deals with the events of “The Hundred Days,” giving a
graphic picture of the incidents which occured between the return of
Napoleon from Elba and his final overthrow at Waterloo. It is much more
minute than any other history of the period, and occasionally gives
elaborate descriptions of persons and occurrences unworthy of being
rescued from the oblivion of their unimportance. Lamartine evidently
dislikes both Napoleon and Napoleonism. The leading object of the
present volume is to prove that France was sick of him, and that the
army alone was in his favor. One passage seems a palpable hit at the
usurpation of the “Nephew of my Uncle.” “If the people,” says Lamartine,
“did not protest by civic opposition, they protested very generally by
their sorrow and estrangement. _History never recorded more audacity in_
_the usurpation of a throne, or a more cowardly submission of a nation
to_ _an army._ France lost on that day somewhat of its character, the
law or its majesty, the liberty of its respect. Military despotism was
substituted for public opinion. The pretorians made a mockery of the
people. The Lower Empire of Rome enacted in Gaul one of those scenes
which degrade history, and humiliate human nature. _The only excuse_ for
such an event is that the people were depressed under ten years of
military government, that the army was rendered frantic by ten years of
prodigies, and that its idol was a hero.”

For the Bourbons, Lamartine evinces a tender regard, and narrates their
flight from France in a style of mental bombast which but ill rescues it
from ridicule. The description of the Congress of Vienna is very
brilliant, and the sketches of Talleyrand, Fouche, and Wellington,
discriminating and powerful. The sentimentality of the author gives, as
usual, its peculiar perversion to the facts of the narrative; things are
commonly represented in their relation to the opinions of Lamartine,
rather than in their relation to each other; and occasionally gross
fictions are introduced to add to the scenic effect.

For instance, in the account of the battle of Waterloo, Wellington, at
one stage of the contest, is said to have mounted his _eighth_ horse,
seven having been worn out or killed under him. He rode only one during
the whole day. Again, in describing a charge of English horse, Lamartine
represents the duke as causing brandy to be distributed to the dragoons,
“to intoxicate the men with liquid fire, whilst the sound of the clarion
should intoxicate the horses,” and then launching them himself “at full
speed down the declivity of Mont-Saint-Jean.” This statement, likewise,
the translator is authorized to deny. It is curious also that Lamartine,
with his numerous additions, should have made one important omission of
fact. Wellington was surprised at Waterloo; Lamartine represents him as
negligent; but the truth was that he depended on Fouche, to give him
intelligence of Napoleon’s march. Fouche, with his usual felicity in
duplicating his treasons, sent intelligence to Wellington of Napoleon’s
approach, and then dispatched orders for the arrest of his own
messenger. Those who are accustomed to consider Wellington as the “iron
duke,” and to transfer to him all the passionlessness which such an
epithet suggests, will be surprised at the peculiar emphasis with which
Lamartine speaks of his “voluptuousness.” This charge, we believe, was
true in 1815.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Up the Rhine. By Thomas Hood. With Comic Illustrations. New
    York: Geo. P. Putnam. 1 vol. 12mo._

This volume, one of the pleasantest of Hood’s many pleasant books, was
first published in 1840, and has never before been reprinted. It is
composed of letters, written by the various members of a family
traveling up the Rhine, and conceived somewhat after the model of
Humphrey Clinker. Hood’s characters are a hypochondriac, a widow, a
dashing young gentleman, and a servant maid; and it is in exhibiting the
oddities and humors of these, rather than in any description of the
scenery, that the charm of the book consists. The letters of Martha
Penny, the servant maid, are the gems of the volume. Her spelling and
grammar are so felicitous in their infelicities, as to amount to a kind
of genius; and the character is one of the best that Hood ever
delineated. Her letter, describing the effects of a storm at sea, is
perhaps the richest in the volume. “To add to my frite,” she says, “down
flumps the stewardis on her nees and begins shrieking we shall be pitcht
all over! Think I if she give up we may prepair for our watery graves.
At sich crisisus theres nothing like religun and if I repeted my catkism
wunce I said it a hundered times over and never wunce rite. The only
comfort I had besides Christianity was to give Missus warnin witch I did
over and over between her attax. At last Martha says she we are going to
a world where there is no sitivations. What an idear! But our superiors
are always shy of our society, as if hevin abuv was too good for
servants. Talking of superiers there was a Tittled Lady in Bed in the
cabbin that sent every five minits for the capting, till at long and at
last he got Crusty. Capting says she I insist on your gitting the ship
more out of the wind. I wish I could says he. Dont you no who I ham,
says she vary dignifide.” The last touch is especially fine.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _A Step from the New World to the Old and Back Again: With
    Thoughts on the Good and Evil in Both. By Henry P. Tappan. New
    York: D. Appleton & Co. 2 vols. 12mo._

A new book of travels, devoted to a description of old scenes which have
been traveled over and over again, is getting to be the terror of
critics. We therefore took up the present volume with that languid
intolerance of the subject which is ominous of dissatisfaction both with
the writer and his book, but were agreeably surprised at the new
interest which the author has contrived to cast over familiar objects.
Prof. Tappan, indeed, is one of those independent and thoughtful
tourists who never repeat the stale ecstasies and stereotyped amazement
common to ordinary travelers on seeing objects they are prepared to
admire, but views things through the medium of his own mind, and
honestly records impressions made on his own heart and imagination. He
is a quiet, scholarly, truthful, candid and intelligent man, sees much
which others have missed seeing, and never loses his discrimination in
his raptures. His observations are often striking and original, and the
information he conveys is commonly valuable. His journey was confined to
England, Scotland, the Rhine, Switzerland, France and Holland. The most
interesting portion of all is that which relates to Holland. In visiting
Abbotsford the author gives a provoking piece of news. It is well-known
that the sale of Scott’s works had been sufficient to clear this estate
of debt, and every purchaser of the English edition of his writings
throughout the world felt that he was aiding in this good work. After
the death of Scott’s son, the estate, some two thousand acres, descended
to Scott’s grandson, young Lockhart, who has again embarrassed it. It is
now occupied by a London broker.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Legends of Love and Chivalry. The Knights of England, France
    and Scotland. By Henry William Herbert. New York: Redfield. 1
    vol. 12mo._

This volume contains Legends of the Norman Conquerors, of the Crusaders,
of Feudal Days, and of Scotland—fourteen splendid tales in all. As is
usual with him, Mr. Herbert deals in this volume with the strongest
passions, and exhibits their workings in powerful characters and
striking events. His mode of narration is vehement, and the reader who
once commits himself to the rushing stream of his style can hardly pause
for breath until he has arrived at the end. His knowledge of history is
extensive and minute, and it is a knowledge painted in living pictures
on his imagination rather than hoarded in his memory. The past is
present to him—in persons, scenery, dialect and costume, and he writes
of it as if he were recording what was passing before his eyes. This
power of vitalizing and vivifying every thing he touches is manifested
throughout these “Legends.” He conceives with each intensity that he
becomes a partisan in dealing with his own creations; is furiously
hostile to some, and as furiously favorable to others. The effect of his
intense representations is felt both in the reader’s brain and blood. It
is not until after the book is read that we feel conscious that the
author’s sympathies and antipathies disturb his powers of discrimination
in his judgments of historical characters.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Waverley Novels. Library Edition. Vol. 1. Waverley; or ’Tis
    Sixty Years Since. Boston: B. B. Mussey & Co. 12mo._

This is a new issue of Parker’s celebrated edition of the Waverley
Novels, containing the author’s final additions, corrections and notes.
It is printed in large type, is very cheap, and should meet with
success. This, with Lippincott, Grambo & Co.’s edition, will doubtless
induce a re-perusal of the novels of Scott. Nothing that has since been
written has surpassed or even equaled them in the distinguishing
features of romantic writing. It is Scott’s great and rare distinction
that he created a school of novelists admitting the exercise of the most
various genius, and that among the myriad writers who have felt his
inspiration none has received or merited his fame. In England a hundred
and twenty-five thousand copies of his novels have been sold, and the
demand still continues. Scott should be read every five years. In the
fourth perusal we have found his novels more interesting than the new
romances of the day.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Graces and Powers of the Christian Life. By A. D. Mayo. Boston:
    Abel Tompkins. 1 vol. 12mo._

The present volume contains eleven sermons on topics suggested by the
title, and they are all worthy of being read beyond that peculiar circle
of readers, known technically as the “religious public.” The writer is
evidently a man of a discerning and disciplined mind, writing from deep
fountains of personal experience, and treating the gravest and deepest
realities of life with the assured air of one whose soul has been in
contact with the great spiritual facts he announces. Hence comes both
the elevation and the practical soundness of his statements of duty and
his exhortations to holiness. His style is pliable to his thoughts and
emotions, stating plain things plainly, and rising as his subject rises
into unforced dignity and eloquence. There is nothing of the rhetorician
either in the selection of his matter, or his mode of expressing it, but
an unmistakable sincerity and truthfulness distinguish every statement,
argument and appeal. As a thinker he excels in spiritual discernment,
though he is not deficient in that logical method by which a principle,
clearly conceived in itself, is rigidly followed through all its
applications to men and to affairs. His volume meets practical needs in
many hearts, and only requires to have its character known to be
extensively read. He belongs to that class of clergymen who really
commune with spiritual and religious ideas, and therefore, though a
writer of sermons, he never sermonizes.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Roughing it in the Bush; or Life in Canada. By Susanna Moodie.
    New York: Geo. P. Putnam. 2 parts._

Mrs. Moodie is the sister of Agnes Strickland, and while fully her equal
in talent, excels both her and most of womankind in enterprise,
fortitude and heroism. Her present work, detailing the dangers and
discomforts of a life in the far-west of Canada, is full of fine
descriptions of nature, evinces throughout a healthy and vigorous
spirit, and contains many a scene of genuine humor. Her sketches of
character, Yankee, French and English, are especially good.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Little Peddlington and the Peddlingtonians. By John Poole,
    author of Paul Pry, etc. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 2 vols.
    16mo._

Since the “Memoirs of P. P., Clerk of the Parish,” no book has been
published equal to this in the art of lifting the little into ludicrous
importance. Its length makes it somewhat tiresome, but the leading idea
is so well carried out—so well directed a fire is kept up at all the
political literary and social follies of England—and the author is a
humorist of such truth and keenness—that it deserves its place in the
“Popular Library” to which it belongs.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Adventures of Col. Vanderbomb in Pursuit of the Presidency.
    Also, the Exploits of his Secretary. By J. B. Jones, Ex-editor
    of the Official Journal. Philadelphia: A. Hart (late Carey &
    Hart.)_

This is a very humorous story of the political career of an imaginary
candidate for the highest office in the gift of the sovereign people; a
spirited satire upon the efforts of ambitious aspirants for political
distinction and profits. The work is seasonable, and will be widely
read. The illustrated cover is by Darley.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Mother at Home; or The Principles of Maternal Duty
    Familiarly Illustrated. By John S. C. Abbott. New York: Harper &
    Brothers. 1 vol. 16mo._

This valuable little work has long enjoyed an extensive popularity, and
been translated into numerous foreign languages. The present edition is
illustrated with numerous fine wood-cuts and printed in the same elegant
style as the author’s series of historical works. It should be in the
hands of every mother, for though much of it is necessarily commonplace,
there is much also which is new and suggestive.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Time and Tide; or Strive and Win. By A. S. Roe, Author of James
    Montjoy, etc. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 12mo._

The author of this story is well-known as vigorous and truthful
delineator of common life. The present volume is one of his best. It
inculcates the moral implied in the title, a moral which is the key to
all success in life. The characters are drawn with much force, and the
incidents have the interest of reality. To the young the work will be
found particularly interesting.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Whately’s English Synonyms. First American Edition. Boston:
    James Monroe & Co._

This edition is very carefully revised from the second London edition,
and will be found to be of great service to the student and man of
letters.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Romance of the Revolution. Edited by Oliver B. Bunce. New
    York: Bunce & Brother._

This volume is filled with passages of stirring interest, appropriately
arranged, selected from various authorities, embracing the most romantic
incidents of the War of Independence. It is admirably illustrated with
wood-engravings by Orr, printed in tints.

                 *        *        *        *        *

=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 229, lessons in magnitude ==> lessens in magnitude
Page 234, staff off life ==> staff of life
Page 254, aud Monsieur Fleury ==> and Monsieur Fleury
page 263, plucked and eat ==> plucked and ate
page 263, the more I eat ==> the more I ate
Page 264, was to done ==> was to be done
Page 265, in Rio Janiero ==> in Rio Janeiro
Page 267, sentence ended abruptly so added [missing content]. Possibly
                meant to connect with the following paragraph.
Page 273, She would alternate ==> She would alternately
Page 278, Macedonia was two small ==> Macedonia was too small
Page 278, the flashing steal ==> the flashing steel
Page 286, The mountain-lodge ==> The mountain lodge
Page 291, in an ancient registar ==> in an ancient register
Page 296, a daguerreotyed specimen ==> a daguerreotyped specimen
Page 309, courage or _presénce d’ésprit_ ==> courage or _présence_
  _d’ésprit_
Page 312, Ned piroutted on ==> Ned pirouetted on
Page 314, and that Newyear’s-day ==> and that new-year’s-day
Page 315, that he thonght ==> that he thought
Page 316, John of Britanny == John of Brittany
Page 318, occupied in Hennibon ==> occupied in Hennebon
Page 321, brothers of Lande-Halle ==> brothers of Land-Halle
Page 321, not Duke of Britanny ==> not Duke of Brittany
Page 330, added [_To be continued._
Page 333, each succeding product ==> each succeeding product
Page 334, we percieve the same ==> we perceive the same





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