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Title: Graham's Magazine, Vol. XXXIV, No. 1, January 1849
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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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[Illustration: GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE
1849.
DAY ON THE MOUNTAINS.
Drawn & Engraved by W. E. Tucker]

                 *        *        *        *        *

                           GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE.
              VOL. XXXIV.      January, 1849.      No. 1.


                           Table of Contents

                    The Belle of the Opera
                    What is Beautiful?
                    Kate Richmond’s Betrothal
                    The Corsair’s Victim
                    A Dirge for O’Connell
                    The Illinois and the Prairies
                    A Dream of Italy
                    The Letter of Introduction
                    Dirge
                    The Fugitive
                    The Gentle Step
                    Barbara Uttman’s Dream
                    Sunset Upon “The Steine-Kill”
                    A Song
                    The Old New House
                    The Wounded Guerilla
                    Lines
                    Speak Kindly
                    Marie
                    Love, Duty and Hope
                    Do I Love Thee?
                    Ode to Shelley
                    Marion’s Song in the School-Room
                    All About “What’s in a Name.”
                    Game-Birds of America.—No. XII.
                    Visitants From Spirit-Land
                    History of the Costume of Men
                    Maple Sugar
                    To My Love
                    Softly O’er My Memory Stealing
                    Cathara
                    The Departed
                    The Dead
                    The Homestead of Beauty
                    Gems From Late Readings
                    Editor’s Table
                    Review of New Books

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



                                GRAHAM’S

                            AMERICAN MONTHLY

                                MAGAZINE

                         Of Literature and Art.

                            EMBELLISHED WITH

              MEZZOTINT AND STEEL ENGRAVINGS, MUSIC, ETC.

WILLIAM C. BRYANT, J. FENIMORE COOPER, RICHARD H. DANA, JAMES K. PAULDING,
  HENRY W. LONGFELLOW, N. P. WILLIS, CHARLES F. HOFFMAN, J. R. LOWELL.

 MRS. LYDIA H. SIGOURNEY, MISS C. M. SEDGWICK, MRS. FRANCES S. OSGOOD,
    MRS. EMMA C. EMBURY, MRS. ANN S. STEPHENS, MRS. AMELIA B. WELBY,
                       MRS. A. M. F. ANNAN, ETC.
                        PRINCIPAL CONTRIBUTORS.

        G. R. GRAHAM, J. R. CHANDLER AND J. B. TAYLOR, EDITORS.

                             VOLUME XXXIV.

                             PHILADELPHIA:
             SAMUEL D. PATTERSON & CO. 98 CHESTNUT STREET.
                                 1849.



                 *        *        *        *        *

                                CONTENTS

                                 OF THE

                         THIRTY-FOURTH VOLUME.

                     JANUARY, 1849, TO JUNE, 1849.

All About “What’s in a Name.” By CAROLINE C——,                          62
A Recollection of Mendelssohn. By J. BAYARD TAYLOR,                    113
A Voice from the Wayside. By CAROLINE C——,                             300
Barbara Uttman’s Dream. By Mrs. EMMA C. EMBURY,                         43
Christ Weeping Over Jerusalem. By JOSEPH R. CHANDLER,                  189
Cousin Fanny. By M. S. G. NICHOLS,                                     354
Doctor Sian Seng. From the French,                                123, 174
Deaf, Dumb and Blind. By AGNES L. GORDON,                              347
Editor’s Table,                                              79, 153, 215,
                                                             273, 330, 387
Eleonore Eboli. By WINIFRED BARRINGTON,                                134
Fifty Suggestions. By EDGAR A. POE,                               317, 363
For and Against. By WALTER HERRIES, Esq.                               377
Game-Birds of America. No. XII.,                                        68
Gems from Late Readings,                                      78, 149, 211
History of the Costume of Men. By FAYETTE ROBINSON,          71, 140, 196,
                                                                  264, 319
Honor to Whom Honor is Due. By Mrs. LYDIA JANE PEIRSON,                192
Jasper Leech. By B.,                                                    15
Kate Richmond’s Betrothal. By GRACE GREENWOOD,                           8
Love, Duty and Hope. By ENNA DUVAL,                                     56
Lessons in German. By Miss M. J. BROWNE,                               118
Mormon Temple, Nauvoo,                                                 257
Mr. and Mrs. John Johnson Jones. By ANGELE DE V. HULL,                 277
Montgomery’s House,                                                    330
May Lillie. By CAROLINE H. BUTLER,                                     365
Passages of Life in Europe. By J. BAYARD TAYLOR,                       307
Passages of Life in Europe. By J. BAYARD TAYLOR,                       373
Reviews,                                                     81, 151, 213,
                                                             270, 334, 385
Rose Winters. By ESTELLE,                                              258
Reminiscences. By EMMA C. EMBURY,                                      325
Speak Kindly. By KATE SUTHERLAND,                                       53
St. Valentine’s Day. By J. R. CHANDLER,                                110
The Belle of the Opera. By J. R. CHANDLER,                               1
The Illinois and the Prairies. By JAMES K. PAULDING,                    16
The Letter of Introduction. By Mrs. A. M. F. ANNAN,                     26
The Fugitive. By the VISCOUNTESS D’AULNAY,                              37
The Old New House. By H. HASTINGS WELD,                                 47
The Wounded Guerilla. By MAYNE REID,                                    50
The Young Lawyer’s First Case. By J. TOD,                               85
The Man in the Moon. By CAROLINE C——,                                   91
The Wager of Battle. By W. GILMORE SIMMS,                               99
The Chamber of Life and Death. By PROFESSOR ALDEN,                     129
The Lost Notes. By Mrs. HUGHS,                                         144
The Naval Officer. By W. F. LYNCH,                           157, 223, 286
The Unfinished Picture. By JANE C. CAMPBELL,                           182
The Adventures of a Man who could Never Dress Well.
    By M. TOPHAM EVANS,                                                199
The Plantation of General Taylor,                                      206
The Poet Lí. By CAROLINE H. BUTLER,                                    217
The Recluse. By PARK BENJAMIN,                                    232, 298
The Missionary, Sunlight. By CAROLINE C——,                             235
The Brother’s Temptation. By SYBIL SUTHERLAND,                         243
The Gipsy Queen. By JOSEPH R. CHANDLER,                                250
The Darsies. By EMMA C. EMBURY,                                        252
Taste. By Miss AUGUSTA C. TWIGGS,                                      310
The Man of Mind and the Man of Money. By T. S. ARTHUR,                 312
The Picture of Judgment. By W. GILMORE SIMMS,                          337
The Battle of Life. By LEN,                                            362
The Birth-Place of Benjamin West,                                      378
The Young Dragoon. By C. J. PETERSON,                                  379
Unequal Marriages. By CAROLINE H. BUTLER,                              169
Western Recollections. By FAY. ROBINSON,                               178
Wild-Birds of America. By PROF. FROST,                                 142
Wild-Birds of America. By PROFESSOR FROST,                             208
Wild-Birds of America. By PROF. FROST,                                 267
Wild-Birds of America. By PROF. FROST,                                 322
Wild-Birds of America. By PROF. FROST,                                 382


                                POETRY.

A Dirge for O’Connell. By ANNE C. LYNCH,                                15
A Dream of Italy. By CHARLES ALLEN,                                     25
A Song. By GIFTIE,                                                      46
A Song. By RICHARD WILKE,                                              112
A Twilight Lay. By W. HORRY STILLWELL,                                 128
An Hour Among the Dead. By J. B. JONES,                                148
A Billet-Doux. By FRANCES S. OSGOOD,                                   177
A Summer Evening Thought. By COUSIN MARY,                              285
A Sonnet. By FAYETTE ROBINSON,                                         306
A May Song. By S. D. ANDERSON,                                         316
Ariel in the Cloven Pine. By BAYARD TAYLOR,                            324
Cathara. By WALTER COLTON, U. S. N.                                     76
Christine. By E. CURTISS HINE,                                          90
Dirge.                                                                  36
Do I Love Thee? By RICHARD COE, JR.                                     60
Dreams of Heaven. By M. E. THROPP,                                     378
Earth-Life. By J. BAYARD TAYLOR,                                       133
Extract. By HENRY S. HAGERT,                                           181
Egeria. By MARY L. LAWSON,                                             195
Florence. By HENRY B. HIRST,                                           165
Fancies About a Lock of Hair. By S. D. ANDERSON,                       207
From Buchanan. By RICHARD PENN SMITH,                                  297
Human Influence. By MARIE ROSEAU,                                      191
Jenny Lind. By Miss M. SAWIN,                                          269
Lines. By R. T. CONRAD,                                                 52
Love. By CHARLES E. TRAIL,                                             173
Lost Treasures. By P. D. T.,                                           242
Lines to an Idea that Wouldn’t “Come.”
    By FRANCES S. OSGOOD,                                              285
Luna. An Ode. By H. T. TUCKERMAN,                                      297
Marie. By CAROLINE F. ORNE,                                             55
Marion’s Song in the School-Room.
    By Mrs. FRANCES S. OSGOOD,                                          61
Maple Sugar. By ALFRED B. STREET,                                       73
My Bird Has Flown. By Mrs. E. W. CASWELL,                              117
My Study. By WM. H. C. HOSMER,                                         377
Night. By Miss AUGUSTA C. TWIGGS,                                      372
Ode to Shelley. By J. BAYARD TAYLOR,                                    61
On a Diamond Ring. By CHARLES E. TRAIL,                                231
Parting. By Mrs. LYDIA JANE PEIRSON,                                   329
Paraphrase. By RICHARD PENN SMITH,                                     361
Requiem. By WM. H. C. HOSMER,                                          109
Rome. By R. H. STODDARD,                                               234
Reminiscences of a Reader.
    By the late WALTER HERRIES, Esq.,                                  249
Raffaelle D’Urbino. By W. H. WELSH,                                    352
Sunset Upon the Steine-Kill. By KATE DASHWOOD,                          46
Summer’s Bacchanal. By J. BAYARD TAYLOR,                               206
Sonnet to Machiavelli. By FAY. ROBINSON,                               251
Storm-Lines. By J. BAYARD TAYLOR,                                      270
Stanzas. By Mrs. O. M. P. LORD,                                        346
Steinhausen’s Hero and Leander. By H. T. TUCKERMAN,                    364
Stanzas for Music. By HARRIET S. HANDY,                                376
The Corsair’s Victim. By WM. H. C. HOSMER,                              14
The Gentle Step. By HARRIET J. MEEK,                                    42
To My Love. By HENRY H. PAUL,                                           73
The Departed. By Mrs. MARY S. WHITAKER,                                 76
The Dead. By “AN AULD HEAD ON YOUNG SHOUTHERS,”                         77
The Homestead of Beauty. By S. D. ANDERSON,                             77
The World. By R. H. STODDARD,                                           89
The Ennuyee. By Mrs. S. A LEWIS,                                        90
The Mirror of Life. By ANNA,                                            97
To the Thames, at Norwich, Conn.,
    By Mrs. LYDIA H. SIGOURNEY,                                         98
The Song of the Axe. By C. L. WHELER,                                   98
The Past. By Miss CAROLINE E. SUTTON,                                  112
The Phantasmagoria. By A. J. REQUIER,                                  120
The Beating of the Heart. By RICHARD HAYWARDE,                         122
The Highland Laddie’s Farewell. By AUGUSTA C. TWIGGS,                  128
The Old Year and the New. By CLARA,                                    143
The Dial-Plate. By A. J. REQUIER,                                      168
The Icebergs. By PARK BENJAMIN,                                        173
The Heart’s Confession. By HENRY MORFORD,                              188
The Precious Rest. By RICHARD COE, Jr.,                                207
The Pine-Tree. By CAROLINE MAY,                                        210
To My Little Boy. By Mrs. HENRIETTA L. COLEMAN,                        212
To Mother. By ANNIE GREY,                                              231
Thermopylæ. By Mrs. MARY G. HORSFORD,                                  242
The Unsepulchred Relics. By Mrs. GOODWIN,                              249
The Brother’s Lament. By AMELIA B. WELBY,                              251
The Unmasked. By S. ANNA LEWIS,                                        257
The Zopilotes. By FAYETTE ROBINSON,                                    263
The Rustic Shrine. By GEO. W. DEWEY,                                   296
The Grass of the Field. By CAROLINE MAY,                               309
To an Absent Sister. By MARY G. HORSFORD,                              309
Thoughts. By MARIE ROSEAU,                                             346
Turn Not Away. By HENRY MORFORD,                                       353
The Sleep of the Dead. By S. G. HAGERT,                                361
The New Search After Happiness. By E. FOXTON,                          371
Visitants from Spirit-Land.
    By E. CURTISS HINE, U. S. N.                                        70
Vincente Filicaja’s Sonnet to Italy.
    By FAYETTE ROBINSON,                                               384
What is Beautiful? By AUGUSTA,                                           7


                                 MUSIC.

Softly O’er My Memory Stealing. Words by S. D. Patterson.
    Music by John A. Janke, Jr.
The Bells of Ostend. Words by W. L. Bowles.
    Music by J. Hilton Jones.
Oh, Have I Not Been True to Thee?
    Written and adapted to a beautiful melody
    by John H. Hewitt.
Adieu, My Native Land. Words by D. W. Belisle.
    Arranged for the piano by James Piper.
Virtue’s Evergreen. Words by Theodore A. Gould.
    Music by Theodore Von La Hache.
I Can’t Make Up My Mind. Words from Hood’s Magazine.
    Arranged for the piano by C. Grobe.


                              ENGRAVINGS.

Day on the Mountains, engraved by W. E. Tucker.
The Belle of the Opera, engraved by W. E. Tucker.
The Wounded Guerilla, engraved by Rice.
Oglethorp University, engraved by Rawdon & Co.
A Valentine, engraved by W. E. Tucker.
Home Treasures, engraved by Addison.
The Mirror of Life, engraved by Wilmer.
Portrait of Mrs. Davidson, by Rawdon & Co.
Christ Weeping Over Jerusalem, by W. E. Tucker.
Why Don’t He Come, engraved by Addison.
The Bridal Night, engraved by Addison.
View of the Plantation of Gen. Taylor.
The Gipsy Queen, engraved by Thomas B. Welsh.
The Church of St. Isaac’s, engraved by A. L. Dick.
The Miniature, engraved by an American Artist.
Paris Fashions, from Le Follet.
May Morning, engraved by T. B. Welsh.
View of Tortosa, engraved by J. Dill.
Paris Fashions, from Le Follet.
The Star of the Night, engraved by Addison.
The Cottage Door, engraved by Humphreys.
Col. Washington at the Cowpens.
Paris Fashions, from Le Follet.

                 *        *        *        *        *

[Illustration: OGLETHORP UNIVERSITY,    Engraved by Rawdon & Co.]

[Illustration: THE BELLE OF THE OPERA,     Engraved by W. E. Tucker.]

                 *        *        *        *        *

                           GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE.

                 *        *        *        *        *

       VOL. XXXIV.      PHILADELPHIA, JANUARY, 1849.      No. 1.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        THE BELLE OF THE OPERA.


  AN ESSAY UPON WOMAN’S ACCOMPLISHMENT, HER CHARACTER AND HER MISSION.

                         BY JOSEPH R. CHANDLER.

                            [SEE ENGRAVING.]


It is not a small thing to be an engaged writer for a magazine that has
admittance into numerous families, and, by the costliness and adaptation
of its decorations, and the general proclivity of its contents, is in no
small degree the handbook of young females.

A good book, an octavo or quarto, upon sound morals or religious
doctrines comes like a wholesome breeze, “stealing and giving
odors”—but then, like that breeze, it is only occasional—a current
rushing in but rarely, and seldom finding the right object within its
healthful influence. But the magazine is the atmosphere in which the
inmates dwell; they are constantly within its influence, and their
general life, their mental sanative properties become imbued with its
qualities: And this is the more important as the influence is commenced
at home, and upon the female portion; so that it becomes constantly,
permanently, and extensively operative upon, and through others.

The writers for this magazine seem to have been impressed with this idea
of these consequences, and hence the importance of their contributions;
or the editor has been exceedingly careful in his winnowing, to allow
nothing to pass the sieve that might be productive of evil in the field
which he is called to cultivate.

The writer of this article is deeply impressed with the importance of
his position, and the danger of an error. A magazine that is devoted to
taste, the arts and the fashions, it would seem, from the opinions of
some, must be in a great degree light, and in no degree instructive,
save in the very subject of taste, fashion and the arts, to which it is
ostensibly devoted, and according to the general acceptation of the
words, taste and fashion, and the ordinary uses to which the arts are
applied.

“A magazine, then, of polite literature, of the arts and fashions, must
be for the day—must treat of ephemeral subjects—must make the fashions
of female dresses a leading and permanent matter of thought—must
recommend amusements as matters of life-consideration, and erect the
finer arts as an image of universal worship.”

We say plainly that we differ from those who make this estimate of
periodical literature. We cannot consent to such a degrading standard
for the monthly press—we certainly will not submit ourselves or our pen
to this shortening process of the Procrustean bed of literature—we will
do what we can to keep “Graham’s Magazine” from such debasement—we will
do it for the long established character of the periodical, and for what
we think it capable of—we will do it for our own credit—and, most of
all, we will do it for the good of that large portion of society to
which this magazine supplies the mental _pabulum_. When we furnish forth
the table of those who look to our catering, we will take care that
there shall be no poison in the ingredients, no “death in the pot.”

But in a secular magazine there _must_ be light reading—all, or nearly
all, the contents must be of a kind addressed to the fancy as well as
the understanding—and consequently of a character to excite the
censure, or at least forbid the approach, of the ascetic. Nay, it must
greatly differ from the class of periodical literature devoted to, and
sustained upon sectarian religious grounds. The task, the labor of the
magazine editor is to sustain the high moral tone of his work, and yet
have it the vehicle of fashion, taste and the arts—to take the pure,
the good, and the beneficial, and give to them attractions for the young
and gay—or, to take that which is attractive for the young and the gay,
and make it the vehicle of high moral truth—of sober, solid reflection,
the means of heart-improvement, and the promoter of home joys—to
overlay the book with gold, and with sculptured cherubim, and all the
magnificence of taste and ingenuity—but to be sure that within are the
prophet’s rod—the shew-bread of the altar—and the written law of
truth.

Our sense of the duty of a magazine writer of the present time, is
rather hinted at than set forth in the above remarks. The subject is one
that might command the pages of a volume, and if properly handled would
be made eminently useful to writers and to readers. Our attention was
awakened to the subject by an examination of the exquisitely executed
picture of “THE BELLE OF THE OPERA,” with which that accomplished
artist, W. E. Tucker, has enriched the present number of this Magazine.
We do not know that he who drew the figure had such a thought in his
head as the improvement of magazine literature; and it is probable that
Tucker when he exhausted the powers of engraving, or almost all its
powers, to produce the figure, was impressed rather with the importance
of his contribution to the artistic importance of periodicals, than to
the high moral influence which he was aiding to promote. But true
genius, wherever exercised, is suggestive—and the beautifully drawn
figure is as promotive of useful reflection as the best composed essay.
Hence the fine arts and literature are allied—allied in their elevating
influence upon the possessors, and their power of meliorating and
improving the minds of the uninitiated. Hence they go hand in hand in
the path of usefulness—hence they are united in this Magazine.

The Belle of the Opera! Will the reader turn back once more and look at
the picture? How full of life—how much of thought—how
self-possessed—how desirable for the possession of others—how
conscious of charms—and yet how charmed with the tasteful objects
represented.

The Belle of the Opera! To be that—to be “the observed of all
observers,” in a house crowded with objects for observation, to be made
preeminent by exceeding beauty is “no small thing.” It must be
costly—it must demand large contributions from other portions of the
possessor of the proud object. If acres went to enrich the dress of the
ancient nobility of England, something as desirable and as essential to
the possessor, as those acres were to the British nobility, must have
been sacrificed to perfect the attractions of the Belle of the Opera.
Were they social duties? were they domestic affections? were they the
means of womanly usefulness? of healthful and almost holy operation upon
the minds of others? were they prospective or present? is present
moderate but growing happiness sacrificed, or is the present enjoyment
of distinction so great as to balance all of immediate loss, and to make
the sacrifice that of future peace, future happiness, future domestic
usefulness, future social consequence, all that makes mature womanhood
delightful, all that makes age respectable and lovely?

Such reflections and such pregnant queries arise in the mind, when we
contemplate the representation of such loveliness, so displayed. (I
might say such loveliness displayed, for the representation is
loveliness itself.) And the moralist has taken just such a beauty, (if
his mind ever “bodied forth” the forms of things _so_ unknown,) and
marked upon all the display “vanity and vexation of spirit”—the very
display, and especially the place of the display, warranting the
conclusion.

We confess that we have looked at The Belle of the Opera until our mind
has arrived at other conclusions. We think it fair to conclude that so
lovely a face, and such a majestic form, are at least _prima faciæ_
evidence of an elevated and beautiful mind, and that the enjoyment of
opera music, nowhere to be enjoyed but at the opera, is by no means
inconsistent with that elevation or that beauty. Music, that constitutes
half our worship on earth, and all in heaven, shall that be regarded in
itself as a sin or a means of degradation?

“But the display of the person, the vanity of the dress, the folly of
the personal exhibition, these are against the character and usefulness
of the Belle—”

How so? There is certainly no improper diminution of dress. The most
that can be said is, that a beautiful woman, beautifully dressed, is
sitting in the front seat of an opera-box, surrounded by hundreds of
persons of both sexes, who have come with the same ostensible object,
and who sit equally exposed.

But it is the exceeding beauty of the person and the elegance of the
dress that make her conspicuous; and it is that conspicuousness which
constitutes the ground of censure.

But fortunately The Belle of the Opera did not make herself beautiful.
Those elegant proportions, those enticing charms, are the gift of Him
who made human beings in his own image; and let it be confessed that
half the elegance of the _dress_ is attributable to the elegance of the
form which it covers, and the exquisite beauty which it is not intended
to conceal.

Beauty is a gift—a gift of God—like all personal or mental endowments,
dangerous, it is confessed—but, like all, to be used for personal
gratification and the promotion of social advantage.

If it is conceded to be a means of mental melioration to dwell among the
beauties of artistic skill and lofty architectural efforts, then surely
it must be still more advantageous to be reared within the influence of
_living_ charms; “to grow familiar day by day” with features and forms
that constitute models for the representation of angels, and to pass
onward through life with the sense of seeing constantly improved and
gratified with objects of exquisite beauty exquisitely clothed. This is
viewing The Belle of the Opera with an artist’s eye.

“But,” the moralist will say, “the high office of woman is vacated by
such a sacrifice to display, and such a devotion of time to amusement.
That The Belle of the Opera can never be The Bonne of the Nursery, and
therefore woman is out of her place when out of such an exercise of her
faculties as shall minister directly to domestic advantage.”

We take issue with the moralist on this question of the direct
application of female faculties; and we do this because we feel that the
narrow bigotry of the unenlightened, which leads them to condemn the
elegant enjoyments of life, and to ground their condemnation on the
demand which is constant upon human beings, “to do good and to
communicate,” is founded on a want of a full appreciation of female
powers, and a mistake as to what constitutes these, and their means of
usefulness.

There will be no space for a discussion of the measure of female duties,
though it is intended to enter upon such a discussion hereafter; but we
may say that however extensive or however limited they may be, their
discharge will be more or less effectual and complete, as she is
qualified by the elegance of education, the improvement of her mind, the
cultivation and adaptation of her faculties, to impart to others the
graces of life, and to fix them by constant example.

Virtue is embraced for its charms—it is not admired for deformity or
its negligence of mind; it has its attractions and its means of
compensation, as much as has vice—but they are not always as obvious.
The young must be made to _trust_ in the results of a virtuous course;
they must have their faith fixed by the graces of parental, of maternal
precept and example—and this good cannot be hoped for if the mother is
incapable of attracting, if she has not the means of charming—if,
indeed, she cannot show that what constitute the pleasures of life
(pleasures which in excess become crimes) are, while properly enjoyed,
wholesome and advantageous, and at the same time can show the line of
demarcation between their uses and their abuses. She must know what are
the true accomplishments of life—she must understand the influence of
refinement and cultivation on the mind—and she must bring herself to
apply all these. She must know the difference, too, between the uses and
the abuses of cultivated talents, and she must learn to discriminate.

She who would deny to the young the cultivation of talents, musical,
literary or artistic, is like the beings who would pile up the snows of
winter, that the accumulated heap might prevent the budding and the
blossoming of spring; while she who would force the mind of her child to
an unnatural development of merely ornamental faculties, is like one who
would concentrate the rays of the sun through a burning-glass, in order
to accelerate the growth of a delicate plant.

What we mean to assert is the obvious fact, that the female, the mother,
cannot discharge the high responsibilities of her sex, without many of
those acquisitions which are condemned as worthless in themselves, and
perhaps the condemnation is in some measure correct; that is, the
acquisition separately considered may be rather injurious than
beneficial.

Music itself, if it be the only or the principal attainment of a woman,
must be valuable only as a means of obtaining money or fame. So of
dancing—so of painting—so of poetry, that divine gift—each one of
these, allowed to become predominant, loses its meliorating influence,
and devotes the possessor to a solitary enjoyment, or, at most, assists
her in acquiring notoriety and a living.

It is our intention to laud the cultivation of tastes only as parts of
the meliorating means of woman’s character—the acquisition or rather
the improvement of ingredients to fit her for that office of delicate
influence for which God evidently designed her. Her personal beauty may
be a part of the means of her wholesome domestic influence—her love of,
and attainments in, music, her improvement in drawing, her literary
gifts and acquirements all go, when all are mingled, to give to her
consequence and usefulness in the nursery, and to make her beloved and
beneficially influential in the domestic circle, and to add attraction
to her charms in social life. There is no incompatibility between all
these acquisitions with great personal beauty, between a sense of that
beauty, indeed, and the entire fulfillment of all domestic and social
duties, that are likely to be devolved on one thus highly endowed, thus
qualified by extensive attainments.

The Belle of the Opera is at a place of refined amusement, where the
richest productions of musical science are properly delivered. She is
dressed to suit her own means and the place which she occupies. There is
as much propriety in the proper presentation of her charms, as in the
appropriate delivery of the music. The place itself is one of enlarged
social intercourse. Elegant attire is the requisite of the place, and is
due from the female (who has it) to him who incurs the expense of the
visitation, and receives the honor of her company.

“But she is admired in her display; her dress, her form, the beauty of
her face, attract marked attention. She is the object of general
observation.”

And why not? Is it inconsistent with good taste to admire beauty? Is not
the whole opera a place where the taste is to be improved and gratified?
Is it music alone that is to be relished? When went forth the decree
from morals or religion that beauty—female beauty—should not be
adorned? And to be adorned it must be seen.

Let us not hear the platitudes about the worthlessness of beauty; it is
not worthless—it is of high price—of exceeding worth—of extensive
usefulness; and, appropriately displayed, its influence is humanizing,
tranquilizing, and every way beneficial.

To personal charms The Belle of the Opera adds a cultivated taste for
music—a taste which she indulges at the fountain-head of such
enjoyments. But does she less, on that account, or rather on _these_
accounts, (beauty and musical taste, namely,) fulfill her mission at
home? Does the lesson of virtue which the accomplished mother gives to
her young child, fall less _impressively_ on the heart because the
infant pupil, in looking upward, gazes into a face replete with all of
earthly beauty? Is there not a certain coincidence between the looks of
his beloved teacher and the excellence of her delightful instruction? or
rather, does not her beauty tend to make these lessons delightful? And
if the charm for the child is the morning or evening hymn, does not the
sacred simplicity of the text drop with extraordinary unction on the
ear, if conveyed in the rich melody of a cultivated voice.

I might thus enumerate all the high attainments, and show how each
becomes _useful_; but it is enough to have it understood, that the true,
the great value of all these high gifts and extraordinary cultivation is
derived from their influence, when combined, to form the character of
the possessor. The Belle of the Opera is also The Belle of the
Ball-room. The same variety of characteristics, without a necessity for
the same attainment, marks each, and both are liable to be set down by a
superficial observer, as destitute of any qualities, except those which
distinguish them in the places of amusement.

May not the Belle of the Opera, or the Belle of the Ball-room, be the
guardian genius of the sick chamber, the faithful, devoted director of
the nursery?

I knew The Belle of the Opera, and she was as fond of the dance as of
the song, and shared in both in the social circle, and enjoyed them in
_others_ in more public displays. Her buoyant spirits, her happy gayety
of disposition, made her the marked object of admiration in all parties
in which she shared—the first to propose that in which all could
gracefully and appropriately join, and the last to propound a thought
that could cast a gloom over the countenance of a single being around
her. She seemed so much the spirit of the joyous assembly, that serious
thought, deepth of feeling, or firm principles of good, were not
suspected by those incapable of looking into the heart. The Belle of the
Opera was deemed by such, one set apart for the enjoyment of the opera
and the dance, and to be without life when without these means of life’s
pleasures; to have no sympathy with her kind, excepting through music
and display, and to reckon none among her intimates but the
light-hearted and the gay.

Men may be thus exclusive, but women are not.

Returning one night from opera or route, the Belle entered her parlor
wearied _with_, but not tired _of_ the pleasure in which she had shared,
when suddenly a cry of distress was heard; it was caused by the
appearance of a case of small-pox in a neighboring house. At once the
Belle changed her dress, and was at the bed of the sufferer.

“But, madam, have you had the small-pox?”

“No; but I have been vaccinated.”

“Ah! so was my sister.”

“But evidently not well. I will tarry and assist until she be removed,
or some change take place.”

The change took place after a few days, and the Belle of the Opera
carefully wrapped the body of the deceased in its grave-clothes, and
having committed it to a coffin, she went to purify herself, give thanks
for her preservation, and to enjoy again the fine arts which she so much
admired.

The pleasant laugh could at times, and _did_, give place to tears of
sorrow or of sympathy; and the appearance of indifference would promptly
yield, when thoughtlessly or wickedly some sentiment opposed to strict
morality, would drop from the lip of a companion. Never did hours of
gayety tend to moments of unkindness, or the full enjoyment of the
abundance to which all were happy to contribute, obliterate a sentiment
of gratitude toward those whose earlier kindness might have assisted to
prepare for that enjoyment.

Beneath the exterior of frequent devotion to admissible pleasure, there
was a depth of feeling and a soundness of principle that sustained
themselves in all circumstances, and exhibited themselves where-ever
their exercise was requisite, that were seen, indeed, influencing even
in the midst of gayety, and throwing a charm around that freedom of
conversation in which those of well-regulated minds may indulge.

The virtues of The Belle of the Opera are not sudden, fitful, dependent
upon excited feelings—they are constant, influencing, ruling. They
appear in private conversations, they are manifest in delicate
forbearance toward the errors of others, they exhibit themselves in
unwavering attachment to known established principles, and a delicate
tolerance of the views of friends; and they are set forth for admiration
by the charms of those accomplishments which the world admires, and
which that world supposes to be her principal attraction.

And that world judges in this case as in most others; it has no interest
in the object before it, and it is not concerned to look into the effect
of its own judgment upon that object. Ten thousand who saw the late
laughter-moving Jefferson upon the stage, supposed that he never moved
without laughing himself, and making others laugh. They supposed that he
must delight in and be the delight of social life; and as they had
nothing to do with his life off the stage, they never cared to correct
their judgment—they never knew that the most pleasant of all comedians
was fond of solitude, loved the quiet silence of angling—and was a prey
to melancholy.

The inward man, the man to himself, the household man, the man of the
fireside and social circle, is different from the man abroad, the man
professionally, the man to others, and this not from hypocrisy, not from
a difference of character throughout, but simply because the many who
judge see only one phaze, and one, indeed, is all that is exhibited, all
that is required to fill up the part in which the many know the man. But
justly to judge, and fairly to decide, we must see the whole man, we
must know how all his relations are sustained; we must see how he
discharges the high, solemn duties of his life, and carries the
influence of that discharge into minor relations. We must understand how
much of himself, his better self, he gives to the amusements and light
enjoyments of life, and how much he brings from them to influence his
conduct elsewhere; or, if weak, how much of himself he leaves in scenes
where artistic taste only is exercised; how much he sacrifices of
himself to mere gratification—a burnt-offering never to be recalled.

And here we reach a point toward which we have attempted to steer; we
mean the fullness of character, the entire inward person—the
meeting—the combination—the fusion, indeed, of all those properties
and qualities of the mind, by a well-directed education; the balancing
of the various propensities and gifts by the skillful hand of
instruction, so that no appetite, natural or acquired, shall have an
undue predominancy, or serve to constitute the distinguishing
characteristic of the possessor.

The Belle of the Opera, we have already said, brought to the place of
amusements only the charms which God has bestowed and cultivated taste
has well set off. She did not elect herself as The Belle of the Opera;
she did not inaugurate herself as “the observed of all observers.” Such
results, though made probable by the charms of her person, and promoted
by the opportunities afforded by the indulgence of a high order of
talents, was, nevertheless, the work of the admiring many, who felt and
acknowledged the charms of person thus displayed, and at once rendered
to them the kind of homage which their excellence and position seemed to
suggest. They, the multitude, judged in part, judged by what they saw,
and what they imagined—and deified the woman with the appellation of
“Belle of the Opera;” it was all the attribute they had to bestow; they
felt an influence that they did not comprehend; and not knowing of the
charms concealed, that made effective what they saw, they gave to the
visible and the ostensible, the regard which was only due to the
concealed and the influencing, as the shepherds of old saw with
admiration and delight the fiery part of the stars of the firmament in
all their loveliness, and feeling an influence from the celestial
display, adored the hosts of heaven for their beauty and their use,
forgetful or ignorant of the power that made them seem
beautiful—uninstructed in all the relations of those orbs by which
their beauty and their usefulness are secured.

We have taken the reader to one scene, in which The Belle of the Opera
showed how little the accomplishment of person, and the cultivation of
taste had disturbed the feelings of humanity; and yet we confess, that
such an example standing alone, seems to be a contradiction, or a sort
of accidental effort, rather the result of impulse, rather dependent
upon caprice or individual affection, than to be regarded as
illustrative of, or consistent with, the ruling characteristics. We are
speaking now of a whole character—and a character cannot be judged of
by one strong propensity on one hand, and one great but contradictory
act on the other.

Is the character of The Belle of the Opera complete? Is the distance
between the lustre and display of the opera-box, and the devotion to the
loathsomeness of the small-pox chamber, all occupied with corresponding
virtues, and similar graces mingling, shading, combining, perfecting? If
the great offices of the woman’s life, (we are speaking now of the Belle
as a _woman_, looking at her higher vocation,) if all these offices are
well discharged, if as mother, wife, as friend and neighbor, she stand
unimpeachable; if she is as notable in all these relations as in the
opera-box, still we want to inquire what is the influence exercised upon
all these relations, by those qualities which made her The Belle of the
Opera. How stand the opera-box and the nursery related? Because in the
complete character of a woman are very few isolated qualities; they all
bear upon each other, or exercise mutual influences, and each is less of
itself by the qualities which it derives from others. The Belle of the
Opera gave to her own fireside the attraction of her personal charms, if
less gorgeously accompanied, still the more directly effective. The
adventitious aid of ornaments, that was a sacrifice to public taste, was
not required; and these charms gathered a circle which the exercise of
mental accomplishments retained; and thus all within their influence
derived the advantage which association with high gifts and large
attainments necessarily impart, and the _home_ was made gladsome by
those charms which are attractive to their like, and compensating to
their admirers.

The attainment of the science of music, and the display of that science
at home, meliorated the manners of the inmates, and invited to
association those whose taste was elevated, and whose talents were of a
kind to sustain and appreciate high cultivation; and beyond the parlor
these extended even to the nursery, or rather the nursery, by their
exercise, was transferred to the parlor. That is what The Belle of the
Opera understood by making _all_ her accomplishments subservient to her
duties as wife and mother. The mind of the child, by this constant
intercourse with the gifted and the improved, became expanded, received
character from the atmosphere in which it was placed, derived pleasure
from the development which it witnessed, and had its _habits_ formed to
those graces which, in others, are only extraordinary results of
extraordinary means, distinguishing the possessor only by one quality or
attainment, making _her_ The Belle of the Opera _alone_.

It is this association of the young with the beautiful and the
accomplished, which infuses into their character, and fixes there those
meliorating influences that constitute the charm of life, ruling,
modifying, illustrating their whole character, making it _whole_,
harmonious, consistent.

It must be understood that The Belle of the Opera was not a mere
pianist, not a mere strummer upon the harp, she understood music as a
_science_, and was therefore capable of conversing upon the subject as
well as playing upon an instrument. This power of conversation, resting
upon a deep knowledge of subjects, is the secret and charm of
association; and it is worthy of remark, that gossip, even among the
elevated, soon wearies; and what is more remarkable, it is wearisome and
disgusting to children compelled to listen, while conversations or
discussions upon subjects well understood by the interlocutors, are at
once interesting to general listeners, and attractive, gratifying and
instructive even to children. We appeal to general experience for this.

Eminently did The Belle of the Opera comprehend that truth, and practice
upon it; hence a musical entertainment in her house was not a mere
exercise of vocal powers, or a fearful attack upon the piano-keys. Music
was _discussed_ and then performed; and music, too, was not alone the
theme. The well-lined walls denoted a taste for kindred arts; and the
degrees of excellence of pictures, the distinguishing attributes of
masters, were so lucidly illustrated, that the junior members of the
family grew into connoisseurs without dreaming of study—grew directly
and certainly into such characters without forethought, as a blade of
corn, in all its greenness, is tending in the warmth of the sun, and the
favor of the soil, to produce a golden harvest. But the discipline of
mind necessary to acquire the advancement which The Belle of the Opera
attained, gave to her habits of care with regard to the education of her
children; and the superficial study which makes amateurs in any branch,
was unknown in her family. Various degrees of perfection were
observable, and in different branches of pursuits and studies there was
a superiority among them, according to gifts; but compared with other
families, these children evinced pre-eminence in almost every thing they
undertook.

But it was as a _wife_ that The Belle of the Opera most distinguished
herself; we mean the special, particular duties of a woman to her
husband—all the other qualifications to which we have referred, were of
a kind to make her desirable as a wife—but in constant affection,
manifested in various ways in those delicate arts, appreciable but
inimitable by man, with which a beautiful and an accomplished woman
makes attractive her home, preserves it at once from the restraints of
affected knowledge, which is always _chary_ of near display, because
fearful of detection, and from that ostentatious exhibition of
attainments which wearies and disgusts by obtrusiveness. In all these,
and the graces of intimate and reciprocal affection, she made her
husband proud of his home, happy in his companion, and gratified at her
superiority in those things which belong more especially to her sex and
made her beauty beautiful.

There was a cloud thrown suddenly across the brilliant prospects of the
husband, a threatening of utter insolvency; the evil seemed inevitable.
Who should tell The Belle of the Opera that the means of gratifying her
highly cultivated taste, and displaying her admirable accomplishments
were about to cease?

The husband had all faith in the _affections_ of his wife; he
appreciated the excellence of her character, for he was worthy of her.
But it was a terrible blow to pride—to womanly pride—the pride of
condition, which had never been straightened; it must be a terrible blow
to her who knew how to use and how to give, but had never been called
upon to suffer or acquire. He carried to her the fearful news of the
anticipated disaster; he did not annoy her by the prelude of weeks of
abstraction and painful melancholy, but with the first consciousness of
danger he announced to her his fears, and awaited the consequences of
the shock.

“And what, my dear husband, will become of us all—of you, of me, and of
the children?”

“That is the misery of my situation. It is not only the loss of the
property I received with you, and that which I had acquired, but it is
the difficulty of pursuing any business without some of the means which
I thought so safe. I know not now how to sustain my family even in the
humble state which we must assume until I can again make a business. And
you, with all your charms, with all your attainments, and all your power
to enjoy, and means of affording pleasure—what a blow—what a fall!”

“And while you enumerate my attainments, do you forget that they are
like yours, marketable; have you forgotten what that education cost?
Will not others pay _me_ as much for instruction as I have paid for my
education? And will not the task of imparting be a pleasure rather than
a pain, because it will be the exercise of those talents, and the uses
of those attainments, whose employment has been the delight of our home,
the pride of our social relations, and the solace of my solitary hours.
Be assured, my dear husband, that with the exception of _giving_, most
of the pleasures of wealth may be had in poverty—and the substitute for
the pleasure of giving must be found in that of earning.”

The apprehended evil was never realized. The losses, though
considerable, did not reach an amount that rendered necessary any
diminution of style in the family.

“I think the alarm has not been uninstructive,” said The Belle of the
Opera; “either that, or the approach of age,” (there was nothing in the
lustre of her eye, or the brilliancy of her complexion that denoted the
proximity of years—and she knew it when she said so—women seldom speak
lightly of such _foes_ when they are within hearing distance,) “either
that or the approach of age has taught me to relish less many of the
amusements which our means have allowed and with which my taste was
gratified.”

“A natural gratification of so cultivated a taste,” said her husband,
“could be nothing but correct; and it is only when others _are_
acquired, that we need feel regret at indulging such as you have
possessed. We, who approach the midsummer of life, find fewer flowers in
our pathway than spring presented, but let us not complain of those who
gather the vernal sweets; rather let us rejoice that we take with us the
freshness of appetites that delights in whatever the path of duty
supplies, and by discipline are made to enjoy those latent sweets that
escape the observation of the uncultivated.”

We repeat our remarks, that to judge of a woman we must know her whole
character. We must not suppose because a lady is at the opera, that she
has no pleasure in other positions, or that a cultivated taste for music
is inconsistent with the general cultivation of her talents. It is wrong
to imagine that a beautiful woman is necessarily vain, or that her
beauty is inconsistent with the discharge of all the high and holy
duties that belong to her sex; the wife, the daughter, the mother, and
the friend.

Excessive amusement, we know, vitiates the mind; and a woman, whose
whole pride is to be The Belle of the Opera, has evidently no mission
for domestic usefulness. But the domestic circle is blessed, and woman’s
office honored, when an improved taste and generally cultivated talent,
the charms of person and elegance of manners are made subservient to,
and promotive of, the full discharge of the duties that belong to woman
in her exalted sphere.

And, we may add, that religion itself is made more lovely, more
operative, when the offices of humanity which it suggests, and the
services of devotion by which it is manifested, are discharged by one
who brings to the altar talent, beauty, acquirements, with a sense of
their unworthiness, and takes thence a spirit of piety and devotion that
throws a charm about all the graces that have been so attractive to the
world.

We would have our Magazine commend to our fair readers for approval and
acquisition, all the gifts and graces which belonged to The Belle of the
Opera; we would not have them seek that title. _She_ did not; as
unconscious of the admiration of the audience, as the performers were of
her individual presence; she came to enjoy the music, not to acquire
fame. We would have those for whom we write bear in mind that the
character of woman is incomplete, whatever talents or acquisition she
may boast, if she has not the charm that attracts to and delights its
domestic circle. And she should know that the basis of all those charms
which give permanent beneficial influence, is _religion_; a fixed
principle of doing right, from right motives. Upon _that_ basis let the
lovely fabric be erected; beauty, music, literature, science, social
enjoyment, all become and all ornament the structure. And woman’s
character with these is complete, if she add the discharge of the duties
of a friend—a wife—a mother. She who is the charm of social life must
be the benignant spirit of home—the source and centre of domestic
affection.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           WHAT IS BEAUTIFUL?


                              BY AUGUSTA.


            Flowers are beautiful—every hue
            Colors their petals, and pearly dew,
            The nectar the fairies love to sup,
            Sparkles brightly in each tiny cup,
            While the dark leaves of the ivy shine,
            And its clustering tendrils closely twine
            Round the old oak, and the sapling young,
            And when it has lightly round them clung,
            It laughs, and shouts, and it calls aloud,
            Have I not now a right to be proud?
            I’ve mastered the lordly forest-tree,
            I’m King of the woods, come see, come see.

            Night’s gems are beauteous, right rare are they,
            Gloriously bright is each gentle ray,
            Flashing and twinkling up so high,
            Like diamonds set in the deep blue sky;
            Who is there but loves night’s gentle queen,
            Gorgeously robed in her silver sheen?
            Shedding her pale, pure brightness round,
            O’er hill and valley, and tree and ground;
            Gilding the waters as on they glide
            In their conscious beauty, joy and pride;
            Or sending a quiet ray to rove,
            And wake the shade of the deep-green grove.

            The Sun is beautiful—“God of day,”
            He sends o’er the earth a lordly ray,
            He shames the sweet pensive Orb of night
            By his radiant beams so fiercely bright.

            Wind is beautiful—not to the eye—
            You cannot see it—but hear it sigh
            Lowly and sweet in a gentle breeze,
            Rustling the tops of the lofty trees,
            Sending the yellow leaves to the ground,
            Playfully whirling them round and round,
            Filling the sails with their fill of air,
            Then dancing off on some freak more rare;
            Scat’ring the snow and the blinding hail,
            Shrieking aloud in the wintry gale,
            Rudely driving the pattering rain
            ’Gainst the lonely cottage’s humble pane,
            Uprooting the aged forest-tree,
            Then whistling loud right merrily;
            Owning no king save a _mighty One_!
            Following _His_ dictates, and _His_ alone.

            Water is beautiful—sounding clear,
            Like distant music upon the ear,
            Bubbling light, sparkling bright, bounding still
            With a joyous laugh adown the hill,
            Clapping its hands with a noisy glee,
            Shouting I’m bound for the sea, the sea!
            I’ll bear my spoils to the Ocean’s tide—
            Hurrah! hurrah! the earth’s my loved bride;
            I came through a lovely grassy glade,
            And caught the dew-drops from every blade;
            I stopped awhile in a shady spring
            Hearing the summer-birds sweetly sing,
            And I just ’scaped being pris’ner caught,
            A maiden to fill her pail there sought;
            But I laughed aloud with a careless ring,
            As off I rolled from the crystal spring.
            Small though I seem, I’m part of the tide
            That’s to dash against a tall ship’s side,
            Bearing silken goods far o’er the sea,
            Bringing back ingots of gold for me—
            For me to seize and to bury deep
            Where thousands of pearls and diamonds sleep
            Scorn me! who dares? I tell thee now,
            _I’m_ monarch, and _mine_ is the lordly brow.

            Oh! all is beautiful, all is fair—
            High Heaven, and earth, and sea, and air,
            The sun, the moon, and the stars on high,
            The clouds, the waters, and sands that lie
            Far away down where the mermaids roam
            And the coral insects build their home.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                       KATE RICHMOND’S BETROTHAL.


                          BY GRACE GREENWOOD.


I must warn my readers given to sober-mindedness, that they will
probably rise from the perusal of the sketch before them, with that pet
exclamation of the serious, when vexed, or wearied with frivolity,
“vanity, vanity, all is vanity!” I can, indeed, promise no solid reading
nor useful information—no learning nor poetry—no lofty purpose nor
impressive moral—no deep-diving nor high-flying of any sort in all that
follows. For myself, I but seek to wile away a heavy hour of this dull
autumn day, and for my reader, if I may not hope to please, I cannot
fear to disappoint him, having led him to expect nothing—at least
nothing to speak of.

As a general thing, I have a hearty horror of all manœuvring and
match-making, yet must I plead guilty to having once got up a private
little conspiracy against the single-blessedness of two very dear
friends. There is a wise and truthful French proverb, “_Ce que femme
veut, Dieu le veut_,” which was not falsified in this case. But I will
not anticipate.

My most intimate friend, during my school-days, was a warm-hearted,
brave, frank, merry and handsome girl, by name Kate Richmond. In the
long years and through the changing scenes which have passed since we
first met, my love for this friend has neither wearied nor grown cold;
for, aside from her beauty and unfailing cheerfulness, she has about her
much that is attractive and endearing—a clear, strong intellect, an
admirable taste, and an earnest truthfulness of character, on which I
lean with a delicious feeling of confidence and repose.

As I grew to know and love Kate better, and saw what a glorious
embodiment of noble womanhood she was, and how she might pour heaven
around the path of any man who could win her to himself, I became
intensely anxious that her life-love should be one worthy and
soul-satisfying. One there was, well known to me, but whom she had never
met, who always played hero to her heroine, in my heart’s romances; this
was a young gentleman already known to some few of my readers, my
favorite cousin, Harry Grove.

I am most fortunate to be able to take a hero from real life, and to
have him at the same time so handsome a man, though not decidedly a
heroic personage. My fair reader shall judge for herself. Harry is not
tall, but has a symmetrical and strongly-built figure. His complexion is
a clear olive, and his dark chestnut hair has a slight wave, far more
beautiful than effeminate ringlets. His mouth is quite small—the full,
red lips are most flexible and expressive, and have a peculiar quiver
when his heart is agitated by any strong emotion. His eyes are full and
black, or rather of the darkest hue of brown, shadowed by lashes of a
superfluous length, for a man. They are arch, yet thoughtful; soft, with
all the tenderness of woman, yet giving out sudden gleams of the pride
and fire of a strong, manly nature. Altogether, in form and expression,
they are indescribably beautiful—eyes which haunt one after they are
once seen, and seem to close upon one never.

In character my kinsman is somewhat passionate and self-willed, but
generous, warm-hearted, faithful and thoroughly honorable. Yet, though a
person of undoubted talent, even genius, I do not think he will ever be
a distinguished man; for he sadly lacks ambition and concentration, that
fiery energy and plodding patience which alone can insure success in any
great undertaking. He has talent for painting, music and poetry, but his
devotion to these is most spasmodic and irregular. He has quite a gift
for politics, and can be eloquent on occasion, yet would scarcely give a
dead partridge for the proudest civic wreath ever twined. As a
sportsman, my cousin has long been renowned; he has a wild, insatiable
passion for hunting, is the best shot in all the country round, and rare
good luck seems to attend him in all his sporting expeditions.

For the rest, he is a graceful dancer, a superb singer, and a finished
horseman; so, on the whole, I think he will answer for a hero, though
the farthest in the world from a Pelham, a Eugene Aram, a Bruno
Mansfield, or an Edward Rochester.

“In the course of human events,” it chanced that a year or two since, I
received an urgent invitation from my relatives, the Groves, to spend
the early autumn months at their home, in the interior of one of our
western states. Now for my diplomatic address; I wrote, accepting, with
a stipulation that the name of my well-beloved friend, Miss Catharine
Richmond, who was then visiting me, should be included in the
invitation, which, in the next communication from the other party, was
done to my entire satisfaction. Kate gave a joyful consent to my
pleasant plan, and all was well.

One fine afternoon, in the last of August, saw the stage-coach which
conveyed us girls and our fortunes rolling through the principal street
of W——, the county-seat, and a place of considerable importance—to
its inhabitants. We found my uncle, the colonel, waiting our arrival at
the hotel, with his barouche, in which he soon seated us, and drove
rapidly toward his residence, which was about two miles out of town. On
the way, he told me I would meet but two of his seven sons at
home—Harry, and an elder brother, on whom, for a certain authoritative
dignity, we had long before bestowed the sobriquet of “the governor.” He
also informed us that his “little farm,” consisted of about eight
hundred acres, and that the place was called “Elm Creek.”

As we drove up the long avenue which led to the fine, large mansion of
my friends, I saw that my good aunt and Cousin Alice had _taken steps_
to give us an early welcome. I leaped from the barouche into their arms,
forgetting Kate, for a moment, in the excitement of this joyful reunion.

But my friend was received with affectionate cordiality, and felt at
home almost before she had crossed the threshold of that most hospitable
house. My grave cousin, Edward, met us in the hall—bowed profoundly to
Kate, and gave me a greeting more courtly than cousinly; but that was
“Ned’s way.” Harry was out hunting, Alice said, but would probably be
home soon.

After tea, we all took a stroll through the grounds. These are very
extensive, and the many beautiful trees and the domesticated deer,
bounding about, or stretched upon the turf, give the place a park-like
and aristocratic appearance. Elm Creek, which runs near the house, is a
clear and sparkling stream, which would be pleasantly suggestive of
trout on the other side of the Alleghanies.

Suddenly was heard the near report of a gun, and the next moment Harry
appeared on the light bridge which spanned the creek, accompanied by his
faithful Bruno, a splendid black setter. On recognizing me, he (Harry, I
mean, not the dog) sprung forward with a joyous laugh, and met me with a
right cousinly greeting. I never had seen him looking so finely—he had
taste in his hunting-dress, which became him greatly; and it was with a
flush of pride that I turned and presented him to Kate. Harry gave her a
cordial hand-shake, and immediately after, his dog, Bruno, gravely
offered her his sable paw, to the no small amusement of the company.

I soon had the satisfaction of seeing that there was a fine prospect of
Kate and my cousin being on the very best terms with each other, as they
conversed much together during the evening, and seemed mutually pleased.

The next morning my gallant and still handsome uncle took us out to the
stable and invited us to select our horses for riding. He knew me of old
for an enthusiastic equestrian, and Kate’s attainments in the art of
horsemanship were most remarkable. Kate chose a beautiful black mare,
Joan, the mate of which, Saladin, a fiery-spirited creature, was Harry’s
horse, and dear to him as his life. I made choice of a fine-looking but
rather coltish gray, which I shall hold in everlasting remembrance, on
account of a peculiar trot, which kept one somewhere between heaven and
earth, like Mohammed’s coffin.

The fortnight succeeding our arrival at Elm Creek, was one of much
gayety and excitement—we were thronged with visiters and deluged with
the most cordial invitations. Ah! western people understand the science
of hospitality, for their politeness is neither soulless nor
conventional, but full of heartiness and truth. Long life to this noble
characteristic of the generous west.

Colonel Grove was an admirable host—he exerted himself for our pleasure
in a manner highly creditable to an elderly gentleman, somewhat inclined
to indolence and corpulency. Every morning, when it was pleasant, he
drove us out in his barouche, and by the information which he gave, his
fine taste for the picturesque, and the dry humor and genuine good
nature of his conversation, contributed much to our enjoyment. In the
sunny afternoons, we usually scoured the country on horseback—Harry
always rode with Kate and I with “the governor,” who proved an
interesting, though somewhat reserved companion. My Cousin Alice was
unfortunately too much of an invalid for such exercises.

In our evenings we had music and dancing, and occasionally a quiet game
of whist. Now and then we were wild and childish enough to amuse
ourselves with such things as “Mr. Longfellow looking for his key-hole,”
“Homeopathic-bleeding,” and the old stand-by, “Blind Man’s Buff.”

One rather chilly afternoon, about three weeks after our arrival, Alice
Grove entered the chamber appropriated to Kate and myself, exclaiming,
“Come, girls, put on some extra ‘fixings’ and come down, for you have a
call from Miss Louisa Grant, the belle and beauty of W——, the fair
lady we rally Harry so much about—you remember.”

We found Miss Grant dressed most expensively, but not decidedly _à la
mode_, or with much reference to the day or season. She was surprisingly
beautiful, however—a blonde, but with no high expression; and then she
was sadly destitute of manner. She seemed in as much doubt whether to
sit, or rise, nod or courtesy, as the celebrated Toots, on that delicate
point of propriety whether to turn his wristbands up, or down; and like
that rare young gentleman, compromised the matter.

Miss Louisa talked but little, and that in the merest commonplaces; she
had a certain curl of the lip, and toss of the head, meant for queenly
hauteur, but which only expressed pert superciliousness; so, undazzled
by her dress and beauty, I soon sounded her depth and measured her
entire circumference. But Kate, who is a mad worshiper of beauty, sat
silent and abstracted, gazing on her face with undisguised admiration.

When the call was over, we accompanied our guest to the door, and while
we stood saying a few more last words, Harry came up, having just
returned from hunting. At sight of his fowling-piece, Miss Louisa
uttered a pretty infantine shriek, and hid her eyes with her small,
plump hands. Harry, taking no notice of this charming outbreak of
feminine timidity, greeted her with a frank, unembarrassed air, and
throwing down his gun and game-bag, begged leave to attend her home. She
assented with a blush and a simper, which left me in no doubt as to her
sentiments toward my handsome cousin. Ah! how perilously beautiful she
seemed to me then, while I watched her proud step as she walked slowly
down the avenue, with a bitter feeling, for all the world as though I
was jealous on my own account. I was somewhat pacified, however, by
Harry’s returning soon, and bringing Kate a bouquet from Louisa’s fine
garden.

That evening we were honored by another call extraordinary, from a young
merchant of the place—the village D’Orsay—by name, La Fayette Fogg,
from which honorable appellation the gentleman, by the advice of
friends, had lately dropped the “Marquis”—his parents, at his
christening, having been disposed to go the whole figure. But he had a
title which in our “sogering” republic would more than compensate for
any of the mere accidental honors of rank—he had recently been
appointed captain of a company of horse, in W——, and had already
acquired a military bearing, which could not fail to impress the vulgar.
A certain way he had of stepping and wheeling to the right and left,
suggestive at once of both a proud steed and a firm rider—a sort of
drawing-room centaur. But Captain Fogg was beyond all question
strikingly handsome. I never saw so perfect a Grecian head on American
shoulders. There was the low, broad forehead, the close, curling hair,
the nose and brow in one beautiful, continuous line, the short upper
lip, round chin, small ears, and thin nostrils. A classical costume
would have made him quite statuesque; but, alas! he was dressed in the
dandiacal extreme of modern fashion. His entire suit of superfine
material, fitted to an exquisite nicety, and he revealed a consciousness
of the fact more Toots-ish than Themistoclesian. He moved his Phidian
head with slow dignity, so as not to disturb his pet curls, slumbering
in all the softness of genuine Macassar. His whiskers and imperial were
alarmingly pale and thin, but seemed making the most of themselves, in
return for the captain’s untiring devotion and prayerful solicitude.

The expression of this hero’s face, _malgré_ a Napoleonic frown which he
was cultivating, and a Washingtonish compression of the lips, was soft,
rather than stern—decidedly _soft_, I should say,—and there was about
him a tender verdancy, an innocent ignorance of the world—all in
despite of his best friends, the tailor, the artist in hair, and the
artist in boots.

During the first half hour’s conversation, I set the gallant captain
down as uneducated, vain and supercilious; but I was vexed to see that
Kate, dazzled by his beauty, regarded him more complacently. It was
evident from the first, that Kate pleased him decidedly, and he “spread
himself,” to use a westernism, to make an impression on her heart, whose
admiration for his _physique_ spoke too plainly through her eyes. While
he talked, Kate watched the play of his finely chiseled lips, and when
he was silent, studied with the eye of an artist, the classic line of
his nose. The attentive, upward look of her large, dark eyes, was most
dangerous flattery—it loosened the tongue of our guest marvelously,
till he talked quite freely, almost confidentially. Among other things,
he informed us that he “was born in the chivalrous south,” and had been
“a _native_ of W—— for only the five years past.” I glanced
mischievously at Kate, and she, to turn the tide of talk,
exclaimed—“Oh, Mr. Fogg, we had a call from Miss Grant to-day!
Exquisitively beautiful—is she not?”

“Why,” drawled the captain, stroking his imperial affectionately, “she
is rather pretty, but wants cultivation; I can’t say I admire her
greatly, though she is called the _Adonis_ of this country.”

Kate colored with suppressed laughter, bit her lip, and rising, opened
the piano, saying—“Do you sing, Mr. Fogg?”

Fortunately, Mr. Fogg did sing, and that very well. He declined
accompanying Kate in “Lucy Neal,” saying that he “never learned them low
things;” but on many of Russell’s songs he was “some,” and acquitted
himself with much credit.

During all this time Harry had taken little part in the conversation,
and when asked to sing, drily declined. I thought him jealous, and was
not sorry to think so. I saw that Kate also perceived his altered mood,
yet she showed, I regret to say, no Christian sympathy for his
uneasiness, but chatted gayly, sung and played for all the world as
though earth held neither aching hearts nor dissatisfied Harrys.

At last my cousin rose hastily and left the room. I said to myself, “He
has gone out to cool his burning brow in the night air, and seek peace
under the serene influences of the stars.” But no, he crossed the hall,
and entered the family sitting-room. Soon after I followed, and found
him having a regular rough and tumble with Bruno, on the floor. He
raised his head as I entered, and said with a yawn,

“Has that bore taken himself off?”

“No,” I replied.

“Well, why the deuce don’t he go—who wants his company?”

“I don’t know,” said I, “Kate, perhaps.”

“Very likely,” growled Harry, “you intellectual women always prefer a
brainless coxcomb to a sensible man.”

“Yes, Cousin Harry, in return for the preference you men of genius give
to pretty simpletons.”

The captain’s “smitation,” as we called it, seemed a real one, and his
sudden flame genuine—at least there was some fire, as well as a great
deal of smoke. He laid resolute siege to Kate’s heart, till his
lover-like attentions and the manifestations of his preference were
almost overwhelming. In a week or two Kate grew wearied to death of her
conquest, and was not backward in showing her contemptuous indifference,
when Harry Grove was not by. But, oh, the perverseness of woman! in the
presence of my cousin, she was all smiles and condescension to his
rival; and he, annoyed more than he would confess, would turn to Miss
Louisa Grant with renewed devotion.

Yes, Harry was plainly ill at ease to mark another’s attentions
pleasantly received by my friend—that was something gained; but such
jealousy of a mere tailor-shop-window-man, was unworthy my cousin, as
well as a wrong to Kate; and for my part, I would not stoop to combat
it.

In the captain’s absence, however, all went admirably. Harry seemed to
give himself up to the enjoyment of Kate’s brilliant society, her
cleverness, her liveliness, her “infinite variety,” with joyous abandon.
They sung, read, danced, strolled, and rode together, always preserving
the utmost harmony and good-will.

For Kate’s success in the part I wished her to play, I had never any
fear. Aside from her beauty, which is undeniable, though on the brunette
order, and her accomplishments, which are many, she has a certain
indescribable attractiveness of manner, an earnest, appealing, endearing
way—a “_je-ne-sais-quoi-sity_,” as a witty friend named it, which would
be coquetry, were it not felt by all alike, men, women, and children,
who find themselves in her presence. It is without effort, a perfectly
unconscious power, I am sure.

Thus, I did not fear for Kate, provided Harry was heart-whole; but this
fact I could not settle to my entire satisfaction. My Cousin Alice
sometimes joked him about a certain fair maid he had known at New Haven,
while in college, evidently wishing it to appear that she knew vastly
more than she chose to reveal; and then Miss Grant was certainly a
dangerous rival—far more beautiful, according to the common acceptation
of the term, than my friend, with the advantage, if it be one, of a
prior acquaintance.

One morning, as we were returning home, after having made a call on Miss
Louisa, Harry, who once, for a wonder, was walking with me, began
questioning me concerning my opinion of her. I evaded his question for
awhile, but at length told him frankly that I could not speak freely and
critically unless assured that I should give him no pain thereby.

“Oh, if that’s all,” replied Harry, with a laugh, “go on, and ‘free your
mind, sister’—I shall be a most impartial auditor.”

“Indeed, Harry!—has there, then, been no meaning to your attentions in
that quarter?”

“Why, as to that,” he replied, “I have always admired the girl’s beauty,
and have flirted with her too much, perhaps, but there is not enough in
her to pin a genuine love to; I have found her utterly characterless;
and then, she affects a ridiculous fear of fire-arms, and behaves like a
sick baby on horseback.”

“But, cousin,” I rejoined, “you do not want a wife to hunt with you, and
ride horseback; Miss Grant is a young lady of domestic virtues and
refined tastes—is she not?”

“Yes, and no. I believe she is a good housekeeper; she takes pains to
let one know that—a perfect walking cookery-book; but for her
refinement! Have you never noticed her coarse voice, and how much use
she makes of provincialisms? She might sing well, but always makes
mistakes in the words. She professes a passion for flowers; but last
spring, coz, I helped her make her garden, and heard her say ‘_piney_’
and ‘_layloc_’—I never could marry a woman who said ‘_piney_’ and
‘_layloc_!’ and then she called pansies—‘pansies, that’s for
thoughts’—those flowers steeped in poetry as in their own
dew—‘Jonny-jump-ups!’ Bah! and then, she vulgarizes her own pretty name
into _Lo-izy_!”

Need I confess that I was far from displeased with this little speech of
my cousin’s. I was silent for a few moments, and then, with my head full
of Kate and her fortunes, said, while pulling to pieces a wild-flower,
which Harry had just gallantly presented to me,

“Well, then, cousin, you don’t love any body in particular, just now, do
you?”

I raised my eyes when I had said this, to meet Harry’s fixed on my face,
with a strange, indefinable expression—something of what is called a
“killing look,” so full of intense meaning was it; but around his mouth
lurked a quiet drollery, which betrayed him, even while he replied to my
singular question in a tone meant to _tell_,

“Why, my dearest cousin, at _this moment_, I cannot say that I do not.”

I broke at once into a laugh of merry mockery, in which he joined at
last, though not quite heartily; and we hastened to rejoin Ned, Kate and
Alice, who were somewhat in advance.

On reaching our room I told Kate enough of my conversation with Harry to
prove that he was really not the lover of Louisa Grant; and with a blush
and a smile, she kissed and thanked me. Why should she thank me?

Thus matters went on—Captain Fogg’s star declining visibly, and Harry
Grove’s evidently in the ascendant, until the last week of our stay,
when a little incident occurred which had quite a disturbing influence
on the pleasant current of my thoughts and Kate’s. One afternoon, while
Harry was out shooting woodcock, of which Kate was very fond, on going
up to my room, I perceived the door of Harry’s open, and saw his easil
standing before the window, with a picture upon it. I could not resist
the temptation of seeing what this might be, and entered the room. The
picture was a small female head—the face rather fair, with dark blue
eyes. It was probably a portrait, still unfinished. The likeness I did
not recognize, though it looked like half a dozen pretty faces I had
seen—Kate’s and Miss Grant’s among the number. To the bottom of the
picture was attached a slip of paper, bearing these lines:

        “Glow on the canvas, face of my beloved!
          Smile out upon me, eyes of heavenly blue!
        Oh! be my soul’s love by my pencil proved,
          And lips of rose, and locks of auburn hue,
        Come less obedient to the call of art,
        Than to the pleading voice of my adoring heart!”

When I had read this verse, I remained standing before the picture in a
thoughtful trance. I was finally startled by a deep sigh, and turning,
saw Kate just behind me. She had also seen the portrait of the unknown,
and read those passionate lines. She turned immediately and passed into
her room.

When I rejoined her, a few moments after, she was reading, apparently
deep in “Martin Chuzzlewit,” but tears were falling on the page before
her.

“Martin’s return to his grandfather is a very affecting scene,” she
observed.

I naturally glanced over her shoulder; the book was open at that
“tempest-in-a-teapot” scene, the memorable misunderstanding between
Sairey Gamp and Betsey Prig.

Oh, Kate, Kate! thy heart had gone many days’ journey into the life and
fortunes of quite another than Martin.

In the evening Captain Fogg honored us, and Kate was unusually affable
and gay. She sung none but comic songs, and her merry laugh rang out
like a peal of bells.

During the evening we played a game of forfeits, and it was once
adjudged that the captain should relate a story, to redeem his turquoise
breastpin. He told a late dream, which was, that once, on taking a
morning walk to hear the birds sing, he found Miss Richmond completely
_lost in a fog_, and refused to help her out!

Oh, how he sparkled, as he fairly got off his witticism, and saw that it
took!

“Ah, captain,” said I, “you must have a gift for punning.”

“Something of one, Miss,” he replied, with a complacent pull at his
imperial. “I was into White’s, the other day, buying some music, and
White offered me a song called ‘Mary’s Tears,’ which I told him must
have a tremendous _run_! White laughed till he cried, and threatened to
expose me in our paper! ’Pon honor, he did so!”

The captain informed us that the following would be a great day for the
militia, as there was to be on the village-green of W——, a parade and
review; and he gallantly begged the honor of our presence. We graciously
testified our willingness to patronize the show, provided Harry would
drive us into town for the purpose. On leaving, the captain requested
the loan of Harry’s noble horse, Saladin, which had been trained to the
field, for the grand occasion. He would come for him in the morning, he
said. Harry consented, with rather a bad grace, I thought. He is a
perfect Arab in his loving care for his horse.

The next morning, about ten, the captain called and found us all
ready—the barouche waiting at the door. Colonel Grove, who is a
gentleman of the _ancien régime_, invited the young officer, who was in
complete uniform, to take wine with him. It was really laughable—the
captain’s affectation of a cool, _bon-vivantish_ indifference, as he
tossed off glass after glass of the sparkling champagne, showing himself
to be far from familiar with that exhilarating and insidious beverage.
He grew elevated momentarily; his very words soared majestically above
mere common sense, and his eyes winked of strange mysteries, and flashed
unutterable things.

At length were we civilians seated in the barouche and driving toward
W——, at a brisk rate, the captain causing Saladin to wheel and
caracole beside us in a most remarkable manner. Ah, how did the harmless
lightning of his wit play around us! how were his compliments showered
upon us like _bonbons_ in carnival-time! How beautifully was he like the
sparkling wine he had so lately quaffed—what was he but a human
champagne-bottle, with the cork just drawn!

About half way to the village we saw before us an old Indian woman, well
known in all the country round as a doctress, or witch, according to
most people. She was bent almost double, and looked very feeble, though
she was said to be still marvelously active and vigorous.

Suddenly the captain, who had galloped on a little to display his
horsemanship, came dashing back, exclaiming—“Now, young ladies, for
some glorious fun! Do you see that old squaw yonder?”

“Yes,” said Alice Grove, “that is old Martha—what of her?”

“Why, I mean to have some rare sport. I’ll invite her to take a ride
behind me. I’ll ride up to the fence for her to get on, and then, just
as she makes her spring, spur Saladin, and let her land on the ground.”

“Oh, don’t! don’t!” cried we all in chorus; but the captain was off and
already speaking to old Martha. She evidently liked his proposition, for
she quickly climbed the fence, preparatory to mounting. The captain
wheeled his horse to within about two feet of her—she gave a spring—he
spurred his steed, which leaped wildly forward—but _too late_! Old
Martha was safe on Saladin’s back, her long, bony arms clasped closely
round the waist of his rider—and, hurrah, they were off at a dashing
rate.

Harry whipped up his grays, and we presently overtook the equestrians.
Captain Fogg had succeeded in checking Saladin, and was striving to
persuade old Martha to dismount, but in vain; she would ride to the
village, as he had invited her. He coaxed, threatened, and swore—but
all to no purpose; she _would_ go on to the village!

At last, in endeavoring forcibly to unclasp her arms, Fogg dropped the
rein, and Saladin, worried and frightened, started off at a furious
gallop, and tore down the street like mad. Oh, the rich, indescribable
ludicrousness of the sight! Such a conspicuous figure was the captain,
so splendidly mounted, with “sword and pistols by his side,” and all his
burnished buttons and buckles glistening in the morning sun; and then
that ridiculous old woman, in her tattered Indian costume, seated behind
him, clinging convulsively to his waist, and bounding up half a foot
with every leap of the frantic steed. The ends of the captain’s scarlet
sash floated back over her short black petticoat, and the white
horse-hair of his military plume mingled ingloriously with her long
elf-locks streaming in the wind.

The dirty woollen blanket of old Martha became loose, and flew backward,
held only by one corner, exposing her bright blue short-gown, trimmed
with wampum, while her red leggings got up quite a little show on their
own account.

As thus they dashed on, faster and faster, they spread astonishment and
consternation as they went.

A farmer, who with his son was gathering apples from a tree near the
road, saw the vision—dropped his basket, and knocked down his first
born with an avalanche of pippins. An old lady, who was hanging out
clothes in her yard, struck with sudden fright and sore dismay, fell
backward into her clothes-basket, as white as a sheet, and as limp as a
wet towel.

Young urchins let go the strings of kites, leaving them to whirl dizzily
and dive earthward—left “terrestrial pies” unfinished, and took to
their heels! A red-haired damsel who was milking by the road-side, on
beholding the dread apparition, turned pale, and ran, and the cow,
following her example, also _turned pail_ and ran!

But most excruciatingly and transcendentally ridiculous was the scene
when Saladin, over whom the captain had lost all control, reached the
parade-ground, and dashed in among the soldiers and spectators. Hats
were tossed into the air, and shouts of laughter and derisive hooras
resounded on every side. But fortunately for poor Fogg, Saladin suddenly
perceived a part of the cavalry company, who, in the absence of their
captain, were going through some informal and supererogatory exercises,
and obedient to his military training, wheeled into line, and stood
still, with head erect and nostrils distended.

“For Heaven’s sake, boys,” cried the captain, “haul off this old
savage!”

But the worthy Martha, wisely declining such rough treatment, leaped to
the ground like a cat—made a profound courtesy, and with a smile rather
too sarcastic for so venerable a person, said,

“Me tank you, cap’en—old Martha no often have such fine ride, with such
pretty man, all in _regiments_!”

After this rare comedy, the review was a matter of little moment, and we
soon returned home, not even waiting for the tragedy of the sham-fight.

On the afternoon of the following day, Harry invited Kate to take a
horse-back ride—and the incidents of that ride, as I received them from
my friend, I will relate to the best of my ability.

The equestrians took a route which was a favorite with both—up a glen,
wild and unfrequented, through which ran a clear, silver stream. It
happened that Harry was in one of his lawless, bantering moods, and
teazed Kate unmercifully on the gallant part played by her lover, the
captain, on the preceding day.

Kate, who was not in the most sunny humor, began to rally him about
“_Lo-izy_” Grant, and the New Haven belle.

Suddenly Harry became grave, and said, in an earnest tone, “Shall I tell
you, Kate, _just_ the state of my heart?”

“Don’t trouble yourself,” she coolly replied, “it is a matter of no
moment to me.”

“There, now, you are insincere,” said Harry, with a saucy smile, leaning
forward to strike a fly from Saladin’s neck, “it _is_ a matter of some
moment to you, for you know that I love you, and that you are not
entirely indifferent to my love.”

“Sir, you mistake in addressing such language to me—you are presuming,”
said Kate, with a petrifying hauteur; and giving her horse a smart cut
with the whip, galloped on. Surprised, and somewhat angry, Harry checked
his own horse, and gazed after her till she was lost in a bend of the
winding road. As he stood by the side of the rivulet, Saladin reached
down his head to drink. In his troubled abstraction, Harry let go the
rein, which fell over the head of his horse. With a muttered something,
which was not a benediction, Harry dismounted to regain it, when
Saladin, in one of his mad freaks, gave a quick leap away and galloped
up the glen after his mate. Harry was about to follow, but an odd
thought coming into his brain, he threw himself on the turf instead, and
lay perfectly still, with closed eyes, listening to the gallop of the
two steeds, far up the glen. Presently he heard them stop—then turn,
and come dashing down again with redoubled speed. Nearer and nearer came
Kate. She was at his side—with a cry of alarm she threw herself from
her horse and bent above him.

“Harry, dear Harry, were you thrown—are you injured?” she cried,
raising the head of the apparently unconscious man, and supporting it on
her knee. “Oh, Heaven! he is hurt—he does not hear me!” she murmured,
laying back the hair from his forehead and pressing her lips upon it
wildly and repeatedly. Harry’s eye-lids remained hermetically sealed,
but a queer, comical expression began to play around the corners of his
mouth, and was about to betray him, when he suddenly opened his eyes,
with a look of triumphant impudence, and broke into a peal of joyous
laughter.

Kate dropped his head with a movement of indignation and dismay—sprung
up—led her horse to the trunk of a fallen tree, just by, from which she
leaped into her saddle, and was off almost as soon as Harry had regained
his feet. Again the faithless Saladin left his master in the lurch, and
followed Kate, who went at a furious rate, never pausing nor looking
back; so the somewhat discomforted Harry was obliged to foot it home, a
matter of “twa mile and a bittock,” as they say in Scotland.

That night Kate had a headache, and did not appear at the tea-table, nor
join the evening circle, where poor Harry was cross-questioned without
mercy on the strange circumstance of having been left behind both by his
horse and lady-fair.

“Ah, Kate,” said I, as I joined her at the close of the evening, “I have
something to tell you. While you were dressing for your ride to-day,
Harry called me into his room to show me that picture—and will you
believe, it is only a bad portrait of _yourself_! Harry sketched it long
ago for Louisa Grant, but has lately been making some important
alterations, and now he thinks it strikingly like you. I really wonder
we did not see the resemblance; the poetry was meant for you alone.”

“Oh, Grace, Grace!” murmured Kate, in a bitter tone, “if you had only
told me this before I went to ride!”

At breakfast, the next morning, there was no Harry—two hours before he
had whistled his dog and shouldered his gun, and set out on a crusade in
turkey-land. But long before noon the young hunter returned, and
inquiring for Kate, was directed to the library, where she sat, striving
to drive away her sad mood, according to her own cheerful philosophy, by
light reading. She had chosen “Hood’s Prose and Verse,” instead of Miss
Landon’s Poems, which stood on the same shelf.

Again I must tell the story as it was told to me.

As Harry entered, Kate coloring deeply, started up—stood still a
moment, and then sat down again, uttering not a word. Harry, seating
himself near her, took off his hunting-cap, ran his fingers nervously
through his hair, and in a tolerably steady voice began,

“I could have no peace, Miss Richmond, until I had begged your pardon
for my unparalleled impertinence yesterday. I intreat you to believe
that I had in my heart no intentional disrespect for you. I pray your
forgiveness for my first rash words—what you called my _presumption_.
For the other daring act, I am not so deeply repentant, for I would
willingly have my head broken in reality, to have it lie for another
moment where it laid yesterday; yet for that also I ask pardon. Do you
grant it?”

“With all my heart,” said Kate, smiling; but Harry continued—

“I have been, indeed, most presuming and conceited, in supposing for a
moment that I could be any thing to you; and, perhaps,” he continued,
with a proud curl of the lip, “we have both been mistaken in according
too much meaning to trifling words and acts—we two have flirted
desperately, Kate,—have we not?”

Kate bit her lip in vexation, and a shade of disappointment passed over
her face. Just then the eyes of the two met, for the first time for some
minutes, and the ridiculousness, the utter absurdity of they two
endeavoring to deceive one another—to conceal for a moment longer the
blessed truth that they _loved one another_, broke upon them at once,
and they burst into a long and merry laugh.

“Well,” said Harry, at last, dashing the tears of mirth from his
flashing eyes, and seating himself nearer Kate, “it is time I at least
was serious, for the deepest and strongest feelings of my heart will
make themselves heard. Kate, dear Kate, whether it gives you pleasure to
know it, or not, I _must_ tell you how truly, how devotedly, and, though
you will scarce believe _that_, how _reverentially_ I love you! I am a
strange, wild fellow, Kate, somewhat rude and over-mirthful; but you, I
am sure, can make me what you wish. Will you undertake the task?”

“With all my heart,” she again replied, frankly extending her hand.

“Blessings on your sweet soul, Kate!—but—but—”

“But what, Harry?”

“Not much, only will you allow me to pay you back _that small coin_ you
bestowed on me yesterday, in your Christian charity?”

“Oh, I’ll forgive you the debt,” said Kate, laughing.

“No, dear, I’ll not take advantage of your generosity, but pay you to
the uttermost farthing.”

“Ah, hold! that is all, now—a thousand times more than I gave you!”

Suddenly the happy lover darted out of the room, and presently returned,
saying, “See, Kate! a portrait of you, from memory.”

“Ah, indeed!” said Kate. “But, Harry, you have made my dark hair quite
an auburn, and it has only the slightest golden hue when the sunlight
falls upon it.”

“Well,” he replied, “to _my_ eyes, there was _always_ sunlight playing
around you.”

“Ah, thank you; but again, these eyes are dark _blue_, and mine are
gray, or by complaisance, hazel.”

“A very natural mistake, dearest,” said Harry, with an arch smile, “I
saw heaven in your eyes, and so came to paint them blue.”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         THE CORSAIR’S VICTIM.


                      (AN EXTRACT FROM “ZILLAH.”)

                          BY WM. H. C. HOSMER.


               When Night, upon her starry throne,
               Held undisputed sway and lone,
               And moonlight to the trembling wave
               A soft but spectral radiance gave,
               He seized, with iron grasp, his chain,
                 As if endued with giant strength,
               And after many efforts vain,
               While glowing madness fired his brain,
                 From bondage burst at length.
               The cunning Corsair heard the sound
                 Of strong link breaking, with a clang,
               And stealing lightly, with one bound,
                 Upon his frenzied victim sprang:
               His right arm, used to felon deed,
                 The Corsair raised with ready skill—
               One thrust of his stiletto freed
                 The crazed one from his load of ill.
               The pleading look and wild appeal
               Of Zillah could not stay the steel;
               She saw him fall, and from his side
               The red stream gush in bubbling tide,
               Then fell herself, as _if the blade_
               _A sheath of her own breast had made;_
               While fearfully his spouting gore
               The white robe reddened that she wore.
               Her ear heard not the gurgling sound
               Of hungry waters closing round,
               As hastily the ruffian cast
               His victim to the ocean vast,
               Or marked the grim, exulting smile
               That lighted up his face the while:
               Extended on the deck she lay,
                 As if the war of life was over,
               As if her soul had fled away
               To realms of never-ending day,
                 To join the spirit of her lover.

               She woke at last from her long swoon,
               To hope that Death would triumph soon,
               And the mad pulses of her frame,
               With icy touch, forever tame:
               She woke with features ashy white,
                 And wildly gazed upon the plank
               That deeply, freely in the night
                 The crimson of his veins had drank:
               Then raising heavenward her eye,
                 In still, expecting posture stood,
               As if a troop from realms on high
                 Were coming down, with battle-songs,
               To wash out sternly in the blood
                 Of coward-hearts her many wrongs:
               No tear-drop came to her relief
               In that wild, parching hour of grief,
               The tender plant of love she knew
                 Would into verdure break no more—
               The spot was _arid_ where it grew
                 In green luxuriance before.
               She knew henceforth her lot below
                 Would be to quaff the cup of pain—
               On thing of Earth she could not throw
                 The sunlight of her smile again:
               The voice was still whose melting tone
               Had vied in sweetness with her own—
               The hiding wave had closed above
               The only object of her love:
               And Rispah, as strict watch she kept,
                 While cold, like forms of Parian stone,
               Her sons on gory couches slept,
                 Felt not more desolate and lone.

               In many hearts the gloomy sway
               Of sorrow lessens, day by day,
               Until the charms of life at last
               Blot out remembrance of the past:
               As winds may kiss the trampled flower,
                 And lift again its bruiséd leaf,
               So time, with his assuaging power,
                 May stay the wasting march of grief:
               But hearts in _other_ bosoms beat
               Where anguish finds a _lasting seat_—
               That heal not with the lapse of time—
                 Too delicately stung for earth,
               Whose chords can never after chime
                 With peals of loud, unmeaning mirth.
               Weeks flew: but Zillah in their flight
                 Strove oft, but vainly, to forget
               The horrors of that fatal night,
               When her _beloved star_, whose light
                 Made bondage pleasant, set.
               No murmur from the lip outbroke,
                 Though suddenly her cheek grew thin—
               No quick, convulsive start bespoke
                 The desolating fire within.
               Her dark eye rested on the wave
                 By day and in the hush of eve,
               As if, ere long, the wet sea-cave
                 Her buried one would leave,
               And, drifting suddenly to view,
               His murderer with dread subdue.
               Ah! I have said the stately mien
               Of Zillah would befit a queen,
               That lawless _crime_ could ill withstand
               Her innate bearing of command.
               Alas! regality of soul
               Gives agony supreme control,
               And prompts the wretched one to hide
                 Consuming pangs from vulgar gaze—
               To nurse, in uncomplaining pride,
                 The scorpion that preys.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         A DIRGE FOR O’CONNELL.


                           BY ANNE C. LYNCH.


                Throw open once again
                  The portals of the tomb,
                And give among the glorious dead
                  Another hero room!

                Unclose your shadowy ranks,
                  Illustrious shades unclose!
                The valiant Leader, crowned with years,
                  Goes down to his repose.

                The champion of Peace
                  On many a well-fought field,
                Whose bloodless victories left no stain
                  On his untarnished shield;

                A king, though on his brow
                  No jeweled crown might shine,
                A king, although his patriot blood
                  Glowed from no royal line;

                A sovereign o’er a realm
                  No boundaries can confine.
                Whose throne was in a Nation’s heart,
                  Who reigned by right divine;

                A priest at Freedom’s shrine,
                  Whose kindling words he spoke,
                Till the dumb millions from their sleep
                  To life and hope awoke;

                A soldier of the Cross,
                  Who bore a stainless brand;
                The Preacher of a new crusade
                  To rescue a lost land.

                Rome! to thy care is given
                  The heart whose throbs are o’er;
                Eternal City! to thy charge
                  Take this one relic more!

                And Erin, sad and lorn,
                  Take thou thy sacred trust,
                And let the soil he loved so well
                  Commingle with his dust!

                And, Fame, take thou in charge
                  The patriot’s renown,
                And gather from your amaranth fields
                  Another fadeless crown.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                     THE ILLINOIS AND THE PRAIRIES.


    BY JAMES K. PAULDING, AUTHOR OF THE “DUTCHMAN’S FIRESIDE,” ETC.


That gallant officer and enterprising traveler, Major Long, did the
Illinois great injustice when he described it as “an extended pool of
stagnant water,” for it was, when I saw it, one of the prettiest streams
to be found in this country of fine rivers. The width is such as to give
a full view of objects on both sides in passing; the basin was full
without overflowing; and though the current was gentle, its waters were
neither muddy nor stagnant. It should, however, be observed, that my
journey was in the season when the rivers of the great Mississippi
valley, though beginning to subside, were still high, and that those who
wish to see them to advantage should visit the South and West before the
heats of summer. Else will they be assuredly disappointed, and accuse me
of indulging in a favorite amusement of travelers.

The Illinois, until you approach the Rapids, seems made on purpose for
steam navigation, which is seldom, if ever, molested either by winds or
waves. With the exception of points where the prairies approach the
borders, the river is every where skirted by those magnificent forests
which constitute one of the most striking and beautiful features of this
new world; and completely sheltered from the storm, seems to glide along
unconscious of the uproar of the elements around. It flows through a
region which, even in this land of milk and honey, is renowned far and
near for its almost unequaled fertility, and the ease with which it may
be brought to produce the rich rewards of labor. There is, perhaps, no
part of the world where the husbandman labors less, and reaps more, than
throughout a great portion of this fine state, on which nature has
bestowed her most exuberant bounties.

But, strange to say, I found the good-hearted people, almost without
exception, complaining of “hard times,” not arising, however, from the
usual sources of war, famine, or pestilence, but from actual abundance.
They had more than they knew what to do with, and it was an apt, though
melancholy commentary on the wisdom of man, as well as the providence of
human legislation, that while the citizens of Illinois, and, indeed, the
entire great western valley, were overburthened with all the necessaries
of life, a large portion of the laboring poor of England were starving
for want of them, simply because their rulers had virtually prohibited
one country from relieving the necessities of the other. But for the
high duties on flour, grain and provisions, the wants of the poor of
England might and would be greatly relieved by the superabundance of the
United States, and thus the blessings of Providence bestowed on one
country be disseminated among others. But legislators, renowned for
their far-reaching sagacity, have decreed otherwise; and the plenty
which might become a universal blessing, is made a burthen to one
country, while useless to all the rest of the world.

This noble state, as is well known, derives its name from a tribe of
Indians, originally called the Illeni, which the French missionaries and
explorers, who were the first white men that visited this region,
changed into Illinois. They were neither warlike nor brave, and were
held in great contempt by the invincible Iroquois and Outagamis, as
appears from the following relation of an old traveler. “An Outagami,”
says Father Charleroix, “who was burnt by the Illinois, perceiving a
Frenchman among the spectators, begged of him that he would help his
enemies to torment him; and on being asked why he made this request,
replied, ‘because I should have the comfort of dying by the hands of
men. My greatest grief is, that I never killed a man.’ ‘But,’ said an
Illinois, ‘have you not killed such and such persons?’ ‘True; as for the
Illinois, I have killed enough of them, but they are not men.’”

The character of the Indians, and the view of the savage state as found
in North America, given by this writer, is so philosophical and just,
that I am tempted to transcribe it for the instruction and amusement of
the reader. It appears at least to be impartial, which is more than can
be said of more recent writers, one class of whom can find nothing to
praise, the other nothing to blame in our Indians.

“With a savage appearance, and manners, and customs, which are entirely
barbarous, there is observable among them a social kindness, free from
almost all the imperfections which so often disturb the peace of society
among us. They appear to be without passion; but they do that in cold
blood, and sometimes through principle, which the most violent and
unbridled passion produces in those who give no ear to reason. They seem
to lead the most wretched life in the world; and they were, perhaps, the
only happy people on earth, before the knowledge of the objects which so
much work upon and seduce us, had excited in them desires which
ignorance kept in supineness, and which have not, as yet, made any great
ravages among them. We discover in them a mixture of the fiercest and
the most gentle manners; the imperfections of wild beasts, united with
virtues and qualities of the mind and heart which do the greatest honor
to human nature. One would think at first they had no form of
government; that they acknowledge neither laws nor subordination; and
that living in an entire independence, they suffer themselves to be
solely guided by chance, and the wildest caprice. Nevertheless, they
enjoy almost all the advantages that a well regulated authority can
secure to the best governed nations. Born free and independent, they
look with horror on the very shadow of despotic power; but they seldom
depart from certain principles and customs founded on good sense, which
are to them instead of laws, and which in some measure supply the place
of a lawful authority. They will not bear the least restraint; but
reason alone keeps them in a kind of subordination, which, from being
voluntary, it not less effectual to obtain the end intended.”[1]

The Illinois has the same peculiarity I observed in all the rivers of
the Mississippi valley. With the exception of here and there a solitary
plantation, or a little embryo town, few traces of man appear on its
borders until you arrive at the great prairie, above the head of steam
navigation, which extends all the way to the lakes. At long distances we
came upon one of those evidences of the busy body, man, in the shape of
a little village, a clearing, or an establishment for putting up pork
for exportation, where I was told, notwithstanding the “hard times,”
they throw the ears, feet, and often heads of the swine into the river,
to feed the eels and catfish. Indeed, from what I observed throughout
the whole extent of my journey, in this suffering region, there is
almost as much wasted there as would serve to feed the starving
manufacturers of England.

Most of the towns on the river, below the Rapids, have little worthy of
attention, and all their glories are prospective; but there is one it
would be unpardonable to pass by without a tribute to its surpassing
beauties. I refer to Peoria, whose aspect is as soft and gentle as its
name. Father Charleroix, I think, calls it Pimitavery, and it lies on
the left bank of the Illinois, where it expands into a lake from one to
three miles wide, and ten in length. Ascending the bank, you come upon a
fine prairie, forming a crescent, of some twelve or fifteen miles,
judging by the eye, whose arch is bounded by a bluff, as it is here
usually called, but which represents a natural terrace of wonderful
regularity, clothed with luxuriant grass, and crowned with open woods,
affording as beautiful sites for country residences as can be imagined
in dreams. It was Sunday, and in the afternoon, when the sun was low, I
took a walk from the town to the terrace, about a mile distant, which is
reached by a private road, leading among wheat and corn fields of the
greatest luxuriance.

Nothing could be more soft, calm, and alluring than the weather and the
scene. The smooth glassy lake lay directly before me, bordered on the
farther side by a vast green meadow receding far away, and fringed in
the vague distance by a dark barrier of forest, beyond which was nothing
but the skies. Between the lake and the terrace on which I stood, lay
the thrifty, gay-looking town; to the left, the crescent gracefully
curved till it met the lake, while to the right it made a noble sweep,
enclosing a level prairie, whose extent I did not pretend to determine;
and which, though it had never been sowed or reaped, looked as smooth as
a shaven lawn, as green as the most luxuriant meadow. Neither fence nor
inclosure of any kind was seen in that quarter, and the cattle dispersed
about in all directions, strayed wherever they pleased. While
contemplating the scene, the setting sun gradually retired behind the
wooded terrace, and the glowing, golden lustre gave place to those
transitions of the summer twilight which are so exquisitely touching and
beautiful. There was a silence, a repose and loveliness all around, in
the earth, in the heavens above, and on the waters, whose effect, if I
could only communicate it to my readers, they would thank me for; and
never did the sun set on a more holy Sabbath, or one better calculated
to call forth grateful homage to the Creator of such an enchanting
world.

This little paradise was until recently possessed by the Peoria Indians,
a small tribe, which has since receded; and tradition says there was
once a considerable settlement of the French on the spot. I was informed
there is an extensive old burial-place, not of Indian origin, somewhere
on or near the terrace, and noticed that not a few of the names and
physiognomies in this quarter were evidently French. There seems a chasm
in the forest history of this region, between the relation of
Charleroix, which refers to no later period than 1720, and the final
cession of the French North American possessions to the English. A
series of obscure and unrecorded incidents which have escaped the
historian, led to results which for this reason appear unaccountable;
and there is, I think, every reason to believe all those discoveries of
iron and copper implements, and other evidences of mechanical skill,
from which some ingenious writers have inferred that the Indians once
possessed arts they have now lost, may be traced to this period, and to
adventurous white men, long since forgotten.

Some eight or ten miles above Peoria, just at the point where this
charming lake again becomes metamorphosed into its parent river, and in
the midst of a solitude which requires only the presence and labors of
man to make it one of the gayest as well as most fruitful districts in
the world, are the ruins, or rather remains of the modern city of Rome,
founded, not built, in the palmy days of speculation wild. These remains
consist of the skeleton of a single house, which puts the passing
traveler in mind of the voice of one crying in the wilderness of rich,
waving prairie, blooming with flowers of every hue and odor. If there is
not a city here now, there certainly will be in time; and the
long-sighted speculator, whoever he was, only anticipated a generation
or two in the march of population. This beautiful region only wants
inhabitants, which, whatever people may say, are necessary to the
prosperity of cities; and I think it by no means improbable that some
hundreds, or perhaps thousands of years hence—which, after all, is
nothing compared to eternity—when all the past, present and future
glories of the ancient mistress of the world are buried in the
bottomless pit of oblivion, the founder of this legitimate successor,
though not suckled by a wolf, may take rank with Romulus and Remus, and
be immortalized as the parent of a new and more illustrious Rome.

Sailing up the river, among the green meadows, and willows kissing the
surface of the waters, amid a silence broken only by the puffing of the
steam-pipe, the next object which attracted my attention was a pretty
little village pleasantly situated on the right bank, whose name
commemorates the residence of old Father Hennepin, who, tradition says,
once established a mission here. These early pioneers of the wilderness
deserved and attained a great influence over the jealous, independent,
impracticable red-man of the new world, and justly claim the respect of
those who might never be incited to follow their example. They were
unquestionably actuated by the purest, most elevated piety, in thus
encountering and overcoming the dangers and privations of the untracked
wilderness, and deserve to be respectfully remembered, if not for the
success of their endeavors at least for the courage, zeal and
perseverance with which they were prosecuted.

Among the earliest and most distinguished of these were Father Louis
Hennepin and Joseph Marquette, the former of whom visited Canada
somewhere about the year 1676. He remained some time at fort Frontenac,
where he constructed a portable chapel, and whence he accompanied the
celebrated Louis de La Salle, in a voyage of discovery on the Upper
Mississippi, which had been discovered by Father Marquette, six years
before. They visited the Falls of Niagara, of which he gives the
earliest description on record. It is extremely accurate, as I
ascertained by comparison on the spot, and shows what little change the
incessant action of these mighty waters has produced in the lapse of
almost two centuries. After establishing a post at Niagara, La Salle
built the first schooner that ever sailed on the great lakes, and
passing through Erie, St. Clair and Huron, entered Michigan, where he
erected a fort at the mouth of the river St. Joseph. From thence they
proceeded to explore the Mississippi, and it was probably on his return,
that Father Hennepin erected his chapel on the spot where now stands the
town bearing his name. According to his own account he first descended
the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico, and returning, ascended that
river as high as the Falls of St. Anthony, which are indebted to him for
their name. He returned to France, published a relation of his
discoveries, came back to this country, and I have not chanced to meet
with any further account of him. Whether he ever visited France again,
or whether he ended his days on the banks of the Illinois, I cannot say.
I went on shore and visited the town, which stands on a high gravel
bank—a great rarity in this region—and endeavored to ascertain the
spot of the good father’s residence. But there are no aged persons, no
depositories of traditionary lore to be found here; and our people are
too much taken up with anticipations of the future, to pay much
attention to the past. I found no one who could give any precise
information, though all were familiar with his name. Hennepin is the
county-seat of Putnam; and as it does not, I believe, aspire to the
dignity of a great city, like most of its neighbors, will probably
flourish long and happily, a memorial of the good father whose name it
bears.

Father Joseph Marquette, whose name is also intimately associated with
the early discoveries in this region, was a kindred spirit. According to
Charleroix, who belonged to the same order of missionary knights errant,
“he was a native of Laon, in Picardy, where his family still holds a
distinguished rank. He was one of the most illustrious missionaries of
new France; he traveled over almost all parts of it, and made many
discoveries, the last of which was the Mississippi, which he entered
with the Sieur Joliet, in 1673. Two years after this discovery, of which
he published an account, as he was going from Chicagou, which is at the
bottom of Lake Michigan, to Michilimackinac, he entered the river I am
now speaking of, the mouth of which was at the extremity of the low land
which, as I have said, we leave to the right in entering. He set up an
altar here and said mass. After this he went a little distance to return
thanks, and prayed the two men who managed his canoe, to leave him alone
for half an hour. This time being expired, they went to seek him, and
were greatly surprised to find him dead; but they recollected he said he
should finish his journey there. As it was too far from thence to
Michilimackinac to carry his body thither, they buried him pretty near
the side of the river, which from that time has retired, as if out of
respect, to the cape, at the foot of which it now runs, and where it has
made a new passage. The year following, one of the men who had performed
the last duties to this servant of God, returned to the place where he
had buried him, took up his remains, and carried them to
Michilimackinac. I could not learn, or else I have forgot, what name
this river had before, but at present the savages always call it the
river of the Black Gown. The French have given it the name of Father
Marquette, and never fail to invoke him when they find themselves in any
danger on Lake Michigan.”[2] The little river still bears the name, and
the spot where he was buried is designated on the maps as Marquette’s
grave.

About the head of steam-navigation on the Illinois, and especially near
the junction of the canal which will connect the lakes with the
Mississippi, cities multiply prodigiously, and are called by the most
prodigious names. Most assuredly my countrymen are great at christening
places; but still I wish they would consult Tristram Shandy, where they
will find a most edifying discussion on the subject. The race of
antiquaries who grope their way backward through the obscure labyrinth
of time by the clue of names, will assuredly be not a little puzzled, as
children are wont to be, to find out who was the father of Zebedee’s
children. If they should follow the etymology of names, they will
probably come to the conclusion that we derived our parentage from all
the nations of the earth, ancient and modern, and had more fathers than
children.

Nevertheless I have nothing to say against any of the thriving brood of
young cities that multiplied so wonderfully in those happy days when
swallows built in young men’s whiskers, and the little hatchet became a
great hammer before the iron grew cold. Those especially that have
either houses or inhabitants, I wish all possible prosperity, and hope
they will one day rival the great cities after which they are
christened. But those which have nothing but a name and a lithographic
map to demonstrate their existence, cannot expect to be recognized by
any traveler of ordinary pretensions to veracity. The commencement of
the canal to which allusion has just been made, was the signal for
speculation in its immediate vicinity, and six cities were forthwith
founded on the prairie between La Salle and Ottawa, a distance of some
fourteen miles. As they may possibly perish in embryo before their
birth, and thus dodge the antiquary who will be looking for them some
centuries hence, I feel it a duty to do all I can to assist his
inquiries, lest he should lose his wits in searching for them, as did
the pedagogue in Le Sage, in looking for the _paulo post futurum_ of a
Greek verb.

The first of these, whose name I don’t choose to remember, is very
advantageously situated on a barren rock, at the head of the navigation
of a stream which can neither be spelt nor pronounced, and which had no
water in it when I passed over. But not to wrong the river, or the
long-headed, long-sighted founder of the city, I acknowledge I was
informed that sometimes during the melting of the snows on the Rocky
Mountains, or after a heavy shower of rain, there was an ample
sufficiency of water to float a chip—not a ship, gentle reader—of
considerable burthen, into the Illinois. It was therefore the opinion of
the unknown and illustrious founder, that nothing could prevent this
place from becoming in good time a great commercial emporium; and I was
told, but will not vouch for the fact, that he had actually organized a
whaling company, and seriously talked of opening a direct trade with
China. In short, he looked forward with all the faith of a speculator,
which exceeds that of a martyr ten times over, to seeing his city, in a
few years, smothered by a corporation, blessed with half a dozen broken
banks, and loaded with debts and taxes, in humble emulation of its
betters.

In the books of English tenures, there are some whimsical conditions of
ownership and occupancy; but I recollect none similar to the city I am
commemorating, which denounces a forfeiture of property on all those
convicted of either drinking or bringing spirituous liquors therein. No
one will question the morality of this regulation, though its prudence
may not be so obvious, as many people might suppose that any future
purchasers of lots, some of which I was told had been originally sold
for two or three hundred dollars each, would require some powerful
stimulant in addition to the excitement of speculation. It is doubtful
whether any sober man would give such a price at this time. I had almost
forgot to mention that this city has neither houses nor inhabitants.

The next _brevet_ city we passed, is just at the foot of the lower
rapids of the Illinois, and directly on the margin of the river. It
promises rather better than the other, having one house actually built,
and another in anticipation. It is really a delightful spot, on a strip
of prairie looking like an immense shaven lawn, backed by a high terrace
of grassy knobs and precipitous rocks, whose sides and summits are
clothed with foliage, along which the gentle river meanders lazily until
it comes to the rapids, which, having passed, it pursues its way
rejoicing. It might have destroyed the balance of this portion of the
new world, had these two great marts been placed on the same side of the
river, and accordingly they are prudently located on the opposite
shores, in order to preserve the equilibrium. I was told there was a
desperate rivalry between them, and great apprehensions are entertained
from their competition when they come to be inhabited.

Just above this last-mentioned metropolis, and on the same side of the
river, is the Starvation Rock, so called from a tradition, not very
ancient, I believe, which tells that a large party of Illinois having
sought refuge from the pursuit of a superior force of hostile Indians,
were blockaded, and all, save one, perished by famine. This place was
visited by Charleroix, in 1720, who ascended the rock, where he found
the remains of old palisades, originally created for defence, and the
bodies of two Indians, half consumed by fire. He says nothing, however,
of the incident from which the place derives its present name. It is one
of the most beautiful rocks I ever saw, exhibiting a succession of
ledges, displayed horizontally with wonderful regularity, but of an
infinite variety of shades and colors, such as is generally observed in
cliffs of limestone. At a little distance, beheld through the soft hazy
atmosphere of the prairie, it resembles the ruins of a great castle,
towering to the height of perhaps two hundred feet, garnished with
trees, shrubs, flowers and clambering vines. The whole of this vast
fruitful region, from the delta of the Mississippi to the Niagara Ridge,
terminating at Lewistown, is, so far as I observed, based on a limestone
formation, and the waters every where impregnated with lime. They are
said to be wholesome when one is accustomed to their use; but,
unfortunately, I never could get used to them, and finally came to the
conclusion, that—to vary the old proverb a little to suit the
occasion—though Heaven had created the land, the D—l had furnished the
water.

The last city I shall commemorate is called after a famous stronghold in
Europe, being seated on a ledge of rocks extending from the Illinois
into the prairie, and apparently inaccessible on all sides. It is
certainly a capital position in a military point of view, and would be
invaluable on a frontier. People might live there in great security if
they could find any thing to eat. At present the only enemy they would
have to fear is famine. Luckily, however, there are no inhabitants, and
one need be under no apprehensions on that score. It is a most
picturesque spot, the mossy rocks every where interspersed with flowers
and verdure, and the summit crowned with an open wood of lofty trees,
under which the grass is as green and luxuriant as a lowland meadow.
There are several other cities, lying dormant, between this and the town
of Ottawa, and no one can predict their future destinies. When the canal
connecting the Mississippi and the lakes comes to be finished, as I hope
it soon will be, for it is a great national undertaking, and will form
the last link to the most extensive inland navigation in the world,
there can be little doubt, I think, that this will become a very busy
and populous region. Towns will rise up as a matter of course; and,
provided they do not ruin each other by their numbers and their rivalry,
will flourish to a considerable extent. Those, therefore, who have the
wealth of Crœsus, and the patience of Job, may, if they please,
speculate in town-lots in these embryo cities, for the benefit of their
posterity.

The gallant adventurer La Salle is worthily commemorated in this
quarter, by a town and a county called after his name. Among all the
hardy and daring pioneers, of the Mississippi valley and the lakes, he
stands foremost, and best merits the remembrance and gratitude of the
millions who are now enjoying the fruits of his enterprise and
sufferings. He built the first vessel that ever floated on the lakes; he
explored the Upper and Lower Mississippi, and perished at last by the
hands of his companions, who finally shrunk from the perils and
privations which he bore without flinching. Mr. Adams, when Secretary of
State, in a correspondence with Don Leviz de Onis, the Spanish minister,
on the subject of boundaries, pays a most eloquent, well deserved
tribute to the genius, hardihood, courage and enterprise of Louis La
Salle, but with this exception he has not met with that attention he so
justly merits from my countrymen.

The little town of La Salle lies close to the junction of the canal with
the Illinois, and was founded by a colony of the sons of old Erin, who
were employed in that undertaking. It is a genuine, unadulterated Irish
town; the cabins many of them of turf, and all thatched with straw. The
number of pigs is only to be matched by that of children, and both are
in a most flourishing condition, to judge from the portly dimensions of
one and the rosy cheeks of the other. There is no place in the universe
where the jolly, hard-working, warm-hearted Irishman can so gloriously
luxuriate in the paradise of potatoes. The reader will please to
understand that notwithstanding the number of great cities hereabouts,
the entire prairie from Peru to Chicago, with here and there an
occasional exception, is in a state of nature, although one of the
fairest and richest portions of the earth. They began at the wrong end,
or rather, they put the cart before the horse, and laid out towns
instead of cultivating land. This is one of the prominent foibles of
that sanguine, enterprising, anticipating and gallant race which is
daily adventuring into the boundless region of the West. They are not
content with land of inexhaustible fertility, but almost every tenth man
aspires to be the founder of a city. Instead, therefore, of laying out
his farm into fields, he lays it out into a town, which he calls after
his own name, with a ville at the end of it; or he dams up the river,
builds a mill, and lays the foundation of a series of bilious
complaints, that descend to his posterity to the second or third
generation. Hence the number of towns is out of all proportion to the
number of inhabitants. With very many of them, their generation is a
mere spasmodic effort of speculation. They consequently exhibit an
appearance of prosperity for a few years; are then suddenly arrested,
and either never grow any more, or dwindle away to nothing. A despotic
monarch like Peter the Great may create a city where he will, but with
all his power he cannot perpetuate its existence beyond his own, unless
it possesses natural advantages to attract voluntary settlers. Private
persons should beware how they undertake to found cities. They may build
houses, but they cannot fill them with people.

The town of La Salle, unlike some of it neighbors, was conceived and
brought forth in the natural way, that is, the people preceded the
houses. When the honest Irish laborers came to work on the canal, they
according to custom built themselves cabins, about the spot where they
commenced their labors. As the land was neither cultivated nor enclosed,
they employed their leisure hours in digging ditches about a piece of
prairie large enough for a potato-patch, and sometimes a small patch of
wheat or corn. Here, with little labor, they raised as much as supplied
them with bread, or a substitute; and though the canal has for some
years been discontinued for lack of means, these people continue to
cultivate their little fields, which are wonderfully productive,
frequently making new enclosures, and sometimes erecting frame houses.
If the land belonged to the United States they were protected by the
right of preemption, and if to a private citizen, it was his interest to
let them alone, as there was no danger of the soil being exhausted, and
he was thus saved the labor of the first ploughing, which is the most
expensive of all the process of cultivation here. Thus these honest,
laborious people live quite comfortably, waiting the period of
recommencing the canal, and some of them perhaps able to purchase the
land on which they reside, provided it is not laid out in cities, which
is very probable, for you can hardly put down your foot without crushing
one of these mushrooms.

Ottawa, like La Salle, is a real _bona fide_ town, with houses and
inhabitants. Its age is some twelve or fifteen years, and the number of
its people from twelve to fifteen hundred. I found the situation so
peculiarly agreeable, and the hotel so comfortable, that I determined to
remain awhile, and amuse myself with making little excursions about the
neighborhood, than which nothing can be more beautiful. The town stands
at the junction of the Fox River with the Illinois. They are both clear,
limpid streams, and though coming from far distant lands, meet and
mingle together as quietly as if they had been friends from their birth.
The scenery is as gentle as the rivers, and as mild and mellow as one of
Claude’s pictures, that actually makes a real connoisseur yawn and
stretch to look at it. In one direction the eye passes over a long
narrow prairie, all one rich expanse of grass and flowers, through which
the Illinois sometimes hurries rapidly over a ledge of rocks, at others
meanders lazily along. On either side of the river, the prairie is
bounded by those remarkable terraces which form one of the more
beautiful features of this region. They rise abruptly from the green
level sward, to the height, I should imagine, of one hundred and fifty
feet, in some places presenting a smooth grassy bank, whose ascent is
dotted and their summits crowned with trees; in others, walls of
perpendicular rocks disposed in regular strata, of varied tints,
diversified with all sorts of verdure peeping from out the crevices.
These terraces seem created on purpose for houses, from the porches or
windows of which the proprietors of the rich fields and meadows beneath,
might overlook their beautiful possessions, and thank a bounteous
Providence for having cast their lot, not in Araby, but Illinois the
blest.

Looking toward the north, from my window at the hotel, the great rolling
prairie, extending from Ottawa to Chicago, presented itself in a
succession of gentle risings and waving lines, all green, yet of such
various shades, that there was nothing like sameness or dull insipidity.
The Fox River approaches in this direction, and may be seen stealing its
way with many windings of coy reluctance, toward that union with the
Illinois where it is to lose its name and identity forever. Indeed, in
all directions the views are almost unequaled for softness and delicacy,
and I hope I may be pardoned for this vain attempt to communicate to my
readers a portion of the pleasure I derived from their contemplation.
Travelers have a right to such indulgence, since nothing can be more
disinterested than for a man to undergo the fatigue of visiting distant
places, merely for the gratification of making others as wise as
himself.

Ottawa is a fine place for sportsmen, most especially those disciples of
Job and St. Anthony who deal with the fishes. The traditionary fishing
in the Illinois and Fox Rivers is capital, and there is scarcely a man
to be met with, who has not at least once in his life been eminently
successful. But it is certainly somewhat peculiar to the gentle science
of angling, that the best fishing is always the greatest way off. It is
never where you happen to be, but always somewhere else. It is never in
the present tense, but always in the past or the future. However
excellent it be on the spot, it is always better somewhere else: and the
farther you go, the farther off, to the end of the chapter. Then, ten to
one, it is too late, or too early; the sun shines too bright; the wind
blows too hard, or does not blow at all. In short, there is ever some
untoward circumstance in the way of success, and I know no school of
patience and philosophy superior to the noble apprenticeship to angling.

The fishing is however good, both in the Fox River and the Illinois.
There is a large species called trout, rather from its habits than
appearance, which frequents the rapids, and is a noble subject for the
angler; while the vulgar fisherman, who affects the still water, may now
and then luxuriate in a cat-fish weighing ten or fifteen pounds, and
ugly enough to frighten a member of a militia court-martial. There is
also the gar-fish, of great size, whose pleasure it is to let you toss
him up into the air, without ever catching him, and then see him plump
down into the water with the bait, perhaps hook and all, in his jaws. On
the whole, however, the sport is extremely agreeable, and the little
excursions to the various points renowned for angling, present such a
succession of charming scenes, that no one can complain he toiled all
day long and caught no fish, who has preserved the happy faculty of
enjoying the smiling earth and balmy air.

Add to this, the prairies abound in a species of grouse, affording equal
sport to the fowler and the epicure. I am no shot, but my excellent
host, who well deserves a passing notice, and who does credit to the
Empire state, of which he is a native, was both a capital shot and a
first rate angler. Indeed he could do almost any thing, and merited the
title of an universal genius as much as any man I have met with. He
would every morning rig out his little wagon, drawn by a rough
uncivilized Indian pony, which, like old Virginia, “never tires,” and
followed by a couple of dogs, sally out on the prairie, whence he never
returned without a supply of game. The summer climate is here by no
means oppressive; the storms never last a whole day; and, in short, I
know few places where a man fond of rural scenes, rural sports, and
quiet enjoyments, might spend his time more pleasantly than at the
comfortable quarters of mine host at Ottawa, whose name is Delano, and
whose house is on the margin of Fox River. “May he live a thousand
years, and his shadow never be less.”

Leaving Ottawa, I embarked on the sea of the prairie, and after
proceeding a few miles came to a settlement of Norwegians, consisting of
a little straggling village, encompassed by luxuriant fields of wheat
and corn, showing forth the rich rewards of industry operating in a
fertile soil. The buildings and other appendages indicated not only
comfort but competency, and I could not avoid being struck with the
singularity of a community from the remote regions of Northern Europe
planting itself in this secluded spot in the very bosom of the New
World. Yet this is by no means a solitary example. Go where we will in
the great region of the West, we perceive new evidence of the proud and
happy destiny of our country, in being above all others on the face of
the earth, the land toward which the eager and longing eye of hope is
cast from every corner of Christendom: the land to which poverty turns
for relief from its sufferings, and the oppressed for the enjoyment of
the rights bestowed by God and filched away by man; the land which alone
yields an adequate reward to labor, and gives to honest enterprise its
fair field for exertion; the land where pining wretchedness never
descends as an heir-loom from generation to generation, and want is not,
like wealth, hereditary; the New World, which a gracious Providence
seems to have reserved as a refuge and a home to the swarms of
industrious bees driven from the parent hive for want of room, want of
employment, and want of bread.

This, after all, is the crowning chaplet that adorns the brow of our
great republic, and long may it be before it withers. The triumphs of
arms, art and literature fade in comparison with those of humanity, and
that country which affords the greatest plenty of the necessaries and
comforts of life to the greatest proportion of human beings, may justly
challenge a pre-eminence over those which place their claims to that
distinction merely on the ground of arts and refinements, whose
influence is confined to a few, and contributes but little to the
happiness, and less to the virtues even of those who make it the sole
foundation of their assumptions of superiority. While our country
continues to be the refuge of the honest, industrious poor of Europe,
who cares for their boasts of those paltry refinements, those exquisite
effeminacies, which in all past ages, and in every nation of the world,
have been the sure precursors of decay and dissolution. When the
descendants of those who were driven to the United States by the
privations and discouragements they encountered at home, shall begin to
leave the land of their refuge, and return to the bosom of the country
of their forefathers in search of bread which they cannot procure here,
then, and not till then, may the renovated Old World justly boast of
that superiority which is now little more than a dream of long past
times.

I have lately seen in some of the English papers exaggerated pictures of
the condition of the United States, founded, probably, in the policy of
encouraging emigration to her own possessions, or derived from the
reports of some few disappointed emigrants who have returned home. It
was proclaimed that the country was crushed with debts it never could
repay without impoverishing the people by taxation; that labor could
neither find employment nor receive adequate reward; that an universal
blight had come over the land, and every where withered its prosperity;
that the states were bankrupt and the people beggars. All this is sheer
declamation. There never has been any thing like widely extended, much
less general distress in the United States, arising from a deprivation
or curtailment of the necessaries or comforts of life. There never was a
time when any class, or any considerable proportion of a class,
approached within a thousand degrees, that poverty and destitution which
is the common lot of so large a portion of the laboring people of the
Old World. The country has at all times been blessed with a plenty, a
superfluity, an exuberance of every product essential to human
existence, and those who could not obtain them, were either unwilling to
make the necessary exertions, or unable to do so by sickness or some
other untoward circumstance. The distress complained of is not positive,
but comparative. We may be restricted in our luxuries, but the land,
from one wide extreme to the other, is absolutely flowing with milk and
honey, and it is little less than flying in the face of the bounties of
Heaven to complain of hard times, which can only be traced to a
superabundance of every thing, and shrink to the earth under the
pressure of a debt, the whole of which could be paid is less time than
it was contracted, without incurring one-fourth of the burden sustained
by the people of England. But we have been spoiled by prosperity
_Fortuna nisirium quem foret stultum facit_. Fifty years of almost
uninterrupted prosperity had turned our heads, and it is to be hoped a
few years of wholesome reaction will restore us to reason. The sudden
cessation of a favorable gale often saves the vessel from running on the
rocks and being dashed to pieces.

The prairies have already been described as well perhaps as they ever
will be, because they are a sort of _lusus naturæ_, and there is nothing
with which to compare them. To tell of what ingredients they are
composed is easy enough, but to give a just idea of the effects of their
combination, requires analogies not to be found in the other productions
of nature, nor in the imagery of the mind. Although substantial
realities, they present nothing but deceptions, and I believe it is
beyond the power of language, almost imagination, to exaggerate the
strange and beautiful combination of what is, and what is not, sporting
together in perfect harmony on these boundless plains. The eye becomes
at length wearied with being thus perpetually the dupe of imaginary
forms, and imaginary distances, while the mind involuntary revolts at
the deceptions practiced on the senses. Mr. Bryant in poetry, and Mr.
Hoffman and Mr. Catlin in prose, have done all that can be done to
convey to those who have never seen them an impression of the effect of
these happy eccentricities of nature, and the beautiful phantasmagoria
they exhibit forth to the senses and the imagination.

If ever miser were pardoned for coveting his neighbors land, it might be
such land as the prairies of Illinois, where man labors almost without
the sweat of his brow, and the crops are so abundant that all I heard
the good people complain of was having more than they knew what to do
with. This is indeed a lamentable state of things, and it were I think
much to be wished that some of our philosophical lecturers would discuss
the relative advantages of having too much and too little of a good
thing. The case of an individual being overburthened with superfluity,
is easily disposed of, as he has only to turn it over to his neighbors
who may be in want; but when entire communities, states and
confederations of states, labor under this inconvenience, where nobody
wants, and all have plenty to bestow; in other words, where all wish to
sell and nobody cares to buy, it must be confessed there occurs a crisis
of such deplorable difficulty, that I can conceive no effectual remedy
except two or three years of famine like those which succeeded the seven
years of plenty in Egypt. This would consume the mischievous surplus,
and rid them of an evil which as it never before occurred, has never
been provided against by the wisdom of legislation, which most people
believe can perform impossibilities. But be this as it may, I passed
over a vast region where the table of every man groaned under
superfluities, and every brood of swine wasted more corn than would
supply bread to a family of English manufacturers. Yet I found all,
without exception, in the last stage of hopeless despondency, until one
day I entered the log-cabin of an old negro woman, a slave, who was
enjoying her pipe at ease, and upon asking the usual commonplace
question of “how times went with her,” was answered with the most
cheerful alacrity—“_O bravely, massa. Hens ’gin to lay finely._” We
hear of nations suffering from famine, but my unfortunate countrymen
complain of nothing but plenty. Whence comes this strange paradox? Is it
because men have sought to invent artificial means of prosperity which
act in direct opposition to the great general laws of Providence, and
are thus punished for their presumptuous folly by a new, unheard of
infliction?

After riding a distance of some seventy or eighty miles on the prairie,
over the best natural roads in the world, I halted at the house of a
Dutch farmer from the banks of the Hudson, where I heard that old
patriarchal language spoken for the first time in many years. There are
several descendants of the ancient Hollanders settled in this quarter,
to which they are tempted by the broad rich flats, and the easiness of
their cultivation. I have observed that those who partake largely in
this blood, though almost uniformly steady and industrious in their
habits, don’t much like hard, fatiguing work. They prefer labor where
there is no violent exertion or straining, no heavy burthens to lift or
carry, and no call for extraordinary efforts to achieve what may be
accomplished in the ordinary way without them. Hence they are great
amateurs in good land, easy to cultivate and yielding liberal returns.
In this I think they are perfectly right. Without doubt, it is the
destiny of civilized man to labor, that is in moderation. But to labor
without the rewards of labor; to be for ever toiling, and panting, and
sweating over a piece of rough, stony land, on which the malediction of
eternal barrenness has been denounced ever since the creation of the
world; to be ever sowing wheat and reaping nothing but tares, is in my
opinion, utterly unphilosophical, and unworthy of all men who can go
farther and fare better.

A particular occasion had drawn together at this spot a large cavalcade
of both sexes, gayly caparisoned and well-mounted, many of the females
being equipped in riding-habits, hats with feathers, and all more or
less picturesque in their appearance. They chose to accompany the
carriage to a little town about six or seven miles distant, over a
beautiful expanse of prairie, or as it might be aptly termed, “faerie
land,” exhibiting a succession of grassy lawns and beds of flowers of
hundreds of acres, marshaled under different colors, some were red, some
blue, and others entirely yellow. It is difficult to imagine a more gay
and beautiful spectacle than that presented on this occasion. The sky
was sufficiently obscured to temper the glare of sunshine, which is
sometimes here painful to the eye, and the playful cavalcade, consisting
of perhaps an hundred, indulged in a thousand careless, graceful
evolutions on the level greensward, that seemed without beginning or
end, and offered no obstruction in any direction. Sometimes a pair of
riders of both sexes would dash out from the throng, and scamper away
until they appeared like shadows against the distant horizon; and at
others, the whole mass would separate in different directions, skimming
over the plain like Arabs on their winged steeds, their different
colored dresses and picturesque costumes rendering the scene
indescribably gay and animating. The females all without exception sat
and managed their horses with that perfect skill and grace arising from
constant habit, and upon the whole, I never witnessed any exhibition
that could compare with this ride on the prairie of Illinois in romantic
interest and novelty.

Thus, toward evening, I reached the pleasant town which was to be my
resting-place for the night. By some strange perversion of ignorance, or
freak of vanity, it is nicknamed Juliet, instead of _Joliet_, from the
old pioneer of that name, who established his quarters here in olden
time on a mount, which, fortunately, has escaped being travestied into
Juliet, and still preserves his name. This mount is one of the most
remarkable, as well as beautiful objects in nature. It rises directly
from the prairie to the height, I should judge, of more than an hundred
feet; is clothed with a rich velvet coat of grass on all sides, as well
as at the summit; is entirely distinct from any other eminence;
comprises an area of six or eight acres, and is as regular and perfect
in construction, form, and outline, as any work of art I ever saw. It
has been generally taken by travelers for a creation of those mysterious
mound-builders, whose name and history have passed into oblivion, and
who have left no memorials of their existence but such as render it only
more inexplicable. It is, however, as I ascertained, a production of the
cunning hand of Nature, who sometimes, it would seem, amuses herself by
showing how much she can excel her illegitimate sister, Art, even in her
most successful attempts at imitation. The canal connecting the Illinois
with the lakes, runs directly at the foot of this mount, which with
something like Gothic barbarity has been deeply excavated on one side,
in order to form the outward bank. This process has disclosed a
succession of different strata of earth, clay, and gravel, all regularly
defined, and evidently not the work of man, but of the world of craters,
which beyond doubt covered all the surrounding country, long posterior
to the subsiding of the great deluge.

The Sieur Joliet, who tradition says, once resided on the top of this
mount, which is flat and comprises several acres of rich meadow, was one
of the adventurous heroes who first found their way from Canada to the
Valley of the West. Little is known of him, except that he preceded or
accompanied La Salle in some of his discoveries on the Mississippi, for
which, says Charleroix, “he received a grant of the island of Anticosti,
which extends about forty degrees north-west and south-east, and lies at
the mouth of the River St. Lawrence. But they made him no great present;
it is absolutely good for nothing. It is poorly wooded, its soil is
barren, and it has not a single harbor where a ship can lie in safety.”
I regret to differ with the good father, whose description shows it to
be eminently calculated for the site of a great emporium, and am
surprised that it has hitherto escaped the notice of our illustrious
founders of cities in places where it is all rocks and no water. But be
this as it may, the Sieur Joliet is particularly unfortunate in having
been rewarded for his services by an island worth nothing, and defrauded
by ignorance or vanity of the honor of giving his name to a beautiful
and thriving town.

Some fifteen years ago the place occupied by the town of Joliet was the
seat of Black Hawk’s power. It now contains twelve or fifteen hundred
white people, and is a busy, growing place, with reasonable
anticipations of becoming considerably larger in good time. The frank,
hospitable, spirited, and intelligent people of this noble region of the
West, must not, however, calculate too confidently on all their towns
becoming great cities because they grow with astonishing rapidity at the
first starting. Great cities, like great men, do not spring up in all
places and every where. A large portion of these towns, like children,
will probably increase in size the first few years, more than in all
their lives afterward. Many will stop short in their growth, and many
will gradually be swallowed up by some neighboring rival, whose natural
advantages, or some fortunate concurrence of circumstances, will enable
it to secure the ascendancy, and render all the others tributary to its
prosperity. When this ascendency is permanently acquired, nothing but
inferior towns can flourish in its immediate vicinity, and like all
great bodies, they will become the centre of attraction.

The canal connecting the Mississippi with the Lakes runs through the
town, and is here finished in a most admirable and substantial manner.
It is identified with the River Des Planes, which has been circumscribed
by a wall to prevent its overflowing. There are here two locks, and a
basin, equal to any I have ever seen, and indeed, all the permanent
stonework of this canal appears to have been done in the most
substantial and perfect style. A canal completing a line of inland water
communication to the extent of from three to four thousand miles, by a
cut of scarcely more than a hundred, through a region which is almost an
apparent level, and presents perhaps fewer natural obstructions than any
other of the same extent to be found elsewhere, is not only a noble, but
a feasible undertaking. Its advantages are too obvious to require
enumeration; it is in fact, essentially a national work, and stands a
monument of rational foresight, among a thousand visionary schemes of
sanguine folly, or selfish fraud. It is already more than two-thirds
completed, and I conceive that New York is almost as deeply interested
in the final issue as Illinois.

Leaving this fair and flourishing town, which still affords me many
agreeable recollections of natural beauty and kind hospitality, I
visited in my way to Chicago, the village of Lockport, which has grown
up in anticipation of the completion of the canal. The descent of the
River Des Planes is here sufficient to afford ample water-power for
mills and manufactories, and this, in a country so level that the water
half the time does not know which way to run, is quite enough to excite
the sanguine adventurers to this promised land to a degree of delirium,
and set them “kalkilating,” as Sam Slick has it, a hundred degrees
beyond the ratio of geometrical progression. There is little reason to
doubt that Lockport will become a considerable manufacturing town in
process of time, after the canal is finished; but the far-sighted
seekers into futurity would perhaps do well to bear in mind, that there
must be people before there are cities; that these latter are the
children, not the parents of the country, and that it is not good policy
to wait so long for the grass to grow that two or three generations of
steeds starve in the meantime. It is well to look a little to the
present as well as the future, and not be for ever gazing at the shadowy
mountain in the distance, least we fall into the ditch directly under
our noses.

A few hours ride in a delightful morning, partly over rich cultivated
prairie lands, brought me to Chicago, at the southern extremity of Lake
Michigan. It is a fine town, and notwithstanding the blight of
speculation which has swept the land from Dan to Beersheba, continues
steadily on the increase. This is the best possible proof of innate
constitutional vigor, and affords sufficient augury of its future growth
and prosperity. To all these sanguine young cities and citizens, might I
assume the universal privilege of giving advice, I would recommend the
maxim of the wise Emperor Augustus, though I confess it is somewhat
anti-republican to cite such an authority—_festina lente_—hasten
slowly—be not in too great a hurry to grow big and to get rich, and do
not crow before daylight, like ambitious young roosters, who aspire to
be beforehand with the sun.

After remaining three or four days at Chicago, and making several
agreeable acquaintances, among which was an enterprising old gentleman
of four score, who had come there, as he said, “_to seek his fortune_,”
I bade farewell to the State of Illinois, bearing on my mind the
impression that there was not in any country of the known world, a
region of the same extent combining within itself a greater portion of
the elements of substantial and enduring prosperity. At the same time, I
could not help lamenting that blessed as it is in its soil, its climate,
its geographical position, and its industrious population, it had been
precipitated from the summit of hope to the lowest abyss of debt and
depression, by turning its back on the advantages which nature had
gratuitously bestowed, to snatch at others that Providence had withheld.
Though the immediate source of these pressing difficulties of the state,
is without doubt improvident legislation, yet let not the good people of
Illinois lay all the blame on their law-makers and rulers. They were
chosen by their own free voices, and in many cases, for the express
purpose of carrying out those very projects which in their vast
accumulation have created these embarrassments. It was the feverish
anxiety, the headlong haste, the insatiable passion for growing rich in
a hurry, independently of the exertions of labor and the savings of
economy, that brought them and other states where they are now standing
shivering on the verge of bankruptcy.

In the United States the people are the sovereign, and all power either
for good or evil emanates from them. If they allow their own passions,
or the seductions of others, to lead them astray, it is but a weak
evasion to cast the blame on those who were only enabled to perpetrate
the offence by the power which they themselves delegated. Let them then
set about retrieving the consequences of their adherence to mischievous
maxims and habits, by returning to those which if firmly adopted and
steadily pursued, will be speedily followed by returning prosperity. Let
the contest be, not who is to blame for the evil, but who shall be
foremost in proposing an effectual remedy and contributing all in his
power to bring it about. In short, let them only save as much in the
next, as they wasted in the last twenty years, instead of resorting for
relief to the very measure which produced the disease, and place their
affairs in the hands of clear-sighted honest men, instead of great
financiers, whose only expedient for paying one debt is contracting
another, and my life on it, they will redeem themselves in less time
than it took to enthral them. But we who live in glass houses should
never throw stones. _Illinois has enough of the sisterhood to keep her
in countenance._

-----

[1] Charleroix, vol. ii. p. 102, 103.

[2] Charleroix, vol. ii. p. 73.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           A DREAM OF ITALY.


                           BY CHARLES ALLEN.


                  Land of Poets, Italy,
                  As the rivers seek the sea,
                  Floats my dreaming soul to thee;

                  And I stand upon the soil,
                  Where with never ceasing toil,
                  Careless of the midnight oil,

                  Poets say the noblest lays—
                  Artists wrought for Heaven’s praise—
                  Marking time by deeds, not days.

                  And before my dreaming eyes,
                  Temples, palaces arise,
                  Less’ning, fading in the skies,

                  ’Till upon their lifted spires,
                  Sit the stars, those spirit fires,
                  List’ning to thy minstrel lyres.

                  Hark! their music sweeps along—
                  Lightly dance the waves of song,
                  Through the air a happy throng;

                  Bearing on each foamy crest,
                  Thoughts that wrap the human breast;
                  Bidding care lie down to rest.

                  List’ning to each beauteous strain,
                  Ah! I am a child again,
                  Full of childish joy and pain;

                  All unwritten is life’s tome,
                  And my spirit seeks its home,
                  More beloved than gilded dome,

                  And around the once loved stream,
                  Revels free in Music’s dream—
                  Yet, alas! this does but seem.

                  Music! ’tis the voice of Love,
                  Sweetly floating from above,
                  Winged like Noah’s gentle dove;

                  Seeking, seeking wearily,
                  O’er life’s deeply flooded sea,
                  To some higher heart, to flee.

                  ’Tis thy voice, thy language too,
                  Spoken by the Sainted Few,
                  Who still make thy wonders new.

                  Love, was exiled Dante’s theme;
                  Love, was Buonaroti’s dream—
                  Raphael took its sunny beam;

                  ’Twas the pencil with which he
                  Wrought for immortality—
                  Sweet Italia, wrought for thee.

                  And the chaste Madonna grew,
                  From that touch so pure and true,
                  Breathing life, and speaking too.

                  These are they who speak for thee,
                  Speak, though toiling silently—
                  Speak in love, fair Italy.

                  Thus in visions of the night,
                  Oft my spirit takes its flight,
                  Soaring to thy land of light;

                  But, alas! the op’ning day,
                  Finds me from thee, far away,
                  And no more thy minstrel lay,

                  Floats in sweetness over me;
                  But the bird sings on the tree,
                  ’Neath the casement blithe and free.

                  Yes, ’t has vanished into air,
                  And again comes heavy care—
                  Would, O, would, that I were there;

                  So my spirit whispers me,
                  Longing, mourning but to see,
                  Land of Poets, only thee;

                  For I’m lonely, lonely here,
                  Falls for me no kindly tear—
                  Love itself has pressed the bier;

                  And in bitterness of soul,
                  As the racer to his goal,
                  Or the magnet to its pole,

                  So my spirit turns to thee,
                  Land of sweetest minstrelsy,
                  Land of Poets—Italy.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                      THE LETTER OF INTRODUCTION.


              A NEW CHAPTER OF MRS. ALLANBY’S EXPERIENCE.

                        BY MRS. A. M. F. ANNAN.


“MY DEAR MARY—I know it will be a pleasure to you to become acquainted
with my friends who will hand you this—Mrs. Dilberry and her two
daughters. They are quite the aristocracy of our town, being very
genteel, as you will find, and also independent as to property. They
will be entire strangers in your city, and as they have made up their
minds to take a trip there, (having the means, they intend to travel a
great deal,) it is nothing but proper in me to give them this letter of
introduction.”

Such was the exordium of a letter signed “CATHERINE
CONOLLY,” and dated from “_Tarry-town_,” which I found on the
centre-table one morning, after having been down the street to attend to
a little business—giving a small order to a confectioner. The writer
was an old school-mate of mine, whom, indeed, I had not seen since our
school-days. She was Kitty Colville then—a fair, fat, freckled,
_squashy_-looking girl, who was a sort of common favorite from the
good-nature with which she bore being the butt of our tricks, and the
scape-goat of our trespasses. She afterward married a young country
doctor, and, as I had learned, was settled in some out-of-the-way
village of which I had never known the name until I saw it at the head
of her letter. I caught myself smiling as I laid down the missive, it
was so characteristic of poor Kitty. After telling about her children,
four in number, who were called after their grandfathers and
grandmothers, John and Jacob, and Ruth and Sophia; and her husband, who
had so much practice that he wore out a pair of saddle-bags every two
years, she had filled the remainder of her page with apologies for her
pen, ink, and bad writing. The neat but constrained chirography, into
which she had been drilled at school by a teacher standing over her, had
deteriorated into a scrawl, cramped here and straggling there, and the
orthography testified that she no longer wrote with a dictionary at her
elbow. “To chronicle small-beer,” it was very evident, had long been the
extent of her literary efforts.

My heart always warms at the memory of my early days, and of those in
any way pleasantly connected with them, and I felt glad to have an
opportunity to prove to my old companion that I still remembered her
with kindness. I took up the three cards which had been left with the
letter. They had all been cut out of Bristol-board, and that not by
square and rule. The first was inscribed with ink in a large, round
hand, “_Mrs. Dilberry, Tarry-town_,” with the addition, in pencil, of
“_W—— Hotel_.” The second was got up in similar style, the name being
“_Miss Esther Ann Dilberry_”—both having the down-strokes dotted and
scalloped for ornament. The third was still more ambitious—“_Miss Jane
Louisa Dilberry_” being encircled with a painted wreath of roses,
torches, doves, and quivers, with other etceteras, the execution of
which, on watch papers and other fancy wares, was once indispensable to
the perfection of young-lady-craft. They were any thing but
_comme-il-faut_, but recollecting that my future acquaintances were from
a region where cards were by no means a necessary of life, I thought it
unfair to make them the basis of any prejudications. To give my
correspondent the due of prompt action upon her letter, I set off
without delay for the W—— Hotel, though I could not well spare the
time for a long walk and a visit, for I had invited a small party to
tea, to meet an agreeable Englishman and his accomplished wife, to whom
my husband owed the rights of hospitality, and my preparations were yet
to be made. The ladies had not returned to the hotel when I reached it,
and leaving my card with an invitation to tea penciled upon it, and the
hour specified, I hastened home.

The hour for tea had arrived and my company had nearly all assembled,
when I heard strange voices on the stairway, and presuming them to be
those of the party from the W—— Hotel, I stepped out, to go through
the ceremony of introduction with them, before presenting them to the
rest of my guests. I was right in my conjecture, though their appearance
was such as to take me aback considerably. Mrs. Dilberry was a short,
coarse, oily-looking woman, with very light, round eyes, a low, slender
nose, almost hidden between a pair of puffy, red cheeks, and a plump
mouth, turned down at the corners. Though it was a warm summer evening,
she was dressed in a heavy reddish brown silk, with a cape of the same.
The remainder of her costume was a fine, though out-of-fashion
French-work collar, a cap of coarsely-figured net, trimmed with thick
cotton lace, intermixed with a quantity of common, deep-pink artificial
flowers, of which the green leaves looked like plain glazed paper, and a
very coarse pocket-handkerchief, with which she fanned herself
incessantly. Her daughters, whose names she pronounced as Easter Ann and
Jane Louyza, were quite as little prepossessing. The elder, who must
have been thirty, was tall, spare and sour, with a sallow complexion,
and a little turned up nose, quite out of proportion with her long upper
lip, and the general dimensions of her face. The other, who looked ten
years younger, was a youthful likeness of the mother, short, fat, and
florid. From her manner it was apparent that she set up for a beauty.
They both had on summer dresses—that of Miss Esther Ann having
straight, perpendicular stripes, which made her look still taller, while
the dumpiness of the sister seemed to be increased by one of a
horizontal or run-round pattern; and they both wore clumsy, high-colored
head trimmings, which had been somewhat in vogue the winter of the
preceding year.

“Dear me!” exclaimed the old lady, wiping her face with her
handkerchief, “I am so flustered and fagged out!”

“We had such a time hunting up a cap for maw,” rejoined Miss Jane
Louisa.

“Not that she did not bring plenty along,” corrected Miss Esther Ann,
“but we thought that, as it was likely she would go out a great deal,
she ought to have one of the newest fashion for evening dress.”

But the tea-trays were going into the drawing-room, and I hurried my
trio after them. Whilst I was providing them with seats and introducing
them to their neighbors, I heard on different sides of me a strange,
burring, ticking sound, for which I could not account, and which, I
perceived, attracted the attention of others beside myself. During the
course of the evening I discovered its cause. Each of the three had at
her side a large gold repeater, which, having all been set by the same
time, had simultaneously struck eight.

In a movement to make room for my new arrival, Mr. Aylmere, my husband’s
English friend—(Mr. Allanby, by the by, had that morning been called
unexpectedly away for several days, and I was doing the honors
alone)—had taken possession of a seat next to that of Miss Esther Ann.
I had a misgiving as to the impression he was likely to receive, but did
not therefore evade the civility of introducing her. A few minutes
afterward I caught the thread of a dialogue between them.

“We intend to stay several weeks,” said she, “and we expect to see a
great deal of city society. We brought a letter of introduction to Mrs.
Allanby from one of her most particular friends, a physician’s lady, and
of course she will think it her duty to make her circle acquainted with
us. I dare say this party is intended for that.”

“Have you no older acquaintances in the city?” asked Mr. Aylmere.

“None that we shall claim. There are several persons from here that we
were introduced to at different times in our own neighborhood, but we
always found out afterward that they were not in the first circle, and
we would not think it our place to keep up the acquaintance even if we
should happen to fall in with them.”

I acknowledge myself afflicted, in some degree, with what is called our
“national thin-skinnedness” to the opinion of an intelligent and
well-bred foreigner of any of my own countrymen or women; even such of
them as I may despise myself; I, therefore, heartily wished my curious
and quizzical-looking Englishman in the farthest corner of the room. I
had not, however, at the moment, the ingenuity to send him there, and,
instead, I made an effort to change the conversation. But my attention
was called off directly, and I next heard him say—

“Then in your neighborhood you recognize various grades of society?”

“That we do. Our town has three or four classes. Our own set are very
exclusive, having none but lawyers and doctors, and the most genteel of
the storekeepers, and we are very particular what strangers we pay
attention to. We never call on any, of late, unless we find out that
they are number one at home.”

“And I suppose it is somewhat difficult to ascertain that,” rejoined Mr.
Aylmere.

“Not at all, sir. We know the names of two or three of the most genteel
families in each of the large cities, and if the strangers are city
people, some one finds out whether they know any of those. If they
don’t, we set them down for nobodies. If they are not from the cities,
we find out what they do at home, and if they are professional, or live
on their means, we know that they are exclusive; if not we keep clear of
them. Tarry-town is considered a very proud place.”

“Has your town a large population to select from?”

“Considerable—eight hundred or so. Though it is not a county-town, we
have four lawyers, two of them, however, don’t practice, owning farms
around the town; my brother is one of the two others. And we have three
physicians, Mrs. Allanby’s friend being the lady of one of them. The
botanic doctor we don’t count.”

“Do your rules of admission and rejection apply farther than to native
Americans? If a foreigner, like myself for instance, were to go among
you, how is it likely he would be received?”

“Of course according to his standing in his own country,” replied Miss
Esther Ann, with imperturbable self-importance; “we understand very well
how people are divided off in foreign countries, for we read a great
deal. There’s my sister, she positively swallows every novel she can lay
her hands on, and it is surprising what a knowledge she has of the world
and fashionable life. She says she would know a nobleman at a glance by
his distingué air, (pronounced _a la Anglaise_;) maw doesn’t encourage
her in it—like most elderly persons, maw has very old-fashioned
notions; she tells her it teaches her to look too high.”

“And I am to infer that, according to the code of Tarry-town, you would
hesitate to admit foreigners, unless they should be noblemen?” persisted
Mr. Aylmere.

“Certainly, or grandees, or gentry, I believe the English call them. We
have it on the best authority that no others are noticed in the large
cities—that is, by the first people—and what is not good enough for
them is not good enough for us. We think ourselves on a par with any
city people, and, when we go to a city, nothing ought to satisfy us but
the first. Birds of a feather ought always to flock together, in my
opinion, and I’m sure, that after taking the lead in Tarry-town, if ever
I went to Europe, I should make myself very choice of my associates.
Europeans have the same right when they come here. Those that are
aristocracy at home have a right to be aristocracy every where else, and
no others, and those that are not, and push themselves forward, are no
better than impostors.”

“Then I am afraid I should stand a chance to be _tabooed_ at
Tarry-town,” said Mr. Aylmere, “for I am an English merchant.”

During the progress of this conversation, Mrs. Dilberry, with a loud,
though wheezing voice, was panting through a long harangue to Mrs.
Aylmere, and two other ladies, in whose midst she had anchored herself.

“I expected a great deal of pleasure in shopping when I came to the
city,” said she, “but it’s precious little I’m likely to have, for
shopping without making bargains is but a dry business. We tried it
yesterday and this morning, my daughters and me, and plague a thing
could we find that was any thing to signify cheaper than in the stores
at Tarry-town. I told the girls that I now believed what the man said in
the newspapers, that people in the city all live by cheating one
another. One would think that as they live at head-quarters, some of
them could now and then pick up things for little or nothing and sell
them at half-price, but it seems they are all leagued together to get
whatever they can. We went from one end of a street to the other, and
every place they had pretty much the same goods, and asked the same
prices, unless it was here and there where they put up every thing
monstrously high, just to come down little by little on being jewed, and
then they never got lower than their next door neighbors. I was talking
about it to one of the boarders at the hotel, old Mrs. Scrooge, a very
sharp, sensible woman—some of you ladies know her, I dare say. She let
me into a secret about shopping, that is well worth knowing. She says it
is bad policy for people to go shopping with their best bib and tucker
on, for if they look as if they are well off in the world, it’s a sure
way to be taken advantage of, and that when she starts off among the
stores, she always puts on a calico gown and a black straw bonnet which
she keeps for that and for funerals.”

“And does her plan work well?” asked one of the ladies, at length
breaking in upon the monologue.

“Just wait, I am coming to it. She says that she had three nieces that
came to the city to buy finery. They were very dressy women, and they
wished to lay in a good supply. She told them her plan, but they hooted
the thoughts of going into the street looking common, so they fixed
themselves up, and went in their carriage, having made up their minds
not to purchase at once, but to go every where first and get samples.
Well, Mrs. Scrooge offered to assist them in gathering samples, but not
a foot would she set in their carriage, but puts on her old things, and
goes out after them, and sometimes into the very places where they were.
When they all got back and compared samples, she showed the others that
she could get many of the self-same things six or eight per cent. lower
than they could. She says that she has crowed over them ever since. I’m
sure I’m much obliged to her for giving me the hint, and I don’t think
any one will catch me shopping again with a silk dress on, and a
four-dollar collar, and a gold watch at my side. I shall wear my old
winter bonnet that I traveled in, and my faded mousseline de laine
dress, and then they’ll have to put their goods down to suit my
appearance. The girls say if I do I may go alone, for they have no
notion to look common, and while they are in the city they mean to put
the best foot foremost. Easter Ann says we should always stand upon our
dignity—she’s very dignified herself. As to Jane Louyza, she says it
looks mean and matter-of-fact to be always counting the cost, and that
if I’d let her, she would take every thing without asking the price,
particularly when she is waited on by some of the spruce, handsome,
fashionable young gentlemen that cut such a dash, showing off the goods
to ladies. But they’ll learn better when they get older; indeed, Easter
Ann is old enough now—she’s no chicken, though she don’t like me to
tell her so, and I shouldn’t wonder if they’d learn to look after the
main chance as well as their mother before them. If I hadn’t been
uncommon keen in money matters their poor father wouldn’t have died
worth his twenty thousand cash, beside farms and stock, leaving them to
sit up like ladies, with their hands in their laps.”

Miss Jane Louisa was sitting close by, engaged in what she called a
“desperate flirtation” with two astonished-looking young men, the only
beaux in the room, whom she seemed determined to monopolize, one of them
being my brother-in-law, George Allanby, a youth of eighteen. She
discussed love and matrimony with much languishment of manner, and
novelty of pronunciation, and criticised her favorite novels after the
following fashion:

“Ain’t the ‘Bride of the Brier-field’ beautiful? Don’t tell me you have
not read it!—dear me!—I was perfectly on thorns till I got it.
Araminta is so sweet, I almost cried my eyes out when she died. Of
course you’ve read the ‘Pirate of Point Peepin?’ Oh, how I do hate him!
I declare I never see black whiskers on any of the gentlemen in the
street that I a’n’t ready to scream, they put me so much in mind of Don
Hildebrando.”

Intent upon conquest as she was, the loud accents of her mother
sometimes disturbed the tenor of her softer themes, and she showed her
apprehension that the old lady’s discourse might not be in unison with
the general tone of the company, by occasionally interpolating, “Just
listen to maw!—did you ever know any one so old-fashioned;” or, “maw
will always talk so, but you city people will get used to her ways after
a while;” or, “maw is so independent, she always says whatever comes
into her head.”

I thought it time to interpose between the loquacity of Mrs. Dilberry
and the politeness of her listeners, and placing myself beside her, I
made inquiries in a low voice about our friend in common, Mrs. Conolly.
But she was one of those people who are always best satisfied with a
numerous auditory; and punching the shoulder of Mrs. Aylmere, while she
pushed the knee of another lady, she re-commenced in a still higher key.

“I believe I didn’t tell you ladies how I happened to be in such good
company. I brought a letter of introduction to Mrs. Allanby from one of
her most particular friends, and that makes me feel quite at home with
her, and almost as if she was a blood relation. You’ll really have to
come to Tarry-town, Mrs. Allanby, to pay a visit to Mrs. Conolly. I’m
sure you’ll never repent the expense of the journey, for she is settled
very comfortably, and will introduce you to nobody but the very top of
the town. Like my young people, she’s mighty particular about her
associates. She is changed a good deal though, for looks—more, I dare
say, than you have, Mrs. Allanby; but considering the wear and tear of
married life, and the way she has to expose herself, for help is scarce
in our section; not more so, perhaps, than might be expected,
particularly when she is fixed up—which, to be sure, might be oftener,
for she began to be careless in her dress almost as soon as she was
married, and, though she has four children running about—troublesome,
dirty little limbs, I can’t help saying—some of the wedding finery she
brought out with her is quite good yet. She is a good deal more
freckled, too, than she used to be, but that is no wonder, for I’ve seen
her, many a time, out in the broiling sun in the garden cutting lettuce,
without any thing on her head—she never was proud—except, indeed, a
black bobinet cap; they are very much worn with us, as they save washing
and are economical. And she has lost her two front teeth; no, I believe
it is a front and an eye-tooth, and that, you know, always makes people
look older. Her figure, though, looks genteeler than ever, for she is
not so fat. The doctor says she is getting as poor as Job’s turkey. Did
you never see the doctor, Mrs. Allanby? he is as thin as a weasel,
himself, but a mighty money-making little man. I did a great deal to get
him into business, and he now goes along swimmingly. He first bought the
house they live in, and last year he put up a new kitchen, and this
spring he bought a handsome sofa and marble-topped table for the
parlors. I shouldn’t wonder if in a year or two he’d build an office,
and have two parlors in his house, with folding-doors between them, as
that is getting to be the fashion in Tarry-town. Some of us are pretty
stylish.”

My friends, at length, began to withdraw, and I was at last left alone
with the Dilberrys. The three repeaters struck eleven, and their
mistresses exchanged whispers, and said something about getting back to
their hotel.

“You rode, I presume?” said I.

“Not we, indeed,” returned Mrs. Dilberry; “I had enough of your
hack-riding this morning. We did not know how to find the way here, so
the landlord told us we had better take one of the hacks near the door.
Well, we tried it, and, after we got back, though we hadn’t once got
out, except to look at some balzarines and lawns at two or three stores,
the impudent black fellow had the face to charge us a dollar. This
evening we knew that we could find the place well enough, and we started
as soon as we saw the gas lighted in some of the shops, for we had to
stop by the way to buy me a cap—the girls having got a notion into
their heads, I suppose from their novels, that things intended for
evening dress ought always to be bought by candle-light. After trouble
enough I found a cap—this I have on; and was asked a pretty price, two
dollars, only I jewed the woman down to one and three-quarters. When we
came to your street we took the omnibus, and were let out down here at
the corner. We thought, that as you had invited young ladies, you would
of course provide beaux to gallant them home.”

“I can’t say,” observed Miss Esther Ann, waving her neck with much
dignity, “that it was exactly treating strangers with politeness, in
Miss Duncan and Miss Edwards to walk off with the only two beaux, and
leave us without any.”

“The young gentlemen escorted them here,” said I, “and according to
custom were privileged to see them home. If I had known however, ladies,
that you were unprovided with an escort, I should have requested my
brother-in-law to return for you. But I will see what can be done. I
have no carriage to offer you, my husband having taken our little
turn-out to the country.”

I went out to direct my man-servant to attend them, but was reminded
that I had given him permission to go to his family, in which there was
sickness, after the refreshments had been served. There was nothing now
to be done but to ask my guests to remain over night. I did so, and the
invitation was accepted with a hale-fellow-well-met jocularity quite
uncalled for.

Dinner, the next day, found me still playing the hostess to my
Tarry-town party, whose cool at-homeness seemed ominous of a still more
protracted visit. After we had left the table, George Allanby,
unsuspicious of my being so occupied, called in. He was saluted with a
bantering familiarity by the old lady, and with the most frigid reserve
by her daughters. Miss Jane Louisa walked to the front windows, upon
which she drummed perseveringly with her fingers, while her sister
slowly paced the floor with measured steps, her head elevated, and her
nostrils turned up as if they were snuffing the ceiling. Mrs. Dilberry
exchanged glances with them, and then addressed herself to my
brother-in-law:

“I suppose, Mr. Allanby,” said she, “you are very much taken by surprise
to see us still spunging on your sister-in-law, but I must make free to
tell you there’s nobody to be blamed for it but yourself. I can’t say I
would give you city young men the choice over our country beaux for good
manners, for you took yourselves off last night, and left us three
ladies in the lurch, without a single soul to see us safe back to our
tavern. I told the girls I’d speak my mind about it. I’m one of that
kind that make no bones about speaking what they think, and then it’s
all over with me.”

I hastened to interpose with an explanation to the disturbed-looking
youth, who seemed quite unconscious of the nature of his offence, but
the old lady interrupted me by continuing—

“Mrs. Allanby has done her best to make us comfortable, and, indeed, I
think myself in such good quarters, that, for my own part, I don’t feel
in any hurry to get away, but the girls have been in the dumps ever
since. Jane Louyza, as you may see, is on a pretty high horse, and
Easter Ann is sky-high, as she always is when she thinks she should
stand on her dignity,” and she nodded and winked toward them.

“I exceedingly regret if I have failed in proper politeness,” said
George. “I am ready to offer a thousand apologies, or any _amendé_ you
may suggest.”

“Well, now, that’s getting out of the scrape handsomely, after all,”
returned Mrs. Dilberry. “I knew from the way you and Jane Louyza got
along last night that you could easily make it up, and would soon be as
thick as two pick-pockets. Here, Jane Louyza, Mr. Allanby is ready to
shake hands and be friends, and he says he is willing to make any amends
you please for being impolite;” and as Miss Jane Louisa approached,
simpering and holding out her large, red hand, her mother added: “There,
now, you have him in your power. You know you always said you would jump
out of your skin to see an opera, and now’s your time. I dare say he
would think he was getting off very well to take you there to-night.”

“Certainly, ma’am,” said poor George, coloring and stammering with the
embarrassment common to his years, and turning to the daughters, he
blundered on—“I shall be happy if Miss Jane Ann—that is, if both the
young ladies will honor me with their company.”

“With the greatest of pleasure,” curtseyed the ecstatic Jane Louisa.

“The favor is to us,” rejoined the dignified Esther Ann.

“You are not to trick me that way, you young people,” exclaimed Mrs.
Dilberry. “I should like to go to the theatre as well as any of you, and
if you a’n’t civil enough to invite me, I’ll go whether or no. Let’s all
go, Mrs. Allanby, and have a jolly time of it. You and I can beau each
other.”

I excused myself with rather more energy than was necessary.

“Well, I mean to go, anyhow,” resumed the old lady, “though, of course,
I’ll pay my own way. It would be imposing upon Mr. Allanby to make him
go to the expense of paying for so many of us.”

“Not at all, ma’am,” said George, looking still redder and more
frightened, “where shall I call for you?”

There was a pause, but as I had not the grace to break it by answering
“here,” Miss Esther Ann had to reply—

“We stop at the W—— Hotel,” and the conscripted squire of dames made a
precipitate retreat.

“We’ll have to go back to the hotel, maw, at once,” said Miss Jane
Louisa, “for you know ladies must always go to the opera in full-dress.
I’ll have to press out my book-muslin dress, and take the wreath off my
bonnet to wear on my head, and Easter Ann must fix something to put on.”

“That will be quite unnecessary,” said I, anticipating all sorts of
mortifications for my inexperienced brother-in-law, “you may have seats
where you will be able to see and hear every thing, without being so
conspicuous as to make any material change in your dress necessary.
Strangers, who neither know any one nor are known themselves, generally
prefer being unobserved, and saving themselves the trouble of much
dressing. You will all do very well just as you are.”

“What do you say, girls,” said Mrs. Dilberry; “that might do well enough
for you and me, Mrs. Allanby,” giving me a wink, “but I don’t know how
these two would like to hide their light under a bushel. Girls like to
give the beaux a chance to look at them wherever they can, and I must
say it’s natural enough. As to the trouble of dressing, why we’ve got
nothing else to do here, and people that have the wherewith may as well
put it on their backs.”

The young ladies did not give their sentiments, but exchanged glances
and whispered together, and Miss Esther Ann formally proposed going up
for their bonnets. Reiterating their hopes of being able to catch an
omnibus, to save them the fatigue of a long, warm walk, they took leave,
not forgetting to volunteer abundant assurances that they would call
every day and make themselves quite at home with me.

As soon as they were gone I wrote a note to George, instilling a little
worldly wisdom by means of advising him to go late to the theatre, when
the front seats would be filled, and to place his companions where they
would attract as little notice as possible.

The next morning whilst I was at breakfast, the young man came in.

“Well, George, how did the opera come off?” asked I.

“You mean the by-play, in which I was concerned,” said he, passing his
hand over his face. “Don’t talk to me about chivalry toward all
woman-kind again! But I’ll let you have it from the beginning. In the
first place, I took your advice, and went to the W—— Hotel rather
late. I was shown into what, I presume, was the ladies’ saloon, for
there were a couple of dozens of female faces, of all sorts, turned
toward me, as if I were something anxiously expected, and very queer
when I had come. I understood it all in a minute, though, for right in
the middle of the room, parading between two tall glasses, in which they
could see themselves back and front, were the Dilberrys, the objects of
all the nodding and tittering I had observed before I came in for my
share of attention. The old lady espied me first, and puffing out, loud
enough to be heard all over the room, ‘here he comes girls—here comes
our beau at last,’ she ran forward as if she were going to seize hold of
me, the other two following with their arms, grace-like, twined about
each other. ‘La, Mr. Allanby, you have served us a pretty trick—keeping
us waiting so long!’ exclaimed Miss Esther Ann, ‘I shouldn’t wonder if
we were not to get seats at all.’ ‘I’m ready to pout at you, I wanted so
to see every body come in,’ said the other. ‘We were almost ready to
give you up, and had all these ladies comforting us,’ said Mrs.
Dilberry; ‘here we’ve been, dressed from top to toe, for an hour or
more, Jane Louyza walking and standing about, in broad daylight, with
her arms and neck bare, for fear we shouldn’t be ready in time, for we
thought that as you had made up your mind to lay out your money, you’d
like us to get as much for it as possible.’ I escorted them to the
carriage, assuring them they would be in time enough.”

“But what about their dress, George?” said I.

“You know I never can make any thing out of describing a lady’s dress.
Mrs. Dilberry looked very choked-up, and melting and greasy, and had on
that abominable frizzly cap that struck us all so last night; and Miss
Esther Ann had on a white frock with old dark kid-gloves, and three
brown cockades stuck on top of her head that made her look full six feet
high; but Jane Louyza, as they call her, was the beauty! Her dress was
one of those stiff, thin ones, that stand out like hogsheads, and are
nearly as hard to bend. Such a crushing and pushing as there was to get
it into the carriage, and down between the seats! Her neck was—I can’t
tell you how bare, and her arms and hands ditto, only that on the latter
she had little tight mitts, that looked like the skin tatooed. She had a
wreath of artificial blue and purple roses on her head, and a quantity
of ribbon flying in tags from each shoulder and from her back and front.
But such arms and neck—so red and beefy!”

“And where did you get seats?”

“In one of the side boxes, three benches back—the very place I could
have wished—but, as my luck would have it, a lady in the front row took
sick, and her party left the theatre with her. Before I could have
thought of such a thing, my fair charges pushed forward into the three
vacant places, beckoning me to follow, and calling me by name loudly
enough to be heard half over the house. Of course it drew all the eyes
in the neighborhood upon them, and I observed that the Hallowells, and
the Sewards, and the Wilkinses were in the next box; Joe Nicols was with
them, and had the impudence to lean over and ask me, ‘Who the mischief
have you here, George? country cousins, hey?’—and there they sat
chattering and laughing at full voice, evidently greatly flattered by
being so much stared at.”

“But of course, you had a respite when the opera commenced?”

“Just wait—as the old lady says. The curtain rose in a few minutes, and
then each of them had to turn to me for explanations. ‘Dear me! is that
one of your brag singers, the great Mrs. S——!’ said Miss Esther Ann,
‘how affected she is! Did you ever see any body roll her eyes so!’ ‘And
what a mouth she has!’ said Jane Louisa, ‘you could almost jump down her
throat! I don’t see any sense in such singing—Sarah Tibbets in our
choir can go far ahead of that!’ ‘And how scandalous it is for a married
woman to be looking up that way in a young man’s face,’ put in the old
lady, ‘she surely must be painted up, such a color never was natural,
and what loads of extravagant finery! I wonder what all her spangles
cost?’

“At length there was a hiss beneath the box, and I directed their
attention to it, informing them that it was meant to command silence, it
being contrary to custom to talk during the performance. Mrs. Dilberry
rolled up her eyes, and put her tongue into her cheek by way of being
humorous, Miss Esther Ann screwed her shoulders and answered me
huffishly that she supposed they should know how to behave, and Jane
Louisa giggled, and kept her handkerchief to her mouth, every few
moments looking back at me, as if it were an excellent joke.

“When the first act was over, a gentleman who sat between them and me,
and who must have been exceedingly annoyed by their constantly leaning
past him, proposed that I should exchange seats with him, which I could
not refuse, though it made matters worse for me. ‘Why don’t you admire
my bouquet, Mr. Allanby?’ said Jane Louisa, poking in my face a great
clumsy bunch of larkspurs, ragged-robins, mallows, and those coarse,
yellow lilies that shut up at night, garnished by a foliage of
asparagus, ‘I was in despair about a bouquet for my evening-dress, when,
luckily, I came across this when we walked through the market-house on
our way from your sister’s. I do doat on bouquets.’ ‘Now do stop talking
about that borquay,’ interrupted the old lady, ‘after such nonsensical
extravagance as throwing away money for it. Why at home we could get a
wheelbarrow full of such trash out of any body’s garden for nothing. But
it seems to me you city people would be for making money out of the very
dirt in the gutters.’ ‘La, maw, they only cost a six-pence, but you are
so matter-of-fact, you don’t love flowers; we do, though, don’t we, Mr.
Allanby?’ said Miss Jane Louisa.

“‘If you had told Mr. Allanby you wanted a bouquet,’ observed Esther
Ann, ‘I dare say he would have brought you one, for we’ve heard that
city gentlemen make it a point to give bouquets to ladies they wish to
be polite to, and don’t mind how much they have to pay for them.’

“When the curtain rose again, the eye of Jane Louisa was caught by one
of the understrappers, a tall fellow with a huge false _moustache_. ‘Who
is that splendid looking young man!’ exclaimed she—not one of them
having discernment enough to make out a single performer or character
from the bill and the play; ‘isn’t he beautiful! I’m quite in love with
him, I declare; why don’t they applaud him, Mr. Allanby? he’s so
elegant!’ and greatly to my relief, she was so much taken up in looking
at her new hero, and in watching for his appearance, that she withdrew
her attention from me.

“At length, toward the finale, when S—— excelled himself in one of his
master-pieces, two or three bouquets were thrown upon the stage at his
feet. ‘What was that for?—why are they throwing their flowers away?’
asked Miss Esther Ann. I explained that it was an expression of
admiration. ‘Dear me!’ said Jane Louisa, ‘I’d be very sorry to pay such
a compliment to such an ugly fellow—he’s not fit to hold a candle to my
favorite.’ The favorite immediately made his appearance in a chorus, and
took his place not far from the box in which we sat. Just as he opened
his capacious mouth, Jane Louisa, with the confidence of a boy throwing
stones, pitched her bouquet at him. The great clumsy thing came down
_flop_ against his face, breaking his _moustache_ from its moorings, and
sweeping it to the floor. The galleries clapped, the pit hissed, one or
two of the minor actors laughed, and it was some moments before the
singing could go on. I felt, as you ladies say, like sinking through the
floor; and I believe I did crouch as low as possible among the people
around me. How I got back to the hotel with my tormentors I can’t tell,
for it appears like a vexatious dream. I remember, however, that, while
they were going up the steps, one of them said I should tell you they
would call this morning to get you to go the rounds of the dressmakers
with them.”

This was a duty for which I had no inclination, and I concluded to
dispose of myself by spending the day with a friend, knowing, from the
specimens I had had of the familiarity of my new acquaintances, that the
mere excuse of “very much engaged,” delivered by a domestic, would be
insufficient to protect me from their society. Accordingly I went out as
soon as possible after breakfast, and did not return until evening. As I
had anticipated, the “country ladies,” as the servants called them, had
inquired for me morning and afternoon, and had left a message purporting
that they would come again next day.

The following morning I had some business which called me from home
several hours. When I returned to dinner, I was surprised to find the
entry lumbered full of furniture, evidently from an auction—a dozen of
chairs, of the kind “made to sell,” very loose-jointed, and with flabby
seats of thin haircloth; a sofa to match; a centre-table, with its top,
as large as a mill-wheel, turned up against the wall, and a piano, which
must have had some pretensions fifteen or twenty years back, being much
ornamented with tarnished brass or gilding, and supporting five or six
disabled pedals.

“What is the meaning of this?” I exclaimed, to the servant who let me
in; “where did all these articles come from?”

“Didn’t you send them, ma’am?”

“I!—what in the world should I want with such things?”

“So we thought, ma’am; but they came in two furniture carriages, and the
man said the lady told him to bring them here—they had our number on a
card.”

“It is a stupid mistake—I know nothing about it; and upon my word, they
have broken the walls in several places, bringing their lumber in.”

“And that’s not all, ma’am—they threw over the hat-rack, turning up
that monstrous table, and knocked out two of the pins, beside breaking
the little looking-glass.”

And so they had; but there was nothing else to be done than to wait
patiently until the real proprietor appeared.

I had just finished my dinner when I heard a bustle in the hall, and
hastened out, presuming that I was to be rid of my unwelcome storage,
and desirous to superintend its removal. Who should I find but Mrs.
Dilberry and her daughters. Miss Jane Louisa had already the lid of the
piano thrown up, while her sister was trying the chairs, and the old
lady sitting, or rather bouncing herself up and down on the sofa.

“Oh, Mrs. Allanby, we’ve had the best luck this morning!” they all cried
at once; “do tell us what you think of our bargains!”

“Stop, girls, and let me talk;” said Mrs. Dilberry, peremptorily. “Well,
to begin at the beginning, Mrs. Allanby, we had laid out to buy two or
three pieces of furniture, to set off our parlors—a pyanna, for
one—ours, that the girls learnt on, that is Jane Louyza, being rather
old-timey—(it was left to me by my Aunt Easter, in her will;) so Mrs.
Scrooge, at the tavern—an uncommon sharp, sensible woman—told us we
would be fools to pay shop prices for things when we could get them at
auction, almost as good, for little or nothing. Well, this morning she
hunted up a sale for us, and took us to it, and we’ve had all these
things knocked off to us for—now could you guess what, Mrs.
Allanby?—upon my word, for what we had made up our minds to pay for a
pyanna! and the best of it is, the chairs and sofa are new, spick and
span. The auctioneer said that not a soul had ever sat on them before.
They didn’t belong to the furniture of the house at all, but to himself,
and he had just brought them there to sell, for his own convenience. But
the pyanna—just think of it!—I may as well tell you what it cost, Mrs.
Allanby, though it would never do to let it be known in Tarry-town;” and
she added in a whisper, “only sixty-one dollars!”

“Do try it, Mrs. Allanby,” said Jane Louisa; “some of the strings are
broken, to be sure, and the pedals don’t seem to work, but when it is
fixed up, it will be delightful.”

I agreed that it must have been a fine affair in its day.

“And the centre-table,” rejoined Esther Ann, “think of such a
centre-table selling for fifteen dollars—pure mahogany! when it is
varnished, and has a new castor, one being broken, it will be
beautiful—or even if it were just rubbed up with oil and turpentine;
indeed, for my part, I prefer second-hand furniture to new—it looks
more respectable, as if we had it some time. Our old furniture at home
I’m very proud of—no one that sees it can call us upstarts.”

“Yes,” added Mrs. Dilberry, “there’s the pyanna, and the book-case, and
the pair of card-tables—”

“Don’t say upstarts, sister;” said Jane Louisa, hurrying to drown her
mother’s voice; “I’m sure you know it is the fashion to call them
_parvenues_!”

“Upon my word,” resumed the old lady, still see-sawing up and down on
the sofa, to enjoy its springs, “it will make talk enough in Tarry-town,
when we get home with such lots of stylish things; they’ll call us
prouder than ever; but when people can be grand for quarter price,
they’d be gumpies to let the chance slip through their fingers.”

Still the point that most concerned me, why they had been deposited in
my charge, had not yet been broached, and I ventured to hint at it.

“Sure enough, we forgot to mention it;” said Mrs. Dilberry; “we could
not take the things to the hotel, you know, so we told the men they
might as well bring them here. I suppose they might be removed into the
parlors at once.”

I remarked that my parlors were already as full of furniture as was
desirable, and that their best plan would have been to have had them
removed—at once to some cabinet-makers shop to be repaired, and boxed
for transportation.

“That was what Mrs. Scrooge thought,” returned Mrs. Dilberry, “but we
went to two or three shops and found they charged such different prices,
that I made up my mind to wait, and go round to a dozen at least, till I
could find out where the best bargain was to be made. So you may as well
put them among your own things and have the credit of them till I can
look about a little.”

I had no resource now but to send the chairs to the third story, the
table to the dining-room, and to leave the sofa and piano where they
stood. Whilst her possessions were being moved by the servants, Mrs.
Dilberry ran about the house giving orders as if quite at home.

“Now I must tell you about our tower among the mantua-makers,” said she,
at length settling herself in the drawing-room, and mopping her face
with her handkerchief, after her exercise; “but, girls, why don’t you
follow my example and take your bonnets off? Don’t wait to be
coaxed—Mrs. Allanby don’t expect you to make strangers of yourselves
with her; as we’ve come to spend the afternoon, we may as well be
comfortable first as last. But where was I about the mantua-makers? Oh,
I believe I hadn’t began. Well, a lady at the tavern gave us the names
of three of them, written on a card, with directions where they were to
be found. So we got into an omnibus, in front of the hotel, and were let
out at the corner next to the place that was nearest. We soon found the
house—as I’m alive, a large three-story brick, with marble steps, and
nothing like a sign about it. But the name was on the door-plate, and we
rang the bell. A black boy took us into the parlors, and what should we
see but Brussels carpets, and looking-glasses as tall as yours, and
spring-seated chairs, and a pyanna, and every thing as fine as you
please. ‘Mercy on us, maw,’ says Jane Louyza, ‘there’s nothing looks
like a mantua-maker’s here!’ I thought so myself, and told the girls we
had better slip out before any body came; but Easter Ann would not hear
to it—she said it would look undignified, and, says she, ‘If we are
mistaken, maw, let me make the apology.’

“In a few minutes a lady steps in, dressed in a handsome black silk
wrapper, with a watch at her side, looking as stiff as a poker. ‘We were
told that we would find Mrs. N——, the mantua-maker, here, ma’am,’ says
I.

“‘I am Mrs. N——,’ says she, stiffer, if any thing, than before.

“‘We have three dresses to make, ma’am,’ says Easter Ann; ‘perhaps it
wouldn’t be convenient for you to undertake them?’

“‘I am always prepared to do any amount of work,’ says she.

“‘What may be your charges, ma’am?’ says I.

“‘That depends upon the material, and the style in which it is to be
made,’ says she.

“‘One is a silk, and the other two are balzarines,’ says I.

“‘And we want them made fashionably,’ put in Jane Louyza.

“‘I make every thing fashionably,’ says she, as high as if she was the
president’s lady.

“We had our bundles with us, and we opened them, and though our dresses
are beautiful, considering how cheap we got them, she looked at them
without saying a word, and didn’t even deign to take them in her hands.
‘I want mine made quite plain,’ says I; ‘but my daughters will expect to
have theirs flounced off to the top of the mode—mine’s the silk one.
But we’ll have to settle first what you’ll take to do the job—it’s a
large one, remember, ma’am—three dresses—and it will be nothing but
fair that you should make allowance for that.’

“‘I never make abatement,’ says she; ‘my charge is three dollars for a
plain silk dress, and four for such as the others, if full trimmed.’

“Eleven dollars for making three dresses—just think of it! the girls
looked dumb-foundered, and so was I; but being in the scrape, we had to
get out of it the best way we could. ‘Very well, ma’am,’ says I, making
up our bundles again, and looking unconcerned, ‘we’ll call again when we
get the trimmings.’

“‘As you please,’ says she, more like Queen Victoria than a
mantua-maker; and we walked out in double-quick time, my lady never
condescending to step to the door. ‘She may call us fools if she ever
catches us again,’ says I to the girls.

“Well, we went on to the next. The house looked pretty fine, too, this
time; but under the name on the door was another plate with
‘_Fashionable Dress-making_’ on it, and we thought it didn’t look quite
so stuck up. A girl let us in, and we didn’t find the parlors quite so
grand, though they were stylish enough, dear knows. This was Mrs.
B——’s. She was down stairs herself, waiting for customers, we
supposed, which looked as if she was not above her business, and she had
a table beside her covered all over with fashion-plates and magazines,
like yours, on the centre-table. She was a little, sharp-eyed,
fidgetty-looking woman, with a very pointy nose. She sent away a girl
she was fixing a sleeve for, and came forward to meet us, and gave us
seats, and seemed very sociable.

“‘We have some dresses to be made, ma’am,’ says I; ‘here’s three in our
hands, and it’s likely we may have some more if we can make a good
bargain about these.’ I thought it best to hold out a large inducement
to her.

“‘And I suppose you will want the three without delay?’ said she,
talking very glib; ‘dear me, how unfortunate just at this time! I have
so much work on hand already. I keep twenty-two hands working night as
well as day, and I don’t see how I possibly can get through all that I
have taken in. But, really, I should like to oblige you three ladies—I
always do all in my power to accommodate strangers—you are from the
country, I presume?’

“‘From Tarry-town,’ says Easter Ann.

“‘Ah, indeed! I am very glad to have customers from Tarry-town; I have
made dresses to be sent there several times.’ We could not help looking
at each other, for we had known every dress in Tarry-town for years, and
not one of them had ever touched her hands. ‘I make dresses for ladies
in all parts of the country,’ she kept on; ‘my establishment is very
popular with strangers, because it is known that I make it a point to
accommodate them even at the risk of making sacrifices among my city
customers. Of course, you ought to have your dresses in two or three
days, and I’ll try what can be done. The silk is for you, ma’am, I
perceive,’ and she tore open the bundles; ‘very appropriate, indeed, for
an elderly lady, and the balzarines will make up quite dressy for your
daughters. Look at the plates, ladies—this will suit you, ma’am, quite
plain, but very genteel; the sleeve is particularly proper for a stout
lady; and you, ma’am,’ to Easter Ann, ‘would look best in this, with
flounces pretty high up, as you are tall and not fleshy. You, miss,’ to
Jane Louyza, ‘ought to have front trimming, as you are rather low;’ and
she actually slipped a tape measure round my waist. I was on thorns, for
she hadn’t given us a word of satisfaction about her prices, and I told
her we hadn’t made up our minds yet how we would have them made, ‘and,
beside,’ says I, ‘we must first know what they are to cost.’

“‘Certainly, ma’am, that’s all very reasonable,’ says she; ‘and I know
you wont find fault with my charges—I can perceive at a glance that you
are a lady of property; are you certain that you have enough of the
material?—ladies of your size require a very full skirt;’ and before I
could have said ‘no,’ she had actually gathered up my silk and clipped a
nick in it for a breadth of the skirt.

“‘I don’t think, ma’am, we have time to wait for the dresses to be cut
out,’ says I, ‘we haven’t, neither, got the linings nor the sewing-silk,
nor the other trimmings.’

“‘It will take me but a few minutes,’ says she, making another nick in
the silk, ‘for I cut by a patent measure; and I always find the
trimmings myself—I can then have them to suit me, and, you know, it all
amounts to the same thing in the end;’ and she snatched up a piece of
Holland from the table, and began measuring off a pair of backs. ‘Stop,
if you please, ma’am,’ says I, ‘we’ve made no bargain yet, and it’s
nothing but what I have a right to expect, to know what you are to
charge me.’

“‘It will be difficult to tell,’ says she, ‘before the dresses are
finished—it is not our custom to settle the prices until we have seen
how the work is done.’

“‘But, ma’am,’ says I, ‘I insist upon a rough guess.’

“‘Then let me see,’ says she, ‘supposing we say something like five or
six dollars each, trimmings included, for the young ladies’ dresses, and
four for yours.’

“‘Why, bless my soul!’ says I, ‘I could get cord, and hooks and eyes,
and sewing-silk, and linings enough for all three, for a dollar; and as
to paying five or six dollars for making a dress, I’ll never do it in
the world; it’s outrageous—it’s an imposition,’ and I snatched my silk
out of her hands in short order.

“‘It’s too late, now,’ says she, pert enough, ‘to talk about that, as
soon as the scissors are put in the work, it is considered as taken in.’

“‘It’s we that are taken in, or we came pretty near it,’ says I; and I
bundled the silk under my arm, and the girls took up their balzarines;
but such a tongue-lashing as we got, I never heard the like of it in my
life before; and you may be sure I didn’t take it all quietly—I’m not
very mealy-mouthed; and if it hadn’t been for Easter Ann telling me loud
enough for her to hear, ‘Come along, maw, it’s not dignified to be
disputing with a mantua-maker,’ she’d likely have got the worst of it.

“The girls were so put out that they didn’t want to try any more; but
I’m not one to be brow-beat; I had got my spirit up, and I made them go
on to the next. When we came to the house, there stood two splendid
carriages, with black fellows about them that had gold bands on their
hats, and velvet on their coats, and what not. ‘Don’t let’s go in,’ says
Jane Louyza; ‘I dare say the house is full of customers already;’ and
just then another coach and pair drives up, and two or three girls,
dressed to death, jumps out, and orders their niggers to bring in their
parcels—a whole carriage load, pretty near—so, thinks I, there’s not
much encouragement for us to go in there, sure enough. We came away, and
there hasn’t been a stitch put in our dresses yet.”

I gave my visiters a very early tea, and having no excuse for billeting
themselves on me for another night, they made their departure before
dark. They did not, however, forget to invite themselves for the
following day.

The next morning, greatly to my relief, proved to be very rainy, and
feeling secure from the premeditated inroad, I seated myself cosily at
my sewing. But, alas! a vehicle stopping at the door drew me to the
front windows. I had some expectation of my husband’s return, and
instead of his carriage was a hackney-coach, which had already
discharged its living cargo, and from which two large hair-trunks were
unloading; at the same time the bell-wire cracked to the point of doom,
and the Dilberrys rushed in.

“Here we come, bag and baggage, Mrs. Allanby, to make our home with
you,” cried the old lady, “we have had a grand blow up at the hotel, and
I’m determined, as long as I live, to keep exposing your city landlords
for taking advantage of unprotected females.”

“I hope nothing very unpleasant has happened?” said I, my heart sinking
at the prospect before me.

“I wonder if there hasn’t! What do you think, Mrs. Allanby, of our being
charged twelve dollars a piece for six days’ board?”

“That, I believe, is the regular charge,” said I.

“Well, they’re not coming their regular charges over me again, I can
tell them. Last night we were talking our bargains over in bed, and we
made up our minds that as we could get things so low at auction, we
might as well keep on till we had furniture enough for the spare
bed-room, as well as for the parlors—people in Tarry-town expect
something a little extra from us. We calculated how far our money would
go, and it struck us that we had never found out what we were living up
to at the hotel. So the next morning I told the waiter to bring us our
bill, and what should it be but thirty-six dollars—two dollars a piece
a day, and no allowance for the four meals we had eaten with you, and
the night we had slept here. I sent for the landlord, and spoke my mind
about the bill pretty plainly, letting him know that charging us for
what we had not got was down-right imposition; and I told him he seemed
to suppose we had no friends to see us righted, but that he was
mistaken, for we had brought a letter of introduction to Mrs. Allanby,
and her husband would soon be at home to speak up for us. He cut me
short by telling me that he made no deductions, and that as long as we
hadn’t given up our rooms we must expect to pay as their occupants; and
he walked off as cool as a cucumber. So I sent out for a hack, knowing
you would be glad to have us with you for company, as Mr. Allanby is not
at home, particularly as you have house-room plenty, and servants enough
to wait on your friends. Six dollars a-day, indeed! why we didn’t cost
him one!”

“We are all very small eaters, as you may have observed, Mrs. Allanby,”
said Jane Louisa.

“And though they gave us two chambers with a door between them, we all
slept in one of them,” rejoined Esther Ann.

The visitation now began to have a serious aspect, but what was to be
done? I could not, with truth, make any excuse to get rid of my
obtrusive guests, except that of my want of inclination to entertain
them, and to hint at that would have required more philosophy than I
could command. My only hope now was in the speedy return of Mr. Allanby,
on whose resolution or ingenuity I knew I might rely.

This was Saturday, and the weather remaining inclement, I had to endure
for the rest of the day, and the whole of the next, the uninterrupted
flow of their loquacity, which was a continuous exposition of ignorance,
vulgarity, selfishness and meanness. On Monday morning the old lady,
after some whispering and winking with her daughters, assailed me with,

“We told you, Mrs. Allanby, what a pucker we were in about getting our
dresses made. Before we left the tavern, we went to Mrs. Scrooge’s
room—the old lady, you remember, that took us to the auction; and she
let us know how we might snap our fingers at the mantua-makers. She said
there were women that go out sewing by the day, and that by hiring one
of them, and helping along with the easy parts ourselves, we might have
our dresses made for little or nothing. At the hotel we couldn’t have
done it, for paying board for a seamstress would have been but a poor
speculation; but now that we are in a private family visiting, there
would be some sense in it. I dare say she could sit in one of our
sleeping-rooms, and the little one woman would eat couldn’t be of much
consequence to you.”

“I do not know where such a person could be found,” said I.

“Oh, that is all settled already. Mrs. Scrooge is to call for us to go
to a second-hand furniture store this morning, and she promised that she
would take us to a seamstress that goes out for thirty-one cents a-day.”

Again I succumbed to my inability to say “no.” Mrs. Scrooge did call—a
vinegar-faced old lady, with a voice sharp enough to have given one an
ear-ache; and I learned that the seamstress was engaged, though she
could not come until the latter end of the week. The next day Mrs.
Scrooge came again, and my trio departed to a second auction. The result
of this expedition was another load of furniture, driven up to the door
in the middle of the day. The first article discharged was a sideboard,
capacious enough, almost, to serve as a pantry, with broken locks and an
impaired foot, which fell off in the difficult descent of the main body
from the wagon; then came a dressing-bureau, of scarcely smaller
dimensions, with defective knobs and a low, distorted glass; and,
lastly, a wash-stand, with a cracked marble slab. Mrs. Dilberry stood on
the front steps, superintending their passage into the house, and giving
orders at the top of her voice, when I ran out to protest against their
being carried up stairs, which she was directing—the broken wall of the
entry serving as a warning to me—and to propose their being stored in
the wash-house. Whilst I was endeavoring to make myself heard, my
husband, with a wondering countenance, presented himself before me. In
my joy I dragged him into the first room, and shut the door.

“My dear Mary,” said he, “I was not right certain whether it was proper
for me to come into my own house—what is the meaning of this
commotion?”

I gave him a hurried narration of my trials, at which he laughed
immoderately, as I thought, and at once he opened to me a prospect of
relief. “I have made arrangements with one of my friends,” said he, “to
send you on an excursion of several weeks among the mountains, to
matronize his daughters. The young ladies are now, I suppose, on their
way to meet you with carriage and servants, and, as soon as possible,
you must be off. I shall lose no time to make the announcement to your
visiters. As they have attached themselves to you merely for their own
convenience, there will be nothing unfair in getting rid of them for
ours.”

In half an hour my guests were on flatteringly familiar terms with Mr.
Allanby, to whom they confessed that they had dreaded his return, as
they were afraid they could not feel so “free and easy” if there was a
gentleman in the house. “Now that we have seen you,” observed the old
lady, “we would rather have you here than not; you appear to suit us
exactly, and we will be all the better off for having some one to beau
us about.”

I own I could not myself have had courage to lower them from such a
height of contentment, but my husband was less qualmish, and Mrs.
Dilberry soon afforded him a desirable opportunity to approach the
unexpected topic, by saying, “I suppose if you had known your wife had
found such good company to cheer her up, you’d have been in no hurry to
come back.”

“At least,” returned Mr. Allanby, “I should not have made a positive
promise to send her from home as soon as her trunk could be packed.” He
explained the arrangements he had made, and with all proper courtesy
regretted that they should be peremptory.

“And what do you say, Mrs. Allanby, to your husband taking so much upon
himself without leave or license from you?” asked the old lady, winking
at me.

“That I always consider myself in duty bound to fulfill any engagement
he may make for me, whether agreeable or not,” replied I, taking
courage.

“Indeed!” exclaimed both Mrs. Dilberry and Esther Ann, in a tone of
surprise and pique.

“If I did not know how fastidious you ladies are upon such points,”
resumed Mr. Allanby, “I should beg you to share my bachelor
establishment with me. As it is I must be content to render myself as
useful to you as possible. If you commission me, I shall make exertions
to find a boarding-house where you can be accommodated as comfortably as
with us.”

“You needn’t concern yourself,” said Mrs. Dilberry, tartly; “if I had
wanted to go to a boarding-house, I dare say I could have found one
where we could have lived a great deal cheaper than at any you would be
likely to pitch upon. I got enough of living on expense at the tavern,
and I’ve not made up my mind to pay boarding for the little pleasure
we’re likely to have. We’ve been to the theatre only once, and never
were taken any where else, and there seems to be but precious little
pains spent upon having attentions showed us. I’m one of them that
always speak their minds; and I must say I can’t see where the
politeness is in people, when they have company, running off and leaving
them in the lurch, particularly when they haven’t got their dresses made
or any thing. I shall be careful who I take a letter of introduction to
again.”

The third day after this I was prepared to commence my trip, and my
guests having taken passage for their homeward journey, were to leave
the house at the same time, it having been decided that their furniture
was to be boxed and sent after them. They had comported themselves, in
the meantime, as if under a strong sense of injury, Miss Esther Ann
being frigid and lofty, her sister sullen, and the old lady snappish and
uncivil. The carriage was waiting for my conveyance, when the
stage-coach, well-loaded with passengers, drove up to the door for them.
I had wished them a safe and pleasant journey, offering them my hand,
which they pretended not to observe, and was standing on the door-step
to see them off, when Mrs. Dilberry paused, with one foot on the floor
of the coach, as my husband was assisting her to climb in, and winking
at her daughters, called back to me, “Good by to you, ma’am, and I hope
you may have a merrier time of your trip than we have had of ours. I’ll
not forget to give your love to the doctor’s wife, and let her know how
you honored her letter of introduction.”

A chuckling laugh, which reached me in spite of the grinding of the
wheels as they rolled away, was the last I heard of my wind-fall from
Tarry-town.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                 DIRGE,


 The beautiful is vanished, and returns not.—_Coleridge’s Wallenstein._

                                  Thou art gone!
                  We shall miss thee when the flowers
                  Come again with vernal hours,
                  Brightly though thy roses bloom,
                  They will whisper of the tomb!
                  And thy voice will linger still
                  In the gurgle of the rill,
                  In the murmurs, low and sweet,
                  Where the silver waters meet,
                  In the summer even’s gale,
                  Sporting with the violets pale.
                  Meekly will their blue eyes weep
                  O’er thy still and solemn sleep;
                  And the wild-bird’s gentle moan
                  Murmur o’er thy slumbers lone,
                  Like a viewless spirit’s lay,
                  Asking of thee Far Away!
                                  Fare thee well!

                                  Thou art gone!
                  On thy brow, so pale and fair,
                  On thy dark and glossy hair,
                  Wreathed in many a shining braid,
                  Sad, autumnal flowers were laid.
                  Slowly to thy tomb they bore thee,
                  Tender farewells murmured o’er thee,
                  Veiled thee in its silence deep,
                  In thy last and dreamless sleep.
                  Where thou liest, soft and low,
                  Winter spreads his sheet of snow,
                  Pure and spotless as thy form.
                  Thou hearest not the surly storm
                  Sweeping o’er the dazzling wold;
                  Stars are gleaming, pale and cold,
                  On thee from the vault above,
                  Like the watchful eyes of Love.
                                  Fare thee well!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                             THE FUGITIVE.


                      BY THE VISCOUNTESS D’AULNAY.


    [Most of our readers are familiar with “Claire d’Albe,” the work
    spoken of in the following pages, either in the original or as
    translated, and will recollect the pleasure its perusal gave
    them. Its author is better known in America, however, by one of
    her subsequent works, which has been translated into almost
    every written language, admired wherever it has been read, and
    which has been justly ranked among the first productions in that
    department of French literature to which it belongs. We refer to
    that affecting story, over which so many tears have been shed,
    “Elizabeth, Or The Exiles of Siberia.” In translating the
    following account we have been obliged, from its great length,
    to condense from the original—leaving out nothing, however,
    which was essential to the interest of the story. It will be
    recollected that the incidents of our tale took place in 1793,
    when France was convulsed by political revolutions.]

“Madam, this is beautifully written,” said an old nurse, looking up with
the familiarity of an ancient and privileged servant.

The person thus addressed was a young woman, clothed in black, so small
and so frail, that at first sight, without doubt, one would have taken
her for a child. She was seated before a table of dark wood, drawn up in
front of a good fire, upon which burned two wax candles, shining upon a
heap of loose leaves, one of which she had just finished writing, and
was then reading. Laughing at the admiration of her nurse, she asked,

“And do you, then, find it so beautiful?”

“Do I find it beautiful?” replied Marianne; “never since the world began
have I read any thing so affecting. What an interesting creature that
Claire was! and what a pity that she died! Ah, her death grieved me
much; one might say that it frightened me; but that would not be
astonishing in such a great lonely room as this. I hate these great
rooms, I do;” added the nurse, looking cautiously around her, and gazing
with a look of affright at the window the most distant from where she
and her mistress were sitting.

“Oh how the curtain moves! did you not leave the shutters badly closed,
madam?”

“It was not I who shut them,” tranquilly replied Madam Cottin, for it
was of her old Marianne asked the question.

“Not you?” cried Marianne, in a frightened voice. “Who then could have
shut them?”

“You, most probably, Marianne.”

“Me! I tell you, madam, I swear to you, as true as I am a good and
sincere Christian, I swear to you, upon my soul—”

“Do not swear at all, Marianne; there is no one here but we two; if it
were not me, it could have been no one else but you, and it was not
me—”

“I am not a fool, out of my senses!” replied the Bordelaise. “I believe,
rather,” she added in a solemn tone, “that there is some mystery behind
the curtain—”

“We will admit that it was I who closed the shutters,” interrupted Madam
Cottin, impatiently again taking up the papers, and reading them.

“But was it _really_ you?” importuned the nurse.

“Why do you wish me to tell a lie? Shall I read you another page of my
romance?”

“Oh yes, I love to hear you read,” replied the old woman. “But what are
you going to do with that romance, as you call it?”

“Ah, Marianne, if I dared, if I did not fear the ridicule attached to
the name of a female author, I would have it published, and the money
that it would bring would ameliorate our condition. I would buy some
articles of furniture—a piano, for instance—lonely and sad as I now
am, music would charm my retreat.”

“Ah yes, Sophie, buy a piano; that will enliven you a little—may I call
you Sophie?—for what else should I call you? It always seems as if I
saw you as you looked when you were a child. I see now the house at
Tonniens—the two steps you had to ascend on entering, then the little
green gate, opening upon a lawn; then the garden to the right; upon the
ground-floor was the kitchen, the dining-room and the parlor; on the
first floor, the chamber of your mother, Madame Ristaud, that of your
father, and yours, which was also mine. O, yes, I see it all! and your
little bed with the figured coverlet! And the day you were born, it
seems to me as yesterday! It was the fifteenth of August, 1773—that was
twenty years ago. And then the day of your wedding at Bordeaux, (we
lived then at Bordeaux;) didn’t your marriage make a noise?—you
recollect it?—the little Ristaud, who married a rich banker of the
capital, Monsieur Cottin. ‘Well, what is there astonishing about that?’
said I, ‘the little Ristaud is worth a banker of the capital two or
three times over!’ I had only one fear, which I kept to myself, and that
was, that when you should once be married and in Paris, you would not
want your old nurse any longer. ‘Leave my nurse!’ you said, when you saw
me weeping, and found why, ‘leave my nurse! no, no, I couldn’t do
without her; I should feel lost if I should lose her.’ And you were
right, my dear little one; your mother died, and your father, and then,
in three years and six months after your wedding, your husband died; and
now your fortune is gone, no one knows where, and not one is left but
your nurse, your old nurse, who would give her blood, her life, every
thing, that she might see you more happy. Yes, if you had a piano here,
you could sing; you have such a sweet voice, and that would do well for
us both. If by selling my cross of gold we might have one—what do you
say?”

“It would need twelve hundred francs to purchase a piano, and the cross
would not procure them; _these_” she added, striking her hand upon the
papers scattered upon the table, “these would give them to me if I had
the courage to go and sell them; but I dare not, I would only get a
refusal.”

“Do you wish me to go, Sophie?” replied the nurse, “only tell me where,
and it shall be done quickly—there!—what was that? This chamber is
very gloomy, and that curtain is always moving!”

“I will go myself to-morrow,” said Madam Cottin, looking at her watch.
“It is eleven o’clock—I must work a little longer; leave me, Marianne,
and go to your rest.”

“Ah! now you are quite sure it was you who closed the shutters and drew
down the curtains?” asked Marianne, reluctantly complying with her
mistress’s command—“you are not afraid?”

“No!” answered Madam Cottin, who, as soon as she found herself alone,
resumed her labor; but, whether it was the solitude and silence of the
place, or because Marianne had really frightened her, she paused from
her writing every few moments to look around her. By chance her eyes
rested on the window-curtain, which, by the position of the lights, was
thrown into the shade, and the words of Marianne recurred to her mind,
“that, if she had left the window open on going out to walk, who could
have shut it?” She thought, all at once, that she saw the cloth falling
in numberless folds upon the floor, and moving in a most mysterious way.
Fear bound her to the spot where she was standing, and for some moments
she was unable to move; but at length, with a desperate effort, she
advanced toward the curtain, and raised it up with a stifled cry. _A man
was standing behind_ with his back placed against the window-panes.

[Illustration]

“Do not cry out, madam,” he said, “or I am a dead man.”

“What would you have me do?” said Madam Cottin, pale, but determined. “I
am poor, and have nothing to tempt the cupidity of any one,
nevertheless, if you are in want, here is a little money. But depart
instantly, without approaching me; in Heaven’s name, go—go instantly!”

To the great astonishment of Madam Cottin, in place of taking the silver
which she had offered him, the man threw back his cloak, and in a
trembling, broken voice, said to her,

“Pardon me, madam, for having frightened you; can it be that you have
forgotten me?”

“I do not know you,” replied Madam Cottin, scrutinizing the intruder, an
old man, and whose disordered clothes, long, ragged beard, disheveled,
gray hair, and the livid palor which overspread his features, prevented
her from recognizing him.

“I am Monsieur de Fombelle,” said he, “proscribed and pursued—”

“Ah, good heaven!” interrupted Madam Cottin, running to bolt the door,
“ah, sir, what can I do to assist you?”

“Alas! nothing, madam,” replied Monsieur de Fombelle, “for I have heard
your conversation with your nurse, and can ask nothing of you.”

“If it is money you want, alas! I have none, sir! but approach the fire,
and pardon me for not having recognized you sooner.”

Her visiter mechanically complied, while he abruptly addressed her.—

“Denounced by the law—pursued, tracked as a wild beast—finding no
where an asylum, not even daring to seek one amongst my best friends, I
wander in the streets of Paris—and—and—since yesterday I have not
tasted food,” speaking with the air of a man with whom hunger stifled
the shame of avowing it.

Madam Cottin immediately brought from a cupboard some bread, a pot of
preserves, and a bottle of wine, saying as she did so,

“Believe me, this is the best I have.”

And she looked, with tears in her eyes, and a sad heart, upon that old
man, whom she had known in better times, so polished, so dignified, so
amiable, and so well beloved. He spoke not a word while eating, and when
he looked up, at the end of his meal, he saw that she wept.

“Is it for me, or for yourself that you weep?” said he.

“For both of us,” replied Madam Cottin; “for you, that you suffer so
much in your old age, and for me, that I am unable to assist a sincere
friend of my husband.”

“Do you know no one?” he demanded.

“No one, sir; since my widowhood, I have seen no one.”

“Alas!” said Monsieur de Fombelle, lifting his eyes despondingly toward
the ceiling, “and when I saw into what company I was cast, I believed I
had found some assistance.”

“Was it not of your own accord that you came to me?”

“No, madam. A friend, who is actively endeavoring to assist me, but who
scarcely has the means, for, like me, he is without money, appointed a
place of rendezvous, after night-fall, in the open fields behind _la rue
Ceruti_. I was returning from this rendezvous, when suddenly I found
myself confronted face to face with my most mortal enemy—the same who
had denounced me, and caused the decree against me. I endeavored to
elude him, and had been running until almost exhausted, when a window,
low and opened, attracted my attention. I obeyed my first impulse, made
a spring, and found myself here. There was no one in the room, and, to
guard against discovery, I closed the casement and the outer shutters; I
lowered the curtains and concealed myself behind them. Scarcely had I
done this, when you entered. As soon as you spoke, I recognized you, the
wife of my best friend; I should certainly not have hesitated to have
presented myself before you, but your good nurse was with you, and I
believed it prudent to await her departure. In overhearing your
conversation, I learned how your condition, once so happy, had changed
since the sad events which have desolated our dear country, and I
resolved to escape, if possible, without causing you fear or danger.
Hence my immovability while you lifted the curtain; for I supposed that
in the obscurity of the place you would not perceive me. But I ought
not, madam, longer to interrupt your repose.”

“No, do not go,” replied Madam Cottin, “until you tell me if I can in
any way assist you.”

“In three days I am to quit France; all is arranged, and my flight is
certain, if I can accomplish what seems to be an impossibility—I must
raise twelve hundred francs.”

“Twelve hundred francs,” said Madam Cottin, thoughtfully.

“Otherwise, since I cannot hope always to elude my enemies, I shall be
lost.”

“Monsieur de Fombelle,” said Madam Cottin, after a moment of silence, “I
have but few means, yet I have such a desire to assist you, that perhaps
God will aid me. Day after to-morrow, at this same hour, you will find
my window open; enter, and perhaps I will then have some good news for
you. And now, adieu, sir! be of good cheer;—stop, take under your cloak
this bread, and this bottle of wine. Leave me to close the window—the
street is deserted, and not a soul is passing. Remember, on the night of
day after to-morrow, at eight o’clock, be under my window; strike three
times on the glass. If I have succeeded, I will reply to you; if not, I
will not have the courage to answer. Go, now, and be assured that I will
do all in my power to assist you.”

Too much moved to venture a single word in reply, M. de Fombelle pressed
her hand, leaped out of the window, and disappeared at the corner of a
street yet inhabited by the _Chaussée d’Antin_.

The next morning had scarcely dawned, when Madam Cottin importuned her
nurse to get breakfast; as soon as it was over, she gave her no time to
arrange the furniture of the room.

“Come with me,” she said; “come with me, it is absolutely necessary that
I sell _Claire d’Albe_ this morning.”

“Ah, these young women!” exclaimed the nurse, as she complied; “these
young women! when they once take a fancy, they have neither quiet nor
reason. If the bookseller is as impatient to buy, as you are to sell, we
shall soon have a piano, I see.”

From _la rue Chanteriene_ to the quay, where, from time immemorial, the
booksellers have had their shops, the walk was long, and Marianne harped
upon the one idea of getting a piano, until they arrived at the place of
their destination. After scrutinizing the long row of shops for a few
moments, Madam Cottin selected one which had the most promising
exterior.

“I can but fail,” said she, as she crossed the threshold. But as soon as
she entered, she stopped, and remained, blushing, and with downcast
eyes, before the bookseller, who advanced toward her, asking her what
work she wished to purchase.

“It is not to purchase, but to sell, sir,” said Marianne, replying for
her mistress, who could not overcome her embarrassment. “We have written
a romance, and we have come to see if you wish to buy it. It is superb!
I assure you, you have nothing in your shop which can compare with it.”

“Tut, tut, Marianne!” interrupted Madam Cottin, now sufficiently
reassured to continue the negotiation. “Do you never buy manuscripts,
sir?”

“Yes—no—that is—what is the name of the author?”

“The name of the book, sir, you mean to say?” timidly observed the young
woman.

“No, of the author, not having time to read our books ourselves, you
understand, it is almost always the name of the author that we buy.”

“But, sir, the work is written by me, and my name is not known,” said
Madam Cottin, almost discouraged; “if you would take the trouble to read
it,” and she presented, hesitatingly, a little roll of papers.

“I have no doubt,” replied the bookseller, blandly, “it is a
master-piece; it would be useless for me to read it—I would find it
perfect. But business is not profitable just at this time. Some other
time, when you shall have become known—”

“If all booksellers were like you, we would never be known,” impatiently
interrupted Marianne. “Let us go, we have not got the piano yet.”

“No,” replied Madam Cottin, “but God always places good and bad fortune
side by side; we will go in here,” and she boldly crossed the threshold
of a second shop.

The appearance of this bookseller was more engaging than that of his
neighbor. On seeing a lady enter, he advanced courteously toward her.

“What can I do to serve you?” he asked; then offering a seat to
Marianne, and one to Sophie, he remained standing before the latter, who
said to him,

“I am afraid of a disappointment, sir, after one failure to-day. I have
written a little story—”

“Which you wish to have printed?” asked the bookseller.

“If you think it worthy of it, sir.”

“It will be necessary to see it, madam—have you the manuscript?”

Sophie’s hand trembled as she presented it to him.

“It is very small,” said the bookseller, glancing at it; “it will make a
very small volume. It is a romance, in letters. Will you allow me to
look at it?”

“Certainly. I am ignorant of the value of the work; having written it
within the last five days, I have not bestowed upon it either the time
or labor of retouching it; but I am in need of twelve hundred francs. I
need it by to-morrow evening; see, sir, if you can give them to me.”

“Since you request so early a decision, I will ask only time to read
three letters—one at the commencement, one in the middle, and one at
the end of the book; and I will then be able to give you my opinion of
the rest.”

With these words the bookseller retired behind a railing, hung with
green curtains, and applied himself to reading the manuscript. Meanwhile
Madam Cottin remained seated with her old nurse, unable to conceal the
anxiety which devoured her.

“You are afraid that you will not get your piano, are you not, madam?”

“Yes, yes,” she replied, without knowing what she was saying.

“But why is it necessary for you to have the money to-morrow evening? Is
it because the poor countess, who offers to sell you one, demands it
immediately? Jean Paul, her porter, told me that she would give long
time. You have spoken of it, then, to the countess?”

“Yes, yes, he seems satisfied!” exclaimed Sophie, anxiously scrutinizing
the countenance of the bookseller.

At this moment the bookseller rose from his seat. Sophie’s heart beat as
he approached.

“It is good, madam, very good! the conception is perfect; only one can
see that you are not in the habit of writing, and it seems to me
impossible to print it without corrections. As to the price, it is
rather dear; but as you are in need of money, I will not deny it you.
You will repay the difference in some other book which you will write
for me, will you not?”

“Oh, yes, sir, yes!” eagerly replied Madam Cottin. “Give me the
manuscript, sir; to-morrow, at six o’clock, you shall have it
corrected.”

“And to-morrow, at six o’clock, your money shall be ready. Shall I bring
it to you, that you may avoid going out at that hour? Do you wish this
little sum in paper, in gold, or in silver?”

“In gold, sir. Oh! you have saved more than my life!” said Madam Cottin,
departing.

“At last we shall have the piano!” said Marianne, running by the side of
her mistress, scarcely able to keep even with her rapid pace.

“Jean Paul,” said she, when they had arrived opposite to the countess’s
residence, stopping a moment behind her mistress, “Jean Paul, you may
tell the countess we will purchase the piano, and that we will pay her
to-morrow evening—do you hear, Jean Paul?”

“What have you been doing this morning, that you have found so much
money to-day?” replied the porter, with a sneer; “has your mistress
found a treasure?”

“No, sir,” replied Marianne, angrily, “it is in her mind that she has a
treasure—it is in her head.”

“A trifle, citizen Marianne—a trifle! You told me she wrote, did you
not? Now look you, I’ll put both of my hands into the fire, if your
mistress is not a conspirator!”

“What!—a conspirator! Do you know what you are saying, Mr. Jean Paul?”

“Perfectly, citizen Marianne; and since your mistress loves ink, they
are going to give her and her nurse some. Listen; I do not meddle—I say
nothing, but I see all. This morning I had a little talk with the
officer who lives near, and he is of my opinion concerning your
mistress. She holds correspondence with the enemy—the English!
Otherwise, why should she be writing all day? It is not natural for a
woman to write so much. My wife never writes; it is true, she does not
know how to write—but that makes no difference. Now I have an idea—I
may have an idea, may I not?—well, I have an idea that she wishes to
sell France; who knows but that she has already sold it, and that it is
with some of the money she is going to buy the piano! O, my country—my
poor country! into what hands have you fallen!”

“You are either a fool, or you don’t love music, which is the same
thing; for if I understand a word you say, I hope my head may be cut
off!” With this retort, Marianne turned toward Madam Cottin’s
apartments.

Madam Cottin did not go to bed that night, but labored without
relaxation to have her book ready by the appointed hour, and to receive
the twelve hundred francs, by which she was to aid the escape of her
husband’s friend. Morning and noon passed, the sun began to decline, and
as the clock sounded five, she finished the last letter. The same moment
the door of her chamber was opened with violence, and Marianne, weeping,
rushed in, followed by a motley crowd of soldiers and “citizens,” the
porter at their head.

“In the name of the law, search every where,” said a municipal officer;
and in an instant they were ransacking every corner of the apartment. As
soon as Madam Cottin could recover her self-possession, which had
deserted her at first sight of these intruders, she demanded,

“What do you here—and what do you wish of me, sirs?”

Carrying his hand to his cap with a military air, the officer replied,

“Citizen, you are accused of holding correspondence with the enemies of
France, and we are ordered to seize your papers.”

“Me, sir, holding correspondence with the enemy!” cried Madam Cottin, in
a tone of surprise; “me, a poor widow, without friends and without
experience! Who has been so base as to invent this falsehood?”

“If you are innocent, you have nothing to fear,” replied the officer,
“and the examination of your papers will clear you without doubt.”

“Take them, then,” said Madam Cottin, assisting them in the search. The
officer examined packages of letters from her husband, her mother, her
schoolmates, some large writing books in which were registered the
fruits of her studies, and some loose papers in her port-folio, without
finding any thing which could excite suspicion.

At length the manuscript of _Claire d’Albe_, lying on the table,
attracted his eye, and approaching it, he laid his hand upon it. Madam
Cottin could not refrain from a cry of affright.

“Oh, for pity! pity! do not touch that!”

“Ah! we have reached the hiding-place at last!” said the officer,
beginning to collect the scattered leaves.

“Sir,” said the lady, anxiously, “those papers do not endanger in any
way the security of the state, I assure you; nay, I will most solemnly
swear it!”

“Why then this fear?” said the officer, still gathering up the leaves.

“Because—because—they are invaluable to me, though they can be of
little use to you. Oh! I am telling you the truth! Give them back, I
beseech you!”

“Oh, yes, Mr. Officer!” interposed Marianne, “that is nothing but a
romance, which my mistress sold yesterday for twelve hundred francs, to
buy a piano. This is all the mystery, and if I were to die to-day, I
have told you the exact truth. But if you do not believe what I have
said, here comes the bookseller, and you can ask him yourselves.”

As she spoke, this personage entered the apartment.

“Speak, sir,” cried Marianne, rushing toward the bookseller, “make clear
the innocence of my mistress. Say to these gentlemen what these papers
are.”

The bookseller looking at the packet which the officer held in his hand,
replied, “That is a romance which I bought yesterday of madam.”

Madam Cottin, seemingly insensible to what was passing around her,
followed with her eyes the minute-hand of the clock, which was
approaching nearer and nearer to the eighth hour. There was a short
interval of silence, when the officer replied,

“I am inclined to believe, sir, that this is, as you say, a romance; but
what difference can it make to you or madam, if I carry it to the
_Section_? I will return it in the morning.”

Madam Cottin grew desperate. The hands on the dial-plate marked seven
o’clock and five minutes.

“Let me read you one of the letters, sirs, and if you find in it a line
to suspect, I will give the book into your hands.”

“I see no objection,” replied the officer, and accordingly, Madam
Cottin, taking up the first letter, commenced reading. As she proceeded,
the attention of her audience became more and more profound; their
countenances betrayed emotion; soon tears started from their eyes, and
at length one of the auditors, interrupting the fair reader, threw
himself upon his knees before her.

“I am a miserable wretch, madam, do what you please with me! It was I
who denounced you—I who first suspected your daily habit of writing;
no, there is no torture that I do not deserve! Oh! what you have written
is beautiful! it is beautiful! I will buy the book when it is printed; I
will learn to read—I, and my wife, and my children. Sir,” he added,
turning toward the bookseller, “I wish the first copy you send out of
your shop, and I will pay you any price you ask. I am Jean Paul, porter
of house number forty-six, in _la rue Chanteriene_. And now, madam,
pardon me—will you say that you pardon me?”

Madam Cottin cast a look at the dial—_it wanted but five minutes of
eight!_ She rose hastily.

“Yes, yes, I pardon you. Sir Officer, you leave me my manuscript, do you
not?” added she, turning to the officer, who wiped his eyes, while the
porter remained sobbing in his place.

“Certainly, madam,” replied he; “I leave you all your papers. I see that
the republic of France has nothing to fear from you; and in taking my
leave; I beg you to excuse our seeming rudeness.”

At this moment three blows were struck upon the window. Madam Cottin
turned pale as death—

“Not yet—not yet!” said she, recovering herself instantly, and
intending the words to have a meaning which should apply to the person
without, as well as to those within. As she turned toward her secretary,
the bookseller, unobserved by the rest, slipped a small roleau of gold
into her hand—the price of the romance.

“We fear we are abusing your politeness,” said the officer, rising to
leave. A second blow, stronger than the first, rattled upon the glass.
Sophie turned paler than before.

“I pray you remain,” she replied, in a loud voice, adding, in a lower
tone, “and you also, Jean Paul. Marianne, bring some of the wine of our
country—Bordeaux. Gentlemen, you can not refuse to drink the prosperity
of France? And now,” added she, “the excitement I have undergone—this
fire, which is so warm—you will excuse me, if I step to the window a
moment for fresh air.”

So saying, she went to the window, and opened the shutters, letting the
curtains fall before her.

“Stop!” she said to M. de Fombelle, restraining him from entering the
chamber, which he attempted, and handing him the rouleau of
_louis-d’ors_—the price of her first book—“take this, and begone
quickly; you are in danger if you remain. Adieu!”

Closing the shutters and the sash, she again appeared, smiling in the
midst of the soldiers. Marianne returned the same moment with a salver
covered with glasses, and bottles of wine.

“At last we shall have a piano, Sophie,” said she, turning toward her
mistress to drink.

“Not yet, my good Marianne,” replied Sophie, with a joyful tone, which
contradicted her reply.

[Illustration]

Such was the _début_ of the gifted woman who has written so many
charming romances. Late in life she commenced a work on Education; but a
cruel malady surprised her in the midst of her labor, and after three
months of suffering, which were, however, alleviated by the tenderness
of friends, and the consolations of religion, she died on the 25th of
August, 1807, aged thirty-four years.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            THE GENTLE STEP.


                          BY HARRIET J. MEEK.


         Hearts somewhere beat, from which it cannot pass;
           Earth has no sunshine left, nor time nor place,
         But a new scene slides o’er the magic glass,
           And _we_ forget the space.

         Light, and still lighter seemed that step to fall;
           I scarce could tell you when it ceased, or how;
         A breathing spirit walked the earth—’tis all—
           That does not walk it now.

         I think sometimes upon the sunny floor
           I see the shadow of her golden hair;
         And turn half-dreaming to the open door,
           To look if she is there.

         And then I mind. Life’s rough and thorny round
           Would long ere this have torn the folded wing
         Whose downy waving glided over sound,
           And left it slumbering.

         Death came, when flowers were passing from the earth;
           We thought to hear the clanking of his chain,
         But the light step one evening left the hearth,
           And came not back again.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        BARBARA UTTMAN’S DREAM.


                        BY MRS. EMMA C. EMBURY.


In the little hamlet of Anneberg, far up among the Erzberges or Copper
Mountains of Saxony, there dwelt, once upon a time, a gentle child named
Barbara. She was so fair, with such soft blue eyes, such long golden
curls, and withal wearing a look of such exceeding sweetness, that the
people of the hamlet, who were all miners, or workers in metal, called
her by a name that signified the “Lily of the Mines.” Barbara was an
orphan, a little lone creature, whom no one claimed, but whom every body
loved. Her father had been a delver into the depths of the earth, and
when she was only a tiny little baby, he had kissed her round cheek, and
gone to his daily labor at early dawn; but ere the shadows of the dark
trees fell toward the eastern slope of the hills, he was brought home
mangled and lifeless. The “fire-damp” had seized him and his companions;
or, as the simple peasants believed, the demon of the mine had arisen in
his might, and torn to pieces the daring spoilers of his treasure-house.
Barbara’s mother did not long outlive the dreadful sight. She pined
away, with a dull aching at her heart, and one morning a kind neighbor
found the child sleeping calmly on the cold bosom of her dead mother.

From that moment the little Barbara became the nursling of the whole
hamlet. The good women of the village remembered that she had been born
on a Sunday morning, and according to their tender and beautiful faith,
the “_Sabbath-child_” had received a peculiar blessing, which was
shared, in some degree, by all who ministered to her wants. So Barbara
was the foster-child of many mothers, and found heart-kindred in every
cottage. But chiefly did she dwell, after she had grown beyond the
swaddling-bands of infancy, in the house of the good Gottlieb, the
pastor of this little mountain flock of Christians. Barbara grew up a
gentle quiet child, rarely mingling in the noisy sports of the
villagers, and loving nothing so well as to steal away to some forest
nook, where she would sit for hours looking out upon the rugged face of
nature, and weaving dreams, whose web, like that of the wood-spider, was
broken by a breath.

Some said—“little Barbara is moping for the lack of kindred.” Others
said more truly—“Nay, is she not a blessed Sabbath-child? It may be
that the spirit of her dead mother is with her in the lonely places
where she loves to abide; hinder her not, therefore, lest ye break the
unseen bond between the living and the dead.” So Barbara was left to the
guidance of her own sweet will, and long ere she had grown beyond
childhood she was familiar with all the varied aspects of nature in the
wild and beautiful country of her birth. It seemed as if some holy charm
had indeed been bestowed on the little orphaned Sabbath-child, for every
living thing seemed to recognize in her a gentle and loving companion.
All the children of the hamlet loved her, and it was wonderful to see
the little shy birds hopping about her feet to pick the crumbs which she
always scattered for them in her wanderings.

But Barbara was not a merry, light-hearted maiden. Cheerful she was and
gentle, but not gay, for a cloud had fallen upon her earliest years, and
a shadow from Death’s wing had thrown a gloom over her infant life,
darkening those days which should have been all sunshine. True, she had
found friends to shield her from want, but never did she see a child
nestling upon its mother’s bosom, without feeling a mournful loneliness
of heart. Therefore it was that she loved to steal away to the green
foldings of the hills, and hold companionship with the pleasant things
of earth, where, in the quietude of her own pure nature, she could
commune with herself. She had early learned to think of her mother as an
angel in heaven, and, when she looked up to the blue sky, gorgeous in
its drapery of gold and purple clouds, or shining with its uncounted
multitude of stars, she never forgot that she was gazing upon the outer
gates of that glorious home, where dwelt her long lost parents. Yet she
was not an idle or listless dreamer in a world where all have their
mission to fulfill, and where none are so desolate as to have no duties
to perform. She learned all the book-lore that the good pastor chose to
impart to the little maidens of the hamlet, and no hand was more
skillful than hers with the knitting-needle and distaff. Thus she grew
up, delicate and fair, with eyes as blue as summer skies, and long
golden locks, hanging almost to her feet, for she was as tiny as a fairy
in stature.

There came sometimes to the cottage of Father Gottlieb, a dark-browed
man, whose towering form and heavily-built limbs gave him the semblance
of some giant of the hills. His voice was loud and as clear as a
trumpet-call, and his step was bold and firm, like that of a true-born
mountaineer. He was the owner of vast tracts in the mine districts, and
stores of untold wealth lay hidden for him in earth’s deep caverns. Herr
Uttman was stern of visage, and bold—it may be rough—in his bearing,
but his heart was as gentle as a woman’s. He loved to sit at Gottleib’s
board, and, while partaking of his simple fare, to drink in the wisdom
which the good pastor had learned in far-off lands. The wonders of
Nature—the mystic combinations that are ever going on in her
subterranean laboratory—the secret virtues, or the equally secret
venom, which is found in her humblest plants—the slow but unfailing
process of her developments, by which the small and worthless acorn
grows into the towering oak, and the winged seed lifts its broad pinions
in the new form of leafy branches toward the skies—all these things
Herr Uttman loved to learn from the lips of the wise old man. Therefore
did he seek the pastor’s cottage whenever he had leisure to listen to
his teachings.

Uttman’s kindly heart had early warmed toward the orphan child of
Gottlieb’s adoption. He won her infantine love by telling her wild tales
of the dark mines, and the fantastic spirits of the nether world. He had
tales of the Fire-Demon, and the Water-Dragon, of the Mocking-Imp, who
led poor miners to their destruction, by mimicking the voice of a
companion, and of the dazzling Cavern-Queen, the flash of whose diamond
crown, and the gleam of whose brighter eyes, lured the poor workman to a
frightful death. To sit on his knee, twining her small fingers in the
black curls which fell unshorn upon his shoulders—to look in his great
dark eyes as they gleamed with the enthusiasm of that half-poetic nature
which is the inheritance of a high-hearted mountaineer—to feel herself
nestling like a dove on his broad breast, and clinging to him half in
terror, half in delight, as his strong words brought all those fearful
shapes vividly before her eyes—these had been Barbara’s pleasures when
a little child.

But Barbara could not always remain the petted child, and the time came
when the budding maiden sat on a stool at Uttman’s feet, and no longer
leaned her head upon his bosom while she listened to his wild legends.
At first Herr Uttman was troubled at the change in Barbara’s manner,
then he pondered over its meaning, and at last he seemed to awaken to a
new perception of happiness. So he asked Barbara to be his wife, and
though his years doubly numbered hers, she knew that she loved no one
half so well, and, with the affection which a child might feel for a
tender parent, she gave him the troth-pledge of her maiden faith. Nor
was Barbara mistaken in her recognition of his real nature. A rough and
stern man did he seem to many, but his heart was full of kindness, and
his affections, though repressed and silent, yet, like a mountain
stream, made for themselves only a deeper channel. He had an abiding
love for Nature. He defaced not her fair bosom with the scars of the
plough or the pick-axe, but following the course of the dark ravine, and
entering into the yawning chasm, he opened his way into earth’s
treasure-house, leaving the trees to tower from the mountain’s brow, the
streams to leap down their rocky beds, and the green sward to stretch
down the sunny slopes. Barbara was as a dove nestling in the branches of
a stately tree. No wonder her husband worshiped her, for his affections
were like a full, deep stream rushing through a mine, and she was like
the star, which, even at noonday, may be seen reflected in its depths.
She was the angel of his life, the bright and beautiful spirit of truth
and love within his household.

Years passed on and Barbara had but one ungratified hope within her
heart. God had given her no children, and the tenderness of her nature
found no vent save in her kindly charities. To the poor, and needy, and
sorrowful, she was the friend and benefactress, but her heart sometimes
thrilled with a vain repining, and she felt a thirst for those pure
waters which spring up only in a mother’s pathway. One night she was
oppressed with sadness, and ere she yielded herself up to sleep, she
prayed that this vain longing within her heart might be quenched for
ever, or find some solace in the duties which lay around her.

Scarcely had she closed her eyes in slumber, when her couch was visited
by a wild and wonderful dream. She dreamed she was standing within the
porch, when a lady clad in shining raiment, emerged from the foldings of
the hills and slowly approached her. The lady’s face was hidden beneath
a snow-white veil of some transparent fabric, which though it seemed as
translucent as water, yet, like water, gave an indistinctness to the
object seen through it. But when the strange visitant spoke, her voice
thrilled through Barbara’s inmost heart, for it was the spirit-voice
which she had so often heard in her childhood—the voice of her dead
mother. It seemed to Barbara that the lady stood close beside her, and
then, without fear Barbara laid her head on the stranger’s bosom and
clasped her arms around her tall form, while she rather _felt_ than
heard these words:

“Daughter lift up thine eyes, and behold the children which the Lord
hath given unto thee.”

Barbara raised her head and beheld a train of young maidens clad in the
simple costume of the Saxon peasant, and linked together as it seemed by
webs of the same transparent texture as that which veiled the lady’s
face. Slowly they passed before her wondering eyes, fading into thin air
as they became lost in the distance, but still succeeded by others,
similarly clad and holding webs of the same delicate fabric, until
Barbara’s brain grew giddy as the troop swept on and on unceasingly.
Weary with gazing she closed her eyes, and when she re-opened them the
maidens had vanished; only the strange lady in her shining garments was
beside her, and she heard a low, silvery voice saying:

“They who are called to fulfill a mission among nations must find their
sons and their daughters beneath the roof-tree of the poor and the
oppressed. Childless art thou, Barbara, yet the maidens of Saxony
through yet uncounted ages shall call thee mother.”

Barbara awoke from her dream, but so strongly was it impressed upon her
memory, that she could not banish it from her thoughts for many days.
But it had done its work upon her gentle spirit, for from that hour she
felt that Heaven had some recompense in store for her, and though
utterly unable to interpret her vision, she endeavored by redoubling her
charities to find for herself children among the needy and sorrowful.

But year after year fleeted on, and the Herr Uttman’s coal-black locks
had become almost silver-white, while Barbara’s cheek had lost nothing
of its smoothness, and her golden locks, though gathered beneath a
matron’s coif, were still as glossy and sunny as in her girlhood. (For
time seemed to have spared her gentle beauty, as if in reverence for the
gentle spirit which it had so long clothed in a fitting garb.) She had
long since forgotten her youthful repinings, for from every cottage in
the hamlet had blessings gone up to heaven upon her who was the friend
of the friendless, and, though her dream was still vivid in her
remembrance, she fancied that she had already attained its fulfillment
in the gratitude of the poor.

“Come with me, sweet wife, and I will show thee a new wonder in the
mines,” said the good Herr Uttman, one summer’s morning.

Barbara looked up with a pleasant smile:

“Have I not threaded with thee all the mazes of the dark mountains, and
gathered the glittering spar, the many-tinted stone, and the rough gem?
Are there yet more marvels in thy dark domain?”

“Nay, don thy wimple and hood, and thou shalt see.”

So Barbara went forth with her husband, and he led her to the yawning
mouth of a dark cavern in the mountains. Carefully enfolding her in a
thick cloak, to protect her from the jagged points of the rocks, he took
her in his arms, (for he had lost none of his gigantic strength,) and
bore her like a child, into the cavern. For a time they wended their way
in what seemed to her total darkness, and she was only conscious of
being carried along winding passages, where she felt the spray of a
subterranean torrent, and heard the dash of its waters in some
unfathomed chasm. At length her husband, setting her feet upon a broad
ledge of rock, lifted the cloak from her face and bade her look upon the
scene before her.

Barbara found herself at the entrance of a long gallery in the mine, in
the roof of which an aperture had been made up to the outer surface of
the mountain, and through which a flood of sunshine was pouring down
into what seemed a glittering corridor, hung with festoons of the most
exquisitely wrought tapestry. Never had Barbara beheld any thing so
fantastically beautiful. The sides of the shaft were covered with a half
transparent fabric, enwrought with patterns like rich embroidery,
through which the gleam of the metal shone like gold, as the sunbeam
danced into the cavern depths.

It was a gallery in the mine, which years before had been closed up and
forgotten. The workmen, while digging an air-shaft, had struck into the
disused chamber. Cut in the solid ore, the pillars which supported its
roof were carved into grotesque shapes, as the whim of the old miners
had directed the stroke of their tools. During the years that it had
been closed, the spiders had taken possession of its walls, and their
webs, spun over and over again, for more than half a century, had
produced a tapestry richer in design, and more airy in fabric than ever
came from the looms of Ispahan. It needed but little stretch of
imagination to behold the vine with its tiny tendrils and drooping
fruit, the rose with its buds and leaves, the fantastic arabesque
border, and the quaint devices of ancient emblazoning in that
many-tissued yet translucent web. No where else could the same humble
material have worn the same magical beauty, for the mingled colors of
the ore which formed the walls, and the golden sunshine pouring in
through the roof, tinted the woven tracery with all the hues of the
rainbow.

Barbara stood entranced before this strange spectacle, but while she
gazed, dim and vague recollections came thronging upon her mind. At
length all was clear to her. In the webs which adorned the walls of the
mine, she recognized the beautiful drapery which had veiled the face of
her dream-visitant, and had linked together the band of dream-children
in former years. A cry of wild surprise broke from her lips, and from
that moment she felt that there was a mysterious connection between her
fate and this haunted chamber of the mine.

Now when Barbara returned to her home, and sat down amid her workwomen,
she told of this wondrous fabric woven by the little fairy spinners in
the mine. It happened that among the pensioners of her bounty was
numbered a certain woman from Brabrant who had been driven from her home
by the cruelties practiced by the Duke of Alva in the Low Countries. In
her own country she had learned to weave a coarse kind of lace, and when
she heard her lady describe the delicate texture of the spiders’ webs,
she drew forth some flaxen threads, and wove them into meshes resembling
somewhat the drapery which Barbara had so admired. This was all that was
wanting to give purpose and definiteness to Barbara’s vague fancies.

They who look with most pleasure on a finished work, are oft-times most
easily wearied with tracing the slow footsteps of the patient laborer.
The reader would tire of this faithful chronicle if called to watch the
gradual progress of Barbara Uttman’s schemes of wide spread good. By
unwearied toil she made herself acquainted with the means of perfecting
the new manufacture, which offered to her prophetic spirit a means of
livelihood to the feebler portion of the poor. Going on from one
improvement to another, she finally invented the cushion, the bobbins,
and the pins, by which hand-woven lace is wrought with such perfect
symmetry and regularity of fabric and design as make it, even now, the
costliest of all the trappings of wealth. Then—when the invention was
perfected—by offering premiums to those who would engage in the work,
by establishing manufactories in her own domain, by precept and example,
and all the varied means of influence which wealth and virtue had placed
within her power, she established the weaving of lace as the especial
employment of the women of Saxony. Thousands of maidens have found their
sole support in this employment, and for nearly three hundred years the
name of Barbara Uttman has been revered as the “mother” of many
daughters, and the benefactress of the women of more than one nation in
Europe.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Gentle reader, I have beguiled you with no fictitious tale. In the
church-yard of the little mountain hamlet of Anneberg lie the remains of
Barbara Uttman, who was born in 1514, married in 1531 to Christopher
Uttman, a rich mine-owner, and died a widow in 1575. A visit to a
long-disused shaft in a mine, where the spiders’ had woven their webs
for fifty years, gave her the first idea of that beautiful fabric,
which, under the various names of Mechlen, Valenciennes, and Brussels
lace, makes the choicest of all additions to a lady’s toilet. It is said
that since her establishment of its manufacture in 1560, upwards of a
million of women are supposed to have obtained a comfortable livelihood
by this species of employment. Notwithstanding the general introduction
of a much inferior kind of lace, which is woven by machinery, at least
twenty thousand women in Europe, annually obtain their support from the
manufacture of hand-woven lace. With the far-seeing spirit of true
philanthropy a woman thus solved for her country the problem which
statesmen yet cavil over, and by affording the poor a means of humble
independence, rescued the females of her own land from want and
destitution. Yet how few of those who deck themselves with lace, only
less costly than diamonds, have ever heard the name of Barbara Uttman!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                     SUNSET UPON “THE STEINE-KILL.”


                           BY KATE DASHWOOD.


  [The Steine-Kill is one of the sparkling tributaries of our American
            Rhine, the Hudson, and signifies “Stony River.”]

        Our own bright “Steine-Kill!” once more, once more!
          Thy wavelets steal the glowing hues of Heaven,
        And now with stranger glory than before,
          The gold-encrimsoned clouds melts into even.
        One soft-veiled rose-cloud floateth slowly on,
          Mirrored in thy calm bosom; rainbow-dyes
        All radiant, vie with glowing hues like morn;
          While far amid the deep’ning west, arise
          Strange giant-forms, that seem to guard the skies.

        Ay, giant-clouds!—from out the vestibule
          Of Heaven’s vast, dark’ning dome, what mighty train
        Comes forth!—a cavalcade of kings—whose sceptered rule,
          The whole broad realm of Heaven! Lo, again
        Their host they marshal—where the God of Day
          Sinks, like a wearied conqueror, to his rest,
        They have usurped his throne; with proud array
          Of gold and purple canopy o’er thy breast—
        A gorgeous couch!—rest captive conqueror!
        The orient guards thy bright triumphal car.

        But, lo, another scene—a battle-plain—
          The deep-toned roar of Heaven’s artillery!
        ’Mid iron hail and lightning-flash, again
          The shattered hosts rush fiercely to the fray!
        ’Mid foaming steed, and flashing shield and spear,
          And waving oriflame, those warrior-clouds
        Surge onward like the sea!—a mighty bier
          Yawns to receive them—for the darkness shrouds
        Them, as a tomb, and solemn twilight’s reign
        Broodeth o’er Heaven’s ensanguined battle-plain.

        Thus, change the scenes of thy great drama, Life!
          Love, Hate, Pride—the fever-dreams
        Of restless energies, warring with the strife
          Of bigot Ignorance; while brightly gleams
        The radiant light of Hope! Ah! are not all
          These passions mirrored from our hearts, in those
        We love and influence?—ever may their thrall
          Be like the _secret fount_ the lap-wing knows,[3]
        E’er pure, and calm, and holy—as thy breast—
        Oh, Steine-Kill! whereon the twilight rests.

-----

[3] It is known that the “hud-hud,” or lap-wing, possesses the instinct
to discover subterranean springs.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                A SONG.


                      FROM THE GERMAN OF SCHILLER.

                               BY GIFTIE.


               Oft when the evening sun is low,
                 Along the billowing sea
               Is heard the echoing sound of bells,
                 Ringing harmoniously.

               Ringing the call to vesper prayer,
                 With muffled tone and low,
               From the towers of that old “wonder-town,”
                 Submerged so long ago.

               And as the billows dance and play
                 Beneath the lingering light,
               The sailor sees far in the sea
                 A strange and fearful sight;

               For temple, tower and palace gleam
                 I’ the sunset’s golden sheen;
               And ghostly people walk the streets
                 Like a crowd of living men.

               Oh, human heart! art thou not like
                 That city lost of old
               With all thy glittering towers of pride,
                 And buried joys untold.

               The tides of life rush over thee,
                 But cannot sweep away
               The temples of thine early hopes—
                 Thine halls of imagery.

               And from thy depths there comes a tone—
                 A music sad and low;
               The requiem of thy buried loves,
                 That perished long ago.

               And gloriously thy visions gleam
                 I’ the light of memory;
               Oh, human heart! art thou not like
                 That city of the sea.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                           THE OLD NEW HOUSE.


                          BY H. HASTINGS WELD.


Many a kind heart beats under a rough exterior. Such a heart was old
Simon Gray’s, and in appearance he was rude and uncourtly enough. People
said he was crazed, but his madness never was exhibited in any
unkindness, or in any injustice. Nor was he at all deficient in his
business management, or incoherent in his conversation, when he chose to
converse. Simon was a man of few words—to others—though his lips often
moved, as if he talked to himself. When he did speak audibly there was
good will even in his harshest tone; and the pale blue eyes, which were
deep set under his bushy brows, beamed with kindness, when once you had
passed their forbidding portals. Strange boys and chance comers were
afraid of the old man, as he sat at the door of the _old new house_
where he had dwelt for many, many years in bachelorhood; but those who
knew him had always a kind word, and he had a cheerful answer. His
especial pet was a little fair-haired girl, whom he seemed to love with
the affection of a protector as well as parent. He tried to shield her
that even the wind might not visit her too roughly; and she on her part
looked up to him with a confidence, love, and trust, which would make it
seem almost that she knew him to be more than human. Both are dead now,
else might we not write this story, for it would have given the old man
pain, and made a revelation to the young child of which she died happily
ignorant. Nor, so far as we know are there any, who under our altered
names of persons and places, and the absence of dates, will recognize
the characters. If there are, they will admit that we do old Simon no
more than justice; or if they knew him but slightly they will love a
memory which has hitherto been to them only that of a bizarre old man.

We have called the house old and new. Old it certainly was, as the
blackened boards and other marks of time showed—prematurely old, from
neglect. And yet it appeared new too, in that the building was never
entirely finished. Paint, plaster, and care have made a new place of it
since the time of which we write, for it has passed into strange hands.
Why it presented the appearance of which we have been speaking, will
appear in our narrative.

Simon Gray’s life opened happily. There was nothing which indicated for
him a splendid destiny. The path which seemed open before him was
obscure, and promised to embrace only the ordinary incidents of
ninety-nine lives in a hundred; but it so befell that his experience
showed that strange things may happen as well to the humble as to the
exalted. The prince has gilded play-things, the peasant boy plain. Both
are toys after all, and both the possessors are children. Both grow up
to be men only, and in every man’s heart the thoughts are mightier to
himself than the marching of an army with banners.

Simon received the usual elements of a practical education in a New
England public school. And what was more to his benefit, he was taught
by parental admonition and example the way in which he should go; and
was founded in true faith in the God whom he should love. And between
himself and a young woman, his neighbor, Margaret Goodenow, there grew
an attachment which strengthened with their years. Neither could go back
and fix the date when the other was not a chosen companion. It was love,
pure and unsophisticated; and it was only when they learned by
observation that they were not and could not be brother and sister to
each other, that the thought came into their heads that they might be
something else, still nearer and dearer. Simon continued his attentions
naturally, and Margaret as naturally accepted them as matters of course.
There were no vows—no protestations—no jealous fits—no frantic
passages—no prudery and no affectation of concealment. None of the
romantic artillery which gives eclat to the pages of a fashionable novel
marked their intercourse. All went quietly and happily, without any
particularly definite thought of the future; until, about the same time,
Simon’s father asked him how he would like to build over against the big
elm, (that same house of which we were speaking just now,) and
Margaret’s mother asked her why she did not put a web for herself in the
loom.

That “set them to thinking,” as the Yankee phrase is. Mag plied the
distaff and shuttle as if at task-work—and a pleasant task too. Simon
would not wait that spring, till the frost was out of the ground, before
he tried some experimental blows with the pick, at the cellar; and as
for the stone for cellar-wall and foundation, that was on the spot
before sledding was over. And everybody looked forward to the completion
of the house as a probable approximation to the date of the young
couple’s wedding. Margaret was daily at the building—her mother daily
scolding her, good-humoredly, and telling her that Simon would certainly
get his part done first; but then Margaret knew that Simon would rather
the cloth should not be woven, than that she should not know every inch
of the house’s progress. So together they consulted, and together they
planned all the details; and as the walking became “settled,” it was not
unfrequently the case that both families were collected there once a
day, if not oftener. Every body had some advice or suggestion, or
incident from experience, how cellars should be kept dry, and rats and
mice kept out; how room could be saved this way and that—how too many
corners catch dirt, and above all, how a house is nothing without
“cupboards” and closets. Manifold where the dark places which were
economized into “stow-holes,” and long and earnest the conferences
between Simon and Margaret. They heard the others, and then did as they
pleased—or rather as she pleased. A wise man will let woman have her
way in such arrangements, provided that she does not wish to do any
thing quite as _outre_ as commencing the chimneys at the top, after the
mode described in Gulliver’s Travels.

Summer sometimes brought idlers and valetudinarians to Hill-side. It was
not a regular summering resort; but those who really wish to enjoy
country-life occasionally discover that the crowded watering-place is
not the true scene of rural pleasures. A young man named Bernard came
this summer to the village. Whether his pocket, his taste, or a mere
whim brought him there; whether he sought retirement, or traveled for
health, or what induced him to pitch upon this spot, nobody knew. Some
letters he had, and what was a better introduction, he had a good
address. He was young and pale, and of course, interesting. He had
frequent letters and parcels at the post-office, and must therefore be a
man of some note. He was extremely affable to all whom he met, old and
young; and in a very little time every body at Hill-side felt an
interest in the handsome stranger; and trusted that he would carry away
such a report of the place, its advantages and hospitalities, as would
induce other visiters.

The young people voted him an author—perhaps a poet—certainly a
student; and Margaret’s mother was not at all displeased when the young
student applied to her for summer-quarters; for to tell the truth, she
had already resolved such a possibility in her mind. He said he wished
home comforts, which were not to be found at a country tavern, and
delicately conveyed his firm impression that her house would be to him a
perfect elysium. She was not prepared to take a stranger into the house,
lived in a plain way, and all that. But he protested that these
objections were precisely the advantages that he sought in a country
visit—the absence of a mercenary calculation—a mouthful for each penny
paid, and a set price for lodgings. Where one party is determined, and
the other opposes only feigned resistance, the point at issue is soon
determined, and Bernard was at once domiciliated at Chestnut-Farm.

Never was man so little trouble as he—never were family so much
infatuated with a stranger. Margaret and all partook of the fascination.
It seemed as if she never would tire of reciting his praises to Simon at
their daily meetings. She was very anxious that the two young men should
be intimate, and as she said, “like each other very much.” She knew that
they would do so if each could only know the good points of the other as
well as she knew both. But neither of them could be inspired with any
very warm attachment in the direction she desired. Bernard was civil and
courteous to Simon, as he was to every body; but Margaret thought she
could detect some appearance of undervaluing her lover on the part of
the stranger. And he permitted this impression to be gathered in the
most agreeable manner—that is to say, as if he accidentally betrayed
his sense of her exceeding worth, and his sorrow that she was to be
sacrificed to Simon. In no way did he attempt to derogate from that
individual’s good points in the abstract, or as plain Simon—but it was
as Margaret’s accepted that he fell below Bernard’s standard. Margaret
pleaded with Bernard for her lover, and that was dangerous business,
because it was in some sort admitting what Bernard rather implied than
alleged. It was reading his hieroglyphics, and that indicated a common
understanding between them, and emboldened Bernard, while it threw
Margaret in the way of temptation.

And she pleaded with Simon for Bernard. That was dangerous business too.
The most unsuspecting heart is not proof against all misgivings—and
Simon did not like that she should enter so warmly into advocacy for a
man in whose behalf he saw no reason why she should be so deeply
interested. The stranger was but a transient guest—never again to visit
the vicinity Simon hoped; and he could not perceive that it was a matter
of great consequence whether he ever learned to like him particularly or
not. He soon ceased to argue the matter at all with her. He forced
himself to listen; but it was with evident disrelish, and Margaret,
finding the subject an unpalatable one, abandoned it. But this did not
mend matters much, since Simon’s uneasiness now look a positive
character. He had disliked to hear Margaret continually talking of the
stranger, but her evident reserve upon all that related to him was
worse. And Margaret shared in his discontent; for it seemed to her,
though she did not trust herself to say it, or even dare to think of it,
that Simon was unkind. And, what was more unfortunate for her peace, she
felt that Bernard was not.

The young stranger was by no means an indifferent observer of all this.
Nay, it seemed wonderfully to fall in with his plans—perhaps with his
expectations—certainly with his wishes. Margaret learned to be very
much pleased with him, and fond of his conversation and society; and yet
she felt a half-consciousness that she was doing her old friend a wrong.
But why? she would ask herself. Is it esteeming Simon less, to do
justice where he refuses it? It was too knotty a point in casuistry for
her to solve; and things at Chestnut-Farm now began to go on strangely.
Simon was spoken of in a tone in which he had never been mentioned
before. Bernard was particular in his expressions of good opinion—too
particular—patronizing. But there was, withal, a covert spice of
detraction in it—as neatly contrived as Mark Antony’s effort “to bury
Cæsar, not to praise him.” Bernard affected to praise Simon, not to
detract from him; but the effect of all his conversation was precisely
the opposite of his ostensible design. After a time even Margaret could
laugh heartily at a joke uttered at the expense of her lover in his
absence. At first she was almost offended at any liberty taken with the
character or person of Simon, however well it was gilded; but the
polished wit of Bernard, and his apparently unassuming superiority, led
her more and more to desire that her country lover could resemble her
accomplished friend.

It would too much lengthen our sketch to describe the whole process and
progress of the estrangement—for an estrangement it became. Bernard’s
discussions upon architecture quite ruined in the eyes of Margaret the
humble dwelling which had once seemed to her a palace. As she suggested
this and that and the other impossible change in the original plan, and
treated poor Simon’s cherished notions with ill-disguised
superciliousness, he was grieved to perceive in all this, that he as
well as the house, was daily growing less and less in her estimation.
And the villagers began now to perceive the growing coolness. It made
the judicious sad; the thoughtless sneered, the friends of Simon were
angry. And at last he became angry himself; or at least his feelings
approached as near to anger as the love he still felt would admit; and
he looked anxiously forward to the time when the departure of the
dangerous guest would release Margaret from her hallucination.

Summer passed away, and the foliage commenced to wear its autumn hue.
Long before this Simon had taken it for granted that his house would
have been finished and furnished, and that his wife would have been busy
with him, perfecting their winter comforts. But now things began to wear
the aspect of a house begun without counting the cost. There was a delay
in the few finishing touches which alone remained to perfect the
building. A step here, and a pale there were ready for their places, but
still stood unadjusted. The gate which had been tacked up, waiting for
bolts and hinges, still waited. Dust blew over the door-stone, and all
looked like neglect. Simon Gray was no more seen daily at the building;
indeed he was scarcely seen abroad at all, and when he did make his
appearance, it was with an aspect so wan and woful, that men saw he had
a broken-heart.

The student had gone from the village. Margaret, who had grieved the
good people by a flirtation with him which had grown more and more open
and unblushing, was now seldom met. The whole vicinage, so cheerful and
pleasant in the spring, appeared to have had a spell cast over it; and
the people—for in a village men sympathize with each other—looked as
if a heavy secret lay at all their hearts; as if they knew more than
they would speak, and feared more than they knew.

Winter came; and the deep snows of New England drifted over the paling
of Simon Gray’s new house, and filled the yard, where nobody broke a
path. Winds blew, and scattered from the bared road side sand and gravel
over the white mantle, and still it lay unbroken, and where the eaves
dropped it froze. The threshold was ice, and the roof and windows hung
with icicles. Simon passed one day, and paused and looked at the place
earnestly. A little boy who watched him, for Simon had now become an
object of marvel to the little folk, said that Simon Gray drew his
sleeve across his eyes. The lad wondered if it was not because his house
was not finished before the snow set in. Poor Simon! He was no poet, but
the sullied snow had given him other and more bitter thoughts than that!

Spring opened. The strengthening sun melted down the bank of snow before
Simon Gray’s new house, and the winter-hid shavings and bits of brick,
and scraps of mortar, peeped out—last year’s mementoes of the
unfinished work, preserved beneath the bank to tell their story over
again in the new year. And now a great surprise had taken the village;
and the envious wondered how _that_ family, meaning Margaret’s poor
mother, and her father, bowed with more than the weight of years, could
have held up their heads as long as they did. The doctor, and the truly
worthy and pious minister, vied with each other in the constancy and
frequency with which they visited Chestnut Farm-house. Simon went at
last also, for the minister took him there. If he went at all disposed
to be unforgiving, he came away melted and subdued. His heart was
lighter too; for he had performed a duty which all owe who dare to say
in their prayers “forgive us—_as we forgive_.”

A long train wound one day, just as the violets were opening, into the
village grave-yard. Simon Gray was there, and it was observed, as they
passed his new house, for the train were all on foot, that his companion
had much labor to bear him up. But he was not a mourner as one without
hope; for his arms had supported Margaret when she resigned her soul to
Him who forgiveth sin, and heareth those who call upon Him. He never
spoke of her after while he lived; and he never would hear when her name
was mentioned. Some people felt, and others affected surprise that he
was present at all at the funeral—but Simon noticed neither. He was
simply following the dictates of an affection too virtuous to have
permitted him to sacrifice his self-respect had she lived—too
charitable to permit one who was once loved to die unforgiven of man,
since the Master received her—or to die unloved of a fellow-mortal,
since while we were yet sinners Christ died for us; and greater love can
none show than this.

Such is the story of the “Old New House.” The child of whom we spoke at
the opening was Margaret’s grandchild. Her father grew in that house,
lived there married and single, and died there. Simon never would suffer
it to be finished further than absolute necessity required; and people,
as we have already stated, said he was crazed. He was solitary and
heart-broken; and if it were a strange fantasy that he should rear
Margaret’s child, there was a method in such madness, which we all would
do well to imitate in behalf of the orphan and the destitute.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                         THE WOUNDED GUERILLA.


                     A SKETCH OF THE LATE CAMPAIGN.

                             BY MAYNE REID.

                            [SEE ENGRAVING.]


The city of Puebla lies in the centre of an immense _plateau_, seven
thousand feet above sea level, and bordered by mountains of more than
twice this altitude. Malinchi, rendered classic in the history of the
first conquest, rises on the north; the Piñal bars up the eastern
passes, while the great Cordillera of the Rio Frio forms its western
boundary, thus separating the two great valleys of Puebla and Mexico by
an almost impassible barrier. In this ridge lie the great snow mountains
of Popocatepec and the “White Woman,” (_la muger blanca_,) known
poetically as the “Twin Sisters.”

These mountains soar far above the regions of eternal snow. Popocatepec
is a cone, and the gray fringe that marks the blending of the white
glacier and the dark pines of the mountain forest, forms the
circumference of a horizontal circle. On the White Woman this snow line
is more irregular. On both mountains its altitude is variable, according
to the season and the heat of the sun. Thus the melting of the snows in
the sultry months of summer throws the gray fringe higher up the sides
of Popocatepec and Ixticihuath, and irrigates the broad plains of Puebla
and Tlaxcalla.

But for these snow-crowned mountains the _plateau_ of Puebla would be a
barren desert. As it is, the western segment of this plain may be termed
the garden spot of Mexico.

As the traveler emerges from the western gate of Puebla, he beholds one
of the loveliest pictures in the world. The delighted eye roams over
broad fields of corn and wheat, and “frijoles,” bordered by fence rows
of the picturesque maguey—here and there the cupolas of rich
haciendas—the turrets of a flourishing village, and the spires of a
rural church variegate the green landscape, while in the distance rises
the dark Cordilleras of the Mexican Andes, over whose gloomy forests and
frowning chasms the snowy crests of the “Twin Sisters” glisten with a
dazzling whiteness.

This is, perhaps, the fairest picture in Mexico. Its beauty, however,
did not protect it from the desolating influence of war, and during the
occupation of Puebla by the American army, bands of robbers under the
name of “guerilleros,” alike hostile to Mexican and American, roamed
over the fairest portions of this district, committing every species of
outrage upon its peaceful inhabitants.

The American army entered Puebla in the month of May, 1847. The
inhabitants, one hundred thousand in number, were struck with
astonishment at the boldness of the act. They had been expecting an army
of at least ten thousand men. Instead of this, ninety dragoons rode into
the piazza alone, where they halted to await the advance of the army, in
all, not numbering four thousand men. Hundreds of Mexicans counted our
soldiers as they crossed the bridge of “Noche buena,” and the feeling
that existed in the breasts of the Poblanos, after our entry into their
city, was one of shame, that they had permitted such a handful of men to
take the old and warlike town of Puebla without a blow having been
struck in its defense.

They might apparently _have stoned us to death_.

Santa Anna repulsed at Amozoc, had retreated upon San Martin, and now
held that fair district with his rabble soldiery.

On finding that it was not in the power of the American commander to
advance beyond Puebla for a time, the bright idea struck Santa Anna of
rousing the national pride once more in defense of their capital. He
consequently crossed the mountains at Rio Frio, and commenced fortifying
the ancient city of the Aztecs, leaving however a large guerilla force,
who roamed at will over the western plain of Puebla and occupied San
Martin, Tlaxcalla, and Atlixco. These at first commenced hostilities by
stopping the supplies of the Puebla market, which depends altogether
upon the fertile districts of the west. Finding, however, that the
American gold received in exchange for the fruits and vegetables of San
Martin, served their purposes better than revenge, the guerillas at
length permitted the produce to pass, levying a heavy contribution upon
each article.

The hated “alcabala,” was abolished at the city gates, and the Indians
and rancheros of Chohula, San Pablo, and San Martin, flocked to the
grand Piazza of Puebla.

It was a rare sight in the bright mornings of June, this Piazza of
Puebla. Hundreds of Indian girls seated in groups under their awnings of
“petates,” gayly chatting with one another, or laughing with a clear
ringing laugh at the bad Spanish of the American soldier. Who says that
the Indians of Mexico are a dejected race? No such thing. We have seen
more bright happy faces in the markets of Puebla than any where else.
The slightest witticism—a mispronunciation of the names of any of their
wares by a foreign tongue, will elicit peals of laughter from these
merry market-girls, while the almost constant display of their small
pearly teeth and sparkling eyes evinces the lightness of their hearts.

[Illustration: THE WOUNDED GUERILLA
Engraved by Rice]

The remnants of several nations exist in the plains of Puebla. These may
be easily distinguished in the streets of the city by a singular custom.
A few strands of worsted thread, blue, crimson, or purple, are twisted
into the plaits of their luxuriant black hair. The difference of color
in this worsted marks the tribe or village to which the wearer belongs,
so that at a glance you may tell an Indian girl from Tlaxcalla or San
Pablo from one of the Cholultecas.

The Indians of the last mentioned tribe are perhaps the most interesting
to be met with in Mexico. Living at the foot of the great pyramid, on
“haunted holy ground,” they are constantly reminded of the religion of
their fathers, many of whose peculiar customs and habits they still
preserve in all their pristine simplicity. The young girls of this tribe
are strikingly handsome, and but for their malformation—the effect of
early toil and careless rearing—the Cholultecas, with their dark Indian
eyes and pearly teeth, would far eclipse with their beauty the daughters
of the famed Castilian conquerors.

Of all the Indian maidens who visited the Piazza of Puebla, none
attracted more admiration from the officer or soldier who thronged
through this market than two sisters from Cholula. These girls were
named Remedios and Dolores, after the appellations of two of the most
popular saints in Mexico.

The elder, Remedios, was strikingly beautiful, and though admired by
all, her dark Indian eye had made a deeper impression upon the heart of
a young Ranger.

The occupation of these girls was that of weaving baskets from the fine
fibres of the _palma redonda_, which wares, along with the flowers that
grew in their little garden at Cholula, they brought once or twice a
week to the city.

The young ranger spoken of, was frequently placed upon picket guard at a
point on the Cholula road, and had thus become acquainted with the
sisters, with whom he seemed to be on terms of friendly intercourse. He
was frequently seen to accompany them beyond the confines of the city on
their return homeward, and at parting the beautiful Remedios would
linger behind her sister, and concealed by the friendly shelter of a
maguey plantation, bid him farewell with a kiss. It was evident that the
passion between the ranger and the fair Cholulteca was mutual.

Such was the state of affairs in the city. Let us follow the young girls
to their native village at the foot of the far-famed pyramid.

Under the shade of a huge pepper-tree, stood a small but neat cottage of
adobes. In front of this cottage was a little garden filled with bright
flowers, and fenced in by a close wall of the octagonal columns of
nopal. Outside of the little garden grew the giant maguey planted
closely in rows, and running alongside pathways which led to other
cottages similar to the one above mentioned. Such pathways form the
lanes and streets of a Mexican-Indian village.

Over the cottage door is a little awning or shade formed by two or three
poles and the broad leaves of the royal palm, and under this awning are
seated the sisters Remedios and Dolores.

They have been silent for some time, each busily engaged with her work,
which consists in weaving the beautiful palm-baskets, that meet with
such ready sale in the piazza. Dolores is no doubt thinking upon the
profits which her work will yield, and how she will rejoice the heart of
her old and helpless father, who has no other support. Dolores is the
old man’s favorite, and returns his parental fondness with a heart full
of filial love.

The thoughts of Remedios are dwelling upon a far different object, and
two or three times she has become so absent as to make strange mistakes
in her work. Presently the fibre of palm which she has been weaving
becomes entangled, and suddenly breaks.

“What are you doing, Remedios?” asks her sister. Then adds with a
somewhat malicious laugh, “Thinking of Don Santiago! But come, sister,
see better to your work, or we will not have our baskets ready for
to-morrow’s market, and then how you would be disappointed!”

Remedios blushed, but made no other reply to the pleasantry of her
sister.

Dolores looked in her face, and noticing the blush, said in a more
serious tone,

“Ah, Remedios! if Pepe only knew.”

“Knew what?”

“Of Don Santiago.”

“And if he did?” exclaimed the elder sister, while her dark eyes flashed
with indignation, “what is Pepe to me. I never loved him, and I never
told him I did—he has no right to me more than another!”

At this moment a footstep reached the ears of the sisters, causing them
to start and look up.

A young man of rather a forbidding appearance was coming up between the
rows of magueys. He was dressed in the costume of an ordinary peasant,
but the short carbine which he carried over his shoulder, and the belt
and pouch slung across his breast, betokened that he was one of the
enrolled guerillus, whose head-quarters were for the time in the village
of Cholula.

The young man entered through the opening of the nopal fence, and
striking the butt of his piece to the ground, stopped in front of the
cottage, saluting the sisters with the usual exclamation for that hour
“_buenos tardes!_” (good evening.)

The salutation was returned by both the sisters; but in such a manner by
the elder, as showed that she felt a coldness, or rather a repugnance
toward the object of it.

Pepe (the name of the intruder,) noticed this, and glared upon her with
a scowl which bespoke a strange blending of fierce love with jealous
anger. It was evident that he was now before them with some sinister
design, and the sisters sat without speaking, but both trembling under
the influence of his evil eye.

“So, Remedios, I have found out the reason why you rejected me so
scornfully, but I will be revenged.”

“What mean you, Pepe?” asked the girl in a conciliatory tone.

“You know what I mean. I have heard and know well, too, of your partings
on the road by the garita. I have been told all—but trust me you will
take no more of these affectionate farewells, for this night I will have
my revenge. We have laid our plans, and this night your Yankee lover
will die—and if by to-morrow at noon you have not promised to be mine,
you may dread the vengeance of my comrades, for they shall know all.

“Remember, to-morrow I return.”

So saying, the guerilla flung his carbine over his shoulder, and with an
angry look strode from the cottage.

The young girls watched for a moment in silence his retreating form.
When he had passed from their sight Remedios bent toward her sister, and
in a half whisper asked,

“What does he mean when he says that he must die to night? Do you think
he has some plot laid to assassinate Don Santiago?”

“No, to-night they are to attack the picket at the garita. You know that
this is the day of Don Santiago’s guard. I overheard one of the
guerillus talk of their plan as I came from the church.”

All that night Remedios was unhappy. She slept but little, thinking of
the threat which had been uttered by the jealous Pepe, and with painful
suspense she awaited the approach of day.

At an early hour the sisters, with their basket filled with the work of
yesterday, and a profusion of beautiful flowers, started for Puebla.

Shortly after leaving the village they met an Indian woman coming from
the direction of the city, driving an ass. This woman informed the
sisters that there had been a severe skirmish near the garita between
the guerillus and the guard, in which the former had been defeated and
scattered. The guard had got information by some means of the intended
attack, and had sent to Puebla for a reinforcement of mounted men, which
had arrived just in time and by a circuitous route, and had attacked the
guerillus in the rear, so that only a few of them escaped from either
death or capture.

The sisters had scarcely bid adieu to the Indian woman, when on reaching
a turn in the road they came upon one of the guerillus, seated upon a
stone.

A handkerchief was bound around his head—his face, pale and haggard,
was spotted with blood, and there was a look of wild revenge in his eye
as he recognized the approach of the two girls.

They were at first alarmed on perceiving whom they had encountered, for
it was Pepe who was before them, but when they saw that the guerilla was
wounded, and apparently suffering, in the true spirit of womanly
compassion both the young girls ran up to him and inquired what they
could do to assist him.

This appeared for a moment to soften the bitter spirit of the wounded
man, and in a manner of more tenderness than he usually exhibited, he
requested one of them to bring him a draught of water, while the other
rebound the handkerchief upon his wound.

The elder sister immediately ran to fulfill his request, while Dolores
remained alone with the guerilla.

She unbound the handkerchief with tender care, and had commenced
readjusting it, when the sudden trampling of horses’ hoofs was heard,
and before the wounded man had time to escape, half a dozen rangers came
galloping up the road.

The guerilla had seized his carbine, and was making for the chapparal,
when one of his pursuers called at him to halt and they would spare him.
Seeing the impossibility of escape, the man turned suddenly round and
doggedly approached the party of rangers, who had halted upon the road.

At this moment Remedios returned, and recognizing one of the rangers,
with an exclamation of delight called out—

“Don Santiago!”

“Ha!” cried the guerilla, “it is he!” And throwing up his carbine he
fired at the young ranger, who had leaped from his horse, and was
approaching the girl.

The ball took effect, passing through the fleshy part of the ranger’s
arm. The shock, brought him to the ground, and the wild laugh of the
guerilla told that he believed his vengeance had been complete.

The quick successive reports of half a dozen rifles for a moment drowned
this laugh, and when they ceased it was heard no more. He that had
uttered it lay by the road a bleeding corpse.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                 LINES


                         TO MRS. G. R. GRAHAM.

                            BY R. T. CONRAD.


           May not, in this sweet season, my meek prayer
           Rise near thine own? It is a prayer for thee,
           Gentle and pure, affectionate and fair,
           God guard thee ever! and around thee be
           Blessings like rays! Thine is a heart to throw
           A noble reflex from a manly mate,
           To give his loftiest pulse a loftier glow,

           And shed o’er all his path a purer fate.
           Gentle as thou art may thy summers be!
           Sweet as thy voice and gentle as thy smile!
           And hopes that know no winter give to thee
           All that is sweetest, surest! all that, while
           The clouded earth obscures, has power to light
           The soul upon that path that never knows a night.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                             SPEAK KINDLY.


                          BY KATE SUTHERLAND.


“Gracious, girl!” exclaimed Mrs. Lindley, thrown suddenly off of her
guard, and turning, with a frown, upon a young lady who had accidentally
trodden upon her dress as she was almost forced down the stairs of the
Musical Fund Hall, at the breaking up of a crowded concert.

“I am sorry, ma’am,” said the young lady, gently; “it was entirely an
accident.”

“People ought to look where they put their feet!” muttered Mrs. Lindley,
frowning another reproof upon the blushing girl; and then, with a
dignified toss of the head, resuming her march down the stairs, letting
the crowd, that had been momentarily checked in its downward tendency,
move on again more freely.

“I should call that a poor specimen of a refined lady,” remarked the
gentleman upon whose arm the girl so rudely addressed was leaning, as
they gained the street. “I hope we shall not find her a representative
of Philadelphia good breeding.”

“Oh, no! I presume not,” was the answer. “New York has plenty just like
her; and I would be very sorry if strangers were to estimate all by the
standard they afford.”

“Very true! How weak and foolish it is,” remarked the young man, “for
people to lose temper at every trifle. If the person who gave us so fine
a specimen of amiability to-night, has any right feelings about her, she
was not ten steps from the door of the concert-room before a feeling of
shame took the place of anger. But, whether this be so or not, I would
much rather have your feelings than hers on the occasion.”

“So would I. And yet an incident like this cannot but disturb the
feelings. To be spoken to insultingly, in the midst of strangers, is far
from being pleasant.”

“It is. But no one suffers in the estimation of those who happen to be
present when such things occur, but the individual who so far outrages
all good breeding as to resent a trifling accident with ill nature.”

“True. And yet I feel hurt about the incident which has just transpired.
It leaves a weight upon my feelings, that such thoughts as you suggest
will not throw off. My self-love is perhaps wounded. In other words, I
feel insulted.”

“And you have reason to feel so, for you were insulted.”

“Still, I must not permit myself to think unkindly of the person who so
far lost her self-control as to wound my feelings. She may be a woman of
many good qualities, yet hasty in her temper. This may have only been
the exhibition of a prominent weakness, and she may now be suffering
severe mortification in consequence.”

“More probably she is, at this present moment, animadverting upon the
rudeness of people in public assemblies—herself of course not
included.”

“Don’t think so unkindly of any one. Rather look at the brighter side.”

“I’m not as charitable as you are. People show us, in unguarded moments,
the true features of their character. Judging from the glance we had
to-night, I should pronounce the individual who got into such a pet for
a trifle, to be no lady, notwithstanding she was well dressed and seemed
to be in good company. A true lady is one who thinks of others more than
of herself, when she is in society; and—one who does this is never
thrown off of her guard—never speaks unkindly to others—never insults
those who happen, by accident, to step upon a corner of her dress.”

The subject of this conversation was a Mrs. Lindley. The remarks her
conduct elicited from the companion of the young lady who had, by
stepping upon her dress, caused her to lose her temper, were rather
severe. But few of her intimate friends, had they heard them, could
possibly have believed that she was meant, for they only knew her as a
lady of polished and amiable manners. But Mrs. Lindley had her
weaknesses. She was naturally of a hasty temper, though her regard for
the good opinion of others caused her to keep it under control while in
society, and her reason prompted her to put a check upon it, under all
circumstances. Still, occasions would come when she would forget
herself.

On the occasion of her attending the concert at the Musical Fund Hall,
she wore a new and elegant dress. The fabric was very delicate, as was
also the color. In descending the stairs, at the close of the concert,
she felt herself suddenly drawn back, and on turning around quickly, saw
that a young woman, a stranger, had stepped upon this dress. Her first
thought was, that it was both torn and soiled, and the exclamation,
“Gracious, girl!” dropped from her lips as an expression of surprise at
the carelessness of the strangers. The annoyance she felt prevented her
from accepting the apology that was instantly offered, and caused her to
reject it in the ungracious manner we have seen. But a few minutes only
elapsed before a better state of mind came, and then she was deeply
mortified at her unlady-like conduct, and would have given almost
anything could she have recalled the hasty words that had fallen from
her lips.

“It will be a lesson to me,” she said to herself, as she sat brooding
over the incident, after her return home that evening. “I am too apt to
speak from the impulse of the moment, and too prone to speak unkindly on
slight provocation.”

On the next day, Mrs. Lindley received a letter from a very particular
friend in New York, in which was mentioned the fact that a highly
accomplished young lady, belonging to one of the best families in the
city, was then on a visit to Philadelphia.

“Miss Herbert,” said the letter, “is a sweet girl, and I number her
among my choicest friends. I have frequently spoken to her of you, and
she has expressed a wish to make your acquaintance. She will remain at
Jones’s Hotel for a week. Will you not call upon her, and show her some
attentions, for my sake? I know you will like her very much; she is the
favorite of every one. Among all my friends here, I know of no one to
whom I am more attached. She is so kind, so gentle, so unselfish, so
wise for one of her age. Make her acquaintance, by all means.”

“For your sake, if for no other, I will do so,” said Mrs. Lindley, as
she closed the letter. “And as Miss Herbert is only going to spend a few
days in Philadelphia, I will call upon her at once.”

And so Mrs. Lindley dressed herself that very morning, and called at
Jones’s, to see her friend’s particular friend. She found her quite a
young lady, simple in her style of dressing, slightly reserved at first,
yet easy in her manners. Five minutes had passed before Mrs. Lindley was
entirely at home with her.

“When did you arrive in our city?” inquired Mrs. Lindley, soon after
they met.

“I came on day before yesterday,” was replied.

“Will your stay be short?”

“I shall leave in a few days, for the South, where I intend spending the
winter.”

“My friend, Mrs. D—— is, I suppose, very well?”

“Oh, yes! I never saw her look better in my life She speaks of you very
often, and promises herself great pleasure from your contemplated visit
to New York.”

“Not more than I do myself. She is a lovely-minded woman.”

“She is, truly, and the favorite of every circle wherein she moves.”

“There is something familiar in your face, Miss Herbert,” said Mrs.
Lindley, during a slight pause in the conversation, looking earnestly at
the young lady as she spoke. “It seems as if we must have met before.”

“And your face made the same impression upon me,” returned Miss Herbert,
smiling.

“This is a little singular, is it not?” remarked Mrs. Lindley. “We never
met before, and yet both recognize something familiar.”

“At first thought it seems so. But it is a fact, that we rarely, if
ever, see a new face which has not in it something familiar.”

“True. But the likeness belongs to a class, and generally has in itself
a peculiarity essentially its own, that marks its individuality. Not
such a likeness do I see in your face. It seems to me as if we must have
met before.”

“And I cannot get away from the same impression, in regard to you,” said
Miss Herbert.

“It is a little singular,” returned Mrs. Lindley, sinking for a few
moments into a musing state.

“Have you been out much since you arrived in the city?” she inquired, as
she came out of this slight abstraction of mind.

“I have been around a good deal, for the short time I have been here.
Last night I attended the concert at your fine Musical Fund Hall. For
musical purposes, it is one of the best rooms I have ever been in.”

“Were you pleased with the concert?” inquired Mrs. Lindley—her thoughts
reverting, as she spoke, to the unpleasant incident we have mentioned,
and a vague, yet deeply mortifying suspicion, stealing through her mind.
Her eyes, which were upon the face of Miss Herbert, drooped, and a
slight flush warmed her cheeks.

“Very much pleased with the concert,” replied the young lady, “but not
quite so well pleased with some of the people who were there.”

“Ah! What displeased you in the people?”

“I should have spoken rather in the singular number,” said Miss Herbert,
smiling. “At the close of the concert, and while descending the steps, I
was so unfortunate as to tread upon the dress of a lady, who became
offended thereat, and spoke to me, I thought, with extreme rudeness. I
felt hurt at the moment, but soon got over it.”

Mrs. Lindley tried to look calmly at the young lady, while she spoke,
and to assume an expression of countenance different from her real
feelings. But the effort was not entirely successful. Miss Herbert saw
that there was a change, and, for a few moments, wondered at its
meaning. Then the truth flashed upon her mind, and she understood why
the face of Mrs. Lindley was so familiar. She had met her before, and
she remembered where!

To both, this was a painful and an embarrassing discovery. But each felt
that self-possession, and a seeming unconsciousness of the mortifying
fact was of all things necessary. As quickly as Mrs. Lindley was sure
that she could command her voice, she said—

“I am sorry that any one should have so far forgotten what was due from
a lady as to utter an unkind word to a stranger, in a public assembly,
and on so slight a provocation. But you must try and forgive the
indignity.”

“That I have already done,” said Miss Herbert, making every effort in
her power to seem unconcerned. “I know that the very best people may
sometimes, in a moment of weakness, be thrown off of their guard, and
say or do things entirely at variance with their real character, and for
which, afterward, they feel the sincerest regret.”

“It is best always,” replied Mrs. Lindley, whose feelings no one need
envy, “to judge thus kindly of others, even under marked provocation.
But I cannot so readily excuse the person who, from so slight a cause,
could be led into a gross violation of one of the commonest proprieties
of life. Ah, me! How watchful we should all be, for we cannot tell at
what moment we may be thrown off of our guard, and say or do something
that will cost us unavailing regret.”

This was as much as Mrs. Lindley felt that she dared say upon the
subject; and, as Miss Herbert’s reply did not lead to its continuance,
the theme of conversation took another direction.

During the young lady’s stay in Philadelphia, Mrs. Lindley paid her
every attention; but never in her presence did she feel at ease, for she
had an instinctive assurance that she was known to Miss Herbert, as the
person who had offered her, on slight provocation, a most gross
indignity.

For all the kindness and attention of Mrs. Lindley to Miss Herbert,
during her brief stay in Philadelphia, the latter could not forget the
night of the concert. Reason the matter as she would, she could not
force from her mind the natural conclusion that, when off their guard,
people spoke as they felt. The anger of Mrs. Lindley’s voice, her
impatient and insulting language, and particularly the expression of her
face, were constantly presenting themselves to her mind.

“She may be a woman of many excellent qualities,” she said to herself,
as she mused upon the unpleasant incident connected with their first
meeting; “but I would not choose her as an intimate friend.”

On her return from the South, Miss Herbert passed through Philadelphia
without calling upon Mrs. Lindley. She thought of doing so, and even
debated the matter seriously, but the repugnance she felt prevented a
renewal of the acquaintance. Reason with herself as she would,
afterward, she found it impossible to think well of Mrs. Lindley, and
though she has been in Philadelphia frequently since, has not visited
her. Yet, for all this, Mrs. Lindley is a woman of excellent qualities,
and much beloved among all her friends. In a moment of weakness she was
thrown off of her guard, and betrayed into the utterance of unkind
words; and that single phase of her character, presented to the eyes of
a stranger, made an unfavorable impression that could not afterward be
effaced.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                 MARIE.


                          BY CAROLINE F. ORNE.


              When we bore thee to thy grave, Marie,
                The flowers were springing fair,
              And violets, like azure gems,
                Were scattered every where.
              The blossoms of the trees, Marie,
                In perfumed showers fell fast,
              The incense of their dying breath
                Each light breeze floated past.

              For the sweet spring-tide had come, Marie,
                When we laid thee to thy rest,
              With the lily and forget-me-not,
                And the rose-bud on thy breast.
              These were thy favorite flowers, beloved,
                And our tears fell on them, then,
              For we thought that nevermore with thee
                Should we gather them again.

              Soft clouds were in the sky, Marie,
                Soft summer-clouds were they,
              They wept a few bright drops for thee,
                So early passed away.
              They floated swiftly by, beloved,
                Half sunshine, and half tears,
              Like the checkered light and shade of life,
                In thine own vanished years.

              The ever-wandering winds, Marie,
                That went and came at will,
              Brought whispered tones of love from thee,
                As thou wert with us still.
              And I almost saw thy seraph form
                Hovering above us there,
              And felt thy spirit-wing, beloved,
                Fanning the viewless air.

              We stood around thy grave, Marie,
                Where thy gentle form was laid;
              It is a pleasant place of rest
                Beneath the greenwood shade;
              The wind-flower blooms there earliest,
                When the earth wakes from her sleep,
              But the spring will come and go, beloved,
                Nor break thy slumber deep.

              Our tears fall fast for thee, Marie,
                Young mother and young wife,
              But not thine infant’s pleading tones
                Could call thee back to life;
              The soft smile lingered on thy lip,
                Lending its quiet grace,
              And the dark fringe of thy snowy lids
                Shadowed thy pale, calm face.

              We knew ’twas but thy form, Marie,
                We placed beneath the mould,
              We knew thy spirit laid it off
                As a garment’s cumbrous fold.
              But beautiful to us, beloved,
                Had thy spirit’s dwelling been,
              And ’twas hard to see the cold, cold grave
                So darkly close it in.

              Thou art nearer to us now, Marie,
                Thy vision is more clear,
              Thou speakest with a seraph’s voice
                In that celestial sphere.
              Oh, pray the Lord of Life, beloved,
                That unto us be given,
              To cheer the darkness of our path,
                Some glimpses of thy heaven.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                          LOVE, DUTY AND HOPE.


                             BY ENNA DUVAL.


           “Learn by a mortal yearning to ascend—
           Seeking a higher object. Love was given,
           Encouraged, sanctioned, chiefly for that end;
           For this the passion to excess was driven—
           That self might be annulled: her bondage prove
           The fetters of a dream, opposed to love.”

           “What though the radiance which was once so bright
           Be now for ever taken from my sight,
           Though nothing can bring back the hour
           Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;
             We will grieve not, rather find
             Strength in what remains behind,
             In the primal sympathy
             Which having been must ever be;
             In the soothing thoughts that spring
             Out of human suffering.
             In the faith that looks through death,
           In years that bring the philosophic mind.”
                                                 —WORDSWORTH.

There is a romance and interest in the simple unadorned recital of any
woman’s life, no matter how confined may have been her sphere of action.
When I look around a circle of elderly ladies, whose countenances, so
quiet and calm, tell the victory they have gained over “the weary strife
of frail humanity.” I think, ye were once young and full of hope, love
and enthusiasm, and ye have passed through scenes of romance
unconsciously. Each wrinkle, each line on their aged faces seem
glorified to me, for they are records of woman’s trials—evidences of
the earnest struggle of each fond, enduring woman’s heart.

Years, many and trying have passed since I was a child. The days of my
girlhood I recall with but little pleasure, for the recollection is
associated with remembrances of dependence, loneliness, and ill-health.
My parents died while I was yet quite young. Of my father I have no
recollection—of my mother a faint memory, which may be but fancy after
all. A girl always imagines she recollects her mother, and with the
fancied memory she blends all that is lovely and beautiful.

My relatives were kind-hearted, but plain matter-of-fact people. They
were mostly well to do in the world, but they had families of their own
to forward in life, and the poor weakly girl was but a burthen to them.
As I grew larger and stronger in health, they all agreed that something
must be done to make me independent when I should grow to woman’s
estate. Very properly they argued “she may never marry, and although a
woman, she must have some means of support to free her from the humbling
feeling of dependence.” My weakly constitution had made me shy and
reserved. A mother’s watchful, fearful love would have overcome this
tendency, but I shrank from the abrupt kindnesses of my plain, homely
friends, and in secret, with a sort of “sorrowing luxury” pined for the
gentle hand of a mother to smooth the pillow for my constant aching
brow, and listen to, and soothe my childish complainings. I loved to be
alone, and fortunately I early imbibed a love for reading. In books I
forgot the sensation of loneliness that weighed down my young spirits.
The bustling, busy natures of those amongst whom the death of my parents
had thrown me, caused them to look upon this very natural tendency of
mine as something quite remarkable. They thought I must surely be
uncommonly clever, uncommonly intelligent to display, thus early, a love
for books; their own memories told a different story—study and reading
had been irksome to their restless minds—minds which found food enough
in every-day worldly pursuits. My vocation was decided upon—I was fond
of study, therefore I would surely make a good teacher, and to fit me
for this trying office, they all resolved that I should have an
excellent education, cost what it might. As I grew older, I fully
appreciated their judicious kindness, and prayed Heaven might bless such
single-hearted people—for although I had not received from my homely,
matter-of-fact relatives, the gentle caresses, and persuasive, patient
endurance of parents, for which I pined in childhood, yet they freely
gave of their store to me, and provided me with the resources, which in
womanhood fortified my mind, and enabled me to bear with sore trials.

An old established prosperous school was selected, where, under the
supervision of a highly accomplished and superior mind, my early days
were passed. I improved rapidly. Each session at its conclusion gave a
most satisfactory report of my progress; and when I reached the age of
fifteen I had obtained such a position as to entitle me to a vacant
subordinate teachership in the school, the duties of which were but
light, and left me sufficient time to pursue the higher branches of
study. My position as half-teacher, half-pupil, caused a slight barrier
to be raised between my fellow scholars and myself, but amongst them I
had many dear friends, who disregarded this fancied difference, and
loved me as one of themselves. My most intimate school-girl friend was
Clara Neale. So different were we in every respect, that even as a girl
I used to wonder at our intimacy. She was beautiful, rich, and
surrounded by a troop of loving and admiring friends. I poor, not
absolutely ugly, yet plain, and almost if not quite alone in the school
world. How I worshiped her beauty—I was always strangely affected and
influenced by personal appearance. Beauty, particularly in a woman,
attracted me—it was a weakness, but still I acknowledge its power. The
blue of Clara’s eyes was so deep, so dark—I can see their melting,
bewitching softness of expression even now, though many, many years have
passed away, and those eyes are closed in death.

Her hair was of the purest shade of chestnut brown; and many an hour
have I hung over her as if under the influence of a beautiful dream,
listening to her sweetly modulated voice reading some impassioned tale;
her graceful form thrown carelessly in a lovely attitude, and every
movement beaming with beauty. She was my idol, I confess, but the idol
also of many. My enthusiastic love pleased her, for I was cold to
others, being as in childhood, quiet and reserved, and seldom giving
evidence of any emotion. In the school I ranked high as a scholar, and
on account of my incessant, ambitious application, received from my
principals more credit for superiority of mind, than I fear I really
deserved; which, although it caused me to be an object of envy to many,
yet by girls possessing the associations and independence of position
which Clara did, I was regarded with respect and admiration. Therefore
did my romantic love flatter her. She was my first infatuation. I
clothed her with every virtue under the sun—I endowed her with every
mental gift in my fancy. As I look upon the ideal being created by my
girlish fascination, I can scarcely refrain from smiling, though in
sadness. Beautiful, she truly was, “as a poet’s or a painter’s
dream”—but she was little else. Clever enough, but not superior. She
was romantic, easily influenced, and gentle—but I loved her
passionately, and I love her memory now, even though she caused me great
suffering.

My vacations were generally spent at the school, for it was situated in
a very healthy section of country, and there were always many of the
boarding scholars that different circumstances compelled to remain. But
the summer of my sixteenth year, my health gave evidences of failing.
The preceding winter had been a trying one, both out of doors and
in—bleak and stormy had been the weather—the studies had likewise been
arduous and severe for me. The class of younger girls, my charges, had
been uncommonly large, consequently my duties increased, which caused me
to take from my sleeping hours the time necessary for accomplishing my
other studies. I felt that my reputation as the leading scholar in the
establishment was all I had to depend upon, therefore I could not permit
any thing to deprive me of that which I knew was my only capital. But,
ah! how wretchedly I felt at the close of the session; all the old
pining sadness of my childhood returned to me—I sickened for a tender
mother’s gentle soothings, a father’s looks of anxious pride—but these
were not for me, poor lone hearted girl, and “the future rose only as a
wall of darkness before me.” No longer did my heart beat with pride when
the principal prizes were unanimously awarded to me; and the directors
of the school looked compassionately on me, as they marked my thin form,
hollow cheeks, and dim eyes. A change of scene was necessary, so all
said, and I received from a distant relative an invitation to spend the
weeks of my vacation in his family. Passively I accepted the kind offer,
for so despondent was I, that all places seemed alike to me; but I
little expected the happiness that awaited me. They were relatives I had
never met with before; the husband was kind, intelligent, and
pleasant—the wife was still handsome, though no longer young—in my
eyes a great virtue—had known and loved my mother, and was gentle and
affectionate. They had many children, all married, and young
grandchildren shouted merrily through the house. It was a beautiful
country place where they lived, high mountains surrounded them, and
thick forests, such as I had never seen but in pictures and dreams. The
glow of health soon bloomed once more upon my cheeks; the dark cloud of
the Future was no longer regarded by me, for the bright sunny light of
the Present, blinded me to its shadows and I again rejoiced in life.

When my visit was about half over, a ward of my cousin’s came to pay
them a visit. Does not my reader see already that I am approaching the
history of my second infatuation? How my heart beats even now, old as I
am, when I recall the image of Walter Grey. He was also beautiful, or my
heart would never have been enchained. A miniature of him lies beside me
as I write, and I fancy I am a girl again, as I look in those liquid
dark eyes and dwell on the lovely lines of the countenance—massive and
rich are the dark clusters of the wavy hair; beautiful is the face, and
deeply, devotedly, did I love the original.

The last weeks of my sojourn in that blessed region floated as on
dream-wings. Walter was my constant companion. We wandered through the
forests—by the gushing, dancing, Undine streams, and he imagined, while
listening to my girlish rhapsodies, that I was the realization of an
intellectual perfection he had created in his fancy. We parted in the
fall, promising to meet again. My cousin’s family had become much
attached to me, and they insisted on parting, that every vacation should
be spent with them. Gladly I consented, and with a heart beating as it
never before had beat, with feelings of rapture and hope, I returned to
school. Clara was my confidante, and yet I had nothing to confide, as
she with more worldly wisdom said. She looked disappointed when I told
her Walter had made no offer, and my sensitive spirit felt shocked that
she should think it a necessary attendant upon our intercourse. He had
talked of love, but not particularly of loving me. We had roamed
together by the banks of the mountain streamlets, watching the
moon-beams glistening on the tiny white-crested wavelets, listening to
the chiming of their ringing foam bells, as they sprang aloft to kiss
the overhanging branches of the osier willows that hung as in “love-sick
langor” o’er the banks of the faëry waters. Hand clapped in hand, we had
talked of nature, of spiritual love and beauty—earthly every day
matters were unthought of by us, we were dreamers, and happy in our
visions.

A winter vacation came, and again I visited my cousin’s beautiful
home—again met with Walter. I saw those magnificent forests clothed in
snow—a glittering mantle enveloped all nature; but still the dancing
streamlet leaped, dashing and sparkling along its mountain path, unbound
by the icy chains that held captive other streams; it seemed as an
emblem of my own joyous nature. I was so happy. Another summer came, and
I revisited the lovely place; but that summer I had indeed much to
confide to Clara. Walter and I were betrothed, with the willing, joyful
consent of my relatives. We were to be married at some future time, when
he should have accomplished his studies. Two or three years might
elapse, but then we could meet frequently at my cousin’s, and we could
write, oh! such eloquent letters to each other. I yielded myself up
heart and soul to this infatuation, with an earnestness that surprised
me, for I had been so accustomed to control my feelings from childhood,
that I was almost ignorant of the depth of feeling I possessed.

Walter was wealthy, and every one congratulated me on my good fortune.
Little I cared for his worldly goods, and with all the romance of a
young disinterested spirit, I sighed that he was not poor—but he
rejoiced over his wealth for my sake, he said, and longed with
impatience to release me from what he deemed degrading thraldom. He
implored that I should no more return to Penley-Hill—that I should
remain with my cousins—they united their entreaties, but I refused; no,
until our marriage, I preferred my residence at the school. I
represented to him that it was not disagreeable to me, my pursuits were
intellectual, and it was better for me to continue my studies. This was
the only cause for dispute between us, and I felt more pained than I was
willing to confess when I discovered that he rather looked down on my
position in life; but his love, freely and fervently expressed, for my
own self, soothed my wounded feelings, and we again parted—I for
Penley-Hill, he for the gay metropolis, where he was to commence the
study of a profession, which would occupy two years—two long years—at
the expiration of which we were to be married.

That winter was a long one to me, for Clara had left the school at the
close of the preceding session—her education completed, she was to make
her debut that season in society. But her letters and Walter’s, cheered
the hours which would have otherwise hung heavily. I was exceedingly
anxious they should meet, and looked forward with delight to Walter’s
residence in the city where Clara’s parent’s resided. They did meet—in
the same circle of fashionable, wealthy families did they mingle, and I
was charmed at the rapturous description my friend and my lover gave me
of each other. How could they fail being pleased, one with the other I
said, and I pressed their letters with transport to my bosom. That
either should prove false, never entered my mind, and long, long was it
before I opened my eyes with fearful certainty to the truth fatal to my
happiness. The constrained, short letters I received from both, I
attributed to every cause but the right one. Clara was so occupied in a
whirl of dissipation I thought, as to be unable to write differently.
Walter was hurried in his studies, I said self-consolingly; he was
vainly endeavoring to shorten by intense application the tedious two
years probation.

The winter’s vacation I spent at Penley—for Walter wrote that his
studies would detain him in the city. The next vacation was indeed
passed at my cousin’s mountain-home—but in such wretchedness that my
heart aches as I recall that sad time. The lovely place had lost all
beauty in my eyes. Long before the spring flowers had drooped, I became
convinced of my friend’s perfidy—my lover’s infidelity; and I was
nearer death than life when my tender relatives bore me from Penley to
their home, vainly endeavoring to soothe and comfort my outraged
spirits. Long and severe was the illness which held me helpless as an
infant to my bed. Those who still loved me watched with painful anxiety,
scarcely hoping for my recovery, for they felt that returning health
would only restore me to a miserable, forsaken existence. But I did
recover, and quietly and calmly resolved to bend to the burden imposed
upon me. But a greater trial came. My dangerous illness had awakened
feelings of remorse in both Clara and Walter. She wrote wild,
self-reproaching letters, begging my forgiveness, and yielding up all
claim to Walter; whilst he renewed his protestations of love, imploring
me to pardon his wandering; but the same spirit which made me return to
Penley the preceding summer, caused me to reject firmly these weak
overtures. But I wrote with earnest affection to both, communicating my
firm determination. They both sought to see me, but I steadily refused
all interviews, and assured them if they really wished my future quiet
and rest, they must love each other as I had loved them, but not harass
my wounded heart by useless scenes and letters. Some of my friends
commended my course, others attributed it to a natural coldness of
disposition, and felt a sympathy for the two who had so deeply injured
me; but I was alike deaf to commendation or censure. I acted as my heart
and spirit impelled me, and felt a cold indifference to the remarks or
opinions of any one.

I heard from Walter and Clara no more for years. Before the two years
necessary for the completion of his studies had passed around, they were
married; but I was far distant at the time, and did not hear of it until
some months after. After my health was established my devoted
application to my duties was the remark of every one, and I soon rose in
the school to one of the head teacherships. I gave myself up heart and
spirit to my business, and it was regarded as a wonder that I so young,
should display such endurance and strength. They knew not how I suffered
in secret—they knew not of the moments when my overtaxed heart could
bear up no longer—when I trembled before the wailings of my inner
spirit. I felt that I had

        “Poured out my soul’s full tide
        Of hope and trust,
        Prayer, tear, devotedness;
        ’Twas but to write with the heart’s fiery rain,
        Wild words on dust.”

The habit of self-control which I had early acquired, enabled me,
however, to struggle against such feelings of sorrowful, hopeless
despondency, and I would rouse myself, seeking constant, unceasing
occupation in my daily duties, that I might strengthen my fainting
spirit.

Amongst my pupils was one whose situation had always endeared her to me.
Lucy Hill was a delicate, weakly orphan girl. She reminded me of myself
in my early days; but, unlike me, though dependent, it was on an
affectionate, wealthy uncle, who, being unmarried, had no one to care
for but her. He watched anxiously every breath, and anticipated every
wish of this idolized niece. A fall in her infancy had increased a
debility natural to her, and the fear of personal deformity at last
became realized. As she passed the age of early childhood, her
physicians thought that to place her at Penley-Hill would be of benefit
to her, bodily as well as mentally; and she had resided there for three
or four years, as half pupil, half boarder. She loved me as she would
have loved an elder sister; and I taught her, nursed her, and after my
great sorrow, tried to forget my own griefs in the interest I felt for
her. Symptoms of the disease which had swept off her family displaying
themselves in her, a milder climate than her bleak northern home was
deemed necessary—and her uncle resolved to take her to the South of
Europe. She insisted upon my accompanying her—urged how necessary I was
to her health and happiness. Her uncle joined his entreaties, and even
the principals of Penley urged me to accept the offer, though at the
same time, with kind, flattering words, assured me that on my return
they would gladly again receive me in their establishment, from which
they said they could illy spare me. But in truth they feared that I, as
well as poor Lucy, needed the change of scene and climate. Though quiet
and resigned, my health was gradually sinking under the burden pride
imposed upon my suffering spirit, and my friends began to tremble for my
life.

I accepted the munificent offers Lucy and her uncle made to me. Money
was of no consequence to him compared to the gratification of that loved
girl; and we set sail for Europe. A year and more passed delightfully to
me. Lucy’s health seemed, indeed, benefited by the change. We traveled
leisurely through the classic scenes of Europe—lingering where we
wished, and roaming where fancy led us; and I almost forgot—yes, quite
forgot—my sorrows in the intellectual gratification I was enjoying. But
a new cause of annoyance sprung up; Mr. Hill became, to my surprise, my
lover, and Lucy added her entreaties to his. I shrank from the idea of
marrying. No, I had loved once, I never could again—and I would never
marry without love. Mr. Hill was much older than I—many years my
senior, but pleasant, intelligent and gentlemanly. He knew of my
unfortunate connection with Walter, and was one of those who had looked
with respect upon the course I had pursued; this sympathy and respect
had deepened into love. I liked him—respected him—had even a warm
friendship for him—but marry him! oh, no—that I could never do; and
when he found that his offers pained me, he and Lucy, with kind
consideration, desisted from their entreaties. But I could see in his
countenance and manner that great was the struggle he endured; and I had
resolved upon returning home, when an alarming change took place in
Lucy, which forbade my leaving her. A few weeks of violent, intense
suffering to her ensued, which ended in her death. On her death-bed I
yielded to her request—I became the wife of her uncle. She dreaded to
leave him alone in life, and her parting breath was calmed with the
certainty that I was, indeed, her aunt, by the ceremony which was
performed sadly, at her bed-side a few hours previous to her death.

We remained abroad many years, and I was quietly happy. I at last
fancied I loved my husband; not as I had loved Walter, it is true; but
the many excellent qualities which my husband possessed, won upon me.
His kindness, his attention to my unexpressed wishes, could not but be
appreciated—and I valued him as he deserved to be valued. We had
troubles in our married life, however; our three lovely children were
laid, one after another, beside dear Lucy, in the beautiful Neapolitan
burial-place; and when, after ten years of quiet, calm happiness, my
husband died, he left me a childless widow. We had returned to our
native country a year or so before his death, and he had taken great
pleasure the last few months of his existence, in beautifying in every
possible manner, our country residence, which was my favorite abode. One
could scarcely imagine a more lovely spot; nature had been lavish in its
bounties, and my husband added every thing that wealth could purchase to
adorn its exterior and interior. It reminded me of the beautiful villa
belonging to the Italian, Paul Jovius; and I wish for his glowing words,
that, like him, I could paint with rapture “the gardens bathed by the
waters of the lake—the shade and freshness of the woods—the green
slopes, sparkling fountains—the deep silence and calm of solitude.”

My husband, in adorning this place, followed out with loving precision,
the classic description given of the Italian eulogist’s beautiful
residence. Like the villa of Jovius, “a statue was raised in the gardens
to Nature. In the hall stood a fine statue of Apollo and the Muses
around, with their attributes. The library was guarded by a Mercury, and
there was an apartment, adorned with Doric columns, and with pictures of
the most pleasing subjects dedicated to the Graces.”

The loss of such a husband could not but be deeply felt by me, and
though young, wealthy, and more comely than I had been in youth, I shut
myself up from society, long after the period of mourning had elapsed. I
became resigned at last, and in intellectual pursuits was tranquilly
happy. Being surrounded by images of beauty—the works of masters
glowing on my walls—exquisite and costly pieces of sculpture around
me—my library almost a fairy spot—my days passing in luxurious
quiet—the recollection of past sorrow became subdued and softened, and
I breathed with calm tranquillity the delicious atmosphere of the
present.

One summer, some four or five years after my husband’s death, I ventured
to visit the mountain region where my dear cousins had resided. They
were dead—kind creatures—but their youngest child, a married daughter,
of whom I was fond, resided there with a lovely family of children. They
were such romping, blessed little ones, I envied her the possession of
these darlings. One lovely child, which bore the name of my mother and
hers—Mary—I quietly resolved to adopt and coax away from her parents,
when she should become sufficiently fond of me. The days passed
delightfully to me, although that lovely place was connected with the
most bitter recollections of my past life. Again I roamed through the
deep forests—along the mountain paths, and traced the course of the
stream as it dashed over its rocky bed as I had in girlish days with
Walter, and at last found myself recalling his beautiful face to my
memory. One day, on my return from my ramblings, I was told that
he—Walter—the long parted one—had arrived. He was, like myself, alone
in life—a childless widower. Clara was dead. How my heart sprung—and
then sunk; recollections of bitter agony came with his presence—and I
was chilled. We met—and days did we spend together. I knew that the
meeting and intercourse had been planned by my kindly meaning friends;
they thought we would renew our love—how little they knew of woman’s
heart. Again we visited our old haunts; again Walter addressed words of
passionate love to me, and for a while I fancied the influence of the
old dream hung over me. I returned abruptly to my home, and spent weeks
in its quiet, calm seclusion; severely and earnestly questioning my
heart, my first conclusion remained; the recollection of past love was
mingled too deeply with the remembrance of those bitter moments of
heart-breaking agony, when I had dared, in my sufficiency, to question
the justice of Providence. Walter’s desertion had taught me to still and
calm my feelings—to coldly reason on heart-throbbings; now he was the
sufferer by the lesson—and again we parted, never more to meet. I was
firm—he said, heartless—and it may be I was; if so, his early
faithlessness had caused that heartlessness.

Life passed quietly around. I succeeded in persuading the little Mary to
love me as she loved her mother—and her merry voice and light footstep
cheered my residence. I saw her married to one she loved; and my former
quiet, solitary home has rung with the joyous laughter of her children,
who troop around me daily. I have known great sorrow, but also much
happiness, and have contributed to lighten the griefs of many. I am now
old, but I am surrounded with dear, loving friends; and when I would
sigh over the past, I look on these happy faces around me, and raise my
heart in grateful thoughts to the Power that guided me through a painful
childhood—a bitter womanhood—and led me at last to the quiet waters of
peaceful prosperity, where I may lay down my spirit to rest.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            DO I LOVE THEE?


                          BY RICHARD COE, JR.


                  Do I love thee? Ask the flower
                    If it love the pearly tear
                  That, at evening’s quiet hour,
                    Falleth soft and clear,
                      Its gentle form to bless?
                      If, perchance, it answer “yes!”
                        Answer thee sincerely—
                      Then I love with earnestness,
                        Then I love thee dearly!

                  Do I love thee? Ask the child,
                    If it love its mother dear?
                  If it love her accents mild?
                    Love her fond, sincere,
                      Tender and warm caress?
                      If, perchance, it answer “yes!”
                        Answer thee sincerely—
                      Then I love with earnestness,
                        Then I love thee dearly!

                  Do I love thee? Ay! I love thee
                    Better far than words can tell;
                  All around and all above me
                    Lives a charméd spell,
                      My spirit sad to bless!
                      Then I fondly answer “yes!”
                        Answer thee sincerely—
                      That I love with earnestness,
                        That I love thee dearly!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            ODE TO SHELLEY.


                          BY J. BAYARD TAYLOR.


          Why art thou dead? Upon the hills once more
            The golden mist of waning Autumn lies;
          The slow-pulsed billows wash along the shore,
            And phantom isles are floating in the skies.
          They wait for thee: a spirit in the sand
            Hushes, expectant, for thy lingering tread;
          The light wind pants to lift thy trembling hair;
                  Inward, the silent land
            Lies with its mournful woods—why art thou dead,
          When Earth demands that thou shalt call her fair?

          Why art thou dead? O, glorious Child of Song,
            Whose brother-spirit ever dwells with mine,
          Feeling, twin-doomed, the burning hate of Wrong,
            And Beauty’s worship, deathless and divine!
          Thou art afar—wilt thou not soon return,
            To tell me that which thou hast never told?
          To grasp my throbbing hand, and by the shore
                  Or dewy mountain-fern,
            Pour out thy heart as to a friend of old,
          Tearful with twilight sorrow? Nevermore.

          Why art thou dead? My years are full of pain—
            The pain sublime of thought that has no word;
          And Truth and Beauty sing within my brain
            Diviner songs than men have ever heard.
          Wert thou but here, thine eye might read the strife—
            The solemn burthen of immortal song—
          And hear the music, that can find no lyre;
                  For thou hast known a life,
            Lonely, amid the Poets’ mountain-throng—
          Whose cloudy snows concealed eternal fire!

          I could have told thee all the sylvan joy
            Of trackless woods; the meadows, far apart,
          Within whose fragrant grass, a lonely boy,
            I thought of God; the trumpet at my heart,
          When on bleak mountains roared the midnight storm
            And I was bathed in lightning, broad and grand:—
          Oh, more than all, with low and sacred breath
                  And forehead flushing warm,
            I would have led thee through the summer land
          Of my young love, and past my dreams of Death!

          In thee, immortal Brother! had I found
            That voice of Earth for which my spirit pines;
          The awful speech of Rome’s sepulchral ground,
            The dusky hymn of Vallambrosa’s pines!
          From thee the noise of ocean would have taken
            A grand defiance round the moveless shores,
          And vocal grown the mountain’s silent head.
                  Canst thou not still awaken
            Beneath the funeral cypress? Earth implores
          Thy presence for her son—why art thou dead?

          I do but rave—for it is better thus:
            Were once thy starry heart revealed to mine,
          In the twin-life which would encircle us,
            My soul would melt, my voice be lost in thine!
          Better to mask the agony of thought
            Which through weak human lips would make its way,
          ’Neath lone endurance, such as men must learn:
                  The Poet’s soul is fraught
            With mightiest speech, when loneliest the day;
          And fires are brightest, that in midnight burn.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                   MARION’S SONG IN THE SCHOOL-ROOM.


                         BY FRANCIS S. OSGOOD.


                Away with you, ye musty tomes!
                  I’ll read no more this morning!
                The wildwood rose unlessoned grows—
                  I’m off—your sermons scorning!

                I found a problem, yester eve,
                  In wondering where the brook led,
                More pleasant far for me to solve
                  Than any one in Euclid.

                I heard a bird sing, sweet and low,
                  A truer lay than Tasso—
                A lay of love—ah! let me go,
                  And fly from Learning’s lasso!

                I saw a golden missal, too,
                  ’Twas writ in ancient ages,
                And stars—immortal words of light—
                  Illumined all its pages!

                The hand of God unclasped the book,
                  And oped its leaves of glory;
                I read, with awed and reverent look,
                  Creation’s wondrous story.

                I will not waste these summer hours,
                  The gift that He has given;
                I’ll find philosophy in flowers,
                  Astronomy in heaven!

                Yon morning-glory shuts its leaves,
                  A worm creeps out from under;
                Ye volumes, take the hint she gives,
                  And let the book-worm wander!

                I’ll scan no more old Virgil’s verse,
                  I’d rather scan the heavens;
                I’ll leave the puzzling Rule-of-Three
                  At sixes and at sevens;

                The only sum I’ll cipher out
                  Shall be the “_summum bonum_;”
                My only _lines_—shall fish for trout,
                  Till Virgil wouldn’t own ’em!

                A costly cover has my book,
                  Rich blue, where light is winding;
                How poor, beside its beauty, look
                  Your calf and cotton binding.

                Away! the balmy air—the birds—
                  Can teach me music better
                Than all your hard, high-sounding words,
                  That still my fancy fetter.

                The waves will tell me how to play
                  That waltz of Weber’s rightly;
                And I shall learn, from every spray,
                  To dance, with grace and lightly.

                Hush! hark! I heard a far-off bird,
                  I’ll read no more this morning;
                The jasmine glows—the woodbine blows!
                  I’m off—your sermons scorning!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                     ALL ABOUT “WHAT’S IN A NAME.”


                            BY CAROLINE C——.


    ’Tis folly to think of life’s troubles, yet they have the most
    inconvenient faculty of forcing themselves on the minds of men!
    _An. Phi._

Proprietor of the visual organs now scanning this page, which the
publisher, with the still but potent voice of print, proclaimeth
henceforth and forever mine, _do_ you love music? rejoice you in the
melody of singing voices? If you reply in the affirmative, then most
heartily do I wish that you occupied my place at this present moment;
for over the way—oh, most uncomfortable proximity!—there is a “Hall,”
where regularly meet a number of _vocalists_, whose chief object in
life, for all I can discover, seems to be to ascertain to a certainty
the exact power of their individual lungs—perhaps a secondary intent
may be to edify this usually calm neighborhood; in case this latter
should be at all an influential motive, I hereby proclaim that I, being
the neighbor most concerned, am fully satisfied, and far from following
the pernicious example of the world-renowned Oliver, I will not cry for
“more,” on the contrary, I would much rather stoop to compromise; and if
they will but cessate, I will henceforth and forever maintain a most
unbreakable silence on all musical subjects, though in doing so, you can
hardly conceive what a _sacrifice_ I would be making.

Oh, could you but hear them shout “I _will_ praise the Lord!” perhaps if
you are a good Christian you might put up with the nuisance, after
having given utterance to only a _partial_ sigh; but possessing as _I_
do so small a share of the Christian graces, I can only say in answer,
though with all reverence, “if you call _this_ praise, beseech you,
expedite your glorifyings, and have done.”

Perhaps I owe an apology, at least a reason, for opening this chapter in
such an exceedingly unamiable style: here it is then. I came into my
“_sanctum_” with the express purpose of thinking of one I would fain
tell you all about, but with thoughts so distracted as mine are at
present, I fear I shall hardly do justice to any body in giving them
utterance to night, and yet I feel constrained so to do; remember, in
mercy, how I have been outraged by the explosion in yonder “Hall,” and
so proceed.

My heroine lived and _lives_ in this most beautiful of all villages in
the Empire State, which, as perhaps you know, is _footed_ by the most
charming of lakes imaginable, and is, though a “sleeping beauty,” (the
village I mean,) when taken all together quite perfect in its way.

To avoid being convicted of speaking of _any body in particular_, I
shall treat of this lady as though she were one of the has beens;
perhaps afterward I may tell you what she _is_.

Well, then, in her _young_ days she _was_ a maiden very much like other
maidens, (American, of course,) pretty, graceful, intelligent, and
interesting. No one ever thought her a great beauty, but the expression
of her countenance was decidedly good. She was very fair, indeed, _so_
fair that her face seemed pale, in contrast with the glossy black hair
which was not usually arranged with very great regard for effect. Her
eyes also were black—not the detestable, twinkling, beady, black orb,
nor the very opposite, dull, heavy black; but a soft, spiritual eye,
filled with mild, cheerful light, quite pleasing to behold; and yet I
have seen them glowing actually with what might be called the _fire of
determination_, which was quite astonishing to see in one most every
body took to be the most placid, and amiable, and soft-hearted creature
in the world.

In a crowd of brilliants, or of ordinary fashionable people even, this
little lady would have been in her earlier days hopelessly lost to all
observation. It was amid the fire-side circle she was calculated
pre-eminently to shine. In her own home, among familiar friends, what an
affectionate child she was; the arms of her spirit seemed to be
continually out-stretched, seeking and asking for love and kindness and
sympathy; it was a craving of her nature, a necessity to her happiness,
that all should love and esteem her.

A pale-faced, quiet girl, whom, because of her goodness and gentleness,
every body liked—there, you have her. You have seen hundreds such, but
in all your promiscuous travels, I will guaranty, not many of you have
met with one of whom you have such a tale to tell as I am going to
unfold.

In order that I may continue this story with any degree of satisfaction
to you, patient(?) bearer with my many digressions, or with any comfort
or propriety to myself, it is absolutely necessary that I should give
this amiable and loveable maiden “a name,” as I have already given her a
“local habitation.” I have not delayed doing this for so long without
reason, so far from that, it is with inexpressible reluctance that I
proclaim to you the cognomen of _this_ friend of mine. I have tried to
get up a little interest in her on your part before mentioning her
title, the world is so cold-hearted, and possesses so little power of
_appreciation_, that I fear me it will imagine no manner of interest
could attach itself to the owner of _such_ a name.

Poor dear, (do not look at me so earnestly, my tongue falters while I
speak,) poor, dear Delleparetta Hogg, all honor to thee for bearing the
burden of _such_ a nomenclature so meekly and so well! Let me tell you
all about her, (for really I am coming to the point,) and you will see
what other burdens she bore nobly, beside that odious appendage to her
identity.

Her childhood passed much in the manner of the childhood of other
people. From the time when she was a little wee thing till she was
twelve years old, Delleparetta, or Delle, as we used to call her, went
with all the rest of the village children to the village-school; she
played with us, and rode, and walked, and went nutting with us, and was
in all respects as we, only a great deal better, and more obliging,
till, as I have said, she approached _’teen hood_. Then “trouble came
down upon” the young child.

One day the sun, which had always shone so cheerfully upon her, went
behind a dark and hateful cloud, and an evil genius passing by her home,
stamped upon the door the cross of poverty. From that day there was a
sad change in little Delle; her voice became more hushed than ever in
its tone, she rarely came to join us in our merry-makings—and there
spread a thoughtful, sad expression over the face of the gentle child,
which told she had heard unpleasant changes in the aforetime harmony of
her life.

The father of Delle had started in life with a purse alarmingly full of
nothingness, but by slow and patient toil and care, he had worked
himself into the possession of a comfortable living. Not content with
this, one ever-to-be-lamented day he entered into a wild speculation,
which, instead of at once doubling his fortune, left him in a far worse
predicament than he was placed in at the beginning of life forty years
before, when he had played a bare-footed boy in the streets, with
scarcely a home to boast of. Yes, he was a great deal worse off than he
was _then_, despite his present respectability, and his fine noble wife,
and five children; because _then_ he was but a boy, brimful of hope,
eager to enter into the contest of life, fearful of no failure, feeling
he had “little to lose, and all to win.” Now his habits of ease and
quiet had been so long fastening upon him, it really required no little
strength of mind and purpose to rouse and labor as he had done in the
days of his youth; his eagerness and hopefulness of spirit were
gone—his ambition was departed; and when he looked on his five helpless
little ones, the eldest but twelve years old, he felt as though the
weight of a mountain were on his hands.

Temptation comes well armed to such a mind, and not with unheard
footsteps, or disregarded smile drew she nigh to him. She held the
wine-cup to his lips—his eyes grew red with looking on the burning
poison, and he tasted, and was lost! Not a hand lifted he to avert the
dread calamity which he alone _could_ avert; not an effort did he make
to re-establish once more the happiness of that household, when smiles
and kind words were all the little group cared to have. About this time
Sickness passed on heavy wing by this home of our little friend; she saw
the cross her sister Poverty had marked upon the lintel, and she knew
where she might rest. The _poor_ have no power to shut out the dark
angel, when she pauseth before their open door.

The mother, who, during one of the longest and hardest of winters had
exerted herself daily and nightly far beyond her strength to provide for
the wants of her children, who had in reality no other support but her,
drooped when the “life-inspiring” spring came round again. The health
which was so shattered by the struggles and heart-sorrows of the winter,
was not restored again when the sunlight streamed so richly through her
cheerless home. With the blossoming trees, and the violets, her hope did
not strongly revive. The voices of the returning birds did not bring to
her the lightness and happiness of spirit she had known in other
days—for every day the brand of drunkenness was graven deeper and
deeper on the forehead of the lover of her youth. Long, long after all
her natural strength had failed, the mother’s love, and the wife’s
devotion sustained, supported her. Long after her voice was faltering
with weakness, did she supplicate that husband to rouse him to his
former manliness, to exert himself once more. Long after her hands were
trembling with disease, did she continue to ply the needle, whose labor
was to bring them their daily food.

And heavy debts hung over them. Then the creditors, who saw no
probability of these being ever satisfied, determined to liquidate them
by selling off the little farm and residence of Mr. Hogg. And so they
were sold. With the miserable remnant of their household goods which was
left them, they removed to a smaller and less comfortable home. Then, as
if evil days had not dawned on them already, one morning found the
toiling mother laid on the bed of sickness and of death. To leave those
helpless children _thus!_ oh, it had been hard to part with those little
ones, when around each one her heart-strings clung, even had their
future been very bright, but to leave them when darkness and dreariness
of life was before them, when a path so beset with sorrow and trial was
all that she could see in store for them! bitter, bitter it was, indeed!
Pass we over the sacredness of that hour, when the dying mother
breathing the few faint parting words in the ear of her eldest child,
left them to struggle on in their hard road alone. Words fail me to tell
her anguish, who, in the last moments of her life, was racked by the
thought of _all_ that _they_ might be called on to endure. No living
voice _should_ essay to speak of all that was in her heart, when she
clasped the youngest, a bright-eyed boy, to her bosom, while his gay
voice broke forth in laughter, and he flung his arms about her neck, and
hid his face, all radiant with smiles, in her bosom. I am powerless when
I attempt to tell you of the girl who stood shuddering with agony beside
that bed, while the shadows of the coming night were fast filling the
little room, when, after a long, and to her terrible silence, with
trembling hands she lifted the boy from his mother’s arms, and felt as
her fingers loosened the parent’s grasp, that the thin hands were icy
cold, when she fell almost lifeless to the floor with the little one in
her arms, feeling that those children had no mother or protector but
her. _I_ cannot tell you as should be told, if told, indeed, at all, of
the terrible sorrow that filled her soul, when the little one said to
her, “put me back with mamma, she is sleeping!”

From that day Delle went with us no more to the village school, neither
joined us in our hours of gayety. While she was so young, the cares and
anxieties of a woman had overtaken her, and trials which older heads and
hearts find it hard to bear, were thick in her path, all that delights
the young and excitable, did she most cheerfully forego; I never heard a
murmur from her lips. The living witnesses of her mother’s love and
life-devotion surrounded her; they forbade every expression, every
feeling of impatience, or envious regard of the happiness of others, no
worthier than herself.

It was a heart-cheering sight, the firmness and perseverance of that
strong-minded girl, when the first wildness of her sorrow was passed,
and she stood amid that family group, a support, and a counsellor, and
guide, plying her little hands on the coarse work with which the
neighbors had supplied her. All the counsel and advice of the dead
mother she kept most religiously. Never for a moment did she falter in
her duty, but no one knows how much of sadness there was in her heart.

At the time of his wife’s death, the father seemed to pause for a little
in his downward course, for he had loved her once, and remembered well
that happy time, and perhaps, but no, I cannot dignify the affection
with which still, in his sober hours, he thought of her, with the name
of _love_. No, he did not _love_ her in her better days, because love
would have prompted him to deeds commensurate with so ennobling and
exalting a faculty. Yet when she died, the husband sorrowed for her, and
conscience reproached him, too, when he looked for the last time on the
care-worn, faded countenance of his departed wife, who had always been
his good angel. Still it was not with such sorrow as he should have
sorrowed for her, that he followed her to the grave, and then led his
little ones back to his home; had it been, he would have sought then, in
a better life, to pay a fitting homage to her memory.

For a few weeks he did labor with what little skill was left him, at his
old trade; but his was not the will, nor the mind, nor the heart to
pursue the good because it was right, and just, and his duty. His recent
excesses had shattered his constitution—his hands trembled, and his
feet went tottering, and ere long these evil inclinations quite overcame
him again. Poor Delle! she had no more hope for him when she saw that
the death of her mother was a thing so feebly remembered and cared for
by him. How strange it seemed to her that he could _ever_ forget the
words of entreaty the dying woman addressed to him. To the mind of the
innocent child it was wonderful that he should ever seek to drown those
words of pleading and warning that _she_ had spoken to him in the
horrible forgetfulness that is bought by intoxication.

But aside from this great sorrow, there was another and a different kind
of care that weighed heavily on Delle’s mind. Her only sister was ten
years old at the time of her mother’s death. She had been always a puny,
sickly little thing—the object of that mother’s unceasing and peculiar
care. It is said that the heart of the parent is always filled with a
deeper and tenderer sympathy and love for an unfortunate child. Most
true was this in the case of Jane. She had never been much at school,
and rarely had left her mother’s side. A sober little creature she was,
always seeking to make herself useful, and quite unlike in all respects
the romping boys who filled the house with their noise. When Mrs. Hogg
died, Jane, to use Mrs. Jones’ expressive words, “wilted right down,
just like a cabbage-leaf;” and the scrofula, which had afflicted her for
many years, manifested itself in a fearful form. It seemed to Delle that
the cup of bitterness was running over when the village doctor, who was
called to the child’s aid, told her, for she _would_ know the truth,
that he could do nothing for her—that her spine would be inevitably
curved. It might be, he said, that constant care and watching would in a
measure restore her health, and her life _might_ be spared for years,
but she could never wholly recover.

All the tenderness and affection her mother had borne toward little
Jane, seemed to have centered itself in the bosom of Delle. A most
patient and untiring nurse was she, doing every thing so cheerfully,
sacrificing all her own wants that she might procure comforts for the
invalid, and never giving the child reason to suppose for a moment that
her, I mean Delle’s, constitution was not made of iron. Often and often,
after a day of exertion, would she sit for half the night by the side of
the little sufferer, who was writhing in agony, watching her and
supporting her with the fondest care; and to all poor Jane’s anxious
fears that she would weary out, the gentle voice of Delle assured her it
was not possible to weary in doing for _her_.

Three years from the spring when the weeping children had gathered
around their mother’s grave, they stood together in the church-yard
again, and saw the dust and the sod heaped over the dead body of their
father. I would not say that it was not with much sorrowing, with many
tears, that Delle had nursed him through his death-sickness; that it was
not with love and a martyr’s patient endurance she had ministered to his
numberless wants; but I should be _far_ wrong (and you will not impute
it to her sin) were I to say that it was the same great sorrow which had
bowed and well-nigh crushed her gentle spirit when her mother died, that
brought forth those tears when she stood by her father’s death-bed. He
was her father; she remembered with affectionate gratitude the days of
old, when he was to his children a parent indeed, when he had been the
tender and devoted husband of his wife; but even _that_ remembrance was
not strong enough to obliterate all recollection of the recent past; and
I say it was not in her nature, nor, indeed, in human nature at all, to
mourn _very_ deeply over _such_ a man. It was _not_ with such a dreadful
sense of bereavement that she followed him to the grave, as had once
before swept over her. The “cloud had spent its fury” upon her, the bolt
had fallen the day her worshiped mother died.

The children returned to their home, orphaned—four of them dependent on
the exertions of that frail young creature on whom only the sun of
sixteen years was beaming. There were no friends on whom they might
depend, for their mother’s relatives lived somewhere in the far South;
and had Delle even known _where_ they lived, there was far too much
independence and self-reliance in her nature to impose on them the
maintenance of five strange children, which she felt could not be a very
agreeable accession to any family; and her heart was so filled with
almost _parental_ affection for those young beings, that she could not
bear to think of subjecting them to the possible hard treatment of
unsympathizing relatives.

Delle’s next-door neighbor was an old woman, who, though poor as the
children themselves, and dependent upon her own feeble exertions for
support, had taken the deepest interest in this parentless family. She
it was who proposed to Delle that she should go to her father’s brother,
who lived in a town further to the west, and pray that he would help
them in their need. This was the day after Mr. Hogg’s funeral, and the
old “lady” had dropped in to console the children, bringing with her
provisions for them which she could ill spare from her own little store.
I was gone from home that year, but many times since I have heard Delle
speak with tears of gratitude of the kindness of the good old Mrs. Jones
at that crisis of their lives. She came to advise with Delle, as I have
said, and even went so far in her Christian charity (by the way, though
in the very act of constructing a fit and proper sentence, I must pause
to say the ever-to-be-lamented Hood erred when he wrote so musically,

        “Alas! for the rarity
        Of Christian Charity
        Under the sun;”

because there _is_ plenty of charity and sympathy in the world, if
people were only so wise as to know where to look for it. Do you think
to find fragrance in the dahlia, and the bright-hued tulip-flowers? Vain
will be your seeking. Go into the woods and fields, along the banks of
the little stream—search in _such_ places, you will not return
successless, you will come back with your hands _filled_ with fragrant
violets and wild-roses!) as to offer to take charge of the younger
member of the family during her necessary absence, and also to endeavor
to gather from the neighbors sufficient funds to carry her to those
friends. But to all these kind proposals, greatly astonished was the
good woman by Delle’s firm refusal.

“No,” said she, “Mrs. Jones, I remember when our misfortunes overtook us
three years ago; father wrote to uncle, and told him of our necessities,
begging him to assist us, but uncle made such answer, that _I_ will
never repeat those requests; no, Mrs. Jones, though I should starve! But
we shall not starve, neither shall my little ones come on the town. You
know that after I left school, for some time I taught Charley and
Georgy, and Jane, and I have learned them a great deal, beside improving
myself, and this is what I’ll do. I’ll open a small school for children,
and the neighbors—will they patronize me for my poor dear mother’s
sake—oh, I will try, and teach so well!”

Poor Delle’s voice was not quite firm as she disclosed these projects to
the kind-hearted old woman, but she did not cry; there was not a tear in
her soft, down-cast eyes—but Mrs. Jones did weep outright when she
looked on the excited young girl, and saw the flashes of color which
betrayed her emotion, deeply tinging her cheek one moment, and the next
leaving it colorless. _She_ did weep, I say, and for some minutes made
no answer to Delle’s inquiry; this sympathy which the old woman evinced,
emboldened the maiden to speak again, for she felt _she_ had no time to
weep then—she must _act_.

“Do you think, dear Mrs. Jones, I shall succeed? Will the people be
afraid to send their children to me because I am so young? Oh, if you
will but speak to a few, just a few people, and tell them how I will try
to do justice to their little ones. And tell them, yes, tell them, Mrs.
Jones, that I do it to give bread to _my_ children; they have always
known me, they need not fear I will neglect theirs.”

“Yes, yes,” cried the old woman, hurriedly, starting up and wiping her
eyes, “I’ll go this minute; bless your noble heart! they _shall_ send
their children to your school. I’ll be bound you’ll do justice to
’em—when shall I tell ’em you’ll open?”

“To-day—to-morrow—any day; let them come here, I shall be ready for
them, I have no time to wait or to waste.”

And in a moment old Mrs. Jones (blessed be her memory!) was gone on her
errand of mercy; and then, yes, as a true historian, I _must_ say,
Delle’s tears did burst forth, resisted no longer. The children left
their broken toys and their play, when they saw their sister weeping,
and came softly and stood beside her—every little face that had a
moment before been covered with smiles, wore a most touching, solemn
expression, when they saw how grieved she was; Jane laid her head on
Delle’s knee and wept too, scarcely knowing why; and little Willy crept
into her arms, and while he nestled there so lovingly, he brushed away
her tears with his tiny hand, saying, “Dear, dear Delle, don’t cry, we
all love you so dearly.”

But the words and sympathy of the children only brought the tears faster
to her eyes, even while they fell like balm on her heart. Was she not
_rich_ in the love of those children? What a pleasure would it be to
labor for them, and to see them guided by her hand, growing up in
goodness and knowledge; and again, in that home, before God she vowed
she would be unceasingly faithful to her dead mother’s charge.

Two years passed away, and Delle’s school was continued with the
greatest success; indeed, it had become _the_ child’s school of our
village. You should have seen her in the school-room of her now
comfortable home, amid the multitudes of youth who gathered around her,
whose “young ideas” she was teaching to “shoot” in the right direction.
You should have seen her in the hours when she was alone in her home
with her brothers and invalid sister. How unabated was her tender and
watchful care of the fragile Jane; how unceasing her efforts to secure
the comfort and happiness of the poor girl; how happy she herself was
when a smile and visible contentment on the part of the sufferer was
returned for all her pains. You should have seen her encouraging, or
mildly reproving, or joining the three light-hearted boys in their
sports, who regarded her with the deference and affection they would
have shown toward a parent. You should have seen her on the Sabbaths
when she went with the children, whom _her_ diligence and perseverance
fed and clothed, to the village church, teaching them by her example to
“remember their Creator in their youth.” You should have watched her
when she went with them to the church-yard, to the place where their
parents were buried—a little spot which their hands had made beautiful
as a garden. You should have seen Delle at such times to have rightly
and fully estimated her worth. Those only who saw her and knew her in
all these lights, _could_ know her truly; for as she grew nigh to
womanhood, there was a dignity and reserve in her manners, resulting
from the manifold trials to which she had been exposed, which made her
not readily understandable to those who had not known her from
childhood.

Do you abominate parties? So do I. But follow me this once, ’tis a
beautiful moonlight night, to yonder well-lighted mansion. I have trod
through it oftentimes, and with me for your guide, there is no possible
danger of losing your way. Here we are in the midst of the gay
assemblage; what profusion of flowers, what pleasant voices and bright
smiles, and happy hearts; and, hark! there are sounds of music and of
dancing feet. Let us wander, now, through the rooms, _in spirit_, and
amuse ourselves for a moment with “seeing what is to be seen,” and
hearing what is to be heard; and if there be any malice in our remarks,
we can keep our own secret, and not expose those “modern belles” to more
ridicule than very naturally they draw forth from common, ordinary
observers; nor will we say any thing _aloud_ about that nondescript sort
of personage yclept a fashionable beau, whose culminated faculties
emerge before the public in the shape of unmitigated _non_sense.

Ah, what an unexpected relief—the belabored piano is resting now; the
incessant battering and twisting of the keys, which, alas! rarely open
the real gates of glorious music, is stilled—the harp is twanged no
more—the guitar is silenced, yet the music-room is filled, and every
sound is hushed, and they await in expectancy a somewhat—there it is!
Heard you ever the like. That _is music_! keep silent, it will not do to
criticise _such_ singing. How melodiously the words gush forth; they are
new, but how distinctly they are pronounced! The song is finished. What,
not one concluding, prolonged trill of approved flourish? No—for it is
finished.

See how they crowd round the pale, sweet-faced girl who has filled the
room with such melody, and all, excepting the performers who have so
prodigiously exerted themselves on the musical instruments, entreat for
_one_ more song. And while she stands silently for a moment, see the
delighted countenance of the tall, well-formed gentleman who stands near
her; listen, he is saying in the lowest possible tone, “pray, lady, sing
once more.” And the lady heard his words, and as she raises her eyes to
the stranger, a scarcely perceptible flush is on her pale face. Again
her eyes are drooping, and the rich voice is doing ample justice to Mrs.
Heman’s splendid poem, “The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers.” Is not the
wild, drear scene before you—can you not see it all as she sings, how

        “The breaking waves dashed high
          On a stern and rock-bound coast,
        And the woods against a stormy sky,
          Their giant branches tossed.”

And again they are beseeching for but one more song; but see how mildly,
yet so firmly, that they cannot doubt she means to sing no more, does
she decline. No one essays to charm the ear now after _such_
singing—and already they are beginning to pour out of the music-room,
whither _her_ voice had drawn them. But, see! there is one who remains
standing, as spell-bound, beside the lady. Who is this stranger? A city
gent, but to-day arrived from the East, at the residence of his
relative, _our_ hostess. How refined he is in manner and dress, and
apparently not tinged with coxcombry at all, yet this may be the effect
of an education conducted solely with the intent to please and catch the
world’s eye, as well as of good sound common sense. At all events, if he
_is_ puffed up with inordinate vanity because Heaven has suffered him to
attain the ordinary stature of manhood, in the possession of a fine,
intelligent face, he conceals it with consummate skill, does he not?
That is one thing in his favor, for a proper appreciation of the rarity
of such an instance _vide_ the Book of Human Life. They are in the midst
of a most agreeable conversation; happily, the gentleman touches on the
right topics to interest the maiden; you can tell that by her manifest
attention, and pleasure, as well as by the spirit with which she carries
on her part of the conversation. Suddenly and abruptly he has left her.
Ah! the hostess has entered the room, and he is speaking with her
rapidly. Now, leaning on his arm, she approaches the pale little lady
standing beside the piano, and makes Mr. Alfred Livingstone, whose most
unreserved admiration she had won, acquainted with Miss Delleparetta
Hogg! Do but see that sudden lifting of the gentleman’s eyebrows, the
half frown on his forehead, and the ill-concealed smile of his lips,
which even his “good breeding” cannot wholly banish, as he listens to
her name; fortunate for Delle is it that her eyes are just now cast
down; but never seemed she more fair, graceful and lovable than now,
while she stands confessing to that outrageous name!

Despite this little drawback, the city gentleman seems in a fair way of
falling desperately in love with Delle. Not for a moment since her first
song has he left her side; and now she has gone so early from the gay
company, because she thinks of the dear ones at home, waiting to hear
all about the party—and he accompanies her. Delle seldom appears in
such scenes—but the heart beating beneath those eyes which never shone
so brightly before is not weary; she feels no fatigue because of the
unwonted excitement. And to-morrow, when she sits in her pleasant
school-room again, initiating her pupils in the mysteries of
common-sense, which no teacher ever knew how to teach more successfully,
_perhaps_ those words which Alfred Livingstone has spoken to her, will
not be _quite_ forgotten.

                 *        *        *        *        *

A fortnight passed away, and three weeks, and a month, still young
Livingstone tarried in our dull village; and every night his tall figure
might be seen wending its way up our beautiful street to the tasteful,
cheerful home of Delle. And it grew at last to be not the most wonderful
sight in the world to see the poor school-teacher taking the walk she so
much needed, after the close confinement of the day, not with her usual
companion, her oldest brother, but with the stately youth already named.
It was a happy month to Delle, if we might judge from appearance. One
could not but see there was a certain lightness in her step, and a
general joyousness in her whole appearance, that was alone wanting in
former times to make her beautiful. But at the end of the month it
became necessary that Livingstone should return to his city home; and
the last we to the opposite saw of him, he was emerging from the
cottage-home of Delle, as the whistle of the approaching cars was
heard—and he was gone; and the children had a holyday!

They who prided themselves on being learned in such matters, said that
every week brought with it regularly a letter from —— to Delle, and
that _very_ often the western mail bore a most lady-like (in its outward
garb) epistle to the eastern city. Then, when all this was currently
reported and believed, some wise head, judging from appearances, added
to the story the information, that early in the spring Delle was to
discontinue her school altogether.

How near “they” came to the right of the story, let us try and find out,
which I think having earnestly set ourselves about it, we shall do
suddenly.

Just imagine Alfred Livingstone, two or three months after his return
from his country sojourning, seated, alone, in his exquisitely furnished
apartment at the Astor, before a table covered with writing materials.
The paper over which his pen is hovering is unstained yet by the
ink—for he is arrested by voices speaking in the adjoining room, which
are neither hushed nor moderate, they are speaking with all the freedom
of tone one is wont to indulge in at home. Do but hear them and watch
him!

“Where in all the world did you hear that?” asked one.

“What?” responded the other, carelessly.

“That you were speaking about at Howard’s, that Fred Livingstone, prince
of beaux and gentlemen, is going to marry a dowdy little country Miss?”

“Hear it!” ejaculated the other, “why it’s the town talk.”

“But who is she—is she rich, or beautiful? Something she must be beyond
the common to win him. Who are her relations? What—”

“Stop, stop—how shall I wade through all these questions. What an
inquisitor you’d make! but I acknowledge that for once your curiosity is
laudable. First, as to _who_ she is? She is the daughter of some
miserable low family, remarkable for nothing but their poverty. Second,
_what_ is she? A country school-teacher, who spends her days in teaching
a set of insufferable children their ab-abs. Is she a beauty? Don’t
know, deponent saith not. She sings well though, and you know music was
always Fred’s hobby—he says he abominates this fashionable singing.”

“Well, but you haven’t told me her name.”

“Ah, that’s the horrible part of the thing. Listen while I try to
pronounce it, and then say wonders will never cease. The name of this
captivator, this charmer of ‘the greatest match in town,’
is—Delleparetta Hogg! Do but think of _his_ asking, in his bland voice,
_Miss Hogg_, to favor him with a song!”

“Heaven and earth!” exclaimed the other, after a moment’s silence, for
he had seemed struck dumb with amazement; and then the hopeful
conversationists burst into such a roar of laughter as quite drowned the
noise of the crash with which Alfred Livingstone’s hand was brought down
on his writing-desk, making in its descending progress the most dreadful
marks on his paper, which, in their confusion and blackness, perhaps
resembled closely the color and confusion of his thoughts at that
present moment.

Now be it known that this unfortunate name of his lady-love had been the
sorest of all points with Alfred Livingstone, Esq. Indeed, it had
instituted a series of doubts in his mind which were there agitated for
a long time, before he arrived at the brave conclusion that he _would_
marry her, name and all—that is, supposing he could win her consent.
But to be jested with by his city friends, and in _his_ circle, on
_such_ a subject, the very thought was insupportable. He had hoped with
all his heart that her name would never elapse till he introduced her,
to the envy of all the town, as Mrs. Livingstone.

But now it was all over; his love was not proof against such a
trial—such a mortification _he_ thought it—for her name was a most
indisputable fact, a tangible thing on which his friends and enemies
might harp to his continual agony. There was but one remedy—a desperate
one it was—but there was _no other_ remedy, or way of escape. It took
him not long to concoct and despatch that letter which he had _meant_ to
fill with kind and loving words. Poor Delle, she never quite understood
that cruel epistle; but there was one thing about it she could
sufficiently comprehend, that all was passed that ever could pass
between her and Alfred Livingstone.

The next morning the elegant Mr. Livingstone laid his hand, and
_heart_,(?) and fortune, and _name_, at the feet of the most
accomplished and brilliant “belle of the season,” which, I scarcely need
say, when it was held in consideration, that he was “the greatest match
in town,” was without hesitation accepted.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Delle’s school was carried on as usual; there was no cessation or
holyday when that letter of renouncement came to her. She had lived
through and borne nobly sharper griefs than was hers when she read _his_
strange, cold words. With renewed diligence she turned to her
occupation—that was not “gone”—but it was a hope that struggled long
in her heart, that the recreant would at least write to explain—that he
would tell her _there was no meaning to his words_. Such an explanation
never came, however. The school continued, I said, and it continues
still; and one would scarcely think, to look on the self-possessed,
noble young lady at its head, that she had had _such_ an experience in
love matters.

There is another report circulating extensively in our neighborhood just
now, relative to Delle’s movements in the coming spring. I will not
vouch for its truth. I have not dared ask _her_ if it be true; but
people _do_ say that a rich bachelor in our neighborhood, is then to
relieve her of that odious name which is now so indisputably hers; and
that at that happy time she will take up her abode, with the children
who are her constant care, in his beautiful mansion. If this be true, it
is hardly necessary for me to ask what kind of wife you think she’ll
make. I _know_ your thoughts already on this subject; and if you be a
gentleman, I fancy that I hear you “heaving a sigh,” and longing for
just such a wife, because _you_ are, of course, far too sensible to
think _there’s any thing in a name_!

Some say this is no love match—that Delle will only marry this
bridegroom elect for the purpose of ridding herself of the fatigues of
school-teaching, arguing from the fact, I suppose, that he is so
_un_like Alfred Livingstone in all respects; and that he is so much
older than she—and his hair is already tinged with gray; beside he is
an odd sort of man, as is usually the case with old bachelors. Be this
as it may, whether Delle is so foolish as to marry for love (which
generally turns out to be such a delusion) or not, of this thing be
convinced, reader, the marriage will be a happy one, for everybody knows
he is as “kind as kind can be;” and she—but I’ve already said enough
about her; and after all, if she derives but one benefit from the union,
it will not be a small one—for will not that name, that horrid name of
hers, be merged in partial forgetfulness? Don’t call names _trifles_! By
hers she lost him whom she did truly love, and who, perhaps, was not,
strange as it may seem that I should say so, wholly unworthy of her
love; for in very deed and truth, he had but one weak side, and that was
most mortally pierced by the sharp arrow pointed with _her name_.

If there be one whose eyes have followed the jottings of my pen thus
far, let me say to such an one another word about _proper nouns in
particular_. If with most philosophic indifference you have, after
mighty struggles, brought yourself to repeat with the chiefest of bards,
on thinking of your own high-sounding misfortune,

    “What’s in a name?”

please let me advise you “lay your mouth in the dust,” remembering, my
word for it, that there is something “considerable, if not more,” in a
name—especially in such an one as Miss Delleparetta Hogg—poets and
philosophers “to the contrary notwithstanding,” which I hope and pray
for your edification and enlightenment I have satisfactorily proved.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                    GAME-BIRDS OF AMERICA.—NO. XII.


[Illustration: THE DUNLIN. (_Tringa Variabilis._ TEMMINCK.)]

The Dunlin, or Ox-bird, or Purre, is well entitled to the epithet
“_variabilis_,” from the great difference between its summer and winter
plumage. It is the Purre in summer and the Dunlin in winter in England,
while in the United States it is called most commonly the Red-backed
Sandpiper. In winter these birds assemble in small parties, following
the tide on the oozy shores and estuaries near the sea. When undisturbed
they run rather swiftly, and utter a sort of murmuring note, but when
they are alarmed and forced to take wing, they utter a querulous and
wailing scream. In the autumn they are seen around Vera Cruz, and may be
bought in the markets of Mexico, while many, in their winter dress,
remain throughout the winter within the limits of the Union. At times
they frequent the coast of the Carolinas in great numbers about
February, leading a vagabond life, and swayed hither and thither by
every change in the temperature.

In the Middle States, the Dunlins arrive on their way to the North in
April and May, and in September and October they are again seen pursuing
the route to their hybernal retreat in the South. At these times,
according to Nuttall, they mingle with the flocks of other strand birds,
from which they are distinguishable by the rufous color of their upper
plumage. They frequent the muddy flats and shores of the salt marshes,
at the recess of the tide, feeding on the worms, insects and minute
shell-fish which such places generally afford. They are very nimble on
the strand, frequenting the sandy beaches which bound the ocean, running
and gleaning up their prey with great activity on the reflux of the
waves. When, says Nuttall, in their hybernal dress they are collected in
flocks, so as to seem at a distance like a moving cloud, performing
their circuitous waving and whirling evolutions along the shores with
great rapidity, alternately bringing its dark and white plumage into
view, it forms a very grand and imposing spectacle of the sublime
instinct and power of Nature. At such times, however, the keen gunner,
without losing much time in contemplation, makes prodigious slaughter in
the timid ranks of the Purres, while, as the showers of their companions
fall, the whole body often alight, or descend to the surface with them,
until the greedy sportsman becomes satiated with destruction.

Length of the Dunlin is eight inches and a half; extent, fifteen inches;
bill black, longer than the head, which would seem to rank it with the
snipes, slightly bent, grooved on the upper mandible, and wrinkled at
the base; crown, back, and scapulars bright reddish rust, spotted with
black; wing coverts pale olive; quills darker; the first tipped, the
latter crossed with white; front cheeks, hind head, and sides of the
neck quite round; also the breast, grayish white, marked with small
specks of black; belly white, marked with a small crescent of black;
tail pale olive, the two middle feathers centered with black; legs and
feet ashy black; toes divided to their origin, and bordered with a
slightly scolloped membrane; irides very black.

The males and females are nearly alike in one respect, both differing
greatly in color, even at the same season, probably owing to difference
of age; some being of a much brighter red than others, and the plumage
dotted with white. In the month of September many are found destitute of
the black crescent on the belly; these have been conjectured to be young
birds.

[Illustration: SEMIPALMATED SNIPE, OR WILLET. (_Scolopax
Semipalmata._)]

Willets breed in great numbers along the shores of New York, New Jersey,
Delaware and Maryland, and afford the sportsman an easy prey and
excellent eating. The experienced gunners always select the young birds,
which are recognized by the grayness of their plumage, in preference to
the older and darker birds, which are not so tender and well flavored.
In the month of October they generally pass on to their winter-quarters
in the warmer parts of the continent. Their food consists chiefly of
small shell-fish, aquatic insects, their larvæ and mollusca, searching
for which they may be found on the muddy shores and estuaries at low
water. The Willet is peculiarly an American bird, its appearance in the
north of Europe being merely accidental, as is also that of the Ruff in
America. The Willets wade more than most of their tribe, and when
disabled by a wound they take to the water without hesitation, and swim
with apparent ease.

The length of the Willet is about fifteen and a half inches; length of
the bill to the rictus two and a half inches, much shorter in the young
bird of the season; tarsus two inches eight lines. In the summer
plumage, according to Nuttall, the general color above is brownish gray,
striped faintly on the neck, more conspicuously on the head and back,
with blackish brown; the scapulars, tertiaries and their coverts
irregularly barred with the same; tail coverts white, tail even,
whitish, thickly mottled with pale ashy brown, that color forming the
ground of the central feathers, which are barred with dusky brown toward
their extremities; spurious wing, primary coverts, a great portion of
the anterior extremities of the primaries, the axillary feathers, and
under-wing coverts black, with a shade of brown; the remaining lower and
longer portion of the primaries, and the upper row of under-wing coverts
white; the posterior primaries tipt with the same; secondaries and the
outer webs of their greater coverts white, marbled with dusky; wings
rather longer than the tail, the lower with a spotted liver-brown
streak, bounded above by a spotted white one; eyelids, chin, belly and
vent white; the rest of the under plumage brownish white, streaked on
the throat and transversely barred, or waved on the breast, shoulders,
flanks, and under tail coverts with clove-brown, the bars pointed in the
middle. Female colored like male, but an inch longer. Legs and feet dark
lead color, the soles inclining to olive, the toes broadly margined with
a sort of continuation of the web; iris hazel. Winter dress with fainter
spots on the upper plumage, and without the dark waving transverse bars
below, only the fore part of the neck and breast of a cinereous tint,
marked with small brown streaks.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                      VISITANTS FROM SPIRIT-LAND.


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


                Then the forms of the departed
                  Enter at the open door,
                The loved ones, the true-hearted,
                  Come to visit us once more.
                                       —LONGFELLOW.

                They are ever hovering round us,
                  A mysterious, shadowy band,
                Singing songs, low, soft and plaintive
                  They have learned in Spirit-Land.
                Bright their wings as hues elysian,
                  Blended on the sunset sky,
                By unseen, but angel-artists,
                  That concealed behind it lie.

                Sweet their soft and gentle voices
                  Mingle with each passing breeze,
                And the sorrowing heart rejoices,
                  As amid the leafy trees
                In the green and verdant summer,
                  Tones long-hushed are heard again,
                And the quick ear some new-comer
                  Catches joining in their strain.

                Sceptics say ’tis but the breezes
                  Wandering on their wayward way—
                That the souls of the departed
                  Rest in peace and bliss for aye.
                But I know the fond, the loved ones,
                  Cleansed from every earthly stain,
                Who have passed away before us,
                  Come to visit us again!

                True, our eyes may not behold them,
                  Nor the glittering robes they wear.
                True, our arms may not enfold them,
                  Radiant phantoms formed of air!
                But I often hear them round me,
                  And each gentle voice is known,
                When some dreamy spell hath bound me,
                  As I sit at eve alone!

                Playmates of my joyous childhood,
                  Wont to laugh the hours away,
                As they roamed with me the wildwood,
                  In life’s beauteous break-of-day;
                They are spirits now, but hover
                  On bright pinions round me still,
                Tender as some doting lover,
                  Warning me of every ill.

                And among them comes one, brighter,
                  Fonder far than all beside,
                Sunlight of my young existence,
                  Who in life’s green springtime died.
                Music from her lips is gushing,
                  Like the wind-harps plaintive tune,
                When the breeze with soft wing brushes
                  O’er its strings in flowery June.

                O, thou white-browed peerless maiden,
                  Holiest star that beams for me!
                Thou didst little dream how laden
                  Was this heart with love for thee!
                Once fair garlands thou didst weave me,
                  But to gem EMANUEL’S throne
                Thou didst soar away and leave me
                  In this weary world alone!

                But in dreams thou comest often,
                  Hovering saint-like round my bed,
                Telling me in gentle whispers
                  Of the loved and early dead!
                Once, methought, thou didst a letter
                  Bring from one remembered well,
                Who has left this world of sorrow,
                  In the Spirit-Land to dwell!

                Strange the seal, and when ’twas broken,
                  Strange the characters within,
                For ’twas penned in language spoken
                  In a world devoid of SIN;
                Told, no doubt, of joys that wait them
                  Who shall enter spotless there,
                But before I could translate them
                  I awoke, and found them air!

                Deem not that the soul reposes
                  In its radiant home for aye,
                On the fragrant summer roses
                  Sunset beams may sadly play;
                But they whisper “banish sorrow,
                  And from bitter thoughts refrain,
                On the bright and glorious morrow
                  We will gild your leaves again!”

                 *        *        *        *        *



                     HISTORY OF THE COSTUME OF MEN,


   DURING THE EIGHTEENTH AND THE BEGINNING OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.

                          BY FAYETTE ROBINSON.


People grieve about the departure of the good old times, and prate of
the days of chivalry, which Mr. Burke sixty years ago said were gone.
That they are gone the world may well rejoice at, not only because they
were times of ignorance and cruelty, but also of discomfort and
inconvenience. In the diary of a court-officer of the days of Henry VII.
is the note of a charge for cutting rushes, to strew on the floor of the
Queen-closets; and another one mentions the number of under-garments
belonging to Henri III. of France as considerably less than any one of
the better orders in our own time would require. In those days, the
downy couch meant a bed of goose-wing feathers; gloves were not; and
when a gentleman needed a new doublet or head-piece, he went not to a
tailor or the hatter of the day, but to a blacksmith. Let the lovers of
romance talk as they please, there was little true poetry, and less
feeling, in the minds of the heroes they wish to extol, than of the
veriest apostles of commerce of our own age. Rightly enough do we date
civilization from the times when men laid aside the rugged manners of
old with the bronze and iron armor, and doffing the hammered helmet,
assumed the cap of velvet and the hat of plush; when they laid aside the
iron gauntlet for the chamois glove, and assumed the Cordovan boot in
place of the leg-pieces of steel.

The feelings of chivalry yet lingered as late as the days of the English
Charles I. and the French Louis XIII. in the minds of the nobility. A
new series of ideas, however, had arisen in the breasts of the people at
a date long previous to this. Printing had become general, and the
learning previously the property of the priests had become the heir-loom
of humanity: As a natural consequence, new ideas and new wants were
unfolded, and these same ideas had become more general. At this crisis
France took the lead, and not only in philosophy but in the minor things
of life, French manners and habits were copied. Consequently, in
describing costume, Paris will be perpetually referred to, from the fact
that from that great city emanated the fashions which controlled the
costume of the world.

It is true that other nations had their peculiar costume, handed down
and preserved by the tradition of courts, as the Norman dress continues
even now the court uniform of the state officials of the British
kingdom; Spain had her peculiar doublet, hose and cloak, and Holland her
own court apparel. If, however, we look nearer and closer, we shall
discover each of these were dresses imported from France at some
particular crisis, and retaining position and importance in their new
home, when they were forgotten in the land whence they were adopted.

The most highly civilized of all the nations of Europe at the time that
this supremacy over the costume of the world was exerted by France, it
might have been expected that its selection would have been guided by
good taste and propriety. This was not however the case, for in spite of
the progress the world has made, the women of France and our own
country, and the men also, are not to be compared to the members of the
most savage tribes, either in gracefulness of form or propriety of
dress. If the Chinese distort the foot, or the Indians of the North West
Coast of America the forehead, the civilized women of to-day compress
the waist, and men commit not less enormities.

These matters are, however, incontestable; and though we might regret we
cannot prevent them. They simply therefore give us a clue in treating
our subject, of which we will avail ourselves. They teach us, that to
Paris belongs the incontestable empire of that mysterious power known in
France as _la_ _mode_, and in our own land as FASHION. Possibly this may
be a remnant, the sole _vestige_, of that tone of pretension which led
France in other days to aspire to universal empire. If so, the pride of
other nations which led them elsewhere to resist French assumption here
has been silent. Though not the rulers of the world by the power of the
sword; though the French idiom be not so universal as the English, even
the denizens of “_Albion perfide_” submit to the behests of the
controlling powers of the French _mode_. Let the French language be
universal or not, is to us now of no importance; that French fleets will
drive English and American squadrons from the seas, is doubtful, but it
is very certain Englishmen and Americans for all time to come will wear
French waist-coats, and Germans both in London and Philadelphia will
call themselves French bootmakers. How fond soever a people may be of
its national garb, ultimately it must submit to the trammels devised in
Paris. Ultimately all men will wear that most inconvenient article
called a hat, will insert their extremities into pantaloons, and put
their arms into the sleeves of the garment, so short before and so long
behind, they are pleased to call a coat. When all nations shall have
come to this state of subserviency, the end of the world will certainly
be at hand, whether because the _ultima perfectio_ has been reached, or
because God, who created man after his own likeness, will be angry at
the ridiculous figure they have made of his features, better theologians
than I must decide. We certainly are not very near this crisis, for
hundreds of yellow-skinned gentlemen are yet ignorant of the art and
mystery of tying a cravat, and never saw a patent leather boot.

Like great epidemics, the passion for dress often leaps over territorial
boundaries, and ships not unfrequently carry with the cholera and
_vomito_ bales of articles destined to spread this infection among lands
as yet ignorant of it; so that some day we may live to hear of Oakford
sending a case of hats to the Feejees, and of Watson making an uniform
for the general-in-chief of the King of the Cannibal Islands.

Possibly this passion for our costumes is to be attributed to the
deterioration of the morals of the savages, and if so, even dress has
its historical importance and significance, and is the true reflection
of _morale_. It may be that the days of the iron garb were days of iron
manners, and also of iron virtue, and that in adopting a silken costume
we have put on, and they may be about to adopt a silken laxity of virtue
and honor.

We will begin to treat of costume as it was in the days of Louis XIV.,
the solemn mood and ideas of whom exerted their influence even on dress,
and the era which saw all other arts become pompous and labored, also
saw costume assume the most complicated character. Costume naturally
during this reign was permanent in its character, and when Louis XV.
succeeded to the throne he found his courtiers dressed entirely as their
fathers had done, and the young king, five years of age, dressed
precisely like his great-grandfather, with peruke, cane and breeches.
When he had reached the years of discretion, Louis XV. continued to
devote himself more to the trifles of the court than to affairs of
state.

The following engraving is an illustration taken from a portrait of a
celebrated marquis of that day.

[Illustration]

This, it will be remembered, was the era when women wore whalebone
frame-works to their dresses and caps, or a kind of defensive armor over
the chest and body. The fine gentlemen also encased themselves in wires,
to distend the hips of their _culottes_ or breeches. This was the
costume of the fine gentlemen, and in it kings and heroes appeared on
the stage almost without interruption until the days of Talma, if we
except the brief and unsuccessful attempt at reform, as far as theatres
were concerned, by Le Kain and Mademoiselle Clairon.

The foregoing was the prevailing court costume, the next is the military
garb of the day, recalling the costume of Charles XII. of Sweden, and
not unlike that of our own Putnam or Mad Anthony Wayne. Thus the lowland
gentlemen who fought in ’45, dressed after this mode, were the opposing
parties of the armies at Ramilies. As a whole it is not _malapropos_,
and altogether more suitable and proper than the uniforms of our own
day. The following is the portrait of a mousquetaire just one century
after the time of Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D’Artignan, whom Dumas made
illustrious.

[Illustration]

                 *        *        *        *        *



                              MAPLE SUGAR.


                          BY ALFRED B. STREET.


Oh, the rich, dark maple sugar! how it tells me of the woods,
Of bland south winds and melting snows, and budding solitudes!
Oh, the melting maple sugar! as I taste its luscious sweets,
Remembrance in my raptured ear her witching song repeats;
Once more my heart is young and pure! once more my footsteps stray
Amid the scenes, the lovely scenes, of childhood’s opening day.

A frosty night! the searching air made hearth-fires a delight,
Stern Winter seemed as if again to rally in his might;
But, oh, how pure and beautiful the morning has arisen!
What glorious floods of sunshine! off! the dwelling is a prison!
Off, off! run, leap, and drink the air! off! leave man’s roofs behind!
Nature has more of pleasure now than haunts of human kind.

How free the blood is bounding! how soft the sunny glow!
And, hearken! fairy tones are ringing underneath the snow!
Slump, slump! the gauzy masses glide from hemlock, fence and rock,
And yon low, marshy meadow seems as spotted with a flock;
Drip, drip, the icicle sends its tears from its sparkling tip, and still
With tinkle, tinkle, beneath the snow rings many a viewless rill.

We cross the upland pasture, robed with a brown and sodden pall,
The maple ridge heaves up before—a sloping Titan wall!
The maple ridge! how gloriously, in summer it pitches tent:
Beneath, what a mossy floor is spread! above, what a roof is bent!
What lofty pillars of fluted bark! what magical changeful tints
As the leaves turn over and back again to the breeze’s flying prints.

Up, up, the beaten path I climb, with bosom of blithesome cheer,
For the song, oft varied with whistle shrill of the woodsman Keene, I
  hear;
The bold and hardy woodsman, whose rifle is certain death,
Whose axe, when it rings in the wilderness, makes its glory depart like
  breath,
Whose cabin is built in the neighboring dell, whose dress is the skin of
  the doe,
And who tells long tales of his hunting deeds by the hearth-fire’s
  cheerful glow.

The summit I gain—what soaring trunks—what spreading balloon-like tops!
And see! from the barks of each, the sap, slow welling and limpid, drops;
A thicket I turn—the gleam of a fire strikes sudden upon my view,
And in the midst of the ruddy blaze two kettles of sooty hue,
Whilst bending above, with his sinewy frame, and wielding with ready skill
His ladle amidst the amber depths, proud king of the scene is Will.

The boiling, bubbling liquid! it thickens each moment there,
He stirs it to a whirlpool now, now draws thin threads in air;
From kettle to kettle he ladles it to granulate rich and slow,
Then fashions the mass in a hundred shapes, congealing them in the snow,
While the blue-bird strikes a sudden joy through the branches gaunt and
  dumb,
As he seems to ask in his merry strain if the violet yet has come.

The rich, dark maple sugar! thus it brings to me the joy,
The dear warm joy of my heart, when I was a careless, happy boy;
When pleasures so scorned in after life, like flowers, then strewed my
  way,
And no dark sad experience breathed “doomed sufferer be not gay!”
When Life like a summer ocean spread before me with golden glow,
And soft with the azure of Hope, but concealing the wrecks that lay below.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                              TO MY LOVE.


                           BY HENRY H. PAUL.


              Dewy buds of Paphian myrtle
                Strew, ye virgins, as I sing;
              Chaplets weave from Love’s bright fountain—
                O’er my lyre their fragrance fling.
              What—what is gay Pieria’s rose,
                What is Paphos’ blushing flower,
              Whilst Beauty doth my spirit thrall,
                Whilst all my pulses feel thy power?

              With Cyprian fire thine eye is sparkling,
                Like the morning’s tender light;
              Through thy silken lashes straying,
                Shafts resistless wing their flight:
              O! the time I first beheld thee,
                Blushing in thy early teens,
              Rose nor lily ne’er excelled thee,
                Though the garden’s rival queens.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                    SOFTLY O’ER MY MEMORY STEALING.


                MUSIC COMPOSED FOR “GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE,”

                    BY PROFESSOR JOHN A. JANKE, JR.

                    _WORDS BY SAMUEL D. PATTERSON._

[Illustration]

                    Softly o’er my mem’ry stealing,
                    Comes the light of other days,
                    Visions of past joys revealing,
                    Lit by Hope’s enchanting rays.
                    ’Twas

[Illustration]

               in that blest time I knew thee,
               And thy glance and gentle tone,
               Thrill’d with magic influence through me,
               Waking joys till then unknown.

                             SECOND VERSE.

              Time has sped with ceaseless motion;
                Chance and change have wrought their will—
              But my heart, with fond devotion,
                Clings to thee, belov’d one, still.
              Nor can life yield richer pleasure,
                Or a brighter gift impart,
              Than the pure and priceless treasure,
                Of thy fond and faithful heart.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                                CATHARA.


                       BY WALTER COLTON, U. S. N.


         Cathara had that pure Ionian face,
           Which melts its way in music to the heart;
         Each look and line betrayed that breathing grace,
           Which Genius has embalmed in classic art,
         Or sculptured in the Aphrodite—where glows
         Immortal life, in marble’s still repose.

         Her presence on your love and wonder stole
           With such an atmosphere of softened light,
         It seemed as some Aurora of the Pole,
           Were melting down the starry depths of night;
         Or Dian had her glowing form unrolled
         From out her floating orb of liquid gold.

         Her features were most delicately moulded,
           And so transparent shone her dimpled cheek,
         That when her large black eyes their rays unfolded.
           Its bloom was lighted like some Alpine peak,
         When zephyrs roll the circling mists away,
         And on its summit breaks the blush of day.

         Her raven hair in showering ringlets fell,
           That veiled her sylph-like form from human vision;
         Her step was light as that of the gazelle,
           And yet its airy motions had precision;
         The circling air displayed, where’er she went,
         A wave of light in rainbow beauty bent.

         Her voice was sweet as warble of a bird;
           The accent flowed so softly through the tone,
         It seemed as ’twere the _thought_ itself you heard—
           Like music, which the summer’s breeze hath thrown
         O’er silent waters, from some woodland lyre,
         Or humming stream, or old cathedral quire.

         Her beauty broke not on a sudden glance,
           But if you watched its soft progressive ray,
         Some hidden charm of form, or countenance,
           Like silver planets at the close of day—
         Would cast its slender veil of shadows by,
         And timidly advance upon the eye.

         Her heart was that from which her features took
           The tender tone their aspect ever wore;
         The pensive thoughts which saddened in her look,
           Were what you feel upon a lonely shore,
         Where not a sound is heard except the surge,
         In which some billow hymns its dying dirge.

         Her eyes would swim, her bosom heave with grief,
           When pale misfortune poured its tragic theme;
         As in the quick wind shakes the forest leaf,
           An orphan’s wo would tremble in her dream;
         The tears despair had hardened into stone,
         Would melt to dew, when mingled with her own.

         You deemed that such an one, if death were nigh,
           Might cheer and soothe you, tho’ she might not save;
         You thought how sweetly on your closing eye
           Would fall each glance her tender spirit gave;
         While meekness showed where guilt might be forgiven,
         And mercy plumed the parting soul for Heaven.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                             THE DEPARTED.


                       BY MRS. MARY S. WHITAKER.


             Bid sorrow cease; she rests in peace—
                 Her task, at last, is done;
             And decked with youth, and bright with truth,
                 Cold lies thy martyred one.
             But thine the crime, and through all time,
                 Remorse shall follow thee,
             With phantom form, through calm and storm,
                 On land and on the sea.

             Her shadowy hair, her bosom fair,
                 So often heaving sighs;
             Her smile so bland, her lily hand,
                 Her mildly mournful eyes—
             Which long did weep—in troubled sleep,
                 How lovely will they come,
             All fresh with life, and free from strife,
                 From out the marble tomb.

             Her voice of love, all price above,
                 Shall speak, as once it spoke,
             With gushing flow of tender wo,
                 The while her heart was broke;
             When thy distrust had bowed to dust
                 Her bosom’s modest pride,
             Ere like a flower, beneath the shower
                 Too rude, she meekly died.

             ’Twill whisper soft, “Beloved, how oft
                 Thy brow grows dark and stern;
             I know not why, yet in thy eye
                 Strange coldness I discern;
             A heavy blight, the spirit’s night,
                 Falls darkly on my soul;
             This inward grief, without relief,
                 Thou only canst control!”

             These accents clear, thy waking ear
                 Shall lose in silence dread;
             But from thy heart shall ne’er depart,
                 The wailing of the dead;
             Her wasted bloom, her early doom,
                 Shall haunt thee evermore!
             While she, at rest, with spirits blest,
                 Lives on the better shore.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                               THE DEAD.


                 BY “AN AULD HEAD ON YOUNG SHOUTHERS.”


      Dead! dead! they are dying—dying!
        Oh! for the hands that were clasping ours!
      Passed like a breeze in its own sad sighing,
        Falling like leaves from the wasted flowers,
      Dropping away, so still—so still!
      Call them again, so cold and chill!

      Dead? dead? Oh! _how could_ they die?
      Laughed they not, sang they not joyfully?
      Were they not with us—and now are they gone?
      Why have they left us, and where have they flown?
      Spake they not oft of a deathless tie?
      Are they not sleeping? Oh! where do they lie?

      _Here!_ not here! ’tis a fearful place—
      Were they not gentle, with steps of grace?
      Were they not glad as the birds in June?
      With hearts like a fountain of joyful tune?
      They were with us at morn, and with us at night,
      Their locks were of gold, and their eyes of light!

      Yet—yet, ye say they are dead;
      Tell us the land where their footsteps tread!
      Oh! there is _one_ who hath sought its shore,
      Never to smile with us, weep with us more;
      Soon, _too_ soon; ’tis a mournful thing
      To pass with the bier o’er the flowers of spring!

      List! list! she is coming now!
      Twine ye the wreath for her gladsome brow,
      Gather the buds, ay, the buds that keep
      Such trembling dreams in their breasts, asleep,
      Beauteous types of her heart are they;
      Cull them from streamlet and glen away!

      Here, here, when the sun is low,
      We shall sit again, when the shadows throw
      Their dusky wings o’er mount and sea,
      And speak of the past, and the time to be!
      Counting the links that have broken away
      From each chain at the fount, where the heart-streams play!

      Hist! hist! did you hear her pass,
      The ringing laugh on her lip? Alas!
      Say ye again that she slumbers low?
      Mourner, why art thou shaken so?
      Death is the veil that the spirit takes,
      When the light of God on its sorrowing breaks!

      Then, then, thou’lt murmur _no more_!
      Peace to the weary who travel before!
      Blesséd are they He hath chosen and tried,
      Blesséd are they in His love that have died;
      Heart! let thy throbbings be constant to prayer,
      So thou wouldst dwell where thy cherished ones are!

      Turn! turn, look down through the vale
      Stretching before thee, where, saddened and pale,
      Sorrow is beck’ning thee—sorrow and wrong—
      Weak though thine arm may be, feeble thy song,
      God smileth aye, on the small “precious seed,”
      Making the harvest-time golden indeed!

      Thou hast been sleeping; wake from thy dreams!
      Wo for that waking till God o’er it gleams!
      Better the sleeper were locked in his rest,
      Better the sun had gone down in his west!
      Yet if thy path windeth up through thy fears,
      Hope’s resurrection shall dawn on thy tears!

      Hope! Hope! transfigured and bright,
      Walking with Faith on the mountains of light!
      Bidding thee weep the departed no more,
      _Angels_ await at the sepulchre door!
      Bidding thee take up thy cross, for the day
      Soon from thy vision will vanish away!

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        THE HOMESTEAD OF BEAUTY.


                           BY S. D. ANDERSON.


        There’s a homestead of beauty by Delaware’s stream,
          And the sweet tones of children are ringing all day,
        While the voice of the mother is blithesome and glad,
          As the notes of the song-bird that warbles in May.
        The Angel of Peace to the hearth-stone has come,
          With a message of mercy to brighten each dream,
        And as glad to the heart, as ’tis pure to the eye,
          Is that homestead of beauty by Delaware’s stream.

        The woodbine has curtained the threshold with flowers,
          And the half-shaded sunbeams fall soft on the floor;
        While the white-sanded streamlet is singing as sweet
          As the echoes of music, when music is o’er.
        The dew on each snow-drop is gem-like and bright,
          And the lily is bathed in morn’s earliest beam,
        While the zephyrs are whispering their matins of praise,
          Round that homestead of beauty by Delaware’s stream.

        The wings of the evening come loaded with bliss,
          When the toil and the trouble of daylight is past,
        And the coolness and calm of the star-lighted hours,
          O’er the dwellers in hall and in cottage is cast,
        The sun-browned cheek of the father is kissed;
          With tears the full eye of the parent will gleam
        As he presses those loved ones more near to his heart,
          In that homestead of beauty by Delaware’s stream.

        And then from that cottage the hymn and the prayer
          Uprose, when the hour of reposing had come;
        And each sent an offering of thanksgiving up
          To _Him_ who had blessed them with quiet at home.
        Oh! who has not wished, when the cold world has chilled
          Each flow’ret that blossomed in life’s morning dream.
        To find out some refuge from sorrow and care,
          Like that homestead of beauty by Delaware’s stream.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                        GEMS FROM LATE READINGS.


                 *        *        *        *        *


                          BY G. P. R. JAMES.

We always fail when we judge of the fate of others. Life is double—an
internal and an external life; the latter often open to the eyes of all,
the former only seen by the eye of God. Nor is it alone those material
things which we conceal from the eyes of others, which often make the
apparently splendid lot in reality a dark one, or that which seems sad
or solitary, cheerful and light within. Our characters, our spirits
operate upon all that fate or accident subjects to them. We transform
the events of life for our own uses, be those uses bitter or sweet; and
as a piece of gold loses its form and solidity when dropped into a
certain acid, so the hard things of life are resolved by the operations
of our own minds into things the least resembling themselves. True, a
life of study and of thought may seem to most men a calm and tranquil
state of existence. Such pursuits gently excite, and exercise softly and
peacefully the highest faculties of the intellectual soul; but age
brings with it indifference even to these enjoyments—nay, it does more,
it teaches us the vanity and emptiness of all man’s knowledge. We reach
the bounds and barriers which God has placed across our path in every
branch of science, and we find, with bitter disappointment, at life’s
extreme close, that when we know all, we know nothing. This I have
learned, and it is all that I have learned in eighty years, that the
only knowledge really worth pursuing is the knowledge of God in his word
and his works—the only practical application of that high science, to
do good to all God’s creatures.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The operation of man’s mind and of his heart are as yet mysteries. We
talk of eager love; we speak of the warm blood of the South; we name
certain classes of our fellow beings excitable, and others phlegmatic;
but we ourselves little understand what we mean when we apply such
terms, and never try to dive into the sources of the qualities or the
emotions we indicate. We ask not how much is due to education, how much
to nature; and never think of the immense sum of co-operating causes
which go to form that which is really education. Is man or woman merely
educated by the lessons of a master, or the instructions and
exhortations of a parent? Are not the acts we witness, the words we
hear, the scenes with which we are familiar, parts of our education? Is
not the Swiss, or the Highlander, of every land, educated in part by his
mountains, his valleys, his lakes, his torrents? Is not the inhabitant
of cities subjected to certain permanent impressions, by the constant
presence of crowds, and the everlasting pressure of his fellow men? Does
not the burning sun, the arid desert, the hot blast, teach lessons never
forgotten, and which become part of nature to one class of men; and
frozen plains, and lengthened winters, and long nights, other lessons to
the natives of a different region? Give man what instruction you will,
by spoken words or written signs, there is another education going on
forever, not only for individuals but for nations, in the works of God
around them, and in the circumstances with which his will has
encompassed their destiny.

                 *        *        *        *        *


                          BY J. G. WHITTIER.

                        THE WORSHIP OF NATURE.

                 The ocean looketh up to heaven,
                   As ’twere a living thing;
                 The homage of its waves is given
                   In ceaseless worshiping.

                 They kneel upon the sloping sand,
                   As bends the human knee;
                 A beautiful and tireless band—
                   The priesthood of the sea.

                 They pour the glittering treasures out
                   Which in the deep have birth;
                 And chant their awful hymns about
                   The watching hills of earth.

                 The green earth sends its incense up
                   From every mountain shrine—
                 From every flower and dewy cup
                   That greeteth the sun-shine.

                 The mists are lifted from the rills,
                   Like the white wing of prayer
                 They lean above the ancient hills,
                   As doing homage there.

                 The forest tops are lowly cast
                   O’er breezy hill and glen,
                 As in a prayerful spirit passed
                   On nature as on men.

                 The clouds weep o’er the fallen world,
                   E’en as repentant love;
                 Ere, to the blessed breeze unfurled,
                   They fade in light above.

                 The sky it is a temple’s arch—
                   The blue and wavy air
                 Is glorious with the spirit-march
                   Of messengers at prayer.

                 The gentle moon, the kindling sun,
                   The many stars are given,
                 As shrines to burn earth’s incense on—
                   The altar-fires of Heaven!

                 *        *        *        *        *


                           BY MISS PARDOE.

There is always something sad, if not revolting, in the visit of those
unsympathizing servitors of dissolution who first break upon the
stillness of the house of death. The very nature of their errand is
fearful—they come to claim all that is left of what was once life, and
will, and action—to tread heavily over the floor where others have
previously moved with a noiseless step—to talk in hoarse, although
suppressed voices, where the dull echoes have latterly been hushed—and
coldly to pursue their avocation in the very presence of eternity.
Perhaps it is well that there is no possibility of delaying this first
trial, for where the ties of love have been rent asunder, who would have
courage to sanction so unhallowed an intrusion? Who could summon to the
bedside, so lately the scene of agony and prayer, the unsympathizing
eyes and hands of mercenary strangers? Human nature is ever prone to
resist where resistance is possible, and suffering certain; happy is it,
therefore, that it is taught, in so solemn a moment, to feel its own
impotence, and to submit.

                 *        *        *        *        *

The tiger gives no warning before he springs—it is for the traveler to
be wary. The serpent utters no threatening before he stings—the
intended victim must defend himself against the venomed tongue. And
thus, in like manner, the woman who sees only the gorgeous skin or the
gleaming scales of vice, and wilfully closes her eyes against the poison
to which they lend a mocking and a worthless charm, finds little pity,
and excites no sympathy.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                            EDITOR’S TABLE.


A HAPPY NEW-YEAR.—Holding continual intercourse through the press with
so many thousands scattered over this country, and other countries, we
feel an enlarged sympathy with our fellow beings, and use suitable
occasions to give utterance to hopes and wishes in another form than
that of the essays, stories and poetry of the stated columns of this
Magazine. We set forth our humble “table,” and while we invite all to a
seat, we bid all welcome to the viands; nay, we make the little festival
with a particular and special view—to express to our readers our hearty
wishes for “a happy New-Year.” May they all be happy, all enjoy the year
upon which we now enter, all be freed from care and troublesome anxiety,
and all have enough for their own enjoyment and the gratification of
liberal feelings.

Now we are as sensible as any can be that the above wish is extended to
the readers of Graham—“And so we are selfish, sordid, can only wish
well to those who _do_ well to us.” That is the charge which will be
made by some good-natured body that has not had her feelings refined by
a constant perusal of this Magazine. She curls her thin lip in scorn at
our narrow feeling, and quotes scripture and poetry against the
contracted philanthropy which does good in such a limited circle. We
shall not quote scripture back to her, but content ourselves with a
simple remark that we adhere to our form of expression, and shall prove
it to be sufficiently inclusive for all the New-Year wishes which we are
bound to entertain and utter.

In the first place, we wish the readers of Graham a happy
New-Year—health, peace, comforts—rational enjoyment and pleasures that
will please on reflection.

Can peace, comfort and enjoyment be had by the readers of this Magazine,
when those who are related with them are deprived of such
gratifications? Should we not offend by gross injustice if we should
imagine the readers of Graham capable of high enjoyments when others
were in distress? How numerous and extensive are the ramifications of
social life! Not a blow is struck on the remote verge of society but
some sympathetic nerve carries it to the
heart—friend—relative—associate—give interest to events; and such
links in the chain of social existence bind man to man, and make of
human society one common body. We wish you happy! then wealth, health,
peace and quiet to all with whom you stand related. Can you be happy and
your brother, your friend, your relative miserable? It is not possible.
And when we wish a happy New Year to the thirty or forty thousand who
take, and the four hundred thousand who read Graham, we wish a general
happiness.

_We_ enter upon a new year with the fullness of hopes that are only
enlarged by the fruition of former hopes. Our hopes are not hopeless.
Our desires to be rewarded have kept pace with our desires and efforts
to please. We believe the latter desires have contributed to the
gratification of the former; and it is therefore in a spirit of hopeful
gratitude that we wish _our_ friends and _their_ friends a happy
New-Year.

To the old we wish the ease which belongs to the dignity of years, and
that degree of health which makes the twilight of life delightful.

To the middle-aged we wish the maturity of intellect which secures
wisdom to plans, and success to efforts.

To youth a consciousness that very many of the promises of life are so
deceptive, that they must learn to rely more upon their own exertions
than upon those promises. We wish to them well regulated minds, well
controlled passions—we do not expect, we do not wish for the stately
dignity of age in the lively and stimulated feelings of youth:
enjoyment—and enjoyment of something of which age calls the vanity of
life—is permitted to youth. So that in all their rejoicings, in all the
cheerfulness of their hearts, in all the wanderings which they make by
the light of their eyes, (alas! how much has the lustre of even one pair
of woman’s eyes led us astray,) and in the understanding of their
hearts, (and how much do we all suffer by overrating that
understanding!) all these things may be endured—may be encouraged
indeed—if indulged in with that kind of reflection which keeps in view
accountability for it all.

Some have desired that at the foot of Janus, who guards the closing
portal of the past and the opening door of the coming year, there might
flow a rill from the river of Lethe, that we might drink in oblivion to
the past. How narrow, how contracted must be the mould of such wishes.
Let us take with us into the new year a full remembrance of the past.
Let the events which have cast a gloom over a portion of our experience
be recollected, that we may feel for others, that we may have in view
that great fact, that we are born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.

The heartiness of our wishes for the good of the readers of this
Magazine will be found in our efforts to make its pages interesting and
instructive. We have adopted measures, and shall carry them out, to
maintain the pre-eminence of position which our Magazine has acquired.
And while we look to the increased patronage of the public, we shall
continue to hold at a proper elevation the standard of Literature,
Morals and Truth.

                 *        *        *        *        *

A NUT TO CRACK FOR ’49.—With, we think, a very just estimate of the
position of Graham’s Magazine, in the eye of the American public, we
_do_ flatter ourselves that the January number, will in no degree be
equaled by any cotemporary, or that we will in the least lesson our own
dignity, if we boast a little about it. There has been so much talking
on the part of our would-be rivals about their books, and an effort so
manifestly strained to catch our tone and look, that we shall let out a
link or two—or, as the horsemen say, “shake out a step faster, if the
mettle is in the other nag.”

The truth is, that there is a very great mistake made in efforts to
assimilate to Graham’s Magazine—for, in the first place, all
competition must be distanced by our superior facilities, derived from
circulation; and in the next, the effort ends in playing second fiddle,
to the great loss of reputation and time. There is—there _ought to be_
at least—some unexplored field in which these rivals of ours may try
their unfledged wing, where our own magnificent flight may not be seen
in humiliating contrast, by these gentlemen and their friends.

Suppose now, for instance—having tried a magazine _after_ Graham—they
confess the “_distance_,” and give us a touch at a magazine made up
exclusively of translations from the French, with such copies of the
illustrations as may be picked up in Paris, or can be done here. We
really think something could be done with this hint profitably, but this
blundering and dodging along after another magazine, which crowds every
avenue, and presents itself for contrast at every turn, must be most
humiliating and vexatious, and cannot but be a losing concern in
shoe-leather and temper. The stereotype promises of our friends, which
appear with the “snow-birds” every January, have lost their value, and
as a standing joke might be relished well enough, but it strikes us that
it is a sort of eccentricity in amusement, harmless _only_ because
nobody is deluded.

It is unfortunate that one half the world takes its notions of business,
as it does its opinions, from the other half, and vainly supposes that
the high road to success is a beaten track. Nothing can be more absurd;
and the history of the leading penny commercial and weekly papers in
large cities attests this. In magazines the world does not take
unfledged genius and untried promises _at par_. The magazine world—by
which we mean that part of the world that reads magazines—has grown
cautious, cute, shrewd, or whatever may happen to be the choicest phrase
to designate a careful squint into the “bag” before “buying the pig.” It
will not do, therefore, to attempt to _gull_ the good folks, with a
supposed rivalry between your buzzard and our hawk—they know the
difference, and although “_Hail to the chief who in triumph advances_,”
may charm the ear as Graham for January flutters its golden wings before
the bright eyes of _all_ the cherry-cheeked damsels, in _all_ the
post-towns, when on his annual visit—his New-Year’s call—to his fifty
thousand friends—the tatterdemalion who, _under cover_, attempts to
follow, will assuredly be greeted with the “Rogue’s March,” and achieve
disgrace if not the whipping-post. It _will_ not do, this sort of living
by wit—this throwing out of a magnificent prospectus like Graham’s, and
then following it up with a specimen number in the way of
“_inducement_,” as if the world were one vast fishpool, and people—who
are not gudgeons—were to be jerked out, dollars and all, with an adroit
fling of the fly, (going a _flyer_ with a prospectus.) The game has been
played to every variety of tune—we _think_—and the gamut—we had like
to have said _gammon_—is exhausted, and with it the public patience.

                                                                   G.

                 *        *        *        *        *


                     “GRAHAM” TO “JEREMY SHORT.”

_My dear Jeremy_,—The coming of the year 1849 must present reflections
of a mixed character to “THE TRIO.” _Our_ memories do not stretch back
to “thirty years since,” but fifteen years ago at “BAMFORD’S,” how
vividly fresh in memory, to “YOU AND JOE AND I!” Those years of fun,
frolic, literature in the bud, (poetic,) _and_ extravagant expenditure
of sixpences. Which of us troubled our brains about _current rates_,
while we passed “_currant_” at “BAMFORD’S?” What cared we about the
opinion of the world? _Our_ “_mead_ of praise” was in bottles.
“_Imperial!_” did you say? You are right there. “Three bottles of it!”
_Did_ we ever reach that sublime of extravagant dissipation in those
_imperial days_? I think not. It would have been a sort of royal
expenditure, that must have drained the treasury, and rendered us unfit
for the grave studies of the afternoon.

Ah! there was a foam, a sparkle, a sort of frost-work fizzling upon
those mead-glasses, which we shall never see again, Jeremy!—NEVER!
Champagne, bubble it ever so brightly, pales in its ineffectual rivalry
with the memory of the snowy effervescence, which crowned the goblet at
“BAMFORD’S!” With the freshness of life’s morning, has “BAMFORD” and his
“_imperial_” melted away! and the place which knew them and us is known
no more. The old blue frame, with an attic in its _first_ story, and its
_window_ all awry, is gone!—as if to join those bright dreams which
have floated into the unattainable. The very dew of the heart of each of
_us_ has been exhaled, and with those laughing hours has gone, upward we
trust, to enjoy sunshine and smiles with the angels.

Do you know that I cannot look upon the staring brick edifice which
covers that hallowed ground, without thinking it a desecration? and
feeling a sort of unbidden wish for a circumscribed earthquake! Is it
not enough that the heart shrivels and grows cold in its calloused
casement, under the blighting influences of the god of this world—that
Mammon must bridge over and entomb the small spot that memory has
consecrated to truth; so that the scared conscience shall be watered no
more at the fountain at which in youth the heart’s secrets of each of us
were mirrored. Must even the green places which we remember in the past
be obliterated forever?—the points from which, with imprisoned impulses
and high hopes, we started into that untried and beckoning world, which,
as a prism to the young eye, varied its fanciful and attractive colors
as we advanced, forever changing, forever deceptive, until the heart,
jaded and wearied with the cheat, started from its dreams of bliss, to
dream—to hope—no more.

It _is_ enough that the heart changes—that all that we looked forward
to in youth, hopefully and trustfully, fades as we advance. That the
path which before us was verdant and full of flowers, is sterile and
strewn with ashes, as we tread it now; and instead of the songs of
birds, which filled the grove and made the air vocal, and the heart
happy, we have but the melancholy dirge—the funeral wail of
autumn—sweeping with moaning sound through the unleafed trees—a sad
sky above our heads—and withered leaves beneath our feet!

Ah! how _sadly_ have _we_ changed!—“WE THREE!” What bitter heart
experiences have we treasured up! How many of “the world’s” dark lessons
do we know! Would not either of us give all that we have learned for one
hour of the unshadowed happiness of those young days? Could we but go
back again to taste it—did you ever muse on this?—would we change as
we have, or remain as we were, think you? With but a slice of a year’s
experience—as years roll by us _now_—to start with as a capital, would
we be as wordly-wise—in any way as worldly—as we are? I think not. We
should quaff its knowledge more sparingly, believe me, in a
Bamford-reminiscence, vividly intermingled with that slight appreciation
of men as we know them! We should treasure those heart bubbles, which
the world has blown into air! _Should we not, Jeremy?_

                                                             G. R. G.

                 *        *        *        *        *

INDUSTRY AND PERSEVERANCE.—The power of these two qualities to overcome
almost every difficulty is well exemplified in the case of Bulwer, the
novelist. When he first commenced writing, he found it to be very hard
work. Bently says he worked his way to eminence through failure and
ridicule. His facility is only the result of practice and study. He
wrote at first very slowly, and with great difficulty; but he resolved
to master his stubborn instrument of thought, and mastered it. He has
practiced writing as an art, and has re-written some of his essays
(unpublished) nine or ten times over. Another habit will show the
advantage of continuous application. He only works about three hours a
day—from ten in the morning till one—seldom later. The evenings, when
alone, are devoted to reading, scarcely ever to writing. Yet what an
amount of good hard labor has resulted from these three hours! He writes
very rapidly, averaging 20 pages a day of novel print.

                 *        *        *        *        *



                          REVIEW OF NEW BOOKS.


    _Lays and Ballads. By Thomas Buchanan Read. Philadelphia: Geo.
    S. Appleton. 12mo. pp. 140._

We confess that we have little sympathy with the mass of cream and
tea-colored books which have invaded our land, with the apparent
intention of benefitting none but printers. It is therefore with
heartfelt satisfaction that we now and then glean from amid this host of
versified rubbish a volume like the one before us.

To the numerous admirers of Mr. Read’s former collection the present
volume will afford peculiar pleasure, fulfilling as it does the
predicted progressive spirit which was everywhere manifest in his
earlier production, which is evident here, and which still points to
something better to come. We know of no surer test of true poetical
greatness than this evidence of a power of development, which has always
shown itself in the earlier verses of men possessing the highest order
of genius.

The volume before us, as the title imports, is chiefly composed of
lyrical poems; but there are also two or three articles in blank verse,
whose exceeding merit awaken a desire to see a further exertion of the
author’s talents in this unfettered mode of versification. The power
which he evinces in “the Alchemist’s Daughter” and “A Vision of Death,”
prove the existence of resources for which the friends of his former
volume scarcely gave him credit. We own ourselves astonished at the
versatility of Mr. Read’s genius, at the ease with which he passes from
lyrical to the highest order of poetry, with the scope of thought which
is shown in his unveilings of man’s inner nature, and with the dramatic
variety and intensity of his diction. We scarcely recognize the same
hand in the lyrical and dramatic poems; both are beautiful, but of
widely different orders of beauty. The former are characterized by a
purity of thought and sentiment, a delicate refinement and nicety in the
choice of phrases, a brilliant and constant play of fancy in figures the
most apt and glowing, a striking spirit of individuality, and a
versification the most varied and harmonious. The transition from the
lyrical to the dramatic pieces is at the same time both delightful and
startling. The style changes at once, the author vanishes from sight,
and is lost in our sympathy for the imaginary creatures of his mind. In
the dramatic compositions the language is vigorous, passionate and
condensed, dealing rather in the bold metaphor than in the more ornate
but less difficult simile, and seeking effect rather by force and
earnestness than by beauty and delicacy of expression. This is as it
should be, and proves our author the possessor of powers which must
eventually place him in the very first rank of poets. But we must leave
general criticism, and proceed to substantiate our high opinions by the
text before us.

The volume opens with a poem replete with the most picturesque and
striking imagery. There is a beautiful contrast between the desolate,
frozen appearance of nature—

            “When old Winter, through his fingers numb,
          Blows till his breathings on the windows gleam;
        And when the mill-wheel, spiked with ice, is dumb
          Within the neighboring stream;”

and the fervent feeling which appears to have dictated this friendly
tribute to one whose presence can at all seasons make

        “A summer in the heart.”

Passing some half dozen poems, every way worthy of special notice, but
omitted on account of our confined space, we come to “The Beggar of
Naples.” This is one of the longest and most striking poems in the book;
in a versification the most irregular but the most harmonious, indulging
in the wildest flights of fancy, but never soaring beyond the common
ken. The story is simple, and turns on the power with which a virtuous
love may shape the destiny of the meanest. The picture of the beggars
hanging round the sunny corners of the streets, tells with a few
skillful touches more than a whole library of statistics.

        “Avoiding every wintry shade,
        The lazzaroni crawled to sunny spots;
        At every corner miserable knots
        Pursued their miserable trade,
        _And held the sunshine in their asking palms,_
        _Which gave unthanked its glowing alms,_
        Thawing the blood until it ran
        As wine within a vintage runs.”

The italicized lines are eminently suggestive; and in the contemplative
mind, awaken a long train of the most solemn thoughts—thoughts of
Heaven’s indiscriminate bounty, and man’s unthankful forgetfulness, of
the beggar’s hands overflowing with the gifts of nature, but all empty
of the gifts of churlish human charity. The listlessness of the beggar’s
life, the vacant sense and brain of the purposeless idler, is admirably
portrayed in the following lines:—

        “Upon the beggar’s heart the matin hymn
        Fell faint and dim;
        As when upon some margin of the sea
        The fisher breathes the briny air,
        And hears the far waves symphony,
        But hears it unaware.
        The music from the lofty aisle,
        And all the splendor of the sacred pile—
        The pictures hung at intervals
        Like windows, giving from the walls
        Clear glimpses of the days agone.

             *    *    *    *    *

        All were unheeded,
        And came but as his breath;
        Or if there came a thought, that thought unheeded
        Even in its birth met death.”

The awakening from this lethargy, at the first touch of love, is
unrivaled:—

        “At once upstarting from his knees,
        He watched her as she went;
        The blood awakened from its slothful ease,
        Through all his frame a flaming flood was sent;
        _He stood as with a statue’s fixed surprise,_
        _Great wonder making marble in his eyes!_”

What can surpass the simple grandeur of the concluding lines of this
passage? The new light which at once bursts on his aroused senses is
thus happily described:—

        “All things at once became a glorious show;
        Now could he see the sainted pictures glow;
        And instantly unto his lips
        Rolled fragments of old song—
        Fragments which had been thrown
        Into his heart unknown.” &c.

His shame at his tattered appearance, at his companions, and at his base
mode of life, are singularly beautiful and truthful strokes. That a soul
so aroused should struggle for and reach the first ranks of fame is
nothing strange, and that he should wed his deliverer is strict poetical
justice. From “The Deserted Road” we clip the following felicitous local
touches:—

        “Here I stroll along the village,
        As in youth’s departed morn,
        But I miss the crowded coaches,
          And the driver’s bugle-horn;

        “Miss the crowd of jovial teamsters,
          Filling buckets at the wells,
        With their wains from Conestoga,
          _And their orchestras of bells_.”

“The Alchemist’s Daughter,” amid a host of stirring lines, contains the
following beautiful passages. Lorenzo, speaking of the marriage of his
young mistress—

        “Her mother died long years ago, and took
        One half the blessed sunshine from our house,
        _The other half was married off last night_.”

This is genuine poetry, and we recognize it at once. Again, describing
the rising moon,—

        “Mark how the moon, as by some unseen arm,
        Is thrust toward heaven like a bloody shield.”

The following noble burst should go far to cheer those whose labors
appear to produce no immediate results:—

        “Are there no wrongs but what a nation feels—
        No heroes but among the martial throng?
        Nay, there are patriot souls who never grasped
        A sword, or heard a crowd applaud their names—
        Who lived and labored, died, and were forgot;
        And after them the world came out and reapt
        The field, and never questioned who had sown.”

From this garden of dainty devices let us, before leaving, cull a few
choice flowers. From “The New Village” we would fain extract the whole
stanza, describing the forest-life of the Indian maids, which concludes
thus—

            “The daisies kiss their foot-falls in the grass,
        _And little streams stand still to paint them in their glass_.”

In “A Vision of Death,” the flowers over the grave of a beautiful
maiden, are thus invoked:—

                            “Bloom, bloom,
        Ye little blossoms! _and if beauty can,_
        _Like other purest essences, exhale_
        _And penetrate the mould, your flowers shall be_
        _Of rarest hue and perfume_.”

From “The Realm of Dreams,” we extract this exquisite couplet:

        “And where the spring-time sun had longest shone
        And violet looked up, _and found itself alone_.”

The above has a positive fragrance, that unexplainable odor which at
once distinguishes genuine poetry, however disguised, from all
imitations, however ingenious. No one but a true poet could have written
this passage, which, for its suggestive delicacy, is scarcely rivaled in
our language. From the same poem we extract this simile, describing the
unruffled quiet of a small mountain lake:—

        “Through underwood of laurel, and across
        A little lawn, _shoe-deep with sweetest moss,_
        I passed, and found the lake, _which, like a shield_
        _Some giant long had ceased to wield,_
        _Lay with its edges sunk in sand and stone,_
        _With ancient roots and grasses overgrown._”

The descent of the mystic spirit of the lake is thus pictured:

        “Then noiselessly as moonshine falls
        Adown the ocean’s crystal walls,
        And with no stir or wave attended,
        Slowly through the lake descended;
        _Till from her hidden form below_
        _The waters took a golden glow,_
        _As if the star which made her forehead bright_
        _Had burst and filled the lake with light._”

Observe the beautiful melancholy, and the slow, swaying versification of
the following description of a deserted quay:—

        “The old, old sea, as one in tears,
          Comes murmuring with his foamy lips,
        And knocking at the vacant piers,
          Calls for his long-lost multitude of ships.”

We would gladly extend this imperfect notice to twice its prescribed
length; for we are aware that in our limited bounds we can do but
partial justice to merits so conspicuous; and, perhaps, in our bungling
haste to pluck that which caught our fancy, we have passed by beauties
which would have arrested the eyes of others. We are conscious of having
bestowed on this volume the most unmixed praises; and the censorious may
ask us, what has become of our critical gall? The province of criticism
is two-fold—to cheer with praise, or to correct with censure; and we
belong to that good-natured portion who exercise the former calling.
What is deliberately done can be followed by no apology. Whatever we
have said, has been supported with solid material from the work before
us; and our readers may judge by the extracts, whether we have done our
author that worst of all injustice which arises from over commendation.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Poems. By Oliver Wendall Holmes. A New Edition. Boston: Wm. D.
    Ticknor & Co. 1 vol. 16mo._

It gives us great pleasure to announce the appearance of a new and
revised edition of Dr. Holmes’s poems, printed in a style of simplicity
and elegance creditable to the publishers and appropriate to him. It
contains a large number of pieces which have never before appeared in
any collection of his poems, and also a number which are now printed for
the first time. A volume which is so emphatically “a nest of spicery,”
which sparkles on every page with wit, fancy, and imagination, and which
contains some of the most perfect specimens of versification and true
poetical expression ever produced in the country, will be sure of a
rapid and a large circulation. The author has been literally mobbed for
many years to prepare an edition of his poems, and we now have one which
fairly reflects his character and powers.

In criticising a poet, the too common method pursued by the craft is to
fix upon him some time-honored and time-worn phrases and epithets, which
apply to him only as they apply to all poets, and to avoid that task of
analysis which would bring out the peculiarities of his genius. Holmes
has especially suffered from this mode of criticism; and thus one of the
most singular and individual of our poets, a man who, whatever may be
thought of the scope and domain of his genius, is still a strictly
original writer, is described in terms which are as applicable to
Longfellow and Bryant as to him.

The great mental peculiarity of Holmes is fineness of
intellect—subtilty in the perception of resemblances, subtilty in the
perception of differences, and subtilty in the conception of remote and
filmy shades of thought. He has a most acute and inevitable perception
of the ludicrous, but it is ever passed through his intellect before it
is expressed; and, accordingly, his wit and humor have the certainty of
demonstration, and never miss their mark. He has a no less acute
perception of the pathetic, the beautiful, and the grand, but he never
hazards their expression from the simple impulse of enthusiasm, but
passes them also through his intelligence, scrutinizes them as they lie
mirrored on his imagination, and gives them utterance only when he is
satisfied intellectually and consciously of their validity and
excellence. Such a man would naturally be accused of lacking
sensibility, sensitiveness to impressions; but no careful reader of his
writings, who considers their singular wealth and variety of sensuous
imagery, of niceties and felicities of description, can fail to discern
the intense sensibility to external objects they continually imply,
however much he may be puzzled to account for the form in which it is
expressed. The truth is, we should judge, that Holmes’s extreme
sensitiveness made him skeptical, or fearful of the quality, and that he
arraigned his impressions, his spontaneous combinations and strange
freaks of juxtaposition, his teeming throng of fanciful images, his
impatient, voluble, and affluent verbal extravagances, before the
tribunal of his intellect, to see if they would bear the tests by which
the bizarre is discriminated from the picturesque, levity from wit,
drollery from humor, sentimentality from pathos, flightiness from
ideality. Were it not for his detecting, exacting, sure and fine
intellect, there would be no rein on his wild colt of a fancy, and the
result would be more portentous freaks of deviltry and mischievousness,
and perhaps more direct expression of impatient passion and tender
feeling, but the whole would be but splendid disorder and aimless
brilliancy. It is thus from the very fulness and fierce pressure of his
sensitive nature for expression, that Holmes has become so eminently an
intellectual poet, and that all his writings indicate an intense working
of faculties rather than a heedless expression of affinities. Take up
any one of his poems, witty or serious, subject it to the chemical
processes of criticism, and it is surprising what seemingly untameable
elements of thought and emotion are revealed. This mastery of his
impulses, as seen in the intellectual form of their expression, is the
peculiarity of Holmes, and gives to his poems that character of
certainty, decision, and restrained exuberance, which constitutes so
much of their charm. Such a man must have rejected more brilliancies and
grotesque strokes of fanciful wit, than most men have ever conceived.
Nothing which his fancy or his wit, his Ariel or his Puck, pitches into
his mind, can pass muster, unless it can bear the sharp, close,
microscopic glance of his sure and subtle intellect.

In respect to the intellectuality of his processes, Holmes bears some
resemblance to Tennyson, with the exception that Tennyson’s mind pierces
patiently into a different and more mysterious domain of spiritual
phenomena, and bears the marks of a slower reduction of film to form.
The mind of Holmes acts with the rapidity of lightning. It examines and
dissects as instantaneously as it feels and conceives. There is no
patient contemplation of the object of his thought, but a quick, brisk,
almost nervous seizure of it. His mind works with such intensity, all
its faculties are so perfectly under his control, that what it grasps it
grasps at once with the celerity of intuition. Nothing comes to him by
degrees and slow steps. He does not wait for the Muse to turn her
countenance gradually upon him, unfolding feature after feature, but he
impatiently seizes her by the shoulders, twirls her round, and looks her
right in the face. He is not abashed by her reproof, and disregards all
her airs and assumptions of dignity. He seems plainly to tell her that
he will stand none of her nonsense—that he knows her secret—that she
cannot impose upon him—that if she do not choose to smile he can sail
along very well without her assistance. Such spiteful treatment from any
body else, would draw down her wrath; but Holmes seems a favorite, and
has his mischievous ways indulged.

There is observable in Holmes’s long poems one defect which springs from
the refinement of his perceptions. Though his writings evince no lack of
vivid and palpable imagery, the curious subtilty of his mind leads him
often into a remoteness of allusion whose pertinence and beauty are not
apprehended by the ordinary reader. The leading idea of some of his
poems, though obvious enough if sharply scrutinized, is still not
prominent enough to enforce attention of itself. The result is that
“Poetry” and “Urania,” appear at first like aggregates of brilliant
parts rather than as vital wholes. The unity of each is perceived only
on an after examination. This is an artistical defect which mars their
excellence and effectiveness.

The present edition of Holmes, while it contains a complete collection
of his published pieces, is enriched with some after dinner poems, which
were not intended for the public eye. These seem to have been thrown off
extempore, but they teem with brilliancies of wit and fancy, and are
full of fine audacities of expression. Of these the best are
“Terpsichore,” “A Modest Request,” and “Nux Postcænatica,” which contain
enough spirit and poetry to make a reputation, and which almost add to
that which Holmes has already made. The drinking song, slily called “A
Song of Other Days,” is almost unmatched for the grandeur and splendor
of its imagery, and the heartiness of its tone. The “Sentiment” which
follows this right royal Anacreontic, is as glorious a tribute to water
as the other is to wine—thus satisfactorily proving that Holmes is
indebted to neither for inspiration. One of the most beautiful and
brilliant of the poems added in this edition, is that on the Ancient
Punch Bowl, and the mode in which sentiment and wit are made to shake
hands, and dwell cosily together, is grandly humorous. “Urania,” we
suppose, must be considered on the whole, the best production in the
volume. It has touches of sentiment and pathos, so graceful, so pure,
and so elusive—not to speak of its satirical and witty portions—that
it would be in vain to place any other poem of the author before it.

We have only space to refer to one more admirable peculiarity of Holmes,
a natural consequence of the vigor, affluence and fineness of his
intellect, and that is the _re-readableness_ of his productions. There
is a perpetual stimulant in them which we cannot drain dry. On a fourth
or fifth perusal some refinement of allusion or analogy, some delicacy
of thought or expression, some demure stroke of humor, which did not at
first fix the attention, repays the diligent reader. Indeed to read one
of his poems for the purpose of taking in its whole meaning at once,
would require the mind to be as thoroughly awake and active as if it
were engaged on Hume or Butler. The very gladness and briskness with
which his verse moves, the flood of radiance poured out upon it, the
distinctness of much of the imagery, interfere, on the first perusal,
with the perception of his minor felicities and remote combinations of
fancy and wit. Holmes, indeed, is a poet to have constantly on the
parlor-table, not one to be consigned to a shelf in the library; for
there is hardly a page not brightened by those fine fancies which age
does not dim, and which “sparkle like salt in fire.”

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _United States Fiscal Department._

In a republican government entire simplicity in all that relates to
public affairs, is not only convenient to the officers, but is a duty to
the public, every man of whom is a party in the business. We are
reminded of the value of simplicity and order by two quarto volumes now
before us, which point out the order, and show how simplicity is to be
attained in whatever relates to the fiscal department of the government
of the United States.

The title of these volumes is expressive of their valuable contents. “A
Synopsis of the Commercial and Revenue System of the United States, as
Developed by Instructions and Decisions of the Treasury Department, for
the Administration of the Revenue Laws: Accompanied with a Supplement of
Historical and Tabular Illustrations of the Origin, Organization and
Practical Operations of the Treasury Department and its various Bureaus,
in Fulfillment of that System: In Eight Chapters, with an Appendix. By
Robert Mayo, M.D. 2 vols. 4to.”

We have not space to enter into details of this truly great work. All
that is set forth in the promises of the title page is amply sustained
by the body of the work, and an amount of information is given, truly
astonishing to those who have not had experience in the numerous
ramifications of the overgrown department. While there is scarcely a
relation which any citizen could occupy with regard to the treasury
department, in all its forms, and while the duty of every officer
connected with that branch of government, whatever may be his grade, is
amply set forth, it seems as a matter of course that at least one in
every hundred of the citizens of this country should have a copy of this
instructive work, for the benefit of himself and of the others to whom
he is the _centurion_. And while these various kinds of information are
given, the work incidentally contains a history of the department.

Loan holders, applicants for remuneration, and all who have any
connection or business with the treasury department, are instructed by
these volumes how to proceed—how they ought to proceed—and how others
have proceeded. Dr. Mayo has done a public service by preparing these
volumes. We hope the public will remember him and his work.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Women of the Bible; Delineated in a series of Sketches of
    Prominent Females mentioned in Scripture. By Clergymen of the
    United States. Illustrated by eighteen characteristic
    engravings. Edited by the Rev. J. M. Wainwright, D. D. Phila:
    Geo. S. Appleton, 164 Chestnut street._

This book is as remarkable for the felicity of its design as for the
beauty of its execution. The plates which adorn it are eighteen in
number, and they are among the best and most exquisite specimens of the
engraver’s art that it has ever been our good fortune to examine. The
articles have been written by clergymen of the United States,
distinguished for their talents, and eminent for their piety; and they
have truly rendered a meet offering for those to whom it is
appropriately dedicated, “thoughtful readers, men as well as women, the
one being interested equally with the other, in what constitutes the
character of mother, wife, daughter, sister.” As the inside of the book
is rich and attractive, so the skill and taste of the binder have made
its exterior truly magnificent. The style is new in this country, being
a rich, massive arabesque, and its execution reflects the highest credit
upon Mr. J. T. ALTEMUS, of this city, under whose
supervisory direction the work was accomplished.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _The Republic of the United States of America; Its Duties to
    Itself, and its Responsible Relations to other Countries. New
    York: D. Appleton & Co. 1 vol. 12mo._

In this volume the author enters upon an elaborate defense of the
democratic party of the union, the administration of President Polk, and
the Mexican War. As a partisan production it may be considered able and
moderate. The writer, however, in his remarks on war in general, and the
Mexican war in particular, falls into some offensive cant of his own, in
attempting to upset some popular cant of another kind.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Mrs. Sigourney’s Poems._

Carey & Hart have published, in one beautiful volume, uniform with their
editions of Longfellow, Bryant and Willis, the Poems of Lydia H.
Sigourney, a lady who has been long before the public as a writer, and
whose fine powers have ever been devoted to good objects. She richly
deserves the compliment of such an edition, and we have no doubt that
its success will be triumphant. The volume contains many poems which
have never before been included in a collection of her works, and many
which are now published for the first time. The illustrations by Darley
are the best, both in respect to design and execution, which have
appeared in Carey & Hart’s editions of the American poets. They all
exhibit Darley’s singular power of making the countenance physiognomical
of the mind, even of the most elusive qualities of thought and emotion,
and of bringing out character distinctly and decisively.

                 *        *        *        *        *

    _Notes of a Military Reconnoisance of the Route to California
    with the advanced Guard of the Army of the West, Commanded by
    General S. W. Kearney. By W. H. Emory, U.S.A._

This public document, printed by order of Congress, and vastly different
from the usual verbose _farragos_, in printing which public money is
expended, is a most valuable work. Mr. Emory has traveled with the eye
of a scholar as well as soldier, and while he has amassed a valuable
collection of military _data_, he has added scarcely less to our stock
of Ethnological and antiquarian information. Well written, truthful,
because it is an official report, recording many incidents of peril by
flood and field, it should find a place in every library, as a memorial
of the toil and sufferings of that gallant little band which, under the
guidance of the late General Kearney, won that beautiful country for the
United States. The battle of San Pasqual and the subsequent operations
on the San Francisco, (where the gallant Captain Moore Johnstone, Lieut.
Hammond, and so large a portion of the command were killed,) are
graphically told, and add to the interest of the book, which is richly
illustrated by engravings of ruined buildings, plants, scenery, etc.

                 *        *        *        *        *

_The Opal._—Our amiable and highly gifted friend, Mrs. SARAH J. HALE,
has presented to the public, in “The Opal” just published, one of the
best and most beautiful Annuals we have ever seen. Her superior taste as
Editress, has enabled her to collect a number of articles of
unquestionable merit, which, together, form a most delightful volume. We
do not wonder at “The _Opal’s_” popularity, especially since the care of
its preparation has devolved upon Mrs. Hale, who is so eminently fitted
for the performance of that duty. Its pages are pure and bright, and the
gems which adorn them, from the rich treasures of the minds of Grace
Greenwood, N. P. Willis, and other equally popular authors, serve to
render it in truth, a neat and appropriate offering for all seasons.

                 *        *        *        *        *

_Thirty Years Since, or the Ruined Family._—The indefatigable G. P. R.
JAMES, has written another novel, which bears this title. It is
remarkable with what facility works of fiction emanate from his pen, and
it is not the less astonishing that they should be so generally
readable. “Thirty Years Since” is fully equal to any of its author’s
recent productions, and will doubtless find many readers and admirers.

                 *        *        *        *        *

_The Rival Beauties._—This is the title of a new novel written by Miss
PARDOE, author of “The City of the Sultan,” &c. Gertrude and Sybil, the
Rival Beauties, are as dissimilar in their natures as light is the
opposite of darkness, and the character of each has been portrayed in an
admirable manner by the writer. Miss Pardoe’s works are usually
interesting—the one before us will, we think, compare advantageously
with any that have preceded it.

                 *        *        *        *        *

_Hand-Book of the Toilette_ and _Hand-Book of Conversation and Table
Talk_, are the titles of two _bijou_ volumes published by G. S.
Appleton. They are beautifully gotten up, and contain many valuable
suggestions.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Transcriber’s Notes:

Hyphenation and archaic spellings have been retained. Punctuation has
been corrected without note. Obvious typographical 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 iv, the Stiene-Kill. By ==> the Steine-Kill. By
page 2, of the possesor ==> of the possessor
page 5, the varions propensities ==> the various propensities
Page 8, a dead patridge ==> a dead partridge
page 12, _ancien regimé_ ==> _ancien régime_
page 14, by complaisance, hazle ==> by complaisance, hazel
page 14, for my unparalelled ==> for my unparalleled
page 15, unmeanining mirth ==> unmeaning mirth
page 15, the stately mein ==> the stately mien
page 34, ‘we havn’t ==> ‘we haven’t
page 34, and its nothing ==> and it’s nothing
page 35, if their hasn’t ==> if there hasn’t
page 35, six day’s board ==> six days’ board
page 41, to day, I have ==> to-day, I have
page 41, replied the the officer ==> replied the officer
page 49, The threshhold was ==> The threshold was
page 50, and Tlascalla ==> and Tlaxcalla
page 53, “Do’nt think so ==> “Don’t think so
page 55, early past away ==> early passed away
page 66, diligence and perseverence ==> diligence and perseverance
page 67, all the fredom ==> all the freedom
page 71, and the learnning ==> and the learning
page 71, however, incontestible; and ==> however, incontestable; and
page 71, belongs the incontestible ==> belongs the incontestable
page 79, quaff its knowledgee ==> quaff its knowledge
page 82, in Homes’s long poems ==> in Holmes’s long poems
page 83, with the tresury ==> with the treasury
page 83, preparing these volume ==> preparing these volumes





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